News – Buzzez Tue, 28 Jun 2022 02:24:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 News – Buzzez 32 32 Tucker Carlson inadvertently helped raise $14,000 for abortion rights Tue, 28 Jun 2022 02:24:00 +0000
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Hours after the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade On Friday, Tucker Carlson took to the airwaves to protest companies that would pay travel expenses for employee abortions. “They’re against families,” the Fox News host said of the companies on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

But while Carlson was offering his commentary, an image from his show was actually being used for a radically different purpose: raising money for groups that facilitate abortion.

Anonymous online bidders in the digital space known as web3 were bidding thousands of dollars in cryptocurrency for an NFT consisting of a screen image of Carlson on last year’s show in which he was advocating for body autonomy over coronavirus vaccines. The NFT would continue to sell on Saturday for 12 eth – around $14,500 – with the creator, Jenny Holzer, saying she will donate the money she earns from the sale to groups such as Planned Parenthood, the Center for Reproductive Rights and DC-based advocacy group PAI.

(An NFT, or non-fungible token, is a digital image stamped uniquely to its creator. Eth is the name of a popular cryptocurrency tied to the Ethereum blockchain that many NFTs live on.)

The move underscores the freewheeling nature of Web3, in which wild injections of cash mingle with loose standards of creative ownership. It also constitutes one of the strangest acts of unwitting philanthropy – activists outraged by the court’s overturning of Roe raising funds on the back of someone who vigorously attacked the 1973 decision. Last week, Carlson called deer “the most embarrassing court decision handed down in the last century” and a “widely recognized joke”.

During his May 11, 2021 program, however, Carlson spoke to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) about Johnson’s decision not to receive a coronavirus vaccine. As Carlson agreed with Johnson – “Well, sure; it’s your body, your choice, as we’ve heard for almost 50 years,” the Fox News host said – a chyron posted the body autonomy message. “Making an informed choice about your own body shouldn’t be controversial,” reads the text at the bottom of the screen.

Family planning in Florida quickly noted the parallels of chyron with abortion rights. Those echoes also struck a DC-based communications strategist named Gillian Branstetter, who also observed some similarities to Holzer’s work. A seasoned artist, Holzer is known for combining text and images to make political arguments. In the 1970s, she created the “Truisms” series, which made art from messages such as “Abuse of Power Comes As No Surprise” which she then broadcast as lights in Times Square.

Shortly after, Branstetter captured the image of Carlson, Johnson and the chyron on screen, added the message “Is it like a Jenny Holzer installation or something?” and tweeted it to his tens of thousands of followers. Holzer then had the idea to create an NFT from Branstetter’s tweet and, after the announcement of the cancellation of the draft court opinion deer broke this spring, decided to sell it when the decision fell.

“I will confess a great deal of ignorance about NFTs in general, but I was happy to give permission for this work to help raise much-needed funds for abortion access,” Branstetter told The Washington Post. via a Twitter DM on Monday. Branstetter is a communications strategist at the ACLU but emphasized that she carried out this action as a private citizen independent of her employer. Branstetter’s deal with Holzer allows her to receive 15% of the money the artist receives from the sale, which she says she will donate to the DC Abortion Fund.

In a phone interview, Branstetter said she remained slightly puzzled about how digital feedback could be so effectively converted into a major fundraiser.

“Don’t ask me to explain how my Tweet turned into nearly $15,000 for abortion rights,” she said.

Holzer did not immediately respond to a request for comment The Post made through his studio. In a statement announcing the sale, she explained her rationale for the NFT. “Although the title is meant to read as an anti-vaccine remark, the words could also be a pro-choice statement,” she wrote of the chyron.

A Fox News spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the network and Carlson.

Holzer put the NFT up for auction around 12:30 p.m. Friday, just after the decision to Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization went down. She listed it at half an eth, or about $600. Within six hours, a quartet of bidders had raised the price to nearly $13,000, before the winning bid was made around noon on Saturday.

The sale on the NFT Foundation site listed an anonymous cryptocurrency address as the buyer. The Post located a Twitter account that last November claimed to own the address; this Account, who tweeted about the Holzer auction on Friday, says he’s affiliated with a group called PleasrDAO, which calls itself “a reputation-building collective of DeFi leaders, early NFT collectors, and digital artists wonderful but caring for the acquisition of culturally significant pieces with a charitable touch.” (DeFi refers to decentralized finance, the term used for financial transactions on the web3.)

Despite the sale, who actually owns the NFT is a complicated question, say legal experts. The NFT was created by Holzer from a screenshot of Branstetter, but the image is of Carlson as he appeared on a Fox-owned show.

“I think it would come down to a fair use argument, and Fox and the creators of NFT could argue the case,” said Darren Heitner, a Florida-based intellectual property attorney with extensive experience in this new digital space. “But I would probably lean on Fox’s side that it’s not fair use due to the fact that NFT isn’t really transformative and is definitely commercial use,” he said, citing two of the criteria. legal provisions that would prohibit the use. .

He said an interesting question asked by NFTs, which are often resold, would be whether Fox could theoretically obtain an injunction that would prevent the Carlson NFT from being resold. “This is a really new area of ​​law, and I don’t think we’ve worked out a lot of the details yet,” he said.

Meanwhile, those behind the NFT were less eager to get caught up in these details and more eager to spread their abortion rights message.

“Bodily autonomy and self-determination can be difficult, but privacy and health are pillars of the women’s reproductive rights movement,” Holzer wrote on Instagram. “Social health is the goal. We must protect the rights of the individual which protect the health of society.

Jeremy B. Merrill contributed to this report.

]]> What to watch from Joe Biden’s trip to the G7 Sun, 26 Jun 2022 09:32:00 +0000 Rising costs – in part due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – will be at the heart of Sunday’s agenda, where leaders will simultaneously seek to maintain pressure on Moscow while seeking ways to ease the price spikes that cost them politically.

This could prove to be a difficult task. Bans on Russian energy have contributed to a spike in global oil prices, but leaders are loath to ease sanctions they say have an effect on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s economy. One area in which they have announced action: to ban imports of new Russian gold.

“This is a key export, a key revenue stream, a key alternative for Russia, in terms of its ability to transact in the global financial system. Taking this step reduces that ability,” said a senior administration official.

The decision exposed the divisions in American politics and institutions, which acted as an ominous subtext for leaders observing Biden’s attempts to restore American leadership.

Here are several things to watch for at Sunday’s G7 summit:

find the balance

Biden and his fellow G7 leaders will discuss ways to punish Russia while managing a volatile global economy during their first day of talks Sunday in the Bavarian Alps. The conversations will produce announcements and “muscle movements”, according to a senior White House official.

“A lot of the G7 and the leaders are going to be, you know, how to not only deal with the challenges in the global economy in the wake of Mr. Putin’s war, but how to also continue to hold Mr. Putin accountable and for his sake. ‘ensure he bears the costs and the consequences of what he does,’ said John Kirby, strategic communications coordinator at the National Security Council, as Biden flew to Europe.

Biden’s first engagement on Sunday will be a bilateral meeting with summit host German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, followed by the opening G7 session focused on global economic issues that have been deepened by the war in Ukraine.

“I think leaders are going to be looking for ways to do two things: one, continue to hold Mr. Putin accountable and increase the costs and consequences of his war against him and his economy,” Kirby said. “And second, to minimize as much as possible the effect of this oil price hike and the way it has weaponized energy on nations, particularly on the continent but also around the world.”

That balance will define this year’s G7, as leaders struggle to maintain their pressure campaign on Putin while dealing with rising inflation that has politically cost some leaders home. Biden remarked on G7 and NATO solidarity on Ukraine and the Russian invasion, telling Scholz ahead of the two leaders’ meeting that the groups must remain unified.

“We have to stick together. As Putin hoped from the start, NATO and the G7 would somehow break up, but we haven’t and we’re not going to. “, Biden said.

Leaders agreed to announce a ban on imports of new gold from Russia, Biden said on Twitter Sunday morning. Gold is Russia’s second largest export product after energy.

Biden has weathered some of the harshest backlash as he saw his approval ratings plummet amid a price hike.

“There may well be a growing pressure in American politics, in the sense that some people in the primaries that we’ve seen before said I don’t care about Ukraine. What matters is the cost of the life,” a European official said before that. one week trip. “And if the president got a rebound in the polls because of his leadership over Ukraine, that will dissipate very quickly. So there will be that effect.”

Homecoming Division

Biden said Friday that the Supreme Court’s conservative majority “made the United States an exception among the developed nations of the world” by removing the nation’s right to abortion.

Two days later, he will come face to face with the leaders of those nations in the Bavarian Alps, leaving behind a rapidly dividing country whose turbulent politics have caused global concern.

The White House does not believe the decision or the rifts currently dividing America will factor into Biden’s talks.

“There are real national security issues here that need to be discussed and the president has no fear whatsoever that the Supreme Court ruling will take that away,” Kirby said.

Still, four of the six other leaders Biden is joining in Germany found the decision monumental enough to weigh on their own.

“I have to tell you that I think this is a big step backwards,” said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. It’s a “devastating setback,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. French President Emmanuel Macron and Scholz were also critical.

Whether the decision will be brought up in Biden’s private talks remains to be seen. But the fundamentally changed and divided country he left behind will never be far from mind as he represents it on the world stage.

Challenge China

At last year’s G7 summit on England’s Cornish coast, Biden pressed fellow leaders to insert tough new language condemning China’s human rights abuses in a final statement. Prior to the document, the group had sometimes heated conversations behind closed doors about their collective approach to China.

The topic can lead to tense conversations, as some European leaders don’t necessarily share Biden’s view of China as an existential threat. Still, the president has made it clear on several occasions that he hopes to convince his fellow leaders to take a tougher line. And Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has amplified the president’s repeated warnings about autocracies versus democracies.

On Sunday afternoon, Biden is expected to unveil, alongside other leaders, an infrastructure investment package targeting low- and middle-income countries designed to compete with China’s Belt and Road initiative.

Beijing has invested billions in building roads, railways and ports around the world to forge new trade and diplomatic ties. Biden has launched a similar program in the past, dubbing it Build Back Better World.

But with that name seemingly retired, the White House is renewing the effort in Germany.

Ukraine-Russia War News: Ukrainian Forces Will Withdraw From Sievierodonetsk Fri, 24 Jun 2022 17:54:29 +0000
Credit…Andreï Borodulin/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Ukrainian guerrillas claimed on Friday they killed a Kremlin-backed politician in the Russian-held southern region of Kherson, the latest in a series of attacks aimed at destabilizing the occupation authorities.

Dmitry Savluchenko, the head of the region’s Youth and Sports Department, exploded in his car, Ukrainian and Russian officials said, in what appeared to be part of a growing insurgency fueled by public anger over deteriorating economic, security and humanitarian conditions as Moscow pushes to Russify the region.

Kirill Stremousov, the deputy head of the Russian-appointed administration, called the attack “a despicable act of terrorism”.

“Threats that come to me will not break me and my comrades,” he said in a video address, seated under a portrait of Russian President Vladimir V. Putin. “No matter what happens, even after us, Russia will be there, and our children will speak Russian.”

The Kremlin has portrayed the territory it took over as stable and the people there as welcoming the Moscow regime, queuing for Russian passports and falsely condemning former Ukrainian authorities as a bunch of neo-Nazis. But Ukrainian officials say residents are being forced to take passports and prices have skyrocketed and many people are out of work.

Ukrainians celebrated the assassination and said their resistance was growing.

“Our supporters have another victory,” Serhii Khlan, adviser to the head of the Kherson region military administration, said in a Facebook post on Friday. “A pro-Russian activist and traitor was blown up in a car at one of the construction sites in Kherson in the morning.”

This week, the head of Ukraine’s intelligence agency, Kyrylo Budanov, said Ukrainian insurgents injured another Russian-backed official, Oleksiy Kovalyov, in the Kherson region. At least two other attacks on people working with the Russians in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions were also reported this week.

The Russians did not recognize all the attacks. They control access to seized territory and reports of what happens there often come from testimonies passed on to Ukrainian officials. Many specific incidents cannot be independently confirmed, but they are part of a larger pattern described by witnesses who spoke to The New York Times and other independent media.

Ukrainians cite documented atrocities committed by Russian forces in areas they briefly held in northern Ukraine as proof of what Russian rule looks like. They are also keen to encourage attacks against Russian forces and their proxies.

Ivan Fedorov, the exiled mayor of Melitopol who is an unofficial spokesman for the Ukrainian resistance in his city, told a press conference on Friday that rewards of up to $10,000 were being offered for the murder of the principal agent of Moscow in Melitopol.

“Our supporters are starting the hunting season,” Fedorov said.

Russia continues to fortify its defensive positions in the south while taking steps to further integrate the territory into Russia. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei V. Lavrov said Thursday that any future peace talks with Kyiv would be based on the “situation on the ground” when those talks resume.

“There are liberated areas there,” Lavrov said in an interview with Belarusian state television. “The majority of the population cannot even think of returning to the control of the neo-Nazi authorities.”

The Ukrainian Army’s National Resistance Center said that with efforts to introduce Russian passports to the general public not attracting large numbers of takers, authorities were imposing them on inmates of the northern penal colony of Kherson.

Mr Fedorov said residents of his hometown were told they could not receive pensions or start a business unless they took out a passport.

Up to 80% of Melitopol’s population is out of work, Federov said. And basic foodstuffs are three times more expensive than in the territories under Ukrainian control.

Anastasia Kuznietsova contributed report.

Biden calls for 3-month gas tax suspension but faces long odds to get Congress involved Wed, 22 Jun 2022 18:20:00 +0000 “By suspending the federal gasoline tax of 18 cents for the next 90 days, we can bring the price of gasoline down and provide some relief to families,” Biden said in a speech from the White House.

The President said: “I fully understand that a petrol tax exemption alone will not solve the problem, but it will provide families with immediate relief, just a little respite as we continue to work to drive prices down in the long run.”

The idea has a strong chance of getting Congress to approve such a move after facing a backlash from the president’s own allies on Capitol Hill.

Biden also called on states to take action to remove their own gasoline and diesel taxes. And he will tell oil refining companies to increase capacity ahead of their scheduled meeting this week with administration officials.

Combined, according to Biden, these measures could reduce the price of a gallon of gasoline by $1. Yet that figure hinges on a number of steps entirely beyond the president’s control — not the least of which is convincing a skeptical Congress to approve his plan.

The moves are Biden’s latest attempt to show he’s taking the initiative to cut fuel prices as Americans grow increasingly frustrated with the financial burden. White House officials have been considering a gasoline tax exemption for months, but have so far delayed in part because of concerns about how it might be received in Congress.

Republicans largely oppose lifting the gas tax. Even some Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have been cool about the idea. And in the past, top Democratic officials — including President Barack Obama during the 2008 election campaign — have touted a gas tax exemption as a “trick.”

Yet, in the face of mounting anger and the start of the summer driving season, Biden has determined that even small steps bordering on tokenism are worth taking.

“In the conditions we find ourselves in today, this is not a gimmick, this is a bit of respite for the American people as we enter the summer driving season,” said Amos Hochstein, adviser principal for energy security at the State Department, in an interview on CNN’s “New Day” program Wednesday morning.

The current federal gasoline tax is approximately 18 cents per gallon, while the federal diesel tax is 24 cents per gallon. Even if the savings from waiving these taxes were passed directly to consumers – which is not guaranteed – the savings from a fill-up could only be a few dollars.

Even some Democrats have already questioned a gas tax exemption, noting that the tax provides an important source of funding for road construction. Officials said Biden would call for using other sources of revenue to make up for the shortfall, and he worked to allay some of those concerns on Tuesday.

“Look, it will have an impact, but it won’t have an impact on major road construction and major repairs,” he told reporters.

Skeptical economists

Some economists also say the savings passed on to consumers could be minimal, as retailers simply raise the base price of gasoline to make up the difference.

“Whatever you think of the merits of a gas tax exemption in February, it’s a worse idea now,” Jason Furman, the Obama administration’s top economics official, wrote on Twitter. “Refineries are even more constrained now, so supply is almost completely inelastic. Most of the 18.4 cent reduction would be pocketed by industry – with perhaps a few cents passed on to consumers.”

Senior administration officials acknowledged those criticisms, but said Biden would pressure companies to pass on the savings.

“The president is calling and demanding that industry, businesses and retailers get this to the consumer at the pump,” Hochstein said, without detailing anything specific the president might do to ensure consumers see all of the savings.

“We would look at it and ask the industry to do just that, pass it on,” he said.

Another official, speaking ahead of the announcement, acknowledged that simply suspending the tax “will not solve the whole problem”.

“It’s something that can be done to take real action to relieve some of that pain at the pump, and we see it as part of a suite of policies designed to provide that relief, including policies focused on the offer,” the official said.

Yet even there, quick action seems difficult. Refining capacity that was reduced during the Covid-19 pandemic would take months to come back online, and refineries are now operating at almost 90% capacity.

“We’re certainly approaching it in a constructive, concrete, and pragmatic way. Again, I think the American people would want their leaders to do that,” a second senior administration official said, noting Thursday’s meeting with seven senior leaders and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.

Biden is looking for scapegoats

The president has been upping the ante on oil and gas companies in recent weeks as gas prices have soared, with the national average topping $5 a gallon at one point last week.

Biden made Russia’s war in Ukraine his main scapegoat for rising gas prices, but also called out oil and gas companies, saying they weren’t doing enough to cut costs and accusing them of profiteering of the war. He repeated some of those arguments on Tuesday, saying the country needed “more refining capacity.”

“This idea that they don’t have oil to drill and extract is just not true,” he said.

In response to the president’s criticism, the oil industry has widely said it’s the Biden administration’s fault that prices are so high due to what they perceive as limits on domestic oil and gas production. gas.

Chevron CEO Mike Worth said in a letter Tuesday that Biden should stop criticizing the oil and gas industry and called for a “change in approach” from the White House.

“Your administration has widely sought to criticize, and at times vilify, our industry,” Worth wrote in an open letter to Biden. “These actions are not beneficial to addressing the challenges we face and are not what the American people deserve.”

Biden responded later that day, “He’s slightly sensitive,” adding, “I didn’t know they would get hurt so quickly.”

Colbert Reveals What Really Happened to Triumph Over the Comically Insulting Dog and ‘Late Show’ Staffers at the Capitol Tue, 21 Jun 2022 06:02:49 +0000

He had to say something.

“Quick question, how was your weekend?” Stephen Colbert said at the top of his Last show monologue Monday. “I certainly had an interesting one, because some of my staff had a memorable one.”

From there, Colbert proceeded to break down all the previously unknown details about the seven Last show staffers who were arrested on Capitol Hill last week while filming a comedy about the Jan. 6 committee hearings.

“This is what happened,” he explained. “Last week I heard about my former colleague Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. Triumph offered to go to DC and interview members of Congress to highlight the January 6th hearings. I said, ‘ Of course, if you can get someone to agree to talk to you, because – and please don’t take that as an insult – you’re a puppet.’

Colbert confirmed that Democratic and Republican members of Congress had agreed to speak to Triumph, the longtime comic creation of writer Robert Smigel – and he and the Last show the team spent two days filming footage in offices across from the Capitol building. “They went through security clearance,” he said, and fired all day Wednesday and all day Thursday, guests at the offices of members of Congress they were interviewing.

It was at the end of their second day Thursday when “Triumph and my parents were approached and detained by Capitol Police,” he continued. “Which, in fact, is not so surprising. The Capitol police are much more cautious than they were, say, 18 months ago, and for very good reason. If you don’t know what that reason is, I know what news network you’re looking at.

According to the host, everyone was “just doing their job”, they were “very professional” and “very calm”. The Last show the crew was “detained, processed, and released – a very unpleasant experience for my staff, a lot of paper for the Capitol Police, but a very simple story”.

“Until the next night when a few viewers started claiming that my puppet team had ‘committed an insurrection’ in the American building,” he said, referring to nonsensical comments from Tucker Carlson and others.

“First of all, what? Colbert said. “Second, huh? Third, they weren’t in the capitol building. Fourth, and I’m shocked to have to explain the difference, but an insurrection involves disrupting the lawful actions of Congress and calling for the blood of elected leaders, all to prevent the peaceful transfer of power. It was puppetry in the first degree. It was hijinks with goof intent. Misappropriation of a former Conan bit.”

Colbert said it was “predictable” that people like Carlson would make such outrageous claims. “They want to talk about something other than the January 6 hearings or the real seditionist insurgency that resulted in the death of several people and the injury of more than 140 police officers,” he said. “But to equate rioters storming our Capitol to prevent the counting of ballots with a stuffed dog biting a cigar is a shameful and grotesque insult to the memory of all those who died, and it trivializes to obscene manner the service and courage of the Capitol Police. shown this terrible day.

“But who knows, maybe there was a big conspiracy to overthrow the government of the United States with a rubber Rottweiler,” he joked. “We all know the long history of puppet anarchy. The big hug of the puppets, the Fraggle Riots of the 1980s.”

“In this case, our puppet was just a puppet doing puppet stuff,” he assured viewers. “And sad to say, so much has changed in Washington that Capitol police must remain on high alert all the time because of the January 6 attack. And as the hearings prove more clearly every day, the responsibility for this real insurrection lies entirely with Putin’s puppet.

It is not yet known when the play that Triumph and his team filmed last week will be broadcast on the Last showbut when it does, it’s sure to be one for the ages.

For more, listen to Robert Smigel on The Last Laugh Podcast.

Southwest’s unchecked thirst for Colorado River water could prove devastating upstream Sat, 18 Jun 2022 13:53:00 +0000 “I’ve guided in New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, Alaska,” said Gordon Tharrett, describing his 30-year career guiding elite fly anglers around the world. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“It’s phenomenal,” said Stephen Lytle, the local game warden’s son who has floated and fished this stretch since childhood. “You have people from all over the world. Eric Clapton has been here. Tiger Woods. If you’re a fly fisherman, this is one of the places to go.”

But conjure up the worst drought in the American West in 1,200 years and their reverie turns to anxiety and disgust. They may have more water than most—hundreds of miles from fallow farms in Arizona or brown lawns in Los Angeles—but they know that on the Colorado River system, the massive, unchecked demand for downstream water threatens everything upstream.

“It takes millions of gallons of water for a golf course,” Tharrett said. “It’s going to get to a point where people have to decide, ‘Do I survive or do I play golf? Do I have a lawn in the desert or pay $100 for a basket of berries?’ “

“The gorge is on fire,” wrote John Wesley Powell after he first saw the golden hour illuminate the red rocks in what came to be known as Flaming Gorge.

It was 1871 and after launching his boat, the Emma Dean, into the Green River in Wyoming, the one-armed Civil War veteran was on his way to becoming the first known man to float and paddle this major tributary. in Colorado and through the Grand Canyon.

His trip followed the passage of the Homestead Act, which promised that any citizen willing to settle and improve the American Wild West could claim 160 acres of federal land for free.

The Green River is one of the best places in the country for fly fishing due to the temperature-controlled water released by the Flaming Gorge Dam.

But after studying the geology and hydrology of the Colorado Basin, Powell warned that this policy “is accumulating a legacy of conflict and disputes over water rights, because there is not enough water to supply these lands”.

Congress and the newly formed state governments ignored the warning, and by the mid-twentieth century they were convinced that by diking various places along the Colorado system they could engineer enough oases to sustain the farms, ranches and megacities.

“In this part of the United States, the key is water,” John F. Kennedy said at the Flaming Gorge Dam’s dedication ceremony in 1963. “The Colorado Basin will no longer be home to an irregular flow of water, causing drought and poverty in dry years and wastage in wet years. From now on, water will be available wherever it is needed…”

If only.

Less than three months later, the president encountered tragedy in Dallas, and in the years since his dedication, the dam has had devastating effects on fish downstream.

The local economy around Flaming Gorge depends on tourists who come to splash around in the reservoir or to fish and float in the Green River.
The temperature-controlled outlet of the tank provides a Goldilocks area for hatching insects and trout.

But in the late 1970s, after a graduate student convinced the fly-fishing governor of Utah to consider a dam retrofit called a penstock, engineers were able to free up specific depths of the reservoir. of Flaming Gorge, controlling the temperature of the downstream water below and creating a Goldilocks Zone for hatching insects and feasting rainbow and brown trout.

Today, much of the local economy depends on tourists who come to splash around in the reservoir, which stretches deep into Wyoming, or to fish and float the Green. And when the Federal Bureau of Reclamation and four states in the upper Colorado River agreed to free up 500,000 acre-feet – 1/6 of the reservoir’s capacity – to help parched communities to the south, it created an uproar. local.

“There’s a lot of people getting angry,” Lytle said, as he paddled through the gin-clear whirlpools. “It’s their water. It’s their geographic possession. So they don’t like it going down to the desert towns that need it too. And any effect on fishing, especially here? I mean, it is people’s livelihood.”

“We are concerned,” said Woody Bair, co-owner of the Flaming Gorge Resort, while leaning on shelves overflowing with hand-tied flies. “As Lake Powell has gone down over the years, we worry, ‘Is Flaming Gorge going to get to the point where it’s no longer generating electricity or going very, very low? “”

Fly fishermen come from all over the world to fish for rainbow trout and brown trout from the Rivière Verte.

Lake Powell, which straddles the Utah-Arizona border, is named after the man who sounded the drought alarm more than 150 years ago. And climate change is accelerating his grim prediction.

The reservoir crumbled horribly close to the “dead pool”, when “we draw a vortex similar to what you would see in a bathtub as the water flows out,” said Nicholas Williams, head of the Bureau of Reclamation feed for the upper Colorado basin. . “If you don’t have a deep enough water basin above it causes problems and can damage power plant equipment and is too low to generate electricity.”

Reclamation officials told a Senate committee this week that Western states should prepare for even more dramatic reductions in Colorado River water allocation in 2023 — up to four million acres. -feet or more than 1.3 trillion gallons, almost as much as California is allotted in a year.

CNN Chief Climate Correspondent Bill Weir holds a rainbow trout caught on the Green River.

“How long can we do this?” Williams said of the Flaming Gorge exits. “It’s limited to a few years. The rest will depend on how long we persist in the drought, and where does our water consumption go? We will have to learn to live with the water we have, and the use that we have suffered over the past decades will change.”

Tharrett thinks officials have a mistaken idea that they can save anything by emptying the reservoirs in the upper basin.

“It’s like being a teenager when they get their first paycheck,” Tharrett told CNN, “and the next day they go there and they spend it all and they don’t get paid for two weeks and then they freak out. If they empty all those upper reservoirs, which are the cornerstone of everything below, they will have nothing.”

He added: “And then they’ll really freak out.”

North Korea faces infectious disease outbreak amid COVID battle Thu, 16 Jun 2022 05:58:00 +0000

A sign depicting a medical goods transport scene is displayed on the empty street amid growing fears over the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this photo released by Kyodo May 23, 2022. Kyodo by Reuters

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SEOUL, June 16 (Reuters) – North Korea reported the outbreak of an unidentified intestinal outbreak in an agricultural region on Thursday, further straining the isolated country as it battles chronic food shortages and a wave of COVID-19 infections.

Leader Kim Jong Un sent medicine to the western port city of Haeju on Wednesday to help patients suffering from the “acute enteric epidemic”, the official KCNA news agency said, without giving details. the number of people affected or identify the disease.

The term enteric refers to the gastrointestinal tract.

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“(Kim) stressed the need to contain the outbreak as soon as possible by taking a well-coordinated measure to quarantine suspected cases to completely curb its spread, confirming cases through epidemiological examination and scientific testing” , KCNA said.

An official with South Korea’s Unification Ministry in charge of inter-Korean affairs said the government was monitoring the outbreak, suspected to be cholera or typhoid.

The reported outbreak comes as the North grapples with its first outbreak of COVID-19 infections. He declared a state of emergency last month amid concerns over a lack of vaccines and medical supplies.

South Korea’s spy agency earlier told lawmakers that waterborne diseases, such as typhoid, were already prevalent in North Korea before announcing the coronavirus outbreak.

“Intestinal diseases such as typhoid and shigellosis are not particularly new to North Korea, but what is troubling is that they come at a time when the country is already grappling with COVID-19.” , said Professor Shin Young-jeon of Hanyang University College of Medicine in Seoul.

South Korea is willing to cooperate with the North to fight the outbreak, but Pyongyang remains unresponsive to any offers of dialogue, including Seoul’s earlier offer to provide COVID vaccines, another ministry official said. of unification.

South Hwanghae Province, where Haeju is located, is North Korea’s main agricultural region, raising concerns about possible impacts on the country’s already severe food shortage.

Although the possibility of infections spreading through crops appears low, the key will be to disinfect water supplies as the disease is likely to be waterborne, said Eom Joong-sik, an expert. in infectious diseases at the Gil medical center of the University of Gachon.

Pyongyang announced the number of fever patients daily without specifying them as COVID patients, reportedly due to a lack of testing kits. Experts also suspect under-reporting in figures released by government-controlled media.

North Korea reported an additional 26,010 people with symptoms of fever on Thursday, with the total number of fever patients registered in the country since late April approaching 4.56 million. The death toll from the outbreak is 73.

The North said the COVID surge had shown signs of abating, but the World Health Organization questioned Pyongyang’s claims earlier this month, saying it believed the situation was getting worse. Read more

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Reporting by Soo-hyang Choi and Hyonhee Shin; Edition by Lincoln Feast.

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Chris Stirewalt has lost his job at Fox News. But he knows he was right. Mon, 13 Jun 2022 22:40:00 +0000
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For a guy who made a controversial call on election night and then lost his valuable role with what he called “the best decision-making office in the news business”, Chris Stirewalt seems to have no regrets .

Testifying Monday morning, the former Fox News political editor spoke confidently, colorfully and, yes, resolutelyabout what happened in November 2020 when a former news agency that turned into former President Donald Trump’s propaganda arm is temporarily off-screen.

Stirewalt and his fellow decision makers announced early on that challenger Joe Biden had won Arizona. It was only 11:20 p.m. Eastern Time with 73% of the votes counted.

They needed both certainty and unanimity to make that call, he told the Jan. 6 select committee. His team relied on the data they had collected, their knowledge and their experience. They “looked around the room and everyone said ‘yeah,'” he recalls, so they went ahead and moved the all-important state into Biden’s column — well before any other press organization.

Clear and punchy, Stirewalt’s brief testimony seemed driven by the same quality he touted on the decision desk: certainty of the factual truth of what he said.

“We knew it would be a big call,” he said. If Trump did lose Arizona, he would have a better chance of being re-elected: “Better to play Powerball.” Stirewalt was equally outspoken in questioning, describing Trump’s chances of winning in a recount or challenge: “None.”

That the Arizona call freaked out Trump World was obvious; to have such a verdict, especially coming from his usually reliable cheerleading team at Fox News, was devastating. The call made it infinitely harder to push the idea that Trump would eventually win, and harder even to to pretend that he would. Of course, as we know all too well, that didn’t stop him.

The January 6 hearing was horrible. It also gave me hope.

Trump’s anger reportedly prompted his team’s efforts to pressure Fox chief Rupert Murdoch to withdraw the appeal. And there were even plenty of nonpartisan pundits who guessed Fox News’ decision was made too soon.

But as the votes continued to pour in, other news outlets rallied around Stirewalt’s view: Trump would lose Arizona. And he lost the state, by just over 10,000 votes, according to the final tally. Stirewalt is right. Nevertheless, two months later he was out.

Fox described Stirewalt’s hasty and involuntary departure as part of a post-election realignment of their business and reporting structure. Stirewalt called it a shot.

Murdoch had told his colleagues that while the Arizona call was fine, he thought it was premature and mishandled — and had hurt the network’s standing with Trump’s most ardent fans by convincing them that Fox was there to get it.

But Stirewalt made it clear Monday that what he did was driven by competitive journalistic instinct rather than a desire to throw the election at Biden.

Any reporter watching his testimony recognized the editor’s expression as he described how his team crunched the data on that election night long ago to arrive at the jaw-dropping conclusion that beat the competition. Stirewalt practically glowed in the middle of this memory, still delighted with the conclusion.

“I get it,” historian Heather Cox Richardson tweeted Monday. “When your research works, you are delighted.”

It was never about helping achieve a political end, Stirewalt wrote in a Los Angeles Times opinion piece in January 2021. “Being right and beating the competition is not an act of heroism; it’s just meeting the job description of the job I love,” he wrote. And yet, “I became the target of a murderous rage on the part of consumers furious at not having their point of view confirmed”.

Since leaving Fox, Stirewalt has landed on his feet. He wrote a book critical of today’s journalism across the political spectrum, started a podcast and joined the NewsNation media company.

Despite the obvious fondness for his craft he displayed on Monday, Stirewalt said testifying goes against his grain in one respect. “The first rule of my vocation is to tell the truth as best you can, and the second is to stay out of the story,” he wrote in an article published in the Dispatch.

He didn’t do very well on Monday with the second element. But on the former, he seems to have delivered quite memorably.

]]> The March for Our Lives rally in Los Angeles against gun violence Sun, 12 Jun 2022 06:00:00 +0000

Nick Nyein marched down Spring Street as the LA March for Our Lives drew to a close at City Hall on Saturday, sweat streaming down his forehead, neck and back.

The 18-year-old knew the day would be hot – as one of three co-organizers of the Los Angeles march, it was his job to know – but that didn’t make it more bearable .

But when he returned to the stage and surveyed the crowd, he saw how many people showed up after a slow start to the day. There were hundreds of noisy walkers.

Passing cars honked their horns and drivers raised their fists in support. People waiting at a nearby bus stop shouted and joined the crowd, chanting, “No justice, no peace.”

“That,” Nyein said, his voice cracking, “that’s worth it now.”

Archie the dog joined owner Gaby Navarro and more than 1,000 others outside Los Angeles City Hall in continuing to demand new gun laws after Saturday’s march.

(Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

More than 1,000 people gathered around downtown City Hall for the student-led march against gun violence sparked by recent mass shootings, including one at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas , and another in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, which together killed 31 people. .

The LA March for Our Lives rally was one of hundreds that took place across Southern California and across the country on Saturday in solidarity with a flagship march in Washington, D.C. The movement emerged after the 2018 shooting at Marjory High School Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida, which killed 17 people.

Just hours before the march in Los Angeles, thousands turned out to the National Mall for the highest-profile protest marking a new push for gun control. Cities like New York, Atlanta and Chicago have followed suit.

In Los Angeles, organizers, gun violence survivors and gun control advocates gathered crowds ahead of the march to City Hall.

March co-organizer Shaadi Ahmadzadeh, 19, has called for universal background checks, an increase in the legal age of gun ownership from 18 to 21 and a ban on guns. assault rifle and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

“I remind you,” she said, “this movement here is led by students – not by politicians – by students like me.”

A crowd walking at an intersection, one with a sign saying "Protect our children/Ban AR-15$," with a dollar sign for the S.

Hundreds march through downtown Los Angeles on a day that saw March for Our Lives events across the country in response to recent mass shootings, including one at an elementary school.

(Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

Twitch streamer Hasan Piker told the crowd that he shoots guns but doesn’t think anyone needs an AR-15. And, he says, he’s tired of Congressional inaction.

Mia Tretta, 17, who survived the 2019 Saugus High School shooting, has opened up about losing her best friend, Dominic Blackwell. She said loopholes in the law allowed a minor to get a ready-to-assemble gun and kill her friend.

“Our generation grew up watching these horrific shootings unfold,” said 21-year-old Cameron Kasky. “And we see the same cycle repeating itself: mass murder, especially with an AR-15. Public outrage, thoughts and prayers, rinse and repeat.

Kasky is a survivor of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High and helped organize the first national March for Our Lives protest.

There was a sense of desperation in his voice, however – an acknowledgment that there are fewer protesters in the country than there were in 2018, and a fear that people believe nothing will change.

Kasky said he doesn’t blame anyone; he just wants the anger to always be there, and he wants politicians to be as uncomfortable going out in public as kids are going to school.

“Don’t walk because you think the Senate is going to pass anything,” he said, his voice rising. “Walk to show them how angry we are. Mars to show them that we are not going to stop until they do what we demand.

The US House of Representatives passed a bill last week that would enact some of the reforms protesters want – raising the minimum age to buy a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21 and banning the sale of magazines ammunition with a capacity of more than 15 rounds. But the measure has almost no chance of passing the Senate and becoming law.

Lawmakers took action after a House committee heard testimony from survivors of recent shootings and their family members, including an 11-year-old girl who covered herself in the blood of a classmate to play dead and avoid being shot at Uvalde Primary School. Nineteen children and two teachers were killed in the May 24 attack, which also left 17 injured.

A crowd of protesters standing and seated, one holding a handmade sign, "Protect people, not weapons."

Supporters of the new gun laws continue their protest in the shade after marching to Los Angeles City Hall in the heat on Saturday.

(Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

March for Our Lives LA organizers said they wanted the march to be specific to the region and the gun violence experienced here. Although California has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, gun violence still affects more than 1,400 people a year.

That’s the number of people who survived shootings in Los Angeles in 2021 – the second straight year in which gun violence has increased in the city. There were 400 people killed in Los Angeles last year, marking a more than 50% increase in homicides since 2019.

Marchers shouted, “Whose streets are they? Our streets,” holding up signs with messages such as “A well-regulated militia don’t kill children” and “We’re done taking bullets for Congress.”

Erin Barker, 23, said she lost a family member in a drive-by shooting and another relative survived a mass shooting at Northern Illinois University. She’s been going out to protest since she was 18.

“I grew up watching and hearing about these mass shootings. It hit closer to home when Sandy Hook happened; it hit closer to home when the Pulse nightclub shooting happened, as a gay man,” Barker said. “The problem is you’re not listening. The problem is people are still dying on your watch.

Bree Pavey’s shirt commemorated the victims of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting in Colorado. She said she’s met many shooting survivors since 2009 as a performer in “The Columbine Project” theater production. The work left an imprint on her heart, she said, and she sees Columbine as a turning point for gun violence in this country.

As the protest drew to a close, co-organizer Anna Pham said that while the day was a success, she fears that if people don’t go home after the march and continue to reach out to politicians, this momentum will run out of steam.

“This situation itself is so helpless that if we hang back and look and feel helpless, we’ll feel even worse.” Pham said.

“But if we try to do something about it,” she said, “we channel our energy, or we channel our desperation into something so that we feel like we’re doing something. And sometimes we do, and those times when we have those wins, whether big or small, it’s worth it.

Times writer Alex Wigglesworth and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Liz Cheney said Trump had a “seven-part plan” to cancel the election. Here’s what she meant Fri, 10 Jun 2022 05:03:29 +0000
“On the morning of January 6, President Donald Trump’s intention was to remain President of the United States, despite the legal outcome of the 2020 election and in violation of his constitutional obligation to relinquish power,” said Cheney, a Republican. of Wyoming, in his opening statement during Thursday’s prime-time hearing.

Cheney did not detail specific points of the plan in his opening statement. She said the rioters who violated the Capitol and fought with police were motivated by the actions of Trump falsely claiming the election was stolen from him.

“President Trump called the crowd together, rallied the crowd and lit the flame for this attack,” Cheney said, echoing the statement she made in 2021 when she voted to impeach Trump.

A committee source then provided CNN with the following description of the “sophisticated seven-part plan”:

“President Trump oversaw a sophisticated seven-part plan to cancel the 2020 election and prevent the transition of presidential power.

  1. President Trump has embarked on a massive effort to spread false and fraudulent information to the American public, claiming the 2020 election was stolen from him.
  2. President Trump corruptly planned to replace the acting attorney general, so the Justice Department would support his bogus campaign claims.
  3. President Trump corruptly pressured Vice President Pence to refuse to count certified electoral votes in violation of the US Constitution and law.
  4. President Trump corruptly pressured state election officials and state lawmakers to change election results.
  5. President Trump’s legal team and other Trump associates have asked Republicans in several states to create fake voter rolls and turn those rolls over to Congress and the National Archives.
  6. President Trump summoned and assembled a violent mob in Washington and ordered them to march on the US Capitol.
  7. As the violence was ongoing, President Trump ignored multiple pleas for help and took no immediate action to stop the violence and ordered his supporters to leave the Capitol.

These are initial findings and the select committee’s investigation is still ongoing. Additionally, the Department of Justice is currently working with cooperating witnesses and has to date only released some of the information it has identified from encrypted communications and other sources.”