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 June or continue to King Of The West 2021 August


7/1/2021 Oil up $0.07 to $73.51, DOW up 210 to 34,503.

7/1/2021 El Salvador’s Appointment Of New Judges Raises Fears Of Power Grab by Nelson Renteria
FILE PHOTO: El Salvador President Nayib Bukele speaks during a news conference
in San Salvador, El Salvador, June 6, 2021. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas/File Photo
    SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) – Lawmakers in El Salvador on Wednesday voted to keep the head of the Supreme Court in place for three more years and appointed five new justices, triggering concerns that President Nayib Bukele is shoring up a bid to consolidate power.
    Bukele’s New Ideas (NI) party and its allies hold a super-majority in Congress, where lawmakers have now appointed 10 court judges in less than two months.
    Supreme Court President Oscar Lopez was first appointed last month, just as Bukele’s legislative allies abruptly ousted five judges as well as the attorney general.
    The move that was harshly criticized by the United States and international rights groups as a dangerous power grab.
    Victoria Nuland, U.S. undersecretary for political affairs, met on Wednesday with Bukele as part of her tour to the region.
    Nuland said she discussed the need to strengthen democratic institutions, the separation of powers and the fight against corruption, and stressed the importance of establishing an independent oversight body against corruption.
    “(We talked about) an independent judicial system, a general attorney and judges who are chosen through a transparent process based on merit,” Nuland said at a press conference.
    The new judges to the 15-seat court will be able to serve for nine years.
    Bukele said lawmakers voted in line with the constitution and selected the judges from candidate lists submitted by bar associations.
    “Their decisions are totally legitimate and represent the power of the people,” Bukele said on Twitter.
    However, during the congressional session that began on Tuesday and stretched until dawn, lawmaker Dina Argueta from the leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) warned that the new judges were Bukele loyalists whose appointments marked a “concentration of power.”
    Jose Miguel Vivanco, the head of Human Rights Watch in the Americas, also expressed concerns the new judges would not be impartial.
(Reporting by Nelson Renteria; Writing by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Paul Simao & Shri Navaratnam)

7/1/2021 In A First, U.S. Warns Of Dangers Of Systemic Racism In Human Trafficking Report by Daphne Psaledakis and Jonathan Landay
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives to deliver remarks on the release of the 2021 Trafficking
in Persons (TIP) Report at the State Department in Washington, U.S., July 1, 2021. REUTERS/Ken Cedeno/Pool
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -An annual U.S. State Department report released on Thursday said discriminatory policies perpetuated human trafficking, drawing a link between the two for the first time.
    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in the Trafficking in Persons report that systemic racism creates inequities, in turn undercutting Washington’s battle against human trafficking.
    “If we’re serious about ending trafficking in persons, we must also work to combat systemic racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination,” Blinken said.
    A State Department official said it was the first time the report drew a connection to systemic racism.
    The United States has been re-examining its treatment of African Americans since nationwide protests last year sparked by the murder of George Floyd, a Black man, by a white police officer.
    U.S. authorities have also warned of increased threats from white supremacist groups.
    The report cited the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on human trafficking, as traffickers capitalized on the pandemic and governments diverted resources to fight the health crisis.
    The report looked at countries and territories and ranked them into four tiers, downgrading countries such as Ethiopia but upgrading others.
    The United States faulted Ethiopia for not demonstrating increased efforts to eliminate trafficking.
    The report highlighted the conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region that has killed thousands of people, displaced more than 2 million people and pushed hundreds of thousands to the brink of famine.
    The report said that since the conflict began in November, international organizations increasingly reported armed actors were responsible for committing human rights abuses and gender-based violence, including potential trafficking crimes.
    Ethiopians seeking asylum in Sudan were increasingly vulnerable to trafficking and unaccompanied children in the conflict areas may be vulnerable to recruitment by non-state armed groups, the report also warned.
    Belarus was cited for “key achievements” even if, as the report said, resident Alexander Lukashenko’s government did not “fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.”
    The report made no mention of Lukashenko’s brutal crackdown on ongoing protests over his claim of victory in a 2020 presidential election widely seen as being rigged.
    Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. ally in the Middle East, was cited for “making significant efforts” toward eliminating human trafficking, the report said.
    However, the government failed to meet minimum standards in a number of areas, including fining, jailing and deporting foreign workers for prostitution or immigration violations even though many may have been trafficking victims, the report said.
    The report said Israel, Washington’s closest Middle Eastern ally, had worked to eliminate human trafficking, but its efforts “were not serious and sustained” compared to the previous reporting period even accounting for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Victim identification policies “sometimes re-traumatized” victims and delayed their access to necessary care, sometimes for years, while the government reduced its overall efforts to investigate, prosecute and convict traffickers, it said.
    The report repeated past charges that China has “a government policy or pattern of widespread forced labor,” including through the continued mass arbitrary detention of more than one million ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslims in the western region of Xinjiang, where the United States has accused Beijing of committing genocide against the minorities.
    The United States added Turkey to the list of countries implicated in the use of child soldiers over the past year, placing a NATO ally for the first time in such a list, in a move likely to further complicate fraught ties between Ankara and Washington.
    The State Department downgraded Malaysia to the worst ranking after a string of complaints by rights groups and U.S. authorities over the alleged exploitation of migrant workers in plantations and factories.
(Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis, Jonathan Landay, Doyinsola Oladipo, Humeyra Pamuk and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Phil Stewart and Howard Goller)

7/1/2021 President Trump: Biden Is Destroying The Country And Putting Americans In Danger by OAN Newsroom
Former President Donald Trump speaks during a visit to an unfinished section of border wall
with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, in Pharr, Texas, Wednesday, June 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
    President Trump and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) recently took aim at the Biden administration for causing the crisis at the southern border.    While visiting Texas on Wednesday, the 45th president received a border security briefing and held a roundtable before heading to the wall to get a first hand look at the situation.
    During his visit, President Trump spoke about his work securing the U.S. southern border and the success of his administration in stemming the flow off illegal immigrants and drugs.    Meanwhile, Abbott called on the Biden administration to address the crisis instead of making it worse.
    “Things have changed so quickly and so dramatically under the Biden administration; it has been amazing and disastrous,” stated the Texas governor.    “And now we have an open, really dangerous border; more dangerous than it’s ever been in the history of our country and we better go back fast.”
    The leaders then headed to the border wall, where progress stopped when Biden took office, to get a first-hand look at the situation.    The site has been one of the main areas of entry for illegal immigrants pouring in the U.S.
    One America’s Christina Bobb spoke with President Trump in this exclusive interview from Texas.

7/1/2021 Ariz. State Senate To Subpoena Election Routers, Passwords To Complete Audit by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this May 6, 2021 file photo Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 general election are examined and recounted by contractors
working for Florida-based company, Cyber Ninjas, at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York, Pool,File)
    Arizona election audit spokesman Randy Pullen said the state senate will subpoena the routers and passwords that are still being withheld by election officials.    He announced the state’s plans to issue the subpoena on Wednesday while noting it has been difficult to complete the audit without information on the routers and passwords.
    “We have none of that information has been provided to us, and it’s something that the Senate will have to go back to the county and request those items,” explained the spokesman.    “So again, it’s very difficult to complete the audit without getting that information.”
    Pullen said state senators will determine the timeline for the examination of electronic equipment that was used during the 2020 elections in Arizona.    He confirmed the ballot count is now complete, but some electronic data is still raising questions.
    “A few minor things still need to be done with respect to some software additions they made,” Pullen stated.    “We got some additional information for the county.    Apparently there was a difference on how many duplicate ballots there were per batch, so they gave us a new list and so we had to create software that took that data and compared it to our data to deal with the duplicate ballots.”
    The state Senate is expected to issue subpoenas in coming days.    Additionally, Maricopa County recently announced plans to replace all of its subpoenaed election equipment while noting the county will “never use compromised equipment that could pose a risk to free and fair elections.”
    While Arizona Republicans believe it is a step in the right direction, the replacement of equipment is not going to undo the mistakes already made.    They argue if the machines are not able to undergo a forensic audit to verify the presidential election results then they never should have been approved to be used in an election in the first place.

7/1/2021 Fentanyl Seizures Continue To Spike At Mexico Border by OAN Newsroom
FILE – This undated file photo provided by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Phoenix Division
shows a closeup of fentanyl-laced sky blue pills. (Drug Enforcement Administration via AP, File)
    The U.S-Mexico border has seen a dramatic rise in fentanyl seizures.    As of the end of June, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents in El Paso have seized approximately 41 pounds of the deadly narcotic in the 2021 fiscal year so far.
    While speaking at a border security briefing on Wednesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) warned this is a deadly impact of Joe Biden’s weak border policies.
    DEA officials said fentanyl is highly profitable, extremely potent and easy to smuggle into the U.S.    These factors make it the drug of choice for cartels.    Smuggling through just the the El Paso desert is up more than 355 percent compared to last year and 4,000 percent more than 2018.
    While speaking during an interview on Tuesday, El Paso U.S Customs and Border Protection Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez weighed in.
    “For the first time, fentanyl is being smuggled between the ports of entry,” she stated.    “The cartels find ways to intimidate migrants and find ways to legally have them transport that narcotic.”
    Meanwhile, Matt Capelouto, whose 20-year-old daughter was killed after accidentally ingesting the deadly narcotic in 2019, urged the Biden administration to take action at a federal level.    Alexandra Capelouto ingested what she believed was oxycodone, but it was laced with a lethal amount of fentanyl.
    “Don’t think something like this cannote happen to your family,” stated Mr. Capelouto.    “Don’t take your kids for granted, tell them you love them every day.”
    As Biden’s loose border restrictions make it easier for cartels to operate along the southern border, Republicans are pushing back and have suggested continuing construction of the border wall is the key to stopping drug traffickers.

7/1/2021 CNN’S Acosta Booed For Bringing Up Jan. 6 At U.S. Border by OAN Newsroom
45th President Donald Trump, left, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, right, visit an unfinished
section of border wall, in Pharr, Texas, Wednesday, June 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
    Activist and CNN reporter Jim Acosta was recently booed during a border press conference for asking a provocative question to 45th President Donald Trump.    The incident happened Wednesday after Acosta apparently attempted to deflect attention from the Biden border crisis to the January 6 Capitol protest.
    Despite the charade, President Trump asserted that Joe Biden has failed to address the real threat to America posed by the influx of thousands of illegal aliens.
    “Biden is destroying our country and it all started with a fake election, and now we talk about the big one because the big one was won by a very different person,” he told onlookers.    “And you wouldn’t have these problems, this wall would have been complete within two months…it would have been painted, not sitting there rotting and rusting.    It would have been perfecto.    It was all set.”
    Acosta’s question was left unanswered as the crowd continued to “boo” over him.

7/1/2021 Analysis: Oil Companies Bet On $100 A Barrel As They Rush To Sell Assets by Jessica Resnick-Ault, Arathy S Nair and Shariq Khan
FILE PHOTO: Drilling rigs operate at sunset in Midland, Texas, U.S., February 13, 2019.
Picture taken February 13, 2019. REUTERS/Nick Oxford/File Photo
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil companies are betting that if they sell land, buyers will come, as crude prices have soared more than 50% this year, fueling the most robust pipeline of deals in more than four years.
    Large oil companies are unloading properties from Texas to California, with some using the market rally as a chance to rake in cash for future investment in the global transition to cleaner energy. Other sellers are taking the chance to profit when just a few months ago big properties were being sold at a loss, according to interviews with 10 advisers and analysts.
    Even though renewable fuel usage is increasing, overall global oil demand is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels next year, leaving opportunities for producers looking for deals.
    “In greed versus fear, last year fear was the factor.    Greed is creeping in now,” said Dan Pickering, chief investment officer at Pickering Energy Partners.    “There is more optimism in the market, there is a little more greed from the seller’s perspective, there is a little more urgency from the buyer’s perspectives.”
    Still, some buyers may struggle to secure financing.    Some private equity firms that once loomed large in oil transactions have headed to the sidelines under investor pressure about climate change, while European banks have also largely pulled out of lending to oil companies.    Smaller deals or land with more shale, seen as less polluting than tar sands oil, may be easier to finance, Pickering said.
    Among the largest sellers are the majors, including Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Chevron. Early this year, big players – like Norway’s state-run Equinor – were finding fewer buyers, as the company had to sell its position in North Dakota’s Bakken shale region for $900 million, roughly one-fifth of the value of its purchase there a decade ago.
    Now, companies see a better outlook for possible sales.    On Wednesday, Chevron confirmed news first reported by Reuters that it planned to divest a swath of conventional assets in the Permian Basin, which sources valued at over $1 billion.
    While some sellers are motivated by an opportunity to unload underperforming assets at a profit, others, like Shell, are selling in an effort to cut back on carbon emissions under pressure from investors and government regulations.
    The potential transactions are concentrated in the largest U.S. shale formation, the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico.
    In addition to Chevron’s planned Permian sale, Shell is considering divesting all of its acreage in the Permian Basin and has notified joint venture partner Exxon Mobil that it will be leaving production in California as well.
    Smaller deals have also popped up as private equity firms seek to turn over long-held investments and distressed players look to shed unwanted assets.    Three companies proposing Permian asset sales have pegged their desired deal prices to oil rising to $100 a barrel, according to one person familiar with the talks.
    Bank of America has estimated global benchmark Brent futures will reach $100 per barrel in 2022, with U.S. crude trading at $95 a barrel.    That’s higher than Reuters’ poll on Wednesday of 44 analysts, who expect an average price of $64.54 this year and $65.44 next year.
    “While asset prices are coming up helping sellers, there is still plenty of room for buyers to capture upside at these commodity price levels,” said Andrew Dittmar, a senior M&A analyst at energy information provider Enverus.    “Buyers are paying valuations on assets that leave room for commodity prices to come down a bit and they still make money.”
    Smaller, privately held companies also see a potential to take advantage of the current high prices.    Private driller Recoil Resources is hunting for a buyer, and Mesquite is looking to divest Eagle Ford acreage as it considers selling off even more assets as it emerges from bankruptcy.
    Potential buyers for smaller packages may include Skye Callantine’s Validus, which people close to the firm say is among active bidders on assets in the Eagle Ford.
(Reporting by Jessica Resnick-Ault in New York, Arathy Nair and Shariq Khan in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru Writing by Jessica Resnick-Ault; Editing by David Gaffen and Lisa Shumaker)

7/1/2021 In A First, U.S. Warns Of Dangers Of Systemic Racism In Human Trafficking Report by Daphne Psaledakis and Jonathan Landay
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives to deliver remarks on the release of the 2021 Trafficking
in Persons (TIP) Report at the State Department in Washington, U.S., July 1, 2021. REUTERS/Ken Cedeno/Pool
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -An annual U.S. State Department report released on Thursday said discriminatory policies perpetuated human trafficking, drawing a link between the two for the first time.
    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in the Trafficking in Persons report that systemic racism creates inequities, in turn undercutting Washington’s battle against human trafficking.
    “If we’re serious about ending trafficking in persons, we must also work to combat systemic racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination,” Blinken said.
    A State Department official said it was the first time the report drew a connection to systemic racism.
    The United States has been re-examining its treatment of African Americans since nationwide protests last year sparked by the murder of George Floyd, a Black man, by a white police officer.
    U.S. authorities have also warned of increased threats from white supremacist groups.
    The report cited the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on human trafficking, as traffickers capitalized on the pandemic and governments diverted resources to fight the health crisis.
    The report looked at countries and territories and ranked them into four tiers, downgrading countries such as Ethiopia but upgrading others.
    The United States faulted Ethiopia for not demonstrating increased efforts to eliminate trafficking.
    The report highlighted the conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region that has killed thousands of people, displaced more than 2 million people and pushed hundreds of thousands to the brink of famine.
    The report said that since the conflict began in November, international organizations increasingly reported armed actors were responsible for committing human rights abuses and gender-based violence, including potential trafficking crimes.
    Ethiopians seeking asylum in Sudan were increasingly vulnerable to trafficking and unaccompanied children in the conflict areas may be vulnerable to recruitment by non-state armed groups, the report also warned.
    Belarus was cited for “key achievements” even if, as the report said, resident Alexander Lukashenko’s government did not “fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.”
    The report made no mention of Lukashenko’s brutal crackdown on ongoing protests over his claim of victory in a 2020 presidential election widely seen as being rigged.
    Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. ally in the Middle East, was cited for “making significant efforts” toward eliminating human trafficking, the report said.
    However, the government failed to meet minimum standards in a number of areas, including fining, jailing and deporting foreign workers for prostitution or immigration violations even though many may have been trafficking victims, the report said.
    The report said Israel, Washington’s closest Middle Eastern ally, had worked to eliminate human trafficking, but its efforts “were not serious and sustained” compared to the previous reporting period even accounting for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Victim identification policies “sometimes re-traumatized” victims and delayed their access to necessary care, sometimes for years, while the government reduced its overall efforts to investigate, prosecute and convict traffickers, it said.
    The report repeated past charges that China has “a government policy or pattern of widespread forced labor,” including through the continued mass arbitrary detention of more than one million ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslims in the western region of Xinjiang, where the United States has accused Beijing of committing genocide against the minorities.
    The United States added Turkey to the list of countries implicated in the use of child soldiers over the past year, placing a NATO ally for the first time in such a list, in a move likely to further complicate fraught ties between Ankara and Washington.
    The State Department downgraded Malaysia to the worst ranking after a string of complaints by rights groups and U.S. authorities over the alleged exploitation of migrant workers in plantations and factories.
(Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis, Jonathan Landay, Doyinsola Oladipo, Humeyra Pamuk and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Phil Stewart and Howard Goller)

7/1/2021 President Trump: Biden Is Destroying The Country And Putting Americans In Danger by OAN Newsroom
Former President Donald Trump speaks during a visit to an unfinished section of border wall
with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, in Pharr, Texas, Wednesday, June 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
    President Trump and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) recently took aim at the Biden administration for causing the crisis at the southern border.    While visiting Texas on Wednesday, the 45th president received a border security briefing and held a roundtable before heading to the wall to get a first hand look at the situation.
    During his visit, President Trump spoke about his work securing the U.S. southern border and the success of his administration in stemming the flow off illegal immigrants and drugs.    Meanwhile, Abbott called on the Biden administration to address the crisis instead of making it worse.
    “Things have changed so quickly and so dramatically under the Biden administration; it has been amazing and disastrous,” stated the Texas governor.    “And now we have an open, really dangerous border; more dangerous than it’s ever been in the history of our country and we better go back fast.”
    The leaders then headed to the border wall, where progress stopped when Biden took office, to get a first-hand look at the situation.    The site has been one of the main areas of entry for illegal immigrants pouring in the U.S.
    One America’s Christina Bobb spoke with President Trump in this exclusive interview from Texas.

7/1/2021 Ariz. State Senate To Subpoena Election Routers, Passwords To Complete Audit by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this May 6, 2021 file photo Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 general election are examined and recounted by contractors
working for Florida-based company, Cyber Ninjas, at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York, Pool,File)
    Arizona election audit spokesman Randy Pullen said the state senate will subpoena the routers and passwords that are still being withheld by election officials.    He announced the state’s plans to issue the subpoena on Wednesday while noting it has been difficult to complete the audit without information on the routers and passwords.
    “We have none of that information has been provided to us, and it’s something that the Senate will have to go back to the county and request those items,” explained the spokesman.    “So again, it’s very difficult to complete the audit without getting that information.”
    Pullen said state senators will determine the timeline for the examination of electronic equipment that was used during the 2020 elections in Arizona.    He confirmed the ballot count is now complete, but some electronic data is still raising questions.
    “A few minor things still need to be done with respect to some software additions they made,” Pullen stated.    “We got some additional information for the county.    Apparently there was a difference on how many duplicate ballots there were per batch, so they gave us a new list and so we had to create software that took that data and compared it to our data to deal with the duplicate ballots.”
    The state Senate is expected to issue subpoenas in coming days.    Additionally, Maricopa County recently announced plans to replace all of its subpoenaed election equipment while noting the county will “never use compromised equipment that could pose a risk to free and fair elections.”
    While Arizona Republicans believe it is a step in the right direction, the replacement of equipment is not going to undo the mistakes already made.    They argue if the machines are not able to undergo a forensic audit to verify the presidential election results then they never should have been approved to be used in an election in the first place.

7/1/2021 Rescue Efforts Resume In Surfside Condo Collapse by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden speaks alongside Miami Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava (R) and Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis (L) about the collapse of the 12-story
Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside, during a briefing in Miami Beach, Florida, July 1, 2021. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
    Search and rescue operations at the site of the Surfside building collapse in Florida have resumed. Teams resumed their search on Thursday after being halted for nearly 15 hours due to safety concerns.     Officials said the death toll currently stands at 18 people and 145 others remain unaccounted for.    Miami-Dade fire rescue said finding loved ones continues to be at the forefront of operations.
    “I have to tell you that our firefighters looked really, really excited to get back out there,” said Mayor Daniella Devine Cava (D).    “They had taken the time to study the conditions, to make sure things were safe.    Our fire rescue team has been working around the clock…and we needed our engineers on site to evaluate the safety of the standing structure.”
    In the meantime, officials are moving forward with plans to safely demolish the section of the building that remains standing, which could take weeks.
    While talking to reporters on Thursday, Joe Biden baselessly claimed that so-called global warming caused sea levels to rise, which in turn caused the building to collapse.    Biden also appeared to blame Florida’s booming economy and loose regulations for the incident.
    Florida officials said the 40-year-old building was up for safety recertification this year.    However so far, they have not found evidence to support any of Biden’s claims as the investigation continues.

7/1/2021 Dems In N. Calif. City Pass Law Requiring Gun Owners To Purchase Liability Insurance For Firearms by OAN Newsroom
A girl holds a sign as people attend a vigil for the victims of a shooting at San Jose City Hall
in San Jose, California, on May 27, 2021. (AMY OSBORNE/AFP via Getty Images)
    A Northern California city has moved forward with a controversial plan that vows to make it harder to buy and own firearms.    This week, the San Jose City Council voted unanimously on the 10-point gun control proposal.
    The plan requires gun owners to purchase liability insurance for their firearms.    It also outlines new purchasing fees that will be given to the city to use for crime prevention.
    San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo (D) said the proposal is the first of its kind.    “We won’t magically end gun violence, but we will stop paying for it,” said Liccardo.
    Meanwhile, Second Amendment advocates have pledged to challenge every aspect of the plan in court.

7/1/2021 Rep. McCarthy Comments On Dem Failures by OAN Newsroom
U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) speaks during a weekly news conference
at the U.S. Capitol July 01, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) gave his weekly press briefing to highlight the work of Republicans and the destruction of the Democrats.    On Thursday, McCarthy covered a range of issues from holding China accountable to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) Jan. 6 select committee.
    He started by laying out the GOP conference’s plans for the coming months and put a spotlight on the seven task forces being created.    McCarthy said these groups will focus on creating policies that actually improve American lives.
    The task forces include jobs and economy, Big Tech censorship data, future of America freedoms led by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), energy and climate conservation, American security, healthy future to be headed by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and China accountability.
    He reinforced the commitment from the Republican Party to do things completely different than the Democrats when they reclaim the majority, pointing to the devastations being seen in America today.    McCarthy continued on to criticize the Democrats further for their moves to defund the police and the crisis at the southern border.
    He also slammed Kamala Harris, the Biden administration’s border czar, for spending more time in the airport than at the border during her long overdue visit.
    McCarthy discredited claims that he threatened to take away Rep. Liz Cheney’s (R-Wyo.) committee assignments over her agreement to join Pelosi’s commission to investigate Jan. 6. He said he was shocked that Cheney would agree to serve, saying he never heard from her and suggested perhaps she is closer to the left than her own party.
    When asked if he was concerned about not having control over the select committee, he said no.    He then pointed to the politicization of the investigation by the left.    He told reporters that there have already been probes into that day, adding if people would read the Senate’s report they would find the mishandling of preparedness for the election certification day.
    McCarthy ended the press briefing on a lighter note, wishing everybody a happy Independence Day weekend.

7/1/2021 House Subcommittee Approves Pentagon Spending Bill by OAN Newsroom
The Pentagon. (Lolita C. Baldor/AP)
    The Pentagon’s spending bill for the 2022 fiscal year is making its way through Congress.    On Wednesday, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense gave the $706 billion measure the green light.
    The bill includes using $25 million to transport Afghans who helped U.S. troops during the 20-year war to a safe location.    The legislation also seeks to ban U.S. funds from being used to operate the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay after Sept. 2022.
    “In my opinion, we have landed on a responsible number that maintains strong security posture today…while making important investments that will make us even stronger in the years to come,” said House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee Chair Betty McCollum (D-Minn.).
    The bill will be up for further consideration later this month.

7/1/2021 Pelosi Names 8 Appointees To Jan. 6 Commission by OAN Newsroom
(L-R) U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speaks as Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), and
Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) listen during a weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol July 1, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) revealed the names of several lawmakers she is appointing to her Jan. 6 commission.    At a press briefing on Thursday, Pelosi listed the names of several Democrats.
    These included Reps. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Elaine Luria (D-Va.). Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) and Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.).
    Also among the picks were Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) who both led impeachment efforts against President Trump.    Pelosi also picked a Republican to fill one of the seats.
    “Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) of the Armed Services Committee has patriotically agreed to serve on the committee,” said Pelosi of her Republican choice. “We are very honored and proud that she has agreed to serve on the committee.”     In the meantime, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) will have the opportunity to name five members to sit on the commission. However, his choices will need to be approved by Pelosi.

7/1/2021 La. Rep. Garret Graves Weighs In On Infrastructure Talks by OAN Newsroom
Committee Ranking Member Garret Graves (R-La.) gives his opening statement during a hearing by the Aviation Subcommittee of the
House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure on Capitol Hill on March 2, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
    Louisiana Rep. Garret Graves (R) recently gave his perspective on what is holding back legislation on infrastructure.    On the House floor on Wednesday, Graves pointed out all the bipartisan work that has already been done to improve the fabric of the country.
    He reiterated what many Republicans have been saying about the bill, which is that it’s not about infrastructure.    He added the process needed to be fixed for delivering these projects due to it being severely flawed.
    “By simply putting good money on top of bad, all it will do is increase the number of bad outcomes we already have,” argued Graves.
    Graves, who served on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is one of several lawmakers who support the alternative Starter Act.    He argued it would result in more roads and bridges being built because it addresses reforming the project delivery process.

7/2/2021 Oil up $1.50 to $74.96, DOW up 131 to 34,634.

7/2/2021 France Probes Fashion Retailers For Concealing ‘Crimes Against Humanity’ In Xinjiang
FILE PHOTO: Customers enter a Zara shop in Nantes as non-essential business re-open after closing down for months,
amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in France, May 19, 2021. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo
    PARIS (Reuters) -French prosecutors have opened an investigation into four fashion retailers suspected of concealing “crimes against humanity” in China’s Xinjiang region, a judicial source said on Thursday.
    The procedure is linked to accusations against China over its treatment of minority Muslim Uyghurs in the region, including the use of forced labour, the source said.
    China denies all accusations of abuse in the region.
    The source told Reuters Uniqlo France, a unit of Japan’s Fast Retailing, Zara owner Inditex, France’s SMCP and Skechers were the subject of the investigation, confirming a report by French media website Mediapart.
    “An investigation has been opened by the crimes against humanity unit within the antiterrorism prosecutor’s office following the filing of a complaint,” the source said.
    France has a Central Office to Fight Crimes against Humanity, Genocide and War Crimes, founded in 2013.
    Inditex said it rejected the claims in the legal complaint, adding that it conducted rigorous traceability controls and would fully cooperate with the French investigation.
    “At Inditex, we have zero tolerance for all forms of forced labour and have established policies and procedures to ensure this practice does not take place in our supply chain,” the company said in a statement.
    SMCP said it would cooperate with the French authorities to prove the allegations false.
    “SMCP works with suppliers located all over the world and maintains that it does not have direct suppliers in the region mentioned in the press,” SMCP said, adding that it regularly audited its suppliers.
    Fast Retailing said in a statement from Tokyo that it had not been contacted by French authorities and that none of its production partners are located in Xinjiang.
    “If and when notified, we will cooperate fully with the investigation to reaffirm there is no forced labour in our supply chains,” it said.
    The company lost an appeal with United States Customs in May after a shipment of Uniqlo men’s shirts were impounded because of suspected violations of a ban on Xinjiang cotton.
    Skechers said it does not comment on pending litigation.    It referred Reuters to a March 2021 statement in which it said it maintained a strict supplier code of conduct.
    Two nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) filed a complaint in France in early April against multinationals for concealment of forced labour and crimes against humanity.
    United Nations experts and rights groups estimate over a million people, mainly Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities, have been detained in recent years in a vast system of camps in China’s western Xinjiang region.
    Many former inmates have said they were subject to ideological training and abuse.    Rights groups say the camps have been used as a source of low-paid and coercive labour.
    China initially denied the camps existed, but has since said they are vocational centres designed to combat extremism.    In late 2019, China said all people in the camps had “graduated.”
    Several Western brands including H&M, Burberry and Nike have been hit by consumer boycotts in China after raising concerns about reports of forced labour in Xinjiang.
    In March, the United States, the European Union, Britain and Canada imposed sanctions on Chinese officials, citing human rights abuses in Xinjiang.    Beijing retaliated immediately with its own punitive measures.
    Human Rights Watch this year documented what it said could constitute crimes against humanity being committed in Xinjiang.
(Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten in ParisAdditional reporting by Richard Lough in Paris, Jesus Aguado in Madrid and Rocky Swift in Tokyo.Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Matthew Lewis)

7/2/2021 El Salvador’s Bukele Seeks 20% Minimum Wage Hike, Orders Food Handouts
FILE PHOTO: El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele speaks at a graduation ceremony for
higher rank police officers in San Salvador, El Salvador, May 19, 2021. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas
    SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) -El Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele on Thursday requested a minimum wage hike of 20% from August, citing the impact of global inflation on poor Salvadorans.
    Bukele, speaking in a video shared on his Twitter, said the government would subsidize micro, small and medium-sized companies for 12 months to cover the increase, with the goal of keeping businesses from passing on higher costs to consumers.
    “We can do little to change the rules of the world market, but we can do some ethical things,” Bukele said.    “That is why this morning there is already a request to the Council of Minimum Wages to increase the minimum wage of Salvadorans.”
    Hours later, Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya, told reporters that the subsidy would be financed with $100 million in public funds from a trust once its modification is approved by the council and Congress.
    Some 15,000 companies could benefit from it, Zelaya added.
    The current minimum wage is $300 per month and was last increased in 2017 by 15%.    A revision to the minimum wage must be done, by law, every three years.
    El Salvador’s secretary of commerce said in a local television interview that the pandemic prevented officials from reviewing the issue in 2020.
    Bukele also ordered new food handouts under a pandemic social program, which he said could help inflation by lessening the demand for food purchases.
    “By introducing so much food to Salvadoran families, we are going to lower the local demand.    And although it will not impact global prices, it may impact local prices,” Bukele said.
    Bukele’s proposal to increase the minimum wage will be reviewed by a specialized council made up of independent business leaders and some government employees.
    The council, which was due to discuss the proposal on Thursday, canceled its meeting after the publication of the U.S. State Department’s “corruption and democracy list” that named several current and former Salvadoran officials.
    Labor Minister Rolando Castro, who was expected to lead the meeting on minimum wage, was among the officials the U.S. government said had engaged in corruption.
    El Salvador this month became the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender along with the U.S. dollar, with Bukele touting the cryptocurrency’s potential as a remittance currency for Salvadorans overseas.
    Bukele’s recent political moves, including replacing senior judges and the attorney general, have complicated negotiations for a potential $1 billion-financing program from the International Monetary Fund.
    The IMF did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the wage hike and subsidy plan.
(Reporting by Nelson Renteria and Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel, Steve Orlofsky and Bill Berkrot)

7/2/2021 State Dept. Voices Concern Regarding China’s Growing Nuclear Arsenal by OAN Newsroom
U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price is pictured answering questions during a press briefing. (AP Photo)
    U.S. officials are sounding the alarm on China’s growing nuclear arsenal. Specifically, the State Department voiced concern over the rapid expansion.    During a press briefing on Thursday, State Department spokesperson Ned Price urged Beijing to reduce its nuclear arms.
    According to a Washington Post report on Wednesday, Chinese officials have started construction on roughly 100 new missile silos located in a western desert region of the country.    Price said the build-up of China’s nuclear arsenal is concerning and is raising questions on their intentions.
    “These reports and other developments suggests that the PRC’s (People’s Republic of China’s) nuclear arsenal will grow more quickly and to a higher level than perhaps previously anticipated,” stated the U.S. official.    “This buildup, it is concerning.    It raises questions about the PRC’s intents and for us, it reinforces the importance of pursuing practical measures to reduce nuclear risks.”
    Price went on to stress the importance of nuclear power talks between nations in hopes of reducing nuclear dangers and avoiding miscalculations.
    This comes as a report by NBC News alleged the Chinese military has ties to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.    The report from last week found a chief Chinese scientist at the Wuhan lab, Shi Zhengli, collaborated with at least two officials with the People’s Liberation Army of China.    Her contacts with Chinese military scientists date back to 2018 and 2019.    They were related to gain of function research.
    The mainstream media has long dismissed the Chinese military’s involvement with COVID-19 as a conspiracy theory, but new evidence appears to confirm such assertions.    Meanwhile, congressional Republicans are investigating the Wuhan lab experiments that were reportedly funded by Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institutes of Health (NIH) to the tune of $600,000.    If the involvement of Chinese military with Wuhan research is confirmed, Dr. Fauci’s actions may raise a national security concern.

7/2/2021 Judge Orders Minneapolis To Hire More Police Officers by OAN Newsroom
Members of the Minneapolis Police Department monitor a protest on June 11, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
    A Minnesota judge has ordered the city of Minneapolis to address it’s police staffing issues.    Reports on Thursday detailed the ruling brought after a group of people sued the city council, citing a rise in crime and stressing the current number of officers is below what the city charter calls for.
    Like many departments across the country, officers in Minneapolis have been leaving amid the Black Lives Matter and defund the police movements.
    “If the officers themselves are feeling as though they have no support to do their jobs, they’re leaving their jobs.    We gotta try harder to come together because this right here, we’re going to destroy this city,” said one of the plaintiffs in a suit against Minneapolis, Cathy Spann.
Protesters march in downtown Brooklyn over the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis
Police officer on June 05, 2020 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
    Officials said the city is expected to have around 670 officers by June 2020, but the judge said the city needs to raise that number to 730.    The plaintiffs in the suit called the ruling a “huge victory” for the city’s residents.
    Residents say Minneapolis has been in a crisis since the riots in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

7/2/2021 House Speaker Pelosi Changes Subject When Asked About Rep. Omar by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speaks during a weekly news conference
at the U.S. Capitol February 14, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has raised eyebrows after a series of gaffs during her latest press conference.    The Democrat’s mistakes began on Thursday at her weekly press conference when she interrupted a reporter.
    The reporter asked Pelosi about Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-Minn.) recent inflammatory comments about Israel and her Jewish Democrat colleagues.    Congresswoman Omar has been the subject of scrutiny this week after defending comments she made equating the U.S. and Israel to terrorist organizations such as Hamas and the Taliban.
    “We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban,” formerly tweeted Omar.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks during a press conference in the House Visitors Center at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
on November 30, 2018. – At left is representative-elect Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
    Meanwhile, Pelosi’s gaffs continued when she cut off a different reporter who asked about the Republican caucus.    She then stumbled through her presentation about the Fourth of July and patriotism.
    Critics have pointed out Pelosi is demanding answers from all radical Republicans when they misspeak, yet remains silent when asked about issues that could make her own party look bad.    In the meantime, Pelosi has several public appearances coming up where more blunders are sure to pop up.

7/2/2021 28 Injured, 4 Killed In Violence In Chicago by OAN Newsroom
Tears run down the face of Wentworth Gardens resident Tunyona Frazier as she talks about violence in the housing complex while police
investigate a crime scene where three people were shot at the complex on June 23, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
    Ongoing violence on Chicago’s South Side is raising concerns ahead of the Independence Day weekend. At least 28 people, including two young girls ages nine and one-month, were shot and injured in the city on Thursday alone.     Chicago police said the baby was shot in the head amid a shootout between gangs in the city’s Englewood neighborhood.    The nine-year-old was also shot in the head in a drive-by shooting, which happened within hours of the other incident.
    Authorities said both girls are in critical condition while four people were killed.    “The family should be looking forward to getting together for holiday festivities, but instead they’re getting together at the emergency room,” said Pastor Donovan Price.
    In preparation for the holiday weekend, Chicago police officers are working 12-hour shifts without any days off.    Investigators are asking anyone with information on the shootings to contact the Chicago Police Department.
    Meanwhile, local leaders are calling for an emergency meeting with the city’s mayor Lori Lightfoot.

7/2/2021 5 People Injured After Building Collapses In NW D.C. by OAN Newsroom
D.C. Fire Department EMTs move a stretcher into place as firefighters work to rescue a man from inside a
collapsed construction site on July 01, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    A five-story building has collapsed in Northwest Washington, D.C., leaving multiple people injured.    The building was reportedly under construction when the collapse occurred.
    On Thursday, fire officials said they finally freed a construction worker who was trapped under the rubble after over an hour of work.    According to officials, the worker was under about “three floors of debris.”
    “He was taken to the hospital with serious, but non-life-threating injuries and we’re going to be turning this scene over to D.C. R.A. (Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs) and the owner to make sure that it gets mitigated properly,” said Chief John Donnelly of the District of Columbia Fire and EMS.
    Video from the scene showed teams using saws and other equipment in order to free the worker who was alert and speaking during the rescue operation.
    Four other workers were also pulled from the rubble and all five suffered non-life-threatening injuries.    Using search dogs, officials went through the debris to ensure no one else was trapped.
    At this time, the cause of the collapse is unclear and is currently being investigated by local authorities.

7/2/2021 Girl Convicted In Slender Man Stabbing Case Granted Conditional Release by OAN Newsroom
In this Dec. 21, 2017, file photo, Anissa Weier, one of two Wisconsin girls who tried to kill a classmate to win favor with a fictional horror character
named Slender Man, is led into Court for her sentencing hearing, in Waukesha, Wis. (Michael Sears/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, File)
    One of two girls convicted of stabbing a classmate in the name of fictional character Slender Man, has been granted conditional release from a Wisconsin mental facility.    In a court hearing on Thursday, Judge Michael Bohren ordered the release of Anissa Weier, 19, following a petition filed back in March.
    The judge highlighted Weier’s good behavior inside Winnebago Mental Institution where she has been serving her 25-year sentence since 2017.    Additionally, Weir’s argued she is no longer a threat to the public.
    “I have exhausted all the resources available to me at the Winnebago Mental Health Institute.    If I am to become a productive member of society, I need to be a part of society,” Weier wrote in a letter.    “I vowed after my crime that I would never become a weapon again, and I intend to keep that vow.”
Yasmin Ouard poses as Slenderman from the series Mobile Hornets. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
    Back in 2014, Weier and her friend Morgan Geyser lured Payton Leutner into the woods where Geyser stabbed Leutner multiple times as Weier cheered her on.    All girls were 12-years-old at the time.    Fortunately, Leutner survived the attack and both girls were admitted into mental health institutions.
    Weier’s attorney said that she has responded well to treatment.
    In the meantime, the judge gave state officials 60 days to organize a conditional release plan.    Weier will remain institutionalized pending another upcoming hearing in Sept.

7/2/2021 Muslim Suspect Faces Possible Hate Crime Charges In Rabbi Stabbing by OAN Newsroom
A police car with lights flashing. (JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)
    Authorities have been weighing hate crime charges against a Muslim man who allegedly stabbed a rabbi outside a synagogue in Massachusetts.    The Boston Police Department arrested 24-year-old suspect Khaled Awad on Thursday night after he reportedly tried to kidnap Rabbi Shlomo Noginski.
    When the victim tried to run, the suspect stabbed him multiple times in the arm.    Noginski was rushed to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries and safely sent home later that evening.
    “We can share light and dispel a tremendous amount of darkness.    We seek to continue to convey that message, especially in a situation of darkness such as this, that for all those out there to go ahead and do acts of kindness,” Rabbi Ilan Meyers expressed.    “…Just be kind to your neighbor and for the Jewish folk out there, be proud that you’re a Jew.”
    The incident occurred outside of the Shaloh House, which was placed on lockdown once staff became aware of the situation.    Staff members and children were inside the day school attending a summer camp program.    Although there was no immediate danger to the group of individuals inside the building, many members of the community have expressed fear over the possibility of future attacks.
    The suspect is expected to be charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon as well as assault of a police officer.    Authorities are searching for an official motive, but say the attack may have been a hate crime as there was no effort to steal the victim’s money or cell phone.

7/2/2021 NYC Dem Mayoral Race Chaos Puts Board Of Elections’ Competency In Question by OAN Newsroom
Maya Wiley, a Democratic candidate in the mayoral primary, holds a news conference in front of City Hall, Thursday, July 1, 2021 in New York.
Revised vote counts in New York City’s mayoral primary show Democrat Eric Adams has maintained a thin lead. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
    Polls closed more than a week ago for the New York City mayoral race, but the use of ranked choice voting (RCV), an election system that permits voters to choose multiple candidates and rank them in order of preference, is causing a lag in election results.
    According to reports Tuesday, the New York City Board of Elections caused chaos in the Democrat mayoral primary by accidentally counting roughly 135,000 test ballots in the initial tally release.    This move has put the board’s competency into question.
    The board admitted its error in a statement Wednesday that said “yesterday’s ranked choice voting reporting error was unacceptable.”    It then cited a “human error” as the problem, not the RCV technology.
    The revised results put retired police officer and Brooklyn borough President Eric Adams in the lead with Katheryn Garcia closely behind him in the Democrat primary.
    Political science Professor Christina Greer said RCV gives voters the opportunity to not think as strategically for their one vote and gives more opportunity to women as well as people of color.
    New York City’s Board of Elections has an erroneous history and Kathryn Garcia told sources that mayoral candidates are pushing for reforms.
    The Board of Elections’ error comes as Americans question election integrity and some states have introduced new voting legislation.    The final results of the city’s Democrat mayoral primary are expected by the week of July 12.

7/2/2021 Sen. Blackburn: Biden Letting Cartels Control Southern Border by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) is pictured. (Susan Walsh/AP Photo)
    Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) asserted Joe Biden is letting cartels take “complete charge” of the U.S.-Mexico border.    During a recent interview with Breitbart, the Tennessee Republican said the Biden administration is more focused on being politically correct than facing the security risk.
    Her remarks came after Border Patrol Agents, who are strapped for resources, grappled with at least 183,000 illegal crossings in the month of May alone.    Blackburn went on to stress that Biden’s failure to act is not only posing a danger to Americans, but also to the migrants attempting the journey the U.S.
    “It is heartbreaking to see these children that have been physically and sexually abused by the cartels,” stated the Republican senator.    “The cartels are completely in charge of the border.    If you are not doing something to shut down that border, then you are helping the cartels.”
    Blackburn went on to say that Biden has spread the effects of the border crisis all over the country as catch and release makes every town a border town.

7/2/2021 NBC News: Chinese Military Involved With Wuhan Lab Research by OAN Newsroom
    A new report by NBC News has confirmed the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s ties to the Chinese military.    The report found the lab’s Chief Chinese scientist, Dr. Shi Zhengli, collaborated with at least two officials with the People’s Liberation Army of China.
    Dr. Shi is also China’s leading specialist on bat coronaviruses.    Her contacts with Chinese military scientists date back to 2018 and 2019.    The report noted that they were related to gain of function research.    This type of research is used to alter an organism or disease in a way that increases transmissibility.
    Mainstream media have long dismissed the Chinese military’s involvement with the outbreak of COVID-19 as a conspiracy theory, but new evidence appears to confirm such assertions.
    Meanwhile, congressional Republicans are investigating the Wuhan lab experiments that were reportedly funded by Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institutes of Health (NIH) to the tune of $600,000.    If the involvement of Chinese military with Wuhan research is confirmed, Dr. Fauci’s actions may raise a national security concern.

7/2/2021 130 Countries Throw Support Behind Biden Global Minimum Tax Plan by OAN Newsroom
Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen testifies during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing to examine the FY 2022 budget
request for the Department of the Treasury, Wednesday, June 23, 2021, on Capitol Hill, in Washington. (Shawn Thew/Pool via AP)
    It appears 130 countries have issued a statement in support of a global minimum tax, in turn, giving backing to a key Biden administration agenda item.
    According to reports Thursday, the nations back a plan that was initially discussed during the G7 summit in June.    It calls for a global minimum tax rate of 15 percent for corporations headquartered in their countries.
    The plan was highly supported by U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen prior to the summit.    However, critics have said the plan favors foreign headquartered companies and workers over American ones.
    "That global minimum tax would end the race to the bottom in corporate taxation and ensure fairness for the middle class,” Yellen stated.    “And working people in the U.S. and around the world.”
    The nations are expected to finalize the plan at the G20 summit later this month.

7/2/2021 White House Press Secy. Psaki Reiterates False Claim ‘GOP Want To Defund Police’ by OAN Newsroom
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during the daily briefing at the White House
in Washington, Wednesday, June 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki recently reiterated her false claims that it was Republicans who wanted to defund the police.    She made the erroneous statement Wednesday, but she failed to name any GOP lawmakers who would back defunding the American law enforcment.
    In reality, defunding the police was proposed by Democrats who are now trying to flip the narrative to blame Republicans.    GOP lawmakers have responded to Psaki’s claim that “actions speak louder than words” by pointing out that it was the Democrat-run cities of New York, Chicago and Seattle that slashed police budgets over the past year.
    Meanwhile, crime has skyrocketed by an average 35 percent nationwide as a result of Democrat crackdown on police departments.

7/2/2021 Photos Surface Showing Joe, Hunter Biden Meeting With Overseas Business Executives Despite Denial by OAN Newsroom
Photo of Joe Biden, center, his son Hunter Biden, left, taken on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)
    New images have surfaced on Hunter Biden’s laptop, calling into question Joe Biden’s claims during his 2020 presidential campaign that he did not discuss international business with his son.    Photos published on Thursday appear to show Joe and Hunter Biden with Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim among other executives during a meeting in Washington, D.C.
    The photos are believed to have been taken in 2015 when the elder Biden was vice president.    The laptop also contains emails that further confirm the meeting took place.
    President Trump attempted to draw attention to Hunter’s laptop during his campaign, but was dismissed by mainstream media as a fringe theory.
An exterior view of “The Mac Shop” in Wilmington, Del. where Hunter Biden’s laptop was brought in
for repairs and never picked up, is seen on October 21, 2020. (ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
    In an April interview, Hunter claimed there could be “a laptop out there that was stolen from me.”    “It could be that I was hacked.    It could be that it was the…that it was Russian intelligence.    It could be that it was stolen from me,” he said.
Critics have cast doubt on Joe Biden’s claims, accusing both him and his son of a conflict of interest.

7/2/2021 Liberal MSM Host Tries To Play Off Border Crisis by OAN Newsroom
Joy Reid speaks during the during the TIME 100 Summit, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
    As the crisis at the southern border has continued to spiral out of control, liberal media appeared to downplay the record-breaking numbers of immigrants who have crossed into the U.S. illegally. On her show on Thursday, MSNBC host Joy Reid criticized Republican governors for sending law enforcement to help the overwhelmed Customs and Border Patrol agents at the Texas border.
    Reid took aim at both Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) and Gov. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) by suggesting the pair was only sending aid for political gain and not to curb the recent influx in illegal immigrants.    Reid specifically accused Noem’s efforts to secure the border as an attempt to “pander to the MAGA crowd” and increase her chances of success for the 2024 presidential race.
    “Fifty national guards troops are being deployed in response to Greg Abbott’s plea for more border security for a nonexistent crisis.    Noem said they’ll be there for two to three months in a word salad statement of GOP talking points,” she stated.    “…Actually Kristi, your message is I’m running for President in 2024.”
    Reid went on to mock American’s concerns about border security by labeling it simply as a GOP talking point.

7/2/2021 Report: Biden Has Most Expensive White House Payroll In History by OAN Newsroom
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Joe Biden has been reported to have the most expensive White House payroll in U.S. history.    In its annual Staff Report to Congress on Thursday, the White House detailed salaries for all of its more than 500 employees.
    Biden’s staff will cost taxpayers nearly $50 million a year, which is approximately $10 million per year more than the Trump administration.    Press Secretary Jen Psaki and 21 other aides topped the list by taking in the maximum salary of $180,000 dollars per year.
    Biden acted fast in comparison to his predecessors when staffing the White House with a noticeable influx in so-called czars, assistants and fellows.    There are already 190 more employees within the White House than there were during President Trump’s time in office and 80 more than the staff under Barack Obama.
    Over the next four years, Biden’s staff is projected to cost taxpayers more than $200 million dollars.    In comparison, the Trump administration spent less than $165 million and had nearly 200 fewer employees.

7/2/2021 Cities See Rise In Crime After Defunding The Police by OAN Newsroom
Long Description - Three New York Police Department officers. (AP Photo)
    After the death of George Floyd, many U.S. cities run by Democrat leaders defunded their police departments.    However, after a surge in various crimes such as homicides and shootings, officials have taken steps to increase funding for law enforcement.
    New York decided to cut funding from their law enforcement agencies after defund the police movements urged leaders to make changes.    However, a 77 percent increase in shootings in March prompted New York to raise funding for law enforcement.
    “The task force said it was important to address on a budget level the need to focus more on our young people, the need to make a clear statement that our investments and our young people are our future,” Mayor Bill De Blasio (D-N.Y.) announced.    “Policing matters, for sure.”
    Meanwhile, homicides in Pennsylvania have increased 34 percent this year. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) weighed in by saying calls to defund the police have escalated crime.
    “I think there are other sources of this problem.    It’s probably complex,” he explained.    “It’s probably multilayered, but a contributing factor is probably this movement that’s so hostile to police.    The idea of defunding the police.    The idea that police are systemically racist.”
    Los Angeles also cut police funding last year, but the mayor recently proposed a funding increase after seeing more shootings and murders.    The city has seen an almost 30 percent increase in homicides so far this year.    Both Minneapolis and Seattle also want to replenish their police force following an uptick in crime on black Americans after cutting funds.
    In June, Joe Biden announced more funding for police departments.
    “The president has never supported defunding the police.    He’s always supported community policing programs,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated.    “He’s supported giving funding to states and localities around the country, including through his American Rescue Plan, because he thinks there is an essential role to play for community policing.”
    Biden has insisted on attributing the escalation in crime to gun violence, despite an increase in car thefts, robbery and rape in major cities across the country.
    Nationally, murder has skyrocketed in 2020 and many cities saw homicide rates rise 30 percent in the last three months.    In 2020, the state of California saw its deadliest year since 2007.    Homicides in the state increased 31 percent.
    If the current crime rates keep increasing, 2021 may see the highest murder rate in a quarter century.

7/2/2021 Rep. McCarthy: Dems Looking To Defund The Border by OAN Newsroom
U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) speaks during his weekly
news conference December 5, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has slammed the House Homeland Security funding bill, saying it does nothing to secure the border.nbsp;   During an interview on Friday, McCarthy said it’s not enough for Democrats to defund our cities, but now they have to defund the borders as well.
    He noted the proposal didn’t add any extra money for Border Patrol agents working overtime and being pushed like never before.
    “You know what else the Democrats are doing?    They didn’t add one extra dollar to the Border Patrol agents who are working overtime, who are being pushed like they’ve never been pushed before to protect us,” said McCarthy.
    The Appropriations Committee’s proposal provides more than $14 billion in funding for the Customs and Border Protection, which is down more than $900 million from the current fiscal year.    Additionally, the drop in funds provides no additional funding for more Border Patrol agents or construction of a wall at the southern border.
    Meanwhile, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told lawmakers they didn’t need any more funding and that the money would be of better use on improving technology and more secure ports of entry.

7/2/2021 Chicago Officials Slam Mayor Lori Lightfoot For City’s Rising Crime by OAN Newsroom
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot greets guests at an event held to celebrate Pride Month
at the Center on Halstead on June 07, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
    Several Chicago city officials have called for an emergency meeting with Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) to demand she bring answers to the city’s rising crime rates.
    According to reports, 19 Chicago council members recently demanded a meeting with Lightfoot after the mayor falsely asserted the city’s crime rates were declining.    “All of our major indices show a decline in our crime, and our homicides and our shootings year over year are down,” said the mayor on Friday.
    Local reports said there have been 200 more people shot this year in Chicago than last year.    Additionally, the city has seen a 55 percent increase in homicides since 2020.
    The group is criticizing Lightfoot’s previous efforts to combat crime and have stressed that residents “want answers.”

7/2/2021 Survey: Majority Of Teachers Say CRT Should Not Be Taught In Schools by OAN Newsroom
A man holds up a sign against Critical Race Theory during a protest outside a Washoe County
School District board meeting in Reno, Nev. (Andy Barron/Reno Gazette-Journal via AP, File)
    Teachers across the U.S. have continued efforts to fight against critical race theory being taught in their schools.    Reports on Thursday cited a recent survey showing 55 percent of teachers said the option to teach CRT in K-12 education should not exist.
    Parents across the country have also publicly opposed the teachings be added to the curriculum of their children’s education.    Almost half of U.S. states have proposed legislation against the indoctrination of children through CRT in public schools.
    The survey was conducted by the Association of American Educators and over 1,000 responses from teachers across the country were collected.    Results showed 96 percent of schools were not requiring curriculum to include CRT.    This suggests the recent frenzy that has been projected by the media does not accurately depict what has been happening in classrooms.
    The majority of teachers reported no changes were made to their curriculums regarding race amidst the past year’s CRT movement.    In fact, many teachers who submitted to the survey shared concerns the CRT debate was interfering with more constructive discussions addressing race.
    Five states have signed bills banning critical race theory from being taught in public schools.    Lawmakers in 17 other states have proposed legislation to limit these teachings.

7/3/2021 Oil up $0.25 to $75.21, DOW up 153 to 34,786.

7/3/2021 El Salvador Attorney General Seizes Opposition Party Assets In Corruption Case by Nelson Renteria
El Salvador's Attorney General Rodolfo Delgado speaks during a news conference after the National Civil Police executed a raid at
the National Republican Alliance (ARENA) party headquarters in San Salvador, El Salvador, July 2, 2021.REUTERS/Jose Cabezas
    SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) – The attorney general’s office in El Salvador on Friday seized some assets of the conservative opposition party in what it said was an attempt to recover funds embezzled from a donation by Taiwan between 2003 and 2004.
    Guarded by police agents, specialized officials raided the main headquarters of the Alianza Republicana Nacionalista (ARENA), which governed the Central American country between 1989 and 2009, seizing two buildings and 17 vehicles.
    The attorney general’s office also froze funds the party received per vote in the February election.    In total, it seized assets and funds worth $3.9 million.
    “We must develop all the necessary actions to recover the money that Salvadorans have systematically stolen,” Attorney General Rodolfo Delgado told reporters.
    ARENA did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
    The late Francisco Flores, who was president between 1999 and 2004, received unspecified donations from Taiwan for reconstruction following two earthquakes in 2001, according to the investigations.
    However, Delgado said that $10 million had been transferred to ARENA party accounts and later used to finance the electoral campaign of Flores’ successor, Antonio Saca, who was president from 2004 to 2009.
    Reuters was unable to contact Saca, who is currently in prison and has admitted to corruption charges.
    Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, announced on Twitter that one of the seized buildings would be converted into a gym for athletes while public debt would be used to remodel 15 schools.
    The bronze statue of the ARENA party founder, the late Roberto d’Aubuisson, located inside the party building in San Salvador, would be melted to make manhole covers, Bukele added.
    “Justice at last,” he wrote on Twitter.
(Reporting by Nelson Renteria; Writing by Stefanie Eschenbacher; Editing by Leslie Adler)

7/3/2021 Migrant Boy Abandoned In Mexico Left Honduras With His Father, Consul Says by Lizbeth Diaz
FILE PHOTO: Members of the National Guard and paramedics observe a boy, thought by authorities to be about 2 years old, who was found
alone near a truck that had carried more than 100 migrants in suffocating conditions at the Ocozocoautla-Las Choapas road,
in Veracruz state, Mexico June 28, 2021. Picture taken June 28, 2021 provided by Mexican authorities/Handout via REUTERS
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A two-year-old migrant boy found abandoned in Mexico earlier this week had left Honduras with his father, a Honduran consulate official said on Friday.
    The boy was found in Veracruz state, alone near a truck that carried more than 100 migrants in suffocating conditions, and surrounded by snack wrappers, half-empty water bottles, and trash bags.
    Consul Raul Morazan said it was not clear where the father was or how he had been separated from his child.
    “It is shocking and surprising,” Morazan, who is based in Veracruz, said.    “The question we ask ourselves is why abandon the child.”
    A woman in Copan, Honduras, who identified herself as the mother using a document that matched the vaccine records the boy carried, told Honduran authorities the boy and his father had left the country with plans to travel to Virginia in the United States where the family had relatives.    The trio had planned to reunite there.
    Morazan said the woman told authorities she had received a call from the father in recent days and he said they were both well.
    Neither Mexican nor Honduran authorities have released the name of the child or the parents.    The National Migration Institute of Mexico said it had not yet established a date to transfer the minor back to Honduras.
(Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz in Mexico City and Gustavo Palencia in Tegucigalpa, writing by Stefanie Eschenbacher; editing by Jane Wardell)

7/3/2021 U.S. House Panel Passes Amendment To Stop Sanctions Waiver On Nord Stream 2 by Timothy Gardner
FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project is seen on a pipe at the Chelyabinsk pipe
rolling plant in Chelyabinsk, Russia, February 26, 2020. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Biden administration could face pressure to block Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline after a House of Representatives panel this week passed an amendment seeking to repeal the U.S. State Department’s ability to waive sanctions on the project.
    “These sanctions are mandatory not discretionary,” said Representative Marcy Kaptur, a Democrat and a sponsor of the amendment to a foreign aid bill.    The House panel passed it unanimously.
    The amendment seeks to repeal sanctions waivers in fiscal year 2022.    But the pipeline is 95% finished and the bill has a long way to go before becoming law, needing to pass the full House, the Senate, and be signed by President Joe Biden.
    In May, the State Department sent to Congress a report that concluded that Nord Stream 2 AG and its CEO, Matthias Warnig, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, engaged in sanctionable activity.    But Secretary of State Antony Blinken immediately waived those sanctions, saying it was in the U.S. national interest.
    President Joe Biden, a Democrat, has opposed the $11 billion project that would take Russian gas from the Arctic to Germany, saying it is a bad deal for Europe.    But Biden also wants to improve ties with Germany, an ally he needs to help deal with broader issues including climate change, the economic recovery and relations with Iran and China.    The United States is an exporter of natural gas to Europe in the form of LNG, but Russian gas is cheaper.
    Washington fears Russia could use Nord Stream 2 as leverage to weaken European Union states by increasing their dependency on Moscow.    The project, now about 95% complete, would bypass Ukraine, depriving it of lucrative transit fees and potentially undermining its struggle against Russian aggression.
    A State Department spokesperson said the Biden administration will continue to “examine entities engaged in potentially sanctionable behavior” and work closely with Congress on the issue.
(This story deletes reference to bill needing to pass a second House panel)
(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by David Gregorio and Alistair Bell)

7/3/2021 Statues Of Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth Toppled In Canada.
A defaced statue of Queen Victoria lies after being toppled during a rally, following the discovery
of the remains of hundreds of children at former indigenous residential schools, outside the provincial legislature on
Canada Day in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada July 1, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon VanRaes TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
    WINNIPEG, Canada (Reuters) - Protesters have toppled statues of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II in the Canadian city of Winnipeg as anger grows over the discovery of the remains of hundreds of children in unmarked graves at former indigenous schools.
A crowd chanted “no pride in genocide” before pulling down the statues of the monarchs.
    The action took place on Canada Day on Thursday, when traditionally celebrations take place across the country.
    However, many cities scrapped events this year as the scandal over the indigenous children made Canadians confront their colonial history.    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the day would be “a time for reflection.”
    Almost 1,000 unmarked graves have been found at former residential schools in British Columbia and Saskatchewan that were mainly run by the Catholic Church and funded by the government.
    For 165 years and as recently as 1996, the schools forcibly separated indigenous children from their families, subjecting them to malnourishment and physical and sexual abuse in what the Truth and Reconciliation Commission called “cultural genocide” in 2015.
    In Winnipeg, a crowd cheered as Queen Victoria’s statue fell outside the Manitoba provincial legislature.    Protesters, many of whom wore orange clothing, also kicked the toppled statue and danced around it.    The pedestal and statue were daubed in red paint hand marks.
    A nearby statue of Queen Elizabeth was also pulled down.    She is Canada’s current head of state, while Victoria reigned from 1837 to 1901 when Canada was part of the British Empire.
    Protests in support of the indigenous children also took place on Thursday in Toronto, Canada’s financial hub, while a #CancelCanadaDay march in the capital Ottawa drew thousands in support of victims and survivors of the residential school system.
    Vigils and rallies were held across other parts of the country.    Many participants wore orange clothing, which has become the symbol of the movement.
    In his Canada Day message, Trudeau said the discoveries of the remains of the children at the former schools “have rightfully pressed us to reflect on our country’s historical failures.”    Injustices still exist for indigenous peoples and many others in Canada, he said.
    A spokesman for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the government condemned any defacing of statues of the queen.
    “Our thoughts are with Canada’s indigenous community following these tragic discoveries, and we follow these issues closely and continue to engage with the Government of Canada on indigenous matters,” he said.
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

7/3/2021 Police Take 11 Men Into Custody After Standoff Situation Ends In Mass. by OAN Newsroom
This photo provided by Massachusetts State Police shows police blocking off a section of
Interstate 95 near Wakefield, Mass., on Saturday, July 3, 2021. (Massachusetts State Police via AP)
    Police in Massachusetts have said a standoff situation has come to an end, involving a group of “heavily armed individuals.” Reports said the men fled into the woods about 15 miles north of Boston after a traffic stop Saturday morning.    The standoff lasted for 9 hours.
    The men were reportedly armed with handguns and rifles.    They have identified themselves as “Moorish American Arms” who were traveling from Rhode Island to Maine for “training.”
    This prompted police to close down a section of the interstate and issue a shelter-in-place order for nearby communities.
    Col. Christopher Mason of the Massachusetts State Police said, “the self-professed leader wants it very much known that their ideology is not anti-government.    I think the investigation that follows from this interaction will provide us with more insight into what their motivation, what their ideology is.”
    11 men in total have since been taken into custody by the State Police Special Tactical Operations Team.    The investigation is ongoing with police sweeping both the group’s vehicles and the nearby area.
    The shelter-in place order has since been lifted.

7/3/2021 Report: Emails Show Fla. Condo Owners Reached Out To City About Building Renovations But Were Ignored by OAN Newsroom
This aerial view, shows search and rescue personnel working on site after the partial collapse of the
Champlain Towers South in Surfside, north of Miami Beach, on June 24, 2021. (CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)
    Newly uncovered emails show the owners of the collapsed Florida condo were ignored by city officials over a lengthy period of time.
    The new reports show building officials of the Champlain Towers South condominium reached out to the Surfside Building Department back in May regarding the need for space to conduct renovations, but were never given a response.
    The lack of correspondence prompted condo building manager, Scott Stewart, to accuse the city of “holding us up.”    The requested renovations included repairs to a concrete slab under the pool deck and planters.
Search and Rescue teams look for possible survivors in the partially collapsed 12-story
Champlain Towers South condo building on June 27, 2021 in Surfside, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
    The building department finally reached out to the owners regarding the logistics of the repairs on June 23, just 14 hours before the building collapsed.
    Emails dated April 2020 also show owners had questions about the building’s 40-year assessment more than a year before the assessment was due. Residents had reportedly been told in 2018 the building was in “good shape.”

7/3/2021 Mayor Signs Order To Demolish Remainder Of Building In Fla. Condo Collapse by OAN Newsroom
A general view of the Crestview Towers Condominium on July 2, 2021 in North Miami Beach, Fla. (Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images)
    Miami officials have signed an emergency order to demolish the remaining part of the building from the Surfside condo collapse.    Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava (D) announced the order on Friday, however it remains unclear when the demolition will occur.
    The mayor said bringing the structure down as quickly as possible is critical to protect the community.    “The demolition of the building is going to proceed based on the recommendations of the engineers, as we stated yesterday and as I stated today, that is going to take time,” said Levine Cava.
    The mayor said it is likely to take weeks and that it’s not possible from any perspective to move more rapidly than that.    She stressed the concern involved in compromising the search, but that the building itself poses certain risks.    Officials say they are trying their best to balance the two.
    This comes after the city of North Miami Beach closed a 156-unit condominium building, citing unsafe structural and electrical conditions.    On Friday, residents in the Crestview Towers Condominium were forced to collect their personal items after an audit found the building suffered unsafe structural and electrical conditions.
    North Miami Beach launched a review of all high-rise buildings above five stories to determine if they’re in compliance with the city’s 40-year recertification process in wake of the Surfside collapse.
    Meanwhile, authorities warn the complex operation at Surfside still faces more challenges including weather, the approaching Hurricane Elsa and the rest of the building threatening to collapse.
    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said, “it is possible that this area could see a tropical storm…our Department of Emergency Management is assuming that will happen and making the necessary preparations to be able, obviously, to protect a lot of the equipment.    You could potentially have an event with the building as well.”
    Meanwhile, Mayor Levine Cava said their top priority remains with the search and rescue.    “I want to be very clear about that, and we will take no action that will jeopardize our ability to continue the search and rescue mission,” said the mayor.
    In the meantime, authorities are still conducting investigations into what caused the collapse.

7/3/2021 Report: Ambush-Style Attacks On Police Up 91 Percent This Year by OAN Newsroom
Protesters clash with police during a rally against the death of George Floyd at the hands
of police on May 28, 2020 in Union Square in New York City. (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
    A top law enforcement advocacy group has claimed attacks on police officers are skyrocketing, citing a recent wave of anti-police rhetoric.    On Thursday, the National Fraternal Order of Police claimed these attacks have surged 91 percent in the past year.
    The organization pointed out 150 officers have been shot, 28 have been killed by gunfire and 51 officers have been shot in 40 ambush-style attacks so far this year.    The order attributes the “defund the police” movement and rise in hateful rhetoric targeting law enforcement as reasons for the wave of violence.
    Several pro-police organizations have pointed to Democrat leadership as bearing some responsibility, arguing they aren’t using their positions of power to quell the hateful rhetoric. Joe Biden has gone so far as to criticize the so-called militarization of police departments and has claimed officers end up becoming the enemy of the communities they serve.
    Supporters of law enforcement warn anti-police sentiment not only puts officers’ lives at risk, but also the lives of law abiding citizens.    They point out the increasing violence in Democrat run cities, where police officers are resigning in droves due to extreme danger on their lives and lack of respect from residents.
    In the meantime, several Democrat officials across the country are making moves to refund police departments to combat the rise in crime in their cities.    However, Republicans believe respect in law enforcement needs to be replenished before departments see officers return to fighting crime.

7/3/2021 Head Of Independent Review Commission Discusses Findings On Sexual Assault In Military by OAN Newsroom
Soldiers, officers and civilian employees attend the commencement ceremony for the U.S. Army’s annual observance of Sexual Assault Awareness
and Prevention Month in the Pentagon Center Courtyard March 31, 2015 in Arlington, Virginia. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    New findings that detail sexual assault in the military have been released and reveal shocking statistics.    On Friday, head of the Independent Review Commission, Lynn Rosenthal, discussed the findings at the Pentagon.
    “For decades leaders have said that there is no tolerance for sexual assault, but in practice all too often there is nothing but tolerance.    As one senior enlisted officer told us in our listening sessions, zero tolerance actually means 100 percent tolerance,” said Rosenthal.
    The commission met with more than 600 people including survivors, current and previous service members, commanders and several other individuals to conduct the extensive review.
    Rosenthal laid out the statistics, reporting 20,000 service members experience sexual assault every year with less than 8,000 reporting those occurrences.
    Additionally, “less than 5,000 of those are unrestricted reports meaning the victim has said he or she wants a full investigation and only a tiny fraction of those end up with any kind of action at all within the military justice system.”
    Rosenthal said every survivor they spoke with regretted reporting their assault due to fear and added that some even contemplated suicide.     “Victims pay a high price for coming forward to report their assault and again this was a shocking, heartbreaking finding.”
    The review’s findings come after Republican Rep. Mike Turner (Ohio) and Democrat Rep. Jackie Speier (Calif.) introduced legislation to the House, putting prosecution decisions in the hands of independent military prosecutors.

7/3/2021 82 Arrested In Mo. Human Trafficking Investigation by OAN Newsroom
A group of foreign women rounded up by police from karaoke bars in Thailand’s southern province of Narathiwat are taken to city hall during
a campaign against prostitution and human trafficking involving women and minors on November 9, 2018. (MADAREE TOHLALA/AFP via Getty Images)
    A human trafficking investigation out of Missouri has led to the arrest of 82 people with 31 victims rescued in what officials have called a “massive multi-agency operation.”
    According to the Department of Homeland Security, the 10-day operation took place in three different cities across Missouri and concluded earlier this week.    Of the 31 people rescued, 17 were adults and 14 were missing children.    The youngest victim was only four years old.
    The suspects arrested face multiple charges, including soliciting prostitution, narcotics violations and felony assault on a police officer.    The names of those arrested have not yet been released.

7/3/2021 President Trump Headlines Save America Rally In Sarasota, Fla. by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the Sarasota Fairgrounds Saturday, July 3, 2021, in Sarasota, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)
    President Donald Trump held a campaign-style rally at the Sarasota Fairgrounds in Florida.    Crowds gathered well before the sunrise on Saturday to enter the long-awaited Save America rally.
    Taking the podium, Trump condemned the radical left and their intent to defund police departments by slamming Democrats for the mayhem they have brought to their cities.    The 45th president urged the crowd to vote red for law, order and justice to be reinstated within the nation.
    In addition, Trump took aim at the justice system for targeting people based on their political standing and argued they only seek to prosecute him as well as other Republicans.    He went on to slam the Biden administration by comparing his accomplishments while in office.
    “But now Joe Biden has intentionally dismantled the border and allowed the cartels, coyotes, child smugglers, woman smugglers…drug dealers, murderers and savage MS-13 gang members to infiltrate our country like never before,” he stated.    “It’s never been life this.    Think of it six months ago.    We had the safest border in history and now we have the worst and most unsafe border in history.”
    The 45th president went on to reiterate he won the presidency and added great things will soon happen for our country.    His speech was followed by a firework show, with patriotic music and crowds chanting his name.

7/3/2021 Record Number Of GOP Women To Run For House Seats In 2022 by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Nancy Mace in Mount Pleasant, S.C. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)
    In 2020, GOP women won 11 out of 14 house seats that marked Republican victories over Democrat incumbents.    Those wins not only brought the number of Republican congresswomen to 31, but also gave confidence to other conservative women to get their names on the ballot for the upcoming midterm elections.
    The Wall Street Journal recently reported that 127 Republican women have already announced plans to run for House seats.    This has been a significant spike compared to the 2020 elections, where only 50 women had announced prospective plans to run at a similar point in time.
    In 2020, former Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Rep. Michelle Fischbach (R-Minn.) beat the district’s 30-year incumbent Democrat after receiving a coveted endorsement from 45th President Trump.
    “Well its a conservative district.    I mean, four years ago it went overwhelming for President Trump and this year again it voted for President Trump,” she explained.    “They are a conservative group and they wanted a strong conservative voice in Washington D.C.
    In addition, Rep. Nancy Mace (R- S.C.) was elected last year and was the first woman to be elected to represent South Carolina in Congress.    Since her election, Mace has criticized Joe Biden’s economic agenda and believes after Americans feel the pain of his policies, they will support GOP candidates in the midterms.
    Mace told sources in November it’s important for GOP values of freedom and entrepreneurship speak to people form all backgrounds and walks of life.
    “We really reflect the faces of America,” she expressed.    “The diversity and the inclusion that we have in the Republican party, that is our future.”
    The uptick in women running for House seats comes as the GOP works to take back the majority from Democrats in 2022.

7/3/2021 Pa. Gov. Vetoes Bill To Ban Vaccine Passports by OAN Newsroom
Gov. Tom Wolf at City Hall in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
    Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) has killed a bill that would have banned vaccine passports within the state.    The Democrat claimed he made the decision to veto the bill because it would have limited medical providers access to information on vaccine rates.
    However, supporters of the bill argued it would have protected the privacy of personal information.    The General Assembly of Pennsylvania initially approved the bill in efforts to preserve medical freedoms for state residents.
    The measure, titled Senate Bill 618, would have prevented the requirement of vaccine passports to enter certain places, including state sponsored schools, as well as limited the powers of the state’s health secretary.    It would have also restricted college-level schools from receiving state funding for mandating students to show proof of having received the vaccine before being allowed on college grounds.
    Wolf went on to say although he had no plans to mandate vaccine passports on a statewide level, all businesses and agencies should be allowed to make their own rules regarding vaccine requirements.

7/3/2021 Poll: American Pride Dropping Among College Students by OAN Newsroom
An American flag flaps in the wind in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
    Pride in being an American has lost ground among college students.    Students expressed not only their dislike for the U.S. in a recent Campus Reform video, but also how college shaped their view of America.
    A recent survey out of North Dakota State University supported this trend by reporting just over half of students were proud to be American.    The study also showed conservative students expressed more pride in America, with nearly 90 percent having said they were proud to be residents.
    However, only 40 percent of liberal-leaning students said they were supportive of the U.S. College professors have said to be surprised over the poll, as previous studies reported college students to have positive opinion on the U.S. as well as pride in being an American regardless of political party affiliation.
    Some of the students interviewed by Campus Reform went on to say their college professors strongly influenced their views of America.

7/3/2021 Lawmakers Go After Facebook’s Monopoly Powers by OAN Newsroom
The Facebook logo on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York’s Times Square. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
    A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Capitol Hill have urged the Federal Trade Commission to pursue Facebook on antitrust grounds.    The diverse group, ranging from Democrat Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) to Republican Sen. Mike Lee (Utah), sent a letter to the FTC on Friday with requests for the agency go after the social media giant for monopoly powers.
    An antitrust case against Facebook was thrown out earlier this week.    U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg ruled insufficient evidence for the claims against the social media entity, which stated they controlled well over half of the social networking market.    The bipartisan group of elected officials argued Facebook has used its power to suppress competition.
    The FTC was allotted 30 days to review and refile the case, with lawmakers dedicated to push the commission to continue their challenging efforts against Facebook.    The FTC has been in the process of reviewing the case, but have yet to make a decision on future action.
    Meanwhile, lawmakers increase calls to Congress for tighter antitrust laws in order to better control the powers of Big Tech companies.

7/4/2021 Democrats Worry Kamala Harris Couldn’t Beat Republican If Nominated To Be Party’s 2024 Presidential Candidate by OAN Newsroom
Kamala Harris addresses the crowd at the 2019 South Carolina Democratic Party State
Convention on June 22, 2019 in Columbia, S.C. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
    Democrats are worried that issues with Kamala Harris will give Republicans a bigger opportunity to regain the White House.    Reports on Friday said Democrats are scared that Harris, if nominated to be the party’s 2024 presidential nominee, would lose to any Republican she faces.
    “The woman couldn’t even get elected in a Democratic primary in her own state or Iowa.    If she ran nationally I imagine the voters would reject her too,” said Luke Twombly, communications director for the Texas GOP.    “I think almost any Republican we have would beat her.    I think Trump would shellack her.”
    Harris has faced major backlash for her handling of the southern border crisis and for not traveling to the epicenter of the migrant surge.    Additionally, critics have gone as far to compare her to Hilary Clinton.
    “We have an heir apparent who is anointed that people don’t like and if you challenge her you are dismissed as standing in the way of history when there are some real legitimate concerns,” voiced a Democrat Capitol Hill insider.
    Meanwhile, sources for Politico have described Harris’ office as “chaotic” and an “abusive environment.”    “It’s not a healthy environment and people often feel mistreated.    It’s not a place where people feel supported,” said one of Politico’s sources.

7/4/2021 Greek Economy Won’t Close Again Because Of COVID-19, PM Says
FILE PHOTO: A woman rests on a new cement walkway next to the Parthenon temple, built to improve access for people
with disabilities atop the Acropolis hill, in Athens, Greece, June 8, 2021. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis/
    ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece’s economy would not close again because of the coronavirus pandemic if it was just to protect an unvaccinated minority, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a newspaper interview released on Sunday.
    Greece has fared well in the first wave of the COVID-19 last year. But a resurgence in COVID-19 infections has forced the country to impose lockdown restrictions since November which have cost many billions of euros to an economy slowly emerging from a decade-long crisis.
    Greece has been easing restrictions as infections fall, but concerns are rising about the spread of the more contagious Delta variant.
    With about 35% of its 11 million population fully inoculated, the government last week offered young people cash and phone data to boost vaccination rates.
    “When we imposed across-the-board measures, there were no vaccines,” Mitsotakis told Kathimerini newspaper.    “We do have vaccines now.”
    Mitsotakis said he can’t make vaccinations mandatory.    “But everyone assumes his responsibility.    The country will not close again for the protection of a few unvaccinated.”
    Mitsotakis said that he hoped that relations between Greece and Turkey will be better this summer than last summer when the two historic rivals came close to armed conflict.
    The two NATO allies, at odds over competing territorial claims in the eastern Mediterranean to migrant boats and the status of Cyprus, have been trying to lower tensions since.
    “I am more certain that the summer of 2021 will be calmer than the summer of 2020,” Mitsotakis said.
    However, we have not solved our differences all of a sudden and there will be consequences for Turkey if it opted to fuel tensions, he added.
(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

7/4/2021 Venice Beach To Clean Up Homeless Camps, L.A. City Council Launches 6-Week Plan by OAN Newsroom
A man jogs along the beach as authorities prepare to begin clearing homeless encampments at the Venice Beach Boardwalk ahead
of the Independence Day holiday weekend, July 2, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)
    Los Angeles has launched a plan to clean up Venice Beach’s homeless camps.    Last week City Councilman Mike Bonin said the Venice Beach Encampment to Home program will find alternative housing for all people living along the boardwalk over the next six weeks.
    Bonin added they will not issue threats of incarceration, but are instead teaming up with St. Joseph’s Center to offer housing, shelter and services in efforts to get people off the boardwalk.    On Thursday, the Los Angeles City Council voted on a $5 million fund for interim housing.
    “We’re launching a major effort to confront the homelessness crisis at Venice Beach, address the safety needs of the housed and the unhoused, and fully reopen the park and beach for general public use.    How?    We’re offering housing, not handcuffs,” Bonin tweeted.
    In the meantime, the Bureau of Sanitation has continued to clean the area and flyers are being posted outlining a plan to restore normal hours of operation of the beach.

7/4/2021 Demolition Of Surfside, Fla. Condo To Take Place Between Sunday Night And Monday Morning by OAN Newsroom
This aerial photo shows part of the 12-story oceanfront Champlain Towers South Condo
that collapsed in Surfside, Fla. (Amy Beth Bennett /South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)
    Miami officials have made plans to move forward with demolishing the remaining structure of the mostly collapsed Surfside condo in Florida.    During a press conference on Sunday, officials announced the demolition was set to take place between 10 p.m. on Sunday and 3 a.m. on Monday.
    Workers on the site have been drilling into columns of the structure, where explosive charges will be inserted to bring the building down.    Officials reported search and rescue would resume operations in the matter of minutes once given the all clear.    The number of deaths currently stands at 24, with 121 people still missing.
    “The method of demolition is known as energetic felling.    It’s a process that uses small, strategically placed explosives and relies on gravity to bring the building down in place,” Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava (D) explained.    “The demolition itself is confined to the immediate area around the building.”
    As a precautionary measure, officials have urged residents in the immediate vicinity to remain indoors during the hours of demolition.    Cava warned of dust and various other particles to impact the area as a result of the remaining structure being brought down.
    Meanwhile, as demolition efforts are taking place ahead of a tropical storm, officials say impacts in Western Florida could begin by late Monday.

7/4/2021 Analysts: Gas Prices To Remain Above $3 Due To Biden’s Policies by OAN Newsroom
Prices are displayed above the different grades of gasoline available to motorists near Cheyenne, Wyo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
    Experts have projected gasoline prices to remain high in coming months amid a rising demand and restrained supply due to Joe Biden’s energy policies.    According to latest estimates by the American Automobile Association, average price of gas could remain above $3 per gallon across the U.S. this coming summer.
    Analysts went on to say the reopening of U.S. economy and the summer travel season have been driving the demand.    Gas prices rose 42 percent from a year ago and hit the highest at nearly $6 dollars per gallon in the San Francisco Bay area.
    Each year, gas prices are expected to lower toward the end of August each year following the downturn of summer vacations and travel.    Experts warned prices may not begin to decline until the month of October, although Republican-led states may have cheaper fuel.
    Meanwhile, Biden’s restrictions of U.S. drilling, the lack of pipeline capacity and potential disruptions by hurricanes are all weighing on gas supply this summer.

7/4/2021 Dr. Gandhi: ‘Delta Strain’ Is Not More Virulent Or Deadly by OAN Newsroom
An Indian woman in personal protective suit walks towards a COVID-19 ward of a hospital
as others waits for their test results in Hyderabad, India. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)
    A top medical expert has argued fears of the Delta strain of COVID-19 have been overblown in media reports and assured the public there was no reason to be scared.    Professor Monica Gandhi of the University of California, San Francisco stated although the strain has been able to spread faster, its virulence has remained low.
    Dr. Gandhi added the Delta variant, which was first identified in India, does not cause more severe illness than any previous strains of COVID-19.    She suggested public health officials were creating this dialogue of severe illness from the new strain as a ploy to increase vaccination rates.
    Dr. Gandhi went on to express she did not expect a surge in COVID-19 cases to occur.    She also highlighted the role of natural immunity and how it could protect against reinfection cases.
    The CDC has recently reported COVID-19 survival rate is still above 99.9 percent.

7/4/2021 President Trump Pushes Border Security, Election Integrity, Economy At Fla. Rally by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump arrives to hold a rally on July 3, 2021 in Sarasota, Florida. (Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images)
    President Donald Trump took the stage in Sarasota, Florida on Saturday, heading into the Fourth of July weekend, in a massive rally in support of the MAGA agenda.    Trump touched on a number of subjects as the 45th president shared his thoughts on everything from the election to China.
    Speaking on the southern border, Trump noted how Joe Biden has “intentionally dismantled the border,” allowing cartels, smugglers, drug dealers, murderers and gang members to infiltrate the country.    He said just half a year ago the U.S. had the safest border in history and now it has the worst.
    “We are witnessing an illegal mass migration that is planned, facilitated, funded, aided and abetted by the far-left Democrats who thanks to a totally rigged and dishonest election, now control the United States government,” Trump announced to the crowd.
    Trump went on to call the U.S. election system “sick,” saying he’s not the one trying to undermine American democracy, but rather the one trying to save it.    He added, Democrats are working to take away free speech by creating a system for media and online censorship that only showcases the Democrat Party’s view, which he alleged is taking away free speech so the public can’t talk about corrupt elections.
President Donald Trump arrives to hold a rally on July 3, 2021 in Sarasota, Florida. (Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images)
    Trump said the Democrats used the COVID-19 pandemic to cheat by illegally changing the rules in key states.    Trump also blasted Biden’s tax hikes, calling them the biggest in history while he gave the public the biggest tax decrease in history.    He added that before the pandemic hit, he and Republicans built the greatest economy in the history of the world.
    “Remember, we passed record-setting tax cuts.    We imposed massive regulation cuts.    We adopted pro-American energy policies and achieved…oh, it’s so sad to say it because you won’t be seeing it anymore,” stated the 45th president.
    Trump also touched on the “defund the police” movement, saying Democrats are using misinformation to put the blame on Republicans.    He pointed out how many Jan. 6 protesters have been imprisoned while BLM and Antifa rioters continue to go free.
    He also blasted the fraud and conspiracy charges filed against the Trump administration and its’ chief financial officer, calling it a “terrible thing.”    Last week, Trump called the charges a “political witch hunt by the radical left,” saying it’s dividing our country like never before.
    Trump concluded by saying he’ll continue working to help secure support for Republicans and the MAGA agenda in the 2022 midterms, with the goal of retaking the House and the Senate.

7/4/2021 8 Injured In Texas Shooting, No Suspects In Custody by OAN Newsroom
In this photo on Twitter released by the Fort Worth Police, Fort Worth Police Chief Neil Noakes holds a news briefing
at the site of a shooting early Sunday, July 4, 2021, in Fort Worth, Texas. (Fort Worth Police Dept. via AP)
    Eight people have been shot near a car wash in Fort Worth, Texas.    The shooting took place on Sunday morning and police reported eight victims were taken to local hospitals in stable condition.
    Detectives determined the incident began after an argument between several male adults, where an individual left the scene to retrieve a gun and returned shooting into groups of people. Officers stated no one has been taken into custody and most of the victims were innocent bystanders.
    “This is an extremely tragic event on what is supposed to be a festive occasion, on Independence Day.    We’re seeing way too much gun violence across the nation,”    Fort Worth Police Department Chief Neil Noakes asserted.    “What I want the citizens to know is we’re doing everything we can at Fort Worth PD to put a stop to the senseless violence and to take guns out of the hands of criminals in Fort Worth, Texas.    It will not be tolerated.”
    Meanwhile, gun violence detectives are investigating the shooting.

7/4/2021 Rep. McCarthy Releases Message Wishing Americans Happy Fourth Of July by OAN Newsroom
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif. meets with reporters on Capitol Hill
in Washington, Thursday, July 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has observed the holiday with a message that emphasized our freedoms as Americans.    In a video released on Sunday, the Republican said Americans are free to pursue dreams, practice faith and live freely without an oppressive government.
    The lawmaker also urged Americans to never take freedom for granted.    He called on listeners to treasure and defend American freedom every single day.
    “Despite the ill-faded efforts of the elites, we are free to live our lives without an oppressive government trying to control our every thought,” he expressed.    “After the year we’ve all had, this Independence Day should hold special meaning. We can never take our freedoms for granted.”
    McCarthy’s message comes as other GOP figure, such as RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have also wished Americans a happy holiday.

7/4/2021 Australian Journalists Say Biden’s Erratic Behavior Encourages Enemies Of Freedom Worldwide by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden in Bridgeton, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)
    International media has continued to question Joe Biden’s fitness for office in the wake of latest episodes of his bizarre behavior.    According to Sky News Australia, Biden’s recent whispering in public speeches has encouraged all enemies of freedom around the world.
    While U.S. media outlets have failed to address Biden’s mental state, Australian journalists described Biden as an embarrassment of the once free world.    Australian media referred to Biden as “struggling,” “barely cogent,” and a “human corpse” before arguing Americans deserved a better leader than that.
    Sky News Australia host Chris Kenny commented on Biden’s recent behaviors, which he explained has become worse as time has gone on.    He compared Biden to President Trump by saying unlike Biden, the 45th president could efficiently read a script.
    Trump was also questioned on his mental state during his time in office.    He went on to take a cognitive test, which he passed with flying colors.    The Biden administration has yet to comment whether a cognitive exam would be included in Biden’s health screenings.
    Meanwhile, GOP lawmakers continue to express concerns over Biden’s mental decline and urge the Biden administration to address his recent behaviors.

7/4/2021 Fmr. White House Doctor, Rep. Ronny Jackson, Calls On Dems To Stick With Trump-Era Demands For POTUS To Take Cognitive Test by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) wears a protective mask while walking through the Canon Tunnel
to the U.S. Capitol on January 12, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images)
    Former White House physician and GOP Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) has called on Democrats to come through on their previous demands for a president to take a cognitive assessment.
    In an interview on Saturday, Jackson said during the Trump-era the far-left and mainstream media were demanding tests as the new standard for anybody who’s going to lead our country. He also pointed out the Biden White House has yet to say if the Democrat will take a cognitive test as part of his health screening later this year.
    The Republican explained the test is not to evaluate IQ, rather it is a standard test for age-related issues including dementia and cognitive decline.
    “We all know people who are 100-years old, who basically are as sharp as a tack, and we know people who are in their mid-60’s that have some cognitive difficulties…and I think he’s on that end of the spectrum,” said Jackson.
    He alleged “something concerning” is happening regarding Joe Biden’s health, claiming he appears to be confused more often now than earlier in his career.

7/4/2021 Ariz. Senators Expect Audit To Reveal ‘Significant’ Fraud
Sen. Wendy Rogers (R-Ariz.) is photographed. Rogers For Congress via AP)
    At least two Arizona state senators shared their expectations of the 2020 election audit to reveal significant fraud.    In a tweet on Saturday, Sen. Wendy Rogers (R-Ariz.) shared a report, which cited the alleged preliminary results of the Arizona audit.
    The report claimed the audit’s results would reveal large discrepancies between the 2020 ballot count and the actual vote.
    Rogers stated she and fellow Sen. Sonny Borrelli (R-Ariz.) supported such assessments.
    For his part, President Trump has appeared to also support such assessments and asserted Americans have known something was not right with last year’s vote.
    “If we lost the election, we would still have a good crowd,” he expressed.    “But you know what? I wouldn’t have a crowd that goes beyond what the eye can see, that stays in a thunderstorm…nobody wants to go home.”
    Arizona auditors have mentioned their job was not yet finished as they’re set to examine electronic devices used in the 2020 elections.

7/5/2021 Merkel, Macron Discuss EU Ties, Trade, Climate With China’s Xi
FILE PHOTO: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron arrive
to give a news statement in Berlin, Germany, June 18, 2021. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt/Pool
    BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron exchanged views on European Union-China relations with China’s President Xi Jinping in a video conference on Monday, Merkel’s office said.
    “They also discussed international trade, climate protection and biodiversity,” her office added in a statement.
    “The conversation also revolved around cooperation in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, global vaccine supply, and international and regional issues.”
(Writing by Paul Carrel, editing by Thomas Escritt)

7/5/2021 UK PM Johnson Looks To End England’s Virus Restrictions by Paul Sandle and Alistair Smout
FILE PHOTO: People wear protective masks as they walk through the city centre, amid the outbreak of the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Manchester, Britain, June 21, 2021. REUTERS/Phil Noble
    LONDON (Reuters) -British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was due on Monday to set out plans to end social and economic COVID-19 restrictions in England, in a test of whether a rapid vaccine rollout offers enough protection from the highly contagious Delta variant.
    Johnson’s announcement at 1600 GMT is expected to confirm that he aims to end restrictive measures on July 19, and will include guidance on social distancing, face coverings and working from home.
    After imposing the most onerous constraints on behaviour in Britain’s peacetime history to battle the novel coronavirus, Johnson is betting that the vaccination programme, which has weakened the link between infections and hospital admissions, can prevent the health service being overwhelmed by a new wave that has already begun.
    Johnson is expected to say that people will learn to live with COVID as they do already with flu.
    “I must stress that the pandemic is not over and that cases will continue to rise over the coming weeks,” he said in a statement.
    “As we begin to learn to live with this virus, we must all continue to carefully manage the risks from COVID and exercise judgement when going about our lives.”
    Johnson sets health policy for England, but not for Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
    Britain has suffered the seventh highest global death toll from COVID-19, and Johnson has been accused of being too slow to implement each of England’s three lockdowns.
    But the take-up of vaccines in Britain has been strong, with 86% of adults receiving a first dose and 64% receiving two doses as of Sunday, according to government data.
    Meanwhile countries such as Australia, where case numbers are lower but vaccination has been much slower, are tightening restrictions.
    Cases of COVID-19 have risen sharply in Britain in recent weeks, driven by the now-dominant Delta variant, and the final easing of restrictions was delayed by four weeks to enable more people to be vaccinated.
    Public Health England figures indicate that the vaccines are highly effective in preventing the Delta variant leading to severe illness or hospital admission.
    “The NHS (health service) will be able to cope with any increase that we see in admissions,” Stephen Powis, NHS England’s National Medical Director, told Sky News.
    Housing minister Robert Jenrick said on Sunday that face masks would no longer be mandatory after the final easing, but many doctors and scientists urged more caution.
    “It makes no sense to stop wearing face masks amongst the public in closed public settings such as public transport,” Chaand Nagpaul, Chair of the Council of the British Medical Association trade union, told BBC radio, adding their main purpose was to protect others, not the wearer.
    In a weekend newspaper article, Health minister Sajid Javid flagged both the economic and health costs of continuing restrictions, a view also cited on the streets of London.
    “There’s still cases, but … not very many people seem to be suffering with it so much,” said Mandy Suiter, 50, a secretary.
    “I think the economy and everyone’s mental health is suffering a lot more.    So open up Britain, Boris.”
(Reporting by Paul Sandle and Alistair Smout; additional reporting by Natalie Thomas and Ben Dangerfield; editing by Barbara Lewis and Kevin Liffey)

7/5/2021 Gov. Kate Brown Says FEMA Needs To Help Illegal Immigrants by OAN Newsroom
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown speaks with the media at the Capitol in Salem, Ore. (AP Photo/Sarah Zimmerman, File)
    Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) discussed what she believes to be the main contributing factor to the disasters her state has seen in recent months.    In an interview on Sunday, Brown suggested that so-called climate change has greatly impacted Oregonians.
    “We have been working to prepare for climate change in this state for a number of years,” she claimed.    “What was unprecedented, of course, was the three days of record breaking heat, and it was horrific to see over 90 Oregonians lose their lives.”
    Brown went on to say she believes the heat wave is just the beginning of crises in her state.
    “We literally have had four emergency declarations in this state at the federal level since April of 2020,” she expressed.    “In Labor Day last year, we had horrific wildfires.    They were historic.    We lost over a million acres, over 4,000 homes and nine lives.”
    According to Brown, the so-called climate change isn’t the only problem facing Oregon.    She also implied her own state acts in a racist manner and said communities of color are much more likely to be impoverished, which makes them more susceptible to disasters.    To solve this, she suggested her state apply focus on working with non-white residents.
    “What is really, really clear, that just like we saw during the pandemic, throughout these emergency events are communities of color,” she explained.    “Our low income families are disproportionately impacted and we have to center the voices of black and brown and indigenous people at the forefront of our work as we do emergency preparedness.”
    Oregon relief programs are not her only target for operational reforms as she believes FEMA also has unacceptable standards for disaster relief.    FEMA is the Federal Disaster Management Authority tasked with helping citizens in disaster situations.
    Requiring legal residency to qualify for aid is not only too exclusive for the governor as she implied those here illegally are the most important residents in her state.
    “Of the families that lost homes in southern Oregon last Labor Day fire, several hundred of them were undocumented.    FEMA does not provide aid or assistance to these families,” she stated.    “It is absolutely unacceptable.    These families are so much a part of our communities.    They’re the heart and soul of our culture and they are the backbone of our economy.”
    Dissatisfied with limiting herself to one or two Democrat talking points, Brown finished with an aside about policing and argued law enforcement agencies need a “culture change” to solve racial injustice.

7/5/2021 Rep. Clyburn: President Trump May Need To Testify In Front Of Jan. 6 Commission by OAN Newsroom
Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) speaks during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)
    House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) suggested President Trump should testify in front of the January 6 Commission if the investigation led up to that point.    Speaking to CNN on Sunday, the Democrat responded to questions as to what would constitute a full investigation of that day.
    Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) made the recent announcement of the members of the committee, seven Democrats and one Republican, who would lead the investigation of the January 6 event.    Clyburn believes this pursuit of truth could lead the commission to compel President Trump to testify.
    “Oh, if it comes to that, they should go where ever the facts lead,” he stated.    “I would not want to see a former president testifying in such a situation as this, but if that’s what it takes in order to get to the bottom of this because this is more than any one person.”
    Chair Bennie Thompson of the January 6 committee has yet to rule out Trump to testify.    If the 45th president were made to testify, he’d be the first president to testify in front of a congressional committee since Gerald Ford in 1983.
    The only Republican currently on the partisan commission is anti-Trump Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).

7/5/2021 GOP States’ Economies Doing Well Without Federal Unemployment Benefits by OAN Newsroom
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is photographed. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
    The economies of Republican-led states have rebounded into the post-pandemic era as officials moved to end federal unemployment assistance.    GOP governors in more than two dozen states decided to end the extra benefits programs early as businesses struggled to hire new employees.
    In several states, residents were offered more than $600 per week in additional funds.    On Sunday, a June jobs report showed a large increase of people have reentered the workforce, which expanded by nearly 150,000 employed people in June.
    Experts also attributed the success of red states, including Florida and Texas, to leaders’ decision to rollback coronavirus restrictions and reopen businesses to full capacity.    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) cited data backing the benefit of discontinuing the enhanced unemployment benefits.
    “According to the Texas Workforce Commission, we have more job openings than we have people on unemployment insurance,” he explained.    “On top of that, about 18 percent of unemployment insurance claims that have been filed have proven to be fraudulent.”
    Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) announced the state would end the extra $300 per month on July 10.    He added Arizona would give a $2,000 bonus to those who go back to work full-time and $1,000 for individuals who return for part time work.
    The Republican governor went on to say, “unemployment benefits are an important social safety net, but we can’t let them be a barrier to getting people back to work.”
    Recent reports claimed out of the 10 states reporting the lowest levels of economic activity since January 2020, seven are led by Democrats.    The federal benefits are set to end in early September, but experts say cutting the benefits increases employment rates much faster.

7/5/2021 Poll: Majority Of Americans Unhappy With Biden’s Immigration Approach by OAN Newsroom
Kamala Harris (right) talks to Gloria Chavez, Chief Patrol Agent of the El Paso Sector, as she tours the U.S. Customs
and Border Protection Central Processing Center in El Paso, Texas. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo)
    A recent poll suggested the majority of Americans have become fed up with Joe Biden’s weak immigration policies.    Of the more than 900 American adults who were surveyed by The Washington Post and ABC News, 51 percent disagreed with Joe Biden’s handling of the immigration crisis at the U.S. Mexico border.
    This year’s rate of illegal immigration has been on track to become one of the worst in American history.    Many Americans voiced concern specifically with Biden’s current policies, which regularly apprehends and briefly detains migrants before permitting their release into the U.S. interior.
    At a recent End the Biden Border Crisis rally in Arizona, Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels said he has never seen a wave of illegal immigration this intense.
    “Last year this time, just off my Sheriffs office virtual camera system, we had 1,500, right in that area, illegal entries.    This year, same time period, we have 15,300 entries” he explained.    “…We need to have a secure border under the objectives of public safety, national security and humanitarian.”
    Tom Homan, the former Acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, weighed in and said he believed the Biden administration was the first to ever actively facilitate cross border crime.
    “I’m pissed off and you better get pissed off because the beautiful country I grew up in, we’re losing.    It’s under threat,” he asserted.    “The reason children are dying, women are getting raped, record amounts of fentanyl coming across this country because of Biden’s open borders policy.    This president sold out this country to win an election.”
    Also speaking at the rally, former CBP Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan warned what happens at the border impacts the entire nation.
    “What happens at this border impacts the entire nation and we have to stand together state by state by state,” he announced.    “…Get to your governors.    Make them, demand them that they get involved and secure our borders.”
    Morgan has called on Americans to come together with a grassroots effort and hold lawmakers accountable for the chaos they’re creating at the border.    He went on to recognize Americans have done this before by highlighting President Trump successes in securing the border.

7/5/2021 French Senate Blocks Referendum On Climate Change
FILE PHOTO: The Eiffel Tower is surrounded by a small-particle haze which hangs above the skyline in Paris, France,
December 9, 2016 as the City of Light experienced the worst air pollution in a decade. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo
    PARIS (Reuters) -The French Senate has voted to block a referendum promised by President Emmanuel Macron on whether to enshrine the fight against climate change in the French constitution, it said in a statement on Monday.
    Macron had pledged to organise such a vote in response to criticism that he has not done enough to protect the planet.
    The Senate, the legislature’s upper house, is dominated by the opposition conservatives.    In May, it watered down draft legislation requiring the constitution to “guarantee” the fight against climate change, preferring less binding wording.
    Right-wing lawmakers had expressed concerns that a state guarantee might become an obstacle to innovation and French business.
    A group of centrist senators linked to Macron’s party said in a statement on Monday that the senate’s vote definitively closes the door on holding a referendum.
    “The conservatives in the Senate fail to understand the importance of environmental issues,” the RDPI group said.
    The clause’s original wording had been proposed by a panel of 150 citizens established by Macron to draw up policy proposals for battling climate change.
    A referendum requires that the lower and upper house be in agreement.
(Reporting by Elizabeth PineauWriting by GV De Clercq; Editing by David Evans and Catherine Evans)

7/5/2021 Rep. Massie: U.S. Troops Say They Will Quit If Forced To Vaccinate by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Thomas Massie is photographed. (Bryan Woolston/AP Photo)
    Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) launched an effort to prevent forced vaccinations in the military after a massive outreach by troops.    In a tweet on Monday, Massie said Democrats have attacked his recent proposal to ban forced vaccinations of U.S. troops.
    The congressman added he introduced HR 3860 to outlaw vaccine mandates in the military, which has been already back by 24 lawmakers.    This came after reports claimed Joe Biden’s Pentagon might require vaccination for U.S. troops by September.
    Maddie said service members reached out to him and warned of their resignation if vaccination mandates were to happen.
    “They want everybody to get vaccinated, even those who don’t need vaccinated,” he asserted.    “If you followed the science, the Moderna trial showed there was no benefit of the vaccine to those who recovered from infection.    The Pfizer trial showed there was no benefit to those who had from infection from the vaccine.”
    Massie later added his recent tweet about a ban on forced vaccinations has received more than seven million impressions, despite pushback from the left.

7/5/2021 TC Energy To File NAFTA Complaint With State Dept. by OAN Newsroom
TC Energy’s Keystone pipeline facility is seen in Hardisty, Alberta. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
    The company behind the Keystone XL pipeline made the announcement of suing Joe Biden for closing down the project.    TC Energy filed a Notice of Intent with the U.S. State Department last week.
    TC Energy is looking to recoup $15 billion in damages accrued since Biden cancelled construction on his first day in office.    The energy company released a statement in June, which confirmed the termination of the pipeline project.
    TC Energy argued the Biden administration breached the North American Trade Agreement as well as the terms of the USMCA Deal signed by President Trump.    Critics argue the Keystone XL termination could influence environmentalists to pressure Biden on revoking permits for various other pipeline projects.
    The filing came just a day after a number of states, including California and Illinois, announced they would be raising their gas tax.    As the current Notice of Intent is just a preliminary complaint, it does suggest further legal action will be taken.

7/5/2021 NLPC: China Increased Donation To UPenn’s Biden Center By 400 Percent After Biden Announced 2020 Presidential Campaign by OAN Newsroom
Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, shakes hands with Joe Biden in Beijing. (AP Photo/Lintao Zhang, Pool, File)
    New disclosures have shown the Chinese government could have indirectly contributed to Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign.    The Biden Center at University of Pennsylvania received $50 million from China after Biden announced his presidential bid in 2018.
    According to an analysis conducted by the National Legal and Policy Center, the Biden Center opened in 2017 and received $8 million from China that year.    However, after Biden announced he was running for president in 2018, his donations from China soared by nearly 400 percent.
    “Federal law requires the disclosure of the source of all donations over $250,00,” Epoch Times investigative reporter Joshua Phillip explained.    “It is not clear whether Biden was directly involved in this and the issue of universities accepting large donations from China, including undisclosed donations, is one of the major topics in the US right now.”
    Reports citing Hunter Biden’s emails also show Chinese operatives may have been advising Biden’s 2020 campaign in potential violation of U.S. election laws.

7/5/2021 Charles Munger: U.S. Needs To Be More Like CCP by OAN Newsroom
Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger listens to a question during an interview in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)
    Charles Munger, Vice Chairman of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, has suggested the U.S. needs to act more like the Chinese Communist Party when it comes to banking.    In an interview on Wednesday, the 97-year-old billionaire claimed American free enterprise led to mass suffering from the 2008 crash.
    When asked about the mysterious disappearance of Alibaba CEO Jack Ma as an issue with Chinese economics, Munger doubled down on his pro CCP rhetoric.
    “Well yes, but Jack Ma’s one of the swingers.    So they just cut his, they said to hell with you,” he expressed.    basically gave a speech when he said to one party state, you guys are a bunch of jerks, don’t know what you’re doing and I know what I’m doing and I’m going to do it better.”
Chairman of Alibaba Group Jack Ma speaks during a seminar in Bali, Indonesia. China’s highest-profile entrepreneur,
e-commerce billionaire Jack Ma, appeared Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in a video posted online, ending a 2 1/2-month disappearance
from public view that prompted speculation about his status and his business empire’s future. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati, File)
    Munger claimed Ma was going to do whatever he pleased without rules and therefore had what was coming to him.    Without a crisis on par with the Great Depression, Munger clarified the CCP style reforms he believes are necessary will not happen.
    Munger went on to criticize the U.S. free-market economy by saying too many people have the ability to “go to this gross excess,” which he argued the Chinese Communist Party takes beneficial preventative measures against.

7/6/2021 Oil N/A, DOW N/A DUE TO HOLIDAY.

7/6/2021 French Court Orders Twitter To Provide Details On What It Is Doing To Tackle Hate Speech
FILE PHOTO: People holding mobile phones are silhouetted against a backdrop projected with
the Twitter logo in this illustration picture taken September 27, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
    PARIS (Reuters) – A French court has ordered Twitter to provide clear details on what it is doing to tackle hate speech, according to a court judgment obtained by Reuters, after several French lobby groups had asked Twitter to clamp down more on hateful content.
    The court ruling, which was presided over by magistrate Fabrice Vert, said Twitter had to show within the next two months steps it was taking to tackle hate speech.
    An official for Twitter in France declined any immediate comment on the matter, when asked about the verdict, which followed pressure from lobby groups including the UEJF French Jewish students association, SOS Racisme and SOS Homophobie.
    Tech firms have been accused of doing far too little to address online abuse.
    In May, Britain said a planned new law would see social media companies fined up to 10% of turnover or 18 million pounds ($25 million) if they failed to stamp out online abuses such as racist hate crimes, while senior managers could also face criminal action.
($1 = 0.7242 pounds)
(Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain and Gwenaelle Barzic; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

7/6/2021 Scholar By Day, Street-Sweeper By Night, One Black Man Navigates Rio’s Racial Divide by Pilar Olivares and Jimin Kang
Felipe Luther, 37, a scholarship student at Pontifical Catholic University of Rio (PUC-Rio) who also works
as a street-sweeper, uses his cellphone to take part in an online class for his university, as he holds his dog Mel
at his home in Belford Roxo, near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, December 9, 2020. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares
    RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Felipe Luther spends his afternoons studying for a degree from one of Brazil’s top universities, tucked in the green hills of Rio de Janeiro above the ritzy beaches of Leblon and Ipanema.
    He spends his nights hauling trash in those wealthy communities below.
    “When I tell my classmates about my job, they’re often shocked,” Luther said in an interview.
    In 2017, he got a full scholarship to the social sciences program at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio (PUC-Rio), a private school that has minted central bank presidents and movie stars.
    Luther’s rare opportunity and daily routine are reminders of the disparities in Brazilian society and Rio in particular, where a police raid killing dozens in May stirred fresh debate about the dangers and disadvantages facing Black men like him.
    Luther, 38, had previously passed up college for work to support his family, including a job sweeping streets with the municipal cleaning agency since 2009.
    “Many students like me start working when they are very young,” said Luther, who comes from humble roots in the northern reaches of Rio, more than two hours from campus.    “This reduces the time and structure they need to be able to compete with children of the elite.”
    Studying at PUC-Rio has put Luther’s dreams within reach, while bringing him face-to-face with the overwhelmingly white elite of a country where 54% of people have African ancestry.
    In 2000, the national census found white Brazilians were five times more likely to have attended university than their Black, mixed race and indigenous peers.
    “Because there are so few Black people at this renowned university, many view Black folks as servers, not as fellow classmates,” Luther said, recalling awkward run-ins on campus.
    In one case, a woman mistook Luther for an elevator operator.    In another, someone tried to pay him for a cup of coffee, confusing him with cafeteria staff.
    “It hurts, in a way, because you get the impression that you don’t belong there,” he reflected.
    Brazil’s educational inequalities have only grown during the pandemic, as remote classes force students to rely on resources at home, widening a gap between the haves and the have-nots.
    For months, Luther was reading at night by candlelight in Niterói, across the bay from campus, where his student residence often lacked power.    He charged his phone and laptop at work and used them to study until his street-sweeping shift from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
    “For my course, which demands a lot of reading, I need a better computer than the one I got.    But some people aren’t even given a computer,” he said, noting the array of challenges for disadvantaged students forced to study from home.    “Not all phones are good enough for working, and not everyone has a phone … or enough internet data to download their readings.”
    Recent events in Rio have underscored even greater challenges Luther faces as a Black man.
    In May, police stormed Jacarezinho, a poor community in northern Rio, in a raid targeting the Red Command drug gang.    The hours-long shootout killed 27 men in the neighborhood and one officer, making it one of the deadliest police operations in the city’s history and drawing backlash from human rights groups.
    Luther, who has two sisters living a few minutes from Jacarezinho, joined a demonstration in Rio the week after the deadly raid, using the official anniversary of abolition in the country to protest police violence against Afro-Brazilians.
    “NO to genocide against Black people,” read one protestor’s sign.
    Luther said he lives in constant fear of police violence and makes a point of staying off the streets in certain neighborhoods at night.
    “Even if I were rich or very famous, I would still be living in a Black body in a city, a state, a country where Black people seem expendable,” he said.
    More than three-quarters of the almost 9,000 people killed by Brazilian police over the last decade were Black men, according to Human Rights Watch.
    Despite threats, Afro-Brazilian culture continues to thrive in Brazil as it has for centuries.
    Twice a week, Luther visits a local “terreiro” to practice Umbanda, a religion with origins in West African spiritual traditions.    Dressed in all-white clothing with beaded necklaces hanging over his chest, Luther participates in dances, songs and rituals with fellow believers.
    “It connects me with my ancestry,” he said.
    Popularized in Rio in the 1930s, Umbanda, like fellow Afro-Brazilian religion Candomblé, has roots in the transatlantic slave trade, which brought as many as 5 million enslaved people from Africa to Brazil – 10 times the number brought to the United States.
    Those who sought to practice their rituals free from the harassment by Europeans would blend their native traditions with elements of Catholicism, creating syncretic religions now practiced by over half a million people in the country.
    Brazilian churches often serve as community centers, like the one where Luther took a free college prep course in 2017, setting him on his journey to PUC-Rio.
    Once he gets his degree, Luther says one of his goals is to begin teaching college prep courses in low-income communities, opening the door for the next generation of aspiring students.
    “I want to give back to other young people by allowing them to hope that this is possible,” he said.
(See related photo essay here
(Reporting by Pilar Olivares and Jimin Kang; Editing by Brad Haynes and Lisa Shumaker)

7/6/2021 China, U.S. Can Coexist In Peace But Challenge Is Enormous – White House by David Brunnstrom and Humeyra Pamuk
FILE PHOTO: The People's Republic of China flag and the U.S. flag fly on a lamp post along Pennsylvania Avenue near the U.S. Capitol
in Washington during then-Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit, January 18, 2011. REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -White House Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell said on Tuesday that it was possible for China and United States to coexist in peace but the challenge was enormous and Beijing had become increasingly assertive.
    Campbell told the Asia Society think tank President Joe Biden will host a summit later this year with the leaders of Australia, India and Japan – the so-called “Quad” group Washington sees as a means of standing up to China.
    Asked when he expected a first meeting between Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping and whether this could come at the G20 summit in October, he replied: “My expectation will be that we’ll have some sort of engagement before too long.”
    Campbell said the challenge for the United States would be to come up with a strategy that presented China with opportunities, but also a response if it takes steps “antithetical to the maintenance of peace and stability.”
    There were likely to be “periods of uncertainty, perhaps even periods of occasional raised tensions,” he said.
    “Do I think it’s possible that the United States and China can coexist and live in peace?    Yes I do.    But I do think the challenge is enormously difficult for this generation and the next,” he said.
    Campbell said Beijing had been increasingly assertive in recent times, taking on many countries simultaneously, a strategy that contrasted with how it operated in the 1990s.
    He criticized China’s approach to U.S. ally Australia.
    “I’m not sure they have the strategic thinking to go back to a different kind of diplomacy towards Australia right now.    I see a harshness in their approach that appears unyielding.”
    China moved to restrict imports of several Australian products after Canberra called last year for an independent investigation into the origins of the coronavirus.
    On Taiwan, the self-ruled U.S.-backed island China sees as part of its territory and wants to reclaim, Campbell maintained a cautious approach.
    He said Washington supports a strong unofficial relationship with the island and believes it should have an international role and not be shunned by the international community, but stressed that it does not support Taiwan’s independence.
    “We fully recognize, understand the sensitivities involved here,” he said, adding that maintaining peace and stability over Taiwan was a “dangerous” balance.
    However, Campbell said China should realize from the U.S. and international response to its crackdown on democracy on Hong Kong that such action towards Taiwan would be “catastrophic.”
    He said Washington hoped for some recognition from China that the Indo-Pacific is big enough for two great powers, but added: “some of what we’ve seen from President Xi and his colleagues suggests that China’s ambitions surpass that.”
    Washington also hoped for some sort of alignment with China on issues like climate change, although that possibility over the COVID-19 pandemic had already been “quite a disappointment,” Campbell said.
    Asked about plans for trade engagement after the Trump administration withdrew from a multi-national Pacific trade pact, Campbell said the Biden administration’s focus this year had been on domestic recovery, vaccines, and engaging with allies.
    But he said it recognized he need for a “positive trade agenda” with the Indo-Pacific as a whole going beyond whatever trade engagement U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai undertakes with China.
    Campbell said this would probably involve “starting smaller, starting something that we can clearly demonstrate affects and supports small- and medium-sized firms in the United States, working people,” but did not elaborate.
(Reporting by David Brunnstrom and Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Philippa Fletcher)

7/6/2021 Yellen To Press G20 For Minimum Tax Rate Above 15%, U.S. Treasury Officials Say
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen answers questions during the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing to examine
the FY22 budget request for the Treasury Department on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S., June 23, 2021. Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will press G20 counterparts this week for a global minimum tax rate above the 15% floor agreed by 130 countries last week, but a rate decision is not expected until future phases of OECD negotiations, U.S. Treasury officials said on Tuesday.
    The officials also said they plan to make clear that a new digital levy expected to be proposed by the European Commission in the coming weeks to fund recovery from COVID-19 is inconsistent with European Union commitments to the OECD framework agreement signed on July 1.
    The agreement, which includes all G20 countries, requires elimination of digital services taxes in favor of a new reallocation of some taxing rights on large, high-profit multinational firms to market countries from those housing headquarters and intellectual property. It could take until after 2023 to implement it.
    European Commission executive vice president Margrethe Vestager told Reuters that the levy would be paid largely by European companies to repay 750 billion euros ($886 billion) in borrowing for a post-pandemic recovery fund.
    The Treasury official did not say what response the United States would take if the EU proceeds, adding that any new unilateral digital levies should not be implemented until final rules on international taxing rights are worked out.
    The U.S. Trade Representative’s office is maintaining active threats of retaliatory tariffs against several countries with digital services taxes that are suspended through November to allow for an agreement to be finalized.
    After a video call between Yellen and Vestager on Tuesday, the European Commission issued a statement saying the two had a “good and constructive first exchange” on digital taxes and international tax negotiations.
    The officials said that the Biden administration will need the support of Congress for implementing portions of the agreements on a digital tax.    They added that Yellen is working with the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee to include provisions in budget reconciliation legislation to implement the international tax agreements.
    Democrats in Congress have said they plan to pursue such legislation, expected to include new social program investments and tax increases on U.S. corporations and wealthy Americans, without Republican votes if necessary.
(Reporting by David Lawder and Andrea Shalal, Editing by Franklin Paul and Barbara Lewis)
[Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development OECD is an intergovernmental economic organisation with 38 member countries, founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade. One of those One World Governments or Globalist and Socialist trying to build better policies for better lives, to shape policies that foster prosperity, equality, opportunity and well-being for all..].

7/6/2021 Death Toll In Surfside Condo Collapse Rises by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Saturday, June 26, 2021, file photo, rescue workers search in the rubble at the Champlain Towers South Condo, in
Surfside, Fla. Even as the search continues over a week later for signs of life in the mangled debris of the fallen Champlain Towers South,
the process of seeking answers about why it happened and who is to blame is already underway in Florida’s legal system. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
    The death toll has continued to rise in the Surfside, Florida condo building collapse while the efforts of rescue crews have faced setbacks.    On Monday, Miami-Dade Assistant Fire Chief Raide Jadallah told victims’ family members that four more bodies had been recovered after the remaining section of the building was demolished in an effort to speed up search and rescue.
    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said the demolition was crucial in order for rescue operations to resume and allowed for crews to reach previously inaccessible parts of the building.
    “We basically cleared a lot of the remaining hurdles, so you are going to see them working around the clock like they have been,” stated the governor.    “I think they are going to make more and more progress. More and more things are accessible.”
    Teams are working around the clock to find any remaining victims. Officials noted at this point, after the building’s collapse, it would take a miracle to find anyone alive. Despite the odds, Miami Fire Rescue Captain Ignatius Carroll told reporters that rescue crews still have hope.
    “What’s driving us right now is hope; the hope that the family has in us being successful in finding their loved ones,” he stated. “Until we overturn every stone, we remain that hopeful.”
    Carroll explained that providing families with closure by reuniting them with their lost loved ones was a gratifying mission.
    Since the collapse last month, several Miami area buildings have been evacuated out of abundance of caution.    Officials cited possible structural weaknesses and the county has launched a review of all high-rises over five stories.

7/6/2021 Rep. Cawthorn: Judicial System Failed Us In 2020 by OAN Newsroom
Congressman Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) is pictured. (AP Photo)
    Congressman Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) recently pushed back against CNN’s Jim Acosta when asked about President Donald Trump and the 2020 election.    The Republican representative does not appear to mince words when it comes to defending the party and discussing election integrity.
    During an interview, Acosta pressed the congressman on President Trump’s leadership and his role in the January 6 capitol riot.    Cawthorn asserted that the 45th president did not incite any kind of riot, adding he was just speaking at a rally.
    The questions did not stop there.    Acosta went on to question Republicans’ doubts of the 2020 election.    Congressman Cawthorn fired back again, stating he believes there was widespread voter fraud and the presidency was stolen from President Trump.    The South Carolina lawmaker added, the judicial system failed to bring justice to the claims of election irregularities.
    In the meantime, Republican-led state legislatures across the country are taking swift action to correct the problems faced in the 2020 election by passing laws requiring voter ID’s and cracking down on mail-in voting.

7/6/2021 Joe Biden To Send Operatives To Harass Americans Into Taking COVID-19 Vaccines by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    The Biden administration has threatened to send political operatives to the homes of people who refuse to take an experimental COVID-19 vaccine.    On Tuesday, Biden announced his new initiatives to get people vaccinated, which include vaccine stations at gatherings such as sporting events and places of worship as well as door-to-door outreach programs to pressure individuals to get a vaccine.
    Biden told reporters he believed mass vaccination would be the only way to stop the virus.    He referred to his door-to-door initiative as a way to “help” people, but failed to take into account the possibility most people who wanted to receive the experimental vaccine already have.
    “We need to go community-by-community, neighborhood-by-neighborhood, and often times door-to-door,” he announced.    “Literally knocking on doors to get help to the remaining people protected from the virus.”
    In addition, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki also threatened to send so-called
outreach teams to people’s homes and attempted to justify what some would call an invasion of privacy.
    “The President outlined five areas his team is focused on to get more Americans vaccinated,” she explained.    “One, targeted community by community door-to-door outreach to get remaining Americans vaccinated by ensuring they have the information they need on how both safe and accessible the vaccine is.”
    Biden has failed to achieve his goal of vaccinating 70 percent of Americans by July 4 and currently just under 50 percent have been fully vaccinated.

7/6/2021 Democrat Rep. Speier Urges Joe Biden To Respond To Russian Cyberattacks More Swiftly by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) poses for a portrait in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
    Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) has called out Joe Biden for his failures in adequately responding to cyberattacks.    During an interview on Monday, Speier said the U.S. has been at a disadvantage in regards to cybersecurity by arguing being in an open country delays reaction time.
    The Democrat urged Joe Biden to respond to cyberattacks in a more adequate manner.    She said although she believed Biden has been waiting for an “appropriate moment” to take action, she urged for him strengthen his stance against Russia on future attacks.
    “So, in this case, I think we need to move more swiftly,” she expressed.    “I hope the president takes the action that’s necessary to shut this down.    He needs to send a very clear and strong message to Putin.”
    The California lawmaker went on to suggest REvil, the Russian ransomware group behind the recent Kaseya cyberattacks, had the green-light from Putin to execute the attacks. She stated, “nothing happens in Russia without the blessings of Vladimir Putin.”        This comes weeks after Biden gave Putin a list of 16 critical infrastructure entities that were off limits from future attacks.    That move prompted concerns from U.S. officials and Americans alike regarding why Biden would release that vital information to Putin.

7/6/2021 Gov. Cuomo Signs Emergency Declaration On Gun Violence by OAN Newsroom
N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
    Embattled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has taken aim at the Second Amendment.    On Tuesday, Cuomo issued an Executive Order declaring a disaster emergency on gun violence and claimed it was a public health crisis.
    Under the disaster emergency status, the state designated plans to immediately expedite money and resources to communities in order to address gun violence.    The state also set funding of more than $57 million to create 21,000 jobs for youth living in gun violence prone communities.
    The order permits police departments authority to track where shootings take place and where illegal guns are sold.    To fight back against illegal firearm trafficking, the state is set to create a new special force unit designated to prevent illegal guns from entering the state.
    “It is an emergency and I want the people of the state to understand that, and I want them to respond to the emergency for the way it is,” Cuomo announced.    “So today, first state in the nation is going to declare a disaster emergency on gun violence.”
    The Democrat governor also falsely asserted that New York’s restrictive gun control policies have reduced shootings, despite a historic crime surge in the state.
    “Why do you need an assault weapon to hunt a deer?    Why?” he questioned.    “Why don’t you do a background check, why don’t you close the loopholes?    New York did it.    We have those laws in place.”
    Several reports have shown shootings more than doubled in New York City alone since 2019, which marked a worse surge than in Chicago.    Critics attributed the crime wave to anti-police sentiments expressed by public officials and their moves to defund police departments in capitulation to Black Live Matters protests.

7/6/2021 Top U.S. Officials Meet With Saudi Prince Khalid Bin Salman by OAN Newsroom
Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman, left, photographed at the Pentagon. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
    The Biden administration finally revealed a high level meeting with top officials from Saudi Arabia.    On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced Prince Khalid bin Salman was set to meet with top State Department and Department of Defense officials as well as National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.
    The White House kept the meeting close to their chest until Tuesday, despite the Wall Street Journal reports on the event the previous weekend.    Psaki claimed officials would talk about regional security, strategies against Iran and the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
    “As you know, we work to declassify a report that names specific officials who we felt or who our intelligence committee, I should say, were involved with and knowledgeable of the horrific death of Jamal Khashoggi,” she expressed.    “Beyond that, I can tell you that, of course, this could be a topic, but I’m not going to discuss additional details.”
    Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Dr. Colin Kahl met with Prince Khalid later on Tuesday to restore the defense relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.    A press release from Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Jamal Brown revealed discussions related to regional security and stability, with focus on the war in Yemen.
    Experts believe the meeting aims to mend relations between Saudi Arabia and the U.S. after the Biden administration started off in a more adversarial tone compared to the Trump administration.

7/6/2021 9 Key OECD Members Reject Biden’s ‘Global Tax’ Plan by OAN Newsroom
Ireland Finance minister Paschal Donohoe poses for a photo after an interview in Dublin. (AP Photo/David Keyton)
    Joe Biden’s proposal to impose a global tax on the corporate sectors ran into a pushback by a number of foreign countries.    At least nine members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have rejected Biden’s proposal to impose a 15 percent global tax.
    U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen announced 130 of the 139 nations reached an agreement of the global minimum tax.    The remaining nine nations including Hungary, Ireland and Peru have rejected the proposal.    These foreign countries have maintained low corporate tax rates and argued their economies greatly benefit from hosting the headquarters of global corporations, especially in the technology sector.
    Without unanimous support by the OECD, Biden’s proposal will be dubbed as dead on arrival.    Ireland argued the proposed global tax was too high for the nation’s economy to benefit from, but agreed to remain open to future negotiations.    The country currently has a 12.5 percent corporate tax rate.
    “We do have really significant reservations regarding a global minimum of active tax raise,” explained Ireland Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe. “…Only certain countries and certain sized economies can benefit from that raise.”
    Some economists say a global tax would not be applicable to Chinese tech giants who enjoy unfair support by the Chinese government in violation of World Trade Organization rules.

7/6/2021 Reports Suggest Possible Identity Of Ashli Babbitt Killer by OAN Newsroom
The U.S. Capitol is seen behind security fencing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
    The identity of the suspected Capitol police officer who fatally shot Ashli Babbitt on January 6 has been named by Babbitt’s family attorney.    During an interview on Fox last month, attorney Terrell Roberts said he believed the shooter was the same officer who left his loaded handgun in a public restroom on Capitol Hill back in 2019.    Reports identified that officer as Lt. Michael Byrd.
    Reports have connected the dots with Officer Byrd’s track record of reckless handling of firearms and suggested he was likely the one responsible for killing Ashli Babbitt.    Byrd was also mentioned as being at the scene of the shooting during separate testimony from the Capitol Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett.
    “We were in close contact, that situation where officer Byrd was at the door when Ms. Babbitt was shot,” he explained.    “It was our Sergeant at Arms employee who rendered the aid to her.”
    While the officer has not officially been identified as the shooter, Capitol police did release a statement in his defense, saying “the lieutenant did not know if protesters were armed” and he “believed his life was in danger.”    Subsequent investigations found January 6 protesters were unarmed.

7/6/2021 Democrats Now Supporting Voter ID Laws Amid Sen. Manchin Compromise by OAN Newsroom
Chairman Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., speaks as Federal Reserve Board chairman Jerome Powell testifies on the
Federal Reserve’s response to the coronavirus pandemic during a House Oversight and Reform Select Subcommittee on the
Coronavirus hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 22, 2021. (Graeme Jennings/Pool via AP)
    Top Democrats seem to be loosening their stance on their opposition to voter identification requirements.    During an interview, South Carolina Representative and House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D) said his party is open to the idea as long as it’s “equitable.”
    The change in tune comes after West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) proposed a compromise voting rights bill, which pushes for voter I.D. requirements.    However, Manchin expands the definition of identification to include using documents like utility bills, not just government issued ID’s and drivers licenses.
    Democrats are now jumping to support the Manchin proposal while claiming they supported the measure all along.
    “We are always for voter ID, we are never for disproportionate voter ID,” Clyburn stated.    “When you tell me that you got to have a photo ID and a photo for a student activity card is not good but for a hunting license it is good, that’s where the rub is.”
    However, Democrat lawmakers and activists were quick to criticize several GOP backed voter integrity bills that tout similar requirements as Manchin’s bill.
    Several surrogates, including voting rights activist Stacey Abrams, decried a bill in Georgia that called for voter ID requirements and limit mail-in voting. She compared the bill to the suppressive policies enforced in the “Jim Crow south.”
    Leftist sympathizers also hailed Democrats in the Texas legislature for walking out on a bill aimed at strengthening the state’s election system, effectively blocking the measure from passing.
    Democrats are now trying to switch the narrative by claiming they are only against the most restrictive voter ID rules.    They claimed no one has ever opposed voter ID laws, adding it’s been an integral part of the U.S. voting system.

7/6/2021 CNN, NYT, NPR Slam Patriots Over Fourth Of July by OAN Newsroom
CNN commentator Ana Navarro is photographed. (Colin Young-Wolff/Associated Press File)
    From the New York Times to CNN, mainstream media has attacked both the American flag and Republicans this July Fourth. CNN commentator Ana Navarro took aim at Republicans on Sunday by calling them hypocrites for celebrating the Fourth of July while supporting President Trump.
    The commentator added Republicans use the American flag as a prop, but don’t actually support what it stands for.
    “Yet here they are wrapping themselves in flags, putting up pictures of the Statue of Liberty and wishing everybody a happy Fourth of July,” she claimed.    “If you want to stand up for what this country stands for, stand up for democracy and denounce what happened on January 6.”
    Similarly, the New York Times attacked the American flag by calling their celebration and admiration controversial.    The left-wing media outlet tweeted, “flying the American flag from the back of a pickup truck or over a lawn is increasingly seen as a clue, albeit an imperfect one.    To a person’s political affiliation in a deeply divided nation.”
    Taxpayer-funded National Public Radio was recently hit with criticism for a piece claiming the Declaration of Independence was hypocritical.    In addition, an NPR contributor said Americas’ founding fathers tried to eradicate Native American populations in effort to steal their land.
    Republicans have criticized the mainstream media by saying the Fourth of July and American flag should be about unification of Americans rather than divisive talking points.    During a rally on Sunday, President Trump slammed the move by the mainstream media to condemn patriotism and the American flag.
    Trump went on to say, “we will restore patriotic education to our schools and we will teach our children to love their country, honor our history and stand tall and strong for our great American flag.”
    In addition, a recent survey out of North Dakota State University showed while 90 percent of conservatives report being proud to be an American, only 40 percent of liberals claim the same.

7/6/2021 Fmr. Secy. Of State Pompeo Says CRT, 1619 Project Divisive by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attends a press conference with Swiss foreign minister Ignazio Cassis at the CastelGrande
as part of Pompeo’s visit in Bellinzona, Switzerland, Sunday, 2 June 2019. (Samuel Golay/Keystone via AP)
    Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently weighed-in on the state of the country and the direction of America.    In a recent interview, he reflected on when people all around the world, including America’s adversaries, all envied the U.S. for being so exceptional in so many ways.
    Pompeo went on to discuss the attempts to push Marxist and socialist views to Americans, particularly in universities.    He said it’s good for students to be taught about these ideas because they will see those structures have failed in every capacity.
    The former secretary of state said a broad array of subjects should be taught in order for students to form judgments, but he’s concerned about some of the things being taught in modern day.    He believes critical race theory is just an attempt to divide the country.
    “It’s called critical race theory, the 1619 Project, but in the end they’re attacking the central understandings that we have shared together for 245 years,” Pompeo explained.    “It’s an attempt to divide the country.    If that continues, if that is allowed to flourish and prosper, then we could lose this thing that is so special.”
    Pompeo also highlighted how important he believes it is to never take being an American for granted.

7/7/2021 Oil down $1.40 to $73.76, DOW down 209 to 34,577.

7/7/2021 Saudi Official In U.S. For Talks On Yemen, Iran, Khashoggi
FILE PHOTO: Saudi Arabia's Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman arrives at a meeting at
the Pentagon in Washington, U.S., August 29, 2019. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Saudi Arabia’s deputy defense minister on Tuesday became the highest-ranking Saudi envoy to visit Washington since Joe Biden became president in January, and held talks with senior officials on the Yemen war and threats from Iran.
    The minister, Prince Khalid bin Salman, is the younger brother of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the country’s de facto ruler, who is accused by U.S. intelligence of approving a 2018 operation in which Washington Post columnist and Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi was killed, an allegation denied by Saudi Arabia.
    White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Khashoggi’s death would also likely come up in the talks.    The Trump White House had maintained strong ties with the crown prince despite Khashoggi’s death at the Saudi Embassy in Istanbul.
    But a White House statement on the minister’s meeting with national security adviser Jake Sullivan did not mention Khashoggi’s murder, although it said Sullivan “emphasized the importance of progress in advancing human rights in the Kingdom.”
    The two officials discussed the U.S. partnership with Saudi Arabia, regional security and “the U.S. commitment to help Saudi Arabia defend its territory as it faces attacks from Iranian-aligned groups.”
    The prince also met with Colin Kahl, the U.S. defense undersecretary for policy, and the two discussed “efforts to end the war in Yemen and the shared U.S.-Saudi commitment to counter Iran’s destabilizing activities” and other issues, the Pentagon said.
    The meetings were to give Saudi Arabia a sense of how relations with the United States have shifted from the pro-Saudi policies of former Republican President Donald Trump.
    A Saudi-led military coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 after the Iran-aligned Houthi group ousted the country’s government from Sanaa.    The Houthis say they are fighting a corrupt system.
    Yemen President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government is now in Aden, though Hadi is based in Riyadh, the Saudi capital.    Tens of thousands of Yemenis, mostly civilians, have died in six years of war and millions are on the brink of famine.
    Psaki said talks would also cover Saudi defense needs.
    “They’ll discuss the longstanding partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia, regional security and the U.S. commitment to help Saudi Arabia defend its territory as it faces attacks from Iranian-aligned groups,” she said.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Steve Holland; Editing by Bill Berkrot, Howard Goller and Leslie Adler)

7/7/2021 U.S. Envoy On North Korea Speaks With Chinese Counterpart by Simon Lewis and David Brunnstrom
FILE PHOTO: Sung Kim, US Special Representative for North Korea, speaks to Noh Kyu-duk (not pictured), South Korea's Special Representative for
Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs, and Takehiro Funakoshi (not pictured), Director-General of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, during their trilateral meeting at a hotel in Seoul , South Korea June 21, 2021. Jung Yeon-Je/Pool via REUTERS
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States’ top envoy for North Korea spoke with his Chinese counterpart on Tuesday, a State Department spokesman said, after Pyongyang’s repeated rejection of the Biden administration’s attempts to establish dialogue.
    China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said earlier its special representative on the Korean Peninsula, Liu Xiaoming, spoke by phone with U.S. special representative Sung Kim and that the two “agreed to keep contact.”
    Kim visited South Korea last month to try to break an impasse in denuclearization talks with the North, which has not responded to Washington’s attempts at contact since President Joe Biden took office in January.
    Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, held three summits with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un but failed to persuade him to give up his nuclear weapons.
    State Department spokesman Ned Price confirmed the call but declined to detail what was discussed.
    Washington would work with allies South Korea and Japan on North Korea, and China “has a role to play as well and obviously has influence with the regime,” Price said, adding the Biden administration was “awaiting a constructive reply” from North Korea.
    In December, the United States accused China, which is North Korea’s main ally, of “flagrant violation” of its obligation to enforce international sanctions on North Korea.
    China says it abides by U.N. sanctions on North Korea, although along with Russia, it has expressed hope that an easing of those conditions could help break the deadlock in nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang.
(Reporting by Simon Lewis and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Peter Cooney)

7/7/2021 Blinken Calls For Indefinite Ceasefire In Call With Ethiopia’s Abiy by Daphne Psaledakis and Humeyra Pamuk
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers remarks on the release of the 2021 Trafficking in
Persons (TIP) Report at the State Department in Washington, U.S., July 1, 2021. REUTERS/Ken Cedeno/Pool
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Tuesday, stressing the need for all parties to commit to an immediate and indefinite ceasefire in the northern Tigray region, the State Department said.
    The conflict in Tigray has killed thousands of people, displaced more than 2 million and pushed hundreds of thousands to the brink of famine, with international pressure building on both sides to end hostilities.
    The Ethiopian government declared a unilateral ceasefire last week after its troops pulled out of the Tigray capital of Mekelle in what it called a strategic withdrawal.    The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) dismissed that truce as a joke and said it had driven the government out of the city.
    “That unilateral announcement needs to be followed up with concrete changes on the ground to end the conflict, to stop the atrocities and importantly to allow safe and unhindered humanitarian assistance,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters at a regular news briefing.
    Blinken also called for Abiy to commit to steps outlined by the UN Security Council last week, including the withdrawal of both Eritrean and Amhara forces from Tigray and the establishment of a process to hold those responsible for human rights abuses and atrocities accountable, Price said in a statement.
    Abiy’s government has been battling the TPLF since early November, when it accused the then-governing party of Tigray of attacking military bases across the region.    The TPLF has denied the charges.
    The commander of rebel forces in Tigray on Tuesday called for a negotiated ceasefire with the Ethiopian government and a political solution to the conflict, saying the government could not win the war.
(Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis, Humeyra Pamuk, Simon Lewis and Tim Ahmann; Editing by Nick Macfie and Sonya Hepinstall)

7/7/2021 Biden To Speak On Afghanistan Amid Taliban Gaining Territory
.S. President Joe Biden arrives to deliver remarks on his proposed "American Families Plan" legislation at McHenry County
College during a visit to the northwest Chicago suburb Crystal Lake, Illinois, U.S., July 7, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden said he will speak on Afghanistan on Thursday, days after American troops pulled out of their main military base 20 years after entering the country.
    Biden made the remark to reporters at the White House when asked if he was worried about Kabul falling in the face of a ramped-up Taliban offensive.
    The American forces’ quiet departure from Bagram Air Base north of Kabul on Friday brought an effective end to the longest war in U.S. history.
    Biden said on Friday that some American forces would still be in Afghanistan in September as part of a “rational drawdown with allies.”
    White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement that Biden would speak about “our continued drawdown efforts and ongoing security and humanitarian assistance” to the Afghan people and military on Thursday afternoon.
    On Thursday morning, Biden would meet with his national security team to receive an update on the progress of the drawdown from Afghanistan, Psaki said.
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt and Steve Holland; Writing by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Chris Reese and Lisa Shumaker)

7/7/2021 Ga. Federal Judge Declines To Strike Down Parts Of Voting Law Ahead Of July 13 Runoff Elections by OAN Newsroom
Voters cast their ballots. (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images)
    A federal judge in Georgia said he won’t strike down parts of the state’s new voting law. On Wednesday, Trump-appointed judge J.P. Boulee said he struck down the lawsuit brought by the Coalition for Good Governance because there are already runoff elections underway in the state.
    The lawsuit alleges the law infringes on voter’s First Amendment rights and is a violation of the Voting Rights Act.
    He added the court may issue a judgement on voting rules at a later date when elections are not already ongoing.
    “We are at the juncture where all of the challenged provisions are already the law.    Therefore, an injunction would not merely preserve the status quo; rather, it would change the law in the ninth inning,” said Boulee.
    Georgia’s new voting law, which passed along party lines following the 2020 elections, makes a number of changes seeking to ensure election integrity.    This, including stricter voting ID rules and a limit on ballot drop boxes.
    Meanwhile, Georgia is slated to hold runoff elections for two House seats on July 13.

7/7/2021 President Trump Announces Class Action Lawsuit Against Google, YouTube, Twitter And Their CEOs by OAN Newsroom
Former President Donald Trump speaks at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., Wednesday, July 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
    President Trump announced a class action lawsuit against tech giants Google, Facebook and Twitter as well as their CEOs.    While speaking at a press conference in New Jersey Wednesday, Trump said the suit demands an end to shadowbans and censorship of differing viewpoints.
    The 45th president went on to say he believes the case is “very compelling” and has no interest in seeking a settlement before a trial.    He added, tech giants are working in conjunction with the mainstream media to suppress opposing views going so far as to ban a sitting president from their platforms.
    “There is no better evidence that Big Tech is out of control than the fact that they banned the sitting president of the United States earlier this year, a ban that continues to this day,” Trump stated.    “If they can do it to me, they can do it to anyone and, in fact, that is exactly what they’re doing.”
    The suit also seeks punitive damages and injunctive relief.    Anyone who has been a user of any of the three platforms, have resided in the U.S. between June of 2018 to present day and have had their account banned or censored by the defendants can join the suit.
    If you or someone you know is interested in joining President Trump’s class action lawsuit against Big Tech, visit
    One America’s Christina Bobb caught up with President Trump after his announcement for more insight.

7/7/2021 White House Supports Bringing Back Lockdowns by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden speaks about his Build Back Better economic plans after touring McHenry County
College in Crystal Lake, Illinois, on July 7, 2021. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
    The White House has expressed its support for states choosing to return to COVID-19 lockdowns.    On Tuesday, Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked whether the White House would agree with states reinstating coronavirus restrictions if cases continued to rise.
    Psaki affirmed Joe Biden’s support for local governments bringing back shutdowns, especially in areas where many people have not yet been vaccinated.    Even the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has called on residents to wear face masks despite their vaccination status.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki takes questions during a daily briefing at the James Brady
Press Briefing Room of the White House July 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    “Well, states are going to have to make evaluations and local communities are going to have to make evaluations about what’s in their interests.    We certainly support their decisions to implement any measures that they think will help their community be safe,” said Psaki.
    Her comments come as Biden has struggled with the pandemic, failing to reach his Fourth of July vaccination goal and as the Delta variant has continued to spread across the U.S.

7/7/2021 McConnell: GOP Will Put Up ‘Hell Of Fight’ If Dems Use Reconciliation To Pass Infrastructure Bill by OAN Newsroom
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) talks to reporters after the Senate voted to confirm Supreme Court nominee
Judge Brett Kavanaugh at the U.S. Capitol October 06, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he plans to put up a fight against Democrats if they try to use budget reconciliation to pass Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan. McConnell spoke of the plan in Kentucky, adding that the parties have never been more divided on an issue.
    “It’s all going to unfold here in the next few weeks,” said McConnell.    “I don’t think we’ve had a bigger difference of opinion between the two parties over the best thing to do for America than we have right now.”
    His remarks came as Democrats prepare to vote on a smaller bipartisan version of the spending bill in addition to voting on the budget resolution.    That resolution would allow Democrats to pass another larger infrastructure bill along party lines.
    McConnell said Democrats’ biggest obstacle would be opposition from moderate Democrat Sens. Joe Manchin
(D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).    Both Manchin and Sinema are reportedly open to using reconciliation.
    McConnell added that they can’t all agree due to the magnitude of what’s trying to be passed.
    “There is a process by which they could pass this bill without a single Republican, but we’re going to make it hard for them,” mentioned McConnell.    “There are few Democrats left in rural America and some others who would like to be more in the political center but may find this offensive, but all this is going to play out.”
    However, while McConnell said both parties have a difficult time agreeing, they don’t necessarily “hate” each other.    Although, he does believe the era of bipartisanship on certain issues is over.

7/7/2021 White House Deflects Blame For Rising Gas Prices by OAN Newsroom
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki listens during a daily briefing at the James Brady Press
Briefing Room of the White House July 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    As Americans continue to voice concern over the sharp rise in national gas prices, it has appeared the Biden administration has different priorities.    In a briefing on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked how or if Joe Biden plans to stop this costly trend.    This comes as Americans are now paying at least $3 a gallon with prices hitting a 7-year high.
    Many Republicans have pointed to Biden’s energy policies, including his restrictions on U.S. oil drilling, as the causes behind the rise in price.    However, Psaki went on to say there may be other reasons that the national gas price is up 40 percent since last year.
    “I think sometimes there’s a misunderstanding of what causes gas prices to increase and so, to convey to the American people that we’re working on it and certainly the supply availability of oil has a huge impact,” said Psaki.
    Meanwhile, during a recent interview, the head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, Patrick De Haan, said gas prices are expected to increase through August.    He predicted they will stay relatively high until the fall.    In addition, he believes many Americans who are still grappling with the aftermath of Democrat-led lockdown orders will be forced to dig a bit deeper in their pockets.

7/8/2021 Oil down $1.40 to $73.71, DOW down 209 to 34,577.

7/8/2021 EU Will ‘Never, Ever’ Accept Two-State Deal On Cyprus
FILE PHOTO: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen attends a plenary session at the
European Parliament in Strasbourg, France July 7, 2021. Patrick Hertzog/Pool via REUTERS
    NICOSIA (Reuters) – The European Union will “never, ever” accept a two state deal on ethnically-split Cyprus, the head of its executive said on Thursday.
    Ursula von der Leyen, who was visiting Cyprus, said the European Union spoke with one voice on the conflict, which has dragged on for decades and is a key hurdle in Turkey’s ambitions of joining the bloc.
    “I want to repeat that we will never, ever accept a two state solution.    We are firm on that and very united,” von der Leyen told a news conference.
    Cyprus was split in a Turkish invasion in 1974 triggered by a brief Greek inspired coup. The south is run by an internationally recognised government which represents the entire island in the European Union, while the north is a breakaway Turkish Cypriot state recognised only by Ankara.
    United Nations-led efforts which predate 1974 events have failed to unite the island.    The present stalemate is steeped in disagreements of the form unification could take – a union of two independent states advocated by a new Turkish Cypriot leadership, or as a loose federation advocated by Greek Cypriots representing Cyprus internationally.
    Talks in Geneva earlier this year on the matter ended inconclusively.
    Disagreement has also focused on competing claims over offshore energy reserves, a dispute connected to quarrels between Turkey and Greece, a key ally of the Greek Cypriots.
    “Our neighbours have (an) interest in good bilateral relations.    If this is the case, and we also have an interest in good bilateral relations, I want our neighbours to know that if they speak to one of our member states, like for example Cyprus, in whatever tone, they speak to the European Union,” von der Leyen said.
(Reporting by Michele Kambas; Editing by Peter Graff)

7/8/2021 France Welcomes New Caledonia’s New President Before Territory’s Final Independence Vote
FILE PHOTO: French Minister for Local Authorities Sebastien Lecornu delivers a statement after a videoconference with
the French President and French mayors at the Elysee Palace in Paris after the country began a gradual end to the nationwide
lockdown following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in France, May 19, 2020. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/Pool
    PARIS (Reuters) – France’s overseas territories minister on Thursday welcomed news that New Caledonia had elected Louis Mapou as its first pro-independence president since a 1998 deal with Paris to grant more political power to the French Pacific territory.
    New Caledonia, which houses business operations for Brazilian multinational mining company Vale and French mining group Eramet, was hit by riots last year.
    The archipelago became a French colony in 1853 and tensions have long run deep between pro-independence indigenous Kanaks, and descendants of colonial settlers who remain loyal to Paris.
    “I welcome the agreement reached by New Caledonia’s government to designate its president.    I congratulate Louis Mapou and wish him success: in Paris or in video conference I am inviting him to discuss the various issues we have in common,” Sebastien Lecornu said on Twitter.
    The election comes a few months before the third and final referendum that the island can legally take on whether to secede from France under the 1998 agreement, known as the Noumea Accord.
    Prior referendums in 2018 and 2020 both failed to win a majority in favour of independence, but support for remaining part of France dropped from 56.7% in 2018 to 53.26% in 2020.
    New Caledonia lies some 1,200 km (750 miles) east of Australia and 20,000 km (12,500 miles) from Paris.
    Under French colonial rule the Kanaks were confined to reserves and excluded from much of the island’s economy.    The first revolt erupted in 1878, not long after the discovery of large nickel deposits.
    Up to three referendums by 2022 were permitted under the terms of the 1998 Noumea Accord, an agreement enshrined in France’s constitution and which set out a 20-year path towards decolonisation.
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

7/8/2021 Biden To Speak Thursday About Afghanistan Amid Swift U.S. Pullout by Steve Holland
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden meets with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the
White House, in Washington, U.S., June 25, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden on Thursday will offer his most extensive comments to date about the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, a pullout that is raising concerns about a civil war there and drawing Republican criticism.
    A White House official said Biden would update the American people on the situation and that no major policy pronouncements were expected.
    The Democratic president, who is due to speak at 1:45 p.m. (1745 GMT), has been under pressure from critics to give a more expansive explanation for his decision to withdraw.
    The United States last weekend abandoned Bagram air base, the longtime staging ground for U.S. military operations in the country, effectively ending America’s longest war. The Pentagon says the withdrawal of U.S. forces is 90% complete.
    Washington agreed to withdraw in a deal negotiated last year under Biden’s Republican predecessor, Donald Trump.    Biden overruled military leaders who wanted to keep a larger presence to assist Afghan security forces and prevent Afghanistan from becoming a staging ground for extremist groups.
    Biden’s order in April to pull out U.S. forces by Sept. 11 after 20 years of conflict has coincided with major gains by the Islamist militant Taliban movement against overwhelmed Afghan forces after peace talks sputtered.
    The commander of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, General Austin Miller, warned last week that the country may be headed toward a civil war.
    The U.S. intelligence community believes the Afghan military is weak and that the Kabul government’s prospects for survival in the short term are not good, U.S. government sources familiar with official assessments said.
    White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Biden would meet his national security team on Thursday “to receive a periodic update on the progress of our military drawdown from Afghanistan.”
    “Early tomorrow afternoon, the president will make comments on our continued drawdown efforts and ongoing security and humanitarian assistance to the ANDSF and the Afghan people.”
    ANDSF is the acronym for the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.
    Some Republicans are criticizing Biden for the pullout, although Trump had also sought to end American involvement in the war.
    Biden met Afghan leaders on June 25 and said U.S. support for Afghanistan would be sustained despite the pullout.
    “Afghans are going to have to decide their future, what they want,” Biden said at the time.
    The United States plans to leave 650 troops in Afghanistan to provide security for the U.S. Embassy.
(Reporting by Steve Holland; Additional reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Ross Colvin and Peter Cooney)

7/8/2021 Lara Trump Says CRT Teaches Kids To Judge People On The Color Of Their Skin by OAN Newsroom
Lara Trump, daughter-in-law of President Donald Trump, pre-records her address to the Republican National Convention
from inside an empty Mellon Auditorium on August 26, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    President Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, has suggested critical race theory divides children based on the color of their skin.    This follows American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten, who accused GOP lawmakers of bullying teachers out of teaching students the truth.
    Lara Trump told sources on Thursday, “the bottom line is that anything that would teach us anything but loving our country, loving one another, and judging people based on the content of their character, solely is just flat wrong.” She added, Americans want their children to be taught the truth, but critical race theory promotes judgement based on skin color and is not a positive way of educating young Americans.
    Weingarten argued opposition to the implementation of CRT in schools is hurting children’s education, despite major pushback from parents and teachers that believe the curriculum creates more division.
    States across the country have passed legislation in response to progressive’s push for CRT in schools, including bills signed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).
    The legislation DeSantis signed to combat CRT says what is taught “must be factual and objective, and may not suppress or distort significant historical events”    Additionally, Gov. Abbott has said laws regarding critical race theory will be a topic Texas lawmakers will revisit during its’ special session.
    Meanwhile, Weingarten threated GOP legislation and said she vows there will be legal action to defend teaching what she calls “honest history.”
    Critics of CRT, including parents, teachers and lawmakers have continued to fight against its implementation, believing the ideology indoctrinates students, perpetuates division and creates a negative view of America.

7/8/2021 HHS Secy. Defends Joe Biden’s Door-To-Door Vaccine Push by OAN Newsroom
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra speaks with employees at a Head Start early childhood education
program at Martha’s Table at The Commons on June 30, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    While Joe Biden and his cabinet remain fixated on raising the American vaccination rate, Republicans are pushing back against their methods of doing so.    During an interview on Thursday, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said the Biden administration has requested the names of Americans who have refused to take the experimental vaccine.
    He claimed measures such as this somehow help protect Americans’ freedoms and liberties.    However, Becerra failed to acknowledge that COVID-19 has a 99 percent survival rate.    Instead, he claimed Americans must now give up their privacy to the government in return for stimulus checks.
    “It is our business to try and make sure Americans can prosper, Americans can freely associate…and knocking on a door has never been against the law.    You don’t have to answer, but we hope you do because if you haven’t been vaccinated we can help dispel some of those rumors that you’ve heard and hopefully get you vaccinated,” said Becerra.
    Meanwhile on social media, Republican elected officials all across the country are coming out against Biden’s rhetoric and sounding the alarm on the door-to-door plan.
    Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) criticized Biden’s proposal on Thursday, saying he does not want the federal government to compel COVID vaccinations.    Parson added, sending officials door-to-door is not welcome in Missouri and it won’t be efficient.
    Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R) and Texas officials also slammed the plan as an “invasion of privacy.”    Additionally, Alabama Judge Roy Moore warned Biden’s operatives not to knock on his door because in Alabama “we dare defend our rights.”

7/8/2021 S.D. Deploying 125 More National Guard Troops To Help Combat Immigration Surge At Southern Border by OAN Newsroom
S.D. Gov. Kristi Noem speaks to attendees at the North Carolina GOP convention on June 5, 2021 in Greenville, N.C. (Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images)
    South Dakota has doubled down on its efforts to help secure the southern border. Gov. Kristi Noem (R) announced on Wednesday that she’s approved the deployment of 125 additional National Guard members to help combat the Biden border crisis.
    The troops are set to be deployed later this year and will provide non-law enforcement support to U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents.    This comes a week after the governor announced the deployment of up to 50 National Guard troops to Texas in order to help secure the U.S.-Mexico border.
    Ian Fury, a spokesman for Noem, said in a statement that “securing the border is not a ‘political gesture'” and that the deployment was necessary because “unfortunately the Biden administration has failed to step up and fix this crisis.”
    Gov. Noem praised South Dakota’s National Guardsmen for their service and said they are prepared to respond to the national security crisis.

7/8/2021 ‘Medicare For All’ PAC Urges Joe Biden’s Support, GOP Pushes Back by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) holds a news conference to announce legislation that would tax the net worth of
America’s wealthiest individuals at the U.S. Capitol on March 01, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    The Medicare for All PAC has released a new advertisement urging Joe Biden to step in and act amid GOP pushback.    In the ad, the Medicare for All PAC claimed expanding Medicare and lowering the age to 60 would help the nation’s overall economy recover.
    The ad is scheduled to run in swing districts in hopes of gaining Biden and Congress member’s attention.    Additionally, hoping to expand Medicare with the reconciliation package which focuses on Democrat economic priorities.
    This comes as the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, was preserved in a 7-to-2 vote with a conservative Supreme Court in June.    Yet, many Republicans have expressed serious disagreements with Medicare for All, along with the controversial idea of creating a public alternative to private health plans.
    Medicare for All is chaired by Democrat Rep. Pramila Jayapal (Wash.).    Jayapal has used COVID-19 as a way to introduce Medicare for All, saying citizens have lost coverage this year due to the pandemic.
    In March, Jayapal and others reintroduced a bill supporting the health care coverage, a bill not supported by Biden.    This support did not come as a surprise, as Bernie Sanders and Jayapal announced proposals back in 2019 to make the federal government the largest insurer of Americans, replacing private insurance with a publicly run insurer.
    Though many Republicans have mentioned they don’t support Medicare for All due to the cost and elimination of private insurance with many medical professionals not willing to participate in government run health care, leading to many people losing their current doctor.
    Costs for this type of health care are estimated to be $3 trillion a year, directly effecting taxpayers.

7/8/2021 36 States & D.C. Join New Anti-Trust Lawsuit Against Google by OAN Newsroom
Logo of Google displayed on computers’ screens. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)
    The District of Columbia along with 36 other states have joined a new anti-trust litigation against Google in the wake of First Amendment lawsuits brought forth by President Trump.    The lawsuit was filed in a federal court in California on Thursday.     The suit alleges Google is unfairly forcing developers of mobile apps to pay 30 percent commission on sales of digital goods and services on its app store.    Plaintiffs have said this practice violates anti-trust laws because Google acts as a monopolist in the Android app marketplace.
    This comes after Trump predicted a wave of new lawsuits challenging Google’s predatory practices.    “This is the first of numerous other lawsuits I assume that will follow.    But, this is the lead and I think it’s going to be a very, very important game changer for our country,” said the 45th president.
    “It will be a pivotal battle in defense of the First Amendment and in the end, I am confident that we will achieve a historic victory for American freedom and at the same time, freedom of speech.”
    The latest litigation against Google is spearheaded by state attorney generals, both Democrats and Republicans, from states across the U.S.

7/8/2021 Giuliani: Biden Laptop Contains Child Pornography by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this June 21, 2021, file photo former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks during a campaign event for Republican mayoral
candidate Curtis Sliwa in New York. An appeals court suspended Giuliani from practicing law in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
    According to Rudy Giuliani, Joe Biden’s FBI is unfairly targeting him for exposing rampant fraud in last year’s elections.    During an interview Tuesday, the former Trump attorney said asserted that the FBI is not interested is solving actual crimes.
    “It’s having raided my house and found nothing,” he stated.    “The only incriminating thing in my house are the Hunter Biden hard drives and they wouldn’t take them.”
    Giuliani then suggested Democrats have weaponized federal agencies for the purposes of political persecution of conservatives.    He also said Hunter Biden committed crimes in several countries, yet the FBI is giving him a pass.
    Meanwhile, the former Trump attorney also said he’s fighting the recent suspension of his law licenses in New York and Washington D.C. in court while asserting those decisions were also motivated by politics.    On Wednesday, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals suspended Giuliani’s license pending a disciplinary proceeding in New York.
    D.C. Bar records show Giuliani was an inactive member in the district and was “in good standing.”    Giuliani is currently contesting the decision to ban him from practicing law while citing his investigations into 2020 election fraud as an issue.
    “I believe that the real problem here is somebody’s got to fix this double standard justice system, which is not America anymore,” he stated.    “This is a one-sided decision not based on evidence, based on newspapers.    They haven’t called a single witness.    I can call 100 witnesses to support what I’m saying and I’m ready to do it.”
    The lawyer claimed the allegations made against him are purely politically motivated and not based on facts.    D.C. may reinstate Giuliani’s license following his litigation against his ban in New York.

7/8/2021 Texas Gov. Abbott Pushes For Legal Protections Against Election Fraud by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Tuesday, June 8, 2021, file photo, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference in Austin, Texas. Abbott is reviving
the GOP’s thwarted efforts to pass new voting laws in America’s biggest red state. His announcement Wednesday, July 7, comes after Democrats
temporarily derailed a restrictive bill with a late-night walkout in the state Capitol in May. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is pushing to improve legal protections against election fraud.    He called for a special session of state legislature on election reform Wednesday after the Supreme Court upheld changes to state election laws in Arizona.
    Texas lawmakers will gather Thursday with a session of the House Select Committee on Constitutional Rights and Remedies.    Abbott did not reveal the topics to be discussed.
    However, the Supreme Court’s decision may suggest Texas will pursue Arizona-style changes to voting laws, including voter ID requirements and a ban on ballot harvesting.
    “What this election integrity bill did, it actually increased the number of hours that were required for polls to be open in comparison to current law,” Abbott explained. “So it did not reduce hours, it increased hours.”
    The Texas governor also said state lawmakers will consider several bills to improve border security in the next 30 days.

7/8/2021 1K Trump Supporters Protest Biden Visit In Crystal Lake, Ill. by OAN Newsroom
A secret service agent, right, monitors a group of protesters who’ve gathered outside of the gym at McHenry County College where
President Joe Biden will speak on Wednesday, July 7, 2021 in Crystal Lake, Ill. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool)
    Supporters of President Donald Trump vastly outnumbered the backers of Joe Biden on his recent visit to Illinois.    Here’s what protesters had to say about the Biden administration.
    At least 1,000 Trump supporters showed up to protest Biden’s visit to McHenry County, Illinois while asserting his socialist agenda is not welcome in their state.    Only 25 people showed up to support Biden.
    Republican protesters said Biden’s is advancing hyper-partisan policies that are ultimately paid for by U.S. taxpayers.    They went on to suggest Biden lacks popular support in Illinois except for the Democrat-controlled city of Chicago.

7/9/2021 Oil up $1.02 to $73.15, DOW down 260 to 34,421.

7/9/2021 Higher Food Prices Help Fuel 40% Jump In Global Hunger – UN Agency by Maytaal Angel
A man walks past a logo of the World Food Program at their headquarters after the WFP won
the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize, in Rome, Italy October 9, 2020. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
    LONDON (Reuters) – Acute food insecurity has soared 40% this year as recent food price hikes have exacerbated existing pressures from conflict, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said.
    Defined as any lack of food that threatens lives, livelihoods or both, acute food insecurity is impacting, or is at high risk of impacting, a record 270 million people this year, the U.N. agency said.
    “High food prices are hunger’s new best friend,” said WFP Chief Economist Arif Husain.
    “We already have conflict, climate and COVID-19 working together. Now food prices have joined the deadly trio,” he added.
    The WFP said average wheat flour prices in Lebanon have risen 219% year-on-year amid accelerating economic turmoil, while cooking oil prices have soared 440% versus a year ago in war-devastated Syria.
    On internationally traded markets, world food prices were up 33.9% year-on-year in June, according to the U.N food agency’s price index, which measures a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and>     However, they did fall in June versus May, the first such decrease in 12 months.
    After declining for several decades, world hunger has been on the rise since 2016.
    The WFP, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year, says around 690 million people or 9 percent of the world’s population go to bed hungry each night.
    It is targeting 139 million people for assistance this year, the biggest operation in its history.
(Editing by Gareth Jones)

7/9/2021 Biden Holds Phone Call With Putin On Ransomware Attacks by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva, Switzerland. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    Joe Biden issued a warning to Russian President Vladimir Putin amid growing threats of Russian-backed ransomware attacks.    On Friday, Biden held a phone call with Putin and demanded the Russian President disrupt cyber criminals operating in his country.
    White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated Biden emphasized U.S. demands for Putin to immediately take action against Russian-based ransomware attacks.
    “While REvil we know operates in Russia and other countries around the world and we don’t have additional or new information suggesting the Russian government directed these attacks,” she explained.    “We also know and we also believe they have a responsibility.”
    Biden reportedly told Putin the U.S. would take any necessary action to defend Americans and America’s critical infrastructure.    This came after Russian-linked hacker group REvil demanded $70 million worth of cryptocurrency to end the biggest ransomware attack on record just last week.    In total, the attack affected thousands of companies across 17 countries.
    Throughout uptick in hacking activity, the White House and Kremlin have been battling over who was to blame for not adequately responding to the attacks. Russian officials claim no agency in the Biden administration has reached out to the Kremlin in the past month to cooperate on stopping the activity.
    However, the Biden administration refuted this claim by saying administrations since the nineties have actively asked Russia to reign in on cyber-attacks.
    “The United States expects when a ransomware operation is coming from his soil, even though it’s not sponsored by the state, we expect him to act,” Biden expressed.    “We’ve given him enough information to act on who that is.”
    Biden went on to say he was optimistic the call went well and added both nations could move forward to stop future ransomware attacks.    Biden stresses he remains committed to establishing regular communication with Putin by hoping to bolster a bilateral relationship with Russia.

7/9/2021 Press Secy. Psaki Tries To Justify White House’s Involvement In Sale Of Hunter Biden’s Paintings by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden, left, with his son Hunter Biden, right, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)
    White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki attempted to justify the administration’s arrangements for Hunter Biden’s art deals.    In a press briefing on Friday, Psaki claimed Hunter had the right to pursue an artistic career.
    Psaki’s comments came after it was revealed the White House helped broker a deal by keeping buyers of Hunter’s up to $500,000 dollar paintings anonymous to avoid any improper influence on the Biden administration.
    However, experts argued the move was a bad idea because it would prevent authorities from monitoring who could be gaining access to the White House.    The arrangement was intended to keep Hunter from becoming aware of buyers who purchase his art so he wouldn’t become in a position to owe them any favors.
    Psaki did not mention how the Biden administration would prevent individual buyers from contacting Hunter or release information on how much a painting was purchased for. Experts estimate the price of each painting could range from $75,000 to $500,000.
    Experts went on to warn the confidentiality of art buyers would make it more problematic for properly tracking illegal activity.

7/9/2021 Biden Signs Executive Order To Boost Competition In Economy by OAN
Joe Biden appears on stage. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
    Joe Biden recently announced a wide-ranging executive order aimed at boosting competition in the economy.    Biden signed the order at the White House on Friday, which is comprised of 72 specific actions for more than a dozen federal agencies.
    This includes limiting the cost of prescription drugs and banning or restricting noncomplete agreements.    Biden claimed less competition and more concentration holds the U.S. economy back in Big Tech, Big Agriculture and Big Pharma.
    “Rather than competing for workers, they are finding ways to gain the upper hand on labor.    And too often the government has actually made it harder for new companies to break in and compete,” said Biden.
    The White House claimed the executive order will promote competition in labor markets in order to raise wages, allow workers to change jobs and to move in between states.

7/9/2021 Statues Of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson To Be Removed From Va. Parks by OAN Newsroom
A statue of Stonewall Jackson is seen uncovered in Justice Park, in Charlottesville, Va. (Zack Wajsgras/The Daily Progress via AP)
    The city of Charlottesville finalized plans to remove two statues depicting Civil War confederate leaders.    The city announced a statue of Robert E. Lee as well as a nearby one depicting Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson would be removed on Saturday.
    The stone bases of the statues are set to remain temporarily, with a later date expected to be set for complete removal.    This comes after years of campaigning by civil rights activists, who have asserted they promoted white supremacy and racist ideals, to remove the statues.
    On June 7, Charlottesville City Council passed a resolution to remove the statues into secured storage.    The council has yet to decide what to do with the statues once they have been stored, but have received multiple requests from various museums and historical societies to take over ownership.
    Preparations for the statue’s removal have begun, with fencing installed around the area and designated viewing spots established for those who wish to observe the removal.

7/9/2021 Press Secy. Psaki: Biden Supports Teaching Kids ‘Dark Moments’ In U.S. History by OAN Newsroom
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has admitted Joe Biden supports school curriculum similar to critical race theory.    When asked on Friday if Biden supported “anti-racism curriculum,” Psaki said Biden was in favor of teaching kids the “dark side of American history.”     Psaki added this should include slavery and systemic racism, which she claimed still affects many Americans.
    “Well the President believes that in our history there are many dark moments and there is not just slavery and racism in our history,” she explained.    “There is systemic racism that is still impacting society today.    He believes, as I believe as a parent of children, that kids should learn about our history.”
    Psaki’s refusal to address critical race theory head on comes as a recent YouGov poll shows 58 percent of people in America have an unfavorable view of CRT. Various Republican-led states such as Texas and Florida have banned CRT from classrooms.
    Meanwhile, several GOP lawmakers are saying the best Republican strategy to win in 2022 is to come out strong against the racist curriculum.

7/9/2021 Fmr. CBP Deputy Commissioner On Border Crisis: ‘A Crisis Unlike Anything I’ve Ever Seen’ by OAN Newsroom
Migrants are accounted for and processed by border patrol after crossing the Rio Grande into
the United States on July 01, 2021 in Roma, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
    A former Customs and Border Protection deputy commissioner declared the border crisis to be unlike anything he has ever seen.    In an interview on Thursday, Robert Perez claimed such high numbers of people attempting to cross into the U.S. hasn’t been seen in 20 years, which has resulted in a serious national security issue.
    Perez, who left office last month, stressed the rising numbers have led to an increase in drugs and migrants with criminal convictions into the country.    He warned the border crisis has become interlaced with a variety of criminal activities such as drug and human trafficking.
    In the month of May, there were reports of over 180,000 migrants who arrived to the southern border.    Perez argued the U.S. immigration system was not designed to handle such large numbers of illegal immigration.
    Perez went on to urge Congress to fix the country’s broken and insecure border before it’s too late.

7/9/2021 President Trump: I Want To Restore Free Speech For Every American by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump. (Evan Vucci/AP Photo)
    New details have come to light regarding President Trump’s class action suit against Big Tech companies. In an article released by the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, the 45th president shared his reasons behind his lawsuit against Big Tech and announced his dedication to restore free speech for every American.
    Trump went on to say the internet has been “the new public square” and Big Tech platforms have “aggressively censored information and people on social media” over the past few years. He went on to explain censorship has become far more than the removal of threats and violence, with social media platforms “manipulating and controlling the political debate itself.”
    Trump highlighted censorship throughout the pandemic, with Big Tech blocking content regarding the origins of COVID-19 and potential treatments for the virus itself.    The 45th president argued foreign adversaries have been able to use social media to spread hateful lies and threats against the U.S. without consequence, but the American people continue to be blocked from sharing “unapproved ideas,” which challenge the public guidance of government entities such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    Trump insisted Big Tech’s power on controlling free speech would continue to damage the nation and vowed to continues his efforts to fight for constitutional rights for all Americans.

7/9/2021 Stephen Miller: President Trump Dealt Biden Better Hand Than Any President by OAN Newsroom
Fmr. Senior Advisor to President Trump for Policy Stephen Miller talks to reporters. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    Former top aide to President Trump, Stephen Miller, condemned Joe Biden’s mishandling of the country.    In addition, Miller said the 45th president set Biden up for success.
    During an interview on Thursday, Miller pointed out that no president in history was dealt a better hand than Biden.    He highlighted President Trump’s historic peace deals in the Middle East, strong southern border and booming pre-pandemic economy.
    “Think about what President Trump left him and what it’s become,” said Miller.
    He added, we now “have cities out of control with crime.    We have the Middle East in tatters.    We have Afghanistan falling to pieces.    We have an economy with massive inflation, runaway spending, and we have jobs that should be filled that cannot be filled.”
    Miller went on to call Biden’s America a disaster, saying it’s leading to an “era of malaise, suffering and economic stagnation.”

7/9/2021 Gov. Kemp: Harris, Biden Lying About Ga. Election Integrity Law by OAN Newsroom
Ga. Gov. Brian Kemp speaks at a news conference about the state’s new Election Integrity Law that passed this
week at AJ’s Famous Seafood and Poboys on April 10, 2021 in Marietta, Ga. (Megan Varner/Getty Images)
    Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) said he will continue the fight to preserve his state’s election integrity law.    In an interview on Friday, Kemp claimed both Kamala Harris and Joe Biden are lying about the law.
    He said the truth is that the law provides more early voting opportunities than Biden’s own state of Delaware and many other states where Democrats are in control. Kemp declared that this is a fight nationwide and not just in Georgia, and added that it’s one worth fighting.
    Meanwhile, RNC Communications Director Danielle Alvarez commented on the Democrat agenda, calling it a desperate effort to push federal takeover of elections.    “Democrats continue to lie to the American people.    Democrats refuse to join Republicans in supporting common-sense policies like voter ID, because their sole agenda is more power and partisan control,” said Alvarez.
    This follows Harris’ announcement on Thursday, where she said the Democrat National Committee is investing $25 million in a “voting rights initiative.”

7/9/2021 Texas Legislators Commence Special Session by OAN Newsroom
Texas Speaker of the House Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, strikes his gavel as he opens the special
session called by Gov. Greg Abbott, Thursday, July 8, 2021, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
    Texas lawmakers have opened a special session to address legislation that state Democrats avoided during the regular session.    On Thursday, lawmakers met at the state capital in Austin after Gov. Greg Abbott (R) called the special session.
    The governor has a list of 11 priority bills for the legislature to resolve, including border security, transgender sports and critical race theory.    However, the number one priority is the state’s election integrity bill, which Democrats attempted to derail by staging a walkout to avoid voting on the bill in May.
    “It’s probably going to be a fight because of all the influence from nationals and from partisans out of Washington, but it’s a good common sense bill that I think most Texans, I know most Texans, are gonna be in favor of,” said state Sen. Bryan Hughes (R).
    The session was called to order at 10:00 a.m when bills were assigned to committee before the meeting was adjourned less than 20 minutes later.    Democrats were quick to hold a press conference on their strategy for the session.
    “We are going to fight these bills tooth and nail, and use every option is on the table,” said state Rep. Armando Walle (D).    “We’re going to use every parliamentary means available to us to stop these bills.”
    The new version of the election integrity bill for the special session will ban drive-through and 24 hour voting as well as stop the mailing of unsolicited ballots.    However, some aspects were changed since the end of the regular session such as some early and Sunday voting hours.
    Republicans have continued to defend the bills.
    “I think most my colleagues in the House agree with me that I want to see 100 percent participation,” said state Rep. Matt Krause (R).    “And I don’t think anything in House Bill Three or Senate Bill One, keeps the citizens from participating.”
    The special session could last up to 30 days, according to the Texas Constitution, but Gov. Abbott may call any number of special sessions and might do just that if the bills are not voted on.

7/9/2021 Gov. Newsom Asks Californians To Cut Water Use By 15% by OAN Newsroom
Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom holds press conference for the official reopening of the state of California at Universal Studios
Hollywood on June 15, 2021 in Universal City, California. (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
    Amid facing an upcoming recall election, Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has asked residents and businesses to cut their water use by 15 percent as the state faces an ongoing drought.    In a press conference on Thursday, Newsom called for Californians to voluntarily reduce their use of water by taking shorter showers and reducing the frequency of watering lawns.
    The announcement comes as reservoirs in the state have reached dangerously low levels.    The Democrat also added nine more counties to the state’s emergency drought proclamation.
    The new state of emergency adds to Newsom’s still-existent emergency COVID powers, which he extended back in May despite California reopening on June 15.    The further expansion of Newsom’s powers come as he faces a recall election in Sept.    Critics have slammed the governor’s recent move as a power grab.
    “Over 1.7 million Californians have signed a recall petition.    Our state constitution provides them that option,” said Rep. Vice Fong (R-Calif.).    “They and many more will show up and vote whenever the election is set, but the message sent with this bill proves the public’s frustration that politicians will do whatever they can do to stay in power.”
    According to analysts, nearly one in every two Californians will likely be hit by Newsom’s water restrictions.    While all Californians across the state are being asked to reduce water consumption, large Democrat-led cities including Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco are not included under the emergency proclamation.

7/9/2021 Gov. Cuomo On Pandemic: It Was A ‘Tremendous Personal Benefit’ by OAN Newsroom
N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during the opening ceremony for the Tribeca Film Festival
on June 9, 2021 in New York City. (Carlo Allegri-Pool/Getty Images)
    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) recently called the COVID-19 pandemic a “tremendous personal benefit” after scoring a multi-million-dollar book deal.    During a virtual address to governors on Thursday, the Democrat said they have a new credibility and advised them to use their newfound power well.
    This comes as his $5.1 million memoir, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic,” is pending investigation by federal officials.    The investigation is focused on the Cuomo administration’s cover-up of the state’s nursing home death toll from COVID-19.
Memorials hang from the front gate of Greenwood Cemetery during an event and procession organized by Naming the Lost Memorials to
remember and celebrate the lives of those killed by the COVID-19 pandemic on June 08, 2021 in NYC. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
    Cuomo went on to claim that very few Americans went through what governors did. “Very few people were going through what we went through and we went through it together…and speaking for myself, it was a tremendous personal benefit,” said the Democrat.
    Cuomo’s speech marked the end of his one-year presidency for the National Governor’s Association.

7/9/2021 FBI Quietly Releases Documents On Seth Rich Murder Case, Files Include Strzok-Page Emails by OAN Newsroom
Seth Rich, a Democratic National Committee staffer, was killed near his Washington, D.C. home on July 10, 2016. (Facebook via JTA)
    The FBI quietly released thousands of pages of documents about the murder of Seth Rich.
    The files were posted on the FBI Vault website on Thursday following a request by attorney Ty Clevenger.
    The heavily redacted documents date back to 2016 when Rich was killed.    They include emails between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page who were apparently discussing Rich’s case.
    Additionally, unnamed FBI officials were talking about Julian Assange’s assertion that Rich was murdered for leaking Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails.    The trove of documents also includes files on the Trump-Russia collusion hoax and the Clinton-tied firm Perkins>     It remains unclear why the FBI put those reports together with the Rich murder case.

7/10/2021 Oil up $1.67 to $74.63, DOW up 459 to 34,875.

7/10/2021 Gov. DeSantis Becoming Major Voice For GOP by OAN Newsroom
Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis arrives to speak during a press conference at the
Shul of Bal Harbour on June 14, 2021 in Surfside, Fla. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been turning heads for his strong stance on several key GOP issues. While several lawmakers and state leaders have kowtowed to the wishes of the progressive left, DeSantis has been pushing back against everything from COVID-19 lockdowns to protecting women’s opportunities in sports.
    Recently, DeSantis has been signing bill after bill, pushing Florida to lead the way.    When it came to the COVID-19 pandemic, DeSantis ensured lockdowns were only put in place when absolutely necessary and put the state’s most vulnerable first despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) advice.
Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis greets people after signing two bills at the Shul of Bal Harbour
on June 14, 2021 in Surfside, Fla. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
    DeSantis also led Florida to become the first state to hold Big Tech accountable by requiring social media platforms to publish detailed standards and to apply them fairly.    He emphasized “social media companies will no longer be able to hide behind vague language as to why they censored a Floridian’s post.”
    The Republican also signed a bill ensuring female athletes have access to equal opportunities in both high school and college.     “I can tell you this: In Florida, girls are going to play girls’ sports and boys are going to play boys’ sports.    That’s what we’re doing and we’re going to make sure that’s the reality,” said DeSantis.
    The Florida governor has remained strong in his support for law enforcement as leftists have continued to call for the defunding of police, garnering respect and building a strong relationship with those authorities in return.    Sheriff of Polk County, Grady Judd, commented on DeSantis saying, “never have I seen the leadership that I see with Gov. DeSantis.”
    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.
    Though DeSantis has already stated his intent to run for re-election as Florida’s governor, he is being touted as a strong potential vice presidential pick should Trump run again in 2024.

7/10/2021 Study: Biden’s Tax Plan Hurts Small Business, Farm Owners by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden speaks about COVID-19, known as the Coronavirus, during a press event in Wilmington, Del.
on March 12, 2020. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
    Critics have warned Joe Biden’s new tax proposals are hurting small business owners.    The Tax Foundation out of Washington recently issued a study, arguing Biden’s proposed capital gains and death tax rates could sink small businesses over time.
    Researchers have claimed Biden’s proposal aims to drain the pockets of top American earners, but owners of small businesses and farms could end up fronting the bill.
    “The Biden administration has primarily focused on increasing taxes on top earners to generate revenue to fund its spending priorities,” reported the Tax Foundation    . “However, these proposals would hit many pass-through businesses, and much of pass-through business income, including small businesses, family-owned businesses and farms.”
    This comes as the Biden administration has been trying to figure out how to fund its spending agenda, setting its eyes on free community college, family leave and tax credits next.    However, opponents believe Biden’s tax proposal won’t work and will end up driving away American jobs.

7/10/2021 Gov. Newsom Shows Support For Higher Gas Taxes by OAN Newsroom
Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference at the California justice department
on September 18, 2019 in Sacramento, Calif. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
    California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has faced backlash for his comments supporting the state’s high gas taxes.    This week, the Democrat voiced his support for the highest gas taxes in the U.S., saying nobody deserves a free ride.
    Republican gubernatorial candidate in the upcoming recall election, Kevin Faulconer, questioned Newsom’s statement.
    Gas prices are currently higher in California than any other state.    Since the tax increase was first implemented, drivers have seen the tax go above 60 cents a gallon.    The hike is part of Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act, which was passed in 2017.    The money is allegedly being raised to pay for bridge and road repairs.
    The California Republican Party released a statement regarding the large tax hike, acknowledging California has the highest gas prices and gas taxes in the nation while calling out Newsom and other Democrats for the rise.    “Despite a budget surplus, Democrats ignored the calls for a gas tax holiday, instead taking more from hard-working Californians who are simply trying to make their daily commute.”

7/10/2021 President Trump: Senate GOP Need To Stand Firm Against Tax Increases by OAN Newsroom
President Trump boards Air Force One before departing Harlingen, Texas on January 12, 2021. (MANDEL NGAN / AFP)
    President Trump has called on Senate Republicans to hold the line on tax increases and keep Trump-era tax cuts in place.    In a statement on Friday, the 45th president said Republicans should not be making deals on the fake infrastructure proposals being put forward by Democrats.
    He noted all tax increases will just go toward the “Green New Deal Marxist agenda.”    He added, Republican in Name Only (RINO) Republicans should stop negotiating the infrastructure deal, saying they’re being played by the “radical left Democrats.”
    “They will give you nothing,” pleaded Trump.    He added he’s never seen anything so easy to win politically.
    Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has refused to acknowledge GOP suggestions for the bill, saying she will not bring them up until the Senate passes a $6 trillion bill.    Democrats continue to back their larger spending agenda, claiming it is necessary to fund climate change and social care programs.

7/10/2021 Gov. Abbott: Texas Border Counties Have To Pick Up Slack At The Border by OAN Newsroom
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during a border security briefing with sheriffs from border
communities at the Texas State Capitol on July 10 in Austin, Texas. (Tamir Kalifa/Getty Images)
    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) held a border security briefing with sheriffs from several communities, along with other Texas officials at the state’s Capitol on Saturday.    Abbott met with nearly a dozen sheriffs from border communities to discuss the state’s efforts to secure the border amid a “unprecedented magnitude” of migrants.
    The governor focused on plans to find jail space for detained migrants and shared concerns over an increase in stash houses, claiming migrants are causing carnage at the border.    State officials have been assisting local authorities amid the struggle, who have expressed concern over an increase in migrant-related high-speed chases, as well as an influx of weapons, narcotics and other contraband coming into the state.
    “So if you look on a month by month basis, what you will see is an increase year over year of 800, 900 percent, sometimes almost a thousand percent,” said Abbott.    “And the difference is this, the Biden administration has abandoned the standards that the Trump administration put into place that were effective in slowing the number of people coming across the border, period.”
    This comes after Abbott mentioned earlier in the week that border security funding was named one of several priorities for the Texas legislature’s special session.    Abbott blamed the current surge of migrants on the Biden administration and its open border policies.
    Abbott also touched lightly on the state’s border wall, saying strategies are in the works that involve construction bids being put in place.    The governor recently authorized a $250 million transfer for the project, but details surrounding when and where construction will take place remains unknown.
    U.S. Customs and Border Protection recorded more than 180,000 encounters on the southwest border in May alone.
    “Our message to the country is that even though the federal government may have abandoned their responsibility, we are not going to abandon our responsibility,” expressed Abbott.    “We have here with us today, people who believe in the rule of law, people who will enforce the rule of law.    And there are others like them across the state…and we are not going to abdicate our responsibility to make sure that we are enforcing the rule of law.”
    In the meantime, Abbott said state officials are working on the strategies needed to make sure they’re providing local officials with every tool and resource needed in order to keep their communities safe.

7/10/2021 President Trump To Headline N.Y. GOP Event On August 5 by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a rally in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
    President Trump has been set to return to his home state of New York to rally local Republicans against Democrats in the upcoming 2022 elections.    According to reports, the 45th president will headline a fundraiser for the New York State Republican Party.
    Organizers have been selling tickets for the event for $1,000 each or $5,000 dollars per couple to attend and have a photo-op with Trump.    In addition, tickets for $25,000 are being offered for supporters who wish to take a roundtable photo with the 45th president.    All funds raised as a result of the event will be directed towards the New York Republican State Committee.
    The Republican Party have continued to slam Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) for his state leadership and various public scandals.    The New York State Republican Party have begun efforts to take back the state, with multiple Republicans seeking the 2022 candidacy for governor.    Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) has reportedly become the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee.
    The fundraiser has been reported to be held at Trump’s Briarcliff Manor golf course in Westchester.    Republicans are expected to discuss several local and statewide offices they hope to occupy after the midterm elections.
    The fundraiser is scheduled for August 5.

7/10/2021 GOP Lawmakers Criticize Biden’s Door-To-Door Campaign by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)
held at the Hilton Anatole on July 09, 2021 in Dallas, Texas. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
    GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) said he is worried Joe Biden’s door-to-door vaccination campaign could lead to Bible and gun confiscations.    The North Carolina congressman made the comment in an interview on Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Texas.
    “Think about the mechanisms they would have to build to be able to actually execute that massive of a thing, and then think about what those mechanisms could be used for,” said Cawthorn.    “They could then go door-to-door to take your guns.    They could go door-to-door and take your Bibles.”
    Cawthorn mentioned if America learned anything from 2020, it’s that authoritarianism is on the rise.
    On Tuesday, Biden encouraged communities to go door-to-door and advocate for those who are unvaccinated to get the COVID-19 vaccine.    The Democrat said the campaign is an effort to help improve vaccination rates.
    Other conservative leaders have called Biden’s campaigners “needle Nazis” and argued this would undermine trust in the government.

7/10/2021 DOJ Pays $6.1M For Jan. 6 Evidence Database by OAN Newsroom
A large group of protesters stand on the East steps of the Capitol Building. (Jon Cherry/Getty Images)
    The federal government has paid a tech contractor $6.1 million to create a database of evidence from the Jan. 6 protest.    A court filing this week showed the Justice Department contracted Deloitte Financial Advisory Services to organize thousands of hours of body-cam footage and more than one million social media videos.
    “The government is working to provide an unprecedented amount of materials in the most comprehensive and usable format to defense counsel,” said Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nadia Moore and William Dreher.
The sign of Deloitte. (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
    The FBI is also allegedly using facial recognition technology in order to scan massive amounts of collected video to isolate images of individual suspects.
    The investigation into the Capitol Hill protesters has been called the largest criminal probe in U.S. history.    Sources said the government could end up paying nearly $26 million for the still-incomplete database, that has slowed the cases of more than 500 alleged protesters facing charges.

7/10/2021 GOP Proposes Emergency Funding For Capitol Police by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Capitol Police officers salute as the remains of Officer Brian Sicknick are carried down the steps of
the Capitol after laying in honor in the Rotunda on February 3, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    Republican senators have proposed emergency funding for the U.S. Capitol Police amid a stalemate on a larger security bill.
    On Friday, Alabama Republican Sen. Richard Shelby suggested Congress pass emergency funding for Capitol Police, saying the department is in desperate need of funding.    Republicans have proposed nearly $100 million in additional funding for the USCP.     “We should pass now what we all agree on: The Capitol Police and National Guard are running out of money, the clock is ticking, and we need to take care of them,” said Shelby.
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) listens as U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken testifies during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee
hearing on the Department of State budget request on June 08, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
    This comes as a $1.9 billion emergency supplemental package was stalled in the Senate after being passed through the House in May.
    Meanwhile, U.S. Capitol Police may need to furlough its officers soon if Congress does not provide them with the additional funding.    The lack of funds stem from staffing shortages propelled by low morale, which have led to a significant increase in overtime pay.
    On Friday, reports said Congress would need to pass a bill providing the agency with nearly $2 billion of supplemental security funding.    As it stands, salary funds are at risk of running out in mid-August and Congress would need to pass funding legislation by Sept.

7/10/2021 Biden Taps Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti As U.S. Ambassador To India by OAN Newsroom
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
    Joe Biden nominated long-time ally and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D-Calif.) to serve as U.S. Ambassador to India.    Garcetti was officially nominated on Friday following months of speculation.
    The two-term mayor served as one of Biden’s national campaign co-chairs.    Garcetti has been caught in the cross-hairs of several City Hall scandals, including an ongoing federal investigation on corruption charges involving one of his deputy mayors.
    “I have committed my life to service as an activist, as a teacher, as a naval officer, as a public servant, and if confirmed, next as an ambassador.    Part of that commitment means that when your nation calls, you answer that call,” Garcetti stated on Twitter.    “Should I be confirmed,     I’ll bring this same energy, commitment, and love for this city to my new role.”
    If confirmed, Garcetti will be tasked with handling the overwhelming surge of COVID-19 cases in India.    He would become the first mayor of Los Angeles to willingly leave office before the end of his term in over 100 years.

7/10/2021 Ariz. Gov. Signs Bill Barring CRT From Schools And State Agencies by OAN Newsroom
Ariz. Gov. Doug Ducey (R) in Phoenix, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool, File)
    Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed several bills banning the teaching of critical race theory in schools and federal workplaces.    Ducey announced the House bill on Friday, which would block state-run schools and government entities from requiring training in critical race theory.
    Ducey also signed a second bill requiring transparency from those wishing to teach CRT.    This would offer parents the opportunity to weigh in on what’s being taught to their children.
    In addition, House Bill 2898 was signed by the Republican governor to prohibit students from being taught that one race holds superiority over another.    Schools would have to pay a $5,000 fine for violation of this
    The theory has developed into a point of controversy between progressives and conservatives, with parents often being pitted against liberal school boards wishing to push their agenda on the next generation.    Several other Republican-led states have enacted laws to prohibit CRT from being added to school curriculums.
    Meanwhile, the American Federation of Teachers announced they would pursue legal action against individuals and groups who oppose the teaching of critical race theory in schools.

7/10/2021 Several Wounded After Shooting Outside Southern Calif. Amusement Park by OAN Newsroom
Visitors at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
    Authorities responded to a drive-by shooting outside of a Southern California amusement park.    Reports on Friday stated the shooting happened outside Knotts Berry Farm in Buena Park about 25 miles south of Los Angeles.
    Police reported one person was wounded in the shooting, while three others were hospitalized with unknown injuries.    Witnesses said gunfire could be heard from inside the park, which sent people running towards exits and jumping over fences to escape.
    “We were just at the ferris wheel and enjoying it with the family….we just hear a pop.    We see two gentlemen run across the street and I guess that is where it actually happened,” a visitor explained.    “…Like the movies, everyone was running.”
    One witness explained his friend was shot at by a man who was firing at people as they left the park.    Amusement park staff assisted the victims until officials arrived on the scene to transport them to a local hospital.
    A statement by the park said the incident is currently under investigation.

7/10/2021 Head Of American Federation Of Teachers Wants To Sue Those Opposing CRT by OAN Newsroom
Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers president, speaks during a news conference. (Seth Wenig/AP Photo)
    Head of the American Federation of Teachers announced her plan to sue individuals and groups who oppose critical race theory.    In an interview this week, Randi Weingarten compared the fight to teach the radical left-wing theory to teaching biology in classes.
    She also said she believed the U.S. was founded to ensure that only white men “of a certain ways” had a vote.    While she claimed teachers have been bullied into not teaching so called “honest history,” she ignored the parents targeted by school and political officials trying to fight back.
    “It basically says that you can only teach slavery as if it was a deviation from the Founders,” she claimed.    “No, that’s completely the opposite of our professional responsibility and our standards that says we have to teach honest history.”
    Weingarten announced the AFT union would head to court in effort to stop state laws from prohibiting CRT.    The AFT receives a portion of the over $70 billion in federal tax dollars given to education and intends on dipping into this in its legal battle.
    Meanwhile, grassroots opposition to CRT has proven effective with more than half of Americans opposing the pernicious theory.

7/10/2021 Biden Fires Trump-Appointed Social Security Chief Andrew Saul, Who Refuses To Leave Position by OAN Newsroom
Andrew Saul on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
    Joe Biden has fired the Trump-era Social Security Commissioner after he reportedly refused to resign from his position.    The White House announced the axe of Andrew Saul amid an ongoing dispute over his stance against unions and conservative policies.
    Reports say Biden requested Saul to resign, but the Trump-appointee refused to do so.    This led to his official termination.
    Saul reportedly questioned the legality of Biden’s decision and argued his position was “term-protected,” while asserting his plans to head into work on Monday.
    Many Republican lawmakers have slammed Biden for removing Saul from his position by arguing Saul’s bipartisan backing and warning of Biden politicizing the Social Security Administration.    Biden also requested for Social Security Deputy Commissioner David Black to submit his resignation, which Black agreed to.
    In response to Saul’s refusal to step down, the White House released a list of grievances against him and claimed his actions undermined the administration’s mission and agenda.

7/10/2021 Louisville Police Rescue 6-Year-Old Girl From Kidnapper
Police lights. (AP Photo)
    On Thursday, the Louisville Metro Police Department released body cam footage of Officer Jason Burba, which showed the rescue of a 6-year-old girl who was kidnapped while riding her bike.    Police credited the neighbors who witnessed the kidnapping by saying they provided the department with a vehicle description and partial plate numbers.
    Multiple officers responded to the 911 calls from witnesses and were able to locate the suspect in less than 10 minutes.
    “It’s overwhelming, very overwhelming especially when you hear her crying and asking for her family because she’s so scared.”    Sgt. Joseph Keeling of LMPD expressed.    “If something like this does unfortunately happen to you, we’re gonna be there and we’re gonna be doing everything we can to help you and make sure you’re harmed.”
    Suspect Robby Wildt confessed to authorities he spotted the girl riding her bicycle and turned his car around to abduct her.    When questioned, Wildt told law enforcement he planned on returning the little girl after she started crying because he was worried he “may hurt her” and “he felt bad for what he had done.”
    Manwhile, the 40-year-old has been charged with kidnapping on a $1 million bond.

7/10/2021 Sen. Blackburn Warns Artists To Stay Away From Far-Left by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) in Franklin, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
    Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) urged American artists and entertainers to rethink their support for Democrats.    During an interview on Thursday, Blackburn criticized the left’s efforts to make country music “woke.”
    Blackburn claimed artists and entertainers who sympathize with the “woke” left don’t realize the dangers of Marxism.    She warned their music would be cut off unless approved by the state.
    “When I’m talking to my friends who are musicians and entertainers, I say if we have a socialistic government, if we have Marxism, you are going to be the first ones who are going to be cut off,” she expressed.    “The state would have to approve your music.”
    Shortly after, Blackburn reignited her feud with singer Taylor Swift by saying she would fall victim to Marxism as it wouldn’t allow women to perform and succeed in the industry.
    “Taylor swift would be the first victim of that because when you look at Marxist socialist societies, they do not allow women to dress or sing or be on stage,” she explained.    “…They don’t allow protection of private intellectual property rights.”
    Taylor Swift endorsed Blackburn’s Democrat opponent in 2018 and called the senator an “extremist.”    That endorsement was unsuccessful as Blackburn won the election with nearly 55 percent of the vote.

7/11/2021 Pa. Dept. Of State Tries To Obstruct Probe Of 2020 Election By Denying ‘Third Parties’ Access To Voting Machines by OAN Newsroom
Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf at City Hall in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
    The Pennsylvania Department of State has tried to obstruct the forensic investigation of 2020 elections within the state. Late last week, state election officials sent a directive to individual counties, which urged them to not allow access to outside parties who seek to examine voting systems.
    The directive alleged access by forensic teams would “undermine chain of custody.”    State GOP lawmakers said the acting Pennsylvania Secretary of State, appointed by Gov. Tom Wolf (D-Pa.), has tried to cover up the evidence of fraud.    However, the forensic investigation was set to continue under the subpoena power of the state legislature.
    “In the days and weeks leading up to the election last year…we had the Pennsylvania Department of State repeatedly alter the manner in which elections were conducted,” Sen. Doug Mastrian (R-Pa.) explained.    “This constantly changing guidance not only contradicted the election code that we voted for, but also conflicted with decisions by both the Pennsylvania and U.S. Supreme Courts.”
    State Senate President Jake Corman (R-Pa.) responded to the directive and said it was a partisan decision that contradicts the Senate’s power of oversight.

7/11/2021 Kamala Harris Mocked For Rural Voter ID Comment by OAN Newsroom
Kamala Harris in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
    Kamala Harris received backlash for her implication that rural Americans don’t have access to photocopiers.    In an interview with BET late last week, she discussed what would be involved with implementing voter ID laws.
    Voter ID laws would require Americans to include a photocopy of their ID with their mail-in ballots.    Harris claimed that rural Americans would find it impossible to vote by mail with an ID.
    “In some peoples mind, that means, well, you’re gonna have to Xerox or photocopy your ID to send it in to prove you are who you are,” she stated.    “Well, there are a whole lot of people, especially people who live in rural communities… there’s no Kinkos, there’s no Office Max near them.”
    Harris went on to say she understood the importance of identifying and tracking who has voted, but claimed the administration feared the new ID laws passed in Republican-led states would suppress votes.    She comments faced heavy criticism, as many argued access to a photocopier was possible despite living in rural areas.
    This comes on the heels of the Democrat fight to bring back plans to federalize elections.    The Biden administration announced the new push Thursday and sent Harris to the media to advocate on the bill’s behalf.

7/11/2021 Veterans Affairs Proposes Paying For Gender Reassignment Surgeries by OAN Newsroom
Secretary of Veterans Affairs nominee Denis McDonough speaks during his confirmation hearing before the
Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Sarah Silbiger/Pool via AP)
    As Republican governors across the country have banned gender reassignment for children, the Secretary of Veteran Affairs announced the taxpayer funding of gender reassignment for veterans.    Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough has pushed for free gender reassignment surgeries for veterans.
    McDonough estimated this would cost taxpayers up to $71 million for about 3,000 veterans annually.    However, for McDonough the up front costs will save tax dollars in the long run.
    “We also think that these are manageable numbers and overtime,” he explained.    “If we make this investment, we’ll save costs on things like mental health care treatment and other health care problems that would result of our transgender vets not having access to this care.”
    McDonough said Joe Biden picked him to advocate for veterans and for that reason, the administration would allow him to do what he found to be necessary to help all veterans.    He implied that veterans of color and LGBTQ veterans particularly earned the help.
    “That’s what he expects of me to make sure that we’re doing the best that we can, offering world-class health care and timely access to benefits for all veterans,” he stated.    “Be they veterans of color or LGBTQ+ veterans, our job is to get them all the service and the care that they’ve earned.”
    President Donald Trump’s administration banned those diagnosed with gender dysphoria from serving in combat and disallowed government funding for gender reassignment treatments and procedures. He did so after President Barack Obama permitted openly trans people to serve.
    Obama administration also allowed for the taxpayer funding of so-called gender affirming care and psychological treatment.    Joe Biden signed an executive order overturning President Trump’s ban as one of his first acts in the Oval Office.
    Biden went on to say, “Essentially, we’re restoring the situation we had before with transgender personnel who have qualified in every other way to serve their government in the united states military.”
    Now that the policy has gone full circle, McDonough says it needs public comment and approval before being reimplemented.
    “One, we have to do this pursuant to statute and two, we have to do it publicly, subject to public comment,” he expressed.
    “We’ll want to hear the public’s comment on this and obviously, we’ll address those concerns as those comments come.”
    McDonough said the decision to begin the process of allowing transgender military service was a unanimous decision by the Veteran Affairs governing body.    He estimated the process would take about two years before the policy was fully implemented.

7/11/2021 CNN: Life Should Be Hard For Unvaccinated Americans
Dr. Leana Wen in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Lloyd Fox-Pool/Getty Images)
    CNN advocated for life to be made difficult for any individual who has made the decision to not receive the COVID-19 vaccine.    On Saturday, CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen said incentivizing vaccines should be the top priority of leaders and employees.
    The former Planned Parenthood president suggested the Biden administration should push employers to test unvaccinated employees weekly.    Speaking on schools, Wen said not mandating vaccine certification was a failure of the Biden administration.
    “That’s the big mistake of the Biden Administration I think so far, to not get behind vaccine credentialing in some way,” she stated.    “…How would you know who’s vaccinated and who’s not?
    Wen has previously promoted the federal government pushing so-called vaccine credentials into other sectors of life.    She said she believed vaccine credentials should be the only reason for mask mandates to lifted because without credentialing, there was no way to know who has been vaccinated and who has not.

7/11/2021 Report: Nearly Half Of U.S. States Don’t Support CRT by OAN Newsroom
Gov. Ron DeSantis in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
    Several GOP led states have taken steps to block American schools from teaching the divisive critical race theory.    According to reports, state lawmakers from six states including Texas, Iowa and Tennessee have successfully passed legislation to ban teaching students that America was inherently racist.
    This sparked a nationwide movement aimed at blocking similar curriculums from entering schools.    Critics argued the teachings distort U.S. history and violate free speech.
    In March, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed a solution to exclude CRT from Sunshine State classrooms.    Instead, DeSantis has pushed for a civics education curriculum.
    “It’s basically teaching kids to hate our country and to hate each other based on race.    It puts race as the most important thing,” he explained.    “I want content of character to be the most important thing.    I want to treat people as individuals and I want the history of our country taught accurately.”
    Meanwhile, several states like Florida are trying to incentivize school boards to drop CRT from their curriculums in ways including giving teachers bonuses for teaching a civics-centered curriculum.

7/11/2021 Fauci: There’s No Lack Of Coordination Between White House And Vaccine Manufacturers Amid Pfizer Booster Dose
Dr. Anthony Fauci, center, in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
    Dr. Anthony Fauci defended not receiving a notice from Pfizer that the company would suggest Americans to get a third dose of their vaccine.    On Friday, Fauci claimed Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla called to apologize to him for making the announcement without warning the White House.
    The CDC fired back at the biotech company in a statement by saying people who are fully vaccinated do not need a third dose at this time.    However, Pfizer remained committed to seek FDA emergency use authorization for a booster shot as early as August and claimed it would protect residents from the Delta variant.
    When asked about the lack of coordination between top health officials and vaccine manufacturers, Fauci suggested otherwise.
    “I disagree there is not coordination between the pharmaceutical companies,” he claimed.    “The coordination that’s been going on, on the rollout of the vaccines over the last four or five months has been extremely good.”
    The CDC and FDA stated health agencies are continuing to review data on whether it’s necessary to consider a booster vaccine.    Meanwhile, they’re urging vaccine manufacturers to slow their roll down and not to rush to add another shot to their recommended dosage.

7/11/2021 Ill. Mandates Schools Teach Asian-American History by OAN Newsroom
Ill. Gov. J.B. Pritzker is congratulated by lawmakers after delivering his first budget address to a joint session of the llinois House
and Senate at the Illinois State Capitol on February 20, 2019 in Springfield, Illinois. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Pool/Getty Images)
    Illinois has become the first state to mandate publicly-funded schools teach Asian-American history. Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D-Ill.) recently signed House Bill 376 into law, citing the importance for the next generation to learn about Asian-American history amid a rise in hate crimes against the community.
    “We are setting a new standard for what it means to truly reckon with our history.    It’s a new standard that helps us understand one another, and, ultimately, to move ourselves closer to the nation of our ideals,” said Pritzker.
    The bill requires schools to teach students the Asian community’s contribution to American society and highlight their role in the “economic, cultural, social and political development of the United States.”
    The bill comes after nearly 4,000 hate crimes were reported targeting Asian-Americans during 2020.

7/11/2021 Pro-Trump Supporters Across The Country Are Making Bids For Governorships In Their States by OAN Newsroom
Fmr. Rep. Allen West (R) spots a friend in the crowd before a news conference organized by Special Operations
Speaks Out (SOS) Political Action Committee at the U.S. Capitol. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    A long list of pro-Trump Republicans have begun launching gubernatorial campaigns across the country.    Texas, Massachusetts, Maine and Ohio are just a few states where challenges have been announced in the bid for governor.
    Outgoing Texas GOP Chair Allen West is among several candidates set to run against current Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R).    Abbott is up for reelection to a third term and has already received an endorsement from President Trump.    The two have shown support for one another, even recently by joining forces in visiting the border to address Joe Biden’s immigration crisis.
    Critics have said other candidates may have a hard time winning against Abbott, though a recent poll showed Abbott’s approval rating at 44 percent as many have criticized the way the governor has handled the pandemic.    This comes as the handling of COVID-19 has appeared to be the running theme in the gubernatorial campaigns nationwide.
    Republican Geoff Diehl has also announced his run for governor in Massachusetts.    Current Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) has the opportunity to run for a third term, but has yet to give a formal announcement.
    Diehl is said to have been highly involved in President Trump’s 2016 campaign in Massachusetts and critics have said he may fair better among Trump supporters when it comes to a run against Baker, as Baker supported the impeachment of Trump following the Jan. 6 Capitol breach.
    Former Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) has also announced another run for governor, challenging current Democrat Gov. Janet Mills.    Trump and LePage have both openly criticized Mills on her reluctance to reopen Maine in 2020.
    Meanwhile in Ohio, former U.S. Rep. Jim Rencacci (R) has said he is running for governor and will challenge current Gov. Mike Dewine (R).    Trump had previously hinted at a primary for Dewine last November and had endorsed Renacci’s 2018 Senate bid.
    While some Republican candidates have said they don’t feel they need Trump’s endorsement, Trump has said otherwise.    The 45th president claimed without his support, “they’re not going to win.”

7/11/2021 President Trump Takes The Stage At CPAC In Dallas by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump prepares to speak during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)
held at the Hilton Anatole on July 11, 2021 in Dallas, Texas. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
    The 45th president took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference’s closing day in Dallas, Texas.    Delivering his keynote speech on Sunday, President Trump touched on a number of topics, starting with his intentions to defeat the radical left and critical race theorists.
    Trump was interrupted with chants of “USA” where he quickly delved into the Biden border crisis and the blood shed occurring in Democrat cities as crime rates have hit record levels.
    The president also mentioned his class-action lawsuit against Big Tech companies, which was filed last week.    Trump called the radical left and Big Tech’s attack on free speech unlawful, unconstitutional and un-American.
    In the meantime, the president said he intends to restore free speech and fair elections, adding “we will make America great again.”

7/11/2021 Fmr. DOD Secy. Pushes For Military Vaccine Mandate by OAN Newsroom
Fmr. CIA Director Leon Panetta, on monitor, makes remarks on behalf of William Burns, nominee for Central Intelligence Agency director, during his
Senate Select Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing in Russell Senate Office Building on February 24, 2021 on Capitol Hill. (Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)
    Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the military should be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine.    During a recent interview, Panetta claimed vaccinating troops is a “matter of national security.”
    Panetta said he believes there is no reason Joe Biden can’t enforce vaccinations, stressing he took every required shot during his time in the military.
    Biden commented on the idea stating, “I’m not saying I won’t.    I think you’re going to see more and more of them getting it.    And I think it’s going to be a tough call as to whether or not they should be required to have to get it in the military because you’re in such close proximity with other military personnel.”
    This comes as several reports have suggested more than a third of service members are refusing the doses.    Although, as of late June, more than half of all service members were reported to be at least partially vaccinated.
    In the meantime, the requirement is not yet authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, blocking the Pentagon from forcing troops to get vaccinated for now.

7/11/2021 Reports: Left-Wing Media Scared To Question Biden by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden talks to reporters during the first news conference of his presidency in the East Room
of the White House on March 25, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    President Trump often faced immense pressure from reporters, however, Joe Biden has so far seemed to have an easier experience.    Anonymous White House reporters told journalist Julia Loffe that Democrats expect reporters to be on their side and that Biden’s team has been controlling what journalists can say and do.
    Additionally, cable news has lost 30 percent of their viewers since Biden took office and reporters have said pieces on Trump are receiving more views over the Democrat.
    At Biden’s first solo press conference in March, he had a list of journalists to call on and had already prepped answers.
    However, he faced little backlash for having the cheat sheet.
    In the past when Trump would express his concerns on the accuracy of the media, he was called a threat to free press.    Meanwhile, when Biden attacks media they never seem to bite back.
    In June, Biden snapped at a CNN reporter after being questioned about his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Later that same day, Biden insulted journalists for claiming he dodged their questions. Meanwhile, backlash remained absent.
    Following the occurrence, White House staffers made press appearances while Biden was sidelined.    Biden has previously mentioned he would “get in trouble” with his staff if he were to veer away from scripted questions and interactions with reporters.
    More recently, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki led reporters in singing “happy birthday” to a journalist at a press briefing.    Journalists may now be in jeopardy of losing their jobs for asking Biden tough questions and going against the “narrative.”
    Project Veritas has recently helped some journalists get their stories out, where they claim they have been muzzled from sharing information to the public.    According to a poll back in 2014, only 7 percent identified as Republicans, revealing a stark left-wing bias in the journalism industry.

7/11/2021 Fencing Surrounding Capitol Hill Comes Down by OAN Newsroom
Workers remove security fencing surrounding the U.S. Capitol on July 10, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    The fencing around the Capitol has officially come down more than six months after the Jan. 6 protests.    The fencing around the Capitol Building was finally dismantled on Sunday after House security announced the removal last week.
Members of the public walk freely on the Capitol plaza as workers remove security fencing
surrounding the U.S. Capitol on July 10, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    More than 40 GOP members of Congress signed a letter in February saying the barriers meant that the building was no longer the “People’s House.”    The letter read, “it’s time for healing and it’s time for the removal of the fencing so the nation may move forward.”
    Officials said there will not be another fence installed and all members of the public are welcome to walk around the area.

7/11/2021 Establishment Vs. Progressive Dems Clash In Cleveland by OAN Newsroom
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee members Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) (L) and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) attend
a hearing on drug pricing in the Rayburn House Office building on Capitol Hill July 26, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    The special election in Ohio’s 11th district has heated up as Democrats duke it out for who will succeed recently confirmed Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge.
    Big names have stepped in to endorse either side of the Democrat campaign.    Hilary Clinton has voiced her support for moderate Cuyahoga County Democrat Party Chair Shontel Brown.    Where progressives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) have endorsed former co-chair of the Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign Nina Turner.
    The race has become a proxy battle for the future of the Democrat Party, however, whether it will trend progressive or hold its establishment roots in the years to come.
    Brown also received South Carolina’s James Clyburn’s (D) endorsement.    Clyburn, the third ranking Democrat and highest ranking Black representative in the House, is widely credited with saving Joe Biden’s primary campaign in 2020.
    In his endorsement, Clyburn focused on the legacy of Black Ohio Congressmen rather than national issues and Democrat politics.    “I served with Lou     Stokes, Stephanie Tubbs Jones and Marcia Fudge.    They were effective because they focused on you, not on themselves.    Shontel Brown will continue that legacy in Congress,” said Clyburn.
    Brown is trying to run a “middle of the road” campaign in order to maintain national establishment support.    She has expressed her support for     Israel and has the backing of many Jewish Democrats.    She also claimed a big reason for her run is to honor the legacy of those who came before her.
    Taking the establishment oxygen for herself, Brown said she hopes to boost her polling numbers.    Turner however, said she’s not dismayed by her lack of endorsements from prominent establishment Democrats.    She appeared to receive energy from bucking the establishment of her own party and has famously kept aloof on whether she voted for Hilary Clinton in 2016.
    In 2020, she was vocal in her distaste for Biden’s presidential run.    She voiced her beliefs on her firebrand version of progressivism and how it has shifted the debate within the Democrat Party on acceptable policy positions.
    In the meantime, the Republicans running for the seat face an uphill battle in the heavily Democrat district.    They will face off against a total of 13 Democrat primary candidates and two Republicans, Laverne Gore and Felicia Washington Ross.     Reports have said if Gore or Ross are successful in their bid, they would be the first Republican to hold the seat in nearly four decades.

7/12/2021 Europe’s Climate Masterplan Aims To Slash Emissions Within A Decade by Kate Abnett
FILE PHOTO: General view of electricity pylons and power lines leading from the Uniper coal power
plant in Hanau, Germany, early morning November 23, 2016. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union is set to take the lead in climate policy action among the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters this week, with a raft of ambitious plans designed to cut emissions drastically over the next decade.
    The policies, if approved, would put the bloc – the world’s third-largest economy – on track to meet its 2030 goal of reducing planet-warming emissions by 55% from 1990 levels.
    The “Fit for 55” package being released on Wednesday will face months of negotiations between the 27 EU countries and the European Parliament.
    Other major economies including China and the United States – the world’s top two emitters – have committed to achieving net zero emissions, which scientists say the world must reach by 2050 to avoid catastrophic climate change.
    But the EU is the first to overhaul its legislation to drive greener choices within this decade among the bloc’s 25 million businesses and nearly half a billion people.
    “Everybody has a target. But translating it into policies that lead to real emission reductions, that’s the most difficult part,” said Jos Delbeke, a former senior policymaker who developed some of the EU’s flagship climate policies.
    By 2019, the EU had cut its emissions by 24% from 1990 levels.
    The European Commission will propose 12 policies targeting energy, industry, transport and the heating of buildings.
    Emissions in Europe’s electricity sector are falling fast, but other sectors have been stuck.
    Emissions from cars, planes and ships, which make up a quarter of the EU total, are rising. Buildings produce a third of the bloc’s emissions and, like Europe’s factories, many homes use heat produced from fossil fuels.
    The draft measures aim to encourage companies and consumers to choose greener options over polluting ones.
    For example, a leaked draft of one proposal would tax polluting jet fuel for the first time and give low-carbon aviation fuels a 10-year tax holiday.    A revamp of the EU carbon market is also expected to hike CO2 costs for industry, power plants and airlines, and force ships to pay for their pollution.
    The list of proposals is long. Tougher EU CO2 standards for cars could effectively ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars in 2035.    EU countries will face more ambitious targets for expanding renewable energy.
    Brussels will also announce the details of its world-first carbon border tariff, targeting imports of goods produced abroad with high emissions such as steel and cement. That has unnerved EU trading partners, including Russia and China.
    The political road ahead will likely be rough, as EU countries and the European Parliament negotiate the proposals.
    Already, the plans have exposed familiar rifts between richer western and Nordic EU states where electric vehicle sales are soaring, and poorer eastern countries that are worried about the social cost of weaning their economies off coal.
    EU member capitals are particularly worried about the Commission’s plan to launch a carbon market for transport and home heating, potentially raising household fuel bills.
    The Commission has promised a social fund to shield low-income households from the costs, and is urging countries to use the EU’s 800-billion-euro COVID-19 recovery fund to help people insulate their homes and create jobs in clean technologies such as hydrogen.
    By making climate policies more visible to EU citizens than ever before, “Fit for 55” is set to test public support for ambitious climate action.
    “There’s no hiding that this package comes in the middle of a massive socio-economic crisis,” said Manon Dufour of independent climate change think-tank E3G.    The EU “has to be even more careful about the social impacts.”
    Policymakers are also braced for a storm of industry lobbying.    Europe’s steel and cement sectors are already fighting plans to end free CO2 permits and some of the sectors due to be covered by the carbon border tariff say they do not want to be included.
    Past attempts to tighten CO2 standards for carmakers have faced fierce industry opposition.    But with European giants like Volkswagen already committed to ending combustion-engine car sales in Europe in the 2030s, some governments say now is the time to bring laggards into line.
    “The Commission needs to basically wake up and smell the coffee – that now is the time to actually cement that into legislation,” an EU diplomat said regarding the potential proposal to ban sales of new combustion engine cars by 2035.
    With its world-first package, the EU also aims to burnish its global climate leadership position.    It is unclear if that will be enough, however, to elicit similarly ambitious action from other major economies at the U.N. climate conference in November in Glasgow, Scotland.
    “The challenge is that other big players – China and the U.S. specifically – will need to be on board,” said Tom Rivett-Carnac, the U.N.’s chief political strategist in the run-up to the 2015 Paris Agreement.    “Whether the EU can achieve this diplomatically remains to be seen.”
    Brussels says it is time to take Europe’s climate policies global.    Much of the diplomatic lift required will be on the carbon border tariff, which the EU says will put its firms on more equal footing with competitors in countries with weaker carbon policies.
    The proposals would also push EU industry to invest in expensive green technologies.    Moving early could give European firms a competitive edge in global markets for new products like low-carbon steel produced from green hydrogen, but producing those products will cost manufacturers more.
    “At the end of this transformation, our economy will look a lot better, and we can get the climate crisis under control,” Frans Timmermans, the EU Commissioner in charge of climate policy, told CNN last week.    “And that’s the whole point.”
(Reporting by Kate Abnett; editing by John Chalmers, Katy Daigle and Jason Neely)

7/12/2021 U.S. Repeats Warning To China Against Attack On Philippine Forces
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a meeting with Tajikistan's Foreign Minister
Sirojiddin Muhriddin at the State Department in Washington, U.S., July 1, 2021. REUTERS/Ken Cedeno/Pool
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Sunday repeated a warning to China that an attack on Philippine armed forces in the South China Sea would trigger a 1951 U.S.-Philippines mutual defense treaty.
    Secretary of State Antony Blinken made the comment in a written statement marking the fifth anniversary of a ruling by an arbitration tribunal repudiating China’s vast territorial claims in the South China Sea.
    China – which lays claim to most of the waters within a so-called Nine Dash Line, which is also contested by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam – reiterated on Friday that Beijing did not accept the ruling.
    “The United States reaffirms its July 13, 2020 policy regarding maritime claims in the South China Sea,” Blinken said, referring to the rejection by former President Donald Trump’s administration of China’s claims to offshore resources in most of the South China Sea.
    “We also reaffirm that an armed attack on Philippine armed forces, public vessels, or aircraft in the South China Sea would invoke U.S. mutual defense commitments under Article IV of the 1951 U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty,” Blinken added.
    That article of the treaty says in part that “each Party recognizes that an armed attack in the Pacific area on either of the Parties would be dangerous to its own peace and safety and declares that it would act to meet the common dangers in accordance with its constitutional processes.”
    Blinken has made the point before, including during an April 8 conversation with the Philippine foreign minister in which the State Department said he “reaffirmed the applicability” of the treaty to the South China Sea.
(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Peter Cooney)

7/12/2021 Biden’s FBI Tells Americans To Report Their Family And Friends, Alleges ‘Homegrown Violent Extremism’ by OAN Newsroom
FBI Director Christopher Wray on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    In a statement on Sunday, the FBI called on Americans to participate in its program to prevent what it called “homegrown violent extremism.”    The FBI told people to spy on their relatives and friends and report suspicious behaviors.
    This comes after both the FBI and Biden falsely claimed white nationalism posed the biggest threat to homeland security.    The statement failed to mention the real threat of Islamic terror, which critics said posed a constitutional problem.
    “This must be fake news.    They said they’re asking the family to report on their families that they do think some suspicious,” Former Texas Rep. Ron Paul (R) explained.    “What if somebody was drinking and was a little bit rude to another member of family?    ‘I’ll get you.’    A little bit of that might go on.”
    Critics also mentioned the practice of putting friends and family up for persecution by the government was commonplace in East Germany and the Soviet Union.    However, political policing comes in contradiction with American freedoms.
    “That’s what it’s designed to do, to pit people against other people.    To break down the normal bonds we have in community,” Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute Daniel McAdams asserted.    “…Whenever everyone is suspicious of everyone else, the only one you can turn to is the government and that’s what it’s all about.”
    Critics went on to say the FBI is helping the Democrat party carry out its political influence, even if it comes at the expense of constitutional freedoms and public trust.

7/12/2021 Republicans Support Cubans Protesting Communism, Democrats Silent by OAN Newsroom
Government supporters gather at the Maximo Gomez monument in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, July 11, 2021. Supporters of the government took to
the streets at the time hundreds more protested against ongoing food shortages and high prices of foodstuffs. (AP Photo/Eliana Aponte)
    Republican senators are speaking out in support of protesters in Cuba as Democrat socialists remain silent.
    Specifically, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texsa) released a statement Monday in which he called demonstrators “brave” for standing up to the communist regime. He said communism on the island will be consigned to the dustbin of history.
    The Biden State Department released a statement many considered weak as it did not mention the pain socialist communism has caused on the island for the last 62 years.    Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also commented and asserted that the Biden administration’s response wasn’t good enough.
    “Of course COVID is the icing on the cake here because you’ve got a socialist regime that says to people you have no freedom, you have no independence, you have no ability to speak freely,” stated the Florida lawmaker. “But you have a really good healthcare system.    They don’t!
    Both Cruz and Rubio have families from Cuba who were forced out after the revolution in 1959. They have called for the U.S. to openly stand with the Cuban people in their fight against communism.
    Meanwhile, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel made a direct call for all communists in the country to band together and counter the anti-government protests.

7/12/2021 President Trump Receives Record Support At CPAC by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference CPAC held at the Hilton Anatole on July 11, 2021
in Dallas, Texas. CPAC began in 1974, and is a conference that brings together and hosts conservative organizations, activists,
and world leaders in discussing current events and future political agendas. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
    President Trump has touted the record support he received at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas, Texas.    In a statement issued on Monday, the 45th president pointed to the overwhelming support he received during the event over the weekend.
    A straw poll conducted at the event saw him with over 70 percent support among the attending Republicans.    At the conference, the president outlined the GOP’s path to victory in the upcoming midterm elections and beyond.
    In addition, Trump touched on his historic support in the 2020 presidential election.
    “More votes, 75 million, than anybody in the history of the presidency.    Far more than Clinton, far more than Obama and a record 12 million more than 2016,” he announced.    “…I was told by a great pollster… if you get it up to 64 or 65, nobody can beat you.    Thank you John.    I got it to 75.”
    Meanwhile, several reports highlight Trump’s support at the event by saying he remains the most popular figure in the GOP.

7/12/2021 John Rich: Liberals In Nashville Are Censoring Country Music by OAN Newsroom
Country artist John Rich performs at Redneck Riviera Nashville in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
    John Rich, the man behind country hits such as “Shuttin’ Down Detroit” and “Country Done Come to Town,” has warned of a growing divide between the artists within one of America’s most traditional styles and the forces behind the scenes. In an interview with     Breitbart News on Saturday, Rich said as the Democratic party has become more emboldened over the last year, Democrats who have their stock in country music have followed suit.
    “What you’ve got is a really interesting scenario here where the industry of country music is…the majority is very liberal,” he explained.    “They’ve been that way for a long time and it’s interesting that the industry that puts out country music doesn’t really align with a lot of the audience.”
    While Rich didn’t have the statistics on the scope of liberal influence on country music, some digging into the biggest names in the genre and corresponding Federal Election Commission filings have painted a pretty clear picture.    One of the largest labels in country music is Universal Music Group Nashville, which is a subsidiary of UMG run by Mike Dungan.
    In the last year, Dungan donated to the campaigns of Georgia Sen. Jon Ossoff (D), Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison and Joe Biden.    He has also made repeated donations to the Democrats’ virtual fundraising arm known as Act Blue.
    Another country music heavyweight is Warner Music Group Nashville, whose CEO John Esposito has given money to the Senate Majority Pac founded by “experienced and aggressive” Democrat strategists, the failed congressional campaign of a Kentucky Democrat and Act Blue.
    “Why don’t we see other country artists, who we assume are probably conservative, why don’t we see them speaking out?”    He questioned. “The answer is because they still want to get their records played.”
    Rich added it hasn’t always been this way and the surge in censorship was a relatively new trend.
    “Over the years, the industry has never really come out really strongly about their liberal edge that they have until recently,” he expressed.    “Maybe in the last six to 12 months.”
    However, it’s a trend that Rich hoped parents would be able to stop from spreading.    He went on to warn moms and dads their children look to them as examples of how to respond to this type of discrimination.
    “If they hear mom and dad saying something around the dinner table, but then they zip their lips when it comes to say it out in the open and they won’t say it,” he explained.    “What do you think the kids are going to do 15 to 20 years from now when they run into this situation."
    If parent’s need inspiration to stand up for themselves and their children, Rich says look no further than the words of our founding fathers.    He went on to reference “give me liberty or give me death” as the founding phrase of this country.

7/12/2021 YouTube Blocks ACU From Posting Speeches From CPAC 2021 by OAN Newsroom
Conservative supporters look on as Rabbi Yitz Tender leads a prayer during the opening general session of the
Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Friday, July 9, 2021, in Dallas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
    YouTube took another step to censor conservatives by prohibiting the American Conservative Union (ACU) from uploading new content.    ACU chairman Matt Schlapp issued a statement notifying supporters of the social media giant’s decision while asserting they were being punished for standing with the 45th president.
    “It is clear that YouTube censored CPAC because we stood with former President Donald Trump on his lawsuit against Big Tech,” said the chairman.    “This is yet another example of Big Tech censoring content with which they disagree in order to promote the political positions they favor.”
    The video streaming site issued a strike against the ACU on July 9, in turn, preventing the organization from posting for one-week.    The ban came just a day before CPAC was set to begin, meaning the event would not be available on YouTube.
    “I think the biggest screw you to the cancel culturalists as the culmination of this CPAC in the big red state of Texas, Donald Trump to take the stage and tell the world that no matter what they do, they will not shut him down,” Schlapp later told reporters.
    During the event, President Trump told the crowd he had taken Big Tech billionaires to court to push back against their censorship.
    “We are taking Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey and the other Silicon Valley billionaires to federal court,” he stated.    “And we will keep on fighting until we have stopped this assault on our liberties and until we have restored the sacred right to freedom of speech for every single American.    Who would have thought, who would have thought?
    As of Sunday night, the last video on the ACU YouTube page was uploaded Friday.    None of the speeches from Saturday or Sunday have been added to the page.

7/12/2021 State Dept. Releases 2021 Report On Genocide, Names Several Problems Countries Including China, Myanmar And Syria by OAN Newsroom
Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the State Department in Washington. (Ken Cedeno/Pool via AP)
    The State Department updated Congress on its efforts to combat global atrocities including genocide.    On Monday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the release of the 2021 Congressional Report mandated by the 2018 Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act.
    Blinken named several problem countries in the report, which included China, Myanmar and Syria.
    “These places represent some of the toughest foreign policy challenges on our agenda and we’ll keep working toward resolutions that reflect our commitment to human rights and democratic values,” he stated.    “We’ll use all of the tools at our disposal including diplomacy, foreign assistance, investigations and fact-finding missions.”
    The report indicated Myanmar has been on the State Department and Department of Defense’s radar since 2016 and 2017, when military leaders reportedly committed atrocities against Rohingya residents in one of its northern states.    Trump-era Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called the actions tantamount to “ethnic cleansing.”    According to State Department researchers, the leaders of the military actions against Rohingya have been responsible for the coup against democratically elected leaders in February of this year.
    In addition, China has come under immense scrutiny from the international community for their treatment of Uyghur Muslims, who are a religious and ethnic minority group in the country.    The State Department’s assessment of the CCP’s imprisonment, torture and enforced sterilization of Uyghurs constituted serious crimes against humanity and severe violations of religious liberty.
    Furthermore, The U.S. has been investigating atrocities committed in Syria from ISIS militants and the Assad regime.    International reports have said the two groups were responsible for the genocide of Kurds, Christians, Shia and Sunni Muslims.
    “We believe it’s important, as I think the secretary has said it several times, to shine, to put a spotlight on these activities,” Assistant Secretary for Conflict and Stabilization Operations Robert Faucher explained.    “That’s one of the best ways from preventing them from happening again in the future.”
    Meanwhile, Blinken vowed to work with partner agencies and foreign governments to ensure global atrocities are stopped and prevented.    He commended lawmakers and diplomats from both sides of the aisle for their bipartisan push to combat global atrocities.
    Blinken went on to highlight this has led to the State and Treasury Departments across several administrations to sanction hundreds of individuals and companies with ties to genocide and other crimes against humanity.

7/12/2021 IMF Economist: Biden’s Policies To Turn U.S. Into Latin American-Style Economy by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden delivers remarks on infrastructure spending at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, Ill. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    A rising number of economist have warned Joe Biden’s policies could turn the U.S. into a Latin American type of economy.    On Monday, Former International Monetary Fund Deputy Director Desmond Lachman said Biden’s inflation, money printing and high government spending posed a problem for the U.S. economy.
    Lachman said Biden’s policies could push the U.S. budget deficit up to 15 percent per year.    He warned this was not a sustainable level of deficit spending, which may bankrupt the U.S.
    Lachman went on to point out such policies lead to devaluation of the national currency and fuel poverty, as seen in many Latin American countries.
    “What we’ve already got in the pipeline is going to cause inflation,” he asserted.    “Now if you can add infrastructure plan and the families plan, and it’s not going to be properly financed with real taxes that restrain spending, then you’re just going to be adding to the inflationary pressures.”
    Lachman added the federal reserve would have to raise interest rates and halt money printing to curb inflation.    However, he said this wouldn’t help solve budget problems.
    “What I think has gone wrong in this country is that there’s no real constituency for anything vaguely approaching a responsible budget policy,” he expressed.    “This is how we see that budget deficit keeps rising and the debt keeps rising.”
    Lachman went on to warn Biden’s policies will eventually result in bubbles bursting in the housing and stock markets, which could bring on a new recession in the nation.

7/12/2021 RNC Will Not Allow Mainstream Media To Moderate GOP Debates by OAN Newsroom
Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel speaks during a news conference
at the Republican National Committee in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    The Republican National Committee has refused establishment media from moderating GOP primary debates. During an interview on Monday, Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said the RNC would not allow biased mainstream media figures to moderate 2024 Republican primary debates.
    McDaniel added the RNC could request the Republican nominee for president not to participate in general election debates unless the Commission on Presidential Debates made some major changes. In June, McDaniel sent a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debate, which outlined these changes.
    “However, we have actually called on the Commission on Presidential Debates to have more transparency, to have term limits,” she explained.    “We may encourage our candidate not to work with them if they do not make significant changes.”
    McDaniel’s comments come as Republicans gear up for the 2022 midterms and begin to prepare early for the 2024 presidential race.

7/13/2021 Oil down $0.48 to $74.15, DOW up 126 to 34,996.

7/13/2021 Ariz. State Sen. Rogers: Audit Numbers Don’t Match 2020 Election Results 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, at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York, Pool)
    Sen. Wendy Rogers (R-Ariz.) suggested the audit of 2020 elections was set to reveal massive fraud by Democrats.    In a tweet on Tuesday, Rogers said the numbers from the Arizona audit did not match the purported outcomes of 2020 elections.
    The senator added it was still unclear by how many votes or whether the audit would change election outcomes.    This comes after Senate President Karen Fann (R-Ariz.) said the numbers didn’t match in Maricopa County, as suspected previously.
    “All we’re doing is just counting number of ballots.    It’s a paper counting machine, is all it does,” she explained.    “They haven’t released a number yet if you will, however, we do know that those do not match with the Maricopa County at this point.”
    Arizona auditors said the forensic review was drawing to an end and their final report was expected to be released in a few weeks.    More information is expected to be released from Arizona state Senate on Thursday.
    One America News will have reporting staff on the ground to bring you the latest developments from the forensic audit in Maricopa County.

7/13/2021 Biden Says 150 Americans Voted In 2020 Elections, President Trump Asks Are Democrats Conceding 6M Stolen 2020 Votes? by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this combination of file photos, Joe Biden speaks in Wilmington, Del., left,
and President Donald Trump speaks at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo, File)
    Joe Biden said only 150 Americans voted in last years election as he downplayed the evidence of rampant voter fraud.    Biden travelled to Philadelphia on Tuesday in an apparent attempt to halt the forensic investigation of last year’s elections in that state.
    Biden reiterated false Democrat claims that evidence of election fraud was “the big lie.”    He asserted Democrats plan to run 2022 midterms the way they did in 2020 and falsely claimed the purported 2020 results were validated by courts, recounts and audits.
    “That’s why just like we did in 2020, we have to prepare for 2022,” he stated.    “We’ll engage in all efforts to educate voters about the changing laws.    Register them to vote and then get the vote out.”
    However, President Trump argued Democrats appeared to be conceding the six million fraudulent votes cast in last year’s elections. In a statement on Tuesday, Trump highlighted Joe Biden’s remarks during his visit to Philadelphia earlier in the day.    The 45th president asked if Biden was admitting to Democrats who committed rampant election fraud.
    Biden stated, “All told, more than 150 Americans of every age, of every race, of every background exercised their right to vote.”
    Trump argued if we assume Biden meant to say 150 million votes and 75 million went to Trump, that would mean Biden also got about 75 million votes.    However, official results claimed 81 million votes went to Biden.
    Trump went on to say Biden may be already conceding the six million votes that he believes the Democrats stole from him last November.

7/13/2021 Texas Senate Passes SB1 Election Integrity Bill by OAN Newsroom
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick speaks at a news conference at the Capitol, in Austin, Texas. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP, File)
    Texas voter integrity bill SB1 passed the state Senate. The legislation passed on Tuesday night in a 18 to four vote.
    It will now head to the state House, where most Democrats have fled to avoid having to vote on similar legislation proposed in the House.    The bill aimed to strengthen voting integrity by adding new voter ID requirements and adding a monthly review of Texas voter rolls.
    House Republicans slammed Democrats for fleeing the state by pointing out all the other important measures they’re leaving behind, including ones on border security and elder care.
    Rep. Jim Murphy (R-Texas) went on to say, “by walking out again, the Democrats have potentially killed legislation that benefits our teachers, that works for our foster kids, that benefits our seniors, takes care of our families and all Texans who want a Texas solution to the drug trafficking and human smuggling occurs along our border.”
    As of now, the state House lacks quorum to pass either of the bills.    However, the Texas House did vote on Tuesday to send for all Democrats who fled to D.C and bring them back, even it requires their arrests.

7/13/2021 Democrats Blame Cuban Protests On Anything But Socialism by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) speaks at George Washington University in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    While Republicans have recognized the role of socialist and communist repression in Cuba sparking recent protests, Democrats have taken the side of the Cuban president and pointed blame elsewhere, including on the U.S.    On Monday, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell denied Cuba’s problem was communism, but instead economically illiterate dictators and the embargo.
    O’Donnell went on to describe the Cuban embargo as a “grotesque mistake.”
    “Cuba’s problem is not too much socialism, as Republicans would have you believe.    It is too much dictatorship, second only to North Korea at this point,” he claimed.    “The embargo is our longest-running foreign policy mistake.”
    After a long period of silence, self-described Democratic Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) put a tweet out on Monday with no mention of communism and called for an end to the embargo.    The embargo argument was also the Cuban president’s response to the largest protests Cuba has seen in decades.
    President Miguel Diaz-Canel denied a repressive dictatorship in Cuba and similar to the Democratic Party, attributed the quality of life in the island nation to the presence of the embargo.
    “If you want the Cuban people to do better, lift the embargo first and let’s see how we do,” he stated.    “Don’t come telling me it’s the inefficient government, the brutal government or the dictatorship.    Where is the dictatorship in Cuba?
    Diaz-Canel has called on communist citizens to “combat” the thousands of so-called “counter-revolutionaries” seeking to rid themselves of socialism and communism in their home country.

7/13/2021 Pa. Lawmakers Pledge Transparency As They Redraw Congressional Districts After Population Decline by OAN Newsroom
The Pennsylvania Capitol building in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
    Pennsylvania legislators have promised to be transparent in their efforts to redraw congressional districts.    On Monday, Republican legislators in the Keystone State launched a website to pull back the curtains on the redistricting process.
    The move comes after a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled in 2018 the previous congressional map had been drawn too quickly and was unfair.    Images of some of those maps attracted attention online due to their strange shapes.
    “When you get a district as bad as Goofy kicking Donald and its nationally known as one of the worst gerrymandered districts in the country, it’s embarrassing,” Chair of Fair District PA Carol Kuniholm explained.    “People realize they can’t do that again.”
    A series of public hearings throughout the summer season have been scheduled to encourage public participation on how congressional maps should be drawn.    Through both the website and public hearings, GOP lawmakers leading the efforts assured the state’s redistricting would be the most transparent process yet.
    Due to population decline Pennsylvania will lose a seat in the House, which would drop 18 seats down to 17.

7/13/2021 VoterGa Finds Thousands Of Fraudulent Biden ‘Votes’ In Ga. by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Nov. 25, 2020 file photo, workers scan ballots as the Fulton County presidential
recount gets underway at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ben Gray, File)
    A new report revealed thousands of fraudulent votes were potentially cast in 2020 elections in Georgia.    Election integrity group VoterGa examined ballot scans from Fulton County and found previous vote recounts had a 60 percent error.
    At least 4,200 illicit votes were counted toward the final tally, including 3,400 Biden votes and 865 Trump votes.    The report also found at least seven recount tallies contained fabricated vote totals.
    This includes a batch with 554 votes for Biden and 140 for President Trump that were counted as 850 Biden votes and zero Trump votes.
    “Why did someone write in 100-to-nothing, 150-to-nothing and put that in, that was entered into the system and was reported as the official results of the audit?” Favorito questioned.    “Who these people were, we don’t know.    Some were election officials, some were librarians, others were Happy Face personnel.”
    The report also found chain of custody documents for thousands of drop box ballots are still missing.    Garland Favorito of VoteGA is now advancing a lawsuit to invalidate the fraudulent Georgia results.

7/13/2021 Jake Evans Launches Campaign Against Democrat Ga. Rep. McBath by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Ga.) on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)
    Jake Evans, former chairman of the Georgia Ethics Committee, has launched a congressional bid against Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Ga.).    During an interview on Tuesday, Evans announced his run as an effort to fight back against the radical left who have wanted to “erase our culture, our values and our American identity.”
    Invoking President Trump and former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Evans vowed to be a strong conservative “trailblazer” in his campaign ad.
    Evans went on to say, “that’s why just like President Trump and former Congressman Newt Gingrich, I’ll blaze a trail with bold conservative values and big ideas that gets us back on the right track.”
    Evans stepped down as chairman for the Ethics Commission at the end of June in preparation for his House bid to challenge McBath.    He asserted Americans needed lawmakers who would fight for constitutional rights rather than “political opportunism.”
    Evans is joining a handful of other Republicans running in the Peach State’s 6th district, including former state Rep. Meagan Hanson and army veteran Harold Earls.

7/13/2021 Calif. Health Dept. Requires Students And Teachers Wear Masks Indoors by OAN Newsroom
FILE — In this April 13, 2021, file photo, kindergarten students sit in their classroom on the first day of
in-person learning at Maurice Sendak Elementary School in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
    California health officials have backtracked its hardline stance on requiring K-12 students to wear face masks.    On Monday evening, the state’s Health Department updated their guidelines for the fall 2021 school year by saying students and teachers are required to wear masks indoors.
    However, the agency suggested school to develop their own guidelines to enforce the mask rule to avoid sending kids home unnecessarily. This includes providing face masks and other protective equipment as well as offering alternative educational opportunities for students who are sent home.
    “It’s all about choice.    If a child wants to wear a mask or needs to wear a mask, that’s fine,” one California parent stated.    “Every child should have the chance to unmask, share their smile and breathe the air.”
    Meanwhile, the California Health Department says the guidelines are effective immediately and will be updated on November 1 at the latest.

7/13/2021 Democrats Suggest New Definition For Infrastructure by OAN Newsroom
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, joined by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y.,
speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
    Democrat leaders in the House and the Senate returned to the Hill after a brief recess and immediately began to convince Americans to accept their definition of infrastructure.    On Monday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) claimed the current understanding of the term infrastructure was outdated.
    The Oxford English Dictionary has defined infrastructure as “the basic physical and organizational structures and facilities (e.g. buildings, roads, power supplies) needed for the operation of a society or enterprise.”
    “What is in this bill is what we could agree to as infrastructure, but it frankly is an old view of infrastructure.    It’s what we might have done 35 years ago,” Pelosi claimed.    “Roads, bridges, mass transit to a certain extent and not as much as I would like.”
    Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) doubled down on Pelosi’s proposal to change the English language to fit their political agenda by saying things like health care and education, both of which are represented by entirely separate cabinet positions within the federal government, should also be included in their bill.
    “Human infrastructure, what many would call family support as our families come under increasing pressure in this modern society,” he stated.     “Things like child care, family leave, education, health care are just as essential to giving our citizens opportunity as building, roads and bridges and railways.”
    In addition, the left’s ultra-progressive representative Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) went a step further by suggesting green technology, child care, education and health care were just the beginning to the Democrats massive budget plan.
    “I introduced a proposal for $6 trillion, so I’m gonna fight to make that proposal as robust as it can be,” he explained.    “I think quite frankly a strong majority of the members of the Democratic Caucus want to go as big as we possibly can.”
    Meanwhile, Republicans are working to convince the more moderate voices within the Democrat Party to reject radical shifts in federal oversight and vote against the infrastructure bill and the budget proposal, the latter of which would be the largest federal spending plan since World War II.

7/13/2021 Gov. Abbott On Democrats Fleeing State: They Will Be Arrested by OAN Newsroom
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during a news conference in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
    An attempt by Democrat lawmakers in Texas to block election integrity bills by fleeing the state has backfired.    On Monday, nearly all 67 Texas state representatives flew in private planes to Washington D.C. in an attempt to block GOP bills that would add stricter voter ID laws.
    “As soon as they come back in the state of Texas, they will be arrested,” Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) asserted.    “They will be cabined inside the Texas Capitol until they get their job done.”
    Rep. Nicole Collier (D-Texas) spoke with press and claimed the only option left was to flee the state because it denied legislature quorum to pass the GOP’s voter reform bills, which aimed to add new ID requirements for citizens voting by mail.
    “We had no other option.    There was nothing left to give and so we took a stand,” she stated.    “We left the state of Texas because that was the best and the right thing to do at the right time.”
    However, Abbott said this move could ultimately cost them their job.
    “If they do not return to work, they’re risking losing their jobs as state representatives for not showing up,” he expressed.    “First of all, I’ll tell you what the House of Representatives can do, the speaker can do, is issue a call to have these members arrested.”
    Abbott warned fleeing the state would not stop the voting reform bills to make their way through legislature.    He warned he would continue to maintains calls for a special session until elections of next year.
    In the coming days, Texas state Democrats plan on begging Joe Biden to weaken federal voter laws and effectively block state legislation for election integrity where more backlash is sure to pop up.

7/13/2021 Report: FBI Tells Americans To Report Their Family & Friends While Alleging ‘Homegrown Violent Extremism’ by OAN Newsroom
FILE – This Thursday, June 14, 2018, file photo, shows the FBI seal at a news conference
at FBI headquarters in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)
    The Federal Bureau of Investigation is taking heat for a controversial tweet asking individuals to report their friends and family members for “suspicious behaviors” and claims of “violent extremism.”
    In a statement Sunday, the FBI called on Americans to participate in its program to prevent what it called “homegrown violent extremism.”    The agency told citizens to spy on their relatives and friends as well as report “suspicious behaviors.”
    This came after the FBI and Joe Biden falsely claimed white nationalism poses the biggest threat to homeland security.    The statement does not mention the real threat of Islamic terror and critics have said it poses a constitutional problem.
    Critics have also pointed out that the practice of putting friends and family up for persecution by the government was commonplace in East Germany and the Soviet Union.    However, political policing comes in contradiction with American freedoms.
    The FBI may be helping the Democrat Party carry out its political influence even if it comes at the expense of constitutional freedoms and public trust.

7/14/2021 Oil down $2.53 to $72.71, DOW up 44 to 34,933.

7/14/2021 Exclusive-Twitter Sees Jump In Govt Demands To Remove Content Of Reporters, News Outlets by Sheila Dang and Elizabeth Culliford
FILE PHOTO: People holding mobile phones are silhouetted against a backdrop projected with the Twitter logo
in this illustration picture taken in Warsaw September 27, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/File Photo
    (Reuters) – Twitter Inc saw a surge in government demands worldwide in 2020 to take down content posted by journalists and news outlets, according to data released by the social media platform.
    In its transparency report published on Wednesday, Twitter said verified accounts of 199 journalists and news outlets on its platform faced 361 legal demands from governments to remove content in the second half of 2020, up 26% from the first half of the year.
    The biannual report on Twitter’s enforcement of policy rules and the information and removal requests it receives comes as social media companies including Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc’s YouTube face government scrutiny worldwide over the content allowed on their platforms.
    Twitter ultimately removed five tweets from journalists and news publishers, the report said.    India submitted most of the removal requests, followed by Turkey, Pakistan and Russia.
    The social media platform did not previously track such data on requests pertaining to journalists or publishers.
    India topped the list for information requests by governments in the second half of 2020, overtaking the United States for the first time, the report said.
    Some countries have moved to ban or restrict access to social media platforms.    On Monday, Cuba began curbing access to Facebook and messaging apps like Telegram amid widespread anti-government protests.    Last month, Nigeria banned Twitter from the country and ordered television and radio stations not to use the platform to gather information.
    The company said globally it received over 14,500 requests for information from July 1 to Dec. 31, and it produced some or all of the information in response to 30% of the requests.
    Such requests can include governments or other entities asking for the identities of people tweeting under pseudonyms.
    Twitter also received more than 38,500 legal demands to take down various content, down 9% from the first half of 2020, It complied with 29% of the demands.
    Twitter has been embroiled in several conflicts with countries, notably India over its new content regulations for social media.    Last week, the company said it had hired an interim chief compliance officer in India and would appoint other executives to comply with the rules.
    In the updated transparency report, Twitter said the number of impressions, or views of a tweet, that violated Twitter’s rules accounted for less than 0.1% of the total global views in the second half of 2020, the first time the platform has released such data.
    The company said its technology is proactively identifying more than 65% of abusive content for human review, rather than relying on reports submitted by Twitter users.
    Like other social media companies, Twitter has struggled to police hate speech, misinformation and other abuses on its service.    Chief Executive Jack Dorsey was among the tech leaders who testified before Congress in March on misinformation.
    Major social media companies were under fire this week over racist abuse on their platforms directed at Black players on the England soccer team.
(Reporting by Sheila Dang in Dallas and Elizabeth Culliford in New York; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Richard Chang)

7/14/2021 Protests In France Against COVID-19 ‘Health Pass’ Rules
Police officers detain a demonstrator during a protest against the new measures announced by French President Emmanuel Macron
to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Paris, France, July 14, 2021. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
    PARIS (Reuters) -Police in Paris clashed with protesters railing against President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to require a COVID-19 vaccine certificate or negative PCR test to gain entry to bars, restaurants and cinemas from next month.
    Macron this week announced sweeping measures to fight a rapid surge in new coronavirus infections, including the mandatory vaccination of health workers and new health pass rules for the wider public.
    In doing so, he went further than most other European nations have done as the highly contagious Delta variant fans a new wave of cases, and other governments are watching carefully to see how the French public responds. (Graphic on global cases)
    The police fired tear gas on several occasions as pockets of protesters overturned garbage cans and set a mechanical digger alight.    Some protesters away from the skirmishes wore badges saying “No to the health pass.”
    Some critics of Macron’s plan – which will require shopping malls, cafes, bars and restaurants to check the health passes of all patrons from     August – accuse the president of trampling on freedoms and discriminating against those who do not want the COVID shot.
    “It’s totally arbitrary and wholly undemocratic,” said one protester who identified himself as Jean-Louis.
    Macron says the vaccine is the best way to put France back on the path to normalcy and that he is encouraging as many people as possible to get inoculated.
    There were protests in other cities including Nantes, Marseille and Montpellier.
    The show of discontent took place on Bastille Day, the anniversary of the 1789 storming of a medieval fortress in Paris which marked the turning point in the French Revolution.
    Among other proposals in the government’s draft bill is the mandatory isolation for 10 days of anyone who tests positive, with police making random checks, French media reported.    The prime minister’s office did not respond when asked to confirm the detail.
(Reporting by Christian Lowe and Gonzalo Fuentes; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Sandra Maler)

7/14/2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan Could Come As Soon As This Week by OAN Newsroom
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks to reporters at the Capitol
in Washington, Tuesday, July 13, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Republican and Democrat lawmakers are working to come to an agreement on a bipartisan infrastructure deal before the August recess.    A finalized bipartisan deal may be coming sooner than expected.
    A group of lawmakers announced Tuesday that the $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal, which would spend money on a variety of infrastructure projects, could be finalized by the end of the week.
    “On the bipartisan infrastructure bill we’re moving forward,” stated Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).    “We had a report from Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and she is optimistic that we can get to the goal that I proposed, that we have legislation ready by Friday.”
    The bill could come to the floor as soon as the week of July 19.    The legislation, however, has faced criticism as some Republicans are reportedly wary of passing a bipartisan deal if it means Democrats will pass a large, multi-trillion dollar package without Republicans under reconciliation.
    Democrats have previously argued that the bipartisan plan, while addressing a lot of major infrastructure concerns, does not address tax credits for families, investments in child care or other programs that democrats assert are necessary for all.
    The Senate Budget Committee was considering a nearly $6 trillion spending figure for the separate package, which is a price tag that allegedly was a bit high for some moderate Democrats.
    Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) met with Joe Biden over negotiations on the infrastructure reconciliation proposal on Monday.
    “We want to see a reconciliation bill, which shows the working families of this country the government can and must work for them,” stated the Vermont lawmaker.
    Reports Tuesday stated Senate Budget Committee Democrats had agreed to a target goal of $3.5 trillion for their budget reconciliation package while stating that the plan is fully paid for.

7/14/2021 President Trump: Are Democrats Conceding 6M Stolen 2020 Votes? by OAN Newsroom
Envelopes containing ballots are shown at a San Francisco Department of Elections
at a voting center in San Francisco, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. (AP PhotoJeff Chiu)
    According to President Donald Trump, Democrats appear to be conceding the 6 million fraudulent votes cast in last year’s elections.
    In a statement Tuesday, Trump highlighted Joe Biden’s remarks during his visit to Philadelphia earlier in the day.    The 45th president asked, “is Biden admitting to Democrats committing rampant election fraud?
    Here’s what Biden had to say on the matter:
    Trump asserted that if we assume Biden meant to say 150 million votes and 75 million went to Trump then that would mean Biden also got some 75 million votes.    However, official results claim 81 million votes went to Biden.
    Trump said Biden may be already conceding the 6 million votes that he believes the Democrats stole for him during the election process last November.

7/15/2021 Oil down $2.50 to $72.71, DOW up 44 to 34,933.

7/15/2021 Biden, Merkel May Have Little Time To Rebuild ‘Indispensable’ Relationship by Andrea Shalal and Jeff Mason
FILE PHOTO: German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends the weekly cabinet meeting
at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, July 14, 2021. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse/Pool
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The clock is ticking as President Joe Biden welcomes German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the White House on Thursday with both hoping to rebuild ties badly frayed under former President Donald Trump.
    The United States and Germany are key NATO allies but are at odds over a host of tough issues, including the Nord Stream 2 pipeline being built from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea, which Washington fears will increase European reliance on Russian gas.
    They also disagree over the wisdom of partnering with China on business deals, continuing restrictions on travel to the United States from Europe, and Germany’s opposition to temporary patent waivers aimed at speeding COVID-19 vaccine production.
    Biden, 78, and Merkel, 66, see eye to eye on a string of broader issues. They will likely discuss joining forces to fight threats to democracy around the world, counter Russian cyberattacks and territorial aggression in Eastern Europe, and China’s push to dominate advanced technologies, officials in both governments said.
    Ending the pandemic and halting climate change will also come up, they said.
    But the two leaders do not have much time to work together on strengthening ties between the world’s largest and fourth-largest economies.
    Merkel, chancellor since 2005, plans to exit Germany’s government after national elections in September, meaning she is likely to be seen as a “lame duck” in her final months in power.
    Polling shows her Christian Democrats are poised to take the lead in forming a government after the election, but it remains unclear which parties would be included in a coalition.
    Biden’s Democratic Party has tenuous majorities in the U.S. Congress that could evaporate in the 2022 congressional elections.
    John Emerson, who served as ambassador to Germany under former President Barack Obama, said the relationship remains “indispensable” for Washington given Germany’s role as the largest economy in Europe and a NATO ally, as well as its importance as a bridge builder in dealing with Russia, the Middle East and North Africa.
    Germany hosts some 36,000 U.S. troops on its soil.
    Merkel’s White House visit – the first by a European leader since Biden took office in January – shows the United States is trying to make amends with an ally that was often attacked during the Trump years.
    “Inviting her to come is important symbolically, but it’s also an opportunity to get the relationship back on the right track, and that is clearly happening,” Emerson said.
    Merkel’s agenda on Thursday includes breakfast with Vice President Kamala Harris, a one-on-one meeting with Biden and a dinner hosted by the Bidens at the White House.    Merkel also will make remarks after receiving an honorary degree from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
    Germany’s transatlantic coordinator, Peter Beyer, said Germans were aware that there was only a limited time available to move forward, given the risk that Biden could be weakened after the 2022 elections.
    Merkel may advise Biden on what to expect in the next German government, said Jackson Janes, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
    “I think it will be a sense of saying: ‘Thanks for the memories,’ and maybe a little bit more about what (Biden) should be thinking about as he deals with the next administration in Berlin,” he said of Merkel’s likely message on her trip.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Jeff Mason; Additional reporting by Arshad Mohammed in Washington and Andreas Rinke and Joseph Nasr in Berlin; Editing by Kieran Murray and Peter Cooney)

7/15/2021 Sen. Cruz Calls Out Sen. Sanders For Hypocrisy Regarding Stance On Cuban Protests by OAN Newsroom
Demonstrators wave flags, Wednesday, July 14, 2021, in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, as
people rallied in support of antigovernment demonstrations in Cuba. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
    Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has accused Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) for being hypocritical when it comes to his stance on the Cuban protests.    In an interview Wednesday, Cruz noted that while Sanders claims he supports the Cuban people’s rights, the Cuban communist dictators who Sanders has praised most certainly do not.
    “Right now the Cuban thugs are out there arresting protesters, they’re throwing them in jail, they’re clubbing them, they’re beating them and this is not new,” stated the Texas lawmaker.    “For decades, the communist dictatorship in Cuba has committed murder, has committed torture, has committed incredible atrocities.”
    Cruz noted that Cuban authorities beating its own people is nothing new while pointing to his own family members who were imprisoned under Cuban communist rule.    The Republican also criticized the Biden administration’s claims that the protests are focused on COVID-19 while pointing out the protesters cries of “freedom.”
    Meanwhile, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has criticized the Biden administration’s lack of a proper response to the civil unrest in Cuba.    In a video posted to Twitter on Wednesday, the Florida lawmaker called for bipartisanship on this issue.    Rubio emphasized the importance of standing with the Cuban people who are seeking to be liberated from the brutal communist dictatorship.
    However, he’s especially taking aim at one member of the Biden administration.    The senator called out Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas for his weakness on the matter.    Rubio’s concern comes as Mayorkas has previously organized trips with members of Congress to introduce them to communist Cuban officials.

7/15/2021 Harris Welcomes, Praises Delinquent Texas Democrats Who Fled State To Avoid Passing Election Integrity Laws by OAN Newsroom
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a roundtable with disabilities advocates on voting rights in the Vice President’s
Ceremonial Office at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex,
Wednesday, July 14, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    Kamala Harris has praised the fugitive Texas Democrats who are facing criminal charges for dereliction of duty in their state.    She met with Democrat members of Texas legislature Wednesday and compared them to prominent abolitionist as well as civil rights figures of the past.
    Harris claimed they “took bold and courageous action” to try and derail the work of their state legislature.
    Earlier this week, 58 Texas Democrats took a private jet, a case of beer in tow, and fled to Washington, D.C. in an attempt to prevent Texas from passing election integrity laws.
    Texas authorities have said those same Democrats will now be arrested.
    “This is not about one particular bill; this is political theater by and for Texas Democrats,” stated state Rep. Jim Murphy (R-Texas).    “We denounce that decision to flee the state and to avoid voting on critical legislation that Texans desperately need and care about.    I asked the Texas taxpayers, is this what you expect from your elected representatives?
    The Texas state Senate passed election integrity bills Thursday despite the Democrats’ absence.

7/15/2021 Blake Masters Announces GOP Senate Run In Ariz. by OAN Newsroom
Voters deliver their ballot to a polling station, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
    A Republican Senate candidate in Arizona is vowing to take the seat back from Democrat Mark Kelly.    Thiel Foundation President Blake Masters launched his campaign on Monday.
    Masters has pledged to end illegal immigration by finishing the border wall and building an economy for families to live on a single income.    He said the left has taken control of every institution and he’s worried for his children’s future in a declining America.
    While refusing to stay silent, Masters also plans to come after Big Tech and the woke media.
    “We can’t take America for granted and if we want to keep it, we got to fight for it,” he stated.    “Because we are up against a media that lies to us, schools that teaches our kids to hate our country and corporations that have gotten so big they think they’re bigger than America.”
    Masters has never held public office and faces a large GOP primary field. This race will play a factor in determining which party takes control of the upper chamber.

7/15/2021 Fed Chair: Inflation To Remain Elevated Before Moderating by OAN Newsroom
Jerome Powell, Chair, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve speaks during a conference at the
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago on June 04, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. The conference was held to discuss
monetary policy strategy, tools and communication practices. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
    Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has said inflation will remain elevated before moderating in the coming months.    Powell made the comment on Wednesday while presenting the Fed’s semi-annual monetary policy report to the House Financial Services Committee.
    This comes as inflation has surged every month since Joe Biden took office.    The central bank chief noted economic improvements, but said the labor market was still below pre-pandemic levels.
    “Inflation is being temporarily boosted by base effects, as the sharp pandemic-related price declines from last spring drop out of the 12-month calculation,” said Powell.
    Powell’s comments come as U.S. consumer prices in June grew at the fastest pace seen in 13 years.    He added the economy needs to improve more before the central bank changes its monetary policy.

7/15/2021 Duque Says Some Colombian Suspects Had ‘Detailed Knowledge’ Of Haiti Plot
FILE PHOTO: Colombia's President Ivan Duque speaks during the announcement of the granting of legal status of
temporary protection to all Venezuelan migrants, in Bogota, Colombia February 8, 2021. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez
    PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) -Many of the Colombian ex-soldiers accused of involvement in the assassination of President Jovenel Moise went to Haiti to work as bodyguards, but others knew a crime was being planned, Colombia’s president said on Thursday.
    Haitian authorities have said Moise was shot dead at his home on July 7 by a group of assassins including 26 Colombians and two Haitian Americans.    Eighteen Colombians have been detained and three others were killed by police.
    “There was a big group that were taken on a supposed protection mission, but within that group, there’s a smaller group, which were those who apparently had detailed knowledge of what was to be a criminal operation,” Colombian President Ivan Duque told La FM radio.
    “Does that excuse the rest of the group?    Unfortunately no, because they are also participating in the situation.”
    Colombian news magazine Semana reported on Wednesday that one of the detained Colombians had confessed to Haitian authorities that seven of his compatriots took part in Moise’s killing.    Reuters could not independently verify the report.
    Families and colleagues of some of the detainees have told journalists in Colombia that the suspects were hired to work as bodyguards and are innocent.
    The head of Colombia’s national police stressed on Thursday that Haitian authorities are leading the investigation.
    A “small number” of the detainees had received U.S. military training in the past while serving as active members of the Colombian military, Pentagon spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Ken Hoffman said on Thursday. He did not give further details.
    Colombia is one of the strongest U.S. military partners in Latin America, receiving billions of dollars in security aid and training focused on countering Marxist guerrilla groups that are funded by drug trafficking, extortion and kidnapping.
    A U.S. government source said a Senate committee is looking into training by the U.S. military of some of the Colombians detained on suspicion of Moise’s killing.
    The assassination has pitched the already-troubled Caribbean nation into chaos, coming amid a surge in gang violence in recent months that has displaced thousands and hampered economic activity in the poorest country in the Americas.
    The New York Times reported on Thursday that the head of security for the presidential palace, Dimitri Herard, was detained and is being questioned about why the attackers did not meet more resistance at the president’s home.
(Reporting by David Alire Garcia in Port-au-Prince, Oliver Griffin in Bogota, and Idrees Ali and Mark Hosenball in Washington; Writing by Laura Gottesdiener; Editing by Frances Kerry and Daniel Wallis)

7/15/2021 GOP Bill Aimed At Limiting CRT Moves Ahead In N.C. by OAN Newsroom
N.C. Republican Senate leader Phil Berger speaks at a Senate Education Committee hearing on Wednesday,
July 14, 2021, in the Legislative Office Building in Raleigh, N.C. (AP Photo/Bryan Anderson)
    Republicans in North Carolina have decided to move forward with a bill that would place limitations on teaching critical race theory in schools.    The state’s Senate Leader Phil Berger has voiced his support for the measure.
    He said at the core of CRT is indoctrination and that his greatest fear is teaching children that race is determinative of whether or not someone is going to be successful or that it justifies present day discrimination.
    Berger added he’s not alone in his quest for answers.
    According to the Associated Press, CRT was created in the 70’s and 80’s and claimed racism is systemic in American institutions, meaning white people are the dominant race in society.    Although, Berger said he’s always been skeptical of the Democrats’ push for CRT in schools.
    He noted that because he shares the same concerns as many other Americans, the goal of the GOP’s proposal is to alleviate those concerns.
    “So, if they’re not indoctrinating students then there should be no concern about the bill as drafted because all the bill prohibits is that indoctrination.    So, if it’s not happening then they shouldn’t be up in arms about the existence of the bill,” said Sen. Berger.
    In the meantime, GOP senators have moved forward with the bill by pinpointing examples of indoctrination being used in the current school system.

7/15/2021 Don Trump Jr. Applauds Cuban Protesters, Denounces Communism by OAN Newsroom
Donald Trump Jr. speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held at
the Hilton Anatole on July 09, 2021 in Dallas, Texas. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
    Don Trump Jr. weighed in on the Democrats’ failure to denounce and condemn communism.    In a video posted to social media, the son of the 45th president called out the Biden administration and other prominent Democrats for failing to mention Cuba’s communist dictatorship amid recent protests.
    He pointed out how White House officials have cited the coronavirus as a reason for the protests and are trying to make Americans think communism is not the problem.
    Trump Jr. shared his own experiences visiting his grandparents in Communist Czechoslovakia as a child, waiting in bread lines and observing how a repressive government damages good people.    He went on to express his disdain for those aiming to bring communism to America and his support for the Cuban people as they fight for their liberation from a 62-year long dictatorship.
Protesters gather in front of the Versailles restaurant in the Little Havana neighborhood to show their support for the people
in Cuba that have taken to the streets to protest on July 14, 2021 in Miami, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
    Trump Jr. mentioned he would be open to trading leftist, socialist flag-burning rioters in America for the freedom-seeking protesters on the island.
    Protests in Cuba and the U.S. have continued as many express their desire for a humanitarian military intervention on the island, or at the very least, a direct mention of the word communism from Joe Biden and his allies.

7/15/2021 NRCC Raises $45.4M In Q2, Outpacing Democrat Counterpart By Nearly $9M by OAN Newsroom
Clouds roll over the U.S. Capitol dome as dusk approaches in Washington. The committee charged with helping Republicans wrest control of the House next year
raised $45.4 million over the last three months, a record quarterly haul during a year without a national election. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    The National Republican Congressional Committee has raised over $45 million in its second quarter haul, outpacing its Democrat counterpart.    The NRCC released the numbers on Wednesday with officials saying it marks the most amount raised for a quarter during an off-year in committee history.
    In comparison, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee brought in around $37 million during the same period.
    “Every vulnerable House Democrat should be eyeing the exits because if they choose to run, they will lose,” said Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.).
    NRCC Chairman Emmer, stated the haul would not have been possible without GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and the tens of thousands of generous donors.    He added the haul shows Republicans are in a good position to take back the majority next fall.

7/15/2021 GOP Bill Aimed At Limiting CRT Moves Ahead In N.C. by OAN Newsroom
N.C. Republican Senate leader Phil Berger speaks at a Senate Education Committee hearing on Wednesday,
July 14, 2021, in the Legislative Office Building in Raleigh, N.C. (AP Photo/Bryan Anderson)
    Republicans in North Carolina have decided to move forward with a bill that would place limitations on teaching critical race theory in schools.    The state’s Senate Leader Phil Berger has voiced his support for the measure.
    He said at the core of CRT is indoctrination and that his greatest fear is teaching children that race is determinative of whether or not someone is going to be successful or that it justifies present day discrimination.
    Berger added he’s not alone in his quest for answers.
    According to the Associated Press, CRT was created in the 70’s and 80’s and claimed racism is systemic in American institutions, meaning white people are the dominant race in society.    Although, Berger said he’s always been skeptical of the Democrats’ push for CRT in schools.
    He noted that because he shares the same concerns as many other Americans, the goal of the GOP’s proposal is to alleviate those concerns.
    “So, if they’re not indoctrinating students then there should be no concern about the bill as drafted because all the bill prohibits is that indoctrination.    So, if it’s not happening then they shouldn’t be up in arms about the existence of the bill,” said Sen. Berger.
    In the meantime, GOP senators have moved forward with the bill by pinpointing examples of indoctrination being used in the current school system.

7/15/2021 U.S. Saw More Than 93K Overdose Deaths During Pandemic by OAN Newsroom
Tablets believed to be laced with fentanyl are displayed at the Drug Enforcement Administration
Northeast Regional Laboratory on October 8, 2019 in New York. (DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images)
    Opioid deaths soared during the COVID-19 pandemic according to a U.S. government report.    The report released on Wednesday, found overdose deaths exceeded 93,000 in 2020.    This showed a sharp increase from the 72,000 reported the year prior.
    Officials have attributed this rise to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns and the isolation that followed, which reportedly made it harder for addicts to receive care. Numbers also point to an increasingly poisoned drug supply, as dealers looked to lower manufacturing costs by cutting the illegal narcotics with cheaper drugs such as fentanyl.
    “Nearly all of this increase is fentanyl contamination in some way,” said Shannon Monnat, an associate professor of sociology at Syracuse University.    “Heroin is contaminated.    Cocaine is contaminated.    Methamphetamine is contaminated."
    Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed 48 states saw overdose increases during 2020.

7/16/2021 Oil down $1.36 to $71.58, DOW up 54 to 34,987.

7/16/2021 U.S. To Sanction Chinese Officials And Warn Companies Over Hong Kong -Sources by Humeyra Pamuk and David Shepardson
FILE PHOTO: The People's Republic of China flag and the U.S. flag fly on a lamp post along Pennsylvania Avenue near the U.S. Capitol
in Washington during then-Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit, January 18, 2011. REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States is preparing to impose sanctions on Friday on a number of Chinese officials over Beijing’s crackdown on democracy in Hong Kong, and warn international businesses operating there about deteriorating conditions, two people with knowledge of the situation told Reuters.
    The sources said the financial sanctions would target seven officials from China’s Hong Kong liaison office, the official platform which projects Beijing’s influence into the Chinese territory.
    A separate updated business advisory issued by the State Department would highlight U.S. government concerns about the impact on international companies of Hong Kong’s national security law. Critics say Beijing implemented that law last year to facilitate a crackdown on pro-democracy activists and free press.
    “Let me talk about the business advisory,” U.S. President Joe Biden said when asked about it at a news conference with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
    “The situation in Hong Kong is deteriorating.    And the Chinese government is not keeping its commitment that it made on how it would deal with Hong Kong, and so it is more of an advisory as to what may happen in Hong Kong.    It’s as simple as that and as a complicated as that.”
    The moves mark the Biden administration’s latest effort to hold the Chinese government accountable for what Washington calls an erosion of rule of law in the former British colony that returned to Chinese control in 1997.
    Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a regular news conference on Friday that the U.S. should stop interfering in Hong Kong.
    China would make a “resolute, strong response” to U.S. actions, he said.
    Both people, who asked not to be identified, said the Hong Kong measures were still subject to change.    One of the sources said the White House was also reviewing a possible executive order on immigration from Hong Kong, but that it was still not certain to be implemented.
    The U.S. Treasury Department has declined to comment on the issue following media reports this week about possible new sanctions.
    “We know that a healthy business community relies on the rule of law, which the national security law that applies to Hong Kong continues to undermine,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Tuesday when asked about the issue.
    U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman is preparing a visit to Japan, South Korea and Mongolia next week.    The State Department’s announcement of her trip made no mention of any stop in China, which had been anticipated in foreign policy circles and reported in some media.
    The State Department on Tuesday strengthened warnings to businesses about the growing risks of having supply chain and investment links to China’s Xinjiang region, citing forced labor and human rights abuses there, which Beijing has denied.
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, David Shepardson, Michael Martina and David Brunnstrom; Additional reporting by Gabriel Crossley; Editing by David Gregorio and Kim Coghill)

7/16/2021 GOP States Move To Block School Mask Mandates by OAN Newsroom
Students wear masks they work in a fourth-grade classroom at Elk Ridge
Elementary School in Buckley, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
    At least eight states have passed legislation blocking K-12 schools and college campuses from requiring proof of a COVID-19 vaccination.    The GOP-led states include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Montana, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Utah.
    Of those states including Arizona, Arkansas and Oklahoma, mask mandates for schools have not been enforced.    In addition, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) passed legislation that would keep public schools from enforcing mask rules.
    “I teach at a high school and I teach seniors, so my experience, I didn’t have much difficulty in terms of students wearing masks,” explained Renee Pinkney of Utah Education Association.    “I think if it’s a recommendation, that’s always easier to manage rather than a mandate.”
    Meanwhile, states that continue to enforce masks in schools, including California, have faced backlash from parents and organizations.    Sharon McKeeman, founder of Let Them Breathe, prepared for legal action against the Golden State if mask mandates were not removed from K-12 schools.
    “We have parents that their families are not planning to be vaccinated and then we have other families that their kids got vaccinated just so they can take their masks off in school,” she expressed.    “So, we’re a diverse group with a lot differing opinions, but we all come together on that underlying concern that our kids need to be able to unmask at this point.”
    However, reports earlier this week claimed California health authorities switched their stance on mask rules in schools after facing heavy criticism for outlining strict mask wear in classrooms across the state.    A statement released on Tuesday said “mask enforcement will continue to be handled by local schools as the state recognizes the unique needs of each district and child.”
    As the school year draws near many parents continue to push for the roll back of mask requirements.

7/16/2021 Nicaraguan Migrants Head To U.S. To Escape Abuse by OAN Newsroom
Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega speaks at the opening of a national dialogue, in Managua, Nicaragua. (AP Photo/Alfredo Zuniga, File)
    Nicaraguan migrants have embarked on a journey to the U.S. to seek freedom from the socialist government.    According to reports, residents have left the country in droves due to their long standing resentment towards President and former revolutionary Daniel Ortega.
    This comes as critics of the Ortega regime highlighted human rights violations administered during its reign.    In addition, authorities close to Ortega have locked up opposition leaders and challengers.    Reports have said this move has threatened the fabric of democracy in the nation leading up to the 2021 elections.
    Several migrants taking the trek to the U.S. have reportedly been assaulted by local police during anti-government protests and expressed fleeing the country would save their lives.
    “In 2018, I suffered a lot because they hit me in the head.    I have scars on my back, stab wounds; I underwent surgery,” one Nicaraguan resident explained.    “As a Nicaraguan, we suffer a lot.    If you don’t support the government, it will be very bad for you.”
    Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and other members of Congress have called on Joe Biden to take action against the Ortega regime as Nicaraguan migration into the U.S. continues to spike.

7/16/2021 Mayors Push For Federal Funding For Microbusiness by OAN Newsroom
Dayton, Ohio Mayor Nan Whaley on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    Mayors across the nation have urged lawmakers to show more support for microbusinesses.    On Thursday, mayors from both sides of the political aisle participated in an event called Revitalizing America’s Cities, where economic recovery was a key theme.
    Several mayors have advocated for the federal government to pitch in to help microbusinesses, which employ 10 people or less.    They say they would welcome federal funding to keep small businesses running so long as the community could dictate where the money was allocated.
    “For the federal government, the best thing we like to say as mayors is like, look, help us get resources,” Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley (D-Ohio) explained.    “Then, let us make local decisions to really move for what’s best for each and every community.”
    During the event, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava (D) mentioned how crucial federal support has been for disasters.    She added small businesses surrounding the affected areas suffer as they are forced to shut down.

7/16/2021 La. Lawmakers To Hold First Veto Override Since 1974 by OAN Newsroom
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks to reporters at a briefing on the state’s efforts
against the coronavirus pandemic in Baton Rouge, La. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
    Louisiana lawmakers scheduled the first veto override session under the state’s Constitution enacted in 1974.    According to vote tallies released on Friday, only 12 of 39 senators and 35 of 104 House members voted to avoid sessions to overturn Gov. John bel Edwards (D-La.) recent vetoes.
    Edwards rejected two bills in particular that rallied legislators to support the session.    The first was a measure banning transgender athletes from competing on school sports teams of their preferred gender.    In addition, the Democrat governor tossed a bill allowing residents 21-years-old and older to carry handguns without a permit.
    The Constitutional Carry Bill garnered a lot of support in the predominantly pro-gun state.
    “I don’t think that any more criminals will carry than are currently carrying,” explained Dan Zelinka, President of the Louisiana Shooting Association.    “What it does allow is the law abiding citizen to carry and law abiding citizens have never been a problem.”
    Meanwhile, the state’s historic veto override session is expected to begin on Tuesday and last up to five days.

7/16/2021 Biden. Administration Plans To Monitor Texts, Social Media Posts For COVID-19 Vaccine Disinformation by OAN Newsroom
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House,
Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    The White House announced their efforts with Facebook to take aggressive action on problematic social media posts.    The administration said they would work to flag and censor anything they deemed to be disinformation about COVID-19.
    Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy announced his advisory on the dangers of health misinformation, which he called a “public health threat.”
    “Today, the Rockefeller Foundation is announcing a 13.5 million dollar commitment to counter health misinformation,” he announced “The digital public library of America is announcing that they will convene a set of librarians, scholars, journalists and civic leaders to confront health misinformation together.”
    Murthy called on tech companies to ramp up their efforts to monitor Americans and stop so-called misinformation “super-spreaders.”
    “We expect more from our technology companies,” he asserted.    “We’re asking them to operate with greater transparency and accountability.    We are asking them to monitor misinformation more closely.”
    Social media companies have been recommended by the administration to reduce the number of shares a post deemed false could receive.    During a press briefing, Press Secretary Jen Psaki asserted Facebook should utilize their algorithm process to promote what they believe to be true.
    “We’ve increased disinformation research and tracking within the Surgeon General’s office,” she stated.    “…We are also investing, as you all have seen, in the president’s, the vice president’s and Dr. Fauci’s time in meeting with influencers who also have large reaches to a lot of these target audiences who can spread and share accurate information.”
    Psaki claimed there were 12 people who have provided 65 percent of vaccine misinformation online, which has drowned out other voices.
    “There are also proposed changes we have made to social media platforms, including Facebook and those specifically, are four key steps,” she expressed.    “One, that they measure and publicly share the impact of misinformation on their platform.”
    The other steps include platforms enforcing rules as well as removing posts.    These censoring measures come on the heels of Biden’s door-to-door campaign to increase vaccination rates in hesitant areas.
    Of the many Republicans opposing the efforts, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) said “a South Carolinian’s decision to get vaccinated is a personal one for them to make and not the government’s.”    He asserted pressuring people to get the vaccine was a bad policy.
    The Democratic National Committee, an ally to Biden, reportedly made plans to work with SMS carriers to monitor text messages and dispel misinformation about vaccines.
    “If you send a text message to a friend or to a family member or to who ever and it includes whatever they deem as misinformation that somehow you’re going to get a message on your phone from the government,” David Rubin of the Rubin Report expressed.    “That’s going to be in cahoots with the Democratic National Committee.    What is going on here and who’s going to decide what misinformation is?
    Meanwhile, many critics call these plans an authoritarian form of spying that infringes on the first amendment.

7/16/2021 Mich. State Legislature Expected To Approve Petition To Repeal Abused 1945 Emergency Powers Law Used To Lock Down State by OAN Newsroom
Mich. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks in Southfield, Mich. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
    Michigan Republican state senators approved the repeal of a 1945 Emergency Powers law used by the governor to lock down the state.    Reports mentioned the vote along partisan lines came after the certification of a petition by an anti-lockdown group seeking to repeal the law.
    The petition garnered 460,000, while only needing 340,000.    A GOP spokesman said the legislature is all but certain to repeal the law, which can’t be vetoed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) because it resulted from a petition drive.
    This is on the heels of former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, who is expected to launch a GOP campaign for governor.    He is expected to make an important announcement next week.

7/16/2021 Psaki: Delta Variant Impacting ‘Majority’ Of New COVID-19 Cases by OAN Newsroom
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki touched on rising COVID-19 cases and vaccine misinformation at her daily press briefing.    Speaking to reporters on Friday, Psaki was questioned over the White House’s concern that the Delta variant could be more widespread than initially thought.
    This comes amid a surge of Delta variant cases and COVID-19 hospitalizations in the U.S., along with several officials reevaluating mask mandates.    Los Angeles County recently reimposed mask mandates regardless of an individual’s vaccination status.    The order was set to go into effect on Saturday night.
    Officials have stated the Delta variant has become the most dominant strain of COVID-19 worldwide.
    “I don’t want to speak out of turn here because it’s really a question for the health and medical experts and how they’re tracking it and how concerned they are,” Psaki explained.    “We certainly know on transmissibility, based on the CDC data, that the Delta variant is impacting the majority of people who are getting sick with COVID now.”
    Cases of the Delta variant have been identified in about 100 countries around the world.

7/16/2021 Sen. Ernst: There’s A Lot At Stake In 2022 by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin File)
    Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst (R) delivered strong remarks in her home state about the radical left agenda.    At an event in support of Rep. Randy Feenstra (R-Iowa) on Friday, Ernst recognized the GOP has been in a tough situation in the minority with their battles against radical Democrats.
    Ernst told attendees Republicans cannot allow liberals to radicalize the country.
    “We’ve got this huge push from Democrats who control the majority in the House, the majority in the Senate and the White House.    They are radically trying to change who we are as a country,” she asserted.    “You know what folks, we’re not going to let them do that.”
    The senator went on to remind the crowd how much is at stake in Washington D.C. and expressed her support for Feenstra, who she says delivers for the people of Iowa.

7/16/2021 10 Injured In Separate Shootings In Democrat-Run Chicago by OAN Newsroom
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown holds a press conference where he vowed to step up
measures to curb gun violence in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
    At least 10 people have been shot during two separate incidents in Democrat-run Chicago.    According to authorities, the shootings occurred just hours apart in two different neighborhoods on Wednesday.
    One group was walking on a sidewalk when three gunmen exited a vehicle in an alley and opened fire.    Four men and one women were hit, while three of the men remain in critical condition.    This was on the heels of a shooting on the city’s west side, where four women and a man were injured.    No arrests have been made in connection with either shooting.
    “We know the individuals across the street because they’re right across the street from my office.    Individuals we give pizza to and build relationships with,” Autry Phillips of Target Areas Development Corp. expressed.    “We’re not sure where this came from or what actually happened.”
    This comes amid an uptick in violent crime in major cities across the nation, which many blame on efforts to defund the police.

7/16/2021 Sens. Hawley, Graham Urge Judiciary Committee Hold Hearing On Border Crisis by OAN Newsroom
Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) (R), speaks to Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.)
during a hearing on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 on Capitol Hill. (Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)
    Two GOP senators have called for the Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing on the border crisis happening under Joe Biden’s watch.
    Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) sent a letter to Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on Thursday.    The letter called on Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and officials from Customs and Border Protection to testify.
    Hawley mentioned how Senate Democrats have failed to hold a hearing on the matter despite the fact that CBP has apprehended a historic number of illegal immigrants.
    He and Graham also highlighted how smugglers and cartels are making billions off the broken border system while the Biden administration has not proposed any meaningful solution.

7/16/2021 Fentanyl Floods Across U.S. Southern Border by OAN Newsroom
Migrants walk on a dirt road after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, Tuesday,
March 23, 2021, in Mission, Texas. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
    The opioid 50 times more potent than heroin has been smuggled into the country at record rates since the beginning of fiscal year 2021.    So far this year, more than 5,500 pounds of fentanyl have been caught by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol personnel.
    This has been an increase 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.    However, North Caroline Sherriff Sam Page argued the crisis wasn’t just relegated to the border.
    “2000 miles away or less in 2 days traveling time,” he explained.    “Persons that are moving drugs or moving persons, smuggling or trafficking, can be in my county.”
    Opioid deaths in the U.S. numbered more than 87,000 last year and have already risen 60 percent in fiscal year 2021.
    Special Agent Misha Piastro of San Diego DEA expressed, “the devastation that these synthetic opioids are causing on the streets of America is significant.”
    On top of it all, Mexican cartels have not been the only foreign entities profiting from the illegal trade.    The DEA has reported fentanyl was manufactured in Mexico using chemicals from China.
    In response, the DEA has ramped up efforts to combat the onslaught arguably caused by weakened border security under the Biden administration.
    Special Agent Kyle Williamson of El Paso DEA went on to say, “Project Wave Breaker is an operation, an enforcement operation in DEA, designed to attack the fentanyl manufacturing, importation and distribution problem here in the United States.”
    Wave Breaker will rely on analytics to target specific activities of Mexican drug cartels to break up the supply chains, which are coming across the border like a wave.

7/16/2021 Biden Admin. Has No Plans To Send Troops To Haiti by OAN Newsroom
Haitian Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph speaks during a press conference at Haitian Interim Prime Minister
Claude Joseph’s residence in Port-au-Prince. (Photo by VALERIE BAERISWYL/AFP via Getty Images)
    The Biden administration has decided to bolster security at the U.S. Embassy in Haiti, but announced sending troops to stabilize the island nation was “not on the agenda.”    In a joint new conference on Thursday, Joe Biden said a number of American Marines would be sent to the embassy to reinforce security after the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse.
    Moïse was killed by gunmen last week, which fueled further political unrest in the embattled nation.    The interim president of Haiti requested American forces to be deployed to protect key infrastructure throughout the nation in preparation for the national elections in 120 days.
    Following Biden’s statement, Haiti’s Election Minister Mathias Pierra stated he felt the request for U.S. troops was still open for discussion.    He mentioned future development would be a factor and assured the government was maintaining strong efforts to stabilize the security of the nation.
    Haitian authorities have yet to release information on who could have been responsible for the assassination.

7/16/2021 Texas House Speaker Demands Dems Return Home, Requests They Refuse Pay For Time In D.C. by OAN Newsroom
Speaker of the Texas House U.S. Rep. Dade Phelan (R-Texas) (C) listens to U.S. Rep. Will Metcalf (R-Texas) (L) move to issue
a call of the House to try to regain a quorum on July 13, 2021 in Austin, Texas. (Montinique Monroe/Getty Images)
    Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan (R) has put pressure on Texas Democrats to come back home.    In a statement released on Thursday, Phelan announced he is chartering a plane to wait for the Democrats in D.C. on Saturday in order to bring them back to Austin.
    The speaker said they must return to do their jobs, adding “the state of Texas is waiting.”    However, Texas Democrats have said they are not going anywhere, claiming they are “saving democracy from Trump Republicans.”
    Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) applauded the lawmakers’ efforts this week, calling them courageous and labeling their escape from Austin “all-American.”
    Phelan has also called on every lawmaker who fled to refuse pay for the days they were absent.    The Democrats’ political stunt comes as Republicans in the Texas legislature are trying to pass election integrity laws in the state ahead of the 2022 midterms.

7/16/2021 Ariz. GOP: Maricopa County Refuses To Comply With Audit Requirements by OAN Newsroom
Ballots are pulled aside for a hand audit by Maricopa County Elections Department staff ahead of
Tuesdays election on October 31, 2020 in Phoenix, Ariz. (Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images)
    Arizona audit experts announced the voting machines were indeed hacked via internet connection in last year’s elections.    During the Arizona Senate hearing, CyFIR CEO Ben Cotton said dominion machines in Maricopa County were connected to the internet.
    This comes as Maricopa County officials have continued to resist the state Senate’s subpoena to turn over the voting machine routers.    Arizona Republicans claimed internet routers, chain of custody records and images of mail-in ballots have yet to be turned over to the auditors.
    Meanwhile, auditors have yet to reveal the scope of the fraud, including both ballots and electronic equipment along with their assessment on whether it changed election outcomes.
    Cotton said last year’s elections were not secure.    “The registration server that was public facing did have unauthorized access to that, in cybersecurity terms, it was breached,” said Cotton.
    Following the hearing, Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward went on to highlight there is a significant number of potentially fraudulent votes.
    “We also learned that according to the written records, there were about 74,000 mail-in ballots that were received by the county, but there is no record that they were ever sent out,” said Ward.    “There were also nearly 4,000 people who were shown as having voted on election day, but their registration date is after Oct. 15, 2020, which was the deadline for registering to vote.”
    Joe Biden purportedly won Arizona by less than 11,000 votes, which is much less than the amount of potential fraud.
    Meantime, state senators are preparing additional subpoenas to get a hold of those materials.    The audit results are set to be released in the coming weeks.

7/16/2021 Biden Marks Rollout Of Child Tax Credit by OAN Newsroom
Kamala Harris and Joe Biden arrive to speak about the Child Tax Credit relief payments that are part of the American Rescue Plan
during an event in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, July 15, 2021. – The payments are schedule
to start going out to families on July 15, 2021. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
    Joe Biden has touted the rollout of the first monthly child tax credit relief payments. Democrats are congratulating themselves in spite of Republican concerns.
    During a speech on Thursday, Biden and Kamala Harris marked the rollout of checks and direct deposits.    After the announcement, the Internal Revenue Service reported payments for nearly 60 million children had been dispersed, mostly via direct deposit.
    At between $3,000 and $3,600 per child, the total was close to $15 billion in spending.    Democrats on the Hill were quick to jump on the celebration.
    However, while Democrats have called the program a tax cut, Republicans have called it closer to a welfare expansion.    Republicans believe the move disincentivizes parents who were laid off during the pandemic, from seeking work.
    Biden appeared to recognize their concern and immediately dismissed it.    Some GOP lawmakers have released their own version of the program, which ties the child tax benefit to work and has been part of child tax credits since the late 1990s.
    While the benefit is set to expire after a year, Biden has already pushed for its extension.

7/17/2021 Oil down $0.02 to $71.51, DOW down 299 to 34,688.

7/17/2021 Colombia Police Say Former Haiti Official Suspected Of Ordering Moise Hit
FILE PHOTO: The Haitian national flag waves at half-mast where the Haitian Presidential Palace used to be following
the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti July 10, 2021. REUTERS/Ricardo Arduengo
    BOGOTA (Reuters) -Former Haitian justice ministry official Joseph Felix Badio may have ordered the assassination of Haiti’s President Jovenel Moise, a Colombian police chief said on Friday, citing a preliminary investigation into the murder.
    Moise was shot dead when assassins armed with assault rifles stormed his private residence in the hills above Port-au-Prince on July 7.
    An investigation by Haitian and Colombian authorities, alongside Interpol, into Moise’s killing has revealed that Badio appeared to have given an order for the assassination three days before the attack, General Jorge Vargas said in an audio message sent to news outlets by the police.
    It was not immediately possible to reach Badio for comment.    His whereabouts is unclear.
    According to Vargas, the investigation found that Badio had ordered former Colombian soldiers Duberney Capador and German Rivera – who had initially been contacted to carry out security services – to kill Moise.
    “Several days before, apparently three, Joseph Felix Badio, who was a former official of (Haiti’s) ministry of justice, who worked in the anti-corruption unit with the general intelligence service, told Capador and Rivera that they had to assassinate the president of Haiti,” Vargas said.
    Vargas did not provide proof or give more details about where the information came from.
    Capador was killed and Rivera captured by Haiti police in the aftermath of Moise’s murder, authorities have said.
    On Sunday, Haitian authorities detained 63-year-old Christian Emmanuel Sanon, widely described as a Florida-based doctor, and accused him of being one of the masterminds behind the killing.
    Former Haitian Senator John Joel Joseph is being sought by police after Haiti’s National Police Chief Leon Charles identified him as a key player in the plot, while Dimitri Herard, the head of palace security for Moise, has also been arrested.
    “This is a big plot, a lot of people are part of it,” Haiti’s Acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph said in a news conference.    “I am determined to move the investigation forward.”
    The group of assassins included 26 Colombians and two Haitian Americans, according to Haitian authorities.    Eighteen of the Colombians have been captured, while five are on the run and three were killed.
    Many of the Colombians accused of involvement in the assassination went to the country as bodyguards, Colombian President Ivan Duque said on Thursday.    That has been confirmed by relatives and colleagues of some of the detained Colombians.     “We are assisting in all the support tasks for the interviews that are being carried out with the captured Colombians,” said Vargas.
    Colombia will send a consular mission to Haiti as soon as it is approved by the Caribbean nation, Colombian Vice President and Foreign Minister Marta Lucia Ramirez told journalists on Friday, to meet with the detained Colombians, ensure their rights are being respected, and move ahead with the repatriation of the remains of the deceased Colombians.
    The ministry is in daily contact with the families of the dead and detained, Ramirez added.
    She repeated Colombian government assertions that very few of the men, who were ex-military, knew about the assassination plan but said those responsible should pay the price.
    “Whoever they are, wherever they are from, (they should face) all the drastic consequences this crime should bring,” she said.
(Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra, Julia Symmes Cobb and Oliver Griffin; Additional reporting by Andre Paultre; Editing by David Gregorio, Rosalba O’Brien and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

7/17/2021 Mexico Regrets U.S. Judge’s Decision On DACA – Ministry
FILE PHOTO: A sign in support of DACA Dreamers lies at the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court after the court declined to hear a Trump
administration challenge to California's sanctuary laws, in Washington, D.C., U.S., June 15, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner/File Photo
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – The Mexican government regrets the decision by a U.S. judge that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program violated U.S. law when it was created, a senior foreign ministry official said on Friday.
    The judge’s decision blocked the U.S. government from approving any new DACA applications.
    Roberto Velasco, a senior foreign ministry official, said on Twitter that Mexico would continue to provide consular protection and assistance to Mexican DACA beneficiaries.
(Reporting by Cassandra Garrison)

7/17/2021 Philippines’ Pacquiao Ousted As President Of Ruling Party After Row
FILE PHOTO: Philippine Senator and boxer Manny Pacquiao speaks during the Congressional confirmation hearing of Environment
Secretary Regina Lopez at the Senate in Manila, Philippines May 2, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro/File Photo/File Photo
    MANILA (Reuters) -Philippine senator and boxing star Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao was voted out as leader of the country’s ruling party on Saturday, weeks after challenging President Rodrigo Duterte over his position on China and record on fighting corruption.
    Pacquiao, 42, who is seen as a possible contender to succeed Duterte in next year’s presidential election, had long been among the president’s strongest supporters, backing his bloody war on drugs and bid to reintroduce the death penalty.
    But ties between them soured last month after Pacquiao railed at what he called Duterte’s soft stance on Beijing’s aggressiveness in the South China Sea, and said he was probing graft in the government.
    A faction of the ruling democratic party led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, a close ally of Duterte, called the vote at a National Assembly meeting on Saturday.    Cusi was elected party president.
    The vote was carried out because existing officials were already past their two-year term limit, Melvin Matibag, the party’s deputy secretary general, told reporters.
    Duterte, who remains chairman, said in a speech to the assembly that the party was as “strong as ever and … united in further consolidating our ranks until the end of my term and beyond.”
    Duterte said he could run as vice president many times over to avail of immunity from lawsuits by political opponents.    Political vendettas are common in the Philippines and former leaders, minus their immunity of office, have been prosecuted and even jailed after changes in power.
    Pacquiao said in a statement that the party should focus on preventing the spread of the more contagious Delta coronavirus variant.
    The eight-division champion is in the United States to train for a welterweight title match and has yet to announce his presidential bid.    He took oath as the party’s president in December.
(Reporting by Neil Jerome MoralesEditing by Helen Popper and Christina Fincher)

7/17/2021 Austria Investigating Reported ‘Havana Syndrome’ Cases Among U.S. Envoys
FILE PHOTO: A long time exposure shows a night view of bridges over the Danube river
from Leopoldsberg in Vienna, Austria August 15, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo
    VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria is working with the U.S. authorities to get to the bottom of a reported spate of suspected cases of an ailment known as “Havana syndrome” among U.S. diplomats in Vienna, the Austrian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.
    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last month his country is conducting a government-wide review into who or what caused what it suspects were “directed” radio frequency attacks on U.S. diplomats that resulted in various neurological ailments and that first emerged in the Cuban capital in 2016.
    The New Yorker magazine said on Friday that since U.S. President Joe Biden took office in January, roughly two dozen U.S. intelligence officers, diplomats and other officials in Vienna have reported symptoms similar to those of Havana syndrome, making it the second-biggest hotspot after Havana.
    “We take these reports very seriously and in line with our role as host state we are working with the U.S. authorities on jointly getting to the bottom of this,” Austria’s Foreign Ministry said in a short statement.
    “The safety of diplomats posted to Vienna and their families is of the utmost importance to us.”
    A State Department spokesperson said the United States was “vigorously investigating” the reported cases affecting U.S. officials at the U.S. Embassy in Vienna.
    Once a centre of Cold War intrigue, Vienna is home to several U.N. agencies and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, meaning bigger countries such as the United States and Russia often have three ambassadors and a large diplomatic presence there.
    That has long made Vienna a hub for diplomatic activity and spying, since many spies operate under diplomatic cover.
    The Austrian Foreign Ministry’s website lists 158 U.S. diplomats as currently being posted in Vienna.
(Reporting by Francois Murphy; Additional reporting by Joel Schectman in Washington; Editing by Frances Kerry and Daniel Wallis)

7/17/2021 Psaki Outlines Steps Biden Admin. Aims To Take With Big Tech To Censor Posts On Social Media by OAN Newsroom
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during the daily press briefing on July 16, 2021, in the
Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
    White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has responded to concerns over Joe Biden’s aggressive action to censor social media posts.    At a press briefing on Friday, Psaki outlined the steps the White House aims to take in connection with Facebook in order to enforce social media policies.
    She said the federal government wants to know social media outlets are taking steps to address misinformation they deem dangerous to public health.    She added Facebook has not been as proactive as the administration would like.
    The Biden administration’s push to censor social media content comes as President Trump has filed a class-action lawsuit against Big Tech giants Facebook, Twitter and Google for suppressing American’s First Amendment right to free speech.
    The White House said they’re working with Facebook to take “aggressive action” on problematic social media posts.    The administration said they will flag and work to censor anything they deem to be disinformation about COVID-19.
    The Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, announced his advisory on the dangers of health misinformation, which he called a public health threat.    He called on tech companies to ramp up their efforts to monitor Americans and stop so-called misinformation “super-spreaders.”
    Social media companies are recommended by the administration to reduce the number of shares a post deemed false can get.     During the briefing, Psaki asserted that Facebook should utilize their algorithm process to promote what they believe to be true.
    Psaki claimed there are 12 people who provide 65 percent of vaccine misinformation online who are drowning out other voices.    “There are also proposed changes we have made to social media platforms, including Facebook.    And there are specifically four key steps,” said Psaki.    “One, that they measure and publicly share the impact of misinformation on their platform.”
    The other steps include platforms enforcing rules, as well as removing posts.    These censoring measures come on the heels of Biden’s door-to-door campaign, which aims to increase vaccination rates in hesitant areas.
    Of the many Republicans opposing the efforts, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said “a South Carolinians decision to get vaccinated is a personal one for them to make and not the government’s and pressuring people to get the vaccine is a bad policy.”
    Similarly, Missouri’s Gov. Mike Parson said he wants to do more to get his state vaccinated, but stressed going door-to-door would not work and isn’t permitted in the state.
    The Democratic National Committee, an ally to Biden, reportedly has plans to work with SMS carriers to monitor text messages and dispel misinformation regarding COVID-19 vaccines.    Many critics called these plans an authoritarian form of spying that infringes on the First Amendment.

7/17/2021 L.A. County Sheriff Says He Will Not Enforce Mask Mandate by OAN Newsroom
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva speaks during a ceremony in Monterey Park, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
    Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced he would not enforce the new indoor mask mandate.    In a statement on Friday, Villanueva said forcing vaccinated individuals as well as those who already contracted COVID-19 to wear masks indoors has not been backed by science and contradicted CDC guidelines.
    The Los Angeles Health Department reinstated an indoor mask order after an increase in COVID-19 cases since last month.    However, the move sparked criticism among residents and County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who said masks should not be mandatory.
    “I don’t think it should be mandatory.    I think it should be recommended,” she expressed.    “To my knowledge, we are the only county that’s doing it as a mandatory.”
    LA County Health Office Muntu Davis announced the reimposed mask mandate would be in effect for all individuals until the county sees a decline in COVID-19 cases. However, the CDC released a statement on Friday stating face masks and social distancing requirements were not required for fully vaccinated individuals.
    The new indoor mask mandate is expected to go into effect on Saturday, with all indoor spaces requiring a mask while not eating or drinking.

7/17/2021 President Trump: Ariz. Hearing Shows There’s Enough Fraud To Change Outcome Of Election by OAN Newsroom
Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas
on July 11, 2021. (ANDY JACOBSOHN/AFP via Getty Images)
    President Trump said the Arizona Senate hearings have showed there is enough fraud to change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.    In a statement on Friday, the 45th president said Fox News and other media outlets incorrectly sided with the county election board in reporting “no fraud” found.
    He praised Arizona state senators, commending them on willing to fight for the truth.    He also noted several senators who said it was time to decertify the election and want to see indictments.
    Trump stressed the Arizona audit shows fraud and voting irregularities that exceed the number of fraudulent votes needed to change the outcome of the election.

7/17/2021 San Diego Attributes Rise In Violence And Random Attacks To Homeless by OAN Newsroom
Tents line the street in Skid Row in Los Angeles, California. (ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)
    Recent reports have attributed violence and random attacks on San Diego residents to a spike in the homeless population in the city.    “We have an uptick in violent crime in general,” said Mayor Todd Gloria.    “And being homeless is not a crime, but being homeless is not a get out of jail free card either.”
    The people of San Diego have called on police and city officials to do more after multiple victims have come forward saying they have been assaulted.    Aislinn Fava said she was walking to get a smoothie when out of nowhere a homeless man punched her in the back of the head knocking her to the ground.
    Fava said multiple women have reached out to her after sharing her experience on social media. One woman commented, calling East Village a “war zone for women.”    The same week of Fava’s attack another neighborhood captured surveillance of a homeless man striking a man from behind with a skateboard.
    Mayor Gloria tried to blame the rise in homeless numbers on COVID-19 measures.    “A lot of that has to do with the fact that during the pandemic we had to enforce social distancing rules in our homeless shelters.    That meant that literally hundreds of our beds have not been able to be occupied,” suggested Gloria.
    In the last two weeks, Gloria said the city was able to shelter around 300 people now that social distancing rules have relaxed. In the latest budget proposal, the mayor said he has allocated $10 million for homeless sheltering with the hope it will begin to eliminate homelessness in San Diego.

7/17/2021 Biden Admin. Officials Admit Lab Leak Theory ‘Credible’ by OAN Newsroom
A laboratory technician works in a lab in Wuhan, in China’s central Hubei province. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)
    Biden administration officials conducting an intelligence review into the origins of the coronavirus, have reportedly begun opening up to the idea that COVID-19 was leaked from a Chinese laboratory.    New reports detailed the shift in perspective, saying officials are admitting the theory is credible after being largely skeptical for most of the past year.
    The reports said at this point little evidence has been uncovered to push either the lab leak theory or the natural emergency theory.    In the meantime, China has continued to deny there was a leak and instead has suggested the source may have originated from frozen food.
This aerial view shows the P4 laboratory (C) on the campus of the Wuhan Institute of Virology
in Wuhan in China’s central Hubei province on May 13, 2020. (HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)
    “It was concluded that laboratory leaks are impossible.    We will continue to investigate on a global basis, search for the initial cases and study the impact of cold chain and frozen packaging have had on transmission,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian said while defending China’s position.
    This comes as the chief for the World Health Organization on Thursday, admitted it was “premature” to rule out a potential link between the pandemic and a lab leak.    He has since asked China to be more transparent in the search for the virus’ origins.

7/17/2021 Biden Slammed After Claiming Facebook Is ‘Killing People’ by OAN Newsroom
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, left, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
    Joe Biden was blasted by critics after his accusations of Facebook killing its users.    The comments came piling in on Friday as the White House announced efforts to fight supposed COVID-19 misinformation in conjunction with the social media giant.
    Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) tweeted Big Tech was partially to blame after censoring early treatments, which cost lives.    He said instead of a forum for solutions, social media has become a tool for “big brother.”
    Biden was asked his thoughts on platforms like Facebook and supposed COVID-19 misinformation on Friday.
    “They’re killing people,” he claimed.    “…The only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated and they’re killing people.”

    Conservative critics pointed out Facebook has aligned itself with the party that’s blaming it for people’s deaths and every corrupt regime has framed the silencing of citizens as being in the public good.    However, Facebook argued the surgeon general praised its work by saying millions have used its vaccine-finder to get vaccinated and it’s helped to save lives.

7/17/2021 Reps. Gaetz, Greene Hold “Free Speech” Rally In Riverside, Calif. by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) left, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) address attendees
of a rally in The Villages, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
    Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) held a free speech peaceful protest outside of Riverside City Hall on Saturday.    The rally came after three venues cancelled their America First rallies in Southern California due to public safety concerns earlier in the day.
    Greene kicked off the rally to “hundreds” of protesters by assuring the two lawmakers would not back down and would continue to put America first.    Gaetz later took the stage and criticized lawmakers from both political parties for taking money from lobbyists for their own bidding.
    “Washington D.C. is a deeply corrupt place with corrupt people.    Members of Congress in both political parties take money from lobbyists and PACs and then they do their bidding, not yours,” he asserted.    “You know why they’re so afraid of Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene, because we fight for you and not them.”
    Greene went on to say the rally was to show all Americans how to stand up to tyrants and bullies.

7/17/2021 White House Launches Task Force Aimed At Ransomware Attacks by OAN Newsroom
Computer keyboard. (Sean Gallup/AP Photo)
    The White House launched a interagency task force in an effort to confront the recent threat of ransomware attacks.    Reports this week said the weekly summits would include the Justice Department, Department of Homeland Security, the State and Treasury Departments, and other agencies.
    The task force was created to disrupt cyber-criminal groups along with the technology responsible for the attacks.    Among their initiatives, the State Department offered up to $10 million for information on suspected cyber criminals.
    The Biden administration announced a new website, which offers the public various resources to prevent and combat ransomware attacks.    The website features general information on ransomware as well as security tips for individuals and businesses to strengthen their network security.    Victims of ransomware who access the site also have the option to report any incidents to federal law enforcement.
    This comes as lawmakers and industry professionals have pressured Joe Biden to confront Russia over several recent attacks.

7/17/2021 GOP Lawmakers Move To Block CRT Training In Military by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Tom Cotton on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool, File)
    Republican Sen. Tom Cotton (Ark.) announced legislation to stop military officers from teaching critical race theory.    At a Republican dinner on Friday, Cotton said CRT was an anti-American idea that only focused on skin color and opposed the foundations of the democracy.
    Cotton has recently worked with other Republicans such as Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) to create the “combating racist training in the military act.”
    “Our service members don’t need to be reading arguments that America and our institutions, including the military, are inherently racist and irredeemable,” Crenshaw asserted.    “It’s detrimental to the moral of the very men and women who put on the uniform to defend America with their lives.”
    Cotton and Crenshaw launched a whistleblower tip line for military members to report evidence of CRT training and have received hundreds of tips just since its inception in May.    According to the senator, numerous sailors interviewed in the report have contended the Navy seemed to be prioritizing diversity issues over actual combat.
    “…The fact that 94% of all the sailors interviewed thought that the Navy has a crisis of leadership and culture on the surface,” he explained.    “They say they have seen little institutional focus in their training over the years in war fighting and legality.”
    One Navy lieutenant went on to say, “sometimes I think we care more about whether we have enough diversity officers than if we’ll survive a fight with the Chinese navy.”
    Similarly, a recently retired senior enlisted leader said, “I guarantee you every unit in the Navy is up to speed on their diversity training.    I’m sorry that I can’t say the same of their ship handling training.”     In February, the Chief of Naval Operations released an updated reading list including “How To Be An Antiracist,” which advocates for supposed “woke teachings.”    According to the Republican leaders and those interviewed, the curriculum is reportedly sending sailors into battle less prepared and less focused than their opponents.    Republican lawmakers directed this investigation into the Navy after several high-profile losses of sailors and warships occurred.
    Critics say not only has the military degraded the effectiveness of its troops by teaching CRT, - it stands in opposition to the 1976 Supreme     Court decision that the military would be apolitical or politically neutral under civilian control.

7/17/2021 Donald Trump Jr.: Will Those Who Promoted Lab Leak Theory Get Accounts Back? by OAN Newsroom
Donald Trump Jr. speaks before the arrival of President Donald Trump at a campaign
rally at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
    Donald Trump Jr. challenged the White House’s newest approach to work with social media on the crackdown of so-called disinformation.    In a tweet on Friday, Trump questioned whether those who considered the Wuhan lab leak theory as plausible would regain access to their accounts in light of the White House’s new social media ideals.
    Facebook began reversing its censorship of the lab leak theory in early May after issuing temporary suspensions for those pushing the theory.    Critics slammed Facebook for keeping in lockstep with the government in deciding what is and isn’t “disinformation.”
    Trump’s remarks came after the White House recently announced plans to work with Facebook to flag and censor social media posts deemed to be so-called disinformation about COVID-19.    The Biden administration has recommended social media companies to reduce the number of shares a post with ‘false’ information is able to receive.
    Trump went on to question whether consequences would be made for those who have chastised and censored individuals who considered the Wuhan lab leak theory as a plausible explanation.

7/18/2021 ‘It’s Terrifying’: Merkel Shaken As Flood Deaths Rise To 188 In Europe by Ralph Brock and Romana Fuessel
Debris covers residential area following heavy rainfalls in Dernau, Germany, July 17, 2021. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay
    BERCHTESGADEN/BISCHOFSWIESEN, Germany (Reuters) -German Chancellor Angela Merkel described the flooding that has devastated parts of Europe as “terrifying” on Sunday after the death toll across the region rose to 188 and a district of Bavaria was battered by the extreme weather.
    Merkel promised swift financial aid after visiting one of the areas worst affected by the record rainfall and floods that have killed at least 157 in Germany alone in recent days, in the country’s worst natural disaster in almost six decades.
    She also said governments would have to get better and faster in their efforts to tackle the impact of climate change only days after Europe outlined a package of steps towards “net zero” emissions by the middle of the century.
    “It is terrifying,” she told residents of the small town of Adenau in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate.    “The German language can barely describe the devastation that’s taken place.”
    As efforts continued to track down missing people, the devastation continued on Sunday when a district of Bavaria, southern Germany, was hit by flash floods that killed at least one person.
    Roads were turned into rivers, some vehicles were swept away and swathes of land buried under thick mud in Berchtesgadener Land.    Hundreds of rescue workers were searching for survivors in the district, which borders Austria.
    “We were not prepared for this,” said Berchtesgadener Land district administrator Bernhard Kern, adding that the situation had deteriorated “drastically” late on Saturday, leaving little time for emergency services to act.
    About 110 people have been killed in the worst-hit Ahrweiler district south of Cologne.    More bodies are expected to be found there as the flood waters recede, police say.
    The European floods, which began on Wednesday, have mainly hit the German states of Rhineland Palatinate, North Rhine-Westphalia as well as parts of Belgium.    Entire communities have been cut off, without power or communications.
    In North Rhine-Westphalia at least 46 people have died.    The death toll in Belgium climbed to 31 on Sunday.
    The scale of the floods mean they could shake up Germany’s general election in September next year.
    North Rhine-Westphalia state premier Armin Laschet, the CDU party’s candidate to replace Merkel, apologised for laughing in the background while German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier spoke to media after visiting the devastated town of Erftstadt.
    The German government will be readying more than 300 million euros ($354 million) in immediate relief and billions of euros to fix collapsed houses, streets and bridges, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz told weekly newspaper Bild am Sonntag.
    “There is huge damage and that much is clear: those who lost their businesses, their houses, cannot stem the losses alone.”
    There could also be a 10,000 euro short-term payment for businesses affected by the impact of the floods as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told the paper.
    Scientists, who have long said that climate change will lead to heavier downpours, said it would still take several weeks to determine its role in these relentless rainfalls.
    Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said the link with climate change was clear.
    In Belgium, which will hold a national day of mourning on Tuesday, 163 people are still missing or unreachable.    The crisis centre said water levels were falling and a huge clean-up operation was underway.    The military was sent in to the eastern town of Pepinster, where a dozen buildings have collapsed, to search for any further victims.
    About 37,0000 households were without electricity and Belgian authorities said the supply of clean drinking water was also a major concern.
    Emergency services officials in the Netherlands said the situation had somewhat stabilised in the southern part of Limburg province, where tens of thousands were evacuated in recent days, although the northern part was still on high alert.
    “In the north they are tensely monitoring the dykes and whether they will hold,” Jos Teeuwen of the regional water authority told a press conference on Sunday.
    In southern Limburg, authorities are still concerned about the safety of traffic infrastructure such as roads and bridges battered by the high water.
    The Netherlands has so far only reported property damage from the flooding and no dead or missing people.
    In Hallein, an Austrian town near Salzburg, powerful flood waters tore through the town centre on Saturday evening as the Kothbach river burst its banks, but no injuries were reported.
    Many areas of Salzburg province and neighbouring provinces remain on alert, with rains set to continue on Sunday.    Western Tyrol province reported that water levels in some areas were at highs not seen for more than 30 years.
    Parts of Switzerland remained on flood alert, though the threat posed by some of the most at-risk bodies of water like Lake Lucerne and Bern’s Aare river has eased.
($1 = 0.8471 euros)
(Reporting by Ralph Brock and Romana Fuessel in Berchtesgaden, Wolfgang Rattay in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Christoph Steitz in Frankfurt, Philip Blenkinsop in Brussels, Stephanie van den Berg in Amsterdam, Francois Murphy in Vienna and Matthias Inverardi in DuesseldorfEditing by Frances Kerry, Pravin Char and Philippa Fletcher)

7/18/2021 ‘The Government Is Losing Ground’ Residents Say As Gangs Take Territory In Venezuela’s Capital by Sarah Kinosian and Vivian Sequera
A car crushed by the Special Forces tank (FAES) is seen after armed confrontations between members of El Koki?s criminal gang
and police forces, in Caracas, Venezuela July 12, 2021. Picture taken July 12, 2021. REUTERS/Leonardo Fernandez Viloria
    CARACAS (Reuters) – “Leave the area!    Get the kids out!” screamed gang members walking through western Caracas’ El Cementerio barrio with megaphones the morning of Thursday, July 8.    The warning told residents in Venezuela’s capital shooting would not soon stop.
    By then barrio residents had already been sheltering in place for more than half a day, whole families prone on the floor to avoid unrelenting gunfire.    But for the next 48 hours, El Cementerio and five nearby neighborhoods were paralyzed by an unprecedented display of firepower by gangs, known by neighbors as “the boys.”
    The pitched gun battles between police and a collection of gangs at least 300-strong based in a cluster of barrios in western Caracas are another sign President Nicolas Maduro is losing control over parts of Venezuela, which is suffering from a deep economic crisis and a protracted breakdown of the rule of law.
    A similar process is taking place in border states, where Colombian rebels meting out justice in rural areas spent weeks battling Venezuelan troops in standoffs that killed a dozen of soldiers and forced thousands of residents to flee.    In Venezuela’s interior local gangs also control territory and set laws.
    “It is becoming more evident that Maduro is losing control in and out of Caracas,” said Alexander Campos, a researcher at the Central University of Venezuela who studies violence and politics.    “The capacity and ambition of criminal groups from gangs to guerrillas is growing.”
    Security experts say violent police operations that Maduro launched in 2015, dubbed “Operation Liberation of the People,” helped consolidate groups of rival gangs initially operating out of the Cota 905 neighborhood and nearby areas by giving them a common enemy.    Rights groups said it led to hundreds of extrajudicial killings.    Violence persisted.
    In 2017 the gangs struck a deal with the government to operate without police in certain sectors in exchange for lowering violence.    Streets became safer, residents said.    But the gangs became even more powerful through increased drug trafficking and targeting children as recruits, according to residents, who say the gangs are now armed with grenades and assault rifles.
    Gang members curried favor by handing out food and hosting parties with slaughtered pigs and live music amid the country’s devastating economic crisis, residents say.
    Teenagers outfitted with short-wave radios earn about $100 a week – more than 30 times the minimum wage – to man checkpoints on most corners of the neighborhood, said Jose Antonio Rengifo, a 34-year-old teacher.    In areas overlooked by state institutions, neighbors approach the checkpoints to seek resolution for disputes from domestic abuse to robbery.
    “Up there, it’s family,” said Catholic Priest Wilfredo Corniel, 45, pointing to houses sprawling the hillside.    “The government is losing ground and credibility.”
    Despite four leaders, according to residents, the group is referred to as “El Koki’s gang,” in reference to the best known leader, Carlos Luis Revete.
    Security experts believe the gangs’ expansion in the past six months into neighborhoods near El Cementerio and the Cota 905 in the city’s southwest is a strategy to control the highway linking Caracas to the west – which would allow them to control shipments into the capital.
    The government arrested opposition leader Freddy Guevara and accused exiled anti-government activist Leopoldo Lopez of working with the gangs to organize the shootings in a plot to destabilize the government.    Both deny the accusations.
    Venezuela’s information ministry did not respond to a request for comment.
    Neither the gangs nor government has said what sparked the standoff, but it apparently began with police officers shooting a gang leader allied with El Koki, according to a source close to the situation.
    By the evening of July 8, the government had issued wanted posters for gang leaders, offering a $500,000 reward for information leading to their arrest.    By then, residents said, they were gone.
    Security forces, normally only seen in El Cementerio’s commercial thoroughfare, flooded the area.    Lights in the Cota 905 were cut.
    From Thursday to Sunday, representatives of nonprofit Mi Convive, which runs soup kitchens throughout gang-controlled barrios, hid inside homes surrounded by kids, said Hector Navarro, a coordinator.    All they heard was gunfire.
    For three days in the Cota 905 they were without electricity.    By Saturday they had run out of water. Some fled with suitcases.
    Residents say police ransacked homes, stealing food and household goods.    Some showed photos of broken windows and possessions strewn across rooms.
    Operations left 26 dead, the government reported. NGO Victim’s Monitor documented 37 deaths, including four officers and 22 alleged non-gang members killed by stray bullets or police. No main gang leaders were detained.
    By Monday, El Cementerio’s main avenue was bustling.    The only signs of gunfights were scattered “Wanted” posters and windows cracked by stray bullets.
    Reuters saw teens at a gang checkpoint in El Cementerio near what residents say is one of El Koki’s houses.    In the Cota 905, police continued operations.
    Some in El Cementerio prefer the gangs.    “I’d choose a thousand times to live with El Koki than police,” said one resident.
(Reporting by Sarah Kinosian and Vivian Sequera; Editing by Brian Ellsworth and Daniel Wallis)

7/18/2021 Ariz. AG Brnovich: Democrat Secy. Of State. Hobbs Must Turn Over Evidence Of Election Fraud by OAN Newsroom
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich speaks at a news conference in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Bob Christie, File)
    Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has demanded Democrat Secretary of State Katie Hobbs to turn over the evidence of fraud in 2020 elections.    In a letter to Hobbs, the state attorney general said Hobbs should provide information about potential double-voting in the 2018 and 2020 elections.
    Brnovich, a strong advocate for election laws, has been dedicated to defending election integrity.    The letter to Hobbs was sent by Brnovich’s Election Integrity Unit, which was established in 2019 after receiving funding from the Arizona legislature.    Brnovich’s letter added the secretary of state must also provide any evidence of violations of state election laws.
    The attorney general’s letter comes in response to Hobbs’s latest attacks on the Arizona audit and her baseless allegations that President Trump was pressuring the state to probe voter fraud. Arizona state senators said the letter by Brnovich was a good start to reverse election fraud.

7/18/2021 Residents Of Caracas, Venezuela Fearful To Return Home by OAN Newsroom
Masked members the National Police Action Force (FAES), an elite commando unit created for anti-gang
operations, patrol the Antimano slum of Caracas, Venezuela. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
    Some residents in Caracas, Venezuela have feared to return home after heavy gang violence in the area.    Earlier this month, residents in a Venezuelan neighborhood had reportedly been sheltering in place as they were just one of several communities affected by shootings between gangs and police.
    This comes as clashes between police and a gang in northwestern Caracas earlier this month reportedly left over two dozen people dead.    Some residents have expressed concerns over returning home.
    “Beyond the mortal wounds of the people who died in this situation, we are trying to see how we can recover from the emotional wounds of many people,” local Priest Wilfredo Corniel expressed.    “…Homes are deserted and how do you help to recover an emotional peace for all those who live in this area in particular.”
A street goes dark as the sun sets in the Petare slum of Caracas, Venezuela. When night falls, streets in Caracas
clear as most residents abide by an undeclared curfew out of fear for their safety. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
    Some say clashes between gangs and police in Venezuela are a sign the president is losing control over parts of the country.

7/18/2021 Gov. DeSantis: Biden Refuses To Help Cubans, Accepts Illegals From Mexico by OAN Newsroom
Gov. Ron DeSantis greets people after holding a roundtable discussion about the uprising in Cuba
at the American Museum of the Cuba Diaspora in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
    Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) has proposed several ways to help Cubans who have been struggling under the socialist regime.    This weekend, the Florida governor criticized the Biden administration for refusing to help Cuban refugees, while admitting hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants from Mexico.
    DeSantis said such an approach to immigration was purely political and must change.    The governor also called on the Cuban military to side with the people and abandon the socialist regime.
    DeSantis added Cuba could only be a free and prosperous country without socialism.
    "The best role for military is the Cuban military to realize that time’s up.    That you can’t keep doing the bidding of a repressive dictatorship that is not governing with the consent of the governed,” he expressed.    “Every day where the truth is out, not only throughout Cuba but in the world, is the day where freedom is going to have the upper hand, so let’s act now.”
    DeSantis went on to say the Federal Communications Commission should help restore internet access in Cuba to help the truth about socialism come out for all of the world to see.

7/18/2021 Gen. Petraeus: U.S. May Regret Biden’s Full Pullout From Afghanistan by OAN Newsroom
Retired Gen. David Petraeus on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Cliff Owen/ AP Photo)
    A top military expert said the security situation in Afghanistan has rapidly worsened amid a pullout of U.S. troops.
    Retired Gen. David     Petraeus said on Sunday, Afghan security forces have suffered a drop in morale amid the U.S. pullout.
    He added Afghan soldiers were not sure if the U.S. would still be able to aid them on the battlefield going forward.    This come as terror group Taliban has gained ground and claimed to control more than 85 percent of Afghan territory.
    Petraeus said President Trump’s plan to keep 3,500 U.S. troops armed with drones in Afghanistan could have prevented the current situation.
    “…That’s what Gen. Miller was pioneering and it’s all made possible by the advent of this armada of drones, which we also used in Iraq and Syria where we didn’t fight on the front lines,” he explained.    “We allowed the host nations forces to do that and we enabled them.”
    Petraeus went on to say the U.S. may soon regret Joe Biden’s decision to completely withdraw from Afghanistan, which has left the Afghan government vulnerable in the face of Taliban.

7/18/2021 Jan. 6 Protestor: Rosanne Boyland Killed By Capitol Police Actions, Says Tear Gas Caused Stampede Outside Capitol by OAN Newsroom
Police officers attempt to push back a mob at the Captiol building on January 6, 2021
in Washington, DC. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
    Conservative activist Philip Anderson detailed the death of January 6 protestor Rosanne Boyland, which he has blamed on Capitol police.     During an interview on Sunday, Anderson said the actions of Capitol police on January 6 caused a stampede outside the Capitol that crushed Boyland.
    He said officers used tear gas and pushed protestors to pile up on each other.    As a result, Boyland was the first protestor to die that day, which was followed by the shooting of Ashli Babbitt inside the Capitol.
Riot police push back a crowd on January 6, 2021 at the Capitol building in
Washington, DC. (Photo by ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)
    Anderson said he was knocked unconscious for a short while and then came back to his senses to watch Boyland die.
    We were literally getting crushed to death and the police would not let us get up and go,” he explained.    “…The problem was that’s what killed Rosanne Boyland.    It wasn’t an overdose.    I saw her in the tunnel, she was a-okay.”
    Mainstream media have tried to discredit Anderson’s statements by blaming Boyland’s death on an overdose.    However, Anderson said new evidence and videos showed Boyland was indeed killed in a stampede that resulted from actions of Capitol police.

7/18/2021 Klobuchar: Breyer Should Retire Sooner Rather Than Later by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar laughs during her roundtable with veterans at Carnegie-Stout
Public Library in Dubuque. (Eileen Meslar/Telegraph Herald via AP)
    Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) shared her thoughts on a possible retirement for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.    During an interview on Sunday, the Democrat was pressed on the Justice’s recent statements that he has not yet made plans for his retirement.
    Klobuchar offered her opinion on what he would risk if he waited to retire and if Republicans gain control of the Senate.
    “If he’s going to retire it should be sooner rather than later if you are concerned about the court,” he expressed.    “What happens in the U.S. Senate matters.”
    Democrats have hoped for Breyer’s retirement following President Donald Trump’s fill of three vacancies within the Supreme Court during his time in office, which resulted in a conservative majority.    Breyer’s retirement would allow Joe Biden to fill the justice’s seat with a left-leaning figure.
    Breyer is 82-years-old and has repeatedly claimed in the last several months he has not yet made plans for retirement, but he has considered his health and the makeup of the court in his decision.

7/18/2021 Moderate, Progressive Democrats Battle Over Defunding Police by OAN Newsroom
NYPD police officers in Times Square. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)
    Progressives and moderates in the Democrat Party have reportedly been feuding as moderates appeared to be abandoning the idea of defunding the police.    Throughout the 2020 election cycle, Democrats cheered on calls to defund the police, with Kamala Harris saying policing needed reimagining and more officers on the ground was not the answer.
    Joe Biden has also said funding absolutely could and should be redirected from police departments to other services.    Since Election Day however, the Biden administration has reversed course in these calls.
    Just after the election, Biden urged progressives to abandon the defund campaign plank and said it cost the party seats in the House.
    “That’s how they beat the living hell out of us across the country, saying that we’re talking about defunding the police.    We’re not,” he claimed.    “We’re talking about holding them accountable.    We’re talking about giving them money to do the right things.”
    In a July letter, Biden urged local leaders to use some of the American Rescue Plan money to fund local police departments, including hiring additional officers on the beat.
    Eric Adams, the presumptive Democrat nominee for mayor of New York, was a former police officer who ran his campaign as the pro law and order choice.    He said in a recent interview that he would have officers backs if they maintained the trust of the citizens of New York.    He added officers should still do their jobs on the street regardless of government statements.
    “I didn’t like what the government was doing when I was a police officer for 22 years, but when I put on that gun and shield, I protected the people of this city,” he asserted.    “I’m going to have the finest officers.    I will have their backs, but they need to have the backs of the people of this city.”
    Progressive Democrats have been at odds with the the moderate wing wanting to increase police presence.    Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) left nothing open to debate with her position on the issue when she was asked by CNN’s Don Lemon if she still supported defunding the police.
    She went on to say, “yes, I support a radical reimagining of community safety and public safety, which means reallocating and not further investing in a carceral state.”
    As the progressive wing of the party continues its cries to defund, the moderate wing has pushed forward with greater funding anyway.
    The Minneapolis City Council, which unanimously voted to abolish the city’s police in 2020, reversed course earlier this year.    They unanimously voted instead to add police officers to the force after violent crime spiked.
    New York City, which cut NYPD funding by a billion dollars last year, also chose to increase funding instead of staying the so-called progressive course.

7/18/2021 Columbia Professor Says Many Pretend To Agree With Woke Race Views In Fear Of Being Cancelled by OAN Newsroom
Author and professor at Columbia University, John McWhorter in New York City.
(Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for New York Times)
    A college professor said many people have pretended to agree with race opinions in fear of being attacked on social media.    Columbia University professor and author John McWhorter recently made the comments during a PBS interview, which discussed critical race theory in schools.
    McWhorter criticized the creators of CRT by claiming the theory established a perspective that led people to deem everything as racist.    In addition, McWhorter said this was no way to run a society and many people conformed to the ideology so they wouldn’t get called out.
    “After last summer, there was this educational opportunity many of these people saw where you could start saying that you needed to do this within this racial reckoning and if you don’t do it, you’re a racist,” he explained.    “So if you go against them, you get called a racist in the public square.    For nine out of ten people, that’s enough to make them follow along.”
    McWhorter recently released a new book titled “Woke Racism,” which explains how so-called anti-racist teaching is actually hurting minority communities.    He went on to say he believes once classes get back in person, things may get better because students will have face to face interaction.

7/18/2021 Ariz. Senate President: Auditors Don’t Need Special Certification 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, at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York, Pool, FIle)
    Arizona Senate President Karen Fann has questioned Maricopa County’s statement on certifying auditors. According to reports on Saturday, the county claimed the Senate’s auditors have not been certified to conduct an audit.
    This would mean the county would have to decertify any machines touched by the Senate.    According to Fann however, there was no process for certifying auditors.
    This comes after the cybersecurity firm, Cyber Ninjas, requested more information from Maricopa County to complete the audit.    The items requested included envelope and router images, splunk logs and hard drives with information regarding the 2020 election.
    Maricopa County responded by saying the audit team had all necessary resources required to perform an audit and labeled the team as “uncertified.”    Fann then reached out to the Federal Elections Commission for more information on the process of auditor certification and was told there was no such thing.
    Fann went on to say the audits performed by the county in November were done by so-called uncertified auditors as well, without any issues raised.

7/18/2021 Trump: Rising Crime A Result Of Stolen 2020 Election by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks during a retreat with Republican lawmakers
at Camp David in Thurmont, Md., January 6, 2018. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
    President Trump said violent crime is rising out of control due to Democrat policies.    In a statement on Sunday, the 45th president said Democrats are releasing thousands of criminals from prisons while allowing illegal immigrants to enter the U.S. unchecked.
    As a result, Trump said crime rates are rising across most metropolitan areas at an unprecedented pace.
    This comes after shots were fired outside the Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., sparking panic among game attendees.    Trump added the rise in crime is one of the worst consequences of the stolen 2020 elections.

7/18/2021 Wis. Rep. Ramthun Calls For Full Forensic Audit After 2020 Ballot Irregularities by OAN Newsroom
Timothy Ramthun (Timothy Ramthun Website)
    A Wisconsin state representative has called for a full forensic audit of the state’s 2020 presidential election after reports were released there were ballot irregularities in Arizona and Georgia. Republican Timothy Ramthun called for the move on Friday.
    “We need to create transparency and settle the debate of truth vs. conspiracy,” Ramthun said in a statement.    “There is nothing of greater importance than ensuring that we uphold our constitutional rights to have a government of, by, and for the people.”
    This comes after an election integrity group reportedly discovered “provable fraud” during the 2020 hand count audit in Fulton County, Georgia.    The group claimed the election officials double scanned nearly 200 ballots.
    Meanwhile, reports said a hearing on Thursday showed concerns regarding some 100,000 ballots in Maricopa County, Arizona.

7/18/2021 Report: Prosecutor Withheld Hunter Biden Probe Details Until After Presidential Election by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden (L) and his son Hunter Biden (R) attend a women’s ice hockey preliminary game between U.S. and
China at UBC Thunderbird Arena on February 14, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    It’s been reported that the federal prosecutor investigating Hunter Biden’s tax law violations and business deals withheld critical details from the investigation.    According to a recent Politico report, Department of Justice officials who were led by the U.S. attorney in the Biden family’s home state of Delaware, actually postponed investigating Biden’s overseas dealings.
    Additionally, David Weiss did not release details of the probe to the public until after the presidential election to avoid impacting the race’s outcome.    “They advised Weiss to avoid taking any actions that could alert the public to the existence of the case in the middle of a presidential election,” Politico noted.
    The report acknowledged the move would have likely boosted President Trump’s campaign. Trump appointed Weiss to the position in 2017 at the recommendation of Delaware’s Democrat senators.

7/19/2021 Sen. Blackburn Writes Letter To Biden About Big Tech Censorship by OAN Newsroom
File – Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) is pictured. (AP Photo)
    Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) has addressed the Biden administration’s collaboration with Facebook to combat so-called vaccine misinformation.    In a letter sent to Joe Biden himself, she highlighted her concerns while noting this move by the administration could be a violation of the First Amendment.
    The Tennessee lawmaker asked about the criteria they are using to flag and remove posts or ban users.    She also questioned the administration’s legal basis to direct social media platforms to follow its guidance.
    Blackburn requested to be briefed on the matter by August 2.    Her inquiry comes as the Democrat Party continues to push Big Tech to get rid of what they deem to be misinformation surrounding coronavirus from the internet.
    Namely, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) went on CNN Sunday to call on companies like Facebook and Twitter to remove this alleged misinformation from their platforms.
    The Democrat Party is continuing to push Big Tech to get rid of what they deem to be misinformation surrounding coronavirus from the internet.
    Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) went on CNN Sunday to call on companies like Facebook and Twitter to remove this misinformation from their platforms.
    “When we have a public health crisis and people are dying every day, enough is enough,” stated the Democrat.    “These are the richest companies in the world.    There’s absolutely no reason they shouldn’t be able to monitor this better and take this crap off of their platforms.”
    The floodgates for Democrat criticisms of tech seemed to burst after Biden recently claimed Facebook is allowing so-called misinformation on their site, in turn, killing people.
    “They’re killing people….the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated,” he stated.    “And they’re killing people.”
    Surgeon General Vivek Murthy called the spread of disinformation online an insidious threat to public health.    While speaking with CBS, he laid out what he thinks the companies should do to fix the alleged problem.
    “But it’s also why technology companies have a really important role here to play in identifying super-spreaders of misinformation, in stopping their activity and spread of misinformation online,” Murthy stated.    “And it’ll also help being more transparent, so we understand just how much misinformation is being transacted on these platforms.”
    Conservative radio host Mark Levin pointed out what he sees as Democrats colluding with Big Tech to censor unfriendly information.    He said he believes the Big Tech companies are acting as government entities because they are working with Democrats to enact speech codes the party in power wants to see.
    Republican House candidate from Washington, Joe Kent simply tweeted he felt the alleged collusion is how democracy dies.    His plan for taking on what he sees as unlawful collusion is to make social media platforms public utilities.
    Facebook, for its part, has criticized the Biden administration for promoting what they claim are lies about the company.    In a statement, the social media giant asserted billions have used their platform for accurate information on COVID-19 and they do not accept the charge made by Democrats of being so-called misinformation super spreaders.
    It’s yet unknown if Facebook, Twitter or Google will follow this new government guidance on content moderation, although the White House has said they are working closely with those companies to flag what they see as problematic content.

7/19/2021 GOP Senators Still Skeptical Of Infrastructure, Reconciliation Bills by OAN Newsroom
File – Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) is pictured. (J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE / AP Photo)
    Republican senators are gearing up for a fight with Democrats over two large spending bills.    In an interview Sunday, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) gave an update on negotiations for bipartisan infrastructure legislation.    The Ohio lawmaker revealed at this stage reform of IRS enforcement will not be part of a deal.
    “We found out that the Democrats were going to put a proposal into the reconciliation package, which was not just similar to the one we had, but with a lot more IRS enforcement,” he stated.    “So that created quite a problem because the general agreement is that this is the bipartisan negotiated infrastructure package and that we will stick with that.    And President Biden, to his credit, said that we would not be renegotiating these items in the reconciliation package.”
    It was also revealed that IRS enforcement will likely be part of the Democrats larger reconciliation bill.    Portman firmly pointed out that lawmakers agreed to a bipartisan bill and Biden has already indicated these items wouldn’t be renegotiated in the reconciliation package.
    “That’s the two tracks here: we have the infrastructure bill separately from the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill that is a strictly partisan exercise,” continued the Republican senator.    “More typical of Washington, frankly.    Ours is the one that’s unusual.”
    Portman said more meetings are to come to figure out how the bill will ultimately be funded.
    Meanwhile, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is considering leaving Washington, D.C. to derail the passage of the Democrat reconciliation bill, mirroring a recent move by Texas Democrats.    On Sunday, the South Carolina lawmaker said he may travel outside of D.C. to break the quorum the Democrats need to jam their spending package through the Senate.    He added, all Republican senators should just walk out of the Senate session as well.    His suggestion follows a decision by 58 Texas Democrats to flee their state in a failed attempt to derail passage of election integrity laws.
    Graham said the Democrat spending bill would fund far-left partisan projects at the expense of U.S. national debt.    He urged that it must be stopped while noting the reconciliation package is unrelated to infrastructure.    The Republican added, some Democrat senators may not support the reconciliation package.
    This comes as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has proposed a Senate vote to proceed on the bipartisan infrastructure bill.    The New York Democrat is pushing for a vote this coming Wednesday to get the bill passed before the August recess.    Many Republicans supporting the bill are calling on Schumer to slow down as the bill hasn’t been fully written yet.

7/19/2021 Texas Legislature Passes 2 Critical Bills During Special Session by OAN Newsroom
File – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference in Austin, Texas. Texas Democrats are starting a
second week of holing up in Washington to block new voting laws back home. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
    Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is holding a special legislative session to address a variety of issues important to Texans across the state.    The special session began July 8 and legislators are set to debate matters, including bail reform, election integrity, border security, social media censorship and others.    On Friday, the Texas Senate passed two measures involving abortion and critical race theory.
    The upper chamber passed Senate Bill 3, in turn, reportedly stripping out a future requirement that students learn “white supremacy is morally wrong” while also expanding restrictions on how certain history topics are taught in schools.    State Sen. Bryan Hughes (R) said its meant to be a “guardrail” against imposing “division and animosity” on students.
    “We also will not let a small but growing number of activists use the blots on our history to justify this new regime of otherness on our children, we will not allow that,” he stated.    “We will not teach our children, because of the past, that one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex, nor that someone due to their race or sex is inherently racist, or sexist, or oppressive.    We will not teach those things.”
    The other measure, Senate Bill 4, would reportedly “ban medically induced abortions after about seven-weeks of pregnancy.”    The vote came after Texas signed a measure into law back in ay that reportedly prohibits abortions as early as six-weeks.
    The special session could last until August 8.

7/19/2021 CDC Adopts CRT Rhetoric To Justify Low Vaccine Rates In Rural America by OAN Newsroom
FILE – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky testifies during a
Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via AP)
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has embraced critical race theory rhetoric amid their push to vaccinate hesitant Americans.    In the agency’s recent weekly review, they claimed “systemic health and social inequities” have placed rural America at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19.
    The CDC highlighted lower vaccination rates in non-metropolitan areas while blaming this on so-called “social inequity.”    This comes as the agency’s director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, has been at the forefront of looking for ways to push unvaccinated Americans to get the jab.
There is a clear message that is coming through: this is becoming a pandemic if the unvaccinated,” Walensky stated.    “We are seeing outbreaks of cases in parts of the country that have low vaccination coverage because unvaccinated people are at risk and communities that are fully vaccinated generally fairing well.”
    The CDC has pledged to ramp up efforts to vaccinate these regions while the Biden administration has kicked off the door-to-door vaccine program.

7/19/2021 Adm. Michael Mullen Suggests Biden Failing To Unify U.S. Military by OAN Newsroom
Then-Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, in 2011. (Harry Hamburg/AP)
    The former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, voiced concern about political influence in the military.    In an interview Sunday, he said the nation’s intense political environment is creating unprecedented division.
    His comments came after Joe Biden made “unity” one of the key themes of his campaign.    However, Mullen insisted that the Biden administration is doing little, if anything, to bring the military together.
    “The political environment is so intense and so divided,” said the admiral. And we need to work hard to make sure the military doesn’t become part of what is politicized in this country.”
    Meanwhile, Republicans have continued to push-back against critical race theory trainings that are making their way into the U.S. military.

7/19/2021 England’s ‘Freedom Day’ Marred By Soaring Cases And Isolation Chaos by William James
FILE PHOTO: People, some wearing protective face masks, walk over Westminster Bridge, amid the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in London, Britain, July 4, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) -Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ‘freedom day’ ending over a year of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in England was marred on Monday by surging infections, warnings of supermarket shortages and his own forced self-isolation.
    Johnson’s bet that he can get one of Europe’s largest economies firing again because so many people are now vaccinated marks a new chapter in the global response to the coronavirus.
    If the vaccines prove effective in reducing severe illness and deaths even while infections reach record levels, Johnson’s decision could offer a path out of the worst public health crisis in decades.    If not, more lockdowns could loom.
    But Johnson’s big day was marred by “pingdemic chaos” as a National Health Service app ordered hundreds of thousands of people to self-isolate – prompting warnings supermarket shelves could soon be emptied.
    “If we don’t do it now we’ve got to ask ourselves, when will we ever do it?” Johnson said just hours after he was forced to abandon a plan to dodge the 10-day quarantine requirement for himself and finance minister Rishi Sunak.
    “This is the right moment but we’ve got to do it cautiously.    We’ve got to remember that this virus is sadly still out there.”
    Britain has the seventh highest death toll in the world, 128,708, and is forecast to soon have more new infections each day than it did at the height of a second wave of the virus earlier this year.    On Sunday there were 48,161 new cases.
    But, outstripping European peers, 87% of Britain’s adult population has had one vaccination dose, and more than 68% have had the two doses which provide fuller protection.    Daily deaths, currently at around 40 per day, are just a fraction of a peak of above 1,800 seen in January.
    The FTSE 100 share index fell to a two-month low on Monday on concerns that economic recovery could be in danger.    UK-listed shares of cruise operator Carnival Plc, and airlines easyJet and British Airways-owner IAG fell between 4% and 6.7%.    The pound fell to a three-month low.
    From midnight, laws in England requiring masks to be worn in shops and other indoor settings lapsed, along with capacity limits in bars and restaurants, and rules limiting the number of people who can socialise together.
    Johnson sets COVID-19 restrictions for England, with devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland making their own policy.
    As businesses across England faced a shortage of workers due to the NHS app pinging people and telling them to isolate, supermarkets warned they faced strain.
    “It’s a major issue across every industry at the moment,” Marks & Spencer CEO Steve Rowe said.    “Our COVID cases are roughly doubling every week and the pinging level is about three to one of COVID cases, so we’re seeing that growing exponentially.”
    “If there’s shortages we’ll have to manage it by changing hours of stores, reducing hours.    Where the industry will see the pain is in the supply chain, because logistics runs tight anyway to be efficient.”
    British society appears split on the restrictions: some want tough rules to continue as they fear the virus will keep killing people and overwhelm hospitals, but others have chafed at the most onerous restrictions in peacetime history.
    Johnson faced an outcry on Sunday when he and finance minister Sunak tried to dodge quarantine with a special scheme for senior ministers and civil servants.    He will now isolate at his country residence at Chequers after health minister Sajid Javid tested positive.
    As the dawn rose over London, clubbers danced through the night at one of the first rule-free live music events since the pandemic began last year.
    “I have not been allowed to dance for like what seems like forever,” said Georgia Pike, 31, at the Oval Space in Hackney, east London.    “I want to dance, I want to hear live music, I want the vibe of being at a gig, of being around other people.”
(Writing by William James and Guy FaulconbridgeEditing by Frances Kerry and Giles Elgood)

7/19/2021 Exclusive-UK To Warn EU It May Deviate From Brexit Deal On N.Ireland - Sources
A truck drives past a defaced 'Welcome to Northern Ireland' sign on the Ireland and Northern Ireland border
reminding motorists that the speed limits will change from kilometres per hour to miles per hour on
the border in Carrickcarnan, Ireland, March 6, 2021. Picture taken March 6, 2021. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
    BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) -Britain will threaten this week to deviate from the Brexit deal unless the European Union shows more flexibility over Northern Ireland, one UK and three EU sources told Reuters, a move that could thrust the five-year Brexit divorce into tumult.
    Deviating from the deal’s so-called Northern Ireland Protocol is a risky step: its aim was to prevent Brexit from disrupting the delicate peace brought to Northern Ireland by the U.S.-brokered 1998 agreement that ended three decades of sectarian conflict.
    Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who signed the 2020 Brexit deal, has been dismayed by the protocol which has imposed paperwork and checks that London says could prevent British food staples such as sausages going to Northern Ireland.
    David Frost, the British minister who leads Brexit negotiations, is preparing to announce a significant potential change on the protocol that could have far-reaching consequences for the relationship with the EU, one of the sources said.
    The plans are being worked on by Downing Street.    Frost is due to update parliament on Wednesday about Northern Ireland and Brexit, and will also present a paper on Brexit to lawmakers.
    After the Reuters report, Frost told lawmakers the protocol was not sustainable in its current form and that if an agreement could not be reached then London would consider all options, including unilateral action through Article 16 of the protocol.
    “All options are on the table,” Frost said, when asked if he would consider triggering Article 16.    “We’ve said it’s not sustainable in the way it’s working at the moment, things have got to change.”
    Frost said it was not yet clear whether or not a fundamental rebalancing of the protocol was possible.
    Brussels expects Frost will push for a deviation from the protocol unless the EU agrees to compromise, said an EU diplomat who was briefed on talks with British negotiators.
    “We will not agree to the reopening of the Irish protocol,” said a third source, a senior EU official.
    Britain is expected to go beyond its demands for changes to veterinary rules.    The senior EU official and a second EU diplomat said that London would seek to have the European Court of Justice (ECJ) removed from the arbitration process.
    Preserving the peace in Northern Ireland while protecting the EU’s single market but without dividing up the United Kingdom was always the most difficult riddle of the Brexit saga since the 2016 referendum.
    Since the United Kingdom exited the bloc’s orbit on Jan. 1, Johnson unilaterally delayed the implementation of some provisions of the protocol and Frost has said the protocol is unsustainable.
    Frost is insisting on a bespoke veterinary deal based on equivalence which London says would remove the need for controls on goods crossing from Britain to Northern Ireland.
    Britain is arguing that there should be a more flexible approach to agri-food rules to limit the impact on everyday lives and will spell out clearly what the options and risks are.
    The 1998 peace deal largely brought an end to the “Troubles” – three decades of conflict between Irish Catholic nationalist militants and pro-British Protestant “loyalist” paramilitaries in which 3,600 people were killed.
    An open Irish land border is seen as crucial to the spirit of that deal by aiming to safeguard peace, free trade and travel on the island.
    But that became a problem after the 2016 Brexit vote.    The EU could not close the land border between Northern Ireland and Ireland but feared it could become a backdoor into the EU’s single market.
    The result was the 63-page “Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland,” which effectively keeps Northern Ireland in the EU’s single market for goods and having Northern Ireland apply EU customs rules at its ports.
    But by putting checks on some goods crossing between mainland Britain and Northern Ireland, many pro-British unionists say the protocol has breached the 1998 peace settlement.
    Loyalist paramilitary groups told Johnson in March that they were temporarily withdrawing support for the peace agreement due to concerns over the Brexit deal.
(Writing by Gabriela Baczynska and Philip Blenkinsop in Brussels and Guy Faulconbridge in London; additional reporting by William James; Editing by Andrew Heavens, Catherine Evans and Toby Chopra)

7/19/2021 Canada To Ease Border Measures, Welcome Vaccinated U.S. Tourists Next Month
FILE PHOTO: A U.S. and a Canadian flag flutter at the Canada-United States border
crossing at the Thousand Islands Bridge, which remains closed to non-essential traffic to combat the spread of the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Lansdowne, Ontario, Canada September 28, 2020. REUTERS/Lars Hagberg
    OTTAWA (Reuters) -Canada will start allowing fully-vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents into the country on Aug. 9 for non-essential travel as the threat from the COVID-19 pandemic fades, Ottawa said on Monday.
    Businesses on both sides of the border, particularly the travel and airline industries, are demanding an end to restrictions on non-essential travel between Canada and the United States which were first imposed in March 2020.
    Fully-vaccinated visitors from countries other than the United States will be permitted to enter beginning on Sept. 7.    The relaxation depends on Canada’s COVID-19 epidemiology remaining favorable, the government said in a statement.
    “Thanks to the hard work of Canadians, rising vaccination rates and declining COVID-19 cases, the government … is able to move forward with adjusted border measures,” it said.
    People eligible to enter Canada must have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days beforehand.    From Aug. 9, Ottawa is also lifting the requirement that all travelers arriving by air must spend three nights in a hotel.
    The government repeated that Canadians should avoid non-essential travel abroad.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren and Steve SchererEditing by Paul Simao)

7/19/2021 Haiti Interim Prime Minister Joseph Set To Step Down This Week by Andre Paultre and Daphne Psaledakis
FILE PHOTO: Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph gives a press conference almost a week after the assassination
of President Jovenel Moise, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti July 13, 2021. REUTERS/Ricardo Arduengo
    PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) -Claude Joseph, who has nominally led Haiti as acting prime minister since the July 7 assassination of President Jovenel Moise, will hand power to a challenger backed by the international community possibly as soon as Tuesday, a Haitian official said.
    The announcement appears to end a power struggle in the Caribbean nation between Joseph and Ariel Henry, the 71-year old neurosurgeon who was appointed prime minister by Moise two days before the killing but had yet to be sworn in.
    Haiti foreign ministry senior official Israel Jacky Cantave said that Joseph took charge following Moise’s assassination to help ensure continuity of state but would hand over power to Henry now that there is a consensus on the future of the country and protests have calmed.
    Cantave said that Haiti’s Council of Ministers would meet on Monday and that if all goes well, Joseph could hand over power to Henry in a ceremony on Tuesday.
    Reuters was unable to immediately reach Joseph by phone for comment.
    Moise was shot dead when attackers armed with assault rifles stormed his private residence in the hills above Port-au-Prince.    The assassination has pitched the poorest country in the Americas into political uncertainty at a time of surging gang violence that has displaced thousands of people and hampered economic activity.
    Joseph told the Washington Post in an interview published Monday that he and Henry had met privately over the past week, and that he had agreed on Sunday to step down “for the good of the nation” and was willing to transfer power “as quickly as possible.”
    Haiti, a country of about 11 million people, has struggled to achieve stability since the fall of the Duvalier dynastic dictatorship in 1986, and has grappled with a series of coups and foreign interventions.
    On Saturday, the ‘Core Group’ of international ambassadors and representatives urged “the formation of a consensual and inclusive government.”
    “To this end, we strongly encourage the designated Prime Minister Ariel Henry to continue the mission entrusted to him to form such a government,” the group said.
    The Core Group is made up of ambassadors from Germany, Brazil, Canada, Spain, the United States, France, and the European Union and special representatives from the United Nations and the Organization of American States.
    The group also called for the organization of “free, fair, transparent and credible legislative and presidential elections as quickly as possible.”
    The U.S. State Department and the White House National Security Council did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday.
    Henry told Reuters on July 9 that he considered Joseph to be not interim prime minister but a foreign minister who had taken on the office.
    “My installation should be done as soon as possible.    I’m working on the formation of a government, I am consulting, and I should speed up my consultations,” he said in the interview.
    A Colombian police chief said on Friday the assassination may have been ordered by a former Haitian justice ministry official, citing a preliminary investigation that has implicated Haitian Americans and former Colombian soldiers.
    Martine Moise, the assassinated president’s widow, returned to Haiti on Saturday for his funeral after she was treated in a Miami hospital for injuries sustained during the attack.
(Reporting by Andre Paultre in Port-au-Prince and Daphne Psaledakis, Matt Spetalnick and Jan Wolfe in Washington; writing by Daphne Psaledakis; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Rosalba O’Brien)

7/19/2021 Critics Accuse German Government Of Flood Warning Failures by Andreas Kranz and Leon Kugeler
People work in an area affected by floods caused by heavy rainfalls in Bad Muenstereifel, Germany, July 19, 2021. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay
    STEINBACHTAL DAM, Germany (Reuters) -German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer rejected criticism the government had failed to sufficiently warn people of last week’s floods, as the death toll from the country’s worst natural disaster in almost six decades rose above 160.
    Flooding has devastated parts of Western Europe since last Wednesday, with the German states of Rhineland Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia, as well as parts of Belgium, among the worst hit.
    In the Ahrweiler district south of Cologne, at least 117 people were killed, and police warned that the death toll would almost certainly rise as the clean-up continues from floods whose costs insurers estimate may run as high as 3 billion euros ($3.5 billion).
    The high death toll has raised questions around why so many people seemed to have been surprised by the flash flooding, with opposition politicians suggesting the death toll revealed serious failings in Germany’s flood preparedness.
    Seehofer said in response that the German National Meteorological Service (DWD) issues warnings to Germany’s 16 states and from there to districts and communities that decide at a local level how to respond.
    “It would be completely inconceivable for such a catastrophe to be managed centrally from any one place,” Seehofer told journalists on Monday.    “You need local knowledge.”
    Criticism of the emergency response was “cheap election campaign rhetoric” he said.
    The devastation of the floods, attributed by meteorologists to the effects of climate change, could shake up Germany’s federal election in September, which until now had seen little discussion of climate.
    A poll for Der Spiegel found only 26% thought Armin Laschet, the state premier who is the conservatives’ candidate to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor, was a good crisis manager.
    The campaign frontrunner was pilloried at the weekend for seeming to laugh while the German president delivered a solemn mourning speech.
    Local authorities said that the Steinbachtal Dam visited by Seehofer – which had been at risk of breach for several days, prompting the evacuation of thousands – had been stabilised and that residents could return home later on Monday.
    Armin Schuster, head of the federal disaster management agency, challenged claims that his agency had done too little, telling Reuters in an interview that it had sent out 150 warnings, but that it was for local authorities to decide how to respond.
    Clean-up work was continuing in the Ahrweiler district, but with many of 170 still missing thought to be in areas authorities had not yet reached or where waters had not yet receded, few were likely to be found alive.
    “Our focus is on giving certainty as soon as possible,” Stefan Heinz, a senior district police officer said.    “And that includes identifying the victims.”
    The worst of the flooding cut off entire communities from power or communications.    Residents were trapped in their homes by fast-rising floodwaters and a number of houses collapsed, leaving what Merkel on Sunday described as “terrifying” scenes.
    The DWD weather service had warned on Monday last week that heavy rain was heading to western Germany and that flooding was very likely.    On Wednesday morning, it said on Twitter that the risk of flooding was increasing and called on the population to seek guidance from local authorities.
    The German government is readying a relief package for hard-hit communities in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate, and also in Bavaria and Saxony, where there were fresh floods over the weekend.
    One government source told Reuters on Monday that immediate relief worth around 400 million euros ($340 million) was being discussed, half of which would be paid by the federal government and half by the states.
    The relief package, which is also expected to include billions of euros for longer-term rebuilding efforts, is due to be presented to the cabinet on Wednesday.
($1 = 0.8466 euros)
(Reporting by Reuters TV, Holger Hansen, Anneli Palmen, Andreas Rinke and Matthias Inverardi; Writing by Maria Sheahan and Thomas Escritt; Editing by Kirsti Knolle, Alex Richardson and Nick Macfie)

7/19/2021 Joe Biden Attempts To Quell Fears Over Inflation by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden at the White House in Washington, D.C. (Evan Vucci/AP)
    Joe Biden attempted to downplay inflation concerns during a speech on his administration’s handling of the economy.
    Speaking at the White House on Monday, Biden touted the highest economic growth rate in 40 years as the U.S. started to reopen from coronavirus lockdowns.
    However, there was a downside to that record growth as more consumers have flocked to the market, increased demand and sparked a rise in inflation.    For the past four months, inflation has exceeded already high expectations.
    Biden also called on Congress to pass his massive infrastructure proposals, which would amount to more than $4 trillion in spending.    Those two bills have been faced with roadblocks in the Senate as the White House has continued negotiations with GOP lawmakers on a smaller $973 billion bill.
    The Democrats’ larger $3.5 trillion dollar package would require “yes” votes from all 50 Senate Democrats and appeal to both the moderate and radical wings of the party.    Experts say those massive spending bills would only accelerate the already alarming inflation rates.
    “What we’ve already got in the pipeline is gonna cause inflation,” Former IMF Deputy Director Desmond Lachman explained.    “Now, if you add the infrastructure plan and families plan and it’s not going to be properly financed with real taxes that restrain spending, then you’re just going to be adding to the inflationary pressures.”
    Despite the concerns, Biden insisted the surge in inflation was expected and added he plans to do whatever it takes to keep it in check for the long term.
    “My administration understands that if we were to ever experience unchecked inflation over the long term, that would pose a real challenge to our economy,” he claimed.    “So, while we’re confident that isn’t what we’re seeing today, we’re going to remain vigilant about any response that is needed.”
    For fiscal year 2021, consumer prices rose by 5.4 percent and marks the highest increase in a year since 2008.

7/19/2021 Dr. Anthony Fauci Supports Calls To Mask Up Children by OAN Newsroom
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks about the
coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Dr. Anthony Fauci has pushed for young to children to wear face masks as school look to reopen nationwide.    Earlier on     Monday, the nation’s chief medical advisor stood beside the American Academy of Pediatrics who recommended schools could require young children as young as three-years-old to mask up indoors, regardless of their vaccination states.
    The move by AAP comes in stark contrast to the most recent wave of reopening across the country amid a downward trend in cases.    Nonetheless, Fauci said the decision was totally acceptable.
    “So, I think that the American Academy of Pediatrics, you know, they’re a thoughtful group,” he stated.    “They analyze the situation and if they feel that’s the way to go, I think that’s the reasonable thing to do.”
    Fauci went on to acknowledge the recommendations set out by AAP directly conflicted with the CDC’s updated guidelines.    He added the healthy agency could give room for local agencies to make their own judgment call on health guidelines.

7/19/2021 White House: No Timeline Yet For Closure Of Guantanamo Bay by OAN Newsroom
A humvee passes the guard tower guard tower at the entrance of the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, also known as
“Gitmo” on October 23, 2016 at the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
    The White House indicated plans to shut down Guantanamo Bay, but declined to offer a timeline for its closure.    Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the pending closure on Monday, which followed the Biden administration’s first transfer of a detainee from the military prison.
    However, Psaki stopped short of announcing a target date to shut down the facility.
    “There are 39 detainees who remain at Guantanamo Bay,” she explained.    “10 are eligible for transfer, 17 are eligible for a Periodic Review Board, 10 are involved in the military commissions process and 2 detainees have been convicted.”
    Psaki went on to add the Biden administration is considering all avenues to responsibly transfer detainees and ultimately close Guantanamo Bay.

7/19/2021 Biden’s State Dept. Won’t Say If It’ll Sanction China For Cyberattacks by OAN Newsroom
State Department Spokesman Ned Price speaks to reporters during a news briefing
at the State Department in Washington. (Kevin Lamarque/Pool via AP)
    Joe Biden’s State Department has refused to comment on whether China would be sanctioned for hacking U.S. companies.    During a press briefing on Monday, State Department Spokesman Ned Price refused to provide further details when questioned on the matter.
    Price went on to say, “As you know, we don’t preview potential policy responses.”
    This comes after the Department of Justice charged four individuals working for China’s Ministry of State Security who breached the Microsoft Exchange Server.    That hacking led to ransomware attacks on tens of thousands of western companies last year.
    Joe Biden has also refused to say if he would hold China to account.
    “They’re still determining exactly what happened,” he stated.    “The investigation is not finished.”
    Biden’s officials blamed Russia for some of those hackings.    Although, early evidence showed companies such as SolarWinds were hacked by China as well.    Some reports say 2020 U.S. elections could have been breached by China using similar tactics, but Biden remains silent on those claims.

7/19/2021 Reports: Biden Begging Federal Reserve’s Powell To Curb Inflation by OAN Newsroom
Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell appears before the Senate Banking
Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool, File)
    Joe Biden has reportedly begged the U.S. Central Bank to curb inflation that has been spiraling out of control under his watch.    According to reports on Monday, Biden asked Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to do “whatever it takes” to control inflation.
    According to reports, Biden officials have been worried that skyrocketing consumer prices would further erode his waning popular support.
U.S. inflation rose 5.4 percent year-on-year this month, which was way above the Federal Reserve’s two percent target.
    However, Biden and his officials have refused to admit that inflation poses a problem.     “We’ve seen some prices increases.    Some folks have raised worries that this could be sign of persistent inflation.    But that’s not our view,” Biden claimed.    “As I made clear to Chairman Powell of the Federal Reserve when we met recently, the FED is independent.”
    Central Bank experts say the FED could raise interest rates to contain inflation.    However, such a move would also increase interest payments on U.S. national debt, which is nearing $30 trillion and could make deficit spending worse.

7/19/2021 DOJ: 4 Chinese Nationals Charged In Connection With Global Hacking Campaign by OAN Newsroom
Attorney General Merrick Garland, addresses staff at the Department of Justice, in Washington. (Kevin Dietsch / Pool via AP)
    Four Chinese nationals have been charged in connection with a global cyber hacking campaign.    The Department of Justice announced on Monday, three of the defendants were officers of China’s Ministry of State Security.
    All four individuals have been accused of targeting dozens of companies, universities and government bodies between 2011 and 2018 to steal trade secrets in benefit of Chinese state-owned companies.
    This come after the U.S. and allied countries blamed the Chinese government for a massive cyber-attack earlier this year. However, Joe Biden went against his own justice department during a press conference on Monday by saying he didn’t believe the Chinese government was behind the attacks.
    “My understanding is that the Chinese government, not unlike the Russian government, is not doing this themselves, but are protecting those who are doing it and maybe even accommodating them being able to do it,” he claimed.    “That may be the difference.”
    The White House did not expect to take significant action to punish Beijing, but appeared to leave the door open for future action.    During today’s press briefing, Press Secretary Jen Psaki claimed the U.S. would take action where warranted and the White House would be in touch with Chinese officials at a high level.

7/19/2021 Biden Moves To Reverse Trump-Era Showerhead Policy by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington D.C. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
    The Biden administration has moved to reverse showerhead regulations relaxed by President Trump last year.    The Department of Energy recently announced a new proposal to revert to Obama-era water output levels on plumbing fixtures.
    In 1992, the U.S. Energy Policy Act stipulated shower heads could not deliver more than 2.5 gallons per minute.    However, as new showerhead models came out with multiple nozzles, the Obama administration changed the law so the water output of each nozzle would not add up to more than 2.5 gallons per minute in total.
Joe Biden shakes hands with White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, left, alongside Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm,
center, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
    Last year, President Trump took aim at Obama’s rule by questioning its overall efficiency.    He argued it merely led to individuals to take longer showers.
    “So, shower heads, you take a shower and the water doesn’t come out.    You wanna wash your hands, the water doesn’t come out,” he explained.    “So, what do you do? You just stand there longer or you take a shower longer.”
    Officials say the proposed reversal of Trump’s policy will undergo a 60-day public comment period once it’s published in the Federal Register.

7/19/2021 2 Dead, 5 Injured In Shooting Rampage In Tucson, Ariz. by OAN Newsroom
Police tape via Matt Rourke/ AP Photo.
    Two people have died and at least five others were injured in a shooting rampage in Tucson, Arizona.    The Tucson Police Department said the suspect, a 35-year old male, set a residence on fire on Sunday evening.
    EMS crews responding to the fire were staging at a park about a mile away.    Authorities said the suspect drove up to the ambulance and shot one EMT in the head and the other in the arm. He then reportedly returned to the house fire and began shooting firefighters and neighbors battling the blaze.
    Tucson Police Department Police Chief Chris Magnus went on to explain, “both a highly tragic, really horrific incident with many unknowns at this time that’s going to involve a lengthy and complex investigation.”
    One witness who requested to remain anonymous described the scene.
    “I see him loading again.    I even told him no, stop,” he expressed.    “He kept on loading and kept on shooting. He was shooting at the cops too.”
    A fire captain was also struck in the arm, but remained in stable condition.    One neighbor was shot in the head and died, while another was grazed.
    According to reports, the suspect then sped off in his SUV and rammed into a police cruiser at a nearby intersection.    The assailant reportedly opened fire on the police officer, who then shot back and disabled the man.
    The suspect was apprehended and transported to a nearby hospital in critical condition.    A charred body was recovered from the home and several children living at the residence were missing until police reported their safety on Monday morning.

7/19/2021 Biden Downplays Inflation, Touts Economy As Markets Tumble by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden speaks about the nation’s economic recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the State
Dining Room of the White House on in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    Joe Biden continued to downplay massive inflation and touted a recovering economy as markets have nosedived.    During a speech at the White House on Monday, Biden claimed capitalism was alive and well under his leadership.
    He credited his American Rescue Plan for the increase of 60 to 600,000 new jobs per month, which some argued should have been attributed to eased lockdown restrictions.    Biden said the economy was showing record growth despite negative predictions and insisted massive government spending would tamp down inflation.
    “We’re making serious progress to ensure that it works the way it’s supposed to work, for the good of the American people,” he stated.    “So, for all those predictions of doom and gloom six months in, here’s where we’re stand: record growth, record job creation, workers getting hard earned breaks.”
    Biden added the U.S. needs the bipartisan infrastructure framework and his Build Back Better agenda in order to sustain economic growth.

7/20/2021 Oil down $5.37 to $66.68, DOW down 776 to 33,962 and it looks like Biden's policies are starting to affect the U.S. economy.

7/20/2021 Florida man receives 8 months in prison for Jan. 6 insurrection by Bart Jansen, USA TODAY
    – A Florida man became the first felon sentenced Monday for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, receiving eight months in prison and being ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution for damage to the building.
    Hodgkins, 38, of Tampa faced sentencing guidelines of 15 to 21 months in prison after pleading guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding for interrupting Congress’ counting of Electoral College votes.    He spent 15 minutes in the Senate chamber, holding a flag supporting former President Donald Trump and taking pictures.
    District Judge Randolph Moss called literally waving the flag for Trump an unmistakable sign of loyalty to a single person rather than the country and democracy.    “Although Mr. Hodgkins was only one member of a larger mob, he actively and intentionally participated in an event that threatened not only the security of the Capitol but democracy itself,” Moss said.    “That is chilling, for many reasons.”
    Hodgkins said he had no plans to enter the Capitol when he traveled to Washington to attend Trump’s rally but he got swept up in the march.    Once inside the Capitol, he said, he apologized to police officers for the trouble and he offered medical care to an injured rioter.
    “I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I am truly remorseful and regretful for my actions in Washington,” Hodgkins told the court.    “This was a foolish decision on my part that I take full responsibility for it.”
    Hodgkins is among the first dozen defendants to reach plea bargains, four for felonies and eight for misdemeanors.    Two defendants with misdemeanors have been sentenced, one to six months behind bars and one to three years of probation.
    At least 535 people were charged in the first six months after the attack, with 165 accused of assaulting, resisting or impeding officers, according to the Justice Department.    More than 50 people are charged with using a deadly or dangerous weapon or causing serious bodily injury to an officer, the department said.    About 140 police officers were injured.
Paul Allard Hodgkins, 38, of Tampa, Fla., front, stands in the well on the floor of the U.S. Senate on Jan. 6 at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. AP

7/20/2021 Peru Socialist Castillo Confirmed President After Lengthy Battle Over Results by Marco Aquino
Leftist Pedro Castillo celebrates from the headquarters of the "Free Peru" party after Peru's electoral authority announced
him as the winner of the presidential election, in Lima, Peru July 19, 2021. REUTERS/Sebastian Castaneda
    LIMA (Reuters) -Peru’s electoral authority on Monday named socialist Pedro Castillo as the country’s next president, having officially won the June 6 runoff against right-wing candidate Keiko Fujimori, who accepted the result but said she had been cheated.
    The official result had been delayed by appeals from Fujimori aimed at annulling some ballots over fraud accusations.    She said she was nonetheless bound by law to recognize the ruling of the National Jury of Elections.
    “I proclaim Pedro Castillo as president of the republic and Dina Boluarte as first vice president,” elections chief Jorge Salas said during a televised ceremony on Monday night.
    Earlier in the day, Fujimori said she would recognize the official result “because it is what the law and the constitution that I have sworn to defend, mandates.    The truth is going to come out anyway.”
    “They have stolen thousands of votes from us,” Fujimori, the daughter of jailed former President Alberto Fujimori, told a news conference.    She called on her followers to protest.
    “We have the right to mobilize … but in a peaceful manner and within the framework of the law,” she said.
    The Organization of American States, the European Union and Britain have all said the election was clean.    The U.S. Embassy in Lima sent a tweet, welcoming the announcement.    “We value our close ties with Peru and hope to strengthen them with President elect Pedro Castillo after his inauguration on July 28,” the tweet said.
    Castillo, in his first comments as president-elect, called for national unity.    “I ask for effort and sacrifice in the struggle to make this a just and sovereign country,” he said.
    A 51-year-old former school teacher and the son of peasant farmers, Castillo has pledged to redraft the constitution and hike taxes on mining firms.    Peru is the world’s second-largest copper-producing nation.
    But he has softened his rhetoric in recent weeks and hinted at a more moderate, market-friendly approach.
    Castillo said on Monday that he would work toward economic stability.
    “I ask that Keiko Fujimori not place barriers in the way, so that we may move forward and make this a government of all Peruvians,” he said.
(Reporting by Marco Aquino; Writing by Hugh Bronstein and Adam Jourdan; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Peter Cooney)

7/20/2021 Austrian Activist Schrems’ Facebook Complaint Referred To EU Court
FILE PHOTO: Austrian lawyer and privacy activist Max Schrems sits in his office ahead of
a Reuters interview in Vienna, Austria, July 16, 2020. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner/File Photo
    BERLIN (Reuters) - Austria’s Supreme Court has questioned the legal basis on which Facebook collects user data and referred key issues for a ruling by Europe’s top court, after awarding symbolic damages to activist Max Schrems in his privacy case against the company.
    In a 34-page ruling, the Austrian court accepted the request from Schrems, who has waged a years-long campaign against what he views as Facebook’s intrusive privacy practices, to refer key questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union.
    The civil case revolves around Schrems’ assertion that Facebook deprives users of the rights and protections they enjoy under the EU’s privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), by treating consent as a contract that empowers it to use their data to deliver targeted ads.
    “Facebook tries to strip users of many GDPR rights by simply ‘reinterpreting’ consent to be a civil law contract,” Schrems said in a statement on Tuesday.    “This was nothing but a cheap attempt to bypass the GDPR.”
    Facebook said it had received the court judgment and was reviewing its contents.
    “We are committed to the principles of GDPR and have made major changes to our business as part of our ongoing efforts to give users meaningful transparency and control over their data,” a Facebook spokesperson said.
    One question referred by the Austrian court asks whether Facebook’s declaration that it intends to process user data undermines the significantly higher protection that consent offers under the GDPR.
    Further questions relate to whether Facebook’s collection of data from ‘Like’ buttons and other online sources respects the GDPR’s principle of data minimisation – in other words that it should not collect more user data than is necessary.
    The Austrian court also awarded Schrems 500 euros ($589) in symbolic damages over Facebook’s obstructive tactics in response to his request to share the data it holds on him.
    “The plaintiff rightfully points out that the GDPR is based on a one-time request for access, not on an ‘Easter egg hunt’,” the court wrote in its ruling.
($1 = 0.8492 euros)
(Reporting by Douglas Busvine; editing by Mark Potter and Jason Neely)

7/20/2021 ‘We Lost’: Some U.S. Veterans Say Blood Spilled In Afghanistan Was Wasted by Tim Reid
A U.S special forces veteran Jason Lilley poses for a portrait at his home in Garden Grove, California, U.S., July 9, 2021. Lilley spoke
to Reuters about his experience in Afghanistan and his thoughts as the U.S. leaves the country. Picture taken July 9, 202. REUTERS/Mike Blake
    GARDEN GROVE, Calif. (Reuters) – Jason Lilley was a special operations forces Marine Raider who fought in multiple battles in Iraq and Afghanistan during America’s longest war.
    As Lilley, 41, reflects on President Joe Biden’s decision to end America’s military mission in Afghanistan on Aug. 31, he expresses love for his country, but disgust at its politicians and dismay at the blood and money squandered.    Comrades were killed and maimed in wars he says were unwinnable, making him rethink his country and his life.
    “A hundred percent we lost the war,” Lilley said.    “The whole point was to get rid of the Taliban and we didn’t do that. The Taliban will take over.”
    Biden says that the Afghan people must decide their own future and that America should not have to sacrifice another generation in an unwinnable war.
    Al Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks on America triggered a nearly 20-year conflict that led to more than 3,500 U.S. and allied military deaths, the deaths of more than 47,000 Afghan civilians, the killing of at least 66,000 Afghan troops, and over 2.7 million Afghans fleeing the county, according to the nonpartisan Costs of War project at Brown University.
    “Was it worth it?    It’s a big ass question,” said Lilley, who was on the front lines of America’s Global War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan for almost 16 years.
    He said he deployed believing troops were there to defeat the enemy, stimulate the economy and uplift Afghanistan as a whole.    They failed, he said.
    “I don’t think one life was worth it on both sides,” Lilley said as he described his service and his perspective in an interview at his home in Garden Grove, southeast of Los Angeles.
    Lilley is not alone in reflecting on the U.S. withdrawal after nearly 20 years of war.    Many Americans are.    The perspectives of Lilley and other veterans can help inform the country about the costs of entering war and the lessons to be learned from Afghanistan.
    Lilley’s opinions are his own and some veterans differ, just as Americans generally have different estimations about a war that improved women’s rights and led in 2011 to U.S. Navy SEALS killing al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.
    Biden’s withdrawal has bipartisan support.    A July 12-13 Reuters/Ipsos poll showed only about three in 10 Democrats and four in 10 Republicans believe the military should remain.
    Lilley and other Marines who served in Afghanistan and who spoke to Reuters compared it with the conflict in Vietnam.    They say both wars had no clear objective, multiple U.S. presidents in charge, and a fierce and non-uniformed enemy.
    Part of Lilley’s support network is Jordan Laird, 34, a former Marine scout sniper who described completing combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, which Laird and others called “Vietstan.”
    “You have a deeper understanding of the plight of the Vietnam vets who came home with lost limbs and being completely and utterly tossed to one side,” said Laird, who now campaigns to improve veteran care.
    He served in Sangin Valley in Helmand Province, one of the most fiercely contested parts of Afghanistan, from October 2010 to April 2011.    In his first three months, he said, 25 members of Laird’s unit were killed in action and more than 200 were wounded.    His best friend bled to death in his arms.
    While in Afghanistan, Lilley said he grew to understand why historians have called it the “graveyard of empires.”
    Britain invaded Afghanistan twice in the 19th century and suffered one of its worst military defeats there in 1842.    The Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989, leaving after 15,000 of its troops were killed and tens of thousands were wounded.
    Lilley says he was particularly disillusioned by the U.S. military rules of engagement in Afghanistan.    He and other units were not allowed to make night raids on the Taliban, for example.
    “Marines aren’t designed to kiss babies and pass out flyers.    We are there to eradicate.    We can’t do both. So we tried and failed,” Lilley said.
    The U.S. Marine Corps referred Reuters to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), the military command in charge of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, when asked about Lilley’s comment.
    In an email, CENTCOM had no comment about Lilley’s criticisms.
    A turning point in Lilley’s thinking came when a Taliban prisoner told him the Taliban would wait out the United States and knew Americans would lose faith in the war, just as the Soviets did.
    “That was 2009.    Here we are in 2021, and he was right,” Lilley said.    “Why did we lose guys?    Why?”
    Back from the battlefield, Lilley, physically fit and heavily tattooed, said he could not even look at the U.S. flag for several years because he felt so angry that his country had sent him and his colleagues to an unwinnable war.    He says he has seen several mental health counselors, but his greatest support network is fellow veterans.
    Lilley is vice president of the veteran-operated Reel Warrior Foundation, which gives veterans a chance to break from the struggles of re-adapting to civilian life by taking them on fishing trips.
    He said he is disappointed that the United States does not seem to have learned lessons from Vietnam, where 58,000 American troops were killed in a war that failed to stop Communist North Vietnam taking over the entire Vietnamese peninsula.
    “We should avoid war at all costs,” Lilley said.    “Don’t rush into the racket of war, into the machine of making money, contracts.    A lot of people made a lot of money off of this.”
    He said it took him years to let go of his anger.
    “I mean I knew what I was getting into, I mean I grew up on Rambo.    I wanted to honor my family in the sense my grandfather fought in War World Two, I wanted to go down that same route and do the selfless thing, but it turns into reality quickly.”
    Another of Lilley’s Iraq and Afghanistan veteran buddies is Tristan Wimmer, also a Marine scout sniper.    Wimmer’s brother Kiernan, also a Marine veteran, died by suicide in 2015 after receiving a traumatic brain injury in Iraq before deploying to Afghanistan.
    Wimmer, 37, now runs “22 Jumps,” holding fundraising events where he does 22 parachute base jumps in a day to raise awareness about the scourge of veteran suicide.    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) estimated in 2012 that 22 U.S. veterans die by suicide each day.
    A VA spokesperson said via email that the department is dedicated to former veterans’ physical and mental health.    This starts with a program called VA Solid Start (VASS), which ensures all veterans returning to civilian life are aware of and have access to an array of help and benefits.    Contact is made with them three times in their first year out of the military.
    Help under VASS is tailored to a veteran’s individual needs and includes access to mental healthcare and resources to ease the stress during the transition to civilian life.
    Wimmer said of Afghanistan: “By any metric you choose to measure it, it was a fruitless effort.    Getting rid of al Qaeda or the Taliban – we didn’t succeed.    Increased peace and prosperity for the Afghan people?    We didn’t succeed."
    “In the process we sacrificed a lot of wealth, we sacrificed a lot of time, we sacrificed a lot of lives, not just American lives, but coalition lives and especially Afghan lives, to walk away essentially having accomplished not a lot.    That’s a really hard thing to stomach.”
(Reporting by Tim Reid; Editing by Donna Bryson and Daniel Wallis)

7/20/2021 We Discussed Ousting Johnson, Ex-Adviser To UK Prime Minister Says
FILE PHOTO: Dominic Cummings, special advisor for Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson,
arrives at Downing Street, in London, Britain, November 12, 2020. REUTERS/John Sibley
    LONDON (Reuters) – The former top adviser to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he discussed the possibility of toppling Johnson shortly after an election triumph in 2019 because Brexit campaigners were being sidelined inside Downing Street.
    Dominic Cummings told the BBC that by January 2020, after the November 2019 election, Johnson did not “have a plan” and the prime minister’s then-girlfriend Carrie Symonds – who is now his wife – wanted to edge Cummings and his former Vote Leave colleagues out of important government decisions.
    “(People) were already saying: ‘By the summer, either we’ll all have gone from here or we’ll be in the process of trying to get rid of (Johnson) and get someone else in as prime minister’,” Cummings said.
    He made the comments in his first TV interview since leaving his job last year.
    In excerpts released on Monday, Cummings accused Johnson of not wanting to impose a second coronavirus lockdown in the autumn of 2020 because “the people who are dying are essentially all over 80.”    Downing Street said Johnson had taken action to protect lives and livelihoods.
    The government did not immediately reply to a request for comment about Cummings’ latest remarks.    The BBC quoted a government spokesperson as saying ministers were fully focused on recovery from the pandemic and restoring the economy.
    Cummings also told the BBC that anyone who was 100% certain about the merits of Brexit “has a screw loose” although he said exiting the European Union remained a good idea.
(Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

7/20/2021 Germany Faces Calls For Mobile Phone Disaster Alerts After Floods by Madeline Chambers
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and North-Rhine Westphalian State Premier Armin Laschet visit the area affected by floods caused by heavy
rainfalls, in Iversheim, a suburb of Bad Muenstereifel, North-Rhine Westphalian state, Germany July 20, 2021. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/Pool
    BERLIN (Reuters) -German authorities faced pressure on Tuesday to set aside longstanding privacy concerns and send mobile phone alerts directly to people in potential disaster zones following the devastation wrought by last week’s catastrophic floods.
    Unlike many other countries, including Japan, Israel and New Zealand, Germany has no way of sending text messages en masse to citizens about extreme weather events, partly due to the experience of oppressive surveillance in the country’s formerly Communist east and under Hitler’s Nazi regime.
    Some government ministers and senior officials have already called for a change as Angela Merkel’s government fends off accusations that its preparedness systems were woefully lacking, despite severe weather warnings from meteorologists.
    “This flood disaster must be a wake-up call to everyone that we should not only discuss data protection, but also the real protection of citizens against disasters,” Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer told Bild, Germany’s biggest circulation daily.
    The floods, which have killed at least 170 people and caused untold destruction, have dominated the political agenda some 10 weeks before a national election in September and raised uncomfortable questions about how Europe’s richest economy could be caught flat-footed.
    In Germany’s decentralised system, responsibility for disaster protection is split between the federal government and regional and local authorities, but officials have rejected suggestions they had done too little to prepare.
    The confirmed death toll rose by five to 170 on Tuesday as the recovery operation revealed further bodies.    Rescuers in the worst-hit regions rushed to clear debris and sewage and provide safe drinking water to help avert a public health crisis.
    Several experts said the unprecedented scale of the floods meant existing defences would inevitably be overwhelmed.    But critics pointed to failures in warning sirens that had been allowed to fall into disuse, delayed evacuations as well as patchy mobile phone warning systems whose efficacy was limited due to networks being knocked out.
    Critics argue that little has changed since the BBK civil protection agency held an emergency warning day in September to test the nation’s alerting infrastructure, which went far from smoothly.    The system overloaded, preventing many people from receiving push alerts.
    Merkel, visiting the devastated town of Bad Muenstereifel, said authorities would look at what had not worked but cautioned that mobile phone alerts, such as those used to warn airline passengers of delays, could not always be relied on.
    “That obviously stops working when the mobile phone system fails,” she said.    “And that happened extremely quickly.”
    Almost 20 years since then-centre-left Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder won re-election in large part because of his assured response to severe floods in eastern Germany, the disaster has inevitably cast its shadow over the September ballot.
    An opinion poll conducted since the flooding began last week showed a slight gain for Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party (CDU).    But Armin Laschet, the state premier nominated by the conservative party to succeed her as chancellor, has seen his own approval hit after he was filmed laughing as President Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited one of the flood zones.
    The financial cost of Germany’s worst natural disaster in almost 60 years will also weigh heavily on the next government.
    Coming on top of unprecedented spending on coronavirus relief measures, the cost is sure to run into the billions.    Bavarian Environment Minister Thorsten Glauber said his southern state would spend 40 billion euros ($47 billion) on flood defences in the coming 20 years.
    For immediate relief, the federal government plans to provide 200 million euros ($235.5 million) in emergency aid to repair buildings and damaged local infrastructure, and to help people in crisis situations, according to a draft document due to go to the cabinet on Wednesday.
    That will come on top of 200 million euros that would come from the 16 federal states.    The government also hopes for financial support from the European Union’s solidarity fund.
($1 = 0.8493 euros)
(Additional reporting by Andreas Rinke, Madeline Chambers, Maria Sheahan, Thomas EscrittEditing by Mark Heinrich)

7/20/2021 ‘Change Is Coming’: Peru’s Castillo Faces A Divided Nation After Election Battle by Marco Aquino
FILE PHOTO: Leftist Pedro Castillo speaks to supporters from the headquarters of the "Free Peru" party after Peru's electoral authority
announced him as the winner of the presidential election, in Lima, Peru July 19, 2021. REUTERS/Sebastian Castaneda/File Photo
    LIMA (Reuters) -Peru’s Pedro Castillo has won a long and tense presidential election battle.    Now he needs to heal the wounds of a starkly divided nation, split between support for his socialist reforms and fears he will upend the Andean nation’s traditional politics and mining.
    Castillo, a wild card candidate for a Marxist party, was proclaimed the winner of the June 6 run-off on Monday night after six-weeks of wrangling over the knife-edge result.    He beat right-wing rival Keiko Fujimori by just 44,000 votes.
    The former teacher and son of peasant farmers, expected to take office on July 28, won huge support from poorer rural Peruvians fed up with the political status quo amid rising poverty and inequality.
    His rise, however, has shaken Peru’s political and business elite, fearful of his pledges to redraft the constitution and take a far larger portion of mining profits from companies in the world’s no. 2 copper producer.
    “The people spoke, the people cried out and Pedro Castillo is finally our president,” said Danny Castillo, an unrelated supporter of the leftist candidate after his election win was confirmed on Monday.
    “Change is coming for Peruvians, change of the constitution is coming, no more poverty, Peru is rising,” he said.
    The President-elect, who wears a wide-brimmed hat and whose supporters carry flags and inflatable yellow pencil insignias of his party, has called for a ceasefire with his defeated rival Fujimori after the divisive election race and hinted his ministers will come from diverse political backgrounds.
    “We are making a call to all experts and technicians, to the most distinguished and committed people in the country,” Castillo told reporters on Tuesday, his first comments on his potential cabinet since his win was confirmed.
    “We are structuring a work team and I see there are also people who are interested in contributing to support this government, from all across the political spectrum.”
    Fujimori – the daughter of jailed ex-President Alberto Fujimori accused of human rights abuses – said she would accept the result, but repeated her claim, with no evidence, that Castillo had stolen votes to win and called on her supporters to mobilize to “defend democracy.”
    Castillo says he wants to increase spending on healthcare and education by raising the funds from mining tax hikes.    His plans have resonated in a country with the highest per capita death toll from COVID-19 and wide gaps between rural and urban wealth.
    His critics, however, including famed Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa, have claimed he will drag Peru towards authoritarian communist models, citing Venezuela and Cuba.
    Castillo himself has downplayed the comparisons and brought into his team more moderate economic advisers to calm market and elite fears.
    “We aren’t going to copy any other country’s model,” he said on Monday evening.    “We will create true economic development, guaranteeing legal and economic stability.”
    Peru’s markets on Tuesday saw the sol currency weaken around 0.30%, while the Lima Stock Exchange index was up 0.27%, with some key mining shares rising.
    “This is the time for dialogue,” the National Society of Mining, Oil and Energy (SNMP), which represents leading industry companies, said in a statement, one of the first comments from the sector since the run-off vote.
    “Today more than ever we need authorities with leadership and vision of the future who firmly assume the commitment to make necessary reforms to revitalize our battered economy, tackle the health crisis and guarantee the full rule of law,” it stated.
    Peru experienced one of its worst political crises in its history in November last year, witnessing three heads of state in a week after a battle between the presidency and Congress, along with violent protests that left two people dead.
    Castillo’s party will have 37 legislators out of the 130 members of the unicameral parliament.    Fujimori’s Popular Force party will have the second most with 24 seats.
(Reporting by Marco Aquino; Editing by Adam Jourdan and Aurora Ellis)

7/20/2021 UK Tells EU To Think Again Over Bloc’s Plan For Gibraltar Talks
FILE PHOTO: People cross the tarmac of the airport in front of the Rock of Gibraltar in the
British overseas territory of Gibraltar, June 24, 2021. REUTERS/Jon Nazca/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) – Britain told the European Union to “think again” after the bloc published a plan for post-Brexit negotiations over the future of Gibraltar that London said seeks to undermine British sovereignty over the territory.
    The European Commission said the draft negotiating mandate would have a positive impact for people living and working on either side of the border between Spain and Gibraltar without undermining the EU’s single market.
    But British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the plan conflicted with an agreement between London, Madrid and Gibraltar reached in December last year, just before Britain completed its exit from the EU.
    “It seeks to undermine the UK’s sovereignty over Gibraltar, and cannot form a basis for negotiations,” Raab said in a statement.
    “We have consistently showed pragmatism and flexibility in the search for arrangements that work for all sides, and we are disappointed that this has not been reciprocated.    We urge the EU to think again.”
    A British official said that one issue with the EU mandate was its provision that Spain should carry out border control and surveillance at     Gibraltar’s port, airport and waters.    Under the framework agreement of December, EU border agency Frontex would carry out this role, the official said.
(Reporting by William Schomberg in London and Philip Blenkinsop in Brussels; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

7/20/2021 Calls Grow For Minn. State Rep. To Step Down Amid Scandals by OAN Newsroom
This Aug. 21, 2016 photo shows John Thompson, now a state representative, at a fundraiser
at Central High School in St. Paul, Minn. (Scott Takushi/Pioneer Press via AP)
    Lawmakers in Minnesota on both sides of the aisle have made calls for Rep. John Thompson to resign over domestic abuse allegations and a traffic stop violation, where he claimed a police officer pulled him over because of his race.    The chaos for Thompson began when a video released by the Saint Paul Police Department from the Fourth of July showed the officer telling Thompson he was pulled over for not having a front license plate and for how he sped off from a light.
    Thompson was cited for driving with a suspended Wisconsin license.    He began arguing with the officer by saying the only reason he was pulled over was because he’s black.
    “You profiled me because you looked me dead in face and I got a ticket for driving while black.    You pulled me over because you saw a black face in this car,” he stated.    “…What I’m saying is you stop racial profiling black men in their car sir.    Stop doing that.”
    Following the incident, investigation from local media revealed Thompson had multiple domestic violence accusations against him, which stemmed from 2003 and 2009.    According to court documents filed in Wisconsin, multiple women have claimed Thompson punched, hit and chocked them in front of their children.
    It was also revealed during the traffic stop that Thompson handed the officer a driver’s license with an address from Wisconsin, which sparked questions over the Democrat’s residency and eligibility to hold office in his district in Saint Paul.    Upon learning of these allegations, Gov. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) doubled down on the message on Monday and said Minnesotans deserve “representatives who uphold the highest moral character and share our values.”
    “The information that came out over the weekend involving multiple accusations, cases of domestic violence in the presence of children, just makes it so that I do not believe the representative can continue to serve us well,” he expressed.    “It’s my belief when you get to a point where you’re no longer effective or you’re hurting the cause, it probably makes sense to move on.”
    This came as House Republicans said the GOP was prepared to file an ethics complaint against Thompson if House Democrats refuse to take action against one of their own.
    Meanwhile, Thompson’s attorney said on Sunday he “challenges the authenticity of the police reports that have been circulated to the press.”    Thompson has denied all allegations against him and although has not directly addressed the controversy, his wife posted a message on her social media dismissing allegations that Thompson plans on resigning.”

7/20/2021 Gov. Noem Says Democrat Promotion Of CRT Is “All About Power” by OAN Newsroom
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem at the Sioux Falls city hall in Sioux Falls, S.D. (AP Photo/Stephen Groves)
    South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) said Democrats have been promoting critical race theory in order to gain more control over Americans’ lives.    In a recent interview, Noem accused the left of using CRT to gain power and jurisdiction.
    Noem added this was not what the founding fathers had in mind when they fought for freedom.    She said Americans should be focused on the life lessons learned through history instead of the “i>negativity of the Marxist theories that are coming out of so many of these leaders today.”
    The Republican governor praised the parents who have stood against such an ideology being blindly taught to their children and said it was important for them to remain involved.
    “We need to remember that by the time a child gets into the K-12 public school system, that teacher is spending more time with those children then their parents are,” she expressed.    “Who they are around and who they are surrounding themselves with that are speaking into their lives has an impact on what they believe.”
    Noem went on to say she is concerned with the direction of the country under the Biden administration.

7/20/2021 Los Angeles Bomb Squad Techs Reportedly Miscalculated Weight Of Illegal Fireworks Before Explosion by OAN Newsroom
Los Angeles County emergency personnel work at the scene of a fireworks explosion in Los Angeles. A cache of illegal fireworks seized at a
South Los Angeles home exploded, damaging nearby homes and cars and injuring several people, authorities said. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
    Five Los Angeles bomb squad technicians had their field privileges revoked after miscalculating the weight of a homemade firework detonation, which injured 17 people last month. During a news conference on Monday, the city’s police chief said the officers made a human error by estimating the weight of the explosives instead of using a scale.
    Officers guessed the explosives to be 16 pounds. However, the actual weight was found to be around 42 pounds.    The device used for the controlled explosion was designed to withstand a maximum capacity of only 25 pounds.
    “We are committed to identifying how this occurred and ensuring it never is repeated,” LAPD Chief Michael Moore explained.    “In that pursuit, we’ll be identifying revisions to our operating protocols to expand the margin of safety for the public and our personnel alike.    We can and must do better.”
    Meanwhile, officials said the final investigation into the cause of the blast will not be completed for at least another month.

7/20/2021 Americans Stage Die-In In Solidarity With Cubans by OAN Newsroom
Demonstrators shout their solidarity with the Cuban people against the communist government during a
rally outside the White House in Washington, Saturday, July 17, 2021.(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
    Hundreds of protestors traveled to Washington, D.C. to demand action from the Biden administration regarding assistance to the Cuban people.    Over the weekend, dressed in red paint to appear bloody and donning Cuban flags, protestors gathered first in front of the Cuban Embassy.
    They then marched to the White House with the intention to take their message straight to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
    Signs directed towards Biden and the vice president read “you’re sitting by while we die” and “Cuba’s blood is on your hands.”    The masses chanted loudly behind the White House fence in English and Spanish, most notably repeating “people are dying” and “Biden is doing nothing.”
    So far, Biden has expressed interest in intervening to provide free internet access for Cubans on the island.    However, many demonstrators believe that is not enough and are demanding military intervention to topple the communist dictatorship as well as free more than 400 citizens who have been detained or are missing for peacefully protesting.
    Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has also been an advocate for a humanitarian military intervention.
    As of now, Biden appears to not be considering that route despite demands from Cuban-Americans.    In the meantime, the administration is expected to announce initial steps soon for a response to the Cuban government’s repression of pro-democracy protestors, although the swiftness and intensity of these actions remain unclear.

7/20/2021 Biden Admin. Fails To Lay Out Clear Plan For Closing Guantanamo Bay by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Wednesday, April 17, 2019 file photo reviewed by U.S. military officials, the control tower is seen
through the razor wire inside the Camp VI detention facility in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba. The Biden administration
has transferred a detainee out of the Guantánamo Bay detention facility for the first time, sending a Moroccan man
back home years after he was recommended for discharge. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
    Joe Biden is making the same empty promise as the Democrats who came before him as he seeks to close Guantanamo Bay.
    During a briefing on     Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the pending closure following the Biden administration’s first transfer of a detainee from the military prison back to the Moroccan government.
    “There are 39 detainees who remain at Guantanamo Bay,” she stated.    “Ten are eligible for transfer, 17 are eligible for a Periodic Review Board, 10 are involved in the military commissions process and two detainees have been convicted.”
    However, what Psaki failed to explain was that these 39 remaining terrorists include at least five men charged with planning and providing logistical support for the 9/11 terrorist attacks.    Nevertheless, she doubled down on the White House’s plans to close the military prison, but failed to lay out a clear plan of when these terrorists will be released or where the U.S. plans to house them.
    The promise of closing Guantanamo Bay has been a talking point of Democrat lawmakers for years, however, they often fail to mention how they will safely relocate terrorists that are still deadset on killing Americans.
    Even former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who served under both George W. Bush as well as Barack Obama and supported closing the military prison, admitted in 2007 that “the biggest challenge is finding a basis for holding prisoners who should never be released.”
    This challenge is why President Trump signed an executive order in January of 2018 to keep the prison open and argued that harboring political prisoners on U.S. soil would pose a safety threat to Americans.    Critics have warned robbing the U.S. of its ability to house and interrogate suspected terrorists could crush the nation’s ability to prosecute the global war on terrorism.

7/20/2021 DOJ: 4 Chinese Nationals Charged In Connection With Global Hacking Campaign by OAN Newsroom
FILE – This Feb 23, 2019, file photo shows the inside of a computer. The Biden administration will offer rewards up to
$10 million for information leading to the identification of foreign state-sanctioned malicious cyber activity against
critical U.S. infrastructure, including ransomware attacks. The administration is launching the website to offer the public resources for countering the threat. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)
    The Department of Justice is taking on China’s increasing threats on cybersecurity after charging four Chinese nationals in connection with a global cyber hacking campaign.    Top federal prosecutors announced efforts to deter Chinese aggression in cyberspace.
    On Monday, the Department of Justice slapped charges on four Chinese nationals who prosecutors said were employees of the Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS).    They are all accused of targeting dozens of companies, universities and government bodies between 2011 and 2018 to steal trade secrets to benefit Chinese state-owned companies.    Additionally, prosecutors said the hacking conspiracy expands beyond the U.S. and includes targets from Saudi Arabia, Canada and the United Kingdom.
    “These defendants coordinated with universities in China to achieve the goals of the conspiracy,” explained Randy Grossman, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California.    “For example, they worked with professors to organize hacking competitions with cash prizes.    The goal was simple: to find China’s best hackers and recruit them to steal intellectual property for the benefit of China and its state controlled companies.”
    The DOJ said the defendants used an array of methods to carry out their hacks, including sending spearphishing emails using stolen personal information and passwords as well as establishing sophisticated malware software.    They were previously flagged by private sector researchers who called the group a “advanced persistent threat.”
    “China’s foreign intelligence officials are trained to avoid detection and they did everything they could to hide their crimes, but the team of agents and prosecutors in this case found them,” Grossman continued.    “And in doing so have shown China’s government and the world the unwavering commitment of the Department of Justice to protect the United States against all threats: foreign and domestic.”
    This comes as the U.S. and allied countries blamed the Chinese government for a massive cyber attack earlier this year.    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a statement noting the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) needs to be held accountable for its irresponsible behavior in cyberspace.
    During a recent briefing, Press Secretary Jen Psaki claimed the U.S. will take action where warranted and the White House will be in touch with Chinese officials at a high level.    However, during a press conference Monday, Joe Biden went against his own Justice Department by stating he doesn’t believe the Chinese government is behind the attacks.
    In the meantime, Biden is expected to get a detailed report Tuesday to get a better understanding of the Chinese hack from top intelligence and national security experts.    The White House is not expected to take significant action to punish Beijing, but appeared to leave the door open for future action.
    The suspected MSS operatives are facing a slew of charges, including conspiracy to commit computer fraud and economic espionage.    Those charges combined carries a prison sentence of up to 20-years.

7/20/2021 S.D. Gov. Noem Says Democrat Promotion Of Critical Race Theory ‘All About Power’ by OAN Newsroom
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks during the Family Leadership Summit, Friday, July 16, 2021,
in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
    According to South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (R), Democrats are promoting critical race theory in order to have more control over Americans’ lives.
    In a recent interview, Noem accused the left of using critical race theory to gain power and jurisdiction.    She added, this is not what the founding fathers had in mind when they fought for freedom.
    Noem said Americans should be focusing on the life lessons learned through history instead of the “negativity of the Marxist theories that are coming out of so many of these leaders today.”    She went on to praise the parents who are standing up against such ideology being blindly taught to their children by saying it is important to remain involved.
    “I love to see these moms going forward and these dads going forward giving passionate speeches, caring about what their children are exposed to and what kind of teaching they get in their classrooms,” stated the South Dakota governor.    “We need to remember that by name a child gets into the K-12 of the school system, that teacher is spending more time with those children then the parents are.”
    Noem went on to say she’s concerned with the direction of the country under Joe Biden’s administration.

7/20/2021 Intel Analyst Says Trump Won Pa. By 6-8% In 2020, Finds GOP Voter Registrations Outnumbered Dems 21-1 In 2016-2020 by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Oct. 28, 2020, file photo President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally
at Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport in Bullhead City, Ariz (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
    A former military intelligence expert has broken down the issues found during the 2020 election in Pennsylvania.    Capt. Seth Keshel found President Donald Trump likely won Pennsylvania by 6-to-8 percent of the vote last year.
    On Monday, Keshel told Steve Bannon that new Republican voter registrations in Pennsylvania outnumbered Democrat registrations 21-to-one over the past four years.    He added, the number of registered Republicans far exceeds legal Biden voters in Pennsylvania.
    The former military intelligence expert asserted that tens-of-thousand of purported Biden votes in Pennsylvania were fraudulent.    He said similar statistical patterns have been observed throughout the Rust Belt.
    Keshel added, the data suggests Democrats likely stole the elections in Michigan and Wisconsin as well.

7/20/2021 Sen. Schumer Moves For Test Vote On Infrastructure Bill Without Telling Senators What It Contains by OAN Newsroom
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., talks to reporters as he leaves a news conference at the Capitol
in Washington, Thursday, July 15, 2021. Schumer is scheduling a procedural vote for next Wednesday to
begin debate on a still-evolving bipartisan infrastructure bill. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) plans to move forward with a test vote on a bipartisan infrastructure bill.    The New York Democrat made the announcement on the Senate floor Monday.
    “For the past several months, both Democrats and Republicans have been hard at work putting together two major bills to meet the challenges of the 21st Century,” Schumer stated.
    The vote on whether or not to proceed with debate on the bill will take place on Wednesday.    This comes despite Republicans voicing their intent to block the upper chamber with moving forward. The vote on cloture will need 60 ‘yes’ votes, which means at least 10 Republicans would also have to be on board to proceed with the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill.     “This week the Senate aims to make even more progress on these tracks,” Schumer continued.    “I will file cloture on a shell bill, which will act as a legislative vehicle for the bipartisan infrastructure framework.”
    Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who led talks with Democrats, said it’s absurd to force a vote without finalized legislation.    Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Republicans need to see the bill before a vote to debate.

7/20/2021 VoterGA: Fraud Evidence ‘Similar Or Worse’ In Other Ga. Counties by OAN Newsroom
Fulton County Georgia elections workers process absentee ballots for the Senate
runoff election in Atlanta on Jan. 5, 2021. (Ben Gray / AP Photo)
    Election integrity group VoterGA has revealed more evidence of fraud in 2020 elections in Georgia.    In a release on Monday, VoterGA reported it obtained material evidence of election fraud in other Georgia counties that were similar or worse than Fulton County.
    The observed fraud took place in both the 2020 presidential and senatorial run-off elections.    The evidence of fraud included a 60 percent error rate in recount results, falsified tally sheets as well as thousands of duplicated and false ballots.
    The group has now pushed for a full statewide forensic audit of Georgia elections.
    “The Secretary of State and the Fulton County election officials have had this information all along and they could have had the same knowledge we have today,” Garland Favorito of VoterGA explained.    “They could have had that seven or eight months ago and probably did.”
    VoterGA has filed a motion to immediately proceed with ballot inspection as part of its lawsuit against election fraud.

7/20/2021 Lawmakers Move To Ban China From Buying Farmland by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)
    Republican lawmakers have looked to block China from purchasing more U.S. farmland. Earlier this month, Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) raised concerns that China was expanding its control over America’s food supply.
    The Nebraska lawmaker proposed an amendment to the Agriculture Appropriations Bill that would prohibit Chinese-backed companies from buying farmland.    He noted that the U.S. government has not and cannot purchase Chinese farmland.
    “Can the America government go buy farm land in China?    Can an American corporation buy farmland in china?” he questioned.    “….I think the probability is about as close to zero as you can get.    This issue is really one of fairness, but as the chairman has suggested, it’s also national security.”
    Fortenberry went on to highlight the fact that China currently owns 200,000 acres of farmland in the U.S., which is worth $2 billion dollars.

7/20/2021 Sen. Paul Accuses Dr. Fauci Of Lying To Congress by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    A heated exchange erupted between Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Dr. Anthony Fauci during a Senate hearing on the pandemic.    The tense moments happened during Tuesday’s Senate Health Committee hearing on Capitol Hill.
    Paul asserted Fauci lied to congress and questioned whether he was aware it was a crime to do so.    Paul cited Fauci’s testimony earlier this year when he claimed there was no known association between the release of COVID-19 into the human population and an NIH grant for a non-profit group linked to the Wuhan lab.
    “We’re saying they are gain of function viruses because they were animal viruses that became more transmissible in human and you funded it,” he asserted.    “You won’t admit the truth.”
    Fauci responded by saying, “you are implying that what we did was responsible for the deaths of individuals.    I totally resent that and if anyone is lying here, it’s you.”
    The senator went on to add Fauci will be held accountable for funding the Wuhan lab and lying about it.

7/20/2021 Psaki: Vaccines Aren’t Foolproof, 100% Effective by OAN Newsroom
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the
White House, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed a fully vaccinated White House official tested positive for COVID-19.    The comments came during a press briefing on Tuesday, where Psaki said the official contracted the virus “off campus.”
    The White House official, along with an aide for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), both tested positive despite both being fully vaccinated.
    This comes after six Texas lawmakers, from the nearly 60 Democrats who went to Washington D.C., have reportedly tested positive for the virus.    Reports mentioned at least one of the cases involving the two staffers could have been linked to the group of Texas Democrats.
    “We certainly understand there will be breakthrough cases.    Even vaccines that are incredibly effective are not fully proof,” Psaki stated.    “They’re not 100% effective.    We’ve seen that.”
    Meanwhile, Republican have been criticizing the Texas Democrats trip to the Capitol for what they say could be a “superspreader” trip.

7/20/2021 GOP Candidates Swarm To Flip Ill. Governorship Red by OAN Newsroom
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP File)
    The wealthiest governor in the U.S. has announced his run for reelection in the Land of Lincoln.    On Monday, Illinois Democrat Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he was inspired to run again in part because of his observations of healthcare workers during the pandemic.
    “Part of why I’m running for reelection is because I watched the heroes across our state step up and do the right thing,” he stated.    “We had so much to accomplish and we were able to do that together.”
    Pritzker’s governorship hasn’t been entirely smooth sailing.    In November, voters rejected a graduated income tax that he personally advocated for.
    Pritzker has been faced with numerous challengers in the Republican party for his seat.    State Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Ill.) has been a long time Pritzker critic.
    During the lockdowns in October, Bailey sued to end Pritzker’s emergency powers.    Running for governor, Bailey expressed plans to reverse high gas prices and taxes, which he blamed Pritzker for letting get worse.
    “Thanks to Pritzker’s gas tax increase, failed agenda, and lack of leadership, fuel is high and hope is low across Illinois,” he explained.    “Friends, do not give up.    We are in this fight with you.”
    Bailey has not been alone in his fight to fire Pritzker from the governor’s mansion.    The Trump-supporting self-made millionaire Gary Rabine threw his hat in the ring in March.
    Promising pro-police and pro-business reforms to the state, Rabine said he wanted to take his home state in a new direction.    He added the governorship was bought by Pritzker.
    “J.B. Pritzker is a California trust fund billionaire who came here and bought our governorship,” he asserted.    “It’s time to turn things around.    I’m Gary Rabine and I’m formally announcing my run for governor of Illinois.”
    The final GOP candidate recently announced was Marine Corps veteran and former state Sen. Paul Schimpf (R-Ill.).    He has promised to take on what he has seen as deep-seated corruption in Illinois.
    He added he hoped to use his military experience to unite Illinoisans across the political spectrum.
    “I haven’t spent my life trying to be a politician.    I spent my life in the military and if you’re going to be successful in the military, you have to be able to do two things,” he stated.    “First, you’ve got to be able to work with people across the political and social spectrum.”
    While Pritzker faces opposition from his left flank in the Democrat primary, he has been widely expected to be renominated for governor.    If he goes on to win reelection, Pritzker would be the first incumbent governor to win reelection in Illinois since Democrat Rod Blagojevich in 2006.

7/20/2021 23-Year-Old Karoline Leavitt Launches Bid For Congress In N.H. by OAN Newsroom
Karoline Leavitt, right, walks with Rep. Elise Stefanik, center, in the U.S. Capitol
Visitors Center in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    A 23-year-old Republican from New Hampshire has launched her bid for Congress.    On Tuesday, Karoline Leavitt announced her run to defeat Democrat Rep. Chris Pappas (N.H.) in the state’s first district.
    Leavitt served as former assistant press secretary for President Trump and former spokeswomen for Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), which are both accomplishments she has not been afraid to highlight.
    “I proudly helped advance President Trump’s America First agenda, fight for the forgotten men and women of this country and combat the biased fake news media that attacked us every single day,” she asserted.    “I also served as the spokesperson for Elise Stefanik.”
    In 2020, former senior white house adviser Republican Matt Mowers took an unsuccessful shot against Pappas.    Mowers is a potential primary challenger to Leavitt as he has reportedly expressed interest in running again next year.

7/20/2021 White House: Conservative Media Needs To Be Held Accountable For Misinformation by OAN Newsroom
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, left, and White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield,
right, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield claimed social media companies should be held accountable for so-called misinformation.    On Tuesday, Bedingfield spoke with MSBNC’s Mika Brzezinski and said it was a goal of the Joe Biden administration to promote the vaccine.
    Bedingfield said that most hospitalizations and deaths came from unvaccinated Americans, which has prevented the U.S. from moving on from the pandemic.    While she has blamed social media companies for many of the alleged issues, she claimed the real blame was on conservative media.
    “It is also the responsibility of the people creating the content,” she claimed.    “…There are conservative news outlets who are creating irresponsible content that’s sharing misinformation about the virus that’s getting shared on these platforms.”
    Bedingfield went on to say the vaccine would save lives and spreading so-called misinformation was harming people.    She failed to mention holding accountable Democrats like Kamala Harris, who previously said she would not take the vaccine because of President Trump’s influence.

7/20/2021 GOP Reps. Give Biden ‘Grade I’ For Inflation by OAN Newsroom
House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise of La., speaks with the media on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
        Republican representatives have taken aim at Democrats for the spike in inflation.    During a press briefing on Tuesday, House GOP Chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) railed against Joe Biden for allowing American families to suffer under the weight of rising prices.
    The pair pointed to Democrats’ excessive spending and policies as a main factor driving inflation.    Stefanik said Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget proposal would only make things worse.
    Scalise went on to reflect on the short six months Biden has been in office.
    “So this week as we recognize six months since Joe Biden became president, I would give him a grade of I for inflation,” he expressed.    “…Joe Biden by the way promised he wouldn’t raise taxes on hard working families and yet he already has because inflation hits the lowest income people the hardest.”
    The Louisiana lawmaker added these policies have already had a negative impact and needs to stop.

7/21/2021 Oil up $0.71 to $67.32, DOW up 550 to 34,512.

7/21/2021 Floods Wreck Towns, But Europe’s Wind Power Goals Tangled In Red Tape by Nina Chestney, Angeliki Koutantou and Stephen Jewkes
FILE PHOTO: A view of a power plant near the village of Agios Dimitrios, Greece, March 17, 2021. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
    EVIA, Greece (Reuters) – Climber Tassos Baltas points up at a 22-metre high mast which is monitoring wind speeds on the summit of a rocky hillside on the Greek island of Evia and declares, “This mast which has been installed next to us is an omen of catastrophe.”
    The mountaineer’s views are one of a host of obstacles to efforts to boost wind power across the European Union.
    As parts of Europe reel from devastating flooding and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel says governments must redouble their efforts to tackle the impact of climate change, developers and governments are racing to capture green power investment. They are running into local opposition, bureaucratic red tape and legal tangles in the permitting process – to the point where the EU is veering off track for its emissions-cutting goals, wind industry data show.
    The EU has unveiled ambitious plans to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 55% by 2030, which will mean renewable sources in its energy generation should increase to 40%. For that, it needs 27 GW of new wind capacity – enough to meet almost one third of European electricity demand – to be installed every year.
    That’s nearly double the 15 GW currently put in place annually, according to WindEurope, an association that represents the industry in Europe.
    The drive to speed up renewable energy is pitting greens against each other.    Theodota Nantsou, policy director for the World Wide Fund for Nature in Greece, said the country decided belatedly to shut down its coal plants and is now racing to build up renewables at the risk of hurting its biodiversity.
    Last year, WindEurope says, the EU and Britain invested 43 billion euros ($51 billion) in new wind farms – the second highest annual amount on record after 2016.    Banks lent over 21 billion euros for the construction of new wind farms – the most ever.
    “The problem is not money: there is lots of money available,” said Giles Dickson, the association’s chief executive.    “The problem is the projects: we are not getting enough new permitted projects coming through.”
    The EU Commission has recognised that.    The EU’s renewable energy directive says it should not take more than two years to grant a permit for a power plant, or three in extraordinary circumstances.
    But these timelines have yet to be fully implemented.
    The Commission says it is trying to speed things up.    However, some of its plans need to be negotiated by 27 EU countries and the European Parliament.    That itself can take around two years.
    Worldwide, according to the Global Wind Energy Council, new wind capacity needs to be installed at about twice the current rate if the globe is to meet a goal in the Paris Agreement climate pact of limiting temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius this century.
    “I think (permitting) is one of the key factors that could potentially slow down the energy transition,” Miguel Stilwell de Andrade, chief executive of Portuguese energy company Energias de Portugal (EDP) SA which develops renewable energy, such as wind and solar, told Reuters.
    “If we want to meet the Paris Agreement targets we really need to find a way of making sure that permitting is efficient, transparent.”
    On Evia, Baltas and other Greek campaigners object to eight new wind farms, planned to span 80 km (50 miles) over an area which encompasses a pristine fir forest overlooking the Aegean.    They say it will ruin acres of ancient forests, and turn a largely agricultural region into an industrial zone.
    They are also fighting the fact that the Greek government, trying to avoid the delays that hobble some developments, fast-tracked the application to build 100 turbines, adding to 600 already in place on the island.
    Greece, aiming for renewables to help transform the country’s economy, wants to shorten its permitting process to about two to three years, the government says.    That’s down from the eight years more typical for such schemes in Greece, according to the Hellenic     Wind Energy Association, which represents the industry.
    As falling costs have made wind power attractive, there’s an incentive to move fast.    According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, an intergovernmental organisation that supports countries in their transition to sustainable energy, the overall cost of new projects both onshore and offshore roughly halved in the decade to 2020.
    This is visible in places like Evia, which has high winds from the Caucasus and Aegean Sea and is only about 80 km from the mainland power grid.
    “There is a very strong interest in renewable energy sources,” said Greece’s Secretary General for Energy Alexandra Sdoukou.    Greece hopes renewable energy will help secure power ahead of a shutdown of coal-fired plants by 2025.
    Other countries are also trying to streamline procedures to help win access to some of the EU’s 750 billion euro post-pandemic recovery fund – which will only be disbursed if projects move ahead.
    Greece’s fast-track process is no guarantee of a license, the government’s investment agency said.    An environmental impact assessment will happen later.
    Elsewhere in the EU, it can take as long as a decade for wind projects on land to be greenlighted, case studies provided by the industry show.    In at least one country, Sweden, the Wind Energy Association says it’s not unusual for the process to take even longer, because municipalities can vote on projects and there is no legal deadline for appeals processes to end.
    For offshore projects, negotiations with businesses such as fishing, tourism and shipping mean the permitting processes can take up to six years, said Jonathan Cole, head of offshore wind at Spanish energy company Iberdrola SA. For projects on land, problems range from rules that require turbines to be certain distances away from buildings to local disputes.
    In one case in Germany, WindEurope said, permissioning was so slow that by the time the farm was greenlighted, the turbine model in the plans was obsolete.    Updated height restrictions meant the developer had to dismantle part-built foundations, as well as persuading the manufacturer to revive an old model.
    In another German example, renewables developer Abo Wind AG applied to build a wind project south of Frankfurt in 2016.    The plan was initially rejected due to a risk to black stork habitats.    After back-and-forth legal actions and appeals with the local authority, the company says the wind farm will be built next year.
    “This project is a prime example of why wind power expansion in Germany suffers,” said ABO Wind executive Kristof Frank.    “Courts are overburdened and there’s not enough personnel to quickly handle the numerous processes.”
    A spokeswoman for Germany’s economic affairs ministry said almost half Germany’s electricity is supplied by renewable sources, but that Germany must accelerate the implementation of green energy.    This will be the task of the next government, she added.    The current government has pushed four laws to speed up new infrastructure through parliament, but nothing major has changed.
    Germany does not have enough qualified experts in local administration, people in the industry say.    And when its strong environmental laws slow down new wind farms, they divide the green movement.
    Italy is the biggest recipient of the EU’s recovery resources.    To meet targets agreed under the EU’s Green Deal plan to become the first climate-neutral continent, it needs to add at least 7 GW of renewable capacity every year, compared with a recent average of less than 1 GW per year. It has identified almost 60 billion euros of projects for that funding.
    But a group of European renewable energy associations says almost half of all renewables projects are abandoned in the country, and the other half subject to six years of permitting delays.
    Italy’s energy transition minister Roberto Cingolani said the consequences of delays will be far-reaching.
    “If we don’t get the permits, we’ll be late in reaching the goal of having 72% of our electricity generated from renewables by 2030,” Cingolani told Reuters.
    “So we won’t be able to press ahead with plans to replace furnaces, produce green hydrogen, and generate electricity for electric cars.”
    Spending on the permitting process can run into tens of millions of euros, people in the industry say.
    Delays are starting to deter investment.
    “We could invest more in certain countries in Europe if we had better visibility on the permitting timeline,” said Carlo Zorzoli, head of business development for the green power unit of Italy-based utility Enel SpA, which has the biggest capacity for renewable energy of any listed company worldwide.    He declined to name the countries he was referring to.
    Generally, wind industry groups say authorities are scrutinising projects more carefully, but permitting agencies have not been expanded enough: “The permitting agencies are often under-resourced and with the market growing faster than was ever expected it’s going to be hard for them to keep up,” said Iberdrola’s Cole.
    The EU Commission is proposing one body be made responsible for coordinating permits of some offshore projects.    But that proposal needs to be negotiated by EU countries and the European Parliament.
    Rather than wait, Greece plans to hire certified private evaluators, the country’s energy ministry said in May.
    Evia’s opposition groups have rallied.
    “To appeal against the project at the court, we have collected money by talking to local residents, shopkeepers, hotels, farmers with environmental concerns, beekeepers,” said Baltas.
    “And we did that rather fast.”
($1 = 0.8499 euros)
(Angeliki Koutantou reported from Evia, Nina Chestney reported from London, Stephen Jewkes from Milan; Additional reporting from Markus Wacket in Berlin, Christoph Steitz in Frankfurt, Kate Abnett in Brussels, Isla Binnie in Madrid and Tim Barsoe in Copenhagen; Edited by Veronica Brown and Sara Ledwith)

7/21/2021 House GOP Unveils Bill To Give Funding To Border States That Want To Continue Building Wall by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) speaks during a news conference as Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader
Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) looks on at Capitol Hill, in Washington, Wednesday, July 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
    House conservatives have refused to back down against Democrats on border wall funding, saying it’s their “hill to die on.”    This week the House Republican Study Committee revealed a bill to give $22 billion directly to border states that want to continue building President Trump’s wall.
    Last month, the committee along with President Trump visited a section of the wall in Texas that was almost complete, but was stopped under Joe Biden.
    “Within two months, everything could have been completed, not sitting there rotting and rusting” said Trump.    “It was all set.”
    The RSC’s chairman reiterated President Trump’s comments that steel paid for by taxpayers was rusting on the ground and federal contractors have already been paid not to build the wall.    Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) stressed that after his visit to the border, he’s more convinced than ever that continuing to build the wall is the right path.
    Meanwhile, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has extended an invitation to other governors requesting they send law enforcement and military resources to the border in order to assist with the migrant crisis.

7/21/2021 Cities Push For More Police Officers As Crime Rates Surge by OAN Newsroom
A Dallas police car and an emergency response vehicle sit in the parking lot at the
The Village Bend East apartment complex. (Mike Stone/Getty Images)
    The mayor of Dallas has called for the city’s budget to allow for more police and increased pay for first responders.
    Meanwhile, cities across the U.S. have petitioned for more police officers after Democrat lawmakers promoted “defund the police” movements, which resulted in low moral amongst law enforcement and a flood of resignations.
    As many Democrat lawmakers have flipped their stance on defunding law enforcement, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said on Tuesday that he wants to hire 275 police officers in next year’s budget.
    “Every officer counts here and when we’re lacking officers, that’s just another place where crime can explode so we really need those numbers to be what they need to be,” said Terrance Hopkins, President of the Black Police Association of Greater Dallas.
    Additionally, Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia said the 911 system has been in chaos and crime has increased in the city, citing three people killed over the weekend.    Garcia introduced a new crime plan to target habitual criminals and said he believes the budget he is working to prepare will “provide the resources necessary for us to be successful.”
    The mayor added he wants salary increases for both police officers and firefighters.    This comes after eight residents from Northside Minneapolis won a lawsuit against the city in early July for its lack of police officers during the surge in crime, which has impacted low income and minority neighborhoods.
    The ruling determined the mayor and city council must immediately fund a police force of approximately 743 officers.
    However, Minneapolis Democrat Mayor Jacob Frey has yet to outline his plan to implement the judge’s orders.

7/21/2021 Rep. McConnell: GOP Won’t Vote To Raise Debt Ceiling by OAN Newsroom
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell(R-Ky.) speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol
on June 17, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Republicans won’t support raising the debt ceiling.    In an interview on Tuesday, McConnell stated “I can’t imagine a single Republican in this environment voting to raise the debt limit."
    He told Democrats to include the hike in the second infrastructure bill they plan to pass through reconciliation.
    The current suspension of the debt ceiling is set to expire at the end of July.    Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned of catastrophic effects if a hike is not passed.
    So far, Democrats have shot down all GOP conditions to support a debt limit increase.    This comes as Republicans have criticized Democrats for their latest out of control debt spending.

7/21/2021 N.C. Board Of Elections Denies Request To Examine Voting Machines by OAN Newsroom
Dorothy Higginbotham places her ballot into a tabulating machine on Election Day at Church of Jesus Christ
of latter-day Saints on November 3, 2020 in Fayetteville, N.C. (Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images)
    The North Carolina Board of Elections has denied a request for an examination of state voting machines.    Recent reports said the board’s executive director denied the request made by the State House Freedom Caucus.
    According to the caucus chair, they met with the board twice saying the largest election vendor for the state agreed to provide access to the machines it manufactures. The chair suggested the examination is based on concerns from the public.
    “Open and allow us to look in the systems and then close the systems.    We would not invade, compromise or damage the machines,” said Rep. Keith Kidwell (R-N.C.).    “We’re not trying to say there is a problem.    We just simply want the public to know there’s not.”
    The board, however, has called the concerns “unfounded.”    Meanwhile, the caucus has vowed not to back off, saying they will get the access and data they’re requesting.

7/21/2021 President Trump: America Is Heading Towards Communism by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump looks on during a press conference announcing a class-action lawsuit against Big Tech companies
at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster on July 07, 2021 in Bedminster, N.J. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
    President Trump has put the mainstream media on blast and has accused Democrats of leading America towards communism.    On Tuesday, Trump was interviewed on the Michael Savage Show, where he blasted the media for protecting Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats.
    Trump went on to criticize Biden for allowing illegal immigrants to flood into the U.S., leading to a crime wave and COVID-19 infection surges in border states.    The 45th president also discussed election integrity and the importance of securing U.S. elections against fraud.
    He said back in 2016 he was able to catch the establishment off guard, but in 2020 they were ready for him.    President Trump did not confirm if he would be running again in 2024, however, he did say his supporters would be happy when he makes his announcement.
    Trump said under Biden the U.S. is trending toward a level of leftism never before seen in its’ history.

7/21/2021 23-Year-Old Launches Bid For Congress In N.H. by OAN Newsroom
The early morning sun strikes the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
    Karoline Leavitt, 23, has announced she is running to defeat Democrat Congressman Chris Pappas (N.H.) in the state’s 1st District.    Leavitt served as a former assistant press secretary for President Trump and former spokeswoman for Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.).
    “In D.C. I’ve watched in disgust as President Biden and the radical Democrats completely dismantled the progress we made under President Trump in just six months,” said Leavitt.
    She plans to stand up to cancel culture as the 23-year-old fell victim to Big Tech when Twitter suspended her account after sharing posts from President Trump’s accounts.
    “Everywhere you look, conservatives, myself included, are being censored and silenced,” stated Leavitt.    “And our freedoms to speak freely, think independently, bear arms, go to church and operate our own businesses are being infringed by radical Democrats.”
    She called herself a bold, energetic fighter to serve as a conservative firewall in Washington, D.C.
    Leavitt joined a field of several Republicans, including potential primary challenger and former senior White House advisor Matt Mowers, as he reportedly expressed interest in running again next year.    In 2020, Mowers took an unsuccessful shot against Pappas where he later lost.    Now, Leavitt said it’s her time to kick the swamp.

7/21/2021 Rep. McCarthy Pulls All GOP Picks From Pelosi’s Jan. 6 Commission by OAN Newsroom
U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) speaks during a weekly news
conference May 28, 2020 on Capitol Hill. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has pulled all Republican appointees from Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) Jan. 6 commission.    McCarthy made the announcement on Wednesday after Pelosi banned Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Jim Banks (R-Ind.) from serving on the committee.
    “With respect for the integrity of the investigation, with an insistence on the truth and with concern about statements made and actions taken by these members, I must reject the recommendations of Representatives Banks and Jordan to the select committee,” said Pelosi.
    McCarthy joined other House Republicans in a press conference on Wednesday where he slammed Pelosi for playing politics, calling her move unprecedented and a breach of power.
    In a statement earlier, McCarthy also called it a “sham process” and promised Republicans would pursue their own investigation into Jan. 6 if Pelosi didn’t rescind her decision.    This leaves Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney as the sole Republican on the committee.

7/21/2021 Opioid Lawsuits In NYC, L.A. Move Forward by OAN Newsroom
New York State Attorney General Letitia James speaks during a press conference announcing a
lawsuit to dissolve the NRA on August 06, 2020 in NYC. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
    Top prosecutors across the nation have begun taking action against several big pharmaceutical companies for their alleged contributions to the opioid crisis.    On Tuesday, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced a more than $1 billion settlement with three of the nation’s largest drug distributors for distributing opioids “without regard to the national crisis they were helping to fuel.”
    Payments from McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health Inc. and AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation are slated to start in several months.    Last month, James reportedly said they had come to an agreement with Johnson and Johnson of $230 million.    James added although an agreement has been reached, no amount of money could ever account for the lives lost and the lives impacted by opioid addiction.
    This initial agreement isn’t the last for the drug companies, as the four are working on finalizing a $26 billion settlement that would provide money to states, cities and counties across the country.    Los Angeles’ city attorney Mike Feuer said an agreement on the major deal could come soon.
    This comes as Los Angeles was one of the first cities and counties in the U.S. to file a lawsuit alleging the pharmaceutical industry was reportedly fueling the opioid crisis.
    “We allege that the distributors regularly failed to report suspiciously large and frequent orders.    We sued because no corporation, no matter how powerful, should be allowed to get away with putting profits over people’s lives,” said Feuer.
    Feuer added he’s expecting tens of millions of dollars from the settlement, which would be used for “targeting the intersection between substance abuse disorder and homelessness.”    The final approval for the $26 billion settlement would need to be agreed upon by more than 40 states, including hundreds of cities and counties.
    If approved, the money would be used for prevention, treatment and recovery.

7/21/2021 Elder Sues Calif. Secy. Of State After He Was Excluded From Recall Ballot Against Gov. Newsom by OAN Newsroom
Radio talk show host Larry Elder poses for pictures with supporters during a campaign stop Tuesday, July 13, 2021, in
Norwalk, Calif. Elder announced Monday that he is running for governor of California. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
    Radio host Larry Elder is striking back at California’s secretary of state for neglecting to include him on the list of gubernatorial candidates for the special election ballot to recall Democrat Gavin Newsom.
    On Tuesday, the prominent conservative talk radio host announced the suit against Shirley Weber.    The complaint asserted that Weber “neglected her duty” when releasing a list of 41 candidates in the race and not including Elder over supposed missing paperwork.    In a video released on Twitter, Elder stated he’s the target of “dangerous and unconstitutional” political games as he has complied with all requirements for candidacy.
    Elder entered the race last week while promising to fix rampant crime, homelessness, taxes, housing prices and school choice in the state.    Critics have said Democrats excluded Elder from the ballot because he poses the biggest threat to Newsom as polls show he has the most support from voters.
    The recall election is set for September 14.

7/21/2021 COVID-19 Hits The Biden Administration by OAN Newsroom
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and fellow Democratic members of the House hold a news conference to call on Republicans to fund
programs to combat the spread of the Zika virus at the U.S. Capitol September 7, 2016 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has confirmed that a fully vaccinated White House official has tested positive for COVID-19.    During a press briefing on Tuesday, Psaki informed the public of an outbreak amongst Democrat lawmakers, but failed to expand on the extent of the issue.
    The White House official, along with an aide for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), both tested positive despite being fully vaccinated.    This comes as six Texas lawmakers from the nearly 60 Democrats who fled to Washington, D.C., have reportedly tested positive for the virus.
    Reports said at least one of the cases involving the two staffers could be linked to the group of Texas Democrats.    Republicans have criticized the Texas Democrats trip to the Capitol, for what they said could be a “super spreader” trip.
    Additionally, a lack of clarity still exists on Kamala Harris’ COVID-19 test result.    Yet, when asked if the Biden administration is at all concerned about Harris’ health, Psaki said she thinks Harris has tested negative for the virus.
    However, there has been speculation as to whether Harris was indeed tested at all, as a statement from her spokesperson on Saturday clearly stated she would neither get tested nor self-quarantine.    Critics believe Harris may have been at risk of contracting the virus after several unknowingly infected Democrat lawmakers made their way to D.C.
    Despite the virus running rampant through the Democrat Party and potentially infecting Kamala Harris, spokesperson Psaki said the Biden administration would continue to support the efforts of the Texas Democrats.

7/21/2021 Navy SEAL Announces GOP Bid For Ariz. 1st District by OAN Newsroom
Eli Crane (Eli Crane Campaign Website)
    A retired U.S. Navy SEAL and Shark Tank winner launched his bid to take on an Arizona Democrat for a seat in the House of Representatives.    On Tuesday, veteran Eli Crane announced he would be challenging Democrat Tom Halleran in the 2022 midterms, saying it’s his time to step up and serve his country as Arizona’s congressman.
    Crane will be running in the state’s 1st Congressional District, which was won by President Trump in 2016, giving the conservative Republican a potential leg up over Halleran.    Meanwhile, he has already accused his opponent of being Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) puppet.
    Crane joined the Navy just days after 9/11 and went on to serve in the Middle East, training with the most famous U.S. sniper Chris Kyle.    In his campaign video, Crane is shown getting the phrase “we the people” tattooed on his arm as he criticizes career politicians for being self-serving.
    “The problem with Washington politicians is they have no skin in the game.    It’s all about them and almost never about us,” said Crane.
    The military veteran said the key issues he is running on include flipping Joe Biden’s open border policies, dismantling the liberal push for critical race theory education in schools and ensuring the election security issues highlighted by ballot concerns in Arizona’s 2020 election are addressed.
    He also is a strong proponent of standing up for the nation’s law enforcement and military, wants to give more support to small businesses and cut taxes for America’s middle-class families.    Crane said he has dedicated his life to service, saying the greatest threat to the American way of life “isn’t external, it’s right here at home.”
    He added he was given the chance to live the American dream and he wants to make sure that the following generations are as blessed as he has been.

7/21/2021 Bipartisan Group Of Senators Unveil National Security Powers Act To Take War Powers Away From Biden by OAN Newsroom
File – Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee Executive Business meeting. (Caroline Brehman / Pool via AP)
    Senators across the political spectrum are banding together to rollback several tools in Joe Biden’s foreign policy toolbox.    On Tuesday, the delegation made of of GOP Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Democrat Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and independent Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) introduced the National Security Powers Act.
    The legislation would make it easier for lawmakers to reverse a president’s foreign policy decisions, including war authorizations, weapons sales and emergency declarations.    Additionally, the bill repeals all existing war authorizations and would automatically cut off funding for military operations that do not have congressional approval.
    “These are proposals that I believe are long past due and are arriving just in time for us to get some good things done,” stated Sen. Lee.    “These are bipartisan issues.    They’re issues that are neither Republican nor democratic.    They’re neither liberal nor conservative.    These are simply American issues that we should all be able to get behind.”
    Lawmakers in both chambers have ramped up efforts to challenge Biden’s authority after he ordered airstrikes in Syria back in February and June of this year.    Some have come as far as to say Biden is abusing his authority to engage in international conflict while taking issue with the fact that Biden sidestepped Congress when giving the orders.
    “I believe that we have become far too comfortable with the United States engaging in military interventions all over the world with barely any debate in Congress or in the public about the costs and potential unintended consequences of those interventions,” said Sen. Sanders.    “The time is long overdue for Congress to reassert its constitutional role in matters of war and peace.”
    In the meantime, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) is expected to bring forward similar legislation in the House in the next few weeks.    This move is building off of momentum garnered late last month, where representatives moved to repeal two authorizations of use of force powers in which give presidents broad authority to send U.S. troops abroad.

7/21/2021 Former San Diego Mayor Faulconer Says Gov. Newsom Inviting Homeless People Into Calif. by OAN Newsroom
FILE – Tents housing homeless line a street in downtown Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
    According to former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom is inviting homeless people into the state of California.    In a tweet on Tuesday, Faulconer noted it’s reckless for Newsom to tell residents they have a responsibility to accommodate homeless people from other states.
    Newsom made those remarks while speaking at a briefing on Monday as he signed a $2 billion package for housing and homelessness.    He explained that almost half of this will fund housing for the homeless over the next two years.
    “At the end of the day we have to take accountability, responsibility, do more and do better,” Newsom stated.    “And that’s what this budget intends to do.    It’s about results, it’s about getting people off the streets.”
    The Democrat governor went on to point out that people at all income levels want to come to the Golden State for “new beginnings,” which he said is “part of the California dream” that he has “a responsibility to accommodate and enliven.”
    Faulconer suggested that Newsom should instead remove tent encampments, especially as a federal report this year is showing homelessness rose by 7 percent from January 2019 to 2020.

7/21/2021 Ariz. State Sen. Rogers Says Audit Numbers Justify Decertification by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this May 6, 2021, file photo, Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 general election are examined and recounted by
contractors working for Florida-based company, Cyber Ninjas at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York, Pool, File)
    Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers (R) recently laid out her ideas on how to move forward in the state’s forensic audit.    The Republican said this effort “is absolutely imperative” and she “will be fighting, fighting, fighting.”
    During an interview on Tuesday, she stated there is enough evidence of fraud to begin decertifying 2020 presidential election results in Maricopa County.    The audit found massive discrepancies, including over 74,000 mail-in ballots that appear to have never been sent.
    Rogers confirmed the state legislature could decertify the results with a joint resolution, but would need a Senate majority vote.    The Republican lawmaker said she’s confident that Senate President Karen Fann will follow through on enforcement.
    “We have to finish the audit, we have to hold the Maricopa County supervisors accountable to include possibly sending them to jail,” stated the state senator.    “There is already enough information to justify this.”
    Rogers pledged they will get to the truth of what really happened in the 2020 elections.

7/21/2021 W.Va. GOP Urges Sen. Manchin To Vote No On Biden ATF Nominee by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a key negotiator in the infrastructure talks, heads into the chamber as reporters
ask questions, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 20, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Lawmakers from West Virginia are lobbying their Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to oppose Joe Biden’s nominee to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
    On Tuesday, West Virginia GOP state officials sent a letter to Manchin urging him to oppose the nomination of David Chipman as director for the bureau.    The Republicans pointed out that Chipman has “spent decades working in opposition to Second Amendment rights.”
    Earlier this month, the National Rifle Association (NRA) released a video also urging Manchin to vote ‘no’ on Chipman’s confirmation while asserting he’s a grave threat to gun owners’ constitutional rights.
    After Chipman’s nomination in May, 20 Republican attorneys general sent a similar letter urging the Senate to oppose him.    Meanwhile, the date for Chipman’s confirmation hearing has yet to be set.

7/21/2021 Biden Claims He’s Fulfilling Campaign Promises by OAN Newsroom
President Joe Biden takes a sip from a tea cup as the press leaves during a meeting with his Cabinet
in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, July 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    Joe Biden claimed his administration has delivered on all of the promises they made to the American people.
    Before a cabinet meeting Tuesday, Biden said his Build Back Better plan will become a “economic boom.”    He went on to say his policies were setting up America for continued economic growth and that the public supported his efforts.
    “And the bottom line is we’re delivering on our promises,” Biden stated.    “We have to include all the promises we’ve made because I think we’re in a situation where the vast majority of the public agrees with the essence of what we’re trying to do.    And so, I just think that we’re showing there’s nothing that America’s unable to do when we do it together.”
    Biden did not mention the work President Trump accomplished before he took office, including starting Operation Warp Speed and helping limit foreign manufacturing competition.    He did, however, concede that much work still needed to be done.

7/22/2021 Oil up $2.97 to $70.29, DOW up 286 to 34,748.

7/22/2021 ‘Pingdemic’ Grips Britain As Fears Of Food Shortages Grow by Guy Faulconbridge and James Davey
FILE PHOTO: A man stands next to shelves empty of fresh meat in a supermarket, as the number of worldwide
coronavirus cases continues to grow, in London, Britain, March 15, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
    LONDON (Reuters) -Britain’s supermarkets, wholesalers and hauliers were struggling on Thursday to ensure stable food and fuel supplies after an official health app told hundreds of thousands of workers to isolate after contact with someone with COVID-19.
    Coronavirus cases in Britain have been broadly rising for a month, with more than 44,000 recorded on Wednesday.
    British newspapers carried front-page pictures of empty shelves in supermarkets.    Reuters reporters said food items were widely available in London shops although there were some shortages of bottled water, soft drinks, and some salad and meat products.
    “We’re very concerned about the situation,” Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told Sky when asked about reports of empty supermarket shelves in some areas.    “We’re monitoring the situation.”
    He said he did not recognise Sky’s characterisation of “bare” supermarket shelves.
    Britain’s second-largest supermarket group Sainsbury’s said customers would generally be able to find the products they want, though perhaps not every brand.
    “i>We are working hard to ensure customers can find what they need,” said a Sainsbury’s spokesperson.
    “While we might not always have the exact product a customer is looking for in every store, large quantities of products are being delivered to stores daily and our colleagues are focused on getting them onto the shelves as quickly as they can.”
    Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s bet that he could reopen England’s economy because so many people have been vaccinated has been tarnished by the “pingdemic” in which people have been told by the contact-tracing app to isolate for 10 days.
    The drastic reduction in staffing that has resulted has sown chaos through sectors as diverse as food supplies, haulage, supermarkets, hospitality, manufacturing and media. To avoid disruption, many have simply deleted the app from their phones.
    British ministers say the app plays an important role in countering the spread of the virus and has allowed some workers in critical roles to carry on working.
    The country has the world’s seventh-highest COVID-19 death toll and record new infections are forecast following the July 19 lifting of restrictions in England, characterised by Johnson as “freedom day.”
    But a rapid vaccination programme that has seen 87% of adults receive one vaccine dose and more than 68% two doses appears to have weakened the link between infections and deaths, with daily fatalities remaining relatively low.
    Many businesses said the situation was becoming grave.
    Britain’s food supply chains are “right on the edge of failing” as absence related to COVID-19 has aggravated a critical shortage of labour, a meat industry body said on Wednesday.
    Supermarket group Iceland said it has closed a number of stores due to staff shortages.
    “We have a structural issue with (a shortage of) HGV drivers for a variety of different reasons, but of course the pingdemic has made it even worse,” Managing Director Richard Walker told ITV.    “We are starting to see some availability issues.”
    Andrew Opie, director of food & sustainability at industry lobby group, the British Retail Consortium, said the government needed to act swiftly.
    “Retail workers and suppliers, who have played a vital role throughout this pandemic, should be allowed to work provided they are double vaccinated or can show a negative COVID test, to ensure there is no disruption to the public’s ability to get food and other goods,” he said.
    BP said it had to temporarily close a handful of sites due to a lack of fuel, with the shortage of HGV drivers being exacerbated by COVID-19 isolations.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and James Davey; Editing by Kate Holton and Catherine Evans)

7/22/2021 Britain Tells EU On Brexit Deal: It Wasn’t Going To Last Forever
FILE PHOTO: Flags of the Union Jack and European Union are seen ahead of the meeting of European Commission President
Ursula von der Leyen and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in Brussels, Belgium December 9, 2020. Olivier Hoslet/Pool via REUTERS
    LONDON (Reuters) -British Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said on Thursday the European Union had been inflexible over renegotiating the Northern Ireland part of the Brexit divorce accord and cautioned Brussels that it was not a deal that would last forever.
    “A deal is a deal but it wasn’t something that was going to last forever,” Kwarteng told Sky.    “It was something that was flexible and we want to make it work more smoothly.”
    “Article 16 … it is something that we could do, to suspend it, we’ve chosen not to do that, that’s not our opening position and we want to be able to negotiate and have a conversation with the EU about how best to go forward.”
    Britain demanded on Wednesday that the EU agree to rewrite the Northern Ireland protocol which covers post-Brexit trade involving the province just a year after it was agreed.
    The EU immediately rejected that call, saying Britain needed to respect its international obligations and pointed out it had been negotiated by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
    The protocol was a key part of the Brexit settlement, backed by Johnson, that finally sealed Britain’s divorce from the EU four years after voters backed leaving in a referendum.
    Businesses in Northern Ireland say it is damaging trade, and some pro-British groups have protested at what they say is a weakening of ties with Britain, raising concerns about a return to the violence which plagued the province for three decades.
    The protocol addresses the biggest conundrum of the divorce: how to ensure the delicate peace brought to the province by a U.S.-brokered 1998 peace accord – by maintaining an open border – without opening a back door through neighbouring Ireland to the EU’s single market of 450 million people.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton; editing by Michael Holden)

7/22/2021 France’s Macron To Hold Cabinet Meeting On Pegasus Spyware Case
FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron attends a farewell ceremony for the French armed forces chief of staff,
General Francois Lecointre at the Invalides monument in Paris, France July 21, 2021. Daniel Cole/Pool via REUTERS
    PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron will hold a special cabinet meeting on Thursday morning to discuss investigations into the Pegasus spyware case, government spokesperson Gabriel Attal said.
    Attal said progress was being made in the investigations after Amnesty International and a group of international media organisations said spyware made and licensed by a company based in Israel was used in hacks of smartphones belonging to journalists, government officials and human rights activists.
    “The president will this morning hold a special defence council meeting at the Elysee (palace) on the Pegasus case and on cyber-security,” Attal told France Inter radio.
    French daily Le Monde has reported that Macron’s phone was on a list of potential targets for potential surveillance on behalf of Morocco in the spyware case.
    Prime Minister Jean Castex said Macron had called for a series of investigations into the case.
    “The president is monitoring the case very closely,” Attal said.
    Morocco has denied buying or using the Pegasus spyware licensed by Israel-based NSO group after Amnesty and the group of 17 international media organisations reported that it had targeted thousands of phone numbers.
    The company has denied the allegations in the report.
(Reporting by Matthieu Protard; Editing Dominique Vidalon and Timothy Heritage)

7/22/2021 Biden Admin. Announces Sanctions Targeting Cuban Leaders by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden speaks prior to signing H.R. 1652, the VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021,
which redirects monetary penalties to increase funding for victim compensation funds, during a ceremony
in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C, July 22, 2021. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
    The Biden administration has announced new sanctions targeting Cuban regime officials.    Reports on Thursday said the Treasury Department listed a Cuban military and political leader, along with the Interior Ministry Special Brigade, as those who would face sanctions.
    “This is just the beginning.    The United States will continue to sanction individuals responsible for oppression of the Cuban people,” Biden said in a statement.
    A State Department spokesperson said the situation in Cuba has remained a top priority for the Biden administration.
    Meanwhile, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the administration has condemned mass detentions and called for the release of peaceful protesters.
    The U.S. has reported it will actively look for more ways to hold the Cuban government responsible, saying the communist government has failed to help its people.    This comes as progressive Democrats have pushed the Biden administration to actually reduce the sanctions against the country.

7/22/2021 Joint Chiefs Chairman Warns Taliban Has ‘Strategic Momentum’ In Effort To Retake Afghanistan by OAN Newsroom
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley testifies during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing concerning the
Department of Defense budget in the Hart Senate Office Building on March 4, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the Taliban has put pressure on key cities in Afghanistan and has strategic momentum in its efforts to retake the country amid a U.S. troop withdrawal.    In a news conference on Wednesday, Gen. Mark Milley said the coming months would be a test of the will and leadership of the Afghan people, Afghan security forces and the government of Afghanistan.
    Milley said the Taliban now controls about half of the 419 district centers in the country and has put pressure on around half of the country’s 34 provincial capitals.    He added he believes the Afghan military and police have the training and equipment needed to prevent the Afghan government from being overtaken.
    The Pentagon said the U.S. troop withdrawal is 95 percent completed and is expected to be finished by the end of August.     Troops have been transitioning out of Afghanistan since the beginning of May.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (L), and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley walk to greet U.S. Army Gen. Scott Miller,
the former top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, upon his return on July 14, 2021 at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (Alex Brandon – Pool/Getty Images)
    Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said the U.S. would keep a close eye on Al-Qaeda operating in Afghanistan, adding the focus going forward is to make sure that terrorism can’t be exported from Afghanistan to the U.S.
    “The Taliban early on committed to not providing a safe haven for Al-Qaeda.    We expect for them to meet that commitment,” said Austin.    “If they want legitimacy going forward, and I think that’s something that they’ll have to consider, that’s one way to earn it.”
    A recent U.N. report warned the Taliban is preparing to forcefully take what they can through negotiations with Taliban deputies, saying they favor a military solution.    This comes after recent talks between Taliban and Afghan government leaders in Qatar failed to reach a ceasefire agreement.
    According to new reports, the Taliban said it now fully controls Afghanistan’s borders with Turkmenistan and Iran.    Additionally, reports in Northern Afghanistan said the Taliban has been forcefully collecting funds from residents and recruiting locals to add to its numbers.
    A watchdog group monitoring the situation has said Afghan troops are deeply demoralized, adding corruption is rampant.
    Troops in many cases have been surrendering to the Taliban rather than fighting.
    The decision to withdraw hasn’t sat well with many Americans who fought in the war, who said they failed in their mission to defeat the enemy and uplift the country.
    Meanwhile, the threat of the Islamic state remains present in the region.    On Tuesday, rockets landed near the Afghan presidential palace in the capital city of Kabul, causing damage, however, no injuries were reported.    The Islamic state has since claimed responsibility for the attack.

7/22/2021 Biden Says Democrats Never Called For Defunding Police, Pushes Gun Control by OAN Newsroom
President Joe Biden stops to speaks to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington,
Wednesday, July 21, 2021, after returning from a trip to Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    Joe Biden is shifting blame for the rise in crime across the country while also claiming it’s Republicans that are lying about who’s behind the push to defund America’s police departments.
    During his Town Hall on CNN Wednesday, Biden actually claimed crime is down, but then said gun violence and murder rates are up.    He then focused on his reputation as a gun control senator during his time in congress while stating he’s looking to get rid of everything from 9mm pistols to rifles.
    “The idea that you need a weapon that can have the ability to fire 20, 30, 40, 50, 120 shots from that weapon whether it’s a 9mm, pistol or whether it’s a riffle is ridiculous,” said Biden.    “I’m continuing to push to eliminate those things, but I’m not lucky enough to get that done in a near term.”
    He went on to say that he and other Democrats had never called for defunding the police while asserting that Republicans who point out the left’s support for the movement are liars.    Biden went as far as to ask, “are there people in the Republican Party who think we’re sucking the blood out of people?
    After returning to the White House from Ohio Wednesday, reporters on the South Lawn followed up on the issue of Democrats being anti-police.    Biden asserted they have no plan on defunding them despite previous comments on the matter.
    “I am the Democratic Party, so is the Speaker and so is the Majority Leader,” he stated.    “We are not defunding the police.”

7/22/2021 Democrats Under Fire For Blatantly Ignoring Humans Rights Violations by OAN Newsroom
People participate in a rally outside the White House in Washington, Tuesday,
July 13, 2021, in support of the protesters in Cuba. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    Cuban protesters taking part in the freedom rallies are being tortured by officials within the communist regime.    According to Human Rights Watch, Cuban government officials subjected hundreds of Cubans to violent interrogation, psychological pressure and threats to family members.
    Activists have said political opponents of the communist regime are being dehumanized and brutalized in Castro-era prisons.    Meanwhile, Joe Biden has also been reluctant to condemn the government for its actions.
    “We have concluded that the repression has been brutal,” stated Juan Pappier, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch.
    “Over 500 people including protesters, artists, journalists and others have been detained.    Many have been beaten, some have been tortured and many of them are being subject to arbitrary criminal prosecutions based on Cuban legislation that guarantees no due process rights and no rights to defense.”
    Republican officials across the U.S., along with the Cuban-American community, are calling on Biden to help the detained Cubans.    However, the White House has only made vague statements of support for the Cuban people and has yet to take any action.
    Meanwhile, the Democrats are not only ignoring political persecution and torture in Cuba, but at home as well.    An attorney for a January 6 protester said dozens of American citizens are being tortured for their political views.
    In a CNN interview, attorney Joseph McBride pointed out that detained protesters are subject to solitary confinement, psychological pressure and other atrocities 24-hours a day. The attorney noted, all these things are defined as torture by the American Civil Liberties Union.    The CNN anchor appeared to defend the actions.
    “Answer that question for me good sir, are you okay with pretrial detainees being tortured?” questioned McBride.    “No one has been charged with insurrection.”
    Several attorneys have pointed out what’s happening to the detained protesters amounts to political persecution of conservatives.

7/22/2201 McCarthy Slams Biden, Pelosi During Weekly Press Conference by OAN Newsroom
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., arrives for a news conference on Capitol Hill, in Washington,
Thursday, July 22, 2021. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is rejecting two Republicans tapped by McCarthy to sit on a committee
investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. She cited the “integrity” of the investigation. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
    House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) took aim at Joe Biden and the House of Representatives during his weekly press briefing.
    While addressing reporters Thursday, he came down on Biden for the skyrocketing inflation rates and the Democrat Party’s reckless spending.    He said Republicans will continue their work to lower inflation, secure the border and fight the rise in violent crime.
    McCarthy attributed these hardships facing Americans to the left while stating once they took the majority, Democrats defunded the police and opened the border to immigrants.    He also criticized Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for rejecting two Republicans he appointed to her January 6 commission.
    McCarthy asserted it no longer matters what Pelosi does from here as it appears her commission’s report on January 6 is already predetermined.

7/22/2021 Senate GOP Blocks Debate On Incomplete Infrastructure Bill by OAN Newsroom
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., speaks after meeting with Senate Republicans,
Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
    Joe Biden’s promise of unity appears to be nowhere to be seen on Capitol Hill.    The two major parties continue to clash on the bipartisan infrastructure deal as Senate Republicans block a vote to open debate on the nearly $1 trillion measure.
    On Wednesday, the GOP derailed Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) attempt to jam through the incomplete legislation in a 49-to-51 vote, which fell short of the 60 it needed.
    Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said it would be hard to make a final decision in good faith when there is no text, no outcome, no bipartisan agreement and nothing for the congressional office to evaluate.
    “And certainly nothing on which to vote, not yet,” said the top Republican.    “So obviously, as the democratic leader tries to force a closure vote on a bill that does not exist, it will fail.    Around here we typical write the bills before we vote on them.”
    McConnell warned Republicans are not taking their decision on the trillion-dollar measure lightly, especially when it will costs the American taxpayers this much money.
    “We’re talking about long term infrastructure investments that will pay out over many years, but he (Schumer) wants to vote before there’s any agreement,” noted the Kentucky lawmaker.    “So this stunt is set to fail.    The democratic leader will be free to change his vote and move to reconsider whenever a bipartisan product actually exists.”
    McConnell said Democrats should understand that a ‘no’ on the cloture vote doesn’t mean ‘no’ forever considering that Senate Democrats used the same tactic to delay a vote on the CARES Act in March 2020, which had a complete text and was introduced during an actual emergency.
    Meetings about the so-called bipartisan infrastructure bill are reportedly set for Monday when more tension on Capitol Hill is sure to pop up.

7/22/2021 Intel Analyst: Trump Won Texas By 12.3% In 2020 by OAN Newsroom
In this Feb. 26, 2014 photo, a voter prepares to cast his ballot at an early voting polling site, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
    An intelligence expert is breaking down the issues found during the 2020 election in Texas.    During an interview on Wednesday, former military intelligence officer Seth Keshel said the data he found suggests at least 675,000 excess votes for Joe Biden in the Lone Star State.
    If his analysis is accurate, this would mean President Trump should have won Texas by roughly 55 percent instead of 43 percent.    Keshel went on to point out irregularities in Biden’s win in Tarrant County specifically, which hadn’t voted Democrat since 1964.
    “Terrent County, Fort Worth 75,000 heavy is my estimate,” he explained.    “This is a county where Trump puts up a Republican vote record in a Republican county not lost since 1964 and it is flipped by a vote gain double to the previous Democrat record in Terrent County.”
    Keshel is tracking election data from every U.S. state to create a strategy for future forensic audits.

7/22/2021 Colombia Arrests 10 Over Attacks On Duque’s Helicopter, Military Base by Oliver Griffin
FILE PHOTO: The mark of a projectile impact is seen on a helicopter that Colombian President Ivan Duque was traveling in, after it
suffered an attack during an overflight, according to authorities, in Cucuta, Colombia June 25, 2021. Colombia Presidency/Handout via REUTERS
    BOGOTA (Reuters) -Colombia has arrested 10 people accused of involvement in attacks on a helicopter carrying President Ivan Duque and a military base last month that officials said on Thursday were planned by former FARC rebel leaders based in Venezuela.
    The car bombing at the base in the northeastern city of Cucuta, home to the army’s 30th Brigade, wounded 44 people, including two U.S. military advisers.    Later in June, a helicopter approaching the city with Duque and other officials aboard was strafed by bullets.
    The 10 people captured in Norte de Santander province are former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels who reject a 2016 peace deal, Attorney General Francisco Barbosa said in a news conference broadcast via social media, and belong to the dissidents’ 33rd front.
    Three of them took part in the planning and execution of both attacks and have been detained and charged, while another is a retired army captain, Barbosa said.
    Orders to carry out the attacks came from former FARC leaders who are operating from Venezuela, Defense Minister Diego Molano said during the news conference.
    Molano said the attacks demonstrated that the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro sheltered FARC dissidents, referring to them as “terrorists.”
    “It’s clear that this attack against the president, against the 30th Brigade, was planned from Venezuela,” Molano said.
    Colombia’s government has long accused Maduro of turning a blind eye to the presence of Colombian rebels on his country’s territory.    Maduro, in turn, has said Venezuela is a victim of criminals from Colombia.
    Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza responded on Twitter, accusing Molano of pointing at Venezuela in an effort to distract from Colombia’s internal problems.
    “Once again they use Venezuela to try to hide the tragedy of their country,” he said, adding that Colombia was riddled with violence and armed groups, with an economy reliant on drug trafficking.
(Reporting by Oliver Griffin in BogotaAdditional reporting by Vivian Sequera in CaracasEditing by Joe Bavier and Paul Simao)

7/22/2021 Poll: Conservative Talk Show Host Larry Elder Leads Race To Replace Calif. Gov. Newsom by OAN Newsroom
Talk show host Larry Elder speaks to supporters during a campaign stop in Norwalk, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
    The recall election for California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is just under two months away with the current election date slated for Sept. 14.    An Inside California Politics/Emerson College poll of more than 1,000 registered voters in the Golden State showed that conservative talk show host Larry Elder is in the lead with 16 percent of voters saying they would vote for him if Newsom is recalled in September.
    San Diego’s former mayor, Kevin Faulconer (R), and conservative businessman John Cox fell behind Elder with each of them receiving six percent of votes.    When asked by sources if he believes Newsom is vulnerable when observing the poll numbers, Elder indicated the Democrat governor has not been talking to media while he has done interviews with a wide range of outlets and communities.
    Elder added many Democrats won’t even stand up for Newsom.    During an interview on Tuesday, Kevin Faulconer said he challenged Newsom to a debate on Spanish and English television, but has not received a response from him.
    In addition, Faulconer is suing the California secretary of state because he is not allowed to describe himself on the ballot as the former mayor of San Diego in order to prevent confusion among voters.
    There are now 42 candidates running in the recall election after Elder won a lawsuit against the California secretary of state for not permitting him to run.    Meanwhile, ballots could start showing up in mailboxes as early as next month as Newsom is continuing to fundraise, collecting more than $31 million from donors since March.

7/22/2021 Psaki Defends Hunter Biden Selling ‘Art’ Through China-Tied Dealer by OAN Newsroom
In this screenshot from the DNCC’s livestream of the 2020 Democratic National Convention,
Hunter Biden addresses the virtual convention on August 20, 2020. (DNCC via Getty Images)
    The White House has defended Hunter Biden’s latest business venture, which involves selling so-called art though a Chinese-linked gallerist.    On Thursday, Joe Biden’s Press Secretary Jen Psaki claimed Hunter will not be directly involved in sales of his art, which would prevent any conflicts of interest.
    However, reports found Hunter would meet with prospective buyers at his art exhibitions, which may amount to the sale of political influence on his father, Joe. Psaki has denied such claims.
    “I would reiterate that the gallerist will be the only person that handles transactions or conversations in that vein and will reject any offer that is out of the ordinary,” explained Psaki.    When asked about the lack of transparency with the buyers, Psaki claimed she nor Hunter would know who they were.
    Critics have said Hunter’s paintings have questionable artistic value, but undisclosed buyers are willing to pay as much as $500,000 for them.

7/22/2021 Biden Says He Couldn’t Do Anything To Stop Nord Stream 2 by OAN Newsroom
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Joe Biden hold a joint news conference in the East Room
of the White House on July 15, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    Joe Biden claimed he could not do anything to stop the Russian-German pipeline Nord Stream 2 from being completed.    This comes as Republicans said Biden did a major geopolitical favor for Vladimir Putin by lifting U.S. sanctions on pipeline operators.
    However, Biden said German Chancellor Angela Merkel would prevent Russia from using Nord Stream 2 to exert political pressure on Ukraine.
    Meanwhile, Russia and Germany have already completed the first line of Nord Stream 2 and the pipeline is set to reach its full capacity later this year.
Biden is also set to meet with the Ukrainian president next month at the White House. The visit was announced on Wednesday by Press Secretary Jen Psaki, but she claimed the timing of the announcement was unrelated to the pipeline agreement.

7/22/2021 Biden Town Hall Speech Raises Questions Over His Fitness For Office by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden participates in a CNN Town Hall hosted by Don Lemon at Mount St. Joseph
University in Cincinnati, Ohio, July 21, 2021. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
    Joe Biden spoke to a half-empty room during a live CNN Town Hall event in Ohio.    On Wednesday, Biden began a night of contradictions as he began by blaming guns for the rise in violent crime across the country.
    He focused on his reputation as a pro-gun control senator during his time in Congress, saying he’s looking to get rid of a range of guns. However, he quickly shifted the blame.
    He went on to claim that he and other Democrats had never called for defunding the police, saying Republicans who pointed out the left’s support for the movement were liars.
    Biden continued on to promote COVID-19 vaccinations for children.    At one point, he was asked whether children under the age of 12 should be vaccinated despite their risk of developing COVID-19 being less than 1.9 percent.
    The question was posed amid heightened concerns over possible negative side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, which hasn’t yet been fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration.    He also downplayed concerns over growing inflation in the U.S. yet again, saying it won’t last long.
    According to Biden, a majority of experts suggest it’s highly unlikely inflation will be a long-term problem or that it will even get out of hand.
    However, a new poll from the National Republican Congressional Committee showed 70 percent of voters are extremely or very concerned about the rising cost of living.    Additionally, another 60 percent also disapproved of Biden’s handling of rising prices.

7/22/2021 Pompeo: Biden Doing ‘Literally Nothing’ To Pressure China by OAN Newsroom
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to the media with members of the Republican Study
Committee about Iran on April 21, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)
    Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called on Joe Biden to hold China accountable.    During a recent interview, Pompeo said the Biden administration has done “literally nothing” to pressure China on the origins of COVID-19.
    This comes as the National Institute of Health admitted they are not excluding the Wuhan Lab leak theory as a possibility.
    “I do not believe this virus was human engineered, but I can’t exclude that there was in fact a laboratory that was studying a naturally occurring virus and perhaps a laboratory investigator got infected accidently and then it spread out…that would be a lab leak,” said NIH director Dr. Francis Collins.
    However, Pompeo said Biden is turning a blind eye.    Pompeo said he fears the Biden administration will focus more on climate change when it comes to talks with China, instead of about changing the nature of what the regime is doing to its own people.
    He warned the communist regime will advance if the Biden administration fails to hold them accountable.

7/22/2021 CDC Advisers To Discuss COVID Booster Shots For Those With Weakened Immune Systems by OAN Newsroom
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. David Kessler, Chief Science Officer of the White House COVID Response Team,
and CDC Director Rochelle Walensky confer before a House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis
hearing on April 15, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Amr Alfiky-Pool/Getty Images)
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisers said they are considering recommending a booster shot to increase protection for those with compromised immune systems.    On Thursday, reports said the advisers would consider data showing an additional vaccine dose in those with weaker immune systems enhances the antibody response.
    The data reportedly shows immunocompromised people are less likely to have the antibodies to fight COVID-19.    Additionally, immunosuppressed individuals, such as those with cancer or HIV, represent less than three percent of the population.    However, they make up 44 percent of hospitalized COVID cases.
    “The CDC and the FDA said that based on the data that we know right now, we don’t need a boost,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci last week.    “That doesn’t mean that won’t change.    We might need, as a matter of fact, at some time to give boosters either across the board or to certain select groups, such as the elderly or those with underlying condition.”
    In the meantime, the advisers are not scheduled to vote on a recommendation for additional doses at this time.

7/22/2021 House GOP Looks To Impeach Biden ATF Pick Ahead Of Senate Confirmation by OAN Newsroom
Former ATF Special Agent David Chipman (2nd R) speaks during a press conference hosted by the
Mayors Against Illegal Guns and the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    Some House Republicans have signaled they want to impeach Joe Biden’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) nominee before he’s even been confirmed.
    According to an impeachment resolution, David Chipman has failed to support and defend the Second Amendment, having previously worked for major gun control groups while also pushing anti-gun rhetoric.    The resolution also claims Chipman lied to Congress when he allegedly denied losing his service weapon as an ATF agent.
    Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) called Chipman “unusually divisive” and claimed he’s “made statements that demean law-abiding gun owners.”    Meanwhile, at least five moderate Democrats remain undecided on Chipman and the party did not respond when asked about when his final confirmation would be.

7/22/2021 14-Year-Old Killed, Several Others Injured In 2 Overnight Shootings In Chicago by OAN Newsroom
The Willis Tower rises above the downtown skyline. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
    Two overnight shootings in Chicago have left a 14-year-old dead and several others injured.    Chicago police confirmed five people were shot in the first incident on Wednesday night, including a 14-year-old boy who was reportedly shot in the head and later pronounced dead.
    A 16-year-old was also shot in the head and is currently in critical condition in a local hospital.
    Just ten minutes later, armed attackers opened fire on a group in a different part of the neighborhood, injuring four teens and a 22-year-old.    An 18-year-old was also shot where he endured injuries to his upper body and is in critical condition.    Meanwhile, the other victims are in varying conditions in local hospitals.
    The Chicago Police Department has asked the community for help. Authorities have encouraged community members to come forward with information, including any pictures or posts from social media, as no arrests were immediately made following either shooting.

7/23/2021 Oil up $1.49 to $71.78, DOW up 24 to 34,822.

7/23/2021 Biden Attempts To Ramp Up Enthusiasm For Infrastructure Bill by OAN Newsroom
President Joe Biden speaks while meeting with union and business leaders to discuss the Bipartisan Infrastructure
Framework, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    Joe Biden attempted to ramp up enthusiasm for the bipartisan infrastructure bill while the two major parties continue to clash on Capitol Hill.    In a meeting on Thursday at the White House, Biden discussed the $1.2 trillion measure with people who represent unions, including those for manufacturers, electricians and painters.
    “This is one of those meetings that we’re looking forward to,” he stated.    “They’re not here to negotiate with one another.    The good news is that they’ve been here negotiating, supporting what we’re trying to get done in the infrastructure bill.”
    Biden added, he’s being traveling a lot and found the number one concern of foreign nations right now is whether the two major parties will come to an agreement.
    “I tell ya, the rest of the world is looking to see whether we can get something done, I’m not joking,” he explained.    “The single biggest issue when we travel the world…the fact is they’re trying to figure out whether we’re so divided that we can’t get something done.”
    Biden then promised that electrifying school buses, transit systems and building national charging networks for electric vehicles will help the nation win the global competition for infrastructure.
    “It’s not about energy versus environment, it’s not about business versus labor,” he asserted.    “It’s all about basically a race to the future.”
    The meeting appeared to be an attempt to drum up support for the infrastructure bill after Republicans blocked debate on the proposal because it wasn’t complete.    In the meantime, Republicans are promising to come to an agreement by next week.

7/23/2021 DOJ To Send Gun Trafficking Strike Forces To 5 U.S. Cities by OAN Newsroom
Attorney General Merrick Garland, center, talks with John Lausch, the U.S. Attorney for the Northen District of Illinois, as they
walk between youth baseball game held by the Chicago Westside Sports, a part of The Chicago Police Department’s formed Police Athletic
League, at Columbus Park in Chicago, Illinois, Thursday, July 22, 2021. Garland is vowing that the Justice Department will crack down
on gun trafficking corridors as part of a comprehensive approach to combat surging gun violence. (Samuel Corum/Pool via AP)
    U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said his new Justice Department is focusing on five American cities to tackle illegal gun trafficking.    On Thursday, while in Chicago, the official announced he’s sending gun trafficking strike forces to the Democrat-led cities of Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco and Washington D.C.
    In a statement, the attorney general noted, “all too often guns found at crime scenes come from hundreds or thousands of miles away.”    The strike forces represent a bolstering of federal and local law enforcement seeking to disrupt the flow of unlawfully obtained firearms to the places they are ultimately used to commit crimes.
    “We are going to try to focus as much of our attention on these problems, not only in Chicago, but in the rest of the country which is also experiencing similar problems,” Garland stated.    “And we’re going to try and mesh it up with grants for communities to, as I said, prevent violence, to interrupt violence and to provide the kind of relationship between the police and community necessary to build trust.”
    The attorney general said illegal gun trafficking will be a major component of the DOJ’s focus moving forward.    He also said the new DOJ force will be experimental, using trial and error to find what works best.
    “What want to do is find the programs that really work, help them as much as we can in the cities which are really suffering,” Garland continued.    “And then transport that policy around the country to other cities, so that it can help those as well.”
    However, the attorney general’s “trial and error approach” is not inspiring a great deal of confidence that the strike force will reduce crime.    Even Democrats have slammed the Biden administration while asserting the new task force will not be enough to stop the illegal gun trade.
    “It is good news that the DOJ has set up strike forces to come to New York and other cities to deal with the epidemic scourge of gun violence, but DOJ’s plans are insufficient because so many of the guns used in crimes come from other states,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). “So we’re asking them to expand he domain of their task forces
    Meanwhile, a recent poll produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates shows only 38 percent of Americans approve of Biden’s handling of crime as violence continues to ravage American streets without any sign of yielding.

7/23/2021 McCarthy Slams Biden, Pelosi During Weekly Press Conference by OAN Newsroom
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., arrives for a news conference on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Thursday
July 22, 2021. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is rejecting two Republicans tapped by McCarthy to sit on a committee investigating
the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. She cited the “integrity” of the investigation. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
    House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) took aim at Joe Biden and the House of Representatives during his weekly press briefing.    While addressing reporters Thursday, he came down on Biden for the skyrocketing inflation rates and the Democrat Party’s reckless spending.
    “As I watched a clip from the Presidents town hall last night, I couldn’t see a person more out of touch,” McCarthy explained.    “A small business owner struggled to survive though the pandemic. He has a government now competing with him, paying higher unemployment and an extra $15 an hour where he can’t bring people back to work.    And what’s the presidents answer? Just pay more.    I wish the President understood what it’s like to own a small business.”     Just last week, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned Americans to brace for several more months of rapid inflation.
    Yet, Democrats plan on increasing government spending even more while putting further pressure on American families who are already struggling to pay rising gas and food prices.
    “And what has he proposed?” McCarthy asked.    “More spending.    Not working together.    Not finding that you can put an infrastructure bill together that can build more roads for less, but has to have Bernie Sander’s approach of three trillion and a half dollars.”
    The House Minority Leader went on to say Republicans will continue their work to lower inflation, secure the border and fight the rise in violent crime.
    McCarthy attributed these hardships facing Americans to the left while stating once they took the majority, Democrats defunded the police and opened the border to immigrants.    He also criticized Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for rejecting two Republicans he appointed to her January 6 commission.
    “From what the Speaker has done, that puts a great deal of doubt in it,” he stated.    “I mean at no time in the history of a select committee in American, and I checked with a historian, has what Speaker Pelosi has done ever happened before.    The idea that she’s going to pick and choose, you’re not going to get an outcome.”
    McCarthy asserted it no longer matters what Pelosi does from here as it appears her commission’s report on January 6 is already predetermined.

7/23/2021 Commerce Secy: Biden Admin. Preparing To Invest $52B In Building U.S.-Based Semiconductor Manufacturing by OAN Newsroom
FILE – Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
    The Biden administration is already taking steps to spend up to $52 billion in improving semiconductor manufacturing in the U.S. According to Commerce Department Secretary Gina Raimondo on Thursday, the administration is putting the pieces in place to invest the $52 billion to start production.
    Administration officials said they are seeing a little relief from the chip shortage, including commitments from manufacturers to make more automotive-grade chips.    Car-maker Ford Motor Company has already announced it’s closing or curbing production at eight factories due to the shortage.
    This year, the Senate passed legislation dedicating the amount to incentivize semiconductor manufacturing.
    “We are working as hard as we can to get the House to pass the CHIPS Act and we’re putting plans in place right now, already on the team, to invest the $52 billion,” Raimondo stated.    “We need to incentivize the manufacturing of chips in America, so we are very focused on putting the pieces in place so that can happen.”
    The Commerce secretary went on to say the Biden administration intends to use all tools at their disposal to protect American businesses.

7/23/2021 Dignitaries Rush To Cover As Protests Flare At Haiti President’s Funeral by Dave Graham and Andre Paultre
Pallbearers in military attire salute next to a coffin holding the body of late Haitian President Jovenel Moise after he was
shot dead at his home in Port-au-Prince earlier this month, in Cap-Haitien, July 23, 2021. REUTERS/Ricardo Arduengo
    CAP-HAITIEN, Haiti (Reuters) – A U.S. delegation and other dignitaries were hurried to vehicles as reports emerged of shots fired and crowd control gas used on protesters outside the funeral of late Haitian president Jovenel Moise on Friday.
    Reuters witnesses smelled the gas and heard detonations they believed to be shots.    There were no immediate reports of injuries among protesters or authorities, and no indications any guests at the funeral were in danger.
    A brass band and church choir opened Moise’s ceremony minutes earlier as his wife looked on, two weeks after a still-unexplained assassination at their home by foreign mercenaries.
    The service was punctuated by angry shouts of protest by supporters accusing authorities of responsibility for Moise’s death, their words sometimes drowned out by loud swells of taped somber church music.
    U.S. President Joe Biden’s ambassador to the United Nations led the U.S. delegation at Cap-Haitien to pay respects to Moise, joining mourners who have taken part in a series of commemorations in Haiti this week.
    Haitian officials arriving at the event met with protesters’ verbal anger, with one man calling police chief Leon Charles “a criminal.”
    “Why do you have all this security, where were the police on the day of the president’s assassination?” one protester said.
    Inside the auditorium where the Roman Catholic funeral was held, four pallbearers in military attire solemnly stood by the closed wooden casket.    It was draped with a Haitian flag and set on a dais garlanded with white flowers.
(Reporting by Dave Graham; Editing by Giles Elgood and Rosalba O’Brien)

7/23/2021 After The Flood, Germany Battles To Clear Mountains Of Trash by Andi Kranz and Leon Kuegeler
FILE PHOTO: German Bundeswehr soldiers help to clean up the debris following heavy rainfalls, in Bad
Muenstereifel, North Rhine-Westphalia state, Germany, July 21, 2021. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen/File Photo
    BAD NEUENAHR, Germany (Reuters) – Germany’s most devastating floods in 60 years have created mountains of trash, from broken fridges to wrecked cars, piled up on roadsides and in makeshift dumps.    Disposing of it could take weeks and local leaders have appealed for help.
    Amid the stench and fear of disease, the country that pioneered modern waste management is struggling to cope with the tens of thousands of tonnes of wreckage strewn across the towns and villages of its western Rhinelands after the heaviest 24-hour deluge on record.
    The flooding claimed at least 180 lives.
    A week on, much of the trash has been heaped into piles so that streets are passable or carted off to makeshift dumps.
    For resident Hans-Peter Bleken in Bad Neuenahr, a wine-growing hub in Rhineland-Palatinate that was one of the towns worst hit, a clean-up operation led by the fire brigade and army has been a “brilliant help.”
    “The next big problem is going to be the huge piles of household rubbish,” he told Reuters, saying the stench from rotting food waste was everywhere.
    “We have beaten corona but if we now get the bacteria, the rats and more viruses then that will be our problem.”
    Germany pioneered modern waste management in the 1970s, introducing the concept of separating rubbish to go for recycling, incineration or into landfill.
    Yet the sheer amount of trash is far more than the waste-management industry can cope with.    Construction firms and farmers are helping to shift wreckage, but with storage facilities full up, temporary dumps are having to be found.
    “The greatest challenge is the huge amounts of bulky waste,” said Anna Ephan, a spokesperson for Remondis, the largest private waste management company in Germany.    “The amounts are inconceivable.”
    In Germany’s most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia, governor Armin Laschet told a news conference on Thursday: “It won’t be possible to dispose of all the waste locally.    We need wider help.”
    Laschet is the conservative candidate to succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel at a general election in September.    A poll this week for Spiegel magazine found 60% of Germans considered Laschet to be a poor crisis manager.
    The cathedral city of Cologne, the state’s largest city with a population of more than a million, has issued an appeal on Facebook for help to clear “unimaginable quantities” of trash.
    “The districts and households affected need urgent support to quickly cope with this task, as our existing infrastructure is already exhausted,” read the appeal, which included a hotline number for helpers to call.
    Most of the rubbish will have to be incinerated, but with municipal and commercial facilities running more or less flat out before the flood catastrophe, there is scant spare capacity.
    “This is coming on top of all the rubbish that we already process – and it’s unexpected,” said Bernhard Schodrowski of the BDE waste-management industry association.
    There are huge challenges to safely store the rubbish to minimize the risk of disease, said Schodrowski, while many companies in the sector are also battling to restore supplies of clean water and repair sewage systems.
    “We’re hopeful but it will be a question of weeks before we are able to master this challenge,” said Schodrowski.
(Additional reporting by Anneli Palmen in Duesseldorf, Writing and additional reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

7/23/2021 Democrats Blame Conservatives For Rise In COVID-19 Cases Despite Both Democrats And GOP Reporting Vaccine Hesitancy by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden participates in a CNN Town Hall hosted by Don Lemon at Mount St. Joseph University
in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
    The U.S. has seen a noticeable increase in COVID-19 cases as the Delta variant surged after Fourth of July weekend gatherings.    While the surge has remained relatively small compared to case counts this past January, it has created cause for concern among the medical establishment.
    Mainstream media outlets have focused primarily on the increased transmission rate of the Delta variant and the 46 percent of Americans who have not been vaccinated as the main causes of this latest surge.    They have also often condescendingly painted conservative America as anti-vaxxers.
    “The NIH, which oversees the CDC, it is absolutely 99.5 percent of those infections are people who have gotten vaccinated,” stated Carl Cameron, former Fox reporter.    “I mean, come on.”
    Mainstream media has even blamed conservative news outlets for propagating anti-vaccine rhetoric and ultimately labeled them as responsible for this latest spike in cases.
    “This is wrong for journalists to be doing this or people who call them that,” Cameron claimed.    “Whether its Fox or One America Network or Newsmax, these are all cable channels that are perpetuating lies.”
    Many have criticized the vaccine virtue signaled from left-wing media as it has started to look like vaccine hesitancy was not a partisan issue.    In the case of younger Americans, much vaccine hesitancy derived from something as simple as the fear of needles, which the NIH points out characterized around 20 to 30 percent of young adults.
    As Americans on both sides of the aisle have seen numerous reasons not to get the vaccine, at the top of that list was a lack of trust in the American government and medical establishment writ large.
    Recent numbers from the Keiser Family Foundation reported white Americans have been vaccinated at a rate of 48 percent.    Hispanics were vaccinated at a rate of 41 percent and the black community had a vaccination rate of only 36 percent.
    This trend could reveal the real reason so many Americans have been hesitant to receive the vaccine was a distrust in public establishments.    Black Americans have distrusted the medical establishment for many years.    Reports of doctors who provided different amounts of pain killers to black patients have been among many things adding to this hesitancy.
    However, one of the most pronounced reasons black Americans were weary of vaccines was a historical event known as the Tuskegee Experiment.    In the 1930s, the CDC injected 399 black male test subjects with the STI syphilis and ordered doctors in Macon, Alabama to withhold treatment from the men.
    The CDC monitored the men over the years as they went blind, insane and even died so the health agency could see how the disease behaved if left untreated.    This event, along with others, has been passed down for generations within the black community and resulted in the refusal of many black Americans to receive any vaccines.
    As the Biden administration is finding it harder to reach its vaccination goals, critics are now saying the administration and mainstream media should stop trying to fight so-called “vaccine misinformation” on Facebook and television.

7/23/2021 Sen. Risch Tears Into Biden’s Public Lands Nominee After Panel Advances Tracy Stone-Manning In Tie Vote by OAN Newsroom
Tracy Stone-Manning, nominated to direct the Bureau of Land Management, at her confirmation hearing. (Alex Brandon/ AP Photo)
    Republican Sen. James Risch (Idaho) teared into Joe Biden’s controversial Land Management nominee Tracy Stone-Manning amid the advancement of her nomination.    On Thursday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 10-10 on Stone-Manning’s nomination, which pushed the decision to the full Senate floor.
    Republicans argued her connection to a dangerous and illegal tree spiking scheme in the early nineties should have disqualified her from leading the Bureau of Land and Management.    They insisted her nomination was an insult to the agency.
    “This is a knowing, willful, intentional act done with a black, abandoned, and malignant heart, intended to kill a fellow human being.    This is not a mistake,” Risch asserted.    “This is an intentional act for which people are sent to prison and should be.”
    The Idaho senator went on to highlight Stone-Manning’s involvement to tree spiking by saying she lied to the committee about collaborating with ecoterrorists and should be faced with legal consequences.
    “You know, I’ve prosecuted I don’t know how many cases.    This for a prosecutor is shooting fish in a barrel,” he explained.    “She shouldn’t be in front of this committee for confirmation to a major, major point in this administration.    She should be in front of a jury explaining to them why she committed perjury and why she lied to Congress.”
    Republicans also accused Democrats of playing politics by suggesting a majority of Americans would find her extremist viewpoints reprehensible.    They added the nomination of Stone-Manning reflected the character of the Democrat party.
    “…If the Biden administration wants to have the face and the character of their administration represented by this individual, this attempted murderer, this perjurer, this liar, this conspirator,” Risch expressed.    “If that’s what you want in the administration and that’s what you want for the face of the administration, here’s your person, confirm her.”
    Meanwhile, Pennsylvania Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said earlier this week all 50 senate Republicans will strongly oppose the nomination when it reaches the full Senate.    However, Democrats believe they have the support to confirm Stone-Manning with Kamala Harris breaking a 50-50 tie.

7/23/2021 3 Mass Shootings In Chicago Push Law Enforcement To Reach Out To The Public For Help by OAN Newsroom
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown holds a press conference where he vowed to step up
measures to curb gun violence in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
    Police in Chicago have called on members of the community after a spree of violence. During a press conference on Thursday, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown urged the public to help them identify suspects in three mass shootings that occurred in less than six hours.
    Chicago police said there were five victims in the first incident on Wednesday night, including a 14-year-old boy who was reportedly shot in the head and later pronounced dead.    A 16-year-old was also shot in the head and has remained in critical condition in a local hospital.
    “We, police officers, need the community. We need the community to come forward,” expressed Supt. David Brown, Chicago Police Department.    “We’re much more effective when the community speaks up and gives us information so we can be able to solve some of these violent crimes.”
    Just ten minutes later, armed attackers opened fire on a group in a different part of the neighborhood and injured four teens and a 22-year-old.    An 18-year-old was shot in the upper body and has been in critical condition, while the other victims were said to be in varying conditions in local hospitals.
    The third incident of the night occurred when passengers of a car opened fire on a party bus, which injured eight people.    Brown noted the dire consequences of those not willing to cooperate with law enforcement in the hunt for the suspects and insisted silence only helped the perpetrators.
    “The offenders get more emboldened,” Brown explained.    “They feel like they got away with something and they are encouraged to do it again."
    Chicago Police Department’s Deputy Chief asked the community to step up their involvement.
    “This is becoming an effort where we’re going to need an all hands on deck approach and that approach is going to involve our community,” Deputy Chief Ernest Cato stated.    “Our community getting involved and saying what’s going on, our community who has cell phone pictures, who has Facebook information.”
    Chicago Police said no arrests have yet been made in connection with any of the three shootings. The deadly night comes as Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the launch of a gun strike task force in five Democrat-led cities including Chicago on Thursday.

7/23/2021 House Grants 8K Additional Visas For Afghan Allies by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.) heads back to the Senate floor. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
    The House has recently passed a bill approving additional visas for Afghan allies in a near unanimous vote.    In a rare show of bipartisanship, the House approved the bill expanding the Special Immigrant Visa program for Afghans who aided U.S. forces during the decades-long war in Afghanistan.
    The bill called the Averting Loss of Life and Injury by Expediting SIVs or Allies Act granted an additional 8,000 visas to translators, contractors and their families.
    The lead sponsor of the bill, Colorado Rep. Jason Crow (D), said the Allies Act was a chance for America to ensure we uphold the promise made to those that provided necessary aid in a conflict that spanned nearly 20 years.    The bill was introduced last month, but as the Taliban continued to advance throughout the country, keeping Afghan allies and their families safe became essential.
    The passage of the Allies Act comes in stark contrast to the callousness of comments made by Joe Biden who, when discussing the duty the U.S. has to ensure Afghanistan doesn’t fall to the threat of terror groups, again said it was simply not the job of the U.S. to fix anything.
    “We did not go to Afghanistan to nation-build.    And it’s the right and the responsibility of Afghan people alone to decide their future, and how they want to run their country,” said Biden.
    Meanwhile, the bill is headed to the Senate and under Operation Allies Refuge, the federal government is working to establish safe havens in allied countries to give Afghans a new chance to live a safe life away from the constant threat of Taliban violence.

7/23/2021 Poll: Biden Losing Support From Voters In 85 Battleground Districts by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe
at Lubber Run Park, Arlington, Virginia. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
    The Biden administration has lost support on the key issue of border security in 85 battleground congressional districts.    A poll conducted by the National Republican Congressional Committee throughout the month of July found that voters believed Republicans in Congress were better equipped to deal with the issue of borer security.
    The data highlighted voters trusted Republicans more on the issue in districts represented by Democrats by a nine point margin.    In addition, the poll found Independent and Hispanic voters have shown increasing discontent with the Biden border crisis and found they disapproved of his policies by a 23 point margin.
    The NRCC added border security has become the second most important issue to voters, which has fallen behind jobs and the economy.    Just last week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) gave insight on the severity of the Biden administration’s immigration policies and the crisis created by the progressive left.
    “To give you some raw numbers, if you just look overall in the month of April from last year to this year, there has been about a thousand percent increase,” he explained.    “In the month of May, there was about an 800 percent increase in the number of people coming across the border.”
    According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the surge in illegal immigrants who have entered the country was on track to set an all time yearly record of 1.7 million.    The White House encouraged this as they have been trying to reverse President Trump’s effective border policies.
    However, Republicans have taken a hard stance against Biden, which has begun to appeal to voters.
    “There is another need that has arisen that is a result with my conversation with law enforcement and that is, we want to get away from the Biden administration approach of catch and release,” Abbott expressed.    “We want to make sure we arrest and jail people who are coming across the border.”
    Meanwhile, the Biden administration has lost support on several other issues, including skyrocketing inflation and violent crime.

7/23/2021 Fmr. Press Secy. Huckabee Sanders Vows Not To Impose Mask, Vaccine Mandates If Elected Ark. Gov. In 2022 by OAN Newsroom
Fmr. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders conducts a news conference in the Brady Press
Briefing Room at the White House August 22, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she would not impose mask or vaccine mandates if elected governor of Arkansas.    During an interview on Friday, Sanders made the promise after the Washington Post claimed the Biden administration discussed updating mask requirements to combat the spread of the delta variant.
    Sanders said “if I’m elected governor here in Arkansas, we will not have mask mandates.”    The former press secretary to 45th President Trump also added she would not shut down churches, schools or prohibit large gatherings because she believes in freedom and responsibility.
    She also called on Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to admit they were wrong when they cast doubt on Operation Warp Speed and give Trump and his administration the credit they deserve for their part in helping to push the COVID-19 vaccine out to the public quickly and effectively.

7/23/2021 Psaki Refuses To Answer Questions About White House COVID-19 Situation by OAN Newsroom
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki talks to reporters during the daily news conference in the Brady Press
Briefing Room at the White House on July 15, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has refused to answer questions about the White House COVID-19 situation, saying she’ll instead circle back to questions regarding the matter.
    During Friday’s daily press briefing, Psaki reiterated the White House’s talking point on the importance to raise the U.S. vaccination rate.    However, when asked to share the percentage of White House employees who have been vaccinated, she insinuated that question was off limits.
    Another reporter asked Psaki if she was hiding something after her refusal to provide any information on the breakthrough coronavirus cases spreading among White House staffers.    Psaki again dismissed the question by asking the reporter why she was asking the question.
    Critics stressed the White House should want to brag about its vaccination rate and assure the American people that the virus situation within the White House is under control.

7/23/2021 Parents Sue Gov. Newsom Over Mask Mandate by OAN Newsroom
Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference after he toured the newly reopened
Ruby Bridges Elementary School on March 16, 2021 in Alameda, Calif. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
    A pair of parent advocacy groups have taken legal action against California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) over school mask mandates.    On Thursday, the groups Let Them Breathe and Reopen California Schools filed a lawsuit against Newsom and top state health officials.
    They claimed the orders applying to children wearing masks in schools could have detrimental effects on children’s mental and physical health.    Additionally, they said the state is neglecting data, suggesting children have a low risk of contracting COVID-19 and transmitting the virus to others.
    “A return to a normal school year is crucial to the mental and physical health recovery for students across California who have endured months of isolation,” said Jonathan Zachreson, founder of Reopen California Schools.
    The groups urged the Golden State to fully reopen schools by the fall to begin the recovery of kids who spent the last school year and a half in isolation.

7/23/2021 DHS Cancels 2 Texas Border Wall Projects by OAN Newsroom
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security building is seen in Washington, D.C. (ALASTAIR PIKE/AFP via Getty Images)
    The Department of Homeland Security announced the cancellation of two Trump-era border wall contracts. On Friday, the DHS said it would be cancelling the projects in the Laredo Sector of the southern border, which would have stretched for about 31 miles.
    This falling in line with Joe Biden’s goal of cancelling all Trump-era border wall construction.    Just last month, the White House announced its plans to return over $2 billion in funds originally set aside for the border wall under the Trump administration, to work on other military projects.
    “DHS continues to review all other paused border barrier projects and is in the process of determining which projects may be necessary to address life, safety, environmental, or other remediation requirements and where to conduct environmental planning,” said the department.
Border Patrol officers keep watch. (MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)
    Meanwhile, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced Texas’ plan to launch its own border wall project and has asked other governors for their support.    This comes as the Army Corp of Engineers have been working to cancel 20 other border wall contracts.

7/23/2021 Rep. Cawthorn: We Want To Prosecute Dr. Fauci by OAN Newsroom
In this screenshot from the RNC’s livestream of the 2020 Republican National Convention, N.C. congressional nominee Madison Cawthorn
addresses the virtual convention on August 26, 2020. (Committee on Arrangements for the 2020 Republican National Committee via Getty Images)
    GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) has vowed to prosecute Dr. Anthony Fauci if Republicans take control of the House in 2022.    During a recent interview, the North Carolina congressman accused Fauci of lying to Congress and being a “pawn of the Chinese Communist Party.”
    Cawthorn said he is confident the GOP will take back majority of the House in 2022 and he’ll make sure consequences are doled out.    This comes as Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R) announced he’s requesting a criminal referral from the Department of Justice to investigate Fauci and his lies, along with his ties to gain-of-function research.
    Cawthorn was passionate on his stance stating, “we want to prosecute this guy to the full ability of the law.”
    “To lie to the American people just to get your name in the news, just to get your face on the cover of books, just to get fame and fortune.    I’ll tell you, Dr. Anthony Fauci does not deserve either fame or fortune,” said Cawthorn.

7/23/2021 House GOP Accuse Surgeon General Of Colluding With Big Tech To Censor Americans by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy talks to reporters during the daily news conference in the Brady Press
Briefing Room at the White House on July 15, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    House Republicans have accused U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy of colluding with Big Tech to censor medical information. On Friday, Reps.     Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) and Byron Donalds (R-N.Y.) demanded Murthy provide documents and communications regarding efforts to remove opinions and medical information online.     The Republican lawmakers wrote “it is clear that the Biden administration’s goal is to actively censor the American people.” Recently, Joe Biden even insisted that social media misinformation was “killing people.”
    Their push back comes as White House officials have ramped up efforts to remove coronavirus information from social media platforms they deem as misinformation.

7/24/2021 Oil up $0.34 to $72.04, DOW up 238 to 35,061.

7/24/2021 Texas AG Paxton Open To 2020 Election Audit by OAN Newsroom
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton makes comments during a news conference in Dallas (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
    Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has endorsed an audit of the 2020 election results in his state.    During a recent interview, Paxton said voter fraud occurred everywhere and an audit in Texas would reassure voters and help officials correct any existing mistakes.
    “I don’t know why we wouldn’t want to give people confidence in our elections and give them the chance to know for sure that they’ve had an audit and things are good or they are bad,” he expressed.    “It give us an opportunity to figure out how we want to correct things.”
    Paxton’s comments come after Texas lawmakers introduced a bill to conduct a forensic audit of the 2020 election results in 13 of the state’s most populous counties. The bill, introduced by Rep. Steve Toth (R) and 15 other Republican lawmakers, would require Texas representatives to submit an outline of the issues in question for the balloting and counting processes within the year.
    Meanwhile, Paxton’s office has reported 510 active cases of alleged voter or election fraud within the state, which have occurred over various elections.

7/24/2021 Funeral Of Slain Haiti President Prompts Protests by OAN Newsroom
Haiti’s President Jovenel Moise speaks during an interview at his home in Petion-Ville,
a suburb of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery, File)
    Haiti has said goodbye to assassinated President Jovenel Moise. On Friday, Moise’s widow closed the ceremony by calling on justice for her husband.
    Meanwhile, gunfire and violent protests has erupted as individuals have expressed anger over questions on their president’s death. U.S. delegates have left the area for their safety.
    The turmoil has pushed Haiti up on Biden’s foreign policy priorities as the U.S. State Department named a special envoy for the country.    Daniel Foote, a member of the Foreign Service, was appointed to maintain stability and support throughout the upcoming presidential and legislative elections.
    “They killed president Jovenel but they cannot kill his vision, nor his ideas, nor the dream he had for the country,” Martine Moise expressed.    “We lost a battle, but not the war.    The struggle is not over yet.”
    Authorities say at least 26 suspects have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the president’s assassination.

7/24/2021 Biden Authorizes $100 Million In Emergency Funds For Afghan Refugees
FILE PHOTO: A U.S. soldier from the 3rd Cavalry Regiment walks with the unit's Afghan interpreter before a mission near
forward operating base Gamberi in the Laghman province of Afghanistan December 11, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday authorized up to $100 million from an emergency fund to meet “unexpected urgent” refugee needs stemming from the situation in Afghanistan, including for Afghan special immigration visa applicants, the White House said.
    Biden also authorized the release of $200 million in services and articles from the inventories of U.S. government agencies to meet the same needs, the White House said.
    The United States is preparing to begin evacuating thousands of Afghan applicants for special immigration visas (SIVs) who risk retaliation from Taliban insurgents because they worked for the U.S. government.
    The first batch of evacuees and their families is expected to be flown before the end of the month to Fort Lee, a U.S. military base in Virginia, where they will wait for the final processing of their visa applications.
    About 2,500 Afghans could be brought to the facility, about 30 miles (48 km) south of Richmond, the Pentagon said on Monday.
    The Biden administration is reviewing other U.S. facilities in the United States and overseas where SIV applicants and their families could be accommodated.
    Special immigrant visas are available to Afghans who worked as translators or in other jobs for the U.S. government after the 2001 U.S.-led invasion.
    On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that would expand the number of SIVs that could granted by 8,000, which would cover all potentially eligible applications in the pipeline.
    About 18,000 such applications are being processed, U.S. officials say.
(Reporting by Jonathan Landay; Editing by Leslie Adler and Sonya Hepinstall)

7/24/2021 Protesters Opposed To COVID Measures Clash With Police In Paris
Protesters hold placards and banners during a demonstration called by the "yellow vest" (gilets jaunes) movement against France's
restrictions to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Paris, France, July 24, 2021. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
    PARIS (Reuters) - French anti-riot police fired teargas on Saturday as clashes erupted during protests in central Paris against COVID-19 restrictions and a vaccination campaign, television reported.
    Police sought to push back demonstrators near the capital’s Gare Saint-Lazare railway station after protesters had knocked over a police motorbike ridden by two officers; television pictures showed.
    Images showed a heavy police presence on the capital’s streets.    Scuffles between police and demonstrators also broke out the Champs-Elysees thoroughfare, where teargas was fired and traffic was halted, the television pictures showed.
    At another protest called by far-right politicians in west Paris, demonstrators opposed to anti-coronavirus measures carried banners reading “Stop the dictatorship.”
    Across France, protests were planned in cities including Marseille, Montpellier, Nantes and Toulouse.
    French lawmakers are due to vote this weekend on a bill drafted by the government aimed at setting up a health pass and mandatory vaccination for health workers.
(Reporting by Matthias Blamont; Editing by Helen Popper and Edmund Blair)

7/24/2021 Mike Lindell Offering $5M To Disprove His 2020 Election Fraud Evidence by OAN Newsroom
Mike Lindell, CEO of MyPillow, speaks during a campaign rally held by President Trump at the
Target Center on October 10, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minn. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
    MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell announced he’s offering a multi-million-dollar reward to anyone attending his cyber symposium if they can disprove data showing President Trump won the 2020 presidential election.    Lindell recently announced the contest, saying he’ll give $5 million to the person who can dispute his evidence.
    However, only people participating in the symposium are to be eligible for the reward, including politicians, cyber experts and reporters.
    Lindell is expected to reveal “cyber data and the packet captures from the November 2020 election” he has claimed to have possession of.    Additionally, the businessman claimed to have 37-terabytes of information that he believes exposes voter fraud.
    The symposium is slated for Aug. 10 through Aug. 12 in South Dakota and will be live streamed for 72 hours on Lindell’s website Frank.

7/24/2021 Minneapolis Police Department To Face Referendum by OAN Newsroom
Members of the Minneapolis Police Department monitor a protest on June 11, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minn. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
    Residents of Minneapolis have been granted the chance to vote on whether or not they support abolishing the city’s police department.    In a 12 to 1 vote on Friday, the Minneapolis City Council approved the language of a ballot question allowing residents to vote on whether they’d like to replace the city’s police department to appear on the ballot this fall.
    Proposed by Advocacy group Yes 4 Minneapolis, the citizens petition seeks to disband and replace the police department with a new public safety department.    “I’m persuaded that the language is a version describing the intention of the petitioners…20,000 people signed a petition saying that they want to create a significant change in our city’s approach to public safety, that we should put it on the ballot,” said Council Member Steve Fletcher.
    The so-called Holistic Public Safety Force is said to focus on a “comprehensive public health approach” and will include police officers if necessary.    An explanatory note provided with the language said the force would be led by a commissioner of public safety nominated by the mayor, and would also remove mandates for a police department from the city’s charter.
    If passed, this would include removing the post of the police chief and the mayor’s “complete power” over the department.    In addition, the head of public safety or police chief would have to report to 14 different people.    Democrat Mayor Jacob Frey is noted on record opposing the bill, however, officials said his signature is not necessary in order to get amending their police department on the November ballot.
    Meanwhile, Frey said he would not veto the measure, noting the language is accurate and the voters should decide.

7/24/2021 Mich. Lawmakers Vote To Repeal Law Used By Dem Gov. Whitmer To Impose COVID-19 Restrictions by OAN Newsroom
Mich. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer arrives to speak at Beech Woods Recreation Center in Southfield, Mich. on October 16, 2020. (JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
    Michigan state lawmakers voted to repeal a decades-old law which gave Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer the authority to impose COVID restrictions. In a 60 to 48 vote on Thursday, the state’s House of Representatives passed a bill scrapping the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945.
    The State Senate has already approved the legislation last week and it will now go into effect 91 days after the legislature ends its session.
    “Hundreds of thousands of our families, friends and neighbors changed Michigan forever when they decided they had enough and stood up to make a difference,” said Rep. Jason Wentworth (R-Mich.).    “They deserve a state government that is willing to do the same.     They’ve earned that much.    That’s why we had their back today and put this petition into law.”
    The bill stems from an initiative to repeal the law by a group called Unlock Michigan, which was backed by more than 540,000 Michiganders. Under state law, Whitmer is unable to veto the legislation given it originated from a petition push.

7/24/2021 Rep. Stefanik Calls On DOJ Inspector General To Probe Biden’s Role In Gov. Cuomo’s Nursing Home Cover-Up by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden and N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo attend a rally for paid family leave on January 29, 2016 in NYC. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
    New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R) accused the Biden administration of being complicit in New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) nursing home death cover-up.    On Friday, Stefanik said thousands of New Yorkers are depending on a thorough investigation of the scandal.
    Stefanik has now asked the DOJ Inspector General to look into the matter and find out what Cuomo said to Joe Biden at their White House meeting in February.    Additionally, the Department of Justice said they won’t investigate other Democrat-led states for their nursing home policies and deaths.
    “I was the first member of Congress to call for an investigation into Governor Cuomo’s corrupt criminal cover-up and I will continue to fight for the families who lost loved ones because of the cruelty and corruption of our governor,” said Stefanik in her statement.
    Meanwhile, Cuomo is under investigation by the FBI and the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney’s Office for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with his $5.1 million book deal.

7/24/2021 Jan. 6 Committee Staff Director Previously Accused Of Retaliating Against CIA Whistleblower by OAN Newsroom
Central Intelligence Agency Inspector General David Buckley testifies before the Senate
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    The newly named staff director for the Jan. 6 House select committee reportedly retaliated against a whistleblower during his time at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).    New reports cited a previously unpublished 2019 report saying the CIA was pushed to take action against then CIA Inspector General David Buckley.
    The target of the alleged retaliation was a former CIA official who was put on leave and had his security clearance suspended after cooperating with an investigation into potential evidence manipulation.    The report recommended the CIA determine if this would affect Buckley’s own security clearance.
    Reports said this could potentially have an affect on potential witnesses who would testify as part of the Jan. 6 investigation.    In the meantime, the committee is slated to hold its first hearing on Tuesday with eyewitness testimony from four law enforcement officers over the protest.

7/24/2021 Ariz. Rep. Seeks To Pause Immigration For 10 Years by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Paul Gosar on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Jonathan Ernst/Pool via AP)
    A Republican congressman proposed a bill that would put a hold on immigration for at least a decade.    On Friday, Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar (R) announced his sponsorship of the bill and said a moratorium needed to stem illegal immigration.
    Gosar went on to call illegal immigration a “threat to national security” and accused Joe Biden of ignoring federal laws and letting criminals in.
    This comes after Biden reversed many policies put in place by President Trump, which some analysts said has fueled the border crisis.    Many Republican lawmakers have called on the Biden administration to tighten the reins on border security, while some state governors have deployed National Guard troops and law enforcement to assist Custom and Border Patrol agents with the migrant crisis at the border.
    The Biden administration has continued to dodge responsibility for the influx in illegal immigration.    Biden announced a “comprehensive regional framework” to address the root causes of migration, while many Americans have expressed disapproval of this so-called approach.
    According to federal immigration officials, 188,000 illegal aliens were apprehended in June.

7/25/2021 Hundreds Protest Ouster Of Guatemalan Anti-Graft Crusader by Sofia Menchu
FILE PHOTO: Juan Francisco Sandoval, who was removed by Guatemala's Attorney General as head of the Special Prosecutor's Office
Against Impunity (FECI), arrives for a news conference in Guatemala City, Guatemala July 23, 2021. REUTERS/Luis Echeverria/File Photo
    GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Hundreds of Guatemalans protested outside the presidential palace on Saturday against the ouster of anti-graft fighter Juan Francisco Sandoval, who fled the country overnight after being stripped of his post in a move that sparked a global outcry.
    Sandoval, who had led the Guatemalan Special Prosecutor’s Office Against Impunity (FECI) until Friday, fled to the Salvadoran border in the wee hours of Saturday, according to the country’s human rights ombudsman Jordan Rodas.
    “The decision was made to safeguard his life,” Rodas told Reuters.     Guatemala’s Attorney General Maria Porras removed Sandoval from his post on Friday as the head of FECI, which was originally created to tackle investigations spearheaded by the U.N.-backed International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) but was ousted from the country in 2019.
    In a press conference hours before his departure, Sandoval said he would challenge his “illegal dismissal.”    He accused the attorney general of asking his agency to seek her opinion on any case that involved the government.
    “I am the latest in a string of prosecutors who have suffered the consequences for seeking truth and justice,” he said.
    In April, the Guatemalan Congress refused to appoint another high-profile anti-corruption crusader, Magistrate Gloria Porras, to the nation’s highest court.
    The Guatemalan government said in a statement on Saturday that it “categorically rejects Juan Francisco Sandoval’s statements.”
    Sandoval’s dismissal underscores the challenges U.S. President Joe Biden’s government faces in pursuing its anti-graft push in Central America, where it says corruption and impunity are drivers of migration.
    “Guatemala’s AG fired corruption prosecutor Sandoval for being too effective against organized crime and its links to politicians….USG (U.S. government), your move,” wrote former U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala, Stephen McFarland, on Twitter.
    Attorney General Porras held a previously scheduled meeting with representatives of 13 donor countries and organizations on Saturday, her spokesman told Reuters.
    Sandoval’s dismissal was discussed at the gathering, a source with knowledge of the meeting told Reuters, with Porras saying the effort to combat corruption would continue under new leadership.    No other details were immediately available.
    Guatemala’s most powerful campesino groups have called for a general strike on Monday.
(Reporting by Sofia Menchu in Guatemala CityWriting by Laura GottesdienerEditing by Matthew Lewis, Diane Craft and Sonya Hepinstall)

7/25/2021 President Trump Speaks At TPUSA Event In Phoenix, Ariz. by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump makes an entrance at the Rally To Protect Our Elections conference
on July 24, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
    President Trump delivered remarks during Turning Point USA’s Student Action Summit in Phoenix, Arizona. The 45th president discussed a variety of topics, which ranged from the economy to the 2020 presidential election.
    “As everyone here fully understands, the 2020 election was a total disgrace,” he stated.    “It was the most corrupt.”
    Trump said our nation was being destroyed and Republicans needed to find out how Democrats cheated “hundreds of thousands and even millions of votes” or the party wouldn’t have a future.    He went on to say the facts were coming out, the truth was being uncovered and the “crime of the century” fully exposed.
    “The survival of our nation depends on holding these responsible and we have to hold these responsible elections, we have to hold those that are responsible for the 2020 presidential election scam,” he expressed.    “It was a scam, greatest crime in history.”
    In addition, Trump touched on the problems at the border, the economy and inflation.
    Trump added Republicans have been working to break up Big Tech monopolies, shut down Joe Biden’s “border disaster” and end Biden’s war on American energy by ensuring the U.S. remained the dominate energy “superpower” on earth.
    The 45th president highlighted the consequences of Democrat polices by claiming illegal aliens were pouring in record numbers, critical race theory was being forced in schools and free speech was becoming crushed.    He warned the U.S. was “becoming a communist country,” was beyond socialism and the survival of our nation depended on responsible elections.
    “With your help we will stand up for democracy and for justice.    We will fight for truth, transparency, and accountability,” he announced.
    “We will not stop until we have restored our American birthright of honest, free and fair elections.”
    Regardless, Trump vowed not to give up fighting for the American people.

7/25/2021 Sen. Toomey: Political Advantage For Democrats To Focus On Jan. 6 And Not Biden’s Policies by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger-Pool/Getty Images)
    Republican Sen. Pat Toomey (Pa.) said Democrats held a political advantage by continually bringing up the January 6 investigation.    In an interview on Sunday, the Pennsylvania lawmaker added he supported a “truly bipartisan” Senate investigation into the January demonstration.
    Toomey noted the investigation by a House commission was not meant to be bipartisan.    He cited Democrat political consultant James Carville, who Toomey argued has been candid about keeping the protest in the forefront of discussions.
    “He’s urged the Democrats, don’t let the election be about Joe Biden and his policies in 2022,” he stated.    “Make that election about January 6 and Donald Trump.”
    Toomey went on to say it was clear Democrats had an incentive to drive a political message and a purely partisan House commission would likely do that.

7/25/2021 Rep. Ronny Jackson: Joe Biden Needs Cognitive Test by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Ronny Jackson in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    Texas Republican Rep. Ronny Jackson has expressed concern over Joe Biden’s cognitive abilities.    In an interview on Thursday, the former White House doctor said he was fearful of U.S. national security with Biden at the helm.
    He predicted Biden would either be made to resign or the Democrats would use the 25th Amendment against him soon.    This came as a response to Biden’s town hall in Cincinnati, where some statements were less than intelligible.
    “The question is, whether or not we should be in a position where, you uh, um, are, why can’t the, the, the experts say we know that this virus is in fact,” he stuttered.    “It’s going to be, or excuse me we know why all the drugs.”
    In June, Jackson led more than a dozen other GOP representatives in sending a letter to the White House, which urged Biden to take a cognitive abilities test. He said Americans deserved complete transparency on the intellectual health of a U.S. president.
    Jackson has reminded everyone that President Donald Trump was more than willing to take a cognitive test and received a perfect score when doing so.

7/25/2021 Democrats Reimpose Mask Orders Amid Rise In COVID-19 Cases by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden removes his protective face mask at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
headquarters in Brussels. (Photo by STEPHANIE LECOCQ/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
    Many Democrats across the U.S. have said they wanted mask mandates reimplemented, while others have been more careful in going forward with doing so.    After mandates were lifted across the country in May due to declining cases and increasing vaccination rates, many thought a return to normal was here.
    Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) recommended his state to reverse course on the return to normalcy.    In a press conference on Friday, Edwards urged people regardless of vaccination status to wear masks when indoors and when social distancing wasn’t possible.    He said this was due to the spread of the Delta variant.
    “We are issuing some updated, additional guidance today to the public,” he explained.    “First of all, we’re recommending that all people vaccinated and unvaccinated, mask while indoors if six feet of physical distancing cannot be maintained.”
    Edwards measure comes after Los Angeles county reimposed mask mandates everywhere indoors.    The Democrat dominated county reimplemented masking due to a local rise in coronavirus cases.
    In what could be an omen for other Democrat leaders, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced he would not enforce the mandate.    He said it was impractical to enforce and counterproductive for persuading the 40 percent of his county that remained unvaccinated to get vaccinated.
    “There has to be some perceived benefit to taking the vaccine.    If I treat everybody the same, the people that resist are just gonna say ‘why bother, I’m still being forced to wear the mask,'” he stated.    “It doesn’t make sense from a practical standpoint.”
    Undeterred in Nevada, the chair of the Democrat Party released a statement urging the adoption of new mask mandates statewide.    This followed a mandate for workers in Las Vegas to wear masks again, while tourists and customers were not required to do so.
    As some Democrats pushed for new mandates, others have tiptoed around the issue.    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) outright rejected calls from the city’s health committee chair to reimplement mask mandates.
    In California, where Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) has been faced with a recall over harsh lockdown measures, the governor has kept silent on if he would implement masks statewide again.    New Jersey’s Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said while he didn’t want to have restrictions again, he would not rule anything out.
    “For the time being, I hope we don’t have to do that.    We are, I think, the only state in the nation that didn’t lurch over the past 16 months, meaning we went forward and came back,” he expressed.    “I hope not to do that here.    If we have to, we will.”
    Democrat infighting on masks have not changed the CDC guidance for the whole country.    According to the CDC, it is still safe for unvaccinated Americans to live life normally, meaning mask free and allowed close contact with others.

7/25/2021 Merkel Aide Warns Virus Surge In Germany May Mean Curbs For Unvaccinated
FILE PHOTO: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Rhineland-Palatinate State Premier Malu Dreyer hold a news conference in the
flood-ravaged village of Schuld, near Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Rhineland-Palatinate state, Germany, July 18, 2021. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay
    BERLIN (Reuters) - Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff said on Sunday he fears the number of new coronavirus cases in Germany could soar to 100,000 a day in about two months unless many more people get vaccinated and those who refuse may face restrictions.
    His suggestion quickly hit resistance from several senior politicians including Armin Laschet, conservative candidate to succeed Merkel as chancellor in a Sept. 26 election.
    After more than two months of steady decline, COVID-19 cases have been rising in Europe’s biggest economy since early July, due mainly to the spread of the more infectious Delta variant.
    Merkel’s chief of staff, Helge Braun, told Bild am Sonntag newspaper that cases were increasing by 60% per week even though nearly half the population is fully vaccinated.
    “If the Delta variant were to continue to spread at this rate and we don’t counter it with a very high vaccination rate or change in behaviour, we would have an incidence of 850 (per 100,000 people) in just nine weeks,” he said.
    That equates to about 100,000 new infections a day, he said, adding that would lead to many people having to quarantine and chaos in the economy.
    Urging Germans to get vaccinated, Braun said those who refused might have to face some restrictions.
    “This could mean some things such as restaurant, cinema and stadium visits would not be possible for tested unvaccinated people because the residual risk is too high,” he said.
    Roughly 60% of Germany’s 83 million people have had a first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine and about 48% are fully vaccinated. Merkel has long said there will be no compulsory vaccination.
    Braun’s comment unleashed a debate with some politicians backing the idea and others, including Laschet, swiftly ruling it out.
    “I don’t think much of compulsory vaccinations or indirectly putting pressure on people,” Laschet told ZDF television.    “We have had a rule that you must be tested, vaccinated or recovered and I think that is a good principle,” he said.
    The Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases said the number of cases had risen by 1,387 in the last day to 3.76 million.    The seven-day incidence rate inched up to 13.8 per 100,000 people.    Some 91,524 people have died of COVID-19 related causes in Germany.
(Reporting by Madeline ChambersEditing by Mark Potter and Susan Fenton)

7/25/2021 Lawmakers Aim For Infrastructure Bill Vote Early This Week by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) speaks to reporters about the proposed Senate Republican tax bill, after attending the Senate
GOP policy luncheon, at the U.S. Capitol on November 14, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
    Lawmakers said they’re aiming for a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill this week.    It’s been said they hope to have a finalized infrastructure proposal by the end of Sunday.
    Reports said talks continued throughout Sunday with lawmakers eyeing a vote to advance the bill early this week.    This comes after close to a dozen Republican senators in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D) last week said they were ready to start debate on the bill, provided the major issues were resolved.
    One senator said he wasn’t looking for a perfect bill, but enough of one that senators could move onto the amendment process.    Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), the GOP’s lead negotiator, on Sunday pushed back on critics who said the bill was bipartisan in description only.
    “I can guarantee you every single one of the issues has been bipartisan in the sense that there have been Republican views and Democrat views, and we found a way to find common ground, which is exactly what ought to happen,” Portman said.
    On Sunday, Democrat Sen. Mark Warner (Va.) said he believed the legislation would be ready on Monday.    Lawmakers have said issues are still being resolved within the bill, including broadband funding, mass transit spending and paying prevailing wages on federally funded projects.    Warner noted about $70 billion in unspent funding would be redeployed to help pay for the package.
    Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey (R) on Sunday warned against excessive spending, saying federal dollars were being treated like monopoly money and that spending has been getting completely out of hand.    However, all the effort could prove for nothing if the bill is held up in the House, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has signaled she’s willing to do.
    In an interview Sunday, Pelosi affirmed she would hold a vote on the infrastructure proposal until the Senate passed a larger reconciliation package.    She said she hopes the bill passes the Senate, but she won’t put it on the House floor until Democrats have the rest of the initiative.
    “I’m telling you what’s going to happen in the House of Representatives, and that is that we are rooting for the infrastructure bill to pass, but we all know more needs to be done if we’re going to build back better,” said Pelosi.
    These comments came under fire by Sen. Portman who said Pelosi’s remarks were counter to what Joe Biden and the Senate have committed to doing.    He noted the infrastructure bill has nothing to do with the Democrats’ tax and spend reconciliation package.    Portman added, if Pelosi had her way, they could end up with nothing, saying he can’t believe the speaker of the House would be blocking it.

7/25/2021 Secy. Of Defense Speaks Out On Mental Health In Military by OAN Newsroom
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin visits National Guard troops deployed at the U.S. Capitol
and on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo Manuel Balce Ceneta-Pool/Getty Images)
    U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke out on the ongoing concern of mental health in our military.    In a press conference on Saturday at     Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska, he stressed the importance of addressing the issues surrounding mental health.
    “My first priority is to defend this nation and I’ve seen a lot of things today that help us accomplish that goal,” he explained.    “Key to achieving it, is taking care of our people.”
    For Austin, the number of deaths by suicide among military service members was not only concerning, but alarming as well.     The fourth quarter of 2020 recorded a 25 percent increase from 2019.    There were 156 deaths from October 1 to December 31, which contributed to the total of 377 for the year.
    “I’m mindful of the stress that they’re often under,” he stated.    “I’m deeply concerned about the suicide rates not only here, but across the force.”
    The secretary said the Defense Department must approach suicides with the same energy as any other health issue.
    “You’ve heard me say before, one suit, one lost by suicide is too many,” he expressed.    “While we’re working hard on this problem, we have a lot more to do.”
    Austin tweeted about the importance of changing the stigma back in May during Mental Health Month.
    He went on to say, “I want to be clear, maintaining and healing mental health is just as important as injuries that are easier to see.”
    Lloyd vowed his commitment to making sure resources were more accessible and available for the troops.

7/25/2021 Speaker Pelosi Appoints GOP Rep. Kinzinger To Jan. 6 Committee by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) to the January 6 committee.    Kinzinger released a statement on Sunday and confirmed his acceptance of the Democrat’s offer to sit on the investigatory panel.
    The Illinois lawmaker was notably one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach President Trump in his second trial.    He has been a consistent critic of the 45th president.
    Kinzinger has been the second Republican appointed by Pelosi to the panel as Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) also accepted the offer.    This comes after House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) withdrew his five picks over Pelosi’s opposition to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.).
    The committee has scheduled its first hearing for next week.

7/25/2021 NRCC Chairman: GOP To Retire Pelosi Once And For All by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) responds to a question at a town hall meeting on February 22, 2017 in Sartell, Minn. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
    National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) said Republicans are going to retire House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) once and for all.    He also expressed confidence in the GOP’s prospects to take back the Chamber in the 2022 midterms.
    During an interview with Breitbart News on Saturday, Emmer pointed out the minority party typically picks up an average of 27 seats during the midterms.    However, the GOP congressman said the party is targeting 58 districts in the midterms and is on the offense all across the country.
    “If you sit back and be quiet, you’re not gonna be happy with what these socialist Democrats are gonna do to our country, cause this is no longer a choice between a degree of freedom…the right of someone to self-determine versus the size and scope of government.    This is literally a choice between two fundamental different views of the United States of America,” said Emmer.
    Emmer also touted recent polling and the organization’s fundraising haul for the year.    He pointed out how the organization raised a record of more than $20 million in June, topping the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee by nearly $6 million.

7/25/2021 Sen. Scott Warns Demonizing Police Officers In Police Reform Efforts Will Lead To Reduction In Forces by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) (R) speaks to reporters during a news conference. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    GOP Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.) has cautioned lawmakers against demonizing police officers in their efforts to achieve police reform.    During an interview on Sunday, Scott warned there would be a reduction in police forces if they’re demonized or if law enforcement is defunded.
    “When you demonize police officers, when you defund police and you start talking about this war on police and prosecution and not on crime, you’re going to have a reduction in forces,” said Scott.    “And if you tell officers that their personal liability is on the line, it is a bad decision.”
    The lawmaker cited the situation in Baltimore, where the city had to request federal officers due to 400 spots being vacant on the local force following a police reform passed earlier in the year.    The Republican also noted ending qualified immunity hasn’t been a topic of police reform talks, calling the idea of doing so on a federal level “bad policy.”

7/25/2021 GOP Lawmakers Criticize Pelosi’s ‘Partisan’ Jan. 6 Committee by OAN Newsroom
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) (C) wears a protective mask while departing the
U.S. Capitol on July 25, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images)
    GOP lawmakers have decried House Democrats’ Jan. 6 commission as being a purely partisan venture.    Republicans have continued to push back against the initiative led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for stacking members with a similar agenda.
    On Sunday, Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey (R) said the commission was not bipartisan, giving the advantage to Democrats.    Toomey added the mission of the group doesn’t seem to focus on getting to the bottom of the incident like the proposal in the Upper Chamber or ongoing investigations by the Department of Justice.
    Additionally, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) issued a statement slamming Pelosi for playing politics and not taking the commission seriously. McCarthy claimed the Democrat speaker hand picked members to satisfy her own agenda and sidestepped months of possible negotiations on a bipartisan commission.
    This comes after Pelosi blocked two of McCarthy’s picks to be on the commission, Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Jim Banks (R-Ind.) earlier this week.    Both Jordan and Banks have voiced their support for President Trump.    Rep. Banks stressed the move is simply an attempt to deflect Pelosi’s own failures in preventing the clash.
    Instead, the House speaker nominated Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney (R) and Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R), both known for being outspoken critics of the 45th president.
    In the meantime, police officers with the U.S. Capitol Police Department are expected to testify in the committee’s first public hearing on Tuesday.

7/25/2021 Sen. Johnson: Feds Helping Bidens Cover Up Evidence Of Corruption by OAN Newsroom
Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) speaks at the start of a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on the government’s
response to the novel COVID-19 outbreak on March 5, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
    Sen. Ron Johnson said federal agencies are helping Joe and Hunter Biden cover up evidence of their corruption, both at home and abroad.    On Sunday, the Wisconsin senator said the Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were dragging their feet on Congressional requests to probe Hunter Biden’s corruption.
    Johnson added the documents provided by those agencies to Congress have been heavily redacted, which in return has hindered the probes.    Johnson and four other members of the Homeland Security Committee have requested documents from federal agencies, which the law says they must provide.
    “There’s a law that says, when five members of the Homeland Security Committee request information, the agencies shall turn it over,” said Johnson.    However, the senator said agencies within the Biden administration are “just blowing off Congress.”

7/25/2021 FBI Accused Of Entrapment In Gov. Whitmer Kidnap Plot by OAN Newsroom
American flags fly over the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) building July 18, 2001 in Washington, D.C. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    The Federal Bureau of Investigation is facing accusations of entrapment regarding the alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D).    According to recent reports, a dozen FBI informants were involved at all levels of the alleged plot.
    Some individuals accused in the plot claimed it wouldn’t have existed without informant involvement.    They said everything from organizing the meetings to acquiring bomb materials came from informants.    An attorney for one of the men arrested for his involvement with the group plotting against Whitmer, the Watchmen, argued the FBI was purposely egging members of the group on.
    “It appears to me that there are allegations, with evidentiary support, that the FBI may have or currently is infiltrating, inciting or spawning alleged fringe group operations in this country,” said attorney Darren Richie.    “The citizens of this country deserve to know if any of the stories permeating this subject are valid.”
    One person arrested for allegedly trespassing during the Jan. 6 protest with a gun, also claimed he was with a friend who was documenting the event for the FBI.
    Further, an FBI agent at the forefront of the investigation has been arrested after allegedly assaulting his wife after a personal dispute.    Richard Trask was charged on Monday with assault and intent to do great bodily harm less than murder following the incident.
    Trask has been employed with the FBI since 2011.

7/25/2021 Veteran, Steel Company CEO Asks Biden To Bring Back ‘Made In America’ Showcase Held Under President Trump by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks with attendees at the end of the 3rd Annual Made in America Product Showcase on the
South Lawn at the White House in Washington, D.C. on July 15, 2019. (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)
    A combat veteran and steel manufacturer has called on Joe Biden to bring back the “Made in America” showcase last held under 45th President Trump.    In a recent interview, Redline Steel CEO Colin Wayne said the showcase was the best way to promote businesses that manufactured products with American workers and goods.
    Last held in 2019, the showcase allowed businesses from all 50 states to display their products for the president.
President Trump holds a proclamation for Made in America Day and Made In America Week he signed during a product
showcase in the East Room of the White House July 17, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    Biden ran his campaign on claims of being for American workers and keeping jobs from being shipped out of the country.    However, the Democrat has not commented on whether he would be making any effort to bring back the showcase for American businesses.
    “If he wants to build back better, it starts with recognizing and honoring domestic companies that are building sustainability for the future,” said Wayne.    “To take that away is not a good message sent to business owners.”

7/25/2021 Rep. Banks: Pelosi Responsible For Jan. 6 Breakdown Of Security by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Jim Jordan, left, and Rep. Jim Banks, right, attend a news conference on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to reject two of Leader
McCarthy’s selected members from serving on the committee investigating the Jan. 6 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
    Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) has argued Nancy Pelosi was responsible for the breakdown of security on Capitol Hill during the January 6 protest.    In an interview on Sunday, the Indiana lawmaker said Pelosi had superior authority over Capitol police and its actions as House Speaker.
    Banks stressed Pelosi has sought to deflect attention from her own failure to prevent clashes at the U.S. Capitol.
    “Speaker Pelosi is not interested in an investigation,” he asserted.    “She’s only interested in pushing a narrative.”
    Pelosi recently blocked both Banks and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) from participating in the January 6 Commission.    Banks and Jordan have argued the commission was not interested in finding the truth and only seeks to demonize conservatives.
    This comes as Pelosi appointed Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) to sit in on the committee.

7/26/2021 With $4 Billion In Losses, Heathrow Tells UK: Open Up Travel
FILE PHOTO: Passengers wait on socially distanced chairs at Heathrow Airport amid the coronavirus
disease (COVID19) pandemic in London, Britain July 7, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs
    LONDON (Reuters) -London’s Heathrow Airport urged Britain on Monday to open up travel to vaccinated passengers after its recovery fell behind Europe, pushing its cumulative pandemic losses to $4 billion.
    Heathrow, which before the pandemic was the busiest airport in Europe, said that fewer than four million people travelled through the airport in the first half of 2021, a level which would have been surpassed in 18 days of 2019’s traffic.
    It said it now believes 21.5 million passengers will travel through Heathrow in 2021, driven by what it hopes will be pent-up demand for holidays.
    “The UK… is falling behind its EU rivals in international trade by being slow to remove restrictions,” Heathrow Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye said in a statement on Monday.
    Britain’s travel industry continues to be plagued by surging COVID-19 cases at home and government caution, causing last-minute rule changes and cancellations.
    Heathrow said it had increased liquidity to 4.8 billion pounds ($6.60 billion), and sought a waiver of its Heathrow Finance ICR covenant for the financial year 2021 due to pressures on its cashflow.
    For the six months to June 30, Heathrow posted an adjusted loss before tax of 787 million pounds ($1.08 billion), compared to the 471 million loss for the same period last year which was only half affected by the pandemic.
($1 = 0.7274 pounds)
(Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Kate Holton/Guy Faulconbridge)

7/26/2021 Mexican President Says Biden Must “Make Decision” On Cuba Embargo
FILE PHOTO: People gather during protests against and in support of the government, amidst the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) outbreak, outside the Capitol building, in Havana, Cuba July 11, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Monday that he thinks U.S. President Joe Biden must make a decision about the embargo against Cuba amid the biggest unrest in the Caribbean nation in decades.
    Lopez Obrador said it was not enough for countries to vote to end the embargo via the United Nations General Assembly, but that it was time to make a real decision about it, given that “almost all countries of the world” are against it.
    “It is not conceivable that in these times they want to punish an independent country with a blockade,” Lopez Obrador said.
    “I think that President Biden must make a decision about it.    It is a respectful call, from no point of view of interference, but we must separate the political from the humanitarian.”
    Cuban families should also face fewer restrictions on receiving remittances from those who live in the United States or any other country, Lopez Obrador added.
    “How can it be blocked if it’s not even government money?” Lopez Obrador said.
    Remittances to Cuba are believed to be around $2 billion to $3 billion annually, representing its third biggest source of dollars after the services industry and tourism.
    The transfers have been slowed by policies brought in under U.S. former President Donald Trump that led Western Union to close Cuban operations.
    The Cuban government has blamed the protests mostly on what it calls U.S.-financed “counter-revolutionaries” exploiting economic hardship caused by decades-old U.S. embargo.
    Lopez Obrador says the U.S. embargo is a cause of the protests, which erupted amid Cuba’s worst economic crisis since the fall of former ally the Soviet Union in the 1990s.
    Mexico is due to send food and medical supplies, including syringes, oxygen tanks and masks, to Cuba via cargo ships.
(Reporting by Diego Ore and Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel)

7/26/2021 COVID-19 Crisis Has Led To Food Crisis, Says Italy’s Draghi by Maytaal Angel
FILE PHOTO: Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi arrives for the virtual G20 summit on the
global health crisis, at Villa Pamphilj in Rome, Italy, May 21, 2021. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
    LONDON (Reuters) -The world must ensure access to food supplies as forcefully as it moved to ensure access to vaccines, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said at the opening of the United Nations Food Systems Pre-Summit in Rome.
    “The health crisis (COVID-19) has led to a food crisis,” he said, citing data showing malnutrition in all its forms has become the leading cause of ill health and death in the world.
    The U.N.’s first ever Food Systems Summit will take place in September, with the aim of delivering progress on the body’s 2030 sustainable development goals (SDGs).
    According to the latest U.N. data, the world’s food system, which involves cutting down forests to plant crops, is responsible for a third of global greenhouse gas emissions, making it a leading cause of climate change.
    “We are off track to achieve the SDGs,” said U.N. Secretary General António Guterres, who first announced his plan to convene the Food Systems Summit in October 2019, before COVID-19 dramatically slowed progress towards SDGs like zero hunger.
    After remaining virtually unchanged for five years, world hunger and malnutrition rose last year by around 118 million people to 768 million, with most of the increase likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a major U.N. report.
    On internationally traded markets, world food prices were up 33.9% year-on-year in June, according to the U.N food agency’s price index, which measures a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar.
    There is increased diplomatic momentum to tackle hunger, malnutrition and the climate crisis this year with summits like the current one, but the challenge is huge.
    Guterres said the pre-summit will assess progress towards achieving the SDGs by transforming global food systems, which, he noted, are also responsible for 80% of the world’s biodiversity loss.
(Reporting by Maytaal Angel; Editing by Giles Elgood and Steve Orlofsky)

7/26/2021 Southern Europe Battles Wildfires As North Cleans Up After Floods
A helicopter is being filled up with water from a tank as a wildfire burns near the village
of Spathovouni, near Corinth, Greece July 23, 2021. REUTERS/Vassilis Psomas
    ATHENS (Reuters) – Wildfires burned in regions across southern Europe on Monday, fuelled by hot weather and strong winds, as some northern countries cleaned up after a weekend of torrential rain and flooding.
    In Greece, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said firefighters had battled around 50 fires during the past 24 hours and it was likely there would be more with meteorologists warning that a further heatwave was in prospect.
    “I want to emphasize that August remains a difficult month,” he said.    “That is why it is important for all of us, all state services, to be on absolute alert until the firefighting period is formally over.”
    Fire service officials said negligence on farms and construction sites had been behind several incidents, many of which were in the southern Peloponnese region.    No casualties were reported.
    Conditions in southern Europe were in sharp contrast to the torrential rainstorms that lashed northern countries from Austria to Britain following the catastrophic flooding in Germany and neighbouring countries last week.
    On the Italian island of Sardinia, firefighting planes from France and Greece reinforced local aircraft battling blazes across the island where more than 4,000 hectares of forest were burnt and more than 350 people evacuated.
    In Sicily, fires broke out near the western town of Erice.
    In Spain, the northeastern region of Catalonia saw more than 1,500 hectares destroyed near Santa Coloma de Queralt, forcing dozens to be evacuated, although the blazes were 90% stabilized on Monday, firefighters and authorities said.
    In Lietor, in the central east region of Castilla-La Mancha, more than 2,500 hectares burned during the weekend before being brought under control, authorities said.
    So far this year, wildfires have burned across 35,000 hectares in Spain, still some way off the 138,000 hectares burned in 2012, the worst year of the past decade.
(Reporting by Emma Pinedo Gonzalez in Madrid, Lefteris Papadimas and Angeliki Koutantou in Athens and Emily Roe in Rome; writing by James Mackenzie; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

7/26/2021 Facebook And Tech Giants To Target Attacker Manifestos, Far-Right Militias In Database by Elizabeth Culliford
FILE PHOTO: A militia member with body armor and a Three Percenters militia patch stands in Stone Mountain as various
militia groups stage rallies at Stone Mountain, Georgia, U.S. August 15, 2020. REUTERS/Dustin Chambers/File Photo
    (Reuters) – A counterterrorism organization formed by some of the biggest U.S. tech companies including Facebook and Microsoft is significantly expanding the types of extremist content shared between firms in a key database, aiming to crack down on material from white supremacists and far-right militias, the group told Reuters.
    Until now, the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism’s (GIFCT) database has focused on videos and images from terrorist groups on a United Nations list and so has largely consisted of content from Islamist extremist organizations such as Islamic State, al Qaeda and the Taliban.
    Over the next few months, the group will add attacker manifestos — often shared by sympathizers after white supremacist violence — and other publications and links flagged by U.N. initiative Tech Against Terrorism.    It will use lists from intelligence-sharing group Five Eyes, adding URLs and PDFs from more groups, including the Proud Boys, the Three Percenters and neo-Nazis.
    The firms, which include Twitter and Alphabet Inc’s YouTube, share “hashes,” unique numerical representations of original pieces of content that have been removed from their services. Other platforms use these to identify the same content on their own sites in order to review or remove it.
    While the project helps combat extremist content on mainstream platforms, groups can still post violent images and rhetoric on many other sites and parts of the internet.
    The tech group wants to combat a wider range of threats, said GIFCT’s Executive Director Nicholas Rasmussen in an interview with Reuters.
    “Anyone looking at the terrorism or extremism landscape has to appreciate that there are other parts…that are demanding attention right now,” Rasmussen said, citing the threats of far-right or racially motivated violent extremism.
    The tech platforms have long been criticized for failing to police violent extremist content, though they also face concerns over censorship.    The issue of domestic extremism, including white supremacy and militia groups, took on renewed urgency following the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
    Fourteen companies can access the GIFCT database, including Reddit, Snapchat-owner Snap, Facebook-owned Instagram, Verizon Media, Microsoft’s LinkedIn and file-sharing service Dropbox.
    GIFCT, which is now an independent organization, was created in 2017 under pressure from U.S. and European governments after a series of deadly attacks in Paris and Brussels.    Its database mostly contains digital fingerprints of videos and images related to groups on the U.N.     Security Council’s consolidated sanctions list and a few specific live-streamed attacks, such as the 2019 mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand.
    GIFCT has faced criticism and concerns from some human and digital rights groups over censorship.
    “Over-achievement in this takes you in the direction of violating someone’s rights on the internet to engage in free expression,” said Rasmussen.
    The group wants to continue to broaden its database to include hashes of audio files or certain symbols and grow its membership.    It recently added home-rental giant Airbnb and email marketing company Mailchimp as members.
(Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford in New York; Editing by Kenneth Li and Lisa Shumaker)

7/26/2021 State Secy. Blinken Reiterates Claims Of ‘Russian Hackings,’ Vows Revenge by OAN Newsroom
Secretary of State Antony Blinken listens as he and Iraq’s Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein face reporters as they
meet at the State Department in Washington, Friday, July 23, 2021. (Elizabeth Frantz/Pool via AP)
    According to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, cyber criminals will be held accountable for their actions.    The Biden administration official has continued to accuse Russia of cyber crime over alleged recent hackings of U.S. companies.
    In a recent interview, Blinken claimed Russia may be harboring cyber criminals. He said the new cyber crime task force will hold Russia and other countries to account.
    “And what we’ve made clear to Russia, but to other countries around the world, is if you’re harboring individuals and organizations engaged in cyber crime, engaged in ransomware, that is unacceptable,” he stated.
    Biden recently met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and stirred concerns of lawmakers back home when he told Putin which American targets he didn’t want attacked.
    “I talked about the proposition that certain critical infrastructures should be off limits to attack, period, by cyber or any other means,” Biden stated.    “I gave them a list, if I’m not mistaken…16 specific entities, 16 defined as critical infrastructure under U.S. policy.    From the energy sector to our water systems.”
    Putin has denied any involvement in any of the hacks on U.S. systems.
    “According to U.S. sources, the majority of cyber attacks in the world are performed from U.S. cyberspace," noted the Russian president.    “The second one is Canada, then two Latin American states and then the U.K. Russia is not listed among the cyberspaces where the majority of cyber attacks come from.”
    Even in his interview, Blinken appeared to concede that the hackers that have been linked to recent attacks may be operating within Russia’s borders, but not agents of the government itself.

7/26/2021 Biden: U.S. To End Combat Mission In Iraq By End Of 2021 by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden shakes hands with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, left, in the Oval Office
of the White House in Washington, D.C., July 26, 2021. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
    The Biden administration moved to further limit America’s military presence in the Middle East. On Monday, Joe Biden met with Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi and vowed to end America’s combat mission in the country.
    “I think things are going well. Our role in Iraq will be as a, dealing with, not, it’s just to be available to continue to train, to assist, to help and to deal with ISIS as it arrives,” Biden stated.    “We are not going to be by the end of the year in a combat mission.”
    President Trump began to pullback troops late last year when he reduced the troop numbers from 3,000 to 2,500.    There has been a combat presence in the country since 2014 when former President Barack Obama ordered the military to fight ISIS after bringing troops home just three years prior.
    Al-Kadhimi said it was the right time to wind down a U.S. presence in the country and claimed his military was capable of defending itself from terrorists.    However, U.S. troops would still be expected to assist Iraqi forces in the fight against ISIS militants, but only in a training and intelligence capacity.
    “Together, we fight and defeat ISIS and I’d like to thank the American people on behalf of all Iraqi people,” he expressed.    “I thank you for all the blood and treasure that America has given for a free and democratic Iraq.”
    Al-Kadhimi stressed the deadline of withdrawal to be dictated by the needs and demands of the Iraqi army. Biden predicted the pullout to come by year’s end.
    This pullout comes on the heels of Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, which is expected to be completed by August 31.    Critics warn the move is empowering the Taliban, who claim to have taken back more than 85 percent of the country.

7/26/2021 Dr. Paul Warns Of ‘Soviet-Style’ Persecution Of Jan. 6 Protesters by OAN Newsroom
Dr. Ron Paul in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
    Dr. Ron Paul has warned of Soviet-style political persecution of conservatives amid detention and torture of January 6 protesters.    In an article on Monday, Paul wrote the conviction of protester Paul Hodgkins was a miscarriage of justice.
    “He said the words Joe Biden’s Justice Department wanted to hear,” he explained.    “Words reminiscent of the sort of Soviet-style confessions beaten out of political dissidents the world over: ‘Joseph R. Biden is rightfully and respectfully the president of the United States.'
    Paul went on to say Hodgkins did not commit any violence and he was punished for his political views.
    “The saving of democracy by putting a man away to prison for eight months and destroyed his life, his family, the whole works because he walked into the Capitol, took a picture, did no act of violence whatsoever,” he expressed.    “He was number one of the list.    He was the enemy of the state.”
    Dr. Paul pointed out around 500 conservatives have been faced with similar political charges and sentences for protesting on Capitol Hill.    He warned, “this kind of totalitarian justice” would soon be coming for Biden supporters as well.

7/26/2021 Calif. Gov. Newsom Compares Unvaccinated People To Drunk Drivers by OAN Newsroom
Gov. Gavin Newsom in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
    California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) appeared to insinuate unvaccinated people were a danger to themselves and to others.    During an interview on Monday, the Democrat compared people who have decided not to get vaccinated to drunk drivers.
    Newsom also declined to say if the state would reimpose a mask mandate, but instead claimed it would not be necessary if more people were vaccinated.    He suggested those who were unvaccinated have kept the pandemic from ending.
    “It’s like drunk drivers.    You don’t have the right to go out and drink and drive and put everybody else at risk, including your own life at risk,” he claimed.    “California has one of the highest vaccination rates in America, but yet we’re still seeing an increase because so many people, 25% percent in California, are refusing to get vaccinated.”
    This comes as the state moved on Monday to require all state employees to show proof of vaccination by August 2 or undergo consistent testing and wear a mask if they don’t get the vaccine.

7/26/2021 Psaki: Chicago Crime Not Going To Turn On A Dime by OAN Newsroom
Law enforcement officers investigate a crime scene near the border between the Morgan Park and West Pullman
neighborhoods on July 7, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images)
    White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the rising crime rate in cities such as Chicago would “not turn on a dime.”    In a press briefing on Monday, Psaki was asked about White House efforts to combat crime in the Windy City.
    Reporters cited 12 killings among around 70 people who were shot just over the weekend.    Psaki noted the Justice Department has been actively working to control Chicago’s gun problem along with helping local elected officials, which she said benefited from Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
    “When there’s been rise in crime rates across the country including Chicago for 18 months or more, that unfortunately is not going to turn on a dime.,” she stated.    “We are working with Chicago.    Its one of the five cities we’re working with.”
    Psaki went on to say she hoped federal and local governments would work in partnership to bring the crime wave down.    This comes almost a year after the city voted to cut the police budget by more than $59 million.

7/26/2021 Cuomo: ‘I Told You The Truth’ About COVID by OAN Newsroom
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in New York City. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)
    New York’s controversial Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) insisted he remained truthful about the virus throughout the pandemic, despite being faced with numerous allegations for lying about deaths in his state.    During a press briefing at Yankee Stadium on Monday, Cuomo took zero responsibility for nursing home deaths in New York and went as far as to say he only told the facts about the virus from the beginning.
    “I have told you the facts on COVID from day 1,” he claimed.    “…While a lot of people were talking politics and a lot of people were talking theory and a lot of people were trying to deny because they did not want to deliver bad news, I told you the truth.”
    Social media users were outraged by the governor’s words and suggested Cuomo was gaslighting the public to increase New York’s vaccination rates.    He went on to blame unvaccinated New Yorkers for the rise in coronavirus cases by saying ideology, religion and concerns about long term vaccine effects were not valid excuses for not getting jabbed.
    He went on to say, “there is not logical theory that anyone can advance now that says it’s more logical not to take the vaccine than to take the vaccine.”
    In addition, Cuomo blamed politics over allegations accusing him of lying to the public for underreporting nursing home deaths and his sexual misconduct claims, even though much of the backlash came from within his own party.
    “The political environment has gotten so toxic in this country.    So toxic, so mean, it was an outrageous allegation,” he expressed.    “New York followed the CDC guidance.    CDC is a federal agency that is supposed to know what they are talking about.”
    Over the weekend, the Department of Justice announced it would not investigate Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic.    This has been a major blowback to those who have tried to hold the governor accountable for allowing infected COVID-19 patents to reside in nursing homes.

7/26/2021 Thousands Show Up At Trump’s Ariz. Rally, Biden’s Events Have No Crowds by OAN Newsroom
Former President Donald Trump points to supporters after speaking at a Turning Point
Action gathering, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
    President Trump attracted a huge crowd of supporters during his speech in Phoenix, Arizona on Saturday in stark contrast to the poor attendance at Joe Biden’s recent events.
    Local media found more than 5,000 people attended Trump’s ‘Protect Our Elections’ rally while another 5,000 gathered outside of the arena.    Meanwhile, audiences at Biden’s recent visits to Illinois and Ohio varied from 25 people to a half-empty room at a CNN Town Hall.
    Trump said recent events show there was an incredibly large amount of fraud in the 2020 elections and Americans have to fight to restore the integrity of U.S. elections.
    One America’s Lexington Howe has more.

7/26/2021 Rep. Cheney To Give Remarks At First Jan. 6 Commission Hearing by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) speaks to reporters outside of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
    Republican Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) has been set to deliver an opening statement at the first hearing of the January 6 select committee.    At the hearing on Tuesday, Cheney’s remarks have been scheduled to follow the Democrat chair of the committee, Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson (D).
    Following the remarks, the committee is expected to hear testimony from four Capitol Hill officers, who were on duty during the events on January 6. Cheney’s appointment has led to increasing hostility between her and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), which prompted Cheney to accuse McCarthy of attempting to hide the truth.
    “There must be an investigation that is nonpartisan, that is sober, that is serious, that gets to the facts wherever they may lead,” she stated.    “At every opportunity, the minority leader has attempted to prevent the American people from understanding what happened.”
    However, McCarthy appointed five other Republicans to the committee in an effort to promote bipartisanship until Nancy Pelosi vetoed two picks.    Her veto led McCarthy to pull the Republicans and label the committee a “political stunt.”
    Following Cheney’s appointment, along with that of anti-Trump Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), McCarthy left open whether they would be stripped of their committee assignments.    When talking to a reporter on Monday, he went as far as to call both representatives “Pelosi Republicans.”

7/26/2021 Wis. Rep. Brandtjen Urges 2020 Election Audit by OAN Newsroom
Ballots are pulled aside for a hand audit by Maricopa County Elections Department
in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images)
    Wisconsin Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R) has called for a forensic investigation of fraud in 2020 elections.    In a statement on Monday, Brandtjen said there was plenty of voting irregularities in last year’s election in Wisconsin.
    Brandtjen said the law allowed 22 months after the election day to probe suspected fraud. She added the evidence of fraud included cured ballots, indefinitely confined electors, ballot harvesting and tabulator malfunctions.     The state lawmaker recently visited the Arizona audit and urged the state of Wisconsin to conduct a similar process.     “I think it’s an opportunity to bring some light right? That’s what we wanna make sure that our elections are fair and transparent,” she explained.    “That was the process that I think they’re looking to make sure there’s some light to the process of having elections.”
    Brandtjen went on to say a Wisconsin audit would also examine IP addresses, chain of custody records and trail logs to see if the 2020 election was hacked or manipulated.    She added such a procedure would ensure election integrity and prevent fraud going forward.

7/26/2021 Conflicting School Mask Requirements Frustrating Americans by OAN Newsroom
A student works on an assignment at Freedom Preparatory Academy in Provo, Utah. (Photo by GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images)
    The national debate over school mask mandates has intensified as students began to prepare for in-person learning this fall.    According to reports on Sunday, a growing number of parents have become frustrated with government messaging on face covering requirements for children aged twelve and under.
    Last week, Joe Biden said the CDC would recommend mask requirements for those twelve and under because they have not been eligible for the COVID vaccine.    However, the American Academy of Pediatrics said all students older than two should wear masks regardless of their vaccination status.
    At a recent school board meeting in Southern California, parents gathered to voice their concern.
    “Frankly, it’s abuse and if somebody wants to allow their child to wear a mask, that’s up to them,” one parent expressed.     “I just don’t believe it should be enforced.”
    According to the CDC, there have been less than 500 deaths among children from COVID-19.    Schools in the U.S. were advised to open for in-person learning this fall, but their mandates have remained unclear.

7/26/2021 Protesters Come To D.C. Prison To Support Jan. 6 Detainees by OAN Newsroom
Protesters participate in a political rally in New York City. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
    A rising number of Americans have expressed support for the jailed January 6 protesters by arguing they have been wrongfully persecuted for their political views.    According to the Daily Caller, protests were ongoing onside the prison in Washington D.C., where January 6 activists have been held.
    This comes after attorneys revealed arrested protestors were subjected to torture and inhumane conditions.    Demonstrators argued detained activists have been denied their constitutional rights.
    “Half of the guys that are sitting in there right now are well decorated military veterans,” one individual explained.    “…Those are guys that went and sacrificed for this country and the very country they sacrificed and gained so much for is now treating them like terrorists.”
    Meanwhile, mainstream media and Democrat officials fail to address these protests as they continue to push back against conservatives.

7/27/2021 Oil down $0.04 to $72.00, DOW up 83 to 35,114.

7/27/2021 Blast In German Industrial Park Kills One, Four Others Missing
Smoke billows following an explosion in Leverkusen, Germany, July 27, 2021. Feuerwehr Koeln/Handout via REUTERS
    BERLIN (Reuters) -An explosion in a German industrial park on Tuesday killed one person and left four others missing, setting off a fierce blaze and sending a pall of smoke over the western city of Leverkusen.
    Emergency services took three hours to extinguish the fire at the Chempark site, home to chemicals companies Bayer and Lanxess, that flared up after the blast at 9:40 a.m. (0740 GMT), park operator Currenta said.
    “We are deeply shaken by the tragic death of one colleague,” said Chempark chief Lars Friedrich, adding that the search was going on for four others who were still missing.
    Police said 31 people were injured, five of them seriously enough to need intensive care.
    “This is a tragic moment for the city of Leverkusen,” said Uwe Richrath, mayor of the city, which lies north of Cologne.     The area and surrounding roads were sealed off for much of the day.
    Police told residents living nearby to stay indoors and shut doors and windows in case there were toxic fumes.    Currenta said locals should also turn off air conditioning systems while it measured the air around the site for possible toxic gases.
    Chempark’s Friedrich said it was not clear what had caused the explosion, which led to a fire starting in a tank containing solvents.
    “A precise analysis is not yet available so we have not withdrawn the warning,” said Friedrich.
    Sirens and emergency alerts on the German civil protection agency’s mobile phone app warned citizens of “extreme danger.”
    Leverkusen is less than 50 km (30 miles) from a region hit last week by catastrophic floods that killed at least 180 people.
    More than 30 companies operate at the Chempark site in Leverkusen, including Covestro, Bayer, Lanxess and Arlanxeo, according to its website.
    Bayer and Lanxess in 2019 sold Chempark operator Currenta to Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets for an enterprise value of 3.5 billion euros ($4.12 billion).
($1 = 0.8492 euros)
(Reporting by Maria Sheahan, Madeline Chambers, Caroline Copley; Editing by William Maclean and Edmund Blair)

7/27/2021 Cuban Embassy In Paris Attacked With Petrol Bombs, France Beefs Up Security
Experts inspect the damage at the Cuban embassy following an overnight petrol bomb
attack on its building, in Paris, France July 27, 2021. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
    PARIS (Reuters) -Cuba’s embassy in Paris said on Tuesday it had been attacked overnight with petrol bombs that caused some damage but no injuries to its staff, in an incident that prompted French authorities to beef up security around the building.
    Three petrol bombs were thrown by two unnamed individuals, causing a fire on the facade and the entrance of the building, the embassy said in a statement.
    Cuba has been rocked by protests against a deep economic crisis, the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and curbs on civil liberties, prompting the Communist-run country to restrict access to social media.
    Cuba’s foreign ministry published photos of the petrol bombs on its official Twitter feed.
    “Those directly responsible for these acts are those who incite violence and hatred against our country,” it said.
    Its embassy in Paris pointed the finger at the United States, saying such acts had been “encouraged by campaigns by the U.S. government against our country.”
    The foreign ministers of the United States and 20 other countries on Monday condemned mass arrests in Cuba and called for full restoration of Internet access.
    France’s foreign ministry condemned the attack on the Cuban embassy, adding that a judicial investigation had been opened to try and determine who was behind it.    It confirmed that there had been some material damage but no injuries.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta, Matthieu Protard, Sophie Louet; Writing by Matthieu Protard and Ingrid Melander; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

7/27/2021 Democrats Harshly Criticize Unvaccinated Americans by OAN Newsroom
Gov. Gavin Newsom, from left, Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks, D-Oakland, and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf listen to speakers
at a news conference in Oakland, Calif., Monday, July 26, 2021. California will require state employees and all health
care workers to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or get tested weekly. Officials are tightening restrictions in an effort to
slow rising coronavirus infections in the nation’s most populous state, mostly among the unvaccinated. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
    Democrats at various levels of government are dismissing the bodily autonomy of Americans who do not wish to get vaccinated.    Beginning on Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked to clarify an earlier comment by Anthony Fauci who said the U.S. is going is a wrong direction on COVID-19.
    Psaki responded by saying a large number of Americans remain unvaccinated amid an alleged rise in new coronavirus cases.    Her comments come as COVID-19 deaths remain at their lowest in many months, while at least 11,500 people died from vaccines.    Psaki, however, claims unvaccinated Americans are at fault for the latest COVID fears.
    Psaki’s remarks were mild, however, compared to the rhetoric shared by California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D).    During an interview with CNN, the Democrat governor made a remarkably tone-deaf statement comparing Americans who don’t get vaccinated to drunk drivers.    The comment was quickly pointed out by a number of media outlets as it stunned viewers online.
    Not content to vax-shame, both the Biden administration and the Newsom administration have recently begun to push vaccine mandates on employees in their jurisdiction.
    Also on Monday, California moved to require all state employees to show proof of vaccination by August 2 or undergo consistent testing and wear a mask if they don’t get the vaccine.
    At the federal level, the Departments of Veteran’s affairs became the first federal agency to require proof of vaccination of their employees.    That new requirement impacts a reported 115,000 employees at VA facilities across the country.
    Neither the state of California nor the VA outlined what punishments employees could face if they refuse to get the vaccine.

7/27/2021 Senators Look Towards Bipartisan Capitol Security Funding Deal by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via AP, Pool, File)
    Senators Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) reached an estimated $2 billion bipartisan deal that would provide new funding to the Capitol police in relation to the events that occurred on January 6.    The deal was reached on Tuesday and some reported it had the possibility of moving to the floor as soon as Wednesday.
    This comes after both parties struggled to come to an agreement on paying back the National Guard, which was expected $521 million in reimbursement funds for their help in protecting Washington, D.C. from January to May. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) went on to explain, “we are now seeking a time agreement to put this important legislation on the floor and pass it this week.”
    The deal would reportedly include $100 million for Capitol police and more than $300 million for other security measures.    Additional funds would also be directed to helping Afghans that have been under threat due to U.S. troop withdrawals.
    The House recently passed its own $1.9 billion legislation in May for security upgrades to the U.S. Capitol. However, some Republicans have questioned the “lack of security” on that day.
    “…Democrats normalized anarchy, normalized political violence, raised bail money for the very rioters and looters who destroyed small businesses, attacked innocent civilians, and maybe most importantly attacked police officers,” asserted Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).    “When you spend a year talking about defunding the police and actually defund the police, it’s kind of hard to have more police here on January 6, like they should have done.”
    Jordan’s comments come as both him and Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) were not allowed to serve on the January 6 committee picked by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.    Banks said he was rejected due to Pelosi only being interested in a “narrative” as she picked     Republicans to serve on the committee who have voiced opposition to President Trump.
    While parties have thrown blame on each other, lawmakers on both sides reportedly looked to move quickly on the Senate deal.    The agreement could end the drawn out back and forth decision on paying back costs relating to that day, alongside other spending matters.
    If the Senate approves the bipartisan bill, it will head to the House for final approval.

7/27/2021 CDC Reverses Indoor Mask Policy For Vaccinated People, Calls For Universal Masking In Public Schools by OAN Newsroom
Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Rochelle Walensky on
Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
    The CDC flip-flopped on its masking guidelines for people who have been fully vaccinated. During a media telebriefing on Tuesday, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky announced new recommendations for fully vaccinated people in high transmission areas to wear face masks indoors.
    This marked an about face from just two months ago in May, when they said fully vaccinated individuals could forgo mask wearing in almost all settings.    During the meeting, Walensky cited the Delta variant sweeping through areas with low vaccination rates as the reason for this change.
    “Information on the Delta variant from several states and other countries indicates that in rare occasions, some vaccinated people infected with the Delta variant after vaccination may be contagious and spread the virus to others,” she stated.    “This new science is worrisome and unfortunately warrants and update to our recommendation.”
    The agency also announced recommendations for everyone in K-12 schools to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status.    However, Walensky said all children should return to in person learning as long as CDC guidelines were followed.
    “CDC recommends that everyone in K-12 schools wear a mask indoors including teachers, students, staff and visitors regardless of vaccination status,” she explained.    “…Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with proper prevention strategies in place.”
    This comes a week after mask requirements were reinstated in Los Angeles County, where people had mixed reactions.    While some residents have agreed on continuing to wear a mask after being vaccinated, others were not as inclined.
    “No I don’t want to do that, not at all,” one Los Angeles County resident explained.    “I’ve got the vaccine.    I’m good.”
    The CDC recommends mask wearing in places that have seen 50 new infections per 100,000 residents over the past week.
    According to the New York Times, almost two thirds of U.S. counties qualified under that guidance.
    Meanwhile, experts say vaccines are still highly effective against the Delta variant, with breakthrough COVID cases still being very rare.

7/27/2021 Fmr. Secy. Of State Pompeo Speaks At Simi Valley’s Reagan Library by OAN Newsroom
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington, DC. (Photo by Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)
    Mike Pompeo spoke to a crowd in California about his picture of the future of the Republican Party.    The former secretary of state delivered remarks at Simi Valley’s Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Ventura, California and mapped out what steps the Republican Party should take next.
    Pompeo focused on what he knew best, which was the international chess pieces moved by other nations that potentially threatened American’s safety and security if not stopped.
    “Unfortunately, what we’ve accomplished, has been cast aside by the deep state in Washington in just six short months,” he expressed.    “In their backdoor negotiations with Iran, in their elimination of the sanctions to inhibit Russia from supplying natural gas to Germany, they put our world at risk. It’s weakness and weakness begets war.”
    Pompeo also addressed the division in the country today by highlighting what he believed was the path Republicans must take moving forward, which was to walk by faith.
    “To reclaim America, which I believe only our party can do, there is literally no important resources than our churches, our synagogues, our mosques and temples that creates all of this United States of America,” he stated.    “There is no more important need, none, than to hear their voices when they state we must return to our moral core, lest all be lost.”
    Pompeo warned if America did not restore its character, leadership or exceptionalism, trouble would lie ahead.    He discussed the threat of Chinese influence and denounced the teaching of Marxist ideology in American schools.
    “Today, China has infiltrated Hollywood and academia, our technology companies and the conglomerates that control America’s media publishing.    Our strength, freedom has been turned against us,” he asserted.    “Communist influence must be eliminated in our country, root and branch.”
    Pompeo also criticized the left, Big Tech and the mainstream media by saying they have sold themselves out and disregarded the truth.
    “If our press were indeed fair minded, it would expose this to see, but they’re owned and they’re bought and they are silent,” he explained.    “When dominant social media platforms can suspend and then ban a president of the united states, there is too much power in too few hands.”
    Pompeo went on to explain how the GOP could meet this challenge and change the press by informing American citizens of the threats deliberately designed to be subtle or unseen.    He also took aim at the web of laws and regulations that gave corporations almost unlimited in what he explained as unearned power and wealth.
    He championed for the Republican Party to take back both the majority in Congress the White House.    The former Trump official said these were the things that needed to be done to restore freedom inside of the country.
    Pompeo closed with a poem called The Ruin, which was a piece written over one thousand years ago that outlined the remnants of Roman Britain.
    “This masonry is wondrous.    Fates broke it,” he quoted.    “Courtyard pavements were smashed.    The work of giants is decaying.”
    He insisted this could never be the future of America and with hands on hearts, Americans must light the way for the entire world.

7/27/2021 Defense Secy. Austin: I Am Committed To Pursuing A Constructive, Stable Relationship With China by OAN Newsroom
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks during the 40th International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Fullerton
lecture in Singapore on July 27, 2021. (Photo by Roslan Rahman / AFP) (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
    Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin warned China the U.S. would not “flinch” when its interests have been threatened, but added the Biden administration would not seek out confrontation.    During a speech in Singapore on Tuesday, Austin said he has been committed to pursuing a constructive and stable relationship with China.
    The defense secretary specifically noted he wanted stronger crisis communications with the Chinese army and hoped to work with Beijing on addressing common challenges.    However, he also called out the communist nation for its claims in the South China Sea by saying they had no basis in international law.
    “Unfortunately, Beijing’s unwillingness to resolve disputes peacefully and respect the rule of law isn’t just occurring on the water,” he explained.    “We’ve also seen aggression against India, destabilizing military activity and other forms of coercion against the people of Taiwan and genocide and crimes against humanity against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang.”
    Austin’s comments come as tensions continue to grow between Washington and Beijing.

7/27/2021 House GOP: Pelosi’s ‘Cherry-Picked’ Jan. 6 Committee Is A ‘Sham’ by OAN Newsroom
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the Speaker’s Balcony Hallway of the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    House Republican leaders have called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s January 6 committee a “sham” that would only produce a “failed report.”    In a press conference ahead of Tuesday’s opening hearings in Washington, Republicans insisted Pelosi cherry-picked members for the committee who would stick to her talking points and predetermined narrative for the events of January 6.
    “We now have a committee that all of America wants to know the answers to,” explained House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).    “…Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi will only pick on people unto the committee that will ask the questions she wants asked.    That becomes a failed committee and a failed report, a sham that no one can believe.”
    McCarthy went on to say if lawmakers wanted the true answers, they should not be afraid of the questions that would be asked. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) echoed those sentiments.
    “Speaker Pelosi said that she doesn’t want those questions to asked so she kicked them off the committee,” he stated.
    “She took an unprecedented step of refusing to allow members to be appointed by the minority leader to a select committee.    That never before happened in the history of Congress.”
    Scalise reiterated Democrats were not aiming at the truth, but instead conspiring to cover up the facts with a narrative prewritten by Pelosi.
    Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) said it was only after Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) began to raise questions about Pelosi’s negligent and “potentially nefarious” response to Intelligence reports that she refused to seat them on the committee.
    She went on to say, “it is a fact that the U.S. Capitol police raised concerns and rather than providing them with the support and resources they needed and they deserved, she prioritized her partisan political optics over their safety.”
    Banks called on the chairman of the committee to bring before the panel the head of the Capitol Police Union, who has repeatedly said both publicly and privately that officers weren’t prepared, despite the intelligence Pelosi was given in December.
    “They were not prepared for what happened on January 6 in spite of intelligence reports that date back three weeks before that day,” he asserted.    “They weren’t equipped on January 6 with the proper equipment that they needed to handle what happened that day and they weren’t trained for what was going to happen that day.”
    Jordan, who like Banks was denied a chair on the committee, questioned why Pelosi ordered the sergeant of arms of the National Guard to remain off Capitol grounds on January 6.
    “Pelosi’s office had previously impressed upon the Sergeant of Arms Paul Irving that the National Guard was to remain off Capitol grounds,” he discussed.    “Irving told House administration discussions centered around the quote ‘optics.'
    Jordan posed the question of why Democrats were so concerned about the optics.    He posited it all revolved around the Democrats 2020 summer of violence and civil unrest.

7/27/2021 Rep. Crenshaw Corrects Cuomo’s Jabs At GOP Over COVID-19 Vaccines by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Dan Crenshaw in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
    Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) corrected CNN host Chris Cuomo after he claimed Republicans were against the coronavirus vaccine.    Taking to twitter on Tuesday, Crenshaw shared a clip of Cuomo’s show in which he suggested Republicans have been telling people not to get vaccinated.
    Crenshaw clarified by saying he’s never said people shouldn’t trust the vaccine.    He added he has only called the vaccine both safe and effective, which people should make the decision for themselves.
    This came in response to Cuomo trying to call Crenshaw out by name.
    “It’s not about shaming you.    I don’t want you to feel forced and yet, there is shame in this.    There are people basically forcing you to think foregoing the vaccine is you being free and that’s a false choice.    People like Crenshaw, Paul, Cruz, Ron Johnson.    They’re punking you.”
    Crenshaw finished by criticizing Cuomo further by saying his brother Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) encouraged public distrust about the vaccine from the beginning.

7/27/2021 Del. Democrats Facing Accusations Of Racism, Violence by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Gerald Brady. (Courtesy: Gerald Brady Facebook page)
    Some powerful Democrats in Delaware have been faced with criticisms for their actions since taking office in November.    On Monday, one of their longest serving legislators announced he would not be running for reelection.
    Rep. Gerald Brady (D-Del.) expressed he did not believe he could represent his constituents in good faith going forward after he accidentally sent an email about decriminalizing sex work and used a racial slur to refer to Chinese women.
    The email was meant for a private individual, but Brady sent it to a sex work advocacy group instead.        The House Ethics Committee declined to investigate Brady. However, they recommended sensitivity training for him and all other members in the chamber.
    Recently, Gov. John Carney (D-Del.) said Brady’s words divided communities.
    “What he said was horrific and completely unacceptable and he admitted that,” he explained.    “…That’s just not acceptable, that kind of language here, and that creates the kind of tension we’re seeing among communities.”
Del. Gov. John Carney, left, in a screenshot from the DNCC’s livestream of the
Democratic National Convention. (Photo by Handout/DNCC via Getty Images)
    Brady has not been the first person within Joe Biden’s home party to be in hot water.    In December, Rep. Andria Bennett (D-Del.) was arrested for alleged third degree assault charges.
    At the time, the state speaker told reporters no action would be taken against Bennet as she maintained innocence until proven guilty.    The charges against Bennett were dropped at the victim’s request in February.
    In May, Sen. Darius Brown (D-Del.) was charged with offensive touching and disorderly conduct. He was alleged to have punched a woman in the face at an Italian restaurant.
    Senate Democrats removed Brown from all of his committee assignments.    However, the Senate Ethics Committee did not investigate the charges.
    Democrat Attorney General Kathy Jennings was asked why she refused to comment on the Brown case, yet had no qualms about commenting on other pending cases.
    “We wanna see justice done in every case,” she stated.    “That includes every case no matter who the defendant is, how powerful or not the person is, and you can be rest assured justice will be done.”
    There are 40 Democrats occupying the 62 seats across both houses of the Delaware legislature.    Only these three, have placed themselves in racial or violence issues since the November election.    All three intend on serving out their terms, with Brady being the only one who has said he will not run for reelection in the midterms.

7/27/2021 Texas AG Paxton Not Backing Down On 2020 Election Audits by OAN Newsroom
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton waves after speaking during the Conservative Political Action
Conference CPAC held at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
    Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has stood out as one of the loudest advocates for defending American values.    Throughout his campaign for his third term as attorney general, the Republican has promised to stand up for the Constitution as well as ensure election integrity in Texas by prosecuting the growing stack of evidence of voter fraud.
    Since his first term, Paxton successfully prosecuted election fraud offenses against at least 155 individuals.    He also reported dozens of cases pending prosecution, with at least 386 active investigations.
    “I’m willing to stand with Texans and with Americans that care about the Constitution, that care our freedoms and care about elections that we can count on and trust,” he expressed.    “We’re not gonna back down.”
    Paxton added more audits from the 2020 presidential election are yet to come.
    “There’s no reason not to know the truth of every election and certainly because there’s so many questions about this one, maybe even in Texas,” he explained.    “We should do the audit and find out what the actual results were so we can better ourselves next time.”
    Paxton also pledged to hold Big Tech accountable for antitrust violations and suppressing the free exchange of ideas.    He has been involved in a multi-state coalition in the support of the Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act of 2021, which has aimed to streamline the legal process for state antitrust lawsuits against Big Tech.
    “They have monopolistic power.    They’re controlling all the advertising on the internet,” he asserted.    “They’re dominating the competition, if not taking them over and there needs to be a free exchange of ideas.    There needs to be competition and if we don’t do something about it now, we maybe never be able to do something.”
    All this has earned him President Trump’s endorsement ahead of the general election on November 8, who has highlighted his commitment to furthering the Constitution.    The 45th president commended the Republican for standing up to the radical left’s attack on American values and said Paxton was a true Texan who will keep Texas safe and not let residents down.
    While some attorney generals fail to represent the average American, Paxton is treading his own path by unapologetically standing by patriotic values and becoming a role model in the fight against the radical left.

7/28/2021 Oil down $0.45 to $71.72, DOW down 86 to 35,058.

7/28/2021 U.S. Concern Over China Nukes Buildup After New Silos Report
FILE PHOTO: Military vehicles carrying DF-5B intercontinental ballistic missiles travel past Tiananmen Square during the military parade marking the
70th founding anniversary of People's Republic of China, on its National Day in Beijing, China October 1, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon and Republican congressmen on Tuesday aired fresh concerns about China’s build-up of its nuclear forces after a new report saying Beijing was building 110 more missile silos.
    An American Federation of Scientists (AFS) report on Monday said satellite images showed China was building a new field of silos near Hami in the eastern part of its Xinjiang region.
    The report came weeks after another on the construction of about 120 missile silos in Yumen, a desert area about 240 miles (380 km) to the southeast.
    “This is the second time in two months the public has discovered what we have been saying all along about the growing threat the world faces and the veil of secrecy that surrounds it,” the U.S. Strategic Command said in tweet linked to a New York Times article on the AFS report.
    The State Department in early July called China’s nuclear buildup concerning and said it appeared Beijing was deviating from decades of nuclear strategy based around minimal deterrence.    It called on China to engage with it “on practical measures to reduce the risks of destabilizing arms races.”
    Republican Congressman Mike Turner, ranking member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, said China’s nuclear build-up was “unprecedented” and made clear it was “deploying nuclear weapons to threaten the United States and our allies.”
    He said China’s refusal to negotiate arms control “should be a cause for concern and condemned by all responsible nations.”
    Another Republican, Mike Rogers, ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, said the Chinese build-up showed the need to rapidly modernize the U.S. nuclear deterrent.
    A 2020 Pentagon report estimated China’s nuclear warhead stockpile in “the low 200s” and said it was projected to at least double in size as Beijing expands and modernizes its forces.    Analysts say the United States has around 3,800 warheads, and according to a State Department factsheet, 1,357 of those were deployed as of March 1.
    Washington has repeatedly called on China to join it and Russia in a new arms control treaty.
    The report on the new silos comes as Assistant Secretary of State Wendy Sherman is due to hold arms control talks with Russia in Geneva on Wednesday.
    Sherman was in China earlier this week for talks at which Beijing accused Washington of creating an “imaginary enemy” to divert attention from domestic problems and suppress China.
    Beijing says its arsenal is dwarfed by those of the United States and Russia and it is ready to conduct bilateral dialogues on strategic security “on the basis of equality and mutual respect.”
(Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Editing by Sandra Maler)

7/28/2021 Canada Border Guards Vote To Strike Days Ahead Of Reopening To U.S. Tourists by Moira Warburton
FILE PHOTO: A U.S. Customs and Protection vehicle stands beside a sign reading that the border is closed to non-essential
traffic at the Canada-United States border crossing at the Thousand Islands Bridge, to combat the spread of the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Lansdowne, Ontario, Canada September 28, 2020. REUTERS/Lars Hagberg/File Photo
(Corrects ’employees’ to ‘front-line border services officers’ in the second paragraph)
    VANCOUVER (Reuters) -Canadian border guards and customs officials voted on Tuesday to go on strike just days before fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents will be allowed into Canada, unions representing the workers said, a move that could potentially cause disruptions and hurt businesses emerging out of the pandemic-driven economic downturn.
    A strike would slow down commercial traffic at the land border, the unions said, as well as impact international mail and collection of duties and taxes.    But a spokesperson for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) said 90% of the front-line border services officers have been identified as “essential” so will continue to work in the event of a strike.
    Last week, Canada announced plans to allow fully vaccinated Americans on Aug. 9, and fully vaccinated international travelers starting on Sept. 7.    The border has been shut for non-essential travel for more than 16 months because of the coronavirus pandemic.
    The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Customs and Immigration Union (CIU) said in a joint statement that strike action could begin as soon as Aug. 6 after 8,500 members voted in favor of the action. Contract talks reached an impasse in December 2020, the unions said.
    Prior to the pandemic, tourism was the fifth-largest industry in Canada, contributing C$105 billion ($83.4 billion) to the GDP and providing one in ten jobs, according to the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.
    Corinne Pohlmann, senior vice president of national affairs for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, said a strike would compound issues faced by small businesses throughout the pandemic – slow shipping times, lack of customers, rising costs.
    “It’s not favorable at all for a lot of small businesses relying on either goods coming across the border or people coming across the border,” Pohlmann said, calling the timing of the strike “extremely unfortunate.”
    But CIU President Mark Weber told Reuters that the union didn’t plan this strike to coincide with the reopening of the U.S. border, pointing out that the unions began the strike vote “before we even knew what day the borders would be opening on.”
    Weber is still hopeful they’ll be able to make a deal with the federal government without going on strike.    Their demands include higher pay, the ability to carry their guns in areas like airports and to address issues of “toxic” workplaces, he said.
    The federal government is “disappointed” that PSAC rejected a “fair offer for its members,” but remains “open to returning to the bargaining table at any time,” a government spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
    CBSA spokesperson Judith Gadbois-St-Cyr said officers have proven their resilience since the beginning of the pandemic by helping to prevent the spread of the virus and its variants.
    “We expect that our officers will continue to fulfill their duties with the highest level of integrity and professionalism.”
($1 = 1.2592 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Additional reporting by Anna Mehler-Paperny in Toronto and Steve Scherer in Ottawa; editing by Grant McCool and Aurora Ellis)

7/28/2021 Biden: If U.S. Has ‘Real Shooting War’ It Could Be Result Of Cyber Attacks by Nandita Bose
U.S. President Joe Biden departs after delivering remarks to members of "the intelligence community workforce
and its leadership" during a visit to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in nearbybr> McLean, Virginia outside Washington, U.S., July 27, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Joe Biden on Tuesday warned that if the United States ended up in a “real shooting war” with a “major power” it could be the result of a significant cyber attack on the country, highlighting what Washington sees as growing threats posed by Russia and China.
    Cybersecurity has risen to the top of the agenda for the Biden administration after a series of high-profile attacks on entities such as network management company SolarWinds, the Colonial Pipeline company, meat processing company JBS and software firm Kaseya hurt the U.S. far beyond just the companies hacked. Some of the attacks affected fuel and food supplies in parts of the United States.
    “I think it’s more than likely we’re going to end up, if we end up in a war – a real shooting war with a major power – it’s going to be as a consequence of a cyber breach of great consequence and it’s increasing exponentially, the capabilities,” Biden said during a half-hour speech while visiting the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).
    During a June 16 summit in Geneva between Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Biden shared a list of critical infrastructure the U.S. considers off-limits to nation-state actors.
    Since then, senior members of the Biden administration’s national security team have been in constant contact with senior members of the Kremlin over cyber attacks on the United States, the White House has said.
    Biden also highlighted the threats posed by China, referring to President Xi Jinping as “deadly earnest about becoming the most powerful military force in the world, as well as the largest and most prominent economy in the world by the mid-40s, the 2040s.”
    During his speech to about 120 ODNI employees and senior leadership officials, Biden also thanked members of U.S. intelligence agencies, emphasized his confidence in the work they do and said he will not exert political pressure on them.    The ODNI oversees 17 U.S. intelligence organizations.
    “I’ll never politicize the work you do.    You have my word on that,” he said.    “It’s too important for our country,” he said.
    Biden’s comments offered a clear departure from remarks made by his predecessor Donald Trump, who had a contentious relationship with intelligence agencies over issues such as its assessment that Russia had interfered to help Trump win the 2016 election and its role in revealing that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate Biden.
    Trump went through four permanent or acting directors of national intelligence during his four years in office.
(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; editing by Grant McCool)

7/28/2021 UK’s Johnson Is Talking With U.S. On COVID Travel Corridor
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks on at a news conference inside the Downing
Street Briefing Room in London, Britain July 12, 2021. Daniel Leal-Olivas/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Boris Johnson is talking to the United States about a travel corridor, LBC radio said on Wednesday, quoting him as saying he wants U.S. citizens to come to Britain “freely” as they did before the COVID-19 pandemic.
    “We want people to be able to come from the US freely in a way that they normally do.    We’re talking to them the whole time,” LBC reported after interviewing the prime minister.
    “At the moment we’re dealing with a Delta wave, the U.S. is dealing with a Delta wave, but be assured that we are on it the whole time.    As soon as we have something to say about travel corridors you’ll be hearing from us.”
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, writing by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Kate Holton)

7/28/2021 President Trump Issues Series Of Statements On Surging Crime, Mainstream Media & Midterms by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump makes an entrance at the Rally To Protect Our Elections conference
on July 24, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
    President Trump recently weighed in on several issues facing Americans.    On Tuesday, he released a series of statements regarding mainstream media’s crime surge cover up, an attack on a former senator and recent claims by Ohio candidates who say they have his support.
    Trump began his comments by ripping into the mainstream media for covering up the nation’s violent crime surge.    The 45th president said taxpayers deserve their police back and should be able to feel safe again.    This comes as violence eats away at big cities with at least 70 residents shot and 12 murdered in Democrat-led Chicago over the weekend.
    “What can Chicago Police officers do? They can continue to be brave and courageous,” stated Chicago Police Department Superintendent David Brown.    “My question to you is, ask what the courts can do different?
    However, the 45th president asserted that “fraudulent nightly newscasts have devoted zero minutes to crime recently” because they would rather protect the Democrat’s communist agenda than lives of average Americans.
    Trump then went on to denounce the defund the police movement after former California Sen. Barbara Boxer was attacked in Oakland, a city where radical leftists cut funding for law enforcement.    He bashed Democrat cities defunding its police, writing that they have “become a paradise for criminals because of Democrats.”
    Trump urged lawmakers to empower law enforcement and warned that America will never be safe without strong police forces. His remarks come as police forces see more and more officers walk away from the line of duty.
    Meanwhile, Trump criticized Ohio candidates running for Congress who claim he supports them. The 45th president said several candidates who are running in state’s 15th Congressional District claim to have his support when in reality he doesn’t “even know who they are.”    Trump clarified he only knows and fully endorses GOP republican candidate Mike Carey who he endorsed last month.
    Trump has recently been more outspoken via his website,, stoking rumors he may be considering a run in 2024.

7/28/2021 Protesters Shut Down GOP Press Conference Shedding Light On Mistreatment Of Jan. 6 Nonviolent Detainees by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican of Georgia, speaks during a press conference
on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
    In another instance of free speech intolerance, protesters interrupted a press conference organized by Republican lawmakers to discuss the treatment of January 6 detainees.    On Tuesday, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) gathered outside the Department of Justice in D.C. to demand a status report on individuals arrested following the January 6 capitol breach.
    According to the representatives, their interest in the issue comes as reports emerge revealing mistreatment of non-violent protestors in jail and silence regarding the issue from the Justice Department.    Congressman Gohmert, an experienced defense attorney, stated he was there simply to defend “due process.”
    “I’m here just to try to see that due process is done and I’m pleased to be standing with other concerned people from Congress about what is happening,” stated the Texas lawmaker.    “Are we housing political prisoners?    We need to know the answers.”
    Congresswoman Taylor Greene shared how she felt seeing the attack on the capitol that day and questioned why nobody was prepared to stop it even though U.S. Intelligence was aware of violent threats beforehand.
    “And I have to tell you, as a freshman member of Congress that was the fourth day on my job January 6, I was absolutely shocked at what happened at the capitol,” she stated.    “And even more so I am shocked that with the intelligence that there was going to be violence that the National Guard was not present on January 6.”
    However, the gathering was cut short as hecklers came too close and were considered a threat to the lawmakers’ safety.
    The Republicans had previously penned a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland asking for answers and still have received no response.

7/28/2021 Calif. Extends State-Funded Medicare To Residents Over Age 50 Regardless Of Immigration Status by OAN Newsroom
FILE – Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is pictured in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
    California is extending state-funded Medi-Cal eligibility to illegal immigrants.    During a press briefing in Fresno Tuesday, Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom was proud to sign the controversial piece of legislation while pushing California closer to a socialized health care system.
    “We recognize we’re just at a point on a journey to universal health care here in the state of California,” he stated.    “We have not finished that job, but we’re making big investment here today.”
    Assembly Bill 133 aims to extend full California state Medicare eligibility to low-income adults older than 50 regardless of one’s immigration status or ability to pay.
    “Roughly 250,000 people are eligible for coverage,” Newsom confirmed.    “We estimate at the moment about 235,000 individuals will be direct beneficiaries of preventative care, direct beneficiaries of long-term care, direct beneficiaries of in home supportive services and the care IHS provides regardless, again, of their ability to pay, regardless of pre-existing conditions and regardless of their immigration status.”
    Opponents to the legislation argue that allocating taxpayer dollars to provide health care for undocumented aliens incentivizes illegal immigration even more.    Republicans blasted the governor’s decision while asserting Californians will be at greater risk to violent crimes such as gang violence and human trafficking.
    In the meantime, some believe Newsom’s latest bill is an effort to gain Democrat support for his upcoming recall election as voters will begin receiving mail-in ballots in about three weeks.

7/28/2021 Biden Insults Unvaccinated Americans, Blames Them For COVID ‘Surge’ by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Monday, Jan. 4, 2021 file photo, frozen vials of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are taken out to thaw, at the
MontLegia CHC hospital in Liege, Belgium. The U.S. will buy 500 million more doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to share through the COVAX alliance
for donation to 92 lower income countries and the African Union over the next year. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File)
    Joe Biden recently took aim at unvaccinated Americans despite getting the green-light to impose mandates.    He appeared to insult tens-of-millions of U.S. citizens and people in other countries for refusing to take COVID vaccines.
    While talking to reporters Tuesday, Biden said he may mandate all federal employees take the vaccine and suggested it’s a smart way to proceed.    His comments came after the Department of Justice found vaccine mandates in private and public organizations were not illegal.
    In an opinion released Monday, the DOJ said federal law does not prohibit public and private sector employers from forcing workers to take COVID-19 vaccines.    The department added, even the Emergency Use Authorization status of the vaccines does not pose a problem.
    This came after some entities in California and New York, along with the Department of Veterans Affairs, imposed vaccine mandates despite legal concerns.    However, Biden is undeterred as he went on to attack those who refuse the vaccine.
    A recent poll from the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found 80 percent of unvaccinated Americans said they will not take the jab no matter what.

7/28/2021 House Democrats Block Vote On Rep. Owens’ ‘Say No To Indoctrination Act’ by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Burgess Owens, R-Utah, speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on voting
rights on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Bill Clark/Pool via AP)
    House Democrats blocked consideration for a bill aimed at preventing federal funds to advance discriminatory concepts like critical race theory.    This came after Rep. Burgess Owens (R-Utah) pushed for a vote on Tuesday on his ‘Say No to Indoctrination Act’, which would prevent federal dollars from funding such trainings.
    The Utah Republican spoke on the House floor while reflecting on his own experiences with racism during the times of Jim Crow and segregation.    He went on to say people still act unfairly toward others due to their skin color when individuals choose to hate.
    “More could be done to create a world that teaches greater tolerance and respects the dignity of every individual regardless of race, color or creed,” Owens stated.    “CRT is not the solution.    It is absolutely wrong and un-American to indoctrinate our children in believing because of their skin color they are forever part of oppressed or oppressive class.    Hate has no place in our schools and CRT has no place in our classes.”
    Despite strong support from the Republican Party, Democrats were quick to shoot down consideration while claiming they are not going to debate whether racism still exists in America.

7/28/2021 U.S. Congressmen Reach Back Into Cold War Armory To Respond To China by David Brunnstrom
Representative Joaquin Castro (D-TX) wears a protective face mask as he speaks during a House Intelligence Committee
hearing on worldwide threats, in Washington, D.C., U.S., April 15, 2021. Al Drago/Pool via REUTERS
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic and Republican congressmen on Wednesday introduced a bill that aims to revive an arm of the old U.S. Cold War arsenal to improve understanding of China and potentially other strategic rivals of the United States.
    The House bill introduced by Democratic Representatives Joaquin Castro and Bill Keating and Republicans Mike Gallagher and Brian Fitzpatrick would provide for the establishment of a federally funded Open Translation and Analysis Center (OTAC) focused on China.
    It would be based on the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), which provided translation and analysis of Soviet bloc and other foreign government media during the Cold War.
    The bill calls for funding of $80 million for fiscal 2022 and that same amount annually for each fiscal year through 2026 as well as “such sums as may be necessary for each fiscal year thereafter.”
    A congressional aide said the aim was essentially to “recreate FBIS for at least” China, as well for other countries, depending on funding.
    Referring to the acronyms of the People’s Republic of China and its ruling Communist Party and armed forces, the aide said OTAC would “systematically translate PRC/CCP/PLA speeches, documents, reports, strategies, news articles, commentaries, journal articles, procurement contracts into English and publish them freely online.”
    Like FBIS, it would provide “crucial analysis on the PRC/CCP/PLA and annotations to help non-experts understand Party slogans, phrases, etc and the significance of the material based on the source and person,” he said.
    Castro said that for the United States “to effectively both compete and cooperate with” countries like China and Russia it needed a better understanding of them.
    “,” he told Reuters.
    The Biden administration has called China the “biggest geopolitical test” of this century and stressed the need to boost expertise about the country.
    The media landscape in China has changed enormously since the Cold War heyday of FBIS and a huge expansion of information sources would make the monitoring envisaged by the bill a huge and costly task.
    An enormous volume of translated material from China is already available freely online, but the OTAC bill envisages providing access via a single website.
    The sponsors of the bill see the proposed center as a resource for U.S. and allied governments, as well as for academics, analysts and journalists.
(Reporting by David Brunnstrom; editing by Grant McCool)

7/28/2021 Peru’s Castillo Assumes Presidency Amid Political Storms In Divided Nation by Marco Aquino
FILE PHOTO: Peruvian President-elect Pedro Castillo waves next to his Vice President Dina Boluarte after receiving
credentials from election authority, in Lima, Peru, July 23, 2021. REUTERS/Sebastian Castaneda/Pool/File Photo
    LIMA (Reuters) -Peru’s Pedro Castillo will assume the presidency in the coming hours with little time to catch his breath as he battles the world’s deadliest COVID-19 outbreak, tensions in his socialist party and weak congressional support in a starkly divided nation.
    Castillo, the son of peasant farmers, will be sworn into office at midday local time (1700 GMT) on Wednesday in Congress and will then address the nation, which was split almost in half by a polarized June 6 ballot won by a margin of just 44,000 votes.
    His inauguration will be attended by heads of state and senior ministers from around the region, including Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera, Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez, Bolivia’s President Luis Arce, the king of Spain, a U.S. delegation and the Cuban foreign minister.    Rumours that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro will attend the event have not been confirmed.
    The abrupt rise of Castillo, a former teacher, has shaken Peru’s traditional political elite and stung copper producers fearful of his plans to hike taxes on mining to fund health and education reforms, and revamp the Andean nation’s constitution.
    All eyes will be on his first message as president and the make-up of his cabinet of ministers, still under wraps amid horse trading between the more radical wing of his Marxist Free Peru party and more moderate advisers and allies.
    The swearing in of the new cabinet was due to take place shortly after Castillo’s inauguration but his party announced on Wednesday morning that it would be delayed until Friday, potentially disappointing investors watching developments closely.
    “Castillo’s message will set the guidelines for the start of his government.    But the Cabinet and team he announces will tell us even more about the direction we’re headed in,” said Jeffrey Radzinsky, a Lima-based governance expert.
    A key signal will be the economic portfolio, with sources close to Castillo indicating it will go to Pedro Francke, a moderate left-wing economist, who has helped soften the outsider candidate’s image and calm jittery markets in recent months.
    J.P. Morgan said in a note that the investment bank expected to review its fiscal and growth forecasts for Peru once Castillo unveiled his cabinet and confirmed whether the current central bank director – who has been seen as a firm hand on the tiller in Peru through a period of turbulence – remains in post.
    The inauguration comes after Castillo, 51, edged out right-wing rival Keiko Fujimori, though his win was not confirmed until last week.    Fujimori had alleged fraud with no evidence and challenged the result, gaining comparisons with Donald Trump’s tactics after he lost the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
    Castillo will have to contend with a fragmented Congress where he lacks support for key pledges, including plans to redraw the constitution, as well as tensions with the hard-left wing of his party, led by Marxist doctor Vladimir Cerrón.
    He also faces a balancing act between the powerful mining sector in the world’s No. 2 copper producer and the need to hike taxes to ease rising poverty and fulfill promises to his rural base that drove his unlikely rise to the presidency.
    “Castillo needs to unite the hard core of his party, but he has to do it without destroying the image the people have of him, which is that he is against radicalism,” Radzinsky added.
(Reporting by Marco Aquino; Editing by Adam Jourdan, Leslie Adler and Marguerita Choy)

7/29/2021 Oil up $0.34 to $72.22, DOW down 128 to 34,931.

7/29/2021 EU Health Body Warns Against Visiting Popular Greek Islands Over COVID-19
FILE PHOTO: People enjoy the view in a cafe in Little Venice as Greece banned music in restaurants and bars
and imposed a nighttime curfew on the island of Mykonos, Greece, July 18, 2021. REUTERS/Louiza Vradi
    ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece’s south Aegean islands were marked ‘dark red’ on the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s COVID-19 map on Thursday after a rise in infections, meaning all but essential travel to and from the region is discouraged.     The cluster of 13 islands includes Greece’s most popular destinations for foreign tourists – Mykonos, Santorini and Rhodes – which, combined, draw millions of people every summer.
    Greece had relied on promoting “COVID-free” islands to draw visitors back this summer, hoping a rebound in international travel would resuscitate its vital tourism industry after its worst year in decades in 2020. Despite a strong June in terms of arrivals, uncertainty remains over how the season will unfold.
    “We’re waiting to see how the (tourist) markets will react,” said Manolis Markopoulos, president of the hoteliers association of Rhodes, where more than 90% of tourists are from abroad, referring to the ECDC decision.    The ECDC is an agency of the European Union.
    Germany and Britain are the biggest sources of visitors to Greece.
    The dark red zones on the ECDC map help distinguish very high-risk areas and also helps EU member states uphold rules requiring testing on departure and quarantine upon return.
    Last week it downgraded Crete, Greece’s biggest island and another popular destination, to the dark red zone. (Reporting by Karolina Tagaris; Editing by Toby Chopra)

7/29/2021 Germany To Require Proof Of COVID Immunity Or Negative Test On Arrival – Sources
Passengers pass a sign leading to a test center for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19),
at Munich International Airport, Germany, August 4, 2020. REUTERS/Michael Dalder
    BERLIN (Reuters) – All travellers arriving in Germany will be required from this weekend to demonstrate immunity from COVID-19 either from a vaccine or previous infection, or present a negative test result, government sources reported.
    The plan reflects growing concern among Germany’s regional and national leaders that rising caseloads in tourist destinations could help fuel a fourth wave when Germans come home from holiday.
    Germany now requires a negative test or proof of immunity only from those arriving from so-called “risk areas,” “high-incidence areas” and “virus-variant areas,” which in Europe now include Britain, Spain and the Netherlands.
    Rules are now also applied differently at airports and road crossings, and regional leaders are keen to make them more consistent.
    Germany saw 3,142 new infections on Thursday, according to its main disease fighting agency, the Robert Koch Institute for Infectious Diseases.    Average daily new cases in Britain stand at almost 30,000.
    After an initial slow start, Germany has swiftly implemented widespread vaccination, with 61.3% of the population receiving at least one shot, dramatically reducing the disease’s severity and lethality.
(Reporting by Andreas Rinke and Thomas Escritt; Editing by Peter Graff and Nick Macfie)

7/29/2021 Thousands Stuck In Colombia’s Caribbean Amid Migration Surge
FILE PHOTO: Juan Francisco Espinosa, Colombia's Migration Director, speaks at a
news conference in Bogota, Colombia, February 4, 2020. REUTERS/Luis Jaime Acosta
    BOGOTA (Reuters) – Some 9,000 migrants are stranded in a Caribbean municipality in Colombia amid a surge of people passing through on their way to north America following the re-opening of international borders post-lockdown, the Colombian migration agency said.
    The irregular migrants – who are mostly Haitians but also include Venezuelans and Cubans, as well as a number from African countries – are stuck in Necocli, in Colombia’s Antioquia province, migration agency director Juan Francisco Espinosa said in a virtual press conference.
    “This is a recurring and historical phenomenon.    Colombia is not the cause or the destination of this migration,” Espinosa said.
    The migrants hope to pass from Necocli and on through the dangerous Darien Gap towards Panama and then onwards to north America, principally the United States or Canada, he added.
    Though the region typically sees 30,000 migrants pass through in a normal year, Espinosa said just 4,000 people transited the region last year due to the impact of measures implemented by countries to control the spread of coronavirus.
    However, with borders opening up, the level of migration in the region so far in 2021 has been much greater compared to the same period last year, Espinosa added.
    “This year is presenting numbers that are absolutely alarming, where right now more than 25,000 irregular migrants have passed through this part of the country,” he said.
    Some 74% of the more-than 25,000 migrants recorded passing through the region in 2021 are Haitian, a migration agency spokesman told Reuters.
    Colombia reopened its land and river borders with Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Panama in May, following a 14-month closure it used to try and curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
    The country opened its border with Venezuela in early June.
(Reporting by Oliver Griffin; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

7/29/2021 Italy’s Draghi Under Pressure Over Contested Justice Reform by Gavin Jones
FILE PHOTO: Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi gestures as he speaks at a news conference where he is expected to map out the
country's next moves in loosening coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions, in Rome, Italy, April 16, 2021. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
    ROME (Reuters) – Mario Draghi is struggling to hold together his coalition government due to divisions over a proposed justice reform which is contested by the 5-Star Movement, the largest ruling party, and by many Italian prosecutors.
    Italy has long been dogged by a dysfunctional, painfully slow judicial system, but repeated attempts to overhaul it have failed to significantly reduce backlogs in many courts.
    For decades, justice has been the most contentious area in Italian politics, and the latest dispute is the first significant threat to the unity of Draghi’s multi-party coalition which took office in February.
    The cabinet approved draft legislation on July 8 as one of a series of reforms Draghi promised the European Union to unlock billions of euros in Recovery Funds, but it still needs to be approved by parliament.
    The proposed reform aims to reduce backlogs and speed up court proceedings, but many 5-Star members and prosecutors say it will prevent completion of thousands of trials which will simply be scrapped before a verdict is reached.
    Bogged down by justice, Draghi has had to slow down other promised reforms of the tax system and competition rules.
    To speed things up, he has said he will put the judicial overhaul to a vote of confidence, a risky way of forcing it through parliament by truncating debate on amendments. The vote is expected early next week.
    If a government loses a confidence vote it has to resign.    This is all but impossible as even if 5-Star votes against Draghi, he will still have a majority.    His coalition would however will be far less solid going forwards.
    “I don’t even want to consider the possibility the reform will not be changed,” 5-Star’s leader and former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told reporters after meeting Draghi on Tuesday. He declined to say what 5-Star would do in the confidence vote.
    The most contentious part of the reform makes yet another revision to the statute of limitations, which automatically scraps trials if a verdict is not reached within a set time from when the crime was committed.
    Italy’s justice system has three degrees of judgment, meaning defendants can make two appeals.    Far more cases are wiped out by the statute of limitations than in other advanced countries.
    5-Star’s justice minister in the previous government removed time limits on prosecutions once an initial verdict is reached, arguing that many offenders, especially white collar criminals, avoid justice by using legal tactics to delay court proceedings.
    The new reform by Draghi’s Justice Minister Marta Cartabia, a former Constitutional Court chief, would freeze the statute of limitations at the end of the first trial but set strict time limits for the two appeals.
    If the first appeal is not completed in two years and the second in one year, all cases bar those punishable with a life sentence will expire without a verdict unless judges grant special dispensation for the trial to continue.
    Nicola Gratteri, one of Italy’s best-known anti-mafia prosecutors, told parliament the reform would mean 50% of trials would be wiped out in the appeals stage, meaning many criminals would go free and “an alarming situation for public safety.”
    Cartabia says she can speed up trials thanks to measures to encourage defendants to seek plea-bargain deals and the hiring of thousands of support staff in courtrooms.
(Additional reporting by Giuseppe Fonte; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

7/29/2021 China’s New Ambassador Arrives In U.S. With Words Of Optimism by Michael Martina
FILE PHOTO: The People's Republic of China flag and the U.S. flag fly on a lamp post along Pennsylvania Avenue near the U.S. Capitol
in Washington during then-Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit, January 18, 2011. REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China’s new ambassador to Washington, Qin Gang, on Wednesday wished the United States victory against COVID-19 and said great potential awaited bilateral relations, striking an optimistic tone as he arrived at his new post amid deeply strained ties.
    Qin’s arrival comes days after high-level talks in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin between U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and senior Chinese diplomats ended with both sides signaling that the other must make concessions for ties to improve.
    Qin, 55, a vice foreign minister whose recent past portfolios have included European affairs and protocol, is replacing China’s longest serving ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai, 68, who last month announced his departure after eight years in Washington.
    “I firmly believe that the door of China-U.S. relations, which is already open, cannot and should not be closed,” Qin told reporters at his residence in the U.S. capital after arriving from the airport.
    “The China-U.S. relationship has come to a new critical juncture, facing not only many difficulties and challenges, but also great opportunities and potential,” Qin said.
    He said relations kept moving forward “despite twists and turns,” and added that the U.S. economy was improving under President Joe Biden’s leadership.
    “I wish the country an early victory against the pandemic,” he added.
    Qin, who did two stints as a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman between 2006 and 2014, has earned a reputation for often pointed public defenses of his country’s positions.
    Relations between Beijing and Washington deteriorated sharply under former President Donald Trump, and Biden has maintained pressure on China, stepping up sanctions on Chinese officials and vowing that the country won’t replace the United States as the world’s global leader on his watch.
    China’s Foreign Ministry has recently signaled there could be preconditions for the United States on which any kind of cooperation would be contingent, a stance some analysts say leaves dim prospects for improved ties.
    The post of the U.S. ambassador to China has been vacant since October, when Republican Terry Branstad stepped down to help with Trump’s reelection campaign.
    With many U.S. ambassador posts to allied countries still unfilled, Biden has yet to nominate a replacement for China, though former ambassador to NATO Nicholas Burns is considered a favorite candidate in foreign policy circles.
(Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Leslie Adler)

7/29/2021 IMF Sees “Critical Role” As World Transitions To Digital Money
FILE PHOTO: International Monetary Fund logo is seen outside its headquarters during the
IMF/World Bank spring meetings in Washington, U.S., April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – The b>International Monetary Fund must ramp up its resources as it seeks to “monitor, advise on, and help manage this far-reaching and complex transition” to digital money, according to an IMF paper published on Thursday.
    Digital money can make payments more accessible, faster and cheaper, the paper said.    But to make that happen, policymakers must step up to key challenges: digital cash must be trustworthy, must protect domestic economic and financial stability, and the stability of the international monetary system should remain.
    “The Fund has a critical role to play to help its members harness the benefits and manage the risks of digital money,” the paper said.
    Importantly, digital money “must be regulated, designed, and provided so countries maintain control over monetary policy, financial conditions, capital account openness, and foreign exchange regimes.”
    The paper makes the distinction between central bank digital currencies, stablecoins and e-Money, on which it focuses, and cryptoassets including bitcoin.    “While different types of digital money are considered, this paper does not take a stand on which form may predominate.”
    The paper, dated March, discussed by the IMF board in April and published on Thursday, offers a vision for the evolution of the Fund and how it seeks to partner with other organizations like central banks, regulators and the World Bank.
    “The Fund too must step up,” the paper said.
    “The Fund must rapidly strengthen, widen, and deepen its well-established work on digital money, while coordinating and collaborating closely with other institutions within the confines of its mandate.    The Fund must also rapidly ramp up its resources devoted to these topics.”
    In a separate blog post earlier this week, the director of the IMF’s monetary and capital markets department and the director of its legal department said any attempt to use cryptoassets as national currencies would be risky.
    Advantages “including the potential for cheaper and more inclusive financial services, should not be overlooked,” they said.
    “Governments, however, need to step up to provide these services, and leverage new digital forms of money while preserving stability, efficiency, equality, and environmental sustainability.    Attempting to make cryptoassets a national currency is an inadvisable shortcut.”
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Catherine Evans)

7/29/2021 Senate Advances Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal by OAN Newsroom
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., left, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., right,
are seated together during a luncheon with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, at the Capitol in Washington,
Wednesday, July 28, 2021. Senate Republicans have reached a deal with Democrats over major outstanding issues in a
$1 trillion infrastructure bill and say they are ready to vote to take up the bill. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    The Senate passed a procedural vote to advance a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package.    In a 67-to-32 vote Wednesday, the Senate reached bipartisan support to move forward on the bill after weeks of no progress.
    “The Senate has just come together and, in a strong bipartisan fashion, voted to begin the legislative process here on the Senate floor,” stated Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
    With late GOP support coming after Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced he would show his support, 17 Republicans voted ‘yes’ to proceed with debates on the bill’s specific details.
    “We’ve done something on a bipartisan basis; it’s the way Washington should work,” stated Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah).    “It’s the way America expects us to work and I’m confident that we will be able to get it across the finish line.”
    While there’s still a lot of work to be done until the bill reaches a final vote, lawmakers within both political parties are confident a deal will be reached in the near future.    That’s according to the GOP’s lead negotiator, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio).
    “We have reached agreement as I said on the major issues, so we still have legislative language and finalize,” said Portman.    “We look forward to moving ahead and having the opportunity to have a healthy debate here in the chamber, regarding incredibly important projects that the American people would like to have my colleagues.”
    As of now, the deal includes funding for the nation’s roads, bridges, public transportation, electric buses and clean drinking water among other items.
    In a statement, Joe Biden wrote:
    “This deal signals to the world that our democracy can function, deliver and do big things.    As we did with the transcontinental railroad and the interstate highway, we will, once again, transform America and propel us into the future.”
    In the meantime, some Republicans are still hesitant to show their support while arguing that until the bill is actually written and they have an opportunity to review its details, they will not vote for it.    The 45th president has also been a heavy critic of the deal.    He recently blasted the 17 Republican senators who voted in favor of the infrastructure bargain.
    In a statement released Wednesday, Donald Trump blamed the GOP lawmakers for negotiating a deal with “radical left Democrats.”    He said the move makes the Republicans look “weak, foolish and dumb.”
    The 45th president went on to say the so-called bipartisan bill will be “continued destruction for our country.”    He then warned the Republicans who cooperated with the left that they will be facing lots of primary challenges in the near future.

7/29/2021 Speaker Pelosi, Rep. McCarthy Trade Jabs Over Face Mask Mandate by OAN Newsroom
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks about the House Select committee investigating the January 6
attack on the U.S. Capitol, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
    Political intolerance by the left appears to reach a boiling point as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) directly insults her Republican counterpart.    The biggest voices in the House traded verbal jabs over the new mask mandate in the lower chamber.
    On Wednesday, Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) clashed over the capitol physician’s decision to reinstate a mask mandate on the House floor.    Pelosi immediately went with a low blow in response.    The top Democrat called McCarthy a “moron” for saying the CDC’s ever-changing guidance on face masks isn’t supported by science.
    McCarthy said the reinstatement of masks in the House of Representatives is “about more control.”    He argued the new guidance only applies to “hot spots” and that there is a high vaccination rate at the U.S. Capitol.
    “This is no different than her (Pelosi) and telling people they couldn’t go out, but she’s getting her hair done,” noted the Republican lawmaker.    “Just today I watched her in a private meeting not wearing a mask, so do as she say but not as she does.”
    However, Pelosi only doubled down on her verbal assault against McCarthy and failed to apologize.    When asked by a reporter if McCarthy was, in fact, a moron, she responded with “science, science, science and science.”    McCarthy responded by saying people are tired of “this type” of leadership and that they “want something different.”

7/29/2021 Home Depot Co-Founder Calls Out Sen. Warren For Her Biased Approach To So-Called Wealth Tax by OAN Newsroom
File – Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) delivers remarks on the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention
at the Wells Fargo Center, July 28, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    The billionaire co-founder of Home Depot has called out Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) over her apparently party pandering.    Investor Ken Langone accused her of basing her political priorities around popular opinion.
    “I paid the government what I owed them. What I had left I put at risk and I could have lost it all, but I paid my share,” he stated.    “I have a bigger issue for the senator that I think, I hope she would address that to me is apple pie and motherhood.”
    On Wednesday, Langone squared off with Warren and asked why she was so focused on promoting her wealth tax, which many argue would harm the economy instead of addressing programs that could be altered to save the government money without causing economic damage like social security.
    Langone said combined he and his wife receive $4,000 a month in social security and asked Warren why she was trying to tax the wealthiest Americans while allowing the federal government to pay them every month.
    “How do you rationalize giving me $3,000 a month check, every month, with all my wealth?” asked the billionaire.    “Why don’t you people have the courage address entitlements as to what should no longer be entitlement.    I shouldn’t get social security.”     Social security reform has been a controversial topic in politics for decades and many Democrats avoid the subject altogether.    This appeared true to the DNC policy on the topic because when Langone pointed out this trend Warren tried to change the subject.
    During the exchange, Warren never actually answered Langone’s line of questioning.    Instead, she turned to her “tried-and-true” party rhetoric to try and defend a platform that, according the Brookings Institute, has been repeatedly abandoned by other nations.    If tried it could inspire tax evasion and could result in a decrease in innovation.

7/29/2021 House Passes Contested State Dept. 2022 Funding Bill by OAN Newsroom
FILE – Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.) speaks during a committee hearing. (Alex Brandon / AP Photo)
    House lawmakers passed a State Department funding bill in a narrow near party-line vote.    The body voted 217-to-212 on Wednesday to approve the $62.2 billion package for the department and its foreign operations.    The bill comes as part of appropriations for the next fiscal year, which starts on October 1.
    Three Democrats joined all Republicans in voting ‘no’ on the bill while citing concerns that it increases the department’s funding by 12 percent, which is way above reasonable adjustment.    Republicans also argued the bill allows U.S. money to be used to fund abortion providers overseas.
    “It also doubles funding to the United Nations populations fund,” noted Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.).    “This organization has historically supportive coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization.”
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) needs at least 10 GOP votes to pass all 12 of her 2022 budget bills by September 30, which Republicans have said they will not support.

7/29/2021 Major Protests Swell In Guatemala As Calls Grow Louder For President, Attorney General To Resign by Sofia Menchu
Mayan indigenous people block a road as they take part in a protest demanding the resignation of Guatemalan President
Alejandro Giammattei and Attorney General Maria Porras, in San Cristobal Totonicapan, Guatemala July 29, 2021. REUTERS/Luis Echeverria
    GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – Thousands of people in Guatemala took to the streets in protest on Thursday, calling for the resignation of President Alejandro Giammattei and the attorney general as fallout worsened over the firing of a well-known anti-corruption figure.
    Indigenous leaders, social groups and student organizations fueled the call on social media for a national protest in 20 areas of the country, blocking traffic at major intersections.
    Protesters carried banners in Guatemala City, the capital, saying “Giammattei, Resign.”
    Civil unrest has been gaining momentum since Guatemala’s Attorney General Maria Porras removed anti-graft fighter Juan Francisco Sandoval as head of the Special Prosecutor’s Office Against Impunity (FECI) last week, a move that sparked international condemnation.
    Sandoval, who left Guatemala last weekend, said he was fired after trying to investigate corruption cases with links to Giammattei, who has denied the>nd and continued on Thursday with demonstrations expected outside the attorney general’s office and the national palace.
    “We are here to tell the president that we do not know him as president because he no longer represents the interests of a country and because the prosecutor is not fighting impunity,” said Martín Toc, an indigenous leader from Totonicapán, in western Guatemala.
    Giammattei’s government also faced protests last November when a group of demonstrators set fire to the Congress building over cuts to education and health in the 2021 budget.    Days later, Congress retracted the budget.
(Reporting by Sofia Menchu; writing by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Dan Grebler)

7/29/2021 U.N. Arms Embargo On CAR Extended For Year, China Abstains by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: 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 in New York, U.S., September 21, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo/File Photo
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – The United Nations Security Council on Thursday extended a Central African Republic (CAR) arms embargo and targeted sanctions regime for another year, however China abstained in the vote because it believes the measures should be removed.
    The 15-member Security Council imposed the arms embargo on CAR in December 2013 when mainly Muslim Selaka rebels ousted then president Francois Bozize, prompting reprisals from mostly Christian militias.    A targeted sanctions regime was agreed in 2014, when U.N. peacekeepers were also deployed to the country.
    The gold and diamond-rich country of 4.7 million people has since been mired in violence.
    “There appears to be a growing disconnect between the Security Council sanctions and the evolving situation on the ground,” China’s deputy U.N. Ambassador Geng Shuang told the council after the vote.r>     “The intention was to help CAR restore national stability and normal social order.    In reality, however, the arms embargo has increasingly become an obstacle that hampers the CAR government’s efforts to strengthen security capabilities,” he said.
    The remaining 14 Security Council members voted in favor of extending the arms embargo.    The CAR government is able to import weapons with the approval of the U.N. Security Council’s CAR sanctions committee.
    Russia’s deputy U.N. Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy encouraged the CAR government to meet U.N. benchmarks that would allow the council to consider lifting the arms embargo next year.    Moscow has been jockeying for influence in CAR with France.
    A U.N. report, seen by Reuters last month, accused Russian military instructors and CAR troops of targeting civilians with excessive force, indiscriminate killings, occupation of schools and large-scale looting.
    The Kremlin has said it is a lie that Russian instructors had taken part in killings or robberies.
    Russia recently sent a group of 600 military instructors to CAR to train the army, police, and national gendarmerie, Russia’s foreign ministry said earlier this month.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

7/29/2021 House GOP Calls Biden, Pelosi Leadership Into Question by OAN Newsroom
Surrounded by members of the House Republican Conference, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) speaks during
a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol on July 29, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    During a press conference on Thursday, top names in the GOP came down on Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) regarding their leadership or lack there of.    House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), House Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), GOP Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and several other House Republicans spoke on what they called poor leadership from both Biden and Pelosi.
    McCarthy started off by taking aim at Pelosi’s attempts to force House lawmakers to once again wear masks even if they are fully vaccinated.    He said Pelosi’s approach to the pandemic has been flawed from the start and is becoming more about holding control.
    McCarthy discussed the lack in preparation and the two bipartisan committees that looked into the Capitol protest months ago and was adamant, had Democrats truly wanted a bipartisan investigation into Jan. 6, Republicans wouldn’t be so skeptical of the committee’s intentions.
    House Minority Whip Scalise shifted the conversation to the Biden administration’s negative impact on the nation’s economy.    Additionally, GOP Chair Stefanik summed up the issues facing Americans today with one>     “America is in crisis because of President Biden and Nancy Pelosi’s failed leadership, and their radical far-left socialist agenda.”
    She suggested the rampant inflation is a direct result of the Democrats’ tax and spend policies, and further denounced the spiking crime rates across the country.    Several other lawmakers weighed in on the Democrats’ grip on the American people and addressed the mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the border and rising crime rates.
    McCarthy concluded by saying the first step that needs to be taken is to fire Pelosi.

7/29/2021 Sen. McConnell: Country Will Benefit From Common-Sense Infrastructure Investment by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) (L) and
Senate Minority Whip Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) (R) arrive at a news briefing after a weekly Senate Republican
Policy Luncheon at the U.S. Capitol on July 27, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said no legislator would think an infrastructure bill is perfect, but it’s an important government duty. McConnell made these comments from the House floor on Thursday, saying the country would benefit from targeted investment in the kinds of projects that fit a common-sense definition of infrastructure.
    He said this includes roads, bridges, airports and broadband.    In addition, McConnell said he’s glad to see discussions on the infrastructure bill making progress in what ought to be a robust bipartisan floor process.
    “This kind of focused compromise that our colleagues have been hashing out could not contrast more sharply with the multi-trillion-dollar reckless taxing and spending spree that Democrats hope to ram through on a party-line vote later this year,” said McConnell.
    McConnell was one of 17 Republicans who voted in favor of opening debate on the proposal.    Some Republicans said they still would not vote on the bill until it is actually written and they can review its details.

7/29/2021 Sen. Graham: Republicans Will Take Back Congress In 2022 by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) (C) joins Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) (L), Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and other Senate Republicans
during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on July 21, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said failing Democrat policies would likely result in a major Republican victory in the 2022 midterms.    In a recent interview, the South Carolina senator said Democrats are facing a brewing tidal wave of backlash from voters.
    Graham added he expects next year’s midterms to repeat the GOP success of 1994, known as the “Republican Revolution” at the time.    The senator also criticized the Biden administration for rampant inflation, rising crime, a broken border and general incompetence.
    “The Republican Party’s going to have a great comeback if we recruit the right people,” said the senator.    Graham said he’s confident the GOP will take back the House and Senate next year.

7/29/2021 Capitol Police Ordered To Arrest Maskless Staff, Visitors by OAN Newsroom
A U.S. Capitol Police officer wears a mask as signs regarding the new facial mask mandate are posted outside
a hearing room of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties of House Committee on Oversight and
Reform at Rayburn House Office Building July 29, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    House Republicans have refused to follow a newly imposed mask mandate in the House as Capitol Police are now being ordered to arrest any visitors not willing to comply.    Capitol Police are to arrest any staff and visitors if they are not wearing masks on the House side of the Capitol and its office buildings.    This is according to a memo obtained by Florida Rep. Kat Cammack (R) on Thursday.
    Congressional aides, however, do not face arrest as officers are advised to report the noncompliance of lawmakers to the House sergeant-at-arms.    This comes after Congress’ chief physician re-imposed mask mandates on Wednesday, causing tensions to rise on the floor.
    GOP lawmakers have said Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) directive was tyrannical and an overstep of her authority as speaker of the House.
    “I’ve watched the Democrats continue to lie to us.    She first said if we were vaccinated, we’d go back to work.    If we’re trying to get America vaccinated, what type of message does this provide,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).    “We were vaccinated…we are not a hotspot, but they’re forcing you to wear a mask, not in the Senate, but in the House.    This is just about more control.”
    South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace (R) condemned the move on Thursday, accusing Pelosi of “an insane power grab.”    Taking to Twitter, the Republican Congresswoman said she would not wear a mask outside of the Chamber because she follows science and not Pelosi.
    Mace also criticized the order for Capitol Police to arrest anyone who refused to wear a mask in the House, calling the move “nuts.”    Capitol Police released a brief statement on Thursday, saying there is no reason it should ever come to an arrest as long as everyone follows the rules.
    In the meantime, U.S. Capitol Police said the department’s requirement for officers to wear masks is for their own health and safety.

7/29/2021 Biden: Federal Employees Will Be Asked To Attest To Their Vaccination Status by OAN Newsroom
U.S. President Joe Biden walks to Marine One for a departure from the South Lawn of the
White House on July 28, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
    The Delta variant has caused a spike in COVID-19 cases across the U.S.    In response, Joe Biden announced new initiatives on Thursday in an effort to get more Americans vaccinated.
    The Democrat has urged states to utilize pandemic funds to give $100 to anyone who receives the vaccine. He also controversially stated that federal employees would need to get vaccinated or face repeated COVID tests.     “Every federal government employee will be asked to attest to their vaccination status,” said Biden.    “Anyone who does not attest or is not vaccinated, will be required to wear a mask no matter where they work, test one or two times a week to see if they have acquired COVID, socially distance and generally will not be allowed to travel for work.”
    Additionally, Biden threatened companies with the removal of the federal government’s business if they didn’t vaccinate their employees.    Many GOP lawmakers have disagreed with Biden’s tactic to try and force Americans to get inoculated and said they should be given the freedom to decide whether to get the vaccine or not.
    Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said scaring Americans into getting the vaccine isn’t going to have a positive outcome, but said the data is strong for vaccine efficacy in combating case upticks, especially for elderly citizens.    This comes a day after republican Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) introduced two amendments to prevent the federal government from enforcing a vaccine passport system.

7/29/2021 Biden Urges Extension Of Eviction Moratorium Despite Economic Risks by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden gestures as he delivers remarks in the East Room of the White House on
July 29, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
    Joe Biden’s eviction moratorium is set to expire this Saturday.    In a statement on Thursday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden has called on Congress to extend the moratorium using the Delta variant as justification.
    In addition, Biden has also asked the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Veterans Affairs to extend their moratoria until the end of September.    This comes despite landlords across the U.S. saying the eviction moratorium is hurting their business and driving them deeper into debt.
    Biden’s call to action also contradicts a recent Supreme Court ruling that advised against such an extension by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

7/29/2021 Gov. Abbott Signs Executive Order Banning Ground Travel Of Migrants With Risk Of Spreading COVID-19 by OAN Newsroom
State Rep. Chris Paddie watches as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signs Senate Bills 2 and 3 during a press
conference at the Capitol on June 8, 2021 in Austin, Texas. (Montinique Monroe/Getty Images)
    On Wednesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed an executive order banning ground transportation of migrants who risk spreading the COVID-19 virus.    The governor authorized the Texas Department of Public Safety to stop any vehicle suspected of carrying migrants that could be infected with coronavirus.
    He said, “we must do more to protect Texans from this virus and reduce the burden on our communities.”
    Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-Texas) pleaded the Biden administration’s open border policies have created a surge down south.    “In the last two weeks we had a 900% increase in COVID positive people illegally crossing the border into the United States,” said Arrington.
    Two whistleblowers recently came forward saying a COVID outbreak among migrant children at the Fort Bliss facility was wildly downplayed by officials.    According to the complaint presented to Congress on Wednesday, the outbreak took place from April to June of this year.    The whistleblowers claimed “COVID was widespread among children and eventually spread to many employees.”
    Under Title 42, certain individuals can be turned away at the border if they pose such risk of spreading COVID-19 and if lifted, could threaten the health and safety of U.S. citizens.    However, just this week the Texas Police Department at the border town of La Joya warned residents that the border patrol was releasing illegal immigrants infected with the virus.
    Republicans are now criticizing the Biden administration for urging Americans to practice safe COVID precautions while just the opposite is happening down south as illegal immigrants are comfortably crossing the border.

7/29/2021 Wash. Police Call New Reform Laws ‘Confusing,’ Say Will Lead To An Increase In Criminal Activity by OAN Newsroom
A police vehicle follows behind a group of demonstrators near Pike Place Market as they protest the death
of Daunte Wright on April 12, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (David Ryder/Getty Images)
    Law enforcement agencies in Washington state have continued to voice their concerns on a raft of police reform measures they say will handcuff their abilities.    Recent reports detailed the laws, which were signed by Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee in May and officially went into effect this week.    The laws are described as a massive experiment in police reform.
    Among the changes are a ban on chokeholds, neck restraints and no-knock warrants, along with the creation of a state agency to review officers use of deadly force.    Critics have been particularly focused on a change to the use of physical force, which can be described as something as simple as putting a person in handcuffs.
    Previously, officers were able to briefly detain someone if they had reasonable suspicion to do so.    However, now they would need probably cause, which is a much higher standard.    Authorities are concerned this will result in a lot of “bad guys” being let go.
Police and Washington State Troopers block protesters from passing near freshly broken windows during
an anti-police protest on January 24, 2021 in Tacoma, Washington. (David Ryder/Getty Images)
    They warned the law is also a failure when it comes to suspects suffering mental health or drug addiction, saying departments are only allowed to detain someone in a mental health crisis if they pose an imminent threat to themselves or others.
    In a news conference on Tuesday, officers apologized to the first responders who would be put in danger thanks to this new standard.
    “You used to be able to stage out and wait for us to go in and calm things down, and then come in and do your duties,” said Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich of Spokane County.    “We really don’t know if we can do that for you anymore, you may have to go into that situation and we show up once you have been assaulted.”
    Authorities also warned of a dramatic increase in criminal activity because of these new laws.    They added Democrats would likely try to back-pedal, claiming the laws worked in ways that weren’t intended even though they were warned well ahead of time.
    This comes as many departments have been working with limited resources.    The city of Seattle reported a loss of 250 police officers over the last year, leaving around 1,000 officers to police a city of 725,000. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) called for an increase of police officers this week, following six separate shootings in the city over the weekend.

7/29/2021 Liberal Media Criticizes CDC On Mask Guidance by OAN Newsroom
Rochelle Walensky, Director of the CDC arrives at a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee
at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on July 20, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)
    The liberal media has taken aim at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) saying its latest flip-flop on mask guidance is “confusing.”    This week experts from outlets including CNN and the New York Times accused the agency of changing the guidelines to force people to get the vaccine and wear masks again.
    This comes after the agency reversed its stance on mask wearing, saying people should wear masks indoors even if they are vaccinated. Left-wing media groups have also criticized the Biden administration for adding to the problem.    The administration has been telling staff they would need to wear masks despite not being in a high transmission area.
    In the meantime, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky has flirted with the idea of mandating vaccine passports federally.    In an interview on Wednesday, Walensky said a type of health pass similar to Europe could be mandatory for some venues such as nightclubs and bars.
    The idea of implementing vaccine passports has been highly controversial, with critics saying it violates personal privacy and could promote discrimination.
    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has been fighting back against Norwegian Cruise Lines as the company has pushed to require vaccine passports.    “We have seen throughout this country, government overstep its bounds in response to the coronavirus pandemic and you can’t have an agency relying on flimsy legal authority to just keep an entire industry closed with really no path forward,” stated DeSantis.
    Meanwhile, cities in Europe have started rolling out their health pass systems even as thousands have taken to the streets to protest what they call government overreach.

7/29/2021 GOP Lawmakers Refuse To Wear Masks On House Floor, File Lawsuit Against Pelosi For Bringing Back Mandate by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) speaks as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) listen
during a news conference outside U.S. Supreme Court on July 27, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    Since the return of the mask mandate on the House floor, a number of Republicans have refused the order and have decided to sue House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) over receiving fines. More than half a dozen GOP lawmakers refused to wear masks on the floor on Wednesday despite being warned the action could result in hefty fines.
    In an attempt to stop the monetary penalties for choosing to breathe freely, a group of Republican elected officials announced a lawsuit against Pelosi.    They argued the fines are a violation of the 27th Amendment, which states Congress shall not receive a pay increase or decrease during an ongoing session.
    South Carolina Congressman Ralph Norman (R) announced the suit at a press conference on Tuesday. He called Pelosi’s mandate an abuse of power and said now is the time to fight it.
    Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie (R), who is also a plaintiff in the lawsuit, pointed out their purpose for fighting is to ensure more mandates and restrictions are not imposed by edict nationwide.    While every representative who chose not to wear a mask on Wednesday only received a warning, their next offense would cost them $500 followed by $2,500 for any offense thereafter.

7/29/2021 U.S. Congressmen Call On Hilton To Cut Link To Xinjiang Project
FILE PHOTO: A Chinese national flag flies outside the former Xinqu Mosque that had its minarets and central dome removed in Changji
outside Urumqi, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China, May 6, 2021. Picture taken May 6, 2021. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A bipartisan U.S. congressional commission has called on Hilton Worldwide not to allow its name to be associated with a hotel project on the site of a mosque bulldozed by authorities in China’s Xinjiang region, where Washington says minority Muslims have been victims of genocide.
    In a letter on Thursday to Christopher Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc, Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley and Representative Jim McGovern raised concerns about reports that a Hampton by Hilton hotel was being constructed on the site of the mosque destroyed in 2018 in Xinjiang’s Hotan prefecture.
    “The site is emblematic of the Chinese government’s campaign of widespread destruction of Uyghur religious and cultural sites in the XUAR and official efforts to eradicate Uyghurs’ religious and cultural practices,” the letter said, referring to minority Uyghur Muslims and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
    The letter, a copy of which was made available to Reuters, was co-signed by the senior Congressional-Executive Commission on China Republicans, Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Jim Smith.
    Hilton Worldwide did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment.
    The letter said the destruction of Uyghur religious and cultural sites had contributed to the U.S. government’s determination that genocide and crimes against humanity were being perpetrated against Muslims in Xinjiang.
    “Hilton should not allow its name to be used to perpetuate and promote the cultural erasure and repression of the millions of Uyghurs living in the XUAR,” it said.
    The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the largest U.S. Muslim advocacy organization, this week called on Hilton shareholders to seek details on the hotel plan, revealed in June by Britain’s Daily Telegraph.
    It quoted Hilton as saying the hotel was a franchise development overseen by a Chinese firm, Huan Peng Hotel Management, which said it had purchased the land as a vacant lot via a public auction.    The firm added that it would “comply fully with all local laws, authorities and Hilton brand development standards.”
According to CECC research, authorities in Xinjiang demolished or damaged around 16,000 mosques and more than half of the region’s other religious sites such as shrines and cemeteries in recent years. (Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Editing by Dan Grebler)

7/30/2021 Oil up $1.21 to $73.60, DOW up 154 to 35,085.

7/30/2021 Brazil’s Bolsonaro Escalates Rhetoric Over Electoral Fraud
FILE PHOTO: Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro attends the ceremony marking his 200 days in office
at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil July 18, 2019. REUTERS/Adriano Machado/File Photo
(Corrects to clarify in paragraphs 1 and 7 that Bolsonaro is seeking mixed system, not replacement of electronic)
    BRASILIA (Reuters) -Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro pleaded on Thursday for the adoption of printed ballots that can be counted, alleging that it is necessary to avoid fraud in the country’s electronic voting system in next year’s election.
    “I want elections next year, but clean, democratic and sincere elections,” he said in his weekly social media webcast to supporters.
    Bolsonaro showed a series of internet video clips as alleged evidence of past fraud, maintaining that democracy was at risk in Brazil.
    Critics say that Bolsonaro, like former U.S. President Donald Trump, is sowing election doubts to pave the way for him not to accept defeat in 2022.
    With his popularity falling after overseeing the world’s second deadliest coronavirus outbreak, opinion polls show he trails former leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, though neither of them has officially announced they will run.
    Bolsonaro has insisted for months that Brazil should adopt the paper ballot, even though a constitutional amendment changing the electoral system has not gained much traction in Congress.
    He advocates a mixed system in which voters submit ballots at electronic urns, which also print out votes that can be counted if the result is challenged.
    Brazil’s top electoral authority, the TSE, has refuted unfounded allegations by Bolsonaro that there was fraud in the 2014 election, saying electronic voting can be audited well.    Even the loser in 2014, Aécio Neves, who was defeated by Lula’s candidate Dilma Rousseff in a close election, said it was fair.
    The escalation of Bolsonaro’s claims of electoral fraud came at a fraught time, just days after a bombshell newspaper report that Brazil’s defense minister had issued a threat that the 2022 election would not take place unless printed ballots were used.
    The Estado de S. Paulo story said Defense Minister Walter Braga Netto, a former army general, had said this to House Speaker Arthur Lira via an interlocutor.    Reuters was unable to independently verify the story, which cited anonymous sources.
Both Lira and Braga Netto denied the report.
(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Sam Holmes)

7/30/2021 French Finance Minister’s Phone Investigated In Pegasus Spyware Case
FILE PHOTO: French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire attends a news
conference in Paris, France, April 8, 2021. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier
    PARIS (Reuters) – The phone of France’s finance minister Bruno Le Maire is currently being investigated to determine whether it has been infected by a spyware known as Pegasus.
    “We are in an investigation phase, and that includes my own device,” Bruno Le Maire told France Inter radio on Friday. He refused to elaborate on the investigation.
    The Pegasus spyware, a product developed by Israeli company NSO Group, was used in attempted and successful hacks of smartphones belonging to journalists, government officials and human rights activists around the world, according to an investigation by 17 media organizations.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Writing by Matthias Blamont; Editing by Alex Richardson)

730/2021 Hard-Won Gains At Risk As Delta Variant Spreads – WHO by Stephanie Nebehay and Michael Shields
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured at the World Health Organization (WHO) building in
Geneva, Switzerland, February 2, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The world is at risk of losing hard-won gains in fighting COVID-19 as the highly transmissible Delta variant spreads, but WHO-approved vaccines remain effective, the World Health Organization said on Friday.
    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has described the Delta variant of the coronavirus as being as transmissible as chickenpox and cautioned it could cause severe disease, the Washington Post said, citing an internal CDC document.
    COVID-19 infections have increased by 80% over the past four weeks in most regions of the world, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. Deaths in Africa – where only 1.5% of the population is vaccinated – rose by 80% over the same period.
    “Hard-won gains are in jeopardy or being lost, and health systems in many countries are being overwhelmed,” Tedros told a news conference.
    The Delta variant has been detected in 132 countries, becoming the dominant global strain, according to the WHO.
    “The vaccines that are currently approved by the WHO all provide significant protection against severe disease and hospitalisation from all the variants, including the Delta variant,” said WHO’s top emergency expert, Mike Ryan.
    “We are fighting the same virus but a virus that has become faster and better adapted to transmitting amongst us humans, that’s the change,” he said.
    Maria van Kerkhove, WHO technical lead on COVID-19, said the Delta variant was the most easily spread so far, about 50% more transmissible than ancestral strains of SARS-CoV-2 that first emerged in China in late 2019.
    A few countries had reported increased hospitalisation rates, but higher rates of mortality had not been recorded from the Delta variant, she said.
    Japan said on Friday it would expand states of emergency to three prefectures near Olympic host city Tokyo and the western prefecture of Osaka, as COVID-19 cases spike in the capital and around the country, overshadowing the Summer Games.
    Ryan noted that Tokyo had recorded more than 3,000 cases in the past 24 hours, among some 10,000 new infections in Japan.
    “The Olympics is a part of that overall context and the risk management that is place around the Olympics is extremely comprehensive,” he said.
(Reporting by Mike Shields in Zurich and Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva; editing by Nick Macfie)

7/30/2021 Peru Mired In Uncertainty As Hopes Of Moderate Administration Dims
FILE PHOTO: Peru's President Pedro Castillo walks out the Congress after his swearing-in
ceremony, in Lima, Peru July 28, 2021. REUTERS/Angela Ponce/File Photo
    LIMA (Reuters) – Peru was mired in uncertainty on Friday as bonds tumbled and the local currency weakened after newly-elected Socialist President Pedro Castillo appointed hard-left Marxist as prime minister while the key post of finance minister remained vacant.
    Guido Bellido was named prime minister, dimming hopes of a moderate administration.    Most of the rest of the cabinet was also sworn in, but the lack of an economy czar is likely to create uncertainty in markets already rocked by a campaign in which Castillo called himself a Marxist-Leninist.
    Castillo, who took office on Wednesday, took to Twitter in the early hours of Friday to defend his new government.
    “Our cabinet belongs to the people.    It answers to the people,” Castillo said on Twitter at dawn, defending his government team.
    “Our commitment is with Peru and with no other interest than to dedicate each and every one of our efforts to build a more just, free and dignified country.    We will not disappoint your trust,” he tweeted.
    Castillo’s failure to appoint a finance minister exacerbated those concerns, JPMorgan said in a note.
    The local sol currency lost over 3% to the dollar in early trading in Lima, while Peru’s dollar bonds slid.
(Reporting by Marco Aquino, writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

7/30/2021 Rio’s Homeless Brave Unprecedented Cold
Marco Antonio, 21, a homeless man, is pictured as NGO doAcao distribute food and blankets to the
homeless while an unusual cold hits Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 29, 2021. REUTERS/Lucas Landau
    RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – As an unusual cold snap stuns residents of Rio de Janeiro, a Brazilian city famous for its sun, sand and sea, the city’s homeless have been struggling to sleep through the chill.
    “It’s very cold.    Even with two blankets and a quilt, I still felt horrible last night,” Flávio, who is homeless, said.
    A polar air mass has been traveling toward the country’s center-south regions this week, bringing fast winds and rare snowfall to communities unfamiliar with low temperatures — and to street residents ill-equipped to handle them.
    In Rio, Jeniffer Faria da Silva and Marlon Memos Mollulo have been distributing warm food, blankets, clothes, shoes and bread to the city’s street residents as part of a project they began a year and a half ago.    Traveling through the city at night, they’ve been placing thermal liners on concrete, where dozens of the city’s homeless sleep side by side to stay warm.
    “There’s a lot of suffering, especially in Rio where we aren’t used to having these kinds of temperatures.    We don’t have the right infrastructure to cope with the cold, and some of these people also have pets,” Silva said.
    The polar air mass is slated to bring freezing temperatures to São Paulo and Minas Gerais, major producers of key commodities like sugar, citrus and coffee.
    Temperatures in Rio are expected to drop to an unusual low of 9°C on Friday before gradually starting to warm up in August.
(Reporting by Sergio Queiroz, writing by Jimin Kang, Editing by Nick Zieminski)

7/30/2021 ‘Like Back In Syria’: Migrant Volunteers Clear Up Flood-Hit Germany
Donations for flood victims lie in the church of St. Nicholas and Rochus in Mayschoss, Germany, July 29, 2021. REUTERS/Andreas Kranz
    AHRWEILER, Germany (Reuters) – Syrian volunteers have rushed to towns hit by Germany’s most devastating floods in 60 years to clean them up and renovate homes, drawing on their experience with catastrophes in their homeland to help the country that took them in.
    Germany, which lost at least 180 lives in the flooding earlier this month, opened its borders in 2015 to more than 1 million migrants, many of them Syrians, fleeing war and poverty.
    Anas Alakkad, co-organiser of the volunteer group Syrian Volunteers in Germany, said that he was reminded of home when the flooding disaster struck.
    “What we knew of Germany is that it was very organised, very nice, very green.    And then here in the catastrophe area we felt like we were back in Syria,” he said, helping out in the western German district of Ahrweiler.
    “We felt like this cannot be happening.    We must do something.    And that has inspired us,” he added.
    The group says hundreds of its volunteers have rushed to the affected areas in western Germany.
    Mouaiad Abedelbi, a Syrian volunteer who lives in Ahrweiler, said his apartment was destroyed by the floods.
    “We feel the same as our neighbours. We have experienced that feeling already, and now we have to feel it again,” he said.    “But at the end of the day, we are here to help, and we are working hand in hand with the Germans to repair everything.”
    Ahrweiler locals were grateful for the help.
    “They are very fast and hardworking and full of ideas as to how to renovate,” said Elke Terporten.    “It is great.”
    The floods have shaken up the political agenda before a national election in September, raising uncomfortable questions about why Europe’s largest economy was caught flat-footed.
    Two-thirds of Germans believe that federal and regional policymakers should have done more to protect communities from flooding, a survey by the INSA institute for German mass-circulation paper Bild showed last week.
(Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

7/30/2021 ‘Welcome To Global Warming’: Greece Warns Against Unnecessary Work As Temperatures Soar by Phoebe Fronista
The Parthenon temple is seen atop the empty Acropolis hill archaeological site, closed
to the public during a heatwave in Athens, Greece, July 30, 2021. REUTERS/Costas Baltas
    ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek authorities warned the public against unnecessary work and travel on Friday as temperatures hit 40 degrees Celsius (104 °F) in Athens and the ancient Acropolis, its most visited monument, was briefly forced to close.
    Temperatures have been high in much of the country in recent days and are expected to reach 44 degrees on Monday and Tuesday, the National Meteorological Service said, warning of a high risk of wildfires during a “dangerous” heatwave.
    “We are constantly recording maximum record temperatures all these years, which means that climate change is here,” said Stavros Solomos, researcher at the Centre for Atmospheric Physics and Climatology of the Academy of Athens.
    “We are expecting to have more frequent, more intense heatwaves,” he said, as well as “tropical nights” – where temperatures do not fall below 25 to 30>     The Acropolis, which looks out over the capital, closed for a few hours as it does when temperatures rise, to protect tourists from the heat.
    The heatwave was characterized as dangerous because it was expected to last several days – at least until next Friday, with the peak expected on Monday and Tuesday, said Theodoros Kolydas, head of the weather service.
    Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis warned of “extremely high temperatures” and urged people “to show the highest degree of responsibility and cooperation.”
    He added: “I also want to appeal to our fellow citizens to avoid unnecessary travel in the heat but also unnecessary work.”
    Earlier this month, Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyiannis appointed a chief heat officer, the first in Europe, to help tackle extreme heat.
    “Welcome to global warming! It’s very hot, it’s very oppressive,” said George Papabeis, a Greek-American tourist, as he made his way through central Athens.
    On the capital’s beaches, conditions were equally dire.
    “I think it will be like hell.    I’m not happy about it,” said May Ben Atia, a tourist from Israel.    “It becomes so hot you can actually feel it in your skin,” she said.
    More than 1,000 people died in 1987 in Greece’s deadliest heatwave, with scorching temperatures for over a week.
    Firefighters have tackled more than 40 wildfires in the last 24 hours, the fire brigade said, fanned by winds and high temperatures.    A raging blaze north of Athens on Tuesday burned at least a dozen homes before being brought under control.
    Neighbouring Turkey has been hit by wildfires in which four people have been killed this week.
(Additional reporting by Karolina Tagaris and Angeliki KoutantouWriting by Karolina Tagaris; Editing by Nick Macfie)

7/30/2021 No Toxic Fallout From German Chemical Blast, Official Says