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 August or continue to King Of The West 2021 October


9/1/2021 Oil down $0.76 to $68.38, DOW down 38 to 35,362.

9/1/2021 Social Security funds, Medicare under pressure by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Martin, Crutsinger ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – Social Security and Medicare, the government’s two biggest benefit programs, remain under intense financial pressure with the retirement of millions of baby boomers and a devastating pandemic putting increased pressures on the two programs’ finances.
    A report from the programs’ trustees released Tuesday moved up by one year the date for the depletion of Social Security’s reserves, now projecting that Social Security will be unable to pay full benefits starting in 2034 instead of 2035.
    Medicare is still expected to exhaust its reserves in 2026, the same date as estimated last year.
    'The finances of both programs have been significantly affected by the pandemic and the recession of 2020,' the trustees said.
    The report noted that employment, earnings, interest rates and economic growth plummeted in the second quarter of 2020 after the pandemic hit the United States.
    The report said that 'given the unprecedented level of uncertainty' there was no consensus on what the long-lasting effects of the pandemic will be on the two benefit programs.
    When the Social Security trust fund is depleted the government will be able to pay 78% of scheduled benefits, the report said.
    Because a reduction in benefits would cause a political uproar, it is likely that Congress would find ways to recover the lost benefits, either by hiking the payroll taxes paid by current workers or by increasing government borrowing to cover the shortfall.
    Government economic experts who prepared the Social Security report said recent increases in inflation mean the cost-of-living adjustment for 2022 will approach 6%, a whopping jump from the 1.3% COLA awarded for this year.
    The Medicare 'Part B' premium for outpatient coverage is projected to rise by $10 a month in 2022, to $158.50 under the report’s intermediate assumptions.
    The new report, which has been delayed for a number of months, represents the government’s effort to assess the impact of last year’s pandemic and recession on the financial health of the two big benefit programs.
A report is now projecting that Social Security will be unable to pay full
benefits starting in 2034 instead of 2035. AP file

9/1/2021 Biden Says U.S. Committed To Safe Passage For Last 100-200 Americans Left In Afghanistan
U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on Afghanistan during a speech in the
State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., August 31, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House on Tuesday said 98% of Americans who wanted to leave Afghanistan were able to do so, and President Joe Biden affirmed that the United States remained committed to helping the remaining 100 to 200 U.S. citizens who had some intention to leave.
    Speaking at the White House, Biden told reporters that most of those people were dual citizens and longtime residents, who had earlier decided to stay in the country given their family roots in Afghanistan.
    “For those remaining Americans there is no deadline.    We remain committed to get them out if they want to come out,” Biden said.
    In his remarks, he noted that 90% of Americans who were in Afghanistan and wanted to leave were able to leave.    The White House later updated a transcript of his remarks to show that the correct figure was 98%.
    He said U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was leading continued diplomatic efforts to ensure safe passage for any American, Afghan partner or foreign national who wanted to leave Afghanistan after the Aug. 15 takeover by the Islamist Taliban.
    Biden said the international community would hold Taliban leaders accountable for their promise to permit freedom of travel.
    “The Taliban has made public commitments, broadcast on television and radio across Afghanistan, on safe passage for anyone wanting to leave, including those who worked alongside Americans,” he said.    “We don’t take them by their word alone, but by their actions, and we have leverage to make sure those commitments are met.”
    Biden said the U.S. government had reached out 19 times to Americans in Afghanistan since March, offering to help them leave the country.
    After the U.S. military-led evacuations began 17 days ago, U.S. officials reached out again and identified around 5,000 Americans who had decided earlier to stay, but now wanted to leave, he said.
    In the end, the president said, more than 5,500 Americans were evacuated, along with thousands of citizens and diplomats from allied countries, as well as 2,500 locally employed staff at the U.S. embassy and their families, and thousands of Afghan translators and interpreters and others who supported the United States.
(This story corrects first and third sentences to show that 98%, not 90% of Americans seeking to leave Afghanistan managed to, per White House
(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Andrea Shalal; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

9/1/2021 Migrant Caravan In Mexico Presses On, Meets Growing Resistance by Jose Torres
Migrants and asylum seekers from Central America and the Caribbean walk in a caravan headed to the Mexican capital to apply
for asylum and refugee status, on a highway in Escuintla, in Chiapas state, Mexico August 31, 2021. REUTERS/Jacob Garcia
    MAPASTEPEC, Mexico (Reuters) – Mexican immigration agents and security forces stepped up efforts to halt the progress of a caravan of hundreds of Central American and Caribbean migrants as they moved toward Mexico City from southern Mexico on Tuesday.
    Entire migrant families including many with young children arrived at two towns in the southern state of Chiapas, Mapastepec and Escuintla, after passing through the Mexican town of Tapachula near the Guatemalan border, according to Reuters witnesses.
    The number of children seeking to cross Mexico to get to the United States has risen dramatically since the start of this year as many families try to flee poverty, violence and natural disasters.
    On Tuesday, troops from Mexico’s National Guard and agents from the National Migration Institute (INM) sought to break up the latest caravan, detaining some migrants, including minors, the Reuters witnesses said.
    The Mexican government has deployed more troops to its border with Guatemala in a bid to reduce the flow of migrants in recent months, pressured by U.S. officials to take strong action.
    “They took them away,” a Guatemalan migrant called Bertha said of her children.    Bertha, a mother of five, declined to provide her surname due to fears of reprisals.
    She tearfully described how three of her young sons were detained by authorities after she left them momentarily with others to go and buy food.    The night before, she said one of her daughters was taken from her.
    Reuters was not able to independently confirm her account and the INM did not reply to a request for comment.
    Videos shared online showed altercations between INM agents and some migrants amid efforts by the administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to contain what he has called “irregular” immigration.
    According to INM data, more than 35,000 migrant minors have been identified by officials so far this year, a three-fold increase from the same period last year.
    About a third were traveling alone, the data showed, and most came from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. (Reporting by Jose Torres in Mapastepec and Lizbeth Diaz in Mexico City; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

9/1/2021 Report: Biden Praised Afghan Military Before Collapse To Taliban In Phone Call To Afghan President Weeks Before Takeover by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 31: Joe Biden delivers remarks on the end of the war in Afghanistan
in the State Dining Room at the White House. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    A transcript obtained by Reuters has recently revealed Joe Biden told Afghan President Ashraf Ghani that his country’s military would be able to fight off the Taliban. The 14-minute conversation took place on July 23, just weeks before the Taliban took over the country.
    Biden had also told Ghani they would help the Afghan government survive, but stated there was a perception problem with its government.    However, 24 hours after the last U.S. troop left the region, Biden has continued to defend his disastrous pullout.
    Meanwhile, more than a hundred Americans are still stranded in Kabul, despite the decades long war coming to an end.
    Biden addressed the nation from the White House for the first time since the U.S. completely pulled out of Afghanistan.
    He was two hours late for Tuesday’s speech, which came 24 hours after the war officially ended.    Biden took a combative and defensive tone after critics in the media lambasted his strategy as chaotic following the loss of 13 U.S. service members and more than 180 Afghan citizens.
    However, Biden called it a great success.
    “The extraordinary success of this mission was due to the incredible skill, bravely and selfless courage of the United States military and our diplomats and intelligence professionals.”
    Biden said the decision to pull troops out abruptly was that of a unanimous recommendation by leaders in the State Department, the Department of Defense and other commanders in the field. He added it was time to end this decades long war and acknowledged the terrorist presence in Kabul would remain strong.
    Looking forward, Biden has vowed to look after those, especially women and children, who are trapped under the Taliban’s rule.    “We’ll continue to support the Afghan people through diplomacy, international influence and humanitarian aid,” said Biden.
    Though there are no more U.S. personnel left in the war-torn country, Biden has signaled the U.S. will continue to be active in Afghanistan as long as there’s still a terrorist threat.
    Revelation 16:12 "And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared."
    We can only assume that the vial would cause some type of catastrophe that would have the Euphrates River to dry up or change its direction so that the kings of the east could cross over it.    The river starts from Armenia where the Mountain Ararat is and where the Bible states in Genesis 8:4 "And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat."

9/1/2021 Ned Price: New Chapter Of America’s Engagement With Afghanistan Has Begun by OAN Newsroom
State Department spokesman Ned Price holds a press briefing on Afghanistan at the State
Department in Washington, D.C., August 16, 2021. (Photo by KEVIN LAMARQUE / POOL / AFP)
    The State Department said its mission in Afghanistan is far from over following the end of the 20-year U.S. mission.
    State Department Spokesperson Ned Price delivered remarks on what is to follow for the U.S. as the diplomatic presence in Afghanistan shifts to Qatar.
    “A new chapter of America’s engagement with Afghanistan has begun,” said Price.    “Our post in Doha will manage our diplomacy for the way ahead with Afghanistan, including consular affairs, administering humanitarian assistance, and working with allies, partners and regional international stakeholders to coordinate our engagement and messaging to the Taliban.”
    He also stressed they would continue to work in retrieving any remaining Americans, refugees and Afghanistan partners who are stranded under Taliban rule.
    “Our commitment is not only to helping American citizens, lawful permanent residents, but those who have worked with us, worked for the U.S. government, supported the American people over the years.    That commitment did not expire yesterday, did not expire today, and it will, in fact, be enduring,” assured Price.
    “So, we remain committed to see to it that those who are eligible for evacuation and for relocation to the United States, that we will continue to work diligently to support their safe passage and to support their departure from Afghanistan if they choose to do so.”
    This comes as the Biden administration has faced criticism for promising to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan until every American citizen is evacuated, but broke that promise by leaving more than a hundred behind.
    Meanwhile, Price noted the State Department doesn’t have an exact number of Afghanistan evacuees who are applicants of the U.S. Immigrant Visa Program.

9/1/2021 Majority Of Afghan Allies May Have Missed Out On Airlift – U.S. Official
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Marines with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) process evacuees as they go
through the Evacuation Control Center (ECC) during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan,
August 28, 2021. U.S. Marine Corps/Staff Sgt. Victor Mancilla/Handout via REUTERS.
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States may have left behind the majority of Afghans who helped in the 20-year war effort along with their families as U.S. citizens were prioritized in the airlift that came to an end this week, a senior State Department official said on Wednesday.
    The departure of the last U.S. military flights out of Kabul on Monday marked the end of an operation that saw more than 123,000 people brought out of Afghanistan in less than two weeks.
    President Joe Biden has pledged to keep helping 100 to 200 U.S. citizens left in the country who wanted to leave and a much larger group of at-risk Afghans, including former interpreters for the U.S. military.
    Asked how many potential applicants to the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program for Afghan allies and their families remained in Kabul, a senior State Department official said they could not provide an estimate.
    “But I would say it’s the majority of them just based on anecdotal information about the populations we were able to support,” the official said. About 2,000 SIV applicants were brought to the United States before the broader airlift began in mid-August.
    Initial efforts to prioritize those Afghans for evacuation were marred by security concerns at the airport gates and difficulties in giving them credentials that could not be replicated, the official said.
    U.S. officials had a legal obligation to help American citizens who were stuck in Kabul and prioritized their departure, the official said.    About 5,500 U.S. citizens were on evacuation flights from Kabul after Aug. 14, according to the State Department.
    “Everybody who lived it is haunted by the choices we had to make and by the people we were not able to help depart in this first phase of the operation,” the official said.
(Reporting by Simon Lewis, Arshad Mohammed and Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

9/1/2021 France, Germany Urge Iran To Return Speedily To Nuclear Deal Talks
FILE PHOTO: The Iranian flag waves in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters,
amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Vienna, Austria May 23, 2021. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
    BERLIN/PARIS (Reuters) - France and Germany on Wednesday urged Iran to return rapidly to nuclear negotiations, after a break in talks following Iranian elections in June, with Paris demanding an “immediate” restart amid Western concerns over Tehran’s expanding atomic work.
    France’s foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told his newly-appointed Iranian counterpart Hossein Amirabdollahian in a telephone call it was urgent for Tehran to return to the talks, Le Drian’s ministry said in a statement.
    A sixth round of indirect talks between Tehran and Washington was adjourned in June after hardliner Ebrahim Raisi was elected Iran’s president.    Raisi took office on August 5.
    Since April, Iran and six powers have tried to work out how Tehran and Washington can both return to compliance with the nuclear pact, which former U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018 and reimposed harsh sanctions on Tehran.
    “The minister underlined the importance and the urgency of an immediate resumption of negotiations,” the foreign ministry said after the conversation between Le Drian repeated his concern with regard to all the nuclear activities carried out by Iran in violation of the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.    Iran has gradually violated limits in the agreement since Washington abandoned it in 2018.
    The next round of talks has yet to be scheduled.
    Two senior Iranian officials told Reuters in July Raisi planned to adopt “a harder line” in the talks.
    Amirabdollahian said on Monday the talks might resume in “two to three months,” although it’s unclear whether that time frame began from now or when the new administration took over last month.
    Germany earlier also raised pressure on Tehran asking it to resume talks “as soon as possible
    “We are ready to do so, but the time window won’t be open indefinitely,” a ministry spokesperson told a briefing.
    Last month, France, Germany and Britain voiced grave concern about reports from the U.N. nuclear watchdog confirming Iran has produced uranium metal enriched up to 20% fissile purity for the first time and lifted production capacity of uranium enriched to 60%.    Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons.
(Reporting by Alexander Ratz and John Irish, writing by Emma Thomasson and Parisa Hafezi, editing by Kirsti Knolle, William Maclean)

9/1/2021 UK Intelligence Did Not Expect Afghan Capital To Fall This Year – Raab by Kylie MacLellan and Paul Sandle
Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab walks outside the FCDO in London, Britain,
September 1, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
    LONDON (Reuters) -Britain’s intelligence assessment was that it was unlikely Kabul would fall this year, foreign minister Dominic Raab said as he defended Britain’s withdrawal from Afghanistan after the Taliban swept across the country much more quickly than expected.
    Britain, like the United States, failed to predict how swiftly the Afghan government would fall, so it had not made sufficient preparation for the chaos that would follow when the Taliban seized the capital on Aug. 15.
    In an emergency session of parliament’s foreign affairs committee to discuss the crisis in Afghanistan, Raab said     Britain’s intelligence service had assessed that the Taliban would only consolidate its control of Afghanistan in the months after western countries had evacuated their troops.
    “The central proposition was that, given the troop withdrawal by the end of August, you would see a steady deterioration from that point, and that it was unlikely Kabul would fall this year,” Raab told the committee of lawmakers.
    “That doesn’t mean we didn’t do contingency planning or game-out or test the other propositions.    And just to be clear, that’s something that was widely shared – that view – amongst NATO allies.”
    Even though the Taliban’s intent to seize control was clear, Raab said, the West misjudged its capacity to do so as quickly as it did.    There were clearly lessons to be learned from what happened, he said.
    Prime Minister Boris Johnson has faced calls to sack Raab after the latter went on holiday in Crete as the Taliban advanced on Kabul and amid claims that thousands of emails from people seeking help to leave Afghanistan had gone unread.
    Defending his handling of the crisis, Raab said he had had more than 40 meetings or calls where Afghanistan was on the agenda between March and the end of August.    He repeatedly declined to say what date he had gone on holiday, and said he had not considered resigning.
    Raab said he would travel to the region, including visiting Pakistan for the first time as foreign minister, later on Wednesday to discuss the crisis.
    It is early days in engaging with the Taliban, Raab said, and they will need to show they can pass tests such as providing a safe environment for aid workers if they are to receive international assistance.
    Britain’s last military flight left Kabul late on Saturday, ending a chaotic two weeks in which soldiers helped to evacuate more than 15,000 people from the crowds who descended on the capital’s airport, desperate to flee the country.
    Raab said that once the United States made the decision to withdraw, there was no viable alternative coalition to the NATO mission, and there had been “wishful thinking” among some allies that U.S. President Joe Biden would alter his position.
    Johnson’s office said on Tuesday that his special representative for Afghan transition, Simon Gass, has travelled to Doha, Qatar, to meet with Taliban representatives to discuss safe passage out of Afghanistan for UK nationals and Afghans who have worked for Britain.
    Raab said he was not confident of the exact number of people eligible to come to Britain who remain in Afghanistan.
(Additional reporting by Andrew MacAskill and Alistair Smout; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

9/1/2021 Rep. Matt Gaetz Exonerated, Fla. Developer Charged With Extortion by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 21: Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) speaks to reporters outside the West Wing of the
White House following a meeting with President Donald Trump. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) has been exonerated and the Department of Justice’s sex trafficking investigation has been shut down as the man who made the false allegations is now behind bars.    Florida developer and convicted fraud, Stephen Alford, faced a judge on Tuesday after he was indicted for extortion.
    According to a newly unsealed indictment, the 62-year-old spread lies about Gaetz as part of a complex scheme to defraud Gaetz’s father of $25 million.
    “Alford is alleged to have been involved in a scheme to obtain money based upon false promises or guarantees he made to the victim that Alford could deliver a presidential pardon for a family member of the victim,” said the Justice Department in a statement.
    Gaetz had adamantly denied the sexual misconduct allegations and called Alford’s claim a pile of lies.
    The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is now working to determine who else was involved in the shakedown attempt.
    Meanwhile, Alford is currently in the custody of U.S. Marshals.

9/1/2021 Project Veritas Exposes Calif. Teacher Who Admits To Indoctrinating Students by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 01: Conservative undercover journalist James O’Keefe (L) is photographed
by Project Veritas Action Senior Communications Strategist Stephen Gordon during a news conference
at the National Press Club September 1, 2015 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    A California high school teacher is said to had bragged about turning his students into “revolutionaries.”    An undercover Project Veritas video released on Tuesday, showed Inderkum High School’s Gabriel Gipe admitting that he and a growing number of teachers use the classroom to push communist propaganda.
    The AP government teacher explained when he’s not disrupting conservative events with his local Sacramento Antifa Chapter, he grades students based off their willingness to attend radical fringe events.
    After shaming teenagers who don’t follow his political views, the so-called anti-fascist went on to praise the Chinese Cultural Revolution.    He then explained how he tracks his student’s political views.
    Gipe reportedly requires his students to take a political ideology quiz every semester, along with providing a picture of their face.    He then puts the picture of their face on the wall next to their political ideology.
    According to Gipe, his goal as an educator is for his ideologies to rub off on his students and lead to a revolution against the state.    He added he’s not the only teacher who promotes an anti-American agenda.
    His bizarre comments have prompted serious concerns from tax paying parents regarding what exactly goes on behind closed doors in their children’s classroom.    Responding to the backlash in a statement, Natomas Unified District said “instruction should be presented in a balanced manner that doesn’t promote any particular viewpoint.”
    In the meantime, the Northern California school district said they are looking into the claims and will take appropriate action.

9/1/2021 Biden Pledges U.S. Support, Security Aid In First Meeting With Ukraine’s Zelenskiy by Jeff Mason and Steve Holland
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on Afghanistan during a speech in the State
Dining Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., August 31, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Joe Biden told Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelenskiy on Wednesday the United States was “firmly committed” to Ukraine’s territorial integrity and offered Kyiv $60 million in new security aid as it grapples with aggression from Moscow.
    “The United States remains firmly committed to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russian aggression,” Biden said at the beginning of a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart in the Oval Office.
    “Today we’re going to discuss how the U.S. can continue to support Ukraine as it advances its democratic reforms agenda,” Biden said.
    The two leaders, at their first face-to-face meeting since Biden took office in January, also had the Nord Stream 2 pipeline on their agenda, a project Ukraine fears could be used by Russia as a geopolitical weapon.
    Zelenskiy raised his concerns about the pipeline in his opening remarks and said he would seek to hear Biden’s vision of Ukraine’s chances for joining the NATO military alliance and a time frame for such a move.
    Zelenskiy told reporters in June he wanted a clear “yes” or “no” from Biden on giving Ukraine a plan to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.    He has urged NATO members to accelerate Ukraine’s entry after a standoff with Russia this year in which Moscow massed additional troops and military equipment near Ukraine’s borders.
    NATO allies believe Ukraine needs to adopt more political reforms before gaining membership.    White House spokeswoman Jen     Psaki underscored that Ukraine needed to modernize its defense sector and advance rule-of-law reforms in order to meet NATO membership standards.
    Zelenskiy told reporters after the meeting that no time frame on NATO emerged from the discussions, but said of Biden: “I feel that the president personally, and not only feel – I heard this – the president personally supports Ukraine regarding the granting of NATO membership.”
    Zelenskiy’s White House visit came after he played an unwitting and high-profile role in the process that led to former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment.
    Trump, a Republican who lost the 2020 presidential election to Democrat Biden, had pressed the new Ukrainian leader in a 2019 phone call to investigate Biden and his son, Hunter, who had served as a director of a Ukrainian energy company.    News of the phone call and related actions sparked an effort to remove Trump from office.
    Asked if Biden expected to address that in the meeting, Psaki said simply: “No.”
    The Wednesday get-together took place as European leaders take stock of Biden’s abrupt withdrawal from Afghanistan, a move that prompted some allies to raise questions about U.S. security commitments.
    Ukraine and Russia have been at odds since Russia annexed the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 and backed separatists in a conflict in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region, which Ukraine says has killed 14,000 people.
    The new $60 million security assistance package for Ukraine would include Javelin anti-armor systems and other “defensive lethal and nonlethal capabilities,” a senior Biden administration official said before the visit.
    The meeting came after the Biden administration announced a deal last month with Germany intended partly to allay Ukrainian concerns about the Nord Stream 2 pipeline being built under the Baltic Sea to carry gas from Russia’s Arctic region to Germany.
    Ukraine is concerned that the pipeline, which bypasses Ukraine, could embolden Moscow to take further action against Kyiv and has sought guarantees over its status as a gas transit country once the pipeline becomes operational.
    “We are very much concerned, as you are, with the commissioning of – possible commission on the Nord Stream 2,” Zelenskiy told Biden.
    The two countries said in a joint statement after the meeting that they both oppose the project and “support efforts to increase capacity for gas supplies to Ukraine from diversified sources.”
    The U.S. Department of Energy said on Tuesday that officials from both countries had signed a letter of intent to cooperate on energy and climate change.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Steve Holland; Additional reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Peter Cooney)

9/1/2021 Gen. Milley: U.S. Troops Can Hold Heads Up High by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Army General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, holds a press briefing about the U.S. military
drawdown in Afghanistan, at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. September 1, 2021. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
    Gen. Mark Milley has attempted to tamp down anxiety being felt by thousands of veterans in the wake of the botched Afghanistan withdrawal.    The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff wrote a letter to the entire American Joint Force on Tuesday, expressing gratitude for their service in Afghanistan over the past two decades.    He told U.S. troops they can hold their head up high for preventing an attack on the homeland.
    Additionally, Milley spoke publicly for the first time since U.S. troops withdrew from Afghanistan during a retirement ceremony for Gen. Robert Adams where he also acknowledged the cost of war.
    “All of us are conflicted with feelings of pain and anger, sorrow and sadness combined with pride and resilience,” said Milley.    “But one thing I am certain of, for any soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine and their family…your service mattered and it was not in vain.”
    Milley added, a long chapter in American history is now closed.
    “This mission was historic and each of you who participated in this operation demonstrated compassion, character, commitment and exceptional competence in the execution of this high risk mission in a very fluid, dynamic, and dangerous operational environment,” stated Milley.

9/2/2021 Oil down $0.15 to $68.35, DOW down 65 to 35,312.


9/2/2021 Explainer-What Leverage Do U.S., Allies Have Over Taliban In Afghanistan? by Andrea Shalal
Taliban soldiers talk to each other, in Kabul, Afghanistan September 1, 2021. WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and its allies may have left Afghanistan in the hands of the Taliban but they still have “leverage” to make the Islamist militants honor commitments to allow people out of the country, according to U.S. President Joe Biden.
    This was echoed by U.S. officials and other Western leaders, who believe the Taliban can be pressured into abandoning their past violence and support for terrorism with carrot and stick measures given Afghanistan’s outsized dependence on imported energy, food and foreign aid – and its shaky economy
    Here are some of the most important levers the West has to press the Taliban into honoring women’s rights and cooperating with other countries:
    The United States has an outsized role to play in deciding what happens to Afghanistan’s $9 billion in gold and foreign currency reserves. Of that, $7 billion is held in the United States, with $1.3 billion in other international accounts and some $700,000 by the Bank for International Settlements, the Afghan central bank governor tweeted after fleeing the country.
    Washington quickly blocked After the Taliban takeover, the U.S. government blocked the group from accessing any central bank assets held by the Afghan government by the New York Federal Reserve or elsewhere in the United States, an administration official said the Taliban from accessing any central bank assets held by the Afghan government by the New York Federal Reserve or elsewhere in the United States, and the assets remain frozen.
    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) suspended Afghanistan’s access to IMF resources on Aug. 18, including $440 million in new emergency reserves.
    Washington is under pressure from some humanitarian groups, Afghan central bank officials and foreign governments, including Russia, to ease the freeze in assets and allow some dollar shipments, a move that would likely come with stiff conditions.
    The Taliban is likely to turn to narcotics or weapons trafficking instead, a Russian official said on Monday.
    Afghanistan relies on imports for the lion’s share of the food and fuel consumed and clothing.    It imported $8.6 billion in goods in 2019, topped by peat, wheat and petroleum, according to World Bank data.    Some 70% of electrical power is imported at an annual cost of $270 million.
    The Taliban cannot pay for such imports without access to dollars and Afghanistan’s foreign currency reserves; it had enough reserves to pay for an estimated two days of imports when overseas assets were frozen.    The U.S. and allies could condition access to dollar transactions or reserves on Taliban behavior.
    The U.S. plays a major role here too, given its influence at both the World Bank, which oversees the Afghan Reconstruction Trust Fund, and the IMF, and because of the billions it has given the Afghan government and NGOs on the ground.
    The World Bank cut off funds to Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover.    The future of the Fund is unclear.
    Last week, the U.S. Treasury issued a limited new license for the government and partners to give humanitarian aid in Afghanistan, a step that could encourage other governments to do the same.
    Before Aug. 15, grants to Afghanistan totaled around $8.5 billion a year, or about 43% of its gross domestic product.
    They funded 75% of public expenditure, 50% of the budget and about 90% of government security spending.
    Any resumption of Afghanistan’s access to these resources is likely to be made conditional on Taliban behavior.
    The Taliban as a whole, and individual Taliban leaders, are already subject to U.S. and United Nations sanctions that effectively ban their access to dollar transactions and the U.S. financial system.
    Western financial institutions are avoiding doing business with the Taliban, so they don’t run afoul of U.S. law.    Unwinding these sanctions would require a lengthy and complex process by the U.S. Treasury, administration officials say, but the department could grant licenses for more transactions based on Taliban behavior.
    Pressure is building on Afghanistan’s private banking sector given the freeze in dollar shipments.    All of the 12 banks operating in Afghanistan require overseas banks to process dollar transactions, and three are state-owned, making them directly controlled by the Taliban.
    Citibank and others have halted such support to avoid any possible sanction violations.
    The Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce, which includes Afghan commercial banks and corporate investors, is urging U.S. officials to allow a limited infusion of cash to regenerate public confidence and avoid possible panic and violence.
    Afghanistan also relies heavily on remittances, with such payments from migrant workers overseas accounting for about 4% of the country’s gross domestic product.
    Western Union, the world’s largest money transfer firm, and Moneygram have both suspended such services, shutting off the flow of funds that many families rely on to pay for food.    Reopening these services would require an easing of U.S. financial sanctions.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal and David Lawder; Editing by Heather Timmons and Grant McCool)

9/2/2021 EU Must Create Deployable Rapid Reaction Force, Borrell Says by Robin Emmott and Sabine Siebold
FILE PHOTO: European Union Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell arrives to attend the G20
meeting of foreign and development ministers in Matera, Italy, June 29, 2021. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
    BRDO, Slovenia (Reuters) -The chaotic Western withdrawal from Afghanistan is likely to be a catalyst for the European Union’s attempts to develop its common defence, the EU’s top diplomat said on Thursday, saying a rapid reaction force must be part of that.
    Calls within the EU are growing for the bloc to be able to intervene militarily in a crisis without relying on U.S. troops.
    EU defence and foreign ministers are set to discuss the way forward on Thursday and Friday at an informal meeting of EU defence ministers in Slovenia.
    “Sometimes there are events that catalyze history, that create a breakthrough, and I think that Afghanistan is one of these cases,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said before the Slovenia gathering.
    Borrell has called for a European “first entry force” of 5,000 troops to replace the EU’s battlegroups that were created in 2007 but have never been used.
    “We have to look for something more operational,” he said regarding an entry force.    “The need for more, stronger European defence is more evident that ever,” he told reporters.
    He said he hoped for a plan in October or November.
(Reporting by Robin Emmott and Sabine Siebold; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Hugh Lawson)

9/2/2021 McCarthy, O’Brien Speak On Afghanistan Withdrawal, Encourage Outreach To War On Terror Veterans by OAN Newsroom
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021. McCarthy and other Republican members
of Congress criticized President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the close of the war in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) slammed the Biden administration’s handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal while encouraging veterans who served the U.S. in the war torn nation.     While speaking from the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California, the Republican lawmaker blasted the Democrats behind the Afghanistan pullout while noting Joe Biden had already given into the Taliban.
    “These people still hate us, they hate our way of life, but now that we’ve departed we’re in a weaker position,” he stated.    “But militarily, they’re stronger because we just gave them weaponry and this administration won’t even give them accountability.”
    McCarthy placed the entirety of the blame on the Biden administration while asserting his politically motivated decision to pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan directly lead to the nation’s collapse.    The minority leader pointed out the administration’s failure’s, including its inability to give the true number of Americans still trapped there.
    Former National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien also spoke on the impact Afghanistan has had on U.S. foreign policy while noting the evacuation of Kabul created a serious international credibility issue.    McCarthy added, Biden chose the Taliban over our NATO allies.
    The minority leader later spoke to veterans of the War on Terror and encouraged Americans to thank the servicemen and women for the work they had done in the region.
    “We need them to know they did a job well done, they were successful,” McCarthy stated.    “We were not attacked for 20-years because of what they’d accomplished.    They did exactly what people have asked.”
    When asked about Biden’s isolation and failure to respond to the media, the minority leader said he was concerned with how little staff was around the president.    He then noted the difference between the current administration and the former.
    “You know as a nation, you want to do things together,” he explained.    “I’m going to have differences than the administration but when it comes to putting America in the best footing, we’re going to work well together.    But they haven’t come to us at all.    I’ve reached out numerous times.”
    McCarthy and O’Brien both admitted they wouldn’t always see eye-to-eye with the Biden administration, but added they would do their best to achieve the best outcome for the nation.

9/2/2021 Fla. Gov. DeSantis Touts Success Of Antibody Treatment For COVID-19, Says Medicine As Efficient As Vaccines by OAN Newsroom
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during the American Legislative Exchange Council
Wednesday, July 28, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is taking a victory lap as he opens more monoclonal antibody treatment sites in his state. The governor has been promoting new age COVID treatment methods, which he says is saving lives.
    “We have now in Florida, 21 different sites providing early treatment for COVID with monoclonal antibodies,” he stated.    “Have treated over 40,000 patients.”
    The governor told reporters the new therapeutics have led to a decisive decrease in hospital admissions and deaths.    He said the vast majority of patients quickly recover from COVID.
    “Since we’ve been doing those treatments, we’ve seen a decline in hospital admissions for COVID, we’ve seen a decline in the hospital census for COVID and we’ve seen a decline in the visits to emergency rooms for COVID,” DeSantis explained.
    The Republican governor also asserted that early treatment is as effective as the vaccines.
    “People who do get infected and do the monoclonal antibody, their chance of having their symptoms resolved short of hospitalization increases,” he noted.    “So you’re much less likely to get hospitalized if you do this treatment.”
    The governor said continued public outreach is vital, adding most people have never heard of monoclonal antibody treatment.
    “Most of the people, the vast majority of people who have gotten this at our sites, did not know about monoclonal antibodies a month ago,” he stated.    “Had we not done this, how many people would have ended up getting worse with no treatment?
    DeSantis has previously banned vaccine mandates and passports in Florida, saying such restrictions of personal and economic freedom are not necessary due to the available treatments for COVID.

9/2/2021 Defense Secy. Austin Praises Service Members Who Served In Afghanistan Following The End Of The War by OAN Newsroom
Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley listens during a briefing with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin at the
Pentagon in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, about the end of the war in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Mark Milley announced the end to the war in Afghanistan.    Austin commended those who served in the the region following the completion of the withdrawal.
    On Wednesday, the defense secretary said his thoughts have been with the brave Americans who stood up to serve after the September 11 attacks and with those whose lives were lost in the war. He also urged Americans to thank our service members who took part in evacuation efforts for their courage and compassion, while adding he’s incredibly proud of them.
    Austin affirmed the Pentagon will seek to learn lessons from the war, but stressed now is the time to show gratitude.    He was joined by Gen. Milley who said that that moving forward, a future dealing with the Taliban will be an uncertain one and that he isn’t sure anything has changed from the last time they controlled Afghanistan.
    “We don’t know what the future of the Taliban is, but I can tell you from personal experience that this is a ruthless group from the past,” stated the the Joint Chiefs General.    “And whether or not they change remains to be seen.”
    Austin concluded his remarks by saying he hopes Americans will look back on the war with thoughtfulness and respect.

9/3/2021 Oil up $1.58 to $69.74, DOW up 97 to 35,444.

9/3/2021 Jan. 6 riot defendant returned to jail for using internet
    IOWA CITY, Iowa – A federal judge on Thursday ordered a prominent participant in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol to return to jail after he was caught accessing the internet to watch false conspiracy theories about the presidential election.    U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly said that Doug Jensen, 42, of Des Moines, Iowa, had violated the strict conditions that were set when he released Jensen from jail on July 13, including prohibitions on accessing the internet and using a cellphone.

    Shame on you Judge Timothy J. Kelly, a United States District Court for the District of Columbia in September 2017 that you would let the Democrats influence you to be that stupid to fall for their fake issues and treat citizens worse than the criminals who are committing severe crimes in the streets of America promoted by the Democrats policies.

9/3/2021 Guatemala Orders New Travel, Social Curbs As Virus Cases Surge
FILE PHOTO: Mayan indigenous people wait their turn to receive the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine against the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) at the municipal hall in San Pedro Sacatepequez, Guatemala May 6, 2021. REUTERS/Luis Echeverria
    GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei announced new national transport curbs and social restrictions on Thursday in an effort to contain a surge of coronavirus infections and relieve pressure on hospitals.
    Giammattei opted against the toughest lockdown measures but said from Saturday, auto transport will be prohibited for most trips from 8:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. and social gatherings such as weddings and public sports events will be banned for at least four weeks.
    The president, who is a medical doctor, said in a televised speech the measures were “urgent and necessary to contain the spread of the pandemic.”
    “It will give our hospital system a chance to breath,” he said, as the capital’s biggest hospital reported it could take no new patients due to the surge of COVID-19 cases.
    The new measures require the approval of Congress, which is expected to be granted on Friday.
    Guatemala, Central America’s biggest country with about 18 million residents, has posted nearly 480,000 coronavirus infections and more than 12,000 deaths, according to official data.
    To date, only 1.3 million Guatemalans have been fully vaccinated.
(Reporting by Sofia Menchu; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Robert Birsel)

9/3/2021 Judicial Watch Sues HHS Over Suspected COVID-19 Cover-Up by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Feb. 2, 2021, file photo, a member of a World Health Organization team is seen wearing protective gear during a field visit to the Hubei Animal
Disease Control and Prevention Center for another day of field visit in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)
    Government watchdog group Judicial Watch is fighting against injustice by filing a lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) over its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.    In a new Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, the oversight group is demanding that the HHS release the emails of NIH Director Francis Collins relating to gain-of-function research, the Wuhan lab and hydroxychloroquine.
    Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton alleges the HHS was not transparent about the funding of bat virus research in Wuhan by the NIH.    Additionally, Judicial Watch is seeking documents about HHS assessments of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19.    The group argues the HHS may have covered-up the truth about COVID-19 for political reasons.
    Judicial Watch is also leading an inquiry into what it calls suspected “collusion” between The Gates Foundation and China regarding the sale of Chinese-made medications worldwide.
    “On the approach for leveraging China’s resources to help others, Gates Foundation is working with Chinese government on donations to its neighboring countries and African countries such as anti-malaria medications,” Fitton stated.    “…More specially, it helps     Chinese companies to gain prequalification of medications, so that Chinese company manufactured drugs can be sold outside of China.”
    The watchdog group went on the claim U.S. and China are working hand-in-hand to pass egregious health policies while accusing the Gates Foundation of acting as a foreign agent for the communist country.

9/3/2021 Residents Of Roseville, Calif. Remember Fallen Marine Sgt. Nicole Gee by OAN Newsroom
This Aug. 26, 2021, photo, released by U.S. Marine Corps/II Marine Expeditionary Force, shows U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, second from left,
while supporting evacuation operations in Kabul, Kabul Province, Afghanistan. Sgt. Gee died following an attack near the Hamid Karzai
International Airport in Kabul. Gee, 23, of Sacramento, California, was a maintenance technician with the 24th Marine Expeditionary
Unit from Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. (U.S. Marine Corps/II Marine Expeditionary Force via AP)
    The friends and family of slain U.S. Marine Sgt. Nicole Gee celebrated her life and legacy.    The community of Roseville, California gathered to hold a memorial vigil to honor her.
    On Tuesday, a group came together at the Vernon Street Town Square to pay tribute to one of the 13 U.S. service members killed in the Kabul airport terrorist attack.    Many of those close to her shared stories and memories of the 23-year-old.
    Gee’s older sister, Misty Fuoco, celebrated her as her best friend.
    “She was an amazing sister, wife, daughter, aunt, niece, cousin, friend and she was one pretty badass marine,” she stated.    “For Nicole good was never good enough, she had to be great and that’s exactly what she was…she was proud to be Marine and she was proud of what she was doing in Afghanistan.”
In this Aug. 20, 2021, image provided by the U.S. Marine Corps, Marines assigned to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), including
Sgt. Nicole Gee calms an infant during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. Officials said Aug. 28, that Gee of
Sacramento, Calif., was one of the Marines killed in Thursday’s bombing at the airport. (Sgt. Isaiah Campbell/U.S. Marine Corps via AP)
    One of her friend’s and a fellow Marine, Erin Libolt, discussed her experience in the military with Gee.
    “I’ll always remember her being there for me throughout boot camp, we were partners for everything,” said Libolt.    “…She was always looking to help others with anything, she was joyful in her hard work and the hardest worker in the room.    I thank God for bringing her into my life.”
    Before her father, Richard Herrera, left the stage, he had one request.    He pleaded, “never forget her please, never forget her.”
    Nicole leaves behind her husband and fellow Oakmont High School Graduate Jarod Gee.

9/3/2021 Fmr. Afghan Minister: It Was Clear For Years The Taliban Would Take Over by OAN Newsroom
Former President Ashraf Ghani (center) speaks during a joint press conference while former Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmay Rassol
(right) and former Afghan Finance Minister Omar Zakhilwal (left) look on in Kabul. (Photo by SHAH MARAI/AFP via Getty Images)
    Afghanistan’s former Finance Minister Omar Zakhilwal said he was not surprised the Afghan government fell as quickly as it did.    During an interview with the Associated Press, the former Afghan official stressed Afghanistan’s government was not a western democracy, especially while it was under the rule of Ashraf Ghani.
    He went on to say, “particularly in the past seven years under President Ghani, we also had a semi dictatorship, a monopolization.”
    Zakhilwal added the Afghan people had little to no allegiance to their government after years of rampant corruption and fake elections to keep Ghani as well as the country’s other political elites in power.
    “So there wasn’t much of a democratic legitimacy in the system either and that was one reason why it was so easy for the Taliban to topple the government,” he explained.    “Not only the people had distanced themselves from the government, not because of the democracy, but because of the lack of it, I would say.”
    Zakhilwal said this meant none of the government’s security or military forces wanted to fight for the Afghan government when it mattered.
    “Also our security, the national security forces didn’t want to fight for President Ghani or the close circle that was governing,” he stated.    “That was the main problem then, I would say the democracy itself.”
    Considering these known challenges with Afghanistan’s government, Joe Biden reportedly asked Ghani during a phone call in July to create the perception he was in control, despite knowing the Taliban takeover of the country was inevitable.    In the days leading up to the Taliban takeover of Kabul, Biden also insisted on multiple occasions the Afghan government was up to the task of taking on the Taliban without U.S. support.
    Reporter: “Your own Intel community has assessed that the Afghan government will likely collapse.”
    Biden: “That is not true.”
    Reporter: “Can you please clarify what they told you about whether that will happen or not?"
    Biden: “That is not true.    They did not reach that conclusion.“
    Biden has continued to deny the Intelligence Community knew the collapse was inevitable by saying there was no evidence for it.
    “The idea that the Taliban would takeover was premised on the notion that somehow the 300,000 troops we trained and equipped was just going to collapse, they were just going to give up,” he expressed.    “I don’t think anybody anticipated that.”
    Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s former finance minister said he didn’t believe western involvement helped in the end at all.    He added leaders including Biden continued to enable Ghani and his corrupt government.

9/3/2021 YouTube Censors Gov. Newsom Recall Video by OAN Newsroom
California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference at Manny’s in
San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
    YouTube slapped an “offensive content” label on a pro-recall Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) video.    On Thursday, the 14 minute video was marked with a label, showing the content was age-restricted and only available on YouTube.
    The video has included criticism of Newsom’s implementation of public health measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, the hypocritical mask-free visit to a California restaurant last November as well as a litany of other reasons for his ouster.
    Reporter: “Do you feel like your actions and decisions of governor would rise to a level where a recall is a fair response from the voters?
    Newsom: “No, not at all.”
    YouTube’s labelling comes as many pro-Newsom ads have continued to run unedited.    California’s gubernatorial recall election is set for September 14.

9/3/2021 Blinken To Discuss Afghan Evacuees At Meetings In Qatar And Germany
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers remarks following talks on the situation in
Afghanistan, at the State Department in Washington, U.S., August 30, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Pool
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday he would travel to Qatar on Sunday to meet with the country’s leaders and thank them for their help with evacuees from Afghanistan, and later go to Germany for a ministerial meeting.
    Blinken told a news conference at the State Department he would meet with Afghans and workers in the Qatari capital Doha “who are doing truly heroic work around the clock.”
    He said he would travel to the Ramstein Air Base in Germany where he also would meet with Afghans.    The ministerial meeting will be held virtually with partners, including more than 20 countries that have a stake in relocating and settling Afghans.
    Blinken also said the U.S. government was maintaining contact with the Taliban.    “We continue to maintain channels of communication with the Taliban, on issues that are important,” Blinken said.
    The State Department was “in constant contact” with Americans remaining in Afghanistan who still wish to leave the country, Blinken said.
    “We have dedicated teams assigned to each of these American citizens to be in constant contact with them.    We’re providing them with very tailored, very specific guidance,” he said.
    Almost all of those remaining are dual nationals whose homes are in Afghanistan and whose extended families live there, Blinken said.
    “It’s no surprise that deciding whether or not to leave the place they call home is a wrenching decision,” he said.
    Blinken also described the department’s efforts since President Joe Biden took office in January to speed the processing of special visas for Afghans who worked with U.S. forces during the 20-year war, thousands of whom are still in Afghanistan.
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, Doina Chiacu, Arshad Mohammed and Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Grant McCool)

9/3/2021 NATO Seeks More Afghan Evacuations, Vows To Hold Taliban To Promises by Robin Emmott
FILE PHOTO: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks as he attends a meeting with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
during a NATO summit, at the Alliance's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, June 14, 2021. Stephanie Lecocq/Pool via REUTERS
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday that the alliance would seek to evacuate more vulnerable Afghans and maintain contact with the Taliban, but that Afghanistan’s new rulers would have to show themselves worthy of aid and recognition.
    NATO member Turkey, which had run Kabul airport for six years, has offered to help keep it operational now that U.S. and other NATO troops have left, and Qatar has offered to help.
    Stoltenberg said he had discussed the issue with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and the Qatari foreign minister.
    He also said many Afghans who has cooperated with international forces and could therefore be at risk from the Taliban remained in Afghanistan.
    “Operational contact with Taliban is necessary to get people out,” he told Reuters in an interview.    “NATO has been able to evacuate most of the staff working for us.    But there are still many people left, and we will continue to do work to get them out.”
    He warned against expecting a swift recognition of a Taliban government, more than two weeks after the Islamist militia captured Kabul and brought an end to 20 years of war.
    Stoltenberg said it was too early to pass judgment on Taliban co-founder Mullah Baradar’s designation as head of the new government.
    “We have to judge them on their actions, not on their words,” he said.    “We will hold them accountable to what they have promised – on preventing Afghanistan being a safe haven for international terrorists, on human rights, especially rights of women, and on free passage.”
    Stoltenberg, a former Norwegian prime minister, echoed many Western governments in vowing to seek moderation from the Taliban, who enforced of a harsh version of Islamic law, including repression of women, when they were in power from 1996 to 2001.
    “We will use our leverage, political, diplomatic and financial leverage on the new rulers in Afghanistan, and we will stand united,” he said.
    He said diplomatic recognition would be discussed among NATO allies and the wider international community “to put as much pressure as possible on the Taliban government.”
(Reporting by Robin Emmott; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

9/3/2021 EU Defence Force Should Not Stretch NATO’s Resources, Stoltenberg Says by Robin Emmott
FILE PHOTO: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg gives a statement as he arrives for a defence
ministers meeting at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium May 6, 2021. John Thys/Pool via REUTERS
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday he supported European Union plans to build a common defence policy but he warned against any rapid reaction force that might duplicate allied operations.
    EU defence ministers are considering creating a “first entry force” of 5,000 troops, saying the bloc needed to react to conflicts beyond its borders, spurred by the chaotic Western withdrawal from Afghanistan.
    “We welcome more EU efforts on defence, but that cannot replace NATO.    It should not duplicate NATO, because we have one set of forces, we have scarce resources,” Stoltenberg told Reuters in an interview
    The EU’s efforts to create a force have been paralysed for more than a decade, despite the creation in 2007 of a system of EU battalion-sized battlegroups of 1,500 troops that have never been used due to disputes over funding and reluctance to deploy.
    “I mean you have to use them in the best possible way.    The EU has had battlegroups for many years, they have not been deployed,” he said.
    NATO created a Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, with the United States contributing high-end military assets.
    The EU, most of whose members are in NATO, says it must be able to act independent of its U.S. ally in the Western alliance, the world’s foremost military power, in Europe’s backyard to defend its own interests.
(Reporting by Robin Emmott; Editing by Alison Williams)

9/3/2021 Sen. Manchin Wants A ‘Strategic Pause’ On Spending Bills by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 03: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) leaves the U.S. Capitol following
a vote on August 03, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
    Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) is splitting with his party over excessive spending.    On Thursday, Manchin published an op-ed saying he wanted to put a “strategic pause” on the $3.5 trillion spending bill.
    The moderate senator said Congress’ appetite for spending huge sums of money would have negative consequences for the future.    Manchin is a key vote and without his support, Democrats will be hard pressed to pass anything in the Senate without bipartisan support.
    “A pause is warranted because it will provide more clarity on the trajectory of the pandemic, and it will allow us to determine whether inflation is transitory or not,” said Manchin.
    Manchin said that he has always been committed to not voting for something in which he can’t explain, and the budget-reconciliation legislation is something he can’t explain.
    “I have always said if I can’t explain it, I can’t vote for it, and I can’t explain why my Democratic colleagues are rushing to spend $3.5 trillion.”
    The large spending bill would include funding to combat climate change, contribute to paid family and medical leave and expanding the child tax credit, calling for massive tax hikes on corporations and high-income earners.

9/3/2021 Biden Falsely Claims He Visited Tree Of Life Synagogue by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, D.C. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
    Joe Biden falsely claimed he visited the Tree of Life synagogue after the tragic 2018 massacre.    However, the executive director of the synagogue firmly said on the Thursday, the Democrat never visited.
    He claimed, “I remember spending time at, going to, the Tree of Life synagogues.”
    Biden made the remark during another rocky speech at the White House on Thursday.    He also raised eyebrows when he recounted a Jewish song allegedly played at his wedding.
    “They played, my mind is going blank now, what is the song that is played where everybody is on the chair?” he questioned.    “I can’t remember it.    Anyway, that’s the song that was played, so I don’t know what the hell is going on here.”
    Biden also brought up his favorite hymn from the Catholic church, but quickly forgot details about it.

9/3/2021 Gov. DeSantis Appeals Court Ruling Against Ban On School Mask Mandates by OAN Newsroom
SURFSIDE, FLORIDA – AUGUST 10: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis waits to present a check to a first responder during an event to give out
bonuses to them held at the Grand Beach Hotel Surfside on August 10, 2021 in Surfside, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has continued to fight for parents’ freedoms.    On Thursday, DeSantis appealed a judge’s ruling against his order banning public schools from requiring students to mask-up.
    The appeal put the ruling on hold, effectively reinstating the ban on mask mandates until a higher court rules on the case.    However, plaintiffs have begun petitioning the court allow the judge’s ruling to stay in place pending the high court’s decision.
    The lawsuit was filed by concerned parents who argued the virus still poses a risk to children under the age of 12 and who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated.    Although, DeSantis has argued the best policy is to allow parents to opt-out of putting masks on their kids if that’s what they think is best for them.
    In the meantime, the court of appeals isn’t expected to make a ruling on the lawsuit until mid-November.

9/3/2021 Secy. Of State Blinken: U.S. In Contact With Americans Left Behind by OAN Newsroom
Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks about Afghanistan during a media briefing at the State
Department, on September 3, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / POOL / AFP)
    Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he’s traveling to Qatar to meet with leaders and express gratitude for helping Americans in evacuation efforts.
    During a press briefing on Friday, Blinken said about 100 Americans remain in Afghanistan and the State Department has been in constant contact.    He added it’s unclear how many Special Immigrant Visa applicants still remain.
    “We continue to process as many SIV applications as possible.    We’re exploring alternative ways to process applications, so applicants don’t have to wait in Afghanistan until we’re finished,” said Blinken.    “But instead if they can go…get there, get to a third country for additional processing before coming to the United States.”
    Following his visit to Qatar, Blinken plans to head over to a U.S. airbase in Germany to meet up with his German counterpart, along with Afghans waiting to be processed.    In the meantime, Blinken said the U.S. is committed to looking at everything America and Afghanistan have gone through from early relations to the present.

9/3/2021 Rep. Jordan Confident Trump Will Run For Another Term In 2024 by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump (R) shakes hands with Jim Jordan, U.S. representative for Ohio’s Fourth Congressional
District, during a campaign-style rally in Wellington, Ohio, on June 26, 2021. (Photo by STEPHEN ZENNER / AFP)
    Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said he believes President Trump will make another White House run in 2024.    During a speech at a GOP event in Iowa on Thursday, the Ohio Republican said he wants Trump to run.    He added the 45th president has proven he can take the heat.
    Jordan went on to say, “we’re at a moment where we’ve got to have someone who’s willing to fight and stand up to all the abuses.”
    “I talked to him yesterday, I’m convinced he’s going to, you know, he’s thinking about this fine governor you have as part of that amazing ticket,” said Jordan, referring to Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R).
    Trump has yet to make a decision on another presidential bid and has instead been focusing on helping Republicans gain control of Congress.    Although in an interview last month, he hinted at a 2024 run saying, “I’ve won it twice and now I have to win it again.”

9/3/2021 Exclusive-Google Locks Afghan Government Accounts As Taliban Seek Emails - Source by Raphael Satter
FILE PHOTO: A logo is seen on the New York Google offices. New York City, U.S.,
July 29, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kell/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Google has temporarily locked down an unspecified number of Afghan government email accounts, according to a person familiar with the matter, as fears grow over the digital paper trail left by former officials and their international partners.
    In the weeks since the Taliban’s swift takeover of Afghanistan from a U.S.-backed government, reports have highlighted how biometric and Afghan payroll databases might be exploited by the new rulers to hunt their enemies.
    In a statement on Friday, Alphabet Inc’s Google stopped short of confirming that Afghan government accounts were being locked down, saying that the company was monitoring the situation in Afghanistan and “taking temporary actions to secure relevant accounts.”
    One employee of the former government has told Reuters the Taliban are seeking to acquire former officials’ emails.
    Late last month the employee said that the Taliban had asked him to preserve the data held on the servers of the ministry he used to work for.
    “If I do so, then they will get access to the data and official communications of the previous ministry leadership,” the employee said.
    The employee said he did not comply and has since gone into hiding.    Reuters is not identifying the man or his former ministry out of concern for his safety.
    Publicly available mail exchanger records show that some two dozen Afghan government bodies used Google’s servers to handle official emails, including the ministries of finance, industry, higher education, and mines.    Afghanistan’s office of presidential protocol also used Google, according to the records, as did some local government bodies.
    Commandeering government databases and emails could provide information about employees of the former administration, ex-ministers, government contractors, tribal allies and foreign partners.
    “It would give a real wealth of information,” said Chad Anderson, a security researcher with internet intelligence firm DomainTools who helped Reuters identify which ministries ran which email platform. “Just even having an employee list on a Google Sheet is a big problem,” he said, citing reports of reprisals against government workers.
    Mail exchanger records show that Microsoft Corp’s email services were also used by several Afghan government agencies, including the ministry of foreign affairs and the presidency.    But it isn’t clear what steps, if any, the software firm is taking to prevent data from falling into the hands of the Taliban.
    Microsoft declined comment.
    Anderson said the Taliban’s attempt to control U.S.-built digital infrastructure was worth keeping an eye on.    Intelligence drawn from that infrastructure, he said, “may be far more valuable to a fledgling government than old helicopters.”
(Reporting by Raphael Satter; editing by Grant McCool)

9/3/2021 U.S. Seen Funding Humanitarian Aid For Afghanistan, But Not Its Goverment by Arshad Mohammed, Patricia Zengerle and Jonathan Landay
FILE PHOTO: Taliban forces patrol at a runway a day after U.S troops withdrawal from Hamid Karzai
International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan August 31, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Congress is likely to finance U.N. and other agencies providing humanitarian assistance for Afghanistan but there is virtually no chance it will directly fund a new Taliban-led government, congressional aides said on Friday.
    The United States has been a massive funder of Afghanistan since its 2001 invasion to topple the Taliban, setting aside roughly $130 billion for security, governance and development and humanitarian needs.
    Aides to the Democrats who control both houses of Congress and to Republicans said lawmakers were nearly certain to provide humanitarian aid for internally displaced Afghans and refugees but not to the government itself, at least for now.
    “It would be difficult to convince members of Congress to do anything that would appear to be supporting the Taliban government,” said a senior Senate Democratic aide, citing the absence of oversight and a reluctance “to support a government that is anathema to us.”
    A senior Senate Republican aide concurred.
    “Republicans would absolutely not support giving money to the Taliban,” the Republican aide said, saying they do not want to provide any money until Americans and Afghans who worked with the United States can leave Afghanistan.
    While aides said there was an understanding that agencies such as the World Food Program and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees would need funds, the Republican said lawmakers would want strict conditions on how it is spent.
    “There needs to be a distinct look at what this is going to look like and how this is going to flow,” he said.
    For fiscal 2022 starting Oct. 1, Congress set aside $136.45 million in the Economic Support Fund, which the Democratic aide said was the source for underwriting Afghan government salaries, and $52.03 million for Afghan humanitarian aid, according to the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.     The aides all but ruled out contributing to the salaries of Afghan civil servants who, working under a Taliban-led government, might oversee such basic services as running schools, health clinics and hospitals.
    “I find it hard to imagine that happening, in part because how would we know that the funds weren’t ending up in the wrong hands?” said the senior Senate Democratic aide.
    The aide said Congress might appropriate as much as the $144 million to $279 million it has set aside annually in the last decade for Afghan humanitarian needs, depending on what U.N. agencies and others determine is required.
    The State Department did not immediately reply to a request for comment on whether it would request additional funds for Afghanistan.
    Taliban sources said the group’s co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar would lead a new government set to be announced soon.    Its first task may be to stave off the collapse of an economy grappling with drought and the ravages of a 20-year war.
    Taliban fighters entered Kabul on Aug. 15.    A massive U.S. airlift brought out about 124,000 Americans, other foreigners and Afghans at risk from the militant group’s takeover.
(Reporting By Arshad Mohammed, Patricia Zengerle and Jonathan Landay; Writing by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

9/4/2021 Oil down $0.49 to $69.28, DOW down 74 to 35,369.

    On 9/5/2021 the following was created by me, Jim A. Cornwell because there is an extreme injustice in Washington D.C. which is controlled by the Democrat regime which no longer has any credibility of what the United States of America stands for as for honor, integrity or stability if the incident below is not considered as an criminal action by Michael Byrd and it is very obvious if this was reversed and it was a Republican party committing the same incident the Democrat party would be at the capitol with pitchforks as if Frankenstein was creating his monster.

                Michael Byrd --------------------------- Ashli Babbitt
9/4/2021 A song by Michael Byrd but Lyrics for Ashli Babbitt
I shot the Babbitt, but I did not shoot a Democrat.
I shot the Babbitt, but I did not shoot a Democrat.
All around in Washington D.C. they're trying to track me down.
They say they want to bring me in guilty.
For the killing of a Babbitt.
For the life of a Babbitt, but I say.
I shot the Babbitt, but I swear it was in self-defense.
I shot the Babbitt, and they say it is a capital offense.
Republicans always hated me.
For what I don't know.
Since there were two officers behind her.
Every time that I pulled my gun out without a threat.
He said, "Kill the riot before it grows."
He said, "Kill it before it grows", I say.
I shot the Babbitt, but I swear it was in self-defense.
I shot the Babbitt, but I swear it was in self-defense.
Freedom came my way somehow by corrupt security officials.
And I started out of town.
All of a sudden I see Ashli Babbitt.
Aiming to threaten me down.
So I shot her in the head, I say.
I shot the Babbitt, but I did not shoot a Democrat.
I shot the Babbitt, but I did not shoot a Democrat.
Reflexes got the better of me and what is to be must be.
Every day the bucket goes to the well.
But one day the bottom will drop out.
Yes, one day the bottom will drop out, but I say.
I shot the Babbitt, but I did not shoot a Democrat, oh no.
I shot the Babbitt, but I did not shoot a Democrat, oh no.

A pun on Eric Clapton's song "I shot the sheriff"

9/4/2021 Nancy Pelosi Under Fire For Adding $200M Earmark For Presidio Park In San Francisco by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
    House Republicans have been doing whatever possible to stop the Democrats from passing their latest massive spending proposal.    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was called out for adding her own special projects to the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package.
    “It wasn’t 3.5 they voted for.    It was nearly $5 trillion they just voted for this week,” explained House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).    “There is no longer a centrist Democrat. There is no longer a moderate Democrat. Every single Democrat voted for this.”
    This process is known as earmarking and Pelosi was recently called out by some on the right for slipping a $200 million earmark into the package for the historic Presidio Park in San Francisco. Republican Rep. Bruce Westerman (Ark.), ranking member of the     House Natural Resources Committee, argued this was an example of Pelosi jamming her wish list items through the reconciliation process, even if it meant future generations would be burdened with further mountains of debt.
    Pelosi has been highly involved with Presidio Park since the 1990s as she has worked to help create the Presidio trust when the park transitioned from a military installation.    She has even spoken at the park for major development and conservation projects.
    “This is something quite spectacular and it takes us to a new level of example for the rest of the country, new level of beauty,” she expressed.    “New level of inspiration, but most importantly a new level of involving young people.”
    The Republicans of the Natural Resources Committee have used this earmark by Pelosi as an example of how the $3.5 trillion spending bill has become a slush fund for partisan pet projects.    The $200 million designated in the bill for the Presidio trust was just one small part of a $31 billion portion of the proposal.
    Meanwhile, Republicans on the Natural Resources Committee have introduced a barrage of amendments in an effort to obstruct the passage of the bill.

9/4/2021 NYC Mayor De Blasio Considering Run For N.Y. Gov. by OAN Newsroom
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at a press conference in the College Point neighborhood
of the Queens borough of in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) has considered a potential run for governor.    According to recent reports, the Democrat mayor called labor union leaders to see if he would have the support to throw his hat into the ring.
    Advisers close to the mayor said De Blasio did not want to leave politics when his term has ended.    On Friday, De Blasio did not confirm his run, but also refused to deny it.
    “But look, I believe in public service, I’ve done it my whole life.    I want to keep working on crucial issues and causes particularly care about things like education for our kids,” he stated.    “We still have a long way to go on that.    These are the kinds of things I’m going to devote myself to.    So, we’ll see what the future brings.”
    De Blasio polled in second place among Democrats for the June primary as he tied with incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.).    Currently, Attorney General Letitia James, who released multiple reports about former governor Andrew Cuomo’s alleged criminal activities, polled in first.
    Some Democrat operatives said if De Blasio were to run, he would have to fight for the left flank of the party to win the nomination.

9/4/2021 Biden Sends Mixed Messages On Lackluster Economic Recovery by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden delivers remarks on the August jobs report in the State Dining Room
at the White House in Washington, D.C. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
    Joe Biden said the economy was recovering well, despite August’s lackluster jobs report.    According to Friday’s report, only about 230,000 jobs were created in August, while predictions said three times as many should have been created.
    This would mean unemployment dropped only two tenths of a percent as it now sits at 5.2. Biden blamed the worst of the results on the Delta variant as well as people who have refused the COVID-19 vaccine.
    Even with these problems, Biden said he believed the so-called Biden plan was working to bring the economy back from lockdown ruin.
    “Despite the impact of the Delta variant, and I’ll talk a little more about that in a minute, what we’re seeing is an economic recovery that’s durable and strong,” he claimed.    “The Biden plan is working.    We’re getting results.    America is on the move again.”
    To fix ongoing issues with the recovery, Biden said taxes on the wealthy needed to be raised and noted the amount of billionaires that have grown during the COVID-19 crisis.    Biden added the raised taxes would be used to fund new entitlement programs, which he claimed would help level the playing field.

9/4/2021 Afghanistan A Wake-Up Call For Europe On Defence, Leadership – France
FILE PHOTO: French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire attends a news conference after a meeting with
business federations at the Bercy Finance Ministry in Paris, France, August 30, 2021. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier
    CERNOBBIO, Italy (Reuters) – The challenges to security emerging from the upheaval in Afghanistan should be a wake-up call for the European Union, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Saturday, urging the EU to be more ambitious on defence and on global leadership.
    “Europe has to become No. 3 super-power besides China and the United States.    Let’s open our eyes, we are facing threats and we cannot rely anymore on the protection of the United States,” Le Maire told reporters during an annual business conference in Cernobbio on Lake Como.
    “Afghanistan is a wake-up call,” he said, adding Europe also faced security threats in the Middle East and in Africa.
    The French minister said Paris had decided to invest 1.7 billion euros ($2.02 billion) more in defence this year and would like to see other European countries to do the same.
    The minister also called other EU member states to invest and to deepen their single market to achieve technological independence from big overseas companies and third countries.
    “EU member states have to build the single market for finance and also they need to reach a political agreement on the banking union, in order to have more funds for new technologies,” Le Maire said.
    He added that France will work toward these goals when it takes the rotating presidency of the EU Council, in the first half of 2022.
    “You cannot be sovereign on the political point of view if you depend from foreigners for semiconductors, electric batteries, satellites…” he said, echoing similar comments from Italy’s Innovation Minister Vittorio Colao, who was also in Cernobbio.
    Europe should invest to win the leadership in sectors including hydrogen, the digital cloud, artificial intelligence, semiconductors, space exploration, satellites and bio-technologies, Le Maire said.
($1 = 0.8416 euros)
(Reporting by Francesca Landini; Editing by Frances Kerry)

9/4/2021 Britain Warns Of ‘Cold Mistrust’ If EU Does Not Move On Northern Ireland Trade
FILE PHOTO: Loyalists protest against the Northern Ireland Brexit protocol at
Belfast Harbour Estate, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, July 3, 2021. REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff
    LONDON (Reuters) – The stand-off between Britain and the European Union over post-Brexit trading rules for Northern Ireland threatens to create “cold mistrust” in the broader relationship between London and the bloc, Britain’s Brexit minister said on Saturday.
    David Frost said Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government did not want to sweep away the so-called Northern Ireland Protocol, but did need to see “substantial and significant change.”
    Those changes covered the movement of goods into Northern Ireland, standards for goods and governance arrangements.
    “I want to be clear that any response which avoids serious engagement with those ideas, and aims at just dragging out the process, will in the end not work for us,” Frost said in a speech to the British-Irish Association.
    The EU began an infringement procedure against Britain in March over changes to the Northern Ireland trade arrangements that, according to Brussels, breached the Brexit divorce deal agreed with London last year.
    The bloc’s executive said in July it was holding off on the legal action after London asked for a standstill period.
    The protocol seeks to protect a 1998 peace accord by keeping an open border between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland, without opening a back door to the bloc’s single market.
    Checks on goods between the British mainland and Northern Ireland have disrupted trade flows and angered unionists who resist any moves that they see as endangering the province’s role in the United Kingdom.
(Reporting by William Schomberg; Editing by Helen Popper)

9/4/2021 New Migrant Caravan Sets Off For U.S. From Southern Mexico by Jose Torres
Migrants and asylum seekers from Central America and the Caribbean walk in a caravan heading
to the U.S., in Tapachula, Chiapas state, Mexico September 4, 2021. REUTERS/Jacob Garcia
    TAPACHULA, Mexico (Reuters) – A migrant caravan of around 400 people, including many children, set off from the southern Mexican city of Tapachula for the United States on Saturday, just a couple of days after security and migration officials dispersed another large group.
    Mostly comprising Central Americans and Haitians, the caravan left at around 7:30 a.m. local time from a park in Tapachula where they had been staying, ignoring an earlier attempt by security forces to make them give up, a Reuters witness reported.
    Many in the group, which included Venezuelans and other South Americans, said they were fleeing poverty and violence at home as they began trekking towards the town of Huixtla.
    This week Mexican officials gradually broke up another caravan as President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he wanted undocumented migrants to stay in southern Mexico, while also urging the U.S. government to help them find work.
    Sharon, a 31-year-old Honduran wearing a Minnie Mouse face mask, said after spending a year living in Tapachula struggling to support her three children by selling gum, she felt she had to make a bid to reach the United States.
    “I’ve handed in paperwork, but nothing ever gets fixed,” she said tearfully. “Just appointments and more appointments. I am scared, but if I don’t get out of here, I’m not going to get work,” she said, declining to give her last name.
    Some of the migrants travelling in the caravan earlier this week complained they had been subject to brutal treatment by Mexican officials, and the government’s National Migration Institute condemned incidents of violence captured on video.
(Reporting by Jose Torres in Tapachula, Mexico; Editing by Dave Graham and Matthew Lewis)

9/4/2021 Beef Giant Brazil Halts China Exports After Confirming Two Mad Cow Disease Cases by Nayara Figueiredo
Cattle are seen on a farm with fog in the city of Chapada dos Guimaraes, in the
central Brazilian state of Mato Grosso February 8, 2013. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
    SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazil, the world’s largest beef exporter, has suspended beef exports to its No. 1 customer China after confirming two cases of “atypical” mad cow disease in two separate domestic meat plants, the agriculture ministry said on Saturday.
    The suspension, which is part of an animal health pact agreed between China and Brazil and is designed to allow Beijing time to take stock of the problem, begins immediately, the ministry said in a statement. China will decide when to begin importing again, it added.
    The suspension is a major blow for Brazilian farmers: China and Hong Kong buy more than half of Brazil’s beef exports.
    The cases were identified in meat plants in the states of Mato Grosso and Minas Gerais, the ministry said.    It said they were the fourth and fifth cases of “atypical” mad cow disease that have been detected in Brazil in 23 years.
    It said “atypical” mad cow disease develops spontaneously and is not related to eating contaminated foods.    Brazil has never had a case of “classic” mad cow disease, it said.
    The two cases were confirmed on Friday after samples were sent to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) lab in Alberta, Canada, the ministry said.    The OIE had subsequently been informed of the two cases, in compliance with international norms, the ministry said.
    The ministry said there was no risk to animal or human health.
    Brazil’s government will hope the suspension is lifted quickly.    The country’s powerful agribusiness sector is one of the main drivers of its long-lagging economy.    China is Brazil’s top trade partner, and buys vast quantities of its commodities.
(Reporting by Nayara Figueiredo in Sao Paulo; Writing by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

9/4/2021 France To Push For Deal On Tax Reform Details At Next G20 Meeting – Minister
FILE PHOTO: French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire attends a news conference after a meeting with business federations about when crisis
support measures should be wound down, at the Bercy Finance Ministry in Paris, France, August 30, 2021.
REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier
    CERNOBBIO, Italy (Reuters) – France will do its best to reach a deal at next G20 meeting on the technical parameters for a global tax reform, which aims to change the way large companies are taxed, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Saturday.
    Asked whether he was confident that the new U.S. administration could win U.S. Congress approval on the global tax reform in the short term, Le Marie said that U.S. Treasury head Janet Yellen had showed optimism on the issue.
(Reporting by Francesca Landini; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

9/4/2021 U.N. To Convene Afghanistan Aid Conference On Sept. 13
FILE PHOTO: U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during a news conference before a meeting with Spain's
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez at Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, July 2, 2021. REUTERS/Susana Vera/File Photo
    ZURICH (Reuters) – The United Nations will convene an international aid conference in Geneva on Sept. 13 to help avert what U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres called a “looming humanitarian catastrophe.”
    “We need the international community to stand together and support the Afghan people,” Guterres said in a post on Twitter announcing the conference that he said would seek a swift scale-up in funding for humanitarian relief.
    “We also appeal for full and unimpeded humanitarian access to make sure Afghans continue to get the essential services they need,” he said.
    Many Afghans were struggling to feed their families amid severe drought well before Taliban militants seized power last month and millions may now face starvation with the country isolated and the economy unravelling, aid agencies say.
    “The United Nations stands in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan and is committed to staying and delivering for them,” Guterres said.
(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Mark Potter)

9/4/2021 Mexico’s President Plans To Send A Letter To Joe Biden For Work Visas by OAN Newsroom
President of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images)
    Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has planned to send a letter to Joe Biden.    On Thursday, Obrador said he would be urging Biden to help him craft a plan to offer work visas to immigrants.
    Obrador added Biden would be receiving the letter by next week.    He has hoped immigrants would be able to go to work for six months while being able to return to their home in Central America.
    He went on to say, “Lour aim is to keep migrants in the country’s south, southeast as much as possible because by allowing them to fully enter the country, to go through our country, poses many risks of human rights violations.”
    Obrador said authorities in Southern Mexico have continued to detain Central American migrants trying to escape poverty.

9/4/2021 Cotton: Biden Admin. Left The Vast Majority Of Vetted Afghans Behind by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Demetrius Freeman-Pool/Getty Images)
    Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton (R) said tens of thousands of Afghans coming into the country would not be vetted.    In an interview on Friday, Cotton said Biden pulled a bait and switch by leaving behind the majority of the Afghan allies who deserved to be saved.
    The senator pointed out tens of thousands of Afghans who had no direct connection with the military were evacuated out of the region.    He added these individuals were currently in route to the U.S.
    “Joe Biden left behind Americans.    He left behind vetted Afghan allies who risked their lives for our soldiers,” he expressed.    “A disgraceful lack of leadership from an incompetent president.”
    Cotton went on to say it is unknown whether those coming into the country would be a threat or if they would accept the principles of a constitutional government.

9/4/2021 Police, Firefighters Sue Ore. Gov. Brown Over Vaccine Mandate by OAN Newsroom
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown reacts during a press conference in Roseburg, Oregon on October 2, 2015. (Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images)
    A group of Oregon firefighters and police officers are suing Gov. Kate Brown (D).    The governor of Oregon is being sued by a coalition of state police officers and firefighters over a mandate requiring the coronavirus vaccine for state workers.
    Filed in Jefferson County Circuit Court, the suit against Gov. Brown asks a judge to declare her executive order as unenforceable.    First reported by local news outlet Koin, the plaintiffs argued the mandate conflicts with Oregon statutes, would result in a wrongful termination of workers and conflicts with the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection, free exercise and due process.
    “This isn’t an issue about the vaccine, it’s the issue of being told if you don’t get it you’re gonna lose your profession,” said Portland-based lawyer, Dan Thenell.
    Back in August, Brown announced all state executive branch employees would be required to be fully vaccinated on or before Oct. 18.    In addition, the lawsuit said firefighters and troopers are being forced to choose between their rights as citizens and their careers, along with financial futures.
    “These are not callous public servants who don’t want to be told what to do and follow rules.    They take an oath to uphold the law, they take an oath to uphold the Constitution of Oregon and the United States, and they think this order is a violation of those sources of law,” said Thenell.    “They’re standing up for what they believe in.”
    The plaintiffs have argued forcing workers to decide between their livelihoods and vindicating their constitutional rights is “unconscionable and wrong.”
    Brown declined to comment, however a spokesperson for the governor said she’s responding to a public health crisis.    In the meantime, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 64 percent of Oregon’s population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

9/4/2021 Survey: Trump, Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis Popular Among Republican Voters by OAN Newsroom
SUNRISE, FLORIDA – NOVEMBER 26: President Donald Trump introduces Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis during a homecoming
campaign rally at the BB&T Center on November 26, 2019 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
    A recent survey found President Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) prevailing in a hypothetical 2024 GOP primary.    In the survey, Republican voters were highly in favor of Trump who took 67 percent of the vote.    Whereas, DeSantis also reportedly saw double-digit support at ten percent.
    Former Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley fell in third place with seven percent, followed by former Vice President Mike Pence with six percent.    However, when Trump was taken out of the running, DeSantis led with 32 percent support.
    “This data suggests that Republicans want either Trump or a Trumpian candidate to be their nominee, or half of them may split from the party,” said Spencer Kimball, director of Emerson College Polling.
    Despite the polling numbers, neither have announced a potential run for president in 2024.

9/4/2021 Mo. Attorney General Eric Schmitt: Pro-CCP? by OAN Newsroom
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt speaks during a news conference in St. Louis. Missouri’s Republican governor and attorney general have told the U.S.
Department of Justice that they stand by the state’s new law that would ban police from enforcing federal gun rules. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)
    Critics have questioned Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt in his bid for a Senate seat in 2022 amid concerns surrounding his allegedly pro-Chinese Communist Party (CCP) stance.    Schmitt has reportedly condemned China over the past several years, but had previously looked at partnering with them while he was a state senator.
    “We need to be a player again. We need to invest in our future and our infrastructure,” said Schmitt.    “We have a location and transportation assets that can put us on the map again and improve our economy.”
    While he first filed a lawsuit last year against the CCP and the Wuhan Lab over COVID-19, he allegedly tried to increase exports and foreign trade with China in 2011.    However, when his office was questioned, they denied Schmitt has helped China and called the claim “laughable.”
    In the meantime, Schmitt said he filed the suit to hold the Chinese Communist Party and Chinese authorities accountable for their role in the COVID-19 pandemic.    “The COVID-19 pandemic, which has taken lives, ruined businesses, destroyed economies, and more.    Serving these entities is an important step in that process.”

9/4/2021 GOP Primary Winner Curtis Sliwa To Launch Spanish Ads by OAN Newsroom
NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 04: Curtis Sliwa attends a protest against N.Y. Governor Andrew Cuomo and protest for
a moratorium on evictions on August 4, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
    New York City mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa is preparing to launch Spanish campaign ads.    The $250,000 ads, both airing on cable and broadcast beginning on Tuesday, seeks to target Sliwa’s Latino demographic.
    “We believe that the Latino vote is going to be extremely important in this election.    It’s growing larger and larger than ever before and Curtis has a following among folks of Spanish speaking heritage,” campaign senior advisor Rob Cole said in a statement.
    This comes as the Republican nominee recently received public matching funds from the city in the amount of $2.6 million.    Now, Sliwa has challenged Democrat nominee Eric Adams to a September debate.
    Sliwa took to Twitter to say, “now, I am challenging Eric Adams to a September debate.    Let’s give the voters what they deserve: real debate about our city’s future!

9/4/2021 Biden Moves To Declassify 9/11 Documents by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 03: Joe Biden delivers remarks on the August jobs numbers in the State Dining Room
at the White House on September 03, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    Joe Biden announced an executive order to declassify documents related to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.    In a statement released on Friday, Biden said as the U.S. approaches the 20-year mark since the attacks, he’s going to begin the process of releasing documents from America’s investigation.
    The information is slated to be revealed over the next six months as the Attorney General’s office prepares the documents.
    “Although this development followed the U.S. District Court rulings upholding the government’s privilege assertions, the FBI has decided to review its prior privilege assertions to identify additional information appropriate for disclosure,” said a Justice Department spokesperson.    “The FBI will disclose such information on a rolling basis as expeditiously as possible.”
    During Biden’s presidential campaign, he had promised to ensure the maximum degree of transparency.
    “As I promised during my campaign, my administration is committed to ensuring the maximum degree of transparency under the law, and to adhering to the rigorous guidance issued during the Obama-Biden administration on the invocation of the state secrets privilege,” said Biden in a statement.
    He added the nearly 3,000 innocent people killed will always be remembered and said the attacks left a hole in the hearts of many.
    “My heart continues to be with the 9/11 families who are suffering, and my administration will continue to engage respectfully with members of this community. I welcome their voices and insight as we chart a way forward,” said Biden.

9/4/2021 Pompeo: Biden Knew Afghanistan Would Fall To Taliban Without U.S. Military Backing by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 21: 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. (Photo by Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)
    Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said there was no leverage for Americans during the chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal. In an interview on Friday, Pompeo said the U.S. had actual leverage when we held Bagram Air Base and had troops on the ground.    However, that leverage no longer exists.
    He added he believes when the Biden administration officials talk about leverage, they actually mean money, implying the U.S. would pay the Taliban to let remaining Americans out.    Pompeo also suggested that in conversations with Afghan leadership, Biden was informed the Afghan military would collapse without U.S. support.    Therefore, showcasing the Biden administration’s dishonesty.
    In addition, Pompeo called Biden and former Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani’s phone conversation regarding Afghan military preparedness, “unforgiveable.”
    “Biden knew the truth; he knew the truth that the Afghan army still needed continuous American support.    The intelligence community, our military leaders were all very clear during our entire four years that they continue to need our support in spite of all that we had done for them,” Pompeo said in an interview.

9/4/2021 Biden Sends Mixed Messages On Lackluster Economic Recovery by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden delivers remarks on the August jobs report in the State Dining Room
at the White House in Washington, D.C. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
    Joe Biden said the economy was recovering well, despite August’s lackluster jobs report.    According to Friday’s report, only about 230,000 jobs were created in August, while predictions said three times as many should have been created.
    This would mean unemployment dropped only two tenths of a percent as it now sits at 5.2.    Biden blamed the worst of the results on the Delta variant as well as people who have refused the COVID-19 vaccine.
    Even with these problems, Biden said he believed the so-called Biden plan was working to bring the economy back from lockdown ruin.
    “Despite the impact of the Delta variant, and I’ll talk a little more about that in a minute, what we’re seeing is an economic recovery that’s durable and strong,” he claimed.    “The Biden plan is working. We’re getting results. America is on the move again.”
    To fix ongoing issues with the recovery, Biden said taxes on the wealthy needed to be raised and noted the amount of billionaires that have grown during the COVID-19 crisis.    Biden added the raised taxes would be used to fund new entitlement programs, which he claimed would help level the playing field.

9/5/2021 No Oil or DOW info.

9/5/2021 Beshear calls for special session - General Assembly meets Tuesday in COVID effort by Joe Sonka and Morgan Watkins, Louisville Courier Journal USA TODAY NETWORK
    Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear is calling for a special session of the General Assembly to address the commonwealth’s alarming rise in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
    The session will begin Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the state Capitol in Frankfort.
    Beshear’s call comes two weeks after the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled a lower court was wrong to block new laws limiting the scope of the governor’s emergency powers, giving the Republicans’ legislative supermajority a substantial say over any new policy measures to address the pandemic.
    The governor’s call for a special session follows more than a week of negotiations with Republican leaders over the scope of a potential session and what pandemic-related legislation both could>     Beshear began Saturday’s announcement with a warning about the severity of the current surge in cases and hospitalizations due to the delta variant.
    “In previous surges, the governor — me — was empowered to act. To do what is necessary to stop the spike, to flatten the curve, to save lives.    But a recent state Supreme Court decision has changed that,” he said.    “Now that burden will fall in large part on the General Assembly.
    “They’ll have to carry much of that weight.    To confront unpopular choices and to make decisions that balance many things, including the lives and the possible deaths of our citizens
    Under the Kentucky constitution, the governor has the exclusive power to both call a special session and set the agenda of any legislation it considers.
    In a virtual press conference Saturday, Beshear laid out what the agenda for this special session will be.
    He said he’s asking the Republican-dominated legislature to:
    Those requests include extending a flooding-related state of emergency in Nicholas County for 30 to 45 days and giving the state Cabinet for Economic Development more flexibility for projects totaling over $2 billion in investment.
    The Legislative Research Commission estimates a special session would cost about $68,000 per day.    The legislature can’t add subjects to the session’s.
Gov. Andy Beshear speaks during a press conference after the Kentucky Supreme Court heard oral arguments
for two cases challenging the governor’s ability to issue emergency declarations. RYAN C. HERMENS, LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER

9/5/2021 After Messy Pullout, Blinken To Intensify Afghanistan Diplomacy In Qatar, Germany by Humeyra Pamuk
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks about Afghanistan during a media briefing at the
State Department, in Washington, U.S., September 3, 2021. Olivier Douliery/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A week after declaring America’s “new chapter” of engagement with Afghanistan, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will aim to form a united front with allies this week on how to tackle the Taliban and ensure continued support for U.S. bid to help evacuate Americans and at-risk Afghans who remained behind.
    In a trip to Qatar and Germany, Blinken will be overlapping with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin who is also departing on Sunday for a wider Gulf visit covering Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait.
    The visit by top two U.S. national security officials comes as the Biden administration still grapples with the fallout from what is widely seen as a messy U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, criticized by President Joe Biden’s fellow Democrats, as well as Republicans.
    Dubbed as a “thank you” tour to the Gulf countries and Germany, who were instrumental in helping Washington evacuate thousands of people out of Kabul, Blinken will meet with senior Qatari officials in Doha and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at Ramstein air base, where he will also co-host a ministerial meeting on Afghanistan.
    Neither Blinken nor Austin are expected to meet with members of the Taliban, U.S. officials said.
    The United States’ two decades-long invasion in Afghanistan culminated with a hastily organized airlift that left thousands of U.S.-allied Afghans behind and was punctuated by a suicide bombing outside Kabul’s airport that killed 13 U.S. troops and scores of Afghans. Washington completed the withdrawal on Aug. 31.
    It was one of the largest airlifts in history, evacuating more than 120,000 Americans, Afghans and others, although thousands of at-risk Afghans and about 100 U.S. citizens still remained behind.    Blinken has vowed to continue efforts to get them out and also hold Taliban to its commitments of providing safe passage to anyone who wishes to leave.
    “We’re in very, very active coordination with like-minded countries around the world so that … we continue to work together and use the leverage and influence we have to hold the Taliban to the commitments it’s made,” Blinken told a press conference at the State Department on Friday.
    In Qatar, which has been at the forefront of the world’s engagement with the Taliban and is also now the home to the U.S. mission covering Afghanistan, Blinken is also expected to get together with U.S. diplomats working on Afghanistan, now that Washington has moved its mission from Kabul to Doha.
    The United States and the Western countries are in a difficult balancing act in the aftermath of Taliban’s lighting victory – reluctant to recognize the Islamist group while accepting the reality that they will have to engage with the group to prevent a looming humanitarian crisis in the country.
    A key element to ensure that aid flows into Afghanistan is to have a full reopening of the Kabul airport, the war-struck country’s main gateway to the world.    Qatar has also been front and center in negotiations over the future of the airport.
    On Saturday, a technical team from Qatar reopened the Kabul airport for aid and domestic services.    But talks to resume international flights and security of the airport has continued between Qatar, the Taliban and Turkey.
    Washington is not a direct party in the talks over the airport but is keen to see the airport functioning.
    At Ramstein, Blinken will also visit a transit hub, through which around 30,000 evacuees have passed during the evacuation and which was still housing more than 17,000 people as of Friday, U.S. officials said.
    “This (trip) is very much focused on our relationship with Qatar, thanking them for the incredible support that they’ve given, as well as on the German side.    That’ll be a fundamental message throughout the trip,” Acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Dean Thompson told a briefing.
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

9/5/2021 Rally Marks 1,000 Days Since China Detained Two Canadians Amid Huawei Dispute
Supporters of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor march to mark 1,000 days since the Canadians were
arrested in China, during a protest in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada September 5, 2021. REUTERS/Blair Gable
    (Reuters) – Supporters of two Canadians accused of spying and held in Chinese prison for 1,000 days rallied on Sunday, demanding their release in a case that has soured diplomatic ties between Ottawa and Beijing.
    Businessman Michael Spavor and former diplomat Michael Kovrig were detained in December 2018, shortly after Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies on a warrant from the United States.
    Last month, a Chinese court sentenced Spavor to 11 years in prison for espionage. Meng is waiting verdict on her U.S. extradition request after the hearing wrapped up in a British Columbia court last month.
    Several hundred people gathered at a park in Ottawa, with some wearing white shirts printed “March for the Michaels,” “7,000 steps for freedom,” carrying banner “#bringthemhome."
    “Every day in his cell, Michael Kovrig walks 7,000 steps to keep his mind and body healthy.    Michael Spavor uses yoga, meditation and exercises to stay strong,” the families wrote on a Facebook page seeking support for the event.
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has called a snap election for Sept. 20, is trailing his main opponent, Conservative Party leader Erin     O’Toole, who has demanded a tougher approach against China.
    “We have to deal with the Communist leadership in China, as it is not as Mr. Trudeau may have hoped it was.    He’s always been out of step with respect to our interests and our values.    So I’ve said Canada will be a leader on human rights again,” O’Toole told reporters in Vancouver on Saturday.
    Trudeau, when asked about criticism that his government had not done enough to free the two Michaels, said on Sunday when dealing with citizens in trouble abroad, “we use all the tools at our disposal, usually not shouting in the public square.”
    He said that government over the past 1,000 days has put forward all the different range of tools to put pressure on the Chinese government to return the two men.
    “We will not rest until the two Michaels are once again home with their families,” he told reporters.
    Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau, who joined the rally, said in statement that years have been cruelly stolen from both men and their families.
    “This must stop. Mr. Kovrig and Mr. Spavor must come home,” the statement added.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren and; Denny Thomas; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

9/5/2021 Mexican Officials Cut Off New Migrant Caravan, Breaking Up Main Group by Jose Torres
Agents of the National Migration Institute (INM) detain migrants during an operation to dissolve a caravan of migrants and asylum seekers from Central America
and the Caribbean as they try to make their way to the U.S., in Huixtla, Chiapas, Mexico September 5, 2021. REUTERS/Jose Torres
    HUIXTLA, Mexico (Reuters) – Mexican security and migration officials early on Sunday blocked the passage of a new migrant caravan, detaining several people, as the government moved to break up the group just a day after it set off from southern Mexico for the United States.
    At around 5 a.m. local time, members of Mexico’s National Guard and the National Institute of Migration (INM) began surrounding the migrants on the edge of the southern town of Huixtla, prompting some of them to flee, a Reuters witness said.
    In the ensuing commotion, some parents in the caravan made up largely of Central Americans, Haitians and some Venezuelans were separated from their children as the officials sought to intercept migrants who ran for the banks of the River Huixtla.
    The operation to stop the caravan of around 400 people comes a few days after officials dispersed another large group and followed comments by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador that he wanted undocumented migrants to stay in southern Mexico.
    Lopez Obrador also urged the U.S. government to help the migrants find work, speaking ahead of a high-level meeting of U.S. and Mexican officials on Thursday that is due to address economic matters and also expected to encompass migration.
    As had occurred with the previous caravan, some migrants accused Mexican security forces of using excessive force during their intervention, and Maria Martha Ramos, a Honduran woman, said some of the officials threw stones to detain people.
    Ramos said she would see if the main body of migrants regrouped so she could continue her journey north.
    The Mexican government recently condemned officials committing acts of violence that were captured on video against the previous group of migrants.    Local migrant advocates expressed dismay at the tactics used against the new caravan.
    Heyman Vazquez, a priest in Huixtla and advocate for migrants, described the early morning swoop on the caravan, which included many children, as an “inhumane” and “cruel” abuse of power that had spread fear and alarm among the travelers.
(Reporting by Jose Torres; Writing by Dave Graham; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

9/5/2021 Each COVID-19 Surge Poses A Risk For Healthcare Workers: PTSD by Lisa Baertlein
FILE PHOTO: Nurse Chris Prott examines a patient in the urgent care department at the Iron Mountain
VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain, Michigan, U.S., August 25, 2021. John Jamison/Handout via REUTERS
    (Reuters) – Nurse Chris Prott’s knees jump, his heart races, his mouth goes dry and his mind floods with dark memories when he talks about working in the Milwaukee VA Medical Center’s intensive care unit (ICU) during pandemic surges.
        Prott shares a struggle common to many of the military veterans for whom he has cared for years: symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
    Prott was among a half dozen ICU staffers who told Reuters of symptoms such as waking from nightmares bathed in sweat; flashbacks to dying patients during the pandemic’s fear-filled early days; flaring anger; and panic at the sound of medical alarms.    Those whose symptoms last longer than one month and are severe enough to interfere with daily life can be diagnosed with PTSD.
    The surging Delta variant is heaping on fresh trauma as the United States and other nations begin to study PTSD in health workers.    Data already showed that U.S. health workers were in crisis before COVID-19.
    While PTSD is associated with combat, it can arise among civilians after natural disasters, abuse or other trauma.    Health workers can be reluctant to equate their experience with that of returning soldiers.
    “I feel like a schmuck calling it PTSD,” Prott said.    “It took me a long time to be able to talk to somebody because I see guys with real PTSD.    What I’ve got going on, it’s nothing in comparison, so you feel guilty for thinking that.”
    Psychiatrist Dr. Bessel van der Kolk knows better.
    “On the surface, a nurse at your local hospital will not look like a guy coming back from Afghanistan,” said the author of “The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma.”    “But underneath it all, we have these core neurobiology-determined functions that are the same.”
    Pre-pandemic studies showed that rates of PTSD in front-line health workers varied from 10% to 50%.    The suicide rate among doctors was more than twice that of the general public.
    The American Medical Association (AMA) has tapped a military psychologist and the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) National Center for PTSD to help it measure the pandemic’s impact.
    Texas Tech University Health Science Center psychiatry resident Dr. Huseyin Bayazit and researchers in his native Turkey surveyed 1,833 Turkish health workers last autumn.    The results, presented in May at an American Psychiatric Association meeting, showed a PTSD rate of 49.5% among nonphysicians and 36% for doctors.    Rates of suicidal thoughts increased as workers spent more time on COVID-19 units.
    Unions want to mitigate trauma by setting national rules for the number of patients under each nurse’s care.    Workers say they should not have to pay for therapy, medication, and other interventions.
    The AMA and other groups want more confidentiality for doctors who seek mental health services. Most ICU staff who discussed PTSD with Reuters requested anonymity for fear of repercussions at work.
    New York’s Mount Sinai Health System and Chicago’s Rush University System for Health provide free, confidential mental health services.
    Mount Sinai’s new Center for Stress, Resilience, and Personal Growth offers a military-inspired “Battle Buddies” peer-support program for nurses.    A  chaplain  from Rush’s “Road Home” program for veterans runs a “post-traumatic growth” bereavement support group for ICU nurses.
    The VA system provides no-cost, short-term mental health counseling through its employee assistance program.    Many local VA facilities supplement those with spiritual counseling and crisis incident response teams, a spokesperson said.
    About 5,000 U.S. physicians quit every two years due to burnout, said Dr. Christine Sinsky, an AMA vice president.    The annual cost is about $4.6 billion – including lost revenue from vacancies and recruitment expenses, she said.
    Hospital survey results in March led the Department of Health and Human Services to warn “staffing shortages have affected patient care, and that exhaustion and trauma have taken a toll on staff’s mental health.”
    Trauma surgeon Dr. Kari Jerge volunteered to work in a Phoenix COVID-19 ward during last winter’s surge.    She turned down substantially more pay to return to the ICU after the Delta variant surge.
    Jerge encourages others to prioritize “self-preservation,” but worries about the loss of expertise.    “There is infinite value in a nurse who’s been working in the ICU for 20 years and just has a gut feeling when something’s going wrong with a patient,” she said.
    Nurse Pascaline Muhindura, 40, who cares for COVID-19 patients in Kansas City, Missouri, has advocated for health worker safety since losing a co-worker to the disease early in the pandemic.
    “It keeps getting worse and worse.    We are heading back to that place – that woke up those emotions again,” said Muhindura, who added that many employers do not offer adequate insurance coverage for therapy.
    An ICU fosters the kind of camaraderie forged in battle.    A group of Southern California COVID-19 nurses got matching tattoos.    Health workers commiserate over crying their way home after tough shifts, support each other on social media, and push colleagues to seek help.
    “There is nothing wrong with feeling this way,” said VA nurse Prott.    “You have to deal with it though.”
(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles Editing by Donna Bryson and Bill Berkrot)

9/5/2021 Germany Wants To Talk With Taliban About Further Evacuations From Afghanistan – Merkel
FILE PHOTO: German Chancellor Angela Merkel holds a news conference after visiting an area, affected by floods
several weeks ago, in Grafschaft, near Ahrweiler, Germany, September 3, 2021. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen
    BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany wants to talk to the Taliban about how to evacuate its remaining local contract workers from Afghanistan, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday, adding it was a good sign that the airport in Kabul could be used for flights again.
    The European Union’s foreign policy chief has said the bloc is ready to engage with the new Taliban government in Kabul but the Islamist group must respect human rights, including those of women, and not let Afghanistan become a base for terrorism.
    “We need to talk to the Taliban about how we can continue to get people who worked for Germany out of the country and to safety,” Merkel said.
    International aid organisations should also be able to improve the humanitarian situation there, she added.
    The Taliban have yet to name a government more than two weeks after they swept back into power.    Their 1996-2001 rule was marked by violent punishments and a ban on schooling or work for women and girls, and many Afghans and foreign governments fear a return to such practices.
    The militants say they have changed but have yet to spell out what rules they will enforce.
(Reporting by Matthias Inverardi; Writing by Michael Nienaber; editing by John Stonestreet)

9/5/2021 Italy To Transfer Its Afghanistan Embassy To Qatar – Minister
FILE PHOTO: Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio attends a joint news conference with Russian Foreign Minister
Sergei Lavrov following their meeting in Rome, Italy August 27, 2021. Russian Foreign Ministry/Handout via REUTERS
    CERNOBBIO, Italy (Reuters) – Italy plans to move its Afghan embassy to Doha, in Qatar, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Sunday, the latest indication of Western diplomats setting up permanently outside Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban takeover.
    The announcement follows earlier signals that Western countries and the European Union, which have closed their missions in Kabul, may use the Gulf state as an offshore hub for their diplomatic relations with Afghanistan.
    Many diplomats flew to the Gulf state, which has hosted the Taliban’s political office since 2013, after evacuating the Afghan capital late last month.
    China, Iran, Pakistan, Russia and Turkey have kept their embassies in the Afghan capital open, increasing their opportunities to directly influence a new government, which is in the process of being formed.
    “I will meet today with the Emir of Qatar and then with the foreign minister because it is our intention to relocate the embassy we had in Kabul to Doha,” said Di Maio, who was speaking in a video call from Doha to businessmen and politicians attending a business conference in Cernobbio on Lake Como.
    “Qatar has become the centre of diplomatic relations with respect to this Afghan government that is being formed,” Di Maio said.
    Sources within the Taliban have said its co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar will lead a new Afghan government set to be announced soon.
    The United States suspended operations at its Kabul embassy on Aug. 31, a day after Washington completed the withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan, ending 20 years of war that culminated in the militant Taliban’s return to power.
(Reporting by Francesca Landini; editing by Philip Pullella and Philippa Fletcher)

9/5/2021 White House Chief Of Staff Says U.S. Is ‘Going To Find Ways’ To Get Remaining Americans Out Of Afghanistan by OAN Newsroom
Ron Klain on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)
    White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain claimed the Biden administration would “find ways” to get Americans who wanted to leave Afghanistan out of the country.    In an interview on Sunday, Klain said the administration was in touch with about 100 Americans left in the country after the U.S. ended evacuations last month.
    Klain also acknowledged the administration was working to get those with special immigration visas out as well, while suggesting they would ultimately be resettled in either the U.S. or Europe.
    He went on to say, “we are going to find ways to get them, the ones that want to leave, to get them out of Afghanistan.”
    Klain indicated the U.S. would have to rely on Qatar to evacuate remaining Americans.
    “Obviously, we’re hopeful that, in the coming days, the Qataris will be able to resume air service out of Kabul,” he explained.    “If they do, we’re obviously going to look to see if Americans can be part of those flights.”
    Klain notably failed to refute reports of the Taliban systemically killing Afghans left behind who worked with the U.S. when asked about the matter.

9/5/2021 Kamala Harris To Campaign For Calif. Gov. Newsom by OAN Newsroom
Kamala Harris speaks with California Gov. Gavin Newsom as they visit Pine Ridge Elementary School
where they met with firefighters and toured fire-ravaged properties damaged from the Creek Fire nearby in an
unincorporated area of Fresno, California on September 15, 2020. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN/AFP)
    Kamala Harris is set to rally Democrat voters in support of embattled California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D).    Reports on Sunday said the former California senator will appear alongside Newsom at a campaign event in the Bay Area this coming Wednesday.
    The two plan to call on voters to back Newsom in the upcoming recall election.    This comes as 48 percent of Americans said they don’t approve of Harris’ job performance, making her one of the most unpopular politicians in U.S. history.     “This period between now and the midterms is critical for the Biden administration for their chances of holding control of Congress, but probably also the White House,” stated a source to CNN.    They added a Republican governor would probably undermine many of the Democrats’ objectives.
    Harris was expected to campaign with Newsom last month, but those plans came to halt upon the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and the terrorist attack that killed 13 service members.
    Recent polling showed a slight majority for Newsom to remain in office.    However, it is in the poll’s margin of error.
    Meanwhile, the recall election is slated for Sept. 14 where voters will be asked two questions including, whether Newsom should be recalled and who should succeed Newsom if he is.

9/5/2021 Rep. Gimenez: Terrorist Attack On U.S. Soil Inevitable by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Carlos A. Gimenez (R-Fla.) in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images)
    Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-Fla.), Homeland Security Committee member, said a terrorist attack on U.S. soil was not a matter of if, but when.    In a recent interview, the Florida Republican pointed out the Taliban have taken over billions of dollars in American equipment, while Afghanistan has become a safe haven for extremists.
    Gimenez noted the billions of dollars worth of equipment seized by the Taliban, such as helicopters and small arms.    He added because of this, he didn’t think any American should feel safer today than they did a few weeks ago.
    The Republican lawmaker blamed the increased risk of a terrorist attack on the “botched Afghanistan pullout.”    He has remained a strong critic against Joe Biden’s handling of the withdrawal and slammed him for calling it a success.
    “Biden’s Afghanistan blunder left 13 service members dead, countless Americans stranded, our Afghan allies abandoned, the Taliban with billions in military equipment, and our world allies lacking trust in America,” he expressed in a recent tweet.    “That is not an ‘extraordinary success.’”
    Gimenez said the U.S. was also faced with a “debacle” along the southern border as individuals on the terror watchlist, along with hundreds of thousands of immigrants, have entered the U.S. He has been one of many Republican lawmakers who have insisted for Biden to be held accountable.
    Gimenez went on to say he didn’t have faith the Biden administration would keep Americans safe.

9/5/2021 Biden To Travel To All 3 Sites Of 9/11 Attacks by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden makes his way to board Air Force One before departing from Louis Armstrong New Orleans
International Airport in Kenner, Louisiana on September 3, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
    Joe and Jill Biden are slated to visit all three sites of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in observance of 20 years since the incidents.    According to the White House, the Bidens will head to New York City, Shanksville, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon next Saturday to honor the victims of the attacks which took thousands of lives.
    Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff will be separately traveling to Shanksville and plan to later meet with the Bidens at the Pentagon.
    The White House did not disclose if Biden would be delivering remarks at the sites.    This comes as Biden recently ordered the release of all declassified documents on 9/11.
    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said in a statement, “as we near the 20th anniversary of that terrible day, the families of those who were killed, and all Americans, have a right to know the full story, and the passage of time has mitigated concerns over sources and methods.    The House Intelligence Committee will closely oversee this process, to ensure that all agencies adhere to the president’s guidance to apply the maximum degree of transparency allowed by law when conducting the review.”

9/5/2021 Rep. Waltz Slams Biden Admin. Over Claim About Americans Left In Afghanistan by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 31: U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) (3rd L) speaks as House Minority Leader Rep.
Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) (3rd R) and other House Republican veterans listen during a news conference at
Rayburn Room of the U.S. Capitol August 31, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    Florida Congressman Michael Waltz (R) has rejected the Biden administration’s claim that Americans left in Afghanistan didn’t want to leave, despite being warned to do so.    In an interview on Saturday, Waltz dismissed the claim as “a bunch of garbage.”
    Waltz pointed out Americans left behind very much wanted to leave and sent numerous emails out.    However, government officials across the administration have continued to say everything would be fine.
    “They’re desperate to leave. They very much have wanted to leave.    They were trying to when the Kabul airport was open, and they’re still trying to now,” said Waltz in an interview Saturday.
    He also noted they would of had to travel through several Taliban checkpoints without U.S. protection to make it to the Kabul airport.
    Waltz’ comments came after Biden took to Twitter to offer a “welcome home” message to Afghan refugees while many Americans, green card and SIV holders still remain in Afghanistan.

9/5/2021 CBP Agent Assaulted Responding To Smuggle Run At Border by OAN Newsroom
A U.S. Border Patrol agent sits in a vehicle along a border wall near the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) San Ysidro Port
of Entry at the U.S.-Mexico border on February 19, 2021 in San Diego, California. (PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
    A California Border Patrol agent was recently assaulted while responding to a smuggling incident at the border.    On Friday, five people were taken into custody in what authorities have called a smuggle run, where they found ammunition, fentanyl pills and makeshift ladders.    The suspects were brought in after attacking the Border Patrol agent at the international line.
    “I commend our agents and Mexico law enforcement partners on these arrests and seizures,” said Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke.
    Border Patrol officials said the San Diego based agent was alone while attempting to recover a makeshift ladder when a group member interfered, causing the agent to suffer injuries to her face and arm during the attack.    It was reported a group of about a dozen suspects were spotted by>     A member of the group then threw a large object, believed to resemble a two-by-four piece of wood, striking the agent before making a run for Baja California.
    “We take these threats and acts of violence seriously and will do everything we can to identify and bring to justice those who seek to harm the men and women of the Border Patrol,” said USBP Chief Raul Ortiz.
    This marks the third assault on a Border Patrol agent from the San Diego area in the past month alone.

9/5/2021 UK PM Johnson To Address Lawmakers About Afghanistan On Monday
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with military personnel who worked on the Afghan evacuation,
during a visit to Merville Barracks in Colchester, Britain September 2, 2021. Dan Kitwood/Pool via REUTERS
    LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Boris Johnson will address lawmakers on Monday about Britain’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, amid criticism of the handling of the evacuation and failure to predict how quickly the Taliban would sweep through the country.
    The United States and Britain withdrew from Afghanistan last month, and Johnson’s foreign minister Dominic Raab has admitted that both countries misjudged the Taliban’s capacity to seize control.    The Taliban took Kabul on Aug. 15.
    Johnson has faced stinging criticism from lawmakers for intelligence and leadership failures over the fall of Kabul, and he has admitted that the decision by the United States to withdraw left Britain with little choice but to pull its own forces.
    Some who served in Afghanistan have spoken of their anger and grief about what has happened, and Johnson will say that, despite the Taliban’s rapid return, the efforts of a 20-year campaign were not in vain.
    “Thanks to their efforts, no terrorist attack against this country or any of our Western allies has been launched from Afghanistan for twenty years,” Johnson will say in a speech to parliament when it returns from summer recess, according to extracts released by his office.
    “They fulfilled the first duty of the British armed forces – to keep our people safe.”
    Johnson’s office said that he would announce an additional 5 million pounds ($6.93 million) in funding for charities that offer support to veterans.
($1 = 0.7213 pounds)
(Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

9/5/2021 Ariz. Sen. Rogers: Audit Results Are Real And Coming Up, Urges All States To Audit 2020 Elections by OAN Newsroom
Sen, Wendy Rogers (R-Ariz.) is photographed. (Photo credit: AP, FILE)
    Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers (R) has called for an audit of the 2020 elections in all states ahead of upcoming results of the Arizona audit.    In a series of tweets on Sunday, Rogers said the results of the Arizona audit would soon be released, despite recent delays.
    Rogers stressed state legislators could not speed up the process, but the results would be “real.”    She also urged all states to audit their 2020 elections in order to prevent fraud moving forward.
    “When the Arizona audit drops, it is on the other 49 states to make sure they are doing audits.    Start calling your reps and senators now,” she expressed on Twitter.    “…We are not going to stop until we know the truth.”
    In addition, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich ordered Maricopa County officials to comply with state Senate subpoenas and provide all information about the vote counting process.    He said the county was in violation of state laws for failing to comply and could lose funding if county officials continued their objections.
    The county has 30 days to comply with Brnovich’s order or risk losing state funding.

9/5/2021 WAPO Poll: Approval Of Biden’s Handling Of COVID-19 Drops By 10 Percent by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office
Building in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    Joe Biden’s approval ratings have continued to decline, with the latest drop of public support for his handling of COVID-19.    A new poll by the Washington Post and ABC News found only 52 percent of respondents approved of Biden’s handling of COVID-19, which has dropped from a purported 62 percent in late June.
    Critics said polls by the Washington Post tended to use skewed samples to make public support for left-wing causes greater than it was realistically.    However, the poll admitted Biden’s latest failures in Afghanistan have contributed to the erosion of public support for his actions on other matters as well.
    Thirty percent of respondents expressed approval of the Biden administration’s approach to the Afghanistan withdrawal. 60 percent said they disapproved.
    Meanwhile, The delta strain continues to spread across the U.S. as it has become the most dominant variant.

9/5/2021 Yet Another Migrant Caravan Headed For U.S. Border, Biden And Harris Under Fire For Ongoing Migrant Crisis by OAN Newsroom
Central American and Haitian migrants are seen heading in a caravan to the U.S. in Tapachula, Chiapas State, Mexico.
A caravan of some 300 mainly Central American people set out from Tapachula on foot Saturday hoping
to reach the U.S., the fourth such procession in a week. (Photo by JACKY MUNIELLO/AFP via Getty Images)
    Yet another migrant caravan departed from Southern Mexico to head for America’s southern border.    At least 400 people gathered in the Mexican state of Tapachula this weekend, despite efforts by Mexican authorities to disperse groups of migrants.
    “The truth is we are already tired of staying here in Tapachula,” stated Carlos Correa, a Colombian migrant.    “The Mexican Commission for Refugees will not get back to us and it won’t give us appointments until January or February.”
    After a series of clashes with Mexican security forces, the caravan departed for the U.S. border.    The migrants claimed they have exhausted all options to reach the U.S. legally and decided to show up at the border instead.
    “The the UN Refugee Agency is no longer helping us.    We can’t survive in Tapachula,” Correa expressed.    “We are asking the government of Mexico to please create a humanitarian corridor for us so we can travel to the U.S. border.”
    Joe Biden and his border czar Kamala Harris have faced renewed criticism for their inability to prevent migrants from pouring into the U.S. Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants were caught at the U.S.-Mexico border so far this year.

9/5/2021 Gov. Hogan: Getting Mixed Messages From The Biden Admin. On Booster Shots by OAN Newsroom
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) in front of the Maryland State House
in Annapolis, Maryland.(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    Maryland’s Republican governor has called out the Biden administration for mixed messages surrounding the necessity of a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot.    In an interview on Sunday, Gov. Larry Hogan (R-Md.) said he received different messages from the White House, CDC and FDA.
    Hogan added these mixed messages undermined the credibility of the shot.    The Republican also mentioned people were becoming confused on who would be eligible for a booster shot and who would not.
    The Biden administration first signaled fully vaccinated people would be eligible for a booster starting in September.    However, the CDC and FDA have said only some people would be eligible.
    The FDA has been reviewing data submitted by Pfizer for the safety and effectiveness of a vaccine booster dose.Moderna recently announced their submission to the FDA for an evaluation of a booster shot.
    “A transparent, thorough and objective review of the data by the FDA is critical so that the medical community and the public continue to have confidence in the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines,” the FDA mentioned in a released statement.    “The FDA will review the supplemental application as expeditiously as possible, while still doing so in a thorough and science-based manner.”
    It has remained unclear how long after someone has been fully vaccinated until they would need to get the booster shot.

9/5/2021 U.K., Australia Media Criticize Biden’s Foreign Policies by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images
    A leading British media outlet said Joe Biden failed to improve America’s relations with European countries.    In a recent op-ed, BBC said Biden’s relationship with Europe has “turned sour” due to his botched withdrawal from Afghanistan.
    BBC also pointed out the Biden administration failed to cooperate with NATO allies in Afghanistan, where 75 percent of troops were from European countries.    These comments came despite Biden not challenging NATO member states on their delinquent defense payments as well as taking other pro-European steps in foreign affairs.
    Meanwhile, Australian journalists added to these criticisms of Biden.
    “This is a bloke who’s heavily controlled.    Remember he was able to effectively campaign, or not campaign, for the presidency from his basement,” stated Paul Murray, host of Sky News Australia.    “He was able to have a collection of people around him in the White House, who literally tell him who he can and can’t talk to when it comes to a free media.”
    British and Australian media both agree Biden’s policies have not been helpful in building better relations going forward and argued they made the world a more dangerous place.

9/5/2021 White House To Move Forward With $3.5T Partisan Spending Package, Despite Opposition From Moderate Democrat by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images
    The White House announced they would continue to move forward with the partisan $3.5 trillion spending package, despite a moderate Democrat’s disapproval. White House Senior Adviser Cedric Richmond discussed the news on Sunday.
    Richmond added he wasn’t surprised there was some opposition.    Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has voiced his disapproval to certain aspects of the package as he believed there was “runaway inflation.”
    While Manchin has called for a pause, the White House previously approved the budget blueprint.
    Manchin took to Twitter to express, “instead of rushing to spend trillions on new government programs and additional stimulus funding, Congress should hit a strategic pause on the budget-reconciliation legislation.”
    Despite disapproval, Richmond said they were still “full steam ahead.”

9/6/2021 No Oil or DOW info.

9/6/2021 Antifa Shoots Proud Boy At Rally In Washington State by OAN Newsroom
Proud Boys member “Tiny” Toese gives a speech during a far-right rally in
Portland, Oregon. (Photo by MATHIEU LEWIS-ROLLAND/AFP via Getty Images)
    A leader in conservative men’s club the Proud Boys was allegedly shot by a member of the far-left group Antifa.    According to city officials, Tusitala “Tiny” Toese was shot in the foot on Saturday in Olympia, Washington during an anti-mask and forced vaccination protest.
    Antifa planned to disrupt the demonstration in their usual fashion, but were met by Proud Boys serving as bodyguards for those attending the event.    City Manager Jay Burney released a statement, in which he said a verbal altercation erupted before several shots were fired by an unknown member of Antifa.
    “A member of one of the groups then produced a handgun and fired several shots, and a member of the other group was struck in the ankle,” he stated.    “The City is aware that one of the groups involved is reportedly a Portland-based Proud Boys group and the other group involved is reportedly allied with Antifa."
    Toese was taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.    Antifa-linked social media accounts celebrated the shooting and urged those who may have recorded the incident to not post the video to conceal the identity of the assailant.

9/6/2021 President Trump Gives Remarks On Texas Abortion Ban, Afghanistan Crisis In New Interview by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
    President Trump weighed in on controversial topics in a wide-ranging interview.    On Saturday, the interview on Full Measure brought up the recent Supreme Court decision on abortions in Texas.
    Last week, the Supreme Court ruled to uphold a near total ban on abortions in the state.    Many have said Trump’s Supreme Court nominees allegedly affected the outcome.
    “We do have a Supreme Court that’s a lot different than it was,” he stated.    “Before, it was acting very strangely and I think probably not in the interest of our country."
    The 45th president added he has been studying the ruling.
    “I know that the ruling was very complex and and also probably temporary,” he expressed.    “I think other things will happen and that will be the big deal and the big picture, so we’ll see what would happen.”
    Also on the table, Trump discussed the recent crisis in Afghanistan, which fell to the Taliban several weeks ago after Joe Biden pulled all U.S. troops.    Although Biden declared the 20 year war to be over, Trump wasn’t so sure in consideration of the Afghan refugees.
    “I don’t know, because you have people going all over the world and being dropped all over the world right now,” he mentioned.    “Nobody knows who the hell they are.”
    He added these were people that “rushed” into planes.
    “These people, many of these people are going to be terrorists, they’re going to be terrorists,” he asserted.    “They were very powerful, very energetic in getting onto the aircraft.”
    In response to a question regarding vetting for Afghan refugees, Trump stated they aren’t doing that.
    “You can’t, because there is no documentation in that country, there’s virtually no documentation,” he explained.    “They didn’t vet them, they didn’t even try to vet them.    They’re trying to vet them now, but it’s a little bit late.”
    However, Afghan’s would be faced with a difficult journey as the U.S. government has tried to work around legal issues to give refugees assistance.

9/6/2021 N.Y. Gov. Hochul Speaks Out On Devastation Of Hurricane Ida by OAN Newsroom
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) in New York City. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
    Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.) addressed the mourning New Yorkers after last week’s flooding turned deadly.    During a public address on Sunday, Hochul stressed her concerns about high rainfall in Central Park last week.
    “That horrific events of Wednesday evening, when we literally saw record shattering rainfall, but the record shattering is almost an anomaly because we set the record a week before,” she explained.    “We shattered that record with over 3.1 inches.    This is per hour, my friends.    This is not overnight.    This is not over day.    This was per hour.”
    Hochul added the flood was beyond “the wave action off the sound or off the ocean.”
    “It’s when the heavens break loose and multiple storm systems converge and they drop a Niagara Falls level of water on our city,” she expressed.    “How do you prepare for that?
    The New York governor went on to tell New Yorkers severe weather would continue to devastate their state.
    She went on to say, “after what I witnessed firsthand and the lives we lost, 17 New Yorkers no longer with us because of the weather, I’m operating on the assumption that this could happen again in another 10 days.”
    Hochul then turned her speech into a lecture about so-called climate change.
    “I’m not going to wait for someone to tell me that the climate change effect on our weather is in the future,” she asserted.    “I’m not going to have someone tell me that these events are every 100 years, 500 years, 1,000 years.”
    As families of the New Yorkers who died are still mourning, Hochul suggested making an investment in government funded infrastructure.

9/6/2021 Sen. Graham: U.S. Will Have To Go Back To Afghanistan by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) predicted an eventual return to Afghanistan as well as for the country to become a hotbed for Islamic terrorism yet again under Taliban rule.    In a BBC interview, the South Carolina senator said the Taliban has not reformed over the past 20 years and will not ensure stability and security in Afghanistan.
    Graham stressed al Qaeda and other terror groups would likely reestablish presence in Afghanistan.    He stated out of all recent U.S. leaders, only President Trump was able to reduce the terror threat.
    “He destroyed the Caliphate.    It rose on Obama and Biden’s watch and Trump sent the military in to destroy it,” he explained.    “…ISIS will come after the Taliban large and the entire country is going to fracture in the next year, creating a perfect storm for western interest to become attacked.”
    Graham also said Islamic terror groups across the Middle East have become emboldened to attack the American, British and French interests.    He added the West would have to respond.

9/6/2021 Calif. City Holds Ceremony To Honor Fallen Marine Kareem Nikoui by OAN Newsroom
In this handout photo provided by the U.S. Air Force, a U.S. Marine Corps carry team transfers the remains of Marine Corps Lance Cpl.
Kareem M. Nikoui of Norco, California at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. Nikoui was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment,
1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California. (Photo by Jason Minto/U.S. Air Force via Getty Images)
    Family and friends of slain Marine Lance Corporal Kareem Nikoui gathered together to honor and celebrate his life and legacy.    Over the weekend, the city of Norco held a ceremony for the 20-year-old, while also honoring the 12 other service members who died in the Kabul airport attack in late August.
    Nikoui would be remembered as a fun and loving person who always wanted to serve his country.
    “In school, the big thing he wanted, all he ever talked about was being a Marine.    He was in the ROTC and that’s what he wanted,” one Norco resident expressed.    “His dream was to be a Marine and then he fulfilled that dream.    He was a fun loving boy that loved his country, loved his family and he was much too young to die.”
    Norco residents said the community was mourning as they held a moment of silence for the lost Marine and 12 other service members.
    “I think it was a very beautiful ceremony,” one resident stated.    “This is Norco, so we’re all a very tight knit community.    Kareem gave his life for all of us and it’s a beautiful ceremony in honoring the other 12.”
    City officials announced Nikoui’s name would be engraved in the “Lest We Forget” wall at the Veteran’s Memorial Plaza in Norco. The Marine’s body is expected to be brought home September 17.

9/6/2021 U.K. Opposition Leader: Lack Of Western Leadership Led To Afghan Fiasco by OAN Newsroom
Keir Starmer addresses the audience during the Labour Party Leadership hustings
at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Durham, England. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
    British opposition leader Keir Starmer denounced Prime Minister Boris Johnson over the chaotic pullout of U.K. troops from Afghanistan.    Speaking in Parliament today, Starmer said Johnson underestimated the strength of the Taliban.
    “We have a prime minister incapable of international leadership just when we needed it most,” he asserted.    “I know it’s uncomfortable.”
    Starmer added the U.K. would have to admit thousands of Afghan refugees because of Downing Street being “complacent and wrong.”    Meanwhile, conservative members of Parliament said Britain could replace the U.S. as the leader of the Western world.
    “I ask the prime minister, would he agree there’s now a void of leadership in the West and NATO?” questioned Tobias Ellwood, Chair of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee.    “If Britain wants to fill that void, as we should do, it will require a complete overhaul of Whitehall to upgrade our strategic thinking, our foreign policy output and our ability to lead.”
    Meanwhile, members of Parliament from both major parties agreed the U.K. must ramp up its defenses in the face of terror threats from ISIS and the Taliban.

9/6/2021 NATO Chief: China Must Join International Nuclear Arms Control Accords by OAN Newsroom
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the White House in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Mainland China must join international agreements on nuclear non-proliferation.    Stoltenberg explained on Monday, China’s nuclear program has been left unchecked by the United Nations for decades and added this must change.
    This comes years after President Trump said he would not renew any nuclear agreements with Russia unless they included China.    Stoltenberg went on to highlight the recent advances in Beijing’s nuclear program.
    “China is building a large number of missile silos, which can significantly increase its nuclear capability,” he explained.    “All of this is happening without any limitation or constraint and with a complete lack of transparency.”
    The NATO chief also noted China’s foreign policies posed a risk of proliferation of nuclear arms in other countries, such as Iran and North Korea.

9/7/2021 Oil down $0.24 to $68.90, DOW up 78 to 35,431.

9/7/2021 UK PM Johnson Raises Taxes To Tackle Health And Social Care Crisis by Elizabeth Piper, Kylie MacLellan and William James
A woman on a mobility scooter drives past a mural praising the NHS (National Health Service) amidst the continuation
of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, London, Britain, March 5, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville
    LONDON (Reuters) -British Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out plans on Tuesday to raise taxes on workers, employers and some investors to try to fix a health and social care funding crisis, angering some in his governing party by breaking election promises.
    After spending huge amounts of money to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, Johnson is returning to an election pledge to address Britain’s creaking social care system, where costs are projected to double as the population ages over the next two decades.
    He also moved to try to tackle a backlog in Britain’s health system, which has seen millions waiting months for treatment from the state-run National Health Service, after resources were refocused to deal with COVID-19.
    “It would be wrong for me to say that we can pay for this recovery without taking the difficult but responsible decisions about how we finance it,” Johnson told parliament.
    “It would be irresponsible to meet the costs from higher borrowing and higher debt,” he said, outlining increases that broke a promise made in his Conservative Party’s 2019 manifesto not to raise such levies to fund social care.
    British politicians have tried for years to find a way to pay for social care, though successive Conservative and Labour prime ministers have ducked the issue because they feared it would anger voters and their own parties.
    Ignoring disquiet in his party, Johnson outlined what he described as a new health and social care levy that will see the rate of National Insurance payroll taxes paid by both workers and employers rise by 1.25 percentage points, with the same increase also applied to the tax on shareholder dividends.
    He said the increases would raise 36 billion pounds ($50 billion) over three years.
    Finance minister Rishi Sunak later underlined there was no going back on the state’s enlarged role in social care.    “This is a permanent new role for the government, and as such we need a permanent new way to fund it,” he told a news conference.
    The pound fell against the euro and dollar after the announcement, which the Institute for Fiscal Studies said would increase Britain’s tax burden to 35% of GDP – a peacetime record.
    Johnson has tried to cool anger at the hikes within his own party, which for decades has positioned itself as a defender of low taxes.    Some lawmakers fear the rises could lose them support at an election due in 2024.
    Johnson later said he did not want any further tax rises, but declined to rule them out entirely when asked.
    Johnson said long-term reform was needed to fix care for elderly and disabled Britons, who would no longer face crushing care costs that have forced many to sell their homes.
    “You can’t fix health and social care without long-term reform.    The plan I’m setting out today will fix all of those problems together,” he said, to jeers and laughter from opposition Labour Party lawmakers.
    “I accept that this breaks a manifesto commitment which is not something I do lightly, but a global pandemic was in no one’s manifesto.”
    His work and pensions minister, Therese Coffey, later said Britain would not raise state retirement pensions in line with earnings next year, breaking another election commitment.
    Labour leader Keir Starmer was quick to pounce on Conservative fears.
    “This is a tax rise that breaks a promise that the prime minister made at the last election … Read my lips, the Tories can never again claim to be the party of low tax,” Starmer said.
    Some British businesses said the rise in national insurance would only compound damage done to firms by the pandemic.
    “This rise will impact the wider economic recovery by landing significant costs on firms when they are already facing a raft of new cost pressures and dampen the entrepreneurial spirit needed to drive the recovery,” said Suren Thiru, head of economics at the British Chambers of Commerce.
    Like many Western leaders, Johnson is facing demands to spend more on welfare even though government borrowing has ballooned to 14.2% of economic output – a level last seen at the end of World War Two.
    For Johnson, who helped win the 2016 Brexit vote and then as prime minister presided over Britain’s exit from the European Union, fixing social care “once and for all” offers a possible way to broaden his domestic legacy.
    But critics say he is expanding state spending again without clear reform of the way social care is administered, and that the rise in national insurance will disproportionately hit young people and lower paid workers.
($1 = 0.7261 pounds)
(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper, Kylie MacLellan, William James and Michael Holden; Additional reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Catherine Evans and Jon Boyle)

9/7/2021 Parties Focus On Key Battlegrounds In Tight Canadian Election by Rod Nickel, Allison Lampert and David Ljunggren
FILE PHOTO: Conservative Party leader Erin O'Toole leaves an election campaign visit to
Canada Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada September 5, 2021. REUTERS/Jennifer Gauthier
    WINNIPEG, Manitoba/MONTREAL (Reuters) – Canada’s federal election race is so close that even a few swing districts on the western Prairies, a region usually hostile to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, may be key to his hopes to stay in power, analysts say.
    Trudeau, 49, called an election for Sept. 20 two years early, gambling that the country’s successful COVID-19 vaccination campaign would help him hold the 155 seats he currently holds and pick up 15 more, which would allow him to govern without opposition support in the 338-seat House of Commons.
    But he appears destined to come up short, according to polls, and a minority government for either the Liberals or Erin O’Toole’s Conservatives is most likely, said Darrell Bricker, CEO of pollster Ipsos Public Affairs.
    “They’ve not been able to shake that initial disappointment for Canadians (with) the way the election was called and why it was called,” Bricker said of the Liberals, noting that Canada is entering a fourth pandemic wave.    “It’s really stuck to the Prime Minister personally.”
    A Nanos Research survey of 1,200 people for CTV on Monday put the Liberals at 34.1% popular support and the Conservatives at 32%, a reversal from a day earlier, when Liberals were at 33.4% compared with 34.9% for Conservatives.
    With the race nearly a dead heat, potential swing parliamentary constituencies have emerged across the country.    The Liberals are fighting 20 “toss-up” races and the Conservatives 19, according to, an election projection site.
    At least two Conservative seats in Calgary, heart of the country’s oil industry, are in play for the Liberals, said Lori Williams, associate professor of political science at Mount Royal University in Calgary.    One Conservative constituency in Edmonton is also up for grabs, according to
    “These Alberta seats become pretty important, because (the election) could come down to a handful,” Williams said.
    Alberta shut out the Liberals in 2019 amid fears that their climate change policies would undermine the oil industry.    But those fears have abated due to Trudeau’s support for the sector, Williams said.
THE 905
    The Conservatives’ best opportunity to win lies in the commuter communities around Toronto, referred to by their telephone area code, 905, Bricker said.
    The Liberals dominated the 905 in 2019, but are on track only to split its roughly 75 seats with the Conservatives, raising doubts about the Liberals’ retaining power, he said.
    Costas Menegakis, executive of a logistics company and the Conservative candidate for Richmond Hill, said fears of rising taxes and mortgage rates are driving support to his party.
    “I think the Prime Minister miscalculated his potential fortunes” in calling the election, he said.
    The left-of-center New Democratic Party (NDP) is challenging for Liberal seats in Toronto itself, leaving the ruling party under siege on both political flanks, Bricker said.
    To offset possible losses, Liberals are eyeing breakthroughs in Quebec and the West.
    In Quebec, nine constituencies, mostly held by the Bloc Quebecois – a Quebec separatist party – could fall to the Liberals, said Philippe Fournier, creator of    The predominantly French-speaking province accounts for almost a quarter of the seats in the House.
    The Liberals are trying to flip constituencies like Trois-Rivières, where a once-fierce push to separate Quebec from Canada has taken a backseat to issues like climate change, infrastructure and labor shortages.
    When former newspaper opinion writer Martin Francoeur launched his Liberal candidacy for Trois Rivières, a constituency last held by the party in 1984, he was flanked by two cabinet ministers.    Trudeau and party leaders from the Bloc and Conservatives have also visited to court voters.
    “The Liberal party has a lot of hope for Trois-Rivières,” Francoeur said.
    The Conservatives are eyeing to flip one Quebec electoral district from the Bloc, Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d’Orléans—Charlevoix, in Quebec, along with four Maritime districts, a Tory strategist said.
    But the Liberals like their chances in three British Columbia constituencies they do not currently hold, a party source said.
    The Pacific province, however, as usual, is a wild card where four parties can be competitive, including the NDP and Greens.
(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, David Ljunggren in Ottawa and Allison Lampert in Montreal; Editing by Steve Scherer and Dan Grebler)

9/7/2021 Merkel Implores Germans To Back Conservatives As They Hit Record Low
FILE PHOTO: German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks at the plenary hall of the lower house of Parliament, or Bundestag, during
one of the last sessions before the federal elections in Berlin, Germany, September 7, 2021. REUTERS/Michele Tantussi
    BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel made an impassioned plea to German voters on Tuesday to back her would-be successor Armin Laschet at this month’s national election, as an opinion poll showed support for their conservatives slumping to an all-time low.
    The Forsa poll for RTL/n-tv put support for the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) at 25%, extending their lead over the conservative CDU/CSU bloc, who dropped 2 points from the previous week to 19%, which n-tv said was a record trough.
    The SPD only took a poll lead last month, an upset that has blown wide open the election to determine the course for Germany, Europe’s largest economy and most populous country, after 16 years of steady, centre-right leadership under Merkel.
    She plans to step down after the poll.
    “Citizens have the choice in a few days: either a government that accepts the support of the (far-left) Linke party with the SPD and the Greens, or at least does not exclude it,” Merkel told lawmakers in the Bundestag lower house of parliament.
    “…or a federal government led by the CDU and CSU with Armin Laschet as chancellor – a federal government that leads our country into the future with moderation,” she added, in what was likely her last speech to the chamber.
    After losing their lead in polls, the conservatives are increasingly trying to revive their struggling campaign with warnings of a lurch to the left under an SPD-led coalition.
    The far-left Linke pitched themselves on Monday as would-be coalition partners for the SPD and Greens, both of whom would be uncomfortable with such a red-green-red alliance.
    The SPD’s candidate for chancellor, Olaf Scholz, has repeatedly distanced himself from the Linke, calling the party unfit for government as long as it does not clearly commit to solid public finances and the NATO military alliance, the transatlantic partnership with the United States.
    But, without naming the party in a later televised town hall event, he said it was not for him to decide ahead of the election who he should govern with, since that was up to voters.
    “Now is the hour of the citizens.    They will decide, and the stronger the SPD vote, the better the chances for a good government,” he told ARD television.
    Merkel said Laschet would lead a government that stands for “stability, reliability, moderation and the middle ground – and that is exactly what Germany needs.”
    But Laschet’s promise of “steadfastness” is failing to resonate with voters worried about climate change, immigration and the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Reporting by Paul Carrel, additional reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Madeline Chambers, Gareth Jones, Alex Richardson and David Gregorio)

9/7/2021 Condoleezza Rice: I Don’t Believe It Was Time To Withdraw From Afghanistan by OAN Newsroom
File – Then- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is pictured. (AP Photo)
    Veterans of the U.S. National Security apparatus have warned the Biden administration withdrew from Afghanistan too early and too chaotically.    During a recent interview, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, who served as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State to former President George W. Bush, analyzed the flaws leading up to the Afghanistan crisis.
    Rice stressed pulling out in the heat of summer was a poor decision while claiming it took place towards the Taliban’s “fighting season.”    She added, a more effective pullout could have taken place during the winter months when the Taliban and other terrorist organizations retreat to the mountains of Pakistan.
    Rice also took aim at Joe Biden for ordering troops to leave before civilians while arguing the move hindered U.S. capability of evacuating Americans and allies effectively.
    “I think it would have been wise to hang on to Bagram, maybe even some of our other several airfields that we had there.    So that transport of people out could have been slower, more orderly, could have taken place from more secure locations.”
    The former top U.S. diplomat then urged Americans not to dismiss the original goals of the war in Afghanistan.    She pointed out the deployment of troops to the country were a response to Al-Qaeda’s attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 2001.
    Rice went on to claim the Bush administration’s main goal was to deter and prevent another terrorist attack on U.S. soil.    She touted the U.S. military did well in orchestrating efforts to achieve this end.
    However, in response to criticisms over Bush’s desire to “nation build,” Rice claimed Bush aimed to create a strong and stable government in Afghanistan that could work with the U.S. to eradicate terrorism.
    “What people don’t understand about so-called nation building is that if you are going to prevent a place from returning to terrorism once you’ve killed the first wave of terrorist, it has to be something of a somewhat stable government,” she explained.    “You have to try and create circumstances under which you can work with partners as we’ve been doing for 20-years.”
    Rice reiterated her position that now is not the time to retreat from Afghanistan as she believes a U.S. presence in the country greatly benefited the Afghan people and the strategic interests of America.
    “An Afghanistan in which we were present, I think, was good for the Afghan people,” she stated.    “It did do good things for woman, it did do good things for the Afghan people having suffered under the horrors of the Taliban.”
    Rice’s comments come as hundreds of Americans and allies are stuck in Afghanistan as they wait for the State Department to help get them get out of the country, which is now being run by the Taliban.

9/7/2021 At Least 57 Shot In Chicago Over Labor Day Weekend by OAN Newsroom
Chicago Police Superintendent David O. Brown responds to a question during a news conference Thursday,
July 22, 2021, in Chicago. Brown spoke about multiple shootings Wednesday, including the drive-by shooting wounding eight
people who had been riding on a party bus, just one of several fatal shootings in the city. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
    Chicago is grappling with the aftermath of a violent Labor Day weekend.    On Monday, officials said at least eight children under the age of 17 were shot over the weekend, including a 4-year-old who died on Sunday.
    Superintendent David Brown of the Chicago Police Department said the deaths of these innocent children should not be the byproduct of criminal behavior.
    “They (the children) are innocent, they have a full life ahead of them,” he stated.    “And we just need families and others in the community to reject this ‘I can’t tell what I know’ about the offender.”
    Superintendent Brown then called on parents to protect their children from gang violence.
    “You know the life you lead, you know that you’re being targeting or you’ve done something that’s caused this retribution from some rival gang or some rival person,” he stated.    “Why are you continuing to be around young people, our children?    That’s on you.”
    The violence continued over the weekend and even reached the Chicago lakefront bike path on Monday.    Individuals enjoying the holiday were left shaken after one man sitting on a bench was shot in the buttocks.    A woman visiting from out of town weighed in, saying she watched as emergency responders helped the victim.
    Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, which include gun owner licensing, waiting periods, an “assault weapons” ban and firearms identification requirement.    However, it appears this wasn’t enough to prevent the 57 shootings that occurred over the weekend, which have left many residents and tourists fearing for their lives.

9/7/2021 Afghan Debacle Witness Says Taliban, ISIS-K Are The Same Group by OAN Newsroom
Taliban soldiers stand by as Afghans shout slogans during an anti-Pakistan demonstration,
near the Pakistan embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Wali Sabawoon)
    Former UFC fighter and now humanitarian volunteer Tim Kennedy said the Taliban is only pretending to be a legitimate political group.    In a recent interview, he pointed out that the Taliban and ISIS-K share the same leaders and personnel.    Kennedy asserted, both pose equal danger to Americans and U.S. allies.
    “To be super-super clear, ISIS K and Taliban are the exact same organization,” he explained.    “…It’s insulting to the lives of the service members who died that way.    ISIS-K and Taliban sent in a bomber, they blew up the Abbey Gate, killed a bunch of (U.S.) Marines — that’s what happened.”
    This comes after Joe Biden left billions-of-dollars worth of U.S. military equipment to the Taliban.    Kennedy pointed out it’s incorrect to blame ISIS-K alone for recent killings of Americans in Afghanistan.
    “In real intelligence ISIS-K and Taliban, they’re different feathers from the same bird,” he stated.    “It’s the same creature, it’s the same animal, it’s the radical wing of the same movement.    And if you look at whose running ISIS-K, it’s the exact same people that were leaders of the Taliban just a year or two ago.”
    Kennedy added, the Taliban is trying to avoid responsibility for terror activities by diverting attention to ISIS-K.    He warned those terror groups can not be trusted.

9/7/2021 Secy. Blinken: All American Citizens, Afghan Citizens With Valid Travel Documents Will Be Allowed To Leave by OAN Newsroom
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to members of the US embassy and Mission Afghanistan in the Qatari capital Doha, Tuesday,
Sept. 7, 2021. Blinken says the State Department is working with the Taliban to facilitate additional charter flights from Kabul for
people seeking to leave Afghanistan after the American military and diplomatic departure. (Olivier Douliery/Pool Photo via AP)
    Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. is still in negotiation with the Taliban about getting people out of Afghanistan on charter flights from the airport in Kabul.    During a press conference in Qatar on Tuesday, Blinken said their needs to be an agreement with the group if the U.S. wants to board passengers on flights out of the area.
    The official went on to say the Biden administration has been able to identify a “relatively” small number of Americans they believe are seeking to leave through the Mazar-i-Sharif International Airport with their families.    Blinken also addressed concerns of a potential hostage situation at the facility.
    “We’ve been assured, again, that all American citizens and Afghan citizens with valid travel documents will be allowed to leave,” he stated.    “And again, we intend to hold the Taliban to that.    They’ve upheld that commitment in at least one instance in the last 24-hours with a family that was able to leave through an overland route and we are not aware of anyone being held on an aircraft or any hostage like situation in Mazar-i-Sharif.”
    Blinken also estimated there are around 100 U.S. citizens who want to leave Afghanistan and said the administration is in contact with them.    However, more Americans may be stranded in Afghanistan in contradiction to the Biden administration’s previous estimates.    According to California Rep. Darrell Issa (R), that number is likely closer to 500 and possibly double that if including family members.
    This comes after the White House originally reported about 11,000 Americans were in Afghanistan prior to the U.S. pull-out. Following the evacuation, however, reports say only 6,000 U.S. citizens were removed from the country.

9/7/2021 Larry Elder Highlights Newsom’s Failures At L.A. Area Rally by OAN Newsroom
Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder speaks to supporters during an Asian Rally for Yes Recall at the
Asian Garden Mall in Little Saigon, Westminster, California. (Photo by RINGO CHIU/AFP via Getty Images)
    Larry Elder ramped up the push to recall embattled California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D).    Speaking at a campaign rally just east of Los Angeles on Tuesday, Elder blamed Newsom and his policies for the rising crime, high living costs and forest fires sweeping California.
    “I’m here to talk about why Californians, almost two million of them, signed a petition to recall,” he stated.    “This is not about Washington, D.C. It’s about California.”
    The GOP candidate said both Newsom and the Democrat Party have failed the Golden State.    He went on to detail Newsom’s mismanagement.
    “It’s about California losing businesses.    It’s about California losing jobs.    It’s about California paying people not to work.    It’s about crime.    It’s about our poor government schools,” he asserted.    “…We’re not managing our forests properly.    We’re having rolling brownouts for crying out loud.    I can’t think of any front where this man has done a good job.”
    Elder went on to say Newsom’s policies have driven unemployment and homelessness over the past three years.    He added the governor must berecalled to bring back economic prosperity in the Golden State.

9/7/2021 Joe Rogan: I Literally Got Ivermectin From A Doctor by OAN Newsroom
Joe Rogan at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
    Popular podcast host Joe Rogan dispelled rumors that he took horse dewormer to treat COVID-19.    During his podcast, which was shared on Tuesday, Rogan announced he was prescribed ivermectin as part of a cocktail to kick the virus.
    Rogan claimed within a day after following his doctor-ordered drug regimen, he felt substantially better.    However, he lamented CNN and other news outlets tried to dismiss his treatment.
    “They keep saying I’m taking horse dewormer.    I literally got it from a doctor.    It’s an American company.    They won the Nobel prize in 2015 for use in human beings and CNN is saying I’m taking horse dewormer,” he stated.    “…What they didn’t highlight is that I got better.”
    Rogan went on to stress that he received the ivermectin from a doctor and CNN had accused him of spreading disinformation.

9/7/2021 New York Residents Slam AOC, De Blasio For Ida Floods by OAN Newsroom
A teenager cleans water out from a car in a flooded Queens neighborhood that saw massive flooding and numerous deaths following
a night of heavy wind and rain from the remnants of Hurricane Ida in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
    Republican nominee for New York City mayor Curtis Sliwa, alongside other local residents, said Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) was directly to blame for the flooding due to a cutback in sewer cleaning services.    On Monday, Sliwa said he has been deep in the sewers many times.
    Speaking with affected residents, Sliwa claimed the debris piled up in the system without regular cleanings, which caused water to back up out of the sewers.
    “This is what you have in the sewers, ok?    You have all the debris that De Blasio has not had removed,” he explained.    “Both in the streets because they’ve cut back on street cleaning and sanitation, and then all of the flotsam and jetsam that flows into the sewers hasn’t been removed by the Department of Environmental Protection.”
    One of the residents concurred with Sliwa by saying she has tried to get the city to fix the problem for years, although she has been met with little to no success.
    “The funny thing is, I put a request in every year to clean all the catch basins.    This year, when I did it, I never saw them drop that damn shovel once,” she expressed.    “All they were doing was driving around the block.”
    Surveying the damage on Monday, Democrat De Blasio was joined by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to find a culprit for the floods.    According to the mayor, so-called climate change was the biggest contributing factor for the historic disaster.
    “I want to just finally say, our leaders in Congress, these are two of the people who have been sounding the warning on climate change for years,” he stated.    “Congressmember, God bless you for the Green New Deal.    We’re applying it right here in New York City… but the bottom line is, this is what climate change looks like.”
    Ocasio Cortez, for her part, agreed with the mayor as she blamed climate for the disaster.    Other residents in the city however, have not been so quick to believe the nebulous D.C. talking points.
    According to a New York Post report on Monday, many resident strongly disagreed with the far left lawmaker.

9/7/2021 New Anti-Biden Chant Spreads Among College Students Nationwide by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden speaks to the media as he departs the White House in
Washington, D.C. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
    A key Biden voter demographic has seemed to be turning against him.    Over the past few days, a new anti-Biden chant was heard among college students across the U.S.
    College football fans at the Texas A&M Game, as well as at the Coastal Carolina and Virginia Tech games, could be heard singing their opposition to Biden and his policies.    The chants were also recorded at several concerts, bars and restaurants in recent days.    They have since gone viral on social media.
    “It does go to show that your average college football fan is not supportive of the current administration and of the people who pushed to cancel football.    Granted, Joe Biden was not president when the coronavirus pandemic started,” explained sports commentator David Hookstead.    “He was not president when they restricted fans in 2020, but Fauci and Biden are tied together.    In the eyes of many, Fauci and Biden are tied together.”
    Students said they have become frustrated with Biden’s lockdowns, poor handling of COVID-19, the botched Afghanistan withdrawal and harmful economic policies of the current White House.    In addition, many homeowners have put up flags featuring the same anti-Biden slogan.
    This comes as Biden’s approval rating continues to drop.

9/7/2021 State Dept. Falsely Claims It Facilitated Rescue Of American Family by OAN Newsroom
U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price at the State Department in
Washington, D.C. (Photo by KEVIN LAMARQUE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
    The State Department tried to take credit for the private rescue of Americans from Afghanistan.    An American mother known as Mariam accused the State Department of exaggerating its role in the evacuation of her family.
    Veteran Cory Mills and others led the effort to rescue Mariam and her three children.    The team was first notified about the stranded family by Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson (R) and worked for weeks on the dangerous mission.
    Both Jackson and Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) took to Twitter to comment on the false claims.
    “This a flat out lie.    The Biden administration abandoned them,” Mullin expressed.    “Let’s be clear, it was our team of patriots who worked around the clock for two weeks to get them out, despite the many roadblocks from the State Department.”
    Following the successful mission, the State Department said it was happy to announce it facilitated the rescue of four Americans.    However, those actually involved said the government deserved little to no credit for the family’s escape.

9/7/2021 Texas Election Reform Bill Signed Into Law By Gov. Greg Abbott by OAN Newsroom
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) in Pharr, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed a sweeping election reform bill into law after a contentious battle with Democrats.    Abbott signed the bill on Tuesday, which marked just days after it cleared both chambers of the state legislature.
    The legislation would restrict absentee voting as well as ban 24-hour and drive-through voting.    The bill would also set specific hours for early voting and implement voter ID requirements for mail-in ballots.
    “One thing that all Texans can agree, and that is that we must have trust and confidence in our elections,” Abbott expressed.    “The bill that I’m about to sign helps to achieve that goal.    One thing that it does is, it insures that every eligible voter will have the opportunity to vote.”
    The passage was held up last month when a group of Texas Democrats fled the state to Washington D.C. in an effort to prevent passage of the Republican-backed bill.    Abbott responded by calling for two special sessions and after the Texas House reached a quorum, Republicans were able to pass the legislation.
    The bill has been set to take effect just before next year’s primaries.

9/7/2021 Gov. DeSantis Pledges $5K Signing Bonus, Other Benefits In Push To Recruit More Police Officers by OAN Newsroom
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) waits to present a check to a first responder during an event to give out bonuses
to them held at the Grand Beach Hotel Surfside in Surfside, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) put forward new incentives to recruit more police officers in the state.    In a news conference on Tuesday, DeSantis said three separate programs would be introduced to ensure law enforcement had ample resources.     The push to attract more officers was outlined to include a new program to cover the cost of applications, a new law enforcement academy program and a signing bonus for any brand new officers.
    “The first thing that we’re going to do is we’re going to offer a $5,000 signing bonus for anybody who is new to law enforcement in the state of Florida,” DeSantis announced.    “Now that may mean somebody who’s younger, who decides to go into law enforcement who is already a Florida resident, but it would also apply to someone moving from another state.”
    DeSantis went on to say the Sunshine State supported law enforcement, along with all other first responders.    He went on to assert funding for law enforcement would increase within the state of Florida, unlike many other states moving to reduce funding.
DeSantis added the new incentives would hopefully boost confidence as morale has been notably low due to anti-police sentiment.

9/7/2021 Seattle Could Lose 200 More Police Officers Due To Vaccine Mandate by OAN Newsroom
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) at Seattle City Hall in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)
    The Seattle Police Department could soon lose over 200 more officers amid the mayor’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.    Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) issued the mandate last month, which has required all city workers to be vaccinated by October 18 or be fired.
    According to Seattle’s Jason Rantz Radio Show, more than 200 officers either haven’t been vaccinated or have refused to hand over their private medical data.    Seattle has already lost about 300 officers over the push to defund the police, which resulted in a surge in violent crime.
    The city has been in negotiations with the President of the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild, Mike Solan, who said the mandate didn’t make any sense.
    “If you’re advocating for more police officers because you know crime is on the rise, you need more cops because of what the city council did, why are you threatening us with our jobs if we don’t get this vaccination?” Solan questioned.    “It’s unbelievable to me.”
    A spokesperson for the mayor said they hoped terminations wouldn’t be necessary.    However, if the officers chose to not get vaccinated, Seattle would lose about 20 percent of its already depleted police force.

9/8/2021 Oil down $0.81 to $68.33, DOW down 269 to 35,100.

9/8/2021 SPECIAL SESSION - Lawmakers work to end school mandate by Olivia Krauth, If banned, districts could make their own decisions on face coverings by Louisville Courier Journal USA TODAY NETWORK
    As Kentucky school districts grapple with COVID-19, state lawmakers meeting in special session are considering ending a school mask mandate and prohibiting future statewide regulations.
    Senate Bill 1 says the Kentucky Board of Education’s mask requirement for public schools would be considered null and void five business days after the bill’s passage.
    A separate measure, House Bill 2, Cases top 100K, trend younger. would prohibit statewide mask mandates.
    SB 1 passed the Senate Education Committee on an 8-5 vote Tuesday afternoon, and now heads to the full Senate.    The House Education Committee is scheduled to meet Wednesday at noon.
    “Local school districts working with local school boards … will have an opportunity to decide the best procedures, protocol and plan for that individual district,” Senate Education Chairman Max Wise, R-Campbells- Statewide mask ban.
    House panel OKs plan to allow local control.
A protester yells at a Kentucky State Police officer Tuesday at the state Capitol after being refused entry for
not wearing a mask, which was required. State lawmakers are meeting in special session. MATT STONE/COURIER JOURNAL
    Without a state mask mandate, school districts would be able to set their own mask policies.    Around twothirds of districts had initially planned to make masks optional, according to a tally from WFPL.
    The bill also seeks to nullify a mask mandate for child care facilities from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.     Neither agency would be allowed to issue a replacement mask regulation before June 2023.
    The bills attempting to ease restrictions come as Kentucky is experiencing some of the worst infection rates in the nation.
    As of the week ending Friday, Kentucky had the fourth-worst rate of new infections in the United States.    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says “high” community transmission is 100 new cases per 100,000 residents per week.
    Kentucky’s rate was 668, a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows.
    Lawmakers gaveled in for the special session Tuesday, quickly facing a few dozen protesters refusing to wear masks inside the Capitol.    Some carried signs against mask and vaccine mandates, others chanted “no more mandates” while arguing with state troopers who refused to allow them into the building without a mask.
    Masks are required to enter the building and on the first and second floors, but are optional for vaccinated people in areas controlled by the legislative branch.
    Gov. Andy Beshear called for a special session Saturday, asking lawmakers to extend the state of emergency, appropriate federal COVID-19 relief funds and determine the governor’s authority to issue mask requirements.
    It is unclear if the legislature can act on the mask mandates for schools and child care centers since Beshear did not bring up the authority of either agency in his call for the special session.    Lawmakers can’t add topics to a special session’s agenda.
    When asked during a press conference in Louisville, Beshear said he wasn’t yet sure if the school mask mandate would be an allowed topic under his call.
    “We’ve seen time and time again that COVID spreads quickly and shuts down schools and day cares without universal masking,” Beshear said.    If lawmakers lift a statewide mandate, “we’ll then move to encouraging every school district and every child care facility that wants to stay open — not because government’s going to shut them down, but because COVID will.”
    Beshear added he hoped lawmakers would at least require districts in the red zone to mask up. (Almost all Kentucky counties are currently in the red zone for COVID-19 cases.) Senate President Robert Stivers, RManchester, said he thinks it is best to leave mask decisions to local governments or, in this case, school boards.
    “You will not have the ability of the governor to declare a statewide mask mandate,” Stivers told reporters.
    Donnie Piercey, Kentucky’s Teacher of the Year, implored lawmakers to leave the school mask mandates in place Monday night.
    “To override the Kentucky Board of Education’s decision, which was put in place to protect the citizens of the Commonwealth, in the midst of a deadly surge of cases, is just lunacy,” Piercey tweeted.
    A potential loosening of mask policies in schools comes after at least onefifth of Kentucky school districts have needed to close this school year because of COVID-19.
    Sen. Reggie Thomas, D-Lexington, said in Tuesday’s committee meeting that ending the school mask mandate while districts are closing and almost all of Kentucky is in the red zone is “completely irresponsible of us.”
    The state school board is appointed and approved by the Senate, Wise responded, “but in terms of setting policy and guidelines, the people of the commonwealth expect to look to the legislature to make decisions.”
    In his call for a special session, Beshear asked lawmakers to “provide additional operational flexibility” to schools to help them navigate the pandemic.
    District leaders get a top wish granted under the draft bill: They would be able to switch individual schools, classes and groups of students to remote learning, rather than closing the entire district.
    Remote learning is different from nontraditional instruction, which can be used for only a districtwide closure.    The bill does not grant more NTI days, leaving districts with 10 days under state law.
    “This is not nontraditional instruction.    I want to repeat: This is not NTI,” Wise said.
    Districts could not assign all students in the district to remote learning, the bill says, and they could not keep groups out longer than needed to alleviate student and staff absences.    Districts could use up to 20 remote days before Dec. 31.
    Even with 10 NTI days and 20 “surgical” remote-learning days, Wise said, “there may be times there that districts got to get very creative in how to keep school going.”
    State health officials would need to create a “test-to-stay” program for schools, the bill says, allowing kids who have been exposed to COVID-19 to show a negative test each day in lieu of quarantining.    Schools would not be required to use such a program.
    Health officials would also need to provide guidance around how to factor in masks and vaccinations into quarantines. School quarantine protocols “have not been very effective,” Wise said, and have caused large numbers of students who do not have COVID-19 to miss school.
    Additional provisions in the draft include:
    A Senate committee approved a bill that says lawmakers will not get paid for veto periods during a special session.
    Staff reporters Joe Sonka, Morgan Watkins and Debby Yetter, and USA TODAY data reporter Mike Stucka contributed to this story.
    Reach Olivia Krauth at okrauth@ and on Twitter at @oliviakrauth.
Wearing Revolution-era attire, Daniel Wilson enters the Kentucky Senate chamber Tuesday. Gov. Andy Beshear
called for a special session, asking lawmakers to extend the state of emergency, appropriate
federal COVID funds and determine his authority on mask requirements. MATT STONE/COURIER JOURNAL

9/8/2021 SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE SESSION special legislative session - House panel advances banning any statewide mask mandates - Bill also cuts constraints on nursing home visits by Deborah Yetter, Louisville Courier Journal USA TODAY NETWORK
    A House committee adopted a ban on statewide mask orders Tuesday, the first day of a special legislative session dealing with emergency measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    The measure was added to a lengthy draft of a bill dealing with COVID-19 testing, treatment, vaccines and other measures Republican lawmakers who control the legislature are proposing during an ongoing surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
    Rep. Kimberly Poore Moser, a Taylor Mill Republican, said the bill, if adopted, would bar Gov. Andy Beshear from issuing any 'blanket mask mandate' as he had previously done during the pandemic.
    Rather, local governments and businesses would decide whether to require masks, said Moore, chairwoman of the House Health and Family Services committee, who presented House Bill 2.
    'All we’re doing here is saying the statewide mask mandate is null and void,' Moser said.    'The orders will be decided upon at a local level.'
    Beshear has already said he lacks the authority to issue a statewide mask mandate under a recent state Supreme Court decision upholding broader authority the General Assembly gave itself this year or he would have issued one during the current surge.
    HB 2 also limits constraints on visits to nursing homes, calls for more COVID-19 testing and vaccine access and allows temporary expanded duties for paramedics in hospitals and nursing homes.
    Most of the changes would last through January 2022, when lawmakers could revisit them in a regular legislative session with the exception of the ban on mask mandates, which lasts through June 1, 2023.
    Hospital and nursing home representatives had asked for more latitude in using workers in expanded roles to deal with acute staffing shortages, especially among nursing staff. Under HB 2, the paramedics would work under supervision of medical staff.
    The bill would block lockdowns of nursing homes — bans on visitors ordered by the Beshear administration in the early months of the pandemic before vaccines were available and the virus was tearing through many long term care centers.

9/8/2021 Who To Blame For Taliban Takeover? Former Afghan Envoy Points Finger At Kabul by Phil Stewart
FILE PHOTO: Afghan Ambassador to the United States Roya Rahmani speaks during an
interview with Reuters in Washington, U.S., February 8, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Roya Rahmani, Afghanistan’s first female ambassador to the United States who left her post in July, is clearly horrified by the Taliban takeover of her country. But she is not surprised.     In an interview, Rahmani accused the former U.S.-backed government in Kabul of a failure to lead the country and of widespread corruption that ultimately paved the way for the Taliban’s victory last month.
    She also warned the United States, still smarting from its defeat, that the rise of the Taliban would have far-reaching geopolitical consequences.
    “I, as an Afghan, was not surprised by the fact that the Taliban took over Afghanistan the way they did and how quickly they did, partly because of the lack of leadership by the Afghan government that was in place at the time,” Rahmani said.
    President Joe Biden acknowledged he and other officials were aware of the risk that the Afghan government could collapse following the U.S. military withdrawal.
    But they say they were caught off-guard by the speed of the Taliban victory, a miscalculation that helped lead to a chaotic U.S. military airlift of U.S. citizens and vulnerable Afghans.    Thirteen U.S. troops and scores of Afghans were killed in a suicide bombing during the operation.
    Biden, in a speech last month, accused Afghan troops of lacking “the will to fight” for their country’s future.
    Rahmani saw things differently.
    “It was not the Afghan forces, that they were not willing to fight for their freedom and for protection of their people.    It was the leadership that was corrupt. And they handed over, basically, the country to the Taliban,” she said, without providing specific allegations.
    In particular, Ashraf Ghani’s decision to abandon the presidency and leave Afghanistan on Aug. 15 was “extremely disappointing and embarrassing,” she said.
    Ghani said on Wednesday he left because he wanted to avoid bloodshed.    He denied allegations he stole millions of dollars on his way out.
    “Leaving Kabul was the most difficult decision of my life,” Ghani said.
    Rahmani, who is 43, left the job as ambassador to the United States after nearly three years in the role.    During her posting she wrestled with what she believed was a politically-motivated case over an embassy construction project.
    She denied any wrongdoing and an anti-corruption court found flaws in the case, sending it back even before the Afghan government crumbled.
    “I invite any investigative body to look at all the documents,” she said.
    But Rahmani’s accusations of broad corruption and mismanagement in Kabul carry echoes of warnings by current and former U.S. officials for years.    Experts say corruption was steadily eroding ordinary Afghans’ faith in the U.S.-backed government and even turning some of them to the Taliban.
    Rahmani described being cut out of discussions between Washington and Kabul, including during the Trump administration.    Neither capital appeared to be fully preparing for consequences of the U.S. withdrawal, she said.
    She warned of geopolitical shifts that will impact the United States and its allies.
    Pakistan – a prickly U.S. ally that is close to the Taliban – will have gained leverage in its dealings with the Washington, she said.
    “I believe that the United States will be facing a new Pakistan,” she said, while cautioning the Taliban’s takeover will have ripple effects on India, China, Turkey and beyond.
    The last time the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, girls could not attend school and women were banned from work and education. Religious police would flog anyone breaking the rules and public executions were carried out.
    The Taliban have urged Afghans to be patient and vowed to be more tolerant this time.
    But Rahmani says the Taliban’s decision to exclude women from all of the top government positions announced on Tuesday was proof that dark times may be ahead for women.
    On Tuesday, a group of Afghan women in a Kabul street had to take cover after Taliban gunmen fired into the air to disperse hundreds of protesters.
    “I salute all the brave women of Afghanistan.    It is quite risky to do what they are doing,” Rahmani said.    “And it’s also an indication to the rest of the world that they have everything to lose at this point.”
(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Mary Milliken and Angus MacSwan)

9/8/2021 Blinken Says Taliban Must Earn Legitimacy After New Government Fails Inclusivity Test by Humeyra Pamuk
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken attends a meeting with his German counterpart at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, as they
will hold a virtual 20-nation ministerial meeting on the crisis, September, 8, 2021. Olivier Douliery/Pool via REUTERS
    RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (Reuters) -U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday said a provisional Afghan cabinet was not the inclusive government the Taliban had promised and that the Islamist group needs to earn the international legitimacy and support it seeks.
    Blinken, visiting a U.S. air base in Germany that has been a transit point for evacuees from Afghanistan, also called on the Taliban to allow charter flights carrying Americans and at-risk Afghans to depart the country.
    Taliban leaders filled all the top posts in the government named on Tuesday, while an associate of the group’s founder was named prime minister and the new interior minister appears on a U.S. terrorism wanted list.
    “We’re assessing the announcement but despite professing that a new government would be inclusive, the announced list of names consists exclusively of individuals who are members of the Taliban or their close associates, and no women,” Blinken said at a news conference.
    Washington was “concerned by the affiliations and track records of some of those individuals,” Blinken added.
    Blinken and his German counterpart Heiko Maas held a joint news conference after convening a virtual meeting of 22 foreign ministers plus officials from NATO, the European Union and the United Nations.
    Blinken said all those in the meeting agreed on the need to hold the Taliban accountable before giving the new government legitimacy.
    “The Taliban seek international legitimacy and support. Any legitimacy, any support, will have to be earned,” Blinken said.
    The United Nations has said basic services are unraveling in Afghanistan with food and other aid about to run out.
    Small numbers of Americans still remain in the country, and their family members and other Afghans at risk continue to try to leave, but flights have been largely grounded since U.S. forces left Kabul’s airport on Aug. 31.
    Planes chartered to carry people out of Afghanistan have been stuck at Mazar-i-Sharif International Airport, sparking calls for the State Department to do more to facilitate their departure.
    Blinken said the United States was doing everything in its power to get the flights off the ground, but the Taliban was not permitting the flights to depart.
    “We’ve made clear to all parties, we’ve made clear to the Taliban that these charters need to be able to depart,” Blinken said.
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, Daphne Psaledakis and Susan Heavey; Writing by Simon Lewis; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

9/8/2021 ‘Justice For J6’ Rally To Take Place On U.S. Capitol Grounds by OAN Newsroom
FILE – Workers remove security fencing surrounding the U.S. Capitol on July 10, 2021 in Washington, DC. The security fence was erected
in the wake of the January 6 attack on the Capitol and will be mostly removed this weekend. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    The Metropolitan Police Department is expected to ramp up its presence for the upcoming ‘Justice for J6‘ rally on the grounds of the capitol.    On September 18, protesters will gather on the capitol grounds in defense of the rights of those jailed in connection with the events that took place on January 6.
    The event, planned by Look Ahead America, is expected to be peaceful as several thousand people are set to attend.
    Leaders of the organizing group have implored attendees to be mindful and respectful when at the event, also urging them to remember the purpose behind the rally.
    Matt Braynard, the leader of Look Ahead America, previously served as a a campaign staffer for 45th President Donald Trump.    He told the media that he has received numerous death threats, particularly from left-leaning activists.
    “Despite all of this entirely peaceful operation by us, I’m being bombarded with death threats and threats of violence,” he explained.    “So, all the violence happening here is exclusively coming from the left, all the threats of real violence that we’re seeing here.”
    Nonetheless, Braynard has invited those who plan to attend the event to make signs that call for justice in regards to those who he referred to as “political prisoners” and “patriots.”
    “The small handful who so far have been credibly charged with violence, they are due a fair hearing,” he stated.    "I don’t think that that’s happening for them.    They’re still having the deck stacked against them and in many cases, those who have been accused of violence have had the government slow walk evidence and say that they may not even be able to present the evidence for another year.”
    The Look Ahead America leader also told demonstrators to respect law enforcement officers who will be monitoring the gathering. Meanwhile, Capitol Police are set to present their security plan to the Capitol Police Board this week.

9/8/2021 Trump To Hold ‘Save America’ Rallies In Iowa, Ga. by OAN Newsroom
File – Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump gives two thumbs up to the crowd during the evening session on the fourth day of the
Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    The 45th president has set the dates for his next two ‘Save America’ rallies.    In a series of press releases issued Tuesday, Donald Trump announced he will be holding events in Perry, Georgia and Des Moines, Iowa.
    The Peach State rally is expected to take place Saturday, September 25.    After that, Trump is scheduled to rally in the Hawkeye State on Saturday, October 9.
    This series of rallies is sure to create an opportunity for his supporters to reconnect with the 45th president.    Trump will likely touch on border security issues, the messy U.S. pullout of Afghanistan and other hot button issues that Americans across the board hold high with importance.
    In the past, Trump’s rallies have had tremendous turnouts and the same is expected for these upcoming events.
    Additionally, media attention can be expected as support for the 4th president continues to be strong.    This comes as Trump has hinted at another presidential run in 2024.
    One America News will provide live, uninterrupted coverage of the Trump’s Save America’ rallies.

9/8/2021 Voir Dire Begins In Case Of Architects Of 9/11 by OAN Newsroom
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed appears in Guantánamo Bay. (AP Photo)
    Nine years after their arraignment, the trial of the five men charged with facilitating the attacks on September 11, 2001 resumes. On Tuesday, the defendants in the United States v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, et al appeared before Judge Col. Matthew McCall at the Guantanamo Bay military base for a pre-trial hearing.
    McCall will determine whether or not the confessions of the five men can be used against them or whether the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” renders the statements inadmissible.
    “One of the most important issues in the case is how the torture of these men is going to ultimately affect the trial,” stated James Connell, attorney for Ammar al Baluchi.    “And trials mean evidence and the destruction of evidence.    The intentional destruction of evidence takes away from the defense and really the American people information about what actually happened.”
    A large portion of Tuesday’s hearing was ironing out issues regarding Guantanamo’s COVID restrictions, including the implementation of a remote hearing and ensuring the court schedule didn’t interfere with either the defendant’s meal or prayer times.    Then, the voir dire or preliminary examination of colonel McCall began.
    “There are a lot of issues that drive why this case takes so long and today is a perfect example,” Connell continued.    “Today, while we were dealing with either the fourth or the ninth judge in the case, depending on how you count.”
    Initially there were concerns about Col. McCall’s lack of experience as a military judge, but ultimately he was found to meet the requirements.
    The five men have been charged with a number of offenses, including conspiracy, attacking civilians, murder in violation of the law of war, hijacking and terrorism.    The legal teams of each of the five have until Thursday to file their defense theories.

9/8/2021 Sen. Hagerty: Biden, MSM Trying To Distract Americans From Foreign Policy Failures by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., speaks during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies hearing
with Attorney General Merrick Garland, Wednesday, June 9, 2021., on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times)
    Senate Republicans are urging Americans to follow the trail linking mainstream media to the Biden administration.    On Tuesday, Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), who’s also the former U.S. Ambassador to Japan under President Donald Trump, claimed the Joe Biden’s White House is trying to steer America’s attention away from international policy.
    Hagerty warned this is to distract the public about the continuing crisis in Afghanistan, where the Taliban now dominates and Americans are left behind.    He added, he’s seen reports claiming up to more than 1,000 Americans and allies have been left behind by Biden.
    The Tennessee Republican went on to say Biden supporters and international allies are beginning to recognize Biden’s folly.
    “I just got back from a trip to the U.K. to our NATO allies and they see this as well; they feel like they were sold a bill of goods in the 2020 election,” stated the senator.    “Joe Biden’s whole America back-theme, they realize that was complete folly right now.    What Joe Biden has done is demonstrated time and again that the foreign policy of the Biden administration is really dictated by press releases, in vengeance against the previous administration, that seems to be the primary motivation.”
    Additionally, Hagerty said mainstream media is encouraging Biden to continue making abhorrent policies.    He pointed to sympathetic coverage of the job crushing Keystone XL pipeline cancellation and lack of coverage of the crisis at the southern border.
    The Republican also pointed out that mainstream media outlets are now throwing a red herring at the public with their aggressive and negative coverage of the recently passed pro-life bill in Texas.
    “Again, they’re trying to precipitate other domestic diversion here to avoid any attention to the massive crisis that the Biden administration has created,” he stated.    “And again, through the eyes of our allies overseas it becomes very, very clear.”
    Hagerty circled back to the Afghanistan crisis while warning the Taliban won’t be the only terrorist group to wield American arms.
    “Taliban and their allies, Al-Qaeda (and) ISIS-K, it continued a jihadist flood into Afghanistan,” he noted.    “(They) are arming themselves with some of the best equipment known to man and what they don’t use themselves may become available in what could be the largest arms bazaar in the world.    You think about our foes from around the globe that can now move into Afghanistan and get the latest military equipment…this is a terrible situation.”
    Hagerty stressed officials at the State Department are working hard to effectively respond to the crisis despite having to operate with limited resources.

9/8/2021 House Speaker Pelosi Seeking Bipartisanship For Debt Ceiling Increase by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 08: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speaks during her weekly news
conference at the U.S. Capitol on September 8, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has refused to increase the debt ceiling without bipartisan support.    Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the California Democrat said she would not put a debt ceiling increase in the Democrat reconciliation package.
    She has instead demanded that Republicans vote alongside Democrats to raise the ceiling.    Republican leaders have responded, saying they want Democrats to own the issues that will come with increasing the debt.
    Pelosi said she blames Republicans for the debt, claiming the aim now is to pay off debt accrued under the Trump administration.
    “During the Trump administration, which amassed over $7 trillion in debt, and that’s what this debt ceiling lift is paying for,” claimed Pelosi.    “People just say ‘oh you just wanna spend money.’    No, we’re paying the credit card.    The Trump credit card.”
    Pelosi said Democrats acted responsibly by raising the debt ceiling for the so-called Trump credit card and she expects Republicans to do the same for Joe Biden.    This follows Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s comment saying if the ceiling isn’t raised by October, the results would cause catastrophic and irreparable harm.

9/8/2021 Pro-China Social Media Campaign Expands To New Countries, Blames U.S. For COVID by Joseph Menn
FILE PHOTO: China's President Xi Jinping is shown on a screen through digitally decorated glass during
the World Internet Conference (WIC) in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, China, November 23, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song
(Changes reference from COVID-10 to COVID-19.)
    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A misinformation campaign on social media in support of Chinese government interests has expanded to new languages and platforms, and it even tried to get people to show up to protests in the United States, researchers said on Wednesday.
    Experts at security company FireEye and Alphabet’s Google said the operation was identified in 2019 as running hundreds of accounts in English and Chinese aimed at discrediting the Hong Kong democracy movement.    The effort has broadened its mission and spread from Twitter, Facebook and Google to thousands of handles on dozens of sites around the world.
    This expansion suggests Chinese interests have made a deeper commitment to the sort of international propaganda techniques Russia has used for several years, experts said.
    Some of the new accounts are on networks used predominantly in countries that have not previously been significant Chinese propaganda targets, such as Argentina.    Other networks have users around the world but with a large proportion in Russia or Germany.
    False information about COVID-19 has been a major focus. For example, accounts on social networking sites vKontakte, LiveJournal and elsewhere in Russian, German, Spanish and other languages have asserted that the novel coronavirus emerged in the United States before China and that it was developed by the U.S. military.
    Multiple Russian-language LiveJournal accounts used identical wording: “U.S. Ft. Detrick was the source of COVID-19,” referring to the U.S. Army’s Fort Detrick installation in Maryland.
    In addition to promoting false information on the virus, researchers said priorities for the group include criticizing fugitive Chinese propagandist Guo Wengui and his ally, former Donald Trump strategist Steve Bannon, and exploiting concerns about anti-Asian racism.
    “We have observed extensive promotion of Russian, German, Spanish, Korean, and Japanese-language content on U.S. and non-U.S.-based platforms, in addition to the typical English and Chinese-language activity that has been widely reported on,” FireEye said in a report published Wednesday.    Many of the accounts link to each other or use the same photos, helping the researchers see connections among them.
    Many of the posts echo claims in state-controlled Chinese media, and they are consistent with other government propaganda efforts.    The researchers do not have proof of involvement by a specific arm or ally of Beijing.    The Chinese embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment.
    So far, the accounts on the main U.S. platforms and major networks elsewhere such as Russia-based vKontakte have gained little interaction with authentic users, the researchers said.
    “A lot of it is tweeting into the void,” said John Hultquist, vice president of intelligence analysis at FireEye.
    Some of the posts urged protesters to demonstrate against racism in the United States.    In addition, they called on protesters to rally in April outside what the accounts said was the New York home of wealthy expatriate Guo, but there was little evidence that people showed up.
    The coordinated fake accounts took that in stride, instead distributing doctored photos of a different protest in a different place.
    “It’s almost like they are being paid by volume,” instead of engagement, said Shane Huntley, director of the threat analysis group at Google.
    Alphabet’s YouTube has been removing about a thousand channels a month tied to the campaign, though most promote Chinese entertainment more than political views or misinformation.
    The production quality is improving, with higher-resolution video and better subtitles, suggesting an investment for the long haul.
    Though the accounts have not been successful at blending in and attracting native followers, Hultquist said he was concerned that the dedication of resources would lead to improved technique and more convincing misinformation spreading.
    “They’ve clearly got a wide mandate that’s global.    Someone is giving them pretty broad orders,” Hultquist said.
(Reporting by Joseph Menn; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

9/8/2021 FireEye: China Mobilized 2020 U.S. Rioters Online by OAN Newsroom
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – OCTOBER 08: (L-R) General (Ret.) Keith Alexander, FireEye COO Kevin Mandia, Lookout Founder
and Executive Chairman John Hering and The New York Times Columnist and Moderator Andrew Ross Sorkin speak
onstage during “Cyber-Security/Cyber-Insecurity” at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit at Yerba Buena Center for
the Arts on October 8, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Kimberly White/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)
    Cybersecurity firm FireEye found the Chinese Communist Party led a concerted effort to incite violent riots in the U.S.
    In a new report, FireEye found China orchestrated an influence campaign across social media platforms in order to mobilize U.S. protesters in 2020.
    Chinese-backed accounts promoted the narratives of systemic racism, coronavirus fears and anti-Trump sentiments.    In addition, some COVID misinformation in Russian and German language posts were found to be written by nonnative speakers of those languages.
    The accounts were found to be interconnected in the sense they posted similar content, and in many cases identical messaging.    It was also reported the accounts engaged in coordinated sharing across 30 social media platforms and over 40 other websites and online forums.
    The FireEye report suggested China drove division between the U.S., Europe and Russia.    Additionally, it sought to motivate real world activity in those countries.

9/8/2021 White House Officials Resist Biden’s Push To Purge Trump Appointees by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 08: Joe Biden speaks on workers rights and labor unions in the East Room
at the White House on September 08, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
    White House officials appointed by the 45th president are resisting Joe Biden’s push to force them out of office.    Reports on Wednesday found the Biden administration told Trump appointees to either resign from military academy boards or face termination.
    The move would reportedly affect up to 18 officials including Kellyanne Conway, Sean Spicer and Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought.    Vought has already released a statement saying he’s serving a three-year term and Biden has no authority to remove him.
    Conway also responded to reports saying she’s not resigning, but Biden should instead.
    Meanwhile, Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated, “I will let others evaluate whether they think Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer and others were qualified, or not political, to serve on these boards, but the President’s qualification requirements are not your party registration, they are whether you’re qualified to serve and whether you’re aligned with the values of this administration.”
    Critics added the dismissal of Trump officials from the military advisory boards is disappointing and against tradition.

9/8/2021 Fla. Gov. DeSantis Says Rumors Of A 2024 Run ‘Purely Manufactured’ by OAN Newsroom
SURFSIDE, FLORIDA – JUNE 14: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference at the Shul
of Bal Harbour on June 14, 2021 in Surfside, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has dismissed rumors that he’s planning a 2024 presidential run.    Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, the Republican governor said “all the speculation around me is purely manufactured.”
    “All the speculation about me is purely manufactured.    I just do my job and we work hard,” said DeSantis.    “I hear all this stuff and honestly it’s nonsense.”     This comes as President Donald Trump is slated to head to Iowa in October for a rally as speculation about a 2024 run continues to grow.    Recent reports said a senior aide to Trump said it’s between 99 and 100 percent certain he’ll run again.
    Rep. Jim Jordan also weighed in on a Trump potential run stating, “I think he’s gonna run.    I want him to run.    He’s proven he can take the heat.”
    Meanwhile, the 45th president has signaled he’d consider DeSantis for a running mate should he decide to run again.
    “Well, he’s a friend of mine.    I endorsed Ron,” said Trump during 2018.    “And after I endorsed him, he took off like a rocket ship.    He’s done a great job as governor.”
ESTERO, FL – OCTOBER 31: President Donald Trump greets Ron DeSantis during a campaign rally
at the Hertz Arena on October 31, 2018 in Estero, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

9/8/2021 Rep. Waltz Warns Taliban Is Growing Into A Terrorist Super-State by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 31: U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) (3rd L) speaks as House Minority Leader
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) (3rd R) and other House Republican veterans listen during a news conference
at Rayburn Room of the U.S. Capitol August 31, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) recently issued a dire warning about the situation in Afghanistan.    In an interview on Wednesday, the Florida congressman said the Taliban is quickly becoming a terrorist super-state and every time he thinks it can’t get any worse, it does.
    He said it’s a slap in the face to America that the Taliban announced a new government led by wanted terrorists and former Guantanamo Bay detainees on the same week as 9/11.    Waltz, a veteran himself, also had a message for Gold Star families, veterans and 9/11 victims, reassuring them their sacrifices were not in vein.
    Waltz voiced his concern of a potential hostage situation.    “Abandoning Americans will lead to a large mass hostage situation and every time the Taliban have a demand going forward, or access to billions and reserves, for access to economic assistance, for international recognition, if they don’t get their way, they go down the street and take a hostage,” stated Waltz in an interview.
    His warning came as Joe Biden has insisted Afghanistan would not become a haven for terrorists thanks to his botched withdrawal.

9/8/2021 Tucson Pauses Vaccine Mandate After Warning By Ariz. AG Brnovich by OAN Newsroom
In this Jan. 7, 2020, file photo, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich speaks at a news conference in Phoenix.
Brnovich says Tucson’s vaccine mandate for city employees is illegal. Brnovich’s decision Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021, gives
Tucson 30 days to repeal the mandate or lose millions of dollars in state funding. (AP Photo/Bob Christie, File)
    The city of Tucson halted its vaccine mandate for state employees after Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich ruled such a mandate was illegal.    On Wednesday, Tucson officials said they would pause the policy mandating that city employees get a COVID vaccine or otherwise face five days suspension.
    This comes after Brnovich said on Tuesday the vaccine mandate violates an executive order by Gov. Doug Ducey (R) and contradicts a state law that is set to go into effect later this month.    Brnovich also said Tucson would lose its share of state revenue, which is estimated at $175 million, if it didn’t stop the policy.
    Brnovich previously published a legal opinion stating businesses could enforce a vaccine mandate upon their employees and customers, but argued the same rules don’t apply to government agencies.
    Democrat Tucson Mayor Regina Romero claimed Brnovich’s decision is political.    She said, “this report reads more as a campaign speech filled with political commentary rather than a fact-based legal opinion.”    However, she agreed to comply with it.

9/8/2021 Report: Trump To Endorse Attorney Harriet Hageman In Expected Primary Bid To Oust Rep. Cheney by OAN Newsroom
In this May 16, 2018, file photo, Harriet Hageman addresses a meeting of the Wyoming Business Alliance in Casper, Wyo. Former President
Donald Trump has chosen Hageman, a favored candidate in his bid to unseat Rep. Liz Cheney, one of his most vocal critics. That’s according to a
person familiar with his decision who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of a formal announcement. (AP Photo/Mead Gruver, File)
    President Donald Trump is reportedly expected to endorse a Wyoming GOP attorney in her potential bid to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).    Reports on Wednesday said Trump has told Harriet Hageman she has his support in the GOP House primary.
    “He interviewed a lot of people, and when it was done, it was clear she’s in a class of her own,” said a source familiar with Trump’s selection process, but asked to remain anonymous.
    Hageman has yet to officially launch her campaign, but stepped down as a member of the Wyoming Republican National Committee this week.    In her resignation letter, she touted the committee’s decision to censure Cheney and said it sent a strong message to lawmakers that they should respect the views and values of those who elected them.
    “Accountability is key and I am proud of our party for demanding it,” wrote Hageman.
    Trump first spoke out about Cheney after she rejected his claims of fraud in the 2020 election and vowed she would do everything she could to make sure he “never gets anywhere near the Oval Office.”
    Meanwhile, Hageman is expected to announce her primary run later this week.

9/8/2021 Trump Jr.: Mainstream Media Must Stop Covering For Biden Admin. by OAN Newsroom
SARASOTA, FL – JULY 03: Donald J. Trump Jr. speaks during a rally on July 3, 2021
in Sarasota, Florida. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images)
    Donald Trump Jr. criticized the mainstream media for downplaying reports that planes carrying U.S. civilians are unable to leave Afghanistan.    In a tweet on Wednesday, the Trump Organization executive shared a statement by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, saying the Taliban is not allowing charter flights to depart from Afghanistan.
    Trump Jr. pointed out the mainstream media previously claimed Americans were not being held hostage.    However, Blinken is apparently withholding the full truth.
    “There’s been a fair amount of confusion surrounding the flights and let me just clarify a few things.    As of now, the Taliban are not permitting the charter flights to depart,” stated Blinken.    “They claim that some of the passengers do not have the required documentation.”
    Meanwhile, six planes are reportedly stuck in the Mazar-i-Sharif airport, with some 1,000 Americans and allies on board.
    “While there are limits to what we can do without personnel on the ground, without an airport with normal security and procedures in place, we are working to do everything in our power to support those flights and to get them off the ground,” stated Blinken at a joint briefing.
    Trump Jr. stressed mainstream media must stop running cover for the “lying Biden administration.”     This comes as the Taliban named a new interim government, which consists of an all male panel with members of the Taliban and their close associates.

9/8/2021 WHO Chief: Healthy, Vaccinated People Don’t Need Third Dose Right Now by OAN Newsroom
World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus gestures during a press conference
following an International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on an Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic
of the Congo on May 18, 2018 at the United Nations Office in Geneva. (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
    The head of the World Health Organization has called for a moratorium on booster shots for the remainder of the year.
    Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus made the comment on Wednesday, saying boosters should wait until every country has had a chance to vaccinate at least 40 percent of its population.
    He acknowledged third doses may be necessary for at risk populations, such as those who are immunocompromised.    However, for now he said the WHO doesn’t want to see widespread use of boosters for healthy vaccinated people.
    “There has been a lot of talk about vaccine equity, but too little action.    High-income countries have promised to donate more than a billion doses, but less than 15 percent of those doses have materialized,” said Ghebreyesus.
    His comments come as recent reports citing Dr. Anthony Fauci, said three vaccine doses are likely needed for full protection.    Although, such a move has to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration first.

9/9/2021 Oil up $0.94 to $69.33, DOW down 69 to 35,031.

9/9/2021 Canada PM Trudeau Angrily Accuses Main Rival Of Favoring Abortion Curbs, Gun Owners by David Ljunggren
Canada's Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Conservative Party leader Erin O'Toole speaks during the federal
election French-language leaders debate, in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada September 8, 2021. Justin Tang/Pool via REUTERS
    OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, facing a possible election defeat, on Wednesday lashed out at his main rival, accusing him of favoring restrictions on abortion and wanting to loosen gun controls.
    Opinion polls show the right-leaning Conservatives of Erin O’Toole could win the Sept. 20 vote, ending six years of rule by the left-of-center Liberals.
    At the end of an otherwise unremarkable two-hour leaders’ debate in French, Trudeau said O’Toole had sided with the gun lobby and wanted to overturn a Liberal ban on assault weapons.
    He also said dozens of Conservative Parliamentarians had voted in favor of draft legislation to curb abortions that was defeated in the House of Commons in June.
    “Mr O’Toole refused to tell Canadians what he wants to do. He signs deals with special interest groups,” Trudeau said.    “He is offering weak leadership … he can’t be trusted.”
    O’Toole, who has consistently attacked Trudeau’s decision to call a snap election during the COVID-19 pandemic, retorted that the Liberal leader would “say anything to win” and said he was in favor of abortion rights.
    Last Sunday O’Toole scrapped a campaign promise to eliminate a ban on some assault weapons after Trudeau accused him of cozying up to the gun lobby.
    Trudeau called the election two years ahead of schedule as a referendum on his handling of the pandemic but has struggled to overcome voter fatigue.
    Wednesday’s two-hour debate was the second and final one to be held in French, which is predominantly spoken in Quebec.    The province accounts for 78 of the 338 seats in the House of Commons and is crucial for any party seeking office.
    The leaders will hold another debate on Thursday in English, the language spoken by two-thirds of Canada’s 38 million population.    An Ipsos Research poll for Global News on Wednesday put the Conservatives at 35% public support, with the Liberals at 32% and the left-leaning New Democrats at 21%.
($1 = 1.2702 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Peter Cooney and Michael Perry)

9/9/2021 Italy’s Draghi, Turkey’s Erdogan Discuss Afghan Crisis, G20 Summit
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/File Photo
    MILAN (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi discussed on Wednesday the Afghan crisis with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan ahead of a G20 summit to be held in Rome on Oct. 30-31, Draghi’s office said.
    The “comprehensive” phone conversation explored possible steps to be taken by the international community, including the G20, over Afghanistan and Draghi renewed an invitation to Erdogan to take part in the Rome Summit, it said.
    The situation in Libya and a further strengthening of Italian-Turkish partnerships across sectors were also discussed.
(Reporting by Angelo Amante, writing by Valentina Za; editing by Chris Reese)

9/9/2021 White House: Biden To Reveal ‘Robust’ Strategy Against Delta Variant by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 03: Joe Biden delivers remarks on the August jobs numbers in the State Dining Room
at the White House on September 03, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    Joe Biden is set to announce his new strategy to tackle the latest COVID-19 variant. On Thursday, Biden is expected to unveil his six-point plan centering around both the vaccinated and unvaccinated.
    The plan reportedly focuses on boosting testing and increasing requirements for wearing face masks.    There have also been reports that suggest Biden will sign an executive order requiring all federal employees to get vaccinated without providing regular testing as a way to opt out.
    “As the president has said since day 1, his administration will pull every lever to get the pandemic under control,” said a White House official on Tuesday.    “On Thursday, the president will lay out a six-pronged strategy that will help us do just that, working across the public and private sectors.”
    This comes as Biden’s recent approval ratings have plummeted amid the chaotic troop withdrawal and following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.    One political scientist commented saying “the stakes are very high for President Biden leading into this Thursday’s COVID speech.”
    Biden is slated to deliver the remarks from the State Dining Room at 5 p.m. EST and 2 p.m. PST.

9/9/2021 White House Withdraws David Chipman ATF Nomination by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 23: Former special agent at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF)
David Chipman testifies during a hearing before the Congressional Gun Violence
Prevention Task Force January 23, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    The Biden administration has pulled a second nomination, this time withdrawing the pick for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives director.    Reports on Thursday confirmed David Chipman would no longer be in the running to become the head of the ATF.
    Chipman was heavily criticized for his blatant targeting of Second Amendment rights and his partisan record.    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnel (R-Ky.) called it absurd that a vocal opponent of America’s constitutional rights was ever picked to run the ATF.
    McConnell took to Twitter stating, “glad to hear reports the White House is taking my advice and pulling the terrible nomination of David Chipman.    This is a win for the Second Amendment and law-abiding American citizens.”
    In the meantime, Biden released a statement where he continued to blame Republicans for his failures, saying the GOP is using gun crime as a political talking point.
    “Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress have made clear that they intend to use gun crime as a political talking point instead of taking serious steps to address it,” said Biden.    “That’s why they’ve moved in lockstep to block David Chipman’s confirmation and it’s why they side with gun manufacturers over the overwhelming majority of the American people in opposing commonsense measures like universal background checks.”
    Chipman responded saying it was an honor to be nominated and continued to advocate for someone who is accountable to the public.
    “I knew this confirmation process would be difficult and while ultimately we weren’t successful, it remains essential that ATF is led by a confirmed director who is accountable to the public and places no special interests before the safety of our children and our communities.”

9/9/2021 Pompeo Endorses Kan. AG Schmidt For Gov. by OAN Newsroom
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt discusses a proposal that he’s pushing with other Republicans to amend
the state constitution to give the Legislature the power to overturn state agencies’ administrative regulations,
at a news conference, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. (AP Photo/John Hanna)
    Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has given his endorsement to Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt for governor.    Pompeo, who represented Kansas in the House for six years, announced his decision in a statement Wednesday, praising Schmidt as the trusted conservative Kansans need.
    “When you look at his record as Attorney General, you see a leader who has always fought for the most vulnerable and always stood up to do the right thing,” Pompeo said in a statement.    “I’m honored to support Derek for governor.”
    Schmidt responded to the glowing endorsement, offering his thanks and complimenting the former secretary of state himself.
    “Mike has made Kansans proud as he served in Congress and far beyond,” said Schmidt.    “He has been a strong conservative leader for our state and I’m grateful to have his support as I seek to serve the good people of Kansas as their next governor.”
    Schmidt is seeking to win the GOP primary for a chance to unseat Democrat Gov. Laura Kelly in 2022.    He’s considered to be the most prominent Republican in the primary.    Additionally, Schmidt recently picked up an endorsement from Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall (R).

9/9/2021 Biden Admin. Confronted By Decision To Work With Taliban by OAN Newsroom
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during the daily briefing at the
White House in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    Members within the Biden administration are working to downplay the U.S. cooperation with the Taliban.    During her briefing on Wednesday, Press Secretary Jen Psaki attempted to deny that the White House is close to recognizing the Taliban as a legitimate international>     “First of all, no one in this administration, not the president nor anyone on the National Security team, would suggest that the Taliban are respected and valued members of the global community,” she asserted.    “They have not earned that in any way and we are not, we have never assessed that.”
    In the same answer, however, Psaki explained to the bewilderment of the Press Corps that the U.S. government is indeed engaging with the group despite the fact the new Taliban government includes wanted terrorists.    This includes their new Acting Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, leader of the Haqqani network, who’s wanted for a bombing that killed six people, including an American.    Haqqani is also believed to have participated in cross-border attacks against U.S. troops.
    “What we’re working to do is to engage with them because they oversee and control Afghanistan right now,” she stated.    “To get American citizens, legal, permanent residents, SIV applicants out of Afghanistan, we have to engage with them.”
    Meanwhile in Germany, Secretary of State Antony Blinken also attempted to downplay any efforts made by the U.S. to engage with the terrorist group.    He claimed any international legitimacy or any support from the U.S. would have to be earned by the Taliban.    Blinken went into further detail about a problem the administration is having despite “engagement” efforts.
    While the administration continues to try and downplay the decision to deal with one of the world’s most prominent terrorist groups, they have yet to explain how they plan to deal with a government made up of terrorists that were released from U.S. custody by the last Democrat to occupy the Oval Office.

9/9/2021 Desperate Calif. Gov. Newsom Struggles In Recall Election by OAN Newsroom
Vice President Kamala Harris joins California Gov. Gavin Newsom rallying against the California gubernatorial
recall election on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021, in San Leandro, Calif. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
    Less than a week remains for California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) to save his job. On Wednesday, the desperate Democrat brought Vice President Kamala Harris back to her home state in an attempt to excite his base.     This move may have backfired, however, with critics slamming Harris for campaigning when servicemen and woman are still in the hospital recovering from the Kabul airport attack. That, however, did not stop Harris from fanning the flames of Democrat mediocrity and supporting Newsom in a generic stump speech.
    “They are putting so many resources and time into trying to take out Gavin Newsom,” she stated.    “It is because of his vision.    It is because of the agenda.    It is because of who he fights for.    And so, we are here to say today we fight for Gavin Newsom.”
    Harris also presented a defensive front as she attempted to demonize Republicans and used her time in California to talk about Texas.
    “They’re thinking that if they can get this done in California, they can go around the country and do this,” she continued.    “You’ve got to understand what’s happening right now.    What’s happening in Texas, what’s happening in Georgia.”
    Political sociologist Mindy Romero said the California recall election could lead to recall efforts against a slew of Democrat governor’s even if they are unsuccessful.
    “So across the country, as the midterms come closer, what happens in California is going to be part of that larger narrative,” explained Romero.    “And, of course if you know, if it’s close or if he’s indeed recalled, it will fuel and encourage potentially other recall efforts, certainly fundraising.”
    Meanwhile, according to experts, the Republican state of Texas is a top destination for Californians escaping the far-left policies of the Newsom-led government.

9/9/2021 Rep. Jordan: Not Surprised 4 Guantanamo Bay Inmates Are Now Leading Taliban Govt. In Afghanistan by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, speaks during a House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hybrid hearing on Capitol Hill
in Washington,DC on May 19, 2021. – The hearing will examine the actions that Emergent took that led to the destruction of
millions of doses of Coronavirus vaccines. (Photo by Susan Walsh / POOL / AFP) (Photo by SUSAN WALSH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
    Ohio lawmaker Jim Jordan (R) said he’s not surprised four Guantanamo Bay prisoners that former President Barack Obama released are now leading the Taliban’s interim government.    Back in 2014, the four inmates were swapped for former Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl after he deserted his post and was captured by the Taliban.
    In an interview Wednesday, the Republican congressman said this most recent failure only adds to Joe Biden’s blunders in handling the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.    Earlier this month, Jordan called for Biden’s resignation over the U.S. troop withdrawal while suggesting everything Biden touches eventually goes bad.
    Meanwhile, Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) issued a dire warning about the situation in Afghanistan.    In an interview Wednesday, the Florida lawmaker said the Taliban is quickly becoming a terrorist super-state.    He said every time he thinks it can’t get any worse, it does.
    Waltz said it’s a slap in the face to America that the Taliban announced a new government led by wanted terrorists and former Guantanamo Bay detainees on the same week as 9/11.    The Republican congressman, a veteran himself, also had a message for gold star families, veterans and 9/11 victims. He wanted to reassure them their sacrifices were not in vain.

9/9/2021 N.J. Firefighters, Police Unions Protest Newark Vaccine Mandate by OAN Newsroom
A firefighter attends an emergency on scene. (Photo by KENA BETANCUR/Afp/AFP via Getty Images)
    Residents of Newark, New Jersey are protesting against vaccine mandates imposed by Democrat Mayor Ras Baraka on municipal workers.    On Wednesday, hundreds of people rallied outside the Newark City Hall saying forced vaccinations with experimental jabs are illegal and morally questionable.
    The demonstration was spearheaded by Newark firefighters and police unions.    Protesters argued the mayor has no authority to fire workers based solely on their refusal to get the vaccine.    Specifically, the International Association of Firefighters General President, Edward Kelly said Mayor Rasbaraka has no right to push these terminations.
    “This isn’t about vaccination, this is about being bullied,” he stressed.    “All we’re asking you to do is sit down across the table and treat us like adults.”
    Kelly pointed out how Gov. Philip Murphy (D-N.J.) gave a reasonable approach to the challenge by giving people the option to be tested if they chose to not take the vaccine.    This was later undermined by the mayor’s forced vaccine mandate.
    Protesters added, people must be able to make their own decisions about vaccinations.    Meanwhile, Baraka said the mandate was “about protecting the health and well-being” of municipal team, their families, residents and visitors in the state.

9/9/2021 U.S. And Mexico Resume Economic Talks Halted By Trump With Focus On Labor, Border by Jarrett Renshaw
FILE PHOTO: A Mexican federal police member stands guard during the visit of then-U.S. President Donald Trump
to Calexico, California, as seen in Mexicali, Mexico April 5, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Jassoo/File Photo
    (Reuters) -The United States and Mexico on Thursday resumed high-level economic talks for the first time in four years as the two sides signaled they need greater cooperation to combat the challenges of climate change, workers’ rights and immigration.
    The so-called High-Level Economic Dialogue (HLED) will seek to pursue economic opportunities beyond the trade issues covered in the new North America trade agreement — the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA — that took effect in 2020.
    Vice President Kamala Harris noted much has happened since the last high-level economic talks, which former President Donald Trump ditched after he accused Mexico of sending criminals over the border.    She said COVID has undermined the global economy while climate change and cyberattacks have threatened supply chains, requiring a unified response between the two countries.
    “I’m confident that our nations will continue to work together, that our companies will continue to create jobs together and that our people will enjoy greater prosperity and a greater quality of life.    Together, the United States and Mexico will set an example for what is possible in the Western Hemisphere,” Harris said.
    The talks come as the two sides seek to find solutions to a number of controversial issues, including automotive rules requiring certain amounts of parts to be sourced in North America and the court-ordered resumption of the “Stay in Mexico” program, which sends asylum seekers outside the United States while their cases are processed.
    “We have made clear that they can raise any issue of concern and that we would raise issues of concern, and that we would look to find ways to find constructive resolution on these issues,” a senior administration official said in a briefing with reporters on Wednesday.
    The two countries share a 2,000-mile (3,200-km) border and a commercial relationship that generates more than half a trillion dollars in annual bilateral trade, supporting millions of jobs in both countries.
    Mexico and the United States have agreed on four pillars of focus for the high-level talks, and will approve an agenda on Thursday.
    The first pillar is “building back together,” including a more resilient supply chain and modernizing the U.S.-Mexico border.    The second is sustainable economic and social development in southern Mexico and Central America, a key policy aimed at tackling the economic causes that drive immigration to the United States.
    “The only sustainable way to address irregular migration in the long term is to invest in communities that people do not want to leave,” the senior administration official said.
    The final two pillars deal with cybersecurity and workforce development, among other things.
    Mexico’s delegation includes Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard and Economy Minister Tatiana Clouthier.    For the United States, the talks will be led by Harris.    U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and others were in attendance.
(Reporting By Jarrett Renshaw; Editing by Heather Timmons and Dan Grebler)

9/9/2021 German Finance Ministry Raided In Money Laundering Probe by Hans Seidenstuecker and John O’Donnell
FILE PHOTO: The Finance Ministry in Berlin, Germany, March 16, 2017. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
    BERLIN/FRANKFURT (Reuters) -German prosecutors raided the finance and justice ministries on Thursday as part of an investigation into the government’s anti-money laundering agency, putting a spotlight on Germany’s failings in tackling financial crime.
    The probe into the Financial Intelligence Unit, an agency of the finance ministry under Social Democrat chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz, is looking at whether it was told to ignore warnings of suspect payments to Africa.
    The raids come at a pivotal moment for Scholz, who opinion polls suggest has a good chance of becoming German chancellor in national elections on Sept 26.
    Scholz rebuffed criticism from lawmakers following the raids, but the episode casts a cloud because it refocuses attention on the ministry he runs.    The FIU and BaFin, the financial regulator, which also answers to Scholz have been under scrutiny for failing to spot problems at payments firm Wirecard, which collapsed last year in Germany’s biggest corporate fraud.
    “This is a security risk for Germany,” said lawmaker Fabio De Masi.    “We need a financial police with criminal expertise.    Germany is a paradise for criminals.”
    Scholz, speaking on a campaign stop in Potsdam, said he had had bolstered staff at the FIU agency to almost 500 from 165 and invested heavily in better equipping it.
    He signalled his frustration with the raids, saying that prosecutors with questions “could have put them in writing.”
    The FIU declined to comment.
    The probe comes as the country’s anti-money laundering efforts are under review by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global body that groups countries from the United States to China, to tackle financial crime.
    The FIU has long struggled to keep up with the tens of thousands of warnings it receives about suspect money transfers, according to people familiar with its work.    It only stopped using fax machines to receive such reports from banks in the past few years, one German official has told Reuters.
    A spokesman for the public prosecutors said they launched the enquiry after receiving complaints that the FIU had not acted on millions of euros of suspect transactions, including to Africa, between 2018 and 2020.
    He said they had searched the ministries to see whether the agency had been told to ignore the suspect money flows.
    Prosecutors said the agency was alerted by banks because of concerns the money was linked to trafficking of arms and drugs and terrorism financing, saying that the FIU took note of the report but did not forward it to law enforcement agencies.
    The prosecutors said they were also looking into the fact that since the FIU took over control of money laundering in 2017, reports of suspicious activity have dropped drastically.
    They said that previous searches of the FIU had revealed that there had been extensive communication with the ministries that were searched on Thursday.
($1 = 0.8453 euros)
(Additional reporting by Hans Seidenstuecker, Christian Kraemer and Holger Hansen in Berlin and Tom Sims in Frankfurt; Editing by Jane Merriman and Carmel Crimmins)

WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 09: Joe Biden speaks about combatting the coronavirus pandemic in the State Dining Room
of the White House on September 9, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
    Joe Biden is using his executive authority to enact sweeping new COVID mandates targeting the unvaccinated, private companies and state governors who disagree with him.    Speaking from the White House on Thursday, Biden outlined six steps he’s taking to combat the coronavirus.
    Biden began his speech by stating the Department of Labor is in the process of developing an emergency rule that would require all companies with 100 or more employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine or receive a negative test every week.    Biden then claimed “it’s not about freedom or personal choice.”    He instead argued “it’s about protecting yourself and those around you.”
    He also said the Department of Labor would require employers to offer paid time off to receive their vaccinations.    As for all federal employees and contractors, Biden said they would be required to get vaccinated without the option to provide a negative test instead.
    The nationwide mandates would reportedly affect 100 million Americans.
    Biden also highlighted how he’s already used his “federal authority” to require vaccinations of all nursing home workers treating patients on Medicare and Medicaid.    In addition, he said he would also be expanding the requirement to those working in hospitals and other medical facilities.
    “If you want to work with the federal government, you must be vaccinated.    If you want to do business with the government, you must vaccinate your workforce,” said Biden.
    Further, Biden took aim at the maskless, saying he’s doubling federal fines for airline passengers who refuse to wear masks.    He even promised to go after governors who opposed this federal overreach and stated he would “get them out of the way.”
    His third step would require all teachers in the Head Start program to get vaccinated and said he wants all governors to require teachers in their states to get vaccinated as well.    Biden said another step would be to increase production of at-home rapid tests and offer free testing at select locations.
    Biden closed by explaining steps that include the protection of economic recovery by expanding COVID injury disaster loan programs in order for small businesses to obtain loans for their business to survive.    Finally, he said he would increase surge response teams and add more monoclonal antibody treatment centers across the country.
    Biden claimed his mandates will keep the economy strong and ensure safety in schools.    He did not take questions upon his announcement.
[Biden is using a weak example of OSHA for his unconstitutional new federal safety regulations calling businesses with more than 100 workers to require vaccinations against the coronavirus and affirm mandates already in place at many companies and give cover to employers that had yet to decide requiring workers to be inoculated or face weekly testing and will mandate that the businesses offer employees paid time off to get vaccinated to some 80 million workers are affected imposed by the Department of Labor and its Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and already requiring this — United Airlines, Disney, Tyson Foods, and Fox News and I hope this changes not the 80 million but the ones who voted for him if anyone legally did.].

9/9/2021 Trump Reaches Out To Families Of Service Members Killed In Afghanistan by OAN Newsroom
DOVER, DELAWARE – AUGUST 29: In this handout photo provided by the U.S. Air Force, a U.S. Marine Corps
carry team transfers the remains of Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui of Norco, California,
Aug. 29, 2021 at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. (Photo by Jason Minto/U.S. Air Force via Getty Images)
    President Trump has reportedly reached out to the families of the fallen service members killed in the Kabul airport attack.    On Wednesday, an advisor said Trump had been making phone calls to the grieving families.    In addition, they said the 45th president would try to attend a funeral of one of the Marines in Manhattan.
    The mother of 20-year-old fallen Marine Kareem Nikoui invited Trump to her son’s memorial service after what she said was a disappointing meeting with Joe Biden.    She wrote to Facebook that “it would be such an honor” if Trump would attend.
    Although Trump responded to her funeral invitation, he has not confirmed publicly if he would be in attendance on Sept. 18.
    “Civilians should have been brought out first, along with our $85 billion of equipment, with the military coming out very safely after all was clear.    I love you and I love Kareem,” Trump commented back to the post.
Shana Chappell with son Kareem Nikoui (Courtesy: Shana Chapell Facebook)
    Meanwhile, Biden has continued to see major backlash from many Gold Star families since the attack.    They noted how Biden continued to check his watch during the transfer ceremony at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.    Many have also argued their children would still be here today if the U.S. troop withdrawal would have been handled differently.

9/9/2021 Kamala Harris Restarts Economic Talks With Mexico by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 09: Kamala Harris arrives for the U.S.-Mexico High-Level Economic Dialogue (HLED)
with the delegation from Mexico including Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard at the Eisenhower
Office Building on September 09, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
    Kamala Harris spoke at a meeting in Washington as the Biden administration begins to relaunch high-level economic dialogue between the U.S. and Mexico.    On Thursday at the White House, the U.S. restarted economic talks with Mexico in hopes of pursuing an improved economic relationship.
    “Mexico’s economic stability is in the interest of the United States,” stated Harris who said the meeting posed as a follow up to the previous meeting with Mexico’s president in June.
    Harris emphasized the importance of both nations dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and cyber threats.
    “Mexico is our closest neighbor…and a strategic partner and one of our most important economic relationships,” she said.
    Before the meeting, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said his advisors would push the Biden administration to offer temporary work visas for Central Americans.    He added he believes this could slow the flow of illegal immigrants crossing the border.
    “Today’s meeting is very important so that we initiate a new stage, because there has not been attention to the population that is obligated to migrate,” Lopez Obrador stressed at his daily news conference.
    Representation for the U.S. included Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, among others.

9/9/2021 Top Rights Lawyer Who Fled Russia Decries Political ‘Purge’ by David Chkhikvishvili
FILE PHOTO: Ivan Pavlov, a lawyer defending Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) in an
extremism case, speaks with journalists after a court hearing in Moscow, Russia May 17, 2021. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
    TBILISI (Reuters) – A top human rights lawyer who defended jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s team and announced this week he had fled Russia accused authorities on Thursday of a mounting campaign to purge the political landscape of people they see as undesirable.
    Defence lawyer Ivan Pavlov, 50, gained prominence for taking on politically sensitive cases and defending people charged with treason or espionage by the Federal Security Service, the successor to the Soviet KGB.
    He said on Tuesday that he had left for neighbouring Georgia, saying his work had become impossible due to a criminal investigation against him, a set of restrictions placed on him and state pressure on the legal outfit he founded.
    He is one of an array of people to flee during a crackdown on supporters of Navalny – a fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin – and on media outlets seen by authorities as hostile and foreign-backed ahead of Sept. 17-19 parliamentary elections.     “An attempt is under way to purge the space of politically undesirable people,” Pavlov told Reuters in an interview in the Georgian capital Tbilisi.    He said the stream of people leaving was growing.
    “This stream until recently looked like a stream, but it now looks like a violent mountain river.    People are not leaving one by one, but whole teams are leaving, whole media outlets,” he said.
    Among those to emigrate this year are most of Navalny’s closest allies, whose network was banned as “extremist” in July, journalists for media outlets declared “foreign agents” or banned as “undesirable,” and several anti-government activists.
    The Kremlin denies its opponents or critical media outlets are targeted for political reasons and says any criminal action against individuals is the result of them breaking the law.
    Moscow’s “foreign agent” and “undesirable” designations are needed to prevent foreign meddling, it says.
    Pavlov came under criminal investigation in April, accused of disclosing classified information in his legal defence of former journalist Ivan Safronov, who is being held on treason charges, which he denies.
    This summer, Pavlov led the defence of Navalny’s political network at a series of hearings that were closed to the public, which resulted in the groups being banned as “extremist.”
    He said he did not think he had been targeted because of his work for Navalny, but for his years of legal wrangling with the Federal Security Service.    He denied being a critic of the Kremlin and said his role had been that of a lawyer.
    His Komanda 29 legal outfit had its website blocked by authorities this summer and was accused of circulating banned content.    It announced it was closing back in July. Pavlov said the writing was already on the wall by then.
    “After this we realised they wouldn’t let us work and that this might be the last such signal that we need to leave the country,” he said.
(Writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

9/10/2021 Oil down $1.46 to $68.00, DOW down 152 to 34,879 to .

9/10/2021 Facing Stalemate In Ties, Biden And China’s Xi Discuss Avoiding Conflict In Call by Michael Martina, David Brunnstrom and Gabriel Crossley
FILE PHOTO: Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L) inside
the Great Hall of the People in Beijing December 4, 2013. REUTERS/Lintao Zhang/Pool//File Photo
    WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping spoke for 90 minutes in their first talks in seven months on Thursday, discussing the need to avoid letting competition between the world’s two largest economies veer into conflict.
    The U.S. side said the “proof will be in the pudding” as to whether the stalemate can be broken with relations between the superpowers languishing at their lowest point in decades.
    A White House statement said Biden and Xi had “a broad, strategic discussion,” including areas where interests and values converge and diverge.    The conversation focused on economic issues, climate change and COVID-19, a senior U.S. official told reporters.
    “President Biden underscored the United States’ enduring interest in peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and the world and the two leaders discussed the responsibility of both nations to ensure competition does not veer into conflict,” the statement said.
    Occasional high-level meetings since Xi and Biden’s first call in February have yielded scant progress on a slew of issues, from human rights to transparency over the origins of COVID-19.
    During the ensuing months, the two sides have lashed out at each other almost constantly, often resorting to vitriolic public attacks, slapping sanctions on each other’s officials and criticizing the other for not upholding their international obligations.
    Chinese state media said Xi had told Biden that U.S. policy on China imposes “serious difficulties” on relations, but added that both sides agreed to maintain frequent contact and to ask working-level teams to increase communications.
    “China and the United States should … show strategic courage and insight, and political boldness, and push Sino-U.S. relations back to the right track of stable development as soon as possible,” the state media report said, citing Xi.
    Asian currencies and share markets strengthened on Friday, as investors speculated that the call could lead to some thaw in relations between the two most important trading partners for economies in the region.
    The Biden administration, preoccupied by a chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, has signaled that ending America’s longest war will give U.S. political and military leaders the space to focus on more pressing threats stemming from China’s rapid rise.
    But Beijing has been quick to seize on the U.S. failure in Afghanistan to try to portray the United States as a fickle partner and China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said last month that Washington should not expect China’s cooperation on that or other issues if it was also trying to “contain and suppress” China.
    The senior U.S. administration official told reporters before the call that Washington had been disappointed that Chinese officials appeared only willing to read talking points during recent high-level talks, and that the U.S. side saw the leaders’ call as a test of whether direct engagement with Xi could end what has become a stalemate in ties.
    “This is about seeing if there is an ability to engage more substantively than we’ve been able to … the proof will be in the pudding,” the official said following the call, describing the tone as candid but respectful.
    But the official also acknowledged that the United States’ ability to change China’s behavior may be limited, and that Washington must largely focus on shoring up the U.S. competitiveness and rallying partners and allies.
    Successive U.S. administrations have complained that Beijing has sought to use endless dialogue as a delaying tactic and frustration with this tactic ultimately led to Washington ending an annualized U.S.-China dialogue mechanism.
    Even so, the official said Biden had not planned to raise the prospect of U.S. retaliatory action or “costs” if China refused to cooperate on a range of issues, including on COVID-19 origin investigations.    Beijing denies the U.S. accusation that it hasn’t cooperated with investigations into the source of the pandemic.
    The U.S. official said it would “take time” and a “training period” for the Biden administration to convince Chinese leaders – who are themselves preparing domestically for an important Communist Party congress next year – that Beijing’s stance would not pay dividends.
    “We also think that essentially Beijing’s actions are quieter than their words,” the official said.    “Their responses to our actions have actually been largely symbolic and frankly their hard line rhetoric isn’t really working.”
(Reporting by David Brunnstrom, Michael Martina and Eric Beech; Additional reporting by Ryan Woo in Beijing; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

9/10/2021 Remembering 9/11, 20 Years Later by OAN Newsroom
The annual “Tribute in Light” memorial echoing the twin towers of the World Trade Center illuminates the night sky at the lower Manhattan site
of the World Trade Center September 11, 2011, in this view from Bayonne, New Jersey. (STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images)
    Memorials and commemoration ceremonies in Manhattan, D.C. and Shanksville will take place on Saturday as the nation reflects on 20 years since 9/11.
    On September 11, 2001, 19 hijackers carried out coordinated mass murder-suicide attacks, which forever changed America.    Nearly 3,000 people died and 6,000 more injured when al-Qaeda terrorists used 3 passenger jets to take down the Twin Towers in Manhattan and slam into the Pentagon.    One more jet, likely bound for the White House or Capitol Hill, went down in rural Pennsylvania when passengers over-powered the hijackers and likely saved countless lives.
    Today, stories of heroism and survival continue to emerge as the images of firefighters, police, EMT and other first-responders running toward danger and risking their lives to save others remain forever engraved in our memories.    More than 10,000 of those brave first responders continue to suffer after the attack, with over 10,000 diagnosed with cancer and other illnesses attributed to the attack.    Countless more survivors have struggled with mental health challenges as the trauma and grief remains with them to this day.
    Each year the nation comes together to comfort family and friends of the victims and honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.    On this day, we also honor our military fighting abroad for America’s security and freedom here at home.
    Tune in to OAN throughout the day for coverage of 9/11 ceremonies, special reports, exclusive interviews and a look back on the last two decades.

9/10/2021 FBI Director Wray: We Are Stronger, Smarter And Better by OAN Newsroom
FBI Director Christopher Wray in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mandel Ngan-Pool/Getty Images)
    FBI Director Christopher Wray reflected on September 11 and how it changed the bureau forever.    Speaking during a 9/11 remembrance ceremony in Virginia on Friday, Wray said the agency had become stronger, smarter and better able to confront any threats.
    Wray added under the leadership of former director Robert Mueller, the FBI adopted the mentality of doing everything it could to prevent regrets.    However, he admitted the agency was clearly shaken immediately following the attacks.
    “For a time after those attacks when the shock and the sorrow were still so very raw, we lived in a haze of days that almost seemed almost like September 12 over and over again,” he stated.    “We all kept asking ourselves what could we have done better, what should we have done better.”
    Wray went on to say the recent terror attack in Kabul was a reminder foreign terrorists were still trying to launch large scale attacks on the U.S.

9/10/2021 Biden Slammed For Measles Outbreak Among Afghan Evacuees In U.S. by OAN Newsroom
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the
White House in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
    Critics have bashed the Biden administration for its latest mistake as White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced several Afghan evacuees tested positive for a deadly disease inside the U.S.    On Friday, Psaki confirmed an outbreak of measles cases among Afghan escapees has temporarily halted new flights from bringing more people into the U.S.
    Critics have continued to slam the Biden administration for seemingly failing at every point in their botched Afghanistan withdrawal.    Despite a measles vaccine being required for entry, Psaki said the cases still happened.
    “Let me give you the information we have at this point, or I have I should say.    Operation ‘Allies Welcome’ flights into the United States have been temporarily paused,” she announced.    “…These individuals are being quarantined in accordance with public health guidelines and the CDC has begun full contact tracing.    All arriving Afghans are currently required to be vaccinated for measles as a condition of entry into the United States.”
    Meanwhile, Americans were still reportedly stranded in Afghanistan as the Biden administration called the Taliban “business-like and professional.”

9/10/2021 Blinken Commemorates 9/11 By Honoring U.S. Troops by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken gives remarks during a 9/11 commemoration event to mark the 20th anniversary of the
September 11, 2001 attacks, at the State Department in Washington, D.C. (Photo by EVELYN HOCKSTEIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
    Secretary of State Antony Blinken marked 20 years since September 11.    During a commemoration speech on Friday,     Blinken honored all Americans who died that day as well as the U.S. troops who paid the ultimate price during the war in Afghanistan.
    Blinken expressed gratitude for their service and said the U.S. was humbled by their sacrifice.
    “Hundreds of thousands went on to serve in Afghanistan.    2,641 service members gave their lives in that conflict, including 13 men and women who were killed in a terrorist attack a few weeks ago as we brought that war to an end,” he stated.    “More than 20,000 of those service members were injured, many with invisible wounds.”
    Blinken went on to commend U.S. allies for their partnership during America’s longest war.

9/10/2021 Gov. Abbott Signs Bill Protecting Political Social Media Posts by OAN Newsroom
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) went after social media companies who have banned users with conservative views.    On Thursday, the governor signed a bill to forbid social media companies with more than 50 million monthly users to ban content based on their political stances.
    The law has directed social media sites to issue a complaint on any potentially violating or illegal content and give reason for why such content was removed.    This would offer individuals and state attorneys the right to file lawsuits if they felt they were wrongfully banned from such platforms.
    “Freedom of speech is under attack in Texas.    There is a dangerous movement by some social media companies to silence conservative ideas and values,” Abbott asserted.    “This is wrong and we will not allow it in Texas.    Today, I’m about to sign a law that fights against Big Tech political censorship.”
    Abbott went on to assure Texans, he would always fight for freedom of speech.

9/10/2021 Biden’s Twitter Doubles Down On Legally Questionable Federal Vaccine Mandates For Private Businesses by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden speaks about coronavirus protections in schools during a visit to
Brookland Middle School in Washington, D.C. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
    Joe Biden has continued to pressure Americans to get the COVID-19 vaccine just one day after he told unvaccinated Americans the federal government’s patience was “running thin.”    On Friday, Biden’s Twitter account released a message saying, “what more do you need to see?
    On Thursday, Biden made headlines with an address in which he announced a legally questionable vaccine mandate for private businesses.    Employers with over 100 employees would be required to mandate their workers to receive the vaccine or be tested on a weekly basis.
    “Over 200 million Americans have gotten at least one shot,” he stated.    “We’ve been patient, but our patience is running thin and your refusal has cost all of us.”
    In response, Republican governors across the country vowed to file lawsuits against Biden’s latest mandates.

9/10/2021 Biden Faces Backlash For Broken Promises About Vaccine by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden speaks about coronavirus protections in schools during a visit to Brookland
Middle School in Washington, D.C., September 10, 2021. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP)
    Joe Biden has come under scrutiny after he walked back his coronavirus vaccination promise.    On Thursday, Biden said businesses with more than 100 employees must require staff to be vaccinated.
    The mandate has the potential to affect at least 100 million Americans.    Critics quickly pointed out Biden’s sweeping mandate stands in stunning contrast to his promises from less than a year ago.    This includes last December when he said this type of order is not necessary.
    “Just like I don’t think masks have to be made mandatory nationwide,” Biden was quoted saying in addition to saying he wouldn’t demand COVID vaccinations be mandatory back in 2020.
    However, now Biden has warned he’s lost patience with the 80 million Americans who have yet to get the vaccine.
9/10/2021 AstraZeneca Vaccine Creator: Boosters Not Needed In Most People by OAN Newsroom
Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at Oxford’s Jenner Institute and Nuffield Department
of Clinical Medicine, poses for a photo in Oxford, England. (Steve Parsons/PA via AP)
    The scientist behind the creation of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine said she didn’t believe boosters were needed at the moment.    In a recent interview, Professor Sarah Gilbert acknowledged boosters could be needed in the elderly or those who were immunocompromised.
    However, she argued she didn’t think boosters were needed for everyone by stating “immunity is lasting well in the majority of people.”    She added the first dose was the most crucial for immunity.
    This comes as Britain’s medical regulator gave the thumbs up on Thursday for Pfizer and AstraZeneca to be used in any future booster programs.    Immunocompromised individuals have already been permitted to receive a booster shot once available.
    The U.K. Vaccine Advisory Committee has been expected to make an announcement on the need for booster shots in the near future.

9/10/2021 Another Democrat Rep. Opposes $3.5T Spending Plan by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) at the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC.(Photo by Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images)
    Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) has opposed the left’s expensive budget plan proposal.    During markup of the bill on Thursday, the moderate Democrat threatened to vote against the bill by saying “the deadline was too rushed and the legislation was driven by politics rather than policy.”
    Murphy said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have not given her enough information to vote yes on the bill.
    She went on to say, “I’m concerned not just about the overall spending amount, but what exactly we’re spending it on and how we make sure that we make investments that actually have an impact on the lives of American families.”
    Murphy has not been the only moderate to break with the Democrat party over the budget.    However, Democrat leaders have given their committees until September 15 to complete their portions of the bill and have aimed to push it through both the House and Senate by early October.

9/10/2021 Sarah Huckabee Sanders Releases First Gubernatorial Campaign Ad by OAN Newsroom
Sarah Huckabee Sanders in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    Sarah Huckabee Sanders doubled down on her commitment to defend the freedom of all Arkansans as she threw her hat in the race for governor.    The former White House press secretary under President Trump released her first campaign ad on Friday, in which she promised to keep up the fight against the radical left.
    The ad follows the launch of her campaign in January after President Trump urged her to run for governor.
    “The radical left wants to teach our kids America is a racist and evil country, but Arkansans are generous, hardworking people.    I was born and raised here,” she stated.    “This where we chose to raise our family and I want the same for my three kids as yours, a better life here in Arkansas.”
    Sanders is one of several candidates running in next year’s midterm elections to replace Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson (Ark.), who is term limited.

9/10/2021 Afghan-Americans Disappointed In Kamala Harris by OAN Newsroom
Kamala Harris speaks during a No on the Recall campaign event with California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.)
at IBEW-NECA Joint Apprenticeship Training Center in San Leandro, California.
    Some Afghan-Americans have pleaded for Kamala Harris to hear them out.    On Wednesday, Willy Moosayer protested with many others outside California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) “anti-recall rally.”
    Moosayer, the son of Afghan immigrants, explained he was there to voice support for the recall and deliver a message to Harris as the Biden administration said it was still working to get U.S. citizens out of Afghanistan.    He added voters expected a lot more from the country’s first female vice president as they were there to support her during her campaign.
    Moosayer went on to warn, “the Afghan people are watching her.”
    “We are here to protest to Kamala Harris, who has not spoken about the situation in Afghanistan, where there is an actual humanitarian crisis and a genocide happening in the Panjshir Valley,” Moosayer explained.    “We are trying to stand and resist against the Taliban who are taking away women’s rights, education.    It’s basically a humanitarian crisis, where they are taking away resources from the Afghan people.”
    Moosayar said immigrants were beginning to feel guilty because of the tragedies in Afghanistan and added all he can do to help his people at the moment is protest.

9/10/2021 Republicans Unable To Block Pelosi $200M Budget Earmark by OAN Newsroom
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speaks during her weekly news conference
at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    Republicans were unsuccessful in their attempts to block a $200 million earmark for a park in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) district. On Thursday, House Republicans proposed amendments to the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill in an effort to divert funds from the 1,500-acre Presidio Park and Golf Course.
    The proposed amendments were shot down by the Democrat majority House, with Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) saying Pelosi deserved the money because she “does more for America than any other member in Congress.”
    Republicans blasted the funds as an abuse of power by calling it a Pelosi payoff.
    Rep. Pete Stauber (R-Minn.) went on to say, “I think the general public, when they see this they are appalled with a pet project like this.”
    Critics added this was just an example of Pelosi jamming her wishlist items through the reconciliation process, even if it meant future generation would be burdened with mountains of debt.

9/10/2021 GOP To Sue The Biden Admin. Over Nationwide Vaccine Mandates by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden speaks about coronavirus protections in schools during a visit to Brookland
Middle School in Washington, D.C., September 10, 2021. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP)
    GOP states are reacting to Joe Biden’s new nationwide vaccine mandate.    Following Biden’s statement on Thursday, GOP states have been discussing why they’re opposed.
    Following Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) announcement to fight Biden’s order, GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel (Texas) declared the Republican National Committee would be suing the Biden administration.
    In their release, McDaniel stated Joe Biden lied when he promised he wouldn’t impose vaccine mandates once he was elected.    Additionally, the RNC said for small businesses and workers who don’t have the money to stand up for themselves, they would take matters into their own hands by suing the administration to protect Americans’ rights.
    Prior to the announcement, GOP governors began expressing they would also be taking action.    Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said the federal government’s actions are not welcome in his state, as working families could see serious consequences.
    In addition, Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon warned his attorney general to prepare to take action in opposing the administration’s “unconstitutional overreach of executive power.”    Further, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster stated the American dream is no more and that the Biden presidency has made it a nightmare.    He added “we will fight them to the gates of Hell” in order to protect the liberties of South Carolinians.
    In the meantime, the GOP is waiting for the order to go into effect so they can take their next step, which they say is to pursue legal action.

9/10/2021 White House: Taliban Is Businesslike And Professional by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 09: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House on September 09, 2021 in
Washington, DC. Psaki spoke on President Biden’s upcoming announcement on combating the COVID-19 Delta variant. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
    The Biden administration is doubling down on its stance on the Taliban.
    “They have shown flexibility, and they have been businesslike and professional in our dealings with them in this effort,” National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne said in a statement.
    The compliments were originally delivered by Horne, who thanked the terrorist organization for their cooperation in allowing Americans to leave Kabul on Thursday.    Additionally, Press Secretary Jen Psaki called the move a “positive first step.”
    “In order to get those people out, we had to work with some members of the Taliban to press them and to work in a businesslike manner to get them out,” commented Psaki at a press briefing.
    Many members who were included in the statement and are now a part of the Taliban government, are those who consist of former prisoners of Guantanamo Bay and no women.    Reports also said many of the members are holdovers from the previous Taliban government deposed by the U.S. in 2001.
    The most infamous of these men is Sirajuddin Haqqani, a member of the Haqqani group.    The Taliban cell bearing his name carried out numerous attacks against U.S. troops during the Afghanistan war.    There have also been numerous reports of violence against women’s rights protests since the Taliban takeover of the region.
    Additionally, Gold Star mother Jill Stephenson said she lost her son due to wounds obtained in a firefight with the Taliban.    She explained after hearing Psaki’s most recent comments that reality was like “living in the Twilight Zone.”

9/10/2021 Larry Elder On ‘Gorilla’ Attack: If I Were Liberal, The Left Would Be Screaming About ‘Systemic Racism’ by OAN Newsroom
Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder speaks to supporters during a rally. (Photo by RINGO CHIU / AFP)
    California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder responds to a hateful attack against him by a woman wearing a gorilla mask while on a campaign stop.    In an interview on Thursday, Elder said if he were a liberal and attacked by a white woman, the left would be screaming about systemic racism.
    In a separate tweet, he stressed “the intolerant left will not stop us” from recalling embattled Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.).    Elder pointed out the incident was much worse than it seems because his staffers were also allegedly attacked.
    Additionally, Elder said the attackers falsely accused him of not caring about Black people.    However, the candidate pointed out a major goal of his campaign is to tackle homelessness, which disproportionately affects Black Californians.
    This comes as the sheriff of Los Angeles called out the woman who attacked Elder.    In a tweet on Thursday, Alex Villanueva asked why the incident wasn’t considered a hate crime.    He then continued on to answer his own question saying “because woke privilege means a white woman can wear a gorilla mask and attack a Black man without fear of being called a racist.”
    Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Police Department reported that while no charges have been filed, the investigation is ongoing.

9/10/2021 White House Says Biden, Xi Discussed Origins Of COVID Probe
FILE PHOTO: Attendants serve tea around Chinese President Xi Jinping at the opening session of the National People's
Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China March 5, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden discussed the investigation into the origins of COVID-19 during a call on Thursday with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, according to the White House.
    “They did discuss a range of trans-national issues including COVID-19, and understanding its origins is of course a primary concern for this administration,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday.    “Yes, it was a topic raised, but I’m not going to go into further detail.”
    Biden vowed last month to press China for answers over the origins of a pandemic that has now killed 4.8 million people worldwide. Intelligence agencies said they could not resolve a debate over whether the virus emerged from a Chinese research laboratory without Beijing’s help.
    Beijing denies the U.S. accusation that it has not cooperated with the pandemic source investigation.
    Thursday’s 90-minute call was the first talks for the two leaders’ first in seven months amid cool relations between the countries.
    A U.S. official who spoke to Reuters on Thursday said Biden had not planned to raise the prospect of U.S. retaliatory action or “costs” if China refused to cooperate on the investigation or a range of other issues.
    For his part, Xi told Biden that the two countries should respect each other’s core concerns and properly manage differences, China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported.
    The outlet reported that Xi suggested to Biden that the countries should continue with contact and dialogue and cooperate on issues including epidemic prevention and control and economic recovery, as well as major international and regional issues like climate change.
    Psaki described the call as respectful and candid, not lecturing or condescending, intended at keeping channels of communication open between the countries.
    Climate and human rights were among the topics, she said, and though economic matters were discussed they were “not a major part” of the call.
    “It wasn’t a call that was intended to produce final outcomes,” according to Psaki.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal, Trevor Hunnicutt, Alexandra Alper and Shubham Kalia; Editing by Leslie Adler and Alistair Bell)

9/11/2021 Oil up $1.72 to $69.68, DOW down 272 to 34,608.

9/11/2021 SPECIAL SESSION - Governor’s veto of mask order overridden - Schools have until next week to decide policy by Olivia Krauth, Louisville Courier Journal USA TODAY NETWORK
    Kentucky’s school mask mandate is null and void after lawmakers quickly overrode a veto from Gov. Andy Beshear late Thursday night.
    Beshear vetoed portions of Senate Bill 1 shortly before 11 p.m., hours after lawmakers passed the measure.    He was almost immediately overridden by the Senate on a 22-6 vote and by the House on a 69-24 vote.
    School districts will have until late next week to determine their mask policy before the statewide requirement officially ends.
    Lawmakers also overrode Beshear’s line-item vetoes of Senate Bill 2, which would prohibit future statewide mask mandates and visitor bans at nursing homes.
    Beshear criticized the Republican dominated legislature Friday afternoon, arguing they did not do enough to address COVID-19 and took away key tools to reduce infections during the special session.
    “I’ve been willing to make the calls, to take the hits, to make the plays, and the legislature asked to go in at QB,” Beshear said in a Friday press conference.    “And what do they do? They punted on first down.”
    Lawmakers were “wrong” to end mask mandates for schools and child care facilities, Beshear said.
    “And it was also a punt,” Beshear said.    “When you’re in charge, it means you got to make the decision.”
    SB 1 will also:
    In a flurry of late-night activity Thursday, Beshear signed Senate Bill 3, which allocated $69.2 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds, and Senate Bill 5, which provided $410 million for an economic development project.
    He attempted to veto portions of SB 2, which also called on the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to boost COVID- 19 vaccine and testing access, and sought to create monoclonal antibody clinics to treat COVID-19.
    Much like with SB 1, Beshear’s veto of SB 2 was easily overridden by a 23-5 vote in the Senate and a 69-22 vote in the House.
    Beshear did not veto all parts of SB 1 and SB 2, but directed his rejection to pieces that would ban mask mandates.
    Republican leadership argued that since the bills were not appropriations bills, Beshear was not allowed to veto sections of it.    Democrats disagreed and said line-item vetoes were allowed.
    Beshear recommended — and for a few weeks, required — that school districts require masks as kids return to class amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.
    Beshear reiterated Thursday that “universal masking is absolutely necessary in schools.”
    “Now, thankfully, I think most superintendents know that now, even the ones who didn’t think it was true in the beginning,” Beshear said during a press conference prior to the veto.
    “There’s also the question of how many people at this point would be foolish enough — because that’s what it would be — would put that many kids in danger by not requiring masking in schools,” he continued.
    Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends anyone inside a K-12 school wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status.    The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends universal masking inside schools.
    Education Commissioner Jason Glass quickly criticized the bill after the House’s vote, saying it doesn’t offer districts enough flexibility and “politically minded efforts” to end the mask mandate will hamper COVID-19 mitigation strategies.
    “We will be working with Kentucky’s school districts as they continue to try to keep students in school safely and do our best to manage the consequences of the decisions made by our legislature in this special session,” Glass said.
    SB 1 initially passed by a 28-8 margin in the Senate and a 70-25 margin in the House.    Despite large vote margins in both chambers, Democrats and some Republicans argued the bill does not go far enough.
    “Is the bill perfect?    No,” Sen. Max Wise, R-Campbellsville, said on the Senate floor Thursday.    Crafting the legislation, Wise said, is “like Goldilocks and the Three Bears.”
    Democrats, along with many educators, feared ending the mask requirement issued by the Kentucky Board of Education and allowing school boards to set mask policies will ultimately harm kids.
    On the House floor, Rep. Patti Minter, D-Bowling Green, reminded lawmakers that they were elected to protect Kentuckians.    “May history judge us as harshly as we deserve to be judged,” Minter said before voting against the measure.
    Some Republicans also took issue with the mask portion of SB 1 — but because it did not stop districts from implementing their own mandates.
    Around two-thirds of Kentucky school districts planned on making masks optional prior to state mask mandates from KBE and Beshear, according to a tally by WFPL.
    At least 12 school districts, including Kentucky’s largest, have said they intended to continue requiring masks after SB 1 arrived on Beshear’s desk.
    Although lawmakers hinted at possible points of consensus, neither chamber allowed floor amendments to change the bill.
    Seven amendments filed in the Senate were ruled out of order since they were technically attached to the original bill and not a tweaked substitute of the measure.
    Later in the day, the House repeatedly refused to suspend the rules in order to hear floor amendments.
    One amendment from Rep. Tina Bojanowski, D-Louisville, would have modified the bill to allow districts 20 remote learning days per school rather than for the entire district.
    “We spent more time in the spring on bills about cows and animals than we’re spending on this very important thing, protecting what we think is our greatest resource: children,” Rep. Pamela Stevenson, D-Louisville, said on the House floor.
    “It wouldn’t take much to pass any of these amendments and be out of here by 6 o’clock,” Stevenson continued.
    Reach Olivia Krauth at okrauth@ and on Twitter at @oliviakrauth.

9/11/2021 GOP vows to fight vaccine mandate by Jeanine Santucci and Christal Hayes, USA TODAY
    Conservative governors across the U.S. are threatening to fight President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate plan, which will require businesses with more than 100 employees to require inoculation or weekly COVID-19 testing.
    The move was applauded and condemned by Americans, political leaders and union heads.    It will be enacted through a forthcoming rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that carries penalties up to $14,000 per violation, an administration official said.    The governors of Arizona, Montana, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas vowed to fight the mandate, and the Republican National Committee said it will file a lawsuit against the Biden administration when the requirement goes into effect.
    “When his decree goes into effect, the RNC will sue the administration to protect Americans and their liberties,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said.
    South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster promised “we will fight them to the gates of hell to protect liberty and livelihood of every South Carolinian.”    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said on Twitter that the state was “already working to halt this power grab.”
    Biden said Friday he is “disappointed” in the governors who said they plan to challenge his new requirements, adding that they have been “so cavalier” about the health of children and their communities.

9/11/2021 British Monarchy Could Be Gone In Two Generations, Says Novelist Mantel
FILE PHOTO: A general view of Buckingham Palace in London, Britain, January 11, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
    LONDON (Reuters) – The British royals, who trace their history back more than 1,000 years, could be gone within two generations, writer Hilary Mantel said in an interview published on Saturday.
    The monarchy traces its history back at least to William the Conqueror, who invaded England in 1066, but also claims ties to the patchwork of kingdoms and principalities which stretched across what became England, Scotland and Wales long before that date.
    Mantel, best known for her Wolf Hall trilogy that traced the rise of blacksmith’s son Thomas Cromwell to Henry VIII’s chief minister and then his downfall and execution, said she admired the devotion of Queen Elizabeth, 95, and heir Charles, Prince of Wales.
    “I think they do it as well as anyone possibly could, take it as seriously as anyone could,” Mantel, 69, told The Times.
    But when asked how long the monarchy had left, Mantel told The Times that her “back of the envelope” calculation was just two generations.
    “It’s very hard to understand the thinking behind the monarchy in the modern world when people are just seen as celebrities,” she said.
    If her view turns out to be correct, Elizabeth’s great-grandson, Prince George, 8, who is third in line to the throne after his grandfather Charles, 72, and father Prince William, 39, would not become king.
    Mantel triggered anger in Britain earlier this month by telling La Repubblica that England was now a washed-out place that ran on “the memory of power.”    She described Brexiteers as callow and often ridiculous opportunists.     “I’d like people to stop shouting and start listening to each other,” she said of Britain.    “I think in this country at this time it would be a change that could save us.”
    Although surveys suggest a clear majority of Britons continue to support the monarchy and especially respect and admire the queen, an opinion poll in May showed that young people in Britain would now prefer an elected head of state.
    A spokesman for Buckingham Palace declined comment.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Gareth Jones)

9/11/2021 Anti COVID Vaccine Protesters Clash With Police In Greece
Riot police stand guard near a fire as people protesting against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccinations
demonstrate during the annual speech of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on the state of the
country's economy, in Thessaloniki, Greece September 11, 2021. REUTERS/Alexandros Avramidis
    ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek police fired tear gas and water canon on Saturday to break up a demonstration of thousands of people protesting against mandatory coronavirus vaccinations.
    Authorities said protesters hurled flares at police in Greece’s second-biggest city of Thessaloniki, who blocked them from trying to reach the area where Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was due to deliver his annual economic address.
    The annual speech typically attracts crowds of demonstrators, and police estimated more than 15,000 people, including labour unions, took part in the demonstrations on issues ranging from economic policy to COVID-19 vaccines.
    Protests against COVID-19 vaccinations began in July after the government announced the mandatory inoculation of health care workers and nursing home staff. Authorities have suggested vaccines could become obligatory for other groups too, such as teachers.
    “Yes to vaccines, but not mandatorily,” the federation of public hospital workers, POEDYN, said in a statement.
    Greece has suspended nearly 6,000 frontline health care workers from their jobs for missing a Sept. 1 deadline to get at least one vaccine shot.    Earlier this month, it offered unvaccinated healthcare workers a second chance to get a shot and allow those who have been suspended to return to work.
    POEDYN is worried that a total of 10,000 unvaccinated staff could be suspended, disrupting operations at understaffed hospitals at a time when infections remain high.
    Demonstrations against compulsory vaccination also took place in Istanbul on Saturday, where more than 2,000 Turks protested against the government’s new inoculation push.
    Around 5.7 million Greeks, or 55% of the population, are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 59% have received one dose, according to the latest official figures.
    The country recorded 2,197 confirmed new infections on Saturday, and 39 deaths.
(Reporting by Alexandros Avramidis; Writing by Karolina Tagaris; Editing by Christina Fincher)

9/11/2021 Thousands Of Catalans Rally For Independence In Barcelona
People hold up Esteladas (Catalan separatist flag) during the National Day Catalonia,
called 'La Diada', in Barcelona, Spain, September 11, 2021. REUTERS/Albert Gea
    BARCELONA (Reuters) – Thousands of Catalans chanted, sang and waved flags as they marched through Barcelona on Saturday, calling for the region’s independence from Spain.
    The march, organised by the grassroots Assemblea Nacional Catalana [ANC], was the first since Spain’s government pardoned nine Catalan separatist leaders who had been jailed for their role in a 2017 botched bid for independence, which was Spain’s biggest political crisis in decades.
    Most marchers wore face coverings. Police said about 108,000 people took part. ANC put the figure close to 400,000.
    The figure was lower than in 2019, when about 600,000 marched, and last year, when only small static protests were organised to comply with COVID-19 restrictions.
    Some of the nine pardoned politicians and activists attended Saturday’s protests.    In Catalonia, Sept. 11 marks La Diada, the anniversary of the fall of Barcelona to Spanish forces in 1714 and it has been marked in the past decade by separatist rallies.
    “For the first time in four years, nine very special people have participated in La Diada again.    The political prisoners are back on the streets,” said ANC chairwoman Elisenda Paluzie.
    Cultural activist Jordi Cuixart, who was among those jailed, urged the crowd to continue to fight for independence.
    “Those who ask us to turn the page and do not want us to fight for self-determination… What is Spain’s plan for Catalonia?    None.    Only repression and more repression,” he said.
    The protests took place at a moment of lower tension between Barcelona and Madrid than in past years as the central and regional governments favour dialogue despite their opposing views on independence.
    The central and regional governments are expected to meet next week in Barcelona to resume talks on Catalonia’s political conflict, which have been suspended since Feb. 2020.
    Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has not confirmed yet whether he will attend, and the talks risk being overshadowed by a recent clash between both governments related to Barcelona’s airport.
    The Spanish government has said it is cancelling a proposed 1.7-billion-euro ($2-billion) investment to expand the airport, saying it lacked backing from regional authorities who have questioned its potential environmental impact while accusing Madrid of acting dishonestly.
($1 = 0.8465 euros)
(Reporting by Joan Faus, Jessica Jones and Albert Gea, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

9/11/2021 Obama, Queen Elizabeth, U.S. Senators Remember 9/11
U.S. former President Barack Obama, former First Lady Michelle Obama, President Joe Bien, First Lady Jill Biden, former
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg attend the annual September 11 Commemoration Ceremony at the National 9/11
Memorial and Museum September 11, 2021 in New York City, U.S., September 11, 2021. Chip Somodevilla/Pool via REUTERS
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former presidents, world leaders and U.S. lawmakers reflect on the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.
    “America will never forget those who lost their lives, those who risked or gave their own lives to save others, and those whose lives were forever changed 20 years ago.    We owe it to all of them to come together again with unity, hope, compassion, and resolve.”
    “Today we honor the nearly 3,000 men, women, and children who died on September 11, 2001, and even more who lost their lives in service to our country in the two decades since.    We reaffirm our commitment to keep a sacred trust with their families — including the children who lost parents, and who have demonstrated such extraordinary resilience.    But this anniversary is also about reflecting on what we’ve learned in the 20 years since that awful morning.”
    “Twenty years later, it is still hard to comprehend these acts of pure evil…I have always supported efforts to responsibly end the war in Afghanistan in a way that would keep Americans safe, but I have grave concerns that President Biden’s disastrous pull out from Afghanistan will erase twenty years of hard fought gains in the war on terror and put us at great risk once again.”
    “As we reflect on the last 20 years, we remain committed to the Afghan people, and continue to promote and advocate for the protection of fundamental human rights in Afghanistan – particularly for women and girls.    We will also continue to support active members and veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces, and the many public servants who served in Afghanistan.    And we remember those who lost their lives defending peace, freedom, and democracy.”
    “…my thoughts and prayers – and those of my family and the entire nation – remain with the victims, survivors and families affected, as well as the first responders and rescue workers called to duty…as we honour those from many nations, faiths, and backgrounds who lost their lives, we also pay tribute to the resilience and determination of the communities who joined together to rebuild.”
    “Congratulations to Rudy Giuliani (for the 20th time!), the greatest Mayor in the history of New York City, for having shown such leadership and doing such an incredible job during and after the attack on our Nation!
(Reporting by Heather Timmons; editing by Diane Craft)

9/11/2021 Taliban: We Are Good Guys Now by OAN Newsroom
Taliban fighters atop a Humvee vehicle take part in a rally in Kabul as they celebrate after the
US pulled all its troops out of the country. (Photo by HOSHANG HASHIMI/AFP via Getty Images)
    The Taliban has turned over a new leaf, or so they have claimed.    Since taking over Kabul last month, these has been a hesitancy among the Afghan people to resume everyday life.
    “Praise God, our behavior is very good now.    We’ve changed a lot,” one Taliban spokesman stated.    “We are polite, our manners are good, and our behavior is much improved.”
    Half of the nation’s population did not seem to remember the Taliban rule of 20 years ago and likely associated the group more with war than with governance.    However, the Taliban has promised to behave and blamed much of their behavior on the U.S. occupation.
    Some Afghans may be receptive to their new rulers.
    “The situation in Afghanistan now is good, not bad,” one resident explained.    “Just the women are not coming out of the houses and some people are worried because of the bad history the Taliban had set before.”
    A Taliban spokesman promised to uphold women’s rights.    However, women had the most reason to remain skeptical as their lives have been changed the most drastically since the fall of Kabul.
    Even though music was largely restricted for everyone, the Afghan Women’s Orchestra was completely banned from ever playing again.    They were also barred from boarding a plane at the airport and would be lucky to escape their homes under the Islamist government.
    The Taliban administration has reverted back to its old policy of confining women to their houses.    Protests against this treatment have often been met with violence.
    Two Afghan journalists, who reported on the Taliban’s treatment of response to the protests, were savagely beaten.
    “No matter how hard that I tried to tell them that I was a reporter and I wasn’t inciting violence they wouldn’t listen,” one reporter expressed.    “They even made fun of me.    They said ‘You’re a reporter?    You show these protests and spread them?’    I only yelled.”
    Despite this track record, the Taliban assures the Afghan people they have nothing to fear.

9/11/2021 Report: Harris Holds Double Standard On Abortions And Vaccinations by OAN Newsroom
Kamala Harris speaks during a roundtable discussion on reproductive rights with health workers and women’s rights
activists in the Eisenhower Office Building in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
    Kamala Harris delivered remarks on personal rights on abortions during a women’s reproductive rights roundtable, but failed to link the point to the issue of vaccinations.    According to Harris, abortion was a right protected by the Constitution.
    Harris went on to say, “you have been leading on an issue that represents the voices of so many who deserve to be heard, deserve to be seen, and whose rights must be protected, and in particular, their constitutional rights and the right to dignity in making their own choices about their personal healthcare.”
    Despite her remarks, the grace has not been extended to the unvaccinated as Harris commended Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate on Twitter.
    “When people are able to design their lives in a way that they can determine their own futures, we are a stronger democracy and we are a stronger nation,” she stated.    “When people are able to make their own choices without government interference for themselves in terms of their well-being and the well-being of their family.”
    Thousands have come out in protest against vaccine mandates by insisting it should be their own personal choice since it involves their own body.

9/11/2021 Rep. Massie Points Out CDC Changing Definition Of ‘Vaccination’ by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C. (Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images)
    Republican Rep. Thomas Massie (Ky.) pointed out the frequently changing definition of the term “vaccination.”    Massie took to Twitter this week to share the CDC’s ever-evolving definition, in which key words have been changed over the past several years.
    Prior to 2015, it was defined as “an injection to prevent disease.”    Until 2021, it was “the act of introducing a vaccine into the body to produce immunity.”    Now, it has been defined as “the act of introducing a vaccine to produce protection.”
    The term “vaccine” was also revised by the CDC.    In 2012, the definition was “a product that produces immunity therefore protecting the body from the disease.”    It has since been changed a few times and now the term was defined as “a preparation that is used to stimulate the body’s immune response against diseases.”
    Massie likened the shifting definition to the Ministry of Truth from George Orwell’s 1984 novel.

9/11/2021 Fauci: No Firm Answer On Natural Protection Vs. Vaccine Study by OAN Newsroom
Dr. Anthony Fauci in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    Dr. Anthony Fauci admitted a study on natural immunity to COVID-19 has caused discussions among the medical community.    In an appearance on Friday, Fauci was asked about recent research pointing to a previous COVID-19 infection offering better protection than vaccines.
    When asked how to make a case for vaccination to someone who has recovered from COVID-19, Fauci admitted he didn’t have a “firm answer” on that.    He noted the study didn’t say if natural protection would last as long as vaccinations, but it was something to be discussed.
    He went on to say, “I think that is something that we need to sit down and discuss seriously because you very appropriately pointed out it is an issue and there could be an argument for saying what you said.”
    His comments come as Joe Biden has mandated vaccinations for federal employees and contractors who work with the government, with no option for testing.

9/11/2021 President Trump Meets With Police, Firemen In NYC by OAN Newsroom
Donald Trump, second from right, commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks by visiting the NYPD’s 17th police precinct
in New York, where he criticized President Biden over the pullout from Afghanistan, Saturday Sept. 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Jill Colvin)
    President Trump made a surprise visit with New York City first responders to mark 20 years since the 9/11 attacks.    The 45th president opted not to participate in the official ceremony on Saturday and instead met with police and firefighters.
    He noted how the bravery of police, firefighters and first responders were on display that fateful day.    This came as Trump released a statement slamming the incompetence that wounded the country in the following war and cost the lives of great warriors.
    “It’s a sad day, it’s a very sad day for a lot of reasons and we just added to that reason last week,” Trump said.    “Because it should have never been allowed to happen.    But an incredible job you do.    You do, I grew up with you and you are New York’s finest.    You’re incredible people.”
    Trump wouldn’t comment on whether or not he would run again, saying only that his supporters would be happy come 2024.

9/11/2021 The Taliban Are Lying, France’s Foreign Minister Says
FILE PHOTO: French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian attends a joint news conference at the
Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany September 10, 2021. Jens Schlueter/Pool via REUTERS
    PARIS (Reuters) – The Taliban are lying and France will not have any relationship with its newly-formed government, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said late on Saturday before heading for talks in Qatar on Sunday to discuss future evacuations from Afghanistan.
    “They said they would let some foreigners and Afghans leave freely and (talked) of an inclusive and representative government, but they are lying,” Le Drian said on France 5 TV.
    “France refuses to recognise or have any type of relationship with this government.    We want actions from the Taliban and they will need some economic breathing space and international relations.    It’s up to them.”
    Paris has evacuated about 3,000 people and had held technical talks with the Taliban to enable those departures.
    Le Drian, who is heading to the Qatari capital Doha on Sunday, said there were still a few French nationals and a few hundred Afghans with ties to France remaining in Afghanistan.
(Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

9/11/2021 Texas Military Base Houses 10K Afghan Evacuees by OAN Newsroom
FORT BLISS, TX – JUNE 25: An entrance to Fort Bliss is shown. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
    According to officials, roughly 10,000 Afghan evacuees are being housed at Texas military base Fort Bliss.    In just 15 days the base was transformed into a temporary refugee village providing services like medical care, catering and transportation.
    Those staying at the base will be receiving a COVID-19 vaccine and will undergo medical and security checks before being allowed to resettle in the U.S.
    “Our goal here on Fort Bliss is to ensure the safety of the folks who are under our care and to as expeditiously process them and allow them to move on to the cities where they can begin their lives in the U.S.,” said Federal Coordinator Erik P. Breitzke.
    The Biden administration provided the first public look into the fort earlier this week where refugees could be seen waiting in long lines to get settled into the village.    The Pentagon said this operation will house up to 50,000 Afghan evacuees across seven military bases in the U.S. and will provide housing for up to 22,000 Afghans applying for Special Immigrant Visas.
    The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State described the operation as “historic and unprecedented.”
    “Everyone who’s here with us has endured a harrowing journey and they’re now faced with the very real challenges of acclimating to life in the United States.    We’ve been delighted to be a part of welcoming these individuals,” said Senior U.S. State Department Official Liz Gracon.
    Senior Commander of Fort Bliss Maj. Sean C. Bernabe recalled the first day the evacuees arrived at Fort Bliss on Aug. 21 as an emotional experience for everyone.
    “It was an emotional event.    I was there and I can confirm there was not a dry eye in the room, very emotional event as we received that first flight,” said the senior commander.
    No one staying at the village has been released yet and the U.S. expects to reach full capacity of evacuees by Sept. 15.

9/11/2021 President Trump Predicts 2020 Election Will Be Decertified by OAN Newsroom
    WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 2: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump attends the announcement
of the introduction of the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act in the Roosevelt Room
at the White House on August 2, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Zach Gibson – Pool/Getty Images)
    President Donald Trump has continued to strongly assert the 2020 election was corrupt, predicting it would eventually be decertified due to alleged voter fraud.
    “We won the election by a lot and they rigged it and its a terrible thing and I do believe they are going to decertify this election,” stated Trump.
    During an interview on Friday, he cited the coronavirus pandemic and mail-in voting as reasons the election was “rigged.”    The 45th president also pointed to the audit in Arizona, suggesting similar efforts could be conducted in other states.
    He also called out the mainstream media for not wanting to cover the issue of alleged election irregularities.    “Our media is corrupt as can be, but the people know what’s going on and another poll came out.    70 some percent thought the election was, to put it very nicely, tampered with,” said the 45th president.

9/11/2021 Judge Orders Apple To Issue Other Forms Of Payment In App Store, Epic Games Claims The Tech Giant Was Running An Illegal Monopoly by OAN Newsroom
OAKLAND, CA – MAY 20: A general wide angle exterior day time view of the United States District Court during a court
hearing between Apple and Epic games, on May 20, 2021 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Philip Pacheco/Getty Images)
    A federal judge has ruled Apple must accept other forms of payment in its App Store in their ongoing lawsuit with Epic Games.    On Friday, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said Apple has been breaking the law by forcing its users to pay for apps through the App Store alone, insisting Apple allow other payment options within 90 days.
    “There’s essentially a 30 percent tax to be in that App Store.    Epic alleged that Apple was a monopoly and it was abusing its power through charging a 30 percent fee,” said UC Berkley law professor Chris Hoofnagle.
    However, the judge ruled Apple’s business model as legal and said it doesn’t threaten competition considering other gaming companies all charge similar fees on their game sales.    Epic, the maker of the popular video game Fortnite, was not happy about the outcome.
    But many are concerned this could open the gate to more problems, making the store less secure and easier for hackers.
    “The privacy and security issues are going to be big because all of a sudden, you know, these app developers will be able to touch you.    They’ll be able to communicate with you directly and that is going to lead to other problems,” claimed Hoofnagle.
    Although Epic Games didn’t receive the result they had hoped, the judge’s rulings still targeted Apple’s exclusive framework.
    “The court concludes that there are some good business reasons for it in the privacy and security space that Apple can kind of guarantee or help provide security with its walled garden business model.    So, this was an opportunity I think to take down those walled gardens,” said Stanford University law professor Mark Lemly.
    In the meantime, both Apple and Epic are expected to appeal the rulings.

9/12/2021 No Oil or DOW info.

9/12/2021 Twenty Years After 9/11, One Of The Last U.S. Marines Killed In Afghanistan Comes Home by Tim McLaughlin
U.S. Marines carry the casket of Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, who was among 13 U.S. service members
killed in the airport suicide bombing in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, into a funeral home
in her hometown, in Lawrence, Massachusetts, U.S., September 11, 2021. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
    LAWRENCE, Mass. (Reuters) – U.S. Marine Sergeant Johanny Rosario returned to her hometown in Massachusetts in a casket on Saturday, one of the last American service members killed in Afghanistan during a war set in motion exactly two decades ago by the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
    Several hundred people gathered near the Farrah Funeral Home in Lawrence, Mass., where Rosario’s remains arrived in a black hearse with a police motorcycle escort. Marines in dress uniform carried the casket into the funeral home, as veterans in the crowd, some of whom had not worn a uniform in years, snapped to attention.
    “We came out because she is a hero to us,” said Mary Beth Chosse, who waited for several hours with her 12-year-old son, Gavin.    Chosse’s older son is a Marine on active duty.    “Sergeant Rosario’s sacrifice and bravery should always be remembered.”
    Rosario, 25, was among 13 U.S. service members killed in an Aug. 26 suicide bombing outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul.    She was helping to screen evacuees at a checkpoint at the airport’s Abbey Gate when the bomb ripped through a crowd. Scores of Afghans also were killed in the attack.
    The last U.S. troops left Afghanistan four days later.
    About 7,100 U.S. military personnel have been killed in conflicts tied to the Sept. 11 attacks, with about 2,500 of those deaths happening in Afghanistan, according to the Costs of War project at Brown University’s Watson Institute.    The financial cost of those conflicts runs to nearly $6 trillion, according to the project.
    Like many Americans, Sheila Arias, 41, remembers Sept. 11, 2001 in vivid detail.    She was at a hair salon in Lawrence when she watched the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center collapse after al Qaeda hijackers seized control of two airplanes and crashed them into the buildings.    Hijacked airplanes would also crash into the Pentagon outside Washington and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
    Arias soon after enlisted in the U.S. Army, leaving a comfortable, steady job as a clerk in Lawrence’s water department to join the military effort to root out al Qaeda.
    “There was no question that I had to serve,” Arias said.    “I’m sure Johanny Rosario felt the same way.”
    Rosario, who was 5-years-old when the attacks occurred, would begin her service years later, when the United States was already deeply involved in Afghanistan.
    Shortly after graduating from high school in 2014, she enlisted and landed with the 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade.
    Eventually she would become a supply chief, a role usually held by a more senior noncommissioned officer, according to the Marines, and volunteered to be a member of the female engagement team to interact with Afghan women, barred by local custom from talking to male strangers.
    Just three months before her death, she was recognized with an award for her attention to detail and expertise in tracking and reconciling some $400,000 worth of open supply requisitions.
    On Saturday, a group of her friends from Lawrence High School huddled near the steps of the funeral home.    Wearing black face masks, they spoke of Rosario’s desire to serve her country, take college courses and financially support her family.
    One of the women, who like the others declined to give her name, cradled a framed picture of Rosario in a formal gown.
    “I can’t talk.    I would just cry,” the woman said.
    Like many residents in Lawrence, a working-class city about 30 miles (48 km) north of Boston with a strong Hispanic community, Rosario’s roots extend to the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, said William Lantigua, a former mayor of the city who knows her family.
    Rosario is survived by her mother and a younger sister.
    On Saturday, Maria Ogando joined the crowd gathered to pay tribute to Rosario after driving an hour from Worcester, Massachusetts with her family.    Her daughter, 9-year-old Kayla, wore a T-shirt with Rosario’s full name on the back.
    “She is a hero and it is very sad for me to see her pass away,” Kayla said.    “But I will always remember her name and what she did for our country.”
(Reporting by Tim McLaughlin; Editing by Paul Thomasch and Paul Simao)

9/12/2021 Canada’s Trudeau Denies Wanting His Ex-Justice Minister To Lie As Election Looms by Steve Scherer
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets supporters after making an announcement during his
election campaign tour in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada September 11, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio
    MISSISSAUGA, Ontario (Reuters) – Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Saturday denied he wanted his former justice minister to lie to the public amid a dispute they had over a 2019 corporate legal case, an accusation included in a book being released just days before the election.
    Ex-minister Jody Wilson-Raybould resuscitated the so-called SNC-Lavalin scandal, which dogged the prime minister ahead of the 2019 election, when the Globe and Mail newspaper published an excerpt from her new book, to be released in full next week.
    The excerpt describes meetings she had with Trudeau in early 2019 after the Globe had published a story saying the prime minister’s office had pressured her to reverse a decision not to stop criminal proceedings against construction company SNC-Lavalin Group Inc by offering a deferred prosecution agreement.
    She charges that in a tense conversation, the prime minister knew she had been pressured and instead wanted her to say publicly that she had not.
    “I knew he wanted me to lie – to attest that what had occurred had not occurred,” Wilson-Raybould writes.
    Wilson-Raybould refused to overrule the prosecutor’s decision to take the case to trial, and she resigned days after the meeting described in the excerpt.    In August 2019, an independent watchdog said Trudeau had tried to influence her, breaching ethics rules.
    “I did not want her to lie,” Trudeau told reporters at a campaign stop in the Toronto area.    “I would never do that.”
    The allegations come at a difficult moment for the 49-year-old Liberal leader, with just nine days to go before the vote that polls show is too close to call.
    Trudeau has admitted he tried to persuade Wilson-Raybould to reconsider the prosecutor’s decision to press ahead with a trial, saying he had been trying to defend jobs at the Quebec-based company.
    A rolling Nanos Research poll of 1,200 voters conducted on Friday showed the Liberals leading 34.4% with the rival Conservatives at 30.1%, a shift from Thursday when the Conservatives were leading the Liberals by more than two percentage points.
    The left-leaning New Democrats had 19% on Friday, about the same as a day earlier.
(Reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

9/12/2021 No Vaccine Passports: UK PM To Set Out Winter COVID-19 Plan by Elizabeth Piper
FILE PHOTO: Britains Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks at a news conference in
Downing Street, in London, Britain, September 7, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) -British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out on Tuesday his plans to manage the COVID-19 pandemic in the winter months, announcing a decision to scrap the introduction of vaccine passports and steps to end some emergency powers.
    Johnson, under fire from some in his governing Conservative Party for raising taxes to fix a health and social care crisis, looks set to try to soothe those critics by ditching plans to introduce passports despite an increasing number of coronavirus cases.
    Speaking to broadcasters, Health Minister Sajid Javid said he did not anticipate more lockdowns and that the vaccine passports would not be introduced in England, as the government depends instead on vaccines and testing to defend the public.
    “Now that we’re entering autumn and winter … the prime minister this week will be setting out our plans to manage COVID over the coming few months and in that we will be making it clear that our vaccine programme is working,” Javid told Sky News.
    He told the BBC he was not “anticipating any more lockdowns” but would not take the measure off the table, that the government would not go ahead with vaccine passports to allow people to attend mass events and he wanted to “get rid of” PCR tests for travellers as soon as possible.
    Javid added the government would remain “cautious,” but “the vaccine programme, our testing programme, our surveillance programme, the new treatments … this is all our wall of defence and whilst there’s a lot of virus around, it is working.”
    The night-time industry welcomed the U-turn on vaccine passports, with Michael Kill, the chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) trade body, saying he hoped businesses would be able to “start to rebuild a sector that has consistently been at the sharp end of this pandemic.”
    The government also said it expected Britain’s Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to confirm the details of a vaccination booster programme to begin this month.
    Britain, which has one of the highest official COVID-19 death tolls in the world, has seen the number of cases climb over the last few months after easing restrictions in July, when the government first bet on vaccines to protect the public.
    The government was handed sweeping emergency powers in March 2020 with the introduction of the Coronavirus Act, which included measures to shut down businesses, to close down sectors of the economy and the right to detain infectious people.
    “These extraordinary times required necessary but intrusive measures.    But I’m determined to get of rid of any powers we no longer need because of our vaccine defences,” said Johnson in a statement.
    The opposition Labour Party said it agreed it was a “reasonable” approach to take some measures off the statute book but warned the government that winter could punish the National Health Service (NHS).
    “We know that winter is going to be difficult, the NHS are fearing the worst winter in living memory, we know we’re going to have more flu, respiratory problems,” Labour’s health policy chief Jonathan Ashworth told Times Radio.
    “So we need to prepare our NHS for the winter.”
(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Alex Richardson)

9/12/2021 Canada’s Trudeau , After Gravel Throwing, Condemns Rhetoric Of Right-Wing Leader by Steve Scherer
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau waves from his bus after his election campaign
tour in Candiac, Quebec Canada, September 12, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio
    CANDIAC, Quebec (Reuters) – Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday, who was pelted with gravel at a rally last week, said the leader of the right-wing People’s Party of Canada (PPC) was using irresponsible rhetoric.
    The 49-year-old Trudeau was campaigning in London, Ontario, last week ahead of the Sept 20 national election when he was hit by gravel on his way back to his campaign bus.
    Police charged former PPC member Shane Marshall with assault with a weapon on Saturday, alleging Marshall tossed the stones.
    PPC leader Maxime Bernier expelled Marshall from the party last week when the allegations emerged, and he also condemned the incident.
    On Sunday, Trudeau placed at least some of the responsibility on Bernier for the gravel throwing and the often profane verbal abuse he has faced from angry vaccine opponents on the campaign trail.
    “Words have power,” Trudeau told supporters at an event outside of Montreal when asked whether Bernier was inciting violence.    “I don’t think Mr. Bernier is being responsible in his approach to Canada or to Canadians.”
    A lone protester waving a PPC sign shouted, “Woo! Max Bernier!” and “liar” and “tyrant” as Trudeau spoke.    “Thank you, sir, for making my point,” Trudeau replied.
    Bernier, who calls himself a “limited-government conservative,” has been drawing vocal crowds as he campaigns against pandemic lockdowns and vaccine mandates.
    A former minister of foreign affairs and industry, Bernier founded the populist PPC in 2018 after narrowly losing his bid for the leadership of the main opposition Conservative Party.
    In 2019, the PPC won only 1.6% of the national vote and failed to get a seat in parliament, but an Ekos poll published on Saturday has the PPC at 9.1%.
    A rolling Nanos Research poll of 1,200 voters conducted on Friday showed the Liberals leading 34.4% with the rival Conservatives at 30.1%, a shift from Thursday when the Conservatives were leading the Liberals by more than two percentage points.
    The Liberal gain in the polls followed two nationally broadcast debates, in French and English, last week.
    The left-leaning New Democrats had 19% on Friday, about the same as a day earlier.
(Reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

9/12/2021 German SPD Extends Lead Over Merkel’s Conservatives Before TV Election Debate
FILE PHOTO: Election campaign billboards featuring the three top candidates for the German chancellery (the Greens' Annalena Baerbock, SPD's Olaf Scholz
and CDU's Armin Laschet) stand on a roadside in Berlin, Germany, September 10, 2021. REUTERS/Michele Tantussi
    BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) have opened up a bigger lead over Armin Laschet’s conservative bloc, a poll showed on Sunday ahead of a primetime television debate between the three main candidates to succeed Angela Merkel as Chancellor.
    Two weeks before a national election that has proved to be unexpectedly turbulent, the INSA poll for Bild am Sonntag put the centre-left SPD on 26%, up a point from a week ago and their highest rating since June 2017.
    Laschet’s conservative bloc was unchanged at 20% and the Greens were down 1 point at 15%.
    Despite losing 8-9 percentage points in the last three months, Laschet told Deutschlandfunk (DLF) radio the conservatives had not given up, insisting there was still time to win.
    “A lot of people have not yet decided,” Laschet said.    “This is a decisive election and we are fighting for a majority on Sept. 26,” he said.
    The conservatives are already missing the pulling power of Merkel, who after four election victories and 16 years leading Europe’s biggest economy is not running again.
    This week’s edition of the influential Spiegel magazine has a front cover picture of Laschet holding his hands in front of his mouth with the headline “Oooops
    The jovial if uncharismatic leader of Germany’s most populous state has made mistakes during the campaign, including being caught on camera laughing during a visit to a town hit by lethal floods in July.    He apologised.
    The TV debate starting at 8.15 pm local time (1815 GMT) will offer Laschet an opportunity to appeal directly to voters.
    Laschet has started targeting the SPD’s chancellor candidate directly and said Olaf Scholz could form an alliance with the Greens and the far-left Linke that would raise taxes and make foreign policy mistakes.
    “This would hurt Germany and its affluence.    We want to modernise Germany and also preserve stability,” Laschet said in the radio interview.
    Scholz, who is not keen on sharing power with the Linke but has not ruled out working with them, won the first televised debate two weeks ago according to polls and is still by far the most popular of the candidates for chancellor.
    His ratings have so far not been hit by last week’s raids on the finance and justice ministries as part of an investigation into the government’s anti money-laundering agency, which as finance minister, Scholz oversees.
    Most experts think a three-way coalition is the most likely outcome of the election – a scenario that could take several months to negotiate during which time Merkel remains chancellor.
(Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Catherine Evans)

9/12/2021 Vatican Swiss Guard’s New Barracks Designed To Include Women, Newspaper Says
FILE PHOTO: New recruits of the Vatican's elite Swiss Guard march during a
swearing-in ceremony at the Vatican May 6, 2016. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini
    VIENNA (Reuters) - The new barracks of the Vatican Swiss Guard, the elite and colourfully dressed corps that protects the pope, will be designed to accommodate female guards even though they are not yet allowed, a Swiss newspaper reported on Sunday.
    Nearly all of the guard are single men who live in a communal barracks just inside the Vatican gates.    The commanders and married members live in separate apartments.    All members are Swiss citizens.
    The 50 million Swiss franc ($54.49 million) project for a new barracks is due to be completed by 2026 and will upgrade the guards’ quarters to single rooms with private bathrooms, Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung reported.
    “From the beginning it was important to us that the new building provide space for serving women,” the newspaper quoted Jean-Pierre Roth, who heads the foundation overseeing the project, as saying.
    Allowing female recruits would require the pope’s approval.    The president of the Foundation of the Pontifical Swiss Guard, which supports the guard financially, said that would help to find new recruits for the 135-strong corps, which needs to hire around 30-35 a year to keep the number stable.
    “As soon as female guards are allowed, the guard’s recruitment potential will increase,” foundation President Ruth Metzler-Arnold, told the newspaper.
    A Vatican spokesman travelling with the pope in Hungary and Slovakia said he was not aware of the report and a security source aboard the papal plane said “We’ll see” when asked if the Swiss Guard would one day allow women.
($1 = 0.9176 Swiss francs)
(Reporting by Francois Murphy. Additional reporting by Philip Pullella travelling with pope; Editing by Jane Merriman)

9/12/2021 Sen. Manchin: Dems Need To Slow Down On Reconciliation Bill by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 03: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) leaves the U.S. Capitol following a
vote on August 03, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
    West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) is telling fellow Democrats to slow down in their push for the $3.5 trillion partisan reconciliation package.    In an interview on Sunday, the moderate Democrat said he would not vote for the package as it’s currently written.
    Manchin said he can’t support spending the monumental amount of money, saying there is no urgency to do so other than arbitrary deadlines.    He added the measure is being sold as infrastructure, but is actually a social reform that will cost even more than its current sticker price.
    “We got $5.4 [trillion] out right now, ok?    That’s a $3.5 [trillion] they want to spend.    It’s going to be a lot more than $3.5 over 8 or 10 years because it’ll continue,” stated Manchin.    “All those programs are never coming off.    They haven’t even been scored out that far, but with that being said, that’s a social reform.    I’m just saying we should be looking at everything and we’re not.”
    The senator said if he were writing the bill, he’d change the tax code to pay for it.    Manchin has been a vocal critic of the bill, recently stating it needs to be put on pause to focus on other priorities.

9/12/2021 Wis. GOP Gov. Candidate Rebecca Kleefisch Says She Will Defeat Radical Left by OAN Newsroom
Rebecca Kleefisch in Pewaukee, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)
    Former Lt. Gov. of Wisconsin Rebecca Kleefisch announced her bid for governor in 2022. In an interview with Breitbart on Saturday, the GOP candidate said she would defeat the radical left and take back the House of Representatives.
    Kleefisch pointed to President Trump’s win in 2016 as an inspiration by calling him “one of the most successful policy presidents” in history.    She has challenged Democrat Gov. Tony Evers (Wis.), who she said has failed the people of Wisconsin.
    “Governors can respect the wishes of their state’s people in a way that Tony Evers clearly has not,” she explained.    “He does not listen to the people of Wisconsin, who are crying out for help and for the pandemic not to be politicized and yet, that is exactly what he did.”
    Kleefisch is the first prominent Republican to announce a run for the office.

9/12/2021 GOP House Candidate Van Orden Slams Biden Admin. Over Afghanistan Withdrawal by OAN Newsroom
In this handout photo provided by the White House, Joe Biden meets with his national security team for an operational
update on the situation in Afghanistan at the White House in Washington, D.C. (Photo by The White House via Getty Images)
    GOP congressional candidate and former Navy SEAL Derrick Van Orden said the way the U.S. left Afghanistan resided solely on the Biden administration.    In an interview on Saturday, Van Orden called the events in Afghanistan a debacle caused by a foolish, reckless and divided administration.     Van Orden said the withdrawal was a reflection on an incredibly inept government and warned the nation had become less safe than it was a month ago because of the administration’s handling of the matter. He also blasted top officials for leaving Americans in Afghanistan.     “The Biden administration intentionally left hundreds, if not thousands of them behind enemy lines,” he explained.    “So if the enormity of the abject failure and incompetence, and I believe malfeasance of the Biden administration has not sunk in yet, I don’t know if America can wake up again.”
    Van Orden went on to say the hasty retreat from Afghanistan did not have to play out in the manner it did and called it disgraceful.

9/12/2021 Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis Slams Joe Biden Over Vaccine Mandate by OAN Newsroom
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) at the Miami-Dade Emergency Operations Center
in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images)
    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) criticized Joe Biden’s federal vaccine mandate and vowed to fight against it.    DeSantis attended a veteran event on Friday, where he called Biden out for issuing unconstitutional edicts against Americans and suggested millions would lose their jobs.
    DeSantis went on to say, “I think we should be protecting people’s jobs, not trying to kick people out of work right now.”
    The governor also criticized Biden for failing to take responsibility for his actions.
    “Clearly, we have a president acting outside the bounds of the Constitution and the state of Florida,” he asserted.    “Me as governor, I’m going to have the legislature involved as well.”
    Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said she was also prepared to take action against the mandate.

9/12/2021 First FBI 9/11 Investigation Document Released By Biden Admin. by OAN Newsroom
The seal of the F.B.I. hangs in the Flag Room at the bureau’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    The FBI released the first document of several anticipated reports, which has detailed its investigation into the September 11 attacks.    The release came late Saturday in time to mark 20 years since the terrorist attacks.
    The heavily redacted 16-page report, which was dated back to April 2016, has featured an interview with a U.S. citizenship applicant long suspected of providing support to two of the hijackers. The applicant was employed at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Southern California and was in contact with Saudi nationals who have been suspected of aiding the hijackers.
    However, the report failed to include conclusive evidence the Saudi government had a part in the attacks.    The Saudi government has maintained their denial of involvement as its embassy in Washington D.C. publicly supported the release of these documents.
    This comes after Joe Biden signed an executive order earlier this month, which directed the Justice Department to make some documents available to the public.    Families of victims of the terrorist attacks have made strong demands for Biden to declassify the documents.

9/12/2021 Fmr. Secy. Of Defense: Taliban Running Afghanistan Is Same As Taliban Running Country On 9/11 by OAN Newsroom
Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta warned the Taliban was likely to harbor foreign terrorists and advised the Intelligence community to be on guard. In an interview on Saturday, the former CIA chief said the same Taliban, which took over Afghanistan, was in control on September 11, 20 years ago.
    Panetta pointed out some of the leaders today were leaders then and noted they have already appointed a global terrorist as their interior minister.    He said there was no question al-Qaeda would find safe haven in Afghanistan and ISIS would continue to develop.
    He went on to explain, “I think it’s going to be very important for the military and for our Intelligence to be able to keep track of how these terrorists develop, and to be able to identify potential targets if we have to conduct counterterrorism operations against those who threaten our country.”
    Panetta went on to commend the men and women in uniform for their service in the past 20 years and said they protected the country from seeing another terrorist attack during that time.

9/12/2021 The Daily Wire CEO Calls Vaccine Mandate ‘Tyrannical’ by OAN Newsroom
A vial of the Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19 is displayed as medical workers get vaccinated at Sourasky
Medical Center (Ichilov) in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv. (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)
    Media company the Daily Wire said they were not planning to follow Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate.    Company co-founder Jeremy Boreing recently announced his staff would not be forced to take the vaccine and added legal would be taken if necessary.
    Boreing claimed he support the vaccine, but believed Biden’s mandate was “anti-democratic.”
    “People who want the COVID vaccine, already have it,” he expressed.    “Those who don’t want it shouldn’t have to get it because it’s a free country.”
    Boreing went on to say he hoped other people and businesses would join him in taking a stand.

9/12/2021 Larry Elder And Rose McGowan Criticize Newsom, Media by OAN Newsroom
Conservative talk show host and gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder speaks during a press conference
on September 12, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images)
    As California’s gubernatorial candidates gear up for the upcoming recall election, Larry Elder held a press conference with actress and activist Rose McGowan in Los Angeles.    Prior to the “Yes on Recall” event on Sunday, Elder tweeted he looked forward to standing with McGowan as they “join forces on behalf of all Californians” to hold the states failed leaders accountable.
    McGowan took the podium first and stressed to the crowd that Elder is the better candidate.    McGowan also stressed how she is no longer a Democrat.    She then turned the microphone over to Elder who first discussed school choice, noting how former President Barack Obama and his children “never set foot in a public school.”
    “My point is, the Democratic Party has been the principle obstacle towards urban kids getting the first step towards getting to the middle class.    Which according to the Brookings Institution, which is the left wing think tank, means at least finish high school,” stated Elder.
    Elder continued with how he’s been questioned on the results of the 2020 presidential election, saying “just once” he’d like someone to ask Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) if he respects the results of the 2016 election.
    The conservative radio host wanted to discuss the media’s latest coverage of his campaign, highlighting the hypocrisy and double standard.    He criticized the media for not reporting more on his recent attack where he was assaulted by a woman wearing a gorilla mask in Venice.
    The Republican said the story would have been seen on international headlines if he were a Democrat and believes the attack would even be labeled as a hate crime.
    McGowan also discussed her allegations against Newsom’s wife, recalling a phone call where she asked McGowan what could be done to make her happy regarding the Harvey Weinstein claims of sexual abuses.    Elder commented saying if this “bombshell” news were about him, it would be discussed until the end of his campaign.    McGowan said she sent Politico screenshots of the emails that followed the call on Sunday.
    In the meantime, if the embattled governor is ousted on Sept. 14, Elder remains the leading Republican candidate among Californians.

9/12/2021 Gen. Flynn: Ariz. Audit Is Key To Restoring Integrity Of U.S. Elections by OAN Newsroom
General Michael Flynn in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC. (Photo by Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images)
    General Michael Flynn highlighted the importance of the audit of 2020 elections in Arizona by saying the state’s legislature held the future of the country.    In a recent interview, Flynn said he expected the upcoming results of the Arizona audit could lead to a decertification of 2020 results in the state.
    “Everybody knows that he election was stolen,” he asserted.    “There is no way in the world that 80 million people voted for this administration occupying the White House, no way.”
    Flynn added the similar audits were necessary in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and other states.
    “There’s gonna be a hearing on the 21st that’s going to decide whether or not they moved forward to decertify this election.    Everybody needs to pay attention to it, not just in Arizona, but in the entire country,” he explained.    “…We are talking about the future of our country cannot move forward until we resolve the election integrity issues of the 2020 presidential election, which clearly has issues.”
    Flynn also warned against distractions by mainstream media by saying Americans must pay attention to the Biden border crisis as well as consequences of the Afghan debacle.

9/12/2021 Biden Faces Opposition To New Vaccine Mandates by OAN Newsroom
PHILADELPHIA, PA – MARCH 10: Joe Biden addresses the media and a small group of supporters during a primary
night event on March 10, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
    Top GOP state officials are decrying Joe Biden’s new vaccine requirements as they gear up to take on the federal government. On Sunday, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said the move by the Biden administration would cause issues.
    This comes as Biden recently announced businesses with 100 employees or more would need to mandate vaccines or have employees tested weekly.    However, some workers won’t have the chance to opt out of taking the vaccine. The rule is reportedly set to be issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) soon.
    “When you look at the OSHA statutes that are being used, I think they’re really on shaky ground as to whether they can really force this or not.    So, it’s subject to legal challenge,” said Christie.
    Others, including Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R), have said Biden’s mandate is an overreach of the federal government’s authority.    While Hutchinson supports vaccinations, he said federal mandates on private businesses are not the solution.
    “I’ve never seen this type of federal action in terms of healthcare, in terms of vaccinations.    It’s always been done at the state level and let’s think about this for a second, we have some very aggressive governors from blue states, but I’m not aware of any governor from any state that said we want to mandate businesses to require vaccinations,” stated Hutchinson.    “None of them have done that and yet the federal government steps in.”
    Other GOP governors have vowed to sue the government over new vaccination measures in which Biden said recently, “have at it.”
    The dismissal to threats comes as Biden has openly criticized those who remain unvaccinated, blaming them for COVID cases continuing to spread.    Biden’s plan also includes fines of up to $14,000 per violation to employers that refuse to comply.    Lawyers said that now the public will have to wait and see what OSHA’s final version of the mandate will say, warning there’s a long road ahead.

9/12/2021 Fmr. FDA Commissioner Gottlieb Opposes Biden Admin. Vaccine Mandate by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – APRIL 05: FDA Commissioner-designate Scott Gottlieb testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor
and Pensions Committee hearing on April 5, 2017 at on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
    Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has suggested the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate is unnecessary and may even be counterproductive.    During an interview on Sunday, Gottlieb said a lot of businesses that might have mandated vaccines are now just going to wait for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to finalize their rule on the matter.
    He also pointed out the regulation would take time to enforce and would also have a slow rollout because it will be litigated.    Gottlieb disagreed with the administration’s move and said he believes local communities should have the final say on vaccine mandates.
    “I don’t think we have to reach down to the level of small businesses with 100 or more employees and put a federal requirement on it,” stated Gottlieb.    “I don’t think the federal government should be dictating this.    I also don’t think governors should be preventing small businesses from making these determinations on their own.”
    This comes as a number of GOP governors have already indicated they plan to take legal action against the administration over the mandate.

9/13/2021 No Oil or DOW info.

9/13/2021 U.N. Seeks $600 Million To Avert Afghanistan Humanitarian Crisis by Emma Farge
FILE PHOTO: A family from Afghanistan walk next to fence to cross into Pakistan at the Friendship Gate crossing point,
in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border town of Chaman, Pakistan September 6, 2021. REUTERS/Abdul Khaliq Achakzai
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations is convening an aid conference in Geneva on Monday in an effort to raise more than $600 million for Afghanistan, warning of a humanitarian crisis there following the Taliban takeover.
    Even before the Taliban’s seizure of Kabul last month, half the population – or 18 million people – was dependent on aid.    That figure looks set to increase due to drought and shortages of cash and food, U.N. officials and aid groups warn.
    An abrupt end to billions of dollars in foreign donations following the collapse of Afghanistan’s Western-backed government and the ensuing victory of the Taliban has heaped more pressure on U.N. programmes.
    Yet U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says his organisation is struggling financially: “At the present moment the U.N. is not even able to pay its salaries to its own workers,” he told reporters on Friday.
    The Geneva conference, due to begin on Monday afternoon, will be attended by top U.N. officials including Guterres, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross Peter Maurer, as well as dozens of government representatives including German foreign minister Heiko Maas.
    About a third of the $606 million being sought would be used by the U.N. World Food Programme which found that 93% of the 1,600 Afghans it surveyed in August and September were not consuming sufficient foods, mostly because they could not get access to cash to pay for it.
    “It’s now a race against time and the snow to deliver life-saving assistance to the Afghan people who need it most,” said WFP deputy regional director Anthea Webb.    “We are quite literally begging and borrowing to avoid food stocks running out.”
    The World Health Organization, another U.N. agency that’s part of the appeal, is seeking to shore up hundreds of health facilities at risk of closure after donors backed out.
(Reporting by Emma Farge; Editing by Pravin Char)

9/13/2021 A Reluctant Feminist: Germany’s Merkel Still Inspires Many Women by Susanne Neumayer-Remter Tanya Wood Petra Wischgoll
FILE PHOTO: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a top candidate of the Christian Democratic Union Party (CDU) for the upcoming
general elections reacts at the final election rally in Munich, Germany September 22, 2017. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle/File Photo
    BERLIN/COLOGNE, Germany (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel has become a feminist icon after 16 years in power even though the world’s most powerful woman has only belatedly accepted that label as she prepares to step down, and conceded that gender equality is still a long way off.
    “She is admired by women all over the world, this is her main legacy.    That a woman showed what she is capable of and does this with dignity and resolve,” German feminist activist Alice Schwarzer told Reuters.
    A rare woman in the upper echelons of her conservative, male-dominated Christian Democrats (CDU), Merkel, 67, long avoided casting herself as a feminist and has only reluctantly supported some policies pushed by feminists such as quotas for women in boardrooms.
    “She hasn’t spent the last 16 years carrying out great feminist deeds. To be fair she had quite a few other things on her plate,” Schwarzer said, noting Merkel had supported policies that helped women like expanding state-funded childcare.
    “The very fact of her existence is a feminist statement.”
    In 2017, Merkel avoided saying whether she considered herself a feminist when urged to do so at an event with then International Monetary Fund (IMF) director Christine Lagarde and Ivanka Trump, daughter of then-U.S. President Donald Trump.
    “I don’t want to decorate myself with a title I don’t actually have,” Merkel said back then.
    However, as her time in power draws to a close, Merkel – who grew up in the former Communist East Germany and has a doctorate in quantum chemistry – has reconsidered her position.
    “I have thought my answer through more and so I can say yes: we should all be feminists,” Merkel said to cheers at an event with Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, whose TED talk entitled “We should all be feminists” went viral in 2013.
    At the premiere of a film that tells the story of prominent female politicians in post-war West Germany, Merkel said last month she was disappointed that women still account for only 31% of seats in parliament.
    “We have not yet achieved equality between women and men in Germany.    Much remains to be done,” she said.
    Schwarzer recalled that Germany wasn’t really ready for its first female chancellor when Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) narrowly won the election in 2005, with her predecessor Gerhard Schroeder saying publicly she wasn’t up to the job.
    But Merkel could even overtake former mentor Helmut Kohl to become Germany’s longest serving chancellor if it takes a long time to form a coalition government after the Sept. 26 election.
    Schwarzer said she is impressed by how Merkel has held her own among powerful men: “There is a joke in Germany: a small boy asks, mum, can men also become chancellor? One person proved it and now it is out there and no one can take that away now.”
    Despite the fact that Merkel wears unfussy trouser suits that play down her femininity, Schwarzer said the chancellor still has a certain feminine charm that she uses in dealings with world leaders like French President Emmanuel Macron.
    “She has something girlish about her and is more than able to flirt.    I mean you see it when she meets Macron, for whom she has an unmistakable liking,” she said.
    Women and girls say the impact of Merkel – who is often known as “Mutti,” or mum, although she has no children herself, – has been profound in a country where traditional gender roles are only changing slowly.
    “She has done a lot to pave the way for others, now it is completely normal to see female chancellor candidates.    And this hasn’t always been the case,” said Maria Luisa Schill, a resident of the southwestern university town of Freiburg.
    Lia, a 9-year-old girl in Berlin, said she would like to be chancellor one day. Asked what she would do, Lia said: “Work, I would just get on with it, and earn money!
    Her mother Nancy added: “(Merkel) has so much strength and influence on so many people and I do think especially woman.”
(Writing by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

9/13/2021 U.S. House Speaker Pelosi Voices Concern About Alleged Saudi Torture
FILE PHOTO: U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) holds her weekly news conference
at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. September 8, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday she was “deeply concerned” about the alleged torture of a Saudi aid worker while in detention in Saudi Arabia.
    The aid worker, Abdulrahman al-Sadhan, was detained by Saudi authorities in March 2018 and reported to be sentenced to 20 years in prison followed by a 20-year travel ban, according to an April 6 U.S. State Department statement.    He was arrested from the Red Crescent Society office in Riyadh, where he worked.
    In a tweet, Pelosi, a Democrat, said Congress would monitor his appeal hearing, which she said was on Monday, and “all human rights abuses by the regime.”
    “Deeply concerned with allegations of torture in detention of aid worker Abdulrahman al-Sadhan.    His sentencing continues Saudi Arabia’s assault on freedom of expression,” Pelosi tweeted.
    Separately, al-Sadhan’s sister said his health was getting worse.
    “We are very worried about my brother’s safety & health, deteriorating under torture in Saudi detention, while we remain completely deprived of any contact with him,” Areej al-Sadhan, wrote on Twitter.
    The Saudi Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment on either tweet.
    Saudi de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has moved to crush dissent while introducing social and economic reforms to modernize the kingdom. Saudi authorities have detained senior royals, activists, intellectuals and clerics.
    In an April statement, Geneva-based advocacy NGO MENA Rights Group said al-Sadhan was brought to trial for having run two satirical Twitter accounts and accused of funding terrorism, supporting or sympathizing with the Islamic State militant group, and preparing, storing and sending messages that “would prejudice public order and religious values.”
    The group also said al-Sadhan’s family had learned he was subjected to severe torture in detention, including “electric shocks, beatings that caused broken bones, flogging, hanging from the feet and suspension in stress-positions, threats of murder and beheading, insults, verbal humiliation.”
(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; Additional reporting by Nayera Abdallah in Cairo; Editing by Peter Cooney and Diane Craft)

9/13/2021 Biden Put Rights At Heart Of U.S. Foreign Policy. Then He Pulled Punches by Simon Lewis and Humeyra Pamuk
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden pauses as he speaks about the death of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka,
during remarks at the White House in Washington, U.S. August 5, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Hours after the last U.S. troops and diplomats were out of Afghanistan, President Joe Biden said in an address at the White House that Washington will continue to support the Afghans left behind and would defend their basic rights, especially those of women and girls.
    “I’ve been clear that human rights will be the center of our foreign policy,” he said, repeating a campaign promise he has made often in speeches since taking office on Jan. 20.
    The comment fed growing skepticism among critics, who argued the United States had abandoned those very people to the Taliban – a brutal group with a record of crushing women’s rights in the name of their radical interpretation of Islam.
    A review of the Biden administration’s record so far shows concerns over human rights have several times been shunted aside in favor of national security priorities and to ensure continued engagement with foreign powers.
    Advocates say Biden has pulled punches at crucial moments.
    In the Middle East, support for authoritarians such as Egypt’s general-turned-President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has continued despite the rhetoric on democracy and human rights, advocates say.
    In Saudi Arabia, the administration released internal intelligence linking crown price and de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but steered clear of any action against the crown prince himself.
    On Myanmar, the administration denounced the military’s coup and issued sanctions against its generals, but left alone a major source of revenue for the junta – offshore natural gas projects involving international firms including U.S.-based oil company Chevron.
    And in at least one high-level meeting with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, worries over human rights and press freedom were sidelined for other issues, sources familiar with the meeting told Reuters.
    While advocates say Biden’s administration has put much more emphasis on promoting human rights than that of his predecessor Donald Trump — who praised authoritarian leaders including Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un — they say that cannot be seen as an accomplishment.
    “That’s not the right yardstick,” said Amy Hawthorne, deputy director for research at the Project on Middle East Democracy, an advocacy group.
    The real test was how willing Biden was to engage on rights issues himself, Hawthorne said.    “That’s what it means to center this issue in your foreign policy.    I don’t see any evidence of that.”
    Defending the administration’s record, a senior State Department official said diplomats have frequently raised human rights concerns with foreign leaders, including in difficult talks with adversaries including China and Russia.
    In some cases, the official told Reuters, raising human rights concerns privately could be a more effective approach and did not constitute the United States “pulling punches.”
    “In some contexts, it’s not helpful to publicly bash governments doing the wrong thing there but to raise things privately,” said the official, who requested anonymity to speak about U.S. policy.
    Sometimes the issue can be too thorny to be raised even in private.    Sources said that in a high-level meeting in June with Erdogan, Biden did not discuss worries over Turkey’s human rights record and instead focused on issues including the future of the Kabul airport, a priority as U.S.-led troops withdrew from Afghanistan.
    The two NATO allies are already at odds over issues including Ankara’s purchase of Russian air defense weapons, and U.S. officials said any debate of Turkey’s treatment of dissidents and press might have added strain.
    Turkish officials took it as a signal Washington would not push hard over human rights, the sources said, despite repeated public criticism from the Biden administration of Ankara’s treatment of opposition groups and its official recognition that the 1915 killings of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire was genocide.
    Rights advocates and some U.S. officials were dismayed at the missed opportunity to take a stance.
    “With undemocratic rulers, nothing is more powerful than hearing it from the president himself,” said Annie Boyajian, director of advocacy at Freedom House.
    The first test of Biden’s commitment to democracy overseas came within days of him taking office, when Myanmar’s military seized power and locked up elected politicians.
    Biden responded with sanctions against junta members but fell short of targeting offshore gas projects that account for roughly half of Myanmar’s foreign currency revenue.
    The administration was still weighing whether to impose sanctions on the gas projects, the senior U.S. official said, but added that much of Myanmar’s population, as well as neighboring Thailand, relied on the gas.
    An upcoming test is whether Secretary of State Antony Blinken continues his predecessors’ policy of overriding a congressional check on military aid to Egypt, granting an exception to free up about $300 million for Sisi’s government on that argument that it would be in the U.S. national security interest.    A decision is expected by end-September.
    More than a dozen rights group told Blinken in a letter in April that if he refused to release the funds “the United States will send a clear message that it is serious about its commitment to supporting human rights abroad.”
    Sisi, who ousted the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013, has overseen a crackdown on dissent that has tightened in recent years.    He denies there are political prisoners in Egypt and says stability and security are paramount.
    U.S. officials say Washington is reviewing its relationships with Middle Eastern governments including Sisi’s.
    “We have publicly, as well as privately, indicated our concerns about the many, many human rights abuses in Egypt and we’ll continue to do so,” the official said.
(Reporting by Simon Lewis and Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Mary Milliken and Daniel Wallis)

9/13/2021 Donors Pledge $1.1 Billion For ‘Collapsing’ Afghanistan by Emma Farge and Michelle Nichols
A general view ahead of an aid conference for Afghanistan at the United Nations
in Geneva, Switzerland, September 13, 2021. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    GENEVA/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Donors have pledged more than $1.1 billion to help Afghanistan, where poverty and hunger have spiralled since the Islamist Taliban took power, and foreign aid has dried up, raising the spectre of a mass exodus.
    U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, speaking halfway through a U.N. conference seeking $606 million to meet Afghanistan’s most pressing needs, said it was too early to say how much had been promised in response to the appeal.
    After decades of war and suffering, Afghans are facing “perhaps their most perilous hour,” he said.
    “The people of Afghanistan are facing the collapse of an entire country — all at once.”
    He said food could run out by the end of this month, and the World Food Programme said 14 million people were on the brink of starvation.
    The Taliban ruled Afghanistan according to their strict interpretation of Islamic law from 1996-2001 and were toppled in an invasion led by the United States, which accused them of sheltering militants behind the Sept. 11 attacks.
    They swept back to power last month in a lightning advance as the last U.S.-led NATO troops pulled out and the forces of the Western-backed government melted away.
    With billions of dollars of aid flows abruptly ending due to Western antipathy and distrust towards the Taliban, donors had a “moral obligation” to keep helping Afghans after a 20-year engagement, several speakers in Geneva said.
    Neighbours China and Pakistan had already offered help.
    But U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet, also in Geneva, underlined the Western misgivings.    She accused the Taliban of breaking recent promises by once more ordering women to stay at home rather than go to work, keeping teenage girls out of school, and persecuting former opponents.
    Beijing last week promised $31 million worth of food and health supplies, and on Friday said it would send a first batch of 3 million coronavirus vaccines.
    Pakistan sent food and medicine, and it called for Afghan assets frozen abroad to be released.    Iran said it had dispatched an air cargo of aid.
    “Past mistakes must not be repeated.    The Afghan people must not be abandoned,” said Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, whose country has close relations with the Taliban and would most likely bear the brunt of an exodus of refugees.
    Both China and Russia said the main burden of helping Afghanistan out of crisis should lie with Western countries.     “The U.S. and its allies have a greater obligation to extend economic, humanitarian and livelihood assistance,” said Chen Xu, China’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva.
    The United States pledged $64 million in new humanitarian assistance at the conference, while Norway pledged an extra $11.5 million.
    Even before the Taliban’s seizure of Kabul last month, half the population – or 18 million people – depended on aid.     That looks set to increase due to drought and shortages.
    Around $200 million of the new money is earmarked for the U.N. World Food Programme, which found that 93% of the 1,600 Afghans it surveyed in August and September were not getting enough to eat.
    WFP Executive Director David Beasley said 40% of Afghanistan’s wheat crop had been lost, the price of cooking oil had doubled, and most people anyway had no way of getting money.
    While banks have started reopening, the queues for withdrawals are extremely long, and more importantly, no one who depended on the government for a salary – from civil servants to police – has been paid since July.
    “Fourteen million people, one out of three, are marching to the brink of starvation.    They don’t know where their next meal is,” Beasley said.
    “If we are not very careful, we could truly, truly enter into the abyss in catastrophic conditions, worse than what we see now.”
    The U.N. World Health Organization, also part of the appeal, wants to shore up hundreds of health facilities at risk of closure after donors backed out.
    Antonio Vitorino, head of the International Organization for Migration, said the Afghan medical system was “on the verge of collapse,” and WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that gains made towards eradicating polio and vaccinating against COVID-19 could unravel.
    U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi warned that there could “very soon” be far greater displacement than the estimated half a million who have already sought refuge elsewhere in Afghanistan this year.
    “The physical distance between our nations and Afghanistan shouldn’t mislead us,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu added.
    “A humanitarian and security crisis in Afghanistan will have direct implications across the globe.    We should take collective action now.”
(Reporting by Emma Farge; Additional reporting by Rupam Nair in New Delhi; Writing by Andrew Cawthorne and Kevin Liffey, editing by Ed Osmond and Hugh Lawson)

9/13/2021 Britain Set To Offer COVID Vaccine To All 12 To 15-Year-Olds by Alistair Smout
FILE PHOTO: A person receives a dose of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine at the Central
Middlesex Hospital in London, Britain, August 1, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
    LONDON (Reuters) -Britain is set to expand the offer of a COVID-19 vaccine to all 12- to 15-year-olds, after top medical advisers said on Monday that children would benefit from reduced disruption to their education.
    The Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) recommended that children aged 12-15 in Britain get a first shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) earlier this month decided against making the recommendation.
    The United States, Israel and some European countries have rolled out vaccinations to children more broadly, putting pressure on the British government to follow suit.
    There have been more than 134,000 deaths from COVID-19 in Britain, and a rapid start to its vaccination rollout has slowed, with 81% of those over 16 receiving two vaccine doses.
    The JCVI had previously said the decision to vaccinate children was “finely balanced” as the government then sought further advice on the issue.
    The CMOs in a letter said that vaccinating children could reduce COVID-19 transmission and thus disruption to schools, and those benefits “on balance provide sufficient extra advantage… to recommend in favour of vaccinating this group.”
    “(Vaccination) will reduce education disruption,” Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, said at a news briefing.
    “We do not think that this is a panacea, there’s no silver bullet… but we think it is an important and potentially useful additional tool to help reduce the public health impacts that come through educational disruption.”
    The CMOs of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland said a first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine should be offered to all children and young people aged 12-15 not already covered by existing JCVI advice.
    The four nations of the United Kingdom each set their own health policy, and must indicate whether it will follow the CMOs’ advice, though some ministers have previously expressed support for vaccinations for children.    Vulnerable children in that age bracket were already eligible for shots.
    The CMOs said second doses would not be offered to the age group until at least spring as they would wait for data to build up internationally.
(Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Michael Holden and Jonathan Oatis)

9/13/2021 Iran Escapes Rebuke At IAEA Despite No ‘Promise’ On Open Questions by Francois Murphy
Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Kazem Gharibabadi waits for the beginning of a
board of governors meeting at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria September 13, 2021. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
    VIENNA (Reuters) – Western powers on Monday scrapped plans for a resolution criticising Iran at the U.N. atomic watchdog after Tehran agreed to prolong monitoring of some nuclear activities, even though the watchdog said Iran made no “promise” on another key issue.
    The decision by the United States, France, Britain and Germany not to push for a resolution at this week’s meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 35-nation Board of Governors avoids an escalation with Iran that could have killed hopes of resuming wider talks on reviving the Iran nuclear deal.
    During a last-minute visit to Tehran this weekend by IAEA chief Rafael Grossi, Iran agreed to grant his agency overdue access to its equipment in Iran that monitors some sensitive areas of its nuclear programme.    Inspectors will swap out memory cards more than two weeks after they were due to be replaced.
    Grossi said on Sunday that the agreement solved “the most urgent issue” between the IAEA and Iran.    He made clear on Monday, however, that on another source of concern – Iran’s failure to explain uranium traces found at several old but undeclared sites – he had obtained no firm commitments.
    “I did not receive any promise,” Grossi told a news conference when asked about the uranium traces, the first of which were found more than two years ago at a site in Tehran that Iran has described as a carpet-cleaning facility.
    “What I said there … is that I need to have a clear conversation with the new government about this.”
    A joint statement by the IAEA and Iran on Sunday said Grossi would meet Iran’s nuclear chief Mohammad Eslami in Vienna next week and then Grossi would “visit Tehran in the near future to hold high level consultations with the (Iranian) government.”
    Grossi declined to say more specifically whom he would meet in Tehran or when.
    The aim of the weekend agreement was to buy time for wider diplomatic efforts aimed at bringing the United States and Iran fully back into the 2015 nuclear deal, which imposed restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activities in return for the lifting of international sanctions against Tehran.
    Then-President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the nuclear deal in 2018, re-imposing punishing economic sanctions on Iran.    Tehran responded as of a year later by breaching many of the deal’s restrictions and later enriching uranium to purity levels much closer to weapons-grade.
    Indirect talks between Iran and the United States stopped in June, days after hardliner Ebrahim Raisi was elected president of Iran.    Western powers have called on Iran to return to negotiations, saying time is running out, while Raisi has said Iran is willing to, but without Western “pressure.”
    “Iran played its cards well,” one Vienna-based diplomat said of the weekend agreement.    “The promise to continue high-level discussions on the outstanding issues managed to deflate the pressure for a resolution, even if what Grossi brought back from Tehran was pitifully little.”
(Editing by Catherine Evans)

9/13/2021 Canada Opposition Chief Lashes “Partying” PM Trudeau As Election Race Tightens by David Ljunggren
FILE PHOTO: Canada's Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a drive-in rally during
his election campaign tour in Oakville, Ontario Canada September 12, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio
    OTTAWA (Reuters) – The head of Canada’s opposition Conservatives, facing possible election defeat, on Monday stepped up his attacks on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, portraying him as a scandal-hit party goer obsessed with keeping power.
    Recent polls show Trudeau’s ruling Liberals have recovered from early setbacks and could eke out another minority government in the snap Sept 20 election he called to gain voter approval for how he handled the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Conservative leader Erin O’Toole, an ex-air force helicopter navigator, noted photos of a young Trudeau dressed in blackface at parties had emerged during the 2019 election race.
    “When Mr. Trudeau was partying – and we’ve all seen the photos – I was doing search and rescue missions in the military,” O’Toole, 48, told a campaign event near Ottawa.
    “Every Canadian has met a Justin Trudeau in their lives — privileged, entitled and always looking out for number one … he’ll say anything to get elected, regardless of the damage it does to our country.”
    Trudeau, 49, has been in power since November>     The comments represent a notable sharpening in tone from O’Toole, on the defensive recently over his right-leaning party’s gun rights stance.    Last week he scrapped a promise to eliminate a ban on some assault weapons after Trudeau accused him of cozying up to the gun lobby.
    Asked whether he felt the chances of victory receding, O’Toole accused Trudeau of “promising unlimited debt, higher taxes, and continued cover-ups and scandals.”
    A Nanos Research rolling telephone poll of 1,200 people for CTV on Monday put the Liberals on 33.2% public support with the Conservatives on 30.2%.    The poll is considered accurate to within 2.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
    Such a result on election day would suggest another minority government for Trudeau, who told an Ontario rally on Sunday that O’Toole was friends with the gun lobby and people who opposed vaccinations against COVID-19.
(Additional reporting by Steve Scherer in Vancouver; Editing by Alistair Bell)

9/13/2021 Lebanon Tribunal Secures Funding To Hold Hariri Case Appeal
FILE PHOTO: A statue of Lebanon's assassinated former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri is seen near the site of the suicide bombing that
killed him in 2005, during the 16th anniversary of his assassination, in Beirut, Lebanon February 14, 2021. REUTERS/Aziz Taher
    THE HAGUE (Reuters) – The Special Tribunal for Lebanon said on Monday it has secured enough funding to hear the appeal of its main case, centering on the 2005 assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, which will start Oct. 4.
    Three months ago the United Nations-backed international tribunal, located near The Hague, had said it expected to run out of money and would be forced to close its doors.
    “We have funding to proceed with appeals in the main case,” tribunal spokesperson Wajed Ramadan said Monday.
    Last year judges convicted Salim Jamil Ayyash, a former member of the Shi’ite movement Hezbollah, in absentia for the bombing that killed veteran Sunni Muslim politician Hariri and 21 others.    Prosecutors are seeking the conviction on appeal of two additional suspects who were acquitted, also in absentia.
    Spokesperson Ramadan declined comment on the source of its recent funding.
    The Lebanon tribunal was created by a 2007 U.N. Security Council resolution.    Its 2020 budget was 55 million euros ($67 million).    The court said in June the 2021 budget had been cut by nearly 40% but it still struggled to get contributions.
    Until 2020 the tribunal had been funded 51% by voluntary contributions and 49% by the Lebanese government.    Lebanon has been going though an economic meltdown this year.
    On Monday a new Lebanese government met for the first time and vowed to revive talks with the IMF to unlock aid but warned there were no quick fixes to its economic crisis.
(Reporting by Stephanie van den Berg; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

9/13/2021 Chris Christie: Harris Is Original COVID-19 Vaccine Skeptic by OAN Newsroom
Vice President Kamala Harris gestures while participating in a round table discussion during
a visit to Hampton University in Hampton, Va., Friday, Sept. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
    As the Biden administration pushes a new vaccine mandate, Kamala Harris’ integrity is brought into question.    She’s been taking heat for flip-flopping on vaccines from her run for vice president to now pushing for those mandates.
    During an interview on Sunday, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) said Harris has no one to blame but herself for many Americans’ hesitancy toward the vaccine.
    Flashback to the Kamala Harris’ campaign trail in September 2020 when she went on the record saying she would not get the vaccine if the FDA happened to approve it under the Trump administration.
    “I would say that I would not trust Donald Trump and it would have to be a credible source of information that talks about efficacy and the reliability of whatever he’s talking about,” she stated.    “l will not take his word for it.”
    Harris took it further during the vice-presidential debate when, at the time, she claimed she would not even recommend most Americans to get the COVID-19 shot.
    “If the public health professionals, if Dr. (Anthony) Fauci, if the doctors tell us to take it, I’ll be first in line to take it,” she said.    “But if Donald Trump tells us to take it, I’m not taking it.”
    Harris has now gone so far as to advocate for forcing businesses with over 100 employees to require their workers to get the same vaccine she warned Americans about.    It appears that, according to Kamala Harris, if the vaccine is FDA approved under a Republican-led administration it’s dangerous, but if a Democrat is in charge then forcing millions of hardworking Americans to take it just so they can put food on the table is virtuous.

9/13/2021 Biden To Speak At The U.N. General Assembly Meeting In New York On Sept 21
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the Delta variant and his administration's efforts to increase
vaccinations, from the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., September 9, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden will travel to New York on Sept. 21 and deliver remarks at the 76th U.N. General assembly, the White House said on Monday.
    The meeting of world leaders is shaping up to be a hybrid event of in-person speeches and video statements as global vaccination rates vary and the spread of COVID-19 variants sparks concern.
(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Chris Reese)

9/13/2021 Blinken Says U.S. Will Assess Pakistan Ties Over Afghanistan’s Future by Patricia Zengerle and Humeyra Pamuk
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks about infrastructure investment at the University of Maryland's
A. James Clark School of Engineering in College Park, MD, U.S., August 9, 2021. Patrick Semansky/Pool via REUTERS
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States will be looking at its relationship with Pakistan in the coming weeks, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday, to formulate what role Washington would want it play in the future of Afghanistan.
    In the first public hearing in Congress about Afghanistan since last month’s collapse of the U.S.-backed Afghan government, Blinken told the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee that Pakistan has a “multiplicity of interests some that are in conflict with ours.”
    “It is one that is involved hedging its bets constantly about the future of Afghanistan, it’s one that’s involved harboring members of the Taliban … It is one that’s also involved in different points cooperation with us on counterterrorism,” Blinken said.
    Asked by lawmakers if it is time for Washington to reassess its relationship with Pakistan, Blinken said the administration would soon be doing that.
    “This is one of the things we’re going to be looking at in the days, and weeks ahead – the role that Pakistan has played over the last 20 years but also the role we would want to see it play in the coming years and what it will take for it to do that,” he said.
    The United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan culminated with a hastily organized airlift that left thousands of U.S.-allied Afghans behind and was punctuated by a suicide bombing outside Kabul’s airport that killed 13 U.S. troops and scores of Afghans.
    The United States and Western countries are in a difficult balancing act in the aftermath of the Taliban’s victory – reluctant to recognize the Islamist group while accepting the reality that they will have to engage with them to prevent a looming humanitarian crisis.
    Pakistan has had deep ties with the Taliban and has been accused of supporting the group as it battled the U.S.-backed government in Kabul for 20 years – charges denied by Islamabad.
    It is also considered as one of the two countries, along with Qatar, with the most influence over the Taliban, and a place where many senior Taliban leaders were thought to have escaped to after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle and Humeyra Pamuk; editing by Grant McCool)

9/13/2021 Blinken Fields Heated Questions From House Lawmakers Over Afghan Withdrawal by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken appears on a television screen as he testifies virtually on the U.S. withdrawal from
Afghanistan during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
    Secretary of State Antony Blinken made his first of two scheduled appearances before Congress this week over the Afghan withdrawal.    Blinken was grilled on Monday by the House Foreign Affairs Committee over the policy and Intelligence failures leading to the deadly pullout from Afghanistan last month.
    This has made Blinken the first Biden administration official to testify before Congress on the exit from the country.    In his opening statement, ranking Foreign Affairs Committee Republican Rep. Michael McCaul (Texas) criticized the Biden administration over what he called its unconditional surrender to the Taliban after a 20-year war.
    “This was an unmitigated disaster of epic proportions,” he asserted.    “I never thought in my lifetime that I would see an unconditional surrender to the Taliban.”
    McCaul added this withdrawal has only worked to make our enemies stronger and was a disgrace to the American people.
    “Mr. Secretary, the American people don’t like to lose, especially not to the terrorists,” he stated.    “That is exactly what has happened.”
    During his opening testimony, Blinken attempted to defend the deadly pullout, which led to the death of 13 U.S. service members, by saying Intel assessments did not show the Afghan government would fall as quickly as it did.
    “Even the most pessimistic assessments did not predict that government forces in Kabul would collapse while U.S. forces remained,” he explained.    “As General Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said, nothing I or anyone else saw indicated a collapse of this army and this government in 11 days.”
    Republicans also took aim at Blinken over the State Department’s role in evacuating refugees from the country.
    Blinken sidestepped a question over just how many Afghans, who did not qualify for special immigrant visas, have been allowed to enter the U.S.
    Rep. Scott Perry (R-Penn.): “How many Afghans, not meeting the qualifications of SIV have been brought to the United States?
    Blinken: “We’re in the process now going through.”
    When asked by New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith (R) whether he could assure that Americans still stuck in Afghanistan haven’t been killed or mistreated by the Taliban, Blinken said he could not.
    “I have not heard from those people that concern raised,” he stated.    “I can’t say whether there are any American citizens, who are not in contact with or don’t know of, who may have been mistreated in some fashion in Afghanistan.”
    The secretary of state is now scheduled to testify before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday.

9/13/2021 Gov. DeSantis Promises To Fight Biden Vaccine Mandate by OAN Newsroom
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) vowed to fight against Joe Biden’s coronavirus vaccine mandates by promising to protect the jobs of those who have chosen not to be vaccinated.    In a press conference on Monday, the Republican made clear he would especially defend the state’s first responders who worked throughout the pandemic to make sure the people of the state were safe and healthy.
    On the topic of personal choice, the governor insisted the vaccine should not be forced onto people.
    “This is not something that should be coerced onto people,” he expressed.    “It should be something they have access to and can make that decision for themselves.”
    Personal choice being a major theme of his talk, he explained how Biden’s mandate could very likely do more harm than good.
    “I also think that what their doing is very harmful.    If they honestly want more people to do this, they are causing a lot of people to dig in their heels,” he discussed.    “They are causing a lot of people to question and it’s totally counterproductive.”
    DeSantis also talked about how the policies of the Biden administration have been attempting to hurt the state throughout the pandemic.
    “They shut down our cruise industry.    We beat them in court on that and got that going, but that was the CDC just acting unilaterally,” he asserted.    “Congress never legislated that.”
    Overall, the Republican made it clear the mandate is a massive overstep of federal power, which has been something the government has been doing throughout the pandemic.
    “It’s beyond just a mandate,” he explained.    “What they’ve been doing throughout all of COVID, they go back and find some statute from decades ago.    They find some obscure regulation and then they take that as a pretext to be able to do ridiculous, unforeseen expansions of government power.”
    One of the governor’s solutions to combat mandates is to fine cities or counties which mandate the coronavirus vaccine $5,000 per infraction.    DeSantis concluded these jobs matter, these livelihoods matter and people shouldn’t be coerced out of a job through government power.

9/13/2021 Dershowitz: SCOTUS Likely To Rule Against Biden Vaccine Mandate by OAN Newsroom
Attorney Alan Dershowitz outside of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)
    State lawmakers and corporate attorneys have been chomping at the bit to take the Biden administration to court after the new vaccine mandates.    Biden announced executive changes last week, which would reportedly affect 100 million Americans.
    In particular, the new rules were set to require all federal and federally contracted employees to be vaccinated as well as business with over 100 employees.    The pushback was immediate.
    The Republican National Committee said they planned to sue the Biden Administration as soon as the new rule became official.    In addition, Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor said his office was already preparing litigation to defend the rule of law against the overreach of federal government.
    The governors and attorney generals for numerous states across the country have followed suit, such as Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall (R) who argued the mandate violated the Constitution and should be left up to individual states to decide.
    He went on to explain, “this should be a 10th Amendment issue where the state’s power supersedes the government.”
    However, constitutional lawyer Alan Dershowitz said in a recent interview he believed the courts could say the federal government had jurisdiction in this case because COVID-19 was contagious, therefore making it a national issue that crossed state lines.
    The problem would be enforcing the penalties because unlike states, the federal government did not have police power. Rather, its power came from the Constitution alone.
    The Harvard Law School professor emeritus said a person’s right to punch ends at the tip of another person’s nose.    One person’s freedoms cannot infringe on another’s rights.
    For Dershowitz, the key question for the new mandates’ constitutionality was if a U.S. president had the authority alone, by declaring an emergency, to make law and impose punishments.
    “Already we’ve had companies and states indicate they are going to file suit.    This is going to be a big payday for lawyers unfortunately, but it will get the case to court right away,” he stated.    “I suspect that within a month, the Supreme Court will issue a preliminary decision on whether or not a president, as distinguished in Congress, can impose a near universal mandate.”
    Since creating laws was a duty of the legislative arm of government, he believed the courts would say the president did not have the authority to mandate vaccines without the approval of Congress.    Simply put, in exercising executive power to enact a universal mandate, Biden has clearly violated the Constitution.
    “Carefully done, constitutionally done,” Dershowitz stated.    “I care deeply about the Constitution and the end should not justify the means.”
    The mandate relies on a rarely used workplace rule that reportedly has a history of being blocked in court.    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration could implement an emergency standard when workers were exposed to a “grave danger,” which would allow the agency to sidestep the usual process for developing a standard.
    However, opponents could argue a grave danger, which was not defined in the law and didn’t exist on a national level as the current spike in COVID-19 cases was regional.    In his legal analysis, Dershowitz stated for Biden to impose the mandate as a case of an emergency was problematic because COVID-19 existed before Biden’s term and would likely continue to exist seasonally in different variations for years like the flu.
    For Dershowitz, the mandate should be not be “done under the rubric of emergency, but rather under the rubric of or ordinary congressional power.”

9/13/2021 Sept. Deadlines Loom For Congress by OAN Newsroom
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer along with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP)
    September has shaped up to be a potentially tough month for Congress.    The Senate returned on Monday to a list of priorities needing to be tackled throughout the month as the House wouldn’t return from recess until September 20.
    Meanwhile, the Biden administration said the debt limit needed to be raised ahead of an October deadline as the U.S. reached its debt limit at $28.4 trillion on August 1.
    “We have annual deficits, we’re not taking in as much money from taxes as we’re spending.    We have to increase our debt over time and that means we have to borrow,” explained Shai Akabas, Director of Economic Policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center.    “…The Treasury Department can’t borrow the additional money it needs to pay all the bills and also service all the outstanding debt that we have.    That’s a problem.”
    Democrats have wanted to increase the debt limit with Republican support.    However, Republicans said Democrats would have to do it alone if they wanted the increase, which has led to a standstill on the issue.
    “What’s important is that they need to see that this date is fast approaching,” Akabas stated.    “The risks grow the closer that we get to it.”
    While government funding could lapse if a funding bill wasn’t passed by the September 30 deadline, the Biden administration has pushed for nearly $24 billion in disaster relief for things such as hurricanes and wildfires that have occurred over the past 18 months.    The administration has also asked for $6.4 billion to help resettle Afghan refugees.
    In addition, the House set a September 27 deadline to vote on the $550 billion infrastructure bill, which progressives have threatened to vote against if the $3.5 trillion partisan budget measure wasn’t ready by the time the vote took place.
    With all of these issues piling up, a former House GOP aide says it’s “crunch time” for Democrats as the upcoming midterms loom as a potential reminder the odds of Democrats holding the majority are slim.

9/13/2021 NYC To Begin Enforcing Proof Of Vaccination Mandates by OAN Newsroom
A coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination sign is seen posted at the entrance of Nighthawk Cinema in
the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
    New York City officials announced the city began enforcing vaccine mandates as more than 300,000 New Yorkers have returned to work. Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said enforcement of the proof of vaccination mandate began on Monday, with non-complying businesses faced with fines of $1,000 for not asking customers for proof of vaccination.
    Officials added civilian inspectors from 13 agencies would enforce the law at gyms, restaurants, sporting events and a number of other establishments.    The measure was enacted several weeks ago, with the goal of getting all business compliant by Monday.
    “We’ve got to work with everyone to get them vaccinated and that’s what we’re going to keep doing, over and over and over again, using mandates, using incentives,” De Blasio stated.    “Key to NYC helps us, once and for all, to fight off the Delta variant and defeat COVID and move forward as a city.”
    Meanwhile, critics argue the measure has no basis in science.

9/13/2021 Consumer Brands Association Asks Biden For Clarity On OSHA Vaccine Mandate by OAN Newsroom
CEO of Consumer Brands Association Geoff Freeman in Las Vegas, Nevada.
(Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for Global Gaming Expo)
    A large consumer trade group has asked the White House for clarity on the latest vaccine mandate.    The Consumer Brands Association sent a letter to Joe Biden on Monday, which outlined questions they have received from the companies in the consumer-packaged goods industry.
    Those questions included whether an employee must be vaccinated to work, if the requirements would only apply to vaccines fully approved by the FDA as well as what the consequences were for lying about vaccination status.    In a released statement, CEO of CBA Geoff Freeman said Biden’s new mandate required “immediate clarification.”
    “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, government has often failed to implement well-intentioned policy,” he explained.    “…As with other mandates, the devil is in the details.    Without additional clarification for the business community, employee anxieties and questions will multiply.”
    Occupational Safety and Health Administration was set to impose the rule of mandating businesses with 100 or more employees to require COVID-19 vaccines or weekly testing.    The CBA represents more than 1,700 companies including Coca-Cola, Amazon and Target.

9/14/2021 Oil up $0.89 to $70.57, DOW up 262 to 34,869.

9/14/2021 Blinken Defends Afghan Withdrawal At Testy U.S. Congressional Hearing by Patricia Zengerle and Humeyra Pamuk
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken gives remarks during a 9/11 commemoration event to mark the 20th anniversary of
the September 11, 2001 attacks, at the State Department in Washington, U.S., September 10, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/Pool
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Secretary of State Antony Blinken beat back criticism of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan on Monday at a contentious congressional hearing where at least two Republicans called on him to resign.
    In five hours of often testy exchanges with lawmakers, Blinken defended President Joe Biden’s decision to pull out and pushed back on accusations that the State Department should have done more to help Americans and at-risk Afghans to be evacuated, blaming the previous administration for lacking a plan.
    He repeatedly noted that Republican former President Donald Trump had negotiated the withdrawal agreement with the Taliban, and said Biden’s administration could not renegotiate because of threats from the group to resume killing Americans.
    “There’s no evidence that staying longer would have made the Afghan security forces or the Afghan government any more resilient or self-sustaining,” Blinken said.
    “We inherited a deadline.    We did not inherit a plan,” Blinken said, referring to the Trump administration’s agreement to remove all U.S. forces from Afghanistan by May 1.
    Members of Congress – Biden’s Democrats as well as opposition Republicans – have pledged to investigate since the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan last month after a rapid advance.
    Blinken appeared on Monday before the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee and was to testify on Tuesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the first Biden administration official to testify publicly to lawmakers since the Islamist militant group’s takeover.
    Fireworks had been expected, given the amount of finger-pointing over how the two-decade-long war ended.    Many Republicans, particularly those closely allied to Trump, interrupted or even shouted over Blinken during the House hearing, a departure for a committee known for bipartisan cooperation.
    Others offered harsh criticism.
    “The American people don’t like to lose, especially not to the terrorists.    But this is exactly what has happened,” said Representative Michael McCaul, the panel’s top Republican.
    McCaul asked why assets like the Bagram Air Base were not maintained and why the administration had not reached counterterrorism agreements with neighboring countries.
    “This is a national security threat as China moves in.    For all I know they make take over Bagram,” McCaul said.
    Blinken said the United States was actively working to identify threats.
    Lawmakers asked a long list of questions about the rapid collapse of the U.S.-backed Afghan government and scramble to evacuate 124,000 people.
    Democrats expressed concern about Americans and at-risk Afghans who still wish to leave, but backed the withdrawal as necessary, if painful.    “I would welcome hearing what exactly a smooth withdrawal from a messy chaotic 20-year war looks like,” said Representative Gregory Meeks, the committee’s chairman.
    Blinken praised the evacuation as “a heroic effort.”    He pledged that the United States will continue to support humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, but through non-governmental organizations and U.N. agencies, not the Taliban.
    Afghanistan is at risk of running out of food as it faces a terrible drought in addition to political upheaval.    “We need to do everything we can to make sure the people of Afghanistan don’t suffer any more than is already the case,” Blinken said.
    He said he had not spoken personally to members of the Taliban leadership.    “Any legitimacy that they may seek from the international community … is going to be contingent on their actions,” he said.
    Blinken said he would name a senior State Department official to focus on support for Afghan women, girls and minorities.
    Republicans grilled Blinken about what happened at Kabul’s airport during the evacuation ahead of the administration’s Aug. 31 deadline to leave.    Thirteen U.S. troops and dozens of Afghans were killed in a suicide bombing amid the chaos.
    Democrats said they wanted to address not just the seven months Biden was president before Kabul fell but all 20 years of U.S. involvement in the country – under presidents from both parties.
    A U.S.-led invasion toppled the Taliban in 2001 after the Sept. 11 attacks masterminded by al Qaeda leaders based in Afghanistan.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle, Humeyra Pamuk and Doina Chiacu, additional reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Peter Cooney, Alistair Bell and Sonya Hepinstall)

9/14/2021 Calif. Recall Election Of Newsom To Wrap Up by OAN Newsroom
Democrats may have Republican Larry Elder, right, to thank if California Gov. Gavin Newsom,
left, survives Tuesday’s recall election. | Getty Images & AP Photo
    The race to replace California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has approached its final stage as Tuesday marks the last chance for Californians to vote in the recall election.    If a majority of recall voters vote ‘yes,’ then Newsom will be removed from office and the candidate who receives the most votes will take his place.
    Newsom made a final push in the home stretch of the election set to determine his fate by targeting conservative radio host Larry Elder, who’s the top contender to replace him.    The Republican candidate went on his own campaign blitz to reach for every vote until the polls close.
    “There’s no front that, where I can think of, where this man has done a good job; not on schools, not on homelessness,” Elder stated.    “Not in the way he shutdown this state to the point where we’ve only recovered half of our jobs pandemic as opposed to two-thirds national average.”
    Actress and activist Rose McGowan stepped onto the campaign trail to stump for Elder in the final days with claims Newsom’s wife tried to persuade her to stay quiet with her allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein back in 2017. Newsom has denied these accusations.
    Elder has been among 46 candidates in the running for the governor’s mansion and has steadily remained the top contender.    Other Republican candidates include former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, businessman John Cox, State Assemblyman Kevin Kiley and former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner.    Nine Democrats were also among the replacement candidates.
    If a majority of recall voters vote ‘yes,’ Newsom will be removed from office.    The second question on the ballot determines who will replace him and the candidate with the most votes will take the victory.

9/14/2021 Democrat Rep. Calls Out Biden Admin. For Not Being Forthcoming With Number Of Americans Still In Afghanistan by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) won his re-election race despite what the Justice Department says were coordinated
efforts between his opponent’s campaign and a super PAC to attack him. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    A Democrat congressman called out Joe Biden’s State Department while stating they have not given him an answer on how many Americans are still in Afghanistan.
    While appearing on CNN on Monday, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) said he has seemingly been ignored by the Biden administration after he asked about the status of Americans in the crisis-stricken region.    The Virginia Democrat said “there are tens of thousands” of people left in Afghanistan and Biden’s White House needs to reveal a plan to get them out.
    “In addition to Americans or people with American residence, legal residence, who wanted to get out…we still need a comprehensive answer in terms of the status of each and every one of those individuals,” he stated.
    When asked about decision’s made by Secretary of State Antony Blinken in regards to the situation, Connolly suggested the official relied on intelligence and “military conventional wisdom” that he believes was “flat out wrong.”    He continued by suggesting a thorough examination is needed to determine exactly what went wrong, specially in regards to the Intelligence Community with those who got it really wrong being held accountable.
    This comes as the Biden administration continues to try and explain the decisions that led to its botched pull out from Afghanistan, where unknown numbers of Americans remain.

9/14/2021 Navy Sailor Killed In Kabul Bombing Laid To Rest by OAN Newsroom
A member of the U.S. Navy Honor Guard gives a final salute to Navy Corpsman Maxton Soviak at
Edison High School Stadium, Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, in Milan, Ohio. Soviak was one of 13 U.S. troops
killed in a suicide bombing at Afghanistan’s Kabul airport on Aug. 26. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
    Ohio sailor Maxton Soviak, who was killed in last month’s suicide bombing at the Kabul airport, was laid to rest in his hometown.
    During a funereal service held for the Ohio native at Edison High School’s Charger Stadium Monday morning, his sister, Kathleen Soviak, remembered her brother as an adventurer and go getter.    Before enlisting in the Navy, the 22-year-old was a member of the state champion wrestling team and made the final four football playoffs two years in a row.
    “He threw himself into everything he did with a fierce passion,” said Kathleen.    “We saw it during his high school years with his sports career and once Maxton became an adult, he developed a passion for living.”
    She added, her brother spent up to his very last breathe providing aid to those in need and in the end making the ultimate sacrifice.
    “In Maxton’s final days he spent his time helping others stay alive as he had developed a passion for protecting and saving the lives of others, so much so that he was willing to risk his own life,” continued the mourning sister.
    Maxton’s brother, Brian Soviak, also expressed his deepest remorse while noting despite the tragic loss there’s a valuable lesson his heroic brother left to be learned.
    “I took for granted that he would always be around,” he stated.    “That’s one takeaway I have from this experience, is to give as much love as you can and to forgive quickly.    Max lived his life that way.”
    Maxton leaves behind 12 brothers and sisters.    In honor of his actions, the Navy posthumously promoted him to a Hospital Corpsman Third Class earlier this month.    He was also awarded the Purple Heart and Fleet Marine Force Corpsman Warfare Badge.

9/14/2021 Biden Campaigns For Calif. Gov. Newsom Amid Recall While Americans Remain Trapped In Afghanistan by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden arrives to speak at a get out the vote rally for Gov. Gavin Newsom, D-Calif., at Long Beach City College,
Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, in Long Beach, Calif., as Gavin faces a recall election on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Working class Americans were left shocked and dismayed after Joe Biden used an official trip designated for surveying wildfire damage in the West to, instead, campaign for California Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom.
    On Monday, Biden traveled to the Golden State coast to where wildfires have destroyed millions of acres of land and displaced residents across the state.    However, after only spending a short amount of time hearing testimonials from on-the-ground experts, Biden elected to visit a campaign event for the embattled Newsom.
    Critics are slamming Biden for his visit, saying he should be focused on helping Californians or should be in D.C. working to free Americans stuck in Afghanistan.
    While addressing the media, Biden appeared to have his eyes glued to his notes and rarely looked up at reporters.    He told the leftist attendees to fear a Larry Elder victory and suggested President Donald Trump could make a return albeit vicariously through Elder.
    “All of you know that last year I got to run against the real Donald Trump,” Biden stated.    “This year the leading Republican running for governor (of California) is the closest thing to a Trump clone that I’ve ever seen in your state.”
    Biden also attacked Texas in his speech, despite the Republican state being a top destination for Californians fleeing the far-left policies of the Newsom-led California government.
    “Take a look at what’s happening in states like Texas; it just passed a law empowering complete strangers to become bounty hunters,” he claimed.    “Going after women who exercise their right to choose; a law that the United States Supreme Court refused to stop.”
    Despite his best efforts, Biden cannot skirt responsibility forever and will eventually have to return to D.C. to face the consequences of his actions and inactions.

9/14/2021 CDC Orders Afghan Flights To U.S. To Halt Amid Measles Outbreak by OAN Newsroom
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby speaks during a press briefing at the
Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    U.S. bound flights for Afghan evacuees have been paused due to a measles outbreak.    The Biden administration made the announcement on Monday, which could stall evacuee relocation for up to a week.
    As many as 12,000 refugees will remain in Air Force bases in Germany and Qatar, while the CDC attempts to stop the spread as soon as possible.    Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby explained the discovery of stateside cases.
    “There have been five diagnosed cases of measles among new arrivals so far and we are closely monitoring just in case more emerged,” he stated.    “We already announced one case that was confirmed last week at Fort McCoy and three cases were confirmed on Thursday night among new arrivals who flew into Dulles Airport here in the D.C. area.”
    Infected evacuees already in America will be quarantined while the CDC will be performing contact tracing to try to identify any future cases.    Measles vaccines are now mandatory for all refugees before coming to the U.S.
    “So all arriving Afghans are currently required to be vaccinated for measles as a condition of their humanitarian parole and critical immunizations, including MMR, are being administered for Afghans at safe havens on military bases in the United States,” Kirby continued.    “We will soon be vaccinating Afghans for MMR while they are still overseas.”
    Evacuee relocation could be stalled for more than a week.

9/14/2021 Texas Gov. Abbott Signs Cash Bail Reform Law by OAN Newsroom
Texas Gov Greg Abbott speaks before signing Senate Bill 1, also known as the election
integrity bill, into law in Tyler, Texas, Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed a bill aiming to keep violent criminals off the street as they wait for trial.    He signed the Damon Allen Act on Monday, which mandates that violent criminals can only pay a cash bail and not a personal bond.
    The new law was named after trooper Damon Allen, who was shot and killed by a man that was out on bail for another violent crime.    It will also provide “enhanced training and education for all magistrates who set bail,” while adding accountability for judges that release criminals on bail.
    “The Damon Allen Act makes it harder for dangerous criminals to be released from jail on bail. it also creates a statewide information system to provide judges considering bail with the criminal history of the person who is up for bail.”
    Abbott said that his state “will not follow the lead of Portland, Seattle and Minneapolis.”    Instead, he ensured it will remain a law-and-order state.

9/14/2021 UN Pledges $1.2B For Humanitarian Aid For Afghanistan by OAN Newsroom
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres talks to media at a press conference, during the High-Level
Ministerial Event on the Humanitarian Situation in Afghanistan, at the European headquarters of the
United Nation, in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, Sept. 13, 2021. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)
    Global leaders are coming together to fill the reservoir of humanitarian funds for the people of Afghanistan.    On Monday, the United Nations held a donor conference in Geneva, Switzerland, where donors reportedly pledged more than $1.2 billion.
    UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres initially fought for just over $600 million to provide food services, shelter and health care to 11 million Afghans.
    “The people of Afghanistan need a lifeline,” he stated.    “After decades of war, suffering and insecurity, they face perhaps their most perilous hour.    Now is the time for the international community to stand with them and let us be clear, this conference is not simply about what we will give to the people of Afghanistan.    It is about what we owe.”
    Gutteres warned the situation in Afghanistan was dire amid the country’s political and economic collapse after the U.S. pulled out troops.
    During the final phase of Joe Biden’s withdrawal, Taliban forces swiftly took over while re-imposing their suppressive policies towards women and pro-western allies.    Many UN delegates feared millions of Afghans would go hungry and lose reproductive health services.
    “Today, one in three Afghans do not know where their next meal will come from,” Gutteres continued.    “The poverty rate is spiraling and basic public services are close to collapse. Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes and at the same time, Afghanistan faces a severe drought…many people could run out of food by the end of this month.”
    In the meantime, Gutteres said the Taliban has committed to allowing aid workers to operate freely to provide humanitarian assistance.    However, some officials within the UN, including U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, stressed words are not enough.
    “This is a moment for the international community to unite,” she asserted.    “Let us commit today to meeting this urgent appeal for financial support, commit to standing by humanitarian workers as they do their own important work and to stepping up humanitarian action in Afghanistan so that we can save the lives of Afghans in need.”     Thomas-Greenfield said the U.S. is contributing $64 million to the new humanitarian efforts.

9/14/2021 Psaki ‘Welcomes’ GOP To Debate $3.5T Spending Bill by OAN Newsroom
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the James Brady
Press Briefing Room of the White House. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    The Biden administration made a last-ditch effort to drum up enthusiasm for their partisan spending plan.    Taking to Twitter on Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki promoted the $3.5 trillion measure by dismissing concerns about what it would be spent on.
    “There’s lots of misleading chatter about the reconciliation package, so lets be clear and lets be factual,” she expressed.    “This is going to be one of the biggest middle class tax cuts in American history.”
    Psaki then appeared all to eager to say the reconciliation bill would move the country away from President Trump’s tax cuts, such as the 45th president’s minimal corporate tax rate that helped economic growth.
    She went on to say, “it’s also going to repeal some of the tax giveaways that were passed during the last administration, that pad the pockets of some of the wealthiest Americans and corporations across the country.”
    After shaming measures that helped businesses pay their employees, things took a turn when the White House press secretary appeared to threaten GOP lawmakers.
    “If Republicans in Congress want to have a debate about whether or not we should help middle class families have more breathing room, make elder care, child care more affordable, or whether we should protect corporations, and the wealthiest Americans,” she stated.    “That’s a debate we’re happy to have.”
    However, even Democrats have recognized the promises in this spending plan would never be fulfilled, with six Democrats including Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) condemning the bill and warning it would “cost American jobs.”

9/14/2021 U.S. Ex-Presidents Bush, Clinton, Obama Band Together To Aid Afghan Refugees by Mica Rosenberg and Susan Heavey
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Barack Obama embraces former President George W. Bush following remarks at the dedication ceremony of the George W. Bush
Presidential Center in Dallas, April 25, 2013. Former president Bill Clinton is pictured at right. REUTERS/Jason Reed/File Photo
(Corrects to remove reference to CVS Health Corp and replace it with Walmart Inc in paragraph 9)
    (Reuters) -Three former U.S. presidents – Republican George W. Bush and Democrats Bill Clinton and Barack Obama – have banded together behind a new group aimed at supporting refugees from Afghanistan settling in the United States following the recent American withdrawal ending 20 years of war.
    The former leaders and their wives will serve as part of Welcome.US, a coalition of advocacy groups, U.S. businesses and other leaders.
    It launched on Tuesday with a website that will be “a single point of entry,” to make it easier for Americans to donate, host a refugee family through the home rental app Airbnb Inc or find other ways to help, John Bridgeland, an official in former President George W. Bush’s administration and co-chair of the effort, said at a media event.
    Tens of thousands of Afghans have already arrived in the United States as part of a U.S. evacuation.    Many of them would have been at risk had they remained under the Taliban after their work with U.S. and allied troops or with American and international agencies.
    “Thousands of Afghans stood with us on the front lines to push for a safer world, and now they need our help,” Bush and his wife Laura said in a statement.
    Organizers said there has been a bipartisan outpouring of support for Afghan refugees, including Republican and Democratic governors who have signed onto the effort.
    A number of U.S. state and local leaders have said they would welcome refugees into their communities, although immigration remains a divisive issue in parts of the country.
    Under former President Donald Trump, a Republican, refugee admissions from around the world were slashed to their lowest levels in decades, a policy President Joe Biden, a Democrat, has pledged to reverse.
    Welcome.US also draws support from more than 280 people and entities, including U.S. businesses such as Microsoft Corp, Starbucks Corp and Walmart Inc, as well as numerous nonprofit organizations, veterans’ groups and resettlement agencies.
    Biden’s administration is working to accommodate as many as 50,000 refugees on military bases in the United States.    Others remain in processing centers near U.S. airports where they landed, and more evacuees are in U.S. installations or stuck in third countries abroad.
    Some refugee organizations have been pushing for the United States to adopt a program of private or community sponsorship for individual refugees, similar to a model used in Canada, and see this coordinated national volunteer effort as one way to jump-start that process.
    “We want to take advantage of this moment and the great need to access all the capacity out there in the United States to support Afghan evacuees,” Nazanin Ash of the International Rescue Committee said at Tuesday’s launch.
(Reporting by Mica Rosenberg in New York and Susan Heavey in Washington; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Ross Colvin)

9/14/2021 GOP Senators Grill Secy. Of State Blinken Over Biden’s Afghan Fiasco by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Hearing to examine the United States withdrawal
from Afghanistan on Capitol Hill on September. 14, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Jabin Botsford – Pool/Getty Images)
    Secretary of State Antony Blinken was grilled over the Afghanistan crisis by senators on both sides of the aisle.    On Tuesday, Blinken testified for the second time this week in front of members of Congress in a hearing conducted by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
    Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) lambasted Blinken for the disastrous pullout by noting Intelligence reports warned of an imminent collapse.
    “Let me suffice it to say that there are numerous pieces that would be categorized as ‘it’s going to hit the fan,'” he stated.    “…We had every reason to believe and to plan for the rapid collapse of the Afghan military and Afghan government.”
    Rubio went on to suggest the Afghan military had lost thousands of troops to Taliban attacks and were using U.S. and NATO support as a crutch.    He stressed taking away massive amounts of support could only lead to disaster.
    However, Blinken claimed the reports he was privy to didn’t suggest Afghanistan would crumble in less than a week, which dismissed the situation as a bad investment.
    “We collectively over 20 years invested extraordinary amounts in those security forces and in that government,” he expressed.    “Hundreds of billions of dollars of equipment, training, advice, support and based on that as well as based on what we were looking at real time, again, we did not see this collapse in a matter of 11 days.”
    Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R) stressed he couldn’t imagine the “colossal incompetence” leading to the worst military disaster in U.S. history.    Paul highlighted more than $80 billion worth of military equipment was left in the country and the 13 U.S. service members who were killed during the pullout.
    The Kentucky Republican went on to warn the Biden administration wanted to send $64 million worth of humanitarian aid to the Taliban run government Afghanistan.
    “To add insult to injury, this week you now released $64 million in aid to Afghanistan.    Don’t we have some prohibition against giving aid and comfort to the enemy?” he questioned.    “…Well the Taliban has a history of taking this.”
    Paul asked America’s top diplomat if he knew a recent strike was an ISIS-K terrorist or a civilian aid work.
    Paul: “So you don’t know or won’t tell us?
    Blinken: “I can’t because we’re reviewing it
    Paul: “You’d think you’d kind of know before you off somebody with a predator drone whether he’s an aid worker or an ISIS-K.”

    The GOP senators stressed throughout the hearing their concern with the lack of accountability from the Biden administration.    They warned the event caused a massive blow to the image of America as a top leader on the world stage.
    Several senators expressed a desire to replace several officials with fresh personnel.
    Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.): “So I want to ask you, have you submitted your resignation regarding this issue?
    Blinken: “I have not.”
    Hagerty: “The lack of accountability here, the lack of accountability in this administration is shocking to me.”
    Blinken assured the upper chamber the State Department was conducting a thorough review on what went wrong in Afghanistan.    He noted all of the broad strategic decisions were coming from Joe Biden himself and this his thinking was crystal clear.
    The secretary of state went on to say there would be no cooperation with the Taliban if they failed to abide by international norms.

9/14/2021 Rep. Roy Speaks Out On Importance Of Second Amendment by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) outside the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
    Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) said Joe Biden’s Democrats have grown more tyrannical and were coming after gun rights. In a video released by his press office on Tuesday, the Texas Republican laid out why supporting the Second Amendment has become more important than ever before.
    Roy contended guns for self-defense were extremely necessary by citing the Biden border crisis as well as Democrats’ push to defund the police.
    “I want my Second Amendment rights because my Democratic colleagues want my streets to be less safe by defunding police,” he asserted.    “I want my Second Amendment rights because my borders are wide open and being run by cartels while dangerous individuals pour across the border.”
    Democrat proposals to supposedly keep citizens safe after defunding police appeared to target gun owners who enjoyed their rights.
    “The gentlelady from Texas gave up the game earlier when we were talking about my friend from North Carolina’s amendment to ensure that we don’t encourage cities to continue these foolish policies of defunding the police,” he explained.    “She said that you don’t need to do that and she talked about these great programs that target guns.”
    Roy also said he remembered a time when blame was placed on individual criminals misusing weapons, instead of all citizens with guns, while noting crime dropped significantly.    Democrats proposed laws the Texas lawmakers said would make Texans and all Americans less free.
    Roy stressed one of the most important reasons to support the Second Amendment was to balance the power between citizens and their government.
    “One of those issues is ensuring that they can maintain and preserve and protect their Second Amendment rights,” he expressed.    “It is the great separator of this country from others in terms of the right balance between the people and the power of government.    It is the great equalizer.”
    Following the release of the video, Roy retweeted it to make one last comment.    He said the only true defense from tyranny was an armed citizenry.

9/14/2021 President Trump: Many Say Obama Is Running Biden Admin. by OAN Newsroom
Barack Obama and Joe Biden at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
    President Trump said he suspected former President Barack Obama was covertly running the Biden administration.    Trump said during an interview on Tuesday, he believed Obama and his surrogates could be exerting control over the White House.
    The 45th president said several people have confirmed this theory, but he did not disclose his sources.    In the past, Trump has repeatedly questioned Biden’s apparent mental decline and fitness for office.
    His remarks come as Senate Republicans raised the question of why Biden’s public announcements appeared to be directed by someone else.
Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho): “It’s been widely reported that somebody has the ability to push the button and cut off his sound and stop him from speaking. Who is that person?”     Secretary of State Antony Blinken: “There is no such person.    Again, the president speaks for himself.”
    President Trump also stressed Biden was even worse than Obama in almost every aspect of his handling of domestic and foreign affairs

9/14/2021 Biden’s Feed Cut As He Appears To Go Off Script by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden speaks during a visit to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    The White House killed video feed of Joe Biden as he appeared to go off script.    Biden’s speech was abruptly cut off on Monday in Idaho amid his rocky speech about so-called climate change.
    The White house has developed a reputation for cutting off video feed during Biden’s briefings without public explanation.    This time, the feed was cut as Biden tried to answer an unapproved question.
    “Can I ask you a question?” Biden stated.    “One of things that I have been working on with some others is…*screen goes blank*
    This comes days after White House staffers reportedly admitted to switching off or muting Joe Biden’s public appearances out of anxiety over what he would say.

9/14/2021 DOJ Updates Protocol Across Local, State Police Depts. by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland in Washington, D.C.(Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
    The U.S. Department of Justice has made changes to how local police departments operate and handle engaging with criminals.    On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced a new federal program aiming to limit the use of chokeholds and no-knock warrants.
    Under the new program, officers could use chokeholds and other “carotid restraints” only if they were faced with a threat of deadly force.    In addition, officers would have to generally knock and announce themselves when serving a search warrant unless they could reasonably argue this would put their lives in immediate danger.
    “As members of federal law enforcement, we have a shared obligation to lead by example in a way that engenders the trust and confidence of the communities we serve,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco in a released statement.    “…This new policy does just that and limits the circumstances in which these techniques can be used.”br>
    Garland touts the new federal program as a way to improve “efficiency” among law enforcement.

9/14/2021 McConnell: GOP Stands United Against Raising Debt Ceiling by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) approaches members of the press for a briefing after a
Senate Republican Policy Luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Republicans would continue to stand against raising the debt limit.    McConnell’s comments came on Tuesday as many have worried if the debt limit was raised, it would give Democrats the ability to push through their partisan $3.5 trillion spending package.
    McConnell added Democrats have continually argued they wanted to do things without Republican support, except when it came to the debt limit.
    “No, republicans won’t have any input into the massive, reckless taxing and spending spree that will stick middle class families with higher cost, lower wages and a socialist country they didn’t vote for, but Democrats do want Republicans help with just one thing,” he explained.    “They want us to help raise the credit limit to make it happen.”
    In addition, Sen. Rick Scott reasserted his opposition to increasing the U.S. national debt by saying taxpayers were not willing to pay for it.    The senator from Florida told reporters on Tuesday, Democrat proposals to buy treasury bonds were “foolish” amid a standoff over raising the debt ceiling in Congress.
    Scott appeared to suggest U.S. bonds may go down in value due to political uncertainty moving forward.    He had previously criticized what he called the “reckless tax and spend agenda” by the Democrats.
    Scott also stressed U.S. taxpayers did not support Democrat fiscal proposals.
    “They don’t understand why the federal government can continue to just borrow money… when they can’t even do it in their own personal lives,” he asserted.    “…Why doesn’t the Biden administration care about this inflation that’s happening?    They see their gas prices are up, their food prices are up, their car prices are up and the Biden administration does nothing about it.”
    Scott went on to say Democrat proposals would take the national debt to $45 trillion dollars, which America could not pay for.    If funding legislation wasn’t passed by the end of September, the government could face a shut down.

9/14/2021 Sen. Hawley Vows To Delay Confirmation Process For Biden State Dept., DOD Nominees Until Blinken, Austin Resign by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) called on a number of top Biden administration officials to step down over the Afghanistan withdrawal.    In a speech on the Senate floor on Tuesday, Hawley urged Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan to resign.
    Hawley pledged to oppose unanimous consent for any State Department and Pentagon nominee until the officials stepped down, which would lengthen the confirmation process for several Biden picks.    The Republican also called on Joe Biden himself to step down over his handling of the Afghanistan withdraw.
    “He has dishonored this country with his shameful leadership in this crisis and it is time to for him to resign,” he asserted.    “If he had the responsibility of leadership, he would resign for the crisis that he has himself led this nation into and the responsibility he bares for the lives that have been lost.”
    Hawley went on to point out American citizens are still trapped in Afghanistan by emphasizing they have been “left to the enemy.”

9/14/2021 House GOP Urges Biden Admin. To Maintain Taliban Sanctions by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.) in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill
in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    Amid growing concern over Americans still stuck behind enemy lines, House Republicans have urged the Biden administration to maintain sanctions against the Taliban.    21 GOP lawmakers sent a letter to the United Nations ambassador on Tuesday, in which they expressed concern over U.S. losing its leverage to rescue stranded Americans by allowing unchecked international aid to flow into Afghanistan.
    Republicans added the U.S. must maintain the travel ban, arms embargo and asset freeze against the terror group, as reports have indicated the U.S. would also send $64 million in aid.
    The U.N. promised $1.7 billion to Afghanistan on Monday, which prompted GOP concern of legitimizing the Taliban.
    However, U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres claimed a humanitarian crisis would be far worse and only benefit terrorists in the long run.
    “The people of Afghanistan need a lifeline.    After decades of war, suffering and insecurity, they face perhaps their most perilous hour,” he stated.    “Now is the time for the international community to stand with them and let us be clear, this conference is not simply about what we will give to the people of Afghanistan.    It is about what we owe.”
    This comes as Secretary of State Antony Blinken told lawmakers the U.S. would maintain sanctions against the Taliban even amid growing concern the money would fall into the hands of the terrorists.

9/15/2021 Oil down $0.26 to $70.37, DOW down 292 to 34,578.

9/15/2021 Ivermectin use for COVID-19 grows - Ivermectin use for COVID-19 grows There is no evidence drug makes a difference by Jessie Christopher Smith, The Oklahoman USA TODAY NETWORK
    Karla Houchin and her husband, Shannon, live at their cattle ranch in Lone Grove, about 8 miles west of Ardmore in southern Oklahoma.    She and her husband work in the oil business, although Houchin primarily works from home as call support.
    For Christmas, Houchin and her husband gathered with their immediate families, but they realized something was wrong the next morning.    Fevers came, body aches followed, and tests that day confirmed they had contracted COVID-19.    That’s when her husband heard of a peculiar remedy.
    'We had friends calling us already that have cattle as well, and they said, ‘Hey, do you have any injectable ivermectin?’'    Houchin said.    'My husband said, ‘No, I’ve got the pour-on kind,’ because we always kept the pour-on around.    And they said, ‘Well, you need to put some on your wrist or on a vein somewhere and let it get in your bloodstream, and it’ll help you.’    We said, ‘What?’    They said, ‘No, it’ll help you; we’re being serious!’'
    The pain was so great for Houchin’s husband, he decided to give it a try and 'rubbed it on his wrist on Sunday (Dec.27), and by Monday evening, he was fine,' Houchin said.    And when her own condition worsened Tuesday morning, Houchin said she did the same as her husband, 'and within a day or two, I was good, too.'
    There is no evidence the ivermectin made the difference for the Houchins, and medical professionals have steadfastly warned against using it to treat COVID-19.
    Yet despite the warnings, the Houchins are among a growing number of people in the state and nationwide to turn to the unproven treatment even as they have avoided FDA approved vaccines.
    The anti-parasitic drug is commonly used in livestock, like the Houchins’ longhorn cattle.    Ivermectin also has been approved for human use, but it is prescribed to treat head lice or skin conditions, not COVID-19.
    Not wanting to spread the virus to others, the couple continued to quarantine as instructed, but days before the end of the 14-day period, the Houchins were not exhibiting any flu-like symptoms.    The COVID-19 may have been mild and simply run its course, but the Houchins are convinced ivermectin played a role.
    'We lost our taste and smell for about four or five days, but as far as aching, fever, throwing up, and trouble breathing, we didn’t have any symptoms like that,' Houchin said.
    Potential adverse effects from use of ivermectin intended for livestock, like dizziness or nausea, did not show up in Houchin or her husband, she said.
    Others who have used ivermectin to treat COVID-19 symptoms haven’t been as fortunate.
    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, poison control centers throughout the United States have recently seen a steep increase in emergency calls of human exposure to veterinary ivermectin.
    Some medical and health professionals are baffled as to why, despite their strong advisories to avoid it, the anti-parasitic drug has become a popular over-the-counter treatment for COVID-19.
    Dr. Douglas Drevets, chief of infectious diseases at OU Health, said he splits the ivermectin users into two different groups: those who are vaccinated against COVID-19 but want to try additional alternative treatment, and those who have declined to take the vaccine but are willing to take ivermectin.
    'In the latter group, … I think that either they think that they have looked at the evidence or they have talked to others in their Facebook group, their friends circle, national figures who they trust, who have thrown doubts on the efficacy or safety of the vaccine but are advocating ivermectin,' Drevets said.
    'I think that they fundamentally don’t have either the training, or the people they trust don’t have the training, to adequately evaluate the data that are freely available that show how effective and how incredibly safe the vaccines, and particularly the mRNA vaccines, are.'
    The Houchins, by their own admission, fit into this latter group.
    'Me and my husband have not personally taken the vaccine,' Houchin said.    'I don’t know enough about it.    I don’t know enough about the side effects.    But we truly believe that the ivermectin kept us from having to go to the hospital.'
    Drevets said he also believes vaccinated people who are also experimenting with ivermectin are wanting to do everything they can to fight the virus and simply want to exhaust every option.
    'I have more understanding of that, particularly if they’re scared or if they’ve watched a loved one struggle with COVID,' Drevets said.    'I could understand wanting to do something, in trying to do everything that’s available.    It’s unfortunate that, I think, they go that way, but again I can understand that position pretty easily, and have a lot of sympathy with it.'
    In 2015, the Nobel Peace Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to the scientists who discovered ivermectin and successfully used it to treat roundworm parasites in humans.
    Last year saw an increase of ivermectin use against COVID-19 in Peru, Guatemala and other Latin American countries, to the point that health care workers openly distributed about 350,000 doses of the drug to residents in northern Bolivia.
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has repeatedly issued warnings that ivermectin has not been approved or proven for COVID-19 treatment.    But that hasn’t stopped the huge increase in sales of the drug at livestock feed and tack stores throughout Oklahoma and elsewhere.
    Dr. Wändi Bruine de Bruin, provost professor of public policy, psychology and behavioral science at the University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy, said she has not researched why people use ivermectin against coronavirus.
    'What is important to keep in mind, though, is that everyone is likely doing what they think is best for their health and that of their loved ones,' said Bruine de Bruin.    'People’s continued use of ivermectin suggests that there is a serious lack of trust in public health officials, in some communities.'
Ivermax is a brand of ivermectin paste. It is intended to treat parasites
in livestock, not COVID-19 in humans. DOUG HOKE/THE OKLAHOMAN
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9/15/2021 Biden Denies China’s Xi Turned Down Meeting Offer
FILE PHOTO: Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L)
inside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing December 4, 2013. REUTERS/Lintao Zhang/Pool
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden denied on Tuesday a media report that his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, last week turned down an offer from Biden for a face-to-face meeting.
    The Financial Times cited multiple people briefed on a 90-minute call between the two leaders last week as saying Xi did not take Biden up on the offer and instead insisted that Washington adopt a less strident tone toward Beijing.
    “It’s not true,” Biden said when asked by reporters if he was disappointed that Xi did not want to meet with him.
    Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said in a statement earlier on Tuesday that the report was “not an accurate portrayal of the call.    Period.”
    A source who was among those briefed on the call confirmed the report was accurate.
    “Xi apparently intimated that the tone and atmosphere of the relationship needed to be improved first,” the source told Reuters.
    China’s embassy in Washington did not immediately respond when asked to comment.
    The Financial Times quoted one of its sources as saying Biden had floated the summit as one of several possibilities for follow-on engagement with Xi, and he had not expected an immediate response.
    It cited one U.S. official as saying that while Xi did not engage with the idea of a summit, the White House believed that was partly due to concerns about COVID-19.
    The G20 summit in Italy in October has been talked about as a possible venue for a face-to-face meeting, but Xi has not left China since the outbreak of the pandemic early last year.
    In his statement, Sullivan added: “As we’ve said, the Presidents discussed the importance of being able to have private discussions between the two leaders, and we’re going to respect that.”
    The call between Biden and Xi was their first in seven months and they discussed the need to ensure that competition between the world’s two largest economies does not veer into conflict.
    A U.S. official briefing before the conversation called it a test of whether direct top-level engagement could end what had become a stalemate in ties, which are at the worst level in decades.
    The White House said afterward it was intended to keep channels of communication open, but it has announced no plans for follow-on engagements.
    Chinese state media said Xi had told Biden that U.S. policy on China imposed “serious difficulties” on relations, but added that both sides agreed to maintain frequent contact and ask working-level teams to step up communications.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal and David Brunnstrom in Washington and Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler, Peter Cooney and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

9/15/2021 U.S. Pushes World Leaders To Embrace 70% Global COVID-19 Vaccination Target
FILE PHOTO: Tourists walk past the United Nations Headquarters in New York, March 24, 2008. At left is
the U.N. General Assembly building and at right is the U.N. Secretariat building. REUTERS/Mike Segar
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is pushing global leaders to endorse what it calls ambitious targets for ending the COVID-19 pandemic, including ensuring 70% of the world’s population is vaccinated against the virus by the 2022, according to a draft U.S. document viewed by Reuters on Tuesday.
    The three-page outline is addressed to countries, international organizations, and private sector groups invited to a virtual COVID-19 summit planned by the United States on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly beginning this week.
    The document also asks countries with “relevant capabilities” to donate a billion additional vaccine doses and expedite delivery of 2 billion doses already committed.
    White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed the 70% vaccination target, but gave no further details about the summit or the document.    The New York Times, which first reported the new targets, said summit invitations to world leaders were sent last week.
    The U.S. document calls for richer countries to ensure at least $3 billion is made available in 2021 and $7 billion in 2022 for vaccine readiness and to combat vaccine hesitancy.
    Other key targets include ensuring at least one in 1,000 people are tested weekly before the end of 2021, and building surge capacity to ensure that all healthcare workers have access to personal protective equipment such as masks in 2021.
    The draft also called on richer countries to provide $2 billion to bolster the supply of bulk liquid oxygen, donate at least 1 billion test kits by 2022 for low- and lower-middle income countries, and donate $3 billion in COVID-19 therapeutic medicines through 2022.
    It called on the private sector to fund a $2 billion global strategy to boost the supply of oxygen systems by the end of next year, and to make testing kits available in poorer countries for no more than $1 a kit.
    Last month, the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and other international groups urged world leaders to accelerate vaccinations, warning that fewer than 2% of adults in most low-income countries were vaccinated, compared with almost 50% in high-income countries.    They also noted that fewer than 10% of pledged doses had actually been shipped.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; additional reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

9/15/2021 Biden Will Convene Major Economies Forum On Friday To Press For Climate Action by Jeff Mason
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks as he tours the facilities of the Flatirons Campus Laboratories and Offices of
the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), in Arvada, Colorado, U.S. September 14, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden will convene a virtual meeting of the Major Economies Forum on Friday to discuss plans to combat climate change with other world leaders before a major summit on global warming known as the COP 26 in Glasgow later this year.
    Biden’s gathering is meant to bolster countries’ plans to tackle climate ahead of the Scotland summit, the White House said, and builds on a meeting of world leaders Biden organized earlier this year to discuss climate goals
    “At the MEF meeting, the president will emphasize both the urgency and the economic benefits of stronger climate action.    He will call on leaders to strengthen their climate ambition heading into COP 26 and in the years beyond,” the White House said in a statement on Wednesday.
    “The president also will outline plans to leverage the MEF post-Glasgow as a launchpad for collective, concrete efforts scaling up climate action through this decisive decade,” it said.
    Biden announced in April a new target to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 50%-52% by 2030 compared with 2005 levels and is pressing other nations to increase the ambition of their respective targets.
    One way for the world to tackle climate change will be to reduce emissions of methane, which are second only to carbon dioxide emissions in their contribution to causing climate change.
    The United States and the European Union have agreed to aim to cut methane emissions by around a third by the end of this decade and are pushing other major economies to join them, according to documents seen by Reuters.
    A senior administration official told reporters the issue would be discussed on Friday.
    The official declined to identify the countries that would take part in the meeting, saying RSVPs were still coming in.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason, additional reporting by Valerie Volcivici; Editing by Franklin Paul and Grant McCool)

9/15/2021 In Arctic Push, U.S. Extends New Economic Aid Package To Greenland by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen
FILE PHOTO: A general view of Nuuk, Greenland, September 11, 2021. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke
    NUUK, Greenland (Reuters) – Greenland said on Wednesday it had agreed a new economic aid package with the United States which seeks to boost ties the world’s biggest island and strengthen U.S. military presence in the Arctic.
    Washington has a military base on Greenland but paid little attention to the Arctic for two decades until 2019, when it began turning to the island to try to counter a Russian and Chinese commercial and military buildup in the region.
    The aid package from USAid worth $10 million announced on Wednesday is primarily aimed at development of Greenland’s mining sector, tourism and education.
    “This is not a big amount, but symbolically it’s very important,” the country’s minister for industry and foreign affairs, Pele Broberg, told Reuters in an interview in the capital Nuuk.
    The package comes on top of a $12.1 million package announced by Washington last year, which drew some criticism from Copenhagen for creating division between Greenland and Denmark.
    Greenland, home to only 57,000 people but rich in natural resources, is a former colony and now an autonomous Danish territory.
    It gained international attention in 2019 when former President Donald Trump tried to buy the island.    Last year, the United States opened a consulate in Greenland, where it for decades has had a military base that is vital to its ballistic missile early warning system.
    Greenland elected a new government in April that has pledged to halt a large Chinese-backed rare earth mining project because it contains radioactive uranium.    The project was seen as a potential game-changer for the country’s tiny economy.
    “It has some ripple effects to say no to uranium mining, but we think there are other areas that can be developed, and that is what we will look into with the Americans,” said Broberg of a small pro-independence party.
    With an economy heavily dependant on fishing, the island relies on annual grants of around $600 million from Denmark.    However, some see the relationship with Denmark as an obstacle to economic development.
    “We don’t get the support from Denmark we need to be able to thrive.    So now we try to go our own ways, without Denmark, and we’re starting small,” Broberg
(Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

9/15/2021 Republican Study Committee To Fight Biden’s Afghan Resettlement Program by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    The Republican Study Committee unveiled a plan to fight Joe Biden’s program to quickly resettle tens of thousands of Afghan refugees into the U.S.    In a memo on Wednesday, the RSC said Biden’s plan was dangerous and extended as well as an open border approach to immigration policies.
    RSC Chair Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) pointed out the Biden administration requested $6.4 billion to fly any unvetted Afghan national into the U.S. by the end of the next fiscal year.    He added the Democrats’ request included lifetime welfare and a path to citizenship for said Afghans.
    “The Biden administration wants billions of dollars to fund unlimited green cards for unvetted Afghans,” Banks expressed in a tweet.    “Opening our borders to a Taliban-run nation with the promise of lifetime welfare and citizenship for their extended family is reckless and dangerous.”
    The RSC went on to stress Biden’s plans put Americans at risk of Islamic terror.

9/15/2021 Report: More Than 200k Illegal Aliens Detained At Southern Border In August by OAN Newsroom
Immigrants walk towards transport busses to a processing center from a U.S.
Border Patrol checkpoint in Roma, Texas. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
    The number of illegal immigrants crossing into the U.S. has continued to rise.    A Wednesday report, which cited an ADHS official, found more than 208,000 thousand illegals were detained at the Mexico border in August.
    This has been the second consecutive month with the number of migrant apprehensions exceeding 200,000. It has also marked a 317 percent increase when compared to August 2020.
    Many GOP lawmakers took to Twitter to slam Biden and his administration for the continued surge in migrant apprehensions.
    “This administration is detached from reality,” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) asserted in a recent tweet.    “From the crisis at the southern border to the debacle in Afghanistan, Biden is the root cause.    His mounting policy failures are the result of his delusional beliefs."
    This comes as the Biden border crisis has continued to affect the work of immigration officials as well as safety and security in border regions.        At least 49 percent of migrants detained last month were adults, while less than 10 percent were unaccompanied minors.

9/15/2021 Pa. State Senate Authorizes Subpoenas In Push For Election Audit by OAN Newsroom
Chairman of the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee Sen. Cris Dush, R-Jefferson, speaks during a
hearing at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
    Republican state senators in Pennsylvania are taking steps toward a possible 2020 election audit.    On Wednesday, the State Senate voted seven to four to authorize 17 subpoenas requesting information from Gov. Tom Wolf’s (D) office.
    The lawmakers are seeking information on all voters in the state, including partial Social Security numbers, driver’s license details and how they cast ballots.    State Sen. Cris Dush (R) said the review is necessary in order to address allegations of voter irregularities in the swing state.
    Sen. Dush argued “we’re not responding to proven allegations.    We are investigating the allegations to determine whether or not they are factual.”
    In the meantime, the Senate subpoenas gave a deadline of Oct. 1.

9/15/2021 GOP Senators Reveal Gen. Miller Opposed U.S. Withdrawal by OAN Newsroom
Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill September 14, 2021 in Washington, DC. Inhofe
joined other Republican members of the Senate Armed Services Committee in discussing the current situation in Afghanistan.
Also pictured are Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.). (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
    Top Republican senators held a press conference to reveal what they learned from a closed door briefing with top officials.    On Tuesday after the classified hearing, Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe (R) discussed Army General Austin Scott Miller’s testimony about the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.
    Inhofe went on to say, “we had quite an event with General Miller and he did say its alright to acknowledge that he opposed the effort that took place.”
    Inhofe communicated General Miller in fact expressed these concerns to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley and his direct supervisor and Commander of U.S. Central Command Marine General Kenneth McKenzie.    However, those concerns did not get back to Joe Biden because when asked in an interview last month if he was ever advised to keep some troops in Afghanistan, he said he wasn’t.
    Inhofe acknowledged there were pieces that didn’t align with Biden’s orders on the withdrawal.
    “We heard enough to know there are inconsistencies between what the administration has said and the truth,” he expressed. “Clearly President Biden didn’t listen to all the military advice.    I’m even more eager now to hear from Secretary Austin, General Milley and General McKenzie.”
    Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan (R) said his worries grew regarding the reliability of the country’s leaders by questioning if these were people Americans could trust, especially after the miscommunication between Biden and top officials regarding a decision to send troops home.
    Sullivan also said the hearings to come were more than necessary.
    “We are beginning that accountability process and these hearings are going to be important,” he asserted.    “Keep an eye on one issue as we do these hearings, the military’s credibility versus the Biden administration’s credibility.”
    Sullivan added members of the military would be called on as there was a desire to hear their opinions.
    “‘This was an extraordinary success al-Qaeda has been wiped out in Afghanistan.    Our NATO allies were fine with the August 31 deadline.    We have over the rise in capability to keep us safe,” he listed.    “Everyone of those statements are not true and we are going to be asking our military members to weigh in on these statements.”
    Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst (R) aimed to remind everyone Americans were still stuck in Afghanistan and added without U.S. troops on the ground, the fight would be difficult. However, she said it must continue until all U.S. citizens were evacuated.

9/15/2021 Moderate Democrat-Backed Drug Pricing Plan Threatens To Derail Pelosi-Backed Plan by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 13: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a remembrance ceremony marking the
20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, on September 13, 2021 in Washington, DC.
The Senate is back in session this week following a monthlong recess. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    A group of moderate Democrats are proposing their own drug pricing bill in an apparent attempt to undercut a larger Democrat pricing bill.    Recent reports said five Democrats have proposed their own drug pricing plan, aiming to let Medicare negotiate drug prices for a subset of drugs that no longer have competition.
    Three lawmakers, including Reps. Kurt Schrader (Ore.), Scott Peters (Calif.) and Kathleen Rice (N.Y.) put forward separate drug pricing bills that they hope would gain bipartisan support.
    “We need to be serious about how to address this issue by ensuring we champion legislation with broadly supported policies that have the bipartisan, bicameral backing needed to pass Congress,” said Schrader in a statement.    “I do not believe the drug pricing provision before the Energy and Commerce Committee today will meet this goal and succeed in the Senate, so I cannot vote in favor of the title.”
    Additionally, one of the cosponsors of the bill, New York Congresswoman Rice (N.Y,), said while she supports many of the Democrats’ proposals she doesn’t support advancing policies that aren’t fiscally responsible.
    The larger plan backed by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) comes as part of the Democrats larger $3.5 trillion budget plan.    However, Republicans have not shown support for the plan and it risks failure if four or more Democrats vote against it.

9/15/2021 Gen. Milley Appears To Defend Talking To China Behind President Trump’s Back by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks as Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Army General Mark Milley looks on after a briefing from
senior military leaders in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
    The chairman of the Joints Chiefs has tried to defend his actions after it was revealed he may have made contact with Chinese officials behind the back of President Trump.    In a statement on Wednesday, Milley’s spokesperson said his talks with Chinese officials last October and this past January were aimed at “maintaining strategic stability.”
    The statement added Milley acted within his “authority in tradition of civilian control of the military.”    Milley’s defense comes after investigative journalist Bob Woodward found Milley reassured China he would not carry out President Trump’s orders and he would also warn Beijing if Trump authorized military action against China.
    Critics have said Milley’s actions could amount to treason.
    “Mark Milley is a threat to the American Republic and he’s clearly not a Republican and he clearly does not believe in America first,” asserted political commentator Dr. Sebastian Gorka.    “He is a coward and he’s a dangerous coward.”
    Amid the controversy, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden has full confidence in Milley as a “man of honor.”    Far-left commentators in mainstream media have also praised Milley as a “hero” and a “real patriot.”

9/15/2021 Sen. Paul Calls For Gen. Milley To Be Court Martialed by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 17: Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, left, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Gen. Mark Milley talk before the start of the Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on “A Review of the FY2022
Department of Defense Budget Request’ on June 17, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Caroline Brehman-Pool/Getty Images)
    Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) became the second senator to call for the removal of Gen. Mark Milley.    In a tweet on Tuesday, Paul said Milley is working to “subvert the military chain of command and collude with China.”
    He said along with his hand in the withdrawal from Afghanistan, it’s clear Milley isn’t fit to serve as Joint Chiefs of Staff.    Paul added if the accusations are true, he should be court martialed and immediately removed from his job.
    Sen. Marco Rubio also called for Milley’s removal, stating in a letter to Joe Biden that Milley undermined President Trump and colluded with China.
    Rubio’s letter detailed his concerns that Milley “worked to actively undermine the sitting Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces and contemplated a treasonous leak of classified information to the Chinese Communist Party in advance of a potential armed conflict with the People’s Republic of China.”    Rubio called these actions a “clear lack of sound judgement.”
    Reports said Milley told his Chinese counterpart, “you and I have known each other for now five years.    If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time.    It’s not going to be a surprise.”

9/15/2021 GOP Sens. Pen Letter To Secy. Blinken Calling On Taliban To Be Designated As Foreign Terrorist Organization by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to the media with Lithuania’s Foreign Minister
Gabrielius Landsbergis (not shown) in the Benjamin Franklin Room of the State Department ahead of a meeting
in Washington, D.C. on September 15, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
    A group of Republican senators have called on Secretary of State Antony Blinken to officially designate the Taliban as a foreign terrorist organization.    Reports detailing the letter said it points out the Taliban has appointed a known terrorist wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as interior minister.
    The letter also noted given the Taliban’s history of supporting terror attacks, the group presents a significant threat to the U.S.    The letter was signed by Sens. Joni Ernst (Iowa), Rick Scott (Fla.), Dan Sullivan (Alaska) and Tommy Tuberville (Ala.).
    “Since reestablishing control of Afghanistan, the Taliban resumed the same murderous and oppressive habits that characterized their leadership tenure prior to the arrival of U.S. forces in 2001,” stated the letter.    “Even as the administration concluded the withdrawal of U.S. and allied forces from Afghanistan, we saw public attacks on individuals, beatings of women and girls, and search teams actively pursuing allies and partners.”
    This comes after Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Congressman Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) each introduced resolutions on Tuesday saying the Taliban should be designated as terrorists.

9/15/2021 Sen. Risch: Biden Admin. Tolerance Of Terrorists Is ‘Obscene’ by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 14: Committee ranking member Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) asked questions of
Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a Senate Foreign Relations Hearing to examine the United States withdrawal
from Afghanistan on Capitol Hill on September 14, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Jabin Botsford – Pool/Getty Images)
    Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) said the Biden administration’s tolerance of the Taliban terrorist group is unprecedented.    During an interview on Tuesday, the Idaho Republican said the White House doesn’t typically recognize coups as a government, but argued that with Afghanistan they did exactly that.
    This comes a day after Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Taliban is the “de facto government of Afghanistan.”
    “It [the Taliban] is the de facto government of Afghanistan.    Those are just the facts,” stated Blinken to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.    “This is the product, alas, of one side getting the upper hand in a civil war.”
    Risch stressed this is a slap in the face to every American who died overseas to protect Afghans from oppressive leadership.
    “There was a democratically-elected government in place that a lot of men and women in the United States gave blood for and that we all paid treasure for,” said Risch.    “They were in place, and they’ve been toppled by a terrorist group.    To call them a government, I think, is obscene.    I think it’s a slap in the face of every person who served in Afghanistan.”

9/16/2021 Oil up $1.88 to $72.68, DOW up 236 to 34,814.

9/16/2021 US to cap supply of Regeneron - Shortages mean states will supervise distribution of the ‘monoclonal antibody’ used in treating COVID-19 by Deborah Yetter, Louisville Courier Journal, USA TODAY NETWORK
    Citing a national shortage of a drug increasingly used to treat COVID-19 patients, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Tuesday the federal government is going to cap the supply to states.
    The drug company Regeneron makes the treatment, a “monoclonal antibody” approved for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat COVID-19 patients.
    “Health care providers will no longer be able to order the treatments directly,” Beshear said in a news release.    “Instead, state governments will supervise the distribution of a capped number of treatments delivered to them each week.”
    The shortage comes amid an “extraordinary demand” for the treatment, Beshear said.
    The news comes as new cases and hospitalizations surge in Kentucky and other states, largely among the unvaccinated, and driven by the delta variant of COVID-19.
    Generally administered intravenously, the treatment has been shown to be successful at limiting the severity of illness in some patients and keeping them out of the hospital.

9/16/2021 Social Security recipients could get biggest cost-of-living boost in 40 years by Paul Davidson, USA TODAY
    After years of puny increases in their Social Security checks, older Americans will likely get the equivalent of a big raise next year.
    The 68 million people – including retirees, disabled people and others – who rely on the benefits are likely to receive a 6% to 6.1% cost-of-living adjustment next year because of a COVID- 19-related spike in inflation, according to the Senior Citizen League.
    Such a rise would far outpace 1.4% average bumps in Social Security payments since 2010 and amount to the largest increase since 1982, according to the Senior Citizen League.
    For the average retiree who got a monthly check of $1,559 this year, a 6% rise would increase that payment by $93.54, to $1,652.54, in 2022.
    Next month, the Social Security Administration will announce its cost-ofliving adjustment for 2022 based on average annual increases in the consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers, or CPI-W, from July through September.    The CPI-W largely reflects the broad CPI index the Labor Department reports each month.
    The Senior Citizens League projects the increase based on changes in the CPI-W over the past year.    But inflation has been volatile recently.    Overall prices increased 5.4% annually in both June and July – a 13-year high.    But inflation edged down to 5.3% in August, the Labor Department said Tuesday, as hotel rates and airline fares fell.
    Such prices surged as the nation emerged from the pandemic and Americans started traveling again, but Federal Reserve officials have said they believe the spike is temporary.
    As a result, the actual cost-of-living increase that SSA announces next month is something of a moving target and could dip to 5.9%, though probably not much lower, says Mary Johnson, a policy analyst for the Senior Citizens League.
    The high COLA estimate for next year mostly has been driven by higher gasoline and transportation costs that have pushed up the CPI, Johnson says.
    “That works to the advantage of retired and disabled beneficiaries for the COLA payable in January 2022,” Johnson says.    “That has not been the case for many of the past 12 years when cheap gasoline, and other falling prices dragged down the COLA.”
    Johnson has argued that the broad index should better reflect the spending patterns of seniors, who buy less gasoline, electronics and other products that make up a larger portion of young workers’ budgets.
    She has called for SSA to base its COLA on a proposed index for the elderly that would put more weight on medical, food, housing and other expenses that have risen more sharply.

9/16/2021 UNICEF Calls For Schools To Reopen In Pandemic - Hit Nations
FILE PHOTO: Seventh grade student Ryza Delos Santos, 10, works on her modules at home as her cousin observes, after a session at the makeshift
rickshaw distance learning center for the Aeta community in Porac, Pampanga, Philippines, October 12, 2020. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez
    MANILA (Reuters) – The United Nations children’s agency UNICEF has urged education authorities to reopen schools as soon as possible in countries where millions of students are still not allowed to return to classrooms 18 months into the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Schools in around 17 countries remain fully closed, while those in 39 countries remain partially closed, according to a report released by UNICEF on Thursday.
    Among those “almost completely closed” are schools usually attended by nearly 77 million students in the Philippines, Bangladesh, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Panama and Kuwait.
    Nearly a third of this figure is accounted for by the Philippines, which is fighting one of Asia’s worst coronavirus outbreaks and where a new school year started this week.
    Pupils from the six countries represent more than half of the 131 million students worldwide that have missed more than three-quarters of their in-person learning, UNICEF said.
    “The education crisis is still here, and with each passing day that classrooms remain dark, the devastation worsens,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore.
    The report said teachers should be prioritised for COVID-19 vaccines, after health workers and those most at risk, to protect them from community transmission.
    Students may be safer at home, but the availability of computers, mobile phones and internet, and the uneven quality of education, are among challenges they continue to face.
    In the Philippines, some children have been forced to climb onto roofs just to get an internet signal.
    In June, President Rodrigo Duterte rejected a proposal to allow face-to-face classes to resume in some areas, saying: “I cannot gamble on the health of the children.”
    In a report released in April, the Asian Development Bank estimated school closures lasting more than a year could slash future earnings among the region’s students by as much as $1.25 trillion, or equivalent to 5.4% of GDP in 2020.
    UNICEF and its partners will shut down their digital channels for 18 hours on Thursday to draw attention to the crisis and the “18 months of lost learning.”
    “This is a crisis we will not allow the world to ignore,” UNICEF’s Fore said.    “Our channels are silent, but our message is loud: Every community, everywhere must reopen schools as soon as possible.”
(Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz; Editing by Ed Davies)

9/16/2021 Angry France Says Biden Acted Like Trump To Sink Australian Deal
FILE PHOTO: French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian attends a joint news conference at
the Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany September 10, 2021. Jens Schlueter/Pool via REUTERS
    PARIS (Reuters) – France accused U.S. President Joe Biden of stabbing it in the back and acting like his predecessor Donald Trump after Paris was pushed aside from one of the world’s most lucrative defence deals that it had signed with Australia for submarines.
    The United States, Britain and Australia said earlier they would establish a security partnership for the Indo-Pacific that will help Australia acquire U.S. nuclear-powered submarines and scrap the $40 billion French-designed submarine deal.
    “This brutal, unilateral and unpredictable decision reminds me a lot of what Mr Trump used to do,” Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on franceinfo radio.
    “It’s a break in trust and I am extremely angry.”
    Australia in 2016 selected French shipbuilder Naval Group to build a new submarine fleet worth $40 billion to replace its more than two-decades-old Collins submarines.
    Just two weeks ago, the Australian defence and foreign ministers had reconfirmed the deal to their French counterparts.
    But the deal has been beset by issues and delays due to Canberra’s requirement that the majority of the manufacturing and components be sourced locally.
    Perhaps anticipating Paris’ reaction, Biden said on Wednesday night that France remained a “key partner in the Indo-Pacific zone.”
(Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Michael Perry and Andrew Cawthorne)

9/16/2021 ‘A Fantasy’ To Think U.N. Can Fix Afghanistan, Guterres Says by Michelle Nichols and Mary Milliken
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres poses for a photo during an interview with Reuters at the
United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., September 15, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday said any suggestion the world body can solve Afghanistan’s problems is “a fantasy” and that its capacity to mediate for a more inclusive Taliban government is limited.
    Asked in an interview with Reuters a month after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan from a Western-backed government whether he felt pressure to repair the country’s plight, Guterres said: “I think there is an expectation that is unfounded” of U.N. influence as the main international organization still on the ground there.
    The world has watched a number of countries send thousands of soldiers to Afghanistan and spend vast sums of money for 20 years since a U.S.-led invasion ousted the Taliban for harboring al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
    The United States spent $1 trillion, only to see the Afghan government and military it supported collapse ahead of a full withdrawal of U.S. and other foreign forces in August.
    “To think – given that they have failed with all these resources to fix the problems of Afghanistan – that we can now, without those forces and money, solve the problems they couldn’t solve for decades is a fantasy,” Guterres said ahead of next week’s annual U.N. gathering of world leaders in New York.
    The United Nations will be doing everything it can for a country that Guterres said is on “the verge of a dramatic humanitarian disaster” and has decided to engage the Taliban in order to help Afghanistan’s roughly 36 million people.
    Even before the Taliban’s seizure of the capital Kabul, half the country’s population depended on aid.    That looks set to increase due to drought and shortages and the World Food Programme has warned 14 million people were on the brink of starvation.
    Guterres said he supports efforts to convince the Taliban to form a more inclusive government than when it ruled 20 years ago.    The United Nations has little capacity to mediate, he said, and should focus on its “position of an international organization that is there to support the Afghan people.”
    “You cannot expect miracles,” he said, stressing that the United Nations could engage with the Taliban, but that the Islamist movement would never accept a U.N. role in helping form a new Afghan government.
    Humanitarian aid, Guterres said, should be used as an instrument to help convince the Taliban to respect fundamental rights, including those of women and girls.
    Governments pledged more than $1.1 billion in aid this week for Afghanistan and refugee programs in neighboring countries.    Guterres also appealed for countries to make sure the Afghan economy is “not completely strangled.”
    World reaction to the government of Taliban veterans and hardliners announced last week has been cool, and there has been no sign of international recognition or moves to unblock more than $9 billion in foreign reserves held outside Afghanistan.
    “There must be ways to inject some cash in the Afghan economy, for the economy not to collapse and for the people not to be in a dramatic situation, forcing probably millions to flee,” said Guterres, who will begin his second five-year term as U.N. chief on Jan. 1, 2022.
    He said the United Nations will work with its partners to ensure that aid is distributed based on humanitarian principles and “that everybody should be treated equally without any kind of distinction based on gender, on ethnicity or any other consideration.”
    Guterres emphasized that it is too early to know if the Taliban will respect rights and govern responsibly.
    He called the situation in Afghanistan “unpredictable,” adding: “Nobody knows what will happen, but it’s important to engage.”
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols and Mary Milliken; Additional reporting by Daniel Fastenberg; editing by Grant McCool)

9/16/2021 Vaccinated Mr President? New York Wants Proof, U.N. Chief Cannot Enforce by Michelle Nichols and Mary Milliken
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres gestures during an interview with Reuters at the
United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., September 15, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. chief Antonio Guterres stressed on Wednesday that he cannot ask world leaders to show they have been vaccinated against COVID-19, after New York City officials said proof should be required for anyone entering the U.N. General Assembly Hall.
    Dozens of heads of state and government and foreign ministers – accompanied by countless diplomats – are due to be in New York next week for an annual high-level gathering at the United Nations.    Some leaders are staying away and sending a video statement instead because of the coronavirus pandemic.
    New York City officials told the United Nations that under its rules people “entering the U.N. premises for the purpose of entering the General Assembly Hall would be required to show proof of vaccination in order to gain entry to the Hall.”
    But Secretary-General Guterres told Reuters in an interview: “We, as the Secretariat, cannot tell a head of state if he is not vaccinated that he cannot enter the United Nations.”
    The U.N. headquarters in Manhattan is international territory and is not subject to U.S. laws.    However, U.N. officials have previously pledged to abide by local and national guidance when it came to the pandemic.
    “We have discussed with the municipality the different ways to ensure that we have the maximum of people with vaccination and the New York Mayor’s office has put a vaccination capacity at our disposal.    So people that come will be able to be vaccinated,” Guterres said.
    Guterres said the discussions around how many traveling diplomats might have been immunized illustrated “how dramatic the inequality is today in relation to vaccination.”    Though he added that the “overwhelming majority” of delegations traveling to New York would be vaccinated.
    Out of 5.7 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines administered around the world, only 2% have been in Africa.
    Guterres has warned that the longer the virus circulates among billions of unvaccinated people, the higher the risk of more dangerous variants.    He is pushing for a global plan with the aim of vaccinating 70% of the world’s population by the first half of next year.
    New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday that the city would provide COVID-19 testing and the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at a site outside U.N. headquarters next week.
    De Blasio praised U.N. General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid for telling U.N. colleagues in a letter that he strongly supports proof of vaccination and would work with the secretary-general to implement the requirement “as soon as possible.”
    However, Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said on Wednesday that Moscow objected to anyone having to show vaccination proof to enter the General Assembly, describing such a move as discriminatory.
    In a letter to U.N. colleagues, Nebenzia called for the General Assembly to meet on Thursday to discuss the issue.    It was not immediately clear if such a meeting would be scheduled.
    New York City officials told the United Nations that the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant was a major concern and that new cases had increased significantly in the past two months.
    U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, last month urged world leaders to send videos instead of traveling to New York, saying it would help prevent the gathering “from being a super-spreader event.”
    Last year no countries sent delegations to New York and world leaders instead sent video statements.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols and Mary Milliken; Additional reporting by Daniel Fastenberg; editing by Grant McCool)

9/16/2021 Sen. Cruz Plans To Filibuster Any Democrat Attempt To Blow Up Debt Limit by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, DC. (Photo by Ken Cedeno-Pool/Getty Images)
    Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) unveiled a plan to fight Democrat attempts to pass sweeping reform without input from the GOP. This comes as tensions on Capitol Hill heat up as Democrats attempt to use their slim majority to raise the national debt limit.
    During an interview, Cruz made it clear that it’s time to give Democrat lawmakers a taste of their own medicine and unveiled a plan.    The Texas Republican said he will use the filibuster rule to fight Democrat efforts to raise the debt ceiling without GOP support and called on other Republicans to do the same.
    Cruz pointed out Democrats have made it clear they can use reconciliation process at any time to pass their spending wish lists and raise the national debt.    He added, Democrats want Republican support as a “political cover” to make it look like Joe Biden’s radical spending proposals were passed as a bipartisan effort.
    Meanwhile, GOP leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the left’s continuous desperation to pass sweeping bills without support from the other side is unlike anything he has ever seen.
    “This year is unique and, you know, I’ve been here a long time,” he stated.    “I’ve never seen such an effort to expand the reach of the federal government like we’ve been confronted with this year through not just one reconciliation process, but apparently yet another.”
    The Kentucky lawmaker stressed spending bills must be passed as true bipartisan efforts not through a process as one-sided as reconciliation.
    “Let me be crystal clear about this, Republicans are united in opposition to raising the debt ceiling not because it doesn’t need to be done,” he explained.
    McConnell warned the left’s stunts are setting a dangerous precedent and if Democrats continue to dismiss concerns about their sweeping measures, they will face consequences.
    “So, if they want to do all of this on a partisan basis, they have the ability and the responsibility to ensure that the federal government not default,” he continued.    “And they will have to take care of that.”
    Meanwhile, in a separate statement, GOP senators stressed they will not vote for any Democrat proposals on national debt and irresponsible spending, especially when it’s pushed in a way that dismisses leaders who were elected by millions of Americans.

9/16/2021 Sen. Paul: Milley’s China Talks, If True, Could Trigger Nuclear War by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., arrives to hear Secretary of State Antony Blinken testify before a Senate Foreign
Relations Committee hearing, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Jabin Botsford/Pool via AP)
    Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has called on chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley to tell the truth about his secret talks with China.    Additionally, the Kentucky lawmaker has called for him to resign in case improper conduct is revealed.
    The Republican senator said Wednesday, Gen. Milley must be asked under polygraph about what exactly he said to Chinese officials.    Paul added, if Bob Woodward’s account of events is true then Milley may have subverted the chain of command and colluded with China.
    Paul also said Milley’s actions could have triggered a nuclear war because his words could be easily be misinterpreted by either Chinese or U.S. officials.
    “We can’t have a general talking to foreign countries and saying ‘hey we think our president might bomb you so be prepared, I’m going to try to stop him,'” explained the senator.    “That might actually cause an accidental war.    Think about it.    We have different things that are launched into space all the time — satellites, this and that — and they can be interpreted as a missile.”
    Paul became the second senator to call for the removal Milley while taking to Twitter to suggest the general is working to “subvert the military chain of command and collude with China.”    He said along with his hand in the withdrawal from Afghanistan, it’s clear Milley isn’t fit to serve as Joint Chiefs of Staff.
    Meanwhile, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also called for Milley’s removal.    In a letter to Joe Biden, the Florida lawmaker stated that Milley undermined President Trump while colluding with Beijing.
    Rubio’s letter detailed his concerns that Milley “worked to actively undermine the sitting Commander-in-Chief of the United States Armed Forces and contemplated a treasonous leak of classified information to the Chinese Communist Party in advance of a potential armed conflict with the People’s Republic of China.”    The Republican senator called these actions a “clear lack of sound judgement.”
    Milley reportedly told his Chinese counterpart, “if we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time.    It’s not going to be a surprise.”

9/16/2021 Macron, Merkel Vow To Cooperate Closely Until New German Government Is Formed
French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes German Chancellor Angela Merkel for a working dinner
at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, September 16, 2021. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
    PARIS (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron pledged on Thursday to keep working closely together until a new German government is formed after the Sept. 26 polls in which Merkel is not a candidate.
    In 16 years in power, Merkel has known four French presidents and has built close relationships with all of them, despite a slightly rocky start with Macron.
    Despite that relationship, exemplified by a 750 billion euros aid deal agreed last year to help EU member states weather the pandemic, Macron has been concerned about political paralysis after the election, aides say.
    A usually protracted coalition-building period in Germany could make it difficult for France to push for its ambitious EU reform agenda when it holds the rotating EU presidency in the first half of next year.
    Under the German constitution, Merkel will remain chancellor until a majority of Bundestag lawmakers elect a successor.    There are no formal restrictions on her powers, though Merkel is a consensus seeker and previous chancellors have not taken radical decisions during that time.
    “Until the formation of the government, Mrs Chancellor – dear Angela Merkel – and myself will continue to work hand in hand on major issues, on which we seek to bring Franco-German solutions, as we have done from day one,” Macron said on the steps of the Elysee before a working dinner.
    Merkel, in turn, said: “We have also discussed that we want to make everything possible, from the German side, so that there is no standstill in the necessary decisions that have to be made.”
    She mentioned issues ranging from Afghanistan and Belarus and Ukraine to EU emissions targets.
    Macron met the two main German candidates for the chancellery at the Elysee palace last week and asked them to explain the possible German coalition scenarios and how they saw the election panning out, French officials said.
    An Elysee adviser said the meeting with Merkel, while the last before the election, was not a farewell dinner.    There would be another opportunity for that in Paris later on, the aide said, adding that the two leaders hoped to get work done on issues such as immigration following the Afghanistan crisis.
    The relationship started on a slightly difficult footing when in 2017, the then-new French president made ambitious proposals to deepen EU integration – which drew mixed reactions in Berlin.
    But the relationship improved from then on, with “lieber Emmanuel” and “chère Angela” working closely across the board.
(Reporting by Andreas Rinke, Ingrid Melander, Joseph Nasr, Michel Rose; Editing by Nick Macfie)

9/16/2021 Biden ‘Confident’ Congress Will Deliver Spending, Infrastructure Bills by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden speaks about the economy and the middle class, in the East Room of the White House
in Washington, D.C., on September 16, 2021. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
    Speaking from the White House on Thursday, Joe Biden said he’s confident Congress will deliver both an infrastructure and supplementary spending bill to his desk.    His speech comes as Democrats are in the process of marking up a $3.5 trillion spending bill funding community college and other social programs.    Additionally, they are debating a $1 trillion infrastructure bill.
    However, the Democrat acknowledged there’s still a long way to go.
    “Here’s the simple truth, and for a long time this economy has worked great for those at the very top.    Ordinary, hardworking Americans, the people who built this country, have been basically cut out of the deal,” said Biden.    “And I’ve said this from the time I announced I was going to run, I believe this is a moment of potentially great change.    This is our moment to deal working people back into the economy.”
    Biden went on to tout his nationwide vaccine mandate saying it’s projected to help businesses stay open and get Americans back to work. Although, he did take aim at Republican leaders.    He said the governors of Florida and Texas are doing everything they can to undermine his requirements.
    This comes as both Govs. Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott have offered antibody treatments, which are reportedly highly effective, to citizens hesitant on getting the vaccine. The Florida governor said 90,000 treatments have been administered at 25 different sites in the state, saying they’ve kept thousands of people out of the hospital.
    In the meantime, as the $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill continues to lack Republican support, Democrats must convince their own members to back the bill in order to get the majority vote.

9/16/2021 Durham Probe Files Charges Against Dem-Connected Lawyer by OAN Newsroom
This 2018 portrait released by the U.S. Department of Justice shows Connecticut’s
U.S. Attorney John Durham. (U.S. Department of Justice via AP, File)
    Special counsel John Durham has filed new charges in his ongoing probe into the Russia investigation.    According to the Washington Post on Thursday, a grand jury working with Durham handed up an indictment against attorney Michael Sussmann.
    Sussmann, who is employed by a firm with close ties to the Democrat Party, is accused of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2016.    He reportedly cited concerns about a possible tie between a Russia-based bank and a computer server at one of President Trump’s companies.
    According to the indictment against him, “Sussmann lied about the capacity in which he was providing the allegations to the FBI.    Specifically, Sussmann stated falsely that he was not doing his work on the aforementioned allegations for any client,” misleading the FBI’s general counsel.
    However, attorneys for Sussmann have denied any wrongdoing.    Additionally, they claimed “any prosecution here would be baseless, unprecedented and unwarranted deviation from the apolitical and principled way in which the Department of Justice is supposed to do its work.”
    Meanwhile, Durham is also reportedly pursuing a theory that Sussmann was secretly representing Hillary Clinton’s campaign as well.    The indictment mentions that Sussmann was working with the Clinton presidential campaign on cybersecurity matters at the time.

9/16/2021 Study: Women Make Up Nearly Half Of New Gun Buyers by OAN Newsroom
Two instructors prepare to contrast the recoil from a loaded pistol fired by a South African woman as she takes part in a training
organized by the women empowerment group Girls on Fire, in Midrand, on February 07, 2021. (Photo by MARCO LONGARI/AFP via Getty Images)
    A new survey revealed nearly half of all gun owners since 2019 have been women.    According to a 2021 National Firearms Survey, 3.5 million women bought guns between January 2019 and April of 2021.    This is compared to 4 million men who purchased firearms.
    Previously, surveys found women only made up between 10 and 20 percent of America’s gun owners.    The findings mark a shift for a market long dominated by men.
    Companies have since begun looking into new marketing techniques that scrap the gendered norm.    The chief executive of San Diego Gun Owners, Wendy Hauffen, said in an interview that she founded the gun-rights advocacy group to combat sexual assault and domestic violence.
    Meanwhile, analysts said the increase is likely due to fears brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and violent protests across the country.

9/16/2021 Biden Fires 2 Trump Education Dept. Appointees Amid Lawsuit by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 16: Joe Biden speaks during an event in the East Room of the
White House September 16, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
    Joe Biden has fired two Donald Trump appointees who launched a lawsuit against the Department of Education.    Reports emerged on Thursday that Biden fired economic professor Steve Hanke and law professor John Yoo.
    The appointees were tapped by President Trump to serve on the National Board for Education Sciences, which advises officials in the DOE about funding and research.    However, they both sued the Education Department in July for refusing to deliver their signed presidential commissions.    The two men claimed the Department of Education lacked communication and failed to acknowledge the validity of the appointments made.
    The board is meant to meet at least three times a year and produce an oversight report.    This report is due annually on July 1, yet the Biden administration failed to call a meeting regarding Hanke and Yoo which prompted them to sue.
    The lead attorney for the lawsuit, Jessica Thompson, commented saying “it’s an honor to be appointed by the president and to receive such a commission and our clients and other members were excited to serve the country in this way.    And so these commissions mean something to them, and they’re hopeful that they can still obtain them.”
    In the meantime, the Education Department has until Sept. 24 to file a response to the lawsuit.

9/16/2021 Report: Facebook Employees Warned Platform Being Used To Carry Out Criminal Activity by OAN Newsroom
LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 25: In this photo illustration the Social networking site Facebook is displayed
on a laptop screen on March 25, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
    Employees at Facebook have repeatedly voiced their concerns that criminals are using the platform to carry out illegal activities.    That’s according to the Wall Street Journal, who released an explosive report on Thursday revealing Facebook privately built a system which allowed high-profile users to break its own rules.
    Facebook has claimed it’s taken down offending posts when reported, but the report showed it hasn’t fixed the system, allowing criminals to repeat the behavior.    A former Facebook vice president, Brian Boland, mentioned, “there is very rarely a significant, concerted effort to invest in fixing those areas.”    The activities raising concern include human trafficking in the Middle East and drug cartels recruiting and training hit men.
    The report’s findings follow a similar pattern as Facebook has been flagged for this type of behavior before.    The Big Tech giant previously took heat amid reports human smugglers used the platform to offer services along the U.S.-Mexico border.
    Former Google Executive Joe Toscano criticized Big Tech following the report, accusing social media platforms of putting profits ahead of people.    Toscano said Facebook identifies high-profile accounts which drive the most people to its platform and then gives those users a pass on its rules.
    Facebook has claimed the system is no secret, but admits it’s imperfect.    The Wall Street Journal also revealed Facebook recognized its photo-sharing app Instagram is toxic for young girls.

9/17/2021 Oil down $0.05 to $72.60, DOW down 63 to 34,751.

9/17/2021 CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC - Judge denies ivermectin request - Woman wants doctors to treat husband with drug by Mary Ramsey, Louisville Courier Journal USA TODAY NETWORK
    A Jefferson County Circuit Court judge denied Wednesday a request to make doctors at Norton Brownsboro Hospital treat a COVID-19 patient with the drug ivermectin.
    Angela Underwood, who according to court records is representing herself in the case, filed a suit Sept. 9 in Jefferson County Circuit Court attempting to compel doctors treating her husband, Lonnie Underwood, for COVID-19 to give him the drug.
    Ivermectin is primarily used to treat parasites in livestock and is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for COVID-19. Despite this, it has been promoted as a treatment by some prominent conservatives, including former President Donald Trump.
    “As a Registered Nurse, I demand my husband be administered ivermectin whether by a Norton physician or another healthcare provider of my choosing including myself if necessary,” Underwood wrote in her complaint, which was later amended to request her husband be treated with “intravenous vitamin c.”
    “I am his healthcare advocate.    The studies and research does show the effectiveness of the medication when given to those patients in the trial.”
    Underwood also claimed the hospital would not allow a doctor to see her husband, despite the doctor writing an order.
A woman wants Norton Brownsboro Hospital to treat her husband with ivermectin.
A judge denied her request. SAM UPSHAW JR./COURIER JOURNAL

9/17/2021 EU Launches Health Crisis Body To Prepare For Future Pandemic
FILE PHOTO: A medical worker is seen on an ambulance at the entrance of the Cardarelli hospital, amid the
outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Naples, Italy, November 12, 2020. REUTERS/Ciro De Luca/File Photo
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission launched on Thursday a health crisis body that will coordinate EU spending of almost 30 billion euros ($35.3 billion) to prepare for a future pandemic.
    The new health emergency preparedness and response authority (HERA) will assess potential health threats, promote research, ensure the availability of critical production and help build stockpiles.
    If a new health crisis struck, it would activate emergency funding and help coordinate monitoring, procurement and purchase of medical equipment or treatments.
    The authority is partly designed to avoid a repeat of the ad hoc measures taken by individual EU countries at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, some of them inefficient, others coming at the expense of other EU members.
    The new body will supplement other EU health agencies – the European Medicines Agency and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
    European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas said both agencies had been strengthened, but that alone was not enough.
    “Both agencies have a very important role to play but mainly after the pandemic hit us,” he told a news conference.
    “HERA will be our main instrument to coordinate preparedness and, if needed, (the) response…    This is what we are missing today.”
    HERA, which should be fully operational in early 2022, will have 6 billion euros from the EU budget for 2022-2027, with other programmes bringing total EU spending on health security to almost 30 billion euros.
    Together with projects of individual EU members and business, spending could total 50 billion euros.
($1 = 0.8508 euros)
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

9/17/2021 Blinken Calls France Vital Partner In Indo-Pacific In Apparent Bid To Calm French Fury by Daphne Psaledakis and Humeyra Pamuk
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken listens during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee
hearing on Capitol Hill, in Washington, U.S., September 14, 2021. Drew Angerer/Pool via REUTERS
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday called France a vital partner in the Indo-Pacific, comments that appeared aimed at calming French anger after the United States, Australia and the UK clinched a deal to supply Australia with submarines.
    The three countries said on Wednesday they would establish a security partnership for the Indo-Pacific that would help Australia acquire U.S. nuclear-powered submarines and see it scrap a $40 billion French-designed submarine deal.
    France reacted angrily to the loss of the deal, calling it a “stab in the back.”
    Speaking at a news conference after meetings between the U.S. and Australian foreign and defense ministers in Washington, Blinken said Washington wanted to find every opportunity to deepen the transatlantic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and that France was vital in doing that.
    “We cooperate incredibly closely with France on many shared priorities in the Indo-Pacific but also beyond around the world.    We’re going to continue to do so.    We place fundamental value on that relationship, on that partnership,” Blinken said.
    He added that U.S. officials had been in touch with their French counterparts in the past 24-48 hours to discuss the deal, including before the announcement.
    A French official speaking on condition of anonymity said Americans had not informed them until French officials had seen media reports about the deal and reached out to their U.S. counterparts with questions.
    In 2016, Australia selected French shipbuilder Naval Group to build a new submarine fleet worth $40 billion to replace its more than two-decades-old Collins submarines.
    The United States and its allies are looking for ways to push back against China’s growing power and influence, particularly its military buildup, pressure on Taiwan and deployments in the contested South China Sea.
    The White House on Thursday defended the U.S. decision, rejecting criticism from both China and France over the deal.
    “We do not seek conflict with China,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.
    China said the United States, Australia and the UK were “severely damaging regional peace and stability.”
    “In our view, it’s about security in the Indo-Pacific,” said Psaki.    She said she would leave it to Australia on why it sought the technology from the United States.
    “We don’t see this from our end as a regional divide.    We see this as areas and security issues that we want to take on together,” she said.
(Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis, Humeyra Pamuk, Doina Chiacu, David Brunnstrom and Steve Holland; Editing by Grant McCool and Peter Cooney)

9/17/2021 All Eyes On Turnout As Canada’s Tight Election Campaign Enters Final Days by Julie Gordon and Steve Scherer
FILE PHOTO: Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, left to right, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, and Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole take part in
the federal election English-language Leaders debate in Gatineau, Canada, September 9, 2021. Adrian Wyld/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
    OTTAWA/WINDSOR, Ontario (Reuters) -As Canada’s election race enters its final weekend, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is redoubling efforts to motivate supporters, knowing his bid for re-election on Monday could be doomed by low turnout.
    Recent opinion polls show Trudeau’s Liberals neck and neck with the opposition Conservatives led by Erin O’Toole, suggesting that getting out the vote will be crucial.
    Low turnout tends to favor the Conservatives, who are traditionally better at ensuring their supporters cast ballots.
    Trudeau on Friday made a rare concession that a pandemic election was not ideal, but urged supporters to vote despite misgivings.
    “I understand the frustration that some people are feeling.    They just want things to get back to normal and an election isn’t getting back to normal,” he said at a campaign stop in Windsor, Ontario, where he was again dogged by angry anti-vaccine mandate protestors.
    “It’s a time of choice, it’s a time of decision, it’s a time of stepping up,” he said, painting his party as the best choice to end the pandemic, fight climate change and grow the economy.
    Trudeau, 49, called an early election on Aug. 15, seeking a parliamentary majority after two years of minority government in which he had to work with other parties to govern.    But he is now scrambling to save his job.
    Two senior Liberals with direct roles in the campaign both told Reuters they were worried that Canadians might be more focused on returning to their routines – rather than on politics – as increasing numbers of people are fully vaccinated.
    While Canadians voted in early polls in record numbers, demand for mail-in ballots has been far lower than expected.
    The pandemic is intensifying in parts of the country and voters will likely face longer lineups than usual on Election Day, due to fewer polling stations and distancing requirements.
    O’Toole, 48, a former Cabinet minister who has led his party for just over a year, has proved competitive with a disciplined campaign appealing to centrist voters with progressive pledges, while avoiding alienating his center-right base.
    “It’s not about convincing people they should think about voting for you anymore.    It’s about getting the people who are committed to voting for you out to vote,” said Darrell Bricker, chief executive of Ipsos Public Affairs.
    “Turnout is going to be everything.”
    The Liberals lead the Conservatives 31.9% to 30.4%, according to the latest election poll by Nanos Research, with the New Democrats in third at 20.3%.    Trudeau has slight edge on O’Toole as preferred prime minister, at 29.8% to 27.8%.
    But opinion polls do not always reflect what happens on voting day, as turnout can hugely affect seat counts.    In the past, higher turnout has favored the Liberals and New Democrats, Bricker said.
    Turnout was 67% in the 2019 election when Trudeau lost his majority, down from 68.3% when he swept to power in 2015.
    “If turnout is unusual, we could have many more surprises on Monday night,” Philippe Fournier, a polling analyst for the website, told the Reuters Global Markets Forum on Thursday.
    Trudeau held a comfortable lead in the polls going into the campaign, but that has vanished because of what many voters see as an unnecessary election.
    He also faces a challenge from New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh, 42, who outstrips Trudeau and O’Toole in personal popularity and appeals to the same voters the center-left Liberals need.
    If enough voters opt for Singh, it could split the progressive camp and allow O’Toole to take power.    Trudeau on Friday called on progressive voters to choose Liberals over the NDP to keep the Conservatives from winning.
    “The Liberal party is not only the only party that can stop the Conservatives, but we’re also the only party with a real plan to get things done,” he said.
    Over the past two weeks, Trudeau has also accused O’Toole of cozying up to the gun lobby and allowing Conservative lawmakers to try to reopen the abortion debate.
    O’Toole peppers his daily campaign appearances with jabs at Trudeau’s decision to call an early election during a pandemic, painting the Liberal leader as selfish and power hungry.
    With polls showing an uptick in support for the small, far-right People’s Party of Canada, whose supporters have dogged Trudeau’s campaign with protests over vaccine mandates, O’Toole has to convince its supporters he is their only hope of getting Trudeau out of office, while not alienating core Conservatives.
    “Make no mistake.    A vote for anyone other than Canada’s Conservatives, is a vote for more of the same from Mr. Trudeau,” O’Toole said on Tuesday.
    “It’s a closer race than what people expected … and now there’s a real possibility the Conservatives could win. So that should stimulate the Conservatives’ voters, but also Liberals,” said Daniel Beland, director of the Institute for the Study of Canada at Montreal’s McGill University.
    “We might have done all of this to end up with the same result as last time.”
(Reporting by Julie Gordon; Additional reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa, Steve Scherer in Montreal and Lisa Mattackal in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Cooney and Alistair Bell)

9/17/2021 Argentina Government Deadlocked As Uncertainty Hangs Over Cabinet by Eliana Raszewski and Walter Bianchi
FILE PHOTO: Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez speaks during a news conference with Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez
(not pictured) at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, May 11, 2021. Gabriel Bouys/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo/File Photo
    BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentina’s government remained mired in uncertainty on Friday, with President Alberto Fernández yet to decide the fate of rebel ministers who tendered their resignations earlier in the week, sparking a political crisis.
    Amid frenzied speculation from political commentators and local media over ruptures in the ruling Peronist coalition, Fernández took part, as planned, in a virtual climate forum convened by U.S. President Joe Biden.
    Center-left President Fernandez has been fighting against a cabinet revolt from ministers allied with the hard-left wing of his party since a bruising defeat in a midterm primary election last Sunday put the government’s grip on Congress at risk.
    Divisive but powerful Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner on Thursday night lashed out at what she said were errors made by the government, sharpening tensions between the moderate faction around President Fernandez and her more militant supporters.
    The electoral blow left the party stuck between two paths: Deepening populist policies to ease conditions for hard-hit Argentines or a more moderate approach to lure back middle-class voters who rallied behind the conservative opposition.
    On Wednesday, several ministers, including the interior minister, tendered their resignations to Fernández, though he has yet to publicly accept or reject them.
    On Thursday night the president and Fernández de Kirchner both went on the offensive.    In a public letter, she called for a shake-up of the ministries and slammed a shortfall in public spending.
    “I sincerely trust that with the same strength and conviction that he faced the pandemic, the President will not only relaunch his government, but will also sit down with his Minister of Economy to look at the budget numbers,” she wrote.
    The president on Twitter said that he would be the one to determine the future of the government.
    “The administration of the government will continue to develop in the way that I deem appropriate.    For that I was elected,” he said.
(Reporting by Eliana Raszewski and Walter Bianchi; Editing by Adam Jourdan and Steve Orlofsky)

9/17/2021 After Merkel It’s About ‘Lesser Evil’ In German Election by Paul Carrel and Tomasz Janowski
FILE PHOTO: German Chancellor Angela Merkel gestures during a news conference with Albanian Prime Minister
Edi Rama at Tirana Business Park, in Tirana, Albania, September 14, 2021. REUTERS/Florion Goga/File Photo
    BERLIN (Reuters) – Call it the Angela Merkel effect.    Less than two weeks before a national election many German voters still seem unable to get over the fact that the four-term chancellor is not running.
    A survey by Allensbach institute for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper showed this week that a record 40% of those planning to vote on Sept. 26 have not yet decided how, with most saying they were just not drawn to any of the contenders.
    “None of them is convincing,” said Janis Schulz, 35, from North Rhine-Westphalia, shrugging at the choice of candidates while smoking a cigarette in front of the Brandenburg Gate during a holiday in Berlin.
    “Whoever you vote for will likely form a coalition, but you don’t know who with,” he added.    “It’s also difficult after Merkel.    She brought calm – to Germany and to Europe.”
    In her 16 years in office, Merkel has steered Europe’s largest economy through the global financial crisis, the refugee crisis and now the coronavirus pandemic, giving the Germans a much-needed sense of stability.
    More of that stability is what Armin Laschet, Merkel’s successor at the helm of her conservative Christian Democrats, and his Social Democrat rival Olaf Scholz are promising, but neither has managed to establish a commanding lead, with their respective parties polling around or just over 20%.
    The Greens, who had a flying start to the campaign with their climate change agenda resonating with younger voters, have lost momentum and are now polling third.
    A separate Reuters survey showed that while a record number of voters chose to mail in their ballots this year, a majority of them continued to sit on the fence and had yet to send them.
    The uncertainty has not translated into sizeable gains for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) or other fringe parties.    Nor does it seem to have discouraged Germans from voting, with 87% of those canvassed by Allensbach saying they plan to cast their ballot, even if many say they do not see anyone they really trust and would be choosing a “lesser evil.”
    “Usually I vote for protest parties, but this time I’ll vote properly.    I think every vote counts this time,” said Schulz.
    The AfD stormed onto the national scene in 2017, harnessing anti-immigrant sentiment after Merkel’s decision to open Germany’s borders to almost one million asylum seekers in 2015.
    But now, polling at around 10%, it appears to be stuck with the image of a single-issue, single-event party, said Carsten Nickel, managing director at London-based political risk advisory firm Teneo.
    While Merkel is not seeking a fifth term, she remains a factor as voters weigh up who should shape Germany’s future without her and who would be the most worthy successor – a choice they may feel both important and frustrating.
    “What they see is either contenders who promise to do more of the same or those who are extremely clumsy, and they find themselves stuck in the middle,” said Nickel.
(Editing by Gareth Jones)

9/17/2021 White House Press Secy. Psaki: New Indo-Pacific Deal Is Not Snub Towards France by OAN Newsroom
In this photo provided by U.S. Navy, the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723) returns
to U.S. Naval Base in Guam, Aug. 19, 2021. Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday, Sept. 17, rejected Chinese
criticism of Australia’s new nuclear submarine alliance with the United States and said he doesn’t mind that
President Joe Biden might have forgotten his name. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Naomi Johnson/U.S. Navy via AP)
    French officials are outraged by the development of the recent trilateral partnership, dubbed Aukus, between the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.
    On Thursday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the alliance that will help Australia acquire submarines for its Navy was not intended to snub France, who had a longstanding agreement with Australia to build them conventional submarines.
    Earlier this week, Joe Biden announced the pact could collectively ensure peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
    “We cooperate closely with France, as the president said yesterday, we have a range of shared priorities in the Indo-Pacific and that will certainly continue,” Psaki stated.    “We don’t see this from our end as a regional divide.    We see this as areas and security security issues that we want to take on together.”
    French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, however, called it a stab in the back and said allies don’t do this to each other while comparing Biden to 45th President Donald Trump. French officials were furious with Australia for ending its $90 billion contract with state majority-owned DCNS to build 12 of the world’s biggest conventional submarines.
    Although the partners never mentioned China in their agreement, some critics have said the new nuclear-powered submarine deal has everything to do with Beijing.    The People’s Republic of China said the pact will damage the peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
    “As it relates to China, we welcome stiff competition with the PRC,” Psaki continued.    “We do not see conflict.”
    In the wake of the disapproval of French leaders, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Biden claimed the country was still a key partner in the Indo-Pacific region.    Meanwhile, French officials were set to host a gala this week in Washington, D.C. to celebrate their alliance with the U.S. and shared victory in the U.S. Revolutionary War, but after Biden’s’ announcement it has since been cancelled.

9/17/2021 Speaker Pelosi Claims Millions Of Trump Supporters Are Cult Members by OAN Newsroom
The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, speaks at Chatham House,
the Royal Institute of International Affairs, in London, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
    “I’d say to my Republican friends, and I do have some, take back your party. You’re the Grand Old Party of America.     You’ve done wonderful things for our country. You now have been hijacked by a cult.” — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) seemingly implied that supporters of 45th President Donald Trump are a greater threat than a Communist China.    While speaking at Cambridge University on Thursday, the California Democrat began with calling on establishment Republicans to suppress votes from supporters of Trump.
    “One of the ways we can help improve that situation is by passing H.R.1, which would have redistricting in a way that is, again, agonistic just along the line of the Voting Rights Act,” Pelosi stated.    “It may not benefit Democrats, but it may benefit the country because it would make Republican districts more open to people other than the ones who are in Congress now.”
    The Speaker of House then doubled down on her remarks against Trump supporters by comparing them to cult members.
    After condemning Republicans, she took a moment out of her speech to talk about a budding relationship with China.
    “With their continuation of genocide…with their violation of their cultural, religious priority of Tibet, with their depression of democracy in Hong Kong and other parts of China as well, they’re just getting worse in terms of suppression and freedom of speech,” she stated.

9/17/2021 White House Press Secy. Psaki Brushes Off Question About Biden’s Persistent Cough by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden stopped multiple times during a Monday speech to clear his throat,
prompting a response from some social media users. (Photo/ DREW ANGERER/GETTY IMAGES)
    Press Secretary Jen Psaki appeared to get into a heated exchange with a reporter over Joe Biden’s health.    During a press briefing on Thursday, she was confronted by a reporter who asked about Biden’s seemingly persistent cough.
    Earlier in the day, Biden appeared to struggle to shake off his cough during his speech at the White House.    However, Psaki dismissed those concerns.
    Reporter: Many of us more in the East Room watching the President.    We’ve seen him on many occasions where he has a repeated cough. What is the situation with that cough and is it a concern?
    Psaki: It’s not a concern.    We have a doctor who travels with him, obviously who checks in if it is ever warranted.    And certainly that becomes the case as it has been since the beginning of his presidency.
    Reporter: Is there an explanation as to why he coughs so frequently in situations like that?    I’m sure you saw it.
    Psaki: I did.    I don’t think it’s an issue of concern.    I think there are a range of reasons why we may need to clear our throat or may have a little light cold.    And that’s certainly something that presidents elected officials, reporters, spokespeople can confront, but it’s not an area where we have a medical concern.
    This comes as a growing number of health experts have voiced concern about Biden’s cognitive and physical well-being.

9/17/2021 Secy. Of State Blinken: France Is Still A Vital Partner by OAN Newsroom
Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, left, accompanied by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, second from right, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin,
right, speaks at a news conference at the State Department in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)
    The Biden administration has attempted to mend their strained relation with France after announcing a new partnership with the U.S. and Australia.    On Thursday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said despite France’s exclusion from the strategic Aukus alliance, the country remains an important ally to the U.S.
    The joint agreement will help Australia acquire submarines for its Navy.    However, the country had a previous building agreement with France.    The development of the recent trilateral partnership has French officials outraged.    French Foreign Minister     Jean-Yves Le Drian, however, called it a stab in the back and said allies don’t do this to each other.
    Despite their concerns, Blinken claimed the relationship between the U.S. and France has been an important aspect to American national security for “a long long time.”
    “I want to emphasize again, we cooperate incredibly closely with France on many shared priorities in the Indo-Pacific, but also beyond around the world,” he stated.    “We’re going to continue to do so.    We place fundamental value on that relationship.”
    Blinken added, the U.S. remains in close communication with France as the two work collaboratively for their mutual security.    In the wake of the disapproval of French leaders, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Biden claimed the country was still a key partner in the Indo-Pacific region.

9/17/2021 WhatsApp Instructions, Mexican Struggles: How Haitians Ended Up In Texas Camp by Alexandra Ulmer
Migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. walk in the Rio Grande river near the International Bridge between Mexico and the U.S. as they wait to be processed,
in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, September 17, 2021. Migrants cross back and forth into Mexico to buy food and supplies. REUTERS/Go Nakamura
    CIUDAD ACUÑA, Mexico (Reuters) – Haitians camped out under a Texas bridge followed instructions circulated on WhatsApp to get there, according to a dozen migrants who said the tips delivered to their phones helped them evade checks by Mexican authorities.
    Over 10,000 migrants, most of them Haitians, were as of Friday sleeping on the ground in a squalid camp under the Del Rio International Bridge connecting Ciudad Acuña, Mexico to Del Rio, Texas, hoping to apply for U.S. asylum.
    The camp’s quick growth – at least 2,000 people arrived on Thursday alone – has sparked questions about why groups were converging on Del Rio specifically.
    In interviews, Haitians spoke of starting their journeys where they had been living under difficult conditions for some time in South America.    They showed Reuters several guides they had been following on their phones – some just lists of Mexican towns and others detailed instructions on what buses to take – that all culminated by the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Texas.
    James Pierre, 28, shared a WhatsApp list of 15 stops through Mexico – starting in Huixtla, Chiapas, and ending in Ciudad Acuña – that he said was circulating among Haitian migrants.
    “Those ahead sent directions by phone. I helped people coming behind me,” Pierre said.    Still, he said he got lost for days in the mountains and survived on little but water and fruit.
    One image shared by a migrant who arrived on Friday included detailed instructions on bus routes through Mexico, including which terminals to get off and where to buy tickets.    Several other Haitians also reported receiving the same instructions.
    The instructions said: “These are the routes for which you will not be asked for any paperwork when buying travel tickets.”
    Groups of Haitians and other migrants who were frustrated with a long wait for travel documents tried to leave southern Mexico in caravans weeks ago.
    Those groups were broken up by security forces that in some cases deployed excessive violence. One video widely circulated on social media showed Mexican immigration agents knocking to the ground and repeatedly stamping on a migrant. The two agents have since been suspended.
    U.S. border officials have been struggling with a growing number of migrant crossings.    They have reached 20-year-highs along the U.S.-Mexico border, topping 195,000 encounters in August.
    Many of the Haitians interviewed by Reuters said they used to live in South America, often Brazil or Chile, but decided to move on because they could not attain legal status there or struggled to secure decent jobs.    Some Haitians also said they were encouraged by videos they saw on social media about obtaining asylum in the United States.
    Their Caribbean homeland long has been plagued by economic and political instability and repeated natural disasters.    Most recently, Haiti’s president was assassinated in July and in August the country was battered by both a 7.2 magnitude earthquake and a powerful storm.
    Haitian Alexandro Petitfrere, 30, said that when he left a difficult life as a construction worker in Brazil last July, he hoped Mexico might prove a better home.
    But Petitfrere said police officers robbed $100 from him as he was crossing into Tapachula, in the south of the country, in August.    Reuters was not able to confirm his allegation.
    He said he then had to sleep in queues to get a permit to stay in the area, could not find work, struggled to afford accommodation and said there was rampant discrimination against Haitians.
    “If Mexico had given me an opportunity, I would have stayed.    But because they mistreated us, I decided to come here,” Petitfrere said.
(Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer, Editing by Donna Bryson and Rosalba O’Brien)

9/17/2021 FDA Panel Votes Against Approving COVID Booster Shots To General Public by OAN Newsroom
WHITE OAK, MD – JULY 20: A sign for the Food And Drug Administration is seen outside of the
headquarters on July 20, 2020 in White Oak, Maryland. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)
    A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee halted the Biden administration’s push to administer booster shots for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. On Friday, an advisory panel to the FDA voted not to fully approve the booster shots for the Pfizer vaccine.
    Only two committee members voted in favor of adding a jab, but the move was squashed by the remaining 16.    The Biden administration initially wanted to get booster shots in the arms of Americans as soon as next week. However, the committee was hesitant to greenlight the added jabs, claiming Pfizer didn’t provide sufficient data showing booster shots were safe or necessary.
    Although, the panel did vote unanimously to give the go ahead on the shots for Americans ages 65 and older.
    Additionally, those at higher risk of contracting COVID-19, including the immunocompromised, were also advised to get the booster.
    The vote comes as two senior FDA officials stepped down at the beginning of the month over pressure by the White House to recommend a third injection of the vaccine.
    In the meantime, the FDA has the final say as to whether to approve the booster and critics have said the advisory board’s decision shows Biden’s push to add a jab to Americans is out of tune with top health experts.

9/17/2021 N.Y. Gov. Hochul Orders Release Of 191 Inmates by OAN Newsroom
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul holds the “Less is More” law she signed, during ceremonies
in the her office, in New York, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
    New York’s new governor recently released dozens of prisoners and has vowed to release even more.
    “New York state incarcerates more people for parole violations than anywhere in the country.    That is a point of shame for us and it needs to be fixed,” said Gov. Kathy Hochul.    “And it’s going to be fixed today.”
    Hochul ordered the release of 191 Riker’s Island Prison inmates as she advances new criminal justice reforms in her state.    She announced they had served their sentences under the dictates of the new Less is More Act and argued they shouldn’t have to wait until the enactment date.
    On Friday, the Democrat ordered the releases while also signing the Less is More Act into law.    Hochul explained the point of the new act.
    “The Less is More Act advances critical reforms to make our criminal justice a better and fairer institution.    And what we’re going to do is bolster our due process and have speedier hearings.”
    The new law also ensures parolees won’t be returned to prison for violating technical conditions of their release.    The moves come in response to safety concerns on Riker’s Island, which is reportedly understaffed and overcrowded.
    Meanwhile, the bill will take effect in March of 2022.

9/17/2021 U.S. To Spend $2.1B On Infection Control by OAN Newsroom
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – MARCH 30: CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky speaks to the press after visiting the Hynes Convention
Center FEMA Mass Vaccination Site on March 30, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Erin Clark-Pool/Getty Images)
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announces billions of dollars will be allocated towards infection control efforts to better protect patients across health care facilities.    The federal government is allocating $2.1 billion to provide better infection control in health care facilities across the nation.
    Health officials made the announcement Friday, saying the investment would help prevent COVID-19 infections, as well as other diseases from high-risk facilities like hospitals and nursing homes.    The funds are being pulled from the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill Joe Biden signed into law this year and involves a three-year plan to issue $1.25 billion across 64 state, local and territorial health departments.
    “This includes improving laboratory capacity to detect infectious threats, training health care workers in a first of its kind program and expanding data so we can track infections in real time and monitor progress,” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.
    $500 million is set to be spent on creating state-based strike teams to assist long-term care facilities and nursing homes in decreasing the spread of infections.    Walensky mentioned the funding would dramatically improve the safety and quality of health care in the U.S.
    “Ensuring health care settings have the resources necessary to stop infections is pivotal to ending this pandemic and to preventing future ones.”
    Walensky reiterated the spending is for the next three years and could take time to establish the new programs, but is confident in the plan’s development to stop infectious diseases like COVID-19 and other diseases.
    Funds will be distributed at the beginning of October and nearly $900 million will go towards supporting research and training on new ways to better control the spread of infection.

9/17/2021 Texas Gov. Abbott Signs $1.8B Border Bill, Says Was Forced To Due To Biden’s Inaction by OAN Newsroom
PHARR, TEXAS – JUNE 30: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott listens to former President Donald Trump’s address during
a tour to an unfinished section of the border wall on June 30, 2021 in Pharr, Texas. Gov. Abbott has pledged to build a
state-funded border wall between Texas and Mexico as a surge of mostly Central American immigrants crossing into
the United States has challenged U.S. immigration agencies. So far in 2021, U.S. Border Patrol agents have apprehended more
than 900,000 immigrants crossing into the United States on the southern border. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has signed a nearly $2 billion border security bill into law.    On Friday, Abbott signed legislation to allocate an additional $1.8 billion to protecting the southern border over the next two years.
    This nearly triples what the state already spends on border security.    Abbott said his hands were tied in making the decision due to the Biden administration’s failure to follow through on its duties.
    “It’s the federal government’s job to secure our border, but the Biden administration has failed to do its job.    So, Texas is stepping up and doing what the federal government is supposed to do,” said Abbott.
    In the meantime, thousands of migrants are currently trying to enter the U.S. through the border crossing in Del Rio, Texas.

9/17/2021 Pentagon Says Kabul Drone Strike Was A ‘Tragic Mistake’ by OAN Newsroom
n this Aug. 30, 2021, file photo Gen. Frank McKenzie, Commander of U.S. Central Command, appears on screen
as he speaks from MacDill Air Force Base, in Tampa, Fla., as he speaks about Afghanistan during a virtual briefing
moderated by Pentagon spokesman John Kirby at the Pentagon in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
    The Pentagon admitted it made a “tragic mistake” after 10 civilians were killed in a U.S. airstrike in Kabul.    Top officials acknowledged the error on Friday, saying the strike killed three adults and seven children and not ISIS-K terrorists as originally reported.
    The target believed to be linked to the terrorist group turned out to be an innocent aid worker.    Reports said military intelligence had tracked the target and his car for around eight hours after reportedly discovering it at a compound associated with ISIS-K.    In addition, they said they also saw what they believed was explosives being loaded into the car, which turned out to be containers of water.
    U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth McKenzie said the Aug. 29 strike was a mistake, adding they believed the victims posed an imminent threat to U.S. forces and evacuees at the Kabul airport. However, when he addressed the nation he said “we now assess that it is unlikely that the vehicle and those who died were associated with ISIS-K or a direct threat to U.S. forces.”
    Targeting two ISIS-K operatives following last months deadly suicide bombing, the Pentagon maintained the strike was a success.    The targeted vehicle was being driven by Zemari Ahmadi and all victims were from the same extended family.
    McKenzie took full responsibility for the tragic outcome, offering his profound condolences to the victim’s families.
    U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin also shared an apology for the strike, saying he’s conducted a “thorough review of the investigation.”    He added the review would also consider the degree to which strike authorities, procedures and processes need to be altered in the future.

9/17/2021 Grenell: New Charges In Durham Probe An Important Development by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 04: Richard Grenell attends a press briefing at the White House
on September 4, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    Former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Richard Grenell called the new charges in the John Durham probe an important development. In an interview on Wednesday, Grenell called the probe a “swamp situation,” saying while the charges are an important development, they aren’t the key to the whole investigation.
    “I hope that we have a lot of time to focus on these issues going forward,” stated Grenell in an interview.    “The media that pushed this, I don’t believe that the FBI officials were duped by an outside lawyer working with Hillary Clinton who lied about his client.”
    On Wednesday, Durham handed up charges against attorney Michael Sussmann, accusing him of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2016. Grenell said there’s a treasure trove of people lying under oath in the transcripts released while he was DNI.    He added how scary it is to think politics permeated the Department of Justice and FBI just because everybody in Washington wanted Clinton to win the 2016 presidential election.
    “Everybody in Washington…lobbyists, newsrooms, a whole bunch of people…wanted Hillary to win.    So what did they do?    They allowed this opposition research to become part of the DOJ and FBI,” argued Grenell.    “That is what we call political prosecution, and when it happens in third world countries we call it out.”
    Grenell called out Sussmann for presenting so-called evidence to the FBI that he said was from a source unrelated to Clinton, even though the evidence being presented was coming from a source that worked for her.
    “Sussmann claimed it was a tip from a cybersecurity expert who had nothing to do with Clinton, even though he worked for her.    Total coincidence,” he said.
    The latest indictment accuses Sussmann of hiding his involvement with the Clinton presidential campaign during a conversation in 2016 held with the FBI’s general counsel. Due to Sussmann’s lack of transparency, he is accused of “depriving the FBI of information that might have permitted it to more fully assess and uncover the origins of the relevant data” according to the indictment filed by special counsel Durham.
    However, Sussmann’s attorneys have claimed their client was indicted because of “politics, not facts.”

9/17/2021 Friends And Family Celebrate Cpl. Daegan Page’s Life by OAN Newsroom
DOVER, DELAWARE – AUGUST 29: In this handout photo provided by the U.S. Air Force, a U.S. Marine Corps carry team transfers the remains of Marine Corps
Cpl. Daegan W. Page of Omaha, Nebraska, Aug. 29, 2021 at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. (Photo by Jason Minto/U.S. Air Force via Getty Images)
    One of the 13 service members killed in a suicide blast during the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan has been laid to rest.    The 23-year-old Marine was laid to rest on Friday, surrounded by family and friends who gathered in Omaha to honor the life of Cpl. Daegan.
    The young Marine graduated from high school in 2016 and enlisted the following year. He served the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, based at Camp Pendleton in Southern California.
    Page was one of 13 service members killed in the final days of the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan.    The Marine died in a suicide bombing carried out by ISIS-K at the Kabul airport as he was trying to help people escape the Taliban takeover.
    A sermon paid tribute to the fallen hero and the others who died while serving the country.     “Because if there’d been a fair fight, Daegan and those Marines would’ve prevailed.    But there wasn’t a fair fight,” said the pastor.
    Last week, crowds of people lined the procession route along Omaha streets to pay tribute to Page as his motorcade drove past.    Page’s family and friends said he’ll be remembered for his fun-loving spirit, tough outer shell and giant heart.

9/17/2021 Sen. Cruz: Border Crisis Is Man-Made Disaster Caused By Biden by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Fla.) questions U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee
hearing on Capitol Hill, on September 14, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by BILL O’LEARY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
    Texas Sen. Ted Cruz slams Joe Biden after 10,000 illegal immigrants gather at the border. Cruz visited border city, Del Rio, Texas slamming Biden for his failed border policies.
    Late on Thursday, Cruz traveled to the Del Rio International Bridge reporting there were over 10,000 illegal immigrants huddled underneath.    In a scathing video posted to Twitter, Cruz blasted Biden saying “this man-made disaster was caused by Joe Biden.”
    Cruz said the already horrible border crisis reached new levels when the Biden administration announced they would discontinue certain deportations.
    “Just over a week ago, there were fewer than a thousand people here under the bridge…averaging between 700 and a thousand.    And on Sept. 8, the Biden administration made a decision to cancel deportation flights back to Haiti,” said Cruz.
    According to the senator, this triggered a wave of new illegal immigrants seeking to enter the U.S. Cruz said Biden could easily solve the problem, but instead he’s playing politics.    Cruz added despite what Biden and other Democrats would have Americans believe, open borders are inhumane and harmful to everyone involved.

9/18/2021 Oil down $0.62 to $71.15, DOW down 166 to 34,585.

9/18/2021 U.S. Says Kabul Drone Strike Killed 10 Civilians, Including Children, In ‘Tragic Mistake’ by Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali
FILE PHOTO: Taliban soldiers stand in front of a sign at the international airport
in Kabul, Afghanistan, September 9, 2021. WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A drone strike in Kabul last month killed as many as 10 civilians, including seven children, the U.S. military said on Friday, apologizing for what it called a “tragic mistake.”
    The Pentagon had said the Aug. 29 strike targeted an Islamic State suicide bomber who posed an imminent threat to U.S.-led troops at the airport as they completed the last stages of their withdrawal from Afghanistan.
    Even as reports of civilian casualties emerged, the top U.S. general had described the attack as “righteous.”
    The head of U.S. Central Command, Marine Corps General Frank McKenzie, said that at the time he had been confident it averted an imminent threat to the forces at the airport.
    “Our investigation now concludes that the strike was a tragic mistake,” McKenzie told reporters.
    He said he now believed it unlikely that those killed were members of the local Islamic State affiliate, ISIS-Khorasan, or posed a threat to U.S. troops. The Pentagon was considering reparations, McKenzie said.
    The killing of civilians, in a strike carried out by a drone based outside Afghanistan, has raised questions about the future of U.S. counter-terrorism strikes in the country, where intelligence gathering has been all but choked off since last month’s withdrawal.
    And the confirmation of civilian deaths provides further fuel to critics of the chaotic U.S. withdrawal and evacuation of Afghan allies, which has generated the biggest crisis yet for the Biden administration.
    In a statement, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the drone strike had killed a Mr. Ahmadi who worked for a non-profit called Nutrition and Education International.
    “We now know that there was no connection between Mr. Ahmadi and ISIS-Khorasan, that his activities on that day were completely harmless and not at all related to the imminent threat we believed we faced,” Austin said in the statement.
    “We apologize, and we will endeavor to learn from this horrible mistake.”
    While it is rare for senior Pentagon officials, including the defense secretary, to apologize personally for civilians killed in military strikes, the U.S. military does publish reports on civilians killed in operations around the world.
    Reports had emerged almost immediately that the drone strike in a neighborhood west of Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport had killed civilians including children.    Video from the scene showed the wreckage of a car strewn around the courtyard of a building.    A spokesman for Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers, Zabihullah Mujahid, said at the time that the attack killed seven people, and that the Taliban was investigating.
    The strike came three days after an Islamic State suicide bomber killed 13 U.S. troops and scores of Afghan civilians who had crowded outside the airport gates, desperate to secure seats on evacuation flights, after U.S.-trained Afghan forces melted away and the Taliban swept to power in the capital.
    Following the suicide bombing at the airport, the U.S. military launched a drone strike in eastern Afghanistan that it said killed two Islamic State militants.    That strike is not under review.
    The second, mistaken strike came as the U.S. military was on heightened alert, with officials warning they expected more attacks on the airport, including from rockets and vehicle-borne explosive devices, as the Pentagon wrapped up its mission.
    General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, appeared to blame the fog of war, even as he acknowledged in a statement that the civilian deaths were “heart wrenching.”
    “In a dynamic high threat environment, the commanders on the ground had the appropriate authority and had reasonable certainty that the target was valid,” Milley said.
    The authority to carry out strikes in Afghanistan — against al Qaeda or Islamic State — will not rest any more with U.S. commanders in the region, a U.S. defense official told Reuters, adding Austin himself will have to authorize any future strikes.
    Still, the intelligence failure exposed in America’s last military strike of its war in Afghanistan raises hard questions about the risks going forward.    These include whether the United States can keep track of al Qaeda and Islamic State threats, and act quickly on any information it gets.
    McKenzie played down the impact the latest civilian casualties would have on future actions in Afghanistan.
    “I don’t think you should draw any conclusions about our ability to strike in Afghanistan against ISIS-K targets in the future based on this particular strike,” he said.>br> (Reporting by Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali; Additional reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

9/18/2021 In Escalation Over Submarine Deal, France Recalls Envoys From U.S. And Australia by John Irish, Colin Packham, David Brunnstrom and Humeyra Pamuk
FILE PHOTO: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison looks on during a news conference with French President
Emmanuel Macron in front of the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, June 15, 2021. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
    PARIS/CANBERRA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - France plunged into an unprecedented diplomatic crisis with the United States and Australia on Friday after it recalled its ambassadors from both countries over a trilateral security deal which sank a French-designed submarine contract with Canberra.
    The rare decision taken by French President Emmanuel Macron was made due to the “exceptional gravity” of the matter, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a statement.
    On Thursday, Australia said it would scrap a $40 billion deal signed in 2016 for France’s Naval Group to build a fleet of conventional submarines and would instead build at least eight nuclear-powered submarines with U.S. and British technology after striking a trilateral security partnership.    France called it a stab in the back.
    A diplomatic source in France said it was the first time Paris had recalled its own ambassadors in this way.
    Australia said on Saturday morning it regretted the recall, and that it valued the relationship with France and would keep engaging with Paris on other issues.
    “Australia understands France’s deep disappointment with our decision, which was taken in accordance with our clear and communicated national security interests,” a spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne said in a statement. [L4N2QJ3JI]
    U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that France was a ‘vital ally’ and that the United States would be engaged in coming days to resolve the differences.
    The French foreign ministry statement made no mention of Britain, but the diplomatic source said France considered Britain had joined the deal in an opportunistic manner.
    “We don’t need to hold consultations with our (British) ambassador to know what to make of it or to draw any conclusions,” the source added.
    Le Drian said the deal was unacceptable.
    “The cancellation (of the project) … and the announcement of a new partnership with the United States meant to launch studies on a possible future cooperation on nuclear-powered submarines, constitute unacceptable behavior between allies and partners,” he said in a statement.
    He added that the consequences “directly affect the vision we have of our alliances, of our partnerships and of the importance of the Indo-Pacific for Europe.”
    The row marks the lowest point in relations between Australia and France since 1995, when Canberra protested France’s decision to resume nuclear testing in the South Pacific and recalled its ambassador for consultations.
    Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday rejected French criticism that it had not been warned about the new deal, and said he had raised the possibility in talks with the French president that Australia might scrap the Naval Group deal.
    Morrison insisted he had told Macron in June that Australia had revised its thinking.
    “I made it very clear, we had a lengthy dinner there in Paris, about our very significant concerns about the capabilities of conventional submarines to deal with the new strategic environment we’re faced with,” he told 5aa Radio.
    “I made it very clear that this was a matter that Australia would need to make a decision on in our national interest.”
    The strain in multilateral ties come as the United States and its allies seek additional support in Asia and the Pacific given concern about the rising influence of a more assertive China.
    France is about to take over the presidency of the European Union, which on Thursday released its strategy for the Indo-Pacific, pledging to seek a trade deal with Taiwan and to deploy more ships to keep sea routes open.
    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken tried on Thursday to calm the French outcry, calling France a vital partner in the region.
    Pierre Morcos, a visiting fellow at Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies, called France’s move “historic.”
    “Reassuring words such as those heard yesterday from Secretary Blinken are not enough for Paris – especially after French authorities learned that this agreement was months in the making,” he said.
(Reporting by Colin Packham, John Irish and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Robert Birsel, David Gregorio and Sonya Hepinstall)

9/18/2021 Venezuelan Leader Maduro Lands In Mexico Ahead Of Latin American Leaders’ Summit
Mexico's Foreign Relations Minister Marcelo Ebrard poses for a photo with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, flanked by National Assembly member
and first lady Cilia Flores and his wife Rosalinda Bueso, at the Benito Juarez International airport ahead of the summit of the Community of
Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), in Mexico City, Mexico September 17, 2021. Mexico's Foreign Relations Ministry/Handout via REUTERS
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro arrived in Mexico City on Friday, Mexico’s foreign ministry said, ahead of a summit of a recently elected “pink tide” of leftist Latin American leaders.
    The socialist leader will attend a meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), a regional body that Venezuela’s late President Hugo Chavez helped set up in 2011.
    The CELAC summit will also convene the “pink tide” leaders whose elections boosted left-wing movements across the region.
    Maduro’s arrival in Mexico comes hours after his vice president, Delcy Rodriguez, landed in Mexico City to represent Venezuela at CELAC.
    Mexico has in recent months also hosted faltering talks between Maduro’s government and the opposition.    Venezuela said on Friday the opposition is aiming to “sabotage” an internationally mediated dialogue process between the two.
    Mexico’s leftist leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will host the summit as his country, celebrating the 200th anniversary of its independence, is the president pro tempore of CELAC.
    In a show of leftist solidarity, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel attended a lavish military parade at Mexico’s 200th anniversary of independence on Thursday and gave a speech thanking Mexico for offering succour amidst a U.S. blockade.
    Latin America’s left made its greatest strides with the first “pink tide” of socialist leaders in the early 2000s.    But some of those, such as Chavez and Bolivia’s Evo Morales, have died or been toppled.
(Reporting by Diego Ore; Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by William Mallard)
[CELAC The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States is a regional bloc of Latin American and Caribbean states thought out on February 23, 2010, at the Rio Group–Caribbean Community Unity Summit, and created on December 3, 2011, in Caracas, Venezuela, with the signature of The Declaration of Caracas.].

9/18/2021 Gov. DeSantis Vows To Fight Antibody Treatment Limit by OAN Newsroom
SURFSIDE, FLORIDA – AUGUST 10: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis waits to present a check to a first responder during an event to give out
bonuses to them held at the Grand Beach Hotel Surfside on August 10, 2021 in Surfside, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) pledges to “work like hell” to ensure his constituents have access to monoclonal antibodies to fight COVID-19.    The statement on Thursday was in response to the Biden administration clamping down on shipments of the antibodies to the Sunshine State.
    Health and Human Services seized control of the supply lines this week and limited Florida’s deliveries by half.
    DeSantis claimed such sudden disruption would cause patients to suffer.
    The Biden administration has experienced a lot of pushback from Republican governors, including DeSantis.    “We’re facing a massive, massive cut in monoclonal antibody treatments abruptly,” said the governor.    He added how Biden said there would be a 50 percent increase, however now they’re seeing more than a 50 percent cut in Florida.
    Meanwhile, the Republican governor is looking to go around the federal government and buy directly from the source.

9/18/2021 Pelosi: Capitalism Hasn’t Served U.S. As Well As It Should by OAN Newsroom
LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 16: U.S. Ambassador to the U.K. Philip Reeker (L) speaks with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (C) and her husband Paul Pelosi
following a meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Downing Street on September 16, 2021 in London, England. (Getty Images)
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said capitalism isn’t serving the U.S. as it should. On Friday at the Chatham House in London, the Democrat explained how the U.S. economy hasn’t benefited from capitalism. She insisted the U.S. can’t have a system that benefits some by depending on the exploitation of workers and the environment.     “In America, capitalism is our system, it is our economic system, but it has not served our economy as well as it should,” said Pelosi.    “And so, what we want to do is not walk away from it, but improve it and make sure it serves us.”
    Pelosi further explained the U.S. must improve the system with a strong middle-class rather than departing from it.
    This comes on the heels of Joe Biden’s push for a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill.    Meanwhile, Biden has continued to push the bill, planning to fund the legislation through tax increases on corporations and the wealthy.
[So this is scary: What makes a strong middle class?    The middle class includes: professionals, managers, and senior civil servants.    The chief defining characteristic of membership in the middle-class is control of significant human capital while still being under the dominion of the elite upper class, who control much of the financial and legal capital in the world.]

9/18/2021 Conservative Group Targets Vulnerable House Dems In New Ad by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 21: U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) listens during a news
conference April 21, 2016 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    A conservative group started launching ads targeting vulnerable Democrats telling them to vote against the massive reconciliation package. On Friday, the American Action Network released two ads targeting vulnerable Virginia Reps. Abigail Spanberger (D) and Elaine Luria (D).     The measure calls to raise taxes on the wealthy and large corporations in order to fund the bill.    AAN President Dan Conston said, “the more we learn, the worse this bill gets.    We’re only just scratching the surface, and already it’s clear this bill is a mountain of liabilities so tall anyone would be foolish to support it.”    He also suggested members should think long and hard about their decision to support the massive package or not, calling it a “disastrous plan.”
    In the 30-second clips, the group slammed Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) “social spending plan” and advised voters to tell the congresswomen to vote no.    The ads also shined light on rising inflation and uncertainty in the economy since Democrats took control of Congress in January.
    Meanwhile, Republicans said they are optimistic they can recapture Luria and Spanberger’s seats in the upcoming 2022 midterms.

9/18/2021 Ga. Secy. Of State Signs Petition To Amend State Constitution To Ensure Only Citizens Can Vote by OAN Newsroom
In this Nov. 30, 2020 file photo, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger
speaks during a news conference in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)
    Georgia’s secretary of state is pushing for an amendment to the state’s constitution, granting only U.S. citizens the right to vote.    On Thursday, Brad Raffensperger signed his name on a petition launched by grassroots organization “Americans for Citizen Voting.”
    In 2020, the organization led the charge in helping pass amendments in Florida, Alabama and Colorado to ensure illegal immigrants couldn’t vote in their elections.
    “We were successful with this initiative in 2020 in Florida, Alabama and Colorado.    The people there amended their constitutions to say that only United States citizens should vote and so we want that opportunity here in Georgia,” said Americans for Citizen Voting President Christopher Arps.
    Meanwhile, opponents of the change have argued non-citizens don’t have the right to vote in Georgia already.    However, Raffensperger has argued the language needs to be more clear and direct.
    For the amendment to be passed a two-thirds majority in both the State House and Senate would need to vote in its favor.

9/18/2021 San Francisco Mayor Breaks Own Mask Mandate by OAN Newsroom
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 15: San Francisco Mayor London Breed speaks during a news conference at the future site of a
Transitional Age Youth Navigation Center on January 15, 2020 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
    San Francisco Mayor London Breed (D) isn’t letting her own mask mandate get in the way of a good time.    Photos and videos released on Friday showed Breed was at the Black Cat nightclub carousing with friends maskless in close quarters.
    The mandate Breed has been enforcing says patrons inside businesses are only allowed to unmask when actively eating or drinking.    Mayor Breed was absent from both actions and local gym owner Danielle Rabkin said she believes it showcases a double standard.
    Breed has stressed the importance of restrictions in her city, but some of the citizens of San Francisco feel Breed isn’t playing her part.
    “She clearly thinks that it’s fine and that it’s safe to remove then let that be the rule for everybody,” stated Rabkin.    “You’re not impervious to COVID any more than I am, so let the rules for you be the same that it is for me.”
    In the meantime, Breed has yet to comment on her outing or modify citywide mandates.

9/18/2021 Sen. Grassley: Need AG Probe Into Botched FBI Investigation Into Larry Nassar by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 15: (L-R) Former U.S. Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney, national champion Jessica Howard,
Olympian Aly Raisman, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), gymnast Kaylee Lorincz and NCAA and world champion
gymnast Maggie Nichols hold a news conference in the Russell Senate Office Building following the gymnasts’ testimony before
the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 15, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) has called for a federal investigation into the botched Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) probe into disgraced former USA Gymnastics coach Larry Nassar.    In a statement on Friday, Grassley implored Attorney General Merrick Garland to assign a federal prosecutor or a special council on the case.
    He said the public needs to know what the FBI knew and when they knew it while Nassar sexually abused hundreds of female gymnasts.    “These brave gymnasts and all Nassar survivors deserve accountability, especially from the Justice Department,” said Grassley as he called upon Garland.
    “Attorney General Garland should assign a federal prosecutor or special counsel to uncover what the FBI knew and when, as well as to seek prosecutions of those involved in the cover-up.”
    His comments come two days after a Senate judiciary panel heard testimony from multiple U.S. Gymnastics stars over the FBI’s handling of its probe into Nassar’s misconduct.    During the hearing, Aly Raisman called for a “complete and full independent investigation” of the FBI’s interactions with USA Gymnastics.
    Meanwhile, Nassar is currently serving 100 years in prison relating to sexual abuse.

9/18/2021 Report: States Like Ala. Report Dwindling Supply Of Antibody Treatments Amid Federal Rationing by OAN Newsroom
Health care workers work inside the Regeneron Clinic at a monoclonal antibody treatment site
in Pembroke Pines, Florida, on August 19, 2021. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)
    States like Alabama say a federal rationing of monoclonal antibody treatments will hamper its fight against coronavirus.    According to recent reports, some Alabama medical centers said they’ve already run out of the treatments with others struggling to find enough.
    A jump in demand for the treatment has had some officials claiming there is a national shortage.    This comes after the treatment’s popularity has grown since being deemed successful in holding off the effects of COVID.
    Alabama public health officials said they’ll know how much of an impact the rationing will have in the coming week.
    Alabama State Health Officer Scott Harris commented on the shortage and the uncertainty for the future.    “I mean, I’m hopeful it doesn’t mean a cut for us, but really at this point I’m just not sure.    We just haven’t seen their formula exactly and don’t know how it’s going to play out,” he said.
    In the meantime in Texas, where Gov. Greg Abbott (R) received the treatment when he tested positive for the virus, health officials there have said they’re concerned as well.    The treatment has been described as a “pillar” in the fight against the surge in Texas.

9/18/2021 Analysis: French Break-Up A Blow To Biden’s China-Focused Alliance Rebuilding by Humeyra Pamuk and David Brunnstrom
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on a National Security Initiative virtually
with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, inside the
East Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., September 15, 2021. REUTERS/Tom Brenner
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – European capitals celebrated a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in June, as President Joe Biden’s top diplomat cracked jokes in French in Paris, posed for selfies with French youth and spoke at length about revitalizing the transatlantic relationship.
    It was a breath of fresh air after four years of former President Donald Trump’s brash “America First” administration, during which U.S. ties with Europe lurched from one crisis to another amid policy decisions that often blindsided European countries.
    But less than three months after Blinken’s repair tour, Washington finds itself in an unprecedented diplomatic crisis with France over a trilateral deal with Britain to supply Australia with nuclear-powered submarines that sank a $40 billion contract for French-designed vessels.
    France reacted with fury, saying the new deal had been hatched behind its back and resorting to language almost unheard of in public pronouncements between allies, calling it “brutal” and a “stab in the back
    On Friday it went further, taking the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors to Washington and Australia and accusing the Biden administration of acting like Trump in pushing Paris aside.
    Analysts say the crisis is more than commercial, and one of trust, and even if U.S. officials hope it will blow over quickly, it has the potential to do lasting damage to the alliance with France and Europe and throws into doubt the united front     Washington has been seeking to forge against China’s growing power.
    French diplomats said they first learned of the deal when news leaked in Australian media hours before the official announcement on     Wednesday, although Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison insisted he had made clear to French President Emmanuel Macron in June that he might scrap the agreement with France.
    Either way, from the French perspective, the U.S. move flies in the face of what Biden’s administration has pledged since the end of the Trump era: a return to multilateralism and close cooperation with partners and allies, with Europe an important element of that.
    “This makes Europeans realize that maybe some of Trump’s policies, beyond the scandals and the tweets, were not an aberration but signaled a deeper shift away from Europe,” said Benjamin Haddad, director of the Atlantic Council’s Europe Center.
    “At a time when the Biden administration wants to rally Europeans in a common transatlantic front to push back against Chinese assertiveness, why not bring in the key EU actor in the region?
    Some see further clumsy policy-making by Biden’s administration hard on the heels of his chaotic end to America’s two decade-long intervention in Afghanistan, about which European nations complained they had not been properly consulted.
    “Just like Afghanistan, this new ‘America First’ opus is poorly conceived and even more poorly executed,” a French diplomat said.
    Blinken has attempted to sooth French anger, calling France a vital and long-standing ally in the Indo-Pacific and beyond, and the White House and State Department quickly issued placatory statements after Paris recalled its ambassadors.
    The State Department said Washington hopes to continue discussions on the issue at a senior level in coming days, including during next week’s United Nations General Assembly.
    David Bell, a history professor at Princeton University, said precedent indicated the crisis would blow over, eventually.
    The French were clearly “very annoyed” and showed that in a “fairly dramatic” way, he said, while recalling previous moments of high tension, including France’s withdrawal from NATO command in the 1960s and refusal in 2003 to join the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
    But diplomatic relations have not been suspended, and at some point the ambassadors will be sent back, Bell forecast, noting that Macron’s gesture comes ahead of a potentially tight re-election race next year.
    “Macron is trying to reawaken that Gaullist tradition of French independence” in foreign policy, he said.
    While the NATO allies might well find ways to recover from what some see as the worst diplomatic crisis in their history, experts warn of serious harm to Biden’s broader China strategy.
    The trilateral submarine deal should strengthen the hand of the United States and its allies in the face of growing Chinese power, but the damage caused by the alienation of France could outweigh this.
    “China must be laughing all the way to the bank,” said Francois Heisbourg, senior advisor for Europe at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.    “They have the prospect of removing Europe’s potential presence alongside the U.S. in the Indo-Pacific area.”
    Though stronger U.S.-Australia ties would concern the Chinese government, France, the EU’s leading military power, has taken a strong stance in urging a tough line on China when other EU countries such as Germany have seemed more concerned about not upsetting commercial ties with Beijing.
    “There is a downside for China, but the upside I think is greater – the notion that Europe is essentially going to stay in the wings and not play an active role in the Indo-Pacific as a whole,” Heisbourg said.
    He said France might narrow its focus to concentrate on its specific Indo-Pacific interests, rather than working to push back against China more broadly.
    A day after the submarine deal was announced, the European Union unveiled its formal strategy to boost its presence in the Indo-Pacific and counter China.    But with France deflated, there is increased risk this effort will either be stillborn or the transatlantic strategy towards China will become further disjointed, Heisbourg said.
    “We must survive on our own, as others do,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said, speaking of the “strategic autonomy” that France and Macron have championed.
    Even so, other analysts believe the compelling need to counter Beijing will help Western countries bridge their differences.
    “The increasing level of global anxiety about China is the tide that lifts all boats here,” said Greg Poling of Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies.
    “I’m pretty confident that there’s going to be a rough few month ahead, but Paris is going to get over it because its strategic interests dictate that it has to get over it.”
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and David Brunnstrom; Additional reportng by Steve Holland, Heather Timmons and Mike Stone; Editing by Mary Milliken and Daniel Wallis)

9/18/2021 Italy Reports 51 Coronavirus Deaths On Saturday, 4,578 New Cases
FILE PHOTO: A long queue is seen as people wait to enter the Colosseum on the day Italy brings
in tougher restrictions where a Green Pass (health pass) will be required to access an array of services
and leisure activities in Rome, Italy, August 6, 2021. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane
    ROME (Reuters) – Italy reported 51 coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday against 66 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections rose marginally to 4,578 from 4,552.
    Italy has registered 130,284 deaths linked to COVID-19 since its outbreak emerged in February last year, the second-highest toll in Europe after Britain and the ninth-highest in the world. The country has reported 4.63 million cases to date.
    Patients in hospital with COVID-19 – not including those in intensive care – stood at 3,958 on Saturday, down from 3,989 a day earlier.
    There were 31 new admissions to intensive care units, down from 34 on Friday.    The total number of intensive care patients fell to 519 from a previous 525.
    Some 355,933 tests for COVID-19 were carried out in the past day, compared with a previous 284,579, the health ministry said.
(Reporting by Gavin Jones)

9/18/2021 Greece Opens New Migrant Holding Camp On Island Amid Tougher Policy by Alkis Konstantinidis
A view of a newly inaugurated closed-type migrant camp on the island of
Samos, Greece, September 18, 2021. Picture taken with a drone. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
    ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece opened a new holding camp for migrants on Saturday on the island of Samos, close to Turkey, and said other new facilities would follow in coming months as it tightens migration policy.
    The minister opening the camp said it would offer “lost dignity” to those seeking protection.    Aid groups said the new facility, which will house asylum seekers and people to be deported, looked more like a jail with its fence topped by barbed wire.
    The Mediterranean country was at the frontline of Europe’s migration crisis in 2015 and 2016 when a million refugees fleeing war and poverty from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan arrived, mainly via Turkey.
    The number of arrivals has fallen since then, but with thousands of asylum-seekers still stranded in Greece, the conservative government that took power in 2019 has toughened its stance on migration.
    It has built a 40 km (25 miles) fence in the Evros region on the Turkish border and launched a European Union-wide tender this summer to build two facilities on Samos and the Lesbos islands to replace previously overcrowded camps.
    “We have created a modern and safe new closed, controlled access centre … that will give back the lost dignity to people seeking international protection,” Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi said inaugurating the new camp.
    About 450 asylum-seekers out of 7,500 who lived at another camp will move to the new facility on Monday.
    Mitarachi said the new camp, which can accommodate 3,000 people, would also hold illegal migrants to be returned or deported.    He said two other centres would be ready on the islands of Kos and Leros in a few months.
    “For us it’s a jail,” Iorgos Karagiannis, head of mission for Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), said of the new camp.    “It’s a declaration of harmful policies that are preferred by EU leaders rather than the care, the induction and ensured asylum.”
    Greece has deported, returned and relocated thousands of migrants and refugees who have been stranded for years, mainly on its outlying islands in the Aegean Sea.
    The number of asylum-seekers was 42,000 in August, about half the number a year ago, migration ministry data showed.
    The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has fuelled fears of a new wave of refugees.    Greece says it will not allow a replay of the 2015 migrant crisis and wants a joint European response.
(Reporting by Alkis Konstantinidis; Writing by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Edmund Blair)

9/19/2021 No Oil or DOW info.

9/19/2021 UK’s COP26 Chief Says Ball In China’s Court On Making It A Success
Britain's Alok Sharma, president of this year's United Nations COP26, arrives on
Downing Street, in London, Britain September 17, 2021. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
    LONDON (Reuters) – The ball is in China’s court when it comes to making the United Nations COP26 climate change conference in November a success, Britain’s Alok Sharma, the summit’s president, said on Sunday.
    Sharma, who said he had had “constructive and very frank discussions” during a visit to China earlier this month, said China’s President Xi Jinping had not yet confirmed whether he would attend the summit.
    “In every conversation I had with the Chinese they were very clear that they want to see COP26 as a success so the ball is very much in their court,” Sharma told Sky News.
(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Alexander Smith)

9/19/2021 Hundreds Rally In Support Of Those Jailed In Jan. 6 Protest by OAN Newsroom
Demonstrators gather for the “Justice for J6” rally in Washington, D.C., on September 18, 2021,
in support of the pro-Trump protest at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. (PEDRO UGARTE / AFP)
    Hundreds of law enforcement and protesters gathered for the “Justice for J6” rally at the U.S. Capitol.    Several hundred demonstrators gathered outside of the nation’s Capital to support those jailed for taking part in the Jan. 6 protest.
    Speaking to the crowd Saturday, organizer of the event Matt Braynard said it was about the many protesters who have not been charged with violence, haven’t been accused of assaulting a police officer or destroying property and the “disparate treatment they’ve received.”    He added “this is all about equal treatment under the law.”
    More than 600 people have been arrested in the months following the protest and more than 50 have pleaded guilty to a variety of federal charges.    Supporters showed frustration towards the treatment of the “political prisoners,” saying it’s inhumane and political prosecution.
    Supporters were heavily outnumbered by law enforcement as Capitol Police brought hundreds of officers into Washington, D.C. in order to prevent any possible violence.    However, demonstrators emphasized keeping the peace and condemned the violence seen on Jan. 6.
    “The overall message is that we condemn violence.    That’s not America.    We need to make sure that we do a peaceful voice to be heard.    Not a protest that is in violence.    We condemn that.    So, the resounding message that we’re trying to bring is that we can go out, have our voices be heard, and not have to do it violently,” said Jeff Zink, candidate for Congress in Arizona.
    While the crowd was less than expected, the Look Ahead America organization previously estimated about 700 people would attend.

9/19/2020 Additional U.S. Citizens Evacuated From Afghanistan by OAN Newsroom
U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price speaks on the situation in Afghanistan at the State
Department in Washington, D.C., on August 18, 2021. (ANDREW HARNIK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
    The U.S. has evacuated more Americans from Afghanistan. On Saturday, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said a Qatar Airways charter flight departed from Kabul on Friday carrying 28 U.S. citizens and seven lawful permanent residents.
    It’s unclear where the flight landed and Price added the international community welcomes the Taliban’s cooperation with flights after the terrorist group allowed multiple flights out last week.    The agency’s announcement comes shortly after California Rep. Darrell Issa (R) said his team successfully facilitated the release of an American citizen, who’s been identified as Nasria.
    Issa said weeks of work and countless hours of coordination finally paid off and the 25-year-old soon to be mother was finally brought home.    The representative said Nasria had braved beatings and harassment by the Taliban, was kicked in the stomach and has been in hiding. Nasria was reluctant to leave without her husband and father, but ultimately had to.
    “She went there to get married, filed paperwork to then have her husband come back to the United States.    That paperwork never got processed and ultimately she found herself there, married, pregnant, as an American citizen and an embassy that closed down and left without her,” said Issa.
    Meanwhile, the State Department has yet to clarify how many Americans are still looking to leave Afghanistan.
    However, the Republican representative said they won’t quit until all American citizens are out of the region and the community is reunited with loved ones.

9/19/2021 Hospital Staff Short Amid Forced Vaccinations by OAN Newsroom
HOUSTON, TEXAS – JUNE 09: Medical workers and pedestrians cross an intersection outside of the
Houston Methodist Hospital on June 09, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
    Hospitals across the U.S. are facing shortages over vaccine mandates.    While some public health experts have said new vaccine mandates may not show its impact for several months, hospitals are already facing staffing shortage as workers are refusing to be vaccinated.
    In New York, hospital and nursing home employees are required to get vaccinated in the coming weeks or face the possibility of losing their jobs.    President and CEO of Thompson Health, Michael Stapleton, said the vaccine mandate could lead to even more of an increase in job openings as there are workers who still haven’t received the COVID-19 vaccine.
    “We’re going to lose people over this mandate.    That breaks my heart,” said Stapleton.    “These are great people who have cared for our community over and over again.    They’ve dedicated their careers to taking care of people and now they’re not going to potentially be able to.    That’s horrible.”
A nurse from Brigham and Women’s Hospital watches as demonstrators gather outside the Massachusetts State House
in Boston to protest Covid-19 vaccination and mask mandates. (Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)
    Meanwhile in Texas, Brownfield Texas Regional Center said they could close down if they lose too many workers over forced vaccinations.    In addition, CEO of Seminole Hospital District, Larry Gray, said that while vaccinations are encouraged for his staff, he doesn’t believe mandating the vaccine is appropriate.
    “I think the mandate is just a terrible message because if the vaccinations are working, why do you have to mandate people to get the vaccines?    What happens to individual choice and medical decisions between the patient and their doctor, which is all of the things we’re trying to support,” conveyed Gray.
    A growing number of health care workers have also begun questioning how vaccine mandates can be enforced.    Kasie Barrett, a Duke Health employee, said she’s curious as to how anyone could have the authority to mandate anything on another individual.    Barrett went on to say she had a right to choose.
    In the meantime, while many are hopeful vaccine mandates will be helpful, others believe the mandates will backfire and people will continue to resist.

9/19/2021 Gold Star Family Helps Veterans After Losing Son In Afghanistan by OAN Newsroom
Gretchen Catherwood holds the flag that draped the casket of her son, Marine Lance Cpl. Alec Catherwood,
in Springville, Tenn., on Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Karen Pulfer Focht)
    A Gold Star family is helping veterans after losing their son in Afghanistan over a decade ago.    The family said they were searching for ways to honor their fallen son who so desperately wanted to help.
    “It was important to him to go, for the reasons you know, that he stated.    He wanted to help little girls go to school,” said Gold Star mother Gretchen Catherwood of her son.    “He wanted to help the country that didn’t have the freedoms that we do.”
    In October 2010, Lance Cpl. Alec E. Catherwood was killed by an explosive while serving in Afghanistan when he was just 19-years-old.    Those who knew him said he was the Marine always looking to be friends with the underdogs.    Now, his mother says their goal is to honor their son’s memory by helping veterans.
    “I can no longer do for my son, but I can do for the sons and daughters of other mothers,” said Catherwood.
Gretchen and Kirk Catherwood stand outside one of the rooms inside the Darkhorse Lodge in Springville, Tenn.,
on Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. They hope to open next summer and offer free stays for any combat veteran from
any war or branch of the military who might benefit from time in the woods. (AP Photo/Karen Pulfer Focht)
    She said that a specific veteran statistic caught her and her husband’s eyes, which was that about two dozen veterans take their own lives each day, including eight Marines from their son’s regiment.    The Gold Star family is now building a sanctuary called the “Darkhorse Lodge” where combat veterans can help each other heal and enjoy nature.
    While many are still caught up questioning the war and how it ended, the Catherwoods are more worried about the effects it will leave on those who served.    The Gold Star mother said they need to hold their heads up high because they definitely weren’t there for nothing.

9/19/2021 Crowds Flock To Champs-Elysees During Paris Car-Free Day
People walk near the Arc de Triomphe monument, fully wrapped as part of an art installation entitled
"L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped" conceived by the late artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, on the Champs Elysees
avenue during a car-free sunday in Paris, France, September 19, 2021. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
    PARIS (Reuters) – Crowds of Parisians and tourists strolled along the Champs-Elysees avenue on Sunday as a car-free day removed most of the traffic from the French capital’s usually busy streets.
    Pedestrians wandering along the most famous thoroughfare in Paris could view the Arc de Triomphe in its temporary guise as an art installation.    The monument has been covered in silvery wrapping, as conceived by the late artist Christo.
    “It’s our chance to walk on the ‘Champs’, to look at the Arc de Triomphe face-to-face and not just from the sidewalk,” said Annie Matuszewski, a 68-year-old Parisian.
    Paris held its first car-free day in 2015 in a central zone, expanding the initiative in 2017 to other districts within the city limits.    Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has sought to use the annual event to curb vehicle use and reduce air pollution.
    Other thoroughfares in the capital on Sunday were filled with walkers and cyclists, although buses, taxis and residents using cars for essential journeys could still use some streets.
    The Socialist mayor, a candidate in next year’s presidential election, has also reduced the speed limit on most of the city’s streets to 30 kilometres per hour (19 miles per hour) from 50 kph and pedestrianised some busy roads along the river Seine.
    But her policies have irritated motorists, particularly some residents of the suburbs who complain they do not have adequate alternative forms of transport.
    “Car-free day is great if we integrate the entire Paris region,” said Patrice, a retiree in the suburbs.
    “Otherwise, it’s almost as if they’re saying people living in Paris are doing fine inside their perimeter, and everything outside is not worth their attention.”
(Reporting by Ardee Napolitano; Writing by Gus Trompiz; Editing by Edmund Blair)

9/19/2021 U.S. Closes Part Of Texas Border Amid Migrant Crisis by OAN Newsroom
Migrants, many of them Haitian, cross the Rio Grande to get food and supplies near the Del Rio-Acuna Port of Entry
in Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila state, Mexico on September 18, 2021. (Photo by PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images)
    U.S. authorities have closed part of the Texas border to block Haitian migrants from entering through Mexico.    In efforts to slow the flow of migrants entering Del Rio, Texas through Mexico, the U.S. closed off a stretch of the border on Sunday.    This comes after thousands of Haitian refugees set up camp in the region.
    Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz reported more than 3,000 migrants had been removed from the camp and predicted the remaining 12,600 would be gone within the week.
    “We are working around the clock to expeditiously move migrants out of the heat elements and from underneath this bridge to our processing facilities in order to quickly process and remove individuals from the United States, consistent with our laws and our policies,” said Ortiz.
    For three weeks now, Haitian refugees have been escaping poverty, hunger and hopelessness in their homeland in the search for a better life in the U.S. Migrants were reportedly reentering Mexico to buy resources and then crossed back over to Texas returning to their campsite.    Many Haitians explained they initially meant to settle in South America, but couldn’t attain legal status and also struggled with racism and finding work.
    During President Donald Trump’s rule, his administration issued the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) public health order, known as Title 42, which allows most migrants to be expelled out of the country without the chance of claiming asylum.    The Biden administration has kept this order in place even though they haven’t been evacuating most families.
    Three planes have already transported around a quarter of the migrants at the camp in Del Rio back to Haiti or to processing centers.    In the meantime, U.S. officials said starting on Sunday, five to eight planes will transport the remaining migrants.    Additionally, 400 more agents will be stationed at the camp to regulate the process of removal.

9/19/2021 Rep. McCarthy: Dems Seeking To Spend As Much As It Cost To Win WWII by OAN Newsroom
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (L), D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer along with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (C) and Senate
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other members of Congress take part in a ceremony to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 9/11
attacks on the steps of the US Capitol in Washington, D.C. on September 13, 2021. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
    House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) says the total amount of proposed Democrat spending is the same amount spent to win WWII.    In an interview on Sunday, the California lawmaker blasted the Democrats’ push for the $1 trillion bipartisan bill, as well as the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package.
    He warned Democrats are just adding onto the debt, saying the spending will only go on to create greater inflation.    McCarthy also came down on Democrats’ push to raise taxes, saying it will ultimately come down on the middle class.
    “It’s redistribution of wealth, it will take money out of the economy, make America less competitive, especially for our competition around the world.    It’s a real concern,” stressed McCarthy.
    Left-wing Democrats have already warned they would not support the bipartisan deal without movement on the larger reconciliation package.
    However, McCarthy said his sights are set on the 2022 midterm elections, pointing out Republicans are only five seats away from taking control of the House.    “We need a check and balance, we need to have some accountability and some control, that’s why we’re only five seats away from winning Congress back out of control and firing Nancy Pelosi once and for all,” stated McCarthy.
    Meanwhile, the vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill is slated to take place in the House later this month.

9/20/2021 No Oil or DOW info.

9/20/2021 Fulton County, Ga. Ballot Inspection Hearing Underway by OAN Newsroom
FILE – A worker at the Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections works to process absentee ballots
at the State Farm Arena on November 2, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
    The battle for election integrity in Georgia is moving full-speed ahead.    A court hearing in Fulton County is set to begin Monday to determine whether attorneys can investigate mail-in ballots.
    According to Georgia state Sen. Burt Jones (R), taxpayers deserve to see if the 147,000 absentee ballots in the Peach State’s most populous county were counted dishonestly.
    “We’ve got to get people’s confidence back in the election process and the only way to do that is have a mass overhaul of how, particularly the 2020 election was was run,” he stated.    “And it should be a partisan issue.”
    In Fulton County, at least 385 absentee ballot transfer forms are still reportedly missing, which would account for about 18,901 votes.    This came after Joe Biden won this state by less than 12,000 votes.
    “I think it is of utmost importance that we do more than what we’ve already done to try to let the people know our constituents know that we are listening to them and we are hearing them,” said Jones.     In an effort to make sure his constituents know their concerns are not falling on deaf ears, Jones has called for further investigation into the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
    “If people don’t have confidence in equipment that you’re using, they won’t show up to vote,” he explained.    “And if they don’t show up to vote and people no longer believe in the integrity of the vote, you’ll cease to have a democracy.”
    Jones said at this point it’s clear that simply passing election integrity bills is not enough to get Americans to forget about stacks of fraud in last year’s election.    He’s urging further investigations into the 2020 election cycle.    In the meantime, the court’s ruling is slated to be announced this week.

9/20/2021 Pentagon Calls Kabul Strike ‘Tragic Mistake’ by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021 file photo, Afghans inspect damage of Ahmadi family house after U.S.
drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Pentagon retreated from its defense of a drone strike that killed multiple
civilians in Afghanistan last month, announcing Friday, Sept. 17, that a review revealed that only civilians were
killed in the attack, not an Islamic State extremist as first believed. (AP Photo/Khwaja Tawfiq Sediqi, File)
    The Pentagon admitted that a drone strike in Afghanistan was a “tragic mistake” after the Biden administration hailed it as “righteous” for weeks.    An apology from the U.S. appears to mean little to Kabul residents who are now mourning after the strike killed 10 people last month. Seven of those casualties were children.
    Sone Kabul resident said the attack should have never happened in a residential area.    They have called for the perpetrators to be punished for their actions and suggested the victims deserve compensation.
    Head of the U.S. Central Command, Gen. Frank McKenzie initially claimed the strike targeted an ISIS-K suicide bomber who posed an imminent threat to U.S. troops during the final stages of the withdrawal. However, he now he admits the Pentagon got it wrong.
    “We now assess that it is unlikely that the vehicle and those who died were associated with ISIS or were a direct threat to U.S. forces,” stated the general.    Pentagon officials rarely make personal apologies, but McKenzie said the U.S. is working to potentially compensate the families.
    Sources say U.S. officials targeted the innocent aid worker based on a single visit to a suspected ISIS-K safe house.     The intelligence agency did not know the man’s identity while tracking his movements and didn’t learn of his innocence until after he, along with seven children, were dead.
    According to reports Saturday, the CIA had foreknowledge that innocent children would be killed in the drone strike and tried to warn Biden.    By the time the warnings came through, however, the missile was seconds from its target.    Yet, that didn’t stop the Biden administration from publicly touting the operations success.
    The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley immediately hailed the attack as a “righteous strike” in what appeared to be an effort to divert the public’s attention from the 13 service members killed in a suicide bombing at the Kabul airport just days earlier.
    GOP lawmakers have now come down hard on the administration for it’s deadly mistake.    For instance, Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) said that war always has collateral damage, but Biden’s drone-striking only innocent people then directly lying to the public about it should never have been allowed or be forgotten.
    “I wanna know why the Biden administration spiked the ball and claimed they took out ISIS-K when, in fact, it was a nutrition aid worker and 7 children,” she stated.    “It continues on the full scale debacle that is this withdrawal from Afghanistan.”
    Wagner also said Biden’s so-called “over the horizon” security in Afghanistan is a myth and the U.S. homeland is in a worse security situation than it has been in years. The representative maintained that Biden wanted out at any cost and the cost has been more than $85 billion in equipment and 13 dead service members.
    In a tweet, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) asked if Biden personally ordered the drone strike.    The Republican pointed out that former President Barack Obama ordered numerous strikes personally, including one that targeted a wedding.
    The Republican senator believes that future tragedies can be prevented if Congress fights to take back its own war powers.

9/20/2021 Pompeo On Afghanistan: A Debacle That Didn’t Have To Be by OAN Newsroom
Then-U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers his speech during the “Advancing and Defending International Religious
Freedom Through Diplomacy” symposium, in Rome, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020. (Guglielmo Mangiapane/Pool Photo via AP)
    Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed the Biden administration while asserting leaders aren’t prepared to protect America’s interests.    During an interview Sunday, he criticized a number of decisions made by the administration on Afghanistan, including what resulted in the deaths of civilians and Americans in the country.
    “This is a debacle that didn’t have to be and has real ramifications for American security as we move forward,” Pompeo stated.    “The threat from terrorism from abroad is certainly increased now.”
    He added what occurred after the set date to leave the country was a sign of “stubbornness” on behalf of Joe Biden.
    “He could see that the Taliban were going to take over and the government in Kabul was going to fall; he chose not to respond to make sure we had the resources necessary to get Americans out,” said the former U.S. Secretary of State.    “It’s incomprehensible to me.    It’s certainly not the plan the Trump administration had.    They tore that up and, instead, made a hasty exit for the doors and you can see we’ve now got Americans and people who helped America and that we’ve made promises to, still held inside of that country.”
    While many have questioned if the Taliban were simply better equipped than the Afghan government, Pompeo disagrees.
    “The Talban are fighting for something they are prepared to die for and when the corrupt political leadership in Afghanistan, President (Ashraf ) Ghani and others fled the country, it caused a cataclysmic political failure,” he stated.    “And the resulting of the disintegration of the Afghan military, much to the detriment of the women and children there in Afghanistan.”
    As people in the country now try to adjust under Taliban rule, Afghanistan is close to economic collapse.    Due to a large portion of the international community refusing to acknowledge the Taliban as the new governmental power in the country, which the Taliban have renamed an Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, monetary assistance is diminishing.
    Some worry that as the economy worsens, unrest could cause the Taliban to push back against an already fragile country.

9/20/2021 U.S. Flies Hundreds Of Migrants Back To Haiti by OAN Newsroom
Migrants, mostly from Haiti, wait for a bus after they were processed and released after spending time at a makeshift camp near
the International Bridge, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. flew Haitians camped in the Texas border town back to their
homeland Sunday and tried blocking others from crossing the border from Mexico in a massive show of force that signaled the beginning
of what could be one of America’s swiftest, large-scale expulsions of migrants or refugees in decades. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
    The U.S. is deporting Haitian migrants as the border crisis in Del Rio, Texas continues.    More than 300 migrants were flown back to Haiti on Sunday.
    U.S. officials are aiming to move more than 12,000 people that have been camping under the International Bridge.
    Authorities told the Associated Press that 3,300 migrants have already been removed.
    Several immigrants have said they did not want to return home while also suggesting the country is in political crisis.
    “Our teams are ready to receive and process these migrants deported by force in our two airports, but the problem is that the people don’t accept the forced deportations because that is the reason they left Haiti," stated Jean Negot Bonheur Delva, General Coordinator for Haiti’s National Office of Immigration.    “They did not want to live in Haiti, so even if we had the best, the biggest, the best equipped center in the world here to receive them, they wouldn’t accept it because for them Haiti is hell.”
    In the meantime, officials said the rest of the migrants should be returned home as soon as this week.

9/20/2021 Former JCOS Chairman Says Gen. Milley’s Calls With China Are Not Abnormal by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Sept. 1, 2021, file photo Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley speaks during a briefing with Secretary of Defenser
Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon in Washington. The top U.S. military officer said Friday that calls he made to his Chinese counterpart in the
final stormy months of Donald Trump’s presidency were “perfectly within the duties and responsibilities” of his job. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
    Former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Mike Mullen appeared to defend the current chairman’s calls with China.    On Sunday, Mullen told ABC that having conversations with foreign counterparts is routine.    Therefore, he asserted Gen. Mark Milley did not act abnormally.
    Mullen said he does hope some reported parts of the calls are not accurate, however, like Milley allegedly telling China he would warn them of a strike if one were to be planned.
    The Former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman implied he’s more concerned with China’s reaction than Milley’s behavior on the calls.    He suggested lines of communication with China are new and positive developments.    However, he pointed out that China is not reading the communications properly.
    “What’s a little bit alarming to me though is that the Chinese would read the situation as they did, as really chaotic,” Mullen stated.    “As if we were going to possibly strike.    It’s very clear, and I don’t know this because I haven’t talked to Chairman Milley, it’s very clear he had good intel that this was the case.”
    Chairman Milley is scheduled to speak to Congress about the Afghanistan withdrawal at the end of the month, though questions about his phone calls are expected now.
[Can we really believe anything Milley says on the FAKE NEWS and we need to hear the official transcript not the one like that Adam Schiff will make or this is a waste of time to bother with.].

9/20/2021 U.S. To Allow Vaccinated International Air Travelers In November by David Shepardson and Andrea Shalal
FILE PHOTO: Passengers walk past artwork between terminals at IAH George Bush Intercontinental Airport amid
the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Houston, Texas, U.S., July 21, 2020. REUTERS/Adrees Latif
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States in November will re-open air travelers from China, India, Britain and many other European countries who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the White House said on Monday, rolling back tough pandemic-related travel restrictions imposed beginning early last year.
    The decision, announced by White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients, marked an abrupt about-face for President Joe Biden’s administration, which last week said it was not the right time to lift any restrictions.    The restrictions had prevented tens of thousands of foreign nationals from flying to the United States to see family members and slashed business travel.
    The curbs on non-U.S. citizens were first imposed on air travelers from China in January 2020 by then-President Donald Trump and then extended to other countries in the following months, without any clear metrics for how and when to lift them.
    The United States will admit fully vaccinated air travelers from the 26 so-called Schengen countries in Europe including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Greece, as well as Britain, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil.    The existing policy had barred non-U.S. citizens who had been in those countries within 14 days.
    Zients did not give a precise start date beyond saying “early November.”
    The new policy was announced ahead of the United States hosting leaders from Britain, India, Japan and Australia at the White House this week, and Biden making his first speech at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday.
    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the announcement “a fantastic boost for business and trade, and great that family and friends on both sides of the pond can be reunited once again.”
    Americans traveling from abroad who are not vaccinated will need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within a day of travel and will need to show proof of purchasing a viral test to be taken after arrival in the United States.
    Countries during the pandemic have imposed numerous air travel restrictions and bans in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19.    The policies devastated international travel and tourism and shook the airline industry, which carried out a series of service cutbacks and employee furloughs.
    Airlines for America, an industry trade group, said that through late August, international air travel was down 43% from pre-pandemic levels.
    British Airways CEO and Chairman Sean Doyle said the news “marks an historic moment and one which will provide a huge boost to Global Britain as it emerges from this pandemic.”
    Shares in British Airways parent IAG were up 11%.
    Germany’s U.S. ambassador, Emily Haber, welcomed the “Great news” on Twitter, adding,    “Hugely important to promote people-to-people contacts and transatlantic business.”
    The White House said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will decide which vaccines qualify, including if those not approved by U.S. regulators will be acceptable.    Foreign nationals will need to present proof of vaccination before travel and will not be required to quarantine upon arrival.
    There will be some exceptions to the vaccine policy, officials said, including for children not yet eligible to be vaccinated.    The new rules do not yet apply to travelers crossing land borders with Mexico and Canada.
    Some Europeans and others on the restricted country list have been allowed to travel to the United States including students, journalists and others getting permission from the State Department.
    Zients said the United States is again extending restrictions that bar non-essential travel through Oct. 21.
    Critics have said travel restrictions no longer make sense because some countries with high COVID-19 rates are not on the restricted list while some countries on the list have the pandemic under control.
    The U.S. Travel Association trade group previously estimated that the restrictions, if they ran to the end of the year, would cost the U.S. economy $325 billion in total losses and 1.1 million jobs.
    Airlines heavily lobbied the White House to lift the restrictions, but failed to get them lifted in time for the summer travel season.    The White House said in July it had concerns about the highly infectious coronavirus Delta variant and a rising number of U.S. COVID-19 cases.
    Zients said on Sept. 15 that given the rise of the Delta variant, it was not the right time to lift any travel restrictions.    Asked on Monday what changed since then, Zients cited rising global vaccinations, adding: “The new system allows us to implement strict protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
    Zients said the new system will include collecting contact tracing data from passengers traveling into the United States to enable the CDC to contact travelers exposed to COVID-19.
    Since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, China and the United States have sparred over air services.    In addition, Biden in April added new travel restrictions on India. Biden also reversed plans by Trump in January to lift restrictions on European countries.
(Reporting by David Shepardson and Andrea Shalal; additional reporting by Sarah Young Editing by Franklin Paul, Will Dunham and Heather Timmons)

9/20/2021 Analysis-From Doha, EU Limits Diplomacy With Taliban To Afghan Aid by Robin Emmott and John Chalmers
The Taliban flags are seen on a street in Kabul, Afghanistan, September 16, 2021. Picture taken on September 16, 2021.
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union will focus on humanitarian aid as it figures out how to deal with the Taliban, aiming on an informal arrangement with Afghanistan’s new rulers to ensure safe aid corridors, four diplomats and two officials said.
    More than a month after the Islamist militants took control following a chaotic Western withdrawal from Kabul, EU governments are also limiting their presence to the Qatari capital, Doha, where the Taliban have a representation.
    The reduced ambitions reflect security concerns and confusion about who to deal with in the Taliban after their leaders announced a provisional government without women that ran counter to appeals from world powers for an inclusive team.
    The formation of a government of Taliban veterans and hardliners as well as widespread reports of human rights abuses have dented optimism they had changed since running the country between 1996 and 2001, diplomats said.     “The Taliban will have to make a choice between money or isolation, but we have very little expectations of them,” an EU diplomat said.    “Today there are no signals.”
    Limited aid convoys are reaching Afghanistan, where poverty and hunger have spiralled since the Taliban took power on Aug. 15, via the United Nations refugee agency.    UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi also met with the Taliban in Kabul last week.
    But as the EU, the world’s largest donor, prepares an aid package for Afghanistan of some 300 million euros ($351 million) it wants to use its aid as leverage to push the Taliban to uphold human rights.
    It also needs names and telephone numbers of Taliban officials who can be trusted once planes arrive from Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates.
    “We are seeking guarantees for humanitarian aid corridors that are free from attacks, free from interference and that women would be able to take part,” said a senior EU diplomat briefed on discussions between the EU and the Taliban in Doha.
    The EU’s main demands are that non-governmental aid groups would be protected, that the Taliban would allow women in their teams, that aid deliveries would not be seized at Kabul airport and that the Taliban would not determine which regions or areas would receive aid, diplomats said.
    EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said last week the bloc wanted to reopen its mission in Afghanistan.    Finland’s Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told Reuters the EU’s humanitarian aid unit would operate there.
    “We would have first-hand information about the situation and some kind of technical discussions with the Taliban on how aid could reach those most in need,” he said.
    Despite EU agreement on five goals that the Taliban must meet for full engagement, much of the broader diplomacy is likely to focus on Afghanistan’s neighbours – Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.    They are seen as being key to prevent refugees fleeing to Europe.
    EU leaders will discuss their approach with the United States and other Western governments in New York this week at the United Nations General Assembly.    It was not clear if the Taliban would put forward their own U.N. envoy.
    The EU’s special representative to Afghanistan, Tomas Niklasson, met Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, deputy head of the movement’s political commission, in Doha earlier this month and was told that the EU would be welcome back in Kabul, according to diplomats.
    But EU foreign ministers, many who have also met with Stanikzai individually, do not know if he speaks for the Taliban in Kabul and Kandahar because the most influential leaders are in Afghanistan, not Qatar.
    The makeup of the Taliban government and the human rights concerns have limited the scope of discussions in Brussels.    EU ambassadors have not debated such issues as directly paying Afghan salaries of whether money could be transferred directly to the Afghan central bank.
    With the Taliban having broken into European embassies in Kabul such as Denmark and non-EU member Norway, a return to Kabul is logistically difficult too.
    The EU expects its personnel to be based in Doha and make only brief visits to Kabul for meetings.    One diplomat said EU countries would need to provide their own security or hire contractors, rather than rely on any Western security alliance.
    “Even if you want to send only a handful of people on a permanent basis to Kabul, you would have to be sure that they can work safely,” and another EU diplomat.    “But it’s very early stages, I don’t think we are near any kind of breakthrough.”
($1 = 0.8542 euros)
(Additional reporting by John Irish in Paris, Essi Lehto in Helsinki and Sabine Siebold in Berlin; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

9/20/2021 Biden Speech At U.N. To Stress U.S. Focus On ‘Intensive Diplomacy,’ Official Says by Trevor Hunnicutt, Steve Holland and Jeff Mason
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the economy during a speech in the
East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., September 16, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden will use his speech at the United Nations on Tuesday to stress that ending the military engagement in Afghanistan will open a new chapter of “intensive diplomacy,” a senior administration official said.
    Biden was to leave the White House on Monday afternoon to travel to New York to kick off a week that will be dominated by foreign policy, amid questions about his handling of the U.S. pullout from Afghanistan and a submarine deal with Australia that has angered France.
    Biden is to meet U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres late on Monday afternoon, give his first speech as president to the U.N. General Assembly at mid-morning on Tuesday, meet Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison afterward in New York, then return to Washington to meet British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
    The senior official told reporters that Biden wants to speak on the phone with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss Macron’s anger at a deal reached between the United States, Australia and Britain last week in which Washington will supply advanced technology to Australia for nuclear-powered submarines.
    The deal is aimed at helping Australia counter the rising influence of China in the Indo-Pacific region, but it undermined a French deal to supply Australia with a dozen diesel-powered submarines.    France has complained it felt stabbed in the back by the agreement.
    Biden understands the French position but does not agree with it, the official said.    U.S. officials say Australia had sought the U.S. technology.
    The speech gives Biden his biggest opportunity to date to talk about the direction of U.S. foreign policy following criticism at home and abroad that the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in August was chaotic and poorly planned, leaving behind some U.S. citizens and Afghan allies who could face reprisals from the Taliban now in power.
    The official said the pullout allows the United States to focus on other priorities.
    “The president will essentially drive home the message that ending the war in Afghanistan closed a chapter focused on war and opens a chapter focused on … purposeful, effective, intensive American diplomacy,” the official said.
    Biden’s meetings and remarks would be aimed at sending the message that this is an era of “vigorous competition with great powers, but not a new Cold War,” the official said.
    Biden will also up the U.S. commitments on climate change and COVID-19 vaccine donations, the official said, without providing specifics.
    “President Biden will communicate tomorrow that he does not believe in the notion of a new Cold War with the world divided into blocs.    He believes in vigorous, intensive, principled competition that does not tip over into conflict,” the official said.    Biden stressed the same message in a Sept. 9 call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the official said.
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt, Steve Holland and Jeff Mason; editing by Grant McCool)

9/20/2021 GOP Governors Request Meeting With Biden On Southern Border Crisis by OAN Newsroom
Migrants, many from Haiti, wade across the Rio Grande from Del Rio, Texas, to return to Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021,
to avoid deportation to Haiti from the U.S. The U.S. is flying Haitians camped in a Texas border town back to their
homeland and blocking others from crossing the border from Mexico in a massive show of force that signals the beginning of what
could be one of America’s swiftest, large-scale expulsions of migrants or refugees in decades. (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)
    A group of more than two dozen GOP governors fired off a letter to Joe Biden in which they requested a meeting at the White House regarding the crisis at southern border.    In the open letter, signed by 26 governors Monday, they said the crisis now extends beyond every state and requires immediate action before it gets even worse.
    The governors also said the situation has endangered public health and safety in their states by opening the floodgates to human trafficking as well as drug smuggling.    According to the group, apprehensions are up by more than 500 percent compared to last year.    The governors are asking Biden for an open and constructive dialogue about border enforcement. They want a meeting within the next 15 days.
    Meanwhile, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas spoke at the border crossing at Del Rio, Texas to address the ongoing migrant crisis there.    During a speech Monday morning, he said there are currently 600 agents, DHS personnel and volunteers assisting border security efforts at the Del Rio crossing.
    Over the past month, thousands of Haitan migrants have flooded that area of the border with many resorting to camping out under a bridge.    Earlier this year, the White House halted deportation flights for Haitians following the assassination of the Caribbean nation’s president.    Mayorkas said now, however, they are working to speed up flights back to the country amid the ongoing migrant surge.

9/20/2021 World Bank Chief Says Report On Pressure To Alter Data ‘Speaks For Itself’
FILE PHOTO: World Bank President David Malpass responds to a question from a reporter during an
opening press conference at the IMF and World Bank's 2019 Annual Fall Meetings of finance ministers
and bank governors, in Washington, U.S., October 17, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Theiler//File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – World Bank President David Malpass said on Monday that a law firm’s investigation detailing pressure from senior World Bank officials in 2017 and 2019 to boost certain country rankings in the bank’s annual Doing Business report “speaks for itself.”
    Malpass, speaking to CNBC, said that after discontinuing the report ranking country business climates, “We’re making the point that we want to find the best way possible for countries as they work to improve their business climates, so we’ll be looking at new approaches to do that.”
(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Leslie Adler)

9/21/2021 Oil down $2.58 to $69.38, DOW down 614 to 33,970 a sign that Biden’s policies are not liked.

9/21/2021 THE GOVERNOR, THE LAW AND COVID-19 - Beshear navigating with limited power by Morgan Watkins, Louisville Courier-Journal | USATODAYNETWORK
    Gov. Andy Beshear says he must fight COVID-19 with one arm “tied behind my back,” after the Kentucky General Assembly restricted his emergency powers and prohibited statewide mask mandates.    The Republican-dominated legislature passed a few key laws earlier this year that limited what the governor can do to address the pandemic and shifted significant policymaking authority to lawmakers.    An August Kentucky Supreme Court ruling finally permitted those laws to take effect, and the recent special legislative session let lawmakers decide what the state will and won’t do to deal with the surging virus.
    So, what powers does Beshear still have — and what authority has he lost — to deal with the pandemic?
    Here’s a look at where things stand:
    Can he restrict restaurants’ and stores’ capacity?
    The short answer: No.
    Beshear previously limited the capacity of restaurants, stores and other places that are open to the public by issuing an executive order.
    However, the legislature has prohibited him from issuing more capacity restrictions without lawmakers’ approval, a spokesman for the Kentucky Senate’s Republican leadership confirmed.
    Under now-effective measures lawmakers approved this year, the governor can’t issue executive orders under Kentucky’s COVID-19 state of emergency that are similar to edicts he previously issued that expired and weren’t extended by the legislature.    (Beshear spokesman Sebastian Kitchen also confirmed that’s the case to The Courier Journal.)
    Essentially, that rules out a return to the kinds of capacity limits Kentuckians lived with earlier in the pandemic.
    Can he mandate COVID-19 vaccines for state workers?
    When The Courier Journal asked Monday if he legally can mandate vaccines forstate government employees, the governor didn’t say whether he can require them as a condition of employment.
    He did say his administration, which runs the state’s sprawling executive branch, can require workers to undergo COVID-19 testing and can require different levels of testing depending on whether someone’s vaccinated.
He cannot make people wear masks in schools, but Gov. Andy Beshear can keep providing incentives for getting vaccinated, such
as the $1 million prizes the state gave to three Kentuckians this summer. RYAN C. HERMENS/LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER (POOL)

9/21/2021 Canada’s Trudeau Wins Another Minority In Election, Claims ‘Clear Mandate’ by Steve Scherer, David Ljunggren and Julie Gordon
Canada's Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, accompanied by his wife Sophie Gregoire and his children Ella-Grace, Xavier
and Hadrien watch the election coverage on a TV, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, September 20, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio
    MONTREAL/OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hung onto power on Monday as his main rival conceded defeat, saying he had won a clear mandate to govern although he fell short of his goal for a majority win.
    Trudeau, in power since 2015 and governing with a minority of House of Commons seats since 2019, decided to gamble on an early vote and capitalize on his government’s handling of the pandemic, which included massive spending to support individuals and businesses and a push for high vaccination rates.
    Instead, he will end up where he started after an unexpectedly tight election race characterized by a lackluster campaign and voter anger at an election during a pandemic.
    Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, whose party placed second, conceded defeat as results trickled in late into the night.    Trudeau spoke to supporters shortly after, pledging to work with other parties for the good of all Canadians.
    “You are sending us back to work with a clear mandate to get Canada through this pandemic and to the brighter days ahead,” Trudeau said to a small crowd gathered in a hotel ballroom.    “What we’ve seen tonight is that millions of Canadians have chosen a progressive plan.”
    CBC and CTV projected that Trudeau’s Liberal government would hold a minority of seats in the House of Commons, meaning he will need another party’s support to govern.
    Elections Canada showed the Liberals leading in 156 electoral districts nationally, one more than they held before the election, including 110 in vote-rich Ontario and Quebec.
    “It’s a Groundhog Day election,” said Gerald Baier, a professor of political science at University of British Columbia.    “It seems that ambivalence has stayed (from the 2019 election).”
    The House of Commons holds 338 seats and a party needs to win 170 to hold a majority.    The Conservatives led in 122 districts.
    The Conservatives looked on track to win the popular vote, attracting 34% support to the Liberals’ 32%, but Liberal support is centered around urban and suburban areas where there are more seats.
    “Our support has grown, it’s grown across the country, but clearly there is more work for us to do to earn the trust of Canadians,” O’Toole told supporters, while suggesting that he planned to stay on as leader.    “My family and I are resolutely committed to continuing this journey for Canada.”
    Polls reported results much more slowly than usual, with some stations forced to limit occupancy due to COVID-19 restrictions. Long lines forced some electors to wait hours to vote in southern Ontario, a critical battleground.
    The Canadian dollar strengthened against its U.S. counterpart in Asian trading on Tuesday, in part as a projected election win for Trudeau’s Liberal party reassured investors that economic support would continue.
    Trudeau, 49, a charismatic progressive and son of former Liberal Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, swept to power in 2015.    But the Liberals dropped to a minority in 2019 after Trudeau was damaged in part by disclosures that he had worn blackface years ago.
    Amid a fourth wave of COVID-19, Trudeau backed vaccine mandates while O’Toole, 48, opposed them, preferring a combination of voluntary vaccinations and rapid testing to stop the spread of the virus.
    Trudeau had said he needed a new mandate to ensure Canadians approve of his plan for getting the country past the coronavirus pandemic. The Liberals, whose fiscal policy supports for the pandemic exceed 23% of GDP, plan billions in new spending to support economic recovery if re-elected.
    Cambridge Global Payments Chief Strategist Karl Schamotta said the election result “essentially preserves the status quo and ensures that the fiscal spending plans that have supported the economy for the last year and half are likely to continue.”
    A delay in counting mail-in votes could further hold up results in tight races.
    Elections Canada will not start counting roughly 800,000 mail-in ballots until Tuesday, after it is able to verify them against in-person votes.    Those could help to determine the outcome in at least two Atlantic districts and many more across Canada.
    A second minority government will mean Trudeau’s Liberals will have to rely again on opposition parties, such as the left-leaning New Democratic Party, to pass legislation.
    “A win’s a win, and time in office and power is when you get to make change,” said John Duffy, a former Liberal adviser.
(Reporting by Steve Scherer and David Ljunggren; Additional reporting by Julie Gordon, Allison Lampert, Moira Warburton, Fergal Smith; Writing by Rod Nickel; Editing by Peter Cooney and Edmund Klamann)

9/21/2021 Power Player Or Poodle? UK-U.S. Relations In Flux As BoJo Meets Joe by Trevor Hunnicutt and Elizabeth Piper
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden walks to the podium before his remarks on a National Security Initiative
virtually with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, inside the
East Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., September 15, 2021. REUTERS/Tom Brenner
    NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – British prime minister Boris Johnson once worried that his friendliness with Donald Trump would leave him out in the cold when Democrat Joe Biden took over the White House.
    Instead, he can expect a warm welcome in Washington on Tuesday, as the trans-Atlantic leaders meet for wide-ranging talks intended to deepen ties that are expected to focus on security, climate and economic regulation in the run-up to     Britain hosting a major environmental conference at the end of October.
    It is a moment Johnson’s team regards as a triumph: validation that “global Britain” can thrive on the world stage after its divorce last year from the European Union.    It comes amid a U.S. rift with EU rival France, in which Britain played a crucial part.
    A submarine deal the United States and Britain recently announced with Australia came at France’s expense, sparking France to withdraw its ambassadors to the United States and Australia and cancel a defense meeting with Britain.
    France continues to see Britain as the junior partner in the long-running “special relationship,” years after former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was ridiculed for supporting George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq in March 2003, some say.
    “The French are seeing this as quite strategic, part of a shift by America in particular coming on top of the Afghanistan humiliation, a shift of America away from really taking its European allies seriously and turning towards China … and Britain following on, Britain being the poodle,” said Peter Ricketts, a member of the House of Lords and former British ambassador to France.
    For Biden, the alliance is focused on a pragmatic need to rise above differences in approach and style.    Biden was angered at the time by Johnson’s comments characterizing his former boss Barack Obama as being opposed to Britain exit from the European Union because he was “part Kenyan.”
    However, the two met amicably in June at a G7 meeting, where Biden told Johnson, who had recently wed his nearly three decades-younger third wife that “we both married way above our station.”
    Johnson responded: “I’m not going to disagree with the president on that or indeed on anything else, I think, either, likely.”
    There is room for each country to advance its interests.    Both want to move beyond disagreements over the chaotic military withdrawal from Afghanistan.
    Despite French concerns, they also want to build on the alliance with Australia, known as AUKUS, whose primary mission is to counter China’s regional influence.    And they will look at ways to cooperate on the COVID response and climate change.
    Johnson plans to press Biden to increase his contribution to meet an overdue spending pledge of $100 billion a year by rich countries to help poorer countries cut carbon emissions and cope with global warming.
    “It will make a huge difference, and I think it will send a massively powerful signal to the world,” said Johnson.
    A bilateral U.S.-British trade deal, long held out by Johnson and his allies as a logical post-Brexit step, will likely have to wait though. Biden has not prioritized brokering new trade deals.
    “The reality is that Joe has a lot of fish to fry,” Johnson told reporters traveling with him to the United States on Monday.
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt and Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Heather Timmons, Robert Birsel)

9/21/2021 CIA Officer Reports Havana Syndrome Symptoms On India Trip - Reports
FILE PHOTO: The lobby of the CIA Headquarters Building in McLean, Virginia, August 14, 2008. REUTERS/Larry Downing
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A CIA officer who was traveling with agency director William Burns to India this month reported symptoms consistent with Havana syndrome, CNN and the New York Times reported on Monday.
    The victim, who was not identified, had to receive medical attention, CNN reported, citing unnamed sources.
    Some 200 U.S. officials and family members have been sickened by Havana syndrome, a mysterious set of ailments that include migraines, nausea, memory lapses and dizziness.    It was first reported by officials based in the U.S. embassy in Cuba in 2016.
    A CIA spokesperson said in a statement to Reuters the agency does not comment on specific incidents or officers.    “We have protocols in place for when individuals report possible anomalous health incidents that include receiving appropriate medical treatment,” the spokesperson said.
    Last month, Vice President Kamala Harris delayed her arrival to Hanoi for three hours after the U.S. embassy there said someone had reported a health incident consistent with Havana syndrome.
    Burns said in July he had tapped a senior officer who once led the hunt for Osama bin Laden to head a task force investigating the syndrome.
    A U.S. National Academy of Sciences panel found that the most plausible theory is that “directed, pulsed radio frequency energy” causes the syndrome.
    Burns has said there is a “very strong possibility” that the syndrome is intentionally caused and that Russia could be responsible.
(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

9/21/2021 EU Backs France In Submarine Dispute, Asking: Is America Back? by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters
in Brussels, Belgium May 5, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo
    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - European Union foreign ministers expressed support and solidarity with France on Monday during a meeting in New York to discuss Australia’s scrapping of a $40 billion submarine order with Paris in favor of a U.S. and British deal.
    Speaking after the closed-door meeting on the sidelines annual U.N. gathering of world leaders, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said “more cooperation, more coordination, less fragmentation” was needed to achieve a stable and peaceful Indo-Pacific region where China is the major rising power.
    Australia said last week it would cancel an order for conventional submarines from France and instead build at least eight nuclear-powered submarines    AUSTRALIA.jpg with U.S. and British technology after striking a security partnership with those countries under the name AUKUS.
    “Certainly, we were caught by surprise by this announcement,” Borrell said.
    The decision enraged France and earlier on Monday in New York French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian accused U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration of continuing his predecessor Donald Trump’s trends of “unilateralism, unpredictability, brutality and not respecting your partner.”
    The United States has sought to assuage the anger in France, a NATO ally.    French President Emmanuel Macron and U.S. President Joe Biden are due to speak on the phone in the next few days.
    “We are allies, we talk and don’t hide elaborate different strategies.    That’s why there is a crisis in confidence,” Le Drian said.    “So all that needs clarifications and explanations.    It may take time.”
    White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Monday that she expected Biden to “reaffirm our commitment to working with one of our oldest and closest partners on a range of challenges that the global community is facing” when he speaks with Macron.
    It is not clear if the dispute will have implications for the next round of EU-Australia trade talks, scheduled for Oct. 12.    Borrell met with Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne in New York on Monday.
    European Council President Charles Michel said that he found it difficult to understand the move by Australia, Britain and the United States.
    “Why?    Because with the new Joe Biden administration, America is back.    This was the historic message sent by this new administration and now we have questions.    What does it mean – America is back?    Is America back in America or somewhere else?    We don’t know,” he told reporters in New York.
    If China was a main focus for Washington then it was “very strange” for the United States to team up with Australia and Britain, he said, calling it a decision that weakened the transatlantic alliance.
    Top officials from the United States and European Union are due to meet in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, later this month for the inaugural meeting of the newly established U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council, but Michel said some EU members were pushing for this to be postponed.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols, John Irish, Steve Holland, Sabine Siebold, Philip Blenkinsop and Marine Strauss; Editing by Mary Milliken, Sonya Hepinstall, Richard Pullin and Michael Perry)

9/21/2021 U.S. To Relax Travel Restrictions For Vaccinated Foreign Air Travelers In November by David Shepardson and Andrea Shalal
FILE PHOTO: Passengers walk past artwork between terminals at IAH George Bush Intercontinental Airport amid
the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Houston, Texas, U.S., July 21, 2020. REUTERS/Adrees Latif
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will reopen in November to air travelers from 33 countries including China, India, Brazil and most of Europe who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the White House said on Monday, easing tough pandemic-related restrictions that started early last year.
    The decision, announced by White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients, marked an abrupt shift for President Joe Biden’s administration, which said last week it was not the right time to lift any restrictions amid rising COVID-19 cases.
    The United States had lagged many other countries in lifting such restrictions, and allies welcomed the move.    The U.S. restrictions have barred travelers from most of the world including tens of thousands of foreign nationals with relatives or business links in the United States.
    The United States will admit fully vaccinated air travelers from the 26 so-called Schengen countries in Europe including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Greece, as well as Britain, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil.    The unprecedented U.S. restrictions have barred non-U.S. citizens who were in those countries within the past 14 days.
    Restrictions on non-U.S. citizens were first imposed on air travelers from China in January 2020 by then-President Donald Trump and then extended to dozens of other countries, without any clear metrics for how and when to lift them.
    Zients did not give a precise start date for the new rules beyond saying “early November,” and many details of the new policy are still being decided.
    Separately on Monday, the United States extended its pandemic-related restrictions at land borders with Canada and Mexico that bar nonessential travel such as tourism through Oct. 21.    It gave no indication if it would apply the new vaccine rules to those land border crossings.
    The United States has allowed foreign air travelers from more than 150 countries throughout the pandemic, a policy that critics said made little sense because some countries with high COVID-19 rates were not on the restricted list, while some on the list had the pandemic more under control.
    Monday’s action means COVID-19 vaccine requirements will now apply to nearly all foreign nationals flying to the United States – including those not subject to the prior restrictions.
    Americans traveling from abroad who are not vaccinated will face tougher rules than vaccinated citizens, including needing to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within a day of travel and proof of purchasing a viral test to be taken after arrival.
    Airlines for America, an industry trade group, said that through late August, international air travel was down 43% from pre-pandemic levels.
    The announcement comes as President Joe Biden makes his first U.N. General Assembly speech on Tuesday, and hosts leaders from Britain, India, Japan and Australia this week.
    White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday the policy was not timed for diplomacy.    “If we were going to make things much easier for ourselves, we would have done it prior to June, when the president had his first foreign trip, or earlier this summer.    This is when the process concluded,” she said.    “We’re basing it on science.”
    U.S. COVID-19 infections and deaths have skyrocketed since June as the Delta variant spreads, particularly among the unvaccinated.    Nearly 29,000 new U.S. cases were reported on Sunday.
    British Airways Chief Executive Sean Doyle said the U.S. announcement “marks a historic moment and one which will provide a huge boost to Global Britain as it emerges from this pandemic.”
    Shares in U.S. airlines were little changed, while some European carriers gained.    British Airways parent IAG SA rose 11.2%, while Air France-KLM and Deutsche Lufthansa AG closed up more than 5%.
    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the announcement “a fantastic boost for business and trade, and great that family and friends on both sides of the pond can be reunited once again.”    Germany’s U.S. ambassador, Emily Haber, said on Twitter it was “hugely important to promote people-to-people contacts and transatlantic business.”
    It will have less impact travel from China, which requires its residents to quarantine for at least two weeks on return home.    International flights from China are capped and running at around 2% of 2019 levels, a situation expected to last until the second half of next year.
    Foreign nationals will need to present proof of vaccination before travel and will not be required to quarantine on arrival. The White House said the final decision on what vaccines would be accepted is up to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
    The CDC on Monday pointed to its prior guidance when asked what vaccines it will accept.
    “The CDC considers someone fully vaccinated with any FDA-authorized or approved vaccines and any vaccines that (the World Health Organization) has authorized,” said spokesperson Kristen Nordlund. That list could change pending additions by either agency, she said.
    Exceptions include children not yet eligible for shots. Airlines heavily lobbied the White House to lift the restrictions, and it has been working since August on the new plan.
    The U.S. Travel Association trade group previously estimated that the U.S. restrictions, if they ran to the end of the year, would cost the American economy $325 billion.
    Zients said last Wednesday that given the rise of the Delta variant, it was not the right time to lift travel restrictions.    Asked on Monday what had changed since then, Zients cited rising global vaccinations, adding: “The new system allows us to implement strict protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
    Zients said the new system would include collecting contact tracing data from passengers traveling into the United States to enable the CDC to contact travelers exposed to COVID-19.
    The administration has been considering imposing vaccine requirements for foreign nationals since May, officials said, but the White House only decided on Friday to move forward.
(Reporting by David Shepardson and Andrea Shalal; Additional reporting by Sarah Young, Julie Steenhuysen and Jamie Freed; Editing by Will Dunham, Heather Timmons, Peter Cooney and Sonya Hepinstall)

9/21/2021 France Says Needs Clarifications, Explanations From U.S. After Submarine Deal
FILE PHOTO: Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard makes a statement following a meeting with France's Minister for
Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian at Quai d'Orsay in Paris, France July 1, 2021. Yoan Valat/Pool via REUTERS
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – France’s foreign minister said on Monday that the United States would need to give France explanations and clarifications when United States President Joe Biden and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron speak later this week.
    Speaking to reporters in new York, Jean-Yves Le Drian said the United States also needed to take into account the interests of its European allies.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols;editing by John Irish)

9/21/2021 No Ministers’ Meeting On Iran Nuclear Deal At U.N., Says EU’s Borrell by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell delivers a speech on the situation in Afghanistan during a plenary
session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, September 14, 2021. Julien Warnand/Pool via REUTERS
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Ministers from Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia will not meet with Iran at the United Nations this week to discuss a return to nuclear deal talks, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters on Monday.
    Diplomats were tentatively planning for a ministerial meeting of the parties to the 2015 nuclear deal on Wednesday on the sidelines of the annual U.N. gathering of world leaders.
    “Some years it happens, some years it doesn’t happen.    It’s not in the agenda,” said Borrell, who acts as coordinator for the nuclear deal – known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
    “But the important thing is not this ministerial meeting, but the will of all parties to resume negotiations in Vienna,” he said, adding that he would meet with his new Iranian counterpart Hossein Amirabdollahian on Tuesday.
    The world powers held six rounds of indirect talks between the United States and Iran in Vienna to try and work out how both can return to compliance with the nuclear pact, which was abandoned by former U.S. President Donald Trump in 2018.
    Trump reimposed harsh sanctions on Iran, which then started breaching curbs on its nuclear programme.    Tehran has said its nuclear program is for peaceful energy purposes only.
    The Vienna talks were adjourned in June after hardliner Ebrahim Raisi was elected Iran’s president and took office in August.    Borrell said he would push Amirabdollahian on Tuesday to resume talks as soon as possible.
    “After the elections the new presidency asked for the delay in order to take fully take stock of the negotiations and understand better everything about this very sensitive file,” Borrell said.    “The summer has already passed by and we expect that the talks can be resuming soon in Vienna.”
    French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said earlier on Monday that the negotiations must restart, signalling that there would be a ministerial meeting of the nuclear deal parties.
    “We need to take advantage of this week to restart these talks.    Iran must accept to return as quickly as possible by appointing its representatives for the negotiations,” he said.
    Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

9/21/2021 External Review Finds Deeper Rot In World Bank ‘Doing Business’ Rankings by Andrea Shalal
FILE PHOTO: A participant stands near a logo of World Bank at the International Monetary Fund - World Bank
Annual Meeting 2018 in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, October 12, 2018. REUTERS/Johannes P. Christo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Weeks before the World Bank scrapped its flagship Doing Business rankings following a damning independent probe, a group of external advisers recommended an overhaul of the rankings to limit countries’ efforts to “manipulate their scores.”
    An 84-page review, written by senior academics and economists, was published on the bank’s website on Monday, about three weeks after it was submitted to World Bank chief economist Carmen Reinhart.
    The World Bank on Thursday said it would cancel the “Doing Business” series on country business climates, citing internal audits and a separate independent probe by law firm WilmerHale that found senior World Bank leaders, including     Kristalina Georgieva, who now heads the International Monetary Fund, pressured staff to alter data to favor China during her time as World Bank CEO.
    Georgieva has strongly denied the findings.
    World Bank President David Malpass, in his first public comments since the data rigging controversy broke last Thursday, told CNBC that the WilmerHale report “speaks for itself” and that the bank will explore new approaches to helping countries improve their business climates.
    The review published on Monday was written by a group assembled by the World Bank in December 2020, after a series of internal audits revealed data irregularities in reports on China, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Azerbaijan.
    It calls for a series of remedial actions and reforms to address the “methodological integrity” of the Doing Business report, citing what it called “a pattern of government efforts to interfere” with scoring for the reports in past years.
    “The World Bank needs an introspection.    It has been advocating country reforms for better governance, transparency, and practices.    Now it has to use the prescription for its own reform,” said Mauricio Cardenas, the Columbia University professor and former Colombian finance minister who chaired the expert panel.
    The experts faulted the Doing Business series for lack of transparency about the underlying data and questionnaires used to calculate the rankings, called for a firewall between the Doing Business team and other World Bank operations, and creation of a permanent, external review board.
    “We have been informed of multiple cases where national governments have attempted to manipulate the DB scores by exerting pressure on individual contributors,” the report said, pointing to lawyers, accountants, or other professionals.
    “World Bank staff mentioned several countries where they believe government officials have instructed contributors how to respond.    And even in the absence of explicit government pressure, of course, the perceived threat of retaliation may influence the scores contributors report.”
    The authors also called for the bank to stop selling consulting services to governments aimed at improving a country’s score, noting that they constituted an apparent conflict of interest.
    “The World Bank should not simultaneously engage in scoring countries’ business environment while accepting payment to coach countries on how to improve their scores,” the authors wrote.    The World Bank offered these     “Reimbursible Advisory Services,” or RAS in a number of countries, including some of those implicated in the data manipulation investigation, such as China and Saudi Arabia, the review said.
    In December 2020, the review said, one internal audit reported that bank management had pressured nine of 15 staff to manipulate data in the 2018 and 2020 issues of the Doing Business index, boosting Saudi Arabia to the “most reformed” spot globally and buoying the rankings of the United Arab Emirates and China, while dropping Azerbaijan from the top 10 rankings, the external advisers reported.
    The separate WilmerHale report said that changes to Saudi Arabia’s data were “likely the result of efforts by a senior bank staff member to achieve a desired outcome and reward Saudi Arabia for the important role it played in the Bank community, including its significant and ongoing RAS projects.”
    Justin Sandefur, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development in Washington and another member of the expert panel that produced Monday’s report, said that it showed “a governance problem” at the World Bank and he had not seen any assurances that similar problems would not continue with other data sets.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; additional reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Heather Timmons and Grant McCool)

9/21/2021 German Social Democrats’ Lead Narrows Days Before Election
FILE PHOTO: A combination of four images shows placards of Germany’s top candidates for the September 26 German general
elections being placed on large boards. The top row shows Armin Laschet of the Christian Democratic Union Party CDU and Olaf
Scholz of Germany’s Social Democratic Party SPD. The bottom row shows Greens Party candidate Annalena Baerbock and Christian
Lindner of the Free Democratic Party FDP, in Bonn, Germany, September 20, 2021. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay
    BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) saw their lead over Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives narrow in a poll published on Tuesday, pointing to a tightening race just five days before a federal election.
    The SPD, whose candidate for chancellor Olaf Scholz is currently vice chancellor and finance minister in Merkel’s grand coalition, remained stable at 25%, according to the Forsa poll for RTL/n-tv television.
    Support for the conservative CDU/CSU alliance, whose chancellor candidate is Armin Laschet, edged up one percentage point to 22%.
    The other parties were all unchanged with the Greens on 17%, the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP) at 11%, the far-right AfD at 11% and the anti-capitalist Left party at 6%.
    Forsa projected that the SPD would win 206 seats in the next Bundestag, the lower house of parliament, the CDU/CSU bloc 185, the Greens 140, the FDP and the AfD both 91 each and the Left 49.
    This raises the possibility of four coalition options after Sunday’s election:
– the SPD with the Greens and FDP, also known as a traffic light coalition due to their party colours of red, green and yellow;
– the CDU/CSU bloc with the Greens and the FDP, described as a Jamaica coalition in reference to the country’s flag and the party colours of black, green and yellow;
– SPD with the Greens and the Left, dubbed R2G or red-green-red coalition;
– or an SPD-led grand coalition with the conservatives as junior partner.
    All parties have ruled out working with the populist, far-right AfD.
    Scholz and the Greens have also poured cold water on the idea of forming a coalition with the conservatives, saying that the CDU/CSU alliance needed to rebuild itself in opposition following 16 years of Merkel’s consensus-driven, centrist rule.
(Reporting by Michael Nienaber, editing by Giles Elgood)

9/21/2021 WHO’s Tedros Wins German Backing For Second Term
FILE PHOTO: World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference organized
by Geneva Association of United Nations Correspondents (ACANU) amid the COVID-19 outbreak, caused by the novel coronavirus,
at the WHO headquarters in Geneva Switzerland July 3, 2020. Fabrice Coffrini/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
    BERLIN (Reuters) – German Health Minister Jens Spahn backed a second term for World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and called on other countries to support the former Ethiopian health minister ahead of a deadline this week.
    “We invite partner countries to join us nominating DG (Director General) Tedros,” Spahn told Reuters.    The support is significant as Germany is a major financial backer of the WHO.
    Last week, sources told Reuters that Tedros looks set to run unopposed for a second term at the helm of the WHO as it tries to guide the world through its biggest health crisis in a century, even though he lacks the support of Ethiopia due to friction over the Tigray conflict.
    He has steered the agency through several Ebola outbreaks as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, surviving savage criticism from the Trump administration for allegedly being “China-centric.”
    Those criticisms were echoed in a Wall Street Journal editorial on Tuesday arguing against a second term.
    “The White House is committing diplomatic malpractice by not working with allies and partners to back a credible alternative,” the newspaper wrote.
    The WHO had no immediate comment on the issue.
    While Tedros has not publicly acknowledged his plans to run again for a second five-year term, saying he was focusing on fighting the pandemic, four sources said he is the only known candidate.
(Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Emma Thomasson and Keith Weir; Editing by Kirsti Knolle and Alison Williams)

9/21/2021 U.N. Chief Grades World On Vaccine Rollout: ‘F In Ethics’ by Michelle Nichols
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses the 76th Session of the U.N.
General Assembly in New York City, U.S., September 21, 2021. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/Pool
(Correct typo in first paragraph)
    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reprimanded the world on Tuesday for the inequitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, describing it as an “obscenity” and giving the globe an “F in Ethics.”
    Addressing the annual U.N. gathering of world leaders in New York, Guterres said images from some parts of the world of expired and unused vaccines in the garbage told “the tale of our times” – with the majority of the wealthier world immunised while more than 90% of Africa has not even received one dose.
    “This is a moral indictment of the state of our world.    It is an obscenity.    We passed the science test. But we are getting an F in Ethics,” Guterres told the U.N. General Assembly.
    World leaders returned to New York this year after a virtual event last year during the pandemic.    As the coronavirus is still raging, about a third of the 193 U.N. states are again sending videos, but presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers for the remainder have traveled to the United States.
    Out of 5.7 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines administered around the world, only 2% have been in Africa.
    Guterres is pushing for a global plan to vaccinate 70% of the world by the first half of next year.
    The secretary-general, who begins a second five-year term at the helm of the world body on Jan. 1, also warned of rising tensions between the world’s superpowers – China and the United States.
    “I fear our world is creeping towards two different sets of economic, trade, financial and technology rules, two divergent approaches in the development of artificial intelligence – and ultimately two different military and geo-political strategies,” he said.
    “This is a recipe for trouble.    It would be far less predictable than the Cold War,” Guterres said.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

9/21/2021 At U.N., Biden Promises ‘Relentless Diplomacy,’ Defense Of Democracy by Trevor Hunnicutt and Steve Holland
U.S. President Joe Biden meets with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the 76th Session
of the U.N. General Assembly in New York City, U.S., September 20, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden mapped out a new era of vigorous competition without a new Cold War despite China’s ascendance during his first United Nations address on Tuesday, promising military restraint and a robust fight against climate change.
    The United States will help resolve crises from Iran to the Korean Peninsula to Ethiopia, Biden told the annual U.N. General Assembly gathering.
    The world faces a “decisive decade,” Biden said, one in which leaders must work together to combat a raging coronavirus pandemic, global climate change and cyber threats.    He said the United States will double its financial commitment on climate aid and spend $10 billion to fight hunger.
    Biden did not ever say the words “China” or “Beijing” but sprinkled implicit references to America’s increasingly powerful authoritarian competitor throughout his speech, as the two nations butt heads in the Indo-Pacific and on trade and human rights issues.
    He said the United States will compete vigorously, both economically and to push democratic systems and rule of law.
    “We’ll stand up for our allies and our friends and oppose attempts by stronger countries to dominate weaker ones, whether through changes to territory by force, economic coercion, technical exploitation or disinformation.    But we’re not seeking – I’ll say it again – we are not seeking a new Cold War or a world divided into rigid blocs,” Biden said.
    Biden came to the United Nations facing criticism at home and abroad for a chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan that left some Americans and Afghan allies still in that country and struggling to get out.
    His vow for allied unity is being tested by a three-way agreement among the United States, Australia and Britain that undermined a French submarine deal and left France feeling stabbed in the back.
    “We’ve ended 20 years of conflict in Afghanistan and as we close this era of relentless war, we’re opening a new era of relentless diplomacy,” Biden said.
    Biden vowed to defend vital U.S. national interests, but said that “the mission must be clear and achievable,” and the American military “must not be used as the answer to every problem we see around the world.”
    Biden, a Democrat, hoped to present a compelling case that the United States remains a reliable ally to its partners around the world after four years of “America First” policies pursued by his Republican predecessor Donald Trump.
    Overcoming global challenges “will hinge on our ability to recognize our common humanity,” Biden said.
    Biden added that he remains committed to peacefully resolving a dispute with Iran over its nuclear program.    He vowed to defend U.S. ally Israel but said a two-state solution with the Palestinians is still needed but a distant goal.
    He said the United States wants “sustained diplomacy” to resolve the crisis surrounding North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.    North Korea has rejected U.S. overtures to engage in talks.
    Discussing oppression of racial, ethnic and religious minorities, Biden singled out China’s Xinjiang region where rights groups estimate that one million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities have been interned in camps.
    In response to Biden’s reference to Xinjiang, China’s mission to the United Nations, told Reuters: “It’s completely groundless.    We totally reject.    The U.S. should pay more attention to its own human rights problems.”
    U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who begins a second five-year term at the helm of the world body on Jan. 1, warned earlier of the dangers of the growing gap between China and the United States, the world’s largest economies.
    I fear our world is creeping towards two different sets of economic, trade, financial and technology rules, two divergent approaches in the development of artificial intelligence – and ultimately two different military and geopolitical strategies,” Guterres said.
    “This is a recipe for trouble.    It would be far less predictable than the Cold War,” Guterres said.
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt and Michelle Nichols at the United Nations and Steve Holland in Washington; Editing by Heather Timmons, Will Dunham and Grant McCool)

9/21/2021 Sen. McConnell Vows No Republican Support To Raise Debt Ceiling by OAN Newsroom
In this Sept. 14, 2021 photo, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks to reporters at the Capitol in Washington.
McConnell has warned Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen he is not budging on his demand that Democrats go it alone on the federal debt limit,
deepening the emerging standoff in Congress over how to boost the government’s borrowing authority. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Senate Republicans told Democrats if they wish to raise the debt ceiling, they will have do so in purely partisan fashion.    Federal government funds will run out by the end of this month if Congress fails to agree on a federal budget.
    This impending financial cliff has triggered House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to call for the debt ceiling to be raised.    However, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has made it clear no Republican in the upper chamber will support the legislation.
    “This isn’t about the past., it’s about the future,” said McConnell.    “And Democrats want to build a partisan future without our input, so Democrats will not get bipartisan facilitators for their purely partisan spending binge.”
    The government would not be able to fulfill its financial obligations without taking on more debt.    Schumer called the actions of McConnell and Senate Republicans “irresponsible.”
    “And I think the whole country, including many very conservative elements in the business and finance communities, will be appalled if we get so close to the deadline that Leader McConnell is risking the full faith and credit of the country,” said the New York Democrat.
    Despite almost no Republican support in the Senate, the Democrat majority has the tools to push the legislation through.    Raising the debt ceiling would normally require 60 votes, meaning 10 Republican senators would need to cross party lines.
    However, putting the bill under “budget reconciliation” would only require a simple majority for it to pass.    The decision to stonewall the bill is less about stopping it and more about principle for the minority leader.
    “The Democratic chairman of the House Budget Committee admitted just yesterday, we can do it through reconciliation, but leadership has said they don’t want to do that, end quote,” stated McConnell.    “One party controls the entire government. They have the power to address this alone.”
    The U.S. currently has a debt ceiling for $28.5 trillion.    That ceiling must be raised by October 1 in order for the U.S. government to continue paying upon its financial obligations uninterrupted.

9/21/2021 Secy. Mayorkas: If You Come Illegally, You Will Be Returned by OAN Newsroom
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas testifies before a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental
Affairs Committee hearing, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via AP)
    The Biden administration is scrambling to respond to the growing crisis at the southern border.
    On Monday, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas took a trip to Del Rio, Texas to meet with officials over the influx of Haitian migrants flooding the city.    The official stressed that several federal, state and local agencies are coalescing to bring the illegal immigrants back to Haiti.
    “Border Patrol is coordinating with ICE and the U.S. Coast Guard to move individuals from Del Rio to other processing locations, including approximately 3,500 over the last few days and 3,000 today,” Mayorkas stated.    “In order to ensure that migrants are swiftly taken into custody, processed and removed from the United States, consistent with our laws and policies.”
    The rush to the border comes as border agents reported more than 12,000 Haitian and other illegal immigrants setting up makeshift camps under the Del Rio International Bridge last week. Since then, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol has deployed 1,000 border agents to the bridge to help get Haitian migrants to processing centers and repatriation flights.
    Secretary Mayorkas believes the migrants are being misled about the U.S.’s border policies, especially when it comes to Temporary Protected Status.
    “Only Haitians living in the United States before July 29 are eligible for Temporary Protected Status,” he stated.    “We have reiterated that our borders are not open and people should not make the dangerous journey.”
Migrants, many from Haiti, are seen at an encampment along the Del Rio International Bridge near the Rio Grande,
Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. is flying Haitians camped in a Texas border town back
to their homeland and blocking others from crossing the border from Mexico. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
    Additionally, Mayorkas issued a dire warning to those trying to illegally cross into the U.S. by saying the administration won’t allow it.
    “If you come to the United States illegally, you will be returned,” he continued.    “Your journey will not succeed and you will be endangering your life and your family’s lives.    This administration is committed to developing safe, orderly and humane pathways for migration, but this is not the way to do it.”
    In the meantime, the DHS’s deportation efforts are reportedly causing hundreds of Haitian migrants to flee to Mexico.    Secretary Mayorkas is calling on other agencies, including the Department of Defense, to help relocate the remaining migrants.

9/21/2021 Biden White House Kicks Off UN Meetings In N.Y. by OAN Newsroom
President Joe Biden meets with United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres at the Intercontinental Barclay
Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Joe Biden met with the head of the United Nations ahead of the body’s general assembly meeting.    On Monday, he sat down with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres while touting America’s strong partnership with the international organization.
    The two global leaders discussed what world crises need to be tackled, including the COVID-19 pandemic, inequality and the growing threat from China.    Both agreed that every member country has a part to play in making the world a better place.
    “Every UN member state, likewise, has an obligation to uphold these fundamental commitments that we’ve all made,” Biden stated.    “And normally the task is already ahead for each one of us and it’s real, but the vision of the United Nation has never been short of ambition, even more than our Constitution.    The ambition matters.”
    One America’s Chief White House Correspondent Chanel Rion has more on what’s to come at the UN General meeting.

9/21/2021 Gov. Abbott At Del Rio Border Crossing: Joe Biden Has Abandoned Southern Border, Left Texas To Pick Up Mess by OAN Newsroom
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, center, speaks during a news conference along the Rio Grande, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021,
in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. is flying Haitians camped in a Texas border town back to their
homeland and blocking others from crossing the border from Mexico. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) gave remarks at the Del Rio border crossing to address the ongoing crisis as thousands of Haitian migrants have flooded that area of the border. During his speech on Tuesday, Abbott slammed the Biden administration for its open border policies.
    Around 8,600 migrants have remained at the Del Rio crossing, which was down from a peak of 15,000 over the weekend as federal officials rushed to send people back to their home countries.    Abbott said the state has spent upwards of $3 billion on protecting the border in the absence of any help from the Biden administration.
    Abbott went on to say, “because the Biden administration has been promoting and allowing open border policies, it has been the state of Texas that had to step up and address this challenge and work with the local mayor, the local county judge and the local sheriff.”
    Border security officials also spoke at the conference, with both the president of the Border Patrol Council and the director of the Texas Public Safety Department criticizing Biden for abandoning the border.    They also praised Abbott for stepping up to the plate to take on the migrant crisis.

9/21/2021 Biden Delivers Remarks At U.N. General Assembly by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden delivers remarks to the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly,
Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Joe Biden said the U.S. would not seek a new Cold War with China.    In his address to the United Nations today, Biden said the U.S. was ready to work with any nation that steps up and pursues a peaceful resolution to shared challenges.
    Biden also emphasized the need for global cooperation to defeat the coronavirus pandemic as well as prepare for future threats to public health.    He said this was a decisive decade for our world and an “inflection point in history.”
    Biden asserted the U.S. would continue being a leader on the world stage.
    “The United State will compete and will compete vigorously, and lead with our values and strength,” he asserted.    “We’ll stand up for our allies and our friends, and oppose attempts by stronger countries to dominate weaker ones, whether through changes to territory by force, economic coercion, technological exploitation or disinformation.”
    Biden went on to say the U.S. would continue to renew and defend democracy no matter how challenging it is.

9/21/2021 Sen. Schumer ‘Frustrated, Saddened’ Pathway To Citizenship Cannot Be In Reconciliation Package by OAN Newsroom
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., joins advocates for Puerto Rico, which still suffers from the effects
of Hurricane Maria in 2017, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Sept. 20, 2021. Schumer said it was “extremely
disappointing” that the Senate’s nonpartisan parliamentarian ruled Democrats can’t use their $3.5 trillion package
bolstering social and climate programs to give millions of immigrants a chance to become citizens. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) responded to the Senate parliamentarian’s ruling against the Democrat immigration agenda.    On Monday, the senator said he was frustrated by the ruling, which confirmed a pathway to citizenship for immigrants cannot be in the reconciliation package.
    Schumer said despite the decision, Democrats will continue to push “alternative proposals.”    He also said he will be meeting with the parliamentarian soon to discuss the matter more closely.
    “Last night’s ruling was extremely disappointing,” stated the the New York lawmaker.    “It saddened me, it frustrated me, it angered me because so many lives are at stake.    But make no mistake, the fight continues.    Senate Democrats have prepared alternative proposals.”
    In the meantime, Democrats such as congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) are suggesting that Schumer ignore the ruling and put a pathway to citizenship in the reconciliation package anyway.
    According to a White House spokesperson, Joe Biden also fully supports including the measure and “fully expects our partners in the Senate to come back with alternative proposals for the Parliamentarian to consider.”

9/21/2021 Democrat Rep. Aguilar Says There’s A Humanitarian Crisis At The Southern Border by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., speaks at a Subcommittee on Elections of the Committee on House Administration
during a field hearing on voting rights and election administration issues facing Arizona and the
Native American community at Phoenix College, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
    A Democrat congressman seemingly broke ranks by calling the southern border is a “humanitarian crisis.”    On Monday, Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) said conditions at the southern border are unacceptable.
    Aguilar, who serves as co-chair at the House Democrat Caucus, said the crisis at the southern border has a massive impact on nearly every country in the Americas.    According to the California Democrat, migrants at the border need to “know the rules” and follow them.
    “Many of the individuals are Haitian immigrants as well, so we need to make sure that we are dialoguing with all of these countries,” he stated.    “Making sure that individuals know the rules of the road and exercise those, and ensure that we have humanitarian abilities to help because clearly what is happening is not ideal.”
    Congressman Aguilar went on to say the U.S. needs to work with other countries to combat the recent flood of immigrants at the southern border.    Meanwhile, another large group of illegal migrants are on their way to the U.S. border.
    According to reports Monday, a group of 6,000 migrants from Haiti are making their way through Mexico in hopes of reaching the U.S.    In recent days, thousands of Haitian migrants have crossed the C back and forth allegedly to avoid the Department of Homeland Security’s attempts to deport them.
    At least 12,000 Haitian migrants have traveled to Del Rio, where they are gathering in makeshift camps under the International Bridge.    They are facing dehydration, hunger and disease. In this light, some migrants choose to stay in Mexico.
    “The Americans are grabbing Haitians and deporting everyone to Haiti,” stated migrant Jean Philipe Samus.    “Haiti has no president, no jobs.    There is nothing.    In the earthquake a lot of people died.    It’s not right over there.    I’m going back to Mexico.”
    Despite booking deportation flights back to Haiti and other countries, officials have said migrants are arriving quicker than they can be deported.

9/22/2021 No Oil info, DOW down 51 to $33,920.

9/22/2021 Angry Scenes At Haiti Airport Add To Biden Pressure Over Expulsions by Gessika Thomas and Daina Beth Solomon
Haitian migrants get off an aiport bus after U.S. authorities flew them out of a Texas border city
where thousands of mostly Haitians had gathered under a bridge after crossing the Rio Grande river
from Mexico, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti September 20, 2021. REUTERS/Ralph Tedy Erol
    PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti/CIUDAD ACUNA, Mexico (Reuters) -Angry scenes broke out at Haiti’s main airport on Tuesday among migrants sent home from a squalid Texas border camp, as U.S. President Joe Biden faced mounting pressure to stop an expulsions policy the U.N. refugee chief said may be illegal.
    Nearly 10,000 migrants, mainly Haitian, remain in worsening conditions in the impromptu camp that sprang up under a bridge spanning the Rio Grande from the Texas town Del Rio to Mexico’s Ciudad Acuna.
    In recent days, U.S. authorities have removed at least 4,000 people from the site for processing in detention centers.    Some 523 Haitians have been deported to their homeland on four flights, with repatriations set to continue on a regular basis, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said.
    Returnees reacted angrily as they stepped off flights at Port-au-Prince airport after spending thousands of dollars on arduous voyages from the troubled Caribbean nation via South America hoping for a better life in the United States.
    On Tuesday, they found themselves back where they started.
    A group of men in white T-shirts rushed back toward the plane after they disembarked in Port-au-Prince, with one man attempting to get back on board, Reuters witnesses said.
    The migrants broke into a restricted area of the airport as they attempted to recover passports and personal belongings, and ground staff closed the door of the plane before the man could scale the steps back into the cabin.
    Tempers ran high, exacerbated by news the Haitian government had accepted the deportations.
    “I am angry at the government.    We were told in prison that the Haitian government had signed to send us back to Haiti.    They are all bad people, these authorities,” said Yranese Melidor, 45, who arrived on an earlier flight.
    The disturbances underscored the instability in the Caribbean nation, the poorest in the Western Hemisphere, where a presidential assassination, rising gang violence and a major earthquake have spread chaos in recent weeks.
    Filippo Grandi, the head of the U.N refugee agency, said U.S. expulsions to such a volatile situation might violate international law and could constitute refoulement, or exposing people seeking shelter to life-threatening situations.
    U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also called out Biden, a fellow Democrat, on Tuesday, saying it “defies common sense” to expel the migrants to Haiti and expressing anger over tactics used by border guards to control the crowds at the camp.
    Vice President Kamala Harris said the situation was complex and that the United States needed “to do a lot more” to support the basic needs of people in Haiti.
    “People want to stay home, they don’t want to leave home, but they leave when they cannot satisfy their basic needs,” she told reporters.
    Republican politicians with an eye on the 2022 midterm elections, when they hope to retake control of Congress, have been quick to portray the sprawling camp in Texas as the result of Democrats’ push to end some migration restrictions.
    The camp’s population peaked at up to 14,000 at the weekend, according to the U.N’s refugee agency.
    On Tuesday, the camp on the U.S. side of the river had expanded into a nearby forest area as migrants sought shade and cover.    Some families built makeshift tents with branches and leaves, while parents washed their children using jugs of river water.    One toddler had an untreated hernia on his stomach.
    Migrants said food remained scarce and there were not enough portable toilets.    In a small tent she had pitched under trees, a Haitian mother cradled her 15-day-old baby.
    Fearful of the expulsions, some of the migrants have set up a new camp on the Mexican side of the river.
    Mexican authorities also prepared flights and buses to Mexico’s southern states after it began detaining Haitians in Ciudad Acuna, just across the border from Del Rio.    The removal transport appeared aimed at reducing the concentration around the camps.
    Mexican and Haitian authorities held talks on Tuesday about how to deal with the migrant influx, with Mexico set to offer space for Haiti’s government to open consular offices in the southern cities of Tenosique and Talisman, close to the Guatemalan border.
    They also agreed to schedule repatriation flights to Haiti for “for all those people of Haitian origin who wish to return to their country,” Mexican authorities said.
    The new camp on the Mexican side has been growing, with migrants aided by groups, including the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders, as well as the U.N’s migration agency.
    Residents from Ciudad Acuna brought food.
    Surreane Petit, who clutched her 3-year-old son at her side, said staying in Mexico was a huge improvement over the U.S. camp.    “Here the Mexican people are helping greatly.”
    “Over there we were hungry,” Petit said. “Under the bridge there was no help, no help.”
    She said she had lived the last five years in Chile, where her son was born, but decided to leave after pandemic lockdowns made it hard to leave her house to find work.
    Following an outpouring of anger over an incident in which mounted U.S. border agents in cowboy hats used horse reins like whips to intimidate the migrants, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas emphasized that U.S. border agents were delivering medical attention and working with the Red Cross.
    Mayorkas said he was horrified by the images, echoing increasingly strident criticism from the White House, which said the footage “does not represent who we are as a country.”
    The agents under investigation have been assigned administrative duties and are no longer dealing with migrants, Mayorkas said.    He also ordered that the conduct of personnel in Del Rio be consistent with the policies, training and “the values of this department.”
    Despite the risk of being returned to Haiti, many migrants remained in the Del Rio camp.
    Carly Pierre, 40, said he was staying there because he saw a chance to make it into the United States with his wife and two children, ages 3 and 5, after several years living in Brazil.
    “There are deportees and there are people who will make it in,” he said, his shorts still wet from having crossed the river to buy ice and soda at a convenience store on the Mexican side.
(Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon in Ciudad Acuna and Gessika Thomas in Port-au-Prince; Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu in Washington, Kristina Cooke in San Francisco, Mica Rosenberg in New York, and Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva; Writing by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Leslie Adler)

9/22/2021 German Would-Be Kingmaker Sees Legal Cannabis But Little Else With SPD/Greens Alliance
A placard of Christian Lindner, top candidate of the Free Democratic Party FDP is placed on a board for
the September 26 German general elections in Bonn, Germany, September 20, 2021. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay
    BERLIN (Reuters) – Legalising cannabis is about the only thing Germany’s Free Democrats (FDP) could easily agree with the centre-left Social Democrats and Greens, the FDP leader has said, sounding cool on the possibility of forming a so-called “traffic light” coalition.
    Christian Lindner wants his business-friendly FDP to be kingmakers after Germany’s national election on Sunday, at which the future course of Europe’s largest economy is at stake after 16 years of steady, centre-right leadership under Angela Merkel.
    In power since 2005, she plans to step down after the vote.
    Opinion polls show a coalition of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens with the FDP, dubbed a traffic light alliance due to their party colours of red, green and yellow, is a real arithmetical possibility after the election.
    But when asked by the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper in an interview what could be easier for the FDP to achieve with the Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens than with Merkel’s conservatives, to whom he is closer, Lindner simply replied: “The legalization of cannabis.”
    Asked to name any other issues, he responded: “I can’t think of many right now.”
    Lindner, whose party believes in tax cuts and legalising cannabis, said he was unsure what the Social Democrat’s chancellor candidate, Olaf Scholz, stood for.
    “I’m not sure what his own political position is,” he said.
    Scholz’s SPD saw its lead over Merkel’s conservatives narrow in a poll published on     Tuesday, pointing to a tightening race just five days before the election.
(Writing by Paul Carrel; editing by Richard Pullin)

9/22/2021 Panama And Costa Rica Arrest Dozens Over Migrant Smuggling Network
FILE PHOTO: Migration police detain a person suspected of belonging to an international network for migrant
trafficking, in La Cruz, Costa Rica July 30, 2019. Ministry of Public Security/Handout via REUTERS
    SAN JOSE/PANAMA CITY (Reuters) – Authorities in Costa Rica and Panama said on Tuesday they detained more than 40 people suspected of operating a cross-country people-trafficking organization by smuggling migrants overland to the United States.
    The network handled migrants from Asian and African countries and to a lesser extent people from Cuba, Haiti and Venezuela, according to the Costa Rican security ministry.
    Panamanian authorities carried out 35 raids and 21 arrests, while on Costa Rican soil 15 operations were reported in border municipalities and another 21 people were captured.
    An investigation that lasted more than a year revealed that the organization charged each migrant $14,000 to $25,000 to take them to the United States, said Costa Rican Security Minister Michael Soto.
    In Panama, police agents also confiscated three vehicles and a boat used to transport migrants, the Public Ministry said in a statement.
(Reporting by Alvaro Murillo in San Jose and Elida Moreno in Panama City; Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Stephen Coates)

9/22/2021 At U.N., Biden Promises ‘Relentless Diplomacy,’ Not Cold War by Trevor Hunnicutt and Steve Holland
U.S. President Joe Biden meets with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the 76th Session
of the U.N. General Assembly in New York City, U.S., September 20, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden mapped out a new era of vigorous competition without a new Cold War despite China’s ascendance during his first United Nations address on Tuesday, promising military restraint and a robust fight against climate change.
    The United States will help resolve crises from Iran to the Korean Peninsula to Ethiopia, Biden told the annual U.N. General Assembly gathering.
    The world faces a “decisive decade,” Biden said, one in which leaders must work together to combat a raging coronavirus pandemic, global climate change and cyber threats.    He said the United States will double its financial commitment on climate aid and spend $10 billion to reduce hunger globally.
    Biden did not utter the words “China” or “Beijing” but sprinkled implicit references to America’s increasingly powerful authoritarian competitor throughout his speech, as the two nations butt heads in the Indo-Pacific and on trade and human rights issues.
    He said the United States will compete vigorously, both economically and to push democratic systems and rule of law.
    “We’ll stand up for our allies and our friends and oppose attempts by stronger countries to dominate weaker ones, whether through changes to territory by force, economic coercion, technical exploitation or disinformation.    But we’re not seeking – I’ll say it again – we are not seeking a new Cold War or a world divided into rigid blocs,” Biden said.
    Chinese President Xi Jinping, who told the U.N. Tuesday that China would not build new coal-fired power projects abroad, used his video address to obliquely criticize the U.S. as well.
    “Recent developments in the global situation show once again that military intervention from the outside and so-called democratic transformation entail nothing but harm,” Xi said.
    Biden came to the United Nations facing criticism at home and abroad for a chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan that left some Americans and Afghan allies still in that country and struggling to get out.
    Biden’s emphasis on allied unity is being tested by a three-way agreement among the United States, Australia and Britain that undermined a French submarine deal and left France feeling stabbed in the back.
    Biden met Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in New York and was to meet British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the White House later in the day.    His staff has been trying to arrange a phone call between Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron to try to cool tempers over the submarine deal.
    “We’ve ended 20 years of conflict in Afghanistan and as we close this era of relentless war, we’re opening a new era of relentless diplomacy,” Biden said.
    The United States would defend its national interests, Biden said, but “the mission must be clear and achievable,” and the American military “must not be used as the answer to every problem we see around the world.”
    Biden, a Democrat, hoped to present a compelling case that the United States remains a reliable ally to its partners around the world after four years of “America First” policies pursued by his Republican predecessor Donald Trump.
    Republicans pounced on Biden with sharp criticism.
    “President Biden’s speech today does not match his actions. His failed leadership led to the chaotic and deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan that abandoned our partners, angered our NATO allies and emboldened our adversaries,” said U.S.     Representative Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican.
    Biden said that he remains committed to peacefully resolving a dispute with Iran over its nuclear program.    He vowed to defend U.S. ally Israel but said a two-state solution with the Palestinians is still needed but a distant goal.
    He said the United States wants “sustained diplomacy” to resolve the crisis surrounding North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.    North Korea has rejected U.S. overtures to engage in talks.
    Discussing oppression of racial, ethnic and religious minorities, Biden singled out China’s Xinjiang region where rights groups estimate that one million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities have been interned in camps.
    In response to Biden’s reference to Xinjiang, China’s mission to the United Nations, told Reuters: “It’s completely groundless.    We totally reject.    The U.S. should pay more attention to its own human rights problems.”
    U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who begins a second five-year term at the helm of the world body on Jan. 1, warned earlier of the dangers of the growing gap between China and the United States, the world’s largest economies.
    “I fear our world is creeping towards two different sets of economic, trade, financial and technology rules, two divergent approaches in the development of artificial intelligence – and ultimately two different military and geopolitical strategies,” Guterres said.
    “This is a recipe for trouble.    It would be far less predictable than the Cold War,” Guterres said.
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt and Michelle Nichols at the United Nations and Steve Holland in Washington; Editing by Heather Timmons, Will Dunham and Grant McCool)

9/22/2021 Biden, UK’s Johnson Talk Trade And Trains In White House Meeting by Jeff Mason and Trevor Hunnicutt
U.S. President Joe Biden holds a bilateral meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the
Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., September 21, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday discussed the dangers of climate change and bantered about the joys of rail travel during an Oval Office meeting aimed at underscoring the U.S.-British alliance.
    Johnson had once worried his warm relationship with former President Donald Trump would hurt relations under Biden, but the two men appeared to get on well.
    Biden told Johnson he looked forward to being in the United Kingdom for a United Nations conference on global warming later this year.
    “We need you there,” Johnson told Biden.
    “Oh, we’re going to be there,” the president replied.    “With bells on, as they say.”
    Beginning at the end of October, the UN COP26 climate conference in Glasgow is viewed as a critical moment for the world to halt global warming. Under Biden, the United States has renewed pledges to cut greenhouse gases and promised to finance projects to combat climate change.
    “It’s fantastic to see the United States really stepping up and showing a lead – a real, real lead,” Johnson said.
    Trump, a Republican, had pulled the United States out of the Paris climate accord.    Biden brought the country back into the international treaty after he came into office in January.
    The president said the two leaders would discuss trade in their meeting. Britain is eager to seal a U.S.-U.K. trade deal.
    “We’re going to talk about trade a little bit today, and we’re going to have to work that through,” Biden said.
    Johnson took the Amtrak train from the UN General Assembly in New York to Washington for the White House get-together.
    “They love you,” Johnson said to Biden, seemingly referring to the U.S. railway staff.    “Well, they should,” replied Biden, a regular train commuter for more than 30 years, to laughter.
    Johnson’s team regards the visit as a triumph, demonstrating that Britain can thrive on the world stage after its divorce last year from the European Union.
    The meeting comes amid a U.S. rift with EU rival France, in which Britain played a crucial part.    A submarine deal the United States and Britain recently announced with Australia came at France’s expense, prompting France to withdraw its ambassadors to the United States and Australia and cancel a defense meeting with Britain.
    An easy relationship between the two men was not guaranteed. Biden, then vice president under Barack Obama, was angered in 2016 by Johnson’s comments suggesting Obama was opposed to Britain’s exit from the EU because he was “part Kenyan.”
    But the leaders met amicably in June at a G7 meeting and seemed to share a comfortable rapport in the Oval Office on Tuesday, calling each other by their first names.
    Still, the White House did not agree to hold a formal news conference with Johnson, and the British leader caught U.S. officials off guard by taking questions from reporters in the Oval Office himself.
    Johnson called on two reporters from the British press corps while Biden did not call on any from the U.S. side.    The press was ushered out afterwards amid loud yelling from White House press aides.
    A post-Brexit trade deal is important to Britain, and Johnson noted that the U.S. government had lifted a ban on imports of British beef imposed after an outbreak of mad cow disease.
    “And we’re going to be working on lamb, too,” Biden said.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason, Trevor Hunnicutt, Elizabeth Piper and Nandita Bose; Editing by Heather Timmons, Robert Birsel and Karishma Singh)

9/22/201 U.S. Says Meeting With European Partners Including France Canceled Due To Scheduling Issues by Humeyra Pamuk and Simon Lewis
FILE PHOTO: U.S. and European Union flags are pictured during the visit of Vice President Mike Pence to the
European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium February 20, 2017. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – A multilateral meeting on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly in New York bringing together European countries including France and the United States has been canceled due to scheduling issues, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.
    The meeting was one of the three planned get-togethers that would bring together U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, among other countries, for the first time since Washington and Paris plunged into an unprecedented diplomatic crisis last week.
    The row erupted after Australia canceled an order for conventional submarines from France and said instead it would build at least eight nuclear-powered submarines with U.S. and British technology under a new security partnership with those countries that came after months of secret talks.
    The decision enraged France and on Monday in New York Le Drian accused U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration of continuing his predecessor Donald Trump’s trends of “unilateralism, unpredictability, brutality and not respecting your partner.”
    France recalled its ambassadors to the United States and Australia on Friday.    On Tuesday, Germany joined France in berating the United States for negotiating a security pact in secret.
    Senior State Department officials, in a briefing with reporters, said a meeting that was planned between the United States, France, Germany and Britain on Wednesday was no longer happening but did not say whether the cancellation was linked to the submarine spat.
    “I think the schedules got in the way of that (meeting) at the ministerial level,” a senior State Department official said.    “But a lot of these countries are going to see each other in other formats.”
    Asked if Blinken will have a separate bilateral meeting with Le Drian, the official said: “I would expect that the secretary and the foreign minister will have a chance to exchange views at some point over the course of the week.”
    Blinken is set to attend a G20 summit on Afghanistan on Wednesday as well as a meeting between the foreign ministers of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, which are Russia, China, Britain and France, aside from the United States.
    Earlier this week a senior State Department official also declined to say whether Blinken sought to meet with Le Drian and said the top U.S. diplomat’s schedule for the week remained “dynamic.”
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Stephen Coates)

9/22/2021 UK Calls On China And Russia To Agree Afghanistan Strategy
British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss arrives at the White House in
Washington, U.S., September 21, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein
    LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will on Wednesday call for China and Russia to agree a coordinated international approach to prevent Afghanistan becoming a haven for militants, according to a statement by British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss at the United Nations.
    Foreign ministers from Britain, China, Russia, the United States and France will meet with U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres during the U.N. General Assembly in New York.
    Britain, which is currently co-ordinating the so-called P5 group of permanent United Nations Security Council members, will use the meeting to call for greater cooperation to improve international security, with a particular focus on Afghanistan.
    The Taliban’s rapid takeover of Afghanistan following the withdrawal of United States, British and NATO troops last month, has raised fears the country could once again be used as a training ground for Islamist militants.
    “If we want to avoid Afghanistan becoming a haven for global terror then the international community – including Russia and China – needs to act as one in its engagement with the Taliban,” Truss said in a statement ahead of the meeting.
    The Taliban have promised they will not let Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden plotted the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks when they were last in power, again become a safe place for groups planning to strike the West.
    Last week at a meeting of a China- and Russia-led security bloc Chinese President Xi Jinping said “relevant parties” in Afghanistan should eradicate terrorism and that China would provide more help to the country within its capacity.
    Russian President Vladimir Putin used an address at the same summit to say Russia needs to work with the Taliban government, and that world powers should consider unfreezing Afghanistan’s assets.
(Reporting by William James; editing by Grant McCool)

9/22/2021 Macron To Send Envoy Back To US, France Says After Biden Call
FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during a collective award ceremony at the
Elysee Palace, in Paris, France September 20, 2021. Stefano Rellandini/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
    PARIS (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron will send his ambassador back to the United States next week after President Joe Biden agreed that consulting France before announcing a security pact with Australia could have prevented a diplomatic row, the two sides said on Wednesday.
    Last week, France recalled its ambassadors from the United States and Australia and accused Biden of stabbing it in the back after Australia ditched a $40-billion defence contract with Paris for the purchase of submarines and opted for U.S. submarines instead.
    In a phone call on Wednesday, Macron and Biden agreed to launch in-depth consultations to rebuild trust, Macron’s office and the White House said in a joint statement. Macron and Biden will meet in Europe at the end of October.
    “The two leaders agreed that the situation would have benefited from open consultations among allies on matters of strategic interest to France and our European partners,” the statement said.    “President Biden conveyed his ongoing commitment in that regard.”
    Washington also committed to boosting support for counter-terrorism missions led by European nations in Africa’s Sahel region, Macron’s office said.
    The United States “recognises the importance of a stronger and more capable European defense, that contributes positively to transatlantic and global security and is complementary to NATO,” the statement said.
(Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Timothy Heritage)

9/22/2021 Germany Seeks Backing For Tedros At WHO Helm As Africa Quiet – Diplomats by Stephanie Nebehay, Andreas Rinke and Giulia Paravicini
FILE PHOTO: World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, gestures
during a news conference in Beirut, Lebanon September 17, 2021. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir/File Photo
    GENEVA/BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany is seeking support from other European Union members to ensure a second term for Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at the helm of the World Health Organisation, but African states have yet to show their cards, government sources and diplomats said on Wednesday.
    The deadline for proposing candidates in the politically charged race is Thursday at 1600 GMT and no other candidate for the election in May is known to have surfaced, they said.
    Tedros, who was elected as WHO’s first African director-general in May 2017, has been shunned this time by his native Ethiopia due to friction over the Tigray conflict.
    German Health Minister Jens Spahn backed a second term for Tedros on Tuesday and called on other countries to support the former Ethiopian health and foreign minister ahead of the deadline.
    Government sources in Berlin made clear to Reuters on Wednesday it was now an official nomination.
    “Right now an effort is going on, led by Germany, looking for other member states to join Germany in nominating him,” a Western diplomat said.    “Germany won’t be alone.”
    Tedros, who has been the public face of the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, has trodden a fine line while managing to anger both China and the United States at different times.
    The Trump administration accused him of being “China-centric,” a charge he denies.    But relations have improved since President Joe Biden took office and Tedros said in July that a second phase of studies into the origins of the coronavirus in     China were needed, including audits of laboratories.
    One African diplomat at the African Union said that, a day ahead of the deadline, the appointment of the new head of the WHO had not been discussed among member countries.
    An African ambassador in Addis Ababa said that he was not aware of any member of the African Union preparing an alternative candidate.    Most regional countries are keen to see him stay in the job, where he has promoted their access to COVID-19 vaccines and the start of vaccine production on the continent, he said.
    A senior African diplomat based in Geneva said he did not expect any country in the African group to nominate Tedros as he did not enjoy Ethiopia’s backing.
    African countries are expected to support Tedros’ re-election, however, and the senior diplomat was not aware of any other candidates from Africa or from another region.
    “As a regional group it is always difficult when the home country doesn’t support its own national.    It would be complicated for an African country other than his country of origin to take the initiative,” he told Reuters.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva, Andreas Rinke in Berlin and Giulia Paravicini; writing by Stephanie Nebehay, editing by Alex Richardson)

9/22/2021 House Democrats Pass Bill To Lift Debt Ceiling, Fund Govt. by OAN Newsroom
House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., leaves the chamber during debate on a bill to avert a government shutdown
and suspend the debt limit, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday evening, Sept. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Measures to prevent a government shutdown passed in the House and are now headed to the Senate.    In a party line vote Tuesday, all House Democrats supported a bill to fund the government through the beginning of December.    The bill also suspends the debt ceiling until the end of 2022.
    “On this vote, the yeas are 220 and the nays are 211 with zero answering present.    The bill has passed.”
— Rep. Frank Mrvan, (D-Ind.).
    In the lower chamber before passage, the bill was criticized by many Republicans. Rep. Dan Meuser (R-Pa.) took to the House floor to slam Democrats for trying to force it through. He believes they know they are on the way out from the majority at the midterms, so they need to spend now before they are seen as responsible for the strife a spending spree will cause.
    Meuser also said the Democrats are trying to get Republicans to sign onto a socialist wishlist.     “This is nothing short of Big Government socialism, suffocating free market capitalism while this bill works its way through Congress,” he stated.    “Democrats are asking Republicans to sign a blank check for their reckless spending.    The Democrats are asking us to suspend the debt ceiling for the remainder of their time in the majority to finance reckless spending while we stand on the sidelines, which we’re not going to do.”
    Democrats do not seem to see the hazards of more spending.    Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said the bill is necessary to avoid a shutdown and continue providing necessary services to those affected by natural disasters. He also said that a default of U.S. debt would be disastrous for the global economy, which the debt bill solves by suspending the debt ceiling.
    Hoyer believes nobody in the House should vote against the bill as the high debt is the fault of Democrats and Republicans alike.
    “This is not a Democratic debt, it’s not a Republican debt,” he stated.    “It is our debt…is the debt of the United States of America.    We don’t welch on our debts.    We pay our debts.”
    Passing through the House, the bill now goes to the evenly divided Senate where it is expected to meet stiff opposition.    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has been adamant that Republicans should not vote to raise the ceiling.    Democrats, so says the Kentucky Republican, need to own the inflation that will follow an increase in debt.
    While working with Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), McConnell proposed an alternative short-term solution, which would continue funding the government and avoid a shutdown without raising the debt ceiling.    He said the U.S. must provide disaster relief and assistance for Afghans.
    Nevertheless, should the House-backed plan overcome the filibuster in the Senate, it would fund the government through December 3 and suspend the debt ceiling until after the 2022 midterms.    If lawmakers can not agree, they risk a government shutdown October 1.

9/22/2021 House GOP Leaders Hold Press Conference On Legislative Agenda by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) (R) speaks to members of the press after an election for House Republican Conference
chair as House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) (L) and House Minority Whip Rep.
Steve Scalise (R-La.) (2nd L) listen at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    House GOP leaders held a press conference to address the Democrats’ push to try and pass several trillion-dollar spending plans.    On Tuesday, Reps. Mike Johnson (R-La.), Stephanie Bice (R-Okla.), Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) and Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) discussed the myriad of issues brought on by the Democrats and Joe Biden.
    Congressman Johnson of Louisiana kicked off the presser by outlining the litany of problems the Democrats’ polices have created.    He then turned the podium over to Congresswoman Bice of Oklahoma, who expanded on his comments in more detail.
    She went on to address the Democrats’ Women’s Health Protection Act or what Republicans have been referring to as “abortion on demand.”    She pointed out that the measure is operated on a false premise of what the majority of Americans believe.
    Then Congressman Gallagher brought up the deterioration of America’s influence on the world stage.    He also touched on the Biden administration’s decision to turn to the Taliban as a security partner in the Middle East, despite their decades-long track record of terror attacks and violence.
    Finally, Congressman from Louisiana and Minority Whip Scalise looked at the root cause of all of the issues, pointing to the poor decisions made during Biden’s first days in office.
    “On day one, Biden killed the Keystone Pipeline, destroyed thousands of American jobs, and then turns around weeks later and approves a Russian pipeline.”    Scalise continued on to discuss the crisis at the southern border under Biden.    “Day one, [Biden] stops completion of the wall that President Trump was building that was actually working, gets rid of the Remain in Mexico policy, which stopped the flow of illegals coming into our country by the thousands.”
    Meanwhile, with Republicans and Democrats back in Washington, clashes over policy are likely to continue as competing legislative agendas attempt to push the priorities of their respective parties before the next recess in early October.

9/22/2021 French Envoy To Return To U.S. After Fence-Mending Biden-Macron Call by Michel Rose and Jeff Mason
FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during a collective award ceremony
at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, France September 20, 2021. Stefano Rellandini/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
    PARIS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. and French presidents moved to mend ties on Wednesday, with France agreeing to send its ambassador back to Washington and the White House acknowledging it erred in brokering a deal for Australia to buy U.S. instead of French submarines without consulting Paris.
    In a joint statement issued after U.S. President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron spoke by telephone for 30 minutes, the two leaders agreed to launch in-depth consultations to rebuild trust, and to meet in Europe at the end of October.
    They said Washington had committed to step up “support to counter-terrorism operations in the Sahel conducted by European states” which U.S. officials suggested meant a continuation of logistical support rather than deploying U.S. special forces.
    Biden’s call to Macron was an attempt to mend fences after France accused the United States of stabbing it in the back when Australia ditched a $40-billion contract for conventional French submarines, and opted for nuclear-powered submarines to be built with U.S. and British technology instead.
    Outraged by the U.S., British and Australian deal, France recalled its ambassadors from Washington and Canberra.
    “The two leaders agreed that the situation would have benefited from open consultations among allies on matters of strategic interest to France and our European partners,” the joint U.S. and French statement said.
    “President Biden conveyed his ongoing commitment in that regard.”
    White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki described the call as “friendly” and sounded hopeful about improving ties.
    “The president has had a friendly phone call with the president of France where they agreed to meet in October and continue close consultations and work together on a range of issues,” she told reporters.
    Asked if Biden apologized to Macron, she said: “He acknowledged that there could have been greater consultation.”
    The U.S., Australian and British security partnership was widely seen as designed to counter China’s growing assertiveness in the Pacific but critics said it undercut Biden’s broader effort to rally allies such as France to that cause.
    Biden administration officials suggested the U.S. commitment to “reinforcing its support to counter-terrorism operations in the Sahel” meant a continuation of existing efforts.
    France has a 5.000 strong counter-terrorism force fighting Islamist militants across the Sahel.
    It is reducing its contingent to 2,500-3,000, moving more assets to Niger, and encouraging other European countries to provide special forces to work alongside local forces.    The United States provides logistical and intelligence support.
    Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. military would continue to support French operations, but declined to speculate about potential increases or changes in U.S. assistance.
    “When I saw the verb reinforce, what I took away was that we’re going to stay committed to that task,” he told reporters.
(Reporting by Michel Rose in Paris and by Jeff Mason in Washington; Additonal reporting by John Irish in Paris and by Doina Chiacu, Susan Heavey, Phil Stewart and Heather Timmons in Washington; Writing by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta, Timothy Heritage and Marguerita Choy)

9/22/2021 For Asylum Advocates, Border Expulsions Strain Faith In Biden by Mica Rosenberg and Kristina Cooke
FILE PHOTO: Haitian migrants walk together after U.S. authorities flew them out of a Texas border
city on Sunday where thousands of mostly Haitians had gathered under a bridge after crossing
the Rio Grande river from Mexico, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, September 19. REUTERS/Ralph Tedy Erol
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Confused and tired-looking toddlers clung to their parents at Port-au-Prince airport in Haiti on Tuesday, among the 360 family members rapidly expelled from the U.S. over the past three days.
    These scenes came after U.S. border agents on horseback on Sunday used whip-like reins to block Haitian migrants wading across the Rio Grande with food and supplies from Mexico to a squalid encampment with nearly 10,000 people on the Texas side.
    The images triggered anguish among some current U.S. officials interviewed by Reuters who said they once had high hopes that U.S. President Joe Biden would quickly reverse the hardline immigration policies of his Republican predecessor Donald Trump and, as he promised, “restore humanity and American values” to the immigration system.
    Outside the government, disillusioned immigration advocates point to Biden’s refusal to repeal Trump’s most sweeping policy known as Title 42 – that allows border agents to quickly expel most migrants to Mexico or their home countries without a chance to apply for asylum.
    Biden extended the March 2020 policy put in place by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, arguing it remained necessary as a public health measure amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
    “These deterrence (and) expulsion measures deny due process to asylum seekers and place them in harm’s way.    That is a human rights violation,” Michael Knowles, president of AFGE Local 1924, the union that represents the asylum officers at U.S.     Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) told Reuters.
    “Our members are outraged by the mistreatment of migrants and the refusal of our border authorities to allow them to have their asylum claims heard.”
    Three other USCIS employees expressed similar concerns to Reuters, as did an official at another government agency.
    Asylum officers interview migrants and refugees to determine if they need protection in the United States, while Border Patrol or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents oversee border security and detention.
    Top Democratic lawmakers joined in the criticism.    The dwindling goodwill among allies comes as Biden’s immigration agenda was dealt a blow on Sunday when the Senate parliamentarian ruled Democratic proposals to give legal status to millions of immigrants in the United States could not be included in a budget reconciliation bill.
    Biden did exempt unaccompanied children from Title 42 expulsions early in his presidency.    But he has included families, even after a federal judge on Thursday ordered the government to stop expelling them.    The administration is appealing the order.
    A two-week stay on the order was “to allow the government time to organize itself,” said Lee Gelernt, the lead attorney from the American Civil Liberties Union suing the administration over the policy, “not to round up as many people as possible to expel them, and certainly not to expel desperate Haitian asylum seekers.”
    The Trump administration argued many asylum claims were false and issued a flurry of policies to limit protections, moves that were often criticized by the USCIS’ union headed by Knowles.
    One of the USCIS officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the press said it was understood it would take time to roll back the Trump-era measures, but that some are now losing patience in the face of slow reform.
    “It’s appalling, disgusting,” the official said.    “What do they believe in, if this is acceptable?”    Some colleagues were considering whether to leave their jobs, the official said.
    Another USCIS official spoke of being “personally mortified.”
    USCIS referred a request for comment to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), who did not immediately respond.
    On Tuesday, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Title 42 was being applied to the fullest extent possible, while at the same time condemning the actions of the agents on horseback saying the incident was being investigated and those involved had been assigned administrative duties.
    As Biden is facing criticism from the left, Republicans say he has encouraged illegal migration by moving too fast to reverse other Trump-era immigration reforms.
    In recent months, the number of crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border increased to 20-year highs with close to 200,000 encounters in August alone, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data, though that is counting individuals who may have crossed multiple times.
    Early in his presidency, Biden took several executive actions cheered by immigration groups – such as ending Trump’s travel bans on several Muslim-majority countries and scrapping a policy that sent asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for U.S. court hearings.    He also exempted unaccompanied minors from Title 42 expulsions and reduced the number of families being expelled.
    In a letter to Congress, retired Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott said Biden’s reversals created a crisis at the border and constituted “a national security threat.”    Unlike the USCIS union, the unions representing border and ICE agents have been vocal Trump backers.
    Earlier this year, Biden also extended deportation relief to around 150,000 Haitians already living in the United States with Temporary Protected Status, though the benefits do not apply to anyone who arrived after July 29.
    Biden acknowledged conditions are dire in the Caribbean country that has long struggled with violence and recently suffered a presidential assassination and a major earthquake.
(Reporting by Mica Rosenberg in New York; Additional reporting by Kristina Cooke in San Francisco; Editing by Donna Bryson and Aurora Ellis)

9/22/2021 Bill To Provide $1 Billion For Israel Iron Dome System Introduced In U.S. Congress
FILE PHOTO: Streaks of light are seen as Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts rockets
launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, as seen from Ashkelon, Israel, May 12. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The leader of the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee introduced legislation on Wednesday to provide $1 billion to Israel to replenish its “Iron Dome” missile-defense system, a day after the funding was removed from a broader spending bill.
    Some of the most liberal House Democrats had objected to the provision and said they would vote against the broad spending bill.    This threatened its passage because Republicans were lined up against the plan to fund the federal government through Dec. 3 and raise the nation’s borrowing limit.
    The removal led Republicans to label Democrats as anti-Israel, despite a long tradition in the U.S. Congress of strong support from both parties for the Jewish state, to which Washington sends billions of dollars in aid every year.
    The United States has already provided more than $1.6 billion for Israel to develop and build the Iron Dome system, according to a Congressional Research Service report last year.
    Some liberal Democrats have voiced concerns this year about U.S.-Israel policy, citing among other things the many Palestinian casualties as Israel responded to Hamas rocket attacks in May.    Israel said most of the 4,350 rockets fired from     Gaza during the conflict were blown out of the sky by Iron Dome interceptors.
    The bill introduced on Wednesday by Representative Rosa DeLauro provides $1 billion to replace missile interceptors used during that conflict.
    House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer had said on Tuesday evening he would bring the Iron Dome bill to the House floor later this week.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle in Washington; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

9/22/2021 President Trump: Republicans Must Not Concede On Debt Ceiling by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks during a “Keep America Great” campaign rally at Huntington
Center in Toledo, Ohio. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
    President Trump called on congressional Republicans not to make any concessions to Democrats on extending the debt ceiling.    In a statement on Wednesday, our 45th president said the debt ceiling was the only powerful tool the GOP had in fiscal talks with the Democrats.
    Trump stressed Democrat spending proposals would destroy our country and Republicans should not extend the debt ceiling unless Democrats scrapped their extravagant fiscal plans.    Democrat proposed bills would increase the national debt, which by some estimates would balloon to $89 trillion dollars by 2030.
    Trump went on to say, “therefore Republicans have no choice but to do what they have to do, and the Democrats will have no choice but to concede all of the horror they are trying to inflict upon the future of the United States.”
    Trump also called on Republicans to oppose Democrat election reforms that would erode election integrity.

9/22/2021 Senators Launch Bipartisan Push To Combat Opioid Epidemic by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
    A pair of senators proposed legislation to combat the opioid epidemic.    Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) and Georgia Sen. Jon Ossoff (R) introduced the bill called the Rural Area Opioid Prevention Program Act on Wednesday, which would aim to codify a pilot program to help rural communities fight off the epidemic.
    A similar bill has already introduced on a bipartisan basis in the House.    This comes as the opioid crisis has been exacerbated by COVID-19 lockdowns.
    In a recent roundtable on the crisis, Ohio Rep. Mike Turner (R) said a lack of funding for treatment in local prisons forced addicts to go into withdrawal on their own.
    “In our local prisons, people who are facing addiction are left to dry out, if you will, to go into withdrawal on their own in the facility,” he explained.    “The facilities don’t have access to funding to be able to get treatment for these individuals.”
    Turner proposed legislation to get the facilities adequate funding and said it would drastically increase success rates at treating addiction.    In addition, Turner said he has worked to rally his own community around the opioid problem.
    Turner went on to say, “…one of the things that we did is we pulled everybody in the room that had any piece of this… and tried to stack them together of how can we find the individuals who are having these problems, and how can we marry them to resources, and how can we ensure that we’re not double spending, and that we’re targeting the right ones.”
    He added while federal spending could be increased and barriers could be lowered on the local level, it would take a group effort to tackle the crisis.    Ongoing efforts to combat the crisis come as data from the CDC showed around 69,000 people in the country died from opioid overdoses in 2020.

9/22/2021 Report: Bush To Endorse Cheney In 2022 Primary by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming, speaks to the press at the U.S. Capitol in
Washington, D.C., on May 12, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
    Former President George W. Bush is leading a fundraiser for Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).    Starting Oct. 18, Bush is expected to headline the fundraiser for Cheney in Dallas, Texas.
    Cheney is the daughter of former vice president to Bush, Dick Cheney.    “President Bush is impressed by Liz Cheney’s strength and vision and he’s proud to support her,” said a spokesperson for Bush.
    In the meantime, President Trump will be endorsing Cheney’s opponent Harriet Hageman in an effort to oust Cheney from office.    “I strongly endorse Republican House of Representatives candidate Harriet Hageman from Wyoming who is running against warmonger and disloyal Republican, Liz Cheney,” said Trump in a statement.
    This comes after Cheney publicly criticized Trump throughout his presidency and was the most senior Republican who voted to impeach him.    Trump hasn’t shied away from expressing his position on Cheney, repeatedly calling her a RINO.
    Hageman is only one of many that Trump has endorsed as challengers to Republican incumbents.

9/22/201 House GOP Leaders Reiterate Opposition To Democrat Spending Bills by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 21: Steve Scalise speaks to reporters after a House Republican Caucus meeting
at the U.S. Capitol on September 21, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
    House Republican leaders are set to formally advise their party members to oppose the Democrat-proposed $1 trillion spending bill.    According to House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) on Wednesday, GOP lawmakers should vote against the spending bill because Democrats have tied it to a $3.5 trillion reconciliation package.
    Scalise has stressed reckless spending by Democrats must not pass the House.    In addition, House Republicans said they won’t aid Democrats in what they call “destructive fiscal policies.”
    “Today’s hearing will be used to try to shill this Democrat socialist dream of a bigger welfare state.    They want to spend $3.5 trillion to raise taxes so that they can continue spending on all of these wasteful programs,” said Scalise.
    “They tout free money.    Everybody knows there’s no such thing as free money. Businesses couldn’t find workers all summer long because the Democrats insisted on paying people more money not to work than to get back to work, when help wanted signs are all across our country.”
    Meanwhile, only 19 Republicans in the Senate, out of 50, have expressed support for the $1 trillion package.

9/22/2021 Sen. Lankford Grills DHS Secy. Mayorkas On Afghan Evacuee Numbers by OAN Newsroom
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas testifies during a hearing to discuss security threats 20 years after the
9/11 terrorist attacks, on September 21, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Photo by GREG NASH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
    Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas was questioned by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Sen. James Lankford (R) of Oklahoma grilled Mayorkas on specific numbers concerning Afghan refugees.
    The hearing took place in the Senate on Tuesday and inquired into several topics for Mayorkas. Sen. Lankford’s first order of business was determining exact metrics for the amount of Afghans evacuated by the U.S. and what had happened to them.
    He further asked what portion of the evacuees classified as refugees, parolees, U.S. citizens, Green Card holders and Special Immigrant Visa holders.    In response, Secretary Mayorkas was able to give estimated statistics regarding the over 60,000 Afghan evacuees in the U.S.
    “Approximately seven percent have been United States citizens.    Approximately six percent have been lawful, permanent residents.    Approximately three percent have been individuals who are in receipt of their Special Immigrant Visas,” said Mayorkas.
    The senator also cited a request from the Office of Management and Budget asking Congress to waive all claims of inadmissibility for Afghan parolees.    Additionally, when Lankford listed activities barring an evacuee from entering the U.S,     Mayorkas responded saying there was a miscommunication and such individuals would not be allowed into the country.
    In the meantime, the Senate is expecting to hear a more accurate assessment of evacuee numbers and legal statuses in the near future.

9/22/2021 Senate Homeland Security Committee Evaluates U.S. Security Since 9/11 by OAN Newsroom
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray on
Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    The Senate Homeland Security Committee held a hearing to evaluate U.S. security 20 years since the 9/11 attacks.    FBI Director Christopher Wray testified on Tuesday, in which he said the number of domestic terrorism cases in the U.S. has more than doubled since spring of last year.
    Wray said about 2,700 domestic terror cases have been under investigation and added the greatest threat in the U.S. was from lone actors. He also said foreign terror groups have continued to attack the U.S. as the bureau has kept an eye on the evolving situation in Afghanistan.
    “Our adversaries are committed and they are hoping to succeed just once, while we are working to bat a thousand,” he stated.    “We’re working with our partners to identify and stop would be attackers before they act.”
    Wray went on to say during the past two years, the Bureau has thwarted potential terror attacks in major cities including Las Vegas, New York City, Cleveland and Kansas City. He added preventing terrorist attacks in the U.S. would remain the FBI’s top priority.

9/22/2021 Politico Reporter Says Hunter Biden Laptop Info. Is True by OAN Newsroom
File – Hunter Biden, the son of Joe Biden, is pictured. (Getty Image)
    A new book has revealed the controversies around Hunter Biden’s laptops are legitimate as it sheds light on Joe Biden’s activities in China and Ukraine.    The book, written by Politico reporter Ben Schreckinger, cites that the emails about Joe Biden’s 10 percent cut in foreign business deals are real.
    The book was previewed by investigative reporter Glenn Greenwald.    It found Ukrainian and Chinese businessmen were, in fact, offering Hunter Biden kickbacks to be held for “the big guy.”    Greenwald said the suppression of these revelations by the media and Big Tech ahead of 2020 elections was a “grave assault.”
    “In general, journalists do not care where the material comes from if its (A) authentic and (B) newsworthy,” explained the investigative reporter.    “So this idea that journalists are using is ‘oh my god, this might have come from Russia, therefore we shouldn’t report it’…there is a complete corruption of the journalistic function.”
    Greenwald also said the book proves that the CIA lied when it said Biden’s laptop was “Russian disinformation.”

9/23/2021 Oil up $1.59 to $72.08, DOW up 339 to 34,259.

9/23/2021 Some Haitians At U.S. Border Released, Others Deported As Pressure Builds On Biden by Daina Beth Solomon
Migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. walk towards a bus to San Antonio at a gas station after being released
from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, in Del Rio, Texas, U.S., September 22, 2021. REUTERS/Marco Bello
    CIUDAD ACUNA, Mexico (Reuters) – Amid deteriorating conditions in migrant camps on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, U.S. authorities on Wednesday tried to deal with thousands of the mostly Haitian migrants that have gathered, releasing some in south Texas while deporting others on flights.
    Wade McMullen, an attorney with the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization said several hundred people, mostly pregnant women and parents with children, had been released in Del Rio, Texas over the past several days, straining resources at a local volunteer-run welcome center.    The center does not have overnight capacity, he said.
    “People are sleeping at the bus station outside or outside of the airport waiting for their bus or their plane,” to join family or other sponsors in the United States, he said.
    The U.S. government said it was continuing to fly hundreds of people, including families, back to Haiti, which has been hit by recent political turmoil and natural disasters.
    It has been trying to clear the encampment under the international bridge in Del Rio, which reached as many as 14,000 people at its peak. Authorities have moved thousands away for immigration processing and deported more than 500 Haitians since Sunday.
    A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spokesperson said those who cannot be expelled under a sweeping Trump-era public health order known as Title 42 will be placed in immigration hearings, without specifying who would qualify for those exemptions.
    Biden ended the expulsion of unaccompanied children under Title 42 but has continued to expel some families.    The spokesperson said people who are not expelled are either detained or released with a notice to appear in immigration court, adding that everyone passes background checks and has their biometric information collected.
    McMullen said family members who are not parents or legal guardians of minor children are being separated from the rest of their families.    In one instance, a grandmother who had been traveling with her daughter and grandson was separated from them, he said.    The daughter and grandson were released, not knowing where the grandmother was.    DHS did not immediately respond to a question about the separations.
    Meanwhile, thousands still languished at the camp, waiting to be processed after being issued color-coded tickets.
    Reuters images showed people with small babies and toddlers, one with an untreated hernia on his stomach, under makeshift shelters made out of reeds on the banks of the Rio Grande.
    Clothing was hung out to dry and trash was strewn on the ground, while parents washed their children using jugs of river water and tried to find patches of shade in the punishing heat.    Migrants said food remained scarce and there were not enough portable toilets.
    On Wednesday morning, a trickle of people – mostly men – crossed back into Mexico across the Rio Grande in search of food.
    Some have decided to stay on the Mexico side in Ciudad Acuna, across from Del Rio, citing shortages of food and poor conditions on the U.S. side.    By Wednesday, around 200 people had set up a handful of camping tents and tarps as shelter.
    One family in Ciudad Acuna was constructing a hut out of cardboard boxes.    A line formed outside a Doctors Without Borders truck hoping to get medical consultations, with one woman worried about her 7-year-old son with a cough.
    Most of the Haitians have not arrived direct from Haiti.    Many had previously tried to settle in South America, but recounted difficulties finding work amid pandemic-related restrictions and the economic downturn.
    Jenny Joseph, a 37-year-old Haitian migrant in Ciudad Acuna, said she had lived for two years in Chile but left because she was unable to obtain legal status.    She said her cousin was deported back to Haiti with his family after three days in the U.S. camp and she had decided to steer clear of the U.S. side.
    U.S. politicians from both parties have criticized Biden’s handling of the situation.    Republicans have said the Biden administration has encouraged illegal immigration by relaxing some of the hardline policies put in place by his predecessor, former President Donald Trump.    Border arrests have reached 20-year highs this year.
    “I think any unbiased person would say that the Biden administration’s border and immigration policies have been nothing short of a monumental disaster,” said Republican Senator Mitt Romney at a Congressional hearing on Tuesday.
    Democrats have expressed anger over an incident over the weekend in which mounted U.S. border agents used reins like whips to intimidate migrants trying to cross the river.    DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the agents involved had been pulled from front-line duties.
    On Wednesday, Vice President Kamala Harris said she “raised her grave concerns” about the incident in a call with Mayorkas and stressed the need for all border agents “to treat people with dignity, humanely and consistent with our laws and our values.”    She said Mayorkas shared her concerns.
    The expulsion flights to Haiti have also faced criticism.    There is profound instability in the Caribbean nation, the poorest in the Western Hemisphere, where a presidential assassination, rising gang violence and a major earthquake have spread chaos in recent weeks.
    Filippo Grandi, the head of the U.N. refugee agency, has warned that expulsions to such a volatile situation might violate international law.
    Some of the deported Haitian migrants on Tuesday reacted angrily as they stepped off flights in Port-au-Prince after spending thousands of dollars on arduous voyages to reach the U.S. border.
    Mexico has begun transporting some of the migrants via planes and buses towards its border with Guatemala in the south.    Flights have sent some 130 people to the southern Mexican city of Villahermosa, and another 130 people to Tapachula on the Guatemala border, a Mexican government official said.
    On Tuesday evening, officers from Mexico’s national migration institute (INM) entered two budget hotels on a small street in Ciudad Acuna and escorted about two dozen migrants, including toddlers, onto vans.
    One woman, speaking from behind a partition, told Reuters she did not know where they were being taken.
(Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon in Ciudad Acuna; Additional reporting by Kristina Cooke in San Francisco; Additional reporting and writing by Mica Rosenberg in New York; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

9/23/2021 Amid U.S. Border Crackdown, Some Haitian Migrants Seek Asylum In Mexico by Josue Gonzalez and Jorge Lopez
FILE PHOTO: A paper that reads, "I authorise these means to hear and receive notifications" is pictured next
to migrants from Haiti line up to regularise their migratory situation outside of the Mexican Commission
for Aid to Refugees (COMAR), in Mexico City, Mexico September 22, 2021. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Hundreds of Haitian asylum seekers congregated outside Mexico’s refugee agency in the capital and in shelters in the northern city of Monterrey on Wednesday, as migrants deterred by a crackdown at the U.S. border sought legal status in Mexico.
    Nearly 10,000 migrants, mainly Haitian, remain in worsening conditions in an impromptu camp that sprang up under a bridge spanning the Rio Grande from the Texas town Del Rio to Mexico’s Ciudad Acuna.
    In recent days, U.S. authorities have removed at least 4,000 people from the site for processing in detention centers.    Some 523 Haitians have been deported to their homeland on four flights, with repatriations set to continue on a regular basis, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said.
    Filippo Grandi, the head of the U.N refugee agency, has warned that U.S. expulsions to such a volatile situation might violate international law.
    The chaotic scenes at the border and news of the expulsion flights convinced some Haitian migrants transiting through Mexico that it would be better to petition for legal status there, rather than risk crossing the U.S. border.
    “My thinking is to find a better life, wherever I find it… I never said it had to be in the United States,” said Wilner Plaisir, a Haitian asylum seeker waiting outside the offices of the Mexican refugee agency COMAR in Mexico City on Wednesday.
    “If I can find work, I’ll stay here with my family,” said the construction worker.
    Statistics published by COMAR show that 18,883 Haitians applied for asylum in Mexico in the first eight months of this year, the second-highest nationality after Hondurans.
(Reporting by Josue Gonzalez and Jorge Lopez, writing by Laura Gottesdiener; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

9/23/2021 German Conservatives Raise Spectre Of Far-Left Rule Ahead Of Election by Thomas Escritt
FILE PHOTO: A supporter holds a sign, giving a thumbs up for Germany's co-leader and top candidate
of the September general elections of the left-wing party Die Linke Janine Wissler during an
election campaign rally in Munich, Germany, September 17, 2021. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle/File Photo
    BERLIN (Reuters) – A shadow is looming over Germany’s election: the spectre of the far-left Linke party, heir to the communists who once ruled East Germany, coming in from the political wilderness.
    At least, that is what Angela Merkel’s conservatives want voters to think.    Behind in polls just days before Sunday’s vote, her would-be successor is warning that Social Democrats, if victorious, would let the far-left into power.
    “You have to have a clear position on the extremists,” conservative candidate Armin Laschet told his Social Democratic rival Olaf Scholz during a televised debate earlier this month.    “I don’t understand why it’s so hard for you to say ‘I won’t enter a coalition with this party’.”
    For the conservatives, the Linke are just as unpalatable as the far-right Alternative for Germany, whom all major parties have pledged to keep out of government.
    Scholz has made it clear that the Greens are his preferred partners, but the conservatives say he will need a third party to form a coalition government. And they say the Social Democrats are closer to the Linke on social policies than to the pro-business Free Democrats – the conservatives’ preferred dance partner.
    Few expect this to happen – the Linke are on just 6% in polls, half the liberals’ 11%, which probably would not be enough to give Scholz the required parliamentary majority.
    But for some investors, it is a risk that should not be overlooked.
    “Inclusion of the Linke in a governing coalition would, in our minds, represent the single biggest wild card by far for financial markets from the German elections,” said Sassan Ghahramani, chief executive of U.S.-based SGH Macro Advisors, which advises hedge funds.
    Linke policies such as a rent cap and property taxes for millionaires would be enough to spook many in Germany’s business class.
    Most assume that a victorious Scholz – a strait-laced finance minister and a former mayor of Hamburg – would include the Free Democrats as a moderating influence in his coalition.
    Both SPD and Greens have also ruled out working with any party refusing to commit to the NATO military alliance or Germany’s European Union membership, both of which the Linke has called into question.
    Undeterred, the leftists are pitching themselves as ready for government responsibility three decades after East Germany vanished from the map.
    “We’re already in NATO,” party co-leader Dietmar Bartsch told a recent news conference, dodging questions over whether its foreign policy views would keep it from entering government.
    Bartsch, 63, whose political career started when he joined East Germany’s Socialist Unity Party in 1977, leads the Linke alongside Janine Wissler, 40, a westerner who hails from a town just outside Germany’s financial capital Frankfurt.
    If foreign policy is an obstacle, the party prefers to talk economics.    Here it is not far from the Social Democrats or Greens and Bartsch says once in government the party would make sure its partners delivered on campaign promises, such as the SPD’s proposed 12 euro hourly minimum wage.
    The party has outgrown its East German base, establishing strongholds in poorer, post-industrial cities in western Germany.
    It heads the government in the eastern state of Thuringia, and is the junior partner with the SPD and Greens in Berlin’s city government.
    Analysts say that, as a centrist, Scholz would be more comfortable with the Free Democrats, but will not rule out the Linke to keep leverage over the liberals, keen to play kingmakers in coalition talks.
    The Social Democrats’ lead in the polls also suggests the left’s communist roots carry less weight with voters than in the past. Greens leader Annalena Baerbock said it was just wrong to say they were just as bad as the far-right because the latter did not respect Germany’s democratic norms.
    “I consider this equation of the AfD with the Left to be extremely dangerous, especially because it absolutely trivialises the fact that the AfD is not aligned with the constitution,” Baerbock said in a television debate this month.
(Additional reporting by Paul Carrel; Editing by Tomasz Janowski and Alex Richardson)

9/23/2021 UK Suspends Official For Error Revealing Afghan Interpreter Details
FILE PHOTO: A demonstrator holds an Afghan flag during a "Save Afghanistan" protest
in Parliament Square, in London, Britain, August 17, 2021. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
    LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s defence ministry said on Wednesday an employee has been suspended over a data breach revealing details of interpreters in Afghanistan seeking relocation to Britain after the Taliban retook control of the country last month.
    The defence minister Ben Wallace apologised and launched an investigation on Tuesday after an email sent to more than 250 people seeking relocation mistakenly copied all applicants, so they were visible to other recipients.
    “An individual has already been suspended,” the defence ministry said in a tweet.    “Steps have already been taken to ensure this does not happen in the future.    We apologise to those affected and extra support is being offered to them.”
(Reporting by Andrew MacAskill; editing by Diane Craft)

9/23/2021 Wild Boars Invade Rome Mayoral Election Race
Wild boars roam a street foraging for food in Rome, Italy September 23, 2021.
Picture taken September 23, 2021. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
    ROME (Reuters) – All roads lead to Rome, or at least so it seems for wild boar.
    Sightings of boars trotting along the streets have become so commonplace in some neighbourhoods of the Italian capital that the problem has spilt over into campaigning for Rome’s mayoral election.
    The animals have been increasingly drawn to the city in recent years, attracted by the piles of stinking trash that tumbles out of often unemptied rubbish skips.
    “I am scared … one time I saw them as I was going to throw the rubbish away.    They came after me,” Rome resident Rosa Carletti told Reuters TV.
    A Reuters video on Wednesday showed adult boars walking through northern Rome with their piglets, blithely passing cars and pedestrians, without any fear or caution.
    Mayor Virginia Raggi, a member of the 5-Star Movement, is seeking re-election in the October vote and has sought to the shift the blame for the unwelcome visitors onto her political foes.
    In a legal suit she filed earlier this month, she accused the Lazio region, which is centred on Rome and is led by the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), of failing to keep the animals out of the capital.
    The region has denied her accusations, saying management of the animals outside the countryside that rings the city is up to Rome’s various municipal councils.
    “Even walking to school … has become dangerous here,” said Nunzia Cammino, who lives in the north of the capital.
    Roberto Gualtieri, a PD member and one of Raggi’s main opponents in the mayoral race, has said the suit against the region for the boars is “a joke” and has accused the incumbent administration of mismanagement.
    Videos of boar incursions regularly go viral.
    In May, six boar were seen harassing a woman in a carpark near Rome, forcing her to drop her shopping bags and flee.    Last October, there was outrage after police shot and killed a sow and her six piglets on a playground near the Vatican.
    “Instead of being mayor, Raggi has basically been a zoologist,” rightist leader Giorgia Meloni said on Wednesday while out campaigning for her candidate in the mayoral race.
    “Wild boars, rats the size of labradors, killer seagulls, we’ve seen it all.”
(Reporting by Gabriele Pileri and Angelo Amante; Editing by Crispian Balmer and Andrew Heavens)

9/23/2021 U.S. Fallout Over Kabul Drone Strike Grows With Plans For Multiple Probes by Patricia Zengerle
FILE PHOTO: Soldiers from the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division, walk together
after returning home from deployment in Afghanistan, at Fort Drum, New York, U.S., September 6, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A senior U.S. Democrat said on Thursday that multiple congressional committees will investigate a drone strike that killed 10 Afghan civilians last month, to determine what went wrong and answer questions about future counterterrorism strategy.
    “This is an issue that several committees are going to look at, and we’ve already started to do that,” Representative Adam Schiff, chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, told reporters.
    The U.S. military apologized on Friday for the Aug. 29 drone strike in Kabul that killed as many as 10 civilians, including seven children, calling it a “tragic mistake.”
    The Pentagon had said the strike targeted an Islamic State suicide bomber who posed an imminent threat to U.S.-led troops as they completed their withdrawal from Afghanistan.
    The intelligence failure raised hard questions about future risks, particularly whether the United States can keep track of threats from Afghanistan without a presence in the country.
    “Particularly as we are going to be moving to an over-the-horizon strategy, we need to understand exactly what went wrong and what that means in terms of the limits of what we are able to do,” Schiff told a meeting with journalists sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.
    “Over-the-horizon” refers to counterterrorism efforts from outside Afghanistan, such as drone strikes from bases located 1,000 miles from their targets.
    The confirmation of civilian deaths provided further fuel to critics of the chaotic U.S. withdrawal, which generated the biggest foreign policy crisis yet for President Joe Biden’s administration.
    Many of Biden’s fellow Democrats, as well as Republicans, have criticized the conduct of the withdrawal.     Congressional committees have scheduled hearings with top administration officials.
    Schiff said he backed the withdrawal.    “We can’t occupy everywhere,” he said.    “Today there is a greater risk in other parts of the world than there is in Afghanistan.”
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

9/23/2021 EU Countries Struggle To Agree Approach To COP26 Climate Talks by Kate Abnett
FILE PHOTO: European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters
in Brussels, Belgium, July 14, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union countries are struggling to agree their negotiating position for the COP26 climate change conference, with rifts emerging over timeframes for emissions-cutting pledges, according to officials and documents seen by Reuters.
    The EU is drafting its position ahead of the November COP26 talks, where countries will attempt to finish the technical rules to put the Paris Agreement into effect.
    One issue they will try to settle is whether countries’ climate targets under the 2015 accord should follow a “common timeframe”
    In an early sign of the clashes to come at COP26, where nearly 200 countries will negotiate the issue, the EU’s 27 member states are divided over whether targets should cover five or 10 year periods.
    The EU’s own emissions-cutting targets are among the most ambitious of the world’s major economies, and the bloc is seeking to spur other regions to set tougher goals.
    But all 27 member states must approve the EU’s COP26 negotiating position, and some diplomats are concerned the bloc will fail to present a united front.
    “What signal is the EU giving the world if we can’t even get the common timeframes in line with the Paris Agreement?” said an EU diplomat from a country backing a five-year timeframe.
    A country’s climate pledge is known as its nationally determined contribution, or NDC.
    A majority of EU countries, including Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Luxembourg and France, support a five-year timeframe for those pledges, according to EU officials familiar with the talks.
    They say the shorter five-year cycle would put more pressure on countries to set ambitious targets, and help keep track of whether they are cutting emissions fast enough to avert catastrophic climate change.
    They also worry that 10-year pledges could let countries with weaker climate goals fly under the radar for a whole decade.
    Other EU states, including Poland, Bulgaria and Romania want to give countries a choice of either five or 10 years, EU officials said.
    “The content of the NDCs and the will of the parties to implement them proves ambition, and not the frequency of NDCs,” said a diplomat from one country supporting the five or 10-year choice.
    An EU document proposing its position for the COP26 negotiations, seen by Reuters, said the bloc should favour a five-year timeframe.    Officials from EU countries will discuss the issue on Friday.
    In the international negotiations, the United States, African countries and small island states support five-year climate pledges, while China and India are against a single timeframe, the document said.
    Setting a Paris Agreement pledge every five years would not necessarily change the EU’s legally binding targets to cut emissions by 2030 and 2050. Brussels will also set a 2040 emissions-cutting target.
    For example, the EU could submit a 2035 climate pledge to the U.N. that would be “our best estimate” of where its emissions need to be that year, to stay on track for its 2040 goal, the EU document said.
(Reporting by Kate Abnett; editing by Susanna Twidale and Alex Richardson)

9/23/2021 U.S. Senate Panel Sets Hearing On Russian Gas Pipeline Amid Ukraine Concerns
FILE PHOTO: Workers are seen at the construction site of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, near the
town of Kingisepp, Leningrad region, Russia, June 5, 2019. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee scheduled a closed-door hearing on Sept. 29 to discuss Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, which several lawmakers say could harm allies in Eastern Europe.
    Amos Hochstein, senior adviser for energy security at the U.S. Department of State, will testify, according to the committee’s website.
    Both European and U.S. lawmakers, including both Democrats and Republicans, opposed the $11 billion pipeline, which could allow Russia to double lucrative gas exports to Germany and other parts of Europe while bypassing and cutting off a source of income for political foe Ukraine.
    Russia’s Gazprom said earlier this month it had finished construction of the pipeline, which would deliver gas from the Arctic via the Baltic Sea.
    The Biden administration has urged Germany to find ways to ensure Russia cannot use the pipeline to harm Ukraine or other allies in Eastern Europe.
    The Biden administration concluded in May that Nord Stream 2 AG, the company behind the project, and its chief executive engaged in sanctionable behavior.    But President Joe Biden waived the sanctions to allow time to work out a deal and continue rebuilding ties with Germany that were badly frayed during former President Donald Trump’s administration.
    The president is under intense pressure from members of Congress to halt the waiver and impose the sanctions.    Republican Senator Ted Cruz, a member of the foreign relations committee, is holding up many of Biden’s nominees for State Department posts until the sanctions are put in place.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

9/23/2021 White House Responds To Resignation Of U.S. Special Envoy To Haiti by OAN Newsroom
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a press briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of
the White House in Washington, D.C., September 20, 2021. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
    The U.S. special envoy to Haiti has stepped down from his position amid the escalating border crisis under Joe Biden.    Ambassador Daniel Foote submitted a letter on Wednesday to Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying he’s resigning from the position, effective immediately.     Foote said he would not be associated with the U.S.’s “inhumane counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees.”    He added the U.S. policy approach to Haiti is deeply flawed and his recommendations have been ignored and dismissed.
    This comes as the Biden White House has continued to face criticism for turning away hundreds of Haitian migrants at the southern border, while releasing others into the U.S.
    The White House responded, saying Foote could have expressed any concerns about migrant deportations during his tenure, but did not.    Despite Foote’s reasoning regarding his departure, the White House has maintained he never sounded the alarm.
    “Special Envoy Foote had ample opportunity to raise concerns about migration during his tenure, he never once did so.    Now, that wasn’t his purview,” expressed White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.    “His purview was, of course, being the special envoy on the ground.    His positions were, and his views were put forward.    They were valued.    They were heard.    Different policy decisions were made in some circumstances.”
    Meanwhile, the Biden administration has continued to take heat for the crisis at the southern border.

9/23/2021 Baltimore Hits 250 Homicides In 2021, Mayor Addresses Public Safety Issues by OAN Newsroom
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – SEPTEMBER 09: Col. Richard Worley of the Baltimore City Police Department addresses the
media following an investigation of a suspicious van in a parking garage. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
    In nearly 10 months, Baltimore, Maryland reached 250 homicides as crime and violence has continued to flood the city.    Baltimore’s Democrat Mayor Brandon Scott said on Wednesday, despite being close to last year’s report of 335 total homicides in 2020, arrests in the city are up making it their number one priority.
    However, this week alone, 11 people were killed totaling 25 so far for the month of September as the mayor stressed the city’s need to improve public safety.
    “I’m outraged that we find people dead in our city with ankle monitors.    That’s why again, you hear me talk about why we brought back the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council,” said Scott.
    Mayor Scott said sometimes having police around isn’t enough and that their goal is keeping criminals off the streets, but sometimes it can be out of the city’s hands. He also reiterated the importance of teaming up with authorities throughout Maryland to ensure responsibility is taken in the right places.
    Although, hope for a brighter Baltimore remains as state officials have continued to stay optimistic.
    “This time can be different.    This time must be different.    This time will be different,” said State Attorney Marilyn Mosby.

9/23/2021 Pentagon Plans To Address Sexual Assault, Harassment In Military by OAN Newsroom
Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks speaks during a briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021, to announce that
the Pentagon will act upon the 90-day commission recommendations on sexual assault and harassment in the military. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    The Pentagon announced the implementation of a new sexual assault and domestic violence response plan in the military.    Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks announced the plan on Wednesday, which includes proposing changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and will remove the investigation of sexual assault and domestic violence from the chain of command.
    Instead, the new Office of the Special Victim Prosecutor will handle those investigations, marking the first step in the four-tier plan, which is already underway.    After an Independent Review Commission, established by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in February, studied sexual assault and harassment in the military for 90 days, more than 80 recommended changes were reported causing Austin to order the development of a plan in July.
    “The preponderance of initiatives and resources are focused in our first tier. For instance, it contains three of our highest priority recommendations, including the establishment of the offices of special victim prosecutors, the creation of a full-time and specialized prevention workforce, and the implementation of full-time sexual assault response coordinator and sexual assault prevention and response victim advocate positions,” said Hicks.
    During the briefing, Hicks explained in order to implement these recommendations the Department of Defense will need to establish an entirely new workforce, adding the completion of the first tier will most likely be implemented at the end of 2027.
    “The military services are eager to move as fast as possible,” she said.    “They would like to make sure that as much as we can is in this first wave, this first tier of activity.    And I think what we’re trying to balance is the expert advice we’ve been given to make sure we do this well.”
    The Independent Review Commission, led by former White House Advisor on Violence Against Women, Lynn Rosenthal, promised to seek major changes that could improve care for victims and hold abusers accountable.    The efforts in this space will be the biggest ever attempted and the first of its kind.
    “So building a prevention workforce, building the accountability approach very specifically around sexual assault, sexual harassment and related crimes, this will be a first of its kind endeavor,” stated Hicks.    “We want to move fast, but we want to make sure that these changes last and we build back that trust in the force.”
    Joe Biden offered support for this plan, calling it “among the most significant reforms” to the U.S. military in recent years.    In the meantime, the Department of Defense has not yet specified how it will deal with sexual assault and harassment claims while the plan is being implemented and officials say the first tier is estimated to cost around $4.6 billion between 2022 and 2027.

9/23/2021 Rep. McCarthy Discusses Southern Border Crisis And Democrats’ Spending Plan by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 23: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) holds a news conference at
the U.S. Capitol on September 23, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) held a press briefing to discuss the southern border crisis, as well as Democrat’s recent spending packages. McCarthy spoke on Capitol Hill on Thursday, questioning Kamala Harris’ whereabouts as over 10,000 Haitian migrants camped out at the Del Rio, Texas border in recent days.
    He added the situation at the border has only continued to deteriorate as over 1.2 million migrants have been apprehended at the border since Joe Biden took office.    Further, for the last two consecutive months illegal migrant encounters reportedly hit more than 200,000, marking a 20-year high.
    McCarthy also took aim at congressional Democrats on Capitol Hill saying instead of addressing the concerns that are hurting the economy, they are moving forward with a massive $3.5 trillion spending bill.    The Republican House leader has argued the left’s spending plans would create greater inflation and add onto existing debt.
    “Democrats control every lever of the federal government, but they are acting like powerless bystanders,” stated McCarthy.
    He then urged Democrats to fix the nation’s problems instead of worsening them, saying never before did he think he would see an administration that would leave Americans behind.    McCarthy also said he no longer views the infrastructure deal as a bipartisan bill and has encouraged his members to vote no on the measure.
    In the meantime, the House is expected to vote on the infrastructure bill later this month.

9/23/2021 GOP Introduces Articles Of Impeachment Against Biden by OAN Newsroom
Fiel – GOP Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) is pictured. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
    A group of House Republicans have filed articles of impeachment against Joe Biden.    Following the move on Wednesday, Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) said the Democrat is in “clear violation of his duties.”
    “It’s clear the President is not up to the job, that his entire administration is willing to thumb its nose at the Constitution.    Though (Nancy) Pelosi’s House will not hold the President accountable, it’s incumbent upon House Republicans to call out his egregious violations of his oath of office.”
— Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio)
    The Ohio lawmaker criticized Biden’s handling of the southern border, while noting his “willful negligence” of the crisis is a failure to maintain and defend American sovereignty.
    White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has even admitted she does not recall a time Biden has been to the border.    The question at Wednesday’s press conference alleged there was no record of Biden visiting the border even though he was dubbed former President Barack Obama’s “border czar” during his vice presidency.
    Kamala Harris now occupies that unofficial title and has yet to visit Del Rio, Texas amid the migrant crisis.    Despite the apparent lack of attention to the border from either official, Psaki claimed the crisis is a result of a failed system worsened by the previous administration.
    Meanwhile, Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the southern border crisis is a “textbook failure of presidential leadership.”    On Wednesday, the Kentucky lawmaker stressed citizens deserve better as do the migrants who were “lured into nightmarish conditions” by Democrat policies.
    His comments came as reports indicated more Haitian migrants were headed to the southern border, adding to the roughly 8,000 migrants still camped under the bridge in Del Rio.
    On top of this crisis, Rep. Gibbs also pointed to Biden’s attempts to restore the eviction moratorium while slamming Biden for what he called a violation of the separation of powers as the order was struck down by the Supreme Court.    He asserted these efforts are “clearly unconstitutional actions.”
    The Republican representative is joined by four others, including Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), in formally calling for Biden’s removal.

9/24/2021 Oil up $1.01 to $73.24, DOW up 507 to 34,764.

9/24/2021 U.S. Envoy To Haiti Resigns, Blasts Returning Migrants To ‘Collapsed State’ by Daina Beth Solomon and Humeyra Pamuk
A migrant is silhouetted at a makeshift camp near the U.S. border after Mexican authorities
arrived at the camp in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico September 23, 2021. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril
    CIUDAD ACUNA, Mexico/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. special envoy to Haiti resigned in protest in a letter that blasted the Biden administration for deporting hundreds of migrants back to the crisis-engulfed Caribbean nation from a camp on the U.S.-Mexican border in recent days.
    Daniel Foote, a career diplomat named to his post in July, said the “collapsed state” was unable to support the infusion of returning migrants.
    “I will not be associated with the United States’ inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants,” Foote said in a letter addressed to Secretary of State Antony Blinken that circulated publicly on>     Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, has been hit in recent weeks by a presidential assassination, gang violence and a major earthquake.
    The United States has returned more than 1,400 migrants from the camp in Del Rio, Texas to Haiti, including families, and moved over 3,200 people for processing away from the encampment, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials said on Thursday. At its peak on Sept. 18 there were some 15,000 people at the camp, around two-thirds of those families, the officials said.
    Many of the migrants say they hope to stay in the United States and seek asylum.    But an expulsion policy in place since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic means most may not get that opportunity.
    Some are being loaded onto flights back to Haiti while others are being released into the United States to pursue their immigration cases in court.
    At least four deportation flights to Haiti were scheduled for Thursday, according to a flight tracking website and activists who track deportation flights.
    Foote submitted his resignation to Blinken on Wednesday, a State Department spokesperson said, adding that Washington was committed to the long-term well being of Haiti, as well as offering immediate help to returning migrants.
    State Department spokesman Ned Price rejected Foote’s criticism, saying that “instead of participating in a solutions-oriented policy process, Special Envoy Foote has both resigned and mischaracterized the circumstances of his resignation.”
    “He failed to take advantage of ample opportunity to raise concerns about migration during his tenure and chose to resign instead,” said Price.
    Foote’s decision was interpreted and welcomed by rights groups as a stern criticism of the administration’s immigration strategy.
    “A big bold move.    And a big deal,” said William O’Neill, a lawyer specializing in humanitarian, human rights and refugee law.    “He will be missed.”
    Biden’s handling of the situation at the border, where record numbers have been detained this year, has led to growing disillusionment from migration advocates who hoped for an end to deterrent measures brought in by his predecessor Donald Trump.
    Julian Castro, a former housing secretary, wrote in a tweet that “it’s baffling and disappointing that President Biden has not spoken out about the mistreatment and continued deportation of Haitian asylum-seekers.”
    The Rev. Al Sharpton, a civil rights activist, said on a Twitter video that the Haitians should be granted asylum.
    “If you come from a nation where the president has been assassinated in the last 60 days, followed by an earthquake, followed by a hurricane, I don’t know how you can more qualify for asylum than that,” he said.
    While some Democrats have criticized Biden for being too tough, many Republicans have said Biden’s efforts to introduce a more humanitarian approach, including the rolling back of some Trump measures, has encouraged illegal immigration.
    In recent days, the population of the squalid encampment under a bridge over the Rio Grande has been reduced to around 4,000 by expulsion flights, detentions and releases.
    DHS officials said that determinations on who was expelled and who has been allowed to stay in the United States to pursue their immigration cases were made on a “case-by-case” basis, without providing numbers of releases.
    Wade McMullen, an attorney with the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization, said several hundred people, mostly pregnant women and parents with children, had been released in Del Rio over the past several days.
    Others have left the dusty riverbank for Mexico to avoid being sent home.
    Mexican authorities in Ciudad Acuna, across the border from Del Rio, stepped up security operations on Thursday.
    Close to 20 patrol cars and numerous officers hoisted heavy-duty firearms, lining up along the river where migrants were crossing back and forth.
    Jean Pie, 48, said he was awoken shortly after 6 a.m. from where he was sleeping on the grass on the Mexican side as police cars rolled by.
    Like many of the Haitians, he had first tried to make a life in South America. Migrants have said they decided to head north when they encountered discrimination and dwindling opportunities in countries like Brazil and Chile.
    He said he had spent two months and $3,000 to reach Mexico from Chile, including $500 to a man in Mexico who promised to take him from the southern city of Tapachula near the border with Guatemala to the U.S. border but then disappeared.    He was also deported from Mexico to Guatemala by Mexican authorities.
    “We are living in constant fear because Mexican migration officials can pick up anyone,” he said.    “I have run out of money. It is all just too much.”
(Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon in Ciudad Acuna and Doina Chiacu in Washington, Additional reporting by Lizbeth Diaz, Mica Rosenberg, Humeyra Pamuk, Kristina Cooke and Steve Holland, Editing by Heather Timmons, Alistair Bell and Rosalba O’Brien)

9/24/2021 CIA Vienna Station Chief Removed Amid ‘Havana Syndrome’ Criticism - Washington Post
FILE PHOTO: The CIA sign is seen onstage before the arrival of U.S. President Barack Obama to speak following a meeting
with his National Security Council at CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia April 13, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The CIA has removed its Vienna station chief following criticism of his management, including what some considered an inadequate response to reports of “Havana syndrome” incidents at the U.S. Embassy there, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.
    The Post, which cited unnamed current and former U.S. officials, reported the action would send a message that leaders must take seriously the Havana syndrome, a mysterious set of ailments that include migraines, nausea, memory lapses and dizziness.
    A CIA spokesperson said the agency does not comment on specific incidents or officers.
    The Washington Post said dozens of U.S. personnel in the Austrian capital, including diplomats and intelligence officials, as well as some of the children of U.S. employees, have reported symptoms of the syndrome.
    CIA Director William Burns said in July that about 100 CIA officers and family members were among some 200 U.S. officials and kin sickened by Havana syndrome.
    The ailments were first reported by officials based in the U.S. Embassy in Cuba in 2016.
    Last year, a U.S. National Academy of Sciences panel found that the most plausible theory is that “directed, pulsed radio frequency energy” causes the syndrome.
    Burns has said there is a “very strong possibility” the syndrome is intentionally caused and that Russia could be responsible.    Moscow denies involvement.
(Reporting by Eric Beech and Mark Hosenball; Writing by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Sam Holmes and Peter Cooney)

9/24/2021 Analysis-Red Tape, Political Hurdles Hinder Draghi’s Drive To Reform Italy by Angelo Amante, Gavin Jones and Giuseppe Fonte
FILE PHOTO: Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi attends a joint news conference with European Commission
President Ursula von der Leyen (not pictured), in Rome, Italy, June 22, 2021. REUTERS/Remo Casilli/File Photo
    ROME (Reuters) – Prime Minister Mario Draghi set an ambitious reform timeline to relaunch Italy’s chronically sluggish economy after the COVID-19 pandemic, but political disputes and cloying bureaucracy are starting to get in his way.
    The government has been trying for weeks to overcome divisions in the multi-party ruling coalition over a tax reform and a market competition law which Draghi had promised by the end of July as part of Rome’s Recovery Plan.
    Presented to the European Union in April, the Plan sets out infrastructure investments and reforms to raise Italy’s growth potential and obtain more than 200 billion euros ($234.52 billion) of EU funds over the next six years.
    “The delays in the reforms put at risk the next tranches of EU money, and above all they push back what is most important, that the Recovery Plan is put into action fast and effectively,” Carlo Bonomi, head of employers lobby Confindustria told its annual assembly on Thursday.
    Draghi made a solid start, meeting initial requirements needed to unlock a first tranche of 25 billion euros, which was paid by the EU in August.
    He also hammered out a coalition deal to pass a fiercely contested reform of the criminal justice system, while new rules to speed up civil cases are close to approval in parliament.
    However, of the 51 goals set in the Recovery Plan for 2021, 38 are left for the fourth quarter, and the government seems to be faltering just when it needs to accelerate.
    Special commissioners responsible for overseeing infrastructure projects in the plan recently wrote to the government complaining that red tape is hindering their work, one of the commissioners told Reuters, asking not to be named.
    Another commissioner, Pasqualino Monti, who is in charge of ports in western Sicily, warned that if the state bureaucracy continues to act as a brake on projects “we will hit an obstacle as insurmountable as the Great Wall of China.”
    In a statement after Thursday’s cabinet meeting, the government urged ministers to present a road map for all the interventions needed and said it is considering new measures to speed up the projects.
    Meetings will be called of all the administrations involved to monitor the progress of the national recovery plan and highlight any hurdles.
    Draghi is running up against the same difficulties that have hobbled Italy for decades: political fragmentation, bureaucracy and almost constant electioneering.
    Big cities including Rome and Milan will elect new mayors on Oct. 3-4, and the parties in Draghi’s national unity government are unwilling to take any steps that could upset their voters.
    “,” said Eugenio Pizzimenti, a politics professor at Pisa University.
    “We have been living under a collective illusion that a group of technocrats could fix everything, but these are political decisions, not technical ones, and conflicting interests are at stake.”
    There are parallels between Draghi and Mario Monti, another non-partisan technocrat who led a similarly broad coalition for just over a year from 2011, when he took office at the height of a debt crisis.
    Monti, like Draghi, was initially hailed as a national saviour, but after he passed swingeing budget cuts and a tough pension reform the parties turned against him, his government lost momentum and his personal popularity slumped.
    Draghi, whose term ends in 2023, has one big advantage: whereas Monti had to make cuts, he has billions of euros of extra spending to allocate – provided the investment and reform momentum is maintained.
    The aim of the delayed tax reform is to simplify the system, reduce income tax and curb evasion, while the competition law is needed to ensure a level playing field for infrastructure investments in ports, telecoms and the national power grid.     Both are being held up by political bickering.
    The government, which has said the tax reform will not weigh on public finances, wants to update the taxable value of Italian real estate, which is usually far below real market values.
    This is opposed by the right-wing League and Silvio Berlusconi’s conservative Forza Italia, key coalition parties.
    Both present themselves as staunch defenders of home-owners and say the government’s plan is unacceptable because it will result in higher housing levies.
    “We defend the right to property.    This is not the time to raise taxes,” said Antonio Tajani, Forza Italia’s deputy leader.
    Similar tensions are blocking the competition law, with both parties rejecting plans to liberalise the lucrative concessions to run tourist services on Italy’s beaches.
    These concessions are traditionally family-owned and passed down from one generation to another, despite repeated calls by the European Commission for them to
be offered at open tenders.
    Politics professor Pizzimenti said the huge differences in Draghi’s coalition meant such disputes were only likely to get worse, resulting in more delays and weak reforms.
    “I think sooner or later Brussels will tell us we haven’t done what we promised,” he said.
($1 = 0.8528 euros)
(Additional reporting by Francesco Zecchini, Writing by Gavin Jones, Editing by Catherine Evans)

9/24/2021 The ‘Quad’ Meets In The White House As China Looks Warily On by Steve Holland, David Brunnstrom, Nandita Bose and Michael Martina
FILE PHOTO: A general view of the White House in Washington, U.S. July 15, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Leaders of the United States, Japan, India and Australia gathered on Friday for a summit expected to bring progress on COVID-19 vaccines, infrastructure and technological cooperation.
    The first in-person meeting of the Quad, as the grouping of the four major democracies is called, is likely to be watched closely in Beijing, which criticized the group as “doomed to fail.”    U.S. President Joe Biden met first with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Oval Office, their first face-to-face meeting since Biden took power in January.
    Modi told reporters the foundation has been set for a “transformative” relationship between the two countries.
    Modi, who was once barred from travel to the United States after the massacre of hundreds of people, mostly Muslims, in the state where he was chief minister, also met with U.S. CEOs and will speak at the United Nations during his visit.
    Biden, Modi, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison were to meet as a group at the White House in the afternoon. Biden will then meet separately with Suga after the Quad summit.
    The group will announce several agreements aimed directly at China, including one to bolster supply chain security for semiconductors and to combat illegal fishing and boost maritime domain awareness, a senior U.S. official said. It will also roll out a 5G partnership and plans for monitoring climate change.
    The meeting comes just over a week after the United States, Britain and Australia announced an AUKUS security pact under which Australia will be provided with nuclear-powered submarines, a move that has been roundly denounced by Beijing.
    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian appeared to criticize the group in a press briefing on Friday, saying “A closed, exclusive clique targeting other countries runs counter to the trend of the times and the aspirations of regional countries.    It will find no support and is doomed to fail.”
    The Quad will also announce next steps in plans to supply a billion COVID-19 shots across Asia by the end of 2022, an initiative agreed at a virtual Quad summit in March.
    The effort stalled after India, the world’s largest vaccine producer, banned exports in April amid a massive COVID outbreak at home.
    India has said it is ready to restart vaccine exports in the October quarter, prioritizing the COVAX international vaccine initiative and neighboring countries.    But it has also been seeking a waiver of intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines and more access to raw materials.
    “Obviously, there have been challenges in India over the course of the summer,” the U.S. official said.    “But… we believe that it will be important to meet the ambitions that we laid out at that time.”
    U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris met with Modi on Thursday and welcomed India’s decision to resume vaccine exports.
    U.S. officials have sought to play down the security aspect of the Quad – even though its members carry out naval exercises together and share concerns about China’s growing power and attempts to exert pressure on all four countries.
    China has denounced the Quad as a Cold War construct and says the AUKUS alliance would intensify an arms race in the region.
    Suga, who is stepping down as Japan’s leader, wants to discuss with Biden “recent efforts by countries to potentially join CPTPP,” the U.S. official said, referring to China, which recently announced its desire to join the regional trade pact.
(Reporting by Michael Martina, David Brunnstrom, Steve Holland and Nandita Bose; Editing by Michael Perry and Dan Grebler)

9/24/2021 Catalan Separatist Freed From Italy Jail, To Appear Before Court Later by Joan Faus and Angelo Amante
FILE PHOTO: Catalan MEP Carles Puigdemont gestures during a joint news conference with Catalan MEPs Antoni Comin and Clara Ponsati
regarding their immunity at the European Parliament, in Brussels, Belgium June 3, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo
    BARCELONA/ROME (Reuters) -A court in Sardinia released Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont from custody on Friday, a day after Italian police detained him under a European arrest warrant issued by Spain, Italy’s Justice Ministry said.
    Spain has demanded that Italy extradite Puigdemont, who headed Catalonia’s government at the time of a vote on independence from Spain in 2017 which courts said was illegal.
    If extradited, he would likely to face the same Supreme Court trial that sentenced nine Catalan separatist leaders to lengthy prison terms in 2019 for their role in the 2017 attempt to break away from Spain.
    The hearing on Oct. 4, which the court ordered Puigdemont to attend, will decide on the legality of the European arrest warrant, the ministry said.
    Until then Puigdemont will not be subject to any restrictions on his movements but he will have to return to Sardinia for the hearing, his lawyer told Reuters.
    After leaving the prison in the city of Sassari, Puigdemont said he had thought his arrest was a possibility.
    “We had some news there were police officers … We have always thought this could happen but we also knew how it could end.    The decision from the European Union’s General Court is very clear … Spain never misses an opportunity to cause a scene,” he said, referring to the case related to his immunity.
    Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Puigdemont must submit to justice but dialogue was the best way to seek reconciliation with the northeastern region, a week after he relaunched talks with Catalonia’s separatist government.
    Catalonia’s regional leader, Pere Aragones, said the arrest complicated that dialogue.
    “Yesterday’s events clearly show that the Spanish state has not acted in good faith with European justice and do not help to resolve the conflict,” he told reporters.
    Police cordoned off a major avenue in the Catalan capital Barcelona after a few hundred protesters gathered in front of the Italian consulate, waving Catalan separatist flags and chanting “Puigdemont is our president” and “Free Puigdemont.”
    Puigdemont, 58, has been living in self-imposed exile in Belgium since late 2017 after Spain accused him of helping to organise the independence referendum.
    He has served as a member of the European Parliament since 2019, but was detained by Italian border police at Alghero airport as he arrived in Sardinia from Brussels to attend a cultural event.
    Puigdemont was subject to a European arrest warrant issued by Spain but his chief lawyer, Gonzalo Boye, told reporters in Brussels that there were no grounds to detain him.
    The European Parliament stripped him of immunity in March.
    Italy’s Justice Ministry said in a statement it has no decision-making role in the European arrest warrant procedure and any final decision on this lies entirely with the judicial authorities.
    “This is in fact a different procedure from that of extraditions,” it said.
(Reporting by Giselda Vagnoni, Angelo Amante Crispian Balmer in Rome, Agnieszka Flak and Emilio Parodi in Milan, Inti Landauro, Jesus Aguado and Emma Pinedo in Madrid, Joan Faus, Jordi Rubio and Luis Felipe Castilleja in Barcelona, Johnny Coton and Robin Emmott in Brussels; Editing by Andrei Khalip, Timothy Heritage and Raissa Kasolowsky)

9/24/2021 Exclusive-UN Migration Body Asks Brazil To Receive Haitians On US-Mexico Border – Sources by Gabriel Stargardter and Lisandra Paraguassu
FILE PHOTO: Migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. dry their clothes after crossing the Rio Grande river
into the U.S. as seen from Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, September 23, 2021. REUTERS/Go Nakamura
    RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) -The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has formally asked Brazil to receive some Haitian migrants camped along the U.S.-Mexico border hoping to enter the United States, according to two sources with knowledge of the request.
    The petition from the IOM, a United Nations agency, comes as U.S. President Joe Biden faces mounting pressure to resolve yet another migration dilemma. Crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border have jumped to their highest levels in 20 years in recent months, sparking political headaches and logistical obstacles for the United States and Mexico.
    Around 15,000 mostly Haitians were camped just north of the Rio Grande river this month as they attempted to enter the United States, although the numbers have since fallen dramatically.
    Washington has begun flying some back to Haiti, while Mexico has urged others to give up their U.S. dreams and seek asylum in the south of the country.
    The IOM asked that Brazil receive Haitians who have a Brazilian child, or who have passed through Brazil before entering Mexico on their journey north, the two sources said.    They said the first request was more likely to be approved. One of the sources said the second one would require more analysis.
    Without mentioning the IOM request, Brazil’s foreign ministry said in a statement that “the topic was discussed in conversations between authorities from different countries and is being analyzed in light of current legislation.”
    The IOM, via its Mexico office, said it has “a voluntary return program, assisting migrants of various nationalities, and the implementation of this program requires an agreement among the countries involved.” It gave no further details.
    After Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, many Haitians migrated to Brazil, where they found work and started families.    More than 105,000 arrived in Brazil between 2011 and 2018, according to Brazil government data.
    With Brazil suffering from years of political dysfunction, economic malaise and a brutal coronavirus pandemic, some have since set off for the United States, according to officials and interviews with migrants.
    U.S. Secretary of State  Antony Blinken  and Brazilian Foreign Minister Carlos Franca discussed the proposal when they met in New York on Tuesday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, one source said.    Blinken asked Brazil to accept some Haitians who are set to be deported from the United States in the coming weeks, the source said.
    According to an official readout of their meeting, Blinken and Franca “discussed the cooperation between the United States and  Brazil on bilateral, regional, and global issues.”
    A U.S. State Department spokesperson declined to comment on discussions between Blinken and Franca, or on “the specifics of ongoing diplomatic discussions.”    The spokesperson directed questions on “commitments” Brazil had made to the IOM to Brasilia.    “We are in close communication with other countries in the region to address the challenges of irregular migration,” the spokesperson said.
    One of the sources said one hurdle that would need to be overcome as part of the proposal is which country would pay for the flights to bring the Haitians back to Brazil. The source assumed the United States, which is already sending planes full of people back to Haiti, would pay.
    In the past the U.S. State Department has funded IOM-organized returns of Central American migrants from Mexico.
    The current U.S. deportation flights to Haiti have caused controversy.
    The U.S. special envoy to Haiti Daniel Foote quit over the expulsions, saying in a letter circulating on Thursday that the “collapsed” Caribbean nation was unable to support the returning migrants.    Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, has been rocked by the assassination of its president, gang violence and natural disasters in recent months.
(Writing by Gabriel Stargardter; editing by Diane Craft)

9/24/2021 US Migrant Camp Closed As Haitians Migrants Shunted Far Away by Adrees Latif and Kristina Cooke
A migrant seeking refuge in the U.S. crosses the Rio Grande river with his son on shoulders, at the border
towards Del Rio, Texas, U.S., as seen from Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, September 23, 2021. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril
    DEL RIO, Texas (Reuters) - An impromptu border camp has been emptied of thousands of Haitian migrants, a county judge in Texas said on Friday, as U.S. deportation flights and transport to Mexico has closed a chapter that has roiled U.S. politics over the past week.
    Val Verde County Judge Lewis Owens, who has been keeping tabs on the number of people in the camp, said only “stragglers” remained of up to 15,000 people who camped on the banks of the Rio Grande bordering Mexico a week ago.
    A Reuters witness said the shanty town-like jumble of makeshift shelters and tents had all but disappeared by Friday afternoon, with workers clearing the last debris.
    As well as the Biden administration’s contentious use of expulsion flights that have carried at least 1,400 back to instability in Haiti, Mexico has also sought to bus and fly Haitians to its southern states, far from the U.S. border.
    Thousands more are in U.S. detention centers and several hundred have been released in Texas.
    On Friday, Reuters reported that the International Organization for Migration (IOM) had formally asked Brazil to receive some of the Haitians from the camp, according to two sources with knowledge of the request.
    Many of the Haitians arriving at the U.S. border had previously lived in Brazil and Chile, while others have transited through the South American countries.
    U.S. President Joe Biden has faced strong criticism in recent days over the expulsions to Haiti, including in a sternly worded resignation letter from the U.S. Special Envoy to Haiti, Daniel Foote who said the Caribbean nation was a collapsed state.
    The U.S. government in May extended temporary protection from deportation to Haitians in the United States, citing a political crisis, rights abuses, crime, and lack of access to food, water, and healthcare in the Western hemisphere’s poorest country.
    Since then, Haiti’s president has been assassinated and it suffered a destructive earthquake.
    Foote’s resignation followed widespread outrage stirred up by images of a U.S. border guard on horseback unfurling a whip-like cord against at Haitian migrants near their camp.
    At least five more flights taking Haitians from the border camp were scheduled on Friday, flight tracking website Flightaware showed.
(Reporting by Adrees Latif in Del Rio, Texas, and Krisitna Cooke in San Francisco; Writing by Frank Jack Daniel; editing by Diane Craft)

9/24/2021 Democrats Roll-Out Framework For Budget Bill by OAN Newsroom
From left, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and Senate Majority
Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., update reporters on Democratic efforts to pass President Joe Biden’s
“Build Back Better” agenda, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Congressional Democrats rolled out their plan for financing the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill.    Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) enthusiastically addressed the press Thursday after Joe Biden met with Democrat leaders to ensure his administration’s agenda is passed.
    “The Budget Committee is going to be marking up the bill in a timely fashion, in time for us to send it to the Rules Committee for consideration,” said Pelosi.    “To that end, a very important part of all of this are the pay fors, how we want to build back better in a way that is fiscally sound.”
    The framework is a move by arbitrators to retain moderate support while assuring progressives their key points will remain in the package.    Members of both the House and the Senate have expressed reservations against the bill in the past.
    Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.) said he would only vote for the bill if the state and local tax deduction cap was repealed.    Meanwhile, both Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) have stated they would not support the bill unless it was trimmed down.    Pelosi has argued they are placing too much importance on the numbers.
    “It’s not about a price tag; it’s about values, not dollars,” said the House Speaker.    “And when we come to agreement on what people are for or what they would cut if they wanted to do this, what would you cut?    But our goal is to have a very specific priorities.”
    When asked about party solidarity, Pelosi expressed confidence in a unified front moving forward.
    “We have consensus in overwhelmingly, maybe 10 to one, 20 to one in our caucus as to these priorities,” she stated.    “A higher percentage in the Senate, but we wanted to make sure that it was paid for and I’ve always said I’m a pay go person.”
    Pelosi has yet to commit to a date to introduce the bill on the House floor.

9/24/2021 Fla. Acquires Monoclonal Antibody Doses After Biden Admin. Cuts State’s Shipments by OAN Newsroom
SURFSIDE, FLORIDA – AUGUST 10: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during an event to give out bonuses to first responders
held at the Grand Beach Hotel Surfside on August 10, 2021 in Surfside, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
    Florida has acquired thousands of monoclonal antibody treatments on its own after the Biden administration rationed federal doses.    Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) announced on Thursday that the Sunshine State reached a deal for 3,000 doses with pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline.
    “We’re going to be able to use that sotrovimab to bridge some of the gaps that are going to be developing as a result of the Biden administration dramatically cutting medications to the state of Florida,” explained DeSantis.
    DeSantis said he was excited when Joe Biden announced the federal government would be increasing shipments of monoclonal antibodies to states by 50 percent.    However, the treatments were distributed evenly among all states regardless of demand, resulting in less shipments for Florida.
    “So, statewide in Florida where we had 40 to 45,000 doses a week just a few weeks ago, we’re now just less than 18,000 doses of Regeneron.    We have to provide to Lee Health, we have to provide to Tampa General and we have to provide for our sites, and that’s not a good situation to be in,” said DeSantis.    “That’s not a 50 percent increase, that’s a dramatic reduction.”
    Meanwhile, DeSantis has estimated that thousands of Floridians have been able to avoid going to the hospital after getting COVID-19 or being exposed to a positive case because of the treatments.

9/24/2021 Secy. Blinken Works To Restore Ties With France by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to the media after meetings on the sidelines of the 76th Session
of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. (Eduardo Munoz/Pool Photo via AP)
    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he’s committed to working closely with France’s foreign minister in order to restore bilateral ties with France.
    During the most recent United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York on Thursday, Blinken announced his plans to get U.S.-France relations back to how they used to be before the announcement of the U.S., U.K. and Australia nuclear submarine deal.
    “We recognize this will take time and hard work,” he stated.    “And will be demonstrated not only in words, but in deeds.    And I’m committed to working closely with Minister (Jean-Yves ) Le Drian on this crucial effort.”
    Regarding the Indo-Pacific region, the Biden administration agreed the U.S. should have been more transparent.
    Blinken emphasized he welcomes leadership and engagement from both Europe and France in efforts to counter China.
    “The European Union strategy that that came out on the Indo-Pacific a few days ago, a strategy in which France played a leading role in developing, is one that we very, very strongly welcome,” he explained.
    The secretary of state also noted how U.S.-France relations are already thriving in regards to anti-terrorism in Africa after the French military took out a senior terrorist leader in the Sahel region who posed a threat to both countries.
    “That was very important and significant action following on the work that France does every day to protect our security in the Sahel with the strong support and collaboration of the United States,” Blinken noted.    “We will look at ways to do even more together.”
    His comments came after after a phone call took place between Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday, which led to a process of “in-depth” consultations on a series of issues that is now underway.
    Blinken said the U.S. and France will discuss transatlantic and European security in the near future and applauded French leaders for the work they have already done with NATO.

9/24/2021 Secy. Blinken Pledges U.S. Support For Gulf Oil Sheikdoms by OAN Newsroom
Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmed Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah, left, and Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and
Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, second right, join U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken
(not pictured) during a meeting with Foreign Ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries on the sidelines
of the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. (Eduardo Munoz/Pool Photo via AP)
    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has reaffirmed America’s commitment to oil producers in the Persian Gulf amid ongoing tensions in the Middle East.    The official met with Gulf Cooperation Council diplomats Thursday in New York.
    During the meeting, Blinken said America will protect its regional allies from external threats.    The council includes the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain. Blinken noted, peace and stability in the region are part of U.S. national interest.
    “We’re committed to sustainable long term relationships with all of our GCC partners,” said the secretary.    “Together, we are focused on building shared prosperity and addressing some of the world’s most formidable challenges.    We work together to provide energy to the world, to defeat terrorism and defend and deter against external aggression.”
    Blinken and Gulf diplomats also discussed international oil prices.

9/24/2021 Maricopa County Audit Hearing Takes Place In Ariz. by OAN Newsroom
Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan, center, is flanked by Ben Cotton, left, founder of digital security firm CyFIR, and Randy Pullen,
right, the former Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party, prior to the Arizona Senate Republicans hearing review of the 2020 presidential
election results in Maricopa County at the Arizona Capitol Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
    The Arizona legislature gathered to hear results of the Maricopa County election audit.    Several speakers presented their findings on Friday as officials noted the reality of the hearing and highlighted it was about making sure every vote counted as well as the security of future elections.
    Officials found several issues with more than 50,000 ballots, including duplicate ballots and signature issues.    The legislature also shared disappointment in the county’s lack of cooperation throughout the process.
    “So not only did they not cooperate with us, they even went so far as to sue us, to sue the Senate, because they said we had no right in auditing. Well, they’re wrong,” asserted Arizona Senate President Karen Fann.    “We do have that right.    We have that right to speak up for our constituents and our people and our voters.”
    There is no clear indication the election results in Maricopa County will be overturned, but data as well as background information will be sent to the attorney general’s office.    Speakers thanked everyone involved in the audit and for taking part in a “historic analysis of voting systems.”

9/24/2021 Sen. Scott ‘Deeply Disappointed’ Democrats Walked Away From Police Reform Negotiations by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 14: U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) speaks before a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
Committee oversight hearing on the SEC on September 14, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Evelyn Hockstein-Pool/Getty Images)
    A GOP lawmaker has called out Democrats for turning their backs on police reform negotiations.    Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said he’s “deeply disappointed” in his colleagues on the left for repeated calls to defund police.
    During an interview on Friday, the South Carolina Republican said he refuses to support a bill that “demoralizes” local law enforcement and “destabilizes” communities.    The lawmaker also pointed to big liberal cities like Minneapolis, Portland and     Seattle, where police reform issues originated under blue leadership.
    “Everyone knows that change requires resources and what the Democrats wanted to do was tie accreditation to more money or less money,” said Scott.    “They literally said if you do not become an accredited department around this nation, we will cut your ability to apply for grants.”
    Experts warned without those government funded grants, which are at risk of being held hostage by the left, more law enforcement officers are expected to leave the force.    They lament this will only add to the mass exodus from departments nationwide.
    As Democrats continue to cling to what Scott calls their “misguided idea of perfect” in regards to police reform, crime is likely to increase and citizens will be left unguarded.    Meanwhile, a bipartisan agreement appears distant as police overhaul discussions continue on Capitol Hill.

9/24/2021 All Migrants Cleared From Under Del Rio Bridge by OAN Newsroom
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas testifies before a Senate Homeland Security and
Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via AP)
    DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the thousands of migrants who took camp under the international bridge in Del Rio, Texas have all been cleared out. During a tense White House briefing on Friday, Mayorkas said no migrants remained at the camp and have continued to be expelled under the CDC’s Title 42 authority.
    “Title 42 is a public health authority and not an immigration policy,” he stated.    “It is important to note that Title 42 is applicable and has been applicable to all irregular migration during this pandemic.”
    An estimated 15,000 Haitian migrants arrived at the border.    According to Mayorkas, Border Patrol agents have encountered nearly 30,000 migrants in the Del Rio sector since September 9.
    “First and foremost, and most fundamentally and foundationally, we are dealing with a broken immigration system,” he expressed.    “We need legislative reform.”
    The DHS secretary said 12,400 migrants have entered the country to have their cases heard by an immigration judge and confirmed none of the migrants have been tested for COVID-19. Mayorkas also attempted to defend Joe Biden and the administration’s handling of the southern border crisis.
    He said the surfaced images of border agents in Del Rio turning back migrants were “horrifying.”
    “We have investigators who are looking at it independently,” he explained.    “They will draw their conclusions according to their standard operating procedures and then the results of that investigation will be determined by the facts that are adduced.”
    Meanwhile, Mayorkas said the investigation would conclude quickly and the results would be made public.

9/24/2021 Democrat Rep. Cuellar: Harris’s Border Trip Didn’t Change Anything by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) speaks on southern border security and illegal immigration, during
a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
    Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar (Texas) warned Kamala Harris’s trip to the southern border did not change anything.
    During an interview on Thursday, Cuellar said the surge of illegal immigration on the southern border won’t let up anytime soon.
    Earlier this week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said there were roughly 8,000 Haitian migrants still camped in the Del Rio sector.
    “Failures to enforce laws that exist in the United S