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 September or continue to King Of The West 2021 November


10/2/2021 Oil up $0.58 to $75.78, DOW up 483 to 34,326.

10/2/2021 Woman sues hospital because doctors won’t give ivermectin by Johnny Magdaleno, Indianapolis Star USA TODAY NETWORK
    A woman is suing Ascension St. Vincent hospital because doctors are refusing to administer a controversial COVID-19 treatment to her dying mother.
    Megan Bournique’s mother Kimberly Eliot faces 'very little chance of survival' as she struggles with the virus in the hospital’s intensive care unit, according to the lawsuit.    Bournique wants doctors there to give her mom ivermectin, an anti-parasite medication the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has advised the public not to use as a treatment for COVID-19.
    The emergency lawsuit asks a judge to intervene and order the Indianapolis hospital to respect a prescription for ivermectin issued to Eliot by a physician assistant named Maria Carson, according to the lawsuit.
    Bournique researched alternative COVID-19 therapies and learned about ivermectin after her mother was sent to Ascension St. Vincent by ambulance mid-September and placed on a ventilator.    Bournique then contacted Carson, who issued an ivermectin prescription for Eliot, the lawsuit says.    State records indicate Maria Frances Carson is a licensed physician assistant in Greenfield and Whiteland.
    On Tuesday, Marion Superior Judge Kurt Eisgruber ordered Ascension St. Vincent to give Eliot the drug pending a response to the lawsuit by the hospital.    After lawyers representing the hospital challenged the order in court Wednesday, Eisgruber backtracked with a new order saying Ascension St. Vincent did not have to give Eliot the drug.
    It is unclear if Ascension St. Vincent administered the drug to Eliot in that day interval.    IndyStar has requested comment on the status of the case from lawyers representing Ascension St. Vincent and Bournique.    IndyStar has also left a voicemail with a phone number associated with Bournique’s family.    One of Bournique’s lawyers, Ralph Lorigo, has won similar cases in New York and Ohio that forced hospitals to use ivermectin on COVID-19 patients at the request of their guardians.
    Ivermectin has its supporters.    Pierre Kory, a physician and founder of the nonprofit Front-Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance, testified in front of members of the U.S. Senate in 2020 that ivermectin was a 'miracle drug' against the virus.    But the federal government has not endorsed its use against COVID-19.    The National Institutes of Health said earlier this year it cannot 'recommend either for or against' ivermectin as a COVID-19 therapy due to a lack of clinical evidence.

10/2/2021 Panama Foreign Minister Warns 60K Migrants Headed To U.S. by OAN Newsroom
Panama’s Foreign Minister Erika Mouynes speaks during a meeting of public prosecutors and attorneys general
in Playa Bonita, near Panama City, on August 30, 2021. (Photo by ROGELIO FIGUEROA/AFP via Getty Images)
    A new wave of migrants, mostly Haitians, are headed to the U.S. from Panama.    In a recent interview, Panama’s Foreign Minister Erika Mouynes warned that as many as 60,000 migrants are headed north to the U.S.-Mexico border.
    After meeting with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas earlier this week, the foreign minister said she’s spoken with every authority possible, saying “please, let’s pay attention to this.”    She added the Biden administration repeatedly ignored her warnings for months.    She pointed to her last plea for help, when she informed the administration of the last wave of migrants that ended up in Texas earlier this month.
    “We’ve engaged with every single authority that we can think of, that we can come across, to say, ‘please, let’s pay attention to this,” said Mouynes who called upon the administration to work with other countries in order to come up with a plan to combat the issue.
    “We all have a role to play in this issue, and the regional approach is the correct approach.    It is impossible for Panama to solve it on its own,” she said.
    Reports said more than 85,000 migrants have passed through Panama on their way to the U.S. since January.
Haitian migrants, part of a group of over 10,000 people staying in an encampment on the U.S. side of the border,
cross the Rio Grande river to get food and water in Mexico, after another crossing point was closed near the
Acuna Del Rio International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas on September 19, 2021. (Photo by PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images)
    Meanwhile, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has stressed the crisis at the border is due to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ refusal to enforce the law. He said they’ve “essentially said anyone who wants to come to America, they’re gonna resettle them, they’re gonna give them benefits, they’re gonna let ’em stay, and it’s resulting in a public health crisis and a humanitarian crisis.”

10/2/2021 Justice Sotomayor Blocks NYC Teacher Vaccine Mandate Appeal by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images)
    Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor denied a request by New York City teachers to stop a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for their profession.    The Obama appointee blocked the request made public school educators on Friday.
    As the overseer of the United States Court of Appeals 2nd circuit, Sotomayor has the authority to be the sole respondent to emergency applications. No lower courts blocked the measure, which allowed it to trickle up to the Supreme Court.
    New York City public schools had given staff until 5 p.m. on October 1 to be vaccinated.
    “Get vaccinated, single dose, you’re done. Get the second dose on time later on, but for the purpose of continuity, one dose by Friday 5 o’clock and you’re in come to work Monday,” stated Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), New York City.    “If you have not gotten that first dose by Friday 5 o’clock, we will assume you are not coming into work on Monday and you will not be paid starting Monday.”
    Teachers have not been the only target of city and state vaccination efforts.    New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) voiced her intention to vaccinate school-aged children in a press conference on Thursday.
    “What are you waiting for?    Your kids need this.    You’re kids needed this vaccination in order to enter kindergarten,” she asserted.    “…There’s a lot of other ways we can protect our children and I really am just beseeching parents to do what’s right for their kids and not let them be one of those children who end up in a serious condition in a hospital.”
    Due to the justice’s decision, almost 150,000 thousand unvaccinated employees could face suspension without pay until September 2022.    Elementary school teacher Roxanne Rizzi voiced her frustrations on how callously she and her fellow educators were tossed aside.
    “I’ve been in school this whole time.    All of a sudden, at some arbitrary date, I become a danger to the children?    No, okay, just they’re going to bring in substitute teachers,” she expressed.    “I’ll tell you what would be a danger to the children bringing in subs that don’t know the children.”
    Several teachers attempted to petition the court by claiming they were not given due process and equal protection rights.    Justice Sotomayor has yet to release a statement on her ruling.
    Her decision mirrors that of fellow Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who denied an emergency appeal against Indiana University’s mandatory student vaccination.    According to De Blasio (D), 93 percent of New York City teachers are currently vaccinated.

10/2/2021 Sens. Schumer And Manchin Sign Secret Deal by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) (left) passes Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) (right) at the
U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
    Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) reportedly made an agreement with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) for a smaller reconciliation infrastructure package.    The agreement signed with the West Virginia senator stated debates on the shrunken bill would begin no earlier than Friday.
    Although the agreement was signed in the summer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was not notified of its existence until this week.    Manchin verbally stated he would not support any infrastructure bill over $1.5 trillion in a statement released on Thursday.
    Manchin went on to express, “my top line has been $1.5 (trillion) because I believe in my heart that what we can do and what the needs we have right now and what we can afford to do, without changing basically our whole society to an entitlement mentality.”
    The bipartisan infrastructure bill has yet to pass in the House.

10/2/2021 House Passes Surface Transportation Extension Act by OAN Newsroom
In an aerial view, vehicles on Interstate 95 travel past a construction project to add three lanes to
the I-95 Rappahannock River Crossing in Fredericksburg, Virginia. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    The House passed an emergency stopgap measure to ensure essential infrastructure would maintain funding.    On Friday night, the House passed the Surface Transportation Extension Act in a 365 to 51 vote.
    The act will allow funding to continue for projects aimed at building, maintaining or repairing things such as highways, bridges and railways through the end of the month.    The vote was a rare example of bipartisanship after days of fighting a near total government shutdown.
    Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) went on to say, “let me be clear, the speaker’s partisan process is what led us to this point and this chaos highlights more than ever the need to be working across the aisle.”
    The act extended funding for an additional 30 days while Congress continues to negotiate a more permanent solution.    It now heads to the Senate, which is expected to vote sometime on Saturday.

10/2/2021 Rep. Gonzales: Del Rio Worst I’ve Seen And It’s Getting Worse by OAN Newsroom
Border Patrol agents and members of the National Guard patrol a checkpoint entry near the Del Rio International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas.
Thousands of immigrants, mostly from Haiti, seeking asylum have crossed the Rio Grande into the United States. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
    Republican Rep. Tony Gonzales (Texas) warned the border crisis was going to keep spiraling out of control.    Speaking to NPR on Friday, the Texas lawmaker said over 250,000 illegal aliens have crossed at that point this year alone.
    Gonzales added over 1.5 million have been allowed across at all points along the border and given court dates after being allowed entry into the U.S. When asked about why Texas has been enforcing the border on its own, the Republican said local officials have a right to keep their communities safe.
    “Sadly, the Texas governor and Texas in general, it essentially feels like they’re on their own.    You know, you see that at the local level, as well, with the mayors and the county judges and the sheriffs,” he explained.    “They’re doing everything in their power to try to, you know, make their communities more safe.”
    A fresh surge of migrants is expected to make its way through Mexico in the coming weeks.

10/2/2021 Biden Admin. Apologizes To Haitian Migrants, Says Border Agents Behaved Inappropriately by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Border Patrol agents watch from their vehicles as migrants cross from a camp in Del Rio, Texas
to go get food supplies as seen from Ciudad Acuna, Mexico. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
    The Biden administration offered an apology to Haitian migrants who stormed across the U.S. border by saying border agents acted too harshly.    While on an official visit to Haiti on Friday, U.S. National Security Council Senior Director for the Western Hemisphere, Juan Gonzalez, said border agents behaved too severely towards Haitian migrants recently.
    “I want to say that all of us saw the images of the treatment of Haitians at our border and I want to say that that it was an injustice, that it was wrong and I want to apologize to the people of Haiti,” he stated.    “That is not how our border officials or the Department of Homeland Security behaves and the Secretary of Homeland Security, immediately upon seeing those images, called for an investigation into the treatment of Haitians migrants.”
    Gonzalez added the U.S. was partnering with Mexico to address the issue of illegal immigration.    He added the Biden administration has been looking into expanding the mode by which Haitians can legally enter the U.S.
    Gonzalez went on to say”…the United States is working with Mexico and our partners in the region to advance an immigration system that not just uses enforcement, but that also establishes legal pathways and invests in the root causes of migrations from Haiti and other parts of the region.”
    Gonzalez’s comments come amid a fake news report, which incorrectly said border agents in Del Rio, Texas used whips against Haitian migrants who were attempting to enter the U.S. illegally.    Although a subsequent investigation debunked the false claims, the Biden administration has continued to its attacks against these agents.

10/2/2021 Ariz. Supreme Court Reviews Blocking The Ban On School Mask Mandates by OAN Newsroom
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey speaks at a press conference in Phoenix (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool, File)
    The Arizona Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case regarding the state’s school mask mandate.    The court agreed on Friday to schedule opening arguments for next month after Attorney General Mark Brnovich appealed the state’s recent ruling on mask mandates, which was immediately bypassed to the Court of Appeals.
    Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper blocked the ban on mask mandates earlier this week.    However, Brnovich said “the legislature has spoken, there is no place for critical race theory or vaccine mandates in our schools.”
    “If they accept it, then we’ll have an expedited schedule and hopefully next week, we’ll be able to have all the briefing done and finalized and argue the case,” he explained.    “As a result of what the trial court did and what the state’s Supreme Court did, that means all these laws are on hold.
    The appeal comes as other GOP led states battle with similar setbacks with schools and mask mandates.

10/2/2021 Moderate Democrats Blast Pelosi For Delaying Bipartisan Bill Vote by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 01: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) departs a Democratic caucus
meeting at the U.S. Capitol October 1, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
    Moderate Democrats have criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for not bringing the bipartisan infrastructure bill to a House vote. Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D) of New Jersey and Stephanie Murphy (D) of Florida made their remarks after Friday’s House session.
    Gottheimer said it was deeply regrettable Pelosi went back on her word to put the bill to a vote this week as promised.    He took to Twitter to say “this is just one long legislative day; we literally aren’t adjourning.    Negotiations are still ongoing and we’re continuing to work.”
    “What I have made clear to the President and Democratic leaders is that spending trillions more on new and expanded government programs, when we can’t even pay for the essential social programs, like Social Security and Medicare, is the definition of fiscal insanity,” Gottheimer said in a statement.    “Suggesting that spending trillions more will not have an impact on inflation ignores the everyday reality that America’s families continue to pay an unavoidable inflation tax.”
    Meanwhile, a group of centrists Democrats accused House progressives of derailing an agreement with Pelosi to hold the vote.    Rep. Murphy added the bipartisan and reconciliation bills should be considered separately, saying there is no link between the two.    Murphy noted the delay has hindered her trust that leadership and progressives would negotiate with them in a fair manner.

10/2/2021 Wash. State Bans Use Of Plastic Bags, Threatens Penalties Up To $250 by OAN Newsroom
Customers of Ralphs supermarket use plastic bags to carry their groceries
home in Glendale, California.(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
    Washington state banned the use of single use plastic bags. As of Friday, the measure prohibits single use plastic bags in all grocery and retail stores as well as restaurants or take out establishments with an exception made for food banks.
    Gov. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) revoked an emergency proclamation, which pushed back the start of the plastic bag ban, on Thursday.    The proclamation was issued due to reusable plastic bag shortages throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Under the new ban, businesses have been permitted to offer customers bags made from at least 40 percent recycled material at eight cents apiece.    However, plastic produce bags would still be permitted for use.
    Although some exceptions apply, stores could face fines up to 250 dollars if they fail to meet the requirements.    The Department of Ecology believes this measure will reduce contamination in recycling and compost systems.

10/2/2021 President Trump Files Lawsuit To Lift Twitter Ban by OAN Newsroom
BEDMINSTER, NEW JERSEY – JULY 07: President Donald Trump looks on during a press conference announcing
a class action lawsuit against Big Tech companies at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster
on July 07, 2021 in Bedminster, New Jersey. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
    President Donald Trump has asked a federal judge to reinstate his Twitter account.    According to reports on Friday, Trump’s legal team argued Twitter was coerced by certain members of Congress to suspend his account after his rally on Jan. 6.
    Lawyers for the 45th president contend that Twitter has such an outsized influence over public discourse that censorship by them should be considered dangerous for democracy itself.    Their filing stated, Twitter “exercises a degree of power and control over political discourse in this country that is immeasurable, historically unprecedented, and profoundly dangerous to open democratic debate.”
    They also argued the sitting president of the free world should not be censored, especially when Taliban terrorists continue to use the platform for self-promotion.    This is Trump’s second lawsuit filed against Twitter, with his first surfacing in July against Big Tech and their chief executives, alleging they were silencing conservative statements and views.

10/2/2021 Community Shows Frustration Over Boston’s Plans To Clean Up ‘Methadone Mile’ by OAN Newsroom
A Red Line subway car, known as the T in Boston, crosses the Charles River
March 12, 2001 in Cambridge, Mass. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Newsmakers)
    As the homeless and those battling addiction continue to meet along the epicenter of Boston’s opioid crisis, disputes erupt over plans to clean up the area known as “Methadone Mile.”
    Located next to the greater Boston Food Bank in Revere, officials for the nonprofit said it has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on security measures where funding could have been put towards better use.    Even city officials have long proposed alternative measures, such as relocating some of the homeless to a hotel inn.
    However, it seems many cities want no part in being the new location for a recovery center, citing concerns around the health and safety of those being transported.    The stretch was originally meant for healing, but has instead become the hotspot for opioids.
    “Something certainly has to be done. Boston really needs to work with Mayor Arrigo here in the city to make sure they find the right situation here for these folks,” said Craig Tornberg, a neighbor in the area.
    Meanwhile, neighbors have continued to show frustration over the city’s lack of communication and urgency in regards to how they’re going to clean up the area.

10/2/2021 DOJ Pledges Changes After FBI’s Mishandling Of Larry Nassar Case by OAN Newsroom
A view of the lecture before U.S. Attorney General William Barr holds a press conference about the release of the Mueller Report
at the Department of Justice April 18, 2019, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
    The Justice Department said it’s putting more focus on supporting victims following the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) handling of the allegations against disgraced physician Larry Nassar. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monoco outlined new steps the department will take to make sure federal agents and prosecutors are properly trained to assist witnesses and victims of crime.     The set of memos also said agents would have to better coordinate with state authorities along the lines of federal laws.    These changes come following the FBI’s serious mishandling of sexual abuse allegations against former USA Gymnastics physician Nassar, and the agencies shortcoming in protecting the victims.
    The deputy attorney general noted “when considering whether to initiate federal criminal charges, we must never forget who put their trust in the department to keep them safe.”
    “I’m deeply and profoundly sorry to each and every one of you,” Director of the FBI Christopher Wray pleaded.    “I’m especially sorry that there were people at the FBI who had their own chance to stop this monster back in 2015 and failed.    And that is inexcusable.    It never should have happened and we’re doing everything in our power to make sure it never happens again.”
    The public first learned of the sexual abuse allegations against Nassar in 2016, with 18 women filing a lawsuit against him the following year.    Many criticized the department’s inaction in punishing agents who failed to further investigate the allegations, with the DOJ’s inspector general discovering Nassar abused at least 70 victims after they first received allegations.
    “Let’s be honest, by not taking immediate action from my report, they allowed a child molester to go free for more than a year,” said Olympic Gymnast Mckayla Maroney.    “And this inaction directly allowed Nassar’s abuse to continue.    What is the point of reporting abuse if our own FBI agents are going to take it upon themselves to bury that report in a drawer?
    Nassar is currently serving a life sentence in prison after more than 150 women came forward accusing him of sexual abuse.    Deputy Attorney General Monaco further noted, the department is committed to protecting crime victims’ rights and treating them, as well as witnesses, with respect in all interactions.

10/2/2021 Chicago Mayor And Police Union Clash Over Vaccine Mandates by OAN Newsroom
Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks during the groundbreaking ceremony for the Obama Presidential
Center at Jackson Park in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
    Workers in Chicago could see backlash for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine.    On Friday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) threatened workers who defied the vaccine mandate.
    Lightfoot went on to warn, “there will be consequences if people are not complying with what the policy is by October 15.”
    Friday became the last day to get a second COVID-19 shot for employees attempting to meet the deadline.    However, the Fraternal Order of Police announced if a negative COVID-19 test was shown, no one would be out of a job after the deadline regardless of the mayor’s threats.
    When reporters asked Lightfoot on the union’s statement, she said the deadline was mandatory to follow.
    “No, they have to be vaccinated,” she mentioned.    “Every employee in the city of Chicago has to be vaccinated.”
    However, the union has claimed victory by saying the testing option would last through the end of the year.    Despite further discussions, Lightfoot said that wouldn’t be the case.
    “It is foolish, foolish to be trying to take a victory lap when so much is at stake,” she asserted.    “Unfortunately, that is in keeping with the leadership of the Fraternal Order of Police.    They will be vaccinated.”
    Meanwhile, members on Chicago’s City Council have been voicing their opposition.
    “We just think it’s wrong. We’ve been talking about this for a while,” expressed Ald. Nick Sposatom, 38th Ward Chicago.    “We thought this mandate was wrong, especially with the labor unions, without negotiating it.”
    Next week, Lightfoot said she would be announcing further developments as discussions with union members take place.

10/2/2021 American, Alaska, JetBlue Announce Vaccine Mandates For Employees by OAN Newsroom
Alaska Airlines jets are parked at their terminal at Los Angeles International Airport. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
    More major American airlines have issued new mandates for their employees to get vaccinated.    Reports on Friday said American Airlines, Alaska Airlines and JetBlue each announced new vaccine requirements while citing requirements by the Biden administration for companies with government contracts to have their employees vaccinated.
    Unlike companies not under government deals, the White House said employees of government contractors are required to get the vaccine without the option for regular testing or mask usage. Airlines fall under this order because they have several agreements for government flights and services.
    “Due to several of our agreements, including the City Pair Program, the Civil Reserve Air Fleet program and our Department of Defense cargo contracts, American is classified as a government contractor,” explained American Airlines Chief Executive Doug Parker in a released statement.    “…It is clear that team members who choose to remain unvaccinated will not be able to work at American Airlines.”
    The Biden administration mandated employees of federal contractors to get the jab before December 8 in order to comply with federal guidelines.

10/3/2021 No Oil Or DOW Info.


10/3/2021 Sen. Blackburn Urges Opposition To Biden’s ‘Build Back Broke’ Agenda by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, (R-Tenn.) speaks before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on
Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights in Washington. (Ting Shen/Pool via AP)
    Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) said Democrat-proposed spending plans would bankrupt America.    During an interview on Sunday, the senator from Tennessee said Joe Biden’s agenda should really be called “build back broke” because it would spend more money than the U.S. could afford.
    Blackburn added Democrats have been trying to institutionalize socialism in the country.    Her comments come as Democrat-proposed $3.5 trillion spending packages have faltered in Congress amid opposition by moderate party members.
    The Republican stressed Democrats wanted to install extreme government control.
    “They want government control of health care, they want to demoralize the military, close the churches, destroy your faith in the American system.” she asserted.    “Here they’re gonna come with a socialist program to run your life from cradle to grave, daylight to dark.”
    Blackburn went on to urge all American to oppose Biden’s “build back broke” agenda to save the prosperity and constitutional freedoms.

10/3/2021 Pandora Papers: Document Dump Allegedly Links World Leaders To Secret Wealth
FILE PHOTO: Jordan's King Abdullah II speaks after being welcomed by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., July 22, 2021. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A massive leak of financial documents was published by several major news organizations on Sunday that allegedly tie world leaders to secret stores of wealth, including King Abdullah of Jordan, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis and associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
    The dump of more than 11.9 million records, amounting to about 2.94 terabytes of data, came five years after the leak known as the “Panama Papers” exposed how money was hidden by the wealthy in ways that law enforcement agencies could not detect.
    The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a Washington, D.C.-based network of reporters and media organizations, said the files are linked to about 35 current and former national leaders, and more than 330 politicians and public officials in 91 countries and territories.    It did not say how the files were obtained, and Reuters could not independently verify the allegations or documents detailed by the consortium.
    Jordan’s King Abdullah, a close ally of the United States, was alleged to have used offshore accounts to spend more than $100 million on luxury homes in the United Kingdom and the United States.
    DLA Piper, a London law office representing Abdullah, told the consortium of media outlets that he had “not at any point misused public monies or made any use whatsoever of the proceeds of aid or assistance intended for public use.”
    The Washington Post, which is part of the consortium, also reported on the case of Svetlana Krivonogikh, a Russian woman who it said became the owner of a Monaco apartment through an offshore company incorporated on the Caribbean island of Tortola in April 2003 just weeks after she gave birth to a girl. At the time, she was in a secret, years-long relationship with Putin, the newspaper said, citing Russian investigative outlet Proekt.
    The Post said Krivonogikh, her daughter, who is now 18, and the Kremlin did not respond to requests for comment.
    Days ahead of the Czech Republic’s Oct. 8-9 parliamentary election, the documents allegedly tied the country’s prime minister, Babis, to a secret $22 million estate in a hilltop village near Cannes, France.
    Speaking during a television debate on Sunday, Babis denied any wrongdoing.
    “The money left a Czech bank, was taxed, it was my money, and returned to a Czech bank,” Babis said.
(Reporting by Washington newsroom; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

10/3/2021 Emotional Merkel, Marking German Reunification, Calls For Tolerance
Outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks at a ceremony as part of the 31st anniversary of Germany's
Unification Day, in the city of Halle, Germany, October 3, 2021. Jan Woitas/Pool via REUTERS
    HALLE, Germany (Reuters) – Angela Merkel urged Germans on Sunday to forge a common future that draws on their diverse backgrounds, harking back to the 2015 decision to admit 1 million refugees that was a defining moment of her long chancellorship.
    Merkel appeared close to tears during an address to mark the 31st anniversary of reunification that may be the last before she steps down, although talks to build a new ruling coalition following last month’s election could take months.
    She said the freedoms that came with German reunification 31 years ago had brought “so many new opportunities” for people from the former Communist East, where she grew up, but that many of them suddenly “found themselves in a dead end.”
    With a voice that betrayed her emotion, she recalled how a journalist had written last year she “wasn’t a true born German” after she told reporters in 2015 that “if we have to start apologising” for showing a friendly face during the refugee crisis, “then this is not my country.”
    “Are there two kinds of Germans and Europeans – the original and the acquired, who have to prove their affiliation every day anew and can fail the exam with a sentence like the one in the press conference?” she asked.
    The 2015 refugee crisis, when Merkel opened Germany’s doors to some 1 million migrants fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, was the most controversial act of her time in power and fuelled the rise of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD).
    Asking, “what is my country?,” Merkel said “each and every individual must be able to feel heard and belong.”
    She called for a Germany “in which we shape the future together,” adding: “Be open to encounters, be curious about one another, tell each other your stories, and tolerate your differences.    This is the lesson from 31 years of German unity.”
    Merkel described her decision last year, on the 30th anniversary of Germany’s reunification, to restrict civil liberties to curb the spread of the coronavirus as “one of the most difficult experiences” of her time as chancellor.
    Merkel took power in 2005 – when George W. Bush was U.S. president, Jacques Chirac in the Elysee Palace in Paris and Tony Blair British prime minister. She plans to step down once a new government is formed following last Sunday’s elections.
(Writing by Paul Carrel; editing by Catherine Evans and Philippa Fletcher)

10/3/2021 Fuel Shortages Persist In London And South East England
FILE PHOTO: Members of the military speak to a worker at Buncefield Oil Depot
in Hemel Hempstead, Britain, October 2, 2021. REUTERS/Paul Childs/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) – Gasoline and diesel shortages persisted in London and south east England on Sunday, where 22% of forecourts had no fuel available and 60% had both types available, the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) said on Sunday, according to Sky News.
    Elsewhere in Britain, including Scotland, the northern and central England, the crisis was “virtually at an end,” the PRA said, with 6% of forecourts dry.
    Brian Madderson, PRA chairman, was quoted as saying: “The fuel is still not going to the pumps that need it most in London and the south east.”
    Britain will from Monday deploy military tanker drivers to deliver fuel to gas stations, seeking to stabilise the supply of fuel after a chaotic week that has seen panic-buying, fights at the pumps and drivers hoarding petrol in water bottles.
(Reporting by Paul Sandle, Editing by Kylie MacLellan)

10/3/2021 UK Climate Protesters Face Tougher Penalties For Blocking Roads
Members of Insulate Britain protest on M25 Motorway, Britain September 15, 2021,
in this still image taken from a handout video. Insulate Britain/Handout via REUTERS
    LONDON (Reuters) – Climate change protesters who have repeatedly blocked traffic on Britain’s busiest motorway face tougher sentences, including up to six months’ imprisonment, the government said on Sunday.
    Activists from Insulate Britain want the government to commit to providing insulation for 29 million homes. In recent weeks they have blocked slip roads, glued themselves to the road and poured paint onto the carriageway of the M25, which runs around London.
    The government said it would amend existing legislation to increase penalties for obstructing a highway to an unlimited fine, six months’ imprisonment, or both.
    The police will also be granted new powers to seize equipment that may be used to “lock-on” protesters in the measures, to be announced at the ruling Conservative Party’s annual conference this week.
    Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement: “This government will always stand on the side of the law-abiding majority and ensure the toughest penalties possible for criminals who deliberately bring major roads to a standstill."
    “We will give the police the powers they need to stop their reckless and selfish behaviour.”
    The protesters have defended the disruption, which they call civil disobedience, saying it is essential to get the government to take notice.
(Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Catherine Evans)

10/3/2021 Kash Patel: Durham To Reveal Broad Democrat Conspiracy Against President Trump by OAN Newsroom
This 2018 portrait released by the U.S. Department of Justice shows Connecticut’s U.S. Attorney John Durham. Tasked with examining
the U.S. government’s investigation into Russian election interference, special counsel John Durham charged a prominent cybersecurity lawyer
on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, with making a false statement to the FBI. (U.S. Department of Justice via AP, File)
    Former Chief of Staff to President Trump’s Pentagon said U.S. attorney John Durham is set to unveil a massive anti-corruption case in his probe of the Obamagate scandal.
    During an interview on Sunday, Kash Patel said Durham is in the process of preparing a 27-page indictment of mob-style cases of conspiracy and fraud committed against the Trump administration.    Patel added the recent indictment against Michael Sussman takes up no more than three pages, meaning other top officials will be indicted soon.
    Sussman was found to have lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2016 in order to advance a false Trump-Russia collusion narrative.    Patel noted the real collusion took place between the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the 2016 Clinton campaign and the FBI.
    “I believe within the next six months, look out for indictments against the folks like Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpsonfor helping to perpetuate this fraud, and look out for individuals like Lisa Page and Peter Strzok.    I believe they’re already helping John Durham, they’re cooperating with him to get the bigger fish like the Andy McCabe, who is the biggest fraudster next to James Comey,” Patel pointed out.
    Patel continued on to say Durham is basing his probe on bank records and money flows, adding he will present hard evidence of the Democrat conspiracy against President Trump.

10/3/2021 Fmr. Secy. Of State Pompeo: Biden Surrendering America To Progressives, Adversaries by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – 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 U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo derided Joe Biden’s foreign policy decisions and how they are putting the lives of Americans in harm’s way.    On Sunday, Pompeo stressed the Biden administration has “given up on securing the border.”
    Pompeo claimed Biden is bending the knee to progressives in the Democrat Party, who advocate for open borders.
    Additionally, the former top U.S. diplomat said the Biden administration is neglecting warnings of negative effects from a massive influx of illegal immigrants and drugs.
    Pompeo also touched on the Afghanistan crisis, urging the U.S. government to keep their promise to Americans and allies in the country.    He warned if the Biden administration abandons them, the people with ties to America would be persecuted, executed and disappeared.
    He went on to say the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan is empowering U.S. adversaries, including China and Iran, who are champing at the bit to secure their strategic position in the region.    He lamented Biden is appeasing our rivals, citing the     Department of Justice’s recent dismissal of charges against Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who helped violate America’s failed Iran nuclear deal and steal valuable American intellectual property.
    The Chinese Communist Party has been alleged to have been holding two Canadians hostage, hoping to parlay the safe return to Wanzhou to Mainland China.    Additionally, Pompeo criticized the Biden administration for prioritizing its climate agenda over sound international policies.    He pointed to the valuable resources given to our adversaries by withdrawing from Afghanistan, which he predicted will damage U.S. production of micro chips, automobiles and natural gas.
    In the meantime, Pompeo urged Biden and his advisors to look back at the Trump administration to see how to implement and enforce policies that put America first.    The former secretary of state touted the strong border and America-centric supply chains under President Trump as policies that could benefit Americans for generations to come.

10/3/2021 Sen. Barrasso: Democrats Are Running Things, Not Biden by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming, with Senators Mitch McConnell (R), and John Thune (L, rear),
holds a copy of the reconciliation bill as he speaks after the Republican policy luncheon
at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on September 28, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
    Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) slams Joe Biden for failing to rally the Democrat Party as they continue arguing over passing legislation.    During an interview on Sunday, Barrasso thought Biden would help negotiate between progressive and moderate Democrats, but instead “surrendered to the radical wing of his party."
    Certain Democrats are currently holding hostage the bipartisan infrastructure bill unless an agreement can be made on the $3.5 trillion spending package.    Barrasso added Democrats are “driving the bus and Joe Biden is just along for the ride,” due to his ongoing failures while in office.
    During an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, senior White House Advisor Cedric Richmond said the White House is fully committed to passing both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the reconciliation package.
    “People will be disappointed, people will not get everything they want, that is the art of legislating, but the goal here is to get both bills,” said Richmond during the interview.
    Both Democrat Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (W.Va.) have been vocal about lowering the price of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package with Manchin stating he wouldn’t support anything over $1.5 trillion.    Meanwhile, Democrats recently delayed a vote on the bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill with Sinema calling the move “inexcusable and completely disappointing.”
    Additionally, Republicans continue to say there’s a different agenda behind the large partisan spending package.
    “Democrats are on the march to big socialism.    They have the House.    They have the Senate.    They have the White House,” said Barrasso.    “This is blowout spending on a scale that we really haven’t seen before in this country.    Every Republican is against it because of the permanent damage it would do to our economy, to our country, so all of the things are linked together.”
    In the meantime, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has stated the infrastructure bill, whose vote had been delayed, would need to be approved before the end of October as highway funding legislation will soon expire.    Furthermore, it seems Democrats will continue to rack up arguments as talks are still continuing over the spending package.

10/3/2021 W.Va. Gov.: There’s ‘No Chance’ He Will Impose Vaccine Mandates For Students by OAN Newsroom
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice prepares for a debate with Democratic challenger Ben Salango, the
Kanawha County Commissioner, in Morgantown, W.Va., Tuesday Oct. 13. 2020. (AP Photo/Kathy Batten)
    The governor of West Virginia said there’s no chance he’s mandating the coronavirus vaccine for school children.
    During an interview with CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday, Gov. Jim Justice (R) said he truly believes mandates only divide us as a nation more.
    The Republican governor said from the standpoint of mandates, he doesn’t believe in imposing upon our freedoms over and over again.    Justice assured he wants to keep children safe, but said parents have the decision to make as well.
    “But from the standpoint of our children, I’m going to still encourage in every way because I truly believe that the more people that we get vaccinated, the less people will die.    But at the same time, we still got to stand up for who we are,” he said.
    The governor reiterated how he doesn’t believe in imposing upon our freedoms, but truly believes less people will die if more West Virginians get vaccinated.

10/3/2021 Fmr. FDA Commissioner: Childhood COVID Vaccinations Will Likely Become Part Of Scheduled Immunizations by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 25: Dr. Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), testifies during a House Energy and Commerce
Committee hearing concerning federal efforts to combat the opioid crisis, October 25, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said he thinks it’s “inevitable” a COVID vaccine will become part of the childhood immunization schedule.    During an interview on Sunday, Gottlieb said adding the vaccine likely won’t happen until they are fully approved for children and there’s more than one available on the market.
    He added this will likely take place around this time next year. Gottlieb recently said he believes this is the virus’ last great surge.
    “You’re going to see other states and local districts moving forward with their own mandates.    And I think the right locus for decision making around these mandates is at the local level,” said Gottlieb.    “So, you’re going to see other states, like California, taking this up.”
    Meanwhile last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced a statewide student vaccination mandate, saying it would join other required vaccinations like measles and rubella.    Gottlieb did throw his support behind the decisions being made on as local of a level as possible, saying mandates make it a “political issue.”

10/3/2021 Economist: Washington, D.C. A ‘Train Wreck’ Now, Democrats Can’t Get Anything Passed by OAN Newsroom
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD – FEBRUARY 28: Stephen Moore, Distinguished Visiting Fellow for Project for Economic Growth at The Heritage
Foundation, has a conversation with Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney on stage at the Conservative Political Action
Conference 2020 (CPAC) hosted by the American Conservative Union on February 28, 2020 in National Harbor, Md. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
    Economist Stephen Moore said Democrats can’t pull their party together long enough to pass their own agenda.    During an interview on Sunday, Moore said Democrats are putting themselves in “circular firing squads,” saying as a Republican, it’s laughable.
    He noted the progressive wing’s anger at moderate Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), saying if Manchin sticks to his guns, it will be very disappointing for congressional liberals.    He also questioned if Fed Chair Jerome Powell is pumping up the money supply so Joe Biden will re-nominate him.    Moore added, “commodity prices are up 50 percent since Joe Biden’s election.    Is that a coincidence?    I’m just going to ask the question.”
    “It’s a train wreck right now in Washington, and the Democrats can’t seem to get anything passed.    They couldn’t get the debt ceiling increased, they can’t get their own infrastructure bill through, and they can’t get their $5 trillion spending bill,” said Moore.    “So, everything is at a standstill.”
    Late last month, Moore warned if Democrats are able to get their massive $3.5 trillion bill passed, it would make the growing inflation worse rather than better.

10/3/2021 FDA Seizes Thousands Of Spices Exposed To Rodent Infestation 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)
    Over 25,000 boxes of ready to eat spices were seized by the Food and Drug Administration following the discovery of rodents and insects in the factory.    In a statement on Friday, the regulator of foodstuffs in the U.S. said the products, made by Lyden Spice, were produced in insanitary conditions.
    They described how rodent feces from rats were discovered and how they were nesting between the wood in the pallets where the spices are manufactured.    The FDA also said there were bird droppings surrounding the storage area.
    They’re asking for all supplies of Lyden Spice products be condemned and surrendered to the agency.
    Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock assured the public, “we take our responsibility seriously and will continue to take action against those who threaten the safety and quality of the products we regulate as a necessary step to protect the public health and the safety of Americans.”
    She added the insanitary conditions found at the Lyden Spice Corporation were disturbing and would not be tolerated.

10/3/2021 Steve Bannon: MAGA Republicans To Win Big In 2022, 2024 Elections by OAN Newsroom
NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 20: Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon exits the Manhattan Federal Court on
August 20, 2020 in the Manhattan borough of New York City. Bannon and three other defendants have been indicted for
allegedly defrauding donors in a $25 million border wall fundraising campaign. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
    Former Chief White House Strategist Steve Bannon has predicted major electoral victories for President Trump’s “America First” agenda.    Speaking at the Association of Republican Presidential Appointees in Washington, Bannon said the GOP would have a sweeping victory in the 2022 midterms and in the 2024 presidential election.
    He added the Biden administration represents an Obama-style administrative state that needs to be taken apart.    Bannon said the biggest problem of President Trump’s first term was the inability to fill more than 4,000 positions in federal agencies, which delayed the implementation of his policies.    He also stressed the Democrat agenda is irrelevant.
    “The Biden administration is dead,” said Bannon.
    Bannon pointed out Republicans have to prepare “shock troops” to undertake and implement sweeping reforms in Washington as soon as they win the next election.

10/3/2021 La. Hospital To Charge Employees Extra Fee For Unvaccinated Spouse by OAN Newsroom
Frontline hospital employees at Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital in Oceanside, New York look on as the
Nassau County Police Departments Pipes & Drums and a parade of emergency vehicles hold a parade to honor the front line
hospital employees May 13, 2020. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)
    Louisiana’s largest health system, Ochsner Health, will start charging employees $200 each month if their spouse is unvaccinated.    The Louisiana health care system said it’s prepared to launch the “spousal COVID vaccine fee” in 2022.
    The fee would affect employees whose spouses are on the hospital’s plans, reportedly charging an additional $200 each month or $100 each pay period.    The announcement has received backlash and comes as healthcare workers across the country are choosing to abstain from the jab, causing widespread medical staffing shortages.
    “We were celebrated last year,” said a nurse in Indiana, referring to their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.    “But a few nurses did end up leaving due to [the hospital] not accepting their medical issues or having a reaction or adverse effect to the first dose of the COVID vaccine.”

10/3/2021 Judge Contends Justice Department Biased Against Jan. 6 Protesters by OAN Newsroom
Protesters participate in a political rally on July 25, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
    A federal judge suggested the Department of Justice has been biased in its sentencing of January 6 protesters.    During the sentencing of accused protester Danielle Doyle on Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Trevor McFadden suggested rioters in Washington D.C. and elsewhere during 2020’s civil unrest were given lesser sentences than those who participated in the incident at the Capitol.
    McFadden added the Justice Department would “have more credibility if it was even-handed in its concern about riots and mobs in the city.”    He also questioned why more protesters throughout the 2020 riots weren’t brought to court.
    During her time before the district judge, Doyle expressed her love for the country as well as her intentions on January 6.
    “I love this country,” she expressed.    “So many people came here to represent things that were important to us, but in the blink of an eye, all of those things were overshadowed.” she said.
    McFadden’s comments come as prosecutors continue to claim the January 6 event was far more detrimental to the U.S. than the dozens of violent protests of 2020.

10/4/2021 No Oil and DOW info.

10/4/2021 Thailand Joins Asian Nations In Rush To Buy Merck’s COVID-19 Pill by Panarat Thepgumpanat
FILE PHOTO: An experimental COVID-19 treatment pill called molnupiravir being developed by Merck & Co Inc and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP,
is seen in this undated handout photo released by Merck & Co Inc and obtained by Reuters May 17, 2021. Merck & Co Inc/Handout via REUTERS
    BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand’s government is in talks with Merck & Co to buy 200,000 courses of its experimental antiviral pill for COVID-19 treatment, the latest Asian nation to scramble for supplies of the drug after lagging behind Western countries for vaccines.
    Somsak Akksilp, director-general of the Department of Medical Services, told Reuters that Thailand is currently working on a purchasing agreement for the antiviral drug, known as>     South Korea, Taiwan and Malaysia said they are also in talks to buy the potential treatment, while the Philippines, which is running a trial on the pill, said it hopes its domestic study would allow access to the treatment.
    They all declined to provide details on purchase negotiations.
    The rush to order the drug comes after data from interim clinical trials released on Friday indicated it could reduce by around 50% the chance of hospitalisation or death for patients at risk of severe disease from COVID-19.
    The molnupiravir pills, designed to introduce errors into the genetic code of the virus, would be the first oral antiviral medication for COVID-19.
    Many Asian countries want to lock in supplies early after they were hit by tight supplies in their vaccine rollouts this year, putting them behind wealthier countries which bought hundreds of millions of doses.
    “We are now working on a purchasing agreement with Merck that is expected to be completed by this week … we have pre-booked 200,000 courses,” Somsak said.
    He said the pills could arrive as soon as December, though the deal would be subject to the pills’ approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration and the Thai regulator.
    Representatives at Merck’s Thailand office were not immediately reachable.
    Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases in Thailand fell below 10,000 on Monday for the first time since mid-July.U.S. government contract to supply 1.7 million courses of molnupiravir at a price of $700 per course The country has administered 55.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines so far, fully inoculating about 31% of the population.
    Merck has said it expects to produce 10 million courses of the treatment by the end of 2021.U.S. government contract to supply 1.7 million courses of molnupiravir at a price of $700 per course It has a U.S. government contract to supply 1.7 million courses of molnupiravir at a price of $700 per course.
    The company has said it plans a tiered pricing approach based on country income criteria.
    In the Philippines, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told a regular news conference on Monday that, “We see we can have more access to this medicine because we have this clinical trial counterpart.”
    A spokesman for the European Commission said Brussels may launch a joint procurement of the therapy for the bloc, a similar strategy used to buy COVID-19 vaccines, but there was no particular information on Merck’s drug.
    A German health ministry spokesperson said the government monitors the development of new therapies, but declined to comment on whether Germany plans to order Merck’s pill.
(Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat; Additional reporting by Neil Jerome Morales in Manila, Hyonhee Shin in Seoul, Ben Blanchard in Taipei, Patpicha Tanakasempipat in Bangkok, Francesco Guarascio in Brussels and Andreas Rinke in Berlin;Writing by Kay Johnson and Josephine Mason; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell, Himani Sarkar and Chizu Nomiyama)

10/4/2021 Lufthansa Adds Four New Airbus A350s To Its Fleet by Rajesh Kumar Singh
FILE PHOTO: CEO of Lufthansa, Carsten Spohr, delivers a speech during the opening ceremony of the new Berlin-Brandenburg
Airport (BER) "Willy Brandt" in Schoenefeld, near Berlin, Germany October 31, 2020. Tobias Schwarz/Pool via REUTERS
    BOSTON (Reuters) - Lufthansa said on Sunday it has agreed to lease four new Airbus A350-900 long-haul passenger jets, taking on newer planes left without homes as airlines restructure their balance sheets amid the coronavirus crisis.
    Airplanes are currently available at low lease rates as carriers review their portfolios, industry sources say.
    Chief Executive Carsten Spohr announced the move by the German flag carrier on the sidelines of an airlines conference dominated by debate over emissions and heavy industry losses due to the>     “Fleet modernization, in my view, is one pillar to cope with the sustainability challenges,” Spohr told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of airlines group IATA.
    The aircraft were originally earmarked for Philippine Airlines, which has been restructuring its fleet, and will be available early next year, a person familiar with the deal said.
    Their arrival will speed up the replacement of less fuel-efficient Airbus A340-600 and Boeing 747-400 jets, Lufthansa said, with 30% fewer emissions per plane.
    Lufthansa said the four new planes will take its A350 fleet to 21 aircraft.
    Spohr also said he was concerned that a slow reopening of borders in China amid strict coronavirus travel restrictions was hurting the German air carrier’s recovery.
    “We are not only slowing down our recovery at Lufthansa, which is also my concern, we are slowing down the recovery of the economic relations between China and Germany,” he said.
    China sharply reduced transport links with other countries as the coronavirus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019, spread around the world.
    Visitors to mainland China, regardless of nationality, face tough requirements prior to travel including multiple medical tests and stringent quarantine rules upon entry.
    Airlines, both Chinese and non-Chinese, also face the risk of their flight routes being suspended temporarily if a certain number of infected passengers are detected on arrival in China.
(Additional reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Richard Pullin)

10/4/2021 Economist Stephen Moore: Funny To Watch Democrats Sabotage Each Other by OAN Newsroom
Economist Stephen Moore is interviewed in his Washington office. (Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call via AP)
    Economist Stephen Moore said Democrats can’t pull their own party together long enough to pass their own agenda.
    During an interview on Sunday, Moore said Democrats have put themselves in “circular firing squads” and added it was funny to witness as a Republican himself.
    “It’s a train wreck right now in Washington and the Democrats can’t seem to get anything passed.    They couldn’t get the debt ceiling increased,” he stated.    “They can’t get their own infrastructure bill through and they can’t get their $5 trillion spending bill.    So, everything is at a standstill.”
    Moore noted the progressive wing’s anger at moderates Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-Calif.), who both have refused to pass their excessive spending plans.    He said if Manchin stuck to his guns, it would be very disappointing for congressional liberals.
    “They keep saying they’re going to transform America, but their transformation bill gets smaller and smaller in size hopefully.    As you know, I’m running the coalition to try and kill that bill because I don’t think all that spending is healthy for the country.    I think it will lead us on a road to maybe a financial crisis with all of that debt.”
    The economist also questioned if Fed chair Jerome Powell was pumping up the money supply just so Joe Biden would re-nominate him.
    “I wouldn’t put it past him.    I don’t want to make accusations, but you know the Fed was way.    Way too tight last year during the pandemic,” he explained.    “We had a crash in the commodity prices and ever since election day, those commodity prices are up 5o percent since Joe Biden’s election.    Is that a coincidence John?
    Moore pointed out Democrat shenanigans, such as pumping more money into the economy and passing sweeping spending bills would likely cancel out Biden’s promised efforts to reduce inflation.
    “I think inflation is here.    I think it’s here to stay.    I don’t think the Biden administration has any kind of plan, nor does the Federal Reserve to deal with this inflation,” he expressed.    “If you are worried about inflation as you and I are, then it makes no sense to pass a four, five trillion-dollar spending bill that’s all paid for with spending money.”
    Moore went on to warn if Democrats were able to get their sweeping spending plans passed, it would make inflation worse.    He added this was especially unfortunate timing by pointing out that last week oil prices hit a three-year high, which meant gas prices were on the rise for Americans yet again.

10/4/2021 U.S. To Keep In Place Trump-Era Sanctions On China by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai speaks during a hearing with the House Ways and
Means committee at Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
    The Biden administration has decided not to lift tariffs against China, which were put in place by President Trump.    U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said on Monday, China has failed to keep its end of the Trump-brokered U.S.-China trade deal.
    Tai said although those tariffs would remain active, the White House was looking into exemptions so some companies could still buy certain Chinese products.    She added these actions were meant to keep dialogue open with Beijing and were not designed to further inflame tensions.
    “I think that we are going to have, and intend to have to have, really honest conversations with China about all of the elements of the Phase One agreement,” she explained.    “These are commitments that China made.”
    The tariffs placed by Trump were imposed on $350 billion worth of Chinese goods.

10/4/2021 Biden Blames GOP, Trump For Debt Ceiling Situation by OAN Newsroom
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the debt ceiling during an event in the State
Dining Room of the White House, Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Joe Biden has continued to shift blame as the U.S. teeters on the brink of an economic catastrophe.    While speaking from the White House Monday, he made his case for raising the debt ceiling by blaming 45th President Donald Trump as well as Republicans for spending too much and playing procedural games.
    His remarks come even as he pushes a multi-trillion dollar spending bill to pass through reconciliation, which bypasses Republicans.    While calling for GOP help to raise the debt ceiling, Biden also said they need to get out of the way so Democrats can “save the economy.”
    However, reporters criticized Biden for not being able to bring his own party together to pass legislation.    The Democrat-controlled Congress has until October 18 to act or risk a historic default.
    Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (R-N.Y.) set a tentative date for Congress to pass the infrastructure and budget packages.    In a press conference Sunday, the New York lawmaker said he believes Democrats are on track to pass both pieces of legislation in the next month.
    This comes as Democrats continue to bicker over price tag and substance in the reconciliation package, holding back the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill.    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has shared a similar timeline to Schumer’s, suggesting the bipartisan bill must be passed no later than October 31.

10/4/2021 Biden’s Build Back Better Media Trip Coming Up In Mich. by OAN Newsroom
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden board Air Force One, Monday, Oct. 4, 2021 at Delaware Air National Guard Base in New
Castle, Del. Biden is returning to the White House after spending the weekend at their Delaware home. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    Joe Biden will head to Michigan this week to push his jeopardized Build Back Better agenda.    In a press release on Sunday, the White House announced he will speak to constituents at an operating engineers facility in Howell Township on Tuesday.    Biden will discuss his multi-trillion dollar spending plans, which the White House said will be funded by “repealing tax giveaways to the rich.”
    His reconciliation and bipartisan bills hit a speed bump last week when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) delayed the vote.    Biden has made it clear he will do whatever it takes to get the bills pushed through.<
    Meanwhile, a new poll found nearly three-quarters of American voters oppose Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget.    That’s according to a Convention of States Action survey in partnership with the Trafalgar Group.
    Released Monday, the poll specifically shows 72 percent of Americans say they are less likely to support Biden’s proposed reconciliation bill if they know it increases taxes and the national debt.    That includes 74 percent of independents and 50 percent of Democrats.
National Issues Survey – Budget Bill Approval (in partnership with Convention of States Action and Trafalgar Group)
    The survey comes as the spending package hits a stalemate in Congress with moderate Democrat senators raising concerns over the price tag.

10/4/2021 Senate Leaders Face-Off In Fight Over Debt Ceiling by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, with Republican Senators John Barrasso (left) and John Thune (right), arrives
to speak to reporters after the Republican policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.cC) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
    The debate has heated up in the upper chamber as senators from both sides sparred over the debt ceiling.    On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) took aim at one another amid the battle over who had control over the U.S. economy.
    Schumer pointed his finger at Republicans by blaming the GOP for the U.S. legislature’s failure to fully fund the government by the start of the new fiscal year.    He threatened if Republicans weren’t willing to pass the Democrat-led bills, Democrats would use their slim majorities to truck the bills through both chambers.
    “We aren’t asking Republicans to support it when it comes time for a vote.    We only ask that they get out of the way as Democrats pass it on our own, just as the majority party did in the early 2000s,” he stated.    “…If Republicans want to vote to stop payments from going to Social Security recipients or veterans, then be my guest, but they ought to get out of the way and let the legislation pass the Senate.”
    However, McConnell pointed out Democrats were having a tough time passing their agenda, despite controlling both chambers of Congress and the White House.
    “This unified Democratic government is having trouble governing.    It couldn’t even pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which the president negotiated and the Speaker of the House promised it would pass last week,” he expressed.    “The majority needs to stop sleepwalking toward yet another preventable crisis.    Democrats need to tackle the debt limit.    We gave them a roadmap and three months notice.    I suggest that our colleagues get moving.”
    The Kentucky Republican also called out Democrats for forgetting their own history of voting against raising the debt ceiling.    He cited Democrats “lined up to oppose debt limit increases during a unified Republican government.”
    “They pretended these votes are always bipartisan.    Well, that was simply not true,” he asserted.    “So now our colleagues have moved on to yet another new argument that is equally flimsy.”
    Schumer moved to vote on raising the debt ceiling on Wednesday.    However, experts warn the measure would likely not pass as Democrats would need 10 GOP senators to break from party lines to bypass the filibuster.

10/4/2021 Hundreds Protest Vaccine Mandate For NYC Teachers by OAN Newsroom
People march as they protest against NYC’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate that went into effect today for
public school employees on October 04, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
    Hundreds of demonstrators have taken to the streets of New York City to protest the new vaccine mandate for teachers.    The COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all New York City teachers and staff went into effect on Monday.
    If teachers and staff decided against receiving the vaccine, they would be faced with unpaid leave as of Monday.    Reports have indicated at least 97 percent of the city’s teachers union members have already received the vaccine.
    “As of now, 95 percent of all full time DOE employees,” stated New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D).    “…An amazing effort and I want everyone to know, since the mandate was announced for our schools August 23, over 43,000 doses given to employees of our public schools.”
    Large group of protestors crossed over the Brooklyn bridge heading to City Hall as COVID vaccine mandate takes effect for NYC teachers & staff.
— CaitlinSinclairTV (@CSinclairtv) October 4, 2021
    Last week, multiple teachers and school faculty sued for an emergency injunction against the mandate, but it was denied by the Supreme Court.    Protesters argued they should have a choice with what to do with their own bodies.
    The large protest on Monday temporarily shut down Manhattan-bound lanes of the Brooklyn Bridge.    The bridge has since reopened.

10/4/2021 Report: 1 DEA Agent Dead, 2 Other Officers Injured During Train Station Shooting by OAN Newsroom
A Tucson Police Department SWAT truck is parked near the last two cars of an Amtrak train
in downtown Tucson, Ariz., Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. (Mamta Popat/Arizona Daily Star via AP)
    At least one Drug Enforcement Administration agent was killed and two other officers were injured following a shooting at an Amtrak station in Tucson.    The Tucson Police Department confirmed the shooting happened Monday morning onboard an Amtrak train, which was stopped at the station.
    According to authorities, two DEA agents were boarding the stationary train to conduct a routine interdiction check.    The agents reportedly detained one person when another opened fire on them.     A local police officer, who heard the shots and ran in the train car to help, was also shot.    The shooting suspect reportedly barricaded himself in a bathroom and was later found deceased.
    “So ultimately as time went on there wasn’t clarity whether the suspect was still alive or not, whether he had been shot or not, but ultimately it was determined that the suspect in the bathroom was in fact deceased,” explained Chief Chris Magnus of Tucson Police Department.    “He was declared dead at the scene.”
    The injured officers were rushed to local hospitals, where the DEA agent remains in critical condition.    The Tucson Police officer was said to be in stable condition.
    Meanwhile, local agencies are investigating whether the deceased suspect died from gunfire from the officers or committed suicide.

10/4/2021 Md. Seeing Low Case Number Rate by OAN Newsroom
Gov. Larry Hogan talks to reporters during a news briefing in front of the
Maryland State House in Annapolis, Maryland. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    Maryland has experienced its lowest COVID-19 case numbers to date.    According to Gov. Larry Hogan (R-MD), Maryland reported the 50th lowest case and positivity rate in the entire country.
    Hogan added Maryland has since moved into the COVID-19 risk level orange tier, which is one level safer than the red tier.    His comments come after Maryland recently enacted a plan to ensure booster shots were provided to eligible residents.
    “We’ve already launched a vigorous outreach effort for those Marylanders who are currently eligible for a booster shot,” he explained.    “Last week, the Maryland Department of Health issued a bulletin directing vaccine providers to immediately make booster shots available to all eligible Marylanders.”
    Hogan went on to say Maryland was still waiting on approval by the federal government to enact vaccines for five to 11-year-old children.    He said he anticipated this to come by the end of October.

10/4/2021 President Trump Sets Up ‘MAGA Again’ PAC To Support GOP Auditions by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump leaves after a rally on July 3, 2021 in Sarasota, Florida. Co-sponsored by the Republican Party of Florida, the rally marks
Trump’s further support of the MAGA agenda and accomplishments of his administration. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images)
    President Trump launched a new political action committee called “MAGA Again.”    In a statement on Monday, the 45th president said the new super PAC "Make America Great Again, Again” would replace the “Make America Great Again Action” PAC.
    Trump added the PAC would support political candidates who prioritized the “America First” agenda ahead of the 2022 midterms.    The new PAC would be chaired by former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who was set to be joined by Kimberly Guilfoyle.
    “We look forward to building on the success of MAGA Action with our new committee, Make America Great Again, Again,” stated Bondi in a released statement.    “We are thrilled to continue to support America First candidates in the midterms and beyond.”
    Trump went on to say Democrats have pushed America toward socialism, which must be opposed every inch of the way.

10/5/2021 Oil up $1.87 to $77.61, DOW down 324 to 34,003.

10/5/2021 Global Player? EU Summit To Seek Answers On China, U.S. Strategy by Robin Emmott
FILE PHOTO: An attendant walks past EU and China flags ahead of the EU-China High-level Economic
Dialogue at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China June 25, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union’s 27 leaders will seek a new approach to China on Tuesday in their first summit on Sino-European strategy since the bloc imposed sanctions on Beijing in March and faced retaliation, jeopardising a new investment pact.
    Along with the United States, Britain and Canada, the EU imposed sanctions on Chinese officials on March 22 over human rights abuses, which Beijing denies.    The EU was immediately hit by Beijing with sanctions on European Parliament lawmakers, freezing approval of a recently agreed EU-China investment deal.
    “The EU has sought to avoid confrontation with Beijing, but we can no longer regard China as a benign trading partner,” an EU diplomat said.
    At a country estate in Slovenia, EU leaders will also hear from French President Emmanuel Macron on how the bloc can try to project strength in international affairs after Britain, the United States and Australia agreed in secret a military alliance to counter China, excluding France.
    As the world’s largest trading bloc, the EU wields power in setting rules that can shape policy far beyond its borders, but it has repeatedly failed to coordinate a common foreign and military policy, weakening its influence.
    Senior EU officials and diplomats hope the informal gathering can be a moment to debate both becoming more independent of the United States and playing a part in Washington’s foreign policy shift to Asia.
    No decisions are set to be taken.
    “The United States has recognised the importance of a stronger and more capable European defence,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday before leaving for Slovenia.    “Crises in the European neighbourhood are a call for us to react.”
    The meeting in Brdo, near the Slovenian capital Ljubljana, will start on Tuesday evening.    The EU leaders will be joined on Wednesday by the six Balkan countries hoping one day to join the bloc.
    Australia’s decision to cancel a big submarine contract with France and opt for U.S.-designed vessels instead as part of the new AUKUS security alliance with Washington and London incensed Paris, but could give impetus to EU common defence plans.
    “We could turn a blind eye and act as if nothing had happened.    We think that would be a mistake for all Europeans,” an adviser to Macron told reporters.    “There really is an opportunity here.”
    Borrell also called that development a “wake-up call,” while insisting that Washington remained Brussels’ closest ally.
(Additional reporting by John Chalmers in Brussels and Michel Rose in Paris, Editing by Nick Zieminski and Gareth Jones)

10/5/2021 Explainer: Germany’s Next Government Faces Three Big Economic Challenges by Michael Nienaber and Rene Wagner
FILE PHOTO: Staff wear protective masks at the Volkswagen assembly line in Wolfsburg,
Germany, April 27, 2020. Swen Pfoertner/Pool via REUTERS
    BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel has steered Germany through many crises over the past 16 years, but she has also left behind a mixed legacy and failed to tackle some deep structural problems in Europe’s largest economy.
    Despite a “golden decade” of uninterrupted growth and budget surpluses, most economists agree Germany has neglected its public infrastructure and invested too little in digitisation.
    The Ifo institute forecasts the economy will grow by a stellar 5.1% in 2022, the strongest rate since the economic boom of the early 1990s following Germany’s reunification.
    The unusually strong growth outlook is mainly due to the recovery and catch-up effects from the COVID-19 pandemic.    But under the shiny surface, things look less bright.
    If Germany wants to avoid falling further behind over the next few years, the coming coalition government must tackle these three challenges:
    Under Merkel’s watch, Germany has fallen further behind in terms of digitisation.    That was the finding of a survey by the Berlin-based European Center for Digital Competitiveness published in September, shortly before the election.
    Germany ranked 18 out of the Group of 20 leading industrialized and emerging countries (G20), with only Japan and India doing worse.
    The government’s goal of offering fast internet through a nationwide network is a long way off.    There are still too few fibre optic cables, especially in rural areas.
    Germany is also lagging in the expansion of 5G mobile communications, slowing down small and medium-sized businesses in certain regions.
    Finally, the country is short of IT specialists. According to the industry association Bitkom, 86,000 positions for IT experts are currently vacant.    Seven out of ten companies complain about a lack of IT specialists, and 60 percent expect the situation to worsen in the coming years, Bitkom said.
    Germany’s mighty car industry is struggling to ramp up production following the coronavirus crisis due to a lack of semiconductors and other components.
    As automakers and suppliers rely almost exclusively on chips from only a few manufacturers in Asia and the United States, supply chain disruptions have exposed an Achilles heel in Deutschland AG’s business model.
    While Germany has boomed on the back of globalisation, the worldwide web of supply chains that turbo-charged its economy is now proving to be a critical weakness.
    A record 77.4% of industrial companies reported difficulties procuring intermediates and raw materials in September, a survey by the Ifo institute showed.    Among car companies, that figure jumped to an unprecedented 97%.
    The shortages of microchips and other industrial components are hampering the economic recovery this year, forcing executives and policymakers to re-think supply lines and try to reduce reliance on a handful of Asian and U.S. suppliers.
    Since global semiconductor production capacities are fully utilized, a significant short-term expansion of production is not on the cards and experts forecast the shortages will last well into next year.
    In alliance with the European Union’s executive, Germany and France want to pour billions of euros into state aid schemes to support the construction of local chip factories and the development of next-generation semiconductors.
    Germany is getting old following decades of relatively low birth rates and uneven immigration.
    Faced with a rapidly ageing society and a shrinking work force, Merkel has largely ignored calls to take more steps to reform the public pension system and make immigration rules more flexible.
    Under existing rules put in place by Merkel’s first coalition government in 2006, the age at which Germans can draw a full state pension without cuts is gradually rising from 65 to 67 years until 2031.
    A panel of the government’s economic advisers has suggested increasing the age threshold further to 68 by 2042.    But that has been rejected by outgoing Finance Minister Olaf Scholz who is in pole position to succeed Merkel as chancellor after the narrow election victory of his centre-left Social Democrats.
    According to the Institute for the World Economy (IfW), the peak in German employment is likely to be reached in 2023 with nearly 46 million people in work. After that, more people are projected to leave the labour market than new workers entering it.
    This means Germany will lose around 130,000 people of working age each year from 2026 onwards.
    The shrinking workforce is projected to reduce the possible increase in economic output with normal capacity utilization to less than 0.9 percent at the end of 2026 – sharply below the long-term average of 1.4 percent.
    Experts say this problem could be eased with higher immigration, better childcare services to increase job market participation of parents and more flexible working time models to keep older people working as long as possible.
(Reporting by Michael Nienaber, Editing by Andrew Heavens)

10/5/2021 Blinken Says He Will Have Chance In Paris To Discuss Rebuilding French Trust In US
    PARIS (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he would have a chance during talks in Paris on Tuesday to discuss rebuilding French trust in the United States following a row over a new Indo-Pacific security pact.
    Paris was infuriated last month by the announcement of the pact between the United States, Australia and Britain which resulted in Canberra scuttling a $40 billion defence contract for French submarines.
    Asked how he would reassure the French that the United States could be trusted, Blinken said ahead of his talks with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian: “We’ll have a chance to talk later.”
(Reporting by Richard Lough; Editing by Gareth Jones)

10/5/2021 Climate Activists Who Gridlocked London Have Crossed The Line, Minister Says
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Minister of State at the Home Office Kit Malthouse arrives on
Downing Street, in London, Britain September 17, 2021. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
    LONDON (Reuters) – Climate change activists who blocked major roads into London have crossed the line and new measures will be shortly announced to deal with those who seek to disrupt critical national infrastructure, Britain’s policing minister said on Tuesday.
    “While we obviously all value the right to protest there is a difference between causing disruption and causing damage,” Kit Malthouse, a junior interior minister in charge of policing, told Sky.
    “We believe these protesters … have crossed the line between exercising their right but also their responsibility towards the rest of us,” he said.    “Something needs to be done and so we’re going to be announcing a raft of new measures.”
    About 50 campaigners from Insulate Britain, which wants the government to commit to providing insulation for 29 million homes, blocked busy routes into the city on Monday, triggering huge tailbacks and chaos for drivers navigating rush hour traffic.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton)

10/5/2021 Three Vatican Swiss Guards Resign After COVID-19 Vaccination Request – Report
FILE PHOTO: New recruits of the Vatican's elite Swiss Guard march in front of the tower of the Institute
for Works of Religion (IOR) during the swearing-in ceremony at the Vatican May 6, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile
    ZURICH (Reuters) – Three members of the Vatican Swiss Guards, the elite colourfully dressed corps that protects the pope, have decided to resign rather than be vaccinated against COVID-19, Swiss newspaper Tribune de Geneva reported.
    Following the Holy See’s implementation of new COVID-19 measures, three Swiss guards have departed on a “voluntary” basis, a spokesperson for the corps said, according to the paper.    Three other recruits, hitherto unvaccinated, had decided to get a shot but were temporarily suspended until they were fully inoculated, the spokesperson said.
    A spokesperson for the Swiss Guards did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.
    A health certificate showing proof of immunity to COVID-19 has been required to enter the Vatican since Oct. 1.
    The so-called Green Pass – originally conceived to ease travel among European Union states – shows that someone has been vaccinated, tested negative or recently recovered from the coronavirus.
    However, the Swiss Guards, who together with the Vatican’s gendarme work in close vicinity to the Pope on a daily basis, have been required to show proof of full vaccination, as opposed to a negative test.
    Nearly all of the guard are single men who live in barracks just inside the Vatican gates.    Commanders and married members live in separate apartments.    All members have Swiss nationality.
    Four of them tested positive for COVID-19 in October last year.
(Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi and Philip Pullella; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

10/5/2021 EU Leaders To Discuss Strategic Gas Reserve At Summit - Commission
FILE PHOTO: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks at a new conference
during a visit to VTT in Espoo, Finland October 4, 2021. Markku Ulander/Lehtikuva via REUTERS
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders will discuss later in October the idea of setting up an EU strategic gas reserve and the decoupling of electricity prices from gas prices, the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said on Tuesday.
    Speaking to reporters in Estonia, von der Leyen said the surge in electricity prices for European consumers was mainly a result of much more expensive gas as global demand has picked up but key European gas suppliers like Russia, have not increased the supply.
    “For gas we are heavily dependent on imports — 90% of gas is being imported.    Globally the economies are picking up so demand is rising, but the supply is not rising accordingly.    We are very grateful that Norway is stepping up its production, but this does not seem to be the case in Russia,” she said.
    Von de Leyen said the EU had to invest in renewable sources of energy because that would make it independent of imports and stabilise prices.    But more immediate steps would be the subject of the next EU summit on Oct 21-22.
    “In the short term, we will discuss in the European Council, not only tonight, but in two weeks in the formal council how to deal with storage, a strategic reserve and we will have a look at the overall price composition of the electricity market because, if electricity prices are high it is because of the high gas prices, and we have to look at the possibility to decouple within the market, because we have much cheaper energy like renewables,” von der Leyen said.
(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski)

10/5/2021 Macron: G20 Must Send Taliban Clear Message On Price Of Recognition
FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron gestures as he speaks during the One Planet Summit
at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, October 4, 2021. Michel Euler/Pool via REUTERS
    PARIS (Reuters) - France’s President Emmanuel Macron said the forthcoming G20 summit must send a clear message to Afghanistan’s Taliban on the conditions for international recognition.
    In an interview with France Inter radio station broadcast on Tuesday, Macron said those conditions must include equality for women, access for foreign humanitarian operations and non-cooperation with Islamist terror groups.
    “I believe international recognition should have a price, and the dignity of Afghan women, equality between men and women, should be one of the points on which we insist, and should be a condition for us,” Macron said.
    Referring to the G20 summit due to take place in Rome later this month, Macron said: “We will talk about Afghanistan.     We absolutely must, that’s to say us, the Europeans, the Americans, China, Russia, the big powers of Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and Latin America all together, we must have a very clear message that we will set conditions for recognition of the Taliban.”
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Writing by Christian Lowe)

10/5/2021 France’s Macron: I Hope Tensions With Algeria Will Soon Ease
FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech as he hosts a dinner at the Elysee Palace as part of
the closing ceremony of The Africa2020 Season, in Paris, France September 30, 2021. Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS
    PARIS (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday that he hoped diplomatic tensions with Algeria would soon ease.     “My wish is that is that we can calm things down because I think it is better to talk to one another, and to make progress,” Macron told France Inter radio in an interview, adding he had “very cordial” relations with Algeria’s President.
    On Saturday, Algeria recalled its ambassador to Paris, citing comments attributed to Macron, who was quoted in the Le Monde newspaper as saying Algeria’s rulers had rewritten the history of its colonisation based on “a hatred of France.”
    The following day, Algeria closed its airspace to French military planes, according to France’s military.
    The row comes on top of strains last week when France said it would slash the number of visas available to citizens of North African countries – drawing a formal protest from Algeria.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Christian Lowe)

10/5/2021 Macron To Meet Biden At G20, Hopes To Move On After AUKUS Dispute by Robin Emmott and Ivana Sekularac
FILE PHOTO: An attendant walks past EU and China flags ahead of the EU-China High-level Economic
Dialogue at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China June 25, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo
    BRDO, Slovenia (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday he hoped to close a rift with U.S. counterpart Joe Biden when the pair meet in Rome at the end of October, saying he wanted the long-time allies to work together once again “in good faith.”
    Reconciliation at the Group of 20 summit on Oct. 30-31 would follow a Biden-Macron phone call last month and potentially end a transatlantic row triggered last month by the United States’ negotiation in secret of a military pact, known as AUKUS, with Australia and Britain to counter China, excluding France.
    “We need to look with lucidity at the decisions taken by our allies.    There were choices that were made and I can’t say that France and Europe were taken into account, but we have a history that is bigger (than this),” Macron said as he arrived at a summit of EU leaders in Slovenia.
    “We will catch up during the G20. I think it is the right occasion to see how we can re-engage,” Macron said of his planned meeting with Biden.
    “It is about facts and what to do together,” he told reporters at the Brdo estate outside the Slovenian capital Ljubljana.
    Australia’s decision under AUKUS to cancel a lucrative submarine contract with France in September and opt for U.S.-designed, nuclear-propelled vessels incensed Paris.    Macron said the episode was a sign that the EU needed to do more on its own, particularly in crises on the 27-nation bloc’s borders.
    The EU has also set out its own strategy to increase its presence in the Indo-Pacific and counter China’s rising power.
    “We must look at the way Europe should address challenges in its neighbourhood, the crises that exist, its own security and to continue to work in good faith with historic partners and allies,” Macron said, in reference to the United States.
    How the EU should deal with China and with the United States was front and centre of the summit dinner.
    “We have all observed what happened in Afghanistan, what happened in the Indo-Pacific, what happened with China,” European Council President Charles Michel, who is chairing the summit, said, referring to U.S. strategy that undermined EU priorities.    He said the EU needed to show “collective intelligence” to shape Europe’s response.
    Many in Europe now see the abrupt U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, during which allies felt ignored when they pleaded for more time, as a warning that Washington under Biden is putting its own foreign policy interests first.
    But the EU also wants to be a useful ally to Washington.
    “The United States has recognised the importance of a stronger and more capable European defence,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday before leaving for Slovenia. “Crises in the European neighbourhood are a call for us to react.”
    Macron and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met for about 40 minutes in Paris earlier in the day and discussed a French push for more security cooperation among European nations, a U.S. official said.
    Blinken told Macron that Washington was “certainly supportive of European defence and security initiatives” that can increase capabilities but do not undermine the NATO alliance, the senior State Department official said.
    The EU leaders will be joined on Wednesday by the six Balkan countries hoping one day to join the bloc.
    As the world’s largest trading bloc, the EU wields power in setting rules that can shape policy far beyond its borders, but it has repeatedly failed to coordinate a common foreign and military policy, weakening its influence.
    It is particularly torn over China, the bloc’s second largest trading partner but which Brussels views as a competitor as Beijing seeks to erode the West’s technological edge.
    The EU, along with the United States, Britain and Canada, imposed sanctions on Chinese officials on March 22 over human rights abuses, which Beijing denies.    Beijing immediately hit the EU with sanctions on European Parliament lawmakers, freezing approval of a recently agreed EU-China investment deal.
(Additional reporting by Ivana Sekularac, Jan Strupczewski and John Chalmers in Brussels, Michel Rose and Richard Lough in Paris; Editing by Jan Harvey, Giles Elgood and Mark Heinrich)

10/5/2021 U.S. Senators Suggest Expelling 300 Russian Diplomats Amid Embassy Dispute
FILE PHOTO: Russian and U.S. state flags fly near a factory in Vsevolozhsk, Leningrad Region, Russia March 27, 2019. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Democratic and Republican senators urged President Joe Biden on Tuesday to expel 300 Russian diplomats from the United States if Moscow does not issue more visas for Americans to represent Washington in Russia.
    The suggestion from the leaders of the Senate foreign relations and intelligence committees – Democrats Bob Menendez and Mark Warner and Republicans Jim Risch and Marco Rubio – would mark a sharp escalation in an ongoing dispute over embassy staffing amid tension between Washington and Moscow.
    Russia in August banned the U.S. embassy in Moscow from retaining, hiring or contracting Russian or third-country staff, except for guards, forcing the mission to let go 182 employees and dozens of contractors, the State Department said.
    That meant there are only about 100 U.S. diplomats in Russia, compared with 400 Russian diplomats across the United States, the senators said.
    “This disproportionality in diplomatic representation is unacceptable.    Accordingly, Russia must issue enough visas to approach parity between the number of American diplomats serving in Russia and the number of Russian diplomats serving in the United States,” the senators wrote in a letter to Biden.
    If Moscow does not do so, they said Biden should begin expelling as many as 300 Russian diplomats.
    The White House and State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

10/5/2021 Their Prospects Dim, Haitian Migrants Strain Mexico’s Asylum System by Daina Beth Solomon
FILE PHOTO: Migrants from Haiti, who returned to the Mexican side of the border to avoid deportation, queue for breakfast at
a shelter set by the National Migration Institute (INM) in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, September 25, 2021. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico could see asylum applications jump 70% this year compared with 2019 as requests from Haitians soar, though most of those Caribbean migrants do not meet the criteria under current rules, according to Mexico’s top asylum official.
    Haiti is currently the second-most common country of origin for asylum requests in Mexico, and is on track to overtake Honduras to claim the top spot for the first time in nearly a decade.
    The surge has been fed by political and economic malaise in Haiti and South America, and last month thousands of mostly Haitian migrants crossed into Del Rio, Texas.
    Thousands then retreated back to Mexico to avoid being deported from the United States to Haiti.
    Most Haitians do not qualify for asylum in Mexico because they left home years ago for economic reasons, said Andres Ramirez, head of the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance (COMAR).
    Most resettled in Brazil and Chile after Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake and are heading north due to poor economic prospects in their adopted countries, Ramirez told Reuters.
    “They’re not really refugees, they don’t even want to be refugees,” Ramirez said in an interview on Monday. “The majority want to get to the United States.”
    Haitians were seeking asylum because they had no alternative, but the demand had brought COMAR to a standstill, which was “detrimental to genuine refugees, who we can’t serve because there are too many Haitians,” he added.
    Asylum applications are now taking six to seven months, at least twice the time they should take, he said.
    In the southern border city of Tapachula, where most migrants request asylum, COMAR is scrambling to lighten the load by canceling appointments of applicants no longer there.
    COMAR is in talks with Mexico’s migration authorities and international aid organizations to see if Haitians have options for staying in Mexico aside from asylum, Ramirez said, such as humanitarian visas that let migrants work and travel freely.
    Lasting one year and renewable, that visa is currently only available to migrants after they apply for asylum with COMAR.
    “What concerns me is when I know someone isn’t a refugee, and they come to us because they have no other option,” Ramirez said.    “But there could be another way… there is a precedent.”
    Mexico distributed humanitarian visas in early 2019 when thousands of Central Americans arrived in migrant caravans, but stopped after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to impose trade tariffs if Mexico did not curb the flow of people.
    The Biden administration is also putting pressure on Mexico to stem migrant traffic, even as it gradually rolls back Trump-era measures and promises more humane migration policies.
    Mexico’s National Migration Institute did not immediately respond when asked if it was considering issuing humanitarian visas to Haitian migrants.
    Asylum applications in Mexico from all nationalities reached 90,300 by September.    Ramirez estimated the number could surpass 120,000 by year’s end.
    Suppressed by the coronavirus pandemic, applications tumbled to just over 41,000 last year, but rose for Haitians, who filed 5,957 requests.    From January to September 2021, the number of Haitian applications leapt to 26,007.
    An increase in requests from Brazilians and Chileans has been fueled by children born to Haitians in those countries, Ramirez said.
(Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Dave Graham and Alistair Bell)

10/5/2021 After Meeting Suitors, Germany’s Coalition Kingmakers Retreat To Mull Next Step by Paul Carrel and Alexander Ratz
Markus Soeder, leader of Bavaria's Christian Social Union party (CSU), arrives to attend exploratory talks between the CDU,
the CSU and the Greens for a possible new government coalition in Berlin, Germany, October 5, 2021. REUTERS/Michele Tantussi
    BERLIN (Reuters) -Germany’s would-be “kingmakers,” the Greens and Free Democrats, will take the next two days to decide how they will proceed with talks to form a new coalition government, Greens co-leader Robert Habeck said on Tuesday.
    A close result in a Sept. 26 election, when no party won an overall majority, has kicked off a round of coalition talks that could last months, with the conservatives and Social Democrats (SPD) courting the two smaller parties to try to secure power.
    Unlike some other countries, where the president or monarch invites parties to enter talks on forming a government, in Germany it is up to the parties themselves to find their coalition partners.
    The ecologist Greens and business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP) met last week before holding their own separate meetings with the SPD and conservatives.
    They must now decide which of their larger suitors they want to pursue formal negotiations with, though in theory they could do so with both in parallel – at least to start with.
    “The FDP and we will certainly now evaluate the talks as a whole … we will take time for that today and tomorrow,” Habeck told reporters after the Greens and conservatives met for talks that they both described as constructive.
    Habeck did not say what their next steps will be after the two days have elapsed.
    At stake is the cohesiveness of a new government, its appetite to shape up Europe’s largest economy for the digital era, and the extent of Berlin’s willingness to engage on foreign issues to the degree that its allies would like.
    The centre-left SPD, which narrowly won the election, said on Sunday it was ready to move to three-way coalition talks with the Greens and FDP.
    Meanwhile Armin Laschet, the leader of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) who wants to succeed her as chancellor, said his conservative alliance with the Bavarian CSU also wanted a coalition with the Greens and FDP.
    However, a poll for broadcasters RTL/ntv showed that 74% of voters wanted the conservative bloc to go into opposition.    The conservatives slumped to a record low result in the election.
    CSU leader Markus Soeder nonetheless said the conservatives’ talks with the Greens were “just as or even more exciting” as their talks on Sunday with the FDP.
    Both the conservatives and Greens said they had differences but that they also overlapped on the climate and digitisation policy areas.    The FDP said after its weekend talks with both larger parties that it and the SPD faced hurdles to an alliance.
    So far the two smaller parties, which are from opposite ends of the political spectrum and at odds on a range of issues, have worked hard to bridge their differences.
    Merkel, in power since 2005, plans to step down once a new government is formed and will stay on until that point.
(Additional reporting by Thomas EscrittEditing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

10/5/2021 Project Veritas Exposes Pfizer On Natural Immunity by OAN Newsroom
Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe looks on during the Conservative Political Action Conference CPAC held at the Hilton Anatole on
July 09, 2021 in Dallas, Texas. CPAC began in 1974, and is a conference that brings together and hosts conservative organizations,
activists, and world leaders in discussing current events and future political agendas. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
    Project Veritas has exposed Pfizer scientists who believed natural immunity to COVID-19 was more effective than their own vaccines.    In a video released on Monday, the investigative journalism organization talked to multiple employees of the pharmaceutical giant.
    The employees claimed they had to take seminars that highlighted vaccines being more effective than natural immunity.    This information has run counter to the scientific data on COVID-19 immunity, which even Pfizer employees have acknowledged.
    “What the vaccine is is like I said that protein that’s just on the outside,” explained scientist Nick Karl.    “So it’s just one antibody against one specific part of the virus.    When you actually get the virus, you’re going to start producing antibodies against like multiple pieces of virus.”
    Despite this scientific evidence, the federal government has been promoting vaccines as the only way to protect from COVID-19.    U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy claimed natural immunity was nowhere near as effective as immunity from vaccines.
    “We are seeing more and more data that tells us that while you get some protection from natural infection, it’s not nearly as strong as what you get from the vaccine,” he claimed.    “Especially with the delta variant, which is the hardiest and most contagious variant we’ve seen to date.    We need all the protection we can get.    That’s why the vaccines are so effective.”
    While the scientists at Pfizer were not aware they were being filmed, they expressed discomfort with what the company was doing.    According to senior associate Chris Croce, the employees expected to join together in lockstep to promote a certain agenda to make the company money without any regard for individual health.
    “I mean, I still feel like I for like an evil corporation.    They’re trying to keep track of everyone that’s been vaccinated versus the census of how many people are actually reported,” he stated.    “Basically our organization is run on COVID money now.    You don’t talk about anything that can possibly implicate you or like big pharma.”
    Similarly, Croce said monoclonal antibodies have been pushed to the side for profit. Despite Pfizer knowing about the effectiveness of natural immunity, forced vaccinations were still being promoted by both the company and the federal government.
    Scientist Nick Karl was asked about getting people who have yet to be vaccinated to receive the shot.    He said vaccine mandates were a tactic to make life uncomfortable for those who were not vaccinated so they would receive the shot regardless of need or want.
    Karl went on to say, “if you are restricting people that are unvaccinated from doing anything, and then like vaccinated people are allowed to do anything they want, eventually they’re going to just be like, let me just get vaccinated.”
    The latest drop comes as booster shots have been promoted by the federal government, with studies finding immunity from the Pfizer jab waned after about six months.    Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe has promised more videos exposing issues with the vaccine and why so many have suddenly unified around promoting mandates for them.

10/5/2021 J.D. Vance: Childless Leftists Brainwash Your Kids by OAN Newsroom
J.D. Vance addresses a rally in Middletown, Ohio. (Jeffrey Dean / AP file)
    Ohio senatorial candidate J.D. Vance accused people he called “childless leftists” of brainwashing the children of conservatives.    The “Hillbilly Elegy” author made the statement in an interview with Breitbart News Daily on Monday.
    Vance pointed to the far-left’s apparent preoccupation with education as a method of keeping their ideologies alive.    He name dropped childless Democrat politicians, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).
    Vance went on to explain, “they don’t have kids and so there is this weird way where they want to take out kids and brainwash them so that their ideas can continue to exist in the next generation.”
    Vance also stressed the far-left should refrain from putting their ideologies onto children who don’t pertain to them.
    “I just say look, leave your hands off of our children,” he asserted.    “Stop trying to brainwash them.    Parents get to raise their children.    Families get to raise their children, not the state, not the leaders of the left.”
    Moreover, Vance said Democrats should shift their focus onto their own children.

10/5/2021 Sen. Paul: Biden’s Spending Makes It Difficult To Support Allies by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has refused to fast-track additional Iron Dome defense system funding to Israel.    While speaking on the Senate floor Monday, the Republican blocked a motion to consolidate debate down to just two-hours to expedite a vote.    He warned the U.S. is not in any position to send another billion dollars overseas.
    “I’m glad the United States has a strong bond with Israel, but the United States cannot give money that it does not have no matter how strong our relationship is,” said Paul.    “The United States is approaching $90 trillion in debt this fiscal year.”
    The senator warned the House’s eagerness last month to hastily approve sending money overseas runs in stark contrast with their hesitancy to fund America’s own defense system.
    “A day of reckoning is coming sooner than you think,” Paul warned.    “Interest on the debt will be larger than what we spend on national defense in just a few years.    If the debt weakens us to a point where we have difficulty funding our own military, how can the United States continue to be a reliable ally to Israel?
    Paul suggested the best way for the U.S. to defend Israel is to get federal spending under control first.
    “Getting our fiscal House in order does mean we are failing to support Israel; far from it,” he asserted.    “The billion dollars under consideration today is on top of the more than $1.6 billion the U.S. has already given for Iron Dome and that’s not all.    The U.S. provides Israel with just under $4 billion in aid annually.”
    Paul said he ultimately hopes to build Israel strong enough to not need the U.S. for safety, in turn, allowing the U.S. to focus on funding its own national defense system.

10/5/2021 S.D. Gov. Noem Says Crisis On Border ‘In Many Cases Is A War’ by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this July 26, 2021 file photo, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem visits
the U.S. border with Mexico near McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/Stephen Groves File)
    South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) has sounded the alarm on the crisis at the southern border.    During an interview released Monday, she said Joe Biden’s refusal to help border states is a “complete failure of leadership.”
    “What’s happening at the southern border has shook people to the core,” she stated.    “People who maybe didn’t pay that much attention to politics before, maybe didn’t pay that much attention to government and the fact that leaders and the decisions they make have real consequences, boy they’re awake now, they’re paying attention.”
    Noem was one of several state leaders who deployed National Guard troops to Texas to help Gov. Greg Abbott (R) defend the southern border.    However, she warned Biden’s weak immigration laws are not only impacting border states.    She went on to add that this month she will re-deploy National Guardsmen to Texas to help defend the border.
    “It’s up to us to really articulate the difference in what we did have under President Trump and conservative leadership, and what we have today with the Biden White House,” explained the senator.    “A nation without laws isn’t a nation at all and we’re quickly getting there.    In fact, faster than I thought we would.”
    The South Dakota lawmaker suggested that Biden should meet with Republican governors, like they have requested, in order to hear probable solutions to the ongoing border crisis.

10/5/2021 Treasury Secy. Yellen Warns Of Recession If Congress Doesn’t Raise Debt Ceiling by OAN Newsroom
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaks during a House Financial Services Committee hearing,
Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Al Drago/Pool via AP)
    Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said “it would be catastrophic to not pay the government’s bills” while warning of the potential impact of not raising the debt ceiling.    In an interview Tuesday, she said she would fully expect a recession if Congress fails to raise the debt limit.
    The official contended that raising the debt ceiling should be routine and is almost always done on a bipartisan basis.    Yellen stressed not acting on the issue could put the economy at risk amid it’s ongoing recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
    “To place an arbitrary ceiling on our debt and to create periodic crises, manufactured crises that really place out economy and our financial system at risk, especially now that we are recovering from the pandemic in a fragile way, I consider this irresponsible,” she stated.    “I believe that both parties have a responsibility to get this done.”
    Lawmakers are facing an October 18 deadline to stop the U.S. from defaulting on its debt for the first time ever.
    Meanwhile, Joe Biden appears to be pointing his finger at Republicans regarding the matter, perhaps is an attempt to deflect the blame.

10/5/2021 Biden’s Border Policies Cause More Migrant Deaths by OAN Newsroom
Haitian migrants cross the jungle of the Darien Gap, near Acandi, Choco department, Colombia, heading to Panama on their way
trying to reach the US. – From Acandi, they started on foot and armed with machetes, lanterns and tents, the dangerous trek of
at least five days to Panama through the Darien jungle, battling snakes, steep ravines, swollen rivers, tropical
downpours and criminals often linked to drug trafficking. (Photo by RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP via Getty Images)
    At least 50 migrants have died in the Panama jungle as they tried to reach the U.S. Recent reports have indicated migrants faced brutal conditions as they made attempts to cross the Darien Gap from Colombia.     While 50 have been reported, officials believed this was a minimal number and only a portion of those who have died. Migrants who have successfully made the crossing were now at the next stop in their journey, but some have remained shaken by what they saw.     “Many things I don’t want to talk about. For example, many, many dead people,” one Haitian migrant expressed. “Many died in the jungle.    I saw about six people die in front of me in the river. I saw many people die.”     Nearly 15 migrants have been laid to rest in a cemetery in Panama’s Darien Province after they attempted to cross the gap.    Many have even called the gap the “hill of death.”
Migrants are transported from Bajo Chiquito village to the Migrants Reception Station in
Lajas Blancas, Darien Province, Panama. (Photo by IVAN PISARENKO/AFP via Getty Images)
    Officials have struggled to identify those who have died.
    “Unfortunately, in these cases we have a very big difficulty.    We have no information,” explained Jose Vicente Pachar, director of Panama’s Forensic Sciences Institute.    “First of all, these are people who are traveling illegally.    Many documents are altered and moreover, they don’t have family members to provide details of who that person was.”
    This year, authorities estimated nearly 90,000 migrants made the difficult journey as many hoped to find jobs in the U.S. Migrants have reportedly pushed forward with their journey after they heard the Biden administration allowed around 12,000 migrants to stay in the U.S. after the border surge occurred in Del Rio, Texas.
    However, Biden has continued to deflect the ongoing border crisis by blaming others for his seemingly “open border” type of policies that continued to let thousands of migrants pour into the U.S.

10/5/2021 Biden: My Agenda Is About American Competitiveness by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden speaks about the bipartisan infrastructure bill and his Build Back Better agenda at the International Union of
Operating Engineers Training Facility in Howell, Michigan, on October 5, 2021. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)
    Joe Biden attempted to rally domestic support for his “Build Back Better” agenda.    On Tuesday, Biden touched down in Howell, Michigan to tout his more than $1 trillion infrastructure package and $3.5 billion reconciliation bill.
    Biden argued his proposals aimed to empower America’s middle class and contribute to America’s growth.
    “These bills are not about left versus right, or moderate versus progressive, or anything that pits Americans against one another.    These bills are about competitiveness versus complacency,” he stated.    “They’re about opportunity versus decay.    They’re about leading the world or continuing to let the world pass us by which is literally happening.”
    The Democrat outlined several goals he aimed to achieve with his massive spending bills, including the expansion of the national’s social safety net and the push forward for his climate agenda.    In addition, he vowed to bolster America’s early childhood education system.
    Biden stressed the nearly $5 trillion bills would be paid for by increases in taxes on wealthy Americans over a decade.    He lamented America has stopped investing itself and programs that made America the leading superpower.
    “We invested to win the space race.    We led the world in research and development led to the creation of the internet and, you know, but then something happened.    We slowed up,” he expressed.    “We stopped investing in ourselves.    America is still the largest economy in the world.    We still have the most productive workers and the most innovative minds in the world, but we’re risk losing our edge as a nation.”
    Biden went on to warn if the U.S. failed to develop its economy and infrastructure, other countries such as China would end up replacing America at the top of the food chain.
    “Our competitors aren’t hanging around and waiting to see what we’re going to do.    They’ve been pouring billions of dollars into infrastructure and into training their people for years now.    Take China, for example,” he explained.    “China now produces more steel in one month in America, does in an entire year.    You can see it in sector after sector.    Other countries are speeding up and America is falling behind.    We’ve got to reset the pace again.    We’ve got to set a different pace.”
    However, Biden remained optimistic America would continue to lead the world in economic competition.    He predicted the price tag of the $3 trillion reconciliation bill would drop down to bring Republicans and moderate Democrats on board.
    This comes as progressives Democrats, moderate democrats and Republicans continued to fight on Capitol Hill over what provisions they wanted to see in the infrastructure and budget bills.

10/5/2021 Facebook Whistleblower Testifies Before Senate Commerce Subcommittee by OAN Newsroom
Facebook whistleblower, Frances Haugen appears before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee at
the Russell Senate Office Building on October 05, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt McClain-Pool/Getty Images)
    The Senate Commerce Subcommittee held a hearing on the impact Facebook had on young people. During a hearing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, former Facebook Product Manager for Civil Misinformation Frances Haugen testified before the committee about the harmful effects the company had on adolescents.
    “Facebook knew its products were harming teenagers,” stated Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).    “Facebook exploited teens using powerful algorithms that amplified their insecurities and abuses through what it found was an addict’s narrative.”
    Haugen explained the social network put profits over the health and safety of users.
    “I think the moment which I realized we needed to get help from the outside, that the only way these problems would be solved is by solving them together and not solving them alone, was when civic integrity was dissolved following the 2020 election,” she expressed.    “It really felt like a betrayal of the promises that Facebook had made to people who had sacrificed a great deal to keep the election safe by basically dissolving our community and integrated into other parts of the company.”
    Haugen’s testimony comes amid a recent report by the Wall Street Journal, which alleged the social media network was aware of the harmful effects it had on children.    Haugen told lawmakers Facebook’s algorithm could steer young users from something harmless, such as healthy recipes, to content promoting anorexia in just a short period of time.
    “Ramp for young users, for all users, amplifies preferences and they have done something called a proactive incident response where they say they take things that they’ve heard, for example, like can you be led by the algorithms to anorexia content?” she stated.    “They have literally recreated that experiment themselves and confirmed, yes, this happens to people.    So Facebook knows that they are leading young users to anorexia content.”
    The former Facebook employee asserted CEO Mark Zuckerberg intentionally ignored proof of the platform’s potentially harmful impact on users and no one had the power to hold him accountable.    However, Zuckerberg has remained silent on Haugen’s allegations while lawmakers called on him to come forward and take action.
    “Mark Zuckerberg, you need to come before this committee,” Blumenthal asserted.    “You need to explain to Frances Haugen, to us, to the world and to the parents of America what you are doing and why you did it.”
    Meanwhile, Facebook’s algorithms were reportedly in overdrive and seeking out anything that appeared to be bad content, took statements out of context and suspended users.

10/5/2021 Blinken Tries To Improve U.S.-French Relations After Submarine Spat by OAN Newsroom
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (2nd right) attends a meeting with French European and Foreign Affairs Minister
Jean-Yves Le Drian (3rd left) in Paris on October 5, 2021. (Photo by PATRICK SEMANSKY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
    Joe Biden’s Secretary of State Antony Blinken held talks with French officials in Paris in an attempt to ease the latest crisis in mutual relations.    On Tuesday, Blinken spoke with French Prime Minister Jean Castex and separately with President Emmanuel Macron.
    The talks come after Joe Biden derailed a French submarine sale to Australia and excluded France from an Indo-Pacific defense pact.    Instead of addressing those issues directly, Blinken highlighted alleged “external threats.”
    “Our democracies are being challenged by authoritarian governments that argue that their model is better at meeting people’s basic needs,” he stated.    “Some of these same governments are actively seeking to undermine the rules-based order that’s been fundamental to security and prosperity, for our countries, for generations.    The stakes simply could not be higher.”
    Blinken and French diplomats also discussed areas of mutual cooperation going forward, but the talks have yet to produce a diplomatic breakthrough.

10/5/2021 SCOTUS Hears Arguments From Tenn. V. Miss. Water Dispute by OAN Newsroom
The U.S. Supreme Court is seen on October 05, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Court is holding in-person arguments
for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
    A dispute between Mississippi and Tennessee has resurrected as the Supreme Court went back into session for the start of a new term.    The debate, which originated in 2005, resumed on Monday when Mississippi revealed they were seeking more than $600 million as they accused Tennessee for pumping excess water near the border from an aquifer shared between the state lines.
    However, Mississippi’s Deputy Solicitor General John Coghlan wanted to make clear equitable proportion was not the issue.
    “Mississippi does not claim the defendants are taking more than their fair share of ground water,” he stated.    “Rather, Mississippi’s case turns on a different question.    Do defendants have the right to control ground water while it is located in Mississippi’s sovereign territory?
    Mississippi has accused Tennessee of pumping more than 37 million gallons of water per day over state lines.    The state added one inch of movement per day translated into tens of millions of gallon per day.
    However, the attorney for Tennessee argued it didn’t work that way as the aquifer was equally proportioned in each state.    He accused Mississippi of recently increasing its pumping, which allowed them to extract as much water as necessary.
    “Their claim is that they think they have an ownership right that entitles them to charge Tennessee for water,” David Frederick explained.    “We think the Court should say no, that’s not the correct statement of the law.”
    Chief Justice John Roberts, who has been skeptic of the issue, proceeded to ask Mississippi about equitable apportionment not pertaining to water to make sense of their arguments.
    “Let’s suppose they’re a valuable resource.    If they were in Mississippi and crossed into Tennessee and Tennessee seized them at that point, would that be damaging Mississippi?” he questioned.    “Or could Tennessee say they’re on our territory, they’re under our physical control, we can exercise dominion over them period.”
    Justice Roberts suggested water was an interstate resource subject to equity proportion and if sources that migrated between two states were shared, one cannot simply claim it as theirs.    The justices are now expected to form their final ruling by next spring.

10/5/2021 DOJ Creates Task Force To Silence Parents Critical Of Public School Boards by OAN Newsroom
Attorney General Merrick Garland on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo by AL DRAGO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
    The Department of Justice announced a directive to potentially influence the ability of parents to exercise their First Amendment rights.    Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the DOJ’s new order in a statement on Monday.
    The agency cited an alleged increase in harassment, intimidation and threats of violence made against school board members and teachers by parents in public schools nationwide.    This comes after the National School Boards Association claimed in a letter to the White House public schools and their staff were in “immediate danger.”
    “Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our nation’s core values,” Garland expressed in the released statement.    “Those who dedicate their time and energy to ensuring that our children receive a proper education in a safe environment deserve to be able to do their work without fear for their safety.”
    In the statement, the agency said it would create a task force to address individual incidents and work to educate school staff on how to identify potential threats as well as gather evidence, which could complicate things for parents.    Critics of the move argued this was a veiled attempt at silencing parents who have been speaking out against restrictive COVID-19 policies or the addition of critical race theory to school curriculum.
    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) released a statement in which he slammed the DOJ’s decision by asserting his state would defend the free speech rights of American citizens.
    The DOJ plans to meet with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to discuss the directive in the next 30 days.

10/5/2021 Sen. Klobuchar: Facebook Algorithms Stir Political Division In U.S. by OAN Newsroom
Former Facebook employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen (right) is welcomed by US Senators Richard Blumenthal (left)
and Amy Klobuchar (2nd left) as she arrives to testify during a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
hearing on Capitol Hill, October 5, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Photo by DREW ANGERER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
    Democrat Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) has admitted Facebook and other Big Tech giants were stirring up political division in the U.S. Speaking after a congressional hearing with a Facebook whistleblower, Klobuchar called for a reform of regulations for social media.
    The Democrat added social media giants ran algorithms to shape public opinion.
    “A lot of this has to do with transparency with the algorithms, and their admission, which we need to hear this is done for profit,” she asserted.    “Facebook every quarter gets $51 on each and every one of you in America.    $51 per user per quarter on advertising revenue.    That’s because they’re taking their data and then they’re putting it out and they don’t care if you’re eight years old or 13 years old.”
    Former Facebook employee Frances Haugen accused the company of misleading its investors and the public as well as highlighted its failure to ensure a safe user experience on its platform.    The whistleblower said CEO Mark Zuckerberg held a very powerful role with no accountability.
    “Mark holds a very unique role in the tech industry and that he holds over 55 percent of all the voting shares for Facebook,” she explained.    “There are no similarly powerful companies that are as he unilaterally controlled and in the end, the buck stops with Mark.    There is no one hurt currently holding Mark accountable by himself.”
    Haugen added Facebook made $40 billion a year and consistently put profits before people.

10/6/2021 Oil up $1.53 to $79.17, DOW up 312 to 34,316 to.

10/6/2021 Biden Says He And China’s Xi Agree To Abide By Taiwan Agreement
FILE PHOTO: Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with then-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 (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that he has spoken to Chinese President Xi Jinping about Taiwan and they agreed to abide by the “Taiwan agreement,” as tensions have ratcheted up between Taipei and Beijing.
    “I’ve spoken with Xi about Taiwan. We agree … we’ll abide by the Taiwan agreement,” he said.    “We made it clear that I don’t think he should be doing anything other than abiding by the agreement.”
    Biden appeared to be referring to Washington’s long-standing policy under which it officially recognizes Beijing rather than Taipei, and the Taiwan Relations Act, which makes clear that the U.S. decision to establish diplomatic ties with Beijing instead of Taiwan rests upon the expectation that the future of Taiwan will be determined by peaceful means.
    While that act binds the United States to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself, Washington only acknowledges China’s stance that the island belongs to it and that there is “one China,” and takes no position on Taiwan’s sovereignty.
    Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said it had sought clarification from the United States about Biden’s comments, and were reassured U.S. policy towards Taiwan had not changed, the U.S. commitment to them was “rock solid” and that the U.S. will continue to help Taiwan maintain its defenses.
    “Facing the Chinese government’s military, diplomatic and economic threats, Taiwan and the United States have always maintained close and smooth communication channels,” it said, noting recent U.S. comments of concern about China’s activities.
    The remarks to reporters at the White House – made after Biden’s return from a trip to Michigan touting a spending package – come amid escalations in the Taiwan-China relationship.
    China claims Taiwan as its own territory, which should be taken by force if necessary.    Taiwan says it is an independent country and will defend its freedoms and democracy, blaming China for the tensions.
    Taiwan has reported 148 Chinese air force planes in the southern and southwestern part of its air defense zone over a four-day period beginning on Friday, the same day China marked a key patriotic holiday, National Day.
    The United States urged China on Sunday to stop its military activities near Taiwan.
    “The United States is very concerned by the People’s Republic of China’s provocative military activity near Taiwan, which is destabilizing, risks miscalculations, and undermines regional peace and stability,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement on Sunday.
    Biden also appeared to be referencing a 90-minute call he held with Xi on Sept. 9, their first talks in seven months, in which they discussed the need to ensure that competition between the world’s two largest economies does not veer into conflict.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing and additional reporting by Alexandra Alper and David Brunnstrom, and Ben Blanchard in Taipei; Editing by Chris Reese, Leslie Adler and Lincoln Feast.)

10/6/2021 Nikki Haley Gives Speech At Reagan Library by OAN Newsroom
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA – OCTOBER 12: Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley (R) speaks at a campaign event for U.S. Sen.
Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) on October 12, 2020 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
    Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, recently delivered a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.    Haley delivered remarks on Tuesday regarding the state of the country and the future of the Republican Party.
    The former U.S. ambassador began by finding similarities between former President Ronald Reagan’s time and the present.    Haley explained how the 40th U.S. President dealt with his obstacles.
    “He saw that America faced an existential threat.    He knew that victory in the Cold War and success at home depended on rebuilding our national strength and restoring confidence in the American cause,” said Haley.    “He did just that and we know what happened.”
    Although Haley made clear the 1980s and 2020s weren’t identical, she compared America’s numerous present day enemies to the climate of the Cold War.
    “In eight months in office, Joe Biden has done more to improve Russia’s economic and strategic standing than Trump ever did.    It’s disgraceful,” expressed Haley.
    She claimed America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan showed its adversaries there were plenty of opportunities to exploit.    The former ambassador stated the world is a worse place when America backs down.
    She added there was an internal struggle for the soul of a nation, saying she believes it’s a fight well worth having.    The American dream and identity, Haley said, must be kept alive.
    Haley painted the picture of a country where the daughter of Indian immigrants could grow up to become the Governor of South Carolina.    However, she said it only takes one experience for America to be portrayed differently to the rest of the world.
    While in South America during her tenure at the U.N., she attempted to give comfort to Venezuelans who fled their country’s socialist regime.
    “I didn’t understand why they flocked to someone they had never met.    And then it hit me, they didn’t care who I was, they cared where I was from,” explained Haley.    “In me, they saw America.    In America, they saw hope.”
    The former governor acknowledged America doesn’t come without its faults.    However, overall, she believes its a country worth saving.

10/6/2021 Hunter Biden Solicits Art To Potential Buyers In L.A. by OAN Newsroom
File – Hunter Biden, the son of Joe Biden, is pictured. (Getty Image)
    Hunter Biden appeared to be soliciting his “art” to a group of VIPs at an exhibition in Los Angeles.    According to reports Tuesday, Hunter’s exhibition at Milk Studios was attended by at least 200 people, most of whom chose to remain anonymous.
    Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and singer Moby were named as having attended the event, where Biden’s paintings were priced at up to $500,000.    However, it’s unclear if any of the items were sold.
    “I mean some of the pictures of his art have been online, I mean, it looks like the coronavirus got sick with a bacteria,” criticized Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.).    “I mean, come on.    Who’s going to pay for a first-time artist, who’s art is mediocre at best, thousands of dollars?    So I know the Biden White House has claimed their somehow going to have private auctions where no one knows who the other people are…an incredibly ill advised idea.”
    The event was organized by Chinese-tied art dealer Georges Bergès and his attempts to sell his work has drawn criticism.    Berges was reportedly sued for fraud back in 2016 and he has owed money to credit card companies, a jeweler and furniture company Pier One Imports.

10/6/2021 Kerry Reveals Biden ‘Was Not Fully Aware’ Of French Submarine Deal He Derailed by OAN Newsroom
John Kerry, United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, departs after attending a keynote address
by Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s
Ministerial Council Meeting, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, in Paris. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool)
    Joe Biden’s climate envoy, John Kerry, claims Biden did not fully understand the French submarine deal with Australia that he derailed.     While speaking to French media Tuesday, Kerry attempted to defend Biden by saying he had not been aware of the consequences his actions would have to U.S.-French relations.    Kerry added, Biden sees the submarine crisis a “small event of the past.”
    Last month, France lost a $50 billion contract to build submarines for Australia after Biden announced a controversial maritime pact between the U.K., the U.S. and Australia.
    Kerry suggested the French should just move on despite Paris calling on Biden to make up for that diplomatic crisis.

10/6/2021 Mass. Gubernatorial Candidate Geoff Diehl Earns Trump Endorsement by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Nov. 5, 2018 file photo, former Republican State Rep. Geoff Diehl speaks during a
campaign stop in Abington, Mass. Diehl, a Republican former state representative from Whitman, announced
Sunday, July 4, 2021 that he’s running for Massachusetts governor. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)
    The 45th president announced his endorsement for governor of Massachusetts for the 2022 election.    In a statement Tuesday, Trump backed former state representative Geoff Diehl while stressing he’s a true patriot.
    Trump noted that Diehl is tough on crime, loves the military and is a proponent of election integrity.    The 45th president also lambasted the incumbent GOP governor, Charlie Baker, saying he’s “not an ‘America First’ kind of guy.”
    Trump asserted that Baker is undermining the GOP while citing the rampant crime and high energy costs seen during his leadership.

10/6/2021 Rep. McCarthy: Can’t Invest In U.S. Future Under Democrat Plans by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – SEPTEMBER 30: U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) speaks during a weekly
news conference at the U.S. Capitol September 30, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Democrat spending plans would make it pointless for Americans to invest in our children’s future.    In an interview on Wednesday, the congressman from California said Democrats are proposing a socialistic program to plan out everybody’s lives from “cradle to grave.”
    McCarthy said the multi-trillion spending plan would erode Medicare and Social Security.    He also pointed out Joe Biden’s nomination of a pro-Soviet scholar, Saule Omarova, as the top banking regulator raises concerns of banking sector stability.    McCarthy suggested those initiatives would fail the same way Obamacare did.
    “This person wasn’t like Bernie Sanders and went to Moscow for his honeymoon, she literally went to school there and got the scholarship, the Linen Scholarship, and did she get indoctrinated in that part?    Talk about what she says,” McCarthy continued.    “She thinks Moscow and Russia is better than capitalism.    She thinks it’s more equalizing in pay than in America and they want her to be in control?
    McCarthy went on to say Biden is making America less competitive, fueling inflation and increasing the role of government to unprecedented levels.

10/6/2021 Mich. Gov. Whitmer Vetoes Election Bills by OAN Newsroom
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delivers her virtual State of the State address the state, Wednesday,
Jan. 27, 2021 in Lansing, Mich. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, File)
    Democrat Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has vetoed several GOP-backed election reform bills.    Whitmer declined to sign four elections related bills into law over the weekend, claiming they “suppress the vote” among other allegations.
    The measures would have limited access to the state’s voter database to certain in-state entities, among other changes.    They would have also kept electronic voting systems from being connected to the internet on election day.
    Whitmer touted her decision to block the legislation in a speech on Sunday.
Tonight I will sign the veto letter.    And let the message be loud and clear, if they wanna send me the other 35 they will meet the same fate,” said Whitmer.
    In the meantime, Republicans have criticized Whitmer saying she’s more interested in grandstanding and pandering than strengthening election integrity.

10/6/2021 GOP Senators Call On Biden To Address Southern Border Crisis by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 06: U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) speaks as (L-R) Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.),
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)
and Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) listen during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol October 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    GOP senators held a press conference on Joe Biden’s southern border crisis.    Speaking from Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, the lawmakers said the southern border is completely lawless under the Biden administration.
    Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) pointed to Biden’s immediate policies upon entering office, including halting border wall construction, reinstating catch and release, and repealing President Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” rule.    Additionally, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) noted illegal immigration isn’t just a problem for border states, but also poses a national security, health and humanitarian crisis for all 50 states.
    “When illegal drugs come into Iowa, across the border, it’s because the president isn’t enforcing laws.    When 15 percent of the people come across the border that had the virus, it’s spreading the virus around the other 50 states,” said Grassley.
    “When we get terrorists arrested at the border, it’s a national security issue.”
    This comes as official Border Patrol numbers have shown between August of this year and 2020, apprehensions along the southern border rose by almost 500 percent.

10/6/2021 Sen. McConnell Offers Short-Term Debt Ceiling Solution by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 05: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) addresses reporters following a weekly Republican
policy luncheon as (L-R) Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), and Sen.
Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) look on in the U.S. Capitol on October 05, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) offered up a short-term solution to avoid a catastrophic government default.    In a statement posted on Twitter on Wednesday, McConnell said his party would support a deal to temporarily suspend the debt ceiling at a fixed dollar amount.
    He said the agreement would cover current spending levels into December.    The deal would also buy Democrats more time for a permanent solution.
    McConnell reiterated Democrats would have to pass a long-term hike on their own if they insisted on adding trillions in new government spending.    However, he said a more bipartisan solution may be discussed if Democrats abandon their reckless spending plans.
    Senate Democrats have responded to the possible solution, stating they’re open to it.    Although, ahead of a cloture vote on the issue, Democrats said they’re still unwilling to accept a longer suspension of the borrowing cap.
    The upper chamber’s vote on the House-passed legislation to raise the debt ceiling has been delayed until later Wednesday evening as both parties continue to work to come to an agreement.    If enough Republicans support McConnell’s offer, Democrats could avoid a filibuster on that particular vote.
    In the meantime, it’s unclear if Democrats will agree to a fixed dollar increase of the debt ceiling.

10/6/2021 GOP Governors Hold Press Conference On Border Crisis by OAN Newsroom
AUSTIN, TEXAS – JUNE 08: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during a press conference where he signed
Senate Bills 2 and 3 at the Capitol on June 8, 2021 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Montinique Monroe/Getty Images)
    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), alongside nine other state governors, have decided to take matters into their own hands when it comes to the southern border crisis.    The group traveled to Texas to present possible solutions.
    During a press conference on Wednesday, Gov. Abbott unveiled a 10-point plan to secure the border.    Abbott demanded the Biden administration enforce Title 42 health restrictions at the border, which allows Border Patrol agents to deport illegal immigrants in hopes of preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S.
    Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) also too the floor, saying the border sector in Yuma has had more than a 1,000 percent increase in apprehensions compared to last year.    Additionally, almost 2,000 pounds of fentanyl and over 13,000 pounds of methamphetamine have reportedly been seized in Arizona sectors this year alone.
    Ducey blamed Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for making America a “dangerous place.”
    “He’s commanded drug cartels and other criminals to wreck havoc on the U.S.    It’s time for them to do something about it,” he said.
    Ducey is among 25 governors who backed a letter sent to Biden requesting a meeting to solve the crisis immediately. He suggested Biden re-enter all agreements with its northern triangle partners, including Mexico.
    Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) touched on incidents where migrants and unaccompanied children were dropped off in the state while Biden continued to do nothing about it.
    “In April, we had 15 unaccompanied minor girls that were flown into the Des Moines airport in the middle of the night and then they were boarded on charter buses,” explained Reynolds.    “And so we were concerned that it was human trafficking.    So, we used our own resources to investigate the plane that had 19 young women being dropped off in the state of Iowa and moved to charter buses.”
    In the meantime, the GOP governors said they still haven’t heard back from Biden regarding the letter they sent and question whether he’s unwilling to solve the crisis or simply doesn’t want to.

10/6/2021 Brazil Regulator To Probe Hospital Chain Over Use Of Hydroxychloroquine
FILE PHOTO: Levante Popular da Juventude (Popular Youth Levante) activists protest at the entrance of the
Prevent Senior headquarters after allegations of manipulation of the medical records and death certificates
emerged, and to denounce the partnership between the company and Bolsonaro's government during the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Sao Paulo, Brazil September 30, 2021. REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli
    BRASILIA (Reuters) – The Brazilian agency that regulates health insurance plans has opened an investigation into allegations that a hospital chain tested unproven drugs on elderly COVID-19 patients without their knowledge, the regulator’s director told a Senate inquiry on Wednesday.
    It was the first instance of a regulatory agency pledging to look into misdeeds at Prevent Senior, a major healthcare chain serving tens of thousands of patients in the Sao Paulo area.
    Paulo Rebello Filho, head of the National Regulatory Agency for Private Health Insurance Plans (ANS), said his staff has detected “assistance abnormalities” at Prevent Senior and the health chain will be put under special technical supervision.
    At least nine people died of COVID-19 during the trials at Prevent Senior from March to April 2020, but their charts were altered to hide the cause of death, the inquiry was told last week by a lawyer for 10 whistleblowing doctors.
    The Senators were told the hospital chain sought to validate far-right President Jair Bolsonaro’s policy of advocating the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID patients.
    Prevent Senior has said the accusations, including the altering of patient charts and the firing of doctors who opposed the practice, are unfounded.
    Rebello said the ANS opened an administrative process to investigate irregularities at Prevent Senior and has sent officials to verify “indications of operational failures.”
    Closer monitoring is not aimed at removing the hospital chain from the market but seeks to guarantee maintenance of quality care, he said.
    The regulator head said he had no knowledge of the allegations made by the doctors until they presented to the Senate inquiry.
    In a statement, Prevent Senior said it had not been officially notified of the ANS decision.    It said it had provided the regulator with documents that show it acted within ethical and regulatory norms.
(Reporting by Ricardo Brito, writing by Anthony Boadle; Editing by David Gregorio)

10/7/2021 Oil down $2.01 to $77.08, DOW up 102 to 34,316.

10/7/2021 Senate Majority Leader Schumer Announces Agreement To Extend Debt Ceiling Until Early Dec. by OAN Newsroom
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., leaves a Senate Democratic meeting at the Capitol in Washington,
Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021, as a showdown looms with Republicans over raising the debt limit. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced an agreement on the debt ceiling.    While speaking on the Senate floor Thursday, the New York lawmaker confirmed a deal has been reached to extend the limit through early December.
    The Democrat senator said he hopes they can “get this done” as early as Thursday.    The agreement would increase the debt limit by $480 billion, which is what the Treasury Department has said is the amount needed to fund existing debt.
    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) proposed the “fixed dollar amount” extension on Wednesday.    The Kentucky lawmaker said Democrats would still need to use reconciliation for a long-term hike unless they abandon their “reckless” spending plans.
    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) voiced his opposition to raising the debt limit.    In a statement Wednesday, the top Republican on the Budget Committee said he doesn’t support the left’s reconciliation package or raising the debt limit to make the spending possible.    He said if Democrats want to raise the debt ceiling, they can use the reconciliation process.
    The South Carolina lawmaker was the first GOP member to speak out against a deal being hammered out by Schumer and McConnell.    His statement came ahead of Schumer’s announcement that a debt limit deal had been reached.

10/7/2021 Major Banks On U.S. Default: America Cannot Default On The Debt by OAN Newsroom
Jane Fraser, CEO of Citigroup, speaks as White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond listens during
a meeting with President Joe Biden and business leaders about the debt limit in the South Court Auditorium
on the White House campus, Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    “The cascading effects in the ensuing weeks could go anywhere from a recession to a complete catastrophe for the global economy.” — Jamie Dimon, CEO – JP Morgan Chase
    CEOs of transnational corporations are stirring up fears of a possible default on U.S. national debt while calling it “a catastrophe.”    In a video conference with Joe Biden on Wednesday, top executives from Citi Bank, Chase Bank and others claimed a U.S. default may cause a recession or a global financial crisis.
    The CEO of Citigroup, Jane Fraser, added that an actual default would be unprecedented and could be potentially far worse.
    “America simply cannot default on the debt because the U.S. Treasury market is the bedrock of our financial system domestically and globally,” she explained.    “And defaulting is going to cause lasting damage to the credibility of the United States with investors and in financial markets around the world.”
    However, former Republican Rep. Ron Paul of Texas claimed the government taking on additional debt is more dangerous than a default.    In the meantime, some economists say the U.S. has several options to avert an economic crisis even in the event of a default.

10/7/2021 Biden Admin. Fails To Take Action With The Border by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Sept. 17, 2021, file photo a National Guardsman stands guard at a fence that runs
along the Rio Grande near the International bridge in Del Rio, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
    "This is a humanitarian crisis, its a public health crisis, it’s a national security crisis and right now Joe Biden and Kamala Harris refuse to do a damn thing about it.” — Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
    Republican senators said they have tried to give the Joe Biden solutions for the border crisis, but all they have heard back is “crickets.”    The GOP lawmakers slammed the current administration for their lack of action at the southern border.
    During a news conference on Wednesday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said there are three decisions that have driven the crisis and they all occurred in the first days Biden took office.
    “Immediately halting construction of the border wall, that happened on day one,” stated the Texas lawmaker.    “Reinstituting the failed policy of Catch and Release, that also happened on day one.    And most indefensibly, ending the incredibly successful Remain in Mexico international agreement.”
    Meanwhile, he said the Department of Homeland Security is allegedly preparing for up to 400,000 immigrants to cross the border this month due to Biden and Kamala Harris refusing to enforce the law.    He added, they have seen “the highest rate of illegal immigration in 21 years.”
    Additionally, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said as the border crisis continues, criminal organizations are profiting.
    “The greatest beneficiary of the Biden border crisis are the criminal organizations that are getting richer by the day, charging fees to smuggle people into the United States,” he explained.    “And they’ve learned that if you overwhelm the Border Patrol with unaccompanied children or just sheer numbers like we’ve seen at the border, that that will then open lanes into the United States across the border with which to smuggle illegal drugs.”
    The problem, Cornyn said, is the Biden administration knows what to do to fix the problem, but instead they do nothing and blame Republicans.
    “The President’s press secretary said Republicans have given speeches, but offered no solutions,” stated the GOP senator.    “…I have introduced a bill called the Bipartisan Border Solutions Act to try to give the administration some place to land if, in fact, they’re actually interested in engaging and doing anything about it.    So far, all we here from the administration is crickets.”
    Other senators said the administration is letting the border wall go to waste and that the problem goes beyond the southern border.
    “This is not just a problem at the southern border, this is a problem that affects all 50 states,” stated Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).    “And the President of the United States takes an oath to uphold the Constitution to enforce the laws and he’s not doing it.”
FILE – In this Sept. 18, 2021, file photo Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into the
United States from Mexico in Del Rio, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

10/7/2021 Sen. Blumenthal Calls On Facebook CEO Zuckerberg To Testify by OAN Newsroom
Subcommittee chairman Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., questions former Facebook employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen during a Senate Committee
on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, in Washington. (Drew Angerer/Pool via AP)
    Sen. Richard Blumenthal (R-Conn.) doubled down on his calls for Facebook’s CEO to testify before the Senate following a whistleblower’s claims.    In an interview Wednesday, the Republican lawmaker said Mark Zuckerberg has an obligation to tell the public about how his company is weaponizing hate speech and endangering children.
    His remarks came after whistleblower Frances Haugen testified before the Senate Commerce Subcommittee Tuesday.    She claimed Facebook’s executives refuse to make any changes because they choose profits over people.
Blumenthal, who chairs the committee, pointed out that our children are the ones who are the victims.
    “Teens today looking at themselves in the mirror feel doubt and insecurity,” stated the senator.    “Mark Zuckerberg ought to be looking at himself in the mirror today.    And yet, rather than taking responsibility and showing leadership, Mr. Zuckerberg is going sailing.”
    Blumenthal said the committee will be inviting Zuckerberg to testify before the panel.    He added, the tech executive has an obligation to address these concerns to the public in person rather than a message to employees.

10/7/2021 Texas Dept. Of Public Safety: Armed Cartel Militants Taunt National Guards At Border by OAN Newsroom
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, right, shakes a National Guard member’s hand after speaking 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)
    The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is reporting a number of disturbing encounters with cartels at the U.S.-Mexico border.    It released several pictures Wednesday, which purportedly show armed cartel members taunting the state’s National Guard soldiers in the region.
    The cartel gunmen are seen wearing tactical vests, holding AK-rifles and appear to be well-equipped for possible confrontations.    Officials said several such encounters took place over the past few days.    Despite this, Texas authorities said they will continue breaking up human and drug smuggling rings run by cartels.
    Gov. Greg Abbott (R) also said Joe Biden is still refusing to visit the border or hold a meeting with GOP governors to address the matter.    He went as far as to suggest that Biden is allowing drug traffickers to bring in deadly narcotics and fentanyl.
    “It’s time for the Biden administration to wake up and get on the job,” stated the governor.    “And do its job to protect the sovereignty and safety of the United States of America.”
    Abbott said Biden must reinstate 45th President Donald Trump’s Remain in Mexico and Title 42 policies as well as complete construction of the southern border wall.

10/7/2021 Exclusive-Cash Airlifts Planned To Bypass Taliban And Help Afghans – Sources by Robin Emmott, John O’Donnell and Jonathan Landay
FILE PHOTO: A boy sells bread at a makeshift shelter for displaced Afghan families, who are fleeing the
violence in their provinces, at Shahr-e Naw park, in Kabul, Afghanistan October 4, 2021. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
    BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As desperate Afghans resort to selling their belongings to buy food, international officials are preparing to fly in cash for the needy while avoiding financing the Taliban government, according to people familiar with the confidential plans.
    Planning for the cash airlifts is going ahead against the background of a rapidly collapsing economy where money is short, although diplomats are still debating whether Western powers can demand that the Taliban make concessions in return, according to internal policy documents seen by Reuters.
    The emergency funding, aimed at averting a humanitarian crisis in the face of drought and political upheaval, could see U.S. dollar bills flown into Kabul for distribution via banks in payments of less than $200 directly to the poor – with the     Taliban’s blessing but without their involvement.
    As well as flying in cash to stem the immediate crisis, donor countries want to set up a “humanitarian-plus” trust fund that would pay salaries and keep schools and hospitals open, two senior officials said.
    Many Afghans have started selling their possessions to pay for ever scarcer food.    The departure of U.S.-led forces and many international donors robbed the country of grants that financed 75% of public spending, according to the World Bank.
    The West’s unorthodox strategy reflects the dilemma it faces.    Still eager to help Afghanistan after two decades of war, and to prevent mass migration, it is also loathe to give money to the Taliban, who seized power in August and have yet to show significant change from the harsh way they ruled the country between 1996-2001.
    The United Nations has warned that 14 million Afghans face hunger.    Mary-Ellen McGroarty, U.N. World Food Programme Afghanistan director, said the economy could collapse in the face of the cash crisis.
    “Many parents are foregoing food so that their children can eat,” she has said.
    In recent days, Western diplomats and officials have stepped up efforts to establish a cash lifeline.
    The United Nations World Food Programme has distributed about 10 million Afghanis ($110,000) in cash via a local bank and intends to disburse more soon, said one person with knowledge of the situation.
    The cash runs are a trial for larger air deliveries of dollars from Pakistan, the person said.
    A senior diplomat said two approaches are under consideration that would inject cash into the Afghan economy.    Both are in the planning stages.
    Under the first plan, the World Food Programme would fly in cash and distribute it directly to people to buy food, expanding on something the agency already has been doing on a smaller scale.
    The second approach would see cash flown in to be held by banks on behalf of the United Nations.    That would be used to pay salaries to the staff of U.N. agencies and non-governmental organizations, the diplomat said.
    A third person said U.N. officials had talked with Afghan banks about opening up cash distribution channels.
    “If the country collapses, we will all pay the consequences,” said a senior European Union official.    “No one wants to rush into a recognition of the Taliban, but we need to deal with them. The question is not if … but how.”
    A spokesperson for the World Food Programme said it had helped almost 4 million people in September, nearly triple the August number, chiefly with food, and some cash assistance had been given out in Kabul.    The spokesperson said the cash shortage was also affecting the millers and truckers it worked with.
    Separately, the European Union, Britain and the United States have discussed setting up an international trust fund to bypass the Afghan government and help finance local services, according to two officials with knowledge of the matter.
    The Taliban did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the cash airlift plans.
    A U.S. Treasury spokesperson said it would allow humanitarian assistance through independent international and non-governmental organisations while “denying assets” to the Taliban and sanctioning its leaders.
    The Kabul government has little to fall back on. The central bank, with assets of $9 billion frozen offshore, has burnt through much of its reserves at home.
    Shah Mehrabi, an official who helped oversee the bank before the Taliban took over and is still in his post, recently appealed for a release of the overseas reserves.
    “If reserves remain frozen, Afghan importers will not be able to pay for their shipments, banks will start to collapse, food will be become scarce,” he said.
    But there is also a debate about whether strings should be attached to cash releases.
    In a paper written last month and seen by Reuters, French and German officials outline their aim of using money as a “lever” to pressure the Taliban.
    “Countries could condition recognition of the political … legitimacy of the Taliban to the commitments they would be ready to take,” officials said in the two-page report.
    “Economic and trade levers are among the strongest we have,” the note said, raising the prospect of releasing the Afghan reserves held abroad.
    In a separate diplomatic note, French and German officials outline five demands that could be made of the Taliban.
    Those include allowing Afghans who want to leave the country to do so, “breaking ties with … terrorist organisations,” allowing access to humanitarian aid, respect for human rights and establishing an “inclusive government.”
(Additional reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, Michelle Nichols and Rupam Jain; Writing by John O’Donnell; Editing by Giles Elgood)

10/7/2021 U.S., China Must Manage ‘Intense Competition’, Top Biden Adviser Says by Robin Emmott
FILE PHOTO: Chinese and U.S. flags flutter outside the building of an
American company in Beijing, China January 21, 2021. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) -U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Thursday his talks with China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi in Switzerlandon Wednesday avoided the acrimony of a meeting in March and that more were needed to avert conflict between the two countries.
    The closed-door meeting at an airport hotel in Zurich, which Sullivan said lasted about six hours, was the first face-to-face meeting with Yang since their exchanges in Alaska, potentially marking a less confrontational phase between the superpowers.
    “The talks were productive in the sense that it was a real opportunity, behind closed doors, to really lay out for one another our different perspectives and intentions,” Sullivan, who is President Joe Biden’s top security aide, told reporters in Brussels after meetings at NATO and the European Union.
    He said the meeting had been a way to “do our best to create a circumstance in which this competition (between the United States and China), which is an intense competition, can be managed responsibly, and does not veer into conflict or confrontation.”
    Washington says China threatens a global order based on rules.    Beijing says the United States is interfering in its affairs.
    But the agreement between U.S. prosecutors and Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, who was taken into custody in Canada in December 2018, allowing her to return to China, may have improved the mood.
    Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed in principle for their presidents to hold a virtual meeting before the year’s end.
    “My basic bottom line on this is that intense competition requires intense diplomacy.    So we need more of this, not less of this,” Sullivan said.
    However, he said there were “tough and direct exchanges” with Yang over the Taiwan Strait, although he did give details.
    China claims Taiwan as its own territory and has stepped up military and political pressure to try and force the democratically ruled island to accept Chinese sovereignty.
    “We see Taiwan as a vibrant economy, a vibrant democracy … a place that we are very much focused on having a deep and lasting relationship with across multiple dimensions,” he said.
(Reporting by Robin EmmottEditing by Gareth Jones and Barbara Lewis)

10/7/2021 German Social Democrats Upbeat Over Coalition Talks As Conservatives Regroup by Andreas Rinke
Green Party member Annalena Baerbock arrives for exploratory talks to build a new
German government coalition, in Berlin, Germany, October 7, 2021. REUTERS/Michele Tantussi
    BERLIN (Reuters) -Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) and potential partners said initial coalition talks had gone well on Thursday, as the leader of the conservative bloc seeking to stay in office hinted he might resign after a poor election showing.
    The centre-left SPD narrowly beat the conservatives, whose outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel has governed since 2005, in the Sept. 26 federal ballot, but without winning a majority.
    The SPD is seeking to form a coalition with the Greens and business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP), which finished third and fourth in the election.
    The three parties began talks on Thursday and, after all reporting progress, said they would reconvene on Monday.
    “The talks were intensive and marked by a sincere atmosphere,” said SPD general secretary Lars Klingbeil.
    Separately Armin Laschet, the leader of Merkel’s CDU and chancellor candidate for the conservative bloc comprising his party and the Bavarian CSU, signalled he would be willing to resign if that facilitated rival coalition talks between his bloc, the Greens and the FDP.
    Laschet is fighting for his political life after leading the conservatives to their worst-ever national election result last month.
    He said he would propose a party congress to decide on a swift “reshuffle” that would look at all roles “from chairman (leader) all the way to the party board.”
    “It is not about Armin Laschet,” he told a news conference.    “It is about (a government) project for the country. And therefore if one wants another solution, this is possible.”
    Unlike many other European countries, where the president or monarch invites one party leader to try to form a government, in Germany it is up to the parties themselves to decide who should ally with whom.
    Their decisions will determine Germany’s political future after 16 years with Merkel at the helm, its appetite to shape Europe’s largest economy for the digital era, and the extent of its willingness to engage with allies on global issues.
    Asked about reports that Laschet had offered to resign, FDP general secretary Volker Wissing told a news conference his party would not hold parallel talks with the conservatives while pursuing a possible alliance with the SPD and the Greens.
    “The formation of a government cannot be decided on the basis of individuals or internal leadership issues,” Wissing added.
(Writing by Paul Carrel, Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and John Stonestreet)

10/7/2021 Biden’s CIA Director Creates Unit Focusing On China by Mark Hosenball
FILE PHOTO: William Burns testifies during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing for his nomination as Central
Intelligence Agency (CIA) director on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 24, 2021. Tom Williams/Pool via REUTERS
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The career diplomat U.S. President Joe Biden named to lead the Central Intelligence Agency is creating a high-level unit aimed at sharpening the agency’s focus on China, at a time of tense relations between the world’s two largest economies.
    CIA Director William Burns said on Thursday that the China Mission Center would cut across “all of the agency’s mission areas,” noting the CIA’s concern was “the threat …from the Chinese government, not its people.”
    A senior CIA official compared it to the agency’s tight focus on Russia during the Cold War and its concentration on counter-terrorism following the 9/11 attacks.    No such unit focusing explicitly on China had previously been set up.
    In the Biden administration’s first months, relations with Beijing soured over deep differences on many issues including human rights, Hong Kong and the South China Sea.    But top officials from both countries met this week to improve communication and set the stage for a virtual meeting of presidents by the end of the year.
    The China unit was one of several re-shuffles resulting from a broad review the agency launched last spring, the senior official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
    Other moves include merging an Iran Mission Center set up by the Trump administration into a broader Middle East unit and merging a unit focusing on Korea with a broader East Asia-Pacific unit, the official said.
    Burns said the CIA also was creating a position for a Chief Technology Officer as well as a new office called the Transnational and Technology Mission Center.    This unit, the senior official said, would enable the agency to focus more tightly on issues such as global health, climate change, humanitarian disasters and disruption caused by new technologies.
    The senior official said an “incident cell” set up by the agency was continuing to oversee responses to the mysterious illness known as “Havana Syndrome” which has affected numerous diplomats and CIA employees.
    House Intelligence Committee chair Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff welcomed the CIA director’s moves.    “With an autocratic model it is aggressively seeking to export and a rapidly advancing technological capacity, China represents a substantial challenge to the United States and the future of democratic values,” Schiff said.
(Reporting By Mark Hosenball; editing by Mary Milliken, Richard Pullin and John Stonestreet)

10/7/2021 U.S. Says Security Cooperation With Mexico ‘Due For Updated Look’ Ahead Of Talks
FILE PHOTO: U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price holds a press briefing on Afghanistan
at the State Department in Washington, U.S., August 16, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/POOL/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States believes its security cooperation with Mexico is “due for an updated look,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Thursday, ahead of meetings between senior U.S. and Mexican officials on Friday.
    “This will really be one of the core elements of the discussions tomorrow,” Price said at a regular press briefing, adding that it was an “opportune” time for the two countries to talk about addressing changing security threats, including the trafficking of fentanyl and illicit finance.
    Secretary of State Antony Blinken will lead the U.S. delegation in Mexico City and will be joined by Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, Attorney General Merrick Garland, and other officials.
    Blinken will also meet with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, a senior Biden administration official told reporters.
    The two sides would discuss a new framework known as “the U.S.-Mexico Bicentennial Framework for Security, Public Health and Safe Communities,” the official said.
    “We look forward to discussions with our Mexican counterparts during this trip on an updated security framework to meet today’s challenges and ways to reinvigorate security cooperation,” the official said.
    The Biden administration’s first U.S.-Mexico High-Level Security Dialogue comes as migration issues continue to rankle both North American countries, which share a 1,960-mile (3,155-km) border.
(Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis, Mohammad Zargham and Simon Lewis; editing by Richard Pullin)

10/7/2021 Report: President Trump Fights Democrat-Led ‘Probes’ Into Jan. 6 Protest by OAN Newsroom
PERRY, GA – SEPTEMBER 25: President Donald Trump speaks at a rally on September 25, 2021
in Perry, Georgia. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
    President Trump is fighting Democrat subpoenas over the Jan. 6 protest.    According to Politico on Thursday, the 45th President advised a group of his former staffers to ignore subpoenas by the Democrat-led Jan. 6 committee.
    Trump is also reportedly prepared to go to court to block testimonies to the Democrat panel.    The committee is seeking testimonies from Trump’s former social media coordinator, Dan Scavino, former Pentagon official Kash Patel, former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Steve Bannon.
    Meanwhile, Trump’s spokesperson said Jan. 6 probes were being conducted by “a communist-style select committee who have no legal precedent or legislative merit.”    A recent letter added, “President Trump is prepared to defend these fundamental privileges in court.”

10/7/2021 Senate Votes 50-48 To Temporarily Raise Debt Ceiling Through Dec. 3 by OAN Newsroom
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., leaves a Senate Democratic meeting at the Capitol in Washington,
Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021, as a showdown looms with Republicans over raising the debt limit. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    The Senate voted to increase the debt ceiling by $480 billion.    In a 50-to-48 vote on Thursday, the Senate narrowly voted to raise the debt limit through Dec. 3.    This comes just after the Senate voted to finish debate on the bill, narrowly passing the 60-vote threshold needed to do so.
    Earlier in the day, it was unclear whether enough Republicans would vote to move the bill forward as many cited rampant government spending on the part of Democrats.    However, Senate GOP leaders came to a compromise with Democrats and were able to whip enough Republicans to their side in order to proceed with the vote.
    The bill is now headed to the House.    Prior to the vote, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had warned lawmakers of potential catastrophic debt defaults if the debt ceiling was not raised by Oct. 18.
    The decision comes after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) offered a short-term solution suggesting Republicans would allow Democrats to pass a provision to raise the debt ceiling under a fixed amount.
    Following the vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) claimed Republicans “played a dangerous and risky partisan game,” and added “what is needed now is a long-term solution so we don’t go through this risky drama every few months.”

10/7/2021 Gov. Abbott Requests Appeal Of FEMA’s Denial Of Emergency Disaster Declaration by OAN Newsroom
In this March 16, 2020, file photo, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during
a news conference in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has requested an appeal of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) denial of emergency declaration in regards to the ongoing border crisis that has filtered in an influx of migrants at the Texas border.
    In a letter addressed to Joe Biden on Thursday, the GOP governor said “Texas will stand with the federal government in responding to the border crisis.”    He also said the Lone Star state shouldn’t have to stand alone or withstand the financial burden without federal assistance.
    “This crisis has taken a serious toll on the Texas border communities, first responders, and the local non-profit sector,” said Abbott.    “Local officials and Texas citizens are fatigued and running out of resources to respond to the ongoing border crisis.”
    Abbott said Texans are resilient and would continue to “respond, recover and mitigate” against the crisis, however, federal assistance is still needed.
    This comes as Abbott has approved billions of dollars of funding for border security efforts and deployed thousands of National Guard troops to address the crisis.

10/7/2021 NYC Dept. Of Investigation Report Finds Mayor De Blasio Misused Police Resources On Security Detail by OAN Newsroom
NEW YORK, N.Y. – JANUARY 03: New York Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks to the media during a press conference
at City Hall on January 3, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)
    A report from New York City’s Department of Investigation found Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio used New York Police Department resources for political purposes.    It added de Blasio gave members of his failed presidential campaign rides with his security detail.
    Additionally, he reportedly hasn’t reimbursed the city for around $320,000 in expenses related to the security team’s work on his campaign. De Blasio was also found to have misused police resources for personal reasons.
    The investigation further found de Blasio used his security detail to help his daughter move and drive his son to school among other destinations across the city.
    De Blasio defended his position stating, “I didn’t know anything about any details of my daughter’s move.    In fact, she had very few possessions.    She was going to just take them in the car that was normally available for the very reasons that we discussed because the NYPD made the decision that any time that she would accept protection is in the public interest.”
    The Department of Justice also noted the head of the security detail actively obstructed and sought to prevent the agencies investigation.

10/8/2021 Oil up $1.94 to $78.83, DOW up 337 to 34,754 and gas prices went above $3 a gallon and if Biden continues his build back better progrm it may go to $4 a gallon like during the Obama administration.

10/8/2021 U.S., China Must Manage ‘Intense Competition’, Top Biden Adviser Says by Robin Emmott
FILE PHOTO: Chinese and U.S. flags flutter outside the building of an
American company in Beijing, China January 21, 2021. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) -U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Thursday his talks with China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi in Switzerlandon Wednesday avoided the acrimony of a meeting in March and that more were needed to avert conflict between the two countries.
    The closed-door meeting at an airport hotel in Zurich, which Sullivan said lasted about six hours, was the first face-to-face meeting with Yang since their exchanges in Alaska, potentially marking a less confrontational phase between the superpowers.
    “The talks were productive in the sense that it was a real opportunity, behind closed doors, to really lay out for one another our different perspectives and intentions,” Sullivan, who is President Joe Biden’s top security aide, told reporters in     Brussels after meetings at NATO and the European Union.
    He said the meeting had been a way to “do our best to create a circumstance in which this competition (between the United States and China), which is an intense competition, can be managed responsibly, and does not veer into conflict or confrontation.”
    Washington says China threatens a global order based on rules.    Beijing says the United States is interfering in its affairs.
    But the agreement between U.S. prosecutors and Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, who was taken into custody in Canada in December 2018, allowing her to return to China, may have improved the mood.
    Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed in principle for their presidents to hold a virtual meeting before the year’s end.
    “My basic bottom line on this is that intense competition requires intense diplomacy. So we need more of this, not less of this,” Sullivan said.
    However, he said there were “tough and direct exchanges” with Yang over the Taiwan Strait, although he did give details.
    China claims Taiwan as its own territory and has stepped up military and political pressure to try and force the democratically ruled island to accept Chinese sovereignty.
    “We see Taiwan as a vibrant economy, a vibrant democracy … a place that we are very much focused on having a deep and lasting relationship with across multiple dimensions,” Sullivan said.
    Taiwan’s foreign ministry said in a statement following Sullivan’s comments that Taiwan will continue to play its role as a contributor to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the Indo-Pacific region.
    Taiwan will also “continue to strengthen its self-defence capabilities and firmly maintain Taiwan’s free and democratic system," the ministry said.
(Reporting by Robin Emmott; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Taipei; Editing by Gareth Jones and Barbara Lewis)

10/8/2021 Biden Doubles Down On Vaccine Mandate by OAN Newsroom
President Joe Biden speaks about COVID-19 vaccinations after touring a Clayco Corporation construction
site for a Microsoft data center in Elk Grove Village, Ill., Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    Joe Biden is defending his highly-controversial COVID-19 vaccine mandate despite constitutional challenges and litigations by a number of states.    He addressed construction workers in Elk Grove Village, Illinois Thursday. The Delaware native played down skepticism of his mandate by pointing to current vaccination requirements for other ailments.
    “We’ve been living with these requirements throughout our lives: students, health care professionals, our troops have been required to see vaccination for everything from polio to measles to mumps to rubella,” Biden stated.    “And the reason most people in     America don’t worry about polio, measles, mumps, rubella is because they’ve been vaccinated.”
    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) had initially released a vaccination requirement for private employers in September.    Biden announced the Department of Labor will be attempting the expedite his administration’s order.
    “The Labor Department is going to shortly issue an emergency rule, which I asked for several weeks ago, and they’re going through the process to require all employers with more than 100 people, whether they work for the federal government,” he stated.    “This is within the purview of the Labor Department to ensure their workers are fully vaccinated.”
    However, Biden isn’t just relying on the private sector to vaccinate America.    He made clear a minimal amount of the unvaccinated would be receiving a paycheck from his administration.
    “My administration is now requiring federal workers to be vaccinated, we’ve also required federal contractors to be vaccinated,” he continued.    “If you have a contract with the federal government, working for the federal government, you have to be vaccinated.    We’re requiring active duty military to be vaccinated.    We’re making sure health care workers are vaccinated.”
    Biden proudly touted the the persuasiveness of making Americans choose between their livelihoods and remaining unvaccinated.
    “Starting in July, when I announced the first vaccination requirement for the federal government, about 95 million eligible Americans were unvaccinated as was mentioned a little bit earlier,” he explained.    “Today we reduced that number to 67 (million) eligible Americans.”
    Although OSHA’s vaccination rule has yet to take effect, Biden is urging private employers to force workers to get vaccinated.    Several Republican governors have pledged to refuse to enforce the mandate or take the Biden administration to court.

10/8/2021 L.A. County Sheriff Will Not Enforce Vaccine Mandate In His Dept. by OAN Newsroom
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva speaks during a ceremony in Monterey Park, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
    Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said he will not require his officers to get the coronavirus vaccine.
    During his weekly public Q&A, he stressed the vaccine against COVID-19 has become immensely politicized, where employees would be more than willing to get fired than be forced to get the shot.
    “The issue has become so politicized,” he stated.    “There are entire groups of employees that are willing to be fired and laid off rather than get vaccinated.”
    The sheriff also commented on the current struggle his department already faces as a result of the defund the police movement.
    “I don’t want to be in a position to lose five, 10 percent of my workforce overnight on a vaccine mandate, while the same time we are barebones with the defunding effort,” Villanueva continued.    “This is like the worst of two worlds, so we have to pick and choose.”
    His remarks came after Los Angeles approved an ordinance on Wednesday requiring proof of COVID vaccination to enter most indoor venues, including bars and nightclubs as well as certain outdoor events.    In addition, exceptions to the mandate will be made for only those with medical exemptions as well as a sincerely held religious belief.
    The latest ordinance is set to go into effect November 4 and is being referred to as one of the strictest mandates to pass in the country.

10/8/2021 U.S. Govt. Probes If Former Afghan President Stole $169M Of Aid Money by OAN Newsroom
Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is pictured. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    A U.S. government watchdog is investigating allegations of corruption against former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.    In a recent House hearing, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan, John Sopko said he is “looking into” the claims that Ghani stole $169 million of U.S. taxpayer money.
    That money was given to Ghani’s former government as U.S. aid, but he allegedly took it when he left the country.
    Inspector General Sopko added, these allegations have yet to be proven.
    “There are allegations, but not only with President Ghani,” Sopko expalined.    “There are allegations with senior officials in their finance ministry, their central bank and a number of other ministries walking off with millions of dollars.    But again, those are just allegations.    We have not confirmed any of those yet.”
    Meanwhile, the Biden administration has said it’s not aware if Ghani actually fled to Dubai with allegedly stolen U.S. cash.

10/8/2021 Blinken Meets Lopez Obrador To Soothe Thorny U.S.-Mexico Relations by Simon Lewis
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a press briefing with Mathias Cormann,
Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development,
at the OECD's Ministerial Council Meeting, in Paris, France October 6, 2021. Ian Langsdon/Pool via REUTERS
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on a visit to Mexico on Friday held talks with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, trying to mend fractious ties as the two nations hash out a new security cooperation accord and deal with a jump in migration.
    The top U.S. diplomat visits Mexico at a time when the Biden administration is increasingly reliant on its southern neighbor to stem the flow of Latin American migrants heading to the United States.
    Blinken’s visit is part of the Biden administration’s first U.S.-Mexico High-Level Security Dialogue, in which the two countries will negotiate a sweeping new agreement on how to tackle everything from drug flows to the United States to the smuggling of U.S.-made guns into Mexico.
    Lopez Obrador took Blinken on a mural tour of the National Palace before the two delegations had a working breakfast, where the Mexican leader invited U.S. President Joe Biden to visit.
    Blinken said Lopez Obrador’s earlier comments were “exactly in line” with what Biden has in mind for the U.S.-Mexico relationship.
    “I’m very inspired by the vision you expressed.    The work now we have to do to translate that into reality, into truly a transformational partnership, a shared responsibility,” Blinken said at the start of the breakfast meeting.
    U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland accompanied Blinken, who is also meeting with Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard.
    U.S.-Mexico relations suffered a major blow last October when U.S. anti-narcotics agents arrested Mexican former defense minister Salvador Cienfuegos, outraging the Mexican government.    Cienfuegos was freed, but the detention strained relations and hurt security cooperation.
    U.S. officials are touting the new security accord as broader than the previous agreement, the Merida Initiative, under which the United States channeled about $3.3 billion to help Mexico fight crime.
    Launched in 2007, the Merida Initiative initially provided military equipment for Mexican forces and later helped train Mexico’s security forces and the judiciary.    But Lopez Obrador has been a vocal critic of the program, saying it was tainted by its association with previous governments and for financing security equipment in the 2000s.
    Mexican officials say the new agreement will likely focus on the exchange of information, the root causes of violence, and stemming the flow of U.S.-made guns to Mexico, a key point of concern for Lopez Obrador.
    But negotiating a new agreement will be painful. The United States wants a more muscular approach to battling drug cartels while Lopez Obrador prefers softer and less confrontational methods to fighting gangs, said Vanda Felbab-Brown, a security and foreign policy analyst.
    There is a minimal area of overlap,” said Felbab-Brown, a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.    “The U.S. is in an awkward position here because the Lopez Obrador administration is very comfortable with ending security cooperation.”
    What is more, the talks about the new security cooperation may be overshadowed by immigration concerns.
    A surge in the number of Haitian and Latin American migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border plunged the Biden administration into another crisis last month and underlined Washington’s reliance on Mexico to help stem the flow.
    Mexico’s importance in managing immigration has given the Lopez Obrador administration leverage to pursue more independent policies in other areas, Mexican officials say privately.
    During the U.S. presidential transition early this year, Mexico made it tougher for American law enforcement agents to operate in the country.    Mexico has also delayed visas for U.S. anti-narcotics officers, the U.S. media has reported.
    A senior Mexican security official said there was optimism about the new agreement on the Mexican side and there may be scope to review the restrictions imposed on U.S. agents operating on Mexican soil, but the conditions cannot return to how they were before Cienfuegos’ arrest.
    “I think part of the U.S. government knows that that’s not possible,” the Mexican official said.
(Reporting by Simon Lewis, additional reporting by Humeyra Pamuk in WashingtonWriting by Drazen JorgicEditing by Leslie Adler and Alistair Bell)

10/8/2021 Sen. Manchin Condemns Sen. Schumer’s Shots At Senate GOP by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 07: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) leaves a Democratic luncheon
at the U.S. Capitol October 7, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
    Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) condemned Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) for insulting GOP senators.
    Manchin covered his face in disgust and walked out on Thursday after a key procedural vote on suspending the debt limit.
    Schumer cast blame on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and GOP senators, saying he’s glad their brinkmanship didn’t work.
    “The solution is for Republicans to either join us in raising the debt limit, or stay out of the way and let Democrats address the debt limit ourselves,” Schumer said in his speech.
    After walking out, Manchin told reporters he didn’t think Schumer’s speech was appropriate and called for both Democrats and Republicans to de-weaponize and to stop playing politics.    He added he didn’t find Schumer’s comments appropriate at this time.
    “The civility is gone and I’m not gonna be part of getting rid of it,” expressed Manchin.    “I’m gonna try to get it back and I’m going to speak out when I see someone do something I don’t like.”
    Manchin has continued to maintain that Joe Biden’s multi-trillion dollar reconciliation plan carries too large of a price tag.
    Meanwhile, the short-term extension is headed to the House and is expected to raise the debt ceiling through the first week in December.

10/8/2021 DHS Cancels Border Wall Contracts With CBP Laredo, Rio Grande Valley Sectors by OAN Newsroom
A view of the border wall between Mexico and the United States, in Ciudad Juarez,
Chihuahua state, Mexico. (HERIKA MARTINEZ/AFP via Getty Images)
    Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security has continued to reverse the Trump administration’s efforts to secure the southern border through the construction of a border wall.    On Friday, the DHS released a statement to announce it was canceling all remaining barrier contracts with the CBP’s Laredo and Rio Grande sectors.
    Instead, the agency said it would conduct environmental research on areas where border wall construction did not start.
    “Environmental planning activities will cover projects funded with DHS’s Fiscal Year 2018 to 2021 barrier system appropriations where construction had not started,” the statement read.    “These activities include additional biological, cultural, and natural resource surveys for project areas where no data have been previously collected.”
    DHS officials vowed to implement other border security policies such as developing border technology and land ports of entry.    The agency added previously authorized “remediation projects addressing life, safety, environmental issues” would not be impacted by the recent termination.
    The announcement comes as Republican lawmakers have continued to slam the Biden administration for the lack of action at the border. Many of the lawmakers said they presented solutions to the administration for the border crisis, but said they haven’t received any responses.

10/8/2021 Biden Denies President Trump Request To Invoke Executive Privilege On Documents Regarding Jan. 6 Protests by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump and Joe Biden speak during the first presidential debate at the Health Education
Campus of Case Western Reserve University on in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Images)
    Joe Biden’s White House vowed to work with House Democrats with their investigation into President Trump’s role in the January 6 protest.    On Friday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced the presidential record keepers were ordered to hand over Trump-era documents to the committee.
    Trump sent a letter to the National Archives on Friday, in which he asked it not to hand over the records.    The 45th president said he wanted to use executive privilege on the records by adding they were subject to attorney-client privilege.
    However, Psaki assured Biden did not want to entertain Trump’s request.
    As I noted earlier, we’re going to evaluate on a case by case,” she stated.    “This is the first tranche of documents and it is also important for people to understand that this is the use executive privilege, which I think you’re asking because people don’t entirely always know exactly what that is.    We have been very cooperative with Congress.    We will continue to be.”
    On September 25, the committee demanded Joe Biden turnover any records of President Trump, his family and top staffers relating to the Capitol breach.    Trump warned Biden he would use any legal means necessary to ensure those documents are not given to Democrats in the House.

10/8/2021 Gov. Newsom Says Calif. Helped Create Tesla by OAN Newsroom
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 08: California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference at
Kingston 11 Cuisine on October 08, 2021 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
    California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) recently claimed the state helped Tesla CEO Elon Musk grow Tesla into what it is today.    During a press conference on Friday, Newsom called Musk one of the world’s greatest innovators and entrepreneurs, adding state tax subsidies helped his company get to where it is.
    In the meantime, Musk announced Tesla headquarters would be moving out of the Golden State to Texas.    He previously threatened to move company headquarters back in 2020 due to coronavirus lockdowns in California.    Although, Newsom has said nobody has invested more in Tesla than the Golden State.
    “By the way, it would be interesting to get the facts on how much California has invested in Tesla,” taunted Newsom.     “No other, I mean hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies we’ve provided that company.    Our regulatory environment helped create that company and grow that company.”
    The Democrat governor said he has a deep respect for the Tesla CEO, adding he also has deep respect for his state and what it’s done to support investments.

10/8/2021 President Trump Slams. Sen. McConnell After Senate Debt Ceiling Hike Vote by OAN Newsroom
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) arrives at the U.S. Capitol
October 7, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    President Trump said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) “made a big mistake” in allowing Democrats to pass a short-term debt ceiling hike.    During an interview on Thursday, Trump said McConnell gave Democrats time to figure out what they were going to do on the debt ceiling when they were in a “big bind.”
    McConnell and 10 other Republicans joined Democrats to overcome a filibuster regarding the debt ceiling extension.    Trump contended the Kentucky lawmaker needed to be replaced as Senate GOP leader.
    “The Republican Senate needs new leadership.    I’ve been saying it for a long time.    Mitch is not the guy.    He’s not the right guy.    He’s not doing the job.    He gave them a life line.    It’s more than life line.    He gave them so much time now to figure out what to do because they were in a real big bind.    They wouldn’t have been able to do anything.”
    Trump also touched on the Afghanistan withdrawal, in which he said it may be the single most embarrassing thing to happen in U.S. history.

10/8/2021 Biden Touts ‘Build Back Better’ Agenda While Addressing Dismal Sept. Jobs Report by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden waits to speak on the North Lawn of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    Joe Biden addressed the disastrous unemployment numbers for September.    Speaking from the White House on Friday, Biden tried to put an optimistic spin on economic recovery from the pandemic while he’s been in office.
    The Democrat pointed to the drop in unemployment in the past three months by saying it has dropped faster than ever.    His comments come as the latest jobs report for September showed the market added only 194,000 new jobs, which fell well below economists’ expectations of 500,000.
    Biden also took the opportunity to tout his failing trillions of dollars infrastructure plans by calling for an investment and not just traditional infrastructure but so-called human infrastructure.
    “But it isn’t enough just to invest in our physical infrastructure.    We’re gonna lead the world like we used to,” he said.    “If we’re gonna do that we also have to invest in our people.    That’s what my second bill does, the Build Back Better plan.”
    Meanwhile, Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda is currently stalled in the Senate amid opposition from all Republicans and from moderate Democrat lawmakers.

10/8/2021 Fla. Mom Calls For Mass Exodus From Public School System by OAN Newsroom
Co-teachers at Yung Wing School P.S. 124 Marisa Wiezel and Caitlin Kenny give a lesson to their
masked students in their classroom in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
    A Florida parent received a standing ovation after calling for a mass exodus from the public school system.    Quisha King’s declaration came during during the annual “Pray, Vote, Stand” summit in Virginia on Thursday.
    King said she believed a mass exodus would send the message that the liberal education system did not have the right to indoctrinate children. Her comments came as a reaction to Attorney General Merrick Garland’s announcement the FBI would criminalize parents who have spoken out at school board meetings.
    “With this FBI thing, it just made me realize what else are we supposed to do?    Standing up to these people doesn’t seem to matter,” she expressed.    “I mean, we have, all of us, we’ve been at these school board meetings, we’ve been voicing our opinions, we’re writing articles, we’re emailing teachers.    We’re doing all that stuff and they don’t care.    I’m like the only thing left to do is to just peace out.”
    King went on to concede it may be difficult for most families to pull their children out of public school, but a coordinated exodus all at once was necessary in this moment to send a clear message.    King previously drew national attention in June for publicly speaking out against critical race theory and now worked with the group Moms for Liberty.

10/9/2021 Oil up $0.67 to $79.55, DOW down 9 to 34,746.


10/9/2021 Blinken Cautions Haitian Migrants Against ‘Profoundly Dangerous’ Trek To U.S by Simon Lewis
FILE PHOTO: Some thousands of migrants take shelter as they await to be processed near the Del Rio International Bridge after
crossing the Rio Grande river into the U.S. from Ciudad Acuna in Del Rio, Texas, September 18, 2021. REUTERS/Adrees Latif
(Corrects spelling of first name in first paragraph)
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday warned Haitian migrants that they would not succeed in reaching the United States, while his Mexican counterpart lamented that many had been tricked into undergoing the long trek with false hopes.
    The top U.S. diplomat visited Mexico to present a new joint security plan and mend ties with an ally increasingly relied upon by the Biden administration to act as a buffer and stem the flow of migrants heading to the United States.
    “The journey is profoundly dangerous and it will not succeed,” Blinken told a news conference in Mexico’s capital when asked about how the United States was ensuring humane treatment of migrants.
    Blinken said U.S. and Mexican officials are in “close contact” over a jump in Haitian migrants passing through Mexico, many having traveled from South America where they had initially settled.    A border encampment in Del Rio, Texas in recent weeks grew at one point to 14,000 migrants, mostly from Haiti.
    The United States has since expelled several thousand people to Haiti while allowing others to pursue U.S. migration cases, while Mexico also recently began flights to send people back to Haiti.
    Migrant rights groups have denounced deportations to Haiti, which is struggling with violence, poverty and political turmoil.
    “Deportation to Haiti was not the right approach, was not humane,” the United Nations’ top refugee official Filippo Grandi said on Friday, adding that the United States and Mexico had sometimes deported people “without due process.”
    Speaking alongside Blinken, Mexico Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said many Haitian migrants who trekked from South America to the border had been duped into thinking they could easily obtain legal residency in the United States.
    For the thousands now in limbo in Mexico, he said the country could take them in and offer asylum.
    “If 15,000 people come from Haiti, they want to work, they want to be here, it’s not a problem for Mexico,” Ebrard said, adding however that finding job opportunities was “not easy.”
    Mexico’s asylum agency has been strained by soaring numbers of requests from Haitians, many of whom are not likely to be granted refugee status because they left Haiti for economic reasons.
    Mexico distributed visas in 2019 to let an influx of Central Americans work and travel freely, but stopped after then-U.S. President Donald Trump threatened trade tariffs if Mexico did not curb the flow of people reaching the border.
    Ebrard said he and Blinken did not discuss ‘remain in Mexico,’ one of Trump’s hardline migration policies under fire by asylum advocates, which his successor Biden is attempting to end. The policy forces asylum seekers who cross at the U.S.-Mexican border to wait in Mexico for their court cases.
(Reporting by Simon Lewis, Additional reporting by Stephanie Ulmer-Nebehay; Writing by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

10/9/2021 U.S. Will Accept WHO-Approved COVID-19 Vaccines For International Visitors by David Shepardson
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization (WHO) during an executive board meeting on
update on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Geneva, Switzerland, April 6, 2021. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will accept the use by international visitors of COVID-19 vaccines authorized by U.S. regulators or the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said late on Friday.
    On Sept. 20, the White House announced the United States in November would lift travel restrictions on air travelers from 33 countries including China, India, Brazil and most of Europe who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. It did not specify then which vaccines would be accepted.
    A CDC spokeswoman told Reuters Friday, “Six vaccines that are FDA authorized/approved or listed for emergency use by WHO will meet the criteria for travel to the U.S.
    Late on Friday, the CDC said that “earlier this week, to help them prepare their systems we informed airlines” of the vaccines that would be accepted and added “CDC will release additional guidance and information as the travel requirements are finalized.”
    Airlines for America, a trade group representing American Airlines Co, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and others, said it was “pleased by the CDC’s decision to approve a list of authorized vaccinations for travelers entering the U.S.    We look forward to working with the administration to implement this new global vaccine and testing framework by early November 2021.”
    Some countries had pressed the Biden administration to accept WHO-approved vaccines, since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized vaccines are not widely used in all countries.
    The United States will admit fully vaccinated air travelers from the 26 so-called Schengen countries in Europe as well as Britain, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil. The unprecedented U.S. restrictions have barred most non-U.S. citizens who were in those countries within the past 14 days.
    The new 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.
    The CDC must still finalize and publish new contract tracing rules for international visitors, which it sent to the White House for review on Sept. 15.
    The CDC must also detail rules for exceptions, which include children not yet eligible for shots, as well as for visitors from countries where vaccines are not widely available.    The administration must also decide whether to admit visitors part of COVID-19 clinical trials or have recently contracted COVID-19 and are not yet eligible for vaccination.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Leslie Adler and David Gregorio)

10/9/2021 Mayor De Blasio Considers COVID-19 Mandate For NYC First Responders by OAN Newsroom
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 16: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a faith vigil for victims
of an earthquake in Haiti at the steps of St. Jerome’s Roman Catholic Church on August 16, 2021 in the Little
Caribbean neighborhood of Brooklyn borough in New York City. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
    New York City is mulling a possible COVID-19 vaccination mandate for its first responders.     In an announcement on Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) didn’t rule out mandatory vaccinations for the New York Police Department, New York City Fire Department and other city workers.    In response, the president of the city’s largest police union said the vaccine should be a medical decision that members make on their own, adding those who choose not to get vaccinated would still be protected.
    “We’re looking at all options,” said the mayor on Friday.    “In the coming days I’ll speak about additional steps for different parts of the city, our workforce and beyond, different things we’re going to be doing.    But that’s still several days away because we’re doing a very meticulous analysis of what is the next step that makes sense.”
    Meanwhile, citywide protests have broken out in recent days after de Blasio issued a separate vaccine mandate for New York City teachers and staff.    The city has also mandated vaccines for health care workers and put regulations in place for restaurants and sporting events.

10/9/2021 Calif. Surf School Sues Oil Pipeline Over Leak by OAN Newsroom
Signs warn that beaches are closed to swimmers and surfers due to the recent oil spill
in Huntington Beach, Calif., Wednesday Oct. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Stefanie Dazio)
    A surf school owner filed a class action lawsuit against the company operating the oil pipeline that leaked thousands of gallons of oil onto a California coastline.
    Attorneys representing the Banzai Surf School in Huntington Beach, California filed the suit against Amplify Energy Cooperation claiming they suffered major commercial losses due to the spill.    The plaintiffs also fear there will be a stigma surrounding their business, incurring further revenue losses due to their proximity to the spill.
    Investigations into the cause behind the underwater pipeline rupture are ongoing.
    “The lawsuit is filed because they failed to maintain their pipeline, they allowed it to be exposed,” said attorney Gary Praglin.    “And then they didn’t properly report the spill once it happened.    It happened around 3 a.m.    They delayed for hours and the oil started flowing.”
    This comes as the Houston-based energy company faces scrutiny for their response time to the disaster amid reports fishermen saw evidence of the spill a day prior.
    In the meantime, beaches could remain closed for several weeks to come, causing a major hit to local businesses.

10/9/2021 Poll: Majority Of Unvaccinated U.S. Adults Still Oppose Vaccine by OAN Newsroom
SAVANNAH, GA – DECEMBER 15: A nurse shows off a vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine outside of the
Chatham County Health Department on December 15, 2020 in Savannah, Georgia. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
    A recent poll suggests the majority of unvaccinated Americans say they will not get the vaccine.
    A recent survey asked U.S. adults to describe their personal situation regarding COVID-19 vaccines and a quarter of those surveyed, voiced hesitancy.    Of those unvaccinated, 60 percent said they would not be getting inoculated and only 15 percent said they plan on getting the jab.
    The poll also asked participants why they’re skeptical of getting the shot with 40 percent saying they just don’t trust the vaccine.    Although 64 percent confirmed they’re fully vaccinated, the survey suggested those who aren’t won’t be easily persuaded to get the shot regardless of any mandate.
    Meanwhile, the percentage of Americans who have refused to get vaccinated has for the most part remained unchanged.    This as the Biden administration has continuously tried to push vaccine mandates on frontline workers, school students and more.

10/9/2021 White House: Blame COVID For Poor Jobs Report Not Biden by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – SEPTEMBER 28: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki gestures as she speaks at a press briefing in the James
Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on September 28, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
    Amid a disappointing jobs report, the White House is blaming the Delta variant and other factors.    White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki attempted to soften the blow of the dismal September jobs report during a press briefing on Friday.    She attempted to defend the poor report, which showed the economy had only added 194,000 jobs, by shifting blame to COVID.
    “We’ve also seen that the pandemic, while it’s been incredibly challenging on many many levels, it’s also prompted many people to think what their careers might look like and what careers they may pursue,” stated Psaki at the briefing.
    The number is far below the 500,000 jobs, which economists expected for the month.    Psaki said a range of factors have impacted the weak workforce numbers, asserting without data that many people are still reluctant to enter the job market over fears of COVID.
    “In our assessment, one is people are still fearful of COVID and what it will be like in work places and ensuring their own safety.    There are still challenges as it relates to childcare, eldercare, the cost of those and being able to afford it, and also the availability which is something we’ve seen a shortage of in many communities,” she said.
    When a reporter pressed Psaki on a concrete answer for the low jobs report, she responded by saying Joe Biden was leading during a hard time and then declined to comment any further.
    Meanwhile, the RealClearPolitics average has Biden’s job approval underwater and down nearly 10 points in two months.

10/9/2021 Average U.S. Gas Price $3.44 A Gallon, The Highest Since 2014 by OAN Newsroom
SAN FRANCISCO – MAY 07: Gas prices over $3.50 per gallon are seen at a service station May 7, 2007 in San Francisco, California.
Gas prices reached a record national average price of $3.07 per gallon of regular unleaded, up over twenty cents in the past two weeks.
San Francisco leads the nation with the highest average price of $3.49 per gallon. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
    U.S. Rep. Debbie Lasko (R-Ariz.) criticized Joe Biden for allowing gas prices to reach record highs. On Friday, the Arizona Republican noted the average gas price currently stands at $3.44 a gallon, which is the highest since 2014 when Barack Obama was president. In certain regions, such as California, gas is averaging over $4.30. Lasko pointed out the U.S. achieved energy independence under 45th President Donald Trump. She said abandoning those polices prove Biden stands for America last and is keeping the U.S. reliant on foreign oil.
    “Oil prices are rising further as the global energy supply tightness squeezes fuel availability,” said Louise Dickson, senior oil markets analyst at Rystad Energy. With higher oil prices comes higher prices at the pump, leaving consumers with the highest costs seen in the last seven years.

10/9/2021 Report: Biden Knew About Haitian Surge Months In Advance by OAN Newsroom
Haitian migrants are pictured on the banks of the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Texas, as seen from Ciudad Acuna,
Coahuila state, Mexico on September 19, 2021. (Photo by PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images)
    The Biden administration reportedly knew about the Haitian migrant surge months in advance.
    According to NBC News on Thursday, the administration knew as early as July that a surge from Haiti was going to make its way up through Mexico.    Officials added Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis all were provided information on the expected surge.
    They also predicted the bridge at Del Rio, Texas would be a prime location for illegal immigrants to congregate.
    However, in an interview near the end of September, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas can be noted saying, “I don’t think we expected the rapidity of the increase that occurred.”
    “They were warned that this bridge where these people are crossing…at this exact spot…there was an uptick in traffic, and the traffic continued to go up and they were warned they needed to prepare, they needed to put operations in place to deal with a large influx of people and they didn’t,” said Brandon Judd, head of the National Border Patrol Council.
    According to the report, a debate occurred between progressive and moderate members of the administration on whether to deport the Haitians.    The progressives won and all deportation flights to Haiti were stopped just as the wave arrived.

10/9/2021 Sen. McConnell: GOP Won’t Rescue Democrats From Avoidable Consequences by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 07: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) walks to the U.S. Senate
chamber at the U.S. Capitol October 7, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said his vote to raise the debt ceiling was the only win he plans to give Joe Biden.
    In a letter sent to Biden on Friday, McConnell stressed Republicans filled the leadership vacuum, adding Democrats had nearly three months to work out a funding bill both parties could get behind.    He then criticized Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), claiming his behavior on the Senate floor was corrosive, partisan and childish.
    “Last night, in a bizarre spectacle, Senator Schumer exploded in a rant that was so partisan, angry and corrosive that even Democratic senators were visibly embarrassed by him and for him,” McConnell said, referencing a moment during Schumer’s speech where Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) appeared to hold his hands over his face.    “This tantrum encapsulated and escalated a pattern of angry incompetence from Senator Schumer.”
    On Thursday, 11 GOP senators voted with Democrats to pass the temporary debt ceiling extension after several months of battling over how to fund the government.    McConnell warned Republicans won’t swoop in to save the federal government, claiming he would “not be party to any future effort to mitigate the consequences of Democratic mismanagement.”

10/9/2021 Trump COVID Testing Czar Defends Handling Of COVID-19 Pandemic Response by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 29: Brett Giroir, former Admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.,
testifies during a Republican-led forum on the origins of the COVID-19 virus at the
U.S. Capitol on June 29, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
    The former czar of coronavirus testing under President Trump defends the Trump COVID task force’s actions during the pandemic. Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S., media attempts to pin the blame for the crisis on Trump have been incessant.    A CNN interview on Friday with the former testing czar, Brett Giroir, was no different.
    In the interview, Brianna Keilar tried to use recent turncoat Stephanie Grisham’s words against the whole COVID task force. Grisham, Trump’s press secretary and first lady Melania Trump’s personal secretary before Jan. 6, said Trump didn’t care about the costs of the virus and that the administration failed because of his vanity.
    However, Giroir disputed her assessment of how his task force handled COVID.    He said he doesn’t remember Grisham being involved in any meetings about COVID at all.
    “I don’t remember Stephanie Grisham ever being in the situation room, in the task force, when we debated the issues,” said Giroir.    “I know that in that sit room, mostly under the vice president, Dr. Birx, Dr. Fauci, we were all focused on public health and there was no other thoughts than that.”
    Wholly unsatisfied that he refused to condemn Trump like Grisham did, Keilar tried to push Giroir even harder, heavily implying that he chose to work under someone who didn’t care about the virus.    Again, the Admiral denied the assertions and defended the administration’s handling of the virus.
    “I don’t think it’s fair to say.    The president was very active in the task force right up until the mid-summer and he did what the docs advised, right?    Fifteen days to slow the spread. Thirty days more to slow the spread,” he said.
    Despite Trump leaving the Oval Office and Joe Biden taking his place, the blame for the pandemic has still been placed squarely in Trump’s lap by Democrats and their allies in the media.    Since January, over 353,000 Americans have lost their lives to COVID, surpassing the total lost in 2020 during the Trump administration.

10/9/2021 Anti-Vax Protesters In Rome Target Draghi’s Office, Union’s Headquarters
Demonstrators clash with police officers during a protest against the government's introduction
of the "Green Pass" near Chigi Palace in Rome, Italy, October 9, 2021. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
    ROME (Reuters) – Italian police used water cannon and tear gas on Saturday to push back hundreds of people, including neo-fascist activists, demonstrating in Rome against a government drive to make the COVID-19 “Green Pass” mandatory for all workers.
    One group of protesters tried to break through police lines to reach Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s city centre office, while a separate group tried to smash their way into the headquarters of Italy’s main CGIL trade union.
    The protests come days before Italy becomes the first country in Europe to make all workers carry the Green Pass in an effort to accelerate vaccinations and stamp out coronavirus infections.
    The pass, a digital or paper certificate showing someone has received at least one vaccine dose, has tested negative or recently recovered from the virus, was originally conceived to ease travel among European Union states.
    Draghi denounced Saturday’s violence and said his broad unity government remained committed to completing its vaccination campaign.
    “The right to demonstrate to support one’s ideas can never degenerate into acts of aggression and intimidation,” he said in a statement issued by his office.
    Opponents of the Green Pass say it tramples on freedoms and is a back-door means of forcing people to vaccinate.
    Their cause has been backed by far-right neo-fascist groups who local politicians accused of orchestrating Saturday’s violence.
    Local media reported that around 10,000 people took to the streets of the Italian capital, with many chanting “freedom, freedom” as some looked to break past police in riot gear deployed to guard access to Draghi’s office.
    CGIL, which has accepted the Green Pass system for workers, condemned the attack on its offices.
    “The assault on CGIL’s national headquarters is an act of fascist thuggery, an attack on democracy and on the world of work,” its leader     Maurizio Landini said in a statement.    “No-one should think that they can return our country to its fascist past.”
    Under the pass system, any worker who fails to present a valid health certificate from Oct. 15 will be suspended with no pay, but they cannot be sacked.
    Some 80% of all Italians over the age of 12 are now fully vaccinated and the vast majority of people seem to back the inoculation drive and the use of the Green Pass.
(Reporting by Remo Casilli; Writing by Gianluca Semeraro; Editing by Clelia Oziel, Crispian Balmer and Mike Harrison)

10/10/2021 No Oil or DOW info.

10/10/2021 U.S. Asks Mexico To Allow DEA Agents In by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R) speaks with U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar during the U.S.-Mexico High-level Security
Dialogue at the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Relations in Mexico City, on October 8, 2021. (Photo by CLAUDIO CRUZ/AFP via Getty Images)
    The U.S. is asking Mexico to let the Drug Enforcement Administration and other agents into the country.
    On Saturday, the new U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Ken Salazar, said the surge in migrants is a very significant issue for both countries and the Western Hemisphere.    Salazar also encouraged cooperation to tackle the growing fentanyl crisis and to allow DEA agents to operate in Mexico.
    His remarks come shortly after Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Mexican officials to build a new security framework.
    “We are going to have cooperation from the Mexican government, that was what was agreed upon yesterday, to make sure that law enforcement resources that we have functioning here in conjunction with Mexican law enforcement authorities, have the ability to do so,” Salazar said in his first press conference since his arrival in Mexico City.
    “So yes, that includes our request, and we’re working with this, with the government, on having the opportunity to again bring agents including our DEA agents, but we’re doing this in a way where we’re doing it in partnership with Mexico.”
    Salazar said the U.S. and Mexico have an absolute commitment to tackling drug trafficking and narcotics, saying “we have to break those chains together.”

10/10/2021 French Ambassador To Australia Addresses France’s Interests In ‘Indo-Pacific’ Region by OAN Newsroom
French ambassador to Australia Jean-Pierre Thebault gestures as he speaks during an interview with The Associated-Press in Paris,
Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison welcomed France’s decision to return its ambassador to Australia
and said Thursday the bilateral relationship was bigger than the canceled submarine contract. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
    France’s ambassador to Australia made his way back to his post in Canberra, but the relationship between the two countries hasn’t been restored to the way it used to be. During an interview in Paris, a day before he returned to Australia, French ambassador Jean Pierre Thebault said he doesn’t understand how he was lied to for 18 months from a so-called ally.
    In regard to Australian officials he worked with, Thebault expressed how he felt betrayed that they lied straight to his face for more than a year.
    “During 18 months, you could at least have one month saved, you know, to have a frank and honest conversation, which never happened.    And that’s the source of the crisis in confidence,” said Thebault.
    Despite the cancellation of the Submarine Deal with Australia, France remains determined to protect its interests in the Indo-Pacific region and said it intends to put muscle into Europe’s geopolitical strategy towards China.
    Thebault emphasized France and Europe would continue to actively engage with trusted partners in the region including India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.    He added among the European countries with interests in the Indo-Pacific region, France has the highest stakes and played a huge role in building a European Indo-Pacific strategy in efforts to be partners of peace and stability within the region.
    “We are not a naïve observer of the Indo-Pacific.    We are fully involved in the Indo-Pacific, and we will continue to be fully involved in the Indo-Pacific,” Thebault stressed.
    Beyond the dissolved contract, France feels that longstanding alliances were destroyed, especially their relationship with the U.S, which is their oldest partnership with any country.    The French envoy made it clear their ties with Australia still needed to be mended and could take time before their ambassador moves back to Canberra permanently.
    “It’s not the fact that Australia might change its ideas.    It is the fact that Australia never did speak frankly to its ally about what was at stake,” stated Thebault.
    In the meantime, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison vowed to make an effort to restore the relationship between the two countries, even though he’s said he has no regrets about ending the Submarine Deal.
    Morrison said, “it was the right decision for Australia and I look forward to ensuring that we work closely with our French partners here in our region where I know they have great passion, great commitment and will continue to play a massive role because they always have.”

10/10/2021 Canada’s Overworked Healthcare Sector Brace For Staff Shortages As Vaccine Mandates Loom by Moira Warburton
FILE PHOTO: Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits a COVID-19 vaccination
clinic in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada July 2, 2021. REUTERS/Blair Gable/File Photo
    VANCOUVER (Reuters) – Canada’s health and long-term care industries are bracing for staff shortages and layoffs, as deadlines for vaccine mandates loom across the country, with unions pushing federal and provincial governments to soften hard-line stances.
    For hospitals and nursing homes, a shortage of workers would strain the already overburdened workforce dealing with nearly two years of the pandemic.    The uncertainty sparked by vaccine mandates underscores the challenges on the road to recovery.
    Devon Greyson, assistant professor of public health at the University of British Columbia, said officials are steering into uncharted waters with mass vaccine mandates, and it’s not clear how workers will respond.
    “A shortage of workers can mean people’s health and well being.    It’s scary,” Greyson said.
    However, he added, “we’re in an ethical situation where it’s also scary not to ensure that all health workers are vaccinated.    So it’s a bit of a Catch-22.”
    To tackle staff scarcity, at least one province is offering signing bonuses to nurses.    Provinces including Quebec and British Columbia have made it mandatory for healthcare workers and nursing staff to be vaccinated to continue working in their respective fields.
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also unveiled one of the strictest vaccine mandates in the world last week, saying unvaccinated federal employees will be sent on unpaid leave and making COVID-19 shots mandatory for air, train and ship passengers.
    Layoffs have are started to hit, with one hospital in southern Ontario last week dumping 57 employees, representing 2.5% of staff, after its vaccine mandate came into effect.    A long-term care home in Toronto put 36% of its staff on unpaid leave after they refused to get vaccinated, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp reported.
    British Columbia will place staff at its long-term care and assisted living sector on unpaid administrative leave if they fail to get at least one shot by Monday.
    Some 97% of long-term care staff in Vancouver and the surrounding areas have at least one dose as of Oct. 6, the province said.    But northern B.C. has only 89% of staff with at least one dose, although the data was still being updated.
    The province recently changed the deadline, giving more time for people to receive their second vaccine dose.    “It is because we know we have a very limited healthcare resource,” Dr. Bonnie Henry, the province’s medical officer, said.
    Quebec is offering C$15,000 bonuses to help attract and retain about 4,300 full-time nurses.    Some 25,000 healthcare workers who are yet not fully vaccinated ahead of an Oct. 15 deadline risk suspension without pay, said Christian Dubé, the province’s health minister.
    Some 97% of all staff in University Health Network, which operates medical facilities in and around Toronto, Ontario, has been vaccinated ahead of Oct. 22, with efforts underway to find backup for the remaining.
    Daniel Lublin, a Toronto-based employment lawyer, called the mandates “very political” and based on the majority view that vaccines are good.    “The fallout is that it’s another segment of the Canadian workforce that is going to be faced with job loss if they choose not to vaccinate.”
    The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), which represents 215,000 federal workers, said while the union supports the government’s vaccination stance, its members who do not get inoculated should not be punished.
    “Especially when remote work options are available that do not jeopardize the health and safety of co-workers and allow our members to continue to serve Canadians,” said Chris Aylward, PSAC president.
    Treasury Board, which oversees the public administration, is engaged with PSAC and other labor representatives about the implementation of the mandate, a government source said.
    Louis Hugo Francescutti, an emergency room physician in Edmonton, said he worked with several people who were continuing to refuse vaccination, even though it would cost them their jobs when the mandate takes effect on Oct. 31.
    Alberta has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Canada, and its hospitals have been overwhelmed by the fourth wave.
    “We’re so under the water right now that losing a couple of people who don’t want to get vaccinated – it’s going to be sad (but) the impact will be minimal,” Francescutti said.
(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver,; Additional reporting by Allison Lampert in Montreal, Steve Scherer and Julie Gordon in Ottawa; Editing by Denny Thomas and Chizu Nomiyama)

10/10/2021 U.S., Russia Lift Targeted Sanctions To Allow Nuland Visit – Moscow
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland testifies before a Senate Foreign Relations
Committee hearing on "U.S. Policy on Turkey" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 21, 2021. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz
    MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia will allow U.S. Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland to visit for talks despite having previously blacklisted her, after Washington agreed to lift a similar restriction placed on a Russian citizen, Moscow said on Sunday.
    The U.S. official, who is expected in Moscow from Oct. 11 to 13, visits at a time when political ties between the countries are badly strained.    She will meet senior officials to discuss bilateral, regional and global issues, the State Department has said.
    “She was actually on our sanctions lists that mean that a person cannot cross the border,” Maria Zakharova, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, was quoted as saying by RIA news agency.
    “They (the U.S.) included Russian representatives and foreign policy experts on their sanctions lists.    So in this case, the question was resolved on a parity basis.    Yes, she will be in Russia,” she was quoted as saying.
    Zakhrova later clarified to the Govorit Moskva radio station that one Russian citizen had been removed from the U.S. sanctions list.    She did not disclose the person’s name.
    The United States has imposed an array of sanctions on Russia.    Relations between Moscow and Washington sank to post-Cold War lows in 2014 after Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, and they remain strained over a range of other issues.
(Reporting by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Hugh Lawson)
9/19/2019 Judicial Watch: Obama State Dept. had working ties to dossier author, Democrat lawmakers by OAN Newsroom
    Watchdog group Judicial Watch recently released evidence allegedly showing ties between the author of the Trump dossier and top Obama officials.    The group released 146 pages of State Department documents Thursday, detailing the relations between Obama-era officials and former British spy Christopher Steele.    The communications date back to May of 2014.
    Documents show Steele was in touch with assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Special Coordinator for Libya Jonathan Winer.    The Obama State Department was also reportedly feeding classified information to anti-Trump lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
11/8/2019 Judicial Watch unearths visitor log from Eric Ciaramella’s time at the White House by OAN Newsroom
The White House is seen Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    More information is coming to light regarding CIA analyst and alleged whistleblower Eric Ciaramella.    A new report from Judicial Watch revealed Obama-era visitor logs from the White House, which showed Ciaramella’s contacts during his tenure in D.C.
    In their recent analysis of the visitor logs, the nonprofit examined his ties to Alexandra Chalupa, a contractor hired by the DNC during the 2016 election.    She reportedly coordinated with Ukraine to investigate President Trump and his former campaign manager Paul Manafort.    The logs showed Chalupa visited the White House 27 times and that her point of contact was Ciaramella.    Judicial Watch released a detailed list of several other questionable figures who visited the presidential mansion.
    Daria Kaleniuk is the co-founder of the Soros-funded Anti-corruption Action Centre (ANTAC) in Ukraine and visited the White House on December 9, 2015.
    Former adviser Rachel Goldbrenner visited on both January 15 and August 8, 2016.    During the time of her visit, Goldbrenner served as an adviser to former UN Ambassador Samantha Power, who was behind the unmasking of Mike Flynn.
    Former European Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland also met with Ciaramella and reportedly was involved in the Clinton-funded dossier.    She visited on June 17, 2016.    Judicial Watch has released documents revealing that Nuland was involved in the Obama State Department’s “urgent” gathering of classified Russia investigation information, which was disseminated to members of Congress within hours of then-candidate Trump taking office.
    ANTAC Director Artem Sytnyk visited on January 19, 2016.    He is tied to the release of documents during the 2016 campaign that were detrimental to former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.    Sytnyk was convicted in Ukraine — along with Serhiy Leshenkco — for releasing official documents about Manafort to interfere with the 2016 election.
    Judicial Watch is calling on Congress to question Ciaramella about these meetings.

Mark S. Zaid, an American attorney, based out of Washington D.C., with a practice
focused on national security law, free speech constitutional claims, and government accountability.
    In 1998 he founded the James Madison Project, an organization dedicated to reducing government secrecy.    It is interested in the Freedom of Information Act and government whistleblowers.    He is co-editor of Litigation Under the Federal Open Government Laws.    He is a cofounder of the nonprofit law firm Whistleblower Aid.
    The following was found at].

10/10/2021 Italian Police Arrest Far-Right Party Leaders After Anti-Vax Riot
FILE PHOTO: Demonstrators face off police officers during a protest against the government's introduction
of the "Green Pass" near Chigi Palace in Rome, Italy, October 9, 2021. REUTERS/Remo Casilli/File Photo
    ROME (Reuters) - Italian police said on Sunday they had arrested 12 people including the leaders of the extreme right-wing party Forza Nuova, after clashes in Rome a day earlier over a government drive to make the COVID-19 “Green Pass” mandatory for all workers.
    Thousands of people took to the streets of the Italian capital on Saturday to oppose the move.    Some tried to break past police in riot gear guarding access to Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s office, while a separate group broke into the headquarters of Italy’s main CGIL trade union and turned its offices upside down.
    Overnight, dozens of protesters also tried to break into the accident and emergency unit at Rome’s Policlinico Umberto I hospital, where one of them was being kept for treatment, forcing health workers to barricade themselves inside, emergency department head Francesco Pugliese told reporters on Sunday.
    Draghi introduced the pass – a digital or paper certificate confirming its holder has either received at least one vaccine dose, has tested negative or has recently recovered from the virus – in the summer to help prevent infections and encourage people to get vaccinated.
    The certificates were initially needed to enter many cultural and leisure venues, but their scope has gradually been widened.    Last month, the government made it compulsory for all workers.     More than 80% of all Italians over the age of 12 have been fully vaccinated as of Oct. 10.     Under the green pass system for workers, accepted by unions and employers, any worker who fails to present a valid health certificate from Oct. 15 will be suspended with no pay, but cannot be sacked.     “It was a fascist squad attack, and it is unacceptable,” CGIL’s head Maurizio Landini said on Sunday, speaking to supporters in front of the union offices in Rome.
    The riots drew widespread condemnation, including from Matteo Salvini and Giorgia Meloni, the leaders of the rightist League and Brothers of Italy parties, respectively.
    The police said in a statement that 38 police officers were injured during the Rome anti-vax clashes.
    Emanuele Fiano, a lawmaker from the centre-left Democratic Party, said his party would present a parliamentary motion on Monday to dismantle groups such as Forza Nuova that espouse extreme neo-fascist ideologies.
(Reporting by Elvira Pollina; editing by Barbara Lewis and Hugh Lawson)

10/10/2021 McAuliffe: Biden Is Not Popular Here, We Have To Push Through by OAN Newsroom
Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (left) (D-Va.) and Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin (right) participate in a debate hosted
by the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce in Alexandria, Virginia. The gubernatorial election is November 2. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
    Democrat gubernatorial candidate in Virginia Terry McAuliffe has tried to make his final case to the people of Old Dominion as to why he should be reelected. A sign that he has seen his prospects of a landslide victory slipping away, the former governor went on CNN on Sunday to attack his opponent Republican Glenn Youngkin.
    “My opponent as you know is a Trump wannabe who’s been endorsed by Trump five times.    He said so much of the reason he’s running is because of Donald Trump,” he stated.    “He’ll take money out of education, public and put it into private.    He wants to ban abortions.    He wants to go on the offense on abortions.    He has said the number one issue: election integrity.”
    Youngkin has been a strong supporter of election integrity as pointed out by McAuliffe himself. The Republican has said he would support an audit of Virginia’s elections by going as far as making calls for audits of every voting machine used in the 2020 elections.
    Despite Democrats attempting to attack Youngkin on the issue, poll numbers have shown Virginian’s were not phased by calls for integral elections as the race was in a statistical tie.    This has led the party to bring in their own national heavyweights to try and boost McAuliffe by attacking Youngkin.
    High profile activist for Democrats, Stacey Abrams, who has maintained she was the legitimately elected governor of Georgia, claimed Youngkin’s calls for election integrity were actually just a guise to overturn elections.
    “He’s not speaking of an audit.    He’s speaking of an overturning,” she explained.    “An audit evaluates what was done, but usually what precipitates an audit is either a concern or a practice.    What they are asking for is to throw out the practical practice of how we hold our elections and instead respond to false concerns that do not exist.”
    However, there was one big name that wasn’t making their way to Virginia, despite living right next door to Washington D.C. Joe Biden has kept his distance from the race after McAuliffe was an early endorser of Biden’s presidential bid.
    Biden has campaigned for McAuliffe since the start of the campaign when his job approval was much higher.
    Circumstances in D.C. have quickly changed, which has left Biden with flailing numbers nationwide and potentially dragging down Democrats for other offices.
    In a private conversation, McAuliffe said Biden was unfortunately too unpopular to help boost the former governor’s numbers in a state he won by 10 points in November.
    “We are facing a lot of headwinds from Washington, as you know,” he expressed.    “The president is unpopular today unfortunately here in Virginia, so we have got to plow through.”
    Polls have shown the race has been neck in neck, with McAuliffe at about 50 percent and Youngkin at 47 percent within the margin of error.    Old Dominion has trended increasingly towards the Democrats since 2008.    An upset against an influential former Democrat governor by Republicans could signify a paradigm shift and potential disaster for the party in the midterms.

10/10/2021 President Trump At Iowa Rally: We’re Going To Take America Back by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on October 09, 2021 in
Des Moines, Iowa. This is Trump’s first rally in Iowa since the 2020 election. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
    President Donald Trump returned to Des Moines, Iowa to kick off his latest “Save America” rally.    On Saturday, the 45th president highly criticized Joe Biden and his administration for mishandling a long list of issues the country has been facing for the past nine months under Democrat leadership.
    Pointing out how Biden fumbled the bag with multiple issues such as the coronavirus pandemic, the Afghanistan withdrawal and the border crisis, Trump made his own list of campaign-styled promises while telling his supporters “we’re going to take America back.”
    “After just 9 months under Biden, violent criminals and blood thirsty gangs are taking over our streets, illegal aliens and deadly drug cartels are taking over our borders, inflation is taking over our economy, China is taking over our jobs, the Taliban has taken over Afghanistan, lunatic leftists are taking over our schools and radical socialists are taking over our country,” he explained.    “We’re not gonna let that happen.”
    When addressing the multi-trillion-dollar spending bill the left has continued to push, the president warned his supporters about the potential dangers the future of the country would face if the bill was passed.    Trump also noted not only would this be the largest spending bill of all time, but also the largest tax haul to “end America as we know it.”
    “It’s a socialist transformation bill.    It’s an open borders bill,” he stated.    “It’s an American energy destruction bill.”
    Trump encouraged all his supporters and Republicans to stay strong and fight against the bill to protect the future of the U.S. in order to bring the country back to greatness.    Although he has not officially announced his run in 2024, the 45th president said he had big plans in efforts of “making America great again, again.”
    Trump’s plans include his promises to end illegal immigration, make sure election fraud doesn’t happen again and to build back a strong force against foreign threats such as China.    Trump said in order to achieve these goals, the right needs to take back control of Congress and fix what the Biden administration has been unable to repair.

10/10/2021 Yellen: The U.S. Should Never Be In The Position To Invoke 14th Amendment On Extending Debt Limit by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen addresses a hybrid meeting hosted by Joe Biden with corporate chief executives
and members of his cabinet to discuss the looming federal debt limit in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower
Executive Office Building on October 06, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the U.S. should never be in a position where they consider revoking the Fourteenth Amendment to avoid the debt limit.    During an interview on Sunday, Yellen said the White House interfering in matters of debt would be a “disastrous situation.”
    Experts have discussed the possibility of the Biden White House using the amendment to quell the congressional fight on extending the debt ceiling.    They cited Section Four of the Fourteenth Amendment by saying the public debt of the U.S. shall not be questioned.
    Yellen went on to stress Congress has the responsibility to put the debt fight to bed.
    “Well because its Congress’ responsibility to show that they have the determination to pay the bill that the government amasses,” she stated.    “We shouldn’t be in a position where we need to consider whether or not the Fourteenth Amendment applies.”
    Meanwhile, Yellen remains confident lawmakers from both sides could reach a compromise by the deadline to vote on raising the debt ceiling on December 3.

10/10/201 Chris Christie Calls Out Schumer Over Speech ‘Kicking Republicans In The Face’ by OAN Newsroom
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., points to a question as he speaks
with reporters in Washington, on Capitol Hill. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Chris Christie slammed Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) over his speech toward Republicans following the Senate’s agreement to raise the debt ceiling.    During an interview on ABC’s This Week on Saturday, the Republican said there was all this talk about wanting bipartisanship.
    The former New Jersey governor said Republicans have sided with Democrats on the infrastructure bill and the debt ceiling when Republicans have continued to “smacked back.”
    “If we want to encourage bipartisanship, after people actually do it, kicking them in the face is not the way to get them to want do it again,” he expressed.    “What Chuck Schumer did this week is going to make December 3 a much deeper crisis.    It’s a sign of his immaturity and it’s a sign of his own concern about his own left.”
    Christie went on to say “Republicans did what they had to do.”

10/10/2021 Southwest Airlines Cancels More Than 1.8K Flights by OAN Newsroom
CHICAGO – APRIL 3: A Southwest Airlines jet takes off at Midway Airport April 3, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
    Southwest Airlines cancelled more than 1,800 flights leaving thousands of customers across the country affected.
    The Texas-based airline cancelled 27 percent of its flights on Sunday due to so-called air traffic control issues in Florida and bad weather conditions.    Meanwhile, competitors like American Airlines and Spirit reported no more than a four percent cancellation total on their domestic flights.
    Among the issues, Southwest said the carrier is prepared to cut flights during spring break unless they hire more staff.    With many people having a three-day weekend, due to Columbus Day, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials said they screened more than two million people at airport security checkpoints on Friday.
    Some have speculated the mass cancellations could be due to the vaccine mandate recently being imposed upon those who work for Southwest.    Southwest has not confirmed whether staff shortages or the mandate contributed to this weekend’s cancellation.

10/10/2021 Elon Musk Speaks At Berlin Tesla Factory Site by OAN Newsroom
Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Armin Laschet, CDU Federal Chairman and Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, talk during a tour of the plant
of the future foundry of the Tesla Gigafactory in Grünheide near Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Patrick Pleul – Pool/Getty Images)
    Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the first vehicles from the automaker’s new factory in Germany should roll out next month.    The billionaire     CEO welcomed guests to the fairground in Berlin on Saturday to announce the forthcoming Giga Factory.
    Musk said the company hoped to begin production either next month or in December.    He also noted reaching the desired volume of vehicle production was the difficult part of the process.
    “What this factory is about is creating high-volume, affordable electric cars, and hopefully also battery packs, maybe solar,” he stated.    “Generally, the overarching goal is to accelerate the transition to sustainable energy.”
    Tesla is still awaiting final approval from the German government to begin, but has received preliminary permits to start construction on the factory.    The factory has faced setbacks due to its partial location in a water protection area.

10/11/2021 No Oil or DOW info.

10/11/2021 President Trump Sends Family Of Ashli Babbitt Video Honoring Her Memory by OAN Newsroom
File – U.S. President Donald Trump looks on during a press conference in
Bedminster, New Jersey. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
    The 45th president sent a personal video message to the family of Ashli Babbitt.    The video was played during a ‘Texas loves Ashli Babbitt’ rally on Sunday, where family members and supporters gathered to commemorate and honor what would have been Babitt’s 36th birthday.
    During the video, Donald Trump spoke on Babbitt’s Air Force career.
    “Ashli served our country in the United States Air Force for 14-years, where she was a security forces airman and eventually went on to achieve the rank of senior airman,” he explained.    “She defended our nation overseas, including in Iraq to fight in the War on Terror.”
    The 36-year-old was shot and killed by a Capitol Police officer during the January 6 protests.    Back in August, Lt. Michael Byrd was cleared of all charges in her death.
    Trump expressed his deepest sentiments to the Babbitt family and called on the Department of Justice to reopen its investigation into her death.    He asserted there was no reason for her to have lost her life that day.
    We must all demand justice for Ashli and her family,” Trump stated.    “So on this solemn occasion as we celebrate her life, we renew our call for a fair a non-partisan investigation into the death of Ashli Babbitt.    I offer my unwavering support to Ashley’s family…like all Americans, you deserve a fair process, you deserve answers and you deserve justice.”
This driver’s license photo from the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), provided to AP by the Calvert County Sheriff’s
Office, shows Ashli Babbitt. Babbitt was fatally shot by an employee of the Capitol Police inside the U.S. Capitol building
in Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (Maryland MVA/Courtesy of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

10/11/2021 Sen. Blumenthal: Facebook PR Campaign Nothing But Bromides, Platitudes by OAN Newsroom
Subcommittee chairman Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., questions former Facebook employee and
whistleblower Frances Haugen during a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing
on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, in Washington. (Drew Angerer/Pool via AP)
    Sen. Richard Blumenthal (R-Conn.) has continued his attacks on social media giant Facebook.    In a series of tweets Sunday, Blumenthal derided Facebook Vice President of Global Affairs, Nick Clegg for his appearances on several corporate media news outlets.
    Blumenthal said even through Clegg’s talk and “crocodile tears,” the world now knows the company pushed destructive content to kids only to make more money.    The Connecticut Democrat added, the Big Tech giant’s words don’t match its actions.    He cited its calls to regulate Big Tech companies, but propensity towards fighting Congress with millions-of-dollars and armies of lobbyists and lawyers.
    Blumenthal compared Facebook’s actions to that of Big Tobacco.    However, Clegg claimed the comparison was a mischaracterization.
    “I think it’s an extremely misleading analogy, of course we are not,” stated the Facebook official.    “We are a social media app that many, many people around the world use because it brings utility, it helps small businesses, it brings joy, it brings pleasure, it connects you with people that you care about and love the most.    That’s what Facebook’s about.”
    Clegg also claimed the company is working on ways to steer kids way from negative content.
    “We’re going to introduce news controls for adults of teens, on an optional basis obviously, so that adults can supervise what their teens are doing online,” he explained.    “Secondly, we’re going to introduce something, which I think will make a considerable difference.    Which is where our systems see that a teenager is looking at the same content over and over again, and it’s content which may not be conducive to their well being.    We will nudge them to look at other content.”
    The Facebook PR campaign started in response to testimony from whistleblower Frances Haugen in front of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee last week in which she described the dubious policies of Facebook.    Haugen warned lawmakers about the company’s lax content policing, which she said is harming teens and kids.
    Senators were shook-up over the testimony with many vowing to overhaul efforts to reform social media companies and regulate their content.     “I believe that the time for conversation is done; the time for action is now,” stated Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)    “Basically for so long the social media companies have been saying, and the other tech platforms, ‘trust us, we got this.’    Well look where we are now.”
    Sen. Blumenthal added, if Facebook really wants to help keep kids safe on its platform then the company needs to release its research and pressure CEO Mark Zuckerberg into working with lawmakers to enact real child privacy laws.

10/11/2021 Rep. Waters Slams Manchin, Sinema Over Hesitation On Spending Bills by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., departs after attending a meeting with President Joe Biden and the
House Democratic Caucus on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    California Rep. Maxine Waters (D) is blasting Democrat Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) over their hesitation toward Joe Biden’s multi-trillion-dollar reconciliation bill.
    During an interview Sunday, Waters accused Manchin and Sinema of being unsympathetic toward the less fortunate as they try to lower the price tag of the $3.5 trillion social spending package.    She claimed the only reason these moderate lawmakers would want to decrease the funding is because they are “out of touch with the lower and middle classes.”
    “It is absolutely not to be understood that these two members of the Senate can talk about this being too much,” stated the California Democrat.    “Too much for whom? For people who have been denied, discriminated against and excluded in every sector of our society?    Simply to say that this is too much money and reject particularly housing and child care is baffling to me.    I don’t get it.”
    Waters criticism came after Manchin said he could not accept the U.S. economy or society moving toward an entitlement mentality.    The West Virginia lawmaker asserted that he can “help those who really need help if those who can help themselves do so.”
    Waters went on to accuse the moderates of lacking empathy or concern for the less fortunate.    She stated, “I don’t know, maybe they just don’t get it.    Maybe they just don’t want to get it.”

10/11/2021 Merck Seeks Emergency-Use Authorization Of Oral Antiviral For COVID-19 by OAN Newsroom
This undated image provided by Merck & Co. shows their new antiviral medication. The drugmaker has said its
experimental pill for people sick with COVID-19 reduced hospitalizations and deaths. (Merck & Co. via AP)
    Drugmakers are seeking FDA authorization for the first oral antiviral medicine for treating COVID-19.    Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics announced Monday that they submitted an application with the agency for emergency-use authorization of molnupiravir.
    The experimental medication, originally developed for treating influenza, is now demonstrating results in mild-to-moderate COVID-19 cases in at-risk adults.    Clinical trials of the pill found that it reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by approximately 50 percent.
    The medication is administered as four pills taken twice-a-day for five days.    The drug could be made available to Americans by late this year and would be the first authorized oral antiviral medicine for the treatment of COVID-19.
    The biotechnology company’s focus revolves around emerging infectious diseases.    It’s known to market a treatment for Ebola.    The team at Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics noted, they are “dedicated to working toward finding life-saving and life-changing solutions for patients and diseases that need champions.”

10/11/2021 EU ‘Will Start Collapsing’ Unless It Takes On Polish Challenge – Official by Gabriela Baczynska
FILE PHOTO: European Commissioner for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova attends a weekly college Meeting
of the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium, September 29, 2021. Stephanie Lecocq/Pool via REUTERS
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union “will start collapsing” unless it challenges a ruling by Poland’s top court that national legislation trumps European laws, a senior official with the bloc said on Monday.
    Poland’s constitutional tribunal ruled against the central tenet of European integration last week, sharply escalating a row over fundamental values between eurosceptics ruling in Warsaw and most of the other 27 EU countries.
    More than 100,000 people protested in Poland on Sunday in support of the EU, sounding the alarm about what they fear is a prospect of their country following Britain and leaving the bloc in a “Polexit.”
    “If we don’t uphold the principle in the EU that equal rules are respected the same everywhere in Europe, the whole Europe will start collapsing,” said Vera Jourova, EU Commissioner from Poland’s neighbour, the Czech Republic.
    “That is why we will have to react to this new chapter which the Polish constitutional court started to draw,” said Jourova, in charge of values and transparency at the executive European Commission.
    One way or another, the tribunal ruling is likely to cost Warsaw.
    It follows prolonged and divisive disputes in which Poland stands accused by many Western countries, international rights watchdogs and advocates of curtailing the independence of media and courts, as well as infringing on the rights of women, migrants and LGBT people since the Law and Justice (PiS) party won power in 2015.
    The commission, the guardian of EU treaties, is already withholding its approval for Poland’s recovery plan necessary to let Warsaw to tap into billions of euros available on top of other handouts from the bloc and meant to help revive economic growth mauled by the coronavirus pandemic.
    Apart from blocking the disbursement of COVID recovery funds to Poland, the commission might press ahead with a new and yet-to-be-tested enforcement tool to suspend funding for states deemed violating key values enshrined in European laws.
    Other countries in the bloc could revive a stalled probe into the undercutting of democratic rights in Poland, which could go all the way to suspending Warsaw’s vote in the bloc. But that is unlikely.
    The Brussels-based commission could also launch a new legal case against Warsaw for violating EU laws.    It could culminate in the European Court of Justice (ECJ) slapping penalties on the Polish government.
    Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Monday dismissed the idea of “Polexit.”
    “This is a harmful myth which the opposition substitutes for its lack of ideas on the proper position of Poland in Europe,” he said.
    EU Industry Commissioner from France Thierry Breton said he did not believe “for one second” there would be a Polexit
    EU membership support remains overwhelmingly high in Poland, the largest ex-communist country in the bloc and a top beneficiary of financial aid from the union meant to help poorer members catch up in development with the wealthier ones.
    Ratings agency Moody’s estimates Poland has received net EU funding worth 2% of its national GDP per year on average since joining the bloc in 2004 and that the figure earmarked for 2021-27 amounted to about 3.2%.
    “The dispute is credit negative. Poland is a substantial net beneficiary of EU funding, which has been a key driver of growth and convergence with EU income levels,” said Steffen Dyck, Vice President, Senior Credit Officer at Moody’s.
    Poland would thus hurt its economic potential and forfeit support for its debt situation, it added.    Poland could get 23 billion euros in free grants and 34 billion euros in cheap loans under the recovery funding available for EU countries.
    The EU Commission also said on Monday it would send a payment request to Poland for penalties due over a lignite mine in Turow, next to the Czech border, which Prague says damages the environment on its side of the frontier.
    In a rare development in the EU, Warsaw ignored a May ruling by the ECJ ordering it to stop activities at the mine, leading the Luxembourg-based tribunal on Sept. 20 to slap daily fines of 500,000 euros on Poland until it complies and ceases mining.
(Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten in Paris, Robert Muller in Prague, Jan Strupczewski and Gabriela Baczynska in Brussels, Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk in Warsaw; Writing by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Nick Macfie)

10/11/2021 GOP Criticizes Biden Admin. Over Lax Immigration Policies by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Sept. 17, 2021, file photo a National Guardsman stands guard at a fence that runs
along the Rio Grande near the International bridge in Del Rio, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
    Republican senators are keeping the pressure on the Biden administration as a growing number of lawmakers visit the southern border.
    Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) shared a video of her visiting the border Sunday, where she highlighted the signs Border Patrol agents have had to install to ensure migrants don’t get lost once they cross into the U.S.    She described a tactic they use to reduce the need for rescue missions.
    Rep. Bryan Steil (R-Wis.) also shared a video of himself at the border recently in which he came down on Joe Biden’s failing immigration policy.    Steil was joined by fellow Reps. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) and Tony Gonzalez (R-Texas) who echoed many a Republican’s sentiments.
    Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also recently released an appreciation video for the United States Border Patrol after visiting them.    He thanked agents for the work they are doing with little help from the current administration.
    “The work is so important as the cartels ramp up their production of deadly fentanyl to record levels,” said the Texas lawmaker.    “Day and night, 24 hours a day 365 days a year, the United States Border Patrol is here keeping us safe.    And that’s why I think it’s so important to visit them and say thank you in person.”
    Cruz, along with many other Republicans, have been calling for Biden and Kamala Harris to take action for months and do not appear to be giving up the fight to protect the U.S. border any time soon.
    Additionally, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is set to visit the border in Yuma, Arizona on Monday to meet with Border Patrol officials and discuss the major issues they are facing.

10/11/2021 Vaccine Mandate Protests Go Global by OAN Newsroom
People gather in Piazza del Popolo square during a protest, in Rome, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. Thousands of demonstrators
protested Saturday in Rome against the COVID-19 health pass that Italian workers, both the public and private sectors,
must display to access their workplaces from Oct. 15 under a government decree. (Cecilia Fabiano/LaPresse via AP)
    Police crashed with protesters in Rome after an anti-forced vaccination protest descended into violence.    Italy has planned to introduce its “Green Pass” in a week, which prompted thousands of Italians to take to the streets to protest the government on Saturday.
    The Green Pass would be among the strictest vaccine requirements in the world.    Italians who do not have proof of vaccination, previous infection or a negative test will not be allowed to enter work to make a living.
    The crowd of protesters became frenzied when police tried to stop them from marching down the street.    Water cannons were fired at citizens and numerous others were arrested.
    Italy was not alone in citizens being irate at their government for forcing vaccinations.    Neighboring Slovenia saw thousands of people descend on the capital from all across the country to protest restrictions and mandates.
    While not as strict as Italy, all Slovenians have been forced to either prove a vaccine or negative test at personal expense to attend work at state run firms.    The protest coincided with a European Union summit taking place in the Capital, which prompted police to stop 30 buses from entering the city with protesters from other parts of the country.
    Helicopters were closely monitoring the event, but police still launched tear gas and water canons at citizens as they tried to march through the city.    Protesters demanded an end to “corona fascism” in their country, which has the lowest vaccination rate across Europe at 48 percent.
Demonstrators are sprayed by a police water cannon during a protest against
vaccination and coronavirus measures in Ljubljana, Slovenia. (AP Photo)
    Europe is not exclusive with protests against mandates. In New York City, the most populated in the United States, protests against the city’s pass have been incessant for weeks.
    The protests have drawn thousands of people in attendance and the most recent was no different. New Yorkers have been calling on the government for the freedom to choose whether to receive the vaccine or not.
    In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) has pushed through the most extensive mandate for vaccines in the U.S. He has required people show proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, bars and theaters.    There are no exemptions for those with natural immunity or those with religious objections to taking the jab.
    On top of the city mandate, a statewide mandate by Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.) has forced all health care and nursing home workers to take the shot or be fired.    This has exacerbated an already existing shortage of workers in the field, which has prompted Hochul to call the National Guard to fill their roles.
    The protests taking place all across the world have the general goal for each to be freedom for citizens to make medical decisions for themselves without being cast out from making a living.

10/11/2021 Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Issues Executive Order Barring Vaccine Mandates Statewide by OAN Newsroom
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) in Pharr, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued an executive order prohibiting forced vaccine mandates.    In an executive order signed on Monday, the Republican governor stated “no entity in Texas” was permitted to force an individual to get the COVID-19 vaccine if the individual was to object.
    “Legislation establishing that no entity in Texas can compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine by any individual, including an employee or a consumer, who objects to such vaccination for any reason of personal conscience, based on a religious belief, or for medical reasons, including prior recovery from COVID- 19.”
    Abbott has previously rejected Texas businesses from requiring vaccine passports for customers as well as mask requirements in all statewide schools.    He argued the Biden administration’s mandate plan was federal overreach and added mask wearing and COVID-19 vaccines should never be forced.
    Several other GOP lawmakers have fought back against Joe Biden’s mandatory vaccine mandate as there have been many cases where employees who refused the jab have gotten fired.    According to Biden’s mandate, all employers with 100 or more workers to demand all employees become vaccinated or get weekly tests.
    Meanwhile, Abbott added the issue of forced jabs to the upcoming special legislative session and vowed to rescind his order if lawmakers could pass a similar bill.

10/11/2021 Labor Secy. Defends Jobs Report, Blames COVID-19 by OAN Newsroom
Labor Secretary Marty Walsh speaks alongside Joe Biden during an event on workers rights and labor unions
in the East Room at the White House in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
    Labor Secretary Marty Walsh defended the lackluster jobs report from September.    In an interview on Sunday, Walsh said the addition of just 194,000 jobs was disappointing.
    However, Walsh pointed out unemployment fell below five percent for the first time since the start of the pandemic.    He also claimed five million jobs have been created since Joe Biden took office.
    When asked why the jobs report was so bad, he placed the blame squarely on the pandemic.
    “There’s no question that, that we have work to do. Number one, we’re dealing with, we’re still living with a pandemic, a worldwide pandemic.    Also, people concerned about the delta variant, people concerned about their personal health,” he stated.    “We have folks that are vaccinated, folks that aren’t vaccinated, and the people who are vaccinated worry about the people who aren’t vaccinated.”
    When asked why there have been so many jobs open, yet millions haven’t taken them, Walsh brushed of the concerns as work life balance issues.    He said people were stuck in jobs they may not have liked and were using the time off to reevaluate their positions.

10/11/2021 McAuliffe: CRT Was Made Up To Divide People by OAN Newsroom
Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) answers questions following a campaign event at the JABA Shining Stars Preschool Program
October 11, 2021 in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Virginia gubernatorial election is November 2. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
    Virginia Democrat gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe has claimed critical race theory was “made up” to divide people. Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, McAuliffe suggested the theory has never been taught in Virginia and was only used as a political talking point for division.
    McAuliffe’s comments followed earlier this summer when he referred to critical race theory as a “right-wing conspiracy theory.”
    “I really hate to see the division, the hatred.    We’re putting these children in this horrible position,” he stated.    “Let’s just be clear, we don’t teach critical race theory.    This is a made up, this is a Trump, Betsy DeVos, Glenn Youngkin plan to divide people.”
    Polls have shown the race between McAuliffe and Youngkin was tight, with some saying McAuliffe was polling at 50 percent and Youngkin at 47 perecent within the margin of error.

10/11/2021 Gov. DeSantis Announces A $9.4M In New Funding For Fla. City by OAN Newsroom
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis arrives at a news conference, near the
Shark Valley Visitor Center in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)
    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced a new push to support infrastructure, education and job growth in the Sunshine State.    In a press conference in Winter Haven, Florida on Monday, the Republican governor announced the city would receive $9.4 million in new funding amid it’s rapid population growth.
    “Winter Haven is a great community.    It’s a very fast-growing community,” he stated.    “In fact, the census data showed, if you include the whole Lakeland, Winter haven metro area, it was tied for second highest rate of growth in the nation between 2019 and 2020.”
    DeSantis noted $6.4 million of the funding would come from the state’s job growth grant fund, while the Florida Department of Transportation would provide an additional $3 million.
    ”We see opportunities to really capitalize on a lot of momentum we have,” he explained.    “Of course throughout the whole state of Florida, but particularly in this critical central Florida region, we want to take advantage of that.”
    As part of the move, the state would also be implementing fiber optic cables to bring high-speed internet to the area in an effort to make it more attractive for companies to invest in.    DeSantis then touted the state’s economic success, despite the effects of the pandemic, by asserting the state had faired far better than many of its counterparts.
    He went on to say, “we perform higher than the national average on virtually any economic metric that you could think of, lower unemployment, of course if you look at the folks that have brought businesses here, we’ve obviously attracted way more businesses than we’ve repelled.”
    The governor said the state had implemented economic policies, which attracted economic growth unlike many state’s nationwide.    Later on in this press conference, DeSantis warned of the effects of inflation on a national scale by saying the Biden administration lied to the people about the inflation being a transitory effect.
    “If you look at what’s happening overall on the national level with the economy, this inflation is real. They tried to act like it was not something to worry about, that it was transitory, but in fact you’re seeing it permeate across all sectors of the economy,” he asserted.    “I’m really worried about gas prices going up, which could really hammer a lot of Floridians who have to commute to work everyday.”
    DeSantis asserted the prices at the pump could remain for awhile and added the White House shutting down oil pipelines was a far bigger problem.    He also touted the state’s education system by saying it offered vocational training, skills-based development and high quality education without forcing residents to go deep into dept.

10/11/2021 Rep. McCarthy Criticizes Pelosi’s Second Trip To Europe Amid Debt Debate by OAN Newsroom
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks during the 67th annual session of NATO parliamentary
assembly in Lisbon, on October 11, 2021. (Photo by CARLOS COSTA/AFP via Getty Images)
    House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) called out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for seemingly abandoning the American people amid the ongoing debt ceiling debate.    In an interview on Sunday, McCarthy called Pelosi’s latest trip to Europe her “farewell tour.”
    Pelosi traveled to Rome, Italy for the G20 Parliamentary Speakers’ summit to discuss the pandemic, national security and climate.
    “In March 2020, the world watched sadly as Italy experienced the beginning of the worst COVID outbreak in Europe.    We pray for every life lost here and in each of our nations,” she stated.    “…As we do so, we stand united not only in grief, but in gratitude for the courage of Italy under Prime Minister Draghi, whose example helped rally the international community to strong, coordinated action and we know that, globally, much more needs to be done.”
    McCarthy said she was a “lame duck” speaker who was in the U.K. last month when Democrats were working on reconciliation.    He added she has traveled to Europe once again while the left was supposedly concerned about national debt.
    McCarthy went on to say Pelosi has desecrated the institution of Congress.

10/11/2021 Mexican Navy Helps DEA Seize 2.5 Tons Of Meth, 100k Fentanyl Pills by OAN Newsroom
Mexican Navy members in Mexico City. (Photo by PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images)
    The Mexican Navy and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration seized 2.5 tons of methamphetamine and 100,000 fentanyl pills headed to the U.S. Authorities made the bust last week after spotting a speedboat, which was transporting five people in an irregular manner near Ensenada, Mexico.
    In addition to the methamphetamine and fentanyl, authorities seized 15 pounds of marijuana and over 700 gallons of gasoline.    DEA officials said the narcotics were on the way to the Gulf of California, where they would then have been delivered to various distribution hubs across the U.S.
    “You take one percent of that shipment coming to Jacksonville, it’s 50 pounds of meth,” explained DEA Assistant Special Agent Mike Dubet.    “Fifty pounds of meth to the Jacksonville area would supply not only Jacksonville, but the surrounding counties for several weeks.”
    Two Mexican nationals have been faced with federal charges of conspiracy to import tons of illegal narcotics into the U.S. with a minimum of 10 years in U.S. federal prison upon conviction.

10/11/2021 Pressure Mounts In Italy To Dissolve Neo-Fascist Group After Riots by Angelo Amante
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi meets Maurizio Landini, secretary general of Italy's main CGIL trade union, whose headquarters were
broken into by a group of anti-vaccine protesters during a riot at the weekend, in Rome, Italy, October 11, 2021. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
    ROME (Reuters) - Italy’s government was under growing pressure on Monday to dissolve the Forza Nuova neo-fascist group involved in violent weekend protests against a government drive to make the COVID-19 “Green Pass” mandatory for all workers.
    Since its foundation in 1997, Forza Nuova has repeatedly been accused of using violence against immigrants and police.    Along with the CasaPound group it is the main neo-fascist organisation still active in Italy.
    Twelve people, including Forza Nuova leader Roberto Fiore, were arrested and 38 police were injured in clashes on Saturday night, when thousands of protesters took to the streets of Rome.    One group broke into the headquarters of the CGIL trade union.
    Workers will from Oct. 15 have to show a digital or paper “Green Pass” certificate demonstrating they have received at least one vaccine dose, have tested negative or recently recovered from the virus.
    Italy is the first country in Europe to make such vaccine certification mandatory in order to accelerate vaccinations and stamp out coronavirus infections.
    On Monday, the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) presented a motion in parliament calling on Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s administration to dissolve Forza Nuova and all political movements of neo-fascist inspiration.
    “We hope that all genuinely democratic political forces will sign it … The time has come to put an end to ambiguities regarding fascism,” the PD said in a statement.
    On Monday evening, Forza Nuova’s website was forced offline by a court order following allegations the group had used the site to encourage criminal activity.
    After meeting Draghi at the union’s headquarters, CGIL leader Maurizio Landini said the government had pledged to discuss the dissolution of Forza Nuova in the coming days, without giving further details.
    “The prime minister has expressed the solidarity of the government and the commitment of all institutions to prevent the return of a past we don’t want,” Landini said.
    On Saturday, dozens of rioters also targeted the emergency unit at Rome’s Policlinico Umberto I hospital, where one of them was being kept for treatment, forcing health workers to barricade themselves inside.
    The disorder was widely condemned, including by Matteo Salvini and Giorgia Meloni, leaders of the rightist League and Brothers of Italy parties, who are often accused by leftist parties of not distancing themselves enough from extremists.
    The League has said violence cannot be justified, but asked Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese – a technocrat without party affiliation – to resign, saying she had proved unable to handle the disorder.
    Two separate probes into the anti-vaccination riots in the capital have been opened by Rome prosecutors, Italian media reported.
(Editing by Catherine Evans and Crispian Balmer)

10/11/2021 France, Germany, Ukraine, Russia Agree To Ministerial-Level Meeting - Germany
FILE PHOTO: Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President
Emmanuel Macron and Russia's President Vladimir Putin attend a joint news conference after a
Normandy-format summit in Paris, France December 9, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/Pool?
    BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron had phone calls on Monday with the presidents of Ukraine and Russia to discuss the conflict in Ukraine, and agreed their foreign ministers should meet, the German government said.
    The two West European leaders spoke first with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on the implementation of the Minsk Agreements aimed at bringing about a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Ukraine.
    Then, Merkel and Macron spoke with Putin, urging him to progress with the peace talks, the German government said.    Ukraine is at war with Moscow-backed separatists.
(Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Chris Reese)

10/12/2021 Oil up $0.84 to $80.41, DOW down 71 to 34,713.

10/12/2021 Humanitarian Crisis In Focus As Italy Hosts G20 Afghan Summit by Crispian Balmer
FILE PHOTO: Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi arrives for the virtual G20 summit on the
global health crisis, at Villa Pamphilj in Rome, Italy, May 21, 2021. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
    ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi will host a special summit of the Group of 20 major economies on Tuesday to discuss Afghanistan, as worries grow about a looming humanitarian disaster following the Taliban’s return to power.
    Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan on Aug. 15, the country – already struggling with drought and severe poverty after decades of war – has seen its economy all but collapse, raising the spectre of an exodus of refugees.
    The video conference, which is due to start at 1 p.m. (1100 GMT), will focus on aid needs, concerns over security and ways of guaranteeing safe passage abroad for thousands of Western-allied Afghans still in the country.
    “Providing humanitarian support is urgent for the most vulnerable groups, especially women and children, with winter arriving,” said an official with knowledge of the G20 agenda.
    The U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres is due to join the summit, underlining the central role given to the United Nations in tackling the crisis – in part because many countries don’t want to establish direct relations with the Taliban.
    Italy, which holds the rotating presidency of the G20, has worked hard to set up the meeting in the face of highly divergent views within the disparate group on how to deal with Afghanistan after the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Kabul.
    “The main problem is that Western countries want to put their finger on the way the Taliban run the country, how they treat women for example, while China and Russia on the other hand have a non-interference foreign policy,” said a diplomatic source close to the matter.
    China has publicly demanded that economic sanctions on Afghanistan be lifted and that billions of dollars in Afghan international assets be unfrozen and handed back to Kabul.    It was not clear if this would even be discussed on Tuesday.
    While U.S. President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Europe’s G20 leaders were expected to take part in the meeting, Chinese media reported that President Xi Jinping would not participate. It was also not clear if Russian President Vladimir Putin would dial in.
    Afghanistan’s neighbours Pakistan and Iran have not been invited to the virtual call, but Qatar, which has played a key role as an interlocutor between the Taliban and the West, will join the discussions, a diplomatic source said.
    The virtual summit comes just days after senior U.S. and Taliban officials met in Qatar for their first face-to-face meeting since the hardline group retook power.
    Tuesday’s meeting comes less than three weeks before the formal G20 leaders summit in Rome on Oct. 30-31, which is due to focus on climate change, the global economic recovery, tackling malnutrition and the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Reporting by Crispian Balmer and Francesca Landini; Editing by Catherine Evans)

10/12/2021 Ga. Election Workers Caught Shredding Voter Registration Applications by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Nov. 25, 2020 file photo, Fulton County Georgia election chief Rick Barron talks to
reporters as workers scan ballots during a presidential recount in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ben Gray, File)
    An investigation has been underway after two Georgia election workers were fired for allegedly shredding voter registration applications.    According to a statement on Monday, two employees of the Fulton County Elections Office checked out batches of applications for processing and shredding nearly 300 forms.
    “Fellow employees reported this behavior to their supervisor on Friday morning and the employees were terminated the same day.    We believe that approximately 300 voter registration application are at issue.    We reported this to the secretary of state office and requested an investigation.”
— Richard Barron, director of Fulton County Registration and Elections
    Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has called on the Department of Justice to investigate the matter.
    “The Department of Justice needs to take a long look at what Fulton County is doing and how their leadership disenfranchises Fulton voters through incompetence and malfeasance.    The voters of Georgia are sick of Fulton County’s failures.”
— Raffensperger
    This comes as election operations in Fulton County have been under review by the state.    Raffensperger has called for stronger management over the county’s elections by backing a new election law requiring new leadership.
    Raffensperger went on to say Fulton County elections have experienced documented failures for decades and Georgians were tired of the embarrassing revelations.

10/12/2021 Bizarre Video Of Kamala Harris Receives Backlash by OAN Newsroom
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks to the National Congress of American Indians’ 78th Annual Convention, Tuesday,
Oct. 12, 2021, from the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
    A bizarre video of Vice President Kamala Harris is sparking more backlash for the White House. In the NASA promotional video released this week, Harris is seen speaking to children about space exploration.     Critics have said her voice and behavior seem over the top and phony.    It was later determined one of the children is actually a paid actor.
    Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert (R) and artist Scott Adams questioned the release of the video as Harris seems to be MIA from the White House.    The so-called border czar appears to be a little “out of this world.”

10/12/2021 State Dept. Spokesman On Taliban: Discussions Were Professional by OAN Newsroom
U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price holds a press briefing on Afghanistan at the State Department
in Washington, DC, August 16, 2021. (Photo by KEVIN LAMARQUE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
    The Biden administration called discussions with the Taliban “professional” after holding a meeting with the terrorist group. U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price described the talks as “candid and professional.”
    However, Price said the U.S. would not just accept the Taliban’s word.    Instead, they would need to prove their intentions with their actions.    Officials reportedly held talks regarding security, safe passage and human rights, while discussions also ensued on the topic of women in Afghanistan’s>
    Despite Price saying the meeting went “well,” the U.S. is still not recognizing the Taliban formally.    However, U.S. officials have said they would provide humanitarian support to the country.

10/12/2021 Rep. Brady Calls Out Biden, Dems On Infrastructure by OAN Newsroom
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., left, and Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas,
the ranking member, center right, make opening statements as the tax-writing panel continues work on the
Democrats’ sweeping proposal for tax hikes on big corporations and the wealthy to fund President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion
domestic rebuilding plan, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    House Ways and Means Committee ranking member Kevin Brady (R-Texas) slammed Joe Biden and congressional Democrats for their proposal on the infrastructure package.
    On Monday, the Texas lawmaker bashed Democrats for trying to turn the U.S. into a welfare state.    The Republican also criticized Biden for falling short of his promise to grow the economy, while noting he’s 1 million jobs short of his pledge to the American people.
    Brady said most members of Congress are willing to compromise, but progressive Democrats are holding back negotiations.
    “I do think that if the spending and tax bill collapses, I think by the end of the year you will see a pretty significant infrastructure bill,” stated the ranking member.    “But the way it’s linked in the House, you know as we say, Republicans want roads and bridges.    We don’t support roads and taxes.    And in the House, they are one in the same.”
    Brady added that although the outlook may seem bleak now, he’s optimistic there will be a real compromise for the American people.

10/12/2021 IMF Lowers 2021 Global Growth Outlook by OAN Newsroom
IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath speaks during an interview with AFP at the International Monetary Fund
headquarters in Washington D.C. on October 12, 2021. (Photo by PEDRO UGARTE/AFP via Getty Images)
    The International Monetary Fund slightly lowered its global growth outlook.    The IMF reduced its World Economic Outlook global growth forecast for 2021 from six percent to 5.9 percent this week.
    The organization cited concerns over global inflation and ongoing supply chain issues, especially in low income nations, due to the uncertain future course of the pandemic.    Ongoing chip shortages reportedly contributed to the downgrade as the technology sector has continued to reel from the pandemic-caused scarcity.
    “Pandemic outbreaks in critical links of global supply chains have resulted in longer than expected supply disruptions, feeding inflation in many countries,” explained Gita Gopinath, IMF chief economist.    “Overall, risks to economic prospects have increased and policy trade-offs have become more complex.”
    The IMF expects inflation to return to pre-pandemic levels if supply chain disruptions are adequately addressed.

10/12/2021 Secy. Mayorkas Orders I.C.E. To Stop Raiding Workplaces For Illegal Immigrants by OAN Newsroom
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas speaks during the daily press briefing in the Brady Briefing Room of the White
House in Washington, DC. on September 24, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
    Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas ordered the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to immediately stop conducting workplace raids targeting illegal immigrants.    In a memo released on Tuesday, Mayorkas called on the immigration agency to focus on the “i>exploitive” employers, who have allegedly taken advantage of illegal immigrants.
    Mayorkas also mentioned the DHS was reviewing options for illegal immigrants to be protected from deportation if they fell victim to “abusive and exploitative labor practices.”
    “We will not tolerate unscrupulous employers who exploit unauthorized workers, conduct illegal activities, or impose unsafe working conditions,” he stated.    “Employers engaged in illegal acts compel the focus of our enforcement resources.    By adopting policies that focus on the most unscrupulous employers, we will protect workers as well as legitimate American businesses.”
    The move further hinders ICE’s operational capacity by Mayorkas, despite the record number of illegal immigrants crossing the nation’s southern border since Biden took office.

10/12/2021 Biden Admin. Targets Gov. Abbott, Gov. DeSantis For Banning Forced COVID-19 Vaccinations by OAN Newsroom
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during the daily press briefing at the
White House October 12, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    The Biden administration has targeted the governors of Florida and Texas for banning questionable vaccine mandates in their states.    On Tuesday, Joe Biden’s officials accused Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) and Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) of “putting politics ahead of public health” by outlawing vaccine mandates.
    The White House also attempted to stir up COVID-19 fears to justify its mandates.    Earlier on Monday, Abbott signed an executive order banning forced vaccinations by any entity in Texas, while DeSantis made a similar statement on Tuesday.
    Biden’s officials have since threatened a federal crackdown.
    “We know that federal law overrides state law.    I would note that earlier when we put out our guidance on the president’s announcement about mandates several weeks ago, it made clear that again, as I said earlier, requirements are promulgated pursuant to federal law and supersede any contrary state or local law or ordinance.”
— White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki
    Both Abbott and DeSantis have said Biden’s mandates amounted to an unlawful federal overreach.    The dispute has been expected to go to courts for a lengthy legal battle up ahead.

10/12/2021 Reports: Biden Admin. Admits Goods Shortages For Christmas by OAN Newsroom
Cargo ships filled with containers dock at the Port of Los Angeles on September 28, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. – A record
number of cargo ships are stuck floating and waiting off the southern California coast amid a supply chain crisis which could
mean fewer gifts and toys for Christmas this year as a combination of growing volumes of cargo, Covid-19 related safety measures and a
labor shortage slow the handling and processing of cargo from each ship. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
    The Biden administration has acknowledged the worsening shortages of consumer goods ahead of Christmas shopping season.    According to Reuters, which cited an unnamed White House official on Tuesday, there would be items unattainable for Christmas presents due to supply chain disruptions.
    The reports added some of those goods could be replaceable by other products.    This comes as more than 60 cargo ships have anchored off the port of Los Angeles, while retailers had to book their own vessels to ensure deliveries.
    “The ships you know sitting outside the Los Angeles port were in the twenties and thirties and now they are much, much higher than that,” explained Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America.    “Hopefully it will straighten over the next six months.    History would show it should.”
    A separate report by Coresight Research founds supply-side shortages could persist well into the first quarter of 2023 due to mounting delays in maritime shipping.

10/12/2021 Texas Law Enforcement Officers Speak About Border Crisis by OAN Newsroom
Haitian migrants use a dam to cross to and from the United States from Mexico,
Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
    Law enforcement officers and top officials in Texas spoke about the ongoing border crisis.    In a press briefing on Tuesday, Attorney General Ken Paxton touched on the numerous lawsuits filed against the Biden administration in regards to their open border policies.
    Texas public safety officials mentioned with Operation Lone Star, more than 1,000 Department of Public Security forces were deployed to the state’s border to help assist in arresting illegal immigrants.    In addition, Paxton called on the administration to stop ignoring court orders and allowing massive immigration in the country.
    “The only people benefiting right now are the cartels and they are benefitting in a big way.    We are fighting the cartels as it relates to drugs and human trafficking and we’re not going to put up with it in Texas.    It doesn’t matter what party, doesn’t matter what background, we’re hear to fight that and my office is going to continue to make that fight.    We will not stop.    We will fight them until they get this right because it impacts lives of everyday citizens not just in Texas, but all over the nation.”
    Meanwhile, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said preparations were being made for the state’s border wall, including strategic fencing and barriers to halt illegal border crossings.

10/13/2021 Oil up $0.03 to $80.51, DOW down 118 to 34,378.

10/13/2021 WHO Says It May Be ‘Last Chance’ To Find COVID Origins by Stephanie Nebehay and Pushkala Aripaka
FILE PHOTO: The ultrastructural morphology exhibited by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which was
identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China, is seen in an
illustration released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia
U.S. January 29, 2020. Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM/CDC/Handout via REUTERS.
    GENEVA (Reuters) - The World Health Organization said on Wednesday its newly formed advisory group on dangerous pathogens may be “our last chance” to determine the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and urged China to provide data from early cases.
    The first human cases of COVID-19 were reported in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019.    China has repeatedly dismissed theories that the virus leaked from one of its laboratories and has said no more visits are needed.
    A WHO-led team spent four weeks in and around Wuhan earlier this year with Chinese scientists, and said in a joint report in March that the virus had probably been transmitted from bats to humans through another animal but further research was needed.
    WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said the investigation was hampered by a dearth of raw data pertaining to the first days of the outbreak and has called for lab audits.
    The WHO on Wednesday named the 26 proposed members of its Scientific Advisory Group on the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO).    They include Marion Koopmans, Thea Fischer, Hung Nguyen and Chinese animal health expert Yang Yungui, who took part in the joint investigation in Wuhan. [L1N2R91AM]
    Maria van Kerkhove, WHO technical lead on COVID-19, voiced hope that there would be further WHO-led international missions to China which would engage the country’s cooperation.
    She told a news conference that “more than three dozen recommended studies” must still to be carried out to     determine how the virus crossed from the animal species to humans.
    Reported Chinese testing for antibodies in Wuhan residents in 2019 will be “absolutely critical” to understanding the virus’s origins, van Kerkhove said.
    The WHO, in an editorial in Science, said that detailed investigations of the earliest known and suspected cases in China prior to December 2019 were still needed, including analyses of stored blood samples from 2019 in Wuhan and retrospective searches of hospital and mortality data for earlier cases.
    Labs in the area where the first reports of human infections emerged in Wuhan must be a focus, as ruling out an accident requires sufficient evidence, it said.
    Mike Ryan, WHO’s top emergency expert, said the new panel may be the last chance to establish the origin of SARS-CoV-2, “a virus that has stopped our whole world
    The WHO was seeking to “take a step back, create an environment where we can again look at the scientific issues,” he said.    “This is our best chance, and it may be our last chance to understand the origins of this virus.”
    Chen Xu, China’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, told a separate news conference the conclusions of the joint study were “quite clear,” adding that as international teams had been sent to China twice already, “it is time to send teams to other places.”
    “I do believe that if we are going to continue with the scientific research I think it should be a joint effort based on science not by the intelligence agencies,” Chen said.    “So if we are going to talk about anything, we are doing the whole business within the framework of SAGO
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva and Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; writing by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Giles Elgood)

10/13/2021 U.S., EU, Israel Take Tough Stance On Iran, Mull Options by Arshad Mohammed, John Irish and Parisa Hafezi
FILE PHOTO: The Iranian flag waves in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters,
before the beginning of a board of governors meeting, in Vienna, Austria, March 1, 2021. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner
    WASHINGTON/PARIS (Reuters) -U.S., Israeli and EU officials took a tough line toward Iran on Wednesday, with U.S. officials saying they would consider all options if Tehran failed to revive the 2015 nuclear deal and Israel saying it reserved the right to act.
    Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has so far refused to resume indirect talks with the United States in Vienna on both sides returning to compliance with the deal, under which Iran curbed its nuclear program in return for economic sanctions relief.
    “We will look at every option to deal with the challenge posed by Iran,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a joint news conference with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed.
    If the Iranians don’t believe the world is serious about stopping them, they will race to the bomb.    Israel reserves the right to act at any given moment in any given way,” Lapid said.    Israel has previously bombed nuclear sites in Iraq and Syria.
    U.S. officials stressed it was still Washington’s preference for the United States, which abandoned the nuclear deal in 2018 during the Trump administration, and Iran, which began violating its nuclear limits about a year later, to resume compliance.
    Iran struck the deal in 2015 with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.    The last round of Vienna talks took place in June and, Iran, beyond saying they would resume “soon,” has not set a new date.
    Iran has long denied any ambition to acquire nuclear weapons.
    A Western diplomat on Wednesday said he thought the earliest talks might happen was in late October, if then.
    The European Union coordinator on Iran, Enrique Mora, plans to visit Tehran on Thursday, a trip diplomats from Britain, France and Germany, a group known as the E3, said came at a critical time as Iran keeps advancing its nuclear program.
    “The nuclear situation has worsened continuously and seriously,” said one E3 diplomat, alluding to Iran’s accelerating enrichment of uranium to higher fissile purity, a possible pathway to a nuclear bomb.
    “This therefore is from our E3 point of view not a ‘business as usual’ but a visit in (the) context of a deep crisis in the JCPOA,” the diplomat added.
    While officials have made similar past statements, taken together the comments suggested a more coercive rhetorical stance toward Tehran if it refused to resume compliance with the deal called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
    Earlier, the U.S. Special Envoy for Iran, Rob Malley, said Washington was ready to consider “all options” if Iran is unwilling to return to the 2015 deal, which was negotiated under then-President Barack Obama and then-Vice President Joe Biden, who is now the U.S. president.
    The phrase “all options,” is typically intended to include the possibility – however remote – of military action.’
    Malley also said he would soon travel to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar to coordinate with Gulf allies.
    “We will be prepared to adjust to a different reality in which we have to deal with all options to address Iran’s nuclear program if it’s not prepared to come back into the constraints,” he said in a virtual appearance at a Washington think tank.
    “There is every possibility that Iran will choose a different path, and we need to coordinate with Israel and other partners in the region.    I will be traveling to Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar in just a matter of days to talk about efforts to come back to (JCPOA) and what options we have to control Iran’s nuclear program if we can’t achieve that goal,” Malley said.
    He said the two sides made headway in their first six rounds of indirect talks in Vienna on reviving the deal but suggested the new Iranian government may take a different stance.
(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; Additional reporting by Parisa Hafezi in Dubai, John Irish in Paris, Maayan Lubell in Jerusalem; and Humeyra Pamuk, Daphne Psaledakis, and Simon Lewis in Washington; Editing by Howard Goller)

10/13/2021 Mexico Warns Migration Will Not Slow Without More U.S. Investment In Central America
Migrants, mostly Haitians, wait for asylum processing by Mexico's Commission for Refugee Assistance
(COMAR) outside a soccer stadium, in Tapachula, Mexico October 12, 2021. REUTERS/Jose Torres
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – The United States needs to invest more heavily in Central America if it hopes to slow record levels of northbound migration, Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Wednesday.
    Record numbers of migrants have passed through Mexico this year toward the United States, driven by economic downturns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and drawn by the hope of more welcoming immigration policies under U.S. President Joe Biden.
    Biden has vowed to focus on the underlying causes of migration in Central America by working to reduce poverty, violence and corruption.
    “There needs to be a bigger investment from the United States in Central America than has been given, without a doubt,” Ebrard told a Mexican radio program when asked about the prospect of Mexico acting as a barrier for migrants.
    “Without this investment, if the United States does not support Central America, it’s very hard to think that the migration flows that are happening will diminish,” Ebrard added.
    Biden noted in a recent letter to Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador that the United States provided more than $600 million in foreign assistance over the past year to the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.
    The letter added that Biden has requested another $861 million from U.S. Congress for the 2022 fiscal year to also allocate to Central America.
(Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Karishma Singh)

10/13/2021 Argentine Stores To Freeze Some Food Prices For 90 Days
FILE PHOTO: Demonstrators march to protest against unemployment, food insecurity and lack of resources near an image
of Argentina's former first lady Eva Peron, in Buenos Aires, Argentina September 16, 2021. REUTERS/Mariana Nedelcu
    BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – The Argentine government said on Wednesday it struck a deal with retailers to freeze the prices of 1,247 food and household products for 90 days to combat inflation as the country heads toward congressional elections next month.
    Consumer prices are rising at almost 50% annually as the country pulls out of a long recession.
    “We need to stop the ball so that food does not continue limiting the buying power of wage earners,” the country’s Secretary of Internal Commerce, Roberto Feletti, said in a statement announcing the program.
    “The basic food basket in December 2019 was 9% of the average salary and in the last measurement it was 11%,” he said.
    While good for consumers, the price-freeze measure may generate discomfort among retailers.
    The Peronist government of center-left President Alberto Fernandez got thumped in primary elections last month.    The coalition wants to do better in the Nov. 14 vote.
(Reporting by Lucila Sigal, writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

10/13/2021 Leaked Documents Show Biden Released 160K Illegal Immigrants Into U.S. by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – 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)
    Leaked Border Patrol documents revealed the Biden administration has released a massive amount of illegal immigrants into the U.S. this year.
    The documents obtained on Wednesday, show more than 160,000 illegal immigrants were released since March, often without any oversight or supervision.    Specifically, about 94,000 illegal immigrants were released with “Notices to Report,” meaning they must check in with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) only after arriving at their final destination.    That group specifically, is protected from deportations as they await immigration proceedings.
    In addition, since August, nearly 32,000 immigrants were given paroled status and granted the ability to apply for work permits.
    Despite the influx of immigrants the administration has released into the U.S., federal law says parole authority is to be used only on a case by case basis for “urgent humanitarian purposes” and “significant public benefit.”
    “By law and regulation a parole shall only be granted on a case by case basis and only for significant humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.    Neither of these appear to apply to the current situation,” added former Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott, stating he believes the administration is abusing its parole authority.

10/13/2021 Poll: 88% Of Voters Believe It’s Very Important For Parents To Be Involved In Their Children’s Education by OAN Newsroom
Assistant principal Joe Claps escorts a child to class at Stark Elementary School
on September 16, 2020 in Stamford, Connecticut. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
    A new survey indicated Americans overwhelmingly think parents should be involved in their child’s education.    The Rasmussen Reports poll of likely voters conducted this week, found that 88 percent of respondents believe it’s very important for parents to be involved.
    Meanwhile, just 10 percent of respondents said it’s only “somewhat important.”    This comes after Attorney General Merrick Garland ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to investigate parents involved in protests about school policies, accusing parents of “domestic terrorism.”
    However, most respondents said protests by parents are “clearly protected by the First Amendment.”
    “We are parents, and we have every right to speak passionately and publicly about our children’s education.    To post on social media.    To write open letter to school board members,” said Maud Maron, New York City council candidate and former prosecutor.    “To submit op-eds to newspapers.    To form advocacy organizations with other parents. To organize protests.    To show up to school board meetings.”
    Maron wrote, “that’s not domestic terrorism.    It’s good parenting.    It’s patriotism.    And it’s a basic American right, one we all need to defend.”

10/13/2021 Israeli Foreign Minister Comes To U.S. by OAN Newsroom
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid speaks during a bilateral meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken
at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)
    Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid is in Washington D.C. to hold meetings with U.S. officials.    The former news anchor arrived Tuesday amid the revival of Iran nuclear talks.    Lapid was welcomed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a joint press conference.     “It is a privilege to talk about the importance of the U.S.-Israel bond,” said the Speaker.    “It is one that is based on our mutual security.    It is based on our mutual values and it is, again, something that that is a source of pride to all of us in the Congress who’ve worked on this.”
    Lapid thanked Pelosi while calling her a great friend of Israel and agreed that support for Israel was a bipartisan issue.    While at the podium, Lapid elaborated on the purpose of his visit.
    “We all need and can unite around this basic principle that Israel has the right to defend itself and the Palestinians deserve a better life,” he stated.    “And we all can unite around the idea that we will never let Iran become a nuclear threshold country.”
    After pleasantries with Pelosi, the foreign minister met with Vice President Kamala Harris.    During their meeting, Harris voiced her support for the Trump-era agreement that normalized diplomatic relations between Israel and the Muslim countries of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.
    “And of course, the regional challenges that we face and our shared concern as it relates to Iran and as it relates to our support for the Abraham Accords, and of course as it relates to Israel’s relationship with your neighbors,” said Harris.    “And again, the Abraham Accords is something that the President and I strongly support.”
    Lapid, however, was not just focused on the issues at hand, but also the future of the two countries.
    “And in order to build a strategy for the next hundred years, we need to explore together those issues and to shape together a new world,” he stated.    “The new global architecture.”
    Lapid also referred to Harris as one of Israel’s greatest friends in Washington.    There was no mention of several Democrat Party members’ vocal support of Palestine earlier this year.
    Meanwhile, Lapid is set to meet with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and UAE diplomats before leaving the U.S. Thursday.    The foreign minister will succeed Naftali Bennet as prime minister of Israel in 2023 due to an agreement between the two to form a government.

10/13/2021 Daily Mail: Joe Biden May Become Target Of Federal Probe Over Shared Bank Accounts With Hunter Biden by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden embraces son Hunter and family members. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
    A new report suggested Joe Biden may become the target of a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) probe after it revealed he shared a bank account with his troubled son, Hunter.     According to the Daily Mail, citing emails from Hunter’s abandoned laptop, the two Bidens allegedly shared bank accounts and paid each other’s bills for several years. Some of the accounts are reportedly under an FBI and IRS probe over potential money laundering from China and Ukraine through the firm Rosemont Seneca.     In addition, Hunter’s emails showed his business partner, Eric Schwerin, from Rosemont Seneca was working on Joe Biden’s taxes. Legal experts said Biden must be investigated by a special counsel.
    “We have accounts being used to pay both Hunter and Joe Biden and money being reimbursed to Hunter Biden from an individual associated with a company called Rosemont Seneca.    Now, that’s a company that has been tied to payments from China and Russia," said Professor Jonathan Turley at the George Washington University Law School.    “So, this is getting more and more serious.    The question is why the Justice Department hasn’t considered the appointment of a special counsel.    We know there’s a criminal investigation into the tax issues, possible money laundering.”br>     The older Biden has previously claimed he never benefitted from his son’s business dealings, however in the emails, Hunter complained that half of his salary went to paying his father’s bills when he was vice president.

10/13/2021 House Passes Debt Ceiling Extension, Increase by OAN Newsroom
The light in the cupola of the Capitol Dome is illuminated, indicating that work continues in Congress, in
Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has given Democrats a new offer to
extend the federal debt ceiling through an emergency short-term extension. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Democrats used their slim majority to pass a bill to extend and raise the debt ceiling.        The House of Representatives passed a package of bills in a 219-to-206 vote on Tuesday, one of which made this happen.
    The law raises the debt limit by $480 billion, which the Treasury Department said is enough to let the federal government pay its bills through December 3.    Top Democrats in the House tried to lecture Republican lawmakers for their near universal opposition to the bill.
    “Mr. Chairman, we both went in that restaurant, we both got a steak, neither one of us ought to leave without paying the bill,” stated Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-N.Y.), House Majority Leader.    “It wasn’t just you who went and got the steak, we got a steak too and we both have the responsibility to pay for that steak.    That’s what this vote is about.”
    However, GOP lawmakers decried Democrats for their support for the bill while condemning other provisions that had nothing to do with the state of the U.S. debt.
    “The reality is we’re broke, our budget process is completely dysfunctional,” said Rep. Jodey Arrington, (R-Texas).    “We ought to be talking about spending caps.    No budget, no recess.    Debt targets, things we could work together on to actually get on a sustainable path the fiscal sanity.    But instead, we bury a debt ceiling vote…that’s why the America people can’t stand this institution and they certainly can’t trust this institution to to do the people’s business.”
    Other Republicans added, passing the bill will only add to the already massive debt already accrued.
    “Let’s reduce it down to kitchen table economics, but we then turn around and spend $6.5 trillion,” noted Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.).    “So that’s telling the average family back home: ‘Mr. and Mrs. America understand something, you make $35,000 a year, you should be spending $65,000 a year in just increasing your total debt.'
    In the meantime, the bill is headed to Joe Biden’s desk, where he is expected to sign it into law.    It was already sent down from the upper chamber, where 11 GOP senators voted alongside Democrats to avoid an economic catastrophe.
    This vote only prolongs the congressional fight to avoid default and is set on a collision course with the twin fight to fund the government as lawmakers are also battling over the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill.
    Lawmakers in both chambers will be taking a break from Capitol Hill through the rest of the week amid Congress’s October recess, but will pick back up where they left off when they return next week.

10/13/2021 Committee To Look Into COVID-19 Origins by OAN Newsroom
NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 29: Ethiopia Minister of Foreign Affairs Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks
on stage during the Unleashing Women’s Economic Opportunites session. (Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images)
    The World Health Organization declared the formation of a committee to investigate into the origins of COVID-19.    WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced the committee on Wednesday while in Geneva, Switzerland.
    As Tedros delved into the selection process for the committee, he said “the 26 experts were selected from over 700 applications and were chosen for their world class expertise and experience in a range of disciplines, as well as their geographic and gender diversity.”
    The Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogen (SAGO) was placed in charge of leading the WHO’s efforts in researching how the novel coronavirus developed. The organization’s COVID-19 technical lead, Dr. Mariva Van Kerkhove, elaborated on the group’s exact role during their press conference.
    “I want to make it very clear that the SAGO is not the next mission team.    There’s been some misrepresentation about that going forward.    It’s an advisory group to WHO.    Of course, they’re going to make recommendations on missions that will be needed,” said Van Kerkhove.    “And also remember that the SAGO is not just for the current pandemic, but for future pandemics or future outbreaks, future emergencies as well.”
    Although the virus first appeared almost two years ago, Executive Director of the Health Emergencies Program, Dr. Michael Ryan, stressed the urgency to perform the operation now.
    Many have speculated China may have been the birthplace of COVID-19, as the first recorded infections occurred in the Wuhan province.    While the WHO has called lab-related origins of the virus “very unlikely,” Dr. Van Kerkhove noted many of SAGO’s future operations would take place in the authoritarian state.

10/13/201 Biden Announces Expanded Port Hours To Address Global Supply Chain Bottlenecks by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 13: Joe Biden speaks about supply chain bottlenecks in the
East Room the White House October 13, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    Joe Biden said the Port of Los Angeles would open 24/7 to help fix supply chain issues.    Speaking from the White House on Wednesday, Biden said industry leaders like Walmart, UPS and FedEx also agreed to expanded hours in order to address supply chain bottlenecks ahead of the Christmas season.
    Biden said he hopes these changes will clear cargo off the docks and move cargo ships to and from their destinations faster.    He also used the crisis to push his infrastructure plan, saying it’s important to focus on the future and not just current issues like COVID-19 and staffing shortages.
    “In order to be globally competitive, we need to improve our capacity to make things here in America, while also moving finished products across the country and around the world,” stressed Biden.    “We need to think big and bold.”
    Critics slammed Biden for again not taking questions after his speech and calling his Port Envoy by the wrong name twice while praising his work.
    Meanwhile, the Biden administration has failed in taking responsibility for supply chain disruptions amid expectations of goods shortages during the Christmas shopping season.
    On Wednesday, Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters the White House was working to reduce delivery delays and supply bottlenecks.    This despite some 60 cargo ships still anchored off the port of Los Angeles, forcing the offloading process to resort to a standstill.
    “We cannot guarantee.    What we can do is use every lever at the federal government disposal to reduce delays to ensure that we are addressing bottlenecks in the system, including ports and the need for them to be open longer hours so that goods can arrive and we can continue to press not only workers and unions, but also companies,” said Psaki.
    Economists said supply bottlenecks are likely to persist for at least six months and it could last until early 2023.

10/13/2021 60K Film Industry Workers To Strike If New Contract Deal With Producers Isn’t Met by OAN Newsroom
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 07: The Netflix logo is displayed at Netflix’s Los Angeles
headquarters (TOP) on October 07, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
    The union representing film and television crews have threatened to initiate a nationwide strike unless a new worker’s agreement is reached with Hollywood producers. Sixty-thousand behind-the-scenes workers including camera operators, make-up artists and studio mechanics are threatening to go on strike unless a new contract with improved working conditions is met with Hollywood producers.
    President of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Matthew Loeb, announced Wednesday the union would strike against major studios on Oct. 18 if the proposed requests weren’t met, which could cause a huge delay in television production in the U.S. Union members have demanded more practical working conditions including reasonable rest periods, meal breaks and pay increases.
    The IATSE has been negotiating with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers for months for improved benefits, safer working conditions and at least 10-hour turnaround between shifts for all workers.    In the statement, Loeb said “without an end date, we could keep talking forever.    Our members deserve to have their basic needs addressed now.”
    With less than a week left to reach a deal, union workers have continued to bargain with the producer union in order to have their demands met, including a 54-hour turnaround on weekends, which is one of the core issues addressed by off-screen workers.
    “We’re fighting for the weekends, as I said earlier,” said Elizabeth Shuler, President of AFL-CIO.
    “It’s 2021 and yet, these people are working overtime and you know, answering the call and yet the companies now, who are making pretty tidy profits, suddenly can’t pay overtime and suddenly you can’t have a meal break and you’re ending your shift on a Friday night and are being called back on Saturday morning with less than eight hours of time in between.”
    More than 98 percent of members from the union are on board with the strike and hope to end contracts that provide “unlivable” wages, especially those for streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV+, and Amazon Video, who are allowed to pay even less under previous agreements, which allowed them more flexibility when they were up and coming.
    The AMPTP said studios are working hard to negotiate a deal to keep the industry alive, especially one that has provided an at-home entertainment escape for millions of people working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    “We talked about, you know, snacks getting us through the pandemic.    Film and television has been a baseline for most people, and these are the people that actually make that content happen.    So we will stand with them in solidarity,” Shuler said.    “We will use the full breadth and power of the labor movement to make sure that these companies are feeling the pain.”
    The work stoppage will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Monday unless an agreement is reached, making this the first nationwide strike in the 128-year history of the IATSE.

10/14/2021 Oil down $0.08 to$80.46, DOW down 53 to 34,477.

10/14/2021 Social Security checks to rise 5.9% in 2022, most in 40 years by Paul Davidson, USA TODAY
    Now that’s more like it.    Older Americans scraping by on meager increases in their Social Security checks the past decade will reap a relative windfall next year.
    The roughly 70 million people – retirees, disabled people and others – who rely on Social Security will receive a 5.9% cost-of-living adjustment next year, the Social Security Administration said Wednesday.    That’s the biggest bump since 1982.
    The sharp increase is tied to a COVID- 19-fueled spike in inflation after years of paltry consumer price increases. For the average retiree who got a monthly check of $1,565 this year, the bump means an additional $92 a month in 2022, boosting the typical payment to $1,657.
    “The guaranteed benefits provided by Social Security and the COLA increase are more crucial than ever as millions of Americans continue to face the health and economic impacts of the pandemic,” AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins said in a statement.    “Social Security is the largest source of retirement income for most Americans and provides nearly all income (90% or more) for one in four seniors.”
    SSA bases its cost-of-living adjustment 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 that the Labor Department releases each month.
    On Wednesday, Labor said the CPI-W rose 5.9% annually in September following a 5.8% jump in August.
    The COLA has averaged 1.4% the past 10 years – half the average over the prior decade – because of unusually low inflation, according to the Senior Citizen League, an advocacy group.
    During this period, tens of millions of Social Security beneficiaries saw much or all of their cost-of-living increases effectively erased because of sharply climbing premiums for Medicare Part B, which are automatically deducted from many Social Security checks.
    That shouldn’t be the case for most recipients this year because of the healthy COLA advance.    The Part B premium is set to rise by $10 and prescription drug plan premiums are likely to increase an average of about 5%, says Mary Johnson, a policy analyst for the Senior Citizen League.
    Johnson has long complained that the basket of goods that determines the CPI-W index doesn’t reflect the spending patterns of seniors who buy less gasoline, electronics and other products that make up a big portion of younger workers’ spending.
    Seniors instead spend more on food, health care costs and other items that have seen sharp price increases during the pandemic.
    Johnson has called for the SSA to base its COLA on a proposed index for the elderly called CPI-E that would put more weight on health, food and other expenditures.
    Since 2000, Social Security recipients have lost 32% of their buying power as COLAS grew by about half as much as the cost of goods and services typically purchased by retirees, according to the league.
    With energy prices soaring this year, part of that dynamic is being reversed, with seniors, who don’t buy as much gasoline, poised to gain from the large COLA increase.
    “They’re getting the benefit of that,” Johnson says.
    At the same time, older Americans will still face sharply higher costs for some goods and services, including food, rent and prescription drugs.    Seniors also could be socked by a 21% to 25% surge in home heating oil and natural gas costs this winter, according to the league and the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
    “Retirees have been pummeled by the rising cost of health care, and the CPI-W does not accurately reflect how much retirees are spending on health care,” says Rhian Horgan, CEO of Silvur, maker of a retirement planning app.
    Although the COLA bump could somewhat narrow Social Security recipients’ longstanding shortfall in buying power, “it’s not going to restore it,” to 2000 levels, Johnson says.
    “While the high COLA is welcome, we have received hundreds of emails from retired and disabled Social Security recipients who say that the low COLAs in recent years have not kept pace with their rising costs,“ Johnson says.    “That has made it more difficult for many to cope with the rampant inflation of 2021.”
    And, she says, the more generous payment will subject some recipients to new taxes or bump them into a higher tax bracket, offsetting some or all of the increase.
    Also, many economists are forecasting high inflation again next year as supply chain bottlenecks continue to drive up product costs while labor shortages push employee wages, and related prices, higher.
    “The COLA is paying for inflation from last year,” Johnson says.    “Not,” she adds, “for future years.”
For the average retiree who got a monthly Social Security check of $1,565 this year, the 2022 bump means
an additional $92 a month in 2022, boosting the typical payment to $1,657. JENNY KANE/AP

10/14/2021 France’s Le Pen Says She Will Take Down Wind Turbines If She Is Elected
FILE PHOTO: French far-right National Rally (Rassemblement National) party leader Marine Le Pen delivers
a speech in reaction to the outcomes of the second round of French regional and departmental elections,
in Nanterre, near Paris, France June 27, 2021. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier/File Photo
    PARIS (Reuters) – French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said that if she is elected president next year she will end all subsidies for renewable energy and will take down France’s wind turbines.
    Le Pen, who will be the candidate of the Rassemblement National party in the April vote, made it to the second round of the 2017 election, and is expected to do so again, although some recent polls have shown that right-wing talk-show star Eric Zemmour could best her if he decides to run.
    “Wind and solar, these energies are not renewable, they are intermittent.    If I am elected, I will put a stop to all construction of new wind parks and I will launch a big project to dismantle them,” she said on RTL radio.
    She added that she would scrap the subsidies for wind and solar, which she said added up to six or seven billion euros per year and put a heavy burden on consumers’ power bills.
    Le Pen also said that she would provide strong support for France’s nuclear industry by allowing the construction of several new nuclear reactors, fund a major upgrade of France’s existing fleet and would back the construction of small modular reactors as proposed by President Emmanuel Macron.
    In a 2030 roadmap for the French economy presented this week, Macron proposed billions of euros of support for electric vehicles, the nuclear industry and green hydrogen – produced with nuclear – but made little mention of renewable energy.
    France produces about 75% of its power in nuclear plants, which means its electricity output has among the lowest carbon emissions per capita of any developed country.    However, it also lags far behind Germany and other European nations in wind and solar investment.
    There is an active anti-wind movement, which is supported by the far right and centre right, notably by Xavier Bertrand, the leading conservative contender in the presidential vote.
(Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Peter Graff)

10/14/2021 VoterGA To Appeal Ruling To Toss Ga. Election Fraud Lawsuit by OAN Newsroom
In this Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, file photo, election workers in Fulton County began working through
a recount of ballots in Atlanta. (Hyosub Shin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, File)
    Election integrity group, VoterGA, is set to appeal a court ruling to toss a lawsuit challenging suspected fraud in Georgia’s Fulton County.
    On Wednesday, Judge Brian Amero dismissed the lawsuit by VoterGA that sought to examine 147,000 absentee ballots cast in Fulton County for suspected fraud.    The judge said the group had no legal standing and it failed to allege a particularized injury.
    However, VoterGA claimed it does have evidence that tens-of-thousands of ballots lacked chain of custody documents, making those ballots illegitimate. VoterGA further said it plans to appeal the ruling.
    “All citizens of Georgia have a right to know whether or not counterfeit ballots were injected into the Fulton County election results, how many were injected, where they came from and how we can prevent it from happening again in future elections,” election integrity advocate, Garland Favorito said in an email.
    President Donald Trump has also reacted to the ruling, saying the fight continues and Georgia voters won’t give up until the corrupt elections are fixed.

10/14/2021 Biden Gives Update On COVID Response, Touts Vaccine by OAN Newsroom
President Joe Biden delivers an update on the COVID-19 response and vaccination program, in the South Court
Auditorium on the White House campus, Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Joe Biden gave an update on his administration’s COVID-19 response.    While speaking from the White House Thursday, Biden said his COVID-19 policies “should not divide us” while this is all about stopping the spread.
    Biden has faced widespread scrutiny for his strict policies regarding COVID-19, including a vaccine mandate for private businesses with more than 100 workers. He also touted vaccines for children ages five-to-11, adding the FDA and CDC are expected to make a determination on that in the coming weeks.     “If authorized, we are ready,” Biden stated.    “We have purchased enough vaccines for all children between the ages of five and 11 in the United States, and it will be convenient for parents to their children vaccinated at trusted locations and families will be able to sleep easier at night knowing their kids are protected as well.”
    Meanwhile, data shows children are far less likely to contract or have severe complications from COVID-19.    Biden also continued his habit of refusing to take questions from reporters.

10/14/2021 Biden Administration: We’re Committed To WTO by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai attends a keynote address and conversation hosted by the
Graduate Institute’s Geneva Trade Platform about the World Trade Organizations important role
in the global economy on October 14, 2021 in Geneva. (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
    The Biden administration said it’s committed to the World Trade Organization, but reaffirms previous U.S. criticisms of its dispute settlement system.
    On Thursday, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said Washington wants the WTO to succeed and is willing to come to an agreement on multiple disputes regarding trade and health proposals. The organization’s top dispute settlement panel has been stagnant since December 2019 after then-President Donald Trump blocked the appointment of new judges to the body.
    Trump argued the panel’s rules work against America’s interests and said the U.S. would block any new actions until new rules were drafted. On Thursday, Tai largely enforced that stance.     “Every trade minister that I have heard from has expressed the view that the WTO needs reform.    The organization has rightfully been accused of existing in a bubble, isolated from reality and slow to recognize global development.    That must change,” stressed Tai.
    Tai’s comments come ahead of a major meeting next month with the WTO, hoping to make reforms and broker its first multilateral trade deal since 2013.

10/14/2021 NRSC Goes After Democrats Catherine Cortez Masto, Mark Kelly In New Digital Ads Over Border Crisis by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., arrives as lawmakers rush to the chamber for a confirmation vote,
at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC ) is coming after Democrats Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada and Mark Kelly of Arizona.
    In a digital ad recently released, the NRSC highlighted the two Democrats and how they created a border crisis by voting against policies that could have kept the border secure.
    The ad highlights the two Democrats’ support for defunding border security as well as ending construction of the border wall.    The NRSC’s efforts continue to target Democrats in key states ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

1014/2021 High Lead Water Levels In Mich. Affecting Residents by OAN Newsroom
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
    A Michigan town is advising residents to not drink or brush their teeth with water due to health and safety concerns.    On Wednesday, city officials said the water is at unsafe lead levels.BR>     They confirmed more than 80 percent of residents living in Benton Harbor, almost 50-miles Southwest of Kalamazoo, have been affected.    The city has provided residents with free bottles of water, averaging 30,000 cases each week.
    Local officials have plans to add more distribution sites to the area.    Additionally, for those who cannot drive to pick up their water, arrangements are being made to transport cases to residents.
    “The state agency wasn’t really responding to the fact that people were drinking lead-contaminated water,” said Cyndi Roper, Senior Policy Advocate for the Natural Resources Defense Council.    “They were really focused on tweaking the chemicals at the treatment plant to see if they could keep the levels of lead down that was being released into the water and they weren’t.”
    Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she will allocate $20 million to remove the lead pipes over the course of the next five years, but asserted the wait is too long.    The Army Corp of Engineers are being called on to replace all of the city’s lead pipes within a year.

10/14/2021 House Speaker Pelosi ‘Disappointed’ Dems Won’t Go Through With Initial $3.5T Reconciliation Bill by OAN Newsroom
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., walks towards the House Chamber to convene the House for legislative business at the Capitol in Washington,
Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. The House is expected to vote to increase the debt limit later this afternoon. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she’s “very disappointed” Democrats are not going ahead with the proposed $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill.    During a press conference this week, she claimed the spending package would have been very transformative, but insisted it will still lead to extensive reform.
    Those comments came after Pelosi told colleagues Monday, fellow members of the Democrat caucus have been advising her to “do fewer things well” in regard to the reconciliation bill.    The California lawmaker did not disclose a specific figure Democrats will seek to reduce the bill too.
    “Well, let me just say that at $3.5 trillion, we were doing everything well,” Pelosi stated, “So not a question of now we’re doing it well because it’s less money.    But the fact is, is that if there is, are fewer dollars to spend, there are choices to be made and members have said, ‘let’s get the results that we need.'
    This comes as moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has set his limit on a reconciliation package to $2.2 trillion.

10/14/2021 Ala. Schools Experiencing Extreme Food Supply Shortage by OAN Newsroom
FILE – A third grader punches in her student identification to pay for
a meal at Gonzales Community School in Santa Fe, N.M.
    A food supply shortage in Alabama has resulted in schools asking more from the parents.    Officials for schools in Alexander City said suppliers are short on products, drivers and warehouse employees.    They are now having to ask parents to send their kids to school on a full stomach with snacks.
    Alexander City schools serve breakfast and lunch daily, but warned the shortage could impact breakfast for the students in the coming weeks.    Additionally, students who attend Dothan City schools heavily rely on school provided meals, so they have partnered up with Dothan Leisure Services by creating the ‘No Kid Hungry’ grant, which would provide backpack meals to students.
    “This area has a high population of free and reduced meal recipients, so the need to ensure that they do get meals when schools are closed is what brought this grant about,” explained Stephanie Wingfield, program coordinator.    “Kids can’t do a whole lot when they’re hungry.    When they have food, then they can go out and do other things, but it’s kinda hard to be hungry and to concentrate.”
    The program will allow Dothan Leisure Services to give meals to other schools and some will be providing meals for students on Thanksgiving and during Christmas break.

10/14/2021 GOP Candidate Jon Dunwell Flips Iowa House Seat Held By Democrats For 46 Years by OAN Newsroom
    The Republican Party has flipped a seat in the Iowa House of Representatives that was held by Democrats for the past 46 years.    In a special election Tuesday, GOP candidate Jon Dunwell defeated Democrat Steve Mullan in Iowa’s 29th District by getting almost 60 percent of the vote.
    This is the second legislative victory for the Republican Party this year after Republican Mike Bousselot won a House seat in September.    The GOP will now widen its majority in the Iowa House to 60-40 after Dunwell’s victory.
    “John is a defender of free speech and what I like most about John Dunwell is that he supports our Constitution.    John’s a fiscal conservative.    He’s willing to fight to hold the government in check. John is a great leader with innovative ideas.”
— Thad Nearmyer, chairman Jasper County GOP
    Party officials have praised this development.    Iowa voters say Dunwell’s victory reflects a broader trend of Americans walking away from the Democrat Party.

10/14/2021 Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller Jr. Pleads Guilty To All Charges by OAN Newsroom
A judges gavel rests on top of a desk in a courtroom. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
    The decorated Marine who publicly criticized top military brass over the failed Afghanistan withdrawal pleaded guilty to all charges.    Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller Jr. entered his plea on Thursday during a court martial hearing at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
    In August, Scheller was relieved of his command after posting blistering videos on social media calling for accountability over the Afghanistan crisis.    He was then thrown in the brig and spent a week in solitary confinement.
    The 40-year-old pleaded guilty to six misdemeanor charges including disobeying a superior and conduct unbecoming of an officer.    Scheller admitted he could’ve chosen to word his statements differently, but at times still defended what he had said.
    When asked by the judge why he acted the way he did, Scheller responded “a message of accountability was more important than the lawfulness of my behavior.    I chose to speak out knowing it is unlawful in an effort to illustrate the hypocrisy of my senior leaders.”
    Scheller’s lawyer hopes his punishment will be honorable discharge.

10/14/2021 U.S. Army, Lockheed Martin Test Precision Strike Missile In Calif. by OAN Newsroom
COLORADO SPRINGS, C0 – DECEMBER 4: A sign for Lockheed Martin is seen in
Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Photo by Kevin Moloney/Getty Images)
    The U.S. Army and Lockheed Martin successfully tested a Precision Strike Missile, which was previously barred by a treaty with Russia.
    In a flight test at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on Thursday, Lockheed’s new missile set a new distance record that exceeded 310 miles.    Last month, Lockheed was granted a $62 million contract to advance the missile into a manufacturing development phase.
    The use of such missiles was previously barred by the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia (INF), but the treaty expired in 2019.    Lockheed said such missiles represent the future of warfare.
    “Maintaining an effective deterrent, which I feel like Lockheed Martin is in the deterrent business.    We are here to provide what our defense establishment needs to deter and prevent more, and if that’s not possible, to prevail in it.    I’m concerned that we will not be able to maintain an effective deterrent with our allies, unless we make significant changes in our defense enterprise,” said chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corp., Jim Taiclet.
    The U.S. Army and Lockheed are now preparing for a large scale test of the Precision Strike Missile, saying it would become key to the “deep strike capability” against Russia and China.

10/14/2021 FOIA Disclosure: Attorney General Garland’s Son-In-Law Benefits From Critical Race Theory by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – SEPTEMBER 09: U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks during a news conference to announce a civil
enforcement action at the Department of Justice September 9, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    A new report suggested Joe Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland may have a conflict of interest over critical race theory.     A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by America First Legal has revealed Garland’s daughter is married to Xan Tanner, who holds a top position at Panorama Education.    The company he works for received $16 million from Facebook in 2017 to promote critical race theory and gender ideology programs in schools.
    A press release regarding Facebook’s funding read, “Panorama Education will use the funding to expand its tools that help school districts develop students’ social and emotional skills, promote family engagement with school and increase college readiness.”
    This comes after Garland’s Department of Justice suggested parents who oppose such teachings in public schools are engaging in “domestic terrorism.” America First Legal said these ties raise ethical concerns in the DOJ to advance far-left propaganda for financial gain.
    AG Garland ordered the DOJ to use its vast national security powers to target parents who object to critical race theory being forced onto innocent children. It is therefore exceptionally urgent that the Department disclose all records pertaining to the Garland family’s financial interest in critical race theory and any and all ethical conflicts that arise from that financial interest,” said Stephen Miller, America First Legal founder and former adviser to President Trump.

10/14/2021 Blinken Says Renewed U.S.-Greece Defense Deal To Advance Stability In Eastern Mediterranean by Humeyra Pamuk
Aides exchange folios as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias sign the renewal of the
U.S.-Greece Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement at the State Department in Washington, U.S. October 14, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and Greece signed an agreement on Thursday renewing their long-standing defence cooperation, a move Secretary of State Antony Blinken said would allow the NATO allies to advance security in the Eastern Mediterranean region and beyond.
    Known as the U.S.-Greece Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement, the MDCA has allowed U.S. forces to train and operate within Greek territory since 1990.
    The two countries, which have strong political and economic ties, renewed their agreement for five years with an understanding that from then onward, it would remain in place indefinitely unless one of the parties chooses to withdraw.
    “The MDCA is the bedrock of our defense cooperation,” Blinken said in a statement.    “Today’s amendment extends the MDCA’s validity, making it consistent with other bilateral defense cooperation agreements between NATO Allies and durable enough to allow for Greece and the United States to advance security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and beyond.”
    The United States has several military bases in Greece and the amendment will allow their defense agreement to “remain in force” indefinitely, Blinken said at the signing ceremony alongside Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.
    Dendias said the U.S. commitment to Greece showed that both countries are determined to safeguard and protect each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
    Later on Thursday, the State Department issued a statement outlining the key areas of cooperation focusing on defense, trade and investment, climate, law enforcement and counterterrorism, and people-to-people ties.
    “The two governments expressed the joint desire to assist each other in maintaining strong and capable militaries and increase their modernization and interoperability,” the State Department said.
    It also highlighted some of Greece’s recent upgrades of F-16 jets and Sikorsky helicopters, adding that Washington also welcomed Athens’ expression of interest to join the F-35 fighter jet program.
    The two countries’ deepening cooperation comes as U.S. ties with Greece’s neighbor Turkey remain strained.    Turkey was removed from the F-35 program after it purchased Russian missile defense systems, which the United States says threatens its stealth jets.
    Greece signed a new defense pact with France last month that will allow them to come to each other’s aid in the event of an external threat, but which has stirred further tensions with Turkey.
    The Eastern Mediterranean has for decades seen NATO allies Greece and Turkey at odds with each other over competing territorial claims that extend into airspace, energy and the status of some islands in the Aegean and the ethnically split island of Cyprus.
    Tensions flared up last year when Turkish and Greek navy frigates escorted vessels exploring for hydrocarbons.    The two sides are seek to repair their frayed ties but differences remain.
    Turkey and Greece held the last round of bilateral talks last week aimed at addressing differences in the Mediterranean and elsewhere.
(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou in Athens and Humeyra Pamuk in Washington; Editing by Toby Chopra and Peter Cooney)

10/15/2021 Oil up $0.75 to $81.37, DOW up 535 to 34,913.

10/15/2021 UK’s Frost Says: EU Must Concede More On Brexit
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Cabinet minister David Frost walks outside Downing Street in
London, Britain, February 24, 2021. REUTERS/John Sibley/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Brexit minister David Frost said that the European Union needs to make significant change if there is to be a deal over the Northern Irish part of the Brexit divorce deal, Politico reported.
    The EU on Wednesday offered Britain a package of measures to ease the transit of goods to Northern Ireland.
    Frost made clear the EU’s proposals as they stand were ultimately unacceptable as London wanted a major concession from Brussels on the role of Court of Justice oversight in Northern Ireland, Politico reported.
    “They will need to if we are to find a solution, there needs to be significant change if we are to get an agreed solution,” Frost said in an interview with Politico.
    “All I can say is the governance issue needs to be addressed seriously and if the EU are willing to have a conversation about that on which they move off existing positions obviously we will be happy to have that conversation,” Frost said.
    Prime Minister Boris Johnson signed up to the so-called Northern Ireland protocol as part of his Brexit agreement in 2020, but has since argued it was agreed in haste and was no longer working for the people of Northern Ireland.
    Frost has for months called on the EU to allow some changes to the protocol to ease trade in some goods between Britain and Northern Ireland.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, Editing by Paul Sandle)

10/15/2021 Residents Of Canadian Arctic Capital Told City Water Is Unsafe To Drink by Moira Warburton
FILE PHOTO: General view of Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada October 8, 2019. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe
    (Reuters) – The capital of Canada’s Arctic territory has ordered its 7,000 residents not to drink the city’s water due to suspected fuel contamination.
    Iqaluit, the capital of Canada’s northernmost territory Nunavut, which borders Greenland, declared a state of emergency on Tuesday night, telling residents to stop using city water for drinking and cooking.
    Residents reported fuel odors in the water over the weekend, but the source was not clear.    The water would not be safe even after boiling, the city said.
    Investigators found potential hydrocarbon contamination at a water treatment plant.    Analysis of samples sent out of the territory were due back in five business days.
    Some people in Iqaluit normally receive piped water and others get truck delivery.    During the water emergency, the city is sending treated water by truck, but that water should still be boiled for at least one minute, the city said.    Other residents could get water in jugs at a pickup point in Iqaluit.
    Although Canada has 20% of the world’s fresh water within its borders, 45 indigenous communities across the country currently have boil-water advisories.    Nunavut’s population is 86% indigenous.
    Canada’s indigenous people experience the country’s highest rates of poverty, with 25% estimated to be living in poverty, according to the Canadian Poverty Institute.
    Water is a contentious issue for Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was first elected in 2015 with a promise to end all boil-water advisories within five years.
    Groceries – including bottled water – are extremely expensive in Canada’s North, due in part to high shipping costs. Iqaluit has had two different boil-water advisories since August due to repairs to water infrastructure.
(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

10/15/2021 Biden Signs Bill To Raise Debt Ceiling by OAN Newsroom
The light in the cupola of the Capitol Dome is illuminated, indicating that work continues in Congress,
in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has given Democrats a new offer
to extend the federal debt ceiling through an emergency short-term extension. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Joe Biden approved legislation raising the debt ceiling until early December.    He signed the measure Thursday ahead of an October 18 deadline to avoid defaulting on the debt limit.
    The bill raises the debt limit by $480 billion, but lawmakers now face a December 3 deadline to, once again, increase the limit.    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has asserted Republicans will not help Democrats raise the debt ceiling again, meaning they may have to use budget reconciliation to pass an increase.
    This came after Democrats used their slim majority to pass the bill.    The House of Representatives passed a package of bills in a 219-to-206 vote on Tuesday, one of which made this happen.
    The law raises the debt limit by $480 billion, which the Treasury Department said is enough to let the federal government pay its bills through December 3.    Top Democrats in the House tried to lecture Republican lawmakers for their near universal opposition to the bill.
    “Mr. Chairman, we both went in that restaurant, we both got a steak, neither one of us ought to leave without paying the bill,” stated Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-N.Y.), House Majority Leader.    “It wasn’t just you who went and got the steak, we got a steak too and we both have the responsibility to pay for that steak.    That’s what this vote is about.”
    However, GOP lawmakers decried Democrats for their support for the bill while condemning other provisions that had nothing to do with the state of the U.S. debt.
    “The reality is we’re broke, our budget process is completely dysfunctional,” said Rep. Jodey Arrington, (R-Texas).    “We ought to be talking about spending caps.    No budget, no recess.    Debt targets, things we could work together on to actually get on a sustainable path the fiscal sanity.    But instead, we bury a debt ceiling vote…that’s why the America people can’t stand this institution and they certainly can’t trust this institution to to do the people’s business/i>.”
    Other Republicans added, passing the bill will only add to the already massive debt already accrued.
    “Let’s reduce it down to kitchen table economics, but we then turn around and spend $6.5 trillion,” noted Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.). “So that’s telling the average family back home: ‘Mr. and Mrs. America understand something, you make $35,000 a year, you should be spending $65,000 a year in just increasing your total debt.'

    Prior to Biden’s signature, the legislation was sent down from the upper chamber, where 11 GOP senators voted alongside Democrats to avoid an economic catastrophe.
    Lawmakers in both chambers will be taking a break from Capitol Hill through the rest of the week amid Congress’s October recess, but will pick back up where they left off when they return next week.

10/15/2021 U.S. To Lift Curbs From Nov. 8 For Vaccinated Foreign Travelers – White House by David Shepardson
FILE PHOTO: Travelers queue in a security line limited to every other lane for social distancing at
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in SeaTac, Washington, U.S. April 12, 2021. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House on Friday said it will lift COVID-19 travel restrictions for fully vaccinated foreign nationals effective Nov. 8, ending historic restrictions that had barred much of the world from entering the United States.
    Announcing the starting date for the new rules on travel into and out of the country, White House spokesman Kevin Munoz posted on Twitter that the policy “is guided by public health, stringent, and consistent.”
    The unprecedented travel restrictions kept millions of visitors out of the United States from China, Canada, Mexico, India, Brazil, much of Europe and elsewhere; shrunk U.S. tourism; and hurt border community economies. They prevented many loved ones and foreign workers from reuniting with families.
    U.S. allies had heavily lobbied the Biden administration to lift the rules.
    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.
    Curbs on non-essential travelers at land borders with Mexico and Canada have been in place since March 2020 to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Reuters first reported Friday’s announcement of the Nov. 8 starting date earlier in the day.
    U.S. airline, hotel and cruise industry stocks rose on the news, including American Airlines, up 2%; Marriott International Inc, up 3.7%; and Carnival Corp, up 1.6%.
    U.S. international air passenger traffic was down 43% in August and overall passenger air traffic was down 21% over pre-pandemic levels, the U.S. Transportation Department said Friday.
    Airlines have seen an increase in international ticket sales in recent weeks, Nick Calio, chief executive of the Airlines for America industry trade group, said in a statement.    Calio said the “full reopening of international travel is also critical to reviving economies around the globe, reinvigorating communities and supporting millions of jobs in the U.S. and abroad.”
    The United States had lagged many other countries in lifting such restrictions.
    The White House on Tuesday announced it would lift restrictions at its land borders and ferry crossings with Canada and Mexico for fully vaccinated foreign nationals in early November.    They are similar but not identical to requirements announced last month for international air travelers.
    Unvaccinated visitors will still be barred from entering the United States from Canada or Mexico at land borders.
    Canada on Aug. 9 began allowing fully vaccinated U.S. visitors for non-essential travel.
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told Reuters last week the United States will accept the use by international visitors of COVID-19 vaccines authorized by U.S. regulators or the World Health Organization.
    The White House, which held a meeting late Thursday to finalize the Nov. 8 date, faces some remaining questions, including how and what exemptions the Biden administration will grant to the vaccine requirements.    Children under 18, for example, are largely expected to be exempt from the requirements, an official said.
    U.S. Travel Association Chief Executive Roger Dow said declines in international visits since the pandemic started resulted in more than $250 billion in lost income.
    Dow said in a statement that the Nov. 8 date “is critically important for planning – for airlines, for travel-supported businesses, and for millions of travelers worldwide who will now advance plans to visit the United States once again.”
    The White House announced on Sept. 20 that the United States would lift restrictions on air travelers from 33 countries in early November.    It did not specify the date at the time.
    Starting Nov. 8, the United States will admit fully vaccinated foreign 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.
    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 infection rates were not on the restricted list, while some on the list had the pandemic more under control.
    The White House said last month it would apply vaccine requirements to foreign nationals traveling from all other countries.
    Non-U.S. air travelers will need to show proof of vaccination before boarding a flight, and will need to show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test.    Foreign visitors crossing a land border will not need to show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test.
    The new rules do not require foreign visitors or Americans entering the country to go into quarantine.
    Americans traveling overseas must still show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test, and unvaccinated Americans will face stricter testing requirements.    They will also be subject to restrictions in countries they plan to visit, which may include quarantines.
    The CDC plans to issue new rules soon on contact tracing for international air travelers.
(Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

10/15/2021 EU’s Borrell Says Iran Wants To Meet Officials In Brussels Over Nuclear Deal by Arshad Mohammed
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell speaks during an interview with Reuters
in Kyiv, Ukraine October 12, 2021. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell said on Friday that Iran wants to meet in Brussels with EU officials who are coordinating indirect talks between the United States and Iran along with some other parties to the 2015 nuclear deal.
    Borrell told reporters in Washington that he was ready to meet the Iranians, but could not say when that might happen.
    “I am ready to receive them, if needed,” Borrell said, adding that he did not think talks in Brussels were absolutely necessary but that he had to be willing to be somewhat “patient on this issue, because we cannot afford to fail.”
    EU political director Enrique Mora, the chief coordinator for the talks, was in Tehran on Thursday to meet members of Iran’s nuclear negotiating team, four months after discussions broke off between Iran and world powers.
    Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has so far refused to resume indirect talks with the United States in Vienna on both sides returning to compliance with the deal, under which Iran curbed its nuclear program in return for economic sanctions relief.
    Former U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the deal in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Iran.    Since then, Tehran has been rebuilding its stockpiles of enriched uranium, refining it to higher levels of purity and installing advanced centrifuges to speed up the enrichment process.
    “Time is pressing,” Borrell said, saying that Iran’s new government had had enough time to study the file and instruct its negotiating team.
    “It’s time to go back to the negotiating table. And I don’t want to think about Plan Bs because no … Plan B that I could imagine would be a good one.”
    Western diplomats have said they are concerned Tehran’s new negotiating team – under a president known as an anti-Western hardliner, unlike his pragmatist predecessor – may make new demands beyond the scope of what had already been agreed.
(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; Writing by Humeyra Pamuk and Simon Lewis; Editing by Paul Simao)

10/15/2021 British Lawmaker Stabbed To Death In Possible Terrorist Attack by Gerhard Mey and Andrew Couldridge
FILE PHOTO: Britain's MP Sir David Amess attends a Prime Minister's Questions session in the
House of Commons, in London, Britain January 15, 2020. ©UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via REUTERS
    LEIGH-ON-SEA, England (Reuters) - A British lawmaker was stabbed to death in a church on Friday by an assailant who lunged at him during a meeting with voters from his constituency, a killing police are investigating as a possible terrorist attack.
    David Amess, 69, from Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party, was knifed repeatedly in the attack at about midday in the Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, east of London.
    A 25-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder, and detectives said specialist counter-terrorism officers from London police were leading their initial investigation.    Politicians described the attack as an assault on democracy.
    “David was a man who believed passionately in this country and in its future and we have lost today a fine public servant and a much loved friend and colleague,” said Johnson, who rushed back to London from the west of England after the news broke.
    Armed police swooped on the church and paramedics fought to save the lawmaker’s life on the floor of the church – where a sign says “All are welcome here: where old friends meet and strangers feel at home” – but in vain.
    “Tragically, he died at the scene,” Essex Police Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington told reporters.    He said police at the time of the incident did not believe there was any immediate threat to anyone else.
    “It will be for investigators to determine whether or not this may have been a terrorist incident.    As always they will keep an open mind,” he said.
    He gave no other details about a possible motive for the killing, the second fatal attack on a British lawmaker in their constituency in the last five years, which has prompted questions about the safety of politicians.
    The Daily Telegraph reported that the arrested man was believed to be a Somalian national.
    Colleagues from across parliament expressed their shock and paid tribute to Amess, one of Britain’s longest-serving lawmakers who held regular meetings with voters on the first and third Friday of the month, saying he was diligent in his duties to his local area.
    Flags on all British government buildings will be flown at half-mast in tribute.
    Amess, married with five children, was first elected to parliament to represent Basildon in 1983, and then Southend West in 1997.    He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth for his public service in 2015.
    His website listed his main interests as “animal welfare and pro-life issues.”    He was popular with lawmakers and known for his active contributions to debates – often about issues relating to his Essex constituency or animal rights.
    In his last contribution to the House of Commons last month, he asked for a debate about animal welfare.
    Residents left flowers beside the church with a tribute: “David Amess RIP Such a gentleman xxx.”
    The knife attack at a meeting with constituents has echoes of a 2010 incident when Labour lawmaker Stephen Timms survived a stabbing in his constituency office, and the 2016 fatal shooting of Labour’s Jo Cox just days before the Brexit referendum.
    Her husband Brendan called the attack “as cowardly as it gets,” while her sister, Kim Leadbeater, who earlier this year was elected as member of parliament for the same area Cox represented, said it showed the “massive risks” lawmakers had to take.
    “That another family is having to go through that again, it’s horrific,” Leadbeater said.    “So many MPs today will be scared by this.    My partner came home and said: ‘I don’t want you to do this anymore, because next time that phone goes it could be a different conversation’.”
    The speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle, said the incident would send shockwaves across the parliamentary community and the whole country, adding the security of lawmakers would have to discussed.
    “Questions are rightly being asked about the safety of our country’s elected representatives and I will provide updates in due course,” Home Secretary (interior minister) Priti Patel said.
    The Conservative Party suspended all campaigning activities until further notice.    Colleagues said Amess was a dedicated parliamentarian and cast him as a true gentleman.
    “Heartbreaking to hear of the death of Sir David Amess,” former Prime Minister Theresa May said.    “A decent man and respected parliamentarian, killed in his own community while carrying out his public duties.    A tragic day for our democracy.”
    Johnson’s wife, Carrie, said she was devastated.
    “He was hugely kind and good,” she said on Twitter.    “An enormous animal lover and a true gent.    This is so completely unjust.”
(Writing by Guy Faulconbridge and Michael Holden; Editing by Kate Holton, William Maclean, Toby Chopra, Catherine Evans, Nick Macfie and Giles Elgood)

10/15/2021 U.S. Gives Central America, Mexico Another $20mln In Humanitarian Aid
Migrants, mostly Haitians, wait for asylum processing by Mexico's Commission for Refugee Assistance
(COMAR) outside a soccer stadium, in Tapachula, Mexico October 13, 2021. REUTERS/Jose Torres
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is providing more than $20 million in additional humanitarian aid for nearly 700,000 asylum seekers, refugees, and vulnerable migrants in Central America and Mexico, the State Department said on Friday.
    In total, the United States has provided more than $331 million in such aid in fiscal year 2021, the department said in a statement.
(Reporting by Chris Gallagher; editing by Susan Heavey)

10/15/2021 Biden Admin. To Reinstate ‘Remain In Mexico’ Policy by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 14: Joe Biden speaks in the South Court Auditorium on the White House
campus October 14, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    The Biden administration is set to revive the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” immigration policy.
    The administration is planning to restart the policy in November in order to comply with a federal court order issued earlier this year.    Joe Biden had originally decided to end the policy because he said too many migrants were facing violence in Mexico while awaiting their court date.
    According to officials, the administration is aiming to make several changes to the rule, which requires asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for court hearings. Officials have also been holding talks with the Mexican government in order to address concerns they have about the reinstatement.
    A spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security addressed the situation in a statement, saying “as noted in the declaration filed on Thursday, DHS is taking necessary steps to comply with the court order, which requires us to reimplement MPP [Migrant Protection Protocols] in good faith.    We are working to do so, despite our appeal of the court’s order, including, for example, by issuing contracts to rebuild temporary immigration-hearing facilities near the southwest border.”
    In the meantime, a court filing said the administration will be building tent courts for hearings in the border cities of Laredo and Brownsville, Texas.

10/15/2021 Texas House Passes ‘Save Women’s Sports Bill’ by OAN Newsroom
AUSTIN, TX – JULY 13: U.S. Rep. Valoree Swanson (R-Texas) speaks to members of the media in the
Texas Capitol on July 13, 2021 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Montinique Monroe/Getty Images)
    The Texas House recently voted in legislation that prohibits transgender athletes from competing on teams based on their gender identity.    Representatives passed House Bill 25 in a 70-to-54 vote on Thursday.
    The “Save Women’s Sports Bill” requires students to play on teams that correspond with the gender on their birth certificate at or near the time of birth, rather than the gender they identify with.
    “House Bill 25 is a common sense solution, it protects the safety and the right to equal participation to the 332,000 girls in UIL sports,” said Rep. Valoree Swanson (R-Texas).
    Similar bills had previously passed in the Texas Senate on three separate occasions, but until Thursday’s vote, it had not been able to make it to the House floor.    Rep. Swanson is the bill’s author.
    “I would not have brought the bill if I didn’t feel like it was important for us to protect our girls here in Texas, we’re talking hundreds of thousands of girls right now, and all the ones following them,” stated Swanson.
    Republican lawmakers like Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Texas) argued that fairness and the integrity of women’s sports is at risk. He pointed out how if a biological male is practicing on a woman’s team, a biological female risks losing a spot.
    Swanson said Thursday’s vote was a huge hurdle in the battle to protect girl’s equal access to athletic opportunities like college scholarships.
    “By passing this bill, we are standing up for our daughters and granddaughters, we are standing up for their right to compete in sports and all the opportunities in life that flow from that,” the lawmaker said.
    The bill now advances to the state Senate where it’s expected to pass before heading to the desk of Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas).

10/15/2021 Biden Admin. Says Its Committed To WTO, Reaffirms Trump’s Stance Body Needs Major Reforms by OAN Newsroom
US Trade Representative Katherine Tai speaks during a discussion, at the Geneva Graduate Institute on the role of the World Trade
Organization (WTO) in the global economy, in Geneva, Switzerland, Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)
    “Let me begin by affirming the United States continued commitment to the WTO.    The Biden-Harris administration believes that trade and the WTO can be a force for good that encourages a race to the top and addresses global challenges as they arise.” — Katherine Tai, U.S. Trade Rep.
    The Biden administration said it’s committed to the World Trade Organization, but reaffirmed previous U.S. criticisms of its dispute settlement system.    U.S. Trade Rep. Katherine Tai said Washington wants the WTO to succeed and is willing to come to an agreement on multiple disputes regarding trade and health proposals.
    “We all recognize the importance of the WTO and we all wanted to succeed,” she stated. “We understand the value of a forum where we can propose ideas to improve multilateral trade rules.”
    The organization’s top dispute settlement panel has been stagnant since December 2019 after then-President Donald Trump blocked the appointment of new judges to the body.    Trump argued the panel’s rules work against America’s interests and said the U.S. will block any new actions until new rules are drafted.
    “It is also essential to bring vitality back to the WTO’s negotiating functions,” the Trade Rep. continued.    “A key stumbling block is doubt that negotiations lead to rules that benefit or apply to everyone."
    Additionally, Tai largely enforced that same ‘America First’ agenda.
    “Every trade minister that I have heard from has expressed the view that the WTO needs reform,” she stated.    “The organization has rightfully been accused of existing in a bubble, isolated from reality, and slow to recognize global development.    That must change.”
    Tai’s comments come ahead of a major meeting next month with the WTO hoping to make reforms and broker its first multi-lateral trade deal since 2013.

10/15/2021 Gov. DeSantis: Biden Is Trying To Plunge People Into Destitution Over Vaccine Mandates by OAN Newsroom
MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA – JANUARY 06: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference about the opening of a COVID-19
vaccination site at the Hard Rock Stadium on January 06, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has taken aim at the Biden administration over its handling of the U.S. economy and coronavirus pandemic.
    On Friday, DeSantis derided Joe Biden’s energy polices, warning he’s veering away from making America energy independent.    The Florida Republican said under President Donald Trump, America had a strong energy sector. But now, DeSantis said Biden is begging international organizations to lower the price of oil.
    DeSantis also reaffirmed he would not back down in his fight against the Biden administration’s vaccine mandates.    He claimed Biden’s mandate, particularly the provisions forcing Medicaid and Medicare-linked hospitals and employers of more than 100 people to jab their staff, is illegal and unconstitutional.
    He added the mandate would likely affect most of Florida’s health care system and prompt mass walkouts and shortages to the health sector.    DeSantis went on to tout Florida’s handling of the virus, stressing the Sunshine State is at a 52-day low in statistics across the board.
    Additionally, DeSantis fired back at Biden for espousing lawmakers taking similar stances against mandates as divisive, however, DeSantis says Biden is the divisive one.
    Gov. DeSantis emphasized now is not the time to force people out of their jobs because of the jab and said people should be able to choose whether to get vaccinated or not.

10/15/2021 San Francisco, Neighboring Counties Lift Mask Mandates by OAN Newsroom
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 15: A Fitness SF customer rides a stationary bike without a face mask a
Fitness SF gym on October 15, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
    San Francisco and neighboring Marin counties have begun easing up on mask mandates.
    As of Friday, places like offices, gyms, college classrooms and churches will not require masks as long as people are fully vaccinated.    However, groups will still be limited to less than 100 people.
    “People in these settings may remove their masks if the employer or host of the gathering can control access to the setting and verify 100 percent full vaccination of everyone in the setting,” San Francisco’s website stated.
    However, masks are still required in retail stores, restaurants, K-12 schools and common areas of buildings like elevators and restrooms.    Participating businesses are responsible for vaccine verification and are able to keep the mandate in place if they choose to do so.
    The mayor of San Francisco, London Breed (D), agreed this was an important step forward for the city.    “Our economy is bouncing back, the city feels like it is coming alive again, and this is yet another milestone in our recovery,” she noted.

10/15/2021 Biden Pushes Child Care Program, Social Spending Agenda In Conn. by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden speaks at the dedication of the Dodd Center for Human Rights at the University of Connecticut
on October 15, 2021 in Storrs, Connecticut. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
    Joe Biden pushes his agenda on child care as part of his “Build Back Better” initiative.    Biden addressed his plans for government-funded child care in the hopes that parents, and more-so mothers, are able to go back to work and make a living, which is a critical part of his social spending agenda.
    Biden arrived in Hartford, Connecticut on Friday to promote his plans on child care, saying that investing in this program is vital to keep America competitive in the global economy.    Biden voiced concerns over Democrat allies not understanding how beneficial the package is for working families all across the nation, and especially for those who can’t afford child care.
    “How can we compete in a world where millions of Americans, parents, especially moms, can’t be part of the workforce because they can’t afford the cost of child care, or elder care I might add,” said Biden.
    The Democrat initially pitched a $200 billion funding plan for universal child care programs as part of a broader     “Care Economy” policy, which aimed to boost the economy by paying child and home health care workers more. However, the White House is now pushing for businesses to build on-site child care, which they believe will be beneficial for both parents and businesses.
    “So, you go to work with your child and you have a serious facility on-site.    Well, studies show that when you have on-site care for children, businesses, the business itself have less employee turnover, less absenteeism and higher productivity. We can show you all those studies.    It’s real,” Biden said.
    Democrat Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) have continuously pressed the left to trim the package down significantly and Republican senators are expected to oppose it altogether.    Although, Biden acknowledged Democrats won’t be getting the initial $3.5 trillion package and plans to push for more funding once the “Build Back Better” initiative is passed even if it isn’t the amount they’d hoped for.
    Meanwhile, Democrats have been working to reduce the package down to roughly $2 trillion, which would be paid for through higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy.

10/15/2021 Chicago Mayor, Chicago Chapter Of Police Union Go To Court Over Vaccine Mandate by OAN Newsroom
Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks during the groundbreaking ceremony for the Obama Presidential Center at
Jackson Park on September 28, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
    Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot took her dispute with a national police union to court over her city’s vaccine mandate.    Lightfoot took police union, Fraternal Order of Police, to court over its local chapter’s refusal to comply with a vaccine mandate.
    On Friday, the Democrat mayor announced she filed a complaint against the union, accusing them of “i>engaging in, supporting and encouraging work stoppage or strike.”    The organization filed a dueling lawsuit against the city hours later, seeking arbitration over the vaccine status requirement.
    Lightfoot said the union’s president, John Catanzara, needed to stop urging its more than 8,000 members to ignore Friday night’s vaccine status deadline, in which all city workers must be fully vaccinated or face termination unless approved for religious or medical exemption.    She also asked the court to prohibit the union and its officers from “engaging in any concerted refusal to submit vaccination status information.”
    Catanzara argued the city is the one threatening to fire its officers for not complying with an “improper directive” and noted that from the beginning, the city said the order was subject to mandatory bargaining.    The union president previously warned the force could be at 50 percent or less for the weekend if officers are terminated.
    In the meantime, Lightfoot said officers who refuse the mandate would be placed on unpaid leave starting next week.

10/15/2021 NYC Parents: Keep Gifted And Talented Classes by OAN Newsroom
NEW YORK, N.Y. – JANUARY 30: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at a press conference to announce the city will not appeal
a judge’s ruling that the police tactic “Stop-and-Frisk” is unconstitutional, which the judge had ruled over last summer, on
January 30, 2014 in in the Brownsville neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
    Concerned parents are making their voices heard in New York.    The parents of New York City have taken to the streets to protest Mayor Bill de Blasio’s (D) proclamation to end Gifted and Talented programs in city schools.
    The demonstrators gathered on the steps of the New York Department of Education on Thursday.    During the event, parents such as Lucus Liu voiced their concern over their children’s education being sacrificed in the name of equity.
    “They’re using schools to achieve their version of equity, which involves closing the achievement gap by slowing down education, by taking away opportunities for all kids, by not expanding G&T [Gifted and Talented] into all neighborhoods that currently don’t have the benefit of a G&T program,” said Liu.
    Another event speaker, Maud Maron, called for education to simply serve its intended purpose and devoid politics.
    “Our schools need to be places of academic excellence, not indoctrination, not giant group therapy sessions,” stressed Maron.    “Our schools need to be places where children are learning.    They’re learning how to read, they’re learning mathematics and they’re preparing themselves to go to college.    They’re preparing themselves to compete in a global world.”
    Critics of the Gifted and Talented program have argued it disproportionately favors whites and Asians over Black and Latino students.    Mona Davids of the New York City Parents Union argued against this point, claiming the city’s education standards as a whole should be raised rather than accepting sub-standard comprehension of material.
    “Every single year we graduate students who are illiterate and innumerate.    There should be accelerated programs for all students,” said Davids.
    Mayor de Blasio announced the city’s Gifted programs would be replaced by the “Brilliant New York” initiative by fall of 2022.    The mayor drew fire when it was revealed his children both attended a Gifted and Talented middle school, leading them both to attend prestigious high schools and universities.

10/15/2021 U.S. Will Accept Mixed Doses Of Vaccines From International Travelers by David Shepardson
FILE PHOTO: Travelers wearing protective face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
reclaim their luggage at the airport in Denver, Colorado, U.S., November 24, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Mohatt/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said late on Friday that it will accept mixed-dose coronavirus vaccines from international travelers, a boost to travelers from Canada and other places.
    The CDC said last week that it would accept any vaccine authorized for use by U.S. regulators or the World Health Organization.    “While CDC has not recommended mixing types of vaccine in a primary series, we recognize that this is increasingly common in other countries so should be accepted for the interpretation of vaccine records,” a CDC spokeswoman said.
    The White House said Friday the new vaccine requirements for foreign nationals traveling to the United States will begin Nov. 8 for visitors crossing at land borders as well as international air travelers.
    Representative Brian Higgins, a New York Democrat representing a district along the Canadian border, had on Friday asked the CDC if it would accept the mixed vaccine doses noting “nearly four million Canadians, equivalent to 10% of their fully vaccinated population, have received mixed doses of the available mRNA COVID-19 vaccines – this includes the AstraZeneca vaccine.”
    The CDC said the vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use, as well as those authorized by the WHO, will be accepted for entry into the United States, including the AstraZeneca vaccine.
    The CDC said “individuals who have any combination of two doses of an FDA approved/authorized or WHO emergency use listed COVID-19 two-dose series are considered fully vaccinated.”
    The CDC plans to answer other questions and release a contact tracing order for international air visitors by Oct. 25.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Leslie Adler and Aurora Ellis)

10/16/2021 Oil up $0.79 to $82.23, DOW up 382 to 35,295.

10/16/2021 U.S. Offers Payments, Relocation To Family Of Afghans Killed In Botched Drone Attack by Kanishka Singh
FILE PHOTO: The Pentagon logo is seen behind the podium in the briefing room at the
Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., January 8, 2020. REUTERS/Al Drago/File Photo
    (Reuters) - The Pentagon has offered unspecified condolence payments to the family of 10 civilians who were killed in a botched U.S. drone attack in Afghanistan in August during the final days before American troops withdrew from the country.
    The U.S. Defense Department said it made a commitment that included offering “ex-gratia condolence payments,” in addition to working with the U.S. State Department in support of the family members who were interested in relocation to the United States.
    Colin Kahl, the U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, held a virtual meeting on Thursday with Steven Kwon, the founder and president of Nutrition & Education International, the aid organization that employed Zemari Ahmadi, who was killed in the Aug. 29 drone attack, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said late on Friday.
    Ahmadi and others who were killed in the strike were innocent victims who bore no blame and were not affiliated with Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K) or threats to U.S. forces, Kirby said.
    The drone strike in Kabul killed as many as 10 civilians, including seven children.
    The Pentagon had said earlier that 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.
    However, 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.    The Pentagon later said the strike was a “tragic mistake.”
    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 in mid-August.
    The killing of civilians also raised questions about the future of U.S. counter-terrorism strikes in Afghanistan.
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler & Simon Cameron-Moore)

10/16/2021 Italy’s Unions Rally Against Neo-Fascist Groups After Violent Protests
FILE PHOTO: Demonstrators face off police officers during a protest against the government's
introduction of the "Green Pass" near Chigi Palace in Rome, Italy, October 9, 2021. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
    ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s biggest workers’ unions rallied in Rome on Saturday and called on the government to dissolve the neo-fascist groups involved in last weekend’s violent protests against the COVID-19 health pass.
    Last week, police arrested 12 people, including leaders of the extreme right-wing group Forza Nuova, after thousands took to the streets to oppose mandatory ‘green passes’ for all workers.
    Some groups broke through police lines to reach the prime minister’s office, while others smashed their way into the headquarters of Italy’s largest trade union, CGIL.
    Many of those attending Saturday’s rally waved CGIL’s red flag as they marched from an area close to the city’s main station to the central square of San Giovanni on a crisp, sunny afternoon.
    Italy’s main unions CGIL, CISL and UIL all called on the government to dissolve neo-fascist and neo-nazi groups at the rally whose slogan was “No to fascism and violence, yes to work, safety and rights.”
    “We ask for concrete acts, not just chatter.    It is time for the state to demonstrate its democratic strength in enforcing the laws and the constitution,” CGIL’s Secretary General Maurizio Landini said from the stage.
    “A country that loses its memory cannot have a future,” he added.
    Organisers estimated between 50,000 and 60,000 people took part.    CISL head Pierpaolo Bombadieri said participation was as high as 100,000.
    “Stay away from our head offices, stay away from the squares,” Bombardiere said, referring to last week’s violent protests.
    Last week’s riots drew widespread condemnation, including from Matteo Salvini and Giorgia Meloni, the leaders of the rightist League and Brothers of Italy parties, respectively.
    Two Forza Nuova leaders remain in custody after a decision by a judge.
(Reporting by Giulia Segreti, additional reporting by Jaime Lopez, editing by Christina Fincher)

10/16/2021 U.S. Intelligence Chief To Meet With S. Korea, Japan Counterparts - Yonhap
FILE PHOTO: Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines speaks during a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing
about worldwide threats, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S., April 14, 2021. Graeme Jennings/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The intelligence chiefs of the United States, South Korea and Japan are expected to meet in Seoul early next week for closed-door discussions about North Korea, among other issues, Yonhap news agency reported, citing a government source.
    U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines will meet with Park Jie-won, head of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) and Hiroaki Takizawa, Japan’s cabinet intelligence director, Yonhap said, marking the first meeting of the three since May.
    They are expected to focus on issues surrounding North Korea, according to the report
    The Office of the Director of National Intelligence did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
(Reporting by Chris Prentice; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

10/16/2021 Rep. Hoyer: House May Vote To Remove Debt Limit Threat This Month by OAN Newsroom
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-MD, after leaving the House Chamber inbr> Washington, D.C. on October 12, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
    Despite the debt limit being extended, Democrats are looking to hold a potential vote to prevent a long term debt limit threat.
    On Saturday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said the House has been considering removing the debt limit threat as early as this month.    He stressed Republicans were effective in coming together to squash Democrats’ attempts to extend the ceiling.
    “The House will explore options to remove the threat that the debt limit poses over the long term now that Republicans have demonstrated a willingness to weaponize it for partisan purposes,” Hoyer wrote.    “The House may consider legislation as early as this month to do so.”
    Some Democrats have suggested the authority to raise the debt limit should be transferred to the treasury secretary instead of Congress. However, current Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said America’s debt is something Congress must address.

10/16/2021 Ethics Complaint Filed Against Jen Psaki by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 12: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki pauses while speaking during the daily
press briefing at the White House October 12, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    A government watchdog group has called for an investigation into White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed an ethics complaint against Psaki on Friday.    She’s being accused of endorsing Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe in a press conference on Thursday.
    The group alleged Psaki violated the Hatch Act, which forbids federal employees in the executive branch from political activity.
    “I will say, I will leave it to outside analysis to convey that off-year elections are often not a bellwether, but there’s a lot of history here in Virginia.    But again, we’re going to do everything we can to help former Governor McAuliffe and we believe in the agenda he’s representing,” said Psaki.
    The Hatch Act does however exempt the president and vice president as Joe Biden has been campaigning for McAuliffe.

10/16/2021 Rep. Mace: Republican Party Needs An Agenda by OAN Newsroom
CHARLESTON, S.C. – OCTOBER 31: Rep. Nancy Mace speaks to the crowd at an event with Sen. Lindsey Graham at the Charleston County Victory Office
during Grahams campaign bus tour on October 31, 2020 in Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images
    A Republican representative has called on the GOP party to take action. According to Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), Republicans need to elect people that do what they say they’re going to do.
    “If we want to get independents, moderates, even a few Democrats to come and be with us and join us in the midterms and vote for our candidate nominee in 2024, then we have to have an agenda of solutions,” said the Republican.
    She said currently people, even Democrats, are shocked by the turn they’re seeing with how Joe Biden has chosen to govern the country.
    “Many Democrats voted for Biden, believed he was going to be a very moderate milk toast, vanilla Joe, right?
    He has not been that.    He’s socialist Joe now
,” said Mace.
    She added how some wealthy politicians have no idea how hard it is for the rest of the country to work.
    “We need to have the voice of Americans who put their hands to work and understand the value of work, understand what it’s like to pay those taxes on a limited income, and most of them don’t.”
    Meanwhile, Mace said she believes having an agenda, including long-term planning, would allow people to see the party in a different light.
    “What solutions do we have to bring to the table?    To get people to realize that our decisions, that our policies, our ideas are responsible, they’re fiscally conservative, and they’re ideas that every hardworking American can love and respect,” suggested Mace.

10/16/2021 Sen. Cassidy: House GOP Vote For Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, Take Away Leverage Of Progressive Caucus by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 07: Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) arrives to a luncheon with Senate Republicans
at the U.S. Capitol Building on October 07, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
    Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy (R) is urging more Republicans to support the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
    During an interview on Friday, Cassidy said he was frustrated with House Republicans who have been split on the matter of supporting the bill.    He argued supporting the bill would “take away the leverage of the progressive caucus” as Democrats are attempting to tie the infrastructure bill to the bloated reconciliation package.
    “This is a great bill for all Americans, whatever your political party.    It does seem like politics are trumping the needs of the American people,” said Cassidy.    “So if we pass this, it’s going to be great for our country, create a lot of jobs.”
    Cassidy stressed passing the infrastructure bill would help boost America’s economy by creating a lot of jobs.

10/16/2021 Biden Pays Tribute To America’s Fallen Officers by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 16: Joe Biden speaks during the 40th Annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service on the
West Front of the U.S. Capitol Building on October 16, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
    Joe Biden honors police officers outside of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Biden paid tribute to our nation’s fallen officers on Saturday at the 40th annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service.    He said being a police officer today is “a lot harder than it has ever been,” adding we can unite the nation and fight our common foes.
    The service honored the nearly 500 officers who have died in the line of duty during 2019 and 2020 as Biden highlighted how last year was the deadliest year for law enforcement on record.
    “We expect everything of you.    And it’s beyond the capacity of anyone to meet the total expectations.    Being a cop today is one hell of a lot harder that it’s ever been,” Biden stated.    “And the families of the fallen, you’ve suffered an enormous loss, but I understand your loss is also America’s loss.”
    In light of Saturday’s event, Biden ordered flags be flown at half-staff and said several officers have lost their lives to COVID-19 in the dark, early days of the pandemic.    The Democrat’s speech comes as Americans are divided when it comes to supporting its police forces.
    Biden made sure to call attention to his stalled police reform bill at the memorial service and suggested more funding so departments are “given the tools needed to be the partners and protectors their communities need.”
    “We’re waking up to the notion that unless we change the environment in which the job can be done, we’re going to have trouble having enough women and men come forward to want to do the job,” Biden stated.
    He assessed it’s now time to prevent the preventable tragedies, adding we can unite the nation and fight our common foes.

10/16/2021 Centre-Left Favoured To Take Rome In Italian Municipal Run-Offs
FILE PHOTO: The centre-left candidate for mayor of Rome Roberto Gualtieri casts his vote during
Italian elections for mayors and councillors, in Rome, Italy, October 3, 2021. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
    ROME (Reuters) – Italians begin voting on Sunday in a two-day run-off for the local governments of 65 large cities and smaller towns, including the capital Rome.
    Two weeks ago, the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) won mayoral elections in numerous big cities and Rome’s incumbent mayor, Virginia Raggi of the 5-Star Movement, failed even to make it to a run-off.
    The PD won outright in the financial capital Milan as well as Bologna and Naples, getting more than 50% of the votes and thus avoiding the need for a run-off.
    But there will be second rounds in the northern cities of Turin and Trieste, as well as Rome.    Polls will close on Monday afternoon.
    In Rome, former economy minister Roberto Gualtieri is expected to pick up most of the votes that went in the first round to Raggi and to Carlo Calenda, an independent centrist.
    Gualtieri came second in the first round with 27%, behind the right-wing candidate Enrico Michetti, a lawyer and radio host, on 30%.
    Gualtieri has received the backing of Calenda and former prime minister Giuseppe Conte, from the 5-Star Movement.    Raggi has decided not to endorse either of the remaining>     The elections will have no direct repercussions on Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s national unity government, but they are the first since he was sworn in in February.
    The results so far have been a setback for two allied right-wing parties, Matteo Salvini’s League and Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy, although they are likely to do well in many of the smaller towns still to be decided.
(Reporting by Giulia Segreti; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

10/17/2021 No Oil or DOW info.

10/17/2021 Up To 17 U.S. Missionaries And Family Kidnapped In Haiti – Media
A general view of Port-au-Prince, is seen from the outskirts of
Port-au-Prince, Haiti October 4, 2020. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares
    PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) -As many as 17 American Christian missionaries and their families, including children, were kidnapped on Saturday by gang members in Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince, U.S. media reported.     The kidnapping happened after the missionaries left an orphanage in the crisis-engulfed Caribbean nation, the New York Times and CNN said.
    The Washington Post reported that an audio from the Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries said “men, women and children” associated with the group were being held by an armed gang.
    “The mission field director and the American embassy are working to see what can be done,” the audio was quoted as saying.    “Pray that the gang members will come to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.”
    The victims included 14 adults and three minors, CNN said, citing an unnamed source in Haiti’s security forces.
    They were traveling to Titanyen after visiting the orphanage in the Croix des Bouquets area, CNN said.    The Times, citing local officials, said the missionaries were taken from a bus headed to the airport to drop off some members of the group before continuing to another destination in Haiti.
    The U.S. State Department is aware of the reports, a spokesperson told Reuters but did not offer details.    “The welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad is one of the highest priorities of the Department of State,” the spokesperson said in an email.
    The U.S. Embassy in Haiti did not respond to a request for comment outside business hours.    A spokeswoman for the Haitian police said she was seeking information on the issue.
    Christian Aid Ministries did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
    A surge in gang violence has displaced thousands and hampered economic activity in the poorest country in the Americas.    Violence spiraled after the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July and an earthquake in August which killed over 2,000 people.
(Reporting by Gessika Thomas in Port-au-Prince, Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru, Brad Brooks in Lubbock, Texas, and Brian Ellsworth; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore and William Mallard)

10/17/2021 German Greens Vote To Enter Government Coalition Talks
FILE PHOTO: German's Social Democratic Party (SPD) top candidate for Chancellor Olaf Scholz arrives to a meeting for
exploratory talks for a possible new government coalition, in Berlin, Germany, October 12, 2021. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse
    BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s Green party on Sunday followed its prospective partner, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), in clearing the way for official three-way negotiations with the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP) to form the next government.
    Delegates at a Green party conference in Berlin voted in favour of starting negotiations in earnest following initial explorative meetings, which could see the SPD’s Olaf Scholz succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor.
    The targeted “traffic light” alliance – named after the parties’ red, yellow and green colours – would be led by the SPD which came first in last month’s election.
    A final coalition agreement, which Scholz hopes to strike before Christmas, would again be subject to an all-member Green party vote.
    The FDP has yet to give an official go-ahead.
    Scholz is currently finance minister and vice-chancellor in the outgoing government coalition between Merkel’s conservatives and their junior partner, the SPD. He announced on Friday that he and the leaders of the smaller Greens and FDP aimed to move into formal coalition talks.
    The Greens and FDP have kept open the option of turning to the conservatives, who have been in office for the last 16 years, should talks with the SPD stumble.
(Reporting by Christian Kraemer und Holger Hansen; Writing by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Frances Kerry)

10/17/2021 Dr. Fauci: J&J Should Have Been A 2-Dose Vaccine To Begin With by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – JULY 20: Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases,
testifies at a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing at the Dirksen Senate
Office Building on July 20, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)
    Health officials say the Johnson and Johnson vaccine should have originally been two doses.    Despite data showing the J&J vaccine wasn’t as effective as the others, like Moderna and Pfizer, White House Chief Medical Adviser Anthony Fauci said recipients should “feel good about the booster recommendation.”
    During an interview Sunday, the health expert said recipients of the single-dose J&J vaccine shouldn’t be concerned about the shot’s lower efficacy now that boosters have been recommended.    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel unanimously decided to approve the J&J booster on Friday and are advising people to get it sooner rather than later.
    “Everyone who’ve received that first dose of J&J who are 18 and older should receive it,” said Fauci.    “So, I think that’s a very good thing.    And I think it’s very favorable for those who have received the J&J vaccine.    I don’t see that as a problem at all.”
    The J&J booster is now available for everyone above the age of 18, but Pfizer and Moderna boosters are only being offered to those 65 and older, and those who are at higher risk, raising concerns about the key differences.    Interestingly enough, health officials also confirmed boosting with a different shot than one’s original vaccine seems to be safe and effective.
    Although it hasn’t been peer reviewed yet, data revealed J&J recipients who received a Pfizer or Moderna booster had higher antibody levels, making people question which one they should take.    Fauci further added that the other vaccine boosters found to be more effective was discovered through “laboratory” data and that boosting the J&J first dose with a J&J second dose is based on “clinical” data, even though he has claimed they’re reflective of each other.
    Future plans include the FDA looking into all types of data in order to make determinations on what they’ll authorize.    These decisions won’t be made until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) observes data from Israel, which is about a month ahead of the U.S. in its vaccine distribution.
    In the meantime, Fauci said the FDA is on track to approve the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-to-11 in early November and health experts have insisted those who haven’t yet received a booster go get one immediately.

10/17/2021 Migrants Remain Stuck On Caribbean Coast by OAN Newsroom
NECOCLI, COLOMBIA – OCTOBER 04: Haitian immigrants plead with Colombian police after authorities temporarily closed a ferry boat
ticket office because of crowd control issues on October 04, 2021 in Necocli, Colombia. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
    Migrants remain stuck on a Northern Colombian beach town as they hope to continue their difficult journey to Mexico and the U.S.
    Haitian and Venezuelan migrants have been waiting to enter Panama’s Darien Gap, a treacherous jungle region where many have died attempting to make the crossing.    As the situation on the Caribbean Coast escalates, an official for Colombia has urged for better safety measures.
    “From the Ombudsman’s Office we had warned and requested the Uraba Coast Guard station to reinforce control measures, especially for illegal boats that leave at dawn to cross the Gulf of Uraba. We demand the authorities to investigate the possible omissions to this request and to take measures, so these types of tragedies do not occur again,” stressed Ombudsman Carlos Camargo.
    “It is precisely children and adolescents, pregnant women and nursing mothers with babies who are the main ones affected by this migration crisis.”
NECOCLI, COLOMBIA – OCTOBER 04: Haitian immigrants wait after Colombian police temporarily closed a ferry boat ticket
office because of crowd control issues on October 04, 2021 in Necocli, Colombia. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
    Meanwhile, one Venezuelan migrant highlighted their time waiting to purchase a ticket to be able to leave.
    “I have not been able to leave.    I have already been here for two months because they do not want to sell tickets to Venezuelans, neither as migrants nor as tourists, and the only boats that leave from here, apart from those of the [private] company, are illegal boats,” said Samuel Quevedo.
    Additionally, officials said the lifting of border closures that stemmed from the COVID-19 pandemic has been a main contributor to the rise in migrants.    They’ve also estimated nearly 1,000 migrants have been arriving in Necocli daily.

10/17/2021 GOP Gov. Hutchinson Supports Vaccine Mandates by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this July 15, 2021, file photo, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks during a town hall meeting in Texarkana, Ark.
Hutchinson on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, effectively approved a new U.S. House map that critics say weakens minority voters’ influence
in the state by splitting the Little Rock area among three congressional districts. (Kelsi Brinkmeyer/The Texarkana Gazette via AP, File)
    Arkansas GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson is backing employers COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
    During an interview on Sunday, Hutchinson said he opposed mandates from the federal government, but defended employers mandating workers.    He said employers are in a tough position and they have the right to make those decisions.
    The governor has consistently come under immense scrutiny by Republicans for promoting vaccine mandates and calling President Trump’s comments on the 2020 election “not constructive.”
    “Let’s talk about the future.    The election has passed, it’s been certified.    The state’s made decisions on the integrity of each of their elections.    They made improvements where need be.    It’s about the future, it’s not about the last election,” said Hutchinson.
    The governor went on to say Republicans will win in 2022 by focusing on the important issues of the supply chain and getting past the pandemic.

10/17/2021 Transportation Secy. Buttigieg: Supply Chain Issues Will Continue Into 2022 by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 13: U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg arrives for a television interview
with CNBC outside the White House October 13, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    As concerns over supply chain issues at America’s ports continue to grow as the holiday season closes in, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says troubles are likely to continue into 2022.
    “Certainly, a lot of challenges that we have been experiencing this year will continue into next year.    But there are both short-term and long-term steps that we can take to do something about it,” he said.
    During an interview with CNN’s State of the Union Sunday, Buttigieg attempted to put a good spin on the supply chain issues causing prices to skyrocket, calling it beneficial.    Amid concerns of the upcoming holidays, Buttigieg credited the sight of empty shelves as a sign Joe Biden has “successfully guided our economy out of the teeth of a terrifying recession.”
    He said the U.S.’ supply chain can’t keep up, taking the opportunity to further push Democrat’s multi-trillion dollar infrastructure and reconciliation bills.
    “Now the issue is even though our ports are handling more than they ever have, there are record amounts of goods coming, our supply chains can’t keep up. Of course, our supply chains, that’s a complicated system that is mostly in private hands and rightly so,” said Buttigieg.    “Our role is to be an honest broker, bring together all of the players, secure commitments and get solutions that will make it easier.”
    Buttigieg was placed on paternity leave after adopting a child in mid-August and has since been absent from his post amid the crisis, causing heavy backlash from Republicans.    Meanwhile, Republicans have continued to show their frustration over the crisis, emphasizing the Biden administration should be looking for solutions instead of encouraging others to purchase Christmas gifts extra early this year.

10/17/2021 Sen. Johnson: Biden’s DOJ Intimidating Parents Who Oppose Critical Race Theory by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – AUGUST 04: Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) speaks on the bipartisan infrastructure bill during a press conference
with fellow Republican Senators at U.S. Capitol on August 04, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
    Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said Joe Biden’s Department of Justice is violating First Amendment rights by threatening parents who oppose far-left propaganda in schools.
    On Sunday, Johnson said Democrats and mainstream media have been using the Jan. 6 protest to label all of their opponents as something they’re not.    This comes after the DOJ suggested parents who oppose critical race theory may be “domestic terrorists.”
    Johnson said Biden’s DOJ is advancing a harmful partisan agenda.
    “It is the method of intimidation. His order basically states that if you’ve got a hand in these school board meetings, then you’d be investigated because he’s saying that they’re intimidating school board members,” Johnson explained.
    “No, it’s the attorney general of the United States that is intimidating people exercising their rights to free speech and their right to petition their government.”
    Johnson went on to say all parents across the U.S. must stand up to school boards and what they think is best for their children, not Biden and his officials.    Johnson added he hopes parents are paying attention.

10/17/2021 Fmr. FDA Commissioner Gottlieb: Children Ages 5-11 Could Be Vaccinated By Thanksgiving 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 said it’s “certainly reasonable” to start seeing children ages 5-to-11 vaccinated as soon as Thanksgiving.
    During an interview on CBS’ Face the Nation, Gottlieb said assuming both the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) come to terms on the authorization and eligibility of the vaccine, it should be available soon.    He added Pfizer plans to ship the vaccine in smaller vials and smaller trays that could make it more accessible to a greater number of pediatric practices.
    However, Gottlieb said the CDC is taking precautions when it comes to administering vaccines to children.
    “I think the CDC’s likely to take a very cautious approach in children ages 5-to-11, in part because they’re at less risk from COVID, in part because this is a new vaccine and we’re still collecting data about it, and it’s a novel virus.    So, there’s still some things we don’t know,” said Gottlieb.
    Meanwhile, the push for the jab has continued to create controversy as some parents have been vocal about their hesitancy to vaccinate children.

10/17/2021 Gov. Abbott: ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ Popular Because Biden’s A Disaster by OAN Newsroom
AUSTIN, TX – MARCH 29: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced new executive orders listing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and
the state are putting up a 250-bed field hospital at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas during a
press conference at the Texas State Capitol in Austin, Sunday, March 29, 2020. (Photo by Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images)
    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is weighing in on the recent anti-Biden chant trending around the nation.
    In an interview with Breitbart News on Friday, Abbott was asked about the “Let’s go Brandon” movement that’s taken over the crowds at sporting events ever since an NBC reporter mistook an anti-Biden chant for the term “Let’s go Brandon.”    Abbott said people are angry over a plethora of issues brought about by Joe Biden’s recent policies.
    “It’s just ludicrous, the policies that Joe Biden is advancing, and so when people gather at stadiums or maybe anywhere, they’re just angry about the Biden administration’s policies. Only part of it relates to COVID,” claimed Abbott.    “Part of it is about the border, part of it is about inflation, part of it is about the catastrophic policies they’re implementing.”
    Meanwhile, “Let’s go Brandon” hasn’t just become a social media sensation, but it also inspired it’s own song, which is reportedly sitting at the top of iTunes hip-hop charts.

10/18/2021 No Oil or DOW info.

10/18/2021 Statewide School Walkout Underway To Protest Calif. Gov. Newsom’s Forced Vaccinations' by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, file photo, Evelyn Guillen with her three-year-old son, joins anti-vaccine protesters
outside the Los Angeles Unified School District administrative offices in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
    California parents and teachers who oppose Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom’s vaccine mandate planned a statewide walk-out.    Those choosing to rally against the policy targeting students joined forces on Monday. Protest organizers urged parents to keep their children at home and asked teachers who support the walkout to stay home as well.
    This statewide demonstration comes in response to Newsom’s vaccine mandate that took effect last Friday.    Once fully approved, California school children who attend in-person classes would be required to take the vaccine.    However, parents like Babe Prieto of Sacramento said forced vaccinations are unconstitutional and violate the bodily autonomy of their children.
    “We want them to know that we’re serious about not being forced to vaccinate our children,” stressed Prieto.
    Another parent, Amy Smith, added that it should be their choice to decide if their child should receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
    “The parents make the choices for medical freedom for their children and that we have bodily autonomy,” she stated.     “It’s my body, my choice and so, we just hope that the school district hears the parents and know that they’re is an overwhelmingly amount of parents who are not happy with this mandate.”
    Meanwhile, biology teacher Phil Johnson stressed if the vaccine mandate goes through, it will be devastating to the school system.
    “This mandate, especially in kids, is a complete government overreach and Governor Newsom is playing politics with our children,” he asserted.
    For now, the mandate only applies to students ages 12 and older, but the FDA reported it’s on track to approve vaccines for children ages five to 11 as soon as November.

10/18/2021 Anti-Trump Dossier Author Tries To Defend Debunked Work by OAN Newsroom
Christopher Steele is pictured. (Victoria Jones / Press Association via AP)
    Former British spy Christopher Steele appeared to scrambling to defend his role behind the false narrative of “Russian collusion.”    During an interview Sunday, he admitted his dossier against 45th President Donald Trump was not 100 percent accurate.
    However, Steele is still promoting his now debunked “opposition research.”    The British spy claims the anti-Trump dossier was based on rumors and Russian sources, but he refused to disclose who those sources were.
    “If you have a confidential source and that confidential source is blown or is uncovered, that confidential source will often take fright and downplay and underestimate what they’ve said and done.    And I think that’s probably what happened here…I think anybody that’s named in this contact, particularly if they are Russian, has every reason to be afraid.”
    The Dossier was released to mainstream media in early 2017.    Since then, U.S. Congress has found Steele’s work was paid for by the Democrat National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign.

10/18/2021 Former Defense Secretary: Biden Has ‘Gotten A Lot Wrong’ On Foreign Policy, National Security by OAN Newsroom
FILE – Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates listens to a reporter’s question
during a news briefing at the Pentagon. (Charles Dharapak/AP Photo)
    According to former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Joe Biden has “gotten a lot wrong through the years.”    In an interview Sunday, the former official affirmed he still believes Biden has been wrong on nearly every foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.
    Gates specifically took aim at the Democrat over his handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal while calling it a “big mistake.”    He also suggested it would be very naïve to assume things were not going to go downhill after the U.S. pulled out it’s forces.
    “He (Biden) opposed every one of Ronald Reagan’s military programs to contest the Soviet Union,” explained the former defense secretary.    “He opposed the first Gulf War.    That list goes on.    Now I will say that in the Obama administration, he and I obviously had significant differences over Afghanistan.    But he and I did agree in our opposition to the intervention in Libya and, frankly, on issues relating to Russia and China.”
    Gates also said carrying out counterterrorism in Afghanistan without a presence in the country will be very difficult.

10/18/2021 U.S. Concerned By Possible Chinese, Russian Uses Of Hypersonic Weapons by Stephanie Nebehay
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin responds to questions during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on "Ending the U.S. Military
Mission in Afghanistan" in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, U.S., September 29, 2021. Rod Lamkey/Pool via REUTERS
    GENEVA (Reuters) – Washington is concerned about hypersonic missile technology and its potential military applications by China and Russia, a U.S. arms control official said on Monday, after a media report that Beijing had tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic glide weapon.
    Hypersonic weapons are usually defined as missiles that fly more than five times the speed of sound, and a race is under way for the next generation of long-range weapons that are harder to detect and intercept.
    The Financial Times, quoting five people familiar with the matter, said at the weekend that China had tested a weapon in August that flew through space and circled the globe before cruising down towards a target which it missed.
    The Chinese foreign ministry denied the report.    It said it had carried out a routine test in July, but added: “It was not a missile, it was a space vehicle.”
    The United States and Russia have both tested hypersonic weapons but U.S. disarmament ambassador Robert Wood said that Washington had concerns about their possible use.
    “Hypersonic technology is something that we have been concerned about, the potential military applications of it and we have held back from pursuing, we had held back from pursing military applications for this technology,” he told a small group of reporters in Geneva.
    “But we have seen China and Russia pursuing very actively the use, the militarisation of this technology so we are just having to respond in kind…We just don’t know how we can defend against that technology, neither does China, neither does Russia.”
    Wood was referring to the difficulty of missile defence systems to track such high-speed weapons that can manoeuvre and evade shields intended to stop them from entering territory.
    “The Russians have a hypersonic glide vehicle called the Avangard, one of their heavy ICBMs (inter-continental ballistic missiles),” Wood said.    “We have known about (that).    They have, in essence, it’s captured in the New START agreement (on nuclear arms reduction), it’s not quite developed yet.”
    “But this type of technology is worrisome, because we just haven’t had to face it before,” he added.
    Russia and China did not immediately respond to his comments.
    Wood, who is the U.S. envoy to the U.N.-sponsored Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, voiced hope that the new technology could be addressed or “captured” in some kind of internationally agreed principle or legal mechanism in the future.
    U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said separately that Washington was closely watching China’s development of advanced weapons systems though he declined to comment directly on the Financial Times’ report.
    “We watch closely China’s development of armament and advanced capabilities and systems that will only increase tensions in the region,” Austin told reporters during a visit to the former Soviet republic of Georgia.
    He said Washington would remain focused on the military challenge from Beijing.
(Additional reporting by David Chkhikvishvili in Tbilisi, Writing by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by Timothy Heritage)

10/18/2021 EU Plays Down Chance Of Any Iran Talks Outside Vienna by Robin Emmott and Philip Blenkinsop
FILE PHOTO: EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell delivers a speech during a debate on the future of EU-U.S. relations as part
of a plenary session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, October 5, 2021. Frederick Florin/Pool via REUTERS
    LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) -The European Union on Monday played down the prospect of serious talks on Iran’s nuclear programme outside the framework of negotiations between world powers and Iran in Vienna, with the EU’s foreign policy chief saying time was not on Iran’s side.
    A senior EU official said last week Iran was not ready yet to return to actual talks with world powers over reviving its 2015 nuclear programme and related U.S. sanctions but could discuss with the EU in Brussels texts from when negotiations ended in June.
    Contradictory reports in Iranian media on Sunday had suggested a possible meeting on Thursday in Brussels.
    After initially suggesting optimism that preparatory talks in the Belgian capital could take place soon, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Monday evening that there was nothing concrete and definitely no discussions on Thursday.
    He said he was open to clarifying Iranian doubts about the Vienna talks in any format, but that serious talks would happen in the Austrian capital.    He said Iranian officials had requested bilateral meetings with him and other parties to the deal, although the wish was not “precise.”
    “We made it clear to the Iranians that time is not on their side and it’s better to go back to the negotiating table quickly,” he said.
    Western diplomats have said they are concerned Tehran’s new negotiating team – under a president known as an anti-Western hardliner rather than a pragmatist like his predecessor – may make demands beyond the scope of what had already been agreed.     Some also fear Iran is seeking to gain time and leverage by talking to the EU, which coordinates the talks, rather than all the parties to the deal – France, Britain, Germany, Russia, China and indirectly the United States.
    Iran has long denied any ambition to acquire nuclear weapons and accused the United States of unfair treatment.
    EU political director Enrique Mora, the chief coordinator, was in Tehran on Thursday to meet Iran’s new nuclear negotiating team, four months after talks broke off between Iran and world powers as Ebrahim Raisi was elected Iranian president.
    The Iranian establishment has so far refused to resume indirect talks with the United States in Vienna on both sides returning to compliance with the deal, under which Iran curbed its nuclear program in return for economic sanctions relief.
    The deal effectively fell apart after former U.S. President Donald Trump re-imposed sanctions on Iran in 2018 and Tehran resumed building its stockpile of enriched uranium.
    Hinting at frustration in Paris, Foreign ministry spokeswoman Anne-Claire Legendre told reporters that France had not been informed of any meeting in Brussels later this week and insisted that any such meeting could not be instead of negotiations in Vienna.
    “These exchanges cannot replace the negotiations in Vienna with the other participants in the JCPoA and the United States,” she told reporters, referring to the acronym for the 2015 deal.
    “These negotiations were halted at Tehran’s request four months ago now, and Iran has yet to commit to a date for their resumption.”
(Additional reporting by John Irish and Parisa Hafezi; Writing by Ingrid Melander and John Irish; Editing by Philippa Fletcher and Nick Macfie)

10/18/2021 German Parties Give Green Light To Three-Way Coalition Talks
Free Democratic Party (FDP) leader Christian Lindner gives a statement following a meeting for exploratory talks
for a possible new government coalition in Berlin, Germany, October 15, 2021. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse
    BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP) joined the Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens on Monday in approving a decision by party leaders to proceed with three-way coalition talks to form what they called “a government of the middle.”
    The FDP leadership and members of parliament voted in favour of the start to negotiations after initial exploratory talks that saw the three parties agree a roadmap.    The Greens and centre-left SPD had already given their approval.
    Party sources have said talks to form a “traffic light” alliance – named after the parties’ red, yellow and green colours – could begin from Thursday, with the aim of swearing in a government by Christmas.
    Such a three-way coalition – the first of its kind at a federal level – would oust the conservatives after 16 years in government under Chancellor Angela Merkel, who did not stand for re-election.
    But FDP leader Christian Lindner said his party would ensure this would not herald a shift to the left. Instead, theirs would be a “government of the middle.”
    “We see opportunities but we also see challenges,” said Lindner, adding that there were big differences between the parties and “a lot of tolerance” would be necessary.
    The targeted alliance would be led by the SPD, which came first in last month’s election, with the party’s Olaf Scholz likely succeeding Merkel as chancellor.
    Scholz is currently finance minister and vice-chancellor in the outgoing coalition between Merkel’s conservatives and their junior partner, the SPD.
    He and the leaders of the smaller Greens and FDP announced on Friday they aimed to move into formal coalition talks, publishing the roadmap of points on which they agreed and compromises they had already reached.
    Among other measures, the parties agreed to bring forward an exit from coal-fired power, to avoid tax increases and to raise the minimum wage.
    The Greens and FDP have kept open the option of turning to the conservatives should talks with the SPD stumble.
(Reporting by Alexander Ratz; Additional Reporting by Holger Hansen; Writing by Sarah Marsh; Editing by Alison Williams)

10/18/2021 Health Pass Protest Continues At Italian Port Despite Police Water Cannon, Tear Gas
Port workers demonstrate outside the entrance of the major port of Trieste, as Italian riot police try to disperse
the protest which has taken place for several days against the implementation of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
health pass, the Green Pass, in the workplace, in Trieste, Italy, October 18, 2021. REUTERS/Borut Zivulovic
    TRIESTE, Italy (Reuters) -Italian police used water cannon and tear gas on Monday in an attempt to clear a sit-in at the port of Trieste, where opponents of the government’s mandatory COVID-19 health pass have tried to block access.
    The northeastern port has been the focal point of protest in Italy over the introduction of new rules last Friday that require all workers either to show proof of vaccination, a negative coronavirus test or recent recovery from infection.
    Police in full riot gear moved in on Monday morning after several hundred dock workers disrupted access to one of the main gates at Italy’s largest commercial port.
    The crowds were pushed aside by jets of water followed by volleys of tear gas.    Many of them headed towards the city’s main square to continue their protest in front of government offices.
    “They attacked us.    I am speechless.    I never expected it,” said Stefano Puzzer, the spokesman of the port protesters.     “We will sit down here.    We are keeping calm.    We will not give up.”
    The protesters refused to disperse despite repeated police use of water cannons into the evening, TV footage showed.
    Three police officers were slightly injured in clashes, Italian media reported.
    The government says the mandatory health ‘Green Pass’ is needed to keep workers safe and to encourage more people to get vaccinated.    Under the rule, effective until year-end, workers will be suspended without pay and face a fine of up to 1,500 euros ($1,730) if they try to work without the certificate.
    Most Italians support the provision, opinion polls show, but a vocal minority says it impinges on core labour rights.
    Some 15% of private and 8% of public sector workers have no Green Pass, according to a government document seen by Reuters last week.
    However, Puzzer has said around 40% of Trieste’s port workers are not inoculated.    Vaccine hostility is also higher in the city than in most of Italy, with an “anti-vax” party taking 4.5% of the vote at mayoral elections this month.
(Reporting by Crispian BalmerEditing by Peter Graff and Gavin Jones)

10/18/2021 EU Has Exported Over 1 Billion COVID-19 Vaccines, Von Der Leyen Says by Francesco Guarascio
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen gives a media statement on the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) vaccines, in Brussels, Belgium October 18, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman/Pool
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) - More than a billion COVID-19 vaccines produced in the European Union have been exported since December 2020, making the bloc the biggest exporter of the shots, European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen said on Monday.
    The vaccines had gone to more than 150 countries, and the EU had exported as many doses as it had distributed to its own citizens, von der Leyen added in a statement.
    The bloc started exporting vaccines at the start of the global roll out at a time when other major producers such as the United States were building up their own supplies and restricting exports.
    Most EU exports have been directed to bigger economies, including Japan, Turkey and Britain, who had contracts with vaccine makers based in the bloc.
    Sales and donations to poorer nations have so far made up a small proportion of total exports, but the bloc was planning to distribute at least 500 million shots to the most vulnerable countries in coming months, von der Leyen said.
    Half of these doses would be supplied from a new contract that the EU wants to have with a producer of messenger RNA vaccines, officials said.    The other half will be donations from EU states who have already bought vaccines.
    The bloc has already signed supply contracts with mRNA vaccine makers Pfizer-BioNTech for a total of up to 2.4 billion doses until 2023 and with Moderna for up to 460 million doses.
    The EU set up a vaccine export control mechanism in late January to monitor the outbound flow of shots from the continent.
    Although the mechanism allows the EU to block exports in the event of insufficient domestic supplies, it has been activated only once to prevent the shipment of 250,000 AstraZeneca vaccines to Australia in March at the height of a dispute with the Anglo-Swedish firm about its supplies to the EU.
(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio, editing by Marine Strauss, Ed Osmond and Andrew Heavens)

10/18/2021 Centre-Left Wins Italian Mayoral Run-Offs As Right Flounders by Gavin Jones and Angelo Amante
Centre-left candidate for mayor of Rome Roberto Gualtieri gestures prior to a
news conference in Rome, Italy, October 18, 2021. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
    ROME (Reuters) – Centre-left candidates won resounding victories in mayoral elections in Rome and Turin, results showed on Monday, sweeping aside centre-right opponents amid a record-low turnout.
    The votes on Sunday and Monday complete a round of centre-left triumphs in Italy’s largest cities and mark a setback for the rightist alliance which is nonetheless favourite to win the next national election due in 2023.
    Centre-left candidates had already easily won Milan, Naples and Bologna two weeks ago without the need for a run-off.
    In Rome, former Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri from the Democratic Party (PD), was projected to win by 60% to 40% against the right’s Enrico Michetti, an impregnable lead with the count still underway.
    “I won’t disappoint you … now we begin a task of extraordinary intensity to relaunch Rome,” Gualtieri told reporters, promising to turn the city into “a champion of the ecological transition.”
    He faces an arduous task to fix the capital’s most chronic problems, including haphazard trash collection and a dilapidated and inadequate public transport system.
    Most Romans seem convinced that nobody can turn the city around, with just 41% bothering to cast a vote.
    In Turin, the PD’s Stefano Lo Russo was projected to win by 59% to 41% against the right’s Paolo Damilano.
    Both cities were previously run by the 5-Star Movement, whose candidates were defeated in the first round.
    With an overall turnout below 45%, the results are not expected to have immediate repercussions for the stability of Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s national unity government, analysts say.
    Gualtieri, who lagged by three points after the first ballot, seems to have picked up most of the votes of those who supported the first-round losers – 5-Star’s outgoing mayor Virginia Raggi and Carlo Calenda, an independent centrist.
    The results dealt a blow to Matteo Salvini and Giorgia Meloni, respective leaders of the rightist League and Brothers of Italy which dominate a conservative alliance that leads at a national level, according to recent opinion polls.
    However the rightist bloc, which includes Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, draws most of its support from small towns and villages, and analysts say it may be misleading to draw national conclusions from the mayoral votes.
    “Rightwing voters tend to mobilise more at national elections than at local ones,” said pollster Antonio Noto of the Opinio Consortium.
    Lorenzo De Sio, politics professor at Rome’s LUISS university, said Meloni and Salvini’s hardline policies had put off many well-off, moderate voters.
    “Brothers of Italy has fanned the flames of anti-vaccination protesters, while the League has been ambiguous in its support for Draghi’s government.    Neither policy seems to have paid off,” he said.
    The next parliamentary election is shaping up as a battle between the right and a centre-left bloc led by the PD and the 5-Star Movement.
    Among other cities at stake in the mayoral run-offs, the right held on to northeastern port Trieste but lost Varese, close to the Swiss border, in an area where Salvini’s League has its historic roots.
(Reporting by Gavin Jones and Angelo Amante, editing by Crispian Balmer and Andrew Heavens)

10/18/2021 German Utilities Tell Politicians To Heed Energy Supply Security
FILE PHOTO: Power-generating windmill turbines are pictured at the 'Amrumbank West' offshore windpark
in the northern sea near the island of Amrum, Germany September 4, 2015. REUTERS/Morris Mac Matzen
    FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German utilities on Monday cautiously welcomed the newly forming government’s climate protection plan, but warned that more support for renewables and gas-to-power plants was needed to ensure security of supply as coal burning is phased out.
    The draft agreement published on Friday by the so-called “traffic light” coalition of centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), Greens and business-friendly Free Democrats said that ideally an exit from coal should be moved forward to 2030 from 2038.
    It called for more solar and wind power to be brought in, as Germany plans to also get out of nuclear energy by the end of next year.    Ahead of the election utilities said more clarity on and funding for alternative forms of power would be needed.[POWER/DE]
    “The coal exit can only work with a sufficient expansion of renewables and gas-to-power plants in order to ensure the security of supply,” said utility industry association BDEW.
    South-western company EnbW echoed this.
    “The 2030 date is not unrealistic but, alongside a massive and clearly faster renewable build-out, we need new gas-to-power plants to balance grids when wind and sunshine are lacking to cover bottlenecks at short notice,” it said.
    EnBW added it was looking into converting power plants running on fossil gas to units ready to accommodate clean hydrogen derived from wind and sunshine in the distant future.
    RWE said it welcomed speedier approval procedures for renewables, on which it is keen to move faster to leave its activities in domestic brown coal and imported hard coal behind.
    Activist shareholder Enkraft Capital said RWE needed to speed up its efforts to pull out of lignite, or brown coal, operations, where RWE is active in both mining and generation.
    “In Germany, there is a clear political and social consensus that the phase-out of lignite must be accelerated,” it said.    “The executive board of RWE still seems to be lagging behind the momentum.”
    EnKraft said embracing change made immediate sense.
    “A purely renewable energies-focused RWE will be rated significantly higher than the company in its current structure,” it said.
(Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff and Vera Eckert; Editing by Jan Harvey)

10/18/2021 Reagan Speech Writer Says Dems Went Crazy With Spending by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, file photo President Joe Biden speaks at the dedication of the
Dodd Center for Human Rights at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Conn. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Once-presidential speech writer for former President Ronald Reagan, John Podhoretz recently came after Democrats and Joe Biden for tripping at the infrastructure finish line.
    During a panel discussion on NBS’s Meet the Press Sunday, Podhoretz criticized many of Biden’s failures, specifically his spending agenda.    He added, Democrats are “tanking” the bipartisan infrastructure bill and slammed the left’s reckless spending spree.
    “They have a huge spending bill, a trillion-dollar infrastructure bill…what are you crazy?” he asked.    “…Obama didn’t even spend a trillion dollars on the stimulus package in 2009.”
    During the discussion, he reacted to the suggestion that Democrats during the election committed to too much up front and are now scrambling to make good on their promises.
    “Democrats went nuts in the winter, they went crazy,” said Podhoretz.    “They were at the point of having $8 trillion of new spending with no consensus.    Forget the democratic base, like there was no mandate to do any of this from the American people writ large.”
    Podhoretz suggested Biden was tricked into thinking he could match past great American presidents.    He said House leadership must have told him he could be the next FDR or Lyndon B. Johnson. However, Podhoretz asserted this is just not the case.
    Podhoretz said Biden is just not measuring up, while noting George W. Bush had a nearly similar Congress in 2001 and was able to bridge the divide between Democrats and Republicans to pass a bipartisan education bill.
    The largely liberal Meet the Press panel appeared to agree that without these packages being passed, ideally in a bipartisan fashion, Biden could risk alienating the Democrat base.

10/18/2021 Dem Whip Clyburn: Inflation ‘Global Problem’, Not Biden’s by OAN Newsroom
House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) is pictured. (Jacquelyn Martin / AP Photo)
    A top Democrat Party official is trying to deny that inflation and economic problems are caused by Joe Biden’s policies.    In a recent interview, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) claimed supply chain disruptions causing inflation are not Biden’s problem.
    Instead, Clyburn asserted poor economic performance of the U.S. is part of a “global trend.”    His remarks came despite U.S. inflation running higher than in other advanced economies at above 5 percent compared to 3 percent in the U.K., 4 percent in Germany and -0.4 percent in Japan.    However, Clyburn is blaming other countries for problems in the U.S.
    “The problem we have here is that President Biden did have a big win with the American Rescue Act,” claimed the House Majority Whip.    “We immediately moved more than half of children living in poverty, came out of poverty.    Around the 15th of every month we’ve got families with children getting checks in the mail.”
    According to reports, economic problems are widely expected to last well into the next year due to Biden’s misguided policies.

10/18/2021 U.S. Says It Made No Financing Offers To Turkey On F-16 Jets by Humeyra Pamuk and Simon Lewis
FILE PHOTO: An F-16 aircraft of the Turkish Stars aerobatic team of the Turkish Air Force performs during Teknofest airshow
over the city's new airport under construction in Istanbul, Turkey September 20, 2018. REUTERS/Osman Orsal/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States on Monday did not confirm Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s comment that Washington had made an offer to Ankara for the sale of F-16 fighter jets but added that it has not made Turkey a financing offer for the warplanes.
    Erdogan said on Sunday that the United States had proposed the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey in return for its investment in the F-35 program, from which Ankara was removed after buying missile defense systems from Russia.
    “We would refer you to the Turkish government to speak to its defense procurement plans.    What I can say is the United States has not made any financing offers on Turkey’s F-16 request,” U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a briefing.
    Reuters reported earlier this month that Turkey made a request to the United States to buy 40 Lockheed Martin-made F-16 fighter jets and nearly 80 modernization kits for its existing warplanes.
    Previously Ankara had also ordered more than 100 F-35 jets, made by Lockheed Martin Corp, but the United States removed Turkey from the program in 2019 after it acquired Russian S-400 missile defence systems.
    Erdogan said Washington had made the F-16 proposal in return for Turkey’s payment of $1.4 billion that it made for the F-35 joint fighter program.
    Asked if it was possible for that money to be used toward the purchase of F-16s, Price said: “The Department of Defense continues to be engaged in a dispute resolution mechanism with Turkey on the F-35 but I’m not going to prejudge the outcome.”
    The decades-old partnership between the NATO allies has gone through unprecedented tumult in the past five years over disagreements on Syria policy, Ankara’s closer ties with Moscow, its naval ambitions in the eastern Mediterranean, U.S. charges against a state-owned Turkish bank and erosion of rights and freedoms in Turkey.
    Ankara’s purchase of the S-400s has also triggered U.S. sanctions.    In December 2020, Washington blacklisted Turkey’s Defence Industry Directorate, its chief, Ismail Demir, and three other employees.
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Simon Lewis in WashingtonEditing by Jonathan Oatis and Matthew Lewis)

10/19/2021 Oil down $0.21 to $82.44, DOW down 45 to 35,259.

10/19/2021 Exclusive – WHO-Led Programme Aims To Buy Antiviral COVID-19 Pills For $10 – Document by Francesco Guarascio
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured at the World Health Organization (WHO) building
in Geneva, Switzerland, February 2, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A World Health Organization-led programme to ensure poorer countries get fair access to COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments aims to secure antiviral drugs for patients with mild symptoms for as little as $10 per course, a draft document seen by Reuters says.
    Merck & Co’s experimental pill molnupiravir is likely to be one of the drugs, and other drugs to treat mild patients are being developed.
    The document, which outlines the goals of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) until September next year, says that the programme wants to deliver about 1 billion COVID-19 tests to poorer nations, and procure drugs to treat up to 120 million patients globally, out of about 200 million new cases it estimates in the next 12 months.
    The plans highlight how the WHO wants to shore up supplies of drugs and tests at a relatively low price after losing the vaccine race to wealthy nations which scooped up a huge share of the world’s supplies, leaving the world’s poorest countries with few shots.
    A spokesperson for the ACT-A said the document, dated Oct. 13, was still a draft under consultation and declined to comment on its content before it is finalised.    The document will also be sent to global leaders ahead of a G20 summit in Rome at the end of this month.
    The ACT-A asks the G20 and other donors for additional funding of $22.8 billion until September 2022 which will be needed to buy and distribute vaccines, drugs and tests to poorer nations and narrow the huge gaps in supply between wealthy and less advanced countries.    Donors have so far pledged $18.5 billion to the programme.
    The financial requests are based on detailed estimates about the price of drugs, treatments and tests, which will account for the programme’s biggest expenses alongside the cost of distributing vaccines.
    Although it does not explicitly cite molnupiravir, the ACT-A document expects to pay $10 dollar per course for “novel oral antivirals for mild/moderate patients.”
    Other pills to treat mild patients are being developed, but molnupiravir is the only one which has so far showed positive results in late-stage trials.    The ACT-A is in talks with Merck & Co and generics producers to buy the drug.
    The price is very low if compared with the $700 per course that the United States has agreed to pay for 1.7 million courses of the treatment.
    However, a study carried out by Harvard university estimated that molnupiravir could cost about $20 dollars if produced by generic drugmakers, with the price potentially going down to $7.7 under an optimised production.
    Merck & Co. has licensing deals with eight Indian generic drugmakers.
    The ACT-A document says that its target is to reach a deal by the end of November to secure the supply of an “oral outpatient drug,” which it aims to be available from the first quarter of next year.
    The money raised would initially be used to “support procurement of up to 28 million treatment courses for highest risk mild/moderate patients over the next 12 months, depending on product availability, clinical guidance, and volumes changing with evolution of needs,” the document says, noting this volume would be secured under an advance purchase agreement.
    Larger additional amounts of new oral antivirals to treat mild patients are also expected to be procured at a later stage, the document says.
    Another 4.3 million courses of repurposed COVID-19 pills to treat critical patients are also expected to be purchased at a price of $28 per course, the document says, without naming any specific drug.     The ACT-A also intends to address essential medical oxygen needs of 6-8 million severe and critical patients by September 2022.
    In addition, the programme plans to invest massively in COVID-19 diagnostics in order to at least double the number of tests carried out in poorer nations, defined as low income and low-middle income countries.
    Of the $22.8 billion, ACT-A plans to raise in the next 12 months, about one third and the largest share is to be spent on diagnostics, the document says.
    Currently poor countries conduct on average about 50 tests per 100,000 people every day, against 750 tests in richer nations.    The ACT-A wants to bring testing rates to a minimum of 100 tests per 100,000 in poorer states.
    That means delivering around 1 billion tests in the next 12 months, around 10 times more than the ACT-A has procured so far, the document shows.
    The largest share of diagnostics would be rapid antigen tests at a price of around $3, and only 15% would be spent to procure molecular tests, which are more accurate but take more time to deliver results and are estimated to cost around $17, including delivery costs, the document shows.
    The push on tests is meant to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor, as only 0.4% of the about 3 billion tests reported across the world have been conducted in poor nations, the document says.
    It would also help spot earlier possible new variants, which tend to proliferate when infections are widespread, and therefore are more likely in the countries with lower vaccination rates.
    The document underlines that “vaccine access is highly inequitable with coverage ranging from 1% to over 70%, depending largely on a country’s wealth.”
    The programme aims to vaccinate at least 70% of the eligible population in all countries by the middle of next year, in line with the WHO’s goals.
(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio; Editing by Susan Fenton)

10/19/2021 Britain’s Fossil Fuel Dilemma In The Spotlight As Climate Talks Near by Shadia Nasralla
FILE PHOTO: Drilling rigs are parked up in the Cromarty Firth near Invergordon,
Scotland, Britain January 27, 2015. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne
    LONDON (Reuters) – Britain faces a fossil fuel dilemma: it can burnish its green credentials by halting new oil and gas development in the North Sea, yet doing so will leave it more reliant on imported fuel.
    How Britain charts a course to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 will be under scrutiny when it hosts the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, starting on Oct. 31.
    Navigating that route has already proved challenging.
    In June 2019, when Britain enshrined its 2050 net zero target in law, Greenpeace activists steered speedboats towards a BP platform in the North Sea brandishing a “Climate Emergency” banner to try to stop production starting from Vorlich oilfield.
    Neither legislation nor activism halted the development. Production from Vorlich started in November 2020.
    Oil majors say new production can play a role in managing decline, while campaigners are pressing for an immediate halt to new projects with publicity stunts and legal action.
    The government, meanwhile, needs to keep the nation’s lights on as it smoothes over volatile energy markets and juggles competing demands over how to achieve its climate goals.
    “If supply goes away and demand doesn’t change, that only has one consequence and that is an escalation in price rises,” BP Chief Executive Bernard Looney said this month.
    Britain and other European states have already felt this acutely.    Brent crude, a benchmark based on North Sea barrels, is up more than 60% this year, while the price of UK benchmark wholesale gas has risen more than 250%.
    The challenge caused by shrinking domestic production and rising fuel imports has been felt across Europe.    The European wholesale gas price is up more than 350% this year.
    Britain, which could once depend on its own fields for oil and gas to fire up its power stations, fuel its cars and heat its homes, has been a net energy importer since 2005 as output from the North Sea has dwindled.
    With the capacity of its gas storage facilities now only enough to last the nation a few days, Britain’s reliance on just-in-time supplies shipped in from Qatar or elsewhere leave it exposed when the market tightens, like now with the surge in demand as economies recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
    For activists, the answer is not turning the taps back on but rather reducing domestic fossil fuel consumption.
    “We’re calling on Boris Johnson to stop pushing through new oil and gas projects,” said Greenpeace activist Philip Evans, addressing the British prime minister who has been pressing other countries to deepen climate commitments before COP26.
    “If the government is worried about keeping the lights on there are things they can be doing to reduce demand,” Evans said, including improvements to home insulation, cleaner public transport and more investment in renewable power generation.
    Around 70 scientists and academics sent an open letter published in Britain’s Independent newspaper this week calling on Johnson to stop allowing investment and licensing for new oil and gas fields, saying that “now is the time for bold political action
    Britain has made progress in some areas. It is the world’s biggest offshore wind power producer – and is expanding this resource rapidly.    But that doesn’t power homes on windless days.
    Yet, there is rising pressure to act faster to curb fossil fuel use.    The International Energy Agency said in a report the world must halt new oil and gas projects to achieve the 2015 Paris climate summit targets that aim to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050 compared with pre-industrial levels.
    “The purity of the (IEA) report is excellent, but the reality in practice for countries is about ensuring security of supply,” Anne-Marie Trevelyan told Reuters in June when she was still British minister of state for energy and clean growth.
    Britain has not committed to ending North Sea exploration, taking a similar approach to Norway but not Denmark, another North Sea producer, which has halted new projects.
    Britain has, however, been managing a decline, with production now half its 1999 peak at about 1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), or about 1% of global oil demand.
    Oil and Gas UK (OGUK), an industry association, has committed to making the North Sea an operationally net zero basin by 2050, which means it aims to eliminate, capture or offset any residual emissions from producing oil and gas there.
    It said in September that domestic production was cheaper and cleaner than imported gas, given shipping fuel creates emissions and because some other producing nations have poor environmental records.
    “Making the most of indigenous resources helps meet UK demand and contain price growth, providing secure supplies with a lower carbon footprint than imports offer,” OGUK said.
    Britain’s Oil and Gas Authority said gas extracted from the British North Sea had an average emission intensity of 22 kg carbon dioxide equivalent per barrel of oil equivalent, while imported LNG had an average intensity of 59 kg.
    Yet, Greenpeace and other activists say these arguments miss the point: using fossil fuels must stop rather than simply trying to make using them cleaner.
    To push for swifter action, they have taken campaigning to the courts.
    In one case, Greenpeace sought to have a BP gas field licence scrapped over its emissions via a Scottish court – although the action failed.
    In another case, it is seeking to halt development of the Cambo field off the Shetland Isles, a field part owned by Royal Dutch Shell.
    “We’ve delivered a 12-foot oil-stained statue of Boris Johnson right to the gates of Downing Street calling him out as a monumental climate failure,” said Greenpeace’s Evans.    “They can expect to see a lot more of Greenpeace in the court room.”
(Reporting by Shadia Nasralla; Editing by Edmund Blair)

10/19/2021 Children Fuel English COVID Case Rise After Slow Vaccine Start by Alistair Smout
FILE PHOTO: Students attend a lesson at Weaverham High School, as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
lockdown begins to ease, in Cheshire, England, March 9, 2021. REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff
    LONDON (Reuters) – The spread of COVID-19 among children in England is fuelling a recent rise in cases nationally and causing concern among some scientists that vaccines are being rolled out in schools too slowly, risking the welfare of children and adults alike.
    COVID-19 cases in Britain as a whole are much higher than in other European countries and are rising.    On Friday one survey suggested prevalence was at its highest level since January, with 8% of secondary school children infected.
    Vaccination rates for the age group in England are lagging those in many European countries and even Scotland, which some scientists have attributed to mixed messaging around shots for children, a later start and inflexibility with the rollout.
    “The worry at the moment is it is clear that the vaccination programme in 12 to 15-year-olds is not going very well,” Lawrence Young, virologist at University of Warwick, told Reuters, adding that the spread of other viruses could lead to a “perfect storm” in the winter for the National Health Service if cases spread to older, more vulnerable adults.
    “With all of what that means not only again for schools, but also for overwhelming the NHS… then the worry is that autumn and winter are going to get very, very messy.”
    Last month, Britain’s chief medical officers recommended that children aged 12 to 15 should be offered a COVID-19 vaccine to help reduce disruption to their education.
    But with children and teachers missing school time having caught COVID, some believe the rollout started too late.
    “The final approval to go ahead with this was about protecting education and we’re not doing that,” Young said.
    The health service set a target of offering all children vaccination shots by the school half-term break, which starts next week.
    Data released on Thursday showed that 28.8% of children aged 12-17 had received a COVID-19 shot.
    But while the rollout to 16 and 17-year-olds began in August, before schools went back, term had restarted for three weeks in England by the time the rollout to 12- to 15-year-olds had begun.
    The recommendation to vaccinate those children was delayed after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) declined to recommend broad vaccination of over-12s, saying the benefit to health was marginal and referring the decision to the chief medical officers.
    Whether or not vaccines prevent mild COVID and transmission in schools in light of the more contagious Delta variant is one major point of difference between those who believe vaccinations should have begun earlier and the JCVI, which says a deliberate and transparent process was crucial to maintaining trust.
    “The extent to which we could have modified the situation, or indeed are now modifying this situation, by immunising children always was going to be and remains modest,” Adam Finn, a JCVI member, told Reuters.
    “We shouldn’t imagine that somehow we missed the boat on some dramatic effect that would have been beneficial to children or everyone else, because the vaccines just don’t (prevent transmission) very efficiently, particularly with the Delta variant.”
    Finn said that as the risks of both infection and the shots were small, it was right that children and parents should be able to decide for themselves whether to get the shot, and said the focus should not be on the overall proportion who decide to take up the offer.
    “We allowed people to make their own decision in a rather marginal situation whether or not they wanted their children immunised.    Those that did went ahead, which is fine.    Those that didn’t didn’t go ahead, and that’s fine too.”
    However, the rollout in England is being done through schools, meaning the offer of a vaccine isn’t being made available to all eligible children at the same time.
    In Scotland, by contrast, where 46.5% of 12- to 15-year-olds have had a COVID shot, walk-in vaccination facilities are available, meaning children are not reliant on schools to get access to shots.
    The government is considering allowing children aged 12-15 to get their shots in walk-in clinics in England, the     Mail on Sunday reported, saying the change would happen within weeks.
    Dr Brian Ferguson, of the University of Cambridge’s Division of Immunology, said that while it was natural there would be a lower take-up in children, he was concerned that not all children who wanted shots in England currently had access to them.
    “The problem at the moment is that you have a slow rollout of this process, in the time when you also have a high case-rate in that age range,” he told Reuters.
    “That’s causing problems with getting the vaccines to children who want to have the vaccines… That I think is a foreseeable problem that could have been avoided.”
(Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Josephine Mason and Nick Macfie)

10/19/2021 Trump Weighs In On Biden’s Recent Blunders by OAN Newsroom

10/19/2021 Press Secy. Psaki: FBI Working To Bring 17 Missionaries Kidnapped In Haiti Home Safe by OAN Newsroom
This Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021 photo shows the logo for Christian Aid Ministries in Berlin, Ohio, on a vehicle. A group of 17 missionaries including children
has been kidnapped by a gang in Haiti, according to a voice message sent to various religious missions by the organization. The message
from Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries said the missionaries were on their way home from building an orphanage. (AP Photo/Tom E. Puskar)
    U.S. officials are working with Haitian authorities to seek the release of a group of American missionaries who were kidnapped by a notorious Haitian gang.    Haitian police on Sunday said the U.S. based missionary group was abducted by the 400 Mawozo Gang, noting U.S. authorities were reaching out to the gang regarding the group’s release.
    This came after the gang abducted the collection of 12 adults and five children while they volunteered at a orphanage outside the nation’s capital.    Locals said the abduction fosters fear throughout the nation hindering commerce.
    “When we hear (there is a kidnapping), the effect of the kidnapping, (we know) there’s not going to be (good for) drivers,” explained Charles Pierre, a motorcycle taxi driver.    “People do not go out in the streets.    We can not find people to transport.    We have a wife (and) four to five children, and a family, children.    (We) have responsibilities at home.”
    The gang is responsible for a number of violent kidnappings and extortion plots throughout the impoverished nation over the last few years, including the kidnapping of five priests and two nuns earlier this year.    In response, a State Department spokesman said the “welfare and safety” of U.S. citizens abroad is their highest priority.
    The White House gave an update on efforts to get American missionaries who were kidnapped in Haiti back home.    On Monday, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the FBI is leading the charge on efforts to see that 17 missionaries from the U.S.-based Christian Aid Ministries are returned to safety. She added, Joe Biden is receiving regular updates on the matter.
    “The President has been briefed and is receiving regular updates on what the State Department and the FBI are doing to bring these individuals home safely,” Psaki stated.
    The press secretary noted that due to operational considerations, she was not going to go into too much detail about the rescue strategy at this time.    However, she did confirm there has been engagement with the 400 Mawozo gang and local authorities are assisting in the matter.    The identities of the missionaries have not been released at this time, but five of them are confirmed to be children.

10/19/2021 Dozens Of Unvaccinated Wash. State Ferry Workers Set To Be Fired by OAN Newsroom
File – A Washington State Ferry is pictured. (AP Photo)
    Hundreds of Washington State Ferry (WSF) workers are at risk of losing their jobs for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
    While speaking to the press on Monday, 23-year Chief Engineer Craig Hendricks said although his religious exemption was granted, the ferry system refused to make any accommodations that would allow him to keep working.
    “I applied for other accommodations maybe like driving a snow plow or something, you know what I mean?    Anything,” he explained.    “Nothing.    They won’t accommodate me in any way, shape or form.”
    At least 200 Washington ferry workers could get fired for not getting the jab as of Monday’s deadline.    This comes as the ferry system is already plagued with staffing shortages.
    Deck worker Christopher Anderson stressed the state can solve the shortage issue if they were to grant people the appropriate accommodations, but said the public will now have to pay.
    “The passengers they’re going to be missing medical appointments, they’re going to be stranded at the terminals for hours on end, they’re going to be late for their own jobs,” Anderson pointed out.    “It has a big ripple effect.”
    However, a spokesman for the WSF, Ian Sterling, said they believe they have the situation all under control.
    “Well, we’re pretty confident we can keep the schedule we have right now, so people can rely on the ferry services that they always have,” he asserted.    “There may not be a boat quite as often, it’s like having a two lane highway and closing one of the lanes.”
    Ferry officials said although several accommodations have been granted at the end of the day, if workers have not received the jab then they will be left without a job.

10/19/2021 Rep. Taylor: Biden Is Undermining U.S. Border Patrol by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Sept. 26, 2019, file photo asylum seekers in Tijuana, Mexico, listen to names being called from a waiting
list to claim asylum at a border crossing in San Diego. The Biden administration outlined a plan to reinstate a border
policy that made asylum-seekers wait in Mexico for hearings in U.S. immigration court. (AP Photo/Elliot Spagat, File)
    According to congressman Van Taylor (R-Texas), Joe Biden is undermining the work of Customs and Border Protection.    In a series of recent interviews, the representative said Biden’s policies have turned CBP agents from “border protection” into “border processing.”
    Taylor added, Biden is forcing border agents to admit illegal immigrants into the U.S. instead of preventing their illegal entry in the first place.    The number of illegal immigrants that breached the U.S. border has exceeded 1.2 million this year so far.
    The Republican lawmaker stressed, Biden’s immigration policies are a disaster in the making.
    “Biden is releasing tens of thousands of illegal aliens who are COVID positive into our country, just incredible,” he stated.    “I mean completely irresponsible on Biden’s part.    And furthermore, the cartels control every square inch south of the border, and they are looking for where we are going and what we are doing and their using the human smuggling operation to smuggle drugs across.”
    Congressman Taylor pointed out that positivity rate for COVID-19 stands at 25 percent among illegal immigrants, which poses a risk to public health.

10/19/2021 Reports: Calif. Crackdown On Truckers Hurts Supply Chains by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this July 22, 2019 photo, trucks hauling shipping containers wait to
unload at the Port of Oakland in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)
    New reports revealed a supply glut in the Port of Los Angeles is a direct result of regulatory crackdown on the trucking industry by California’s ruling Democrats.
    According to Forbes, a shortage of truckers and trucks in California is contributing to supply chain disruptions.    Truckers say a new California law mandates that all trucks must be made in 2011 or newer, eroding competitiveness of independent truckers.
    California also plans to retire all diesel trucks by 2035, which makes trucking companies reluctant to invest in their fleets.    Another law, AB5, effectively outlaws truck owners’ operators to preserve union monopoly on land deliveries.
    “I started this business with one truck as an owner-operator,” said Greg Dubuque, President of the California Trucking Association.    “I learned the industry and grew it from there. What we’re trying to state is that we actually incubate our own competition in this industry and that comes through success.”
    Truckers say excessive regulation and monopolization of the trucking business by California Democrats is driving-up delivery costs and it pushes truckers out of the Golden State.
    “I’ve got four really, really good younger guys that there goal is to one day own their own truck, and become an owner-operator and grow from there,” Dubuque continued.    “If this goes in place, what direction are they gonna go?

10/19/2021 U.S. DOD Secy. Austin Signs Defense Agreement With Georgian Counterpart by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin attends a welcome ceremony ahead of a meeting with his
Ukrainian counterpart, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. (Gleb Garanich/Pool Photo via AP)
    The U.S. signed a bilateral defense agreement with Georgia in order to provide “security cooperation” between the nations.
    On Monday, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with his Georgian counterpart to sign an initiative that will continue U.S. support to Georgian defense forces over the next six years.    Dubbed the Defense and Deterrence Enhancement Initiative, Austin said it represents a new phase between the two countries.
    “We are going to build upon the Georgia Defense Readiness Program by continuing institutional reform in the defense sector, by strengthening the capabilities and the capacities required for effective deterrence and defense,” stated the U.S. official.    “And by fostering interoperability with NATO.”
    Additionally, Austin said as the initiative grows it will reportedly help both countries address “common goals” in the region.

10/19/2021 Four G20 Leaders Not Expected At Rome Summit -Diplomats by Crispian Balmer
FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a plenary session of the Russian
Energy Week International Forum in Moscow, Russia October 13, 2021. Sergei Ilnitsky/Pool via REUTERS
    ROME (Reuters) – At least four leaders from the Group of 20 wealthy nations look set to miss this month’s summit in Rome that hosts Italy had hoped would be an in-person event, diplomats and officials said.
    Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday that he would definitely not attend the Oct. 30-31 meeting, the third leader to formally pull out after Japan’s new prime minister Fumio Kishida and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
    Putin and Kishida have said they will follow proceedings via video link, while a spokesman for Obrador said he would send Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard in his place.
    Other countries have yet to make official announcements, but a diplomatic source in Rome said Chinese President Xi Jinping was unlikely to come.    There was also uncertainty over whether Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro would show up.
    By contrast, U.S. President Joe Biden has confirmed he will come, with the leaders of Argentina, Australia, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, South Korea, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the European Union also all expected.
    Kishida is staying home because Japan is holding a general election on Oct. 31, while Obrador has rarely travelled abroad since taking charge of Mexico in 2018.    He skipped the last in-person G20 summit held in Japan in 2019 before COVID-19 hit.
    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted by the RIA news agency as saying Putin’s decision was driven by the continued COVID-19 pandemic, with Russia registering record deaths and new cases in recent days.
    Putin briefly self-isolated last month after dozens of people in his entourage were diagnosed with the virus. Last week, after coughing repeatedly at a government meeting, Putin said he had caught a cold.
    An Italian diplomat said COVID-19 also appeared to be the main concern for Xi, with China imposing strict and lengthy quarantine on anyone arriving in the country from abroad.
    Xi has not left China since January 2020, when the gravity of the disease first became apparent.    He has followed some international events by video link but did not dial into a G20 meeting on Afghanistan organised by Italy earlier this month.
    It was not clear if he would take part in the G20 summit virtually if he does not come in person, officials said.
    This year’s Rome summit is seen as particularly important because it comes just before the United Nations COP26 climate change conference to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, where the position of G20 nations will be critical.
    In a speech earlier this month, the COP26 President Alok Sharma said G20 countries, which account for 80% of global emissions, had to step up ahead of the Glasgow meeting.
    “The response of the G20 will quite simply be make, or break,” he said in a speech in Paris.
(Additional reporting by Leika Kihara in Tokyo, Frank Jake Daniel in Mexico City, Brad Haynes in San Paolo, Kumar Manoj in New Dehli and Vladimir Soldatkin in Moscow, Editing by Angus MacSwan)

10/19/2021 FBI Raids Washington Home Linked To Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska by Kevin Fogerty and Sarah N. Lynch
An FBI agent mans his post as the U.S. law enforcement agency conducted a raid at Russian oligarch
Oleg Deripaska's home in Washington, U.S., October 19, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Fogarty
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - FBI agents on Tuesday raided a Washington mansion linked to Russian Oleg Deripaska, a metals billionaire with ties to the Kremlin and to Paul Manafort, former U.S. President Donald Trump’s one-time 2016 campaign chairman.
    An FBI agent stood outside the house in one of Washington’s wealthiest neighborhoods, with yellow “CRIME SCENE DO NOT ENTER” tape across the front of the mansion, while members of the FBI’s Evidence Response Team carried boxes out of the property.
    A spokesperson for the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed the agency was conducting a court-authorized law enforcement activity at the home, which the Washington Post has previously reported was linked to the Russian oligarch.
    The specific reason for sealing off and searching the mansion was not immediately clear, and the FBI spokesperson did not provide details.    A representative for Deripaska said the homes belong to relatives of the oligarch.
    Deripaska, 53, has been under U.S. sanctions since 2018. Washington imposed sanctions on him and other influential Russians because of their ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin after alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
    Reuters could not immediately determine Deripaska’s whereabouts.
    Deripaska once employed Paul Manafort, who served for a period as the chairman of Trump’s 2016 campaign and who was convicted in 2018 on tax evasion and bank fraud charges.
    He owns part of Rusal via his stake in the giant aluminum producer’s parent company En+ Group.        Washington previously dropped sanctions against both companies but kept them on Deripaska.

    Rusal’s Moscow-listed shares extended losses after the report, falling 6%.
    The representative for Deripaska, who declined to give their name because of company policy, confirmed the raid on the home in Washington as well as one in New York City, and said both belong to Deripaska’s family rather than the executive himself.
    “The FBI is indeed currently conducting searches of houses belonging to Oleg Deripaska’s relatives.    The searches are being carried out on the basis of two court warrants related to the U.S. sanctions.    The houses in question are located in New York and Washington, DC and are not owned by Oleg Deripaska himself,” said the representative did not provide any further details.
    Deripaska previously sued to have the U.S. sanctions lifted but his case was dismissed in June.
(Reporting by Susan Heavey, Sarah N. Lynch, Mark Hosenball, Kevin Fogarty Jonathan Landay; additional reporting by Anastasia Lyrchikova and Polina Devitt in Moscow; Writing by Arshad Mohammed and Susan Heavey; Editing by Jonathan Oatis, Mark Porter and Howard Goller)

10/19/2021 Top U.S. And Brazil Diplomats Discuss ‘Unprecedented’ Migration by Gabriel Stargardter
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R) meets with Brazilian Foreign Minister Carlos Franca (L) on the
sidelines of the 76th UN General Assembly in New York, U.S. on September 21, 2021. Kena Betancur/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
    RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Brazilian counterpart Carlos Franca to discuss “unprecedented” regional migration and ways to collaborate to slow the number of migrants heading north, the State Department said on Tuesday.
    The call between the senior diplomatic officials of the two largest economies in the Americas comes as a record number of Brazilians arrive at the southern U.S. border, part of a wave of people from Latin America fleeing a region hit badly by the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Southern border apprehensions have jumped to their highest levels in 20 years in recent months, causing political and logistical headaches for U.S. President Joe Biden.
    In the call, Blinken and Franca discussed “the unprecedented irregular migration movements throughout the hemisphere,” and how the two nations could work together “to halt the growing uncontrolled flow of irregular migrants in the region,” according to State Department spokesperson Ned Price.
    Diplomatic efforts are under way to slow the arrival of Brazilians.
    Mexico is slated to impose visa requirements for Brazilian visitors, according to a document from Mexico’s Interior Ministry.    Mexico has not required visas for Brazilians since 2004, giving migrants an easier path to enter the country and proceed north.
    Reuters reported last week that Washington has, since July, asked Mexico to impose visa requirements on Brazilians.
    During the first 11 months of the 2021 fiscal year, 46,280 Brazilians were apprehended at the southern U.S. border, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data show, compared with 17,893 for all of 2019.
    Blinken also praised Brazil’s “leadership in assisting vulnerable populations of migrants, including Haitians and Venezuelans.”
    Last month, Reuters reported that the International Organization for Migration (IOM) had asked Brazil to receive some Haitian migrants camped along the U.S.-Mexico border.
(Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Peter Cooney)

10/20/2021 Oil up $0.60 to $82.88, DOW up 199 to 35,458.

10/20/2021 Blinken Says Ecuador’s Lasso Vows Commitment To Democratic Principles During Drug Crackdown by Simon Lewis and Alexandra Valencia
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Ecuador's President Guillermo Lasso
address the media, in Quito, Ecuador October 19, 2021. REUTERS/Santiago Arcos/Pool
    QUITO (Reuters) - Ecuadorean President Guillermo Lasso assured U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday that democratic principles would be upheld during a state of emergency that Lasso declared to combat narcotics, Blinken said in a visit to Ecuador.
    On the first day of his trip to Ecuador and Colombia, Blinken met with Lasso and Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Mauricio Montalvo. Blinken’s visit to Ecuador was intended to highlight the country’s democratic credentials.
    On the eve of Blinken’s visit, Lasso declared a state of emergency as Ecuador seeks to confront the consumption and trafficking of narcotics, which he said was in response to rising homicide figures.
    The 60-day state of emergency will allow the military to join drug and arms confiscation operations in nine of the country’s 24 provinces, including Guayas, home to Guayaquil, the country’s largest city, Lasso said.    Patrols will take place 24 hours a day.
    The United States is Ecuador’s largest trading partner and provides support to Ecuadorean law enforcement, including training, equipment and canines used in counter-narcotics efforts.
    Speaking at a joint news conference with Montalvo, Blinken said Washington understood that at times democracies needed to take certain measures under exceptional circumstances, but he said he had told Lasso that maintaining democratic principles was a priority for Washington.
    “These measures, of course, need to be taken pursuant to the constitution.    They need to be very focused in what they’re seeking to achieve and finite in duration, and of course, follow and proceed in a way that upholds democratic principles,” Blinken said.
    “In discussing this with President Lasso when we met, he assured me that his government is committed to upholding all of those standards which are so important to the Ecuadorian people,” Blinken added.
    The crackdown will also see police increasing patrols and control efforts in public places.
    The decree was “oriented towards and focused on guaranteeing citizens… protection from crime and violence,” Montalvo said at the news conference.
    Lasso, a conservative ex-banker who took office in May, told Blinken ahead of their meeting that Ecuador “today more than ever shares the values of democracy and liberty” with the United States.
    “We admire the strong voice for democracy that you have shared with the Ecuadorean people, but also for people throughout our hemisphere,” Blinken said, crediting Lasso for quickly rolling out COVID-19 vaccinations in the Andean nation.
    Blinken applauded Lasso’s work combating corruption and said the two nations were working together on fighting drug trafficking and climate change.
    Blinken will head to Colombia on Wednesday for meetings with Colombia’s president and regional foreign ministers.
    Migration will be a focus of Blinken’s trip, against a backdrop of rising numbers of migrants heading toward the southern U.S. border, some from South America.
(Reporting by Simon Lewis and Alexandra Valencia in QuitoWriting by Julia Symmes Cobb and Humeyra PamukEditing by Leslie Adler and Rosalba O’Brien)

10/20/2021 Germany Must Resist Russian ‘Blackmail’ Over Pipeline - Greens Co-Leader
Greens party co-leader Annalena Baerbock speaks on a stage during a party meeting to discuss the results of the exploratory talks and
the start of negotiations for a possible new government coalition, in Berlin, Germany, October 17, 2021. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse
    BERLIN (Reuters) – The co-leader of Germany’s Green Party accused Russian “blackmail” of causing high energy prices across Europe, saying Moscow is trying to leverage Germany to allow the Nord Stream 2 Baltic gas pipeline to begin operations.
    The remarks by Annalena Baerbock, considered a likely foreign minister in the next government, hinted at a key faultline in talks that are due to start Thursday between her party, Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats and the Free Democrat liberals on forming Germany’s next government.
    “We can see a poker play by Russia,” she told the Funke newspaper group in an interview published on Wednesday.    While high demand and tight supply also play a role, “we hear that gas deliveries are being cut… We must not let ourselves be blackmailed.”
    Baerbock said it was important to enforce European Union rules that pipeline operators must not be the producers of the gas they transport.    Gazprom both owns the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and produces the gas it would carry.    Unless this changes, the pipeline will need an exemption to start operating.
    “This could be used by Russia to force a quick authorisation of Nord Stream 2, even if all the legal boxes haven’t been ticked,” she added.
    Scholz’s Social Democrats, who would be the largest party if the three-way “traffic light” coalition is formed, have long backed the pipeline despite criticism it increases Europe’s dependence on Russian energy and makes transit states like Ukraine more vulnerable to Russian interference.
    Baerbock added that she thought it likely that the Greens would be successful in persuading the other parties to agree to bring a full exit from coal-fired generation forward to 2030 from 2038.
(Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

10/20/2021 Republicans Deride Biden Administration Over Economic Policies by OAN Newsroom
(L to R) Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senator John Thune (R-SD)
arrive to talk to reporters following the Senate Republican policy luncheon at the US Capitol on
October 19, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
    Senate Republican leaders have denounced Joe Biden amid a seemingly never-ending series of crises under his leadership.     Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) kicked off a news conference on Tuesday by slamming the Democrat Party over its continued push for reckless spending packages.    He pointed to a recent Gallup poll showing that half of Americans are fed up with how many things the government is involved with that should be left up to persons and private businesses.
    South Dakota Sen. John Thune (R) said since Biden has been in office, his administration has been “lurching from one crisis to the next.”    Thune added the Biden administration doesn’t have a good answer to any of these problems and in fact, Democrat policies only make these issues worse.    He specifically pointed to the poor impact of unions, which he said would be strengthened by the Democrats’ spending proposals.
    Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso (R) also took aim at Biden over the economy, accusing him of being the sole cause of the current energy crisis.    Barrasso went on to blast a statement by a White House official, claiming inflation is only a “high class problem.”
    The Wyoming lawmaker then criticized the White House’s energy policies, saying its been attacking the fossil fuel industry since day one.    This includes the immediate cancellation of the Keystone XL Pipeline and the blocking of new federal energy leases in Alaska.    He added this has pushed Biden into seeking natural gas from Russia, rather than America producing its own natural gas and oil.
    The senators also touched on a provision in Democrats’ spending packages to allow the IRS to have access to people’s bank accounts.    Sen. Thune pointed out that proposal would also raise the cost of the IRS, directly affecting taxes on the middle class.

10/20/2021 Republican Senators Slam Democrats’ Proposed Bank Account Monitoring by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 19: Senate Minority Whip Sen. John Thune (R-SD) addresses reporters following a weekly Republican policy
luncheon at the U.S. Capitol on October 19, 2021 in Washington, DC. Members of the Senate Republican leadership spoke on a range of
topics including inflation, the 2022 midterm elections and the Internal Revenue Service. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
    Republican senators have slammed Joe Biden’s IRS for their plan to monitor American’s bank accounts.
    Democrats in Congress are trying to pass a law that would require banks to monitor all accounts with more than $600 in transactions.    On Tuesday, Republican senators held a press conference explaining everything they’ve said is wrong with such a proposal.
    South Dakota’s John Thune (R) said there has never been anything like this in the history of the country.
    “We’ve never seen anything like it before, where you’re literally talking about an IRS dragnet across the bank accounts of every single American, or at least every single American who banks,” said Thune.    “Because as has been pointed out, any American who uses a bank account probably at some point deposits and withdrawals exceed $600.”
    The senators also expressed concerns for privacy. Idaho’s Mike Crapo (R) noted the plan doesn’t just include banks and credit unions, but all institutions that engage in financial transactions.
    “By the way, the proposal doesn’t include just banks and credit unions.    It includes financial institutions.    That’ll be Venmo, PayPal, you name it,” Crapo said.    “And the scope of the IRS ability to dive into these accounts will be the biggest violation of individual privacy that I think this county has ever seen.”
    Democrats have since sent mixed messaging on the proposal. They’re now saying the limit will actually be $10,000, instead of the $600 originally proposed.    However, Republicans are not satisfied and still believe most Americans would be swept up in the monitoring and that it would hurt small businesses.
    “The vast majority of Americans have accounts that will go through $600 in a year.    And if they raise it to $10,000, it’ll still capture everybody and every small business, and you have to ask yourself for what purpose?
    It tells you nothing about taxable income
,” stated Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).
    When asked about the proposal at her daily press briefing, Press Secretary Jen Psaki brushed off concerns.    According to her, most accounts wouldn’t be monitored because they fill out W-2 forms so the income is already being monitored by the government.
    “So people who get W-2’s, whether they are teachers, firefighters, employees at Fox News.    Anywhere where they may be getting a W-2, that’s not what we’re talking about here,” said Psaki.    “They’re already reporting their income.    We’re talking about high net worth ndividuals who are not paying the taxes they owe.”
    Democrats have attached the proposal to their partisan reconciliation package, which is still facing tough intraparty opposition.    If passed, it will not go into effect until December of 2022.

10/20/2021 Las Vegas Councilwoman Michele Fiore Launches Bid For Nev. Gov. by OAN Newsroom
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MAY 20: Las Vegas City Councilwoman Michele Fiore speaks during a Las Vegas City Council meeting held
amid the coronavirus pandemic at Las Vegas City Hall on May 20, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
    GOP Las Vegas Councilwoman Michele Fiore has announced her campaign for governor of Nevada.
    During a news conference on Tuesday, Fiore announced she’s joining Nevada’s crowded governor’s race.    She spent her whole life fighting the establishment, leading her to become the first female majority leader in the Nevada assembly.
    “I fight for those people who don’t want to take the vaccine and unconstitutional mandate, who want to keep their job, who are getting fired from colleges, from hospitals, now we’re having police and fire mandate,” said Fiore.
    Fiore said she isn’t afraid to rattle the crowds.
    “I was the first female majority leader in Nevada and one of the first elected to endorse Donald J. Trump, and you better believe I was attacked for it,” she said in her campaign video.
    She, like President Trump, isn’t afraid of the mainstream media.    She went on to say she intends to make an impact on the field.
    “We need outsiders, fighters, not the same old, boring, moderate, compromise, blue-blazer politicians,” stressed Fiore.
    Fiore outlined her three-shot plan that she says was created to protect American citizens’ rights through her passion to fight.    “Ban vaccine mandates, ban critical race theory, stop voter fraud.    The Joe Biden administration is coming after me,” she said.    Fiore says she’s ready for the fight.

10/20/2021 Texas Gov. Abbott Slams Biden, Corporate Vaccine Mandates by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this June 8, 2021, file photo, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at
a news conference in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
    Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) has been criticizing vaccine mandates, saying neither Joe Biden nor private companies have the authority to implement it.    During an exclusive interview with Breitbart, the Republican said he won’t back down to the federal government or giant corporations.
    “Part of the governors’ job is to ensure the freedoms that are guaranteed by the Constitution and the laws of our constituents are going to be protected,” he stated.    “So I had to stand up and protect those freedoms of people not having their bodies basically invaded by a vaccine that they do not want.”
    With an executive order implemented early fall, the Lone Star State governor banned any entity in Texas from mandating vaccine mandates for COVID-19.
    “The main goal and one of the catalyst behind my action was to ensure that people would not be losing their jobs,” explained the governor.    “Let me be very clear about this, neither the President of the United States nor the federal government have any legal authority, any Constitutional authority, to issue their vaccine mandate.”
    According to Abbott, the federal government is acting illegally by enforcing vaccine mandates. He intends to continue standing his ground on the controversial issue.

10/20/2021 Ark. Sen. Cotton: China Aims To Replace U.S. On World Stage by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., walks to a policy luncheon on Capitol Hill,
Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton (R) has sounded the alarm on China’s ambition to dominate the world.    Beijing’s recent military developments and acts of aggression are putting the Biden administration on its heels.
    During an interview with conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt, Cotton warned China aims to challenge U.S. hegemony.    The Republican lawmaker also derided Democrats for downplaying the potential negative effects of competing with China.
    “We want to beat China,” he stated.    “China is waging a Cold War against us.    A part of the Cold War is military buildup, not just these hypersonic missiles, but the new missile silos their building in western China, fortifying their air force and naval capabilities just across Taiwan.    These are on pace with their efforts to replace the United States as the world’s dominant super power.
    These warnings came after recent reports detailed China’s successful launch of a hypersonic missile in August, a move that reportedly shocked the U.S. Intelligence Community.    The missile reportedly circled earth in low orbit before accelerating to hit its target, which it missed by around 24-miles
    Reports also point to the Chinese Communist Party moving forward with plans to add missile silos to their arsenal with hundreds of new silos already being built.    Additionally, the U.S. Department of Defense in 2020 released a report calling attention to the CCP’s plans to create a “world class military” by 2049.
    Pentagon researchers conceded China has already hit several milestones, including building the world’s largest naval force with around 350 ships, submarines and surface combatants.    The CCP also has more than 1,200 ballistic and cruise missiles.
    However, Cotton reaffirmed America’s military might while claiming the U.S. military is far more advanced than any other country in the world.    He then urged the Biden administration to wake up amid China’s advancements and officially declare the CCP a threat.
    The Arkansas senator has been a leading U.S. lawmaker in the fight against China’s ascension, drafting bills to curb Chinese propaganda from hitting U.S. shores, money from being funneled into American universities and exploitation of American farmers.

10/20/2021 House Progressives Meet With Biden Over Reconciliation Fight by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, center, along with other lawmakers,
talks with reporters outside the West Wing of the Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021, following their meeting with
President Joe Biden. Jayapal is joined by from left, Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., Rep. Debbie Dingell,
D-Mich., Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., and Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-New York. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    After weeks of wrangling and division, Democrats may be coming together over Joe Biden’s partisan spending plan.    On Tuesday, Biden met with progressive members of the House Democrat Caucus to discuss the scaled down reconciliation package.
    Originally $3.5 trillion, Biden has been made to reduce it by nearly half to just about $2 trillion.    Washington’s Democrat Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who leads the House progressives, said she wanted to spend more.    However, she said she’s happy to accept a cut in cost to get the measure passed with the support of moderate senators.
    “It’s not the number that we want, we have consistently tried to make it as high as possible,” Jayapal stated.    “But at the end of the day, the idea that we can do these programs, a multitude of programs, and actually get them going so that they deliver immediate transformational benefits to people is what we’re focused on.”
    This is a serious backpedal from the original plan when House progressives were calling $3.5 trillion the floor for spending.

10/20/2021 Forced Vaccination Battle Rages On Between Chicago Mayor And Police Union by OAN Newsroom
Mayor Lori Lightfoot announces the firing Monday, Dec. 2, 2019 of Chicago Police
Supt. Eddie Johnson. (Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)
    Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is locked in a standoff with the union that represents the city’s police department over vaccinations.    Lightfoot accused the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) of being insurrectionists during a press conference Monday in response to the union’s refusal to enforce vaccine mandates.
    FOP Chapter President, John Catanzara posted a viral video last week claiming Chicago would lose half of its police force if the mandates took effect.    In the video, he outlined his position regarding vaccines while noting he’s against the city demanding to know officers’ vaccination status.
    Catanzara argues the collective bargaining rights of the union has been at the heart of the disagreement since the beginning, adding the city has refused to negotiate.    The mayor has tried to strong arm officers by saying failure to comply with the city’s demands would be met with consequences.
    “What we’ve seen from the Fraternal Order of Police and particularly leadership is a lot if misinformation, a lot of half truths and, frankly, flat out lies in order to induce an insurrection,” claimed the Mayor.    “And we’re not having that, and so we want to make it very, very clear that the law is on our side, we feel very confident about it.”
    A memo from the city states, any officer refusing the vaccine will become the subject of a disciplinary investigation that could result in a penalty up to and including separation from the Chicago Police Department.    The memo went on to say any officer that retires while under investigation may lose retirement credentials.    An additional memo has outlined new requirements for officers to request time off, but it’s unclear whether this is connected to the vaccination battle.
    Lightfoot, like many Democrat officials, have suggested the mandate is for the safety of those the police department serves.    However, the City of Chicago saw the deadliest month of September since the early 1990s with over 89 recorded homicides.
    Additionally, Catanzara said nearly 50 CPD officers have been stripped of their police powers and sent home without pay for refusing to comply with Lightfoot’s orders.    The FOP Chapter president noted, whatever happens as a result of the decreased police force falls at Lightfoot’s doorstep.
    A hearing on a temporary restraining order placed on the union’s president, preventing him from advising officers against disclosing their medical records, is set to take place Monday.

10/20/2021 Sen. Paul: Biden’s Handouts Are For ‘Insidious Purposes’ by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks with reporters as he walks on Capitol Hill,
Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) warned about the darker side of Joe Biden’s growing list of government handouts.    He suggested bad things are going to happen to the economy due to the current administration’s policy agenda.
    During an interview on Tuesday, the Kentucky lawmaker said America could face hyperinflation as a result of the Democrat-proposed multi-trillion dollar spending package.
    “We have to survive until 2022, people are very unhappy,” he stated.    “I mean, I don’t know one thing that Biden’s really done very well so far…inflating is coming on, the economy is slowing, people aren’t going back to work, the debt is rising dramatically.”
    Paul stressed free government handouts touted by Democrats are not really free and will be paid for by high taxes.
    “They tell you it’s free, but in the end you’ll find out a decade from now people will go ‘how come I’m not any better off?    How come I’m, in some ways, worse off and have less things?'” he continued.    “It’s because inflation sort of robbed a femoral sort of gift they gave you.    It wasn’t really real.”
    According to senator, Biden’s economic policy could lead America down the path of socialism and crush economic freedom.
    Sen. Paul said Republicans must win majorities in both chambers of Congress in next year’s midterms to stop the disastrous Democrat agenda.

10/20/2021 White House Press Secy. Psaki Downplays Supply Chain Crisis by OAN Newsroom
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during briefing at the White House,
Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    “The tragedy of the treadmill that’s delayed.” — Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki recently downplayed the supply chain crisis as a “tragedy of the treadmill.”    She made those remarks during a press briefing Tuesday in response to a question over why Joe Biden didn’t act sooner to address the supply crisis.
    The press secretary was specifically asked why Biden had not anticipated a shipping crisis rather than reacting to a problem allowed to reach critical mass.    Psaki, however, wanted to make it clear the Biden administration was well ahead of the curve.
    “Well, that’s not actually true, the President formed a task force at the very beginning of the administration and what we know for the global supply chain issues is that they are multifaceted,” she stated.    “Right now, we’ve been focusing on the ports and issues at the ports.    And what leaders at these ports will tell you is that they’ve seen an increase in volume dramatically as it relates to last year, a year ago.”
    The former CNN contributor also wanted to illustrate the role COVID-19 played in creating the supply calamity.
    “One of them (reasons) is the fact that manufacturing sites around the world have been shut down because of COVID,” Psaki continued.    “We’ve been working to be the largest supplier of COVID vaccines to countries around the world for a range of reasons.    It’s morally right, but also to help address those global supply chain issues and the impact manufacturing and the slowdown in manufacturing can have.”
    The press secretary went on to point to the truck driver shortage in the U.S. having been an issue for the entire year and said the administration would be working with unions to hire more shipping employees.
    A very large reason for the supply chain crisis, according to Psaki, is the success of the Biden administration’s economic policies.
    “As the economy is turned back on, more people had expendable income, wages, to buy more goods," she explained.    “More people are buying more goods.    People have started to also buy more things online than going into stores and so, that is also impacting the volume and there’s a need for more.”
    This comes as cargo is backed-up at our nations’ ports with major doubts being raised as to whether shoppers will receive their holiday gifts on time.    As many experts point out, however, there are many essential goods which are also facing major delays, including refrigerators and dishwashers.
    The White House is considering utilizing the National Guard to help alleviate supply line congestion.

10/20/2021 U.S. China Ambassador Nominee Burns Takes Tough Line On Dealings With Beijing by Patricia Zengerle and Michael Martina
FILE PHOTO: Chinese and U.S. flags flutter outside a company building in Shanghai, China April 14, 2021. REUTERS/Aly Song
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Joe Biden’s nominee to be U.S. ambassador to China, Nicholas Burns, took a tough line on dealings with China at his Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday, saying “genocide in Xinjiang,” abuses in Tibet, and bullying of Taiwan must stop.
    Burns, calling China the United States’ “most dangerous competitor,” said Beijing is “blasting past” its pledge to maintain only a minimum nuclear deterrent, and added that Washington should work with allies in Europe and elsewhere to build economic leverage.
    Human rights advocates and the U.S. government have termed China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims in its Xinjiang region “genocide,” a characterization that China rejects.
    “The PRC’s genocide in Xinjiang, its abuses in Tibet, its smothering of Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms, and its bullying of Taiwan are unjust and must stop,” Burns said, using the acronym for the People’s Republic of China.
    Burns, 65, a career diplomat and former ambassador to NATO, also said Washington is correct in adhering to its current “One China” policy on Taiwan, but right to oppose actions from Beijing that undermine the status quo.
    Some lawmakers, including some of Biden’s fellow Democrats, have called for Washington to revisit the decades-old policy, which takes no position on Taiwan’s sovereignty.
    Burns said China’s military threat to Taiwan was growing, but that maintaining the One China policy was the smartest and most effective way to deter China from exercising force over the self-ruled democratic island.
    “This is a policy that can succeed if we execute it consistently and with some strength,” Burns told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, adding that the most important deterrent was for the United States to maintain its military standing in the Indo-Pacific.
    Still, he said Congress and the executive branch had every right to “expand our arms provisions to Taiwan.”
    Burns is expected to easily win confirmation, earning praise from members of both parties.    “It is, I think, appropriate that Ambassador Burns was appointed to this position,” said Senator Jim Risch, the committee’s top Republican.
    Burns also discussed at some length his view that China is relatively isolated internationally.
    “The Chinese are being so aggressive, they have stirred up a lot of opposition to them.    And I think we ought not to exaggerate their strengths, or underestimate the strengths of the United States,” Burns said.
    He said Beijing had been “stonewalling” the world about the origins of the coronavirus.
    “We need to investigate.    We don’t know how this virus originated for sure, there are multiple theories and the Chinese need to answer the questions,” Burns said.
    China’s embassy in Washington did not respond immediately to a request for comment on Burns’ remarks.
    Burns said that unlike during the Cold War, U.S. competition with China would revolve around economic and technological might, not military capabilities.
    He said the United States was right to hold Beijing to its “phase one” trade deal commitments, and urged Congress to pass languishing China-related legislation intended to fund U.S. domestic competitiveness in critical sectors, such as semiconductors.
    “It may be the most important thing we can do — is to invest in our technological future, as the Senate is doing with your strategic innovation bill, which the administration very strongly supported.    And I do too,” Burns said.
    Joining with the European Union and Japan on economic issues would provide “real leverage” over China, he added.
    He was asked about the Winter Olympics in Beijing in February, but did not directly address some calls for a boycott of the games over human rights issues.
    Due to China’s COVID restrictions, the Olympics were likely to be the “most unusual games ever” in that few foreign spectators were expected, he said.
    “We obviously want to make sure that the American athletes … are able to speak their minds, are able to have access to the media, to say what they wish to say,” Burns said.    “And I hope and trust that the International Olympic Committee will make that possible.”
(Reporting by Michael Martina and Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Sandra Maler and Alistair Bell)

10/20/2021 Biden Under Pressure As U.S.-Mexico Border Arrests Reach Record Highs by Kristina Cooke
FILE PHOTO: Migrants seeking refuge in United States cross the Rio Grande river, with bags and children in tow, back into Ciudad Acuna,
Mexico from their camp in Del Rio, Texas, U.S. September 21, 2021. Picture taken with a drone. REUTERS/Adrees Latif//File Photo
    (Reuters) – U.S. authorities arrested 1.7 million migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border this fiscal year, the most ever recorded, according to a U.S. government source familiar with the numbers, underscoring the stark political and humanitarian challenges the Biden administration faces on immigration.
    The current numbers for the 2021 fiscal year, which began last October, topped a previous high in 2000.    The numbers were first reported by the Washington Post.
    President Joe Biden, a Democrat who took office in January, reversed many of the hard-line immigration policies of his Republican predecessor, President Donald Trump, promising a more “humane” approach to immigration policy.
    Biden’s nominee to head U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Tucson, Arizona, Police Chief Chris Magnus, faced questions on Tuesday from Republican lawmakers who referred to the situation at the border as chaos and a crisis.
    Adding to concerns was an influx of thousands of mostly Haitian migrants last month who crossed the Rio Grande river from Mexico and set up a makeshift camp under an international bridge in Del Rio, Texas.
    On the other side of the aisle, Democrats and immigration advocates have slammed Biden for his swift expulsions of many of those migrants back to Haiti, a country that has been devastated by violence, political crises and natural disasters.    The administration also launched an investigation into the tactics of border patrol agents on horseback photographed and filmed in Del Rio trying to push back Haitian migrants along the river bank.
    Many of the Haitians were returned under one sweeping Trump policy that Biden has kept in place.    Known as Title 42, it was implemented in March 2020 at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in an effort to curb infections and allows most migrants to be quickly expelled without a chance to seek asylum.
    Many of the arrests this fiscal year were repeat crossings, with some people expelled to Mexico turning around and trying again.
    A federal court has also ordered the Biden administration to reinstate another Trump-era policy known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, which forced thousands of asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for U.S. immigration court hearings.    The administration said it is taking steps to restart the program in November, pending agreement from Mexico.
(Reporting by Kristina Cooke in San Francisco; Editing by Mica Rosenberg and Aurora Ellis)

10/20/2021 Blinken, On Colombia Visit, Says Human Rights Accountability Critical by Simon Lewis and Luis Jaime Acosta
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets Colombia's President Ivan Duque, at Narino
presidential house in Bogota, Colombia October 20, 2021. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez/Pool
    BOGOTA (Reuters) - Accountability for human rights abuses committed during Colombia’s decades-long conflict and recent anti-government protests are critical to preventing future abuses, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during a visit to the Andean country on Wednesday.
    Blinken met Colombian President Ivan Duque ahead of talks with regional officials to discuss migration in the Americas.
    “Accountability is critically important – accountability for the most grave human rights violations and abuses committed during the country’s conflict, accountability for any abuses committed in response to protests earlier this year and of course accountability for those responsible for attacks on human rights defenders, journalists and other civil society leaders,” Blinken said.
    “Ending impunity as we know it is also one of the best ways to prevent more abuses going forward.”
    At least 29 people were killed in connection with protests against Duque’s social and economic policies earlier this year, with many deaths blamed on excessive use of force by police.
    Human rights groups had urged Blinken to press Duque on policing, as well as growing violence by armed groups and the potential restart of aerial fumigation of coca crops.
    Colombia is the United States’ closest ally in Latin America and the two countries coordinate closely on security, especially in the fight against drug trafficking.
    During joint comments to journalists, Duque repeated a frequent refrain, saying his government has a zero tolerance policy for police abuse but also will not stand for vandalism or violence against security forces.
    The ministerial meeting on migration on Wednesday evening includes officials from Chile, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Honduras, Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala and El Salvador, among others.
    Before leaving the Ecuadorean capital of Quito earlier on Wednesday, Blinken said countries in the Western Hemisphere must work together to stem “an almost unprecedented moment for migration.”
    The ministers will discuss assistance for voluntary returns by migrants without valid asylum claims, Blinken said later in Bogota, as well as increased law enforcement cooperation against smugglers and traffickers.
    Poverty and violence in the region’s most troubled countries – including El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Venezuela and Haiti – has driven migration flows to the United States and other parts of Latin America.
    Colombia has recently seen thousands of mostly Haitian,able%20to%20pay%20in%20dollars migrants bottlenecked as they travel north and has long been the top destination for people fleeing neighboring Venezuela.
    Economic downturns sparked by the coronavirus pandemic have made jobs scarce through much of the region, often hitting immigrants hardest.
    “No one of our countries addressing it alone is going to succeed. We have to have a sense of shared responsibility and common action,” Blinken said.
    Blinken’s visit to Ecuador focused on highlighting that country’s democratic credentials at a time when authoritarianism is on the rise.
(Reporting by Simon Lewis and Luis Jaime AcostaWriting by Julia Symmes Cobb and Simon LewisEditing by Rosalba O’Brien)

10/20/2021 Biden Concerned Over Chinese Hypersonic Missiles
FILE PHOTO: Military vehicles carrying hypersonic missiles DF-17 drive past Tiananmen Square during the military parade marking the
70th founding anniversary of People's Republic of China, on its National Day in Beijing, China October 1, 2019. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden said on Wednesday he is concerned about Chinese hypersonic missiles, days after a media report that Beijing had tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic glide weapon.
    Asked by reporters as he was boarding Air Force One for a trip to Pennsylvania whether he was concerned about Chinese hypersonic missiles, Biden said, “Yes.”
    Hypersonic weapons travel in the upper atmosphere at speeds of more than five times the speed of sound, or about 6,200 kph (3,853 mph).
    The Financial Times said at the weekend that China had tested a weapon in August that flew through space and circled the globe before cruising down toward a target that it missed.    China’s foreign ministry denied the report.
    The test took place as the United States and its global rivals quicken their pace to build hypersonic weapons – the next generation of arms that rob adversaries of reaction time and traditional defeat mechanisms.
    “Hypersonic weapons are strategic game-changers with the dangerous potential to fundamentally undermine strategic stability as we know it,” Senator Angus King of Maine said on Monday, adding that “the U.S. cannot lag in this development or allow for blind spots as we monitor the progress of our competitors.”
    The White House has raised concerns about Chinese hypersonic missile technology through “diplomatic channels,” spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters on Wednesday.
    In September, the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency successfully tested an air-breathing hypersonic weapon capable of speeds faster than five times the speed of sound.    It was the first successful test of the class of weapon since 2013.
    Companies such as Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies are working to develop the U.S.’s hypersonic weapon capability.
    Hypersonic weapons are potential “nightmare weapons,” King said.    “The implications of these weapons under development by China or Russia could be catastrophic.”
(Reporting by Nandita Bose; Writing by Mohammad Zargham and Mike Stone; Editing by Leslie Adler and Alistair Bell)

10/20/2021 Democrats Advance ‘Criminal Referral’ Against Bannon In Jan. 6 ‘Probe’ by OAN Newsroom
NEW YORK, N.Y. – AUGUST 20: Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon exits the Manhattan Federal
Court on August 20, 2020 in the Manhattan borough of New York City. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
    Congressional Democrats are targeting former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon for defying a subpoena over the Jan. 6 protest.
    On Wednesday, Democrats on the House Rules Committee voted in support of a criminal referral of Bannon to the full House.    All Republicans on the panel voted against the criminal referral.
    This comes after the Jan. 6 committee voted unanimously to prosecute Bannon after he refused to appear and produce records for the panel.
    “We believe Mr. Bannon has information relevant to our probe, and we’ll use the tools at our disposal to get that information,” said Chairman Bennie Thompson prior to the vote.    “I expect that the House will quickly adopt this referral to the Justice     Department and that the U.S. Attorney will do his duty and prosecute Mr. Bannon for criminal contempt of Congress.”
    Bannon was ordered to appear before the committee, but President Trump has advised his former staffers to defy Democrat subpoenas amid his ongoing litigation against the politically-motivated probe.    Bannon’s lawyers said he was following the direction of the 45th president’s legal team.

10/20/2021 NYC Firefighters Defy Vaccine Mandate by OAN Newsroom
Andrew Ansbro, FDNY Uniformed Firefighters Association President, speaks during a news conference to address
a newly announced COVID-19 vaccine mandate, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
    New York City firefighters are taking a stand against Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-N.Y.). The Uniformed Firefighters Association revealed it would not be enforcing vaccine mandates on any of its members.
    During a press conference Wednesday, the organization made the announcement as a response to the New York citywide mandate.    This comes as Mayor de Blasio has ordered all municipal employees to be vaccinated or face unpaid leave.
    UFA President Andrew Ansbro, however, made clear they would not be cutting staff, stating it would put their community at risk.
    “I’ve told my members that if they choose to remain unvaccinated, they must still report for duty. And if they are told that they cannot work, it will be the department and the city of New York that sends them home and it will be the department and the city of New York that has failed to protect the citizens of the city of New York,” stated Ansbro.    “The blame will not be on New York City firefighters.”
    Ansbro suggested the measure infringes upon his members’ rights and offered an alternative to mandatory vaccinations.
    “We’ll explore all avenues to protect our members.    We will work with the MLC and the other unions to fight this mandate and keep this a personal choice,” he said.    “We would also like to keep the testing option in place, which it seems that the city is now abandoning.    It’s working and it’s an option we can all live with.    But putting people out of work for making a personal health choice is something we can never accept.”
    The UFA president went a step further, questioning the effectiveness of the vaccine itself.    He continued to cite that vaccines only lessen symptoms, rather than stop infections completely.
    UFA Vice President Robert Eustace voiced his opinion of the disrespect leveled at unvaccinated firefighters after they have continued to serve their city throughout the pandemic.    The UFA said it fears it’ll be forced to close multiple fire houses if the city moves forward with its mandate.
    Meanwhile, Mayor de Blasio has given unvaccinated municipal employees until Nov. 1 to get at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.    Additionally, employees who comply by Oct. 29 will receive an extra $500 added onto their next paycheck.

10/20/2021 Attorney General Garland To Testify Before House Judiciary Committee by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – APRIL 26: U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland delivers a statement at the
Department of Justice on April 26, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Mandel Ngan-Pool/Getty Images)
    Attorney General Merrick Garland is set to appear before the House Judiciary Committee.    Garland will testify before the panel on Thursday in an oversight hearing where he’ll face questions from lawmakers on a number of issues.
    The official could be asked about the ongoing border crisis as well as his memo on probing alleged threats against school board members by parents.    Garland has notably drawn scrutiny from GOP lawmakers over the memo, which some are concerned may hamper parents’ free speech rights.
    The memo included issues surrounding critical race theory and domestic terrorism.
    “While spirited debate about policy matters is protected under our Constitution, that protection does not extend to threats of violence or efforts to intimidate individuals based on their views,” Garland’s memo stated in regards to parents in opposition of critical race theory being taught at their children’s schools.
    Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said by Garland using the term “domestic terrorists” to describe a parent protesting coronavirus policies or critical race theory is intimidation in itself.
    “Garland is saying the parents are intimidating school board members.    No, it is the attorney general of the United States that is intimidating people exercising their rights to free speech and the right to petition their government,” said the senator.

10/20/2021 U.K. Strikes Free Trade Deal With New Zealand by OAN Newsroom
LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 20: Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves number 10, Downing Street as he heads to the weekly
PMQ session in the House of Commons on October 20, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
    The U.K. recently struck a free trade deal with New Zealand in yet another success for Boris Johnson’s Brexit agenda.
    The deal was announced on Wednesday and includes mutual cuts on tariffs, along with easing the movement of goods, services and people between the two countries.    The total worth of mutual trade was estimated at $3 billion last year and is expected to increase.
    “I think it’s a great deal,” said Prime Minister Johnson.    “I think it means that we will be able to have the benefit of our wonderful New Zealand products even more cheaply than before.    We’ve got from Sauvignon Blanc to Manuka honey and kiwi fruit and all sorts of other benefits.    So, I think it’s a good deal for both of us.”
    The U.K.-New Zealand deal comes amid an ongoing trade standoff between Britain and the EU and it’s expected to give London more bargaining power in future talks with Brussels.
    “This is a historic, but substantial deal and it’s been achieved basically in a year,” said New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern.    “That has never been done before.”

10/20/2021 Minn. Gov. Walz Offers Vaccine Incentives For Teens by OAN Newsroom
ST. PAUL, MINN. – APRIL 19: Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz speaks during a press conference
about public safety. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
    Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) announced a vaccine incentive program for teens called “Kids Deserve a Shot.”
    The Democrat announced the program recently for all Minnesota residents ages 12-to-17, giving them the chance to win hundreds of dollars in gift cards and up to $100,000 in scholarships if they are fully vaccinated.    Teens who complete their two-dose vaccine series between Oct. 18 and Nov. 30 will be eligible.
    “Keeping our kids in school, keeping them doing the activities that are helping.    So, we’re here today to know that one of the big pieces of that is getting kids vaccinated,” said Walz.
    Republican Rep. Jeremy Munson (Minn.) has voiced his opposition to the program and said the governor is bribing kids to get the jab while “incentivizing parents with a ridiculous chance of a lottery scholarship so they sign the permission slip.”    He went on to say Walz is simply trying to trick kids into getting a vaccine that Biden has admitted could be harmful.

10/20/2021 GOP: Biden’s Asylum Proposals To Fuel More Illegal Arrivals by OAN Newsroom
SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA – OCTOBER 20: Joe Biden speaks at an event at the Electric City Trolley Museum
in Scranton on October 20, 2021 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
    Republican lawmakers warn the Biden administration’s proposals to change asylum rules would fuel more violations of the U.S.-Mexico border.
In a public comment on asylum rules on Wednesday, congressional Republicans said Joe Biden’s push to expand asylum is unconstitutional and undermines immigration law. GOP lawmakers pointed out Biden’s proposals violate the separation of powers by allowing the executive branch to make decisions instead of immigration courts.
    “The proposed rule represents a blatant violation of the laws passed by Congress,” 68 congressional Republicans wrote in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.    “It ignores the mandatory detention requirements of aliens claiming asylum through mass parole, violates the principles of separation of powers and inappropriately shifts the roles of asylum screeners and immigration courts.”
    Biden’s officials have proposed to allow illegal immigrants to claim asylum through mass parole. In addition, they plan to drop detention and screening requirements.
    Republicans stressed asylum decisions must be made on a case-by-case basis.

10/20/2021 Social Media Companies Face Scrutiny Over Kid’s Safety by OAN Newsroom
A young girl wearing a protective mask takes a photo with a smartphone at Tiananmen Gate
in Beijing on January 23, 2020. (Photo by NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP via Getty Images)
    Popular social media platforms are being forced into the spotlight amid controversy regarding children’s safety on their apps and websites.    It was confirmed there would be a hearing to look at popular platforms such as Snapchat, YouTube and TikTok, along with the influence they have on children.
    “Recent revelations about harm to kids online show that Big Tech is facing its Big Tobacco moment…a moment of reckoning,” said subcommittee chairman Sen. Richard Bluementhal (D-Conn.) in a statement.    “We need to understand the impact of popular platforms like Snapchat, TikTok and YouTube on children and what companies can do better to keep them safe.”
    Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.) said the companies “continue to prioritize profit over safety.”    In addition, she said the Big Tech giants all play a “leading role in exposing children to harmful content.”
    Meanwhile, executives from the major platforms are expected to meet on the issue next week.

10/20/2021 Report: Border Arrests Reach Highest Level Since 1986 by OAN Newsroom
TOPSHOT – A Border Patrol agent apprehends illegal immigrants shortly after they crossed the border from Mexico into the United
States on Monday, March 26, 2018 in the Rio Grande Valley Sector near McAllen, Texas. (LOREN ELLIOTT/AFP via Getty Images)
    A new report reveals arrests at the southern border in the 2021 fiscal year reached their highest level in over three decades.
    According to a Washington Post report citing U.S. Customs and Border Protection data, authorities arrested more than 1.7 million migrants in the 2021 fiscal year.    This making it the highest number of Border Patrol arrests recorded since 1986.
    During the last fiscal year, Border Patrol arrested 608,000 Mexican nationals, 309,000 Honduran nationals and 279,000 Guatemalan nationals.
    “Migration to the U.S.-Mexico border is now truly global.    The implications for immigration policy require a far more comprehensive approach because it’s not enough to say you have to deter migration from Mexico or Central America,” said Cris Ramon, an immigration consultant.    “This has become a far more complex problem for the administration to deal with.”
    Meanwhile, Joe Biden has put a stop to building onto the remainder of the border wall, ended the “Remain in Mexico” policy, advocated for more asylum and announced a pause on deportations and enforcement by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

10/20/2021 Democrat-Proposed Bill To Federalize U.S. Elections Fails In Senate by OAN Newsroom
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., speaks to reporters following a Democratic
strategy meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    GOP senators voted unanimously to block the so-called Freedom to Vote Act proposed by Democrats.
    On Wednesday, the bill failed to reach the 60-vote threshold to advance.    Republicans said they refuse to increase control of U.S. elections by the federal government.
    The act was similar to the failed For the People Act, though it included voter ID compromises for West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin. Sen. Chuck Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) latest proposal aimed to take away a state’s right to map out their own congressional districts and allow for mass mail-in balloting nationwide.    While many say it’s a Democrat wish list, Schumer has called it a compromise.
    “This bill is a compromise, but a good one.    It’s a bill that every Senate Democrat is united behind, enthusiastically.    It sets common sense standards to make sure all Americans, no matter what zip code they live in, have the freedom to vote safely, securely.”
    GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) stressed the bill is only a compromise in a sense that the left and far-left decided among themselves how much power to grab and in which areas.
    “This latest bill still subjects popular, commonsense state election integrity protections like voter ID to the whims of federal bureaucrats,” said McConnell.
    GOP senators said Democrats would unreasonably expand early voting and mail-in ballots, which would erode the integrity of U.S. elections.    Meanwhile, the bill is not expected to advance any further.

10/21/2021 Oil up $0.36 to $83.24, DOW up 152 to 35,609.

10/21/2021 Blinken, On Colombia Visit, Says Human Rights Accountability Critical by Simon Lewis and Luis Jaime Acosta
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets Colombia's President Ivan Duque, at Narino
presidential house in Bogota, Colombia October 20, 2021. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez/Pool
    BOGOTA (Reuters) – Accountability for human rights abuses committed during Colombia’s decades-long conflict and recent anti-government protests are critical to preventing future abuses, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during a visit to the Andean country on Wednesday.
    Blinken met Colombian President Ivan Duque ahead of talks with regional officials to discuss migration in the Americas.
    “Accountability is critically important – accountability for the most grave human rights violations and abuses committed during the country’s conflict, accountability for any abuses committed in response to protests earlier this year and of course accountability for those responsible for attacks on human rights defenders, journalists and other civil society leaders,” Blinken said.
    “Ending impunity as we know it is also one of the best ways to prevent more abuses going forward.”
    At least 29 people were killed in connection with protests against Duque’s social and economic policies earlier this year, with many deaths blamed on excessive use of force by police.
    Human rights groups had urged Blinken to press Duque on policing, as well as growing violence by armed groups and the potential restart of aerial fumigation of coca crops.
    Colombia is the United States’ closest ally in Latin America and the two countries coordinate closely on security, especially in the fight against drug trafficking.
    During joint comments to journalists, Duque repeated a frequent refrain, saying his government has a zero tolerance policy for police abuse but also will not stand for vandalism or violence against security forces.
    At a ministerial meeting on migration on Wednesday in Bogota, which saw attendance by officials from Chile, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Honduras, Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala and El Salvador, among others, Blinken urged stronger border enforcement by countries in the region during his opening remarks.
    One enforcement measure would see limits to visa-free travel that “unintentionally aids irregular migration,” Blinken said, acknowledging that asylum processes need to be improved.
    Poverty and violence in the region’s most troubled countries – including El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Venezuela and Haiti – has driven migration flows to the United States and other parts of Latin America.
    Colombia has recently seen thousands of mostly Haitian,able%20to%20pay%20in%20dollars migrants bottlenecked as they travel north and has long been the top destination for people fleeing neighboring Venezuela.
    Economic downturns sparked by the coronavirus pandemic have made jobs scarce through much of the region, often hitting immigrants hardest.
    Many people’s reasons for migrating boiled down to “a lack of hope that life in their home countries will improve,” Blinken said at the meeting.
    “Often that’s because of too few economic opportunities.    The United States wants to work with you to change that,” he said.
(Reporting by Simon Lewis and Luis Jaime Acosta; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb, Simon Lewis and Oliver Griffin; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Diane Craft)

10/21/2021 GOP Senators Block Democrat Election Overhaul Bill by OAN Newsroom
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks to reporters after a Republican strategy
meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    Tension between the two major parties appears to heat up after the Democrat-backed election bill was blocked in the Senate.    On Wednesday, Kamala Harris spoke to the press about GOP senator’s unanimous vote against the so-called Freedom to Vote Act, which aims to federalize U.S. elections.    She expressed her frustrations.
    On the other hand, GOP senators like Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) argued the bill would erode the integrity of U.S. elections.
    The Senate is designed to stop bad ideas and purely partisan proposals, while helping truly necessary and bipartisan bills become law,” he noted.    “As we have shown in the recent past, the Senate is fully capable of making law in this area when actual issues need actual solutions and actual bipartisan works occurs.    By contrast, there is nothing necessary or bipartisan about this naked power grab, so it will continue to go nowhere.”
    The bill aims to require same-day registration at all polling locations by 2024 and expand early voting as well as force every state to implement drop boxes for the deposit of mail-in ballots, which is currently only authorized in 13 states.
    Democrats are calling the bill a compromise after their last sweeping election bill, H.R.1, failed to gain enough support from both sides of the aisle.    However, according to McConnell, the only compromise that exists in the so-called Freedom to Vote Act is how much power the left and far-left agreed to grab.
    “This latest bill still subjects popular, common sense state election integrity protections like voter ID to the whims of federal bureaucrats,” he stated.
    The Kentucky lawmaker went on to add, the point of implementing national election laws is to fix serious problems with voting systems like back in 2002 when senators addressed purported voting irregularities with the Help America Vote Act.
    “We did that when there was an actual problem that needed solving in an actual bipartisan process,” said McConnell.     “But as long as Senate Democrats remain fixated on their radical agenda, this body will continue to do the job the framers assigned it and stop terrible ideas in their tracks.”
    Regarding the so-called Freedom to Vote Act, it’s not expected to advance any further.    However, Harris warned this loss will not deter Democrats from their efforts to nationalize U.S. elections.

10/21/2021 Biden Repeats Debunked Amtrak Story During Pa. Visit, Says Will Take ‘Millions’ Of Cars ‘Off The Street’ by OAN Newsroom
President Joe Biden speaks about his infrastructure plan and his domestic agenda during a visit to
the Electric City Trolley Museum in Scranton, Pa., Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    Joe Biden recently repeated a story about his alleged commute on an Amtrak train, although it has been repeatedly debunked.    During his visit to Scranton, Pennsylvania on Wednesday, he claimed, yet again, to have friendly relations with railway workers.
    Biden claimed his highly publicized conversation with an Amtrak worker took place “seven-years into his vice presidency,” which would be 2015.    However, that specific person died in 2014.    Additionally, Biden took the time to announce that his administration aims to reduce the number of cars on the road.
    Biden’s speech in Scranton is raising new questions regarding his fitness for office and it casts doubt on the feasibility of his so-called Build Back Better proposals.

10/21/2021 Rep. Jordan: Jan. 6 Probe Is An Assault On Liberty Denounces Dem Attempts To Persecute Bannon by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, speaks during a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing of the
Department of Justice on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Greg Nash/Pool via AP)
    Congressman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) is denouncing Democrat attempts to persecute former Trump administration officials as part of the January 6 investigation.    The Republican said on Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi failed to ensure security at the U.S. Capitol before the protest.
    Jordan stressed, the partisan committee does not want to investigate that.    His comments comes as Democrats are advancing a criminal referral on Steve Bannon for defying a subpoena to appear before their committee.
    “How can you expect witnesses to participate when you wouldn’t let Republicans participate in the committee?    How can you do that?    We know what this is about.    It’s plain and simple.    They got nothing else to talk about.    This is the worst administration in history.”
    Jordan stressed Democrats only want to go after their political opponents and trample on Americans’ constitutional rights.

10/21/2021 U.S. Holds Three Tests To Advance Hypersonic Weapon Programs, Pentagon Says by Mike Stone
FILE PHOTO: The Pentagon logo is seen behind the podium in the briefing room
at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., January 8, 2020. REUTERS/Al Drago
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Navy and Army tested hypersonic weapon component prototypes on Wednesday that will inform development of new weapons, the Pentagon said, calling the three tests successful.
    The tests occurred the same day that U.S. President Joe Biden said he was concerned about Chinese hypersonic weapons.
    The Sandia National Laboratory ran the tests from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia which will help “inform the development of the Navy’s Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) and the Army’s Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) offensive hypersonic strike,” a statement said.
    The Navy and Army will conduct a flight test of the common hypersonic missile in fiscal 2022, which began on Oct. 1.
    Hypersonic weapons travel in the upper atmosphere at more than five times the speed of sound, or about 3,853 miles per hour (6,200 kph).
    These tests “demonstrated advanced hypersonic technologies, capabilities, and prototype systems in a realistic operating environment,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
    The United States has actively pursued the development of hypersonic weapons as a part of its conventional prompt global strike program since the early 2000s.
    Companies such as Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies are working to develop the hypersonic weapon capability for the United States.
(Reporting by Mike Stone; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

10/21/2021 Italy’s Berlusconi Acquitted Of Bribing Witness In Underage Prostitution Case by Silvia Ognibene
FILE PHOTO: Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi speaks to the media as he
leaves San Raffaele hospital in Milan, Italy, September 14, 2020. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo
    SIENA, Italy (Reuters) -Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was acquitted on Thursday of allegedly bribing a witness in a 2013 underage prostitution case, giving a fillip to the 85-year old who has been battling ill-health.
    Berlusconi was accused of paying pianist Danilo Mariani to lie in a trial where he was charged with paying for sex with 17-year-old Moroccan nightclub dancer Karima El Mahroug, better known in Italy by her stage name, Ruby the Heartstealer.
    Berlusconi, leader of the centre-right Forza Italia (Go Italy!) party, was eventually acquitted in that case and he pleaded not guilty in the subsequent bribery trial.
    “I spoke to Berlusconi a little while ago and he is very relieved and satisfied,” said his lawyer Federico Cecconi after the verdict was issued by the court in the Tuscan city of Siena.
    However Berlusconi still faces two other similar cases of alleged bribery which are being tried by courts in Rome and Milan.
    Mariani was sentenced in May to two years in prison by the Siena court for lying at the original trial where he said Berlusconi’s physical contact with his female guests was just to shake their hands.    On Thursday he was acquitted of taking bribes.     The alleged payments to various witnesses are being handled in different courts around the country according to the location of the banks that received the money.
    The trials have been suspended several times in the last year due to the failing health of Berlusconi, who served four terms as prime minister. He has been in and out of hospital repeatedly after contracting COVID-19 in September 2020.
    However, his condition has appeared to improve this month and on Thursday he flew to Brussels for a meeting of European centre-right leaders, a rare political trip abroad.
    Berlusconi was originally found guilty of paying to have sex with El Mahroug, who at 17 was considered a minor by Italian law, and was sentenced to seven years in jail.
    However, the verdict was overturned in 2014 by an appeals court which ruled there was no proof he had known Mahroug’s age. The acquittal was upheld by the Supreme Court.
    Berlusconi’s political career has been dogged by legal battles.    After a conviction for tax fraud in 2013, he was temporarily barred from office.
    That ban has long expired, however, and his name is sometimes touted as a possible candidate for head of state when a new president is chosen early next year.
(Reporting by Silvia Ognibene, writing by Agnieszka Flak, editing by Gavin Jones and Angus MacSwan)

10/21/2021 White House Announces Plan To Open Up Union Options To Federal Employees by OAN Newsroom
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during an event marking the 10th anniversary of the dedication
of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    As strikes sweep across the U.S., Kamala Harris is encouraging more federal employees to join unions. She elaborated on the policies in a Labor Task Force meeting Wednesday with Labor Secretary Marty Walsh.
    The “bold” strategy is to give new hires union contact information and inform them of their right to unionize if they are eligible.
    “We, as it relates to new hires, have decided and are committed to making sure they will be told at the time of being hired if they are eligible to join a union,” Harris stated.    “They will be given contact information and they will be informed of their rights.    We’d like to believe that this happens every time, but we know it doesn’t.”
    The policies will also apply for current workers.
    “We’re going to ensure that they are reminded if they are eligible to join a union, because again, we have folks who have been working in the federal government for years who during the course of that time may not have been informed,” she continued.
    “And we want to make sure that they know now if they didn’t know before.”
    Currently, only 20 percent of America’s federal workers are union members, but Harris hopes the move will get more to join, not only in the federal workforce but in the private sector as well.
    “But we also know that by example, we can hopefully encourage all workplaces, all industries to look at what is in the best interest of productivity,” she stated. “In the best interest of morale and in the best interest, of course, of again, valuing the dignity of work.”
    The Labor Task Force is expected to send a report to Joe Biden on the initiatives Saturday.    If agreed upon, through executive actions the government will be requiring itself to allow union bargaining in several federal positions.

10/21/2021 Union Push ‘Nothing More Than A Power Grab,’ Says Nikki Haley by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this June 24, 2021, file photo, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks
during the Iowa Republican Party’s Lincoln Dinner in West Des Moines, Iowa. Haley endorsed New Jersey
GOP gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli on Friday, July 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
    According to Nikki Haley, Kamala Harris’ labor union push is nothing more than a power grab.    During an interview on Wednesday, the former ambassador to the United Nations discussed Harris’ effort to organize federal workers into unions.
    Haley warned this will lead to liberal union bosses gaining power, not individual employees.    Earlier on Wednesday, Harris unveiled new policies aimed to “remove barriers to organizing in the federal workplace.”
    “We, as it relates to new hires, have decided and are committed to making sure they will be told at the time of being hired if they are eligible to join a union,” Harris stated.    “They will be given contact information and they will be informed of their rights.”
    The Biden administration is calling on all employers to take similar steps.    However, Haley suggested making sure worker’s voices are heard and that “liberal union middlemen couldn’t intimidate them” is what’s important.

10/21/2021 Trump-Endorsed GOP Candidate Has 11% Lead In Ohio Congressional Race by OAN Newsroom
In this June 1, 2021 photo, Mike Carey, speaks at the kick-off of his 15th Congressional District campaign in Grove City, Ohio.
Former President Donald Trump has backed Carey, a longtime coal lobbyist, as one of the candidates in the crowded
Republican primary for an open U.S. House seat in central Ohio. (Barbara J. Perenic/Columbus Dispatch via AP, File)
    An Ohio congressional candidate endorsed by 45th President Donald Trump is found to have a massive lead over his Democrat opponent.    According to a poll by Emerson College and NBC, Republican candidate Mike Carey has an 11 percent lead in a race to replace retired congressman Steve Stivers.
    The poll found 50 percent of voters support Carey while only 39 percent support his Democrat opponent Allison Russo.    Additionally, almost 60 percent of undecided voters said they are leaning toward Carey while only 40 percent said they may back Russo.
    Aside of an endorsement by President Trump, Carey is also backed by House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)     “We need a fighter like Mike in Congress to stand up to the Democrats’ socialist agenda and get our country back on track,” stated the California Republican.
    The special election in Ohio’s 15th Congressional District is slated for November 2.

10/21/2021 Gov. DeSantis Wants Special Session To Ban Federal Vaccine Mandates by OAN Newsroom
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the opening of a monoclonal antibody site
Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021, in Pembroke Pines, Fla. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)
    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has called for a special legislative session to ban federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates in his state.
    During a press conference in Clearwater on Thursday, DeSantis said the federal government is trying to force the jab, while he maintains the belief in having basic medical freedom and individual choice.
    The governor made it known he plans on taking aggressive legal action to ban any federal mandates.    DeSantis also said himself and the attorney general will be contesting the federal mandate in court.
    The Republican said they’ll be taking legislative action to add protections for people in the Sunshine State, adding it’s “something that cannot wait,” and the legislature is being called back for a special session.
    “When we were doing the last legislative session, it would never have occurred to me that we would be in the situation that we are with some of the insanity that’s raining down right now,” said DeSantis.    “We took very strong action against things like vaccine passports, that was the right decision to do.”
    DeSantis noted not all the blame can be put toward the government, and that he will also be taking additional action with businesses who turned on their employees and ignored religious exemptions.    He said Florida provided probably the strongest coronavirus liability protection for businesses in the country very early on.
    “To now see some of those businesses who were complaining about potential liability turn around and want to fire employees over these injections, I kind of feel like they’re stabbing us in the back after we were standing up for them.    And so, we’re going to be pursuing a number of protections for employees.”
    The Republican governor highlighted the mandate poses a potential threat to thousands of Floridians and said someone’s got to stand up for people’s jobs, livelihoods and constitutional freedoms.

10/21/2021 Gov. Newsom Pledges To Prevent New Oil Drilling Near Communities by OAN Newsroom
California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference on
October 20, 2021 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
    California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced a move to prevent new oil drilling near communities.
    During a press conference on Thursday, Newsom committed to the establishment a 3,200 foot exclusion space to keep oil and gas drilling away from neighborhoods.    The proposed regulation would prohibit new wells and facilities within the exclusion area to be kept away from homes, schools, hospitals among other vulnerable areas.
    Newsom said he’s already put a down payment of $600 million in grants for impacted regions.
    “We are committing next year’s budget, which I’m working on already, to put hundreds of millions more to plug in abandoned wells and to hire the same people that were reworking these wells, to plug in abandoned wells.    And we are going to work closely with communities,” said Newsom.
    Although, this is only part of Newsom’s bigger plans to phase out oil production in California no later than 2045.    “We don’t see oil in our future,” Newsom said on Thursday.
    The move comes after a recent oil spill off the Southern California coast, which threatened marine life and coastal communities.

10/21/2021 Attorney General Garland Says DOJ Will Review Treatment Of Jan. 6 Prisoners by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 21: U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland testifies at a House Judiciary Committee
hearing at the U.S. Capitol on October 21, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images)
    GOP lawmakers grill Attorney General Merrick Garland on alleged mistreatment of detained Jan. 6 protesters.
    On Thursday, Garland told the House Judiciary Committee the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division is reviewing detention conditions in the D.C. jail at the center of allegations.    Garland’s comment comes after Judge Royce Lamberth expressed concern of possible violations while one of the jail’s wardens has been held in contempt over the matter.
    Attorneys for Jan. 6 detainees said their clients are being subjected to solitary confinement and psychological pressure.    Republicans have argued this is unacceptable.
    “You have even judges who recently even held the Department of Corrections in contempt the way that Jan. 6 suspects have been treated, and you’re refusing to comment on the very acts that have just occurred.    That’s what is horribly wrong and is happening in our country that people are seeing your refusal to answer those questions,” said Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.).
    Republicans also criticized Democrat attempts to hold former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon in contempt with GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) saying a Jan. 6 subpoena against Bannon is invalid.

10/21/2021 Human Rights Activists: UN Must Not Recognize Taliban by OAN Newsroom
Taliban members stop women protesting for women’s rights in Kabul on October 21, 2021. – The Taliban violently
cracked down on media coverage of a women’s rights protest in Kabul on October 21 morning,
beating several journalists. (Photo by BULENT KILIC / AFP) (Photo by BULENT KILIC/AFP via Getty Images)
    Women’s rights groups are warning the UN against recognizing the Taliban as a legitimate government of Afghanistan.
    In a statement on Thursday, a group of activists said the terrorist group is systematically abusing the rights of women and are covering up such activities to look good from an international perspective.    The Taliban has claimed to respect all social groups in the country, but has also said it would base domestic policies off the Islamic Sharia Law.     Activists have continued to stress the Taliban can’t be trusted.
    “The predictions were that the Taliban probably had become more moderate and will be more tolerant and acceptance towards the population’s civic liberty,” said former Peace Negotiator Fawzia Koofi.    “But the reality is that since they have taken over, there’s been a systemic exclusion of women from social and education’s sphere.”
    Activists also say the Taliban is violating the rights of religious minorities as it enforces strict Islamic policies.

10/21/2021 House GOP Outline Failing Democrat Policies by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 20: House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) talks with reporters during a news conference
with House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) (L) following a House Republican caucus meeting
at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on October 20, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    House GOP leadership gathered on Capitol Hill to once again demand action and change from their Democrat counterparts, as well as the White House.
    Speaking to the American people Wednesday, Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), Steve Scalise (R-La.), Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Michelle Steele (R-Calif.) highlighted the left’s failing agenda and its impact on the country.    They zeroed in on the threat of skyrocketing inflation to every American’s wallet and the affect it has already taken.
    The lawmakers also targeted the unprecedented supply chain crisis, calling it Joe Biden’s holiday gift to America.
    “And make no mistake, this is a direct result of Joe Biden’s failed leadership and his Build Back Bankrupt agenda.    And yet, as the American people are suffering crisis after crisis, this week House Democrats returned to Washington in complete disarray with their eyes set on a tax and spend package totally over $5 trillion,” said Stefanik.
    She stressed the reconciliation package isn’t just about the price tag, it’s about the far-left socialist policies that the American people don’t support included within.    These include the Made in America tax, measures to prop up the Green New Deal, and the support for mass amnesty.
    Rep. Steele said she’s been trying to reach the White House in an attempt to have a major disaster declaration issued for Orange County, but has been left hanging.
    Rep. McCaul, the ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, drew attention to the Biden administration’s failing foreign policies.    He also touched on the warning his committee had given regarding China’s work on hypersonic weapons, saying they were leading in the innovation of the warfare.
    Meanwhile, China has reportedly tested these military capabilities with little to no reaction from the Biden White House.    He said the most disturbing is that these weapons were built on the backbone of American technology that they’ve either stolen or had handed to them, and called for stronger export controls to stop this very thing from happening.
    Rep. Scalise called for action from the majority in Congress, saying they have the power to fix the problems they’ve created.    He said House Republicans would continue to fight for the average American that’s being bogged down by Democrats’ reckless tax and spend policies that only benefit Washington.

10/22/2021 Oil down $0.87 to $82.69, DOW down 6 to 35,603.

10/22/2021 Biden Says United States Would Come To Taiwan’s Defense by Trevor Hunnicutt
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks briefly with reporters after participating in a ceremony for state and national
Teachers of the Year at the White House in Washington, U.S. October 18, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo
    BALTIMORE (Reuters) -The United States would come to Taiwan’s defense and has a commitment to defend the island China claims as its own, U.S. President Joe Biden said on Thursday, though the White House said later there was no change in policy towards the island.
    “Yes, we have a commitment to do that,” Biden said at a CNN town hall when asked if the United States would come to the defense of Taiwan, which has complained of mounting military and political pressure from Beijing to accept Chinese sovereignty.
    While Washington is required by law to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself, it has long followed a policy of “strategic ambiguity” on whether it would intervene militarily to protect Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack.
    In August, a Biden administration official said U.S. policy on Taiwan had not changed after the president appeared to suggest the United States would defend the island if it were attacked.
    A White House spokesperson said Biden at his town hall was not announcing any change in U.S. policy and “there is no change in our policy,” but declined further comment when asked if Biden had misspoken.
    “The U.S. defense relationship with Taiwan is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act.    We will uphold our commitment under the Act, we will continue to support Taiwan’s self-defense, and we will continue to oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo,” the spokesperson said.
    Taiwan’s presidential office, responding to Biden’s remarks, said their position remains the same, which is it will neither give in to pressure nor “rashly advance” when it gets support.
    Taiwan will show a firm determination to defend itself, presidential office spokesperson Xavier Chang said in a statement, noting also the Biden administration’s continued concrete actions to show its “rock-solid” support for Taiwan.
    Biden said people should not worry about Washington’s military strength because “China, Russia and the rest of the world knows we’re the most powerful military in the history of the world.”
    “What you do have to worry about is whether or not they’re going to engage in activities that would put them in a position where they may make a serious mistake,” Biden said.
    “I don’t want a cold war with China.    I just want China to understand that we’re not going to step back, that we’re not going to change any of our views.”
    Military tensions between Taiwan and China are at their worst in more than 40 years, Taiwan’s Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said this month, adding that China will be capable of mounting a “full-scale” invasion by 2025.
    Taiwan says it is an independent country and will defend its freedoms and democracy.
    China says Taiwan is the most sensitive and important issue in its ties with the United States and has denounced what it calls “collusion” between Washington and Taipei.
    Speaking to reporters earlier on Thursday, China’s United Nations Ambassador Zhang Jun said they are pursuing “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan and responding to “separatist attempts” by its ruling Democratic Progressive Party.
    “We are not the troublemaker. On the contrary, some countries – the U.S. in particular – is taking dangerous actions, leading the situation in Taiwan Strait into a dangerous direction,” he said.
    “I think at this moment what we should call is that the United States to stop such practice.    Dragging Taiwan into a war definitely is in nobody’s interest.    I don’t see that the United States will gain anything from that.”
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Additional reporting by David Brunnstrom in Washington, Michelle Nichols in New York and Ben Blanchard in Taipei; Writing by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Stephen Coates)

10/22/2021 With Xi-Biden Meeting, U.S. Aims To Show Responsible Handling Of China Ties by Trevor Hunnicutt, David Brunnstrom and Michael Martina
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 (Reuters) – White House officials are gearing up for a virtual meeting between President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping they hope will show the world Washington can responsibly manage relations between the rival superpowers, people familiar with the matter say.
    Combative diplomatic exchanges with China early in the Biden administration unnerved allies and U.S. officials believe direct engagement with Xi, who has consolidated power in Beijing to a degree not seen since Mao Zedong, is the best way to prevent the relationship between the world’s two biggest economies spiraling toward conflict.
    Given China’s domestic COVID restrictions and Xi’s reluctance to travel, two sources familiar with the matter said Washington is aiming for a video conference call between Biden and Xi in November, though plans are still under discussion.
    An agenda will likely not be set until after consultations with allies, they said, including during next week’s summit of the Group of 20 countries in Rome and a subsequent U.N. climate conference in Glasgow.
    Biden will attend both forums. Xi, who hasn’t left China since early in the pandemic, is not expected to travel.
    While the stakes for the Biden-Xi meeting are high – Washington and Beijing have been sparring on issues from the origins of the pandemic to China’s expanding nuclear arsenal – Biden’s team is so far setting low expectations for specific outcomes and has declined to say what the agenda might include.
    “We are still planning details of the virtual bilateral meeting and there is nothing to preview at this time,” a senior administration official said.
    The sources familiar with current plans, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the meeting would be a major outcome in itself, with the hope it could bring stability to what Washington says will be long-term strategic competition.
    The two sides agreed in talks in Switzerland this month to hold the virtual conference by the year-end, with direct leader-level communication intended to set relations in a more “,” a senior U.S. administration official said at the time.
    “We think it’s particularly important for the leaders to take more of a role in managing this relationship,” the official said.
    Susan Thornton, a former senior State Department official for Asia now at the Brookings Institution, said the meeting could help repair a communication void and put a floor under relations that were still in a “downward spiral.”
    “That’s not really an outcome, but it prevents things from getting worse,” she said.
    Throughout a trade war during former President Donald Trump’s administration, Chinese officials sought an upper hand by suggesting U.S. officials were the ones seeking talks.    Now, Biden officials trying to show the United States is the responsible power have flipped the script, telling journalists after a Sept. 9 phone call between Biden and Xi that Biden had initiated the interaction.
    Departing from Trump’s go-it-alone approach to China policy, Biden has staked his strategy on mobilizing allies and partners in Europe and Asia to increase leverage over Beijing.
    David O’Sullivan, the former EU ambassador to Washington, told Reuters European allies had been “very anxious” that improperly managed U.S.-China relations, as appeared evident in tense public exchanges at high-level diplomatic meetings in Alaska in March, could drag them into a conflict.
    “Those are the kind of messages that people are sending to this administration.    I think they understand that, and I think this probably is one of the reasons why they are reaching out (to China),” he said.
    Days after the Alaska meetings, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken found it necessary to stress in Brussels that the United States would not force any NATO ally to choose sides between Washington and Beijing.
    An Asian diplomat said “everyone around the world was a little bit anxious” about where the U.S.-China relationship was headed after Alaska.
    Toning down the rhetoric also made sense for Xi, who over the next year wants smooth sailing for hugely important national events, including the Beijing Winter Olympics in February, and a Communist Party Congress where he is set to secure an unprecedented third term as party boss.
    “Not disrupting either of these means that you have to have some managed relationship between the U.S. and China,” the diplomat told Reuters.    “You minimize the risk of conflict in what is actually a very important 12 months for Xi Jinping domestically.”
    Hanging over the Beijing Games is Washington’s charge that China is committing “genocide” against Muslims in its Xinjiang region, although Biden officials have so far demurred in the face of calls by rights groups and U.S. legislators for a diplomatic boycott of the event.
    Still, with disagreements abounding, U.S. officials insist it is a mistake to see a “thaw” in relations.
    The administration has recently expressed concern about evidence of a nuclear build-up by China and its work on hypersonic missiles, and has also accused China of ramping up military activity in an effort to intimidate democratic Taiwan.
    On Wednesday, Biden’s nominee to be ambassador to China, Nicholas Burns, called China Washington’s “most dangerous competitor” and said the United States needed to work closely with allies.
    “We have partners who believe in us and the Chinese really do not,” he said.    “I think President Biden has tried to emphasize the need for us to be very closely aligned … (with) our treaty allies, our defense partners.”
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt, David Brunnstrom, and Michael Martina; Editing by Mary Milliken and Daniel Wallis)

10/22/2021 At United Nations, Afghan Women Appeal: Don’t Let Taliban In by Michelle Nichols
Left to right: Former Afghan diplomat Asila Wardak, former Afghan politician and peace negotiator Fawzia Koofi,
Afghan journalist Anisa Shaheed and former Afghan politician, Naheed Fareed speak to reporters
outside the U.N. Security Council, in New York, U.S. October 21, 2021. REUTERS/Michelle Nichols
    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – A group of Afghan women urged the United Nations to block the Taliban from gaining a seat at the world body, calling for better representation for their country during a visit to the organisation’s New York headquarters on Thursday.
    “It’s very simple,” former Afghan politician and peace negotiator Fawzia Koofi told reporters outside the UN Security Council in New York.    “The UN needs to give that seat to somebody who respects the rights of everyone in Afghanistan.”
    “We are talked a lot about, but we are not listened to,” she said of Afghan women.    “Aid, money, recognition – they are all leverage that the world should use for inclusion, for respect to the rights of women, for respect to the rights of everybody.”
    Koofi was joined by former politician, Naheed Fareed, former diplomat Asila Wardak and journalist Anisa Shaheed.
    “When the Taliban took Afghanistan … they said that they will give permission to women to resume their jobs, to go back to the school, but they didn’t keep that promise,” said Fareed.
    Since seizing power in mid-August, Taliban leaders have vowed to respect women’s rights in accordance with sharia, or Islamic law.    But under Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001, women could not work and girls were banned from school.    Women had to cover their faces and be accompanied by a male relative when they left home.
    The United Nations is considering rival claims on who should represent Afghanistan.    The Taliban nominated their Doha-based spokesman Suhail Shaheen as UN ambassador, while Ghulam Isaczai – the UN envoy representing the government ousted by the Taliban – is seeking to remain in the country’s seat.
    UN member states are expected to make a decision by the end of the year.
    Wardak urged countries to pressure the Taliban “to put their words in action” when it comes to women’s rights, adding: “If you’re going to give them a seat, there should be conditions.”
    The women spoke to reporters before addressing a UN event on support for Afghan women and girls, organized by Britain, Qatar, Canada, UN Women and the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security.
    The UN Security Council also met separately on Thursday to discuss women, peace and security.
    “Women and girls in Afghanistan are pinning their hopes and dreams on this very council and world body to help them recover their rights to work, travel and go to school,” Isaczai told the 15-member council.    “It would be morally reprehensible if we do nothing and let them down.”
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Karishma Singh)

10/22/2021 Biden Officials Correct Joe Biden’s Stance On Taiwan by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 22: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki talks to reporters in the Brady Press
Briefing Room at the White House on October 22, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    Officials in the Biden administration are polishing Joe Biden’s messaging on America’s commitment to Taiwan after he vaguely expressed his stance in Thursday’s town hall.
    On Friday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden hadn’t changed America’s longstanding practice of helping the island nation maintain its sovereignty.    This comes after Biden spoke on the matter at his town hall with CNN on Thursday.
    While Biden claimed America remains ready to defend any attack on Taiwan, he went on to rant about America’s partnership with the island nation. Psaki pointed to the Taiwan Relations Act, a 1979 law mandating America engage in peaceful military, commercial and cultural relations with Taiwan.
    “Some of the principles of the Taiwan Relations Act are, that the United States will continue to abide by of course, is assisting Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self defense capability.    Another principal is that the United States would regard any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means, a threat to the peace and security of the     Western Pacific and of grave concern to the United States,” said Psaki.
    Earlier in the day, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin maintained the U.S. military is directed to help Taiwanese forces from any threat to its national security.    Speaking after a NATO minister’s conference, Austin reflected on the body’s first acknowledgement of China’s threat to Taiwan in 2019, which is when China rekindled its longstanding claim that Taiwan was part of its authority.    It has since upped it’s aggressive military behavior against Taiwan.
    Austin affirmed the U.S. maintains its one-China policy, which allows American diplomats to engage with China and Taiwan peacefully without officially recognizing Taiwan as a country.    He added it’s America’s duty to ensure all threats in the Indo-Pacific region are expelled.
    However, China hasn’t responded kindly to the Biden administration’s remarks.    A spokesperson for the CCP’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned there is no compromise over Taiwan.    China believes that Taiwan remains under Chinese control and has demanded Biden follow its manifesto or jeopardize U.S.-China relations.
    “We urge the U.S. to effectively adhere to the one-China principle and the provisions of the three U.S.-China joint communiques, be cautious with its words and actions on the Taiwan issue, and not to send any wrong signals to the separatists of Taiwan independence, so as not to seriously damage China-U.S. relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Straight,” said Spokesperson Wang Wenbin.
    Meanwhile, leaders in the Republican Party are calling attention to Biden’s weak defense of Taiwan during his tenure.
    Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan (R) says Taiwan is the “frontline of tyranny versus freedom,” equating it to West Berlin, Germany during the Cold War.    Sullivan has demanded Biden overhaul policies that would lead to a stronger U.S. military to be on standby should there be a credible threat to America’s ally.
    Additionally, Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton (R) warned the threat from China is real and Biden is losing the modern Cold War against the CCP.    He urged Biden to provide Taiwan with strong cybersecurity infrastructure, missiles and sea-mines should China take steps to invade the island nation.

10/22/2021 Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Introduces Articles Of Impeachment Against Biden by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, speaks to reporters after attending testimony by U.S. Attorney
Gen. Merrick Garland before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on “Oversight of the United States Department of Justice,”
on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C, October 21, 2021. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
    Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R) testifies in front of the House Committee on the Judiciary pleading with lawmakers to pursue articles of impeachment against Joe Biden.     On Friday, the Georgia Republican spoke to her fellow lawmakers on the several articles of impeachment she’s already filed against Biden.    Greene said Biden is abusing his power by enabling bribery and other high crimes, among misdemeanors.     According to the congresswoman, the American people are on her side.
    “Now this is not an issue that is just important to me.    This is an issue that’s important to the American people.    You see, the American people in polling just recently, there’s a range between 60 percent of Americans that say that Joe Biden should be impeached, and goes as high as 83 percent of Republicans think President Biden deserves to be impeached.    Fifty-eight percent of independents and 40 percent of Democrats agreeing,” Greene pleaded.
    Greene is joined by several other members of Congress who agree with her articles of impeachment against Biden and are seeking his removal from the White House.

10/22/2021 General Electric Workers Protest Vaccine Mandate by OAN Newsroom
The logo of General Electric is pictured. (Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP via Getty Images)
    Dozens of General Electric employees staged a walk-out over the company’s vaccine mandate.
    More than 200 employees in New York protested on Friday against the company’s vaccine mandate.    This comes after roughly 150 workers lined up outside of the General Electric facility in South Carolina Thursday.
    GE said all its staff members must comply with the federal mandate and get vaccinated by Dec. 8.    However, some of the protestors have said this isn’t about the actual vaccine, but rather about their personal rights.
    “They’re not anti-vaccine, and we point that out in the letter too.    They’re not anti-science, they are folks who want to have the ability to make a choice as to whether or not they take one of the COVID-19 vaccines,” said Attorney James Lawrence.    “It’s a pro-individual freedom, pro-bodily autonomy position.”
    Gov. Henry McMaster (R-S.C.) initially said he would fight Joe Biden’s mandate, but has now said he won’t stop businesses from mandating the vaccines. He added the state has no authority to do so.

10/22/2021 Ariz. Attorney General Seeks Temporary Restraining Order On Biden’s Vaccine Mandate by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Jan. 7, 2020, file photo, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich speaks at a news conference
in Phoenix. Brnovich has filed the first lawsuit to block President Joe Biden’s new vaccine
requirements that could affect 100 million workers, Tuesday Sept, 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Bob Christie, File)
    Arizona’s attorney general is seeking a temporary restraining order blocking the Biden administration’s coronavirus vaccine mandates.    On Friday, Attorney General Mark Brnovich said “once a vaccine is administered, it can never be undone.”
    A news release stated an amended complaint was filed against Joe Biden, claiming mandates for federal employees and contractors are “unconstitutional and illegal.”    Arizona first filed a lawsuit back in September, anticipating Biden’s vaccine mandate would affect more than 100 million workers.
    “Our lawsuit right here is the first salvo pushing back against the federal government’s vaccine mandates, but it will not be the last salvo,” said Brnovich.
    Brnovich added the mandate is one of the greatest infringements upon individual liberty and federalism seen.

10/22/2021 Biden Speaks Out On Why He Hasn’t Visited Southern Border During Time In White House by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden participates in a CNN town hall at Baltimore Center Stage in
Baltimore, Maryland on October 21, 2021. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)
    Joe Biden fumbles over an answer after being questioned on why he hasn’t visited the U.S.-Mexico border.
    During a CNN Town Hall Thursday, Biden said while he probably should go down to the border, he “hasn’t had a whole hell of a lot of time” to do so.    He claimed he’s been too busy responding to a number of other crises including hurricanes and floods.
    “I’ve been spending time going around looking at the $900 billion worth of damage done by hurricanes and floods and weather, and traveling around the world,” he said.
    In the meantime, apprehensions of illegal migrants along the southern border have surged to their highest levels since 1986.    Additionally, over 1.7 million illegal immigrants have been detained at the U.S.-Mexico border this year alone.
    “I guess I should go.    I’ve been there before and I haven’t…I mean, I know it well.    I guess I should go down,” said Biden.    “But, the whole point of it is I haven’t had a whole hell of a lot of time to get down.”
    Although Biden has said otherwise, it’s still unclear whether he has ever made a trip to the southern border as a senator, vice president or as president.

10/22/2021 Biden Indicates He’s Open To Eliminating Filibuster For Voting Reform Legislation by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden participates in a CNN town hall at Baltimore Center Stage in
Baltimore, Maryland on October 21, 2021.(Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)
    Joe Biden has indicated he’s open to eliminating the filibuster to pass voting reform legislation.
    During a town hall on Thursday, Biden acknowledged he would consider getting rid of the filibuster for voting legislation and “maybe more.”    He suggested more Democrats may come out in favor of scrapping the rule if Republicans use the filibuster to block legislation to raise the debt ceiling in December.
    Biden said “at some point” the filibuster will have to be fundamentally altered, but didn’t specify if that means reforming it or eliminating it altogether.
    “Well, that remains to be seen.    Exactly what that means in terms of fundamentally altering or whether or not we just end the filibuster straight up.    There’s certain things that are just sacred rights. One’s a sacred obligation that we’re getting out of debt,” said Biden.
    Biden also said he would lose three votes in the Senate Democrat Caucus regarding his economic and foreign policy plans if he sought to eliminate the filibuster at this moment.
    “If in fact I get myself into at this moment a debate on the filibuster, I lose at least three votes right now to get what I have to get done on the economic side of the equation, foreign policy side of the equation,” Biden said when questioned on the issue during the town hall.

10/22/2021 Attorney General Garland Slammed For Leadership Of Justice Dept. by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 21: U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland testifies at a House Judiciary Committee
hearing at the U.S. Capitol on October 21, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images)
    Attorney General Merrick Garland was recently grilled by Congress over his handling of America’s Justice Department since assuming the cabinet position earlier this year.
    Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) slammed Garland for doing the bidding to Joe Biden and acting without autonomy as the Justice Department is designed to.
    “March 25th, Joe Biden criticizes the Georgia election law, three months later the Department of Justice challenges it,” Jordan noted.    “September 1st, Joe Biden criticizes the new pro-life law in Texas, eight days later the Department of Justice challenges it.    September 29th, a political organization asks President Biden to involve the FBI in local school board issues, five days later Department of Justice does just that.”
    The Ohio Republican then questioned whether this was merely coincidence.    Garland denied Jordan’s accusation of following Biden’s lead.    Instead, the attorney general said he was not given instruction from the White House to act.
    Republicans also drilled Garland on his handling of the Durham probe, which is reportedly investigating the Clintons.    They asked America’s attorney whether or not he was interfering in the investigation.
    “During your confirmation hearing, if you remember, you were asked if you would actually ensure the special counsel, special counsel Durham, would have sufficient staff and other resources to complete that investigation,” stated Rep. Scott Fitzgerald (R-Wis.).    “Now, obviously, you’ve had more than six months on the job.    Can you commit to allowing special counsel Durham’s investigation to proceed?
    Garland responded by saying Durham had an approved budget and declined to comment further.    Throughout his testimony, the attorney general espoused his support for abortion and his opposition to Republican-backed measures on election integrity.

10/22/2021 Rep. McCarthy: Subpoena For Bannon Is Invalid, Politically Motivated by OAN Newsroom
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks during his weekly news
conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has accused the partisan January 6 committee of making politically motivated actions.    He asserted the subpoena for former White House strategist Steve Bannon is invalid.
    While speaking from a Capitol Hill press conference on Thursday, McCarthy said this is the latest attempt by Democrats to silence conservatives.    However, shortly after his remarks, the House’s majority decision gave the controversial subpoena the green-light.
    Bannon is under scrutiny because his lawyer told the January 6 committee he would not comply with their subpoena, saying he had the right to withhold confidential information as a White House official.    According to McCarthy, the January 6 panel’s refusal to first let him defend his claim in court exposes dark intentions.
    McCarthy suggested cases like Bannon’s are why Republicans have called for a balanced panel since the beginning.    The committee has seven Democrats and just two anti-Trump Republicans, all hand-picked by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
    McCarthy went on to say the committee’s focus on targeting political opponents is very different from what they promised it to be earlier this year.    Regardless, Bannon’s case is now heading to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington and it will be up to prosecutors to present it to a grand jury for possible criminal charges.

10/22/2021 Speaker Pelosi Expects Budget Plan Agreement Soon by OAN Newsroom
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during her weekly news conference
on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is confident her party is close to an agreement on the reconciliation package.    The California representative declared an early victory during a Thursday presser.
    Although she admitted the new bill would be smaller, Pelosi said it would still be “historic” and “transformational.”    In the midst of her jubilation, the Speaker couldn’t resist making a sports analogy:
    “So here we are down to the stretch.    You know, I’m from Maryland.    I’m horse racing, sports, sports, sports now, horse racing.    And you get to the, we’re almost to the stretch.    We’ve rounded the turn and we’re almost to the stretch, and we’re making great progress to our goal of securing a framework agreement for Build Back Better.”
    Pelosi previously announced a reconciliation bill framework had been reached on September 23.    The House vote on that bill did not take place as promised.
    Meanwhile, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said it’s unlikely that Democrats would be able to reach an agreement on spending by the deadline this week.    The West Virginia lawmaker told reporters Thursday, he does not believe Democrat negotiators would strike a deal on spending as proposed by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) by Friday.
    Manchin said he will not support any spending plan that goes above $1.5 trillion.    The senator also stressed negotiators are “making good progress,” but there’s still a lot of work to be done.

10/22/2021 Maskless Tenn. Students Forced Into Separate Classrooms by OAN Newsroom
File – A child raises his finger to speak during school while wearing a face mask. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole, pool)
    Some Tennessee parents are furious as their schools are segregating students who choose not to wear a mask.    The superintendent of Williamson County Schools recently confirmed students who don’t wear masks or don’t have an approved religious or medical exemption will be moved to separate classrooms.
    As of now, less than 10 students in the district are being held in these rooms where they have access to virtual learning and some parents are not happy about this separation.
    Meanwhile, all students, visitors and staff are required to wear masks at Williamson County Schools.    Additionally, they will not allowed to opt out of the federal mandate.

10/22/2021 Biden Uses MLK Memorial Speech To Push Failing Economic Agenda by OAN Newsroom
President Joe Biden waves as he and first lady Jill Biden walk on the South Lawn of the White House after stepping off Marine One,
Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, in Washington. The Bidens are returning from a CNN town hall in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    Joe Biden took an opportunity to push his Build Back Better agenda while speaking at an event honoring Martin Luther King Junior. On Thursday, the Democrat spoke in front of the MLK Memorial in Washington D.C. to honor its 10th anniversary.
    While speaking at the gathering, Biden decided it was a good time to push his multi-trillion dollar economic package while calling for “equity,” touting his child tax credit and calling for improvements to pre-K education.    He also pushed for the Democrats’ so-called Voting Rights bill, which was recently struck down in the Senate.
    “Today the right to vote and the rule of law are under unrelenting assault from Republican governors, attorneys general, secretaries of state, state legislators and they’re following my predecessor, the last president, into a deep, deep black hole and abyss,” Biden claimed.
    He then accused Republicans of being afraid to even talk about the legislation, adding the push to get it passed is far from over.    Meanwhile, Republicans have argued the bill is nothing more than an attempt to federalize U.S. elections.

10/22/2021 White House Repeats No Taiwan Policy Change; Experts See Biden Gaffe by Jeff Mason and David Brunnstrom
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a town hall about his infrastructure investment proposals with CNN's Anderson
Cooper at the Baltimore Center Stage Pearlstone Theater in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S. October 21, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House on Friday reiterated that Joe Biden was not signaling a change in U.S. policy toward Taiwan when he said the United States would come to the island’s aid if it was attacked by China, and analysts dismissed the president’s remark as a gaffe.
    While Washington is required by law to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself, it has long followed a policy of “strategic ambiguity” on whether it would intervene militarily to protect Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack.
    Biden called that into question when he was asked at a CNN town hall in Baltimore on Thursday night whether the United States would come to Taiwan’s defense if it was attacked by China and he replied: “Yes, we have a commitment to do that.”
    Shortly after he spoke, a White House spokesperson said there was no change in policy and analysts said it appeared the president misspoke.
    Asked at a Friday news briefing whether it was Biden’s intention to move away from strategic ambiguity to make an unambiguous statement about how the United States would respond to a Chinese attack on Taiwan, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said:     “Our policy has not changed. He was not intending to convey a change in policy, nor has he made a decision to change our policy.”
    Psaki added that, as stated in Brussels earlier on Friday by U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, “nobody wants to see cross-strait issues come to blows, certainly not President Biden, and there’s no reason that it should.”
    Psaki said the U.S. defense relationship with Taiwan was guided by the long-established Taiwan Relations Act, under which Washington would “continue assisting Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability.”
    Another principle of the act was that Washington “would regard any efforts to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means a threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific and of grave concern to the United States,” she added.
    Bonnie Glaser, a Taiwan expert at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, called Biden’s remark a “gaffe” and said it was “patently not true” that Washington has a commitment to defend Taiwan.
    “Some are suggesting a deliberate effort to send unclear signals, but in my view, that makes no sense. A confused U.S. policy weakens deterrence,” she said, noting that Biden’s Asia policy czar, Kurt Campbell, had rejected “strategic clarity” over Taiwan.
    Another Taiwan expert, Douglas Paal, a former U.S. representative in Taipei, said Biden was focused at the town hall on selling his domestic economic agenda.
    “Despite his reputation on foreign affairs, he can be occasionally sloppy when distracted,” Paal said.    “The White House was right to issue a speedy ‘no-change-in-policy’ correction, because that is where policy is.”
    Biden’s remark comes at an awkward time, while White House officials are gearing up for a virtual meeting between him and Chinese leader Xi Jinping, which, sources say, they hope will show the world Washington can responsibly manage tense relations between the rival superpowers.
    China, which claims self-ruled Taiwan as its own, expressed its displeasure, with a foreign ministry spokesman saying Beijing has no room for concessions on its core interests.
    China urges the United States “not to send the wrong signals to the forces of Taiwan independence, to avoid seriously harming Sino-U.S. ties and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” spokesman Wang Wenbin said.
    Taiwan’s presidential office said its position remained the same, which is that it will neither give in to pressure nor “rashly advance” when it gets support.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason, Tim Ahmann and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis)

10/23/2021 Oil up $1.35 to $83.97, DOW up 74 to 35,677 and gas is above $3 a gallon in my area and it will not be long before they repeat the Obama years when it went above $4 a gallon so Trump run again so we can fix this problem.

10/23/2021 Border Patrol To Fire Up To 5K Agents Over Vaccine Mandate by OAN Newsroom
This photo shows a U.S. Border Patrol patch on a border agent’s uniform in
McAllen, Texas, on January 15, 2019. (Photo by SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP)
    U.S. Border Patrol plans to fire agents who don’t receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
    According to reports on Friday, the agency is looking to enforce Joe Biden’s federal vaccine mandate by the end of November.    They said those who refuse to do so without an approved religious or medical exemption could face action up to termination.
    Critics have said this would only further complicate the crisis at the southern border, where over 1.5 million illegal immigrants have crossed in 2021 alone.    Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs (R) said he believes as many as 5,000 agents could separate from Border Patrol over the issue.
    “Think of how many people, like on the border, Border Patrol. How many of these Border Patrol agents are going to separate?    I’ve been told it could be as many as 5,000,” said Biggs.    “And if that many were to leave, as porous as our border already is, you’d truly have a national security crisis along your border.”
    According to the Department of Homeland Security, the last date to receive the vaccine before being terminated is Nov. 8.
    “DHS is actively working to ensure compliance with President Biden’s executive order requiring that all federal employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 22, except in limited circumstances where an exception is required by law,” said CBP Media Relations Headquarters Branch Chief Justin Long.

10/23/2021 New Migrant Caravan In Mexico Pushes Past Blockade To Head North by Jose Torres
Migrants from Central America and Haiti clash with National Guard members as they walk in a caravan headed to the Mexican
capital to apply for asylum and refugee status, in Tapachula, in Chiapas state, Mexico October 23, 2021. REUTERS/Jose Torres
    TAPACHULA (Reuters) – Several thousand migrants from Haiti, South America and Central America set off from southern Mexico headed north on Saturday, clashing with law enforcement trying to hold the caravan back.
    Some people among the latest mass movement of migrants trying to pass north through Mexico said they hoped to eventually reach the U.S. border, where the number of migrants trying to gain entry was already hitting new records.
    Some 3,000 people, including families with young children, began trekking on foot on Saturday from the city of Tapachula near the Guatemala border toward Mexico’s capital.
    One of the caravan’s organizers, Irineo Mujica, said he was leading the group to Mexico City in protest of the lack of government assistance in the south, where officials have attempted to contain thousands of migrants, and to demand legal documents that would let migrants move freely in the country.
    A highway checkpoint in Tapachula with some 400 law enforcement officers aimed to block their path, but many migrants managed to break past.    A Reuters video showed people carrying backpacks and with children on their shoulders pushing through a cluster of officers in anti-riot gear who attempted to contain the crowd.
    One family, including a woman and small children, were knocked to the ground in the crush of people, their belongings scattering.
    Some migrants who attempted to leave Tapachula in September to head north were subject to brutal treatment by Mexican officials, and the government’s National Migration Institute condemned incidents of violence captured on video. U.S. authorities arrested more than 1.7 million migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border this fiscal year, the most ever recorded
(Reporting by Jose Torres, Additional reporting by Lizbeth Diaz, Writing by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by David Gregorio)

10/23/2021 Seven Prisoners Found Dead In Ecuador Jail Affected By Riots by Alexandra Valencia
FILE PHOTO: Inmates of the Regional de Guayaquil prison hold banners reading "We want peace,"The law is killing us,"
"Peace, no to violence" after unrest was reported since the country's worst-ever riots broke out a few days ago
at the Penitenciaria del Litoral, in Guayaquil, Ecuador October 2, 2021. REUTERS/Vicente Gaibor del Pino
(Refiles to additional clients with no change to text)
    QUITO (Reuters) – Ecuador’s SNAI prison authority has found the bodies of seven prisoners in the same jail where violence between gangs lead to the deaths of 119 inmates last month, it said on Saturday.
    The seven bodies were found in the Penitenciaria del Litoral, located in the southern city of Guayaquil, which has become Ecuador’s most violent prison.
    The riot at the end of last month also left dozens of prisoners injured.
    The seven prisoners discovered dead on Saturday were found in a pavilion used for conjugal visits, the SNAI authority said in a Twitter message without elaborating.
    The deaths of four other prisoners in the jail during October are also under investigation.
    The SNAI will work alongside police and prosecutors as it investigates the inmates’ deaths, it said.
    Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso declared a state of emergency for the country’s penitentiaries last month in order to free up resources and increase control inside prisons.
    Members of the military have also been brought in to help control prisons across the country.
    Officials say gangs have alliances with transnational criminal groups and are battling over drug trafficking routes.
    Since the beginning of the month Ecuador’s police have brought violence in Penitenciaria del Litoral under control, it said, adding that other prisons were also under control.
(Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; Writing by Oliver Griffin, Editing by Franklin Paul)

10/23/2021 House Republicans Weigh In On Democrats’ Push To Scrap Hyde Amendment by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 21: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) gestures as he speaks at his weekly press
conference at the U.S. Capitol Building on October 21, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
    House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) met with leaders of the Pro-Life Caucus and guests on the “Right to Life” to discuss the importance of standing against taxpayer-funded abortions.
    On Friday, the Republican leader met with Congress’ pro-life group members to defend the amendment that Joe Biden once supported and voted in favor of several times when he was a senator.    McCarthy said he wants people to know exactly where their tax money is going, especially with Democrats pushing their trillion-dollar so-called Build Back Better Bill, which aims to remove the Hyde Amendment altogether.
    “But this is one fundamental point that America had come together on for the last 50 years and without one debate, Democrats decided that every element of every bill and especially in this one.    And when you’re talking trillions of dollars being spent, you’re talking lives being lost,” stressed McCarthy.
    The Republican pointed back to 1994 when Biden said “the government should not tell those with strong convictions against abortion, such as you and I, that we must pay for them.”
    However, Democrats are now doing everything in their power to get funding for abortions in any bill they can pass.    Minn. Rep. Michelle Fischbach (R) stressed how important it is that Americans know what’s in the reconciliation package so they can stand up against attacks on their freedoms.
    While most Democrat lawmakers have continued to push for the removal of the 40-year-old amendment, moderate Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), have refused to support the reconciliation package unless the Hyde Amendment is included.    GOP leaders stressed this funding, paid for by American tax dollars, won’t only fund abortions in the U.S., but could potentially fund them globally.
    Since 1976, there has been strong bipartisan agreement that the federal government has no place funding abortion, but now the law is under assault by the Democrat’s spending bill.    McCarthy said he’s appalled by their disregard for life and hopes more can see how important the Hyde Amendment truly is.

10/23/2021 Kamala Harris’ Speech Interrupted By Heckler
Kamala Harris speaks about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal and the Build Back Better Agenda at the Edenwald
YMCA on October 22, 2021 in the Bronx Borough of New York. (Photo by BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images)
    Kamala Harris is yelled at while delivering a speech on Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda.
    While delivering a speech in New York City on Friday, Harris was interrupted by a heckler who said he was enraged by the Biden administration.    The heckler said he was furious with the failing infrastructure in his city that led to the tragic deaths of 13 people after Hurricane Ida tore through the area last month.
    Despite Harris’ best efforts to gain control of the situation, she froze as the man continued his criticism.    She then offered to speak with him after she finished giving her comments.
    “Eight families drowned here in Queens,” said the heckler.    “It could have been prevented if we had the right infrastructure.”
    “You are right, brother,” Harris responded.     “I am right about that,” he said before Harris agreed.
    Following the exchange, several Secret Service Agents reportedly ushered the man out of the room.

10/23/2021 GOP Continues To Push Back Against Joe Biden’s Vaccine Mandate by OAN Newsroom
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks holding his facemask during a press conference to address the rise of coronavirus cases
in the state, at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, on July 13, 2020. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)
    The GOP has continued to push back against Joe Biden’s unconstitutional vaccine mandates.
    GOP leaders have taken a stand against Biden’s vaccine mandate ever since first announced back in September, as well as those imposed by Democrat figures and large corporations following his lead since. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) called for a special legislative session to put a stop to such mandates, announcing a series of actions being taken to protect Florida jobs.
    “Your right to earn a living should not be contingent upon COVID shots. On a principal basis, we have the responsibility to stand up for people’s individual rights and individual freedoms, and make sure that in the state of Florida, people can make those decisions,” DeSantis stated.
    Meanwhile, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has long urged action be taken against the mandate and highlighted Texas shouldn’t be forced to choose between their livelihood and a vaccine.
    “Neither the President of the United States nor the federal government have any legal authority, any constitutional authority to issue their vaccine mandate,” said Abbott.
    Abbott issued an executive order banning the mandates by private companies, but the bill failed to pass during a special legislative session.
    Additionally, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich was the first attorney general to file a lawsuit against Biden’s mandate and announced he filed an amended complaint asking for a temporary restraining order and nationwide preliminary injunction as soon as possible.
    The Alabama Republican Party also called for state lawmakers to “take action” and pass legislation opposing Biden’s vaccine requirements.    Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) said the directive is one of the biggest federal overreaches of his lifetime.
    “People are losing their jobs.    It’s going against some people’s religions,” said Tuberville.    “I have friends that have underlying conditions that a doctor tells them do not take the vaccine, but they are still being told by Joe Biden and the federal government to take it.    It is wrong.”
    Officials argue no entity has the right to spy on a citizen’s personal health information, adding requiring someone to disclose their vaccine status or be fired is discrimination.

10/23/2021 Rep. Stefanik: Our Election System Plunged Into Utter Chaos In 2020 by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – JULY 22: U.S. House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) (2nd L)
speaks as House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) (L) and members of the GOP Doctors Caucus listen during
a news conference in front of the U.S. Capitol July 22, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    Republican New York Rep. Elise Stefanik warns against further election irregularities caused by Democrat policies.
    In an op-ed released on Breitbart News on Saturday, Stefanik warned voters in the Empire State against several provisions on their ballots this November. She claimed the measures aim to expand mail-in voting, give Democrat officials more power over a so-called “independent redistricting commission,” and register voters without time to vet their eligibility.
    Stefanik pointed to the 2020 election in New York’s 22nd District, where fellow GOP Rep. Claudia Tenney (N.Y.) was delayed her victory for nearly four months over ballot counting errors.    She added ballots were lost in drawers, absentee ballots were inaccurately counted and there was a breakdown in basic election integrity measures.
    “This disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who went without federal representation for far too long,” Stefanik wrote.
    In the meantime, the number three House Republican is urging voters to watch out for laws Democrats say are election reform measures.

10/23/2021 Mark Meadows: I Would Bet President Trump Runs In 2024 by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – JANUARY 29: U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) speaks
to members of the media. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    President Trump’s White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, predicts the American people will see the return of the 45th president in the White House.
    Speaking to Breitbart News on Saturday, Meadows stressed the American people aren’t happy with how the Biden administration is running the government. He warned Americans are feeling the effects of Biden’s policies in their wallets as inflation, gas prices and supply chain issues skyrocket.
    Meadows claimed the Biden administration believes they can just wait out the storm and hope the economy gets better.
    “Hope is not a plan.    They have to come up with an action and what we’re seeing is a previous administration under Donald J. Trump actually made decisions.    He makes decisions and what happened is, he would get people in and say ‘how do we fix this.’ We had some of the same issues and the economy and oil, and you know with the pandemic, the economy just went to almost zero and yet, a V-shape recovery because President Trump making decisive action,” said Meadows.
    The former congressman urged Republicans vying for public office to represent the American people and not get “Potomac fever.”    Meadows added if the Biden administration continues to enact disastrous policies, President Trump will get his second term.

10/24/2021 No Oil or DOW info.

Above left image Joe reminds me of Nero playing the violin while Rome burned.
The above right image lets us know who Joe really is.    He is the Butthead

10/24/2021 Tug Fights Container Fire On Cargo Ship Off British Columbia by Kevin Light
Fire cascades down from the deck of the container ship ZIM Kingston into the waters off the coast of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada,
October 23, 2021, as seen through a pair of binoculars, in this image obtained via social media. SURFRIDER FOUNDATION CANADA via REUTERS
    Victoria, BRITISH COLUMBIA (Reuters) - A tug boat spent the night fighting a container fire that broke out on Saturday on a cargo ship carrying mining chemicals off British Columbia, the Canadian Coast Guard said on Sunday, adding that it would continue to monitor the situation.
    Sixteen crew members were evacuated from the MV Zim Kingston on Saturday, while five remained onboard to fight the fire.
    “Overnight the tug Seaspan Raven has cooled the hull of the M/V #ZimKingston by spraying the hull with cold water,” the coast guard said on Twitter.    “Due to the nature of chemicals onboard the container ship, applying water directly to the fire is not an option.”
    Images captured by Reuters on Sunday showed two tug boats spraying water toward the ship.
    The coast guard warned that there was an emergency zone around the ship, telling all vessels to stay at least two nautical miles away, and the Transport Ministry restricted all aircraft, including drones, from flying within two nautical miles or below 2,000 feet over the ship.
    Earlier on Sunday Danaos Shipping Co, the company that manages the container ship, said in a statement that no injuries had been reported.
    The fire “appears to have been contained,” and a salvage and fire extinguishing agency was brought in to ensure the safe return of the vessel’s crew, Danaos said.
    The mishap comes as more bad weather is expected to hit the area on Sunday and amid a global shipping traffic jam that has held up deliveries all over the world.
    On Saturday, Canada’s coast guard said the ship itself was not on fire and only 10 containers were burning.
    Canada’s coast guard said it has been working with its U.S. counterpart to track 40 containers that had previously fallen overboard when Zim Kingston encountered bad weather, saying they posed a significant risk to mariners.
    The company did not immediately respond when asked if the lost containers were linked to the fire.
    “Mariners are advised to stay clear of the area.    Currently there is no safety risk to people on shore, however the situation will continue to be monitored,” the coast guard said on Saturday, when video obtained by Reuters showed fire cascading down from the deck of the ship into the water.
    “This is extremely concerning.    The ship and containers are very close to Victoria, BC, and a big storm is forecast to hit tonight.    We … are worried this may be yet another environmental disaster,” said David Boudinot, president of Surfrider Foundation Canada, an environmental organization.
(Reporting by Bhargav Acharya, Chris Helgren and Nur-Azna Sanusi; Additional reporting by Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Edwina Gibbs, Frances Kerry and Mark Porter)

10/25/2021 No Oil or DOW info.

10/25/2021 UNICEF Warns Haiti Fuel Shortages Put Hospitalised Women And Children At Risk
FILE PHOTO: Locals carry containers, used for oil and gasoline, during fuel
shortages in Port-au-Prince, Haiti October 24, 2021. REUTERS/Adrees Latif
    PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Fuel shortages in Haiti are putting the lives of hundreds of women and children at risk as hospitals run low on supplies for electricity, United Nations children’s agency UNICEF said on Sunday.
    Fuel supplies to the capital Port-au-Prince have been severely disrupted in recent weeks by a wave of kidnappings, including the abduction this month of a group of American and Canadian missionaries.    Transport industry leaders say making fuel deliveries is too dangerous for drivers who are at risk of kidnapping or hijacking.
    UNICEF said it negotiated a deal with a local company to provide fuel to hospitals in Port-au-Prince and Haiti’s southern peninsula, which suffered an earthquake in August, but the company reneged on the deal, citing security concerns.
    “The lives of many child-bearing women and newborn babies are in danger because hospitals that should give them life-saving care cannot operate normally due lack of fuel,” said Raoul de Torcy, UNICEF Deputy Representative for Haiti, in a statement.
    Many Haitian businesses and institutions rely on diesel generators to ensure electricity due to constant blackouts.
    The inability to transport fuel has triggered warnings by industrial groups, including the country’s main cell phone service provider, that they may have to shutter services in the coming days.
    A government spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
(Reporting by Brian Ellsworth and Gessika Thomas; editing by Jane Wardell)

10/25/2021 Allegation Of CIA ‘Murder’ Plot Is Game-Changer In Assange Extradition Hearing, Fiancee Says by Michael Holden
FILE PHOTO: Stella Moris, partner of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, speaks to media outside
the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Britain, August 11, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) – The partner of Julian Assange said on Monday a media report that the CIA had plotted to kill or kidnap the WikiLeaks founder was a game-changer in his fight against extradition from Britain to the United States.
    U.S. authorities will this week begin their appeal against a British judge’s refusal to extradite Assange – who is wanted on 18 criminal charges including breaking a spying law – because his mental health problems meant he would be at risk of suicide.
    Last month, Yahoo News reported CIA officials had drawn up options for former U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration for dealing with Assange while he was holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, including assassinating or kidnapping him.
    A CIA spokesman declined to comment on the Yahoo report.    The U.S. government lawyer who is leading the prosecution of Assange did not immediately respond to a request for comment.     This (Yahoo report) is a game changer going into the appeal because it shows the true nature, the true origins, the true criminality of the U.S. actions against Julian,” his fiancee Stella Moris, with whom Assange has had two children, told reporters.
    WikiLeaks came to prominence when it began to publish thousands of secret classified files and diplomatic cables in 2010.    Soon afterwards Sweden sought Assange’s extradition from Britain over allegations of sex crimes.    When he lost that case against extradition in 2012, he fled to the Ecuadorean embassy.
    He was finally dragged out from the embassy in April 2019 and jailed for breaching British bail conditions, although the Swedish case against him had already been dropped.
    U.S. authorities then sought his extradition.    Although the British judge on Jan. 4 rejected Assange’s arguments that the case was political and an assault on freedom of speech, Moris said there was a real risk that, if found guilty, he would be held in a maximum security prison in almost total isolation.
    That would lead him to attempting suicide, Moris concluded.
    U.S. lawyers aim to challenge the ruling against U.S. extradition and the evidence given by a key expert at a two-day High Court appeal hearing in London starting on Wednesday.
    No result is immediately expected, and Moris said the process could be fast, with Assange extradited by next summer, or it could take     years.
    “Both prospects are terrifying,” she said.    Currently, Assange is being held at London’s top security Belmarsh Prison where Moris visited him on Saturday, saying he looked very thin.
    “He was looking very unwell,” she said.
(Reporting by Michael Holden with additional reporting by Mark Hosenball in Washington; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

10/25/2021 UK’s Johnson Urges Putin To Advance Russia’s Net Zero Target To 2050
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson attends the Global Investment Summit
at the Science Museum, in London, Britain, October 19, 2021. Leon Neal/Pool via REUTERS
    LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to bring forward by 10 years Russia’s target for achieving net zero carbon emissions, Johnson’s office said on Monday after the two leaders spoke by phone.
    The talks took place after Russia delivered a blow to hopes of a breakthrough international deal on climate change when the Kremlin said last week that Putin would not fly to Scotland for talks starting at the end of October.
    “He (Johnson) welcomed the steps Russia has taken in recent days to commit (to) net zero by 2060,” the statement said.
    “The prime minister expressed his hope that Russia will raise that target to achieving net zero by 2050 as well as making further progress on ending deforestation and an ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution.”
    Britain, which hosts the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties, or COP26, in Glasgow from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12, is seeking support from major powers for a more radical plan to tackle global warming.
    The Kremlin said Putin promised that Russia’s delegation to Glasgow “will contribute to a successful work of such an important international forum.”
    Putin and Johnson also agreed that cooperation between Moscow and London should be established in a number of fields, the Kremlin statement said, without elaborating.
(Reporting by William James in London and Andrey Ostroukh in Moscow, writing by Estelle Shirbon; editing by Michael Holden)

10/25/2021 UN Sounds Alarm On Missing Climate Pledges by Kate Abnett and Emma Farge
FILE PHOTO: A truck drives by as steam rises from the five brown coal-fired power units of RWE, one of Europe's biggest
electricity companies in Neurath, north-west of Cologne, Germany, Germany, March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay
    BRUSSELS/GENEVA (Reuters) -Global governments’ plans to cut emissions in the years ahead are not enough to avert catastrophic climate change which would lead to “endless suffering,” a U.N. report said on Monday.
    With less than a week until the United Nations COP26 conference begins, the report laid bare the gap between the actions governments are taking today, and what would be needed to meet the 2015 Paris Agreement target to try to limit human-caused global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
    “Overshooting the temperature goals will lead to a destabilised world and endless suffering, especially among those who have contributed the least to the (greenhouse gas) emissions in the atmosphere,” said Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
    Under countries’ current pledges, global emissions would be 16% higher in 2030 than they were in 2010, according to an analysis by the UNFCCC.
    That is far off the 45% reduction by 2030 that scientists say is needed to cap warming at 1.5 degrees and avoid its most devastating impacts like the deadly heat waves and destructive storms already battering countries around the world.
    “We are nowhere near where science says we should be,” Espinosa said.
    Without more ambitious commitments, global temperatures could hit 2.7 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century, the UNFCCC said.
    The warning came as a separate World Meteorological Organization report showed that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere surged to 413.2 parts per million in 2020, rising more than the average rate over the last decade despite a temporary dip in new emissions during COVID-19 lockdowns.
    “We are way off track,” said Secretary-General Petteri Taalas on prospects for meeting the Paris cap.    “We need to revisit our industrial, energy and transport systems and whole way of life,” he added, calling for a “dramatic increase” in commitments at COP26 which runs from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12.
    The reports on Monday emphasised the high stakes for the COP26 conferences, where world leaders and thousands of delegates will attempt to secure pledges from countries and enough action from polluters to keep the Paris goals alive.
    Scientists say capping global warming to 1.5 degrees would require global net emissions of CO2 – the main greenhouse gas – to fall to zero by 2050.
    The UNFCCC said it had received a flurry of new climate pledges in the last month, and that as of Oct. 12 some 143 of the nearly 200 countries that signed the Paris agreement had submitted new pledges.
    Most of the pledges received in recent weeks were from small countries responsible for a tiny share of global emissions, however, while submissions from bigger polluters like Saudi Arabia had not moved the needle for emissions over the next decade.
    The European Union and United States – the world’s second and third-biggest emitters after China – also set new targets this year to reduce emissions this decade.    China and India are among those facing pressure to commit to cut emissions faster.
    The concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will continue to rise for as long as countries keep putting more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than they can remove.
    Emissions, which fluctuate depending on the current level of fossil-fuel burning, are distinct from the carbon dioxide concentrations accumulated over centuries.
    The WMO report confirmed that last year’s temporary dip in emissions “did not have any discernible impact on the atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases and their growth rates.”    Concentrations of other gases methane and nitrous oxide also rose in 2020 and beat the last decade’s average, it showed.
    It also flagged concerns about the ability of the ocean and trees to soak up roughly half of carbon dioxide levels, thus protecting us against potentially more dramatic temperature hikes.
    “It’s not automatic that the strength of sinks will continue at the same rate,” said Taalas, describing “alarming” new data showing that a portion of the Amazon rainforest was now emitting carbon rather than absorbing it due to deforestation and fires.
(Reporting by Emma Farge in Geneva and Kate Abnett in Brussels; Editing by Alexander Smith and Toby Chopra)

10/25/2021 World ‘Way Off Track’ In Halting Warming, UN Warns Ahead Of COP26 by Emma Farge and Gerry Mey
FILE PHOTO: A truck engine is tested for pollution exiting its exhaust pipe near
the Mexican-U.S. border in Otay Mesa, California September 10, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake
    GENEVA/GLASGOW (Reuters) - Greenhouse gas concentrations hit a record last year and the world is “way off track” in capping rising temperatures, the United Nations said on Monday in a stark illustration of the task facing climate talks in Glasgow.
    A report by the U.N. World Meteorological Organization (WMO) showed carbon dioxide levels surged to 413.2 parts per million in 2020, rising more than the average rate over the last decade despite a temporary dip in emissions during COVID-19 lockdowns.
    WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said the current rate of increase in heat-trapping gases would result in temperature rises “far in excess” of the 2015 Paris Agreement target of 1.5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average this century.
    “We are way off track,” he said.    “We need to revisit our industrial, energy and transport systems and whole way of life,” he added, calling for a “dramatic increase” in commitments at the COP26 conference beginning on Sunday.
    The Scottish city of Glasgow was putting on the final touches before hosting the climate talks, which may be the world’s best remaining chance to cap global warming at the 1.5-2 degrees Celsius upper limit set out in the Paris Agreement.
    “It is going to be very, very tough this summit,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said during a news conference with children.
    “I am very worried because it might go wrong and we might not get the agreements that we need and it is touch and go, it is very, very difficult, but I think it can be done,” he said.
    The German government announced Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to Glasgow to take part.    Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend in person.    He and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to make video appearances instead.
    The stakes for the planet are huge – among them the very survival of low-lying countries, the impact on economic livelihoods the world over and the future stability of the global financial system.
    Alok Sharma, the president of COP26, said developed nations are set to be three years late meeting a pledge to commit a total of $500 billion to help poorer countries tackle climate change.
    Rich nations vowed in 2009 to deliver $100 billion a year for five years, starting in 2020.    But a plan on how to do so, prepared by Canada and Germany ahead of the summit, said the annual target would now not be met until 2023.
    “Understandably, this has been a source of deep frustration for developing countries,” Sharma told a televised news conference.    “The aim of putting this plan together has been to rebuild trust … countries will need to deliver on this.”
    Saudi Arabia’s crown prince said on Saturday that the world’s top oil exporter aims to reach “net zero” emissions of greenhouse gases, mostly produced by burning fossil fuels, by 2060 – 10 years later than the United States.    He also said it would double the emissions cuts it plans to achieve by 2030.
    A Reuters poll of economists found that hitting the Paris goal of net-zero carbon emissions will require investments in a green transition worth 2%-3% of world output each year until 2050, far less than the economic cost of inaction
    By contrast, governments since January 2020 have spent a total of $10.8 trillion – or 10.2% of global output – in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    A “business-as-usual” trajectory leading to temperature rises of 1.6C, 2.4C and 4.4C by 2030, 2050 and 2100 respectively would result in 2.4% lost output by 2030, 10% by 2050 and 18% by 2100, according to the median replies to the survey.
    In London, climate activists restarted their campaign of blockading major roads by disrupting traffic in the city’s financial district, while in Madrid a few dozen people staged a sit-in protest, briefly blocking the Gran Via shopping street.
    “Greenhouse gas emissions are provoking climate catastrophes all over the planet.    We don’t have time.    It’s already late and if we don’t join the action against what’s happening, we won’t have time to save what is still left,” said Alberto, 27, a sociologist who took part in the protest.
(Additional reporting by William James and Kylie MacLellan in London, Zuzanna Szymanska in Berlin, David Ljunggren in Ottawa and Marco Trujillo in Madrid; Writing by Michael Shields, Editing by William Maclean and Nick Macfie)

10/25/2021 U.S. To Outline Nov. 8 International Travel Reopening, Vaccination Rules by David Shepardson
FILE PHOTO: A U.S. flag is reflected on the floor as passengers make their way through
Reagan National Airport in Washington, U.S., July 1, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Biden administration plans to unveil on Monday its detailed rules requiring nearly all foreign air visitors to be vaccinated against COVID-19 starting Nov. 8, sources told Reuters.
    The White House first disclosed on Sept. 20 it would remove restrictions in early November for fully vaccinated air travelers from 33 countries.
    The extraordinary U.S. travel restrictions were first imposed in early 2020 to address the spread of COVID-19.    The rules bar most non-U.S. citizens who within the last 14 days have been in the United Kingdom, the 26 Schengen countries in Europe without border controls, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil.
    The White House plans to outline the legal framework requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for most foreign air travelers replacing the current restrictions, as well as rules for exemptions from the requirements.
    The Biden administration will also detail requirements airlines must follow to confirm foreign travelers have been vaccinated before boarding U.S.-bound flights.
    The White House announced on Oct. 15 that the new vaccine rules would take effect on Nov. 8.
    One concern among U.S. officials and airlines is making sure foreign travelers are aware of the new vaccine rules that will take effect in just two weeks.
    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) plans to issue new contact tracing rules requiring airlines to collect information from international air passengers. The White House said earlier airlines will provide the information     “upon request to follow up with travelers who have been exposed to COVID-19 variants or other pathogens.”
    The CDC said this month it would accept any vaccine authorized for use by U.S. regulators or the World Health Organization and will accept mixed-dose coronavirus vaccines from travelers.
    The new rules are expected to exempt minor children from the vaccine requirements, the sources said.
    The Biden administration has also been discussing initially exempting citizens of a small number of countries with extremely low vaccination rates because of a lack of access to COVID-19 vaccines, the sources said, saying that would include enhanced testing requirements.
    Foreign air travelers will need to provide vaccination documentation from an “official source” and airlines must confirm the last dose was at least two weeks earlier than the travel date.
    International air travelers will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure.    The White House said in September unvaccinated Americans will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 24 hours of departing.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

10/25/2021 Developed Nations To Deliver Climate Fund 3 Years Late, Hope To Rebuild Trust by David Ljunggren
FILE PHOTO: A demonstrator holds a sign during the Global Climate Strike of the movement
Fridays for Future in Berlin, Germany, October 22, 2021. REUTERS/Michele Tantussi
    OTTAWA (Reuters) – Developed nations are set to be three years late meeting a pledge to commit a total of $500 billion to help poorer countries tackle climate change and realize this has damaged mutual trust, Alok Sharma, the president of the upcoming COP26 climate conference, said on Monday.
    Rich nations vowed in 2009 to deliver $100 billion a year for five years, starting in 2020.    But a plan on how to do so, prepared by Canada and Germany ahead of the United Nations COP26 summit in Scotland, said the annual target would now not be met until 2023.
    Climate finance is a crucial issue for the summit, which is aiming for more ambitious country commitments to limit warming.    Failure to meet the target is a symbol of broken past promises that complicate efforts to set goals for ramping up climate aid.
    “Understandably, this has been a source of deep frustration for developing countries,” Sharma told a televised news conference.    “The aim of putting this plan together has been to rebuild trust … countries will need to deliver on this.”
    Canada and Germany said they expected significant progress to be made in 2022 and were confident the $100 billion goal would be met in 2023.
    “The data also gives us confidence that we will likely be able to mobilize more than US$100 billion per year thereafter,” said the 12-page plan.
    Environmental groups say this is not nearly enough. African nations believe the financing should be scaled up more than tenfold to $1.3 trillion per year by 2030, a key African climate negotiator told Reuters this month.
    Teresa Anderson, climate policy coordinator at ActionAid International, said meeting the goal was the “bare minimum needed to build trust” in the climate talks.
    “World leaders must recognize and address the glaring gap between the current $100 billion a year target and the trillions needed to tackle the scale and urgency of the crisis,” she said in a statement.
    Germany’s junior environment minister Jochen Flasbarth said it was “extremely unfortunate” the goal had not been reached by 2020 as planned.
    “(We) really pushed developed countries during the last weeks very hard, and not all of our conversations were very easy, to be polite,” he said.
    The COP26 summit begins on Oct. 31 in the Scottish city of Glasgow.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Paul Simao and Mike Harrison)

10/25/2021 Fmr. U.S. Envoy To Afghanistan: Biden Withdrawal Was ‘Ugly’ Final Phase by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – MAY 18: Special Representative on Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad testifies during a hearing before the House Committee on
Foreign Affairs at Rayburn House Office Building May 18, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    America’s longstanding envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, said the U.S. pulled out of Afghanistan long before it could reach its goal to turn the country into a Democratic state.
    On Sunday, Dr. Khalilzad defended America’s mission in Afghanistan, saying the Biden administration and Afghan government could have done more to coordinate a more effective withdrawal.    Khalilzad claimed mis-messaging to Afghans attempting to flee the country and low morale in the Afghan military largely contributed to the botched withdrawal.
    “The cause of which was both fear and opportunity. Fear because for a long time, everybody was saying, even some officials, when the Taliban comes into Kabul there will be a terrible war….street to street, fighting, destruction of the city.    So people were afraid.    That was one.    Two, the impression was created that anyone who could make it to the airport, whether you have document or not, you will be evacuated to the United States and to Europe.    That combination led to this flood of people to come to the airport and cause the terrible scenes,” said Khalilzad in an interview.
    The veteran diplomat served in several high positions at the State Department, including ambassadorships to Afghanistan, Iraq and the UN. In 2018, former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tapped him to be the special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, tasking him with resolving the 20-year war in the region.
    Khalilzad is known as one of the key architects of President Trump’s 2020 peace agreement with the Taliban, which he says opened the door for a peaceful settlement.    The deal required four steps, including the Taliban expelling other terrorist groups from recruiting and fighting in the country, and establishing a power sharing and ceasefire agreement with the Afghan government.
    Additionally, the U.S. would phase out their military presence in the country over 14 months, pending the Taliban’s commitment to keeping their end of the bargain.
    Khalilzad lamented critics often neglect that the Trump-era deal allowed the U.S. to come to the defense of Afghan forces, but prohibited the Taliban from attacking U.S. or Afghan troops.    He added critics lambasting his efforts never gave a good reason to keep the war going.
    “Why was that the case after 20 years?    That with so much investment, so much loss of life, that we were losing ground to the Taliban and the alternative was either a negotiated settlement or more of the same,” Khalilzad stated.    “And people way above my pay grade decided more of the same is not acceptable anymore.”
    However, Khalilzad resigned from his post last week, citing the debate over the next phase of U.S. policies toward Afghanistan were not based in reality.    He stressed the Biden administration had a lot of options to choose from to administer an orderly withdrawal and advised officials to learn from their mistakes.
    Khalilzad underscored the growing problems in the country, adding there’s still a lot of work to be done.
    “It can still be a lot worse, or it can get better.    But the choice is now mostly theirs, Afghans.    Rumi, the great Afghan born in Balkh, said, ‘You can walk with people, you can not walk for them.’    Now, it’s time for the Afghans to take ownership with non-military assistance, unless we are threatened, then our military should be in play,” he said.    “But, we should not abandon Afghanistan, turn our back on it…use our influence as a country with enormous capability and influence.”
    Meanwhile, Ambassador Khalilzad warned the U.S. government doesn’t know how many Americans and allies have been left behind amid the botched withdrawal, claiming there could be hundreds still stuck in the country.    The U.S. State Department said they’ve been in contact with nearly 370 stranded Americans and said only about 180 have expressed interest in returning to the U.S.
    In addition, several federal agencies have launched internal reviews of their role in the withdrawal to get a better sense of what went wrong.

10/25/2021 Terminated Health Care, Education Workers Slam Vaccine Mandates by OAN Newsroom
This picture taken on November 17, 2020 shows a syringe and a bottle reading
“Vaccine Covid-19”. (Photo by JOEL SAGET/AFP via Getty Images)
    Americans who have chosen personal freedom over financial security are weighing in on Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate and how it’s drastically changed their lives.
    A rising number of individuals have been rejecting the COVID-19 vaccines even if it means losing their jobs.    In a recent interview, a number of terminated health care and educational professionals said they don’t want to experience side effects of the vaccines.
    According to the Vaers website, thousands have died post-vaccination.    One physical education teacher opted to take unpaid leave after deciding he would not get the jab, asserting he wasn’t given an option to decide for himself.
    “I felt like I didn’t have much of a choice in the matter.    That I was being forced to do something, forced to put something in my body,” Rob Herbst said.
    A patient care technician and a pediatric occupational therapist both said they’d rather lose their job than their life.
    “There’s too many unknowns for me to be comfortable with it,” said Karen Roses.    “I think we need to allow for adequate science and studies to be done.”
    Meanwhile, despite fears of the future and what comes next, they’re still making personal freedom and choice their priority.

10/25/2021 Ark. Gov. Hutchinson Believes COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates Increase Resistance To Vaccination by OAN Newsroom
In this Tuesday, June 22, 2021, file photo, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson testifies before a Senate
Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
    Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) asserts vaccine mandates nationwide are increasing hesitancy among unvaccinated Americans.
    In an interview on Sunday, Hutchinson said resistance to the COVID-19 vaccine is very high in some areas of the state and stressed much of the hesitancy was due to the controversy over vaccine mandates.    The governor also said that he didn’t see the debate over the vaccines going away anytime soon.
    He added Joe Biden’s vaccination mandate for workers at businesses with 100 employees or more will just “intensify the controversy.”
    “The resistance is hard in some areas and part of it is because of the controversy because of the mandates,” he said.    “It deepens the resistance and so that’s something that we have to overcome.    But I don’t see that controversy going away anytime soon.    With OSHA issuing mandates for businesses to require vaccination of employees, that’s going to intensify the controversy.”
    Hutchinson also suggested vaccine mandates don’t work as well as does educating people to make their own decisions.

10/25/2021 Treasury Secy. Yellen: U.S. Is Not Losing Control Of Inflation by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 06: U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen (C) listens to Joe Biden during a hybrid meeting with
corporate chief executives and members of his cabinet to discuss the looming federal debt limit in the South Court Auditorium
in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on October 06, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says she expects inflation levels to go back to normal in 2022.
    Despite inflation growing at its fastest rate in 30 years, Yellen believes the U.S. government has it under control.    During an interview on Sunday, the 75-year-old said she expects inflation levels to return to normal within the next year even if Democrats obtain their so-called Build Back Better Bill, spending trillions more.
    “Well, the additional spending in the infrastructure package, and in the Build Back Better package, both of those are spending over ten years, not in a single year.    The rescue package did involve substantial spending this year,” said Yellen.
    She added how the rescue package helped decrease unemployment to 4.8 percent and blamed the decline in the size of the labor force on the pandemic.    Although the price of fuel has only increased, she mentioned monthly rates of inflation have already fallen substantially and thinks the economy will bounce back no later than the end of 2022.
    On the contrary, former treasury secretary under the Obama administration, Larry Summers, said these numbers are very concerning, especially since its not just gas prices seeing an increase.
    However, Yellen has continued to downplay concerns over rising inflation and has insisted prices of goods will decrease.    Additionally, she said Americans will find jobs to be able to return to a normal life.
    Although, with the entire country being impacted, politicians are seeing their states suffer daily.    The left’s constant push to pass the trillion-dollar social spending package has leaders worried about the future cost of living for Americans.
    “The greatest concern that Americans have right now is the rising cost of fuel, gasoline, and groceries.    And whenever you hear Speaker Pelosi talk about the trillion-dollar package, it hasn’t been written, it can’t be explained,” said Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.).
    Meanwhile, Joe Biden said he was considering deploying the National Guard to help curb the supply chain crisis, but White House officials said this isn’t something that is currently being considered.

10/25/2021 NIH Grilled For ‘Disgusting’ Puppy Experiments by OAN Newsroom
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens during a hearing looking into
the budget estimates for National Institute of Health (NIH) and the state of medical research on Capitol Hill in Washington,
DC on May 26, 2021. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds / POOL / AFP) (Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
    Twenty-three lawmakers have demanded justification from the National Institutes of Health for their canine experiments, which they deem “cruel” and “reprehensible misuse of taxpayer funds.”
    Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) sent a letter to Dr. Anthony Fauci on Saturday, asking why the NIH spent nearly $1.7 million worth of taxpayer dollars on drug tests involving 44 six-to-eight-month-old beagle puppies.    The letter states this isn’t the first time the agency funded drug research on dogs and that they reportedly spent more than $400,000 studying flies infecting beagles with parasites.
    “Under the NIH, where they are abusing with taxpayer dollars experiments on beagles.    It’s heartbreaking to hear about the experiments done on animals and dogs and this one in particular with beagles, where their vocal chords are cut out and they are silenced when they are going through this abuse and drug testing,” explained Mace.
    White Coast Waste investigators found that Fauci’s NIH funded a lab in Tunisia to drug beagles and “lock their heads in mesh cages filled with hungry sand flies so that the insects could eat them alive.”    Investigators also discovered that they locked the beagles in cages alone in the desert overnight for nine consecutive nights in order to use them as bait to attract infectious sand flies.
    Of particular concern to Mace was how the puppies’ vocal chords were severed so their pained cries couldn’t be heard during experimentation, a procedure opposed by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
    “Fauci and the NIH is using almost $2 million on these beagle experiments where these 44 puppies have been debarked.    Their vocal chords have been cut out so they can’t be heard and then they are killed and dissected,” she stated.
    The Food and Drug Administration has recently stated it doesn’t mandate that human drugs be studied in dogs.
    “There are many different alternatives to this type of testing that are out there and we certainly shouldn’t be using federal dollars, taxpayer dollars for these kinds of experiments in federal labs,” Mace stressed.
    However, for Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), the implications extend further than taxpayer funded cruelty.    In a recent interview, Johnson said the government funds all kinds of outrageous research projects, but the real concern is how all this government funding has corrupted science.

10/25/2021 San Francisco District Attorney Faces Mounting Opposition Amid Recall Effort by OAN Newsroom
San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin poses outside his office in San Francisco on Jan. 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
    San Francisco’s far-left district attorney faces a wave of resignations and opposition amid a potential recall election.
    The campaign to recall Chesa Boudin has received over 83,000 signatures, which is well above the amount necessary to recall the sitting district attorney.    Compounding the issues for Boudin’s office on Sunday, two former employees came out in support of his recall.
    Prosecutor Brooke Jenkins is one of those backing Boudin’s removal from office.    She said that Boudin is making San Francisco less safe by his actions.
    “Public safety is not his focus.    That is not his goal.    His goal appears to be what is best for the individual.    For either who’s been arrested for a crime, or who’s been charged with a crime.    Not what is best for San Francisco,” stated Jenkins.
    Jenkins said she resigned because of Boudin’s policies regarding prosecution of crimes.    When pressed on why she left, she additionally said she felt Boudin’s policies essentially legalized criminal activity no matter how many San Franciscans continue to be exposed to harm.
    “Chesa has shown an unwillingness to prosecute crime effectively in San Francisco.    We are seeing repeat offenders and dangerous individuals be released before they should be,” she said.
    Don du Bain is another prosecutor who left Boudin’s office over what he felt was too much leniency on crime.    Du Bain said he’s a friend of Boudin’s, but the direction of the office has taken a wrong turn.    He added he felt he needed to do everything he could to get the DA out of office.
    “I like him personally,” said du Bain.    “I thought he would be a reasonable progressive and thoughtful leader of the office.    And unfortunately, and again I take no pleasure in saying this, I was wrong.”
    He mentioned after 30 years as a prosecutor, he’s seen decisions made in the office under Boudin that shocked his conscience.    Du Bain said Boudin has taken the law upon himself, only enforcing what he wants to enforce.
    “He basically disregards the laws that he doesn’t like, and he disregards the court decisions he doesn’t like to impose his own version of what he believes is just.    And that’s not the job of a district attorney,” said the prosecutor.
    Jenkins and du Bain are just two of a group of 50 lawyers who have left the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office since January of 2020 when Boudin first obtained the office.    This amounts to about a third of the total attorney’s at the department.
    Once the recall signatures are verified, an election date will be set within 30 days.    After that, Boudin will have only 120 days or less to save his position from the wrath of voters, many of whom are angry over increasing crime and perceived anarchy in the streets.

10/25/2021 Sen. King Calls For Filibuster Reform, Veers From Democrats On Outright Abolishing The Senate Practice by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, speaks during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the conclusion of military operations
in Afghanistan and plans for future counterterrorism operations in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on
Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on September 28, 2021. (Photo by PATRICK SEMANSKY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
    Independent Sen. Angus King of Maine has proposed a “talking filibuster.”    As members of the Democrat Caucus have continued to voice their support with scrapping the filibuster, King says reforms are needed, but he isn’t willing to toss it out altogether.
    The 60-vote rule needed to pass legislation has helped Senate Republicans block a number of Democrat-backed voting bills on multiple accounts in the chamber, along with other measures.    The filibuster also posed a threat to Joe Biden’s multi-trillion dollar spending plan.
    “I’m not really ready to say, ‘Let’s get rid of it altogether’ because I think there are circumstances where it makes sense.    So, I’d prefer some alternative to what the present rule is,” said King.    “I’d like to restore the Senate to what it was, where we actually had debates and people had to hold the floor.”
    King said the filibuster isn’t in the Constitution and is preventing the Senate from performing its duties.
    “And so, I think some kind of talking filibuster, perhaps a rule that instead of having to have 60 votes to pass something, you’d have to have 41 votes to stop it.    So that way, the minority would at least have to show up,” King stated.
    King is the third senator to draw the line at ditching the rule, along with moderate Democrats Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.).    Changing the filibuster will require 50 votes in the chamber to pass, meaning Manchin and Sinema would have to hop on board, which seems unlikely.

10/25/2021 Gov. DeSantis Offers $5K In Bonuses For Law Enforcement To Relocate To Fla. Amid COVID-19 Vaccination Mandates by OAN Newsroom
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the opening of a monoclonal antibody site
Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021, in Pembroke Pines, Fla. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)
    Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) is offering $5,000 to any out-of-state law enforcement officers joining police departments in Florida for the first time.
    In a recent interview, DeSantis stated that the Sunshine State is welcoming unvaccinated police officers to the state as several other states across the nation have imposed COVID vaccine mandates.    He went on to tell out-of-state officers, “NYPD, Minneapolis, Seattle, if you’re not being treated well, we’ll treat you better here.”
    “We are looking to capitalize off a lot of communities across our county who have turned their back on law enforcement, who aren’t providing them the support,” said DeSantis.
    The Republican governor initially proposed the idea back in May, but has recently ramped up efforts now that more and more police have been either fired or have resigned due to the mandates.
    This comes after DeSantis called for a special legislative session last week to add more “protections” for Floridians from federal vaccine mandates.

10/25/2021 FBI Releases New Data Which Shows Rise In Hate Crimes by OAN Newsroom
The FBI seal is seen outside the headquarters building in Washington, DC
on July 5, 2016. (YURI GRIPAS/AFP via Getty Images)
    The Federal Bureau of Investigation said 2020 saw the highest number of reported hate crimes in two decades.
    According to the agency’s amended statistics for 2020 released on Monday, law enforcement agencies across the nation submitted more than 8,000 criminal offenses motivated by factors such as ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation.    The bureau added there were more than 11,000 victims of hate crimes last year.
    The FBI said this is the highest number of hate crime incidents recorded since 2001, when there was a rise in crime against Muslim Americans following 9/11. Specifically, the new data shows 62 percent of hate crimes were linked to a victim’s race.
    “I’m aware of the number of agencies that have submitted zero incidents again and again,” said Assistant Director of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division Michael Christman.    “It is certainly a priority for us to develop innovative and creative ways to really get better at obtaining this data so that we can have a full picture of hate crimes in the United States, and certainly accountability and transparency.    And I think better policing will be the result.”

10/25/2021 2k-Strong Migrant Caravan Advances Toward U.S. Border by OAN Newsroom
A caravan of migrants, mostly from Central America, head north along a coastal highway just outside
of Huehuetan, Chiapas State, Mexico, on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
    A massive caravan of illegal migrants is gradually advancing through southern Mexico and it’s fast approaching the U.S. border.
    Reports on Monday found the caravan of migrants, mostly from Honduras and El Salvador, traveled 16 miles over the past 24 hours through the Mexican state of Tapachula.    Migrants reportedly have humanitarian papers that shield them from being detained by Mexican authorities.
    Organizers of the caravan call their effort “resistance” to international rules of migration.
    “We are going to resist, we are going to resist peacefully.    We are not going for confrontation, we are going in the name of God and peacefully,” said organizer of the migrant caravan, Luis Villagran.    “What we want is to receive attention regarding the administrative immigration paperwork according to law.”
    Mexican officials say migrants who seek entry to the U.S. must remain in southern Mexican states until their cases have been processed. However, the caravan appears to be in defiance of Mexico’s rules.
    This comes as a record number of illegal immigrants have crossed into the U.S. under Joe Biden.

10/25/2021 Rep. Dingell: White House, Democrats Not Talking About Inflation by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 21: Rep Debbie Dingell (D-MI) along with members of Congress, parents and caregiving advocates hold a
press conference supporting Build Back Better investments in home care, childcare, paid leave and expanded CTC payments
in front of the U.S. Capitol Building on October 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for MomsRising Together)
    Michigan Democrat Rep. Debbie Dingell confessed the White House isn’t addressing major concerns in talks over Joe Biden’s spending agenda.
    During an interview with CNN on Monday, Dingell said there’s not much of a discussion on the issue of skyrocketing inflation.    Dingell stressed Biden and congressional Democrats are focused on passing Biden’s spending and infrastructure bills, but aren’t considering the consequences.
    “So, actually probably, it wasn’t much of a discussion as I had with many other people,” said Dingell.    “When we stabilize, we get the Build Back Better bill faster, bipartisan infrastructure bill passed, we’re creating these jobs, we’re going to create a lot of jobs, but it is going to begin stabilizing and already starting to stabilize as people are beginning to fill the jobs that a lot of corporations and small businesses were having a hard time going for a while.”
    Economists warned inflation will only get worse and dramatically miss the Federal Reserve’s target of two percent.    This despite Biden’s Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen continuing to claim this is the worst inflation spike Americans have seen in a long time.

10/25/2021 Hundreds Protest Vaccine Mandate At Barclays Center In NYC by OAN Newsroom
Exterior view of the Barclays Center before a Brooklyn Nets basketball game April 9, 2013 in the
Brooklyn borough of New York. (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images)
    Hundreds gathered at the Barclays Center in New York City to protest vaccine mandates.
    On Sunday, just ahead of the Brooklyn Nets basketball team’s home opener protesters came together.    Demonstrators called for the NBA to allow Nets’ point-guard, Kyrie Irving, to play as they chanted “stand with Kyrie” and “no vaccine mandate.”
    Earlier in the month, the team’s manager banned Irving from playing with the team until he receives a COVID-19 vaccine.    In response, Irving said he was choosing to stay unvaccinated because it’s his choice and he’s trying to be a voice for the voiceless.
    The Barclays Center was temporarily placed on lockdown due to the protest.
    “Barclays Center briefly closed its doors today in order to clear protestors from the main doors on the plaza and ensure guests could safely enter the area,” read a statement provided by a spokesperson for Barclays Center.    “Only ticketed guests were able to enter the building and the game proceeded according to schedule.”

10/25/2021 Amazon Signs Deal With British Spy Agencies To Boost Use Of AI For Espionage - FT
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Amazon is seen at the company logistics centre in
Boves, France, October 6, 2021 REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File Photo
    (Reuters) - Britain’s spy agencies have given a contract to Amazon Web Services (AWS) to host classified material in a deal aimed at boosting the use of data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) for espionage, the Financial Times reported on Monday.
    Britain’s GCHQ spy agency championed the procurement of a high-security cloud system and it will be used by sister services MI5 and MI6, as well as other government departments such as the Ministry of Defence during joint operations, the report added.
    The agreement was signed this year with AWS, Inc’s cloud service unit, and the data of all the agencies will be held in Britain, the newspaper reported, citing people familiar with the discussions.
    GCHQ said it would not comment on reports about its relationships with tech suppliers.    AWS declined to comment on the report.
    In February, Britain’s cyber spies at the GCHQ eavesdropping agency said they had fully embraced artificial intelligence to uncover patterns in vast amounts of global data to counter hostile disinformation and snare child abusers.
    GCHQ has been using basic forms of AI such as translation technology for years but is now stepping up its use, partly in response to the use of AI by hostile states and partly due to the data explosion that makes it effective.
    Earlier on Monday, GCHQ Director Jeremy Fleming told a conference the number of ransomware attacks had doubled across the UK in 2021, compared with last year, according to the FT
(Reporting by Aakriti Bhalla in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Akriti Sharma; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Peter Cooney)

10/26/2021 Oil down $0.57 to $83.46, DOW up 64 to 35,741.

10/26/2021 Canada’s Trudeau To Unveil Cabinet Amid Push To Fight Climate Change by Steve Scherer
FILE PHOTO: Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference
at a Cabinet retreat in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada September 14, 2020. REUTERS
    OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who fell short of a majority in last month’s election, will introduce a Cabinet on Tuesday that analysts say should hone in on the fight against climate change.
    Trudeau’s Liberals gained four seats to 159, but fell short of the 170 needed to pass legislation without the support of an opposition party.    Minority governments normally last about two years instead of a full, four-year term.
    Trudeau, 49, has promised to spend tens of billions of extra dollars over five years to help the economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.    But analysts said Ottawa should narrow its focus and make fighting climate change a clear priority.
    Peter Donolo, a political strategist at Hill+Knowlton who was communications director for Liberal former Prime Minister Jean Chretien, said the campaign had “a very ambitious agenda.”
    “I would simplify it … on how to position Canada as a winner in the greener global economy over the longer term, and then on how to ensure that those benefits are shared more equitably,” he said by phone.
    One option Trudeau is considering is a climate portfolio that pulls together some policies normally handled by several ministries, according to one Liberal source.
    The new Cabinet will be sworn in at 10:30 a.m. (1430 GMT).    Trudeau says it will be composed of an equal number of men and women, a pattern he set when first taking office in 2015.
    Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland will keep her job, Trudeau said shortly after the vote, and has begun to reduce COVID-19 support programs as the economy recovers and inflation hovers at an 18-year high.
    Last month’s vote marked Trudeau’s third win as Liberal leader. Unhappiness over his decision to call an early election during the pandemic left him short of a majority.
    Trudeau’s priorities are managing COVID-19, bolstering healthcare, fighting climate change and fostering a green economy, supporting economic growth, delivering national childcare and affordable housing plans, and following through on reconciliation with indigenous Canadians, a separate source with direct knowledge of the Cabinet said.
    “This is only an 18- to 24-month government, so the idea that you can address all four or five or six or seven of those issues … is preposterous,” said Ian Lee, a business professor at Ottawa’s Carleton University.
    Lee said growing the green economy should be a priority and merited a U.S.-style climate czar “with gravitas and with skill, and who has sharp elbows and is not afraid.”
    Liberal officials say Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand, who played a major role in obtaining COVID-19 vaccines, is set for a promotion, and Tourism Minister Melanie Joly also might get a more important role.
    Anand could replace Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, who has been widely assailed over what critics say has been a lackluster effort to address allegations of sexual assault in the military, two Liberal sources said.
(Reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Peter Cooney)

10/26/2021 EU’s Breton: Valid For France To Consider Decoupling European Electricity And Gas Prices
FILE PHOTO: European Commissioner in Charge of Internal Market Thierry Breton speaks on during a news conference on security
and cybersecurity strategy at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium June 23, 2021. Kenzo Tribouillard/Pool via REUTERS
    PARIS (Reuters) – Thierry Breton, the French politician who is the European Commission’s internal market commissioner, said on Tuesday that France was right to consider whether or not the European Union should decouple European electricity and gas prices.
    Breton also told BFM TV that he was not sure if a common buying policy of gas by the EU, as proposed by Spain, would be effective.
    Divisions have deepened among EU countries ahead of an emergency meeting of ministers on Tuesday on their response to a spike in energy prices, with some countries seeking a regulatory overhaul and others firmly opposed.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

10/26/2021 U.S. National Security Advisor Met Representatives Of Myanmar’s Shadow Government
FILE PHOTO: U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan holds a news briefing about the situation
in Afghanistan at the White House in Washington, U.S., August 17, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis
    (Reuters) – U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met on Monday with representatives of Myanmar’s National Unity Government (NUG), set up by opponents of army rule, the White House said late on Monday.
    In the virtual meeting, Sullivan reiterated continued U.S. support for the pro-democracy movement in Myanmar and discussed ongoing efforts to restore the country’s path to democracy with NUG representatives Duwa Lashi La and Zin Mar Aung, the White House said in a statement.
    Sullivan expressed concern over the military’s violence and said “the U.S. will continue to promote accountability for the coup,” according to the White House.
    Protests and unrest have paralyzed Myanmar since the Feb. 1 coup, with the military accused of atrocities and excessive force against civilians.    The junta blames the unrest on “terrorists” allied with the shadow government.
    Recognizing Myanmar’s junta as the country’s government would not stop growing violence, the outgoing United Nations special envoy on Myanmar said earlier on Monday.
    Sullivan expressed particular concern over the recent arrest of pro-democracy activist Ko Jimmy and noted the United States will continue to advocate for his release, according to the statement.
    Sullivan and the NUG officials also discussed the COVID-19 pandemic in Myanmar and ongoing U.S. efforts to provide humanitarian assistance directly to the people of Myanmar, the statement added.
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

10/26/2021 Analysis: Capitol Hill Drug Pricing Reform Opponents Among The Biggest Beneficiaries Of Pharma Funds by Ahmed Aboulenein and Carl O’Donnell
FILE PHOTO: Pharmaceutical tablets and capsules are arranged in the shape of a U.S. dollar sign on a table
in this picture illustration taken in Ljubljana August 20, 2014. REUTERS/Srdjan Zivulovic/File Photo
    (Reuters) – Democratic Party lawmakers holding up proposed drug pricing reforms are among the largest beneficiaries of the pharmaceutical industry’s push to stave off price cuts, a Reuters analysis of public lobbying and campaign data shows.
    The industry, which traditionally gives more to Republicans, channeled around 60% of donated campaign funds to Democrats this year. It has spent over $177 million on lobbying and campaign donations in 2021.
    Nonprofit political action committees (PACs) run by Pfizer Inc and Amgen Inc and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) were among the biggest donors, according to political spending data from OpenSecrets, formerly the Center for Responsive Politics.
    Drugmakers are seeking to block laws that would give the U.S. government authority to negotiate prices for prescription medicines.    Current U.S. law bars the government’s Medicare health insurance program from negotiating drug prices directly.
    Many of the Democrats opposing an ambitious drug reduction bill proposed in the House of Representatives are among some of the biggest recipients of drug manufacturer lobbying funds.
    They include Senators Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Robert Menendez of New Jersey, and Representative Scott Peters of California, OpenSecrets data covering industry donations through September of 2021 shows.    In all, they have received around $1 million in pharmaceutical and health product industry donations this year.
    A spokesperson for Sinema did not respond to a request for comment on the funds she has received but said the Senator supports making drugs as cheap as possible for patients.
    Menendez and Peters said the donations did not influence their views.    All three said they are opposed to The Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which is sponsored by Democrats in the House of Representatives and also known as H.R.3.
    Menendez and Peters have advocated for alternative scaled-back drug pricing reforms that would still allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices but would lead to significantly smaller savings.
    Congressman Frank Pallone of New Jersey, who is also one of the top recipients of drugmaker donations, voted in favor of H.R.3.
    Sinema, who campaigned in 2018 on cutting drug prices, told the White House she opposes allowing Medicare to negotiate them. She received about $466,000 from the industry in 2021, according to OpenSecrets data.
    Peters was the top recipient of pharmaceutical industry funds in the House this year at nearly $99,550, according to OpenSecrets data.    A spokesperson said Peters was not influenced by lobbying money and opposed the proposed law to protect pharmaceutical industry jobs and innovation.
    Drugmakers say the Democrats’ proposed drug price overhaul would undermine their ability to develop new medicines, an argument they have used whenever price cuts are discussed by politicians regardless of political party.
    “Patients face a future with less hope under Congress’ current drug pricing plan,” PhRMA Chief Executive Steve Ubl said in an August statement in reference to the proposed law. PhRMA declined to comment on donating to key Democratic opponents of the bill.
    The United States is an outlier as most other developed nations do negotiate drug prices with manufacturers.
    Amgen did not immediately respond to requests for comment on its donations and Pfizer declined to comment.
    President Joe Biden has vowed to cut medicine costs, in part by allowing the federal government to negotiate drug payments by Medicare, which covers Americans aged 65 and older.
    But prospects for major drug pricing reforms have stalled in recent weeks amid opposition from centrist Democrats including Sinema and Peters.    Negotiations are ongoing, eight Democratic staffers said.
    The lawmakers’ resistance comes as 83% of Americans support allowing Medicare to negotiate medicine costs, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll.    The United States spends more than twice as much per person on drugs as other wealthy economies, about $1,500, for a total of around $350 billion in 2019.
    “Members of Congress don’t always mirror the views of the public and the pharmaceutical industry is a powerful lobbying force,” said Larry Levitt, a health economist at Kaiser.
    The healthcare industry is the second largest industry lobbying group in the United States behind the finance sector.    It donated more than $600 million to politicians ahead of the 2020 elections.
    The pharmaceutical industry has spent hundreds of millions of dollars per year to sway federal and state policy.    But current Democratic leadership has the industry concerned major reforms could actually be enacted and is working harder to offer alternatives such as reducing insurance co-pays, one industry source said.    “It’s been sort of a mad scramble.”
    Corporations in the United States are not permitted to make direct contributions to candidates but can give money through PACs. Most corporate PACs, including Pfizer’s and Amgen’s, are run by company managers and employees.
    Democrats and some drug price experts say the Lower Drug Costs Now Act could save U.S. taxpayers and consumers billions annually with relatively minor impact on innovation.
    A House Oversight and Reform Committee report showed that top drugmakers have spent around $50 billion more on share buybacks and dividends than research and development between 2016 and 2020.
    Lovisa Gustafsson, a healthcare policy analyst at the Commonwealth Fund, a non-profit healthcare advocacy group, said, “There are other ways that we can incentivize innovation, aside from just paying huge margins for pharmaceutical companies.”
(Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein in Washington and Carl O’Donnell in New York; Editing by Caroline Humer and Bill Berkrot)

10/26/2021 Biden To Join ASEAN Summit Trump Skipped After 2017 by David Brunnstrom and Ain Bandial
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on infrastructure legislation at the Electric City
Trolley Museum in Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S. October 20, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo
    WASHINGTON/BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden will take part in a virtual summit with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Tuesday, the first time in four years Washington will engage at the top level with a bloc it sees as key to its strategy of pushing back against China.
    The U.S. embassy in Brunei told Reuters Biden will lead the U.S. delegation for the ASEAN-United States summit, part of a series of ASEAN leaders’ meetings this week.
    The White House said Biden would discuss the “enduring” U.S. commitment to ASEAN’s central role in regional affairs and new initiatives to strengthen the U.S. strategic partnership with the bloc, “as we work together to end the COVID-19 pandemic, address the climate crisis, promote economic growth, and address a range of other regional challenges and opportunities.”
    The United States has not joined the meetings at the presidential level since Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, attended an ASEAN-U.S. meeting in Manila in 2017.
    Analysts say Biden’s meeting with the 10-nation bloc reflects his administration’s efforts to engage allies and partners in a collective effort to push back against China.
    U.S. officials, however, have not made specific mention of China in the run-up to the meeting as they work to set up a virtual summit between Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping later this year.
    They expect Biden to focus on collaboration on COVID-19 vaccine distribution, climate, supply chains and infrastructure.
    He is also expected to assure ASEAN that a recent U.S. focus on engagement with India, Japan and Australia in the so-called Quad grouping and a deal to supply Australia with nuclear-powered submarines are not intended to supplant ASEAN’s central regional role.
    Edgard Kagan, senior director for East Asia at the White House National Security Council, stressed last week that     Washington does not see the Quad as “an Asian NATO” and that it was not intended to compete with ASEAN.
    He said Washington had an interest in working with ASEAN to ensure supply-chain resilience, on climate, and to address “common challenges on maritime issues” – an apparent reference to China’s broad claims in the disputed South China Sea.
    “This will be Biden’s first meeting with the leaders of ASEAN as president, so he will want to assure them that Southeast Asia matters to his administration,” said Murray Hiebert, a Southeast Asia expert with Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank.
    Hiebert said ASEAN leaders would be anxious to hear of any U.S. plans to step up provision of COVID-19 vaccines to the region, which has been hard hit by the pandemic, and how Washington plans to engage on trade, investment and infrastructure.
    Biden has given no sign of any plan to return to a regional trade framework Trump withdrew from in 2017, and an Asian diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the lack of an economic element in U.S. regional engagement was a major gap.
    “The piece that is most important for the region, is the economic piece,” the diplomat said.    “We’re kind of stuck in that the region says: ‘You’ve put in place a strategic sort of competitive structure with China, but this doesn’t benefit the region at all. And, meanwhile, all of us have got economic relationships growing with China.’
    The ASEAN meetings will take place without Myanmar military leader Min Aung Hlaing, who overthrew a civilian government on Feb. 1 – a rare exclusion for a grouping usually known for non-interference.
    Kagan called this a significant step but said more needed to be done to address the challenges Myanmar is facing.
(Reporting by Ain Bandial in Bandar Seri Begawan and David Brunnstrom in Washington; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Lincoln Feast.)

10/26/2021 Sen. Manchin: The Govt. Should Be Your Best Partner, But It Shouldn’t Be Your Provider by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 26: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) speaks during an event with the Economic Club of
Washington at the Capitol Hilton Hotel October 26, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    Moderate Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) says the role of government should be “your best partner, not your provider.”
    Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Monday, Manchin said he’s concerned about expanding programs like Medicare through the reconciliation bill.    He pointed out Medicare could become insolvent by 2026 and stressed lawmakers should act to stabilize the program before expanding it.
    Manchin asserted the government should only provide for people who are unable to provide for themselves.
    “If we’re not being fiscally responsible, that’s really concerning.    But let me make one statement to you all.    The best way to know who I am and I’ve always been politically, in my political life, I’ve always said, I believe that government should be your best partner,” said Manchin.    “But it shouldn’t by your provider.    We have a moral obligation to provide to those who have incapacity, such as physical or mental, but everyone else should be able to help and chip in and all that.    So, that’s my mindset.    So, we’re working all towards that.    I think we understand each other better on those ideas.”
    Manchin also told reporters he believes Democrats could reach an agreement on the framework of the reconciliation bill sometime this week.

10/26/2021 WikiLeaks Founder Faces Extradition To U.S. by OAN Newsroom
LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 11: Julian Assange gestures to the media from a police vehicle on his arrival at
Westminster Magistrates court on April 11, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange faces extradition to the U.S. in an upcoming trial.
    Assange’s partner, Stella Morris, held a press conference ahead of the hearing in London Monday.    She began by remarking on the abhorrent condition she found him in a Belmarsh prison, where he has been incarcerated for the past 2.5 years.
    “I was quite taken aback by how this he was,” said Morris.    “He was wearing a t-shirt so I hadn’t seen his arms for a long time.    So, I could see how thin he got.”
    Morris went on to express her fears of what could happen if Assange should be moved to the U.S. She likened his possible fate to that of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
    “It is now known that the CIA was plotting to murder Julian and kidnap him, and carry out completely illegal acts just like the Saudi government did to Jamal Khashoggi and actually carried out the murder,” said Morris.    “The CIA was planning to do the same against Julian.”
Icelandic journalist Kristinn Hrafnsson, Editor-in-Chief of Wikileaks (L) and Julian Assange’s partner
Stella Moris attend a briefing with members of the media in London on October 25, 2021, ahead of the appeal of the
extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the US. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
    Morris claimed a British ruling of extradition would be sending her partner to the country that plotted to kill him.
    WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson claimed the theory of an Assange murder plot by the CIA is not far-fetched.    He went on to cite a Yahoo News report affirming the possibility of the claim.
    “It is the CIA who can dictate and demand that a prisoner of the U.S. system is put into isolation by whatever they deem as national security grounds.    So, the scenario is this: Julian, if extradited, his fate will be in the hand of the agency who was drawing up plans to kill or kidnap him,” said Hrafnsson.
    Assange’s U.K. high court hearing is set for Wednesday.    Should he be tried in the U.S., he will be prosecuted under the Espionage Act and face up to 175 years in prison for leaking classified Army Intelligence documents.
    The WikiLeaks founder spent seven years living inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London before being apprehended by authorities.

10/26/2021 Family And Friends Honor Fallen Texas Deputy Kareem Atkins by OAN Newsroom
A fallen police deputy is laid to rest in Texas after he was killed in an ambush attack.
A funeral service was held for 30-year-old Deputy Kareem Atkins in Houston on Monday. (AP)
    A fallen police deputy is laid to rest in Texas after he was killed in an ambush attack.    A funeral service was held for 30-year-old Deputy Kareem Atkins in Houston on Monday.
    Atkins was fatally shot in an ambush outside a club on the morning of Oct. 16.    Two other deputies were struck during the incident and taken to the hospital for serious injuries.
    Harris County Precinct Four Constable Mark Herman said Atkins was a rock his colleagues leaned on.
    “I routinely saw his coworkers going to him for guidance and mentorship,” said Constable Mark Herman.    “Part of the reason everyone loved Kareem was despite his young age, he was someone you could always count on to be calm, cool and collected in most, and really mature, in most chaotic situations.    He had a unique strength about him.    He was the rock that we all leaned on.”
    Atkins is survived by his wife and six-month-old baby.

10/26/2021 Report: Officials Blame Iran For Drone Strikes In Syria by OAN Newsroom
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby speaks during a media briefing at the Pentagon,
Monday, Oct. 25, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Iran is reportedly behind multiple drone strikes against a military outpost in Syria, where U.S. troops are stationed.     According to reports, citing anonymous U.S. officials, the drones used in the strike on a U.S. base at Al-Tanf were Iranian and the Islamic Republic encouraged the attack.    Iranian state media has claimed the strikes were done by Syrian allies, most likely meaning Iranian-backed Syrian rebel groups.
    This comes as the State Department maintained aloofness publicly with Spokesman John Kirby not confirming nor denying the strikes came from Iran.
    “I’m not in a position to get into attribution at this point,” said Kirby.    “We have seen these kinds of attacks in the past from Shia militia groups, which we know are backed and supported by Iran.    But, I’m not going to talk to specifics on this particular attack.”
    The attacks in Syria last week involved at least five drones teamed with explosives ready to go off upon reaching their targets.    Luckily, no Americans were hurt or killed in the operations.

10/26/2021 NYT Editorialist Claims Republicans Support Tax Evasion by OAN Newsroom
CHICAGO – NOVEMBER 1: Current federal tax forms are distributed at the offices of the Internal Revenue Service
November 1, 2005 in Chicago, Illinois. A presidential panel today recommended a complete overhaul of virtually
every tax law for individuals and businesses. (Photo Illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
    Conservatives target a New York Times editorialist for attacking Republicans over their opposition to an IRS surveillance program.    The media has pushed for greater IRS surveillance of American citizens, claiming opposition to such surveillance is just Republicans being anti-democracy.
    In an op-ed with the New York Times on Sunday, Binyamin Appelbaum said the “Rotten Core of the Republican Party” is based on supporting tax evasion. He said this in response to GOP criticisms of a provision in the Democrat’s partisan spending package, which requires the IRS to monitor bank accounts with $10,000 or more in transactions.
    Leader of the House Republican Conference, Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) recently put out a video in which he declared the provision in the bill to be un-American.    The man vying to take Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) position after the midterms said the GOP would go full force in trying to stop the provision from becoming law.
    “Biden wants to hire thousands of new IRS bureaucrats and give them the authority to snoop into your bank account to monitor every single transaction you make,” said McCarthy.    “This surveillance program crosses a line.    It’s un-American.    And Republicans will do everything possible to stop it before it ever gets off the ground.”
    GOP senators also recently held a press conference to register their disdain for the provision in the bill.    They claimed the provision is actually designed to spy on Americans, not to make everyone pay their so-called fair share as Appelbaum has claimed.
    “By the way, the proposal doesn’t include just banks and credit unions,” stated Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho.).    “It includes financial institutions.    That’ll be Venmo, PayPal, you name it.    And the scope of the IRS ability to dive into these accounts will be the biggest violation of individual privacy that i think this country has ever seen.”
    Appelbaum claimed Republicans are in opposition to the bill simply because they oppose taxation, which he says is a direct threat to the American experiment in self-governance.    Many on social media have been quick to point out that history may not have been Appelbaum’s strong suit.
    A member of the communications staff for the Heritage Foundation, John Cooper, said Appelbaum must have skipped U.S. history class.    Senior writer at National Review, Dan McLaughlin, sarcastically asked if the article was written by King George III himself.
    Meanwhile, the bill needs almost every Democrat in the House, as well as every single one in the Senate before it can be passed.    It’s currently unknown if the final partisan reconciliation package will contain the provision, though little has been said in opposition to it by any Democrats.

10/26/2021 State Dept.: Iran-U.S. Nuclear Talks In ‘Critical Phase’ by OAN Newsroom
The Iranian flag waves in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters, before the beginning of a board of governors meeting,
amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Vienna, Austria, March 1, 2021. (REUTERS/Lisi Niesner/File Photo)
    The State Department has been growing concerned that Iran is ghosting them over the resurrection of the failed 2015 Obama-era nuclear deal.
    Speaking with foreign reporters on Monday, U.S. Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley stressed bilateral talks have reached a critical phase, but Iranian officials haven’t reached out in several months.    Malley admitted Iran’s excuses for not sitting down at the negotiation table are “wearing thin” and suggested the window of opportunity is coming to a close.
    The Biden administration coordinated six meetings with Iran in Vienna, Austria this year in order to hash out compliance and implementation measure.    However, Iran took a hardline stance demanding Joe Biden lift sanctions imposed on the Middle Eastern country during the Trump administration.
    Additionally, the rouge state has claimed to be delaying talks due to a transition period for the newly elected Iranian president.    State Department Press Secretary Ned Price asserted this would only prolong the debate over denuclearization.
    “Look, if Iran’s goal, as they say, is a return to the JCPOA, they need to engage and they need to engage in the Vienna format,” said Price.    “No other participant can provide answers on the questions Iran reportedly wants to raise, such as guarantees and sanctions and issues pertaining to the lifting of sanctions.    Those are issues that need to be worked out in Vienna with the United States.”
    Analysts have called attention to Iran’s recent meetings with the EU over the same issues.    Some believe engaging with the EU is an attempt to further stall denuclearization efforts and undermine America’s ability to compel Iran.
    Price said the EU was influential in bringing the six partner states together to sign the controversial Joint Comprehension Plan of Action (JCPOA) deal.    Although, he claimed these meetings don’t really matter and urged Iran to sit down with American diplomats.

10/26/2021 Thousands Of City Workers Protest In NYC Against Bill De Blasio’s Vaccine Mandate by OAN Newsroom
Municipal workers hold placards and shout slogans as they march across Brooklyn bridge during a protest
against the covid-19 vaccine mandate, in New York on October 25, 2021. (Photo by Ed JONES / AFP)
    Thousands of New York City municipal employees took to the streets to protest the city’s vaccine mandate.
    On Monday, thousands of school teachers, firefighters, police officers, sanitation workers and paramedics marched over the Brooklyn Bridge on behalf of the thousands of city workers who are in jeopardy of losing their jobs for not getting vaccinated against COVID.    Last week, Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio (N.Y.) announced regular COVID testing is no longer enough and all city workers will need to be vaccinated by Oct. 29 or risk losing their jobs.
    “Today, our health commissioner is issuing an order requiring all city workers to be vaccinated,” said de Blasio.     “This will apply to all the agencies that are not covered yet, and we want to move quickly.    Obviously, we’ve given people a lot of time…first in voluntary phase, then in the vaccinate or test phase.    It’s time to keep moving.”
    As of now, 71 percent of city employees have received at least one vaccine dose.    However, that number is far lower among the city’s firefighters, where only 55 percent have gotten vaccinated.
    Many attending the protest said they’re not anti-vaccine, but rather are anti-vaccine mandate.
    Many of the city’s first responders have said de Blasio’s mandate is disrespectful because they’ve worked tirelessly to keep the city safe throughout the pandemic and now many are being thrown to the wolves.
    “We worked faithfully and diligently through a pandemic that affected nearly every facet of the world.    We did so without question,” said Michael Sapia of the New York Fire Department.    “Many of us putting ourselves and our families at risk.    But now, as a pandemic winds down, we’ve gone from the pots and pans of last summer, from the parade in the Canyon of Heroes, to ultimatums and pink slips.”

10/26/2021 2 Killed, Officer Among 4 Injured In Idaho Mall Shooting by OAN Newsroom
Police close off a street outside a shopping mall after a shooting in
Boise, Idaho on Monday, Oct. 25, 2021. (AP Photo/Rebecca Boone)
    Two people are killed and four others are injured after a gunman opened fire at a mall in Idaho.
    In a press conference on Monday, Boise Police Chief Ryan Lee said they responded to reports of “shots fired” Monday afternoon at the Boise Town Square Mall around 1:50 local time.    Lee said after arriving on scene, they engaged in a shootout with the suspect outside the mall, where the male shooter and one officer were shot in the exchange.
    The officer has since been released from the hospital with minor injuries.    The suspect was also taken to the hospital where he has been listed as in critical condition.
    Police also asserted there was only one shooter involved.    All 153 stores in the mall have since been cleared.
    Meanwhile, the mayor addressed the public honoring those affected and thanking law enforcement for their quick response.
    Police said they are in the process of notifying family members of the victims involved.    They will also have the county task force investigating the officer involved in part of the shooting.
    In the meantime, a motive for the shooting is still unclear.    This remains an ongoing investigation.

10/26/2021 ‘An Epidemic’ Of Coups, U.N. Chief Laments, Urging Security Council To Act by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks at a high-level meeting to commemorate the twentieth anniversary
of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action as part of the UN General Assembly 76th session General Debate in UN
General Assembly Hall at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, U.S. September 22, 2021 . Justin Lane/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. chief Antonio Guterres assailed what he called “an epidemic of coup d’états” on Tuesday and urged the Security Council to act to effectively deter them as the 15-member body prepared to discuss the military takeover in Sudan.
    “The Sudanese people has shown very clearly their intense desire for reform and democracy,” the secretary-general told reporters as he again condemned the Sudanese army’s seizure of power on Monday and urged all parties to exercise “maximum restraint.”
    Sudan’s top general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan on Tuesday defended the military takeover, saying he had ousted the government of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok to avoid civil war.
    It is the latest in a series of military takeovers in Myanmar, Mali and Guinea and attempted coups in several other countries.
    The Security Council – which has the ability to impose sanctions or authorize military action – has been split on how to approach various conflicts, with the United States and other western council members pitted against Russia and China.    It was due to meet behind closed doors on Sudan on Tuesday.
    Guterres pointed to strong geopolitical divides, Security Council “difficulties in taking strong measures” and the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as creating “an environment in which some military leaders feel that they have total impunity, they can do whatever they want because nothing will happen to them.”
    “My appeal, obviously, is for – especially the big powers – to come together for the unity of the Security Council in order to make sure that there is effective deterrence in relation to this epidemic of coup d’états,” Guterres said.    “We have seen that effective deterrence today is not in place.”
    The council has issued statements expressing concern about the situation in Myanmar and condemning the military takeover in Mali.    It is discussing a possible statement on Sudan, diplomats said.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Howard Goller)

10/26/2021 Biden Heads To G20 To Talk Energy Prices, Supply Chain Woes by Trevor Hunnicutt and Jeff Mason
FILE PHOTO: A worker looks at the G20 Media center at the Palazzo dei Congressi, in the city's EUR district,
that will host the G20 summit with heads of state from major nations for a two-day meeting
from October 30-31, in Rome, Italy, October 22, 2021. REUTERS/Remo Casilli/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Joe Biden, hoping to signal U.S. re-engagement with allies after four years of Donald Trump’s “America First” policies, heads to a meeting of G20 leaders in Europe this week to discuss energy prices, the Iranian nuclear program and supply chain issues, U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Tuesday.
    Biden will also seek to cement progress on a global minimum tax during his trip, Sullivan told reporters.
    Biden leaves for Italy on Thursday.    He is slated to meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Friday before kicking off meetings with leaders of the world’s largest economies in Rome.    After the G20 meetings, Biden travels to Glasgow, Scotland, to attend the U.N. climate change conference COP26.
    Sullivan said the United States and Europe were united ahead of the two summits and noted that China’s President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin were not attending in person.    Xi has not traveled outside of China since the COVID-19 pandemic started.
    “The U.S. and Europe will be there, and they’ll be there energized and united at both the G20 and COP26, driving the agenda,” Sullivan said.
    Biden’s second trip abroad since becoming president also comes amid continued frustration over the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and a cloud over Biden’s own domestic agenda as infrastructure and social spending bills struggle Congress.
    Biden, a devout Catholic, will meet with Pope Francis amid criticism from U.S. bishops over Biden’s stance on abortion rights.
    Sullivan said the two men would discuss climate, migration and income inequality during their meeting.
    The president will then hold talks with Italian leaders and a sit-down with French President Emmanuel Macron in an effort to repair relations after a rift over a U.S. security pact with Britain and Australia.
    On Saturday and Sunday, Biden will attend G20 meetings, which will touch on Haiti but focus on core economic themes, such as global minimum tax.
    “He’ll be laser focused on supply chains and energy prices because he knows that these issues impact working families here in America,” Sullivan said.
    The White House did not confirm other one-on-one meetings between Biden and fellow leaders but indicated more were being planned.
    Biden will conclude his foreign trip with a stop in Glasgow to press the world to do more in its fight against global warming.
    Biden is expected to emphasize the U.S. goal of cutting its greenhouse gas emissions 50-52% by 2030 compared with 2005 levels, but continued haggling over the climate pieces in his Build Back Better bill may undermine his pitch as world leaders question how Washington will make good on its promises.
    Sullivan said U.S. allies were sophisticated enough to know the democratic process of getting difficult bills through Congress.
    “Whether there is a deal this week or whether the negotiations continue, there will be a lot of energy and enthusiasm for the effort the president is undertaking right now,” Sullivan said.
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt and Jeff MasonEditing by Marguerita Choy and Heather Timmons)

10/26/2021 France’s Macron Asks China’s Xi Jinping For Signal Ahead Of COP26
FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a news conference at the end of the second day
of a European Union leaders meeting in Brussels, Belgium October 22, 2021. Aris Oikonomou/Pool via REUTERS
    PARIS (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron asked China’s President Xi Jinping during a phone call on Tuesday to send the world a “decisive signal” on climate change ahead of the COP26 summit in Scotland on the topic, the French Presidency said in a statement.
    Macron encouraged Xi to notably raise China’s goals in terms of efforts to address the climate crisis and to make “concrete” progress toward ending China’s reliance on coal.
    Macron also called for greater reciprocity in the rebalancing of the trade relationship between Europe and China, notably in terms of market access.
    China is among the major emitters that have yet to submit a new climate target.    It has pledged to become carbon-neutral by 2060 and stop increasing its emissions before 2030, although it has not pinned down a date by which its emissions will peak.
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Chris Reese and Jonathan Oatis)

10/26/2021 U.S. Considering Adding Israel, Romania, Bulgaria To Visa Waiver Program by David Shepardson
FILE PHOTO: Air travelers make their way past a sign mandating face masks for all during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) at Phoenix international airport in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S. September 24, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said on Tuesday the United States is considering adding four countries to its visa waiver program that allows citizens to come to America without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days.
    “We have four candidates in the pipeline: Israel, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania,” Mayorkas said on Tuesday at a travel industry event.    “We’re very very focused on the program,” he added saying the program provides significant economic and security benefits.
    In September, the United States added Croatia to the visa waiver program. U.S. Travel Association Chief Executive Roger Dow said on Tuesday adding Croatia is a $100 million boost to the U.S. economy.    “Each time you add one of these countries, the travel just booms,” Dow said.
    In February, Mayorkas spoke with the European Commission’s Commissioner for Home Affairs and both “expressed their continued interest in maintaining the U.S.-EU Passenger Name Record Agreement and working with Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania to meet the qualifications for the Visa Waiver Program.”
    To participate in the U.S. visa waiver program, a country must meet requirements related to counterterrorism, law enforcement, immigration enforcement, document security, and border management.
    There are currently 40 countries in the program.
    “These requirements include having a rate of nonimmigrant visa refusals below 3%, issuing secure travel documents, and working closely with U.S. law enforcement and counterterrorism authorities,” DHS said last month.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

10/26/2021 GOP Leaders: Americans Are Fed Up With Biden by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – SEPTEMBER 14: U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-Ga.) speaks during a markup hearing at Longworth House
Office Building September 14, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    Republican leaders are standing firm against Democrats “tax and spend” multi-trillion dollar package stuffed with policies that overburden American families.
    “Americans are fed up.    They are fed up with the price of gas.    They are fed up with the lack of food and supplies on the shelves,” said Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-Ga.).    “They look at Joe Biden as a modern day Grinch who is on the verge of canceling Christmas.    And they are tired of being told what to do.”
    In a press conference from Washington on Tuesday, GOP leaders said that average Americans are feeling the affects of inflation, energy and supply chain crises, while Democrats continue to peddle a tax and spend agenda with far-left socialist policies.    Rep. Ferguson said he believes the most egregious part of the spending bill is a provision that would allow the IRS to spy on American’s bank accounts.
    Ferguson noted if someone spends as little as $28 a month or make $600 worth of deposits or withdrawals a year, they could get caught in the IRS dragnet as banks would be required to report those accounts.    He said he can’t imagine a single American, Republican, Democrat, Independent, rich or poor that would want the IRS looking into their bank account.    He maintained it’s for good reason as the organization’s checkered past has led to overwhelming public mistrust.
    He pointed to Lois Lerner and the IRS targeting controversy of 2013 where conservative groups came under additional scrutiny or were denied tax-exempt status.    Additionally, earlier this year the IRS allegedly leaked tax documents of America’s wealthiest individuals only to be published by ProPublica.
    “Can you imagine if the IRS got their hands on every bit of information in your bank account?    And don’t think for a minute if you think that’s not what’s coming,” said Ferguson.    “Democrats want control.    They want control of your life, they want control of your finances.    They want control of everything.    And we’re here to stand up against that, to push back…it’s wrong, we think it is unconstitutional.    And the federal government should not be allowed to look into your bank account with a proper warrant.    It is your private business, it is not the business of the IRS.”
    North Dakota Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R) said the current energy crisis is self-induced. He believes it started with Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline and was compounded by regulations that has made it impossible to develop minerals on federal lands.
    On the campaign trail last year, Biden told Americans who made less than $400,000 a year that they wouldn’t pay a penny more in taxes.    For Armstrong, Biden has broken his promise, pointing out how inflation is a tax brought on by his massive spending.
    In the meantime, Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said the solution is to get back to the things that were working.

10/26/2021 Va. Students Hold Walkout As Teen Found Guilty Of Rape In Girls Restroom by OAN Newsroom
Protesters and activists hold signs as they stand outside a Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) board meeting
in Ashburn, Virginia on October 12, 2021. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
    Hundreds of students across Virginia walked out of class to demand safety in their schools.    This comes after a teen boy was found guilty of raping a classmate.
    The Loudoun County students said they’re standing in solidarity with sexual assault victims and took aim at school officials for failing to protect them. On Monday, a 15-year-old boy was found guilty of raping a girl in the girls restroom while wearing a skirt.
    His arrest came two months after the attack and prompted allegations of a coverup.    The student went on to sexually assault another girl at a different school, a case in which he faces sexual battery and abduction charges.
    Students across the district are now calling for accountability and increased safety measures.    In addition, the girls’ father said he plans to file a lawsuit against the school system over the matter.

10/26/2021 New Ad Reveals Mich. Gov. Whitmer Inadequacy Over Water Crisis In Benton Harbor by OAN Newsroom
This photo provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, shows Gov. Gretchen Whitmer as she addresses the
state during a speech Sept. 29, 2021, in Delta Township, Mich. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, File)
    Residents and concerned citizens are raising a media storm over Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D-Mich.) lack of leadership in handling the water crisis in Michigan.
    A new advertisement by the Republican Governors Association on Tuesday, showed how the water in Benton Harbor is worse than Flint, a city once considered the hotbed of lead-contaminated water.    The video revealed Whitmer knew about the growing crisis and did nothing about it for three years.
    Whitmer’s lack of effectiveness in Benton Harbor has manifested itself in a September poll.    It shows the GOP candidate, former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, up six percent among likely voters compared to the Democrat leader.

10/27/2021 Oil up $0.92 to $84.61, DOW up 16 to 35,757.

10/27/2021 Haiti Crippled By Fuel Shortages As Gang Leader Demands Prime Minister Resign by Brian Ellsworth and Gessika Thomas
A member of the Haitian National Police deters protesters in front of the National Palace during a demonstration
against insecurity and fuel shortages, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti October 25, 2021. REUTERS/Ralph Tedy Erol
    PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) -Haiti’s streets were unusually quiet on Tuesday and gasoline stations remained dry as gangs blocked the entrance to ports that hold fuel stores and the country’s main gang boss demanded that Prime Minister Ariel Henry resign.
    Days-long fuel shortages have left Haitians with few transportation options and forced the closure of some businesses. Hospitals, which rely on diesel generators to ensure electricity due to constant blackouts, may shut down as well.
    The situation has put further pressure on a population already struggling under a weakening economy and a wave of gang kidnappings, which include the abduction earlier this month of a group of Canadian and American missionaries.
    Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier, leader of the “G9” coalition of gangs in the metropolitan area of the capital, Port-au-Prince, said in a radio interview on Monday night that he would ensure safe passage of fuel trucks if Henry leaves office.
    “The areas under the control of the G9 are blocked for one reason only – we demand the resignation of Ariel Henry,” Cherizier said in an interview on Haiti’s Radio Mega.
    “If Ariel Henry resigns at 8 a.m., at 8:05 a.m. we will unblock the road and all the trucks will be able to go through to get fuel.”
    A spokesperson for Henry’s office did not respond to a request for comment.    Reuters was unable to contact Cherizier.
    His statements show how gangs have taken on an increasingly political role following the July assassination of President Jovenel Moise.    Cherizier has said Henry should “answer questions” linking him to Moise’s murder. Henry has denied any involvement.
    Elections had originally been scheduled for November but were suspended after Henry last month dismissed the council that organizes elections, which critics had accused of being biased in favor of Moise.    Henry has promised to appoint a non-partisan council that will set a new date.
    Kidnappings have been in the headlines for months as Haitians from all walks of life face abduction by the increasingly powerful gangs.
    The missionaries traveling as part of a trip organized by Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries were abducted by a gang called 400 Mawozo that operates east of the capital and is seeking a ransom of $1 million for each person.
    Christian Aid Ministries asked people in a statement on Tuesday to remember both those “being held hostage as well as those recovering from the experience of being kidnapped.”
    The State Department said last week the U.S. government had dispatched a “small team” to assist in efforts to locate and free the missionaries.
    White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Tuesday the United States had deployed “a significant number of law enforcement specialists and hostage recovery specialists” to Haiti.
    Haiti’s foreign aid bureau, BMPAD, which oversees fuel procurement, tweeted a video saying the country had 150,000 barrels of diesel and 50,000 barrels of gasoline, with another 50,000 barrels of gasoline set to arrive on Wednesday.
    A total of 100,000 barrels of diesel and gasoline would supply Haiti’s fuel needs for five to seven says, said Marc Andre Deriphonse, head of the country’s service-station owners’ association, ANAPROSS.
    Businesses have been warning that they may have to halt operations for lack of fuel.    Telecoms firms said some cell towers are no longer in operation.
    “This is the worst I’ve seen,” said one motorcycle taxi driver waiting to pick up passengers outside Port-au-Prince, when asked about the fuel shortages.    He declined to give his name.
    Motorcycle drivers strap one-gallon containers to their bikes in the hopes of filling them with fuel sold on the black market. A gallon of gasoline on the street can now fetch $20, compared with typical filling-station prices of around $2.
    Transportation industry leaders have called for strikes to protest the wave of kidnappings, which have disproportionately affected truck drivers and public transport workers.
    United Nations children’s agency UNICEF said on Sunday it had negotiated fuel deliveries to Haitian hospitals but that the provider later refused to make the deliveries, citing security conditions.
    At one police station near Port-au-Prince, two officers had been unable to get to work due to fuel shortages, according to a police official, who asked not to be named because he is not authorized to speak with reporters.
    “Most of our vehicles have about a quarter of a tank,” he said.
(Reporting by Brian Ellsworth and Gessika Thomas in Port-au-Prince; Additional reporting by Brad Brooks; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Peter Cooney)

10/27/2021 U.S. Lawmakers Express Concern Over Reports Of Potential Turkey F-16 Purchase by Patricia Zengerle
FILE PHOTO: An F-16 aircraft of the Turkish Stars aerobatic team of the Turkish Air Force performs
during Teknofest airshow in Istanbul, Turkey September 20, 2018. REUTERS/Osman Orsal/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic and Republican U.S. lawmakers urged President Joe Biden’s administration not to sell F-16 fighter jets to Turkey and said they were confident Congress would block any such exports.
    In a letter to Biden and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, 11 members of the House of Representatives cited “a profound sense of concern” about recent reports that Turkey may purchase 40 new Lockheed Martin F-16s and 80 F-16 modernization kits.
    The letter was dated Oct. 25 and reviewed by Reuters on Tuesday.
    “Following President (Tayyip) Erdogan’s September announcement that Turkey will purchase an additional tranche of Russian S-400 missile defense systems, we cannot afford to compromise our national security by sending U.S.-manufactured aircraft to a treaty ally which continues to behave like an adversary,” the lawmakers wrote.     The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.    A State Department spokesperson said the department does not comment on correspondence with Congress.
    Reuters reported earlier this month that Turkey had made a request to the United States to buy 40 Lockheed Martin-made F-16 fighter jets and nearly 80 modernization kits for its existing warplanes.
    Ankara had also previously ordered more than 100 Lockheed Martin F-35s, but the United States removed Turkey from the program in 2019 after it acquired the Russian S-400s.
    The letter was led by Republican Representative Nicole Malliotakis and Democratic Representative Carolyn Maloney.
    “While we are confident that Congress will stand together to block any such exports should these plans progress, the United States cannot afford to transfer any advanced military equipment to the government of Turkey at this time,” the letter said.
    The partnership between the NATO allies has gone through tumult in the past five years over disagreements on Syria, Ankara’s closer ties with Moscow, its naval ambitions in the Mediterranean, U.S. charges against a state-owned Turkish bank and erosion of rights and freedoms in Turkey.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Karishma Singh)

10/27/2021 Ecuador Demonstrators Block Some Roads, Dozens Arrested by Alexandra Valencia
A man holds a smoke bomb during a protest against the economic policies of conservative Ecuadorean President Guillermo
Lasso, days after he raised gasoline prices, in Guayaquil, Ecuador October 26, 2021. REUTERS/Vicente Gaibor del Pino
    QUITO (Reuters) - Thousands of demonstrators protested against the economic policies of conservative Ecuadorean President Guillermo Lasso on Tuesday, days after he raised gasoline prices, blocking roads in some parts of the country.
    Lasso, an ex-banker who took office in May, last week scrapped planned incremental rises in gasoline charges, meant to eventually align with international costs, following pressure by indigenous and other organizations.
    He opted instead to raise the price of gasoline extra, a higher octane gasoline that is Ecuador’s most-used fuel, to a fixed $2.55 a gallon and diesel to $1.90 a gallon.
    But unions and other groups want Lasso to freeze prices at lower rates and exempt sectors hit hard by COVID-19.
    Five police officers were injured and two members of the armed forces were being held by a community in northern Quito, but were unharmed, Defense Minister Luis Hernandez told journalists.
    Thirty-seven people were detained for blocking roads, he added.
    The Ecuador Confederation of Indigenous Nations said demonstrators had been injured but did not give a figure.
    Interior Minister Alexandra Vela said marches were peaceful except for a few incidents in the afternoon and said the government was open to dialogue.
    Gasoline costs have risen significantly since Lasso’s predecessor, Lenin Moreno, began monthly increases in May 2020.
    “We don’t agree that the measures implemented because of the crisis should fall on workers and the middle class,” said university professor Victor Sanchez, 55, as he marched in central Quito with about 1,000 others.
    Police used tear gas in the capital amid small clashes with protesters, while officers on horseback blocked the entrance to the plaza that had been the marchers’ destination.
    Marches also took place in Guayaquil and Cuenca.
    Indigenous groups blocked the road that connects Quito to the country’s north with earth and trees, and others in various Andean provinces were closed.
    Indigenous organization CONFENIAE said some roadways in the Amazon region had been shuttered from the early morning.
    “We didn’t come to destabilize, we came to make economic demands of the government,” CONAIE president Leonidas Iza told demonstrators in Panzaleo.
(Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; additional reporting by Tito CorreaWriting by Julia Symmes CobbEditing by Rosalba O’Brien, Marguerita Choy and Leslie Adler)

10/27/2021 U.S. Considering Adding Israel, Romania, Bulgaria To Visa Waiver Program by David Shepardson
FILE PHOTO: Air travelers make their way past a sign mandating face masks for all during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) at Phoenix international airport in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S. September 24, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said on Tuesday the United States is considering adding four countries to its visa waiver program that allows citizens to come to America without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days.
    “We have four candidates in the pipeline: Israel, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania,” Mayorkas said on Tuesday at a travel industry event.    “We’re very, very focused on the program,” he added, saying it provides significant economic and security benefits.
    In September, the United States added Croatia to the visa waiver program. U.S. Travel Association Chief Executive Roger Dow said on Tuesday adding Croatia is a $100 million boost to the U.S. economy.    “Each time you add one of these countries, the travel just booms,” Dow said.
    The White House said in August after a meeting between President Joe Biden and     Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett that Biden emphasized “his administration would strengthen bilateral cooperation with Israel in ways that would benefit both U.S. citizens and Israeli citizens, including by working together towards Israel’s inclusion in the Visa Waiver Program.”
    Mayorkas also met with Israel’s U.S. ambassador in August and discussed the waiver issue.
    In February, Mayorkas spoke with the European Commission’s Commissioner for Home Affairs and both “expressed their continued interest in maintaining the U.S.-EU Passenger Name Record Agreement and working with Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania to meet the qualifications for the Visa Waiver Program.”
    To participate in the program, a country must meet requirements related to counterterrorism, law enforcement, immigration enforcement, document security, and border management.
    There are currently 40 countries in the program.
    “These requirements include having a rate of nonimmigrant visa refusals below 3%, issuing secure travel documents, and working closely with U.S. law enforcement and counterterrorism authorities,” DHS said last month.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Stephen Coates)

10/27/2021 Lawmakers Slam Big Tech Companies Over Child Safety by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 26: Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) speaks during a Senate
Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security hearing on Protecting Kids Online:
Snapchat, TikTok, and YouTube on October 26, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
    Big Tech companies are in the hot seat for kids’ online safety.    Youth is a captive audience, which has put a harsh spotlight on social media platforms.
    During a hearing on Tuesday, lawmakers held talks with executives from TikTok, Snapchat and YouTube, to discuss the dangers of children’s safety online.    The hearing comes amid an ongoing battle with Big Tech, which is something Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) has called a “crisis.”
    “You can’t trust Big Tech with your kids.    Parents of America can’t trust these apps with their children,” stressed Blumenthal.
    Utah Sen. Mike Lee (R) grilled Snapchat over an experiment where his staff created an account for a 15-year-old and were “bombarded” with inappropriate material, despite not selecting any content preferences.
    “When they opened the discover page on Snapchat with its default settings, they were immediately bombarded with content that I can most politely describe as wildly inappropriate for a child, including recommendations for, among other things, an invite to play an online sexualized video game that’s marketed itself to people who are 18 and up, tips on, ‘why you shouldn’t go to bars alone’, notices for video games that are rated for ages 17 and up and articles about porn stars,” Lee stated.
    The Snapchat executive appeared confused, saying the discover page is a “closed content platform” and that she was “unfamiliar” with what Lee described.    Additionally, while all three companies defended how they protect kids online, lawmakers still felt as though the Big Tech companies were just talk with no real change.
    “For too long we have allowed platforms to promote and glorify dangerous content for its kid and teen users,” said Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).    “In the weeks leading up to this hearing, I’ve heard from parents, from teachers, from mental health professionals who are all wondering the same thing: ‘How long are we going to let this continue’?
    Blackburn asked what it would take for platforms to finally crackdown on the illicit drugs, the eating disorder content and the child sexual abuse material.
    Meanwhile, Blumenthal said they need real transparency, accountability and a market where the competition is to protect children, not to exploit them.    He added the goal is not to shut down the tech companies, but rather to improve them and make them better.

10/27/2021 Democrats Promise Agreement On Large Scale Spending Plan by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 26: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) listens during a press conference following the
Democrats Policy Luncheon at the U.S. Capitol building on October 26, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
    Senate Democrats have once again promised an agreement on the Build Back Better agenda. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and his party members announced the progress at a Democratic luncheon presser on Tuesday.
    A compromise within the Democrat Party regarding the spending plan has been announced multiple times throughout the past two months.    However, Schumer and company wanted to assure Americans this proclamation would be different from previous announcements.
    “No one ever told us, no one ever said that passing transformational legislation like this would be easy.    But we are on track to get it done because it’s so important and it’s what the American people need and what they want,” said Schumer.
    The New York senator also wanted to stress the bill’s positive reinforcement for hard work while increasing taxpayer funding to government programs.
    “The programs being discussed will help restore that fundamental promise that if you work hard and you play by the rules, you can have a better life for your family and we need to strengthen vital services like Medicare relied on by millions for the long term and to make healthcare more affordable to seniors,” he continued.
    Schumer also added the spending plan would tackle one of the most pressing issues to the American voter, which he said is climate change.
    Despite a combined price of nearly $5 trillion between the two bills, Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D) asserted the package is already paid for.    Durbin even tried pointing the blame at Republicans for the government’s current deficit.
    “What we are proposing in changes and expenditures are paid for.    That’s the point that Senator McConnell does not want to acknowledge, and he should,” said Durbin.    “Four years ago, we went through a tax cut which added dramatically to our nation’s debt and gave tax breaks to the richest people in America.    That was the highest priority of the Trump administration and the Senate Republicans.”
    Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) made note of the Democrat Party’s frustrations of not passing the reconciliation or bipartisan bill in a separate press conference.    McConnell also pointed out the difference in circumstances between the Build Back Better agenda and other large scale spending proposals in American history.
    “They’re acting like this was the New Deal,” McConnell stated.    “Roosevelt had massive majorities.    Or as the Great Society, LBJ had massive majorities.    This is a 50/50 Senate, a three seat majority in the House.    The American people are not asking for any of this.”

10/27/2021 Sen. Hawley: Email Shows Biden Told Officials To ‘Fill Out Planes’ Without Vetting by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 29: Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) speaks during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing examining Texas’s abortion
law on Capitol Hill in Hart Senate Office Building on September 29, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)
    The under secretary of defense for policy faced some tough questions as he testified in front of the Senate.
    At a hearing on Tuesday, Republican Sen. Josh Hawley (Mo.) grilled Under Secretary of Defense Colin Kahl about the vetting of Afghan refugees.    Hawley revealed an email, which raised new questions about who was flown into the U.S. during the flee from Afghanistan.
    The email Hawley referred to was supposedly sent from U.S. Diplomat Gregory Floyd in August and showed that Joe Biden phoned Ambassador to Afghanistan Ross Wilson to relay instructions about who to let aboard U.S. military aircrafts.    In the email, Floyd said Biden directed officials to board any Afghans they believed were at risk and had a valid ID, and said “total inflow must exceed the size available and ERR on the side of excess.”
    This prompted Hawley to ask Kahl how or if Afghan refugees were vetted.    However, Hawley quickly pointed out Kahl’s claims about in-person vetting don’t add up with what the Department of Homeland Security said.
    In the meantime, Hawley has vowed to get the story straight with a clear answer from the DHS so Americans can know who Biden let into the country amid his handling of the botched Afghanistan withdrawal.

10/27/2021 DOJ Arrests 150 People In International Dark Web Opioid Probe by OAN Newsroom
Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, second from left, together with, from left, Deputy Executive Director
Jean-Philippe Lecouffe of Europol; FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate; Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite Jr. of the
Justice Department’s Criminal Division; and Drug Enforcement Administration Administrator Anne Milgram, speaks during
a news at the Department of Justice in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    The Justice Department announced the arrest of 150 people in an international dark net opioid probe.    The DOJ confirmed they made a massive development in the U.S.’s fight against the illegal global opioid trade.
    The Justice Department said they seized over $30 million in cash and virtual currency, as well as 45 guns after the roughly 10-month long international operation called “Dark HunTor.”    Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said the U.S. and its’ allies are actively working to destroy the illegal drug industry.
    “We are here today to expose those who seek the shadows of the internet to peddle killer pills worldwide.    Thanks to unprecedented international law enforcement cooperation, 150 dark net drug traffickers have been arrested around the world, including 65 right here in the United States,” said Monaco.
    According to Monaco, illegal drug trades start in China and are completed in Mexico before being spread across the globe.
    “We know that precursor chemicals that go into these pills are coming from labs in China and manufactured in Mexico,” she said.    “The attorney general was just part of a very significant meeting with three other cabinet officials with meeting with Mexican authorities, and the DEA administrator has also met with the Mexican attorney general and we’ve raised this issue repeatedly.”
    Additionally, Monaco said the U.S. won’t let up until Mexico and China cooperate with the U.S. to put an end to the illegal drug trade.
    “Look, you can expect us to continue to press our international counterparts to press countries like China, to press Mexico, to make sure that these labs cannot operate from their locations and send deadly pills here to this country, and that the flow of those precursor chemicals are stopped coming through Mexico and ultimately to the United States,” stated Monaco.
    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 70,000 Americans died of an overdose from opioids in 2020, making it the deadliest year on record.

10/27/2021 Gov. Noem: Govt. With Too Much Power Can Take Away Freedom by OAN Newsroom
DALLAS, TEXAS – JULY 11: South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference
CPAC held at the Hilton Anatole on July 11, 2021 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
    Gov. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) recently discussed her reasoning behind getting involved in politics.
    Speaking with Breitbart News, Noem claimed her upbringing on a ranch helped shape how she conducts herself in the governor’s mansion.    Noem touted her fight to preserve freedom amid the coronavirus pandemic by pushing back against vaccine and mask mandates in the state.
    “We have record numbers of people visiting our state, moving to our state, investing in our state, bringing their businesses here.    They want their kids in classrooms getting an education,” explained Noem.    “All of that speaks to the fact that we stood up for freedom and we stood up for protecting people’s liberties that folks in the country recognize that so now they want to come here so they can be like us and live the kind of life that we do here.”
    She said during the Trump administration, she was “on the offensive” and could get conservative policies passed.    Additionally, the South Dakota Republican warned voters not to blindly adhere to what people in government tell them.
    Noem also touched on the Biden administration’s failures at the southern border and Afghanistan, adding Americans are shocked at how badly Joe Biden has gone about running the country.    When asked about the surge of people moving to South Dakota, Noem noted it has to do with people coming to the state to share conservative values.
    “I believe people are moving here because they want to be like us.    They’re moving here because they’re tired of the policies under Democrat leadership and they recognize how it’s penalized them and their families, and they want to be somewhere where they’re respected, where the government respects them and does their job and does nothing more,” said Noem.    “I don’t believe this state is getting more liberal.    I believe the people that are coming here are conservatives that want to come here and live the kind of life where they can be respected by the government.”
    Noem is running for reelection next year and said she would support Trump if he were to run again in 2024.    She also confirmed she’s not thinking about any future presidential campaign of her own.

10/27/2021 Portuguese Parliament Rejects Budget Bill, Snap Election Looms
Portugal's Prime Minister Antonio Costa gestures during the debate on the 2022 state budget draft in first
reading at the Portuguese Parliament, in Lisbon, Portugal, October 27, 2021. REUTERS/Pedro Nunes
    LISBON (Reuters) – Portugal’s parliament rejected the minority Socialist government’s 2022 budget bill on Wednesday as the hard left sided with the conservative opposition, in a move likely to trigger snap elections in coming months.
    Lawmakers voted 117-108 with 5 abstentions to throw out the bill that envisaged income tax cuts for the middle class and increased public investment to spur post-pandemic recovery, while reducing the deficit to 3.2% of gross domestic product from 4.3% in 2021.
    Prime Minister Antonio Costa’s hard-left former allies, the Communists and Left Bloc, had demanded more benefits and protections for workers, improvements in the social security system and more public investment in the health service, which they say Costa ignored as he is too focused on deficit cuts.
    Costa said he could not accept damaging hard-earned international credibility in a country with one of the heaviest public debt burdens in Europe and which was subject to painful austerity in 2011-14 under an international bailout.
    President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa warned on Monday that without a budget, which relies heavily on EU pandemic recovery funds, he would have no alternative but to dissolve parliament and call snap elections two years ahead of schedule.
    Costa, who presided over six years of relative stability with solid economic growth and a small budget surplus before the pandemic struck last year, has ruled out resigning and said he would lead his party in any election campaign.
(Reporting by Andrei Khalip and Sergio Goncalves; Editing by David Holmes)

10/27/2021 Portugal’s Parliament Rejects Budget, Snap Election Looms In 2022 by Sergio Goncalves and Andrei Khalip
Portugal's Prime Minister Antonio Costa gestures at the end of the debate on the 2022 state budget draft in
first reading at the Portuguese Parliament in Lisbon, Portugal, October 27, 2021. REUTERS/Pedro Nunes
    LISBON (Reuters) -Portugal’s parliament threw out the minority Socialist government’s 2022 budget bill on Wednesday, paving the way for snap elections and ending six years of relative political stability under Prime Minister Antonio Costa.
    Costa’s hard-left former allies sided with the conservatives to defeat the bill that envisaged income tax cuts for the middle class and increased public investment while cutting the deficit to 3.2% of gross domestic product from 4.3% in 2021.
    The Communists and Left Bloc said Costa had ignored their demands for more protection for workers, improvements in the social security system and more public investment in the health service as he was too focused on deficit cuts.
    Costa argued he could not risk damaging hard-earned international credibility in a country with one of the heaviest public debt burdens in Europe and which was subject to painful austerity from 2011 to 2014 under an international bailout.
    While the rejection of a budget does not necessarily imply snap elections, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa warned on Monday that he would have no option but to dissolve parliament and hold elections two years ahead of schedule.
    That entails consultations with the main political parties, Costa and the president’s Council of State that could take several weeks.
    In a statement published on the presidency’s website, Rebelo de Sousa said he would meet Costa and parliament’s speaker, Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues, later on Wednesday.
    The president will then hold talks with the main political parties on Saturday, and the Council of State meeting is scheduled to take place next Wednesday.    The statement did not mention an election.
    Ferro Rodrigues consulted representatives of most parties on Tuesday at the president’s request, and the two hard-left parties suggested that an alternative to the dissolution would be for the government come up with a new budget proposal, Expresso newspaper said.
    Costa, who has ruled out resigning, could in theory still present a new budget bill, although he has also said he is ready to lead his party in any election campaign.
    “The government leaves this vote with … its head held high,” Costa said with his ministers standing behind him.    “They (Portuguese) can count on the government to continue to govern even under the most adverse conditions, without a budget.”
    If and when the president publishes the dissolution decree, elections must be held within 60 days.
    He has indicated initially the ballot could occur in late January or early February, or possibly later, to give the main opposition Social Democrats time to hold an internal leadership vote in December and a congress in mid-January.
    But analysts say an election alone will not solve the impasse, which could be exacerbated by the far-right party Chega’s potential emergence as the third-largest force in parliament, as opinion polls suggest.
    Polls show support for the Socialists little changed from the 36% they took in the 2019 election.    The Social Democrats poll at about 27%.    The hard-left parties are in single digits and set to lose seats.
(Additional reporting by Catarina Demony; Editing by Mike Harrison, Paul Simao and Nick Macfie)

10/27/2021 Exclusive-Moderna COVID-19 Shot Could Start Being Used In Children, Teens ‘Within Weeks,’ CEO Says by Carl O’Donnell
FILE PHOTO: Walmart pharmacist holds a vial of the Moderna coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine inside
a Walmart department store in West Haven, Connecticut, U.S., February 17, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Segar
    (Reuters) – Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine could start to be used in children and teens in the United States within weeks, its chief executive said in an interview ahead of the Reuters Total Health conference, which will run virtually from Nov. 15-18.
    Moderna CEO Staphane Bancel said based on dialogue with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, he believes his company’s COVID-19 vaccine will be authorized for 12- to 17-year-olds in the next few weeks.
    Moderna plans to apply for separate U.S. regulatory clearance in children ages 6 through 11 “very soon,” Bancel said, adding that he is hopeful that age group could start receiving Moderna’s shots by the end of this year.
    “It’s entirely possible that this side of Christmas, 6 to 11 years of age would have access to Moderna’s vaccine,” Bancel told Reuters. [See link to all Reuters Total Health interviews here:]
    Moderna expects to publish data from its vaccine study of children as young as 6 months to 6 years by the end of this year or early in 2022, Bancel said.
    Moderna applied for U.S. authorization of its shot for those aged 12 to 17 in June.    It published positive data from a clinical trial in children ages 6 to 11 this week, but has not yet submitted an application to regulators for that age group.
    While children becoming seriously ill or dying from COVID-19 is relatively rare compared with adults, some develop complications, and infections in unvaccinated kids have risen due to the easily transmitted Delta variant of the coronavirus.     On Tuesday, a panel of advisers to the FDA backed the use of Pfizer’s shot in children ages 5 to 11. That still needs authorization from the FDA and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    The Delta variant has contributed to a global spike in coronavirus cases in recent months, and several countries have begun administering vaccine booster shots to some people to help combat the surge.
    U.S. regulators last week authorized a half strength booster shot of Moderna’s vaccine for people aged 65 and older and those who are at risk of severe disease due to health problems or high risk of virus exposure through their jobs.
    Pfizer Inc and partner BioNTech SE received authorization for boosters for the same groups in September.
    Bancel said he expects people over age 50 will need annual COVID-19 booster shots starting in 2023 because protection against the virus wanes over time. Some experts say it is unclear if boosters are broadly needed.
    “I could see a world where from 2023 everyone ages 50 and above is boosting every year,” Bancel said. “It’s a population that drives hospitalizations and way too many deaths.”
    Bancel also said Moderna was engaged in a ‘good ongoing dialogue’ about long-term licensing of its COVID-19 vaccine to a South African vaccine manufacturing hub backed by the World Health Organization (WHO).
    The WHO is working to get more COVID-19 vaccine to Africa to help improve developing countries’ access after rich nations bought up most of this year’s supply, leaving many nations with very low vaccination rates.
    A WHO official in September told Reuters that a lack of progress in talks with Moderna meant the project will take time.
    “We have been very clear that we will not be litigating (patent rights) during the pandemic,” Bancel said.    “The question is do they want a license for long term and, as you know, discussing licensing has a lot of implications.”
(Reporting by Carl O’Donnell; Editing by Caroline Humer and Bill Berkrot)

10/27/2021 Biden Could Head To Europe Without A Climate Deal, White House Concedes
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden campaigns for Democratic candidate for governor of Virginia
Terry McAuliffe at a rally in Arlington, Virginia, U.S. October 26, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said it is still “realistic” that U.S. President Joe Biden’s signature spending plan could get congressional support by Thursday, but conceded that he may need to depart to Europe without a final deal in hand.
    Biden is expected to depart Thursday morning to a meeting of G20 nation leaders in Rome and the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
    The Glasgow conference was expected to be a showcase for Biden to demonstrate U.S. efforts to tackle climate change and ask other countries to adopt similar measures.
    However, his roughly $1.5 to $2 trillion spending plan aimed at curbing climate change and expanding the social safety net remained mired in intra-party squabbles Wednesday, as did a linked $1 trillion infrastructure bill that also includes climate related measures.
    “Of course he would like to head on this trip with a deal,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Wednesday.    However, world leaders are “looking at the president’s commitment” on infrastructure and climate she said, not what’s being passed in Congress.
    “They’re seeing we’re on the verge of making a deal,” she said.
    Some progressive Democrats in Congress said it seemed unlikely there will be an agreement Wednesday, and suggested fundamental issues, like how to pay for it, remain.
    “I don’t know,” Senator Bernie Sanders said.    “But I don’t think so. I’m not quite clear in terms of the revenue package.    Every sensible revenue option seems to be destroyed.”
    Biden would need to sign any passed bill into law.    He won’t push his trip back substantially to push for it further, Psaki said.
    “There’s some flexibility in the morning, but I’m not going to suggest he’s going to delay his trip,” Psaki said.
(Reporting By Jeff Mason and Jarrett Renshaw; Editing by Heather Timmons and Alistair Bell)

10/27/2021 U.S. Lawyers Tell UK Court Assange Can Safely Be Extradited by Estelle Shirbon
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange appears via video link from Balmarsh Prison for his extradition hearing in London, Britain October 27, 2021,
    LONDON (Reuters) -Lawyers for the United States launched a fresh attempt on Wednesday to have Julian Assange extradited from Britain, arguing that concerns about the WikiLeaks founder’s mental health should not prevent him from facing U.S. justice.
    The 50-year-old Australian is wanted in the United States on 18 criminal charges, including breaking a spying law, after WikiLeaks published thousands of secret U.S. files and diplomatic cables in 2010.
    The United States is appealing against a Jan. 4 ruling by a London District Judge that Assange should not be extradited because he would likely commit suicide in a U.S. prison.
    Lawyer James Lewis told the court the United States had addressed the District Judge’s concerns by making assurances to Britain regarding how Assange would be treated if extradited.
    These included that he would not be subject to a set of strict detention conditions known as Special Administrative Measures and would not be detained at a maximum security penitentiary in Florence, Colorado, known as ADX.
    The U.S. authorities had also assured Britain that they would consent to Assange serving in Australia any custodial sentence imposed by a U.S. court, Lewis said.
    Assange, who denies any wrongdoing, is being held at Belmarsh Prison.    In the morning, the court was told he felt too unwell to appear via video link, but later in the day he did appear on the screen.    Wearing a shirt, tie and mask, he was sitting at a table, holding his head in his hand.
    In a court document circulated to media, Assange’s lawyers rejected the U.S. assurances, saying he could be held in another maximum security facility under oppressive conditions that would drive him to suicide.
    They said Australia had given no indication it would consent to Assange being transferred there to serve a U.S. sentence, and he would be at high risk while awaiting a transfer.
    “On the evidence, Mr Assange will most likely be dead before it (the proposed transfer) can have any purchase,” they wrote.
    The appeal hearing is scheduled to last two days, with the judges expected to give their ruling at a later date.
    Supporters of Assange gathered outside the court building from early on Wednesday, chanting “free Julian Assange,” before his father and Stella Moris, his partner and mother of his two children, arrived.
    Another subject of dispute in the appeal is whether the evidence of a psychiatric expert called by Assange’s defence team in the original extradition hearing was reliable.
    The U.S. lawyers argue the evidence should be dismissed because the expert initially failed to disclose that Moris was Assange’s partner and that the pair had children — information they said was highly relevant to the issue of his suicide risk.
    Assange’s lawyers said the District Judge had been right to take into account the expert’s evidence.
    WikiLeaks came to prominence when it published vast troves of confidential U.S. military records and diplomatic cables which the United States says put lives in danger.
    Soon afterwards Sweden sought Assange’s extradition from Britain over allegations of sex crimes.    He was ordered to be sent to Sweden in 2012, but instead fled to the Ecuadorean embassy in London and lived there for seven years.
    He was dragged out in April 2019 and jailed for breaching his British bail conditions, although the Swedish case against him had been dropped. The U.S. authorities then sought his extradition.
    Supporters see Assange as an anti-establishment hero victimised for exposing U.S. wrongdoing in Afghanistan and Iraq.    U.S. prosecutors regard him as a reckless enemy of the state whose actions threatened the lives of agents named in the leaked material.
(Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; editing by Christina Fincher and Jonathan Oatis)

10/27/2021 Top U.S. General Confirms ‘Very Concerning’ Chinese Hypersonic Weapons Test by Phil Stewart
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Army General Mark A. Milley, responds to questions during a House Armed Services Committee hearing
on "Ending the U.S. Military Mission in Afghanistan" in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, U.S., September 29, 2021. Rod Lamkey/Pool via REUTERS
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top U.S. military officer, General Mark Milley, has provided the first official U.S. confirmation of a Chinese hypersonic weapons test that military experts say appears to show Beijing’s pursuit of an Earth-orbiting system designed to evade American missile defenses.
    The Pentagon has been at pains to avoid direct confirmation of the Chinese test this summer, first reported by the Financial Times, even as President Joe Biden and other officials have expressed general concerns about Chinese hypersonic weapons development.
    But Milley explicitly confirmed a test and said that it was “very close” to a Sputnik moment — referring Russia’s 1957 launch of the first man-made satellite, which put Moscow ahead in the Cold War-era space race.
    “What we saw was a very significant event of a test of a hypersonic weapon system.    And it is very concerning,” Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Bloomberg television, in an interview aired on Wednesday.
    Nuclear arms experts say China’s weapons test appeared to be designed to evade U.S. defenses in two ways.    First, hypersonics move at speeds of more than five times the speed of sound, or about 6,200 kph (3,853 mph), making them harder to detect and intercept.
    Second, sources tell Reuters that the United States believes China’s test involved a weapon that first orbited the Earth.    That’s something military experts say is a Cold War concept known as “fractional orbital bombardment.”
    Last month, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall alluded to his concerns about such a system, telling reporters about a weapon that would go into an orbit and then descend on a target.
    “If you use that kind of an approach, you don’t have to use a traditional ICBM trajectory — which is directly from the point of launch to the point of impact,” he said.
    “It’s a way to avoid defenses and missile warning systems.”
    Fractional Orbital Bombardment would also be a way for China to avoid U.S. missile defenses in Alaska, which are designed to combat a limited number of weapons from a country like North Korea.
    Jeffrey Lewis at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies summed up fractional orbital bombardment this way: “The simplest way to think about China’s orbital bombardment system is to imagine a space shuttle, put a nuclear weapon into the cargo bay, and forget about the landing gear.”
    Lewis said the difference is that the Chinese re-entry system is a glider.
    China’s foreign ministry denied a weapons test.    It said it had carried out a routine test in July, but added: “It was not a missile, it was a space vehicle.”
    U.S. defenses are not capable of combating a large-scale attack from China or Russia, which could overwhelm the system.    But the open U.S. pursuit of more and more advanced missile defenses has led Moscow and Beijing to examine ways to defeat them, experts say, including hypersonics and, apparently, fractional orbital bombardment.
    The United States and Russia have both tested hypersonic weapons.
(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Alistair Bell)

10/27/2021 Speaker Pelosi: Reconciliation Framework Enough To Bring Infrastructure To A Vote In House by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 21: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., along with members of Congress, parents and caregiving advocates
hold a press conference supporting Build Back Better investments in home care, childcare, paid leave and expanded CTC payments in
front of the U.S. Capitol Building on October 21, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for MomsRising Together)
    Democrats are hoping to pass both the partisan reconciliation package, as well as the bipartisan infrastructure bill, but their biggest opposition might just be themselves.
    The Democrats held another round of meetings to determine what would be in the final multi-trillion dollar partisan reconciliation bill.    However, a few details are holding up its progress.
    West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) said that he’s not a fan of targeting different people and wants all Americans to pay their fair share of taxes together.
    “I’m supporting basically that we, everyone should pay their fair share.    I don’t like it, I don’t like the connotation that we’re targeting different people,” said Manchin.    “There’s people that basically, they’ve contributed to society, created a lot of jobs, invested a lot of money and give a lot to philanthropic pursuits, but it’s time that we all pull together and grow together.”
    This after Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) slammed the tax increases, saying Americans didn’t ask for more taxes with the slim majorities given to Democrats.
    In the meantime, Manchin isn’t alone as progressives on the other side of the coin have stated their dismay about the cutting of programs from the negotiated package.    The Democrat leadership met with progressive members on Tuesday to discuss the negotiated agreement.
    Progressives have remained adamant that the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which has been sitting on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) desk for over a month, must pass alongside reconciliation. When asked about if they have come to an agreement, Pelosi said she thinks the framework for reconciliation is enough to get the infrastructure bill to the floor for a vote.
    “Congresswoman Jayapal just said a framework agreement is not enough to vote for the bill.    Well, I think it is,” Pelosi said.
    Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D), who has led the House Progressive Caucus in negotiations, has argued otherwise.    According to Jayapal, not only does the reconciliation package need to be passed, but it will need to include expanded Medicare and tax hikes before her and others in her caucus budge on their opposition to infrastructure.

10/27/2021 Shipping Companies Face Fines For Docking Too Long At Ports by OAN Newsroom
SAN PEDRO, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 15: People ride on a tour boat beneath cargo containers stacked on a container ship at the Port of
Los Angeles, the nation’s busiest container port, on October 15, 2021 in San Pedro, California. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
    Southern California port officials say shipping companies will start to face hefty fines for sitting too long at the terminals amid a massive container backlog.
    On Wednesday, port management announced cargo containers will have to pay a $100 fine per container for staying past the allotted time in its terminals as they work to reduce congestion in their ports. Additionally, the fines will be increased in $100 increments each day.
    The containers set to be moved by rail will be fined after remaining in the port after six days, while carriers scheduled to move by trucks will be charged after nine days.    However, truckers revealed they’re not even able to get into the terminals in order to move product.
    “There are times that our drivers will be there for six to eight hours and get turned around.        So, if they’re able to pull out and make a delivery, then they get paid more than just sitting there in the port not doing anything,” said Daniel Rodriguez.
    In the meantime, shipping companies are set to start accumulating fines beginning on Nov. 1.

10/28/2021 Oil down $1.63 to $82.83, DOW down 122 to 35,634.

10/28/2021 GOP Sens. Torch Attorney General Garland For Labeling Parents As Domestic Terrorists by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 27: U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland testifies at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about oversight of
the Department of Justice on October 27, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis-Pool/Getty Images)
    GOP senators went after Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday for labeling parents as domestic terrorists.    Republicans Tom Cotton (Ark.) and Ted Cruz (Texas) held Garland’s feet to the fire over his school board directive and overall job performance.
    During a Senate oversight hearing, Sen. Cotton questioned the attorney general about his Department of Justice memo where he labeled concerned parents as “domestic terrorists.”    The Arkansas senator argued parents have every right to protest critical race theory and transgender polices because it effects their children.
    “That refers to Scott Smith, whose 15-year-old daughter was raped and condemned internationally,” he said.
    Cotton stressed Garland must apologize to Scott Smith, who was slandered as a “domestic terrorist” due to Garland’s policy memorandum.    Garland insisted the memo wasn’t political, even though the White House played a role in its release.
    Texas Sen. Cruz also grilled the attorney general on school board issues, in particular the teaching of critical race theory.    Cruz asked Garland to explain his involvement with a company that sells CRT materials to schools and whether he sought an ethics review on the matter.
    Cruz said the memo by the DOJ would be financially beneficial to Garland and his family due to his son-in-law’s involvement on the issue.    Garland seemed visibly uncomfortable with the questioning.
    When pressed by Republicans, Garland couldn’t outline any instances of violence from parents to warrant classifying them as domestic terrorists.

10/28/2021 GOP: Biden Is Responsible For Skyrocketing Energy Costs by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 27: Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) speaks alongside other Republican Senators during a press conference on
rising gas an energy prices at the U.S. Capitol on October 27, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
    Republicans have been taking aim at Joe Biden over his energy policies.
    Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso (R) pointed out gas prices have surged much higher than they were when Biden took office.    He pointed to Biden’s day-one energy policies as the main reason why oil and gas prices have skyrocketed, adding how his administration is seeking help from OPEC and Russia.
    Gas prices have risen by about 50 percent since the start of 2021.    Republicans also said heading into winter months, the prices for natural gas is sure to rack up astronomical costs for Americans who use gas to heat their homes.
    They also tackled rising inflation, saying that it goes straight back to Americans who are on fixed incomes and are unable to keep up with rising consumer prices.
    “You have to feel sorry for poor people, people with fixed incomes, because they don’t have the ability, their wages are not able to keep up with the inflation increase,” said Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.).
    Speaking on the environment, Sen. Barrasso said protecting the environment doesn’t mean shortchanging America’s economic growth.    He added America’s carbon emissions have been dropping for years now without destructive economic policies.

10/28/2021 New Gender Option Appears On U.S. Passports by OAN Newsroom
MIAMI – JUNE 22: A Passport Processing employee uses a stack of blank
passports to print a new one. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
    U.S. passports now have a new feature.    The State Department has made it an option for new passports to include a “Gender X” marker, allowing Americans to opt-out of the “Male” or “Female” option.
    Department Spokesman Ned Price said this is a way to “better serve all U.S. citizens regardless of their gender identity.”
    Price’s department has a record of serving Americans in places such as Afghanistan.    Intersex activist Dana Zzyym had the honor of being the first American to receive the special gender designation.
    “It’s kind of unbelievable that I got the first one,” Zzyym said.    “I’ve worked a long time to get this one.    Six years and a day through the federal court system.”
    However, Zzyym asserted this isn’t just a victory for intersex persons, but also a triumph for the entire intersectional community.
    “Whether it’s the Black community, or the Latino community, or the trans community.    We exist,” said Zzyym.    “We all should be allies together in the fight for rights.    Well, that is what it means to me and this is what this represents to me.”
    Members of the political left have often unfavorably compared the U.S. to more progressive countries, such as Sweden.    Although, Outright Action International Executive Director Maria Sjodin said the U.S. is a trailblazer on this front.
    “Many of the European countries that have seen themselves as leaders on LGBTIQ issues really have been leaders when it comes to maybe same-sex marriage and protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation, but they really haven’t been leaders on trans issues,” Sjodin said.
    According to Sjodin, America is an example for Europe to follow.    The new passports are an example of the Biden administration’s commitment to the trans community, marking yet another accomplishment for the White House.

10/28/2021 Project Veritas: N.J. Gov. Murphy Plans To Give $40M To Illegal Immigrants by OAN Newsroom
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) speaks as Joe Biden takes part in a briefing with local leaders
in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida at the Somerset County Emergency Management Training Center in
Hillsborough Township, New Jersey on September 7, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
    New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) is facing another controversy ahead of a hotly contested race to keep his seat.
    In a report released on Wednesday, Project Veritas exposed the Democrat’s secret plan to give $40 million of taxpayer money to illegal immigrants.    In the undercover video, senior aide to his reelection campaign, Wendy Martinez, admitted the plan would be “political suicide” for Murphy.
    Murphy’s senior aide then doubled down and said he should wait to tell voters about his plan until after he is elected.
    This comes as Murphy has found himself in a tightening race against Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli as voters remain skeptical of the Democrat’s handling of the economy and crippling COVID lockdowns.
    Meanwhile, other staffers like the manager of N.J. Forward said he expects Murphy to supply more money to illegal immigrants and added Murphy hasn’t spoken about it on the campaign trail due to it’s unpopularity.
    This prompted critics like Project Veritas Founder James O’Keefe to warn that in order for voters to make informed decisions about who is elected, they have to know their beliefs and what they’re going to do.
    In the meantime, Democrat Gov. Murphy and Republican candidate Ciattarelli are set to square off in the election for governor on Nov. 2.

10/28/2021 WHO, Partners Seek $23.4 Billion For New COVID-19 War Chest by Stephanie Nebehay
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization (WHO) during
an executive board meeting on update on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in
Geneva, Switzerland, April 6, 2021. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    GENEVA (Reuters) - The World Health Organization (WHO) and other aid groups on Thursday appealed to leaders of the world’s 20 biggest economies to fund a $23.4 billion plan to bring COVID-19 vaccines, tests and drugs to poorer countries in the next 12 months.
    WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the Group of 20, whose leaders are meeting in Rome at the weekend, had the political and financial power needed to end the pandemic by funding the plan, which he said could save five million lives.
    The latest update of the so-called Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A), until September 2022, is expected to include use of an experimental oral antiviral pill made by Merck & Co for treating mild and moderate cases.
    If the pill is approved by regulatory authorities, the cost could be as little as $10 per course, the plan said, in line with a draft document seen by Reuters earlier this month.
    “The request is for $23.4 billion.    That’s a fair amount of money, but if you compare with the damage also done to global economy by the pandemic it is not really that much,” Carl Bildt, WHO Special Envoy to the ACT-Accelerator, told reporters earlier.
    Bildt, a former Swedish prime minister, acknowledged that the ACT-A has struggled to secure previous financing.
    “I hope and urge that the G20 will make a commitment to end the pandemic,” Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere, whose country co-chairs the fund-raising effort, told the media briefing.
    Equal budgets of $7 billion are earmarked for both vaccines and diagnostic tests, with a further $5.9 billion for boosting health systems and $3.5 billion for treatments including antivirals, corticosteroids, and medical oxygen.
    Tedros noted at the briefing that global cases were rising for the first time in two months, driven by Europe.
    COVAX, the vaccines arm of the ACT-A, has delivered some 400 million COVID-19 doses to more than 140 low-and middle-income countries, where vaccination rates remain low, WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said.
    About 82 countries are likely to miss a WHO global target of 40% vaccination coverage by year-end, but some of them could if supplies start flowing, she said.
    “One of the things that is now interfering in a big way is the need for boosters, more and more high income countries are going in for the booster doses and this is now sucking up the vaccine doses as well,” Swaminathan added.
    Nearly a million booster jabs are being given each day, “three times the amount of vaccines being administered in low-income countries,” she said.
    Referring to India, which resumed “relatively modest” COVID-19 vaccine exports this month after suspending them in April due to its domestic epidemic, Swaminathan said: “I think these volumes coming out of India will go up significantly.”
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering emergency use authorization of molnupiravir, the antiviral pill Merck has developed with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.    It was shown in a clinical trial to halve the risk of serious disease and death when given early for COVID-19.
    “This is a drug that we are currently evaluating and we met with Merck on Friday to discuss data from their current clinical trials that are under way in other countries,” said Maria van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead on COVID, adding the agency hoped to issue guidance on its use in coming weeks.
(Reporting by Stephanie NebehayAdditional reporting by Silke Koltrowitz in ZurichWriting by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Stephanie NebehayEditing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Frances Kerry)

10/28/2021 Canada Defends Pandemic Policy On Asylum-Seekers While Letting More Enter Through Exemptions by Anna Mehler Paperny
FILE PHOTO: An asylum seeker crosses the border from New York into Canada followed by a Royal Canadian Mounted Police
(RCMP) officer at Roxham Road in Hemmingford, Quebec, Canada March 18, 2020. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi/File Photo
    TORONTO (Reuters) – The Canadian government is trying to quash a legal challenge to its policy of turning back asylum-seekers entering the country between border crossings, saying the group bringing it lacks standing, even as it has granted a growing number of exemptions to the policy.
    The parties were in court on Thursday arguing over who should be able to bring a case in the public interest.
    Since March 2020, Canada has turned back at least 544 asylum-seekers trying to cross from the United States between ports of entry, government figures show.
    The government says its policy is justified by the COVID-19 pandemic and the exemptions it has granted prove recourse is available.
    Refugee lawyers said that these exemptions are inadequate, as at least one asylum-seeker was deported from the United States after receiving an exemption, and belie the policy’s justification.
    “Refugee travel is not discretionary,” said Maureen Silcoff, a refugee lawyer and past president of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, which earlier this year challenged the policy.
    The government argues that the association lacks legal standing and its challenge should be struck.
    The association is neither the intended beneficiary nor the target of the rule and “has no real stake or genuine interest in the outcome of this litigation,” the government said in a court filing. It said asylum-seekers who have been turned back should bring the case.
    Refugee lawyers said those asylum-seekers, some of whom end up in U.S. immigration detention, are poorly placed to challenge the policy.
    Starting in July, Canada increased the number of National Interest Exemptions it issued to asylum-seekers who had been turned back, enabling them to enter Canada and file refugee claims.
    Between March 2020 and July 2021, Canada had granted just eight such exemptions.    By Oct. 14, that number had risen to 159 exemptions, according to documents filed in court.
    Canada’s immigration ministry did not respond to questions about the criteria for these exemptions.
    Canada has a Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States under which asylum-seekers who present at a land border crossing are turned back.    It has been challenged twice but upheld most recently this spring
(Reporting by Anna Mehler Paperny; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

10/28/2021 Factbox: Biden To Meet Macron, Erdogan, Pope Francis, On European Trip
U.S. President Joe Biden boards Air Force One as he departs Washington on travel to
Italy from Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, U.S., October 28, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to hold a series of high-profile meetings with foreign leaders during his trip to the G20 in Rome and U.N. climate conference in Glasgow.
    Tricky issues are on the table, from close ally France’s accusations of betrayal over an Australian submarine deal to Turkey’s demands after a scotched fighter jet deal.
    He will also talk supply chain woes, tax pledges and energy shortages, the White House says.    Here are meetings to watch:
    Biden will meet with the French president on Friday in Rome as the two men try to repair relations soured when the U.S. thwarted France on a submarine deal.
    They will continue discussions on security cooperation in Africa, Europe and the Indo-Pacific, the White House said last week.
    Biden is only the second Catholic U.S. president, and his meeting with the Pope on Friday comes amid a heightened criticism from American archbishops over his stance on abortion.    The two will discuss climate change, migration and income inequality, the White House said Tuesday.
    Biden and the Italian prime minister will meet before G20 talks that Draghi is hosting and will discuss climate, health, the state of the global economy and ongoing international crises.
    A fighter jet program will be the main topic at a meeting between Biden and Turkey’s president in Glasgow, the Turkish leader told state media.    The U.S. suspended a F-16 jet deal after Turkey bought Russian missiles, and Erdogan says.
    The White House has not yet confirmed the meeting. Biden heads to Glasgow on Oct. 31. Turkey last week threatened to expel U.S. diplomats over criticism of the jailing of a philanthropist.
    The decades-old partnership between NATO allies has gone through much tumult in the past five years over disagreements on Syria policy, Ankara’s closer ties with Moscow, its naval ambitions in the eastern Mediterranean, U.S. charges against a state-owned Turkish bank and erosion of rights and freedoms in Turkey.
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk,; Editing by Alistair Bell)

10/28/2021 U.S. Assurances Not Enough To Avert Assange Suicide Risk, Lawyers Say
Supporters of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange display signs and banners as they protest outside
the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Britain, October 28, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
    LONDON (Reuters) – The U.S. government’s assurances to Britain about how Julian Assange would be treated if extradited to the United States do not avert the risk of suicide, the WikiLeaks founder’s lawyers told a London court on Thursday.
    The 50-year-old Australian is wanted in the United States to face trial on 18 charges including breaking an espionage law, after WikiLeaks published thousands of secret U.S. files and diplomatic cables in 2010.
    The United States is appealing against a Jan. 4 ruling by a British judge that Assange should not be extradited because his mental health was such that he would likely commit suicide in a U.S. prison.
    Assange’s lawyers told the Court of Appeal it should disregard assurances given by the United States as part of the appeal that he would not be subject to harsh detention conditions known as Special Administrative Measures (SAMs).
    They said that regardless of whether he was technically subject to SAMs the evidence heard during the original extradition hearing showed he would be detained “in conditions of extreme isolation” that could drive him to suicide.
    Lawyer Mark Summers also raised a report, published last month by Yahoo News, that alleged that in 2017 the CIA had considered killing or kidnapping Assange.
    The CIA has declined to comment on the report, and lawyers representing the United States did not address it during their submissions to the court on Wednesday.
    Summers said that the report showed there was a risk the CIA could use its powers to certify that Assange should be subjected to SAMs “the moment he sets foot in the USA,” and that the wording of the U.S. assurances would allow that to happen.
    Assange, who denies any wrongdoing, is being held at Belmarsh Prison in London and was not in court during the hearing.
    The appeal hearing was due to conclude by the end of Thursday, with the judges expected to give their decision at a later date.
    WikiLeaks came to prominence in 2010 by publishing vast troves of confidential U.S. records which Washington said put lives in danger.
    Soon afterwards, Sweden sought Assange’s extradition from Britain over allegations of sex crimes.    He was ordered to be sent to Sweden in 2012, but instead fled to the Ecuadorean embassy in London and lived there for seven years.
    He was dragged out in April 2019 and jailed for breaching his British bail conditions, although the Swedish case against him had been dropped. The U.S. authorities then sought his extradition.
    Supporters see Assange as an anti-establishment hero victimised for exposing U.S. wrongdoing in Afghanistan and Iraq. Critics say he recklessly endangered the lives of agents named in the leaked material.
(Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; Editing by Nick Macfie)

10/28/2021 Biden Unveils $1.75T ‘Build Back Better’ Framework by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 28: Joe Biden delivers remarks about his proposed ‘Build Back Better’ social spending bill
in the East Room of the White House on October 28, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    Joe Biden unveiled the final framework of his “Build Back Better” agenda and continued to claim the bill would cost American taxpayers nothing.
    “Over the next 10 years, it will not add to the deficit at all,” he claimed.    “It will actually reduce the deficit.”
    Biden detailed the compromise deal at the White House on Thursday, which includes universal Pre-K for three- and four-year-old children, subsidized child care and an extension of the larger child tax credit.    It also focuses on climate change, expanding tax credits for clean energy initiatives.
    “I don’t want to punish anyone’s success.    I’m a capitalist.    I want everyone to be able to, if they want to be a millionaire or billionaire, to be able to seek their goal.    But all I’m asking is, pay your fair share,” said Biden.
    The final bill doesn’t include a previously proposed billionaire’s tax, paid family and medical leave or a proposal to allow IRS surveillance of American’s bank accounts.    It also doesn’t include any measures to address issues Americans are currently dealing with, such as the supply chain blockage, surging gas prices or the crisis at the southern border.
    Economists have said spending trillions of dollars on Biden’s social agenda will make the current inflation pressures worse.    In the meantime, it’s still unclear if this package will gain support from far-left progressives with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) saying on Thursday “it needs to be improved.”

10/28/2021 Fla. Saving Ships, Law Enforcement, In-N-Out From Calif. Mandates And Supply Chain Crisis by OAN Newsroom
MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA – JANUARY 06: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference about the opening
of a COVID-19 vaccination site at the Hard Rock Stadium on January 06, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
    They showed defiance when they stood for an individual’s right to choose and now, the West Coast’s most popular burger outlet is making an example for the rest of the country.    Since In-N-Out announced their stance on vaccine mandates, California has continued to see backlash due to its COVID-19 restrictions.
    When asked on Wednesday about closing indoor dining at another California location, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) seemingly dodged the reporter’s question.
    “I’m not going to get caught up in the situational issues.    In-N-Out Burger is one of our great home-based businesses that has great respect, admiration and I know that the folks at the headquarters at In-N-Out Burger and visited them, and we really appreciate it,” commented Newsom.
    Newsom has been a huge advocate for vaccine mandates as California was the first state in the nation to enforce them, but the governor appeared to remain neutral in order to avoid any conflict.    The Democrat’s COVID-19 priorities were seemingly benched for the day as his priorities shifted to companies threatening to take their business elsewhere.
    As the supply chain crisis has continued to worsen, dozens of ships in the nation’s busiest port complex still remain off the coast of Los Angeles waiting to be unloaded.    As of recently, companies are additionally seeing fines for staying past their allotted time in its terminals.
    However, when Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) heard about the crisis on the West Coast, he immediately encouraged businesses to head their way so they can offer what California isn’t.
    “Our ports operate 24/7.    I mean, that should be happening anyways.    Anyways, we in Florida have the ability to help alleviate these log jams and help to ameliorate the problems with the supply chain,” said DeSantis.
    Ships from all over are now rerouting to Jacksonville in efforts to stock the shelves for Christmas.    Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis also offered a new home to the California burger chain in a letter to In-N-Out’s president.
    In addition, Florida’s most recent strive to bring resolution to those who may feel stuck involves the governor offering $5,000 to any out-of-state law enforcement officers joining police departments in Florida for the first time.

10/28/2021 Huawei Reportedly Paid Democrat Lobbyist $1M by OAN Newsroom
DONGGUAN, CHINA – APRIL 25: The Huawei logo is seen on the side of the main building at the company’s
production campus on April 25, 2019 in Dongguan, near Shenzhen, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
    New reports are shedding more light on well-known Democrat lobbyist Tony Podesta’s involvement with Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.
    According to reports on Thursday, Podesta was paid $1 million by Huawei to promote them to the Biden administration.    The amount is double what Podesta said he had received earlier this month in his third quarter lobbying report.
    However, it has been found that he may have been given the $1 million in two separate installments across June and September.    This comes as the Biden administration has been advised to keep Huawei on the trade blacklist.
    One White House official said, “President Biden and this administration believe digital infrastructure equipment made by untrustworthy vendors, like Huawei, pose a threat to the security of the U.S., our allies, and our partners.    Export controls against Huawei remain in place.”
    Podesta notably played a major role in the Department of Justice’s bank fraud case against Huawei’s CFO over the summer.    According to reports, Huawei has spent about $3.4 million on internal and external lobbyists this year alone.

10/28/2021 102 Suspects Arrested In Fla. Human Trafficking Operation by OAN Newsroom
Sheriff Grady Judd, of Polk county, Fla., speaks during a state commission meeting as they investigate
the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre and how Broward school district and others
access threats, on Tuesday, July 10, 2018, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
    More than 100 suspects have been arrested in a Florida human trafficking sting.
    According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday, 102 suspects were arrested following a six-day long undercover investigation.    The operation, dubbed “No Tricks No Treats,” targeted child predators, prostitutes and those who solicit them.
    Thirty-eight people were reportedly arrested for prostitution and 62 others were accused of soliciting prostitutes.    Authorities said they were able to rescue a 17-year-old girl and two women in their twenties who are believed to be victims of human trafficking.
    “They’re young girls, but they’re being taken advantage of by these pimps.    Ladies and gentlemen, what’s scary about this is we suspect many more of these young ladies are also victims of human trafficking, but they would not work with us, they would not admit they were victims of human trafficking,” said Sheriff Grady Judd.    “So, as a result, we weren’t able to even get to the first step with them.    These three, we celebrate, because we were able to get to the first step.”
    Detectives have reportedly charged those arrested with a total of 29 felonies and 143 misdemeanors.

10/28/2021 Rep. McCarthy: Infrastructure And Reconciliation No Longer Separate by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 28: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) holds his weekly news conference in the Capitol Visitors Center
at the U.S. Capitol building on October 28, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
    Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has slammed Democrats for trying to jam their “wish list” spending bill through Congress. The House Republican Leader told reporters on Thursday, Democrats had initially proposed two separate bills, those being infrastructure and reconciliation.    However, the lines are getting increasingly blurred.
    “They have put it into one.    It is no longer a single infrastructure bill.    This is all viewed as one reconciliation bill as a whole,” said McCarthy.
    McCarthy criticized Joe Biden for not being able to unite his party and for changing his story by the minute.
    “Have you ever seen an administration and Congress as incompetent as this?    Trillions of dollars in spending, major expansions of government agencies and even more inflation that will lead to higher costs for all Americans.    Those are all on the table,” he stated.    “Yet, the details change by the minute.”
    McCarthy stressed Democrat spending plans are irresponsible and say it will not receive any GOP support.

10/29/2021 Oil down $0.21 to $81.84, DOW up 170 to 35,666.

10/29/2021 Sen. Blackburn Issues Bill Protecting Essential Workers From Vaccine Mandates by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 26: Ranking Member Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) speaks during a Senate
Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
    Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) has rolled out a new measure to protect the nation’s essential workers from being penalized or fired if they refuse to get vaccinated.    The legislation titled “Keeping Our COVID-19 Heroes Employed Act” was issued earlier this week and is co-sponsored by fellow Republican senators across several states.
    Blackburn voiced her support for essential workers who have risked their lives for Americans throughout waves of the pandemic and issued the measure to provide exemption for dedicated workers who oppose the shot.
    “Throughout the pandemic, one group stood above the rest.    They walked into work every day to ensure that Americans could survive the COVID-19 pandemic.    Their efforts kept America running, kept this country humming.    And across the country, these individuals were honored as the heroes of our time.    They were deemed the essential workers,” said Blackburn.
    This bill comes after Joe Biden issued a nationwide vaccine mandate for essential workers, giving them until Dec. 8 to get inoculated.    Blackburn and her fellow constituents believe we should be celebrating and praising the workers for their heroism instead of “punishing them for exercising their individual health freedoms.”
    Meanwhile, several politicians and business owners are backing the senator and thanking her for fighting against the mandate that could potentially lead to more layoffs amid the current supply chain crisis.

10/29/2021 Report: Pelosi Kicked Out Of Meeting With House Progressive Caucus by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) leaves after speaking at her weekly press briefing on
Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on October 28, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
    Sources from the White House said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was kicked out of a meeting by her own party.
    On Thursday, an anonymous Democrat staffer reported Pelosi said she was “leaving anyway” after Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) kicked her out of a Progressive Caucus meeting.    Pelosi’s Deputy Chief of Staff Drew Hammill claimed she entered and quickly left the confidential meeting to drop a letter off.
    This comes amid Pelosi’s efforts to persuade progressives to sign off on the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
    House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) also took aim at Pelosi for the Democrats’ mixed messaging in Congress.    McCarthy asserted Pelosi has “destroyed this institution and its ability to function.”
    He went on to add he no longer believes Democrats like Pelosi have the will to keep the House in 2022.    McCarthy noted while it appears Democrats have different priorities, Republicans will be ready to put America back on the field and turn the country around in order to build a nation that Americans can be proud of.
    In the meantime, the bipartisan infrastructure bill must pass the House before it reaches Joe Biden’s desk.

10/29/2021 GOP Trump Critic Rep. Kinzinger Will Not Seek Reelection by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 19: U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) listens during a select committee
meeting investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol at Cannon House Office Building
on Capitol Hill October 19, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
    Donald Trump touts Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger’s (R-Ill.) decision to not seek reelection.    In response to the congressman’s announcement on Friday, Trump issued a statement saying “two down, eight to go.”
    Kinzinger is the second of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump and later announced their retirement.    Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio) made a similar announcement in September.
    Kinzinger has been highly criticized by the GOP for his impeachment vote and the criticism only escalated when he joined the House committee in charge of investigating the Jan. 6 protest.    In his announcement, he hinted at other political plans.
    “It has also become increasingly obvious that in order to break the narrative, I cannot focus on both a reelection to congress and a broader fight nationwide,” he said.    “I want to make it clear, this isn’t the end of my political future, but the beginning.”
    Kinzinger has served 12 years in the House and his term will end in January.    He’s expected to continue working for his Country First Political Action Committee.

10/29/2021 First Responders Protest NYC Vaccine Mandate by OAN Newsroom
Municipal workers hold placards and shout slogans outside city hall during a protest against the covid-19
vaccine mandate, in New York on October 25, 2021. (Photo by ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images)
    New York City firefighters and hundreds of other city workers march in protest of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s (D-N.Y.) vaccine mandate.    As de Blasio’s vaccine deadline for all New York City municipal workers closes in, leaders representing the city’s Uniformed Firefighters Association gathered outside of his residence.
    “This is really an absolutely unnecessary threat to the lives of New Yorkers,” said President of the FDNY Firefighters Association Andrew Ansbro.
    Hundreds of protesters showed up at Grace Mansion on Thursday as they marched in opposition of the mayor’s mandate.    They were joined by politicians, as well as other union members.
    Union members said there’s already a staffing shortage as it is and 3,500 FDNY members now face unpaid leave if they don’t receive the first jab by 5 p.m. Friday night, along with thousands of other city workers.
    “This city is going to look very different on Nov. 1.    You’re going to see dozens and dozens of firehouses closed.    You’re going to see response times climb.    It is inevitable.    Lives are going to be lost,” stressed Ansbro.
    Officials said around 64 percent of firefighters have been vaccinated, along with 75 percent of the New York Police Department.    The mandate could force the FDNY to undergo significant closures, leaving 20 percent of ambulances off the streets.    The mandate could also see serious repercussions on policing.
    The protest is one last push to scrap the mandate, but comes after de Blasio assured he wasn’t having second thoughts earlier on Thursday.    He seemed unconcerned as he expects a surge in vaccinations while city officials brace for major staffing shortages.
    “No, there’s no discussion of changing the deadline,” de Blasio has stated.
    Many protesters in attendance have been vaccinated themselves, but showed up in support of freedom of choice.
    Meanwhile, FDNY officials have said the department is using all resources including mandatory overtime and scheduling changes in order to ensure continuity of operations.

10/29/2021 Former Vice President Mike Pence Delivers Speech On Educational Freedom by OAN Newsroom
Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks about educational freedom at Patrick Henry
College in Purcellville, Va., Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    Former Vice President Mike Pence recently addressed the concerns of parents in Virginia over critical race theory being taught in public schools.    While speaking Thursday at Patrick Henry College in Virginia, he said Loudon County has become the epicenter of a powerful school movement that has polarized the education system.
    “A movement of concerned parents and patriotic citizens demanding an end to curriculums that divide our nations,” Pence stated.    “And accountability for educational bureaucrats who put political correctness ahead of the interest our kids.”
    Pence’s speech came just one week after an alleged sexual assault at Stone Bridge High School emerged following an apparent cover-up to mask apparent shortcomings of Louden County’s transgender bathroom policies.
    The former vice president proceeded to condemn Attorney General Merrick Garland’s memo regarding school board meetings. Earlier this month, Garland announced the FBI will be investigating potential threats from parents against teachers and school boards over issues like critical race theory curriculum.
    Additionally, Pence stressed schools have shifted their focus from what is actually important to educate children.    However, he threw his support behind parents and students who demanded the school board take accountability.    Pence also commended parents for their dedication to being involved in their children’s educational lives.

10/29/2021 N.Y. Gov. Hochul Signs 3 New Gun Bills Into Law by OAN Newsroom
File – New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is pictured. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
    New York’s governor took aim at the Second Amendment while signing three new laws targeting so-called ghost guns. Democrat Kathy Hochul made the announcement during a press conference Thursday.
    This package of bills specifically focuses on untraceable, usually kit-assembled weapons.    The measures ban the sale of such firearms as well as outlawing the ownership of unfinished gun frames by anyone outside the gun trade.
    Hochul touted the city’s strict stance on guns, but seemingly proved the point of many Second Amendment advocates when it comes to gun-related crime. She noted that criminals are going to continue seeking weapons regardless of what laws are in place.
    “We have to deal with the criminals who, despite our best efforts, are trying to cause harm to other individuals and we are going to continue seeing criminals going to extreme lengths to possess illegal guns,” said the governor.    “As much as we want to outlaw them, we still see what’s going on here.”
    Many gun enthusiasts buy these kits online to put together as a hobby.    In 2020, 150 so-called ghost guns were recovered by the police among the thousands of serialized guns confiscated during arrests.

10/29/2021 DOJ Reaches $88M Settlement In 2015 Charleston Church Shooting by OAN Newsroom
Bakari Sellers, the attorney for the families of victims killed in the 2015 Mother Emanuel AME Church massacre, speaks
with reporters outside the Justice Department, in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021. Families of nine victims
killed in a racist attack at the Black South Carolina church have reached a settlement with the Justice Department
over a faulty background check that allowed Dylann Roof to purchase the gun he used in the 2015 massacre. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
    The Department of Justice announced a multi-million dollar settlement in the 2015 deadly Charleston church shooting. It revealed the settlements Wednesday, which range from $6 million to $7.5 million for families of those killed and $5 million settlements for family members of survivors.
    This came after 14 defendants launched a lawsuit alleging the FBI was negligent when its background check system failed to discover the shooter, Dylan Roof, was prohibited from possessing a firearm.    The gunman opened fire on a 200-year-old historically black congregation during bible study, in turn, killing nine people.
    “This is what the law is about,” stated attorney Bakari Sellers.    “We cannot bring back those nine victims, we cannot erase the scars that those survivors have, but what we do here today as lawyers and these families is we say we stand on justice.”
    The shooter became the very first person in the country to be sentenced to death for a federal hate crime.

10/29/2021 Rebuilding Trust With Biden, Macron Says ‘We Must Look To The Future’
U.S. President Joe Biden meets with French President Emmanuel Macron ahead
of the G20 summit in Rome, Italy October 29, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
    ROME (Reuters) – President Emmanuel Macron said his meeting with President Joe Biden on Friday would allow France and the United States rebuilt to rebuild trust following a rift over an Indo-Pacific security pact, and that it was key to look to the future.
    The two leaders shared a warm handshake for the cameras after Biden kept Macron waiting for more than one and a half hours, before sitting down to talks over climate, counter-terrorism in West Africa and European>     “What really matters now is what we do together in the coming weeks, in the coming months,” Macron said in opening remarks at France’s embassy to the Vatican.
    “It’s an important meeting because after the AUKUS affair, we have embarked on a veritable joint project,” Macron said, referring to the acronym for the security pact Washington signed with Britain and Australia.
    Macron and his government were left infuriated by the deal which resulted in Canberra scrapping a mega-defence deal for French submarines.
    At the time, Macron’s government said it had been ‘stabbed in the back’ by its close allies, upset by the manner in which the affair undermined France and Europe’s role on the global stage.
    Macron said there had since been “indispensable clarification as to what constitutes European sovereignty and European defence and what they can bring to global security.”
(Reporting by Michel Rose in Rome; Editing by GV De Clercq and Jonathan Oatis)

10/29/2021 ‘Trust Is Like Love,’ It Must Be Earned, Macron Says After Biden Meet by Jeff Mason and Michel Rose
U.S. President Joe Biden meets with French President Emmanuel Macron ahead
of the G20 summit in Rome, Italy October 29, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
    ROME (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden said his government’s handling of a security agreement with Australia and Britain had been “clumsy” and sought to turn the page during his first meeting with French President     Emmanuel Macron since a diplomatic crisis last month between Washington and its oldest ally.
    The two leaders shared warm words, and friendly body language, but Macron said later that France’s trust needed to be regained by deeds, not words.
    The relationship came under strain over the U.S.-Australia security alliance, known as AUKUS, which also includes the United Kingdom.    It included a submarine sale agreement with Australia that effectively canceled a 2016 Australian-French submarine deal.
    The U.S. decision to secretly negotiate drew outrage from Paris.    France temporarily recalled its ambassador from Washington, canceled a gala in the U.S. capital and officials accused Biden of acting like former President Donald Trump.
    “I think what happened was, to use an English phrase, what we did was clumsy.    It was not done with a lot of grace,” Biden said.    “I was under the impression certain things had happened that hadn’t happened.    And – but I want to make it clear: France is an extremely, extremely valued partner – extremely – and a power in and of itself.”
    Biden also noted the United States does not have an older and more loyal ally than France and said there is no place where the two nations cannot cooperate.
    “I was under the impression that France had been informed long before that the deal was not going through.    I, honest to God, did not know you had not been,” Biden told Macron.
    Macron said his meeting with Biden was “important” and that it was essential to “look to the future” as his country and the United States work to mend fences.
    Biden and Macron showed warm body language, with clasped hands and arms on each others’ backs when they greeted one another.    They shook hands a few times while journalists watched the beginning of their meeting.
    “What really matters now is what we will do together in the coming weeks, the coming months, the coming years,” Macron said.
    Macron told reporters afterward that the meeting with Biden had been helpful, with a “strong” U.S. commitment about European defense, but what happened next was important.
    “Trust is like love: Declarations are good, but proof is better,” Macron said.
    A senior U.S. administration official said after the meeting that the two sides were “moving forward” in their relationship and, after difficult conversations in September and October, talks were now more engaging.
    Biden and Macron had a discussion about the rise of China and the questions that poses for democracies and market economies, the official said. They also discussed Iran, supply chains, steel and aluminum tariffs and trade.
    The two nations issued a lengthy joint statement after the meeting painting themselves as global democratic partners in the fight against a range of challenges, including the coronavirus pandemic, the climate crisis and ensuring the “indivisible security” of the NATO alliance.
    Washington has taken several steps to fix the relationship with Paris since the rift last month.
    Biden and Macron spoke to each other last week. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also visited Paris, where he acknowledged the United States could have “communicated better.”    Vice President Kamala Harris also announced that she would travel to Paris in November and meet with Macron.
    Biden and Macron met at the Villa Bonaparte, the French embassy to the Vatican, which a French diplomat said was a significant mark of goodwill from Biden.
    “It’s an important gesture,” the French diplomat said, adding that the United States recognized that it had underestimated the impact of its actions.
    France now wants to see if Biden follows his words with actions.    “Trust is being rebuilt.    This is one step.    Tokens of goodwill were given, we’ll see whether they follow through over the long term,” the diplomat said.
    Biden and Macron are in Rome for the Group of 20 summit of world leaders, which opens on Saturday.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Michel Rose in Rome, Writing by Nandita Bose and Patricia Zengerle in Washington, Editing by Franklin Paul, Heather Timmons, David Gregorio, Marguerita Choy and Daniel Wallis)

10/29/2021 UK Threatens To Open Trade Dispute Proceedings In Row With France by Costas Pitas and Sarah Meysonnier
A British trawler Cornelis Gert Jan is seen moored in the port of Le Havre, after France seized on Thursday a British trawler fishing
in its territorial waters without a licence, in Le Havre, France, October 29, 2021. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier
    LONDON/LE HAVRE, France (Reuters) -Britain threatened on Friday to open trade dispute proceedings against France if Paris imposes sanctions on London in a rapidly deteriorating standoff over post-Brexit fishing rights.
    The warning, after France seized a British fishing boat this week, raised the stakes in a row that is part of a wider dispute over trading arrangements between Britain and the European Union, and could badly disrupt cross-Channel trade if it is not resolved.
    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will meet French President Emmanuel Macron briefly in Rome this weekend, offering a chance to ease tensions.    An EU official said talks between the two and the European Commission would continue over the weekend.
    But Brexit minister David Frost warned Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic on Friday that France will be in breach of a post-Brexit free trade deal if Paris carries out its threat to impose sanctions on Britain from Tuesday.
    “Lord Frost made clear that, if these actions were implemented as planned on 2 November, they would put the European Union in breach of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA),” a British government spokesperson said.
    “The Government is accordingly considering the possibility, in those circumstances, of launching dispute settlement proceedings under the TCA, and of other practical responses.”
    Such proceedings would be likely to involve convening an arbitration panel to decide on the dispute, and could result in a demand for compensation or suspension of obligations under the free trade deal.
    France says Britain has refused to grant its fishermen the full number of licences to operate in British waters that France says is warranted.    Britain says it is issuing licences to vessels that can prove they have previously fished in UK waters.
    Losing patience, Paris has said it will ban British fishing boats from unloading in French ports, carry out additional licence checks on British vessels, tighten controls of trucks and reinforce customs and hygiene controls if talks fail.
    It has also hinted at the possibility of later raising energy tariffs to Britain.
    Tensions rose sharply when a British scallop dredger, the Cornelis Gert Jan, was escorted to the northern French port of Le Havre overnight on Wednesday after French officials said its crew failed to prove it was allowed to fish in French waters.
    British officials said it had the correct documentation.
    Angered by the incident, and by the threat of sanctions, British Environment Secretary George Eustice said on Friday: “Two can play at that game.”
    He suggested to BBC television that Britain could “increase the enforcement that we do on French vessels, to board more of them if that’s what they’re doing to our vessels.”