Trump Threatens to Veto FISA

Between privacy rights on the internet and national security, it sometimes can be difficult to determine which one is more important for our ordinary daily lives.

FISA (Originally, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, 1978) is a United States federal law that establishes procedures for the physical and electronic surveillance and collection of “foreign intelligence information” between “foreign powers” and “agents of foreign powers” suspected of espionage or terrorism.

However, after 9-11, FISA became stricter and more extensive.

FISA allowed National Security Agency (NSA) to perform mass warrantless domestic wiretapping, electronic surveillance, and physical searches of American citizens deemed a threat without any review by Court.

However in 2020, FISA is a hot potato. With so many abuses the previous Obama administration had performed along with implications of Russian interferences on the current Trump administration, many Americans have a bad taste when reminded of FISA.

Furthermore, while FISA had bipartisan support in the Senate, the House is choosing to postpone after Pres. Trump threatened to veto the bill to extend certain FISA parts, which led the House Republicans to withdraw their support.

Trump says “If the FISA Bill is passed tonight on the House floor, I will quickly VETO it. Our Country has just suffered through the greatest political crime in its history. The massive abuse of FISA was a big part of it!” on his twitter account.

It is a question as to how Edward Snowden might be feeling in regards to these new developments.

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UConn Gunman at large after shooting, killing, and stealing guns and car; last seen in Pennsylvania

(photo from Google Images)

Last Friday, A University of Connecticut student, Peter Manfredonia (23) stormed into a house, killing one person and injuring another in Willington, CT. He also is a suspect in the killing of a male acquaintance in Derby, CT.

Manfredonia’s family attorney, Michael Dolan said “Peter, from your parents, who love you, please turn yourself in,” in a news conference Monday night.

Manfredonia was last seen Sunday night in Pennsylvania.

According to Pennsylvania State Police, Manfredonia was dropped off by an Uber in front a Walmart store in East Stroudsburg on Sunday.

Manfredonia stole a duffel bag full of guns from the Willington house killing.

Three state police from Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania are searching for Manfredonia.

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The Videographer of Ahmaud Arbery’s death case faces a Murder Charge

(William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., 50)

Feb. 23, 2020 – Ahmaud Arbery (25), An African-American young man was killed by two people, Travis McMichael (34), Gregory McMichael (64) in Glynn County, GA.

Until May 7,  protesters raised their voices to seek justice of Arbery’s death, due to lack of arrests or charges made in association with Arbery’s death.  It was May 7, more than 70 days after the incident, that McMichael father-son duo were arrested on charges of murder.

On Thursday, May 21, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation stated that it arrested William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., 50, on charge of felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.

Bryan took the video on his phone to depict the chase and killing of Arbery on Feb. 23 in Glynn County.

According to police report, Bryan tried unsuccessfully to block Arbery, who was jogging in the neighborhood when confronted.

The 28-second video showed Arbery jogging as Travis McMichael stood outside of a white pickup truck armed with a shotgun and Gregory McMichael standing in the truck’s open flatbed trunk holding a .357 magnum. The video shows Arbery and Travis McMichael brawling with the shotgun before three shots are fired. Arbery stumbled and fell to the ground and died at the scene.

Bryan will be booked into the Glynn County Jail, GBI said.

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First the Coronavirus, now this?! Michigan Evacuates from Dam Destructions

Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer warned people to get themselves out to safety, after two dams broke in central Michigan, where one downtown could be under 9 feet of water by Wednesday.  People living along the Tittabawassee River and connected lakes in Midland county were ordered to leave home.

Michigan saw an unusually high rainfall this year, and coupled with aging infrastructure (Edenville Dam having been built in 1924 and Sanford Dam in 1925), the weight of the water was simply too much on the dams. Edenville Dam received unsatisfactory grade by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2018.

The flooding of the Tittabawassee River this time has beat the last highest record of 33.9 feet during 1986 flooding, with 34.4 feet on Wednesday morning.

Michigan also has one of the highest COVID-19 infection rates at 53,009, with death toll now at 5,060.

As social distancing suggestions are still in effect, this evacuation could prove to be particularly difficult for the Michiganders living in the Midland area.

Pres. Trump will arrive in Michigan on Thursday.

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WHO will support international health crises? What if Trump Halts financial contributions to WHO

(Photo from Google Images)

Director of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus received a letter from Pres. Trump on Monday, criticizing “repeated missteps by you and your organization,” and that if the WHO does not “commit to major substantive improvements in the next 30 days,” he would permanently halt financial contributions to WHO.

Since WHO foundation in 1948, composed of 194 member states and delegation of health experts and leaders to represent each country in the World Health Assembly, the organization had developed as decision and policy-making body for global healthcare.

As death toll passed 90,000 on Tuesday, Trump blamed WHO on its procrastination from issuing epidemic or pandemic alerts earlier this year. As the biggest payer of WHO, the US reaped no benefits from the WHO this year.

While Trump threatens to pull out of WHO, Germany and France point fingers at Trump. Trump in turn, points finger back, angry at the rest of the member nations that pay significantly less, but reaps the same or more benefits. And the data seems to show that the US has the right to be angry at WHO’s incompetence in facing the Novel Coronavirus this year.

According to WHO, major countries’ total contributions to the WHO (2018-2019) shows the following:

United States: $893 million (membership dues $237 million + $656 million from donations)

United Kingdom: $435 million

Germany: $292 million

China: $86 million

France: $76 million

Russia: $57 million

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donated to WHO $531 million in the same period.

Considering that the top two contributors are the US and the Gates Foundation providing more funding than the top 5 contributors combined (other than the US), WHO would be quite lost for funds should Pres. Trump indeed decide to stop funding.

Countries like South Korea took drastic measures earlier in the pandemic, and despite seeing initially high numbers of coronavirus infections, saw minimal deaths and is in the path to recovery. South Korea did not depend on the WHO to provide guidance, but the US did, which is why WHO is in the place it is today.

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Moderna Claims COVID-19 Vaccine Success, but what is the Truth?

(photo from Google Images)

Moderna is the leading biotechnology company in Massachusetts, and on Monday, it announced that phase I coronavirus testing for human vaccination purposes yielded safe and effective results.

The results have not yet been published in peer-reviewed scientific journal. However, market reacted positively, with company’s stock seeing a sharp soar of $66.69 per share to $83 in one day.

However, some are concerned that this is yet another biotech firm “fake and pull out” situation similar to that of Gilead, as Monsef Slaoui, one of the directors stepped down days ago, requiring him to sell his stocks. His options are worth $10 million at $66.69 per share, but with $83 per share, he will see great profit when selling his shares.

Another issue is Moderna’s receipt of $483 million from a federal agency by the name of Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, and many congress people are alerting the conflict of interest between federal and business co-op, that seems to generate great revenue but no firm results.

As the World continues to seek and develop vaccines to fight against COVID-19, these brief moments of hope that flickers and dies is hardly helpful to the overall economy; instead, it fuels distrust amongst the citizens, who wait patiently yet frustrated in their homes waiting for vaccines and getting no results but news of biotechnology company stocks going up in price per share.

First, Gilead, now Moderna. Who will come next for a little stock market boost?

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NYSE will reopen on May 26, “New Normal” Pres. Cunningham Says

After March 23, Coronavirus storm hit Wall Street very hard. Before Wall Street can be cleared up, big shovel of hope may be needed for many Americans first.

New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) President Stacey Cunningham announced Thursday, that NYSE will reopen on May 26, and allow a “subset” of brokers wearing face masks to work at the trading floor.

As of March 23, all trading switched to electronic due to one employee and one trader testing positive for coronavirus at the NYSE.

Cunningham said, “Our reopening will bring a ‘new normal’ for the NYSE, hopefully helping chart a path that other businesses in densely populated areas might follow.”

“Designated market makers” who oversee trading for the exchange’s 2,200 listed companies will continue to work remotely, and anyone entering the building will not be allowed to use public transportation. Temperature checks will be reimplemented at entrances.”

“We’ve learned a lot and are in a position to reopen the floor with vital new safety measures, as we begin working together to restart the U.S. economy,” she said.

Coronavirus pandemic is still very much in progress, and this new change will have to be monitored to see whether such action is safe or effective.

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FRB Chairman Jerome Powell Remarks on “Longer-Term” COVID-19 Impact on Economic crisis

(Photo by Federal Reserve via Getty Images)

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell states that the central bank would continue to use its policy tools to lessen the brunt of this economic crisis but that it could still turn to “long term concerns.”

“The recovery may take some time to gather momentum, and the passage of time can turn liquidity problems into solvency problems,” Powell said.

He states “We ought to do what we can avoid these outcomes, and that may require additional policy measures,” and “Additional fiscal support could be costly, but worth it if it helps avoid long-term economic damage and leaves us with a stronger recovery,” in virtual remarks at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Powell said the priority has been using Fed’s many tools aimed for avoiding a financial crisis and pledged to use those tools ”to their fullest” until the central bank is confident that the economic recovery is underway.

Powell’s remarks were not enough to save the Stock Market, however, as S&P 500, Dow 30, Nasdaq, and Russell 2000 all closed with negative outlook.

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Another Mask Incident, this time at a Target store in LA

On May 1, two unmasked men were caught on camera assaulting a Target employee, who confronted them about refusing to wear masks inside the LA store.

As the men refused to comply with wearing masks, they were escorted out of the store by the employees. As they neared the exit, one of the suspects suddenly turned and punched a store employee, and the employee fell to the floor. During the scuffle that happened, the employees left arm was broken.

The two men are in custody and faces a felony battery charge and held with $50,000 bail. Now on top of that, they’ll have to pay for the Target employee’s treatment.

… all because they didn’t want to wear a mask during a pandemic.

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Florida Shuts Down Beach After Massive Beach Crowding

(Photo from Google Images)

During Mother’s Day Weekend, Naples decided to reopen the beach and chose to shut it down once more when it was reported that the amount of people that swarmed counted in the thousands, looking to be even more than the crowd normally gathered during Independence Day crowds in July.

After seeing the swam of people on Saturday, the city closed the beach down effective Sunday. Many city residents were happy to see the closure, as it seemed that many that came out to the beach were out oft owners, noted by evidence of love bugs on the cars, which isn’t possible when driving around Naples.

Naples plans to keep the beaches open during the week, but limit opening on the weekends.

Florida has begun reopening except in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, as majority of COVID-19 cases arise from those three counties.

Florida currently reports 40,596 cases and 1.721 deaths. It is unclear whether beach reopening might bring that number up quicker than forecasted or not.

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