#Reproduction #Chemicals #SpermCount #Phthalates

Falling sperm counts are a threat to human survival, a leading epidemiologist has warned.

Dr Shanna Swan said the impending fertility crisis is a global threat in her provocative new book, 'Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race'.

Falling sperm counts could be as big a threat as the climate crisis, according to Dr Swan, an environmental and reproductive epidemiologist at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.

In the book, she wrote: 'The current state of reproductive affairs can’t continue much longer without threatening human survival.'

She is also the author of a ground-breaking 2017 study that revealed that sperm counts around the world have fallen by more than half over the past four decades.

And all signs suggest the downward trajectory will only continue in the decades to come.

Only about 1.9 percent of all babies born in the US were conceived using artificial reproductive technology.

By 2050, that will change, claims Dr Swan her new book

Dr Swan predicts that by then, a large proportion of people around the world will not be able to conceive without technological assistance.

That will be the result of declining sperm count among men around the world, she says.

There are many drivers of infertility, but Dr Swan has homed in on a sneaky prime suspect: household chemicals called phthalates.

Phthalates are in all manner of products. They make plastics pliable, they make it possible for our skin to absorb lotion and they help make food packaging like cellophane stretchy and air-tight.

But they seep from these packagings into our food and into our bodies where they do something much more insidious, disrupting the endocrine system that controls hormones, including testosterone.

Dr Swan and many other scientists believe this is a primary drive of men's plummeting sperm counts.

Her 2017 study showed a shocking decline in men's sperm counts, especially among Western men.

Men that have a sperm count below 15 million sperm per mL or 39 million per ejaculate are at risk of being infertile, according to the Mayo Clinic, although the shape and motility - or movement - of sperm matter, too.

One in seven couples in the US are already estimated to be infertile, as a result of fertility issues contributed by one or both partners.

Individually, about nine percent of men were estimated to be infertile already in 2018, the CDC's latest estimate.

That's far more than were infertile in 2017, according to Dr Swan's 2017 study.

She found that sperm counts among Western men had declined by nearly 60 percent between 1973 and 2011.

On average, sperm counts declined by a little more than one percent each year.

At that rate, the share of men who are infertile would now be around 12 percent. And if that continues, by 2050, 41 percent of men will be infertile.

As sperm counts and quality decline, much of the population will be forced to use assisted reproductive technology (ART), Dr Swan told

She calls this outcome 'a third step' in a cascade of issues.

'Preceding that, you have to start with the decline in sperm counts and semen quality, including decreased fertility, and fact that if men's sperm counts get really low, your only option, really, is to use assistive reproductive technology,' Dr Swan said.

Her study shows that sperm counts have been declining since at least 1973, but few of its scale had been done before, so it's hard to say when things really started to turn downward.

Phthalates were invented in the 1920s, and became commercially available in 1931.

They started out mainly being used in PVC, a tough but stretchy plastic, and products like insect repellent.

#Hasbro #PotatoHead #Stimulus

Toy manufacturer Hasbro Inc. is updating its iconic Mr. Potato Head, dropping the “Mr.” in favor of a kit that will let kids create a Potato Head family from a variety of pieces.

At first, the company said it was making a “modern” update to the nearly 70-year-old toy.

“Hasbro is making sure all feel welcome in the Potato Head world by officially dropping the Mr. from the Mr. Potato Head brand name and logo to promote gender equality and inclusion,” the company said in an initial announcement.

The company has since updated the announcement on its website to remove this language.

“Hasbro is officially renaming the Mr. Potato Head brand to Potato Head to better reflect the full line. But rest assured, the iconic Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head characters aren’t going anywhere and will remain Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head,” the updated news release indicated.

The new Potato Head toy is slates to be available in the fall.

The announcement was one of many during Hasbro’s investor event, in which the toy maker introduced updates to a number of its brands and even the way it reports its quarterly results.

The company also announced that it is launching the first Peppa Pig theme park at the LegoLand resort in Florida.

Opening in 2022, the Peppa Pig Theme Park will require a separate ticket and include water rides, interactive attractions, and other features.

Hasbro’s Nerf brand has partnered with NFL Flag to provide footballs and flag belts to the more than 1,600 NFL Flag U.S. leagues starting in the summer. Children under six years old will use Nerf-style foam balls, while older children will use traditional, air-filled Nerf footballs. The partnership also includes school programs and NFL Flag branding on packaging at select retail locations starting spring 2022.

In entertainment, a new “My Little Pony” movie is heading to Netflix in 2022, a new series for preschoolers called Kiya is coming in 2023, and dozens of other projects in the pipeline.

Hasbro has also extended its partnership with Epic Games, the company behind the popular “Fortnite” videogame.

The company is also launching new Monopoly games, new product lines for PJ Masks are coming soon, and there will be digital game launches for “Magic: The Gathering” and “Dungeons & Dragons.”

Behind the scenes, Hasbro has revamped its financial reporting segments, which the company will begin using in April for its first-quarter earnings release. Consumer products will include toys and games; Wizards of the Coast and digital gaming will encompass “Magic: The Gathering,” “Dungeons & Dragon”s and licensed Hasbro digital gaming; and entertainment will include Hasbro and eOne entertainment across family brands, TV and film, and music.

“Our expectation is that we return to growth in revenues, earnings and EBITDA in 2021,” said Brian Goldner, Hasbro’s chief executive, in a statement. (Goldner was MarketWatch’s CEO of the Year in 2008.)

“This includes revenue growth in all three segments to potentially achieve double-digit revenue growth across Hasbro for the year.”

Hasbro reported fourth-quarter earnings in early February, beating expectations.

Hasbro shares were up 1% on Thursday, and have gained 11.3% over the past year. The benchmark S&P 500 index is up 22.9% for the period.

#Hoax​ #SmithCollege​ #Racism​ #Fraud​

An elite Massachusetts liberal arts college has quietly conceded that there was no truth to allegations of racism made by one of their students that 'ruined the lives' of numerous campus workers.

Oumou Kanoute was in the canteen at Smith College on July 31, 2018 when she claimed she was profiled for 'eating while black' after a security guard asked her what she was doing.

Kanoute, a psychology undergraduate student, posted video of the incident on social media and claimed that she was the victim of racism.

She named staff: one of whom was hospitalized with stress, and another janitor, who was not present, was forced from his job.

Kanoute said the security guard may have been carrying a 'lethal weapon' when, in fact, he was unarmed.

As a result, Smith forced employees to attend seminars about unconscious bias, with one staff member, who disagreed with it, quitting her job.

However, an independent law firm investigating the incident has now found that there was no evidence of wrongdoing and cleared all those involved.

On the day of the incident, Kanoute, a 21-year-old who was raised in New York after her family emigrated from Mali, was in an empty canteen that was reserved for a summer camp program for young children.

The 150-year-old women-only college, whose motto is 'audacity, agency, authenticity,' charges $80,000 a year in fees.

About 6.6 per cent of Smith's more than 2,500 undergraduates identify as black, according to college data: 36.3 per cent identify as a person of color.

Jackie Blair, a veteran cafeteria employee, mentioned to Kanoute that it was reserved for the summer school, and then decided to drop it, according to The New York Times.

A janitor, who was in his 60s and poor of sight, and had worked at Smith for 35 years, was emptying garbage cans when he saw a figure reclining and eating alone, in a far corner of the canteen which was supposed to be closed.

Campus police had advised staff to call security rather than confront strangers on their own, so the janitor called security.

'We have a person sitting there laying down in the living room,' the janitor told a dispatcher according to a transcript.

'I didn't approach her or anything but he seems out of place.'

A well-known older campus security officer drove over to the dorm where the cafeteria was situated, The Times recounted, and was accompanied by a campus police officer.

He recognized her as a student and they had a brief and polite conversation, which she recorded on video.

'Hi,' she says.

'How are you doing?' a man says.

'Good, how are you?' she replied.

'We were wondering why you were here,' he says.

'Oh, I was eating lunch, I'm working the summer program, so I was just relaxing on the couch.'

He replies: 'Oh, just taking a break. So you're with the program?'

'Yeah. I'm actually a TA,' she says.

He replies: 'Oh, so that's what it was. We just wondered.'

Kanoute says: 'It's OK, it's just that kind of stuff like this just happens way too often, where people just feel threatened.'

#Ehukai #Pillbox #Oahu

Ehukai Pillboxes is a 2.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Haleiwa, Oahu, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Very family oriented, wide, easy, well graded trail. Only thing to watch out for are the junctions to the pillboxes and when it's raining, it can get slippery. Some rope sections which could come handy when muddy and slippery.

This trail is easy to follow and had minimal mud only at the beginning, ropes to help when it was very steep, good roots for footing and really beautiful views. The pillboxes were full of people at sunset but still very expansive views. From pillbox 1 to pillbox 2 is only a few minutes of steep decline and it’s worth checking out both. There are some very steep parts on this trail, but they’re short. This would be an excellent challenge for a beginner hiker as well as a fun journey for someone in tip-top shape.

#MoroCanyon #LagunaBeach #CrystalCove #OrangeCounty

El Moro Canyon Loop Trail is a 4 mile hike that brings you through a canyon and up to Moro Ridge, offering jaw-dropping views of the Pacific Ocean throughout the duration.

The trail features a waterfall and is open year-round, but is best used in the spring. Remember to bring $15 cash for the parking fee. The Laguna Beach trail is shared by trail runners, mountain bikers, hikers, and the occasional horseback rider. Dogs are not allowed in Crystal Cove State Park.

Crystal Cove State Park is a beautiful area in Laguna Beach that includes 3 miles of coastline and dozens of miles of hiking trails. I set out to explore the most popular trail, El Moro Loop Trail, which included hiking through a nice canyon and going along a ridge that overlooked the ocean. It was a great five mile trail in Orange County, and here is all the information.

Crystal Cove State Park is north of Downtown Laguna Beach on Highway 1. You will see signs directing you to the park, and you will want to enter near El Moro School. From there, you will go through the pay station, pay your fee and then park down near where the beach parking is but up in the lot closer to the hills. There was plenty of parking when I went in the spring, but I am sure in the summer this area gets really busy.

rom the parking lot, the trailhead is in the northeast part of the lot. There is a map there that you can take a photo of, but the trail is relatively straightforward as long as you take the correct direction at the two splits.

#HerschelWalker #Reparations #Grift #Scam

NFL legend Herschel Walker argued against reparations for black Americans at a congressional hearing, saying: 'Slavery ended over 130 years ago.'

Walker made his case to members of the Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties who met via Zoom on Wednesday to discuss House Resolution 40, which aims to 'establish a commission to study and consider a national apology and proposal for reparations for the institution of slavery'.

The athlete, who played for the University of Georgia and won the Heisman Trophy in 1982 before going pro, asserted that compensating black Americans for the lasting impacts of slavery would cause more harm than good.

'We use black power to create white guilt,' Walker, a longtime friend of former president Donald Trump, told the subcommittee. 'My approach is can I ask my Heavenly Father to forgive me if I can't forgive my brother?

'America is the greatest country in the world for me, a melting pot of a lot of great races, a lot of great minds that have come together with different ideas to make Americans the greatest country on Earth.'

Walker went on to rant about the impracticality of reparations, given that slavery was abolished so long ago.

'How many African-Americans was alive today that was in slavery? Which is none,' he said.

'So I go to some of the older people for experience and I remember my mom mentioning, how could we pay for your great, great, great grandfather being burned to death? Or how could we pay for your great, great uncle being hung?'

'I understand that those pictures are horrible,' Walker said, referencing photos of a beaten slave and lynched black Americans that HR 40's sponsor, Rep Sheila Jackson Lee (D - Texas), presented at the start of the hearing.

'But right now, I think the fact finding is going to be very difficult to go back over history when history is not even taught in school on what we're trying to in fact find.'

He continued: 'Where would the money from from? Does it come from all the other races except the black taxpayers?

'Who is black? What percentage of black must you be to receive reparations? Do you go to 23andMe or a DNA test to determine the percentage of blackness?

'Reparations teach separation,' Walker concluded. 'Slavery ended over 130 years ago. How can a father ask his son to spend prison time for a crime he committed?

'I feel it continues to let us know we're still African American, rather than just American. Reparation or atonement is outside the teaching of Jesus Christ.'

Walker was joined in the opposition by talk show host Larry Elder, who argued that systemic racism is not the main problem.

'Obviously there are black people who are poor, the extent of which the poverty is a result of slavery and Jim Crow is tenuous at best,' Elder said. 'The larger factor behind black poverty is the absence of fathers in the home.'

Elder also called reparations for slavery the 'greatest generational transfers of wealth back and forth, because virtually every people on the face of the earth was involved in slavery.'

Rep Burgess Owens, a freshman Republican from Utah, used the venue to place blame on the Democrats for most of the US's sordid racial history.

'It has not been an American problem, it has been pretty specific. When you think about where slavery began, where segregation, where Jim Crow, it's always the Democratic Party,' Owens said.

'Earlier we mentioned 40 acres and a mule, that was ended by a Democratic president, Andrew Johnson, we talked about the KKK, that was a Democratic terrorist organization that actually was ended, at the end of the 1880s, but brought back again by Woodrow Wilson in 1915,' he continued.

Owens - one of just two black Republicans in the House - called reparations 'impractical and a non-starter' and said it was 'unfair and heartless to give black Americans the hope that this is a reality'.

'The reality is that black American history is not a hapless hopeless race oppressed by a more powerful white race,' he said, calling the current inequities 'the failure of policies'.

#Wikipedia #LarrySanger #Neutrality #Concentration #Camp #Germany

A 95-year-old former N*** concentration camp guard has been deported from the United States and arrived Saturday in his native Germany where he is being held by police for questioning, authorities said.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said in a statement that Friedrich Karl Berger was sent back to Germany for serving as a guard of a Neuengamme concentration camp subcamp in 1945.

Berger, who had retained German citizenship, was deported for taking part in 'N***-sponsored acts of persecution', the department said.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice.

German authorities confirmed Berger arrived Saturday at Frankfurt and was handed over to Hesse state investigators for questioning, the dpa news agency reported.

Berger admitted to U.S. authorities that he served as a guard at a camp in northwestern Germany, which was a subcamp of the Neuengamme concentration camp, for a few weeks near the end of the war but said he did not observe any abuse or killings, prosecutors in the German city of Celle said.

A spokesman for the prosecutor´s office in Celle said police in the German state of Hesse had been asked to question him on his return to Germany. A police spokesman said there is no live investigation linked to him and he is a free individual and has not been taken in custody.

German prosecutors in Celle had investigated the possibility of bringing charges against Berger, but said in December that they had shelved the probe because they had been unable to refute his own account of his service at Neuengamme.

But prosecutors asked for him to be questioned again upon his return to Germany, however, to determine whether accessory to murder charges could be brought, police said.

Berger was ordered expelled from the U.S. by a Memphis, Tennessee court in February 2020.

The deportation of Berger was 'possibly the last' such US expulsion of a former N***, given the dwindling number of war survivors, one US official said.

In recent years, German prosecutors have successfully argued that by helping a death camp or concentration camp function, guards can be found guilty of accessory to murder even if there is no evidence of them participating in a specific killing.


Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger has slammed the site's leftist bias and claims its days of 'neutrality are long gone' in a new interview.

Sanger, 52, called alleged bias on the site he co-founded in January 2001 with Jimmy Wales 'disheartening' in an interview for a Fox News analysis.

According to his own Wikipedia page, Sanger has long 'been critical of the project,' and described it as being 'broken beyond repair' in 2007.

'Wikipedia's ideological and religious bias is real and troubling, particularly in a resource that continues to be treated by many as an unbiased reference work.'

Wikipedia pages related to socialism and communism contain show how the website has 'become merely left-wing advocacy essays,' according to Fox News.

'The two main pages for "Socialism" and "Communism" span a massive 28,000 words, and yet they contain no discussion of the genocides committed by socialist and communist regimes, in which tens of millions of people were murdered and starved,' the Fox News analysis claims.

Sanger told the outlet he is now working on a new 'Encyclosphere' project but said he doesn't think Wikipedia could be 'salvaged.'

His own Wikipedia page documents a long history of criticism against the site he co-founded.

Sanger's woes with the company were first revealed in 2004 when he wrote an article for the website Kuro5hin.

Sanger's article claimed that Wikipedia, which calls itself 'the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit,' is not perceived as credible by librarians and academics because it lacks a formal review process and is 'anti-elitist.'

In 2007, Sanger criticized Wikipedia again after the launch of Citizendium, another wiki-based encyclopedia he created to address the 'flaws' with Wikipedia.

Sanger said Wikipedia was 'broken beyond repair' and had 'a whole series of scandals' from 'serious management problems' to 'frequently unreliable content,' according to IT News.

The techie again distanced himself from Wikipedia in September 2009 when he claimed: 'I thought that the project would never have the amount of credibility it could have if it were not somehow more open and welcoming to experts.'

'The other problem was the community had essentially been taken over by trolls to a great extent. That was a real problem, and Jimmy Wales absolutely refused to do anything about it,' Sanger told Internet Revolution.

Sanger sent a letter to the FBI in April 2010 claiming that Wikimedia Commons was hosting child pornography, according to a BBC article.

#Professor #JohnsHopkins #Corona #Herd #Immunity #Vaccine

Johns Hopkins professor Dr Marty Makary has made a bold claim: 'We'll have herd immunity by April'.

Dr Makary wrote in a Wall Street Journal editorial that he estimates that the U.S. will have herd immunity by then, driven by the high, but underestimated, number of people who have been infected already and vaccination.

'Some medical experts privately agreed with my prediction that there may be very little Covid-19 by April but suggested that I not to talk publicly about herd immunity because people might become complacent and fail to take precautions or might decline the vaccine,' said Dr Makary in his editorial, published Friday.

'But scientists shouldn’t try to manipulate the public by hiding the truth.'

Dr Makary noted that new daily infections have declined 77 percent in the past six weeks (a analysis of Johns Hopkins data shows a 72 percent decline), equating this decrease to a 'miracle pill.'

President Joe Biden also said he hopes Americans can 'return to normalcy' by the end of this year during a visit to a Pfizer vaccine manufacturing facility in Michigan on Friday.

The US saw 74,676 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, compared to six weeks ago, when the seven-day rolling average of new daily infections was 247,164. Infections have been declining steadily for the past five weeks, but top health officials including Dr Anthony Fauci and CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky have warned that the progress is tenuous.

America is still seeing more new infections a day than it did at the height of the summer peak, Dr Walensky reiterated on Friday - and even the current downward trajectory is threatened by the spread of new variants like the UK's, which has already caused more than 1,600 infections in 43 states.

Dr Makary's rosy prediction largely dismisses the presence of variants, noting that cases are declining in the UK, where the B117 variant quickly became dominant, triggering massive case surges and lockdowns there.

He also claims that herd immunity in the Brazilian city of Manaus, where 76 percent of people had already been infected resulted in a 'slowing of the infection.' But the Lancet report that he drew those statistics from documented the 'resurgence of COVID-19 despite high' proportions of the population who had previously infected.

In the US, the CDC predicts that the B117 variant will become dominant by March. Cases are already doubling about every 10 days, according to a recent Scripps Research Institute study - and experts are concerned that the 1.58 million doses of vaccine being given a day won't enough to the more infectious variants now spreading in the U.S.

Inevitably, the US and every other nation comes a little closer to herd immunity with every day and every additional case of COVID-19, and that does reduce the number of people vulnerable to infection - but the nation is likely still a long way off from reaching vaccination or prior infection for 70 percent of the population.

So far, just 12.6 percent of the population has had one or more dose of coronavirus vaccine, and about 1.6 million doses are being given a day. At that rate, Bloomberg's vaccination calculator estimates that 70 percent of the US won't be inoculated until about New Year's Day, 2022.

Some of that gap, however will be made up by the number of Americans who acquire immunity by surviving COVID-19.

As of Friday evening, 27.9 million cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

It's widely agreed that that figure is an underestimate. The CDC estimates that some 83.1 million Americans have had the virus.

With a population of 331 million, that estimate would suggest that a quarter of the US population has been infected and immunity to COVD-19 (although it's still not clear how long that protection will last, most studies suggest it will provide three to eight months of immunity, at least).

Combined with the 12.6 percent of the US that's been infected, that would bring the total share of Americans with COVID-19 immunity to 37.6 percent. Even assuming both the CDC's estimate of cases and the vaccination rate are underestimates, the nation is still a long way off from herd immunity.

If both vaccinations and infections both keep up at the current rates, it's possible that the combination could push the number of people with some immunity from one or the other past 300,000 - but the declining case rates will hamper that progress, and variants - especially those that arrived to the US from Brazil and South Africa and can evade antibodies - could weaken protection if they take hold.

But Dr Makary argues that the number of Americans who have already had coronavirus and are now immune or, at least, less at-risk of the infection, is discounted in other public health experts' predictions of when the US could reach herd immunity.

#Australia #Facebook #Ban #News #Money #BigTech #Zuckerberg #Censorship

Facebook users in Australia are slowly coming to terms with the fact that they’ll no longer be able to get their daily news updates on the platform.

In a snap decision announced Wednesday, the social media giant said it was no longer going to allow publishers and Australian users to share and view news content on its site.

The move was a direct response to Australia’s proposed “new media code,” which would force Google and Facebook to pay news publishers for the right to link to their content in news feeds or search results.

Google announced a major deal with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp on Wednesday, but Facebook has taken the nuclear option, according to Peter Lewis, director of the Centre for Responsible Technology at the think tank Australia Institute.

How residents have responded
Facebook’s actions have divided opinion across the country, with some indifferent, and others angry. The #deletefacebook hashtag was trending on Twitter in Australia on Thursday.

When removing news pages from its platform, Facebook also inadvertently pulled pages for dozens of charities, state health organizations, small businesses, and a weather bureau.

Sydney resident Fred Azis-Laranjo told CNBC that he thinks Facebook’s decision will “massively backfire” and that Facebook will lose fans and customers in Australia as a result.

“It will inconvenience and annoy a huge group of the population who get their news from their Facebook news feed,” he said.

“Longer term, I think it is a good thing if it encourages more people to seek news more proactively, which will likely mean they’re exposed to a greater diversity of views and will also likely benefit established news organizations over niche players.”

Josh Gadsby, director of client relationship management at Visa in Sydney, told CNBC that he cares and he thinks most other people in Australia do as well. Facebook exacerbated the situation by banning non-news pages, according to Gadsby.

“Having worked for the Financial Times for several years, I saw the impact Facebook and Google were having on ad revenues for traditional publishers and I think it’s reasonable for them to be expected to pay something to use content from publishers,” he said.

Gadsby believes that Facebook should have negotiated a deal with publishers. “It’ll be interesting to see what their next step is as personally, I think it’s unlikely the ban will be long-lasting,” he said.

The timing of the decision has angered some people.

Natasha Kinrade, who works in sales at corporate events firm Cliftons in Sydney, told CNBC that “it seems wrong that they are banning news and alerts especially during Covid times” and pointed out that Facebook is sometimes the best and quickest place to get accurate updates during an event like a terrorist attack.

John Henderson, a venture capitalist at AirTree Ventures in Sydney, told CNBC that he worries about the societal consequences of legitimate news sources disappearing from Facebook. “Surely it just creates space for lower integrity journalism and more fake news,” he said.

But Joe Daunt, a senior video editor at A Cloud Guru in Melbourne, told CNBC he hopes that people will see less fake news and misinformation if they start looking beyond Facebook for their news. “I think it’s a good move to be honest,” he said.

Jon Gore, who is located in Byron Bay, New South Wales, told CNBC that he doesn’t really care.

“I don’t go to Facebook for news or much else these days,” he said, adding that he feels like he has to do a lot of source checking when looking at news on Facebook.

“I’m not interested in sensationalist stories. I get frustrated by, and actively don’t click on links if they have leading clickbait titles.”

Gore said that many of the charities and small businesses will have likely struggled after their pages were removed by Facebook. “There’s a fair few places that use Facebook in place of a dedicated website,” he said.

Carly Gower, who works at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, told CNBC that the proposed media law doesn’t make sense to her. “Why should media companies be paid for content that they are voluntarily posting to Facebook?” she said. “The ban is a tough response but sort of justified for the big media companies who wanted the new laws.”

A Facebook spokesperson told CNBC that the company will reverse some of the bans.

“The actions we’re taking are focused on restricting publishers and people in Australia from sharing or viewing Australian and international news content,” a company spokesperson said.

“As the law does not provide clear guidance on the definition of news content, we have taken a broad definition in order to respect the law as drafted. However, we will reverse any pages that are inadvertently impacted.”

#NewYork #Assault #Alarm #Cuomo #DeBlasio #Clown #Arrest

A New York man has been charged with strangling and r***** a woman in her own home before breaking in to the property again two days - this time wearing terrifying clown makeup, prosecutors say.

Joseph T. Johnson, 33, of Wyandanch, was charged with 13 counts including r***, strangulation, and multiple burglary counts.

He is accused of a wild rampage, which began on September 19 with the breaking into several parked cars at Wyandanch train station between 1am and 3am.

Later the same day, Johnson allegedly broke into a woman's home in Wyandanch where he raped and strangled her, stealing money as he left.

The traumatized woman installed several surveillance cameras in and around the property, Suffolk County district attorney, Timothy Sini, said on Wednesday.

Two days after the attack, on September 21, the woman was alerted that the cameras had been turned off.

The cameras were found to have been damaged or turned away from the home, and the wires to the cameras' recording unit inside the house had been cut.

Video surveillance captured before the cameras were damaged allegedly showed Johnson, wearing clown face paint, at the residence.

Johnson appeared to have something of a clown fetish: his Facebook page featured numerous photos of him in clown makeup.

Johnson was identified from the surveillance video by a Suffolk County Police Detective and was arrested.

DNA testing confirmed his being inside the house and r***** the woman, authorities said.

'This is an extremely disturbing case,' said Sini.

'As alleged in the indictment, this defendant went on a crime spree that escalated from breaking car windows to breaking into the victim's home twice in the span of 72 hours, r***** and repeatedly strangling the victim while threatening her life.

'This is a dangerous individual and a convicted s** offender who is now off our streets thanks to the excellent work of the Suffolk County Police Department and Assistant District Attorney Ferron Lien.'

Justice Chris Ann Kelley, acting Suffolk County Supreme Court justice, set bail at $500,000 cash, $1 million bond, or $5 million partially-secured bond.

He is being represented by the Legal Aid Society and is due back in court on March 9.

If convicted, Johnson faces up to 40 years in prison, if sentenced consecutively.

#Biden #StudentLoan #Debt #Forgiveness #Progressives #MinimumWage #15

President Joe Biden said Tuesday that he wouldn't write off $50,000 in student loan debt, as progressives have asked for, and was willing to gradually bump up the minimum wage to $15.

Biden participated in a CNN town hall in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he wiggled away from the left of his party, knocking down attendee Joycelyn Fish's ask that he work to get $50,000 wiped from each American student's loan bill.

'I will not make that happen,' the president said.

Biden said he stood by the plan he articulated on the campaign trail, which was to absolve adult borrowers from $10,000 worth of debt.

'I understand the impact of debt and it can be debilitating,' he said. 'But I do think that in this moment of economic pain and strain that we should be eliminating interest on the debts that are accumulated, number one and number two, I'm prepared to write off a $10,000 debt, but not $50,000.'

'I don't think I have the authority to do it by signing,' the president added.

Members of his own party, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer have said Biden does have the power.

Progressive activists have been pushing for the number to go up.

'The Biden admin NEEDS to be pushed,' said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez during an Instagram Q&A last Tuesday. 'They have said they're comfortable with $10K in forgiveness but we NEED at least $50K minimum and there is support for 50K.'

Biden suggested he wasn't comfortable with that much debt relief because he feared it was going to students who graduated from Ivy League universities.

'I say to a community, I'm going to forgive the debt, the billions of dollars of debt for people who have gone to Harvard and Yale and Penn and the schools of my children,' he said. 'But is that going to be forgiven rather than use that money to provide for early education for young children who come from disadvantaged circumstances?'

Biden first talked about his plans to make education more affordable - like free community college - before getting back to the plight of loan holders, who are sometimes a decade or two out of school.

The president said he backed Americans being able to pay off their debt through certain career fields and volunteer work.

He also was supportive of repayment plans, which already exist, that are based on income.

'And you cannot be charged more than X per cent of your take-home pay, so that it doesn't affect your ability to buy a car, own a home, etc.,' Biden explained.

Biden was pressed on his plan to originally include a $15 minimum wage in the COVID-19 relief bill - which might not happen now because the Senate will likely have to use a certain parliamentary procedure for passage, and the wage hike will have to be dropped.

The president was asked about it by a small business owner who fretted about paying employees that much money when the cost of living in the midwest is lower than other parts of the country.

'South is not much different than the midwest in that regard,' Biden said.

The president explained that the way to do it, is to do it gradually over several years.

'But it's totally legitimate for small business owners to be concerned about that changes,' he admitted.

He was applauded when he said, 'Where it's $7.25 an hour, no one should work 40 hours a week and live in poverty.'

That's the current federal minimum wage.

'I do support a $15 minimum wage. I think there is equally if not more evidence to dictate that it would grow the economy in the long run and medium run, benefit small businesses as well as large businesses and would not have such a dilatory effect, but that's a debatable issue,' he told the audience.

#Meena #Kamala #Nepotism #Capitalism #VicePresident #WillieBrown #Biden #Influencer

Kamala Harris’ niece is still using the Vice President to flog her range of feminist sweatshirts – despite being ordered not to by the White House. can reveal that Meena Harris’s Phenomenal line is still listed on non-profit retail website Social Goods next to a quote from Harris.

A $59 ‘Ambitious’ sweatshirt appears next to a line from the Vice-President that reads: ‘There will be a resistance to your ambition, there will be people who say to you, 'you are out of your lane.'

‘They are burdened by only having the capacity to see what has always been instead of what can be. But don't you let that burden you.’

Meena, 36, was ordered to stop promoting her products using Harris’ name after the November 3 election.

At that point, she had already launched a range of gear featuring the ‘I’m speaking!’ quote that was used by Harris to check former Vice President Mike Pence during their debate.

But the mom-of-two has continued to cash in since then – launching a collection of ‘MVP’ [Madam Vice President] sweatshirts and collaborating with Beats by Dre on a set of limited-edition headphones featuring a quote from Harris’ acceptance speech.

Although Meena has now removed the MVP line from her Phenomenal Clothing website, she has continued to push her products on Social Goods using her aunt’s name.

She also continues to sell an ‘I’m Speaking’ sweatshirt for $59 on her own website, although references to Harris have been taken out.

Social Goods also sells a children’s picture book called Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea for $18.99 – the name was inspired by Harris and Meena’s mother Maya.

The accompanying blurb also references the Vice-President, although it still refers to her as being a US Senator, and reads:

‘Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea by Meena Harris is an empowering picture book about two sisters who work with their community to effect change, inspired by a true story from the childhood of her aunt, US Senator Kamala Harris, and mother, lawyer, and policy expert Maya Harris. ‘It's an uplifting tale of how the author’s aunt and mother first learned to persevere in the face of disappointment and turned a dream into reality.’

On Sunday, a White House official scolded the 36-year-old in the Los Angeles Times, saying: 'Some things can't be undone. That being said: Behavior needs to change.'

Both Meena and Social Goods have been contacted for comment by

In a statement released through a PR firm to the LA Times last week, Meena said: ''Since the beginning of the campaign, I have insisted on upholding all legal and ethical standards and will continue to strictly adhere to the ethics rules of the Biden/Harris White House.

'With regards to Phenomenal, it was always our plan to remove the likeness of the Vice President from the website before the Inauguration, and refrain from using her likeness in any products or campaigns going forward,'

Meena is the daughter of Maya Harris, who was a single mother at 17. The Vice President helped raise her niece.

The 36-year-old lives in San Francisco, California, with husband Nikolas Ajagu, 37, and their two young daughters, and launched Phenomenal in 2017 on the back of the Women’s March in DC.

She uses her Instagram page to promote the clothes, regularly posting selfies of herself wearing the sweatshirts.

Meena also uses her social media to push her political views, which include support for the Defund The Police movement.

She has also created a range of t-shirts for her Phenomenal line promoting Black Lives Matter, and is also campaigning for the rights of migrant farmworkers.

Since the election, the 36-year-old has become a media fixture and has used interviews to promote Phenomenal and her latest children’s book Ambitious Girl, while talking about her aunt.

Meena has also spoken about how she gave up a high-flying job at Uber to launch the company, while husband Ajagu has taken leave from his job at Facebook to care for their daughters and allow her to focus on the brand full time.

In an interview with The Times of London last month, Meena said her partner gave up his high-flying tech job in San Francisco to be a stay-at-home father to their two daughters, and free her to run her business.

She told how Ajagu, who she met while working in the tech industry, decided he wanted to be a full-time father to Amara, four, and two-year-old Leela.

‘We do not ascribe to the traditional gender role thing in our house,' she said.

#McConnell #GOP #Trump #Lara #Taylor #2022 #2024

Mitch McConnell has said he is open to opposing any 'unelectable' candidates in 2022, even if they are strongly backed by Donald Trump, as he wrestles with how to handle a deeply-divided party following Trump's impeachment hearing.

McConnell voted on Saturday to acquit the former president, but then publicly attacked him, accusing him of a 'disgraceful dereliction of duty' in his most critical remarks ever uttered.

His tightrope walk between defending and demonizing the former president impressed few.

On Sunday, McConnell told Politico that he was now focused on the future - with or without Trump's support.

'My goal is, in every way possible, to have nominees representing the Republican Party who can win in November,' he said.

'Some of them may be people the former president likes. Some of them may not be. The only thing I care about is electability.'

McConnell did not mention any names.

Candidates backed by Trump such as QAnon believer Marjorie Taylor Greene, who only entered Congress in January, have already caused him and his party significant headaches, with her previous incendiary comments.

Other candidates likely to be backed by Trump, such as his daughter-in-law Lara, expected to make a run for the Senate in 2022, could not count on McConnell's support, he said.

'I'm not predicting the president would support people who couldn't win,' McConnell said.

'But I do think electability — not who supports who — is the critical point.'

McConnell declined to say whether he would support the former president if he seeks re-election in four years time.

'I'm focused on '22,' he said.

Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican senator for West Virginia, admitted that the party was at a crucial juncture with deep divisions between loyal Trumpites and those committed, like her, to McConnell.

'I don't know what happens to the party as a whole in terms of the folks deeply committed to President Trump,' she told the site.

'But I hope they stick with us.'

Andy Biggs, a representative for Arizona and head of the arch conservative House Freedom Caucus, said many people in his party were upset at McConnell.

'A lot of people are frustrated with his comments. I'm not going to sugarcoat it,' he said, adding that Trump's influence remained.

'The fact he is no longer in the White House does not mean he is not the leader of the movement he started four or five years ago.'

#NYPD #Subway #Ripper #Homeless #Arrest

A subway stabber who killed two homeless people and slashed two others during a violent 14-hour spree has been caught, and was splattered in blood when he was arrested, police say.

The man, who has not yet been named, was in still in possession of the knife and had blood on his sneakers, cops told the New York Post.

The man was wearing layers of clothes and a winter coat with high-top sneakers, sources told the New York Daily News.

The suspect was reportedly arrested in Upper Manhattan, just blocks from where the bloody rampage began and he is in custody at the 34th Precinct in Washington Heights.

The fatal stabbings took place on opposite ends of the A subway line, which connects the Inwood section of Upper Manhattan with Rockaway, Queens.

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea announced on Saturday that a 'surge' of 500 additional cops for the department's Transit Bureau would be immediately deployed across the city.

The wounded victims were reportedly helping police identify the assailant earlier on Saturday.

During a news conference on Saturday, police told reporters that the violent stabbing spree started at around 11:20am on Friday.

That's when a 67-year-old man was stabbed by an assailant at the 181st Street A-line subway station.

The victim is expected to survive, according to police.

He told cops that his attacker had shouted 'I am going to kill you', before he was stabbed in the right knee and left buttock, New York Post reported.

The next attack took place before midnight, when authorities found a man stabbed to death in his seat on the A train at the Mott Avenue station in Far Rockaway, Queens.

The victim died of stab wounds to his neck and torso. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Just two hours later, a 44-year-old was found unconscious after she was stabbed while riding the A train at the 207th Street Station in Upper Manhattan.

The woman was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Just a few minutes later, a 43-year-old man was randomly stabbed at the A subway station on West 181st Street in Manhattan.

The man was rushed to hospital where he is listed in stable condition.

The slashing spree sparked a massive manhunt and an outcry for safer subways.

Officers were seen patrolling subway stations across the city looking for the alleged suspect before the man was arrested. The NYPD plans to deploy an additional 865 officers to patrol the subway system on Monday.

Officials said had said earlier on Saturday they believed the attacker to be possibly a Hispanic male standing at a height of 5ft tall and wearing a face mask.

'Three of these incidents appear to be connected and the Detective Bureau is looking into the possibility that all four could have been committed by one individual,' Transit Chief Kathleen O'Reilly told reporters.

'We will work tirelessly to bring the individual or individuals to justice.' has reached out to the New York Police Department for further comment.

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been an uptick in violent incidents inside the largely desolate subway stations as ridership has plummeted due to fears of getting infected.

Transit workers have been demanding that the 24-hour subway schedule be resumed after several reported being assaulted during the overnight hours when trains are shut down for COVID-19 cleanings.

The union representing Metropolitan Transportation Authority workers who operate the city's public buses and subways are assaulted, harassed, spit upon, and in severe cases nearly killed by assailants in largely empty stations.

In November, the New York Police Department said that it would add around 200 cops on its patrols of subway stations after a series of disturbing incidents.

#Cuomo​ #Butcher​ #NursingHomes​ #Chris​ #Andrew​ #CNN​ #NewYork​

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo has been mocked online for failing on Friday to mention the scandal surrounding his older brother Andrew, the governor of New York.

One social media user said she was 'disappointed', while another joked that there was 'big news coming out of New York state' that Chris Cuomo ignored.

'How convenient,' said another.

Andrew Cuomo, 63, has been rocked by the confession on Thursday of his top aide, Melissa DeRosa, that they deliberately hid data on nursing home COVID deaths, in the midst of a Justice Department investigation into their handling of the pandemic.

He is yet to comment on the scandal, which is seeing mounting calls for him to resign.

On Friday night CNN anchors Jake Tapper and Erin Burnett covered the story, with Tapper tweeting that it 'keeps getting worse', but Chris Cuomo, 50, instead dedicated his entire show to Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

'Some big news coming out of New York state,' joked one.

'Something about the governor and killing senior citizens. You might want to look into that, Mr Reporter.'

Another added: 'Speaking of trusting data and governors...'

One person dismissed the Cuomo family as 'scumbags'.

Another said they were 'disappointed', adding: 'Is your brother off limits?'

'I noticed no mention of the news about your brother on the show tonight! How convenient!' noted another.

CNN is yet to respond to's request for comment.

In May the brothers were criticized for making light of the pandemic, after Andrew Cuomo appeared on Chris Cuomo's show.

The governor recounted how he was tested for coronavirus on live TV during his daily press briefing on Sunday, leading his brother to joke he had a big nose and required a baseball bat-sized nasal swab for a test.

The View host Meghan McCain led the criticism on Twitter saying: 'I’m not sure I’m going to ever be able to buy a crib or baby clothes for my first child in a store, Most of my friends are jobless, petrified and dealing w depression & @JaniceDean lost both her mother and father in law to COVID within a week of each other.'

'This is HILARIOUS guys,' she added sarcastically.

Andrew Cuomo was at the White House on Friday, to meet Joe Biden and discuss COVID relief efforts. He did not take questions about the growing scandal.

Cuomo, who heads the National Governor's Association, instead praised the president in a statement released after the Oval Office meeting, saying Biden and his team 'made clear that they recognize and appreciate how critical this targeted relief is for our ability to recover from this pandemic.'

White House press secretary Jen Psaki would not say on Friday whether Biden has lost confidence in Cuomo given the growing criticism.

#Moderna #Pfizer #Vaccine #Isolation #Hayden #Hunstable #Death #Tragic #Foundation

A family has opened up about the devastating personal toll of coronavirus, after an 8-year-old girl found the body of her 12-year-old brother who committed suicide when lockdown left him feeling lonely.

Hayden Hunstable showed no obvious signs of depression when the world went into lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic last spring.

But his sister Kinlee found him hanging at their home in Aledo, Texas, on April 17.

'Covid killed my son,' Brad said to 'I think Hayden would still be alive today if Covid had never happened.'

Brad says there was no sign that Hayden was depressed or planning to take his own life.

Prior to the pandemic, Brad described Hayden as a social kid and someone who loved football.

'I had no idea he was struggling or depressed, he was such a happy kid and loved his friends and family. But Covid is a perfect storm for suicide and depression. I think everything just got on top of him, he felt overwhelmed and he made a tragic decision.'

'My daughter ran downstairs and said Hayden has hung himself. I ran up there, pulled him down and tried to save him,' Brad continued. 'I performed CPR but I couldn’t save him. He was gone.

'I saw something horrific that day and I don’t wish it upon anybody. I still get nightmares about it.'

Brad says that Hayden struggled with the isolation that came with virtual learning and not being able to see his friends regularly.

Hayden also may have been triggered after breaking a new computer monitor, which was not discovered until after his death.

It was the second computer monitor Hayden may have broken in recent months.

'I don’t know if he was scared about getting into trouble of anxious about not being able to speak to his friends and ruining his birthday,' Brad said. 'He either did it in impulsive anger or he got himself in a situation he couldn’t get out of.

Brad has since tried to turn the tragedy into something more hopeful in Hayden's honor.

He has launched Hayden's Corner, an organization dedicated to bringing awareness to parents and children alike about mental health issues.

He also created a PSA titled Almost 13, which details Hayden's story and aims to spread a positive and hopeful message to children and parents alike.

'I am on a mission to solve youth suicide,' Brad said. 'Parents need to have conversations with their kids about their feelings.'

According to the CDC, suicide is the second-leading cause of death among adolescents.

Mental health is a growing concern for all age groups across the world as the coronavirus continues to devastate the population and alter the lifestyles of everyone.

Meanwhile, Brad continues to share his story and honor Hayden as best he can.

'Hayden is a hero because I think he has already saved so many people across the world. I just hope I can do him justice.'

#CamKasky #Parkland #DavidHogg #Grifter #MikeLindell #MyPillow #GoodPillow

Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg, 20, has launched his progressive pillow company rival to challenge MyPillow CEO and Trump loyalist Mike Lindell -- but the young activist is facing backlash even from his allies in the gun-control movement.

Hogg on Tuesday announced that the name of his new company, which started as an online joke, would be Good Pillow, and the company's Twitter account gained more followers in a day than MyPillow ever had before it was banned from the service.

While his new venture was met by applause from many of Hogg's supporters, not everyone expressed enthusiasm.

Cameron Kasky, a fellow Parkland survivor who together with Hogg, Emma Gonzalez and other students organized the national anti-gun protest March For Our Lives in 2018, blasted Hogg's new company as 'a grift' and 'a cash grab' in a series of tweets.

'To those of you who marched, donated, lobbied, and called for change... I’m so sorry this is what it turned into. This is embarrassing,' Kasky wrote. 'But, welcome to America, everything ends up a grift.'

He continued: 'To those of you claiming I’m “jealous” about the pillow grift, I was actually offered free shares as soon as I started tweeting about it. I just declined because while I’m kind of a grifter, I’m not that much of a grifter.'

'I spent so much time promising people this wasn’t going to turn into a cash grab. I am applying my clown makeup with the shame I deserve,' added Kasky.

In a series of tweets quickly following Kasky's, Hogg defended his new venture, writing: 'I am more than my trauma- I am more than an activist I’m a human being that gets to decide what I want to do with my life.'

'If I want to start a pillow company to help people, feed myself and create jobs I’m going to do it,' he went on.

Hogg accused his critics of 'gaslighting' him, a term that refers to manipulating someone into questioning their own sanity.

'To all those questioning my intentions sincerely f*** off I refuse to feel guilty about wanting to help people and feed myself and pay for therapy,' Hogg tweeted.

'You may not agree with how I do it- but ultimately I know what my intentions are - to help people. I’ll prove it,' Hogg wrote.

In his announcement on Tuesday, Hogg revealed that Good Pillow will pursue a range of liberal priorities in its business, including having a 'chief progressive officer' on the team to ensure the company stays 'true to our vision'.

The company also vows that all its pillows will be 'sustainably sourced' and made in America by unionized employees.

Hogg is teaming up with software engineer William LeGate to launch Good Pillow.

Hogg hopes to compete against Lindell - a loyal defender of former President Donald Trump who has repeatedly shared unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about election fraud.

'@williamlegate and I are going to prove that progressives can make a better pillow, run a better business and help make the world a better place while doing it,' Hogg tweeted.

'We will have the name announced soon

#BT​ #Sotomayor​ #Hairhat​ #BT1000​ #Gofundme​ #GorillaGlue​ #Hair​

A Louisiana woman who sprayed her own hair with Gorilla Glue has hacked off her ponytail in a desperate attempt to relieve her suffering after spending 22 hours in the ER where doctors burned her head with acetone in a failed bid to dissolve the adhesive that has been stuck in her locks for over a month.

Tessica Brown, 40, from Violet, made yet another attempt to end her sticky situation by enlisting a hairstylist to hack off her lengthy ponytail on Tuesday - before revealing that she is going to fly to Los Angeles to visit a plastic surgeon who says he can finally dissolve the glue once and for all.

In a newly-released video, Tessica is seen sitting with her head in her hands while a hairdresser applies Goof Off superglue remover to her locks in the hopes of softening her rock-hard hair enough to cut through it with scissors.

'We've been using acetone every day trying to soften it up,' Tessica's hairstylist explains at the start of the clip, while applying the Goof Off.

'It kind of feels like it may have softened up a bit, but we're going to use this [Goof Off]. We have some on here already but I'm going to add a little more and then we're just going to cut this whole ponytail off and try to let it breathe a little bit.'

Using a large pair of orange-handled kitchen scissors, the hairdresser begins hacking off the ponytail near the base, getting as close to Tessica's head as possible and leaving her with just a short tuft poking out of the back of her head.

But while her attempt to cut off the thick ponytail was successful, the hairstylist admits that the move made no difference to the rock-hard hair covering Tessica's head - which she set in place with glue after running out of hairspray more than a month ago.

'So this is kind of what it looks like now,' the hairdresser explains while showing off the short tuft at the back of Tessica's head. 'I was able to get the ponytail off, but it's still not opening it up as you all can see.

'It's still kind of hardened so we're not letting the air in too much, but there's a little opening right there. So she might get a little bit of air out of there but not much because it's still pretty hard.'

In an Instagram update shared after her failed trip to the hairstylist, Tessica revealed that she will now travel to Los Angeles in order to meet with a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who claims that he can remove the glue from her head once and for all.

'I will be leaving tomorrow to go see a surgeon,' she wrote, while thanking her new legion of followers for their concern.

Dr. Michael Obeng reached out to Tessica to offer his assistance, claiming that he can remove the adhesive with medical-grade glue dissolver, although he believes the process could take up to three days.

According to TMZ, the procedure would ordinarily cost a staggering $12,500, although Dr. Obeng has told Tessica he will do it for free.

'I will update you guys the second I have news,' Tessica concluded her post. 'Again thank you so much.'

Since Tessica first shared her story on TikTok last week, she has racked up hundreds of thousands of followers across her social media accounts; she now has more than 780,000 fans on the video-sharing app, while her Instagram has more than 696,000.

Her Instagram account has even been verified with a blue check, something that is usually only given to celebrities and public figures.

She has also updated her bio to include an email address for her new manager - suggesting that she may have already been sent partnership opportunities by brands eager to capitalize on the viral interest surrounding her sticky saga.

Tessica has already managed to translate the drama into cold hard cash after setting up a GoFundMe account that had topped $15,000 in donations as of Tuesday evening - having only been live for a matter of hours.

She has not yet shared details of what she plans to use the money for, however some of it may go towards the bills from her 22-hour trip to the ER during which doctors tried all manner of treatments in an attempt to remove the glue from her hair.

Sources told TMZ on Monday that healthcare professionals applied acetone to Tessica's scalp, however this reportedly only burned her scalp and made the glue sticky again before it dried up - leaving her with the same rigid 'do she started with.

#Venezuela​ #Onlyfans​ #Poor​ #Rich​ #Money​ #Patriarchy​ #Men​ #Women​ #Morals​

Like many other young Venezuelans, Valery Lopez has found a way to survive the South American country's crippling economic crisis: through online s***** content.

Lopez, 20, loves her body and by exposing it online she has found a way to avoid joining the exodus of five million migrants the UN says have left the country since 2015.

"I was desperate to go ... because I wasn't living well ... Now I want to stay in Venezuela thanks to OnlyFans," Lopez told AFP.

OnlyFans began as an online platform meant for celebrities and "influencers" but has morphed into a hub for adult content.

Launched in Britain in 2016, OnlyFans is a subscription service that pays 80 percent commission to its content creators.

For Lopez, that was an attractive potential source of income.

"I can pay for my teeth (and) buy clothes," she said, referring to dental work.

"Who else is earning $500 or $1,000 a month right now? No one."

Venezuela has the world's highest inflation levels, it's been in recession for seven years and has regular shortages of basic necessities such as food and medicine.

Lopez's channel has more than 50 subscribers -- mostly foreigners. Each one pays $10 a month: a figure six times the minimum salary in Venezuela, where the currency is constantly depreciating.

It's a point highlighted by psychologist Abel Saraiba, who is also the coordinator of a non-governmental group focusing on the rights of children and teenagers.

"In other countries where there isn't a humanitarian emergency there has been an increase in consumption" on platforms such as OnlyFans, said Sarabia.

"But in our context we can give them an extra dimension ... To what extent would someone adopt such a risky (line of work) if they had other work options?"

#Ruben #Jail #Prison #BootyBandit #CheekBuster #Lockhimup #Trump #GOP

A former digital strategist who helped design social media ads for Donald Trump's reelection campaign was arrested Friday for his alleged role in a child-porn distribution ring.

Ruben Verastigui, 27, was charged with distributing child pornography, according to a release from the Metropolitan Police Department.

'Between March 2020 and February 2021, an investigation revealed the suspect distributed, received and possessed images of child pornography,' the release states.

According to his LinkedIn, Verastigui worked for the Senate Republican Conference from March 2019 until July 2020. By then, the investigation into Verastigui had been in full swing.

The Texas native had most recently been working at non-profit Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions. He was no longer working there as of Saturday, the Daily Beast reports.

'The details of the allegations against Mr. Verastigui are tragic and shocking,' a spokesperson for the non-profit told the Daily Beast. 'He is no longer employed by the organization and we are prepared to fully cooperate with law enforcement requests in this matter to any extent needed.'

Special agents with Homeland Security began looking to Verastigui while investigating a group of at least 18 people who they say were trading child porn, according to court documents.

The website name was not released 'to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation.'

Investigators say that Verastigui allegedly went by the username 'Landon' in the group chat and used the handle @somethingtaken.

In one instance of communication, Verastigui is said to have told another user that 'babies' were his 'absolute favorite.'

'Well like I said babies are some of my biggest turn-ons and beast,' Verastigui allegedly said in the direct message, according to the court documents. 'Young r***… F**k I love all that.'

He also allegedly sent additional messages about wanting to look at 'hardcore' videos, responding 'F**K YES!!!' to a video he was sent of an adult sexually penetrating a child.

Photos on Verastigui's social media show him all over the White House and the Capitol last year. Following the attack on the Capitol January 6, Verastigui posted a photo of the Capitol building.

'America will prevail,' he said in the post.

#Yonkers #CarCrash #Crash #Brandon Sierra #Randy Brisbane #Tamari Watkins #Anthony Cruz

A speeding car fleeing from a traffic stop smashed into another vehicle in suburban New York, splitting one of them in half and killing five men overnight, four of them teenagers.

The driver of one of the cars was killed in what officials have described as a 'catastrophic' crash on Tuesday in Yonkers, along with four boys, all age 18, in the other vehicle. Friends described the youths as recent high school graduates, according to WNBC.

The deadly collision took place at 9.23pm on Riverdale Avenue near Culver Street in the Ludlow Park neighborhood. Chunks of debris and twisted car parts from the wreckage were strewn across three blocks.

Riverdale Avenue was closed for more than eight hours as authorities worked to piece together what had happened.

Gas station security video showed a white Infiniti sedan with only the driver inside speeding before it barreled into the vehicle occupied by the four teens.

On Wednesday, police identified the driver of the infiniti as 36-year-old Devon Haywood, of Mount Vernon. The occupants of the other car were identified as Brandon Sierra; Randy Brisbane; Tamari Watkins, and Anthony Cruz, all 18 from Yonkers.

Shortly before the collision, police observed Haywood operating his white 2009 Inifniti 'in an erratic manner with equipment violations' and made at attempt to pull him over.

Haywood appeared to stop in front of 47-85 Riverdale Avenue, but then accelerated at a high rate of speed southbound.

Officers followed the Infiniti, but a Yonkers police spokesperson stressed to that they were not chasing Haywood because they 'intuitively know not to engage in high-speed pursuits.'

The Infiniti continued to accelerate 'beyond reckless speeds' as it approached the intersection at Culver Street, when a silver 2006 Nissan sedan occupied by the four teenagers was making a right turn south onto Riverdale Avenue.

As the Nissan entered the intersection, the Infiniti crashed into it, resulting in what police described as 'catastrophic damage' to both vehicles; the force of the impact split the Nissan in half. All four occupants were ejected onto the roadway and were pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the Infiniti had to be extricated from his mangled car using 'Jaws of Life.' He was transported to Jacobi Hospital, where he later died.

The first officer arrived on the scene 15 seconds after the crash.

Maria Delgado, who lives in the area, told WABC-TV she heard a loud noise and a man running and saying, 'Oh my God, oh my God!'

She said she went outside and saw bodies and one of the cars split in half.

#DerekChauvin #GeorgeFloyd #Security #BLM #Antifa #Trail #Minneapolis #Police

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has highlighted a proposal for a $35million fund for extensive security plans around Derek Chauvin's trial for the death of George Floyd.

Officials are planning to bring in hundreds of officers from across the state and even the National Guard if violent protests erupt around the March 8 trail of Chauvin, 44. They are also considering building a perimeter wall around the city's courthouse and government administration building.

Authorities fear a repeat of the crime and disorder that spread through the city as protesters looted and rioted in the wake of Floyd's death.

Chauvin was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after he was caught on video kneeling on Floyd's neck for 8 minutes and 44 seconds, killing him on May 25, 2020.

'We know we can't predict every public safety challenge that may arise, but we can and must be prepared to protect Minnesotans' safety,' Walz tweeted on Wednesday.

'That's why our budget includes aid for local governments, from Centerville to St. Paul, for expenses that arise from extraordinary events.'

Walz said in a news conference on Wednesday that $35million State Aid for Emergencies account is needed for security plans that have been made for the trial months ago.

'This is an opportunity for Minnesota to put a face forward to the world to show that we can protect First Amendment rights and we can make sure that public safety is adhered to,' Walz said.

The security plan will likely involve the National Guard and hundreds of officers from agencies across the state, Axios reported.

Exact details of the security plan were not immediately clear, but there are also talks of building a perimeter around the Hennepin County Government Center.

Rural Republicans have since resisted against the governor's plans, claiming their communities shouldn't be forced to 'bail out' Minneapolis and St. Paul.

'We are not going to bail out Minneapolis city council after they have made cuts to the public safety budget,' said GOP Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka.

'Actions to defund the police have consequences.'

Gazelka, at a news conference on Thursday, added that 'too many communities did not get paid when they came to Minneapolis' aid throughout the summer.'

'That's wrong. Minneapolis needs to make sure that they take care of their bills,' he said.

Gazelka's spokeswoman said the city still owes other law enforcement agencies $137,000 for their assistance last summer.

Last June, the Minneapolis City Council on Friday unanimously passed a resolution to replace the city's police department with a community-led public safety system.

Dozens of officers quit the force in protest at a $1million budget cut and promises from city leaders to scrap the entire department.

Minneapolis then had to scramble to draft in cops from outside the city's force to help fight a wave of violent crime.

The city council the voted to 'refund the police' authorizing $500,000 in funding for the police department to hire more cops to work through the end of 2020.

#HunterBiden #JoeBiden #Stripper #Wife #DeadBrother #Ex #Bookdeal #Power #Influence #Downey

Drugs, prostitutes, shady dealings, a quickie marriage — President Joe Biden's son Hunter is too easily depicted as sleaze in human form.

Who else would have left his wife and jumped into bed with his recently departed brother's widow only for her to end the affair when he got a stripper pregnant?

Is it only Hunter who could have received two special waivers to join the military and be commissioned at a special ceremony in the White House, but then blow his chance on his very first day when a blood test came back positive for cocaine?

Who but Hunter who could receive a diamond from a would-be Chinese business partner whose existence would come to light in divorce papers?

Now the president's son is getting to tell his side of his unsavory life — warts and all — in a book that could embarrass his father even further, less than three months into his term in the Oval Office.

Beautiful Things — the as yet unexplained title of Biden's tome — promises to center on his well-publicized struggles with substance abuse according to Gallery Books, an imprint of publishers Simon & Schuster.

Its April 6 release was announced Thursday, Hunter's 51st birthday.

Biden is likely to have received an advance of up to $2 million for writing the book and stands to make millions more if he allows his life story to be filmed. Robert Downey Jr. has already been mentioned as the ideal person to play him on the silver screen.

Already author Stephen King, who knows a thing or two about horror, is praising the book, calling it 'a harrowing and compulsively readable memoir.'

'Hunter Biden proves again that anybody — even the son of a United States President — can take a ride on the pink horse down nightmare alley,' King writes in a publicity blurb.

'Biden remembers it all and tells it all with a bravery that is both heartbreaking and quite gorgeous. He starts with a question: Where's Hunter? The answer is he's in this book, the good, the bad, and the beautiful.'

Fellow authors Dave Eggers, who wrote his own memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, and Anne Lamott, who has written about her battle with alcoholism, have also lauded the book.

In a snippet released by Gallery, Biden writes in the book, 'I come from a family forged by tragedies and bound by a remarkable, unbreakable love.'

And certainly that part is true, Hunter has witnessed the deaths of his mother, sister and brother and despite all his troubles his father has always stood by him.

'My son, like a lot of people, like a lot of people you know at home, had a drug problem,' Biden said during a presidential debate with Donald Trump last September. 'He's overtaken it. He's fixed it. He's worked on it, and I'm proud of him. I'm proud of my son.'

The White House issued a statement Thursday from Joe and Jill Biden echoing that sentiment.

But Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary avoided answering whether the book was subject to government clearance.

Biden and the White House have promised that his family would not benefit from his administration, and already Kamala Harris' niece Maya Harris' has been warned against further moves to cash in on her family name, which have included a book about her aunt and a clothing range.

Asked about Maya Harris last week, Psaki said: 'It's the White House's policy that the president's name should not be used in connection with any commercial activities to suggest or in any way, in any way they could reasonably be understood to imply his endorsement or support.'

But Thursday she changed tone on Hunter, reading the statement, from the Bidens which said: 'We admire our son Hunter's strength and courage to talk openly about his addiction so that others might see themselves in his journey and find hope.

'This is a personal book about his personal struggle.'

But now the question remains: How true-to-life will the rest of Hunter's book be to that 'struggle?' Will it reflect honestly on the numerous scandals that have surrounded him or will it just put a gloss on the sordid doings of a man who would most likely be shunned by polite society if he weren't the First Son of the United States?

Hunter Biden's life got off to a dire start. He was just two when his mother Neilia and his younger sister Naomi were killed when their station wagon was T-boned by an 18-wheeler at an intersection as the family went Christmas shopping.

Hunter and older brother Beau were in the car and seriously injured.

#AOC #Liar #CapitolRiot #Pathological #TedCruz #BLM #Antifa #Rich

New York Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has hit back at Republican critics who accused her of lying about her traumatic experiences during the Capitol riot.

Ocasio-Cortez, 31, has twice spoken on Instagram Live about her terror on January 6, and on Monday night tearfully revealed that she is a survivor of s***** assault as she talked about the fear she felt during the deadly insurrection.

Yet Republicans, led by alt-right agitator Jack Posobiec, have accused her of faking her story.

'AOC wasn't in the Capitol building during her 'near death' experience,' he tweeted.

Tucker Carlson on Wednesday night heaped scorn on her story, saying: 'Trump voters weren't trying to kill her, and neither were U.S. senators.'

He showed a clip when she spoke of hiding in the bathroom of her office, and hearing bangs at her door and shouts of 'she's in there'. They were the Capitol Police, but she did not know that immediately.

Carlson, without showing her full explanation, added: 'People believe this crap.'

Posobiec showed a map, with her office in the Cannon House Office Building highlighted, and an arrow pointing towards the Capitol Rotunda.

Ocasio-Cortez responded, describing Posobiec's claims as 'the latest manipulative take on the right.'

She pointed out that the insurgents were all around Capitol Hill, not just in the main Rotunda.

'We were all on the Capitol complex - the attack wasn’t just on the dome,' she said.

'The bombs Trump supporters planted surrounded our offices too.'

The Bronx-born congresswoman sparred repeatedly with Posobiec, a well-known troll, on Twitter.

When he posted a map, captioned 'fact check', she responded: 'This isn’t a fact check at all. Your arrows aren’t accurate. They lie about where the mob stormed & place them further away than it was.

'You also fail to the convey *multiple* areas people were trying to storm. It wasn’t 1.

'You also failed to show tunnels. Poor job all around.'

She said: 'People were trying to rush and infiltrate our office buildings - that’s why we had to get evacuated in the first place. The attempts of attackers & publicly available communications show how they tried to gain access and share location info on finding members for physical harm.'

She added that it was 'd***ing' that Republicans were engaged in a 'discrediting campaign'.

#Amazon #Bezos #Cheat #Lawsuit #FlexDrivers #Lie

Amazon has agreed to pay $61.7million to settle charges it withheld tips from its independent delivery drivers over two and a half years, US officials said Tuesday.

The US Federal Trade Commission said the agreement settles a complaint that Amazon failed to give the full tip amounts to drivers in its Amazon Flex program.

The $61.7million represents the full amount that Amazon allegedly withheld from drivers and will be used by the FTC to compensate drivers, according to a press release.

'Rather than passing along 100 percent of customers' tips to drivers, as it had promised to do, Amazon used the money itself,' said Daniel Kaufman, acting director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection.

'Our action today returns to drivers the tens of millions of dollars in tips that Amazon misappropriated, and requires Amazon to get drivers' permission before changing its treatment of tips in the future.'

The settlement bars Amazon from misrepresenting driver earnings, pay or percent of tips paid to drivers, or changing its handling of tips without drivers' consent, the FTC said.

Amazon is one of several e-commerce firms that have been accused of misappropriating tips while promising to give the full amounts to drivers.

According to the FTC´s administrative complaint, the company regularly advertised that drivers participating in the Flex program would be paid $18 to $25 per hour along with '100 percent of the tips you earn.'

In late 2016, the FTC alleged, Amazon shifted to a lower hourly rate without disclosing this and used the customer tips to make up the difference. This resulted in hundreds of complaints from drivers, according to the agency.

The company reverted to its previous policy in August 2019 after the FTC began its investigation, according to the complaint.

An Amazon spokesperson said in response to an AFP query: 'While we disagree that the historical way we reported pay to drivers was unclear, we added additional clarity in 2019 and are pleased to put this matter behind us.'

The company said its drivers 'play an important role in serving customers every day, which is why they earn among the best in the industry at over $25 per hour on average.'


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