News and Notes, July 27 – Aug 2

Here are the interesting links and notes for the week. Check back for updates. Reading is not agreeing. Headlines and links do not imply fact checking or endorsement of views and ideas.

8/2/2020 Sunday

  • Salvator Mundi: Rare Da Vinci painting is now the most expensive in the world selling at a recent auction for $450.3 million. {CNN}
  • And they are off! SpaceX Dragon undocks from the International Space Station with two astronauts onboard who will splashdown near Florida on Sunday despite storm {YDN}
  • South Africa hits 500,000 infections but president hopeful {APNews}
  • Ransomware feared as possible saboteur for November election {APNews}
  • Nevada passes bill to mail all voters ballots amid pandemic {APNews}
  • In the USA, 30% own a gun and 69% do not. Of those who do not, 36% could see owning one in the future and 33% could never see owning one. The population of the USA was estimated at 330,020,103 as of July 27, 2020, so, as an estimate, there are just over 99 million gun owners and 227 million non-gun owners in the USA at this time. {PewSocialTrends}
  • Shortage of coins in circulation causes concerns for small businesses and consumers {CBSNews}
  • Court orders release of Michigan teen detained for not doing schoolwork {CBSNews}
  • The foundation created by George Floyd’s family launched a new initiative to project a hologram of George Floyd at a handful of Confederate monuments throughout the South. {CNN}
  • Pompeo Vows US To Take “Necessary Action” If UN Arms Embargo On Iran Ends. The embargo is scheduled to expire on October 18, 2020. {ZeroHedge}
  • With more than 600 acting credits, James Hong might be one of the most prolific actors in Hollywood history. {CNN}
  • Do some people have protection against the coronavirus? {CNN}
  • Group of doctors say hydroxychloroquine is a coronavirus cure. One says it is safer than aspirin, despite a non-peer reviewed study that showed it caused more deaths from COVID-19. “Houston-area doctor at center of controversial coronavirus cure video doubles down.” {YouTube} So … HCQ is either a cure or it kills more people.
  • The land with no face masks: Holland’s top scientists say there’s no solid evidence coverings work and warn they could even damage the fight against Covid-19 {MadnessHub} So … face masks either help save lives or they cause more deaths.
  • Red Flags Soar As Big Pharma Will Be Exempt From COVID-19 Vaccine Liability Claims {ZeroHedge}
  • Global Cooling is Much Worse than Global Warming {InvestWatch}
  • China’s 300-mile fishing fleet which is visible from SPACE and hoovers up all sea life is decimating endangered species – and plastic waste thrown overboard is polluting the shores of Darwin’s Galapagos Islands, scientists warn {StationGossip}

8/1/2020 Saturday

  • Hurricane Isaias may prevent NASA astronauts returning to Earth on Sunday if they can’t splashdown safely in the Gulf as the storm bears down on Florida today before it barrels towards the Carolinas and NYC {HideOutNow}
  • Two people in England are hospitalized after being diagnosed with rare infections spread by TICK bites {MrMehra}
  • Is this the face of God? Archaeologist claims 3,000-year-old clay heads found in Israel depict Yahweh – but other experts say it would be prohibited to create such images {HideoutNow}
  • ‘Just say women’: American Cancer Society is slammed for saying ‘individuals with a cervix’ instead of ‘women’ in their latest pap test guidance {Domigood}
  • Donald Trump announces he will BAN TikTok in the U.S. by executive order as soon as SATURDAY – and he will not let an American firm buy the operation {ScoopyWeb}
  • Following India, Japan is also likely to ban the popular video-sharing app Tiktok. {ScoopyWeb}
  • If banned, “the app would be pulled from the app store of Apple and Google and not function unless used by a virtual private network, experts say.” {ABCNews}
  • BLOG ENTRY: There’s a lot of neat “how to” stuff on TikTok I’ve been enjoying. Gardening, space-related and music too, plus some great quick comedy. Overall, it is a better app in terms of content than others. Just being honest. Don’t care what country runs it. Instagram is massively bloated and more gross. Twitter is ad infested. Both of these big US apps tend to abuse you with stuff you don’t want to see, like sharks eating seals and people dying in car crashes. WTH? Sorry to see TikTok go. It’s more peaceful and seems to allow free speech so you get real people’s views. I know, China is spying. It is important to protect privacy. Do that, then. Pass a law to allow users to audit all data collection and to see all storage by all apps. Demand that we be allowed to see, stop, prevent and delete all data stored on us by everyone, every company and organization. Stiff financial penalties, paid to we users, for any group trying to circumvent this new law. A president who gives people actual power over their digital privacy will benefit in popularity. That would be the best move, in my small view. – Xeno
  • Found on TikTok, before it was closed: uses AI to extract the vocals from MP3 songs: It’s not perfect, but pretty darn good!

7/31/2020 Friday

  • Jim Carey: What Really Exists Under the Surface? {YouTube}
  • A British man, a Florida man and a Florida teen were identified by authorities Friday as the hackers who earlier this month (reportedly by stealing employee credentials and getting into Twitter’s administrative systems) took over Twitter accounts of prominent politicians, celebrities and technology moguls to scam people around the globe out of more than $100,000 in Bitcoin. {APNews}
  • California tops 500,000 coronavirus cases. Is the surge finally slowing? {MercuryNews}
  • U.S. Supreme Court declines to block Trump border wall construction {Reuters}
  • Plug it in: Electric car charging station numbers are rising {APNews}
  • San Francisco Proposes To Shift $120 Million From Police To Tackle Racial Disparities {NPR}
  • Large U.S. COVID-19 vaccine trials will exclude pregnant women for now {Reuters}
  • US sinks another $2.1 billion into a potential vaccine {APNews}
  • RI issues tax refunds signed by Walt Disney, Mickey Mouse {APNews}
  • A shift to mail voting is increasing the chances that Americans will not know the winner of November’s presidential race on election night. {APNews}
  • TikTok faces U.S. breakup from Chinese parent as Microsoft circles: sources {Reuters}
  • The U.S. Agriculture Department has identified more than a dozen plant species ranging from morning glories to mustard in bags of unsolicited seeds arriving in the mailboxes of thousands of Americans, mostly postmarked from China. {Reuters}
  • There are two types of tests available that relate to COVID-19: viral tests and antibody tests. While positive antibody tests could be positive due to a different coronavirus like the common cold, if your viral test is positive, it means you have a current infection with SARS-CoV-2, the specific virus that causes COVID-19, according to the CDC. {APNews}
  • Polymerase chain reaction tests, known as PCR, are the most common and most accurate tests for determining whether someone is currently infected with the novel coronavirus. PCR test works by starting with a throat swab or sputum sample from a patient, amplifying that specimen in a machine, and then looking for unique coronavirus genetic material. Antibody tests are performed on a blood specimen. {CNN}
  • Media Bias Chart. Is it biased? {AdfontestMedia}

7/30/2020 Thursday

  • President Trump issues Executive Order barring Big Tech from online censorship {TheDuran}
  • The stars that time forgot: Remnant of an ancient ‘globular cluster’ that astronomers believe could be ‘the last of its kind’ is discovered at the edge of the Milky Way {Madnesshub}
  • The latest trend among wealthy American travelers? Buying another country’s citizenship {WashPost}
  • Are squid teeth the secret to building ‘self-healing’ robots? The Army thinks so {ArmyTimes}
  • Earth and the Moon appear as small crescents in the empty darkness of space in surreal photo captured by China’s Mars probe en route to the Red Planet {YDN}
  • Iran launches ballistic missiles from underground silos for the first time and pounds an island with bombs a day after attacking a mock US aircraft carrier in Strait of Hormuz {StationGossip}
  • The hunt for killer sharks: Police in Maine and Long Island use helicopters and boats to patrol beaches for great whites following fatal attack as experts warn the predators are becoming more common after protection laws led to boom in seal population {YDN}
  • Huawei overtakes Samsung to become world’s biggest smartphone maker in spite of US sanctions thanks to healthy sales in China {Scoopyweb}
  • Why gloves may not protect you from Covid-19: Scientist warns they achieve ‘nothing in the way of safety’ and give people a false sense of security {StationGossip}
  • DOJ Initiative To Fight Violent Crime Extended To Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee {Tathasta}
  • The First Gene-Altered Squid Has Thrilled Biologists {NPR}

7/29/2020 Wednesday

  • Virtual Opening Ceremony for World’s Largest Experimental Fusion Reactor Kicks Off in France – Video {SputnikNews}
  • Largest 3D map of the universe ever created. After 20 Years of Mapping, Scientists Release Most Detailed 3D Map. Here’s How It Looks. The new results come from the Extended Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (eBOSS), an SDSS collaboration of more than 100 astrophysicists worldwide. {YouTube}
  • Instagram is ‘offering hundreds of thousands of dollars to TikTok’s most popular creators to lure them to its rival video platform Reels’ {ScoopyWeb}
  • More than 100 police agencies pull out of providing security for the Democratic National Convention {Tathasta}
  • Below the Radar: House Resolution 1013 (H.Res.1013). It simply states that it is the “sense of the House of Representatives” that any jurisdiction that cuts police budgets or which shuts down police departments should not be adding “undue restrictions” on the right to keep and bear arms, and in fact should remove them. {PatriotRising}
  • Gold Is Telling Americans That Higher Inflation is Coming…The Fed is Now Cornered… And What Comes Next Determines Everything {InvestWatch}
  • Supreme Court blocked Trump from ending DACA, so he just announced that the program will wind down instead. About 700,000 people have received protetion from deportation under the DACA policy. {ScoopyWeb}
  • Ex-Obama Health Official Explains How The USA Could End The Epidemic Whenever It Wants in 4 to 6 Weeks in Twitter Thread. {StationGossip}
  • ‘I have not misled the American public – and I don’t read Donald Trump’s tweets!’ Dr. Fauci dismisses president’s posts accusing him of lying about hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as Facebook and Twitter delete video claiming it is a ‘cure’ {Madnesshub}
  • Twitter just limited the Breitbart account for posting the video of doctors speaking out in support of HCQ {InvestWatch}
  • ‘I happen to think it works’: Donald Trump defends hydroxychloroquine after Twitter deleted video saying it’s a COVID cure {Cuzzblue}
  • Does being tall raise the risk of getting Covid-19? Men over 6ft are TWICE as likely to get infected, study claims {YDN}
  • ‘The guy looks nothing like me’: Black man says he was falsely identified as shoplifter by one of Rite Aid’s 200 facial recognition cameras placed predominantly in low-income, non-white areas of LA and Manhattan {Madnesshub}
  • Madonna, 61, showed support for doctors in the video, including Dr. Stella Immanuel who has a history of believing in satanic plots and that endometriosis is caused by ‘sex demons’ {Domigood}
  • Doctor who cured 350 coronavirus patients with 100% success rate speaks out – Dr. Stella Immanuel of the Rehoboth Medical Center in Houston, Texas went viral in a matter of hours after appearing live at the “White Coat Summit” in Washington, D.C. in front of the Supreme Court of the United States. Dr. Immanuel gave a hopeful, passionate speech about curing coronavirus patients with 100 percent effectiveness. {NaturalNews}
  • How China Took Over While America’s Elite Slept – National Security Expert Brig. Gen. Robert S. Spalding (USAF Ret.): Chinese Communist Party “has a fundamental loathing of the legal protections America grants its people and seeks to create a world without those rights.” {InvestWatch}
  • Hong Kong’s hospitals could ‘collapse’ as city faces ‘large scale’ coronavirus outbreak, Carrie Lam warns {ScoopyWeb}
  • Donald Trump says he is handing over almost $1 billion to fallen photo giant Kodak to manufacture pharma ingredients in the U.S. as part of plan to tackle coronavirus {StationGossip}
  • Kodak Soars After Government Loan To End China Medical Supply Chain Reliance {ZeroHedge}
  • Thousands protest in Portland for the 62nd night as the Trump administration holds talks to pull federal troops OUT and it’s revealed the city is fining DHS $500 every 15 minutes for the ‘unauthorized’ courthouse fence {StationGossip}
  • Scientists identify 21 drugs that show promise for treating COVID-19 – including four that might be used with remdesivir to combat the virus {MadnessHub}
  • UK Government signs ‘£500million’ deal with drug giants GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi for 60million doses of fourth potential coronavirus vaccine – even though it hasn’t been tested on humans yet {ScoopyWeb}
  • Gates Funding Genetically Altered Mosquitoes – There has been a covert engineering project to develop a mosquito that spreads vaccine (for Malaria) instead of disease. [ Researchers Turn Mosquitoes Into Flying Vaccinators. “Releasing the mosquitoes would also mean vaccinating people without their informed consent, an ethical no-no. Yoshida concedes that the mosquito would be “unacceptable” as a human vaccine-delivery mechanism.”, Science Mag 2010] {ArmstrongEcon}
  • Over 40% of US Renters Now at Risk of Eviction. “Like Nothing We’ve Ever Seen”: Imminent Eviction Wave Is Coming To These States {ZeroHedge}
  • If POLITICO’s leak is legitimate, and all indicators point to it being so, then Joe Biden has picked a running mate who almost tanked his campaign by reminding people of his racist history. Kamala Harris as his VP pick will be ripe for GOP attacks. {NoqReport}
  • Scientists Goofed and Accidentally Created a New Kind of Fish {PopMech}
  • Scientists revive microbes from 100 million years ago {Yahoo}
  • Four of the world’s largest tech companies, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Google, plan to argue in a congressional hearing on antitrust today that they do face competition. {StationGossip}
  • Japanese Scientist Reveals New Ice Age is Set to Begin on Earth in in 100,000 years {SputnikNews}
  • TRUMP says there’ll be 500 Million Vaccines and he’s sending them in with the military – President Donald Trump on rapid vaccine development. “It’ll be a very rapid process.” {YouTube}
  • Online virtual classes are now requiring immunizations for students to attend {Intellihub}
  • Three Los Angeles food suppliers, including McDonald’s biggest provider, is forced to close due to COVID-19 outbreaks that have resulted in 140 employees testing positive {DailyMail}
  • Government-linked intel agency forecasts two-thirds of U.S. populace will suddenly die-off by 2025 {Intellihub}
  • ‘It looks like downtown Baghdad’:Terrifying scenes emerge from ‘war zone’ Portland as Feds protecting city’s courthouse say they ‘fear for their lives’ in battle against violent protesters armed with Molotov cocktails, bleach, and homemade shields {DailyMail}
  • Federal government has agreed to withdraw feds from Portland. In video from this morning, however, president Trump says, “If they don’t secure their city soon, we have no choice, we are going to have to go in and clean it out. … They either clean out their city and get rid of the anarchists and agitators, which is what they are…” {Whatfinger}
  • Major train crash and bridge collapse in Arizona. A train bridge over Tempe Town Lake collapsed and a train derailed early Wednesday morning. A train car of lumber and bridge was on fire. {YouTube}
  • Australian Think-Tank Says A US-China Military Conflict Is “Highly Likely” To “Almost Certain” In The Next 3 Years {FlowingNews}

7/28/2020 Tuesday

  • The Beginning of the U.S.-Iran Hot War? War with Russia over Iran?!? {GlobalResearch}
  • Claim: United Nations Orders Trump To Stand Down In Portland {Conservative}
  • UN Human Rights Office: People should be allowed to protest peacefully. They will issue a statement of guidance on 7/29 according to this post on the UN web site. {UN}
  • Twitter Locks Trump Jr Account For Posting Press Conference By Pro-Hydroxychloroquine Doctors {ZeroHedge}
  • Seattle Mayor: Trump Sending Feds Is ‘Dry Run For Martial Law’ {ScoopyWeb}
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci first-pitch baseball card breaks Topps record for sales in just 24 hours {WomenSys}
  • NASA will soon try to fly a helicopter over Mars: “It really is like the Wright brothers’ moment” {CBSNews}
  • Incredible footage shows the moment a 60-foot robot takes first step off its docking station at the Gundam Factory anime-inspired attraction in Japan {Cuzzblue}
  • Explosive secret: Seemingly benign volcanoes can be much more violent than previously feared due to volatile magma hidden deep below the surface {StationGossip}
  • Astronomers Capture the First Ever Photo of Two Planets Orbiting a Sun-Like Star {MadnessHub}
  • Seattle Judge Orders Media to Share Unpublished Protest Photos with Police. The Seattle Times is also reporting that law enforcement may only access information found on “professional” camera equipment—so photojournalists’ smartphones are off limits. The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) and Press Freedom Defense Fund (PFDF) have released a statement denouncing a recent ruling. {MadnessHub}

7/27/2020 Monday

  • FDA says at least 77 hand sanitizer products may be toxic {WashPost}
  • Alert: Asteroid to pass closer to Earth than satellites on Tuesday, approx 1/10th LD {Intellihub}
  • The Trump administration will send 100 more deputy U.S. Marshals to Portland. {OPB}
  • Moment federal agents pepper spray Vietnam War veteran in face at point-blank range during Portland protest as demonstrators wearing masks and carrying shields tear down fence near courthouse {DailyMail}
  • 100s sickened as salmonella outbreak hits 23 US states {PressTV}

  • Lawyers For Ghislaine Maxwell Trying To Keep X-Rated Evidence From Going Public {GatewayPundit}

  • New ‘Meow’ attack has deleted almost 4,000 unsecured databases. “While it is still not known why the threat actors are wiping databases, a security researcher named Anthr@X discovered that the attacks are being conducted via ProtonVPN IP addresses.” {BleepingComputer} I use Proton VPN. I selected it specifically because it blocks harassment by advertisers (my goal) but is friendly to governments who want to fight crime. As I posted years ago, that one privacy site lists Proton VPN as “cooperative” with the fourteen eyes countries, and it logs timestamps. In other words, this attack should be fairly traceable if criminals used ProtonVPN. 
  • 80,000 people will be evacuated from Vietnamese city after THREE cases of Covid-19 were recorded at the weekend {ScoopyWeb}

  • Vitamin D helps the body fight coronavirus, major Israeli study claims {TimesOfIsrael}

  • Indiana Police Say They Won’t Enforce Governor’s Mask Order {Breitbart}
  • BO decoded: Scientists identify the key enzyme behind the pungent smell of body odour – and it could lead to a new generation of deodorants {ScoopyWeb}

  • Gold prices surge to record high amid coronavirus worries, U.S.-China tensions {CNBC}

  • Trump’s Executive Order Supporting Free Speech Is Causing Panic in Silicon Valley {YouTube}

  • Google will keep its 200,000 employees working from home until at least July NEXT YEAR amid coronavirus pandemic {MadnessHub}

  • Magic mushrooms should be made legal in the same way as cannabis so they can be used to treat depression, leading doctors say {DailyMail}
  • BBC Fact Checking Investigated. Vernon Coleman asks, if masks do not make breathing more difficult, why are people with respiratory problems given exceptions to wearing one? {YouTube}

  • SpaceX Satellites Ruin Photographer’s Shots of Comet NEOWISE {Madnesshub}
  • China Destroyed COVID-19 Evidence, Says Doctor Who Investigated Wuhan Cases {Vice}
  • Bitcoin surges over $10,000, could surpass $15,000, digital-currency experts say {MarketWatch}
  • Even if there’s a coronavirus vaccine next year, don’t expect to throw away your mask and stop social distancing, a top vaccine developer says {BusinessInsider}

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