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Air Canada Boeing Plane Catches Fire Just Moments After Take Off
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Citizen Frank

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Terrifying video shows flames shooting from an Air Canada Boeing jet as it took off, forcing it to abruptly turn around for an emergency landing.

The caught-on-camera terror unfolded after Flight AC872 took off from Toronto en route to Paris late Wednesday.

“Holy crap!” someone recording the takeoff gasped as flames shot from the tail end of the plane just after it left the runway.

“We’ve got an engine fire — holy s–t!” the man gasped as the flames continued to spark, at times seemingly stretching the length of the jet, as it continued to climb.

The flames came from the plane suffering an unspecified “engine issue” immediately after taking off with 389 passengers onboard, Air Canada said in a statement.

Watch:

It quickly turned around and made an emergency landing back at the Toronto airport, where it was met by fire crews. No injuries were reported.

“After the aircraft landed, it was inspected by airport response vehicles as per normal operating processes, and it taxied to the gate on its own,” the airline said.

However, the passengers were rebooked onto another fight later that night, and the plane “taken out of service” to be evaluated by its maintenance staff and engineers.

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Read 11 Comments
  • Avatar Rich............. says:

    As the FAA and the incompetent Biden administration “fiddle as Rome burns”, the clock is ticking the countdown to one or more major aviation disasters featuring a Boeing aircraft.

    Maybe our intrepid government officials are counting on all the whistleblowers committing suicide or dying suddenly of unusual causes before they actually have to take steps to address the problem.

    And I’m sure, that when the next Boeing disaster occurs, the government will be able to produce plenty of “positive actions” they have taken to fix the shoddy work and lack of safety and quality control issues at Boeing and will have a number scapegoats lined up to throw under the wheels of the federal government’s bus.

  • Avatar Patriot Military Mom says:

    New strategy to murder 389 people at a time?Something tells me we’re going to see a lot more of these “accidents”…. Watch your travel itineraries. Make sure you’re not booked on a flight to HELL.

  • Avatar Don says:

    Holy shit is a perfect response, then pray it makes it back in one piece.

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    Hezbollah #2 Leader Is Killed in Israeli Strike

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    According to multiple social media posts, Hezbollah’s number two commander has been taken out in an airstrike in Lebanon.

    Watch:

    Al Din had worked his way up the ranks of the political party/militant group:

    Hashim Safi Al Din (born 1964) is a Lebanese Shia cleric, senior Hezbollah official and a maternal cousin of the secretary general of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah. He is the head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council, a Lebanese political part that has a wide Lebanese support and big representation in the parliament. Hezbollah is affiliated by military action and activities known as the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon which was created in 1982 against the Israeli occupation of Lebanon. Hashim is generally considered the “number two” in Hezbollah.

    So far this is still Unconfirmed, but Egyptian Media Sources are beginning to report that tonight’s Israeli Strike on the Town of Janta in Southern Lebanon has resulted in the Elimination of Hashim Safi Al Din, the Head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council and the most Senior Official in Hezbollah besides Secretary-General, Hassan Nasrallah.

    Hezbollah has had repeated clashes with Israel as the Jewish state wars with Hamas. Israel has already responded before the latest news by taking another of their leaders, Taleb Sami Abdullah.

    Hezbollah had ratcheted up tensions Wednesday by firing over 200 rockets into Israel:

    Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement has fired multiple barrages of rockets into northern Israel in retaliation for an Israeli strike which killed one of its senior commanders.

    The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reportedly identified more than 200 projectiles that crossed the border on Wednesday. Some triggered fires, but no casualties were reported.

    It came as a top Hezbollah official vowed that the Iran-backed group would increase the intensity, force and quantity of its attacks.

    He was speaking at the funeral of Taleb Sami Abdullah, the field commander targeted in a strike in southern Lebanon on Tuesday night.

    After the Israeli airstrike that killed Hezbollah official Abdullah, leaders were scared they were next:

    “The powerful elimination worries Hezbollah members. They now understand that the IDF knows much more about them than we do. Additionally, the operation indicates that Hezbollah’s field security is not airtight and that the organization’s intelligence system has been penetrated to such an extent that we were able to eliminate such an important sector commander. The IDF managed to infiltrate their networks and systems and identify the right people for elimination,” says Professor Amatzia Baram, suggesting that this also impacts the leader of the terrorist organization.

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    Judge Orders Liquidation of Alex Jones’s Assets; Infowars Fate to Be Decided in Bankruptcy Hearing

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    Infowars radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones will have his personal assets liquidated to help pay a massive $1.5 billion debt he owes for making false claims about the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook mass shooting.

    Infowars and its parent company, Free Speech Systems, could also be shuttered in a separate bankruptcy. “Watch Live! Will This Be The Final Day of Infowars Transmissions?” read the top headline on the Infowars website on Friday morning.

    In court on Friday, Judge Christopher Lopez approved converting Jones’ bankruptcy to a liquidation, according to the Associated Press. While Jones has initially filed for bankruptcy protection to reorganize, he recently requested permission to liquidate his assets instead.

    Jones personal assets are valued at about $9 million, while his company has about $4 million in cash on hand, according to the AP. He has already begun the process of selling his $2.8 million Texas ranch, a gun collection, and other assets, the AP reported.

    In court documents, lawyers for the Sandy Hook victims’ families have accused Jones of engaging in “apparent financial gymnastics” and a “Hail Mary attempt” to funnel money from his creditors to himself and his parents.

    The families are also calling for Jones’ X account to be included in the bankruptcy. Jones has 2.3 million followers on X, formerly Twitter.

    In a video rant filmed while he was driving to court on Friday morning, Jones said that taking away his X account is “totally ridiculous” and would violate the social-media site’s terms of service. “It is personal, and you can’t take it away from somebody in a lawsuit,” he said.

    Jones faces the massive judgement for falsely claiming that the shooting and killing of 20 young children and six adults at an elementary school in Sandy Hook, Connecticut was a hoax staged by crisis actors to gin up opposition to gun rights. Family members said they were subjected to harassment and death threats from Jones’ followers, some of whom claimed that the kids who were killed never existed.

    “Every single one of these families were drowning in grief, and Alex Jones put his foot right on top of them,” Christopher Mattei, a lawyer for the families, said in 2022.

    Jones has since acknowledged that the massacre occurred, though he now claims that the families are pawns in a globalist plan to silence him. During his Friday morning video, he claimed that the federal government “uses the Sandy Hook people as front people.”

    “I didn’t kill those kids, ladies and gentlemen,” he said of the Sandy Hook victims. “I barely ever talked about them. I covered the internet questioning the shooting.”

    He claimed that desperate globalists are trying to silence him because they are “planning something big” ahead of the 2024 election, mentioning civil unrest, World War III, “total economic collapse,” and even a possible assassination attempt on Donald Trump.

    “This is all war-gamed, all planned,” he said. “They don’t want me on the air during this, because I’ve got their number.”

    Speaking to the media on Friday, Jones said he’s a victim of “lawfare and the weaponization of the legal system.” While Judge Lopez has been “fair,” he said, lawyers for the Sandy Hook families are using the bankruptcy process to “torture me and harass me.”

    “This is probably the end of Infowars here, very, very, soon — if not today, the next few weeks or months,” Jones said. “But it’s just the beginning of my fight against tyranny.”

    If Jones loses ownership of his companies, it’s possible they could be purchased by supporters. According to the AP, Jones’ company, Free Speech Systems, has 44 employees and made nearly $3.2 million in April selling various items.

    In addition to his broadcast, Jones uses his Infowars website to hawk books, clothes, survival gear, and supplements, such as fish oil, concentrated beet extract, “1776 Testosterone Boost,” and “Brain Force Ultra” — described as “your daily energy supercharge.”

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    Supreme Court Overturns Trump-Era Ban on Bump Stocks

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    In a loss for the Biden administration, the Supreme Court ruled Friday that a federal ban on “bump stocks,” gun accessories that allow semiautomatic rifles to fire more quickly, is unlawful.

    In a 6-3 ruling on ideological lines, with the court’s conservatives in the majority, the court held that an almost 100-year-old law aimed at banning machine guns cannot legitimately be interpreted to include bump stocks.

    Writing for the majority, Justice Clarence Thomas said that a firearm equipped with the accessory does not meet the definition of “machinegun” under federal law.

    The ruling prompted a vigorous dissent from liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

    “When I see a bird that walks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck,” she wrote in reference to bump stocks enabling semiautomatic rifles to operate like machine guns. Sotomayor also took the rare step of reading a summary of her dissent in court.

    Even with the federal ban out of the picture, bump stocks will still not be readily available nationwide. Eighteen states have already banned them, according to Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit gun-control group. Congress could also act.

    Nevertheless, gun control advocates decried the ruling.

    “We’ve seen bump stocks cause immense destruction and violence,” said Esther Sanchez-Gomez, litigation director at Giffords Law Center. “The majority of justices today sided with the gun lobby instead of the safety of the American people. This is a shameful decision.”

    The Trump administration imposed the prohibition after the Las Vegas mass shooting in 2017, in which Stephen Paddock used bump stock-equipped firearms to open fire on a country music festival, initially killing 58 people. Then-President Donald Trump personally called for the accessory to be banned.

    Sotomayor cited the Las Vegas shooting in her dissent.

    “All he had to do was pull the trigger and press the gun forward. The bump stock did the rest,” she wrote.

    The ruling, she added, “hamstrings the government’s efforts to keep machineguns from gunmen like the Las Vegas shooter.”

    In a concurring opinion, conservative Justice Samuel Alito, conceded that in practical terms, a weapon equipped with a bump stock is very similar to a machine gun and said Congress could act to ban the accessory.

    The “horrible shooting spree” in Las Vegas showed how “a semiautomatic rifle equipped with a bump stock can have the same lethal effect as a machinegun,” strengthening the case for legislative action, he added.

    The Supreme Court in 2019 declined to block the regulation. The already conservative court has tilted further to the right since then, with conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, a Trump appointee, replacing liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died in 2020.

    Conservatives now have a 6-3 majority that has backed gun rights in previous cases.

    The National Firearms Act was enacted in 1934 to regulate machine guns in response to Prohibition-era gangster violence.

    The lawsuit was brought by Texas-based gun owner Michael Cargill, a licensed dealer who owned two bump stocks before the ban went into effect and later surrendered them to the government.

    “Over five years ago I swore I would defend the Constitution of the United States, even if I was the only plaintiff in the case. I did just that,” he said in a statement responding to the ruling.

    Bump stocks use the recoil energy of a trigger pull to enable the user to fire up to hundreds of rounds with what the federal government calls “a single motion.”

    Cargill’s lawyers say it is a difficult skill to master.

    Some gun rights advocates, including the National Rifle Association, initially backed then-President Donald Trump’s move to regulate bump stocks after the Las Vegas shooting, but have since lined up in opposition to it.

    The case does not implicate the scope of the right to bear arms under the Constitution’s Second Amendment. The challengers argue that the government does not have the authority to ban bump stocks under the 1934 law.

    The 1968 Gun Control Act defined “machine gun” to include accessories “for use in converting a weapon” into a machine gun, and the ATF concluded that bump stocks meet that definition.

    Much of the legal fight hinged on the definition of machine gun as a weapon that can automatically fire more than one shot “by a single function of the trigger.”

    The government argued that the phrase refers to the actions of the shooter, with a single action required to fire multiple shots. Cargill’s lawyers argued that it refers to the action inside the firearm when the trigger is engaged. Because a bump stock still requires the trigger to be engaged for each shot, it is not a machine gun, they argued.

    The Supreme Court embraced Cargill’s argument, with Thomas writing that a firearm equipped with a bump stock does not become a machine gun because “it cannot fire more than one shot” with a single function of the trigger.

    “ATF therefore exceeded its statutory authority by issuing a rule that classifies bump stocks as machineguns,” he added.

    Lower courts were divided over the issue, with both the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the Cincinnati-based 6th Circuit ruling that the ban was unlawful.

    The Biden administration appealed in both cases, while gun rights advocates contested the ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that upheld the ban.

    The Supreme Court has backed gun rights in cases directly addressing the scope of the Second Amendment, including the 2022 ruling that found there is a right to carry a handgun outside the home.

    But in a case argued in November, the court indicated it might stop short of striking down some long-standing gun laws in a case involving a ban on possessing firearms by people accused of domestic violence.

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    Biden’s Condition Shocks Allies at G7 Summit, with One Saying It’s ‘Worst He Has Ever Been’: Report

    Citizen Frank

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    President Biden has been “losing focus” during discussions at this week’s G7 summit in Italy, with one diplomatic insider saying the commander-in-chief is “the worst he has ever been.”

    Another attendee from a non-US delegation told the Sun Friday that the 81-year-old’s public missteps on the first day of the gathering were “embarrassing.”

    Biden has joined the leaders of the world’s wealthiest democracies — including Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak — for the annual meeting to discuss their nations’ economic and security priorities.

    However, the president has stolen the spotlight with a series of bizarre actions, including giving Meloni an awkward salute upon greeting her Thursday and wandering away from his fellow leaders during a skydiving demonstration, forcing the host prime minister to chaperone him back to the group.

    Biden apparently got off on the wrong foot with Meloni before the summit even began Thursday morning, keeping the Italian prime minister waiting 20 minutes before arriving, according to public broadcaster RAI.

    When the president did appear, Meloni reportedly chided him in an apparent attempt at humor, telling Biden: “You shouldn’t leave a woman waiting like this.”

    The Sun also reported that Biden had shown moments of clarity while discussing urgent matters with the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the European Union.

    That is in line with The Post’s understanding from White House staffers that Biden, who would be 86 years old if he completes a full second term in January 2029, has at points lost his focus in private conversations.

    White House senior deputy press secretary Andrew Bates described the Sun report as “lies” Friday and touted Biden’s “successful leadership overseas advancing our national security.”

    Bates also insisted that The Post and other outlets had reported on a distorted version of the video of Biden walking away from the skydiving demonstration, saying the president was giving “a thumbs up” and saying “congratulations” to another skydiver just out of the video’s frame.

    However, Sunak told reporters Friday that the choreography of the ceremony called for Biden to join his fellow leaders.

    “He just went over to kind of talk to all of them individually and Georgia [Meloni] was saying, ‘Don’t worry, they’re all coming to [us],’” the British prime minister said.

    “We were meant to line up so they could come and then shake all our hands.”

    Sunak also defended the American president, saying Biden was “all right” and was “being very polite” to the military members who took part in the demonstration.

    Biden also skipped a dinner held for the G7 leaders at a luxury hotel in southern Italy later Thursday evening.

    “There’s going to be a lot of meetings happening, a lot of sessions, as you know,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Wednesday in excusing Biden’s absence. “And so, the President is certainly going to be engaged for the — the two days — or two — two — two and a half days that he is in Italy at the G7. So, I wouldn’t read too much into him not going to one dinner.”

    The summit has been marked by the US signing a 10-year security agreement with Ukraine and the alliance agreeing to lend another $50 billion to Kyiv in its war effort against Russia.

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had requested the assistance while attending the summit, and later joined Biden for a press conference to declare their joint opposition to Russian aggression.

    Biden’s mental fitness is increasingly worrying to Democratic lawmakers and aides, a bombshell report from the Wall Street Journal said last week, with the president frequently caught reading off cheat sheets and resting his eyes in meetings.

    “You couldn’t be there and not feel uncomfortable,” one source who was in discussions earlier this year over a $95 billion national security package with military aid for Ukraine told the outlet.

    A shocking 86% of voters — including 73% of Democrats — believe Biden is too old to finish a second term, an ABC News/Ipsos poll found in February.

    First lady Jill Biden in March scoffed at the notion — floated by then-Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley — of politicians over the age of 75 being forced to take mental competency tests, calling it “ridiculous.”

    Biden will square off with former President Donald Trump in their first presidential debate of the cycle June 27 on CNN.

    Half of US voters expect the incumbent to forget where he is at some point during the verbal battle, and a third anticipate he will wander away offstage, a JL Partners poll released Thursday shows.

    “From Italy to the United Kingdom to New York, millions of people around the world woke up to headlines about Crooked Joe Biden’s cognitive decline on full display at the G7 Summit,” Trump campaign spokesperson Karoline Leavitt said in a statement Friday. “Biden was seen staring off into the distance and wandering around like a brain-dead zombie, and even had to be ushered by Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

    “Our adversaries like China, Russia, and Iran are no doubt watching Biden’s obvious decline and plotting how they can continue to take advantage of our weak and incompetent Commander-in-Chief,” Leavitt added. “America cannot afford another four years with Crooked Joe at the helm. We need a tough leader with a bold vision to demand peace through strength, and that leader is President Donald J. Trump.”

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    News

    Biden Meets with Pope Francis at G7 Summit

    Citizen Frank

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    President Biden embraced a surprised-looking Pope Francis with an intimate forehead-to-forehead hug on Friday during the second day of the G7 summit in Italy.

    The 87-year-old pontiff had been wheeled into a room of world leaders to take part in a discussion of issues surrounding artificial intelligence, energy and the Africa-Mediterranean region. He is the first pope ever to attend a G7 gathering.

    Watch:

    Other leaders joining the discussion included Argentina President Javier Milei, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

    The 81-year-old Biden, America’s second Roman Catholic president, was scheduled to meet privately with Francis later Friday.

    A senior administration official told reporters the president and pope were likely to discuss the situation in Ukraine, the Israel-Hamas war, and AI and climate change.

    The sitdown will be Biden’s last major event before he departs the summit for the US to attend a Hollywood fundraiser hosted by actor George Clooney.

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    Youngkin on VP List

    Citizen Frank

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    Former President Trump and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin met at Trump National Golf Club in Loudon County, Virginia, on Wednesday.

    It was the first time the two leaders have met and comes as speculation continues to swirl around who Trump will select as his running mate.

    DailyMail.com was told by a source familiar that they did not discuss Trump’s open vice presidential position, but rather about how to win Virginia in 2024.

    The leaders specifically talked about strategy to win voters over including about honing in on the economy, inflation and the border crisis.

    Trump has teased that he will announce his VP pick at the upcoming Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

    He told Fox News’ Aishah Hasnie on Thursday that his running mate was ‘probably’ in the room where he held a meeting with Senate GOP lawmakers, but that he would wait until the convention to announce.

    North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum is is the running along with Senators JD Vance, Ohio, Marco Rubio, Florida, Democrat-turned-Republican ex-Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y.

    South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem have also been rumored to be on the list.

    Scott, Rubio and Vance were all in the Republican meeting earlier in the day.

    Trump also called Youngkin ‘great’ and said he would consider him for VP.

    ‘I think I could consider that. Yes. I haven’t, I haven’t been asked that question, but he would be on that list. He’s very good. We had a great meeting about Virginia,’ he told Hasnie.

    And picking Youngkin could actually help him in the general election in just five months.

    Recent polls have indicated that Virginia, a deeply purple state, could actually be in play for the presidential election.

    In 2020, President Biden received 54 percent of the vote compared to Trump’s 44 percent.

    But according to a recent Roanoke College Institute survey, Biden and Trump are tied in Virginia at 48 percent.

    Youngkin held out on endorsing the former president until after Super Tuesday in March.

    He said in a post on X: ‘It’s time to unite around strong leadership and policies that grow our great nation, not four more years of President Biden.’

    There was speculation that Youngkin would enter the 2024 race himself, but he put those theories to bed last year.

    ‘I’m not going anywhere’ he told reporters adding that he’s focused on the commonwealth.

    Trump traveled into Washington, D.C., after his meeting with Youngkin to sit down with House and Senate lawmakers.

    Behind closed doors at the House side Capitol Hill Club, he insisted the Russia-Ukraine war would not have happened under his watch and urged Republicans to get better about messaging on abortion.

    The former president told a horde of Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill that Vladimir Putin is ‘more afraid of him than Biden.’

    In addition, he praised Republican ‘unity’ after a meeting in the Senate.

    ‘I just want to thank the Republican Senate, and I want to thank also the House we met, as you know, with the full House Republican House today and we had a tremendous meeting with them also.’

    ‘And there’s great unity very similar, different topics, actually, but not that different. And there’s one thing in common, we want to make America great again, we want to make our country great again, we’re a nation that’s in decline. We’re declining nation.’

    Trump insisted that Republicans are ‘going to bring back our jobs’ and ‘common sense to government.’He added that there will be ‘strong borders’ and people will be able to enter the U.S. legally and not ‘pour in from prisons all over South America and all over the world.’

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    Pentagon Wants to Feed Troops Lab-Grown ‘Meat’ to ‘Reduce CO2 Footprint’

    Citizen Frank

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    A Pentagon-funded company is seeking proposals to feed America’s soldiers lab-grown meat in a bid to “reduce the CO2 footprint” at Defense Department outposts.

    BioMADE, a public-private company that has received more than $500 million in funding from the Defense Department, announced earlier this month that it is seeking proposals to develop “innovations in food production that reduce the CO2 footprint of food production at … DoD operational environments,” according to an online announcement.

    These include “novel cell culture methods suitable for the production of cultivated meat/protein,” or lab-grown meat, a product that is still in its experimental phases. This type of meat is grown in a lab from animal cells with the aid of other chemicals, and has emerged as a flashpoint in debates about the efficacy and morality of manufacturing meat products without slaughtering animals.

    BioMADE—which earlier this year received a $450 million infusion of taxpayer cash—maintains that lab-grown food products will reduce the Pentagon’s carbon footprint, a priority for the American military as it pursues a Biden administration-mandate to address climate change and other cultural issues that critics describe as “woke.”

    “Innovations in food production that reduce the CO2 footprint of food production at and/or transport to DoD operational environments are solicited,” the company says in an informational document and accompanying press release. “These could include, but are not limited to, production of nutrient-dense military rations via fermentation processes, utilizing one carbon molecule (C1) feedstocks for food production, and novel cell culture methods suitable for the production of cultivated meat/protein.”

    BioMADE is also soliciting proposals for “processes that convert greenhouse gasses” and “projects that develop bioproducts useful in mitigating the negative environmental impacts either regionally or globally,” including “bioproducts that can be used to prevent or slow coastal erosion.”

    Critics of the DoD’s partnership with BioMADE say that U.S. troops should not be used as test subjects for lab-grown meat products that are still in their experimental phase.

    “Taxpayer dollars should not be used to fund the lab-grown meat sector,” Jack Hubbard, executive director at the Center for the Environment and Welfare, a consumer group that analyzes emerging markets such as bioengineered meat. “Our troops deserve better than to be served lab-grown meat, produced in bioreactors with immortalized cells and chemicals.”

    “Unfortunately,” Hubbard said, “this effort is being driven by an agenda that is political and anti-farmer. Our soldiers should never be used as guinea pigs.”

    The Pentagon and its outside partners, as part of its push to fund “alt-protein projects,” made up to $2 million available for such projects, according to the publication Alt-Meat.

    Supporters of these efforts say U.S. national security hinges on addressing global change and pursuing new technologies that enable products like lab grown meat.

    “One of the most immediate, politically feasible, and high-impact ways to do this [address climate change] is for the U.S. government to invest in and accelerate alternative ways to produce meat,” Matt Spence, a former Defense Department official wrote in a 2021 Slate piece.

    Recent studies, however, including one published by the University of California, Davis suggest that “lab-grown meat’s carbon footprint [is] potentially worse than retail beef.”

    “If companies are having to purify growth media to pharmaceutical levels, it uses more resources, which then increases global warming potential,” according to the report’s lead author, Derrick Risner, a member of UC Davis’s Department of Food Science and Technology. “If this product continues to be produced using the ‘pharma’ approach, it’s going to be worse for the environment and more expensive than conventional beef production.”

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    Southwest Airlines Boeing Flight Experienced Terrifying ‘Dutch Roll’ with 175 Passengers on Board

    Citizen Frank

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    A Southwest Airlines Boeing plane experienced a rare Dutch roll at 32,000 feet in the air that resulted in significant damage to the aircraft that left it out of service, officials said.

    Southwest Flight N8825Q, a Boeing 737 carrying 175 passengers, was traveling from Phoenix to Oakland on May 25 when its tail began to wag left and right, causing the plane’s wings to rock from side to side.

    The phenomenon, known as a Dutch roll, caused major damage to the plane, but the pilots were able to regain control and land it safely in Oakland, according to the Federal Aviation Administration

    No injuries were reported over the Dutch roll incident, which pilots are trained to counter and modern planes are built to combat with a yaw damper.

    “The FAA is working closely with the [National Transportation Safety Board] and Boeing to investigate this event,” the agency said in a statement.

    “We will take appropriate action based on the findings.”

    A preliminary report from the FAA found that a power control unit on the plane, which provides backup power to the rudder, had been damaged.

    Boeing and Southwest declined to comment on the incident, with the airline adding that it was cooperating with FAA investigators.

    The incident is only the latest tied to a plane manufactured by Boeing, which continues to face mounting scrutiny over safety concerns.

    At least 20 whistleblowers have come forward against the aerospace giant, which has faced a slew of criticism in recent years over repeated technical failures across the globe.

    A scathing House Transportation and Infrastructure report in September 2020 found that two 737 MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019 were the “horrific culmination” of “repeated and serious failures” by the company and regulators.

    Then in January 2024, a door panel blew off an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX-9 during a flight from Oregon to California, renewing safety concerns over the planes.

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    Biden’s Ghostwriter Deleted Audio Tapes, Transcript Confirms

    Citizen Frank

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    President Joe Biden’s ghostwriter deleted audio recordings from his interviews because he was concerned that he would be hacked and the audio would be widely circulated, according to a newly released transcript.

    “I was very concerned about the possibility of being hacked. I was very concerned about the possibility of this audio spread all over the place,” Mark Zwonitzer, the ghostwriter, told special counsel Robert Hur’s team on July 31, 2023.

    Mr. Zwonitzer said his primary concern centered on “a lot of personal and emotional stuff about Beau,” President Biden’s deceased son, according to the heavily redacted transcript, which was obtained and released by The Heritage Foundation.

    Mr. Hur, who was appointed to probe President Biden’s handling of classified documents, said in his final report that Mr. Zwonitzer deleted the recordings of discussions for the book “Promise Me, Dad,” even though the recordings “had significant evidentiary value.”

    Prosecutors considered charging Mr. Zwonitzer but ultimately decided not to, in part because he handed over his computer and hard drive to investigators, who were able to recover the deleted recordings.

    The transcript provides more details on how Mr. Zwonitzer handled the recordings, as well as what he told investigators about President Biden broaching the topic of classified materials.

    Mr. Zwonitzer said that it’s his practice to delete all tapes he records after making transcripts of them. But he also said that he still has files from projects he carried out in 2018 and 2020 that he still had not deleted.

    “I don’t have a set policy or anything” with regards to how long he takes before deleting files, Mr. Zwonitzer said.

    He said he deleted the tapes of his interviews with President Biden in 2023 between the end of January and the end of February. Attorney General Merrick Garland, an appointee of President Biden, appointed Mr. Hur in January 2023.

    Mr. Zwonitzer said he was aware of Mr. Hur’s investigation when he deleted the recordings.

    “I’m not going to say how much of the percentage it was of my motivation,” he told members of Mr. Hur’s team and FBI special agents.

    Mr. Zwonitzer said he received “vaguely threatening emails” after President Biden was nominated and that he learned some of the interviews he conducted with other people had been placed on the internet without his permission. That stoked fears of being hacked, and prompted him to take the files and slide them into the trash on his computer.

    Mr. Hur’s team said prosecutors declined to prosecute Mr. Zwonitzer because the ghostwriter was forthright and the available evidence would not establish beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Zwonitzer committed any crimes. Even if evidence supported prosecution, according to prosecutors, they would not have charged the writer because of the “significant cooperation” he provided.

    Biden Discusses Classified Documents

    Mr. Hur was appointed to probe the classified materials case, after the former vice president acknowledged keeping documents marked classified beyond his vice presidency.

    In one Feb. 16, 2017, interview, Mr. Zwonitzer said the then-former Vice President Biden was reading from one of his journals when he said he needed to be careful “because he was worried that there was a possibility that some of this stuff could be classified,.”

    President Biden would often read verbatim from his journals during the interviews, the writer said. When Mr. Zwonitzer asked to make photocopies of certain pages, President Biden refused.

    “He declined that offer diplomatically but adamantly. It was clear these were personal journals and he didn’t want them out of his possession,” Mr. Zwonitzer said.

    During the same interview, President Biden also said, “I think I found something downstairs,” the writer said. That document “had classified markings on it,” Mr. Zwonitzer said.

    Mr. Hur said in his report that President Biden in 2017 said he had “found all the classified stuff downstairs” in Virginia, where the interview with Mr. Zwonitzer took place, and that the classified materials contained information about Afghanistan. Agents found those same documents in President Biden’s garage in Delaware in 2022.

    President Biden never showed Mr. Zwonitzer any classified materials, according to the ghostwriter.

    While Mr. Hur concluded that President Biden retained and disclosed classified documents after exiting the White House, Mr. Hur also opted not to charge President Biden because jurors might not convict him if the case was taken to trial.

    “Several defenses are likely to create reasonable doubt as to such charges. For example, Mr. Biden could have found the classified Afghanistan documents at his Virginia home in 2017 and then forgotten about them soon after,” Mr. Hur said. “This could convince some reasonable jurors that he did not retain them willfully.”

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    Tucker Carlson Live Tour: Map, Guest List, Ticket Prices, More

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    Former Fox News personality Tucker Carlson has announced his first live tour, which will see him travel across the country for 15 different shows.

    Carlson is a political commentator who hosted the talk show Tucker Carlson Tonight weeknights on Fox News until 2023. After his contract with the channel was terminated, he started hosting his show Tucker on X, formerly known as Twitter.

    Now he is taking his live speaking tour nationwide, where he has invited various guests to join him on stage, including prominent conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and Marjorie Taylor Greene.

    “Hey, it’s Tucker Carlson. The one thing we know for certain is the United States is going to be one intense place this fall moving into this presidential election. So we thought, what better time to hit the road and see the country, and we are going to this fall,” Carlson said in a video uploaded to X on June 10.

    “We are pleased—in fact, thrilled—to announce Tucker Carlson Live which is what it sounds like: a nationwide tour and at every show will be joined by a friend, a special guest. Megyn Kelly, Glenn Beck, Tulsi Gabbard, Vivek Ramaswamy, Russell Brand and many others.”

    It also reads on the official tour website: “It’s going to be interesting and fun as hell.”

    Full List of Tucker Carlson Tour Dates and Guests

    • Sept. 4, with Russell Brand – Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
    • Sept. 5, with Vivek Ramaswamy – Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
    • Sept. 6, with Tulsi Gabbard – Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
    • Sept. 7, with Glenn Beck – Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.
    • Sept. 11, with Dan Bongino – BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
    • Sept. 12, with Megyn Kelly – T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri.
    • Sept. 13, with Charlie Kirk – INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas.
    • Sept. 16, with Alex Jones – Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
    • Sept. 18, special guest TBA – Fort Bend Epicenter in Rosenberg, Texas.
    • Sept. 20, with Kid Rock – Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
    • Sept. 21, special guest TBA – Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
    • Sept. 24, with Roseanne Barr – Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.
    • Sept. 26, with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene – Bon Secours Arena in Greenville, South Carolina.
    • Sept. 27, special guest TBA – Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise, Florida.
    • Sept. 28, with Donald Trump Jr. – VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.

    Ticket Release Dates and Prices

    At the time of writing presale tickets were being sold on Ticketmaster for the event in Phoenix, Anaheim, Tulsa, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Grand Rapids, Hershey, Fort Worth, Greenville and Jacksonville.

    To access them, people have to “join team Tucker,” meaning paying a $6 monthly subscription to Carlson’s website.

    “We’re building an alternative to legacy media. Team Tucker empowers us to do our job without fear. It’s time they stopped hiding the truth from you. We’ll expose them together,” it states.

    General sale tickets for Colorado Springs, Salt Lake City, Wichita, Rosenberg and Sunrise will go on sale at 10 am EDT on June 14.

    The ticket prices have not yet been announced.

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    Biden Watched His Dog Bite Secret Service Agents Multiple Times: Docs

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    President Biden repeatedly watched his German shepherd Commander attack Secret Service members, who wished each other a “safe shift” as the number of incidents mounted — with one exasperated workplace safety professional urging the use of a muzzle, agency records show.

    The number of dog attacks involving Commander, who the White House said in February was given away after more than two years of terrorizing professionals assigned to protect Biden; and former first dog Major, who was rehomed in 2021 after also attacking personnel; could top three dozen, the newly surfaced records suggest.

    The 81-year-old president reportedly accused a Secret Service member of lying about being attacked by Major during his first year in office, but was present for at least three separate attacks involving Commander, files released to Judicial Watch under Freedom of Information Act litigation show.

    A previously unreported incident on Sept. 12, 2023, featured a pair of bites in which Commander tore holes in a Secret Service member’s suit as Biden took him for a walk in the Kennedy Garden along the South Lawn of the White House.

    The president “took Commander (on a leash) to the Kennedy Garden this evening for a walk,” the special agent assigned to the Presidential Protective Division wrote in a report.

    “While [Biden] and Commander were in the Kennedy Garden I was standing half way from the Book-Sellers [lobby] and the Family Theater,” the agent wrote, referring to the area where the main White House connects to the East Wing.

    “[Biden] opened the Book-Seller door and said [redacted]. As I started to walk toward him to see if he needed help, Commander ran through his legs and bit my left arm through the front of my jacket. I pulled my arm away and yelled no,” the victim wrote.

    “[President Biden] also yelled [redacted] to Commander. [Biden] then [redacted]. I obliged and Commander let me pet him.”

    “When turning to close the door,” the special agent went on, “Commander jumped again and bit my left arm for the second time. [Biden] again yelled at Commander and attached the leash to him. My suit coat has 3 holes, 1 being all the way through. No skin was broken.”

    Photos included in the report show damage to the agent’s suit and dress shirt, for which they sought reimbursement.

    The latest batch of internal agency records show mounting frustration over the handling of the animals.

    On Sept. 25, 2023, following yet another attack involving Commander, a sergeant in the Secret Service’s uniformed division wrote an colleague: “FYI- there was a dog bite and the Officer may need to go to the hospital … Have a safe shift!” It’s unclear if Biden was present for that incident.

    Two days later, an official in the agency’s Safety, Health & Environmental Division wrote: “Can we please find a way to get this dog muzzled.”

    Biden’s personal presence during attacks was known in two prior instances.

    On Oct. 2, 2022, Biden was there when Commander attacked an agent who was holding the door for the president as he approached the entryway near the Rose Garden that connects the West Wing to the rest of the White House.

    “I was bit/grabbed on the left forearm,” the agent wrote in records made public in February.

    “Commander came in first circled back and grabbed my left arm. He then stood up and back down. He is literally my height standing. [President Biden] entered shortly after since he was trailin [sic] behind him. [Biden] entered the Palm Room and said, ‘[redacted quote]’.”

    Biden also was present on Dec. 11, 2022, when the president “requested to take Commander (on the leash) to the Kennedy Garden,” records show.

    “Once at the KG, [Biden] took Commander off the leash to run free. I was present to observe [redacted] departing from the Kennedy Garden to move behind [redacted] toward the south ground drive via the internal garden gate when [the attack] occurred,” the victim wrote, describing a 1.5cm (half-inch) cut and bruising on his arm and a 1cm (0.4-inch) cut from a second bite on his hand and thumb.

    Documents do not place President Biden on scene for the most severe attacks, including a Nov. 3, 2022, incident that sent a uniformed Secret Service officer to a DC hospital for treatment after Commander clamped down on their arm and thigh at the base of a stairwell at the White House.

    At least one other Secret Service member was seen at a hospital, according to previously reported documents, when on July 29, 2023, Commander tore into a female agent’s arm at the president’s Rehoboth Beach, Del., vacation home, causing a “severe deep open wound” with loss of “a significant amount of blood,” requiring at least six stitches.

    In yet another bloody attack, on June 15, 2023, Commander took an agent “to the ground” outside the East Wing, taking a “deep bite” to their arm, requiring an unspecified number of stitches.

    In that case, “East Wing Tours were stopped for approximately 20 minutes due to blood from the incident being on the floors in the area of the [lobby connecting the East Wing to the White House].”

    Commander’s biting spree was first reported by The Post last July, but was initially downplayed by the White House.

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    AI Candidate Running for Parliament in UK

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    An artificial intelligence candidate is on the ballot for the United Kingdom’s general election next month.

    “AI Steve,” represented by Sussex businessman Steve Endacott, will appear on the ballot alongside non-AI candidates running to represent constituents in the Brighton Pavilion area of Brighton and Hove, a city on England’s southern coast.

    “AI Steve is the AI co-pilot,” Endacott said in an interview. “I’m the real politician going into Parliament, but I’m controlled by my co-pilot.”

    Endacott is the chairman of Neural Voice, a company that creates personalized voice assistants for businesses in the form of an AI avatar. Neural Voice’s technology is behind AI Steve, one of the seven characters the company created to showcase its technology.

    He said the idea is to use AI to create a politician who is always around to talk with constituents and who can take their views into consideration.

    People can ask AI Steve questions or share their opinions on Endacott’s policies on its website, during which a large language model will give answers in voice and text based on a database of information about his party’s policies.

    If he doesn’t have a policy for a particular issue raised, the AI will conduct some internet research before engaging the voter and pushing them to suggest a policy.

    AI Steve, which is open to the public to try, told NBC News in response to a question about its stance on Brexit: “As a democracy, the UK voted to leave, and it’s my responsibility to implement and optimize this decision regardless of my personal views on the matter.”

    “Do you have any thoughts on how Brexit should be managed in the future?” it added.

    Endacott said he is also seeking thousands of whom he calls “validators,” or people he is targeting because he believes they represent the common man — in particular Brighton locals who have a long daily commute.

    “We’re asking them once a week to score our policies from 1 to 10. And if a policy gets more than 50%, it gets passed. And that’s the official party policy,” he said, adding, “Every single policy, I will say that my decision is my voters’ decision. And I’m connected to my voters at any time on a weekly basis via electronic means.”

    In 2022, Endacott unsuccessfully ran in a local election under the Conservative Party. He received less than 500 votes. This time, the unusual nature of his candidacy stirred some conversation on X over the weekend, when news of AI Steve’s launch leaked online and prompted around 1,000 calls to the AI proxy in one night.

    Voters’ top issues so far, according to those calls, were (in order of importance): Concerns about the safety of Palestinians, trash bins, bicycle lanes, immigration and abortion. Endacott noted that having an AI representative enables him to respond, in a sense, to thousands of potential constituents a day.

    “I don’t have to go knock on their door, get them out of bed when they don’t want to talk to me,” Endacott said. He said that was “the old form of politics,” whereas people can now choose to contact AI Steve on their own volition and at their convenience.

    Endacott describes himself as a “centralist” who aligns most closely, but not quite, with the Green Party. His own party, Smarter U.K., was not registered in time for this year’s election.

    He said he is not using the AI avatar to propel his own business interests, as he says he holds less than a 10% share in Neural River, the platform behind AI Steve. His primary motivation, he said, is to push the government to enact changes to cut carbon emissions — whether that means running for office or, “worst case,” becoming a political influencer.

    If elected, AI Steve would be the first AI legislator to make it into public office — but he’s not the first to experiment with leveraging the emerging technology in elections. In Wyoming, a Cheyenne mayoral candidate reportedly says he would use an AI bot to make decisions for him. And two years ago, a political party in Denmark was founded on an AI-derived platform.

    Though the concept of an AI politician may seem silly to some and disturbing to others, Endacott said he wants to make clear that his platform is “not a joke.” He rejects the premise that the AI is replacing a human politician — instead insisting that the aim is to bring “more humans” into politics.

    “​​It’s not AI taking over the world. It’s AI being used as a technical way of connecting to our constituents and reinventing democracy by saying, ‘You don’t just vote for somebody every four years; you actually control the vote on an ongoing basis,’” he said. “Which is very, very radical in the U.K. Probably even more radical in America.”

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    G7 Leaders Reach Deal to Unlock Frozen Russian Assets for Ukraine

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    Group of Seven (G7) leaders reached an agreement on June 13 to utilize frozen Russian assets in their continued support of the war in Ukraine.

    The G7 will provide Ukraine with a loan using frozen Russian assets as collateral. The total sum is unclear at this time, but the United States has committed $50 billion alone. The risk will be shared among the other G7 nations.

    Senior Biden administration officials told reporters that the loan will begin this year, and emphasized that this effectively makes Russia pay for the loan rather than the taxpayers in the United States and G7 countries.

    “Russia pays,” said one senior administration official. “The income comes from the interest stream on the immobilized assets, and that’s the only fair way to be repaid. The principle is untouched for now. But we have full optionality to seize the principal later if the political will is there.”

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in a post on X, had expressed hope that the asset deal would be finalized on June 13.

    “The entire Ukrainian people, including our warriors, see that the G7 will always support Ukraine,” he wrote. “I am grateful to our partners for their belief in us and our victory.”

    In the run-up to the crucial summit, the G7 finance ministers held discussions about the legality of using some $300 billion worth of frozen assets kept in European accounts as collateral for providing a loan to Ukraine for reconstruction. France was believed to be the main holdout on the plan.

    President Joe Biden mentioned before leaving France last week that he had reached an agreement with Mr. Macron on a plan to use the frozen Russian assets.

    Concerns lingered over the payout of the loan and whether or not Russian assets would remain immobilized, especially considering the European Union’s need to renew the sanctions every six months to do so.

    The senior administration official clarified that the payout of the loan would be dependent on “the pace at which Ukraine can absorb the money effectively.”

    He also exuded confidence in European leaders’ commitment to maintain the sanctions.

    “When you have commitment at the highest political levels, you know, that is what gives us confidence that these assets are going to remain immobilized,” he said. “The income will continue to flow, and we will be repaid either from the income itself or through reparations with Russia.”

    The senior administration official also said that the funds would be used in multiple ways in Ukraine, including humanitarian support and reconstruction support. However, he also said that there were “certain jurisdictions” that preferred to have their money earmarked for military support.

    The agreement was reached a day after the United States announced expanded sanctions on more than 300 entities and individuals designed to “ratchet up the risks that foreign financial institutions take by dealing with Russia’s war economy,” according to national security adviser Jake Sullivan.

    Following his meetings with G7 leaders on June 13, President Biden will sign a 10-year bilateral security agreement with Mr. Zelenskyy, signifying a continuing U.S. commitment to support the war-torn country against Russian aggression.

    This is the 50th summit meeting of the leaders of the United States, Japan, Germany, the UK, France, Italy, and Canada—the seven most advanced economies in the world—and, along with the war in Ukraine and Russian assets, discussions are also expected to cover the war in Gaza, economic security, AI, migration, climate change, and food security.

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    WSJ Gershkovich to Be Tried for ‘Espionage’ in Russia

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    U.S. journalist Evan Gershkovich, who has been jailed for over a year in Russia on espionage charges, will stand trial in the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg, where he was detained, authorities said Thursday.

    An indictment of The Wall Street Journal reporter has been finalized and his case was filed to the Sverdlovsky Regional Court in the city about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) east of Moscow, according to Russia’s Prosecutor General’s office. There was no word on when the trial would begin.

    Gershkovich, 32, is accused of “gathering secret information” on orders from the CIA about Uralvagonzavod, a facility in the Sverdlovsk region that produces and repairs military equipment, the Prosecutor General’s office said in a statement, revealing for the first time the details of the accusations against him.

    Gershkovich was detained while on a reporting trip to Yekaterinburg in March 2023 and accused of spying for the United States. The reporter, his employer and the U.S. government denied the allegations, and Washington designated him as wrongfully detained.

    Russia’s Federal Security Service, or FSB, alleged after arresting Gershkovich that he was acting on U.S. orders to collect state secrets but provided no evidence to back up the accusations.

    The U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller slammed the development, saying there was “absolutely zero credibility to those charges” and adding that the U.S. government would continue to work to bring Gershkovich home.

    “Evan has done nothing wrong. He should never have been arrested in the first place. Journalism is not a crime,” Miller said. “The charges against him are false. And the Russian government knows that they’re false. He should be released immediately.”

    The Biden administration has sought to negotiate his release, but Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Moscow would consider a prisoner swap only after a verdict in his trial.

    “Russia’s latest move toward a sham trial is, while expected, deeply disappointing and still no less outrageous,” a statement by Almar Latour, Dow Jones CEO and publisher of the Journal, and Emma Tucker, the Journal’s editor in chief, said.

    They added that the charges against Gershkovich were “false and baseless.”

    “The Russian regime’s smearing of Evan is repugnant, disgusting and based on calculated and transparent lies. Journalism is not a crime. Evan’s case is an assault on free press,” the statement said. “We had hoped to avoid this moment and now expect the U.S. government to redouble efforts to get Evan released.”

    Roger Carstens, the Biden administration’s special presidential envoy who serves as the U.S. government’s top hostage negotiator, said that though he had been hopeful about striking a deal to get Gershkovich home before this point, the latest development “doesn’t slow or stop us down.”

    “The bottom line is, this was not unexpected,” he said.

    Uralvagonzavod, a state tank and railroad car factory in the city of Nizhny Tagil, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of Yekaterinburg, became known in 2011-12 as a bedrock of support for President Vladimir Putin.

    Plant foreman Igor Kholmanskih appeared on Putin’s annual phone-in program in December 2011 and denounced mass protests occurring in Moscow at the time as a threat to “stability,” proposing that he and his colleagues travel to the Russian capital to help suppress the unrest. A week later, Putin appointed Kholmanskikh to be his envoy in the region.

    Putin has said he believed a deal could be reached to free Gershkovich, hinting he would be open to swapping him for a Russian national imprisoned in Germany, which appeared to be Vadim Krasikov, who is serving a life sentence for the 2019 killing in Berlin of a Georgian citizen of Chechen descent.

    Asked last week by The Associated Press about Gershkovich, Putin said the U.S. is “taking energetic steps” to secure his release. He told international news agencies in St. Petersburg that any such releases “aren’t decided via mass media” but through a “discreet, calm and professional approach.”

    “And they certainly should be decided only on the basis of reciprocity,” he added in an allusion to a potential prisoner swap.

    Gershkovich faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

    He was the first U.S. journalist taken into custody on espionage charges since Nicholas Daniloff in 1986 at the height of the Cold War. Gershkovich’s arrest shocked foreign journalists in Russia, even though the country had enacted increasingly repressive laws on freedom of speech after sending troops into Ukraine.

    The son of Soviet emigres who settled in New Jersey, Gershkovich was fluent in Russian and moved to the country in 2017 to work for The Moscow Times newspaper before being hired by the Journal in 2022.

    Since his arrest, Gershkovich has been held at Moscow’s Lefortovo Prison, a notorious czarist-era prison used during Josef Stalin’s purges, when executions were carried out in its basement.

    U.S. Ambassador Lynne Tracy, who regularly visited Gershkovich in prison and attended his court hearings, has called the charges against him “fiction” and said that Russia is “using American citizens as pawns to achieve political ends.”

    Since sending troops to Ukraine, Russian authorities have detained several U.S. nationals and other Westerners, seemingly bolstering that idea.

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    WNBA Expected to Lose $50 Million — League Is ‘Hard-Pressed to Exist Without the NBA,’ Executive Says

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    Areport citing WNBA sources, including an executive from one of the teams, revealed that despite the league’s wall-to-wall coverage, it will still lose $50 million for the 2024 season.

    With the basketball association reportedly taking in between $180-$200 million the previous season, it is still just a fraction of the $10 billion+ earned by the NBA.

    Given that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in 2018 that the WNBA loses about $10 million per year, that would amount to at least $200 million and upwards of $260 million in losses since the league’s inception in 1997.

    The report by the Washington Post detailed that the WNBA is expected to lose $50 million from the current season, citing two unnamed sources who are aware of the financial figures. The sources told the outlet that they did not have permission to publicly discuss the league’s financial status.

    WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said publicly that the NBA provides a “huge advantage” for the women’s league in terms of marketing, “especially with streaming services who rely on a 12-month subscription model.”

    “If we’re only there for 4½ months … how attractive is that? But we and the NBA are maybe the only sports properties that can give 330 days of live programming — almost the entire year. That’s hugely valuable to a subscription platform.”

    Despite this, another anonymous WNBA team executive admitted in the report that WNBA likely would cease to exist without the financial backing of the NBA, an idea that has been the theory of sports fans for some time.

    “The truth is, this league would be hard-pressed to exist without the NBA.”

    Even with all the apparent success, it doesn’t seem like the league can be pushed into the black simply by the existence of star Caitlin Clark, who has been a marketing sensation for the WNBA.

    Recent attendance reports noted that as of June 11, 2024, Clark sparked an 87% increase in attendance in away games compared to her opponent’s average home attendance.

    Her presence also accounts for 33.5% of the WNBA’s total attendance in 2024, according to Sportscasting.

    Average attendance of Clark’s games are double the league average, as well. The league brings in 7,645 fans on average, but that number increases by 105% for Clark, to 15,142 at her games. These latest figures confirm a recent sample size, where Clark’s games saw twice the attendance of other games that were played the same weekend.

    The Clark bump also equates to more eyes on screens. Through the first weekend of June 2024, WNBA games that featured Clark had an average of 1.099 million viewers. Games without her averaged only 414,000 viewers.

    Given all this information, WNBA players may want to be cautious when making complaints about Clark’s favoritism, as the league is seemingly a long way from profit.

    Complaints about charter planes not being luxurious enough could easily result in that expense being axed, which reportedly costs around $25 million per year.

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    Wells Fargo Fires Employees Over “Mouse Jigglers”

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    In the era of hybrid work, with employees splitting their time between two days in the office and three days working remotely, employers have ramped up using productivity monitoring software. However, employees have outsmarted some of these surveillance programs with gadgets like mouse movers, otherwise known as ‘mouse jigglers.’

    The popularity of mouse jigglers has exploded on TikTok in the last several years. Firms have been cracking down on these devices following a surge in fake work activity, which has weighed on productivity.

    Wells Fargo, in a new disclosure with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, first reported by Bloomberg, had terminated over a dozen employees in its wealth- and investment-management unit for their use of mouse jigglers.

    They were “discharged after review of allegations involving simulation of keyboard activity creating the impression of active work,” according to the disclosures.

    On Amazon, some of the top-ranking mouse jigglers sold have thousands of reviews and range in price between $6 and $25.

    Google Trends shows a massive search spike for these devices in 2022.

    The bank’s Finra disclosure does not indicate whether the employees were fired for faking work at home or in the office.

    It’s unclear how the employees were caught, and if the bank opted to use other forms of surveillance to catch the employees faking work.

    Major banks, including JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, were among the most aggressive institutions in ordering workers back to the office after the government enforced lockdowns.

    The jiggler is just proof of the unintended consequences of remote working.

    Instead of employers micromanaging their workforce with mass surveillance, perhaps implementing baseline objectives for them…

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    House Committee Subpoenas Biden Cabinet Secretaries Over Voter Access ‘Scheme’

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    The House Administration Committee issued subpoenas to 15 members of President Biden’s Cabinet related to an executive order on voting access.

    The executive order, Promoting Access to Voting, was signed in March 2021 and says that “executive departments and agencies should partner with state, local, tribal and territorial election officials to protect and promote the exercise of the right to vote, eliminate discrimination and other barriers to voting, and expand access to voter registration and accurate election information.”

    Rep. Bryan Steil, chairman of the committee, suggested the executive order lets officials from the Biden administration “flood election administration sites, [which] threatens election integrity and reduces Americans’ confidence.”

    “Elections are partisan, but our election administration should never be partisan,” Mr. Steil, Wisconsin Republican, said in the statement.

    “This executive order is another attempt by the Biden administration to tilt the scales ahead of 2024. I will continue working to provide transparency and accountability on this administration’s latest scheme, as Congress did not appropriate taxpayer funds for partisan activities.”

    The subpoenas request information from the Cabinet officials on how they plan to implement the orders five months ahead of the Nov. 5 election.

    “The committee has concerns about the implementation of E.O. 14019, particularly regarding its compatibility with provisions of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993,” Mr. Steil said in a letter to the Cabinet secretaries dated Wednesday.

    “Congress delegates to federal agencies specific functions and missions, which by law they are required to follow. Congress’ delegation of authority to [the Housing and Urban Development Department] does not include using funds and resources to provide Americans with voter registration materials,” Mr. Steil said.

    He said the executive order requires federal agencies to submit their plans on “how the agency can promote voter registration and voter participation” and that some agencies, like the Education Department and the Small Business Administration, have already begun taking action.

    In the letter, Mr. Steil said he had requested the documents, but didn’t receive any documents or replies. He also said the committee is considering legislation to repeal the executive order and require the agencies’ plans to be submitted to Congress.

    The agencies subpoenaed were requested to respond by June 26. The letter was sent to the Departments of Transportation, Agriculture, Interior, Treasury, State, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Energy, Education, Defense, Commerce, Justice, Office of Management and Budget, Labor and HUD.

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    WATCH: Biden Appears to Wander Off at G7 Summit Before Being Pulled Back by Italian PM

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    President Biden appeared to wander off at the G7 summit in Italy, with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni needing to pull him back to focus.

    As world leaders applauded a parachuting presentation, Biden could be seen trailing off and stepping away from the group, appearing to talk to an officer packing a parachute.

    Meloni, who is hosting the Group of Seven meeting of world leaders, then pulled back the US president to get his attention so he could rejoin the group.

    The rest of the leaders then awkwardly moved to center themselves around Biden for a photo op.

    Biden, 81, slowly slipped on his signature sunglasses for the picture.

    Afterward, he walked toward one of the parachutists, shook his hand and saluted him, video shows. Then other leaders joined him in shaking the hands of the other jumpers.

    Hours earlier, Biden had a strange introduction to Meloni, saluting her as he arrived at the venue in southern Puglia.

    The president shuffled in and the two embraced and talked for a moment. Meloni directed him to his place on the stage, at which point he raised his right hand in a salute to her and walked away.

    The G7 summit is an annual informal economic and security forum attended by leaders of the some of the world’s biggest industrialized democratic nations: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. The European Union also has status in the group, but is not a full member.

    This year’s summit, which lasts through Saturday, is focusing on global conflicts, impact of artificial intelligence, migration issues and climate change.

    Earlier, Biden appeared to be looking in a completely different direction as a parachuter landed right in front of him, video from the moment shows.

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    Supreme Court Keeps Abortion Pill Legal

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    The Supreme Court unanimously rejected a bid Thursday to restrict access to mifepristone, part of a two-drug regimen used to induce medical abortions.

    The high court concluded a group of anti-abortion doctors that brought the case forward lacked standing to challenge the Food and Drug Administration’s prior regulatory approval of the pill.

    “The plaintiffs have sincere legal, moral, ideological, and policy objections to elective abortion and to FDA’s relaxed regulation of mifepristone. But under Article III of the Constitution, those kinds of objections alone do not establish a justiciable case or controversy in federal court,” Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in the opinion.

    “A plaintiff’s desire to make a drug less available for others does not establish standing to sue,” he went on, noting that the group could still take their concerns to the executive and legislative branches.

    As a result of the ruling, women may continue to access mifepristone via online prescriptions and receive shipments of the drug through the mail.

    However, the high court’s rejection based on standing does leave the door open for future challenges to the FDA’s approval of the drug.

    “Today’s decision does not change the fact that the fight for reproductive freedom continues. It does not change the fact that the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade two years ago, and women lost a fundamental freedom,” President Biden said in a statement.

    “It does not change the fact that the right for a woman to get the treatment she needs is imperiled if not impossible in many states,” the 81-year-old added. “It does mean that mifepristone, or medication abortion, remains available and approved. Women can continue to access this medication – approved by the FDA as safe and effective more than 20 years ago.

    “But let’s be clear: attacks on medication abortion are part of Republican elected officials’ extreme and dangerous agenda to ban abortion nationwide.”

    Back in March when the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the matter, justices sounded deeply skeptical about upending the FDA’s approval of mifepristone.

    The agency initially approved the drug in 2000 before relaxing the rules to expand access in 2016 and 2021.

    The plaintiffs argued that the FDA flouted standards set in federal law for making regulatory decisions, and did not sufficiently examine mifepristone when giving the go-ahead for expanded access.

    Mifepristone is typically used alongside misoprostol to induce abortions and was responsible for an estimated two-thirds of all abortions in the country last year.

    In April of 2023, after a challenge backed by the conservative Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a Texas federal judge issued a preliminary ruling overturning the FDA’s initial 2000 approval of mifepristone.

    Then, in August, the New Orleans-based Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals imposed a stay on the FDA’s 2016 rule changes that made the drug more easily accessible.

    The ADF raised concerns about doctors who had ethical qualms about prescribing the drug and argued that federal policies making allowances for such objections were too weak — but the court found they hadn’t shown that to be the case.

    “In short, given the broad and comprehensive conscience protections guaranteed by federal law, the plaintiffs have not shown – and cannot show – that FDA’s actions will cause them to suffer any conscience injury,” Kavanaugh wrote.

    “EPA rolls back emissions standards for power plants—does a doctor have standing to sue because she may need to spend more time treating asthma patients?” he asked.

    “The government repeals certain restrictions on guns — does a surgeon have standing to sue because he might have to operate on more gunshot victims?”

    Justice Clarence Thomas penned a concurring opinion in which he addressed the plaintiffs’ pitch for associational standing — in which organizations can sue over injuries caused to its membership.

    “The Alliance and other plaintiff associations claim that they have associational standing to sue for their members’ injuries,” he wrote. “I am particularly doubtful of associational-standing doctrine because the Court has never attempted to reconcile it with the traditional understanding of the judicial power.

    FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine marks the high court’s most consequential decision on abortion since the overturn of Roe v. Wade in June 2022.

    The Supreme Court is also weighing a separate abortion case out of Idaho.

    That case examines whether doctors have federal protection to provide abortions in emergency situations, even in states with strict bans on the procedure.

    Go deeper ( 3 min. read ) ➝

    News

    Judge in Fani Willis Case Faces Calls for His Removal

    Citizen Frank

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    on

    The judge presiding over Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ sweeping RICO case against alleged Young Slime Life gang members is facing calls for his recusal after a stunning clash between him and one of the defense attorneys in the case.

    Judge Ural Glanville is facing calls to step aside in the YSL trial after he held attorney Brian Steel, who is representing Grammy-winning rapper Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffrey Williams, in the case, in criminal contempt for refusing to reveal how he learned of a private meeting that took place in the judge’s chambers.

    Glanville sentenced Steel to 20 days behind bars on Monday after Steel sought to file for a mistrial based on his knowledge of the ex parte meeting between the judge, prosecutors, state witness Kenneth Copeland—otherwise known as Lil Woody—and Copeland’s attorney. Steel accused Glanville and Willis’ office of witness tampering during the meeting, but the judge was more focused on how the attorney learned about what was said in the meeting rather than what was discussed. The Georgia Supreme Court has since stayed the motion, meaning Steel will not have to serve the sentence while he appeals.

    On Wednesday, Doug Weinstein, another defense attorney in the YSL trial representing Deamonte Kendrick, otherwise known as Yak Gotti, sought Glanville’s recusal and asked that the trial be halted until the motion was heard by another judge.

    “Defendants were not provided notice of the hearing either before, during, or after, and, regardless, Defendants should have been afforded an opportunity to attend any hearing where a ‘sworn witness in a critical stage* of the trial is being coerced to testify,” the motion reads. “The only logical conclusion to be drawn by the willful exclusion of all defense counsel from the meeting among Chief Judge Glanville, the State, and sworn witness Copeland was to harass and intimidate the sworn witness into testifying.”

    Glanville denied the motion in court on Wednesday, saying that Weinstein couldn’t “file a motion to recuse for a ruling that a trial judge makes” and that it would require Glanville to do something “extrajudicial” in order for such an action. Weinstein said he disagreed with the judge’s characterization and asked Glanville, “Aren’t you interested in removing the cloud that’s hanging over the case right now?”

    “Sir, I’d be real careful about what you’re pleading at this point in time and what you’re stating to the court,” Glanville warned Weinstein in response. “I’d be very careful if I were you.”

    Atlanta-based appellate attorney Andrew Fleischman, criticized Glanville’s remarks, saying that his words were another reason for him to step down from the YSL case.

    “THREATENING SOMEONE WHO HAS MOVED TO RECUSE YOU IS RECUSABLE,” Fleischman said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

    Glanville also refused to issue a certificate of immediate review for another judge to consider whether he should step aside—a move that Weinstein called “an error.”

    “Okay, thank you sir,” the judge replied.

    Willis’ office indicted Williams, Kendrick and 26 others in 2022 on gang-related crimes. Prosecutors have claimed that Willams is one of the founders of Young Slime Life, an alleged violent street gang in Atlanta. Williams’ attorneys argue that YSL stands for his record label Young Stoner Life.

    At the center of the trial is the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, a federal law that allows for harsher punishments for people who commit illegal acts in connection with a criminal organization. Willis has become known for her use of the state’s RICO law, having used it to successfully prosecute a group of Atlanta public school teachers who cheated on standardized tests and to bring the election interference case against former President Donald Trump and his allies.

    Legal commentator Pam Keith argued on X that Glanville should recuse himself not only for holding an “improper” ex parte meeting, but also because he “made himself a witness to a crime” by holding Steel in criminal contempt.

    “The judge CANNOT decide the criminal contempt issue because he is a material witness to the underlying event,” Keith said. “And…he should recuse himself because the ex parte hearing was WAY improper to begin with. It is NOT the role of a judge to help the prosecution manage its witnesses.”

    “The judge was obviously furious that he got caught doing something he had no business doing, but trying to strong arm counsel to reveal their sources is not the answer,” she added.

    Attorney Ashleigh Merchant had called on Glanville to recuse himself for just that reason earlier this week. Merchant, who rose to national prominence for leading the efforts to disqualify Willis from the Trump election interference case, is representing Steel in the contempt matter.

    “Mr. Steel is entitled to all the same due process rights that Mr. Williams and every other defendant in this courtroom is entitled to. He’s entitled to those. One of those is to have a fair and neutral judge decide his case,” Merchant told Glanville on Monday. Her request was also denied.

    Georgia State University law professor Anthony Michael Kreis agreed that Glanville’s actions against Steel warranted recusal, writing that “Judge Glanville is correct that evidence of extrajudicial bias is the bar for removal of a judge, not just rulings adverse to a party, because of an appearance of impropriety. But the thing here is that he’s alleged to have created an actual conflict by his actions— not a ruling.”

    “Judges cannot respond by unduly taking their feelings out against an attorney like Judge Glanville did yesterday,” Kreis told the Atlanta Constitution Journal on Tuesday. “Frankly, I was surprised that Judge Glanville didn’t take a step back all day to reconsider what he was doing or at least pump the brakes.”

    Conservative legal analyst Phil Holloway had anticipated that someone in the case would file a motion to recuse, tweeting Monday that he did not see any ways for Glanville to continue as the judge in this case.

    “A motion to recuse in Georgia MUST be heard by a different judge I don’t see how the #YoungThug #YSLTrial is not irreparably tainted,” Holloway said.

    Go deeper ( 4 min. read ) ➝
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