Saturday, December 31, 2022

9 Controversial California Laws Taking Effect on Jan. 1

 The California State Capitol building in Sacramento on April 18, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

The California State Capitol building in Sacramento on April 18, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times) 

As Californians get ready to turn the page on 2022, hundreds of new laws will go into effect starting Jan. 1. From increasing the minimum wage to legalizing jaywalking to shielding criminal records, the new laws will impact employment, health care, housing, public safety, and consumer protection.

Here’s a look at what to expect in 2023.

Minimum Wage (SB 3)

California’s minimum wage will increase by 50 cents to $15.50 per hour for nearly all workers—regardless of the number of employees at a business.

This 3.33 percent increase is less than half of the 7.9 percent inflation increase between 2021 and 2022 calculated by California’s Department of Finance.

Although the latest minimum wage hike will happen on Jan. 1, the law was signed by then Gov. Jerry Brown in 2016. According to the law, if annual inflation increases by more than 7 percent, it triggers the minimum wage to increase.

Currently, the minimum wage is $15 per hour for companies with 25 or more employees and $14 per hour for those with 25 or fewer employees.

Epoch Times Photo
A pedestrian carries a shopping bag while crossing the street in San Francisco on Nov. 16, 2022. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Jaywalking (AB 2147)

Under the new “Freedom to Walk Act,” pedestrians will no longer be fined for crossing the street outside of designated intersections or crosswalks unless they cause a hazard on the street.

Supporters say the law will reduce inequitable policing toward certain racial groups. Some also suggest it will encourage more people to walk instead of drive.

Opponents worry that it will lead to more accidents and ultimately cause more pedestrian deaths.

In California, the base fine for jaywalking has been $25 to $250 per infraction.

COVID Misinformation (AB 2098)

This law allows doctors to face discipline for spreading so-called misinformation or disinformation about COVID-19—including information about vaccine effectiveness and other treatments—and categorizes such as unprofessional conduct.

Physicians and surgeons are regulated by the Medical Board. Under current law, the board is required to act against any licensed doctor who is charged with unprofessional conduct.

Epoch Times Photo
A man is arrested by a Sheriff’s Deputy in Yucaipa, Calif., on Aug. 1, 2020. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Criminal Records (SB 731)

At least 225,000 Californians with prior convictions or arrests will be able to have their records automatically sealed from criminal background checks due to this new law.

While the records will be automatically sealed once people complete their sentence and go four years without new arrests, others will now be able to petition a judge to have theirs sealed.

In California, there are around 8 million people that have criminal records, according to Californians for Safety and Justice.

Loitering (SB 357)

A new California law decriminalizes loitering for the intent to engage in prostitution.

Also known as the “Safer Streets for All Act,” the law was introduced last year by state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco). In a statement, Wiener said it “eliminates an anti-loitering offense that leads to harmful treatment of people for simply ‘appearing’ to be a sex worker.”

However, opponents have said that the new law will encourage more public prostitution. Los Angeles Sheriff Department officials have also stated the law will take a major tool away from law enforcement, especially for targeting sex buyers.

Epoch Times Photo
Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department deputies patrol at Venice Beach in Los Angeles on June 16, 2021. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)

Parking Requirements (AB 2097)

The law will prohibit cities across the state from enforcing a minimum number of parking spaces on a development project if it is located within a half-mile of public transit.

The law was established to support the development of affordable housing units by reducing the cost and land space required for development.

Critics of the law say that it will, instead, reduce developers’ efforts to build affordable housing, because many cities are already reducing parking requirements as an incentive for developers to include affordable units in their projects.

FAST Recovery Act (AB 257)

The new law applies to fast-food chains that have 100 or more locations nationally and creates a council that would set industry-wide minimum standards on wages, working hours, and other conditions.

Under the law, minimum wages could rise to as high as $22 an hour for 2023, with the option to increase further each year based on inflation.

Opponents have argued it will lead to higher food prices and job losses. Additionally, the effects of the law won’t be limited to just major fast-food chains, but small businesses as well—since they will be compelled to raise pay to compete for staff, some have said.

Epoch Times Photo
Pro-abortion activists chant while marching from City Hall to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Santa Monica, Calif., on July 16, 2022. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Abortion (SB 1375)

Starting January 1st, nurse practitioners will be able to perform first-trimester abortions without a doctor’s supervision under a new law.

The law was introduced in February by Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and was intended to help expand access to abortion as California expects to see an influx of patients coming from other states.

In November, voters also passed Proposition 1 to change the California Constitution to say the state cannot deny or interfere with a person’s decision whether or not to have an abortion or whether to use contraceptives.

Friday, December 30, 2022

Florida takes the axe to BlackRock for its 'woke' agenda, ESG funding

BlackRock's Fink talks Ukraine reconstruction with Zelenskyy 

BlackRock founder and CEO Larry Fink and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met virtually to discuss ongoing plans for rebuilding the war-torn nation, Kyiv announced Wednesday.

Zelenskyy's office issued a press release showing him and Fink on a video conference, saying the two "agreed to focus in the near term on coordinating the efforts of all potential investors and participants in the reconstruction of our country, channeling investment into the most relevant and impactful sectors of the Ukrainian economy."

BlackRock's Larry Fink video call Volodymyr Zelenskyy

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink (on background screen) holds virtual talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (R) discussing the rebuilding of the country. (The Presidential Office of Ukraine)


The announcement also said that "during the conversation, it was emphasized that certain BlackRock leaders plan to visit Ukraine in the new year."

Ukraine's office of the president noted the talks were the latest between the country and the world's largest investment firm, as part of earlier agreements reached months ago.

Ukraine Ukraine Invasion

In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivers his speech addressing the nation in Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb. 25, 2022. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)


Fink and Zelenskyy held a virtual discussion back in September to discuss how BlackRock Financial Markets Advisory division "could provide pro bono advice to the Ukrainian government on setting up a reconstruction fund in support of the recovery of the Ukrainian economy," the government said at the time.

The World Bank estimated in September that the current cost of reconstruction and recovery in Ukraine amounts to $349 billion, with the figure continuing to grow as the war continues.

BlackRock reported last month that its FMA group and the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that formalizes the earlier discussions.

The MoU aims to create opportunities for both public and private investors to participate in the future reconstruction and recovery of the Ukrainian economy. As part of the agreement, BlackRock will advise on establishing a roadmap for the investment framework’s implementation, including identifying design choices for the envisioned setup, structure, mandate and governance.

When contacted Wednesday for further details on the latest talks, a BlackRock spokesperson directed FOX Business to the press release from Zelenskyy's office.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2022

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Mayorkas under fire as Supreme Court keeps Title 42 in place

Ivermectin Is Safe and Effective: The Evidence


Decades of use with nearly four billion doses to humans preceded recent use with COVID patients. From the chapter ‘Ivermectin sends COVID to lockdown,’ in my book The Defeat Of COVID.

Ivermectin is on the World Health Organization (WHO) List of Essential Medicines and is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  This well-tolerated but potent anti-parasitic medicine has been prescribed billions of times in its 36-year history against a wide range of parasites. It is a drug in the avermectin family, so named because those compounds are produced by the soil organism Streptomyces avermitilis.   It has also been studied and used against a wide range of viruses especially over the last decade, and there is evidence of potent antiviral effects against Influenza A and over a dozen other viruses tested. [309]

In a meta-analysis of 63 studies of ivermectin versus COVID-19 in humans, 100% of these have shown positive results.  Studies were from all continents except Antarctica.  Considered individually, 29 of those studies were found to be statistically significant regarding use of ivermectin alone.   Over the 63 studies in meta-analysis, pooled effects showed 69% improvement in early treatment, and prophylactic use showed 86% improvement.   Of those studies in the meta-analysis that were peer-reviewed, overall improvement in early treatment was found to be 70% (64% in randomized controlled trials), and 86% of those in which ivermectin was used prophylactically showed improvement (84% in randomized controlled trials).

Mortality from COVID-19 over all time periods of delay in treatment was 76% improved over controls (69% in randomized controlled trials), whereas mortality was improved 84% in early treatment of COVID-19 (82% in randomized controlled trials).  Forty studies were excluded from the meta-analysis for complicating factors or insufficient detail reported, and these also showed 100% positive results.

It is estimated that the likelihood of an ineffective treatment showing such positive results as the above results in the 63 studies in the meta-analysis to date is exceedingly small.   That probability is estimated to be one in one trillion. [310]  The overall results of the meta-analysis were not only found to be “overwhelmingly positive,” but also “very consistent, and very insensitive to potential selection criteria, effect extraction rules, and/or bias evaluation.”   The data in the meta-analysis are as of date of this article, and are continually updated as new studies are reported.

The first clinical trial of ivermectin in COVID-19 patients was an observational study in four Florida hospitals from March to May 2020.    Even in patients with severe pulmonary involvement, mortality was 38.8% in the treatment group vs 80.7% in controls, and this group showed the strongest mortality difference from controls, which raised the possibility of ivermectin also being available as a salvage or rescue treatment. [311]

In a randomized controlled trial, patients given ivermectin were 8 times more likely to be medically released than those in the placebo group.  This was even though the average age and number of comorbidities were later found to be somewhat higher in the experimental group than in the control group. [312]

The African continent has had remarkably low incidence of COVID-19, particularly equatorial African countries.  It may be helpful to look at African countries where ivermectin has been used commonly for decades against the onchocerciasis that it has been prescribed for, to observe population-wide effects.  In this population comparison, risk of COVID-19 death was found to be 88.2% lower and morbidity 85.7% lower in 31 countries where onchocerciasis is endemic and ivermectin is commonly used than in 22 countries where neither is the case, even though the latter group of countries has a higher life expectancy, 66 years vs 61 years. [313]

Ivermectin, for all its power against viruses, is among the safest of medicines that are in long-term and widespread use. [314]  There are no known serious drug-related adverse events. [315] Again, it is commonly taken by the populations of 31 African countries for effect against endemic parasites.  Dosing has been given as a single annual dose of 150 mcg/kg against filariasis.  There have been very few serious adverse events reported over more than 30 years of use.  37 of approximately 14,000 patients treated in Ghana had symptomatic posture hypotension, associated with fainting or sweating or tachycardia.  These were treated with corticosteroids. [316]  This Lancet study determined its safety in pregnant women, and the risk of fetal damage was not greater than in control women’s fetuses. [317]

However, despite this safety data going back 3 decades, the US FDA has alleged, “Any use of ivermectin for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 should be avoided as its benefits and safety for these purposes have not been established.”  The FDA offered no supporting evidence for their claim. [318]   One concerning risk is that ivermectin is sold over the counter for veterinary use, and if people feel desperate to use it to ward off COVID-19, they might break off too large a piece from a large horse pill.  For this reason, it is much better to consult a healthcare provider for ivermectin use and dosing.  To further enhance safety, liposomal ivermectin carriers have been developed.  When these were used against Dengue fever, cytotoxicity was reduced up to 5 times, absorption was faster and in vivo efficacy was improved. [319]

Despite the spectacular worldwide effect profile, of excellent effect against COVID-19, with 0.26% observed minor side effects, and its use across several continents, ivermectin is widely shunned and ignored in western Europe and in the US.    Here is a brief synopsis of how that came to be.

Ivermectin was invented in Japan in 1975 as an anti-parasitic drug by Satoshi Omura, a Kitasato University professor emeritus, which earned Dr. Omura the Nobel Prize in Biochemistry.   Ivermectin turned out to be quite effective against a broad spectrum of parasites. The drug was so effective in eliminating a range of parasitic infections, and at very low cost, about $0.10 US, that 3.7 billion doses have been delivered to much of the world’s population since its invention. [320]

A cell culture study in April 2020 showed a 5000 times reduction in SARS-CoV-2 from one dose over 48 hours, compared to control samples. [321]  Several Latin American countries, Egypt and India soon began to use it for COVID-19, and then South Africa and several European countries as well.  However, resistance remained strong in the US and western Europe, following the vocal disapproval of The World Health Organization (WHO), The US National Institutes of Health (NIH), the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicine Agency (EMA).  These agencies all expressed disapproval of ivermectin for use with COVID-19 patients.  Even after more than 20 randomized controlled clinical trials showed promising effect without adverse reactions, many western countries have still not adopted its use.

Caly, Druce, et al illustrate the IMP inhibition as follows:

Epoch Times Photo

Figure © L Caly, J Druce, et al., Endnote 321

Social media companies censored ivermectin research.  Even when the WHO commissioned and reported a meta-analysis of ivermectin, it was censored by YouTube.  Only negative commentaries were permitted in western media. [322]

How does ivermectin send SARS-CoV-2 to lockdown?  There are a number of mechanisms by which components of SARS-CoV-2 need to stay mobile and active in order to replicate, and thus to spread throughout the human body.  It turns out that ivermectin binds several of these, which inactivates the virus.  Let’s look at exactly what happens to bind or to lock down SARS-CoV-2.

RNA-dependent RNA-polymerase (RdRp) is one of the main enzymes used by SARS-CoV-2 to achieve RNA replication.  It is required for viral genome replication, and therefore it is helpful if a nutrient or drug can act on it as an obstacle in some way.  173 drugs were tested in this study for their ability to bind RdRp (making it unavailable or inactive), including two examined in this book, hydroxychloroquine and vitamin C, although vitamin C was also found to have relatively high binding energy for RdRp in this study.  Of all the drugs tested, ivermectin was found to bind RdRp with higher binding any energy than any other drug. [323]

One strategy against SARS-CoV-2, as well as other endemic and pandemic RNA viruses, has been to interfere with transport of viruses into a host cell’s nucleus.  Ivermectin has been shown to accomplish this by binding, destabilizing and inhibiting the protein IMP alpha/beta1.  When this protein is inhibited, viruses are unable to enter a cell’s nucleus, and therefore unable to replicate.  Decreased infection results.  IMP alpha/beta 1 has been inhibited in SARS-CoV-2 entry into nuclei by ivermectin. [324]  Previously, it has been observed that ivermectin inhibited that same protein from entry of other RNA viruses, giving it a broad-spectrum antiviral effect. [325] [326] [327]

It turns out that ivermectin not only binds tightly to RdRp on SARSCoV-2, and IMP alpha/beta1; it also strongly binds the spike protein on SARS-CoV-2.  This particular spike protein is trimeric, meaning it has 3 subunits which vary in amino acid sequences or other ways.  It was observed that ivermectin binds all three of the SARS-CoV-2 subunits, both the structural S2 subunit, as well as both of the two functional S1 subunits. [328]  This binding of all 3 subunits of the trimeric spike protein may be considered a trifecta of fortunate results of ivermectin in favor of the human host and in opposition to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Ivermectin has different mechanisms against parasites, already a miraculous healing drug for that use alone through much of the world’s population.  However, now that we learn of its tremendous effect in binding both RdRp and all three trimers of the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, we are certainly fortunate to have this medicine in our arsenal against COVID-19.  It is inexpensive, and full COVID-19 treatment of an individual, from first dose till last needed can be less than one US dollar.  Ivermectin is therefore available to even the poorest communities in the world.  Ivermectin is being compared to the discovery of penicillin in its enormous impact, and perhaps was one of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century. [329]  The fact that this tremendously effective, safe and low-cost antiviral drug is not as thoroughly known to the world as penicillin is a chasm of inexcusable and deadly ignorance that the COVID era is giving the world an opportunity to correct.

Reposted from the author’s Substack

309 K Sharun, K Dhama, et al.  Ivermectin, a new candidate therapeutic against SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19. May 30 2020. Ann Clin Microbiol Antimicrob.  19 (23).

310  Covid Analysis.  Ivermectin is effective for COVID-19: Real-time meta-analysis of 49 studies.  Nov 26 2020.  Updated Mar 31 2021.

311  J Rajter, M Sherman, et al.  Use of ivermectin is associated with lower mortality in hospitalized patients with coronavirus disease 2019:  The ivermectin in COVID nineteen study.  Jan 2021.  Chest.  159 (1).  85-92.

312  R Chahla, L Ruiz, et al.  Ivermectin repurposing for COVID-19 treatment of outpatients in mild stage in primary health care centers.  Mar 30 2021.  MedRxiv.

313  H Tanioka, S Tanioka, et al.  Why COVID-19 is not so spread in Africa: How does Ivermectin affect it?  Mar 26 2021.  MedRXiv.

314  T Jabeen, M Khader, et al.  A review on the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin for various viral infections and possibilities of using it for novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2: New hope to treat coronavirus disease – 2019.  Jun 2020.  Asian J Pharm Clin Res. _ANTIPARASITIC_DRUG_IVERMECTIN_FOR_VARIOUS_VIRAL_INFECTIONS_AND_POSSIBILITIES_OF_USING_IT_FOR_NOVEL_SEVERE_ACUTE_RESPIRATORY_SYNDROME_CORONAVIRUS_2_NEW_HOPE_TO_TREAT_CORONAVIRUS_DI SEASE

315  J Sanz-Navarro, C Feal, et al.  Treatment of human scabies with oral ivermectin.  Sep 2017.  Actas Dermos.  108 (7).  643-649.

316  J Remme, R Baker, et al.  A community trial of ivermectin in the onchocerciasis focus of Asubende, Ghana.  I:  Effect on the microfilarial reservoir and the transmission of Onchocerca volvulus.  Sep 1989.  Trop Med Parasitol.  40 (3).  367-374.

317  M Pacqué, B Muñoz, et al.  Pregnancy outcome after inadvertent ivermectin treatment during community-based distribution.  Dec 15 1990.  Lancet.  336 (8729).  1486-1489.

318  US FDA.  FAQ: COVID-19 and ivermectin intended for animals.  Dec 16 2020.

319  R Croci, E Bottaro, et al.  Liposomal systems as nanocarriers for the antiviral agent ivermectin.  May 8 2016.  Int J Biomater.

320  M Yagisawa, P Foster, et al.  Global trends in clinical studies of ivermectin in COVID-19.  Mar 10 2021.  Japanese J Antibiotics.  74 (1).  44-95.

321  L Caly, J Druce, et al.  The FDA-approved drug ivermectin inhibits the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. Jun 2020.  Antiviral Res.

322  M Turkia.  A timeline of ivermectin-related events in the COVID-19 pandemic.  Mar 2021. mectin-Related_Events_in_the_COVID-19_Pandemic

323  I Udofia, K Gbayo, et al.  In silico studies of selected multi-drug targeting against 3CLpro and nsp12 RNA-dependent RNA-polymerase proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV.  Mar 25 2021.  Network Mod Anal Health Inf Bioinf.  10 (22).

324  L Caly, J Druce, et al.  The FDA-approved drug ivermectin inhibits the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. Jun 2020.  Antiviral Res.

325  M Tay, J Fraser, et al.  Nuclear localization of dengue (DENV) 1-4 nonstructural protein 5; protection against all 4 DENV serotypes by the inhibitor ivermectin.  Sep 2013.  Antivir Res.  99 (3). 301-306.

326   K Wagstaff, H Sivakumaran, et al.  Ivermectin is a specific inhibitor of importin alpha/beta-mediated nuclear import able to inhibit replication of HIV-1 and dengue virus. May 1 2012.  J Biochem.  443 (3).   851-856.

327   S Yang, S Atkinson, et al.  The broad spectrum antiviral ivermectin targets the host nuclear transport importin alpha/beta1 heterodimer. May 2020.  Antivir Res.  104760.

328 A Choudhury, N Das, et al.  Exploring the binding efficacy of ivermectin against the key proteins of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis: an in silico approach.  Future Vir.  Mar 25 2021.

329 M Yagisawa, P Foster, et al.  Global trends in clinical studies of ivermectin in COVID-19.  Mar 10 2021.  Japanese J Antibiotics.  74 (1).  44-95.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times. Epoch Health welcomes professional discussion and friendly debate. To submit an opinion piece, please follow these guidelines and submit through our form here.

Monday, December 26, 2022

$1000 Gift For Kenyan Clothes Seller 🇰🇪

Kenya Poised to Be Petroleum Giant — CS Chirchir,h_957,al_c,q_90/file.jpg

Kipevu Oil Terminal / Kenya 

CS said government is looking into supporting investments in storage and evacuation to match the capacity of the new facility.

Project has one offshore island terminal with four berths 770m long and one work boat wharf at Westmont area for landing facilities.

New Energy CS Davis Chirchir has said Kenya is poised to be the the region’s next petroleum giant following heavy investments. 

Chirchir said construction of the Sh40 billion New Kipevu Oil Terminal (KOT 2) is a game changer for the country, especially the energy sector.

He said the government is considering investments in storage and evacuation to match the capacity of the new facility.

The CS, who was in Mombasa on a familiarisation tour of KOT 1 and 2  and the Shimanzi Oil terminal, was addressing the media Monday morning after paying a courtesy call on Coast Regional Commissioner John Elungata at his Uhuru na Kazi office.

 “As you are aware, petroleum going to the region, including Uganda and Rwanda, all pass through the Port of Mombasa. The new Kipevu Oil Terminal is a very big investment for us, and as the new CS for Energy and Petroleum, I am here to familiarise myself,” Chirchir said.

“More importantly, we are looking at how to improve and strengthen this area so we become a hub, not only for the region but also all the way down to other regional areas like the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

He said the government is looking at how to ensure the security and safe delivery of petroleum products being held in Mombasa for the entire region.

Chirchir said that the government is going to look into investments to support the facility so capacities are matched.

The new oil terminal is an off-shore facility at the Port of Mombasa, opposite the existing Kipevu Oil Terminal constructed in 1963.

In April this year, the government began the first test run of oil dispatch at the facility.

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta in January this year inspected the facility, saying that it will save Kenya Sh2 billion annually in demurrage.

The project consists of one offshore island terminal with four berths, with a total length of 770m and one work boat wharf at the Westmont area for landing facilities.

It also has five subsea pipelines buried 26 under the seabed to allow for future dredging of the channel without interfering with the pipes.

There are risers each dedicated to separate oil products and six onshore pipelines each dedicated to a separate oil product. They connect the terminal to the Kenya Petroleum Refineries Limited and the Kenya Pipeline Company storage tanks.

Once completed, the new terminal will have four berths capable of handling six different hydrocarbon import and export products.

It will also be fitted with a Liquid Petroleum Gas facility, crude oil and heavy fuel oil. It also has provisions for handling three types of white oil products, including aviation fuel, diesel and petrol.

The terminal will initially be able to accommodate three ships concurrently, with a capacity of 200,000 tonnes each.

“We are able to evacuate from KOT very quickly, but we don’t have enough firms. The pipeline that evacuates from Mombasa to the hinterland in Nairobi to Eldoret, all the way to other countries, needs to be improved so we can push the product quickly,

“We must ensure we do not incur extra financing on the credits that we are given to buy the product,” Chirchir said.

The CS said oil is a critical product that drives the country’s economy, adding the new terminal has the capacity to hold large vessels.

“At the moment, even if we were to push products quickly as per the capacity of the oil terminal, we still have the challenge of storage and evacuation,” he said.

Chirchir said government was also working on rebalancing the market financial system so the forex market is able to support the evacuation of petroleum products.

Early this year the government faced a shortage in dollars causing fuel prices to skyrocket as importers could not pay for the product in time, leading to a fuel crisis in the country.

“The evacuation also depends on the foreign market. We need to ask ourselves: are we accessing the forex as quickly as possible so the product is not lying here so that we are able to evacuate the product as quickly as possible?” Chirchir asked.

As This Latin American Country Falls Apart, China Looks on Anxiously

Members of the police escort supporters of former President Pedro Castillo while they march to the center of the city of Arequipa, Peru, demanding the closure of Congress and the release of Castillo, on Dec. 14, 2022. (Diego Ramos/AFP via Getty Images)

Members of the police escort supporters of former President Pedro Castillo while they march to the center of the city of Arequipa, Peru, demanding the closure of Congress and the release of Castillo, on Dec. 14, 2022. (Diego Ramos/AFP via Getty Images) 

On first inspection, Peru and China, 11,000 miles apart, appear to have very little in common. However, the two countries share a very close history.

As the academic Justina Hwang has noted, in the space of 25 years, between 1849 and 1874, more than 100,000 unskilled workers, many of them from China, arrived in Peru. Having recently abolished slavery, Peru was amid a worker shortage. This allowed “the importation of an indentured workforce of Chinese laborers in order to meet Peruvian need for labor,” wrote Hwang.

Fast forward to 2022, and Peru is home to around 60,000 Chinese people. Some researchers suggest that the Chinese community is much higher, possibly exceeding 1 million. If accurate, this means for every 33 people, there is one of Chinese descent. Besides sharing strong historical and demographic ties, China and Peru also share an incredibly close economic bond. However, as Peru falls deeper into crisis, its relationship with China is sure to be tested.

On Dec. 14, the South American country announced a nationwide state of emergency. The announcement, which granted police officers special powers and largely prevented people from assembling on the streets, came after a week of violent protests that, as Reuters reported, have resulted in at least eight deaths.

The protests came shortly after the former president, Pedro Castillo, was ousted from office and arrested after illegally trying to dissolve the country’s Congress. As tensions continue to flare, the world watches on with bated breath. One imagines that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is particularly perturbed by the goings on in the Andean state.

Epoch Times Photo
Supporters of Peru’s ousted President Pedro Castillo participate in a protest at the Plaza de Armas in Cusco, Peru, on Dec. 20, 2022. (Martin Bernetti/AFP via Getty Images)

In July 2021, during his first week in office, Castillo wasted no time in reaching out to China, a crucial commercial partner of Peru. Home to some of the largest copper mines in the world, Peru exports large quantities of this mineral, arguably the world’s most important, to China. In fact, China is now the largest purchaser of Peruvian copper, by far. The CCP doesn’t just purchase inordinate amounts of copper from Peru but also sends miners there to extract the valuable metal. This has been the case for years.

A number of Chinese-backed consortiums now own Peruvian copper mines. Worryingly, aided by a compliant Peruvian regime, they appear to have benefited from the use of exploitative practices. Over the past year and a half, China has undoubtedly benefited from Castillo’s presidency. Castillo and Chinese leader Xi Jinping appear to have positive feelings for each other. After being sworn into office, Castillo chose Beijing as his first embassy to visit. He was welcomed with open arms by Xi.

Some 18 months on, however, the friendship is being tested. Castillo is no longer in power. There is a new sheriff in town. Her name is Dina Boluarte, Peru’s first female president. The 60-year-old announced that her first task would be “to take action against corruption. This cancer has to be extirpated from the country.”

If the CCP isn’t concerned with Boularte’s promise, it should be.

After all, CCP-backed loggers play a key role in Peru’s illegal timber market. In exchange for secret payments, as InSight Crime’s Mark Wilson has discussed in great detail, Peruvian officials have granted Chinese timber firms logging concessions and generous transport permits. One of the beneficiaries of the bribes is a man named Xiadong Ji Wu, a Chinese owner of at least five logging companies based in Peru. As Wilson noted, certain “fraudulent Chinese companies” appear to be “directly corrupting officials in Peru to facilitate the illegal timber trade.”

A member of China’s infamous Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) since 2019, Peru has witnessed a string of multi-billion-dollar investments from China, mostly in the mining and energy sectors. In Peru’s mining sector alone, it is estimated that Chinese firms have invested at least $10.4 billion.

China is also heavily invested in other aspects of Peruvian society. A recent Freedom House report highlights how Beijing controls Peru’s media, greatly influencing what stories are and aren’t covered and what narratives are and aren’t permitted. Furthermore, the Chinese embassy, situated in Lima, the capital city of Peru, stands accused of acting “aggressively” and intimidating Peruvian citizens who dare to speak about Taiwan respectfully.

Does Boularte have what it takes to address the many ways in which the CCP has infiltrated her home country? In truth, only time will tell. It is clear that communist China has significantly benefited from weak leadership in Peru.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Friday, December 16, 2022

6 Great Black Americans On 1963 Primetime TV. An Amazing Dialogue

Senate Passes $858 Billion Military Spending Bill

 The U.S. Capitol building in Washington on Dec. 20, 2020. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

The U.S. Capitol building in Washington on Dec. 20, 2020. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images) 

The U.S. Senate on Dec. 15 passed a military spending bill with a top-line price to taxpayers of $858 billion.

The defense package, dubbed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), passed the upper chamber by an 83–11 vote.

The NDAA was passed by the House of Representatives on Dec. 8 in a 350–80 vote. A total of 176 Republicans in the lower chamber voted for the bill, 35 voted against it, and two didn’t vote. A total of 174 Democrats voted for the bill, while 45 voted against it.

One of the most noteworthy aspects of the package, and an early victory for Republicans as they prepare to take the House next year, was a repeal of President Joe Biden’s controversial COVID-19 vaccine mandate for military service members. Despite historically supporting Biden’s COVID-19 policies, Democrats yielded on the issue.

However, in an interview with NTD, Cesar Ybarra, vice president of policy at FreedomWorks, warned that this may not be the victory for Republicans that it seems to be.

“The legislation simply said that the Department of Defense is required to rescind the memo that authorizes the vaccine mandate on servicemembers,” Ybarra explained. “However … it gives us no assurances that DOD will not do that again, right.”

He added, “So it simply says get rid of it, but nothing that says you cannot do this again. And we’ve known from the COVID hysteria that these federal politicians always flip-flop on when or when we don’t need these vaccine mandates.”

Before passing the bill, the Senate rejected an amendment proposed by Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), which would have reinstated servicemembers removed exclusively for refusing the vaccine, as well as compensation for any salary and benefits lost due to the separation.

The amendment failed, with 40 senators supporting it and 54 opposing it.

“People serving our military are the finest among us. Over 8,000 were terminated because they refused to get this experimental vaccine, and so I’m urging all of my colleagues to support Senator Cruz’s and my amendment,” Johnson said.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the frontrunner in the race for speaker, has said that this will be a GOP priority when they take control of the lower chamber.

Opponents were concerned about the precedent of rewarding military personnel who defied an order.

The bill will also grant another $800 million in taxpayer funds to the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative as part of the U.S. effort to help Ukraine defend itself against an ongoing Russian invasion.

The United States has already sent around $68 billion in humanitarian and military assistance to Ukraine in three major packages.

The first aid package, passed as part of the $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill for fiscal year 2022, sent Ukraine $13.6 billion. In May, Congress passed another standalone bill granting Ukraine $40 billion. Again in September, an additional $13.7 billion was sent to Ukraine.


The bill has faced opposition from members of both parties.

The 80 lawmakers who expressed opposition to the bill included 35 Republicans and 45 Democrats.

In a video posted on Twitter, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) explained why he was among the 80 members who voted against the package.

“The 2023 NDAA is bloated and contains woke elements that do not enhance military readiness,” Biggs said in a caption attached to the video.

In part, he tied his opposition to the haste with which the bill was brought to the floor and pushed through the lower chamber.

“The 4,000-plus page legislation was released to the public just hours before its vote,” Biggs said. “I voted against this monstrosity.”

Others tied their opposition to the inclusion of additional funding for Ukraine.

“Our country is over $31 TRILLION in debt,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene said in a Twitter post. “The NDAA requires the Secretary of Treasury to seek to provide economic support and debt relief for Ukraine.

“You can’t even make this up,” she added.

Many of the Democrats who opposed the measure were left-wing progressives, who have often railed against the nearly $1 trillion annually dedicated to defense spending.

“Just think of the progress we could make if we invested $847 billion in the people rather than the Pentagon,” Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) wrote in a tweet explaining her “no” vote.

She said that the bill continued a “legacy of wasteful military spending.”

Lee also expressed disappointment at the exclusion of a bill she proposed that would rescind the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force, which allowed President George W. Bush to mount an invasion of Iraq on a since-debunked claim that Saddam Hussein was housing weapons of mass destruction in the country.

In his interview with NTD, Ybarra said, “Obviously, we want a strong military, we want to employ a policy of peace through strength,” an echo of the defense policy of President Ronald Reagan.

However, Ybarra warned that the massive bill would effectively install “Green New Deal” policies in the Department of Defense through the deployment of proposals like electric military vehicles.

Though electric vehicle technology has come a long way in recent years, concerns remain about the feasibility of such vehicles, which require intensive, pollution-ridden labor to create. In addition, such vehicles often have a limited range compared to traditional gasoline-powered vehicles.

The full list of how each member voted can be found here on the website of the Clerk of the House of Representatives.

‘Congress at Its Worst’

As is common with the NDAA, which is considered one of two “must-pass” spending bills, several attempts to attach unrelated bill riders failed.

“This is Congress at its worst,” Ybarra said of these annual efforts to attach non-defense bills to the defense package. “What these politicians try to do is they try to tack their pet projects into these bills … That’s why they’re called riders, right? Because they ride on the coattails of these must-pass bills.”

For example, Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s (D-Minn.) effort to attach the Journalism Competition and Protection Act (JCPA) to the package—a bill which critics have warned would allow Big Tech and legacy media outlets to collude to the detriment of smaller, independent publications—was unsuccessful.

Ybarra was critical of this effort: “The JCPA was … not germane to the legislation that dealt with journalism and sort of how that industry operates, right? But … what [do] journalism and competition … have to do with our national defense? It has nothing to do with it.

“This is another prime example of everything that is wrong with the current congress,” Ybarra added.

Another effort by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to attach fossil fuel permitting reform to the bill also failed.

Manchin’s proposal would make it easier for new fossil fuel ventures to receive a federal green light. Currently, these ventures can take years to kick off due to federal red tape and stringent environmental regulations.

Manchin has long pushed for changes to streamline this process—a push he has ramped up as energy prices have continued to soar over the past two years.

But he has received unexpected pushback not only from the left wing of his own party, but also from Republicans.

As part of a private deal to win Manchin’s support for the $740 billion Inflation Reduction Act, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) promised Manchin that permitting reform would be taken up before the end of the year.

However, time is running out for Schumer to keep that promise.

The NDAA is one of two “must-pass” bills left to be considered by Congress before its term expires.

The other, a general spending bill for fiscal year 2023, faces opposition as House Republicans seek to ensure that they will craft the legislation rather than the outgoing Democrat majority. The party has demanded that Congress only pass a short-term continuing resolution that expires sometime after the first sitting of the 118th Congress.

What’s Next for the Bill

With its passage by the House, the bill will now head to Biden’s desk.

A question mark remains over whether Biden will sign the bill, as it would undo his August 2021 vaccine mandate.

Still, this is a must-pass piece of legislation for the lame-duck Congress, and the White House has left open the prospect that Biden will sign it despite the vaccine mandate provisions.

Biden administration boating proposal would be 'greatest regulatory overreach' of its kind, critics warn

"This would be the greatest regulatory overreach in American maritime law" — that’s how Frank Hugelmeyer describes a proposal by the Biden administration to limit the speed of all motorboats over 35 feet from Florida to Massachusetts. "Not only are they creating a serious safety issue, they are creating a massive negative economic impact."

Hugelmeyer is president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), and he is just one of a growing number of voices expressing outrage over the proposal put forward by the U.S. Commerce Department under the auspices of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

"It’s stupid," said Jeff Angers, the president of the Center for Sportfishing Policy. "It’s not what government is supposed to do."

The far-reaching regulation would restrict speed to 10 knots or 11.5 miles per hour for all boats over 35 feet — for up to seven months out of the year and up to 100 miles out at sea for most of the East Coast.


The purpose: to prevent the boats from hitting an endangered right whale.

In an email to Fox News, an NOAA spokesman pointed out there are only 350 right whales left in the ocean.

"This rule is designed to reduce the risk of mortalities from vessel strikes and afford the species a greater opportunity to recover," the statement read.

A North Atlantic right whale feeds on the surface of Cape Cod Bay off the coast of Plymouth, Massachusetts, on March 28, 2018.

A North Atlantic right whale feeds on the surface of Cape Cod Bay off the coast of Plymouth, Massachusetts, on March 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

The statement admitted, however, there have only been five deadly whale strikes by boats between 35 to 65 feet in length over the last 15 years. (Boats over 65 feet are already subject to a speed restriction.)

"It’s ridiculous," added Angers, who pointed out there’s less than a one in a million chance of a fishing boat hitting a whale, according to NOAA’s own numbers.

"Based on actual interactions between recreational boats and right whales, the proposed restrictions are unjustifiable, ineffective and unnecessary," he says.



 It’s also dangerous, according to Chris Edmonston, the president of the Boat Owners Association of the United States, or Boat U.S.

Edmonston said most boats can’t get on a "plane" if they are going under 10 knots. A plane is the speed at which the bow of the boat lowers in order to cut through oncoming waves.

An endangered North Atlantic right whale gets entangled in fishing rope with a newborn calf in waters near Cumberland Island, Georgia, on Dec. 2, 2021.

An endangered North Atlantic right whale gets entangled in fishing rope with a newborn calf in waters near Cumberland Island, Georgia, on Dec. 2, 2021. (Georgia Department of Natural Resources/NOAA Permit #20556 via AP)

"The boats are designed to ride on top of the waves," he said. "This is going to make them wallow in the waves — up and down, side to side, pitching," he explained. "It’s going to be hard to maintain control. You can take waves over the side."

He said larger boats are especially at risk going through channels near shore.

"They can’t maintain steerage [at 10 knots,]" he added. "If you’re going that speed you’re going to [run] aground." 

Safety is also a huge concern for pilot boat captain Trey Thompson.


"The crew will be thrown around, tossed around, injured," he said at the stern of one of his pilot boats speeding at 35 knots out of the port at Savannah, Georgia. "If we run at slow speeds, any side swell is going to make these boats roll."

His job is to help commercial vessels navigate from 20 miles out at sea to Savannah’s inland shipping channels. 

In the past year, Thompson purchased two new 64-feet pilot boats.

"This boat we're standing on is purpose-built for this job" he explained. "[It was] just delivered eight months ago. I have a second one under construction now. "

He said neither can operate safely at 10 knots: "[That’s] $13 million worth of pilot boats that will be unusable. "


Thompson also predicts the rule will cripple port traffic.

"The port will be closed any day it’s rough [or] windy. [And] not just this port. All the ports on the East Coast," he said.

He pointed out there has never been a confirmed whale strike in a federal channel. "This is the government just getting involved where they don't need to be," he said.


And, Thompson isn’t the only one fearing economic catastrophe.


"This overreach is going to basically all but halt fishing off the East Coast of the United States," said Glenn Hughes, the president of the American Sportfishing Association. "It will just keep people from fishing."

He points out there are 9 million anglers who fish the Eastern coastline.

"Instead of getting to a [fishing] destination in an hour, you're talking about something that's going to take three to four hours both ways," he said.

A day trip, he added, would become "impossible."

Crew members aboard a boat sailing in coastal Maine waters.

Crew members aboard a boat sailing in coastal Maine waters. (Mailee Osten-Tan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images, File)

"If it takes that long, they're just not going to go," he said. "If they don't go, then they don't buy product. They don't buy boats. They don't buy fuel. They don't buy anything that goes with that. And it hurts the economy."


It’s something that Pat Healey understands all too well.

"It's going to devastate [our] industry," he said, standing next to a half-finished 55-foot motorboat in a boat factory on the Jersey shore.

Healey has run Viking Yachts, a third-generation boat building company in New Gretna. Boat-building is one of the few industries that are still dominated by American companies with American factories.


All but one of the boats Viking makes today are over 35 feet, and most fall between 35 and 65 feet. Healey says no one is going to want to buy a boat that size that they can only drive 11 mph for half the year.

"It’s going to have a tremendous impact on our employment here at the Viking Yacht Company," he said, motioning around to his employees. "All these boat builders…1,600 boat builders. It's going to wipe them out."

Hugelmeyer pointed out that the figures NOAA used to calculate the risk of whale strike incorrectly assumed that all boats over 35 feet have a draft of 30 feet: "This is a great example of the massive errors that are in this proposed rule."

He said there are simply better ways to protect whales than what he calls this "horribly thought out and misinformed rule."


Hugelmeyer suggested tagging, geolocation techniques and other forms of tracking so boaters and fishermen can avoid areas where the right whales are. He also said he wanted the NOAA to consult boaters and fishermen, and others, who are going to be affected by the rule. "They didn’t consult any of us," he added.

"There is not a single boater who wants to see the right whale go extinct," he said. "We just want a collaborative discussion about the best way to [save them]."

Thursday, December 15, 2022

The Timing Of SBF’s Arrest IS VERY SUSPICIOUS!!

The Battle That Rages For Your Mind 2022 || The Devil Knows His Time Is ...

Suezmax crude oil tanker attacked in Gulf of Guinea

Greek Suezmax tanker MARAN POSEIDON, reportedly, was attacked by pirates in Gulf of Guinea 95 nm WSW of Kribi, Cameroon, at 0250 UTC Dec 12. Understood tanker is in load, en route from Kribi Oil Terminal to Wilhelmshaven, Germany. It wasn’t so much attack as an attempt to attack. Fast boat approached tanker, fired several shots, and fled. Crew safe, tanker continues her voyage. Insolence on pirates side, to try to attack Suezmax tanker, but probably, they’ve been lured by tanker sitting low in water. Report identifying MARAN POSEIDON as pirates target, is not yet confirmed, but everything coincides – time, position, etc.
Crude oil tanker MARAN POSEIDON, IMO 9402926, dwt 158267, built 2010, flag Greece, manager MARAN TANKERS MANAGEMENT INC.

BHP invests in Gates and Friedland-backed firm I-Rox

Crushing and grinding mined rock into small particles to extract valuable metals and minerals consumes more than 4% of the world’s electricity. (Stock image.)

BHP (ASX: BHP) has joined billionaire Robert Friedland’s I-Pulse Inc. and Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a clean-tech venture backed by Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, to speed up technologies that can help the mining sector save on energy.

I-Pulse and Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV)-Europe launched earlier this year a company called I-Rox, a France-based firm focused on demonstrating a pulsed-power technology said to reduce the amount of energy needed to crush rocks.

The value of BHP’s equity investments in I-Pulse and I-Rox wasn’t disclosed, but the world’s largest miner will join I-Pulse and BEV Europe as shareholders of I-Rox, the firms said.

I-Rox uses high-voltage pulses of power to disintegrate rock, an approach that has been trialled in laboratories for years but has yet to be applied in commercial mining operations.

The agreements not only give BHP access to the new technology, but it also makes it an active partner in I-Pulse and BEV Europe’s quest to identify new applications for pulsed-power technology in a mining context.

Curbing emissions

Crushing and grinding mined rock into small particles to extract valuable metals and minerals consumes more than 4% of the world’s electricity and are a major source of miners’ direct emissions.

“BHP’s investment and our collaboration offer a meaningful step forward in the development and commercialization of I-Pulse technologies for the mining industry,” Friedland, chairman of I-Pulse said in the statement. “Particularly in relation to the prospect of the crushing and grinding of rocks for a fraction of today’s energy consumption, environmental impact and costs.”

I-Pulse has developed several applications of its pulsed-power technology, including solutions for geological exploration, finding water and manufacturing.

BHP chief executive Mike Henry said the collaboration with I-Pulse and I-Rox will contribute to the company’s growing portfolio of options with potential to both improve competitiveness of and help decarbonize its operations.

The Melbourne, Australia-based mining giant also has a 5.5% stake in Ivanhoe Electric (NYSE, TSE: IE), another Friedland-founded miner with copper projects in Arizona, Utah and Montana, along with a battery storage business. 

Before listing in New York in June this year, Ivanhoe Electric was a unit of I-Pulse

‘New Regime’ Is ‘Deliberately Causing Recessions,’ Warns BlackRock; Digital Currency Agenda Accelerates

The world is heading into a financial crisis, what has worked in the past will not solve the economic problems, and a “new regime” is “deliberately causing recessions.” These are among the key points in a 2023 playbook from woke investment company BlackRock. Yet what is the “new regime” and what are the causes of the problems being “deliberately” created for economies around the world?

And meanwhile, a dual-sided financial agenda is moving alongside the new recession. Centralized banks are using the crisis to advance their own agenda to force people into using digital currencies, while the Fed is adopting policies being criticized as a type of “monetary totalitarianism.” What are these policies, why are they being pushed, and where do they risk bringing the economy?

We also speak with investigative journalist Matthew Tyrmand about the mass protests in Brazil and the rumors that Bolsonaro may mobilize the military.

In this live Q&A with Crossroads host Joshua Philipp we’ll discuss these topics and others, and answer questions from the audience.

Subscribe to the new Crossroads newsletter and stay up-to-date!

Iron ore price hits six-month high as China plans more stimulus

Iron ore price 

The iron ore price hit a fresh six-month high on Thursday, propelled by brightening demand prospects in China.

As the Chinese economy faces risks from rapidly spreading covid-19 infections and a bleak outlook for global growth, policymakers are aiming to boost the scale of consumption and investment, the official Xinhua news agency said on Wednesday.

Boosting domestic demand will help China to pursue higher-quality economic growth and cope with external risks, Xinhua said, citing the 2022-2035 plans issued by the cabinet.

According to Fastmarkets MB, benchmark 62% Fe fines imported into Northern China were changing hands for $112.71 a tonne Thursday morning, up 2.5%.

The most-traded May iron ore on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange ended daytime trade 3.2% higher at 830 yuan ($119.05) a tonne. It earlier touched 832 yuan, the highest since June 15.

“The accelerated implementation of plans to stabilize the economy (and) the optimization of epidemic prevention policies… have boosted market sentiment,” Zhongzhou Futures analysts said in a note.

China’s November steel output, meanwhile, fell 6.5% from the previous month, as some steelmakers cut production to curb losses amid persistently weak demand.

(With files from Reuters)

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Colombian president calls for mining code reform

Colombian president Gustavo Petro. (Image by Petro’s media team, Facebook) 

President Gustavo Petro proposed over the weekend a reform to Colombia’s mining code, which was initially issued in 2001.  

During a town hall held in the town of Dabeiba, in the northwestern Antioquia department, Petro said that an update is urgent because the current code allows for mining exploration to take place in areas that host important freshwater resources and agricultural land. 

“It must be reformed, it is of no use to us (…) The State should no longer prioritize big mining multinational companies. The State must prioritize the small, traditional miner, small-scale traditional mining and, above all, support the mining effort that is undoubtedly needed, because this is not a war against mining but against the ways in which mining is currently carried out in Colombia,” he said.

To go ahead with the reform, Petro suggested organizing a large national mining convention where small-scale miners can present their ideas regarding the contents of the updated mining code.

The president also called on Indigenous peoples living in areas affected by industrial activity to reach out to the government for resources and take the lead in revitalizing Colombia’s jungles and conserving freshwater sources.

Focus on mining

This is not the first time the new government has set its eyes on the mining industry. 

In September, Environment Minister Susana Muhamad said Colombia could require mining firms to get environmental licenses for exploration in order to protect the environment, increase state control and prevent conflict between communities and extractive companies.

The announcement took place at a time when mining and oil and gas companies were already sounding the alarm over a proposed $5.6 billion tax reform that implied a raise in income taxes on extractive industries by 5% and increasing an export tax to 20% for oil and coal sold above certain threshold prices.