In the News

News and Headlines. 2/4/2021

News and Headlines: In The News, Politics, World News, Commentary/Opinion.

In The News:

Transparency thwarted? Two weeks after Trump declassified Russia memos, most aren’t released

President Trump
(Tasos Katopodis/Getty)
President Trump (Tasos Katopodis/Getty)

Just the News was able to obtain about 15% of the thousands of pages of declassified documents, from a hodgepodge network of White House officials who worked on the declassification, law enforcement and intelligence officials who got their own versions of the declassified documents, and members of Congress who were given copies of some memos in the final days of the Trump presidency.

Just the News has posted all of those documents, 

The remaining documents, according to sources who have seen them, provide more details showing just how far the FBI went to deceive the FISA judges in an effort to keep surveilling Page and that the FBI’s true target for surveillance was the larger Trump campaign.


YouTube Censors Senate Testimony From Doctor On Possible Covid Drug

The erosion of free speech has been radically accelerated by the Big Tech and social media companies, including YouTube. Now YouTube has censored actual testimony given to the United States Senate by Dr. Pierre Kory, who was testifying on different drug treatment.

So now these companies are going to censor what was told to the government and decide what viewers will be allowed to consider from the public debate.

It is a continuation of the movement to prevent people from hearing opposing views and to control what is shared or discussed in a growing attack on free speech.

YouTube removed two videos from a December 8th hearing before the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

It featured Kory who discussed the use of Ivermectin as a potential treatment for Covid-19, particularly in the early stages. It is a drug that treats tropical diseases caused by parasites.

Kory was calling for a review by National Institutes of Health on trials for the drug. Ultimately, it does appear that the NIH did change the status of the drug.

Baby humpback whale has beautiful interaction with swimmers

These whales come to Tonga to breed and to give birth, in an environment that is safe from orcas and predatory sharks. The females have their calves in the waters that surround the beautiful islands of Tonga.

They nurse them and protect them as they quickly grow big and strong before making their way to the colder waters in the north to feed on krill.

The whales rest near the ocean bottom in bays around the islands. They come to the surface to breathe and then dive again.

But the babies spend more time on the surface and they are curious when they see strange creatures like these humans swimming above.

Pentagon Orders Military-Wide ‘Stand-Down’ To Address ‘White Supremacy,’ Extremism In Ranks

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

NBC News reported Wednesday. “Lloyd Austin, the first Black secretary of defense who recently took over at the Pentagon, ordered each branch of the military to stand-down at some point over the next 60 days to discuss the threat posed by white supremacy and similar extremism, said Pentagon press secretary John Kirby.”

Austin gave the order on Wednesday during a meeting with the leaders of each military branch, including Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley and Vice Chairman Gen. John Hyten.

“There wasn’t one being in the room that didn’t agree that there wasn’t a problem,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said.

With new administration, record number of people bought guns in January

In this March 15, 2020, file photo, people wait in line to enter a gun store in Culver City, Calif.
In this March 15, 2020, file photo, people wait in line to enter a gun store in Culver City, Calif. Ringo H.W. Chiu / AP file photo

(The Center Square) – Concerns about President Joe Biden’s potential restrictions on firearm purchases sent sales soaring in January, industry insiders said. More than 4.3 million people purchased guns in the first month of 2021, the highest number on record.

The 4.3 million purchases represent legal applications through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS); it excludes illegally purchased firearms.

NICS data reveal that applications are up by more than 300,000 from December 2020.

Nationwide, gun sales rose 40 percent in 2020 to 39,695,315.


Court Orders Cuomo Administration to Release Data on New York’s COVID-19 Nursing Home Deaths

File photo showing emergency medical workers unloading a patient outside a nursing home in Brooklyn, New York,
File photo showing emergency medical workers unloading a patient outside a nursing home in Brooklyn, New York, on April 18, 2020. (Justin Heiman/Getty Images)

The New York Supreme Court has ruled that state officials must turn over complete data on nursing home deaths from COVID-19, following a months-long campaign pushing for their release.

Justice Kimberly O’Connor wrote in a Feb. 3 decision that the New York Department of Health (DOH) must release the data within five business days of the ruling.

O’Connor also ruled that the state must cover litigation costs borne by the Empire Center, a think tank that filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the DOH and that has been at the forefront of legal efforts for disclosure of the data.


Viral video showing grocery store customers shopping maskless sparks intense reactions: ‘Let’em die. I’m so tired of these people’

“Naples, Florida. Let’em die. I’m so tired of these people. No vaccines for y’all,” prominent doctor Cleavon Gilman wrote in a now-deleted tweet in response to the video.

Many have condemned the scene, laying blame on the store’s owner, who posted a sign saying employees would not enforce mask-wearing if a person has a medical condition.

Others have defended the store, saying Florida might be the “most free state in the nation.”

Pompeo: China Will Use Artificial Intelligence to Harm United States

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the State Department in Washington on Jan. 4, 2021.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the State Department in Washington on Jan. 4, 2021. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

“The flip side is these technologies that infiltrate the United States and infiltrate Europe are things that our kids use, that we use, that are in our cars, that are in our television sets, that are in our handsets and phones, this information, also American information, whether it’s our personal information about where we live and who we hang out with, or information about our medical conditions and our DNA, that information goes back to the Chinese national security state,” Pompeo said.

Asked if the information could be used as blackmail, Pompeo said, “Yes, absolutely.”

“It will be used for bad intent. It will be used to harm the United States of America and those sanctions were put in place by our administration to protect the American people from these twin evils.”


Parler dismisses its CEO, John Matze

Parler, a social media platform favored by U.S conservatives, has dismissed CEO John Matze, according to Matze on Wednesday, as the site has largely gone offline after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Gloria Tso reports.


Dan Bongino Sounds Off On John Matze

“Here’s the real story, so you have it and don’t believe the hype,” Bongino said, noting that Matze paints himself as a free speech advocate.

“Folks, that’s not accurate, those are his statements not mine. I have no personal gripe against John, the CEO, at all, I want to be crystal clear, but John decided to make this public, not us, we were handling it like gentlemen,” Bongino said.


Politics:

Donald Trump Rejects Request to Testify in Senate Impeachment Trial

AP Photo/ Evan Vucci
AP Photo/ Evan Vucci

Earlier Thursday, lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) wrote a letter asking Trump to testify under oath.

Hours later, Castor and David Schoen, Trump’s other impeachment lawyer, slammed Raskin’s request as a “public relations stunt.”

“We are in receipt of your latest public relations stunt. As you certainly know, there is no such thing as a negative inference in this unconstitutional proceeding,” the pair wrote.

“Your letter only confirms what is known to everyone: you cannot prove your allegations against the 45th President of the United States, who is now a private citizen,” the letter added.

“The use of our Constitution to bring a purported impeachment proceeding is much too serious to play these games.”

Congressman: New fence around Capitol means we ‘ought to continue our fence on the border’

Arizona GOP Rep. Andy Biggs says Biden’s decision to halt construction of additional border barriers has ‘done serious harm’ to America’s national security.


No Evidence of Election 2020 Fraud? Website Catalogs it all!

Here is the Evidence, a website that says it is for journalists (you know the ones who say there is no evidence of Election Fraud!).

Or, it is for ambitious Americans who want to see the proof for themselves (to while away the hours cooped up this winter!)

Due to the irregularity of this current 2020 Presidential Election, this is a crowdsourcing tool for organizing anomalies and legal issues. Our desire is that more of the election process would be made transparent so there would be unquestionable confidence in our voting systems.

The House impeachment brief endangers freedom of speech

President Donald Trump greets the crowd at the "Stop The Steal" Rally in Washington, on Jan. 6, 2021.
President Donald Trump greets the crowd at the “Stop The Steal” Rally in Washington, on Jan. 6, 2021. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

The brief is based on a flawed reading of history and on a misunderstanding of the role of freedom of speech in governance. Its discussion of “free speech” begins with a sentence that reveals its fundamental error:

“The First Amendment exists to promote our democratic system.”

This categorical statement surely would have surprised the Framers of the First Amendment, who believed in freedom of speech but not so much in democracy.

The Framers of our constitutional system thought they were building a “republic,” with limited suffrage and many checks on “democracy.”


New Mexico governor gives senior staff raises during coronavirus pandemic

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

Morgan Lee / AP
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan GrishamMorgan Lee / AP

The information comes from the state’s sunshine portal.

“I feel like it was poor judgement, poor timing – these could have waited until we had our feet underneath us,” state Sen. Greg Baca, a Republican, told local media.

The biggest raise, $18,000, went to Tripp Stelnicki, the governor’s communications director. Six other staffers received pay hikes of $10,000 and one received a $7,500 raise.


AOC doesn’t deal in facts | Rep. Mace tells Newsmax TV

Representative Nancy Mace says she knows the facts and that AOC just doesn’t stick to them, the progress of the relief bill and why Biden plans to fill it with ‘pork’ and more –

via Newsmax TV’s ‘John Bachman Now.’

Outsiders Not Welcome!

Commentary/Opinion:
Even though Democrats won’t have the votes to convict Donald Trump next week, they’re still plowing through with this unconstitutional trial of a private citizen.

Want to know why?

Here’s the Simple Truth.

White House punts ‘next steps’ on student loan forgiveness to Congress

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren joined “Squad” members Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and others, to announce Thursday they were reintroducing a nonbinding measure calling on Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in debt per federal student loan borrower and nix any tax implications.

But White House press secretary Jen Psaki said roughly an hour later Biden believes Congress should craft legislation on the matter rather than relying on executive fiat.

“If it is passed and sent to his desk, he will look forward to signing it,” Psaki told reporters.

Tucker: Democrats use coordinated lying to sell ‘popular history’

Commentary/Opinion:
Tucker Carlson explains how the left uses history as a political tool to shape the future.

World News:

Ford Motor terminates electric vehicle deal with China’s Zotye Automobile

The Ford logo is pictured at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany.
The Ford logo is pictured at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany.

Ford Motor has decided to terminate plans to launch electric vehicle joint ventures with China’s Zotye Automobile, the U.S. auto giant said on Thursday.

It said that China’s electric vehicle industry and government policies had undergone major changes since the agreements were signed in 2017 and 2018, prompting Ford’s decision. Ford didn’t specify which changes triggered its move.

Last week, Ford said its China joint venture with Chongqing Changan Automobile Co would start making all-electric Mustang Mach-E vehicles.

In a statement on Thursday, Ford said it would pursue a more “flexible business model in China” that would see it utilise its existing operations in the country and elsewhere, and build related business centres.


Hong Kong pro-establishment lawmakers seek to amend legislature’s house rules, in move set to further restrict their power

Chief Executive Carrie Lam attends a Q&A session at the Legislative Council on February 4, 2021.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam attends a Q&A session at the Legislative Council on February 4, 2021. Photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP.

At a closed-door meeting on Wednesday, lawmakers explored amendments such as limiting the number of members allowed on committees.

According to Ming Pao, former Democratic Party lawmaker Andrew Wan slammed the amendments as the pro-establishment camp “auto-castrating” their own power, aimed at minimising any resistance in the legislature.

Former pro-democracy lawmakers had previously used quorum counts as a means to filibuster. The Legislative Council rules of procedure were amended in 2017 to give committee chairpersons the power to stop what they consider as “repeated or irrelevant” speech.


Prominent Hezbollah critic Lokman Slim assassinated in southern Lebanon

Lokman Slim, an activist and publisher who ran a research centre,
Lokman Slim, an activist and publisher who ran a research centre, speaks during an interview, in a still image taken from an interview footage in Beirut, Lebanon.

A prominent Lebanese Shi’ite Muslim publisher who criticized the armed Hezbollah movement was shot dead in a car in southern Lebanon on Thursday, the first such killing of a high-profile activist in years.

A judge following the case said the body of Lokman Slim had four bullets in the head and one in the back. One of the security sources said his phone was found on the side of a road.

He spoke against what he described as the Iran-backed, Shi’ite Hezbollah’s intimidation tactics and attempts to monopolise Lebanese politics.


Hezbollah fires missiles at Israeli aircraft; Iranian targets bombed in Syria- TV7 Israel News 04.02

1) Tensions are seemingly escalating on Israel’s northern front with both Lebanon and Syria.

2) In an extraordinary decree of Justice, the Islamic Republic is held accountable for its plot to carry out acts of terror on European soil.

3) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hosted his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi, during which the two top diplomats discussed the latest developments related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Commentary/Opinion:

The QAnon Takeover Of The GOP Is A Fantasy Of Corporate Media And Democrats

There’s a big push right now among corporate media, Democrats, and NeverTrumpers to establish a narrative that the Republican Party is being torn apart in a bitter civil war between its establishment wing and its supposed QAnon wing.

It’s about as true as your garden-variety QAnon conspiracy theory, but it’s politically useful, which is why you’re seeing it crop up all over the media right now.

The reason Democrats and the media want to build up QAnon in the minds of Americans is fairly obvious: to tar all Republicans as crazy conspiracy theorists. That’s an explicit strategy among Democratic leadership in the House right now.

As Politico reported this week, Democratic TV ads launched this week spotlight supporters of QAnon: “It is the first step in a larger plan, orchestrated by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s new chair, Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, to exploit the growing friction between Trump hard-liners and establishment Republicans in the GOP base, which Maloney sees as a major weak point for the party.”

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