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.
    These links will take you back to King Of The West 2022 April or continue to King Of The West 2022 June


5/1/2022 Canadian protesters, police clash by ASSOCIATED PRESS
    OTTAWA, Ontario – Police wearing helmets and shields made several arrests Friday night in Canada’s capital after facing off against protesters opposed to COVID-19 mandates.
    Big-rig trucks attempted to make their way to Parliament Hill as part of the “Rolling Thunder” rally, organized by Freedom Fighters Canada, a group dedicated to speaking out against COVID- 19 mandates.
    Many of the protesters were also part of the three-week Freedom Convoy demonstration that gridlocked Ottawa’s downtown earlier this year with big rigs, prompting Canada’s federal government to invoke the Emergencies Act for the first time.
    Ottawa police promised earlier Friday that protesters would not be allowed to get a foothold for a prolonged occupation.
    More than 800 reinforcements were called in from the Royal Canadians Mounted Police, Ontario Provincial Police and regional police services to guard every major downtown intersection and prevent protesters from bringing vehicles into the core.
    The rally started calmly, with shouts of “Freedom!” as protesters mingled and danced on Wellington Street, the main drive-in front of Parliament Hill.    But early in the evening, police warned of a large convoy trying to make its way into the city.    Soon, hundreds of protesters were crowded around large trucks and campers just outside the parliamentary precinct.
    The “Rolling Thunder” group has not been clear about the cause for which they’re rallying, except to say they will be in Ottawa to “peacefully celebrate our freedom.”

5/1/2022 Feds block Georgia’s plan to have private sector handle ACA by ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION
    ATLANTA – President Joe Biden’s administration on Friday halted Gov. Brian Kemp’s plan to have the private sector, not the government, engage in outreach to get state residents to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
    Kemp, a Republican, had planned to bypass and have residents shop for federally subsidized health insurance through private agents.    Former President Donald Trump’s administration approved that plan in 2020, and state officials had touted it as a way to boost insurance coverage.
    But federal regulators said Kemp’s planned changes in the marketplace could breach federal rules around insurance waivers and cause too many people to be dropped from coverage, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
    The letter from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services gives Georgia until July 28 to formulate a “corrective action plan … ensuring that the waiver will provide coverage to a comparable number of residents, that the coverage will be at least as comprehensive and affordable as coverage provided without the waiver, and that the waiver will not increase the federal deficit.”
    A spokesperson for Kemp told the newspaper his office is reviewing the decision.
    Friday’s decision by the Biden administration will have no immediate effect on people who have bought insurance through the open marketplace exchange.    The governor’s office said private websites would provide better service and offer more options to increase insurance coverage in the state.
    But critics worry the move will make it harder to shop for insurance and drive healthy people to cheaper plans that provide limited coverage, increasing insurance premiums for older and sicker people who need comprehensive benefits required by the ACA.    That’s because Georgia’s move to private websites would make it easier for consumers to simultaneously see plans that don’t provide every benefit required by the ACA.
    An opponent of the Kemp plan, Georgians for a Healthy Future director Laura Colbert, said the suspension was warranted.    “Any plan that would meaningfully disrupt health insurance for 700,000 folks should be carefully considered,” Colbert said in an emailed statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
    “Georgia leaders have refused to answer questions about their plan to separate from, and disregarded evidence that their plan will mean some hard-working Georgians lose their coverage.”
    The plan to block ACA shopping on was one of two Kemp proposals that could be decided in the courts.    The other is Kemp’s plan to expand Medicaid to the poor but only if they meet a work requirement.    The Biden administration has already blocked that proposal, a move that Georgia has sued over.

5/1/2022 No Oil or DOW info.

5/2/2022 Evidence of election meddling mounts - Texts show some Republicans were deeply involved in Trump’s crusade by Farnoush Amiri, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – Rioters who smashed their way into the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, succeeded – at least temporarily – in delaying the certification of Joe Biden’s election to the White House.    Hours before, Rep. Jim Jordan had been trying to achieve the same thing.    Texting with then White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, a close ally and friend, at nearly midnight on Jan. 5, the Ohio Republican offered a legal rationale for what President Donald Trump was publicly demanding – that Vice President Mike Pence, in his ceremonial role presiding over the electoral count, somehow assert the authority to reject electors from Biden-won states.
    Pence “should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all,” Jordan wrote.
    “I have pushed for this,” Meadows replied.    “Not sure it is going to happen.”
    The text exchange, in an April 22 court filing from the congressional panel investigating the Jan. 6 riot, is in a batch of startling evidence that shows the deep involvement of some House Republicans in Trump’s desperate attempt to stay in power.    A review of the evidence finds new details about how, long before the attack on the Capitol unfolded, several GOP lawmakers were participating directly in Trump’s campaign to reverse the results of a free and fair election.
    It’s a connection that members of the House Jan. 6 committee are making explicit as they prepare to launch public hearings in June.    The Republicans plotting with Trump and the rioters who attacked the Capitol were aligned in their goals, if not the mob’s violent tactics, creating a convergence that nearly upended the nation’s peaceful transfer of power.
    “It appears that a significant number of House members and a few senators had more than just a passing role in what went on,” Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Democratic chairman of the Jan. 6 committee, told The Associated Press last week.
    Since launching its investigation last summer, the Jan. 6 panel has been slowly gaining new details about what lawmakers said and did in the weeks before the insurrection.    Members have asked three GOP lawmakers – Jordan, Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California – to testify voluntarily.    All have refused.    Other lawmakers could be called in the coming days.
    So far, the Jan. 6 committee has refrained from issuing subpoenas to lawmakers, fearing the repercussions of such an extraordinary step.    But the lack of cooperation from lawmakers hasn’t prevented the panel from obtaining new information about their actions.
    The latest court document, submitted in response to a lawsuit from Meadows, contained excerpts from just a handful of the more than 930 interviews the Jan. 6 panel has conducted.    It includes information on several high-level meetings nearly a dozen House Republicans attended where Trump’s allies flirted with ways to give him another term.
    Among the ideas: naming fake slates of electors in seven swing states, declaring martial law and seizing voting machines.
    The efforts started in the weeks after The Associated Press declared Biden president-elect.
    In early December 2020, several lawmakers attended a meeting in the White House counsel’s office where attorneys for the president advised them that a plan to put up an alternate slate of electors declaring Trump the winner was not “legally sound.”    One lawmaker, Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, pushed back on that position.    So did GOP Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Louie Gohmert of Texas, according to testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson, a former special assistant in the Trump White House.
    Despite the warning from the counsel’s office, Trump’s allies moved forward.    On Dec. 14, 2020, as rightly chosen Democratic electors in seven states – Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – met at their seat of state government to cast their votes, the fake electors gathered as well.
    They declared themselves the rightful electors and submitted false Electoral College certificates declaring Trump the true winner of the presidential election in their states.
    Those certificates from the “alternate electors” were then sent to Congress, where they were ignored.
    The majority of the lawmakers have since denied their involvement in these efforts.
    Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia testified in a hearing in April that she does not recall conversations she had with the White House or the texts she sent to Meadows about Trump invoking martial law.
    Gohmert told AP he also does not recall being involved and that he is not sure he could be helpful to the committee’s investigation.    Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia played down his actions, saying it is routine for members of the president’s party to be going in and out of the White House to speak about a number of topics.    Hice is now running for secretary of state in Georgia, a position responsible for the state’s elections.
    Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona didn’t deny his public efforts to challenge the election results but called recent reports about his deep involvement untrue.
    In a statement Saturday, Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona reiterated his “serious” concerns about the 2020 election.    “Discussions about the Electoral Count Act were appropriate, necessary and warranted,” he added.
    Requests for comment from the other lawmakers were not immediately returned.
    Less than a week later after the early December meeting at the White House, another plan emerged.    In a meeting with House Freedom Caucus members and Trump White House officials, the discussion turned to the decisive action they believed that Pence could take on Jan. 6.
    Those in attendance virtually and in person, according to committee testimony, were Hice, Biggs, Gosar, Reps. Perry, Gaetz, Jordan, Gohmert, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Debbie Lesko of Arizona, and Greene, then a congresswoman-elect.
    “What was the conversation like?” the committee asked Hutchinson, who was a frequent presence in the meetings that took place in December 2020 and January 2021.
    “They felt that he had the authority to, pardon me if my phrasing isn’t correct on this, but – send votes back to the States or the electors back to the states,” Hutchinson said, referring to Pence.
    When asked if any of the lawmakers disagreed with the idea that the vice president had such authority, Hutchinson said there was no objection from any of the Republican lawmakers.
    In another meeting about Pence’s potential role, Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and Jenna Ellis were joined again by Perry and Jordan as well as Greene and Lauren Boebert, a Republican who had also just been elected to the House from Colorado.
    Communication between lawmakers and the White House didn’t let up as Jan. 6 drew closer.    The day after Christmas, Perry texted Meadows with a countdown.
    “11 days to 1/6 and 25 days to inauguration,” the text read.    “We gotta get going!”    Perry urged Meadows to call Jeffrey Clark, an assistant attorney general who championed Trump’s efforts to challenge the election results. Perry has acknowledged introducing Clark to Trump.
    Clark clashed with Justice Department superiors over his plan to send a letter to Georgia and other battleground states questioning the election results and urging their state legislatures to investigate.    It all culminated in a dramatic White House meeting at which Trump considered elevating Clark to attorney general, only to back down after top Justice Department officials made clear they would resign.     Pressure from lawmakers and the White House on the Justice Department is among several areas of inquiry in the Jan. 6 investigation.    Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democratic member of the panel from Maryland, has hinted there are more revelations to come.
    “As the mob smashed our windows, bloodied our police and stormed the Capitol, Trump and his accomplices plotted to destroy Biden’s majority in the electoral college and overthrow our constitutional order,” Raskin tweeted last week.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, texted with then-White House chief of staff
Mark Meadows at nearly midnight on Jan. 5, 2021. JOHN RAOUX/AP FILE

5/2/2022 Secy. Blinken, Ukraine Foreign Minister Discuss Additional US Aid For Kyiv by OAN Newsroom
Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing
on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday April 28, 2022, to review the U.S. Department of State’s foreign
policy priorities and fiscal year 2023 budget request. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
    Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently underlined US support for Ukraine.    During a phone call with his Ukraine counterpart over the weekend, Blinken reiterated the nation’s commitment to help the war-torn country.
    The State Department confirmed the two spoke about the administration’s request for an additional $33 billion in aid to Ukraine.    President Joe Biden called on Congress last week to approve his request, which would provide security, economic and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
    “We need this bill for Ukraine in this fight for freedom,” he stated.    ”Our NATO allies, our EU partners are going to pay their fair share of the costs as well, but we have to do this.    We have to do our part as well.”
    President Biden’s request is expected to receive bipartisan support and negotiations are underway in the Senate as the House is on recess until next week.

5/2/2022 Donald J. Trump Is Playing Kingmaker For GOP by OAN Newsroom
    The 45th president’s test of playing kingmaker is on full display in the upcoming midterm elections.    One America’s Cynthia Kaui has more on Donald Trump influence.

5/2/2022 Former Speaker Newt Gingrich: Republicans Could Win Up To 70 House Seats by OAN Newsroom
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA) speaks during the Orange County Liberty Counsel Forum at
Aloma Baptist Church January 28, 2012 in Winter Park, Florida. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    The faster November approaches, the more bullish Republicans and more concerned Democrats become about what the results could look like.    Polls show Republicans ahead in the generic ballot with an average lead of more than four points over the Democrats.
    On Sunday, anti-Trump Republican Will Hurd went onto CNN to explain why he feels his party is in good straits going into November.    He said that having been the sole Republican elected to a border district in Texas, the ongoing Biden border crisis is a safety issue for residents there.    On part of that, he predicts that record numbers of Hispanic voters will choose Republicans giving the party three seats in that region alone.
    “You’re going to see near record turnout, if not record turnout, of Latino’s for Republicans,” Hurd stated.    “Primarily because of the issue of border security and if you live on the border, border security is a public safety issue.    And this is going to fuel some of the fact that you’re likely to have three of the five representatives that represent the Texas-Mexico border being Republicans.”
    Even Democrats are beginning to express concern over the increasing chances they face impending doom in November.    Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren believes her party is headed for disaster at the ballot box because they haven’t done everything they promised to do.    She said that President Joe Biden, for example, can and should unilaterally transfer student debt away from debtors to general taxpayers while claiming it’s a popular move.
    Warren noted that while the party has some legislative accomplishments under its belt, the party is going to lose bad if they don’t push harder for government to work better for working families.    She suggested they are “going to be in real trouble” if they don’t “get up and deliver.”
    With people across the political spectrum agreeing that Republicans will probably win the House, the margin of victory is open for speculation.    Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich believes the red wave will turn out to be more of a red tsunami.
    Gingrich believes that Republicans could win a historic 70 seats from Democrats, giving the party an advantage of more than 120 seats over Democrats.    This would be the first time either party would have a triple-digit majority since Democrats won the 1990 midterms.
    “I think we’ll pick up between 25 and 70 seats in the House, we’ll probably pick up about four seats at least in the Senate,” Gingrich noted.    “I think that people like Herschel Walker are going to do very very well.    In addition, I would say that if you’re in a district that Biden carried by less than 15 or 20 points, you’re in great danger as a Democrat.”
    If polls continue to hold where they are, as they have been for months, Democrats could be facing a historic defeat for a midterm election year.    Primary elections begin in earnest on Tuesday and the whole nation goes to vote for their next representatives in November.

5/2/2022 Rep. Kinzinger: Pence Should Testify To Jan. 6 Committee by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) talks to reporters follow a House Republican conference meeting in the
U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on May 12, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) is excited for public testimony scheduled as part of the January 6 Committee.    While speaking to Face the Nation on Sunday, the Illinois lawmaker said that sitting members of Congress will be asked to voluntarily hand over information and if they do not, a subpoena could be issued to try and force them to testify.
    Kinzinger also said that hearings scheduled in the next few weeks will be as much about setting a narrative as getting more information to the American people.    The representative said that he wouldn’t mind former Vice President Mike Pence testifying.    He asserted that Pence did the right thing that day and believes the Indiana native wants to tell his side of the story.
    “I would hope and think that the vice president would want to come in and tell his story because he did do the right thing on that day,” Kinzinger stated.    “If he doesn’t, then we’ll look at the options we have available to us if there’s information we don’t already have.”
    Kingzinger took the opportunity to slam Americans who question the integrity of the 2020 election, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).    He claimed they won’t be looked at positively in history.

5/2/2022 J.D. Vance: Biden ‘Propaganda Ministry’ Aims To Control Speech Code In Favor Of Leftists by OAN Newsroom
FILE – Republican Senate candidate JD Vance greets supporters at the Save America Rally
at the Delaware County Fairgrounds, April 23, 2022, in Delaware, Ohio. (AP Photo/Joe Maiorana)
    According to Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance, the Biden administration is trying to control speech in America.    During a recent interview, Vance criticized the Department of Homeland Security’s creation of the Disinformation Governance Board while pointing out its creation coincides with Elon Musk’s buyout of Twitter.    The Tesla CEO has vowed to restore free speech to the platform.
    Vance also took aim at the board’s chief, Nina Jankowicz, claiming she’s a typical “yes-man” bureaucrat that has not earned her title as disinformation expert.    He went on to say, the board’s main mission is to make sure the left controls what is considered disinformation.
    This comes even if the so-called disinformation will be adopted by mainstream media outlets months after vilifying the information.    Vance asserted the GOP is going have to stand up to the board and challenge its policies, which he said will likely bend to the left.
    Meanwhile, making his rounds on corporate news outlets, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas downplayed the reach of the board.    Mayorkas stressed the group doesn’t have any operational authority and will only be employed to advise policymakers in the DHS.    He also claimed the DHS will not monitor the general public through the board, but to monitor foreign adversaries that are looking to take advantage of America’s weaknesses.
    Vance’s comments came as GOP lawmakers have overwhelmingly spoken out against the board with many comparing it to 1984’s Ministry of Truth.    He said the public sphere should be a place where people from all over the political spectrum can debate and allow centrists to decide which positions make the most sense.
    Vance will face-off against several GOP Senate candidates in the upcoming primary elections that are expected to take place Tuesday May 3.

5/2/2022 Oil up $0.88 to $105.17, DOW up 46 to 33,023.

5/3/2022 Jan. 6 panel seeks insight from 3 more Republicans - Brooks, Biggs, Jackson have supported Trump by Farnoush Amiri and Mary Clare Jalonick, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – Three more House Republicans received requests Monday to voluntarily appear before the congressional committee investigating the U.S. Capitol insurrection and answer questions about their involvement in the effort to overturn Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss.
    The committee sent letters to GOP Reps. Mo Brooks of Alabama, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Ronny Jackson of Texas – three members of the ultraright House Freedom Caucus that have in recent years aligned themselves with Trump.
    The nine-member panel is asking for the members of Congress to testify about their involvement in meetings at the White House, direct conversations with then-President Trump as he sought to challenge his loss in the 2020 presidential election, and the planning and coordination of rallies on and before Jan. 6, 2021.
    “The Select Committee has learned that several of our colleagues have information relevant to our investigation into the facts, circumstances, and causes of January 6th,” committee chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and vice-chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said in a statement.    “We urge our colleagues to join the hundreds of individuals who have shared information with the Select Committee to get to the bottom of what happened on January 6th.”
    Since launching its investigation last summer, the Jan. 6 panel has been slowly gaining new details about what lawmakers said and did in the weeks before the insurrection.    The decision to ask for Brooks’ cooperation comes weeks after the Alabama Republican accused Trump of dropping an endorsement for him for a Senate seat after he rebuffed the former president’s entreaties to help overturn the 2020 election.
    Brooks spoke at the rally the day before Trump supporters stormed the Capitol.
    The committee’s interest in Biggs is on the heels of an April 22 court filing in which lawmakers accused him of being an active participant in White House meetings after the 2020 election, where he and other Republicans brainstormed ways to keep Trump in power.    Biggs is also accused of encouraging protesters to come to Washington on Jan. 6 as well as persuading state legislators and officials that the election was stolen.
    The panel also wants to question Jackson about his efforts, along with other GOP lawmakers, to barricade the doors of the House as rioters tried to breakthrough.
    Additionally, Jackson, a former White House physician to two presidents, was mentioned in texts, retrieved by the committee, between members of the Oath Keepers as the violent mob descended on the Capitol building.
    A request for comment from Jackson and Brooks was not immediately returned.
Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, was mentioned in texts that were retrieved
by the Jan. 6 committee between members of the Oath Keepers. CAROLYN KASTER/AP

Biggs                Brooks

5/3/2022 Justices: Boston violated speech by Mark Sherman, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – A unanimous Supreme Court ruled Monday that Boston violated the free speech rights of a conservative activist when it refused his request to fly a Christian flag on a flagpole outside City Hall.
    Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for the court that the city discriminated against the activist, Harold Shurtleff, because of his “religious viewpoint,” even though it had routinely approved applications for the use of one of the three flagpoles outside City Hall that fly the U.S., Massachusetts and Boston flags.
    Occasionally, the city takes down its own pennant and temporarily hoists another flag.
    Shurtleff and his Camp Constitution wanted to fly a white banner with a red cross on a blue background in the upper left corner, called the Christian flag, to mark Constitution Day, Sept. 17, in 2017.
    The city had approved 284 applications to fly flags, usually those of other nations, before it rejected Shurtleff’s because it was a Christian flag.    The city said he could fly a different banner, but Shurtleff refused, and lower courts upheld the city’s decision.
    But the high court said the lower courts and the city were wrong. The case hinged on whether the flag-flying is an act of the government, in which case Boston can do whatever it wants, or private parties like Shurtleff, Breyer wrote.

5/3/2022 Federal Reserve ready for sharp rate increases - Half-point hike expected in push to curb inflation by Christopher Rugaber, ASSOCIATED PRESS
The Federal Reserve is under pressure to act aggressively to curb the price
spikes bedeviling households and companies. WILLIAM GLASHEEN/THE POST-CRESCENT
    WASHINGTON – The Federal Reserve is poised this week to accelerate its most drastic steps in three decades to attack inflation by making it costlier to borrow – for a car, a home, a business deal, a credit card purchase – all of which will compound Americans’ financial strains and likely weaken the economy.
    Yet with inflation having surged to a 40-year high, the Fed has come under extraordinary pressure to act aggressively to slow spending and curb the price spikes that are bedeviling households and companies.
    After its latest rate-setting meeting ends Wednesday, the Fed will almost certainly announce that it’s raising its benchmark short-term interest rate by a half percentage point – the sharpest rate hike since 2000.    The Fed will likely carry out another half-point rate hike at its next meeting in June and possibly at the next one after that, in July.
    Economists foresee still further rate hikes in the months to follow.
    What’s more, the Fed is also expected to announce Wednesday that it will begin quickly shrinking its vast stockpile of Treasury and mortgage bonds beginning in June – a move that will have the effect of further tightening credit.
    Chair Jerome Powell and the Fed will take these steps largely in the dark.    No one knows just how high the central bank’s short-term rate must go to slow the economy and restrain inflation.    Nor do the officials know how much they can reduce the Fed’s unprecedented $9 trillion balance sheet before they risk destabilizing financial markets.
    “I liken it to driving in reverse while using the rearview mirror,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at the consulting firm Grant Thornton.    “They just don’t know what obstacles they’re going to hit.”
    Yet many economists think the Fed is already acting too late.    Even as inflation has soared, the Fed’s benchmark rate is in a range of just 0.25% to 0.5%, a level low enough to stimulate growth.    Adjusted for inflation, the Fed’s key rate is deep in negative territory.
    That’s why Powell and other Fed officials have said in recent weeks that they want to raise rates “expeditiously,” to a level that neither boosts nor restrains the economy – what economists refer to as the “neutral” rate.
    Policymakers consider a neutral rate to be roughly 2.4%.    But no one is certain what the neutral rate is at any particular time.
    If, as most economists expect, the Fed this year carries out three halfpoint rate hikes and then follows with three quarter-point hikes, its rate would reach roughly neutral by year’s end.    Those increases would amount to the fastest pace of rate hikes since 1989, noted Roberto Perli, an economist at Piper Sandler.
    Even dovish Fed officials, such as Charles Evans, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, have endorsed that path. (Fed “doves” typically prefer keeping rates low to support hiring, while “hawks” often support higher rates to curb inflation.)
    Powell said last week that once the Fed reaches its neutral rate, it may then tighten credit even further – to a level that would restrain growth – “if that turns out to be appropriate.”    Financial markets are pricing in a rate as high as 3.6% by mid-2023, which would be the highest in 15 years.

5/3/2022 Appeal: Trump fine unjustified - Requests that contempt order be suspended by Larry Neumeister, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    NEW YORK – In a court appeal, a lawyer for Donald Trump said Monday it is “unconscionable and indefensible” for the ex-president to be held in contempt and fined $10,000 a day for failing to turn over documents he doesn’t possess.
    Attorney Alina Habba made the argument in a submission to a New York state appeals court requesting that the contempt order and fine be suspended until the challenge can be heard by appeals judges.
    The arguments were submitted a week after State Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron in Manhattan said Trump and his lawyers had failed to show they conducted a proper search for records sought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, in a civil probe of his business dealings.
    James had asked the court to hold Trump in contempt after he failed to produce any documents to satisfy a March 31 deadline to meet the terms of the subpoena.    She has said her investigation has found evidence that Trump may have misstated the value of assets like skyscrapers and golf courses on financial statements for over a decade.
    Trump, a Republican, has been fighting James in court over her investigation, which he has called a politically motivated “witch hunt.”
    Habba told Engoron a week ago that she met with Trump to ensure he had no records and there were none to be found.    On Friday, she submitted additional documents explaining the document search, including an affidavit in which Trump claimed he has no documents.    Engoron criticized the affidavit as lacking in detail.
    In Monday’s written arguments submitted to the appellate division of the state’s trial court, Habba wrote that the daily fine “is not only unwarranted, it is also patently improper and impermissible by law.”
    She said Trump and his representatives had performed a “diligent, thorough and comprehensive search” for everything sought in the subpoena and provided complete and accurate responses to the attorney general.    She said the additional submissions last week amounted to “extraordinary efforts to comply.”
    “Given these circumstances, it is unconscionable and indefensible for Appellant to be held in contempt in any manner, must less at the inordinate expense of $10,000 per day,” she said.
    The written submission Monday came after Habba notified the appeals court last week that she was appealing.    Trump is also appealing Engoron’s Feb. 17 ruling requiring him to answer questions under oath.    Oral arguments in that appeal are scheduled for May 11.
    A message seeking comment from the attorney general’s office was not immediately returned.
Former President Donald Trump, chairman and CEO of the Trump Organization, poses with his children, from left,
Eric, Donald Jr. and Ivanka, at the opening of the Trump SoHo New York on April 9, 2010. MARK LENNIHAN/AP FILE

5/3/2022 Push to arm Ukraine putting strain on US weapons stockpile - White House: Military readiness not impacted by Ben Fox, Aamer Madhani, Jay Reeves and Dan Huff, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Volunteers undergo weapons training at a Territorial Defense Force facility outside
Lviv, Ukraine. Providing medical, as well as tactical and weapons training, the group has trained hundreds
of volunteers from western Ukraine to defend their country. LEON NEAL/GETTY IMAGES
    WASHINGTON – The planes take off almost daily from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware – hulking C-17s loaded up with Javelins, Stingers, howitzers and other material being hustled to Eastern Europe to resupply Ukraine’s military in its fight against Russia.
    The game-changing impact of those arms is what President Joe Biden said he hopes to spotlight as he visits a Lockheed Martin plant in Alabama on Tuesday that builds the portable Javelin anti-tank weapons that have played a crucial role in Ukraine.
    But Biden’s visit is also drawing attention to a growing concern as the war progresses: Can the U.S. sustain the cadence of shipping vast amounts of arms to Ukraine while maintaining the healthy stockpile it might need if a new conflict erupts with North Korea, Iran or elsewhere?
    The U.S. has provided about 7,000 Javelins, including some that were delivered during the Trump administration, about one-third of its stockpile, to Ukraine, according to an analysis by Mark Cancian, a senior adviser with the Center for Strategic and International Studies international security program.    The Biden administration said it has given about 5,500 to Ukraine since the Russian invasion more than two months ago.
    Analysts also estimated the United States has sent about one-quarter of its stockpile of shoulder-fired Stinger missiles to Ukraine.    Raytheon Technologies CEO Greg Hayes told investors last week during a quarterly call that his company, which makes the weapons system, wouldn’t be able to ramp up production until next year because of parts shortages.
    “Could this be a problem?    The short answer is, ‘Probably, yes,’” said Cancian, a retired Marine colonel and former government specialist on Pentagon budget strategy, war funding and procurement.
    He said that Stingers and Javelins were where “we’re seeing the most significant inventory issues,” and production of both weapons systems has been limited in recent years.
    The Russian invasion offered the U.S. and European defense industries a big opportunity to bolster profits as lawmakers from Washington to Warsaw are primed to increase defense spending in response to Russian aggression.    Defense contractors, however, face the same supply chain and labor shortage challenges those other manufacturers are facing, along with some others that are specific to the industry.
    Military spending by the U.S. and around the world was rising even before Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion.    Biden’s proposed 2023 budget sought $773 billion for the Pentagon, an annual increase of about 4%.
    Globally, total military spending rose 0.7% to more than $2 trillion for the first time in 2021, according to an April report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.    Russia ranked fifth, as its spending on weapons increased ahead of its invasion of Ukraine.
    The war will mean increased sales for some defense contractors, including Raytheon, which makes the Stinger missiles Ukrainian troops have used to knock out Russian aircraft.    The company is also part of a joint venture with Lockheed Martin that makes the Javelins.
    Biden will visit Lockheed Martin’s facility in Troy, Ala., which has the capacity to manufacture about 2,100 Javelins a year.
    The trip is coming as he presses Congress to quickly approve his request for an additional $33 billion in security and economic assistance for Kyiv.
    Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Monday he hoped quick bipartisan agreement on the security package could be reached so the Senate could begin considering it “as early as next week.”
    The president is expected to use his remarks to highlight the importance of the Javelins and other U.S. weaponry in helping Ukraine’s military put up a vigorous fight as he makes the case to keep security and economic assistance flowing.
    A White House official, who was not authorized to comment publicly and requested anonymity, said the Pentagon is working with defense contractors “to evaluate the health of weapons systems’ production lines and examine bottlenecks in every component and step of the manufacturing process.”    The administration is also considering a range of options, if needed, to boost production of Javelins and Stingers, the official said.
    White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that defense officials have determined the weapons transfers have not impacted military readiness.    Still, the administration has included funding in the Ukraine supplemental bill Biden introduced last week to replenish U.S. inventories of depleted weapon stockpiles.
    Psaki added Biden would also use the visit to the Javelin plant to press Congress to pass an innovation and competition bill to boost the semiconductor industry.
    “Each Javelin missile requires more than 200 semiconductors to make, and boosting domestic chip manufacturing isn’t just critical to making more in America or lowering prices, it’s also a vital component of our national security,” Psaki said.
    Cancian, the former government specialist on defense budget strategy, said the fact that Stingers and Javelins were not included in the most recent tranche of weapons the Biden administration announced it was sending to Ukraine could be a sign that Pentagon officials are mindful about inventory as they conduct contingency planning for other possible conflicts.
    “There’s no question that whatever war plan they’re looking at there is risk associated with the depleting levels of Stingers and Javelins, and I’m sure that they’re having that discussion at the Pentagon,” he said.
    The U.S. military effort to move weaponry to Eastern Europe for Ukraine’s fight has been Herculean.    From Dover Air Base in Delaware, U.S. airmen have carried out nearly 70 missions to deliver about 7 million pounds of Javelins, Stingers, 155mm howitzers, helmets and other essentials to Eastern Europe since February.    Col. Matt Husemann, commander of the 436th Airlift Wing, described the mission as a “whole of government approach that’s delivering hope.”
    “It is awesome,” said Husemann, after providing the AP with a recent tour of the airlift operation.
    The lightweight but lethal Javelin has helped the Ukrainians inflict major damage on Russia’s larger and better equipped military.    As a result, the weapon has gained almost mythic regard, celebrated with a Javelin song and images of Mary Magdalene carrying a Javelin becoming a meme in Ukraine.
    Lockheed Martin CEO James Taiclet said in a recent CNBC interview that demand for the Javelin and other weapon systems would increase broadly over time because of the Russian invasion.    He said the company was working “to get our supply chain ramped up.”
    “We have the ability to meet current production demands, are investing in increased capacity and are exploring ways to further increase production as needed,” Lockheed Martin said in a statement.
    Pentagon officials recently sat down with some of the leading defense contractors, including Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, General Dynamics, BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman to discuss efforts to ramp up production.
    The big defense contractors face some serious challenges.
    Raytheon, for example, can’t simply crank out Stingers to replace the 1,400 the U.S. sent to Ukraine.
    Hayes, the Raytheon CEO, said in a recent conference call with analysts the company has only limited supplies of components to make the missile.    Only one undisclosed country has been buying them in recent years, and the Pentagon hasn’t bought any new ones in nearly 20 years.
    Sanctions further complicate the picture.    Companies must find new sources of important raw materials such as titanium, a crucial component in aerospace manufacturing that is produced in Russia.
    Concerns about the Stinger stockpile have been raised by House Armed Services Committee chairman Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., and the top Republican on the committee, Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama.
    The two in March wrote to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, describing the stockpile issue as one of “urgency.”
    Rogers said he remains concerned the matter hasn’t been properly addressed.
    “I’ve been asking the DoD for almost two months for a plan to replenish our Stinger stockpile as well as our Javelin launch units,” Rogers said.
    “I worry that without a readily available replacement or fully active production lines, we could leave Ukraine and our NATO allies in a vulnerable position.”
    With about 600 employees and contract workers, the nearly 30-year-old Alabama plant Biden will visit is one of the largest employers in Pike County, home to Troy University and the birthplace of the late Rep. John Lewis of Georgia.
    The factory began attracting attention soon after Russia’s invasion because of images shared on social media that showed Javelin missile tubes emblazoned with “TROY, AL” stockpiled for use by Ukrainian forces.
    “We want the last thing Putin ever reads to be ‘Made in Alabama,’” Gov. Kay Ivey’s office said in a message shared on social media.
    “I worry that without a readily available replacement or fully active production lines, we could leave Ukraine and our NATO allies in a vulnerable position.”    Alabama U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee
Airmen push more than 8,000 pounds of 155 mm shells bound for Ukraine on
to a C-17 aircraft for transport at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. ALEX BRANDON/AP

5/3/2022 Leaked Draft Opinion Suggests Supreme Court Voted To Overturn Roe V. Wade by OAN Newsroom
A crowd of people gather outside the Supreme Court, early Tuesday, May 3, 2022 in Washington. A draft opinion circulated
among Supreme Court justices suggests that earlier this year a majority of them had thrown support behind overturning
the 1973 case Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion nationwide, according to a report published Monday night in Politico.
It’s unclear if the draft represents the court’s final word on the matter. The Associated Press could not immediately
confirm the authenticity of the draft Politico posted, which if verified marks a shocking revelation of the high court’s
secretive deliberation process, particularly before a case is formally decided. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    A Supreme Court draft opinion was recently released, suggesting justices voted to reverse Roe v. Wade.    According to an exclusive report on Monday, Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion, “We hold that Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey must be overruled.”
    The court is expected to decide the future of the landmark abortion ruling this summer.    In the meantime, the court’s holding will not be final until it is published likely in the next two months.
    Protesters gathered in front of the Supreme Court building in reaction to the possible repeal of Roe v. Wade.    On Monday, a draft majority opinion on the Mississippi abortion bill case was released in the media.    The 98-page opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito stated Roe and Casey v. Planned Parenthood must be overruled.
    Soon after the opinion was leaked, barricades were set up in front of the Supreme Court as an accumulation of protestors was soon to follow.    Many demonstrators were passionate about retaining Roe as they see abortion as a right.    However, some attendees came from the pro-life movement and voiced their support for the end of the federal abortion ruling.
    Roe v. Wade was originally passed in a seven-to-two ruling in 1973 and federally legalized abortions in the United States.    If it were to be overturned, each state would have jurisdiction over its own abortion laws.
    Some states, such as Mississippi, have trigger laws, which would immediately outlaw abortions should Roe be repealed.    California, on the other hand, would expand abortion access and provide legal protection for those seeking the procedure from out-of-state.
    The opinion draft’s release is a rarity in Supreme Court history.    Jessica Gresko of the Associated Press said very few individuals have access to such documents and swear not to disclose them to the public.
    “The clerks who work with the justices sign an oath that promises that they won’t divulge secrets of the process,” she explained.    “And there is a very, very small group of people that would be in a position to see a draft opinion and leak it.”
    Gresko also said the opinion is not set in stone and may not represent the final ruling on the case.
    Spokesperson Patricia McCabe said the nation’s highest court has no statement on the matter at this time.
    President Biden released an official statement on the leaked draft of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Roe v. Wade.    Biden said we do not know if the draft is genuine or reflects the final decision of the court.    The President said his administration strongly argued in defense of the decades-old precedent.
    Biden also pointed out he has directed the White House counsel’s legal office to prepare options to respond to laws restricting abortion, adding they will be ready when any ruling is issued.    The President concluded by calling on Congress to pass federal legislation protecting abortion if the Supreme Court goes through with overturning Roe v. Wade.

5/3/2022 Ga. Grand Jury Begins Anti-Trump ‘Election Probe,’ Focuses On ‘Attempts To Disrupt’ Process In 2020 by OAN Newsroom
A Fulton County Sheriff’s deputy walks on a closed street outside the Fulton County Courthouse ahead of the seating
of a special grand jury in the investigation into whether former President Donald Trump and others illegally
tried to influence the 2020 election in Georgia, Monday, May 2, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
    A grand jury is selected in Fulton County, Georgia to investigate accusations of disrupting the 2020 election by then-President Donald Trump and his aides.
    “Ladies and gentlemen, we are here today to select a grand jury that will investigate whether there were unlawful attempts to disrupt the administration of the 2020 elections here in Georgia,” stated Judge Robert McBurney, Fulton County Superior Court.
    The probe focuses on the phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which Trump called to prevent election fraud in Georgia.    Raffensperger has since admitted illegal ballot harvesting took place in the state.
    Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis claimed the probe seeks to establish the truth.
    “We’re going to try to make it as short of a day as possible,” said Willis.    “We’ll try to ask questions that are not too intrusive while getting a grand juror that can seek the truth, so thank you for your service and being here today.”


    The grand jury gathered just ahead of the films “2,000 Mules” release.    In that film, political analyst Dinesh D’Souza said he details “paid ballot traffickers stuffing the ballot boxes” in Georgia in violation of election law.

5/3/2022 Biden Admin. Working To Bring Back American Journalist Austin Tice by OAN Newsroom
FILE – Marc and Debra Tice, the parents of Austin Tice, who is missing in Syria for nearly six years, speak
during a press conference, at the Press Club, in Beirut, Lebanon, Dec. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein, File)
    The Biden administration has worked hard to bring back American journalist Austin Tice from Syria.    President Biden has been revamping his efforts to return Americans illegally held hostage in other countries.
    On Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the President met with the parents of Austin Tice who has been held captive in Syria since 2012.    Psaki stressed that President Biden is committed to finding a way to bring Tice back home.    She said these renewed efforts aim to remedy Biden’s mistakes.
    “I would note that since the December meeting with our National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, our Principal Deputy National Security Adviser John Finer and other NSC officials have met with the Tice family in person on three occasions, including a meeting just last week,” Psaki explained.    “So we have been very closely engaged with the family and obviously meeting with the President is an additional and more significant step in that regard, but we have been in close touch with them as well.”
    Late last year, families of victims of wrongful imprisonment abroad expressed frustration with the Biden administration while claiming they were not able get a meeting with White House staff.
    Tice, a Marine Corps veteran, was reportedly kidnapped in Syria in 2012 while reporting on the civil war raging in that country.    However, the Assad regime has repeatedly denied detaining Tice.
    In late 2020, the Trump administration sent two envoys, including Special Envoy for Hostage Negotiations Roger Carstens to Syria to gather information on Americans trapped in the country.    The secret meeting was the highest-level talks between the US and Syrian governments.
    Last month, Carstens was deployed to Israel to speak with hostage negotiators to troubleshoot the Tice case, but those talks have not produced any immediate results.    The State Department has stated it won’t stop until detained Americans are reunited with their families.
    “When it comes to our efforts to free Americans, the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, Ambassador Carsons, he will go anywhere," stated Ned Price, State Department spokesperson.    “He will talk to anyone if it means that we’re able to come home with an American to reunite that American with her, his family.”
    Meanwhile, top US diplomats believe they will be able to bring Tice and others back.    They cited the recent release of Marine Veteran Trevor Reed in a prisoner swap after being imprisoned in Russia since 2019.    President Biden has been working tirelessly to bring back Tice from Syria as well as other Americans imprisoned in other countries.

5/3/2022 Secy. Blinken Signs Memorandum On Strategic Civil Nuclear Cooperation With Armenian Foreign Minister by OAN Newsroom
Secretary of State Antony Blinken listens during a signing ceremony with Armenia’s Foreign Minister
Ararat Mirzoyan at the State Dept, Monday, May 2, 2022, in Washington. Blinken and Mirzoyan signed a Memorandum
of Understanding Concerning Strategic Civil Nuclear Cooperation. (Brendan Smialowski/Pool photo via AP)
    US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan signed a memorandum of understanding on strategic civil nuclear cooperation.
    Blinken welcomed Ararat Mirzoyan to the State Department Monday, where he said the memorandum opens new paths for cooperation and may strengthen bilateral ties.    The two also spoke about improving defense ties and fighting corruption in Armenia among other issues.
    Blinken noted, Armenia is going through “challenging times,” but said the nation has a true friend and partner in the US.    He went on to praise the country’s government.
    “I just want to take this opportunity as we’re sitting here to, in the first instance, praise the leadership of the prime minister and his government, the democratic reforms that they’ve been pursuing, the the progress that continues to be made,” he stated.    “But also to very much welcome the dialogue between Armenia and Azerbaijan.”
    Armenia’s foreign minister thanked Blinken for the nation’s support for Armenia’s nuclear energy sector and noted this year mark’s 30-years of diplomatic relations between the two nations.

5/3/2022 Sen. McConnell: Biden Using COVID Funds For Pickle Ball Amenities And Ski Slopes by OAN Newsroom
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks during the the weekly Senate Republican
news conference, at the Capitol, Tuesday, April 26, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)
    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) railed against President Joe Biden for spending COVID-19 funds on unrelated projects.    While speaking on the Senate floor Monday, the Kentucky lawmaker said the legacy of Biden’s nearly $2 trillion American Rescue Plan is “pickle ball amenities and ski slopes” rather than defeating the pandemic itself.
    McConnell added, Biden also gave out environmental justice grants to address inequitable free canopy cover in Massachusetts.    He then pointed out that the funds from the so-called American Rescue Plan also went toward advancing critical race theory at public schools by funding staff programs that trained educators on “all the latest woke buzzwords.”
    McConnell warned Americans will continue to suffer the consequences of Biden’s reckless spending and warned it’s responsible for record level inflation that’s raising prices for American families and forcing businesses to increase their prices.

5/3/2022 US Diplomats To Reopen Embassy In Kyiv by OAN Newsroom
State Department spokesman Ned Price speaks during a news conference at the
State Department, Thursday, March 10, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, Pool)
    US diplomats made their long-awaited return to Ukraine amidst the ongoing crisis.    Personnel at the embassy were moved out of the city and into Poland two weeks before Russia invaded the country.
    While speaking at a press conference in the city of Lviv, acting Ambassador Kristina Kvien said she hoped to reopen the US Embassy in Kyiv.
    “Today is my first day back in Ukraine and it is a day trip.    We expect to continue to do day trips for the next week or two and then we very much hope that the conditions will permit us to go back into Kyiv by the end of the month.”
    Additionally, the State Department will monitor the current situation in Kyiv to determine when it is safe for the diplomats to reopen the embassy.    State Department spokesman Ned Price stated that they are currently still monitoring the security situation in the city of Kyiv.
    “Of course, we want to ladder up to having a regular presence in Kyiv,” he explained.    “Every single day we’re monitoring the security situation on the ground to determine when we’ll be able to do that.    The only answer I can give you right now to the question of when, is as soon as possible.    I think it is fair to say, as you heard from our chargé today, that it will be within the coming weeks, but it will depend on a regular assessment of the security situation and our ability to operate safely and responsibly from Kyiv.”
    Diplomats sent a stark message to Russia about how they failed to conquer Ukraine.    They are expected to continue their diplomatic duties in through daily visits until they get cleared to move their operations to Kyiv.
    “I would say the message to Russia is: you failed,” Price continued.    “Ukraine is still standing the government is still functioning, and we’re going back to Lviv first and then Kyiv to help the government.”
    Other Western nations like Denmark have followed suit and reopened their embassies in the country.

5/3/2022 Oil down $2.27 to $102.84, DOW up 67 to 33,129.

5/4/2022 SUPREME COURT LEAK - ‘Radical’ Roe draft blasted by Biden - Court: Preliminary opinion is not final word by Zeke Miller and Jessica Gresko, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Before boarding Air Force One on Tuesday, President Joe Biden said, “If the court does overturn Roe, it will fall
on our nation’s elected officials at all levels of government to protect a woman’s right to choose.” EVAN VUCCI/AP
    WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden on Tuesday blasted a “radical” draft Supreme Court opinion that would throw out the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion rights ruling that has stood for a half century and warned that other rights including same-sex marriage and birth control are at risk if the court follows through.    Across the nation, Americans grappled with what might come next.
    The court confirmed the authenticity of the leaked draft, which was dated to February, and Chief Justice John Roberts said he had ordered an investigation into what he called an “egregious breach of trust.”
    A court statement emphasized that the draft is not the justices’ final word.
    Opinions often change in ways big and small in the drafting process, and a final ruling has not been expected until the end of the court’s term in late June or early July.
    A decision to overrule Roe would lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states, spark new efforts in Democratic- leaning states to protect access to abortion, and potentially reshape the contours of this year’s hotly contested midterm elections.
    The draft was published by the news outlet Politico late Monday.
    Speaking to reporters before boarding Air Force One, Biden said he hoped the draft wouldn’t be finalized by justices, contending it reflects a “fundamental shift in American jurisprudence” that threatens “other basic rights” like access to birth control and marriage.
    He added: “If this decision holds, it’s really quite a radical decision.”    He said the “basic fairness and the stability of our law demand” that the court not overturn Roe.
    “If the court does overturn Roe, it will fall on our nation’s elected officials at all levels of government to protect a woman’s right to choose,” Biden said.    “And it will fall on voters to elect pro-choice officials this November.    At the federal level, we will need more pro-choice Senators and a pro-choice majority in the House to adopt legislation that codifies Roe, which I will work to pass and sign into law.”
    Though past efforts have failed, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he intended to hold a vote.
    “This is as urgent and real as it gets,” Schumer said on the Senate floor Tuesday.    “Every American is going to see on which side every senator stands.”
    Whatever the outcome, the Politico report late Monday represented an extremely rare breach of the court’s secretive deliberation process, and on a case of surpassing importance.
    “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” the draft opinion states.    It was signed by Justice Samuel Alito, a member of the court’s 6-3 conservative majority who was appointed by former President George W. Bush.
    The document was labeled a “1st Draft” of the “Opinion of the Court” in a case challenging Mississippi’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks, a case known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
    The draft opinion in effect states there is no constitutional right to abortion services.    It would allow individual states to more heavily regulate or outright ban the procedure.
    “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” it states, referencing the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey that affirmed Roe’s finding of a constitutional right to abortion services but allowed states to place some constraints on the practice.    “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
    The draft opinion strongly suggests that when the justices met in private shortly after arguments in the case on Dec. 1, at least five – all the conservatives except perhaps Roberts – voted to overrule Roe and Casey, and Alito was assigned the task of writing the court’s majority opinion.
    Votes and opinions in a case aren’t final until a decision is announced or, in a change wrought by the coronavirus pandemic, posted on the court’s website.
    Politico said only that it received “a copy of the draft opinion from a person familiar with the court’s proceedings in the Mississippi case along with other details supporting the authenticity of the document.”
    The report comes amid a legislative push to restrict abortion in several Republican- led states – Oklahoma being the most recent – even before the court issues its decision.    Critics of those measures have said low-income and minority women will disproportionately bear the burden of the new restrictions.
    The leak jump-started the intense political reverberations that the high court’s ultimate decision was expected to have in the midterm election year. Already, politicians on both sides of the aisle were seizing on the report to raise funds and energize their supporters on both sides of the issue.
    Democrats contended that several conservative justices misled senators about their feelings.
    And Maine Republican Susan Collins, who supports abortion rights but was a pivotal GOP vote for the confirmations of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, said if the draft reflects the final opinion of the court, “it would be completely inconsistent with what Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh said in their hearings and in our meetings in my office.”
    Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska told reporters on Capitol Hill that “my confidence in the court has been rocked,” and said her proposal with Collins to legislate abortion rights should be reinvigorated.
    An AP-NORC poll in December found that Democrats increasingly see protecting abortion rights as a high priority for the government.
    Other polling shows relatively few Americans want to see Roe overturned.    In 2020, AP VoteCast found that 69% of voters in the presidential election said the Supreme Court should leave the Roe v. Wade decision as is; just 29% said the court should overturn the decision.    In general, AP-NORC polling finds a majority of the public favor’s abortion being legal in most or all cases.
    Still, when asked about abortion policy generally, Americans have nuanced attitudes on the issue, and many don’t think that abortion should be possible after the first trimester or that women should be able to obtain a legal abortion for any reason.
    Alito, in the draft, said the court can’t predict how the public might react and shouldn’t try.    “We cannot allow our decisions to be affected by any extraneous influences such as concern about the public’s reaction to our work,” Alito wrote in the draft opinion, according to Politico.
    Police in Washington prepared for the potential of large demonstrations outside the Supreme Court and U.S. Capitol.    People on both sides of the issue gathered outside the court waving signs and chanting on a balmy Monday night following the release of the Politico report, and again on Tuesday.
    Outside Washington, Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said people seeking abortions could head to her state.    “For anyone who needs access to care, our state will welcome you with open arms.    Abortion will always be safe & accessible in New York,” Hochul said in a tweet.
    Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch said in a statement, “We will let the Supreme Court speak for itself and wait for the Court’s official opinion.”    But local officials were praising the draft.
    “This puts the decision making back into the hands of the states, which is where it should have always been,” said Mississippi state Rep. Becky Currie.
    At Supreme Court arguments in December, all six conservative justices signaled that they would uphold the Mississippi law, and five asked questions that suggested that overruling Roe and Casey was a possibility.
    Only Roberts seemed prepared to take the smaller step of upholding the 15-week ban, though that too would be a significant weakening of abortion rights.
    Until now, the court has allowed states to regulate but not ban abortion before the point of viability, around 24 weeks.
    Twenty-six states are certain or likely to ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned, according to the pro-abortion rights think tank the Guttmacher Institute.    Of those, 22 states already have total or near-total bans on the books that are currently blocked by Roe, aside from Texas.    The Texas law banning it after six weeks has been allowed to go into effect by the Supreme Court due to its unusual civil enforcement structure.    Four more states are considered likely to quickly pass bans if Roe is overturned.
    Sixteen states and the District of Columbia, meanwhile, have protected access to abortion in state law.
    The Supreme Court justices generally spend May and June finishing their writing in cases that have been argued and then issuing the remaining opinions before going on a summer break.    On the court’s calendar, the next day opinions might normally be expected is May 16.

5/4/2022 Judge extends order halting new abortion law, weighs injunction - May be modified to let some of the law stand by Deborah Yetter, Louisville Courier Journal | USA TODAY NETWORK
Abortion services Alton Strupp/Courier Journal
    A federal judge said Monday she will rule by May 19 on whether to enter a preliminary injunction blocking parts or all of Kentucky’s sweeping new 'omnibus' abortion law.
    Meanwhile, U.S. District Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings said she will renew for another 14 days her temporary restraining order that suspended enforcement of the law that took effect April 13.
    However, Jennings said her renewed temporary order to be issued Wednesday may be modified to let some portions of the law take effect that are not in dispute.    She did not elaborate.
    Jennings’ comments followed a hearing Monday on whether to issue an injunction against the law while legal challenges by the state’s two abortion providers are pending.
    At the hearing before a courtroom filled with supporters and opponents of the law, Jennings asked those present to be mindful that the subject 'evokes a lot of emotion.'
    'The court cannot entertain any political or emotional arguments today,' Jennings said.
    That admonition appeared unnecessary.
    The several hours of discussion that followed consisted largely of a procedural analysis of the 72-page House Bill 3.
    Going section by section, lawyers debated whether it is possible to enforce a law that includes extensive new reporting requirements — in some cases on government forms yet to be created — and the establishment of a new bureaucracy to regulate medication abortions.
    Kentucky’s abortion providers, Planned Parenthood and EMW Women’s Surgical Center, both in Louisville, argue the law is unconstitutional and impossible to comply with because of the many new requirements.
    Through an emergency clause, the law took effect immediately April 13.
    'It needs to be clear, what we are being asked to do,' said lawyer Miranda Turner, representing Planned Parenthood.
    But a lawyer for Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who is defending the HB 3, said clinics could comply with many requirements by simply providing information spelled out in the new law until forms and systems are in place.
    'If the form doesn’t exist, you don’t have to comply,' Assistant Deputy Attorney General Christopher L. Thacker said.
    But the two abortion providers suspended services for eight days after the law took effect, saying they feared potential enforcement actions in the law that include criminal charges, fines and loss of licenses by health professionals.
    Abortion services resumed after Jennings on April 21 stopped enforcement of the law through a temporary order.
    The law includes a ban on abortions after 15 weeks, outlaws mail delivery of medication to induce early abortions, imposes new restrictions on abortions for girls under 18 including those seeking permission from a judge and requires fetal remains to be buried or cremated.
    It also requires the state to set up an extensive new bureaucracy to certify and oversee anyone who manufacturers, distributes or dispenses medication used prior to 10 weeks gestation to terminate a pregnancy.    That method now accounts for about half of abortions nationwide and in Kentucky, which reported 4,104 abortions for 2020, the most recent numbers available.
    Meanwhile, abortion opponents remained focused on a Mississippi case that could curtail or overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark case that legalized the right to abortion nationwide. A ruling is expected by June.
    The Mississippi case bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy although the Supreme Court has allowed abortion to the point where a fetus is considered viable, generally around 24 weeks.
    Kentucky added the provision banning abortion after 15 weeks so the state would have a similar law in place if the Supreme Court upholds the Mississippi law but stops short of overturning Roe v. Wade altogether.
    Reach Deborah Yetter at

5/4/2022 Eid al-Fitr celebration restored at White House by Will Weissert, ASSOCIATED PRESS
President Joe Biden listens as Talib M. Shareef, Imam of Masjid Muhammad Mosque in Washington, speaks
during a reception Monday to celebrate Eid al-Fitr in the White House in Washington. Susan Walsh/AP
    WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden celebrated Eid al-Fitr on Monday, restoring celebrations of the Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan at the White House after his predecessor scrapped them.
    Muslims around the world typically abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan.    Its end often means gathering for prayers, visiting family and friends and holding festive meals.
    Addressing hundreds of attendees in the East Room, Biden said he’d promised as a presidential candidate to bring back marking Eid al-Fitr at the White House – but was forced to hold a virtual celebration last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
    'Today, around the world, we’ve seen so many Muslims that have been targeted by violence.    No one, no one should discriminate against or be oppressed, or be repressed, for their religious beliefs,' Biden said.    'We have to acknowledge that an awful lot of work remains to be done, abroad and here at home.    Muslims make our nation stronger every single day, even as they still face real challenges and threats in our society, including targeted violence and Islamophobia.'
    Presidents have held Eid al-Fitr celebrations since the Clinton administration, until Donald Trump, who didn’t hold formal events.    He instead released statements marking the holiday.
    Biden said Monday that he’d recently nominated the first Muslim woman to the federal bench as part of a commitment to build an administration that values diversity and 'looks like America.'    He also jokingly compared fasting for Ramadan to his Catholic faith, which he said mandates that he make major sacrifices for Lent including having to 'go 40 days' with 'no sweets and no ice cream.'
    Talib Shareef, Imam of Masjid Muhammad in Washington, known to some as 'The Nation’s Mosque,' said of the White House gathering, 'Being hosted here is an important statement for our nation and for the world.'
    'A statement that Islam is a welcome part of our nation together with all the other faith traditions,' Shareef said.    'And that the highest office in this land is committed to our nation’s foundational values and laws protecting religious freedom.'

5/4/2022 Schumer vows abortion law vote - Passing bill through Senate remains long shot by Lisa Mascaro, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said the conservative justices 'lied' to the Senate during confirmation
hearings when they assured senators the case that has allowed abortion access was settled law. J. Scott Applewhite/AP
    WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer angrily denounced as an 'abomination' the Supreme Court’s leaked draft decision that would overturn the nation’s landmark Roe v. Wade ruling and vowed that if it stands, the Senate will vote on legislation to uphold women’s access to abortions.
    Schumer said the conservative justices 'lied' to the Senate during confirmation hearings when they assured senators the case that since 1973 has allowed abortion access was settled law. He said with the draft opinion circulating, 'the Supreme Court is poised to inflict the greatest restriction of rights in the past 50 years – not just on women, but on all Americans.'
    'This is a dark and disturbing morning in America,' Schumer said as he opened the Senate on Tuesday.
    But the Democratic leader stopped short of promising to change Senate filibuster rules to allow Democrats to overcome Republican obstruction and pass legislation that would salvage the landmark abortion law on their own, as some party advocates are demanding.
    Schumer does not have the votes within the Democrats’ razor-thin 50-vote majority to muscle through a rules change in the Senate that would allow Democrats to push past what is typically a 60-vote threshold on big bills.
    Instead, the Democrats shifted attention swiftly and intently on the chamber’s two most prominent Republicans who support abortion access – Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.    Both had refused to help Democrats stop confirmation of the Trump-era judges who tipped the Supreme Court’s majority to conservatives and are now putting the landmark Roe vs. Wade ruling at risk.
    Murkowski told reporters on Capitol Hill that if the direction of the draft becomes the final opinion, 'I will just tell you that it rocks my confidence in the court right now.'
    Murkowski and Collins introduced legislation earlier this year to turn the court’s longstanding opinion on Roe v. Wade into law, and President Joe Biden on Tuesday urged Congress to do just that.
    Passing an abortion access bill through the Senate remains a political long shot, especially under the rapid timeline that would be needed before the Supreme Court issues its final decisions in June.    Such legislation would most likely require the 60-vote threshold, and there are not enough Republicans publicly willing to join Murkowski, Collins and the Democrats to preserve Americans’ access to abortion services.
    Collins in a morning statement pointed blame back to the justices themselves, personally singling out two of the three Trump-era judges, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, she had supported for confirmation.
    The Maine Republican said if the leaked draft opinion on abortion becomes the ruling of the court, 'it would be completely inconsistent with what Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh said in their hearings and in our meetings in my office.'
    As stark warnings of an end to Roe v. Wade become the potential new normal in the U.S., the political fallout in Congress is certain to be far-reaching and complicated, a gripping new phase in the partisan fights over abortion access, religious liberties and the fundamental aspects of women’s reproductive health.
    The Republican senators in particular, who helped turn the court into a solid 6-3 conservative majority, faced deep scrutiny over their public beliefs at the time and the reality now confronting the country.
    Collins helped confirm both of those nominees, though she did not vote for Justice Amy Coney Barrett because the nomination came so close to the 2020 election, when the presidency was being decided and she also faced a stiff reelection race.
    Murkowski, who is up for reelection this year, did not vote for Kavanaugh after his explosive confirmation hearings over allegations he sexually assaulted a female acquaintance during high school. She did give her support to Gorsuch and Barrett.
    Other Republican senators slammed the unusual leak of the high-profile draft opinion as an attempt to bully the court.
    Republican leader Mitch McConnell complained about 'unhinged' Democratic rhetoric and said the leak should be 'investigated and punished to the fullest extent of the law.'    Chief Justice John Roberts, confirming the authenticity of the leaked draft opinion, on Tuesday ordered an investigation into the leak.
    One pivotal Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who talks frequently with McConnell, declined to weigh in on the debate – or whether he would be willing to rethink his opposition to changing filibuster rules. He has been a holdout denying Democrats of the 51 votes needed to change the rules.
            But Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., countered McConnell and the other Republicans who want to go after the leak.    'What should be investigated and prosecuted is the fact that people who were nominated to the Supreme Court stood up and said they believed in the rule of law and precedent, and then at first opportunity, changed direction by 180 degrees and are going for a full repeal of Roe,' said Warren, a former Harvard law professor.
    Schumer said Republican senators will have to answer to voters in this fall’s election – signaling the Democrats prefer to fight the issue on the campaign trail rather than in Congress.
    Conservatives have been focused for years working behind the scenes to undo the nation’s 1973 abortion law, and Republican senators made judicial nominations their top priority during Donald Trump’s time in the White House.    Trump was able to nominate and have the Senate confirm three justices, engineering a wholesale revamping of the high court, now with a solid conservative 6-3 majority.
    Late Monday, a draft of the court’s majority decision was leaked and reported showing the majority’s intent to overturn the abortion law.    It is unclear if the draft circulating will be the court’s final decision on the case, which is expected by late June.
    A decision to overrule Roe would lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states.

5/4/2022 Rare court leak comes in a case of top import - Incident in draft on Roe mars tradition of secrecy by Jessica Gresko, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court keeps secrets.    Year after year, in major case after major case, there’s little beyond what the justices say during oral arguments that suggests how they will rule until they actually do.
    That is, apparently, until Monday evening, when Politico published what it said is a draft of an opinion in a major abortion case that was argued in the fall.    While there have, on very rare occasions, been leaks of the outcomes in cases, the publication of an apparent draft running nearly 100 pages was without an evident modern parallel.
    The draft says that a majority of the court is prepared to overrule the landmark 1973 decision, Roe v. Wade, that legalized abortion nationwide.    A decision in the case had been expected before the court begins its summer recess in late June or early July, so it could be more than a month before the court actually issues a final opinion.    If the court does what the draft suggests, the ruling would upend a nearly 50-year-old decision; its advance publication would also disturb an almost unbroken tradition of secrecy at the court.
    Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday confirmed the draft’s authenticity and promised an investigation into the source.    The draft is by Justice Samuel Alito.    Politico says the draft was distributed to other members of the court in February.    Alito is a member of the six-justice conservative majority.
    Lawyers and others who watch the court closely were shocked.    Neal Katyal, who has argued dozens of cases before the court and as a young lawyer worked for Justice Stephen Breyer, compared the apparent leak to The New York Times’ 1971 publication of the government’s secret history of the Vietnam War, known as the Pentagon Papers.
    “This is the equivalent of the pentagon papers leak, but at the Supreme Court.    I’m pretty sure there has never ever been such a leak.    And certainly not in the years I’ve been following the Supreme Court,” Katyal wrote on Twitter.
    Part of the reason the Supreme Court has historically been so leak-proof is that only a handful of people have access to decisions before they’re published. That includes the justices themselves and the small group of people who work for them.    The justices’ clerks, young lawyers who work for the justices for a year and who would be among those who could see a draft opinion, sign pledges of confidentiality.
    Still, there have been leaks before, though not of the apparent magnitude of the document posted by Politico.    In 1973, for example, Time magazine’s David Beckwith reported on the outcome of Roe v. Wade before the decision was published.    But because the magazine was a weekly, Beckwith’s scoop arrived just hours before the decision was made public.
    And in the late 1970s, ABC’s Tim O’Brien had half a dozen scoops on rulings.    The reports both astonished and upset the justices, according to a book by Barrett McGurn, the court’s former public information officer.
    It was unclear who might have leaked the draft to Politico or what the motivations might be.    The news outlet said only that it had “received a copy of the draft opinion from a person familiar with the court’s proceedings … along with other details supporting the authenticity of the document.”
One reason the Supreme Court has been so leak-proof is that only a handful
of people have access to decisions before they’re published. JOSE LUIS MAGANA/AP

5/4/2022 Biden Voted To Overturn Roe V. Wade In 1982 by OAN Newsroom
President Joe Biden speaks in the South Court Auditorium on the White House
campus, Monday, May 2, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    President Joe Biden’s recent support for Roe v. Wade appears to contradict his past actions A resurfaced report by the New York Times reveals the Democrat voted to overturn Roe v. Wade back in 1982.
    According to the National Review, citing a New York Times article from 2019, Biden proposed a constitutional amendment in 1982 that would allow individual states to set their own abortion policies.    Additionally, a 1994 letter by then-Senator Biden stated he had voted to defund abortion on 50 separate cases.
    This comes in direct contradiction to Biden’s statement Tuesday in which he criticized the Supreme Court over reports it may overturn Roe v. Wade.
    “Look, the idea that, it concerns me a great deal, that we’re going to after 50 years decide a woman does not have a right to choose within the limits of of the Supreme Court decision case,” he stated.
    According to reports, Biden’s latest statement comes in direct contradiction to his past actions on the matter.    This comes as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are divided on the decision.    One America’s Cynthia Kaui has more.

5/4/2022 Rep. Andy Biggs Releases ‘America First Contract’ by OAN Newsroom
FILE – Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, speaks at a news
conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
    Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) introduced a plan to propose the America First Contract in the first 100 days of the next congressional term.
    Biggs unveiled the multi point policy proposal Monday to outline a plan to combat the Biden administration’s agenda and to give a blueprint to Republicans if they take the majority of the lower chamber.
    His plan included reducing inflation, securing the southern border, breaking up Big Tech companies and restoring election integrity among other legislative goals.
    Biggs also wants to leverage the majority of Republicans that could potentially have to conduct oversight of the Biden administration.

5/4/2022 Tesla CEO Elon Musk Wants Twitter To Be Inclusive by OAN Newsroom
Elon Musk attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the
“In America: An Anthology of Fashion” exhibition on Monday, May 2, 2022, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
    Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he wants to make Twitter as inclusive as possible.    The social media giant’s board accepted Musk’s $44 billion offer to purchase the company last month.
    Musk expressed his desire to better regulate the social media platform during an interview at the Met Gala on Monday night.    The Tesla CEO noted that he wanted the outlet to engage in practices which promote free speech.
    “I mean, the goal that I have is to have everything come to fruition with Twitter and to have a service that is as broadly inclusive as possible,” Musk stated.    “Ideally, most of America is on it and talking.    I think I just generally am looking for something that’s as broad and inclusive as possible.    And that’s possibly as trusted as a system and I hope we are successful in that regard.”
    The billionaire also addressed concerns about a possible Twitter employee departure following the buyout.    He said Americans are free to seek other employment if they are unhappy in their current position within the company.

5/4/2022 Sen. Schumer Battle Cry: Democrats May Pack Supreme Court If Majority Is Kept by OAN Newsroom
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., tells reporters he is furious that the Supreme Court
could overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, May 3, 2022.
Schumer called the news “a dark and disturbing day for America.” (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) voiced his opposition to the leaked Supreme Court opinion draft on abortion.    While speaking on the Senate floor on Tuesday, he condemned the conservative majority on the high court over speculation it could overturn Roe v. Wade.
    “The Republican appointed justice reported votes to overturn Roe v. Wade will go down as an abomination,” Schumer stated.    “One of the worst, most damning decisions in modern history.”
    He then suggested Democrats could try and pack the Supreme Court if they keep control of the upper chamber after the November midterms.    Schumer warned expanding the court and appointing more liberal justices is a possibility.
    The New York Democrat then made a series of questionable comments.    He declared upcoming midterm elections should be a referendum on abortion, which he claimed is the most important issue facing America.    This comes despite record-high inflation and a crisis on the southern border.
    “The elections this November will have consequences because the rights of 100 million women are now on the ballot,” Schumer stated.
    The majority leader said looking ahead, Democrats will prioritize defending abortion on the federal level.    Schumer added, he intends for the Senate to hold a vote on legislation that would block states from determining their own abortion laws.

5/4/2022 Oil up $4.47 to $107.96, DOW up 932 to 34,061.

5/5/2022 EU takes step toward Russian oil ban by Lorne Cook and Samuel Petrequin, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    BRUSSELS – The European Union’s top official on Wednesday called on the 27-nation bloc to ban oil imports from Russia and target the country’s biggest bank and major broadcasters in a sixth package of sanctions over the war in Ukraine.
    European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, proposed having EU member nations phase out imports of crude oil within six months and refined products by the end of the year.
    “We will make sure that we phase out Russian oil in an orderly fashion, in a way that allows us and our partners to secure alternative supply routes and minimizes the impact on global markets,” von der Leyen said.
    The proposals must be unanimously approved to take effect and are likely to be the subject of fierce debate.    Von der Leyen conceded that getting all 27 member countries – some of them landlocked and highly dependent on Russia for energy supplies – to agree on oil sanctions “will not be easy.”
    The EU gets about 25% of its oil from Russia, most of which goes toward gasoline and diesel for vehicles.     Russia supplies about 14% of diesel, S&P Global analysts said, and a cutoff could send already high prices for truck and tractor fuel towering.
    If approved, the ban on oil imports would be the second package of EU sanctions targeting Russia’s lucrative energy industry since the country invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.
    In addition to sanctions on various entities and individuals, the EU previously approved an embargo on coal imports.
    The EU has started discussions on a possible natural gas embargo, but consensus among member countries on targeting the fuel used to generate electricity and heat homes is more difficult to secure.    The region gets about 40% of its natural gas from Russia.
    Hungary and Slovakia have already said they wouldn’t take part in any oil sanctions.    Von der Leyen didn’t elaborate on whether they would receive an exemption from the sanctions, although it appeared likely.
    The EU and Russia are playing “a game of chicken.    It is hard to say who will swerve/blink first.    The Russians for fear of running out of money.    Or Europe for fear of the lights going out,” James Nixey, the director of the Russia and Eurasia program at London’s Chatham House think tank, said.
    Von der Leyen also said that the EU should target high-ranking military officers and others “who committed war crimes in Bucha,” a suburb of the capital Kyiv.    Ukrainian officials have alleged that Russian troops carried out mass killings of civilians in Bucha.
    Banks are also in the EU executive arm’s sights, and notably Russia’s biggest, Sberbank.    Von der Leyen said the aim is that “we de-SWIFT Sberbank.”    SWIFT is the major global system for financial transfers.
    Von der Leyen added that three Russian state-owned broadcasters alleged to be spreading disinformation about the war would be targeted.    She didn’t name them but branded the TV channels “as mouthpieces that amplify Putin’s lies and propaganda.”
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen conceded that getting all 27 member
countries to agree on oil sanctions “will not be easy.” JEAN-FRANCOIS BADIAS/AP

5/5/2022 EU eyes sanctions for cleric supportive of Putin by Nicole Winfield and Samuel Petrequin, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    ROME – The European Union plans to sanction the head of the Russian Orthodox Church in its next round of measures to punish Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, EU diplomats said Wednesday, opening a new religious front in Europe’s sanctions regime.
    The proposal, which must be approved by the 27-member bloc, drew immediate criticism from the Russian Orthodox Church, which also lashed out Wednesday at Pope Francis for his recent comments about Patriarch Kirill.
    Kirill, the head of one of the largest and most influential churches in Eastern Orthodoxy, has justified Russia’s invasion on spiritual grounds, describing it as a “metaphysical” battle against the West and its “i>.”
    Three EU diplomats with direct knowledge of the discussions said negotiations to add Kirill’s name to the EU list of sanctioned individuals were continuing Wednesday.    If approved by EU members, Kirill would face travel bans and a freeze of assets, joining 1,093 individuals, including Putin and oligarchs, as well as 80 entities already subject to the punishing measures.
    In a statement Wednesday, the Russian Orthodox Church vowed the sanctions would never intimidate Kirill and would just prolong the conflict.
    “Patriarch Kirill comes from a family whose members have been subjected to repression for decades for their faith and moral standing during the days of militant communist atheism, and none of them were intimidated by the prospect of imprisonment and repression,” church spokesman Vladimir Legoyda said in a statement on his messaging app channel.
    He added that the measure would only delay the prospect of peace “for which the Russian Orthodox Church prays on the blessing of His Holiness the Patriarch in every liturgy.”
    Kirill has echoed Putin’s unfounded claims that Ukraine was engaged in the “extermination” of Russian loyalists in Donbas, the breakaway eastern region of Ukraine held since 2014 by Russian backed separatist groups.    And in his most recent remarks, he denied Russia had even launched the invasion.
    “We don’t want to fight anyone.    Russia has never attacked anyone,” he said Wednesday at the end of a Divine Liturgy at the Archangel Cathedral in Moscow, according to a text of his remarks on the church website.    “It is amazing that a great and powerful country never attacked anyone – it only defended its borders.”
    The pope has tried to keep a dialogue open with Kirill, given the Vatican’s longstanding efforts to heal relations with Russian Orthodoxy.    Francis and Kirill had a videoconference call March 15, and were due to meet for a second time next month in Jerusalem, but the meeting was called off on the advice of Vatican diplomats.
    Francis told Italian daily Corriere della Sera in an interview published Tuesday that Kirill spent the first half of their 40-minute videocall reading from a piece of paper justifying the invasion.
    “I listened and told him: ‘I don’t understand any of this.    Brother, we are not clerics of the state, we cannot use language of politics, but that of Jesus.    For this we need to find the paths of peace, to stop the firing of arms.’”    He added that Kirill “cannot turn into Putin’s altar boy,” a dismissive term used by a top U.S. Ukrainian Greek Catholic archbishop.
The European Commission has proposed sanctioning Patriarch Kirill over
his defense of Russia’s actions. KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

5/5/2022 Pope’s diplomacy a political tightrope - Francis criticized for refusal to call out Russia by Nicole Winfield, ASSOCIATED PRESS
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, left, and Pope Francis talk
in 2016 at the Jose Marti airport in Havana, Cuba. ADALBERTO ROQUE/POOL PHOTO VIA AP
    VATICAN CITY – His appeals for an Orthodox Easter truce in Ukraine went unheeded.    His planned meeting with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church was canceled.    A proposed visit to Moscow?    Nyet.    Even his attempt to showcase Russian-Ukrainian friendship fell flat.
    Pope Francis hasn’t made much of a diplomatic mark in Russia’s war in Ukraine, seemingly unable to capitalize on his moral authority, soft power or direct line to Moscow to nudge an end to the bloodshed or at least a cease-fire.
    Rather, Francis has found himself in the unusual position of having to explain his refusal to call out Russia or President Vladimir Putin by name – popes don’t do that, he said – and to defend his “very good” relations with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, who has justified the war on spiritual grounds.
    While the long list of dead ends would indicate a certain ineffectiveness, it is par for the course for the Vatican’s unique brand of diplomacy that straddles geopolitical realities with spiritual priorities, even when they conflict.
    And in the case of Ukraine, they have: Francis has sought to be a pastor to his local flock in Ukraine, incessantly calling for peace, sending cardinals in with humanitarian aid and even reportedly proposing that a Vatican-flagged ship evacuate civilians from the besieged port of Mariupol.
    But he has also kept alive the Holy See’s longer-term policy goal of healing relations with the Russian Orthodox Church, which like the rest of Eastern Orthodoxy is separated from the Catholic Church.    Up until recently, Francis held out hope that he would secure a second meeting with Russian Patriarch Kirill, even while Moscow bombed Ukrainian civilians.    Francis recently revealed that their planned June meeting in Jerusalem had been called off, because Vatican diplomats thought it would send a “confusing” message.    Indeed, on Wednesday EU diplomats said they plan to sanction Kirill in the bloc’s next round of measures against Russia, further complicating Francis’ relationship with him.
    To his critics, Francis’ continued outreach to Moscow even amid reported atrocities harks back to the perceived silence of Pope Pius XII, criticized by some Jewish groups for failing to speak out sufficiently against the Holocaust. The Vatican and insists Pius’ quiet diplomacy helped save lives.
    “Francis is doing what he can, with the right priorities, to stop the war, stop people from suffering,” said Anne Leahy, who was Canada’s ambassador to the Holy See from 2008-12 and ambassador to Russia in the late 1990s.
    “But he’s keeping channels of communication open in every way he can. Even if it doesn’t work, I think the idea is to keep trying,” she said.
    Leahy noted that a pope must have as a top priority this Gospel-mandated objective to unify Christians, and that relations with the Orthodox therefore must remain at the forefront.
    “Diplomacy is at the service of the church’s mission, and not the other way around,” she said in a telephone interview.
    At times, Francis’ words and gestures seem contradictory: One day he sits down for a videoconference with Kirill that is prominently featured on the website of the Russian Orthodox Church with a statement saying both sides had expressed hope for a “just peace.”    Three weeks later, he kisses a battered Ukrainian flag brought to him from Bucha, where Ukrainian civilians were found shot to death with their hands bound.
    The Vatican has a long tradition of this dual-faceted diplomacy.    During the Cold War, the policy of “Ostpolitik” meant that the Vatican kept up channels of communication with the same Communist governments that were persecuting the faithful on the ground, often to the dismay of the local church.
    Francis’ decision to continue with the “classic Vatican diplomacy of Ostpolitik, of dialoguing with the enemy and not closing the door, is debatable,” said the Rev. Stefano Caprio, professor of church history at the Pontifical Oriental Institute.
    “Those who are upset that the pope isn’t defending them more are right, but those from the diplomatic side who say ‘We can’t throw away these relations’ are also right.    They are obviously in contradiction,” he said.    “But since we’re not talking about an argument of faith – we aren’t talking about the persons of the Holy Trinity – you can have opinions that differ from the pope,” he added.
    In some ways, Francis’ role on the sidelines of the Ukraine conflict can be traced to his position when Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and the Holy See appeared at least publicly neutral, despite appeals from Ukrainian Greek Catholics, who are a minority in the majority Orthodox country, for Francis to strongly condemn Moscow.
    Instead, Francis described the ensuing conflict as the fruit of “fratricidal violence,” as if both sides were equally to blame and that the conflict was an internal Ukrainian matter.
    “My experience in 2014 is that the existence of the (Ukrainian) Greek Catholics was seemingly an embarrassment and a frustration with the Holy Father and the Holy See,” said John McCarthy, who was then Australia’s ambassador to the Vatican.    “Their priority was the relationship with the Russian Orthodox” and securing a meeting with Kirill.
    Francis eventually obtained that long-sought meeting, embracing Kirill in a VIP room of the Havana, Cuba, airport on Feb. 12, 2016, in the first meeting between a pope with the Russian patriarch in over a millennium.     The two men signed a joint statement that was hailed by the Holy See at the time as a breakthrough in ecumenical relations.    But it enraged Ukraine’s Greek Catholics because, among other things, it referred to them as an “ecclesial community” as if they were a separate church not in communion with Rome, and didn’t mention Russia’s role in the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine.
    Fast forward to 2022, and Francis again upset the local Ukrainian church: The Vatican had proposed that a Ukrainian and Russian woman carry the cross together during the Vatican’s torchlit Good Friday procession at the Colosseum.    The gesture, which preceded Francis’ unheeded Easter appeal for a truce, was an attempt to show the possibility of future Russian-Ukrainian reconciliation.
    But the Ukrainian ambassador objected, and the head of Ukraine’s Greek Orthodox faithful, Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, decried the proposal as “inopportune and ambiguous,” since it didn’t take into consideration the fact that Russia had invaded Ukraine.     In the end, the Vatican compromised: The women carried the cross but instead of reading aloud a meditation that had called for reconciliation, stood together in silent prayer.
    Leahy, the former Canadian ambassador, said the outcome was a classic example of papal pastoral care bridging Vatican diplomacy: Francis listened to Shevchuk’s complaint and modified the ritual, while keeping his broader agenda of dialogue with Russia alive.
    Recalling the word “pontiff” derives from the Italian word for “bridge,” she said: “It’s the job of a diplomat, and certainly of a supreme pontiff who has the word ‘bridge’ written in his name, to keep the channels open.”
    The Rev. Roberto Regoli, a professor of church history and an expert in papal diplomacy at the Pontifical Gregorian University, said those diplomatic channels with the Orthodox are important now, but also in the future when eventually Ukraine will have to be rebuilt.
    “The reconstruction of a country … requires the involvement of all forces, even religious ones,” he said.

5/5/2022 What’s next in the investigation of the Supreme Court leak? by Jessica Gresko and Michael Balsamo, ASSOCIATED PRESS
A pro-abortion rights protester holds up a sign Tuesday in front of the
U.S. Supreme Court over the leaked draft decision on Roe v. Wade. ALEX WONG/GETTY IMAGES
    WASHINGTON – Chief Justice John Roberts, in ordering an investigation into an “egregious breach of trust” in the leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion on abortion, tasked a relatively unknown court official to carry out what could be one of the most high-profile investigations in decades.
    The Marshal of the Supreme Court has now undertaken the investigation to try to identify the source of the leak – a nearly-unprecedented breach of protocol that sent shock waves through the Supreme Court and Washington legal community.
    “This was a singular and egregious breach of that trust that is an affront to the Court and the community of public servants who work here,” Roberts said in ordering the investigation.
    But many questions remain about how the investigation will be carried out and whether a federal crime was committed.     Separately, there are questions about what powers the marshal may use to find the person who leaked the documents.
    “To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed,” Roberts said.    “The work of the Court will not be affected in any way.”
    Despite the Biden administration’s curtailing the government’s ability to seize records from reporters, the court’s marshal operates outside of that chain of command, opening the possibility for an investigation without traditional guardrails to protect journalists’ sources.
    Here’s a look at the investigation and how it could play out.
Is it a crime?
    That’s a matter of legal dispute, but many experts say bringing a criminal case would be extremely difficult.
    “There is no special statute that makes it a crime to disseminate a draft Supreme Court opinion or other private court documents,” Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor, said in a tweet.
    Nevertheless, some lawmakers, particularly Republicans in the Senate, have called for an extensive investigation and prosecution of the person who leaked the document.
    Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., demanded the FBI investigate the leak.    And Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, RKy., called for the Justice Department to “pursue charges if applicable.”    He said the “lawless action should be investigated and punished as fully as possible.”
    Generally, the Justice Department pursues leak investigations when classified information is unlawfully released to the public, but that isn’t the case here.    And while there may be an argument that the release of the draft could amount to the theft of government property, the Justice Department’s guidelines suggest a prosecution would be unlikely.
    Federal law prohibits the theft or receiving of stolen government information.    But Justice Department guidelines say it is “inappropriate to bring a prosecution” under that law if the person had legitimate access to the information or documents and then used it “for the purpose of disseminating it to the public.”
Who is the marshal doing the investigation?
    The court’s marshal, Col. Gail A. Curley, came to the court from the U.S. Army and has been on the job for less than a year.    As marshal, she wears several different hats in overseeing the administrative side of the court.    She is the court’s chief security officer, overseeing a staff of approximately 260 employees including the police force that provides security for the justices and the Supreme Court building.    But she is also the building’s facilities administrator.    And when the court hears arguments it’s her job to bang a gavel and announce the justices’ entrance into the courtroom with a traditional cry that includes phrase “Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!” which means “hear ye.”
    Curley began her job of marshal in the summer of 2021 following the retirement of the court’s longtime Marshal Pamela Talkin.    The court said then that while working for the Army, part of Curley’s duties included providing legal advice and support on national security law to senior Army leadership.    Her military career included time in Germany and Afghanistan.    Curley graduated from the United States Military Academy and has a law degree from the University of Illinois College of Law.
What does an investigation look like?
    It is very unclear at this point.    The marshal could carry out the investigation herself, but she’s perhaps more likely to bring on help.
    The group of people that has access to a draft opinion includes the court’s nine justices, a small number of staff and some three dozen law clerks, young lawyers who help the justices with their work for a year.    The marshal could theoretically hire an outside law firm to assist in the probe.    And in other cases, involving judicial records, the FBI has sometimes been called in to help.
    A Justice Department spokesman said Tuesday that the department had not been asked to help assist in finding the person who leaked the document.
    All law clerks sign a code of conduct promising confidentiality.    “The law clerk should take particular care that Court documents not available to the public are not taken from the Court building,” a copy of the code from 1989 says.
    An investigation is likely also to focus on how and why the information was leaked, whether it was intentionally provided to Politico by a court employee or inadvertently made available to someone who then sent a copy of the draft to the news organization, or whether a different circumstance occurred.
Can the marshal seize the records of the journalists?
    Maybe.    In most cases, though, investigators need to spell out exactly why they believe a crime was committed in order to obtain the records from the companies who would hold telephone or email records.
    The investigation is somewhat unprecedented, and the Supreme Court hasn’t searched for anyone who leaked information on this scale in the digital age.
    The Biden administration has significantly curtailed the use of subpoenas and warrants to seize the records of journalists in leak investigations.    But the Marshal of the Supreme Court doesn’t report to the executive branch of the government, so those restrictions likely wouldn’t apply in this investigation.     The Marshal of the Supreme Court has issued a subpoena before, though the one publicly known instance came in 1915 after a dispute where a Civil War soldier took Martha Washington’s will, which was later sold to a wealthy New York banker.    The state of Virginia later brought the case to the Supreme Court and the subpoena was issued in an effort to collect the will.
What’s next?
    It’s hard to say.    Roberts said only that he had directed the marshal to investigate the source of the leak.    He didn’t say how long the investigation would take.    He didn’t say whether it would be limited to the court or extend to the journalists involved in the opinion’s publication.    And he didn’t say whether the results would eventually be made public.
    The beginning of the investigation comes during a particularly busy time of year for the court.    The justices just finished hearing arguments in cases at the end of April.    They spend May and June completing their work on opinions, and those are issued before they take a summer break.
Members of the Supreme Court pose for a group photo in April 2021 at the Supreme Court in Washington. Seated from left are
Associate Justice Samuel Alito, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer
and Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, while standing from left are Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Associate Justice
Elena Kagan, Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch and Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett. ERIN SCHAFF/THE NEW YORK TIMES VIA AP, POOL

5/5/2022 Oklahoma joins Texas in offering possible glimpse of US after Roe - Providers look for clinics in neighboring states by Sean Murphy, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Demonstrators gather at the Oklahoma State Capitol on Tuesday to protest after Oklahoma’s
governor signed a Texas-style abortion ban into law. NATHAN J. FISH/THE OKLAHOMAN
    OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma joined Texas this week to form a region that may look like what a nation divided over abortion care might look like if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down its landmark Roe v. Wade ruling.
    While abortion providers across the country have been bracing for the possibility that the high court’s new conservative majority might further restrict abortion, that has especially been the case in Oklahoma, where lawmakers have passed a half-dozen anti-abortion measures this year.
    A bill signed into law on Tuesday by Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt is similar to the law passed in Texas last year that led to a marked increase in women going to neighboring states, including Oklahoma, to get abortions.    It prohibits doctors from performing an abortion after fetal activity is detected in the embryo, which experts say is typically after about six weeks and before many women even know they are pregnant.    And like Texas’ law, it is enforced through civil, not criminal, courts and relies on civilians to inform on one another.
    Abortion providers in Oklahoma said they are prepared for the law to take effect and have been helping women get appointments at clinics in neighboring states.
    “I think something we realized in September (when the Texas law took effect) is that we are already living in a virtual post-Roe world in our region,” said Dr. Iman Alsaden, the medical director of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, which operates clinics in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.
    “We have seen people go to extreme lengths to access abortion care: driving all night, doing whatever they can to get the basic health care they need for them and their families.    We have been seeing what a post-Roe future looks like in this region of the country already, and it’s unbelievable.”
    The Oklahoma Supreme Court declined to temporarily stop the law from taking effect, although the court is still considering a legal challenge.
    Stitt’s signing of the bill, along with the leaked draft opinion suggesting the U.S. Supreme Court is considering weakening or overturning its Roe v. Wade decision, led more than 100 people to protest on Tuesday at the Oklahoma Capitol.
    “I honestly and truly never thought we would actually get here,” said Sophia Fults, 22, a University of Oklahoma student from Tulsa who held a sign that read: “Keep abortion safe, legal and accessible.”
    “Honestly, I was just shocked and I’m still kind of shocked and disgusted.    So many women are going to be harmed because of this.    It’s just horrendous.”
    The new law authorizes abortions if they are performed as the result of a medical emergency, but there are no exceptions for if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.
    Like the Texas law, the Oklahoma bill would allow private citizens to sue abortion providers or anyone who helps a woman obtain an abortion.    After the U.S. Supreme Court allowed that mechanism to remain in place, other Republican-led states sought to copy Texas’ ban.    Idaho’s governor signed the first copycat measure in March, although it has been temporarily blocked by the state’s Supreme Court.
    Stitt earlier this year signed a bill to make performing an abortion a felony in Oklahoma, but that measure is not set to take effect until this summer, and legal experts say it’s likely to be blocked because Roe still remains the law of the land.
    “One of our main responsibilities in government is to protect life, and that has been our deliberate intention,” said state Sen. Nathan Dahm, a Republican who wrote the bill to make abortion illegal.    “I believe here in Oklahoma we’ll do everything we can to protect life from conception.”
    The number of abortions performed each year in Oklahoma, which has four abortion clinics, has declined steadily over the last two decades, from more than 6,200 in 2002 to 3,737 in 2020, which were the fewest in more than 20 years, according to data from the Oklahoma State Department of Health.    In 2020, before the Texas law was passed, about 9% of the abortions performed in Oklahoma involved women from Texas.
    Before the Texas ban took effect on Sept. 1, about 40 women from Texas had abortions performed in Oklahoma each month, the data shows.    That number jumped to 222 in September and 243 in October, according to the most recent data available.
    Clinic operators in Texas saw about a 40% decrease in the number of abortions performed there after the law took effect, and Oklahoma operators say they expect similar declines, said Zachary Gingrich-Gaylord, a spokesman for Trust Women, which operates clinics in Oklahoma City and Wichita, Kansas.
    “In Texas, we’ve seen that many clinics were able to retain around 60% of their pre-SB 8 patient volume, and it seems reasonable to expect something similar in Oklahoma,” Gingrich-Gaylord said, referring to the Texas law by its state Senate bill name.    “The primary reason to think that we may see far less volume than that is the chilling effect caused by the (Supreme Court) leak that may add to confusion for patients seeking abortions.”
    According to state health department data, about 47% of abortions performed in Oklahoma in 2020 were for women who were less than six weeks pregnant.
Anti-abortion bill signed in Oklahoma
    A bill signed into law on Tuesday prohibits doctors from performing an abortion after fetal activity is detected in the embryo, which experts say is typically after about six weeks and before many women even know they are pregnant.    It is enforced through civil, not criminal, courts and relies on civilians to inform on one another.    It would also allow private citizens to sue abortion providers or anyone who helps a woman obtain an abortion.
Any exception?
    The new law authorizes abortions if they are performed as the result of a medical emergency, but there are no exceptions for if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court declined to temporarily stop the law from taking effect,
although it is still considering a legal challenge. DOUG HOKE/THE OKLAHOMAN

5/5/2022 Biden Professes Support For Abortion, Condemns Pro-Life Movement by OAN Newsroom
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the economy in the Roosevelt Room
of the White House, Wednesday, May 4, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Joe Biden recently professed his support for abortion while condemning the pro-life movement.    In the midst of speaking to reporters Wednesday, the President accused Republicans of “attacking” civil liberties over speculation the Supreme Court could revoke Roe v. Wade.
    Biden recalled his disagreement on abortion with Reagan-era Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork whom he kept off the high court while serving in the US Senate.    He accused Bork of believing the rights came from government while Biden said rights, which he considers abortion to be, were bestowed upon people by God.
    Biden claimed abortion is a God-given right because it is part of an individual’s right to privacy.    The democrat alleged the overturning of Roe would lead to a slippery slope of banning contraceptives and discrimination against LGBTQ children.
    “And remember the debate, well you don’t remember, but we had a debate about Griswold v. Connecticut,” he explained.    “There had been a law saying a married couple could not purchase birth control in the privacy of their own bedroom and use it…what happens if you have states changing the law, saying that that that children who are LGBTQ can’t be in classrooms with other children?
    Biden also claimed GOP opposition to the abortion agenda is an “act of aggression” and inferred that supporters of former President Trump are political extremists.    When pressed about the comments later in the day, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki attempted to clarify Biden’s remarks.
    “The MAGA direction of some in the Republican Party and he’s been struck by the hold his predecessor seems to have on far too many members, not all, but far too many members of the party,” she stated.    “And what we’re seeing, the latest antics, make clear that they are at war with Mickey Mouse.    They’re against allowing women to make choices about their own health care, against lowering the cost of prescription drugs.”     The Republican National Committee has responded, saying Biden insulted tens-of-millions of Americans.    The GOP commission then noted Biden’s record-low approval ratings, which it suggested speaks volumes.
    Despite being the head of the executive branch, the President has not publicly inquired into the identity of the individual who leaked the draft opinion on the Mississippi abortion case or expressed any intention to prosecute them.

5/5/2022 President Biden Takes Credit For Deficit Reductions by OAN Newsroom
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in the
Roosevelt Room of the White House, Thursday, April 21, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    President Biden appeared to take credit for deficits decreasing after Democrats and establishment Republicans spend record amounts of money putting the deficit at its highest point.    While speaking at the White House Wednesday, he criticized former President Donald Trump about the increase of deficits before and after the pandemic.
    Biden’s claims come despite the fact he unsuccessfully pushed lawmakers to pass the Build Back Better Act, which would have led to trillions in new federal spending.    He also blamed Trump for current inflation levels, suggesting a lower deficit would have tamp down on inflation.
    “The bottom line is the deficit went up every year under my predecessor before the pandemic and during the pandemic,” stated Biden. “It has gone down both years since I’ve been here.”
    While technically true, the deficit has fallen following the record spending during the 2020 COVID relief packages then shattering even that record in 2021 with the Democrat COVID package.    On part of the Trump tax cuts in 2017, revenues reportedly reached a record high, lessening the burden on the government funding.

5/5/2022 DHS Secy. Mayorkas Says He Did Not Know ‘Disinformation Czar’ Jankowicz Promoted Hunter Biden Laptop Narrative by OAN Newsroom
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies before the House Judiciary Committee,
on Capitol Hill, Thursday, April 28, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said he was not aware that “disinformation czar” Nina Jankowicz may have a strong pro-Democrat bias.
    During a Senate hearing on Wednesday, Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) asked the secretary whether he knew that Jankowicz called the Hunter Biden laptop story “Russian disinformation.”    Mayorkas said he did not know that.    Kennedy then asked if the secretary knew that Jankowicz believed the debunked Steele dossier was true.
    “One, we do not discuss internal hiring processes,” Mayorkas noted.    “Two, I was not aware of that fact.    Three, as a secretary of Homeland Security I am responsible for the decisions of the department.    And four, it’s my understanding that Ms. Jankowicz is a subject matter expert for the field in which she will be working on behalf of the department.”
    Republicans assert the apparent bias of President Joe Biden’s “disinformation czar” could make the new DHS panel a tool of government censorship.    Among other issues, Mayorkas also testified on the ongoing border crisis.

5/5/2022 Calif. Democrat Reps. Aim To Make Abortion A Right by OAN Newsroom
A crowd of people gather outside the Supreme Court, early Tuesday, May 3, 2022 in Washington.
A draft opinion circulated among Supreme Court justices suggests that earlier this year a majority of
them had thrown support behind overturning the 1973 case Roe v. Wade. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    California Democrats are not backing down in their push for stronger abortion rights in the state.    Golden State politicians doubled down on the issue of abortion following a leaked draft of the Supreme Court’s decision to potentially overturn the landmark case Roe v. Wade.
    Following Politico’s release of the court’s 98-page opinion, Democrats introduced a constitutional amendment to salvage abortion rights in California on Monday.
    Governor Gavin Newsom (D), Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon announced the proposal following the leak.    Atkins held a press conference along with other female legislators at the State Capitol in Sacramento to talk about how California can lead the way on abortion rights.
    “I’m making sure that the Constitutional Amendment gets on the ballot for November,” said Atkins.
    A reversal in Roe v. Wade would allow states to make their own abortion laws.    Additionally, voters must approve constitutional amendments by referendum.    Democrats say the amendment will go on the voting ballot for November’s midterm elections.    The irony is constitutional scholars have admitted the “right to abortion” is not explicit in the United States Constitution and Atkins made it clear the “right to choose” was also not in the California State Constitution.
    “California has long recognized the fundamental rights of privacy and control over one’s own body,” stated Atkins.    “Now we are going to make sure that right is in our Constitution and I will be introducing a Constitutional Amendment that will make it crystal clear that reproductive rights in America are included and specifically abortion is protected.”
    The proposed amendment, if passed by the voters, would seek to make abortion a protected right.
    Additionally, Democrat State Representative and Chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus Cristina Garcia stated the body already introduced a package of bills to be a few steps ahead in the country.
    “For me it’s a matter of life and death,” said Garcia.    “It’s important for California to keep enough hope for everybody and that we show access to our marginalized communities here.”
    One specific bill, SB 1142, would establish California as a sanctuary state for abortion.    Additionally, the measure would mandate outreach programs to inform the public where and how to access abortion services and provide state funding for those who cannot afford it themselves.
    While previous radical bills have been dismissed during the committee process due to public push back and not having the votes amongst the democratic body, it remains up in the air as Democrats hold a veto proof majority in both chambers along with a majority in the State Executive Office.

5/5/2022 White House Economic Advisor Bernstein Declines To Rule Out Economic Recession by OAN Newsroom
President Joe Biden speaks at POET Bioprocessing in Menlo, Iowa, Tuesday, April 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
    White House economist Jared Bernstein is declining to dismiss the potential of an economic recession occurring in the near future.
    In a recent interview, Bernstein claimed the nation is “well positioned” to avoid a recession, however, he admitted “you can never rule anything out.”    The economist denied claims that President Joe Biden is “out of touch” in terms of the economic situation facing many Americans.    He said the President is acutely aware of the “extreme discomfort” households are experiencing.
    Additionally, Bernstein insisted the Biden administration is working to lower high inflation nationwide.    His remarks follow recent polling that indicates Americans are concerned about the direction of the economy under current national leadership.

5/5/2022 Trump Endorses ‘America First’ Candidates: What Kind Of Impact Will This Have At The Polls? by OAN Newsroom
    As crime surges and inflation on the rise, there’s no doubt people are looking for change.    However, this isn’t the first time.    One America’s Natasha Sweatte explains in this report.

5/5/2022 Oil up $0.91 to $108.45, DOW down 1,060 to 33,001.

5/6/2022 Stocks slump 3% as worries grow over higher interest rates
    A sharp sell-off left the Dow Jones Industrial Average more than 1,000 points lower Thursday, wiping out the gains from Wall Street’s biggest rally in two years, as worries grow that the higher interest rates the Federal Reserve is using in its fight against inflation will slow the economy.
    The benchmark S& P 500 fell 3.6%, marking its biggest loss in nearly two years, a day after it posted its biggest gain since May 2020.    The Nasdaq slumped 5%, its worst drop since June 2020.    The losses by the Dow and the other indexes offset the gains from a day earlier.
    The S& P 500 fell 153.30 points to 4,146.87, while the Nasdaq slid 647.16 points to 12,317.69. The Dow briefly skidded 1,375 points before closing down 1,063.09 points, or 3.1%, to 32,997.97.
    Smaller company stocks also fell sharply.    The Russell 2000 fell 78.77 points, or 4%, to 1,871.15

5/6/2022 Hundreds rally over Roe v. Wade - Protesters gather at Metro Hall after leak by Krista Johnson, Louisville Courier Journal USA TODAY NETWORK
Abortion rights supporters hold signs during a pro-choice rally outside Louisville
    About 200 people rallied in downtown Louisville on Wednesday evening, joining with abortion-rights supporters across the country protesting the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade.
    “We won’t go where?” Shanti Moore asked the crowd as she stood atop the steps of Metro Hall.
    “We won’t go back!” the crowd roared, repeating the chant twice more.     In Louisville, about 30 people protested at the Hall of Justice on Tuesday night.    But a day later, the crowd was far greater at Metro Hall.
    “We will not go back to harmful ways,” said Moore, a birth justice coordinator with Sister Song, an organization focused on the reproductive lives of marginalized communities.
    Moore urged members of the crowd to increase their involvement in the fight for abortion rights and access.    “Show up and support someone who is going through an abortion, who’s thinking of an abortion, or someone who is supporting someone going through an abortion,” she continued.
    Jessica Reese, of Louisville Showing up for Racial Justice, also addressed the crowd from Metro Hall’s steps, saying Roe v. Wade’s existence does nothing if someone doesn’t have access to an abortion.
    She urged people to support abortion funds and to learn more about self-managed abortions.
    “I am a Christian who supports abortion rights and reproductive justice. ... To anti-choicers everywhere — you can’t force us to stay pregnant, we are not your vessels,” she said.
    Should Roe be struck down, a 2019 trigger law would outlaw abortion in Kentucky, causing women and girls in the state who want an abortion to have to travel out of state.
    In the United States, 26 states — five bordering Kentucky — either have laws to ban or sharply restrict access to abortion should Roe v. Wade end, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a Washington D.C.-based reproductive health policy organization.
    Wednesday’s rally was organized by a coalition of organizations, including Sister Song, the Party for Socialism and Liberation Louisville and Black Lives Matter Louisville.
    “We will not allow the state to control our bodies, our labor, or our lives,” a release from the coalition says.    “... While the Supreme Court makes threats to eradicate protections even further for marginalized genders and sexualities, we will continue to mobilize for these rights and more.”
    While the majority of the people present Wednesday showed support for abortion rights, four men stood to the side of the crowd holding anti-abortion signs while using a microphone supporting the end to Roe v. Wade.
    “I’m sorry you had fathers that didn’t tell you they love you,” one of the men yelled.    “You have blood on your hands.”
    Nearly a dozen abortion-rights supporters formed a barricade around the men to protect them in case people in the crowd became offended by their remarks.
    As the rally went on and more people continued to show, protesters passed a barricade and waved their abortion rights signs higher.
    “Keep bans off my body,” a woman had written across herself.
    Contact reporter Krista Johnson at
A protester holds up a sign during a pro-choice rally outside the Hall of Justice

Amber Flora of Louisville wears a face mask showing her stance on body autonomy
at a pro-choice rally outside the Hall of Justice Tuesday.

5/6/2022 Official: US gave intel before Ukraine sank Russian warship by Aamer Madhani, Nomaan Merchant and Lolita C. Baldor, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – The U.S. says it shared intelligence with Ukraine about the location of the Russian missile cruiser Moskva prior to the strike that sank the warship, an incident that was a high-profile failure for Russia’s military.
    An American official said Thursday that Ukraine alone decided to target and sink the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet using its own anti-ship missiles.    But given Russia’s attacks on the Ukrainian coastline from the sea, the U.S. has provided “a range of intelligence” that includes locations of those ships, said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
    The Biden administration has ramped up intelligence sharing with Ukraine alongside the shipment of arms and missiles to help it repel Russia’s invasion.    The disclosure of U.S. support in the Moskva strike comes as the White House is under pressure from Republicans to do more to support Ukraine’s resistance and as polls suggest Americans question whether President Joe Biden is being tough enough on Russia.
    Since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion in February, the White House has tried to balance supporting Ukraine, a democratic ally, against not doing anything that would seem to provoke a direct war between Putin and the U.S. and NATO.    The White House has removed some time and geographic limits on what it will tell Ukraine about potential Russian targets.
    The official who spoke Thursday said the U.S. was not aware that Ukraine planned to strike the Moskva until after they conducted the operation.    NBC News first reported on the American role in the sinking of the ship.
    Speaking earlier Thursday after a New York Times report about the U.S. role in supporting Ukraine’s killing of Russian generals, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said American agencies “do not provide intelligence on the location of senior military leaders on the battlefield or participate in the targeting decisions of the Ukrainian military.”
    “Ukraine combines information that we and other partners provide with the intel that they themselves are gathering and then they make their own decisions and they take their own actions,” Kirby said.

5/6/2022 Senate to vote next week on protecting reproductive rights by Farnoush Amiri, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – The Senate will vote next week on legislation that would codify abortion rights into federal law as Democrats mount their response to the Supreme Court’s leaked draft decision that would overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling.     The procedural vote, scheduled for Wednesday, will mostly be symbolic and once again show the limits of the Democratic majority in the 50-50 Senate.    Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., does not have the necessary 60 votes to overcome a Republican filibuster and move ahead with the bill, which means the effort is certain to fail.    But he said members of both parties need to go on record about where they stand.
    “Next week’s vote will be one of the most important we ever take,” Schumer said Thursday.    “Because it deals with one of the most personal and difficult decisions a woman ever has to make in her life.”
    He insisted that bringing a bill to the Senate floor, after a similar measure failed in February, is “not an abstract exercise.”    The House passed legislation protecting abortion rights in September.
    The Democratic leader is hoping to put every single member of his conference, as well as Republicans, on record on abortion rights as both parties deal with the political fallout from the leaked draft opinion that would overturn the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.    A final ruling, in a case from Mississippi, is expected this summer.
    Democratic leaders, lacking the support needed to change Senate rules and pass an abortion bill on a majority vote, have signaled they intend to take the fight to voters during the campaign leading to the November election.    Schumer noted that Republicans have been working for decades to bring about the end of Roe v. Wade.
    “Come next week, Senate Republicans will have to answer for everything they’ve done over the years to embolden the hard right’s hostility against a woman’s choice,” Schumer said.    “The vote will tell next week; America will be watching.”
    Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who joined abortion rights supporters in protest on the Supreme Court steps Tuesday, reiterated how crucial it was – not just for her colleagues across the aisle, but for those in her party – to face voters on whichever decision they choose to make next week.
    “It’s about pressing everyone at every level of government, federal, state and local, to acknowledge what it will mean if women have to resort to back-alley abortions or to taking off days off work that they can’t afford to get access to a medical procedure that has been guaranteed as a matter of constitutional right for nearly half a century,” Warren said Thursday.
    Republican lawmakers have long been laser-focused on the high court, installing conservative justices’ intent on revisiting abortion and other social issues.
    GOP lawmakers have focused their ire on the rare leak of the draft opinion, calling it a brazen attempt to pressure the justices into changing the ruling.
    Urging the justices to stick to their process, Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell promised that senators would “have their backs, no matter what.”
Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., left, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., right, listen as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer
speaks Thursday at a news conference on Capitol Hill about next week’s vote to codify Roe v. Wade. JACQUELYN MARTIN/AP

5/6/2022 Postmaster general: Get used to ‘uncomfortable’ price increases by ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – Americans should get used to “uncomfortable” postage rate increases in coming years as the U.S. Postal Service seeks to become self-sufficient, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said Thursday.
    The Postal Service Board of Governors sets postage rates, but DeJoy said he’ll advocate for raising prices until “we have accomplished our objective of projecting a trajectory that shows us being self-sustaining.”
    “I believe we have been severely damaged by at least 10 years of a defective pricing model which cannot be satisfied by one or two annual price increases, especially in this inflationary environment,” he added.
    DeJoy made the remarks at a Board of Governors meeting in which the Postal Service reported a loss of about $1.7 billion for the latest quarter.
    A sweeping overhaul meant to shore up the Postal Service’s financial future will be reflected in the next quarter’s results.    The long-delayed law also ensures six-day-a-week mail delivery.
    The bill was signed by President Joe Biden on the same day the Postal Service announced plans for the latest rate increase.
    If the increase wins final approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission, then the cost of a first-class “forever” stamp will grow by 2 cents to 60 cents, effective July 10.

5/6/2022 Oil up $1.81 to $110.41, DOW down 97 to 32,901.

5/6/2022 Dr. Ron Paul: Biden’s Ministry Of Truth Has Dark Origins In History by OAN Newsroom
Dr. Ron Paul in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
    Former congressman Ron Paul recently commented on what he called “the dark origins” of the Biden administration’s so-called Disinformation Governance Board.
    While speaking on his Liberty Report Thursday, Dr. Paul said American history knows examples of suppressing free speech, which includes censorship during Woodrow Wilson’s presidency.    He added, at that time America had been dragged into a global war because of restrictions on free speech.
    “The bigger the government and the more likely to have an empire, the more the lies because truth is treasonous in an empire of lies,” stated the former congressman.
    Dr. Paul asserted that Democrats want to bring back censorship merely to achieve their political goals.
    “It isn’t that you can’t do it, it’s just that if you don’t do it there way, have a board and have AOC, a few others and Nancy Pelosi decide what is truth and what is not, then that’s when you really have problems,” he remarked.
    Dr. Paul also said the American people are capable of thinking for themselves without the government telling them what’s true and what’s false.

5/6/2022 AG Garland Coming After So-Called Ghost Guns by OAN Newsroom
Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks at a news conference to announce actions to enhance the Biden administration’s
environmental justice efforts, Thursday, May 5, 2022, at the Department of Justice in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    The Department of Justice assured it will use every tool to support local and state efforts to fight gun crime.    Specifically, Attorney General Merrick Garland doubled down on his crackdown against so-called ghost guns.
    While speaking at ATF headquarters Thursday, Garland unveiled new regulations against gun manufacturers, which aim to make it easier for law enforcement to track firearms.
    “The department has finalized a rule that makes clear that part kits that can readily be converted into assembled firearms will now be treated as what they are: firearms,” he stated.    “This means that those who engage in the business of dealing in these guns will be required to mark every frame or receiver with a serial number, so that the gun can be traced if they are used in crimes.”
    As of right now, owning a gun without a serial number is not a federal crime, but each state has different requirements.    However, according to Garland, undocumented firearms are a threat to communities.
    Additionally, the Attorney General said the Justice Department’s 2023 fiscal budget includes more than $8 billion in grants for states to fund local law enforcement in an effort to “build trust with the community they serve and implement community-based strategies to prevent gun crime and gun violence.”    He has also directed all 94 US attorney’s offices across the country to work with their state local partners to address the violent crimes specific to their districts.
    “All of us, across the entire Justice Department, are committed to using every tool to give you the support that you need to do your jobs safely and effectively,” Garland continued.
    Garland’s announcements come as major crimes in New York City have shot up 34 percent overall in the month of April and Los Angeles has seen a 7 percent uptick in violent crimes compared to last year.

5/6/2022 Gov. DeSantis Signs Largest Tax Relief Package In Fla. History
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis arrives at a news conference, near the
Shark Valley Visitor Center in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)
    Governor Ron DeSantis (R) made a historic move to combat the inflationary spiral brought on by Democrat policies.
    The Republican signed the largest tax relief package in Florida’s history Friday, while asserting it will help mitigate the financial burden placed on those living in the state.    The $1.2 billion bill will create breaks for critical needs from gas to diapers to allow families to save.
    DeSantis also criticized the Biden administration, while suggesting their refusal to reestablish American energy independence is hurting everyday consumers.    Benefits of the governor’s the bill start taking effect in Florida on July 1.

5/6/2022 Walgreens To Pay Fla. $683M In Opioid Settlement by OAN Newsroom
FILE – The Walgreens logo on the front of a store, July 14, 2021, in Cambridge, Mass. The Walgreens pharmacy chain has reached
a $683 million settlement with the state of Florida in a lawsuit accusing the company of improperly dispensing millions
of painkillers that contributed to the opioid crisis, state officials said Thursday, May 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
    Walgreens has agreed to pay Florida $683 million to settle a lawsuit alleging the pharmacy chain helped fuel the opioid crisis in the state.    Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced the agreement Thursday, which requires Walgreens to pay $620 million to the state over a period of 18-years and 63 million for legal fees.
    Walgreens dished out billions of opioid dosages in Florida since 2006, but the company admitted no wrongdoing as part of the settlement.    Moody called the agreement historic for Florida, those struggling against addiction and communities across the US suffering from the opioid crisis.
    “The funds will go to communities hit hardest by opioid abuse, and they will be spent on treatment and prevention,” stated the Attorney General.    “The funds will undoubtedly save the lives of Floridians.    What we have accomplished is no small feat.    In fact, Florida continues to lead the nation in legal efforts to hold defendants accountable for their unique roles in this public health crisis.”
    Moody also said the state has now recovered more than $3 billion in opioid litigation against drugmakers, distributors and pharmacies.    In addition to Walgreens, Florida has reached settlements with CVS, Teva Pharmaceutical, AbbVie, and Endo International, among others.
    Despite the state’s efforts, Moody emphasized there’s still much work to be done as the Florida loses an estimated 21 lives a day to opioid abuse.    Florida is now the first state to reach agreements regarding the crisis with both Walgreen’s and CVS.
    “With these funds Florida goes on offense to stop addiction and save lives,” Moody continued.    “We now go into battle armed and ready to fight back hard against this manmade crisis.    And we do it in unison with the more than 200 cities and counties that have stepped up to support and benefit from our litigation efforts.”
    More than 3,300 lawsuits have been filed against drugmakers, distributors and pharmacies over the crisis, which the CDC reports has led to more than 500,000 overdose deaths in the last two decades.

5/6/2022 Senate Approves Sen. Cruz’s Motion Supporting Further Iran Sanctions by OAN Newsroom
    Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told One America News that Senate approval of his floor amendment supporting further terrorism sanctions on Iran would send a clear message to the Biden administration.    One America’s John Hines has more from Capitol Hill.

5/7/2022 No Oil or DOW info.

5/7/2022 Official: US gave intel on warship by Aamer Madhani, Nomaan Merchant and Lolita C. Baldor, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – The U.S. says it shared intelligence with Ukraine about the location of the Russian missile cruiser Moskva before the strike that sank the warship, a high-profile embarrassment for Russia’s military, but the Pentagon denied Friday that it played a direct role in the strike.
    Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement that the U.S. “did not provide Ukraine with specific targeting information for the Moskva,” although he acknowledged that the U.S. and allies routinely share intelligence with Ukraine.
    “We were not involved in the Ukrainians’ decision to strike the ship or in the operation they carried out,” he added.    “We had no prior knowledge of Ukraine’s intent to target the ship.”
    An American official said Thursday that Ukraine alone decided to target and sink the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet using its own anti-ship missiles.    But given Russia’s attacks on the Ukrainian coastline from the sea, the U.S. has provided “a range of intelligence” that includes locations of those ships, said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
    Speaking to CNN on Friday, Kirby said “the intelligence that we provide to Ukraine is legal.    It’s lawful, it’s legitimate, and it’s limited.”    He said the U.S. is always concerned about the potential for escalation in the conflict with nuclear-armed Russia.

5/7/2022 Death toll in Havana hotel blast reaches 22 - Natural gas leak being blamed for ‘tragic accident’ by Andrea Rodríguez, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    HAVANA – A powerful explosion apparently caused by a natural gas leak killed at least 22 people, including a child, and injured dozens Friday when it blew away outer walls from a luxury hotel in the heart of Cuba’s capital.
    No tourists were staying at Havana’s 96-room Hotel Saratoga because it was undergoing renovations, Havana Gov. Reinaldo García Zapata told the Communist Party newspaper Granma.
    “It’s not a bomb or an attack.    It is a tragic accident,” President Miguel Díaz-Canel, who visited the site, said in a tweet.
    Dr. Julio Guerra Izquierdo, chief of hospital services at the Ministry of Health, told reporters that at least 74 people had been injured.    Among them were 14 children, according to a tweet from Díaz-Canel’s office.
    Díaz-Canel said families in buildings near the hotel affected by the explosion had been transferred to safer locations.
    Cuban state TV reported the explosion was caused by a truck that had been supplying natural gas to the hotel, but did not provide details on how the gas ignited.    A white tanker truck was seen being removed from the site as rescue workers hosed it down with water.
    Tourism Minister Juan Carlos García said the hotel was scheduled to reopen Tuesday.
    The blast sent smoke billowing into the air around the hotel with people on the street staring in awe, one saying “Oh my God,” and cars honking their horns as they sped away from the scene, video showed.    It happened as Cuba is struggling to revive its key tourism sector that was devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.
    Cuba’s national health minister, José Ángel Portal, told The Associated Press the number of injured could rise as the search continues for people who may be trapped in the rubble of the 19th century structure in the Old Havana neighborhood of the city.
    “We are still looking for a large group of people who may be under the rubble,” Lt. Col. Noel Silva of the Fire Department said.
    A 300-student school next to the hotel was evacuated.    García Zapata said five of the students suffered minor injuries.
    Police cordoned off the area as firefighters and rescue workers toiled inside the wreckage of the emblematic hotel about 110 yards from Cuba’s Capitol building.
    The hotel was first renovated in 2005 as part of the Cuban government’s revival of Old Havana and is owned by the Cuban military’s tourism business arm, Grupo de Turismo Gaviota SA.    The company said it was investigating the cause of the blast and did not immediately respond to an email seeking more details about the hotel and the renovation it was undergoing.
    The Hotel Saratoga has been used frequently by visiting VIPs and political figures, including high-ranking U.S. government delegations.    Beyoncé and Jay-Z stayed there during a 2013 visit to Cuba.
    Photographer Michel Figueroa said he was walking past the hotel when “the explosion threw me to the ground, and my head still hurts. ... Everything was very fast.”
    Worried relatives of people who had been working at the hotel showed up at a hospital in the afternoon to look for them.    Among them was Beatriz Céspedes Cobas, who was tearfully searching for her sister.
    “She had to work today.    She is a housekeeper,” she said.    “I work two blocks away.    I felt the noise, and at first, I didn’t even associate” the explosion with the hotel.
    Yazira de la Caridad said the explosion shook her home a block from the hotel: “The whole building moved.    I thought it was an earthquake.”
    Besides the pandemic’s impact on Cuba’s tourism sector, the country was struggling with sanctions imposed by the former President Donald Trump that have been kept in place by the Biden administration.    The sanctions limited visits by U.S. tourists to the islands and restricted remittances from Cubans in the U.S. to their families in Cuba.
    Tourism had started to revive somewhat early this year, but the war in Ukraine crimped a boom of Russian visitors, who accounted for almost a third of the tourists arriving in Cuba last year.
    The explosion happened as Cuba’s government played host to the final day of a tourism convention in the iconic beach town of Varadero aimed at drawing investors.
    Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is scheduled to arrive in Havana for a visit late Saturday and Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said the visit would still take place.
A view of the Saratoga Hotel after an explosion partially destroyed the
five-star hotel in central Havana. ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

A taxi is buried in rubble at the site of the five-star Saratoga Hotel after a deadly explosion in Havana. RAMON ESPINOSA/AP

5/7/2022 Sen. Scott Says Biden Is ‘Incoherent And Confused’ by OAN Newsroom
    Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) told One America News that Joe Biden was “incoherent and confused” while also criticizing his economic plan.    One America’s John Hines has more.


5/8/2022 No Oil or DOW info.

5/8/2022 Grim aspect of Jan. 6: When police commit the crimes - Charges against at least 19 current or ex-officers by Bart Jansen, USA TODAY
Violent insurrectionists loyal to President Donald Trump storm the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. JOHN MINCHILLO/AP
    WASHINGTON – Off-duty police officer Thomas Robertson confronted officers defending the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Carrying a large wooden stick, he entered the historic building amid a mob of rioters.
Robertson, 49, of Ferrum, Virginia, was convicted last month of six charges, including felonies for obstructing Congress and interfering with law enforcement.
    On Monday, Thomas Webster, 56, of Goshen, New York, a retired New York City police officer, was convicted of assaulting a District of Columbia police officer outside the Capitol.    Webster was accused of swinging a flag pole at the officer and tackling him.
    At least 19 current or former officers were charged in the insurrection, some with assaulting officers or witnessing attacks, according to a USA TODAY analysis of court records.
    The FBI has warned for years that violent extremists could infiltrate police departments to gain intelligence and sabotage authorities.
At least six current or former officers have pleaded guilty to Jan. 6 charges, in addition to the convictions of Robertson and Webster at trial.
    “Any time you see law enforcement violating the trust that’s been placed in them, it’s a concern and something that needs to be addressed and something that can’t be tolerated,” said Daniel Linskey, former Boston police chief and managing director at Kroll, a security management company.
    “For a long time, we’ve seen extremism researchers talk about the concern that comes with infiltration, insider threats, of domestic violent extremists – white supremacists, anti-government extremists – into the ranks of law enforcement and the military,” said Jon Lewis, a research fellow at George Washington University’s Program on Extremism.    “It’s just a matter of practicality that it is mutually exclusive to uphold the Constitution or engage in efforts to prevent the certification of an election.”
    Police officers were forced to resign or were fired in nearly all the cases related to Jan. 6.
    Maria Haberfeld, a professor of law and police science at John Jay College, said police departments typically have policies explicitly telling officers not to participate in political movements or demonstrations.    After training New York police in ethics for more than 20 years, she was surprised officers participated in the riot.
    In Virginia, the Rocky Mount Police Department fired Robertson and a fellow off-duty officer, Jacob Fracker, 30, of Rocky Mount, after they were arrested in January 2021.    Fracker pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge and cooperated with Robertson’s prosecution.
    Others resigned.    Mark Sami Ibrahim of Orange County, California, was an off duty special agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration when he walked around outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, according to court records.
    Ibrahim was photographed wearing his DEA badge and firearm and carrying a flag that said, “Liberty or death.”    After Ashli Babbitt was fatally shot by police outside the House chamber, Ibrahim was within steps of her when medics loaded her into an ambulance, according to court records.    Ibrahim pleaded not guilty to charges he entered the Capitol and carried a firearm on restricted grounds.
    Chicago police officer Karol Chwiesiuk was charged with violent entry of the Capitol and making his way to the office of Sen.    Jeff Merkley, D-Ore. Chwiesiuk, who wore a sweatshirt with a Chicago police logo, left the building through a broken window, according to court records. He kept his job, assigned to desk duty, after he was arrested June 11.    Chwiesiuk pleaded not guilty, and his trial has not been scheduled.
Policing the police
    Law enforcement organizations monitor their officers for possible illegal activities such as cooperating with organized crime groups or drug cartels.    Federal agencies and larger police departments routinely vet officers after they’re hired.
    Linskey said officers were required to report if they were arrested. If they didn’t report an infraction, the cover-up could be as problematic as the behavior.    “You always have to keep your own house in order,” Linskey said.
    The International Association of Chiefs of Police declined to comment for this story, and the National Association of Chiefs of Police didn’t respond to a request for comment.
    Some police departments disciplined officers for supporting or getting near the Capitol – but didn’t charge them.
    The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s Transit Police Department investigated seven officers who traveled to     Washington on Jan. 6 and found none was involved in storming the Capitol.    After an internal affairs investigation and review by the Police Board of Inquiry, the agency suspended two sergeants for three days for social media posts that could be interpreted as supporting the rioters.
    Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz fired two officers in August 2021 after fellow officers reported them near the Capitol during the riot, although they weren’t charged.    Diaz said he ensured accountability for anyone who violated the community’s trust in law enforcement.
    “The two officers were found to have crossed the outdoor barriers established by the Capitol Police and were directly next to the Capitol Building,” Diaz said in a statement.    “It is beyond absurd to suggest that they did not know they were in an area where they should not be, amidst what was already a violent, criminal riot.”
    Attorney General Merrick Garland told the Senate at his confirmation hearing that the investigation into the insurrection is the department’s top priority. He said the country faces a “more dangerous period” than the powder keg of domestic tensions that preceded the Oklahoma City bombing.
Colleagues report police
    Several officers charged in the riot Jan. 6 were reported by fellow officers.    In Florida, Windermere Police Chief David Ogden said an officer voiced concerns that officer Kevin Tuck participated in the Capitol attack.    Ogden said Tuck denied he had been inside the Capitol, and the initial FBI investigation relayed that Tuck wasn’t involved.    By July, the FBI told Ogden that Tuck was charged with obstructing Congress and entering a restricted building.    Tuck, who pleaded not guilty, resigned.    (Tuck’s son, Nathaniel, a former officer in the Apopka Police Department, was also charged.)
    “It saddens all of us in the law enforcement community to see criminal charges brought forward of any misconduct involving a police officer,” Ogden said in a statement.
    Tam Pham of Richmond, Texas, resigned as an 18-year Houston police officer after FBI agents interviewed him. He denied going to the Capitol, but investigators found pictures of him inside the Rotunda.    He had walked through an office suite of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.
    Federal prosecutors said Pham was familiar with the dangers of large and aggressive crowds.    Pham helped keep the peace in uniform in Houston during a protest of 60,000 people June 2, 2020, in honor of George Floyd, who was murdered by police in Minneapolis.
    “His decision to unlawfully enter a guarded government building is deeply troubling in light of his former service and training,” prosecutors said in a filing.    Pham pleaded guilty in September to demonstrating in the Capitol.    He was sentenced to 45 days in jail, fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $500 restitution.
    Michael Hardin of Kaysville, Utah, who retired after 20 years as a Salt Lake City police officer and homicide detective, was photographed standing next to a Lincoln bust in the Capitol, according to court records.    “We stormed the Capitol,” Hardin said in a text message Jan. 6, according to court records.    His daughter alerted authorities.
    Hardin pleaded guilty to demonstrating in the Capitol and was sentenced April 11 to 18 months of probation and ordered to pay $500 restitution.    Prosecutors had asked for a 45-day sentence because Hardin witnessed the mob enveloping and crushing police officers.
    “His reaction to this violence was to cheer and holler, even though he was acutely aware, based on his decades of training and experience as a police officer, of the life-threatening danger that USCP officers were in at that moment,” prosecutors said in a sentencing memo.
    Hardin’s lawyer, Scott Williams, argued that Hardin’s public service shouldn’t be held against him.    “The elephant in the room of this sentencing is Mr. Hardin’s history as a police officer,” Williams said.    “This history is double edged.    The initial reaction may very well be to use it against him – to condemn him as someone who should clearly have known better, and who should have been particularly repelled by any acts of force against and/or disrespect for law enforcement.”
The police department in Rocky Mount, Va., fired officers Jacob Fracker and Thomas Robertson for
their roles in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. PROVIDED BY U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

5/8/2022 Battery project to be among largest in East - Construction in Ohio could begin next year by Mark Williams, Columbus Dispatch, USA TODAY NETWORK
    A rechargeable battery energy storage system similar to this one in Texas has
been proposed for Jersey Township in Licking County, Ohio. provided by Tulpen Hansen-Schwoebel
    One of the biggest rechargeable battery energy storage projects in the eastern half of the country could be coming to Licking County in an area surrounded by data centers, the upcoming Intel project and other projects where there is big demand for electricity.
    Energy investor Eolian, which operates 20,000 megawatts of energy storage, solar and wind generating capacity across the country, has proposed a 200-megawatt battery storage project to be built on a 15-acre site on Jug Street in Jersey Township, 200 feet from an American Electric Power substation.    The company plans to use 11.49 acres of the site for construction and operation.
    If approved, construction of Flint Grid Energy Storage System could begin as soon as next year and be operational in 2024.    The company has not disclosed the costs.
    California-based Eolian wants to take electricity from the grid during periods of low demand, store it in the batteries and then put it back onto the grid during periods of high demand.    The company would profit on the spread in prices between what it pays for electricity and what it would later collect.
    'This function will serve as a valuable addition to the electricity system by using lower-cost energy generated during off-peak periods to meet peak demand, provide flexibility to optimize the use of other clean, intermittent renewable resources, and defer future traditional generation and transmission projects while avoiding and even offsetting their environmental impacts,' according to the company’s application with the Ohio Power Siting Board.    The board oversees new sources of power generation in the state.
    Natural gas plants have historically been used to handle periods of high demand for electricity, but they can take five to 10 minutes to respond, the application said.    Meanwhile, battery energy storage systems can respond in seconds.
    'It’s easier to turn on,' project developer Justin Adams said of the storage systems.    'You don’t have to fire up a turbine.'
    Demand for storage has grown in recent years in conjunction with the surge in renewable energy projects.    At the same time, costs have been falling, making batteries more affordable.
    'If there is more wind than needed, you can save some for later and put it on the grid,' said Joshua Rhoades, research associate at the Weber Energy Group at the University of Texas.
    Same goes for solar and other types of renewable power, he said.
    In the case of Flint Grid, those batteries would pull electricity from all sources of power on the grid – coal, natural gas, nuclear as well as renewable sources.
    The batteries can even reduce the need for additional transmission systems and new sources of power, Rhoades said, by filling in for times of high demand.
    Large battery storage projects are expected to contribute 10,000 megawatts to the grid between 2021 and 2023 –10 times the capacity in 2019, according to an Energy Information Administration report from last August.
    Large storage projects are more common in Texas and California than in the East, where storage hasn’t developed as fast.    In Ohio, a handful of the more than 40 solar projects under some stage of development or operating have storage capacity, according to data from the Siting Board.    Projects under 50 megawatts do not fall under Siting Board jurisdiction.
    Flint Grid was in the works long before Intel announced its plans to spend $20 billion on two factories that will be located a few miles away.    It also is close to the Facebook, Google and Amazon data centers that are big users of electricity.
    'We didn’t locate it because of those places,' Adams said.    'We located there because it’s near the AEP substation it could connect to.'
    The storage system will consist of about 360 battery containers, each holding about 24 lithium iron phosphate batteries, according to the company’s application.    The battery containers are 32 feet long, 5.5 feet wide and 8.5 feet high.
    The project will create 42 construction jobs and 3.5 permanent jobs.
    A public hearing on the project has been set for 6 p.m. July 12 at the Courtyard by Marriott in New Albany.
    Separately, Amazon has announced that it is planning two more solar farms in Ohio, bringing to 18 the number of solar farms it is planning for the state as part of its effort to power its operations with renewable energy.
    The projects are in Madison and Marion counties. @BizMarkWilliams

5/8/2022 Desperate search for survivors in Cuba blast - At least 26 people killed in hotel explosion by Andrea Rodríguez, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Rescuers remove debris from the ruins of the Saratoga Hotel in Havana on Saturday. A natural gas leak
was the apparent cause of Friday’s blast at the 96-room hotel. YAMIL LAGE/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
    HAVANA – Relatives of the missing in Cuba’s capital desperately searched Saturday for victims of an explosion at one of Havana’s most luxurious hotels that killed at least 26 people.    They checked the morgue and hospitals, and if unsuccessful, returned to the partially collapsed Hotel Saratoga, where rescuers used dogs to hunt for survivors.
    A natural gas leak was the apparent cause of Friday’s blast at the 96-room hotel.    The 19th-century structure in the Old Havana neighborhood did not have any guests at the time because it was undergoing renovations ahead of a planned Tuesday reopening after being closed.
    Havana city officials raised the death toll to 26 on Saturday, according to the official Cubadebate news site.    The dead included four children and a pregnant woman.    Spain’s President Pedro Sánchez said via Twitter that a Spanish tourist was among the dead and that another Spaniard was seriously injured.    Cuban authorities had not provided details on the tourist’s death.
    Search and rescue teams worked through the night and into Saturday, using ladders to descend through the rubble and twisted metal into the hotel’s basement as heavy machinery gingerly moved away piles of the building’s façade to allow access.    Above, chunks of drywall dangled from wires, desks sat seemingly undisturbed inches from the void where the front of the building cleaved away.
    Rescuers declined to answer questions because the authorities had ordered them to avoid confusion.
    At least one survivor was found early Saturday in the shattered ruins, and rescuers using search dogs clambered over huge chunks of concrete looking for more.    Relatives of missing people remained at the site while others gathered at hospitals where the injured were being treated.
    Lt. Col. Enrique Peña briefed Comandante Ramiro Valdés, who fought alongside Fidel Castro, on the search efforts at the site Saturday morning.
    Peña said the presence of people had been detected on the first floor and in the basement and four teams of search dogs and handlers were working.    He did not know if the victims were alive or dead.
    “I don’t want to move from here,” Cristina Avellar told The Associated Press near the hotel.
    The explosion is another blow to the country’s crucial tourism industry.
    Even before the coronavirus pandemic kept tourists away from Cuba, the country was struggling with tightened sanctions imposed by former U.S. President Donald Trump and kept in place by the Biden administration.    Those limited visits by U.S. tourists to the islands and restricted remittances from Cubans in the U.S. to their families in Cuba.
    The emblematic hotel had a stunning view of Cuba’s center, including the domed Capitol building about 110 yards away.    The Capitol suffered broken glass and damaged masonry from the explosion.

5/8/2022 Gubernatorial Candidate Rob Astorino Says New Yorkers Are Fed Up by OAN Newsroom
    New York Gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino dished out his predictions ahead of primary day.    One America’s Caitlin Sinclair has more from New York.

5/9/2022 Trump lawyers: No relevant docs found by ASSOCIATED PRESS
    NEW YORK – Donald Trump’s legal team wants to void a contempt ruling and $10,000-per-day fine against the former president over a subpoena for documents related to a New York civil investigation into his business dealings, saying they’ve conducted a detailed search for the relevant files.
    A new, 66-page court filing dated Friday describes Trump’s lawyers’ efforts to produce documents sought by New York Attorney General Letitia James’s office, which is probing whether Trump may have misstated the value of assets like skyscrapers and golf courses on financial statements for over a decade.
    Trump has called the investigation a political witch hunt and recently called James, who is Black, “racist.”
    Last week, a New York appellate judge rejected his bid to suspend the fine while Trump appeals the decision.
    In the recent filing, Trump attorney Alina Habba said the responses to the subpoena were complete and correct and that no relevant documents or information were withheld.
    Habba conducted searches of Trump’s offices and private quarters at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, and his residence in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, according to the filing, but didn’t find any relevant documents that hadn’t already been produced. The filing also detailed searches at the Trump Organization’s offices in New York.
    In a separate sworn affidavit included with the filing, Trump stated there aren’t any relevant documents that haven’t already been produced.

5/9/2022 Toll in Havana hotel blast rises to 30 by Andrea Rodríguez, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    HAVANA – Search crews with dogs hunted through the ruins of a luxury hotel in Cuba’s capital Sunday for survivors of an apparent gas explosion and officials raised the number of known dead to 30.
    The Hotel Saratoga, a five-star 96-room hotel in Old Havana, was preparing to reopen after being closed for two years when an apparent gas leak caused a massive explosion on Friday.
    Cuban officials on Sunday raised the known death toll to 30 from 27 even as crews continued to search for victims of the blast that sheared outer walls from the building and damaged several nearby structures, including the historic Marti Theater and the Calvary Baptist Church, the headquarters for the denomination in western Cuba.
    The Health Ministry said 84 people had been injured.    The dead included four minors, a pregnant person and a Spanish tourist, whose companion was seriously injured.
    Some 24 people remained hospitalized, according to the Health Ministry.
    On Saturday, a representative of Grupo de Turismo Gaviota SA, which owns the hotel, said 13 of its workers remained missing. Gov. Reinaldo García Zapata said Saturday evening that 19 families had reported loved ones missing and that rescue efforts would continue.
    Authorities said the cause of the explosion was still under investigation, but believed it to have been caused by a gas leak.    A large crane hoisted a charred gas tanker out of the rubble Saturday.
    The explosion is another blow to the country’s tourism industry.
    Crews busily worked to clean up the surrounding streets and by late Saturday, substantial pedestrian traffic had resumed. Some nearby buildings were also heavily damaged by the explosion that blew out windows and rattled walls.
    Even before the coronavirus pandemic kept tourists away from Cuba, the country was struggling with tightened sanctions imposed by former U.S. President Donald Trump and kept in place by the Biden administration.    Those limited visits by U.S. tourists to the islands and restricted remittances from Cubans in the U.S. to their families in Cuba.
    Tourism had started to revive somewhat early this year, but the war in Ukraine deflated a boom of Russian visitors, who accounted for almost a third of the tourists arriving in Cuba last year.
    Attention began to shift to an official visit by Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who arrived in the capital Saturday night.    López Obrador was wrapping up a five-country tour that began in Central America.
    Cuba President Miguel Díaz-Canel visited Mexico during its Independence Day celebrations last year.    López Obrador has recently spoken out against the apparent U.S. government intention of excluding Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua from the Summit of the Americas it will host in Los Angeles in June.
Firefighters and rescue workers remove debris from the ruins of the Hotel Saratoga on Saturday in Havana. Rescuers combed
through remains from the explosion, which authorities suspected was caused by a gas leak. YAMIL LAGE/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

5/9/2022 Average US gasoline price jumps 15 cents to $4.38 per gallon
    CAMARILLO, Calif. – The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline jumped 15 cents over past two weeks to $4.38 per gallon.
    Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey said Sunday that the current price sits just a nickel below the highest average price in history – $4.43, set on March 11.
    The average price at the pump is $1.36 higher than it was one year ago.
    Nationwide, the highest average price for regular-grade gas is in the San Francisco Bay Area, at $5.85 per gallon.    The lowest average is in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at $3.80 per gallon.
    According to the survey, the average price of diesel soared 43 cents over two weeks, to $5.58 a gallon.

5/9/2022 31 Confirmed Dead Following Blast In Havana by OAN Newsroom
A worker removes part of the damaged facade at the site of a deadly explosion that destroyed the
five-star Hotel Saratoga in Old Havana, Cuba, Sunday, May 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Ismael Francisco)
    Crews have continued to search through the rubble of a hotel in Havana, Cuba after an explosion rocked the downtown area.
    As of Sunday, authorities confirmed 31 people have died, including four children, a pregnant woman and a tourist from Spain.    More than 50 people are estimated to be injured and more than a dozen children remained hospitalized as a result of the blast.
    “Fifteen minors are still hospitalized at Havana’s Juan Manuel Marquez pediatric hospital,” said Dr. Julio Guerra Izquierdo, head of Cuba’s Ministry of Health Hospital Division.    “There are eight males and seven females.    Three of them are in critical condition, two are critically ill and ten pediatric patients are reported to be in care.”
    The cause of the blast is still unknown, but a crane removing a destroyed gas tank from the rubble could provide clues.     Meanwhile, families of the victims are demanding answers from authorities.

5/9/2022 GOP Lawmakers Differ On How To Move Forward On Post-Roe by OAN Newsroom
FILE – Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing
on Capitol Hill, June 22, 2021 in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
    GOP lawmakers seem to not be on the same page regarding how to proceed with abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned.    During an interview on Sunday, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) warned the GOP against pushing for a nationwide ban on abortions.
    Hutchinson was responding to a USA Today report published the day before quoting Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) who said the federal government could debate making abortions illegal nationally.    The Arkansas Republican further argued pushing for a federal ban will likely tarnish the GOP’s credibility when officials claim to be for limited government.
    “If you look at a constitutional or a national standard that goes against that thrust of states having prerogative and secondly, some constitutional issues of a national standard as well as to what is the authority of the Constitution to enact that,” he explained.
    Meanwhile, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) said the Supreme Court created a constitutional right that did not exist when making a ruling on the 1973 landmark abortion case.    He added, the ruling was as divisive then as it is now.    Graham also said the power to decide who makes the rules regarding abortions should be devolved to elected officials rather than appointed judges.
    Additionally, South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace (R) believes there should be exceptions to banning abortions.    She said the procedure can be performed only in cases of rape, incest and life of the mother issues and adds most Republicans support those concessions.
    “I know it’s part of the Republican Party platform,” she noted.    “The vast majority of Republicans support those exceptions for rape and incest and life of the mother, and it’s important for some of us to step forward and tell those stories that are often missed in all of this as well.”
    The general consensus among Republicans seem to be in support of the leaked opinion from Justice Samuel Alito and condemn the source of the leak for weakening the integrity of the high court.    Additionally, most agree that abortions should be settled at the state level.    Some states, including Mississippi, are gearing up to enforce laws that restrict abortions with the exceptions of rape and incest.
    In the meantime, Democrat Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has vowed to introduce a motion for cloture on a bill codifying Roe with hopes to force a bill in the Senate on Wednesday.    However, experts believe the bill will likely not pass unless Democrats take a strategy that targets moderate Republicans and Democrats, including Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

5/9/2022 Democrats To Force Vote On Making Roe V. Wade Federal Law by OAN Newsroom
Abortion-rights protesters Holly Strandberg, left, and Kara Coulombe and her daughter Hana Uyehara, 3,
hold signs during a demonstration outside of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, Sunday, May 8, 2022. A draft
opinion suggests the U.S. Supreme Court could be poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that
legalized abortion nationwide, according to a Politico report released Monday. (AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades)
    Democrats are furious over Politico’s article exposing the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion. Concern over reproductive rights has continued to grow from the left after a bombshell leak revealed a majority of Supreme Court Justices support overturning Roe v. Wade.
    During an interview on Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the draft opinion was a slap in the faced.
    “This is about something so serious and so personal and so disrespectful of women,” Pelosi asserted.    “Here we are on Mother’s Day, a week where the court has slapped women in the face in terms of disrespect for their judgments about the size and timing of their families.”
    The outcry from Democrats comes less than a week after the leaked document left lawmakers scrambling on Capitol Hill.    It even left the GOP furious and several Republicans called for an investigation.
    “Whoever did this leak should be prosecuted and should go to jail for a very long time,” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
    During an interview on Sunday, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said the draft opinion is “taking us back to the 1850s.”
    “Let’s be clear about what’s going on here,” she stated.    “With this leaked opinion, the court is looking at reversing 50 years of women’s rights and the fall will be swift.    Over 20 states have laws in place already.”
    If overturned, abortion could become significantly restricted or banned in 23 states.    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) affirmed “it’s possible” Republicans could seek a nationwide abortion ban if they take over the Senate.
    In the meantime, Senate will vote on legislation to codify the right to an abortion into federal law this week, but it is not expected to pass.

5/9/2022 Gov. Reeves: Overturning Roe Is Right Decision by OAN Newsroom
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves explains to reporters some of the line items that he vetoed from the appropriations
allocated by the state Legislature, Thursday, April 28, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
    Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves (R) supports the contents of the leaked Supreme Court opinion by Justice Samuel Alito that would overturn Roe v. Wade.    During an interview on Sunday, he said if the draft opinion holds, it would be the right decision.
    Reeves highlighted the State Legislature is looking to pass a law that would ban abortions statewide, except for instances of rape or incest.    The governor added, officials are looking ahead to a post-Roe Mississippi.
    “We’ve started doing the hard work of what a post-Roe Mississippi will look like,” Reeves stated.    “We believe if, in fact, this leaked opinion is accurate and if, in fact, a majority of the Justice of the Supreme Court are going to overturn Roe, we must understand that while this is a great victory for the pro-life movement, it is not the end, in fact, it is just the beginning.”
    Reeves went on to say, he aims to expand adoption agencies across his state and bolster the Mississippi foster care system to care for unwanted children.

5/9/2022 Suspect Found Dead In Texas After Officer Involved Shooting by OAN Newsroom
Police lights via AP.
    An investigation is underway after a suspected shooter in Texas was found dead following an officer involved shooting.     According to Round Rock Police, officers were responding to a call of a man in a trench coat carrying an AK-style rifle.
    Another caller said they had been shot numerous times by a man outside of their home.    When officers arrived at the scene, the gunman reportedly fired at the officers before retreating to a wooded area.    Authorities confirmed the suspect’s body was later found in the dense woodline.
    “This is an ongoing investigation, there are no injuries to officers,” stated Chief Allen Banks, Round Rock Police Department.    “We did have one officer that had a medical situation.    He was transported to the hospital.    He currently is in stable condition.    The original victim that was shot received non-life threatening injuries.    He is also in stable condition at the hospital.”
    In the meantime, the suspect has not been identified and a motive for the shooting remains unclear.

5/9/2022 First Lady Jill Biden Makes An Unannounced Visit To Western Ukraine by OAN Newsroom
First lady Jill Biden greets Olena Zelenska, spouse of Ukrainian’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, outside of School 6,
a public school that has taken in displaced students in Uzhhorod, Ukraine, Sunday, May 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)
    First Lady Jill Biden recently made an unannounced visit to Western Ukraine.    On Sunday, Mrs. Biden met with her Ukrainian counterpart who has not been seen in public since the war began at a village school in Uzhhorod.
    Mrs. Biden thought it was important to show that this war has to stop and the U.S. stands with the people of Ukraine.
    “It it is important to share with the Ukrainian people that this war has to stop,” she stated.    “This war has been brutal.    The people of the United States stand with the people of Ukraine.”
    With just 100,000 residents, the town’s population has now doubled as many have sought temporary shelter there in recent weeks.    The First Lady is now the highest profile American close to the President to visit the country.

5/9/2022 Oil down $7.65 to $102.93, DOW down 653 to 32,246.

5/10/2022 Biden signs Ukraine bill, seeks $40B aid, in Putin rejoinder by Zeke Miller and Lisa Mascaro, ASSOCIATED PRESS
On Monday, President Joe Biden signed a bipartisan measure to reboot the “lend-lease” program. MANUEL BALCE CENETA/AP
    WASHINGTON – Washington sought to portray a united front against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine Monday as President Joe Biden signed a bipartisan measure to reboot the World War II-era “lend-lease” program, which helped defeat Nazi Germany, to bolster Kyiv and Eastern European allies.
    The signing comes as the U.S. Congress is poised to unleash billions more to fight the war against Russia – with Democrats preparing $40 billion in military and humanitarian aid, larger than the $33 billion package Biden has requested.
    It all serves as a rejoinder to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has seized on Victory in Europe Day – the anniversary of Germany’s unconditional surrender in 1945 and Russia’s biggest patriotic holiday – to rally his people behind the invasion.
    “This aid has been critical to Ukraine’s success on the battlefield,” Biden said in a statement.
    Biden said it was urgent that Congress approve the next Ukraine assistance package to avoid any interruption in military supplies being sent to help fight the war, with a crucial deadline coming in 10 days.
    “We cannot allow our shipments of assistance to stop while we await further Congressional action,” he said.    He urged Congress to act – and “to do so quickly.”
    In a letter delivered to Capitol Hill on Monday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Congress to act before May 19, when the existing drawdown funds run out.    The Pentagon has already sent or committed all but $100 million of the $3.5 billion in weapons and equipment that it can send to Ukraine from its existing stockpiles.    And that final $100 million is expected to be used no later than May 19, they said.
    “In short, we need your help,” they said in the letter, which was obtained by The Associated Press.    “The ability to draw upon existing DoD stocks has been a critical tool in our efforts to support the Ukrainians in their fight against Russian aggression, allowing us to quickly source equipment and ensure a sustained flow of security assistance to Ukraine.”
    The resolve from Biden and Congress to maintain support for Ukraine has been lasting, but also surprising.
    Still, as the months-long war with Russia grinds on, the bipartisan showing for Ukraine will be tested as the U.S. and allies are drawn closer toward the conflict.
    The House could vote as soon as this week on the bolstered Ukraine aid package, sending the legislation to the Senate, which is working to confirm Biden’s nominee Bridget Brink as the new Ukrainian ambassador.    The House’s Tuesday schedule mentioned the Ukraine legislation, but it was unclear how firm that was.
    With the president’s party holding only the slimmest majorities in the House and Senate, Republican cooperation is preferred, if not vital in some cases, for passage of the president’s strategy toward the region.
    “I think we will be able to do it as quickly as possible,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said over the weekend about an emerging aid package.    “We have great bipartisanship in terms of our support for the fight for democracy that the people of Ukraine are making.”
    Despite their differences over Biden’s approach to foreign policy and perceived missteps in confronting Russia, when it comes to Ukraine the members of the House and Senate have held together to support the president’s strategy.
    The lend-lease bill that Biden signed into law Monday revives the strategy to more quickly send military equipment to Ukraine.    Launched during World War II, lend-lease signaled the U.S. would become what Franklin D. Roosevelt called the “arsenal of democracy” helping Britain and the allies fight Nazi Germany.
    Before signing the bill, Biden said “Putin’s war” was “once more bringing wanton destruction of Europe,” drawing reference to the significance of the day.
    Flanked by two Democratic lawmakers and one Republican, Biden signed the bill, which had widespread bipartisan support.    It sailed through the Senate last month with unanimous agreement, without even the need for a formal roll call vote.    It passed overwhelmingly in the House, drawing opposition from just 10 Republicans.
    “It really matters,” Biden said of the bipartisan support for Ukraine.    “It matters.”
    One of the bill’s chief Republican sponsors, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, said in a statement the measure will give Ukraine “the upper hand against Russia, and I’m glad America could act as the arsenal of democracy for this critical partner.”
    Other measures, including efforts to cut off Russian oil imports to the U.S. and calls to investigate Putin for war crimes, have also gained widespread support, though some lawmakers have pushed Biden to do even more.
    “While President Putin and the Russian people celebrated Victory Day today, we’re seeing Russian forces commit war crimes and atrocities in Ukraine, as they engage in a brutal war that is causing so much suffering and needless destruction,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.    She said Putin was “perverting” history to attempt to “justify his unprovoked and unjustified war.”
    Biden acknowledged his request for more in military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine would have to be separated from money he also sought from Congress to address the COVID-19 crisis at home.
    Decoupling the two funding requests would be a setback for the president’s push for more COVID-19 spending, but a nod to the political reality of the Congress.
    Republicans in Congress are resisting spending more money at home as the pandemic crisis shifts to a new phase, and Biden did not want to delay money for Ukraine by trying to debate the issue further.
    Biden said he was told by congressional leaders in both parties that keeping the two spending packages linked would slow down action.
    “We cannot afford delay in this vital war effort,” Biden said in the statement.    “Hence, I am prepared to accept that these two measures move separately, so that the Ukrainian aid bill can get to my desk right away.”
    As the now bolstered Ukraine package makes its way through the House and Senate, with votes possible soon, lawmakers are showing no signs of flinching.    Countless lawmakers have made weekend excursions to the region to see firsthand the devastation of the war on Ukraine and surrounding countries, as more than 5 million refugees flee the country.
    Rather than fight the spending overseas – as had been an increasingly popular viewpoint during the Trump era – some lawmakers in both parties want to boost the amount of U.S. aid being sent to Ukraine.
    Flanked by two Democratic lawmakers and one Republican, Biden signed the bill, which had widespread bipartisan support.    It sailed through the Senate last month with unanimous agreement, without even the need for a formal roll call vote.

5/10/2022 US seeks urgent UN Security Council meeting – N Korea’s latest ballistic missile test sparks action by Edith M. Lederer, ASSOCIATED PRESS
The United States has requested an emergency UN Security Council meeting for Wednesday to discuss North Korea
firing a ballistic missile likely from a submarine over the weekend. ANGELA WEISS/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
    UNITED NATIONS – The United States called an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday following North Korea’s latest test of a ballistic missile that was likely fired from a submarine.
    The test was the latest sign of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un carrying out a recent vow to escalate development of nuclear weapons.
    The United States holds the rotating presidency of the council this month and called the meeting to discuss the North’s latest launches, a spokesperson for the U.S. Mission to the U.N. said, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of an official announcement.
    The meeting is expected to take place Wednesday afternoon and would be open.
    So far this year, North Korea has fired missiles 15 times.    They include the country’s first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile since 2017 in March that demonstrated a potential range to reach the entirety of the U.S. mainland.
    The launch on Saturday was apparently North Korea’s first demonstration of a submarine-launched ballistic missile system since October 2021, when it fired a new short-range missile.
    The latest launch came just ahead of the inauguration on Tuesday of South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk Yeol, who has vowed to take a tougher approach over the North’s nuclear ambitions.
    U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said Monday the United Nations has expressed concern at all missile tests and “we want to call, once again for a return to dialogue among all the parties on the Korean Peninsula so that we can proceed with the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
    The United States has circulated a draft resolution to the Security Council seeking additional sanctions on North Korea for its spate of tests this year.    U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told reporters last Tuesday that “it is our plan to move forward with that resolution during this month” while the U.S. holds the council presidency.
    But diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because discussions have been private, said the resolution faces an uphill struggle because Russia and China, which have veto power in the council, want to see sanctions on North Korea eased – not increased.
    The council originally imposed sanctions after the North’s first nuclear test explosion in 2006 and tightened them over the years.
    But last fall, China and Russia called for lifting various sanctions on their neighbor, and in January they blocked the Security Council from imposing sanctions on five North Korean officials.
    Observers said North Korea’s unusually fast pace in weapons development this year is aimed at advancing its dual goals of modernizing its missile programs and applying pressure on the United States over a deepening freeze in nuclear negotiations.
    They said Kim is seeking to use his expanded arsenal to win an international recognition of North Korea as a nuclear state that he believes would help force the United States to relax international economic sanctions on his country.
    There are signs that North Korea is preparing for a nuclear test at its remote northeastern testing facility.
    If a test is conducted, it would be the seventh explosion of a nuclear weapon by North Korea and the first since 2017.
    Kim warned again in late April that he will continue to develop North Korea’s nuclear-armed military so it could “preemptively and thoroughly contain and frustrate all dangerous attempts and threatening moves, including ever escalating nuclear threats from hostile forces, if necessary,” according to the North’s official Korean Central News Agency.
So far this year, North Korea, under leader Kim Jong Un, has fired

5/10/2022 Macron proposes political union - New organization would offer alternative to EU by Samuel Petrequin, ASSOCIATED PRESS
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, right, welcomes French president Emmanuel Macron prior to
a meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Monday. PHOTOS BY MARKUS SCHREIBER/AP
    BRUSSELS – France’s president warned Monday that decades could pass before Ukraine joins the European Union, and proposed a new political organization to bring together countries on the continent that share EU values but are not part of the bloc.
    During a speech marking Europe Day in Strasbourg, France, Emmanuel Macron said that “we all know perfectly that the process of allowing (Ukraine) to join would take several years, in fact probably several decades.”
    Macron spoke after the European Union’s executive arm, the European Commission, said it aims to deliver a first opinion in June on Ukraine’s request to become a member of the bloc.
    Once candidate status is granted, the process of EU membership usually takes years and any single member state can veto not only any final accession deal, but also the opening and closing of individual negotiation chapters.
    The 27 EU nations have been fully united in backing Ukraine’s resistance to Russia’s invasion, adopting unprecedented economic sanctions against Moscow since the start of the war on Feb. 24.
    But leaders are divided on how fast Brussels could move to accept Ukraine into its membership, and how swiftly the bloc could sever energy ties with Moscow.
    European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said that she discussed Monday with Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy “EU support and Ukraine’s European pathway.”
    For now, Ukraine only has an “Association Agreement” with the EU, which is aimed at opening the country’s markets and bringing it closer to Europe.    It includes a far-reaching free trade pact and is intended to help modernize Ukraine’s economy.
    Eastern European countries warmly support speeding up Ukraine’s membership bid, but EU officials have stressed the process could take years due to the outstanding reforms that still need to be achieved before the war-torn country meets EU criteria.
    Macron said a fast-track procedure for Ukraine would lead to lowering standards, an idea he refuses.
    “The European Union, given its level of integration and ambition, cannot be the only way to structure the European continent in the short term,” he said.
    Instead, Macron proposed what he called a “European Political Community” which would be open to countries that haven’t joined the EU, or, like the United Kingdom, have left it.
    “This new European organization would allow democratic European nations that adhere to our core values to find a new space for political cooperation, security, energy cooperation, transport, investment, infrastructure, movement of people,” Macron said.
    Macron added that joining the new organization would not guarantee future EU membership.
    Speaking at an EU conference on the bloc’s future priorities, Macron stressed the stark contrast with Russia, which on the same day staged a military parade in Moscow to commemorate the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.
    “We have given two very different images of May 9,” Macron said.    “On the one side, there was a desire for a demonstration of force and intimidation and a resolutely war-like speech, and there was here … an association of citizens and parliamentarians – national and European – for a project on our future.”
    Speaking later Monday ahead of a meeting in Berlin with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Macron added that it was important to give Ukraine an “honest answer” about the length of time it would take to achieve European standards.
    Scholz said Macron’s idea was “a very interesting proposal for dealing with the big challenge we face.”
    But he said the EU shouldn’t stop pursuing the accession processes for those countries where it has already begun, citing as an example North Macedonia, whose leader had taken “very brave” decisions in recent years.
    “We should find a way that this bravery isn’t disappointed,” Scholz said.
French President Emmanuel Macron, left, said a fast-track procedure
for Ukraine would lead to lowering standards, an idea he refuses.

5/10/2022 Wall Street’s losses worsen as markets tumble worldwide
    Stocks racked up more losses on Wall Street Monday, leaving the S&P 500 at its lowest point in more than a year.
    The sell-off came as renewed worries about China’s economy piled on top of global financial markets already battered by rising interest rates.
    The S&P 500 gave up 3.2%, adding to its losses following its fifth straight weekly loss, its longest such streak in more than a decade.
    The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2%, and the Nasdaq pulled back 4.3% as tech-oriented stocks again took the brunt of the sell-off.    Monday’s sharp drop leaves the S& P 500, Wall Street’s main measure of health, down 16.8% from its record set early this year.
    The S& P 500 fell 132.10 to 3,991.24.    The Dow dropped 653.67 points to 32,245.70.    The Nasdaq slid 521.41 points to 11,623.25.
    Smaller company stocks also fell broadly. The Russell 2000 gave up 77.48 points, or 4.2%, to 1,762.08.

5/10/2022 Wisconsin anti-abortion office fire investigation continues by Scott Bauer, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    MADISON, Wis. – Police asked for the public’s help Monday in tracking down those who vandalized and threw two Molotov cocktails into the office of a prominent Wisconsin anti-abortion lobbying group’s office that was damaged by fire.
    No one has been arrested and there are no suspects in custody in the fire that was discovered early Sunday morning when someone driving to Madison’s nearby airport noticed flames coming from the office building, said Madison Police Chief Shon Barnes at a news conference.
    The fire at the Wisconsin Family Action office came after two Catholic churches in Colorado, including one known for its annual anti-abortion display, were vandalized last week.
    The leak last week of a draft opinion suggesting that the U.S. Supreme Court was on course to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide sparked protests across the country, including in Madison.    Demonstrations included weekend protests by abortion rights supporters outside the homes of conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices, with more planned this week.
    One Molotov cocktail thrown into the Wisconsin Family Action office failed to ignite and the investigation is ongoing as to whether the second one did, the police chief said.    The message “If abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either” was spray-painted on the exterior.
    No one was hurt, but Barnes said had someone been in the office “it could have gone differently.”
    Barnes said he was not aware of any threats to others, but he cautioned that the investigation could be lengthy.     “I do anticipate we will be able to solve this but we want to take our time to be sure we do it correctly,” he said.
    Investigators from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are assisting with the investigation.    Barnes encouraged anyone who may have seen anything to contact police.

5/10/2022 Pro-Life Clinic In Wis. Set Ablaze & Vandalized In Targeted Attack, Condemned By Biden by OAN Newsroom
President Joe Biden speaks at an event on lowering the cost of high-speed internet in the
Rose Garden of the White House, Monday, May 9, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    The White House condemned a suspected arson attack at the headquarters of a pro-life group in Wisconsin.    On Monday, President Joe Biden said he supports free and peaceful protests, but strongly condemns this attack and any type of political violence.
    Early on Sunday morning, police responded to the fire at the offices of the Wisconsin Family Action, where they found two Molotov cocktails inside.    Vandals spray painted the building with the words “if abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either.”
    This act comes amid growing unrest amid the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion suggesting Roe v. Wade will be overturned.    No arrests have been made as of Tuesday morning. One America’s Sani Unutoa has more on the investigation.

5/10/2022 Speaker Pelosi: Republicans Want To Punish, Control Women by OAN Newsroom
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during a news conference,
Friday, April 29, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) accused Republicans of trying to punish and control the rights of women.    In a “Dear Colleague” letter on Monday, she made a series of claims in reaction to the Supreme Court’s leaked draft opinion on abortion as Democrats face the pressure.
    The House Speaker said Republicans are advancing extreme new laws adding contraception and in vitro fertilization will come under attack next. She mentioned that Democrats must advance a pro-abortion agenda and described the procedure as “the most intimate and personal decision a woman can make.”
    On Monday, the Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he took steps to set up a Wednesday vote to codify Roe v. Wade.    He took to Twitter to note, “the Senate will vote on protecting one of the most fundamental freedoms that women have in this country: The freedom to choose whether or not to have an abortion.”

5/10/2022 Manhunt Ends For Ala. Corrections Officer, Convict by OAN Newsroom
This combination of photos provided by the U.S. Marshals Service and Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office in April 2022 shows
Casey Cole White, left, and Assistant Director of Corrections Vicky White. On Saturday, April 30, 2022, the Lauderdale County
Sheriff’s Office said that Vicky White disappeared while escorting inmate Casey Cole White, being held on capital murder
charges, in Florence, Ala. The inmate is also missing. (U.S. Marshals Service, Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office via AP)
    The nearly two-week manhunt for an Alabama corrections officer and an escaped convict recently came to a dramatic end.    US Marshalls arrested escaped convict Casey White and Alabama corrections officer Vicky White near Evansville, Indiana.    Authorities tracked down the pair at a local hotel after receiving several tips confirming they were in the area.
    The two fugitives led law enforcement officials on a lengthy car chase, which resulted in their vehicle crashing.    Vicky White was transported to a local hospital, where she later died of injuries sustained by a self-inflicted gunshot wound.    The shot took place as authorities arrested the pair.
    Details about the pursuit were revealed during a press conference Monday by Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton.     “Casey White and Vicky White are in custody,” stated Singleton.    “There was a pursuit this afternoon in Evansville, about 219 miles from here.    The US Marshals were in pursuit of a black, Ford pick-up…and Casey White was driving that vehicle.    Vicky White was a passenger during the pursuit.    The pick-up truck wrecked and Casey White surrendered.”
    Additionally, Singleton made arrangements to have Casey White transferred back to Alabama to be put on trial.    White was charged with escape identity theft and second-degree forgery, alongside his prior convictions on capital murder charges.
    The press conference ended with the sheriff saying they will be isolating White from the rest of the prison.
    “He will be in a cell by himself, if we have to put other inmates on the floor to make it happen,” added Singleton.    “He will stay in handcuffs and shackles while he’s in the cell and if he wants to sue me for violating his civil rights, so be it.    He’s not getting out of this jail again.    I’ll assure you of that.”
    An autopsy for Vicky White is scheduled for Tuesday.

5/10/2022 House panel will hold first public hearing on UFOs in decades by Alex Rogers, CNN
    A House panel will hold an open congressional hearing next Tuesday about UFOs for the first time in over 50 years.
    It will focus on a Pentagon program that was established last year after the US intelligence community released a preliminary assessment on 144 reports of "unidentified aerial phenomena'' since 2004 -- and could explain only one.     The House Intelligence Committee's subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation will hold the public hearing on May 17 at 10 a.m. ET.    It will be followed by a closed, classified hearing on the Pentagon program, known as the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group.
    The two witnesses are Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence & Security Ronald S. Moultrie and Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott W. Bray.
    "The American people expect and deserve their leaders in government and intelligence to seriously evaluate and respond to any potential national security risks -- especially those we do not fully understand," said Indiana Democratic Rep. André Carson, the chairman of the subcommittee holding the hearing, in a statement.
    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, added that the hearing would "give the public an opportunity to hear directly from subject matter experts and leaders in the Intelligence Community on one of the greatest mysteries of our time, and to break the cycle of excessive secrecy and speculation with truth and transparency."
    The New York Times first reported on the hearing.

5/10/2022 ‘2000 Mules’ Reveals Possible Ballot Trafficking Scheme by OAN Newsroom
    Dinesh D’Souza’s new groundbreaking film 2000 Mules claims to be the smoking gun shedding light on possible corruption in the 2020 election.    OAN Political Correspondent Daniel Baldwin has more from Washington.

5/10/2022 N.Y. Taxpayers To Fund Out Of State Abortions by OAN NEWSROOM
Long Description - New York Attorney General Letitia James speaks at a rally in support of abortion rights, Tuesday, May 3, 2022,
in New York. A draft opinion suggests the U.S. Supreme Court could be poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case
that legalized abortion nationwide, according to a Politico report released Monday. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
    The Empire State intends to put taxpayer funds towards abortions as New York races to expand access and funding in the event Roe v. Wade is overturned.
    At a press conference Tuesday, New York Attorney General Letitia James (D-N.Y.) touted the Reproductive Freedom and Equity Program.    James stressed the Democrat-sponsored bill will help to allocate funds to abortion providers and make the state a safe haven for abortion seekers.
    “These funds will help New Yorkers who need financial support to seek abortions,” said James.    “It will also provide and support the influx of individuals who have and will continue to come to New York from other states to seek abortions…if Roe is overturned, 26 states will ban or are likely to ban abortion.”
    Assemblywoman Jessica González-Rojas (D-N.Y.) has hailed the bill’s equitable approach towards abortions as it will help women receive an abortion regardless of their immigration or insurance status. However, James added, that individuals will not be receiving payments as funding will go directly to institutions that perform abortions.
    “This will not go to individuals, but actually to abortion providers and nonprofit organizations aimed at facilitating access to abortion care,” said James.    “The funding would specifically go to increase access to health care and will also fund uncompensated care and to address the support needs of individuals accessing abortion care.”
    The program is estimated to cost New York taxpayers tens of millions of dollars per year and will cover the lodging, lost wages and childcare costs of women seeking abortions from out of state.
    Some critics, such as Republican Assemblyman John Salka (R-N.Y.) has called the bill outrageous while claiming the state is ignoring the numerous other health issues that plague New York.
    However, James holds abortion in such high regards that she has voiced her support to embed access to the procedure into the state Constitution.
    “That’s why I came out over the weekend in support of a constitutional amendment,” added James.    “The governor supports the effort…I join her in supporting a constitutional amendment to protect the right to privacy, which is implicit in our Constitution.”
    Governor Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.) has largely attached herself to the pro-abortion movement in her re-election bid, even calling upon Congress to codify Roe v. Wade into the US Constitution.
    New York has the second highest abortion rate in the country behind the District of Columbia.

5/10/2022 Biden Revives WWII-Era Lend-Lease Act To Arm Ukraine by OAN Newsroom
FILE – President Joe Biden speaks in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, March 18, 2022, in Washington.
Biden quietly dispatched a team to NATO headquarters in Belgium just days before Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. What emerged
from the meetings was an export ban and the groundwork to immobilize about half
the foreign holdings of Russia’s central bank. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
    President Joe Biden is invoking World War II legislation in his latest pledge to arm Ukrainians.    Biden signed the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022 on Monday, which aims to restart a World War II-era arms program.
    The bill reportedly passed through the Senate by unanimous consent and passed through the House with 417 representatives supporting it.    Additionally, a group of bipartisan lawmakers attended the signing ceremony, including Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD.), former CIA Analyst Alissa Slotkin and Ukraine-born GOP Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.).
    The President stressed, the program helped bolster European allies in 1941 and led to the eventual defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945.
    “Every day Ukrainians pay with their lives and they fight long against the atrocities that the Russians are engaging in are just beyond the pale,” said Biden.    “The cost of the fight is not cheap, but caving to aggression is even more costly.    That’s why we’re staying in this.    Yesterday we celebrated V-E Day, Victory in Europe Day, marking the end of a transition of the devastation of the consequence of World War II and allied nations defeat of the scourge of fascism in Europe.”     Experts say the move is largely symbolic and came hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a speech commemorating Victory in Europe Day.    However, the move comes as Biden pushes through a $33 billion military aid package for Ukraine. Last week, Biden announced a $150 million program that would re-supply Ukraine’s stockpiles of Javelin missiles, Howitzer rounds and other equipment.
    Critics are beginning to argue that the conflict in Ukraine is touring into a proxy war between the US and Russia as top military and intelligence officials are touting America’s role in helping Ukraine sink key Russian ships and top military brass.    Biden is reportedly displeased that his hand is being shown.
    Meanwhile, a slew of bipartisan US lawmakers are praising the bill with many saying it is a necessary step in ensuring Ukraine’s survival and a preservation of liberal democracies.    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he is grateful for the move.    He claims America and Ukraine will win the war together.

5/10/2022 Pro-Abortion Protesters Rally Outside Justice Samuel Alito’s Home by OAN Newsroom
FILE – Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel Alito answers a question on the third day of his confirmation hearings
before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 11, 2006. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
    Pro-abortion demonstrators showed up at the home of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.    The rally outside Alito’s Virginia home Monday evening was organized by the group Shut Down D.C., in what they called a “vigil for abortion rights.”
    This comes one week after the leaked draft opinion indicated the Supreme Court would overturn Roe v. Wade.
    As protesters intensified, the Senate passed legislation Monday to boost security for the justices.    The Supreme Court Police Party Act is expected to provide details similar to those given to members of Congress and White House officials.
    Protesters suggested this won’t be the last time they demonstrate outside the home of a Supreme Court justice.

5/10/2022 North Ireland Leader-Elect: U.K. Must Recognize Election Result by OAN Newsroom
Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill speaks after topping the poll at the Medow Bank election count
centre on Saturday, May, 7, 2022, in Magherafelt , Northern Ireland. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
    Vice President of Irish Nationalist Party Michelle O’Neill denounced the U.K. government after Boris Johnson’s conservatives lost in the latest local elections.
    O’Neill said on Monday that people of Northern Ireland grew tired of uncertainty in the Brexit process and voted for closer ties with the Republic of Ireland.
    “As Democrats, the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party), but also the British government must accept and respect the democratic outcome of this election,” she stated.
    This past weekend, Irish Nationalists won in Northern Ireland’s elections for the first time ever.    According to O’Neill, there will be no hard border across both parts of Ireland.
    The Irish Nationalist Party has long called for a reunification of Northern Ireland and Ireland, which will now be seriously looked at.

5/10/2022 Sen. Rand Paul Reaffirms Criticism Of The Biden Admins.’ Disinformation Board by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this March 5, 2019 file photo, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., pauses during a Senate Committee on Health, Education,
Labor, and Pensions hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Paul says he underwent lung surgery in a procedure he says stems
from injuries suffered when a neighbor tackled him outside his home in 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, FIle)
    Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) reaffirmed his criticism of the Biden administration’s disinformation board in a tweet Monday.    Paul reiterated the government is responsible for spreading misinformation for political purposes.
    This comes after the senator grilled Director of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over Democrats ongoing claims of Russian disinformation.    Paul said the government cannot be trusted to determine what disinformation is and what it isn’t.
    “Are you familiar with George W. Bush and the weapons of mass destruction?” he asked.    “Are you familiar with the Iran Contra? Do you think the American people are so stupid, they need you to tell them what the truth is?
    Sen. Paul stressed the government has lied to the American people so many times in the past that its claims about disinformation have no credibility whatsoever.

5/10/2022 Oil down $2.68 to $99.71, DOW down 85 to 32,161.

5/11/2022 Congress’ power on abortion limited - Gridlock means issue would fall to the states by Lisa Mascaro, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – Fighting for decades over abortion policy, Congress is about to run into the stark political limits of its ability to save – or end – the Roe v. Wade protections.
    President Joe Biden has called on Democrats to enshrine the nearly 50-year-old Supreme Court ruling into law after the disclosure of a draft opinion that would overturn the landmark decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion services.
    But passing bills is easier said than done in the narrowly split Congress – reflective of a deeply divided nation.
    A test vote Wednesday in the Senate on a Democratic bill to protect access to abortions is expected to fail, blocked by a Republican-led filibuster.
    At the same time, Republicans led by Sen. Mitch McConnell face similar political problems trying to ban abortions nationwide, even if they wrest control of the chamber in next fall’s midterm elections.
    Instead, whatever the Supreme Court decides on Roe v. Wade in its final opinion this summer almost guarantees a new era of political fighting in Congress over abortion policy, filibuster rules and the most basic rights to health care, privacy and protecting the unborn.
    “All of us will have to answer for this vote for the rest of our time in public office,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer ahead of Wednesday’s action.
    In recent years, abortion access debates in many ways have come to a standstill in Congress, a political draw, as lawmakers faced the limits of trying to move public policy beyond the historic Roe v. Wade court decision.    Bills would routinely come up for votes – to expand or limit abortion services – only to fall along typically party line votes or be stripped out of broader legislative packages.
    But the Supreme Court’s conservative 6-3 majority, solidified during the Trump era, has ignited an urgent shift to the forefront in Congress.
    McConnell stunned Washington when he said “it’s possible” to see a national abortion ban.
    The Republican leader has been a key architect of the Supreme Court’s solid conservative majority, engineering rapid-fire confirmation of three of Donald Trump’s nominees in just four years and changing Senate filibuster rules to push past Democratic objections.
    In an interview with USA Today, McConnell recently said, “If the leaked opinion became the final opinion, legislative bodies – not only at the state level but at the federal level – certainly could legislate in that area.”     But on Tuesday McConnell acknowledged that if Republicans become the majority in the Senate, they still are unlikely to have enough votes to ban abortion outright.
    “The widespread sentiment in my conference is this issue will be dealt with at the state level,” McConnell said.    He said Republicans won’t have the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster.
    Likewise, Democrat Brian Schatz of Hawaii said for the other side, “I think we have to be explicit and tell the truth, which is, we don’t currently have the votes.”    Still, he said hopefully that if voters elect more senators who favor abortion rights, “we will put this into federal law.”
    Both parties face enormous pressure to convince voters they are doing all they can – the Democrats working to preserve abortion access and the Republicans to end it – as they race toward fall when control of Congress is at stake in the elections.
    The congressional campaign committees are fundraising off the abortion issue, and working furiously to energize voters who are already primed to engage when such a long-running and important issue for millions of Americans is at stake.
    The two Republican senators who support abortion access, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who faces her own reelection in November, and Susan Collins of Maine, have proposed a separate bill that would counter the Supreme Court’s action.
    But both senators, who voted to confirm most of Trump’s justices, are expected to stick with their Republican Party this week and block the Democratic bill as too broad.
    At the same time, Democrats have largely panned the Collins-Murkowski effort as insufficient, leaving no hopes, for now, of any compromise.
    And rank-and-file Republicans distanced themselves from McConnell’s initial remarks, saying an all-out national ban on abortions is not something they can deliver.
    “The reality is that you would never get that done here,” said Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D.     Democrats are unconvinced that Republicans, who have fought for years to deny abortion services, would give that fight up now and let the states decide.
    Democrats believe Republicans are “running scared,” Schumer said, afraid of what they have unleashed, with polls showing most Americans want to preserve some access to abortion.
    It was McConnell who blocked Barack Obama’s choice of Merrick Garland to fill a court vacancy at the start of the 2016 presidential campaign, leaving the seat open for Trump to fill after he won the White House.
    And even though McConnell insisted Tuesday there is “zero” interest among Republicans to change Senate filibuster rules to make it easier to pass an abortion ban, it was the GOP leader who orchestrated the Senate rules change to allow 51-vote threshold to confirm Supreme Court nominees.
    “Republicans have worked day in and day out for decades on end to overturn Roe v. Wade,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.
    More likely is that both parties will try to chip away at the issue – Republicans tightening access to abortion at the national level, while Democrats work to shore up the availability of medicinal abortions and other related services.
    “There are multiple fronts we can move on,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
    In the House, where Democrats have the majority, lawmakers approved the Women’s Health Protection Act last year on a largely part line vote once the Supreme Court first signaled it was considering the issue by allowing a Texas law’s ban on most abortions to take effect.    But the bill has languished in the Senate, evenly split 50-50 with Democratic control because of Vice President Kamala Harris’ ability to cast a tie-breaking vote.    Unable to mount the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster, a test vote failed in February, with one Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, joining Republicans to block the bill’s consideration.
    A similar outcome is expected Wednesday when the Senate tries again to pass the legislation, which would put the guaranteed right to abortion into law.
    It’s the first of what Schumer promises will be repeated efforts to show voters where the parties stand.
    “This is no longer just an abstract exercise: Now we know women’s rights are at stake,” Schumer said.    “So, this vote is the first step. We are going to keep fighting.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is supporting a procedural vote Wednesday to essentially codify Roe v. Wade. J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE/AP

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell said “it’s possible” to see a national abortion ban. J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE/AP

5/11/2022 Trump’s clout factors into US House races - Mooney wins primary in WVa; Bacon in Neb. by Willingham Leah, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    CHARLESTON, W.Va. – In an early victory for a Donald Trump-endorsed candidate at the start of midterm season, Rep. Alex Mooney on Tuesday beat fellow incumbent Rep. David McKinley in West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District Republican primary.
    “Donald Trump loves West Virginia, and West Virginia loves Donald Trump,” Mooney said in his victory speech.
    McKinley was sharply criticized by the former president when he broke with his party as one of 13 Republicans to vote with the Democrats to support President Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill.    Trump called McKinley a RINO, or “Republican in Name Only” and endorsed Mooney the day Biden signed the infrastructure law.
    The two incumbents, who have taken dramatically different approaches to their time in office, were pitted against each other in the state’s 2nd Congressional District after population losses cost West Virginia a U.S. House seat.
    West Virginia’s election was the first of five primaries in which two incumbent U.S. House members will compete against each other.    It will be followed by similar contests in Georgia and Michigan and in two Illinois districts.
    The race was one of the most watched on the day’s ballots.    The primary came on the heels of a victory by Trump-endorsed conservative JD Vance, author of the bestselling memoir “Hillbilly Elegy,” who defeated six other candidates to win the Ohio Republican primary for U.S. Senate last week.
    Earlier Tuesday night, Trump-endorsed incumbent U.S. Rep. Carol Miller breezed to the Republican nomination in West Virginia’s 1st District, defeating four little-known candidates and setting herself on a clear path to reelection.
    Miller will vie for her third term in the House in the fall against Democrat Lacy Watson, who was unopposed in the Democratic primary.    Watson, of Bluefield, lost in the 2020 Democratic primary in the former 3rd District.
    In Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District, in the Omaha area, three-term Republican Rep. Don Bacon won the primary over long-shot candidate Steve Kuehl, an Omaha consultant who got a shoutout from Trump when the former president visited earlier this month.
    Trump blasted Bacon as a “bad guy” during a recent rally in the state and had criticized him previously for his support of a federal infrastructure bill that most GOP lawmakers opposed.    Bacon also has been mildly critical of Trump in the past, saying the former president bore some responsibility for the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
    Trump stopped far short of officially endorsing Kuehl, however, saying: “I think Steve will do well.    Good luck, Steve, whoever the hell you are.”
    Sen. Mike Flood, a former speaker of the Nebraska Legislature, won in the state’s 1st Congressional District over five other Republican candidates.    Flood wants to fill the seat abandoned by Jeff Fortenberry, a Republican who resigned from office and ended his reelection bid after he was convicted of lying to federal authorities about an illegal campaign contribution.     Fortenberry’s name still appeared on the ballot for the 1st Congressional District because he withdrew after a deadline to certify the ballot.
    In the rural, geographically vast 3rd Congressional District, Republican U.S. Rep. Adrian Smith faced a challenger but was expected to win his party’s nomination.    Two Democrats were vying for their party’s nomination within the district, which is overwhelmingly Republican.
    In West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District general election, Mooney will face openly gay former Morgantown city councilor Barry Wendell, who bested security operations manager Angela Dwyer during Tuesday’s Democratic primary.
    Mooney enters the general election as a heavy favorite to win.    West Virginia hasn’t elected a Democrat to the House since 2008.
    “You don’t know what to believe.    That’s the hard part,” Bruning said.
    Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnen, a Republican, predicted that 35% of registered voters will cast ballots in the primary, the highest percentage since 2006, based on what he’s seen so far.
    Nebraska Republicans and Democrats will also pick their candidates to run for the seat previously held by Republican U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, who resigned from office and ended his reelection bid in March after he was convicted of federal corruption charges.
    Flood, a former speaker of the Nebraska Legislature, is a top contender for the Republican nomination, while state Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks is likely to win the Democratic nod.    Flood will enter the race as a strong favorite in the Republican-heavy 1st Congressional District, which includes Lincoln, small towns and a large swath of eastern Nebraska farmland.    In the Omaha area, Republican U.S. Rep. Don Bacon faces a long-shot primary challenge from Omaha consultant Steve Kuehl in the 2nd Congressional District.    Democrats Alisha Shelton and state Sen. Tony Vargas are running for their party’s nomination as well in Nebraska’s only competitive congressional district.
    Nebraska state Sen. Carol Blood won the Democratic nomination for governor on Tuesday as Republicans worked through a crowded field of candidates, including one running with former President Donald Trump’s endorsement.
    Blood defeated Roy Harris, a little-known primary candidate who didn’t actively campaign.    She was first elected to the Legislature in 2016 after serving on the City Council in Bellevue, an Omaha suburb.
    She will be the underdog in November against the winner of Tuesday’s nine-way Republican primary, a race that was upended in recent weeks after a leading candidate endorsed by Trump was accused of groping at least eight women over the last few years.
    Charles Herbster, a businessman and cattle breeder who has denied the allegations, is in a nine-way GOP primary to replace Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts, who’s prevented by term limit laws from running again.    Other leading candidates include Jim     Pillen, a veterinarian and hog farm owner endorsed by Ricketts, and state Sen. Brett Lindstrom, an Omaha financial adviser who gained traction recently with a surge of money and support from the city’s Republican mayor.
    The state hasn’t elected a Democrat to be governor since 1994, when then-Gov. Ben Nelson won a second term in office.    Blood is the only Democrat running for statewide office this year.
    Trump is facing some of the biggest tests of his influence in Republican primary elections later this month in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia.
Carol Szczepaniak votes in Nebraska’s primary at Werner Park in Papillion,
home to Omaha’s AAA baseball team. CHRIS MACHIAN/OMAHA WORLD-HERALD VIA AP

Former NFL player Jack Brewer, left, says a prayer with Nebraska GOP gubernatorial candidate Charles Herbster
to cast his accusers out during a campaign rally May 1. KENNETH FERRIERA/LINCOLN JOURNAL STAR VIA AP

5/11/2022 Anti-abortion Senate Democrat Casey backs abortion rights bill by Farnoush Amiri and Marc Levy, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, one of the last lawmakers on Capitol Hill calling himself a “pro-life Democrat,” said Tuesday he would support a bill to write abortion rights into federal law following the Supreme Court’s leaked draft decision that would overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling.
    Casey, serving his third term, is not just any Democrat in the abortion debate.    His father, a former two-term governor of Pennsylvania who opposed abortion rights, signed legislation that spawned another landmark abortion case, Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
    Now Sen. Casey is in the position of watching the Supreme Court potentially overturn Roe v. Wade two years before he faces reelection while his party’s activists mobilize against any such decision.
    He is casting his new position as a reaction to what he characterizes as an unforeseen move by Republicans in Congress to try to effectively ban abortion nationwide.
    Casey said he will support the Democrats’ bill, if there is a final vote on it.    And he said he has never voted for – and does not support – a complete ban on abortion.
    “I think a lot of Americans are just beginning to understand the Republican position, which is, in many cases, not just a ban, but in a lot of states a ban without exception,” Casey said in an interview.
    He told Politico in 2018 “that the description of pro-life Democrat is accurate:” for him.
    But he told the AP on Tuesday that Republicans in Congress have moved from decades of saying they wanted states to have a say over abortion to pursuing legislation to ban it everywhere after six weeks – before many women even know they are pregnant.
    “I think that’s a new and substantial development in their approach,” he said.
    A vote on legislation by Senate Democrats to preserve abortion rights nationwide will not come to the floor if Democrats can’t come up with the votes necessary to bypass procedural hurdles.    They are expected to fail on a Wednesday test vote.
    Casey has won his Senate races campaigning as an anti-abortion Democrat.
Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., one of the last self-styled pro-life Democrats on Capitol Hill, said Tuesday
that he will support a bill to write abortion rights into federal law. CAROLYN KASTER/AP FILE

5/11/2022 Italian leader urges Ukraine cease-fire in visit with Biden by Chris Megerian, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden and Italian Premier Mario Draghi met in the Oval Office on Tuesday for a visit intended to showcase allied unity against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but it also provided a window into divergent approaches to the conflict.
    Draghi said leaders should work toward “the possibility of bringing a ceasefire and starting, again, some credible negotiations.”    He added that "in Italy and Europe now, people want to put an end to these massacres and this violence, this butchery.”
    Biden did not echo Draghi’s comments, and U.S. officials appear openly skeptical that there’s a way to restart talks at this point.
    Avril Haines, Biden’s director of national intelligence, testified earlier Tuesday that both Ukraine and Russia believe they can make progress on the battlefield at this point, so “we do not see a viable negotiating path forward, at least in the short term.”
    She also said Russian President Vladimir Putin is prepared for a “prolonged conflict.”
    The different tones over Ukraine reflect Italy’s geographic proximity to the war and deeper economic ties to Russia, which provides 40% of the country’s natural gas.    There’s also growing skepticism in Italy about sending weapons to Ukraine.
    Meanwhile, the U.S. has been ramping up its military assistance for Ukraine with bipartisan support from Congress, and administration officials have used more aggressive rhetoric when talking about the war.    For example, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin recently said the U.S. wants “to see Russia weakened to the point where it can’t do things like invade Ukraine.”
    Biden and Draghi still emphasized their two countries’ deep ties and their work on Ukraine.
    “You’ve been a good friend and a great ally,” Biden said, adding that the allies had “all stepped up” to confront Russia.
    Draghi responded: “The ties between our two countries will always be strong.    And if anything, this war in Ukraine has made them stronger.”
    Echoing comments that Biden has often made, Draghi added that Putin “thought he could divide us.    He failed.”
    Ali Wyne, a senior analyst with the Eurasia Group, said “shock-induced unity can be difficult to sustain” as the war continues.
    “Geography means that the escalation of tensions between NATO and Russia poses a more immediate threat to Europe’s security than to America’s – and means, therefore, that de-escalation is a more pressing imperative for Brussels,” he said.
    Biden did not echo Draghi’s comments, and U.S. officials appear openly skeptical that there’s a way to restart talks at this point.

5/11/2022 Biden pushes ‘ultra-MAGA’ label on GOP as he defends record by Zeke Miller, Chris Megerian and Josh Boak, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden on Tuesday warned voters unhappy with soaring inflation and his stalled domestic agenda against turning power over to “ultra-MAGA” Republicans in the midterm elections as he increasingly tries to cast former President Donald Trump and his adherents as a political foil.
    Speaking at the White House less than six months before the elections, Biden acknowledged that he could “taste” the country’s dissatisfaction with Washington, particularly over rising prices, but he sought to channel the anger against the GOP.
    “Look, I know you’ve got to be frustrated,” he said.    “ ... Frustrated by high prices, by gridlock in Congress, by the time it takes to get anything done."
    “The MAGA Republicans are counting on you to be as frustrated by the pace of progress, which they’ve done everything they can to slow down, that you will hand power over to them … so they can enact their extreme agenda” Biden’s branding of his opposition as “ultra-MAGA Republicans” – a reference to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan – has emerged as a White House trope in recent weeks as the White House hopes for a pre-midterms reset for Democrats, who face stiff headwinds heading into the November elections.    White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that “it’s the president’s phrase.”
    It is a message seemingly aimed directly at the listless and divided base of Biden’s own party, as Democrats struggle to keep their voters motivated, as well as at some moderate voters who still recoil at the memory of Trump’s tumultuous tenure in office.
    “Look, I think Biden needs to motivate his base ahead of the midterms.    And nothing motivates Democrats like voting against Trump,” said GOP strategist Alex Conant.    “Trump’s not on the ballot this fall.    But Biden is going to try to convince voters that he is.”
    Biden, Conant argued, has little choice.
    “They’re not going to run on his record.    They’re not going to make big, bold policy promises,” he said, so that leaves villainizing the opponent “and the best way to do that is to tie him to Trump.”
    For Democrats, who have unified control of Washington, running against the minority party is risky, as even Biden acknowledged that voters tend to blame those in control for the nation’s state of affairs.
    But the White House believes Republicans have thrown them a lifeline, in the form of GOP Sen. Rick Scott’s 11-point plan, released in late February, that would impose a modest tax increase on many of the lowest-paid Americans, while opening the door for cutting Social Security and Medicare.
    The plan, meant as a draft governing agenda for when the GOP retakes power, has been rejected by many Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.    But that is not stopping Biden and Democrats from trying to tie Republicans to it more broadly.    Scott, R Florida, is the chairman of the Senate Republicans’ campaign arm and a member of Senate GOP leadership.
    “That’s a plan in writing and he’s in the leadership,” Biden said.
    Biden argued that the potential tax hikes would make it even harder for families struggling with inflation to afford food, housing and transportation, as prices rise at the fastest pace in four decades.
    “I want every American to know that I’m taking inflation very seriously, and it’s my top domestic priority,” Biden said.
    Scott fired back in comments Tuesday, calling on Biden to resign, and deeming him “unfit” for the job.
    “I have a plan.    I mean, it’s real simple,” he told reporters.    “I put out my ideas and how we need to rescue this country.    He doesn’t have a plan.    And you didn’t hear any ideas today.    I mean, he says he was going to come up with his ideas and fix inflation.”
    In recent days, the White House has extended the “ultra-MAGA” label to broader criticism of Republicans on other matters, including the push to overturn the constitutional right to an abortion established in the Roe v. Wade decision of the Supreme Court.
    Biden believes most general election voters haven’t yet tuned in to the midterms and are missing what it views as “extreme” positions taken by GOP candidates and lawmakers, particularly in primaries, according to two people familiar with the White House’s thinking who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
    Speaking Monday night at a Democratic fundraiser, Biden tested out the “ultra-MAGA” messaging with donors, referencing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ moves to restrict some textbooks from being used in the classroom and Scott’s plan to require regular congressional reauthorization of social safety net programs.
    “This is not your father’s Republican Party,” Biden said.    This is a MAGA party.    This is the MAGA party.    "And the head of their Republican campaign committee, Sen. Rick Scott, the Ultra-MAGA agenda he put forward, he raises taxes on 70 million people who make well less than $100,000.”
    John Anzalone, "a Democratic pollster who has worked for Biden, said it’s important to draw sharp contrasts with political opponents.”
    “Whether you’re in a governor’s race in Michigan or you’re in a Senate race in New Hampshire, those contrasts become really important, because it’s good for voters to know what each side stands for,” he said.    “You’re talking to swing voters, without a doubt, because at the end of the day, independents, swing voters, moderates can make or break a cycle for Democrats and Republicans.”
    “The MAGA Republicans are counting on you to be as frustrated by the pace of progress, which they’ve done everything they can to slow down, that you will hand power over to them … so they can enact their extreme agenda,” President Joe Biden
    “I have a plan.    I mean, it’s real simple.    I put out my ideas and how we need to rescue this country.    He doesn’t have a plan.    And you didn’t hear any ideas today.    I mean, he says he was going to come up with his ideas and fix inflation,” GOP Sen. Rick Scott.

5/11/2022 House Passes $40B Ukraine Aid Package, Moves To Senate by OAN NEWSROOM
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., with Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass., left to right, Rep. Greg Meeks,
D-N.Y. and Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., and other members of the Congressional delegation that recently
visited Ukraine, speaks to reporters outside the West Wing of the White House following a meeting with
President Joe Biden, Tuesday, May 10, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    The House of Representatives moved forward a $40 billion Ukraine military aid package.    The lower chamber passed the legislation in a 368-to-57 vote on Tuesday, just hours after the bill’s official text was released.    All 57 opponents of the spending spree were Republicans.
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) praised the bill’s passing as a monumental for a crisis that has raged for the past three months.
    “We should all be very proud that we had the opportunity when (Vladimir) Putin decided whatever it is he decided, to be brutal and cruel and a coward, that we were there to help,” stated the top Democrat.    “It’s about democracy versus a dictatorship.”
    The aid is supposedly split evenly between military and humanitarian efforts with billions of dollars going towards training Ukrainian troops, replenishing weapons stores, propping up the Ukrainian economy and aiding refugees in the US.
    The bill is $7 billion more than President Joe Biden’s initial request and will put the American aid to Ukraine up to $54 billion since the war first began.    With its passing, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) claimed the latest push will bring the crisis closer to a conclusion.
    “This bill ensures that we are one step closer to making them pay the full price for their actions,” she stated.    “And in the process, we will be standing firmly with the Ukrainian people while combating the exploitation of Ukraine’s vulnerable financial system.”
    Biden and the Democrat Party initially wanted to tie the package in with additional funding to combat COVID.    However, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-K.Y.) had pledged to stand in the way of the bill’s passage unless COVID relief funds were dropped.
    The measure now heads to the Senate with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) saying they will “move swiftly” to pass it.

5/11/2022 Musk: Twitter’s Permanent Ban Of Trump ‘Flat Out Stupid’ by OAN NEWSROOM
FILE – Elon Musk founder, CEO, and chief engineer/designer of SpaceX jokes with reporters as he pretends to search for an answer
to a question on a cell phone during a news conference after a Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket test flight to demonstrate the capsule’s
emergency escape system at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)
    Democrat operatives have continued to decry Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter after his latest remarks regarding 45th President Donald Trump.    He appears to be causing another stir over who he will allow back in the Twitterverse.
    While speaking at the Financial Times’ Future of the Car Conference on Tuesday, Musk criticized the platform’s move to permanently ban the former president after the January 6 protest at the US Capitol.    He went on to say permanent bans should be extremely rare and only in cases where accounts are bots or for spamming users.    Musk also said he would reverse a permanent ban on Trump’s account.
    “I think that was a mistake because it alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice,” Musk pointed out.    “He is now going to be on Truth Social as will a large part of the, sort of the right in the United States, and so I think this could end up being, frankly, worse than having a single forum where everyone can debate.”
    Democrat critics and mainstream media have already come out against Musk taking lead of Twitter amid his vow to return the company to its free speech roots. His latest comments have prompted the White House to respond, deferring the decision to revive Trump’s account to the “private company.”
    White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki also pivoted while claiming the Biden administration is looking to clean up so-called disinformation on social media.
    “What I will say, broadly speaking, is that our effort is to, of course, make sure that freedom of speech is protected across the country, but that also these platforms are not used for format, forums for disinformation,” she stated.    “And we have seen a history of that, not just on Twitter, but also on Facebook.”
    Meanwhile, Musk stressed he does not officially own Twitter yet and doesn’t have sway over the company’s immediate policies.    He also reiterated, banning accounts will only drive those users to other sites that are void of diverse opinions and perspectives.    Musk warned that outcome will create louder echo chambers, which he believes are worse than having controversial accounts operate on Twitter.
Twitter’s founder, Jack Dorsey, said he agrees with Musk’s statement saying permanent bans should only be implemented when accounts are engaging in illegal activities, media manipulation and spam.
    In the meantime, Musk detailed his plans to increase production of Tesla cars and send people into space.    The tech giant said Tesla aims to make up to 20 million cars every month and SpaceX is hoping to send a manned mission to mars by 2030.

5/11/2022 Sen. Graham, Sen. Blumenthal Unveil Resolution Forcing DOS To Designate Russia As State Sponsor Of Terrorism by OAN NEWSROOM
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., left, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., members of the Senate Judiciary Committee,
speak to reporters about designating Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism because of Vladimir Putin’s invasion
of Ukraine, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are taking aim at Russia in a new Senate resolution.    On Capitol Hill Tuesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) called on Secretary of State Antony Blinken to designate the Russian Federation as a state sponsor of terrorism.
    Graham said the International Criminal Court should investigate Vladimir Putin individually as a war criminal.    He added, the Ukrainian government asked the US to look at the designation and believe it would turn the tide of the war.
    “Of all the things we could do this week, the $40 billion is really important and it puts weapons in the hands of the Ukrainian military fighting like tigers,” Graham explained.    “It marginalizes Russia even more and it helps the training economy survive under this onslaught, but why did the EU Crimean parliament specifically asked for this?    Because they understand the day that United States says with a single boys that Russia is in the hands of a terrorist called Putin and the whole country is sponsoring terrorism would be a game changer in terms of the outcome of this war.”
    Graham suggested that if the US steps back from prosecuting Putin as a war criminal, China will certainly invade Taiwan.
    Additionally, Blumenthal noted Russia has been sponsoring terrorism for years and needs to be held accountable.    The Democrat asserted Putin should be investigated and punished to the furthest extent.
    Earlier this week, Graham said the US should do everything in its power, besides sending troops into Ukraine, to deter Russia from invading other countries, but raised concerns that Putin was getting “desperate” and could launch a nuclear attack against Ukraine.
    Russia, which is nearing its third month of war against Ukraine, has been accused of multiple war crimes for killings in Bucha and bombings in the city of Mariupol.    However, the Biden administration has continued to resist calls to add Russia to the list of countries designated as terror sponsors.

5/11/2022 President Biden, Italy Prime Minister Discuss Energy And Ukraine Crisis by OAN NEWSROOM
Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi speaks during a press conference at the
Italian Embassy, Wednesday, May 11, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)
    President Joe Biden met with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi to discuss security and economic problems in Europe.    During the meeting, the President referred to Italy as one of the closest US allies in the region.
    Biden welcomed incredible cooperation with Draghi as the two discussed the Ukraine crisis and rising cost of fuel in Italy due to Russian sanctions.    Draghi raised energy security concerns as Italy imported 40 percent of it’s natural gas supply from Russia.
    “I think that we have to think deeply on how to address this,” Draghi stated.    “We will continue, you and I, to work on energy security, food security, especially which is now another issue there.    We’ll talk later about that.”
    Draghi also praised Biden for his commitment to deepening political and economic ties with the EU.    The prime minister went on to further push for ceasefire and possible negotiations.
    “Well, but I have to tell you that in Italy and in Europe now, people want to put an end to this massacres, to the massacres, to this violence, this butchering that’s happening,” continued Draghi.    “And people think about what we do to bring peace? We certainly have to use any direct, indirect channel of communication.”
    President Biden’s approval rating has plummeted in regards to his handling of the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

5/11/2022 Rep. Comer: Biden May Be Compromised By Hunter’s Foreign Deals by OAN NEWSROOM
FILE – In this Thursday July 29, 2021 file photo, House Committee on Oversight and Reform committee Ranking Member
Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., speaks during a hearing on voting rights in Texas in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
    Congressman James Comer (R-Ky.) said Hunter Biden poses a national security risk due to his business ties in China, Russia and Ukraine.    In an interview Monday, the Kentucky Republican said Hunter Biden was taking money from companies tied to the Chinese Communist Party and he received payments from at least two wealthy Russian businessmen.
    The congressman then pointed out that those two Russians were mysteriously left off of the Biden administration’s list of anti-Russian sanctions. Comer added, the US Congress must investigate the “Biden family scandals.”
    “We have asked for information from the White House as to why this omission from the two people that we know transacted money to Hunter Biden’s account,” explained the Kentucky lawmaker.    “So, this is a national security risk and maybe the reason is because Hunter Biden is compromised, and therefore, Joe Biden is compromised with some of these Russian oligarchs and some of these shady communist China companies.”
    Congressman Comer also said Hunter Biden’s business model involved giving favors to foreign partners at the expense of US national interest. Looking ahead, if the GOP takes the House in November, Republicans suggested they are now considering a special council to further analyze Hunter Biden’s shady business dealings.
    “I really believe that the House Oversight Committee, along with the House Judiciary Committee and some other committees of jurisdiction that have subpoena power, I believe that we can make a big dent into all of the Hunter Biden scandals,” Comer continued.    “We’ve made a lot of progress in the last few months piecing together not only the proof that Hunter Biden was selling access to then-Vice President Joe Biden, but now proof that, in fact, Joe Biden was not being fruitful and that he was very close with at least one of Hunter Biden’s business associates: Erick Sherwin.”
    The congressman added, there’s still many questions left to be answered. Comer is primed to be chairman of the committee on Oversight and Reform after the expected Republican takeover of the House come November.

5/11/2022 Rep. Gaetz: Biden Sleepwalking U.S. Into Nuclear War by OAN Newsroom
Congressman Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., speaks at a “Women for American First”
event Friday, April 9, 2021, in Doral, Fla. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)
    Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) voted against the Biden administration’s plan to send $40 billion worth of weapons to the Ukraine government.
    While speaking on the House Floor Wednesday, Gaetz criticized Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, but he said America should “stay out of it.”
    The congressman pointed out that the US has just lost a war against the Taliban and it cannot afford another costly misadventure overseas.    Gaetz added, the American people are being lied to about US involvement in the “Ukraine crisis.”
    “Regime change in Russia is their actual objective, not defending Ukraine,” he added.    “To achieve this goal, their willing to send billions to Kyiv that will line the pockets of corrupts officials just like we did in Afghanistan.    We are sleep walking into a war.”

5/11/2022 GOP Responds To President Biden’s Statements About Inflation by OAN NEWSROOM
    A press conference Tuesday escalated quickly after President Joe Biden spoke about the state of the economy while blaming everyone and everything but his own administration.    Prior to the briefing, Biden touted his economic plan while claiming it would lower the deficit and ensure wealthy Americans pay their fair share.
    Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) responded to the President’s statements about rising inflation.    The Florida senator declared that Biden is incapable of handling the economy and reiterated calls for his resignation.
    “Joe Biden gave a talk this morning blaming everyone else on inflation,” said Scott.    “He took no responsibility and has no plan.    I think all Floridians know that this President has no ability to deal with inflation.”
    Additionally, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) blamed the President for increasing gas prices and making Americans pay more for the cost of basic necessities.
    “This morning Americans woke up to the highest gasoline prices in the history of the country, the history of America,” voiced Barrasso.    “The pain caused by the Biden administration inflation has become a breaking point for millions of Americans.”
    Scott has continued to voice his strong opinion against Biden’s choices while claiming the President is “unwell.”

5/11/2022 Oil up $5.83 to $105.23, DOW down 326 to 31,834.

5/12/2022 Justices to meet for 1st time since leak of draft Roe ruling - Thursday’s conference comes at particularly fraught moment by Mark Sherman and Jessica Gresko, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court’s nine justices will gather in private Thursday for their first scheduled meeting since the leak of a draft opinion that would overrule Roe v. Wade and sharply curtail abortion rights in roughly half the states.
    The meeting in the justices’ private, wood-paneled conference room could be a tense affair in a setting noted for its decorum.    No one aside from the justices attends and the most junior among them, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, is responsible for taking notes.
    Thursday’s conference comes at an especially fraught moment, with the future of abortion rights at stake and an investigation underway to try to find the source of the leak.
    Chief Justice John Roberts last week confirmed the authenticity of the opinion, revealed by Politico, in ordering the court’s marshal to undertake an investigation.
    Roberts stressed that the draft, written by Justice Samuel Alito and circulated in February, may not be the court’s final word.    Supreme Court decisions are not final until they are formally issued and the outcomes in some cases changed between the justices’ initial votes shortly after arguments and the official announcement of the decisions.
    That’s true of a major abortion ruling from 1992 that now is threatened, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, when Justice Anthony Kennedy initially indicated he would be part of a majority to reverse Roe but later was among five justices who affirmed the basic right of a woman to choose abortion that the court first laid out in roe in 1973.
    Kennedy met privately with Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and David Souter to craft a joint opinion, with no hint to the public or even to other justices about what was going on.
    “I think it’s tradition and decorum that everyone corresponds in writing about things that are in circulation,” said Megan Wold, a former law clerk to Alito.    “But at the same time, there’s nothing to prevent a justice from picking up the phone to call, from visiting someone else in chambers.”
    A major shift in the current abortion case seems less likely, at least partly because of the leak, abortion law experts and people on both sides of the issue said.
    “I think the broad contours are very unlikely to change.    To the extent the leak matters, it will make broad changes unlikely,” said Mary Ziegler, a scholar of the history of abortion at the Florida State University law school.
    Sherif Gergis, a University of Notre Dame law professor who once was a law clerk for Alito, agreed.    “I’ll be surprised if it changes very much,” Gergis said.
    It’s not clear who leaked the opinion, or for what purpose.    But Alito’s writing means that there were at least five votes in December to overrule Roe and Casey, just after the court heard arguments over a Mississippi law that would ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
    Based on their questions at arguments, Justice Clarence Thomas and former President Donald Trump’s three appointees, Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Barrett, seemed most likely to join Alito.
    Roberts appeared the most inclined among the conservatives to avoid reaching a decision to overrule the landmark abortion rulings, but his questions suggested he would at least vote to uphold the Mississippi law.    Even that outcome would dramatically undermine abortion rights and invite states to adopt increasingly stricter limits.
    If Roberts, who often prefers incremental steps in an effort to preserve the court’s legitimacy, wanted to prevent the court from overruling Roe and Casey, he’d need to pick up the vote of just one other colleague.    That would be enough to deprive Alito of a majority.
    The liberal justices, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, are expected to dissent from either outcome.    But no dissent, separate opinion from Roberts, or even a revised draft majority opinion has been circulated among the justices, Politico reported.
    Majority opinions often change in response to friendly suggestions and barbed criticisms.    The justices consider the internal back-and-forth a crucial part of their work.
    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg remarked that pointed criticism from her friend and ideological opposite, Justice Antonin Scalia, made her opinions better.    Scalia died in 2016; Ginsburg, four years later.
        The lack of any other opinions surprised some former law clerks to the justices, though Wold said it’s also true that bigger, harder cases traditionally take more time.
    Several former clerks also said they expect the leak to be discussed at the weekly meeting on Thursday, at which the justices typically finalize opinions in cases they’ve heard and choose cases to hear in the coming months.    The spring normally is a tense time at the court, with major decisions looming that often reveal stark divisions and sometimes produce sharp words.
    “I would be shocked if it doesn’t come up,” Wold said, adding that, given what has happened, the court would probably take additional precautions with drafts circulating in the future, including limiting who has access to them.
    Kent Greenfield, a Boston University law professor who spent a year as a clerk to Souter, also speculated that the leak would be on the table Thursday.    “Roberts is in a complete bind. He has to address it, but it doesn’t strike me that he has many options,” Greenfield said.
An abortion rights activist protests outside of the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday in Washington. JOSE LUIS MAGANA/AP

5/12/2022 Senate bid to save Roe v. Wade falls to GOP-led opposition - Manchin joins all Republicans in blocking abortion-rights bill by Lisa Mascaro, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – The Senate fell far short Wednesday in a rushed effort toward enshrining Roe v. Wade abortion access as federal law, blocked by a Republican filibuster in a blunt display of the nation’s partisan divide over the landmark court decision and the limits of legislative action.    The almost party-line tally promises to be just the first of several efforts in Congress to preserve the nearly 50-year-old court ruling, which declares a constitutional right to abortion services but is at serious risk of being overturned this summer.
    President Joe Biden said that Republicans “have chosen to stand in the way of Americans’ rights to make the most personal decisions about their own bodies, families and lives.”
    Biden urged voters to elect more abortion-rights lawmakers in November and pledged in the meantime to explore other ways to secure the rights established in Roe.    For now, his party’s slim majority proved unable to overcome the filibuster led by Republicans, who have been working for decades to install conservative Supreme Court justices and end Roe v. Wade.    The vote was 51-49 against proceeding, with 60 votes needed to move ahead.
    Congress has battled for years over abortion policy, but the Wednesday vote to take up a House-passed bill was given new urgency after the disclosure of a draft Supreme Court opinion to overturn the Roe decision that many had believed to be settled law.
    The outcome of the conservative-majority court’s actual ruling, expected this summer, is sure to reverberate around the country and on the campaign trail ahead of the fall midterm elections that will determine which party controls Congress.
    Security was tight at the Capitol where Vice President Kamala Harris presided, and it has been bolstered across the street at the Supreme Court after protesters turned out in force last week following the leaked draft.
    Scores of House Democratic lawmakers marched protest-style to the Senate and briefly watched from the visitor galleries.
    Harris can provide a tie-breaking vote in the 50-50 split Senate, but that was beside the point on Wednesday.    One conservative Democrat, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, voted with the Republicans, saying he supported keeping Roe v. Wade but believed the current bill was too broad.
    “The Senate is not where the majority of Americans are on this issue,” Harris said afterward.
    Over several days, Democratic senators delivered speeches contending that undoing abortion access would mean great harm, not only for women but for all Americans planning families and futures.
    Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., said that most American women have only known a world where abortion access was guaranteed but could face a future with fewer rights than their mothers or grandmothers.
    “That means women will not have the same control over their lives and bodies as men do, and that’s wrong,” she said in the run-up to Wednesday’s vote.
    Few Republican senators spoke in favor of ending abortion access, but they embraced the filibuster to block the bill from advancing.
    Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, an architect of the effort to install conservative justices on the Supreme Court – including three during the Trump era – has sought to downplay the outcome of any potential changes in federal abortion policy.
    “This issue will be dealt with at the state level,” McConnell said.
        Some other Republicans, including Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, argue that the House-passed bill is more extreme than Roe, and would expand abortion access beyond what is already the law.
    About half the states already have approved laws that would further restrict or ban abortions, including some trigger laws that would take effect once the court rules.
    Polls show that most Americans want to preserve access to abortion in the earlier stages of pregnancy, but views are more nuanced and mixed when it comes to later-term abortions.
    The draft court ruling on a case from Mississippi suggested the majority of conservative justices are prepared to end the federal right to abortion, leaving it to the states to decide.
    Whatever the Supreme Court says this summer, it will almost guarantee a new phase of political fighting in Congress over abortion policy, filibuster rules and the most basic rights to health care, privacy and protecting the unborn.
    In recent years, abortion debates have come to a political draw in Congress.    Bills would come up for votes – to expand or limit services – only to fail along party lines or be stripped out of broader legislative packages.
    In the House, where Democrats have the majority, lawmakers approved the abortion-rights Women’s Health Protection Act last year on a largely party line vote after the Supreme Court first signaled it was considering the issue by allowing a Texas law’s ban to take effect.
    But the bill has languished in the Senate, evenly split with bare Democratic control because of Harris’ ability to cast a tie-breaking vote.
    Wednesday’s failure renewed calls to change Senate rules to do away with the high-bar filibuster threshold, at least on this issue.
    The two Republican senators who support abortion access – Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who faces her own reelection in November, and Susan Collins of Maine – were also no votes, having proposed their own more tailored approach to counter the Supreme Court’s potential action.
    Both of the Republican senators, who voted to confirm most of former President Donald Trump’s justices, are in talks over alternatives.    But Democrats have largely panned the Collins-Murkowski effort as insufficient’ “I plan to continue working with my colleagues on legislation to maintain – not expand or restrict – the current legal framework for abortion rights in this country,” Collins said in a statement.
    Pressure is building on those two senators to join most Democrats in changing the filibuster rules, but that appears unlikely.
    Five years ago, it was McConnell who changed Senate rules to selectively do away with the filibuster to confirm Trump’s justices after blocking Barack Obama’s choice of Merrick Garland to fill a Supreme Court vacancy at the start of the 2016 presidential campaign, leaving the seat open for Trump to fill after he won the White House.
    Both parties face enormous pressure to convince voters they are doing all they can – the Democrats working to preserve abortion access, the Republicans to limit or end it – with the fall elections coming up.
Vice President Kamala Harris hugs Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, after a vote on
the Women’s Health Protection Act that did not pass. JACQUELYN MARTIN/AP

5/12/2022 Wives of Mariupol soldiers meet pope - 2 urge Francis to arrange third-party evacuation by Nicole Winfield, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Kateryna Prokopenko, right, wife of Azov Regiment commander Denys Prokopenko, and Yuliia Fedosiuk, whose husband
is one of the Azov fighters, are urging an evacuation of the Mariupol steel mill defenders. NICOLE WINFIELD/AP
    VATICAN CITY – The wives of two Ukrainian soldiers defending the Mariupol steel mill met with Pope Francis on Wednesday and begged him to intervene to arrange for a third-party evacuation of the troops before Russian soldiers capture or kill them.
    “You are our last hope.    We hope you can save their lives.    Please don’t let them die,” said a weeping Kateryna Prokopenko as she greeted Francis at the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square.
    Standing by her side, Yuliia Fedusiuk, told Francis that food and water were running out in the mill, that some soldiers were injured or dead and that those who are alive were ready to lay down their arms if they could be evacuated to a third country.
    “They will not go to Russian captivity because they will be tortured and killed,” Fedusiuk told Francis, according to a video of the encounter shot by another member of their entourage, Pyotr Verzilov, a prominent member of the Russian protest group Pussy Riot who is working on a documentary about Ukraine.     Prokopenko’s husband, Denys Prokopenko, is the commander of the Azov Regiment in the Azovstal mill, while Fedusiuk’s husband, Arseniy Fedusiuk, is one of the Azov fighters who have been defending the mill from encroaching Russian forces for more than two months.
    The young women have been in Italy for over two weeks seeking to rally international support for a diplomatic resolution to the standoff at the plant, the last holdout of Ukrainian resistance in the strategic port city.
    Francis, who has been hobbled by knee trouble that makes walking and standing painful, stood up to greet the women, a gesture he didn’t extend to others who lined up to see him Wednesday at the end of the audience.    He held their hands as they wept, blessed them and said he had spoken about the plight of the soldiers with Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, whom he has dispatched to Ukraine.
    Verzilov told Francis that time was running out for the troops in the Azovstal mill.
    “We feel that if some emergency intervention does not happen in the next few days it will end in a big tragedy,” Verzilov told     The Associated Press afterward. He said Francis said he was aware of the standoff.    “He understands how tragic it is and will do what he can.”
    The United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross have organized a series of evacuations of civilians from the mill, which had sheltered hundreds of people in its warren of underground tunnels and bunkers.    But soldiers, and apparently some of their family members, have stayed behind.
    Verzilov, the Russian activist and a publisher of independent news site Mediazona, said Turkey has been trying to seek a resolution to the standoff, but that none had been found.
    “Our soldiers are ready to be evacuated to a third country.    They are ready to lay down their arms in case of evacuation to a third country,” Propkopenko told journalists after the brief meeting.    “We all are ready to help them I hope.”
    Fedusiuk said her husband had recently asked her to research how to survive without water.
    “Water is running out.    They have no food, no water, no medicine,” she said.    “They are dying every day.    Every day one or two injured soldiers are dying.”
    She said she understood some civilians, who were relatives of the soldiers, remained in the mill because they feared they would be identified at Russian- run “filtration camps” along the evacuation route and wouldn’t be allowed to enter Ukrainian territory.
Prokopenko, right, and Fedosiuk, second from right, talk with Pope Francis at the
end of the weekly general audience at The Vatican on Wednesday. DOMENICO STINELLIS/AP

5/12/2022 US, Europe fret over war endgame - Stalemate in Ukraine fuels global uncertainty by Matthew Lee, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – An interminable and unwinnable war in Europe? That’s what NATO leaders fear and are bracing for as Russia’s war in Ukraine grinds into its third month with little sign of a decisive military victory for either side and no resolution in sight.     The possibility of a stalemate is fueling concerns that Ukraine may remain a deadly European battlefield and a source of continental and global instability for months, or even years, to come.
    Energy and food security are the most immediate worries, but massive Western support for Ukraine while the world is still emerging from coronavirus pandemic and struggling to deal with the effects of climate change could deepen the toll on the global economy.    And should Russia choose to escalate, the risk of a broader conflict rises.
    The U.S. and its allies are pumping a steady stream of lethal weaponry into Ukraine to keep it in the fight.    While most analysts say Kyiv is holding its own at the least, those infusions must continue if they are to support President Volodomyr Zelenskyy’s vow to win, or at least continue to match or beat back, Moscow’s advances.
    Just as Russian President Vladimir Putin has not signaled a willingness to intensify the invasion with either a general mobilization of troops or the use of unconventional arms, neither has he shown any sign of backing down.    Nor has Zelenskyy, who is now asserting that Ukraine will not only beat back the current Russian invasion but regain control of Crimea and other areas that Russia has occupied or otherwise controlled since 2014.
    “It’s very difficult to see how you could get a negotiated solution at this point,” said Ian Kelly, a retired veteran diplomat who served as U.S. ambassador to Georgia, another former Soviet republic on which Russia has territorial designs.    “Neither side is willing to stop fighting and probably the likeliest outcome is a war that lasts a couple of years.    Ukraine would be a festering sore in the middle of Europe.
    “There’s no way that Ukraine is going to step back,” Kelly said.    “They think they’re gonna win.”
    At the same time, Kelly said that no matter how many miscalculations Putin has made about the strength and will of Ukraine to resist or the unity and resolve of the NATO allies, Putin cannot accept defeat or anything short of a scenario that he can claim has achieved success.
    “It would be political suicide for Putin to withdraw,” Kelly said.
    U.S. officials, starting with President Joe Biden, seem to agree, even after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin raised eyebrows by saying after a visit to Kyiv last month that Washington’s goal is not only to help Ukraine defend itself but to “weaken” Russia to the point where it does not pose a threat.
    Putin “doesn’t have a way out right now, and I’m trying to figure out what we do about that,” Biden said on Monday even after he signed legislation designed to reboot the World War II-era “lend-lease” program and appealed to Congress to approve a $40 billion package of military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine.
    French President Emmanuel Macron has placed a premium on a negotiated settlement that saves face for both Russia and Ukraine.
    “We will have a peace to build tomorrow, let us never forget that,” Macron said on Monday.    “We will have to do this with Ukraine and Russia around the table.    The end of the discussion and the negotiation will be set by Ukraine and Russia.    But it will not be done in denial, nor in exclusion of each other, nor even in humiliation.”
    U.S. officials aren’t so sure, although they allow that the endgame is up to Ukraine.
    “Our strategy is to see to it that Ukraine emerges from this victorious,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said this week.     “Ukraine will do so at the negotiating table.    Our goal is to strengthen Ukraine’s position at that negotiating table as we continue to place mounting costs on the Russian Federation.”
    But, the high-stakes uncertainty over what constitutes a “victorious” Ukraine has alarmed officials in some European capitals, notably those in the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which are NATO members bordering Russia and especially worried about Moscow’s possible future intentions.
    For Baltic nations and other countries on NATO’s eastern flank, the threat is real and memories of Soviet occupation and rule remain fresh.
    Concessions to Russia in Ukraine will only embolden Putin to push further west, they say.
    “To be honest, we are still not talking about the endgame,” Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis lamented The Associated Press on Monday.    He said any territorial concessions in Ukraine would usher in a world where the “rules-based order” has been left behind.
    Landsbergis suggested that Western nations issue public statements about what success would be.    “Where we would consider what we would take for victory, actual victory?    What would be the scenario that we would like?”     Landsbergis has been outspoken in calls for Putin to be ousted as Russia’s leader, going well beyond the U.S. position and that of other NATO leaders. He says regime change in Moscow is the only way to protect European and Western security in the long term.
    “Coming from me it’s much easier to say we need regime change in Russia, so we’ve been quite blunt and open about it,” he said.    “Maybe for United States it’s much more much more difficult to be open about it, but still, at some point we have to talk about this because it’s so important.”
    “Ukraine will do so at the negotiating table.    Our goal is to strengthen Ukraine’s position at that negotiating table as we continue to place mounting costs on the Russian Federation,” Ned Price, US State Dept spokesperson
Teenagers bike past a bridge destroyed by shelling near Orihiv, Ukraine. The war grinds
into its third month with little sign of a victory. EVGENIY MALOLETKA/AP FILE

5/12/2022 Coinbase loses half its value in a week as crypto slumps
    SILVER SPRING, Md. – Cryptocurrency trading platform Coinbase has lost half its value in the past week, including its biggest one-day drop to date on Wednesday as the famously volatile crypto market weathers yet another slump.
    Coinbase reported a $430 million net loss in the first quarter, or $1.98 per share, on declining sales and active users.    Revenue was down as trading volumes fell, and active monthly users declined 19% from the fourth quarter.
    It’s unlikely those results surprised investors – Coinbase Global Inc. shares declined 43% in the four days leading up to their earnings release Tuesday.
Associated Press

5/12/2022 Court: California’s under-21-gun sales ban unconstitutional by Brian Melley, ASSOCIATED PRESS
California Gov. Gavin Newsom backed state legislation allowing private citizens to enforce the state’s ban
on assault weapons. A U.S. appeals court ruled Wednesday that the ban on selling semiautomatic weapons
to adults under 21 is unconstitutional. NELVIN C. CEPEDA/THE SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE VIA AP FILE
    LOS ANGELES – A U.S. appeals court ruled Wednesday that California’s ban on the sale of semiautomatic weapons to adults under 21 is unconstitutional.
    In a 2-1 ruling, a panel of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Wednesday the law violates the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms and a San Diego judge should have blocked what it called “an almost total ban on semiautomatic centerfire rifles” for young adults.    “America would not exist without the heroism of the young adults who fought and died in our revolutionary army,” Judge Ryan Nelson wrote.    “Today we reaffirm that our Constitution still protects the right that enabled their sacrifice: the right of young adults to keep and bear arms.”
    The Firearms Policy Coalition, which brought the case, said the ruling makes it optimistic age-based gun bans will be overturned in other courts.
    However, the ruling was not a total victory for gun rights advocates.
    They had sought to block the state from requiring a hunting license for purchases of rifles or shotguns by adults under 21 who are not in the military or law enforcement.
    Handgun sales to those under 21 were already prohibited when the hunting license requirement was passed in 2018 after some of the nation’s worst mass shootings were committed by young adults using rifles, including the Valentine’s Day slayings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
    The court ruled the hunting license requirement was reasonable for increasing public safety through “sensible firearm control.”
    In 2019, the state passed an additional law banning sales of semiautomatic centerfire rifles to anyone under 21. There were exemptions for police or military troops but not for those with hunting licenses.
    Matthew Jones, a 20-year-old at the time from Santee in San Diego County, was the lead plaintiff in the case.    He said he wanted a gun for self-defense and other lawful purposes but didn’t want to obtain a hunting license.
    His lawsuit, which had been filed before the under-age ban on semiautomatic weapons, was amended to challenge that law and the hunting license requirement.
    The suit said the state had “whittled down (the) already inapplicable and irrelevant hunting license ‘exemption’ – the only exemption that is even possible for an ordinary, law abiding young adult who does not wish to enter into a highly dangerous career in law enforcement or the military – by prohibiting an entire class of firearms.”
    The two judges who ruled in the majority were part of President Donald Trump’s wave of conservative-approved nominees to the famously liberal court.
    A dissent was written by U.S. District Court Judge Sidney Stein, who was assigned to the panel from the Southern District of New York.    Stein was nominated to the lower court by President Bill Clinton.
    Democratic Sen. Anthony Portantino of La Cañada Flintridge, who wrote both laws, said he was disappointed the semiautomatic ban was struck down but was pleased the hunting license requirement survived.
    “I remain committed to keeping deadly weapons out of the wrong hands,” Portantino said.    “Student safety on our campuses is something we should all rally behind and sensible gun control is part of that solution.”
    “America would not exist without the heroism of the young adults who fought and died in our revolutionary army.    Today we reaffirm that our Constitution still protects the right that enabled their sacrifice: the right of young adults to keep and bear arms.” Judge Ryan Nelson

5/12/2022 UK threatens to rewrite Brexit deal - EU warns that renegotiation ‘is not an option’ by Jill Lawless, ASSOCIATED PRESS
The thorniest subject of contention in the U.K.s divorce from the EU involves its arrangements for
Northern Ireland, Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald is second from right. PETER MORRISON/AP FILE
    LONDON – Britain and the European Union were once again at loggerheads over Brexit on Wednesday, after the U.K. government ramped up threats to scrap parts of its trade treaty with the bloc, saying the rules are blocking the formation of a new government in Northern Ireland.
    Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the government would “not shy away from taking action” if it can’t reach agreement with the bloc.
    The EU warned that renegotiating the legally binding agreement “is not an option.”    Any move by Britain to unilaterally rewrite the rules would bring legal action from the bloc that could escalate into a trade war.
    Arrangements for Northern Ireland – the only part of the U.K. that shares a border with an EU nation – have been the thorniest subject of contention in the U.K.’s divorce from the 27-nation bloc, which became final at the end of 2020.
    A deal was agreed to keep the Irish border free of customs posts and other checks, because an open border is a key pillar of the peace process that ended decades of violence in Northern Ireland. Instead, there are checks on some goods entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the U.K.
    The arrangement is opposed by many of Northern Ireland’s British unionists, who say the new checks have created a barrier with the rest of the U.K. that undermines their British identity.    The Democratic Unionist Party, which came second in last week’s Northern Ireland Assembly election, is refusing to help form a government until the arrangements, known as the Northern Ireland Protocol, are substantially changed or scrapped.
    Under Northern Ireland’s power sharing rules, a government can’t be formed without the support of both the main unionist and nationalist parties.    Sinn Fein won the most seats last week, the first time a party that seeks to unite Northern Ireland with the republic has topped the voting.
    Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the DUP opposition shows the arrangement does not have the support of both Northern Ireland’s nationalist and unionist communities, and as such is undermining the 1998 Good Friday peace accord.
    “Things have got to command cross community support,” he said.    “Plainly the Northern Ireland Protocol fails to do that and we’ve got to sort it out.”
    U.K.-EU talks on resolving differences over trade rules have reached an impasse.    Britain’s Conservative government has accused the bloc of being needlessly “purist” in its approach to the rules, while the EU says Britain is failing to honor a legally binding deal that Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed to.
    The British government has suggested it could legislate to override parts of the deal by removing checks on goods bound for Northern Ireland – a move that would infuriate the bloc.
    Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said the tough talk from British politicians had “gone down really badly” with EU leaders, and he urged Britain to reconsider.    EU chief Brexit official Maroš Šefcovic said Tuesday that the bloc had “worked tirelessly to propose creative and durable solutions, showing flexibility on how the Protocol should be implemented.”
    He warned that “the Protocol, as a cornerstone of the Withdrawal Agreement, is an international agreement.    Its renegotiation is not an option.    The European Union is united in this position.”
    Truss, who is in charge of negotiations with the bloc, said that EU proposals “fail to properly address the real issues affecting Northern Ireland and in some cases would take us backward.”

5/12/2022 Blaming GOP may backfire on Biden - Americans expect more from party in power, experts say by Michael Collins and Rebecca Morin, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON – The White House’s initial strategy for dealing with inflation was to assure Americans that rising prices were a short-term problem fueled by the coronavirus pandemicbr>     But after inflation hit a 40-year high, President Joe Biden is trying a different, two-pronged approach: Promise Americans that high prices are the administration’s top priority.    Blame Republicans for failing to offer a plan to give Americans relief.
    The problem with that line of attack: Democrats, not Republicans, are in charge in Washington.    Blaming the party out of power for the current state of affairs is seldom a winning strategy, political analysts said.
    “There’s just not a lot of evidence that these kinds of arguments play to a president’s advantage,” said William Howell, political scientist at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy.    “In unified or divided government, presidents are held accountable for objective measures of the economy – fairly or not.”
    Biden got a bit of good news Wednesday when the Labor Department reported that although inflation remained elevated in April, it eased off its 40-year high – a signal that the surge in consumer prices since last summer may have peaked.
    Even so, overall consumer prices edged up 0.3% from March.    Record high gas prices – the average price per gallon was $4.40 on Wednesday, according to AAA – and a baby formula shortage add to the angst many American households feel.
    Biden sought to reassure Americans that he understands the pain inflation inflicts.    “I come from a family where, when the price of gas or food went up, we felt it,” he said at the White House on Tuesday.    “It was a discussion at the kitchen table.”
    In a statement issued after the release of the latest figures on Wednesday, Biden said inflation remains “unacceptably high” and repeated that lowering prices is his administration’s “top economic priority.”    He pointed to a partnership with businesses to make highspeed internet more affordable for some low-income Americans as one of his initiatives to fight inflation.
    Biden’s reassurance that higher prices are his administration’s top priority poses a dilemma for Democrats, who hold not only the White House but slim majorities in the House and the Senate.    Inflation is likely to be the top issue in the midterm elections, and voters often punish the party in power for a bad economy.
    Considering what’s at stake, Biden had no choice but to try to ease Americans’ concerns, Howell said, but in doing so, he guaranteed that ownership of the issue lies with Democrats.
    “This is a matter of such central importance that it’s hard to pivot away from,” Howell said. “    If he doesn’t own it, there’s a risk of it owning him, that he appears out of touch with very real concerns that Americans have about gas prices and the rising cost of groceries.”     Republican strategist Ron Bonjean said it’s important to connect with voters on the issues they care about most – and, right now, that’s the economy.
    “At the same time, if you’re going to consistently address inflation as an issue that’s your top priority, then you have to have action,” he said.
    Republicans know that Biden’s blame-the-minority-party strategy won’t work, Bonjean said.    They tried it in 2006.
    George W. Bush was in the White House, and the GOP held majorities in the House and the Senate.    But Republicans tried to pin problems with the economy, immigration and other issues on Democrats.
    “It failed miserably,” said Bonjean, who served as communication director for then-House Speaker Dennis Hastert.
    Republicans lost their majorities in the House and the Senate that fall “because voters see the folks who are in charge as the ones who are supposed to solve the problem,” Bonjean said.    “That’s why they were elected.”
    There isn’t much more the president can do to lower inflation, said Wendy Edelberg, director of the Hamilton Project and a senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution, a think tank based in Washington.
    “They’re doing, I think, all the right things on improving the supply chains and making sure the reports are working well,” Edelberg said.    “They should keep doing that.”
    Many Americans expect Biden to do more.
    Thirty-eight percent of Americans approve of the job Biden is doing, according to a poll released Wednesday by Fairleigh Dickinson University.    Sixty-two percent say the president has “some” or “a lot” of control over inflation, a figure that includes 50% of Democrats and 77% of Republicans.
    “Figures like these have scholars of the presidency pulling their hair out,” said Dan Cassino, a professor of government and politics at the university and executive director of the poll.    “Inflation right now is a global problem: There’s nothing the president of the U.S. can do about it.    But Americans are expecting him to do something.”
    One immediate move Biden could do to address price hikes is reducing tariffs, Edelberg said.
    The president said Tuesday that the White House is reviewing tariffs imposed on China during the Trump administration.
    “It would have been a welcome step a long time ago,” Edelberg said.    “It would be a welcome step now.”
    A lot of what can be done next to address inflation relies on monetary policymakers, such as the Federal Reserve Bank.
    “Monetary policy is now taking pretty aggressive steps to do what it can to slow the economy to slow demand for goods and services,” Edelberg said.
Contributing: Maureen Groppe and Paul Davidson
President Joe Biden and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, right, visit O’Connor Farms owners Jeff and Gina O’Connor
on Wednesday in Kankakee, Ill. Biden discussed food supplies and prices affected by the war in Ukraine. ANDREW HARNIK/AP

5/12/2022 Senate Rejects Democrat-Led Abortion Bill by OAN NEWSROOM
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., leaves the chamber after casting a no vote against an effort by
Democrats to enshrine Roe v. Wade abortion access into federal law, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday,
May 11, 2022. The 51-49 vote was blocked by a Republican filibuster in a blunt display of the nation’s partisan
divide over the landmark court decision and the limits of legislative action. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    A Democrat-led bill to force states to keep abortions legal has failed to advance in the Senate.    Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) confirmed the senators “duly chosen and sworn and not having voted in the affirmative, the motion is not agreed to.”    There were 49 “yes” votes compared the 51 “no” votes.
    Senate Democrats fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance the Women’s Health Protection Act after it passed in the House.    Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and all 50 Republicans in the Senate voted against it.
    Democrats said the bill would codify Roe v. Wade and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called the vote one of the most consequential in the upper chamber.
    “Tens of millions of women are watching what will happen to the rights they’ve relied on for decades, and all of us will have to answer for this vote for the rest of our time in public office,” he stated.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., right, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., speak to the media about a procedural
vote that did not pass on the Women’s Health Protection Act to codify the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that
legalized abortion nationwide, Wednesday, May 11, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
    Republican leader McConnell described the bill as “extreme” and “radical.”
    “It ignores modern science, it is tone-deaf to public opinion,” said the Kentucky lawmaker.    “Nothing about their bill merely codifies the current case law on this issue. Their extreme proposal goes way, way beyond codifying the status quo.”
    The vote came one week after the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion, which signaled Roe v. Wade would likely be overturned.    Since then, protests have erupted across the nation, including in front of the homes of Supreme Court justices.
    The draft opinion would leave it up to states to determine their abortion policies.    The Supreme Court is expected to hand down its ruling in late June or early July.

5/12/2022 Biden Falsely Claims He Inherited Economy On Brink Of Depression by OAN NEWSROOM
President Joe Biden arrives at the White House from a weekend trip to his
Delaware home, Monday, May 9, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    President Joe Biden attempted to rally union workers and makes statements that are at odd with statistics as his administration faces record low approval ratings.    On Wednesday, he delivered remarks at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ 40th Annual Conference, which represents at least 775,000 workers and retirees in the electrical industry.
    “If you all went on strike nationwide the country would shutdown…the middle class built this country, your plan was to build this economy around you from the middle up and the bottom down,” Biden stated.    “I’m so sick and tired of trickled down economics.”
    The President then falsely claimed that he inherited an economy on the brink of depression and described 45th President Donald Trump as the “great MAGA king.”
    “We inherited an economy on the brink of a great depression,” Biden claimed.    “Millions of people losing their jobs, losing their homes.”
    According to the National Review, Biden’s repeated claim about inheriting the worst economy in 90 years has “no basis in reality.”    The publication noted, the unemployment rate was lower when Biden first took office than the first five years of the Obama-Biden administration.    In the third quarter of 2020, the GDP increased 33.4 percent and in the fourth quarter growth was at 4 percent.
    At another point in Biden’s speech, he falsely claimed his proposals will not cost taxpayers more money.
    “There’s so many things we can do, that don’t do anything other than make the country better and don’t cost taxpayers more money,” he told the crowd.
    However, an analysis by the Joint Committee on Taxation shows if Biden had passed his infamous Build Back Better bill, it would have raised taxes on Americans making less than $400,000 a year by 2023.    Meanwhile on Wednesday, a new Consumer Price Index Report was released and found inflation surged to a higher than expected 8.3 percent last month, staying at its highest level in decades under Biden’s watch.

5/12/2022 GOP Conference Members Address Baby Formula Shortage by OAN NEWSROOM
A due to limited supplies sign is shown on the baby formula shelf at a grocery store Tuesday, May 10, 2022, in
Salt Lake City. Parents across much of the U.S. are scrambling to find baby formula after a combination of supply
disruptions and safety recalls have swept many of the leading brands off store shelves. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
    House Republicans led by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) are demanding a plan of action from the Biden administration to fix the baby formula shortages.    While speaking from Capitol Hill Thursday, she called this a crisis across America as parents desperately try to find access to baby formula.
    Out of stock rates for baby formula has risen by over 40 percent nationwide. Due to this alarming shortage increase, the GOP lawmakers urged the Democrat-controlled government to find a real solution.    They pointed out that this is problem Americans should never have to face.
    “We as House Republicans continue to demand answers from the FDA and unsurprisingly when I reached out in February from my office to the FDA we received no substantive response,” explained Rep. Stefanik.    “Joe Biden simply has no plan.”
    The New York Republican noted that the White House has plans to hold a hearing in two weeks to address the crisis.    She took to Twitter to state, "parents can’t wait two weeks!” Stefanik asserted that this is a “pathetic” effort to find an answer to the issue at hand.    She explained that this shortage is causing panic for millions of American families.
    Retail giants like CVS and Walmart have placed limits on the amount of formula consumers can purchase both in-person and online.    These shortages come amid rising inflation and recent product recalls.

5/12/2022 Sen. Cotton: Biden DOJ Fails To Enforce Law In Pro-Abortion Protests by OAN NEWSROOM
WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 27: Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) questions U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland as he testifies at a
Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about oversight of the Department of Justice on October 27, 2021 in Washington, DC. Pool/Getty Images)
    Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) is criticizing the latest political bias surrounding President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice.    In a recent interview, the Arkansas senator said the DOJ was targeting parents for protesting over critical race theory in public schools.
    However, he added, the same Justice Department does nothing about potentially violating protests at private residences of Supreme Court Justices.    The senator stressed anyone threatening violence outside a judge’s home must be charged with a federal crime.
    Cotton, also suggested Attorney General Merrick Garland may have reacted differently if it were a pro-life group rallying outside the homes of liberal Justices.
    “They should enforce federal law because there is a law that explicitly prohibits protesting at the homes of justices, jurors or prosecutors,” said Cotton.    “Joe Biden should go out and say law enforcement will put an end to it tonight.    If any person gets close to a justices home they should be charged with a federal crime.”
    The Arkansas lawmaker added, Garland is apparently refusing to enforce the law equally against supporters of both major parties.

5/12/2022 Democrat-Controlled Jan. 6 Committee Subpoenas 5 Republican Lawmakers by OAN NEWSROOM
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., heads to his office surrounded by reporters after House
investigators issued a subpoena to McCarthy and four other GOP lawmakers as part of their probe into the violent
Jan. 6 protest at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, May 12, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    The January 6 Committee issued a round of subpoenas against five Republican lawmakers.    In a statement Thursday the Democrat-controlled panel said it has subpoenaed GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and congressmen Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Scott Perry (R-Pa.), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) and Mo Brooks (R-Ala.).
    The committee has claimed those particular Republicans have information relevant to their probe into the US Capitol protest.    Meanwhile, members of the GOP have repeatedly criticized the committee’s actions as “partisan” and “illegitimate.”    Specifically, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) has suggested the left is trying to weaponize the events of January 6 against the GOP as a whole.
    On the other hand, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) has previously slammed Americans who question the integrity of the 2020 election, including Rep. Greene.    He claimed they won’t be looked at positively in history.
    The January 6 Committee has called on the Republicans to comply with these subpoenas after some of them defied similar motions in the past.    The panel is expected to hold a hearing next month, which it claims will provide members the opportunity to discuss these matters.
    One America’s Pearson Sharp has explained that the narrative surrounding this day may be nothing more than a tool for those on the left to exert more power over the American people.    The questions is: has it been weaponized and used against 45th President Donald Trump and his supporters?

5/12/2022 Oil up $0.81 to $106.38, DOW down 104 to 31,730.

5/13/2022 G7 seeks more ways to help Ukraine, unblock grain supplies by Frank Jordans, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WEISSENHAUS, Germany – Top diplomats from the Group of Seven wealthy nations gathered Thursday in northern Germany for a three-day meeting centered on Russia’s war against Ukraine and the wider impact it is having around the world, particularly on food and energy prices.
    German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, the meeting’s host, said the conflict already had become a “global crisis” because shipments of staple crops are stuck in Ukraine, a major agricultural exporter.
    “Twenty-five million tons (27.5 million U.S. tons) of grain are currently blocked in Ukrainian ports, particularly Odesa,” Baerbock said.    “Grain that’s food for millions of people around the world, and which is needed particularly urgently in African countries and the Middle East.”
    “That’s why we are discussing how the grain blockade exerted by Russia can be unblocked, how we can get the grain out to the world,” she added.
    Baerbock warned the brewing global food emergency was being further fueled by climate change – another topic the ministers plan to discuss during their meeting in Weissenhaus, a resort on Germany’s Baltic Sea coast northeast of Hamburg.    About 3,500 police officers were deployed at the event site to provide security.
    The foreign ministers of Ukraine and neighboring Moldova, which fears it could become the next target of Russia’s aggression, have been invited to attend the meeting as guests.    Indonesia’s foreign minister, whose country chairs the Group of 20 major economies this year, is expected to join remotely for part of the meeting Friday, when relations with China are on the agenda.
    Speaking earlier Thursday in Berlin, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba welcomed the German government’s recent decisions to step up military support for his country.
    “We see a positive, positive dynamic,” Kuleba told reporters after a meeting with German lawmakers.    “We have to make sure that this positive dynamic is maintained.”
    Kuleba said he considered it a “signal of strength” that Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s center-left Social Democratic Party had dropped its opposition to providing Ukraine with heavy weapons.
    He also expressed hope that the European Union would soon approve Ukraine’s application to start the process of joining the bloc.    French President Emmanuel Macron has suggested it could be decades before Ukraine is ready to become a full EU member.
    Baerbock, who recently became the first top representative of Germany to travel to Ukraine since the start of the war, offered support for Ukraine’s EU application.    Asked about Ukraine’s request for fighter jets, Baerbock was less encouraging, citing the risk of NATO being drawn into a conflict with Russia.
    “When it comes to no-fly zones and aviation support, we’ve already taken a clear position,” she told reporters.
    Britain’s foreign secretary called for Ukraine to receive more sophisticated military support, saying Russian President Vladimir Putin should face “a defeat in Ukraine that denies him any benefit and ultimately constrains further aggression.”
    “To help Ukraine, we need to go further and faster,” Foreign Secretary Liz Truss told the meeting, according to remarks released by her office.
    “The best long-term security for Ukraine will come from it being able to defend itself,” Truss said.    “That means providing Ukraine with a clear pathway to NATO-standard equipment.”
    Also attending the meeting in Weissenhaus were the foreign ministers of Canada, France, Italy and Japan.
    Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland is representing the United States; U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is recovering from COVID-19 but is scheduled to travel to Berlin for a weekend meeting of NATO foreign ministers.
    The NATO gathering will also hear from the foreign ministers of Sweden and Finland as the two countries are poised to join the Western military alliance amid concerns over the military threat from Russia.
Liz Truss, Britain’s Foreign Minister, and Hayashi Yoshimasa, Japan’s Foreign Minister, talk at the beginning of a bilateral
meeting during the G7 Group of leading democratic economic powers in Weissenhauser Strand, Germany. MARCUS BRANDT/POOL VIA AP

5/13/2022 Inflation forces increase in California minimum wage by Adam Beam, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Soaring inflation will trigger an automatic increase in California’s minimum wage next year, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration announced Thursday.
    The minimum wage will jump to $15.50 per hour on Jan. 1, the highest of any state.    That’s an increase from $15 per hour for companies with more than 25 employees and $14 per hour for companies with 25 workers or less.
    California lawmakers voted to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour in 2016, but the increase was phased in over several years.    The law says the minimum wage must increase to $15.50 per hour for everyone if increased by more than 7%.    Thursday, the California Department of Finance said they project inflation for the 2022 fiscal year – which ends June 30 – will be 7.6% higher than the year before, triggering the increase.
    Official inflation figures won’t be final until this summer.    But the Newsom administration believes the growth will be more than enough to trigger the automatic increase.
    Inflation has been a problem everywhere, as consumer prices jumped 8.3% last month from a year ago and diluted the purchasing power of the U.S. consumer.    A labor shortage throughout the pandemic has prompted many companies to increase pay sometimes beyond the minimum wage just to attract and retain workers.
    California has about 3 million minimum wage workers, according to a conservative estimate from the state Department of Finance.    The increase in the minimum wage will be about $3 billion, or less than 0.1% of the $3.3 trillion in personal income Californians are projected to earn.
    Bosler said the increase could cause prices to jump for restaurants, which have low profit margins.    But overall, she said the minimum wage increase is “expected to have a very minimal impact on overall inflation in the state’s economy.”
    The minimum wage increase is only a portion of the extra money that could land in taxpayers’ pockets this year.    Thursday, the governor doubled down on a proposal to send $800 checks to Californians who own cars to help offset high gas prices.    The proposal would cost $11.5 billion and would also include spending $750 million to give everyone free rides on public transit for up to three months.
    Newsom proposed that in March, but Democrats in the Legislature have rejected it.    Instead, they want to send $200 checks to low-to-moderate income California taxpayers and their dependents, regardless of whether they own a car.
    Bosler said the Newsom administration believes their proposal is better because they would hire an outside company to distribute the checks faster than the government could.
    “I think they have their points; I think we have our reasons for wanting to stick with our proposal,” Bosler said.    “We’ll keep working with them.”
    Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins said they are working on a plan that is “not just passing a one-size-fitsall windfall that benefits millionaires.”
    “Senate Democrats do not believe a rebate tied to car ownership does the job,” Atkins said.    “That plan leaves out non-car owners, including low income and elderly Californians, who are also impacted by the current high costs of consumer goods and are also deserving of relief.”
    While that proposal has stalled, Newsom revealed a new plan on Thursday that would send $1,000 checks to workers in hospitals and nursing homes in recognition of their dangerous work during the pandemic.    About 600,000 workers would be eligible for the money, which would go to anyone who works inside a hospital or a nursing home – including doctors, nurses and other support staff.    Workers would be guaranteed a $1,000 check.    But if companies agree to add in another $500, the state will match it for a total of $2,000.
    “These workers have been on the front lines throughout the COVID pandemic,” Bosler said.        “They also are suffering very critical retention issues and shortages and we hope that additional payment will help to address those issues.”
    Dave Regan, president of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, said staffing problems at hospitals and nursing homes have only worsened as workers left the industry in droves during the pandemic “because of increased health risks, emotional and mental stress, and overwork.”
    “With this investment in keeping skilled health care workers on the job, the governor’s proposal moves us one step closer to a future where every Californian has access to care...,” Regan said.

5/13/2022 Wis. Pro-Life Group Hires Security After Fire Bombing by OAN NEWSROOM
FILE – A group of anti-abortion protesters pray together in front of the U.S. Supreme Court,
Dec. 1, 2021, in Washington, as the court hears arguments in a case from Mississippi, where a 2018 law
would ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, well before viability. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
    The violent actions of abortion activists forced a pro-life group to take new security measures.    The organization hired security after being fire bombed by demonstrators.    On Wednesday, the president of Wisconsin Family Action disclosed that armed security would be patrolling its premises to prevent any further attacks.
    Early Sunday, vandals had attempted to ignite the group’s office building.    Graffiti at the scene verified the attackers intentions with the words “If abortions aren’t safe, then you aren’t either” inscribed on the building’s exterior.
    Group President Julaine Appling mentioned, the crime scene photos failed to capture graffiti also containing the numbers “one-three-one-two” standing for the phrase “all cops are bastards.”
    Despite the intimidation tactics, the WFA appears to stand it grounds with the notion it will not be bullied into submission.    The decision to hire security was made to show radicals that another event like this will not happen again.
    Appling also verified that a pro-abortion group has taken credit for the fire-bombing.
    “Whether they’re the real group or not, are just crowing Jane’s revenge, they claim that they’re in every city,” said the WFA President.    “They’re ready to do this to other groups, to public policy groups, to pregnancy care centers, so we want to make sure that doesn’t happen.    Nobody got hurt here, but there’s no guarantee that if this happens somewhere else, somebody wouldn’t be seriously hurt.”
    Over the weekend, Madison Police Chief Shon Barnes announced the incident is being investigated as arson and would not be tolerated in his jurisdiction.
    “There’s no place in Madison for any type of hate speech or any type of violence, or any type of property destruction to advance any cause,” Barnes stated.    “And if you’re thinking of doing something like that, I would recommend that you not.    It doesn’t look good for your cause and it doesn’t look good for our community.”
    Many Wisconsin Democrats have hesitated to condemn the attack with the offices of several Wisconsin lawmakers and representatives.    However Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) posted a tweet calling for whomever committed the deed to be held responsible.

5/13/2022 Judicial Watch Censored By Youtube Over Election Fraud Debate by OAN NEWSROOM
FILE PHOTO: YouTube app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration
taken, July 13, 2021. (REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo)
    Oversight group Judicial Watch recently suffered censorship by Google.    In a statement on Tuesday, the group stated it’s been locked out of it’s YouTube account for one week after posting a video called “Impeach Biden corruption threatens national security.”
    The video was taken down by YouTube, but is available on other platforms.
    “YouTube falsely labeled that video as election misinformation,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.    "This shows you that Big Tech remains a clear present danger to the First Amendment and Judicial Watch isn’t going to back down.”
    The group suggested Google is trying to advance a partisan and leftist agenda on election debate.

5/13/2022 Houston Deputy Killed After Crash Involving 18-Wheeler by OAN NEWSROOM
Police lights. (AP Photo)
    A family and community are mourning the loss of a Texas Deputy after he crashed into an 18-wheeler truck.     According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, 27-year-old Robert Howard clipped the back of a semi-trailer parked on the shoulder of a Houston highway resulting in an horrific impact.
    Howard was rushed to the hospital where he later died from his injuries.    A second officer on a motorcycle was reportedly injured while escorting Howard to the hospital and is in fair condition.
    The late deputy is survived by his wife and daughter.    Howard’s partner remembers him as a loving officer and father.

5/13/2022 U.K. Paper ‘The Guardian’ Claims DOJ Spied On Reporter, Says IG Horowitz Was Probing Leaks To Media by OAN NEWSROOM
A view of the podium ahead a press conference at the Department of Justice
April 18, 2019, in Washington, DC. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
    British-based newspaper The Guardian claimed the Department of Justice was spying on its reporter over suspected “media leaks.”    On Thursday, the publication said the DOJ issued secret subpoenas to access the phone records of reporter Stephanie Kirchgaessner.
    The subpoenas reportedly came as part of a probe by Inspector General Michael Horowitz into suspected leaks to the media.    In a tweet on Thursday, Kirchgaessner criticized the DOJ saying her reporting was not a critical matter of national security.
    The Guardian said the DOJ spying was not justified.    Meanwhile, Project Veritas has been discussing what it announced is a leaked FBI document in which an agent accuses the bureau of a political bias.    One America’s Alex Yphantides has more.

5/13/2022 White House’s End To Title 42 To Be Argued In Court As End Date Looms by OAN NEWSROOM
Migrants caught crossing the US-Mexico border are loaded into a transport van by US Border Patrol
agents in Sunland Park, New Mexico on July 22, 2021. (Photo by PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images)
    A federal judge will listen to arguments on whether the Biden administration can lift Title 42 immigration restrictions.    US District Judge Robert Summer hays in Louisiana will hear the legal challenge from 21 states Friday as to whether the policy should be kept in place beyond the White House’s May 23 end date.
    The Trump-appointed judge wrote last month that winding down restrictions before May 23 would inflict “unrecoverable costs on health care, law enforcement, detention, education and other services.”
    GOP Rep. John Rose (R-Tenn.) commented on the matter while explaining how the administration’s push to repeal Title 42 left him feeling perplexed.    He pointed out that President Joe Biden’s decision to lift pandemic restrictions at the US southern border is surprising as the President has repeatedly claimed the pandemic is not yet over.
    “The American people got the message loud and clear: illegal immigrants first, Americans last,” stated the Tennessee lawmaker.    “Two-point-four million illegal immigrants have been apprehended at the border since President Biden took office.”
    Meanwhile, Texas has continued to bring the border crisis straight to Joe Biden’s doorstep.    According to reports on Thursday, Governor Greg Abbott (R) has sent 32 buses of illegal aliens to Washington DC.    Approximately 835 people have been dropped off since the first bus arrived last month. Governor Abbott said he has no plan of stopping the operation.

5/13/2022 Rep. McCarthy: America Must Back The Blue All Year Round by OAN NEWSROOM
Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta visits The National Law Enforcement
Memorial, Friday, May 13, 2022 in Washington. (Bonnie Cash/Pool photo via AP)
    Members of Congress honored law enforcement officers ahead of National Police Week. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and other congressional members, thanked law enforcement during the “Back the Blue Bike Tour” press conference.
    “To all the officers, we want to say on behalf of members of Congress, thank you for the job you do,” McCarthy said.    “Thank you for being there for us, time and time out, and for everybody across this nation.”
    The bike tour, which took place ahead of National Police Week, began at the US Capitol and ended at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
    “We want to honor those who’ve given their life defending and protecting,” expressed McCarthy.”    We also want to hold up the family members that have been left behind; we want to thank all those who are currently serving.    They are truly the best among us.”
    As a way to honor fallen officers, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington D.C. has continued to engrave fallen heroes names on its memorial wall.    McCarthy added, standing with law enforcement shouldn’t be something we do just for one week.
    “Police week means so much to all of us and to some of us means mourning, mourning the 619 names we just engraved on the wall,” he uttered.
    While National Police Week begins on May 15, McCarthy voiced, “America must back the blue all year round.”

5/13/2022 Sen. Paul Blocks $40B Ukraine Aid Package by OAN NEWSROOM
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks during a Senate Foreign Relations committee hearing on
the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget in Washington, Tuesday, April 26, 2022. (Al Drago/Pool Photo via AP)
    Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has pumped the breaks on congressional leaders $40 billion rush to Ukraine.    The Republican single-handedly blocked the quick passage of President Joe Biden’s Ukraine aid package.
    While speaking the Senate floor Thursday, the Kentuckian explained that the financial gifts to Ukraine are causing inflation and increasing national debt.    He warned, they cannot save Ukraine by dooming the US economy.
    “My oath of office is to the US Constitution, not to any foreign nation and no matter how sympathetic the cause,” said Paul.    “My oath of office is to the national security of the United States of America.“
    The House passed the $40 billion bill just hours after its official text was released. Paul noted, this is the second spending bill for Ukraine in two months, however, this version is much larger than the first.    If this bill is passed, a US-Ukraine aid would reach $60 billion borrowed money.
    “America can’t afford to be the worlds policeman,” said Paul.    “The US is trying to recover from $1.6 trillion we spent on wars in the Middle East.    Not to mention the $5 trillion borrowed from COVID. We should not forget the Soviet Union collapsed in large part…because it ran out of money.”
    He then suggested lawmakers install a special inspector general to oversee how the Ukraine military aid is spent.
    “Congress should evaluate the cost of continuing down this path,” Paul concluded.    “The biggest threat to the United States is debt and inflation.”
    Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) will now take procedural steps in an attempt to overcome Paul’s objection, which could take several days.

5/13/2022 Biden Admin. Announces Steps To Combat Baby Formula Shortage by OAN NEWSROOM
Olivia Godden has reached out to family and friends as well as other moms through social
media in efforts to locate needed baby formula which is in short supply. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
    The Biden administration announced new steps to address the baby formula shortage while noting there were several key factors to be looked at.
    In an attempt to fix this problem, the administration suggested getting more formula to store shelves quicker, cutting down on price gouging and increasing supply through increased imports.    This comes as supply chain issues continue to contribute to the ongoing baby formula shortage.
    “We’re going to work with manufacturers, we’re going to import more to expedite this as soon as possible,” said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
    President Joe Biden spoke to Walmart and Target CEOs about ways to boost supplies.    The Netherlands, Ireland and Chile are now identified as potential sources for more formula.
    “We are seeing increases over the last couple of weeks but more needs to be done,” voiced Jen Psaki.
    With the out of stock rate for baby formula in the US rising above 40 percent, parents are becoming desperate as things persists.

5/13/2022 Oil up $3.63 to $110.32, DOW up 466 to 32,197.

5/14/2022 $4.36 a gallon: Louisville gas prices hit another record high by Ana Rocío Álvarez Bríñez, Louisville Courier Journal USA TODAY NETWORK
    The temperature is rising as we get closer to summer, and gas prices are rising with it — and in Louisville, the cost at the pump has reached a record high.
    Average unleaded gas prices in Jefferson County climbed to an average of $4.36 a gallon as of Friday, according to AAA East Central region spokesperson Lynda Lambert, setting a new record in the city.
    Western Kentucky is also breaking records with an average of $4.22 a gallon, Lambert said.    And the national average rose as well, landing at an average of $4.36 a gallon heading into the weekend.
    “It’s been rising consistently every day this week,” Lambert said Friday morning about the prices. Louisville isn’t alone, either. Average prices were relatively high in several Kentucky cities as of Friday:
  • Ashland: $4.25
  • Bowling Green: $4.25
  • Covington: $4.27
  • Elizabethtown: $4.06
  • Henderson: $4.03
  • Hopkinsville: $4.16
  • Lexington: $4.26
  • Owensboro: $4.09
    The average for gas prices in Louisville on March 8 was $4.15 a gallon, Lambert told The Courier Journal at the time, in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.    The previous record in Louisville was set in June 2008, when prices reached $4.26.
    According to Lambert, Kentucky saw the largest increase in gas prices out of all 50 states over the course of the last week, with a 28-cent jump in that time.
    But despite the sticker shock, Lambert said average prices in Kentucky are still on the lower end of the spectrum across the U.S. On the West Coast, for instance, AAA’s national gas price tracker showed a gallon currently costs $5.87 on average in California, with prices in Oregon and Washington near $5 as well.    The U.S. banned importing Russian oil in early March, soon after the nation invaded neighboring Ukraine in a conflict that has continued through the spring.    That impact on supply led the average price of gas in the U.S. to rise, and crude oil prices began to spike again last week after the European Union said it was looking into sanctioning Russian oil, according to USA TODAY.
    Keep an eye on gas prices if you’re planning a summer trip. It’s tough to predict where they’ll go from here, Lambert said, but costs at the pump usually rise when the weather warms up as refineries shift to summer-blend gasoline, which is more expensive to produce.
    Reach Ana Rocío Álvarez Bríñez at; follow her on Twitter at @SoyAnaAlvarez
[Yesterday in the morning in Western Ky I found a station still at $3.92 a gallon and filled my Van up and up the road it was $4.21 a gallon at a station I drove by earlier there is no praise for Joe Biden so vote the Dems out in November to send a message.].

5/14/2022 WH seeks securing internet for all by Josh Boak, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – The Biden administration is taking the first steps to release $45 billion to ensure that every U.S. resident has access to high-speed internet by roughly 2028, inviting governors and other leaders on Friday to start the application process.
    Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo is overseeing the distribution and said that universal access to broadband internet would be akin to the electrification of rural America during the 1930s, a recognition that the internet is a utility needed for U.S. residents to function in today’s economy.
    “There’s more than 30million Americans who don’t have internet,” Raimondo said.    “And in this day and age without high-speed internet, you can’t go to school, can’t go to the doctor, can’t do simple things.    Think of how many times in a day you Google something or go online.”
    The funding is part of the $6 billion for broadband in the $1 trillion infrastructure package that President Joe Biden signed into law last November.    That bipartisan package is one of the policy achievements that the Democratic president is trying to sell to voters ahead of the midterm elections, though it’s unclear how much the message will resonate.
    The Commerce Department recognizes that internet needs vary by state.    The money could be used to lay fiber optic cable, build out Wi-Fi hotspots or even reduce monthly charges in places where price is the main challenge.

5/14/2022 US, Russian defense chiefs speak - In first conversation since war started, not much resolved by Lolita C. Baldor, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoigu spoke with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday after months of refusing direct contact with his American counterpart.    But officials said the call didn’t appear to signal any change in Moscow’s war in Ukraine.
    A senior Defense Department official said Friday that although Austin believes the hourlong conversation was important in the effort to keep lines of communication open, it didn’t resolve any “acute issues” or lead to any change in what the Russians are doing or saying as the war enters its 12th week.
    The call – initiated by Austin – marked the highest-level American contact with a Russian official since the war began in late February.    Over the past several months, Pentagon officials have repeatedly said that Russian leaders declined to take calls from Austin and Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
    This is the first conversation between Austin and Shoigu since Feb. 18, a week before the war started.
    Another senior official said Friday that Milley is expected to also reach out to his counterpart, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, the Russian chief of the general staff.
    In a statement, the Pentagon said Austin “urged an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and emphasized the importance of maintaining lines of communication.”     Several officials described the call as a positive step but said there was no clear reason why the Russians decided to go ahead with the conversation Friday.    The defense official said the U.S. hopes it will serve as a springboard for future conversation and it appeared that Austin’s request for future communication was received.    The official characterized the tenor of the call as “professional” but provided no other details on its content.
    Direct communications between the U.S. and Russian defense and military leaders is considered crucial in order to avoid any misunderstandings or unwarranted escalation in hostilities.
    The U.S. and Russia have also set up a deconfliction line that can be used by the militaries in the event of any emergency or perceived threat to NATO allies around Ukraine.
    It has not been used, but U.S. officials said the Russians have answered the phone during tests to ensure it works.
    U.S. and other Western officials have described Russia’s fight in Ukraine, particularly the effort to wrest greater control over the eastern Donbas region, as more than two weeks behind schedule, and failing to make consistent progress.
    On Friday, Russian forces suffered heavy losses in a Ukrainian attack that destroyed a pontoon bridge they were using to try to cross a river in the east, in what Ukrainian, British and U.S. officials said is another sign of Moscow’s struggle to salvage a war gone awry.
    The battle for the Donbas, which has heated up since Russia’s bid to take Kyiv failed, has become a daily grind, as towns and villages change hands.

5/14/2022 No Oil and DOW info.

5/15/2022 G-7 warns of Ukraine grain crisis amid war - Group also calling on China not to aid Russia by Frank Jordans, ASSOCIATED PRESS
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock says up to 50 million people would face hunger in
coming months unless ways are found to release Ukraine’ grain. MORRIS MACMATZEN/GETTY IMAGES
    WEISSENHAUS, Germany – The Group of Seven leading economies warned Saturday that the war in Ukraine is stoking a global food and energy crisis that threatens poor countries, and urgent measures are needed to unblock stores of grain that Russia is preventing from leaving Ukraine.
    German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who hosted a meeting of top G-7 diplomats, said the war had become a “global crisis.”
    Baerbock said up to 50 million people, particularly in Africa and the Middle East, would face hunger in the coming months unless ways are found to release Ukrainian grain, which accounts for a sizeable share of the worldwide supply.
    In statements released at the end of the three-day meeting on Germany’s Baltic Sea coast, the G-7 pledged to provide further humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable.
    “Russia’s war of aggression has generated one of the most severe food and energy crises in recent history which now threatens those most vulnerable across the globe,” the group said.
    “We are determined to accelerate a coordinated multilateral response to preserve global food security and stand by our most vulnerable partners in this respect,” it added.
    Canada’s foreign minister, Melanie Joly, said her country, another major agricultural exporter, stands ready to send ships to European ports so Ukrainian grain can be brought to those in need.    “We need to make sure that these cereals are sent to the world,” she told reporters.    “If not, millions of people will be facing famine.”
    Russia dismissed the claim that it was responsible for worsening global hunger and driving up food prices.
    “Prices are rising because of sanctions imposed by the West under pressure of the USA,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.    “Failure to understand this is a sign either of stupidity or intentional misleading of the public.”    The G-7 nations also called on China not to help Russia, including by undermining international sanctions or justifying Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.
    Beijing should support the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, and not “assist Russia in its war of aggression,” they said.    The G-7 urged China “to desist from engaging in information manipulation, disinformation and other means to legitimize Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.”
    The grouping, which comprises Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, also reiterated its stance that the territories seized by Russian forces need to be returned to Ukraine.    The meeting in Weissenhaus, northeast of Hamburg, was billed as an opportunity for officials to discuss the broader implications of the war for geopolitics, energy and food security, and ongoing international efforts to tackle climate change and the pandemic.
    On Friday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba appealed to friendly countries to provide more military support to Kyiv and increase the pressure on Russia, including by seizing its assets abroad to pay for rebuilding Ukraine.

5/15/2022 Are Votes Being Compromised? by OAN NEWSROOM
    Many Americans are questioning if there are glitches in the current voting system.    With mail-in ballots becoming the norm, many fear if the midterms will be fair.    One America’s Natasha Sweatte has more.

5/15/2022 Pallets Of Baby Formula Being Kept At Border For Illegals by OAN NEWSROOM
    As American parents hunt for baby formula amid a nationwide shortage, a Congresswoman from Florida relays a distressing message from a Border Patrol agent.    One America’s Chloe Hauxwell has more.

5/15/2022 Republican Primary Results Arrive For Neb., W.Va. by OAN NEWSROOM
    Winners were declared in the Republican Primary Elections for the Mountain and Cornhusker States.    One America’s Cynthia Kaui has more on the results.

5/15/2022 No Oil or DOW info.

5/16/2022 Biden urges unity to stem racial hate after NY shooting by ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden on Sunday cited the Buffalo, New York, shootings in calling for national unity as a remedy for 'the hate that remains a stain on the soul of America' while New York’s governor and the city’s mayor appealed for forceful action from Washington after the latest mass shooting had caused a community to grieve.
    Biden used his remarks at a Capitol ceremony honoring law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty in 2021 to decry what he said his Justice Department has labeled as 'a hate crime, a racially motivated act of white supremacy and violent extremism.'
    Authorities say that a white gunman in military gear attacked shoppers and workers at a supermarket in Buffaloon Saturday, killing 10 people, including a retired Buffalo police officer, and wounding three others.    Most of the victims were Black people.    Law enforcement officials said Sunday the 18-year-old gunman had researched the local demographics while looking for places with a high concentration of Black residents.
    'A lone gunman, armed with weapons of war and hate-filled soul, shot and killed 10 innocent people in cold blood at a grocery store on Saturday afternoon,' Biden said at the 41st annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service.     'We must all work together to address the hate that remains a stain on the soul of America.    Our hearts are heavy once again, but the resolve must never, ever waver.    No one understands this more than the people sitting in front of me,' the president said.
    Biden did not address calls by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown for strong federal action in the aftermath of the latest act of mass violence in the United States.    His brief remarks did not mention gun control efforts that have stalled in Washington.
    'We’ve seen many of these mass shootings around the country year in and year out, month in and month out.    And it’s always the same refrain.    People send their thoughts and their prayers.
    Lawmakers in Washington say that there’s something that must be done,' Brown told NBC’s 'Meet the Press.'
    'And then there are some on one side of the aisle that block anything from being done.    It seems like there are those that believe owning a gun is more precious than the sanctity of human life.    So I think people all across this country have to rise up.    They have to speak more loudly and more clearly that there must be gun control in this country.    This is a uniquely American phenomenon.    These mass shootings don’t happen in other countries across the world,' he said.
    Brown said he would like to see 'sensible gun control.'
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said tighter gun measures are 'a huge priority' for Democrats and the White House.    She bemoaned the 60-vote threshold needed in the 50-50 Senate that has made it so difficult to advance such legislation, but pledged on CNN’s 'State of the Union' that 'we are not going away until the job is done.'
    Hochul said that most of what she described as 'the illegal guns' being used on the streets of her state’s cities are coming from other states.    'We need a national response,' she told NBC.
    'We must all work together to address the hate that remains a stain on the soul of America.    Our hearts are heavy once again, but the resolve must never, ever waver.' President Joe Biden

5/16/2022 Finland, Sweden move closer to NATO by Frank Jordans and Jari Tanner, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto, right, and Prime Minister Sanna Marin discuss their
nation’s security policy decisions on Sunday in Helsinki. HEIKKI SAUKKOMAA/LEHTIUVA VIA AP
    BERLIN – Finland’s government declared a “new era” is underway after announcing its intention to seek NATO membership, hours before Sweden’s governing party on Sunday backed a plan to join the trans-Atlantic alliance amid Russia’s war in Ukraine.
    Russia has long bristled about NATO moving closer to its borders, so the developments will be sure to further anger Moscow.    President Vladimir Putin had already warned his Finnish counterpart on Saturday that relations would be “negatively affected.”
    NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, speaking Sunday after top diplomats from the alliance’s 30 member states met in Berlin, said the process for Finland and Sweden to join could be very quick.
    He also expressed his hope that Ukraine could win the war as Russian military advances appear to be faltering.
    In Finland, President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin made the announcement that their country would seek membership in NATO during a joint news conference at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki.    The previously neutral Nordic country shares a long border with Russia.
    “This is a historic day.    A new era begins,” Niinisto said.
    The Finnish Parliament is expected to endorse the decision in the coming days.    A formal membership application will then be submitted to NATO headquarters in Brussels, most likely at some point next week.
    Sweden also moved a step closer to applying for NATO membership after the nation’s governing Social Democratic party backed joining the trans-Atlantic alliance.
    “At its meeting today, the Social Democrats’ party board has decided that the party will work for Sweden to apply for membership in NATO,” the party said in a statement.
    The plan to join the alliance will be discussed in Sweden’s parliament on Monday, and Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson’s Cabinet will make an announcement later that day.
    “Russia’s war in Ukraine is not going as Moscow had planned,” Stoltenberg said by video link to the NATO meeting in Berlin as he recovers from a COVID-19 infection.    “They failed to take Kyiv.    They are pulling back from around Kharkiv.    Their major offensive in Donbas has stalled.    Russia is not achieving its strategic objectives."
    “Ukraine can win this war,” he said, adding that NATO must continue to step up its military support to the country.
    Sweden has also already taken steps toward joining the alliance, while Georgia’s bid is again being discussed despite dire warnings from Moscow about the consequences if its neighbor becomes part of NATO.
    Nordic NATO member Norway said it strongly welcomed Finland’s decision to seek membership.    Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt described Helsinki’s move as “a turning point” for the Nordic region’s defense and security policies.
    “Finnish membership in NATO will be good for Finland, good for the Nordic region, and good for NATO. Finland has Norway’s full support,” Huitfeldt said in comments emailed to the Associated Press.

5/16/2022 Johnson seeks end to logjam in N. Ireland by Jill Lawless, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    LONDON – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is heading to Northern Ireland on Monday to try to end a political deadlock that is preventing the formation of a new regional administration.
    The trip comes amid threats by Johnson’s government to break the Brexit agreement with the European Union that it blames for the crisis.
    Voters in Northern Ireland elected a new Assembly this month, in an election that saw Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein win the most seats.    It was the first time a party that seeks union with the Republic of Ireland has won an election in the bastion of Protestant unionist power.
    The Democratic Unionist Party came second and is refusing to form a government until Johnson’s national government scraps post-Brexit checks on goods entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom.
    Under power-sharing rules set up as part of Northern Ireland’s peace process, a government can’t be formed without the cooperation of both nationalist and unionist parties.
    Johnson will urge leaders in Belfast to get back to work and deal with “bread and butter” issues such as the soaring cost of living, his office said.    It said he will also accuse the EU of refusing to give ground over post-Brexit border checks and warn that Britain will have a “necessity to act” unless the bloc changes its position.
    Northern Ireland is the only part of the U.K. that shares an EU border.

5/16/2022 Troubled past emerges - Buffalo suspect, 18, hospitalized last year after high school threat by Carolyn Thompson and Michael Balsamo, ASSOCIATED PRESS
A person tends to a makeshift memorial Sunday outside the scene of a
shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y. MATT ROURKE/AP
    BUFFALO, N.Y. – The white 18-year-old who fatally shot 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket researched the local demographics and arrived a day in advance to conduct reconnaissance with the intent of killing as many Black people as possible, officials said Sunday.
    The racially motivated attack came a year after the gunman was taken to a hospital by State Police after making threats involving his high school, according to authorities.
    He wasn’t charged with a crime and was out of the hospital within a day and a half, police said, but the revelation raised questions about his access to weapons and whether he could have been under closer supervision by law enforcement.
    The Buffalo attack prompted grief and anger in the predominantly Black neighborhood around Tops Friendly Market.    A group of people gathered there Sunday afternoon to lead chants of “Black lives matter” and mourn victims that included an 86-year-old woman who had just visited her husband in a nursing home and a supermarket security guard, both of whom were Black.
    “Somebody filled his heart so full of hate that he would destroy and devastate our community,” the Rev. Denise Walden-Glenn said.
    Speaking at the National Peace Officers’ Memorial service at the U.S. Capitol, President Joe Biden said, “We must all work together to address the hate that remains a stain on the soul of America.”    The White     House later announced that the president and first lady would travel to Buffalo on Tuesday to “grieve with the community.”
    The Buffalo attack was the deadliest of multiple shootings across the country in recent days.    Officials in Milwaukee imposed a curfew after 21 people were injured in three separate shootings near an entertainment district where thousands gathered Friday for an NBA playoff game.    Three other shootings over the weekend in the Midwest city left three people dead.
    On Sunday, two shootings – one at a Houston flea market and another at a California church – left three people dead and others wounded.
    As the country reeled from the Buffalo attack, new details emerged about the gunman’s past and Saturday’s rampage, which the shooter livestreamed on Twitch.    New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Buffalo native, demanded technology companies tell her whether they’ve done “everything humanly possible” to make sure they’re monitoring violent content as soon as it appears.
    “If not, then I’m going to hold you responsible,” she said.
    Twitch said in a statement that it ended the transmission “less than 2 minutes after the violence started.”
    New York State Police said troopers were called early last June to the high school then attended by the alleged gunman, Payton Gendron, for a report that a 17-year-old student had made threatening statements.
    Gendron threatened to carry out a shooting at Susquehanna Valley High School, in Conklin, New York, around the time of graduation, a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity said.    The official was not authorized to speak publicly on the investigation.
    Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said Gendron had no further contact with law enforcement after his release from the hospital.
    “Nobody called in,” he said.    “Nobody called any complaints.”
    Federal law bars people from owning a gun if a judge has determined they have a “mental defect” or they have been forced into a mental institution – but an evaluation alone would not trigger the prohibition.
    Federal authorities were still working to confirm the authenticity of a racist 180-page document, purportedly written by Gendron, that detailed his plans for the attack and reasons for carrying it out.
    A preliminary investigation found Gendron had repeatedly visited sites espousing white supremacist ideologies and race-based conspiracy theories and extensively researched the 2019 mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the man who killed dozens at a summer camp in Norway in 2011, the law enforcement official told AP.
    Federal agents served multiple search warrants and interviewed Gendron’s parents, who were cooperating with investigators, the law enforcement official said.
    Portions of the Twitch video circulating online showed the gunman firing volley after volley of shots in less than a minute as he raced through the parking lot and then the store, pausing for just a moment to reload.    At one point, he trains his weapon on a white person cowering behind a checkout counter, but said “Sorry!” and doesn’t shoot.
    Screenshots purporting to be from the broadcast appear to show a racial slur targeting Black people scrawled on his rifle, as well as the number 14 – likely referencing a white supremacist slogan.
    Authorities said he shot, in total, 11 Black people and two white people Saturday.
    “This individual came here with the express purpose of taking as many Black lives as he possibly could,” Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said at a news conference Sunday.    The lengthy statement attributed to Gendron outlined a racist ideology rooted in a belief that the United States should belong only to white people.    All others, the document said, were “replacers” who should be eliminated by force or terror.    The attack was intended to intimidate all non-white, non-Christian people and get them to leave the country, it said.
    The document said Gendron researched demographics to select his target, and picked a neighborhood in Buffalo because it had a high ratio of Black residents.    Gendron traveled about 200 miles from his home in Conklin, New York, to Buffalo to commit the attack, police said.
    He conducted reconnaissance on the store and the area on Friday, a day before the shooting, Gramaglia said.
    “It’s just too much.    I’m trying to bear witness but it’s just too much.    You can’t even go to the damn store in peace,” Buffalo resident Yvonne Woodard told the AP.    “It’s just crazy.”
People embrace Sunday outside the scene of a shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y. MATT ROURKE/AP

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul hugs Charles Everhart Sr. as service ends at True Bethel Baptist Church
in Buffalo, N.Y. Everhart’s grandson, Zaire Goodman, was shot in the neck and survived. JOSHUA BESSEX/AP

“This individual came here with the express purpose of taking as many Black lives
as he possibly could,” says Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. JOSHUA BESSEX/AP

5/16/2022 President Biden urges unity to address racial hate in America by Darlene Superville, ASSOCIATED PRESS
President Joe Biden addresses the mass shooting in Buffalo, N.Y., during the National Peace Officers'
Memorial Service on the West Front of the Capitol in Washington on Sunday. MANUEL BALCE CENETA/AP
    WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden urged unity Sunday to address the “hate that remains a stain on the soul of America” after a deadly mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, while state officials pleaded for federal action to end the ”uniquely American phenomenon” of mass shootings.
    Addressing an annual law enforcement ceremony at the U.S. Capitol, Biden said he and his wife, Jill, pray for those who were shot “by a lone gunman, armed with weapons of war and hate-filled soul,” and their families.
    Authorities said a white 18-year-old male in military gear opened fire on shoppers and workers at the supermarket on Saturday, killing 10 people, including a retired Buffalo police officer, and wounding three others.    Most of the victims were Black.
    Law enforcement officials said Sunday the gunman had researched the local demographics while looking for places with a high concentration of Black people.
    “We must all work together to address the hate that remains a stain on the soul of America,” Biden said at the 41st annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service honoring fallen law enforcement officers.    “Our hearts are heavy once again, but the resolve must never, ever waver.”
    “No one understands this more than the people sitting in front of me,” he added.
    The White House said the Bidens would travel to Buffalo on Tuesday to grieve with the community.
    Biden, speaking at the ceremony for the second time as president, did not address the calls by New York officials – Gov. Kathy Hochul and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown – for strong federal action to end what Brown said is the ”uniquely American phenomenon” of mass shootings.    The president also did not mention gun control efforts that have stalled in Washington.
    Brown expressed frustration that “thoughts and prayers” and pledges to act are offered after every mass shooting, only to be blocked by “some on one side of the aisle.”
    “It seems like there are those that believe owning a gun is more precious than the sanctity of human life,” the mayor told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”    “So, I think people all across this country have to rise up.    They have to speak more loudly and more clearly that there must be gun control in this country.    This is a uniquely American phenomenon.    These mass shootings don’t happen in other countries across the world.”
    Brown said he would like to see “sensible gun control.”
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said tighter gun measures are “a huge priority” for Democrats and the White House.    She bemoaned the 60-vote threshold needed in the 50-50 Senate that has made it difficult to advance such legislation, but she pledged on CNN’s “State of the Union” that “we are not going away until the job is done.”
    Hochul said most of the illegal guns being used on the streets of her cities come from other states.
    “We need a national response,” Hochul, a Buffalo native, told NBC.    “We need other states to step up.    We need the federal government on our side.”
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden are scheduled
to visit Buffalo, N.Y., on Tuesday. MANUEL BALCE CENETA/AP

5/16/2022 2 Killed, 3 Hospitalized In Houston Flea Market Shooting by OAN NEWSROOM
FILE – Police tape surrounds a crime scene. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
    A shooting at Tia Pancha flea market in Houston left at least two people dead and three others critically wounded over the weekend.
    The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said gunfire broke out following an altercation between five Hispanic males in their mid-20’s.    According to authorities, the shooting stemmed from an argument involving everyone who was injured.
    Two possible suspects were detained at the scene and another suspect was transported to the hospital.
    “Its very popular on Sunday for families to come down here to eat and ride rides,” said Harris County Sheriff Major Susan Cotter.    “Their was multiple shots fired and we believe their was at least three to five shooters.    One of the males that was shot and transported is a possible suspect.    There were two other males detained on the scene and our homicide detectives are interviewing them at this point.”
    The victims were all apart of the altercation and no innocent bystanders were harmed.    Deputies said it wasn’t a random shooting and the men knew each other.
    “He had his girlfriend working hard and this tragedy happens, I don’t know why,” said the victims sister, Yeraldi Romero.
    An uninjured person who has been identified by HCSO as Angel Flores-Lopez was charged with tampering with evidence for his role in the shooting.
    “It’s very scary that this happens in broad daylight,” said Cotter.    “We’re just very fortunate that there was no innocent bystanders shot or hit.”
    Investigators spent several hours speaking to witnesses and searching for surveillance video.    No charges have been filed against any of the victims in the shooting.

5/16/2022 Pelosi Claims GOP Is Using ‘Black Mail’ To Demand Title 42 Vote by OAN NEWSROOM
WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 15: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) talks to reporters during her weekly news conference
in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on December 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) suggested that Republicans are using black mail to demand a vote from Democrats on Title 42.    Pelosi made those comments during an interview Sunday and questioned why the measure was in the COVID relief bill.
    “There’s no use holding it up to blackmail, as the Republicans are trying to do,” said Pelosi.    “We are working on it.    We will find a way. It has to be done.”     Senate Republicans blocked the upper chamber from advancing Democrats $10 billion COVID bill after the Biden administration refused to vote on reversing Title 42.
    However, an increasing number of Senate Democrats are reportedly becoming more open to holding a vote on the policy.    The speaker, however, said, “The fact is now, that we have to either substitute for it, but we must pass the COVID package.”
    The US has observed an increase in COVID cases over the past month, though the numbers still remain far lower than previous outbreaks of the virus.    That’s according to data from the CDC.

5/16/2022 Melania Trump: Sad To See America’s Struggle On Biden’s Watch by OAN NEWSROOM
FILE – In this March 10, 2020, file photo first lady Melania Trump speaks at the
at the National PTA Legislative Conference in Alexandria, Va. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
    Former First Lady Melania Trump said it’s “sad to see” what’s going on in America on President Joe Biden’s watch.    In an interview Sunday, the former First Lady pointed out that a lot of people are struggling and suffering from problems both in the US as well as abroad.
    “It’s heartbreaking to see that they (Americans) are struggling and the food is not available for children in (the) 21st Century in the United States of America,” she noted.    “What’s going on, it’s unthinkable.    A lot of people are dying from drugs and it’s very sad to see.”
    Her remarks came after recent economic data put Americans on edge after the inflation report for April showed it increased 8.3 percent from a year ago.    Last week, Biden spoke about the state of the economy while blaming everyone and everything but his own administration.    Prior to the briefing, the President appeared to tout his economic plan while claiming it would lower the deficit and ensure wealthy Americans pay their fair share.
    Last month, Biden appeared to continuously blame inflation on Russia and its invasion of Ukraine, although prices had been soaring for several months before the crisis.    Most notably, gas prices soared significantly at the beginning of 2022.    Despite his claims surrounding the state of the economy, Melania pointed out the Trump administration achieved a lot during its four-year term.    She also did not rule out returning to the White House at some point.    When asked about the possibility, she commented “never say never.”
    “I enjoyed taking care of the White House, it was my home for a while,” Melania stated.    “I understood it is (the) people’s house and it was a privilege to live there.”
    The former First Lady also criticized mainstream media over what she asserted is partisan bias and dishonest reporting.    Melania said the American people can see through the media lies.

5/16/2022 Goldman Sachs Executive Lloyd Blankfein Says Recession Is A High Risk Factor by OAN NEWSROOM
FILE – In this Sept. 24, 2014 file photo, Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, speaks during a panel discussion
at the Clinton Global Initiative, in New York. Goldman Sachs announced Tuesday, July 17, 2018, that Blankfein will retire
as CEO and chairman on Sept. 30, and be replaced by Chief Operating Officer David Solomon. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
    Senior Chairman of Investment Bank Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein said a US recession is, in fact, possible and consumers should be ready for it.
    “It’s definitely a risk…if I were a consumer, I’d be prepared for it, but it’s not baked in the cake,” he stated during an interview Sunday.
    Blankfein said the Federal Reserve may be able to prevent an economic downturn, but it could be hard to avert in the face of runaway inflation.    The Goldman Sachs executive added, elevated inflation may persist for a long time, which may worsen quality of life for millions of Americans.
    “Some of the supply chain shocks will go away, but some of it will be a little bit stickier and will be with us for a while,” he explained.    “And while we’re talking about this in the macro sense, overall for individuals and certainly the individuals at the bottom quartile of the pie sharing, it’s going to be quite difficult and oppressive.”
    Blankfein went on to say he believes the US financial system will get through this crisis and risks will reduce after the Ukraine crisis is over.    Meanwhile, economist Robin Woods, a former Chief FX Strategist at Goldman Sachs, echoed Blankfein’s warning while suggesting a global recession is coming.
    Woods pointed to Germany and China, who he noted have the two biggest export economies in the world.    He pointed out that both are “seeing their new export orders in the manufacturing PMIs fall sharply.”

5/16/2022 Biden, First Lady To Visit Buffalo Tuesday After Mass Shooting by OAN NEWSROOM
A person pays his respects outside the scene of a shooting at a supermarket,
in Buffalo, N.Y., Sunday, May 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
    President Joe Biden is set to travel to Buffalo, New York in the wake of the deadly supermarket shooting.   : The White House released a statement over the weekend, which announced Biden and the First Lady will visit the city on Tuesday to grieve with the mourning community.
    Biden addressed the shooting on Sunday and assured the Justice Department is investigating the incident as a hate crime.    He also praised the actions of law enforcement and offered condolences to the victims as well as their families.    Ten people lost their lives during the attack.    He also called on Americans to do everything in their power to end “hate-fueled domestic terrorism.”
    Meanwhile, New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D) said CEOs of social media companies should be held accountable for certain crimes.    During an interview Sunday, the Democrat said these chief executives need to assure the public that they are taking every step possible to monitor risky information.
    Her remarks came after the suspected shooter reportedly posted a 180-page manifesto online, just one day before opening fire at the Buffalo supermarket.    The act of violence left 10 people dead while the attack was live streamed for an online audience to witness.
    “Well this manifesto tells everything to us and that is what is so bone-chilling about it,” stated the governor.    “There is the ability for people to write and subscribe to such philosophies filled with hate and white supremacist acts of terrorism that are being fermented on social media, and to know that what this one individual did has been shared with the rest of the world.”
    Hochul said violent hate messages need to be monitored and shut down the moment they are exposed.    Meanwhile, the suspected gunman from the Buffalo shooting has been charged.    One America’s Taylor Tinsley has more.

5/16/2022 Sen. Scott: Biden Must Not Give ‘Chinese Puppet’ WHO Sovereignty Over Americans Lives by OAN NEWSROOM
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., walks on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, May 4, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)
    Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) warned cooperating with the World Health Organization may erode US national sovereignty. In a recent tweet, he noted that the WHO served as a political “puppet” to the Communist regime in China and suggested it helped cover up the origins of COVID.
    The Floridian then voiced, the WHO’s health advice has been discredited and the organization itself is a “sham” health agency. Sen. Scott consequently added, the organization must not have control over the health and lives of Americans.
    “The Biden administration wants to control through fear and mandate, so the government is touching every part of your life,” said Scott.    “I won’t stand for it, Americans won’t stand for it.    They know that the order is an over reach of power.    The nation should be free to make choices that they feel are in their best interests for their own health and of loved ones.”
    Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) echoed his colleagues remarks while also taking to Twitter recently.    The Arkansas Republican called the health agency “corrupt,” while asserting it’s controlled by Chinese Communist Party.
    The concern from GOP lawmakers comes as the World Health Assembly moves to create a global accord on pandemic response, which includes both prevention measures and preparedness actions.    This would establish an intergovernmental negotiating body that would ultimately decide what measures are “deemed appropriate.”
    Both Republican lawmakers urged against the Biden administration allowing WHO to have authority over Americans, especially with such a strong Chinese influence.    This comes as the world’s second largest economy has continued to falter due to an ongoing zero-COVID lockdown strategy.    It appears the GOP senators wish to avoid such turmoil on their own soil.

5/16/2022 GOP Governors Ready For Roe To Be Overturned by OAN NEWSROOM
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt smiles at a news conference in Oklahoma City. Stitt is requesting an additional $300
in federal unemployment benefits for Oklahomans who have lost their jobs. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
    Republican governors across the country are increasingly expressing excitement at the likely prospect the Supreme Court will overturn the landmark case Roe v. Wade.
    On Sunday, Oklahoma’s Republican Governor Kevin Stitt said that he was excited for the state to enforce its fetal heartbeat law, which bans all abortions after a heartbeat can be detected.    This usually occurs around six weeks into pregnancy.
    “I represent 4 million Oklahomans,” said Stitt.    “We believe life begins at conception and we’re going to protect life in Oklahoma.    There were 5,000 just in Oklahoma alone.    Five-thousand unborn children that were killed last year and we don’t believe in that in Oklahoma.    Other states can do things differently.”
    Oklahoma abortion law won’t be able to be enforced everywhere in the state.    Much of the state is controlled by sovereign Native American tribes who can set their own rules for their territory.
    “The tribes in Oklahoma are super liberal,” Stitt expressed.    “We think that there’s the possibility that some tribes may try to set up abortion on demand.”
    He was sparse on the details of what he wants to do, but he did say he wants protection for “pre-born babies” to be strengthened as much as possible.    There is no exception for rape or incest in the law.
    The court is expected to release its official opinion before the end of June.

5/16/2022 Oil up $3.37 to $113.57, DOW up 27 to 32,224.

5/17/2022 Federal Election Commission deadlocks, won’t punish Trump - Campaign accused by group of ‘laundering’ by Brian Slodysko, ASSOCIATED PRESS
The nonprofit group Campaign Legal Center first brought the complaint against former President Donald Trump in 2020,
alleging his campaign was “laundering” hundreds of millions in spending from mandatory public disclosure. JOE MAIORANA/AP
    WASHINGTON – The Federal Election Commission has decided not to take action against former President Donald Trump after commissioners deadlocked over whether his campaign broke the law by masking how it was spending cash during the 2020 campaign.
    In a letter on Monday, the FEC notified the Campaign Legal Center of the outcome.    The nonprofit group first brought the complaint against Trump in 2020, alleging his campaign was “laundering” hundreds of millions in spending from mandatory public disclosure by routing payments through companies that were tied to his former campaign manager, Brad Parscale.
    The practice has long been considered against the law.    But in recent years, the FEC, which is evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, has frequently deadlocked on major decisions such as this one.
    That has effectively set a series of new precedents that have slowly whittled away at the law governing how money can be used in national politics.    Still unclear is what sort of legal rationale was used to justify the decision.
    Adav Noti, a former FEC attorney who is now the Campaign Legal Center’s vice president and legal director, said the commission won’t release its legal reasoning for several weeks.    He said filing an appeal would hinge on more details.
    “It depends on what’s in the case file,” Noti said.    “All we have is notification of the deadlock.”
    In a similar case in March, the FEC found probable cause that Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee had violated campaign law by misreporting spending on research that eventually became the infamous Steele dossier.
    In that case, the Clinton campaign and DNC agreed to pay $113,000 to settle without conceding they violated the law in order to avoid further legal costs.
    During the 2020 campaign, most of the payments by Trump’s campaign committees were made to American Made Media Consultants, which has received at least $780 million between 2018 and 2021, according to FEC records.    The other firm, Parscale Strategy, collected at least $32 million during that period, the records show.
    The campaign said that American Made Media Consultants was formed to purchase advertising directly – and save money by not relying on a go-between.    But the company instead acted as a clearinghouse for spending while still using third-party vendors, which it was ostensibly created to avoid, the complaint states.
    In at least two cases, outside firms owned by Trump’s digital director Gary Coby appeared to have been the firm tapped to make purchases or develop digital communication products, though there is no record of payments made to Coby in Trump’s campaign finance disclosures, according to the complaint.
    Meanwhile, Parscale Strategy was used to pay the salaries of some Trump reelection officials, including Lara Trump, the wife of Trump’s son Eric, and Kimberly Guilfoyle, the fiancee of Trump’s eldest son, Don Jr., the complaint stated.
    In a similar case in March, the FEC found probable cause that Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign had violated campaign law by misreporting spending on research that became the infamous Steele dossier.

5/17/2022 Big cross-border tunnel is found linking Tijuana, San Diego - 6 arrested; cocaine, meth, heroin seized by Elliot Spagat, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Officers stand by the opening of a cross-border tunnel on Monday between
Mexico’s Tijuana into the San Diego area. PHOTOS BY ELLIOT SPAGAT/AP
    SAN DIEGO – U.S. authorities on Monday announced the discovery of a major drug smuggling tunnel on Mexico’s border, running the length of a football field on U.S. soil to a warehouse in an industrial area.
    The secret passage from Tijuana to San Diego featured rail and ventilation systems, electricity and reinforced walls, authorities said.    It was discovered near San Diego’s Otay Mesa border crossing in an area where more than a dozen other sophisticated tunnels have been found in the last two decades.
    U.S. authorities said it was unknown how long the tunnel had been operating and what amount of drugs, if any, got through undetected.    They seized 1,762 pounds of cocaine, 165 pounds of meth and 3.5 pounds of heroin in connection with the investigation.
    Six people, ages 31 to 55, were charged with conspiring to distribute cocaine. All are Southern California residents.
    The tunnel is in one of the most fortified stretches of the border, illustrating the limitations of former President Donald Trump’s border wall.    While considered effective against small, crudely built tunnels called “gopher holes,” walls are no match for more sophisticated passages that run deeper underground.
    The latest passage, discovered Friday, ran one-third of a mile to Tijuana.    It was 4 feet in diameter and about six stories deep.
    The type of drugs seized may signal a shift from the multi-ton loads of marijuana that were often found in discoveries before California legalized pot for recreational use in 2019.
    Hard drugs, like heroin, methamphetamine and fentanyl, are typically smuggled through official border crossings from Mexico because their small size and lack of odor make them difficult to detect.    But tunnels give smugglers an advantage of being able to carry huge loads at lightning speed.
    The tunnel exited the United States in a nondescript warehouse named “Amistad Park” on a street that is busy with large semitrailers during the day but quiet at night.    On Monday, armed guards watched over a small shaft with a ladder that descended into the tunnel.    After staking out a home that was recently used to stash drugs, officials began making traffic stops of vehicles that had been there or at a warehouse near the border, turning up boxes full of cocaine, according to a federal criminal complaint filed in San Diego.
    They raided the properties – finding no other drugs at the warehouse, but a tunnel opening carved into the cement floor, federal prosecutors said.
    Authorities have found about 15 sophisticated tunnels on California’s border with Mexico since 2006.     Many tunnels, including the one announced Monday, are in San Diego’s Otay Mesa industrial area, where claylike soil is conducive to digging and warehouses provide cover.
    The cross-border passages date back to the early 1990s and have been used primarily to smuggle multi-ton loads of marijuana.    The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said in 2020 that they are generally found in California and Arizona and associated with Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel.
    Authorities declined to link the latest tunnel to any specific cartel.    They claimed victory despite not knowing how long it had been operating.
    “There is no more light at the end of this narco-tunnel,” said Randy Grossman, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California.    “We will take down every subterranean smuggling route we find to keep illicit drugs from reaching our streets and destroying our families and communities.”
    By federal law, U.S. authorities must fill the U.S. side of tunnels with concrete after they are discovered.
    The cross-border tunnel, the length of a football field on U.S. soil, was built in one of the most fortified stretches of the border.    The tunnel exited the United States in a nondescript warehouse on a street that is busy with large semitrailers during the day but quiet at night.

5/17/2022 MANUFACTURING RESTART - US reaches deal to reopen shuttered baby formula plant by Zeke Miller and Matthew Perrone, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – Under fire from parents and politicians, President Joe Biden’s administration announced steps Monday to ease a nationwide shortage of baby formula, including reopening the largest domestic manufacturing plant and increasing imports from overseas.
  • The Food and Drug Administration said it was streamlining its review process to make it easier for foreign manufacturers to begin shipping more formula into the U.S.    “The FDA expects that the measures and steps it’s taking with infant formula manufacturers and others will mean more and more supply is on the way or on store shelves moving forward,” FDA Commissioner Robert Califf told reporters.    Califf said the U.S. will prioritize companies that can provide the largest shipments.
    It will also quickly show documentation that their formulas are safe and compatible with U.S. nutrition standards.    The policy is structured as a temporary measure lasting six months.    The imports announcement came shortly after regulators said they’d reached a deal to allow Abbott Nutrition to restart its Sturgis, Michigan-based plant, which has been closed since February due to contamination issues.    The company must overhaul its safety protocols and procedures before resuming production.
    Neither step will have an immediate effect on tight supplies that have left many parents searching for formula online or in food banks.
    After getting the FDA’s OK, Abbott said it will take eight to ten weeks before new products begin arriving in stores.    The company didn’t set a timeline to restart manufacturing.
    Getting imports into the U.S. supply chain will also take several weeks, according to administration officials.    Products from Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. are expected to meet the standards needed for importation.
    But regulators said national industry data shows most U.S. stores, on average, still have 80% of their formula inventory in stock.    They suggested some of the empty shelves seen in recent days may be due to panic buying by parents.
    Monday’s announcement was previewed last week by the White House, which has been leaning on the FDA and formula makers to quickly find ways to alleviate the shortage.    Outrage over the issue has quickly snowballed and handed Republicans a fresh talking point to use against President Biden ahead of November elections.
    The shortage stems from a February recall by Abbott that exacerbated ongoing supply chain disruptions among formula makers, leaving fewer options on stores shelves across much of the country.    The shortage has led retailers like CVS and Wal-Mart.
Elizabeth Amador bottle feeds her daughter Destinee, 9 months, at the Ellis R. Shipp Public Health Center Thursday in
West Valley City, Utah. Outrage over the issue of a baby formula shortage has quickly snowballed. RICK BOWMER/AP

5/17/2022 Stocks mostly lower, extending losing streak for S&P 500
    Stocks closed a wobbly day of trading mostly lower on Wall Street on Monday, extending a losing streak for markets.
    The broader market is in the midst of a slump as investors try to gauge how companies and consumers are dealing with higher prices and whether central banks can help ease the problem.    Major indexes have been slipping since early April.
    The S&P 500 fell 15.88 points, or 0.4%, to 4,008.01.    The benchmark index is coming off a six-week losing streak.    The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a gain, rising 26.76 points, or 0.1%, to 32,223.42.
    The tech-heavy Nasdaq had a sharp drop. It fell 142.21 points, or 1.2%, to 11,662.79.    The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 9.24 points, or 0.5%, to 1,783.43.

5/17/2022 British PM: UK will act if EU won’t - Says rules subvert Northern Ireland by Jill Lawless, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    LONDON – Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday renewed British threats to break a Brexit agreement with the European Union, blaming it for a political crisis that’s blocking the formation of a new government in Northern Ireland.
    Johnson said there would be “a necessity to act” if the EU doesn’t agree to overhaul post-Brexit trade rules that he says are destabilizing Northern Ireland’s delicate political balance.
    Johnson held private talks with the leaders of Northern Ireland’s main political parties, urging them to get back to work.    But his public message was aimed at the 27-nation EU, which he accused of refusing to give ground over post-Brexit border checks.
    “I hope the EU’s position changes.    If it does not, there will be a necessity to act,” Johnson wrote in the Belfast Telegraph.
    The government is expected Tuesday to outline planned legislation that would give Britain powers to override parts of its Brexit treaty with the EU.
    EU member Ireland warned that a unilateral move by Britain could imperil the entire post-Brexit trade agreement that the U.K. and the bloc hammered out in months of rancorous negotiations before the U.K.’s exit from the bloc in 2020.
    Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said Britain’s stance “calls into question the functioning of the TCA” – the trade and cooperation agreement between the U.K. and the EU.
    Northern Ireland elected a new Assembly earlier this month, in a vote that saw the Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein win the most seats.    It was the first time a party that seeks union with the Republic of Ireland has won an election in Northern Ireland, a bastion of Protestant unionist power.
    The Democratic Unionist Party came second and is refusing to form a government, or even allow the assembly to sit, until Johnson’s government scraps post-Brexit checks on goods entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the U.K.    Under power-sharing rules set up as part of Northern Ireland’s peace process, a government can’t be formed without the cooperation of both nationalist and unionist parties.
    Northern Ireland is the only part of the U.K. that shares a border with the EU.    When Britain left the bloc and its borderless free-trade zone, a deal was agreed to keep the Irish land border free of customs posts and other checks, because an open border is a key pillar of the peace process that ended decades of violence in Northern Ireland.    Instead, there are checks on some goods, such as meat and eggs, entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the U.K.
    The arrangement is opposed by unionists in Northern Ireland, who say the new checks have put a burden on businesses and frayed the bonds between Northern Ireland and the rest of the U.K.
    The British government agrees that the regulations, known as the Northern Ireland Protocol, are destabilizing a peace agreement that relies on support from both Protestant unionist and Catholic nationalist communities.
    “The DUP has a mandate to see the Protocol replaced with arrangements that restore our place within the U.K. internal market,” party leader Jeffrey Donaldson said after meeting Monday with Johnson.    “Our mandate will be respected.”
    But while the DUP wants the Protocol scrapped, most other parties in Northern Ireland want to keep it, with some tweaks.
    The EU says the treaty can’t be renegotiated, but it is willing to be flexible to ease the burden of checks.
    Johnson, however, accused the EU of failing to recognize that the arrangements aren’t working.
    “We don’t want to scrap it, but we think it can be fixed,” Johnson said after his meetings with the parties at Hillsborough Castle near Belfast.
    He said he would prefer to do that through talks with the EU, but “to have the insurance, we need to proceed with a legislative solution as well.”
    Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald accused the British government of “cynical antics” and “placating the DUP.”
    “It seems to us absolutely extraordinary that the British government would propose to legislate to break the law” by overriding the Brexit treaty, she said.
    New legislation would take months to pass through Parliament, but the unilateral move would immediately anger the EU, which would hit back with legal action – and potentially trade sanctions.    Even after Brexit, bloc is Britain’s biggest economic partner.
    Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin said he had spoken to EU Council chief Charles Michel and “agreed that the only way to resolve this issue is through substantive talks between the European Union and the United Kingdom government.”
    Coveney said a U.K.-EU feud “is the last thing Europe needs right now” as it seeks unity in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
    “This is a time for calmness,” Coveney said.    “It’s a time for dialogue.    It’s a time for compromise and partnership between the EU and the U.K. to solve these outstanding issues.”

5/17/2022 Senate Advances $40B Ukraine Aid Package by OAN NEWSROOM
U.S. Republican Sens. Mitch McConnell, center, and from left, Susan Collins, John Cornyn and
John Barrasso prepare to meet with Swedish media at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm after a meeting with Swedish
Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Minister of Defense Peter Hultqvist on Sunday, May 15, 2022.
McConnell said Sunday that Finland and Sweden would be “important additions” to NATO as he led a delegation of GOP
senators to the region in a show of support against Russia’s aggression. (Anders Wiklund/TT News Agency via AP)
    The Senate has advanced the $40 billion aid package for Ukraine.    In an 81-to-11 vote Monday, the upper chamber overwhelmingly moved to put the measure to a final vote.    The 11 senators who voted ‘no,’ including Tennessee Republican Bill Hagerty, expressed concerns of putting the war in Ukraine above American interests.
    The measure easily passed in the House, but was single handedly stalled in the upper chamber by Kentucky Sen, Rand Paul last week.    The Republican said lawmakers must install a special inspector general to oversee how the Ukraine military aid is spent.    Paul explained that his oath of office “is to the national security of the United States of America.”
    “The US is trying to recover from the $1.6 trillion we spent on wars in the Middle East,” he stated.    “Not to mention the $5 trillion borrowed for COVID.    We should not forget that the Soviet Union collapsed in large part, not because it was defeated militarily, but because it ran out of money.”
    The lower chamber had passed the legislation in a 368-to-57 vote last week, just hours after the bill’s official text was released.    All 57 opponents of the spending spree were Republicans.    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) praised the bill’s passing as a monumental for a crisis that has raged for the past three months.
    “We should all be very proud that we had the opportunity when (Vladimir) Putin decided whatever it is he decided, to be brutal and cruel and a coward, that we were there to help,” stated the top Democrat.    “It’s about democracy versus a dictatorship.”
    The aid is supposedly split evenly between military and humanitarian efforts with billions of dollars going towards training Ukrainian troops, replenishing weapons stores, propping up the Ukrainian economy and aiding refugees in the US.
    The bill is $7 billion more than President Joe Biden’s initial request and will put the American aid to Ukraine up to $54 billion since the war first began.    With its passing, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) claimed the latest push will bring the crisis closer to a conclusion.
    “This bill ensures that we are one step closer to making them pay the full price for their actions,” she stated.    “And in the process, we will be standing firmly with the Ukrainian people while combating the exploitation of Ukraine’s vulnerable financial system.”
    Biden and the Democrat Party initially wanted to tie the package in with additional funding to combat COVID.    However, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-K.Y.) had pledged to stand in the way of the bill’s passage unless COVID relief funds were dropped.
    A final vote on the aid package is expected later this week.

5/17/2022 15 Public Safety Officers Receive Medal Of Valor by OAN NEWSROOM
President Joe Biden awards Stamford, Ct., Fire Fighter Chad Titus the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor
in the East Room of the White House, Monday, May 16, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    The White House hosted a ceremony on Monday to honor public safety officers who performed acts of heroism.
    President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland recognized 15 public safety officers by awarding them with a Medal of Valor.    Biden gave the award to the 2020 and 2021 classes after the COVID-19 pandemic postponed both ceremonies.
    The Medal of Valor is the highest honor a public safety officer can receive for performing acts of heroism.
    “Today is an important day for the nation to give thanks for all that you do for everybody, for all of us,” Biden said.    “Because of COVID-19 we couldn’t have this special ceremony for the past two years, but I’m honored that we finally can today.    Fifteen public safety officers from eight different departments with a Medal of Valor, the highest award a president can bestow on a public safety officer.”
    The recipients of the award included nine police officers and six fire fighters.    One recipient was a North Carolina police officer who tragically passed away after saving a woman during a hostage situation in a busy retail area.
    “You’re the heart and soul and the very spine, very spine of this country and your communities,” he proclaimed.    “Each one of you from small town departments to big cities, you’re cut from the same cloth.    You possess a selflessness that’s really hard to explain.    A rare commitment to your neighbors and your fellow Americans, an unusual bravery that inspires everyone and you’ve been singled out because of your extraordinary heroism.”
    Biden ended the ceremony by paying tribute to a retired Buffalo police officer who was killed during a mass shooting incident, which left 10 people dead and three others injured.    The President is set to visit Buffalo on Tuesday in light of the tragic incident.

5/17/2022 Gunman In Calif. Church Shooting Identified by OAN NEWSROOMZ
Flowers are left outside Geneva Presbyterian Church for the victims of Sunday’s shooting at the church in Laguna Woods,
Calif., Monday, May 16, 2022. Police are investigating a deadly shooting at the church following Sunday services,
in which they said parishioners hog-tied and detained a man in his 60s who opened fire. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
    According to officials, the deadly Taiwanese church shooting in Orange County, California Sunday was a premeditated, hate fueled shooting.    The suspect has been identified as 68-year-old David Chou who is possibly a Mainland China national.
    “This was a politically motivated hate incident, a grievance that this individual had between himself and the Taiwanese community,” said Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes.    “It is believed that the suspect was upset about political tensions between China and Taiwan.”
    The one person killed is identified as Dr. John Cheng who authorities say heroically sacrificed himself to save others.    Five others were injured.
    “Dr. Cheng is a hero in this incident,” Barnes stated.
    The Sheriff said due to the quick actions of several elderly churchgoers who tackled the shooter and hog tied him with an electrical cord, the number of casualties was lessened.
    Chou is being charged with one felony count of first-degree murder and five felony counts of attempted murder.

5/17/2022 Karine Jean-Pierre Hosts First Briefing As Press Secy. by OAN NEWSROOM
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre takes a question from a reporter during her first press
briefing as press secretary at the White House in Washington, Monday, May 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    New White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre conducted her first press conference in the role.    On Monday, she declared the press to be essential to a functioning democracy and said it’s okay to not see eye-to-eye on everything.
    Jean-Pierre also said she wants to be as transparent about the Biden administration as possible.    She then pointed out her status as the first black and openly gay press secretary as historic.
    “I am obviously acutely aware that my presence at this podium represents a few firsts,” said the Press Secretary.    “I am a black, gay immigrant woman; the first of all three of those to hold this position.    I would not be here today if it were not for generations of barriers, barrier breaking people before me.    I stand on their shoulders.”
    Jean-Pierre has a history of controversial comments such as declaring 45th President Donald Trump to be illegitimately elected and claiming that racism “invades every part of US society.”

5/17/2022 Election Day Begins For Idaho, Ky., N.C., Ore., Pa. by OAN NEWSROOM
    Voters are heading to the ballot box in several key states for Republicans.    One America’s Cynthia Kaui has more.

[I voted today for both Kentuckian Senators who are doing the right things in Washington D.C. above and two judges for my county I live in to keep us safe from Globalist Socialism and Liberalism.]

5/17/2022 Project Veritas Exposes Twitter, Engineer Says Platform ‘Does Not Believe In Free Speech’ by OAN NEWSROOM
FILE – The Twitter application is seen on a digital device, Monday, April 25, 2022, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
    A senior engineer at Twitter left no room for interpretation when asked about the social media companies definition of free speech.
    In an undercover Project Veritas investigation released on Monday, Siru Murugesan reacted to Elon Musk’s intended Twitter take over.    He revealed his colleagues hate the idea of Musk purchasing Twitter.
    “Twitter does not believe in free speech,” said Murugesan.    “Elon believes in free speech.”
    The Twitter engineer voiced how his coworkers did everything they could to disrupt Musk’s purchase.    He described Twitter’s workplace culture as “socialist” after seeing coworkers get away with taking a month off of work at a time.
In Twitter, it’s like mental health is everything,” Murugesan stated. “If you are not feeling it you can take some time off, people have taken months off.”

    Murugesan claimed both liberals and conservatives cannot co-exist on Twitter, but ultimately admitted that Musk makes good points at times.    The Tesla CEO has stated that work ethic expectations at Twitter will be extreme, but not less than what he demands of himself.

5/17/2022 Bird Flu Outbreak Hits Over 37M Birds Across 34 States by OAN NEWSROOM
FILE – In this Oct. 21, 2015, file photo, cage-free chickens walk in a
fenced pasture at an organic farm near Waukon, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
    A severe outbreak of bird flu has continued to hit bird farms across the nation.    On Monday, Pennsylvania reported the thirteenth farm in the state had been affected by the outbreak, which has now hit over 4 million birds in the Keystone State alone.
    In Iowa, a turkey farmer described the outbreak as extremely severe.    He said it’s worse than a similar outbreak in 2015 because despite having to kill two-thirds of the birds back then, he didn’t really know what was happening.
    However, now he knows exactly how it will play out.    The farmer said he doesn’t think humans are in danger because of the outbreak.
    “I don’t think it’s a human threat because a lot of people don’t have the chickens and stuff inside their house or anything like that,” explained farmer rad Moline.    “They are outside or they’re out in well ventilated barns and stuff, so I think the human threat is very, very low.”
    According to the USDA, the latest bird flu outbreak has affected over 37 million birds across 34 states.

5/17/2022 Dallas P.D. Announce Arrest Of Suspect In Koreatown by OAN NEWSROOM
CHICAGO, IL – MAY 27: Crime scene tape is stretched around the front of a home
where a man was shot on May 28, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
    Dallas Police arrested a suspect in connection to a shooting at a Koreatown hair salon last Thursday.    Jeremy Smith, 36, was taken into custody and charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
    Smith entered the Korean owned Hair World salon and began to shoot before fleeing the scene.    Three women inside the salon were shot and hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.     "He entered the business and then began shooting multiple rounds,” said Dallas Police Department Sgt. Warren Mitchell.    “Victims were transported to an area hospital.”
    Local and federal authorities say the event could be connected to two other shootings at Asian-owned businesses.    Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia said that Smith had been involved in a car crash with an Asian man several years ago and has since suffered “panic attacks and delusions when he is around anyone of Asian descent.”
    “Like I’ve said previously, hate has no place in our city,” expressed Garcia.    “The men and women of the Dallas Police Department deeply care about the people we serve.”
    The FBI has officially opened a federal hate crime investigation.

5/17/2022 GOP Reps. Say Biden Spending Policies Are Creating Massive Inflation, Crippling Small Businesses by OAN NEWSROOM
FILE – House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks to reporters at his weekly news
conference, at the Capitol in Washington, March 18, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
    GOP lawmakers lament President Joe Biden is letting the economy spiral out of control at the expense of small business owners.
    On Monday, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) held a round table conference with representatives and business owners to discuss what’s going wrong with Biden’s approach to the economy.
    He stressed the President’s massive spending proposals and mismanagement of the federal government has led to the highest inflation rate since the 1980s.    McCarthy added, as a former small business owner, he couldn’t imagine trying to operate during and after a pandemic.
    “You just came out of a pandemic hoping it would be better,” the congressman stated.    “And then you’ve got high regulations, higher gas prices, and in a small business you really learn the economic responsibility but you can’t just keep spending money.    That’s what the government has been doing, propelling inflation along the way.”
    Congresswoman Maria Salazar (R-Fla.) went on to say inflation is “killing the American dream.”    She noted one-in-five small businesses in the country are created by minorities and around 70 percent of Miami businesses are minority owned.    She claims the rising cost of raw materials and restrictive laws are making running those businesses more difficult.
    “All this is doing is killing the American dream,” said Salazar.    “Because the American dream for an immigrant is to create your small business.”
    Additionally, the business owners detailed the cost of soaring gas and food prices, which have caused them to raise the price of their goods.
    Though these changes are driving customers away, they believe Americans are waking up to extreme leftist policies and will come out to vote for Republicans in the midterms.

5/17/2022 Oil down $1.36 to $112.57, DOW up 431 to 32,655.

5/18/2022 ELECTION 2022 - Trump-backed Mastriano wins in Pa. - Fetterman’s triumph energizes progressives by Will Weissert, Marc Levy and Gary D. Robertson, ASSOCIATED PRESS
State Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin, speaks at a primary night
election gathering in Chambersburg, Pa., Tuesday. CAROLYN KASTER/AP
    HARRISBURG, Pa. – State Sen. Doug Mastriano – who secured a late endorsement from Donald Trump and has trumpeted the former president’s lies about nonexistent, widespread fraud costing him the 2020 election – won the Republican nomination for Pennsylvania’s open governor’s office on Tuesday.
    Mastriano’s victory extends Trump’s winning streak in major Republican primaries around the country.    But it also raises immediate questions about whether Mastriano, who was outside the U.S. Capitol in January 2021 when a mob overran it in a deadly insurrection, can attract enough moderate swing voters to prevail in November’s general election.
    Days after a stroke sent him to the hospital, John Fetterman easily won Pennsylvania’s Democratic Senate primary, notching a major victory Tuesday for his party’s left flank.    The big question is which Republican he will face in what will likely be one of the most competitive Senate races this year.
    Pennsylvania’s GOP Senate contest was too early to call, with celebrity heart surgeon Mehmet Oz, former hedge fund CEO David McCormick and commentator Kathy Barnette all vying for the party’s nomination.    Oz is the preferred candidate of former President Donald Trump, who has sought to wield the power of his endorsement to lift his loyalists and reshape the GOP.
    Democrat Josh Shapiro was unopposed in his primary.
    Trump scored an easy victory early in the night when U.S. Rep. Ted Budd clinched the GOP nomination for Senate in North Carolina.    Trump’s surprise endorsement last year lifted Budd, a little-known congressman, over better-known rivals, including a former governor.    He quickly pivoted to a general election message focused on breaking Democratic control of Washington.
    “Under Joe Biden, America is woke and broke,” he said at a victory rally.    “We need to put the brakes on this agenda for the sake of hardworking North Carolinians.”
    Budd will face Democratic former state supreme court justice Cheri Beasley, who is aiming to become North Carolina’s first Black senator.    She told supporters “This is our moment.”
    “We have the power to restore our values to our government in Washington,” she said.    “In this moment, we have the power to protect our rights.”
    Tuesday marked the busiest night of the nascent primary season, with contests also being waged in Kentucky, Oregon and Idaho.    Both parties are choosing candidates to enter the fall general election, when control of Congress, governor’s mansions and key elections posts are up for grabs.
    Much of the attention was on Pennsylvania, a perennial political battleground that could decide control of the Senate.    The 52-year-old Fetterman easily dispatched Democratic rival U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, a moderate in the mold of President Joe Biden.
    “Fetterman’s victory shows that voters are fed up and want fighters.    This should be a wakeup call to the entire Democratic Party establishment to fight harder against the fascists and those who obstruct a popular agenda,” Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, said in a statement.
    Fetterman, who is Pennsylvania’s lt. governor, could enter the general election campaign facing questions about his health.    Following his stroke, he cast an emergency ballot from the hospital and tweeted on Tuesday that he’d successfully undergone surgery to install a pacemaker.    He said he was “on track for a full recovery.”
    In Kentucky, Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul looked past his fall opponent Tuesday to slam national Democrats, while his Democratic challenger doubled down on his progressive message and vowed to take the fight to the incumbent in a matchup featuring contrasting agendas.
    The libertarian-leaning Paul coasted to victory over five little-known Republican challengers in his primary.    Democrat Charles Booker, a Black former state lawmaker, defeated three primary opponents to become the latest nominee to try to snap the long losing streak of Kentucky Democrats in U.S. Senate races.    The Bluegrass State hasn’t elected a Democrat to the Senate since Wendell Ford in 1992.
    Paul, who is seeking a third term, immediately set the tone for his fall campaign, telling supporters in a video message that he was back in the nation’s capital “battling the socialists and petty tyrants.”    He didn’t mention Booker, instead aiming criticism at the nation’s top Democrats – President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
    “Kentucky and all of America deserve better than the massive spending, runaway debt and crippling inflation that Biden, Pelosi and Schumer are giving us,” he said.    “I’m working every day to fight back, and I hope you’ll continue to support me.”
    Booker, looking to blaze a new trail to a Kentucky Senate seat, fully embraced a progressive agenda that includes support for sweeping health care and antipoverty programs.    In North Carolina, U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn struggled Tuesday to hold on to his western North Carolina seat, facing a stiff challenge from a state legislator in the Republican primary.
    With most votes counted, election results in the 11th District Republican primary showed the first-term congressman and pro-Donald Trump firebrand slightly trailing state Sen. Chuck Edwards.    Six other GOP candidates were in the race, which became a test of whether voters would grant Cawthorn another term despite his personal and political stumbles.
    Several GOP leaders have turned away from the 26-year-old congressman, with some citing a series of unforced errors, such as calling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a “thug” after Russia invaded his country.    Cawthorn also infuriated fellow Republicans in Congress when he alleged on a podcast that he had been invited to an orgy in Washington.
Printing error affects mailed ballots in Pennsylvania county
    An error by a company that prints ballots for several Pennsylvania counties made thousands of mail-in ballots unreadable Tuesday as voters were deciding hotly contested primaries for governor and U.S. Senate in one of the nation’s most important battleground states.    Officials in Lancaster County, the state’s sixth most populous, said the problem involved at least 21,000 mailed ballots, only a third of which were scanning properly.    The glitch will force election workers to redo ballots that can’t be read by the machine, a laborious process expected to take several days.    Officials in the GOP-controlled county pledged that all the ballots will be counted eventually.    “Citizens deserve to have accurate results from elections and they deserve to have them on election night, not days later,” Josh Parsons, a Republican and vice chair of the county board of commissioners, said at a news conference.    “But because of this, we’re not going to have final election results from these mail ballots for probably several days, so that is very, very frustrating to us.”    The Lancaster Board of Elections, of which Parsons is a member, renewed its criticism of a 2019 state voting law that expanded mail-in balloting but prevented counties from opening mailed ballots before Election Day to check for errors.    The board said the law, which passed the legislature with bipartisan support, also forces counties to use vendors to print ballots rather than doing them in house.    The vendor’s error left county officials with the task of having to hand-mark thousands of fresh ballots, a process that was expected to start Wednesday morning.    For ballots that won’t scan, county election workers will recreate voters’ choices on blank ballots, and then scan those.
Associated Press
Kathy Barnette, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, top right, greets
supporters at a primary night election gathering Tuesday in Elizabethtown, Pa. MATT SLOCUM/AP

5/18/2022 House 1/6 panel rejects Justice Dept.’s transcript request
    WASHINGTON – The House panel investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol is rejecting a request from the Justice Department for access to the committee’s interviews, for now. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., the committee’s chairman, said Tuesday that the Justice Department had made the request as part of its ongoing criminal investigation into the attack.    But he said it was “premature” for the committee to share its work at this point because the panel’s probe is ongoing.    The Justice Department’s request comes as prosecutors have been issuing subpoenas and seeking interviews with people who had been involved in planning events leading up to the attack on the Capitol last year.    The request to the House panel – which has conducted more than 1,000 interviews so far – exemplifies the breadth of the Justice investigation into one of the largest attacks on democracy in American history.    The Justice Department and Attorney General Merrick Garland have faced mounting pressure to prosecute former President Donald Trump since the Jan. 6 House committee laid out an argument for what its members believe could be a viable criminal case against the former president.    The Justice investigation – the largest criminal investigation in U.S. history – has largely focused on prosecuting those who stormed the Capitol, pushing past and beating overwhelmed police officers until they were bloodied and bruised, in an attempt to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential win.    In the 16 months since the insurrection, more than 800 people have been arrested and around 280 of them have pleaded guilty to a variety of federal charges.    Garland has given no public indication about whether prosecutors might be considering a case against Trump.    He has vowed, though, to hold accountable “all January 6th perpetrators, at any level” and said that would include those who were “present that day or were otherwise criminally responsible for the assault on our democracy.”
Associated Press

5/18/2022 Biden to host leaders of Sweden, Finland amid NATO bids by ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden will host Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson of Sweden and President Sauli Niinistö of Finland at the White House for a meeting Thursday amid their push to join NATO in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
    The White House said they would discuss the two countries’ applications to join the mutual defense alliance, as well as European security broadly.    The requests by the long-neutral nations to join NATO have been widely lauded within the alliance as a rebuke of Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, though Turkey has expressed reservations.
    Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavus¸og?lu told reporters in Berlin that Finland and Sweden had also imposed restrictions on defense sales to Turkey that were “unacceptable.”
    But NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said his understanding is that Turkey merely wants to have its concerns addressed.
    Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who has spoken with Çavusoglu, will see him again on the margins of a special U.N. Security Council meeting on Wednesday in New York.    He has voiced optimism that all NATO members would support bids from Finland and Sweden.
    Thursday’s White House meeting between Biden and the two leaders is set to take place before Biden departs Washington for a four-day trip to South Korea and Japan.

5/18/2022 Rep. Ted Budd Delivers Victory Speech After GOP N.C. Senate Primary Win by OAN NEWSROOM
Ted Budd, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, speaks during an election watch party on Tuesday,
May 17, 2022, at WinMock at Kinderton in Bermuda Run, N.C. (Allison Lee Isley/The Winston-Salem Journal via AP)
    The power of former President Donald Trump’s endorsement is on full display as Congressman Ted Budd (R-N.C.) won North Carolina’s Republican senate primary.
    On Tuesday the Associated Press declared Budd as the winner with more than 56-percent of the vote and just over 25-percent having been counted.    During his victory speech he thanked supporters and pledged to advance an America first agenda.
    “I pledge to my fellow North Carolinians,” said the congressman.    “I will never waiver when it comes to fighting for the forgotten men and women in this state and in this country.”
    He vowed to work on issues more important to his constituents, which he said include record high crime and inflation crisis.    The Republican stressed that it’s unacceptable that working families in North Carolina will have to pay $5,200 extra this year due to inflation.
    “In every county I visited I heard stories of high grocery costs,” voiced Budd after a one hundred county tour.    “Sky rocketing fuel prices, shortages of basic necessities like infant formula, I even heard stories about families that had been ripped apart by fentanyl.”
    Congressman Budd vowed to hold President Joe Biden accountable for the multiple crises sweeping the country should he be elected to represent North Carolina in the senate this November.

5/18/2022 Reports: Musk Asks SEC To Look Into Number Of Fake Accounts On Twitter by OAN NEWSROOM
FILE – Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk arrives on the red carpet for the Axel Springer
media award in Berlin on Dec. 1, 2020. (Hannibal Hanschke/Pool Photo via AP, File)
    Elon Musk has asked the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to look into the number of fake accounts on Twitter.    According to reports on Tuesday, the SpaceX CEO has requested the agency resolve his dispute with Twitter executives over the number of bots and fake accounts.
    Musk also launched an informal poll among Twitter users asking if they believe the company’s claim that 95 percent of its accounts are “human.”
    This came after Musk put his acquisition of Twitter on hold over the dispute about the number of fake accounts.    He has since suggested that he may buy Twitter for less than the originally reported $44 billion, while asserting at least 20 percent of Twitter accounts are inauthentic.
    David Stryzewski, CEO of Sound Planning Group, joined OAN’s Alicia Summers to explains what this all means.

5/18/2022 Trump-Backed Doug Mastriano Wins Pa. GOP Primary by OAN NEWSROOM
State Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin, a Republican candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania, takes part in a
primary night election gathering in Chambersburg, Pa., Tuesday, May 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
    Trump-endorsed candidate Doug Mastriano (R-Pa.) won the Pennsylvania GOP primary for governor.    The Associated Press declared Mastriano the winner on Tuesday with more than 42-percent of the vote and 65-percent precincts reporting.    Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) trailed behind him at 23-percent and Bill McSwain (R-Pa.) received 15-percent.
    “There is no one in Pennsylvania who has done more, or fought harder, for Election Integrity than State Senator Doug Mastriano,” the former President Donald Trump said in a statement.
    During an election rally the new GOP primary governor said his campaign has no place for “hate, bigotry and tolerance.”    He added, his movement is under siege from members of the mainstream media.
    Shortly after the polls on Tuesday, two-term Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D-Pa.) expressed on Twitter how “humbled and honored” he is to be the Democratic nominee for Pennsylvania governor.
    “No matter which dangerous extremist we’re against this November, the stakes are too damn high for anything but a victory,” voiced Shapiro.
    The two will face off in the general election on Nov. 8.

5/18/2022 Sen. McConnell Blames Bad Economy On Democrat Policies by OAN NEWSROOM
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks with reporters following a closed-door
policy lunch, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, May 17, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) berated his Democrat colleagues for reckless spending while forcing the American people to foot the bill.    While addressing the Senate floor Tuesday, the Kentuckian evoked the memory of economic prosperity under Republican leadership.
    “In early 2020, before the pandemic, Republicans helped create one of the best economic moments for working Americans literally in our lifetimes,” McConnell stated.    “Unemployment was low, inflation was low and real take-home pat was rising steadily.    In fact, we had wages rising faster for the bottom 25 percent of the wage scale than for the top 25 percent.”
    The Minority leader noted, the COVID pandemic caused an artificial speed bump for the American economy.    He claimed the incoming Democrat government had been set up for success in January of last year as much of the private sector was reopening and COVID vaccines were readily available.    However, the long serving senator lamented the political left snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and squandered the good position they had inherited.
    “But through their far-left policy choices, Washington Democrats have driven our economy right into the ground,” he asserted.    “Inflation is setting 40-year records in consecutive months, gas and diesel prices have set new all-time highs on consecutive days, and sticker shock continues to cause headaches for Americans buying household essentials.”
    McConnell recounted tales from around the country of people scrounging to support themselves amid steep price hikes.    From taking out loans to afford food to visiting multiple stores for the lowest prices, the Republican highlighted the various ways Americans have grappled with the 10 percent rise in grocery costs in the past year.    However, he accused Democrats of treating government spending as the only solution, which he said is exacerbating the problem.
    “Fewer than one-in-four American consumers say that this current economic conditions are even ‘somewhat good’ and fewer than one-in-five say the Biden administration’s policies haven’t done anything to help,” McConnell continued.    “Democrats made runaway reckless spending their new normal here in Washington.    So historic, painful inflation has become the new normal for working families everywhere else.”
    Despite chastising Democrats for excessive spending, the Minority Leader has been instrumental in drumming up Republican support to advance the $40 billion Ukraine bill in the Senate.

5/18/2022 Fed Chair Jerome Powell: We Will Fight To Lower Inflation, Unemployment by OAN NEWSROOM
Federal Reserve Board chairman Jerome Powell on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Graeme Jennings/Pool via AP, File)
    Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell (R-D.C.) doubled down on the policy of raising interest rates in coming months which may hurt millions of Americans.    In an interview Tuesday, the fed chair admitted higher borrowing costs may cause some “pain” to households and businesses.
    However, he said it is necessary to curb runaway inflation and there is no way around it.    Powell added that he originally hoped the federal reserve could stifle inflation without affecting the labor market but warns unemployment may rise slightly.
    “I would love to see a labor market that is more in balance, ideally that would start with the number of vacancies coming down,” said Powell.    “Vacancies and quits are at an all-time high, that suggests the labor market that’s out of balance.    There are more demands than there are workers.    I’d love to see people come back into the labor force, we are seeing some of that now, we’d like to see that continue and we’d love to see the job vacancies come back so that your seeing supply and demand get back together.”
    He went on to urge Americans not to worry about the labor market claiming the unemployment rate is now near a 50-year low.    He further touted the structure of the U.S. economy saying he believes America will come out of the post-pandemic era strong despite the issues driving inflation.    He vows to keep fighting inflation until it slows back down to two percent.
    “If that involves moving passed there won’t be any hesitation about that,” he stated.
    Many economists criticized the fed chair for waiting too long before raising rates this year, but he believes his policies were “appropriate.”    Some economists says riding fed rates may cause a recession in coming months.
    Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve Chairman predicts several shifts in the U.S economy that could slow down the rate of globalization.

5/18/2022 Oil down $4.59 to $109.05, DOW down 1,162 to 31,490.

5/19/2022 Global economy adds to US woes - Could be hidden force in midterm elections by Josh Boak, ASSOCIATED PRESS
The global economy is an additional challenge for President Joe Biden,
whose approval ratings have plunged. DREW ANGERER/GETTY IMAGES
    WASHINGTON – As President Joe Biden embarks for Asia on Thursday, he’s facing a new risk at home for the economy and his Democratic Party: a global slowdown caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the pandemic shutting down Chinese cities and factories.
    The world economy can’t cast U.S. ballots.    But it’s a hidden force in this year’s midterm elections and could influence whether Democrats retain control of the House and Senate.
    It’s an additional challenge that highlights the steep climb for Biden, whose approval ratings have plunged as prices for everyday goods in the U.S. have soared.    Several economists said they think the U.S. is insulated from the rising energy costs that threaten Europe and from China’s decline in industrial output.    But there are clear spillovers as high gasoline prices continue to weigh on voters’ minds and bank accounts.
    Federal officials acknowledge that global events might make it harder for inflation to fall from near 40-year highs to levels that would assure the American public.
    Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Wednesday in Germany that she believes the strong job market means the U.S. can avoid the downturn being seen around the world.
    “We have a great deal of economic momentum in the United States,” Yellen said.    “But you know, this is an environment that is filled with risks, both with respect to inflation and also potential slowdowns.”
    “This is an environment that is filled with risks, both with respect to inflation and also potential slowdowns.”    Janet Yellen, Treasury secretary Yellen’s successor as chair of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, said in a radio interview for Marketplace last week that the central bank’s ability to lower inflation while keeping the economy going could depend on what happens globally.
    “There are huge events, geopolitical events going on around the world that are going to play a very important role in the economy in the next year or so,” Powell said.    “So the question whether we can execute a soft landing or not, it may actually depend on factors that we don’t control.”
    What’s clear is that foreign affairs and geopolitics have returned as issues that could shape the opinions of U.S. voters.
    Even as the midterm races intensify, Biden is devoting his time to other world leaders – and not just Russian President Vladimir Putin and his attack on Ukraine.    Biden’s trip to South Korea and Japan follows recent meetings with the heads of Italy, Greece and the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.    He is also meeting with the leaders of Finland and Sweden, who are seeking NATO membership, before he departs for Asia.
    “Yes, geopolitics will matter for U.S. elections again,” said Doug Elmendorf, dean of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a former director of the Congressional Budget Office.    “Terrorists and terrorist states have been potent, China is not becoming that much like us, and Putin has gone to war.”
    Elmendorf noted that upheavals worldwide are expressing themselves in higher energy costs, efforts to bring home supply chains from abroad and increased spending on national security, all of which can “crowd out social spending and raise government borrowing.”    That possibility could in some ways challenge Biden’s promises to lower inflation, trim the national deficit and boost spending on health care, children and education.
    Robin Brooks, chief economist at the Institute for International Finance, has said that the European Union appears headed for recession as energy costs have climbed because of the war in Ukraine.    Manufacturing output is stalling in China after coronavirus lockdowns, creating additional supply chain challenges for economies that rely on Chinese goods.
    “The U.S. has some major advantages compared to the rest of the world,” Brooks said.    “The biggest advantage has been the fact that it is a long way from Ukraine, unlike Western Europe where we now forecast recession for the Euro zone.”
    Brooks added that the U.S. is also a leading oil and agricultural producer, so higher prices that are hurting Europe could actually help parts of the U.S. economy.
    That’s in no way guaranteed.    The aftershocks from Europe could, for instance, limit Biden’s ability to deal with inflation.
    Fed Chair Powell has said there is little the U.S. central bank can do to address higher oil, food and commodity prices that are tied to geopolitics.    Federal Reserve policies such as hiking interest rates or reducing the Fed’s balance sheets have little no impact on restarting shuttered factories abroad or generating more natural gas and oil production overseas.    That complicates the administration’s message about the Fed’s ability to contain inflation that has become a leading worry for U.S. voters.
    “Our tools don’t really work on supply shocks,” Powell said this month.
    Adam Posen, president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said he expects the U.S. to be largely sheltered from Europe’s woes, though he sees major risks to growth as coming from U.S. politics.
    He said Biden could take steps to improve the U.S. economy and fight inflation by reducing the tariffs imposed during the administration of Donald Trump and by expanding legal immigration.    Those are politically controversial moves that Biden has been hesitant to take, actions that could alienate labor unions and some voters.
    “We have an unreliable budget process and an inability to raise taxes, which contributes to inflation and volatility,” Posen said in an email.    “We also have a hostile approach to trade and immigration because the Dems have mistakenly become convinced this is how they will win back Joe Sixpack, and the Republicans actually believe (wrongly) that foreigners and their products are dangerous.”
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, left, is welcomed by European Commission President
Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels on Tuesday. OLIVIER MATTHYS/POOL VIA AP

5/19/2022 Defense Production Act invoked - Order aims to speed infant formula manufacturing by Zeke Miller and Kevin Freking, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Shelves typically stocked with baby formula sit mostly empty at a store in San Antonio on May 10. ERIC GAY/AP
    WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden on Wednesday invoked the Defense Production Act to speed production of infant formula and authorized flights to import supply from overseas, as he faces mounting political pressure over a domestic shortage caused by the safety related closure of the country’s largest formula manufacturing plant.
    The Defense Production Act order requires suppliers of formula manufacturers to fulfill orders from those companies before other customers, in an effort to eliminate production bottlenecks.    Biden is also authorizing the Defense Department to use commercial aircraft to fly formula supplies that meet federal standards from overseas to the U.S., in what the White House is calling “Operation Fly Formula.”
    Supplies of baby formula across the country have been severely curtailed in recent weeks after a February recall by Abbott Nutrition exacerbated ongoing supply chain disruptions among formula makers, leaving fewer options on store shelves and increasingly anxious parents struggling to find nutrition for their children.
    “I know parents across the country are worried about finding enough formula to feed their babies,” Biden said in a video statement released by the White House.    ”As a parent and as a grandparent, I know just how stressful that is.”
    The announcement comes two days after the Food and Drug Administration said it was streamlining its review process to make it easier for foreign manufacturers to begin shipping more formula into the U.S.
    In a letter Wednesday to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture, Biden directed the agencies to work with the Pentagon to identify overseas supply of formula that meets U.S. standards over the next week, so that chartered Defense Department flights can swiftly fly it to the U.S.
    Regulators said Monday they reached a deal to allow Abbott Nutrition to restart its Sturgis, Michigan, plant, the nation’s largest formula plant, which has been closed since February due to contamination issues.        The company must overhaul its safety protocols before resuming production.
    After getting the FDA’s OK, Abbott said it will take eight to ten weeks before new products begin arriving in stores.    The company didn’t set a timeline to restart manufacturing.
    The White House actions come as the Democratic-led House was expected to approve two bills Wednesday addressing the baby formula shortage as lawmakers look to show progress on what has become a frightening development for many families.     One bill expected to have wide bipartisan support would give the secretary of the Department of Agriculture the ability to issue a narrow set of waivers in the event of a supply disruption.    The goal is to give participants in an assistance program commonly known as WIC the ability to use vouchers to purchase formula from any producer rather than be limited to one brand that may be unavailable.    The WIC program accounts for about half of formula sales in the U.S.
    The other measure, a $28 million emergency spending bill to boost resources at the Food and Drug Administration, is expected to have less bipartisan support and it’s unclear whether the Senate will take it up.
    “This is throwing more FDA staff at a problem that needs more production, not more FDA staff,” said Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich.
    Rep. Rosa DeLauro, the Democratic chair of the House Appropriations Committee, said the money would increase FDA staffing to boost inspections of domestic and international suppliers, prevent fraudulent products from getting onto store shelves and acquire better data on the marketplace.
    Abbott’s voluntary recall was triggered by four illnesses reported in babies who had consumed powdered formula from its plant.    All four infants were hospitalized with a rare type of bacterial infection and two died.
    Chicago-based Abbott has emphasized that its products have not been directly linked to the bacterial infections in children.    Samples of the bacteria found at its plant did not match the strains collected from two babies by federal investigators.
    FDA staffers noted Monday they were unable to collect bacterial strains from two of the four patients, limiting their chances of finding a match.

5/19/2022 Stocks fall sharply as Target’s woes renew inflation fears by Damian J. Troise and Alex Veiga, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    NEW YORK – The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank more than 1,100 points and the S& P 500 had its biggest drop in nearly two years Wednesday, as big earnings misses by Target and other major retailers stoked investors’ fears that inflation could cut deeply into corporate profits.
    The broad sell-off erased gains from a solid rally a day earlier, the latest volatile day-today swing for stocks in recent weeks amid a deepening market slump.
    The S&P 500 tumbled 4%, its sharpest decline since June 2020.    The benchmark index is now down more than 18% from the record high it reached at the beginning of the year.    That’s shy of the 20% decline that’s considered a bear market.
    The Dow dropped 3.6%, while the Nasdaq fell 4.7%.    The three indexes are on pace to extend a string of at least six weekly losses.    “A lot of people are trying to guess the bottom,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA.    “Bottoms occur when there’s nobody left to sell.”
    The S& P 500 fell 165.17 points to 3,923.68, while the Dow slid 1,164.52 points to 31,490.07. The Nasdaq slid 566.37 points to 11,418.15.
    Smaller company stocks also fell sharply.    The Russell 2000 fell 65.45 points, or 3.6%, to 1,774.85.
    Retailers were among the biggest decliners Wednesday after Target plunged following a grim quarterly earnings report.
    Target lost a quarter of its value after reporting earnings that fell far short of analysts’ forecasts.    In a sign of the impact of inflation, particularly on shipping costs, Target said its operating margin for the first quarter was 5.3%.    It had been expecting 8% or higher.    The company also said consumers returned to more normal spending habits, switching away from TVs and appliances and buying more toys and travel-related items.    The report comes a day after Walmart said its profit took a hit from higher costs.    The nation’s largest retailer fell 6.8%, adding to its losses from Tuesday.    The weak reports stoked concerns that persistently rising inflation could cut deeper into business profits.    “These retailers are having to balance how much of the higher inflation to pass on to consumers versus eating it, so that goes into questions about profitability on the part of companies and that gets to some of these lingering valuation questions for the market,” said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at All Star Charts.
    Other big retailers also racked up hefty losses.    Dollar Tree fell 14.4% and Dollar General slid 11.1%.    Best Buy fell 10.5% and Amazon fell 7.2%.
    Technology stocks, which led the market rally a day earlier, were the biggest drag on the S&P 500.    Apple lost 5.6%, its biggest decline since September 2020.
    All told, more than 95% of stocks in the S& P 500 closed lower.    Utilities fell, though not nearly as much as the other 10 sectors.

5/19/20222 EU members urged to work together on weapons refill by ASSOCIATED PRESS
    BRUSSELS – The European Union on Wednesday urged member countries to quickly replenish their depleted stocks of ammunition and military equipment, and offered financial incentives to those willing to work together to replace materiel sent to Ukraine.
    Many of the EU’s 27 members have sent equipment to help Ukrainian troops since Russia invaded on Feb. 24.    At first it was mostly ammunition, but now includes portable missiles to destroy warplanes and tanks, as well as heavier equipment.
    The EU’s executive branch, the European Commission, is offering a fund of 500 million euros ($526 million) over two years to countries willing to work in groups of at least three to replenish their stocks.    Officials declined to say, for security reasons, exactly what kinds of shortages nations have.
    The commission is also ready to provide incentives to encourage countries to replace their Soviet-era stocks of battle tanks, heavy artillery and armored vehicles.    Some have already been supplying these to Ukraine, whose troops are trained to use them, and want to replace the equipment.
    Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has exposed important gaps in European military thinking and equipment.    Brussels wants to encourage EU countries to bolster their air and missile defense systems, which have been widely used in Ukraine.
    The commission also aims to rapidly establish a task force to work with countries to establish exactly what their military needs are.
    Longer term, it believes that countries should develop more drones and air-to-air refueling systems, upgrade Europe’s tank and fighting vehicle armory, strengthen naval capacity and bolster the bloc’s cyber defense abilities.
    “Since the euro (currency) crisis in 2008, Europe has gone through a kind of silent process of disarmament.    We’ve been stripping ourselves of arms without saying it.    We’ve reduced our military assets between 2008 and 2014 in a very shocking way,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.

5/19/2022 Federal agency sends team to probe Tesla crash that killed 3
    DETROIT – The U.S. government’s road safety agency has dispatched a team to investigate the possibility that a Tesla involved in a California crash that killed three people was operating on a partially automated driving system.
    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Wednesday confirmed that it had sent a special crash investigation team to probe the May 12 crash on the Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach.
    The investigation is part of a larger inquiry by the agency into crashes involving advanced driver assistance systems such as Tesla’s Autopilot.    Since 2016, the agency has sent teams to 34 crashes in which the systems were either in use or suspected of operating.
    Of the 34, 28 involved Teslas, according to a NHTSA document released Wednesday.
    Fifteen people died in the crashes that NHTSA is investigating, and at least 15 more were hurt.    Of the deaths, 14 occurred in crashes involving Teslas, the documents say.
    In addition to the specific crashes, NHTSA has investigations under way into Teslas on Autopilot crashing into emergency vehicles parked along roadways, as well as a probe into Autopilot braking for no apparent reason.

5/19/2022 Testimony: Clinton team did not approve lawyer’s FBI meeting by Eric Tucker, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign did not authorize a lawyer to meet with the FBI and provide information that was meant to cast suspicions on rival candidate Donald Trump and possible connections to Russia, according to trial testimony Wednesday.
    Michael Sussmann, a lawyer for Clinton’s 2016 campaign, is charged with lying to the FBI during a meeting at which he presented the bureau’s top lawyer with data that purported to show mysterious contact between computer servers of a Russia-based bank and Trump’s company, the Trump Organization.
    Prosecutors say Sussmann misled the FBI by saying he wasn’t participating in the meeting on behalf of a particular client when he was actually there on behalf of the Clinton campaign and another client, a technology executive, who had provided him with the data.
    But under questioning from one of Sussmann’s attorneys, Marc Elias, the campaign’s top lawyer, said Sussmann did not seek permission to go to the FBI.    Elias said neither he nor anyone he was aware of from the campaign had authorized Sussmann to meet with the FBI.
    In fact, he said he would not have supported going to the FBI because he felt the bureau had not been sufficiently aggressive in stopping ongoing leaks of Russia-hacked emails that had been stolen from the Clinton campaign earlier that year, and because he viewed then-Director James Comey as having put a “thumb on the scale” against Clinton during an earlier investigation into her use of a private email server while secretary of state.
    “I’m not sure I would have thought that the FBI was going to give a fair shake to anything they thought was anti-Trump or pro-Clinton,” Elias said.
    The testimony on cross-examination was aimed at distancing Sussmann from the campaign and establishing that he had not lied to the FBI by saying that he was not acting on behalf of the campaign during the Sept. 19, 2016 meeting.
    There, Sussmann presented James Baker, the FBI’s then-general counsel, with research he said showed potential contact between Alfa Bank and the Trump OrganizationFBI did look into it, but found nothing suspicious.
    The case against Sussmann was brought by John Durham, the prosecutor appointed as special counsel during the Trump administration to investigate potential misconduct by government officials and others during the early days of the FBI’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and potential ties to the Trump campaign.
Special counsel John Durham leaves federal court in Washington on Monday. MANUEL BALCE CENETA/AP

5/19/2022 Ariz. Border Patrol Agents Report Increased Migrant Activity by OAN NEWSROOM
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas listens to Raul Ortiz, Chief, U.S. Border Patrol, as he tours the section
of the border wall with Mexico, Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in La Joya, Texas. (Joel Martinez/The Monitor via AP, Pool)
    Border Patrol agents in Arizona are preparing for the expiration of Title 42. Agents say they are experiencing a surge in migrant encounters near their checkpoint in Tucson.    On Wednesday, they voiced that their encounters are vastly different from those reported in other border states such as Texas and California.
    Additionally, they’ve seen a 25-percent increase in 911 calls about illegal border crossings with authorities receiving up to 16 calls per day.    Title 42 was put in place during the Trump administration and allowed border agents to turn away migrants attempting to cross into the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    “Our numbers of apprehensions or encounters is more than 130,000 fiscal year to date,” said Border Agent Jesus Vasabilaso.    “So our fiscal year started in October and then all the way to today.    That’s up more than 50-percent compared to last year.”
    To combat this surge officials set up a working partnership with the Mexican National Guard to apprehend illegal migrants attempting to cross from both sides of the border.
    “We do what we call mirror patrol,” stated Vasabilaso.    "We’ll patrol on our side, they’ll patrol on their side, so we’re both looking for any bad actors around the border.    They’re looking for any ladders that smugglers will utilize to get people up and over the fence, they’re looking for people that are up to no good trying to assault migrants.    If Title-42 goes away the border is not going to be open.”
    Title 42 is set to expire on May 23, but a federal judge in Louisiana is expected to hand down a ruling which could keep Title 42 in place.

5/19/2022 Fla. Governor Desantis To Invest $100 Million For Cancer Research In The State by OAN NEWSROOM
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to supporters before signing a 15-week abortion ban
into law Thursday, April 14, 2022, in Kissimmee, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
    Florida Governor Ron Desantis (R-Fla.) will be investing $100 million for cancer research in the state.    He announced the initiative during a press conference on Tuesday.    Desantis’ wife First Lady Casey Desantis is a recent breast cancer survivor and said that the state would lead the way to find a cure for all types of cancer.
    “We believe that cancer initiatives is very significant in the state of Florida,” the governor stated.    It’s consistently been the second leading cause of death just behind heart disease, I think that’s pretty typical for what you see around the country.    Over the last year this is something that has taken a large impact on our family.”
    Desantis added that many people in Florida have been affected in some way or another by cancer.    Desantis declared that since his wife’s diagnosis he began to do research and look at what people have been able to do, that information gave him a new sense of hope.
    “He stood by me the entire time, he never missed a chemo appointment,” the First Lady said.    “Six of those sitting in there very uncomfortable and he held my hand through everything.    This is a game changer; Florida is going to lead the way to find a definitive cure once and for all and its gonna happen here because of this leadership.”
    The funding will go towards cancer centers in Florida which will increase their research funding by 60-percent.

5/19/2022 Fla. Man Tased By Sheriff While Pumping Gas by OAN NEWSROOM
Motorcycle enthusiasts attend the 81st annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
on August 8, 2021 in Sturgis, South Dakota. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
    Jean Baretto continues to fight for his life after sheriff’s tasered him at a gas pump nearly three months ago.    On Wednesday, it was revealed that Baretto’s legal team has allegedly obtained surveillance footage from a WaWa gas station in Central Florida where the incident took place.    The incident shows their client being tackled from behind by one deputy while another hits him with a taser.
    That taser shot ignited the fire ball that engulfed Barreto and two nearby deputy’s according to the State Fire Marshall.    The family and attorneys of the man say he never committed a crime.
    At the time of the incident Osceola Sheriff’s Department alleged that Barretto was part of motorcyclists that were harassing and pointing guns at other drivers.    His lawyers claim the video shows the 26-year-old was not trying to flee and question why an electrical charge would be deployed at someone dealing with a highly flammable liquid.
    “In Osceola County we have no tolerance for this type of behavior,” said Osceola Sheriff Marcos Lopez.    “We will identify you and catch you, even if you flee into another county.”
    The Attorneys have asked for a renewed investigation as the sheriff’s office has not released any additional information including body camera video.    On Tuesday, he underwent his sixth surgery since the fire.    Doctors say he still has a long road to recovery.    His lawyers state that he has been fighting for his life for the past 80 days with third-degree burns over 75-percent of his body.
    “We’re calling today for FDLE to take this case over or to have the U.S. Justice Department take this case over,” declared the NeJame Law Group.    “There’s too much going on, too many questions that need to be asked.”
    Jean Baretto still has not been arrested or charged with any crime.

5/19/2022 Oil up $2.81 to $112.00, DOW down 237 to 31,253.

5/20/2022 LMPD: More than 8 kilos of fentanyl seized in storage unit by Krista Johnson, Louisville Courier Journal USA TODAY NETWORK
More than 8 kilos of fentanyl were seized March 16 after a joint investigation
by Louisville Metro Police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. LMPD
    A Louisville storage unit has been emptied of a massive amount of deadly drugs, according to a Louisville Metro Police Facebook post Tuesday.
    A long-term joint investigation by LMPD and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration led officials to the storage unit Monday, which contained 8.5 kilos of suspected fentanyl and between 20,000 and 30,000 suspected pressed fentanyl pills, the post stated.
    Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that is prescribed for the treatment of severe pain, but has a high risk for addiction and dependence.
    The rate of overdose deaths in Jefferson County — many attributed to fentanyl — increased nearly 60% from 2019 to 2020, jumping from 379 to 603.
    In 2021 the coroner’s office handled 508 confirmed overdoses, plus another 85 potential overdoses that are still being processed.
    'While the investigation does remain ongoing, this serves as a reminder that the diligent work of officers saves lives every day,' LMPD’s post says.
    No other details, such as arrests or the location of the find, were released by police.

5/20/2022 War, inflation worry G-7 officials - Yellen promises more aid for Ukraine from allies by Fatima Hussein and Frank Jordans, ASSOCIATED PRESS
German Finance Minister Christian Lindner, right, welcomes U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen,
left, for a G7 ministers meeting in Germany on Thursday. FEDERICO GAMBARINI/DPA VIA AP
    KOENIGSWINTER, Germany – Finance ministers for the Group of Seven leading economies grappled Thursday with deepening inflation concerns and the immediate effects of Russia’s war in Ukraine, with U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen promising that the allies would put together enough additional aid to help Ukraine “get through this.”
    “All of us pledged to do what’s necessary to fill the gap,” Yellen said as the ministers finished their first of two days of talks.    Although she did not have a final number for the expected aid package, Yellen said: “The message was that we stand behind Ukraine.    We’re going to put together the resources that they need.”
    Yellen warned, though, that it all adds up to a “very difficult economic situation,” with ongoing sanctions against Russia that could generate some blowback for the U.S. and its allies, causing higher inflation worldwide.    The risk of high inflation is that it could lead to slower growth and a broader downturn – a sign that the events kickstarted by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine could have repercussions far beyond the front lines of the fighting.
    Yellen took note of “not only supply shocks that we’ve had, but with the war continuing and with sanctions continuing to be applied, we may face more inflationary risks to the global economy.”
    She added that finance leaders of leading economies are not planning to adjust the inflation targets that central bankers use as a guide when they adjust monetary policy to achieve a specific set rate of inflation.
    Beyond high inflation, the finance ministers meeting in Koenigswinter, Germany, are confronting a refugee crisis, food insecurity exacerbated by the war, climate change and the ramifications of a multiyear pandemic.
    German Finance Minister Christian Lindner, the meeting’s host, told reporters ahead of the meeting that Ukraine will likely need “a number of double-digit billion euros” over the coming months.
    Later in the day, Lindner said the finance ministers and central bank chiefs heard a virtual address by Ukraine’s finance minister, Serhiy Marchenko, and prime minister, Denys Shmyhal, who participated by video link.    After the meeting Shmyhal tweeted, “Despite Russia’s efforts to destroy our economy, together we will win!
    Lindner told reporters, “We are currently collecting the various pledges for direct liquidity help.”    He said Germany pledged 1 billion euros in grants and expected “further progress” during the meeting.
    As the finance ministers were meeting in Germany, the U.S. overwhelmingly approved its own $40 billion infusion of military and economic aid for Ukraine and its allies.
    The finance officials were also discussing other topics, such as soaring consumer prices.
    Yellen said that nations were “losing some factors” that played a deflationary role, adding, “We might be moving into a world where goods prices generally fall less quickly than they have historically.”
    Linder, for his part, said: “Clear decisions are necessary in order not to let inflation become a long-term detrimental phenomenon, and so that we succeed in overcoming it very quickly.”
    Food insecurity also has been a major topic even before the meeting began.    The U.S., several global development banks and other groups rolled out a multibillion-dollar plan Wednesday to address the danger facing an increasingly fragile world economy.
    Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has produced a sharp increase in food and energy prices that is contributing to a slowdown in growth and threatening global stagflation – when inflation and unemployment are high and economic output is low.
    The two countries are huge exporters of wheat, barley and sunflower oil, with interrupted food and fertilizer supplies raising already high prices and threatening food insecurity in Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia.
    Yellen said Wednesday that “the economic outlook globally is challenging and uncertain” and that “higher food and energy prices are having stagflationary effects, namely depressing output and spending and raising inflation all around the world.”
    Finance ministers also talked about efforts to get China to ease debt pressure on poor countries it has loaned money to.
    “The situation of the low-income states poses a risk for global food security and the stability of the international financial system,” Lindner said.
    “I remind China of its responsibility for this security situation,” he added.    “We need more transparency when it comes to global debt issues and for sure, this is a topic of this meeting too.”

5/20/2022 The Truth About Energy & Climate With Frank Lasee by OAN NEWSROOM

5/20/2022 FBI Whistleblower With Wayne Allyn Root by OAN Newsroom
    Wayne Allyn Root, host of the Wayne Allyn Root Show, gives The Real Story on an FBI agent speaking out against what he says are the agency’s political biases.

5/20/2022 Oil down $1.53 to $110.47, DOW up 1 to 31,255.

5/21/2022 Poll: Biden’s approval at lowest of presidency - Only 2 in 10 adults say US heading in right direction by Nicholas Riccardi, ASSOCIATED PRESS
A poll this month says only 39% of U.S. adults approve of President Joe Biden’s
performance. That represents a drop from April. SUSAN WALSH/AP FILE
    President Joe Biden’s approval rating dipped to the lowest point of his presidency in May, a new poll shows, with deepening pessimism emerging among members of his own Democratic Party.
    Only 39% of U.S. adults approve of Biden’s performance as president, according to the poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Research, dipping from already negative ratings a month earlier.
    Overall, only about 2 in 10 adults say the U.S. is heading in the right direction or the economy is good, both down from about 3 in 10 a month earlier.    Those drops were concentrated among Democrats, with just 33% within the president’s party saying the country is headed in the right direction, down from 49% in April.
    Of concern for Biden ahead of the midterm elections, his approval among Democrats stands at 73%, a substantial drop since earlier in his presidency.    In AP-NORC polls conducted in 2021, Biden’s approval rating among Democrats never dropped below 82%.
    The findings reflect a widespread sense of exasperation in a country facing challenges ranging from inflation, gun violence and a sudden shortage of baby formula to a persistent pandemic.
    Republicans have not been warm to Biden for a while.    Fewer than 1 in 10 approve of the president or his handling of the economy, but that’s no different from last month.
    Overall, two-thirds of Americans disapprove of Biden’s handling of the economy.    That rating is largely unchanged over the last few months.
    But there are signs that the dissatisfaction with Biden on the economy has deepened.    Just 18% of Americans say Biden’s policies have done more to help than hurt the economy, down slightly from 24% in March.    Fifty-one percent say they’ve done more to hurt than help, while 30% say they haven’t made much difference either way.
    The percentage of Democrats who say Biden’s policies have done more to help dipped from 45% to 37%, though just 18% say they’ve done more to hurt; 44% say they’ve made no difference.
    Only 38% back Biden on immigration. Manuel Morales, a Democrat and internet service technician in Moline, Illinois, is disappointed at the scenes of migrants continuing to cross the southern border.    Though he himself is a Mexican immigrant,     Morales thinks the U.S. needs to more stringently control its border to have a hope of legalizing deserving migrants who are in the country illegally.
    Overall, 45% of Americans approve of Biden’s handling of the U.S. relationship with Russia, while 54% disapprove.    That has held steady each month since the war in Ukraine began.    Seventy-three percent of Democrats and 15% of Republicans approve.
    The new poll shows just 21% of Americans say they have “a great deal of confidence” in Biden’s ability to handle the situation in Ukraine; 39% say they have some confidence, and 39% say they have hardly any.
    The AP-NORC poll of 1,172 adults was conducted May 12-16 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probabilitybased AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population.    The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.0 percentage points.

5/21/2022 G7 plan to aid with future pandemics by ASSOCIATED PRESS
    BERLIN – The Group of Seven wealthy democracies announced plans Friday to strengthen epidemiological early warning systems to detect infectious diseases with pandemic potential following the emergence of COVID-19 more than two years ago.
    Germany’s health minister, who hosted a two-day meeting of his G-7 counterparts in Berlin this week, said an existing World Health Organization office in Berlin would be used to gather and analyze data more quickly.
    Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said the G-7 also wants to increase compulsory contributions to WHO by 50% in the long term to ensure the U.N. agency can fulfill its leadership role.
    The ministers who met in the German capital separately agreed to provide more support for developing new antibiotics that could be used to treat people infected with resistant strains of bacteria, which kill millions of patients each year.
    Lauterbach said the G-7 also agreed to better protect the global population from the health impacts of global warming, including by making adaptation to climate change part of medical training.

5/21/2022 European nations, streaming service delete extremist audio
    BERLIN – The European Union’s law enforcement agency said Friday that authorities in six countries have worked with music streaming service Sound-Cloud to detect and delete hundreds of files containing extremist propaganda.    Law enforcement authorities “detected and assisted the company to scour illegally uploaded jihadist, right wing terrorist and violent extremist propaganda,” Europol said in a statement.    Around 1,100 profiles and audio files deemed to be illegal were flagged to SoundCloud, which deleted the reported files.

5/21/2022 G7 countries to give $19.8B in aid to Ukraine by Fatima Hussein and Geir Moulson, ASSOCIATED PRESS
German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said $9.5 billion of the total amount was mobilized at meetings
of the G-7 finance ministers in Koenigswinter, Germany, this week. Ina Fassbender/AFP via Getty Images
    KOENIGSWINTER, Germany – The Group of Seven leading economies agreed Friday to provide $19.8billion in economic aid to Ukraine to help keep tight finances from hindering its ability to defend itself from Russia’s invasion.
    German Finance Minister Christian Lindner told reporters that $9.5billion of the total amount was mobilized at meetings of the G-7 finance ministers in Koenigswinter, Germany, this week.
    'We agreed that Ukraine’s financial situation must have no influence on Ukraine’s ability to defend itself successfully,' he said.    'We need to do our utmost to end this war.'
    The money is intended to help the Ukrainian government keep basic services for its people functioning, and is separate from efforts to provide the country with weapons and humanitarian aid.
    The needs are vast.
    Kristalina Georgieva, the International Monetary Fund’s managing director, last month said Ukraine’s financial ministry had estimated the country will need $5billion in international assistance per month to help cover essential government services and keep the country’s economy going.
    Russia’s invasion touched on almost every topic of the finance ministers’ meetings this week, from the need to reduce reliance on Russian energy to reforming relationships between countries to maintain economic stability.
    'Russia’s war of aggression is causing global economic disruptions, impacting the security of global energy supply, food production and exports of food and agricultural commodities, as well as the functioning of global supply chains in general,' the G-7’s communique stated.
    U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and other leaders spoke this week about the need for allies to put together enough additional aid to help Ukraine 'get through' the Russian invasion.
    The International Monetary Fund’s latest world economic outlook says Ukraine’s economy is projected to shrink by 35% this year and next.
    The finance ministers of the G-7 – which includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the U.S. – also have grappled with deepening inflation, food security concerns and other economic issues during their talks.    A communique marking the end of their meetings addressed commitments to addressing debt distress in low-income countries, trying to ease the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and staving off inflation rates 'that have reached levels not seen for decades.'
    As the finance ministers were meeting in Germany, the U.S. overwhelmingly approved its own $40 billion infusion of military and economic aid for Ukraine and its allies.    A portion of that U.S. funding is included in the G-7 package for Ukraine.
    The United Kingdom committed $50 million toward Ukraine from the London-based European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, Treasury chief Rishi Sunak said.
    This week was a rally for funds to Ukraine and those affected by the war.    Treasury and global development banks announced they would spend tens of billions to work 'swiftly to bring to bear their financing, policy engagement, technical assistance' to prevent starvation prompted by the war, rising food costs and climate damage to crops.

5/21/2022 Judge keeps pandemic asylum border restrictions by Kevin McGill and Elliot Spagat, ASSOCIATED PRESS
An immigrant mother from Colombia embraces her daughter and husband after traveling for
20 days and crossing the U.S.-Mexico border barrier in Yuma, Ariz. MARIO TAMA/GETTY IMAGES
    NEW ORLEANS – Pandemic-related restrictions on migrants seeking asylum on the southern border must continue, a judge ruled Friday in an order blocking the Biden administration’s plan to lift them early next week.
    The ruling was just the latest instance of a court derailing the president’s proposed immigration policies along the U.S. border with Mexico.
    The Justice Department said the administration will appeal, but the ruling sharply increases the odds that restrictions will not end as planned on Monday.    A delay would be a blow to advocates who say rights to seek asylum are being trampled, and a relief to some Democrats who fear that a widely anticipated increase in illegal crossings would put them on the defensive in an already difficult midterm election year.
    In Tijuana, Mexico, Yesivet Evangelina Aguilar, 34, cupped her face in her hands and sobbed when she learned of the decision from an Associated Press reporter.    “I feel like there is no hope left,” said Aguilar, who fled the Mexican state of Guerrero nearly a year ago after her brother was killed.    “It feels so bad.”
    Aguilar was blocked by U.S. authorities from applying for asylum when she and her 10-year-old daughter went to the Tijuana-San Diego port of entry nine months ago.    On Friday, she was lying in a tent at Agape Mision Mundial, where scores of migrants are camped.    Some have been there for months or years.    On Thursday, a fellow migrant was shot in the neck by a stray bullet from a shootout outside the shelter.
    Migrants have been expelled more than 1.9 million times since March 2020 under Title 42, a public health provision that denies them a chance to request asylum under U.S. law and international treaty on grounds of preventing the spread of COVID-19.
    U.S. District Judge Robert Summerhays in Lafayette, Louisiana, ordered that the restrictions stay in place while a lawsuit led by Arizona and Louisiana – and now joined by 22 other states – plays out in court.
    Summerhays sided with the states in ruling that President Joe Biden’s administration failed to follow administrative procedures requiring public notice and time to gather public comment on the plan to end restrictions.    e said the states made the case that they would suffer harm if the restrictions end.
    The judge cited what he said were the government’s own predictions that ending the restrictions would likely increase border crossings threefold, to as many as 18,000 daily.    That, he added, would result in more migrants being processed in congregate settings where contagious disease can be spread.    “The record also includes evidence supporting the Plaintiff States’ position that such an increase in border crossings will increase their costs for healthcare reimbursements and education services.    These costs are not recoverable,” Summerhays wrote.    The Justice Department said Friday that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had legally exercised its authority in moving to end the pandemic restriction.
    Many who crossed the border Friday at Eagle Pass, Texas, knew little or nothing about the issue.    Many were from Cuba, Colombia, Nicaragua and Venezuela – nationalities that have mostly been spared from the asylum ban because high costs, strained diplomatic relations or other considerations make it difficult for the U.S. to fly them home.
    Title 42 has largely affected people from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, many of whom have been waiting in Mexican border towns after being denied the right to seek asylum by the U.S. government.    Mexico has agreed to accept migrants from those three Central American countries who were turned back by the U.S. and last month also started taking in limited numbers of Cubans and Nicaraguans who have been turned away by U.S. authorities.
    Summer hays, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, had already ruled in favor of the states by halting efforts to wind down use of the pandemic era rule.    He said last month that a phaseout would saddle states with “unrecoverable costs on healthcare, law enforcement, detention, education, and other services.”
    Title 42 is the second major Trump era policy to deter asylum at the Mexican border that was jettisoned by Biden, only to be revived by a Trump-appointed judge.
    Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on whether to allow the administration to force asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for hearings in U.S. immigration court.    That case, challenging a policy known as “Remain in Mexico,” originated in Amarillo, Texas.    It was reinstated in December on the judge’s order and remains in effect while the litigation plays out.

5/21/2022 Hyundai announces $5.5B electric vehicle plant in Georgia by Russ Bynum, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    ELLABELL, Ga. – Hyundai Motor Group confirmed Friday the company will spend $5.5 billion on a huge electric vehicle plant near Savannah that will employ thousands – a deal Georgia’s governor called the largest economic development project in the state’s history.
    Hyundai Motor Group CEO Jaehoon Chang made the announcement with Gov. Brian Kemp at the site of the future factory in Bryan County, where state and local officials purchased a flat, sprawling tract for $61 million last year in hopes of luring a major manufacturer.    “Hard-working Georgians are going to have the opportunity to have a really high-paying, advanced manufacturing job with a great company,” Kemp said.
    Hyundai said it will employ at least 8,100 workers at the plant near the unincorporated town of Ellabell.    It will be Hyundai’s first U.S. plant dedicated to assembling electric vehicles and will also produce vehicle batteries.
    “This new, high-tech EV plant represents the future of our business,” Chang told more than 100 people sipping champagne under a tent pitched at the site on a dusty field of cleared dirt.
    Hyundai Motors said it plans to start construction early next year and in 2025 begin producing up to 300,000 vehicles per year.    The company didn’t say which vehicle models the Georgia plant will make.
    In a video shown at the Georgia announcement, Hyundai Motors Chairman Euisun Chung said it will produce “a wide range of exciting, innovative EVs for our American customers.”
    The company and state officials said they expect suppliers to invest an additional $1 billion in the area.
    “It’s going to continue to bring wealth and opportunity to the region,” said Kemp, who predicted a ripple effect that will boost businesses from Savannah’s already booming seaport to restaurants and convenience stores.
    The timing was fortunate for Kemp, who is being challenged by former U.S. Sen. David Perdue in a GOP primary election that will be decided Tuesday.
    It’s the second huge electric vehicle plant announced in Georgia in less than a year.    Rivian Automotive announced in December plans for a $5 billion electric truck plant east of Atlanta that’s expected to employ about 7,500 workers.
    “It’s going to continue to bring wealth and opportunity to the region.” Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp

5/21/2022 No Oil or DOW info.

5/22/2022 With COVID funds low, US sees rationing risk - White House faces tough decisions if Congress doesn’t OK more money by Zeke Miller, ASSOCIATED PRESS
The White House is planning for what it calls “dire” contingencies that could include rationing supplies of vaccines
and treatments this fall if Congress doesn’t approve more money for fighting COVID-19. JOHN MINCHILLO/AP FILE
    WASHINGTON – The White House is planning for “dire” contingencies that could include rationing supplies of vaccines and treatments this fall if Congress doesn’t approve more money for fighting COVID-19.
    In public comments and private meetings on Capitol Hill, Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House coronavirus coordinator, has painted a dark picture in which the U.S. could be forced to cede many of the advances made against the coronavirus over the last two years and even the most vulnerable could face supply shortages.
    Biden administration officials have been warning for weeks that the country has spent nearly all the money in the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that was dedicated directly to COVID-19 response.
    A small pool of money remains, and the administration faces critical decisions about how to spend it.    That means tough decisions, like weighing whether to use it to secure the next generation of vaccines to protect the highest risk populations or giving priority to a supply of highly effective therapies that dramatically reduce the risks of severe illness and death.
    That decision may be made this week, according to the administration, as the White House faces imminent deadlines to begin placing orders for vaccines and treatments.
    Jha has warned that without more money, vaccines will be harder to come by, tests will once again be scarce and therapeutics that are helping the country weather the current omicron driven surge in cases without a commensurate increase in deaths could be sold overseas before Americans can access them.
    “I think we would see a lot of unnecessary loss of life if that were to happen,” Jha said last week.    “But we’re looking at all the scenarios and planning for all of them.”
    He said the administration was “getting much more into the scenario-planning business to make sure that we know what may be ahead of us so we can plan for it and obviously also lay those out in front of Congress.”
    “The scenarios that we’re planning for are for things like what if Congress gives us no money and we don’t have adequate vaccines,” Jha told The AP in a May 12 interview.    “We run out of therapies.    We don’t have enough tests.    What might things look like?    Obviously, that’s a pretty dire situation.”
    Drug manufacturers and the Food and Drug Administration, meanwhile, are working on evaluating the next generation of vaccines, potentially including ones that are targeted at the dominant omicron strain.    But getting them ready before the predicted case surge in the fall means placing orders now, since they take two to three months to produce.
    A congressional deal for a slimmed down COVID-19 response package of about $10 billion fell apart in March over the Biden administration’s plans to lift virus-related restrictions on migration at U.S. borders.    But a federal judge on Friday put that plan on hold, just days before it was to take effect on Monday.

5/22/2022 First formula flights arriving this weekend by Zeke Miller, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – The first flights of infant formula from Europe, authorized by President Joe Biden to relieve a deepening U.S. shortage, will arrive in Indiana aboard military aircraft this weekend, the White House said Friday.
    The White House says 132 pallets of Nestlé Health Science Alfamino Infant and Alfamino Junior formula will leave Ramstein Air Base in Germany and arrive in the U.S. this weekend.    Another 114 pallets of Gerber Good Start Extensive HA formula are expected to arrive in the coming days.    Altogether about 1.5 million 8-ounce bottles of the three formulas, which are hypoallergenic for children with cow’s milk protein allergy, also will arrive.
    The Biden administration has dubbed the effort “Operation Fly Formula,” as it struggles to address nationwide shortages of formula, particularly hypoallergenic varieties, after the closure of the country’s largest domestic manufacturing plant in February due to safety issues.
    The Food and Drug Administration last week eased importation requirements for baby formula to try to ease the supply crunch.

5/22/2022 US general: Technology will transform war - Learning to adapt critical, Milley says by Lolita C. Baldor, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – The top U.S. military officer challenged the next generation of Army soldiers on Saturday to prepare America’s military to fight future wars that may look little like the wars of today.
    Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, painted a grim picture of a world that is becoming more unstable, with great powers intent on changing the global order.    He told graduating cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point that they will bear the responsibility to make sure America is ready.
    “The world you are being commissioned into has the potential for significant international conflict between great powers.    And that potential is increasing, not decreasing,” Milley told the cadets.    “Whatever overmatch we, the United States, enjoyed militarily for the last 70 years is closing quickly, and the United States will be, in fact, we already are challenged in every domain of warfare, space, cyber, maritime, air, and of course land.”
    America, he said, is no longer the unchallenged global power.    Instead, it is being tested in Europe by Russian aggression, in Asia by China’s dramatic economic and military growth as well as North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, and in the Middle East and Africa by instability from terrorists.
    Drawing a parallel with what military officials are seeing in Russia’s war on Ukraine, Milley said future warfare will be highly complex, with elusive enemies and urban warfare that requires long-range precision weapons, and new advanced technologies.
    The U.S. has already been rushing new, high-tech drones and other weapons to the Ukrainian military – in some cases equipment that was in the early prototype phases.    Weapons such as the shoulder-launched kamikaze Switchblade drones are being used against the Russians, even as they are still evolving.
    And as the war in Ukraine has shifted – from Russia’s unsuccessful battle to take Kyiv to a gritty urban battle for towns in the eastern Donbas region – so has the need for different weapons.    Early weeks focused on long-range precision weapons such as Stinger and Javelin missiles, but now it is on artillery, and increased shipments of howitzers.
    And over the next 25 to 30 years, the fundamental character of war and its weapons will continue to change.
    The U.S. military, Milley said, can’t cling to concepts and weapons of old, but must urgently modernize and develop the force and equipment that can deter or, if needed, win in a global conflict.    And the graduating officers, he said, will have to change the way U.S. forces think, train and fight.
    As the Army’s leaders of tomorrow, Milley said, the newly minted 2nd lieutenants will fight with robotic tanks, ships and airplanes, and relying on artificial intelligence, synthetic fuels, 3-D manufacturing and human engineering.

5/22/2022 No Oil or DOW info.

5/23/2022 WHO chief: COVID pandemic ‘not over’ by ASSOCIATED PRESS
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tells the 75th World Health Assembly on Sunday that the
coronavirus pandemic is 'not over anywhere until it’s over everywhere.' JEAN-GUY PYTHON/AFP via Getty Images
    BERLIN – The COVID-19 pandemic is 'most certainly not over,' the head of the World Health Organization warned Sunday, despite a decline in reported cases since the peak of the omicron wave.    He told governments that 'we lower our guard at our peril.'     In a weekly report Thursday on the global situation, WHO said the number of new COVID-19 cases appears to have stabilized after weeks of decline since late March, while the overall number of weekly deaths dropped.
    While there has been progress, with 60% of the world’s population vaccinated, 'it’s not over anywhere until it’s over everywhere,' Tedros said.
    'Reported cases are increasing in almost 70 countries in all regions, and this in a world in which testing rates have plummeted,' he added.
    Reported deaths are rising in Africa, the continent with the lowest vaccination coverage, he said, and only 57 countries – almost all of them wealthy – have vaccinated 70% of their people.
    While the world’s vaccine supply has improved, there is 'insufficient political commitment to roll out vaccines' in some countries, there are gaps in 'operational or financial capacity' in others, he said.
    'In all, we see vaccine hesitancy driven by misinformation and disinformation,' Tedros said.    'The pandemic will not magically disappear, but we can end it.'
    Tedros is expected to be appointed for a second five-year term this week at the World Health Assembly, the annual meeting of the WHO’s member countries.

5/23/2022 US racial shift not proof of conspiracy - Extremism trackers warn of ‘replacement theory’ by Will Carless, USA TODAY
Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, who hosts one of the highest-rated shows in prime-time TV, made repeated claims about
replacement in recent months, according to the Anti-Defamation League. RICHARD DREW/AP; USA TODAY NETWORK DESIGN TREATMENT
    A racist mass shooting that left 10 people dead in Buffalo, New York, put national attention on a concept that has alarmed experts in extremism for years: “replacement theory” or the “Great Replacement.”
    The attack targeted Black people, and the man charged in the shootings purportedly wrote a hate-filled document nearly 200 pages long, as well as hundreds of pages of a diary posted online before the shooting, that cited the conspiracy theory extensively.
    Authorities worked to definitively link that file to the suspect. Before and since the attack, political commentators have sparred over what exactly replacement theory is.    They debate whether the concept that matured on extremist websites and chat rooms is really the same as the talking points used by mainstream conservative pundits and politicians.
    There’s widespread consensus among demographers that the racial and ethnic makeup of the American electorate is changing.
    Legal and illegal immigration, combined with generally higher birthrates among nonwhite U.S. residents, mean that the country is shifting toward an electorate that is majority nonwhite.    Demographers at the Brookings Institution used census data to estimate that whites will become less than 50% of the U.S. population around 2045.
    Whites will still be the largest single racial group, but they will be outnumbered by nonwhite voters, according to census predictions.
    The ingredient that transforms a statistical phenomenon into a fallacious conspiracy theory is the assertion that these demographic changes are orchestrated – specifically for political gain.
    According to replacement theory, the changing racial makeup of the country is not a natural or organic process but an organized effort by a powerful and shadowy group.
    For many pushers of this theory, that shadowy group is the Democratic Party and other liberals, assisted by an imagined Jewish cabal, said Marilyn Mayo, a senior research fellow at the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism.
    “Instead of saying that nonwhites are coming here and replacing white people, the language that is used is ‘We’re having an invasion over the border’ and that this liberal administration and Democrats are letting in these immigrants from Third World countries with the purpose of changing the demographics of this country,” Mayo said.
    In the months before the Buffalo shooting, high-profile figures reiterated this allegation.
Who promotes theory?
    Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, who hosts one of the highest-rated shows in prime-time TV, made repeated claims about replacement in recent months, according to the Anti-Defamation League.    Border Patrol union President Brandon Judd pushed the theory during a TV appearance on Fox.
    Neither they, nor provocateur Ann Coulter or others, have offered any evidence that an organized effort is underway to change the American electorate.
    Nor was evidence found on white supremacist websites, forums and chat rooms where replacement theory rubs shoulders with other pseudoscience and disproven racist and hateful tropes that haven’t been embraced by mainstream conservative pundits.
    The racist extremists who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, chanting, “Jews will not replace us,” a motto of the replacement theory crowd, offered no proof for their claims that they are being systematically replaced.
Would one political side benefit?
    There’s a lot of discussion about how significant demographic change is in political terms.    Experts have long debated the idea that people of color are more likely to vote for left-leaning political candidates.
Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, and other members of the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus condemned
the rise in “replacement theory” rhetoric Thursday. ANNA MONEYMAKER/GETTY IMAGES

5/23/2022 Trump Remains Kingmaker In GOP by OAN NEWSROOM
FILE – Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the Delaware County
Fairgrounds, April 23, 2022, in Delaware, Ohio. (AP Photo/Joe Maiorana, File)
    Former President Donald Trump still holds an immense sway over who will lead the Republican Party in several down ballot races.    According to numbers crunched by Breitbart News Sunday, Trump is 81-and-three in picking the winner of GOP primaries heading into Tuesday’s batch of elections.
    This includes 23 wins and two losses garnered in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Kentucky and Idaho last week. Georgia lawyer and candidate for the states sixth congressional district Jake Evans (R-Ga.) touted how the so-called “trump bump” influenced his candidacy.
    “We are surging and have continued to be surging really for the past month,” said Evans.    “Trumps endorsement catapulted us forward and he has really pushed us on a strong trajectory, we feel great about it.    The reality is voters want to get back to the America first agenda.    They wanna get back to the agenda that delivered four of the best years we’ve had in a very long time.”
    Trump has orchestrated key wins in battleground elections including in Ohio’s senate race to replace outgoing Republican Senator Rob Portman.    Trump-endorsed JD Vance (R-Ohio) won the GOP primary against Josh Mandel (R-Ohio) who was backed by other establishment Republicans.
    Additionally, the former president oversaw a huge victory for the America First movement in Pennsylvania when Doug Mastriano (R-Pa.) won the states GOP gubernatorial primary.    Other major victories for him include Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Bo Hines (R-N.C.) and Andy Barr (R-Ky.).
    “We’ve got to get back to putting American’s first,” declared Evans.    “The liberals seem to be more focused on Ukraine over in Europe than they are actually here at home domestically making sure that we can actually feed our babies.    We need to make sure American manufacturing returns back to America.”
    In the meantime, there are several key primaries that could set the course of the general election coming up. the jury’s still out over who won the GOP senate primary in Pennsylvania.    The election results were too close to call.

5/23/2022 Varney: Hillary Clinton 'personally approved' the Russia hoax by Fox Business
    In his latest "My Take," Monday, "Varney & Co," host Stuart Varney argued former U.S. Secretary of State and 2016 Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's "disinformation campaign" distracted the country for years — but now, he said, the truth has finally come out.
    STUART VARNEY: It took six years, but now we know the truth about the Russia hoax.
    It was a hoax.    And as the Wall Street Journal says, "Hillary did it."
    Don't be confused with all the names, and who said what to who.    Enough with the evasions.
    The truth came out in Federal court Friday: Hillary Clinton personally approved the plan to spread the totally fake news of the Trump/Russia/Alpha Bank collusion.    The campaign knew it was fake.    But they slimed Trump anyway because they hated him.    And so did the media.    To this day, the media runs full tilt with anything that can be construed as negative for Trump.

5/23/2022 THE CLINTONS - Hillary Clinton approved dissemination of Trump-Russian bank allegations to media, campaign manager testifies - Clinton's former campaign manager said he took the idea of leaking Trump-Russia allegations to multiple senior campaign officials
By Brooke Singman , Jake Gibson, David Spunt | Fox News
    Clinton approved dissemination of Trump-Russia allegations to media:
    Witness Fox News' David Spunt provides updates on the trial of Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann as a result of John Durham's investigation.
    WASHINGTON — Former Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook testified Friday that then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton approved the dissemination of materials alleging a covert communications channel between the Trump Organization and Russia’s Alfa Bank to the media, despite campaign officials not being "totally confident" in the legitimacy of the data.
    Former FBI General Counsel James Baker testified Thursday that the bureau investigated the data alleging a Trump connection to the Kremlin-linked bank, and found that "there was nothing there."
    Mook was called to the stand for testimony by Michael Sussmann’s defense Friday.
    During cross-examination by government prosecutor Andrew DeFillippis Friday, Mook was asked about the campaign’s understanding of the Alfa Bank allegations against Trump and whether they planned to release the data to the media.
    Mook said he was first briefed about the Alfa Bank issue by campaign general counsel Marc Elias, who at the time was a partner at law firm Perkins Coie.
    Mook testified that he was told that the data had come from "people that had expertise in this sort of matter."
    Mook said the campaign was not totally confident in the legitimacy of the data, but had hoped to give the information to a reporter who could further "run it down" to determine if it was "accurate" or "substantive."
Robby Mook, Campaign Manager for U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and Communications Director Jen Palmieri
(L), talk to reporters onboard the campaign plane enroute to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, U.S. October 28, 2016. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder)
    He also said he discussed whether to give the information to a reporter with senior campaign officials, including campaign chairman John Podesta, senior policy advisor, now White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, and communications director Jennifer Palmieri.
    "I discussed it with Hillary as well," Mook said.
    "I don’t remember the substance of the conversation, but notionally, the discussion was, hey, we have this and we want to share it with a reporter," Mook said.
    The government asked Mook if Clinton approved "the dissemination" of the data to the media.
"She agreed," Mook testified.
    Mook later said he "can't recall the exact sequence of events," when asked if he shared the idea to give the Trump-Alfa Bank allegations to the media with Clinton before or after the decision was made.
    "All I remember is that she agreed with the decision," Mook testified.
    Sussmann has been charged with making a false statement to the FBI when he told Baker in September 2016, less than two months before the presidential election, that he was not doing work "for any client" when he requested and attended a meeting in which he presented "purported data and ‘white papers’ that allegedly demonstrated a covert communicates channel" between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank, which has ties to the Kremlin.
Attorney Michael Sussmann departs the U.S. Federal Courthouse after opening arguments in his trial,
where Special Counsel John Durham is prosecuting Sussmann on charges that he lied to the FBI) while providing
information about later discredited allegations of communications between the 2016 presidential campaign of
former President Donald Trump and Russia, in Washington, May 17, 2022. (REUTERS/Julia Nikhinson)
    Durham’s team alleges Sussmann was, in fact, doing work for two clients: the Hillary Clinton campaign and a technology executive, Rodney Joffe.    Following the meeting with Baker, Sussmann billed the Hillary Clinton campaign for his work.
    Sussmann has pleaded not guilty to the charge.
    Mook, earlier in questioning from the defense, was asked whether he or anyone on the Clinton campaign approved or gave Sussmann permission to bring the allegations to the FBI, to which he said: "No."
    Later, the defense further questioned Mook, asking if Hillary Clinton herself approved Sussmann going to the FBI.
    "I'm not aware," Mook testified.
    When asked again, he said: "I don't know…I don't know why she would."
    The government, in its opening statement Tuesday, argued that Sussmann's delivery of the Trump-Alfa Bank allegations to the FBI was part of the Clinton campaign's plan to create an "October surprise" against then-candidate Donald Trump.
    The government moved to admit a tweet from Clinton dated Oct. 31, 2016 as evidence, despite U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper ruling last month that the court would exclude that tweet as hearsay.
    Cooper, Friday, granted the government’s motion to admit the Clinton tweet, which stated:
    "Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank."
    Clinton also shared a statement from Jake Sullivan, which stated: "This could be the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow.    Computer scientists have uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank."     Sullivan said the "secret hotline may be the key to unlocking the mystery of Trump’s ties to Russia."
    "This line of communication may help explain Trump’s bizarre adoration of Vladimir Putin and endorsement of so many pro-Kremlin positions throughout this campaign," Sullivan's 2016 statement continued.    "It raises even more troubling questions in light of Russia’s masterminding of hacking efforts that are clearly intended to hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign."
    Sullivan added that they "can only assume federal authorities will now explore this direct connection between Trump and Russia as part of their existing probe into Russia’s meddling in our elections."
    When asked for the definition of an "October surprise" Friday, Mook testified that it is "the idea that you have a devastating piece of opposition research and drop it on candidate so the candidate doesn't have time to respond or recover from it and, as a result, loses the election."
Hillary Clinton pauses while speaking in New York, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, where she conceded her
defeat to Republican Donald Trump after the hard-fought presidential election (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    When pressed to identify the date of the Clinton tweet for the jury, Mook stated: "Oct. 31, 2016."
    Mook defended the tweet saying: "I did not see it as some sort of silver bullet and I don't think that others on the campaign did either."
    As for the Trump-Alfa Bank allegations in general, Mook said: "We thought this was highly suspect and, if it was true, we wanted the American public to know about it for sure."
    Mook again called the data "certainly alarming and suspicious."
    Meanwhile, Baker testified Thursday that the FBI began an investigation into the Trump-Alfa Bank allegations, which lasted "several weeks, maybe a month, maybe a month and a half."
Hillary Clinton approved the dissemination of materials alleging a covert communications channel
between the Trump Organization and Russia’s Alfa Bank to the media, former campaign manager
Robby Mook testified. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images | Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images, File)
    "We concluded there was no substance," Baker testified.    "We couldn’t confirm it.    We could not confirm there was a surreptitious communications channel."
    Baker added: "There was nothing there."
    In testimony on Tuesday afternoon, FBI Special Agent Scott Hellman also said the data revealing the alleged covert communications channel between Trump and Russia that Sussmann brought to the FBI turned out to be untrue, and said he did not agree with the narrative.
    Hellman testified that whoever drafted the narrative describing the DNS data was "5150," and clarified on the stand that meant he believed the individual who came to the conclusions "was suffering from some mental disability."
    Mook’s testimony revealing Clinton approved the plan to share the Trump-Alfa Bank allegations with the media comes after Fox News first reported that the CIA, dating back to July 2016, had information of Clinton’s "approval of a plan" to tie Trump to Russia "as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server."
    Fox News obtained declassified notes from then-CIA Director John Brennan after briefing then-President Obama on July 28, 2016, memorializing Clinton’s purported "proposal from one of her foreign policy advisers to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service."
    The information was properly forwarded to the FBI in a Counterintelligence Operational Lead (CIOL), and to the attention of then-FBI Director James Comey and then-Deputy Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Peter Strzok on Sept. 9, 2016.
    "The following information is provided for the exclusive use of your bureau for background investigative action or lead purposes as appropriate," the 2016 CIA memo to Comey and Strzok stated.
    "Per FBI verbal request, CIA provides the below examples of information the CROSSFIRE HURRICANE fusion cell has gleaned to date," the memo continued.    "An exchange [REDACTED] discussing US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s approval of a plan concerning US presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian hackers hampering US elections as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server."
    The memo was heavily redacted.
    Fox News first reported that those materials were provided to the Justice Department by former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe in 2020 to support Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe.
    Brooke Singman is a Fox News Digital politics reporter.    You can reach her at or @BrookeSingman on Twitter.
Clinton campaign manager drops 'bombshell' exposing Clinton and media mob's years-long Russia hoax

5/23/2022 Oil down $0.13 to $110.37, DOW up 619 to 31,881.

5/24/2022 ELECTIONS - Trump’s shadow stretches into Georgia - His presence in primaries could even touch 2024 by Mabinty Quarshie, USA TODAY
Former President Donald Trump has backed David Perdue, right, who has been
trailing in polls, in Georgia’s GOP gubernatorial primary. EVAN VUCCI/AP
    WASHINGTON – Donald Trump will not be on the ballot during Georgia’s primary elections Tuesday.    But his presence will still be felt throughout the Peach State – no matter how the elections turn out.
    The former president has made it his mission to oust Republicans who did not embrace his false claims of election fraud from office, including Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger after they refused to overturn Georgia’s 2020 presidential election results.
    Yet David Perdue, the Trumpbacked former senator running in the GOP gubernatorial primary, lags behind Kemp in polling and fundraising.    And Republican Rep. Jody Hice, another Trump acolyte, and Raffensperger are virtually tied in recent polling by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
    But even if some of the candidates Trump supports lose their primary races, the former president has succeeded in pressuring several Republican candidates to defend the claim that he won the 2020 presidential election not just in Georgia but across the nation.    Trump’s influence in Georgia can be felt by how many candidates are not disavowing “the big lie” and the voters who continue to support Trump and the politicians loyal to Trump.
    And with only two years until the 2024 presidential election, having allies in Georgia could help Trump delegitimize election results if he does run for office again and loses.
    Trump has made an endorsement in at least seven Georgia primary races, including backing Herschel Walker, a former star football player, in the GOP Senate primary, state Sen. Burt Jones for lieutenant governor and John Gordon’s primary challenge against Attorney General Chris Carr.
    A Perdue loss and a possible runoff between Hice and Raffensperger will likely muddy the effectiveness of Trump’s endorsement just one week after mixed primary results in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Kentucky and Idaho.    Trump endorsees Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., and Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin lost their races.
    But Republicans said Trump’s popularity within Georgia and the GOP will not be diminished, irrespective of election results.    “Trump certainly is going to lose some of those races.    But still, if he has a winning record of over 65% to 70%, that’s a pretty good record,” said Alfonso Aguilar, president of the advocacy group Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles.
Trump’s endorsement has limits
    Trump’s support for a candidate can make a difference in a primary, but not always to the extent that played out in Ohio, when J.D. Vance rocketed to the top of the GOP Senate field after Trump backed him.
    University of Georgia professor Charles Bullock told USA TODAY Trump’s endorsement will most likely help down-ballot candidates than in the more high-profile races.
    His endorsement “really doesn’t make much of a difference in the governor’s race because Brian Kemp is well-known,” Bullock said.     Similarly, Emory University professor Andra Gillespie said Trump’s endorsement in the governor’s race may not be as effective in Georgia’s primaries.
    “There’s a reason why incumbents tend to do very well in primary elections,” Gillespie said.    “They have high name recognition. They have a record with that people are familiar with.”
    Kemp is ahead of Perdue by nearly 32 percentage points, according to a Fox News poll.
    Aguilar points out that Perdue faced an uphill climb regardless of Trump’s help.    The former senator lost his reelection bid in 2021, after Trump allies urged Georgians not to vote in the Jan. 5 runoff election because of baseless electoral fraud allegations.
    “You have a candidate, Perdue, that lost his reelection.    That affects your image.    You’re already a loser, and now you’re going to run against a governor that’s really successful,” he said.    “There are races that even if you’re endorsed by Trump, you’re not going to prevail.”
    But in lesser-known contests like the race for insurance commissioner, his influence matters more.    Trump supports Patrick Witt, an attorney who worked on Trump’s post-election legal team in Georgia, against incumbent John King, a Kemp appointee.
    “Sometimes the incumbent as well as the challenger are unknown,” Bullock added.    “Then if you’re told who the Trump endorsee is, it makes quite a bit of difference.”
    For example, a survey by UGA’s School of Public and International Affairs showed support for Hice in the secretary of state primary doubled from 30.3% to 60.3% when voters were told of Trump’s endorsement.
    Trump’s symbolic control of the GOP isn’t going away soon.    Gillespie expects there will be a runoff election between Hice and Raffensperger.
    As the chief elections officer, Raffensperger bore the direct brunt of Trump’s ire when he refused to find the 11,780 votes needed to overturn President Joe Biden’s Georgia win.    In retaliation, Trump recruited Hice to run for secretary of state.     “Trumpism is certainly a very potent force, and the narrative about election fraud and the ‘big lie’ certainly resonates among Georgia voters,” Gillespie said.
    But Raffensperger could still eke out a win in a runoff.
    “Yes, (Raffensperger) is more vulnerable compared to Kemp because he is the chief elections officer,” she said.    “But that doesn’t mean that you should count him out immediately.”
    Walker is the front-runner in the Republican Senate primary and is expected to win the contest Tuesday.    He would likely face Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in the fall.
‘They still listen to him’
    Trump’s fixation with the 2020 election continues to wreak havoc on the 2022 midterm season.    A sign of how much Trump is invested in the GOP gubernatorial primary: His Save America PAC gave $500,000 to a super PAC working to defeat Kemp.    It was his first financial foray into the midterms.
    The impact of Trump’s election claims came to an ugly head in a GOP gubernatorial primary debate last month in Georgia.
    Perdue falsely told Kemp, “The only reason I’m not in the United States Senate is because you caved in and gave the elections to Stacey (Abrams) and the liberal Democrats in 2020.”
    Perdue lost his Senate bid to Democrat Jon Ossoff during the runoff last year.    Several Republican strategists blamed the loss on Trump’s election fraud allegations, and a Washington Post analysis showed precincts that supported Trump were more likely to have low turnout.
    Abrams lost the 2018 gubernatorial bid to Kemp in a close election but organized get-out-the-vote projects that helped Democrats flip Georgia’s two Senate seats.
    Biden won the Peach State’s 16 electoral votes by 12,284 votes after a weeklong recount.    “Georgia’s historic first statewide audit reaffirmed that the state’s new secure paper ballot voting system accurately counted and reported results,” Raffensperger said in a statement at the time.
    In the weeks since the April debate, Trump’s own vice president, Mike Pence, has campaigned with Kemp, as has former Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey.    Sarah Palin, a pre-Trump firebrand and former GOP vice presidential nominee, is backing Perdue.
    If Perdue does lose to Kemp, Republicans said, Trump’s influence will continue to be felt.
    “He still has an influence, and I think his influence will last for a while.    Whether it’s a positive influence I don’t know,” said Brittany Ellison, founder and president of Peach State Approach, a political campaign firm in Georgia.
    “There are definitely Georgia voters who still want to know what Trump thinks, and they still listen to him.”
Democrats see an opening
    Democrats are capitalizing on the internal GOP battle to attack Republicans who support Trump’s election claims.
    Georgia state Rep. Bee Nguyen, a Democratic candidate for secretary of state, criticized Republicans and Trump allies for trying to install election deniers across the nation during a press call Friday.
    “This is about looking forward to 2024 and really taking their word and their plan seriously,” Nguyen said.    “And they have told us their plan is to install right-wing candidates who don’t believe in the legitimacy of the 2020 election.”
    Democrats also accuse Republicans of trying to restrict voting rights. “Next week in Georgia, we could see more extremists win GOP primaries. All of the Republican candidates support MAGA (Make America Great Again) voting restrictions and efforts to put barriers in the way of voters,” said Tiffany Muller, president of the political action committee End Citizens United and Let America Vote, during a press call.
    Kemp signed an election law last year that limits the availability of drop boxes and prohibits giving food or water to people standing in line to vote.    The law also bars election officials from mailing absentee ballot applications to voters who don’t request them and requires voters to provide identification when requesting an absentee ballot.
    Vyanti Joseph, organizing director of the progressive Georgia advocacy group the Asian American Advocacy Fund, said Democrats are seeing record turnout in early voting in Georgia because of the state’s marquee races.
    More than 565,000 people have early voted in the Peach State through May 19, a 189% increase the 2020 primary election and a 153% increase over the same point in the 2018 primary election, according to Raffensperger’s office.
    The Asian American Advocacy Fund and like-minded groups remain optimistic that Georgia’s swing state status will continue to tilt toward Democrats.
    “We are working to get candidates that represent our people,” Joseph said.    “And whatever happens in the GOP primary is not going to change what we do here.”
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, has been high on former President
Donald Trump’s target list after the 2020 election. JOHN BAZEMORE/AP

524/2022 Pentagon says more high-tech weapons heading to Ukraine - Some 20 nations sending new security packages by Lolita C. Baldor, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, left, and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley met with
defense leaders across the world to discuss sending more military aid to Ukraine. ALEX BRANDON/AP
    WASHINGTON – Nearly 50 defense leaders from around the world met Monday and agreed to send more advanced weapons to Ukraine, including a harpoon launcher and missiles to protect its coast, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters.
    And Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that “low level” discussion is underway on how the U.S. may need to adjust its training of Ukrainian forces and on whether some U.S. troops should be based in Ukraine.
    The U.S. withdrew its few troops in Ukraine before the war and has no plans to send in combat forces.
    Milley’s comments left open the possibility troops could return for embassy security or another non-combat role.
    The U.S. embassy in Kyiv has partially reopened and is staffing up again, and there have been questions about whether the U.S. will send a Marine security force back in to help protect the embassy or if other options should be considered.
    Asked if U.S. special operations forces may go into Ukraine, which officials have insisted they are not doing yet, Milley said that “i>any reintroduction of U.S. forces into Ukraine would require a presidential decision.    So we’re a ways away from anything like that.”
    Speaking to Pentagon reporters, Austin declined to say if the U.S. will send Ukraine high-tech mobile rocket launchers, which it has requested.    But Austin said that some 20 nations announced Monday that they will send new packages of security assistance to Ukraine, as its war with Russia reaches the three-month mark.
    In particular, he said that Denmark has agreed to send a harpoon launcher and missiles to Ukraine to help Ukraine defend its coast.    Russia has ships in the Black Sea and has used them to launch cruise missiles into Ukraine.    The Russian ships have also stopped all commercial ship traffic from entering Ukraine ports.
    “We’ve gained a sharper, shared sense of Ukraine’s priority requirements and the situation on the battlefield,” Austin told reporters at the close of the virtual meeting with the defense leaders. “Many countries are donating critically needed artillery ammunition, coastal defense systems and tanks and other armored vehicles. Others came forward with new commitments for training.”     The U.S. and other countries have been training Ukrainian forces in nearby European countries.
    Austin added that the Czech Republic recently donated attack helicopters, tanks and rockets, and that Italy, Greece, Norway and Poland announced new donations Monday of artillery systems and ammunition.
    “The nature of the fight, as you’ve heard us describe a number of times is … really shaped by artillery in this phase,” said Austin.    “And we’ve seen serious exchanges of artillery fires over the last several weeks.”
    Austin said that during the virtual meeting, Ukraine officials made clear their security needs.    And he said those are consistent with what has been identified in recent weeks – long-range artillery and rocket systems, armored personnel carriers and drones.
    Milley provided the greatest detail to date on the increased U.S. presence in Europe since Russia invaded in late February.
    Last fall, there were roughly 78,000 U.S. troops in the region, and that has gone up to 102,000 – including 24 surface ships, four submarines, 12 fighter jet squadrons, two combat aviation units, and six Army brigade combat teams, along with their division and corps leaderships.

5/24/2022 Man Accused Of Attacking Dave Chapelle Was Triggered By LGBTQ Joke by OAN NEWSROOM
In this Sept. 16, 2014, photo, a prisoner stands in an isolation cell
in the Dane County Jail in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
    The man accused of attacking Dave Chapelle admits he was triggered by the comedian’s jokes.    In an exclusive jailhouse interview with the New York Post, 23-year-old Isaiah Lee confirmed the reason he rushed on stage during a show at the Hollywood Bowl.
    Lee said he identifies as bi-sexual and felt Chapelle’s jokes about the LGBTQ community were too insensitive.    He claimed he intended to enjoy the show but instead grew increasingly angry.
    “I identify as bisexual,” said Isaiah Lee.    “I wanted him to know what he said was triggering.”
    The rapper who once wrote a song about Chapelle said he brought a replica handgun with a retractable knife that night because he is a “minor celebrity” and needed the protection.    Lee has remained behind bars since his May 3 arrest in connection with the alleged attack on the comedian with a judge refusing to lower his bail.
    “I wanted him to know that next time he should consider first running his material by people it could effect,” Lee voiced.    “I’m also a single dad and my son is five.    It’s a struggle and I wanted Dave Chappelle to know it’s not a joke.”
    Prosecutors decided that the Bowl incident did not rise to the level of a felony, noting that Chappelle was not injured in the attack and Lee did not have the weapon in his hand at the time.
    Lee has been ordered to remain at least 100 yards away from the comedian.

5/24/2022 78,000 Pounds Of Baby Formula Arrives To US by OAN NEWSROOM
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, left, speaks after an Air Force C-17 delivered a plane load of baby formula
at the Indianapolis International Airport in Indianapolis, Sunday, May 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
    The first shipment of Nestle baby formula from Europe arrived in Indianapolis on Sunday morning.    The flight contained 78-thousand pounds of formula.    This flight is just one of many from “operation fly formula.”
    President Joe Biden authorized the use of Air Force planes because no commercial flights were available.    The military planes carried enough specialty infant formula for more than half a million baby bottles.    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was in Indianapolis to greet the arrival of the first shipment.
    “The flights are intended to provide some incremental relief in the coming days as the government works on a more lasting response to the shortage,” said Brian Deese, director of the White House National Economic Council.
    Nestle said that over the past few months it has worked “around the clock” to address the formula shortage and help meet demand, they are doing everything they can to get parents and caregivers the formula they need so their children can thrive.
    “We have significantly increased the amount of our formulas available to consumers by ramping up production and accelerating general product availability to retailers and online,” the company stated in a release.    “As well as through hospitals and home health care for those most vulnerable.”
    132 pallets of Nestle Health Science Alfamino Infant and Alfamino Junior formula was to leave Ramstein Air Base in Germany for the U.S.    Another 114 pallets of Gerber Good Start Extensive HA formula are expected to arrive in the coming days.    Deese noted operations at Abbot Nutrition may not pick back up for a month, but they’re not going to wait.    The military flights will provide incremental relief in the coming days.
    According to the White House, formula from this shipment will be distributed to pharmacies and doctors.

5/24/2022 Jif Issues Voluntary Recall Of 50 Peanut Butter Products by OAN NEWSROOM
Albertsons Companies, in cooperation with The J. M. Smucker Co., voluntarily recalls select store-prepared
items containing peanut butter due to possible Salmonella contamination (Photo: Business Wire)
    Jif peanut butter products are being recalled over linked cases to Salmonella. The company issued a voluntary recall of 50-varities of it’s peanut butter, including creamy, natural, crunchy, reduced fat and several others.
    Salmonella can cause symptoms including fever, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.    Symptoms typically start to show between 12-to-72 hours.    Currently, 14 people have reported illnesses and two of those cases have resulted in hospitalizations, according to data provided by the CDC.
    “Five out of five people reported consuming peanut butter,” the FDA said.    “Four of the five people specifically reported consuming different varieties of Jif brand peanut butter prior to becoming ill.”     The bad batch was manufactured in Kentucky and the company said to look out for the jar’s seven-digit bar code ending in 425.
    According to the CDC, Salmonella can transfer onto other surfaces if there is contact with the contaminated food.    The agency recommends to wash any surfaces and utensils that made contact with the food with hot soapy water and then sanitize them.
    The FDA noted that the peanut butter has a two-year shelf life so consumers should check any Jif peanut butter already in their home.

5/24/2022 Gov. Ron Desantis Launches Hometown Heroes Program by OAN NEWSROOM
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference after announcing a $20 million dollar program
to create cybersecurity opportunities through the Florida Center for Cybersecurity
at the University of South Florida Wednesday, March 2, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)
    Florida Governor Ron Desantis (R-Fla.) launched his new Hometown Heroes initiative.    In a press conference on Monday, Desantis announced the new program which will help first responders, teachers and medical workers become homeowners.
    “What we’re going to be doing today is announcing we are launching a hometown heroes initiative in the state of Florida to help these folks achieve homeownership,” said Desantis.    “This is a hundred-million dollar program that will provide down payment and closing cost assistance to more than 50 different professions when buying their first home.”
    The program is administered by the Florida Housing and Finance Corporation.    It is geared to expanding on Florida’s existing housing programs to reach critical workers and those who have served our country.    Prior to this initiative, Desantis signed a bill offering a five-thousand dollar bonus for anyone who chooses to become a police officer.
    He says the program will be the most inclusive income eligibility program in the state and would allow applicants to take out a small mortgage loan.    The governor then went on to announce that a portion of the state’s budget will be dedicated to creating more affordable workforce housing.
    “So they come here, any of our folks that are already here, people come and get the five-thousand-dollar bonus,” he stated.    “Then your able to apply to be a home buyer.    Five-percent or up to 25-thousand dollars of mortgage loan amount, you can get support from.    This will be the highest most inclusive income eligibility of any of Florida’s housing down payment assistance programs that we’ve ever had.    We’re also going to be approving a total of 360-million in workforce housing in this year’s budget.”
    In order to qualify for this program homebuyers must connect with a participating loan officer, provide certification for one of the eligible occupations, have a minimum credit score of 640 and meet the income threshold for their county.
    The housing program is set to begin later this year in July, but eligible Florida citizens can submit an application one month in advance.

5/24/2022 Oil down $0.45 to $110.20, DOW up 49 to 31,930.

5/25/2022 Slumping technology stocks pull Wall Street lower
    Stocks on Wall Street gave up more ground Tuesday amid mounting worries that persistently high inflation will dim corporate profits.
    The S& P 500 fell 0.8%, while the Nasdaq dropped 2.3%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a 0.2% gain, thanks primarily to big gains for McDonald’s and UnitedHealth.
    Big technology and communications companies helped weigh down the broader market, though some of the selling eased by late afternoon.
    The S& P 500 fell 32.27 points to 3,941.48.    The Dow gained 48.38 points to 31,928.62, and the Nasdaq slid 270.83 points to 11,264.45.
    Smaller company stocks also fell.    The Russell 2000 dropped 27.94 points, or 1.6%, to 1,764.83.

5/25/2022 Pray for the lost, their families, and Uvalde’ - 19 CHILDREN DEAD IN TEXAS - Shooting at elementary deadliest since Newtown in 2012 by Eugene Garcia and Dario Lopez-Mills, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    UVALDE, Texas – An 18-year-old gunman opened fire Tuesday at a Texas elementary school, killing at least 19 children as he went from classroom to classroom, officials said, in the latest gruesome moment for a country scarred by a string of massacres.    The attacker was killed by law enforcement.
    The death toll also included three adults, according to state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, who said he had been briefed by state police.    But it was not immediately clear whether that number included the attacker, or how many people were wounded.
    The massacre at Robb Elementary School in the heavily Latino town of Uvalde was the deadliest shooting at a U.S. grade school since a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, almost a decade ago.
TOP: A woman cries as she leaves the Uvalde Civic Center, Tuesday, in Texas. An 18-year-old opened fire at an elementary
school, killing multiple children and adults and wounding others, Gov. Greg Abbott said. TEXAS SCHOOL SHOOTING Texas
    “My heart is broken today,” said Hal Harrell, the school district superintendent, announcing that all school activities were canceled until further notice.    “We’re a small community, and we’re going to need your prayers to get through this.”
    The attack also came just 10 days after a deadly, racist rampage at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket that added to a yearslong series of mass killings at churches, schools and stores.    And the prospects for any reform of the nation’s gun regulations seemed as dim as in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook deaths.
    Many of the injured were rushed to Uvalde Memorial Hospital, where staff members in scrubs and devastated victims’ relatives could be seen weeping as they walked out of the complex.
    The gunman, who was wearing body armor, crashed his car outside the school before going inside, Sgt. Erick Estrada of the Texas Department of Public Safety told CNN.
    He killed his grandmother before heading to the school with two military style rifles he had purchased on his birthday, Gutierrez said.
    “That was the first thing he did on his 18th birthday,” he said.
    Officials did not immediately reveal a motive, but the governor identified the assailant as Salvador Ramos and said he was a resident of the community about 85 miles west of San Antonio.
    Ramos had hinted on social media that an attack could be coming, Gutierrez said, noting that “he suggested the kids should watch out.”
    A Border Patrol agent who was working nearby when the shooting began rushed into the school without waiting for backup and shot and killed the gunman, who was behind a barricade, according to a law enforcement official speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about it.
    The agent was wounded but able to walk out of the school, the law enforcement source said.
    The school district’s police chief, Pete Arredondo, said that the attacker acted alone.
    It was not immediately clear how many people were wounded, but Arredondo said there were “several injuries.”    Earlier, Uvalde Memorial Hospital said 13 children were taken there.    Another hospital reported a 66-year-old woman was in critical condition.
    Robb Elementary School has an enrollment of just under 600 students, and Arredondo said it serves students in the second, third and fourth grade.    He did not provide ages of the children who were shot. This was the school’s last week of classes before summer break.
    Heavily armed law enforcement officers swarmed to the school, with officers in tactical vests diverting traffic and FBI agents coming and going from the building.
    White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden was briefed on the shooting on Air Force One as he returned from a five-day trip to Asia.
    Uvalde, home to about 16,000 people, is about 75 miles from the border with Mexico.    Robb Elementary is in a mostly residential neighborhood of modest homes.
    The tragedy in Uvalde was the deadliest school shooting in Texas history, and it added to a grim tally in the state, which has been the site of some of the deadliest shootings in the U.S. over the past five years.
    In 2018, a gunman fatally shot 10 people at Santa Fe High School in the Houston area.    A year before that, a gunman at a Texas church killed more than two dozen people during a Sunday service in the small town of Sutherland Springs.    In 2019, another gunman at a Walmart in El Paso killed 23 people in a racist attack.
    The shooting came days before the National Rifle Association annual convention was set to begin in Houston.    Abbott and both of Texas’ U.S. senators were among elected Republican officials who were the scheduled speakers at a Friday leadership forum sponsored by the NRA’s lobbying arm.
    In the years since Sandy Hook, the gun control debate in Congress has waxed and waned.    Efforts by lawmakers to change U.S. gun policies in any significant way have consistently faced roadblocks from Republicans and the influence of outside groups such as the NRA.
    A year after Sandy Hook, Sens. Joe Manchin a West Virginia Democrat, and Patrick J. Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican, negotiated a bipartisan proposal to expand the nation’s background check system.    But as the measure was close to being brought to the Senate floor for a vote, it became clear it would not get enough votes to clear a 60-vote filibuster hurdle.
    Then-President Barack Obama, who had made gun control central to his administration’s goals after the Newtown shooting, called Congress’ failure to act “a pretty shameful day for Washington.”
    Last year, the House passed two bills to expand background checks on firearms purchases.    One bill would have closed a loophole for private and online sales.    The other would have extended the background check review period.    Both languished in the 50-50 Senate, where Democrats need at least 10 Republican votes to overcome objections from a filibuster.
    “My heart is broken today.    We’re a small community, and we’re going to need your prayers to get through this.”
Hal Harrell, School district superintendent
People leave the Uvalde Civic Center following a shooting earlier in the day at

An 18-year-old gunman opened fire at a Texas elementary school Tuesday, killing multiple people. Gov. Greg Abbott
says the gunman entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde with a handgun and possibly a rifle. DARIO LOPEZ-MILLS/AP

A policeman talks to people asking for information outside of the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas,
Tuesday. An 18-year-old gunman opened fire at the Texas elementary school, killing multiple people. Gov. Greg Abbott
says the gunman entered the school with a handgun and possibly a rifle. DARIO LOPEZ-MILLS/AP

5/25/2022 A major new development in the Hunter Biden laptop scandal by Opinion by Andrew McCarthy – Washington Examiner
    The Washington Examiner’s new reporting on the Hunter Biden laptop saga marks a giant leap in the public’s understanding of a significant story of national import.    A story that was reprehensibly suppressed in the run-up to the 2020 election.
© Andrew Harnik/APHunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, speaks to guests during the White House
Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House, Monday, April 18, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    For one thing, the Washington Examiner has put to rest the risible claims that the laptop’s digital contents are not authentic.    Plainly, the contents were produced by Biden’s operation of the laptop and nothing else.    An exacting technical analysis performed by a highly qualified expert, retained by the Washington Examiner based on his decades of government and private work in the field, confirms what has been patent since the laptop emerged as a public controversy in the weeks just prior to the 2020 election: The laptop belonged to Hunter Biden.
    The thousands of emails, memos, ledgers, and photos contained on the laptop were generated by his use of it.    To have suggested the laptop’s contents were the result of a hack, a plant, or (most preposterously, Russian intelligence service disinformation) was grossly irresponsible.    There was scant evidence that the information could have been fabricated, in comparison to overwhelming evidence that the information, though startling in many particulars, was what one would reasonably have expected to find on a Hunter Biden laptop.    Expected to find, that is, given the younger Biden's notoriously shady foreign business entanglements, his network of family and friends, his history of trading on his father’s political influence, and his demons.
    Contrary to what the public was told, it is not difficult to authenticate evidence for purposes of use in court.    The rules of evidence indulge a presumption in favor of the admissibility of probative evidence.    If an item appears to be what the proponent represents it to be, the rules provide for its admission into the evidentiary record even if there are gaps in the chain of custody or other indications of possible irregularities.    Our law’s theory is that such questions go to the weight of the evidence, not its admissibility.    The party against whom the evidence is admitted gets to demonstrate any weaknesses through cross-examination; the jury or court then decides how much credibility and significance to attribute to the item.    Hunter Biden's laptop always appeared to be what its proponents claimed it was: Hunter Biden's laptop.
    Even before the Washington Examiner’s analysis, there was a plausible account of how the laptop came to be left at a repair shop.    There was the revelation of numerous emails that appeared, in context, to relate to independently verifiable transactions.    There were emails and memos that similarly related to independently verifiable personal associations and events.     There were photographs that appeared to be of a personal nature.    There were witnesses who authenticated key documents.    And perhaps most telling of all: There was no detailed denial from President Joe Biden's campaign or Hunter Biden himself — the parties in the best position to cry foul if the materials published by the New York Post had been corruptly manufactured.
    When a question emerged about whether Joe Biden, as vice president, had met with one of Hunter Biden's Ukrainian business associates, campaign officials said they would need to check the former vice president’s calendar — they didn’t deny that it could have happened or claim the relevant laptop file was a fabrication.    And Hunter Biden’s latest position is that the laptop information "absolutely" could be his.    Now, we finally have an analysis that makes what was already obvious indisputable.    This forensic analysis combines standard, technical DKIM analysis with so-called "digital sandwiching."    The latter is a not-so-fancy term for placing things in their factual context.    While the analysis is an impressive piece of work, we are not talking rocket science here.    This sort of "sandwiching" is what all of us do when questions arise about the reliability of information: We place the information in its time (relative to events that happened before and after), we assess how the information stacks up against other independently verifiable facts, and we determine whether the people involved were in a position (and had logical reason) to say and do what is reflected in the information.
    Because it applies this commonsense approach methodically to the thousands of files on the laptop, the analysis enables us to say with confidence that the laptop’s contents would be admitted as evidence by any competent judge in the United States.    The authenticity of the laptop should never have been a serious issue.    That is why legacy media outlets suppressed the laptop.    They knew they could not establish its falsity because it wasn’t false.    That former government national security officials would exploit their expert credentials in a blatantly politicized effort to discredit information that was not suspect, but that stood to harm the Biden campaign, goes far in explaining why public confidence in our intelligence services has never been lower.
    There are many alarming facets of the laptop's contents.    Some are already known.    Some are only now emerging.    But the first order of business in any fact-finding endeavor is to authenticate the source of one’s information.    The laptop is authentic.
Andrew C. McCarthy is a contributing editor at National Review and a former federal prosecutor.

5/25/2022 At Least 19 Students, 2 Adults Killed In Texas School Shooting by OAN NEWSROOM
Law enforcement personnel stand outside Robb Elementary School following
a shooting, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)
    A small community in Texas is mourning following the deadly mass shooting at a school.    At least 19 students and two adults were killed Tuesday when a gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, which is located West of San Antonio.
    Officials from the local school district said their hearts are broken and their thoughts as well as their prayers are with all the families affected by the tragedy.    They also said grief counseling and support will be available for students, staff and community members.
    This comes as investigators are trying to determine a motive in the shooting after suspect Salvador Ramos, 18, opened fire at the school.    According to authorities, he acted alone and shot dead by responding police officers.
    “The investigation is leading to tell us the suspect did act alone during this heinous crime,” stated Pete Arredondo, the Chief of Police for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District.
    Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District officials said all local schools went into lockdown as news of the active shooter spread. Student and teachers were evacuated to the city’s Civic Center, where parents were told they could pick up their children.
The archbishop of San Antonio, Gustavo Garcia-Siller, comforts families outside the Civic Center following a deadly
school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)
    While speaking during a press conference, Governor Greg Abbott (R) confirmed two officers were injured by gunfire, but are expected to make full recoveries.
    Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed their condolences for the families who lost loved ones in Texas.    On Tuesday, nearly every legislator took to social to send out sympathies following the mass shooting.
    Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) offered up prayers.    Additionally, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds (R) ordered flags in her state to be flown at half-staff through Saturday in honor and remembrance of the victims.
    Even former members of Congress spoke out with Tulsi Gabbard grieving the loss while suggesting schools should establish a single point of entry, have armed guards, trained staff and mental health services.
    President Joe Biden also addressed the nation following the tragic shooting.    He commented about how had previously spoken following the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting while noting there have been over 900 reported incidents of gunfire on school grounds since that incident.
    “Why are we willing to live with this carnage?    Why do we keep letting this happen?” Biden asked.    “Where in God’s name is our backbone to have the courage to deal with it?    It’s time to turn this pain into action.”
    Meanwhile, the shooting remains under investigation as police try to determine the motive behind the massacre.

5/25/2022 Police Seize Arsenal Of Firearms From San Jose Man by OAN NEWSROOM
This undated photo provided by the San Jose Police Department shows an arsenal of guns seized
from suspect Bryan Velasquez, of San Jose, Calif. (Courtesy of San Jose Police Department via AP)
    Authorities in Northern California seized an arsenal of firearms from a man charged for cyberstalking his former co-workers.    According to the San Jose Police Department, Bryan Valesquez was arrested Tuesday on felony stalking and weapon charges after being fired from a construction company back in January.
    Police say he began harassing and threatening multiple co-workers following his termination from the company.    After inspecting evidence San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata said he believes they prevented the worst from happening.
    “There’s an individual that has animosity, hatred, anger toward others, and that was averted,” Mata said.    “A mass shooting, I believe, was averted.”
    During the arrest police seized two AR pattern assault rifles, high-capacity magazines, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, tactical body armor and materials to make and assembles ghost guns.
    “The goal of this prosecution it to fully disarm the individual,” said Supervising District Attorney Marisa McKeown.    “The biggest success is that he be a convicted felon who can never possess a firearm in this state again.”

    Valesquez has since been released on 50,000 dollars bail. If convicted on all counts he could spend up to six years in prison.

5/25/2022 Michael Sussman Trial Day 7: ‘Crimson Rhino’ File by OAN NEWSROOM
Michael Sussmann, a cybersecurity lawyer who represented the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign in 2016,
leaves federal courthouse in Washington, Monday, May 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    More FBI agents took the stand at the Sussmann trial and confirmed they were led astray from the very start of their investigation into claims of Russia collusion with former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.
    The link between the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Russia collusion narrative got clearer in day seven of the trial.    Taking the limelight in the courtroom was a file titled ‘Crimson Rhino.’    This file was reportedly basis for the investigation into the 2016 campaign and was provided to former top FBI lawyer James Baker from Sussmann.
    It’s origins come from tech executive Rodney Joffe who was tied to the Hillary Clinton campaign and was a confidential human source for the FBI.    He ordered client Jared Novick who ran a data analysis firm to do research on several people tied to then candidate Trump.    He also said he felt uncomfortable doing the work because he knew it was opposition research for a political campaign.
    Meanwhile, a mid-level FBI agent from the Chicago field office Kurt Hydie took the stand.    Hydie reportedly wrote a memo that formally kicked off his office’s investigation.    He admitted to writing a typographical error when he said the information came from the Department of Justice and not Sussmann.    That caused confusion within the FBI where officers thought they were doing research for the federal government not a political actor.
    “That created a lot of confusion,” Hydie said.    “May not have had otherwise.”
    However, experts lament the findings in the Sussmann case may not translate to other potentially high-profile cases.    This includes a possible prosecution of Hillary Clinton herself.    The presiding judge of the Sussmann Trial Chris Cooper stressed the proceedings focused solely on Sussmann and whether he lied to the FBI or not.
    In the meantime, Special Counsel John Durham’s team has one more witness to call Wednesday before turning over the trial to the defense.    They could wrap their case as soon as Friday and leave it up to the jurors to decide Sussmann’s fate.

5/25/2022 George Soros Calls Ukraine Crisis A Global Standoff, Calls On EU To ‘Defeat’ Russia’s Putin by OAN NEWSROOM
FILE – In this June 21, 2019 file photo, George Soros, founder and chairman of the Open Society Foundations,
looks before the Joseph A. Schumpeter award ceremony in Vienna, Austria. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak, File)
    Left-wing billionaire George Soros claimed the crisis in Ukraine is a result of global politics.    While speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday, he said the conflict has “shaken Europe to the core.”
    “The world has been increasingly engaged in a struggle between two systems of governance that are dynamically opposed to each other,” he noted.
    Soros then suggested it might escalate to a global war.
    He also said that war could destroy civilization.    The Open Society Foundations founder went on to reiterate his support for the Ukraine government.
    “So, I think, Ukraine today is rendering a tremendous service to Europe and to the Western world, to open society and our survival because they are fighting our fight,” stated the billionaire.

    Soros added, his main goals are fighting pandemics and climate change, but the Ukraine crisis is shifting attention away from that.

5/25/2022 Sen. Rubio Says The Issue Is Not The Firearm, But The Lunatic In Regards To School Shootings by OAN NEWSROOM
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks during the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services,
and Education, and Related Agencies hearing to examine proposed budget estimates for the fiscal year 2023 for the National
Institutes of Health on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 17, 2022. (Anna Rose Layden/Pool Photo via AP)
    Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said gun control legislation is not the solution to stop mass school shootings.    While speaking on Capitol Hill Wednesday in the wake of the Texas school shooting, the Republican said the issue is not the firearm, but it’s the “deranged lunatic” instead.
    The Florida lawmaker then said Congress needs to pass proposals that make a difference.    Rubio was referring to the Luke and Alex School Safety Act, which he and two other senators introduced in March to improve school security.
    “These are not people that from one day to the next decide I’m gonna go do this,” Rubio asserted.    “There are indicators ahead of time.    That’s why the School Safety Act is so important.    It creates what is a clearinghouse that provides best practices and allows people to understand what are the pathologies, what are the things that you look for before this happens?
    The School Safety Act would include threat prevention, preparedness, protection, incident response and recovery.    So far, the measure has only passed the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

5/25/2022 Herschel Walker, Rep. Greene, Gov. Kemp Win Ga. GOP Primaries by OAN NEWSROOM
Herschel Walker, GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate for Georgia, speaks at a primary watch party, Monday, May 23, 2022, at the Foundry
restaurant in Athens, Ga., near the University of Georgia where he once played football. (AP Photo/Akili-Casundria Ramsess)
    Former NFL star Herschel Walker celebrated his victory in Georgia’s GOP senatorial primary.    On Tuesday, the Associated Press announced Walker as the winner with more than 70 percent of the vote and 16 percent of precincts reporting.
    He defeated six other Republicans including State Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black.    Walker is set to face off against incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock this November.    Speaking at his victory party he pledged to stand up for everyday Georgians and American values.
    “They feel like their dreams and everything they worked for are slipping away,” Walker said.    “The America they’ve known is slipping away. They share their stories with me, they believe I can help them be that voice, fight for them.”
    On the other hand, for Georgia’s 14-th District Trump has tapped representative Marjorie Taylor Greene as the America First candidate.    On Tuesday Greene won her Republican primary and warded off her opponents with more than 70 percent of the vote.    Greene confidently voiced her lack of concern for her Democratic competitor Marcus Flowers.
    “He’s just wrong, he can’t win in this district,” Greene stated.    “This district doesn’t support Democrat communism; this District doesn’t support the failing Democrat agenda that’s ruining this country.    He’s just grifting people for money.”
    Additionally, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp who is not endorsed by Trump won his GOP gubernatorial primary.    He says his battle is far from over.
    “Tonight the fight for the soul of our state begins,” Kemp asserted.    “To make sure that Stacey Abrams is not going to be our governor or the next president.”
    Kemp narrowly defeated Abrams (D-Ga.) for the governors mansion in 2018 and can look ahead to their rematch in November.

5/25/2022 Jack Dorsey Leaving Twitter Board Of Directors by OAN NEWSROOM
Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and co-founder & CEO of Square, attends the crypto-currency conference Bitcoin 2021 Convention at the
Mana Convention Center in Miami, Florida, on June 4, 2021. (Photo by Marco BELLO / AFP) (Photo by MARCO BELLO/AFP via Getty Images)
    Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey is leaving the Twitter Board following an argument with Elon Musk amid his acquisition of the company.    Dorsey was recently accused by his fellow board members of helping Musk advance his $44 billion acquisition offer.
    Back in April, Twitter’s Board approved the sale of the company to the Tesla CEO.    Dorsey seemed to agree with the choice as he voiced that he believed in Musk, tweeting “Elon’s goal of creating a platform that is maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is the right one.”
    The SpaceX CEO put his bid on hold amid a dispute over the number of fake accounts and bots on Twitter.
    Dorsey and Musk reportedly had a disagreement over Twitter algorithms, which Musk asserted are “manipulative and must change.”    On Friday, Twitter adopted a “poison pill” to ward off Musk’s takeover attempt.
    “The pill cuts off Musk’s ability to make a tender offer over the heads of the board,” said Boston College Law professor Brian Quinn.    “If he wants to buy the company then all roads lead through the Twitter Board, he can’t go directly to the shareholders with his offer.”
    This departure means all of Twitter’s founders have now cut ties with the company.

5/25/2022 Oil up $0.23 to $110.56, DOW up 192 to 32,120.

5/26/2022 Texas bar seeks to punish AG for election lawsuit by Jake Bleiberg, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    DALLAS – The State Bar of Texas sued Wednesday to punish state Attorney General Ken Paxton for his failed efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election based on bogus claims of fraud, raising a new legal danger for the Republican the day after he secured his party’s nomination for a third term.
    The state bar asked a Dallas-area court to impose unspecified discipline on the state’s top lawyer, alleging that Paxton’s petitioning of the U.S. Supreme Court to block President Joe Biden’s victory was “dishonest.”    The formal accusation of professional misconduct makes Paxton one of the highest-profile attorneys to face a potential threat to their law license for a role in former President Donald Trump’s effort to delegitimize his defeat.
    The petition to a Collin County court came the day after Paxton defeated Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush in a Republican runoff election.    That victory sets him up for a general election contest with Rochelle Garza, a South Texas Democrat and civil rights lawyer, as Paxton is also facing a trial over long delayed state fraud charges and a separate FBI investigation prompted by criminal allegations from the attorney general’s own staff.
    One of Paxton’s lawyers, Philip Hilder, declined to comment.
    The bar has been investigating complaints over Paxton’s election suit since last summer and opened a similar disciplinary proceeding against his top deputy earlier in May.
    Paxton forecast this month that the bar would seek to discipline him, decrying it as “a liberal activist group” and saying he stood behind his challenge to the “unconstitutional 2020 presidential election.”
    A spokesman for the bar, which is a branch of the Texas Supreme Court, declined to comment.    The group previously said that “partisan political considerations play no role” in its actions.
    In bringing a court action against an attorney, the bar can seek punishment ranging from a written admonition to a suspension or disbarment.
    The bar complaint against Paxton alleges that he “misrepresented” facts to the Supreme Court in a suit seeking to overturn Biden’s victor.    The suit was backed by Trump.    The high court threw out the lawsuit that and the Justice Department under Trump found no evidence of fraud that could have changed the election’s outcome.

5/26/2022 Congressional Budget Office says inflation to last into 2023 - CBO cautions numbers subject to ‘uncertainty’ by Fatima Hussein, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Vice President Kamala Harris, left, applauds following remarks from U.S. President Joe Biden
during a signing ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Wednesday. Biden signed an
executive order to advance policing and strengthen public safety. JIM WATSON/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
    WASHINGTON – The Congressional Budget Office released an economic outlook Wednesday saying high inflation will persist into next year, likely causing the federal government to pay higher interest rates on its debt.
    The nonpartisan agency expects the consumer price index to rise 6.1% this year and 3.1% in 2023.    This forecast suggests that inflation will slow from current annual levels of 8.3%, yet it would still be dramatically above a long-term baseline of 2.3%.
    The 10-year estimates do contain positive news as this year’s annual budget deficit will be $118 billion lower than forecast last year.    That’s a byproduct of the end of pandemic-related spending and the solid job growth it helped to spur.    As a share of the total economy, publicly held debt will drop through 2023.    Still, the accumulated federal debt will likely continue to grow over the next decade to be equal to roughly 110% of U.S. gross domestic product.
    The Federal Reserve has been trying to reduce inflation by raising its benchmark interest rates, causing the interest charged on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes to increase substantially in recent months.    One consequence is that the government will be spending more money this year to service its debt.    By 2032, the yearly interest payments will nearly be $1.2 trillion, or more than what the federal government spends on defense.
    Still, the CBO cautions that its numbers “are subject to considerable uncertainty, in part because of the ongoing pandemic and other world events,” including Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine.    The report accounts at least for the first few weeks of the war, according to CBO.
    Economists have said coronavirus relief programs issued by both the Biden and Trump administrations have contributed to higher inflation levels.    But high prices have also been fueled by a delay in action by the Fed, supply chain disruptions and the tumult produced after Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
    Ben Harris, the Treasury Department’s assistant secretary for economic policy, tweeted Tuesday that the factors driving inflation also include soaring corporate profits, driven by a lack of business competition – as well as business not being fully prepared for the reopening of the economy as pandemic restrictions were lifted.    The administration has emphasized that its plan put the U.S. economy into a stronger place relative to the rest of the world because unemployment is a low 3.6%.
    “The American Rescue Plan has fostered an extraordinarily fast recovery and leaves us in a strong position to address the global challenges posed from supply chains and the economic fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” he tweeted.
    He said if Congress passed the president’s full agenda, labor force participation would rise and some of the impacts of inflation would be reduced.
    With Biden’s $3.5 trillion economic and social spending bill, known as “Build Back Better,” now dead in a split Senate, Democrats face pressure to pass legislation ahead of November midterm elections.
    The report says beyond 2032, “if current laws remained generally unchanged, deficits would continue to grow relative to the size of the economy over the following 20 years, keeping debt measured as a percentage of GDP on an upward trajectory throughout that period.”
    The biggest drivers of debt rising in relation to GDP are increasing interest costs and spending for Medicare and Social Security, according to the report.
    Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, said in a statement that “looking ahead, we need to address the key drivers of our debt, which include high healthcare costs, an aging population and a tax code that is inadequate for what we have promised our citizens.”
    “Stabilizing our debt will help build a foundation for broad-based economic growth and make us better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the future,” he said.
    CBO Budget Director Phillip Swagel is set to testify Thursday to the House Budget Committee on the report.
    Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, told The Associated Press ahead of the release that the pandemic, war in Ukraine and other factors point to the importance of reducing the annual deficit.
    “Unfortunately, the underlying story here is one of fiscally unsustainable positions and on top of that, we have this added challenge of inflation and a reminder that external shocks continue to come at us,” she said.

5/26/2022 Fed officials: Rates may hit levels that are restrictive by Christopher Rugaber, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – Federal Reserve officials agreed when they met earlier this month that they may have to raise interest rates to levels that would weaken the economy as part of their drive to curb inflation, which is near a four-decade high.
    At the same time, many of the policymakers also agreed that after a rapid series of rate increases in the coming months, they could “assess the effects” of their rate hikes and, depending on the economy’s health, increase rates at a slower pace.
    After their meeting this month, the policymakers raised their benchmark short-term rate by a half-point – double the usual hike.    According to minutes from the May 3-4 meeting released Wednesday, most of the officials agreed that half-point hikes also “would likely be appropriate” when they next meet in June and July.    Chair Jerome Powell himself had indicated after this month’s meeting that half-point increases would be “on the table” at the next two meetings.
    All the officials believed that the Fed should “expeditiously” raise its key rate to a level at which it neither stimulates nor restrains growth, which officials have said is a rate of about 2.4%.    Some policymakers said they will likely reach that point by the end of 2022.
    The minutes suggest, though, that there may be a sharp debate among policymakers about how quickly to tighten credit after the June and July meetings.    The economy has shown more signs of slowing, and stock markets have dropped sharply, since the Fed meeting.
    Government reports have indicated, for example, that sales of new and existing homes have faltered sharply since this month’s Fed meeting, and there are signs that factory output is growing more slowly.    Gennadiy Goldberg, senior rates strategist at TD Securities, suggested that the minutes released Wednesday might reflect a more “hawkish” Fed – that is, more focused on rate hikes to restrain inflation – than may actually be the case now.     Some officials, particularly Raphael Bostic, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, have indicated that the Fed could reconsider its pace of rate hikes in September.
    And Loretta Mester, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, has said that if there’s “compelling evidence that inflation is moving down,” the Fed could slow its rate hikes.
    “But if inflation has failed to moderate,” she added, “a faster pace of rate increases may be necessary.”
    The minutes released Wednesday signaled a tentative acknowledgment by some Fed officials that recent inflation data “might suggest that overall price pressures may no longer be worsening.”    Fed officials unanimously agreed that the “U.S. economy was very strong, the labor market was extremely tight, and inflation was very high and well above” the Fed’s target of 2%. Powell had expressed similar sentiments at his May 4 news conference.

5/26/2022 US calls for vote on North Korea sanctions - Resolution would reduce exports of crude oil by Edith M. Lederer, ASSOCIATED PRESS
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, speaks in front of what the North says is an intercontinental ballistic missile
displayed at a weapons exhibition in Pyongyang last year. KOREAN CENTRAL NEWS AGENCY/KOREA NEWS SERVICE VIA AP FILE
    UNITED NATIONS – The United States called for a vote Thursday on a U.N. resolution that would impose tougher sanctions on North Korea for its recent launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles that can be used to deliver nuclear weapons.
    The U.S. Mission to the United Nations has been working on the draft Security Council resolution for several months.    But the measure faces opposition from North Korea’s neighbors China and Russia, which both said at a council meeting on May 11 that they wanted to see new talks and not more punishment for the North.
    The United States, which holds the council presidency this month, announced plans for the vote Wednesday.
    Whether China and Russia will use their veto power to block the measure or abstain remains to be seen.
    “We don’t think a resolution as proposed by the U.S. can solve any problem,” China’s U.N. Mission said in a statement Wednesday evening.
    China proposed in recent weeks that the U.S. consider a presidential statement instead of a resolution, which “was supported by many delegations but fell on deaf ears of the U.S.,” the statement said.    “They know what is the best way for de-escalation but simply resist it.”
    The announcement of the vote and the U.S. release of the 14-page draft resolution came hours after South Korea reported that North Korea testlaunched a suspected ICBM and two shorter-range missiles.    It also followed Tuesday’s conclusion of U.S. President Joe Biden’s Asia trip that included stops in South Korea and Japan, where he reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to defend both allies in the face of the North’s nuclear threat.
    Wednesday’s launches were the 17th round of missile firings this year by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the country’s official name.    Experts have said North Korea wants to move ahead with its push to expand its arsenal.
    In the last sanctions resolution adopted in December 2017, the Security Council committed to further restricting petroleum exports to North Korea if it conducted a ballistic missile launch capable of reaching intercontinental ranges, U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said May 11 that the North has launched at least three ICBMs.    But she said that for the last four years, two members – a clear reference to China and Russia – “have blocked every attempt” to enforce the sanctions and update the list of individuals, companies and other entities subject to asset freezes and travel bans.
    The resolution to be voted on Thursday would reduce exports of crude oil to North Korea from 4 million barrels a year to 3 million barrels, and it would reduce exports of refined petroleum products from 500,000 barrels a year to 375,000 barrels.

5/26/2022 Trump, Abbott, Cruz to speak at NRA convention by Amanda Pérez Pintado, USA TODAY
Gov. Greg Abbott speaks Wednesday after the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. USA TODAY NETWORK
    Texas politicians and former President Donald Trump are scheduled to attend the National Rifle Association’s annual convention over the weekend in Houston days after a mass shooting at an elementary school that killed at least 21 people.
    Trump is set to headline a “leadership forum” Friday where audience members will not be allowed to carry guns.    The Secret     Service will take control of the hall during Trump’s speech and will not permit firearms, firearm accessories or knives, among other items, according to the NRA.
    Trump said Wednesday that he’ll “deliver an important address to America” at the event.
    “America needs real solutions and real leadership in this moment, not politicians and partisanship,” Trump posted on his social media network.
    The forum is to include Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas, North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.
    Abbott, speaking Wednesday at a news conference declined to say whether whether he would attend or speak.
    “As far as future plans are concerned, I’m living moment to moment right now,” Abbott said.    “My heart, my head and my body are in Uvalde right now.”
    Texas Sen. John Cornyn also was scheduled to speak but will no longer attend because of an “unexpected change” in his schedule, TV station WFAA reported.
    The NRA did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday to confirm whether the event would go ahead as planned.
    Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the city can’t break the contract.
    The greater question, Turner said, is why Texas politicians still plan to speak there after the shooting in Uvalde. Abbott and Cruz are to address a leadership forum.
    “So, it’s not about us canceling the convention,” Turner said.    “It’s about elected officials at the highest level in our state going and speaking and endorsing those policies, and that’s wrong. And you can’t pray and send condolences on one day and then be going and championing guns on the next.    That’s wrong.”
Contributing: The Associated Press
    “You can’t pray and send condolences on one day and then be championing guns on the next.” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner

5/26/2022 DHS Secy. Mayorkas Warns Migrants Not To Travel To Southern Border by OAN NEWSROOM
FILE – Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, speaks during a Senate Appropriations – Subcommittee
on Homeland Security, Wednesday, May 4, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib, File)
    Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has warned migrants not to travel to the US southern border.    In a video released Tuesday, he said single adults and families encountered at the border will continue to be expelled where appropriate under Title 42.    Mayorkas also expressed concerns illegal border crossings will continue to surge amid confusion over recent court orders and as smugglers peddle misinformation.
    “The United States continues to enforce its immigration laws.    Individuals and families should not put their lives at risk by taking the dangerous journey only to be sent back,” stated the secretary.
    His warning comes as Border Patrol agents are encountering thousands of migrants daily in an ongoing situation partly attributed to the Biden administration’s handling of the southern border.    According to Customs and Border Protection data, Border Patrol agents encountered around 234,000 migrants along the southern border in April alone.
    The Biden administration has drawn heavy scrutiny over the southern border, including from GOP Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) among several Republican lawmakers.    During a press conference Tuesday, Ernst expressed alarm about the situation while praising agents for their efforts to deal with the ongoing surge.
    “Just over the weekend in Yuma, Arizona, they saw an unprecedented 1,250 illegal crossings within a 24-hour period,” he noted.    “One day in one location and we know how hard the folks are working at the border to protect our citizens and our nation."
    The Biden administration’s efforts to discourage migrants come as the Justice Department plans on appealing a court ruling upholding Title 42, which around 1.9 million migrants have been promptly expelled under.

5/26/2022 Trump Reaffirms Plan To Speak At NRA Amid Attacks On Second Amendment Rights by OAN NEWSROOM
FILE – President Donald Trump arrives at the White House in Washington, on Dec. 31, 2020. Mark Pomerantz,
a prosecutor who had been leading a criminal investigation into Donald Trump before quitting last month, said in
his resignation letter that he believes the former president is “guilty of numerous felony violations” and he
disagreed with the Manhattan district attorney’s decision not to seek an indictment. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
    Donald Trump reaffirmed his plan to speak at the upcoming National Rifle Association of America convention as some Democrats indicate they will target Second Amendment rights.     In a Truth Social post Wednesday, the 45th president said “America needs real leadership right now due to a security crisis sweeping the nation.” Trump added, he will deliver an important address at the NRA’s annual meeting in Texas on Friday.
(Truth Social)
    This comes as some Democrats are ramping up calls to seize guns from law abiding citizens while citing the tragic school shooting in the Lone Star State.    Trump stressed that, in his opinion, America does not need partisanship at this moment, but it needs real solutions instead.
    His comments came after at least 19 students and two adults were killed Tuesday when a gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School in the city Uvalde, which is located West of San Antonio.    The 18-year-old gunman was reportedly a high school dropout who may have had a juvenile record.
    Some, such as former congressman Ron Paul, have argued that calls to limit or abolish the Second Amendment in response to the recent tragedy are misguided.    He suggested that putting the focus on firearms is hypocrisy as soft crime policies remain in place under the Biden administration.

5/26/2022 Chicago Implements New Curfew For Teenagers Amid Crime Surge 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) (Photo by KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
    Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D-Ill.) implemented a permanent curfew for residents in the Windy City.    Alderpeople passed the curfew in a 30-19 vote as an increase in shootings plague Downtown and following the killing of 16-year-0ld Seandell Holliday near The Bean at Millennium Park.
    “As a city, we must ensure that our young people have safe spaces to congregate and that in those spaces they are peaceful and actually safe,” Lightfoot said in a statement.    “I am calling on all parents, guardians, and caring adults to step up at this moment and do whatever it takes to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again and to encourage appropriate behavior when our young people gather anywhere in this great city of ours.    We all must model and enforce the respect and peace we expect from our young people.”
    City Council members passed the law on Wednesday, which will require all minors 17-years of age and younger to be home by 10 p.m. The previous curfew only applied to minors aged 16-years and younger.
    The Democrat mayor claimed the curfew would reduce crime that spiraled out of control over the past two years amid calls to defund the police.    Lightfoot said a curfew has been on the books in Chicago since 1992. Alderpeople who voted against the curfew asserted that it won’t reduce crime.
    “We’re tweaking what already exists, changing and making it uniform across every single day,” the mayor stated.    “It’s not Armageddon and with due respect, it’s offensive and wrong and demonstrably false to say these modest changes are going to increase gun violence.”
    Lightfoot admitted the shootings are an issue happening all over the city.

5/26/2022 Former Reality Star Josh Duggar Sentenced To Over 12 Years In Prison by OAN NEWSROOM
This undated photo provided by Washington County (Ark), Detention Center shows Josh Duggar.
A federal judge has sentenced reality TV’s Duggar to about 12 1/2 years in prison for his conviction
on one count of receiving child pornography. (Washington County Detention Center via AP)
    Former Reality TV Star Josh Duggar was sentenced to more than 12 years in federal prison on child pornography charges.    The former “19 Kids and Counting” star was arrested last year after federal authorities found child porn files were being downloaded on his computer.
    Duggar faced up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 for each count.    He was fined $10,000 and is required to enter a sex offense treatment program.
    “While this is not the sentence we asked for, this is a lengthy sentence,” US Attorney David Clay Fowlkes said.
    According to legal documents the 34-year-old received his sentence from an Arkansas judge on Wednesday.    When Duggar was convicted in December, his parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar shared a statement on their website calling the situation “very grievous.”
    “In the days ahead, we will do all we can to surround our daughter-in-law Anna and their children with love and support,” his parents stated.    “As parents we will never stop praying for Joshua and loving him as we do all of our children.”
    Duggar, whose lawyers sought a five-year sentence, maintains his innocence and has said he will appeal.
    “We’re grateful the judge dismissed Count two and rejected the government’s request for a 240-month sentence,” Duggar’s lawyer Justin K. Gelfand voiced.    “We look forward to continuing the fight on appeal.”
    Attorney Fowlkes announced he is pleased with the verdict.

5/26/2022 Texas Gunman Foreshadowed Shooting Through Online Posts by OAN NEWSROOM
A family pays their respects next to crosses bearing the names of Tuesday’s shooting victims
at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Thursday, May 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
    A small community in Texas is mourning following the deadly mass shooting at a school.    At least 19 students and two adults were killed Tuesday when a gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, which is located West of San Antonio.
    Officials from the local school district said their hearts are broken and their thoughts as well as their prayers are with all the families affected by the tragedy.    They also said grief counseling and support will be available for students, staff and community members.
    This comes as investigators are trying to determine a motive in the shooting after suspect Salvador Ramos, 18, opened fire at the school.    According to authorities, he acted alone and shot dead by responding police officers.    The gunman reportedly purchased a pair of rifles along with 375 rounds of ammunition at a local sporting goods store back in March.
    Texas Governor Gregg Abbott (R) has provided more insight into what led up to Tuesday’s mass school shooting.    In a press conference Wednesday, he said the 18-year-old gunman was reportedly a high school dropout who may have had a juvenile record.
    The governor added, the shooter made three disturbing Facebook posts shortly before he reached the school.    In the social media posts, he said he shot his grandmother in the face and alluded to his plans of attacking the school.    The governor credited law enforcement for quickly arriving to the scene and running toward gunfire to prevent further loss of life.
    Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed their condolences for the families who lost loved ones in Texas.    On Tuesday, nearly every legislator took to social to send out sympathies following the mass shooting.
    Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) offered up prayers.    Additionally, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds (R) ordered flags in her state to be flown at half-staff through Saturday in honor and remembrance of the victims.
    Even former members of Congress spoke out with Tulsi Gabbard grieving the loss while suggesting schools should establish a single point of entry, have armed guards, trained staff and mental health services.
    President Joe Biden also addressed the nation following the tragic shooting.    He commented about how had previously spoken following the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting while noting there have been over 900 reported incidents of gunfire on school grounds since that incident.
    “Why are we willing to live with this carnage?    Why do we keep letting this happen?” Biden asked.    “Where in God’s name is our backbone to have the courage to deal with it?    It’s time to turn this pain into action.”
    Meanwhile, the shooting remains under investigation as police try to determine the motive behind the massacre. On Wednesday, police revealed all 21 victims, 19 students and two teachers, were in the same fourth grade classroom when the gunman entered and opened fire.

5/26/2022 Calif. Gov. Newsom Vows More Gun Control After Texas Shooting by OAN NEWSROOM
California Gov. Gavin Newsom discusses the recent mass shooting in Texas, during a news
conference in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, May 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
    California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) made a vow to enact more gun control measures in response to the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
    During a press conference on Wednesday, Newsom said he was looking to fast track 12-gun control bills that are currently working through the legislature.    The governor pledged that he would sign those bills at the end of next month.
    “California leads this national conversation,” Newsom stated.    “When California moves other states move in the same direction.”
    Officials vocalized that Newsom could expedite a bill modeled after a Texas abortion law, allowing private citizens to sue gun manufacturers or distributors over potential incidents.
    “California will not stand by as kids across the country are gunned down,” the governor declared.    “Guns are now the leading cause of death for kids in America.    While the US Senate stands idly by and activist federal judges strike down commonsense gun laws across our nation, California will act with the urgency this crisis demands.    The Second Amendment is not a suicide pact.    We will not let one more day go by without taking action to save lives.”
    Although California already has stringent gun control laws in place, Governor Newsom and legislative leaders will continue working together to expedite additional bills pending that can contribute to the end of gun violence.

5/26/2022 Air Traffic Controllers Honored For Helping Passenger Land Plane In Fla. by OAN NEWSROOM
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – JULY 14: A Delta airlines plane is seen as it comes in for a landing at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood
International Airport on July 14, 2016 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
    Several Florida residents were honored for their life saving actions to help land a small plane after the pilot suffered a medical emergency.
    On Thursday, the group was acknowledged by Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center during a news conference.    The group included air traffic controllers, medical doctors and passengers of the plane.    Pilot Kenneth Allen was able to share his side of the story for the first time.
    The 64-year-old pilot recalled the moment he lost consciousness while flying ten thousand feet above the Florida coast on May 10, forcing a passenger with no flying experience to take control of the plane.
    “I remember telling Russ and Daren that I didn’t feel well,” Allen recalled.    “My head was pounding and I was seeing little blue lights sparkling through here.    They asked me what that means and I said I don’t know; I have a really bad headache.    Then I remember them poking me on the side of the arm saying “stay with me, stay with me.”    That was it, I can’t really recall anything until my guys over here were pulling me out of the airplane.”
    After Allen passed out the passenger later identified as Lakeland resident Darren Harrison, can be heard telling the air traffic controller he was not an experienced pilot and that he could tell he was facing the coast.
    “I’ve got a serious situation here,” Harrison said.    “My pilot has gone incoherent.    I have no idea how to fly the airplane.”
    Harrison took control of the plane and managed to land at the Palm Beach International Airport with the help of air traffic control.
    “I knew if I didn’t react that we would die,” he stated.    “I reached over his body because at this point, he’s unresponsive.    I grabbed the controls of the airplane and slowly started to pull back on the stick and turn.”
    Both Harrison and the other passenger credited Air Traffic Controller Robert Morgan for safely guiding them to the landing strip.    Allen reportedly suffered a torn aorta during the incident, a typically catastrophic injury, which the Doctors who treated him asserted could’ve just as easily ended his life.
    Less than a week after the operation Allen was up and about.

5/26/2022 Okla. Gov. Signs Nation’s Strictest Abortion Bill Into Law by OAN NEWSROOM
FILE – In this April 12, 2022, file photo, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt speaks after signing into law a bill making it a
felony to perform an abortion, punishable by up to 10 years in prison in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, file)
    Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt (R-Okla.) signed the nation’s strictest abortion bill into law.    On Wednesday, Stitt approved the legislation which places a ban on abortions from the point of conception.
    The law takes effect immediately upon the governor’s signature and prohibits all abortions with few exceptions.    Abortion providers have said they will stop performing the procedure as soon as the bill is signed.
    “I promised Oklahomans that as governor I would sign every piece of pro-life legislation that came across my desk and I am proud to keep that promise today,” the Republican said in a statement.    “From the moment life begins at conception is when we have a responsibility as human beings to do everything we can to protect that baby’s life and the life of the mother.    That is what I believe and that is what the majority of Oklahomans believe.”
    Just this year, Oklahoma has passed three separate bans on abortion. Abortion rights advocates stress that the bans could eliminate access to abortion across the South.    The bill does make an exception for rape and incest, or to save the life of the mother.
    “Right now patients in Oklahoma are being thrown into a state of chaos and fear,” voiced Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights.    “That chaos will only intensify as surrounding states cut off access as well.    We will not stop fighting for the people of Oklahoma and for everyone across the country.”
    The law would be enforced by private citizens, giving them the ability to sue abortion providers and others who help a woman terminate a pregnancy for up to $10,000.    The law is now in effect.

5/26/2022 Disney Exec, Anaheim Officials Under FBI Probe For ‘Influencing’ City Politics by OAN NEWSROOM
The FBI seal is seen outside the headquarters building in Washington, DC on July 5, 2016. – The FBI said Tuesday
it will not recommend charges over Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state, but said
she had been “extremely careless” in her handling of top-secret data. The decision not to recommend prosecution
will come as a huge relief for the presumptive Democratic nominee whose White House campaign has been dogged by the
months-long probe. (Photo by YURI GRIPAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read YURI GRIPAS/AFP via Getty Images)
    An FBI investigation has linked Disney executives and a recently departed mayor to a cabal controlling Anaheim California’s government.    According to the Los Angeles Times, Disneyland Resort Director of External Affairs, Carrie Nocella was named in the affidavit as one of the high-ranking officials who are influencing politics in the city.
    The group reportedly included Disney executives as well as members of the Anaheim City Council among others.    Agents noted the investigation into the Disneyland Resort, coded ”Company A,” came after wiretapped phone calls revealed the group would convene to push agendas in which influenced Anaheim politics and policies.
    While neither Nocella nor Disney has been accused of wrongdoing, the FBI alleged Nocella and others helped     Disney secure lucrative tax breaks and public funding through political campaign contributions and favorable public policies.
    The probe comes amid a sweeping probe into broader corruption allegations within the city after Mayor Harry Sidhu was accused of leveraging the sale the Anaheim Angels Baseball Stadium to the team’s owner in exchange for campaign contributions.    The agency asserted Nocella played a pivotal role in securing that deal.    Sidhu resigned from his role on Monday and the City Council voted to void the stadium deal on Tuesday.
    Disney has played a large role in the economy of the region with 2018 reports indicating Disney had an annual $8.5 billion economic impact on the surrounding region, including the employment of more than 80,000 people.

5/26/2022 Musk Reveals Mixed Stance On Gun Control, Second Amendment After Texas Shooting by OAN NEWSROOM
FILE – Tesla and SpaceX Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk speaks at the SATELLITE Conference
and Exhibition in Washington, Monday, March 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
    Telsa and SpaceX Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk recently expressed his thoughts on gun rights in America while suggesting he supports tightening background checks.    Both on Twitter and in emails to CNBC Wednesday, Musk said, in his opinion, “assault rifles should at minimum require a special permit where the recipient is extremely well vetted.”
    However, he did say that the Second Amendment is an important safeguard against potential tyranny of government. Musk went on to blame the media for giving murderers the attention he believes they crave by covering mass shootings.
    His remarks come as some Democrats are ramping up calls to seize guns from law abiding citizens while citing the tragic school shooting in Texas, which resulted in the lose life for 19 students and two adults.    Meanwhile, several Republicans have, instead, pointed to soft on crime policies under the Biden administration.
    The 45th president also commented on the issue while taking to Truth Social.    Donald Trump stressed that, in his opinion, America does not need partisanship at this moment, but rather real solutions to the crime problem America is facing.
    Nonetheless, Democrats like Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) appear to be blaming Republicans for gun violence.    On the other hand, the GOP has stood firm in believing law abiding citizens should continue to have their Second Amendments rights.

5/26/2022 W.Va. Reaches $161.5M Settlement With Drugmakers Over Opioid Crisis by OAN NEWSROOM
FILE – Nancy Rose, who contracted COVID-19 in 2021 and continues to exhibit long-haul symptoms including brain fog and memory
difficulties, pauses while organizing her desk space, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, in Port Jefferson, N.Y. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
    Attorneys for the state of West Virginia reached a tentative multi-million-dollar settlement with two drug companies for their role in the state’s opioid crisis.
    Following a six-week trial in Kanawha Circuit Court, West Virginia settled with Teva and Allergan for $161.5 million.    According to Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, that’s the largest opioid settlement to date in state.
    “We took a lot of risk to do the absolute right thing and it’s paid off for West Virginia,” Morrisey said.
    The lawsuit against Teva and Allergan was filed in 2019 in Boone County Circuit Court.    Prosecutors accused the companies of using “misleading” and ”deceptive” marketing tactics to ”misrepresent” the “risks and benefits of opioid painkillers.”    The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated West Virginia’s overdose deaths were more than three times the national rate in 2020.
    Teva said it will pay $83 million in cash and provide a 10-year supply of Narcan, a drug used to stop opioid overdoses, which the state valued at $27 million.    Allergan said it will pay $51.2 million.
    More than three thousand lawsuits have been filed against drug makers, distributors and pharmacies over the US public health crisis.

5/26/2022 Oil up $3.17 to $113.91, DOW up 528 to 32,649.

5/27/2022 UVALDE SHOOTING - Hard questions remain in wake of Texas attack - State’s Rangers investigate police response, timing by Tony Plohetski and Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY NETWORK
Daniel and Matty Myers pause to pray Thursday near Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. JACK GRUBER/USA
    Texas state police launched an examination of law enforcement’s response to the Uvalde school massacre as officials acknowledged Thursday that the heavily armed gunman was never confronted by officers before entering Robb Elementary School on Tuesday.    Nineteen children and two teachers were killed in one of the deadliest campus attacks in U.S. history.
    Authorities walked back initial reports that an armed school resource officer had engaged the 18-year-old gunman, who made his way into the school unchallenged through an unlocked door at 11:40 a.m. before barricading himself in a fourth-grade classroom that became a killing field.
    Victor Escalon, a Texas Department of Public Safety regional director, said an hour elapsed from the time the assailant entered until a tactical team was assembled to breach the classroom where the gunman was killed by specially trained Border Patrol agents.
    Under long-standing practice, responding officers are urged to confront active shooters immediately to prevent loss of life.
    During the chaotic period, Escalon said, officers helped evacuate students and teachers from other parts of the school, while calls went out for more personnel and firepower.
    Asked whether officers should have stormed the classroom earlier, Escalon said, “That’s a tough question,” and authorities were still gathering information regarding the response.
    Escalon said the Texas Rangers head the investigation to determine, in part, how the gunman entered the building so easily.
    Once inside the classroom, which was unlocked, the attacker announced, “It’s time to die.”
    Outside, neighbors and parents screamed and pleaded with officers to go into the school and save the children.
    Authorities await final collection of evidence at the scene and analysis of ballistics.
    The Texas Rangers, the state’s premier law enforcement agency, are also looking at the Uvalde Police Department response.
    Calls to Uvalde Police Chief Daniel Rodriguez were not immediately returned Thursday.
    According to the Uvalde County Independent School District Officers protocol, “secondary campuses have staff who patrol door entrances, parking lots and perimeters of the campuses.”
    Robb Elementary is fenced to limit or restrict access to classrooms, where teachers are instructed to keep doors locked at all times.
    According to Escalon, the gunman scaled the school’s perimeter fence after driving his grandmother’s truck into a culvert around 11:28 a.m.    The attacker took the truck after shooting his grandmother in the face.
    Outside the school, Escalon said, the shooter turned his weapon on two “witnesses” at a nearby funeral home, then fired at the school building before entering the unlocked side door.
    The DPS official said the gunman walked through a hallway about 40 feet, turning twice, before arriving at the classroom.
    Authorities focused on an early timeline of law enforcement’s convergence on Robb Elementary School, as community members pleaded for officers to storm the building.
    “Go in there! Go in there!” women shouted at officers soon after the attack began, said Juan Carranza, 24, who saw the scene from outside his house.    The officers did not immediately enter the building, Carranza said.
    Javier Cazares, whose fourth-grade daughter, Jacklyn, was killed in the attack, said he arrived while police were gathered outside the building.    Upset that they weren’t moving in, he suggested to several other bystanders that they charge into the school.
    Plohetski reports for the Austin American-Statesman.
Contributing: The Associated Press
Uvalde’s small-town innocence is shattered

High school student Sydney Whalen joins a walkout in Hampton, N.H. DEB CRAM/USA TODAY NETWORK TODAY

5/27/2022 Anxious teachers rethinking profession by Alia Wong, Chris Quintana and Meghan Mangrum, USA TODAY
    Teachers find themselves going through a process that’s become all too familiar: the visceral pain for those who’ve lost loved ones, the agonizing feat of explaining to their students what happened, the overwhelming anxiety of wondering what would I do in that situation?
    Mass shootings at schools, and the fear of them, subsided during the pandemic.    For many, that fear has returned, and Tuesday’s slaying at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, made it feel more acute than ever.
    “It’s so hard to see this and know the capacity for violence that exists in our nation,” said Sam Futrell, a middle school social studies teacher in the Richmond, Virginia, area.
    Her fear of school shootings has mounted since she started teaching 10 years ago.    “It’s also so personal,” Futrell said.    “I see students every day, and I can just imagine something of that level happening in any of the schools that I’ve ever been to.”
    Futrell said every teacher knows that student – for whatever reason, “you just know something’s wrong.”
    Teachers, well aware of how difficult it is to be a teenager, will do everything they can to reach out to students and help or connect them with resources.
    “We all know that kid,” Futrell said.    “And it’s heartbreaking because you feel like you have no options left to help them at a certain point – like you’ve done everything that you can possibly do.        But at the same time, you feel like it’s not enough.”
    Teachers don’t just teach, of course.    They are therapists and nurses, social workers and security guards.    These days, they’re also IT professionals and health monitors and COVID-19 liaisons, all while navigating attacks on critical race theory and social-emotional learning, even on the teaching profession itself.
    “A lot of folks are struggling in that they want to do what they’re naturally called for, but they don’t feel safe – they don’t feel safe from guns or from diseases.    And policymakers and the system itself isn’t making it any easier,” said Rafa Díaz, a school board trustee for Judson Independent School District in San Antonio.    “While everybody’s focused on fighting textbooks and securing borders, we can’t even secure our schools.”
    The pressures are “causing a lot of people (in education) to second-guess their profession,” he said.
    There have been 27 school shootings this year, according to Education Week, which tracks incidents involving firearm-related injuries or deaths during school hours or at school-sponsored events.
    There were more shootings on school grounds last year than any other year since at least 1970, according to an analysis by the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security.    The center’s K-12 School Shooting Database documents every instance in which a gun is brandished or fired or a bullet hits school property for any reason.
    Guns were the leading cause of death among children and teenagers in 2020, according to research from the University of Michigan.
    Events such as Tuesday’s massacre leave Díaz feeling helpless: “After yesterday, I don’t think we have enough money to keep everybody safe,” he said.    “I can’t afford to build a fortress, and even if we could, is that the type of space we want to build for students?
‘It still hasn’t gotten better’
    Charlie Bielinski teaches ninth and 10th grade in the Greece Central School District in upstate New York.    The specter of the mass shooting outside a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, this month haunts him, as well as his experience with a school shooting from roughly two decades earlier.
    He had been grading papers inside the library when a 13-year-old student shot and killed a teacher at Lake Worth Middle School in Florida in May 2000.    Kids poured into the library, screaming someone had been shot, someone was dead.    A teacher was the lone fatality.
    He said he thinks about that confusion and lost time, and he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and panic attacks.    The incident drove home that shooter could target any school, which raises the anxiety in addressing problem behavior with some students.
    “This could happen anywhere,” Bielinski said.    “I have had many occasions where a kid would make a threat and someone would say, ‘He’s not going to do anything, he’s all talk.’    And we just can’t do that anymore.”
    Bielinski recalled after the Florida shooting that national news crews swarmed the school, but he questions whether it would generate a similar response today.    He said it feels as though multiple people have to die to break through the news cycle.    The frequency of shootings makes it difficult to come up with an answer to prevent them.
    “If the senators and congressmen aren’t willing to do anything, what can one of us do?” Bielinksi said.
    Inaction on gun control – and the loosening of laws in parts of the country – fueled some teachers’ frustration.    Last year, half a dozen states, including Texas, passed laws allowing people to carry a concealed firearm without holding a permit.
    “I’ve been in education 15 years already, and it still hasn’t gotten better,” said Ericka Avila, a former elementary school teacher and vice principal who works as a testing coordinator in her San Antonio-area school district’s central office.
    Teachers said they’re attuned to how gridlocked the politics have been on gun control.    Some said they’ve resigned themselves to the possibility that progress won’t ever happen.
    “Saying things are sad almost feels insensitive; it’s almost disrespectful to just go on saying it’s so sad,” said Liz Santana, a fourth grade teacher in the San Antonio area.    Santana teaches her students to use “fourth grade words” in their writing – bold, powerful words.
    “Sad is just not a strong enough word,” Santana said.    “There are people that have convinced themselves that their rights are the only rights that matter – that people only get killed in their homes ... that schools and where others are defenseless are the last target – when it’s in fact the opposite.”
    Alex Oliver has been a teacher in Riverside, Iowa, for 14 years.    He was headed to his school’s track to go for a run when he heard the news from Texas.
    “It kinda hits different when you know you’re going to the place you love and care about,” Oliver said.    “Then you start thinking about the students in your classroom and how they would be impacted.    Those kids in Texas?    They’ll never be the same because of this.”
    The possibility of a mass shooting permeates his existence.    He keeps a change jar at his desk to lend petty cash to students and to serve as a missile he could lob at potential intruders.
    Oliver said there’s often a public outcry after school shootings, but he’s unsure that it leads to change.    He said people’s response boils down to “Where’s it going to happen next? Hopefully not here.”
    Oliver wasn’t sure whether stricter gun laws would help prevent mass shootings – he pointed to the continued use of alcohol during Prohibition.    He said he would be in favor of mandatory training to own a firearm.
    “I think, as a teacher, if they said I had to carry a gun, I would do it because I care about my kids,” Oliver said.
Proposals are ‘insulting’
    Texas’ attorney general called for the arming of teachers after Tuesday’s shooting.
    “The reality is we don’t have the resources to have law enforcement at every school,” Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, said.    “It takes time for law enforcement, no matter how prepared, no matter how good they are to get there.    So having the right training for some of these people at the school is the best hope.”
    For Santana, the San Antonio elementary school teacher, such proposals are insulting.
    Research by Everytown for Gun Safety, a New York City-based organization that advocates for stronger gun control, underscores the safety hazards of that approach, saying it would give students easier access to firearms.
    “If somebody has a gun and they’re coming into my school, my kids’ schools, the supermarket, wherever, there’s not a whole lot I am going to be able to do to stop them,” said Davlyn Edgett, a teacher who moved from Arizona to Colorado, where she said she feels safer because of the stricter gun laws.    “Even holding my own gun, the odds that I am able to shoot with accuracy to make a difference?    I don’t know if that’s going to.”
    Edgett said the possibility of a mass shooter can affect the way educators teach students.    Some, she said, may be unwilling to discipline students in fear they might be the type of person to bring a firearm to school.
    Many schools in the past decade reinforced their buildings with two-layered entryways and bulletproof glass and adopted other security measures such as hiring school resource officers or holding active-shooter drills.
    “There comes a point where we have to strike a balance for school to still be a safe happy place,” said Ashley Croft, an elementary school principal in Nashville, Tennessee.
    Absent stronger gun control, teachers said they’re limited in how they can protect students.
    Robert Jackson, a government and civics teacher at Smyrna High School in Tennessee, said schools do what they can to keep folks on campus safe.
    “We are just playing a cruel guessing game. We have put ourselves in a situation because of gun laws,” Jackson, a first-year teacher, said.
    The time spent talking and worrying about school safety could be spent reducing the school-to-prison pipeline or ensuring all students learn to read and are given a chance at success, Jackson said.
    For people who choose to work in education, he said, “the offer that America seems to make to you is that you might be shot just trying to invest in the next generation.”
    “While everybody’s focused on fighting textbooks and securing borders, we can’t even secure our schools.”
    By Rafa Díaz, Judson Independent School District in San Antonio

5/27/2022 GOP blocks domestic terror bill - Vote would have enabled gun debate in Senate by Farnoush Amiri and Lisa Mascaro, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – Democrats’ first attempt at responding to the back-to-back mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas, failed in the Senate Thursday as Republicans blocked a domestic terrorism bill that would have opened debate on difficult questions surrounding hate crimes and gun safety.
    Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., tried to nudge Republicans into taking up a domestic terrorism bill that had cleared the House quickly last week after mass shootings at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, and a church in Southern California targeting people of color.    He said it could become the basis for negotiation.
    But the vote failed along party lines, raising fresh doubts about the possibility of robust debate, let alone eventual compromise, on gun safety measures.    The final vote was 47-47, short of the 60 needed to take up the bill.    All Republicans voted against it.
    “We’re disappointed,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
    She said it’s “shameful” that the National Rifle Association and others have stood in the way of advancing such measures but encouraged Congress to press ahead.
    “The president has been very clear that’s it’s time to act,” she said.
    Rejection of the bill, just two days after the mass shooting at a Texas elementary school that killed 19 children and two teachers, brought into sharp relief Congress’ persistent failure to pass legislation to curb the nation’s epidemic of gun violence.    It also underscored the prevalence of mass shootings in the U.S. as Congress struggled to react to earlier shootings but was confronted by yet another massacre.
    Schumer said he will give bipartisan negotiations in the Senate about two weeks, while Congress is away for a break, to try to forge a compromise bill that could pass the 50-50 Senate, where 60 votes will be needed to overcome a filibuster.    “None of us are under any illusions this will be easy,” Schumer said ahead of the vote.
    A small, bipartisan group of about 10 senators who have sought to negotiate legislation on guns met Thursday afternoon for the second time searching for any compromise that could win approved in Congress.    They narrowed to three topics – background checks for guns purchased online or at gun shows, red-flag laws designed to keep guns away from those who could harm themselves or others, and programs to bolster security at schools and other buildings.
    “We have a range of options that we’re going to work on,” said Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who is leading the negotiations.    They broke into groups and will report next week.
    Murphy has been working to push gun legislation since the 2012 attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, that killed 20 children and six educators.    He was joined Thursday by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and others.    Collins, a veteran of bipartisan talks, called the meeting “constructive.”
    What is clear, however, is that providing funding for local gun safety efforts may be more politically viable than devising new federal policies.
    GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina exited the meeting saying there is no appetite for a federal red flag law or a so-called yellow flag law – which permits temporary firearm confiscation from people in danger of hurting themselves or others, if a medical practitioner signs off.
    But Graham said there could be interest in providing money to the states that already have red flag laws or that want to develop them.    Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., who circulated a draft at the meeting, will work with Graham on a potential compromise.
    “These laws save lives,” Blumenthal said.
    Toomey told reporters that the Manchin-Toomey background check bill – which failed in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shooting a decade ago – still does not have enough support.    Manchin said he hoped this time would be different.
    “I can’t get my grandchildren out of my mind.    It could have been them,” Manchin said.
    Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who has said little about gun legislation since the several tragedies have unfolded, told reporters he met with Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas earlier and encouraged senators to collaborate across the aisle on workable outcomes.
    “I am hopeful that we could come up with a bipartisan solution that’s directly related to the facts of this awful massacre,” McConnell said.
    The domestic terrorism bill that failed Thursday dates back to 2017, when Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., first proposed it after mass shootings in Las Vegas and Southerland Springs, Texas.
    The House passed a similar measure by a voice vote in 2020, only to have it languish in the Senate.    Since then, Republicans have turned against the legislation, with only one GOP lawmaker supporting passage in the House last week.
    “What had broad bipartisan support two years ago, because of the political climate we find ourselves in … or to be more specific, the political climate Republicans find themselves in, we’re not able to stand up against domestic terrorism,” Schneider, who came into office in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting, told The Associated Press.
    Republicans say the bill doesn’t place enough emphasis on combating domestic terrorism committed by groups on the far left.    Under the bill, agencies would be required to produce a joint report every six months that assesses and quantifies domestic terrorism threats nationally, including threats posed by white supremacists and neo-Nazi groups.
    Proponents say the bill will fill the gaps in intelligence-sharing among the Justice Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI so that officials can better track and respond to the growing threat of white extremist terrorism.
Activists join Senate Democrats outside the Capitol in Washington to demand action on gun control legislation after
a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at a Texas elementary school earlier this week. J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE/AP

5/27/2022 Texas Authorities Provide Timeline Of Uvalde Elementary School Shooting by OAN NEWSROOM
A family pays their respects next to crosses bearing the names of Tuesday’s shooting victims
at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Thursday, May 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
    A small community in Texas is mourning following the deadly mass shooting at a school.    At least 19 students and two adults were killed when a gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, which is located West of San Antonio.    Officials from the local school district said their hearts are broken and their thoughts as well as their prayers are with all the families affected by the tragedy.    They also said grief counseling and support will be available for students, staff and community members.
    This comes as investigators are trying to determine a motive in the shooting after suspect Salvador Ramos, 18, opened fire at the school.    According to authorities, he acted alone and shot dead by responding police officers.    The gunman reportedly purchased a pair of rifles along with 375 rounds of ammunition at a local sporting goods store back in March.
    Texas Governor Gregg Abbott (R) has provided more insight into what led up to Tuesday’s mass school shooting.    In a press conference Wednesday, he said the 18-year-old gunman was reportedly a high school dropout who may have had a juvenile record.
    The governor added, the shooter made three disturbing Facebook posts shortly before he reached the school.    In the social media posts, he said he shot his grandmother in the face and alluded to his plans of attacking the school.    The governor credited law enforcement for quickly arriving to the scene and running toward gunfire to prevent further loss of life.
    Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed their condolences for the families who lost loved ones in Texas.    On Tuesday, nearly every legislator took to social to send out sympathies following the mass shooting.
    President Joe Biden also addressed the nation following the tragic shooting.    He commented about how had previously spoken following the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting while noting there have been over 900 reported incidents of gunfire on school grounds since that incident.
    “Why are we willing to live with this carnage?    Why do we keep letting this happen?” Biden asked.    “Where in God’s name is our backbone to have the courage to deal with it?    It’s time to turn this pain into action.”
    Meanwhile, the shooting remains under investigation as police try to determine the motive behind the massacre.    On Wednesday, police revealed all 21 victims, 19 students and two teachers, were in the same fourth grade classroom when the gunman entered and opened fire.
    Officials with the Texas Department of Public Health and Safety said they are looking to everything from who this gunman was to why he committed such an awful crime.    Those officials led a press conference on Thursday in an effort to clear up information being spread.    Here’s the timeline of what they say happened:
11:28 a.m. — The suspect wrecked his truck, which he had stolen from his grandmother after shooting her in the face, outside of the school.    He jumped out the passenger side and retrieves what was found out to be ammunition.    He sees two women outside of the nearby funeral home and begins shooting at them.    The suspect then jumped the fence, which placed him in the school parking lot. He then appears to already shoot at the building.
    11:40 — The suspect makes his way into Robb Elementary School.    According to video, he discharges dozens of rounds once inside.    At about that same time, he walks into a classroom.    Officers are at the scene, but they don’t enter or return fire because of the initial shots.    However, they are calling for backup.    At the same time, officers are evacuating the school.    Then the incident turned into a rescue operation.    It was reported that a school district police officer approached the gunman, however, the rangers said that was not true.    The suspect faced no obstacle between his grandmother’s home and the school.
    Officials from the Department of Public Safety said they will provide more updates as they come.

5/27/2022 Sen. Cruz: Dems, Mainstream Media Unfairly Target Gun Owners by OAN NEWSROOM
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, right, and Uvalde County Sheriff Ruben Nolasco pray during a prayer vigil in Uvalde, Texas, Wednesday, May 25, 2022.
The vigil was held to honor the victims killed in Tuesday’s shooting at Robb Elementary School. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
    Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has been adamantly speaking out against gun control proposals by Democrats while suggesting officials need to increase security in schools.    On Thursday, the Republican spoke with reporters at a vigil for shooting victims in Uvalde, Texas.    He said Democrats and the media are unfairly politicizing the tragic event.
    Cruz added, attacks on schools can be prevented without taking away constitutional rights of Americans.    He then stressed that Second Amendment rights must be protected.    When asked by a reporter if this was the moment to reform gun laws, Cruz explained that the mainstream media typically likes to go in that direction.    He then called on reporters to stop being “propagandist.”
    “Why is it that people come from all over the world to America?” Cruz asked as a follow-up question.    “Because it’s the freest, most prosperous, safest country on earth.”
    Meanwhile, during a televised interview on Thursday, the Texas senator said Democrats politicize mass shootings to unfairly target Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners.    Cruz added, Democrats are also trying to demonize the National Rifle Association.    The senator reaffirmed his plan to speak at an upcoming NRA convention in Houston.
    Cruz said he plans to address the NRA to raise important questions of gun safety and constitutional rights.    He stressed, Congress must pass a bill that he proposed back in 2013, which would spend $300 million to ramp up security in schools.

5/27/2022 OAN To Provide LIVE Coverage Of Trump’s ‘Save America’ Rally In Wyo.
    The 45th president is set to visit Wyoming to hold a ‘Save America’ rally. Donald Trump will be delivering remarks in the parking lot of the Ford Center in the city of Casper on Saturday.
    The event is expected to be the largest political event in the state’s 132-year history with crowds of around 20,000 people.    This comes as Trump has endorsed Rep. Liz Cheney’s (R-Wyo.) challenger, Harriet Hageman, for the state’s lone House seat.
    There will be a slew of speakers joining Trump on stage from Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) to video addresses from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House GOP conference chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.).
    Be sure to tune in to One America News for LIVE, uninterrupted coverage on Saturday, May 28 as former President Trump takes the stage in Wyoming at 6 p.m. EST / 3 p.m. PST.

5/27/2022 Senate GOP Blocks Domestic Terrorism Bill by OAN NEWSROOM
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., looks over his notes before speaking to reporters at a news conference
following a closed-door policy lunch, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Senate Republicans blocked a domestic terrorism bill while asserting it would dangerously expand the government’s surveillance powers.    On Thursday, the measure failed along party lines. At least 10 Republican votes were needed to advance.
    Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) introduced the bill in response to a mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo.    It would have created new federal offices to increase focus on domestic terrorism threats in coordination with Homeland Security, the DOJ and the FBI.
    Republicans have been skeptical of the legislation.    They believe the bill could lead to the policing of political speech and claimed it’s an updated version of the Patriot Act to surveil Americans.    Democrats have tied the issue to firearms and are pushing for gun control, while echoing calls for the measure’s approval following the massacre in Uvalde, Texas. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) called the bill an insult to every police officer in the country.
    “This is a filtration of the uniformed services and federal law enforcement,” Paul said.    “This is not just an insult to your local police or to the marines, to the army, to the navy, his is an insult to the FBI, it’s an insult to the capital police.    This bill says that they’ve been infiltrated.    This says that our police are consumed with some kind of race rage.    It’s untrue, its slander, it’s scandalous.”
    The bill was not expected to pass after it received GOP support in the House.    It only gained one Republican vote from Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.).    Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) slammed Republicans in his push to get the bill passed.
    “Many Republicans have made their opposition clear,” stated Schumer.    “There are a lot of MAGA Republicans for whom no amount of gun violence, whether it’s domestic terrorism, a school shooting, a neighborhood shooting or something else, will ever, ever convince them to take any action.”
    Schumer voiced he will hold bipartisan negotiations in the Senate in the coming weeks to try and hammer out a compromised bill.

5/27/2022 Memorial Day Travel: Millions Plan Trips Despite Record High Gas Prices by OAN NEWSROOM
High gas prices are shown in Los Angeles, Tuesday, May 24, 2022. To drive, or not to drive?
This Memorial Day weekend, with surging gas prices that are redefining pain at the pump, that is the question
for many Americans as a new COVID-19 surge also spreads across the country. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
    The record-high gas prices are hitting hard ahead of the Memorial Day weekend with analysts predicting an 8 percent increase in travel compared to 2021. AAA estimated that more than 39.2 million people will travel for this Memorial Day holiday period with the majority of travel expected to be by car.
    According to AAA, as of Thursday, nearly every state is seeing an average price of more than $4 per gallon.    However, many everyday Americans, like Dan Johnson of Pennsylvania, have plans they can’t miss.
    “My wife’s family, her sister is graduating from Tufts University in Boston, so we really didn’t have a choice and we just toughed it up,” Johnson explained.    “And you know, whatever the gas price is, we unfortunately just have to pay for it.    But, you know, we want to go visit our family, so this is the cost that’s involved.”
    The spike in fuel costs is likely due to the cost of crude oil and President Joe Biden’s multiple energy policy failures.    House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) spoke on the issues at hand ahead of the big travel holiday.
    “As you travel this Memorial Day weekend, think about how much more it’s costing you to fill up your car,” he noted.    “Then remember that restricting the supply and raising the price of American energy is a premeditated part of the Democrats’ radical agenda.”
    It appears there is no end in sight for record-high fuel prices as the pain at the pump continues for Americans.    Many people may end up reconsidering summer vacations with rising inflation and lack of solutions coming from Biden’s White House.

5/27/2022 Oil up $0.62 to $114.90, DOW up 576 to 33,214.

5/28/2022 G-7 discusses ending coal, providing climate aid - Aims to end power sector emissions by ’35 by Frank Jordans, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    BERLIN – Officials from the Group of Seven wealthy nations announced Friday that they will aim to largely end greenhouse gas emissions from their power sectors by 2035, making it highly unlikely that those countries will burn coal for electricity beyond that date.
    Ministers from the G-7 countries meeting in Berlin also announced a target to have a “highly decarbonized road sector by 2030,” meaning that electric vehicles would dominate new car sales by the end of the decade.
    And in a move aimed at ending the recurring conflict between rich and poor nations during international climate talks, the G-7 recognized for the first time the need to provide developing countries with additional financial aid to cope with the loss and damage caused by global warming.
    The agreements, which will be put to leaders next month at the G-7 summit in Elmau, Germany, were largely welcomed by climate activists.
    “The 2035 target for power sector decarbonization is a real breakthrough.    In practice, this means countries need to phase out coal by 2030 at the latest,” said Luca Bergamaschi, director of Rome-based campaign group ECCO.
    Coal is a heavily polluting fossil fuel that’s responsible for a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans.
    G-7 members Britain, France and Italy have already set themselves deadlines to stop burning coal for electricity in the next few years.    Germany and Canada are aiming for 2030; Japan wants more time; while the Biden administration has set a target of ending fossil fuel use for electricity generation in the United States by 2035.
    A common target would put pressure on other major polluters to follow suit and build on the compromise deal reached at last year’s U.N. climate summit, where nations committed merely to “phase down” rather than “phase out” coal – with no fixed date.
    U.S. climate envoy John Kerry called the agreements reached in Berlin “very comprehensive and forward-leaning.”
    “I think it will help lay the groundwork for what has to happen at the G-20,” he told The Associated Press, referring to a meeting later this year of the broader Group of 20 leading and emerging economies, who are responsible for 80% of global emissions.
    Getting all G-20 countries to sign on to the ambitious targets set by some of the most advanced economies will be difficult, as countries such as China, India and Indonesia remain heavily reliant on coal.
    Developing countries have for years demanded funds to cope with the destruction wrought by climate change.    Until now, wealthy nations have resisted the idea for fear of being held liable for disasters linked to their emissions.
    “But that recognition is not enough, they need to put actual money on the table,” said David Ryfisch of the Berlin based environmental campaign group German watch.    “It is now up to (German Chancellor Olaf) Scholz to mobilize significant financial commitments by leaders at the Elmau summit.”
Ministers from wealthy Group of Seven countries met in Berlin this week to
discuss ambitious climate initiatives. BERND VON JUTRCZENKA/DPA VIA AP

5/28/2022 No charges for agents in botched Nassar probe - FBI director calls actions ‘inexcusable’ by Ed White, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    DETROIT – The U.S. Justice Department said Thursday it will not pursue criminal charges against former FBI agents who failed to quickly open an investigation of sports doctor Larry Nassar despite learning in 2015 that he was accused of sexually assaulting female gymnasts.     The agency’s inspector general found that two former agents likely provided 'inaccurate or incomplete information' when investigators subsequently tried to understand what happened, but more would be needed to file charges, the department said.
    'This does not in any way reflect a view that the investigation of Nassar was handled as it should have been, nor in any way reflects approval or disregard of the conduct of the former agents,' the department said.
    The government last fall said it would take another look at an earlier decision to forgo charges.    At the time, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco told Congress that she had asked the newly confirmed head of the department’s criminal division to review the case.
    Nassar was a Michigan State University sports doctor as well as a doctor at USA Gymnastics.    He is serving decades in prison for assaulting female athletes, including medal-winning Olympians.
    Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics told FBI agents in 2015 that three gymnasts said they were assaulted by Nassar.    But the FBI did not open a formal investigation or inform federal or state authorities in Michigan, according to the inspector general’s report.
    Los Angeles FBI agents in 2016 began a sexual tourism investigation against Nassar and interviewed several victims but also didn’t alert Michigan authorities, the inspector general said.
    Nassar was finally arrested in November 2016 during an investigation by Michigan State University police.
    At a Senate hearing in 2021, FBI Director Christopher Wray apologized to Nassar’s victims, saying it was 'inexcusable' that agents 'had their own chance to stop this monster back in 2015 and failed.'
    The FBI fired an agent; another one retired.    The FBI has also adopted recommendations by the inspector general.
    Lawyers for Nassar’s victims have said more than 100 young women or teens were assaulted after the FBI became aware of allegations against him. At least 13 are seeking $10million each from the government.
    John Manly said it’s 'incomprehensible' that agents and others will not be prosecuted.
    'The FBI agents who knew of Nassar’s abuse, did nothing, and then lied about their inaction in violation of their sworn duty and the law have been given a pass,' Manly said.
Nassar                    Wray
    At a Senate hearing in 2021, FBI Director Christopher Wray apologized to Larry Nassar’s victims, saying it was 'inexcusable' that agents 'had their own chance to stop this monster back in 2015 and failed.'    Bonnie Cash/AP file Nassar

5/28/2022 Trump lawsuit against New York AG dismissed by Michael R. Sisak, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Former President Donald Trump sued New York Attorney General Letitia James after she
issued a subpoena for his testimony in a civil investigation. Gene J. Puskar/AP file
    NEW YORK – A federal judge on Friday dismissed Donald Trump’s lawsuit against New York Attorney General Letitia James, allowing her civil investigation into his business practices to continue.
    In a 43-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Brenda Sannes said she based her decision on case law that, in most cases, bars federal judges from interfering in state-level investigations.
    Sannes’ ruling came a day after a New York appeals court ruled that Trump must answer questions under oath in James’ probe, upholding a lower-court ruling requiring him to sit for a deposition.
    'In a big victory, a federal court has dismissed Donald Trump’s baseless lawsuit to stop my office’s investigation into his and the Trump Organization’s financial dealings,' James said in a tweet.    'Frivolous lawsuits won’t stop us from completing our lawful, legitimate investigation.'
    A message seeking comment was left with Trump’s lawyers.
    Trump sued James in December, just after she issued a subpoena for his testimony, in an attempt to end the three-year investigation.
    Through his lawyers, the Republican former president alleged that the probe was political in nature and that James, a Democrat, had violated his constitutional rights in a 'thinly-veiled effort to publicly malign Trump and his associates.'
    James responded that Trump’s lawsuit was a sudden 'collateral attack' on her investigation and that there was no legal basis for it and no evidence to support his claim that the probe is purely political.
    At a May 13 hearing that precipitated Sannes’ ruling Friday, a lawyer for James’ office said the probe is winding down and that evidence from it could support legal action against the former president, his company or both.
    The lawyer, Andrew Amer, said 'there’s clearly been a substantial amount of evidence amassed that could support the filing of an enforcement proceeding,' although a final determination on filing such an action has not been made.
    Amer, a special litigation counsel in James’ office, said the office is 'nearing the end' of the civil investigation, which James has said uncovered evidence Trump’s company misstated the value of assets like skyscrapers and golf courses on financial statements for more than a decade.
    In the previous day’s setback for Trump, a four-judge panel in the appellate division of the state’s trial court upheld Judge Arthur Engoron’s Feb. 17 ruling, which enforced subpoenas requiring that Trump and his two eldest children – Ivanka and Donald Jr. – give deposition testimony in James’ probe.
    The appeals court’s ruling on Thursday rejected Trump’s argument that he be excused from testifying because his answers could be used in a parallel criminal probe.
    'The existence of a criminal investigation does not preclude civil discovery of related facts, at which a party may exercise the privilege against self-incrimination,' the appellate panel wrote, citing the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and other legal protections for witnesses.

5/28/2022 NRA speakers reflect on shooting - Trump backs gun rights amid Texas tragedy by Juan Lozano and Jill Colvin, ASSOCIATED PRESS
“The existence of evil is one of the very best reasons to arm law-abiding
citizens,” says former president Donald Trump in Houston. MICHAEL WYKE/AP
    HOUSTON – One by one, they took to the stage at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention and denounced the massacre of 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school across the state.    And one by one, they insisted that further restricting access to firearms was not the answer to preventing future tragedies.
    “The existence of evil in our world is not a reason to disarm law-abiding citizens,” said former President Donald Trump, who was among the Republicans who lined up to speak in front of the gun rights lobbying group Friday as thousands of protesters angry about gun violence demonstrated outside.
    “The existence of evil is one of the very best reasons to arm law-abiding citizens,” he said.
    The gathering came just three days after the shooting in Uvalde and as the nation grappled with revelations that students trapped inside a classroom with the gunman repeatedly called 911 during the attack – one pleading “Please send the police now” – as officers waited in the hallway for more than 45 minutes.
    The NRA said convention attendees would “reflect on” the shooting at the event and “pray for the victims, recognize our patriotic members and pledge to redouble our commitment to making our schools secure.”
    The meeting was the first for the organization since 2019, following a two-year hiatus because of the pandemic.    The organization has been trying to regroup following a period of serious legal and financial turmoil that included a failed bankruptcy effort, a class-action lawsuit and a fraud investigation by New York’s attorney general.    Once among the most powerful political organizations in the country, the NRA has seen its influence wane following a significant drop in political spending.
    Wayne LaPierre, the group’s embattled chief executive, opened the program with remarks bemoaning the “Twenty-one beautiful lives ruthlessly and indiscriminately extinguished by a criminal monster.”
    Still, he said that “restricting the fundamental human rights of law-abiding Americans to defend themselves is not the answer.    It never has been.”
    Later, several hundred people in the auditorium stood and bowed in a moment of silence for the victims of the shooting.    Several thousand people were inside the auditorium during the speeches.
    Trump accused Democrats of trying to exploit the tragedy and demonizing gun owners.
    “When Joe Biden blamed the gun lobby, he was talking about Americans like you,” Trump said, referring to the president’s emotional plea in a national address asking, “When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?
    He called for overhauling school security and the nation’s approach to mental health, telling the group every school building should have a single point of entry, strong exterior fencing, metal detectors and hardened classroom doors, and every school should have a police officer or armed guard on duty at all times.    He also called yet again for trained teachers to be able to carry concealed weapons in the classroom.
    Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who, like Trump, is considered a potential presidential candidate in 2024, railed against Democrats’ calls for universal background checks for gun purchases and banning assault-style weapons and instead pointed to broken families, declining church attendance, social media bullying and video games as the real problems.
    “Tragedies like the event of this week are a mirror forcing us to ask hard questions, demanding that we see where our culture is failing,” he said.    “We must not react to evil and tragedy by abandoning the Constitution or infringing on the rights of our law-abiding citizens.”
    South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, another potential presidential contender, said calls to further restrict gun access are “all about control and it is garbage.    I’m not buying it for a second and you shouldn’t, either.”
    Some scheduled speakers and performers backed out of the event, including several Texas lawmakers and “American Pie” singer Don     McLean, who said “it would be disrespectful” to go ahead with his act after the country’s latest mass shooting.    Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Friday morning he decided not to speak at an event breakfast after “prayerful consideration and discussion with NRA officials.”
    “While a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and an NRA member, I would not want my appearance today to bring any additional pain or grief to the families and all those suffering in Uvalde,” he wrote in a statement.
    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who was to attend, addressed the convention by prerecorded video instead.
    Outside the convention hall, protesters gathered in a park where police set up metal barriers – some holding crosses with photos of the Uvalde shooting victims.
    “Murderers!” some yelled in Spanish.    “Shame on you!” others shouted at attendees.
    Among the protesters was singer Little Joe, of the popular Tejano band Little Joe y La Familia, who said in the more than 60 years he has spent touring the world, no other country he has been to has faced as many mass shootings as the U.S.
    “Of course, this is the best country in the world,” he said.    “But what good does it do us if we can’t protect lives, especially of our children?
    Although Biden and Democrats in Congress have renewed calls for stricter gun laws after the Uvalde shooting, NRA board members and others attending the conference dismissed talk of banning or limiting access to firearms.
    Samuel Thornburg, 43, a maintenance worker for Southwest Airlines in Houston who was attending the NRA meeting, said, “Guns are not evil.    It’s the people that are committing the crime that are evil.    Our schools need to be more locked.    There need to be more guards.”
    Although personal firearms are allowed at the convention, guns were not permitted during the session featuring Trump because of Secret Service security protocols.
“We must not react to evil and tragedy by abandoning the Constitution,” says
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at the NRA’s Annual Meeting in Houston. MICHAEL WYKE/AP

5/28/2022 Korean solar panel firm to hire 470 at $171M Georgia plant
    A Korean solar panel maker announced Thursday that it will expand its presence in Georgia, building a new $171 million plant next to an existing factory in Dalton.
    The new plant will open in the first half of 2023 and will hire 470 people, Qcells, a unit of Hanwha Solutions, said in a written statement.    The company already has 750 workers at its existing northwest Georgia factory.
    In 2019, Qcells opened a 300,000square-foot factory in Dalton that assembles 1.7 gigawatts of solar modules each year.    The company said it is the largest solar panel factory in the Western Hemisphere.    The new factory will have a capacity of 1.4 gigawatts.    Once the second plant is built, Qcells will control almost a third of all American solar module assembly, the company said.    Qcells said it sells 24% of all solar modules installed on American homes and 21% of all modules installed on commercial buildings.    The company also describes itself as a leading supplier to large solar farms that provide electricity to utilities.
    The company had announced plans for a U.S. expansion earlier this month without saying where.

5/28/2022 Federal trial of Hillary Clinton associate goes to jury - Case involves allegations of Trump’s ties to Russia by Eric Tucker, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – An attorney for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign hid his partisan interests from the FBI as he pushed “pure opposition research” related to Donald Trump and Russia in the weeks before the election, a prosecutor asserted Friday during closing arguments of the attorney’s trial.
    But Michael Sussmann’s legal team denied prosecutors’ claims that he lied.    And even if jurors believed Sussmann did lie, the defense said the alleged false statement did not matter because he was presenting national security information the FBI would have looked into no matter the source.    At the time of Sussmann’s meeting with the FBI in September 2016, the bureau was already investigating whether Russia and the Trump campaign were colluding to sway the election won by Trump that November.
    “It was a very contentious time.    The Russians had hacked the DNC.    They were leaking emails.    And there was an ongoing FBI investigation irrespective of this,” Sussmann attorney Sean Berkowitz told jurors, referring to the Democratic National Committee.    “And that was viewed as incredibly serious.”
    The case is the first courtroom test of special counsel John Durham’s work since his appointment three years ago to search for government misconduct during the investigation into potential ties between Russia and Trump’s campaign.
    Jurors began deliberating Friday afternoon.
    A guilty verdict would be cheered by Trump and his supporters, who have looked to the Durham investigation to undercut the original Trump-Russia investigation they have long seen as politically motivated.    But the case against Sussmann is narrow in nature, involves a peripheral aspect of that investigation and alleges misconduct by a tipster to the government rather than by anyone at the FBI or any other federal agency.
    Nonetheless, the two weeks of testimony in federal court in Washington have exposed the extent to which Democratic interests, opposition research, the media and law enforcement came to be entangled in the run-up to the presidential election.    Prosecutors have portrayed Sussmann as determined to gin up investigations into Trump that could then be disclosed to the media and yield stories negative to his campaign.
    “It wasn’t about national security,” said Jonathan Algor, a Durham team prosecutor.
    “It was about promoting opposition research against the opposition candidate, Donald Trump.”
    Sussmann is charged with a single count of making a false statement.    That charge carries a maximum five-year prison sentence, though if convicted, Sussmann is likely to get far less – if any – prison time.    He did not take the stand during the trial.
    The case turns on a Sept. 19, 2016, meeting in which Sussmann presented the FBI’s top attorney, James Baker, with computer data that Sussmann said suggested a secret communications backchannel between a Russia-based bank and the Trump Organization, the candidate’s company.
    Such a backchannel, if it existed, would have been explosive information at a time when the FBI was examining links between Trump and Russia.    But after assessing the data, the FBI quickly determined that there was no suspicious contact.
    Prosecutors said Sussmann lied to Baker by saying he was not participating in the meeting on behalf of a particular client.
    They said he was there on behalf of the Clinton campaign and another client, a technology executive whom the Durham team said tasked researchers with looking for internet traffic involving Trump associates and Russians.
    Sussmann lied about his clients, prosecutors alleged, to give the data extra credibility because he figured the information would not be investigated if the FBI thought it was mere opposition research being pushed by the Clinton campaign.
    The defendant knew he had to hide his clients if there was any chance of getting his allegations to the FBI – and that, ladies and gentlemen, is why the defendant lied,” Algor said.
    To convict, prosecutors need to show not only that Sussmann lied but that the lie was material – namely, that it mattered or at least could have mattered to the FBI’s work.
    Algor said the fact Sussmann repeatedly billed the Clinton campaign for his work on the Alfa Bank matter is proof he was acting on the campaign’s behalf when he met with the FBI.    But Berkowitz noted Sussmann billed his taxi ride to FBI headquarters for the meeting itself to his law firm, rather than to the campaign.
    Durham has so far charged three people.    The case against Sussmann is the only one to have reached trial.

5/28/2022 US: Turkey’s objections can be overcome - NATO bids for Finland and Sweden on the line by Matthew Lee, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Secretary of State Antony Blinken, right, prepares to depart with Finland Foreign Minister
Pekka Haavisto after their news conference in Washington on Friday. ALEX BRANDON/AP
    WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday he’s confident Turkey’s objections to Finland and Sweden joining NATO can be overcome swiftly, possibly in time for a summit of alliance leaders at the end of next month.
    At a news conference in Washington with visiting Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, Blinken said the U.S. has no reason to believe Turkey’s concerns cannot be addressed.    His comments came after Turkey’s top diplomat said Finland and Sweden would have to take “concrete steps” before Ankara could support their membership.
    “The United States fully supports Finland and Sweden joining the alliance and I continue to be confident that both will soon be NATO members,” Blinken said.    “We look forward to being able to call Finland and Sweden our allies.”
    Haavisto said his country and Sweden had held “good negotiations” with the Turks over their concerns in recent days and said those discussions would continue with an eye toward resolving them before the NATO summit in Madrid at the end of June.
    “We agreed to continue to those talks,” Haavisto said.    “We think that these problems can be solved that Turkey has been raising.    We hope that some results could be achieved before the NATO summit.”
    Sweden and Finland submitted their written applications to join NATO last week.
    The move represents one of the biggest geopolitical ramifications of Russia’s war in Ukraine and could rewrite Europe’s security map.
    The countries’ membership bids require support from all 30 current NATO countries, but Turkey, which commands the second-largest military in the alliance, is objecting to them.    It has cited alleged support for Kurdish militants whom Turkey considers terrorists and restrictions on weapons sales to Turkey.
    Earlier Friday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the Finnish and Swedish negotiating delegations had been given documents detailing Turkey’s concerns, like information on terror groups, during their visit to Turkey this week.    He said Ankara is awaiting specific answers.
    Cavusoglu said “an approach of ‘we’ll convince Turkey in time anyway; we are friends and allies’ would not be correct.”    He insisted that “these countries need to take concrete steps.”
    He added that “we understand Finland and Sweden’s security concerns but … everyone also needs to understand Turkey’s legitimate security concerns.”
    Turkey this week listed five “concrete assurances” it was demanding from Sweden, including what it said was “termination of political support for terrorism,” an “elimination of the source of terrorism financing,” and the “cessation of arms support” to the banned PKK and a Syrian Kurdish militia group affiliated with it.
    The demands also called for the lifting of arms sanctions against Turkey and global cooperation against terrorism.
    Cavusoglu’s comments came at a news conference with the visiting foreign ministers of NATO allies Poland and Romania, both of whom expressed strong support for Finland and Sweden’s bids.
    “There is no doubt that we do need the accession of Sweden and Finland to the NATO alliance in order to make it stronger,” Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau said.
    Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu, agreed, saying their membership would “consolidate the collective defense and our security.”

5/28/2022 No Oil or DOW info .

5/29/2022 McCarthy, GOP escalate feud with Jan. 6 panel - House Republican leader says he’ll likely defy subpoena by Farnoush Amiri and Mary Clare Jalonick, ASSOCIATED PRESS
In a letter to the Jan. 6 select committee Friday, an attorney for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy
argued the panel does not have the authority to issue subpoenas to lawmakers under House rules and demanded
answers to a series of questions and documents if his client were to comply. J. Scott Applewhite/AP file
    WASHINGTON – House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is making it clear that he will likely defy a subpoena from the House committee investigating the Jan.6, 2021, Capitol riot, escalating a standoff with the panel over his and other GOP lawmakers’ testimony.
    In an 11-page letter to the panel Friday, an attorney for McCarthy, a Republican from California, argued the select committee does not have the authority to issue subpoenas to the lawmakers under House rules and demanded answers to a series of questions and documents if his client were to comply.
    Attorney Elliot Berke requested a list of 'topics that the Select Committee would like to discuss with the Leader, and the constitutional and legal rationale justifying the request.'
    'I expressly reserve Leader McCarthy’s right to assert any other applicable privilege or objection to the Select Committee’s subpoena,' Berke wrote.
    Committee spokesperson Tim Mulvey said Friday night, 'Leader McCarthy and other Members who have been served subpoenas are hiding behind debunked arguments and baseless requests for special treatment.'
    He added, 'The refusal of these Members to cooperate is a continued assault on the rule of law and sets a dangerous new precedent that could hamper the House’s ability to conduct oversight in the future.'    Mulvey said committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi, 'will formally respond to these Members in the days ahead.'
    The House panel believes testimony from the Republican lawmakers is crucial to their investigation as each was in contact with former President Donald Trump and his allies in the weeks and days leading up to the Capitol riot.    Some participated in meetings and urged the White House to try to overturn the 2020 presidential results.
    McCarthy has acknowledged he spoke with Trump on Jan.6 as some of Trump’s supporters were outside the Capitol and forcing their way into the building.    But he has not shared many details.    The committee requested information about his conversations with Trump 'before, during and after' the riot.
    His apparent defiance presents a new challenge for the committee after lawmakers decided to take the extraordinary and politically risky step of subpoenaing their own colleagues.
    'For House Republican leaders to agree to participate in this political stunt would change the House forever,' McCarthy wrote Thursday in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal with Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.
    The committee now must decide whether to enforce the subpoenas even as it looks to wrap up the investigation and prepare for a series of public hearings in early June.

5/29/2022 US state legislators praise abortion access in Mexico by ASSOCIATED PRESS
    MEXICO CITY – A group of U.S. state legislators from Texas, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and North Carolina toured Mexico and said this week they are impressed by efforts to expand abortion access south of the border.
    The legislators visited the country’s three largest cities, Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey to meet with activists and Mexican legislators.
    “It is incredibly touching to see people opening their homes, opening their hearts, spending time and effort helping American women, Texas women predominantly for now, access care,” said Texas state Rep. Erin Zwiener.
    There is anecdotal evidence that women from Texas are crossing into Mexico to obtain abortion pills, and some Mexican activists want to help.
    Under a 2021 law, abortions in Texas are prohibited once medical professionals can detect cardiac activity, usually around six weeks and before some women know they’re pregnant.    Enforcement is left up to private citizens who are deputized to file civil lawsuits against abortion providers, as well as others who help a woman obtain an abortion in Texas.
    Zwiener said about 45% of Texas women who obtained abortion outside the state between September and December went to neighboring Oklahoma. Last week, Oklahoma lawmakers passed legislation banning abortion at conception, the strictest in the nation.
    Zwiener said that might send Texas women to New Mexico or Louisiana.
    Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled last year that it was unconstitutional to punish abortion.
A woman holds a banner that reads “Legal, safe, and free abortion” in Spanish as abortion rights
protesters demonstrate in front of the National Congress on the “Day for Decriminalization of Abortion
in Latin America and the Caribbean” in Mexico City, Sept. 28, 2020. REBECCA BLACKWELL/AP FILE

5/29/2022 Ex-Proud Boys leader to stay jailed until riot trial by Michael Kunzelman, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    The former top leader of the Proud Boys will remain jailed while awaiting trial on charges that he conspired with other members of the far-right extremist group to attack the U.S. Capitol and stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s presidential victory, a federal judge has ruled.
    Henry “Enrique” Tarrio poses a danger to the public that cannot be mitigated by home detention and banning him from using social media, U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly said in an order issued late Friday.
    Tarrio, a South Florida resident, has been jailed since his arrest on March 8, a day after his indictment on charges including conspiracy.    A federal magistrate in Miami previously ordered his pretrial detention.
    Tarrio and other Proud Boys leaders used encrypted channels, social media and other electronic communications to plan and carry out a plot to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and interfere with the congressional certification of the Electoral College vote, according to the indictment.
    Tarrio asked Kelly to order his release on bond, but the judge rejected the request.    Kelly said the evidence against Tarrio is “very strong” despite Tarrio’s argument that authorities essentially do not have “a smoking gun” against him, “perhaps in the form of direct evidence of an order from Tarrio to other Proud Boys to storm the Capitol.”
    Tarrio was not in Washington when the insurrection took place.    Police had arrested Tarrio in the District of Columbia two days before the riot and charged him with vandalizing a Black Lives Matter banner at a historic Black church during a protest in December 2020.    A judge ordered Tarrio to stay out of the nation’s capital.
    Before he left Washington, Tarrio met with Oath Keepers founder and leader Elmer “Stewart” Rhodes and others in an underground parking garage for approximately 30 minutes, authorities say. Rhodes and several other members or associates of the anti-government Oath Keepers militia group are charged with seditious conspiracy in the Capitol attack.
    A documentary filmmaker recorded part of the garage meeting.
    “But not much about the substance of the meeting can be gleaned from the clips – at one point, Tarrio and others motion for the filmmaker to stop,” Kelly noted in his order.
    Tarrio claims to have stepped down as Proud Boys’ national chairman.
    Five other men linked to the Proud Boys – Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl, Charles Donohoe and Dominic Pezzola – were charged in the same March 7 indictment as Tarrio.
    Donohoe, 34, of Kernersville, North Carolina, pleaded guilty in April to conspiracy and assault charges and has agreed to cooperate in the Justice Department’s cases against other Proud Boys members.
    Nordean, Biggs, Rehl and Pezzola also remain jailed while awaiting a trial scheduled for August.
    Tarrio and other Proud Boys leaders used encrypted channels, social media and other electronic communications to plan and carry out a plot to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

5/29/2022 Energy secretary: Wind jobs should be union - Offshore wind ‘the future of energy’ by Jennifer McDermott, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, center, tours the New London State Pier facility May 20,
a hub for the offshore wind power industry in New London, Conn. JENNIFER MCDERMOTT/AP
    NEW LONDON, Conn. – The growing offshore wind industry is often touted as a boon for job creation, but who will do the work?
    The U.S. energy secretary and Danish wind developer Orsted say they want American union workers to build offshore wind farms to dot the U.S. coastlines – the building trades workers who could otherwise be left out of a transition to renewable resources.
    A majority of onshore wind and solar farms have been built either with nonunion workers or without collective bargaining agreements, except for in California where unions are more involved in the industry, according to North America’s Building Trades Unions.    Orsted signed a project labor agreement this month with the national union representing 3 million people in the building trades to construct the company’s U.S. offshore wind farms with an American union workforce.
    “Our recent experience in the last two decades with onshore wind and solar has been that the majority of those projects are not built with us,” NABTU Secretary- Treasurer Brent Booker said.    “So this is groundbreaking in setting the standard for an emerging industry here.”
    The Biden administration wants to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, generating enough electricity to power more than 10 million homes.    Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm visited the New London State Pier facility last week to see how Orsted, energy provider Eversource and the state of Connecticut are transforming it into a hub for the offshore wind industry.
    At a press conference after, the Democratic governor and Democratic congressmen spoke about creating American jobs – messaging that will surely play into their reelection campaigns.
    Gov. Ned Lamont said there are “hundreds of good paying jobs right here” and “we’re just getting started.”
    U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal thanked the unions, saying “this is the future of energy in the United States of America right here.”    U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney said they’re maximizing every opportunity for the state to grow in a sustainable way.    U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, the only one not up for reelection, echoed the same message, saying offshore wind is the “holy grail of public policy” because it creates jobs, helps the local economy, makes the country more secure and helps save the planet.
    Flanked by building trades members, Granholm said the administration is committed to creating “union jobs in America in this clean energy economy.”    She said she wants predominantly American union workers to build U.S. offshore wind farms and would like to see project labor agreements in all aspects of the energy transition, drawing cheers from workers at the pier.
    “That’s what we’d like, all union,” she told The Associated Press.
    Allison Ziogas, Orsted’s U.S. labor relations manager, said one of the reasons they sought the agreement with NABTU was to assure workers, particularly in the fossil fuel industry, that they can have good-paying jobs in offshore wind.    “There is not the same level or quality of jobs with the solar industry, so it’s kind of created a false narrative that you can have good jobs or a healthy climate but not both,” she said.    “And we really recognized that if we didn’t have everyone on board, we knew how things would wind up.    It would wind up in gridlock.”
    Orsted currently has six projects in five states.    The “National Offshore Wind Agreement” covers contractors working on those projects and future ones, with no termination date on the project labor agreement.    It sets the terms and conditions for union workers to build offshore wind farms, with targets to ensure a diverse workforce.    It contains provisions for training to ensure they can construct the complex infrastructure.
    Ziogas said nearly all of the total work hours on each project will be done with union labor, with a team from abroad with experience installing turbines supporting the offshore work.    She said Orsted is committed to “creating an American industry,” and hopes the agreement sets the bar for it.
    Keith Brothers, head of the building trades in Connecticut, said he briefly spoke with Granholm at the pier about the project labor agreement.    Brothers said it’s about creating opportunities, not only for a longtime tradesman but also for a new apprentice looking for a career in the emerging U.S. offshore wind industry.
    “That’s what’s exciting about it, it’s new.    We really don’t know what it’s going to bring or how many jobs.    But we know it’s a lot,” he said.    “We know it’s new and there’s a lot coming.”
    The first U.S. offshore wind farm began operating off Block Island, R.I., in 2016.    Orsted acquired the developer and now operates that five-turbine wind farm.    The first commercial-scale project is off the coast of Massachusetts.

5/29/2022 No Oil or DOW info.

5/30/2022 Governors are divided regarding gun control - Dems want stricter rules, Republicans more security by David A. Lieb, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said he supports limits on both bullet capacities
and the purchase of semiautomatic weapons. MATT SLOCUM/AP
    As the U.S. mourns the victims of its latest mass shooting – 19 elementary school students and two teachers gunned down in Texas – Democratic governors are amplifying their calls for greater restrictions on guns.
    Many Republican governors are emphasizing a different solution: more security at schools.
    The divide among the nation’s governors mirrors a partisan split that has stymied action in Congress and many state capitols over how best to respond to a record-high number of gun-related deaths in the U.S.    The political differences tap deep into the country’s roots, highlighting the tensions between life, liberty and the constitutional rights spelled out in the nation’s founding documents.
    After the massacre Tuesday at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, The Associated Press asked governors across the U.S. whether they believed their states have an obligation to reduce mass shootings and violence committed with guns and, if so, how to do that.
    About half the governor’s offices responded to the AP.    There was agreement that they had a responsibility to try to do something.    Democrats and Republicans alike mentioned the need to invest in mental health services and training to try to help people potentially prone to a violent outburst.
    But the commonality generally ended after that.
    Should people younger than 21 be prohibited from buying semiautomatic guns?    Should ammunition magazines be limited to no more than 10 bullets?
    Many Democratic governors said “yes.”
    “If you’re not serious about guns, you’re not serious about crime prevention.    I think that’s more true today than ever before,” said Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont of Connecticut, where 20 students and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary a decade ago.
    Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said he supports limits on both bullet capacities and the purchase of semiautomatic weapons.
    Among Republican governors who responded to the AP, only Vermont Gov. Phil Scott expressed support for such gun control efforts.
    Republican governors were more likely to support efforts to strengthen security at schools.    The AP asked about proposals to arm teachers and staff with firearms, add security guards or secure schools with such things as metal detectors and fencing.    Though her office didn’t respond to the AP’s survey, Republican Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota denounced calls for gun-control as “garbage” and embraced greater school security measures during a speech Friday to the National Rifle Association convention in Houston.
    While dismissing proposals to restrict gun ownership, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said the solution is to “focus on the individual problems” and to continue providing grants to schools for security upgrades.
    “You might call it hardening them when children are in their classroom,” said Holcomb, a Republican.
    None of the Democratic governors who responded to the AP’s questions supported arming teachers or staff to deter or stop attacks.

5/30/2022 Uvalde tells Biden to ‘do something’ - President grieves with the shattered community Shootings intensify spotlight on the need for solutions by Zeke Miller and Elliot Spagat, ASSOCIATED PRESS
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden greet Texas Gov. Greg Abbott as they arrive Sunday at Garner Field to visit
Robb Elementary School to pay their respects to the victims of the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas. EVAN VUCCI/AP
    UVALDE, Texas – President Joe Biden grieved with the shattered community of Uvalde on Sunday, mourning privately for three hours with anguished families of the 19 schoolchildren and two teachers killed by a gunman.    Faced with chants of “do something” as he departed a church service, Biden pledged: “We will.”
    At Robb Elementary School, Biden visited a memorial of 21 white crosses – one for each of those killed – and first lady Jill Biden added a bouquet of white flowers to those already placed in front of the school sign.    The couple then viewed individual altars erected in memory of each student, the first lady touching the children’s photos as they moved along the row.
    After visiting the memorial, Biden attended Mass at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, where several victims’ families are members, and one of the families was in attendance.
    Speaking directly to the children in the congregation, Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller tried to assuage the fears of the youngsters, some appearing about the same age as the victims.
    “You have seen the news, you have witnessed the tears of your parents, friends,” he said, encouraging them not to be afraid of life.    “You are the best reminders to us that the lives of the little ones are important.”
    As Biden departed church to meet privately with family members, a crowd of about 100 people began chanting “do something.”     Biden answered, “We will,” as he got into his car.    It was his only public comment during roughly seven hours in Uvalde.
    Biden later tweeted that he grieves, prays and stands with the people of Uvalde.    “And we are committed to turning this pain into action,” he said.
    The visit to Uvalde was Biden’s second trip in as many weeks to console a community in loss after a mass shooting.    He traveled to Buffalo, New York, on May 17 to meet with victims’ families and condemn white supremacy after a shooter espousing the racist “replacement theory” killed 10 Black people at a supermarket.
    Both shootings and their aftermath put a fresh spotlight on the nation’s entrenched divisions and its inability to forge consensus on actions to reduce gun violence.
    “Evil came to that elementary school classroom in Texas, to that grocery store in New York, to far too many places where innocents have died,” Biden said Saturday in a commencement address at the University of Delaware.    “We have to stand stronger.    We must stand stronger.    We cannot outlaw tragedy, I know, but we can make America safer.”
    Biden also met with first responders before the trip back to his home in Delaware.    It was not clear if the group included officers who were involved in the immediate response to the shooting.
    Biden visited amid mounting scrutiny of the police response.    Officials revealed Friday that students and teachers repeatedly begged 911 operators for help as a police commander told more than a dozen officers to wait in a hallway.    Officials said the commander believed the suspect was barricaded inside an adjoining classroom and that there was no longer an active attack.
    The revelation caused more grief and raised new questions about whether lives were lost because officers did not act faster to stop the gunman, who was ultimately killed by Border Patrol tactical officers.
    The Justice Department announced Sunday that it will review the law enforcement response and make its findings public.
    “It’s easy to point fingers right now,” said Ronnie Garza, a Uvalde County commissioner, on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” before adding, “Our community needs to focus on healing right now.”
    Mckinzie Hinojosa, whose cousin Eliahana Torres was killed Tuesday, said she respected Biden’s decision to mourn with the people of Uvalde.
    “It’s more than mourning,” she said.    “We want change.    We want action.    It continues to be something that happens over and over and over.    A mass shooting happens.    It’s on the news.    People cry.    Then it’s gone.    Nobody cares.    And then it happens again. And again.”
    “If there’s anything if I could tell Joe Biden, as it is, just to respect our community while he’s here, and I’m sure he will,” she added.    “But we need change.    We need to do something about it.”
    Authorities have said the shooter legally purchased two guns not long before the school attack: an AR-style rifle on May 17 and a second rifle on May 20. He had just turned 18, permitting him to buy the weapons under federal law.
    Hours after the shooting, Biden delivered an impassioned plea for additional gun control legislation, asking: “When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?    Why are we willing to live with this carnage?    Why do we keep letting this happen?
    Over the years, Biden has been intimately involved in the gun control movement’s most notable successes, such as the 1994 assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004, and its most troubling disappointments, including the failure to pass new legislation after the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
    As president, Biden has tried to address gun violence through executive orders.    He faces few new options now, but executive action might be the best the president can do, given Washington’s sharp divisions on gun control legislation.
    In Congress, a bipartisan group of senators talked over the weekend to see if they could reach even a modest compromise on gun safety legislation after a decade of mostly failed efforts.
    Encouraging state “red flag” laws to keep guns away from those with mental health issues, and addressing school security and mental health resources were on the table, said Sen. Chris Murphy, who is leading the effort.
    While there is nowhere near enough support from Republicans in Congress for broader gun safety proposals popular with the public, including a new assault weapons ban or universal background checks on gun purchases, Murphy, D-Conn., told ABC’s “This Week” that these other ideas are “not insignificant.”
    The group will meet again this coming week under a 10-day deadline to strike a deal.
A man kneels Sunday at a memorial outside Robb Elementary School to honor the
victims killed in the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. DARIO LOPEZ-MILLS/AP

A man and a child pay their respects at a memorial outside Robb Elementary School to honor
the victims killed in a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Sunday. DARIO LOPEZ-MILLS/AP

5/30/2022 Christian nationalism on rise in GOP - Movement champions need for divine guidance by Peter Smith and Deepa Bharath, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin, has become the most prominent example this election cycle
of what some observers call a surge of Christian nationalism among Republican candidates. JULIO CORTEZ/AP FILE
    PITTSBURGH – The victory party took on the feel of an evangelical worship service after Doug Mastriano won Pennsylvania’s Republican gubernatorial primary this month.    As a Christian singer led the crowd in song, some raised their arms toward the heavens in praise.
    Mastriano opened his remarks by evoking Scripture: “God uses the foolish to confound the wise.”    He claimed Pennsylvanians’ freedom would be “snatched away” if his Democratic opponent wins in November, and cast the election in starkly religious terms with another biblical reference: “Let’s choose this day to serve the Lord.”
    Mastriano, a state senator and retired Army colonel, has not only made faith central to his personal story but has woven conservative Christian beliefs and symbols into the campaign – becoming the most prominent example this election cycle of what some observers call a surge of Christian nationalism among Republican candidates.
    Mastriano – who has ignored repeated requests for comment from The Associated Press, including through his campaign last week – has rejected the “Christian nationalist” label in the past.    In fact, few if any prominent candidates use the label.    Some say it’s a pejorative and insist everyone has a right to draw on their faith and values to try to influence public policy.
    But scholars generally define Christian nationalism as going beyond policy debates and championing a fusion of American and Christian values, symbols and identity.
    Christian nationalism, they say, is often accompanied by a belief that God has destined America, like the biblical Israel, for a special role in history, and that it will receive divine blessing or judgment depending on its obedience.
    That often overlaps with the conservative Christian political agenda, including opposition to abortion, samesex marriage and transgender rights.    Researchers say Christian nationalism is often also associated with mistrust of immigrants and Muslims.         Many Christian nationalists see former President Donald Trump as a champion despite his crude sexual boasts and lack of public piety.
    Candidates seen as Christian nationalists have had mixed success in this year’s Republican primaries, which typically pitted staunch conservatives against opponents even further to the right.
    There were losses by some high-profile candidates, such as U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn and an Idaho gubernatorial hopeful, Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin.    The former spoke of a “spiritual battle” on Capitol Hill and a need for “strong, God-fearing patriots.”    The latter was photographed holding a gun and a Bible and said, “God calls us to pick up the sword and fight, and Christ will reign in the state of Idaho.”
    Some of Idaho’s Republican primaries for the Legislature were won by candidates touting Christian values or sharing priorities with Christian nationalists, such as sports bans for transgender athletes. U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., who uses biblical phrasing to “be a watchman on the wall” against those seeking to “destroy our faith,” easily won her primary.
    Watchers of Christian nationalism consider Mastriano’s win – in a rout, with 44% in a crowded field despite opposition from the state party establishment – by far the highest-profile victory for the movement.
    Mastriano has called the separation of church and state a “myth.”     After his victory, the comments section of his campaign Facebook page had the feel of a revival tent: “Praise Jesus!” “God is smiling on us and sending His blessings.”    “Thank you Father God!!
    Mastriano “is a unique case where he really does in his speeches highlight this apocalyptic idea” where his supporters and causes are on God’s side, said Andrew Whitehead, sociology professor at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and co-author of “Taking America Back for God: Christian Nationalism in the United States.”
    “It literally is good and evil,” he continued.    “There’s no room for compromise, so that is the threat to democracy.”    In the book, Whitehead and co-author Samuel Perry measured rates of Christian nationalism by drawing on a 2017 Baylor University survey.    It gauged opinions on such things as America’s role in God’s plan and whether the U.S. should be declared a Christian nation, advance biblical values and allow school prayer and religious displays in public places.
    Their research found about one in five Americans align with many of those views.    That’s down from nearly one in four a decade earlier, just as Americans have become less religious overall.    But Whitehead said Christian nationalists, who are more numerous among Republicans, can be expected to maintain their fervor.
    Christian nationalism is emerging alongside and in some cases overlapping with other right-wing movements, such as the conspiratorial QAnon, white supremacy, and denialism over COVID- 19 and the 2020 election.    Christian prayers and symbols featured prominently in and around the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection there.
    Mastriano, who sought to overturn Pennsylvania’s vote for Joe Biden in 2020, attended the rally preceding the attack and chartered buses to bring others.    Though he says he left when things turned violent, video showed he passed through “breached barricades and police lines,” according to a Senate Judiciary Committee report.
    Robert Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute, said those Jan. 6 displays were not surprising.
    According to a recent survey by the institute, white evangelical Christians were among the strongest supporters of the assertion that God intended America as a “promised land” for European Christians.    Those who backed that idea were far more likely to agree that “true American patriots may have to resort to violence … to save our country.”
    “To my mind, white Christian nationalism is really the threat,” Jones said.
    Conservative Christian themes are also playing a role in local elections, including in blue states, although many proponents say they view it not as nationalism but as supporting their religious freedom and values.
    Pastor Tim Thompson of 412 Church in Murrieta, California, who hosts a YouTube channel with more than 9,600 subscribers and envisions a conservative future for the state, recently started a political action committee aiming to “take back our school boards” and give parents authority over curriculum.
    “We don’t want teachers or any other adults talking to our kids about sex,” Thompson said.    “We don’t want teachers categorizing our kids into oppressed or oppressor.    These are not political issues. They are moral and biblical issues.”
    Judeo-Christian values are the foundation of America, he argued.
    “People are afraid to speak up for these values because they are afraid that the left is going to slap a label like ‘racist’ or ‘Christian nationalist’ on them,” Thompson said.    “I don’t care about those labels, because my wife, children, church and community know who I am.”
    Pastor Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills in Chino Hills, California, has also sought to influence local elections.
    While he does not let candidates campaign at the church, he frequently offers endorsements as a way of signaling to his flock those who are “pro-family, pro-life and pro-freedom.”
    But “the hair on my neck goes up” when he hears the term “Christian nationalism,” he said.    And he was embarrassed to see Christian imagery during the Jan. 6 riot: “
That was a sad day, to see those sacred symbols and words pimped like that.”
    Elizabeth Neumann, chief strategy officer for Moonshot, a tech company that aims to counter online violent extremism, disinformation and other harms, said Christian nationalism began picking up steam around 2015 amid a rising narrative of purported persecution of Christians.
    Neumann, who served in the George W. Bush and Trump administrations and grew up in an evangelical Christian household, called the movement “heretical and idolatry” and an “apocalyptic vision (that) very often leads to violence.”    Many pastors are pushing back against it, she added.
    “I see Christian nationalism as the gasping, dying breath of the older generation in America that is afraid that Christians are going to be replaced,” she said.
Members of the audience sing songs of worship during a primary night election celebration in Chambersburg, Pa.,
May 17 for Doug Mastriano, the Republican candidate for governor of Pennsylvania. CAROLYN KASTER/AP FILE

5/30/2022 Garland issues call to public service in wake of shootings by ASSOCIATED PRESS
    CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Attorney General Merrick Garland told Harvard graduates Sunday that their generation has been asked to show “an impossible kind of resilience” after yet another mass shooting at another school.
    “As we gather today to celebrate this milestone in your life, we are also holding on to an enormous amount of grief because of yet another mass shooting at another school in our country,” he said.    “An unspeakable act of violence has devastated families and the entire community in Uvalde, Texas.    I know I speak for all of us here that our hearts are broken.”
    As the U.S. mourns the victims of its latest mass shooting, 19 elementary school students and two teachers gunned down in Texas, Garland was the principal speaker at Harvard’s commencement ceremony for the Classes of 2020 and 2021.
    Their in-person ceremonies were deferred during the pandemic.
    Garland said that before the back-to-back mass shootings in Uvalde and at a Buffalo, New York supermarket, and the attack on Taiwanese parishioners at a church in Laguna Woods, California, he had decided to make his speech about public service.    He said he still wanted to do so because “these tragedies only underscore how urgent the call to public service for your generation truly is.”
    Garland was emotional as he spoke about how his grandmother was one of five children born in what is now Belarus and how four of the siblings tried to come to the United States.
    Three made it.    The fourth was turned back and the fifth didn’t try.
    “The two who stayed behind died in the Holocaust,” he said.
    “So for me, public service is a way to repay the debt my family owes to this country for our very lives.    I know that you all worked very hard to get here.    So did I.    And for different reasons the fact that we are all here today makes us lucky.    So I hope you all make a promise similar to the one that I made to devote some part of your life to public service.”
    Garland graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School, and later served on the Harvard Board of Overseers.    Harvard held its first in-person commencement exercises since 2019 on Thursday for the Class of 2022, with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden delivering the keynote speech.
    Garland said that the graduates who will dedicate part of their lives to service can “stitch back together the fabric of our civil society.”
    “We must persuade our neighbors and our communities to reject the idea that violence or threats of violence are acceptable.    We must work to dissipate the hatred that fuels such violence,” he said.    “Democracy cannot survive if its citizens forsake the rule of law in favor of violence or threats of violence.    We are all in this together. We must protect each other.”
Speaking at a Harvard commencement ceremony Sunday for the Classes of 2020 and 2021, Attorney General
Merrick Garland said mass shootings “only underscore how urgent the call to public service” is. MARY SCHWALM/AP

5/30/2022 Pope names San Diego bishop a cardinal - McElroy, Francis ideological allies by David Crary, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Robert W. McElroy, bishop of the Diocese of San Diego, was named by the pope
on Sunday as one of 21 new cardinals. ANDREW MEDICHINI/AP
    Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego, one of Pope Francis’ ideological allies who has often sparred with more conservative U.S. bishops, was named by the pope on Sunday as one of 21 new cardinals.
    The San Diego diocese said McElroy will be installed by Pope Francis on Aug. 27 at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
    Among his notable stances, McElroy, 68, has been one of a minority of U.S. bishops harshly criticizing the campaign to exclude Catholic politicians who support abortion rights from Communion.
    “It will bring tremendously destructive consequences,” McElroy wrote in May 2021.    “The Eucharist is being weaponized and deployed as a tool in political warfare.    This must not happen.”
    In selecting McElroy, Francis passed over the higher-ranking archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone. Earlier this month, Cordileone said he will no longer allow U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to receive Communion because of her support for abortion rights.
    McElroy, in a statement, said he was “stunned and deeply surprised” by the news of his appointment.
    “My prayer is that in this ministry I might be of additional service to the God who has graced me on so many levels in my life,” he said.    “And I pray also that I can assist the Holy Father in his pastoral renewal of the Church.”
    Cordileone issued a brief statement noting that McElroy is a native San Franciscan and offering congratulations on the appointment.    The statement made no mention of the two clerics’ differences.
    McElroy received a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard in 1975 and a master’s in history from Stanford in 1976.    He studied at St. Patrick Seminary in Menlo Park, California, and in 1985 received a theology degree at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley.    He obtained a doctorate in moral theology at the Gregorian University in Rome the following year and a Ph.D in political science at Stanford in 1989.
    He was ordained a priest in 1980 and assigned to the San Francisco diocese, where he served in a parish before becoming personal secretary to Archbishop John Quinn.    Other California parish assignments included Redwood City and San Mateo.    He became an auxiliary bishop in San Francisco in 2010.    In 2015, early in Francis’ pontificate, he was named bishop of San Diego.
    Over recent years, McElroy has been among the relatively few U.S. bishops who questioned why the bishops’ conference insisted on identifying abortion as its “preeminent” priority. He has questioned why greater prominence was not given to issues such as racism, poverty, immigration and climate change.
    “The death toll from abortion is more immediate, but the long-term death toll from unchecked climate change is larger and threatens the very future of humanity,” he said in a speech in 2020.
    Last year, he was among a small group of bishops signing a statement expressing support for LGBT youth and denouncing the bullying often directed at them.
    The bishops’ statement said LGBT youth attempt suicide at much higher rates, are often homeless because of families who reject them and “are the target of violent acts at alarming rates.
    “We take this opportunity to say to our LGBT friends, especially young people, that we stand with you and oppose any form of violence, bullying or harassment directed at you,” it read.    “Most of all, know that God created you, God loves you and God is on your side.”
    Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, which advocates for greater LGBTQ acceptance in the Catholic church, hailed McElroy’s appointment.
    He represents the kind of prelate our church needs, one who will stretch out a hand, not a fist, to the LGBTQ community,” DeBernardo said.    “As an elector of future popes, McElroy can play a role in making sure that the next papacy will continue in the welcoming spirit of Pope Francis.”
    The Diocese of San Diego runs the length of California’s border with Mexico and serves more than 1.3 million Catholics in San Diego and Imperial counties.    It includes 98 parishes, 49 elementary and secondary schools, and, through Catholic Charities of the Diocese of San Diego, various social service and family support organizations throughout the region.

5/30/2022 Barr says Durham uncovered 'seditious' activity by Daniel Chaitin, Washington Examiner
© Provided by Washington Examiner Barr says Durham uncovered 'seditious' activity
    Former Attorney General William Barr said he believes special counsel John Durham is uncovering "seditious" activity.
    The trial of Democratic cybersecurity lawyer Michael Sussmann has shown how Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign and its allies spread theories tying rival Donald Trump to Russia in the final months of the election, providing evidence for those who have long argued there was a so-called Russiagate plot to undermine Trump's candidacy and later his presidency.
    This Alfa-Bank matter tied to the Clinton team may not have spurred the FBI's investigation into Trump's links to Russia, but Barr said he accepted the chance to become attorney general, his second stint, because he believed a "constitutional crisis" was afoot.    Barr took charge of the Justice Department in February 2019, overseeing the roll-out of special counsel Robert Mueller's Trump-Russia findings, and appointed Durham to investigate the origins and conduct of the Russia inquiry, dubbed a "witch hunt" by Trump.
    "I think whatever you think of Trump, the fact is that the whole Russiagate thing was a grave injustice.    It appears to be a dirty political trick that was used first to hobble him and then potentially to drive him from office," Barr told BlazeTV host Glenn Beck in a recent episode of his podcast.
    Barr also said, "I believe it is seditious," but he stressed criminality would have to be determined in court.
    Sussmann is charged with lying to the FBI about whom he was representing when, in September 2016, he presented internet data that suggested a now-discredited link between Trump and a Russian bank.    In particular, Sussmann was indicted for allegedly concealing his clients — Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign and “Tech Executive-1,” known to be former Neustar executive Rodney Joffe — from FBI general counsel James Baker.    Sussmann denies lying to the FBI and has pleaded not guilty.
    His trial took place over the last two weeks in Washington, D.C., and the jury has begun deliberations.
    One revelation during the trial came from Robby Mook, the campaign manager for Clinton in 2016, who said the candidate personally signed off on sharing since-debunked Trump-Russia allegations related to Alfa-Bank with the media during the election.    During the trial, Mook admitted he was not confident in the veracity of the Alfa-Bank claims when the decision was made to share them with the press but claimed the media would help vet the information.    “We wanted the American people to know about it, yeah," he said when asked if the campaign was pleased the allegations were published.    No one involved with the Clinton campaign has been charged with any crimes in Durham's investigation.
    Barr said the lingering cloud of Russian collusion had wide-ranging consequences that stretch to this day with Russia's war in Ukraine.
    "It was a gross injustice, and it hurt the United States in many ways, including what we're seeing in Ukraine these days.    It distorted our foreign policy, and so forth," he said.

5/30/2022 Gavin Newsom Tests Positive For COVID-19 by OAN NEWSROOM
FILE – Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary, California Health and Human Services, left, inoculates
California Gov. Gavin Newsom with the new one-dose Janssen COVID-19 vaccine by Johnson & Johnson at the
Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles, Thursday, April 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
    California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) tested positive for COVID-19, despite being fully vaccinated.    Newsom was diagnosed a day after he met with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden.    Arden tested positive for COVID in May.    The governor’s office said her delegation has been notified.
    His office released a statement on Saturday, after Newsom exhibited mild symptoms.    They stated that he received Pfizer’s Paxlovoid pill.    It is not known how he contracted the virus, after he obtained his second booster shot.
    “The governor received a prescription for the antiviral that has been proven effective against COVID-19,” they said.    “He will begin his 5-day regimen immediately.”
    Last September, 2 of Newsom’s 4 children tested positive for COVID-19.    Both the governor, his wife and their 2 other children tested negative for the virus at the time.
    Other public officials recently tested positive for the virus, including Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) on Wednesday and Vice President Kamala Harris in April.
    The governor will be working remotely until June 2 and until he tests negative.

5/30/2022 Biden, Harris Lay Wreath At Tomb Of The Unknown by OAN NEWSROOM
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris arrive to lay a wreath at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, 2022, in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    On Memorial Day, President Joe Biden honored those who lost their lives, while serving in the US armed forces. At Arlington National Cemetery, the president laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, as is tradition.
    “They had a mission, above all they believed in duty,” Biden stated.    “They believed in honor, they believed in their country, and still today we are free because they were brave.”
    He spoke about his late son Beau, who was a veteran of the Army National Guard and died in 2015, after losing his battle with cancer.
    “Today is the day our son died,” he sorrowfully voiced.    “Folks, for those who have lost a loved one in the service of our country, if your loved one is missing or unaccounted for, I know the ceremonies reopen that black hole in the center of your chest that just pulls you in, suffocates you.”
    The president touted the sacrifice our fallen troops have made.    Additionally, he added that their fight to preserve freedom will not be forgotten.
    Biden was accompanied by his wife Jill and Vice President Kamala Harris.

5/30/2022 Oil up $2.16 to $117.17, DOW no chg due to Memorial Day to.

5/31/2022 Biden hopeful of bipartisan support - Senators to meet virtually this week to discuss gun legislation by Will Weissert, ASSOCIATED PRESS
President Joe Biden said he had taken some executive actions on guns “but I can’t outlaw
a weapon” and can’t “change the background checks.” SAUL LOEB/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
    WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden said Monday that the “Second Amendment was never absolute” and that, after the Texas elementary school shooting, there may be some bipartisan support to tighten restrictions on the kind of high-powered weapons used by the gunman.
    “I think things have gotten so bad that everybody’s getting more rational, at least that’s my hope,” Biden told reporters before honoring the nation’s fallen in Memorial Day remarks at Arlington National Cemetery.
    His comments came a day after he traveled to the shattered Texas community of Uvalde, mourning privately for three-plus hours with anguished families grieving for the 19 children and two teachers who died in the shooting.
    Faced with chants of “do something” as he departed a church service, Biden pledged: “We will.”     After the Uvalde trip, Biden spent Sunday night at his home in Delaware.    As he arrived at the White House for Memorial Day events, he was asked if he’s now more motivated to see new federal limits imposed on firearms.
    “I’ve been pretty motivated all along,” he said.    “I’m going to continue to push and we’ll see how this goes.”
    In Congress, a bipartisan group of senators talked over the weekend to see if they could reach even a modest compromise on gun legislation after a decade of mostly failed efforts.    That included encouraging state “red flag” laws to keep guns away from those with mental health problems.    A congressional aide said the senators would meet virtually Tuesday and throughout the week.
    “The Second Amendment was never absolute,” Biden said.    “You couldn’t buy a cannon when the Second Amendment was passed.    You couldn’t go out and buy a lot of weapons.”
    Later, the president and first lady Jill Biden were joined by Vice President Kamala Harris, second gentleman Doug Emhoff, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at Arlington National Cemetery for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
    Standing at attention under a cloudless sky in the late-May heat, Biden saluted as taps played, after laying the wreath of multi-colored flowers wrapped in red, white and blue ribbon in front of the tomb.
    Delivering remarks honoring fallen servicemembers, he said “Memorial Day is always a day where pain and pride are mixed together.”
    “Today we are free because they were brave,” the president said.
    But Biden said the nation’s experiment in democracy remains under threat, both abroad, in the form of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and in division at home.    He called upholding democracy “the mission of our time.”
    “Our memorial to them must not be just a day when we pause and pray,” Biden said.    “It must be a daily commitment to act, to come together, to be worthy of the price that was paid.”
    In his earlier statements to reporters on guns, Biden said he’d not spoken to Republicans on the issue “but my guess is … they’re going to have to take a hard look.”
    There is nowhere near enough support from congressional Republicans for broader gun measures popular with the public – like a new ban on assault-type weapons or universal background checks on gun purchases.    Still, Democratic advocates hope meaningful measures could still pass.
    Biden said he had taken some executive actions on guns “but I can’t outlaw a weapon” and can’t “change the background checks.”    He said he didn’t know where congressional negotiations stand, but “there’s realization on the part of rational Republicans” that ”we can’t keep repeating ourselves.”    Before returning to Washington, the president and first lady, whose veteran son Beau died of cancer caused by a brain tumor in 2015, attended church Monday morning and laid flowers at their son’s grave.
    “Today’s the day our son died,” Biden said at Arlington, telling families that he knows remembrances like Monday’s can “reopen that black hole” of pain.
    But he said because of their commitment to the ideals of America, “A part of them is still with us no matter how long ago we lost them.”
    The Bidens also hosted a breakfast in the White House’s East Room with about 130 members of veteran organizations, military family groups and senior Defense Department and other administration officials.    The president, the first lady and representatives from five Gold Star families who lost relatives in combat also planted a Southern magnolia tree on the White House South Lawn.    The tree came from a sapling of a nearby magnolia planted by President Andrew Jackson in 1835.
    As the group used shovels to toss dirt on the newly planted tree, Biden grinned and said “shovel brigade.”    He and the first lady later held hands with those gathered in a circle around the tree and prayed silently.

5/31/2022 Biden to meet Fed leader as inflation zaps budgets - US and global economy will be part of discussion by ASSOCIATED PRESS
President Joe Biden participates in a magnolia tree planting ceremony on
the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on Monday. ANDREW HARNIK/AP
    WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden will meet Tuesday with Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell as soaring inflation takes a bite out of Americans’ pocketbooks.
    The meeting will be the first since Biden renominated Powell to lead the central bank and comes weeks after his confirmation for a second term by the Senate.
    The White House said the pair would discuss the state of the U.S. and global economy and especially inflation, described as Biden’s “top economic priority.”    The goal, the White House said, is a “transition from an historic economic recovery to stable, steady growth that works for working families.”
    Inflation in the U.S. hit a 40-year high earlier this year, amid supply chain constraints caused by the global economy’s recovery from the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
    But the economy saw a welcome bit of data Friday, as the Commerce Department said inflation rose 6.3% in April from a year earlier, the first slowdown since November 2020 and a sign that high prices may finally be moderating, at least for now.
    The inflation figure was below the four-decade high of 6.6% set in March.    While high inflation is still causing hardships for millions of households, any slowing of price increases, if sustained, would provide some modest relief.
    Powell has pledged to keep ratcheting up the Fed’s key short-term interest rate to cool the economy until inflation is “coming down in a clear and convincing way.”    Those rate hikes have spurred fears that the Fed, in its drive to slow borrowing and spending, may push the economy into a recession.    That concern has caused sharp drops in stock prices in the past two months, though markets rallied last week.
    Powell has signaled that the Fed will likely raise its benchmark rate by a half point in both June and July – twice the size of the usual rate increase.

5/31/2022 EU leaders agree on partial embargo of oil from Russia - Council president says new sanctions will be endorsed by Wednesday by Lorne Cook and Samuel Petrequin, ASSOCIATED PRESS
French President Emmanuel Macron, center, European Council President Charles Michel, left, and Italian Premier
Mario Draghi talk before EU leaders met to discuss Ukraine, energy and food security in Brussels, Monday. OLIVIER MATTHYS/AP
    BRUSSELS – European Union leaders agreed Monday to embargo most Russian oil imports into the bloc by year end as part of new sanctions on Moscow worked out at a summit focused on helping Ukraine with a long-delayed package of new financial support.
    The embargo covers Russian oil brought in by sea, allowing a temporary exemption for imports delivered by pipeline, a move that was crucial to bring landlocked Hungary on board a decision that required consensus.
    EU Council President Charles Michel said the agreement covers more than two-thirds of oil imports from Russia.    Ursula Von der Leyen, the head of the EU’s executive branch, said the punitive move will “effectively cut around 90% of oil imports from Russia to the EU by the end of the year.”
    Michel said leaders also agreed to provide Ukraine with a 9 billion-euro ($9.7 billion) tranche of assistance to support the war-torn country’s economy.    It was unclear whether the money would come in grants or loans.
    Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna, responded to the EU’s decision on Twitter, saying: “As she rightly said yesterday, Russia will find other importers.”
    The new package of sanctions will also include an asset freeze and travel ban on individuals, while Russia’s biggest bank,     Sberbank, will be excluded from SWIFT, the major global system for financial transfers from which the EU previously banned several smaller Russian banks.    Three big Russian state-owned broadcasters will be prevented from distributing their content in the>     “We want to stop Russia’s war machine,” Michel said, lauding what he called a “remarkable achievement.”
    “More than ever it’s important to show that we are able to be strong, that we are able to be firm, that we are able to be tough,” he added.
    Michel said the new sanctions, which needed the support of all 27 member countries, will be legally endorsed by Wednesday.
    The EU had already imposed five previous rounds of sanctions on Russia over its war.    It has targeted more than 1,000 people individually, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and top government officials as well as pro-Kremlin oligarchs, banks, the coal sector and more.
    But the sixth package of measures announced May 4 had been held up by concerns over oil supplies.
    The impasse embarrassed the bloc, which was forced to scale down its ambitions to break Hungary’s resistance.    When European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen proposed the package, the initial aim was to phase out imports of crude oil within six months and refined products by the end of the year.
    Both Michel and von der Leyen said leaders will soon return to the issue, seeking to guarantee that Russia’s pipeline oil exports to the EU are banned at a later date.
    Hungarian Prime minister Viktor Orban had made clear he could support the new sanctions only if his country’s oil supply security was guaranteed.    Hungary gets more than 60% of its oil from Russia and depends on crude that comes through the Soviet-era Druzhba pipeline.    Von der Leyen had played down the chances of a breakthrough at the summit.    But leaders reached a compromise after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged them to end “internal arguments that only prompt Russia to put more and more pressure on the whole of Europe.”
    The EU gets about 40% of its natural gas and 25% of its oil from Russia, and divisions over the issue exposed the limits of the 27-nation trading bloc’s ambitions.
    In his 10-minute video address, Zelenskyy told leaders to end “internal arguments that only prompt Russia to put more and more pressure on the whole of Europe.”
    He said the sanctions package must “be agreed on, it needs to be effective, including (on) oil,” so that Moscow “feels the price for what it is doing against Ukraine” and the rest of Europe.    Only then, Zelenskyy said, will Russia be forced to “start seeking peace.”
    Hungary led a group of EU countries worried over the impact of the oil ban on their economy, including Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.    Hungary relies heavily on Russia for energy and can’t afford to turn off the pumps.    In addition to its need for Russian oil, Hungary gets 85% of its natural gas from Russia.
    Orban had been adamant on arriving at the summit in Brussels that a deal was not in sight, stressing that Hungary needed its energy supply secured.
    Von der Leyen and Michel said the commitment by Germany and Poland to phase out Russian oil by the end of the year and to forgo oil from the northern part of the Druzhba pipeline will help cut 90% of Russian oil imports.
    The issue of food security will be on the table Tuesday, with the leaders set to encourage their governments to speed up work on “solidarity lanes” to help Ukraine export grain and other produce.

5/31/2022 EU To Ban Almost 90% Of Russian Oil Imports by OAN NEWSROOM
Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander de Croo, left, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen
talk before the second day’s session of an extraordinary meeting of EU leaders to discuss Ukraine, energy
and food security at the Europa building in Brussels, Tuesday, May 31, 2022. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)
    The European Union agreed to ban almost 90 percent of Russian oil by the end of this year. The council reached a consensus on the latest sanctions at its summit in Brussels on Tuesday.
    All Russian oil imports by sea will be banned under the motion, but fuel transported via pipeline will still be imported by EU member states. European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen acknowledged the inconsistency, but voiced intentions of blocking all Russian oil from the Eurozone in the future.
    “And indeed, here we have agreed this is for the moment being exempted,” she stated.    “We have agreed that the council will revert to the topic as soon as possible in one way or the other, so this is a topic where we will come back to and where we will still have to work on.”
    The move follows Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s demand for the EU to terminate its purchasing on Russian fuel as Europe receives 40 percent of its natural gas and 25 percent of its oil from the Russian Federation.
    Von de Leyen also announced the removal of Russia’s largest bank and several institutions from the SWIFT financial transaction system.
    “This is good that we now de-SWIFT the Sberbank,” she continued.    “There is a ban on insurance and re-insurance of Russian ships by EU companies, a ban on providing Russian companies with a whole range of business services and very important, the suspension of broadcasting in the European Union of three further Russian state outlets that were very typically spreading broadly the misinformation that we have witnessed over the last weeks and months.”
    The new sanctions, which must be approved by all 27 member states, are expected to be enacted on Wednesday.    The measure was initially proposed early this month, but was stonewalled by Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic over energy security concerns.

5/31/2022 US Lawmakers Debate Gun Reform by OAN NEWSROOM
FILE – An ATF agent poses with homemade rifles, or “ghost guns,” at an ATF field office in Glendale, Calif.,
on Aug. 29, 2017. Spurred by the Tuesday, May 24, 2022, deadly elementary school shooting
in Texas, California senators approved giving citizens the power to sue those who traffic in illegal
firearms, mimicking a Texas law that is intended to deter abortions. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
    The Second Amendment is apparently up for debate in Washington, D.C. as lawmakers attempt to signal they are doing something about gun violence. On several corporate news outlets, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle put in their two cents on how to make sure another mass shooting like the one in Uvalde, Texas doesn’t happen again.
    While appearing on CNN, GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said he would support a number of gun control measures, including banning bump stocks, AR-15’s and raising the minimum age to buy guns. He said his philosophy on gun control evolved after seeing mass shootings in Las Vegas, Parkland High School in Florida and Buffalo, New York.
    Kinzinger went on to flip-flop on whether he supports a full ban of so-called assault weapons, while emphasizing his preferred measures as added qualifications.
    “You know, fairly recently, I think I’m open to a ban now,” he stated.    “It’s going to depend on what it looks like because there’s a lot of nuances on what constitutes certain things, but I’m getting to the point where I have to wonder maybe for somebody to own one maybe you need an extra license, maybe you need extra training.    So the question is: is it a ban or additional certification?
    Meanwhile, Senate Democrat Whip and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Dick Durbin believes “different feeling” among his colleagues on gun reform.    Durbin has claimed red flag laws could be adopted as well as a crackdown so-called “straw purchases,” where people with clean criminal records buy guns then give them to criminals.    He also claimed bans on so-called assault weapons work and said the number of Americans who have AR-15s is alarming.
    “Well, when we had one, there was a reduction in crime, in mass shooting with these weapons,” he noted.    “That expired years ago and unfortunately in the meantime, there’s been dramatic increase in purchases of these weapons.    The AR-15 that was used by this individual in Uvalde, there are now 20 million of those owned by American across the nation to put it in perspective.”
    Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) went so far as to say mass shootings in school will dissipate when Americans love their kids more than they love their guns.
    “Until the redemptive power of the love for all of our children is greater than the destructive power of the love of our guns and money and power…until that until the redemptive love of our children turns into action, then nothing is going to change,” he stated.
    However, retired Navy SEAL, Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) said many of the proposals in Washington, D.C. won’t work.        He claimed establishing red flag laws attempts to enforce the law before it’s broken and questions the standards that would make a gun purchaser a “threat.”    Crenshaw also challenged raising the minimum age to buy a gun by warning lawmakers will just keep raising the age limit after each mass shooting.    Instead, he urged lawmakers to focus on bolstering background checks and school safety.
    “A lot of these policies that the Democrats often propose, these gin control policies, they do two things,” said Crenshaw.    “One, they infringe of the rights of millions and millions of gun owners.    And two, they probably wouldn’t have the outcome that you’re hoping for.    So, if you’re not going to get the benefit that you want, but it’s going to come at great costs, it generally means it’s not a good policy.”
    Additionally, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) urged lawmakers to look at reducing gun violence commonsensically.    The Republican, who led an NRA task force, said banning specific weapons like AR-15s is tricky because lawmakers would have to distinguish problematic properties that could be found in other long guns or pistols.    He added, AR-15s have been around long before they were used in mass shootings and believes lawmakers should be looking into the people behind these shootings.
    “I want to give a little bit more history; AR-15s were around for 40 years before they were ever used in any type of mass killing or attack,” explained Hutchinson.    “And so, it is about the human heart.    It is about identifying the culprits and going after them and I think it is a discussion you can have.”
    Legal scholar Jonathan Turley echoed this point while stressing landmark precedent, including District of Columbia v. Heller, cemented Americans’ right to keep and bear arms.    Turley pointed out that Democrats push gun control legislation that fails in the courts and ends up strengthening Second Amendment protections.

5/31/2022 Biden Repeats Previously Debunked Claims About Second Amendment, Firearms by OAN NEWSROOM
President Joe Biden meets with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in the
Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    President Joe Biden recycled previously debunked claims about certain types of firearms and the origins of the Second Amendment.    While returning to the White House Monday, he was met with questions about gun control after his recent visit to Uvalde, Texas.
    Biden said the Second Amendment was never absolute while claiming when it was written so the public could not own canons.    However, Article One, Section Eight, Clause 11 of the Constitution gives the individual the right to own a canon.    The President also seemed to call for a ban on one of the most common handguns in America.
    “He said, ‘a 22-caliber bullet will lodge in a lung and we can probably get it out, may, and save the life,” he stated.    “A nine-millimeter bullet blows the lung out of the body.    So, the idea is, high-caliber weapons, there simply is no rational basis for it in terms of about self-protection, hunting.”
    Biden then appeared to rule out any action he could take by himself in the matter while commenting that he can’t “dictate this stuff.”

5/31/2022 Gov. DeSantis: US Wouldn’t Be The Same Without Patriots Willing To Make The Ultimate Sacrifice by OAN NEWSROOM
Brad Hemmann places flowers at the grave of Edward J. Sottak, a soldier Hemmann says is his
great uncle, at Florida National Cemetery on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, 2022, in Bushnell, Fla.
Sottak served in the U.S. Navy in both the Vietnam and Korean wars. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel via AP)
    Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) urged Floridians to respectfully celebrate Memorial Day.    On Monday, the Republican said America would look completely different if the patriots who lost their lives protecting the country’s freedoms didn’t answer the call to duty.
    DeSantis added, these patriots have been around since the founding of America and still exist today.
    Meanwhile, other lawmakers paid tribute to America’s fallen troops while also urging the public to honor their sacrifice.

5/31/2022 Sussmann Acquitted In Quick Defeat For Durham Investigation by Josh Kovensky, Talking Points Memo
© Hartford Courant
    A federal jury fully acquitted Democratic party-linked attorney Michael Sussmann on Tuesday of charges brought by the Durham investigation in a stunning loss for the Bill Barr-era prosecution.
    Jurors deliberated for six hours before returning the verdict.
    Barr appointed Durham to investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation three years ago.    In September 2021, he charged Sussmann with one count of making a false statement to the FBI, focusing in on a September 2016 meeting in which Sussmann allegedly told an FBI official that he was sharing information about Trump-Russia links out of his own interest, not on behalf of a client.
    The loss is a rapid and stunning defeat for Durham, who sought to use the case to build a grand narrative about Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign spreading, via Sussmann, pernicious lies about Trump’s ties to the Russian government.
    Durham issued a statement saying, “while we are disappointed in the outcome, we respect the jury’s decision and thank then for their service.”
“I also want to recognize and thank the investigators and the prosecution team for their dedicated efforts in seeking truth and justice in this case,” he added.

5/31/2022 Michael Sussmann's not guilty verdict wasn't a surprise. Here's why - Opinion by Andrew McCarthy, Fox News
© REUTERS/Julia Nikhinson
McEnany questions Sussmann jury pool following not guilty verdict
    The acquittal of Clinton lawyer Michael Sussmann by a Washington, D.C., jury comes as no surprise.    In a false-statements case, the government has to prove that the statement in question was both false and material.    Prosecutors had problems on both scores, especially the latter.
    On falsity, the government must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that an untrue statement was made.    Here, although prosecutors had a text message – a statement, directly from Sussmann, in which he falsely claimed he was not representing any client in purveying to the FBI derogatory information about Donald Trump.    But that is not how the case was indicted.
    Special counsel John Durham did not have the text message when the charge was filed in September 2021, flush up against the statute of limitations.    Consequently, in March 2022, when he obtained a copy of the text from James Baker (the FBI’s former general counsel who received the text from Sussmann), Durham could not go back to the grand jury to add a new charge or substantially change the indictment.
    That meant the jury could not rely on the text itself to find the false statement.    Instead, it had to find what was charged in the indictment, namely, that Sussmann had made the false statement at the meeting with Baker the day after the text message.
    Andy McCarthy: Sussmann not testifying shows 'confidence' in defense.
    The proof of this was not nearly as strong: It was a one-on-one meeting over five years ago, there was no recording or contemporaneous note-taking, and Baker’s accounts of what was said have varied over time.    The text message before the meeting, coupled with the notes of FBI officials with whom Baker spoke immediately after the meeting, were evidence that Sussmann probably denied during the meeting that he was representing a client.    But it was no sure thing.
    More of a problem for prosecutors was materiality – i.e., evidence that the false statement made a difference in how investigators handled the information.
    Durham’s case was badly damaged by significant evidence that the FBI knew (a) Sussmann was a top Democratic lawyer, and (b) if he was peddling anti-Trump information just six weeks before Election Day, he was doing so out of partisan motivations.
© AP Newsroom Michael Sussmann, a cybersecurity lawyer who represented the
Hillary Clinton presidential campaign in 2016. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) AP Newsroom
    This was illustrated by the fact that FBI headquarters concealed Sussmann’s identity as the source of the information – i.e., the Internet data conveyed to Baker, which was falsely claimed to prove that then-candidate Donald Trump had established a communications back channel with the Kremlin through servers at Russia’s Alfa Bank.    This was deeply frustrating to the Chicago cybercrime agents.    Any good investigator wants to know where information comes from; the motivation of the source is often a good barometer of the reliability of information.
    In addition, FBI headquarters directed that agents should open a counterintelligence investigation based on the Alfa Bank information, even though the agents had quickly determined there was no validity to the back communications channel claim.    This enabled defense lawyers to argue that any statements Sussmann may have made about whom he was representing were immaterial – the FBI was determined to probe the Alfa Bank data regardless. Even worse, the FBI itself inserted a false statement in its investigation-opening documentations, ludicrously asserting that the information about Alfa Bank had come, not from Sussmann, but from the Department of Justice.
    Sussmann’s counsel were thus able to argue to the jury that the FBI agents who tried to investigate the Alfa Bank lead were misled by their own bosses in Washington, not by a well-known Democratic lawyer.
    It is ironic that prosecutors could convincingly prove a defendant made a false statement to the FBI and yet lose a case because of the FBI’s own machinations.    But that is what happened.

5/31/2022 D.C. Court Finds Former Clinton Lawyer ‘Not Guilty’ In Russia Hoax Trial’ by OAN NEWSROOM
Michael Sussmann, a cybersecurity lawyer who represented the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign
in 2016, speaks to members of the media outside the federal courthouse in Washington, Tuesday,
May 31, 2022. Sussmann was acquitted Tuesday of lying to the FBI when he pushed information meant to cast
suspicions on Donald Trump and Russia in the run-up to the 2016 election. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    Former Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann was found ‘not guilty’ of lying about the Russia collusion hoax.    After six hours of deliberation over two days, a federal jury announced the verdict on Tuesday.
    Sussmann’s trial was the first of the ongoing Durham probe looking into the origins of the Clinton campaign claim that former President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election.    While speaking with reporters Tuesday, he welcomed the verdict.
    “First, I told the truth to the FBI and the jury clearly recognized that with their unanimous verdict today,” he stated.    “I’m grateful for the members of the jury for their careful and thoughtful service.”
    In the meantime, Special Counsel John Durham noted he is disappointed in the outcome, but thanked the prosecution for their efforts in the case as his probe continues Republicans are pointing out the judge was appointed by former President Barack Obama while claiming the outcome was politically motivated.

5/31/2022 Katie Arrington: Nancy Mace Cozying Up With The Left by OAN NEWSROOM
Former South Carolina state lawmaker Katie Arrington speaks at a rally ahead of an appearance by
former President Donald Trump on Saturday, March 12, 2022, in Florence, S.C. Arrington — now making a second
congressional bid — says a dispute over her access to top-secret government information has been part of a
politically motivated smear campaign tied to her support of former President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)
    South Carolina congressional candidate Katie Arrington put incumbent Rep. Nancy Mace on blast ahead of the state’s primary election.    In a recent interview, Arrington accused Mace of turning her back on 45th President Donald Trump and being a RINO.
    Previously, Mace blamed Trump for inciting the January 6 capitol protest and voting to certify Joe Biden during the 2020 presidential election despite his support of her 2020 congressional campaign.
    “Since that time, Nancy has done nothing but cozy up to the Democrats and the radical left to, you know, promote her moderate, you know, liberal agenda,” Arrington asserted.    “I mean, she literally is a RINO in every sense of the word and this district has had enough.”
    Additionally, the Trump endorsed candidate accused Mace of flip flopping on several issues such as the COVID-19 vaccine.    Arrington also called her opponent desperate and claimed she was willing to say anything to get re-elected.
    “She goes on Fox one day to talk about how, you know, everyone should be aware of their natural own immunity and that, you know, only take the vaccine if needed,” explained the congressional candidate.    “And then goes in the same outfit to CNN and says, you know, vaccine mandates mandatory and goes to MSNBC to say the same thing.”
    Arrington then went on to slam Mace for expressing optimism for the US under Biden despite high inflation and the current baby formula shortage.
    “I don’t understand where she’s coming from and what bizarro world she lives in,” Mace stated.    “We have record high inflation, record high gas prices.    It’s disgusting, the fact that our country has a baby formula shortage.    We’re the greatest country on the planet and yet the federal government under the Biden leadership has driven it to the point where babies are going hungry in our own country, and she thinks this is optimistic.”
    South Carolina’s Republican primary is expected to take place on June 14.

5/31/2022 Biden Welcomes Far-Left New Zealand Prime Minister At White House, Says US Wants To Adopt Her Policies by OAN NEWSROOM
President Joe Biden meets with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in the
Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    President Joe Biden welcomed New Zealand’s far-left Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, to the White House.
    During a meeting Tuesday, the two discussed gun control, so-called climate change and their support for the Ukraine government.
    Ardern has been facing criticism at home for her stringent COVID lockdowns along with her failed ‘Zero-COVID’ policy that caused mass protests across New Zealand.    Nonetheless, Biden said he and Ardern are on the same page and they share a similar political agenda.
    “We need your guidance…it’s a pleasure to see you in person,” Biden stated.        “You understand that your leadership has taken on a critical role in this global stage and it really has.    Galvanizing action on climate change, a global effort to confront violence and extremism online like after the Christchurch… I want to work with you on that effort.”
    Biden and Ardern also agreed to work together on regulating technology companies, countering so-called white extremism and advancing the green agenda.

5/31/2022 Oil down $0.28 to $115.35, DOW down 221 to 32,992.

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