From The Alpha and the Omega - Chapter Eight
by Jim A. Cornwell, Copyright © 1995, all rights reserved

    This file is attached to from “Beast That Came Out Of The Sea” - Chapter Eight by Jim A. Cornwell, Copyright © 1995, all rights reserved.
    This link will return you to Astronomical Events To Appear Between 2014 Through 2017 A.D.
    This link will return you to King Of The West 2021 April or continue to King Of The West 2021 June


5/1/2021 Oil down $1.39 to $63.48, DOW down 186 to 33,875.

5/1/2021 Trump Supporter Reveals Northern Calif. Antifa Hit List by OAN Newsroom
NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 11: People hold Antifa flags at Trump Tower to counter protest the “White Lives Matter” march and rally on April 11, 2021 in New York City. The march was
organized on the encrypted messaging platform Telegram over the last month with a call for nationwide action. (Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)
    A Northern California chapter of Antifa got their plans foiled by a loyal supporter of President Trump.    On Thursday, the Trump supporter revealed documents, messages and recordings he accessed by infiltrating a far-left Antifa group in Sonoma County.
    The leader of the Antifa chapter is said to be a 25-year-old college student who was arrested in 2020 for assaulting a police officer.
   Furthermore, another member made shocking comments when discussing a potential Saturday, May 1 “May day” protest.
    “It’s May day baby, it’s May day,” the leader, dubbed Marb, said during a meeting.    “Come out and take something over with us.    Let’s kill people!
    “Let’s kill people!    Let’s kill some cops,” another member laughed along.
    The Trump supporter gained access to the group called “Sonoma County Radical Action,” which communicated through the encrypted messaging platform, Wickr, by expressing that he agreed with their opinions.
    Police have suspected the group of being responsible for crimes that have taken place in the area.    Four days after former Santa Rosa Police Officer Barry Brodd defended Derek Chauvin in the George Floyd trial, four masked people threw a severed pig head and pig blood on his old home.    Shortly after, a hand statue in Sonoma County was covered in pig blood with a sign that read: “Oink, oink.”
    The Trump supporter also uncovered a target list created by the group, which contained the head of the Deputy Sheriff’s Union as well as Sandy Metzger, a Trump supporter and the head of Santa Rosa Republican Women Federated.
    “It felt like Antifa was getting sort of a pass all the time from government, saying they don’t exist, [and] saying they’re a myth,” the anonymous infiltrator said.    “[And] saying that they’re just an idea, when obviously they are very real and they are a big threat.”

5/1/2021 Calif. Extradition Request Delayed For Harvey Weinstein by OAN Newsroom
Harvey Weinstein arrives at the Manhattan Criminal Court, on February 24, 2020
in New York City. (Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)
    An extradition request for disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein was delayed in a New York Court.    During a hearing on Friday, a judge granted Weinstein 30 days to fight his extradition to Los Angeles.
    This came after Weinstein was indicted by the Los Angeles District Attorney with a warrant issued for his arrest.    Weinstein is facing charges of rape and sexual assault after five women accused him of abuse over a decade-long time span.
    “The 30 day period now begins,” Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case said.    “I don’t know that we need to come back short of motions or from you, or from the governor, saying that we’re fighting or disapproving of the transfer.    I would think at the end of the 30-day period, if I don’t hear from anybody, then California would make arrangements to have him transferred.”
    Weinstein is currently serving his 23-year sentence in New York after being convicted of rape back in March of 2020.

5/1/2021 90+ Migrants Found In Suspected Smuggling Ring In Texas by OAN Newsroom
Paramedics transport a man into an ambulance from the scene of a human smuggling case, where more than 90 undocumented immigrants were found inside
a home on the 12200 block of Chessington Drive, Friday, April 30, 2021, in Houston. A Houston Police official said the case will be handled by federal
authorities and that some of the people inside the house were exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. ( Godofredo A. Vásquez/Houston Chronicle via AP)
    A neighborhood in Texas was left in shock after law enforcement agencies discovered a human smuggling operation inside a home. According to the Houston Police Department on Friday, officers had received reports of a kidnapping the night before and they were working around-the-clock to locate a potential address.     “Last night, we were called to a location and given some tips, and that’s all I’m going to say about that,” Assistant Chief Darwin Edwards said. “But we worked through the night to try to figure out exactly where they were, which led us to this address. And we had some pretty good information that they were here.”
    When serving a search warrant, local authorities discovered more than 90 undocumented migrants inside the residence.     “We had our tactical operations team, SWAT, go in and execute the search warrant, and when they got inside the house, they realized that this was actually going to turn into a human smuggling investigation,” Edwards explained. “When we got into the house, we realized that there were over 90 people inside. So, we immediately began to assess any kind of a special threat after that, [and] once we isolated that, we wanted to make sure we rendered any kind of medical care.”     Police said no children were discovered on the property, with the youngest victim being in their early 20’s. Inside the two-story home, the migrants were found close together in large groups with some going days without food or water.     “It’s a two-story house, so they basically, you know, were in there, in their basic clothing and all huddled together,” Edwards stated. “So that’s what we saw when we got in.”     Owners of the property said one man was renting the house and no neighbors had reported any suspicious activity in the area before the discovery.     In the meantime, local authorities are working with federal officials as they continue with their investigation.

5/1/2021 Calif. To Release 76,000 Inmates Early To Cut Prison Population by OAN Newsroom
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
    California is planning to release thousands of inmates in order to reduce prison capacity.    According to reports on Saturday, the state is expected to increase early release credits for 76,000 inmates, including violent and repeat felons.
    Nearly 20,000 serving life sentences may be eligible for good behavior credits, which will shorten their sentences by one-third.
    Additionally, over 10,000 inmates who were convicted of a second serious, however, non-violent offense under California’s “three-strikes” law will be eligible for release after serving half their sentences.
    The changes were approved this week by the State Office of Administrative Law.
    A spokesperson for the department said the goal is to increase incentives for the incarcerated population to practice good behavior and follow the rules.

5/1/2021 CDC Says 100M Americans Fully Vaccinated As Goal Date For Full Reopening Is July 1st by OAN Newsroom
A medical worker administers the Jansen (Johnson and Johnson) Covid-19 vaccine to the public at a FEMA run mobile Covid-19 Vaccination
clinic at Biddeford High School in Bidderford, Maine on April 26, 2021. (Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)
    The CDC has announced that 100 million Americans have now received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.    CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky made the announcement Friday, adding that around 55 percent of America’s adult population has received at least one dose.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. (Photo by Amr Alfiky-Pool/Getty Images)
    In the last week, more than two million vaccinations were administered each day.    Walenksy went on to say, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s goal of fully reopening New York City by July 1 is a reasonable expectation.
    “We are focused on getting people vaccinated and decreasing the case rates,” Dr. Walenksy said.    “If we can continue at this pace, case rates are coming down, vaccinations are going up, and I think July 1 would be a reasonable target.”
    This projected national reopening would come over one year and three months after lockdowns were first put into effect.

5/1/2021 Fla. Legislature Passes Election Strengthening Bill, Gov. DeSantis Says He’ll Sign by OAN Newsroom
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA – APRIL 10: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis looks on during the third round of the Masters at
Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2021 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
    The Republican-led legislature in Florida has made strides toward clamping down on potential future voter fraud by passing a bill and sending it off to the governor’s desk.    On Thursday, reports said the bill passed in both the House and Senate, with Governor Ron DeSantis (R) signaling he’ll sign it.
    The conservative leader actually called for the legislation back in March at his State of the State Address.
    “So we did it right, but we need to make sure our elections are always transparent and run efficiently,” Gov. DeSantis said.    “There should be no ballot harvesting in the state of Florida.    One person, one vote.    Not bring in hundreds of ballots without any supervision.    We also can’t allow private groups to pour millions of dollars into the administration of our elections.    This is a public function and should be done without the type of private interference that we saw in other states.    So let’s stay ahead of the curve on election administration.    We never want to see the chaos of 20 years ago rear its ugly head in the state of Florida ever again.”
    The legislation would add I.D. requirements for voters requesting to vote by mail, would make voters request mail ballots for each federal election instead of once every four years, and would limit some dropbox location and hours.
    The bill would also restrict someone’s ability to drop off ballots to family members as well as how many ballots could actually be dropped off by one person.
    Lawmakers have argued these changes will make the state’s election system even better.
    “There’s really no voter suppression here, but we are trying to make sure,” Florida State Sen. Dennis Baxley (R) said.    “Let’s don’t wait until we have a debacle to make sure we’ve got this thing orderly so that mishaps don’t occur.”
    The bill came as several states have already passed election integrity laws, including Georgia, Iowa and Montana.    Other states, such as Arizona, Michigan and Texas have said they’re looking at election laws of their own.

5/1/2021 Army Investigation Finds Vanessa Guillen Was Sexually Harassed by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this July 30, 2020, file photo slain Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen’s mother Gloria Guillen, right, joined by Vanessa’s sister Lupe Guillen, center,
and family attorney Natalie Khawam, speaks as she cries during a news conference on the National Mall in front of Capitol Hill in Washington. The Army
said Friday, April 30, 2021, that it has taken disciplinary action against 21 officers and non-commissioned officers at Fort Hood, Texas, in connection with
death last year of Spc. Vanessa Guillen, who was missing for about two months before her remains were found. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
    Several Fort Hood leaders are facing disciplinary action after an investigation revealed Vanessa Guillen was sexually harassed before her murder in 2020.
    Information released from the investigation on Friday found that before her disappearance and death in April 2020, a supervisor sexually abused the 20-year-old, and while she reported it to the Fort Hood leadership, the incident was never addressed.
WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 30: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Gloria Guillen, mother of missing Fort Hood soldier
Vanessa Guillen, in the Oval Office of the White House July 30, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)
    More than 21 soldiers have been reprimanded for their roles in the case, including a general and several officers.
    Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy has vowed to work to address the failure of leadership at Fort Hood to properly handle sexual harassment allegations.

5/1/2021 Empire State Building Celebrates 90th Anniversary by OAN Newsroom
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 01: New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio and President and CEO of Empire State Realty Trust, Tony Malkin speaks at special
90th anniversary lighting at The Empire State Building on May 01, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
    New York City’s iconic Empire State Building has turned 90. Mayor Bill de Blasio took part in a ceremonial lighting of the iconic landmark Saturday.
    Officials said the skyscraper will shine with sparking white lights Saturday evening along with a special “90” lighting effect.
    After just one year and 45 days of construction, the 102-story structure first opened on May 1, 1931.
    “This building saw us through many challenges,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.    “This building was built in the middle of the depression, this building saw us through wars and every other challenge but it stood as a beacon.    No matter what the Empire State Building was here.    This is a joyous day for New York City, so, congratulations and happy birthday Empire State Building.”
    Described as the world’s most photographed building, the infamous skyscraper is a magnet for visitors — including celebrities — all around the world.

5/3/2021 Ariz. Audit Chief Says Probe Of 2020 Fraud Is Gaining Momentum by OAN Newsroom
Some of the 2.1 million ballots cast during the 2020 election, are brought in for recounting at a 2020 election ballot audit ordered by the Republican
lead Arizona Senate at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, during a news conference Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
    Election audits for the 2020 U.S. election are moving forward despite continued attempts by Democrats to derail the process.
    “Overnight we went from 20 counting locations on the floor to 46,” stated former Arizona secretary of state and audit director Ken Bennett.    “Hopefully in the next day or two, they will be ready to fully staff that and then if we go to three shifts, which we are talking about, we will almost triple our throughput.”
    During an interview Sunday, Bennett said he will not share any information about their findings… the audit is complete.    He added, keeping the data and information secure is the main priority as the audit advances.
    They are currently counting the ballots and evaluating them for irregularities such as folds or being marked with a Xerox machine as opposed to pen.
    Bennett said despite mainstream media journalists attempting to intimidate poll workers by taking photos of their license plates, they are not stopping the hand recount until it’s complete.
    Meanwhile, another election audit is underway in a small New Hampshire town.    State officials are struggling to choose a contractor to perform the election audit following the stunning revelations of so-called “Windham incident.”
    Selectman Bruce Breton said the state’s decision to appoint Mark Lindeman as chief election auditor is dangerous because Lindeman has already criticized a similar audit in Arizona.    Instead, Breton is supporting the candidacy of Jovan Pulitzer who’s been vocal about election fraud.
    The local government of Windham are set to meet on Monday night and will discuss the vote for the auditor.    As leftists on the Windham committee are expected to stick with their vote of Lindeman, Breton is encouraging residents to get involved and attend the meeting.

5/3/2021 Susan Wright Heading To Runoff Election For Texas Congressional Seat Previously Held By Late Husband by OAN Newsroom
File – An election officer passes out stickers. (Heather Rousseau/The Roanoke Times via AP)
    Susan Wright is advancing to the runoff election to take up the House seat of her late husband Rep. Ron Wright.    The special election, held Saturday, showed Wright garnering the most votes out of the 23 candidates looking to take the spot in the House of Representatives.
    Wright led the race while receiving around 19 percent of the vote in her bid for the seat.    Meanwhile, GOP state Rep. Jake Ellzey came in second with around 14 percent of the vote.
    Wright even scored the endorsement of President Trump before the special election.    He released a statement on the candidate, suggesting she would be a terrific congresswoman for the great state of Texas.
    President Trump congratulated Wright for coming out on top in a separate statement on Sunday.    He noted his endorsement was not wasted.
    When Wright originally announced her candidacy back in February, she said she was running to continue her husband’s legacy by supporting economic growth, reforming health care and defending conservative values.
    She previously served as district director for both former state Rep. Bill Zedler and state Rep. David Cook in the 96th District.    Wright is also a member of the state Republican Executive Committee.
    She will face-off with Ellzey in the runoff election, which will take place at some point before May 24.

5/3/2021 Calif. Opens Second Emergency Child Migrant Center In L.A. County by OAN Newsroom
Migrants are processed at the intake area of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility, the main detention center for
unaccompanied children in the Rio Grande Valley, in Donna, Texas, Tuesday, March 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills, Pool)
    California has opened another shelter for migrant children.    According to reports Sunday. the first group of migrant children started to arrive Saturday evening at the Pomona Fairplex.
    Officials said the site can hold up to 2,500 unaccompanied minors and is the second temporary shelter in Los Angeles County.
    Some lawmakers have attributed the surge of migrant children at the U.S. southern border to Joe Biden’s immigration policies, including the halting of border wall construction.
    “These circumstances have invited this activity to our border,” asserted Republican Rep. Clay Higgins of Louisiana.
    Officials said the children will stay at the Pomona Fairplex until they are reunited with family or placed with a sponsor.    Authorities added, the children will be tested for COVID-19 before being transported to emergency facilities.

5/3/2021 Former FDA Chief Gottlieb Says 10M+ Teens Could Be Vaccinated By Beginning Of School Year by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Monday, July 27, 2020 file photo, a nurse prepares a COVID-19 vaccination shot
developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)
    The former FDA chief under the Trump administration, Scott Gottlieb, predicted the Biden administration will start vaccinating teens.
    On Sunday, Gottlieb said Pfizer is pressing the FDA to let them vaccinate minors between 12 and 15-years old.    He estimated that around 5 million children would kick off the vaccine efforts and health officials would inoculate 7 million more before the beginning of the school year.
    “There’s a lot of effort underway right now to try to break the vaccine down into units that can be distributed to doctors’ offices to allow pediatricians to provide those vaccinations,” Gottlieb explained.    “And I think that’s ultimately the way we’re going to get more kids vaccinated.”
    Gottlieb believes getting vaccines to pediatricians is the best way to get kids inoculated rather than by mass vaccination sites and pharmacies.

5/3/2021 Blinken Says China Acting ‘More Aggressively Abroad’: ’60 Minutes’ Interview by David Shepardson
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken participates in a virtual bilateral meeting with Kenya's President
Uhuru Kenyatta during a videoconference at the State Department in Washington, U.S., April 27, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis/Pool
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an interview that aired on Sunday that China had recently acted “more aggressively abroad” and was behaving “increasingly in adversarial ways.”
    Asked by CBS News’ “60 Minutes” if Washington was heading toward a military confrontation with Beijing, Blinken said: “It’s profoundly against the interests of both China and the United States to, to get to that point, or even to head in that direction.”
    He added: “What we’ve witnessed over the last several years is China acting more repressively at home and more aggressively abroad.    That is a fact.”
    Asked about the reported theft of hundreds of billions of dollars or more in U.S. trade secrets and intellectual property by China, Blinken said the Biden administration had “real concerns” about the IP issue.
    He said it sounded like the actions “of someone who’s trying to compete unfairly and increasingly in adversarial ways.    But we’re much more effective and stronger when we’re bringing like-minded and similarly aggrieved countries together to say to Beijing: ‘This can’t stand and it won’t stand.'”
    The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond on Sunday to a request for comment on Blinken’s interview.
    On Friday, President Joe Biden’s administration said China had fallen short on its commitments to protect American intellectual property in the “Phase 1” U.S.-China trade deal signed last year.
    The commitments were part of the sweeping deal between former President Donald Trump’s administration and Beijing, which included regulatory changes on agricultural biotechnology and commitments to purchase some $200 billion in U.S. exports over two years.
    Blinken arrived in London on Sunday for a G7 foreign ministers meeting where China is one of the issues on the agenda.
    In the interview, Blinken said the United States was not aiming to “contain China” but to “uphold this rules-based order – that China is posing a challenge to.    Anyone who poses a challenge to that order, we’re going to stand up and – and defend it.”
    Biden has identified competition with China as his administration’s greatest foreign policy challenge.    In his first speech to Congress last Wednesday, he pledged to maintain a strong U.S. military presence in the Indo-Pacific and to boost U.S. technological development.
    Blinken said he speaks to Biden “pretty close to daily.”
    Last month, Blinken said the United States was concerned about China’s aggressive actions against Taiwan and warned it would be a “serious mistake” for anyone to try to change the status quo in the western Pacific by force.
    The United States has a long-standing commitment under the Taiwan Relations Act to ensure that self-governing Taiwan has the ability to defend itself and to sustain peace and security in the western Pacific, Blinken said.
    Taiwan has complained over the past few months of repeated missions by China’s air force near the island, which China claims as its own.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Peter Cooney)

5/3/2021 Britain Hosts First G7 Foreign Ministers Meeting Since Start Of Pandemic
Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (L) and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken pose for a photo ahead of their
bilateral meeting in London, Britain May 3, 2021 during the G7 foreign ministers meeting. Ben Stansall/Pool via REUTERS
    LONDON (Reuters) – Foreign ministers of the G7 rich countries gather in London on Monday for their first in-person meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with British host Dominic Raab opening with talks with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
    The week is billed by Britain, which holds the group’s rotating presidency, as a chance to reassert the West’s influence and address issues such as the coronavirus recovery, climate change and how to deal with China and Russia.
    The ministers will lay groundwork for U.S. President Joe Biden’s first scheduled trip abroad since taking office: a G7 summit in Britain next month meant to revive cooperation with traditional allies after years of friction under Donald Trump.
    In addition to the G7 members Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, Britain has also invited ministers from Australia, India, South Africa and South Korea this week. Meetings will kick off with dinner on Monday evening.
    Before that, Raab and Blinken will meet to discuss shared goals.    Britain is keen to capitalise on Biden’s willingness to re-engage with global efforts to fight climate change, and to restore a nuclear deal with Iran repudiated by Trump.
    Raab said on Sunday the G7 would look at a proposal to build a rapid response mechanism to counter Russian disinformation, and, in a reference to China, spoke of the need to stand up for open markets and democracy.
    “On all of these areas we want to be absolutely firm, and standing shoulder to shoulder not just with Americans, as important as they are, but also with our wider allies – that’s why the G7 is so important,” Raab said.
    Raab and Blinken are also expected to discuss ongoing trade talks with the United States as Britain seeks a so-far elusive deal, touted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as one of the biggest opportunities opened by quitting the European Union.
(Reporting by William James; Editing by Peter Graff)

5/3/2021 EU Aims To Open Up To Foreign Tourists This Summer Amidst COVID-19 by Gabriela Baczynska
FILE PHOTO: Federal police officers check air passengers arriving from Britain at Frankfurt Airport, as the spread
of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Frankfurt, Germany, January 30, 2021. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) -The European Union’s executive has recommended easing COVID-19 travel restrictions next month to let foreign travellers from more countries enter the bloc, hoping to boost the stricken tourism industry this summer.
    Under current restrictions, people from only seven countries, including Australia and Singapore, can enter the EU on holiday, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated but subject to tests or quarantine.
    New proposals from the European Commission on Monday, but still requiring approval by the EU’s 27 member states, would allow in fully vaccinated foreign citizens and those from countries with a “good epidemiological situation.”
    “Time to revive tourism industry and for cross-border friendships to rekindle – safely,” Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wrote on Twitter.
    People arriving from Britain, Russia and a number of other countries would meet the new criteria, according to data provided by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). U.S. citizens would not currently do so.
    “We want to have this done before the mass summer travel starts,” an EU official said.
    EU member states are due to start discussing the proposal on Tuesday and the official hoped it would be approved this month.
    Travel restrictions because of COVID-19 have inflicted heavy losses on the tourism industry in the EU, which at times has struggled to agree a common response to the pandemic.
    If the new proposals are agreed, specific EU countries would be expected – but not legally obliged – to follow the new joint approach.    Greece has already agreed to welcome vaccinated tourists from Israel.
    Other measures to support tourism this summer include a central EU register allowing free travel for the bloc’s citizens holding a so-called “green certificate” proving they have been vaccinated, have had a negative COVID-19 test or have immunity after recovering.
    “The green certificate, for the Luxembourg government is one of the elements that would allow us to get back to normality as fast as possible,” Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said in separate comments on Monday.
    The Commission recommended allowing people fully inoculated with EU-recognised vaccines to be able to enter from any country, and said other vaccines could be added if they are approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).
    The European Medicines Agency has authorised the use of shots by Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca in the EU.
    The WHO has also approved those vaccines for use and is expected to decide on the use of two Chinese vaccines this week.    Both agencies are considering Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine.
    The Commission said reciprocity should be considered when deciding to allow leisure travel from third countries.
    To limit the risk of importing new coronavirus variants, the Commission also proposed a new “emergency brake” that would allow the swift introduction of travel restrictions from countries where the health situation deteriorates sharply.
    EU countries would review the situation every two weeks.
(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, Editing by John Chalmers, Timothy Heritage and Giles Elgood)

5/3/2021 Legal Complaint In France Targets Lebanon Cbank Governor: Sherpa
    PARIS (Reuters) – A legal complaint filed in France over suspected corruption in Lebanon is targeting Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh, his brother and an associate, an official at non-governmental organisation Sherpa said on Monday.
    The complaint, filed on Friday, covers millions of euros worth of property assets in France, Laura Rousseau, head of the illicit financial flows programme at Sherpa, told Reuters.
    Salameh has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
(Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Alison Williams)

5/3/2021 Colombia’s President Withdraws Tax Reform After Protests by Julia Symmes Cobb
FILE PHOTO: Demonstrators take part in a protest against the tax reform of President Ivan Duque's
government in Bogota, Colombia, May 1, 2021. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez/
    BOGOTA (Reuters) -Colombian President Ivan Duque said on Sunday he would withdraw a proposed tax reform after deadly protests and widespread lawmaker opposition, though he insisted a reform is still necessary to ensure fiscal stability.
    Protests – have led to multiple deaths around the country since they began on Wednesday – continued on Sunday in some cities, despite the announcement.
    Duque said on Friday the law would be revised to remove some of its most controversial points – including the leveling of sales tax on utilities and some food – but the government had previously insisted it could not be withdrawn.
    “I am asking Congress to withdraw the law proposed by the finance ministry and urgently process a new law that is the fruit of consensus, in order to avoid financial uncertainty,” Duque said in a video.
    The reform, which the government has insisted is vital to stabilizing Colombia’s finances, maintaining its credit rating and funding social programs, remains necessary, Duque said.
    Political parties, local officials, business leaders and civil society have contributed valuable ideas over the last several days, he said.
    There is consensus on the need for temporary taxes on businesses and dividends, an increase in income tax for the wealthiest and deepened state austerity measures, Duque said.
    “It is a moment for all of us to work together without malice,” he>     The central bank warned on Friday failure to approve the reform could have a negative impact on the economy, while a loss of the country’s investment-grade credit rating has already been priced in by many investors.
    Lawmakers, unions and other groups hailed the announcement as a victory.    Celebratory cacerolazos, a traditional protest where people beat pots and pans, could be heard in some neighborhoods.
    “It is the youth, social organizations and mobilized citizens who have seen deaths and defeated the government,” leftist Senator Ivan Cepeda said on Twitter.    “May the government not present the same reform with make-up.    The citizens won’t accept tricks.”
    There is not yet a definite national count of deaths connected to protests, amid incidents of looting, destruction of public transport and road blockades in several cities.
    Local officials in Cali, the country’s third-largest city and where demonstrations have been the most violent, have confirmed three.    One death each occurred in the city of Neiva and the municipality of Madrid and a police officer was killed in Soacha.
    The procurator’s office said in an afternoon statement it was investigating 14 deaths nationally, while human rights groups have alleged police abuses – especially in Cali – and said deaths number more than 20.
    The national police director said the force would contribute all necessary information to the procurator’s investigations.
    Duque said late on Saturday cities at high risk for disturbances would get military assistance, an offer rejected by Bogota Mayor Claudia Lopez.
(Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Diane Craft)

5/3/2021 Virus, Poverty And Vaccines: Argentina’s Peronists Face Storm In Election Year by Nicolás Misculin
FILE PHOTO: A demonstrator holds an Argentinian flag as they protest against Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez's lockdown measures to curb the
spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease, outside Casa Rosada presidential palace in Buenos Aires, Argentina, April 17, 2021. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian
    BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – It’s not a great year to go to the polls.    Argentina’s ruling Peronists face crunch mid-term elections in October, and pollsters say how they handle a still-raging pandemic and its fallout will be key to limiting the electoral damage.
    Speeding up a stalled vaccine campaign, hit by allegations of nepotism that led a health minister to resign, could be decisive as the center-left ‘Frente de Todos’ coalition defends a majority in the Senate and its strong position in the lower house, where it is the largest bloc.
    “Vaccines are what matters,” said textile businessman Matías Pérez Montalvo, 49, who voted for the ruling administration in 2019 but said he will not in the Oct. 24 vote after shutdowns that saw schools closed for most of last year.
    “That was the point where I said I do not want this (government) anymore… If we had more vaccines we would not have to go through all this again,” he said.
    A second wave of COVID-19 infections is hitting the grains producing country, straining hospitals and weighing on a nascent economic recovery.
    But the government hopes that time is on their side as it races to seal vaccine deals, reviving talks with Pfizer Inc and pressuring AstraZeneca to speed up a supply deal, as well as counting on the continuation of regular shipments from Russia and China.
    “The government will win the legislative elections on three key things: sustained progress in vaccination, the economic recovery that is gaining steam every month, and the unity of Peronism,” a government source said, asking not to be named.
    Argentina’s economy had been slowly recovering from a heavy hit in 2020, though recent data has showed activity stalling again.
    There are 127 seats up for grabs in the lower Chamber of Deputies out of 257 in total, with 24 in play out of the 72 seats in the Senate.
    Pollsters expect the government to lose seats in the election, though the challenge may fall short of erasing its Senate majority.
    Shila Vilker, director of consultancy and pollster Trespuntozero, said currently around 28% of voters support the ruling party, compared to 48% for the opposition, though that would likely narrow as campaigns heated up.
    “This weak electoral support is really a criticism of (the government’s) economic and health management,” she said.
    In the 2019 election, Fernandez beat his conservative predecessor Mauricio Macri by a distance, promising more state support to lead Argentina out of swirling economic, debt and currency crises that had stoked poverty.
    However, sharpened by the pandemic, poverty levels have continued to climb, while state spending has depleted reserves the government needs to pay off restructured debts to private creditors and the International Monetary Fund.
    A weaker Peronist hold on Congress could potentially create an obstacle to pushing through economic and judicial reforms the government hopes to get approved.    Debt talks with the IMF also need the legislature’s rubber stamp.
    The government’s strong position so far has allowed it to push though controversial bills, such as legalizing abortion.
    Silvia Lospennato, a national deputy for the center-right Republican Proposal (PRO) party, which is part of the main opposition coalition, said a stronger showing for the opposition would “put a brake” on the government’s more divisive proposals going forward.
    Salvador Anido, 23, a student in Buenos Aires, said, however, that while the government had made mistakes in its handling of the pandemic, he would still vote for its candidates in the mid-terms.
    “The government is patching up the complications left by the previous government and without hesitation I would vote for them again,” he said.
(Reporting by Nicolás Misculin, Additional reporting by Agustín Geist; Editing by Adam Jourdan and Rosalba O’Brien)

5/3/2021 Warrant For Giuliani’s Phones And Computers Seeks Communications With Over A Dozen People by Karen Freifeld
FILE PHOTO: Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, personal attorney to U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks about the 2020
U.S. presidential election results during a news conference in Washington, U.S., November 19, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
(Refiles to fix typo in “his” in 5th paragraph)
    (Reuters) - U.S. investigators are seeking to review Rudy Giuliani’s phones and computers for communications with more than a dozen people, including a high-ranking prosecutor in Ukraine, according to a warrant executed at his apartment this week.
    They also are searching for communications with any U.S. government official or employee relating to Marie Yovanovitch, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who was ousted by the Trump administration in 2019, the warrant says.
    Agents seized more than 10 cell phones and computers from Giuliani’s Manhattan apartment and office in raids on Wednesday, according to his lawyer, Bob Costello, who read the search warrant to a Reuters reporter.
    According to the warrant, investigators are looking for evidence that Giuliani acted as an unregistered foreign agent, a violation of lobbying laws.
    Giuliani said in a statement following the raids that his “conduct as a lawyer and a citizen was absolutely legal and ethical.”    A spokesman for the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office declined to comment.
    The list of the people identified in the warrant includes:
    Ukrainian-born Parnas and Belarus-born Fruman are two Florida-based businessmen who helped Giuliani dig up dirt on Joe Biden and his son Hunter before the 2020 presidential election and push to remove Yovanovitch.
    Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have accused Parnas and Fruman of using a shell company to make an illegal $325,000 donation to a committee supporting Trump’s re-election.    The men have pleaded not guilty to violating campaign finance laws and other charges.    A trial is scheduled for October.
    A lawyer for Fruman declined to comment.    A lawyer for Parnas did not respond to a request for comment.
    A confectionary magnate and one of Ukraine’s richest men, Poroshenko took power in 2014 and served as the country’s president until 2019.    At Giuliani’s direction, Parnas and Fruman met Poroshenko in February 2019, while he was still in office, and pressed him to announce investigations into Hunter Biden and purported Ukrainian interference in the 2016 presidential election in exchange for a state visit, the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post reported.
    Poroshenko’s office told Reuters on Friday that he held two meetings with Giuliani in his capacity as President Donald Trump’s “special envoy” during which they discussed Russian aggression, fighting disinformation and how to strengthen the alliance between Kyiv and Washington.
    Mamedov, who currently serves as a high-ranking prosecutor in Ukraine, was a key intermediary in Giuliani’s efforts to press Ukraine to open investigations that would tarnish Biden, according to NBC News.
    He played a role in setting up a meeting between Giuliani and Ukrainian officials, NBC reported.    A spokesperson for Mamedov had no immediate comment on investigators looking at communications with Giuliani.
    Shokin became Ukraine’s general prosecutor in February 2015 and led an investigation into the energy company Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company where Biden’s son Hunter was a board member from 2014 to 2019.
    Shokin was removed from his job in 2016 following accusations of corruption by Western diplomats.
    Giuliani told Reuters he met with Shokin over Skype in late 2018.
    Shokin could not be reached for comment on Friday, according to his lawyer.
    Lutsenko succeeded Shokin as general prosecutor. In 2019, Lutsenko told John Solomon, a U.S. columnist, that he had evidence related to the Bidens and Burisma.    Later that year Lutsenko told Reuters he found no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Biden’s son in his relationship with the energy firm.
    Giuliani told Reuters in 2019 that he met with Lutsenko twice early that year.
    “I didn’t correspond with Giuliani.    I didn’t even have his phone (number),” Lutsenko told Reuters on Friday.    “We didn’t communicate in any regular way.”
    Kulyk, a former Ukrainian prosecutor, also worked on the country’s investigations into Burisma.    Giuliani told Reuters he met with Kulyk in Paris in 2019.    Kulyk did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Friday.
    A Ukrainian businessman and former lawmaker, Zagoriy attended a meeting between Giuliani and Lutsenko in January 2019, according to documents released by the U.S. State Department. Zagoriy could not immediately be reached for comment on Friday.
    Correia, another Florida businessman, pleaded guilty last year to making false statements to the Federal Election Commission, and duping investors in Fraud Guarantee, a company he founded with Parnas that paid Giuliani $500,000.    A lawyer for Correia did not respond to a request for comment on Friday.
    Toensing and diGenova are married Washington lawyers who helped Giuliani represent Trump in his post-election lawsuits.    They represented Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash, who is fighting extradition from Vienna on U.S. bribery and racketeering charges.    FBI agents raided the couple’s home earlier this week and seized a cellphone used by Toensing.
    Toensing and diGenova did not respond to a request for comment on Friday.
    Solomon worked for The Hill, a Washington newspaper and website covering Congress, when he wrote a series of pieces that Yovanovitch testified to Congress were part of a smear campaign against her that Giuliani appeared to be behind.    The Hill later said Solomon failed to identify important details about key Ukrainian sources, including the fact that they had been indicted or were under investigation.
    Solomon did not respond to requests for comment.
(Reporting by Karen Freifeld in New York; Additional reporting by Jan Wolfe and Mark Hosenball in Washington and Natalia Zinets, Matthias Williams and Ilya Zhegulev in Kyiv; Editing by Noeleen Walder and Daniel Wallis)

5/3/2021 Paul says Beshear is ‘drunk with power’ by Sarah Ladd, Louisville Courier Journal USA TODAY NETWORK
    Sen. Rand Paul called Gov. Andy Beshear “drunk with power” in a Friday social media post while comparing Kentucky’s reopening plan to other states.
    “FL is open. TX is open.     TN - mandates repealed,” Paul, a Kentucky Republican, wrote.     “Even NEW YORK has set a firm date to fully reopen (not soon enough) But still not Kentucky, because of drunk with power @Andy-BeshearKY.”
    Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, also a Republican, posted a similar tweet, saying: “New York City has a date to fully reopen. Kentucky needs the same.     Our workers, businesses, and industries deserve no less.”
    Beshear, a Democrat, has said once 2.5 million people have received at least their first vaccine shot, more restrictions can be lifted, calling it a “clear number and a clear goal to hit.”
    That means lifting capacity restrictions on many venues, businesses and events that cater to 1,000 or fewer patrons, as well as lifting curfew restrictions on bars and restaurants and removing physical distance restrictions.
    Larger events may still face some restrictions.
    As of Friday, 1,751,541 vaccine doses had been administered in the commonwealth.
    Reach news reporter Sarah Ladd at Follow her on Twitter at @ladd_sarah.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., called Gov. Andy Beshear “drunk with power” in a
social media post on Friday. PAT MCDONOGH/COURIER JOURNAL FILE

5/3/2021 Biden’s Bloated Infrastructure Plan Criticized By Republican Lawmakers by OAN Newsroom
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden arrive to board Marine One on the Ellipse near the White House,
Monday, May 3, 2021, in Washington. The Bidens are en route to Virginia. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    Top Republicans have continued to condemn Joe Biden’s plan to add to the country’s debt through the implementation of a costly infrastructure package.
    Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said Republicans and Democrats remain far apart on infrastructure reform. He made those remarks in an interview Sunday.    The Louisiana lawmaker said the two sides are at odds over billions of dollars in spending for various projects, which are unrelated to infrastructure.
    Cassidy is part of a group of Senate Republicans seeking to reach a compromise on infrastructure while pushing for a smaller plan.    However, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) called Biden’s proposal “trillions of dollars of reckless spending.”    Cassidy said Democrats may be forced to pass the infrastructure plan through budget reconciliation, which would bypass any Republican opposition.
    This comes as White House officials announced Joe Biden will be heading to Louisiana.    On Saturday, officials said Biden will travel to Lake Charles and New Orleans as part of the “Getting America Back on Track Tour.”    Biden seeks to further campaign for his bloated infrastructure plan and promote his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.
    This comes after Biden traveled to Georgia and Pennsylvania. However, he may not receive as warm a welcome from the ruby red state of Louisiana, where the 2022 midterms aren’t expected to be competitive.    Biden is expected to arrive in the region on Thursday.
    Meanwhile, as Biden seeks to advance his infrastructure proposal, energy independence advocacy group The Empowerment Alliance (TEA) gave him an ‘F’ grade on four pillars in their Declaration of Energy Independence.    In the report card for his first 100 days, the organization gave Biden a failing grade for falling short on providing affordable energy, clean energy, abundant energy and energy from domestic sources.
    In a statement, TEA claimed the nation’s energy and climate picture couldn’t be cloudier since Biden took office.    The group is encouraging people to sign the declaration to push back against liberal proposals like the Green New Deal.

5/3/2021 Secy. Of State: Our Purpose Is Not To Hold China Back by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a joint press conference with Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, not pictured,
at Downing Street in London, Monday, May 3, 2021, during the G7 foreign ministers meeting. (Ben Stansall/Pool Photo via AP)
    Secretary of State Antony Blinken said America “does not have the luxury of not dealing with China.”    During an interview on Sunday, he highlighted the threat China poses while calling it the “one country in the world that has the capacity to undermine or challenge international order.”
    This comes after former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned the Biden administration is unprepared for a confrontation with Beijing.    Blinken noted the country has become increasingly hostile over the last few years, but said the White House’s goal is not necessarily policing China.
    “Our purpose is not to contain China, to hold it back, to keep it down,” stated the official.    "It is to uphold this rules-based order that China is posing a challenge to.”
    Blinken went on to say it’s “profoundly against the interests” of China and the U.S. to engage in a military conflict.

5/3/2021 Sen. Mitt Romney Gets Booed At Utah GOP Convention by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Mitt Romney addresses the Utah Republican Party 2021 Organizing Convention Saturday, May 1, 2021, in
West Valley City, Utah. Romney was booed as he addressed the Utah GOP convention. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
    Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) faced an unhappy crowd at the Utah Republican Convention.    The GOP junior senator received loud jeers and heckling as he tried to give his speech on the convention stage Saturday.
    Utah GOP chairman Derek Brown had to interrupt Romney’s speech to request the crowd be respectful of the senator’s chance to talk.
    That same day, Romney managed to avoid a resolution to be censured in a 711-to-798 vote over his vote in January to impeach President Trump.    Davis County delegate Don Guymon, who authored the resolution, said Romney’s vote to remove the 45th president from office was damaging to the Republican Party.     Supporters of the censure argued that most Utah Republicans were frustrated by Romney’s vote.
    Despite the rough reception at the convention, Romney finished his speech by saying he has been a Republican all his life.    He then called on the party to come together in strength and unity.

5/3/2021 WHO Chief Tedros Plans To Seek Re-Election – Stat News
FILE PHOTO: World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends
a news conference in Geneva Switzerland July 3, 2020. Fabrice Coffrini/Pool via REUTERS
    (Reuters) -Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, plans to run for a second five-year term as the head of the agency, Stat News reported on Monday, citing a person familiar with the matter.
    Tedros, as he is widely known, has been the public face of the WHO’s efforts to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic ever since the new SARS-CoV-2 virus emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019.
    In 2017, Ethiopia’s Tedros became the first African to head the Geneva-based United Nations agency and made universal health care coverage his priority.
    A spokesman for WHO said it could not comment on potential nominees. WHO’s 194 member states may propose candidates until September, whose names are sent in sealed envelopes to the Governing Board chair – ahead of the election next year.
    It is unclear at this point whether others will emerge to challenge Tedros for the five-year term, the Stat report said.
    Diplomats told Reuters Tedros’ support among African nations would be key to any re-election, while doubting he could count on support from his home country which nominated him last time.
    They noted that Ethiopia’s military accused him in November of supporting and trying to procure arms and diplomatic backing for Tigray state’s dominant political party, which is fighting federal forces. Tedros has denied taking sides in the conflict in Ethiopia.
    Tedros, whose global profile has risen dramatically during the pandemic, flew to Beijing in January 2020 for talks with President Xi Jinping to ensure its cooperation and sharing of information, just before declaring a worldwide health emergency.
    The Trump administration accused Tedros and the WHO of being “China-centric” – allegations they rejected – and halted U.S. contributions while starting the process of leaving the agency.    The Biden administration announced immediately after taking office in January that it would remain a member and fulfil its financial obligations while working on reforms.
    Tedros distanced himself from the findings of a WHO-led mission this year, written jointly with Chinese scientists, that investigated the origins of the virus.    The report issued on March 30 said the virus had probably been transmitted from bats to humans through another animal, and that a lab leak was “extremely unlikely” as a cause.
    Tedros said that data had been withheld from the team and that the lab issue required further investigation.
(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru and Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

5/3/2021 In France’s Overseas Territories, Napoleon’s Legacy Has A More Troublesome Side by Anna Bellissens
The micro-mosaic "Napoleon Coming out of his Tomb, 1869" by De Rossi from Horace Vernet (1788-1863) is displayed in the
Musee de l'Armee (Army Museum) at the Hotel des Invalides in Paris, France, April 27, 2021. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier
    REUNION ISLAND, France (Reuters) – When France commemorates the bicentenary of Napoleon Bonaparte’s death on May 5, Aurelie Ramassamy will remember a tyrant who reversed the abolition of slavery rather than an emperor often lionized as a hero for his battlefield triumphs.
    Like most Creoles on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion, one of France’s overseas departments, Ramassamy is a descendant of slaves.    Family folklore says her mother’s ancestors were shipped to the island to labour on its coffee and sugar plantations.
    Her conviction that France turns a blind eye to the harsher aspects of Napoleon’s rule comes at a time the Black Lives Matter movement is emboldening those who denounce the honouring of a leader who placed economic prosperity above universal rights.
    “In no circumstances should he be celebrated,” Ramassamy said after laying flowers at the foot of a shrine to the Black Madonna.    Local legend says the Black Madonna hid a fugitive Black from slave-hunters, saving his life.
    In 1802, Napoleon restored slavery by decree in the French Caribbean and Reunion, even if the 1794 abolition had never been applied on the island more than 9,000 km southeast of Paris.
    Revolts were violently put down while white landowners, and the empire, got richer.
    Black historians say Napoleon’s links to slavery remain unaddressed in France, which still grapples with its colonial past and charges of deep-rooted racism by ethnic minorities.
    It was no longer possible to reduce his legacy to an account of military adventure and French grandeur, said Dominique Taffin of the Slavery Memorial Foundation.
    “It’s not re-writing history, it’s enriching history,” she said.
    Napoleon is widely revered as a military genius and a master administrator who created France’s penal code, the administrative system of prefets and Lycee high schools.
    He ruled initially as First Consul after a coup in 1799 and then as emperor, dominating European affairs for more than a decade.
    He was neither pro-slavery, nor racist, but a pragmatist who responded to the social and economic circumstances of the era, said Pierre Branda, a historian at the Napoleon Foundation.
    Branda said Napoleon’s views on slavery evolved in his final years when he lived in exile on St. Helena, a rocky island in the South Atlantic Ocean where he died.
    “We cannot reduce the history of Napoleon to slavery,” Branda said.    “He made a bad decision that he later regretted.”
    The 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s death falls at a sensitive time.
    The global Black Lives Matter movement has resonated on French streets.    The outpouring of anger against police brutality and racism in past months has spurred demonstrations in France and its overseas territories.
    In Martinique, protesters in July tore down a statue of Napoleon’s empress, Josephine, who was born to a wealthy colonial family on the island.
    President Emmanuel Macron will make a speech before laying a wreath at Napoleon’s tomb in the crypt of Les Invalides.
    Talk shows have debated for weeks what tone Macron will strike.
    The bicentenary provided an occasion to start reshaping the myth that Napoleon was a national hero, said historian Frederic Regent, a descendant of slaves on the Caribbean archipelago of Guadeloupe.
    “I hope the president’s speech is aligned as closely as possible to historical reality,” he said.
(Reporting by Anna Bellissens in Reunion and Michaela Cabrera and Clotaire Achi in Paris; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

5/3/2021 Brexit Barriers In Focus As N.Ireland’s DUP Kicks Off Leadership Contest
FILE PHOTO: Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Arlene Foster (C) sits with DUP Deputy Leader Nigel Dodds (L), and DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson, during their
meeting with Britain's Conservative party Leader and Prime Minister Theresa May, Britain's First Secretary of State Damian Green, and Britain's Parliamentary
Secretary to the Treasury, and Chief Whip, Gavin Williamson, inside 10 Downing Street in central London on June 26, 2017. REUTERS/Daniel Leal-Olivas/Pool/File Photo
    BELFAST (Reuters) – Northern’ Ireland’s biggest party was set for its first ever leadership election after its Westminster chief Jeffrey Donaldson threw his hat into the ring on Monday, promising to focus on the divisive issue of post-Brexit trade barriers.
    Donaldson will stand against Edwin Poots to lead the Democratic Unionist Party at a time of heightened instability in the British province and unionist anger over the installation of a customs border in the Irish Sea.
    Both Donaldson and Poots, Northern Ireland’s agriculture minister, stopped short of making detailed campaign promises.    But Britain, Ireland and the rest of     Europe will be watching for any hardening of stances on Brexit or social issues including abortion that could alter the political balance ahead of elections next year.
    The DUP currently leads Northern Ireland in a power-sharing government with its Irish nationalist rivals Sinn Fein.
    Donaldson or Poots will take over the leadership from Arlene Foster who announced last week she was stepping down as Northern Ireland’s First Minister at the end of June, bowing to pressure from party members unhappy at her leadership.
    Her departure has added to instability in the region, where angry young pro-British loyalists rioted in recent weeks, partly over the barriers that they feel have cut them off from the rest of the UK.
    “I will develop and swiftly implement an agreed programme of meaningful reform and clear policy direction on key challenges like the protocol,” Donaldson said in a video announcement, referring to the post-Brexit trading arrangements.
    Like Foster, Donaldson, 58, is a former member of the more moderate Ulster Unionist Party.    He was part of the negotiating team that stuck a deal to prop up the government of former British Prime Minister Theresa May in 2017.
    Once the DUP’s support was no longer needed, May’s successor Boris Johnson broke the party’s “blood red line” and agreed to erect the trade barriers.
    Poots, 55, is one of a number of DUP ministers who have protested against the Brexit arrangements by refusing to attend meetings with Irish counterparts established under the 1998 peace deal that ended 30 years of violence in Northern Ireland.
    Poots, a young earth creationist who rejects the theory of evolution, announced he was standing last week.
(Writing by Padraic Halpin in Dublin; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

5/4/2021 Oil up $0.93 to $64.42, DOW up 238 to 34,113.

5/4/2021 Senate Minority Leader McConnell: No Republicans Will Support Biden Infrastructure Plan by OAN Newsroom
FILE – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., talks after a GOP policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington. McConnell says Republicans are willing to spend up to
$600 billion for roads, bridges and other projects. That’s far less than what President Joe Biden is seeking. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he does not expect any Republican to support Joe Biden’s sweeping infrastructure package.    During a press conference in Kentucky on Monday, he indicated conservatives are standing firm by their $568 billion counteroffer, which is focused on transportation infrastructure over the next five years.
    This comes as opposed to what they call a “grab bag” of tax increases and commercial spending proposed by Biden.    McConnell said unlike the Democrat’s plan, the GOP’s plan would not revisit the 2017 tax bill to pay for it.
    “We’re open to doing a roughly $600 billion package, which deals with what all of us agree is infrastructure,” he stated.    “And to talk about how to pay for that in any way other than reopening 2017 tax reform bill, which I believe and all my members believe is what created as of February 2020 the best economy in 50 years.”
    McConnell added, Republicans would be willing to go slightly higher on the bill if it focused on traditional infrastructure.
    Meanwhile, Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) is leading negotiations on the GOP’s counteroffer.    She said she hopes to come to an agreement with the White House and other Democrats in Congress.
    “I think if you take an apples-to-apples comparison of the president’s plan and our plan, he’s not up into the $2 trillions when you’re looking a physical core infrastructure,” she explained.    And so, that’s where I think our starting point is.”
    Capito went on to say she thinks there’s a real hunger in both the country and Congress for compromise.

5/4/2021 Rep. Scalise: Americans Are Rejecting Socialism by OAN Newsroom
File – House Majority Whip Steve Scalise speaks at his offices at the U.S. Capitol in 2015.Andrew Harnik / AP file
    According to House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), the special election in Texas confirms America is rejecting socialism.    During an interview Monday, the representative said Americans are responding well to Republican congressional candidates.
    This comes after residents of Texas’ Sixth District voted favorably for GOP candidate Susan Wright over the weekend to fill her late husband’s seat on the House.    Additionally, Republicans flipped 10 House seats in 2020, in turn, shrinking Democrats’ control of the lower chamber.
    “What I see across the country is dramatic enthusiasm for the Republican Party and a lot of really, really serious concern about the direction that the socialist Democrats are taking us,” stated the minority whip.    “Whether it’s Nancy Pelosi’s agenda, now Biden has embraced that far-left Bernie Sanders agenda, people don’t want this to become a socialist nation.”
    Scalise remains confident Republicans will ride this momentum into the 2022 midterm elections as they look to regain control of the House.

5/4/2021 Former Vice President Mike Pence Set To Headline N.H. GOP Fundraiser by OAN Newsroom
In his first public speech since leaving office, former Vice President Mike Pence speaks at a dinner
hosted by Palmetto Family on Thursday, April 29, 2021, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)
    Former Vice President Mike Pence has added another major Republican event to his agenda while sparking further speculation of a White House bid.
    Pence is set to headline the GOP’s Lincoln Dinner in New Hampshire as the keynote speaker in June.    Many believe he’s laying out the groundwork for a 2024 presidential run as he slowly reenters the political arena.
    Pence recently took the stage at a GOP fundraiser in South Carolina in his first public appearance since leaving office, where he criticized the Biden administration.
    “After 100 days, I think the time has come for Americans devoted to faith and family and freedom and limited government to stand up and unite behind a positive agenda,” he stated.    “And win back America, and it starts right here and right now.”
    New Hampshire is the first state in the nation to hold a primary in the race for the White House.

5/4/2021 NYPD Searching For Suspect Who Attack Asian Woman With A Hammer by OAN Newsroom
File – A New York Police Department officer is pictured in uniform. (AP Photo)
    A manhunt is underway in New York City for the suspect who attacked an Asian woman with a hammer.    The New York Police Department (NYPD) is looking for the woman seen in this surveillance footage Sunday night near midtown Manhattan.
    Police say the suspect repeatedly yelled at two victims passing by demanding one of them remove her face mask before assaulting her with a hammer.
    The 31-year-old victim, who did not want to be identified, told local media she tried to defend herself, but realized she was badly injured.     The victim needed seven stitches on her head and remains in stable condition.    Meanwhile, the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to an arrest.

5/4/2021 Jenna Ellis Challenges Rep. Liz Cheney To Live Debate Of ‘Stolen Election’ by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this April 20, 2021, file photo Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., the House Republican Conference chair, speaks with
reporters following a GOP strategy session on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
    President Trump’s attorney Jenna Ellis recently responded to Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) amid her latest attempt to cover-up alleged 2020 election fraud.
    In a tweet Monday, Ellis said election officials in at least six states broke the law by circumventing state legislatures to enable universal mail-in voting.    The attorney stressed what they did should be considered cheating, which resulted in a stolen election.
    Ellis also challenged Cheney to a live debate after the Wyoming congresswoman spoke to mainstream media in defense of the fraudulent election outcomes.    She also slammed Democrats for trying to steal the term “the big lie.”
    The attorney stressed that Democrats poisoned America’s election system and Republicans like Cheney lacked a spine to stand up to it.

5/4/2021 New CIA Recruitment Ad Criticized For ‘Overdose’ Of Woke Ideas by OAN Newsroom
In this file photo a workman quickly slides a dust mop over the floor at the Central Intelligence Agency
headquarters in Langley, Va., near Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    A new CIA recruitment video is getting slammed for its over-the-top pandering to the left and is being criticized by people who say it’s “woke propaganda” gone too far.
    The promotional video was posted to Twitter on Wednesday and features a Latina female officer who ticked off a series of left-wing buzzwords before boasting that she can “wax eloquent on complex legal issues” while staying true to her Latina roots.
    Critics say the ad is nothing more than “woke propaganda” exposing dangerous political biases within the U.S. Intelligence Community.    Additionally, the ad is being criticized for glorifying a personal agenda instead of the CIA’s purported mission of serving the American people.
    A former CIA officer took to the media to call out the agency’s mission for its people while noting how America is less safe with this new CIA and dangerously more political.
    Conservative news outlet Breitbart said the video proves the CIA is hiring and actively looking to recruit the most “immodest, narcissistic, grotesquely self-serving people in the world — woke millennials.”
    Undercover agents and analysts have called it a national embarrassment, adding the world is “laughing at us.”    Meanwhile, Donald Trump Jr. also weighed in by remarking “China and Russia love this.”

5/4/2021 Fla. Gov. DeSantis Revokes Last Remaining COVID Restrictions, Says Fla. Has Low COVID Rate by OAN Newsroom
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 26: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the opening of the Conservative Political Action Conference
at the Hyatt Regency on February 26, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. Begun in 1974, CPAC brings together conservative organizations,
activists and world leaders to discuss issues important to them. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
    Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) suspended the last remaining COVID restrictions in his state. On Monday, DeSantis said there was no reason to keep policing people as Florida’s COVID rate has rapidly declined.    He also revoked all local COVID rules, effective July 1, as he said Florida was no longer in a state of emergency.
    “I don’t think anyone at the time would have thought, that the fact that you have a pandemic would allow governors to seize power to lock kids out of school for a year, to lock businesses down, to constantly be issuing edicts, restricting people, fining people, doing all this basically Infinitum,” DeSantis noted.    “I think maybe people thought there would be a small time, but to be doing that was something that I certainly wouldn’t have foreseen that would have been acceptable.”
    The Republican added, lifting COVID rules was based on scientific evidence, which showed no positive correlation between lockdowns and declining COVID rates.
    His comments were in stark contrast to that of Democrat lawmakers who have faced backlash for urging Americans to continue to wear masks outside even after they have received the vaccine.
    “In fact, you have local governments in other parts of the country — I read Brookline, Massachusetts did an outdoor mask mandate, or extended that,” DeSantis said.    “Even the CDC says that doesn’t make a difference.    Washington D.C. just banned dancing at weddings, so they’re literally going to have law enforcement there policing people’s weddings to say you can’t dance when this is the day you’ve been waiting for? It’s insane.”
    Regardless, Democrats and mainstream media rushed to attack DeSantis by alleging he has undermined public health.
    However, the governor said his state has more vaccines than people who want one, which suggested the lockdown was no longer justified.
    He went on to claim the radical left has done little, if anything, to help Americans regain their freedom.
    “When you have people, particularly in Washington, saying: ‘Yeah, get vaccinated, but then make sure you continue to social distance and wear masks all the time,’ well, the message that that sends to people is that the vaccines don’t work,” DeSantis noted.    “Because if the vaccines worked, that would be your ticket to basically live normally and make decisions for yourself.    That would be the message that actually would work with people.”
    DeSantis added, he is signing a bill to ensure the government in the Sunshine State cannot close business or keep kids out of in-person instruction unless they satisfy demanding and continuous justifications.
    Under the legislation, the governor would also have the authority to invalidate a local emergency order if it unnecessarily restricts individual rights or liberties.
    DeSantis stated Florida is — once again — leading the way in restoring American liberty after the pandemic.    He urged the rest of the nation to join him.

5/4/2021 Controversial Photo Of Chauvin Juror #52 Prompts Legal Questions
People react after the verdict was read in the Derek Chauvin trial on April 20, 2021
In Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
    Legal questions in the Derek Chauvin trial have been raised after a controversial photo of one of its jurors emerged online.    The image of Juror #52, Brandon Mitchell, wearing a t-shirt that reads: “Get your knees off our necks,” has been circulating on social media.
    Mitchell wore the “Black Lives Matter” shirt while attending an event in August 2020, which commemorated the 57th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic speech in Washington D.C.    However, the juror told local media his participation in the rally had absolutely nothing to do with the George Floyd case.
    “It was for voter turnout for being a part of that — for being able to attend the same location that Martin Luther King gave his speech, the historic moment,” Mitchell said.    “Either way, I was going to this event in D.C., whether George Floyd was alive or not.”
    Legal experts have said the defense could use this to justify an appeal or to even possibly push for a mistrial.    The judge is likely to re-interview the juror to decide the next steps.

5/4/2021 Biden Evades Herd Immunity Question, Tries To Steal Credit For Vaccines by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden leaves after he delivered remarks on the COVID-19 response and the vaccination program during an event at
the State Dining Room of the White House May 4, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    Joe Biden has flouted questions about herd immunity to the coronavirus, which when achieved, would render COVID restrictions redundant.
    While speaking to reporters on Monday, Biden failed to say when the majority of the U.S. population would likely be immune to the “virus.”
    When asked by a reporter when he believes the U.S. will reach herd immunity, Biden answered: “I think by the end of the summer, we’ll be in a very different position than we are now.    As you know, I’ve worked very hard to make sure we have over 600 million doses of vaccine.”
    Biden has attempted to steal credit for the vaccines from President Trump on multiple occasions, after which he tried to discredit the concept of herd immunity.
    “There’s a debate into what constitutes herd immunity,” Biden claimed.    “Is it 70% of the population?    Is it 68%?    Is it 81%?    The point is that by the end of the summer…every single person 16 years or older doesn’t have to wait in line [and] can show up and get a vaccination now.”
    According to scientists, herd immunity for the flu begins to form when 33 percent of the population has either been vaccinated or has gotten sick and recovered from it.
    However, the CDC has repeatedly moved the goalposts for herd immunity to coronavirus, saying it could form at as high as 75 percent of the population.
    Meanwhile, the U.S. has administered nearly 245 million doses of coronavirus vaccines throughout the country and more than 100 million people have been fully vaccinated.

5/4/2021 ‘From The Desk Of Donald J. Trump’ Goes Live On Internet by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 17: U.S. President Donald Trump talks to reporters while hosting workers and members of his cabinet
for a meeting in the Oval Office at the White House October 17, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    President Trump has launched a new website to deliver the latest updates from his office to the American people.
    The new communications platform launched Tuesday and its design is reminiscent of the President’s Twitter account, which was banned by Big Tech in early 2021.
    The website is called: From the Desk of Donald J. Trump.    The President has posted statements and opinions on the state of U.S. affairs to advance his ‘Save America’ program.
A supporter holds signs during a Save Our Majority campaign rally with Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Republican U.S. Senate
candidate Kelly Loeffler on November 11, 2020 in Marietta, Georgia. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)
    President Trump said the website will develop as “the beacon of free speech,” although it doesn’t appear to work as a social media platform as of now.

5/4/2021 Dem Rep. Ron Kind Slammed Over Spa Controversy In New Ad by OAN Newsroom
Members of the New Democratic Coalition (2012) (L-R) Representative-elect Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA),
Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA), Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN), Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA), Chairman Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT),
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), Rep. John Carney (D-DE). (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    A powerful GOP fundraising arm has gone after a Wisconsin Democrat ahead of 2022’s high-stakes elections.    The National Republican Congressional Committee, or NRCC, launched a new ad targeting Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.).
    The ad highlights reports, which show a property owned by the congressman has been rented to a spa that advertises on sites where users can pay for sex.
    The advertisement also accuses Rep. Kind of having poor judgment for having ties to such businesses and questions whether voters will hold him accountable.
    “What’s Ron Kind hiding?” the advertisement asks.    “Reports reveal Kind made tens of thousands of dollars from a seedy massage parlor.”
    The NRCC goes on to urge voters to call on Kind to stand up to sex traffickers.    Meanwhile, Congressman Kind has yet to announce if he’s running for reelection.

5/4/2021 Calif. Woman Uses Racist Slur To Accuse Latino Policeman Of ‘Racism’ by OAN Newsroom
(Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
    A bizarre incident took place in Los Angeles County when an African-American woman was filmed using racist attacks to accuse a Latino police officer of racism.
    “Here you go, Mexican racist,” the woman said to the officer.    “You’re always going to be a Mexican, you’ll never be white, you know that?    You’ll never be white, which is what you really want to be.”
    The incident happened on April 23 in San Dimas; California after a Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputy stopped the woman in a white Mercedes for using her cell phone while driving.
    Bodycam footage released Monday showed how the woman began an unprovoked verbal assault against the deputy.
    “I started to record because you are a murderer,” the woman claimed.    “I was not on my phone; I was recording you.    You scared me and made me think you were going to murder me.”
    Following the incident, the woman — who claims to be a teacher — filed a complaint with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s Internal Affairs to get the deputy in trouble.    However, Los Angeles police officials have sided with the officer.
    “If you wanna call all of the deputies murderers, unfortunately, you’re doing the exact same thing, which you are excusing other people of doing against your own kind — of being racists, of being bigots,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva said.    “You’re exhibiting the exact same issue and it is no different.”
    The sheriff’s department has identified the woman, but it has yet to comment on whether she’ll face any consequences for this vile attack on an officer.

5/4/2021 Fentanyl Floods Across U.S. Southern Border by OAN Newsroom
A Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) chemist checks confiscated powder containing fentanyl. (Photo by DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images)
    Seizures of fentanyl on the U.S. southern border have soared as the border crisis rages on.    The opioid, which is 50 times more potent than heroin, has been smuggled into the country at record rates since the beginning of the fiscal year 2021.
    So far throughout 2021, more than 5,500 pounds of the drug have been caught by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol personnel, which is up from around 4,700 pounds in all of 2020.    A lack of border security and increased demand for the drug have been pointed to as reasons for the surge.
    “From a business side, a better return on investment,” DEA Special Agent Bill Czopek said.    “Meaning, they’re just making more money selling these products.”
    However, North Carolina Sheriff Sam Page has argued the crisis isn’t just relegated to the border.
    “2,000 miles away or less, in 2 days traveling time, persons that are moving drugs or moving persons — smuggling or trafficking — can be in my county,” Rockingham County Sheriff Page said.
    Opioid deaths in the United States totaled more than 87,000 in 2020 and have already risen 60 percent in the fiscal year of 2021.
    “The devastation that these synthetic opioids are causing on the streets of America is significant,” San Diego DEA Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge Misha Piastro said.
    On top of it all, Mexican cartels aren’t the only foreign entities profiting from the illegal trade.
    “It’s manufactured in Mexico clandestinely, with chemicals that come from China,” noted Kyle Williamson, El Paso DEA Special Agent-in-Charge, said.
    In response, the DEA has ramped up efforts to combat the onslaught, which was arguably caused by weakened border security under the Biden administration.
    “Project Wave Breaker is an operation, in DEA, designed to attack the fentanyl manufacturing, importation, and distribution problem here in the United States,” Williamson stated.
    Wave Breaker will rely on analytics to target specific activities of Mexican drug cartels in order to break up the supply chains, which are coming across the border like a wave.

5/4/2021 5 Charged In Human Smuggling Operation In Houston by OAN Newsroom
Law enforcement officials investigate the site of a human smuggling case, where more than 90 undocumented immigrants
were found inside a home on the 12200 block of Chessington Drive on Friday, April 30, 2021, in Houston. A Houston Police officials
said the case will be handled by federal authorities. ( Godofredo A. Vásquez/Houston Chronicle via AP)
    Five people face federal charges in an alleged human smuggling operation in Houston.    On Monday, the DOJ announced the charges after Houston Police recently found nearly 100 illegal immigrants held in a house.
    Authorities said the migrants were locked in two separate rooms of the residence and dressed only in their undergarments.    Police added, there was a possible COVID-19 outbreak among the group.
    “We are in a pandemic and we do have some people in the house that are symptomatic,” Assistant Houston Police Chief D.B. Edwards stated.
    “So, we’ve already had some people in the house tell us they’re not able to smell and not able to taste.    And we did have some people with fever.    So we’ve got the Health Department going to do some rapid testing and kind of take it from there.”
    The suspects face federal smuggling charges.    If convicted, each suspect faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine.

5/4/2021 Windham, N.H. Citizens Protest Board Meeting, Demand To Stop The Steal by OAN Newsroom
DC Under Siege protesters display their Stop The Steal signs in front Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s
vandalized home on January 2, 2021 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)
    Citizens of Windham, New Hampshire have ramped up pressure on the Board of Selectmen to appoint Jovan Pulitzer to lead the 2020 election audit in their state.     During a meeting of Windham Selectmen on Monday, citizens turned their backs on the board members over their plans to appoint audit critic Mark Lindeman as the state’s chief election auditor.
    Board members then walked out of the meeting without making the final decision.
    “We have people serving on this board who do not serve the community and serve their self-interest,” Granite Grok‘s Kevin Eyring said.    “This is how things happen in communist countries, not here in America.    The time has come for us to take our country back.”
    Windham residents have said New Hampshire needs an audit similar to that in Arizona, but the Board of Selectmen has tried to fight their demands.
    New Hampshire has roughly 30 days to begin the audit of the 2020 elections.

5/5/2021 Oil up $1.35 to $65.93, DOW up 26 to 34,133.

5/5/2021 Reps. Jordan, Biggs Condemn FBI FISA Warrant Abuses by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, questions Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, during a House Select Subcommittee
on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)
    Republicans in the House Judiciary Committee are taking the FBI to task over further abuses of the FISA warrant process.    The domestic intelligence and security service is coming under immense scrutiny, yet again, for abusing their authority to conduct electronic surveillance.
    On Tuesday, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray asking him to detail the history of abuses.    They cited a foreign intelligence surveillance court opinion released last month, documenting 40 instances where the FBI sought surveillance for matters unrelated to national security.
    Instead, the court said they used their power to investigate health care fraud, violent gangs and public corruption and bribery.
    The Obama-Biden administration used the FBI to target President Trump’s campaign and now they are looking at ways they can spy on all of us,” stated Rep. Jordan.    “We need hearings, let’s see if the Democrats will do it.”
    This comes more than one year after Department if Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a scathing review of the FBI’s role in Operation Crossfire Hurricane.    Horowitz found the FBI erroneously filed warrants to surveil several staffers to President Trump’s 2016 campaign including the president’s former foreign policy adviser Carter Page.
    “We found, and as we outlined here, are deeply concerned that so many basic and fundamental errors were made by three separate, hand-picked investigative teams on one of the most sensitive FBI investigations after the matter had been briefed to the highest levels within the FBI,” stated the Inspector General.
    Additionally, the FBI is continuing to weaken its reputation with the American public with their recent raid of Rudy Giuliani’s residence.    Agents gloated a warrant reportedly seeking all electronic evidence in Giuliani’s possession as part of a federal investigation into the attorney’s alleged ties to Ukrainian officials.    However, they wittingly refused to take hard drives allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden, which Giuliani said proves his and his father’s corrupt dealings with foreign governments.
    In the meantime, Rep. Jordan and Rep. Biggs are asking FBI Director Christopher Wray to explain why the FBI keeps making mistakes regarding FISA warrants and how many of their applications have nothing to do with national security.    They are also asking Wray what steps the FBI is taking to correct their mistakes.
[FISA warrants are now flying along but no one is bringing charges for those during the Trump administration and where is Durham?].

5/5/2021 Dem Rep. Ron Kind Slammed Over Spa Controversy In New Ad by OAN Newsroom
Members of the New Democratic Coalition (2012) (L-R) Representative-elect Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA),
Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA), Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN), Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA), Chairman Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT),
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), Rep. John Carney (D-DE). (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    A Wisconsin Democrat is in the hot seat as a powerful GOP fundraising arm goes after him ahead of 2022’s high-stakes elections.    The National Republican Congressional Committee, or NRCC, launched a new ad targeting Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.).
    The ad highlights reports, which show a property owned by the congressman has been rented to a spa that advertises on sites where users can pay for sex.
    The advertisement also accuses Rep. Kind of having poor judgment for having ties to such businesses and questions whether voters will hold him accountable.
    “What’s Ron Kind hiding?” the advertisement asks.    “Reports reveal Kind made tens of thousands of dollars from a seedy massage parlor.”
    Asian Sunny Massage in La Crosse, formerly known as Impression Spa, opened in April 2018.    On its opening day, the establishment posted advertisements on “Body Rubs Map,” a website that claims to be the “best alternative to ‘Backpage.'
    The now-seized website was known as the “largest online U.S. marketplace for sex trafficking.”    Ads were found under the “women and men” subsection for dating.    While the parlor’s owner has maintained they only perform massages, the spokesperson for the NRCC said Kind needs to “come clean and explain what’s been going on at his property.”
    “Since the massage business opened in May of 2018, there have been 7 calls police have made to that address,” the advertisement notes.    “The industry has been proven to be a component of human sex trafficking.”
    While the Democrat has yet to announce if he’s running for reelection, the NRCC has urged voters to call on Kind to stand up to sex traffickers.    NRCC Spokesman Mike Berg warns that if Kind runs for reelection, voters will “hold him accountable for his poor judgment.”

5/5/2021 Windham, N.H. Residents Launch Formal Petition To Present Simple Majority To Start Election Audit by OAN Newsroom
FILE – People cast their votes in the presidential primary at Windham High School in Windham, N.H. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
    Residents in Windham, New Hampshire are fighting back against the city board’s decision to appoint a known election audit critic to take charge of the state’s 2020 review.
    Meanwhile, another member of the Board of Selectmen said he will vote to appoint Jovan Pulitzer to lead the election fraud audit if that’s what the majority of the citizens want.
    Heath Partington became the second member of the four-member board who now may support Pulitzer’s candidacy over the audit critic Mark Lindeman.
    Last week, the board voted three-to-one to put Lindeman in charge of the audit, which sparked citywide protests.    Windham residents have said New Hampshire needs an audit similar to that in Arizona, but the Board of Selectmen is trying to fight their demands.
    Last month, state legislature passed the Bill SB43 that mandates New Hampshire officials audit last year’s elections after a Windham recount found six percent of Republican votes were switched to Democrat candidates.
    The audit bill has already been signed into law by Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, but Windham officials are struggling to select the team of auditors to do the job.
    Residents are now organizing a formal petition that’s required to change the votes of their selectmen.    This came after citizens turned their back on Windham board members Monday night in defiance of their plans to appoint Lindeman.
    Board members walked out of the meeting without making the final decision.    New Hampshire now has roughly 30 days to begin the audit of 2020 elections.
    Windham residents are calling on all patriotic Americans to follow their fight on Telegram and MeWe as well as the local politics website called Granite Grok.

5/5/2021 Maricopa County Audit Observers To Sign Nondisclosure Agreements by OAN Newsroom
Ken Bennett, the former Republican Arizona Secretary of State, walks the floor of the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum during setup of a
2020 election audit called for by the Arizona Republican lead Senate Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
    Officials in the Maricopa County audit are taking steps to secure their findings amid Democrat attempts to derail the effort.
    On Tuesday, an anonymous volunteer said workers are signing a nondisclosure agreement agreeing not to share any findings with third parties.    If they are asked to reveal confidential information in court, the group carrying out the audit — Cyber Ninjas Inc. — must be notified.
    On Monday, the chairwoman of the Arizona Republican Party, Kelli Ward, also weighed in on security measures in place.    She stressed “there is a lot of planning” to ensure the audit is safe and secure.
    “It is a simple process, but it has to be run a professional, secure manner to make sure we get this right,” she stated.    “And there’s another thing that the Democrats and the media get wrong and like to spin: there are not only nine cameras in the arena as you see on the website…there are dozens of private security cameras focused on the tables.”
    The Arizona election audit appears to be highly organized as well as color coded.    For more information, check out this report from One America’s Christina Bobb.

5/5/2021 Facebook Oversight Board Upholds President Trump Ban by OAN Newsroom
FILE- In this March 29, 2018, file photo, the logo for Facebook appears on screens at the
Nasdaq MarketSite in New York’s Times Square. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
    Facebook’s Oversight Board is not allowing President Trump back on the site.    The board of 20 political leaders, journalists and human rights activists chosen by the social media giant made their ruling Wednesday morning.
    This came after Trump’s page was suspended in early January and the board received over 9,000 comments regarding the case, which is more than any other case before.
    Skeptics of the process are calling it a “sideshow” that hardly addresses the flaws in the site’s content moderation practices.
    “They hire contractors both domestically and internationally to assess content on a constant basis,” explained Gautam Hans, a law professor at Vanderbilt University.    “They would prefer that we don’t know about that because the existence of human-mediated content moderation belies the idea that this can be done effectively at scale and without bias, but of course it’s always going to be impossible to have a computer make these kinds of judgment calls because they’re notoriously context-dependent.”
    The decision will have lasting effects as the board has been delegated to also provide recommendations for handling political leaders’ accounts in the future.

5/5/2021 AG Garland Pushing For Increased DOJ Budget To Combat Domestic Terrorism by OAN Newsroom
Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks at the Department of Justice in Washington, Monday, April 26, 2021. (Mandel Ngan/Pool via AP)
    Attorney General Merrick Garland is putting his focus on domestic terror when it comes to the Justice Department’s budget.    On Tuesday, he told the members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee that the DOJ needs an additional $85 million over last year’s budget.
    Garland said the budget bump would include $45 million to be delegated to FBI domestic terrorism investigations and $40 million for U.S. attorneys to manage increasing domestic terrorism caseloads.    The attorney general argued that the threat of a terror attacks on U.S. soil is what keeps him up at night.
    “So we have an emerging and accelerating threat and the department is putting its resources into defending the country with respect to both,” Garland stated.    “Needless to say, this is an all of government problem and not all of government solution. The Department of Homeland Security (is) extraordinarily important in these areas.”
    Garland asked the House lawmakers to support this year’s budget request as the Justice Department works to ensure adherence to the rule of law, protection and public safety and equal justice for all Americans.

5/5/2021 7 Alleged Cult Members Arrested In Connection With Leader’s Mummified Body by OAN Newsroom
Ryan Kramer, Christopher Royer, Sarah Rudolph, Karin Raymond, Jason Castillo, John Robertson and Obdulia Franco were charged
with abuse of a corpse and two counts of child abuse. (Photos released by Colorado’s Saguache County Sheriff’s Office.)
    The body of a suspected cult leader was recently found mummified in a Colorado home, which led to the arrest of seven people.
    According to the Saguache County Sheriff’s Office, those seven people were taken into custody after a raid last week led authorities to the body of Amy Carlson.    She was discovered wrapped in a sleeping bag and Christmas lights.
    The house was located in the rural town of Moffat, which is about 180 miles southwest of Denver.    The residence appears to be tied to the “Love Has Won” group, which is often referred to as a cult.
    One of its followers tipped police off after telling them the group was holding his two-year-old son and another child.
    The alleged cult leader’s son, Cole Carlson, commented on the development by calling it all disturbing.
    “Some of the details that have slowly continued to come out have been rather shocking to me honestly, but they are also a cult,” he stated.    “You kind of expect weird things to come out.”
    It’s believed the group moved Carlson’s body from California to Colorado before building what investigators have described as a shrine.    The seven suspects are currently being held in the Rio Grande County Jail and face child abuse charges as well as abuse of a corpse charges.

5/5/2021 5 Charged In Human Smuggling Operation In Houston by OAN Newsroom
Law enforcement officials investigate the site of a human smuggling case, where more than 90 undocumented immigrants
were found inside a home on the 12200 block of Chessington Drive on Friday, April 30, 2021, in Houston. A Houston Police official
said the case will be handled by federal authorities. (Godofredo A. Vásquez/Houston Chronicle via AP)
    Five people are facing federal charges in an alleged human smuggling operation in Houston, Texas on Monday, the DOJ announced the charges after Houston Police found nearly 100 illegal immigrants held in a house.
    “When we got into the house, we realized that there were over 90 people inside and we immediately began to assess any kind of a special threat after that,” stated D.B. Edwards, Houston Police Assistant Chief.    “Once we isolated that, we wanted to make sure we rendered any kind of medical care so we had HFD (Houston Fire Department) with us.”
    The criminal complaint charges Marina Garcia-Diaz, Henry Licona-Larios, Kevin Licona-Lopez, Marco Baca-Perez and Marcelo Garcia-Palacios who are all within the ages of 21 through 31.
    Authorities said the migrants were locked in two separate rooms of the residence and were dressed only in their undergarments.    Police added, there was a possible COVID-19 outbreak among the group.
    “We are in a pandemic and we do have some people in the house that are symptomatic,” Edwards stated.    “So, we’ve already had some people in the house tell us they’re not able to smell and not able to taste, and we did have some people with fever.”
Paramedics transport a man into an ambulance from the scene of a human smuggling case, where more than 90 undocumented immigrants were found
inside a home on the 12200 block of Chessington Drive, Friday, April 30, 2021, in Houston. (Godofredo A. Vásquez/Houston Chronicle via AP)
    According to officials, a woman alerted police of her brother’s kidnapping while admitting she paid human smugglers $11,000 to bring him to the U.S.    The woman also reported the smugglers tried to extort her for more money once her brother arrived in Houston, which led her to call the police in fear of his life.
    Investigators were able to track the suspects’ phone, which led them to the shocking discovery in the Houston neighborhood.
    Medical personnel took some of the people found in the home to a hospital to be treated for dehydration after they told police they had not eaten or had anything to drink in three days.
    Meanwhile, all five suspects are accused of harboring and concealing people for the purpose of commercial advantage or private financial gain.    If convicted, each suspect faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine.

5/5/2021 COVID Scare At G7 Meeting After Indian Delegates Test Positive by William James and Andy Bruce
Attendees take part in G7 foreign ministers meeting in London, Britain May 5, 2021. Ben Stansall/Pool via REUTERS
    LONDON (Reuters) – The Group of Seven foreign ministers’ meeting in London was hit by a COVID-19 scare on Wednesday when India’s foreign minister and his entire team said they were self-isolating after two delegation members tested positive.
    Britain is hosting the three-day meeting – the first such G7 event in two years – which has been heavily billed as a chance to restart face-to-face diplomacy and a opportunity for the West to show a united front against threats from China and Russia.
    India, currently undergoing the world’s worst surge in COVID-19 cases, is attending the G7 as a guest and had been due to take part in meetings on Tuesday evening and throughout Wednesday.
    “Was made aware yesterday evening of exposure to possible Covid positive cases,” Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said on Twitter.
    “As a measure of abundant caution and also out of consideration for others, I decided to conduct my engagements in the virtual mode.    That will be the case with the G7 Meeting today as well.”
    The meeting is a precursor to the main G7 summit due to take place at a rural English resort in June, with U.S. President Joe Biden and other world leaders set to attend.
    A British official confirmed the two positive tests and said the entire Indian delegation was self-isolating.    British rules require a 10-day self-isolation period.
    The Indian delegation had not yet attended the main summit venue at Lancaster House, and so meetings scheduled for Wednesday went ahead as planned.
    Asked if, in light of the positive tests, it had been a mistake to hold the summit in person, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I think it’s very important to try to continue as much business as you can as a government.”
    Johnson said he would speak with Jaishankar later on Wednesday by Zoom.
    British foreign minister Dominic Raab was seen greeting and fist-bumping other G7 members as they arrived at the venue.
    “We deeply regret that Jaishankar will be unable to attend the meeting today in person,” a senior UK diplomat said.    “This is exactly why we have put in place strict COVID protocols and daily testing.”
    On Tuesday, pictures from inside the grand Lancaster House conference venue showed the reality of diplomacy in the coronavirus age – delegates separated by plastic screens, and a “family photo” of ministers carefully spaced two metres apart.
    Jaishankar was pictured meeting British interior minister Priti Patel on Tuesday, although Patel did not have to self-isolate because the meeting had been held in line with existing rules.    Both were wearing masks in the photograph.
    India is not a G7 member but was invited by Britain to this week’s summit, along with Australia, South Africa and South Korea.
    The Indian High Commission in London did not respond to requests for comment.
(Reporting by Andy Bruce, William James and Elizabeth Piper; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Angus MacSwan)

5/5/2021 U.S. Among First Foreign Countries To Join EU Defence Project, Diplomats Say by Gabriela Baczynska
FILE PHOTO: Picture showing the room during a meeting of European Union defence ministers
at the EU Council in Brussels, Belgium May 18, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Vidal/File Photo
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union will allow the United States, Norway and Canada to join a project to overcome delays in moving troops across Europe, diplomats said on Wednesday, which NATO sees as vital in the event of a conflict with Russia.
    While NATO has spearheaded efforts to reduce conflicting regulations across 27 EU countries for transfers of U.S. troops, the EU has a budget to back the reconstruction of bridges too weak for tanks and has more power over changing bloc-wide rules.
    The decision, to be formally taken by EU defense ministers on Thursday, means NATO members Norway, Canada and the United States also become the first foreign countries to collaborate in the EU’s Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) pact, which aims to deepen defense ties.
    The pact was agreed by EU leaders in December 2017 after Britain’s decision to leave the Union and Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
    The bloc has since earmarked 1.7 billion euros ($2 billion) from its joint budget until 2028 to improve so-called military mobility in support of NATO, and the Dutch-led project brings together 25 EU states – all but Malta and Denmark.    The NATO alliance has 30 allies, many of whom are also EU members.
    Military mobility aims at improving the exchange of information between EU countries and cutting red tape at borders, including harmonizing customs rules to allow for swift deployments and easier transport of military equipment, diplomats said.
    While there have been no specific talks with Britain, which along with France used to be among the EU’s biggest military powers, more foreign countries can seek to join, they added.
    “It is also very important for transatlantic cooperation, good cooperation between EU members and NATO allies,” said one of the diplomats, who spoke under condition of anonymity.
    Plans for an EU defence pact gained momentum as the former U.S. president, Donald Trump, lambasted European NATO allies for not spending enough on their own security.    That prompted the bloc to call for “strategic autonomy.”
    U.S. and NATO security guarantees remain the cornerstone of national security for many EU countries, however, especially for those on the eastern flank of the bloc worried about Russia.
    While the EU’s flagship defence pact aims to help the bloc fund, develop and deploy armed forces together, it would not amount to joint military force. ($1 = 0.8337 euros)
(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Robin Emmott and Alex Richardson)

5/5/2021 Illegal Immigrants ‘Top Priority’ For Biden DHS, Not Americans by OAN Newsroom
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    Despite the ongoing crisis at the southern border, Joe Biden’s Secretary of Homeland Security said the department is focused on bringing previously deported immigrants back into the U.S.
    DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas made those remarks during an interview with MSNBC on Tuesday.    His declaration came on the heels of his announcement that four deported families would be granted “humanitarian parole” and allowed to enter the U.S. in order to live with their teenage children.
    And while the Biden administration has faced growing calls to tackle a recent surge in illegal border crossings, Mayorkas said bringing these deported illegal immigrants is his “top priority.”
    “This is our highest priority is to reunite these families,” Mayorkas said.    “As we so powerfully saw, these are young people in their formative years.    These are sometimes children as young as three years old.    We are addressing the needs and vulnerabilities not only of the children, but also of their mothers, their fathers.”
    Critics have argued the stated mission of DHS is to protect Americans from foreign and domestic threats, but Mayorkas is neglecting this in order to focus on those without a legal right to reside in the country.

5/5/2021 Report: Biden Relief Prioritizes Funds For Non-White Business Owners by OAN Newsroom
(Photo by Tom Brenner/Getty Images)
    Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief plan prioritizes minority communities first.    According to reports on Tuesday, Biden’s ‘American Rescue Plan’ is opening up the application process for restaurant and business owners to apply for federal relief for lost revenue during the pandemic.
    Applicants eligible for the relief funds first have to be identified as socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.    Back in January, Biden confirmed his main focus was to only help specific race groups and not the whole country.
    “Our focus will be on small businesses on Main Street that aren’t wealthy and well-connected, that are facing real economic hardships through no fault of their own,” Biden claimed.    “Our priority will be Black, Latino, Asian and Native American owned small-businesses, women-owned businesses.”
    Critics are pointing out how the Trump administration delivered funds to businesses based on the amount of revenue lost and not on race.

5/5/2021 Psaki Defends Facebook’s Ban Of President Trump, Claims ‘Misinformation’ by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 21: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House
January 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. Psaki held her second press briefing since President Joe Biden took office yesterday. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    The Biden administration appears to be satisfied with Facebook’s decision to extend its ban on President Trump’s account.    White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Wednesday, Facebook’s decision to uphold the ban was legitimate.
    She claimed the decision was made by an “independent” board, although it’s comprised of prominent far-left activists and political operatives.    This came after President Trump launched his new communications platform: From the Desk of Donald J. Trump.
    When asked about the 45th President’s latest initiative, Psaki refused to comment.
    “Well look, I think we are of course a believer in First Amendment rights,” Psaki said.    “I think decisions…that the social media platforms need to make is how they address the disinformation, misinformation, especially related to life-threatening issues like COVID-19 and vaccinations, that continue to proliferate on their platforms.”
    For his part, President Trump said Facebook and the rest of Big Tech have repeatedly violated the First Amendment.

5/5/2021 N.J. School Nurse Suspended After Saying Masks Are Harmful by OAN Newsroom
(Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
    A New Jersey school nurse has spoken out she was suspended for raising the alarm about the dangers of face masks.    Erin Pein, who works for Stafford Township School District, said the mask mandate is dangerous and harmful to children.
    She recalled many incidents where students complained about headaches, stomach aches or shortness of breath after wearing dirty masks for weeks.    Pein told district officials in April she didn’t feel comfortable enforcing a policy she believes harmful.
    She was then suspended without pay after taking a stand against the mandate.
    “This mandate isn’t safe,” Pein said.    “It’s not good for kids, it’s not good for adults, it’s not good for anybody.    We shouldn’t be following it.    We shouldn’t be doing this.    It is harmful.    It’s dangerous and we need to stop complying with this.”
    Many people have voiced support for Pein, including Republican gubernatorial candidate Hirsh Singh, who has organized a rally in support of the school nurse.    The demonstration is planned for next week to protest the mask policy as well as to get Pein reinstated.

5/5/2021 Texas Lawmakers Seek To Stop A Chinese Subsidiary From Building Windmills Near An Air Force Base by OAN Newsroom
(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
    An effort to stop China from buying land in Texas leads to a bill in Washington D.C.    Recent reports detailed the effort by state lawmakers to stop the sale of land to a Chinese subsidiary for a windmill farm only 70 miles from a U.S. Air Force Base.
    In April, the state Senate passed a bill, which banned businesses backed by hostile nations, like China and Iran, from seeking infrastructure contracts in the state.    Shortly after, a Texas congressman introduced a bill in Washington to stop countries from buying land within 100 miles of military installations and 50 miles from military areas.
    “What is happening is, we’ve got, you know, folks that are associated with the Chinese [Communist] Party in our backyard — in Val Verde County,” Rep. Tony Gonzalez (R-Texas) said.    “And this bill gets to the heart of that.”
    Texas lawmakers had warned that ties between the subsidiary’s founder — a former military officer turned business mogul — and the Chinese Communist Party have raised concerns over the safety of state infrastructure.

5/5/2021 Federal Judge Tosses Out Eviction Moratorium by OAN Newsroom
A woman wearing a mask walks past a wall bearing a graffiti asking for rent forgiveness on La Brea Ave on National May Day
amid the Covid-19 pandemic, May 1, 2020, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)
    A federal judge struck down the CDC’s nationwide moratorium on evictions.    On Wednesday, Washington D.C. U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich ruled the CDC does not have the authority to halt evictions, according to the Public Health Service Act.
    The halt was originally put into place in the first coronavirus relief bill back in March of 2020.
    The moratorium had been scheduled to end on June 30, but Joe Biden had already extended it twice when it was set to expire in January and then again in April.

5/5/2021 Hagerty Pushes Bill To Force Big Tech To Carry Speech It Disagrees With by OAN Newsroom
(Photo by Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)
    Tennessee Sen. Bill Hagerty (R) is working to ensure Big Tech companies uphold free speech for everyone.    According to reports, Hagerty introduced a bill last week that would require firms like Facebook and YouTube to allow content on their platforms even if it breaks their rules.
(Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
    The proposal would treat companies with 100 million users or more like common carriers, which would be similar to how public utility companies are treated.    It also would call for more transparency on content moderation and would repeal Section 230, which gives Big Tech legal immunity.
    Hagerty said he wants reasonable and non-discriminatory access for all users.

5/5/2021 House GOP Leaders Send Letter To CDC Demanding Answers Over Teachers Union Ties by OAN Newsroom
Director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rochelle Walensky, testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Committee hearing on the federal coronavirus response on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, March 18, 2021. (Photo by ANNA MONEYMAKER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
    Republicans are demanding answers from the CDC over reports, which suggested teachers’ unions influenced school re-opening guidelines rather than hard science     On Wednesday, House GOP leaders reportedly penned a letter to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, calling for her to respond to those reports.
    This came after the New York Post reported on emails over the weekend, which suggested the “American Federation of Teachers” lobbied the CDC to maintain lockdowns.    On Tuesday, Press Secretary Jen Psaki denied there was anything unusual about the exchange by calling it “standard practice.”
    “It’s actually a longstanding best practice for the CDC to engage with organizations and groups that are going to be impacted by guidance and recommendations issued by the agency,” Psaki said.    “It doesn’t mean they are taking everything they want or even a percentage of what they want, but it’s important to understand the implementation components.”
    However, Republicans said there’s evidence the CDC has not been forthcoming about its ties with the teachers’ unions and they are worried the agency has become overly politicized.

5/6/2021 Oil down $0.84 to $65.31, DOW up 97 to 34,230.

5/6/2021 FBI arrests another man in Louisville after Capitol riot by Ben Tobin Louisville Courier Journal | USA TODAY NETWORK
    The FBI arrested a man Tuesday in Louisville and charged him in connection with the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol in January.
    Eric Clark, 44, of Louisville, faces charges of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
    Clark was booked in the Oldham County Detention Center on Tuesday.
    More than a dozen people with Kentucky ties have been arrested and charged with a variety of federal crimes in connection with the Jan. 6 riot by supporters of former President Donald Trump at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
    Five people died and hundreds of police officers and participants were injured as a result of the riot and breach of the Capitol building, which came as Congress was set to certify President Joe Biden’s victory over Trump in November’s election.
    Contact Ben Tobin at and 502-377-5675 or follow-on Twitter @Ben--Tobin.
Supporters of Donald Trump storm the U.S. Capitol in a deadly riot on Jan. 6 in Washington, D.C.
More than a dozen people with Kentucky ties have been charged. Samuel Corum/Getty Images/TNS

5/6/2021 OAN Obtains Letter From DOJ Trying To Stop Ariz. Audit by OAN Newsroom
    Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 general election are being examined and recounted by
contractors working for Florida-based company, Cyber Ninjas, who was hired by the Arizona State Senate at
Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, Thursday, April 29, 2021. (Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic via AP, Pool)
    There’s breaking news out of Maricopa County, Arizona where Biden administration officials are attempting to insert themselves into the ongoing ballot audit despite lacking the authority to do so.
    The Arizona election audit is no stranger to opposition and May 5 proved no exception.    The civil rights division of the Department of Justice sent a letter to Arizona Senate President Karen Fann expressing concerns over the review.
    The letter appears to be prompted by an April 30 letter from the Brennan Center, a far-left liberal group, to the Department of Justice asking them to intervene in the audit.
    It appears the DOJ took the Brennan Center’s request to heart because their letter Wednesday asked for the state Senate’s “response to the concerns described herein, including advising us of the steps that the Arizona Senate will take to ensure that violations of federal law do not occur.”
    The United States Constitution grants the power to oversee elections exclusively to state legislatures, meaning the federal government has no authority to interfere in the audit.    The letter was fairly benign and only cited media reports as evidence.
    The main issues raised were with regard to voting rights, especially for minority voters, and the security of the facility, both of which have been easily addressed by the Senate.    In fact, the letter did not include a single piece of factual evidence on which the DOJ could base their concerns.
    Further, Democrats have sued the Senate four times in an effort to stop the audit and have failed every time.    The Department of Justice’s letter appeals to the exact same concerns as those raised in court, meaning the Senate has four court opinions that they can send to the DOJ to refute their claims and say their concerns are baseless at this time.
    The fact that the DOJ sent the letter at all is odd given the strict constitutional differentiation from state and federal rights.    It’s a strange appeal that comes across as a “hail Mary” from Democrats looking to impede the audit.    Like all previous attempts, however, this is also unlikely to be successful.

5/6/2021 IEA: U.S. Lacks Critical Minerals, Biden’s Policies Benefit China by OAN Newsroom
File – Crushed rare earth ore is pictured. (Reuters Photo)
    The International Energy Agency (IEA) warned Joe Biden’s policies are bolstering Chinese control over the global supply of critical minerals.
    In a new report, the IEA said the U.S. is lacking a stable supply of rare earth materials along with copper, cobalt and lithium.    The agency pointed out that China controls between 60 and 90 percent of the supply of such minerals, which are mainly used in advanced electronics and clean energy production.
    Back in 2019, President Trump took steps to boost America’s own supply, but the IEA said those efforts were not enough and the U.S. must diversify its sources of rare elements.
    “As you can see on the screen for lithium, cobalt and rare earth elements, the world’s top three producing nations control well over three quarters of global output,” explained Tim Gould, the IEA’s head of division for energy supply outlooks and investment.    “And in some cases, a single country is responsible for around half of worldwide production.”
    However, Democrats believe the mining for rare earth minerals is bad for the environment and must be stopped, which ultimately benefits China.

5/6/2021 House GOP Leaders Send Letter To CDC Demanding Answers Over Teachers Union Ties by OAN Newsroom
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention speaks during a House Select Subcommittee on the
Coronavirus Crisis on the Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 15, 2021. (Amr Alfiky/The New York Times via AP, Pool)
    Republicans are demanding answers from the CDC over reports that suggest teachers’ unions are influencing school reopening guidelines, rather than hard science.
    House GOP leaders on Wednesday, penned a letter to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, calling on her to respond to the reports.    This came shortly after the New York Post reported on emails over the weekend, which suggested that the American Federation of Teachers lobbied the CDC to maintain lockdowns.    The emails included conversations that were between Walensky, her top advisors and union officials. Eventually, White House officials were also looped in.
    The letter, written by GOP leaders, accused the CDC of making several changes after lobbying from teacher’s groups.    The letter further questioned whether or not the science suggests if schools can safely be reopened without teachers being vaccinated first.
    Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday, denied that there was anything unusual about the email exchange, calling it “standard practice.”
    “It’s actually longstanding best practice for the CDC to engage with organizations and groups that are going to be impacted by guidance and recommendations issued by the agency,” Psaki commented.    “It doesn’t mean taking everything they want or even a percentage of what they want, but it’s important to understand the implementation components.”
    However, Republicans have said there’s evidence the CDC has not been forthcoming about its ties with the teacher’s unions and have expressed their concerns that the agency has become overly politicized.    One Washington lawmaker said she was concerned the CDC director was putting politics over science and the Biden-Harris campaign donors over children.

5/6/2021 White House Supports Social Media’s Ability To Silence ‘Misinformation’ by OAN Newsroom
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the
White House, Tuesday, April 27, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    According to the White House, social media companies have the responsibility of shutting down misinformation.    During a press conference Wednesday, Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about Facebook’s decision to uphold its ban of President Trump.
    Specifically, she was asked if Big Tech oligarchs can muzzle a former president, what’s to stop them from silencing anyone?    Psaki said she had no comment on Trump, but said Joe Biden’s view is that the major platforms have the job to stop amplifying “untrustworthy content.”
    His view is that there’s more that needs to be done to ensure that this type of misinformation, disinformation, damaging, sometimes life-threatening information is not going out to the American public,” stated the press secretary.
    The question came in the wake of Facebook’s Oversight Board upholding a ban of President Trump from using the platform.        The board did note, however, that the ban was inappropriate and Facebook has six months to revisit the decision.

5/6/2021 Judge rebukes Barr, orders release of Trump memo - She says Justice misled court over obstruction by Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON – A federal judge blasted the Trump Justice Department for misleading the court about the nature of its internal deliberations before concluding that then-President Donald Trump had not obstructed former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
    U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered the release of a 2019 legal memorandum to a government accountability group, ruling the document prepared for then-Attorney General William Barr as he considered his decision did not qualify as protected attorney-client communications.
    In the ruling, Jackson characterized the memo as a “strategic” document, asserting that Justice Department officials had come to a predetermined conclusion that Trump would not be charged with obstruction of justice.
    “In other words, the review of the document reveals that the Attorney General was not then engaged in making a decision about whether the President should be charged with obstruction of justice; the fact that he would not be prosecuted was a given,” Jackson ruled.
    The memo had been requested by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Government.
    Jackson, who presided over Mueller prosecutions involving former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and political adviser Roger Stone, also aimed scathing criticism at Barr for his handling of the Mueller report, citing the attorney general’s decision to issue a brief summary of its findings only days after receiving the voluminous 448 page report.
    “The Attorney General’s characterization of what he’d hardly had time to skim, much less, study closely, prompted an immediate reaction, as politicians and pundits took to their microphones and Twitter feeds to decry what they feared was an attempt to hide the ball,” the judge wrote.
    “Even the customarily taciturn Special Counsel was moved to pen an extraordinary public rebuke on March 27,” the judge wrote, referring to a 2019 letter Mueller wrote to Barr.
    In the letter, Mueller said Barr’s summary “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this Office’s work and conclusions.”
    Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a public records request seeking communications about the obstruction decision after Barr said that he and other senior officials had reached that conclusion in consultation with the Office of Legal Counsel.
    At issue in a lawsuit pending before the judge were two documents the group wanted.
    Jackson ruled that one of the documents, described by a Justice Department official as an “untitled, undated draft legal analysis” was properly withheld from the group.
    But she ordered the release of the other memo, which concludes that the evidence from Mueller’s team would not support an obstruction prosecution.
Contributing: The Associated Press
A judge says Attorney General William Barr was not engaged in whether to charge President Donald Trump with obstruction. AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

5/6/2021 U.K. Sends Navy To Area Of Fishing Dispute With France by OAN Newsroom
Fishing vessels at sea off the coast of Jersey, Thursday, May 6, 2021. French fishermen angry over loss of access to waters off their coast
have gathered their boats in protest off the English Channel island of Jersey. The head of a grouping of Normandy fishermen said about 50 boats
from French ports joined the protest Thursday morning and gathered their fleet off the Jersey port of St. Helier. (Oliver Pinel via AP)
    The British government is sending the Royal Navy close to the Channel Islands in its latest fishing dispute with France.    On Wednesday, 10 Downing Street said Boris Johnson spoke with top French officials to deescalate the dispute and called for dialogue on fishing quotas.    However, French fishermen complained the U.K. is “too slow” to issue fishing licenses.
    The Channel Islands are British crown dependencies off the northern coast of France.    The dispute reignited in the wake of Brexit as the U.K. is seeking to defend its quotas and a clear boundary in fishing waters.    The French are now threatening to cut off electricity to the Isle of Jersey, the largest of the islands, but the U.K. is not backing down.
    “Both sides and David Frost and, of course, his counterparts now continue to work together to make sure that operationally on the ground we iron out any issues, any problems,” stated Nadhim Zahawi, Member of Parliament.    “So that this historic deal between the United Kingdom and the EU, one of the most important deals we have struck…works for people, for communities, for the fishing communities, for other people.”
    According to reports Thursday, France deployed two maritime patrol boats to the region following the British Navy’s deployment to the area late Wednesday.    The move came after French fishing boats sailed to the waters off Jersey to protest over fishing rights.
    The island can regulate control of the boats; however, French fishermen want conditions removed from their fishing licenses.    French authorities said Paris won’t be intimidated by the British.
    Meanwhile, Prime Minister Johnson asserted the French blockade of Jersey is not justified and the conflict could be resolved by a simple agreement. He has pledged “unequivocal support” for the island.

5/6/2021 Electric Scooter Caused N.Y. Apartment Fire by OAN Newsroom
File – A man is seen riding an electric scooter. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)
    Early on Wednesday, an apartment in the Bronx caught fire, leaving one woman dead and at least 11 others injured.    New York officials announced the fire was initially sparked by an electric scooter that was being charged in the kitchen of one of the units.
    “It was hard to get out, but everybody’s safe you know?” recounted fire victim Adama Damsoko.    “I can tell you it wasn’t easy…when you look at the outside of the building, where I was at is unimaginable.”
    One of the firefighters on scene suffered minor injuries, while two civilians were left in critical condition.    The blaze also displaced several families. These families have since been moved to temporary shelters.

5/6/2021 Twitter Suspends ‘From The Desk Of Donald J. Trump’ Account by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Thursday, June 18, 2020 file photo, President Donald Trump looks at his phone during a roundtable
with governors in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
    Twitter suspended the account linked to President Trump’s new communications platform, just days after the platform launched.    According to reports Thursday, the account at DJT Desk had been suspended as of late Wednesday.
    The account was linked to President Trump’s own From the Desk of Donald J. Trump website, where he makes his statements available to the public.    The site was only just launched on Tuesday.
    President Trump has been permanently banned from Twitter since January 8 and has maintained it won’t consider allowing him back.    He has repeatedly come down on social media platforms by calling them a “disgrace” and an “embarrassment to our country.”

5/6/2021 "Democrats Turning America Into Totalitarian Communist State,” Says Attorney Sidney Powell by OAN Newsroom
File – Attorney Sidney Powell speaks during a rally on Dec. 2, 2020, in Alpharetta, Ga. (Ben Margot/AP Photo)
    According to attorney Sidney Powell, the Democrat Party and its corporate allies are turning America into a centralized country.     We are living under a Communist totalitarian regime…propaganda, not free press for the most part,” she stated.    “And the globalists and the Uni-Party and the cabal…definitely this country.”
    Powell asserted that Democrats stole last year’s elections with the help of establishment Republicans, the media as well as China and Iran.    She said they were determined to get President Trump out of office no matter what it took, even if it meant perpetuating so-called “Russian collusion” allegations for four years.
    However, the radical left is now changing their tune and doing whatever it takes to shut down controversy over the 2020 election results.    Powell stressed that despite Democrat attempts to derail the American audit, she expects hundreds-of-thousands of fake Biden ballots to be exposed in Arizona and 400,000 in Georgia.
    Powell added, if the electronic voting machine companies are truly honest, she would expect them to be more transparent.    She suggested they could have been more open to inspections the day after the election to make sure their data was correct.
    Under federal law, all voting data must be protected for 22 months after the election.    Powell noted, the U.S. is supposed to have the most transparent voting systems in the world.
    The attorney warned if Americans do not trust that their votes are properly counted, we no longer have a republic or a rule of law.    She added, the fight for election integrity is the most important challenge facing America today.

5/6/2021 Harris Finally Sets Date For Trip To Mexico, Guatemala by OAN Newsroom
Vice President Kamala Harris meets virtually with Guatemala’s President Alejandro Giammattei, seen on screen at left, Monday, April 26, 2021,
from her ceremonial office at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
    Kamala Harris has finally announced set dates for her trip to Latin America amid the migrant crisis at the southern border.    While speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Harris said she intends to travel to Mexico and Guatemala on June 7 and 8.
    Despite being appointed Joe Biden’s Border Czar, Harris has taken extreme heat over her refusal to visit the border.    Earlier this week, Harris said there is an alarming influx of migrants along the border, which she claimed can only be fixed by cleaning up the corruption in Central America.
    Harris has spoke to Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei twice now and is scheduled to have her second conversation with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador this week.

5/7/2021 Oil down $0.45 to $64.86, DOW up 318 to 34,549.

5/7/2021 COVID-19 PANDEMIC - Kentucky plans to relax more restrictions by Emma Austin and Sarah Ladd, Louisville Courier Journal | USA TODAY NETWORK
    Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced the next phase of loosening statewide coronavirus restrictions will happen over Memorial Day weekend.
    Starting May 28, outdoor events and gatherings with fewer than 1,000 people can be held at 75% capacity, Beshear said during Thursday’s COVID-19 briefing.
    Retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and hair salons that cater to fewer than 1,000 people may also operate at 75% capacity beginning May 28. Indoor and outdoor events with more than 1,000 people will be limited to 60% capacity.
    “It gives us the time to make sure we get through these last weeks of school yet also gives notice to those that would be hosting folks,” Beshear said.
    Beshear also said that small groups of people no longer have to wear facial coverings indoors in private businesses or homes if everyone there received their final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days beforehand.
    The governor said previously he will lift most restrictions including capacity limits on bars and restaurants once 2.5 million Kentuckians get at least their first dose of a vaccine.

5/7/2021 President Trump Welcomes N.H. Audit Of 2020 Elections, Praises Patriots For Revealing Truth by OAN Newsroom
File- Voting booths are kept socially distant at the Chesterfield, N.H. polling site. (Kristopher Radder/The Brattleboro Reformer via AP Photo)
    President Trump has endorsed the upcoming audit of the 2020 elections in New Hampshire while the state appoints members of the audit team.    The 45th president congratulated the citizens of Windham Thursday for their effort to restore the integrity of elections in their state.
    President Trump also praised the media outlets that have covered the Windham incident and the ongoing fight for election integrity, which includes One America News.    He said the Democrat fake news media are suppressing the truth about the Windham incident while local patriots are working to reveal the truth.
Statement by Donald J. Trump
    "Congratulations to the great Patriots of Windham, New Hampshire for their incredible fight to seek out the truth on the massive Election Fraud which took place in New Hampshire and the 2020 Presidential Election.    The spirit for transparency and justice is being displayed all over the Country by media outlets which do not represent Fake News.    People are watching in droves as these Patriots work tirelessly to reveal the real facts of the most tainted and corrupt Election in American history.    Congratulations Windham—look forward to seeing the results."
    Also on Thursday, New Hampshire officials appointed California mathematician Philip Stark as the third member of the audit team.    However, citizens have continued to fight to appoint inventor and Stanford researcher Jovan Pulitzer as audit director, which some Windham selectmen oppose.
    This week, the head of New Hampshire voter integrity, Marylyn Todd, asserted she and numerous New Hampshire residents are doing everything they can to ensure an accurate recount of the votes.    However, she said the committee is unwilling to listen to concerns from herself and concerned Windham residents.
    Todd noted residents of Windham are taking matters into their own hands and launching a fundraiser to put Pulitzer in charge of the state’s election audit.    She said, “they’re not gonna have a choice, we’re not giving them a choice.”
    A give-send-go petition and fundraiser were launched Thursday to hire Pulitzer’s team of forensic analysts.    Activist group New Hampshire Voter Integrity said the board of selectmen appointed audit critic Mark Lindeman to conduct the audit despite his alleged pro-Democrat bias.
    As New Hampshire enacts SB43, a bill that mandates the audit be conducted in coming weeks, Todd said she’s working very hard to ensure it will be conducted fairly.

5/7/2021 1 Dead, Several Injured After Car Strikes Crowd In Texas by OAN Newsroom
(Photo from Harris County Sheriff’s Office Twitter by Captain J. Hannon of the scene.)
    Texas authorities have identified the suspect who drove into a crowd of people outside a restaurant as the son of the woman who died in the incident.    According to the Harris County Sheriff, the person behind the wheel of that vehicle was 20-year-old Homer Lopez who is accused of running over several people Thursday.
    His mother, 35-year-old mother Crystal Gomez, was pronounced dead at the hospital.    Meanwhile, one person is in serious condition while several others suffered minor injuries.
    According to reports, it all started when a fight broke out at a restaurant in Katy, which is west of Houston.    The altercation spilled into the parking lot.    Investigators believe the suspect drove into the crowd of people to break up the fight.
    Lopez reportedly fled the scene, but later returned and was arrested.    He faces multiple charges, including murder and two counts of failure to stop and render aid.

5/7/2021 DOJ Official Who Attacked President Trump’s Son Sends Letter To Ariz. Lawmakers Questioning Ballot by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Wednesday, April 21, 2021 file photo, officials unload election equipment into
the Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the state fairgrounds in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
    The Department of Justice’s Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Pamala Karlan, has questioned the security of ballots in regards to the ongoing election audit in Maricopa County, Arizona.
    In a letter to the state Senate president Wednesday, Karlan said she’s worried about the participation of the firm Cyber Ninjas in the audit.    She expressed her concern that county officials are no longer in control of election systems and ballots.
    This comes after Karlan took heat from critics in 2019 when, during President Trump’s impeachment hearings, she took aim at his youngest son.    She did later apologize for the comment, noting she regretted saying it.
    Meanwhile, critics have pointed out the Arizona ballots are in a caged area under 24-hour surveillance and are more secure than when they were at the county tabulation center.

5/7/2021 Ariz. Democrat Secy. Of State Takes Heat After Running Away From Reporter by OAN Newsroom
Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 general election are examined and recounted by contractors working for Florida-based
company, Cyber Ninjas, Thursday, May 6, 2021 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York, Pool)
    A fiery confrontation broke out between a reporter and the Democrat Arizona secretary of state.    On Thursday, Jordan Conradson asked Katie Hobbs about her efforts to stop the vote recount in Maricopa County.
    This occurred after Arizona audit officials accused Hobbs of paying election expert Ryan Macias to impersonate a reporter and sneak past security to get on the ballot floor.    Conradson said Hobbs ran away to avoid his question.
    Earlier this week, Hobbs pledged to do everything in her power to bring so-called “observers” into the audit.    Meanwhile, auditors are ramping up the hand vote count process in Arizona by bringing on more volunteers and doubling shifts.

5/7/2021 Support For Recall Newsom Efforts Stronger In Conservative Calif. Areas by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this April 23, 2021, file photo, California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during
a press conference in Big Sur, Calif. (AP Photo/Nic Coury, File)
    As the support for the Recall Gavin Newsom effort grows, it appears a large portion of the backing is coming from California’s conservative areas.
    California’s Secretary of State Office released a report Wednesday showing parts of the Sierra Nevada and the state’s rural, remote northeast have the highest support for the recall.    One county in the Sierra Nevada had the highest rate in the state with over 19 percent of registered voters signing the petition.
    This comes as Democrat Gov. Newsom continues to claim the recall is a Republican-led power grab.    Meanwhile, organizers of the effort said they plan to endorse a candidate running to replace Newsom, but have not given a timeline for when they plan to do so.

5/7/2021 3 Injured, Suspect In Custody In Idaho Middle School Shooting by OAN Newsroom
Officers leave Rigby Middle School after a shooting in Rigby, Idaho on Thursday, May 6, 2021. Authorities say a shooting at the eastern Idaho middle
school has injured two students and a custodian, and a female student has been taken into custody. (John Roark /The Idaho Post-Register via AP)
    Three people are injured and a suspect is in custody after gun shots broke out at a middle school in Idaho.    On Thursday, officers said a sixth grade female student, whose identity has not been disclosed, retrieved a handgun from her backpack. She then proceeded to fire multiple rounds both inside and outside of the school.
    “During the shooting a teacher disarmed the student and detained her until law enforcement took her into custody,” stated Jefferson County Sheriff Steve Anderson.
    Two children and a custodian suffered non-life-threatening injuries.    Officers said the student is not a local resident, but does attend the middle school.    Students were ushered to safety at a nearby high school, where they later reunited with their parents.
    “This is a very difficult and trying time for our community,” Sheriff Anderson continued.    “We’ve had amazing support from partners across the state that have arrived to not only assist in the investigation, but give us support with what we need.”
People embrace after a school shooting at Rigby Middle School in Rigby, Idaho on Thursday, May 6, 2021. Authorities say a shooting at the eastern Idaho
middle school has injured two students and a custodian, and a female student has been taken into custody. (John Roark /The Idaho Post-Register via AP)
    Rigby Middle School Superintendent Chad Martin commented on the incident by calling it “the worst nightmare a school district could encounter.”
    The county’s prosecuting attorney said the next legal steps are still being debated, but added the suspect could face three counts of attempted murder.    In the meantime, authorities said the shooting is being thoroughly investigated and they are following all leads into finding a possible motive as well as where the girl obtained the gun.

5/7/2021 Brazil Judge Sees Signs Of ‘Arbitrary Execution’ In Rio Police Raid by Ricardo Brito, Sérgio and Queiroz
People attend a protest against police violence outside Jacarezinho slum after a police operation which resulted in 25 deaths in
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 7, 2021. Banners read: "Justice for Jacarezinho" and "Stop killing us." REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes
    BRASILIA/RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – A Supreme Court justice called on Friday for Brazil’s top prosecutor to investigate Rio de Janeiro’s deadliest police raid in over a decade, which has drawn condemnation from the United Nations, human rights groups and local activists.
    The shootout killed a police officer and 24 others in Rio’s Jacarezinho neighborhood on Thursday.    Police said it was the deadliest operation in Rio state since a 2005 raid on the city’s northern outskirts.
    “The facts reported seem grave and, in one of the videos, there are indications of acts that, in theory, could amount to arbitrary execution,” said Judge Edson Fachin.
    Last year, Fachin issued an order for Rio police to suspend operations during the coronavirus pandemic in the informal shantytowns known as favelas – “except in absolutely exceptional cases” that had been pre-approved by prosecutors.
    The United Nations human rights office called on Friday for an independent probe of the latest deadly operation in a history of “disproportionate and unnecessary” police force.
    Rio’s police are among the most deadly in the world, but right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro has argued that if anything they need fewer restrictions on lethal force.
    Asked about those killed in Jazarezinho on Friday, Vice President Hamilton Mourao said they were “all bandits.”
    Jacarezinho residents and activists marched outside a police station on Friday with a banner demanding, “Stop killing us.”
    “They would have surrendered, but the police came in to kill, kill, kill.    Twenty-five mothers crying.    I want my son,” said Adriana Santana Araújo, 36, mourning the loss of her 23-year-old son.
    Daniele dos Santos said her 32-year-old husband had gone out to buy bread and was caught in the crossfire.
    “He got a bullet in the leg and the cop ended up executing him.    He was alive.    He wasn’t armed.    He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time,” she said.
    Police said everyone killed but the officer were suspected drug traffickers reacting violently to police presence.
(Reporting by Ricardo Brito; Additional reporting by Eduardo Simoes in Sao Paulo and Sergio Queiroz in Rio de Janeiro; editing by Grant McCool)

5/7/2021 Crucial Scottish Elections On ‘Knife Edge’ As Pro-Independence SNP Win Early Seats by Natalie Thomas
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gestures as she visits a counting centre as votes are counted for
the Scottish Parliamentary election, in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, May 7, 2021. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne
    GLASGOW (Reuters) -Scotland’s main pro-independence party captured dozens of seats on Friday in a Scottish parliament election that could determine the future of the United Kingdom, but early results left uncertainty over whether it would win a crucial majority.
    The Scottish National Party says it will seek to hold a new vote on secession by the end of 2023 if there is a pro-independence majority returned to the devolved 129-seat parliament – setting up a potential legal showdown with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who says he will refuse any such vote.
    The SNP won 38 of the first 47 seats so far declared, including East Lothian, Edinburgh Central and Ayr, three of the election’s key battlegrounds.    The SNP failed to win Dumbarton, the most marginal seat at the last election.
    In some areas there was an increase in support for opposition pro-union parties, indicating the final outcome would be very close, with some seats allocated on a separate proportional representation system.
    The results suggest the SNP is on course to win a fourth term in office giving it a platform to push for a second independence referendum. But, if the party fails to win an outright majority it will be easier for the British government to resist demands for another vote.
    Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister and SNP leader, said it had always a “very, very long shot” for her party to win a majority under the proportionally electoral system for the devolved parliament, which favours smaller parties.
    “It would be good to do.    But I have never taken that for granted and it has always been on a knife edge.    I am extremely happy and extremely confident that we are on track in the SNP for a fourth consecutive election victory,” said Sturgeon, who retained her own seat with a comfortable majority.
    When asked what it would mean if the SNP did win a majority, Johnson said he would wait and see what happened.    “I don’t think people want much more constitutional wrangling right now,” he told reporters, echoing previous comments that it was wrong to focus on independence during the COVID-19 crisis.
    The outcome of the election could ultimately put Scotland on the path towards breaking its 314-year union with England.    Scotland’s politics have been diverging from other parts of Britain, but Scots remain divided over the prospect of another polarising independence vote.
    Britain’s exit from the European Union – a move opposed by an overwhelming majority in Scotland – a perception that the Scottish government has handled the COVID-19 crisis well, and antipathy to Johnson’s Conservative government in Westminster have all bolstered support for the independence movement.
    Scots voted by 55%-45% in 2014 to remain part of the United Kingdom, in what pro-unionist parties say should be a once in a generation vote.    Polls suggest the outcome of a second referendum would be too tight to call.
    If there was another referendum and the Scots voted to leave, it would mark the biggest shock to the United Kingdom since Irish independence a century ago.
    The SNP need to gain at least four more seats to win an overall majority of 65, but could rely on the backing of the pro-independence Green Party, which took five seats in 2016, to pursue a second vote.
    Turnout across Scotland was higher than five years ago.    Commentators said the SNP needed to get its supporters out to gain a majority, while it could also mean tactical voting by those opposed to breaking up the union.
    Results from about two-thirds of the 73 constituency seats are due on Friday.    The remainder and regional seats – allocated on a complicated proportional representation system based on a second vote – will be announced on Saturday.
    All the parties say the outcome of the regional seats, few of which will be won by the SNP, will be crucial in whether there is a pro-independence majority.
(Writing by Michael Holden and Andrew MacAskill; Editing by Angus MacSwan, William Maclean, Alex Richardson and David Gregorio)

5/7/2021 Britain Free Of Coronavirus By August, Outgoing Vaccine Task Force Chief Says – Telegraph
FILE PHOTO: Patients are greeted by Abbey staff outside a vaccination centre at Westminster Abbey, amid the
outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London, Britain, March 10, 2021. REUTERS/John Sibley/File Photo
    (Reuters) – The new coronavirus will no longer be circulating in Britain by August; the government’s departing vaccine taskforce chief Clive Dix told the Daily Telegraph on Friday.
    “Sometime in August, we will have no circulating virus in the UK,” Dix said, adding that he believed the vaccine booster programme could be pushed back to early 2022.
    The government is looking at which COVID-19 vaccines would offer the best booster shot for vulnerable people later this year.
    Dix told the Telegraph that he expects everybody in the UK to have been vaccinated at least once by the end of July, by which time “we’ll have probably protected the population from all the variants that are known.”
    The UK has administered over 51 million vaccines and has been the second quickest country to give a first dose to at least half its adult population.
    British officials said people under 40 should be offered an alternative to Oxford/AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine where possible due to a small risk of blood clots.
    The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI)said the advice reflected low levels of coronavirus infection in Britain and the availability of other vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna.
    Dix, who was appointed as interim leader of the task force in December, stepped down from his role last week.
(Reporting by Radhika Anilkumar in Bengaluru; editing by Grant McCool)

5/7/2021 WTO Vaccine Waiver Could Take Months To Negotiate, Faces Opposition: Experts by David Lawder
FILE PHOTO: Vials labelled "Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
vaccine" are seen in this illustration picture taken May 2, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations on a waiver of intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines could take months – provided they can overcome significant opposition from some member countries, trade experts say.
    The talks also are likely to focus on a waiver that is significantly narrower in scope and shorter in duration than the one initially proposed by India and South Africa last October.
    Prior to U.S. President Joe Biden’s decision on Wednesday to back talks for a vaccine waiver, the two countries confirmed their intention to draft a new proposal after seven months of opposition.
    WTO Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala welcomed Biden’s move on Thursday and urged talks on the new plan to start as soon as possible.    “The world is watching and people are dying,” she added.     “At a minimum, it’s going to be a month or two,” Clete Willems, a former Trump White House trade official who previously worked at the U.S. trade mission to the WTO in Geneva, said of any possible agreement.
    “Right now, there is no proposal on the table that would waive the TRIPS agreement simply for vaccines,” he said, referring to the WTO’s agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights that governs the transfer of property like movie rights or vaccine-manufacturing specifics.
    A more realistic goal may be completion of the agreement in time for the WTO’s next ministerial conference, scheduled for Nov. 30 through Dec. 3, said Willems, now a trade partner at the Akin Gump law firm in Washington.
    That would give vaccine producers more time to boost global supplies which could help contain the virus and ease pressure for the waiver.
    The initial IP waiver proposal by India and South Africa last October included vaccines, treatments, diagnostic kits, ventilators, protective gear and other products needed to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
    U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai said on Wednesday that she will pursue “text-based negotiations” on the WTO waiver, the standard but tedious process for trade deal talks.    Negotiators trade texts with their preferred wording, then try to find common ground, sometimes leaving blank spaces for thorny differences to be settled by politicians.
    All 164 WTO member countries must reach consent on such decisions, with any one member able to block them.
    “Those negotiations will take time given the consensus-based nature of the institution and the complexity of the issues involved,” Tai said in a statement that tamped down expectations for a quick deal.
    While Biden’s backing adds political impetus to get a deal done, Germany, home to Pfizer’s vaccine partner BioNTech SE, on Thursday rejected the waiver proposal.
    A German government spokeswoman said that manufacturing capacity was the main constraint on supplies, not intellectual property.
    European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said only that she was willing to discuss Biden’s plans.
    U.S. companies, which strive to influence the USTR’s trade negotiations, are already mobilizing to try to ensure the WTO talks lead to a waiver that is as narrowly targeted as possible.
    “This is a mitigation effort.    We’re aiming to make it less bad than it otherwise would be,” one industry source said.
    Some Republican lawmakers are pushing the argument that the decision will hand American technology to China.
    “What this decision will do, if it goes forward, is benefit countries like China that are aggressively trying to obtain U.S. technology to bolster their own domestic champions,” Republican Senator Mike Crapo said in a statement.
    On the plus side, a successful waiver negotiation would “improve the atmospherics” at the WTO, which has been marked by failure to reach agreement on substantive new trade policy since its inception in 1995, said Harry Broadman, a former Clinton administration trade official who helped negotiate the trade body’s creation.
    “It’s good that the WTO hopefully can actually think about a consensus,” Broadman said, adding that he sees slim prospects that a vaccine deal could revive prospects for broader WTO negotiations.
(Reporting by David Lawder; additional reporting by Andrea Shalal in Washington, Andreas Rinke in Berlin and Phil Blenkinsop in Brussels; Editing by Heather Timmons, Raju Gopalakrishnan and Bill Berkrot)

5/7/2021 U.S., Russia, China Poke Each Other At U.N. Security Council by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken holds a joint news conference with his British counterpart at Downing Street following their
bilateral meeting in London, Britain May 3, 2021 during the G7 foreign ministers meeting. Chris J Ratcliffe/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken took a veiled swipe at Russia and China on Friday during a U.N. Security Council meeting chaired by his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, warning that the actions of some big powers portrays impunity to others.
    The meeting on multilateralism, convened by China as council president for May, comes amid a U.N. battle for influence between the world’s two biggest economies as President Joe Biden seeks to reassert traditional U.S. leadership – reversing former President Donald Trump’s favored unilateral approach – in the face of a more assertive Beijing.
    Blinken stressed the need for countries to uphold international commitments, focus on human rights and respect for the principle of sovereign equality.
    “When U.N. member states – particularly permanent members of the Security Council – flout these rules and block attempts to hold accountable those who violate international law, it sends the message that others can break those rules with impunity,” he said.
    Russia, China, the United States, France and Britain are the permanent, veto-wielding powers of the 15-member council.
    The United States has accused China of genocide by repressing Uighur Muslims in detention centers in its Xinjiang region.    China denies accusations of abuse and says it is trying to stamp out extremism.
    “Asserting domestic jurisdiction doesn’t give any state a blank check to enslave, torture, disappear, ethnically cleanse their people, or violate their human rights in any other way,” Blinken said.
    While Blinken did not name Russia or China, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov bluntly criticized a U.S. plan to hold a summit on global democracy as “creating a new special interests club on an openly ideologized basis” that “could further exacerbate international tension and draw dividing lines in a world which needs a unifying agenda now more than ever.”
    Moscow and Washington have long differed over a range of issues, but ties have slumped further after Biden said he believed President Vladimir Putin was “a killer.”    Washington has also imposed sanctions over accusations Moscow interfered in the 2020 U.S. election, cyber hacking and “bullying” Ukraine.
    China and Russia were both critical of unilateral sanctions with Wang describing them as “illegitimate.”
    Blinken, Wang and Lavrov did agree the world needed to work together to address climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Alistair Bell)

5/7/2021 Twitter Shuts Down Accounts For Attempting To Evade Trump Ban by Elizabeth Culliford
FILE PHOTO: A photo illustration shows the suspended Twitter account of U.S. President Donald Trump on a smartphone
and a lit window in the White House residence in Washington, U.S., January 8, 2021. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/Illustration
    (Reuters) – Twitter Inc suspended several accounts this week that were set up to share statements from a new part of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s website, saying they broke its rules against evading an account ban.
    Trump was banned from Twitter, where he had more than 88 million followers, and multiple other social media platforms following the deadly Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol by his supporters.
    On Tuesday, a page was added to Trump’s site, dubbed “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump,” where he posts messages that can be shared by his audience to both Twitter and Facebook.
    “As stated in our ban evasion policy, we’ll take enforcement action on accounts whose apparent intent is to replace or promote content affiliated with a suspended account,” a Twitter spokesman said in a statement.
    A Trump representative said they had nothing to do with the suspended accounts, which included @DJTDesk, @DJTrumpDesk, @DeskofDJT and @DeskOfTrump1.
    Twitter, which has said that its ban on Trump is permanent even if he runs for office again, has said users can share content from the Trump page as long as it does not fall foul of its ban evasion rules.
    On Wednesday, Facebook Inc’s oversight board upheld Facebook’s suspension of Trump but said the company should not have made it indefinite.    The board gave Facebook six months to decide a proportionate response.
    Trump plans to launch his own social media platform, an adviser has said.
(Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

5/8/2021 Oil down $0.03 to $64.83, DOW up 229 to 34,778.

5/8/2021 Biden Admin. Claims Only Small Percentage Of Public Focused On Migrant Crisis by OAN Newsroom
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House,
Tuesday, April 27, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    The Biden administration has continued to overlook the surge of illegal immigration at the southern border.
    While speaking as a guest on a podcast recently, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki expressed her frustrations over individuals who continually ask when Joe Biden is going to visit the border.     She claimed most Americans are focused on fixing the economy and recovering while only a small percentage are worried about the migrant surge.
    However, a poll conducted by Harvard University/Harris Insights and Analytics in February found that 55 percent of Americans are opposed to the Biden administration’s handling of the migrant crisis.    This came after Biden used executive orders to rollback President Trump’s strong border policies.
    The press secretary went on to claim the illegal immigration surge at the border is reoccurring and not a crisis.    She said that immigration reform is rather a huge challenge the Biden administration was left with.
    “Our calculation on that front is one, this is cyclical, we’ve seen surges at the border,” Psaki stated.    “Every time it happens, it’s bad until we do something to address it over the long-term with root causes, immigration reform…it’s going to keep happening.”
    According to recent figures, Immigration and Customs Enforcement deportations have fallen to record low numbers with the agency deporting fewer than 3,000 illegal immigrants in April.    Earlier this week, Kamala Harris said she intends to travel to Mexico and Guatemala in June in an effort to tackle the migrant crisis.

5/8/2021 Report: San Diego Scraps Plans To Build Tent City For Illegal Immigrants by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this May 26, 2010, file photo, men sit in the sun in the health ward at the Otay Mesa
immigration detention center in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)
    San Diego County has rescinded its plans to build a so-called “tent city” for illegal immigrants amid public outcry.    According to reports, the county sent a letter to farmers searching for agricultural land for migrants to live on while being offered California’s “wrap around” services, including mental health, schooling and health care.
    Hours later, the county issued a “rescission notice,” following a warning from county supervisor Jim Desmond who called the plans “outrageous.”    The state originally denied plans of a “tent city,” but has now officially canceled the request.
    Meanwhile, as detention facilities overflow and illegal immigrants cross the border at record numbers, Kamala Harris has decided to plan a tax-payer funded visit to Guatemala.    She detailed these efforts during a virtual meeting with the country’s president last week.
    Additionally, seizures of fentanyl on the U.S. southern border have soared as the border crisis rages on.    The opioid, which is 50 times more potent than heroin, has been smuggled into the country at record rates since the beginning of the fiscal year 2021.    In response, the DEA has ramped up efforts to combat the onslaught, which was arguably caused by weakened border security under the Biden administration.

5/9/2021 Tenn. Assembly Passes Bill Banning Critical Race Theory From Public Schools by OAN Newsroom
State Rep. Justin Lafferty, R-Knoxville, watches the tally board during a vote in the House
of Representatives, Tuesday, May 4, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
    A new Tennessee bill seeks to ban critical race theory from being taught in state schools. The state assembly approved the bill Wednesday.
    The measure states funding will be held from public schools that push the theory that the U.S. is a “fundamentally racist country.”    Lawmakers have said teaching the theory would be harmful to students.
    On the other hand, supporters of the bill asserted facts must be presented to students in an impartial fashion.    Critics have argued all issues must be put out without favoring or disfavoring any of them.
    Republican Gov. Bill Lee said he intends to sign the bill once it reaches his desk.    This comes as similar legislation is pending is several other states.

5/9/2021 N.Y. Attorney General’s Office Discovers Astroturf Lobbying Scheme by OAN Newsroom
FILE- In this Aug. 6, 2020 file photo, New York State Attorney General Letitia James takes a question at a news conference in New York.
The Office of the New York Attorney General said in a new report, Thursday, May 6, 2021, that a campaign funded by the broadband
industry submitted millions of fake comments supporting the 2017 repeal of net neutrality. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
    New York Attorney General Letitia James has uncovered a massive lobbying scheme attempting to undermine net neutrality regulations put in place in 2015.    While the leader behind the scheme is currently unknown, the plan ultimately led computers to generate millions of comments being filed with the FCC by outside firms.
    Six firms funded by internet providers reportedly generated fake comments using real people’s identities in order to advance the interests of those same internet providers.    This practice is known as astroturf lobbying.    Millions of fake accounts posing as real people, otherwise known as bots, can easily be created off of a single computer.
    The whole scheme was allegedly directed at influencing the FCC to repeal net neutrality regulations put in place by the Obama Administration in order to keep providers from decreasing speed or increasing prices for certain websites over others.
    Opponents of net neutrality argue that without the provision, internet providers could increase prices for large bandwidth platforms like Netflix and even make other platforms like Facebook and Google, free.    Opponents also argue less regulation would essentially increase development and investment in the internet industry, allowing providers to develop technologies like 5G a lot faster.
    Regardless of which side people fall on when it comes to the issue of net neutrality, the New York Attorney General’s investigation found foul play by large internet service providers.    In fact, of the 22 million comments posted to the FCC, 80 percent of those comments were fraudulent bots using real people’s identities.
    Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who headed the committee in charge of looking into rolling back net neutrality, received about 14,000 comments that argued in favor of the internet service providers.    This has since uncovered an even bigger issue in American policy discussions, especially ones that take place online.
    As of now, this is one of the first major examples of a powerful industry looking to sway public opinion to serve their interest.    Leaving the unanswered question: how many massive corporate industries are conducting similar campaigns to shape the public’s perception of reality?

5/10/2021 White House works to keep president on message, away from controversy by Maureen Groppe, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden was fielding his fourth question from a reporter after delivering remarks on the pandemic last week when he apologized to the press corps.
    “Look, I’m sorry.    This is the last question I’ll take,” Biden said.    “I’m really going to be in trouble.”
    In trouble?    Really?
    In fact, yes, White House press secretary Jen Psaki divulged in a podcast interview this week.
    Psaki told CNN’s David Axelrod that the communications shop frowns on Biden’s willingness to engage with reporters who shout questions during Biden’s public appearances.
    “That is not something we recommend,” Psaki said.    “In fact, a lot of times we say 'Don’t take questions.’”    But, she conceded, “He’s going to do what he wants to do, because he’s the president of the United States.”
    Psaki, who expects to step down from her high-profile job in about a year, spoke candidly about the effort of keeping on message a president who likes to interact with people.
    That means staying focused on the issues the White House wants to talk about, particularly what’s being done to stop the pandemic and get the economy back on track.    It also means staying away from controversy, such as the surge of migrants at the border.
    Psaki said one reason the White House resisted calling the situation a “crisis” was to not give the media a “nugget” that could run across the bottom of TV screens or be tweeted out.
    “We understand and know the nature of some components of social media and media these days,” she said.    “And we just didn’t want to feed into that, on this issue, or really any issue.”
    The press also has pushed the White House on why Biden has not gone to the southern border himself.
    Acknowledging the border is an important issue, Psaki said a “much smaller percentage” of the public is focused on the border than the share that cares about the pandemic and the economy.
    “So that may be maddening,” she said.    “But ... that’s what we try to do.”
    Psaki addressed two of her missteps in the first 100 days, her flippant comment about Space Force and the initial definition of the president’s goal of getting a majority of schools reopened.
    Asked about Space Force, Psaki said: “Wow. Space Force.    It’s the plane of today!
She later tweeted her support for Space Force’s “important work.”
    Psaki called that a “good lesson” for her about not seeming to denigrate people who are working hard at their jobs.    (She also credits the head of Space Force with writing her a note – the contents of which she didn’t share – and giving her a Space Force pin.) “I will always be an advocate for the Space Force,” she said.
    On school reopenings, Psaki said she immediately realized how unsatisfactory it sounded when she said
    Biden’s goal would be met if more than half of schools had “some teaching” in person “at least one day a week.”
    So before Biden appeared at a town hall in Wisconsin in February, Psaki said she told him the message needed to be “cleaned up.”
    At the town hall, Biden called the original definition that Psaki gave a “mistake in the communication.”
    Psaki said that didn’t bother her.
    “But in the moment, I remember people thinking, ‘Oh, you’re in trouble.’    And it was like, ‘I mean, I kind of suggested you say that,’” she said.    “So I’m not going to take it too personally.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a news briefing at the White House. ALEX WONG/GETTY IMAGES

5/7/2021 Ohio GOP Senate Hopeful Raises $1M+ In First 30 Days by OAN Newsroom
The US Capitol building in Washington. (AP photo)
    Pro-Trump businessman Bernie Moreno has reportedly raised more than $1 million in the first month of campaigning in a bid to replace retiring Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman.
    Moreno’s campaign announced these numbers on Friday.    Since his official campaign launch on April 6, Moreno matched what his opponents, Josh Mandel and Jane Timken, had done in three months in as short as 30 days.    Moreno said he did not accept any corporate PAC money and the funds were raised solely from individual donations.
    The political outsider believes President Trump has had the most impact of any president since Ronald Reagan and supports the 45th president’s views on immigration.    In a press release from Moreno, he said he’s running to “stop socialism, end cancel culture, enact term limits and protect the victories of Donald J. Trump.”
    Ric Grenell, a former cabinet member and ambassador to President Trump, noted “this incredibly fast outpouring shows that Ohio has a new front runner who is also supported by some of Trump’s closest advisors.”

5/10/2021 Rep. Biggs Discusses Importance Of Pushing Back Against Censorship by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Dec. 3, 2020 file photo Freedom Caucus chairman Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., speaks on
Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin,File)
    Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs (R) joined a slew of GOP leaders at Devin Nunes’ Freedom Festival in California on Saturday to discuss the big issues facing Americans today.    He shared the stage with Trent Loos who describes himself as a sixth generation United States rancher from Central Nebraska.    Biggs also shared the spotlight with Harmeet Dhillon, a lawyer and member of the Republican National Committee (RNC).
    The Arizona lawmaker spent a good portion of his time speaking on Big Tech overreach and what Republicans on the hill are doing to combat blatant bias.    He also discussed his own temporary suspension from Twitter after he shared a post speaking negatively about Joe Biden during his time in office.
    Biggs made it clear that the monopolies that control what Americans see need to be broken up. He expressed his concern stating, they will eventually control what Americans think if they are left unrevised.    He also mentioned Congress’s lack of urgency in 2017 and 2018 to satisfy President Donald Trump’s agenda. Biggs said the GOP must fight harder than ever to protect American values.
    The Republican stressed he will do all he can, using every procedural onslaught at his disposal despite pushback from his colleagues and Democrats’ efforts to change the fabric of the country.

5/10/2021 Restaurants Across The U.S. Report Hiring Crisis by OAN Newsroom
A Help Wanted sign hangs in the window of a restaurant in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan in New York, Tuesday, May 4, 2021 Some restaurants
in New York City are starting to hire employees now that they can increase their indoor dining to 75% of capacity starting May 7. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
    As the economy continues to recover from COVID-19 shutdowns, restaurants across the U.S. have reported they are struggling to hire new workers.
    According to an April census poll, more than half of hospitality businesses reported that they need to hire workers over the next few months in order to prepare for summer.    However, almost 40 percent of restaurants said they are having trouble filling positions for severs, cooks and other necessary jobs.
    According to some restaurant managers, Joe Biden’s large relief packages are to blame for the lack of applicants.    Virginia restaurant owner Khalil Azar explained how the benefits are contributing to his restaurant’s employment struggle.    Azar expressed his irritation stating, “they are not motivated to work…they get the same money as if they were working.”
    While restaurant owners also cited some hesitancy from applicants fueled by COVID-19 fears, the most prominent factor was the $300 weekly unemployment supplement provided by Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.
    Ohio Restaurant Association President John Barker commented saying, “a lot of people are saying, why would I need to go back to work if I have this federal and state support?
    Tom Spano, who is a San Diego Restaurant Manager at Piatti, added that many of his former employees left the hospitality business all together.    “It is difficult right now, we’ve tried everything under the sun to try and get more staff in,” Spano explained.    “Thank goodness for the staff that stayed on before, but we’ve lost a lot of people through other careers.”
    The additional $300 is set to expire this fall and restaurant owners as well as managers are hopeful it will bring in more employees to help their businesses.

5/10/2021 White House Confronted On Why Biden Still Wears Masks Indoors Around Vaccinated People by OAN Newsroom
White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients removes a face mask as he prepares to speak at a press
briefing at the White House, Tuesday, April 13, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    The White House coronavirus coordinator was recently grilled over Joe Biden’s continued use of face masks.    The discussion set off during a Sunday interview when CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Jeff Zients why Biden keeps wearing face coverings even though he’s vaccinated.
    The question came after the CDC made it clear that said Americans do not have to wear face coverings at indoor gatherings if everyone present has been vaccinated.    Critics quickly pointed out that White House coordinator side-stepped the question “Well, the CDC has given guidance that when you’re with family and friends that are vaccinated in small groups, you don’t need a mask,” Zients stated.
    Zientis went on in a blanket statement to claim Biden is following the science and can’t wait for the next set of CDC guidelines.    Tapper fired back, however, demanding an answer to his question.
    Zients added, at the moment vaccinated people should settle for their so-called privilege of not having to wear a mask in uncrowded settings outdoors.    He argued it’s only been a few weeks since all 50 state made vaccines available to all Americans and urged everyone to get vaccinated.
    Yet Tapper pointed out that when Biden refuses to take his mask off in a room full of vaccinated people, it sends a message that coronavirus shots do not work.    He added, this could lead to Americans losing hope of ever regaining their pre-pandemic freedom back.
    Additionally, Biden made remarks at a weekend press brief briefing make it clear that for the moment he’s less than enthusiastic about the CDC’s latest more relaxed set of guidelines.    While Biden claims that continuing to wear a mask indoors is a good policy, critics like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) warned this strategy does little, if anything, to convince 70 percent of Americans to get vaccinations by July 4.

5/10/2021 Armed Army Trainee Hijacks S.C. School Bus With 18 Children On Board by OAN Newsroom
This image released by the Richland County, S.C., Sheriff’s Department, shows Jovan Collazo, an Army trainee, who was arrested and
charged with dozens of crimes after authorities say he boarded a South Carolina school bus with a gun Thursday, May 6, 2021, and
held the driver and elementary students hostage before letting them off the bus. (Richland County Sheriff’s Department via AP)
    Army trainee Jovan Collazo, 23, was arrested after hijacking a South Carolina school bus with children on board. The driver of the bus, along with 18 students, are safe and unharmed after they were taken hostage on Thursday. Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott reported the man was dressed in a physical training uniform after escaping from Fort Jackson with an M4 rifle before boarding a school bus with a gun.    The suspect became irritated after the children started questioning his motives.
    Sheriff Lott added, the bus was then stopped and the kids as well as the bus driver were let off the bus by the suspect who then drove off.    Collazo then abandoned the bus a few miles down the road.    The suspect left his rifle on the bus before running through the nearby neighborhoods, where he reportedly asked for rides and clothes before he was arrested.
    Fort Jackson Commander Brigadier General Milford H. Beagle Jr. addressed the trainee’s escape, which went unnoticed for some time before it was reported. He noted the individual had only been in training for three weeks.
    The young witnesses are students at Forest Lake Elementary School, where the superintendent said they notified parents and provided counseling upon the student’s arrival back to campus in order to ensure they had support.
    Collazo is currently charged for 19 counts of kidnapping, carjacking, possessing a weapon on school property, armed robbery and possessing a weapon during a violent crime.
    Fort Jackson Commander Beagle apologized to the community and took responsibility for the base’s failure to be accountable for all their trainees.

5/10/2021 EU Executive Says Member States Should Help Italy With Migrant Relocation
Migrants disembark a coast guard vessel, after arriving by the hundreds packed on boats,
on the southern island of Lampedusa, Italy May 9, 2021. REUTERS/Mauro Buccarello
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European countries need to show solidarity towards Italy after the arrival by boat of hundreds of migrants on the country’s southern island of Lampedusa at the weekend, the EU’s home affairs commissioner said on Monday.
    “When we see … a huge amount of people coming in a very short time there is a need for solidarity towards Italy, and I call on other member states to support with relocation,” Ylva Johansson told a news conference.
    “I know it’s more difficult in the pandemic time but I think it’s possible to manage and now it’s time … to show solidarity towards Italy and to help in the situation,” she said alongside Filippo Grandi, Commissioner of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
(Reporting by Marine Strauss and John Chalmers)

5/10/2021 Colombia’s Duque Recognizes Protesters’ Concerns After Cali Violence
FILE PHOTO: Colombia's President Ivan Duque speaks during an interview with
Reuters in Bogota, Colombia, March 12, 2021. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez
    BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombia’s President Ivan Duque said issues raised by young demonstrators would be included in national discussions meant to curb nearly two weeks of anti-government protests, as he made a brief visit to Cali, the scene of violence over the weekend.
    Duque will meet later on Monday with strike leaders in the capital Bogota.
    Demonstrations began on April 28, fueled by outrage at a tax plan which would have raised sales taxes. That proposal was canceled but protesters’ demands now include a basic income and the withdrawal of a long-debated health reform that opponents say is too vague to correct inequalities.
    “We know we must prioritize a series of interventions that are necessary to generate hope and a future for our youth,” Duque said, listing free tuition at public universities, political participation and entrepreneurship as issues to be discussed.
    The human rights ombudsman has reported 26 people killed since protests began, but says seven were unrelated to the marches themselves.
    Human Rights Watch said it has reports of 38 deaths, while local rights groups Temblores and Indepaz have reported 47 killings, the majority by police.
    Though Duque initially insisted he would not visit Cali – which has become a protest epicenter – he made an overnight visit after clashes left over a dozen injured.
    Nine indigenous demonstrators, who were marching as part of a “minga” or protest, were wounded by gunshots, the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca said in a statement on Sunday.
    Four people were wounded by minga protesters, Cali’s police said.
    Duque called for an end to violence and for roadblocks causing shortages of food and fuel in cities to be lifted.
(Reporting by Oliver Griffin and Luis Jaime Acosta; Editing by Giles Elgood)

5/10/2021 Pandemic Plateauing With Deaths And Cases Declining – WHO
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization (WHO) during an executive board meeting on update
on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Geneva, Switzerland, April 6, 2021. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization said on Monday the world was seeing a plateauing in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths, with declines in most regions including the Americas and Europe, the two worst-affected regions.
    “But it’s an unacceptably high plateau, with more than 5.4 million reported COVID-19 cases and almost 90,000 deaths last week,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a briefing.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, Emma Farge, Silke Koltowitz; Editing by Alison Williams)

5/10/2021 Ariz. State Sen. Townsend Says Democrat Attacks On Election Audit Suggest Foul Play by OAN Newsroom
Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 general election are examined and recounted by contractors working for Florida-based
company, Cyber Ninjas, Thursday, May 6, 2021 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York, Pool)
    Arizona state Sen. Kelly Townsend (R) said Democrat efforts to stop the audit of 2020 election fraud may suggest foul play took place last November.
    Townsend stressed recent attacks on Arizona audit in mainstream media and by Democrat Party officials are purely partisan in nature.    She added, Democrats apparently oppose election integrity for some reason.
    Townsend went on to say Republican state lawmakers and the auditors have received numerous threats, which only strengthens their motivation to complete the audit.

5/10/2021 N.H. GOP Excited For Pence’s Upcoming Visit by OAN Newsroom
In his first public speech since leaving office, former Vice President Mike Pence speaks at a dinner hosted
by Palmetto Family on Thursday, April 29, 2021, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)
    Former Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to headline the Hillsborough County Republican Committee’s Lincoln-Reagan Awards dinner next month.
    New Hampshire Republicans have expressed their excitement over Pence’s upcoming visit, saying it sparks further speculation of a 2024 presidential bid.    In a recent interview, the state’s GOP Chair Steve Stepanek (R-N.H.) expressed Pence has a lot of supporters in the state.
    Pence spoke in South Carolina earlier this month, making this his first public address since leaving office.    “We have to guard our values and offer a positive agenda to the American people,” said the former vice president.
    Pence has not said whether he’ll run for president in 2024.    However, his team has indicated he has more trips on his agenda that so far include visits to Texas, California and Michigan.

5/10/2021 Sen. Rubio: China Uses Influence On U.S. Corporations To Push For China-Friendly Policies by OAN Newsroom
FILE – Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
    Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said China has “deputized major U.S. companies to push for policies that help China.”
    In an interview Friday, the Florida lawmaker noted how companies these days appear all too willing to do what it takes to make sure they capture business in China.    He said business leaders cave to Chinese demands then come back to the U.S. and argue the Chinese government is mistreated, while claiming there is a lot of opportunity there.
    “For some of these companies around the world, their CEOs are judged on a quarterly basis,” stated Rubio.    “If the Chinese kick you out of their economy, that’s gonna be a big hit in your revenue and your shareholders are gonna be unhappy.”
    This was particularly seen in 2019 after the general manager of the Houston Rockets tweeted his support of Hong Kong, in turn, prompting the NBA to denounce the tweet and creating outcry from Chinese fans.
    According to reports, major U.S. companies like General Motors sell more products in China than anywhere else in the world. China is a $660 billion market for the American economy.     Rubio said China has utilized capitalism against us, deputizing major American corporations and their leaders to push for policies that favor the Chinese position.    This follows China’s use of its own pressure on business leaders to play by its rules or risk losing business in the country.
    “And I think that becomes really problematic for people…you might be a mid-sized business, but your supply chain depends on you making your product in China because it’s the only place you can make it cheap enough to sell it back here in the United States,” Rubio continued.    “And they make it pretty clear to you that unless you do what they’re asking you to do or if you step out of line, they’ll close your factory.”
    Rubio said people like Apple CEO Tim Cook aren’t able to speak their mind about China due to the risk of losing supply and production capacity in the country.
    Former Attorney General William Barr last year slammed companies like Google, Microsoft and Apple as well as Hollywood elites for being too willing to collaborate with the Chinese Communist Party. Barr said they were too focused on short-term profits and called U.S. tech companies “pawns of Chinese influence.”

5/10/2021 McCarthy Endorses Rep. Stefanik To Replace Rep. Cheney by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Jan. 17, 2021, file photo Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., introduces Vice President Mike Pence and second lady
Karen Pence to speak to Army 10th Mountain Division soldiers in Fort Drum, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus, File)
    On Sunday, House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) publicly announced his support for Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y) to replace Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) as GOP conference chair.    McCarthy said the chair needs to be the messenger for unity within the party as well as someone who can fight back against Democrats’ failed immigration, employment and economic policies.
    Earlier in the week, House Minority Whip (R-La.) also endorsed Stefanik.    Scalise claimed Stefanik is focused in on the 2022 midterm elections while Cheney is stuck on President Donald Trump’s response to the 2020 Presidential Election.
    Cheney’s power and popularity began to steadily decline following her continued public attacks against President Trump.    She challenged his response to the COVID-19 pandemic and his calls to look into potential voter fraud.    What sealed her fate, however, was her support for Democrats attempts to impeach President Trump after the January 6 breach on the U.S. Capitol building.
    Alternatively, Stefanik has received a glowing endorsement from President Trump who is confident she will prioritize America First polices.
    Other top GOP leaders have also commended her stances on important conservative issues, which include passing anti-abortion legislation, securing future elections and protecting Second Amendment rights.    Additionally, GOP leaders have said Stefanik is the top choice to help Republicans take back the House from Democrats.
    There will be a House GOP conference meeting on Wednesday, where House Republicans will officially vote for who will replace Cheney.    Although if chosen as conference chair, Stefanik reported that she’d only stay on through 2022 to help the party get through the midterm elections.

5/11/2021 Oil no change to $64.83, DOW down 35 to 34,743.

5/11/2021 NYPD: Times Square Shooting Suspect Has Lengthy Criminal History by OAN Newsroom
File – A NYPD officer is pictured. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
    The manhunt continues for the suspect in connection with the shooting, which injured three people in Times Square.
    The New York City Police Department (NYPD) said the suspect, who has been identified as 31-year old Farrakhan Muhammad, has a criminal history dating back to 2007.    This includes two felony robbery arrests and an incident where police seized several guns as well as armor from his possession in 2012.
    Muhammad is the main suspect in the shooting, which occurred over the weekend. Three people were injured in the incident, including a 4-year-old girl.    According to police, he got into a dispute with his brother before opening fire.
    The NYPD is being praised for its quick response to the shooting, including an officer who carried the young girl to safety.    All three of the victims have been released from the hospital and are recovering at home.

5/11/2021 Sen. McConnell: American Rescue Plan To Blame For Bad Job Numbers by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this April 20, 2021, file photo, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., talks after
a GOP policy luncheon, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) recently took a stand against strategies surrounding the coronavirus.    In a speech on the Senate floor Monday, the Republican condemned the current policies of Democrats while suggesting they are untimely.
    “It’s May of 2021: vaccines are available nationwide, there are millions of jobs open, help wanted signs from coast to coast,” he stated.    “We should not still be taxing the Americans who are working to fund continued extra benefits for those staying home."
    McConnell pointed to the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan as a bill not suited to solve our current issues.
    “Back in March, Democrats rammed through their so-called American Rescue Plan with $2 trillion partisan spending spree,” he stated.    “It is packed with policies that seem designed for March 2020, not March 2021."
    As an example, McConnell pointed to the continued use of taxpayer dollars to pay a special bonus for the unemployed to stay home rather than filling one of the country’s open jobs.    He suggested this plan has resulted in slowed economic recovery as America emerges from the pandemic.
    “Republicans had this crazy idea that with vaccines flooding the country, with COVID-19 in retreat, it was time to actually reopen our country,” said the Kentucky lawmaker.    “Instead of spending even more of working families’ tax dollars to keep things shut down.”
    Specifically, he sighted the poor April jobs report as evidence the administration’s policies had failed.     “This report was expected to show that more than a million American workers had gotten back to the job in the month of April,” he noted.    “Instead, we added about one-fourth that many jobs.”
    Meanwhile, Joe Biden has continued to point to the bad job numbers as evidence the American Rescue Plan was necessary though hiring numbers were much stronger in march than in April.

5/11/2021 Reports: Bill Gates Appears Falling Out Of Favor With Democrat Media by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Feb. 1, 2019, file photo, Bill and Melinda Gates smile at each other during an interview in Kirkland, Wash. The couple announced
Monday, May 3, 2021, that they are divorcing. The Microsoft co-founder and his wife, with whom he launched the world’s largest charitable foundation,
said they would continue to work together at The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
    Microsoft founder Bill Gates appears to be falling out of favor with mainstream media amid claims of his ties to sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.     Gates has often been the subject of controversy, particularly regarding the work of his international organization the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as well as remarks he’s made implying, he wishes to reduce the world’s population.
    “The world today has 6.8 billion people, that’s headed to about 9 billion,” he stated.    “Now if we do a really good job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health, we could lower that by 10-15 percent.”
    Mainstream media criticisms of Bill Gates also come despite the efforts to manipulate narratives by the Gates Foundation as revealed by the Columbia Journalism Review.

5/11/2021 Cartel Gains Foothold In Pacific Northwest, Opioid Demand In Region Emboldens JNGC by OAN Newsroom
Soldiers patrol a neighborhood in Irapuato, Guanajuato state, Mexico, in February. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
    According to federal drug investigators, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (JNGC) is now the primary group trafficking fentanyl into the U.S. across the southern border.    Homeland Security agents said the JNGC, which is Mexico’s fastest growing cartel, has now gained footholds in Seattle and across the Pacific Northwest.
    The group, headed by cartel boss El Mencho, brazenly threatens rivals on social media while openly displaying its weaponry and armored vehicles.    However, federal agents have said that’s just the beginning of JNGC’s fear-inducing tactics.
    “Whether it’s ripping the fingernails out of somebody’s hands as sending a message to them or tying them up in a tree in the middle of Central Washington to die or dismembering them and shipping their remains off…they’re there to deliver an effective message,” stated DHS Special Agent Robert Hammer.    “Which is don’t mess with us.”
    Fentanyl smuggled by the cartel is reported to be 50 times more deadly than the heroin it’s replacing in the Pacific Northwest.    In the past, fentanyl had mainly been mixed into heroin, but now it’s often pressed into small blue tablets to resemble prescription oxycodone pills.

5/11/2021 Calif. Gov. Newsom Expands Emergency Drought Order To Include 41 Counties by OAN Newsroom
FILE – A riverboat glides through Lake Mead on the Colorado River at Hoover Dam near Boulder City, Nev. California Gov. Gavin Newsom has expanded a drought emergency declaration
to a large swath of the nation’s most populated state amid “acute water supply shortages” in northern and central areas. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
    California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) extended his emergency drought declaration while adding more regions.    On Monday, he expanded the order to nearly 40 counties, including Klamath River Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Tulare Lake Watershed counties.
    Newsom originally issued the emergency declaration in late April, but said this year’s snow-pack didn’t bring enough water to hold the Golden State over.    41 counties in total are now affected by the order, which amounts to around 30 percent of California’s population.
    “And so this drought proclamation should provide us flexibility so to address issues around conveyance,” stated the Democrat governor.    “Working with water agreements, different water agencies, allow us more flexibility at the local and regional basis…allow us some reprieve around secret regulations and permitting resolute permitting issues.”
    In the meantime, Newsom has been pushing state lawmakers to pass his plan to spend billions of dollars to bolster the state’s water resiliency and infrastructure.    Additionally, he’s confident he won’t have to impose a statewide order or water conservation mandates for Californians.

5/11/2021 OAN Poll Finds Over 60% Of People Want Tulsi Gabbard To Replace Gavin Newsom As Governor Of Calif. by OAN Newsroom
File – Tulsi Gabbard, of Hawaii, seen here at a town hall meeting in Keene, N.H.,
on Jan. 21, 2020. (Kristopher Radder/The Brattleboro Reformer/ via AP)
    The race to replace California’s disastrously unpopular governor, Democrat Gavin Newsom, saw a surprising challenger rise to the top: Tulsi Gabbard.
    The former Hawaiian congresswoman hasn’t yet thrown her hat into the ring, but nearly 30,000 people responded to an OAN poll proving Gabbard with over 60 percent of the vote was by far the people’s favorite.
    In the Twitter survey Gabbard handily beat second place challenger Caitlyn Jenner by nearly 40 percentage points.    Candidate John Cox trailed a distant third with just 10 percent of the vote and GOP pick Kevil Faulconer came in dead last with barely 5 percent of the vote.
OAN Twitter Poll
    Gabbard, a Democrat and decorated army veteran, has always maintained a moderate position and many believe her common-sense approach to leadership is exactly what California needs.

5/12/2021 Oil up $0.48 to $65.36, DOW down 474 to 34,269.

5/11/2021 Glenn Youngkin Wins GOP Nomination For Va. Governor by OAN Newsroom
This Jan. 10. 2021 image provided but the Youngkin for Governor campaign shows Glenn Youngkin
in Richmond, Va. (Kate Magee Joyce/Youngkin for Governor Campaign via AP)
    Glenn Youngkin has been announced as the GOP nomination for Governor of Virginia.
    On Monday, the former CEO of a global investment firm defeated six other Republicans at Virginia’s GOP Gubernatorial Convention.    Youngkin beat out entrepreneur Pete Snyder, state Sen. Amanda Chase, former Speaker of Virginia’s House of Delegates Kirk Cox, former think-tank leader Peter Doran, retired Army Col. Sergio de la Peña and former Roanoke City Sheriff Octavia Johnson.
    Youngkin has campaigned on lifting coronavirus restrictions and has highlighted his Second Amendment as well as pro-life stances.    The newest nominee said he’s prepared to lead, excited to serve and humbled by the trust Virginians have placed in him.
    “Virginians have made it clear that they are ready for a political outsider with proven business experience to bring real change in Richmond,” expressed Youngkin.
    The Republican will face off against the winner of the Democrat gubernatorial primary in November.

5/11/2021 British Army Killed Innocent Civilians In Belfast In 1971 - Inquiry by Clodagh Kilcoyne
Rita Bonner, sister of a victim John Laverty, arrives to listen to the findings of the report into the fatal shootings
of 10 people in the Ballymurphy area of Belfast in 1971 that involved the British Army, at an inquest held at the
International Conference Centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland, May 11, 2021. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
    BELFAST (Reuters) - British soldiers unjustifiably shot or used disproportionate force in the deaths of nine of the 10 innocent people killed in a 1971 incident in Belfast that sparked an upsurge of violence during Northern Ireland’s “Troubles,” a judge-led inquiry found.
    A Catholic priest and a mother of eight who served soldiers tea were among the victims in an event Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney described on Tuesday as “one of the most tragic days” of Northern Ireland’s three decades of bloodshed.
    Judge Siobhan Keegan delivered her findings to applause from families of the victims shortly after the British government announced it would introduce legislation to give greater protection to former soldiers who served in Northern Ireland, plans Dublin and many in Belfast fiercely oppose.
    “All of the deceased were entirely innocent of any wrongdoing on the day in question,” Keegan, the coroner for the case, concluded.
    The British government’s minister for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis said he would carefully consider the findings, but it was clear that those who died were “entirely innocent of wrongdoing.”
    The victims’ grief has been “compounded by the long and difficult process of waiting for answers for so many years,” Lewis said in a statement.
    The deaths over a three-day period of disorder in the Ballymurphy area of Belfast – a sprawling housing estate of Catholics who opposed British rule – occurred in the days after the introduction of internment without trial for suspected militants triggered disorder on the streets.
    Father Hugh Mullan, the 38-year-old priest who died, was helping an injured man and waving a white object before he was shot twice in the back, the inquiry found.
    “Our brother was killed by the British Army and then they lied about it to cover up their injustice,” Mullan’s brother Patsy told a news conference.    “After 50 years the truth we always knew has finally been told.”
    There was not enough evidence to say whether the army were responsible for the death of one the victims, John James McKerr, who was indiscriminately shot going to and from work.    However Judge Keegan said it was “shocking” that the state did not carry out a proper investigation into the killing.
    Questions also remain unanswered about the identity of the soldiers who shot many of the victims, the judge added.
    No one has been charged or convicted in connection with any of the killings.    The inquest was a fact-finding exercise and not a criminal trial.
    “The police have never to this day investigated the deaths of our loved ones,” said John Teggart, the son of one of those killed.    “No one should be above the law.”
    Some 3,600 people were killed in the sectarian confrontation between Irish nationalist militants, pro-British “loyalist” paramilitaries and British military that largely came to an end after a 1998 peace agreement.
(Writing by Padraic Halpin and Conor Humphries in Dublin, Editing by William Maclean and Giles Elgood)

5/11/2021 EU Confident Of COVID-19 Travel Certificate For Summer by Robin Emmott and Sabine Siebold
FILE PHOTO: People receive COVID-19 vaccine in the Central Mosque in Ehrenfeld suburb, amid the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Cologne, Germany, May 8, 2021. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) -The European Commission expects to finish work soon on a COVID-19 certificate that could allow citizens to travel more easily this summer in the 27-nation bloc, the EU executive said on Tuesday after a meeting with European affairs ministers.
    The pass would allow those vaccinated, recovered from COVID-19 or with negative test results to cross borders in a union where restrictions on movement have weighed heavily on the travel and tourism industry for more than a year.
    “This is a priority for our citizens and therefore I believe we will deliver (on the certificate) before summer,” Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic said after the meeting in Brussels.    He said he expected a full roll-out by the summer.
    A two week pilot project to test the technology a few countries at a time began on Monday, the EU Commission said.
    But EU governments, the European Parliament and the Commission must agree on the design of the certificate. They must also decide whether faster, but less accurate, COVID-19 antigen tests can be included.
    Sefcovic called on all sides to work together to complete the legislative, as well as the technical, work as quickly as possible, noting the complexity of the job.
    “For the certificate to work, it has to be on smartphones, it has to be interoperable, possible to check it.    So it is quite the task to do it at the pan-European level,” Sefcovic said.
    The European Parliament says no one will be obliged to use the EU certificate and it must not be considered a vaccine passport.
    Sefcovic said the Commission was working closely to inform the United States, the World Health Organization and others about its progress to allow the certificate to be used on a wider scale.
    As the vaccination campaign in the EU is gaining speed with 200 million jabs delivered and COVID-19 infections rates falling, Europe is starting to reopen cities and beaches, raising hopes for the summer holiday season.
    German Europe Minister Michael Roth called for a swift agreement.
    “This is not only important for countries depending on tourism but for all of us: It is … a clear signal for freedom of movement and for mobility in the European Union,” Roth said in Brussels.
(Reporting by Sabine Siebold in Berlin and Robin Emmott in Brussels; Editing by Alison Williams)

5/11/2021 U.S. Puts Brake On U.N. Statement Over Middle East Tensions by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: The United Nations logo is seen on a window in an empty hallway at United Nations headquarters during the 75th annual U.N. General Assembly high-level debate,
which is being held mostly virtually due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in New York, U.S., September 21, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar
    NEW YORK (Reuters) -The United States is delaying United Nations Security Council efforts to issue a public statement on escalating tensions between Israel and the Palestinians because it could be harmful to behind-the-scenes efforts to end the violence, according to diplomats and a source familiar with the U.S. strategy.
    Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source said Washington is “actively engaged in diplomacy behind the scenes with all parties to achieve a ceasefire” and was concerned that a council statement might be counterproductive at the moment.
    The Security Council is instead going to meet privately on Wednesday to discuss the latest violence, diplomats said.
    The Security Council first discussed on Monday clashes in East Jerusalem around al-Aqsa mosque.    The holy city has been tense during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, with the threat of a court ruling evicting Palestinians from homes claimed by Jewish settlers adding to the friction.
    Before a further upsurge of violence, the 15-member Security Council began discussions on a draft statement that would express concern about the clashes and the potential evictions, call on Israel to cease Jewish settlement activities, demolitions and evictions, and urge general restraint.
    Such statements have to be agreed by consensus.    But diplomats said the United States, a close ally of Israel, told council counterparts that the body should not issue a statement at the moment.
    The U.S. mission to the United Nations said: “The United States is engaging constructively to ensure any action by the Security Council is helpful in de-escalating tensions.”
    State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters that Washington wanted to see steps to help de-escalate the violence, whether the steps came from Israel, the Palestinian Authority or the Security Council.     “The United Nations is working with all relevant parties to de-escalate the situation urgently,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Tuesday.    He said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is saddened by “the increasingly large numbers of casualties, including children.”
    “Israeli security forces must exercise maximum restraint and calibrate their use of force.    The indiscriminate launching of rockets and mortars towards Israeli population centers is unacceptable,” Dujarric told reporters.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Additional reporting by Simon Lewis; Editing by Howard Goller)

5/11/2021 Pipeline Outage Causes U.S. Gasoline Supply Crunch, Panic Buying by Laura Sanicola and Devika Krishna Kumar
FILE PHOTO: Holding tanks are seen in an aerial photograph at Colonial Pipeline's Dorsey
Junction Station in Woodbine, Maryland, U.S. May 10, 2021. REUTERS/Drone Base
    (Reuters) - Gas stations from Florida to Virginia began running dry and prices at the pump rose on Tuesday, as the shutdown of the biggest U.S. fuel pipeline by hackers extended into a fifth day and sparked panic buying by motorists.
    The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden projected that the Colonial Pipeline, source of nearly half the fuel supply on the U.S. East Coast, would restart in a few days and urged drivers not to top up their tanks.
    “We are asking people not to hoard,” U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told reporters at the White House.    “Things will be back to normal soon.”
    Colonial was shut on Friday after hackers launched a ransomware attack – effectively locking up its computer systems and demanding payment to release them – and the company has said it is hoping to “substantially” restart by the end of this week.
    But the outage, which has underscored the vulnerability of vital U.S. infrastructure to cyberattacks, has already started to hurt.
    About 7.5% of gas stations in Virginia and 5% in North Carolina had no fuel on Tuesday as demand jumped 20%, tracking firm GasBuddy said.    Unleaded gas prices, meanwhile, neared an average $2.99 a gallon, its highest price since November 2014, the American Automobile Association said.
    In an effort to ease the strain on consumers, Georgia suspended sales tax on gas until Saturday, and North Carolina declared an emergency.    The U.S. federal government, meanwhile, has loosened rules to make it easier for suppliers to refill storage, including lifting seasonal anti-smog requirements for gasoline and allowing fuel truckers to work longer hours.
    Granholm said there is not a shortage but a gasoline supply “crunch” in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Southern Virginia, regions that typically rely on Colonial for fuel.
    Driver Caroline Richardson said she was paying 15 cents more per gallon than a week ago as she refueled at a gas station in Sumter, South Carolina.    “I know some friends who decided not to go out of town this weekend to save gas,” she said.
    The strike on Colonial “is potentially the most substantial and damaging attack on U.S. critical infrastructure ever,” Ohio Senator Rob Portman told a Senate hearing on cybersecurity threats on Tuesday.
    The FBI has accused a shadowy criminal gang called DarkSide of the ransomware attack.    DarkSide is believed to be based in Russia or Eastern Europe and avoids targeting computers that use languages from former Soviet republics, cyber experts say.
    Russia’s embassy in the United States rejected speculation that Moscow was behind the attack.    President Joe Biden a day earlier said there was no evidence so far that Russia was responsible.
    A statement issued in DarkSide’s name on Monday said: “Our goal is to make money, and not creating problems for society.”
    It is unknown how much money the hackers are seeking, and Colonial has not commented on whether it would pay.
    “Cyber attacks on our nation’s infrastructure are growing more sophisticated, frequent and aggressive,” Brandon Wales, acting director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), said on Tuesday at a Senate hearing on the SolarWinds hack that hit companies and government agencies.
    The Environmental Protection Agency issued a waiver on Tuesday that allows distributors to continue supplying winter fuel blends through May 18 in three Mid-Atlantic states to help ease supplies.
    North Carolina and the U.S. Department of Transportation, meanwhile, relaxed fuel-driver rules, allowing truckers hauling gasoline to work longer hours.    North Carolina and Virginia have both declared a state of emergency.
    The U.S. has also started the work needed to enable temporary waivers of Jones Act vessels in response to the cyber attack – something that would allow foreign flagged fuel carriers to move from one U.S. port to another, the Transportation Department said.
    There are growing concerns that the pipeline outage could lead to further price spikes ahead of the Memorial Day weekend at the end of this month.    The weekend is the traditional start of the busy summer driving season.
    Gulf Coast refiners that rely on Colonial’s pipeline to move their products have cut processing.    Total SE trimmed gasoline production at its Port Arthur, Texas, refinery and Citgo Petroleum pared back at its Lake Charles, Louisiana, plant, sources told Reuters.
    Marathon Petroleum is “making adjustments” to its operations due to the pipeline shutdown, a spokesman said without providing details.
    While the pipeline outage is having big short-term consequences in some regions, some experts believe the longer term impact will be small.
    “Markets will go crazy, but two weeks later no one knows it happened,” said Chuck Watson, director of research at ENKI, which studies the economic effects of natural and other disasters.
(Reporting by Laura Sanicola, Stephanie Kelly and Devika Krishna Kumar; Additional reporting by Nandita Bose; Editing by Paul Simao, Cynthia Osterman and Grant McCool)

5/12/2021 Ariz. Governor Signs Law Allowing Clean Up Of Absentee Voter Lists by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Thursday, April 15, 2021, file photo, Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey speaks during a bill signing in Phoenix.
Ducey on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, signed legislation making it easier to purge
infrequent voters from a list of those who automatically get a mail-in ballot each election. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)
    Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) officially signed the state’s newest election integrity law.    The Republican signed the bill into law Tuesday.    The legislation will make it easier for the state to remove infrequent voters from early voting lists.    Additionally, the measure will also reduce the amount of mail-in ballots sent out.
    The governor hailed the bill as a victory for voter integrity in the state and the country.    Gov. Ducey clarified the legislation will not remove voters from voter rolls and will allow them to still vote in person.
    State Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, who sponsored the bill, argued it will protect elections as well as keep the voter list up-to-date and accurate.    The lawmaker noted, “standing with the voters and their desire for secure elections is paramount to maintaining our form of government.”    Ugenti-Rita went on to call the bill “modest” yet “critical” on the path to restoring confidence in the U.S. election system.

5/12/2021 White House Press Secretary: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Must Be Solved By Local Leaders by OAN Newsroom
White House press secretary Jen Psaki introduces Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Homeland Security Secretary
Alejandro Mayorkas during a press briefing at the White House, Tuesday, May 11, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    The White House issued a meager call for peace in an attempt to resolve one of the most contentious conflicts in the Middle East.    After days of rising tension, rocket attacks and riots, officials within the Biden administration spoke out Tuesday.    Calls for an end to the violence in and around Israel began with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
    “The president’s support for Israel’s security, for its legitimate right to defend itself and its people, is fundamental and will never waver,” she stated.    “We condemn ongoing rocket attacks by Hamas and other terrorist groups, including against Jerusalem.”
    However, Psaki’s defense of Israel, one of the country’s strongest allies in the region, did waver when she attempted to twist the narrative and make Israel out to be the villain.
    “And U.S. officials in recent weeks have spoken candidly with Israeli officials about how evictions of Palestinian families who have lived for years, sometimes decades in their homes and of demolitions of these homes work against our common interests in achieving a solution to the conflict,” continued the press secretary.
People inspect the rubble of a damaged building which was hit by an Israeli
airstrike, in Gaza City, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
    Psaki’s blamed victims for their own misfortunes aside.    She went on to say that for all intents and purposes, both groups were on their own to resolve a surge of violence that has left dozens wounded.
    "It is up to the officials, residents and leaders to restore the city to a place of calm,” she asserted.    “The president and his team will continue to pursue the conditions for diplomacy, dialog and de-escalation, and protection of civilians even as we work together with our friends to deter acts of violence and terrorism.”
    Her tone was echoed by State Department spokesperson Ned Price.    He argued that a recognized and developed nation of Israel and a group of terrorists in Hamas are on equal moral ground with regards to their use of lethal force.
    “We are deeply concerned about the escalation between Israel and those launching rockets from Gaza, and we call for restraint and for calm,” he stated.     “Israel has the right to defend itself and to respond to rocket attacks.    The Palestinian people also have the right to safety and security, just as Israelis do.”
    On the State Department’s bilateral relations fact sheet, it read: “Israel is a great partner to the United States and Israel has no greater friend than the United States.”    In reality, however, when that same friend is in desperate need of support, the Biden administration doesn’t appear to lend any tangible aid at all.

5/12/2021 GOP Senators Hold The Line On For The People Act by OAN Newsroom
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., joined at right by Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., listens during a Senate Rules Committee markup on
the “For the People Act” at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, May 11, 2021. The bill was already passed by Democrats in the House. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Republicans are pushing back against Democrats in the fight to preserve election integrity.    On Tuesday, lawmakers in the Senate Committee on Rules and     Administration hashed out their differences on the For the People Act, also called S.1.    GOP lawmakers held the line on their position that the bill would weaponize America’s election system in favor of Democrats.
    “The Democratic Party on its own wants to rewrite the ground rules of American politics for their benefit,” stated Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.    “We all know that’s what this is about.    It’s hard to imagine anything that would erode public confidence in our democracy more drastically.”
    Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called the bill the “most radical bill” he’s seen during his time in the Senate.    He lambasted provisions dwindling states’ power to administer their own elections and attempts to secure future elections.
    The Texas lawmaker noted the bill would make it illegal for states to require voters to show their ID’s and instead promotes ballot harvesting.    He warned this could lead to corruption and voter fraud.
    Additionally, Cruz claimed Democrats are trying to expand their voter base.    He asserted that they believe granting voting rights to convicted felons and illegal immigrants will add more voters to Democrat Party.
    “This legislation would disenfranchise millions of Americans,” he stated.    “Many of us are referring to this legislation as the ‘corrupt politicians act’…this legislation is designed to ensure that Democrats never lose another election.”
    Junior Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) aired his grievances about S.1’s efforts to turn the Federal Election Commission (FEC) into a partisan body.    The bill would shrink the number of commissioners from six to five, which welcomes the possibility of stacking Democrats in the majority.
    Additionally, Hagerty claimed the bill aims to funnel taxpayer funds into federal elections.
    In the meantime, the vote did not get reported out of the committee as both sides of the aisle remained evenly divided.    However, Democrats are confident that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) will use his power to bypass Republican opposition and bring the bill to the Senate floor.

5/12/2021 House GOP Votes To Remove Rep. Cheney As Conference Chair by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks to reporters after House Republicans voted to oust her from her leadership post as chair of the House Republican Conference because of her repeated
criticism of President Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    House Republicans have voted to remove Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) as conference chair amid her continued criticism of President Trump and opposition to uncovering voter fraud in the 2020 election.
    GOP lawmakers approved Cheney’s expulsion from her leadership position in a voice vote Wednesday.    This came after the Wyoming lawmaker had drawn intense scrutiny from conservatives for denigrating the 45th president’s concerns about alleged election fraud and voting to impeach him in January.
    Despite her ouster from House GOP leadership, Cheney still plans to run for reelection.    Meanwhile, a new GOP House chair has yet to be named, but Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) is expected to be her replacement.
    On the heels of the GOP vote to oust Cheney from her leadership position, President Trump called the representative a “bitter, horrible human being.”    In a separate statement Wednesday, he said she’s bad for the Republican Party.
From the Desk of Donald J. Trump
    President Trump went on to call Cheney a talking point for Democrats and a warmonger whose family pushed the U.S. into the “never ending Middle East disaster,” which he called the “worst decision in our country’s history.”

5/12/2021 Report: Democrat Policies Give China Advantage Over U.S. by OAN Newsroom
A child wearing a mask rests along the Yangtze River in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province just
days before the lifting of the city’s 76-day coronavirus lockdown. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
    China appears to have gained a competitive advantage over the U.S. due to coronavirus lockdowns in America.    A new report by the National Review found the policy response to COVID-19 has disrupted almost all economic and social activity in the U.S. for more than a year.
    As a result, U.S. national debt has skyrocketed along with the federal spending, which makes the U.S. economy less competitive in the long-term.    Additionally, China has extended political influence in the U.S. amid the rise in popularity of socialist ideas.
    “The fact is that China is playing a very important role.    The robust investment in China that happened during the last six months and also the merchandise export has increased significantly in terms of electronics and electrical equipment, digital equipment,” explained Hamid Rashid, lead author of the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2021.    “All the parts and all the other manufacturing export from China, which have been very robust and it has exceeded the pre-crisis level…that is also driving a good outlook for China.”
    The report concludes Democrat Party policies have given China a competitive advantage in trade and investment leaving the U.S. behind.

5/12/2021 Ga. Plans To Seek Death Penalty, Hate Crime Charges For Atlanta Spa Suspect by OAN Newsroom
FILE-In this Wednesday, March 17, 2021 file photo, A make-shift memorial is seen outside a business
where a multiple fatal shooting occurred, in Acworth, Ga. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart, File)
    The man who allegedly shot and killed eight people, with the majority of those victims being women of Asian descent, could be facing hate crime charges and the possibility of a death penalty. Robert Aaron Long, 22, is the suspect of three separate Atlanta spa shootings that occurred on March 16.
    On June 23, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed legislation allowing additional penalties to be imposed for crimes motivated by a victim’s race, religion, sexual orientation or other factors.    County District Attorney Fani Willis announced on Tuesday she intends to move forward with hate crime charges and the death penalty.    Willis said that the alleged crime requires the toughest consequence that she can legally pursue.
FILE – Robert Aaron Long, 22, accused of killing eight people in shootings at three
Atlanta-area massage businesses. (Crisp County Sheriff’s Office via AP, File)

    Earlier that day, a Fulton County grand jury indicted Long with multiple charges, which included murder, assault with a deadly weapon and domestic terrorism.    Due to the variety of offences in various counties, Long was tried by a separate jury in nearby Cherokee County, where he was also indicted on multiple charges ranging from felony murder to aggravated assault.

5/12/2021 2 Texas Deputies Killed, City Employee Critically Injured After Confrontation With Suspect by OAN Newsroom
This Tuesday, May 11, 2021, booking photo provided by the Tom Green County Sheriff’s Office, in San Angelo, Texas, shows Jeffrey Nicholas.
Nicholas is charged with shooting two West Texas sheriff’s deputies dead and critically wounding a city employee
answering a dog complaint, authorities said. (Tom Green County Sheriff’s Office via AP)
    A Texas police department is mourning the loss of two fellow deputies who were killed in a shootout on Monday night.
    On Tuesday, the Texas Department of Public Safety said the bodies of the two officers arrived in Lubbock for an autopsy.    The bodies of the victims were identified as Deputy Samuel Leonard and Sergeant Stephen Jones.
    According to officials, 28-year-old Jeffrey Nicholas fatally shot the two Concho County sheriff’s deputies and critically wounded a city employee while they were responding to a call about a dog complaint.    Reports say that the two officers were involved in a car chase with the suspect who later barricaded himself inside a building in Eden, where an altercation occurred and quickly escalated to gun fire.    The city employee was taken to a hospital. However, their condition is unknown at this time.
    Nicholas was arrested and charged with two counts of Capitol Murder of a Peace Officer and is being held on a $4 million bond.
    Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) expressed his condolences to the family and friends of the officers.    He said their deaths are a solemn reminder of the risks our brave law enforcement officers face while protecting our communities.

5/12/2021 Former UAW Union President Sentenced On Corruption Charges by OAN Newsroom
FILE – Prosecutors are seeking a two-year prison sentence for Williams, a former president
of the United Auto Workers who they say had “two lives.” (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
    A federal judge sentenced the former president of the International United Auto Workers Union to 21 months in prison for his role in the union’s long-running corruption scandal.
    Dennis Williams, 67, appeared in court via Zoom on Tuesday.    During his appearance, he became choked up and apologized to his family as well as the UAW’s members for his actions.
    Williams pleaded guilty in September 2020 to conspiring with other UAW officials to embezzle $1.5 million in member dues for vacations, golf, pricey champagne and other luxuries.    Williams, who served as the president of the UAW between 2014 and 2018, was the highest ranking union official to be sentenced as part of a multi-year corruption probe into the prominent American labor union.
    During the virtual court hearing, the judge described Williams as a person trying to live a double life while being intricately involved with illegal activities at the company’s peak.    The former top union boss initially began in Illinois as a welder and climbed the ladder to what the judge called the pinnacle of the UAW.
    Williams lawyers tried to use this to their advantage arguing he should not spend more than one year in federal prison as he is a “devoted family man and Marine veteran who made mistakes.”
    Despite their efforts, Williams was ordered to pay nearly $150,000 in restitution, including $132,000 to the UAW and almost $16,000 to the IRS.    The UAW recently issued a statement saying, “Williams has rightfully been sentenced today for his crimes that put his personal and self-interest above that of our members and this union.”
    Williams is one of 15 people who have been convicted for their part in the corruption, while other UAW officials who have pleaded guilty to the embezzlement scheme are awaiting sentencing.

5/12/2021 N.H. Begins Audit Of 2020 Elections Amid Impartiality Concerns by OAN Newsroom
    An audit regarding 2020 election fraud officially kicked off in New Hampshire after the Windham incident revealed the switching of GOP votes to Democrat candidates.
    On Wednesday, a team of auditors led by Mark Lindeman and Verified Voting began the intake of 2020 ballots and tabulating machines in New Hampshire.    The audit is off to a rocky start, however, as observers complained about the large distance between themselves and the auditors.
    Additionally, Lindeman has criticized a similar audit in Arizona, which has sparked concerns of his bias.    However, the auditors are vowing full transparency of their work.
    “They’re gonna be doing this in phases and they’re going into it one step at a time,” explained Heather Mullins of Real America’s Voice.    “And once they start, that will further led them into the direction they need to go in what the official count is.”
    Windham activists are still criticizing the choice of auditors by the Board of Selectmen and an effort to hire an alternative team of experts continues.

5/12/2021 John Cox: Gov. Newsom Using Stimulus To Buy His Way Out Of Recall by OAN Newsroom
California Gov. Gavin Newsom smiles as he waits to speak at Hanzo Sushi Thursday, April 29, 2021, in San Fernando, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
    Embattled Democrat Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) is making a last-ditch effort to save himself from getting ousted as governor of the Golden State by promising Californians a new round of stimulus checks.    While California Gubernatorial candidate John Cox (R) is focusing in on his campaign alongside a live bear.
    In San Diego on Tuesday, the California businessman stressed that it’s too late for Newsom to buy off residents with his latest stimulus check promise.    The business owner said Californians are tired of “pretty-boy politicians.”
    He added that his outsider status runs in stark contrast with Newsom’s close ties to special interests.    This comes as Newsom claimed he would expand the     Golden State stimulus relief package to include $600 stimulus checks for households making up to $75,000.    He also plans to give an additional $500 to families with children as well as $500 to illegal immigrant families.
    However, those who already received the Golden State stimulus check in an earlier round of funding would not be eligible for the $600 checks this time.
    The $12 billion tax-rebate proposal is the largest ever provided in U.S. history and critics are worried that it could further devastate the state’s economy.    Meanwhile, Newsom plans to double current rental assistance amid his controversial lockdown mandates.
    Newsom spoke on his revised state budget stating, “the plan is to double the rental assistance in the state of California with the goal of getting 100 percent of all the back rent paid and provide 100 percent support over the next few months to renters.”    He is also calling for $2 billion of direct relief to pay down water, gas and electric bills.
    The budget proposals come on the heels of a push to recall Newsom in an election that will likely be held later this year.    In the meantime, John Cox is making it clear that hard-working Californians are tired of being caged in by Newsom’s lockdown policies.

5/13/2021 Oil up $0.36 to $65.91, DOW down 687 to 33,588.

5/13/2021 Ariz. State Sen. Pres. Fann Demands Answers On Ballot Irregularities Amid Audit by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this May 26, 2020, file photo, Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, R-Prescott, speaks to the media in Phoenix. The Republican
president of the Arizona Senate said in a letter to the U.S. Justice Department that ballots it is recounting from November’s presidential
election are secure and the department’s worries about voter intimidation are unfounded. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)
    There’s a developing story out of Maricopa County, Arizona where “serious issues” have been discovered during the ballot audit.    In a letter sent Wednesday, state Senate President Karen Fann asked the Board of Supervisors to explain several irregularities uncovered during the early stages of the audit.
    Fann wrote the first issue is with regards to “Maricopa County’s apparent intent to renege on its previous commitment to comply fully with the legislative subpoenas.”    She went on to say the chain of custody of the ballots has been insufficiently recorded, resulting in “apparent omissions, inconsistencies and anomalies.”
    Most notably, however, was the recent discovery of several deleted databases from the Election Management System.

5/13/2021 30 Republicans Sign Bill To Counter Teaching Of Critical Race Theory by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, May 12, 2021, expressing opposition
to “critical race theory,” during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
    Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert (R) is challenging the teaching of a divisive agenda in American institutions.    She spoke at a D.C. news conference on Wednesday, where she said liberal professors are still teaching students that America is an inherently prejudice country.
    Boebert stated she and dozens of other Republicans will be introducing a bill to ban Joe Biden from using taxpayer money to promote critical race theory in federal institutions.    So far, at least 30 Republicans have signed on to support the Stop Critical Race Theory Act.    Boebert has asked Americans to pay particularly close attention to the lessons being taught in public schools.
    A recent report by Campus Reform asserts critical race theory is used by colleges and universities as a form of diversity training for students and faculty.    Their research noted teachers are apparently telling students that America is an inherently racist society and traditional values such as justice and individual liberty are smoke-screens for so-called racism.
    The study went on to claim students are taught there is no way for black people to escape victimhood and that white people cannot stop being racist oppressors.
Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, as they leave a news conference, Wednesday, May 12, 2021, after
expressing their opposition to “critical race theory,” on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
    Campus Reform said the self-described goal of this theory is to dismantle American society as a whole and, instead, divide Americans into groups based on their race, sex and ethnicity.
    Boebert expressed this goes against values of liberty and justice that have been central to America since its founding.    She quoted former President Abraham Lincoln suggesting, “we are the United States of America…not the divided states of America.”
    Boebert went on to point out it is concerning that Democrats continue to insist on teaching a theory with a self-described purpose of dismantling American society.    This comes after Joe Biden overturned President Donald Trump’s executive order to counter critical race theory.
    As the bill prepares to make its way through legislature, Boebert is encouraging parents to get involved in their children’s education more now than ever.

5/13/2021 Democrats Claim Spending Bill Is ‘Bipartisan’, Leave GOP Out Of Presser by OAN Newsroom
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks during a news conference on infrastructure,
Wednesday, May 12, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
    Democrats are pushing their latest spending plan while claiming it’s a “bipartisan effort” despite the lack of Republican support.    This came after a group of lawmakers and officials from the local to federal level gathered together to discuss the current infrastructure proposal.
    The conference followed a meeting earlier Wednesday between Joe Biden and the congressional “Big Four,” which included Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) along with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
    Joining Pelosi at the post-game press conference was Rep. Peter Defazio (D-Ore.) and Mayors Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, Levar Stoney of Richmond, Virginia and Quinton Lucas of Kansas City.    None of those lawmakers are Republicans, but that didn’t seem to matter.
    Pelosi asserted the bill would “absolutely” make it to the House floor by the Fourth of July break.    Though her assurances are not indicative of a bipartisan effort as the majority party and specifically the Speaker of the House determines which bills and when make it to debate.
    Legislative procedure aside, Pelosi may be celebrating a bit too early with both Garcetti and McConnell telling reporters that there was more work to be done, including agreeing on a definition of the word “infrastructure.”

5/13/2021 Republican Jewish Coalition Slams Biden, Urges Support For Israel by OAN Newsroom
Pro-Israel demonstrators gather outside the Federal Building during a rally in support of Israel in Los Angeles,
Wednesday, May 12, 2021. Israel is pressing ahead with a fierce military offensive in the Gaza Strip. The Islamic militant group Hamas
showed no signs of backing down and fired hundreds of rockets at Israeli cities. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
    The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) issued a strong condemnation of Joe Biden’s response to the latest terror attacks by Hamas against Israel.    In a statement Wednesday, the RJC said the responsibility for the latest violence in the Middle East lies with Palestinian groups Hamas and Fatah.
    The group added, Biden has weakened America’s support for peace by its appeasement of Iran and the Palestinian authority.    The RJC also praised President Trump’s Abraham Accords, saying it laid foundation for a lasting peace but Biden is now undoing it.    It also endorsed congressman Carlos Gimenez over his recent support for Israel.
(Official RJC statement)
    The RJC also condemned the members of the Democrat Squad, while asserting congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez(D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) are inciting violence with baseless accusations against Israel.
    Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee (RNC) reaffirmed its strong support for Israel amid ongoing attacks by Iranian-backed terror group Hamas.    In a statement Wednesday, RNC chair Ronna McDaniel said Israel has every right to defend itself from Islamic terror and the U.S. must fully support its key ally.
    McDaniel criticized Biden over his weak response to the attacks by Hamas against Israeli civilians, noting it’s not helpful to peace in the region.    She then stressed that President Trump laid the foundation for peace with Abraham Accords.    The RNC chair added, the security of Israel is vital to national security of the U.S.

5/13/2021 Conservative Groups Rethink Strategy To Campaign Against Democrats’ Elections Bill by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Nov. 20, 2020, file photo, election workers, right, verify ballots as recount observers, left, watch during
a Milwaukee hand recount of presidential votes at the Wisconsin Center, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)
    Several conservative groups are rehashing their strategies to campaign against Democrats’ elections bill.
    Ken Cuccinelli, the former acting Department of Homeland Security deputy secretary who now serves as the chairman of the Election Transparency Initiative, said his organization is dumping money into several battle ground states.    That money is going to television ads targeted towards moderate Democrats, many of whom seem reluctant to offer their support to the bill.
    Similarly, think-tank Heritage Action announced it repurposed a $10 million effort to reform election laws in eight swing states.    Instead, that money will fund a television ad campaign that’s set to air through the summer in those same states.
    The groups are hoping to sway those moderate Senate Democrats like Joe Manchin who have been hesitant toward passing the bill.    Without their support, Democrats will not be able to end the legislative filibuster, which they would need to do in order to push the bill through.

5/13/2021 NYPD Officer Shot During Shootout With Suspected Gang Member by OAN Newsroom
    A New York City Police Department (NYPD) officer was shot several times while responding to calls of gunfire in Brooklyn.    The incident took place Wednesday night.
    The 28-year-old officer was shot three times, including once through his bulletproof vest, before firing back at the 26-year-old suspect.    The officer hit him in the leg.
    Officials said officers were responding to a gunfight between rival gangs that initially sparked from a fatal shooting, which led to a car crash.    It’s unclear at this time if the officer’s shooting and the fatal car shooting are linked.
    Both the officer and suspect were taken to a local hospital in stable condition.    Meanwhile, a gun was recovered at the scene.    Police confirmed the suspect had numerous prior arrests and investigation is underway.

5/13/2021 California Likely To End Face Mask Mandate On June 15 by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Dec. 17, 2020, file photo, a person wearing a face mask walks atop Tank Hill in front of the skyline during
the coronavirus pandemic in San Francisco. Los Angeles and San Francisco are poised Tuesday, May 4, to be the only major urban areas
in the state to meet guidelines to move into the least-restrictive tier, amid the pandemic. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
    California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said he will soon end the state’s mask mandate, but not entirely.    On Wednesday, the Democrat announced he will be lifting the mandate as part of the overall plan to loosen COVID-19 restrictions over the next month.
    The Golden State currently requires face coverings for indoor settings outside a person’s home as well as outdoors for unvaccinated people when physical distancing isn’t possible. Newsom said masks may soon only be required in some settings.
    “Only those settings that are indoor, only in those massively large settings,” he stated.    “Otherwise we’ll make guidance recommendations, but no mandates and no restrictions in businesses large and small.”
    The lifting of the face mask mandate will happen on June 15, which is the target date for ending pandemic restrictions on businesses.    Critics have argued that the embattled governor is making every last ditch attempt to save himself from being ousted.
    This comes after the Recall Newsom petition received more than enough verified signatures to trigger a recall election.

5/13/2021 GOP Leaders Speak Out On Infrastructure After White House Meeting by OAN Newsroom
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., leaves a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, May 13, 2021, the day after
meeting at the White House with President Joe Biden and Republican leaders on infrastructure. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Top Republicans said they hope to find middle ground on some of the White House’s top priority issues, including Joe Biden’s infrastructure proposal and the American Families Plan.
    On Wednesday, Biden sat down with the top four lawmakers in Congress, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) along with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
    While speaking to reporters after the meeting, McConnell said he and other congressional leaders agreed to work on defining what infrastructure is.    The Kentucky lawmaker stated, “I think I’m safe in saying there is certainly a bipartisan desire to get an outcome.”
    GOP lawmakers have raised issues about the Democrats’ proposal because it includes items unrelated to infrastructure.    Additionally, Biden has attempted to get Republicans to agree to raise corporate taxes, but McConnell asserted President Trump’s 2017 tax cuts will not be up for negotiation.
    “We’re not interested in reopening the 2017 tax bill, we both made that clear to the president,” stated the Republican.    “That’s our red line.”
    McConnell went on to point out that in February of 2020, the U.S. had the best economy it’s had in 50 years, which he believes is on part of the tax bill.    The senator suggested he prefers to craft proposals through a collaborative process in which Republicans have a say.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speak to reporters outside
the White House after a meeting with President Joe Biden, Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Meanwhile, McCarthy called the meeting productive with both sides of the aisle wanting to strengthen the economy.    The House minority leader also said getting things back to normal will help turn the economy around while speaking out on recent inflation concerns.
    “But what I really want to work on is making sure, turning this economy around and getting people back to work, back to school, back to health and back to normal,” he stated.    “You just had the biggest tax increase you’ve had in more than 10 years and it hit you already.”
    Biden is expected to meet with six Republican senators who are leading GOP negotiation efforts on Thursday.

5/13/2021 Richard Grenell: Susan Rice Has Assumed Role As Shadow President by OAN Newsroom
Susan Rice, the Biden Administration’s choice to lead the White House Domestic Policy Council,
speaks during an event at The Queen theater. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    In an interview on Wednesday, former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell outlined the current White House’s approach to foreign policy and his concerns about the damage it may cause on a global level.
    He suggested Joe Biden is creating his own headaches by trying to pander to the far-left domestically and said that former National Security Adviser Susan Rice has assumed the role of a “shadow president.”
    Biden placed Rice in charge of the White House Domestic Policy Council, but Grenell exposed this displacement when he stated in an interview that Rice’s expertise is in foreign policy not domestic policy.     “Biden is too weak to stop the progressive left from taking over…Kamala Harris does not understand what’s going on…we have a shadow president in Susan Rice and no one is paying attention,” he asserted.
    Grenell fears because of Rice’s background, all foreign policy will likely be treated as domestic policy and pointed to this as the reason for the administration’s attempts to reach out to the Iranian regime.
    The former DNI said there is no way Biden can take charge over the progressive left. He believes the way the White House is running things, foreign policy will be dictated by the political needs of the American left.

5/13/2021 Biden Refuses To Admit Whether $4M Random Was Paid To Pipeline Hackers by OAN Newsroom
President Joe Biden delivers remarks about the Colonial Pipeline hack, in the Roosevelt Room
of the White House, Thursday, May 13, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Joe Biden refused to admit if hackers behind the Colonial Pipeline shutdown received a multi-million dollar ransom to get it up and running again.    While speaking from the White House Thursday, he replied “no comment” when asked about the ransom payment.
    During the speech, Biden claimed fuel is beginning to flow and should be reaching full operational capacity “as we speak.”    He then urged Americans to stay calm, noting things will get back to normal soon.
    Nonetheless, he claimed the effects will not be felt at the pump immediately.    Biden also used the cyber attack to push his infrastructure agenda as well as a bipartisan meeting set for Thursday regarding the matter.
    Biden went on to say he believes the Russian government was not involved, but the ransomware group behind the attack is likely run by criminals living in Russia.    He also said the Department of Justice is launching an anti-ransomware task force to counter such incidents.

5/14/2021 Oil down $1.98 to $63.78, DOW up 434 to 34,021.

5/14/2021 Antifa Supporter Calls For The Systematic Killing Of White People by OAN Newsroom
(Photo/John Rudoff / Sipa USA via AP Images)
    A purported Antifa supporter called for the systematic killing of white people.    The shocking incident was captured in a video shared on Twitter by independent journalist Andy Ngo.
    The incident occurred during a protest near Seattle this week against the Billy Graham Association.    The footage shows an unidentified protester confronting a group of passers-by, explicitly saying she hopes white people are murdered.    She then doubled down on those remarks when confronted.
    Ngo pointed out that the group also chanted “death to America” and burned U.S. flags during the protest.

5/14/2021 Fla. Gov. DeSantis Condemns Hamas As Terrorist Organization by OAN Newsroom
Gov. Ron DeSantis, of Florida, watches the foursome matches during the Walker Cup golf tournament
at the Seminole Golf Club on Saturday, May 8, 2021, in Juno Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) denounced Hamas while blaming them for the recent bloodshed in the region.    The republican made a statement Wednesday in which he condemned the actions of the terrorist organization and emphasized Israel’s right to defend itself.    DeSantis went as far as to suggest the move was a power grab by Hamas to expand their influence.
    Some have suggested the governor’s comments on foreign affairs are part of a strategy to set himself up for a 2024 presidential run.    A recent Trafalgar Group poll indicates DeSantis has the most support among Republicans for the race if President Trump decides not to run.
    Meanwhile, Israeli ground forces have moved into the Gaza Strip as Israel and Hamas continue to exchange heavy artillery fire along with rocket fire.    The Israeli Defense Forces confirmed Thursday that there are currently ground troops moving into Gaza from the northern border.    Some reports have suggested this is not a full-on ground offensive.

5/14/2021 Biden Refuses To Admit Whether $4M Ransom Was Paid To Pipeline Hackers by OAN Newsroom
President Joe Biden delivers remarks about the Colonial Pipeline hack, in the Roosevelt Room
of the White House, Thursday, May 13, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Joe Biden refused to admit if hackers behind the Colonial Pipeline shutdown received a multi-million dollar ransom to get it up and running again.    While speaking from the White House Thursday, he replied “no comment” when asked about the ransom payment.
    During the speech, Biden claimed fuel is beginning to flow and should be reaching full operational capacity “as we speak.”    He then urged Americans to stay calm, noting things will get back to normal soon.
    “This is not like flicking on a light switch,” he stated.    “This pipeline is 5,500 miles long, it had never been fully shut down its entire history.”
    Nonetheless, he claimed the effects will not be felt at the pump immediately.    Biden also used the cyber-attack to push his infrastructure agenda while asserting this is a bipartisan issue.
    Biden went on to say he believes the Russian government was not involved, but the ransomware group behind the attack is likely run by criminals living in Russia.    He also said the Department of Justice is launching an anti-ransomware task force to counter such incidents.
    Meanwhile, Sen. Lndsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Biden’s’ handling of the Colonial Pipeline attack was “weak” and “naive.”    The South Carolina lawmaker also criticized Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm who suggested people driving electric cars were not affected by the crisis.    Graham said that remark was “the dumbest thing in the world.”
    The Republican senator pointed out that Biden failed to prevent the disruption, which resulted is gas shortages and soaring energy prices.    His remarks came after the Colonial Pipeline partially restored its operations on Wednesday night after allegedly paying more than $4 million ransom to the hackers.

5/14/2021 Biden Scrambling To Handle Variety Of Crises by OAN Newsroom
President Joe Biden speaks on updated guidance on face mask mandates and COVID-19 response, in the
Rose Garden of the White House, Thursday, May 13, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    As Americans begin to move past the COVID-19 pandemic and finally get on with their lives, several crises under Joe Biden and his administration continue to draw criticism over their mishandling.
    Recent remarks by Biden are raising more questions about who is really calling the shots at the White House.    He spoke at a press conference Wednesday to address a number of topics, including the gas shortage in the southeast and the mounting Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
    After answering questions from the media, Biden turned to make his exit, but was summoned back to the podium by reporters.    That’s when he gave them this strange response:
    “Thank you, but I can’t resist your questions.”
    Biden has repeatedly told reporters at different White House events that he would get in trouble if he answered questions from them, even though he’s only held one formal press conference since taking office.
    However, reports Thursday show that Biden may have been overruled by his own White House.    They cited an internal White House email stating that administration staffers will no longer need to wear a face mask if they have been fully vaccinated, which is a sentiment the White House Correspondents Association has echoed.
    The change comes despite Biden saying just last week that he would still wear a mask during an interview despite being fully vaccinated.    He went on to call it a “patriotic responsibility.”

5/14/2021 Ariz. Gov. Ducey Cuts Pandemic Federal Unemployment, Announces $2K Incentive For Workers by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Thursday, April 15, 2021, file photo, Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey
speaks during a bill signing in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)
    Arizona has joined a growing list of states opting out of the federal Pandemic Unemployment Program.    Gov. Doug Ducey (R) announced the change in a video message on Twitter Thursday.    He said starting July 10, Arizona will no longer be paying unemployed workers an additional $300 a week.
    The Republican noted that while Arizona’s economy is expected to gain 325,000 jobs by next spring, businesses are still struggling to find workers.    Rather than paying people not to work, Ducey said he’s incentivizing them to return to the labor market with a one-time $2,000 bonus.
    Ducey also said Arizona’s efforts to eliminate barriers to work will include increasing access to childcare and expanding education opportunities for returning workers.

8/14/2021 Kamala Harris: For America To Do Well, Unions Must Do Well by OAN Newsroom
Kamala Harris, right, listens to Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, far left, during the inaugural meeting of the Task Force on Worker
Organizing and Empowerment, Thursday, May 13, 2021, on the White House complex in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
    Joe Biden signed an executive order to create a task force in order to promote labor organizing and chose Kamala Harris to be in charge of what is now referred to as the White House Union Task Force.
    On Thursday, Harris and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh presented their case on how important more unions are in helping the nation’s economy recover from government-mandated lockdowns. Harris began by citing statistics about life as a union worker, but she failed to discuss the actual amount of money that workers receive as part of their pension and retirement funds.
    The omission may not have been accidental as the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades stated clearly on their website that it is also necessary to feed a personal savings plan in order to maintain your own balance and that other issues may arise when a worker tries to access their fund.
    As for safer working conditions, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, which can also be referred to as AFLCIO, outlined their strategy to ensure what they have called a safer working environment.
    The AFLCIO voiced that through organizing and collective bargaining, unions have gained even stronger protections and rights that have given workers a real voice in safety and health at the workplace.    However, this has translated to threatening businesses with strikes or federal inspections in order to get them to comply.
    Unfortunately, the White House Task Force timing leaves much to be desired as their meeting came just two days after former United Auto Workers President Dennis Williams was sentenced to 21-months in federal prison for his part in an embezzlement scheme within the top tier of the organization.
    Walsh, a former union president himself, did not seem concerned and instead has planned to charge ahead and spread union ideals into every crevasse of the American industry.
    Walsh went on to discuss how he believes what once encouraged organizing, now inhibits it and that this is a trend that must be discarded immediately.    He said that he’s prepared to do whatever it takes to restore unions.    It seems even at the expense of the freedom and prosperity of the American worker.

5/14/2021 Texas State Legislature Passes Fetal Heartbeat Abortion Bill by OAN Newsroom
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during a news conference, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
    On Thursday, a new pro-life bill was passed through both chambers of the Texas State Legislature.    In a win for pro-life advocates, the heartbeat bill is headed to the desk of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
    Abbott signaled he’s determined to sign the bill into law.    If introduced, it would mean abortions performed after the detection of a fetal heartbeat would be banned.    However, there would be no criminal repercussions.
    Instead, the law would be enforced by private citizens, which would give them the ability to sue abortion providers and others who help a woman terminate a pregnancy.    This would even include someone providing a ride to the abortion clinic.
    While the bill does not suggest a specific time frame, proponents say a heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks.
    Critics such as Democrat State Rep. Donna Howard have argued that medical experts assert there is no fully developed heart at the point of gestation, but instead the sound referred to as a heartbeat is actually electrically induced flickering of fetal tissue.
    The legislation only makes an exception for medical emergencies and does not include any exceptions for cases of rape and incest.
    Despite pointing out that most women are often unaware they are even pregnant at six weeks, proponents are steadfast and have said that the baby is still a baby whether the mother is aware of it or not.
    Georgia and Ohio have passed similar bills, but Texas’ heartbeat bill is likely to face legal challenges.    Although, the authors of the legislation are confident the structure of the bill will make it harder to block.

5/14/2021 Rep. Greene Denies Report She Harassed Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Amid Debate Push by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., and fellow Republicans arrive for a meeting at the Capitol
in Washington, Thursday, May 13, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) is fighting back against false accusations from the mainstream media as she continues to challenge Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) to a debate over the Green New Deal.    While speaking to reporters in front of Capitol Hill on Thursday, Greene denied she was being uncivil towards Ocasio-Cortez after being accused of screaming at the Democrat outside the House chamber on Wednesday.
    “I was talking to AOC, saying you need to debate me about the Green New Deal,” stated the Republican.    “That’s her legislation, she should be able to defend it for the American people.”
    Following the encounter, Ocasio-Cortez allegedly felt threatened by Greene who later expressed that she had security concerns regarding the Georgia lawmaker.    Greene went on to criticize the Democrat, stating she uses her social media platform to spread anti-American rhetoric and defend terrorists.
    “I don’t know why she needs security, she shouldn’t have a problem debating about her policy,” said the Georgia representative.    “Why would a member of Congress need security to debate with another member?    That doesn’t make sense.”
    Greene believes a debate on the economic impact of the policy would be informative for the public, allowing for the American people to hear the two sides along with the pros and cons.
    “See, that’s bipartisanship, talking to one another, debating policy for the American people…that’s what needs to happen,” she stated.    “So no, she doesn’t need to file ethics violations or whatever she’s doing…that’s reacting like a child.”
    Despite being ignored by Ocasio-Cortez, Greene said the American people deserve to see bipartisanship on Capitol Hill in order to have a healthy debate on public policy.
[You should have said you did harass somebody who needs to do that to force Sandy Cortez to face reality besides she is too scared to face you.].

5/14/2021 Polling Industry Faces Reckoning After Failing Miserably In 2020 Presidential Election by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Nov. 3, 2020, file photo, a poll worker talks to a voter before they vote
on a paper ballot on Election Day in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)
    With an exception to restaurants, very few industries had a worse year in 2020 than the polling industry.    Unfortunately, people are reportedly no longer very trusting of polls.
    According to a panel of expert pollsters, polling for the 2020 election reached a 40-year low in accuracy.    Overall, popular vote polls were 3.9 percent off in 2020.    This was a major increase from 2016 when major polling outlets missed the mark by a massive 1.3 percent.
    Experts have pointed out what led to the miss in 2016 was different than what went wrong in 2020.    Though a massive last second swing of undecided Trump voters led to his 2016 win, in 2020 people chose not to tell pollsters that they were voting for President Donald Trump.    All indications suggested people had made up their minds long before November third.
    This became evident when experts looked back at how many people simply declined to even respond to polling calls.    More specifically, the people who declined to answer these calls were mostly Republicans who, because of societal pressures, felt nervous to say they would be voting to re-elect President Trump.
FILE – In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, President Donald Trump gestures as he arrives
to speak at a rally in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
    Another issue experts identified was the number of people who refused to talk to pollsters because President Trump had called them fake or phony.    However, this excuse is being highly scrutinized by critics who argue this is just polling experts blaming President Trump for their monumental miss.
    After all, many of the major polling firms are the same mainstream media outlets who criticized President Trump so heavily that his followers were afraid to voice support for him, even over the phone.    Many firms believe they are still reliable because the polling for the 2018 midterm elections was highly accurate.
    However, many others still argue that pollsters can’t identify accurate results on President Trump because many of his supporters feel like they will be publicly shamed by the mainstream media and Democrats nationwide.
    This isn’t true for any politician who ran in the 2018 midterms as very few lawmakers received the amount of coverage President Trump did.    Additionally, a 2017 Harvard study found that 93 percent of networks like CNN had coverage that was negative.
    To avoid making these same mistakes moving forward, polling outlets must seriously rethink their methods in future elections.    Otherwise, the entire polling industry risks becoming totally irrelevant.

5/14/2021 Rep. Stefanik Selected As No. 3 House Republican After Ouster Of Rep. Cheney by OAN Newsroom
Newly-elected House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., pauses while speaking with reporters, on Capitol Hill
Friday, May 14, 2021, in Washington. Republicans voted Friday morning for Stefanik to be the new chair for the House Republican Conference, replacing
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., who was ousted from the GOP leadership for criticizing former President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    In an overwhelming show of support, New York congresswoman Elise Stefanik has been selected as the House Republican Conference chair to replace Wyoming congresswoman Liz Cheney.    The decision came Friday with a 134-to-46 vote in favor of Stefanik over challenger Chip Roy, which put Stefanik in the House Republicans’ number three leadership spot.
    “I have prioritized listening to all members of our Republican Conference and my focus is on unity because that’s what the American people and that’s what our voters deserve,” stated the New York Republican.    “I also want to thank this leadership team; I look forward to working with them in partnership shoulder to shoulder to make sure that we are fighting on behalf of hardworking Americans.”
    Stefanik saw an outpouring of support within the party bolstered by the backing of top Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy who congratulated Stefanik in the wake of her win.
    “We had a healthy debate and a good election,” stated the California lawmaker.    “We’ve got a lot of work to do in this leadership team, we’ve got a lot of work to do in this conference.”
    Stefanik’s election is seen as a chance to better unify the Republican Party, which recently saw division after Cheney voiced her opposition to President Trump.
    This election came just two days after Cheney was ousted from her role as conference chair for speaking out against doubts within the election and trying to link President Trump’s words to the capitol protest on January 6.    Nonetheless, Cheney said she’ll continue to oppose President Trump while speaking out against him as recently as Wednesday.
    “I will do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office,” stated the Wyoming lawmaker.
    Stefanik thanked her colleagues for the opportunity to serve and voiced her desire to see unity within the party.    She also pointed to Democrats holding the slimmest majority in the House in a generation.    The New York congresswoman also voiced her support for President Trump, while noting that her district voted for both her and Trump in the double digits.
    “I believe that voters determine the leader of the Republican Party and President Trump is the leader that they look to,” she stated.    “I support President Trump, voters support President Trump.    He is an important voice in our Republican Party and we look forward to working with him.”
    In a statement following the vote, Stefanik said House Republicans are united in their focus to save the country from the “radical socialist Democrat agenda” of Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi.    She noted the people are experiencing an economic crisis, border crisis, energy crisis and national security crisis due to far-left radical policies.
    Stefanik said House Republicans will continue to propose policies focused on growing the economy, reopening schools, promoting energy independence, securing the border, strengthening U.S. national security and protecting the Constitution.

5/14/2021 Repairs Of Vital Tenn. Bridge Could Take Two Months
A tug boat pushes down the Mississippi River and under the Interstate 40 linking Tennessee
and Arkansas on Friday, May 14, 2021, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz)
    A dangerous crack was found in a steel beam in the Interstate 40 bridge in Memphis, Tennessee, which caused authorities to order an emergency closure.    The crack is reportedly 900 feet, drastically impacting the beam’s main duty of keeping the bridge stable.     Officials said they have indefinitely closed the Hernando de Soto Bridge after a consulting inspector discovered a significant fracture during a routine check on Tuesday.    This particular bridge sees over 50,000 cars a day and is regularly inspected every two years.
A crack in a steel beam on the Interstate 40 bridge, near Memphis, Tenn. The bridge was closed Tuesday,
May 11, 2021 after inspectors found the crack. (Tennessee Department of Transportation via AP)
    The structural flaw was reportedly in a part of the bridge that is critical to its structural integrity.    Chief engineer for the Tennessee Department of Transportation Paul Degges explained that engineers will have to run multiple tests in order to assess exactly how much damage has been done before laying out a full repair plan.
    This is the latest of many recent supply chain issues that have been occurring within the U.S.’s infrastructure. Officials are predicting the repairs could take up to two months to complete.    This will force suppliers, who often utilize the bridge that connects Arkansas and Tennessee, to find an alternative transportation route.

5/14/2021 Okla. Gov. Kevin Stitt Hosts Barbecue Near Vegan Billboard by OAN Newsroom
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt speaks during an Oklahoma Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony
Friday, May 7, 2021, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
    Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt hosted a cookout near a billboard criticizing his support for the state’s agriculture industry.    Stitt posted a picture of the sign on Wednesday saying, “it looks like a great spot to grill some burgers.”
    The governor manned the grill while wearing an apron labeled “beef…it’s what’s for dinner” while voicing his support for meat producers.
    The nonprofit organization PETA had a billboard placed west of Interstate 35 that calls Stitt a meathead and encourages passersby to go vegan for life.    This comes after Stitt declared a week in March as “Meat All Week.”    The idea of an Oklahoma meat week in March was originally a jab at Colorado Gov. Jared Polis’s meat-free day on March 20 to encourage residents to opt for an eco- and animal-friendly alternative.
    “You know we’re just having a lot of fun out here.    We’re supporting our agricultural industry here in Oklahoma.    You know agriculture is such a huge part of our state.    It actually employs 110,000 Oklahomans,” noted Stitt.
    The governor explained that he was just excited to be out supporting the agricultural industry while having a little fun at PETA’s expense.    In response to Stitt’s cookout, PETA said the governor’s constituents who associated with meat consumption deserve everyone’s sympathy, warning they may face serious medical risks.

5/14/2021 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: Masks To Be Worn In House Chamber Despite CDC Guidance by OAN Newsroom
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during a photo opportunity on Capitol Hill
in Washington, Tuesday, May 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    Despite freshly updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Thursday that masks will still be required in the House Chamber. This implies that lawmakers are to wear a face covering at all times with the exception of when they are speaking.
    The CDC announced earlier in the day that fully vaccinated people no longer needed to wear a mask in almost all settings, including indoors.    The lifted restrictions also said vaccinated people could ease up on socially distancing from one another.
    Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) said in a statement, “for all the talk from Joe Biden, Speaker Pelosi, and the mainstream media telling us to follow the science, political leaders should be setting an example for getting back to normal, not cowering in fear in defiance of common sense.”
    When questioned why the rule would be kept despite the updated guidelines, Pelosi defended her stance saying it would remain in place until all members were vaccinated.    Again, this comes after the CDC announced vaccinated people could begin to return back to life as it was before the pandemic, which includes the retirement of masks and social distancing.

5/15/2021 Oil up $1.72 to $65.51, DOW up 361 to 34,382.

5/11/2021 U.S. Judge Tosses NRA Bankruptcy Bid, Letting New York Seek Dissolution by Maria Chutchian and Jonathan Stempel
FILE PHOTO: A man inspects a handgun inside of the Beretta booth during the National Rifle Association (NRA)
annual meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S., April 28, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo
    (Reuters) -A federal judge in Dallas ruled on Tuesday that the National Rifle Association cannot use bankruptcy to reorganize in gun-friendly Texas, dealing a serious blow to the influential gun rights group’s effort to avoid a lawsuit in New York seeking its dissolution.
    U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Harlin Hale said the NRA did not file for Chapter 11 protection in good faith, but rather did so to avoid oversight by New York Attorney General Letitia James and gain an “unfair litigation advantage” over her.
    In dismissing the bankruptcy bid, Hale singled out Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s longtime chief executive, for criticism.
    James sued the NRA last August, accusing it of corruption and misspending. Her lawsuit said the NRA diverted millions of dollars to fund luxuries for officials including LaPierre and awarded lucrative contracts to associates and relatives of senior officials.
    Closely aligned with Republicans including former President Donald Trump, the NRA has long been instrumental in thwarting Democratic-backed gun control measures in the U.S. Congress.
    Hale assailed LaPierre for deciding without input from others inside the NRA to put it into bankruptcy.
    “Excluding so many people from the process of deciding to file for bankruptcy, including the vast majority of the board of directors, the chief financial officer and the general counsel, is nothing less than shocking,” Hale wrote.
    “The question the court is faced with is whether the existential threat facing the NRA is the type of threat that the Bankruptcy Code is meant to protect against,” Hale added.    “The court believes it is not.”
    Hale ruled after a 12-day trial, which ended on May 3.
    The NRA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.    LaPierre and the group have denied wrongdoing.
    James, a Democrat, welcomed Hale’s decision.
    “The NRA does not get to dictate if and where it will answer for its actions, and our case will continue in New York court,” James wrote on Twitter.
    Hale’s dismissal is without prejudice, meaning the NRA can try again to file for bankruptcy.    But the judge said problems in how the group is managed could lead to the appointment of a trustee to oversee its affairs.
    The NRA had filed for Chapter 11 in January, with a goal of reincorporating in Texas and escaping what it called a corrupt political and regulatory environment in New York, where the group was founded in 1871.
    LaPierre testified during the trial that he put the NRA into bankruptcy because he feared James would try to put it into receivership.
    The NRA has also faced internal upheaval in recent years, including an effort to oust LaPierre over alleged mismanagement.
    Texas is a Republican-dominated state whose leaders are friendly to the NRA’s positions on gun rights.
    James and former NRA advertising agency Ackerman McQueen have said the bankruptcy was filed in bad faith and to escape New York’s oversight, with a lawyer for James calling the bankruptcy a “circus sideshow” during closing arguments.
    President Joe Biden’s administration opposed the NRA in the trial.    The Justice Department’s bankruptcy watchdog, the U.S. Trustee, urged Hale to dismiss the bankruptcy.
    A spate of mass shootings in the United States this year prompted Biden in April to call gun violence “a national embarrassment.”
    The Democratic president has taken some gun control steps by executive action and has called for broader measures that would require congressional passage including banning military-style assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines.
(Reporting by Maria Chutchian and Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Will Dunham and Noeleen Walder)

5/16/2021 DHS Cybersecurity Chief: More Ransomware Attacks Coming by OAN Newsroom
Brandon Wales, acting director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency with the Department of Homeland Security, speaks during a
Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Tuesday, May 11, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Tasos Katopodis/Pool via AP)
    Acting director of the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity agency Brandon Wales warned lawmakers that more ransomware attacks are on the horizon.    In an appearance before the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday, Wales cited the SolarWinds hack last year which he said should have acted as a wake-up call to the danger that was to come.
    This after the Colonial Pipeline was shut down earlier this month after a suspected Russian ransomware attack blocked its computer systems sending gas prices soaring across the Southeastern U.S.
    “Cyber-attacks on our nation’s infrastructure are growing more sophisticated, frequent and aggressive.    Wales voiced his concerns stating," “malicious cyber actors today are dedicating time and resources towards researching, stealing and exploiting vulnerabilities…using more complex attacks to avoid detection and developing new techniques to target information and communications in supply chains.”
    The FBI said DarkSide, a group relatively new to the ransomware, was behind the attack and asked for a ransom of $5 million.    Reports say around $350 million was paid out in ransomware attacks last year with incidents up almost 300 percent.
    The Colonial Pipeline is responsible for nearly half of the fuel supply on the East Coast.    It fully returned to normal operations on Saturday.
    The left has Russia on their brain claiming it was caused by DarkSide, a relatively new ransomware group, only appearing on the scene in August 2020 in Russian-language hacking forums.    They have poised themselves as a new type of ransomware-as-a-service business, attempting to inculcate “trust” and a sense of reliability between themselves and their victims.
    If they are the one I do not blame the XL Pipeline people may have paid them to do this to let the Biden administration to know what happens when you get rid of oil and as I can see the people on the southeastern states do get the message and California may be next like the one I experienced in the 1970's or some say that the Left did this to make their base push to get rid of oil.].

5/16/2021 U.S. Withdraws 120 Troops From Israel by OAN Newsroom
US soldiers disembark the Boeing 747-400 “Atlas Air” upon their arrival at Sarajevo International Airport
on May 15, 2021. (Photo by ELVIS BARUKCIC / AFP) (Photo by ELVIS BARUKCIC/AFP via Getty Images)
    The U.S. has decided to withdraw 120 troops from Israel amid the increase of violence throughout the region involving an abundance of rocket exchanges.
    The Pentagon announced the news on Thursday, citing recent missile strikes and lack of commercial flights as catalysts for the decision.    Pentagon officials have said the move was ordered out of extreme caution.
    U.S. military troops were in Israel for an upcoming military exercise, but have since been flown into Germany to await their impending journey home.    The withdrawal comes days after Israel announced they had deployed ground forces near the Gaza Strip to quell the violence between Israel and Palestine.
    A warning has been issued to Americans which suggests they reconsider travel to Israel during this time.    The State Department has raised its travel advisory from a Level 2 to a Level 3.

5/16/2021 S.C. GOP Conference Chair Drew Mckissick Wins Re-Election by OAN Newsroom
South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Drew McKissick gestures as he speaks to the Richland County
GOP convention on Friday, April 30, 2021, in , S.C. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)
    Republicans across the country are congratulating Drew Mckissick on his re-election as South Carolina’s Republican Party conference chair.    Mckissick easily raked in 68 percent of the votes on Saturday to hold on to his leadership role for the third consecutive time.
    President Donald Trump has been vocal on his endorsement of Mckissick and released a statement just before the vote, outlining the work he and Mckissick have done together and will continue to do in the future.    He also praised his strong stance on voter fraud, crime, the border, the Second Amendment and our great military.
    When Mckissick clinched the win, President Trump called to praise his success. The 45th president went on to post a congratulatory statement on his website.    He wrote, “the Republican Party of South Carolina is in good hands and we will continue to go on to victory as we have had in the past two presidential elections.”
    Mckissick serves on the RNC’s newly formed election integrity committee and remains a vocal supporter of Trump, attributing the recent influx of people to the Republican Party to him.

5/16/2021 Acting ICE Head Admits Agency Is Not Tracking Illegals Released Into U.S. Interior Amid Surge At The Border by OAN Newsroom
An agent with Border Patrol speaks to a group of migrant men after being apprehended near the border between Mexico and the
United States in Del Rio, Texas on May 16, 2021. (Photo by Sergio FLORES / AFP) (Photo by SERGIO FLORES/AFP via Getty Images)
    Acting Director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Tae Johnson made a shocking confession about the agency’s handling of illegal immigrants when he recently testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security.
    Iowa Rep. Ashley Hinson said Johnson admitted during his testimony that ICE is not tracking illegal immigrants once they have arrived in the U.S. She also learned the agency is uncertain to how many illegal immigrants are currently in Iowa or planning to go there.
    Hinson was one of the lawmakers who recently participated in the subcommittee hearing with Johnson.    She took to Twitter this week to express her disapproval of the Biden Administration’s return to the catch and release method.
    Republican lawmakers have been pushing for the Biden Administration to change its rhetoric when it comes to the border, in order to protect Americans and those trying to migrate.    This is especially crucial as the hot summer months are quickly approaching and Custom and Border Patrol Officers are spending ample amounts of their time tending to immigrants trying to cross into the U.S. illegally.
    As the crisis at the border worsens, a new report has revealed Joe Biden’s border czar Kamala Harris is resisting both Republican and Democrat calls to visit the southern border.
    A report published by the Los Angeles Times acknowledged the number of left-wing politicians urging Harris to deal with the influx of migrants.    Among them is Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar who said, “we want this issue managed quickly and in a better way.”    Cuellar added that he’d rather be moving on to a discussion revolving around aid for small businesses hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
    However, Harris continues to justify her decision to avoid the U.S.-Mexico border by claiming the Administration needs to focus on the so-called root causes instead.

5/16/2021 Report: Trailers Meant To House Calif. Homeless Sitting Unused In Parking Lots by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this May 21, 2020, file photo, rectangle areas designed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by encouraging social
distancing line a city-sanctioned homeless encampment at San Francisco’s Civic Center. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)
    During the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak, 1,300 trailers were purchased by the state from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and were distributed throughout California by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) in an effort to keep the homeless safe during the pandemic.    This purchase was estimated to have cost California taxpayers $50 million in total.
    However, it is now more than a year later and still 100 plus trailers are sitting unoccupied in parking lots across the city of Los Angeles which is known to hold thousands of homeless residents.    The unused trailers were found locked up in a yard next to Dodger stadium and in a lot next to the Los Angeles Zoo.
    Firefighters were reportedly seen towing a few of the trailers out of the lot and off to a new site where they plan to be used as mobile COVID-19 vaccination centers.
    A spokesperson from the mayor’s office allegedly said that the trailers are too expensive to use because they need to be hooked up to water and sewage lines as well as constantly maintained.
    This comes after Mayor Eric Garcetti pledged to spend $1 billion to combat the cities homeless crisis.    Yet, the mayor’s office said all of the trailers would be moved, but would not be used to house the homeless.

5/16/2021 Rep. Mo Brooks Comes Down On Biden’s First 100 Days by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks greets supporters as he announces his campaign for U.S. Senate during
a rally, Monday, March 22, 2021, in Huntsville, Ala. (AP Photo/Kim Chandler)
    In an interview on Saturday, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) said Biden has had the worst 100 days of any president in U.S. history.    He took aim at Biden’s agenda and the poor job report in April, claiming Biden is living in an alternate reality.
    “For example, on an economic level, the idea that paying people not to work would actually cause people not to work is one that American people understand infinitely,” Brooks added.
    “But the Biden Administration is in this alternative economic reality, this fantasy land and they don’t get it.    They persist on paying people not to work and then act surprised when the people don’t work…
    The Alabama Republican was extremely critical of the administration’s overspending, announcing Biden is thrusting the U.S. into further debt.    He went on to accuse Biden of taking a weak stance in both domestic and foreign policy while pointing to the recent targeting of the Colonial Pipeline on the East Coast.
    Brooks continued on, stating that as long as foreign adversaries see the Biden Administration as weak, the American people are in danger.
    Brooks is currently campaigning for Alabama’s 2022 Senate race with the endorsement of President Donald Trump.

5/16/2021 Casey Wardynski: I’m Running To Continue The Work Of President Donald Trump by OAN Newsroom
Casey Wardynski (Courtesy of Friends of Casey / Twitter)
    President Donald Trump’s Assistant Secretary of the Army Casey Wardynski said he is running for the U.S. House of Representatives in efforts to continue the work President Trump started.
    Wardynski told the Epoch Times in an email that his campaign is aimed at putting America first and standing up to the radical left.    The Republican seeks to hold the seat of fellow Republican Mo Brooks in Alabama who announced he will be running for Senate in 2022.
    Wardynski argues his qualifications include working on the border wall, fighting against critical race theory and turning around a budget deficit as a former school district superintendent without raising taxes.
    The GOP hopeful is well known in Huntsville, Alabama due to his popularity as former Superintendent of Huntsville City Schools.    He also served 30 years in the U.S. army prior to assisting in the Trump administration.

5/16/2021 FBI Reclassifies 2017 Congressional Baseball Shooting As Incident Of Domestic Terrorism by OAN Newsroom
TOPSHOT – People cheer during the Congressional Baseball Game between Democrats and Republicans
at Nationals Stadium June 15, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
    The FBI has updated it’s classification of the 2017 congressional baseball shooting. The catastrophic event where gunman James Hodgkinson fired more than 100 rounds at congressmen, their aides and others present on June 14, 2017 is now labeled as an incident of domestic terrorism.
    The FBI-DHS report released on Friday, showed the shooting in Virginia was now placed in a section that covered significant domestic terrorism incidents that occurred in the U.S. from 2015 to 2019.
    Hodgkinson shot Rep. Stephen Scalise (R-La.) in the hip, hit lobbyist Matt Mika in the chest and injured two U.S. Capitol Police officers, Crystal Griner and David Bailey.    Scalise was left in critical condition and required a great deal of recovery before his return to Congress.
WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 14: Rep Steve Scalise (R-LA) makes a play to first base at the Congressional Baseball Game on June 14, 2018
in Washington, DC. Scalise was shot during a team practice before last years game. (Photo by Alex Edelman/Getty Images)
    Prior to his attempt at destruction, Hodgkinson reportedly asked GOP Rep. Jeff Duncan if the remaining players on the field were Republicans or Democrats.     Therefore, Hodgkinson who is now deceased will be referenced to as a domestic violent extremist who had a personalized violent ideology targeting GOP lawmakers.
    This comes after Republicans had criticized the agency for initially theorizing the incident as “suicide by cop.”    A U.S. House representative then insisted FBI Director Christopher Wray investigate the origins of that report.

5/17/2021 Space Force Unit C.O. Relieved Of Duty For Criticizing Marxism by OAN Newsroom
Space Force, the first new U.S. military service since the creation of the Air Force in 1947, now has some 20 members
stationed at Qatar’s Al-Udeid Air Base in its first foreign deployment. (Staff Sgt. Kayla White/U.S. Air Force via AP)
    The Biden administration is facing pushback after firing a U.S. Space Force guardian for speaking out against Marxism.    On Sunday, congressman Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) asserted the former unit commander is a patriot and should not have been removed.
    Matthew Lohmier, who is also a best-selling author, was terminated over comments he made on a recent podcast.    While speaking on “information operation,” Lohmier’ said critical race theory is being pushed on U.S. institutions and is dividing Americans.
    “What I found useful not just to the military service member but also to every American, whether their an attorney, wearing a uniform or a stay at home parent or a school teacher, everyone needs to be properly educated on what critical race theory is,” he stated.    “How it has roots in Marxism, which most people don’t understand.”
    The police commissioner of the New York Police Department also weighed in by suggesting Lt. Stephen Whiting should be investigated for removing the award winning author over his comments.

5/17/2021 Twitter Taken To Task Amid Court Case Alleging It Worked With Mass. Govt. To Silence Senate Candidate by OAN Newsroom
(Jeff Chiu/AP Photo)
    A federal judge is sending out signals he may take Twitter to task over its designation as a “private entity” after the platform banned a Massachusetts Senate candidate.    In a recent memorandum filed by Judge Mark Wolf, he laid out that Twitter may be considered a state actor if government officials have compelled it to do certain actions.
    This all stems from a case in which Dr. V. A. Shiva, who ran in the Massachusetts 2020 Senate election, had his Twitter account suspended for casting doubt on the results of the presidential election.    He later filed a lawsuit claiming his account was deleted at the behest of employees working under Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin.
    “The government of Massachusetts contacted Twitter and I saw that in a story…they were talking about the fact that I was supposedly spreading election misinformation, that’s their opinion, by sharing the fact that they deleted ballot images,” stated Dr. Shiva.
    This could spell trouble for the heavily criticized Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.    The act shields social media companies from lawsuits regarding the content published on their platforms, effectively allowing them to silence any forms of speech they want.
    Dr. Shiva said the links between Twitter and the government are apparent, claiming Twitter has built a special portal so that government officials can flag certain tweets they take issue with for any reason.    He noted this lawsuit is about more than politics.    It’s about protecting the sanctity of freedom of speech.
    “Our lawsuit goes beyond left or right,” he stated.    “It goes to the heart of what this country is supposed to be about: freedom of speech.    That’s what this country was founded on.”
    The court hearing is set for May 20.

5/17/2021 CDC Director Defends Lifting Mask Recommendations by OAN Newsroom
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention speaks during a House Select Subcommittee on the
Coronavirus Crisis on the Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 15, 2021. (Amr Alfiky/The New York Times via AP, Pool)
    The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, recently defended the department’s decision to ease mask mandates by saying there has been an evolution in the science.
    Her comments come as commentators and Twitter users on the left have been urging people to continue wearing masks.    Left-wing activist David Hogg even went as far as to say he will keep wearing a mask, so people don’t mistake him for being conservative.
    As scientists continue to research the virus and see cases decline, however, Dr. Walensky said the evidence is clear.
    “We have vaccines now across the country, widely available for anyone who wants it,” she stated.    “And we now have science that has really just evolved in the last two weeks that demonstrates that these vaccines are safe, they are effective, they are working in the population just as they did in the clinical trails.”
    Dr. Walensky suggested research shows vaccinated people can’t pass coronavirus to others, even in the rare case they do contract the virus.        This was later reaffirmed by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who said vaccines are a “dead end” even for new variants.

5/17/2021 Sen. Schumer Pressures Biden To Cancel $1.7T Student Debt by OAN Newsroom
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., attends a meeting with President Joe Biden and congressional leaders
in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Sen. Chuck Schumer (R-N.Y.) recently claimed Joe Biden can quickly cancel all student debt.    During a virtual conference on Sunday, the New York Democrat asserted a flick of Biden’s pen could erase at least $1.7 trillion of loans.
    This comes amid critics saying this unprecedented move would wreak havoc on the American economy and leave taxpayers on the hook for unprecedented levels of government debt.
    While Biden recently admitted he does not have authority to cancel all loans, Schumer says otherwise.
    “Our president, who we elected, and I love him, but he could [cancel student loans] with the flick of a pen,” stated the senator.    “This doesn’t need a lot of legislation or anything else, all he has to do is sign something.”
    In the meantime, Biden is pledging to erase at least $10,000 of debt per borrower.    This proposal comes instead of President Trump’s move to implement income-based payment plans for struggling students while also protecting taxpayers.

5/17/2021 Texas Congressman Decries Biden Admin. Mishandling Of Border Crisis by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 28: Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) seen before the House Oversight Committee
on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. (Photo by Matt McClain-Pool/Getty Images)
    In a congressional session on Friday, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) criticized the Biden Administration over the border crisis, calling it a national problem beneficial to drug cartels in Mexico.
    He reports when drug cartels make a trade-off agreement with immigrants, they essentially are helping them to get into the country with the promise that these same immigrants will then move drugs through the states, such as fentanyl, which is killing U.S. citizens at an alarming rate.
    Gohmert said the administration plans on adding only 13 miles to the border wall, which would leave more than 1,000 miles still unprotected.
    Gohmert addressed the administration’s approach to the border crisis stating, “the answer has not been to secure the border, the answer from this administration has been to say the border is secure…when anybody with eyes to see or ears to hear knows that’s not true.”
YUMA, AZ – MAY 13: A family of asylum seekers from Colombia walk through an opening in the wall at the US Mexico border to turn
themselves in to US Border Patrol agents on May 13, 2021 in Yuma, Arizona. (Photo by Apu Gomes/Getty Images)
    The representative’s remarks come as Kamala Harris faces mounting criticism for not having visited the border since being appointed as the administration’s border czar.    She has continued to justify her decision to avoid the border by claiming the administration needs to focus on the so-called root causes of immigration instead.
    Harris will be making an official visit to Mexico and Guatemala in June, but many Republicans argue she has already failed by not visiting the border.

5/17/2021 Donald Trump Jr. Slams Biden Admin. For Energy Failures by OAN Newsroom
In this Oct. 15, 2019, photo, Donald Trump Jr. speaks to supporters of his father, President
Donald Trump, during a panel discussion in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
    Donald Trump Jr. said the Biden Administration is responsible for the gas shortages across the U.S.    He announced his father predicted the soaring gas and energy prices the U.S. would have if Joe Biden was elected.
    While taking to his Rumble account Friday, he called out Biden’s energy secretary for blaming the gas shortage on COVID-19 rather than the administration’s current energy policies.    Trump Jr. also pointed out how Biden shut down the Keystone XL Pipeline early into his administration, killing off thousands of jobs.
    His remarks come as thousands of residents in multiple Southeast states now face high prices at gas stations due to the Colonial Pipeline outage.    This pipeline is responsible for transporting more than half of the East Coast’s gasoline.    It was shut down earlier this month when a suspected Russian ransomware attack blocked its computer systems.
    Trump Jr. has voiced that things are only going to get worse.
    Trump Jr. went on to say Biden has declared war on American energy, making the U.S. dependent on Saudi Arabia, Russia and other foreign energy producers.

5/17/2021 6 N.Y. County Executives Urge Gov. Andrew Cuomo To Follow CDC Guidance On Masks by OAN Newsroom
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference, Tuesday, May 11, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
    Several county executives in New York have called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recently updated guidance on face masks.
    In a joint statement released on Sunday, six executives urged Cuomo to implement federal guidelines which would ease rules for those who have been fully vaccinated.
    “New York needs to follow the science-backed guidance of the CDC,” the officials said.    “As we continue to see active cases, hospitalizations and deaths steadily dropping day by day and more people receiving vaccinations, the Governor should implement the CDC’s common-sense guidance.”
    Since the CDC’s announcement, many states have altered their COVID-19 rules to fit the new guidance that was announced last week.    Yet, New York is still abiding by mask-wearing rules that were first introduced in April 2020.
    Cuomo said he is still urging New Yorkers to keep masks on and is further reviewing the CDC’s new guidelines before deciding whether to change his mind.

5/17/2021 Sen. Tommy Tuberville Takes Aim At DHS Secy Alejandro Mayorkas by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 18: Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., speaks during a hearing with the Senate Committee on Health,
Education, Labor, and Pensions, on the Covid-19 response in Washington, DC. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images)
    Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville is criticizing the Biden Administration’s weak reaction to the massive influx of illegal immigrants over the last few months.
    In a recent interview, the Republican discussed his trip to McAllen, Texas where he experienced first hand the amount of migrants flooding into the country.    He specifically blasted Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for seemingly not taking the crisis seriously.
    Tuberville’s comments come shortly after introducing the Empowering Law Enforcement Act.    If passed, the bill would give local and state law enforcement more power to arrest and hold those who enter the U.S. illegally and commit crimes.
    The senator has been on a tear against the administration in recent days, speaking out strongly on the Senate floor.
    “One of Joe Biden’s first moves was to signal to the world that America’s borders are open.    The result: absolute chaos,” said Tuberville.    He has insisted the burden of the administration’s policies land on the shoulders of the American people.
    As it currently stands, if Immigration and Customs Enforcement detains someone, they have 180 days before they must release them back into the country no matter what crime has been committed.
    Tuberville’s bill would grant state and local law enforcement the ability to carry out immigration laws and provide more flexibility to detain potentially violent criminals crossing the border.

5/17/2021 23 Illegal Immigrants Pulled From Stuck Panga Boat In San Diego by OAN Newsroom
The border wall crosses the beach as it ends in the Pacific Ocean along the US-Mexico border between San Diego and Tijuana on May 10, 2021 at
International Friendship Park in San Diego County, California. – (Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
    An investigation is underway after the U.S. Coast Guard, along with Border Patrol Agents, responded to a troubled panga boat off the coast of San Diego, California.    The vessel was spotted just before 3 a.m. on Monday.
    Coast Guard officials say the boat’s captain refused to listen to commands to stop and became stuck on the coast of Point Loma.    There was a total of 23 illegal immigrants found on board.    Custom and Border Protection took the group into custody and said 20 of the immigrants are from Mexico and three are from Guatemala.
    This comes just two weeks after a human smuggling boat capsized in the same area, leaving four dead and more than two dozen injured.
Wreckage and debris from a capsized boat washes ashore at Cabrillo National Monument near where a boat
capsized just off the San Diego coast Sunday, May 2, 2021, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
    Officials note there has been a massive uptick in maritime apprehensions this year with people paying cartels around $10,000 to be smuggled into the U.S.

5/17/2021 Atlanta Fed President Defends Policy, Says Inflation Is A Sign Of Healthy Economy by OAN Newsroom
FILE PHOTO: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic participates in a panel discussion at the American Economic Association/Allied
Social Science Association (ASSA) 2019 meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., January 4, 2019. REUTERS/Christopher Aluka Berry
    In an interview with CNBC on Monday, Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael Bostic said it is essential the central bank maintains its current policy until substantial progress is made on the labor market recovery.
    Bostic said the U.S. economy is still eight million jobs short of where it was pre-pandemic. Yet, he downplayed recent evidence of high inflation.    Instead, Bostic stated the rising prices are actually a sign of a strengthening economy.
    “I actually think that having a healthy level of inflation is a sign that the economy is healthy, the economy is going to be dynamic and growing and that should translate into jobs for the people, who everyone is concerned about at the lower end of the wage distribution,” he said.
An American flag flies over the Federal Reserve building, Tuesday, May 4, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    The Fed has vowed to keep interest rates near zero and are continuing to buy at least $120 billion worth of monthly asset purchases until the labor market returns to pre-pandemic employment levels.    Bostic announced that it will take at least until the fall to understand inflation dynamics, stating that it depends on how rapidly we recover.

5/17/2021 Pompeo, Haley Slam Biden’s Foreign Policy Decisions by OAN Newsroom
President Joe Biden delivers remarks about the Colonial Pipeline hack, in the Roosevelt Room
of the White House, Thursday, May 13, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Joe Biden is coming under immense scrutiny over several foreign policy decisions his administration could have handled better.
    On Sunday, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke out against the current White House’s efforts to reenter the failed Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran.    He stressed that the Trump administration worked hard to restore peace in the Middle East while pointing to the Abraham Accords that centered regional relationships around Israel.
    Instead, America’s former top diplomat warned American and Israeli lives are at risk because of Biden’s cozy relationship with the Iranian regime.    His comments came one day after former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, also took aim at the Biden administration.    She argued Biden is focusing too much on partisan issues like the Georgia voting laws and not enough on threats to our national security.
    “(Vladimir) Putin’s challenging Biden to a debate, you’ve got Kim (Jong-un) starting to test ballistic missiles and, by the way, Biden is going to reduce the funding to our military when China is modernizing theirs,” Haley stated.    “They have the largest naval fleet in the world, they have more air defense systems than we do and what are we doing
    Haley went on to criticize the White House’s response to the DarksSide hack that led officials to shut down the Colonial Pipeline.    The infamous hacking group allegedly infiltrated the gasoline company with ransomware and demanded $5 million.    White House officials, who almost uniformly described the group simply as hackers and not terrorists, said they would not interfere with Colonial’s decision to pay the ransom.
The entrance of Colonial Pipeline Company is shown Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. Several gas stations
in the Southeast reported running out of fuel, primarily because of what analysts say is unwarranted panic-buying among drivers,
as the shutdown of a major pipeline by hackers entered its fifth day. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
    Haley claimed she experienced similar situations when she was governor of South Carolina, where she did not negotiate with the alleged terrorists.    She said she got the public and private sectors together to find solutions on how to deter future cyber-attacks.
    Haley urged the Biden administration to bolster America’s cyber security, believing the Colonial Pipeline hacking is only the beginning of an all-out cyber war.    She cited increasing hacking efforts from America’s adversaries, including China, Iran and North Korea.    Haley added, America needs to be ready for possible cyber-attacks that could affect our air traffic control systems and utility grids.

5/18/2021 Oil up $0.80 to $66.31, DOW down 54 to 34,328.

5/18/2021 Mexico Apologizes For 1911 Massacre Of Chinese In Northern City Of Torreon
Chinese Ambassador to Mexico Zhu Qingqiao and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador take part in an event where the Mexican government
apologizes for killing Chinese residents 110 years ago, in Torreon, in Coahuila state, Mexico May 17, 2021. Mexico's Presidency/Handout via REUTERS
    MONTERREY, Mexico (Reuters) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador issued a formal apology on Monday for the 1911 massacre of 303 Chinese in the northern city of Torreon.
    “The Mexican state will not allow, ever again, racism, discrimination, and xenophobia,” the president said during the ceremony in Torreon.
    The massacre, from May 13 to 15, 1911, occurred in the midst of the Mexican Revolution, as rebels fighting under Francisco I. Madero seized control of the city of Torreon.
    During the massacre, over 300 Chinese were killed and their homes and businesses were burned.
    Monday’s event was attended by Chinese Ambassador to Mexico Zhu Qingqiao, as well as high-level Mexican officials, including the heads of the army and navy, and the foreign and interior ministers.
(Reporting by Laura Gottesdiener; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

5/18/2021 U.S.-EU Metals Talks Avert Tariff Hike On American Motorcycles, Whiskey by Philip Blenkinsop
FILE PHOTO: European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium May 5, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) -The United States and the European Union agreed on Monday not to escalate their dispute over U.S. steel and aluminium tariffs, averting steep EU tariff hikes while the two sides launch formal talks on addressing excess global capacity largely centered in China.
    The European Commission, which oversees EU trade policy, said on Monday it would suspend for up to six months a threatened June 1 doubling of retaliatory tariffs on Harley-Davidson motorcycles, American whiskey and motorboats, and refrain from slapping tariffs on more U.S. products from lipstick to sports shoes.
    But the United States will maintain its tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium despite the announcement.    Those duties also apply to imports from China, India, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, Japan and South Korea among others metals-exporting countries.
    In a joint statement, Brussels and Washington said that as allies and market-based economies, they could promote high standards, address shared concerns “and hold countries like China that support trade-distorting policies to account.”
    The discussions would seek solutions before the end of the year to the issue of global steel and aluminium overcapacity, although a Commission official said a resolution of the tariff dispute should come much sooner.
    A month ahead of a visit to Brussels by U.S. President Joe Biden, one EU diplomat said it would have been “terrible optics” if the bloc had raised tariffs on Harley Davidson bikes and products of other U.S. firms.
    Bernd Lange, head of the trade committee of the European Parliament, said the United States needed to come to a EU-U.S. summit with a “tangible” commitment to reciprocate the EU gesture. Otherwise, tariff hikes would be justified.
    Former President Donald Trump’s administration cited U.S. national security grounds as the basis for its metals tariffs – measures that steelmakers such as Thyssenkrupp and Voestalpine have said hurt them.
    The EU denies that its exports pose any security threat and responded by placing its own tariffs on 2.8 billion euros ($3.4 billion) of U.S. products, including motorbikes, whiskey and orange juice.    They will also remain in place.
    The suspension of further tariffs was greeted as a step in the right direction, however, by European Aluminium, the U.S. Distilled Spirits Council and Harley-Davidson Inc, whose shares rose more than 8% to a three-year high.
        The American Iron and Steel Institute said it hoped U.S.-EU discussions could work toward substantive solutions, while maintaining trade measures.    It also said China was not the sole cause of overcapacity and that import surges had come from every region.
    Some U.S. steel industry executives say that European governments also must commit to stop propping up domestic steelmakers with subsidies and state investments.
    “We cannot support any approaches that do not provide measurable positive results” to strengthen U.S. employment, the United Steelworkers union said in a statement.    “The EU is an important ally, but in the past, it has been part of the problem, not part of the solution.”
    The EU had urged the United States to suspend its metals tariffs for six months, mirroring the four-month suspension the two sides agreed in March in their aircraft subsidy>     The U.S. Trade Representative’s office and Commerce Department did not respond to requests for further comment on the joint statement.
    The Commission has said the U.S. tariffs affect 6.4 billion euros of EU metal exports and that it would “rebalance” the remaining 3.6 billion euros after three years, or after a favourable ruling by the World Trade Organization, where it is challenging the U.S. tariffs.
($1 = 0.8221 euro)
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Additional reporting by David Lawder and Andrea Shalal in Washington, and Kanishka Singh and Aakriti Bhalla in Bengaluru; Editing by Giles Elgood, Barbara Lewis and Peter Cooney)

5/18/2021 U.S. Airlines Add COVID-Tested Flights To Italy As Country Reopens To Tourists by Tracy Rucinski
FILE PHOTO: A United Airlines passenger jet takes off with New York City as a backdrop, at Newark
Liberty International Airport, New Jersey, U.S. December 6, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren/File Photo
    CHICAGO (Reuters) – United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines are adding flights to Italy with protocols for coronavirus testing as the country opens to leisure travelers from the United States for the first time in more than a year.
    On Sunday, the Italian government eased a number of COVID-19 travel restrictions and requirements as it looks to boost summer tourism, including scrapping a mandatory quarantine for visitors from certain countries as long as they test negative for COVID-19.
    As a result, United on Monday joined Delta and American in announcing additional COVID-tested flights to the popular European travel spot, which had been closed to tourists from countries including the United States, Canada and Japan.
    The three U.S. airlines have multiple nonstop options to Rome and Milan and Delta plans to add nonstop flights to Venice from New York in July and from Atlanta in August.
    U.S. travelers to Italy must take a COVID-19 test no more than 48 hours before boarding and again on arrival.    If negative, they will be exempted from quarantine.
    To return to the United States, travelers must present a negative test taken no more than 72 hours before departure, even if they have been vaccinated.
    Airlines have lobbied for COVID-tested flights as a path to restart international travel, which has been severely restricted as governments seek to contain coronavirus infections.
    As cases decline in parts of the world with effective vaccination campaigns, the European Union’s executive has recommended easing COVID-19 travel restrictions to let foreign travelers from more countries enter the bloc, which at times has struggled to agree on a common response to the pandemic.
    The United States continues to ban entry of non-U.S. citizens arriving from most of Europe, despite growing calls from airline industry leaders to speed the reopening of transatlantic travel.
(Reporting by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Peter Cooney)

5/18/2021 Chile Begins Down Uncertain Road To Writing New Constitution by Dave Sherwood , Fabian Cambero and Aislinn Laing
Poll workers wearing protective masks sort through and count the votes after polls closed during the elections for governors, mayors, councillors and
constitutional assembly members to draft a new constitution to replace Chile's charter, in Valparaiso, Chile, May 16, 2021. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido
    SANTIAGO (Reuters) -Chile’s long-standing political parties were reeling on Monday following their bruising defeat in an election for delegates to rewrite the constitution that sowed doubts over their future as well as the fate of the country’s free-market model.
    The ruling center-right coalition failed during the weekend vote to pick up the one-third of seats necessary to block radical changes during the convention.
    And the center-left – which has dominated politics since the end of Augusto Pinochet’s 1973-1990 military dictatorship – garnered less support than leftists who have been pushing for wholesale change to the ‘Chilean model’ that has been credited with fomenting growth but also deep inequality.
    Analyst Guillermo Holzmann called the result “a rejection of the political system in general… and a rejection of traditional political parties who obtained a lower share of the vote than in all the previous elections.”
    Helped by a low turnout – abstention was near 58% – more than a third of delegates picked were independents.
    Among the independent candidates who will be taking a seat in the neoclassical former congress building in central Santiago to draft the new charter is Alondra Carrillo Vidal, a 29-year-old psychologist.
    Carrillo is a former spokeswoman of the powerful 8M Chilean women’s movement and was picked to represent the southern working class suburbs of Santiago as a member of a coalition of social groups that emerged out of protests over inequality that exploded in 2019.
    Carrillo said her success “against all the odds” sharpened her determination to push through fundamental change and rejected talk by members of President Sebastian Pinera’s Chile Vamos coalition of potential consensus-building alliances.
    “We are the majority in the convention, the traditional parties have lost outright,” she said.    “We are not going to delegate our voice to those who claim to represent us.”
    Some independents were linked to business, religious leaders, or traditional parties, but most had mandates from the grassroots, she said.    “So we are not going to make alliances with the right and we are not going to waste this opportunity.”
    Chile’s peso plunged on Monday and its IPSA stock exchange took a sharp hit after Pinera’s coalition flopped.
    Rating’s agency S&P said it saw “modest uncertainty” in Chile following the surprise result, with presidential elections set for November.    But it predicted that economic growth would recover rapidly as the pandemic recedes and copper prices surge, a boon to government coffers in the world’s top producer of the red metal.
    “We expect Chile’s transition to a new constitution over the next couple of years to be stable, sustaining investor confidence,” the agency said in a note on Monday.
    Fitch also underscored Chile’s solid financial position, saying it felt the country “will be able to withstand significant political and economic uncertainties.”
    Delegates are set to meet shortly to define the rules of the process, and will then spend a maximum 12-month period debating and crafting the new text before Chileans vote on the final product.    If it fails, Chile will revert to the current text.
    Joaquin Villarino, a Chilean mine industry veteran and head of umbrella group Consejo Minero, told Reuters he hoped the delegates would embrace moderation.
    “This space for dialogue must be characterized by serious and well-founded discussions,” he said, warning that if short-term extremists gain the upper hand, “there will be reasons for pessimism.”
    Business chamber head Juan Sutil told Diario Financiero that he hoped all changes would “reinforce democracy and the principles that will allow Chile to keep developing.”
    “Independent candidates have a lot to say, I think they can inject a lot of rational and sound criteria,” he said.
(Reporting by Dave Sherwood, Fabian Cambero and Aislinn Laing, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

5/18/2021 UK Ministers Considering Contingency Plans For Local Lockdowns - The Times
FILE PHOTO: A woman walks past closed shops, a year since the first British lockdown began due to the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in London, Britain, March 23, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville
    (Reuters) -British ministers are considering contingency plans for local lockdowns or a delay to reopening after June 21 in response to concern about the spread of the coronavirus variant first detected in India, The Times newspaper reported on Monday.
    Officials have drawn up plans modelled on the Tier 4 restrictions introduced last year, the paper said.    People would be advised to stay at home and non-essential shops and hospitality would be closed if the variant was not brought under control, it added.
    The newspaper said businesses in areas subject to the restrictions would receive grants of up to 18,000 pounds ($25,440) and the scheme would be administered by local authorities, with payments adjusted according to the length of restrictions.
    Grants would be made available for the worst-affected sectors, such as nightclubs, and for “mass events” including festivals in another scenario being considered with a delay to reopening after June 21, the report said.
    Earlier on Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said the government cannot yet make a judgment on whether to go ahead with a further easing of lockdown restrictions in England on June 21 and wants to see as much data as possible before deciding.
    Britain reported 1,979 new cases of coronavirus on Monday and five deaths within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test, while the data showed 36.7 million people had been given their first vaccine dose.
($1 = 0.7076 pounds)
(Reporting by Nandakumar D in Bengaluru; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Karishma Singh)

5/18/2021 Paris Museum Gets Ready To Welcome Visitors After COVID Shutdown by Manuel Ausloos
FILE PHOTO: Visitors at the Musee d'Orsay are seen in silhouette as they look behind a giant clock face
at the former Orsay railway station, in Paris, France, July 28, 2015. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo
    PARIS (Reuters) – At the Musee d’Orsay in Paris on Monday, workers were hanging a priceless Renoir painting in preparation for the museum’s re-opening after six months with no visitors because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    The painting was one of many artefacts at the museum that were put in storage during the lockdown, to protect them from the effects of dust and sunlight, and which are now going back on display ready for the doors to open on Wednesday.
    The museum, on the banks of the Seine river, hummed with activity on Monday as staff brought artworks out of storage into the public galleries, and lifted protective covers off glass cases containing rare treasures.
    “We opened the ticket office a few days ago and it seems that the public really want to come back. And so much the better, because we’ve missed them,” said Laurence Des Cars, director of the museum.
    “Our mission is to welcome the public and to offer them, in the best way possible, direct contact with the works of art after all these months of computers and screens,” she said.
    The painting by impressionist artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir, was an 1887 work depicting a girl holding a cat.    Wheeled from the storage area on a trolley, one worker held each side to carefully lift it onto the wall.
    The French government closed museums and other cultural venues at the end of October to curb the spread of COVID-19.    It is now allowing them to re-open after virus rates started to fall.    But restrictions remain in place.
    In normal times, the Musee d’Orsay can have around 15,000 visitors a day, staff there said, but for now, daily numbers will be capped at 5,000 to ensure people can stay a safe distance apart.
(Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Alison Williams)

5/18/2021 Peru Presidential Candidate Outlines New Taxes, Royalties For Miners by Marco Aquino
Peruvian presidential candidates Pedro Castillo and Keiko Fujimori, who will face each other in a run-off vote on June 6, hold
Peru's national flag after signing a "Pact for Democracy," in Lima, Peru May 17, 2021. REUTERS/Sebastian Castaneda
    LIMA (Reuters) – Peru’s socialist presidential candidate Pedro Castillo said on Sunday night he would raise taxes and royalties on Peru’s key mining sector and renegotiate the tax contracts of large companies if elected to high office next month.
    Castillo, a teacher and trade union leader who was politically unknown before this year’s election, said in a document outlining plans for his first 100 days in office that he would strengthen the role of the state with a “mixed economy” approach and actively regulate monopolies and oligopolies.
    He said he would use the increased revenue to substantially increase investment in education and health.
    “For this we must nationalize our wealth, make it work for Peruvians,” he said.
    Castillo warned two weeks ago that if elected he would review contracts with foreign miners, whom he accused of “plundering” the country, to ensure 70% of their profits remained in Peru.
    The 51-year-old, who sports a wide-brimmed hat and has struck a chord with Peru’s less affluent voters, also wants to rewrite the constitution to weaken the business elite and give the state a more dominant role in the economy.
    His rival Keiko Fujimori – a free-market proponent and daughter of ex-President Alberto Fujimori, who is in jail for human rights abuses and corruption – has also pledged to distribute Peru’s mineral wealth more evenly.
    Castillo until recently enjoyed a clear lead in the polls, but according to a voter simulation released at the weekend the gap between the two candidates has now closed.
    Castillo justified his plan to up taxes, saying copper production costs in Peru – the world’s second-largest producer of the red metal – are “the lowest in the world” while prices are at record highs.
    He also pointed to a similar move being pushed through neighbouring Chile’s congress by opposition parties amidst government warnings that it will crimp investment.     Castillo also voted to chase down tax avoiders and those in debt to the authorities, and impose import controls to support industry, particularly in clothing, footwear and agricultural sectors.
(Reporting by Marco Aquino; Writing by Aislinn Laing)

5/18/2021 Brazil’s Christ The Redeemer Statue Lights Up For Vaccine Equality
Members of the United Vaccine Movement pose in front of the Christ the Redeemer statue as the message "Vaccine Saves" is projected on it, to make
the population aware of the importance of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine in Rio de Janeiro. Brazil May 15, 2021. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares
    (Reuters) – The world’s most famous statue of Jesus Christ was lit up in Rio de Janeiro to promote vaccine equality as Brazil and developing countries struggle to protect residents from COVID-19.
    The message “Vaccine saves, United for vaccines” was projected on Saturday onto the 98-foot (30-meter) statue by Unidos Pela Vacina (United by the Vaccine), in partnership with the Cristo Redentor Sanctuary and the Ogilvy Brazil advertising agency.
    In January, two healthcare workers received the first shots of coronavirus vaccines at the foot of the statue as Brazil kicked off its vaccination campaign.
    Since then, 17% of residents have received at least one dose of vaccine and 8% have been fully vaccinated. (Graphic on global vaccinations)
    The country ranks 30th in the world based on first doses given and far behind the 59% in Israel and 47% in the United States, according to a Reuters analysis.
    New cases of COVID-19 are once again rising in Brazil and infections are at 82% of the peak the country hit in March, according to a Reuters analysis.
    (Graphic on Brazil cases and deaths)
    In May 2020, the statue was lit up to call for wearing masks to slow the progress of the pandemic.    Brazil has reported the third-highest number of cases in the world and the second-highest number of deaths, with over 435,000 lives lost.
(Writing by Lisa Shumaker; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

5/18/2021 Italy Shortens COVID Curfew, Eases Other Restrictions by Angelo Amante
FILE PHOTO: People sit at outdoor tables at St. Mark's Square as Italy lifts quarantine restrictions for travellers arriving from European Union countries, Britain and
Israel and begins offering COVID-free flights in a bid to revive the tourism industry, in Venice, Italy, May 16, 2021. REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri/File Photo
    ROME (Reuters) -Italy’s government on Monday approved a decree pushing back with immediate effect a nightly coronavirus curfew to 11 p.m. from 10 p.m. and easing other curbs in the regions where infections are low.
    Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s government agreed the curfew would begin at midnight from June 7 and be abolished altogether from June 21 in those areas, a statement said, in line with a plan to gradually relax restrictions across the country.
    Italy, which has the second-highest COVID-19 death toll in Europe after Britain, has seen its daily deaths and cases decline in recent weeks, and more people are being vaccinated.
    “The figures of the last few months have imposed difficult, sometimes painful choices, but today they give us reason for relief,” said Health Minister Roberto Speranza.
    As of Monday, some 8.8 million Italians, or 14.8% of the population, have been fully vaccinated, while slightly over 30% have received at least one shot.
    Italy has registered over 124,000 deaths linked to COVID-19 since its outbreak emerged in February last year.    But the daily toll has fallen steadily in recent weeks, with less than 100 fatalities reported on Sunday for the first time since October.
    Monday saw an increase to 140 deaths.
    Late in April, the government reinstated a four-tier colour-coded system, from white to red, to calibrate curbs in its 20 regions, allowing bars and restaurants to serve clients at outside tables in the low-risk yellow and white areas.
    Some 19 out of 20 Italian regions are currently yellow, and one, the tiny Valle d’Aosta, is orange, the third-highest risk level.
    None are currently deemed high-risk red, and six – including the northern Veneto around Venice – will become white by the end of the first week of June, a government source said.
    In low-risk white regions, no curfew will be imposed and only face masks and social distancing will remain compulsory.
    The Cabinet has also allowed restaurants to serve customers at inside tables for dinner as of June 1, and is bringing forward the reopening of gyms to May 24 from June 1 in yellow and white regions.
    Mountain lifts will be allowed to reopen as of Saturday.
    As part of an effort to boost summer tourism, Italy has scrapped mandatory quarantine for visitors from the European Union, Britain and Israel who test negative for COVID-19.
(Reporting by Angelo Amante; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Peter Cooney)

5/18/2021 Sen. McConnell Says U.S. Needs To Stand By Israel, Criticizes Democrat Calls For A Ceasefire by OAN Newsroom
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks at a Senate Rules Committee markup to argue against the “For the People Act,” which would
expand access to voting and other voting reforms, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, May 11, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is pushing back again his Democrat colleagues who are calling for a ceasefire between Israel and the terrorist organization Hamas.    While speaking from the Senate floor on Monday, he said he was proud to stand with the U.S. ally while stating Israel deserves an opportunity to “restore deterrence.”
    “I’ve been proud to stand with Israel for years and I’m proud to stand with Israel today,” he stated.    “The United States needs to stand foursquare behind our ally.    Israel deserves an opportunity to restore deterrence and to impose costs on terrorists the international community has been unwilling or unable to impose.”
    McConnell then accused senators from the left of pushing a false narrative that supports the terrorist aggressors.    The Republican further said calling for both sides to de-escalate would downplay the responsibility the terrorists have for initially causing the conflict.
    “There’s a saying that’s been around quite a while,” he noted.    “If Hamas laid down its weapons tomorrow, there would be no more fighting.    If Israel laid their weapons, there would be no more Israel.”
    McConnell then pointed how the Islamic militant group uses violent tactics for political gain.
    “Hamas has sought to hijack recent tensions to advance its own narrow, violent objectives,” said the Kentucky lawmaker.    “In that sense, it’s a conflict between Israel and a terrorist rump state in Gaza that uses its civilian population as human shields and exploits their suffering for political gain.”
    In the meantime, at least two dozen Democrat senators have called for an immediate ceasefire agreement while Republicans are continuing to support Israel’s right to defend itself.

5/18/2021 Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Halts Extra $300 In Unemployment Benefits by OAN Newsroom
AUSTIN, TX – MAY 18: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces the reopening of more Texas businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic at a press
conference at the Texas State Capitol in Austin on Monday, May 18, 2020. (Photo by Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool/Getty Images)
    As Joe Biden forces small businesses to compete against welfare checks for employees, Republican governors have begun pushing back.    On Monday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced starting next month he will reject federal COVID-19 related unemployment benefits.    This would guarantee Texans would no longer get an extra $300 each week through unemployment.
    Abbott said businesses are desperate to re-open, but many are struggling to fill their open positions.    Numerous small businesses in the red state have said the lack of applicants they have is simply unprecedented.    Noting there are 60 percent of more jobs available in Texas today than in February of last year.
    According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the number of job openings in Texas is almost identical to the number of Texans who are receiving unemployment benefits.    On Monday, speakeasy bar owner Michael Girard rejoiced over Abbott’s decision, saying he expects this move to help businesses find more people willing to work.
    Meanwhile on Monday, Gov. of Indiana Eric Holcomb announced he is also dropping federal COVID-19 benefits next month.    Restaurant owner Angelo Jawabreh weighed in on the decision stating that never-ending government handouts are leaving him with almost no job applicants.
    Texas and Indiana come in addition to 16 other states who are rejecting further COVID-19 handouts.    Among these states are Republican-led Ohio.    On Monday in Cleveland, restaurant owner John Lane said he is eager to fill at least 200 positions this week.
    Critics say Joe Biden’s denial of the hardships his continuous unemployment benefits are causing small businesses shows he is growing further out of touch with problems important to working Americans.

5/18/2021 Jury Selection Under Way In Trial Of Illegal Immigrant by OAN Newsroom
Cristhian Bahena Rivera is escorted into the Poweshiek County Courthouse for his initial court appearance, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018, in Montezuma, Iowa.
Rivera is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Mollie Tibbetts, who disappeared July 18 from Brooklyn, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
    Jury selection for a case involving an illegal immigrant charged in killing an Iowa college student is under way.    On Monday, attorneys spoke with a pool of more than 180 potential jurors as the defense raised concerns over issues of fairness.
    Mexican national Christian Bahena Rivera, 26, is accused of stabbing Mollie Tibbetts while she was out for a jog in 2018.    Hundreds of law enforcement officials and members of the community scoured the area for five weeks in search of the 20-year-old’s body before Rivera eventually led police to her remains.
In this September 2016 photo provided by Kim Calderwood, Mollie Tibbetts poses for
a picture during homecoming festivities. (Kim Calderwood via AP)
    President Donald Trump sounded off on the crime ahead of the 2018 midterm elections when he called for immigration reform.    The trial had been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was moved to a different county at the request of defense attorneys.    The trial is expected to last two weeks.

5/18/2021 President Trump Returning To Stage In Upcoming Convention, Ralliesy OAN Newsroom
File – 45th President Donald Trump holds a Make America Great Again rally in Olentangy
Orange High School in Lewis Center, Ohio, U.S., August 4, 2018. (REUTERS Photo/Leah Millis)
    An adviser to President Trump confirmed his signature MAGA rallies are making a comeback in just a few weeks.    That’s according to The Hill Monday, which also reported two events are set to be held in June and one in early July.    The rallies have not yet been formally announced, but they are expected to resemble President Trump’s airport rallies during his 2020 reelection campaign.
    President Trump is also slated to visit North Carolina to address the state’s GOP convention.    The state’s party chairman confirmed the news in a statement Monday, saying the organization is honored to welcome the 45th president to the June convention.    He added, the president promised to put America first, in turn, winning over North Carolina in 2020 by keeping that promise.
    The 45th president continues to have a strong grip on the Republican Party as he has made various endorsements of Republicans in upcoming races.
    President Trump’s address will be his first outside of his Mar-a-Lago resort since his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference.    The event is geared towards helping the Republican Party take back control of the Senate and House of Representatives.
    Meanwhile, Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R) issued a warning to anti-Trump Republicans hoping to push President Trump out of the party.    He weighed in on the landscape of the GOP during an interview over the weekend as some of his colleagues, such as Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney (R) and Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R), work to erase Trump’s influence within the GOP.
    Crenshaw said he believes President Trump will continue to be an influential figure among Republicans.
    “I believe that you’re not going to excommunicate a former president and I refuse to go into this sort of black and white thinking…these are complex human relationships that involve millions of people,” he explained.    “I’m a rational human being about this…I refuse to allow this drama to engulf us.”
    Crenshaw went on to say he agrees with Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in terms of not letting the party get engulfed by what he called “drama.”    He added, party outliers won’t be successful at getting others to agree with them when it comes to Trump.

5/18/2021 BLM Co-Founder Promotes Pamphlet She Compares To Mao’s ‘Red Book’ by OAN Newsroom
Patrisse Cullors, the co-founders of Black Lives Matter, is pictured. (Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP Photo)
    A video resurfaced of one of the co-founders of Black Lives Matter optimistically promoting a book she compared to infamous Chinese leader Mao Zedong’s communist red book.
    During a speech in 2010, Patrisse Cullors highlighted a pamphlet titled “The 7 Components of Transformative Organizing Theory.”    In the video, she told the story of how a student came up to her and compared it to Mao’s red book to which she enthusiastically agreed.
    Mao was responsible for launching China into the so-called “Great Leap Forward” during the late 1950s and early 60s, which resulted in mass famine and the deaths of an estimated 4 million people.    His red book was a propaganda pamphlet meant to reassert Mao’s position in China following the catastrophic results of his communist policies.
    The pamphlet Cullors was touting was written by radical far-left activist Eric Mann who has expressed extreme communist sympathies.    For instance, he wrote about his admiration for the Soviet Union in a 2017 Huffington Post article, noting “a great appreciation of the achievements of the Russian Revolution and the Soviet Union is a critical part of our revolutionary future.”
    Cullors has a history of connecting herself and fellow Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza to Marxist and communist thinking, stating in June of 2020 that she and Garza are “trained Marxists.”

5/18//2021 Treasury Dept. Sanctions People, Entities Suspected Of Financing ISIS Activities In Syria, Turkey by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this file photo, a motorist passes by a flag of the Islamic State group in central Rawah,
175 miles (281 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq. (AP Photo/File)
    The U.S. Treasury Department is cracking down on people and businesses funneling money to ISIS.    On Monday, the agency slapped sanctions on three individuals and one entity who were found to have contributed money as well as services to help Islamic State terrorists in Syria and Turkey.
    This comes as the U.S. State Department warns ISIS is ramping up efforts to reestablish their caliphate following its dismantling under the Trump administration.
    In the meantime, the State Department confirmed it remains committed to working with international partners to quell the resurgence of terrorist activity.

5/18/2021 North Carolina Prosecutor Says Police Were Justified In Fatally Shooting Andrew Brown by Nathan Layne and Barbara Goldberg
FILE PHOTO: Reverend Al Sharpton delivers the eulogy at the funeral for Andrew Brown Jr.
in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, U.S. May 3, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake
    (Reuters) -The fatal shooting of Andrew Brown, a Black man killed last month by sheriff’s deputies attempting to serve search and arrest warrants, was justified, Pasquotank County District Attorney Andrew Womble said on Tuesday.
    Brown, 42, was shot as he resisted arrest during the morning raid at his home on April 21 in Elizabeth City, a riverfront community where just over half of the roughly 18,000 residents are Black.
    “Mr. Brown’s death was justified,” Womble told reporters at a news briefing in which he also showed video taken from the body-worn cameras of the officers at the scene.
    He said the video showed police behaving as any reasonable police officer would “when a violent felon used a deadly weapon to place their lives in danger,” describing how Brown drove his car toward them in a dangerous way.    The officers would not face criminal charges, he said.
    “The Constitution simply does not require police to gamble with their lives in the face of a serious threat,” Womble said.    “They could not simply have let him go as has been suggested.”
    The killing captured national attention, coming a day after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd in a highly publicized trial.
    The videos showed Brown ignoring police commanding him to get out of his car, which he instead drove in the direction of officers, forcing at least one of them to lunge out of the way.    Police began firing at the car: one shot went through Brown’s windshield, and another five entered the car’s trunk.
    Brown suffered two gunshot wounds: a non-lethal shot to the shoulder and a fatal shot to the back of his head.
    “Mr. Brown’s actions caused three deputies with the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s office to reasonably believe it was necessary to use deadly force to protect themselves and others,” Womble told reporters.
    Womble said Brown was known to officers as having a long history of arrests and convictions dating back to 1995, including assault with a deadly weapon.    Before heading to Brown’s home, officers were told that Brown had a history of resisting arrest or barricading himself against police, Womble said.
    Crystal meth, an illegal stimulant, was found in Brown’s car, a chunk about as big as “a 50-cent piece,” Womble said.
    Lawyers for Brown’s family had previously said a 20-second portion of the video they were allowed to see showed he was “executed” by the officers, describing how they continued shooting at him as he drove away from them.
(Reporting by Nathan Layne in Wilton, Conn., Barbara Goldberg in Maplewood, N.J., and Jonathan Allen in New YorkAdditional reporting by Sarah Lynch in WashingtonEditing by Dan Grebler and Matthew Lewis)

5/18/2021 Spain Vows To Restore Order After Thousands Swim Into Ceuta From Morocco by Jon Nazca and Mariano Valladolid
Spanish legionnaires stand guard at El Tarajal beach, on the Spanish side of the fence between the Spanish-Moroccan border, as Moroccans stay at
the other side of the fence, after thousands of migrants swam across this border on Monday, in Ceuta, Spain, May 18, 2021. REUTERS/Jon Nazca
    CEUTA, Spain (Reuters) -A sudden influx of migrants swimming into the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in northern Africa is a serious crisis for Europe, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Tuesday, vowing to re-establish order promptly amid heightened diplomatic tensions with Morocco.
    Spain deployed troops to Ceuta to patrol the border with Morocco after around 8,000 migrants, many from Sub-Saharan Africa and including some 1,500 minors, entered the enclave on Monday and Tuesday by swimming in or climbing over the fence.
    Armoured vehicles were guarding Ceuta’s beach on Tuesday, and soldiers and police used batons to clear migrants from the beach and threw smoke bombs to discourage others from crossing.
    A Reuters reporter on the ground said the number of arrivals by sea had slowed, and some migrants were voluntarily returning to Morocco.    A few others could be seen being carried away by soldiers, but dozens still waded in the water towards Ceuta.
    Spain said approximately 4,000 migrants had already been sent back to Morocco, under a readmission deal.
    The regional leader of Ceuta criticised what he described as Morocco’s passivity in the face of Monday’s surge, and some independent experts said Rabat had initially allowed it as a means of pressuring Madrid over its decision to admit a rebel leader from the Western Sahara to a Spanish hospital.
    Moroccan authorities did not respond to requests for comment on Tuesday.
    The Spanish government did not make that connection, with Sanchez calling the north African nation a friend of Spain and the interior ministry citing cooperation over the readmissions, although Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya told Morocco’s ambassador Spain rejected and disapproved of the mass arrivals. [nP4N2DT022]
    Moroccan TV footage showed the authorities setting up barriers on Tuesday to prevent people from crossing into Ceuta.
    “This sudden arrival of irregular migrants is a serious crisis for Spain and Europe,” Sanchez said in a televised address before his arrival in Ceuta.
    European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas tweeted that the enclave’s frontier was a European border, expressing his “full solidarity with Spain.”
    Ceuta, with a population of 80,000, is on the northern tip of Morocco across from Gibraltar.    Along with another Spanish enclave, Melilla, it has long been a magnet for African migrants seeking a better life in Europe.    Morocco has a claim on both.
    The spike in arrivals took place after Rabat expressed its anger last month when Spain discreetly admitted Brahim Ghali, the leader of Western Sahara’s rebel Polisario Front to hospital.    Madrid said it acted on purely humanitarian grounds.
    Morocco’s Foreign Ministry criticised what it said was Spain’s decision to admit Ghali under a false identity without informing Morocco, warning of repercussions.
    The Polisario Front wants the Western Sahara to be an independent state rather than part of Morocco.    Algeria, Morocco’s regional rival, backs the Polisario Front.
    The United States in December recognised Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara territory.
(Reporting by Belen Carreno, Joan Faus, Cristina Galan and Inti Landauro, Writing by Andrei Khalip and Ingrid Melander, Editing by Estelle Shirbon and Alexandra Hudson)

5/18/2021 EU Set To Call For Israel-Palestinian Peace Talks With U.S., Russia by Robin Emmott and Sabine Siebold
View of the screen during a video conference of EU foreign ministers to discuss recent developments in the Middle East, in particular the
ongoing violent confrontation in Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories, in Brussels, Belgium May 18, 2021. Olivier Hoslet/Pool via REUTERS
    BRUSSELS/BERLIN (Reuters) -European Union foreign ministers are set on Tuesday to call for a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, offer more humanitarian aid and try to relaunch peace talks, Malta’s foreign minister said.
    EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell began an emergency call with member states’ foreign ministers after criticism of the West’s response to violence that flared last week, including from Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.
    “I think I’m not being too optimistic (to say) that at a minimum, what will probably come out (of the EU meeting) is the call for a ceasefire, an offer of humanitarian aid, and then seeing how to restart the political process,” Bartolo told Reuters via video link after the ministers’ call began.
    After a ceasefire, the EU would “work with the United States, work with Russia to try and deal with the situation,” he said.
    The EU is a member of the Middle East quartet of mediators, along with Russia, the United Nations and the United States.
    Washington has long played a dominant role in Middle East peacemaking and U.S. President Joe Biden supported a ceasefire during a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday.
    Germany has called for a ceasefire and pledged 40 million euros ($48.86 million) in humanitarian aid for civilians in Gaza.
    “An end to the violence is the first priority,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a video statement streamed on social media.
    The EU is Israel’s biggest trade partner and a big aid donor to the Palestinians but member states are divided over policy and the bloc has been reluctant to use such leverage or discuss possible economic sanctions on Israel’s government.
    At least eight smaller EU states, led by Luxembourg and including Belgium, Ireland, Malta and Finland, are vocal defenders of the Palestinians.
    Others, including Hungary, the Czech Republic, Austria, Greece, Cyprus and Poland, are more ready to defend Israel’s interests.    Austria flew an Israeli flag over the federal chancellery in Vienna on Friday.
    Germany, which still carries the burden of guilt over the Nazi crimes of World War Two, is unwilling to discuss coercive measures against Israel.
    “The European Union should have, right now, a leading role (in diffusing the crisis).    It doesn’t have that role, either because of differences in approach by member states or because there is no strategic approach from Brussels,” Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides told Cyprus’s Alpha TV.
(Reporting by Robin Emmott in Brussels and Sabine Siebold in Berlin, additional reporting by John Chalmers in Brussels and Michele Kambas in Nicosia, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

5/18/2021 Pentagon Chief Supports De-Escalation In Israel-Palestinian Conflict
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin meets with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg
in Brussels, Belgium, April 14, 2021. REUTERS/Johanna Geron/Pool
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin expressed his support for a de-escalation in fighting between Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in a call with his Israeli counterpart on Tuesday, the Pentagon said.
    “Austin reiterated the United States’ unwavering support for Israel’s right to defend itself and to protect Israeli civilians, and lamented the loss of innocent Israeli and Palestinian lives,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said.
    “Austin expressed his support for de-escalation of the conflict and the restoration of calm,” Kirby added.
(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

5/18/2021 Rudy Giuliani’s Attorneys Write Letter To Federal Judge Blasting Raids On Home And Office by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Nov. 19, 2020, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks during a news conference
at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
    Rudy Giuliani’s attorneys have denounced how the former New York City mayor is being treated by federal authorities.    In a letter to a Manhattan federal judge,     Giuliani’s attorneys criticized the April raids of his home and office stating it was unnecessary.    They also addressed the covert warrant used on his iCloud account in November 2019.
    They argue prosecutors are choosing to treat Giuliani like the head of a drug cartel or terrorist in order to try to create prejudicial coverage of him and President Donald Trump.
    The attorneys are asking the court to unseal affidavits used to support the warrant, saying it will help them argue it was illegal.    Giuliani has not been charged with any crimes and has continued to fully maintain his innocence.

5/18/2021 Joe Biden Raises Concerns For Hiring Relatives Of Senior Staffers For Positions In Admin. by OAN Newsroom
President Joe Biden speaks about covid-19, on the North Lawn of the White House,
Tuesday, April 27, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Joe Biden’s ethics are being called into question due to his recent hiring spree. Biden has reportedly given several roles in his administration to the children of his Deputy Chief of Staff, a senior adviser and Presidential Counselor among others.
    The Democrat notably promised to not hire any of his own family members for White House positions, but does not appear to be applying that same standard to those within his administration.    Ethics officials do not believe Biden has broken any laws, but have raised concerns those hired project a potential conflict of interest.
    Ethics scholar Steven Mintz said it’s important applicants are hired for more than just their familial connection.
    Mintz stated, “if a public official hires a family member to serve in an advisory role, they should be the most qualified and not gain monetarily beyond the usual salary.”    He continued to add, “the public official should not have anything to do with their performance evaluation.”

5/19/2021 Oil down $0.94 to $65.44, DOW down 267 to 34,061.

5/19/2021 House GOP To Put Forward 2022 Budget Plan, Suggests It Could Eliminate Deficit In 5 Years by OAN Newsroom
File – Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) is pictured. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Photos)
    House Republicans are expected to reveal their answer to Joe Biden’s massive 2022 budget proposal.    Those representatives are confident their proposal, set to be announced Wednesday, will balance the federal budget in five years and cut taxes by nearly $2 trillion.
    Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), the head of the Republican Study Committee, said Democrats are “introducing socialism and radically expanding the role of government.”    He pointed out that in just a short amount of time, the U.S. is already seeing the negative effects of their agenda on the economy.
    Banks stated, “it’s time Republicans reclaim the mantle of fiscal responsibility and show voters an alternative vision for conservative governance.”
    Meanwhile, Biden is trying to drum up support for his massive spending plan as part of his so-called Build Back Better Plan.    On Tuesday, he touted the American Families Plan and American Jobs Plan during a visit to a Ford electric car facility in Michigan.
    Biden claimed the infrastructure plan will incentivize the production of electric cars and create new union jobs.    However, the proposal allocates most of the money to progressive agenda items like the Green New Deal, which will kill millions of existing jobs.
    His second component consists of tax cuts and credits to expand the welfare state.    These proposals, totaling around $4 trillion, will come at a huge cost to the federal budget and the national debt.
    Republicans are expected to unveil their counter proposal this week as Biden will likely not gain bipartisan support on Capitol Hill.    However, the White House has said it would move forward with its own spending plans either way. This signals the possibility of yet another executive order.

5/19/2021 Robert Durst Appears In Court For First Time In 14 Months by OAN Newsroom
Robert Durst holds a device to read the real time spoken script as he appears in the
courtroom of Judge Mark E. Windham. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via AP, Pool)
    The trial of real estate heir and suspected serial killer Robert Durst has officially resumed after a 14-month trial delay.
    Durst has been the subject of an HBO documentary and most recently a defendant in a murder trial.    The story of his trial includes a series of twists and turns and was rebooted on Tuesday when Durst appeared in the Los Angeles County Superior Court for the first time in 14 months.
    Deputy District Attorney for the county of Los Angeles John Lewin then recounted the case.    He pointed out Durst was charged with the murder of his friend Susan Berman, allegedly because she may have had knowledge about the strange disappearance of Durst’s first wife Kathie.    Lewin has argued that Durst then killed his neighbor Morris Black in order to cover up the murder of Berman.
A TV still frame of Robert Durst appears on a screen in the courtroom as Deputy District Attorney
John Lewin begins opening statements in trial of Durst. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via AP, Pool)
    Although, the routine legal proceeding quickly took an unexpected turn when a juror was dismissed after reading about the case in the news.
    Judge Mark Wyndham said the juror violated a court order by receiving outside information about the trial. Judge Wyndham explained the rules, “you must not allow anything that happens outside of this courtroom to affect your decision during the trial.    Do not read, listen to or watch any news report or commentary about the case from any source.”    He confirmed the juror expressed frustration at the defense team after reading about their reasons for seeking a mistrial.    Durst’s attorneys addressed their concerns that the jury would not be able to remember details presented to them before the trial was halted in March 2020.
    In the coming weeks, the proceedings will continue to determine whether the 78-year-old suspect, who is now confined to a wheelchair, is guilty of the single count of murder he faces.

5/19/2021 Mark McCloskey Announces Run For Senate In Mo. by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Oct. 14, 2020, file photo, Mark and Patricia McCloskey leave following a court hearing, in St. Louis.
Mark McCloskey, a St. Louis personal injury lawyer, is on the verge of a 2022 Senate run. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)
    A man who gained fame for defending his home from Black Lives Matter protesters last year has made a bid for the Senate.    On Tuesday, attorney Mark McCloskey officially launched his Senate campaign in the state of Missouri.
    McCloskey, a political outsider, said he was encouraged to run for office after campaigning with 45th President Trump during the 2020 elections.    In campaign video posted on Twitter the attorney also said he received a wake-up call when far-left Antifa and Black Lives Matter protesters marched through his neighborhood last July.
    “I am a proven fighter against the mob,” he stated.    “When the mob comes to destroy our home, our state, our nation — I’ll defend it.”
    McCloskey added, the Senate needs people who won’t bow to the far-left and will fight for American values.

5/19/2021 Pa. Voting Machines Caught Rejecting GOP Ballots, Reports Reignite Claims Of Election Fraud by OAN Newsroom
A voter steps from the voting booth after casting a ballot in the Pennsylvania
primary in Philadelphia, Tuesday, May 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
    Voting machines in Pennsylvania are found to be rejecting Republican ballots in a primary election in the state.    Election officials in Fayette County said there was a problem with machines not reading the ballots cast for Republican candidates.
    “I think it’s suspicious in my opinion after everything that happened with the presidential election,” stated local voter Lori Lambie.    The issue was revealed during a primary election that kicked off in Fayette County on Tuesday.
    “I’m a Republican and I filled out my ballot…when I went to scan my ballot it spit it out,” Lambie explained.    “I tried it three or four times and it kept spitting it back out.”
    Officials originally claimed the machines were not reading the barcodes on all ballots.    However, it has since been confirmed there’s no problem with Democrat ballots.    This adds to concerns among Pennsylvania voters.
    “Just went the normal process of getting a ballot, filling it out…took it over to the machine to put it in and it was rejected,” recounted Jeff Valek, another local voter.
    Election officials are reportedly collecting Republican ballots to count them separately at a later time.

5/19/2021 Andrew Giuliani Announces Run For N.Y. Gov. by OAN Newsroom
FILE — In this April 28, 2021 file photo, Andrew Giuliani speaks to reporters outside the
building where his father Rudy Giuliani lives, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
    Andrew Giuliani (R), son of the former mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani (R), has announced he will be running for governor of New York in 2022.
    While speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Giuliani said he wants to make New York the economic center of the world again, following his criticism of the state’s current Democrat leadership.
    Giuliani expressed, “America is the land of opportunity and New York is what connects the rest of the world to the United States of America.    Unfortunately, our leadership over the last 14 months…over the last 10 years, have been doing everything that they possibly can to dis incentivize New Yorkers from building their businesses, from building their lives, from educating their children here in New York.”
    The Republican believes New York’s high-tax and anti-business environment is driving people out of the state.    He also argued police are not getting enough protection and the current governor’s cap on charter schools is detrimental to families.
    Giuliani went on to say he plans to advocate for tax reforms across the Empire State in an effort to roll back the red tape that has been harming small businesses.
    Despite having never been elected to public office, Giuliani has said politics are in his DNA.    He noted his four years in the White House as a liaison for President Donald Trump has prepared him for this moment.
    Giuliani advocated for himself stating he is a genuine guy and he is not going to run from his past.    “I worked four years in the White House for President Trump, I’ll say that right now.    I’m not running from it.    I’m not hiding from it.    I’m very proud of many of the policies that we were able to accomplish.”
    Giuliani is confident he will defeat Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is currently facing multiple sexual misconduct allegations.    Giuliani is joined by GOP primary candidates Lee Zeldin and Rob Astorino in seeking to challenge the Democrat.

5/19/2021 GOP Brass Urging Members To Reject Jan. 6 Commission by OAN Newsroom
From left, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y.,
speak to reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, May 14, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Republicans are pushing back against Democrat attempts to politicize the January 6 capitol breach. On Tuesday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) urged GOP lawmakers to reject H.R. 3233, which would establish a 9/11-style commission to investigate the event.
    McCarthy set it straight that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) failed to negotiate a fair bipartisan agreement and marred debate with political misdirection.    He noted that while Pelosi was lying to the public about hashing out a fair agreement with GOP counterparts, she chose to go her own way by pushing for a panel stacked with Democrats.
    “Well first I think it’s a shame that Speaker Pelosi is not working in a bipartisan way on the suggestions that have been brought forth by many of our members,” stated Scalise.    “You’ve surely seen House Democrats run in a very unilateral way, where they’re shutting an entire party out of the debate and that’s unfortunate because we should be having a bipartisan debate about this.”
    McCarthy stressed the commission would be counterproductive and the scope of the commission’s jurisdiction would produce similar results as several ongoing investigations.    He cited DOJ and Senate investigations already taking place, where FBI agents have arrested nearly 450 people and are planning to arrest another 100.
    Both he and Scalise also hammered home the point that the commission would only look at one specific event of political violence, where lawmakers have experienced many more.    They advised Democrats to add events, including the 2017 shooting at the Republican congressional baseball practice that left Scalise hospitalized.    Additionally, they said the commission should include the deadly attack on capitol police in April, where a man drove into officers stationed at a capitol barricade.
    “Studies show 570 protests and 220 U.S. locations turned violent over the summer; are those not insurrections?” asked Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).    “Plus billion dollars in riot damages is estimated to be the most expensive in insurance history…we should have a commission to study the violent BLM and Antifa mobs that have plagued American cities this past summer.”
    However, GOP senators aren’t showing the same vigor in opposing the commission.    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the caucus would listen to both sides of the aisle.
    “It needs to be clearly balanced and not tilted one way or the other, so we have an objective evaluation,” stated the Kentucky lawmaker.    “So, I think it’s safe for you to report that we are undecided about the way forward at this point.”
    In the meantime, political analysts expect H.R. 3233 to pass through the House by a partisan vote.    In order to pass in the Senate, it would need at least 10 GOP senators to vote “yes.”
    President Trump has warned Republican lawmakers not to fall for the left’s latest scheme.    In a statement shared on Tuesday, he said GOP lawmakers should “not approve the Democrat trap of the January 6 Commission” while accusing the proposal of just being more partisan injustice.
    The 45th president then urged the GOP to get much tougher and smarter, stating they must “stop being used by the radical left.”    His comments comes as top House Republican leaders continue to hold the line against the partisan January 6 commission.

5/19/2021 N.J. Gov. Phil Murphy Keeps Mask Guidelines Despite CDC Recommendations by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Dec. 15, 2020, file photo, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy speaks during a news conference after witnessing the first coronavirus
vaccinations at University Hospital’s COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
    Densely populated east coast states New York and Pennsylvania have announced they are lifting their mask mandates amid the COVID-19 pandemic.    Yet, New Jersey has said they’re not quite ready to make the switch.
    New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has chosen to ignore updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and instead is opting to keep his state’s mask mandate in place.
    In a briefing held on Monday, the Democrat announced New Jersey would maintain its mask orders against the suggestions of the CDC last week who said fully vaccinated individuals would no longer be required to wear a facial covering in most places.    The governor has insisted the move is out of an abundance of caution stating he believes they have the virus “on the run
    Murphy mentioned, “we’ve been clobbered not once, but twice.    We’ve lost over 26,000 people.    We know the virus is more lethal indoors, and you’re asking somebody who’s at the hardware store working there…or in a retail…or a grocery store to make the judgment on who’s vaccinated and who’s not.”
    Murphy eliminated the 10-month long outdoor mask mandate, but has not yet given a timeline on removing the indoor one.    However, the benchmark for that decision is likely to take place once positive data is on the horizon.    Although, Murphy has indicated it’s only a matter of time.
    A majority of those living in New Jersey still remain largely unvaccinated.    Because of this, programs are currently being put in place to get the word out anyway that they can.

5/19/2021 House Overwhelmingly Passes Anti-Asian Hate Crime Bill by OAN Newsroom
The bill intended to curtail a striking rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is seen
before the signing ceremony, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 19. 2021. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
    A bill aimed at combating anti-Asian hate crimes has officially been passed by the House.    This legislation advanced in the lower chamber after a 364 to 62 vote on Tuesday.    Advocates have said this is a major step forward in combating the recent rise in anti-Asian hate crimes.
    Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) stated, “Asian Americans are tired of living in fear and being frightened about their kids or elderly parents going outside.    People often asked what Congress is doing about this, and we are here today to say that Congress is taking action.”
    However, not all lawmakers were on board.    Top conservatives such as Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) argue the bill causes confusion, pointing out how the legislation creates a new state office to oversee instances of those hate crimes instead of reporting them to police.
    He further criticized a clause in the bill which would create a hot line where victims could report anything they find offensive, saying it opens the door to infringements on free speech. He also added Democrats refused to work with the GOP every step of the way.
    In the meantime, the bill is now headed to the desk of Joe Biden where he’s expected to sign it into law as early as Thursday.

5/19/2021 Nancy Pelosi Calls For Diplomatic Boycott Of Beijing Olympics In 2022 by OAN Newsroom
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks during the signing ceremony of the COVID-19
Hate Crime Act, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 19. 2021. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has called for a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Olympics in protest of China’s treatment of its Uyghur Muslim minority.    During a House hearing on Tuesday, the Democrat said, “we cannot proceed as if nothing is wrong about the Olympics going to China.”
    She went on to cite a number of countries that have called for action to move or boycott the Games because of human rights abuses.    However, Pelosi’s strategy for combating China’s violations of human rights is preventing lawmakers from attending, but allowing athletes to continue to participate.
FILE – In this Feb. 2, 2021, file photo, the Olympic rings are visible atop the Olympic Tower in Beijing. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)
    Meanwhile, Republicans like Nikki Haley are calling for a full boycott of the games saying “it would be a terrible loss for our athletes, but that must be weighed against the genocide occurring in China.”
    Human Rights Commission co-chair Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) also weighed in on the matter saying, “in granting Beijing host status for the Olympic Games, we are crowning a barbarous regime with laurels while we should be condemning their abuse and genocide.”
    The Beijing Games are scheduled to start in the beginning of February 2022.    China has denied all claims pertaining to any crimes against Uyghurs, and continue to back their idea that forced labor camps are workforce training programs.

5/19/2021 Center For Security Policy On Biden’s Response To Conflict In Israel by OAN Newsroom
    Americans are questioning Joe Biden’s foreign policy decisions, especially in the wake of Israel defending itself from terror groups like Hamas.    One America’s Stephanie Myers speaks with the senior policy analyst at the Center for Security Policy, Dr. David Wurmser, about the Biden administration’s response and the organization’s recent webinar discussing these issues.


5/19/2021 Colombia Protests Stretch Into Fourth Week, Demonstrators Vow To Carry On by Nelson Bocanegra
Demonstrators take part in a protest demanding government action to tackle poverty, police violence and
inequalities in healthcare and education systems, in Bogota, Colombia, May 19, 2021. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez
    BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombia’s wave of anti-government protests entered their fourth week on Wednesday, as unions, student groups and others turned out at marches to demand social change amid intermittent talks between the government and strike organizers.
    The protests have been marked by violence by both police and civilians.    The attorney general’s office has confirmed 15 deaths connected to protests, while one human rights group tallies more than 40.
    President Ivan Duque earlier this week ordered the clearance of road blockades around the country, which have caused shortages of food and gasoline.
    The demonstrations, originally called in late April against a now-canceled tax plan, have expanded to include demands like a basic income, an end to police violence and opportunities for young people.
    A health reform also opposed by many protesters, which they had criticized as too vague to make real change to Colombia’s fragile healthcare system, was shelved by a joint congressional committee on Wednesday.
    Hundreds gathered in Bogota’s Bolivar Plaza at lunchtime.
    “Colombia has lost its fear and we’ll keep on until there is real change, because if not we’ll keep suffering,” said 35-year-old teacher Luis Carlos Garcia, carrying his small son.
    Ati Quigua, 40, an Arhuaco indigenous leader, said she was protesting murders of human rights activists with 50 members of her community, saying they were on an “indefinite strike.”
    A national strike committee formed by major unions, student groups and others, has held several discussions with government representatives about protesters’ demands, but the two sides are not yet holding formal talks.
    Organizers have vowed protests will continue in the meantime.
    The economic fall-out of the coronavirus pandemic has rolled back recent anti-poverty gains in Colombia, sending unemployment soaring, shuttering businesses and forcing the government to increase its debt load.
    Demonstrations and blockades cost the county some $132 million per day, the finance ministry has said, and analysts predict the protests may slow Colombia’s recovery from a record economic contraction of 6.8% last year.
(Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

5/19/2021 Migrants Push For Spain’s Ceuta Again After Border Tightened by Mariano Valladolid and Ahmed Eljechtimi
Moroccan minors queue at a facility prepared for them to rest and have food, after thousands of migrants
swam across the Spanish-Moroccan border, in Ceuta, Spain, May 19, 2021. REUTERS/Jon Nazca
    CEUTA, Spain/FNIDEQ, Morocco (Reuters) -Hundreds of migrants tried to force their way past tightened security into Ceuta on Wednesday, as Spain pressed on with the expulsion of thousands who had swum or climbed into its North African enclave over the past two days.
    Around two-thirds of the roughly 8,000 migrants who made it to Ceuta, including unaccompanied children, have been expelled, Spanish authorities say.    Many of those sent back said they were determined to try again in their determination to reach Europe.
    As dense afternoon fog descended, hundreds of young men made a fresh attempt to approach the roughly six-metre-high metal border fence before being repelled by Moroccan police.
    By evening, a crowd of migrants still waiting for a chance to cross began to disperse as Moroccan police urged them to leave an area near the border.
    Others had entered the water and began swimming towards Ceuta’s beach a few hundred metres away – with live Spanish television showing the army meeting boys as they reached the shore.    Some 1,500 underage migrants are in reception centres in Ceuta from this and previous waves, Spain said.
    On the northern tip of Morocco across from Gibraltar and with a population of 80,000, the enclave has periodically been a magnet for refugees seeking a quick way into Europe, but Rabat cracked down on border traffic in recent years.
    “I am not losing hope.    I have friends in Ceuta where I can stay till I get a chance to cross to Spain,” Souhail Abbadi, a man in his 20s from Tangier in northwest Morocco, told Reuters.
    Earlier, Spanish police and soldiers escorted long lines of Moroccans and other mainly sub-Saharan Africans through a gate back into Morocco.
    “We were given juice and a cake, that is all,” said Mohamed, from Ait Melloul in southwest Morocco, after Spanish soldiers sent him back as soon as he arrived.
    He and many other returnees gathered in the Moroccan border town of Fnideq, where they said they were receiving no aid.
    Many of the migrants still in Ceuta were children, including some as young as seven and some without families, said Spain’s Social Rights Minister Ione Belarre.
    “Many of them did not know the consequences of crossing the border. And many of them want to go back,” she told broadcaster TVE.
    Reuters TV footage showed hundreds of teenagers being processed at a warehouse where Red Cross officials gave out food and drink.
    Ceuta’s leader Juan Jesus Vivas has accused Rabat of initially failing to patrol its side of the border properly, possibly in retaliation for Spain’s discreet admission of a Western Sahara independence leader for hospital treatment.
    Morocco’s minister of state for human rights, El Mustapha Ramid, suggested late on Tuesday that Rabat was justified in relaxing border controls after Polisario Front rebel leader Brahim Ghali entered Spain.
    “What did Spain expect from Morocco, which sees its neighbour hosting the head of a group that took up arms against the kingdom?” he said in a Facebook post.
    Madrid said it had taken a humanitarian decision to allow in Ghali, whose movement seeks independence for Moroccan-run Western Sahara.
    In a further twist, Spain’s high court summoned Ghali to appear on June 1 for a preliminary hearing in a war crimes case against him but he declined to sign the papers, a court document seen by Reuters on Wednesday showed.
    A source close to the investigation said he might seek to claim diplomatic immunity under an Algerian passport.
    Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez did not link events in Ceuta to Ghali’s situation, calling Morocco a friend of Madrid, though Rabat recalled its ambassador to Madrid for consultations.    Moroccan authorities did not respond to requests for comment.
(Reporting by Mariano Valladolid and Jon Nazca in Ceuta, Ahmed El Jechtimi in Fnideq, Inti Landauro, Belen Carreno and Cristina Galan in Madrid; Writing by John Stonestreet; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne, Gareth Jones and Angus McDowall)

5/19/2021 French Police Protest Daily Violence, Some Boo Interior Minister
French police officers from all over France gather in front of the National Assembly in Paris to protest against violence against themselves
and require a greater severity in the penal response to their aggressors, France, May 19, 2021. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
    PARIS (Reuters) - Thousands of French police officers protested near the National Assembly on Thursday to demand the government get tough on violence against the security forces, with some booing the interior minister who turned up in a show of solidarity.
    The discontent within the police will trouble President Emmanuel Macron, who wants to show voters he is strong on law and order ahead of next year’s election, when the far-right leader Marine Le Pen is expected to mount the biggest challenge.
    Police unions complain that the government is failing to protect officers from daily attacks that leave some afraid of doing their jobs in certain towns and cities.
    “This can’t go on any longer.    You really need to protect us.    It’s getting worse,” one officer could be heard telling Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin.
    The protest took place after a month-long period which saw a policeman killed during an anti-narcotics operation and a police force employee stabbed to death outside her commissariat.
    However, human rights groups and ethnic minority associations have frequently levelled accusations of brutality and systemic racism against the police force itself.
    One attack against a Black music producer in November had brought shame on France, Macron said at the time, demanding the police be exemplary in their own behaviour.
    The unions are demanding a minimum prison sentence for anyone who attacks a police officer.    One protest banner read: “Paid to serve, not to die.”
    “No-one listens to us,” lamented a second officer who identified himself as Stephane and said he had travelled from the Mediterranean city of Marseille.
    An IPSOS opinion poll this month showed more than half of all police and military personnel would vote for Le Pen in a runoff vote against Macron next year.
(Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau and Matthieu Protard; writing by Richard Lough; editing by Estelle Shirbon and Angus MacSwan)

5/19/2021 Explainer: Citizen Trump Faces Mounting Legal Woes by Jan Wolfe
FILE PHOTO: Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)
in Orlando, Florida, U.S. February 28, 2021. REUTERS/Octavio Jones
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Donald Trump’s legal woes escalated this week, as New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that a civil probe into the former president’s family business had become criminal in nature.
    Here is a list of some of the investigations and lawsuits haunting Trump’s post-presidency life.
    For about two years, the Trump Organization has been the focus of two parallel investigations in New York, one led by James and another led Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.    James enforces criminal laws across the state, while Vance’s jurisdiction is limited to Manhattan.
    Both offices are probing Trump’s business dealings before he became president, including whether his business falsely reported property values to secure loans and obtain economic and tax benefits.
    Vance’s probe always has been criminal in nature, meaning it could culminate in charges being brought against Trump and associates.
    Until recently, James’s inquiry had been purely civil, but her office said on Tuesday that its investigation “is no longer purely civil in nature” and that it is “now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan DA.”
    Republican Trump has called both investigations politically motivated harassment. Vance and James are Democrats.
    Prosecutors in Georgia’s biggest county have opened a criminal investigation into Trump’s attempts to influence the state’s 2020 election results.
    The investigation is being led by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and focuses in part on a phone call Trump made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, on January 2.
    Trump asked Raffensperger, a Republican, to “find” the votes needed to overturn Trump’s election loss, based on false voter-fraud claims, according to an audio recording obtained by the Washington Post.
    Legal experts say Trump’s phone calls may have violated at least three Georgia criminal election laws: conspiracy to commit election fraud, criminal solicitation to commit election fraud, and intentional interference with performance of election duties.
    Trump, however, could argue he was engaging in free speech and did not intend to influence the election.
    E. Jean Carroll, a former Elle magazine writer, sued Trump for defamation in 2019 after the president denied her allegation that he raped her in the 1990s in a New York department store and accused her of lying to drum up sales for a book.
    In August, a state judge allowed the case to go forward, meaning Carroll’s lawyers could seek a DNA sample from Trump to match against a dress she said she wore at the store.
    A federal judge in Manhattan rejected a bid by the U.S. Justice Department to substitute the federal government for Trump as defendant in the case.    U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan said that Trump did not make his statements about Carroll in the scope of his employment as president.
    Trump has appealed Kaplan’s decision to the U.S. 2nd Circuit of Appeals, which has not yet ruled.
(Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Noeleen Walder and Alistair Bell)

5/20/2021 Oil down $1.89 to $63.40, DOW down 165 to 33,896.

5/20/2021 RSC 2022 Budget Proposal Aims To Cut $2T Taxes Over 10 Years, Balance Budget In 5 Years by OAN Newsroom
File – Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) is pictured. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Photos)
    The GOP isn’t waiting for Democrats to get to work, they are stepping up and proposing solutions to the nation’s biggest problem: the budget crisis.    House Republicans recently revealed their answer to Joe Biden’s massive 2022 budget proposal.
    “The sovereign debt crisis will not only compromise the national security of the greatest nation in the world, it will jeopardize our freedoms, our prosperity and our way of life,” asserted Rep. Jody Arrington (R-Texas).
    In their 2022 budget proposal, the Republican Study Committee (RSC), led by Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), drafted a letter to all Americans outlining the damage done by the Democrats in just the few short months they have held the majority.
    The RSC pointed out, so far, lawmakers have added more than $4.7 trillion to the national debt through legislation spurred by the pandemic.    For comparison, it took 219 years, from the founding of our nation in 1776 until 1995, to accumulate that amount of federal debt.
    During a press conference for the budget’s unveiling, Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) made clear that the proposal would adhere to American values and balance the budget.
    “Aside from producing a budget that cuts taxes and balances the budget in five short years, we showcase our conservative values,” stated the Florida lawmaker.    “Including initiatives to support pro-life efforts, protect our Second Amendment and commit to securing our border.”
    Rep. Arrignton pointed out that the increasing partisan divide had eroded the American people’s confidence in their leadership.    According to the RSC’s budget, however, the GOP has hope that despite the Democrats’ behavior a balanced budget can be reached and the the Republicans are willing to work for it.
    “I can go through the list of things that need to be changed at the fundamental group level that are causing this dysfunction,” Arrignton stated.
    The theme throughout the 157-page proposal is clear: deregulation will lead to economic freedom and prosperity.    Among a number of other deregulatory proposals, the RSC plans to scale back Dodd Frank, oppose any attempts to implement Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) Green New Deal and end the provisions that allow employers to mandate union membership as a condition of employment.
    The RSC went on to say, “tragically the federal tax code is riddled with carve outs and subsidies inspired by corporate cronyism.”    To remedy this, Republicans are looking to reduce taxes by nearly $2 trillion over the next 10 years and eliminate the Democrats’ infamous “death tax.”
    While the budget is sure to face opposition as it makes its way through committee, the men and women of the RSC are willing to do whatever it takes and are optimistic in their ability to put America back on the road to recovery.

5/20/2021 House Approves Bill To Create Jan. 6 Commission by OAN Newsroom
    The U.S. Capitol is seen as national guard members pass by on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 20, 2021. The House voted to create an
independent commission on the Jan. 6 break-in at the U.S. Capitol, sending the legislation to an uncertain future in the Senate. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
    The House passed a bill to create a commission to further investigate the January 6 Capitol Hill break-in.    The legislation moved forward despite widespread GOP opposition.    The bill, which passed Wednesday in a 252-to-175 vote, garnered support from all House Democrats and 35 Republicans.
    House GOP leaders urged Republicans to vote against it, including Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.).    GOP lawmakers argued the commission is unnecessary since there are already ongoing probes into January 6.
    “But I do not believe a January 6 commission will achieve any resolution because we have already had our Department of Justice arrest 445 people with 100 more to be arrested soon,” asserted Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).
    House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said he objects because the commission does not look into other forms of political violence that took place last summer.    Additionally, President Trump called it a Democrat trap and said it’s “just more partisan unfairness.”
    Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that the commission could get in the way of the ongoing federal investigation.    The bill is expected to face a steep climb in the Senate, considering McConnell has already expressed opposition to the legislation.

5/20/2021 Biden Quotes Chinese Communist Dictator Who Killed 80M People In Address To Coast Guard Cadets by OAN Newsroom
President Joseph R. Biden shades his eyes to survey the the crowd during the 140th commencement exercises for the
United States Coast Guard Academy Wednesday, May 19, 2021 in New London, Conn. (Sarah Gordon/The Day via AP)
    Joe Biden tried to get a few laughs during his first commencement address by quoting a Chinese communist leader.    He’s now facing criticism for citing words by Mao Zedong in a speech before a class of Coast Guard cadets.
    The Democrat’s remarks came Wednesday at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy’s graduation ceremony in New London, Connecticut.    He made the following statement while citing the founding father of the People’s Republic of China:
    There’s a saying, used in a different context, a Chinese saying that says, ‘women hold up half the world.’    It’s an absolute stupid position not to make sure they represent at least half of what we do.”
    Biden used this quote from Chairman Mao to emphasize the importance of appointing women to commanding positions in the military for the sake of so-called social justice.    Mao is known for being responsible for the deaths of an estimated 80 million people during the so-called Cultural Revolution in 1960s China.
    When the cadets didn’t respond, Biden tried to poke fun at their lack of enthusiasm.
    Biden previously quoted Mao Zedong on his campaign trail last year when he led a fundraiser event with Iran-tied Democrat operative Valerie Jarret.

5/20/2021 Soros-Backed Philly DA Wins Primary By Landslide by OAN Newsroom
In this Friday, May 14, 2021 photo, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner speaks during a news conference
where the Guardian Civic League and Club Valiants, the fraternal organizations that represent Black and Latino police and firefighters,
endorsed him for the upcoming Democratic primary, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Claudia Lauer)
    A progressive district attorney backed by billionaire George Soros has been reelected by a wide margin.    On Wednesday, incumbent Larry Krasner said his landslide victory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is part of a larger effort to reform America’s criminal justice system.
    This comes after a Soros-funded political action committee reportedly spent $90,000 on advertisements for Krasner.    On top of that, Soros spent nearly $1.7 million dollars on promoting him back in 2017.
    While speaking on Tuesday, challenger Carlos Vega suggested Krasner is unwilling to work with police.
    “Look at the murder rates since he took office..last year 499 and if things don’t slow down, we’re going to have 600 murders,” he stated.    “So we have to work with the community, work with police, to save our children.”
    Last year, with incumbent Krasner as Philadelphia district attorney, homicides rose by 40 percent.

5/20/2021 Rep. Hoyer: Israel Has Moral Duty To Protect Its Citizens by OAN Newsroom
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is pictured.(J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo)
    House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) added evidence to the notion that the Democrat Party is splitting apart over calls for a cease fire to be imposed between the Israeli military and Palestinians.
    In an interview Wednesday, Hoyer said the only way to ease tensions is if Israel eliminates the threat of Hamas and that the Jewish State has a moral duty to protect its citizens.    He continued, saying the ceasefire is pointless as Hamas does not respond to requests.    The Democrat added, they were the ones who initiated these indiscriminate attacks.
    “Frankly, terrorist organizations are very difficult to negotiate with and a terror org. like Hamas that doesn’t wants Israel to exist has no reason to negotiate,” Hoyer stated.    “I’m not sure how you get a terror org. to honor or pursue a ceasefire…I think if Hamas stops the Israelis will stop.”
    The House Majority leader noted, the U.S. would respond the same way as Israel if the threat were made against America.

8/20/2021 U.S. House Approves Capitol Riot Probe; Many Republicans Buck Leadership by Richard Cowan and Susan Cornwell
FILE PHOTO: An explosion caused by a police munition is seen while supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump
gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to create an independent commission to probe the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by former President Donald Trump’s supporters, as one in six Republicans defied party leaders’ attempts to block it.
    Over the past two days, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell worked to kill a bipartisan bill to establish the commission to investigate the violence that left five dead including a Capitol Police officer.
    But the House voted by 252-175 to approve the commission, which was styled after the panel that probed attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.    The bill now goes to the Senate where its future was uncertain.
    The solid number of Republicans voting for the independent investigation — 35 out of 211 — signaled some cracks in the party’s defense of Trump on a key vote.    Trump opposes the creation of a commission.
    All 10 of the House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in January voted for the commission.
    The bipartisan outcome could give Senate Republicans second thoughts about working to defeat the initiative.
    House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Democrat, said McCarthy “got what he asked for” in a compromise on the structure of the commission, which would be charged with wrapping up its investigation by Dec. 31. McCarthy is a close ally of Trump.
    Earlier in the day, McConnell announced he would not support the House bill, calling it “the House Democrats’ slanted and unbalanced proposal” and saying existing congressional investigations are sufficient.
    In the 50-50 Senate – controlled by Democrats only because Vice President Kamala Harris can cast tie-breaking votes – Republicans can block the legislation.    At least 60 votes are needed to advance most bills.
    “There will continue to be no shortage of robust investigations,” said McConnell, who in January said that the mob that attacked the Capitol was “fed lies” and “provoked” by Trump and others.
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, said she could launch regular committee hearings with “full subpoena power” to investigate the riot if Senate Republicans block the commission.
    “But that’s not the path we have chosen to go,” Pelosi added, explaining that a bipartisan, outside investigation was needed to win the public’s trust in any findings.
    The 10-member commission would produce a public report including recommendations for preventing another Capitol attack.    It would be charged with examining security and intelligence failures surrounding the riot in which Trump’s supporters, after he delivered an incendiary speech, interrupted the formal congressional certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the November election.
    During debate, Republican Representative John Katko said, “An independent 9/11-style review is critical for removing the politics around Jan. 6.”
Katko helped craft the legislation with House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, a Democrat.
    The House bill, unveiled last week, would give Republicans equal power with Democrats in appointing commissioners and equal say over witnesses.
    Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he will schedule a debate on the legislation.    Schumer accused Republican leaders of “caving to Donald Trump and proving that the Republican Party is still drunk off the Big Lie” that the 2020 U.S. presidential election was stolen from Trump through massive voter fraud.
    Senator Susan Collins, a Republican moderate, earlier in the day told reporters that while she favors modifications to the House bill, “I do think a commission is a good idea.”    Republican Senator John Cornyn left open the possibility of negotiating changes to the House bill.
    House Democrats said congressional investigations are insufficient.    Democratic Representative Zoe Lofgren, who chairs the House Administration Committee that has held hearings on the attack, told reporters her panel has uncovered “serious errors” leading up to the attack.
    Describing a “howling mob” that called for hanging Vice President Mike Pence, Lofgren said her panel’s work does not answer questions about who incited the mob.
    “That’s why we need a bipartisan, prestigious, top-of-the-line commission to find out what happened and why it happened,” Lofgren said.
    Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene explained her opposition, saying on the House floor: “The media is going to use this (commission) to smear Trump supporters and President Trump for the next few years and cover up the real damage that is happening to the people of this country, which is tearing down our economy.”
    Trump on Tuesday urged Republicans to vote against the proposal, calling it a “trap” inspired by “the radical left.”    Republican lawmakers who vote in favor of the commission risk drawing the wrath of Trump ahead of the 2022 elections in which Democrats are seeking to retain control of Congress.
(Reporting by Richard Cowan and Susan Cornwell, additional reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Scott Malone and Cynthia Osterman)

5/20/2021 U.N. Bodies Set Up ‘One Health’ Panel To Advise On Animal Disease Risks
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization (WHO) during an executive board meeting on update
on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Geneva, Switzerland, April 6, 2021. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    SHANGHAI (Reuters) – The World Health Organization and three other international bodies have formed a team of experts to help develop a global plan to prevent the spread of diseases from animals to humans, the WHO said on Thursday.
    The One Health High-Level Expert Panel was an initiative launched by France and Germany late last year, and held its inaugural meeting this week.
    It will advise the WHO, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Organization for Animal Health and the United Nations Environment Programme on developing “risk assessment and surveillance frameworks” and establish “good practices to prevent and prepare for zoonotic outbreaks.”
    The panel will also consider potential transmission risks in food production and distribution, urbanisation and the construction of infrastructure, international travel and trade and activities that lead to biodiversity loss and climate change, the WHO said in a press release.
    The panel will publish its first recommendations later this year.
    The global COVID-19 pandemic is widely believed to have originated in wildlife trading networks in China and southeast Asia.    The closest known genetic match of the coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2 has been found in bats.
    A joint study into the origins of COVID-19 by China and WHO all but ruled out the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 was leaked from a laboratory known to be studying bat coronaviruses, saying the most probable route of transmission was an as yet unidentified intermediary species.
    China, where the COVID-19 outbreak began late in 2019, has already banned most types of wildlife trade and consumption and is also setting up ecological “security barriers” to keep humans out of animal habitats.
    The WHO says three quarters of all emerging infectious diseases originate in animals.
(Reporting by David Stanway; editing by Carmel Crimmins)

5/20/2021 Trust In EU Governments Falls Amid Pandemic, Steady In EU As A Bloc by Robin Emmott
FILE PHOTO: A large European Union flag lies at the centre of Schuman square, outside the European Commission
headquarters, on the eve of Europe Day, in Brussels, Belgium, May 8, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union citizens’ support for their national governments has fallen sharply since the COVID-19 pandemic began, although the supranational bloc itself has maintained trust, a survey by an EU agency published on Thursday showed.
    The survey by Eurofound, the EU agency for improving living and working conditions, showed that citizens in 26 of the 27 EU countries had less faith in their national governments than when COVID-19 lockdowns began in March last year.    The exception was Denmark, where sentiment was steady.
    The study also found that trust in the bloc itself was generally higher than for national governments even after sharp criticism of the executive European Commission over delays to COVID-19 vaccine procurement and delivery.
    Eurofound said the survey was based on three rounds of polling based on an overall sample of 138,629 people.
    After improving last summer when the bloc approved its multi-billion-euro recovery plan, trust in the EU as an organisation fell slightly in February and March from a year earlier.
    Most recently, people in Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Greece and Poland registered much lower support for their governments than a year ago.
    Austria, whose government was initially praised for its handling of the pandemic but then faced criticism over its vaccine purchases, saw one of the biggest falls in support over the past year, the survey found.
    Denmark and Finland were the countries with the highest trust in the national government.
    The study confirmed a historical trend that Europeans trust the EU as a organisation more than their national governments.
    Citizens in France, Hungary, Malta, Portugal, Romania and Spain said they trusted the EU more now than at the start of the pandemic, although support fell in Germany, the EU’s most powerful member.
    Fourteen months after the first COVID-19 cases were recorded in the EU, Eurofound warned that rising inequality and fatigue could lead to instability if more is not done to help Europeans.
    “Failing to prevent the rise of economic and social inequalities among citizens and member states risks … triggering political discontent against the European social contract that binds all of us together,” the survey said.
(Reporting by Robin Emmott; Editing by Catherine Evans)

5/21/2021 Oil down $1.43 to $61.95, DOW up 188 to 34,084.

5/21/2021 Dr. Atlas: Medical Officials Ignored Science, Stirred Up Fear To Justify Extreme COVID-19 Measures by OAN Newsroom
White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Scott Atlas departs after a television interview at the
White House, Monday, Oct. 12, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    A prominent doctor has been speaking out against COVID-19 lockdowns while asserting their negative effects may last for years and even decades to come.
    In a recent interview, Dr. Scott Atlas, a radiologist and a former White House health care policy adviser, explained how lockdowns hurt low-income and minority families the most.    He said lockdowns were not only a “heinous abuse of power,” but they also failed to protect the elderly.
    “There was a frenzy that took over out of fear and out of a lack of leadership by the faces of public health to put things into context, into perspective and to recognize right away what the consequences of these lockdowns would be,” Dr. Atlas stated.
    He stressed that the lockdowns were not necessary, yet medical bureaucrats insisted on extreme measures without sufficient scientific evidence.
    “The goal shifted of the people giving the advice both at the federal level and throughout the country,” he continued.    “It shifted from stopping hospitals from being over crowded to stopping cases.”
    The doctor went on to say medical officials were not honest with the public about their knowledge of how to handle the virus by saying it’s a “novel disease.”
    His statements came after both Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-Mich.) were criticized for how they handled COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes.    One Michigan resident, who recently lost both of her parents, criticized Whitmer’s policies while pointing out that they forbid her from seeing her parents in their final moments.
    “They faced life’s adversities with optimism and perseverance only to suffer the last months of their lives due to these egregious anti-family policies,” said Michigander Kim Galdis.
    While working in the White House as a senior advisor to President Trump, Dr. Atlas pushed to lift lockdown policies and has vowed to continue doing so.

5/21/2021 Rep. Tom Malinowski Faces Questions Regarding His Stock Trading by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this March 10, 2021, file photo, Rep. Tom Malinowski, D-N.J., speaks during
a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Ken Cedeno/Pool via AP, File)
    New Jersey Rep. Tom Malinowski (D) is being questioned regarding his stock trading activity.    It has been reported that Malinowski failed to disclose stock trades made during the COVID-19 pandemic which are now potentially worth millions.
    According to reports on Friday, Malinowski is accused of failing to report his stock trading of more than $1 million in medical and stock shares.    The Associated Press noted the lawmaker traded heavily at the beginning of last year during a period of high gains reported by many medical device companies.
    It is required by law that Members of Congress disclose their investments within 45 days in an effort to crack down on insider trading.    Malinowski later admitted his failure to file these financial activities upon receiving two complaints that were filed against him with the Office of Congressional Ethics.
NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 25: A trader is reflected in a market screen on the floor of the
New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
    “I don’t know that you should be buying and selling stock when the people we represent are facing what will invariably be the most horrific and challenging years of their lives,” said Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.).    Spanberger added, “if you are not willing to make certain sacrifices to be in public service, then perhaps there might be a different job that’s best for you.”
    The Democrat is currently campaigning for a third term, but critics say his trading scandal could potentially pose a liability with voters.

5/21/2021 Kyle Rittenhouse Makes First In-Person Court Appearance by OAN Newsroom
Kyle Rittenhouse, right, listens to his attorney, Mark Richards, during Rittenhouse’s pretrial hearing Friday,
May 21, 2021 at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis. (Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool)
    The prosecutors and defense attorneys in the Kyle Rittenhouse case have been busy assembling their witness lists in preparation for a return to court on September 17.    Rittenhouse, 18, made his first in-person court appearance on Friday, during which both sides agreed to have a juror questionnaire ready by August 1.
    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, his previous legal proceedings have been held virtually.    The Illinois teen has been accused of fatally shooting two people in Kenosha, Wisconsin while defending businesses during Black Lives Matter protests last summer.
In this Aug. 25, 2020, file photo, Kyle Rittenhouse, left, with backwards cap, walks along Sheridan Road
in Kenosha, Wis., with another armed civilian. (Adam Rogan/The Journal Times via AP, File)
    Meanwhile, Rittenhouse has been charged with first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree intentional homicide as well as first-degree recklessly endangering safety in the fatal shootings of Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, during the August protests.
    Currently, Rittenhouse is free on bail and living at an undisclosed location due to death threats.    His trial is set to last two weeks and will begin on November 1.    Sheriff’s officials have reported that security will be tight around all proceedings related to the case.

5/21/2021 Andrew Cuomo Set To Make $5.1M Profit From Book About COVID-19 Leadership by OAN Newsroom
FILE – New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference, Monday, May 10, 2021 in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, Pool)
    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has revealed he was paid $3.1 million in advance to write his memoir titled “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons From the COVID-19 Pandemic.”    On top of that, Cuomo is on track to earn another $2 million on the book over the next two years.    This would put his overall profits at a whopping $5.1 million.
    The book’s reportedly based upon his leadership over the course of the pandemic.    Yet, critics have said they are disgusted with his profit-making memoir because they believe it’s all based on lies.    This comes as the New York Democrat currently faces multiple high-profile investigations over his blunders as governor.
    For example, Cuomo’s currently being subjected to a federal probe over allegations that his administration covered up thousands of COVID-19 deaths in New York nursing homes in 2020.    Many suspect these deaths were linked to Cuomo’s policies after he ordered early on for people who had already contracted and recovered from COVID-19 to be housed in nursing homes.
    Reports have alleged his administration knew about this catastrophic failure for months and actively tried to prevent the New York State Health Department from releasing the actual coronavirus numbers.    In January of 2021, New York Attorney General Letitia James released a report alleging Cuomo undercounted the number of nursing home deaths by as much as 50 percent.
Cuomo’s also facing calls to resign after at least 10 women have come forward with sexual harassment claims. Cuomo has since addressed these allegations stating,     “I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable…it was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it.”

5/21/2021 GOP Lawmakers Accuse Rep. Nancy Pelosi Of Hypocrisy Over Mask Policies by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 16: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) looks on during a news conference discussing
the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, on Capitol Hill on October 16, 2019. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
    GOP lawmakers are questioning congressional mask policies while arguing that the rules don’t make sense.    While speaking to reporters on Thursday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has refused to follow the CDC guidelines and, in return, is holding her colleagues to a double standard.
    McCarthy explained that he and his colleagues just want to abide by the science.    He expressed confusion surrounding the way Pelosi has been reacting to the revised CDC guidelines because in the Senate you are not required to wear a mask.    Yet, Pelosi has said you must wear a mask in the House.
WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 5: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) speaks during a press conference outside the
U.S. Capitol on February 5, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    This came shortly after Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) was fined $500 along with two other GOP lawmakers for refusing to follow Pelosi’s mandate.    The House     Speaker said the congressional mask policies are about scientific reason and authority.    She then insisted that she doesn’t want the House Chamber to become a Petri dish.
    Despite her remarks, the Democrat was seen walking through a large crowd without her mask on while attending a ceremony at the White House on Thursday.    Critics of Pelosi pointed out the hypocrisy of such a move by saying the House Speaker can barely follow her own policies.

5/21/2021 House Republicans Unveil Broadband For Rural America Act by OAN Newsroom
File – In this image from video, Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., speaks during House debates. (House Television via AP)
    Republicans on the House Committee on Agriculture introduced a new legislative package aimed at upping connectivity in rural America.    The Broadband for Rural America Act was brought forward Thursday, which would provide more than $7 billion in authorizations for USDA broadband programs.     The head of the Agriculture Committee, Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.), championed the bill.    He said, “it’s time to put aside partisan differences, debate the merits of this legislation and address this significant infrastructure need.”
    Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has been sharing his support for the legislation by posting videos of several lawmakers pulling for the Broadband Act.    He most recently shared he following tweet by Rep. Michelle Fischbach (R-Minn.):
    This bill would boost the minimum megabits per second provided by broadband services and imposes new build-out requirements to ensure the networks meet the long-term needs of rural Americans.    The legislation is just one of many infrastructure proposals being made by House Republicans.

5/21/2021 Rep. Keller: Biden Policies Dragging Down Economic Recovery by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Tuesday, March 2, 2021, file photo, a woman, wearing a protective mask due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak,
walks past the signs of an employment agency, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
    Congressman Fred Keller (R-Pa.) called on the Biden administration to step aside and reopen the economy.    During an appearance on the House floor this week, he called the current economic crisis “troubling but not surprising.”
    The Pennsylvania lawmaker pointed out “skyrocketing inflation, rising gas prices and growing unemployment” are the results of a White House that believes more government is the solution.    He pointed to the April jobs report, noting Joe Biden is promoting government control rather than the sustainability of having a job.
    “Biden’s policies are detrimental to our economic recovery and are the last thing America needs,” Keller stated.    “Even more frustrating, the solution to get us back on track has been present all along: reopen the economy, stop piling debt on our children and get Americans back to work.”
    Keller continued, asserting now is the time for government to get out of the way and let Americans reclaim control of their lives as well as their government.

5/21/2021 Reports: GOP Unified, Aiming To Retake The House In 2022 by OAN Newsroom
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., left, walks with newly-elected House Republican Conference Chair Rep.
Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., to speak with reporters, on Capitol Hill Friday, May 14, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Despite a recent reshuffling of leadership positions, reports point to the GOP being more unified than ever.    These recent reports acknowledged disagreements between Republican lawmakers, but noted that GOP voters are “united and energized.”    They also suggested these voters are doing what it takes to make Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) the next Speaker of the House.
    Reports also pointed to blockbuster fundraising efforts by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and GOP candidate recruitment ahead of pace heading into the midterm cycle.
    Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) discussed party unity when she took over as conference chair.
    “We are unified and I look to the voters across America,” she stated.    “Republican voters are unified in their support and their desire to work with President Trump, and we are unified as Republicans.”
    Reports also pointed to the unified stance Republicans took toward the conflict in Israel compared to the divide between centrist and left-wing Democrats on Israeli support.

5/21/2021 House GOP Israel Caucus Defends Israel’s Right To Defend Itself, Calls For Alliance by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
    GOP lawmakers are calling on the Biden administration to take action in support of the U.S.-Israel alliance.    Republicans on Capitol Hill have been voicing their support for Israel while stressing the country needs help from the U.S. now more than ever.
    On Wednesday, while speaking to reporters in front of Capitol Hill, members of the House Republican Israel Caucus urged the White House to take action against Hamas as the terrorist organization continues bombarding Israel.    Caucus co-chair Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) said the U.S. should be standing with its ally “shoulder to shoulder” in what he called a “battle of of good versus evil.”
    “Israel has an inherent right of self-defense; Hamas is a terrorist organization and an Iranian proxy that seeks to wipe Israel off the map,” he stated.
    Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) warned the left wants to pull back U.S. military support of Israel with Democrats on the House Foreign Affairs Committee attempting to delay a $735 million arms sale to the country.    The arms sale will provide Israel with accurate missiles and special munitions.
    “Unfortunately, there are those in Congress who are wanting to defund our military support of Israel,” Lamborn stated.    “They’re wanting to condemn Israel’s right to defend itself and that is totally wrong, and we’re not going to let that happen.”
    Rep. Dan Bishop (R.N.C.) pointed out how Democrats want to keep the U.S. divided over the conflict in the Middle East.
    Meanwhile, Republicans are challenging the Biden administration to unequivocally support Israel while ensuring the precision guided missiles arrive without delay.

5/21/2021 ‘Failure For Humanity’: Rich World Aims To End Vaccine Inequities by Crispian Balmer and Francesco Guarascio
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen attend a news conference at a virtual
G20 summit on the global health crisis, at Villa Pamphilj in Rome, Italy, May 21, 2021. REUTERS/Remo Casilli/Pool
    ROME (Reuters) -Rich nation leaders and big drugmakers promised on Friday to do more to bridge the startling divide in fighting COVID-19, with an increased flow of badly-needed vaccines to poorer regions.
    Lavishly-funded mass inoculation campaigns are helping many wealthy countries slash infections, but few shots have reached less developed nations where the virus still rages sometimes uncontrollably, drawing accusations of “vaccine apartheid”
    To date, some 1.53 billion doses have been administered globally, but only around 1% of them in Africa, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
    “We should hang our heads in shame,” said South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, one of numerous world leaders to address a special Group of 20 summit on the pandemic, hosted by Italy and the European Union’s executive Commission.
    “We are in a global war against a pandemic.    When you are in a war and you are all allies, you must use all your weapons without hiding behind profit at the expense of lives,” he added.
    In their concluding Rome Declaration, the leaders called for voluntary licensing and technology transfers to boost vaccine production.    But there was no consensus on a contested push by the United States and other nations for pharmaceutical companies to waive valuable patents.
    However, Pfizer and BioNTech pledged to make available 1 billion cut-price doses this year to poorer nations.    Another 1 billion vaccines would be provided next year, Pfizer boss Albert Bourla said.
    Johnson & Johnson promised 200 million doses of its vaccine to COVAX, a vaccine-sharing programme co-led by the WHO.
    In addition, the EU promised 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) to build vaccination manufacturing hubs in Africa.
    “As we prepare for the next pandemic, our priority must be to ensure that we all overcome the current one together.    We must vaccinate the world, and do it fast,” Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said.
    China’s President Xi Jinping pledged $3 billion in aid over the next three years to help developing countries recover and proposed setting up an international forum to promote fair distribution of vaccines.
    U.S. President Joe Biden let his vice president, Kamala Harris, speak on his behalf.    His administration has backed calls from many developing countries for the patent waiver, in the hope this would boost production and allow more equitable distribution.
    The suggestion has been snubbed by some European nations, who have instead called for the removal of U.S. trade barriers that they consider the main bottleneck.
    European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said existing global agreements already allowed countries to force companies to share their licences in an emergency.
    She added that the EU will make a proposal to facilitate the use of those clauses and added that Europe would donate at least 100 million doses to poorer nations by the end of the year, including 30 million each from France and Germany.
    Among a flurry of proposals, the International Monetary Fund suggested a $50 billion plan to end the pandemic by vaccinating at least 40% of all people by the end of 2021 and at least 60% by the first half of 2022.
    U.S. philanthropist Bill Gates said more than 80% of the first billion shots went to wealthy countries, versus 0.2% for low-income nations.    “If we do not close this immense gap, more people will die needlessly.    There are two immediate actions countries can take: share dollars and doses,” he said.
    In their declaration, the world leaders noted the importance of the so-called ACT-Accelerator, a tool of the WHO to distribute COVID-19 vaccines, drugs and tests.
    However, dashing initial expectations, the declaration did not include a clear commitment to fully fund the programme, which is still $19 billion short.
    The COVAX program, which is dedicated to equitable global vaccine distribution, was also mentioned as a way of providing donated doses to countries.
    “The rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines is a triumph of science, but their inequitable distribution is a failure for humanity,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus told the virtual meeting.
($1 = 0.8188 euros)
(Reporting by Crispian Balmer in Rome and Francesco Guarascio in Brussels;Additional reporting by Emma Farge in Geneva;Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

5/21/2021 Few Plea Bargains In U.S. Capitol Riot Cases As Prosecutors Stand Firm by Mark Hosenball
FILE PHOTO: Pro-Trump protesters storm the U.S. Capitol to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results
by the U.S. Congress, at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., U.S. January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Ahmed Gaber
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Nearly four months after the U.S. Capitol attack, just one of more than 440 people charged has pleaded guilty, a sign of tough conditions set by prosecutors for plea deals and resistance by defense lawyers to their demands.
    This reflects the high stakes of cases stemming from the worst violence at the Capitol in modern history, which left five people dead.
    U.S. officials have suggested in court hearings that defendants might be interested in pleading guilty, a move that typically can result in a shorter sentence.    Prosecutors routinely seek to resolve cases through plea bargains.    But legal experts said it is relatively early in this process for either prosecutors or defense lawyers to be reaching quick deals.
    Lawyers for more than a dozen defendants said plea talks so far have foundered because prosecutors demanded their clients turn over social media data, cell phones and other evidence, while also pushing for prison sentences they would not accept.
    Without plea deals, hundreds of separate trials will move forward, a time-consuming process now extended by a case backlog resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Moreover, without evidence provided under plea bargains, federal prosecutors may have a harder time building cases against leaders of the violence on more serious charges such as conspiracy or violation of laws intended to fight organized crime.
    The Justice Department has launched a massive investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, when hundreds of supporters of Donald Trump stormed the building after the then-president falsely claimed in a fiery speech that the election had been stolen from him.    The mob smashed windows, fought with police and sent lawmakers into hiding.
    Many participants also live-streamed their actions on social media or posted pictures afterwards of themselves, making it relatively easy for law enforcement agencies to make hundreds of arrests rapidly.
    The charges have ranged widely, from disorderly conduct to assaulting officers and conspiracy.
    Key conspiracy cases have largely focused on leaders of the right-wing Oath Keepers and Proud Boys groups.    They face charges of obstruction of an official proceeding, destruction of government property and occupying a restricted building.
    Some defendants facing lesser charges have been surprised by prosecutors’ demands.    Defense lawyers have complained that their insistence on obtaining cell phones and other physical and digital evidence is excessive.    That data could be used to build cases against planners of the violence.
    Attorney Steven Metcalf said he rejected a plea deal that would have sent his client Richard Barnett to prison for several years.    The man from Gravette, Arkansas was seen in a widely circulated photograph sitting at a desk with his feet up in House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.
    “We might consider something more reasonable,” Metcalfe said.
    Former federal prosecutor Laurie Levenson, a law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, said that by taking a tough stand in plea-bargain negotiations, prosecutors are “sending a message” about how seriously they take the riot cases.
    “It is still relatively early in the process,” Levenson said.    “Prosecutors don’t want to … set the standards too low. There’s not a lot incentive for prosecutors to give a sweetheart deal.”
    Prosecutors are also likely focused on amassing as much evidence as they can, she said, hence the requests for defendants to surrender phones and other data.
    The one person who has pleaded guilty so far, Oath Keepers founding member Jon Schaffer, agreed to turn over “any and all evidence” of crimes that he was aware of and to fully cooperate with prosecutors, according to his plea deal filed in federal court.
    The lawyer for Jacob Chansley, the man nicknamed the “QAnon Shaman” who was photographed wearing a horned headdress inside the Capitol, said the prosecutors he has talked to appear to have less leeway to negotiate deals without consulting Washington than he normally encounters in federal cases.
    “We have been working as collaboratively as we can with the government,” said Albert Watkins, a St. Louis lawyer who represents Chansley and three other Jan. 6 defendants.
    A Justice Department spokesman would not comment on possible plea deals or whether senior officials have slowed efforts by frontline prosecutors to strike deals.
    At a court hearing this month, prosecutors indicated that senior officials had approved possible plea deal offers for four defendants charged with attacking police in a Capitol tunnel with firecrackers and chemicals.
    But lawyers for some of them said no offers have materialized.
    “While it is true that the government indicated that they are ‘in the process of extending plea offers in our case,’ there have been no discussions regarding same or an intention of entertaining same,” said Carlos Diaz-Cobo, who represents Christopher Quaglin of New Jersey, who faces charges including civil disorder.
    “Our intention, at this point, is to go to trial,” Diaz-Cobo added.
    Plea discussions appear to be advanced in the case of at least one other accused rioter, court records showed.    Douglas Jensen of Des Moines, Iowa, faces charges including violent entry of the Capitol and disrupting government business.    Court records showed that a conference in early May was postponed until June while the parties decide if they want to proceed with a plea. Jensen’s lawyer declined to comment.
(This story refiles to add dropped first name for Christopher Quaglin and dropped words to paragraph 24)
(Reporting By Mark Hosenball; Editing by Scott Malone and Cynthia Osterman)

5/22/2021 Oil up $1.87 to $63.82, DOW up 124 to 34,208.

5/22/2021 CNN Anchor Chris Cuomo Apologizes For Advising Brother Andrew Cuomo Amid Numerous Scandals by OAN Newsroom
FILE -New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, left, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, right. (Mike Groll/Office of Governor of Andrew M. Cuomo via AP, left, and Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
    CNN anchor Chris Cuomo is facing criticism for aiding his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), in handling his sexual harassment claims.    Cuomo tried to save face by apologizing on his broadcast Thursday after the Washington Post reported he advised his brother on how to respond to sexual harassment allegations, while encouraging him to stand his ground.    The younger Cuomo reportedly participated in multiple strategy calls with the New York governor and gubernatorial aides.
    Cuomo addressed the report stating, “when my brother’s situation became turbulent, I became looped into calls with other friends of his and advisers, that did include some of his staff.    I understand why that was a problem for CNN. It will not happen again.”
    The CNN anchor admitted he cannot be objective when covering his family and claimed he never tried to influence the network’s coverage.    Cuomo concluded by expressing how he was truly sorry.
ALBANY, NEW YORK – MARCH 17: A plane pulls a banner reading “New Yorkers Say: Cuomo’s Got To Go!” over the N.Y. State Capitol in response to the sexual harassment
allegations made by numerous women against Gov. Andrew Cuomo. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for UltraViolet, Women’s March, Girls for Gender Equity)
    However, he repeatedly had Gov. Cuomo on his show over the past year to discuss his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, before the nursing home death count scandal and sexual harassment allegations had come to light.    Many are criticizing the CNN anchor over the conflict of interest, saying he crossed a journalistic line.
    In a statement, CNN acknowledged how it was inappropriate for Chris to engage in conversations with the governor’s staff while claiming he had not been involved in covering Cuomo’s scandal.

5/22/2021 White House Offers Scaled Down $1.7T Infrastructure Proposal by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 02: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki answers reporters’ questions during the daily news
briefing at the White House February 02, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    The Biden administration has claimed to be reaching for bipartisanship, but its new infrastructure proposal is not upholding its claims.    At a press conference held at the White House on Friday, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the White House’s new offer was made in the spirit of finding common ground.    Despite claims of cooperation, she still grilled conservatives for not going far enough to address Biden’s priorities when it comes to infrastructure projects.
    After the announcement, Senate Republicans released a statement saying that the White House’s new proposal was still well above the range of what could pass through Congress with bipartisan support.    While the updated infrastructure plan is around $600 billion less than the original, it is still more than $1 trillion higher than the Republicans $568 billion offer.
    Despite Psaki praising the White House staff’s negotiating style, the GOP statement suggested far less progress could be made now that discussions were being outsourced to White House staff instead of being handled by Joe Biden directly.    Further complicating any efforts to find common ground, Psaki confirmed that Biden has every intention to raise corporate tax rates in order to pay for the package, which was originally an idea Republicans had staunchly and repeatedly opposed.

5/22/2021 Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Stops In Dalton, Ga. To Rally With Supporters by OAN Newsroom
DALLAS, GA – OCTOBER 15: Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) speaks after being endorsed by Georgia Republican House
candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene (R) during a joint press conference. (Photo by Dustin Chambers/Getty Images)
    In between stops of the America First Tour, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) took time to rally with her supporters in Georgia.
    Greene spoke at the 14th District Republican Convention recently, railing against the Members of Congress who she considers are not doing the work of the American people.    She talked about Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) draconian mask mandates continuing despite updated CDC guidelines and discussed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) refusal to debate the Green New Deal.
    Many of her sentiments were echoed at her most recent rally in Mesa, Arizona on Friday. Greene along with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) told supporters in the crowd that the ongoing audit of the 2020 election in Arizona should act as an example for all the battleground states where President Donald Trump was not declared the winner.     Gaetz stated, “it’s my belief that Arizona will be the launch pad for elections audits and election integrity efforts all over this great country.”
    Greene has continued to speak her mind despite progressive backlash, earning her a large following and impressive fundraising numbers.

5/22/2021 Joe Biden Taps Sung Kim To Be U.S. Special Envoy For North Korea by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Dec. 1, 2016 file photo, new U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim addresses the media shortly upon his arrival at the Ninoy Aquino
International Airport in suburban Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines, to succeed his predecessor, Philip Goldberg. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File)
    During a public meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday, Joe Biden tapped career diplomat Sung Kim to lead the White House’s North Korean policy, making Kim the new special U.S. envoy for North Korea.
    Kim has served in the State Department for decades and was appointed to several ambassadorships in East Asia, including in South Korea and the Philippines.    His background also includes serving as special envoy to multilateral six-party talks with North Korea during the Obama administration.
    Biden said his hope is that Kim’s deep policy expertise will help reduce tensions with North Korea. President Moon commended the appointment, highlighting Kim’s diplomatic skills he has developed over his long career studying the region.
    This has surfaced as American and South Korean diplomats have been working to de-escalate tensions with North Korea and dismantle their nuclear capabilities.

5/22/2021 NYC Pro-Israel Protesters Attacked, Dem Leadership Called Out For Staying Largely Silent by OAN Newsroom
NEW YORK, NY – MAY 18: Members of the Palestinian community, fellow Muslims and their supporters rally in support of the Palestinian people in the wake
of the recent violence in the Gaza Strip, during a rally in Times Square, May 18, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    New York Democrat leaders are facing criticism from members of their own party for staying silent as Middle East tensions spill over into the “Big Apple.”    There have been reports of fighting as demonstrations linked to the conflict in Israel continue in New York City.
    Police repeatedly had to break apart fighting after pro-Israel activists were attacked by pro-Palestinian protesters. Furthermore, videos have emerged depicting the violence, including a scuffle after someone who was holding an Israeli flag had it pulled from his hands before being punched upon trying to retrieve it back.
    The continued violence has subjected more than two dozen additional individuals to custody after officers were forced to step into a larger fight that broke out.    Police have also reportedly said a group of pro-Palestinian agitators threw fireworks into a crowd of pedestrians, injuring at least one bystander and two officers.
NEW YORK, NY – MAY 20: Pro Palestinian protesters face off with a group of Israel supporters and police in a
violent clash in Times Square on May 20, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
    A 29-year-old Jewish man has also spoke out after he was beaten by a group of people in the city earlier in the week. Police say Joseph Borgen was taken to a hospital and treated for minor injuries following the attack. He said he couldn’t understand why there was so much hate directed at him.
    Police said one 23-year-old suspect was taken into custody and faces a litany of charges that include assault as a hate crime, aggravated harassment as a hate crime and criminal possession of a weapon. Officers are still searching for six more people connected to the attack.
    Critics are calling on New York leadership to address the violence, saying some of the biggest names in the state have been largely absent amongst the chaos.    Although, in an appearance on Friday in Times Square, Senate Majority Leader and New York lawmaker Chuck Schumer (D) did make a comment saying he’s glad there’s a ceasefire in the Middle East.
    Saturday will mark the first full day of ceasefire after Hamas militants fired more than 4,000 rockets toward Israel with Israel conducting air strikes in response.    Reports say Egyptian mediators have continued to hold discussions between the two sides in the hopes of maintaining the peace.

5/23/2021 Gov. Ron Desantis: We Have To Reject Open Borders by OAN Newsroom
MIAMI, FL – AUGUST 29: Governor Ron DeSantis gives a briefing regarding Hurricane Dorian to the
media at National Hurricane Center. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images)
    Gov. Ron Desantis (R-Fla.) recently delivered remarks at the Annual Lincoln Day Dinner in Pennsylvania, highlighting some of the major issues facing the U.S. today.    Desantis said the GOP mustn’t go back to the failed Republican establishment of yesteryear.
    He took aim at George W. Bush’s attempts to lobby Republicans into helping the Biden administration pass amnesty for 11 to 12 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S.    The Florida Republican’s comments come amid recent polling that show Bush’s veiled attempt to revive his any willing worker policy, which proved widely unpopular among Republican voters.
    Recently, Desantis further criticized the city of Gainesville, Florida after it began requiring proof of vaccination from their residents before allowing them to take off their masks.    Florida Gov. Desantis said this type of enforcement violates the spirit of his emergency order, 21-81, which aims to prohibit vaccine passports.    Desantis claimed pushing back against vaccine passports will ultimately protect the fundamental rights and privacies of Florida residents.
    This comes after Desantis signed a bill at the beginning of May which sought to rid all city and county emergency orders regarding the pandemic.    This made it so businesses would still be able to enforce rules such as mask requirements, but county and city governments could no longer do the same.
    Additionally, Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) signed an executive order last month restricting vaccination passports in the state of Texas.    Abbott stood by his decision stating, “the government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and provide proof of private health information just to go about their daily lives.”    He said Texas is still dedicated to getting people vaccinated and protecting public health, but will do so without treading on Texan’s personal freedoms.
    The governors of Arizona, Idaho and Montana have also signed similar executive orders.

5/23/2021 Mollie Tibbetts Crime Scene Photos Shown To Jurors In First Week Of Murder Trial by OAN Newsroom
Cristhian Bahena Rivera listens to Poweshiek County Attorney Bart Klaver give his opening statement at his trial at the
Scott County Courthouse in Davenport, Iowa, on Wednesday, May 19, 2021. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette via AP, Pool)
    Testimonies have wrapped up for the first week in the murder trial against a man charged with the kidnapping and murder of a college student back in 2018.
    On Friday, DNA analysts told jurors blood that was found in the trunk of 26-year-old Christian Bahena Rivera was an exact match to the known DNA profile of Mollie Tibbets.    Tara Scott announced in court, “the probability of fighting this profile in a population of unrelated individuals chosen at random would be less than one out of 8.2 nonillion.”
    Tibbetts was a 20-year-old student at the University of Iowa who vanished while out for a run back in 2018.    Rivera, a former farmhand, was charged with first-degree murder after confessing to kidnapping Tibbetts, stabbing her to death and later hiding her body in a cornfield.
FILE – In this September 2016 file photo provided by Kim Calderwood, Mollie Tibbetts poses for a picture
during homecoming festivities at BGM High School in her hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa. (Kim Calderwood via AP, File)
    Several dozens of investigators and members of the community searched for Tibbetts body for weeks before Rivera, a Mexican national who had illegally been living in the U.S., led police to her remains.
Rivera’s partial confession built the case, but his lawyer argues he was coerced into a confession following 11 hours of harsh interrogation techniques and sleep deprivation.    However, if convicted, the former farmhand faces life in prison. In the meantime, the trial is expected to pick back up next week.

5/23/2021 West Point Military Academy Celebrates 2021 Graduates by OAN Newsroom
The Class of 2021 toss their hats into the air after they graduated at the US Military Academy’s graduation ceremony at
Michie Stadium West Point, New York on May 22, 2021. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)
    On Saturday, nearly 1,000 cadets in West Point’s 2021 graduating class set off to become Second Lieutenants in the U.S. Army upon graduation.
    U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin had the opportunity to deliver the commencement address.    Austin highlighted the adversity graduates experienced over the past year as they continued studies amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
    “Lieutenants you are ready.    In this young century, adaptation is the name of the game.    Leadership is the name of the game.”    Austin added, “West Point has given you what you need to tackle any worthy challenge…to embrace in an honorable mission.”
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin hands out diplomas to U.S. Military Academy graduating cadets during the ceremony
for class 2021 at Michie Stadium on Saturday, May 22, 2021, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
    Austin spoke to the graduates reassuring them that although they are graduating in extraordinary circumstances, extraordinary circumstances are what the U.S. Army does.    Succeeding the graduation exercises, the class threw their hats in celebration after 47 months of attendance in the prestigious academy.
[Joe Biden tried to quote a Chinese tolaterrian Communist leader statement assuming that would inspire new recruits and they did not respond to it so now they know whose side the POTUS is really on and Joe should be embarrassed or fire the one who wrote that speech which means you are a communist which is sad for the POTUS status and I would like to know how many of the cadets joined to get their college debts cut in half for serving but also how many have been programmed on the critical race theory crap.].

5/23/2021 Sen. Rand Paul Says He Won’t Get The Vaccine by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., questions Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy
and Infectious Diseases, during a Senate hearing. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via AP)
    Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has announced he will not be getting vaccinated because he believes he has natural immunity due to testing positive for COVID-19 last year.
    In an interview over the weekend, the doctor and senator said he is abstaining from vaccination until he sees hard evidence that immunity from the vaccine is superior to natural immunity.
    Paul has been a strong critic of COVID-19 restrictions and mask mandates throughout the pandemic.    He maintains that in a free society each individual assumes their own risk and that an unvaccinated person poses no risk to the vaccinated.
    The senator’s comments come as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are trying to push through a decline in vaccine demand and as the potential for vaccine passports spark nationwide debate.
    Sen. Paul has consistently held Dr. Anthony Fauci accountable for his response to the coronavirus outbreak and continues to.    Earlier this week, he criticized Fauci for playing politics and misleading people solely for the optics.    Paul said Fauci is continuing to dictate everything U.S. citizens do based on conjecture rather than science.

5/23/2021 CBP Issues “Report To ICE” Orders To Illegal Immigrants by OAN Newsroom
TIJUANA, MEXICO – APRIL 29: Members of a caravan of Central Americans who spent weeks traveling across Mexico walk from Mexico to the U.S. side of
the border to ask authorities for asylum on April 29, 2018 in Tijuana, Baja California Norte, Mexico. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
    An influx of illegal border crossings has forced U.S. Customs and Border Protection to implement “report to ICE” orders rather than issuing court appearance dates to illegal aliens.
    Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Troy Miller tells a House Appropriations Subcommittee that the CBP began issuing “report to ICE” orders to illegal aliens in response to exhausted resources and overcrowded facilities.
    At the hearing earlier this week, Miller went on to say that since Mexico has stopped accepting returned migrants, the CBP has encountered over 178,000 illegal immigrants trying to enter the U.S. in April alone.    This aggressive statistic shows the highest amount of illegal immigrants entered in the last 20 years.    Of the individuals, 35 percent had re-entered the U.S. after having been removed, provoking frustrated Border Patrol agents to commonly refer to Joe Biden as “let ’em go Joe.”
ROMA, TEXAS – APRIL 27 – A U.S. Border Patrol agent registers immigrants after they crossed the Rio Grande
from Mexico on April 27, 2021 in Roma, Texas. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
    In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas earlier this week, Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona (R) accused the DHS of violating immigration law by releasing migrants inside the U.S. without a court date.    Homeland Security Subcommittee members addressed this lack of accountability due to the new “report to ICE” orders.
    As Biden’s immigration policies continue to strain border resources, thousands of children are being left stuck in overcrowded holding facilities and agents are being forced to take on caretaker roles instead of patrolling for coyotes and drug smugglers.
    Meantime, Border Czar Kamala Harris still has yet to visit the border. Critics claim this is an intentional effort on the part of the White House to avoid the poor optics of the crisis.

5/23/2021 Minority Farmer Loan Forgiveness Program To Allocate $4B In Payments As Part Of American Rescue Plan by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock speaks with Black farmers in Byromville, Ga., on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. Warnock addressed
targeted federal relief in the American Rescue Plan for farmers of color and vowed to tackle the history of
discriminatory practices by the United States Department of Agriculture. (Riley Bunch/The Daily Times via AP)
    The Department of Agriculture has said it will be rolling out loan forgiveness payments aimed at minority farmers.    The fund was established in order to provide government aid to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
    Recent reports have said around $4 billion will be distributed as part of the American Rescue Plan and farmers should expect to see payments beginning in June.    According to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the program will benefit up to 13,000 Black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian American and Pacific Islander farmers.
    The debut comes after Black farmers accused the USDA of delaying the start of the program, while white farmers reportedly are criticizing it as being discriminatory.    This specific debt relief plan is receiving backlash and multiple lawsuits from those being excluded.
    Reports added that three of the biggest banking groups have voiced their opposition of the program.    They claim banks will lose out on interest payments over the longevity of the loan and are pushing for the Agriculture Department to compensate them in return.

5/23/2021 Major Union Criticizes Joe Biden Over Prison Closures by OAN Newsroom
Partial view of the Villahermosa prison in Cali, Colombia, on June 23, 2020, during the
COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Luis ROBAYO / AFP) (Photo by LUIS ROBAYO/AFP via Getty Images)
    Joe Biden has requested that the Bureau of Prisons withhold from renewing contracts with 11 prisons that are known for holding mostly foreign convicts.    In a letter released last week, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers requested the Biden administration reconsider their decision.    If followed through, the IAMAW said the move would impact 1,200 union jobs.
    The union noted the facilities that Biden is looking to close are some of the largest employers in their localities.    Because of this, they emphasized how much of a negative impact these closures would have on the community.
    “The closure of these facilities will result in thousands of hard-working Americans losing their good jobs during one of the most economically challenging times in our country’s history,” IAMAW President Robert Martinez wrote.
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
    Biden has postured himself as being extremely pro-union, often expressing how much he would like to create more union jobs.    Yet, Biden’s order rings similar to the Obama administration’s 2016 initiative where the Justice Department threatened to do the same if prison inmate populations were not drastically reduced.

5/23/2021 Calif. Boy Scout Repaints American Flag Memorial For Eagle Scout Project by OAN Newsroom
PAYSON, UT – JULY 31: A Boy Scout salutes the American flag at camp Maple Dell on July 31, 2015
outside Payson, Utah. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
    A Fresno, California life rank boy scout organized and carried out a campaign to restore a patriotic memorial in his hometown.    Christian Juvet, 17, decided to transform a neglected American flag memorial located in Roeding Park for his eagle scout project.
    The Calif. teen said he had noticed the concrete monument had fallen into disarray and was covered in dirt and graffiti.    After that, he simply decided to do some research on how to restore it.
    He found that it had originally consisted of a bed of red, white and blue flowers following WWII in honor of veterans.    Upon discovering this information, Juvet knew it was time to restore the memorial to its former glory.
    Juvet teamed up with Beautify Fresno, Fresno’s city manager, and the park’s department to take on the challenge.    In addition, he also organized family, friends and some fellow scouts to help accomplish the task.
    The project took about a month to complete and a lot of hard work, but Juvet says it all paid off in the end.    The hopeful eagle scout expressed that he is passionate about art and his community, so this made it the perfect project for him.

5/24/2021 ANALYSIS Biden’s road turns rockier - New obstacles pop up for his second 100 days
    For President Joe Biden, the second 100 days are turning out to be harder than the first.
    After a sure-footed start in office focused on the priorities he chose – controlling the pandemic and reviving the economy – Biden last week found himself pulled into the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, a long running problem he probably can’t fix but can’t ignore.    White House negotiations with Republican senators on a signature infrastructure bill stalled, a test of the bipartisanship he has promised.    Prospects evaporated that Congress could meet his deadline to pass a police reform bill by Tuesday, the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder.
    And Democrats on the left, largely supportive of the administration so far, made their first big break with the White House, demanding the president do more to confront Israel and protect the Palestinians.
    It’s the lesson his predecessors in the White House also learned: Sooner or later, reality bites.
    In their early months in office, presidents are always at risk of being tested by foreign adversaries, challenged by the partisan opponents in Congress and sidetracked by crises of all sorts.    Unexpected developments can redefine a presidency in an instant, as the 9/11 attacks did for George W. Bush during his first year in office, or distract presidents from the course they intended to chart, a problem that bedeviled Bill Clinton at the beginning.
    Now conflicts and calamities are testing whether Biden has the ability to address them – and the agility to prevent them from overwhelming the causes he wants to pursue.
    The former Delaware senator and two-term vice president has had a long time to watch how commanders in chief swim, or sink, in roiling waters.    Elected to Congress when Richard Nixon was in the White House, he has seen nine of them up close.
    “As you’ve all observed, successful presidents, better than me, have been successful in large part because they know how to time what they’re doing – order it, decide and prioritize what needs to be done,” Biden told reporters at his first White House news conference.
    But timing isn’t always under a president’s control.    By Aug. 8, when his second 100 days expire, here are three big questions Biden will have to face:
1. Is bipartisanship dead?
    Bipartisanship scored a victory last week as the president signed into law a measure aimed at curbing the rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.    The closely divided Congress easily passed it.
    But there was a bigger defeat on the horizon. While the House approved legislation to establish a 9/11-style commission to investigate the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6, supported by every Democrat and 35 Republicans, the Senate seems increasingly unlikely to produce the 10 Republican votes needed to overcome a filibuster against the proposal.
    What’s more, White House talks for a massive infrastructure bill hit a pothole, or perhaps smashed into a roadblock.    Republicans on Friday scoffed at the administration’s offer to cut the bill from $2.25 trillion to $1.7 trillion – still a breathtaking number.
    Some skeptics, especially on the left, argue Biden is just wasting time, that Republicans aren’t negotiating in good faith.    “We would like bipartisanship,” Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”    But, he said, “if they aren’t coming forward, we’ve got to go forward alone.”
    Going it alone means using a parliamentary device known as budget reconciliation, which limits the provisions that can be included but also averts the threat of a filibuster.
    Cedric Richmond, a senior White House adviser who until a few months ago was a member of Congress himself, on Sunday acknowledged that day could arrive for Biden.    As long as “there are meaningful negotiations going, taking place in a bipartisan manner, he’s willing to let that play out,” Richmond said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”    “But, again, he will not let inaction be the answer.    When it gets to the point where it looks that is inevitable, you will see him change course.”
    That said, winning without any Republican support means holding every Democratic vote in the Senate and almost every Democratic vote in the House.
2. Can Democrats stick together?
    The Democratic margins in Congress could hardly be narrower.    The Senate is split 50-50, with only Vice President Kamala Harris’ tiebreaking vote giving Democrat’s control.    The House is divided between 219 Democrats and 211 Republicans, the narrowest margin in modern times.    (Five seats are vacant.)    Do the math: In a partisan-line vote, Republicans could block a Democratic initiative by gaining the support of just four Democrats.
    That nearly happened Thursday, when Speaker Nancy Pelosi narrowly avoided what would have been a stunning defeat.    Three progressive Democrats voted against a $1.9 billion bill to bolster security at the Capitol. Reps. Cori Bush of Missouri, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts complained that the bill would provide funding to increase police surveillance and force without addressing systemic problems of racism and misconduct.
    The measure managed to pass, but only because three other progressives often aligned with them agreed to vote “present” rather than “no.”    They were Reps. Jamaal Bowman and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.
    In the end, the Democratic bill slipped through, 213-212. But the legislative scramble and the single-vote victory was a reminder of the challenge of holding the disparate Democratic caucus together.
3. Is the economy taking off or faltering?
    No development will have more impact on passage of Biden’s major legislative priorities now and on Democratic prospects in the midterm elections next year than the state of the economy.
    While the economy at the beginning of the year seemed poised to take off as the pandemic eased, warning flags are raising concerns about jobs, growth and inflation.    In April, the economy created only 266,000 jobs, far short of the 1 million expected.    A cyberhack of Colonial Pipeline sparked a brief fuel shortage and spike in gas prices in the Southeast.    Some economists, including Larry Summers, a former treasury secretary for President Barack Obama, caution that Biden’s huge spending proposals risk overheating the economy.
    “When we came into office, we knew we were facing a once-in-a-century pandemic and a once-in-a-generation economic crisis,” Biden said when the disappointing jobs report was released.    “We knew this would not be a sprint, it would be a marathon.”
    Within the next few weeks, metrics including the May jobs report and second- quarter GDP will indicate whether the weak jobs report was a blip or a warning, whether inflation is a significant concern, and whether growth is on track.
    Because for presidents, everything tends to be easier during booms, and everything harder during busts.    During the second 100 days.
    Or anytime.

Susan Page, Washington Bureau Chief USA TODAY


5/24/2021 Internal GOP Memo Highlights Inflation Spurred By Biden Admin. Spending by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) is pictured. (Tom Williams via AP Images)
    A leading Republican representative has warned of the dangers of Joe Biden’s plans to dramatically increase federal spending.
    An internal GOP document highlighted the dangers of unfettered inflation caused by the Biden administration’s massive spending packages.    The memo, which came to light on Sunday, was sent to members of the Republican Study Committee last week by Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.).
    It highlights the effects Biden’s push for unprecedented levels of federal spending is projected to have on the cost of necessities Americans depend on.    According to the memo, these effects are already being felt.
    From May 2020 to May 2021, the price for gas has gone up by nearly 72 percent, while the cost of sugar has spiked by almost 55 percent and lumber costs by a whopping 318 percent.
    Meanwhile, the Biden administration has tried to downplay the effects of inflation on the economy by paradoxically arguing poor job creation is a sign their plan is working.    Biden recently stated that some critics opposed the American Rescue Plan and believed the economy would heal on it’s own.
    “Today’s report just underscores, in my view, how vital the actions we’re taking are checks to people who are hurting, support for small businesses, for child care and school reopening,” Biden argued.    “…Our efforts are starting to work, but the climb is steep and we still have a long way to go.”
    Biden’s policies appear to only be working to benefit the Democrat Party’s agenda, while endangering American prosperity.
    Rep. Banks argues this inflation amounts to a back-handed tax on the American people, who will have to live with rampant inflation while ultimately shouldering the cost of enacting Biden’s expensive hyper-partisan agenda.

5/24/2021 State Rep. Finchem: Ariz. Audit Scares Democrats To Death by OAN Newsroom
Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 general election are examined and recounted by contractors working for Florida-based
company, Cyber Ninjas, Thursday, May 6, 2021 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York, Pool)
    Arizona state congressman Mark Finchem said he expects the audit of the 2020 election to reveal massive fraud that involved electronic voting machines.
    Finchem told Steve Bannon’s “War Room” that Democrats are trying to stop the audit because he believes it will reveal rampant fraud in last year’s election.    The congressman added, preliminary findings of the audit point to potential foul play by election officials and voting machines in Maricopa County.
    This came after Joe Biden won the state of Arizona by a slim margin of 10,000 votes with more than 3.3 million votes cast statewide.    His narrow victory was in part due to his roughly two percentage point victory in Maricopa County.
    According to Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward, the audit is advancing in line with the schedule and it’s expected to be complete next month.
    Meanwhile, the fight for election integrity is also gaining momentum in Georgia.    Over the weekend, parties looking for evidence of fraud were given the green-light to unseal absentee ballots.
    A former special assistant to President Trump, also speaking on Bannon’s “War Room,” said he expects the audits in Maricopa and Fulton Counties to spark even more recounts in the U.S. Boris Epshteyn predicted that audits will soon follow in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and New Hampshire.    However, he asserted this should not stop in battleground states and he also recommended audits for blue states such as California as well as New York.
    “We’ve got to look at these states…it’s happening and that is why Joe Scarborough, Rachel Maddow, CNN…why they’re all losing their minds,” he stated.    “And make no mistake about it…what is making the engine of the freight train run is the passion, the strength, the perseverance of the MAGA movement.”
    Epshteyn said exposure of deep seated issues in the “disastrous” 2020 presidential election will be inevitable if patriotic Americans refuse to back down.

5/24/2021 NYC To Fully Reopen Schools In September by OAN Newsroom
FILE – New York Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks to reporters after visiting New Bridges Elementary School in
the Brooklyn borough of New York to observe pandemic-related safety procedures. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
    Public schools in New York City have been permitted to fully reopen in September.    On Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that all public schools will be open for in-person learning.    As part of the reopening push, remote learning will no longer be offered to students.
    A projected 600,000 students will be expected to return this fall, while another 400,000 students have already returned.    New York is known to have the largest public school district in the entire U.S.
    This decision was made after a recent report showed 60 percent of New Yorkers aged 16 years or older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
    “One million kids will be back in their classroom in September, all in person, no remote,” de Blasio stated.    “I think parents kids everyone’s been waiting for to know we’re going to be back strong ready safe.”
    Schools will offer open houses to walk families through their reopening strategies.    Students and staff will be required to continue to follow all mask mandates as well as various other guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.    The first day of the new school year will be September 13.

5/24/2021 ‘Biden’s Middle East Approach May Empower Rivals,’ Says Former DNI Ratcliffe by OAN Newsroom
File – John Ratcliffe, Trump-era DNI, testifies before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on his report on
Russian election interference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    While the Biden administration’s Middle East strategy sounds good on paper, critics worry it won’t be able to follow through and could unintentionally empower U.S. adversaries.
    On Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed America’s relations with Israel and Iran while expressing a traditional approach to handling both countries.    He said the U.S. is committed to helping Israel defend itself amid recent conflicts with Hamas militants and will continue to push a more than $730 million arms deal through Congress.
    This comes even with staunch opposition from progressives, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.).
    “We are committed to giving Israel the means to defend itself, especially when it comes to these indiscriminate rocket attacks against civilians,” said Blinken.    “Any country would respond to that and we’re fully committed to Israel’s defense.”
    He also expressed doubt in Iran’s commitment to denuclearization. Blinken noted that while indirect bilateral talks to rejoin the failed Obama-era nuclear deal have been successful, Iranian diplomats have not signaled how willing they are to abide by a new set of rules.
    Diplomats from both sides have butted heads on who should compromise their position first.    Blinken stressed America is willing to accommodate Iran’s demands if they show the same enthusiasm for compromise.
    “If we succeed in that than we can use that as a foundation both to look at how we can make the deal itself potentially longer and stronger,” he stated.    “And also engage on the other issues; whether it’s Iran’s support for terrorism, it’s proliferation, it’s destabilizing support for different proxies throughout the Middle East.”
    However, former Trump-era Director of National Intelligence John Radcliffe believes Joe Biden’s approach to the Middle East only empowers Iran.    He highlighted the Biden administration’s failure to crackdown on the militant wing of Hamas after a ceasefire ended their 11 day violent spat with Israel.
    Radcliffe claimed Hamas militants are funded and trained by Iranian security forces, adding this is a common move for the rogue state. He went on to say Biden is deprioritizing America’s strong relationship with Israel.
    In the meantime, the Biden administration is expected to rollout humanitarian assistance to help both parties rebuild from the destruction.    Additionally, diplomats from America and Iran are expected to continue hashing out a nuclear deal in Vienna in the coming days.

5/24/2021 6-Year-Old Boy Killed In Road Rage Shooting On Calif. Freeway by OAN Newsroom
Aiden Leos,6, is pictured (left). (GoFundMe/Photo)
    A 6-year-old boy, Aiden Leos, was shot during a road rage incident on a Southern California freeway.    The shooting happened Friday morning as the boy’s mother, Joanna Cloonan, was driving him to school on a major freeway in the city of Orange.
    According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the driver pulled up behind the mother’s vehicle as she switched lanes.    The shooter opened fire from behind and a bullet went through the car trunk, striking the little boy as he sat in his booster seat.
    Alexis Cloonan, Aiden’s half-sister, reportedly spoke of the boy’s sweet and loving nature as she shared details of the incident on Friday.
    The CHP reported this shooting is not related to the string of BB gun shootings on freeways throughout Southern California.    Authorities are currently in search for the suspect.
    A GoFundMe has been created by the family to help with funeral and memorial costs.

5/24/2021 Police Declare Unlawful Assembly After Calif. Party Goes Viral by OAN Newsroom
    A birthday party promoted on social media exploded as people flocked to Huntington Beach, California, which prompted police to declare an unlawful assembly late Friday.    According to reports, the party started as an online birthday invitation when the hashtag #AdriansKickback started trending online.
    The details of the party spread after the promotion garnered about 3 million views on TikTok.    People started heading to Huntington Beach, about 40 miles south of Los Angeles, ahead of the weekend.
    Police declared an unlawful assembly after several hundred partiers had already shown up in town.    Saturday saw the main event, with upwards of a thousand people swarming the beach.
    Police warned visitors heading into the city that steps were taken to prepare for a potential increase in visitors.    They reminded partygoers of no alcohol or drugs on the beach, no fireworks and the closure of the beach at 10 p.m.    Attendees said they were starved for entertainment after a long pandemic.
    “Don’t you remember when you were young, you used to want to go have fun, have parties,” one attendee mentioned.    “We kind of lacked that this year because of COVID.”
    As the gathering headed into the evening, partiers could be seen climbing on trees, flag poles and lifeguard stations.    They also used fireworks, one of which exploded in a crowd that sent people running.
    Police declared an unlawful assembly due to unruly crowds.    They also established an emergency curfew just before midnight into early Sunday for the downtown area. At least one arrest was reported.

5/24/2021 Sidney Powell Posts New Evidence Of Election Fraud In Ga. by OAN Newsroom
FILE- Attorney Sidney Powell speaks during a news conference at the Republican National Committee
headquarters, Nov. 19, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
    Attorney Sidney Powell released evidence of potential election fraud in Georgia as the state begins a partial audit of the 2020 elections.
    In a recent Telegram post, Powell shared a video of Georgia election workers counting ballots at the State Farm Arena on election night when it was evacuated due to a water main break.    A Georgia judge ordered an audit of 145,000 mail-in ballots in Fulton County.
    Powell said this video may explain why more than 100,000 ballots were adjudicated in Georgia and shows how fraudulent Biden votes were created.
FILE – In this Jan. 5, 2021 file photo, Fulton County Georgia elections workers process absentee ballots for the
Senate runoff election in Atlanta. When voters in Florida and Georgia request mailed ballots next year, they will have to make sure
they do one more thing before sending it in: provide proof of identification. (AP Photo/Ben Gray, File)

5/24/2021 Gov. Ron DeSantis Covers A Range Of Issues Facing Americans During Keynote Speech At A GOP Event by OAN Newsroom
Gov. Ron DeSantis, of Florida, watches the foursome matches during the Walker Cup golf tournament
at the Seminole Golf Club on Saturday, May 8, 2021, in Juno Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
    Gov. Ron DeSantis (R=Fla.) headlined the Allegheny County GOP’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.    The Florida Republican recently highlighted some of the major issues facing the U.S. such as the crisis festering at the southern border, pandemic-related lockdowns and the mainstream media.
    DeSantis said the GOP cannot go back to the “failed Republican establishment of yester-year.”    He touted his efforts to ensure Floridian’s freedoms were secure during the pandemic and fought to keep his state open.
    “While in all these locked down states closed schools, shuttered businesses and destroyed lives were the norm,” he stated.    “In Florida we have had schools open the entire school year. Our businesses are thriving and we saved millions of livelihoods from the brunt of lockdowns.”
    DeSantis discussed Florida’s response to the Black Lives Matter and Antifa riots last summer, highlighting his state’s work to back the blue and allocate necessary funding to law enforcement.    The governor also pointed to the state’s decision to ban critical race theory in Florida’s schools.
    “And in Florida, we have banned the use of critical race theory and other leftist ideologies,” he stated.    “Teaching people to hate their country or to hate each other is not worth one dime of tax payer dollars in our school system.”
    DeSantis talked about the legacy of Silicon Valley, pointing out the origins of social media were good for the GOP as it gave members a platform President Trump used effectively in 2016 to get elected.    He went on to note, however, that Big Tech is now smothering free speech and highlighted his state’s work to fight back against censorship.
    “Within the next couple of weeks, I will sign the first piece of legislation that any state has done to fight back against Big Tech censorship to allow you, if your censored or de-platformed, to sue Big Tech,” he explained.    “…To make sure that their algorithms and the things they are using…all these other things that effect our lives everyday in ways…is transparent.”
    DeSantis slammed Joe Biden’s weak response to the border as well seemingly taking aim at former President George W. Bush’s push for an amnesty coalition.    He condemned Bush’s attempts to lobby Republicans into helping the Biden administration pass amnesty for around 11 to 12 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S.
    “We have to reject open borders we have to stand for the rule of law in American sovereignty and we cannot be for amnesty in any form,” he asserted.    “We’ve got to stand with the American people and we have to put Americans first.”
    DeSantis’ comments come amid recent polling that shows Bush’s veiled attempt to revive his failed “Any Willing Worker” policy is widely unpopular among Republican voters.
    The Florida governor ended his speech by encouraging the crowd to not back down and to stand their ground, noting he has only just begun to fight.

5/24/2021 Mexican Parents Clean Reopening Schools Where Thieves Took Even Toilet Doors by Roberto Ramirez
Workers clean chairs and seats in a classroom at a school ahead of its reopening amid the spread of the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Mexico City, Mexico May 21, 2021. Picture taken May 21, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Romero
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Wiping away dust from bookshelves and mopping grimy floors, teachers and parents across Mexico are sprucing up vandalised schools ahead of the nationwide reopening on June 7.
    Mexico has kept state schools shut since March 2020, when students and teachers abandoned them after the coronavirus pandemic triggered the first nationwide lockdown.
    Since then, between 40% to 50% of all Mexican schools have reported vandalism or theft, according to trade union officials.
    “We come to support the school so that everything is clean for the return of children to classes,” said Rosa Miron, one of several mothers cleaning a school in Mexico>     Alfonso Cepeda Salas, secretary general of the National Educational Workers Syndicate trade union, or SNTE, told newspaper Excelsior last week that power lines, computers, screens, and even doors to toilets have been stolen.
    While Mexico has taken a cautious approach to reopening schools, the country has otherwise had a very liberal policy during the pandemic, including not requiring proof of a negative coronavirus test results before entering the country.
    “I feel it’s risky, but if (the children) don’t come back, I don’t know what will happen,” said Eduardo Aviles, a father of one of the students at a school in the capital.
    Mexico is now registering its lowest daily increases in new coronavirus deaths from the pandemic in over a year, according to government data.
    Still, reopening efforts suffered a setback at the weekend, with authorities in the states of Campeche and Nayarit suspending plans to reopen schools due to an uptick in infections. (Global cases and deaths)
(Reporting by Roberto Ramirez,; Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

5/24/2021 U.S. Agencies Examine Reports Of Early COVID-19 Infections In Wuhan Lab by Mark Hosenball
FILE PHOTO: The P4 laboratory of Wuhan Institute of Virology is seen behind a fence during the visit by the World Health Organization (WHO) team tasked
with investigating the origins of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Wuhan, Hubei province, China February 3, 2021. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. intelligence agencies are examining reports that researchers at a Chinese virology laboratory were seriously ill in 2019 a month before the first cases of COVID-19 were reported, according to U.S. government sources who cautioned that there is still no proof the disease originated at the lab.
    A still-classified U.S. intelligence report circulated during former President Donald Trump’s administration alleged that three Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) researchers became so ill in November 2019 that they sought hospital care, sources familiar with U.S. intelligence reporting and analysis said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
    It remained unclear whether these researchers were hospitalized or what their symptoms were, one of the sources said.    The virus first appeared in Wuhan and then spread worldwide.
    “We don’t have enough information to draw a conclusion about the origins” of the coronavirus, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told a news briefing on Monday.    “We need data.    We need an independent investigation.    And that’s exactly what we’ve been calling for.”
    Information about the researchers was published in the Wall Street Journal on Sunday.
    China’s foreign ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian, said on Monday it was “completely untrue” that three WIV staff members had fallen ill.
    The origin of the virus is hotly contested.    In a report issued in March written jointly with Chinese scientists, a World Health Organization-led team that spent four weeks in and around Wuhan in January and February said the virus had probably been transmitted from bats to humans through another animal, and that “introduction through a laboratory incident was considered to be an extremely unlikely pathway.”
    The U.S. intelligence community “hasn’t ruled out either theory,” one official U.S. source said.    Intelligence reporting about possible November infections among Wuhan Institute employees “can’t be dismissed” by U.S. researchers, the source added.
    The hypothesis that the virus escaped from a Chinese lab has been promoted on some conservative websites, and by some Republicans in the U.S. Congress.    U.S. intelligence agencies have not reached their own determination on the cause.
    The U.S. State Department published a “fact sheet” on COVID-19 and the Wuhan lab on Jan. 15, 2020, five days before Trump left office, based in part on information in the classified report, sources said.    Trump as president referred to the pathogen as the “China virus” and the “China plague.”
    The Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency and defense intelligence components contributed to both the public fact sheet and classified report, the sources said.    Both were assembled by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
    The classified report is regarded as valid by current U.S. government agencies, experts investigating the origins of COVID-19 and by officials in President Joe Biden’s administration.
    U.S. agencies are concerned that WHO representatives have been unable to conduct independent investigations inside China into COVID-19’s origins, and are therefore wary of WHO findings, one U.S. government source briefed on these investigations said.
    “We continue to have serious questions about the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, including its origins within the People’s Republic of China,” a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council said.
    In their own report on the origins of COVID-19 issued last week, Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives intelligence committee asserted that there was “significant circumstantial evidence” suggesting COVID-19 “may have been a leak” from the Wuhan lab.
    Such evidence included information indicating “several researchers” at the lab got COVID-19 symptoms in the fall of 2019, the report said.
    The WHO, which opened its annual ministerial assembly on Monday, has not announced any follow-up to the Wuhan mission but member states may raise concerns in speeches to the week-long forum. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra is due to address it on Tuesday.
    The pandemic has killed more than 3.4 million people worldwide.
(Reporting By Mark Hosenball; Additional reporting by Andrea Shalal in Washington and Stephanie Ulmer-Nebehay in Geneva; Editing by Will Dunham and Heather Timmons)

5/24/2021 White House Says Cannot Confirm Report On COVID-19 Origins, Needs More Information
FILE PHOTO: A health worker does a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test as people wait at a drive-through COVID-19
testing center in a local street, in Newark, New Jersey, U.S., April 2, 2021. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday the United States could not confirm a Wall Street Journal report on the origins of COVID-19 and needed more information.
    Three researchers from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) sought hospital care in November 2019, a month before China reported the first cases of COVID-19, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing a U.S. intelligence report.
    Psaki said the United States hopes the World Health Organization can move into a more transparent investigation of the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Nandita Bose in Washington)

5/24/2021 WHO Sets New Targets For Vaccinating World’s Poorest To End ‘Scandalous Inequity’ by Stephanie Nebehay
World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is seen on screens as he attends the World Health Assembly (WHA) amid
the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Geneva, Switzerland, May 24, 2021. Christopher Black/World Health Organization/Handout via REUTERS
    GENEVA (Reuters) -The COVID-19 pandemic is being perpetuated by a “scandalous inequity” in vaccine distribution, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday as he set new targets for protecting people in the poorest countries.
    WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that no country should assume that it’s “out of the woods,” no matter its vaccination rate, as long as the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its variants spread elsewhere.
    “The world remains in a very dangerous situation,” Tedros told the opening of the annual assembly of health ministers from its 194 member states.
    “As of today, more cases have been reported so far this year than in the whole of 2020.    On current trends, the number of deaths will overtake last year’s total within the next three weeks.    This is very tragic,” he said.
    He said more than 75% of all vaccines had been administered in just 10 countries.
    “There is no diplomatic way to say it: a small group of countries that make and buy the majority of the world’s vaccines control the fate of the rest of the world.”
    The COVAX facility, run by WHO and the GAVI vaccine alliance, has delivered 72 million vaccine doses to 125 countries and economies since February – barely sufficient for 1% of their populations, Tedros said.
    He urged countries to donate vaccine doses to COVAX to enable 10% of the populations of all countries to be inoculated by September and 30% by year-end.    This meant vaccinating 250 million more people in just four months, he said.
    “This is crucial to stop disease and death, keep our healthcare workers safe, reopen our societies and economies,” Tedros said.
    Tedros also called on vaccine manufacturers to give COVAX the first right of refusal on new volumes of vaccines, or to commit 50% of their volumes to COVAX this year.
    French President Emmanuel Macron called for the WHO to be empowered to visit countries rapidly in case of outbreaks with potential to spark a pandemic, and to access data.
    Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in separate pre-recorded remarks to the assembly, called for the U.N. agency’s funding to be improved and backed the idea of a new international treaty to prevent pandemics.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Nick Macfie)

5/24/2021 Russian, U.S. Security Chiefs Meet In Geneva In Push For Summit -TASS
FILE PHOTO: White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan delivers remarks during a
press briefing inside the White House in Washington, U.S., February 4, 2021. REUTERS/Tom Brenner
    (Reuters) -The U.S. and Russian national security advisers held wide-ranging talks on Monday in what both sides described as an important step in preparing for a possible summit between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
    White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev discussed a range of issues at their Geneva meeting, with a focus on strategic stability, according to the White House and the Russian Security Council, quoted by the TASS news agency.
    “The meeting was an important step in the preparation for a planned U.S.-Russia summit, the date and location of which will be announced later,” the White House said.
    “The sides expressed confidence that mutually acceptable solutions could be found in a number of areas,” it said.
    The two sides said normalization of U.S.-Russian ties would be in the interests of both countries.
    Biden said this month he expected to meet Putin soon, adding that differences between the two countries would not need to be resolved in advance of a summit.
    The Biden administration would like to add a summit with Putin in a third country while the U.S. president is in Europe in mid-June for a Group of Seven meeting in Britain and talks with NATO allies in Brussels.
    A Swiss newspaper reported on Monday the two leaders will meet in Switzerland, citing unidentified sources.
    The Tages-Anzeiger daily reported an advance U.S. mission has already arrived in Geneva for that purpose.    Plane spotters reported on Twitter an unusual U.S. cargo aircraft landing at the city’s airport on Sunday.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin in Moscow and Doina Chiacu in Washington; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

5/24/2021 Deputy U.S Treasury Chief Sees G7 Support For 15%-Plus Global Minimum Tax by David Lawder
FILE PHOTO: Economist Adewale "Wally" Adeyemo listens to questions during his Senate Finance Committee nomination hearing to be Deputy Secretary
of the Treasury in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, in Washington, D.C., U.S., February 23, 2021. Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS
(In 9th paragraph, adds dropped word “the” in quote)
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said he anticipates strong support from the G7 industrial democracies for the Biden Administration’s proposed 15%-plus global minimum corporate tax, which in turn should help solidify support in the U.S. Congress for domestic corporate tax legislation.
    “My sense is that you’re going to see a lot of unified support amongst the G7 moving forward,” Adeyemo told Reuters on Monday after supportive comments about the Treasury’s proposal from France, Germany, Italy and Japan.
    That support may be voiced at an in-person meeting of G7 finance ministers in London on June 4-5, Adeyemo said.
    The reaction from G7 chair Britain has been more guarded.
    The Treasury last week floated a global minimum rate of 15% or higher, well below the Biden administration’s 21% minimum rate for U.S. companies’ overseas income and its 28% proposed domestic corporate tax rate.
    In 2017, the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress cut the rate to 21% in 2017 and instituted a minimum tax rate on overseas income from intangible sources of 10.5%.
    The U.S. global minimum tax proposal is expected to be a key topic of discussion at a preliminary virtual G7 finance leaders meeting on Friday.
    Adeyemo, who is involved in the OECD tax talks, said he expects a broad international commitment of 15% or more to help build support in Congress for a U.S. corporate tax increase by narrowing the gap between U.S. and overseas rates.    Once a higher U.S. minimum is in place, that will provide incentives for other countries to move toward the U.S. rate, he added.
    “If we can get the world to say that they’re willing to do at least 15%, it gives us the ability to come back to the international conversation once we’ve finished to the domestic piece.”
    Negotiators in the OECD tax talks have been aiming for an agreement in principal this summer.    By the time of a G20 finance leaders meeting in Venice, Italy in July, there should be a good sense of unity around a global minimum tax structure, Adeyemo said.    He added that there would be a lot of technical details to work out, so a final agreement may have to wait until G20 leaders meet in Rome at the end of October.
(Reporting by David Lawder;Editing by Dan Burns and David Gregorio)

5/25/2021 Oil up $2.08 to $65.96, DOW up 186 to 34,394.

5/26/2021 GOP Officials Says Wuhan Lab Theory Getting Stronger by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this April 20, 2021, file photo, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee
hearing on voting rights, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Evelyn Hockstein/Pool via AP, File)
    Republicans have continued to sound the alarm signaling that the coronavirus may not have been developed naturally.
    On Monday, several GOP congressmen and former Trump administration officials responded to a Wall Street Journal report published a day earlier.    The report alleged three researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology came down with symptoms similar to COVID-19 in November 2019.    This occurred just before the coronavirus broke out to other parts of Wuhan and became a global pandemic.
    Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) encouraged Americans to use common sense while claiming it would be a remarkable coincidence if the virus naturally started near the lab, which has a history of testing coronaviruses.    Additionally, former FDA chief Scott Gottlieb said this is consistent with State Department data and a growing body of evidence pointing to the lab as a possible ground zero.
    Gottlieb also urged naysayers to open their minds to these reports while arguing the speculation behind the virus beginning from an animal is beginning to look less likely as more information emerges.
    “Maybe a year ago that kind of statement made a lot of sense because that were the more likely scenario, but we haven’t found the intermediate host,” he stated.    “We found no evidence of this virus in an animal or anywhere…we haven’t found the true source of the virus.”
    Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he and top federal health officials saw data pointing to the lab early on.    The former official claimed he and a select few tried to steer the conversation toward the lab and away from the animal origin theory.
    However, Pompeo alleged a louder group of top scientists privy to the data, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, sounded off on the animal origin theory. He said their echoes radiated throughout the country and were adopted by the mainstream media.
    “We need to get to the bottom of this because this could happen again, they’re still conducting research in these same laboratories today,” Pompeo stated.    “It’s being done in ways that were similar to over a year ago…this is dangerous.”
    In the meantime, Pompeo said the Biden administration needs to put pressure on the Chinese Communist Party to compel them to allow an honest and thorough investigation to take place.    Additionally, he urged the White House to hold the World Health Organization’s feet to the fire for allegedly aiding and abetting the cover-up of the outbreak.
    Pompeo stressed the world needs to know how the virus came to be, so there isn’t another pandemic like it in the future.    He’s holding out hope that someone within the lab will come forward with the truth, but warned it may take time.

5/25/2021 Facebook Whistleblower Leaks Documents Detailing Effort To Censor ‘Vaccine Hesitant’ Posts by OAN Newsroom
Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are seen being prepared on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Decatur, Ga. Hundreds of children, ages 12 to 15,
received the Pfizer vaccine at the DeKalb Pediatric Center, just days after it was approved for use within their age group. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
    An anonymous Facebook staffer has sounded the alarm on Big Tech censorship.    In an undercover Project Veritas video on Monday, a whistleblower outlined Facebook’s plan to “drastically reduce user exposure to vaccine hesitancy in comments.”
    The data technician said this includes cutting likes on posts that highlight deaths from vaccines.    The whistleblower added, this happens to a much larger extent than the social media giant lets on.
    “Facebook uses classifiers in their algorithms to determine certain content to be what they call ‘vaccine hesitant’ or they call it ‘vaccine hesitancy,’ and without a user’s knowledge they assign a score to these comments that’s called the ‘VH Score’ (the Vaccine Hesitancy Score),” explained the Facebook employee.    “And based on that score, will demote or leave the comment alone depending on that comment.”
    Project Veritas also obtained internal documents showing this algorithm was first tested on 1.5 percent of users, but Facebook plans to extend it globally.

5/25/2021 GOP Bill Helping Alaskan Cruise Ships Circumvent Canadian Travel Ban Through Feb. 2022 Moves Forward by OAN Newsroom
In this photo taken Wednesday, May 30, 2018, a sail boat maneuvers near a large cruise ship near Juneau, Alaska. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, file)
    A group of GOP lawmakers from Alaska are applauding Joe Biden for helping out the state’s cruise industry in a rare act of bipartisanship.
    On Monday, Biden signed the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act to temporarily allow American cruise ships to sail directly from Washington State to Alaska without having to dock in Canada.    The law is meant to be a stopgap measure allowing vessels to subvert current law mandating they have to dock at foreign ports when they enter foreign waters.
    Back in February, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau extended a ban on international cruise ships through February 2022.    GOP Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) said this became a rallying point for bipartisan support.
    “I think that motivated a lot of people, even beyond Alaska, saying hey we’re not going to let Canada dictate who can visit another state in America,” he stated.    “So this bill essentially bypasses Canada…by the way unanimous in the Senate.”
    The delegation said this was an urgent matter while pointing out agued Alaska’s cruise season starts in June and trickles into September.    In the meantime, the law is expected to stay in effect until Canada lifts its travel restrictions.

5/25/2021 Ariz. State Congressman Jake Hoffman Speaks Out On Election Integrity by OAN Newsroom
Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 general election are recounted by contractors working for
Florida-based company, Cyber Ninjas at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. (AP FILE PHOTO)
    Despite backlash from the radical left, Republicans in Arizona have been fighting for election integrity.
    Amid the ongoing election audit in Maricopa County, state Rep. Jake Hoffman (R) weighed in on Republican efforts to strengthen voter laws for upcoming elections.
    During an interview on Monday, Hoffman discussed their latest election integrity bills at the state’s capitol.    He explained if the first bill, titled HB 2792, was passed then the highly concerning mass mailing of ballots to voters that are not requested would be banned.
    “Arizona is saying absolutely not to that,” he asserted.    “We’re adding a Class 5 felony, so that there is a very stiff penalty if an election official decides to go rogue and willfully violate the law.”
    Despite push back from Democrats, such as Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, Hoffman expects the bill to pass in the state Senate.    This vote is currently in the process.
    Hoffman went on to explain the details behind another election integrity bill, HB 2794, which bans modifying previously agreed upon election deadlines.    Violators of this statute could face a Class 6 felony.
    The bill was drafted after progressive advocacy groups pushed a federal judge in Arizona to extend the voter registration deadline for an additional 10 days in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
    Some poll workers, such as recorder Ann Rodriguez from Pima County, argued that extending registration had a “domino effect” and made it difficult for election officials to finish counting votes by the deadline.    For the 2020 election, Arizona votes were delayed.
    Hoffman asserted that mainstream media and Democrats’ claims of voter suppression are simply false.
    “To think that that somehow suppresses the vote or disenfranchises voters is simply false and fictitious,” he stated.    “Quite honestly, they should be ashamed of themselves for spinning such wild conspiracy theories.”
    Hoffman stressed the purpose of this bill is to ensure election integrity for all parties.    He believes election integrity should not be a partisan issue.
    “Election integrity isn’t about Republicans, it isn’t about Democrats…it’s about doing what’s right on behalf of the people that we represent,” he argued.    “Regardless of the fact that we as Republicans gained the advantage during that period, we said no to that practice and shut it down.”

5/25/2021 Sen. McConnell: Robust Debate Needed About China’s Capabilities by OAN Newsroom
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the chamber to begin the work week at
the Capitol in Washington, Monday, May 24, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has warned that Democrats are hindering America’s power to compete with its adversaries.    While speaking on the Senate floor Monday, he criticized Democrat leadership for trying to jam a bill regarding China through Congress.
    McConnell added, GOP senators have additional amendments they want considered to fill gaps in our competitive capacity.    The Senate voted overwhelmingly to take up the bill even after Democrats struck down three GOP provisions.
    The Kentucky lawmaker warned surrendering to calls from the White House to cut defense spending will only hurt America and feed a growing China.
    Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y) is reportedly trying to pass the bill by the end of the week.    However, he will need support from at least 10 Republicans to get the bill through the upper chamber.

5/25/2021 May 25, 1961: JFK Says America Will Make It To The Moon Before The End Of The Decade And Before The U.S.S.R. by OAN Newsroom
In this May 25, 1961 file photo, President John F. Kennedy speaks in the House of Representatives before a joint session
of Congress in Washington. In the background are Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, left, and House Speaker Sam Rayburn.
During that speech, Kennedy issued the challenge for NASA to send a man to the moon. (AP Photo)
    On May 25, 1961, a newly inaugurated President John F. Kennedy dropped a bombshell on the congressional floor when he challenged the U.S.S.R. in race to the Moon.
    During his speech, he outlined America’s ambitions in the Space Race, which included a nuclear rocket called Rover and new weather satellites.    However, Kennedy’s announcement of a race to the Moon added an entirely new dynamic to America’s endeavors among the stars.
    This announcement set the sage for a unified America, which rallied behind three astronauts eight years later as they boarded the Apollo 11 rocket on their way to take the first steps on the Moon.

5/25/2021 Witnesses Testify To Robert Durst’s ‘Homicidal Side’ by OAN Newsroom
In this still image taken from the Law & Crime Network court video, real estate heir Robert Durst watches as his defense attorney
Dick DeGuerin presents a new round of opening statements in the murder case against Durst after a 14-month recess due to the
coronavirus pandemic in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Inglewood, Calif., on Wednesday, May 19, 2021. (Law & Crime Network via AP, Pool)
    Jurors in the Robert Durst murder trial recently heard testimony describing the real estate heir’s violent tendencies.    Witnesses took to the stand in a Los Angeles courtroom on Monday in the fourth day of trial for the 2000 slaying of Susan Berman.
    Family friend Dr. Peter Wilk recalled a 1981 conversation during which Kathy Durst said her husband had a “homicidal side to him.”
    Kathy’s friend Janet Finke-Shaw described a party when Robert Durst attacked a mutual friend, stomping on the man’s head until Kathy intervened.    She went on to recount instances of domestic violence between Kathy and Robert Durst.
    “She had told me they had a fight and that she had tried to escape through the window, and he pulled her back in and it was horrifying," she explained.    “It sounded like one of the larger fights…I was very concerned.”
    Prosecutors have alleged Robert Durst killed Berman because she knew too much about the 1982 disappearance of his first wife Kathy whose body has never been found.
    Durst was arrested in 2015 after the case was reignited by alleged admissions of guilt in an HBO documentary.

5/25/2021 Top Democrat Officials Have Breached Their Own COVID-19 Orders by OAN Newsroom
Mich. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks at a Dow Diamond press event, providing an update on the
state’s COVID-19 response. (Kaytie Boomer/The Bay City Times via AP)
    At least 14 top Democrat officials have been under fire for violating the lockdowns they have imposed on their constituents.
    On Monday, reports found Governors Gretchen Whitmer (D-Mich.), Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) and Andrew Cuomo (D- N.Y.) have repeatedly breached their own lockdown orders.    Additionally, various other Democrat mayors, governors and members of Congress have shown similar hypocrisy.
    Critics have said actions by these officials show the lockdowns had little to do with COVID-19 and may prove to be political power grabs.
    Gov. Whitmer was recently photographed violating the state’s restaurant capacity order by sitting in close proximity indoors with a large group of individuals.    The order has prohibited gatherings of groups over six people.
    Reports have also shown that Republican officials have been largely in line with their own policies over the past year.

5/25/2021 Press Secy. Psaki Says America Has A Gun Problem, Not Crime A Problem by OAN Newsroom
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House,
Monday, May 24, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Press Secretary Jen Psaki appears to be taking some heat, yet again.    This time for claiming America has a gun problem, while seemingly ignoring the effects of Democrat attacks on law enforcement.
    The discussion set off during a Monday briefing when she was asked about soaring crime rates in the country.    The reporter pointed out 12 mass shootings over the weekend, which left at least 29 injured in Democrat-led New York City.
    Experts have attributed recent upticks in crime to de-policing in response to Black Lives Matter riots.    However, critics quickly pointed out that Psaki seems to hold a different view.
    While taking to Twitter, commentator Caleb Hull said Psaki is acting as if there weren’t “riots every night and complete lawlessness” throughout last summer.

5/25/2021 Witnesses Return To Stand In Trial Of Man Accused Of Killing 20-Year-Old Mollie Tibbetts In 2018 by OAN Newsroom
Defense attorney Jennifer Frese speaks to the judge during Cristhian Bahena Rivera’s trial, on Monday, May 24, 2021, in the Scott County Courthouse, in Davenport, Iowa.
Bahena Rivera is on trial after being charged with first degree murder in the death of Mollie Tibbetts in July 2018. (Kelsey Kremer/Des Moines Register via AP, Pool)
    Witnesses have continued to testify in the trial of the man accused of killing 20-year-old University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts.
    Testimonies on Monday included an FBI agent and detective who spoke about the murder confession of 20-year-old Cristhian Bahena Rivera.<
    Tibbetts vanished while out for a run back in 2018 and Rivera admitted to killing her and hiding her body in a cornfield.    The witnesses spoke about Tibbetts lifestyle and character describing her as “low-risk.”
    “A lot of our victims…there’s drugs and alcohol…there’s abusive relationships…there’s different factors that would push that person into a higher-risk of becoming a victim,” explained Trent Vileta, Detective for the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations.    “Mollie Tibbitts didn’t have any of the those…Mollie Tibbitts probably had the nicest text messages we have ever read.”
    Prosecutors have rested their case following four days of witness testimony. Meanwhile, the defense is set to take its turn Tuesday.    Rivera faces life in prison if convicted for the murder.

5/25/2021 After Ceasefire, Tensions Over Mideast Still Boil On California Campus by Nathan Layne and Maria Caspani
University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) student Lea Toubian, 22, poses for a
photo in Santa Monica, California, U.S., May 24, 2021. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
    (Reuters) – Lea Toubian was deep into an online discussion with university administrators about the safety of Jewish students when news of a truce between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas was relayed to the group. It left her with some hope that tensions on campus would ease.
    Now the senior at the University of California, Santa Barbara says she is worried an expected measure this week will reignite divisions at the beachside school, where the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has long been a source of discord, driving a wedge between even Democrats like herself and liberal groups on campus.
    On Wednesday, a group of students are planning to submit a resolution to the student body senate calling on the university to sell stocks it holds in companies that supply Israel with equipment or services that further its military campaigns or violate the rights of Palestinians in Gaza or the West Bank.
    While such resolutions from the so-called Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions or BDS movement are largely symbolic, UC Santa Barbara is the only school in the University of California system which has never passed one.
    Mainstream Jewish organizations, including Hillel, an influential group that is active on 550 North American colleges and universities, want to avoid the college being the last domino to drop.
    “To bring something like this now is about the craziest thing that I can imagine,” said Toubian, a Hillel member who just ended her term as student body president last week and who says she is supportive of both Israel and Palestinian rights.
    “It only serves to divide and inflame the campus climate.”
    The latest flare up in the conflict between Israel and Hamas has reopened fault lines for some young, liberal American Jews whose progressive ideals clash with their religious or community identities.
    Some like Alia Sky, a 21-year-old Jewish-American, have come to oppose Israel outright. A member of the Students for Justice in Palestine, the UC Santa Barbara senior supports the resolution as a way to condemn Israel, even as last week’s ceasefire continues to hold. [L2N2NA056]
    “Israel is ethnically cleansing Palestinians.    It’s a genocide,” Sky said.
    Like many young American Jews interviewed by Reuters, Sky said her views had evolved from earlier years when she was influenced by relatives who described Israel in mostly glowing terms.    She said classes on the Middle East in her sophomore year and involvement with the SJP group were critical to her shift.
    For some, the racial protests that followed the 2020 killing of Minneapolis Black man, George Floyd, by a white police officer helped them see Palestinians in a new light.
    A survey published this month by the Pew Research Center showed about half of U.S. Jews under the age of 30 described themselves as emotionally attached to Israel, compared with two-thirds of those 65 and above.
    The same poll found 37 percent of U.S. Jews ages 18-29 said the United States was too supportive of Israel, more than double who felt that way in the 65-plus cohort.
    Zachary Federman, a student at Brown University, said many Jewish students believed they were taught a “sugar coated” version of Israel in their youth.
    “I think younger Jews continuously are more likely to question narratives of unequivocal support that we’ve been fed,” said Federman, who is the co-president of Brown’s chapter of J Street U, a self-described pro-Israel, pro-peace group committed to a two-state solution.
    The trend towards greater scrutiny of Israel dovetails with the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, whose lawmakers have tried to block a $735 million sale of precision-guided weapons to Israel in response to the conflict.
    Jessy Gonzalez, one of the authors of the Santa Barbara resolution, said he was optimistic it would fare better than the six previous resolutions – all of which failed, including the latest in 2019 which was defeated in a 14-10 vote.
    Gonzalez, a first year student, acknowledged passage might not lead to immediate actions by the school.    But he said he still sees significance in sending a message that UC students don’t want to support companies that help Israel to “destroy Palestinian lands.”
    The movement to boycott Israel has been building on U.S. college campuses for years, gathering momentum following the 2014 Gaza war and the emergence of a clutch of Democratic lawmakers, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who are critical of how Israel treats the Palestinians.    Even so, the BDS movement has little support in the U.S. Congress.
    Of the 83 resolutions put to a vote at U.S. universities since 2015, 52 percent have passed and the remainder failed, according to the AMCHA Initiative, a non-profit organization which aims to combat antisemitism at U.S. universities.
    Opponents of the BDS movement often call such resolutions antisemitic, saying they hold Israel to a higher standard and paint a one-sided narrative ignoring attacks from Hamas.    Practically, they are also not legally binding and generally do not lead a university to divest.
    Rabbi Evan Goodman, executive director of Santa Barbara Hillel, worries the resolution could nevertheless inflame tensions on campus.    He said the online discussion with administrators was prompted in part by an incident in which a group of Jewish students were heckled by others yelling “from the river to the sea,” a phrase associated with Arab calls to wipe Israel off the map.
    As Toubian prepares to graduate, she worries students who share her views will face an increasingly polarized environment in which they must make binary choices about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and other issues.
    Toubian said it has been difficult to be both a Democrat and supportive of Israel, which she believes has a right to defend itself.    She says she’s been called “a white colonizer” and “violent towards people of color” for her beliefs.
Toubian says Jewish students are feeling scared and isolated, with some removing their yarmulke and other symbols of their faith.
    For them, she said, the resolution is “a huge source of dread.”
(Reporting by Nathan Layne and Maria Caspani; Editing by Mary Milliken and Alistair Bell)

5/25/2021 UK Spies Violated Human Rights With Bulk Intercepts, European Court Rules by Guy Faulconbridge
FILE PHOTO: The building of the European Court of Human Rights is seen ahead of the start of a hearing concerning Ukraine's lawsuit
against Russia regarding human rights violations in Crimea, in Strasbourg, France, September 11, 2019. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler
    LONDON (Reuters) -Britain’s GCHQ eavesdropping agency breached fundamental human rights by intercepting and harvesting vast amounts of communications, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday.
    Revelations by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden showed that GCHQ and the U.S. National Security Agency were sucking up vast amounts of communications from across the world, including on their own citizens.
    The Strasbourg-based court ruled in a case known as “Big Brother Watch and Others vs. the United Kingdom” that Britain had breached the right to respect for private and family life communications and the right to freedom of expression with its bulk intercept regime.
    The regime for obtaining communications data from service providers also violated human rights, the court said, though it added that bulk interception in itself was not illegal.
    The law which allowed the bulk interception has since been replaced by new legislation which the British government says provides greater oversight.
    “This judgment confirms that the UK’s mass spying breached citizens’ rights to privacy and free expression for decades,” said Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch.
    “We welcome the judgment that the UK’s surveillance regime was unlawful, but the missed opportunity for the Court to prescribe clearer limitations and safeguards means that risk is current and real.”
    Civil liberties campaigners, including Big Brother Watch and Amnesty International, had brought the case as they believed their communications had been harvested by bulk interception unnecessarily and without due process.
    The British government argued that bulk interception was critical for national security and had enabled it to uncover grave threats.    Essentially, London argued that it had to harvest vast amounts of data to find the threats.
    The court ruled that a bulk interception regime did not in itself violate human rights but that it should have proper safeguards.
    Britain said it had established an international benchmark with its “unprecedented transparency” over data and privacy.
    “The UK has one of the most robust and transparent oversight regimes for the protection of personal data and privacy anywhere in the world,” a government spokeswoman said, adding that the 2016 Investigatory Powers Act has already replaced the earlier legislation that was the basis of the challenge.
    The court ruled that there had been no violation of rights by requests for intercepted material from foreign intelligence agencies.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Alistair Smout and Gareth Jones)

5/25/2021 GOP Officials Says Wuhan Lab Theory Getting Stronger by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this April 20, 2021, file photo, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee
hearing on voting rights, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Evelyn Hockstein/Pool via AP, File)
    Republicans have continued to sound the alarm signaling that the coronavirus may not have been developed naturally.
    On Monday, several GOP congressmen and former Trump administration officials responded to a Wall Street Journal report published a day earlier.    The report alleged three researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology came down with symptoms similar to COVID-19 in November 2019.    This occurred just before the coronavirus broke out to other parts of Wuhan and became a global pandemic.
    Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) encouraged Americans to use common sense while claiming it would be a remarkable coincidence if the virus naturally started near the lab, which has a history of testing coronaviruses.    Additionally, former FDA chief Scott Gottlieb said this is consistent with State Department data and a growing body of evidence pointing to the lab as a possible ground zero.
    Gottlieb also urged naysayers to open their minds to these reports while arguing the speculation behind the virus beginning from an animal is beginning to look less likely as more information emerges.
    “Maybe a year ago that kind of statement made a lot of sense because that were the more likely scenario, but we haven’t found the intermediate host,” he stated.    “We found no evidence of this virus in an animal or anywhere…we haven’t found the true source of the virus.”
    Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he and top federal health officials saw data pointing to the lab early on.    The former official claimed he and a select few tried to steer the conversation toward the lab and away from the animal origin theory.
    However, Pompeo alleged a louder group of top scientists privy to the data, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, sounded off on the animal origin theory.    He said their echoes radiated throughout the country and were adopted by the mainstream media.
    “We need to get to the bottom of this because this could happen again, they’re still conducting research in these same laboratories today,” Pompeo stated.    “It’s being done in ways that were similar to over a year ago…this is dangerous.”
    In the meantime, Pompeo said the Biden administration needs to put pressure on the Chinese Communist Party to compel them to allow an honest and thorough investigation to take place.    Additionally, he urged the White House to hold the World Health Organization’s feet to the fire for allegedly aiding and abetting the cover-up of the outbreak.
    Pompeo stressed the world needs to know how the virus came to be, so there isn’t another pandemic like it in the future.    He’s holding out hope that someone within the lab will come forward with the truth, but warned it may take time.

5/25/2021 Fla. Passes Law Cracking Down On Big Tech Censorship by OAN Newsroom
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis responds to local TV reporter’s question after he signed legislation seeking to punish social media platforms that
remove conservative ideas from their sites at Florida International University’s’s MARC building in Miami. (Carl Juste/Miami Herald via AP)
    Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) recently hammered down on Big Tech overreach.    He signed into law a new bill aimed at keeping Big Tech companies from censoring free speech and banning people from their platforms.
    “This is a big problem,” he asserted.    “We don’t even need to get into the election interference from Silicon Valley.”
    The bill, titled SB 7072, aims to safeguard Floridians from social media censorship and impose hefty fines on platforms who ban political candidates as a way to crack down on such forms of election interference.
    “They shadowban people which creates partisan echo chambers” he mentioned.    “They are some of the major reasons why this country is divided for doing what they’re doing.”
    Under the new law, any platform which bans a political candidate will receive a daily fine of $250,000.
    DeSantis began this crusade against Big Tech back in February when he began lobbing accusations at major platforms for disproportionately and unfairly silencing conservative voices. He believes this benefits their political ideologies.
    “And they have used this power in Silicon Valley to oppose their orthodoxies and their ideologies on our public square,” he argued.    “This is not how a free society should operate.”
    The new law gives Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody the ability to take action against tech giants who make any moves in violation of the new law. Similarly, platform users from Florida will have the ability to sue social media giants as well.
    The grounds for action will come from Florida’s unfair and deceptive Trade Policies Act, which would see censorship and shadowbanning by social media platforms as a violation of anti-trust law.

5/26/2021 Biden DOJ appeals Mueller probe order - Memo details why Trump was not charged with obstruction by Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY
    President Joe Biden’s Justice Department is appealing an order to release the full contents of a 2019 memorandum that recommended President Donald Trump not be charged with obstructing special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
    This month, a federal judge ordered the internal document’s release, blasting the Trump Justice Department for misleading the court about the nature of its deliberations before concluding that Trump not be prosecuted.
    U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson characterized the memo prepared for then-Attorney General William Barr as a “strategic” document, asserting that Justice Department officials had come to a predetermined conclusion that Trump would not be charged with obstruction of justice.
    “In other words, the review of the document reveals that the Attorney General was not then engaged in making a decision about whether the President should be charged with obstruction of justice; the fact that he would not be prosecuted was a given,” Jackson ruled.
    In court papers file late Monday night, Justice officials conceded that the department’s previous communications with the court “could have been clearer and it deeply regrets the confusion that caused.”
    “But the government’s counsel and declarants did not intend to mislead the Court, and the government respectfully submits that imprecision in its characterization of the decisional process did not warrant the conclusion that the full memo should be made public,” the new court papers stated.
    A portion of the March 24, 2019 document was included in the government’s Monday filings, but much of it was redacted and did not offer new details.
    The memo had been requested by the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington under the Freedom of Information Act.    On Tuesday, the group vowed to continue its effort to secure the document’s release.
    “We are deeply disappointed in the Justice Department’s decision,” said Noah Bookbinder, president of the government accountability group.    “The Department of Justice had an opportunity to come clean, turn over the memo, and close the book on the politicization and dishonesty of the past four years.    Last night it chose not to do so.    In choosing to fight Judge Jackson’s decision, the DOJ is taking a position that is legally and factually wrong and that undercuts efforts to move past the abuses of the last administration.”
    While Justice weighed its decision on the memo, Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., urged Attorney General Merrick Garland not to appeal the judge’s ruling.
    “DOJ’s actions in this case, and in another recent Freedom of Information Act case seeking information about President Trump’s activities, have raised doubts about DOJ’s candor when characterizing potential evidence of President Trump’s misconduct to courts,” the senators wrote earlier this month.    “To be clear, these misrepresentations preceded your confirmation as Attorney General, but the Department you now lead bears responsibility for redressing them.”
    In her earlier ruling, Jackson, who presided over Mueller prosecutions involving former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and political adviser Roger Stone, also aimed scathing criticism at Barr for his handling of the Mueller report, citing the attorney general’s decision to issue a brief summary of its findings only days after receiving the voluminous 448 page report.
    The memo had been requested by the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington under the Freedom of Information Act.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson characterized the memo prepared for then-federal Attorney
General William Barr as a “strategic” document. PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS/AP FILE

5/26/2021 Oil down $0.10 to $65.86, DOW down 82 to 34,312.

5/26/2021 Dr. Fauci Admits To Funding Bat Virus Research At Wuhan Lab, Says NIH Funneled $600K Over 5 Years by OAN Newsroom
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee looking into the budget estimates
for National Institute of Health (NIH) and the state of medical research, Wednesday, May 26, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Sarah Silbiger/Pool via AP)
    While appearing before a congressional budget committee, Dr. Anthony Fauci revealed and defended what he called the “modest” and “very respectful” funding of an infamous Wuhan laboratory.    In a house testimony Tuesday, he admitted that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funneled U.S. taxpayer money to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
    Dr. Fauci said at least $600,000 was sent to the lab through the non-profit called EcoHealth Alliance.    The NIH director confirmed the money was given to the Chinese lab over a five-year period to study bat coronaviruses and whether they could infect humans.
    Well, the underlying reason for that is that we had a big scare with SARS-CoV-1 back in 2001-2003, where that particular virus unquestionably went from a bat to an intermediate host to start and epidemic, a pandemic, that resulted in 8,000 cases and close to 800 deaths,” he stated.    “It almost would have been a dereliction of duty if we didn’t study this and the only way you can study this thing is you gotta go where the action is.”
    However, the doctor denied the funds were used for “gain of function” research, which is a term used to describe medical research that alters an organism or disease in a way that increases pathogenesis, transmissibility or host range.    This came after Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said “gain of function” was the primary effort of Wuhan scientists.
    “About $800,000 was allocated and about $600,000 was spent over a five-year period, no more than that,” Dr. Fauci explained.    “That comes to anywhere between $125,000 to $150,000 per year that went into collaboration with Wuhan.”
    Earlier this month, the NIH director told Sen. Paul that the agency did not provide any funding to the Wuhan lab.    Dr. Fauci’s latest confessions are now sparking calls to arrest him for lying under oath.
    Meanwhile, as new evidence emerges backing the COVID-19 lab-leak theory, experts have suggested the virus could have been given to the Wuhan lab by the Chinese military.
    On Tuesday, bioweapons expert Dr. Lawrence Sellin said the People’s Liberation Army sent the virus to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in early 2019.    While citing Chinese sources, he said the virus then underwent testing on large primates.
    Dr. Sellin claimed the military unit that provided the virus for testing is the same entity that worked with bat coronaviruses in the past.    He added, COVID-19 may be part of the Chinese bioweapons program.
    “They were beginning to document it in their military documents that this was one viable option either in a pre-war or warfare scenario and all that information is actually out on the internet right now, in terms of what the People’s Liberation Army has been saying about the use of biological weapons,” he explained.    “They specifically talk about conditions before and during a war, so they look at it in both aspects.”
    This comes just days after a U.S. Intelligence report revealed three Wuhan lab workers were hospitalized in November 2019 with coronavirus symptoms.    This evidence reignited the theory that coronavirus originated at a Wuhan lab and was leaked to the public.

5/26/2021 Psaki Falsely Claims Closure Of U.S. Consulate Cut Off Palestinian Leaders by OAN Newsroom
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Monday, May 24, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    At a briefing on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki outlined Joe Biden’s plans to re-open the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem.    Psaki claimed the closure of the consulate in West Jerusalem back in 2019 cut off Palestinian leaders, but failed to mention the several factors at play.
    Critics argue the relationship with the Palestinian authority was altered due to their refusal to negotiate and failure to stop paying stipends to terrorists and their families.
    This comes after President Trump moved the U.S. embassy back to Jerusalem in 2018 and cut taxpayer funded aid to the region so that U.S. taxpayers would no longer be contributing to the funding of terror.
    Biden claims by reversing Trump’s policies, the U.S. will be able to revive dialogue with the Palestinians, but has yet to make any progress towards peace over the course of his time with the Obama administration nor his own.

5/26/2021 Senate GOP Leadership Holds Weekly Conference by OAN Newsroom
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., right, speaks to the media next to Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., Tuesday,
May 18, 2021, after a meeting with Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
    The weekly Senate Republican Leadership News Conference dove into discussion of infrastructure, inflation and international conflict.    After a week of tense negotiations and the resurgence of partisan politics, Senate Republicans aren’t overly optimistic their Democrat counterparts are open to discussion.
    Beginning the weekly Senate Republican Leadership news conference on Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) shared that the Democrats’ infrastructure bill had gone so far off course, even long-time party strategists such as Obama’s own chair of the National Economic Council were concerned.
    “Larry Summers is saying not only would it help reduce the inflationary spiral,” he explained.    “But also put to good use that money if it were repurposed for other ambitious goals that the Biden Administration has.'
    Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) continued the conference by stating that while the Republicans have shown up to the negotiating table ready to deal, the White House staff appeared to be less willing to split the difference. He thought progress was being made on the infrastructure bill through productive discussions between Republican senators and Joe Biden.    He suggested the staff of the White House was more willing than Biden to make a deal.
    It was Senate Conference chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) who went a step further, arguing that the lack of effort shown by the Biden administration to agree on solutions to fix the nation’s bridges and roads could have a far more sinister explanation.
    “One of two things has happened: either he has changed his mind or Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi have overridden what the President told us,” he asserted.    “They have members of their caucus who are now recommending $7.1 trillion in significant liberal spending and it is a massive amount of spending on social programs.”
    Shortly after, Policy Committee chairman Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) put the facts into perspective.    He reported that $7.1 trillion in today’s dollars is more than what the U.S. government spent on winning WWII.    He suggested that although the government has many challenges to face up ahead, none of them are comparable to the historical world war.
    Vice chairman of the Senate Republican Party Conference Joni Ernst (I.A.) echoed Blunt’s’ sentiments by stating that for small towns in her state of Iowa, infrastructure is a simple concept.
    “For them they need a highway bypass around their community,” the vice chairman expressed.    “That is what Iowans believe infrastructure to be.”
    Senatorial Committee chairman Rick Scott (R-Fla.) shifted directions by arguing that while Democrats were focused on spending trillions for their pet projects at home, foreign threats still posed a clear and present danger to the Americans.    However, Democrats claim they’re trying to help.
    “We all have to figure out how are we going to compete against communist China…we clearly have a new Cold War,” he expressed.    “I think it is important for all Americans to stop buying Chinese products.    It is important for all of us to understand we are in a fight for the future of this country.”
    For the remainder of the week, the House of Representatives are poised to hear testimony from cabinet heads regarding the official budget while leaving the Senate leadership to continue and try to bring bipartisan cooperation to an administration that has yet to show any signs of playing ball.

5/26/2021 Dr. Ron Paul: National Bureau Of Economic Research Proves Lockdowns Ineffective Against COVID-19 by OAN Newsroom
FILE – A customer exits a corner market while wearing a protective mask in the retail shopping district of the SoHo neighborhood of the Manhattan borough
of New York, Friday, May 14, 2021. New York eased its mask and social distancing mandates again on Wednesday, May 19, 2021. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, file)
    Dr. Ron Paul, a former congressman, has been taking aim at COVID-19 regulations.    He recently released evidence suggesting lockdowns were ineffective against the virus to begin with.
    While recently speaking on the Liberty Report, Dr. Paul cited a study that found the full reopening of Texas’ economy did not affect the rate of new COVID-19 infections.    He said calls for lockdowns and mask mandates have been proven unscientific as well as harmful.
    The change in direction presents a stark contrast to Joe Biden’s attack on Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R-Texas) decision as “Neanderthal thinking.”    In addition to Biden, Texas Democrat Party chair Gilberto Hinojosa warned this would kill Texans. On top of that, the director of the CDC, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, warned of an impending doom just weeks before the state began to reopen.
    Dr. Paul also highlighted the questionable funding of “gain of function” research in China by the National Institutes of Health.    This term is used to describe medical research that alters an organism or disease in a way that increases pathogenesis, transmissibility or host range.    He stressed that it’s “mad scientist” research to weaponize animal viruses against humans and the U.S. must not participate in such dangerous experiments.
    Dr. Paul said medical bureaucrats should be held accountable for economic losses and for denying patients safe treatments such as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin.
    “As soon as Donald Trump mentioned that hydroxychloroquine might be effective against the virus, the ‘experts’ circled the wagons,” he noted.    “It was banned for use until it later was quietly un-banned.”
    The former congressman asserted that lawmakers should ensure such government overreach does not happen again.
    “The politicization of medicine is anti-science, anti-human and anti-American,” he stated.    “Will those who needlessly died due to this politicization finally get their justice?
    In the meantime, Dr. Paul said Americans should question why their freedoms were taken away by COVID-19 lockdowns in the first place.

5/26/2021 GOP Pushing Back Against Critical Race Theory by OAN Newsroom
File – Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) speaks in Mount Pleasant, S.C. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)
    Several GOP lawmakers are pushing back against the Biden administration’s affinity for critical race theory.    The Democrat Party’s push for this academic approach for school children is being met by strong Republican opposition.
    On Tuesday, Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) sat down with One America News to detail a pair of bills she introduced, which would ban federal funding for the ideology in schools and the military.    She accused Joe Biden of violating the 10th Amendment by trying to influence school curriculum with his education proposals rather than leaving it to local school boards.
    Mace predicted Democrats’ push for critical race theory will ultimately doom their chances of keeping hold of their dwindling majority in the lower chamber.
    “Make no mistake, this is Marxist ideology being pushed by the administration,” she stated.    “It is meant to divide us and to tell all of us that we are racist.    It’s indoctrination for our kids in public schools and it’s wrong…we cannot and should not tolerate it in any way, shape or form.”
    Mace’s comments came one day after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a bill cracking down on Big Tech censorship and criticized its role in propagating the theory.    The Republican argued social media companies are trying to control the narrative of critical race theory by gaslighting users who criticize it.
    “That is not something that’s appropriate for schools…it’s based on historical falsehoods,” he stated.    “For example some of these folks tried to say the American Revolution was fought because they wanted to preserve slavery…just open up a history book, read the pamphlets…it doesn’t have a place, the Board of Education is going to act.”
    DeSantis added, the theory hyperbolizes the role of race in American history and warns it casts certain races in a negative light.
    In the meantime, more than a dozen GOP-led states, including Ohio, Tennessee and Texas, are moving to ban public schools from teaching concepts that claim white people are inherently racist.
    Other critics believe the theory is weaponizing young people and indoctrinates them against America.    Many have urged schools across the nation to teach American history by the facts.

5/26/2021 President Trump Blasts Democrat Led N.Y. Criminal Probe by OAN Newsroom
New York Attorney General Letitia James removes her mask at the beginning of a news conference at her office, in New York, Friday, May 21, 2021. James said Friday that she’s
assigned two lawyers to work with the Manhattan district’s attorney’s office on a criminal investigation into President Donald Trump’s business dealings. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
    President Trump is hitting back at prosecutors in New York after a Manhattan district attorney convened a special grand jury to consider evidence in a criminal investigation against the Trump Organization.
    In a statement released on Tuesday, the 45th president spoke against the Democrat-led probe while calling the investigation “a continuation of the greatest witch hunt in American history.”    His comments came after New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced the criminal probe last week.
    “Our civil investigation continues, but we are now actively investigating the Trump organization in a criminal capacity and we are working alongside, cooperating with, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance,” James announced.    “As was mentioned in I believe some newspaper, two of our assistant attorney generals have been cross designated as district attorneys.”
    President Trump pointed out that Democrats “wasted two years and 48 million in taxpayer dollars on the Russia investigation and both impeachment hoaxes, while using illegally leaked confidential information to back their claims.”    He further argued the criminal probe is “purely political” and is being driven by highly partisan Democrat prosecutors.
    The 45th president went to finish his remarks by stating, “our country is broken, our elections are rigged, corrupt and stolen, our prosecutors are politicized and I will just have to keep on fighting like I have been for the last five years!
    President Trump has previously voiced his criticisms on the New York probe, noting how Democrats have failed at every stage of their investigation.    The new grand jury is expected to review evidence for three days a week for the next six months.

5/26/2021 GOP To Nearly Double Counteroffer To Biden’s $1.7T Infrastructure Plan by OAN Newsroom
FILE – Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    Republicans are looking to make changes to their infrastructure plan amid fiery bipartisan meetings.    According to reports on Tuesday, a group of GOP senators are preparing to reveal a new counteroffer to Joe Biden’s proposal.
    Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) confirmed the GOP proposal will be “close to a trillion dollars.”    During Tuesday’s briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the upcoming GOP proposal is “progress.”
    “Our view is that this can be a week of progress, including the the counteroffer, which we expect to get later this week,” she stated.    “I’m not going to prejudge what that looks like, we’ll have to look at the nitty-gritty details…certainly them coming up and funding is progress.”
    Last week, Biden administration staffers clashed with Republicans and rejected their first offer of a $568 billion proposal.    In the meantime, GOP lawmakers are set to discuss their proposal at the White House on Thursday.

5/26/2021 Press Secy. Psaki Falsely Claims Crime Surge Started With Pandemic by OAN Newsroom
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the
White House, Tuesday, May 25, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki is facing criticism after she implied the recent uptick in crime can be attributed to the coronavirus pandemic.    Her comments came Tuesday when a reporter asked her to clarify the White House’s stance on rising crime rates while citing an increase in the number of homicides in the Democrat-led cities of Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Chicago.
    This comes as crime rates have been following an upward trend since last May amid Black Lives Matter riots and calls to defund the police.    However, Psaki attempted to blame the uptick on the pandemic instead.
    “Most data that is out there shows that there’s actually been a rise in crime over the course of the last year since the start of the pandemic, which actually pre-dates President Biden taking office,” she stated in a side-step.    “We’re focused on solutions here and that’s why we proposed putting $5 billion in the American Jobs Plan to help address community violence (through funding) intervention programs.”
    Critics quickly pointed out that crime fell in most places at the start of the global outbreak.    Additionally, the Biden administration has appeared focused on criminal justice reform instead of stopping violent crime.

5/26/2021 Multiple People Killed In Rail Yard Shooting In San Jose, California
Police secure the scene of a mass shooting at a rail yard run by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
in San Jose, California, U.S. May 26, 2021. REUTERS/Peter DaSilva
    (Reuters) – A gunman opened fire at a light rail yard in San Jose, California, on Wednesday morning, killing an unspecified number of people and injuring others, the county sheriff’s office said.
    Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Deputy Russell Davis told reporters that “there are multiple injuries and multiple fatalities” and the assailant was dead.
    “I can’t confirm the exact number of injuries and fatalities,” he said.
    Davis said at a later news conference he could not identify the gunman beyond saying he was male, nor could he say how he died or whether police officers fired their weapons at the scene.
    The shooting took place just before 7 a.m. Pacific Time (1400 GMT) at a light rail yard run by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) near the city’s main airport.
    “A horrible tragedy has happened today and our thoughts and love go out to the VTA family,” Glenn Hendricks, the chairman of the VTA board, said at the news conference.
    He said the shooting took place in a part of the yard where workers do maintenance on vehicles, and was not in the yard’s operations and control center.
    San Jose, a city with about 1 million residents, lies at the heart of Silicon Valley, a global center of technological innovation and home of some of America’s biggest tech companies.
    “We are in a very dark moment,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said at the news conference.    “We will do everything possible to ensure this never happens again in our city.”
    Mass shootings are common in the United States, which has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the world.
    In March, eight people, including six women of Asian descent, were shot dead in a string of attacks at day spas in and around Atlanta, and less than a week later, 10 people were killed at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado.
(For a factbox on recent mass U.S. shootings, click on)
    A local ABC News affiliate reported that the building was not open to the public, so the assailant would have needed employee access or to have broken in.    News footage of the yard showed a cluster of industrial hangar-like buildings adjacent to rail tracks.
(Reporting by Peter Szekely, Jonathan Allen and Maria Caspani in New York; Editing by Howard Goller and Sonya Hepinstall)

5/26/2021 Lockdown-Busting Trip Was ‘Major Disaster’ For UK Government, Says Ex-Adviser
FILE PHOTO: Former special advisor to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Dominic Cummings, speaks to members
of the media outside of his house, in London, Britain, May 4, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville
    LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s former adviser, Dominic Cummings, admitted on Wednesday his trip to northern England at the height of Britain’s first coronavirus lockdown was a “major disaster” for the government’s COVID-19 policy.
    In May last year, Cummings defended his decision to drive 250 miles from London to access childcare after fearing he had contracted COVID-19, and a further excursion to a nearby beauty spot to test his eyesight as part of his recovery.
    Apologising for what he said were his mistakes over his decision to travel when Britain was under a strict lockdown, he told a parliamentary committee: “That whole episode was definitely a major disaster for the government and the COVID policy.”
    Referring to his excursion to test his eyesight after contracting COVID-19 in a further breach of lockdown rules, he said: “I wish I’d never heard of Barnard Castle and I wish I’d never gone, and I wish the whole nightmare never happened.”
(Reporting by Kate Holton, writing by Elizabeth Piper; editing by Michael Holden and Paul Sandle)

5/26/2021 UK PM’s Ineptitude Led To Tens Of Thousands Of Deaths, Ex-Aide Says by Guy Faulconbridge, Elizabeth Piper and Kate Holton
Dominic Cummings, former special advisor for Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces questions from lawmakers over the
government's COVID-19 response, in London,Britain, May 26, 2021, in this screen grab taken from video. Reuters TV via REUTERS
    LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s inept handling of the COVID pandemic led to tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths, and officials even feared he would ask to be injected with the virus on television to show it was benign, his former chief adviser said on Wednesday.
    With almost 128,000 deaths, the United Kingdom has the world’s fifth highest official COVID-19 toll, far higher than the government’s initial worst-case estimates of only 20,000.
    During seven hours of explosive testimony to a parliamentary committee, Dominic Cummings told lawmakers Johnson was like a shopping cart that could not be guided, and that it was “crackers” that someone like him should be prime minister.
    “Everybody was screaming, on quarantine – ‘Have a policy, and set it out clearly and stick to it!’,” Cummings said.
    “But nobody could find a way around the problem of the prime minister – just like a shopping trolley, smashing around from one side of the aisle to the other.”
    Asked about Cummings’s criticisms at a weekly question-and-answer session in parliament, Johnson said nobody could credibly accuse him or his government of complacency.
    “We have worked flat out to minimise loss of life,” he said, without directly addressing many of the claims of the man who had been his closest adviser before an acrimonious split late last year, and who personally witnessed many of his actions.
    Cummings’s evidence gave an alarming insight into the heart of the British government as it grappled with the onset of what would become the most devastating public health crisis in a century.
    Britain was completely unprepared, and Johnson’s government lacked plans, brains, urgency and leadership, he said.
    As danger loomed in February 2020, many ministers were away on ski holidays.    Johnson initially dismissed the new virus as a scare story, Cummings said.
    He said officials saw Johnson’s attitude as “Don’t worry about it, and I’m going to get (Chief Medical Adviser) Chris Whitty to inject me live on TV with coronavirus.”
    “When the public needed us most, the government failed,” Cummings said. “    Tens of thousands of people died who didn’t need to die.”
    Johnson subsequently caught COVID-19 early in the pandemic, and was moved to intensive care in hospital, where he received litres of oxygen.    He later said plans had been prepared to announce his death.
    Cummings cast the state as woefully disorganised, dominated by “groupthink,” and run by ministers such as Health Secretary Matt Hancock who, he said, should be sacked for lying to the public and the government.
    Johnson’s spokesman said the prime minister had full confidence in Hancock.
    Cummings’s attacks have so far failed to dent Johnson’s popularity, but his testimony is likely to form the broad lines of scrutiny of a public inquiry next year into the response to COVID-19.
    Cummings, the strategist behind the 2016 Brexit campaign and Johnson’s landslide election win in 2019, left Downing Street late last year, carrying his personal belongings in a box, after falling out with the prime minister.
    He said the West had failed during the crisis, and that British officials had resisted the idea that they should follow the example of Asian countries in locking the country down:
    “The truth is that senior ministers, senior officials, senior advisers like me, fell disastrously short of the standards that the public has a right to expect of its government in a crisis like this.”
    He related meetings in early 2020 when it started to dawn on some officials that Johnson’s resistance to a lockdown was a deadly mistake. Cummings said there was had been no plan for the epidemic, and certainly no plan for a lockdown.
    He quoted Helen MacNamara, deputy cabinet secretary, as saying “I’ve come through here to the prime minister’s office to tell you, quote, I think we are absolutely fucked.    I think this country is headed for disaster.    I think we’re going to kill thousands of people.”
    Reuters has reported how Britain was slow to spot the infections arriving, was late with a lockdown, and continued to discharge infected elderly hospital patients into care homes.
    Cummings repeated an allegation, which Johnson has denied, that the prime minister late last year said he would rather “let the bodies pile high” than impose a second lockdown.
    “I heard that in the prime minister’s study,” he told the committee.
    Cummings said there had been no data system to deal with COVID, no way to understand its spread and “not even a plan to bury all the bodies.”
    Johnson has admitted that mistakes were made and that lessons need to be learned, but his ministers say they were having to working fast, under pressure, in the face of a huge crisis.
    “I take full responsibility for everything that has happened,” Johnson told lawmakers on Wednesday.    “As I’ve said before … I am truly sorry for the suffering that the people of this country have experienced.”
    He has pointed to Britain’s rapid vaccination programme as a success that will allow the economy to rebound before its peers.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, Elizabeth Piper and Michael Holden; Editing by Mark Heinrich, Michael Holden and Toby Chopra)

5/26/2021 Scottish Leader In Talks To Form Pro-Independence Parliamentary Majority
FILE PHOTO: Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon attends the session to elect Scotland's First Minister at Holyrood,
at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, Scotland, Britain May 18, 2021. Jane Barlow/Pool via REUTERS
    LONDON (Reuters) – Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was in talks with the Scottish Green Party to form a coalition that would cement a pro-independence majority in the devolved parliament ahead of a political fight the future of the United Kingdom.
    Sturgeon, the leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), said she had held discussions with the Greens, who have promised to support a second independence referendum, at her official residence on Tuesday.
    The SNP had been hopeful of winning an outright majority in elections this month which would have strengthened their call for a secession vote but they fell one seat short of the 65 required in the 129-seat devolved Scottish parliament, partly because of an electoral system that helps smaller parties.
    With the support of the Greens, who have seven seats, the SNP would have a clear majority to pass legislation to push ahead with plans for another referendum once the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
    “I can confirm that the Scottish Government and the Scottish Green Party will enter structured talks, supported by the civil service, with a view to reaching, if we can, a formal co-operation agreement,” she said.
    “Exactly what the content, extent and scope of any agreement will be is what the talks will focus on, but what we hope to achieve is potentially groundbreaking.”
    A referendum bill would set up a bitter clash between the Scottish government in Edinburgh and Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s United Kingdom-wide administration in London, with Scotland’s 314-year union with England and Wales at stake.
    The British government argues Johnson must give approval for any referendum and he has repeatedly made clear he would refuse.    He has said it would be irresponsible to hold one now, pointing out that Scots had backed staying in the United Kingdom in a “once in a generation” poll in 2014 by 55%-45%.
(Reporting by Andrew MacAskill; editing by Michael Holden)

5/26/2021 Multiple Fatalities, Injuries In Calif. Shooting, Suspect Dead by OAN Newsroom
Law enforcement officers respond to the scene of a shooting at a Santa Clara Valley Transportation
Authority (VTA) facility on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
    A Valley Transportation Authority employee opened fire on his co-workers Wednesday morning, leaving eight people dead and several others injured.    The incident occurred in San Jose at a VTA facility, which provides maintenance for trains.
    Sheriff’s deputies confirmed the suspect was a VTA employee along with several of the victims.    Police said they have found evidence of potential explosive devices and are now sweeping the building. Authorities are urging people to stay away from the area as an investigation is underway.
    The shooter was identified as Samuel Cassidy, 57, and was pronounced dead at the scene following a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
    San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo offered condolences to families of the victims and said more information will be released as the investigation continues.
    “This is a horrific day for our city and it is a tragic day for the VTA family, and our heart pains for the families and the co-workers because we know so many are feeling deeply this loss of their loved ones and their friends,” said Liccardo.
    VTA light rail operations in the area have been suspended for the remainder of the day.

5/26/2021 Major Freeway Reopens As Hours-Long Standoff Ends Near San Diego by OAN Newsroom
SAN DIEGO – AUGUST 31: Traffic moves along the I-5 in San Diego, California on August 31, 2006. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
    All lanes of a major Southern California freeway are reportedly back open and running as an hours-long police standoff has come to an end.
    The standoff ensued early Wednesday, 50 miles south of Camp Pendleton, when police tried to pull over a suspect wanted for assault.    The man led officers on a high-speed chase on Interstate 5 before coming to a stop in northbound lanes.    Police worked restlessly to try and stop the suspect, using spike strips and calling in a SWAT team.
    The freeway was completely shutdown in both directions for hours. It finally reopened after, according to the police, the man shot himself inside his SUV.    He had reportedly been wanted since Tuesday night after a naked woman flagged down officers and told them her boyfriend assaulted her.    By the time police responded to the scene, the assailant had already fled.
    The man’s identity has not been released and his condition is unknown at this time.    However, an investigation is underway.

5/26/2021 Sen. Mike Lee Blasts Joe Biden’s ATF Nominee For Contempt Of Gun Owners by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 16: Sen. Mike Lee. (Photo by Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)
    Utah Sen. Mike Lee (R) will be facing off against Joe Biden’s pick, David Chipman, to lead the ATF over his blatant contempt for gun owners.    During Wednesday’s confirmation hearing, Sen. Lee pressed Chipman on previous anti-gun comments he made online.    Lee also brought up an interview Chipman did last April about a rise in gun sales during which Chipman appeared to mock first-time gun owners.
    The Republican further expressed concern that Chipman’s words targeting Second Amendment supporters, violated fundamental rules of due process when pointing to this specific instance.
    Chipman had posted on Reddit in 2019 stating, “while at ATF, I conducted studies involving people who failed background checks to determine how many later committed crimes with a gun.    Many did.    This is a perfect opportunity to arrest people before committing crimes rather than responding after the fact.”
    In response to Lee, Chipman claimed he was misunderstood and his words had been taken out of context.    He continued to justify his statement saying he had only been making a joke about himself.

5/26/2021 Lawmakers Slam Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen For Skipping Hearing On Distribution Of PPP Funds by OAN Newsroom
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen listens to a reporter’s question during a press briefing
at the White House, Friday, May 7, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has ignited anger amongst Republicans and Democrats alike for skipping a hearing on COVID-19 relief.
    Yellen and SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman were slated to appear before the House Small Business Committee on Wednesday, but Guzman was the only one who showed.    The Democrat and Republican leaders of the committee both slammed Yellen for refusing to testify, especially considering she played a major role in implementing the program itself.
    Additionally, Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) said that Yellen’s refusal was in violation of the law.    The $900 billion COVID-19 relief package passed by Congress in March requires the Treasury Secretary and SBA Administrator to testify on distribution of funds under the Paycheck Protection Program.
Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., speaks during a House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hybrid
hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)
    “Without her at the table, this committee cannot properly fulfill our oversight responsibilities to American taxpayers, nor the nation’s entrepreneurial community,” said Velazquez.
    This comes as criticism continues to pile up against the Biden administration’s handling of pandemic-related small business aid.

5/26/2021 Biden Admin. Won’t Condemn China For Alleged COVID Leak by OAN Newsroom
In this May 13, 2021 file photo, Joe Biden speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    The Biden administration is refusing to condemn China over a suspected leak from the Wuhan lab, which House Republicans found was likely the cause behind the COVID-19 outbreak.
    Joe Biden confirmed in a separate statement on Wednesday that no conclusions will be made on COVID origins until there has been a 90-day review by the Intelligence Community.
    This comes just one day after Biden shut down a federal investigation into the origins of COVID-19 that was previously put in place by the Trump administration.    Instead, his administration asked China and the World Health Organization for help with the investigation.
    Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced, “Joe Biden believes there needs to be an independent investigation, one that’s run by the international community.”
    Republicans have argued that neither China nor the WHO have been transparent in sharing the findings of their investigations.
    Meanwhile, they stressed the House report is based off U.S. Intelligence data and that Biden’s 90-day timeout poses an unnecessary delay in holding China accountable.

5/26/2021 Report: 300 Govt Agencies Use Chinese Gear Banned By Pres. Trump by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 18: U.S. President Donald Trump pauses during a news briefing. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    A new report has found that the U.S. government has continued to buy Chinese technology despite a ban imposed by President Donald Trump two years ago.
    According to research firm IPVM, more than 300 government organizations across the U.S. had purchased Chinese surveillance equipment in defiance of a federal ban imposed in Aug. 2019.    These products include thermal vision and surveillance cameras by Chinese manufacturers Hikvision and Dahua.
    President Trump banned these products specifically, expressing how they pose a threat to U.S. national security.    Furthermore, the Trump administration banned the import of certain apparel and computer parts from China due to the belief that the products were being produced by forced laborers.
    Yet, the report shows local governments have ignored Trump’s order despite security concerns.

5/26/2021 Lori And Chad Daybell Face Murder Charges In The Deaths Of Their 2 Children by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this March 6, 2020, file photo, Lori Vallow Daybell, left, glances at the camera during
her hearing, in Rexburg, Idaho. (John Roark/The Idaho Post-Register via AP, Pool, File)
    An infamous doomsday cult couple, Chad and Lori Daybell, appeared in court on Wednesday after being indicted on first-degree murder charges for the deaths of their children.
    The couple virtually attended a hearing in which the judge read the charges against Chad.    However, Lori’s hearing was postponed indefinitely due to unspecified exigent circumstances.
    On Tuesday, prosecutors announced the murder and conspiracy charges against the couple in connection with the deaths of Lori’s two children Joshua (JJ) Vallow and Tylee Ryan, as well as Chad’s ex-wife Tammy Daybell.
FILE – In this Aug. 4, 2020, file photo, Chad Daybell listens during his preliminary hearing
in St. Anthony, Idaho. (John Roark/The Idaho Post-Register via AP, Pool, File)
    They are accused of using their religious beliefs to justify the children’s deaths and exchanged disturbing text messages regarding all three deaths.
    Friends told investigators the couple believed they were part of a cult known as the “Church of the First Born,” whose mission was to rid the world of zombies.    At least one friend reported Lori believed her children had turned into zombies.
    “Ever since she’s been involved in this doomsday cult, that is not the same Lori that we knew for 13 years,” said a former acquaintance of Lori.
    Chad Daybell also faces charges of life insurance fraud tied to the murder of his ex-wife.    While Lori has been charged with theft of social security benefits allocated to the care of her children after their deaths.
    The pair could face life in prison or the death penalty if convicted.    However, prosecutors did not specify which penalties they would be seeking.

5/26/2021 Study: Mild COVID Infection Provides Lasting Immunity by OAN Newsroom
STAMFORD, CT – MARCH 23: Health workers dressed in personal protective equipment (PPE) handle a coronavirus test at a drive-thru
testing station at Cummings Park on March 23, 2020 in Stamford, Connecticut. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
    New research has confirmed people who have recovered from COVID-19 have a lasting antibody protection from the virus.    A study by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found natural immunity from COVID-19 has the potential to last up to 11 months after the infection.
    In addition, researchers found ongoing exposure to the virus may provide even longer-lasting protection without the risk of severe illness.    Scientists have said 99.4 percent of COVID-19 cases result in a mild illness, while 98 percent of patients fully recover from the virus.
    In the meantime, scientists have yet to determine how long immunity will last with a COVID-19 vaccine.    Further studies are being conducted to determine whether vaccination also induces long-lived antibody-producing cells.

5/26/2021 Sen. Elizabeth Warren Introduces Bill To Triple IRS Budget by OAN Newsroom
PHILADELPHIA, PA – JULY 28: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) introduced a bill that would triple the budget of the IRS.    The Democrat spoke on the legislation Monday which would increase the agency’s budget from around $12 billion to $31.5 billion.
    The goal of the “Restoring the IRS Act of 2021” is to stop wealthy tax cheats and close the tax gap.    Warren’s bill would require financial institutions to disclose third-party account activity to allow the IRS enhanced taxpayer accountability.    The bill would also examine racial and income inequalities in the IRS’s operations.
    Republican opponents to the legislation argue more aggressive IRS enforcement would do little to address complicated tax law and may violate the rights of the average taxpayer.

5/27/2021 Oil up $0.32 to $66.18, DOW up 11 to 34,323.

5/27/2021 Poll: 66% Of Republicans Want President Trump To Run In 2024 by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Dec. 31, 2020, file photo, President Donald Trump arrives on the South Lawn of the White House, in Washington.
New York prosecutors have convened a special grand jury to consider evidence in a criminal investigation into Trump’s
business dealings, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Tuesday, May 25, 2021. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
    A new poll has further affirmed Republicans want President Trump to run for the White House again in 2024.    The Quinnipiac survey of adults, released Wednesday, found 66 percent of GOP respondents want the 4th president to run again.
    The poll also notably found 85 percent of Republicans want candidates who mostly agree with Trump on key issues.    This comes as Trump seeks to promote ‘America First’ candidates in the midterms while aiming to oust House GOP lawmakers who sided with Democrats in the second impeachment.
    Meanwhile, a new analysis of mainstream media reporting of U.S. politics revealed their ongoing focus still remains on President Trump.
    According to Pew Research, at least 40 percent of media reports about the Biden administration make a mention of Trump.    This has continued to happen despite the 45th president having been out of office for 127 days.
    Additionally, reports about things unrelated to President Trump, such as Biden’s spending package, still mention the 45th president in 30 percent of all cases.
    According to analysts, the name of President Trump is used to attract audiences amid dwindling revenues of the legacy media.

5/27/2021 Biden Calling To Intensify Probe Into COVID-19 Origins After Shutting Down State Dept. Probe by OAN Newsroom
In this May 13, 2021 file photo, President Joe Biden speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Joe Biden asked U.S. Intelligence agencies to intensify their investigation into the origins of COVID-19.    In a statement Wednesday, he noted researchers are still considering two key theories regarding the initial outbreak of the virus.
    The theories include whether the virus came from human contact with an infected animal or it leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China.    The Biden administration admitted China has not been transparent with international probes into the matter.
    “You know, China wasn’t transparent enough,” Biden stated.    “We have been saying that for a very long time, that China needed to provide more access to the lab, cooperate more fully with the scientific investigators, and we don’t think that they have met that standard.”
    This flip-flop came after Biden quietly shut down a State Department effort to investigate the Wuhan lab leak theory, allegedly questioning the legitimacy of their findings.    However, insiders said the State Department’s investigation was an honest effort to look into whether China’s biological weapons program played a role in the virus’ initial outbreak.
    As to whether the Biden administration thinks China should be condemned and held responsible for its handling of the virus, there are still no definitive answers.    The White House said it will be working alongside the World Health Organization (WHO) to come to a conclusion on the matter.
Security personnel gather near the entrance of the Wuhan Institute of Virology during a visit by the World Health Organization team. (Photo | AP)
    Last year, the WHO conducted an investigation into the Wuhan laboratory near where the virus was first detected.    They determined it was “extremely unlikely” the virus leaked from a lab.    That probe was widely condemned by U.S. lawmakers for being overly shallow and too conciliatory to the Chinese Communist Party.
    Meanwhile, many scientists have argued that knowing where the coronavirus came from is essential to preparing the world for another potential pandemic in the future.

5/27/2021 GOP Senators Urge Biden Not To Relocate Detainees From Guantanamo Bay by OAN Newsroom
In this file photo reviewed by a U.S. Department of Defense official, U.S. military guards walk within Camp Delta
military-run prison, at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)
    Republican senators wrote a letter to Joe Biden regarding their opposition to release detainees at Guantanamo Bay.    Reports on Tuesday shared that Republican Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and his colleagues sent the letter to Biden regarding the Periodic Review Board’s decision to release three detainees and transfer them to other countries.
    The detainees include Saifulla Paracha, who was considered by U.S. Intelligence as a facilitator of financial transactions after the 9/11 attacks.    Lawmakers cited the unnecessary risk of the American people involved in transferring the detainees.
    The Obama administration previously pledged to shut down the prison, but was met with opposition in Congress.    Then in 2018, President Trump signed an executive order to keep it open.    Biden administration officials have recently announced goals to close the prison following calls from Democrat lawmakers to do so. However, the White House has appeared reluctant to make any promises on the matter.
    White House press secretary Jen Psaki spoke of this possible closure at her daily news briefing on Friday.
    “I would note in order to see this process through completely and thoroughly, there are a number of key policy rolls that still need to be filled within the inter-agency,” she explained.    “There are many different players from different agencies that need to be part of the policy discussion about the steps forward.”
    GOP lawmakers argue the closure could potentially be dangerous to citizens.    Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) recently introduced new legislation that would block the Defense Department from funding any transfers or releases of Guantanamo prisoners to or within the United States.
    “Number one, terrorists are not going to be held on U.S. soil,” she asserted.    “Number two, if they were ever to consider it we’d ensure that South Carolina, especially the Charleston brig, is not that location.”
    Mace went on to say that moving some of the most dangerous terrorists in the world is unacceptable and “irresponsible.”

5/27/2021 Suspect Who Opened Fire At San Jose Rail Yard ID’d As VTA Employee, Killed 9 Before Turning Gun On Self by OAN Newsroom
Law enforcement officers respond to the scene of a shooting at a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA)
facility on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
    An employee opened fire Wednesday at a California rail yard and killed nine people before taking his own life.    The local community is reeling after the devastating mass shooting.
    “This morning (Wednesday) at 6:34 a.m., Santa Clara County Communications Center received multiple 9-1-1 calls of a shots fired call located in the area of 101 West Younger Avenue in San Jose, which is a Valley Transportation Authority hub for VTA,” announced Deputy Russell Davis of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department.
    In a press conference, Deputy Davis said 57-year-old Samuel Cassidy, an employee at the Valley Transportation Authority, was deceased after turning the gun on himself.    The incident happened earlier in the day at the VTA facility, which provides transit services throughout the bay area.
    Meanwhile, as the investigation continues, a number of officials have spoken out on the tragedy. California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) weighed in on the shooting.
    “There’s a numbness, I imagine, some of us are feeling about this because there’s a sameness to this,” stated the governor.    “…More scenes like this repeated over and over and over again.”
    Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen also expressed his deepest sentiments.
    “We know, tragically, that mass shootings affect different people in different ways and over different periods of time,” he stated.    “We are offering grief counseling, mental health counseling, victim compensation services, experts and many shoulders to cry on.”
    All of the victims have been identified as colleagues of the gunman. Investigators offered no immediate word on a possible motive.

5/27/2021 GOP Denied Access To DEA Facility Amid Border Visit by OAN Newsroom
A US Border Patrol truck uses old tires to erase the tracks of its tires while patrolling along the border line between the
cities of Texas, in the United States, and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mexico. (HERIKA MARTINEZ/AFP via Getty Images)
    The Biden administration has faced scrutiny for their apparent lack of transparency.
    On Tuesday, 12 Republican lawmakers were denied access to the El Paso Intelligence Center during their border visit.    The GOP members have repeatedly made attempts to visit the facility after the DEA released a statement warning the uptick of drug smugglers illegally crossing the border will likely get worse.
    Lawmakers are struggling to gain insight on the drug cartel crisis and argue the Biden administration is preventing them to do so.    They argue this interference violates their obligation to ensure that public funds are utilized within these facilities to effectively manage the crisis.
    Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Calif.) said the GOP demands to learn about the intelligence operation’s strategy to counter drug cartels and illegal immigrants.    He argued that Biden has prioritized the welfare of illegal immigrants over the safety of the American people.
    Garcia went on to add Biden’s lack of transparency suggests that “our open borders are a lot more serious than the average American understands right now.”

5/27/2021 Larry Summers: Democrat Stimulus Policy Is ‘Overdoing It’ by OAN Newsroom
In this Friday, May 20, 2021, photo, a fuel truck driver checks the gasoline tank level at a United Oil gas station in Sunset Blvd., in Los Angeles.
The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline jumped 8 cents over the past two weeks, to $3.10 per gallon. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
    Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers has cautioned the current administration about the potential risk of rising inflation.
    During a pre-taped interview released Wednesday, Bill Clinton’s former cabinet secretary continued to issue a warning about the possible fallout of injecting trillions of dollars into the economy.    He said while such measures were needed at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, they have become excessive at this point.
    “So I think we’re taking very substantial risks on the inflation side and we’re taking them well after there was a need to hedge against the deflation possibility, so I think policy is rather overdoing it,” he stated.
    Summers has routinely spoken out against current Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen who has downplayed the likelihood of inflation and advocated for additional spending measures.
    Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers has cautioned the current administration about the potential risk of rising inflation.
    During a pre-taped interview released Wednesday, Bill Clinton’s former cabinet secretary continued to issue a warning about the possible fallout of injecting trillions of dollars into the economy.    He said while such measures were needed at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, they have become excessive at this point.
    “So I think we’re taking very substantial risks on the inflation side and we’re taking them well after there was a need to hedge against the deflation possibility, so I think policy is rather overdoing it,” he stated.
    Summers has routinely spoken out against current Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen who has downplayed the likelihood of inflation and advocated for additional spending measures.

5/27/2021 Biden Wind Energy Projects Outsourcing Jobs To Europe by OAN Newsroom
Employees with Ipsun Solar install solar panels on the roof of the Peace Lutheran Church
in Alexandria, Virginia on May 17, 2021. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
    Joe Biden has promised that his push for renewable energy will create more manufacturing jobs for Americans.    He was reported saying, “there is simply no reason the blades for wind turbines can’t be built in Pittsburgh instead of Beijing.    No reason.”
    Except, in reality, most of the manufacturing jobs will actually be created in Europe.
    The Vineyard Wind project, off the coast of Massachusetts, is expected to produce enough electricity to power 400,000 homes in New England by 2023.    The windfarm is a joint venture between Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid Inc. which is part of the Iberdrola group.
    According to the managing director of Iberdola Renewables Offshore, Jonathon Cole, smaller components will be manufactured locally, but the bigger parts will not.
    Insiders say it could take years before developers can commit to building new American factories.    To get things moving, developers would need to see a deep pipeline of approved U.S. projects, along with a clear set of regulatory incentives like federal and state tax breaks.
    Christy Guthman, commercial leader of U.S. offshore at General Electric’s renewable division, also said that opening a factory would be costly and time consuming.    It would require permits and large amounts of space near the coast.
    Guthman’s company is set to supply Vineyard Wind with 62 turbines.    However, the major parts for those turbines, which are twice the height of the Statue of Liberty, will be made in its factories in France.
    Biden’s administration has unveiled a goal to install 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power capacity by 2030.    That is roughly the amount that already exists in Europe’s two-decade-old industry.
    Experts have estimated more than 2,000 turbines will be needed to meet that target, but U.S. factories probably won’t be finished until 2024 or 2025.    This would mean those jobs may not materialize until after Biden’s time in the White House is up.

5/27/2021 Sen. Mitch McConnell Urges Republicans To Vote Against Jan. 6 Commission by OAN Newsroom
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell(R-KY) speaks during a news conference.
(Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
    Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is urging Republicans to vote against the creation of a Jan. 6 commission.    Speaking on the senate floor on Thursday, McConnell argued against the formation of a bipartisan group that would be tasked with looking into the Capitol breach.
    During his speech, McConnell continued to push that a commission is unnecessary because Jan. 6 is already being investigated by congressional committees and by law enforcement.
    House Democrats passed a bill last week that would pave the way for the commission.    Although, the measure faces an uphill battle in the Senate where it needs support from at least 10 Republicans in order to pass.
    GOP leaders have strongly opposed the proposed commission, arguing its uncalled for and would prevent the nation from healing.    Other Republican lawmakers further argued the commission would be a waste of taxpayer dollars and would be weaponized to go after Trump supporters.

5/27/2021 Dr. Marty Makary: Half Of Non-Vaccinated Americans Immune To COVID by OAN Newsroom
(L-R) Steve Burrows and Dr. Marty Makary speak during a screening of the HBO documentary
film ‘Bleed Out’. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for HBO)
    A professor with the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine announced at least half of the U.S. population has developed a natural immunity to COVID-19.
    Professor Marty Makary said natural immunity to COVID-19 started to form at the early stages of the outbreak and has been around longer than the vaccines.    He added both natural immunity and vaccinations will prevent future outbreaks, allowing Americans to confidently return to normal life.
    “There is more data on natural immunity than there is on vaccinated immunity, because natural immunity has been around longer,” Makary emphasized.
    Some suggest the virus is in the stages of herd immunity, which is when a virus has trouble traveling around because more than 80 percent of adults in a community are blocking its transmission.    Yet, the nation continues to live in fear.
    Makary dismissed the idea of public health mandates, saying it should be up to the people to decide whether they want to wear a face-mask and it should also be up to them whether they decide to get vaccinated or not.

5/27/2021 GOP Offers $928B In Response To Biden’s Infrastructure Plan by OAN Newsroom
From left, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., the GOP’s lead negotiator on a counteroffer to Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan, is joined by Sen. John
Barrasso, R-Wyo., chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    A group of Republican senators countered Joe Biden’s massive infrastructure plan with a more modest amount during a news conference at the Capitol on Thursday.    The GOP lawmakers made the offer that proposed a $928 billion plan to be spent over eight years.
    The plan would allocate an additional $91 billion to roads and bridges, $48 billion to water resources and $25 billion to airports.    It would also provide a one-time increase in broadband investments.
    Biden’s latest offer to Republicans landed at $1.7 trillion, which is $600 billion less than his original offer.    However, GOP lawmakers stand strong in their decision to keep Biden from raising corporate taxes. Therefore, the discussion continues.
    Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) said the small group of Republicans believe their counteroffer is the right step towards a bipartisan compromise.    The group has maintained a strong stance against Biden’s tax hikes and have continued to advocate for the reallocation of unused COVID-19 funds.

5/27/2021 Kamala Harris Leads Infrastructure Talks Without Biden by OAN Newsroom
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the start of a meeting with bipartisan members of Congress about high-speed internet in the Vice President’s
Ceremonial Office at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington, Wednesday, May 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
    Joe Biden has, once again, delegated infrastructure talks to a member of his staff.    On Wednesday, lawmakers made the trek from Capitol Hill to the White House to discuss infrastructure. Although instead of meeting face to face with Joe Biden, the group was greeted by Kamala Harris.
    “So that’s the spirit behind this conversation today,” Harris expressed.    “I welcome all of you virtually and in-person to have this conversation where we will have a candid and honest exchange of ideas and perspectives.”
    The bipartisan group of six Democrats and three Republicans discussed high speed broadband internet, which is one of the few areas of the infrastructure package where Joe Biden finally conceded to the Republicans proposal of $65 billion.
    That concession occurred during a meeting between Biden and lawmakers last week.    However, in the meetings since, other people within the Democrat Party are steering far from a bipartisan agreement and closer towards a one-sided legislative approach.    This fear seemed to be only amplified by Harris’ comments at the meeting on Wednesday.
    “The President and I have been very sincere and focused in making sure that these conversations are bipartisan in nature for a number of reasons that are probably obvious,” Harris claimed.
    Republicans in both chambers have repeatedly said that their intention was to approach the negotiating table with the spirit of bipartisanship, but now it’s still not clear who is sitting on the other side.

5/27/2021 Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn: COVID-19 May Be A ‘Weaponized Operation’ By China by OAN Newsroom
Lieutenant General Michael Flynn (ret.) speaks during a conference. (Photo by CHRIS KLEPONIS/AFP via Getty Images)
    General Michael Flynn said he believes COVID-19 is a ‘weaponized operation’ of the Chinese Communist Party against the U.S.
    In a recent interview, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser highlighted the House Intelligence report that said COVID-19 was likely a result of a leak from the Wuhan lab.    He added that the U.S. government must disclose to the American public what it knows about virus experiments in China.
    “The people in this country are demanding answers.    I believe what we are going to find out is that this was a weaponized operation by the nation of China with some collaboration with other countries,” mentioned Flynn.
    Flynn also stressed how millions of Americans lost their businesses and livelihoods because of the COVID-19 shutdown and are now demanding full accountability from the Biden administration.    Joe Biden has since reached out to the U.S. Intelligence Community in efforts to look into the origins of the pandemic and has asked they redouble their efforts.    He is expecting a new report in 90 days.

5/27/2021 Lockheed Martin Forces Executives To Take Part In A ‘White Men Caucus’ To Learn About Privilege by OAN Newsroom
A sign for Lockheed Martin is seen December 4, 2003 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Photo by Kevin Moloney/Getty Images)
    America’s largest military contractor Lockheed Martin held a “White Men’s Caucus” designed to deconstruct white male privilege and culture.
    The organization’s “White Men Caucus” aimed to identify areas of white male culture which participants don’t realize marginalize other people outside of their racial group.    The executives at Lockheed Martin, who are primarily older white men, participated in numerous exercises.
    One of the first exercises was a word association game where the executives heard the phrase “white men” and then were asked to say the first word that came to their mind.
    Some of the participants responded with serious answers, such as “KKK,” “Aryan Nation,” “privileged” and “racist.”    While other responses included “NASCAR,” “can’t jump” and “golf” which seemed to poke fun at stereotypes that are common to white men.
LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 10: The Lockheed Martin stand at the Defence and Security Exhibition on September 10, 2013 in London, England.
ExCeL London is hosting the exhibition with hundreds of manufacturers from all over the world displaying their hardware. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
    A later part of the seminar was for the executives to repeat internalized statements of white male privilege, which are otherwise thoughts white men have without realizing they are thinking them.    The executives were then asked to repeat internalized statements of heterosexual male privilege.
    The overall message of the “White Men’s Caucus” was to have the straight white men recognize their tendencies of valuing success and self-discipline above all else.    The “White Men’s Caucus” is meant to teach participants to not force those aspects of their culture onto others who don’t value individualism, hard work and golf as much as they do.
    Many people are now claiming that Lockheed Martin’s decision to make executives take part in this critical race theory based training is part of a greater movement to implement CRT in the U.S. military and defense industry alike.    On that same note, people are also wondering how the mainstream media would react if this seminar was instead based on anyone other than straight white men.

5/27/2021 Anti-Police Atlanta Politician Has Car Stolen Right In Front Of Him by OAN Newsroom
Atlanta City Councilman Antonio Brown speaks during a news conference outside of Atlanta City
Hall in Atlanta. (Alyssa Pointer /Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)
    It has been reported that a group of children stole the car of an Atlanta City Councilman who voted to defund the police last year.
    On Wednesday afternoon, police confirmed several children jumped into Councilman Antonio Brown’s vehicle and drove away.    At the time of the crime, Brown was only a few feet away talking to a constituent.
    Brown tried to stop the car and was dragged half a block before letting go.
    “These kids were in my opinion somewhere between 7- and 11-years-old.    So you don’t immediately think, ‘Oh, these kids are going to steal my car,’” Brown said.
    He attempted to defend his stance on law enforcement, stating there is no amount of officers that could have stopped the theft from happening.    The councilman said he does not plan to press criminal charges against the children.    As of now, Brown’s car has not been found.

5/27/2021 3 Texas Police Officers Shot During 10-Hour SWAT Standoff by OAN Newsroom
A picture taken on February 2, 2020 shows a flashing blue light of a police car.
(Photo by Ina FASSBENDER / AFP) (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)
    Bryan Hucabee, 60, was charged with three counts of felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on Thursday.    He is accused of shooting three Texas police officers following a 10-hour standoff.
    Police were conducting a welfare check at the Flower Mound residence after receiving reports that a resident was threatening to take their own life.    Once police arrived on scene, the suspect opened fire on officers.
    Chief Andy Kancel of the Flower Mound Police Department gave a statement saying, “at approximately 8:05 p.m. the suspect fired on them from inside the home, striking three Flower Mound police officers.    Officers did return fire before retreating to the perimeter.”
    Two officers were hospitalized and remain in stable condition while a third suffered minor injuries.
    Authorities remained in a standoff for the next several hours, utilizing drones and even sending a robot out to monitor the situation at hand.    Officers say the suspect proceeded to fire several rounds at the robot through the front door.
    Hucabee eventually surrendered after the SWAT team deployed tear gas into the area.
    In the meantime, the investigation remains ongoing and officers say additional charges for Hucabee are pending.

5/27/2021 Death Threats And The KKK: Inside A Black Alabaman’s Fight To Remove A Confederate Statue by Tim Reid
FILE PHOTO: Camille Bennett poses for a photo in front of the confederate statue that she is trying
to have moved to the confederate cemetery in Florence, Alabama, U.S., May 19, 2021. REUTERS/Lawrence Bryant
(The second paragraph contains language that may offend some readers)
    (Reuters) – Ever since Camille Bennett started her campaign to relocate a Confederate statue from outside the county courthouse in her hometown of Florence, Alabama, she has seen it all: threats, violent online messages and intimidation attempts.
    There was the suggestion from a white pastor that somebody wire her mouth shut; then there was the time a white motorcyclist sped towards her and two boys during a racial justice march last summer, telling her to “get the fuck out the way.”
    Bennett has always received pushback for her activism in her small conservative community, but she says her most harrowing experience happened in 2017, when five Ku Klux Klansmen (KKK) in hoods and robes heckled her at a local park during a LGBT Pride event she’d been asked to address.
    “I was terrified.    I was extremely intimidated,” said Bennett, the only Black speaker at the park event.    But, she added, “the work brings me an immense sense of joy.    I don’t let the threats define me.”
    Lori Feldman, 42, a white woman who supports the removal of the statue honoring soldiers of the pro-slavery Confederacy and moved to Alabama in 2017 from Brooklyn, New York, was present when Klansmen heckled Bennett at a park.
    “It was clear they wanted to make a statement of hate,” Feldman said of the KKK, a white supremacist group that has terrorized Black communities for over a century.    “There were kids who were crying, who were scared.”
    But intimidation isn’t the only obstacle for those committed to removing Confederate symbols.    Bennett, like many other Black civil rights advocates and their allies, continues to face legal and political roadblocks at the state, county and city level.
    Bennett, 43, whose mother is a minister and who is a minister herself, founded the nonprofit Project Say Something in 2014 to push for racial justice for Black Americans.
    One of its core missions has been to get Florence to confront the meaning of Eternal Vigil, the ghostly white marble statue of a nameless Confederate private in front of Lauderdale county’s courthouse.
    During the Civil War of the 1860s, Southern states in the Confederacy fought the North to preserve their economy based on chattel slavery of captive Africans and their descendants born in America.
    Over 300 monuments to the Confederacy stand in America, mostly in the South, especially in Alabama, Georgia, North and South Carolina, and Tennessee, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights group.
    Many Confederate monuments were erected well after the war – Florence’s statue was completed in 1903 – after Reconstruction when white Southern segregationists were working to reverse Black political and economic gains.    The monuments have long been symbolic for white supremacists like the KKK, which was founded by Confederate veterans.
    The county turned down a proposal by Bennett to erect next to the monument a statue of Dred Scott, who lived in Florence for 10 years in the 1800s and whose effort as an enslaved man to gain freedom led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling.    After her proposal was rejected, Bennett called for relocating Eternal Vigil to a Confederate cemetery less than a mile from the courthouse.
    But the Lauderdale County Commission’s five members, all white Republican men, refused, citing a 2017 state law prohibiting the removal or relocation of monuments.
    That law is part of a larger effort by GOP lawmakers in several states, including Georgia and West Virginia, to prevent the removal of statues following a nationwide movement to topple Confederate monuments.    The Republican-backed bill passed in the Alabama legislature despite the opposition of legislators, such as Thomas Jackson of Thomasville, a Black Democrat who spoke of what Confederate statues symbolize for Black Americans.
    “My people suffered,” Jackson said during debate on the proposal.    “Don’t bring back those harsh memories that we went through so much to overcome.”
    Josh Dodd, who is white and chairman of the Lauderdale County Republican Party, is opposed to moving Eternal Vigil.    “It’s very important to a lot of people to remember the past and to remember those who died on both sides,” he said.
    The United Daughters of the Confederacy, which funded Florence’s statue at the turn of the 20th century, says it adamantly rejects removal.
    The group advocates “that all such monuments remain in their original location with their original messaging,” its attorney, Jack Hinton, wrote in a letter to an Alabama state senator last year.
    The original messaging around Eternal Vigil, as demonstrated by one initial 1903 speech at its unveiling, was explicitly against social equality for Black people in the South.
    Amid nationwide protests against racism following the murder of George Floyd, a Black man, by a white police officer in Minnesota in May 2020, the movement to take down Confederate symbols accelerated.    In 2020, over 160 Confederate monuments were taken down, compared to 58 between 2015 and 2019, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
    Bennett and supporters – Black and white – began marching in central Florence last summer to demand the relocation of Eternal Vigil after Floyd’s murder.    In July 2020, three Lauderdale County residents filed suit, demanding that the statue remain in place.    Their suit calls the statue an “historic and irreplaceable monument.”
    In October 2020, Florence City Council unanimously passed a resolution backing the relocation of the statue to the cemetery, citing “concerned citizens” who want it relocated and the fact that some residents have agreed to pay the costs of removal.    The city built a concrete base in the cemetery for the statue.
    But because the statue sits on county property, the city asked the county for permission to remove it.
    Danny Pettus, who is white and chairs the county commission, told Reuters he would never support the statue’s relocation, citing the 2017 state monument preservation law.    Violating the law could result in a $25,000 fine.
    Andy Betterton was elected mayor of Florence in November 2020 on a promise to relocate the statue. But now Betterton and members of the county commission say their hands are tied because of the civil lawsuit.    The suit is now with a circuit court judge, who has ordered a stay on all actions involving the statue until the litigation is resolved.
    Betterton declined to be interviewed by Reuters.    In a statement he said the lawsuit has constrained him, but added: “The removal and relocation of the statue is definitely one of my priorities, and I feel optimistic that we will see it removed.”
    For Bennett the delays feel like obstruction.    “There have been several obstacles, and the obstacles keep changing.    So you’re going to be suspicious that everyone is working together so this monument is not removed,” she said.
    But she added: “One way or another, we will prevail.    We will not stop.”
(Reporting by Tim Reid; Editing by Donna Bryson and Aurora Ellis)

5/28/2021 Oil up $0.64 to $66.80, DOW up 142 to 34,465.

5/28/2021 French Policewoman Stabbed By Ex-Prisoner On Potential Threat Watch List by Stephane Mahe
A French gendarme secures the area after an assailant stabbed and badly wounded a policewoman
in La Chapelle-sur-Erdre, western France, May 28, 2021. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe
    CHAPELLE-SUR-ERDRE, France (Reuters) -A radicalised French ex-prisoner on a watch list of potential terrorist threats stabbed a policewoman inside her station in western France on Friday and died following a shoot-out with police, a government minister said.
    The victim was seriously wounded but expected to survive, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said.
    The assailant had been released from prison in March following an eight-year sentence for violent crime and was on a security services register for individuals who might pose a terrorism risk.
    “He was flagged in 2016 for a strict practice of Islam, for radicalisation,” Darmanin told reporters after visiting the police station in Chapelle-sur-Erdre, near Nantes, where the attack occurred.
    The attack bore chilling echoes to the fatal stabbing of a female police administrative worker near Paris a month ago.
    Stephanie Monferme was killed in the doorway to her police station by a Tunisian national who had watched Islamic religious videos glorifying acts of jihad just before launching his attack.
    Darmanin said the suspect in Friday’s assault had been diagnosed as severely schizophrenic and was under medical treatment following his release from prison.    He had been placed in an apartment where he was monitored by specialists, Darmanin added.
    The suspect initially fled in a car before a crash forced him to continue on foot.    He was tracked down after a manhunt that involved 250 officers and surrounded on the outskirts of Chapelle-sur-Erdre.
    The suspect, who had stolen his victim’s gun, opened fire on officers, Darmanin said.
    There was a shoot-out as officers moved in to arrest the man.    The suspect died shortly afterwards and two officers suffered minor gunshot wounds.
    Darmanin said France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor was not at this point leading the investigation.    The minister said it was not for him to qualify whether this was an act of terrorism.
    Tackling domestic security is likely to be at the centre of the campaign ahead of next year’s presidential election.
    Marine Le Pen, leader of the far right and the strongest challenger to Emmanuel Macron’s expected re-election bid, paints the president as weak on security and says the police need more protection.
    “I refuse to accept that attacks against the police become part of daily life.    We must at last fight against this barbarity and never, absolutely never, get used to it,” Le Pen tweeted.
(Reporting by Matthieu Protard; writing by Richard Lough and Andrew Heavens; editing by Nick Macfie and Mark Heinrich)

5/28/2021 Colombia Marks Month Of Protests As Talks With Government Stall by Oliver Griffin
Demonstrators take part in a protest demanding government action to tackle poverty, police violence and inequalities
in healthcare and education systems, in Bogota, Colombia May 28, 2021. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez
    BOGOTA (Reuters) – Protesters were set to march in cities across Colombia on Friday, marking a month of widespread demonstrations, while talks have stalled between the government and the national strike committee.
    This week, the government and protest leaders said they had reached a “pre-agreement” for ending demonstrations, but the government said on Thursday it had not signed the deal because some protest leaders would not condemn road blocks.
    “We regret the government doesn’t have an answer for us about the document of guarantees to exercise peaceful protests in Colombia,” Francisco Maltes, president of the Central Union of Workers (CUT), said in a video message late on Thursday.
    Demonstrations began on April 28, pressuring the government and lawmakers into shelving tax and health reforms and leading to the resignation of former finance minister Alberto Carrasquilla.
    This week the government and the national strike committee of unions, student groups and others reached the pre-agreement.    The government on Thursday issued a statement attributing its delay in signing the deal to some protest leaders not agreeing in to condemn road blocks.
    “This requirement is not new … for the government this point is not negotiable,” it said, adding talks will resume on Sunday.
    Blockades have let to shortages of food and other supplies, boosting prices, and have disrupted operations in the country’s main seaport as well as for hundreds of companies.
    Since withdrawal of the tax reform at the start of the month, protester demands have expanded to include a basic income, opportunities for young people and an end to police violence.
    Violence has marked demonstrations over the last month.    The government says 17 civilian deaths are directly connected with marches, while human rights groups claim dozens more civilians have been killed by security forces. Two police officers have also died during the protests.
(Reporting by Oliver Griffin; Additional reporting by Nelson Bocanegra; Editing by David Gregorio)

5/28/2021 EU Regulator Backs Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine For Adolescents by Pushkala Aripaka and Ludwig Burger
FILE PHOTO: A medical worker prepares to dilute a vial of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at a coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) vaccination center in Singapore March 8, 2021. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo
    (Reuters) -Europe’s medicines regulator on Friday backed the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children as young as 12, paving the way for a broader roll-out in the region after similar clearances in the United States and Canada.
    The European Medicines Agency’s endorsement comes weeks after it began evaluating extending use of the vaccine, developed with Germany’s BioNTech, to include 12- to 15-year-olds.    It is already being used in the European Union for those aged 16 and older.
    The EMA said two doses of the vaccine, branded as Comirnaty, were required in the 12-15 age group and should be administered with an interval of at least three weeks, the same as for adults. It is now up to individual EU states to decide if and when to offer the vaccine to teenagers, it added.
    Germany on Thursday laid out plans to offer shots to 12-year-olds from June 7, pending the EMA’s verdict.    Italy has also said it is preparing to extend its campaign to over 12s.
    Inoculating children and young people is considered a critical step toward reaching “herd immunity” and taming the pandemic, and Japan on Friday joined the countries with a go-ahead for Comirnaty in 12-year-olds.
    Youngsters have been much less likely to suffer severe disease, with many experiencing no symptoms, allowing them to unwittingly transmit COVID-19 to others.
    However, giving vaccines to younger people in affluent countries while many parts of the world await doses for older and more vulnerable people has raised concerns.
    Pfizer and BioNTech in March unveiled trial data showing their vaccine offered 100% protection against the infectious disease in a trial with 2,260 adolescents aged 12 to 15.    It was also well tolerated.
    The pair managed to steal a march on other drugmakers, including AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, who are working on vaccines for children, some as young as six months.
    The shorter duration of safety monitoring in trials so far in the 12-15 age group compared with older cohorts was not a concern, said Marco Cavaleri, EMA’s head of health threats and vaccines strategy.
    “Based on the experience that we’ve gathered with many other vaccines throughout the years is that … what we see with young adults is also seen in adolescents,” he told a news briefing, when asked about side effects.    He added that monitoring would intensify as vaccine recipients become younger in future.
    Others have voiced caution, however, such as a member of Germany’s influential vaccine advisory committee Stiko.    Paediatrics professor Ruediger von Kries has said the vaccine might only be called for in children with particular health risks, citing a lack of data on long-term side effects.
    At the briefing, EMA also said that reported of cases of an inflammation of heart muscles following vaccination with Comirnaty were no cause for concern as they continued to happen at a rate that typically affected the general population.
(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru, Ludwig Burger in Frankfurt; Editing by Keith Weir and Alison Williams)

5/28/2021 Battleship Diplomacy: Britain’s New Aircraft Carrier Joins NATO, Has Message For China by Bart Biesemans
F-35B Lightning II aircrafts are seen on the deck of the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier offshore
Portugal, May 27, 2021. Picture taken through the window. REUTERS/Bart Biesemans
    CASCAIS, Portugal (Reuters) – The maiden voyage of a new British aircraft carrier will seek to show allies that post-Brexit Britain is ready to defend Western interests and eager to see China respect international rules, the vessel’s commander said.
    HMS Queen Elizabeth took part in NATO exercises in the Mediterranean this week, ahead of the eight-month voyage that will cross through the South China Sea in a signal to Beijing that sea lanes must remain open.
    The carrier is “a hugely powerful statement,” Commodore Steve Moorhouse, the ship’s commanding officer and captain told Reuters on deck off the Portuguese coast as F-35B fighter jets took off around him.
    “It shows that we are a global navy and wanting to be back out there,” he said.    “The aim for us is that this deployment will be part of a more persistent presence for the United Kingdom in that region,” he added, referring to the Indo-Pacific that includes India and Australia.
    Britain was the main battlefield ally of the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan and, alongside France, the principal military power in the European Union.    But its 2016 vote to leave the EU had raised questions about its global role.
    Partly in response to those concerns, London announced its biggest military spending increase since the Cold War late last year and has been touting the clout of the carrier, built at a cost of more than 3 billion pounds ($4.26 billion).
    HMS Queen Elizabeth will exercise with naval vessels from the United States, Singapore, Japan, and South Korea, along the route, Moorhouse said on Thursday.
    Britain, like China, now has two aircraft carriers, both countries dwarfed by the United States’ 11.    The new 65,000-tonne vessel carries eight British F-35Bs and 10 U.S. F-35s as well as 250 U.S. marines as part of its 1,700-strong crew.
    It will lead two destroyers, two frigates, a submarine and two support ships on its journey of 26,000 nautical miles, joined by a U.S. destroyer and a frigate from the Dutch navy.
    Asked about British efforts to step up influence in the Indo-Pacific region to counter China’s rising power – a strategy also followed by the European Union and supported by NATO – Moorhouse said: “We want to uphold international norms … our presence out there is absolutely key.”
    China claims 90% of the potentially energy-rich South China Sea, but Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also lay claim to parts of it.
    The United States has long opposed China’s expansive territorial claims there, sending warships regularly through the waterway to demonstrate freedom of navigation.    About $3 trillion worth of trade passes through it each year.
    In the Mediterranean, the British carrier group is part of NATO’s biggest drills of the year, Steadfast Defender, that includes a maritime live exercise with around 5,000 forces and 18 ships.
    “It sends a message of NATO’s resolve,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said onboard the aircraft carrier.
    “We face global threats and challenges, including the shifting balance of power with the rise of China,” he said, adding that although China had the world’s biggest navy, it was not considered an adversary by NATO.
($1 = 0.7045 pounds)
(Writing by Robin Emmott; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

5/28/2021 N.H. Voter Integrity Leader: ‘Smoking Gun’ Proof Of Election Fraud by OAN Newsroom
File- Voting booths are kept socially distant at the Chesterfield, N.H. polling site.
(Kristopher Radder/The Brattleboro Reformer via AP Photo)
    Marylyn Todd, founder of the New Hampshire Voter Integrity Group, said she’s discovered “smoking gun” proof of election fraud in New Hampshire.
    On a live stream Thursday evening, Todd said she encountered something extremely problematic about the May 12 audit report from Harri Hursti, the electronic voting security expert leading the Windham County audit.
    Todd expressed how Hursti conveyed to her that he couldn’t clear the counters and that instead, he had to reset the memory cards.    Todd said this was confusing to her because she recalled he had a “clear counter” button the entire time, therefore there was no need to delete the memory card.    She then stated that Hursti is on camera saying the computer needed to be registered for Nov. 3.
    She went on to explain that Hursti appeared to reset the date to Nov. 5 before printing the report.    Hursti’s apparent actions coincide with Michigan attorney Matt Deperno’s findings in Antrim County.
FILE— In this Tuesday May 11, 2021 file photo, election auditors Harri Hursti, right, and Mark Lindeman, catalog ballot boxes
in Pembroke, N.H., during a forensic audit of the 2020 New Hampshire legislative election. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds, File)
    “We can now show that after the election is done, someone…anyone really, who has access to those tabulators, can reopen the election, run more ballots through the tabulator, print off new tabulator tape with a new balance and backdate that tape to Nov. 3,” said Deperno.
    Todd’s discovery lends credence to statements made earlier in the week from Stanford researcher and election consultant Jovan Pulitzer.    Pulitzer said that auditors who normally would certify bad machines as good machines, found something so glaring that they could not walk away from and that is exactly what happened in New Hampshire.    “Imagine if 28 percent of the votes didn’t get counted even though they went into the voting machines,” pondered Pulitzer.
    According to experts, isolated incidents like Antrim and Windham County could be a bellwether for broader election integrity problems throughout the state and beyond.

5/28/2021 Fmr. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb: Children Shouldn’t Need To Wear Masks At Summer Camps by OAN Newsroom
Fmr. FDA Commissioner-designate Scott Gottlieb testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee
hearing on April 5, 2017 at on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
    Former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced that children should not be required to wear masks at summer camps or other outdoor venues.
    On Friday, Gottlieb stressed other health risks associated with wearing masks during the summer, which included a heat stroke, and said those factors outweigh any safety benefits they provide. Gottlieb reiterated that children are far less at risk of contracting the virus than any other group.    In addition, he mentioned summer camps and other outdoor activities are not considered super-spreader sites.
    Under the CDC’S current guidelines, campers and staff must wear a mask at all times regardless of vaccination status.    Yet, experts and parents are pushing back against the guidance, noting that the CDC lifted mask mandates for vaccinated adults in most settings, whether outdoors or indoors.

5/28/2021 Gov. Andrew Cuomo Appoints 2 Judges To N.Y. Court Of Appeals by OAN Newsroom
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference to discuss the first positive case
of novel coronavirus or COVID-19 in New York. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
    Embattled Gov. Andrew Cuomo named two appointees to the state’s highest court who will ultimately serve as jurors in his potential impeachment trial.
    Cuomo tapped Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas and New York City Civil Court Judge Anthony Cannataro to serve in the New York Court of Appeals.    If the State Assembly votes to impeach Cuomo after the completion of the ongoing probe, the pair would then become part of the jury.
New York City District Attorney Cyrus Vance (left) New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (second to the left) Nassau County District
Attorney Madeline Singas (2nd to the right) and Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini (right) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
    All Court of Appeals judges are required to serve as jurors on the panel, along with 63 members of the State Senate. Critics have pointed out Cuomo’s ability to pick his own jurors and how that gives him an unfair advantage.    Cuomo has already appointed the five current judges, therefore adding another two would give him a huge advantage. The appointees must be confirmed by the State Senate by June 10.

5/28/2021 Joe Biden’s COVID-19 Adviser Says Origins Of Virus Is Not The Real Issue by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington.    Biden is asking U.S. intelligence agencies
to “redouble” their efforts to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Joe Biden’s coronavirus adviser has continued to downplay the investigation into the origins of COVID-19.    During an interview on Thursday, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel explained that China is withholding information which may be relevant to the Wuhan lab leak theory.
    Emanuel insisted the origins of the virus is not the real issue, despite Biden directing the U.S. Intelligence Agency to launch a probe into the matter.    He went on to claim the main focus should be on how to protect ourselves from future pandemics.
Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel speaks onstage at the Klick Health Ideas Exchange on June 15, 2015 in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Klick Health)
    “We need transparency and we do need the Chinese to participate because the real issue is not how did this happen,” said Emanuel.    Instead, he claims the more important question to ask is how can we protect ourselves from a future pandemic?    The doctor also suggested implementing an early warning system for the public.
    Nonetheless, Biden has directed the Intel Agency to complete a probe into the root causes of the virus within 90 days.

5/28/2021 Illegal Immigrant Convicted Of Murder In Death Of Mollie Tibbetts by OAN Newsroom
Cristhian Bahena Rivera reacts after the verdict is announced in his trial, Friday. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, pool)
    An Iowa jury has found an illegal immigrant guilty of first-degree murder in the death of college student Mollie Tibbetts.    Cristhian Bahena Rivera was convicted on Friday following only 7.5 hours of deliberation.
    This comes after he testified in his own defense earlier this week, claiming two unknown men forced him to follow and kidnap Tibbetts while she was on a jog back in 2018.    Rivera alleges one of the men killed Tibbetts and put her body in the trunk of his car before forcing him to drive to a corn field where he helped hide her body.
In this Sept. 2016 file photo provided by Kim Calderwood, Mollie Tibbetts poses for a picture during homecoming
festivities at BGM High School in her hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa. (Kim Calderwood via AP, File)
    Rivera testified that he was afraid of the men and said they had told him they would harm his family, including his daughter, if he did not cooperate.
    The murder conviction carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. However, Rivera’s defense team plans to appeal the decision.

5/28/2021 Senate, House GOP Blast Biden Defense Budget As ‘Wholly Inadequate’ by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, speaks during
a Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing. (Photo by Al Drago/Getty Images)
    Republicans in both chambers of Congress are rejecting Joe Biden’s defense budget request, calling it ‘wholly inadequate.’    The ranking members of the Senate and House Armed Services Committee recently issued a joint statement voicing their frustration.
    Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe (R) and Alabama Rep. Mike Rogers (R) argued the proposal doesn’t give our military the resources it needs.    Biden is requesting $753 billion for defense spending which is less than a two percent increase and less than the three to five percent Republicans deem adequate.
    Inhofe and Rogers said, “it’s disingenuous to call this request an increase because it doesn’t even keep up with inflation…it’s a cut.    Fundamentally, it does not adequately resource the 2018 National Defense Strategy, forcing impossible choices between readiness and modernization upon commanders and troops.”
    Republicans say the budget sends a bad message to our adversaries, such as China, that the U.S. isn’t doing enough to defend itself.

5/28/2021 Gen. Mark Milley Warns Against Threats From China by OAN Newsroom
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley is pictured on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Michael Reynolds/Pool via AP)
    Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley announced peace is a “fraying edge” as the U.S. fights to compete with China.    During his remarks at the Air Force Academy commencement on Wednesday, Milley discussed the growing tensions among world powers in the 76th year since WWII.
    He went on to say that the United States is engaged in a great power struggle with both China and Russia. This competition has become more difficult to remain competitive without sparking conflict. He stated the country that achieves the most will have a critical advantage for the next war.
    Milley warned of the changes to technology and tactics by stating America must remain at the front of the pack.    He urged the graduates to maintain their leadership skills and technological innovation they have learned throughout their time at the Academy.
    “Each and every one of you are going to be fundamental to our nation’s defense in the years to come,” he asserted.    “It will be you that leads our country safely through the next 20 years.”
    The four-star general has also criticized China for their recent lack of transparency.    He argues that since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in attempts by the Chinese government to cover up relative information.

5/28/2021 Facebook Whistleblower Goes Public After Leaking Vaccine Hesitancy Docs by OAN Newsroom
Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are seen being prepared on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Decatur, Ga. Hundreds of children, ages 12 to 15,
received the Pfizer vaccine at the DeKalb Pediatric Center, just days after it was approved for use within their age group. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
    A Facebook whistleblower has gone public amid his suspension for leaking documents.    On Thursday, Morgan Kahmann said telling Americans about the social media giant’s censorship of vaccine hesitant posts is more important than keeping his job.
    This comes after he went undercover in a Project Veritas video and outlined Facebook’s algorithm to “drastically reduce user exposure to vaccine hesitancy in comments.”    Kauhmann said numerous employees share his concerns, but fear the consequences of speaking out.
    The then-Facebook staffer sounded the alarm on Big Tech censorship while outlining the tech company’s plan regarding vaccine talk on the platform.    The data technician said this includes cutting likes on posts that highlight deaths from vaccines.    The whistleblower added, this happens to a much larger extent than the social media giant lets on.
    “Facebook uses classifiers in their algorithms to determine certain content to be what they call ‘vaccine hesitant’ or they call it ‘vaccine hesitancy,’ and without a user’s knowledge they assign a score to these comments that’s called the ‘VH Score’ (the Vaccine Hesitancy Score),” explained the Facebook employee.    “And based on that score, will demote or leave the comment alone depending on that comment.”
    Project Veritas also obtained internal documents showing this algorithm was first tested on 1.5 percent of users, but Facebook plans to extend it globally.
    “I was at work and I got a message from my supervisor out of the blue basically saying, go ahead and wrap up your area and clean up your stuff, gather your personal belongings and meet me in a meeting room,” Kahmann reccounted.    “They’re basically going to have me meet with the investigative team and grill me on this whole situation.”
    The ex staffer added, the investigative meeting ultimately never happened.    Facebook has stated its policy for vaccine hesitant posts is spelled out on the platform’s terms of service.    However, Kahmann said the social media giant is not being transparent about the extent of its censorship.

5/28/2021 Calif. Authorities Offering $300K In Search For Freeway Shooting Suspect by OAN Newsroom
Aiden Leos,6, is pictured. (GoFundMe/Photo)
    Law enforcement in California have increased their efforts to find the suspect who shot and killed a young boy during a road rage incident.
    During a press briefing on Thursday, Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner said a reward fund has grown to more than $300,000 with authorities urging the public t0 come forward with any information.
    Last Friday, 6-year-old Aiden Leos was shot and killed while sitting in a booster seat in the back of his mother’s car as she was driving on the 55 Freeway in Orange County.
    “This community has come out in great numbers and in great strength to see that justice gets done for Aiden Leos,” Wagner stated.    “If you saw something, if you’ve got a dashcam or any sort of a security camera that might have seen something, come forward.”
    According to California Highway Patrol, a female suspect and a male passenger were in what is being described as a white Volkswagen Golf SportWagen.
    Since Leos’ death, community members have gathered around his family and started a GoFundMe page to help cover funeral costs.    The victim’s sister, Alexis Cloonan, expressed the family’s gratitude for all of the support they have received.
    “We’re so, so grateful for that and the outpouring of love and support,” she expressed.    “Please, if you saw anything, anything at all…please come forward.    My brother deserves justice.”
    Prosecutors have expressed their absolute determination to catch the shooter.    Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer declared this responsibility for justice and has demanded for the suspect to come forward.
    “It’s time to understand that the longer this goes on, the less sympathetic I will be to understanding why you did what you did,” Spitzer announced.    “The longer this goes on, you will understand this. We will catch you.”
    More information can be found at and law enforcement is asking anyone with information to contact CHP’s Santa Ana office.

5/28/2021 Philadelphia Fire Engine Crashes Into Apartment Building by OAN Newsroom
Courtesy: Philadelphia Fire Department
    A Philadelphia Fire Department engine slammed into the side of an apartment building while responding to a nearby house fire on Thursday.    The crash occurred Thursday afternoon in North Philadelphia.
    Four firefighters and one civilian were transported to the hospital in stable condition following the collision.    Officials say no one inside the apartment complex was injured.
    Eyewitnesses say the fire engine swerved to avoid a collision with a car at an intersection.    The impact sent the fire engine into the four-story building at the corner of Girard Avenue and Seventh Street.
    Crews worked to slowly remove the fire engine safely without causing the building to collapse.    Officials say they are concerned with the building’s structural integrity and have teams checking for potential gas leaks.
    Mayor Jim Kenney took to Twitter to say, “praying for a quick and full recovery for all involved.”

5/28/2021 Sen. John Kennedy Continues To Scrutinize Wuhan Lab Funding by OAN Newsroom
Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) pauses for reporters as senators rush to the chamber for votes ahead
of the approaching Memorial Day recess, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) has placed pressure on the National Institute of Health to explain allegations on why taxpayer money was used for gain of function research in Wuhan, China.
    “You gave them money and you said, don’t do gain of function research,” Kennedy expressed.    “You have no way of knowing whether they did or not.    Except you trust them, is that right?
    During a recent Senate hearing on Wednesday, Kennedy got those testifying to admit that $600,000 in U.S. funding was given to the Wuhan lab without any accountability in place.    Kennedy also pressured NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins to answer why the Biden administration initially shutdown a probe into the origins of COVID-19.
    “Did they consult with you Doctor Collins?” Kennedy questioned.    “You don’t wanna answer, do you?
    Kennedy also requested for the CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky to produce all documents on U.S. funding of COVID-19 research in China for further investigation by the Senate.
    Dr. Ron Paul also highlighted the questionable funding of gain of function research in China by the NIH.    While recently speaking on the Liberty Report, the former congressman stressed that it is “mad scientist” research to weaponize animal viruses against humans.    He demanded that the U.S. must not participate in such dangerous experiments.
    Paul went on to stress how medical bureaucrats should be held accountable for economic losses and for denying patients potential treatments such as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin.
    “The politicization of medicine is anti-science, anti-human, and anti-American,” he stated.    “Will those who needlessly died due to this politicization finally get their justice?
    Paul went on to suggest lawmakers should ensure such government overreach does not happen again.

5/29/2021 Oil down $0.22 to $66.64, DOW up 65 to 34,529.

5/29/2021 Dems Reluctantly Adopting Lab Leak Theory by OAN Newsroom
Clinical support technician Douglas Condie extracts viruses from swab samples so that the genetic structure
of a virus can be analyzed and identified. (Photo by Jane Barlow – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
    The Biden administration and mainstream media are coming under immense fire for their part in downplaying the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.    Fresh criticisms began cultivating after White House COVID-19 Adviser Ezekiel Emanuel said finding the root cause is not what is important.    Emanuel stressed it’s more important to find out how to better prepare for the next pandemic.
    However, GOP critics are slamming the administration for being slow to the draw when it came to adopting the idea that COVID-19 originated in a lab.    Instead, officials along with members of the mainstream media are shutting down proponents of the theory, including President Donald Trump.    They propagated a zoonic theory, claiming the virus originated from an animal and was then transmitted to humans.
    Now after copious reports from agencies like the State Department and media outlets like the Wall Street Journal linking the beginning of the pandemic to the Wuhan Lab of Virology, Democrats are finally coming around.
A laboratory operator wearing protective gear handles patients’ samples in a laboratory.
(Photo by Thomas SAMSON / AFP) (Photo by THOMAS SAMSON/AFP via Getty Images)
    On Friday, House lawmakers from both sides of the aisle came together to introduce a pair of COVID-19 related bills.    One bill, the Made in America Emergency Preparedness Act, aims to create a 9/11 style commission to investigate the origins of the virus.    Additionally, the Never Again International Outbreak Prevention Act would allow COVID-19 victims to sue China for intentionally misleading the international community.    Republicans have been trying to pass the two bills since last year.
    In the meantime, Joe Biden is directing Intelligence agencies to collect even more information.    He tasked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with the same assignment months ago, but Chinese officials would not let inspectors check their facilities.    This looks to be the Chinese Communist Party’s main objective as they shut out the World Health Organization’s inspectors from collecting substantial data on the initial outbreak.    Biden has given Intelligence agencies 90 days to find a definitive answer on how the pandemic came to be.

5/29/2021 14-Year-Old Fla. Boy Who Allegedly Stabbed Classmate 114 Times To Be Tried As Adultby OAN Newsroom
Handcuffs hold barricades together at a rally outside the Aurora Police Department Headquarters. (Photo by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)
    Aidan Fucci, 14, is being tried as an adult in Florida for the alleged murder of Tristyn Bailey, 13.    Fucci’s case was moved from the juvenile to adult court on Thursday after prosecutors upgraded the charges due to the brutality of the crime.
    Fucci is accused of stabbing Bailey 114 times before hiding her body in the woods nearby his home earlier this month.
    Bailey was reported missing to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office on May 9.    Her body was found later that evening near a retention pond.
Investigators found Fucci’s DNA on the girl’s body and her DNA was found on the murder weapon.
    State Attorney R. J. Larizza said, “she was fighting for her life. To say it was horrific could arguably be made as an understatement.”
    Fucci was initially charged with second-degree murder, but is now facing first-degree murder. If convicted, he will face life in prison.

5/29/2021 Job Searches Up In States Ending Participation In Expanded Federal Unemployment Benefits Program by OAN Newsroom
A man wearing a face mask walks past a sign “Now Hiring” in front of a store amid the coronavirus
pandemic on May 14, 2020 in Arlington, Virginia. (OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
    Job searches have jumped in GOP-led states that opted out of Joe Biden’s expanded unemployment benefits program.    According to reports on Friday, job searches recently rose by five percent after at least 24 states announced their intent to withdraw from the federal supplemental unemployment program.
    The program provides about $300 in extra unemployment assistance, meaning unemployed individuals in certain states are receiving roughly $687 per week.    This averages to about $17 an hour, which is more than double the federal minimum wage.
A job seeker looks at a job listing board (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
    Chief economist for the employment website Indeed, Jed Kolko, said that job search activity rose in states that cut off the extra unemployment benefits, suggesting it may be a sign that the halting of the program could be the end of the labor shortage seen in the U.S.    Among the industries, tourism, hospitality, sales and marketing saw the greatest increases.
    GOP lawmakers have long contended that Biden’s expanded unemployment benefit program is hampering job creation and hurting businesses who are seeking to hire.

5/29/2021 Judge Approves Class-Action Status For Google Pay Discrimination Suit by OAN Newsroom
A picture taken on November 20, 2017 shows logos of Google displayed on computers’ screens. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)
    Several former Google employees have won class-action status to proceed with their gender pay disparity lawsuit.    It alleges the tech giant violated the rights of more than 11,000 women by paying men more money for the same job.    A San Francisco judge approved the class-action suit on Thursday.
    The claim states Google violated California’s Equal Pay Act by paying its female employees an average of $17,000 less a year than their male counterparts.    The suit seeks $600 million in damages as well as disparities in the stocks and bonuses paid to male employees over female workers.
    Google has denied the claims, saying they believe in equality among employees and claiming that they perform a rigorous pay equity analysis annually.

5/29/2021 Fla. Concert Promoter Charges $18 For Vaccinated Patrons, $999 For Non-Vaccinated by OAN Newsroom
The hands of music lovers enjoy the festival of sound on July 9, 2005. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
    A Florida concert promoter announced he will be charging concertgoers $18 if they are vaccinated and $999 if they are not.    Paul Williams of Leadfoot Promotions told reporters that concertgoers must bring a photo ID and their vaccination card to purchase the discounted tickets to next month’s show.    Williams is hoping to encourage people sitting on the fence about being vaccinated to get vaccinated.
    Williams reportedly said, “I also wanted it to be a vaccine drive to get the fence-sitters off the fence.    I wanted to get the kids that want to go to shows to go out and get their shots.”
MIAMI GARDENS, FL – FEBRUARY 04: Prince performs during the “Pepsi Halftime Show”
at Super Bowl XLI on February 4, 2007. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images)
    The punk rock concert was announced the same day Florida Gov. Ron Desantis signed a bill that penalizes businesses verifying vaccinations, $5,000 per violation.    The concert will be held in St. Petersburg, Florida on June 26, five days before the law goes into effect on July 1.

5/29/2021 Sen. Dianne Feinstein Flip Flops On Nixing Filibuster, Calls It ‘Non-Issue’ by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 6: Ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) arrives for a
Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is facing scrutiny for contradicting herself on the future of the legislative filibuster.     Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Feinstein said she didn’t see Democrats getting rid of the rule which requires 60 votes to advance bills in the Senate.    The California Democrat added that no one has proposed nixing it, calling the matter a ‘non-issue’.
    However, in March, the 87-year-old senator issued a statement that said she was open to changing the filibuster to require 51 votes to move legislation.    Yet, that same month she told reporters she supported keeping the filibuster as is. Feinstein’s contradictory comments are leaving reporters and lawmakers alike confused.

5/30/2021 Rep. Guy Reschenthaler Blames Inflation On Biden Spending by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.) attends a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee
on at the Capitol Building. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images)
    Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.) said he believes Americans are paying more because of unbridled spending by liberals in Washington.    During his podcast on Friday, the Pennsylvania lawmaker pointed to Democrats spending money without thinking about the consequences, as a major factor in the rising prices of every day goods.    He spoke on Joe Biden’s solution to raise taxes and explained how it would only make things worse.
    Reschenthaler also traced issues like rising gas prices back to Biden’s weaknesses, saying the Colonial Pipeline hack was basically invited because he is not respected by other world leaders.
    Biden, instead of trying to make us less vulnerable to these attacks, he actually has made us more vulnerable.    Case in point, literally day number one of his administration, he shut down the Keystone XL Pipeline, again, making us more vulnerable to these attacks,” Reschenthaler added.
    The GOP representative says economists are completely right when they say inflation is a hidden tax. He continued on to say that a huge reason for inflation is the COVID-19 relief package proposed by Biden.    Biden introduced a $1.9 trillion spending package for the American Rescue Plan, yet only 9 percent of it addresses the pandemic.
    Reschenthaler said the spending package wouldn’t even be necessary if Democrat governors in blue states would just encourage their states to get back to work.

5/30/2021 Mich. Court Rules Six Recall Petitions Against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Can Proceed by OAN Newsroom
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer introduces Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    A Michigan court has ruled several recall petitions against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) can move forward, denying her bid to thwart them.    In a ruling last week, the Michigan Court of Appeals backed the State Canvasser Board’s approval of six recall petitions against Whitmer and one against Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist (D).
    The Democrats had claimed the petitions did not adequately describe what the authorities cited as reasons for the recall and therefore, plan to appeal the court’s ruling.
    This comes as Whitmer has garnered notable scrutiny over her COVID-19 lockdown orders and violating her own rules multiple times.    The Michigan Democrat has attracted controversy after her and several members of her administration were caught violating COVID-19 protocols.
    On one account, Whitmer was spotted out to eat with many individuals who were seen combining their parties and disregarding mask mandates.    The arrangement violated the state’s Department of Health and Human Services order mandating that all parties be at least 6 feet apart.

5/30/2021 Okla. Gov. Kevin Stitt: Masks Not Required In Govt. Buildings by OAN Newsroom
Okla. Gov. Kevin Stitt speaks during an Oklahoma Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki File)
    Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) has signed an executive order that states Oklahoma agencies will be barred from requiring masks or COVID-19 vaccinations as a condition of being allowed to enter a state building or office.
    Stitt signed the order on Friday, saying it’s time the state returned to normal.    He further clarified this rule will not extend to facilities where patient care is the primary function.
    Stitt refused to issue a statewide mask mandate, but in November required masks inside state buildings.    This order was later lifted in March.
    Stitt also signed a bill prohibiting mask mandates and vaccination requirements in state schools and colleges.    He attributed the recent lifting of COVID-19 restrictions to the fortitude of his constituents.    According to data released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 41 percent of Oklahoma’s population has received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, with nearly 34 percent fully vaccinated.
    The Republican governor stressed how every resident of the state must have access to government services whether they decide to wear a mask or not.    The order will officially go into effect on Tuesday.

5/30/2021 2 Dead, At Least 20 Injured In Miami-Dade Shooting by OAN Newsroom
Miami-Dade police investigate near shell case evidence markers on the ground and a door with what appear to be bullet holes where
a mass shooting took place outside of a banquet hall on May 30, 2021 in Hialeah, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
    Two people were killed and at least 20 have been injured in a mass shooting that police believe to be a targeted attack.    Authorities say the shooting occurred early on Sunday outside a Miami-Dade banquet hall that had been rented for a concert.
    Witnesses say three assailants drove up in a white SUV and began firing indiscriminately into the crowd of concertgoers with assault rifles and hand guns.
    Police director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez III reported, “right now we have 20 to 25 victims at various hospitals around the community as well as two deceased victims on the scene.    This is a despicable act of gun violence, a cowardly act.”
    Police said they do not have anyone in custody at this time. Although, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said, “we will do everything we can to bring the shooters to justice and turn the tide on this violence.”
    The incident follows another drive-by shooting in neighboring Wynwood that left one dead and six injured late Friday night.    Police responded to the scene after they were alerted by an electronic monitoring device known as ShotSpotter, which relays gunfire sounds to police.    Upon arrival, victims were seen scattered around the scene and some reportedly drove themselves to the hospital.

5/30/2021 Rolling To Remember Forges Ahead Despite Biden Pentagon Rejections by OAN Newsroom
Staff Sgt. Tim Chambers salutes as motorcyclists participate in the “Rolling to Remember” motorcycle rally as they
ride past the Lincoln Memorial on May 30, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
    Rolling to Remember is an annual event aimed at honoring war veterans who were either taken prisoner or are still missing in action.    The motorcycle event formerly known as Rolling Thunder will take place Memorial Day weekend in Washington, D.C.
    This year’s turnout is expected to be overwhelming due to the attention the event has received after being denied a permit for a staging area from the Pentagon, under Joe Biden.    The permit was reportedly rejected over COVID-19 health concerns.
    The national executive director of AMVETS said this attempt to block a tradition backfired as he is expecting an even larger than projected crowd of over 100,000 riders to show up at RFK stadium.
Vietnam Vet Mike McDole cries after seeing the name of a friend who he served with inscribed
on The Wall May 27, 2005 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
    There will be several road closures in the Nation’s Capital to accommodate the riders as they spread their message of awareness to veteran issues.    These efforts are well-respected as the group aims to raise awareness of the 22 veterans who die by suicide each day.    Mayor Muriel Bowser has officially granted RFK Stadium permission to rent the parking lot to AMVETS for this event.

5/30/2021 ABC’s Jon Karl Admits Pres. Trump Was Right On COVID-19 Origin by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump gives two thumbs up to the crowd during the evening session on the fourth day
of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    A mainstream television network has admitted that President Donald Trump was right to question the origins of COVID-19 all along.    In a segment of “” on ABC News on Sunday, correspondent Jon Karl had to admit Trump was right when he called for a probe into the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
    Karl said, “we should find out what happened.    This is one of the greatest crises our country has ever faced, and the world has ever faced.    We need to know how it started.    This was an idea that was first put forward by Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State of Donald Trump.”
    Over the past year, the legacy media dismissed the Wuhan lab leak hypothesis as a conspiracy theory.    However, a recent House Intelligence report found there is overwhelming circumstantial evidence backing up that theory.
    Karl ended his response on the matter saying, “some things may be true even if Donald Trump said them.”

5/30/2021 Report: Hunter Biden Bragged About Smoking Crack With Fmr. D.C. Mayor Marion Barry by OAN Newsroom
Hunter Biden, son of Joe Biden, addresses the virtual Democratic National
Convention on August 20, 2020. (Photo by DNCC via Getty Images)
    New reports show Hunter Biden appeared to brag about doing drugs with the late Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Barry.    According to reports, leaked audio from Biden’s laptop showed he touted smoking with Barry during a conversation with a friend.
Marion Barry attends the 55th Anniversary of Ben’s Chili Bowl on August 22, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)
    Additionally, Biden can be heard recalling that he smoked crack with the former D.C. mayor at least once at a bar Barry used to frequent near Georgetown University.     Biden graduated from Georgetown in 1992 and has been known for his decades-long struggle with drug addiction.     The audio file was obtained from a hard drive copied from a damaged laptop that was left at a repair shop in Wilmington, Delaware in April 2019 and was allegedly never retrieved.     Barry was notably arrested for crack possession in the early 1990’s as part of an FBI sting operation and served six months behind bars.    Succeeding his release, he was elected for a fourth term as mayor and later denied ever having smoked crack. Barry passed away later that year.

5/30/2021 Rep. Dan Crenshaw Starts Website For Military Wokeness Whistleblowers by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership
meeting at The Venetian Las Vegas. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
    Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) launched a page that allows those in the military to report claims of wokeness spreading in the Armed Forces.    Friday on Twitter, he announced he had launched the page, which will publish complaints to let the country know what’s happening in our military.
    The launch follows the recent firing of Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier, who came forward with concerns about Marxism seeping into the Armed Forces.    Lohmeier launched a book that details his experiences with wokeness in the military and was fired from command after discussing it on multiple podcasts.
    Whistleblowers are instructed to use personal devices in order to submit their stories and not disclose any classified information.    Reporting allegations of wrongdoing poses serious risks for those in the military, therefore the forum will act as an anonymous platform.

5/30/2021 Expert: We Must Discover Origins Of COVID-19 To Prevent COVID-26, COVID-32 by OAN Newsroom
Dr. Peter Hotez of Baylor College of Medicine (Courtesy: Baylor College of Medicine)
    A prominent expert on rare infectious diseases has stressed that the origins of COVID-19 must be discovered in order to prevent similar outbreaks in the future.    Dr. Peter Hotez of Baylor College of Medicine said the U.S. must insist on sending a team of investigators to Wuhan in order to collect evidence on bat-virus experiments there.    He warned that without full access to the lab itself, the origins may never be uncovered.     “There’s going to be COVID-26 and COVID-32 unless we fully understand the origins of COVID-19.    This is absolutely critical,” said Hotez.
Workers are seen next to a cage with mice (R) inside the P4 laboratory in Wuhan, capital of
China’s Hubei province. (Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)
    He added that China must face serious consequences if it continues to resist such a probe.    The professor went on to say if the Chinese government were telling the truth about COVID-19, it would be in its best interest to host an international probe into its origins.

    This page created on 5/1/2021, and updated each month by 5/31/2021.

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