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TSA weighs barring a whole bunch from flights, steps up safety earlier than inauguration


A TSA officer checks a man’s ID at a checkpoint at Orlando International Airport.

Paul Hennessy | SOPA pictures | Getty Images

The Transportation Security Administration said Friday it is screening hundreds of people to see if they should be banned from flights as it will increase security ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.

“Currently TSA is processing hundreds of names with law enforcement agencies for a thorough risk assessment,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a statement. “Our intelligence and screening professionals are working diligently around the clock to ensure that those who pose a threat to our aviation sector are subjected to enhanced screening or are unable to board a plane.”

TSA said it is also increasing the number of Federal Air Marshals on some flights, random gate screenings, and more law enforcement and canine explosives detection teams. The staff is also being increased at some train stations.

The additional measures come after the deadly riot in the U.S. Capitol last week and a spate of flight disruptions, some of which are politically motivated.

In the aftermath of the uprising, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, which represents around 50,000 flight attendants on more than a dozen airlines, raised safety concerns about “mob mentality” on some flights to Washington DC last week, saying that people should be involved in the riot flying will be banned.

The FAA promised to have a zero-tolerance policy for unruly behavior on flights and to impose a fine of up to $ 35,000.

Airlines and airports also increase security. Major US airlines are banning passengers from checking guns on flights in the Washington DC area for next week starting this weekend. American Airlines stops selling alcohol on flights, while Alaska Airlines limits the number of tickets sold into the city.

QAnon backer Jacob Chansley detained for Capitol riot by Trump supporters


Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Samuel Corum | Getty Images

A self-described QAnon shaman was held without bail by a judge Friday after prosecutors brought evidence he stormed into the Senate and left a threatening note for Vice President Mike Pence during a riot by pro-Trump supporters .

Jacob Chansley, the conspiracy theorist with horn, spear, and complexion, drew attention to his bizarre demeanor among the crowd entering the Capitol complex on January 6th.

Prior to Friday’s hearing in the US District Court in Phoenix, Arizona prosecutors said there was “strong evidence, including Chansley’s own words and actions at the Capitol, in support of the Capitol rioters’ intentions to trap elected officials in the United States to murder. ” State government. “

Those prosecutors dropped the lawsuit on bail at the hearing after they were pushed back by the Washington, D.C. Supreme Attorney’s office, whose office filed the two crimes and four offenses that led to Chansley’s arrest.

The Arizona federal prosecutor also noted in the file that “news reports indicate that the siege of the US Capitol may just be the beginning of potentially violent actions by the president [Donald] Trump’s supporters. “

The filing by the office of US Arizona attorney Michael Bailey called for a judge Friday to arrest Chansley, one of the most notorious rioters arrested without bail.

They said he planned to return to Washington next week for the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

“Chansley is a self-appointed QAnon leader,” said a group of conspiracy theorists who believe many US lawmakers are part of a ring of child molesters and satan worshipers. There were other followers of QAnon among the rioters.

“Chansley is an active participant in a violent uprising that sought to overthrow the United States government and has made himself the best-known symbol of it,” the prosecutor wrote. “No [bail] Conditions can reasonably ensure its appearance [in court] still guarantee the security of the community if necessary. “

But Michael Sherwin, the acting US attorney for the District of Columbia, undermined the idea during a press conference late Friday that there were indications of attacks by the rioters.

“Right now we have no direct evidence of kill capture teams,” said Sherwin, whose office has brought charges against Chansley and other rioters.

Sherwin said “there may be a split” between his office and those of federal attorneys in Arizona and Texas who have made similar allegations.

Later on Friday, at Chansley’s hearing in Phoenix, a US assistant attorney asked the judge to remove the sentence on bail alleging there was strong evidence of intent to capture and kill elected officials.

While that statement “may very well be appropriate in a trial against Mr. Chansley and very well characterize the evidence and intent on that day,” the prosecutor said that for the purpose of bail hearing, “we do not want to mislead the court by acting discuss the strength of any type of specific evidence. ”

The bail also stated that Chansley, wearing complexion and a hat with horns, ran to a Senate podium “where Vice President Pence had chaired and started posing just minutes earlier” to be photographed by other rioters.

Pence chaired a joint congressional session that day to officially confirm the election of Biden as president.

A protester yells in the Senate Chamber in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021.

Win McNamee | Getty Images News | Getty Images

“Chansley left a note on the podium of the Senate Chamber where Vice President Mike Pence had chaired the session minutes earlier warning, ‘It is only a matter of time, justice will come.'”

Prosecutors said that when the FBI questioned Chansley about the meaning of his words, he “did a long disgrace in which he described current and former United States leaders as infiltrators, particularly Vice President Mike Pence”.

“He said he was able to get into the United States Senate in DC ‘by the grace of God’.” Chansley said he was glad he was in the Vice President’s chair because Vice President Pence is a traitor to child trafficking, “the file said.

While Chansley, also known as Jacob Angeli, claimed that he did not mean the note as a threat, “the government disagrees,” the file says.

A protester holds a mannequin with a noose “traitor” written on it during a protest at the Washington Monument in Washington, DC, the United States, on Wednesday, January 6, 2021.

Victor J. Blue | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The prosecutor noted, “Chansley has also expressed an interest in returning to Washington DC for the inauguration and later told the FBI, ‘I’ll still go, you’d better believe it.'”

“‘Sure I’d want to be there, as a protester, as a protester, f–‘ a ‘,” he said, according to the file.

In an interview with the FBI last week, the prosecutor wrote that he said twice “that he had plans to go to the Arizona State Capitol following the January 9 FBI interview.”

“Chansley confirmed his testimony and had his horns, furry coyote tail headdress, complexion, tan pants, six-foot spear and megaphone in the 2003 Hyundai that he parked with the FBI,” the file says.

The document said Chansley lied to federal investigators prior to trial after his arrest when he said he had never used drugs other than marijuana, which he had smoked three times a week in the past.

“Chansley described his routine use of psychedelics, including mushrooms and peyote, in recorded interviews on his podcast,” the file said. In addition, QAnon, who was based on an imaginary conspiracy theory, was not provided with a full portrait of Chansley’s apparent mental health problems, which he has publicly disseminated, which has strong mystical beliefs and leadership in a dangerous extremist group based on an imaginary conspiracy theory , includes PTS officer and therefore not assessed in the assessment. “

In a video interview outside the Capitol when he and other rioters were leaving the complex, Chansley said he had left the Senate and “the cops just walked out with me.”

He also said the mob would leave because Trump posted a message asking them to do so and that the rioters “won” the day.

“We won by sending a message to the Senators and Congressmen. We won by sending a message to Pence: If you don’t … do what your oath is, if you do they don’t keep it. ” Constitution, we’ll remove you then, but one way or another, “Chansley said.

ProPublica reported that last month two women had warned the Capitol Police about Chansley, whom they saw “strangely dressed” and “carrying a spear” outside the building.

“He was a character you would recognize – Jacob Chansley, the QAnon supporter in a Viking outfit, who was photographed from the podium in the Senate Chamber last week,” said ProPublica of the women Melissa Byrne and Chibundu Nnake.

“They alerted the Capitol Police at the time that the spear appeared to be violating the complex’s gun ban, but the officials denied their concern,” ProPublica said.

“One officer told them that Chansley had been stopped earlier in the day but that the ‘senior’ cops had decided not to take any action against him.”

“We don’t perceive it as a weapon,” Nnake recalled of the officer who spoke about the spear, “the article says.

Byrne tweeted Friday, writing, “I am extremely angry that I reported this to the USCP on December 14th for carrying a gun on the Capitol Grounds and was told that ‘higher elevations’ are fine if he’s there. It’s me. ” seething. Imagine if he was arrested and examined. “

Senator Ben Sasse, R-Neb, who has been one of Trump’s most vocal critics in his own party, said in a statement Friday, “Mad dealers will try to whitewash the Capitol attack, bad apples got out of hand. This is wrong. .. These men weren’t loud drunkards – they were terrorists who attacked the constitutional transfer of power in this country. They failed, but they were dangerously approaching a bloody constitutional crisis. “”

Trump was charged Tuesday by the House of Representatives for instigating the mob that stormed the Capitol complex following a rally on the Ellipse calling on supporters to help him reverse Biden’s election.

Also on Friday, the New York Times reported that the FBI is investigating 37 people in an investigation into the riot murder of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.

The Times cited an FBI memo sent to the private sector and others.

Four other people died during the riot, including an Air Force veteran who subscribed to the QAnon theory and was shot trying to climb through a broken window in the House of Representatives building.

Note: This article and its headline were updated after the Federal Prosecutor’s Office dropped its earlier claim that “strong evidence, including Chansley’s own words and actions in the Capitol, supports Capitol rioters’ intentions to capture elected officials in the United States and to murder. ” Government.”

The way to (Actually) Drive the Coronavirus Away


Since it is not always practical to have all windows wide open, especially in the dead of winter, Dr. Mathai and his colleagues also modeled several other options. They found that the most intuitive solution – having the driver and passenger each roll down their own windows – was better than keeping all the windows closed, an even better strategy was to open the windows facing each occupant. This configuration allows fresh air to flow in through the rear left window and through the front right window and helps create a barrier between the driver and front passenger.

“It’s like an air curtain,” said Dr. Mathai. “It flushes out all of the air that is released by the passenger and creates a strong wind region between the driver and front passenger.”

Richard Corsi, air quality expert at Portland State University, praised the new study. “It’s pretty nifty what they did,” he said, although he cautioned that changing the number of passengers in the car or the speed of travel could affect the results.

Dr. Corsi, co-author of the report with Dr. Allen in the last year has since developed his own model for inhaling coronavirus aerosols in various situations. His results, which have not yet been published, suggest that a 20-minute drive with someone who is emitting infectious coronavirus particles can be much riskier than sharing a classroom or restaurant with that person for more than an hour.

“The focus was on superspreader events,” because they affect a lot of people, he said. “But I think what people miss sometimes is that superspreader events are started by someone who is infected and come to that event, and we don’t talk enough about where that person got infected.”

In a follow-up study that has not yet been published, Dr. Mathai found that opening the windows halfway was about the same benefit as opening it fully, while cracking it was only a quarter of the way less effective.

Dr. Mathai said the overall results would most likely apply to many four-door, five-seat cars, not just the Prius. “For minivans and pickups, I would still say that opening all the windows or opening at least two windows can be beneficial,” he said. “In addition, I would extrapolate too much.”

Home terrorism has outdated the specter of worldwide terrorism, warns ex-NYC police commissioner


Former New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton warned CNBC’s The News with Shepard Smith that domestic terrorism has superseded the threat of international terrorism in the United States.

“For the past 20 years our greatest concern has been international terrorism – ISIS, Al-Qaeda,” Bratton said in an interview on Friday evening. “Now it is here, and it is us, and it is the citizens of the United States, some of whom are rebelling against everything we have believed in for the past 300 to 400 years.”

Former Department of Homeland Security counterterrorism officer Nate Snyder reiterated Bratton’s views on The News with Shepard Smith.

“When you talk about the lethality of the threat, domestic terrorism – that is, violent white supremacists, neo-Nazis, sovereign citizens, militia movements – has been the deadliest threat in the last decade compared to Al Qaeda and ISIS-inspired threats,” said Snyder.

State capitals across the country are at risk of violence in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. FBI Director Christopher Wray urged state officials to take any extremist threat seriously during an inauguration safety briefing on Friday at FEMA headquarters.

“If we discover that a person poses a violent threat, we and our partners will use every legitimate authority and method to interrupt any attempt or attack,” Wray said. “Our attitude is aggressive; It will stay that way with the initiation. “

Wray said the agency was following “extensive” online chatter, including calls for armed protests. Some internet extremists have ignored President Trump’s call for peace, citing the fact that, according to Politico, he has still not officially admitted. There are also some extremists on the Telegram instant messaging platform who, according to the Washington Post, are calling for surprise attacks across the country.

Bratton told host Shepard Smith that it was “much, much more difficult” to fight domestic terrorism and that the US lacks the “tools to fight domestic terrorism” as it does in fighting international terrorism is. Snyder criticized the detrimental impact of the Trump administration’s policies on weakening the country’s ability to counter threats posed by neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and sovereign citizens.

“Unfortunately, during this administration, there has been a systematic atrophy of these efforts, not just from my previous office, but also from analysts in the department’s intelligence and analysis department who would focus primarily on tracking these threats,” said Snyder.

The National Park Service has closed the National Mall due to widespread safety concerns. The Army confirmed Friday that up to 25,000 National Guard troops will be in DC to ensure safety for Biden’s inauguration. That’s roughly five times the number of troops the US currently has in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Bratton said there should be more transparency when it comes to law enforcement providing information to U.S. citizens to keep them informed and keep them safe.

“I hope that after January 20th we will return to a situation where we can become more transparent and open and where American law enforcement can be where they need to be, on these podiums rather than with you speak some of us, ex-law enforcement officers, “Bratton said.

Manhattan DA expands probe to Seven Springs property


President Trump’s estate in Seven Springs in Mount Kisco, New York, here on September 30, 2020.

Johnny Milano | The Washington Post | Getty Images

The Manhattan Attorney’s Office has expanded its criminal investigation into President Donald Trump’s company to include a sprawling property in Westchester County, New York.

A Bedford, New York City attorney told CNBC that sometime “before Christmas” the city’s office issued a subpoena for records of the Trump Organization’s Seven Springs Estate as part of a criminal investigation.

Bedford’s attorney Joel Sachs said he believed the towns of New Castle and North Castle, in addition to Bedford, also had records cited from Vance’s office on the criminal investigation, as the 213-acre property spans all three towns.

The company’s multi-month evaluation of Seven Springs was the focus of a civil fraud investigation by the New York Attorney General.

AG Letitia James has stated that it is investigating whether Trump’s company has fraudulently increased the value of Seven Springs on financial statements that have been used to obtain credit and obtain economic and tax advantages. Trump bought the property in 1996 for only $ 7.5 million. In 2012, he valued the property at a whopping $ 291 million.

Vance’s office was previously known to be investigating hush money payments to women who claimed to have sex with Trump, as well as possible tax, banking, and insurance fraud. Trump has denied having sex with the women, porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal.

Trump has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block a subpoena for his accountants’ longstanding tax and financial filings issued by a Manhattan grand jury acting at Vance’s request. The Supreme Court has yet to decide whether it will hear Trump’s appeal against court rulings that Mazars USA must submit these documents.

On Friday, The Associated Press reported that investigators in Vance’s office interviewed Trump’s former private attorney Michael Cohen for hours on Thursday, asking him about the president’s business dealings, focusing on his relationship with Deutsche Bank, Trump’s largest lender.

Cohen testified before Congress in 2019 that the president’s financial statements increased to the values ​​of his assets to get favorable terms on loans and insurance, while the value of other assets was decreased to lower property taxes due on them .

New Castle Town supervisor Ivy Pool declined to comment when contacted by CNBC. North Castle officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Vance spokesman Danny Frost declined to comment.

A Trump Organization spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the expansion of Vance’s investigation to Seven Springs.

AG James’s office in a lawsuit related to their investigation found that “Valuations of Seven Springs was used to obtain an apparent tax deduction of $ 21.1 million for a property conservation donation for the 2015 tax year and for Filings with financial institutions to be claimed as part of Mr. Trump’s fortune. “

James’ research also examines the valuation of other Trump properties on 40 Wall Street in Manhattan, the Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago, and the Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles.

Eric Trump, the son of the President and Executive Vice President of the Trump Organization, was forced to answer questions from James’ investigators for their investigation last fall after failing to convince a judge to postpone his testimony until the presidential election his father had lost to Joe Biden.

Eric Trump ran the Trump organization with his brother Donald Trump Jr. while their father was president.

Donald Trump was indicted for the second time by the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

He is accused in this trial of inciting a crowd of supporters to get upset in the US Capitol, which disrupted the confirmation by a joint session of Congress of Biden’s election. Five people, including a Capitol policeman who was killed by the crowd, died as a result of the incident.

Biden is due to take office on Wednesday.

A brand new Covid variant has been found — here is what we all know up to now


A patient arrives at 28 de Agosto Hospital in Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil on January 14, 2021 amid the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Manaus faces a lack of oxygen and sleeping places as the city has been overrun by a second surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths.


LONDON – A new variant of coronavirus identified in Brazil has heightened concern among public health experts, leading to warnings that more new strains are likely to emerge.

The news of the variant in Brazil comes after two separate mutant strains of the virus were discovered in the UK and South Africa earlier this year.

Researchers are urgently investigating the variants of Covid that are believed to have similar characteristics in order to better understand the threat they pose.

Viruses mutate naturally, and there is no evidence that the newly discovered strains have more serious disease outcomes.

However, the Covid variants are believed to be more transmissible than the original variant that triggered the pandemic, and this could lead to higher numbers of serious infections and additional deaths.

Health officials have recommended washing hands, physically distancing yourself, and using personal protective equipment to prevent the virus from spreading.

What is known about the variant found in Brazil?

Earlier this month, the Japanese National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) announced that it had discovered a new variant of Covid in four travelers from the Brazilian state of Amazonas on January 2.

A man in his forties who was found to be asymptomatic when he arrived in Japan was hospitalized because his breathing condition was deteriorating. A woman in her thirties reported a sore throat and headache, a man between 10 and 19 years of age had a fever, and a young woman over 10 was asymptomatic.

This variant of the virus belongs to the strain B.1.1.248 and, according to the NIID, has 12 mutations in the spike protein. Spike proteins are used by the virus to enter cells in the body.

On January 14, 2021, nurses chatting outside 28 de Agosto Hospital in Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil amid the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.


NIID said it was difficult to immediately determine how contagious the new strain is and how effective vaccines against it are.

To date, Brazil has registered more than 8.3 million Covid cases and 207,000 virus deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The South American country is the second largest country for Covid-related deaths worldwide after the US.

Travel ban

The UK on Friday imposed a ban on travelers from South America (and Portugal and Cape Verde) to deter people from bringing the new variant into the country.

The country’s Secretary of Transportation, Grant Shapps, told the BBC this was a precautionary measure. He added that scientists believe the coronavirus vaccines will work on the new variant.

“We looked very closely at this particular mutation, unlike many other thousands, and realized that there might be a problem, not so much that the vaccine isn’t working. In fact, scientists believe it will work, just the fact is more spreadable, “said Shapps, according to Reuters.

On Thursday, British chief advisor Patrick Vallance told ITV that there was a “slightly greater risk” of the vaccine’s effectiveness with regard to the Covid variant identified in Brazil.

What about the mutant strains in the UK and South Africa?

On December 14th, the UK health authorities reported a variant to the WHO identified as SARS-CoV-2 VOC 202012/01. It is unclear how the new strain came about, but preliminary results have shown that it is highly infectious.

It originally appeared in the south east of England, but has since been the dominant variety in much of the UK and has spread to more than 50 other countries. Numerous nations then imposed bans on travelers from Great Britain.

Healthcare professionals wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) enter a makeshift ward devoted to treating possible COVID-19 coronavirus patients at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria on January 11, 2021.

Phill Magakoe | AFP | Getty Images

Independently of this, the national authorities in South Africa announced the detection of the variant 501Y.V2 on December 18. Preliminary studies have shown that variant 501Y.V2 also increases portability. It has since reportedly been found in at least 20 other countries.

The variants that emerged separately both share a genetic mutation in the spike protein.

What happens next?

Studies are currently ongoing to understand the transferability and severity of the newly discovered variants of Covid, as well as their possible effects on vaccines.

After approximately 10 months of relative inactivity, “we have seen a remarkable evolution of SARS-CoV-2 with a repeated evolutionary pattern in the worrying SARS-CoV-2 variants from the UK, South Africa and Brazil.” Dr. Trevor Bedford, a virologist and associate professor at the University of Washington, said Thursday via Twitter.

Bedford, who also works with Fred Hutch’s vaccines and infectious diseases division, warned that the hypothesis was “highly speculative” at the time. “But separately, the fact that we’ve seen three worrying variants since September suggests that more are likely to follow.”

To date, more than 93.2 million people worldwide have contracted Covid-19 with 1.99 million deaths.

Professor Devi Sridhar, Chair of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, said on Friday the world has “become the playground of the virus to mutate and develop (especially) in countries that have allowed higher prevalence”.

Jacob Fracker, Virginia Nationwide Guard corporal, charged in U.S. Capitol riot


This January 6, 2021 photo, provided by the United States Capitol Police in a warrant of appeal and arrest, shows Rocky Mount Police Department Sgt. Thomas “TJ” Robertson and officer Jacob Fracker in the Capitol building in front of a statute of John Stark, a Revolutionary War officer known for writing the New Hampshire state motto: “Live Free or Die”.

United States Capitol Police | AP

The U.S. Army said Jacob Fracker – one of the two off-duty Virginia police officers arrested on riot charges at the Capitol – is a non-commissioned officer in the Virginia National Guard.

Fracker is the first known active military service to be charged in the attack on the convention halls.

The disclosure of Fracker’s status as a Guardsman comes as thousands of National Guard service members, some of whom are armed, provide security in and around the Capitol following the deadly January 6 riot.

President Donald Trump was charged Tuesday with incitement to mob protests against Joe Biden’s election as president.

Fracker and colleague Thomas Robertson of Rocky Mount, Virginia, were seen posing for a photo and making obscene gestures in front of a statue in the Capitol during the invasion. This is evident from filings filed with the U.S. District Court in Washington, DC

Other rioters killed Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick and beat and sprayed other police officers defending the complex that same day.

Four other people died in the hand-to-hand combat, including an Air Force veteran Ashli ​​Babbitt, a rioter who was shot and killed by police while attempting to climb through a blocked area in the House of Representatives building.

Another member of the mob, retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Larry Rendall Brock Jr., was charged with the riot in which he was photographed in the Senate wearing a helmet and zippered handcuffs.

This undated photo, made available by the Grapevine, Texas Police Department in January 2021, shows Larry Rendall Brock Jr. During the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, Brock was helmeted in the Senate and heavy vest photographed and handcuffed with zippers.

Grapevine, Texas Police Department via AP

Brock was handcuffed for “taking hostages” and possibly “executing members of the US government,” a federal attorney told a judge who released Brock on Thursday in the Texas detention center.

In a social media post relating to the photo of him and Robertson, Fracker wrote, “Lol to anyone who may be concerned about the picture of me,” according to the District of Columbia District Attorney’s Office both pursued police officers.

“I’m sorry I hate freedom?” Fracker wrote. “Not as if I did anything illegal … you do what you think is necessary.”

Robertson wrote in his own mocking post-attack social media post, “CNN and the left are just insane because we actually attacked the government that is the problem, and not some random small business.”

“The right one day took the f ***** US Capitol. Keep nudging us,” Robertson wrote, according to the prosecutor. In an Instagram post, Robertson wrote that he was “proud” of the photo because he was “ready to bring skin into play”.

Both Fracker and Robertson are charged with knowingly entering or staying in a restricted building or site without legal authority, once forcibly intruding and behaving in disorder for the purposes of the Capitol.

They are each free for an unsecured release loan of $ 15,000 and are not allowed to go to Washington or participate in demonstrations or protests while their criminal case continues.

Robertson told WSLS-10 News that the photo of him and Fracker “was taken long after a disturbance and we were admitted and escorted by the Capitol Police.”

He also said, “I went through an open door that was guarded by two Capitol police officers, got a bottle of water by then and asked to stay in a rope area, which we did.”

Dozens of other people were charged with the uprising that began after Trump held a rally on The Ellipse calling on supporters to march to the Capitol and help him reverse Biden’s election as president.

In a statement to CNBC, the National Guard said, “Jacob Fracker is a sergeant in the Virginia National Guard serving as an 11B infantryman in a traditional National Guard status where he typically trains one weekend a month and two weeks of annual training.”

“He is currently not serving with the Virginia National Guard forces in Washington, DC,” said the spokesman. “The Virginia National Guard will be investigating the matter and we will be able to provide more information when this is complete.”

In its own statement, the Rocky Mount Police Department said it “takes this matter very seriously” and is investigating the incident.

In the meantime, Fracker and Robertson are on administrative leave pending this review, police said.

“The recent events in our US Capitol are tragic. We stand with and support those who denounced the violence and illegal activities that day,” the department said.

In a statement Tuesday, the Army said it was working with the FBI to determine if anyone involved in last week’s riot had any connection with the Army.

“Any type of activity that involves violence, civil disobedience or a violation of the peace can be punished under the Unified Code of Military Justice or federal or state law,” an army spokesman wrote in an email sent to CNBC Explanation.

Gary Reed, director of intelligence at the Pentagon, wrote in a statement Wednesday: “We in the Department of Defense are doing everything we can to eradicate extremism in the Department of Defense.”

“DoD policy expressly forbids military personnel from actively advocating supremacist, extremist or criminal gang doctrine, ideology or causes,” wrote Reed.

Swimming With the Sharks in Fb’s World


But I came up with an almost foolproof plan. In venture capital language, it’s a small but potentially scalable one-to-one monetization system for entertainment.

More simply, I’ll try to get people to pay me to amuse them. As they say in Hollywood, “Funny is money.”

Perhaps we could combine the laughter reward with the phenomenon of cyber currency: Twitcoin? Gigglebucks? I mean, so much of the craze for online currency is ridiculous, especially when it comes to people who may lose millions of dollars because they lost the passwords to their digital wallets.

I tried this gem of an idea with Siva Vaidhyanathan, a professor at the University of Virginia and an expert on social media and Facebook in particular, which he wrote about in his book, Antisocial Media: How Facebook Divides Us And Undermines Democracy. But he said comparatively few people on social media make real money or even enough money to pay the rent.

The result, he said, was a “race to the bottom,” which he asserted was not a reference to those suddenly ubiquitous hatchback pajama ads showing a flash of the model’s derriere.

Even so, I decided to try out my one-on-one humor model over the phone with him.

I mentioned that Facebook, with its tremendous power and resources, “really knows how to lean,” a reference to the company’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, who wrote a bestseller about leaning.

Professor Vaidhyanathan is a kind man and he laughed.

“You giggled!” I said and put my plan into action. “Would you be willing to pay me for it? I mean, you could give it to me Venmo – “

Hypersonic Superweapons Are a Mirage, New Evaluation Says


Military experts refer to hypersonic warheads as the next big thing in intercontinental warfare. You will see emerging weapons, which can deliver nuclear or conventional ammunition, zigzagging through the atmosphere at speeds of up to five miles per second to outsmart early warning satellites and some interceptors. The super-fast weapons, say experts, are suitable for surprise attacks.

President Trump has boasted of his “super dupers” and even called the planned weapon “Hydrosonic”, a brand for electric toothbrushes. Last year, its budget asked the Pentagon to spend $ 3.2 billion on hypersonic weapons research, up $ 600 million from the previous year. And as President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. takes command of the nation’s military, he must consider keeping up the defense work done in the Trump years.

Now independent experts have examined the technical performance of the planned weapon and have come to the conclusion that the advertised features are more illusory than real. Your analysis will be published this week in Science & Global Security.

In an interview, David Wright, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author of the new analysis, described the superweapon as a mirage.

“There are many claims and not many numbers,” he said. “When you put in the numbers, you realize that the claims are nonsense.”

Military officials called the paper immaterial and said it was based on outdated data. However, they refused to publish new findings.

“Because of the classified nature of hypersonic technologies, we are not at liberty to publicly discuss the current capabilities,” said Jared Adams, chief spokesperson for the Agency for Advanced Defense Research Projects (Darpa), in an email.

Richard L. Garwin, physicist and longstanding advisor to the federal government, described the paper as “very good and important”. He added that he had given defense officials his own similar criticisms of hypersonic warheads.

James M. Acton, a nuclear analyst with Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, described the paper as “serious, credible, and important work.”

Dr. Wright is a member of MIT’s Nuclear Safety and Policy Laboratory and conducted the analysis with Cameron L. Tracy, a materials scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, a private group based in Cambridge, Massachusetts that often supports arms control.

By definition, hypersonic vehicles fly at more than five times the speed of sound – or up to a dozen times faster than jetliners. The warheads soar into space on a traditional long-range missile, but then quickly descend into the atmosphere to move, care for, and otherwise maneuver. They are basically blunt gliders. The curved top surfaces of their wedge-shaped bodies give them the lift force of an airplane wing.

Dr. Wright and Dr. Tracy based their analysis on the Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 – an experimental warhead developed by the Air Force and Darpa. Their findings also apply to other American prototypes, as well as to devices being developed by China, Russia and other countries.

The computer simulations relied on the physics of moving bodies and public revelations about the Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 to model its most plausible flight paths. The team focused on the characteristic phases of hypersonic flight – when the vehicle zooms through the atmosphere and then reaches a destination.

The two experts say their computer modeling fills public gaps in terms of the overall performance of the weapon, as well as its possible interactions with existing military systems for detecting and defeating weapons launched from remote locations.

In their work they see that the weapon essentially does not outsmart early warning satellites and interceptors. For example, current generations of space-based sensors can track the fiery twists and turns of the weapon during most of its flight through the atmosphere.

And, surprisingly, given the gun’s fast reputation, they say their analysis shows that it will fly intercontinental distances slower than ballistic missiles and warheads fired on low flight paths known as depressive trajectories. In war, such tactics are seen as a good way for attackers to evade interceptors and reduce warning time.

Dr. Wright and Dr. Tracy conclude that the proposed new weapon is “evolutionary – not revolutionary” at best.

In their work, the authors contrast their results with military claims. For example, they cite the 2019 Senate testimony of General John E. Hyten, the Air Force officer who was then responsible for the US Strategic Command, which controls the country’s nuclear missiles. The time it takes for a hypersonic warhead to complete an attack, General Hyten said, “could be half as long” as a standard missile. “It could be even less,” he added.

The conflicts between public views on hypersonic warheads and their actual capabilities arise, according to the two experts, from overrated official claims intended to “justify the expenditure necessary for their development and use”.

The American military is currently researching half a dozen hypersonic weapons. Dr. Wright said the limited amount of public information about how they worked and flight data made the better known Hypersonic Technology Vehicle the best available window of the current status and future potential of the prototype arms.

The team’s analysis focuses on an underlying physics problem that they believe casts doubt on the new class of weapons in general.

This is what aeronautical engineers call the ratio of lift to drag. The esoteric term is a measure of the lifting force versus air resistance. The lifting pushes a fast moving aerodynamic body upwards and the air resistance tries to counteract the forward movement, which in the worst case leads to a standstill.

Dr. Wright said the team’s analysis of the hypersonic vehicle used a lift to drag ratio of 2.6. In contrast, jetliners and some birds have an approximately eight times higher ratio. In other words, the warheads are nondescript fliers at best.

The limited power of the curved, glowing hot surfaces to produce significant lift force without also creating much drag undermines claims that the weapon can fly long distances on complex flight paths, he said.

“Unless they found a magical way to keep these systems going,” said Dr. Wright, “they’re going to have problems.”

Policy experts expect the Biden administration to focus on promoting arms control and it is likely that the Trump administration’s plans for hypersonic warheads will be scrutinized. Hypersonic weapons are one of the issues defense experts address in early talks with Russia and China, including the possibility of finding ways to impose restrictions.

Ned Price, a spokesman for the Biden transition team, declined to comment on the hypersonic warheads issue.

“President-elect Joe Biden will have an experienced team to solve these complex problems,” wrote Hans Binnendijk, a former National Security Council official, last month, suggesting ways to revive arms control. “But it takes time and creativity to be successful.”

Celebrating King the Activist (Not Simply the Dreamer) in Artwork


Let Freedom Ring is the title the Brooklyn Academy of Music has given its public exhibition of images by seven Brooklyn-based artists as part of their 35th annual Brooklyn tribute to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The images will appear on the giant BAM sign (usually used to advertise upcoming shows and events) on the corner of Lafayette Avenue and Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn through next Friday.

The sentence “Let freedom ring” resonates deeply with me. It brings me back to that moment as a kid when I was watching TV with my own black family, immigrants from Jamaica who arrived in New York in the 1970s, and quickly and intuitively understood that we were dealing with black Americans who were then (when) had to make common cause aren’t they?) vigorously engaged in the struggle for social and economic justice. Together, my father, mother, and sister watched a civil rights program that included grainy black and white imagery of King delivering this 1963 speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington – the famous “I Have a Dream” speech. The chorus “Let freedom ring” grabbed me in such a way that when I look at the electronic billboard I can hear his voice again: “Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill in Mississippi. Let freedom ring from every mountain slope. “

I am grateful that BAM and the project’s curator, Larry Ossei-Mensah, did not choose the other worn-out phrase to portray King and his activist agenda: “I have a dream.” I remember my political science professor John Ehrenberg, who gave me and my classmates a detailed briefing on the civil rights movement just a few blocks from the BAM sign in the early 1990s: on the Brooklyn campus of Long Island University, where I received my bachelor’s degree. Prof. Ehrenberg has insisted that King’s rhetorical construction as a dreamer was a grave misinterpretation of his work and legacy. King was an activist, an intellectual, an organizer, a warrior of social justice. The works shown on the BAM billboard thankfully go beyond the rhetorical construction of a just society and show what freedom looks like when it underpins the lives of blacks and Latinos.

The slide show with pictures shows work by Derrick Adams, Laylah Amatullah Barrayn, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Hank Willis Thomas, Jasmin Wahi, Alvin Armstrong and Lizania Cruz and lasts about three minutes. Here black bodies are at rest to celebrate their being, instead of being suppressed, fearful and pathetic. Barrayn shows in her “Self-Portrait (Enlargement of a Woman)” (2007) a black woman who is wrapped in warm light and framed by the gold accents of her earrings and her necklace, without meeting her gaze. It is free enough not to seek reciprocity. She is intact and at peace where she is. And in Barrayn’s “Luz + Adrian, Jogo De Capoeira” (2018), two bodies are shown upside down, standing with their heads on the ground and balancing their legs in the air in order to enjoy the freedom of their bodies towards their hands to dance .

With “We don’t die, we multiply” (2021), Armstrong takes this idea of ​​solemn movement into a painterly representation and shows two black, silhouetted bodies that meet in jubilation and joy and have their arms wide open. And Adams portrays the freedom fighter himself in “MLK’s Tropic Interlude” (2020), in which he imagines that King has the freedom to relax in lonely free time.

Cruz’s “Freedom Budget” (2021) uses text to argue for the kind of profound socio-economic restructuring that can make these moments of indulgence common or even commonplace for blacks. “Freedom Budget” alludes to the policy document drawn up by a coalition of black, socialist, and progressive leaders who originally gathered to organize March 1963 in Washington. (They called it “A Freedom Budget for All Americans.”) Their goal was to end poverty in the United States in 10 years at no cost to taxpayers. First published in 1966, it suggested harnessing strong economic growth to provide a federal guarantee for jobs, universal health care, and a basic income.

Cruz reminds us that the Freedom Budget includes: “Clean Air and Water for All”, “Healthcare for All”, “Housing for All”, “Job Guarantee for All”, “Childcare for All” and “Higher Education for All” . “Along with other movement leaders, King understood that no one can truly be free unless everyone is. In other words, blacks have had to join forces with those who are poor and abandoned by the miserable social safety net of the United States, with those who are not free from fear and hardship. As King stated in the plan’s preface:

The long road to go requires us to highlight the needs of all the poor in America, for there is no way to find jobs, decent housing, or quality-integrated schools just for Negroes.

While blacks were at the forefront of the civil rights movement, it was crucially made up of activists and organizers, workers and politicians of various races, socio-economic classes, sexualities and religious beliefs to produce the major legislative victories of the 1960s that transformed civil society. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 effectively ended segregation in public places and prohibited discrimination in the workplace. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibits racial discrimination in voting. and even the Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing. Yet the struggle continues to show the deeply interconnected and interdependent structures of white supremacy. Rasheed seems to warn us against this with her piece of text “Read the Fine Print”. (2021).

But then the last picture in the slideshow is Thomas’ “Who Taught You To Love?” (2020) in festive green and red letters on a black background. It hits the right note at this moment when our public discourse becomes permeated with questions about the social and cultural mechanisms that teach us to hate, that radicalize us to the point of violent insurrection. Love can flicker like freedom between dreamy assertion and lived reality, and in order to bring us from one dry landscape to another fertile ground, we always need teachers like Martin Luther King, who not only show the way but also hold our hands in marching that direction.

Let freedom ring

Until January 22nd, the BAM sign (corner of Flatbush Avenue and Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn).


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