Secret talks have been ongoing between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, focused on sharing intelligence against Iran and possibly military cooperation. The talks have progressed to the point that the US is now joining the talks too.
Israel and the UAE have some security ties, but don’t have public relations. That they’re discussing Iran reflects Israel’s long-standing hostility toward Iran, and the UAE’s close proximity to Iran.
The UAE seems to be trying to balance multiple interests, as they’ve tried to talk to Iran about maritime security in recent days, and seem not to be looking to pick fights with them. That’s in stark contrast to Israel, for whom picking fights with Iran is the centerpiece of decades of foreign policy.
It’s clear that the UAE has an interest in keeping the US happy, and that probably requires keeping Israel at lease sort of placated in this regard. So while they aren’t trying to start anything against Iran they’re trying to walk the tightrope of balancing both sides to keep everyone satisfied.
via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2z5pjbZ Tyler Durden
Hong Kong might not be able to avoid a financial crisis this year or next despite possible stimulus packages to shore up its faltering economy amid violent protests across the city. This has led to a rapid decline in tourism, forcing major hotel chains in the city to substantially slash room prices.
Yiu Si-wing, a Hong Kong lawmaker representing the tourism industry, told Bloomberg that hotel revenue is expected to crash 50% this month thanks to escalating protests. She said visits from mainland China account for 80% of arrivals are significantly lower due to social unrest.
Yiu said hotel occupancy rates averaged 90% in 1H19, could drop by as much as 33% or more in 2H19. Arrivals from the mainland to Hong Kong, a significant source of consumption for the city, could grind to a halt.
“The impact on tourism is huge,” Yiu told Bloomberg. She said at least half of the mainland visitors due in August had canceled their plans. Yiu said top-trending topics on Chinese social media platform Weibo this week included several incidents of where violent protestors attacked government forces.
Some mainland Chinese are shunning Hong Kong because of the risks associated with its airport being closed down for an extended period of time.
Grace Huang, a 20-year-old Wuhan University student, told Bloomberg her layover at Hong Kong International Airport was horrifying earlier this week. “I fear I’m going to be beaten,” she told Bloomberg, as thousands of protestors successfully locked down the airport for several days.
Beijing resident Jasmine Ji, 23, delayed her trip to Hong Kong because she feels protestors would target her for being a Chinese citizen.
“I feel like my personal safety could be severely threatened if they find out I speak Mandarin or am a Chinese citizen,” she said. “I won’t fly to Hong Kong airport until the situation and protests are settled there.”
Chinese officials and state-run media outlets launched an information war against the protestors, describing them as violent extremists.
Hong Kong officials have suggested a recession could be imminent due to social unrest.
Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po on Thursday announced a $2.43 billion stimulus package to shore up the economy during the social and economic turmoil.
Paul warned that a possible recession could be imminent: “The situation we are in now is like the typhoon No 3 signal has been hoisted and the typhoon is heading towards us,” he said. “We need to get prepared before it gets worse.”
Paul downgraded Hong Kong’s GDP growth forecast for the year to 0 to 1%, from 2 to 3% previously.
He said the city could slide into a technical recession in the current quarter.
InterContinental Hotels Group Plc, a British multinational hospitality company that owns Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn chains, said the protests in the last several months have contributed to a slowdown in business travel in the region.
Other hospitality companies with exposure to Hong Kong are also feeling the pinch: Sun Hung Kai Properties, owner of Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, and New World Development Co., which operates the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, have seen their stocks enter bear markets in the last month.
Yiu said the downturn in Hong Kong hospitality industry had forced many hotels to slash their room rates by substantial amounts.
A typical room at Conrad Hotel, owned by Hilton Worldwide, is $159 per night this weekend, that’s a 40% discount versus two months ago.
Marriott International Inc. and Shangri-La Asia Ltd. have also cut room rates for their Hong Kong hotels.
Hong Kong could be the first domino to fall that kicks off the next global recession.
via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2H9jf6v Tyler Durden
A few years ago, very few people understood the concept behind color revolutions.
Had Russia and China’s leadership not decided to unite in solidarity in 2012 when they began vetoing the overthrow of Bashar al Assad in Syria- followed by their alliance around the Belt and Road Initiative, then it is doubtful that the color revolution concept would be as well-known as it has become today.
At that time, Russia and China realized that they had no choice but to go on the counter offensive, since the regime change operations and colour revolutions orchestrated by such organizations as the CIA-affiliated National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and Soros Open Society Foundations were ultimately designed to target them as those rose, orange, green or yellow revolution efforts in Georgia, Ukraine, Iran or Hong Kong were always recognized as weak points on the periphery of the threatened formation of a great power alliance of sovereign Eurasian nations that would have the collective power to challenge the power of the Anglo-American elite based in London and Wall Street.
Russia’s 2015 expulsion of 12 major conduits of color revolution included Soros’ Open Society Foundation as well as the NED was a powerful calling out of the enemy with the Foreign Ministry calling them “a threat to the foundations of Russia’s Constitutional order and national security”. This resulted in such fanatical calls by George Soros for a $50 billion fund to counteract Russia’s interference in defense of Ukraine’s democracy. Apparently the $5 billion spent by the NED in Ukraine was not nearly enough.
In spite of the light falling upon these cockroaches, NED and Open Society operations continued in full force focusing on the weakest links the Grand Chessboard unleashing what has become known as a “strategy of tension”. Venezuela, Kashmir, Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjian (dubbed East Turkistan by NED) have all been targeted in recent years with millions of NED dollars pouring into separatist groups, labour unions, student movements and fake news “opinion shapers” under the guise of “democracy building”. $1.7 million in grants was spent by NED in Hong Kong since 2017 which was a significant increase from their $400 000 spent to coordinate the failed “Occupy HK” protest in 2014.
The Case of China
In response to over two months of controlled chaos, the Chinese government has kept a remarkably restrained posture, allowing the Hong Kong authorities to manage the situation with their police deprived of use of lethal weapons and even giving into the protestors’ demand that the changes to the extradition treaty that nominally sparked this mess be annulled. In spite of this patient tone, the rioters who have run havoc on airports and public buildings have created lists of demands that are all but impossible for mainland China to meet including 1) an “independent committee to investigate the abuses of Chinese authorities”, 2) for china to stop referring to rioters as “rioters”, 3) for all charges against rioters to be dropped, and 4) universal suffrage- including candidates promoting independence or rejoining the British Empire.
As violence continues to grow, and as it has become an increasing reality that some form of intervention from the mainland may occur to restore order, the British Foreign Office has taken an aggressive tone threatening China with “severe consequences” unless “a fully independent investigation” into police Brutality were permitted. The former Colonial Governor of China Christopher Patten attacked China by saying “Since president Xi has been in office, there’s been a crackdown on dissent and dissidents everywhere, the party has been in control of everything”.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry responded saying “the UK has no sovereign jurisdiction or right of supervision over Hong Kong… it is simply wrong for the British Government to exert pressure. The Chinese side seriously urges the UK to stop its interference in China’s internal affairs and stop making random and inflammatory accusations on Hong Kong.”
The British have not been able to conduct their manipulation of Hong Kong without the vital role of America’s NGO dirty ops, and in true imperial fashion, the political class from both sides of the aisle have attacked China with Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi making the loudest noise driving the American House Foreign Affairs Committee to threaten “universal condemnation and swift consequences” if Beijing intervenes. This has only made the photographs of Julie Eadeh, the head of Political Office at the American Consulate in Hong Kong meeting with leaders of the Hong Kong demonstrations that much more disgusting to any onlooker.
While both Britain and America have been caught red handed organizing this colour revolution, it is important to keep in mind who is controlling who.
The Foreign Origins of the NED
Contrary to popular opinion, the British Empire did not go away after WWII, nor did it hand over the “keys to the kingdom” to America. It didn’t even become America’s Junior Partner in a new Anglo-American special relationship. Contrary to popular belief, it stayed in the drivers’ seat.
The post WWII order was largely shaped by a British coup which didn’t take over America without a fight. Nests of Oxford-trained Rhodes Scholars, Fabians and other ideologues embedded within the American establishment had a lot of work ahead of them as they struggled to purge all nationalist impulses from the American intelligence community. While the most aggressive purging of patriotic Americans from the intelligence community occurred during the dissolution of the OSS and creation of MI6 in 1947 and the Communist witch hunt that followed, there were other purges that were less well known.
As an organization which was beginning to take form which was to become known as the Trilateral Commissionorganized by Britain’s “hand in America” called the Council on Foreign Relations and international Bilderberg Group, another purge occurred in 1970 under the direction of James Schlesinger during his six month stint as CIA director. At that time 1000 top CIA officials deemed “unfit” were fired. This was followed nine years later as another 800 were fired under a list drafted by CIA “spymaster” Ted Shackley. Both Schlesinger and Shackley were high level Trilateral Commission members who took part in the group’s 1973 formation and fully took power of America during Jimmy Carter’s 1977-1981 presidency which unleashed a dystopian reorganization of American foreign and internal policy outlined in my previous report.
Project Democracy Takes Over
By the 1970s, the CIA’s dirty hand funding anarchist operations both within America and abroad had become too well known as media coverage of their dirty operations at home and abroad spoiled the patriotic image which the intelligence community then desired. While the internal resistance to fascist behaviour from within the intelligence Community itself was dealt with through purges, the reality was that a new agency had to be created to take over those functions of covert destabilization of foreign governments.
What became Project Democracy herein originated with a Trilateral Commission meeting in May 31, 1975 in Kyoto Japan as a protégé of Trilateral Commission director Zbigniew Brzezinski named Samuel (Clash of Civilizations) Huntington delivered the results of his Task Force on the Governability of Democracies. This project was supervised by Schlesinger and Brzezinski and presented the notion that democracies could not function adequately in the crisis conditions which the Trilateral Commission was preparing to impose onto America and the world through a process dubbed “the Controlled Disintegration of Society”.
The Huntington report featured at the Trilateral meeting stated: “One might consider… means of securing support and resources from foundations, business corporations, labor unions, political parties, civic associations, and, where possible and appropriate, governmental agencies for the creation of an institute for the strengthening of democratic institutions.”
It took 4 years for this blueprint to become reality.In 1979 three Trilateral Commission members named William Brock (RNC Chairman), Charles Manatt (DNC Chairman) and George Agree (head of Freedom House) established an organization called the American Political Foundation (APF) which attempted to fulfil the objective laid out by Huntington in 1975.
The APF was used to set up a program using federal funds called the Democracy Program which issued an interim report “The Commitment to Democracy” which said: “No theme requires more sustained attention in our time than the necessity for strengthening the future chances of democratic societies in a world that remains predominantly unfree or partially fettered by repressive governments. … There has never been a comprehensive structure for a non-governmental effort through which the resources of America’s pluralistic constituencies . .. could be mobilized effectively.”
In May 1981, Henry Kissinger who had replaced Brzezinski as head of the Trilateral Commission and had many operatives planted around President Reagan, gave a speech at Britain’s Chatham House (the controlling handbehind the Council on Foreign Relations) where he described his work as Secretary of State saying that the British “became a participant in internal American deliberations, to a degree probably never practiced between sovereign nations… In my White House incarnation then, I kept the British Foreign Office better informed and more closely engaged than I did the American State Department… It was symptomatic”. In his speech, Kissinger outlined the battle between Churchill vs FDR during WWII and made the point that he favored the Churchill worldview for the post war world (And ironically also that of Prince Metternich who ran the Congress of Vienna that snuffed out democratic movements across Europe in 1815).
In June 1982, Reagan’s Westminster Palace speech officially inaugurated the NED and by November 1983, the National Endowment for Democracy Act was passed bringing this new covert organization into reality with $31 million of funding under four subsidiary organizations (AFL-CIO Free Trade Union Institute, The US Chamber of Commerce’s Center for International Private Enterprise, the International Republican Institute and the International Democratic Institute) (2).
Throughout the 1980s, this organization went to work managing Iran-Contra, destabilizing Soviet states and unleashing the first “official” modern color revolution in the form of the Yellow revolution that ousted Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos. Speaking more candidly than usual, NED President David Ignatius said in 1991“a lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA”.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the NED was instrumental in bringing former Warsaw Pact nations into NATO/WTO system and the New World Order was announced by Bush Sr. and Kissinger- both of whom were rewarded with knighthoods for their service to the Crown in 1992 and 1995 respectively.
Of course, the vast web of NGOs permeating the geopolitical terrain can only be effective as long as no one says the truth and “names the game”. The very act of calling out their nefarious motives renders them impotent and this simple fact has made the recently announced China-Russia arrangement to formulate a proper strategic response to color revolutions so important in the current fight.
via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2TFWsEy Tyler Durden
Critics are calling a Trump administration plan for a rapid US force draw down in Afghanistan which involves striking a peace deal with the Taliban a “betrayal”.
But administration officials have countered that this is the cost of bringing the some 14,000 US troops in Afghanistan home. Trump “has been pretty clear that he wants to bring the troops home”according to senior officials privy to ongoing negotiations.
The chief controversy behind the US-Taliban peace talks is that any deal will likely rely on the Taliban holding to counterterrorism guarantees, or that it won’t attack US coalition forces; however, there’s reportedly little in the impending deal which holds the Taliban to guarantees it won’t attack Afghan civilians or the national army.
One source explained that the agreement is seen as paving the way for the US to leave the country without a high number of US casualties in the coming months.
President Trump said he had a “very good meeting in Afghanistan” in a tweet Friday, just after meeting with top national security advisers over the impending peace plan which seeks to end America’s longest running war, now approaching two decades.
“Discussions centered around our ongoing negotiations and eventual peace and reconciliation agreement with the Taliban and the government of Afghanistan,” a White House press spokesman said of the meeting. “The meeting went very well, and negotiations are proceeding.”
“In continued close cooperation with the government of Afghanistan, we remain committed to achieving a comprehensive peace agreement, including a reduction in violence and a cease-fire, ensuring that Afghan soil is never again used to threaten the United States or her allies, and bringing Afghans together to work towards peace,” the statement said.
CNN summarizes of the deal that it’s “expected to formalize a significant withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan — from about 15,000 troops to 8,000 or 9,000 troops — and enshrine official commitments by the Taliban to counterterrorism efforts in Afghanistan, according to the multiple sources familiar with the plan.”
But there’s fear that the Taliban is simply looking to remove the US military from the equation, and that once the US departs, the Taliban will have free reign to attack a greatly weakened Afghan national army.
Spearheading the dialogue has been White House special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who has been meeting with Taliban negotiators in Qatar for months, with a desire to strike a final deal by September 1.
via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2KPyjYe Tyler Durden
Part way through delivering a press conference following the Federal Reserve’s first rate cut since December 2008, chairman Jerome Powell let it be known that the central bank was ‘looking carefully‘ at developing a new faster payments system. Unsurprisingly, his words on the subject proved the equivalent of screaming into the face of a force ten gale. Besides a handful of financial outlets, nobody heard him. All that analysts and observers were really interested in was the Fed’s stance on interest rates.
This was unfortunate because whilst they may appear banal and complex on the surface, payments systems are of far greater significance than whether a central bank opts to cut or raise interest rates. Anyone keeping pace with the myriad of speeches and publications emanating from central banks will know that globalists are working incrementally to introduce a cashless monetary system under their control. The Federal Reserve are one strand of this strategy as we will discover.
RTGS stands for ‘Real Time Gross Settlement‘, and is the same model through which the Bank of England and the European Central Bank operate their payment systems. The BOE announced back in May 2017 a blueprint for the introduction of a ‘renewed‘ RTGS service, whilst the ECB in late 2018 launched a new system dubbed TIPS (TARGET Instant Payment Settlement). It was around the time that TIPS launched that the Fed issued a ‘request for comment‘ on reforming their own system. Taken as a whole, this is a further example of central banks working in coordination.
In a press release announcing ‘FedNow‘, the Fed justified the venture on the premise that the ‘rapid evolution of technology‘ had presented them with a ‘pivotal opportunity‘ to modernise the U.S. payment system. Exactly how long the Fed have been looking into adopting a new payment system is unclear. But if the Wall Street Journal is to be believed, they have been exploring a faster system since at least 2013.
The press release also pointed out that over 10,000 financial institutions are incorporated into the current Fed payment system known as ‘Fedwire‘, and argued that new real time infrastructure developed through the central bank would be best placed to offer full nationwide coverage.
The next stage of ‘FedNow‘ sees the Fed ‘requesting comment on how the new service might be designed‘. As for when it becomes available, the expectation is either 2023 or 2024. The Bank of England’s renewed RTGS system is due to be operational by 2025.
On the day ‘FedNow‘ was announced, Lael Brainard, a member of the Fed’s board of governors, offered up more information on the system in a speech at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. As you might expect, Brainard was there to extol the benefits. The big selling point was 365 days a year access, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Funds would be available immediately after payment is sent. It would be a system built on convenience and one that was fit for the speed of the 21st century.
Of greater interest than these superficial benefits, however, is the motivation behind what the Fed are seeking to achieve with ‘FedNow‘. Brainard was equally as explanatory in this regard.
We learned from her speech four key bits of information.
Firstly, fintech companies are openly supportive of the Fed’s new system. These are companies that are part of an industry that has pioneered the creation of distributed ledger technology.
Secondly, the planned implementation for either 2023 or 2024 is not a fixed objective. More important to the Fed is the goal of achieving ‘nationwide access for all‘, meaning that their overarching aim is for ‘FedNow‘ and private sector payment services to work in conjunction (or, as Brainard put it, to ‘interoperate by exchanging payments among services directly).
Thirdly, Brainard told us that no one private sector provider of a U.S. payment system has ever been able to establish nationwide reach by itself. Nationwide coverage would have to encompass the many thousands of small and medium sized banks. Hence why the Fed are now making a determined move to utilise private sector technology and incorporate it into their own system. I would contend that the Fed’s goal is to achieve full spectrum control of America’s payment infrastructure, with all digital transactions falling under their jurisdiction. ‘FedNow‘ would be the mechanism in making this happen.
Fourthly, as Brainard laid out, the path that the Fed are embracing is not one of ‘incremental‘ change. Rather, it is of ‘transformative‘ change. I would take this to mean that the infrastructure underpinning current payment systems must be overhauled to allow for the implementation of fintech devised technology.
An accompanying list of FAQ’s lent credence to the understanding that fintech is central to the construction of ‘FedNow‘. Here, the Fed expounded that the market for faster payments in the U.S. remains in the ‘early stages‘. Banks and fintech firms can provide a range of services, but the functionality of them is limited which restricts their level of coverage and reliability. They lamented the ‘lack of a universal infrastructure to conduct faster payments‘, which means that at present users who are signed up to one service such as Paypal invariably cannot send or receive payment from a user signed up to another service. As a result, the market remains ‘fragmented‘.
With the Federal Reserve system encompassing twelve regional banks, and the relationships the Fed has with 10,000 plus banking institutions, their belief is that they are ‘well positioned to overcome the challenge of extending nationwide access.’
Throughout their communications there is a preoccupation with the objective of achieving nationwide access. So much so that the Fed board are apparently intending to ‘explore interoperability and other paths to achieving the ultimate goal of nationwide reach.’
‘FedNow’ would provide the necessary universal infrastructure that the Fed are seeking, and allow banks of all description to offer real-time payments.
Undoubtedly this presents an opportunity for the Fed, and indeed central banks throughout the world, to move in and claim hegemony over the next generation of global digital payment systems. But they, along with the Bank for International Settlements and the International Monetary Fund that preside over them, cannot do this by themselves. This is where the private sector comes in, for it is here where the expertise and technological innovation is found.
Within the FAQ’s it is also stated that the ‘FedNow‘ service would ‘operate alongside private sector RTGS services for faster payments‘. Prior to the announcement of the new system, the Federal Reserve board had come to the conclusion that private sector RTGS services ‘cannot be expected to provide an infrastructure with reasonable effectiveness, scope and equity alone.’ A roundabout way of saying that whilst the Fed do not possess the technology, they do have the reach in order to disseminate private sector innovation to every corner of the U.S. The beauty for the Fed is that they would have full regulatory authority over ‘FedNow‘. In conjunction with fintech, their level of control over the payments infrastructure would be unassailable.
In regards to ‘FedNow‘, equally as interesting as what was discussed by the Fed is what was left unsaid. There was no mention throughout any of the supporting documentation of plans to incorporate distributed ledger technology. Instead, there will be ‘engagement between the Fed and the industry to inform the final service design.’ This is a process that is now getting underway.
I would expect that once the final design of ‘FedNow‘ is confirmed, it will have the capability of interacting with systems that use distributed ledgers. This would follow on from the Bank of England who in 2018 announced that their new RTGS service would enable such systems to achieve settlement in central bank money.
Once this has been achieved, the next logical step for central banks is to complete the process of digitising all financial assets through the issuance of central bank digital currency. And as BIS general manager Agustin Carstens warned back in March 2019, this would mean that people would no longer have the option of paying with cash. ‘All purchases would be electronic‘.
In a follow up article I will be exploring the process underway at the Bank of England and the European Central Bank to reform their payment systems, and how China is proving to be the test bed for fintech innovation.
via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2MnRQ58 Tyler Durden
About 9,000 “city slickers” living in luxurious neighborhoods of the nation’s largest cities received a farm bailout from the Trump administration to minimize the impact of the trade war with China, an updated Environmental Working Group (EWG) analysis of Department of Agriculture data shows.
The EWG analysis of USDA data revealed that “many recipients live not in farm country but in the nation’s 50 largest cities or in other decidedly nonrural locations.”
Urban recipients of the bailout include members of farm families, landowners, and investors. These people provide land, capital, or equipment for farms and make high-level decessions for operations.
EWG said bailout recipients include 70 people in San Francisco, 65 residents in New York City, 63 residents in Los Angeles, 61 residents in Washington, D.C., and 19 Miami.
In Washington D.C., lobbyist Van R. Boyette for the sugar company Florida Crystals, and its owners, the Fanjul brothers of West Palm Beach, Fla. all collected bailouts this year. Here’s a photo of the lobbyist’s USDA address:
Another non-farm address of a bailout recipient is at a Minneapolis skyscraper, is the location of R.D. Brummond and Sons LLC., which the Trump administration handled over nearly $100,000 this spring. The second is a mansion in a wealthy lakeside community in Blaine, Minn., a Minneapolis suburb, the address of Karnik Leifker LLC., which received about $100,000.
EWG has previously reported that nearly 20,000 city slickers in the nation’s 50 largest cities received farm subsidies in 2017, including hundreds who have received payments for three decades.
One farm bailout went to the address of a mansion located on a golf course of Craig Athen, of Omaha, Neb., who received $115,000 in government money this year.
Richard M. Morgan, of Columbus, Ohio, another bailout recipient this year, had $50,000 in farm bailout money go to an address of a mansion located on a golf course.
The environmental advocacy group said 3,500 bailout recipients had collected more than $125,000 in farm bailouts through April.
In a previous report, EWG found that farm bailouts are flowing the wealthiest farmers.
They suggested that the next bailout rounds would only increase the problem of how bailouts are not protecting mom-and-pop farmers, but rather showering wealthy farmers with money.
Deline Farms Partnership, a soybean farm in Charleston, Mo., was the largest bailout recipient this year receiving nearly $1,000,000.
EWG said the report is based on $8.4 billion of farm bailouts through April. The USDA data was obtained via the Freedom of Information Act.
As they have learned in the last two years, our great American Farmers know that China will not be able to hurt them in that their President has stood with them and done what no other president would do – And I’ll do it again next year if necessary!
EWG said farm bailouts were intended to provide a level of assistance proportionate to a farm’s size and success, which have effectively crippled mom-and-pop to medium-sized farmers, by allowing more significant operations to receive the most bailout money.
Often referred to as “zombie deer” disease because of the symptoms, Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has been reported in at least 26 states in the continental United States and in four provinces in Canada. In addition, CWD has been reported in reindeer and/or moose in Norway, Finland, and Sweden, and a small number of imported cases have been reported in South Korea. The disease has also been found in farmed deer and elk.
CWD was recently detected in a herd of deer in Canada.
On July 26, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed a case of CWD in a herd of white-tailed deer, reports Global News:
An Alberta deer farm recorded Canada’s third case of a so-called “zombie deer disease” last month.
While the chronic wasting disease (CWD) outbreak was contained — and no infected meat entered the Canadian food supply — experts say more needs to be done to stop the infectious disease from spreading.
The herd was “humanely destroyed on site and did not enter the food chain,” the agency told Global News in a statement. “[The farm] remains under quarantine and disease response activities have been initiated.”
This is the third case of CWD in Canada for 2019. The two other infections were also identified in Alberta — on Feb. 28 in elk and on June 21 in white-tailed deer. (source)
Before we discuss why this news is important, let’s back up a bit and talk about what CWD is and how it may eventually impact the food supply.
What is CWD?
CWD is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy disease found in deer, elk, moose, reindeer, and caribou. It is a progressive disease that is always fatal.
The disease is believed to be caused by abnormal proteins called prions, which are thought to cause damage to other normal prion proteins that can be found in tissues throughout the body. They are most often found in the brain and spinal cord, leading to brain damage and development of prion diseases. Infected brain cells eventually burst, leaving behind microscopic empty spaces in the brain matter that give it a “spongy” look.
Prions are misfolded proteins that are somehow infectious (we’re still not really sure how or why) and for which we have no treatments or cures. If you were to catch one, you’d basically deteriorate over the course of several months, possibly losing the ability to speak or move, and eventually you would die. Doctors wouldn’t be able to do anything to save you. (source)
The disease is believed to spread through saliva, urine, or feces from live deer or through contact with high-risk parts such as the backbone, eyes, or spleen of harvested deer. The disease can spread through the natural movement of deer but it spreads farther and quicker when humans move the deer.
Symptoms develop slowly – sometimes taking years to appear – and include stumbling, lack of coordination, drooling, lack of fear of people, and aggression.
Can CWD be transmitted to humans?
While there is no direct scientific evidence to suggest that CWD can be transmitted to humans, the CFIA says the consumption of meat from contaminated animals should be avoided.
However, some experts say CWD is a concern because the disease is adapting and may become a serious threat:
Darrel Rowledge, the director of Alliance for Public Wildlife, said CWD shouldn’t be discounted as an animal-only problem.
Rowledge said that while it’s difficult for a disease to jump from one species to another, signs the disease is evolving are alarming.
“Just because it hasn’t happened yet, doesn’t mean that it hasn’t happened,” he said. “A majority of our diseases have evolved to a place where they can infect people.
“We think about 70 percent of our diseases have come to us from other animals.” (source)
Rowledge’s warning echoes that of another expert. Earlier this year, Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told lawmakers that CWD should be treated as a public health issue. Osterholm (who sat on a panel of experts tracking the emergence of mad cow disease, or BSE, decades ago) issued this warning during a hearing:
“It is my best professional judgment based on my public health experience and the risk of BSE transmission to humans in the 1980s and 1990s and my extensive review and evaluation of laboratory research studies … that it is probable that human cases of CWD associated with the consumption of contaminated meat will be documented in the years ahead. It is possible that number of human cases will be substantial and will not be isolated events.” (source)
While he is aware that skeptics will accuse him of fear-mongering, Osterholm said, “If Stephen King could write an infectious disease novel, he would write about prions like this.”
There is a very similar disease that has already killed people.
As we reported earlier this year, Osterholm noted that for years, many public health and beef industry experts did not believe a similar disease – bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, also known as “mad cow disease” – could infect people:
Since 1996, more than 230 vCJD cases have been identified in 12 countries, 178 of them in the United Kingdom, 27 in France, and four in the United States. Just last fall, a case of mad cow disease was confirmed in Scotland, reports Food Safety News.
The letter — signed by scientists, hunting groups and Indigenous advocates — labeled the spread of CWD an epidemic.
“While no human cases of CWD have been confirmed, scientists note that while low, the risk is not zero — and it is evolving,” the letter reads.
“Thousands of CWD-infected animals are being consumed by hunters and their families across North America every year. Even a single transfer to a person — proving that humans are susceptible — would bring catastrophic consequences with limited options.”
Rowledge and the other experts used mad cow as an example of what can happen when diseases evolve.
“The notion that there is insufficient proof that CWD will transfer to humans is deceptive and irresponsible, just like BSE… With the BSE inquiry, one of its key lessons was that they said that they should not have been waiting for a person to die.” (source)
There haven’t been any documented cases of CWD in Manitoba, but the government there is planning to build a health lab in Dauphin to detect the disease because experts believe it will eventually arrive in the province, CBC News reports:
Manitoba Sustainable Development posted a request for proposals online late last month to build the Dauphin Big Game Health Laboratory.
The province already has a lab in Dauphin as part of its disease surveillance programs, and chronic wasting disease is the main concern, a Sustainable Development spokesperson said.
Chronic wasting disease is a fatal neurological disease related to mad cow disease and there’s no known cure.
The province has extended the surveillance zone for the disease, in which hunters are required to submit heads of their kills for analysis. The province anticipates a rise in samples, the provincial spokesperson said. (source)
Brian Kotak, managing director of the Manitoba Wildlife Federation, told CBC News that a growing body of research suggests the diseased proteins found in deer infected with chronic wasting disease may impact human health when consumed. That’s one reason he’s pleased the province is working to build a lab. “That’s fantastic news and really proactive on their part,” he said.
There are a few things you need to know about CWD.
Plants can act as a carrier of CWD because they can uptake prions from contaminated soil and transport them to different parts of the plant.
An infected animal can shed the disease a lot over a year (via urine and feces), and its decomposing body can further infect the soil and therefore the plants.
Killing CWD is impossible. Antibiotics do not kill CWD. Neither does cooking.
To give you an idea of just how persistent prions are: In 1985, the Colorado Division of Wildlife tried to eliminate CWD from a research facility by treating the soil with chlorine, removing the treated soil, and applying an additional chlorine treatment before letting the facility remain vacant for more than a year. Those efforts failed – they were unsuccessful in eliminating CWD from the facility.
CWD prions are accumulating, and prions have a long incubation period — sometimes as long as 30 to 40 years in humans. A person can be infected and not know it for decades.
Here’s how you can avoid infection with CWD.
While CWD is scary and is spreading through cervids in North America, this doesn’t mean that you must completely avoid game. However, you have to be careful.
The CDC offers some guidelines for hunters:
Hunters harvesting wild deer and elk from areas with reported CWD should check state wildlife and public health guidance to see whether testing of animals is recommended or required in a given state or region. In areas where CWD is known to be present, CDC recommends that hunters strongly consider having those animals tested before eating the meat. (source)
In addition, the agency advises hunters to avoid eating meat from deer and elk that look sick or test positive for CWD. They should wear gloves when field-dressing carcasses and minimize the handling of brain and spinal cord tissues. As a precaution, they should avoid eating deer and elk tissues known to harbor the CWD agent (e.g., brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils, lymph nodes) from areas where CWD has been identified.
In addition, hunters should wash their hands and instruments thoroughly after field dressing is completed. When taking the game to be processed, they should request that their animal is processed individually, without meat from other animals being added to the meat from their animal.
If hunters notice animals that are unusually thin and exhibit behavior such as having trouble walking, as well as those acting tame around humans and allowing someone to approach them, they should notify their state wildlife agency.
The CDC also states that “a negative test result does not guarantee that an individual animal is not infected with CWD, but it does make it considerably less likely and may reduce your risk of exposure to CWD.”
Is this how the real zombie apocalypse starts?
via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2OY9fmZ Tyler Durden
A coordinated ransomware attack has affected at least 20 local government entities in Texas, the Texas Department of Information Resources said. It would not release information about which local governments have been affected.
The Texas Division of Emergency Management is coordinating support from other state agencies through the Texas State Operations Center at DPS headquarters in Austin, according to KUT News.
City employees scrambling in the aftermath of the attack.
Press secretary for the department, Elliot Sprehe, said DIR was working to confirm which government entities are affected and which ones are still standing.
“It looks like we found out earlier today, but we’re not currently releasing who’s impacted due to security concerns,” he said.
KUT tried to contact the city of Austin for more details about the attack but the city refused to release any more information.
The Department of Information Resources advises jurisdictions that have been impacted to contact their local Texas Department of Emergency Management Disaster District Coordinator. DIR says it’s committed to providing the resources necessary to bring affected entities “back online.”
Adult and child sex trafficking is an unfortunate and horrifying reality that plagues countries around the world—including the United States. As TFTP has reported, people have been arrested attempting to purchase children as young as three-months-old to abuse them, including police officers. Even former child sex slaves have come forward to tell their stories and provide insight into the elite sickos who have the money and resources to deal in the lives of children. This has been ongoing for decades, yet the media and Americans alike, have largely ignored it, until now.
The arrest of Jeffery Epstein and his subsequent demise in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York has catapulted the massive problem of elite child sex trafficking into the limelight. Naturally, politicians on both sides — including the president — are attempting to use Epstein’s death for political advantage which has skewed the discourse. However, for the first time, Americans are actually talking about the problem of child sexual abuse among the elite, and this is healthy.
While some Americans are hearing Epstein’s name for the first time, TFTP has been reporting on his special treatment and ties to the elite for years. The child trafficking scandal doesn’t stop at the White House either, it crosses the pond and implicates the royal family too. Last year, a photo of the Queen’s son, Prince Andrew, surfaced as evidence during legal proceedings, showing him with his arm around one of the underage victims.
Epstein is a convicted child molester and sexually abused no less than 40 underage girls. Despite this fact, Alexander Acosta protected him while serving as a U.S. Attorney in Florida. After letting an admitted pedophile off with a wrist slap, instead of being fired, Acosta was then appointed to Trump’s labor secretary in 2017 before resigning last month amid the Epstein controversy.
Instead of going to prison for life, as he should’ve considering the evidence against him, Epstein only got 13 months and was allowed to stay in the Palm Beach County Jail in his own private cell where he was allowed to leave the prison six days a week for “work release”.
Epstein was forced to register as a sex offender for life, but with his money and his connections he wasn’t too bothered—until last month.
Despite the left and the right pitting Epstein against their political foes, this pedophile was tied to all sides of the political spectrum.
However, he was never held accountable until last month – only after his victims and dedicated reporters pushed for justice for nearly a decade.
Now, as a tornado of conspiracy theories over Epstein’s death continues to travel across the internet like wildfire, the media can no longer ignore the problem, nor Epstein’s connections.
Maybe now, as the DOJ investigates, the media may start to actually report on this massive problem. This is not the first time high profile figures have been arrested for sick crimes against children and let off with a wrist slap, but it is the first time the media is giving it so much attention—because this sicko is now dead.
As TFTP reported, in April of 2016, Dennis Hastert, former Speaker of the House under Clinton and Bush — and admitted child rapist — was sentenced to 15 months in prison after he was caught paying his victims to keep quiet. However, he was released in 2017 — two months before finishing his already insultingly lenient sentence.
Hastert was sentenced, not for raping children, but for illegally structuring bank transactions in an effort to cover up his sexual abuse of young boys.
Just like Epstein, Hastert was an admitted serial child rapist, yet because he is a well-connected politician and former Speaker of the House, this vile man’s victims received no justice. In fact, Hastert attempted to sue his victims for speaking out after he paid them to stay silent about their abuse.
As TFTP has reported, Washington D.C. not only protects sex abusers but they use your tax dollars to silence their victims. Sadly, most people ignore at least half of all the abuse because blowhards in the media try to turn sex abuse into a partisan issue. Those on the left ignore the crimes of their party, just like those on the right claim sex abuse is a liberal issue. But as we’ve shown, there is no difference between a blue child rapist and a red one.
As the Free Thought Project has previously reported, the problem of child sex trafficking goes all the way to the top in the UK as well. Sir Edward Heath, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was found by the police chief to be a pedophile. Just like what happens in the US, his vile crimes against children were allegedly ‘covered up by the establishment.’
Unfortunately, pedophilia and human trafficking is all too common among those in power. Sadly, however, those who attempt to draw attention to this problem are labeled as conspiracy nuts or perpetrators of fake news. Hopefully, as the truth comes out in regard to Jeffrey Epstein, the establishment will have a harder time protecting society’s worst.
via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2P2s34N Tyler Durden
Despite multiple provocative missile tests over the past month – with six in just three weeks, including on Friday – there’s been little response from the White House.
Though President Trump has lately come under fire for brushing off the tests as “just short-range” and routine, a new WSJ report acknowledges “diminished returns for a provocation the Kim regime has long deployed to coax a diplomatic reaction from the U.S. and its allies.”
The Trump admin’s lack of response and “consistent tolerance” for the short-range launches amid Pyongyang’s flurry of muscle-flexing and photo ops, also certainly aimed at South Korea and Japan, has left the north without the desired leverage previously gained through such provocations.
The WSJ report seems to further admit the unusual complete lack of response out of the White House shows a position of strength out of the administration: “The shock value from the North’s military flourishes seems to be lost on President Trump, the key figure in the cash-strapped country’s campaign to shed economic sanctions,” it states.
This is in stark contrast to recent editorials and statements of defense officials claiming Trump has given Kim a “free pass”.
Both Trump and Pompeo have expressed that they don’t care about the tests so long as their not of long-range or involve nuclear tests.
After a fifth missile test a week ago on Saturday (with a sixth coming days after), President Trump touted that he’d received another “beautiful” letter from Kim, which included “a small apology for testing the short range missiles” and that Kim would like to start more talks at the conclusion of scheduled US-South Korean military exercises.
Previously Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded “No” when he was asked point blank if Pyongyang’s latest spate of short-range launches “sour the environment for talks.”
via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2Za6MGa Tyler Durden