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Live updates as Matt Hancock holds coronavirus press conference

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Health Secretary Matt Hancock will lead Sunday's briefing
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Parents praise NHS 'heroes' in moving photo of disabled son, 4, in hospital

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'As with so many families who have a disabled child, we are indebted to the NHS and reliant on its continued care and medical expertise'
183
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The jobs available at Manchester's new G-MEX coronavirus field hospital

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Applicants have been warned that the work will be "highly challenging," and "won't be suitable for everyone"
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'It's like being in a movie' - Angela Rayner on winning Labour's deputy leadership race while self-isolating with coronavirus

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The Tameside MP said she had been 'knocked off her feet' by the illness but will be going straight back to the frontline as a care worker once she is able to leave the house
170
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Viewers distracted by same thing as Ant and Dec present live from their homes

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The TV duo have kept viewers smiling amid the coronavirus crisis
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More than 50 firefighters tackle huge blaze at industrial estate in Hyde

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A large plume of smoke can be seen for miles
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The Queen tell UK to take pride in coronavirus response

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"A time of disruption in the life of our country: a disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many, and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all."
176
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Vietnam bans posting fake news online

logicfish Business vietnam bans posting fake news online All https://go.theregister.co.uk   Discuss    Share
About coronavirus or anything else

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

216
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"Sell The News"? Stocks Are Crashing After 2 Massive Pumps Overnight

zerohedge News sell news stocks crashing after massive pumps overnight All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
"Sell The News"? Stocks Are Crashing After 2 Massive Pumps Overnight

Despite getting help from Boeing's gains, The Dow has now crashed over 1000 points twice from the post-"we have a deal" highs... and is back in the red for the day...





This all has the stench of some major gamma pukes with VIX flying around right at the open...





Bonds had warned that yesterday's record short-squeeze in stock

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s wasn't to be trusted...





Just like the last time we saw a market move like that...





Fade accordingly.



 




Tyler Durden

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 10:12
239
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NBC News Employee Dies From COVID-19

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NBC News Employee Dies From COVID-19

For a handful of American journalists who have been covering the novel coronavirus outbreak, the battle against COVID-19 may have just become even more personal and immediate.





NBC News announced Friday that Larry Edgeworth, an equipment room employee at '30 Rock', succumbed to complications caused by the virus.



NBC News head honcho Andy Lack delivered a statement about Edg

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eworth's death.




"Many of you were fortunate enough to work with Larry over the years, so you know that he was the guy you wanted by your side no matter where you were," Lack wrote Friday morning.



"We are doing everything we can to support his family during this very difficult time."




As testing in the US continues to ramp up, more deaths and cases will likely be tied to the novel coronavirus.




Tyler Durden

Fri, 03/20/2020 - 10:16
244
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How Localizing Your Webite's Content Can Boost Sales

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If your business isn't reaching its target customers online, you're blowing a big opportunity.<br /> <br />
248
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Crypto AG backdooring rumours were true, say German and Swiss news orgs after explosive docs leaked

logicfish Security crypto backdooring rumours were true german swiss news orgs after explosive docs leaked All https://go.theregister.co.uk   Discuss    Share
One for the Cold War infosec veterans: CIA and BND literally owned the firm

Swiss encryption machine company Crypto AG was secretly owned by the US CIA and a West German spy agency at the height of the Cold War, according to explosive revelations in the Swiss and German media today.…

221
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Slack Shares Crash After-Hours Following IBM "No News" Update

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Slack Shares Crash After-Hours Following IBM "No News" Update

Slack shares soared over 15% intraday on 7x normal volume after a Business Insider report said that the company was being used across all of IBM's business - prompting rejoicing among the company's investors...





There's just one thing... (shares were halted "news pending" 5 minutes ahead of the bell) and this is the news...



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ng>Regulation FD Disclosure




On February 10, 2020, a Business Insider article was published about Slack Technologies, Inc. (“Slack”).



The article stated that International Business Machines Corporation (“IBM”) purchased Slack for all of its employees worldwide and further that IBM is Slack’s largest customer to date.



IBM has been Slack's largest customer for several years and has expanded its usage of Slack over that time. Slack is not updating its financial guidance for the fourth quarter of the fiscal year ended January 31, 2020 or for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2020.




Roughly translate - There is no news!



And the share are plunging back to earth in the after hours...





Oh can we get a better market (and media).




Tyler Durden

Mon, 02/10/2020 - 16:49


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Business Finance

220
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Facebook loses control of its own Twitter account in hacker attack – and more news

logicfish Security facebook loses control twitter account hacker attack more news All https://go.theregister.co.uk   Discuss    Share
Including: Why was #RootGoat2020 trending on Twitter? It is as silly as you think

Roundup  It's time yet again to recap the latest security happenings.…

239
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How to Remain Competitive in a Saturated Online Retail Market

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Strategies for staying ahead amid a dizzying e-commerce landscape.<br /> <br />
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Tennessee State Rep. Files Bill To Officially Designate CNN As 'Fake News'

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Tennessee State Rep. Files Bill To Officially Designate CNN As 'Fake News'

Authored by Steve Watson via Summit News,



In a move that is sure to please President Trump, a State Representative in Tennessee has introduced legislation that would officially designate CNN, as well as The Washington Post, as fake news.





Republican Rep. Micah Van Huss filed the bill Wednesday, with the summary

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describing it as “A RESOLUTION to recognize CNN and The Washington Post as fake news and condemn them for denigrating our citizens.”



Taking to social media, Van Huss, a former Marine who served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, declared “I’ve filed HJR 779 on behalf of a constituency that’s tired of fake news and Republicans who don’t fight.”




The legislation insists that The Washington Post and CNN have drawn a “line between Trump opponents and Trump supporters” by describing Trump voters as “cultists.”



The bill describes a specific instance where a CNN talking head “suggested that Trump supporters belong to a cult and that our president is using mind control.”



Infowars reported on the segment, aired last November on CNN, where Brian Stelter brought on ‘cult expert’, Steven Hassan, author of a book titled The Cult of Trump.



The pair urged viewers that the President is a ‘pathological liar’, and displays ‘the characteristics of destructive cult leader’.



They further suggested that ‘mind controlled’ Trump supporters need to be ‘deprogrammed’ and broken out of their ‘bubbles’.





The Tennesee bill continues:




“WHEREAS, it is fascinating to see this latest ‘cult-of-Trump’ meme coming from the left, because they are the true masters of deploying mobs to demand total conformity and compliance with their agenda; and WHEREAS, any thoughtful observer can see the cult-of-Trump meme as a classic case of psychological projection; after all, accusing someone’s perceived opponent of exactly what one intends to do is a very old tactic; and WHEREAS, the mainstream media is in a panic because President Trump has opened the eyes of many average Americans who are tired of politics as usual.”




The crux of the legislation argues that all of this “oversimplifies the way people think and feel about their own beliefs and those on the other side of that line.”



The bill reasons that therefore the media outlets pushing this agenda should be recognised as “fake news and part of the media wing of the Democratic Party.”



“BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we condemn them for denigrating our citizens and implying that they are weak-minded followers instead of people exercising their rights that our veterans paid for with their blood,” the bill asserts.




Tyler Durden

Thu, 01/30/2020 - 17:40


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Politics

237
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5 Can't-Miss E-Commerce Personalization Ideas

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It's time to move beyond mere product recommendations.<br /> <br />
200
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Bad news: Windows security cert SNAFU exploits are all over the web now. Also bad: Citrix gateway hole mitigations don't work for older kit

logicfish Security news windows security cert snafu exploits over also citrix gateway hole mitigations dont work older All https://go.theregister.co.uk   Discuss    Share
Good news: There is none. Well, apart from you can at least fully patch the Microsoft blunder

Vid  Easy-to-use exploits have emerged online for two high-profile security vulnerabilities, namely the Windows certificate spoofing bug and the Citrix VPN gateway hole. If you haven't taken mitigation steps by now, you're about to have a bad time.…

195
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Unlocking news: We decrypt those cryptic headlines about Scottish cops bypassing smartphone encryption

logicfish Security unlocking news decrypt those cryptic headlines about scottish cops bypassing smartphone encryption All https://go.theregister.co.uk   Discuss    Share
New perspective on FBI, Interpol demands for backdoors

Vid  Police Scotland to roll out encryption bypass technology, as one publication reported this week, causing some Register readers to silently mouth: what the hell?…

231
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Fox Crushes Cable News With Record High Viewership As CNN Implodes

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Fox Crushes Cable News With Record High Viewership As CNN Implodes

Fox News dominated the basic cable news industry in 2019, according to a new report, which specifies the network has hit record high viewership. 



Nielsen Media Research said Fox News averaged 2.5 million viewers during primetime in 2019, far outpacing any other news network. The network's viewership hit a 23-year high this year, blowing out its competitors, CNN and MSNBC, by a lo

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ng shot. 





Fox News even beat out ESPN with its 1.78 million viewers during primetime. It seems the American people under a Trump administration are more concerned about politics and the economy than sports. MSNBC trailed ESPN for the third spot at 1.75 viewers during primetime. This is the fourth consecutive year Fox News has blown out its competitors. 



Nielsen said CNN came in 22nd place, recorded just 972,000 viewers during primetime. 



The gap in viewership between Fox News and CNN on a nightly basis is nearly 1.5 million viewers daily during primetime.



Fox News' "Hannity" was the most popular news show with 3.3 million viewers during primetime. The second was "Tucker Carlson Tonight" with 3.1 million, and MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show" was third with 2.78 million. 



To sum up, CNN is suffering a credibility crisis as viewership is in a mass exodus, fleeing the fake news network to more conservative networks, such as Fox News. There appears to be no plan of action by CNN or liberal media to fix the hemorrhaging of viewership, indicating the trend will persist through 2020. 



 




Tyler Durden

Mon, 12/30/2019 - 20:45


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Entertainment Culture

214
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A News Chronology Of France In 2019: The Year Of Yellow Vest Rebellion

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A News Chronology Of France In 2019: The Year Of Yellow Vest Rebellion

Authored by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog (cross-posted with PressTV),



But before I list the (often unnoticed, misunderstood or covered-up) chronological facts of France’s incredible Yellow Vest year, allow me to briefly summarise it with a personal anecdote:



In mid-April I finally was able to get out of Paris for a few days in between Saturdays

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and I headed to the countryside, which I adore (in any nation). After a day of decompression something hit me: the metronomic sadism of certain, massive state violence every weekend was not at all a normal state of affairs… and yet Parisians were expending all their psychic energy to convince themselves that everything was indeed “normal”.



What was “everything” from January to mid-April? Every Saturday: Eight thousand cops on the streets of Paris, entire city areas shut down, guaranteed images of violence against unarmed protesters, indiscriminate tear gassings and police brutality, the world aghast at French-style democracy, the knowledge that no way was “President Jupiter” Emmanuel Macron going to make any concessions and that for many people (like me) every Saturday meant certainly risking limb and quite possibly life.



What I realised was that during the first third of the year Parisians did their typical best to be blasé; to act as if all this was quite nothing new whatsoever; to act like getting upset over it was quite poor taste; to act typically Parisian.



That, of course, was total nonsense – pure poseur.



So what I mostly remember is how during this period was that the collective cognitive dissonance in Paris was so immense that it reached a generalised psychosis caused by mass denial.



I also realised that this denial of reality and subsequent psychosis can only be found in imperialist countries. “Our treatment of the aboriginals/those with whom we are living alongside and whom we colonised/non-Whites… is totally normal,” they insist, as they live under a shroud of silence and feigned “normality”. The unsaid reality remains unsaid by both colonised and coloniser (under penalty of social exclusion, jail, death), and the psychosis just mounts and mounts and mounts.



It is normal that this imperialist psychosis occurs in the European Union in 2019, as it is indeed a neo-imperialist project. The question the French cannot quite answer is: are they the still the coloniser, or are they now colonised?



But such questions are all of no importance to the politically regressive. Nothing to see here, even by the French who watch the nightly news – we cannot question “French exceptionalism”.



What do I know about the Yellow Vests? I contend that no “mainstream” journalist attended more Yellow Vest demonstrations than I did, at least in Paris. I would also suggest that while I did hundreds of live interviews from the demonstrations – while getting tear gassed, with rubber bullets flying around, literally in between Black Bloc and police – most journalists did zero.



This article was generated by me going back through my list of reports with PressTV in 2019 – it’s mostly headlines, quotes (mostly from interviews with Yellow Vests) and short excerpts from my reports. I pass on the highlights, and I also tie together the threads with the advantage hindsight – check the key date of March 16th to see what I mean.



If you are too busy to read it all, I suggest only reading March through May 1 – this is when the Yellow Vest demonstration was gutted via reactionary values which we can call “neo-Vichy”, with Brussels replacing Berlin as the master of France’s government.



I didn’t bother to provide a weblink to the roughly 175 2-3 minute reports I made with PressTV in 2019, but I did include web links to a score of in-depth written reports I did specifically about the Vesters.



It was not at all an easy year, and I recall being quite exhausted by the summer. It wasn’t just the obvious stress caused by walking into a “near war zone” every Saturday – why on earth did the Vesters insist on marching 10-15 kilometres every Saturday? And so fast, too!



But, as they have shown, their endurance and determination is beyond remarkable. I’m glad the facts are on the record in one place, if only as an expression of admiration for them.





France Year in Review: The rise and rise of the Yellow Vests into a General Strike

2019 in France obviously has to be remembered as the year of the Yellow Vest rebellion.



It began in November 2018, and President Emmanuel Macron thought he had pacified it in December with a pittance of so-called “concessions”, but the rebellion continued.



Why, because as I wrote back then: “It’s just one protest… which has lasted 8 years”. They want you to view the Yellow Vests in isolation instead of as a historical continuum.



In early December every single person I asked agreed that they are a Yellow Vest. Biased, misleading and above all a lack of polling would attempt to hide the Yellow Vests amazing popularity the entire year. By September I was explaining Why France’s 20- and 30-somethings hate the Yellow Vests (foolishly, of course). However, no poll ever showed the Yellow Vests with an approval rating lower than 49%, and they are generally around 60% – this makes them by far the most popular political movement in France, even if not everyone joins their club. And above all: that is a simply enormous score for any protest movement, anywhere.



Many assumed the Vesters would stop protesting over Christmas because that’s what every political/social/union/labor movement had done for decades, no matter how much political momentum they had. Not the Vesters. Right then I knew that this was serious – they had different priorities.



By January it became clear that the French government was going to treat political protesters like football hooligans.



Jan 2 – Start by arresting their leaders for eating dinner



On December 20, 2019, the justice department would admit that France’s top police hierarchy were wrong to order the “disguised arrests” of key Yellow Vest leader Eric Drouet along with 42 others back on January 2nd. They were eating in a restaurant.



A “disguised arrest” is a euphemism for an arrest ordered by the Deep State: one is arrested without any true justification or reason, but simply because security agents have been ordered to do so.



Drouet immediately denied being a “leader”, because organisationally the Yellow Vests are indeed a grassroots, leaderless, “Latin anarchy-style” protest movement and not a political party. I eventually began referring to Drouet and others as “organisers”. Drouet does admit to eating nearly three times a day.



A column I wrote that week pointed out that, like the Vietcong, the Yellow Vests absolutely will not have the early demise which the Mainstream Media hopes for… because they have nowhere to go.



Jan 5 – Vesters surprisingly march after New Year’s Day



Brutal scenes as French cops refuse to let Vesters protest in front of Parliament, even though they had a permit to do so.



That is explanation for essentially all the conflicts between cops and protesters in 2019: protesters get trapped, in violation of their human right to demonstrate, hyper-armed cops use their weapons, protesters respond in a civic rage and in self-defense.



Turnout was down overall, but again, the fact that anything was organised at all was a huge, huge break with vacation-loving French culture. Of course, the media searches for any reason to insist that the Yellow Vest movement is abating, and they do so here.



Jan 12 – ‘Battle of Turnout Figures’ as France returns from vacation



The government claimed only 50,000 protesters marched, but the true figure was closer to 300,000.



Firstly, why are these numbers important? As a cop told me: this is a country of nearly 70 million people, so cops are never going to stand down unless there are 10 or 20 million people in the streets. He’s right. The people who foolishly think the cops are going to see the political light and “switch sides”, and also the people who think the Yellow Vests are just a hair’s breadth from getting Macron to resign, should re-read that.



A secondary point here is how very special and vanguard the Yellow Vests truly are for getting out on the streets: France was not anywhere close to a revolution which overcame their neo-imperial security state, but there sure were a large amount of people who were willing to try.



So numbers do matter, and that’s why the MSM’s parroting of an absurd official line (from their cozy newsroom) is so galling.



However, we should still accept that cops can actually be not reactionary. The poorly named “Union of Angry French Cops”, France’s third-largest cop union, consistently defied the Interior Ministry to give their own tally, mainly because the ministry was just outrageously low. The “Yellow Number” also made its 2nd appearance at this demo, and you can find all 3 of these crowd estimations here – the odd one out is the Interior Ministry.



The union believes the divergence is due to the fact that rural villages are constantly ignored by the government and media. The union has members actually stationed at places like rural roundabouts all day: they count the number of different people who arrive at a demonstration, and then leave, only to be replaced by new protesters.



It should be easy to see why the ministry’s figures are so absurd: why would the government routinely mobilise 80,000 policemen for what they are claimed from Valentine’s Day onwards was less than 47,000 protesters? (See January 27 note.)



Back then I couldn’t help but see the Yellow Vests as the harbinger of the bursting of the West’s “Everything Bubble” which Quantitative Easing has created. Who would have predicted that “QE Infinity” would be unveiled in September?



Jan 19 – Calm day in Paris for Act 10



It’s important to remember they weren’t all days of pitched war, but a lot certainly were until late March. Act 10 was mostly peaceful in Paris, but not elsewhere. Death toll at this point – 10 people.



Protests increase again. It has become clear the Yellow Vests are not going away, so the MSM grapples with trying to describe their class-based demands without violating their blacklist of the word “class”.



I laid it all out here: The Yellow Vests are calling for the world’s third Cultural Revolution, after China and Iran.



It’s not bias or exaggeration: They want to halt the functioning of normal society to have a serious, long, fruitful discussion about France’s role in the euro, the EU, NATO, Françafrique, the 5th Republic itself, austerity policies, foreign policy, environmental policies, housing, education, health care, pensions, etc. That link is Part 8 of an 8-part series I wrote this year to demystify the two state-sponsored Cultural Revolutions simply because the parallels between them and the Yellow Vests were so obvious.



Yellow Vests sure didn’t have state sponsorship, though. However, they did have a 60% approval rating at this time.



Jan 26 – French cops equipped with body cameras for first time



Absolutely nothing has come of this early demand aimed at reducing police brutality.



By the end of 2019 France has prosecuted just two cops for police brutality against the Yellow Vests. So how can we even know what has been recorded, when the cameras were even turned on, that is?



Jan 27 – Reactionary ‘Red Scarves’ demand Yellow Vests stop bothering the establishment



Finally, a demonstration which France’s media feels safe enough to cover!



The one and only such demonstration of this pathetic group. However, never has such a short-lived social movement received such fawning and massive political coverage. Where are the Red Scarves now – nowhere? Or rather: about to annoy the hell out of their family at Christmas.



Just prior to the movement a minister said that if 10,000 people showed up, then that would constitute a success and be a signal that the Yellow Vests have to stop: the Interior Ministry claimed 10,500 people showed up.



Many in the media would never once question the ministry’s figures on the Yellow Vest turnout despite their obvious self-interest to keep the numbers low, yet reported 10,500 despite the real-time indication over an inaccuracy which was widely obvious.



Feb 5 – Yellow Vests and unions march together for first time



Initially, a union member carrying his union insignia was as unwelcome as member of Macron’s political party. The Yellow Vests’ popularity and respect is largely based on their open rejection for not just mainstream politics and the traditional modes of French political culture, but also France’s idea that unions should lead socioeconomic protests. The Western “independent” union model, is perfectly calibrated to be “divided and conquered”, which has been the case in France since 2010, certainly; when unions “win”, the theory is that everyone else should just hope that their gains “trickle down” to the 90% of French workers who aren’t unionised.



This was the first time Vesters tolerated unions to march on the same city streets as them – the unity would be quite short-lived. I don’t blame them. In September 2019 I interviewed the head of a top farmer’s union: I gave her every chance to defend, even just mildly, the Yellow Vests, but she insisted that farmers had nothing in common with rioters.



This is exactly what a Yellow Vest told me that day: “The average union worker supports theYellow Vests, but not the union leaders, who have repeatedly betrayed us. The unions must finally end their selfishness, because everyone is against this government.”



Is it a rural-based movement, as is often said?



The only who people who say that are those who don’t understand/can’t admit that class is the single most dominant political lens.



Like all true revolutions, the nation’s “trash” had become the true political vanguard.



Feb 6 – France passes ‘anti-Yellow Vest law’ amid mass protests



The law allows police chiefs, known as prefects, to ban citizens from attending protests, a power which was previously reserved for judges. The law also gives police greater power to search citizens without warrants, and imposes fines and prison terms for any protester covering their face to avoid identification, or even of using a scarf to to avoid tear gas.



I recall earning some plaudits on the Champs-Elysées around this time. It was cold, and French riot cops were all covering their face to stay warm. I loudly told a cop that if he can cover his face against the law, then I should be able to wear my burqa, LOL. Easy for me to talk back in anger – I’m a journalist: the French protesters who did the same usually found themselves wrestled to the ground and arrested, with the wife screaming, “He didn’t do anything!” behind him.



This is another shift of power towards the executive branch and away from the judiciary and legislative branches, and especially the electorate. This process greatly accelerated under Francois Hollande with the 2-year state of emergency, the so-called “French Patriot Act”, and the repeated use of forcing through unpopular austerity-related laws by executive order. Macron would use executive orders even though he has an absolute majority in Parliament – he just wanted to avoided the bad press of open debate.



Feb 21 – Macron’s ‘Deep State’ scandal deepens with perjury charges



The Benalla affair – nobody knows about it outside of France but it’s Macron’s biggest one.



I would contend that a large reason it is not known outside of France because the constant implication is that Macron and Alexandre Benalla had a homosexual affair, or that Benalla helped cover up such an affair as Macron’s personal – and extremely law-breaking – bodyguard. The 24-year age difference between Macron and his wife helps fuel these rumours.



Regardless of these rumours, these charges came from an exasperated Parliament committee which concluded that Macron showed Benalla an “incomprehensible indulgence”. This “indulgence” was so extreme that nobody can possibly explain why a president would take such risks to protect such a person? It remains baffling.



Anyway, the problem is transparency/independence from blackmail/corruption. A Yellow Vest that week put things into perspective: “Look at the Benalla affair: there is overwhelming proof that President Emmanuel Macron’s right-hand man committed many crimes, yet he remains free, while Yellow Vests stay in jail! It is clear that there is major discrimination in the justice system by France against its very own citizens – some people have special privileges, but the Yellow Vests do not.



Benalla served one week in jail, but only because he broke his bail – the average prison sentence for a Yellow Vest has been one year.



Feb 22 – Macron to outlaw anti-Zionism, sparking disbelief & outrage



“I’m not gay, but the Yellow Vests are anti-Semitic.” That’s not what Macron said openly of course, but the timeline worked that way.



The proposition was an attempt to slur the Yellow Vests, and to create a long-running distraction.



The resolution – not a law, but one step short of it – would be passed in December. What I found interesting was the huge amount of media coverage on it in December… after, not before, it was passed. I covered it before: it was mostly French Jews fighting against it, because it obviously unjustly makes all Jews responsible for the crimes of Israel. I’ve seen studies that half of European Jews are anti-Zionist. Of course, confusing anti-Semitism with the political, colonialist, segregationist project of Zionism is something nobody involved in politics should be dumb enough to confuse, but Macron did.



At the February 16th Yellow Vest march far-right ideologue Alain Finkielkraut was not welcomed, and called a “dirty Zionist”. This created much media uproar, despite the latter being 100% accurate. The Yellow Vests marched against anti-Semitism on February 19.



Combined with the looming Benalla scandal, anti-Semitism was a very useful distraction for Macron at the time. It was undoubtedly instrumentalised by France’s extremely powerful pro-Zionist lobby.



It gave me a chance to dust off a term I created during the Charlie Hebdo protests: 21st century France as a new “Holy Secular Empire”.



Feb 27 – Council of Europe urges France to stop rubber bullet use



Does anyone care about the Council of Europe, or any pan-European institution, really? Of course not, but it was notable that any major organisation condemned France back then.



For example, Human Rights Watch issued just a single condemnation of French police brutality in 2019 – against ecological protesters, not the Yellow Vests. Reports on Venezuela, Hong Kong, Syria – their reports are innumerable and their hypocrisy crystal-clear.



Five hundred critical injuries at this point; unions and France’s Human Rights League estimated that 10,000 rubber bullets had been fired at Yellow Vests. Most journalists in France still euphemistically calling rubber bullets “flash balls” or, even worse, “defense ball launchers”, which obviously assumes that the protester is always the aggressor.



Mar 6 – UN: ‘full investigation’ of brutality against Yellow Vests



The UN Human Rights chief properly recognised that, “The Yellow Vests have been protesting what they see as exclusion from economic rights and participation in public affairs.”



France totally ignored this, of course. The prime minister said the UN chief lacked the “full picture”, but he obviously summed up the heart of the matter.



However, ignoring condemnations of their police is what France does – French police have been condemned for police brutality over and over by the UN and top NGOs for many years.



During the labor code rollback protests in 2016 at least 4,000 protesters were arrested, with well over 1,000 people hurt by police in Paris alone, according to Amnesty International. Extrapolate those numbers nationwide. I covered all those demonstrations too – it’s why I always said that I perceived that the Yellow Vests were only 15-20% more violent than France’s “normal” violent demonstrations. Only the Yellow Vests ever graffiti-tagged the Arc de Triomphe, sure, but that was just a huge propaganda victory for the Vesters.



Mar 8 – Paris forbids Yellow Vest camp



Why wasn’t there a “French Tahrir Square”?



The Yellow Vests tried – cops weren’t even close to allowing a single sleeping bag get laid on the ground. They would have needed many thousands to establish a camp and I recall only 1-2,000 people being there.



It was a cold night back then. Would have still had to have beat back typical French police brutality, too.



Mar 12 – ‘Anti-Yellow Vest’ law adopted



Officially known as the “anti-rioters” law. This provided the “legal” basis for the oppression which would stem the tide (not turn it) of the Yellow Vests…. We got a couple good quotes from journalist/analyst George Kazolias explaining the law:



“But what really makes this law really dangerous, as one conservative member of Parliament put it last year, is that it’s a Vichy law, referring to the government that ruled France under Nazi occupation in World War II. This law gives administrative personnel judicial powers – it takes the power away from the judiciary. … So what he (Macron) has done now is to make at a local level what he has done at the national level with (unpopular laws which normalised) the state of emergency. I’m surprised not more people have tried to relate the two?”



And, now that massive repression had a new “legal” basis, the upcoming Yellow Vest march would be incredibly repressive and mark the beginning of the end of their long peak. But the day before that…



Mar 15 – Macron’s National Debate ends with universal dissatisfaction



The National Debate was 2.5 months of 10,000 local public debates. It was mainly a public relations effort by Macron to show that he is a president who does listen and who does incorporate public opinion into public policy… even though that is obviously false.



However, much of his time at these town hall meetings was Macron talking for hours and hours, like Fidel Castro. There are big differences between the two: Macron is pushing capitalism, imperialism and technocratism – Fidel pushed rejecting brutal capitalism, patriotism and morality in public policy.



At this point in his term Macron (begun May 2017) has never held a press conference. That is not a typo.



Perhaps this explains why it was “The Macron Show” for six hours a day on mainstream media. The sudden availability of Macron to the masses and journalists was a total 180 from the previous 22 months.



Rather amusingly (unless you are a minority Macronista) a key poll asked what people found positive to say about Macron regarding his method and style at the National Debate: the number one answer, at 48%, was “I didn’t find anything positive about Macron”. That was nearly double the second-most popular response.



So the National Debate had concluded, the laws were in place – the kid gloves came off. We knew it was coming – column here.



Mar 16 – Worst violence in months amid near-secret de-nationalisation machinations



This is when “Sarkozy’s restaurant” Le Fouquet’s was ransacked. (A quintessentially French place… yet they use a possessive apostrophe?)



I remember I got there early – it was already a war zone.



This is because before the demonstration could even start riot police used tear gas and water cannons to provoke the violence which would be required to justify the police tactic changes later this week.



Black Bloc was there, being useless as usual – I recall a protester at the Arc de Triomphe screaming at me, “Why don’t the cops do anything to stop Black Bloc?!” I debunked Black Bloc in a recent article: French Black Bloc’s utter uselessness… except to the French government. I repeatedly saw Yellow Vests intervene to stop looting on the Champs-Elysées; cops were filmed stealing football jerseys from the Paris Saint-Germain team shop.



A good quote from a Vester that day: “Just like at the beginning of the movement, it was the same old tactic from our government. They want the protest to degenerate as quickly as possible in order to discredit the movement. They launch round after round of tear gas, to the point where people are stepping on protesters who have fallen down! They want to scare us into staying at home, but we will never stop protesting!



Interesting note I have in my report: “Despite 18 consecutive weekends of protests by the Yellow Vests, France’s unions have taken to the streets only rarely this year.” It’s key to remember how independent and isolated the Yellow Vests were – they fought time after time all on their own: they really are like a family.



Shockingly, Macron chose this weekend to go skiing – the photos appall the nation. On seemingly every major day of protest during his term I have noticed that Macron is never in Paris, and often out of the country. Of course, since the Yellow Vests the big establishment fear is that they will reach Elysée Palace near the Champs-Elysées. However, as I am a fellow 41-year old man… he rather acts like a scared old man.



Macron is celebrating because he has given the incredibly anti-democratic orders which will mark the beginning of the “end” of the Yellow Vests – more such orders arrive in days.



However, one final kick in the teeth: At 6:15 in the morning on Saturday March 16th Macron surprisingly called for a Parliamentary vote regarding the biggest wave of privatisation in 15 years. Only 45 of nearly 600 deputies were present, and the bill was approved. Widespread media explanation would later be required to explain why the vote was still legally-binding despite such low parliamentarian turnout. You think I’m making this up don’t you, LOL, but this is the actual chronology.



It would take a couple weeks before this de-nationalisation became a media issue. Think there weren’t monetary reasons for Macron to sic the armed forces on the Yellow Vests to begin with? De-nationalisations to benefit his friends and backers of his meteoric rise put yet another monetary motive at play.



The Yellow Vests would successfully prevent the airports of Paris from being privatised (at least so far), but Macron would sell off more than 50% of the national lottery in November. I didn’t get it: neoliberals say that any state business which doesn’t make profits must be privatised… yet the highly lucrative state gambling monopoly has to be sold off, too? It’s almost as if neoliberals rely on faith instead of facts, logic and history….



Here’s a live interview I did at the Parisian bank which was firebombed – surely the only live interview from there that day, and probably the only “mainstream” media interview which gave an objective explanation of why it happened.



Article I wrote about the March 16 protests. I started with: “Because if Saturday March 16 was a ‘war zone’, then France has been at war since 2010 – I didn’t see a single thing out of the norm for France.” Doctors and nurses treating the wounded disagreed with me over and over – they said the injuries were what they had seen in war. I never said journalists were always right….



Mar 23 – French army doesn’t deter massive Yellow Vest protests



For the first time since the Algerian War for Independence the army was used inside France against the French people. Just prior to Act 19 a French general reported on live radio that he had authorisation to open fire on protesters.



Furthermore, on March 18 the Paris police chief was fired. Part of the reason was given by Prime Minister Philippe: “Inappropriate orders were given to reduce the use of LBD [rubber bullet launchers].” Imagine if Putin had said that?



The new chief looks, and certainly acts, like he would have been quite at home in Vichy France, which is precisely why he was hired. His uniform always appears to be a couple sizes too big for him.



Protests were now officially banned in key parts of urban areas, like the Champs-Elysées. Bans in rural roundabouts would begin in early May (but I thought this was a rural-based, not class-based movement?).



Should we be surprised that Yellow Vest numbers are about to plummet?



In January there were an average of 350,000 protesters per weekend; February 240,000; after March 23rd they reached 100,000 people maybe twice and then never again.



If you are a clueless, secretly-reactionary/fake-leftist Mainstream Media journalist this is what you think in your empty head: “Oh, the numbers have only fallen because the Yellow Vests aren’t popular anymore. Yes, I will accept that promotion, thank you boss!”



So March 12-23 should be remembered as when France became a “neo-Vichy” government. Instead of Berlin, the master is Brussels.



They didn’t destroy the Yellow Vest movement, but they did scare the hell out of the average person.



Mar 28 – French cops wearing Yellow Vests to infiltrate movement



It was discovered that on March 16 cops were wearing Yellow Vests to disguise themselves.



The police union noted that there is no formal law against disguising themselves as protesters, so that should settle the matter



Good Vester quote: “We don’t know if we should fear our own government, or if we can trust it? Such video revelations are going to increase the accusations that the government is pulling the strings with secret militias inside political demonstrations. That sounds like a conspiracy, but these videos give such ideas obvious legitimacy.”



March 30 – Mayor demands city become a “ghost town”



Mayor of Bordeaux commanded citizens to not leave their homes that Yellow Vest day. The phrase “Bordeaux strong”, unlike in Boston, did not become commercially popular.



Again, Mr. and Ms. MSM Journalist – might this explain the drop in attendance? And perhaps also the unveiling of harsher tear gas, guaranteed fines for violating the ban, warrantless searches (Do the women you date even let you go through their purse?), increased arrests, the refusal to engage with Black Bloc despite the vast superiority of the professional armed forces, and on and on? This is why I didn’t get very far in the French newsrooms I worked at….



Similarly, the Yellow Vests insisted on their right to freedom of assembly and defied the bans.



Why? Let’s ask a Vester: “I worked from the age of 14 until the age of 60, and in my entire life I accepted only 1 month of unemployment insurance. And yet, in the last 4 years I have seen my pensioned lowered from 1,150 euros to 1,050 euros. My rent is 800 euros a month, so I cannot afford to live, and I will never accept this injustice.”



Several ministers resign this week, but this is hardly newsworthy with Macron.



April 4 – NGO says 3,000 homeless died in France in 2018



Macron made zero deaths due to homelessness a key campaign promise.



April 6 – Last time anyone counted over 100,000 people at a Yellow Vest demo



Thus, this article is going to start getting shorter. Yellow Vests popularity stands at 53%.



Half the country supports them, but from behind their curtains now.



April 10 – Massive rejection of Macron’s ‘National Debate’ results



The government declared that the main conclusion of the debates is that taxes should be lowered, which is what every peasant under French rule always said.



Reversing Macron’s elimination of the very popular “Wealth Tax” will not be discussed as a possible result, nor is deviating from nine years of austerity budgets: the Yellow Vests continued marching would reverse one of these.



Polls show that just 6% of France called the National Debate a success while 80% said it will not resolve the current political crisis.



April 15 – Notre Dame ravaged by fire, world mourns



In an amazing coincidence, the fire started just an hour before Macron was to reveal his personal conclusions of the 2.5 month so-called “National Debate”.



This was rather a cherry on top of a terribly bitter social sundae which had been forced down France’s gullet thus far in 2019.



Considering how catastrophic it looked on TV, I truly thought it looked pretty good when I saw it the next day.



April 20 – Constant cop violence as Yellow Vests begin 6th month



Key anniversary = higher turnout = more repression. Worst violence in weeks.



Me impersonating an MSM journalist: “Don’t you think that because of the fire at Notre Dame you should stop marching in order to promote national unity (even though this is a “secular” country)?”



French Yellow Vest quote: “The fire at Notre Dame touched everybody, but there is a big controversy over how we could raise a billion euros for a church so quickly, and why we can’t raise such an amount for poor people. There is a lot of anger, and a fire at Notre Dame is not going to change this logical reality.”



The last time the Yellow Vests touched 100,000 protesters, but only by rounding up.



April 24 – Record suicide pace for cops amid Yellow Vest demos



April 25 – Journalists help Macron ignore Yellow Vests at 1st presser



Incredibly, Macron has finally held his very first press conference.



Prior to that he and I had held the same number of press conferences since May 2017. Key difference: I am not the popularly elected president of a country. I am, however, the authoritarian and arrogant leader of “Raminia”.



Incredibly, and we can add another “incredibly” on top of the first “incredibly”: this is when Macron said the words “Yellow Vests” in public for the first time.



Less incredibly, considering the toadying, social-climbing French media class, the mainstream journalists permitted to attend the press conference (Iranian media is banned from official press conferences of the president, PM, FM, etc.) dared to ask Macron just one direct question about the Yellow Vests. The question was posed by the extremely mainstream anchorwoman Laurence Ferrari, and kudos to her: every other journalist failed.



Here was Macron’s initially nihilistic answer, via an explanation which is totally acceptable in Anglophone countries, which are also politically nihilistic; he then switches to total defiance based on technocratism: “We are a country where disagreements are expressed forcefully and where there are always protests. I totally take responsibility for having not given way – during my first two years – to those who want to set back our projects which I deeply believe are good for the country.”



Two subjects which were never mentioned by anyone were the routine police brutality, nor Macron’s raft of anti-democratic measures such as the “anti-Yellow Vest Law”.



Polls showed that 65% of France said they were unconvinced by Macron’s answers. Nearly 80% said he did not address the concerns of the Yellow Vests.



Despite a record-low approval rating of just 27%, Macron said he thinks it “would be best” to stand for re-election. No serious policy changes were announced, because the conclusion that Macron drew from the National Debate was, “Our approach over the past 2 years has been right.



Ugh… I’m glad I’m banned from there.



May 1 – Record cop violence at huge Paris May Day demo



This was a rough one… it was certainly no celebration of International Workers’ Day.



Never saw so many cops – every 50 meters there was a phalanx of cops along the marching route. People who think Western, liberal democratic, aristocratic (bourgeois) governments don’t fear socialism – explain the measures taken on May 1, 2019?



Long story short: in order to prevent a unified demo at the end the cops used the classic tactic of “divide and conquer”. They repeatedly severed the march, allowing one part to advance to the end (where they were gassed and chased out), while cops fought pitched battles with the section that was kettled and prevented from marching freely. After several rounds of this the streets were a shambles – protesters, unarmed of course, needed to find something to protect themselves with.



This produced the MSM hoax of an alleged “hospital invasion”, which I debunked thoroughly here. Briefly: that day MSM and politicians got apoplectic that protesters – cornered by cops using tear gas, water cannons, batons and rubber bullets – tried to take refuge in a hospital. What those armchair idiots and “hotel room journalists” don’t know is that when tear gassed one moves (don’t run!) in one direction: away from the gas. The only direction left to protesters was jumping a hospital gate.



Mainstream idiots everywhere said protesters were “invading” the hospital. It took a couple days for the truth to come out – only two old, apologetic men actually made it inside the hospital, saying they had been “tear gassed all day”. The internet reactionaries who vengefully and gleefully insist that “Yellow Vests are rioters and they get what they deserve”… they really have no idea what they are talking about.



What I remember from that day is: I’m trying to give a live interview in front of the hospital – amid all the “flash balls”, flying pieces of pavement and tear gas – and the newsroom in Tehran is insisting that I remain motionless in order to “set the frame”. “How on earth are me and my cameraman supposed to stay motionless and not wind up seriously hurt! Just put me on the damn air!!!” Aggravating…



I recall only one other journalist doing a live interview during all that violence – a female journalist for Italian TV, as I recall. Kudos to her. French media? Fuggetaboutit. French public media, who are paid by French taxes? Fuggetaboutit. I’m sure RT was there, but I didn’t see them. I bet they were wearing a helmet, though – I never did once. LOL, a bit of leniency for my egotistical behavior, please: I had been “tear gassed all day”.



On December 19th the first police officer would finally be convicted for police brutality – he was filmed throwing a piece of pavement into a crowd of protesters on May 1st. Apparently his rubber bullets, tear gas, water cannon and truncheon wasn’t enough? He got a minor sentence, no prison time, his identity was not divulged, nor will the conviction even appear on his legal record.



That was the last rough one… for a while, at least. Not sure that’s a good thing.



May 5 – France bans Ramadan, citing secularism & economic stagnation



I never did write that satire… don’t know why? Would’ve been funny. Probably tired – Ramadan had just started, after all, and I had been tear gassed all year. Maybe for 2020.



Just checking to see if you are still reading!



May 8 – France began killing 45,000 Algerians on WWII V-Day



Oh, MSM journalists, where you marking the defeat of European fascism in World War II that day? Why?



France also bombed Damascus that May. Syrians booted the French out that year, thankfully.



May 9 – First major Yellow Vests victory – no to de-nationalising Paris airports



This week the Yellow Vests scored their biggest victory yet, by forcing parliamentarians to accept a referendum on Macron’s attempt to denationalise the airports of Paris.



A column here about stopping the Yellow Vests stopping of denationalisation, and why you never hear that word.



Last week I paid 9 euros to travel for about 15 minutes of travel on a privatised French highway – this is why Yellow Vests demolish tollbooths. Aren’t air tickets costly enough already?



May 11 – France bans rural protests for Yellow Vest #26



Many French media gleefully speculated that the Yellow Vest movement was finished, but 60,000 protesters turned out yet again, despite the government’s efforts to intimidate people in both urban and rural areas.



May 15 – 72196 – Macron at 2 years: 76% policy rejection



A recent poll covered 14 vital questions and sectors, ranging from economics to immigration to security and more. Respondents gave Macron a whopping 76% failure rate on society’s most important questions.



So 24% of respondents support Macron, which was his exact score in the first round of the 2017 presidential elections.



This 24% was also his true score in his victorious second round, due to the highest abstention in 40 years, and the fact that 43% of voters only voted for Macron to block the far-right’s Marine Le Pen. He only won a majority in 2 of France’s 101 departments, after all.



But Macron and his supporters have always manipulated this to claim that he has a “mandate” for his program, especially the pension junking. Yawn… stupidity is boring, but especially when repeated.



May 25 – Mass arrests as Yellow Vest demos go ‘wildcat’



Vesters had been applying for permits… and getting massively repressed. So they went “wildcat”… and got massively repressed.



Yellow Vester says “Ya Hossein!”: “We will continue no matter what the results of the (upcoming EU) vote are. There are too many people who have been hurt, blinded, and killed, and we must think of them. All we have ever asked for is not to keep starving at the end of every month, and to protect our children’s future.”



May 27 – Another loss for Macron as far-right wins EU elections again



We really should care about the EU elections… or focus on a Frexit.



The three Yellow Vest lists combined for less than 1%. Hey, it took Italy’s 5-Star Movement eight years to win power.



Incredibly, the animal rights party scored 2.2% of the vote. The only solution for such people is immediate deportation to India, preferably under a cloud of tear gas.



June 22 – Scores of Yellow Vests blockades on Act 32



The Yellow Vests realised that the French government doesn’t respond to peaceful protests with anything but repression. That’s why this week has marked a change in tactics: blockades which can affect the economy, like at ports, refineries and toll booths. Scores of blockades were reported around the country, but received scant media attention.



If a blockade falls in the woods and no one hears it, does it make a sound? (Uhhh, yeah, it’s called science: sound waves.)



By this point in the year the French media had effectively enforced a blackout on the Yellow Vests, and the Vesters knew it and were incredibly upset about it.



From June 1 until well into autumn only Iranian media reporters (in English & French (me), Spanish and Farsi) and Russian reporters were doing anything at all about the Yellow Vests. People began to question why I had to work on Saturday: “I thought the Yellow Vests are over,” they asked?



France’s media and artistic communities are increasingly being called out with disdain by Yellow Vests. The nation’s private media follows a pro-corporate, pro-austerity line, and the state media either doesn’t cover the protests or simply parrots the government’s statements without challenge. After seven months very few from France’s intellectual circles have dared to publicly defend the Yellow Vests or condemned the government’s repression, and seemingly none have personally joined the protests.



Yellow Vest quote: “So many of these types have been bought off by Macron and are happy to stay in his pocket. Pensioners, the jobless and public workers have been marching for seven months and our so-called intellectuals spit on us! We are getting beaten and gassed, and they criticise us!” 



June 24 – French polling agencies ignoring Yellow Vests



Modern media runs a lot of stories based around polls but the latest poll, which gave Yellow Vests a 50% approval rating, dates from two months ago.



More than half the country believes the media has done a bad job covering the Yellow Vests, but that poll is from 3.5 months ago.



Just as there is a revolving door between Western finance ministries and the biggest private banks, there is also a revolving door between the top level of French politics and its polling agencies. Francois Hollande’s former spokesperson, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, is now a top polling agency executive, for example.



This is a problem for governance of any ideology. The Chinese Communist Party is often called “the world’s biggest polling agency” for good reason, whereas in France their leaders believe public opinion matters once every five years.



Column here about the incredibly uncool, constant MSM claim that rock and roll is dying the Yellow Vests are dying.



Another column here which compared the West’s beloved Hong Kong protests – who are so nativist they make Marine Le Pen look like a cultural centrist – with the far, far greater violence in France.



July 3 – French ‘cyber hate’ bill targets Yellow Vests & Palestinians



July 14 – Champs-Elysées a war zone again on Bastille Day



First time the Yellow Vests protested on the Champs since March 16th.



It required a couple hours of trying to lose the cops until the Vesters finally snuck in and won the field. My producer faulted me for doing a live interview with no Yellow Vests around – uhhh, they were outrunning cops on motorcycles, they can outrun me and a cameraman.



Yellow Vest quote: “Tourists are getting tear gassed and witnessing major violence, when they are only here out of curiosity. Some people are led to believe that only bad people get tear gassed, but these tourists now know better. If the tourists had stayed a bit longer they would have been beaten, as well.”



Bastille Day… I mean, what the heck – y’all lost! Bastille Day celebrates the temporary victory of the French Revolution in 1789. In 1804 Napoleon declared himself emperor, and the house of Bourbon was firmly restored in 1815. Does anyone else’s national holiday celebrate a loss? No wonder the French are so depressed. Or at least get out there and feel bad about it in a united way, like Shia with Karbala. Bringing this up this French exceptionalism is another reason I didn’t get far in French newsrooms….



July 17 – Macron’s #2 forced out over corruption charges



On the taxpayers’ dime the minster, who only looked up to the prime minister, was having lavish dinners with jumbo lobsters and 1,000-euro bottles of wine, bought a gold-leaf hairdryer, had a 3rd chauffeur to take his kids to school, and government-subsidised housing despite a high salary.



He tried to blame his wife, a nonsense socialite journalist (thus the gold-leaf hairdryer, I assumed), and never repented – he had gotten that high up by constantly clamouring against government corruption, so it would be like saying his whole career was a lie (which it was). I recall a top France24 anchorman writing on Twitter how Lobstergate was merely “mostly about the optics”. The top mainstreamers all see things the same way, which is: the masses just don’t understand that we at the top deserve these fancy things.



For those who remember Hollande’s “the homeless are toothless” comments, this provoked similar outrage and perpetually amusing demonstration signs.



July 20 – Yellow Vests honor Black Muslim killed in police custody



Yellow Vest quote: “I didn’t suffer from police or state repression because I am White and because I don’t live in a poor area, but because I joined the Yellow Vests demonstrations I have now suffered from police violence. This issue concerns everyone.” 



Nice to hear, White guy – French Muslims have decided you are cool now.



July 25 – French joblessness up 73% since 2008 crisis



Just do the math properly, and add in all of France (don’t exclude their overseas colonies, as the French MSM does): The total number of unemployed people stands at 6.2 million people, 73% higher than in September 2008.



My editors pushed back – they questioned my data. “You know the official figures show that the number of the unemployed people fell in the second quarter,” they emailed



I was glad to see they were paying attention: nobody in France tells the truth about the jobless data, so it was natural that my headline stuck out to them.



I wrote them: “The Mainstream Media is totally biased in favor of the gov’t and capitalism. They are trying to report, absurdly, that a 16,800 decrease in a nation of 65 million is a success!!!!! It is totally absurd. Just look at this Le Monde graph – unemployment is one constant, terrible rise since 2008. No honest media can portray French unemployment efforts as a positive! Again, the MSM are a bunch of (dummies) who are totally inferior to we Iranian journalists! They try to confuse everyone, but our report is good and 100% fact-based.



The story ran. The Western MSM continues to talk about their “economic recovery”, buttressed by the same “statistics-minus-analysis” which our report rejected.



Are Iranian journalists superior? I’ve met many who aren’t, LOL. But journalists gotta push for their story….



July 27 – 72863 – Yellow Vests march for 37th week amid media silence



Not much going on – hot, marching and lots of cops around.



Aug 28 – 73133 – Amnesty slams state violence at G7 summit



Still waiting/not-waiting for Macron’s promise of an Iran-US summit “within weeks”….



A huge force was deployed to completely lock down the southwestern town of Biarritz for the G7 summit. Macron did not want to be embarrassed by the presence of Yellow Vests, whose presence would also undermine the West’s claim that their democracies are superior to those in other parts of the world, so all protests were banned.



The theme of the G7 meeting was “economic inequality”, which many Vesters found ironic – Macron stole their ethos.



Aug 31 – Yellow Vests complete summer of record mobilisation



First protest movement to not take a Christmas vacation – now the first to not take a summer vacation.



Most widely cited reason I heard from Vesters? “I can’t afford a vacation.



Sept 6 – Paris lodging breaks €10,000 per square meter mark



The QE “Everything Bubble” obviously includes real estate.



Not just buying, but rented, too: This same month my landlord would insist that she is “Landlord of the Year” for spending a few hundred euros on minor repairs for the first time in seven years.



Sept 13 – ‘Black Friday’: Biggest train strike in France since 2007



Don’t get it twisted: all this year there had also been constant labor protests, especially with hospitals, unions and pensioners – I’ve just been focusing on the Yellow Vests here.



The Macron era has been constant protests during the spring and fall months, or basically any non-vacation period.



Sept 16 – More mass strikes in France against cutting pensions



Sept 17 – Brigitte Macron to go back to teaching



Somehow, a woman who admitted to having an affair with a minor-age student (Emmanuel Macron) is being allowed back into a school in a leadership position.



That is incomprehensible, but so is how she escaped prosecution back when Emmanuel was 15 years old. Answer: she is a chocolate heiress.



Nobody knows the exact date of when their relationship was consummated, but it is widely assumed that she is guilty of statutory rape. The mental effects on little Emmanuel I speculated upon here, in a decidedly non-tabloid/Trump-coverage fashion, which I also contrasted with the effects of similar rape on young Ike Turner.



Sept 19 – French media darling Eric Zemmour guilty of Islamophobia



After summer vacation the government and MSM began a huge wave of Islamo-distractions as a way to divert attention from the certainty that Macron was going to junk the pension system in favor of neoliberal nonsense.



As expected, the new, daily presence of far-right ideologue Eric Zemmour on France’s #2 news channel has produced a steady stream of anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant vitriol.



Sept 21 – Worst French violence in months at Yellow Vest #45



Who is dumber, Black Bloc or climate change protesters? Both were out in spades. I wrote about the day here.



(Climate change requires a cooperative solution, yet capitalism is based on competition: Effective climate policy cannot be coordinated until socialism prevails first.)



LOL, when Black Bloc struck all the eco-nuts – swilling champagne, dancing to techno music, clearly quite serious – simply started marching in the other direction. Cops showed them that was not allowed in France, no matter how much fun they wanted to have.



Sept 26 – Macron turns to right on refugee crisis



But I thought he was a “centrist”? Obviously he never was on economics, but pay attention and you’ll find that to the MSM nearly all of the wealthy class are alleged “centrists”.



Islamo-distractions obviously continue.



Sept 27 – Yellow Vest force end to 9 years of austerity



A huge Yellow Vest victory!



But nobody seemed to care. Uhhhh, weren’t we all protesting austerity in Europe for the past decade? I write about the victory/non-recognition of victory here.



Macron backed down because he feared that yet another austerity budget would have provoked more social unrest – he wanted to save his powder for the pension rollback, which will save the 1% infinitely more money.



Oct 6 – Ramin Mazaheri’s birthday: your present has still not arrived



Oct 19 – Georges Abdallah, EU’s oldest political prisoner, marks 35 years



Please send my presents to the “Arab Nelson Mandela”. Read more about him here.



Oct 20 – French poverty skyrockets due to Macron’s reforms



Last year alone a shocking 500,000 people were forced into poverty. That represents a rise of almost one full percent in the national poverty rate, which is now at 15%. The total number of France’s poor people has reached a level not seen since 2010, the darkest days of the start of the Great Recession.



Oct 29 – Strikes build as Macron refuses to table pension rollback



Wildcat train strikes are grabbing headlines, while health care staff continues to strike as well. December 5th is now being promoted as the day to start a general strike.



Oct 31 – French 3Q growth ekes out 0.3% thanks to Yellow Vests



Economic growth was boosted by the 10 billion euros which the Yellow Vests forced out of the government last December. That money increased household spending, which kept France out of the negative last quarter.



Unfortunately, the increase to economic growth is only temporary because the government has refused to put more money into the everyday economy.



Also, 0.3% growth is terrible – many MSM have forgotten this.



Nov 2 – Yellow Vests protest Islamophobia on Act 51



I wrote back in April about how France’s Muslims support the Yellow Vest, contrary to MSM complaints.



Nov 7 – Financing terrorism in Syria charges stick for France’s Lafarge



But not crimes against humanity.



From 2010 to 2014 French concrete giant Lafarge paid over 13 million euros to terrorist groups like ISIL in order to keep their plant in northern Syria running. Six million tons of concrete they produced was used by terrorists for fortifications – reportedly the largest on any battlefield since World War II.



Seemingly never reported in the West – and on the day of this news as well – is the crucial leaked testimony which proved that the French Foreign Ministry knew all about Lafarge’s dealings with the terrorists, was in “permanent contact” with the company, and told Lafarge to “hold on” and “that everything would work out”.



But the problem is Islam itself, right? Wrong.



Nov 16 – Massive violence as Yellow Vests mark 1 year of revolution &repression 



What appears undeniable is that the Yellow Vests have redeemed France’s claim to possess a political spirit which is revolutionary, egalitarian and unique. I break it down here.



The Yellow Vest Sacrifice Tally: The Yellow Vests were so righteous that they succeeded in attracting first-time protesters. These political innocents were often among the 11,000 arrested, the 2,000 convicted, the 1,000 imprisoned, the 5,000 seriously hurt and the 1,000 critically injured. Ya Hossein!



Yellow Vest quote: “Yes, I am proud of the Yellow Vest movement. We are trying to fix France’s many fundamental problems, and we never stopped despite all the repression. What’s shameful is that we didn’t start sooner, and that our leaders totally ignore us.”



Briefly: no chance at a peaceful protest was permitted, again. In a new twist, cops cancelled the permit at the last moment. This allowed them to trap everyone at the Place d’Italie roundabout for hours. For hours we all walked in circles like a clock’s hands, but trailed by a constant cloud of tear gas. This gave the MSM all the footage they needed to keep discrediting the movement on its anniversary.



People were enraged, trapped and tear-gassed – are we surprised petty vandalism occurred? Cops never once stepped in to stop vandalism, either – they were only concerned with not allowing people to march peacefully.



See note on December 20.



Dec 5 – French general strike begins amid huge walkouts & protests



France’s largest general strike since 1995 got off to a roaring start as 90% of public transport was shut down nationwide and workers walked off the job in massive numbers. Well over a million people marched against the radical pension rollback threatened by President Emmanuel Macron.



I break it down here.



Dec 9 – ‘Black Monday’ as French general strike gains steam



Everyone expected four days/a weekend of shutdowns – this day proved the general strike was serious. Eighty percent of public transport would be shut down through Christmas.



We’re general striking, baby!!!!!!



Dec 11 – Macron unveils new pension plan to widespread rejection 



The government only released the details a week into the strike. The delay was obviously because they they are so radically right-wing that the government feared inflaming people even further.



No nation has a universal/one-size-fits-all pension system, and for obvious reasons which I explain here. The idea that France, a “socialist” country to Anglophones, could be the very first shows just how Americanised Macron wants France to become.



Or is EU-style liberalism even worse? Considering their structures is so very much more neoliberal and anti-democratic, it’s very possible….



Today the head of France’s largest union, the “moderate” CFDT, gave Macron a very obvious out: remove the 2-year back-door hike to the retirement age and his union will accept the radical new “points” pension system. Very unfortunate he did this….



How greedy is Macron? Sarkozy already raised the retirement age by two years just nine years ago.



The unions have signed off on every major austerity reform, after all – they get a “good deal” for their members and the rest of the country can take a long walk off a short pier. Will the general strike be different? If Macron will make this deal offered by the CFDT the general strike will likely collapse. Macron has never compromised so far, unlike Hollande, but I will be surprised if doesn’t take what he can get here and run: how many years like this can France take?



Dec 17 – Day 13 shocker: Macron’s pension minister quits over corruption



LOL, you can’t make this stuff up. This was the night prior to the 3rd million-person march against the pension scheme.



The architect of the reform admitted to receiving huge salaries from private groups even after taking public office. French media detailed more than a dozen conflicts of interest between these jobs and his public post.



He quit to try and save the reform. Common sense dictates that his plan is obviously the fruit of a corrupt mind/worldview… but no chance it’ll be withdrawn by Macron.



I asked a Vester their thoughts: “His resignation gives us hope that even more ministers will soon join him! What he did was extraordinarily shameful. How can we possibly allow his ideas to govern something which affects the whole country?” 



Macron has now set the record for minister resignations – nearly all due to corruption allegations – only halfway through his term.



Dec 20 – France Telecom found guilty over provoking mass worker suicides



Telecom company Orange guilty of the same charge, and was fined €75,000, the maximum. Corporate logic: what’s a €75k fine if we can make workers life so miserable they quit and we can get them off the books? All it takes is years of daily, methodical, heartless harassment. The suicides were in the 2000s, but France’s wheels of justice work slow.



Conversely, on December 16 a Yellow Vest was fined €72,519, plus one year in jail, for degrading the statue of a French general at Place d’Italie on November 16, the Yellow Vest’s birthday. “I saw red – I cracked up. The meltdown lasted 10 minutes,” he testified.



Quite a contrasting story, motive, and punishment for him and France Telecom & Orange, eh?



Dec 21 – No Xmas vacation for France’s Yellow Vests once again



Yellow Vests march instead of going vacation for the 2nd time. They continue to put the nation first.



This was also Macron’s birthday – he is a Yalda baby. Yalda is a pre-Islamic holiday celebrated in Iran which marks the darkest, coldest night of the year – the winter solstice.



Feel free to make your pagan astrological inferences about how Macron’s birthday relates to his personality here.



The rest of the year and 2020

Unions have announced a very strange strategy: remain on strike, but no nationwide protests until January 9. If you aren’t working and getting paid, why not at least enjoy some solidarity at a protest? A general strike works because it touches the profits of the 1%, so it will continue to work… but still, it’s odd.



Of course, it’s the small businessman who is less able to defray the costs of a general strike than a corporation, but what choice is left to the French public? A general strike which does not end is called “revolution”.



The General Strike will thus certainly extend into 2020. Like the Yellow Vests its support is around 60%. Polls show those who oppose it are Macronistas and old people.



Macron’s popularity plummeted, and never recovered in January 2018. That’s when his first budget came into play, and seniors saw how his neoliberalism gutted them. To avoid repeating this political mistake, his pension “deform” is a version of the two-tier system used to sow inequality among the bailed-out US auto companies in 2008: only people born after 1975 (like me) will see their pensions reduced. Macron had originally wanted it to affect everyone born after 1963, and this is being dubbed a “concession” of his by the MSM. He is creating long-term generational conflict an disunity.



After the pension reform Macron will inflict the same radical rollback to the unemployment system, which will be nearly as contentious. France accepts far lower wages than in the Anglophone world because they have good pensions, unemployment, health care, etc. However, there is a belief among France’s leadership that the French will accept losing all this, despite stagnant wages. 2019… that theory didn’t work out so well for France’s leadership.



So we can count on two things for France in 2020: more social unrest, and the courageous Yellow Vests.



Tough year, but first one that I’ve been here that there’s a political force France can be proud of. Kudos to them.



*  *  *



Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism.’




Tyler Durden

Thu, 12/26/2019 - 04:00
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Bad news: KeyWe Smart Lock is easily bypassed and can't be fixed

logicfish Security news keywe smart lock easily bypassed cant fixed All https://go.theregister.co.uk   Discuss    Share
Good news? There is no good news

File this one under "not everything needs a computer in it". Finnish security house F-Secure today revealed a vulnerability in the KeyWe Smart Lock that could let a sticky-fingered miscreant easily bypass it.…

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"Markets Have Not Priced In Any Bad News": Futures Frozen As Barage Of Risk Events Looms

zerohedge News markets have priced news futures frozen barage risk events looms All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
"Markets Have Not Priced In Any Bad News": Futures Frozen As Barage Of Risk Events Looms

US futures are trading flat and European shares fell as the looming China tariff deadline was one day closer and still without resolution, while traders awaited the Fed's policy announcement today at 2pm. The MSCI world equity index eked out a small gain after Asian shares advanced earlier.





Market sentiment was dented on Tuesday evening an

Read More
d the Yuan slumped after Trump Trade Adviser Peter Navarro said he "got no indication" that the U.S. would postpone new tariffs on Chinese goods that are due to take effect on Dec. 15. Navarro’s comments conflicted with reports from the WSJ and Bloomberg that cited people familiar with the trade talks as saying Chinese officials expect President Donald Trump to delay the hike to allow more time for the reaching of an interim deal.



Amid the last minute verbal brinkmanship, China's nationalist tabloid Global Times, tweeted that "The US' brinksmanship in using tariffs as leverage to force #China into giving more ground in #tradetalks will not succeed; Instead, it could prompt a new round of tit-for-tat tariff fights, darkening an already pressured global economy and sparking global stock selloff." However, it failed to impact risk assets.




The White House’s top economic and trade advisers are expected to meet in coming days with Trump over the decision, as the U.S. President now has only days to decide whether to impose tariffs on nearly $160 billion in Chinese goods.



Investors said an initial trade deal was still likely, since it would benefit both Washington and Beijing. “We still believe that the phase-one deal is something that is convenient for both the presidents on the political and economic side,” Alessia Berardi, senior economist at Amundi. “If the tariffs will be implemented it will be a disaster in the short term.”



Amid the uncertainty over trade - the overriding focus for investors through the year - the European Stoxx 600 index fell, then recovered modestly, dragged down by real estate shares, while Asia stocks were mostly higher after White House adviser Peter Navarro said he had no indication that President Donald Trump will do “anything other than have a great deal or put the tariffs on.”



Earlier in the session, Asian stocks advanced, led by utility companies, as investors looked for signals of a possible initial trade deal between China and the U.S. Markets in the region were mixed, with Hong Kong leading gains and Japan retreating. MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific ex-Japan had earlier risen 0.5%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 led gains with 0.7% rises.  The Topix slid for a second day, dragged down by Keyence and Hitachi. The Shanghai Composite Index closed higher for a fifth day of gains, with large banks and insurers among the biggest boosts. China’s top leadership may set the target for economic growth at about 6% for 2020 as they meet this week for their annual policy conclave. India’s Sensex edged up, supported by Housing Development Finance and Kotak Mahindra Bank, as a credit crisis appears to be easing for some borrowers. Indian bonds declined as S&P Global Ratings warned it may lower the nation’s sovereign ratings if economic growth doesn’t recover.



In the Middle East, Saudi Aramco shares surged by a 10% limit above their IPO price in their first day of trading. That gave the extremely illiquid state-controlled oil company a market value of about $1.88 trillion, making it the world’s most valuable listed company.



In addition to trade, investors will be focused on meetings by major central banks starting with the Fed which at its policy meeting later today is widely expected to hold rates steady, with investors watching for changes to its view on the economy and its 2% growth forecast for next year. The Fed’s statement is due at 2pm ET. A surprise when U.S. inflation data are released at 830am would further reduce chances for rate cuts next year.



Then on Thursday, the ECB will hold its first meeting and news conference with Christine Lagarde. “Everything is positioned for the two major central banks to stay accommodative,” Berardi said.



"The markets have become numb to the noise” on trade, Allianz portfolio manager Burns McKinney told Bloomberg TV. "The FOMC meeting, the election in the U.K. and then later this week the December 15 deadline are all factors that I think the markets have generally not priced in any bad news."



The British pound, a high-flier of late, dropped from a seven-month peak after an opinion poll projected a narrower-than-expected victory for the Conservative party in the British election on Thursday. The election is set to decide how the UK will leave the European Union, if at all. The pound fell as low as $1.3107 after a YouGov poll showed the ruling Conservatives heading towards a slimmer majority than was forecast a fortnight ago. YouGov’s research director said the results showed a hung parliament was possible.





Sterling later recovered some of its losses after dropping 1% from its high on Tuesday, when investors were more confident of a Conservative victory that they expect will end uncertainty over Britain’s exit from the EU. It was last trading flat at $1.3151.



Elsewhere, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index edged higher, rising for the first time in three days, ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy decision. The krona rose versus all major peers and reached a seven-month high against the euro after Sweden’s November inflation print beat estimates and all but guaranteed that the Riksbank will make history next week, as policy makers look set to end half a decade of negative interest rates. The euro was last down 0.8% against the crown at 10.454, leaving the Swedish currency at its strongest since late April.



The yuan weakened after Navarro said he “got no indication” that the U.S. would postpone new tariffs on Chinese goods that are due to take effect on Dec. 15. The Chinese currency declined as much as 0.17% in the offshore market on Wednesday and weakened up to 0.10% onshore. Stephen Chiu, Asia FX and rates strategist at Bloomberg Intelligence, expects the impact of trade war developments on the yuan to diminish as investors get used to twists and turns around the negotiations. "Even if there is no delay in tariff increase, I don’t think the yuan will rise too much. It should be capped at 7.1 per dollar."



In commodities, Brent futures fell by 52 cents, or 0.8%, to $63.82 per barrel by late morning, after industry data showed an unexpected build-up in crude inventories in the United States.



Looking at the day ahead, the focus will clearly be on the aforementioned Fed meeting this evening. There is also important data with the November CPI report due out in the US just after lunch, while the November monthly budget statement is also scheduled for tonight. There is no data of note in Europe today. Elsewhere, OPEC is due to issue its monthly oil market report.



Market Snapshot



  • S&P 500 futures down 0.1% to 3,132.75

  • STOXX Europe 600 down 0.2% to 404.38

  • MXAP up 0.3% to 165.50

  • MXAPJ up 0.6% to 527.88

  • Nikkei down 0.08% to 23,391.86

  • Topix down 0.3% to 1,714.95

  • Hang Seng Index up 0.8% to 26,645.43

  • Shanghai Composite up 0.2% to 2,924.42

  • Sensex up 0.2% to 40,321.80

  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.7% to 6,752.64

  • Kospi up 0.4% to 2,105.62

  • German 10Y yield fell 1.4 bps to -0.309%

  • Euro down 0.05% to $1.1086

  • Brent Futures down 0.4% to $64.06/bbl

  • Gold spot up 0.2% to $1,466.61

  • U.S. Dollar Index up 0.09% to 97.50

  • Italian 10Y yield fell 3.2 bps to 0.897%

  • Spanish 10Y yield fell 2.4 bps to 0.437%

Top Overnight News



  • While Jerome Powell is expected to reinforce the signal that policy is on hold at the central bank’s meeting on Wednesday, some of his colleagues may be looking ahead to when they should hike again

  • Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn embark on a whistle- stop tour of key districts, after a hotly anticipated opinion poll showed the Conservative Party’s lead has narrowed ahead of Thursday’s U.K. election. The YouGov survey of more than 100,000 voters suggested Johnson would win a majority of 28 seats, down from 68 estimated two weeks earlier

  • The unprecedented level of calm pervading global currencies is pushing investors to rethink their approach to the FX market. Morgan Stanley Investment Management has pared its foreign-exchange exposure, and Russell Investments Ltd. is focusing on value, and is forsaking major currencies in favor of those from developing economies

  • Those close to EU chiefs privately acknowledge that a strong Johnson victory on Dec. 12 will mean the U.K.’s long-drawn-out departure from the European Union will finally happen, according to more than half a dozen EU officials speaking on condition of anonymity because the issue is delicate

  • The Tories will win 339 of the 650 seats in the House of Commons, Labour 231, the Scottish National Party 41, and the Liberal Democrats 15, according to a YouGov forecast on Tuesday

  • Chinese officials expect President Donald Trump to delay a threatened tariff increase set for Sunday, giving more time to negotiate an interim trade deal. However, late Tuesday, White House Trade Adviser Peter Navarro said he had no evidence that tariffs set to take effect on Dec. 15 won’t take effect

  • Bank of Japan officials see a sizable impact from stimulus measures launched by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last week, raising the likelihood that the central bank will upgrade its economic forecasts for the first time in a year next month, according to people familiar with the matter

  • House Democrats embraced the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement after securing key revisions and announced plans to vote on the deal next week, putting Trump closer to a political win as he heads into the 2020 election

  • New Zealand’s government will increase spending on infrastructure in an effort to boost economic growth, resulting in a budget deficit this year and smaller surpluses thereafter

  • Oil retreated from its highest close in almost three months after an industry report showed American crude inventories expanded last week, adding to concerns over weakening demand

  • House Democrats delivered two tightly crafted articles of impeachment against Trump on Tuesday that urged his removal as president for abusing the power of his office and keeping Congress from exercising its duty as a check on the executive branch

A non-committal tone persisted across Asia-Pac equity markets following conflicting US-China tariff reports and as this week’s risk events drew closer beginning with the FOMC meeting due later today. The latest trade headlines have been varied as initial reports suggested that US and Chinese officials are planning for a delay of December 15th tariffs as they negotiate on agricultural purchases, although President Trump was said to remain undecided and both NEC Director Kudlow and White House Trade Advisor Navarro have leaned back from the notion of a tariff postponement. This has resulted to mixed trade for ASX 200 (+0.7%) and Nikkei 225 (U/C) with Australia lifted by outperformance in the defensive sectors and price action in Tokyo kept to within a tight range as sentiment among large firms deteriorated to a 3-year low, while Hang Seng (+0.7%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.2%) were predominantly indecisive on the differing trade signals, with stronger than expected Chinese financing and lending data doing little to spur upside as participants also contemplated over continued PBoC liquidity inaction and regional growth downgrades from ADB which forecasts growth for the world’s 2nd largest economy to slip below 6% next year. Finally, 10yr JGBs saw a resumption of the recent declines following similar pressure in T-notes, while demand was also subdued by a lack of BoJ buying with the central bank only in the market today for treasury discount bills.



Top Asian News



  • BOJ Is Said to Expect Sizable Impact From Abe’s Economic Package

  • China’s Experimental Cancer Cure Offers Hope and Hidden Dangers

  • Jitters Over China’s Local Defaults Start to Spread Offshore

  • Investors Seen Flocking to TSMC Over Samsung for Reliable Payout

A choppy session for European equities thus far [Eurostoxx 50 -0.2%] following on from a lacklustre APAC session heading into key macro risk events. Broad-based losses are seen across the board, albeit the FTSE 100 (-0.2%) is largely moving in tandem with the Pound ahead of tomorrow’s UK general election and after the latest MRP polling from YouGov. Sectors are mixed with Utilities propped up in part by Germany’s E.ON (+1.6%) and RWE (+0.7%) amid source reports that Germany will allow the companies to keep their existing carbon emissions certificates due to coal unit shutdowns. That said, the sector’s defensive nature could also be providing some support. Meanwhile, the IT sector is underperforms, potentially on trade jitters amid conflicting reports and rhetoric from both the US and China sides. In terms of individual movers – JD Sports Fashion (-8.7%) shares tumbled at the open after its top shareholder cut its stake in the company but retained his position as major shareholder. Credit Suisse (-0.5%) remains modestly pressured after it revised down its 2020 ROTE guidance to around 10% vs. Prev. 10-11%. On the flipside, Tullow Oil (+5.6%) continues to nurse its wounds following its recent 70% slump, whilst Inditex (+2.7%) is buoyed post-earnings, which showed an YY gains in net profit, net sales, EBITDA and gross profits.



Top European News



  • BVB Shares Jump, Ajax Tanks Following Champions League Drama

  • As Just Eat Battle Rages On, Prosus Wins Amsterdam Sideshow

  • Swedish Inflation Data ‘Cements’ Bets That Rate Hike Is Coming

  • Europe Readies World’s Cleanest Revamp of Economy in Green Deal

In FX,  Not quite polar opposites, but contrasting fortunes for the Swedish Krona and Sterling in wake of inflation data and the final pre-UK election poll from YouGov, as the former eclipsed market expectations and matched Riksbank forecasts to effectively seal a repo rate hike next week. However, the MRP survey implies a much tighter result this Thursday than the previous findings, with a projected Tory majority of 28 seats vs 68 seats around the end of November and even that prediction subject to the usual margins of error. In response, Eur/Sek has recoiled sharply to test 10.4500 support vs highs close to 10.5400 and 10.5800+ on Tuesday, while Cable has pulled back from just over 1.3200 to circa 1.3140 after probing bids ahead of 1.3100 and Eur/Gbp bounced through 0.8450 at one stage before fading.



  • AUD/NZD - A similar story down under where the tables have turned somewhat on the back of a reversal in cross flows following the latest NZ Half Year Fiscal update revealing a bigger cash balance shortfall and fresh Nzd12 bn budget allocation for infrastructure. Nzd/Usd has lost momentum after a knee-jerk rally to around 0.6555 and Aud/Nzd rebounded from sub-1.0400 towards 1.0450 to help Aud/Usd maintain 0.6800+ status even though RBC joined the chorus for more RBA easing and QE.

  • JPY/CAD/CHF/EUR - All narrowly mixed against the Greenback as the DXY continues to straddle the 97.500 level in relatively muted/nervy trade awaiting the FOMC, with the Yen meandering between 108.67-84 parameters, Loonie trapped in a 1.3227-39 range and Franc pivoting 0.9850. Elsewhere, the Euro is still looking heavy or toppy into 1.1100 and perhaps conscious that a hefty 1.6 bn option expiries reside from the big figure to 1.1110, not to mention the fact that tomorrow is ECB (and SNB) day.

  • EM - Divergence also a theme in terms of Rand outperformance compared to Lira underperformance, as Usd/Zar pares back from almost 14.8200 in wake of in line/softer than previous SA CPI on less Eskom load-shedding before attention turns to retail sales data, but Usd/Try hovers around 5.8000 due to renewed US-Turkey sanctions and diplomatic tension rather than a slightely narrower than anticipated current account surplus.

In commodities, mixed trade in the commodities complex with WTI and Brent futures retreating from 12-week highs following last night’s weekly API figures – with crude headline printing a surprise build of 1.41mln barrels vs. expected draw of 2.8mln. Further, the internals came in mostly bearish with distillates and gasoline showing higher-than-forecast builds whilst Cushing printed a deeper-than-expected draw. Traders will be waiting for confirmation from the EIA later today. Meanwhile OPEC’s monthly report (to be released at 13:00GMT) may garner some attention given the EIA STEO left its global oil demand forecast unchanged and included a downward revision to their 2020 US oil supply growth forecast. ING is not surprised by the downward revision given the slowdown seen in US rig activity. In terms of a more macro picture, crude markets will be vulnerable to any US-China headlines amid the contradicting reports regarding tariffs due to be implemented this Sunday. Aside from that, the FOMC’s latest monetary policy decision later could provide the complex with some sentiment-driven action. Today also marked the first trading session for Saudi Aramco, whose shares opened at SAR 35.2 vs. and IPO price of SAR 32.0, hitting limit up after rising 10% and surpassing its earlier valuation of USD 1.7tln. Looking at metals, spot gold prices remain supported ahead of the aforementioned events, with the yellow metal surpassing its 21DMA (USD 1465.50/oz) with eyes on yesterday’s high at USD 1469.15/oz. Copper prices continue to rise and have topped 2.75/lb with its 100 DMA residing around 2.8060/lb. Finally, nickel prices came under pressure in early APAC trade after inventories spiked 21% YY, the largest increase since 2008, but despite this the metal reversed course with the only pertinent news being Indonesia doubling royalties for the ore to 10% - making it more expensive for buyers, thus some front-loading effects may have been priced in.



US Event Calendar



  • 7am: MBA Mortgage Applications, prior -9.2%

  • 8:30am: US CPI Ex Food and Energy MoM, est. 0.2%, prior 0.2%; CPI Ex Food and Energy YoY, est. 2.3%, prior 2.3%

  • 8:30am: US CPI MoM, est. 0.2%, prior 0.4%; CPI YoY, est. 2.0%, prior 1.8%;

  • 8:30am: Real Avg Weekly Earnings YoY, prior 0.95%; Real Avg Hourly Earning YoY, prior 1.2%

  • 2pm: FOMC Rate Decision (Upper Bound), est. 1.75%, prior 1.75%

  • 2pm: Monthly Budget Statement, est. $206.2b deficit, prior $100.5b deficit

DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap



Markets are focused on navigating the last couple of weeks of 2019 for now with the next hurdle being the FOMC meeting tonight although in fairness it’s probably hard to get too excited given that the Fed is firmly on hold for now with the recent data helping to underscore that position. Markets have priced that in and the view from our economists is that the meeting statement should largely mirror the communique from the last meeting.



We will also get the latest summary of economic projections although our colleagues also expect only very modest changes, most notably downgrades to the median views on inflation and long-run unemployment. The dot plots should also adjust 25bps lower to account for the rate cut in October and still show an upward drift over time to a neutral level that is somewhat lower. That leaves Powell’s press conference which our team believe will echo recent remarks, which indicate that the Committee sees policy in a good place barring a "material reassessment" to the outlook. In this context, the team expect the Chair's comments to reflect his implicit message from October that, while the bar to cutting rates is high, the bar for hiking is even higher.



A reminder that the meeting outcome will be at 7pm GMT/2pm EST, while prior to that we’re also expecting the November CPI report in the US where the consensus expects a +0.2% mom core reading. Back to markets where the main story yesterday was the WSJ reporting that US and China negotiators are planning for a delay of tariffs due to kick in from this Sunday. In fairness this did appear to be what markets had expected even if there were one or two doubts in recent weeks with the story also suggesting that Chinese and US officials “don’t have a hard deadline”. However to add some confusion to the picture, the White House’s Kudlow said later on that the December 15th tariffs are “still on the table” and overnight Commerce Secretary Ross has said that he has “no indication” that the President will do anything other than “have a great deal or put the tariffs on”.



The mixed messages resulted in a bit of a directionless session for US equities with the S&P 500 ebbing between gains and losses before ultimately finishing -0.11% on lower than average volumes. The NASDAQ and DOW closed -0.07% and -0.10% respectively while the VIX ended just below 16. Prior to this in Europe the STOXX 600 had closed -0.26% albeit off the lows for the session. Bond markets weren’t much more exciting with 10y Treasury yields up +2.3bps and yields in Europe up a similar amount. The exception were BTPs which ended -3.4bps lower.



The picture isn’t a whole lot clearer in Asia this morning. We’ve seen small gains for the Hang Seng (+0.33%) and Kospi (+0.34%) offset by a mixed performance for bourses in China (Shanghai Comp +0.12%), CSI 300 -0.04%) and a small loss for the Nikkei (-0.18%) We should note that after we went to print yesterday November credit data in China was broadly better than expected which combined with the recent bounce in PMIs should be supportive for the growth narrative.



Also out last night was the last YouGov MRP survey with the results showing the Conservatives to win 339 seats and therefore giving a majority of 28 seats, versus 231 for Labour. The previous iteration of the poll showed the Conservatives with a lead of 68 seats so the forecasted lead has been cut in half which makes things a little more interesting ahead of the vote tomorrow. Sterling dropped as much as -0.81% after the poll was released although has recovered slightly as we go to print to trade at $1.314.



The other news yesterday was mostly political. As expected the US, Canada and Mexico all agreed to sign the USMCA with House Ways and Means Panel Chairman Neal saying that it is likely that the pact will be voted on next week. Meanwhile in the US the Democrats announced two articles of impeachment against President Trump on abuse of power and obstruction. Both of those developments caused barely a ripple in markets.



As far as the data was concerned yesterday, the highlight in Europe was an improving ZEW survey in Germany. Indeed the December current situation component improved 4.8pts to -19.9 which bettered expectations for -22.0. That matches the September level while the expectations component improved a more notable 12.8pts to +10.7 (vs. +0.3 expected) which puts it back at the highest level since February 2018.



The hard data was a bit more mixed though with October industrial production surprising to the upside in France (+0.4% mom vs. +0.2% expected) but to the downside in Italy (-0.3% mom vs. -0.2% expected). In the UK the data also disappointed (+0.1% mom vs. +0.2% expected) while the October monthly GDP print of 0.0% was also weaker than expected (+0.1% mom expected). Adding to the pain for the UK was the much wider than expected trade deficit, albeit likely impacted by stockpiling.



Finally in the US the final Q3 readings for nonfarm productivity and unit labour costs were both revised down, to -0.2% qoq (from -0.1%) and +2.5% qoq (from +3.4%) respectively. The latter had been sending a firmer inflation message ahead so the downward revision falls closer in line with more muted inflation indicators from other leading indicators.



Finally to the day ahead, where the focus will clearly be on the aforementioned Fed meeting this evening. There is also important data with the November CPI report due out in the US just after lunch, while the November monthly budget statement is also scheduled for tonight. There is no data of note in Europe today. Elsewhere, OPEC is due to issue its monthly oil market report.




Tyler Durden

Wed, 12/11/2019 - 08:00


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Fake News By Omission - The Mass Media's Cowardly Distortion Tool

zerohedge News fake news omission mass medias cowardly distortion tool All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
Fake News By Omission - The Mass Media's Cowardly Distortion Tool

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,



Western mass media have continued their conspiracy of silence on the OPCW scandal, making no significant mention yet this month of the leaks which have been emerging from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons indicating that the US, France and UK bombed Syria last year in retaliation for a c

Read More
hemical weapons attack which probably never occurred, and that OPCW leadership helped cover it up.





If you haven’t been following the still-unfolding OPCW scandal, you can catch up quickly by watching this seven-minute video.




Mass media’s silence on this hugely important story is noteworthy not just because it has far-reaching consequences for the future of the Syrian regime change agenda and for public trust in US-led war narratives, not just because the leaks have already been independently authenticated by the mainstream press, and not just because scandalous revelations about powerful entities are normally the sort of incendiary click fodder that makes a mainstream news editor hasten behind his desk to hide his arousal. It is also noteworthy because we’re being told by people in the know that even more leaks are coming.




“Much more to come about the censoring of the facts on Douma at the Poison Gas Watchdog OPCW,” tweeted journalist Peter Hitchens earlier today.



“It really is time that the Grand Unpopular Press and the BBC, realised this is a major story. Are they too proud to admit they might have been wrong?”




Hitchens, who was among the very first to publish the leaked internal OPCW email last month revealing multiple glaring plot holes in the official narrative about the alleged chlorine gas attack in Douma, Syria, has been saying this for a while now.




“More is known by the whistleblowers of the OPCW than has yet been released, but verification procedures have slowed down its release,” Hitchens wrote in his blog last week.



“More documents will, I expect, shortly come to light.”




So this is still an unfolding story that is only going to get more scandalous in the coming days. Yet rather than reporting on an important news story (which it may surprise you to learn is actually supposed to be the literal job description of the news media), the mainstream press has been silent. The only times the mass media have commented on this major story has been to spin it as Russian disinformation, and Tucker Carlson’s segment on it last week which was also falsely spun as disinfo by establishment narrative managers like David Brock’s Media Matters for America.



The blog Left I on the News uses the term “fake news by omission” to describe this obnoxious yet ubiquitous propaganda tactic, where imperial media outlets deliberately distort people’s understanding of what’s going on in the world by simply declining to cover news stories which are inconvenient to the establishment narrative.



Refusing to tell people about things that did happen distorts their worldview just as much as telling them things that did not happen, yet mass media will never be held accountable for engaging in the former, while engaging in the latter forces them to print embarrassing retractions and lose credibility with the public. For this reason, fake news by omission is their preferred tactic of deceit.



People sometimes think of the mainstream media as always straight-up lying all the time, just fabricating stories whole cloth about what’s going on, but that isn’t generally how it works. A good liar doesn’t lie all the time, and they don’t even tell full lies unless absolutely necessary. What they do is far more cowardly and far more effective: they spin, they distort, they tell half-truths, they emphasise insignificant details and marginalize significant ones, they uncritically report what government officials are telling them, and they lie by omission.



However, the total disappearance of the OPCW leaks is unusual for the legacy media. The imperial press have had their ways of hiding inconvenient stories since newspapers began. Running stories late on a Friday, running them on the “graveyard page” of page 2 (so-called because stories go there to die), holding on to them until another big story breaks so they can be published relatively unnoticed, waiting for them to be broken in a disreputable publication so people will be skeptical of it (sometimes known as “fixing” a story), or running an oppositional op-ed at the same time to spin the uncomfortable facts in a more salubrious way. But in the end, they normally run the story, in one way or another, so they can be seen not to be censoring.



Not this time though. The exceptional silence on the OPCW scandal from imperial news media discredits them completely, but people won’t know about it unless they are told. Spread the word.



*  *  *



Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, checking out my podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following me on Steemit, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.



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Tyler Durden

Fri, 12/06/2019 - 21:45
236
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3 Common Mistakes That Can Wipe Out Your Online Course's Profits

logicfish Business News All https://theimnews.me   Discuss    Share
Don't panic. We'll also show you how to fix them.<div class="feedflare"><br /> <br /></div>
245
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Newsweek Reporter Fired After Peddling Fake News That Trump Golfed On Thanksgiving

zerohedge News newsweek reporter fired after peddling fake news that trump golfed thanksgiving All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
Newsweek Reporter Fired After Peddling Fake News That Trump Golfed On Thanksgiving

Newsweek has fired a reporter who penned a snarky, misleading article suggesting that President Trump spent Thanksgiving 'tweeting and golfing,' when he actually flew to Afghanistan for a surprise visit with US troops.





The fired journo, Jessica Kwong, wrote in an article entitled "How is Trump Spending Thanksgiving? Tweeting, Golfing and More,"

Read More
that the president "has been spending his Thanksgiving holidays at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida."





The golfing claim comes later in the article, as Kwong notes that Trump played golf on Thanksgiving Eve "from mid-morning to mid-afternoon." The headline, of course, suggests Trump golfed on Thanksgiving.



After Trump popped up in Afghanistan, Kwong and Newsweek took heat over Twitter for refusing to edit the article or delete the viral tweet promoting the lie.





This caught the attention of the Trump family, who promptly called out the beleaguered news outlet:




Eventually, Kwong caved by deleting her tweet, and Newsweek edited the article - at first with no mention of the edit, and then an editors note only after virtually the entire piece had been rewritten.



"This story has been substantially updated and edited at 6:17 pm EST to reflect the president's surprise trip to Afghanistan. Additional reporting by James Crowley," reads the update.



"Newsweek investigated the failures that led to the publication of the inaccurate report that President Trump spent Thanksgiving tweeting and golfing rather than visiting troops in Afghanistan," a Newsweek spokesperson told The New York Post in an email. "The story has been corrected and the journalist responsible has been terminated. We will continue to review our processes and, if required, take further action."



After Trump tweeted "I thought Newsweek was out of business?," The Wrap reminds us that "The former owners of the publication and a faith-based online media company were accused of attempting to defraud lenders in an indictment filed in October 2018," adding "High-ranking editorial staffers have been leaving the publication and three senior editorial staffers were fired in retaliation for a story about a legal investigation into the company in February 2018."



Not quite out of business, but certainly not in a position to afford further reputational risk from obvious fake news.




Tyler Durden

Sat, 11/30/2019 - 16:00


Tags

Business Finance

204
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Yes, AI Can Make Company Websites Accessible to All

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Three takeaways from sitting down with accessiBe CEO Shir Ekerling.<div class="feedflare"><br /> <br /></div>
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Bloomberg News Announces It Will Not Investigate Mike Bloomberg, Or Any Of His Democratic Rivals

zerohedge News bloomberg news announces will investigate mike democratic rivals All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
Bloomberg News Announces It Will Not Investigate Mike Bloomberg, Or Any Of His Democratic Rivals

What happens when a billionaire finance and media mogul announces he is running for president? How does his media empire avoid running into countless conflicts of interest? Well, in the case of Bloomberg News, which is the sole domain of Michael Bloomberg who officially entered the 2020 presidential race on Sunday morning, the company's editor-in-chief just announced

Read More
that it will extend its long-running policy of not doing any investigative reporting on its owner to all of his Democratic competitors who are also running for president.



Or, as Bloomberg editor-in-chief John Micklethwait put it, "We cannot treat Mike's Democratic competitors differently from him."



And that's why handing America's free media into the hands of a handful of organizations and a few billionaires is generally a bad idea, because sooner or later one or all of them decide that the world will be better if they run it, and the conflicts of interest explode, which means far less coverage of precisely those who need the most investigation at precisely the most important time - just when they are about to be elected president.



To be sure, members of the press were stunned by this development, including Bloomberg competitors such as Reuters...




... as well as Daily Mail's David Martosko.




But it was Bernie Sanders' speechwriter David Sirota who may have put it best:




On the other hand, while Bloomberg News will no longer cover any of the potential Democratic presidents, period, its "P&I team will continue to investigate the Trump administration, as the government of the day", albeit with the running disclaimer that its boss sees himself as Trump's biggest challenger. Good luck with objective reporting there.



What happens in the odd chance that Mike Bloomberg does win the nomination, at which point the billionaire will effectively have a massive "objective" newsroom as a PR weapon? According to Bloomberg News, it is still determining if and how it will continue to investigate the Trump administration if Bloomberg were to win the Democratic nomination and run against Trump in the general election. Until then, however, Bloomberg will clearly continue to focus on the president who for better or worse, remains the biggest traffic draw not only for Bloomberg but for every other media outlet out there.



All this was revealed in a memo to Bloomberg employees sent on Sunday morning after Bloomberg officially announced his candidacy, in which editor-in-chief John Micklethwait said also that:



  • Going forward, the company will disclose that Bloomberg owns the company in all of its stories about the election.

  • If other outlets publish stories about Bloomberg, Bloomberg Media would "either publish those articles in full, or summarize them for our readers - and we will not hide them."

  • He noted that the company is following the same policy that it has applied to its coverage of corporate rivals CNBC and Reuters. Bloomberg doesn't investigate those companies, but it does report on the news of the day if it involves them.

  • He said that Bloomberg News has already assigned a reporter to follow Bloomberg's presidential campaign, just as the company did when Bloomberg was running for New York City mayor.

  • Bloomberg News would suspend its editorial board and that David Shipley, Tim O'Brien and other editorial board members will take a leave of absence to join Bloomberg's presidential campaign. Opinion columnists will continue to produce pieces, but editorial board bylines will cease.

The full memo is below:




So Mike is running.



There is no point in trying to claim that covering this presidential campaign will be easy for a newsroom that has built up its reputation for independence in part by not writing about ourselves (and very rarely about our direct competitors). No previous presidential candidate has owned a journalistic organization of this size. We have electoral laws to follow - to do with both balance and opinion. We will certainly obey them, but I think we need to do more than just that - and I believe we can. So this is how we will proceed.



We are not going to follow an exhaustive rulebook. That is partly because I believe that in journalism you “show” your virtue, you don’t “tell” it. You prove your independence by what you write and broadcast, rather than by proclaiming the details in advance. And I am loath to tie our hands at this stage. We cannot predict every detail of the future: we will have to make some decisions on a case-by-case basis. But we can follow some basic principles, and we will make a few organizational changes.



The place where Mike has had the most contact with Editorial is Bloomberg Opinion: our editorials have reflected his views. David Shipley, Tim O'Brien and some members of the Board responsible for those editorials will take a leave of absence to join Mike's campaign. We will suspend the Board, so there will be no unsigned editorials. Our columnists, who produce the majority of Bloomberg Opinion's content, will continue to speak for themselves, and we will continue to take some op-ed articles from outsiders (although not op-eds on the election). Bloomberg Opinion will be led by Bob Burgess, with Reto being the main overseer on the Editorial Management Committee.



On News, we will write about virtually all aspects of this presidential contest in much the same way as we have done so far. We will describe who is winning and who is losing. We will look at policies and their consequences. We will carry polls, we will interview candidates and we will track their campaigns, including Mike’s. We have already assigned a reporter to follow his campaign (just as we did when Mike was in City Hall). And in the stories we write on the presidential contest, we will make clear that our owner is now a candidate.



That covers the vast majority of what this newsroom does. We will continue our tradition of not investigating Mike (and his family and foundation) and we will extend the same policy to his rivals in the Democratic primaries. We cannot treat Mike's Democratic competitors differently from him. If other credible journalistic institutions publish investigative work on Mike or the other Democratic candidates, we will either publish those articles in full, or summarize them for our readers - and we will not hide them. For the moment, our P&I team will continue to investigate the Trump administration, as the government of the day. If Mike is chosen as the Democratic presidential candidate (and Donald Trump emerges as the Republican one), we will reassess how we do that.



To those who would rather that we did not write about Mike at all, I would reply that Bloomberg News has handled these conflicts before - and proved our independence. We are following the same policy that we have applied to Bloomberg LP and our direct rivals in the financial markets and media: we report on but do not investigate Reuters and CNBC. When Mike ran for mayor, we reported on the facts of his campaign and summarized other articles.



So those are the principles that we will follow. They are broad - and so there will be decisions to be made at the margin. That is what editors are for. And that leads to an organizational change, designed to add even more managerial clout.



Our news coverage of the 2020 race will be run on a day-to-day basis by Wes Kosova, Craig Gordon and our team in Washington, DC. If questions arise, we have Laura Zelenko’s Standards team to call on. But I have asked Marty Schenker, our Chief Content Officer who works alongside Reto and myself on the Editorial Management Committee, to take special responsibility for overseeing our news coverage of Mike and his rivals (and the questions that may occur about this election all the way round the world), in the same way that Reto will oversee Opinion. We may well have to make quick decisions across many platforms. Marty has covered every election since Watergate; we need his experience and judgment, even if responsibility for any mistakes we make ultimately rests with me.



Given the workload this will involve, I have asked Heather Harris to take on Marty’s responsibilities as Chief Content Officer for EMEA and APAC – and she will join Reto, Marty and me on our management committee.



I think this is a structure that can cope with many eventualities. No doubt, many of you are already thinking of possible complexities that may arise. My response is: let’s get back to work. We can spend a long time debating “what ifs”. I would rather that we got on with the journalism and let that speak for itself. So write, blog, broadcast - and the rest will take care of itself.



— John





Tyler Durden

Sun, 11/24/2019 - 12:52


Tags

Politics

184
84 Views

Bad news: 'Unblockable' web trackers emerge. Good news: Firefox with uBlock Origin can stop it. Chrome, not so much

logicfish Security news unblockable trackers emerge good firefox with ublock origin stop chrome much All https://go.theregister.co.uk   Discuss    Share
Ad-tech arms race continues: DNS system exploited to silently follow folks around the web

Developers working on open-source ad-blocker uBlock Origin have uncovered a mechanism for tracking web browsers around the internet that defies today's blocking techniques.…

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Top Fintech Trends Entrepreneurs Must Watch in 2020

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Whether it's online trading or crypto conversions, the future of finance is fluid.<div class="feedflare"><br /> <br /></div>
187
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3 ways an attacker may compromise a phone without the victims knowledge

logicfish Security News All https://latesthackingnews.com   Discuss    Share

We carry our mobile phones everywhere with us. These devices store our personal information. If this data falls into the



3 ways an attacker may compromise a phone without the victims knowledge on Latest Hacking News.

244
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Voters "Numb And Disoriented" From Constant Political Drama And Fake News: NYT

zerohedge News voters numb disoriented from constant political drama fake news All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share

Voters "Numb And Disoriented" From Constant Political Drama And Fake News: NYT



 



 



After three years of fake news, fake polls and fake outrage, Americans trying to keep up with the constant barrage of political drama are 'numb and disoriented,' and people are tuning out according to the New York Times.



 



 



 



 



 

 




 



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