Grieving Chinese Families Can't Bury Dead, Perform 2,000 Year-Old Tradition

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Grieving Chinese Families Can't Bury Dead, Perform 2,000 Year-Old Tradition

While the Chinese Communist Party claims they've suffered just 3,300 coronavirus deaths out of more than 60,000 who have died around the world as of this writing, evidence exists that the actual death toll across China is far higher - and could be more than 40,000.

And as long lines form at Wuhan funeral homes over the last two weeks, family members - some waitin

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g up to six hours, have been collecting their loved ones in the hopes of giving them a proper funeral. In particular, mourning families want to be able to perform a 'grave sweeping' ritual that has been around for over two millennia - where families gather on the 15th day after the spring equinox to remove weeds and dirt from their ancestors' graves.

Long lines have formed at Wuhan’s eight main funeral parlors, including here at the Hankou Funeral Home, as relatives come to collect ashes before Tomb-Sweeping Day. (Weibo)

Unfortunately, due to the backlog in urns, lost bodies, and Chinese authorities banning, or severely limiting tomb-sweeping rituals due to the large crowds which gather at cemetaries, mourners in Wuhan won't be able to pay their respects until at least May, according to the Washington Post - which suggests that beyond health safety reasons, Beijing wants to limit the number of people standing around, criticizing the government response to the pandemic. 

“No one in the family got to say goodbye to Grandpa or see his face one last time,” said Gao Yingwei, an IT worker in Wuhan whose grandfather, Gao Shixu, apparently succumbed to the novel coronavirus on Feb. 7. The 76-year-old died at home; funeral workers in hazmat suits came to collect his body, telling the family it would be cremated immediately.

To this day, we have no idea how his body was handled, where his ashes are or when we will be able to pick them up,” Gao said. “I don’t even know which funeral parlor those guys were from.” -Washington Post

Cover up

As we've noted over the last several weeks, the numbers in China aren't adding up - as crematoriums have been processing thousands of bodies per day, according to several reports.

The Hankou Funeral Home, for example, told Caixin that it has been operating 19-hour days; enlisting male staff to carry bodies while reporting they've received 5,000 urns in two days.

Using photos posted online, social media sleuths have estimated that Wuhan funeral homes have returned 3,500 urns a day since March 23. That would imply a death toll in Wuhan of about 42,000 — or 16 times the official number. Another widely shared calculation from Radio Free Asia, based on Wuhan’s 84 furnaces running nonstop and each cremation taking an hour, put the death toll at 46,800. -Washington Post

"It can’t be right . . . because the incinerators have been working round the clock, so how can so few people have died?" said one Wuhan resident identified only as Zhang, in a statement to RFA.

Also notable are the uncounted deaths - those who likely died of coronavirus but weren't tested for the disease, such as 49-year-old Liu Cheng, who died February 12 of a "severe infection in both lungs." He was not counted in the official coronavirus statistics, and was immediately cremated before his family could see him, according to the report.

Wuhan cemeteries have reported that they will sweep tombs during the memorial period, while some private funeral companies have offered to tend to graves for a fee while the families watch on live stream. And they have nobody to blame but the CCP for their early inaction and destruction of samples in what may have been able to be contained if they had acted sooner.

Tyler Durden

Sat, 04/04/2020 - 12:00

German State Finance Minister Found Dead

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German State Finance Minister Found Dead



The body of Thomas Schäfer - finance minister of the German state of Hesse, was found lying across high-speed train tracks in the town of Hochheim, located between Frankfurt and Mainz, according to DW, citing local police.










Schäfer's remains were initially unable to be identified due to the extent of the injuries after witnes

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ses reported the body.







"I Would Rather Be Dead": Calls To Suicide Hotlines Spike Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

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"I Would Rather Be Dead": Calls To Suicide Hotlines Spike Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Calls to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline have spiked 300% amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to KVLY, while the Sacramento Bee reports that other suicide prevention services  have similarly risen for the same reasons.

"It’s so scary, it’s almost like ... I would rather be dead," said suicidal writer

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Danielle Sinay, who lives in New York City. "I mean, I wouldn’t be, but sometimes I get so scared it feels like that."

President Donald Trump, who has been pressing to lift restrictions on most people as soon as possible, has warned of “suicides by the thousands” if people remain isolated, Forbes reported.

More than 487,000 cases of the  COVID-19 virus have been confirmed worldwide with more than 22,000 deaths as of March 26, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States has more than 69,000 confirmed cases with more than 1,000 deaths. -Sacramento Bee

(That figure topped 523,000 infected and 23,639 deaths as of this writing just hours later, according to the same source).

"There are ramifications, sometimes fatal, with events like these that are not just related to getting infected or dying from infection or consequences of infection," said Eric Caine, co-director of the Center for the Study of Prevention of Suicide at the University of Rochester Medical Center, in a statement to USA Today.

"Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger," said the CDC in a statement.

Meanwhile, the national crisis text line, they handled 6,000 text conversations last week - approximately twice the normal volume according to spokeswoman Ashley Womble.

In Portland, Oregon, suicide-related 911 calls rose 23 percent in the past 10 days, compared to the 10 days before the city declared an emergency, The Oregonian reported. All 911 calls in the city dropped 10 percent in the same period.

Other suicide prevention efforts in Portland report rising calls from people who feel anxious, depressed or frightened, but not in calls from those feeling acutely suicidal, according to the publication. Officials fear that may change. -Sacramento Bee

"If this nears a large disaster like Hurricane Katrina, there is a flood coming," said Chris Bouneff, who heads up the Oregon chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, according to The Oregonian.

And at the largest suicide prevention hotline in Massachusetts, the Samaritans, they received 350 calls per day last week, up from 250 - 275 calls they normally receive according to the Boston Globe. Text messages in March are on pace to reach a record high of more than 1,000.

Tips to fight anxiety (via the Sacramento Bee)

"Isolation is a big trigger for a lot of people," according to California social worker Norine VanderHooven. "People are becoming so anxious because they don’t know what to expect. Anxiety is fear of the unexpected or unknown."

Experts suggest that people keep to a routine schedule, exercise, eat a healthy diet, meditate and take walks to quell anxiety, The Boston Globe reported.

Avoid information overload if it increases your fear and stave off feelings of isolation by staying in touch with friends or family by phone or online, according to the publication.

“None of us are immune to this feeling of anxiety and stress,” said Leticia Sainz, interim deputy director of Multnomah County’s behavioral health division, The Oregonian reported. “I think we’re still really seeing the beginnings of the effects of this.” -Sacramento Bee

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health or suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800 273-8255 or text the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

Tyler Durden

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 19:45

Missing Ex-FBI Agent Robert Levinson Declared Dead By Family

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Missing Ex-FBI Agent Robert Levinson Declared Dead By Family

The family of Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent-turned-private-contractor who disappeared in Iran more than a decade ago while purportedly on a mission for the CIA, announced Wednesday that they believe he is dead.


In a statement given to CNN, Levinson's family said it received information from "US officials" that has "led them a

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nd us to conclude that our wonderful husband and father died while in Iranian custody."

Though they don't know when or how it happened, the family claimed that Levinson had passed before the COVID-19 pandemic started.

"We recently received information from U.S. officials that has led both them and us to conclude that our wonderful husband and father died while in Iranian custody. We don't know when or how he died, only that it was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic," they said in a statement.

"It is impossible to describe our pain," the family said. "Our family will spend the rest of our lives without the most amazing man we have ever known, a new reality that is inconceivable to us. His grandchildren will never meet him. They will only know him through the stories we tell them."

"Those who are responsible for what happened to Bob Levinson, including those in the U.S. government who for many years repeatedly left him behind, will ultimately receive justice for what they have done. We will spend the rest of our lives making sure of this, and the Iranian regime must know we will not be going away. We expect American officials, as well as officials around the world, to continue to press Iran to seek Bob's return, and to ensure those Iranian officials involved are held accountable," they said.

In their statement, the family thanked President Trump and several members of his administration, including National Security Advisor Robert C. O'Brien, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, CIA Director Gina Haspel, and FBI Director Christopher Wray, as well as their staff - who have done "all they could to make our family whole again."

"Our family also wishes to thank Congressman Ted Deutch, Senator Bill Nelson, Senator Marco Rubio and Senator Bob Menendez, and their staff members, who fought for Bob Levinson in every possible way," they added.

"Bob Levinson was a truly remarkable individual - the best husband, father, brother, grandfather and friend anyone could ever ask for. He was an American hero - a true patriot, and his compassion and kindness knew no bounds," the family said. "We will miss his warmth, humor, and wisdom, but most of all, we will miss the deep and unconditional love he had for each one of us. He will never be forgotten - we will make sure of it."

The statement is signed by "Christine, Susan, Stephanie, Sarah, Daniel, David, Samantha, and Douglas, and the entire extended Levinson family."

During Trump's Wednesday night press conference, President Trump refused to accept that Levinson is dead, but added that "it's not looking good."

Levinson disappeared in March while traveling to Kish Island, in Iran. It's widely believed he was kidnapped by Iranian intelligence to be used as a bargaining chip in negotiations, though the Iranian regime never publicly accepted responsibility.

Tyler Durden

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 19:10

Forget James Bond's super-gadgets, this chap spied for China using SD card dead drops. Now he's behind bars

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Tour operator used job in America as cover while acting as a data mule for Beijing, stealing secrets from biz

An American citizen will spend the next four or so years behind bars in the US for smuggling corporate secrets out of the states to his spymasters in China.…


"We Are Treated Worse Than Garbage": Italian Families Stuck Inside With Bodies Of Dead Spouses As Nationwide Lockdown Begins

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"We Are Treated Worse Than Garbage": Italian Families Stuck Inside With Bodies Of Dead Spouses As Nationwide Lockdown Begins

Thanks in part to President Trump's nonchalant initial response (though as he demonstrated during last night's Oval Office press conference, the president has changed his tune - or at least it appears that way), millions of Americans still believe the coronavirus is - worst case - like a bad flu.

Actors Tom Hanks and Rita

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Wilson inadvertently amplified this idea when they reported feeling "a little achey" after testing positive for the virus in Australia.

But after reading this desperate plea from an Italian citizen whose sister succumbed to Covid-19 before ever making it to a hospital, hopefully they'll understand what's really at stake here. As Dr. Scott Gottlieb said earlier on CNBC: It's probably too late for America to be South Korea (aka taking swift steps to contain the outbreaks before they get out of control), but we don't have to be Italy.

When his sister died after contracting the novel coronavirus, Luca Franzese thought that things couldn’t get much worse.

Then, for more than 36 hours, the Italian actor and mixed martial arts trainer was trapped at home with Teresa Franzese’s decaying body, unable to find a funeral home that would bury her.

"I have my sister in bed, dead, I don’t know what to do," Franzese said in a Facebook video over the weekend, pleading for help. "I cannot give her the honor she deserves because the institutions have abandoned me. I contacted everyone, but nobody was able to give me an answer."

Initially posted to Facebook, Luca's video was also shared to YouTube as he and thousands of other Italians tried to get the message out: Local officials don't care: Luca tried to find a funeral home to bury his sister and for weeks "ma nessuno ne fregata" - but nobody gave a fuck.

Al Jazeera reported that Teresa Franzese, 47, suffered from epilepsy but was healthy up until last week, when she began showing symptoms of coronavirus. She died Saturday evening in her home in Naples, the country's third-largest city, and the largest in the Italian south. Teresa was tested for the virus only after her death, Luca said.

During a press conference last night, PM Giuseppe Conte warned that Italian people that although the government's strict new measures to combat the virus might seem harsh at times, they are absolutely necessary to slow the spread of the virus and prevent Italy's health-care system from being completely overrun.

Italy now has the largest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world outside mainland China. With 827 confirmed deaths, it has the largest death toll in the world outside mainland China and probably Iran (though the regime has successfully kept the real numbers mostly secret).

And as the Washington Post reports, attempts to slow the spread of the disease have led to unintended consequences, including several instances (including the incident with Luca's sister) where funeral homes have refused to collect the bodies of those infected with the virus.

In Teresa's case, she was apparently the first person in Italy to die at home and then test positive for the virus after.

After various authorities failed to come up with an answer, Franzese said, the city of Naples finally referred him to a funeral home. But the funeral home refused, telling him it wasn’t equipped to deal with the situation.

"It was the first case in Italy in which a person with the virus dies at home, so there was some confusion on what to do," Francesco Emilio Borrelli, a local councilor who also serves as a member of Campania’s Regional Health Commission, told Al Jazeera.

In response, Luca slammed Italian authorities in the video, which was seen by millions of viewers. He has published several videos, including another that he shared on Facebook, where he shares the details surrounding Teresa's death and his battle with the authorities, before declaring that he felt abandoned by the state.

"We are ruined," he said. "Italy has abandoned us."

The funeral home involved in Luca's case insisted that it only turned away Teresa's body due to "administrative hurdles" imposed by the government, and that they would have gladly taken it immediately if not for that. It's not the only such incident that has been reported, and local prosecutors in Savona are reportedly opening a case into a similar incident.

But Luca's case wasn't the only virus-response nightmare to go viral in Italy. One woman in Borghetto Santo Spirito was quarantined alongside the dead body of her husband, who contracted the virus, but refused to go the hospital, according to CNN.

Yet another disturbing scenario played out this week when a woman was quarantined alongside the body of her dead husband. Giancarlo Canepa, the mayor of Borghetto Santo Spirito in northern Italy, told CNN that the man died at 2 a.m. Monday, but that nobody would be allowed to remove his body until Wednesday morning.

An Italian woman has been unable to leave her apartment where her husband’s dead body is being kept due to quarantine restrictions, Giancarlo Canepa, mayor of Borghetto Santo Spirito, told CNN Tuesday.

The husband, who had tested positive for coronavirus previously, died Monday at 2 a.m. local time.

A local Italian media outlet interviewed several of the couple's relatives, one of whom expressed grief and disbelief that their family member was suffering through such a tragedy alone, and that nobody was allowed to visit or comfort her.

Speaking of the strict quarantine rules, she said "siamo trattati peggio dell'immondizia, almeno quella si differenzia."

In English:

"We are treated worse than garbage. At least this is different."

There was some debate among experts after PM Conte declared the initial zone rosse' whether Italians would go along with the restrictions. Stories like these certainly undermine the legitimacy of the government's response to the virus by destroying peoples' faith in the systems that have been supposedly put in place to help those impacted by the virus. Last night's clarification that all bars, restaurants and stores of all kinds except for groceries and pharmacies would be closed probably added to the stress.

The FT reports that Italy is working at "10% capacity" as of Thursday. Meanwhile, tourist attractions like St. Mark's Square and the Trevi Fountain appear eerily vacant.

Welcome to Italy: Where even the grave diggers are being quarantined.

Tyler Durden

Fri, 03/13/2020 - 04:15

Hosni Mubarak, Three-Decade Egyptian Strongman Ousted In Arab Spring, Dead At 91

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Hosni Mubarak, Three-Decade Egyptian Strongman Ousted In Arab Spring, Dead At 91

Former longtime Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak has died at 91-years old at a military hospital in Cairo, his family announced Tuesday. Egyptian state TV also later announced his death. He underwent surgery in late January, after which he remained in intensive care. 

He had ruled Egypt for just under three decades, enduring would-be assassins and a

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s a US ally crushing radical Islamist movements and upholding the peace treaty with Israel which had been signed by his assassinated predecessor Anwar Sadat.

2008 file photo of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, via AP.

For maintaining the Camp David Accords he received billions of dollars in military aid from the United States, cementing Egypt as a key US regional ally behind Israel and second biggest recipient of American military and foreign aid. 

Mubarak was arguably the most powerful Arab leader whose rule was swept away by the 2011 Arab Spring protest movement. He was forced to step down days after mass protests in neighboring Tunisia brought down the government there, and as at times violent protests began spreading across Egypt. This led to the brief rule of democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood politician Mohamed Morsi, also overthrown in a military coup led by Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Morsi later died in prison, while most of the charges against Mubarak stemming from the Arab Spring crackdown were later overturned, leading to his release from prison in 2017. In total some 900 protesters were believed killed by security services during the protests under Mubarak's last months in office. 

Mubarak had also long been accused of corruption, with constant speculation in the media as to the true level of his wealth, with estimates ranging from a few billion dollars to up to $70 billion. 

In 2011 just after he was deposed, ABC News tried to pin down what he had stashed in foreign banks based on intelligence sources:

Newly deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his family have a fortune of $1 billion to $5 billion stashed in foreign banks, according to U.S. intelligence estimates —  a significantly lower figure than most recent estimates of the wealth accumulated by Mubarak during his 30 years in power.

Some experts have estimated that the Mubarak family has a net worth as high as $70 billion, while others have reported $40 billion, but U.S. intelligence sources told ABC News that the real number is probably much lower.

After news of Mubarak's passing, US media pundits began debating his legacy, with many mainstream journalists remembering the pro-US strongman fondly. 

However, others took them to task. For example The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald noted past presidential candidates were let off the hook for fawning over their favorite dictators, with Mubarak previously topping the list. 

Greenwald asked rhetorically, "Isn’t it fascinating that Hillary’s gushing, personal praise for Mubarak — which translated into concrete aid of all types: military, economic & diplomatic — was never a 2016 campaign issue?"

And futher, he said, "Maybe outrage over dictator-praise is feigned the real issue is whether they’re pro-US?"

Tyler Durden

Tue, 02/25/2020 - 08:55

'Mini Mike' Bloomberg Responds After Trump Calls 'Mass Of Dead Energy Who Does Not Want To Debate'

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'Mini Mike' Bloomberg Responds After Trump Calls 'Mass Of Dead Energy Who Does Not Want To Debate'

President Trump slammed Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg on Thursday, calling him a "LOSER who has money but can't debate and has zero presence."

"He reminds me of a tiny version of Jeb "Low Energy" Bush, but Jeb has more political skill and has treated the Black community much better than Mini!"

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Trump included a link leading to a CNBC article about Bloomberg paying online social media influencers to post memes for his 2020 campaign.

Bloomberg has gone to great lengths to woo black voters - apologizing for supporting the controversial policing practice known as "stop and frisk" he championed, just days before he launched his 2020 bid in November.

Last week, however, audio resurfaced of Bloomberg defending the practice in 2015 at an Aspen Institute speech in which he said the way to bring down the murder rate was to "put a lot of cops" in minority neighborhoods, as that's where "all the crime is."

In a follow-up tweet, Trump called Bloomberg a "5'4" mass of dead energy who does not want to be on the debate stage with these professional politicians," adding "No boxes please. He hates Crazy Bernie and will, with enough money, possibly stop him."

The former NY Mayor responded, tweeting "we know many of the same people in NY. Behind your back they laugh at you & call you a carnival barking clown. They know you inherited a fortune & squandered it with stupid deals and incompetence."

Bloomberg has notably made significant moves in recent weeks as the other moderate Democrat - Joe Biden, has plummeted. 

In better times:

Tyler Durden

Thu, 02/13/2020 - 09:04

South Korean TV Show Reunites Mother With Dead Daughter Via Virtual Reality

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South Korean TV Show Reunites Mother With Dead Daughter Via Virtual Reality

Authored by Paul Jospeh Watson via Summit News,

A TV show in South Korea reunited a mother with her deceased 7-year-old daughter via a virtual reality recreation in what some observers thought was a dystopian and exploitative move.

A clip from the show Meeting You features the mother, wearing a VR headset and

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touch-sensitive gloves, walking around a green screen set and interacting with a 3D representation of her daughter.

The two are able to engage in a limited form of conversation as the mother caresses the representation of her daughter while crying.

The situation is similar in some ways to a plot from the popular dystopian TV series Black Mirror.

In an episode entitled Be Right Back, a young woman’s boyfriend is killed in a car accident and she decides to replace him with an android clone by having her boyfriend’s AI personality downloaded into the robot’s body.

While this woman’s VR interaction with a graphical representation of her dead daughter is a long way off that, it’s almost as creepy.

As Kotaku’s Luke Plunkett points out, no one would have an issue with it if the interaction helped the mother get over her grief, but the fact that the whole thing is being broadcast for the consumption of TV viewers makes it somewhat suspect.

“Having some code pretend to be a living thing that she loved might only add to the trauma. Only time, and research, will tell,” comments Plunkett, adding, “Whatever the long-term moral and ethical questions are that we’re going to have to face, this is extremely fucked up.”

*  *  *

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Tyler Durden

Mon, 02/10/2020 - 22:05
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Terrorist Incident In South London Leaves Several Stabbed, Attacker Dead

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Terrorist Incident In South London Leaves Several Stabbed, Attacker Dead

Breaking moments ago, a man has been shot on a busy London street after reports at least one person was stabbed, reported BBC News.

The incident occurred in Streatham High Road around 2:30 PM and appeared to be a "terrorist-related" incident.

Metropolitan Police have tweeted, "A man has been shot by armed officers in #Streatham. At this stage it is believe

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d a number of people have been stabbed. The circumstances are being assessed; the incident has been declared as terrorist-related."

The Daily Star said a witness on Twitter suggested a female "cyclist was stabbed in the back," as well as another person, but that is an unofficial report and has yet to be confirmed by authorities. 

Others have said a man stabbed the cyclist with "a knife grabbed from a restaurant and police shot him" and the man fell to the ground. 

Here's a video that appears to show the knife-wielding man on the ground after being shot by a police officer. 

Another video of the scene shows a massive police presence with a helicopter in the sky. 

Israel Public Broadcasting's Amichai Stein tweeted there could be as many as "three injured." 

One Twitter user said, “just see this pic - Not mine - but IF that is a knife attacker/terrorist/murderer and the police have had to react and neutralise the threat, lets hope it was before too many got hurt.”

The story is developing...  

Tyler Durden

Sun, 02/02/2020 - 10:34

Dead President Walking?

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Dead President Walking?

Authored (satirically) by CJ Hopkins via Off-Guardian.org,

I never thought I’d hear myself say this, but I’m a little worried about Donald Trump. I’m worried he may be on the verge of a sudden, major heart attack, or a stroke, or a fatal golfing accident.

Food poisoning is another possibility.

Or he could overdose on prescription medic

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A tanning bed mishap is not out of the question.

He could accidentally hang himself during autoerotic asphyxiation, or get shot by a lone-wolf white supremacist terrorist trying to start the RaHoWa.

The Russians could spray him with that Novichok perfume.

There are any number of ways he could snuff it.

I don’t mean to sound alarmist, but the Resistance is running out of non-lethal options for removing Donald Trump from office.

Here they are, in no particular order...


Resistance Non-Lethal Option No. 1 is winning the 2020 election, which isn’t looking very promising. The Democratic Party is in shambles. According to the polls, their current front-runner is a senile, hair-sniffing, finger-sucking freak who never met a credit card company or a healthcare lobbyist he didn’t like, and who rivals even Donald Trump when it comes to incoherent babbling.

Yes, that’s right, folks, it’s “Smilin’ Joe” Biden, vanquisher of the razor-wielding, swimming-pool-gangster “Corn Pop” to the rescue!

As far as I’ve been able to gather, the plan is for Joe to out-“crazy” Trump (and thus win back the “bull goose loony” demographic) by going completely off his medication and having a series of scary-looking petit mal seizures on national television.

That is, unless the impossible happens, and Biden is vanquished by Bernie Sanders (a/k/a “The Magic Socialist”), who Democratic Party bigwigs would sooner publicly immolate themselves than nominate, and who the corporate media are already accusing of being a lying, sexist. communist, crypto-Trump-loving, Jew-hating Jew.

Sanders, it seems, has gone totally “native.”

He’s out there, in the heart of the American darkness, like a geriatric Colonel Kurz, operating without any decent restraint, totally beyond the pale of any acceptable human conduct.

According to the latest reconnaissance, he is building another “revolutionary” army of fanatical, doped-up, hacky-sacking “socialists” that he will lead into the convention in July and deliver to Biden, or Elizabeth Warren, or whichever soulless corporate puppet the party honchos eventually nominate, and then obsequiously stump for them for the next five months. (Or, who knows, maybe Michael Bloomberg will put the Democrats out of their misery and just buy the party and nominate himself.)

The “Crush Bernie” movement is just getting started, but you can tell the Resistance isn’t screwing around. Hillary Clinton just officially launched her national “Nobody Likes Bernie” campaign at the star-studded 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

Influential Jewish journalists like Bari Weiss and Jeffrey Goldberg, and Ronald Lauder’s newly-founded Anti-Semitism Accountability Project, have been Hitlerizing him, or, rather, Corbynizing him.

Obama has promised to “stop him,” if necessary.

MSNBC anchor Joy Reid brought on a professional “body language expert” to phrenologize Sanders “live” on the air … and, as I said, they’re just getting started.

In any event, no matter who they nominate, they have no chance of winning in November.

How could they, given the total stranglehold the Russians now have on American democracy?

As Adam Schiff just reminded everyone, unless Donald Trump is removed from office, “we cannot be assured that the vote will be fairly won,” because at any moment Putin could order Trump to pressure the Ukrainian president into investigating Biden’s son’s corruption by refusing to fund the Ukrainian military’s resistance to Putin’s secret plot to occupy the entire Ukraine and use it as a covert base from which to launch an all-out thermonuclear war against the United States (which Putin already controls through his puppet, Trump, and his network of nefarious Facebook bots, which, according to this expert on NPR, are already brainwashing gullible Black people into voting for Bernie Sanders this time, or at least refusing to vote for Biden, like they refused to vote for Hillary last time … which, OK, I know, that sounds kind of racist, but we’re talking NPR here, folks. These people aren’t racists. They’re liberals!)

OK, I got a little lost there... the point is, if the election goes ahead, and Trump doesn’t have an embolism or something, odds are, we’re looking at four more years of Putin-Nazi occupation. Which brings us to...


Resistance Non-Lethal Option No. 2 is, of course, the current impeachment circus. I don’t even know where to start with this one.

After three and a half years of corporate-media-manufactured mass hysteria and Intelligence Community propaganda designed to convince the American public that Donald Trump is a “Russian asset” (and possibly Putin’s homosexual lover) and also literally the Resurrection of Hitler, the Democrats are trying to impeach the man for something that most Americans either (a) believe is common practice among members of the political class, (b) don’t entirely understand, or (c) do, but don’t give a shit about.

Seriously, it’s like they held a contest to see if anyone could think of something that would out-anticlimax the Mueller report, and this is what the winner came up with … an over-acted, sanctimonious snooze-fest, the stakes of which could not possibly be lower.

Sure, the corporate media are doing their best to cover every twist and turn of the “drama” as if the fate of democracy were hanging in the balance, but everybody knows it’s a joke … or, all right, almost everybody.

So we’re down to...


Resistance Non-Lethal Option No. 3 is to whip up so much mass hysteria over “white supremacist terrorism,” “the sudden resurgence of anti-Semitism,” “the imminent Putin-Nazi Apocalypse” (which has been imminent since the summer of 2016), and other iterations of Hitler hysteria, that people can’t really even think anymore, and will join the Resistance and pour into the streets in their millions and demand Trump resign.

The Resistance has been at this for over three years now, i.e., casting the neo-Nazi subculture that has always been part of the political landscape as a powerful, worldwide fascist movement that is going to rise up any minute and Hitlerize the entire Western world.

It isn’t working. People aren’t buying it. OK, sure, some liberals are still buying it. But most people aren’t, not anymore.

For example, the hysteria leading up to the recent gun rights rally in Richmond, which according to the corporate media had been infiltrated by “Nazi terrorists” who were plotting to publicly mass murder each other in a desperate attempt to finally launch the “Boogaloo,” or the “RaHoWa” … or whatever.

Apparently, a few days before the rally, the FBI got some neo-Nazis to agree to conspire to murder some people and then violently overthrow the U.S. government with their arsenal of homemade machine guns.

These neo-Nazi masterminds were allegedly members of “the Base,” i.e., one of these little neo-Nazi clubs that we’re all supposed to live in mortal fear of now … this one, as it turns out, run by a former (and possibly current) “security contractor.”

The governor declared a state of emergency. Anti-Terror forces were put on alert. A “no-fly zone” was implemented, presumably to prevent the Russians from dropping a division of Putin-Nazi paratroopers onto the lawn of the Capitol. The corporate media warned that it was probably going to be a bloodbath.

Well, the day came and went, and no Boogaloo. No bloodbath. No Putin-Nazi Apocalypse. Just a lot of gun owners and militia types parading around with their guns and gear. Antifa didn’t even show up this time … or, rather, the few “anti-fascists” that did were also armed and supporting the rally.

And that’s the problem with Non-Lethal Option No. 3... there are only so many times you can have the corporate media scream, “THE NAZIS ARE COMING!” and then not produce any actual Nazis. The Resistance has exceeded that allotment.

Which brings me back to where I started, and my concerns about Donald Trump, and his health, and the assorted tragic accidents that could befall him before we get to November. Because, unless you believe that the Intelligence Community (and the transnational empire it is part and parcel of) is prepared to sit by and allow Donald Trump to serve another four years as president … well, I wouldn’t be sharing any Diet Cokes or riding in any motorcades with him.

I don’t know, maybe I’ve been reading too much of that “conspiracy theory” stuff on the Internet, but Senator Schumer’s warning to Trump back in 2017 keeps playing in my head:

Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”

Relax, folks. I’m just kidding, of course. The Intelligence Community would never dream of doing anything … you know, illegal.

The Community doesn’t assassinate people, and commit all sorts of other atrocities.

That’s just a thing they do in the movies.

In reality, they would never assassinate a president, especially not one they had been telling everyone is a “Russian asset,” and “literally Hitler,” and a “traitor,” and a “dictator,” for over three years.

OK, those are pretty harsh words, but they probably don’t really mean all that stuff. Odds are, they’re just horsing around.

They’re a notorious bunch of jokesters, those CIA guys.

Tyler Durden

Mon, 01/27/2020 - 23:45




Dead Hand: Russian Real-Life Doomsday Machine

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Dead Hand: Russian Real-Life Doomsday Machine

Submitted by SouthFront,

The existing system of international relations and arms control treaties is slowly, but steadily crumbling. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty is dead, with both Washington and Moscow publicly developing previously banned short-to-medium range missiles. The New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) is also moving towards its end in 2021,

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and it is likely that New START will not be renewed. The United States, China and Russia are developing hypersonic weapons, which are not limited by any existing arms control treaties. The major powers are preparing for a possible global conflict. The dismantlement of the system of international treaties is another factor increasing military tensions around the world.

Russia is actively working towards restoring lost Soviet capabilities and developing new strategic deterrence projects. One of them is the Dead Hand, also known as the Perimeter. This Cold War-era automatic nuclear weapons-control system is one of the most protected secrets and most important deterrence tools of the USSR and Russia.

The Dead Hand is the last line of deterrence in the event of a crippling nuclear strike. It entered into service in 1985, shortly after a major escalation in 1983, which had almost led to war between the US and the Soviet Union. It has been likened to a real-life doomsday machine. Upon activation and determination of an ongoing nuclear strike, the system sends out command missiles with special warheads that pass encrypted launch commands to all nuclear weapon carriers of the sea, air and ground components of the Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces.

In peacetime conditions, the system slumbers, waiting for a turn-on command or an alarm signal from the missile attack early-warning system. It has a human “firewall,” for example, an on-duty officer who would switch it into the fully automated mode. Therefore, there is no risk of an accidental or unauthorized missile launch. Having received a command or signal about missiles being launched from the territory of other countries, this Dead Hand goes into an automated combat mode. Through a wide-scale sensor network, it monitors signs of an incoming nuclear strike.

The decision to launch command missiles is made by an autonomous control and command system – a complex pseudo-artificial intelligence system. The system receives and analyzes a variety of information about seismic activity, radiation, atmospheric pressure, and the intensity of chatter on military radio frequencies. It monitors telemetry from the observation posts of the strategic missile force and data from early warning systems.

Before launching, the system reportedly checks for four conditions:

  1. Once the system is activated it first determines if a nuclear explosion has taken place on Russian territory;

  2. If this is determined, the system will then check the communication link with the General Staff operation center;

  3. If a connection is established the system will After some time – from 15 minutes to 1 hour – passing without any further signs of an attack, it will assume that a number of the officials with the authority to give the order to strike are still alive  and the system will shut down;

  4. If the General Staff operation center does not respond, the system sends a request to Kazbek, the automatic system for command and control of the Strategic Nuclear Forces. If there is no response there either, the system automatically transfers launch authority to the command bunker personnel and launches the retaliatory strike.

All of the channels through which the Dead Hand receives its information are backed up multiple times, to remove the possibility of false information being fed to it.

According to openly available data, the Dead Hand is an integral part of the “Zveno” system of air command posts, the development of which was carried out in the Soviet Union. The “Zveno” includes the airborne command and control post on the Il-86VKP aircraft, airborne radio relay on the Il-76RT aircraft, silo-based command missiles ‘Perimeter’ and mobile command missiles ‘Gorn’. In a period of threat, three Il-86VKPs would have the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, the Defense Minister and the Chief of the General Staff respectively on board. The Il-86VKP is able to launch an 8 km long antenna, which not even impulses from nuclear explosions can affect. Using this antenna the aircraft can transmit commands to launch all the country’s intercontinental missiles even if all underground command posts are destroyed by the aggressor’s nuclear strike. The radio relay aircraft Il-76RT would transmit commands to launch missiles in distant regions, including those deployed on submarines. In this way, the Dead Hand guarantees a devastating retaliatory strike in the event of communications disruption and the destruction of command posts after the first-strike surprise nuclear attack by the enemy. Its command missiles launch their warheads into space, where no hostile satellite or nuclear explosions can reach them and from there “wake up” nuclear forces to strike the aggressor.

The dissolution of the USSR in 1991 led to a deep social and economic crisis on the territory of the former Soviet republics. The Russian Armed Forces also entered a period of crisis. In 1995, the Dead Hand was removed from combat duty. After the start of the ‘Putin era’ and the restoration of proper funding for the Russian Armed Forces in the 2000s,  national security once again became one of the key priorities of the Russian leadership. In 2011, it was officially confirmed that the Dead Hand had been put on combat duty. The successful test launch of the 15Yu75 missile took place in Plesetsk in 2016. Furthermore, the Dead Hand is also being modernized. In December 2019, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced plans to sign a contract for the new Sirena-M missile complex. The Sirena-M is the most modern variant of the “command missile system” and “command missile” for the Dead Hand. The tests of the Sirena-M missile, which is based on the first version of the Topol intercontinental ballistic missile, began in 1990. All of them were carried out successfully. The Sirena-M system will enter service in the period up to 2025.

Tyler Durden

Sun, 01/26/2020 - 23:25


War Conflict


The Once Dead Art Of Flower-Arranging Re-Ignites So Gen Z Can "Impress Their Instagram Followers"

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The Once Dead Art Of Flower-Arranging Re-Ignites So Gen Z Can "Impress Their Instagram Followers"

Flower arranging, outside of traditional florists, used to just be limited to housewives in the 1950s. Now, thanks to Instagram, the practice is coming back in style, attracting a younger crowd that seeks to impress their social media followers.

For instance, Sage, a flower shop in South London, has seen a "huge increase" in interest from young peop

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le since they've opened, according to The Guardian. The shop offers monthly bouquet and vase arranging classes. 

The shop's co-founder, Iona Matheison said: “It’s young people in their mid-20s to mid-30s that are coming. It’s super popular and they’re fully booked.”

Helena Willcocks is the 31 year old founder of The Allotment Florist, which hosts arranging workshops in West Yorkshire and London for about 60 pounds, per person, per hour and a half. She said: “It’s definitely becoming more popular, especially with younger people. In the last year we have seen a 30% increase in the number of people coming. It’s a trendy thing to do. It’s obvious by who is booking them.”

The reigniting of arranging's popularity could be coming from two places. First, there's the recent pride in being a "plant parent" that we have written about here on Zero Hedge before. Also, there's the desire to impress ones Instagram followers. 

Emma Weaver, founder of Palais, said: “Flower arranging is so colourful and immediate and that’s how we’re seeing life these days, in these bright coloured squares.”

George Plumptre, chief executive of the National Garden Scheme said:  “Flower arranging can be hugely therapeutic and creative. It provides a wonderful sense of wellbeing.”

Willcocks echoed Weaver's sentiments: “Is Instagram a factor? Oh yeah, 100%, depressingly. People want to photograph their work, in fact they want to photograph the whole way through,” she says. “I try to encourage them to not be on their phones but be surrounded by flowers.”

But not all attendees are social media attention seekers. Amy Montague, a 33 year old from Nottingham, said: “It’s a creative outlet from my work in online consultancy and it’s relaxing.”

Arranging now incorporates numerous materials other than flowers and the new wave of floristry is said to be more artistic and less boring than traditional bouquets. Weaver commented: “It’s very sculptural. We use anything from melted plastics to bespoke metal frames and do a lot of carpentry alongside more traditional flower arranging. We are putting the two together and making it more of an art form.”

“This is art through the medium of flowers, as opposed to the old grandma thing.”

Tyler Durden

Fri, 01/24/2020 - 21:25

Chinese Officials Warn Of "Virus Mutation Spreading" - 440 Cases Confirmed, 9 Dead

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Chinese Officials Warn Of "Virus Mutation Spreading" - 440 Cases Confirmed, 9 Dead

Update (2130ET): North Korea has temporarily closed its borders to foreign tourists, two major operators of tours to the isolated country said, in an apparent effort to seal itself off from a new virus causing global health worries.

*  *  *

Update (2115ET): Chinese officials have ju

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st held a press conference that was anything but the usual CDC "everything's ok" statement. The particularly ominous warning that the virus is mutating and spreading is perhaps due to the poor handling of the SARS breakout in 2002/3 which was marked by cover-ups and official reluctance to share information.

Li Bin, vice head of China's National Health Commission, confirmed there are 440 confirmed coronavirus cases in this new outbreak and there have been 9 deaths. Some 1,394 patients are under medical observation.

Officials also confirmed Wuhan airport will have screening equipment (and Wuhan citizens have been asked to limit travel) and a nationwide monitoring system is being put in place (one wonders if the social credit score will go down if a citizen contracts the deadly disease).

Finally, the officials said that they will disclose information in a timely and public way and are doing their best to curb the spread of the disease.

And all of this is happening as hundreds of millions prepare to travel for the New Year's celebrations.

“A wave of panic has struck,” said Zhuang Jiapeng, a fund manager at Shenzhen JM Capital Co. “People may feel the urge to bolt after northbound saw its largest selling in months -- foreign buying has been perceived as something of a safety valve. With the virus spreading, there may be a real impact on consumption during the holidays.”

Long facemasks; Short rats (2020 is year of the rat).

*  *  *

Update (1920ET): Just like we saw during past outbreaks of disease in China, a panicked population has bought up face-masks at such a frantic rate that several of their unscrupulous countrymen have resorted to gouging.

American brand 3M, a popular manufacturer of facemasks in China, has already sold out on its official online stores on e-commerce platforms Taobao and JD.com .

Meanwhile, guards at the Wuhan airport pointed electronic thermometers at travelers, with plans to segregate anybody showing a fever, an early symptom of the virus.

Several unscrupulous sellers who bought up masks en bulk are now managing to sell them for more than 10 times their original price. Some retailers were selling the masks for as much as 40 yuan ($7), a more than 10-fold mark-up. Users of Weibo, a Chinese social network similar to Twitter, warned anybody planning to travel to instead consider staying home, and repeatedly washing their hands.

According to certain sites that track prices of Chinese goods, the masks typically sell for 53 cents.

At one pharmacy in Shanghai, a shopkeeper named Liu Zhuzhen said more than 100 people had bought masks by noon on Tuesday. They sold out again after a re-stocking.

* * *

Update (1600ET): Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Zhejiang, Henan, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Seoul, Tokyo, Brisbane, Taipei - and now Washington State.

The viral pneumonia-like lung illness first discovered late last year in Wuhan, a mid-sized Chinese city in the center of the country, has Beijing's leadership - who are already grappling with slowing economic growth and continuing trade pressure from the US - very much on edge.

It's clear now that Beijing's initial response to reports of a new SARS-like virus was to dissemble. After initially insisting that there was no evidence that the virus could be spread by humans, health officials have now admitted that they were "wrong", and that human-to-human transmission is possible, meaning that there's no telling yet just how contagious this thing really is.

It's already spread rapidly: In just a few weeks, it's gone from a few isolated cases in Wuhan to nearly 300 confirmed cases, not just in Greater China, but also across the Asia-Pacific region, and now in the US. The fact that the CDC has already identified the first case in Washington State suggests that this is an aggressive pathogen, and health officials are duly concerned.

It has already confounded expectations. The fact that 139 cases - roughly half the total number reported - were only just identified over the weekend is especially unnerving, because now infected hosts have had time to scatter back to wherever they're from, potentially spreading the virus across the planet.

According to Bloomberg, the US case has been revealed to be a man in his 30s who returned to the US last week, but not before visiting a public market in Wuhan...

The sudden spike in cases has prompted airports in the US, Australia and elsewhere to tighte illnesses has prompted tightened borders and a rapid attempt to trace contacts of those who have become ill.

On Wednesday, the World Health Organization will decide whether this crisis qualifies as a public health emergency of international concern, a label signifying only the most complex pathologies with the potential to cross borders. The WHO could recommend that travel be restricted, or that global governments take other drastic measures.

With global health officials on high alert, local authorities in Wuhan have announced that the city has 800 hospital beds ready in three separate designated care hospitals, and it's ready to have 1,200 prepared at short notice, according to local media reports.

With the Chinese New Year travel season about to begin, many fear that millions of Chinese traveling abroad or internally for vacation will help the virus spread at an exponential rate. Chinese health officials have played down the possibility of this. But they also say they don't want to underestimate it. After all, the last major outbreak, SARS in 2003, killed 800 people.

* * *

Update (1335ET): The CDC has confirmed that a traveler from China has been diagnosed in Seattle with the Wuhan Coronavirus.

The patient, who was hospitalized with pneumonia last week, recently had traveled to Wuhan, China, where the outbreak appears to have originated, federal officials have found.

Officials declined to identify the patient, who was said to be quite ill.

Additionally, on a conference call, the CDC confirmed it expects more US cases to come.

The outbreak began at a market in China and now has spread to at least four other countries, and  has killed at least six people and sickened hundreds more in Asia.

Broadly speaking, stocks are getting hammered on this but there is one silver lining however, prices for flu-shot manufacturers are soaring: Nanovaricides +240%, Novavax +53%, Inovio Pharma +10%, and Vaxart +14%.

*  *  *

CNN's AnneClaire Stapleton (@AnneClaireCNN) tweeted an ominous warning:

"The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to announce this afternoon that the first case of Wuhan coronavirus has been reported in the United States, in Washington state, a federal source outside the CDC tells CNN."

And the market reacted rapidly...

Transports are the worst hit on the day, already suffering from coronavirus fears overnight...

Can The Fed just print up some anti-virus?

As we detailed earlier, the global risk-off wave had started in the overnight hours of Monday as the full extent of the Chinese coronavirus scare became apparent to traders, has rolled into the cash session Tuesday with airline, casino and gaming, hotel, and travel stocks, taking a leg lower.

Delta Air -3.50%, United Airlines Holdings -3.20%, Southwest Airlines -1.5%, and American Airlines Group -2.50%, were all sold as the outbreak may crimp global air travel during the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday period.

Investors dumped Wynn Resorts -4.45%, Las Vegas Sands Corp -4%, and MGM Resorts International -3%, as the virus threatens to decrease foot traffic. 

Hotels were also sold, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts -1%, Choice Hotels International -1%, and Extended Stay America -1%.

Travel stocks were dumped, Expedia Group -1%, Booking Holdings -2.20%, TripAdvisor Inc -1%, and Trip.com -10%.

Investors are unloading sensitive travel stocks because confirmed cases of coronavirus have tripled since Monday and spread to other countries around China with the risk of spreading across the world. 

Fears of a 2002-03 outbreak of SARs has been on everyone’s mind to start the week – and with a Lunar New Year holiday fast approaching – the spread of the virus could broaden in the days ahead.

Travel sensitive stocks have taken a beating in Asia, Europe, and the US – basically across the world on Tuesday, as investors brace for new cases of the virus that is quickly spreading.

Could this mean world stocks are due for a pullback? 

Tyler Durden

Wed, 01/22/2020 - 04:25

One Dead As Speeding Tesla "Crashes And Bursts Into Flames" In California Intersection Saturday Night

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One Dead As Speeding Tesla "Crashes And Bursts Into Flames" In California Intersection Saturday Night

No sooner do we report that the NHTSA is considering a petition to investigate 500,000 Teslas for unintended acceleration, than another Tesla driver winds up dead.

Police are in the middle of investigating what is being called a "single vehicle crash" involving a Tesla that "crashed and burst into flames" in Pleasanton, California.

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The driver of the vehicle was killed, according to ABC 7. His identity has not yet been released.

The crash was reported on Saturday night at about 6pm local time at the intersection of West Las Positas Boulevard and Hacienda Drive.

The Tesla was going southbound and lost control near the intersection. It then crashed into a sign outside of an apartment complex before catching on fire. 

The intersection was closed for several hours on Saturday night as a result of the crash. 

"The car was going so fast, it actually took out a street signal," the on-the-scene reporter says in her coverage. 

Your move, NHTSA.  

We will update this story as more information becomes available. 

You can watch the news coverage of the event from the ABC feed here:

Tyler Durden

Sun, 01/19/2020 - 20:10


Disaster Accident


Billionaire Ron Burkle's Son Found Dead In Beverly Hills Home

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Billionaire Ron Burkle's Son Found Dead In Beverly Hills Home

The 27-year-old son of billionaire tycoon Ron Burkle has been found dead in his Beverly Hills home.

People confirms that Andrew Burkle was confirmed dead on Monday by authorities and will be remembered as a “young man full of life,” his family said in a statement.

It is with the deepest regret and sadness that we announce

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the death of Andrew C. Burkle on January 6, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California.

He is deeply loved by his family and friends and will be greatly missed.

While the family appreciates the outpouring of love and support, they ask that the privacy of the family be respected during this difficult time. There are no further details at this time.”

The Beverly Hills Police Department said in a statement that police and fire personnel responded at 7:26 p.m. Monday to a report of an unconscious man at a residence and determined he was dead.

“Andrew Charles Burkle (DOB: 10/27/93) was found unresponsive in his Beverly Hills home on Jan. 6,” the coroner's office statement said.

"Authorities were called and Burkle was pronounced dead at the scene at 19:31 hours. An examination is pending.”

The death investigation was referred to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, according to the police statement.

Andrew Burkle’s biography on the entertainment industry database website IMDb identified him as a producer and actor with several credits. The 27-year-old producer is survived by father Ron, mother Janet Duitson, sister Carrie Harr and brother John Burkle.

His father, Ron Burkle -  a co-founder of The Yucaipa Companies and a co-owner of the Penguins hockey team - had raised millions for the Clintons over the years, but notably stayed away from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign during the last election run (instead hosting a fundraiser for one of her potential Republican opponents).

Additionally Ron Burkle was a "friend" of Jeffrey Epstein with flight logs showing the billionaire  a frequent flyer to Epstein's island on the so-called Lolita Express.

People reports that Andrew’s sudden death comes after he spent Christmas with family.

Tyler Durden

Tue, 01/07/2020 - 14:00

66 Dead After Rapidly-Sinking Jakarta Pummeled By Worst Monsoons This Century

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66 Dead After Rapidly-Sinking Jakarta Pummeled By Worst Monsoons This Century

Indonesia better hurry up and find a new capital city before its current one sinks into the swampwater and soil.

The death toll from some of the most devastating flooding that has rocked Indonesia's capital city of Jakarta has risen to 66, with two people still missing, according to local authorities cited by CNN.

Flooding that began when Indonesia wa

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s hit by some of the most powerful monsoons the country has seen in years. Thanks to its position along the "Ring of Fire", Indonesia is regularly rocked by devastating tsunamis, earthquakes, eruptions and floods. But the flooding that kicked off the new decade forced thousands to flee their homes, or risk being trapped by landslides.

More than 173,000 residents were seeking refuge on Friday, and it's very likely that things are going to get worse before they get better. Heavy rain and thunderstorms are forecast to continue for the coming days.

As CNN pointed out, the rainfall is some of the worst Jakarta has seen this century:

The current inundation is some of the worst the Indonesian capital has seen this century. Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysical Agency measured 15 inches (38 centimeters) of rain at an East Jakarta airport on January 1, the highest flood reading since 1996, Reuters reported.

Jakarta and the surrounding area of central Java, Indonesia's largest island by population, are expected to be pummeled by up to 4 inches of rain in the next few days.

As search and rescue operations continue, the Red Cross has started spraying Jakarta with disinfectant to stop the spread of dangerous waterborne diseases. Photos from Jakarta and the surrounding area (which, with about 30 million people, is one of the world's largest cities) show people wading through chest-high water, and using inflatable rafts to navigate city streets.

Around Jakarta, rescue workers and men in orange vests clearing trash and debris could be seen.

Unfortunately, Jakarta's latest problems are just par for the course. As we pointed out last year, Jakarta is rapidly sinking into the swamp upon which it was built (the already saturated land makes it difficult for the soil to absorb rainwater, contributing to the flooding), and Indonesia is rapidly searching for a suitable location to build a new capital city.

This latest round of deadly flooding will no doubt spur the country to speed up that search.

Tyler Durden

Mon, 01/06/2020 - 23:05


Disaster Accident


Horrifying "Chain Reaction" Tractor Trailer Wreck On Pennsylvania Turnpike Leaves 5 Dead, 60 Injured

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Horrifying "Chain Reaction" Tractor Trailer Wreck On Pennsylvania Turnpike Leaves 5 Dead, 60 Injured

Five people were killed and dozens were injured after a massive wreck on the PA Turnpike Sunday morning. The accident took place at 3:40am near a "mountainous and rural stretch of the interstate about 30 miles east of Pittsburgh".

The accident happened after a loaded bus lost control on a hill and rolled over, which set off a cha

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in reaction involving three tractor trailers, according to AP. The accident caused the highway to be shut down in both directions for several hours before re-opening. 

Photos from the scene show multiple vehicles wrecked and blocking an entire side of the turnpike. 

Injured victims ranged from age 7 to 67 years old and all are expected to survive. Two patients remain in critical condition.  

Two UPS drivers, driving together in a tractor trailer and coming from Harrisburg, PA, were killed in the crash, according to the company. The bus was traveling from Rockaway, NJ to Cincinnati, Ohio and was operated by a company called Z&D Tours. It was going downhill around a curve and wound up rolling over before two tractor trailers struck the vehicle. 

A passenger car was also involved. 

Disturbing video from the scene of the wreck can be seen here:

Pennsylvania State Police spokesman Stephen Limani said: “It was kind of a chain-reaction crash.”

Pennsylvania Turnpike spokesman Carl DeFebo said: “I haven’t personally witnessed a crash of this magnitude in 20 years. It’s horrible.”

Excela Health Frick Hospital in Mount Pleasant said it treated 31 victims. Mark Rubino, president of Forbes Hospital, which treated 11 victims, said: 

“The people coming in were not only physically injured but they were traumatized from a mental standpoint as well. Most were covered in diesel fuel when they arrived. The hospital treated fractured bones, brain bleeds, contusions, abrasions and spinal injuries."

The exact cause of the crash is still being investigated and the NTSB has sent a team to investigate. It could take "weeks or months" to determine the cause. 

Angela Maynard, a tractor trailer driver from Kentucky, said the roads were wet from snow, but not icy. She found the crash site and called 911. She then stepped out to help another driver who was trapped in their truck.

“I tried to keep him occupied, keep talking, until medical help arrived. He was in bad shape. He was floating in and out of consciousness,” she said.

Tyler Durden

Mon, 01/06/2020 - 14:15


Disaster Accident


Another Fatal Wreck: Two Dead After Tesla Runs Red Light, Slams Into Vehicle Near LA

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Another Fatal Wreck: Two Dead After Tesla Runs Red Light, Slams Into Vehicle Near LA

Another day, yet another Tesla wreck.

It was just hours ago that we highlighted a wreck where a Tesla slammed into the back of (yet another) inanimate fire truck. 

And yet again, here we are with another "peculiar" sounding Tesla accident. This one involving a Tesla that ran a red light near Los Angeles, California and slammed

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into another vehicle on Sunday, killing two people.

According to KTLA 5, the incident took place at Vermont Ave and Artesia Blvd. on Sunday. The driver of the 2016 Tesla exited the westbound 91 freeway "at a high speed" and then failed to stop at a red light at the next intersection. As a result, he slammed into a 2006 Honda Civic at the light.

There is no indication as to whether or not Autopilot played a role in the accident yet.

Witnesses and bystanders rushed to the scene to help. The two people inside the Tesla were transported to the hospital with injuries and, while the driver has not been arrested, an investigation is ongoing. The two people in the Honda were both pronounced dead at the scene. The driver was a 40 year old man and the passenger was a 39 year old woman.

Captn. John Pinto of the LAPD concluded: "Speed, distracted driving would probably play the big factor in this investigation. This does happen time and time again, and unfortunately, two citizens lost their life early this morning."


Tyler Durden

Mon, 12/30/2019 - 13:10


Disaster Accident
Law Crime


Somalia Truck Bomb Attack Rocks Capital During Rush Hour, At Least 90 Dead 

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Somalia Truck Bomb Attack Rocks Capital During Rush Hour, At Least 90 Dead 

At least 90 people are reported dead and 125 more wounded after a massive car bomb was detonated at a busy intersection in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Saturday.

The apparent suicide attack happened during rush hour traffic at about 8am, according to early reports, and authorities are cautioning that the death toll is expected to rise as area hospi

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tals continue to fill.

The scene of a car bomb explosion at a checkpoint in Mogadishu, Somalia. Image source: Reuters

Among the dead are 17 Somali police officers, CNN reports, while most have been described as university students on their way to classes. 

It's the deadliest attack in Mogadishu since the 2017 twin truck bombings that killed more than 500 people and leveled a hotel. 

Though initial reports put the death toll at 78 or more, Reuters has cited local sources who say it's actually more than 90 killed.

Rescuers carried bodies past the twisted wreckage of a vehicle and a minibus taxi smeared with blood. A report by the international organization, which did not want to be named, said the death toll was more than 90.

A Somali MP also tweeted that he had been told the death toll stands at more than 90, including 17 police officers. — Reuters

Specifically Saturday's car bomb went off on a busy street outside a tax collection center. The truck reportedly barreled into a security checkpoint manned by over a dozen police, killing scores of both civilians and security forces. 

Details are as yet uncertain, but local eyewitness say gunfire erupted just before or after the blast. "Dozens of injured people were screaming for help but the police immediately opened fire and I rushed back to my house," 55-year-old Sabdow Ali told Reuters.

No group initially claimed responsibility for the deadly attack; however, likely authorities are eyeing Al-Qaeda-linked militant group al-Shabab, which has carried out similar attacks in the recent past.

As recently as last week al-Shabab claimed responsibility for a car bombing which killed eight in central Somalia.

Tyler Durden

Sat, 12/28/2019 - 12:00


War Conflict


Report Hyped By Climate Alarmists Warned: Millions Dead, Nuclear War, & Sunken Major Cities By 2020

zerohedge News report hyped climate alarmists warned millions dead nuclear sunken major cities 2020 All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
Report Hyped By Climate Alarmists Warned: Millions Dead, Nuclear War, & Sunken Major Cities By 2020

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

According to experts, climate change will result in “millions” of deaths, major European cities being sunken, nuclear war and global environmental riots…all within the next 5 days.

That’s because they made the prediction back in 2004 and

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said all that would happen by 2020, which is just 5 days away.

“Climate change over the next 20 years could result in a global catastrophe costing millions of lives in wars and natural disasters,” reported left-wing newspaper the Guardian on February 22, 2004.

“A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a ‘Siberian’ climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world,” the report added.

The alarmist document went on to claim that nations would resort to using nuclear weapons to protect dwindling food supplies, a situation that would “bring the planet to the edge of anarchy.”

The authors of the report, Peter Schwartz and Doug Randall, also asserted that “By 2020 ‘catastrophic’ shortages of water and energy supply will become increasingly harder to overcome, plunging the planet into war,” causing widespread “crop failure” and “famine.”

So apparently, the UK is just 5 days away from being plunged into a “Siberian climate” and millions of people are about to die in a giant nuclear carnage caused by global food shortages and monster droughts.

Or alternatively, so-called “climate experts” have been proven spectacularly wrong on absolutely everything, from Paul Ehrlich’s prediction of millions of deaths from famine by the 80’s, to Al Gore’s absurd claim that the Arctic would have “ice free” summers by 2013.

Just like the much heralded “secret report” that predicted global catastrophe by 2020, none of it happened.

So why should we trust the same people now?

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Tyler Durden

Fri, 12/27/2019 - 21:05


Disaster Accident

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Shooter At Pensacola Naval Air Station Confirmed Dead

zerohedge News shooter pensacola naval station confirmed dead All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
Shooter At Pensacola Naval Air Station Confirmed Dead

Update: The shooter in Pensacola has been killed, Escambia County Sheriff’s Office says.


France Summons Turkish Ambassador After Erdogan Calls Macron "Brain Dead"

zerohedge News france summons turkish ambassador after erdogan calls macron brain dead All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
France Summons Turkish Ambassador After Erdogan Calls Macron "Brain Dead"

The French government will summon the Turkish ambassador demanding an explanation after Turkey's delightfully outspoken President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, asked if French President Emmanuel Macron was "brain dead."

Ahead of a NATO summit next starting on Dec 4 which will be attended by both men, tensions have mounted around Turkey’s role in Syria and within

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the alliance; they boiled over on Friday Friday when Erdogan said that Emmanuel Macron’s warning that NATO was dying reflects a "sick and shallow" understanding, telling the French president "I’m addressing Mr Macron from Turkey and I will say it at NATO: You should check whether you are brain dead first."

The quip is in response to Macron's own recent lament over the "brain death" of NATO because of American unpredictability under President Donald Trump and strained ties with Turkey, and said the allies need “a wake-up call." 

Macron said in an interview three weeks ago there was a lack of strategic coordination between European allies on the one hand and the United States and Turkey, on the other. He has also decried NATO’s inability to react to what he called Turkey’s “crazy” offensive into northern Syria.

Macron’s remarks drew strong reaction from European peers who believe Europe still needs to rely heavily on NATO, but he said on Thursday his remarks had been a useful wake-up call and he would not apologize for saying them.

Meanwhile, Turkey - which has become a critical splinter within NATO and according to some is doing Putin's bidding - is refusing to back a NATO defense plan for the Baltics and Poland unless it gets more political support for its fight against Kurdish YPG militia in northern Syria. Turkey also criticized Macron for agreeing to talks with a Syrian Kurd politician whom Ankara considers an extremist.

A French presidential official said the Turkish envoy will be summoned to the Foreign Ministry to explain, and that France and other NATO allies are expecting “clear answers” from Turkey about its intentions in Syria.

Tyler Durden

Fri, 11/29/2019 - 11:07


War Conflict


13 French Troops Dead After Military Helicopters Collide Over Mali

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13 French Troops Dead After Military Helicopters Collide Over Mali

A horrifying accident took place Monday night over an Islamic State stronghold in Miami when two French military helicopters collided midair, killing 13 soldiers.

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his "deep sadness" at the crash, stressing the "courage of the French soldiers" in what he called the "hard fight against terrorism" in the West African Sah

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el. The 13 soldiers had only one goal, Macon said: "To protect us."

According to the Guardian, a total of 38 French soldiers have been killed in Mali since France, the former colonial power in the region, began a military intervention back in 2013, when France sent troops to liberate the captured the Mali city of Timbuktu after it was overrun by militants. The campaign is currently France's largest overseas imbroglio, with 4,500 troops deployed across the region, which is becoming a growing hotbed of militant activity linked to Al Qaeda and ISIS. Thousands of civilians and local soldiers (of their respective government armies) have died in the violence across the region.

The insurgencies in the region, and France's attempts to suppress them, have termed into a massive game of cat-and-mouse, with the jihadis on the ground able to quickly carry out guerilla attacks before disappearing into the brush and the desert terrain, which is why their campaigns to destabilize local governments have been so effective.

Washington views the Sahel region - a strip of African territory stretching across south-central North Africa - as an emerging hotbed of jihadi activity.

In a message released earlier this year shortly before his death at the hands of an elite American group, the Isis leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, congratulated his "brothers" in Mali and neighbouring Burkina Faso for pledging allegiance.

Tyler Durden

Tue, 11/26/2019 - 06:00


War Conflict

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It's The Federalist Fantasy Of A Bolder EU Which Is "Brain Dead", Not NATO

zerohedge News federalist fantasy bolder which brain dead nato All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
It's The Federalist Fantasy Of A Bolder EU Which Is "Brain Dead", Not NATO

Authored by Martin Jay via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

France’s Macron has burst into tears again and has used the British press to hold court and whimper about how he and his EU vision aren’t working out.

Oh to be Emmanuel Macron. The French president appears to be on the edge of some kind of me

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ltdown, following his fatuous comment about NATO being “brain dead”. And glancing at the slow growth in the EU – which is hitting Germany for the first time, as well as of course France – you can see how Macron is starting to panic.

He recently warned in an interview with the Economist that America was turning its back on Europe and that he had no confidence in NATO anymore. Was this a dig at Trump or more specifically a vitriolic outburst at Trump’s policy towards Iran, which in a matter of weeks will turn to the EU for cash hand outs and support, as it pulls out all together from the infamous JCPOA, otherwise known as the Iran Deal?

Macron’s big ideas about the EU being a big player are not really working out. Perhaps it is his main idea of him being the big player in a bigger EU which is the real issue though as his attempts to run the EU (in his role as French president) are floundering; few doubt that in five years time, when the EU in Brussels needs a new Council and Commission president, that his name will be on the list and he will break the old unwritten rule that no ‘giant’ of the EU can have a president in Brussels.

Well, not since Jacques Delors, anyway.

The EU is not working. Its economy is hitting new lows, which is even affecting non-eurozone countries like Sweden, and Britain’s more joined up departure will be one more unedifying message to its members: time for a rethink of the project.

The problem is that the ‘rethink’ idea will be as divisive as ever.

In one camp, Macron and his pro federalist buddies in Brussels who are addicted to the EU udder tend to think dramatically, rather than rationally when thinking of ‘reforming’ the EU project. ‘Reform’ for them means taking more power in an anti-democratic fashion and then hope that, say a new EU army (from larger national EU defence budgets), bigger EU grants towards research (to compete with the US), minimal wages across 27 member states and, most radically, overhauling the Schengen Agreement with a new, single asylum policy, will all collectively muster greater political support.

Moderates across Europe though – perhaps what he might call ‘Eurosceptics’ – might argue that in such a crisis that the EU is in, that a decaling and downgrading of the projects ambitions might be a way to re-connect with EU voters.

I once asked European Commission president, Romano Prodi in 2002, what his chief task was in office. “To reconnect with voters” he answered confidently.

The smug smile soon vanished from his cherub like face when I replied “but surely that would suggest that once the EU was connected with them?”.

The tantrum that Macron is having presently with NATO is part of a bigger picture of the EU in decline. For EU countries to oblige Trump by agreeing to the 2% of GDP to be put aside on defence spending is an abhorrent attack on Macron and his vision of a new EU. Macron wants bigger defence spending to boost the EU project’s failing political support. But even this logic is flawed. Voters have been in steady decline for the EU project for at least the last three EU elections and a larger populist block in the European parliament is a clear testament to that.

Superpowers act. Pseudo super powers talk and hope their carefully-crafted press releases make an impact. The heart of the matter of this recent attack on NATO is how US policy targeted at Iran is failing. But that failure can be weathered by the US, as superpowers, by definition, look to others to shoulder the burden of their errors. And it is to the EU, where Trump looks for that action. It will be the EU which will pay the greatest price for Iran to make its next move in the coming days and pull itself further away from its obligations under the so-called Iran deal.

The problem with Macron is that he is so entrenched in his ultra conservative neo conservative past. Even in his letter published earlier this year in the Guardian he talks of a new EU looking more to Africa for future investment, perhaps a glimpse of Conrad like old values of France and its colonial legacy. Contrasted to the NATO secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg who has a more modern, realistic view of France and old Europe.

“I strongly welcome efforts to strengthen European defence… But the EU cannot defend Europe” he said recently at an event celebrating 70 years of NATO’s existence.

“This is partly about military might. After Brexit, 80% of NATO’s defence expenditure will come from non-EU allies."

That must have hurt Macron. But if the EU can’t even defend itself, it is ‘brain dead’ to think of any plans to expand itself and its powers?

Tyler Durden

Thu, 11/14/2019 - 05:00




'WhatsApp Revolution' Protests In Lebanon Turn Violent With Fires, Road Blocks; Multiple Dead & Wounded

zerohedge News whatsapp revolution protests lebanon turn violent with fires road blocks multiple dead wounded All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
'WhatsApp Revolution' Protests In Lebanon Turn Violent With Fires, Road Blocks; Multiple Dead & Wounded

Lebanon erupted in large-scale 'Arab Spring' style protests starting Thursday night into Friday, marked by number of massive fires and makeshift roadblocks which could be seen going up in Beirut, in what international reports are calling the biggest cross-sectarian anti-government uprising in years. At least two bystanders have died, one protester kille

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d, and over 60 police wounded. 

The protests were reportedly triggered based on the announcement of a legislative bill to tax people $6 a month for using the popular WhatApp messaging platform, but have grown into broader demands that political leaders step aside over the country's worsening economic crisis and lack of jobs.

Protests outside Beirut, via AFP/Getty/CNN

For this reason Lebanese daily al-Akhbar dubbed the protests "the WhatsApp revolution" and with others calling it "a tax intifada". Chants could be heard in Arabic of "the people want the downfall of the regime" from crowds described as containing a broad cross-section of Lebanese society, whether Christian, Sunni or Shia. 

Police clashed with thousands of demonstrators in Beirut throughout Friday who lit tires on fire and in some cases charged government buildings and damaged shop-fronts.

Multiple reports have put Lebanese unemployment among those aged under 35 at a staggering 37%.

At the same time Lebanese political leaders have been broadly accused of dipping into public coffers to enrich themselves and entrench their positions.

Tensions were already high when on Thursday a government minister revealed a plan to boost state revenues with a daily tax rate on calls made via voice over internet protocol (VoIP), utilized by applications such as Facebook-owned WhatsApp.

The country has also lately suffered a severe slowdown in capital flows, and difficulty of importers securing dollars at the pegged exchange rate. Prime Minister Saad Hariri is expected to address the crisis Friday in a televised speech. 

Currently multiple main routes through the Lebanese capital have been shutdown due to makeshift roadblocks, as clashes with police continue, and with roads accessing Lebanon's main international airport also blocked. 

Police have deployed tear gas and other riot control measures against crowds described in the tens of thousands.

Lebanon's state-run National News Agency reported Friday that two foreign workers died from spoke inhalation after protesters set large fires, and 60 members of Lebanon's Internal Security Forces (ISF) have been wounded

Reuters has also reported the first protester's death in clashes with police, which happened in the northern city of Tripoli, the country's second largest.

According to the Reuters report:

Across the country, they chanted for top leaders, including President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri to step down.

The mood was a mixture of rage, defiance and hope.

A security source said one protester was killed and four wounded after the bodyguards of a former member of parliament fired into the air in the northern city of Tripoli.

Security authorities have condemned what they called "chaos and violence" unleashed on the streets and urged calm. 

Tyler Durden

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 21:25


War Conflict

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