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US imposes sanctions on five individuals it says are linked to alQaeda
Today's Headlines
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1 20:33 Skidmark [83] 
2 18:08 ed in texas [109] 
17 22:32 trailing wife [257] 
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3 22:40 DarthVader [150] 
6 16:17 ed in texas [330] 
1 17:29 Bobby [134] 
2 08:39 M. Murcek [127] 
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10 13:40 M. Murcek [188] 
41 14:44 M. Murcek [389] 
1 01:30 g(r)omgoru [113] 
2 01:56 Vortigern de Medici9432 [139] 
5 19:36 SteveS [211] 
Page 1: WoT Operations
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Page 4: Opinion
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7 19:34 George Hatfield4272 [265]
2 10:05 ed in texas [130]
Page 6: Politix
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-Lurid Crime Tales-
Solicitor reveals man shot in officer-involved shooting used trooper's Taser; family calls for justice
HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) — The 15th Circuit solicitor held a news conference Thursday afternoon on the deadly trooper-involved shooting that happened over the weekend in the Longs area.

The news conference came hours after meeting with the family of 33-year-old Tristan Vereen who authorities said was shot and killed on Saturday by Master Trooper WB Benton.

During the meeting, the family was shown part of the surveillance video from the yard where the shooting happened, but it didn’t have sound. They said they appreciated seeing the video, but said the angle it was filmed from made it hard to see what happened.

The family held a press conference earlier on Thursday and said they would like to see the rest of the video and they believe that the trooper needs to be held responsible. They added that they believe their loved one was murdered.

"I looked at that video, I saw my son running away, and they pushed him down. He was trying to get away, and they won’t even let him get away. And I say to myself, ’Why did he have to die?’ said Vereen’s father, Nathan Livingston.
Because he's a dumbass who tasered and fought a cop?
The State Law Enforcement Division is the lead agency in the investigation of the deadly shooting.

SLED said Vereen was stopped by Benton on Saturday for an equipment violation. The family said it was a cracked windshield.

“My brother Tristan should not have to die because he had a cracked windshield. A cracked windshield. He’s dead. He’s gone. We’ll never see him again. His kids will grow up without him. All because he had a cracked windshield. There’s no justice in that,” said Vereen’s sister, Miriam.
no, he's dead because he didn't sit and wait for a fix-it ticket, but fled and fought a cop.
Investigators said Vereen drove away and there was a short chase before he crashed his car and took off running.

SLED said when the trooper tried to arrest Vereen there was a struggle and that’s when Benton fatally shot him.

Richardson said there has been some misinformation circulating and his office wanted to show Vereen’s family the video of the incident. He acknowledged that the family still believes that Benton murdered Vereen.

Fifteenth Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said it’s hard to see everything that happened from the surveillance video because it took place behind a vehicle. But he said Benton used a Taser on Vereen and then put the Taser down. Richardson went on to state that Vereen bit the trooper in the neck during an altercation and then picked up the Taser and used it on the trooper’s neck. That’s when the solicitor said Benton fired his weapon.

“He was in fact armed when he was shot,” said Richardson.

Richardson confirmed that Vereen was shot once in the chest.

Authorities said that Benton suffered injuries during the struggle with Vereen and had to be taken to the hospital. Benton did have to undergo surgery due to the injuries, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol. The solicitor’s office released pictures showing the trooper’s injuries.
Posted by: Besoeker || 09/17/2021 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [185 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ...BOTTOM LINE: Mr. Vereen chose...poorly. Had he just even little-c cooperated, he'd be alive and protesting his innocence. Instead, he is Oz and Blackadder Dead and his family is left protesting what a kind, decent person he was.

Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 09/17/2021 6:07 Comments || Top||

#2  Guilt or innocence are of no consequence. The Geo Floyd response produces media coverage, statuary, and dividends.
Posted by: Besoeker || 09/17/2021 6:13 Comments || Top||



Given his violent history Biting, Use Firearm use during criminal activities, Illegal drug use (eg. Weed laced with PCP), shooting neighborhood animals, and attacks on others. PLUS this "Bath Salts" like attack on a police officer.

ALSO when stop for traffic issues, he declared: “I’m not going back to jail”
The guy clearly drew a line in the sand.

Then forcefully resisted arrest.
When tasering fail to subdue him, he fought with the police officer.
He took the taser from the officer and tasered the LEO at least 5 times.
Now armed and still fighting with police. He went for the Officers neck like a Zombie.

This ain't a Black/LEO issues. This was a clearly crazy dangerous person willing to do anything to avoid capture.

Hell given everything I'd shot him sooner.


1. Nov. 7, 2019 HORRY COUNTY, S.C.
A woman found him naked in her bed with a machete just hours after he bit off a piece of another woman’s ear during an assault. Tristan Marcelus Vereen,, was charged with first-degree burglary and second-degree assault and battery. The woman said she was at Vereen’s house and saw him smokinga “wet joint” .

note: “Wet” marijuana cigarettes cigarettes that have been treated with PCP (phencyclidine) is a powerful hallucinogen or laced with additional illegal substances.

Pointing firearms and presenting firearms at a person,
Malicious injury to animals,
Personal property theft,
Personal Injury to a person

Posted by: NN2N1 || 09/17/2021 6:51 Comments || Top||

#4  Given the current legal climate not to mention his own criminal history juxtaposed against his freedom this absolutely isn't a black/police issue. It's an issue of somebody too stupid to survive, an idiot given a couple of dozen 2nd chances who when confronted with yet another was 'jes doin' what he had to do'.
Posted by: Cesare || 09/17/2021 8:22 Comments || Top||

#5  Assuming you could get a grant, it would make a good dissertation to study whether the propensity of blacks to panic in police situations is innate or learned behavior. And yes, it's a rayciss proposition either way.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 8:36 Comments || Top||

#6  We really don't see lots of similar stories about Hispanics or Asians. Story in that somewhere
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 8:37 Comments || Top||

#7  perhaps Hispanics have fewer outstanding warrants and Asians even less?
Posted by: Frank G || 09/17/2021 9:07 Comments || Top||

#8  Vereen’s father, Nathan Livingston

Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 09/17/2021 9:08 Comments || Top||

#9  The family is hoping for a George Floyd payout if you ask me.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 09/17/2021 9:09 Comments || Top||

#10  Um, old joke here in America: What's the most confusing day of the year in Harlem? Father's Day.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 9:09 Comments || Top||

-Great Cultural Revolution
Deaf woman breaks down in tears after being 'REFUSED service at Dunkin' because server wouldn't remove her mask so she could lipread'
[Daily Mail, where America gets its news]
  • Shannon Heroux, 32, from California, shared her story on her @shannon_heroux TikTok account, where her videos about the alleged incident have gone viral

  • She explained in her first clip she was refused service at a Dunkin' location in Encino after she told an employee that she was deaf and needed to lip read

  • Instead of pulling her mask down, she said the employee got her manager

  • According to Shannon, she could tell he was 'going off,' but she couldn't understand what he was saying because he also refused to pull down his mask

  • The TikToker noted that she had her mask on and was socially distanced, saying she has been discriminated against the entire pandemic because she is deaf

  • Shannon demanded an apology from Dunkin', and later shared in a follow-up video that she was in contact with the franchise's corporate office
Posted by: Skidmark || 09/17/2021 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [389 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Nobody had a pencil and a napkin?
Posted by: SteveS || 09/17/2021 0:05 Comments || Top||

#2  ^ Did you just assume her literacy? [hungry deaf woman cries at corner table for half an hour while she her government-assigned signer draws flipbook]
Posted by: Vortigern de Medici9432 || 09/17/2021 1:49 Comments || Top||

While I feel bad for her, there were simple alternatives:

Pen and Paper
point to menu thumb up or down
Point to the item.

Having traveled in several countries I knew not a word, I could gesture enough to order coffee
and a few basic food items. Sure a few waitress giggled, but I ate.
Posted by: NN2N1 || 09/17/2021 6:59 Comments || Top||

#4  Simple things push some people over the edge.
Posted by: Skidmark || 09/17/2021 7:47 Comments || Top||

#5  Remove COVID hysteria from the scenario and you basically have a business refusing to accommodate a handicaped person. Didn't the pass some big laws with punitive teeth about stuff like that? The ADA?
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 7:56 Comments || Top||

#6  Now I'm a little annoyed as it's clear nobody read the article.

She can talk. They refused to write anything. She was able to speak to them but they refused any method of commication that meant She could upstanding them.

In all likelihood, they were illiterate.
Posted by: Silentbrick || 09/17/2021 8:22 Comments || Top||

#7  In all likelihood, they were illiterate.

Nobody, nowadays (with whatsapp, etc) is illiterate.

Typical (modern day) West_civ story: people with disabilities (physical or psychological) expect the rest of the world to bend over backwards for their convenience, rather than the vice versa.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 09/17/2021 8:33 Comments || Top||

#8  Shannon explained that she has a cochlear implant, an electronic device that electrically stimulates the nerve for hearing, but was not wearing it at that time....'I'm an Uber driver, so I got a ride and I was like, "Hey, I have to order my drink. I have to go,"' she recalled.

Uh huh. While driving for Uber, she doesn't have her device that let's her f*&king hear in?? Ima call bullshit and a gofundme whore, insensitive d*ck that I am
Posted by: Frank G || 09/17/2021 8:53 Comments || Top||

#9  Nobody, nowadays (with whatsapp, etc) is illiterate.

Based on my last two calls to the IRS (I got ghetto girls both times), I disagree.
Posted by: Raj || 09/17/2021 9:23 Comments || Top||

#10  Nobody, nowadays (with whatsapp, etc) is illiterate.

I was in line at an automated check out counter behind a nice scrawny white couple with an EBT card. When they missed what the recorded voice said, they were at sea, couldn't read "Press Here to Hear Message Again." I helped them get checked out.

It's easier than ever to get out of an American public school that "spends $12,000 / year" on students (read that spends it on staff and physical plant) with no idea how to read or do basic math.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 9:30 Comments || Top||

#11  Ima call bullshit and a gofundme whore, insensitive d*ck that I am

That doesn't mean you are wrong.
Posted by: SteveS || 09/17/2021 10:11 Comments || Top||

#12  I'm going with Frank G on this, to much of this gofundme bullshit, and everyone wants to be a victm these days.
Posted by: Chris || 09/17/2021 10:40 Comments || Top||

#13  GoFundMe is electronic panhandling.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 10:53 Comments || Top||

#14  Yeah, smells like shite. Doesn't have crazy face at all eh?

Nobody, nowadays (with whatsapp, etc) is illiterate.

You are absolutely fucking kidding me right?
Posted by: swksvolFF || 09/17/2021 11:03 Comments || Top||

#15  Like the motorcyclist riding between traffic lanes, this sort just ruins it for everybody else.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 11:08 Comments || Top||

#16  No. I see 5 years old texting on a bus.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 09/17/2021 11:11 Comments || Top||

#17  #16 for #14
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 09/17/2021 11:13 Comments || Top||

#18  People who are not texting on the bus are invisible. Got it?
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 11:15 Comments || Top||

#19  Texting and spelling are not the same thing.

Posted by: swksvolFF || 09/17/2021 11:16 Comments || Top||

#20  Some broad was going to write an entire novel as texts. The "right people" wet themselves immediately.

It never got finished.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 11:18 Comments || Top||

#21  Adults attached to their dumb phones can't even play Scrabble or Wheel of Fortune without auto-help anymore.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 09/17/2021 11:20 Comments || Top||

#22  Maybe this comment gets dumped, but I become dyspeptic over people who look at picture books lecturing me about literacy.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 11:20 Comments || Top||

#23  While on vacation a few years back and waiting at the deli with my freshly sliced meat and cheese order in my head while waiting in the long queue. I realized the deli workers were all from Eastern Europe struggling to understand customer orders. I typed the order on my phone and when my turn was up I merely set the phone on the counter. They were happy as heck and quickly filled my order.
Posted by: Airandee || 09/17/2021 11:27 Comments || Top||

#24  The Universal Translator. A Star Trek and other Sci-Fi staple.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 11:29 Comments || Top||

Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 11:32 Comments || Top||

#26  ^Gaijin.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 09/17/2021 11:35 Comments || Top||

#27  #26 for #22
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 09/17/2021 11:36 Comments || Top||

#28  Outsider. That's me.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 11:40 Comments || Top||

#29  Gaijin doesn't mean outsider, it means uncultured barbarian.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 09/17/2021 11:44 Comments || Top||

#30  I rarely re-read even books I really love because I feel I'm cheating myself, as I only have time to read so many books. If I ever get a terminal diagnosis measured in weeks or months, I do have a set of books I'll try to re-read.

I guarantee you Gravity's Rainbow and Infinite Jest could not be done as picture books.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 11:46 Comments || Top||

#31  He cherry-picked the definition that suited him. How sweet.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 11:48 Comments || Top||

#32  It’s California. So everyone is more rigid than they need to be.

She’s 32, a TikToker. and an Uber driver. She must be able to read and write in order to read her passenger info; most assuredly she can communicate by text because that’s how Uber drivers communicate. And she has a cause: getting the rules changed so that others will remove their masks so she, and others like her, can lip read — a group that includes only about half the deaf population.

She’s white, so isn’t encountering anti-black prejudice, but among both blacks and Hispanics there is also anti-white prejudice — are the workers and managers in Encino likely to be either black or Hispanic and willing to cause easy problems for a white woman? Not that they were necessarily trying to cause problems — California rules on masking are even probably stricter now that Governor Newsom won his recall, and by definition she has no idea what, if anything, the staff were saying to her while she had her meltdown.
Posted by: trailing wife || 09/17/2021 11:53 Comments || Top||

#33  ^ She has people encouraging her to do this. It's sad that a) people are willing to use a disabled person. b) it's sad she's allowing herself to be used.

Maybe the sorts of platforms that make such a thing possible need to be reigned in?
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 11:56 Comments || Top||

#34  The general rule is to not trust a self-described tiktoker, especially if you agree with them.

They are more insufferable than the foodie review people.

tiktoker...I think the spelling is appropriate. What used to be called attention whores are going to attention whore, whether it was the roller rink or dumb phone.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 09/17/2021 12:02 Comments || Top||

#35  I have a friend who sends me tiktok links all the time. I don't watch most of them. I would have to admit that some I have watched were pretty good. Still, I go with Vir Kotto's dictum: "Some bargains come at too high a price."
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 12:04 Comments || Top||

#36  Vir and Morden
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 12:06 Comments || Top||

#37  Gaijin doesn't mean outsider, it means uncultured barbarian.

Every word for outsider means uncultured barbarian at bottom. As I recall, the word barbarian derives from the Greek idea that foreigners speaking their own language were not speaking a proper language at all, just making mouth sounds like bar-bar-bar.

Given the level of unthinking prejudice the insular Japanese have against outsiders, their disapprobation ought to be a mark for the outsiders rather than against them. Trailing daughter #2 came back from a 9-month internship in Tokyo vowing never, ever to live in Japan again, even though she was offered a job by the company, was watched over like a little sister by the instructors of the Tokyo police Kendo club as they trained her for the equivalent of a black belt, made dear friends, and had all sorts of adventures.
Posted by: trailing wife || 09/17/2021 12:06 Comments || Top||

#38  ^ Thank you TW for explaining that pretty much every word in the dictionary has several numbered (ow) definitions. Some so wildly different from the others that only a "literate' person might appreciate the beauty of the written and spoken word. We could deep dive into the whole issue of translation. And then the verbal nuances that even written text can't capture.

But that's all for an uncultured barbarian subset of the human race, eh?
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 12:12 Comments || Top||

#39  Maybe I'll print "My Dictionary Is A Picture Book" bumper stickers. They will sell to the exact opposite crowd that buys the "Eschew Obfuscation" bumper stickers.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 12:26 Comments || Top||

#40  And, I might add, I try to be a cultured barbarian, my own self...
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 12:51 Comments || Top||

#41  On the 365 Day Murphy's Law Calendar, there's a page that says "In any piece of technical writing, if you come upon a word you don't know, just read on, the article will come out the same regardless."

In retrospect, I see a huge insight there..,.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 14:44 Comments || Top||

-Short Attention Span Theater-
First Vegas bet from space with citizen astronauts on St Jude mission.
Posted by: 3dc || 09/17/2021 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [127 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Bet they have a safe landing?
Posted by: Skidmark || 09/17/2021 8:37 Comments || Top||

#2  Bringing a whole new angle to the term high-roller.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 8:39 Comments || Top||

-Signs, Portents, and the Weather-
Presyncope - Or is it just me ?
[Med News Today] "This syncope, which is fainting, and presyncope, which is lightheadedness or dizziness, it’s quite common, and it’s more common in adolescents. I would expect to see more reports or hear more anecdotal reports of this happening as we move to vaccinate adolescents just because it’s more common in this age group than it is in older individuals.

— Dr. Tom Shimabukuro
Posted by: Besoeker || 09/17/2021 06:26 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [156 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It may just be you, cause it's summer.

"Dehydration also can occur in any age group if you don't drink enough water during hot weather — especially if you are exercising vigorously."
Posted by: Skidmark || 09/17/2021 7:01 Comments || Top||

Video about 20,000 year high CO2 release 55 million years ago.
Posted by: 3dc || 09/17/2021 05:58 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [150 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Very interesting. Seems volcanoes have a lot to do with regulating the earth's climate. Ironic, eh?
Posted by: Bobby || 09/17/2021 17:22 Comments || Top||

#2  Is the left going to come up with dinosaur farts as the explanation for this (sarc)?
Posted by: JohnQC || 09/17/2021 17:28 Comments || Top||

#3  Dinosaurs were dead by that point. It is those stupid mammal mega fauna and their SUVs that are to blame!!!
Posted by: DarthVader || 09/17/2021 22:40 Comments || Top||

-Land of the Free
Biden's FAA places temporary ban on drones flying over bridge packed with illegal immigrants
[FOX] The Federal Aviation Administration has placed a two-week flight restriction along a bridge at the southern border inundated with thousands of illegal immigrants, which prevents reporters from flying drones to document the crisis.

"We’ve learned that the FAA just implemented a two week TFR (Temporary Flight Restrictions) over the international bridge in Del Rio, TX, meaning we can no longer fly our FOX drone over it to show images of the thousands of migrants. FAA says ’special security reason,’" Fox News reporter Bill Melugin tweeted Thursday evening.

Melugin added that Fox News has been using drones for months and there has never been an issue.

"We have reached out to the FAA to ask for clarification on why this TFR was implemented," Melugin tweeted. "We haven’t heard back yet. Will update if/when we do."

"The Border Patrol requested the temporary flight restriction due to drones interfering with law enforcement flights on the border," the FAA said in a statement Thursday evening. "As with any temporary flight restriction, media is able to call the FAA to make requests to operate in the area."

Over 8,000 migrants are currently waiting underneath the International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas, waiting to be apprehended and processed after crossing into the United States illegally. Sources tell Fox News that the situation is "out of control" and that the border patrol is overwhelmed.
Posted by: Besoeker || 09/17/2021 05:37 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [330 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Toady Washington general Timed Out. Here is the real American betrayal.
Posted by: Besoeker || 09/17/2021 5:52 Comments || Top||

#2  Dear FOX, find a public parking spot or friendly shopkeeper and park a bucket truck or genie-lift there. Gets above the ground clutter and will not ‘interfere’ with real or imaginary border patrol flights.
Posted by: USN, Ret. || 09/17/2021 9:01 Comments || Top||

#3  Over 8,000 migrants are currently waiting underneath the International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas

I do not think the FAA has any authority over the Mexican side of the border.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 09/17/2021 13:17 Comments || Top||

#4  So FOX just borrowed a JetRanger from their Houston station and went right back to filming. 'Cause helicopters can fly a long way if you can refuel them along the way.
Posted by: ed in texas || 09/17/2021 15:14 Comments || Top||

#5  But I bet Homeland has Stingers...
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 15:17 Comments || Top||

#6  My bad on the FOX helicopter.
The Texas DPS took them up in their helicopter. Abbott sticks tongue out at DHS.
Posted by: ed in texas || 09/17/2021 16:17 Comments || Top||

NRA instructor trains thousands of inner city women 'to ensure they're never victims'
Posted by: Skidmark || 09/17/2021 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [139 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Samuel Colt looks down from heaven and smiles.
Posted by: SteveS || 09/17/2021 1:05 Comments || Top||

#2  And Queen Latifah shakes her damn head on Equalizer set.
Posted by: Vortigern de Medici9432 || 09/17/2021 1:56 Comments || Top||

Caribbean-Latin America
A glimmer of hope in Venezuela
[AMERICANTHINKER] The news in our country and abroad has been relentlessly bad ever since we entered the calamitous Biden Era just months ago, but there are a few hopeful signs out there still.

One of the best is a story receiving almost no coverage in the larger press: the Venezuela
...a country in Central America that sits on an enormous pool of oil. Formerly the most prospereous country in the region, it became infested with Commies sniffing almost unlimited wealth. It turned out the wealth wasn't unlimited, the economy collapsed under the clownish Hugo Chavez, the murder rate exceeded places like Honduras and El Salvador. A significant proportion of the populace refugeed to Colombia and points south...
elections this November. The democratic opposition has agreed to participate after years of boycotting the Maduro regime's rigged voting. The E.U. will send a large team of election monitors, and Maduro has already been releasing some political prisoners in a bid to end sanctions. Some are even predicting that Maduro will be willing to retire from office at the end of his current term in 2024.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Fred || 09/17/2021 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [126 views] Top|| File under: Commies

Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia
Putin: dozens in Kremlin inner circle have Covid
Comment by Peter Zeihan: The Russian elite is under 100 people. If Covid knocks off a few of them, it is a national security crisis.
[The Guardian] Russian president, 68, self-isolating after announcing outbreak among members of his entourage

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has said dozens of people in his inner circle at the Kremlin have tested positive for coronavirus, which has affected more than 7 million people in the badly-hit country.

Earlier this week, the 68-year-old Putin said he was self-isolating after announcing an outbreak among members of his entourage.

“Cases of the coronavirus were detected in my inner circle. Not just one or two but several dozen people,” Putin said, speaking via video link at a meeting of a Moscow-led security alliance.

Putin had been due to attend the meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) in Tajikistan’s capital, Dushanbe, in person, but instead joined remotely.

As of Tuesday, about 40.2 million of Russia’s 146 million people had been fully vaccinated, according to the Gogov website, which tallies Covid data from the regions.

Russia has several homegrown vaccines freely available to the public, but does not distribute any western-made jabs.

Moscow, the centre of Russia’s outbreak, and a host of regions have introduced mandatory vaccination measures to speed up the inoculation drive, and Putin has repeatedly called on Russians to get vaccinated.

The Kremlin initially set a goal of fully inoculating 60% of Russia’s population by September, but later dropped that target even though free jabs have been available since early December.
Posted by: 3dc || 09/17/2021 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [177 views] Top|| File under: Tin Hat Dictators, Presidents for Life,

#1  "Andrei - you caught another case of Covid?"
Posted by: Raj || 09/17/2021 0:11 Comments || Top||

#2  I don't believe Russia, and China, didn't get some Pfizer (or Moderna, or Astra-Zeneca) for the nomenklatura on QT.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 09/17/2021 1:28 Comments || Top||

#3  ^#2 Probably back in January, and it's effectiveness is wearing off?
Posted by: Glenmore || 09/17/2021 10:01 Comments || Top||

#4  ^So, they can get more - there are millions of doses in various clinics in USA alone.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 09/17/2021 10:20 Comments || Top||

#5  So, via Fauxi, the American taxpayer paid to wreck the world and now they will pay to kinda, sorta, temporarily straighten it out. Seems like such an elegant plan.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 10:33 Comments || Top||

#6  /\ Yes, both will contribute. Some will become the product. Some will unknowingly become the consumers.
Posted by: Besoeker || 09/17/2021 10:36 Comments || Top||

#7  Soylent Green is people.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 10:40 Comments || Top||

#8  This particular fight: not only do I not have a dog in it, I took my dog home and chained him up.
Posted by: ed in texas || 09/17/2021 16:53 Comments || Top||

Ukraine accuses Russia of breaching international law by hosting parliamentary elections on the Crimean peninsula
Posted by: Fred || 09/17/2021 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [52 views] Top|| File under:

Technologies to let drones make decisions in case of war threat
[TASS] The latest technologies make it possible to teach drones to make decisions on their own and may prove useful in case of a real war threat, the executive director of the research and industrial association Radar mms, Ivan Antsev, told TASS in an interview.

"I believe that in a critical situation, where civilian population has to be protected from a real enemy, the legal aspect may fade into the background and such a technology can be employed, because the lives of our people are the key priority," he said, when asked how soon it would be possible to expect the power of decision-making might be delegated to drones.

Antsev said that currently the machine could be taught anything.

"It is rather a legal and ethical aspect, than a technical one. Both humans and machines can effectively identify a potential threat or a concrete enemy. We can feed into the machine practically anything a human being can do. Practically, because human mentality is far more complex and it includes many moral and ethical aspects the machines are unable to understand for the time being," Antsev said.

He stressed that a robotized system might be loaded with a prototype of emotions, but there could be no certainty that it will not make the same mistakes as humans.

"In this situation the machine and the human being will retain the right to make a mistake. The question is who will be responsible for it. This is a legal question," he added.
Posted by: badanov || 09/17/2021 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [101 views] Top|| File under:

Posted by: Skidmark || 09/17/2021 15:29 Comments || Top||

#2  suits on cspan daily!
Posted by: Greng Black3494 || 09/17/2021 18:03 Comments || Top||

First batch of Russian-made S-500 system enters service
By Donat Sorokin

[TASS] The advanced S-500 Prometey air defense system is now being rolled out to Russian troops after the completion of state trials, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov told journalists on Thursday.

"The state trials have just completed, and the first supplies of this complex have started. That is not yet the full range as the Almaz-Antey Concern requires. The configurations of the complex were discussed," Borisov said.
"Until we take down a fully-loaded civilian passenger jet, it's just in trials"
Produced by the Almaz-Antey Concern, the S-500 air defense system is designed to defeat all possible means of an air and space attack by a potential enemy across the entire range of heights and speeds. The specialist training for working with this system has been conducted since 2017. The S-500 will replace the S-400 Triumph air defense system.

The 2021 Tyumen Oil and Gas Forum is being held at the West Siberian Innovation Center in Tyumen from September 14 to 16. It includes more than 30 events — plenary sessions, technology days and presentations by energy companies, round tables, business breakfasts, master classes, conferences, and online platforms. The forum is sponsored by the government of the Russian Federation and the government of the Tyumen region. TASS is the general information partner of the forum.
Posted by: badanov || 09/17/2021 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [156 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ...Always keep an eye on these things, but this does tend to harken back to the good old days of the Cold War, where every new Soviet system was the Last Word in capabilities.

There's also a distinct possibility that the S-500 is yet another S-300 variant that's been jacked up and had a new nameplate put on it.

Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 09/17/2021 6:10 Comments || Top||

#2  /\ Yes, New and Improved Tide.
Posted by: Besoeker || 09/17/2021 6:15 Comments || Top||

#3  the S-500 air defense system is designed to defeat all possible means of an air and space attack by a potential enemy across the entire range of heights and speeds.

Instead of doing one thing very well.
Posted by: Skidmark || 09/17/2021 7:05 Comments || Top||

#4  Yes, but can the upgrade ensure that the Syrians notice Israeli planes before they egress after hitting their targets?
Posted by: trailing wife || 09/17/2021 12:16 Comments || Top||

#5  It's all about software. And it's constantly being hacked. I would guess / hope that the Israelis hold their EW secrets so close even the Klingons are in the dark.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 12:20 Comments || Top||

#6  I'm waiting to see how many airliners this one can take down. 'Cause it ain't about the hardware, it's all about the operators.
Posted by: ed in texas || 09/17/2021 14:57 Comments || Top||

#7  Yeah, the Vincennes incident was not a shining moment.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 15:15 Comments || Top||

#8  Actually M, I was thinking about the airliners that the TOR's have knocked down (Europeans and Malaysians over Ukraine, Ukrainians over Iran), but the Vincennces is also one in the loss column.
Posted by: ed in texas || 09/17/2021 17:01 Comments || Top||

Russian 3 day long elections begin in Khabarovsk
Direct Translation via Google Translate. Edited.
Note: Volodya is not up for election this round. He will run again for president in 2024.

As a side note, should he make it to 2024, he will have been serving as ruler of Russia for longer than Nicholas II.

[REGNUM] In the Khabarovsk Territory, on September 17 at 08:00 local time (01:00 Moscow time), 807 polling stations were opened, of which 31 were on the courts.

Residents of the region within three days will elect deputies of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, the governor of the Khabarovsk Territory (ahead of schedule), as well as additional elections will be held for the deputy of the Legislative Duma of the Territory of the seventh convocation in the Transport single-mandate constituency No. 6.

The number of voters in the Khabarovsk Territory is 967,297 people.

As reported by IA REGNUM , in Magadan on September 16 the Center for public video observation of elections was opened, which will receive data from almost all polling stations in the Magadan region.
Several western agencies have refused to send election observers.
Posted by: badanov || 09/17/2021 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [137 views] Top|| File under:

#2  Let me look at my crystal ball. Concentrate hard. Harder - the future is hard to see. Putin wins with 65% of the vote.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 09/17/2021 8:19 Comments || Top||

#3  Apple and Google under fire for political meddling as they both remove Navalny's app under pressure from the Kremlin on the day Russia goes to the presumed-fixed polls

Hard to fix polls when there are no fewer than 10 separate political parties vieing for spots on the national Duma
Posted by: badanov || 09/17/2021 8:40 Comments || Top||

#4  Let me look at my crystal ball. Concentrate hard. Harder - the future is hard to see. Putin wins with 65% of the vote.

Allow me to help you with your reading comprehension.

Putin isn't running this cycle.
Posted by: badanov || 09/17/2021 8:41 Comments || Top||

#5  ^Parliamentary system, Badanov. Parliamentary system. You can't do anything unless you've a majority (coalition) in parliament.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 09/17/2021 9:11 Comments || Top||

#6  Imagine if they could have designed FAX machines to reject samizdat.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 9:24 Comments || Top||

#7  Ref #5: Not too dissimilar to our Republican party. They can't do anything whether in the majority or minority.
Posted by: Besoeker || 09/17/2021 10:05 Comments || Top||

#8  ^ Rimshot!
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 10:08 Comments || Top||

Satellite images reveal North Korea expanding facility used to produce weapons-grade uranium
...the organization formerly known as the Cable News Network. Now who knows what it might stand for...
] New satellite images obtained by CNN reveal North Korea
...hereditary Communist monarchy distinguished by its truculence and periodic acts of violence. Distinguishing features include Songun (Army First) policy, which involves feeding the army before anyone but the Dear Leadership, and Juche, which is Kim Jong Il's personal interpretation of Marxism-Leninism, which he told everybody was brilliant. In 1950 the industrialized North invaded agrarian South Korea. Twenty-one countries of the United Nations eventually contributed to the UN force opposing the invasion, with the United States providing around 90% of the military personnel. Seventy years later the economic results are in and it doesn't look good for Juche...
is expanding a key facility capable of enriching uranium for nuclear weapons, renovations that likely indicate the country plans to significantly ramp-up production at this once-dormant site in the near future, according to experts who analyzed the photos.

Images captured by commercial imaging company Maxar earlier this week show construction is underway at a uranium enrichment plant located within the Yongbyon Nuclear Research Facility complex -- changes that could allow North Korea to increase production of weapons-grade nuclear material by as much as 25 percent, Jeffrey Lewis, a weapons expert and professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, told CNN.

"The most recent expansion at Yongbyon probably reflects plans to increase production of nuclear materials for weapons production," he added, noting the ongoing construction is consistent with previous efforts to add floorspace at the facility, allowing it to house more centrifuges and thus, enrich more uranium on a yearly basis.

"The new area is approximately 1,000 square meters, enough space to house 1,000 additional centrifuges. The addition of 1,000 new centrifuges would increase the plant's capacity to produce highly enriched uranium by 25 percent," Lewis said.

If North Korea were to upgrade the type of centrifuges currently in use at this plant, it "could increase the capacity of the plant substantially," he told CNN.

Posted by: Fred || 09/17/2021 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [158 views] Top|| File under: Commies

#1  But, but, it was an enormous diplomatic success when NKor agreed to stop doing that. Not so much now.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 7:54 Comments || Top||

#2  /\ Yes, I remember the Orange Man walking across the border to shake hands the North Korean leader.
Posted by: Besoeker || 09/17/2021 7:58 Comments || Top||

#3  It's almost as if the projection of ambivalent, confused weakness encourages this kind of thing.
Posted by: Cesare || 09/17/2021 13:31 Comments || Top||

#4  Weapons grade uranium. It's the next timeshare condo deal.
Posted by: ed in texas || 09/17/2021 17:07 Comments || Top||

#5  I can't see any Iranians in the picture.
Posted by: Skidmark || 09/17/2021 20:39 Comments || Top||

Taiwan plans to use $8.7 billion to fund missiles, naval ships and other systems to deter an attack from China
Posted by: Fred || 09/17/2021 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [71 views] Top|| File under: Commies

Down Under
China decries US, Britain, Australia security partnership
[ENGLISH.ALARABIYA.NET] China’s foreign ministry on Thursday decried a new US-Britannia-Australia security partnership that will involve helping Canberra acquire nuclear-powered submarines, saying the three countries are damaging regional peace and stability.

China will closely monitor the situation, ministry front man Zhao Lijian told a daily news briefing in Beijing.

Britannia’s defense industry will get a boost from a new nuclear submarine pact to share US and British technology with Australia, defense Secretary Ben Wallace said on Thursday.

Wallace said the pact was not a "betrayal" of the French, whose own submarine contract with Australia was canceled.

"There will be a boost for the British defense industry in this collaboration because we have sub-systems that Australia doesn’t have that we will be able to offer into that"," Wallace told the BBC.

The UN nuclear watchdog said on Thursday that Australia, Britannia and the US had informed it of their three-way security partnership that will give Australia access to US technology to build nuclear submarines.

The ineffective International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement that the countries had informed it "that a critical objective of this cooperation will be to maintain ’the strength of both the nuclear non-proliferation regime and

Australia’s exemplary non-proliferation credentials’ and that they will be ’engaging with the IAEA throughout the coming months’."
Posted by: Fred || 09/17/2021 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [221 views] Top|| File under: Commies

#1  To what extent is Australia's political class already beholden to the CCP?

Is China complaining publicly but actually expecting to benefit from this since nuclear sub technology will be transferred via Australia?

If the CCP's influence on Australia is negligible and the complaints are genuine; does the CCP expect Australia to acquire a nuclear deterrent?
Posted by: Elmusose Tingle3929 || 09/17/2021 1:30 Comments || Top||

#2  1. Far gone, mate
2. Does a kangaroo shit in the outback?
3. Nay, not genuine
Posted by: Zenobia Squank3004 || 09/17/2021 3:00 Comments || Top||

#4  ^ "That's why we're getting the fooking subs, ya wankers!"
Posted by: Frank G || 09/17/2021 9:08 Comments || Top||

#5  Tie Me Kangaroo Down
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 9:11 Comments || Top||

#6  Now RT (ok, ok) is reporting tha France has recalled it's ambassadors from the US and Australia for 'consultations' about cancelling the sub contact. The butthurt is large; appearantly someone's bribe check isn't going to come through.
Or maybe the Aussies just heard about the french extended warranties.
Posted by: ed in texas || 09/17/2021 16:50 Comments || Top||

#7  Looks like we got us a demarche…
Posted by: Grunter || 09/17/2021 20:26 Comments || Top||

#8  ^ Strongly-Worded. Oh! The humanity!
Posted by: Frank G || 09/17/2021 20:36 Comments || Top||

#9  Now RT (ok, ok) is reporting tha France has recalled it's ambassadors from the US and Australia for 'consultations' about cancelling the sub contact. The butthurt is large; appearantly someone's bribe check isn't going to come through.
Or maybe the Aussies just heard about the french extended warranties.

Had an interesting experience, evening radio news, very pro Biden, was like, "This has been decades in the making." then went on to pronounce the French ambassador's name in an over accent which would make the voice actor for Pepe le Pew sound like HAL9000.

That is, this is not Biden's doing and its about time somebody cheesed off those testy French.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 09/17/2021 22:17 Comments || Top||

EU Digital Policy Chief Vestager Says Eurozone Can't Rely On A Few ‘Very Big’ Chip Suppliers To Alleviate Global Shortage
[ZERO] The EU’s digital policy chief, Margrethe Vestager, has officially warned that countries should not be relying on just a "handful of very big" chip producers to help alleviate the global chip shortage.
"That's a man, babyeee"
Instead, European leaders have called for more investment - something that the EU is actively considering - to help with the bottlenecked supply chain, according to The Irish Times.

Vestager told Bloomberg TV that she thought the EU should be aiming for "a much more diversified supply chain".

"It’s important that we focus on the global market... also European production is meant for a global market, because we get the right competitive pressure," she said on Wednesday.

She continued: "We cannot just have it that we depend on very few, very big chip producers."

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen joined the chorus of government officials addressing the issue and asking for "substantial investment" in the industry on Wednesday. She noted that a "European Chips Act" was forthcoming and that it would help further research, design, testing and production.
Posted by: Besoeker || 09/17/2021 07:15 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [257 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Cause chip making can be done on a mom n pop basis too.

Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 7:30 Comments || Top||

Posted by: Skidmark || 09/17/2021 8:36 Comments || Top||

#3  Well, integrated circuits are shipped in trays, but tube work too. We may all be buying more (vacuum) tubes if the current situation continues apace.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 8:42 Comments || Top||

#4  I am suffering from focal dystonia today. The finger that types the letter s is lazy for some reason...
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 8:43 Comments || Top||

#5  /\ I stopped eating cheese grits. It seemed to help for a while.
Posted by: Besoeker || 09/17/2021 10:23 Comments || Top||

#6  See. You can come to Rantburg for good health care information.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 10:27 Comments || Top||

#7  Yeah buddy. Getting the government involved in chipmaking will solve all those problems.
Posted by: ed in texas || 09/17/2021 11:22 Comments || Top||

#8  The might of the entire Chinese gummint is behind their chip effort. The copied the x86 architecture and I think their new chip is about a Pentium II performance wise. No accurate information on what the effort cost or what the yields are like. But the "anyone but Murica" foreign tech press is getting dehydrated from wetting themselves.

China wants Taiwan for historical reasons but more practically want TSMC's physical plant and IP more. They may wind up with less usable stuff than the Taliban got from USGov. They will be p*ssed...
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 11:27 Comments || Top||

#9  Introducing diversity and therefore resilience into the system is a necessary idea, given the Chinese fondness for economic blackmail and long history as the home of worldwide pandemics. As I recall, someone is building a chip factory in the U.S. for that reason — the Taiwanese?
Posted by: trailing wife || 09/17/2021 12:27 Comments || Top||

#10  Ironically, chip making will probably be something that benefits from being don on a space station. That space stations will be nearly impossible to defend is the main drawback.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 12:32 Comments || Top||

#11  They may wind up with less usable stuff than the Taliban got from USGov. They will be p*ssed...

Chinese will get it from the Taliban.
Posted by: Skidmark || 09/17/2021 13:13 Comments || Top||

#12  Build them in the active armor debris clutter of the LaGrange points for kinetic defense.

Posted by: Skidmark || 09/17/2021 13:17 Comments || Top||

#13  Suppose it would be too much to just dust off the blueprints for a Pontiac Firebird?
Posted by: swksvolFF || 09/17/2021 13:47 Comments || Top||

#14  TW, TSMC from Taiwan is building a chip foundry outside Tucson, and started buying up more land aroud the site. Biggest roadblocks are waiting for custom equipment from the Netherlands (the real bottleneck), the possibly limited electrical system (low water at the hydro plants), and the US government (they think Michigan would be better; I'm not kidding).
Check out battleswarmblog.com for updates.
Posted by: ed in texas || 09/17/2021 17:15 Comments || Top||

#15  Two words - Texas Instruments.
Posted by: Bobby || 09/17/2021 17:25 Comments || Top||

#16  Big silane fire, just saying
Posted by: KBK || 09/17/2021 20:27 Comments || Top||

#17  TSMC from Taiwan is building a chip foundry outside Tucson,

That’s it. Thank you, ed!
Posted by: trailing wife || 09/17/2021 22:32 Comments || Top||

Monoclonal Antibodies, Vaccines Both Help Save Lives‐One Costs 52 Times More
[Newsweek] - Demand for monoclonal antibody treatments have surged as the Delta variant spreads, but hordes of Americans relying on the treatment instead of vaccination is an expensive solution to the pandemic.

A free and effective way of helping to keep COVID-19-positive people out of the hospital, states ramped up access to monoclonal antibody treatments. Amid increased interest, the Biden administration purchased another 1.4 million doses of Regeneron's monoclonal antibody treatment, but the move to fight off a potential shortage of the treatment came at a cost of nearly $3 billion.

Regeneron is selling its monoclonal antibody cocktail to the U.S. government at $2,100 per dose, the same price as Eli Lilly's treatment. That's about 52 times more than the cost of two doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

The only COVID-19 vaccine to be fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration, Pfizer sold its vaccine to the Trump administration in July 2020 for about $19.50 per dose. A two-dose vaccine, the inoculation costs about $40 per person. Moderna's vaccine is priced at about $15 per dose, a total of about $30 for full vaccination, and Johnson & Johnson's one-dose vaccine was only about $10 per dose, according to the Congressional Research Service.

see "Monoclonal antibody therapy" in wiki
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 09/17/2021 00:41 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [134 views] Top|| File under:

#1  A vaccine that doesn't really prevent the disease and a therapy that treats severe cases, some of which are vaccinated patients. Even if everybody gets the vaccine, somebody is gonna need the treatments.
Posted by: Bobby || 09/17/2021 17:29 Comments || Top||

France suspends 3,000 unvaccinated health workers without pay after they refused to be inoculated against Covid
Posted by: Skidmark || 09/17/2021 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [188 views] Top|| File under:

#2  You'd think the facilities' liability insurers would have dropped the hammer on that pretty hard. But I bet the declarations pages of that policy would give a marble statue a migraine.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 7:59 Comments || Top||

#3  Next week's headline: "French Health System in Crisis Due to Worker Shortage"
Posted by: ed in texas || 09/17/2021 11:31 Comments || Top||

#4  Or, "Due to Covid".
Posted by: swksvolFF || 09/17/2021 11:33 Comments || Top||

#5  Closed On Account of Rabies
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 11:36 Comments || Top||

#6  86% of Maryland health correction nurses are not vaccinated. Impose Vaccine mandate and loose staff big time. Same thing will happen in all industries. Then they bemoan not having workers. That people don't want to work. Same tired old wheeze. So with Johnson's great society people are put on endless welfare. Domesticated animals have smaller brains than their feral counterparts. So with anyone inactive for so long, smaller brains, very dependent, muscle and brain atrophy. Deliberate dumbing down of population. All they have to do is vote Democrat to keep the program going if they vote at all.
Posted by: Dale || 09/17/2021 13:26 Comments || Top||

#7  Hmmm. When health "professionals" don't want the jab, there's a story in that somewhere.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 13:36 Comments || Top||

#8  Of course, their union stewards may be telling them "Wait until the bribe is richer."
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 13:38 Comments || Top||

#9  ^-- I'm sure CNN/MSNBC/ABC/NBC/CBS/... have their Top Men on that.

Top. Men.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 09/17/2021 13:39 Comments || Top||

#10  Still waiting for my mass mailing to join the class action suit for people who got vaxxed before the incentives started flying. I'll be all in.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 13:40 Comments || Top||

World Bank cancels flagship ‘doing business' report after investigation
[FoxNews] Probe faults leaders including Kristalina Georgieva, now IMF managing director, who disagrees with findings

The World Bank canceled a prominent report rating the business environment of the world’s countries after an investigation concluded that senior bank management pressured staff to alter data affecting the ranking of China and other nations.

The leaders implicated include then World Bank Chief Executive Kristalina Georgieva, now managing director of the International Monetary Fund, and then World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.

The episode is a reputational hit for Ms. Georgieva, who disagreed with the investigators’ conclusions. As leader of the IMF, the lender of last resort to struggling countries around the world, she is in part responsible for managing political pressure from nations seeking to advance their own interests. It was also the latest example of the Chinese government seeking myriad ways to burnish its global standing.

The Doing Business report has been the subject of an external probe into the integrity of the report’s data. On Thursday, the bank released the results of that investigation, which concluded that senior bank leaders including Ms. Georgieva were involved in pressuring economists to improve China’s 2018 ranking. At the time, she and others were attempting to persuade China to support a boost in the bank’s funding.

The Chinese Embassy in Washington didn’t respond to a request for comment. Mr. Kim didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.

Ms. Georgieva said: "I disagree fundamentally with the findings and interpretations of the Investigation of Data Irregularities as it relates to my role in the World Bank’s Doing Business report of 2018."

The Doing Business report has been a flagship publication for the World Bank, which conducts economic research alongside its primary work of providing financing in poor countries. The report’s annual release drew media coverage around the world, and countries jockeyed to improve their ranking by making policy changes.

For years, the report was viewed as a success because it motivated governments to improve the ability of businesses to obtain licenses, connect to electricity or easily pay their taxes—all factors considered in the rankings.

Chinese officials in 2017 and 2018 were eager to see their ranking improve, and so Mr. Kim and Ms. Georgieva and their staff held a series of meetings to discuss ways that the report’s methodology could be altered to improve China’s rankings, according to the investigative report by the law firm WilmerHale.

The World Bank was in the middle of difficult international negotiations to receive a $13 billion capital increase. Despite being the world’s second largest economy, China is the No. 3 shareholder at the World Bank, following the U.S. and Japan, and Beijing was eager to see its power increased as part of a deal for more funding.

In October 2017, Ms. Georgieva convened a meeting of the World Bank’s country director for China, as well as the staff economists that compile Doing Business. She criticized "mismanaging the Bank’s relationship with China and failing to appreciate the importance of the Doing Business report to the country," according to the investigative report’s summary of the meeting.

An unidentified lead staffer working on Doing Business suggested they could raise China’s ratings by dropping data from either Beijing or Shanghai, since China’s ranking combined data from both cities. Ms. Georgieva asked for a simulation of that strategy, the investigative report said.

The staff later determined the change wouldn’t have the desired effect, investigators said. Other countries’ ratings would benefit as well, reducing the improvement in China’s rating.

Ultimately, the team identified three data points that could be altered to raise China’s score, the investigative report said. For example, China had passed a law related to secured transactions, such as when someone makes a loan with collateral. The World Bank staff determined it could give China a significant improvement to its score for legal rights, citing the law as the reason.

World Bank employees knew the changes were inappropriate but "a majority of the Doing Business employees with whom we spoke expressed a fear of retaliation," the investigative report said.

Although the data-gathering process for the 2018 report was finished, the World Bank’s economists reopened the data tables and altered China’s data, the investigative report said. Instead of ranking 85th among the world’s countries, China climbed to 78th due to the alterations. A series of smaller changes detailed in the investigative report also affected the rankings of Azerbaijan, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

When Ms. Georgieva was informed of the changes, investigators said, she thanked one of the senior Doing Business leaders for doing his "bit for multilateralism."

In April of 2018, the U.S., China and other member countries finalized the deal to boost the World Bank’s funding. It isn’t known how much the ranking improvement factored into China’s support. The country had long signaled support for the World Bank’s capital increase.

The Treasury Department, which oversees U.S. participation in the IMF and World Bank, expressed its concern with the investigative report’s findings. The IMF and World Bank are collectively owned by member nations and for both institutions, the U.S. Treasury has the largest ownership stake.

"These are serious findings and Treasury is analyzing the report," said Treasury spokeswoman Alexandra LaManna. "Our primary responsibility is to uphold the integrity of international financial institutions."

Justin Sandefur, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development think tank who has long criticized the Doing Business report, said: "You had enormous discretion by World Bank staff combined with super high stakes for World Bank client countries getting named and shamed in the media, and it was just a recipe for political interference."

Concerns about Doing Business first became public in 2018 when the World Bank’s chief economist, Paul Romer, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that he was concerned the report was susceptible to campaigns to alter its data for political purposes. Mr. Romer said that he lacked confidence in a series of methodological changes to the report that had improved the ranking of Chile under conservative governments, but hurt its ranking under socialist governments.

The World Bank denied that the report had been manipulated, and Mr. Romer resigned shortly afterward. He said at the time that he believed the World Bank’s role as an honest broker of economic reports such as Doing Business was in fundamental conflict with its diplomatic mission.

Following the discovery of the additional data irregularities in 2020, the bank halted publication of the report—initially just temporarily—and commissioned the external investigation.
Posted by: Skidmark || 09/17/2021 07:29 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [109 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I hope this doesn't presage bad things happening to our economy and the world economy such as The Great Reset that is talked about.
Posted by: JohnQC || 09/17/2021 17:22 Comments || Top||

#2  No cook of the books here! No sirre!
Posted by: ed in texas || 09/17/2021 18:08 Comments || Top||

IDF to provide home care for COVID patients
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 09/17/2021 09:24 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [83 views] Top|| File under:

#1  O2 delivery, sure.
Bedding, maybe not.
Posted by: Skidmark || 09/17/2021 20:33 Comments || Top||

Science & Technology
Satellite photo reveals wreckage of $1BILLION B-2 Stealth bomber after landing gear gave way after emergency landing
[Daily Mail, Where America Gets Its News] Follow up to this story from two days ago. Now we know why the silly thing went down.
  • Officials said the B-2 experienced a hydraulic failure during a routine training at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri

  • As a result, the B-2 was sent off the runway with its wing dug into the ground sources said

  • The incident happened around midnight and no people were injured and there was no fire once the bomber landed.

  • While it hasn't been confirmed this was the cause, satellite images seem to coincide with the gear collapse/wing down aspect of the incident

  • The B-2 bomber is considered one of America's Military most deadly weapons

  • A flight restriction has been put in place, six miles to every direction and 8,000ft from the ground up
Posted by: Skidmark || 09/17/2021 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [399 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ...I would imagine the 509th Hydraulics shop is doing some seriously fast talking right now. Mind you, I'm not saying this is a screwup on their part; simply that they are answering a LOT of questions.

Also likely that no matter what the final outcome, this bird is likely going to end its days as a procedures/ground trainer or a museum exhibit.

Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 09/17/2021 6:14 Comments || Top||

#2  The B1 and B2 is 24+ year old technology and the B-52? even older.

Sure they all have been updated and retro-fited.

But....I hope there is some type of QT Skunk Works hidden out there quietly turning out a China/Russia/Taliban Attitude Changing new weapons.

Since dropping bombs is an antiquated 150+ year old battle concept that started with hot air balloons. An Missiles and Drones are detectable now.

There is no doubt Space based weapons will be the next expensive weapon for congress to hide $$$$$ in.

Then I imagine what 110 mile up Tera-watt laser could do to an enemy installation. While in the proces, destroying the Atmosphere top to bottom with each Burst.
Posted by: Unise Fleresh1689 || 09/17/2021 10:35 Comments || Top||

#3  B21 might be alright. They actually seemed to learn from the endless design creep that made the F22, F35 and Zumwalt Class such disasters. Hopefully the Columbia class is also benefiting from a freeze the design and build it strategy.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 10:37 Comments || Top||

#4  So can the Air Force make it airworthy again?
Posted by: Bobby || 09/17/2021 12:19 Comments || Top||

#5  I think #2 got it. They're absurdly fragile. Might cost more to fix it than makes sense.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 12:22 Comments || Top||

#6  Probably cheaper to 'clean it up' for display at Wright Patterson in the future.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 09/17/2021 13:20 Comments || Top||

#7  We paid for it. We should get to see it close up.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 13:22 Comments || Top||

#8  This is better than the one that they burned to ashes at Anderson on Guam.
Posted by: ed in texas || 09/17/2021 18:00 Comments || Top||

#9  We should get to see it close up.

Trust me.
Not much to see,
Posted by: Skidmark || 09/17/2021 20:38 Comments || Top||

SpaceX rocket ship blasts off from Florida carrying a billionaire e-commerce executive and three less-wealthy private citizens
Posted by: Fred || 09/17/2021 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [101 views] Top|| File under:

Mass shootings DOUBLED to 88 incidents in July 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, study finds
[Daily Mail, Where America Gets Its News]
  • Mass shootings increased during the COVID-19 pandemic starting in May 2020, a new study finds

  • Summer 2020 saw a particularly intense increase, with 88 mass shootings in July 2020 compared to 42 in July 2019 and 45 in July 2018

  • An average of three more people were injured in 2020 mass shootings compared to previous years

  • The study suggests that mass shootings may be influenced by social and economic factors, the researchers say

How many of the shooters and victims were gang members? How many had untreated mental illness or drug addictions? As reported, this is a case study of how not to do social research, though possibly the fault lies with the Daily Mail reporters rather than the scientists.
Posted by: Skidmark || 09/17/2021 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [113 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The study suggests that mass shootings may be influenced by social and economic factors, the researchers say

Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 09/17/2021 1:30 Comments || Top||

The Great Bronze Age migration was fuelled by MILK! Adoption of dairy into the diet gave European populations the mobility to sweep east as far as Mongolia 5,000 years ago, study finds
Posted by: Skidmark || 09/17/2021 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [211 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It does a body good.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 8:03 Comments || Top||

#2  OK. Now explain how lactose intolerance fits in to this.
Posted by: ed in texas || 09/17/2021 11:36 Comments || Top||

#3  My dad was a pediatrician / immunologist. He used to say "Cow's milk is for cows." I said "You trying to tell me something?"
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 11:38 Comments || Top||

#4  Old news.
Posted by: Bugs Speaking for Boskone3256 || 09/17/2021 16:47 Comments || Top||

#5  OK. Now explain how lactose intolerance fits in to this.

A kinda humorous answer here
tl;dr: short answer is tradition cattle husbandry patterns. If your ancestors didn't live someplace where they could raise cattle, they didn't drink milk and now you can't.

An interesting book on human migrations from a whole genome perspective is Who We Are And How We Got Here. The flow of human species across the planet is much more turbulent and chaotic than the traditional Out of Africa story would lead you to believe.
Posted by: SteveS || 09/17/2021 19:36 Comments || Top||

Southeast Asia
Vietnam: Israeli Embassy distributes food to needy families
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 09/17/2021 09:40 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [117 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I salute that effort. I guess the charity that tells me in their frequent mailings that "I can feed a poor elderly Israeli for $2 / month" can close up shop now.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 09/17/2021 9:49 Comments || Top||

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Two weeks of WOT
Fri 2021-09-17
  US imposes sanctions on five individuals it says are linked to alQaeda
Thu 2021-09-16
  Seven Pakistani soldiers, five militants killed in gun battle in South Waziristan
Wed 2021-09-15
  US says nearly 500 Afghan citizens evacuated from Uzbekistan
Tue 2021-09-14
  Taliban seize $6 million and golden bricks from Amrullah Saleh’s residence
Mon 2021-09-13
  Zawahiri, believed dead, appears in video on 9/11 anniversary.
Bin Laden, known dead, doesn't.
Sun 2021-09-12
  National Resistance Front of Panjshir province have retaken three areas of the province from the Taliban
Sat 2021-09-11
  Dozens of Afghan evacuees flagged by DHS as potential security threats
Fri 2021-09-10
  Taliban agreed to allow 200 foreigners to leave Afghanistan
Thu 2021-09-09
  Resistance leaders Massoud, Saleh still in Afghanistan's Panjshir, setting up parallel govt
Wed 2021-09-08
  UN Vows Full Support For The Taliban
Tue 2021-09-07
  Four Americans Leave Afghanistan by Land in First Departures Since US Pullout
Mon 2021-09-06
  Pak Taliban claims suicide blast near Afghan border that killed 4
Sun 2021-09-05
  General Milley: ‘What You Saw Unfold' with Afghanistan Evacuation Was One of the Plans'
Sat 2021-09-04
  Egypt pumps toxic gas into Gaza tunnel, three Palestinians dead
Fri 2021-09-03
  British-born ISIS "Beatle'' due to plead guilty

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