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Title: Violent Paris protests result in dozens of arrests and 8 injured police officers - French interior minister

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/508806-paris-protests-arrests/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 21:35:26 +0000

Desc: Preview French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin announced on Saturday afternoon that 64 people have been arrested and eight officers injured during violent anti-government protests.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/508806-paris-protests-arrests/

Content:

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin announced on Saturday afternoon that 64 people have been arrested and eight officers injured during violent anti-government protests.

Darmanin praised police officers for facing down “very violent individuals” and said their courage “commands the respect of all.”

Thousands have taken to the streets to protest police brutality and a security bill that would limit the ability to photograph and videotape police officers while they are on duty, as well as provide law enforcement with more surveillance tools.

Also on rt.com
RT
Tear gas & burning cars: 22 arrested following clashes between protesters & police in Paris (VIDEOS)

Demonstrations in Paris quickly turned to violence as some protesters began setting vehicles on fire and smashing the windows of businesses. 

Officers have attempted to disperse crowds and have clashed with those gathered on the streets multiple times, deploying tear gas while demonstrators have responded by throwing projectiles back, including firecrackers. 

Plus tôt dans la journée, un groupe de policiers se faisait repousser sur l’Avenue #Gambetta. #MarcheDesLibertés #Paris #5decembre #manifestation #StopLoiSécuritéGlobale #Republique #France pic.twitter.com/lrQQH7fwjR

— Yazid Bouziar (@ybouziar) December 5, 2020

Les FDO se déploient pour «nettoyer» la place de la #Republique à #Paris.#manifestation #StopLoiSecuriteGlobale #manifestations #MarcheDesLibertes pic.twitter.com/TjmawxswZF

— Le Média (@LeMediaTV) December 5, 2020

NOW - #Paris descends into chaos for the second weekend as French protesters rally against new security law. Banks and cars burning, many injured police officers and citizens.pic.twitter.com/0cndAPudym

— Disclose.tv 🚨 (@disclosetv) December 5, 2020

Things also turned violent in the western city of Nantes where two officers were injured, one reportedly by a molotov cocktail thrown by a protester. 

Also on rt.com
RT
Tear gas & burning cars: 22 arrested following clashes between protesters & police in Paris (VIDEOS)

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Title: WATCH: Man climbs Montparnasse Tower in Paris with BARE HANDS

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/508805-climber-scales-paris-montparnasse-tower/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 20:39:15 +0000

Desc: Preview YouTube athlete Leo Urban skillfully climbed Paris’ huge Montparnasse skyscraper with only his bare hands and no safety harness on Saturday, as daunting footage filmed by captivated eyewitnesses attests.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/508805-climber-scales-paris-montparnasse-tower/

Content:

YouTube athlete Leo Urban skillfully climbed Paris’ huge Montparnasse skyscraper with only his bare hands and no safety harness on Saturday, as daunting footage filmed by captivated eyewitnesses attests.

Impressively, Urban free-climbed the 58-floor building in less than an hour, as onlookers viewed the daring feat from below. 

Multiple reporters captured footage of Urban scaling the massive building.

Certains profitent du confinement pour escalader la Tour #Montparnasse à mains nues... 🙈🤦🏻‍♂️ pic.twitter.com/mlz2udnAv2

— Nicolas George 🌐 (@nicolasgeorge_) December 5, 2020

Léo Urban a escaladé la tour #Montparnasse à mains nues en 1h pic.twitter.com/CPr5r9LLMj

— Jérémy Descours (@JeremyDescours) December 5, 2020

Un homme escalade actuellement la tour Montparnasse à mains nues.
La police est sur place.#paris #montparnasse pic.twitter.com/16XbkCn2K2

— Amar Taoualit (@TaoualitAmar) December 5, 2020

Urban previously climbed the Eiffel Tower, as well as the Engie and Ariane skyscrapers. He posted images to Instagram of his ascent of the 210-meter (690 feet) building in Montparnasse, one of the tallest in the French capital.

The daredevil called it his most difficult climb yet, and said he spent weeks preparing before scaling the building. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Leo Urban Blacklist (@leo.urban)

The skyscraper has been scaled by similarly foolhardy thrillseekers before. One climber tackled the building, also with no harness and using his bare hands, in September.

In 2015, Alain Robert, nicknamed ‘Spider Man’ for his awe-inspiring climbs, also scaled the building. He carried a Nepalese flag while he completed the act in tribute to victims of a severe earthquake that hit the country.

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Title: ‘Republicans in name only’: Trump blasts small cohort of congressional GOPers who said Biden won election

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/508804-republicans-election-winner-survey-trump/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 19:42:11 +0000

Desc: Preview Only 26 Republicans in Congress will say with certainty that Joe Biden beat Donald Trump in the election, despite certification of the vote looming, according to a new survey. The revelation prompted Trump to demand their names.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/508804-republicans-election-winner-survey-trump/

Content:

Only 26 Republicans in Congress will say with certainty that Joe Biden beat Donald Trump in the election, despite certification of the vote looming, according to a new survey. The revelation prompted Trump to demand their names.

The Washington Post surveyed the 249 Republicans in the House and Senate and reported on Saturday that only 25 responded saying Biden had won the presidential election; the report was later updated to 26 after Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska) referred to “President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris” in an email. 

It is worth noting, however, that the Post did not receive an answer from over 200 Republicans. 

President Trump responded to the report by asking for the names of the Republicans who acknowledged Biden’s likely victory and blasted them as “RINOS,” or ‘Republicans-in-name-only.”

“I am surprised there are so many. We have just begun to fight. Please send me a list of the 25 RINOS. I read the Fake News Washington Post as little as possible!” the president tweeted in response to the original reported number.

25, wow! I am surprised there are so many. We have just begun to fight. Please send me a list of the 25 RINOS. I read the Fake News Washington Post as little as possible! https://t.co/cEBM0bYuQ9

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 5, 2020

RINOs will NOT be re-elected!!!

— Graham Allen (@GrahamAllen_1) December 5, 2020

Keep doubting and underestimating @realDonaldTrump AT YOUR OWN PERIL! How has that been working out for the media and establishment over the past 4 years?

When he tells you that he has the goods ... HE DOES! This isn’t bluster. It’s confirmation & a warning. 🇺🇸

— Murray 🇺🇸 (@Rothbard1776) December 5, 2020

Many top Republicans have refused to publicly acknowledge any winner of the presidential race until Trump’s various legal battles play out in swing states where he is alleging voter fraud, such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California).

Meanwhile, lesser-known lawmakers like Reps. Fred Upton (R-Michigan) and Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) have put their weight behind Biden’s victory.

On the other side of the debate are Reps. Paul A. Gosar (R-Alaska) and Mo Brooks (R-Alabama), both of whom have said with certainty that Trump won the election, but that the results were compromised due to fraud.

Also on rt.com
Attorney Lin Wood speaks during a press conference on election results in Alpharetta, Georgia
Trump lawyer decries Georgia GOP senators for ‘ties to China’ as Obama says runoff results will ‘determine future’ of Biden term

While Biden is the projected winner of the presidential election with over 300 electoral college votes, electors do not actually cast their votes until December 14. Congress then counts the votes by January 6, with inauguration day scheduled for January 20.

Amid the looming deadlines, Trump’s attorneys continue to overturn votes in swing states like Pennsylvania, and the president has insisted he actually carried victories in states such as Georgia and Michigan.

Trump critics have taken to social media to use the Post’s report to slam the Republican Party for their loyalty to a seemingly lost cause, even though the majority of lawmakers simply did not answer the Post’s survey.

“This sort of thing is deeply embarrassing for the GOP,” tweeted outspoken libertarian and Reason editor at large Nick Gillespie. 

The Republican Party’s devolution to being a post-democracy movement in one survey:

Just 25 congressional Republicans acknowledge Biden’s win, Washington Post survey finds https://t.co/6CNxg7yn13

— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) December 5, 2020

So far, 25 Republicans on Capitol Hill have acknowledged reality. https://t.co/aTNJSmojlh

— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) December 5, 2020

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Title: Brexit trade talks to reconvene in Brussels in last gasp effort to secure deal

Link: https://www.rt.com/uk/508803-stalled-brexit-talks-reconvene-brussels/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 19:27:28 +0000

Desc: Preview British and EU negotiators are to meet in Brussels on Sunday in a late bid to resolve ongoing “significant differences” between the two sides as they seek to agree a trade deal before the end of the year deadline.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/uk/508803-stalled-brexit-talks-reconvene-brussels/

Content:

British and EU negotiators are to meet in Brussels on Sunday in a late bid to resolve ongoing “significant differences” between the two sides as they seek to agree a trade deal before the end of the year deadline.

The reconvening of talks was confirmed by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in a joint statement following their phone call on Saturday, which was in itself a bid to overcome the continuing deadlock. 

“In a phone call today on the ongoing negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom, we welcomed the fact that progress has been achieved in many areas,” the statement read. 

Nevertheless, significant differences remain on three critical issues: level playing field, governance and fisheries. Both sides underlined that no agreement is feasible if these issues are not resolved.

The two leaders said they were instructing their respective negotiating teams to meet again in Brussels on Sunday, with Johnson and von der Leyen due to talk again by phone on Monday. 

Also on rt.com
FILE PHOTO: A pro-Brexit supporter holds signs outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain. © REUTERS / Henry Nicholls
Paris threatens to torpedo Brexit trade deal if French interests are not met, says Minister

Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin welcomed news of the talks reconvening, tweeting that “an agreement is in everyone's best interests,” and “every effort should be made to reach a deal.”

I welcome the fact that negotiators will resume their discussions on an EU and UK trade deal in Brussels tomorrow. An agreement is in everyone's best interests. Every effort should be made to reach a deal.

— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) December 5, 2020

The current transition period for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU is due to expire on December 31.  

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Title: 2 police officers injured including one by MOLOTOV COCKTAIL during protests in Nantes

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/508802-nantes-protest-police-officers-injured/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 19:21:58 +0000

Desc: Preview At least two riot police officers have been injured as demonstrations against the French government’s security bill in the city of Nantes descended into violence.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/508802-nantes-protest-police-officers-injured/

Content:

At least two riot police officers have been injured as demonstrations against the French government’s security bill in the city of Nantes descended into violence.

Some 3,000 people in Nantes joined Saturday’s nationwide protest action against the draft security policy bill introduced by President Emmanuel Macron’s government. The rally mostly went off peacefully, but things started rapidly heating up as evening drew in.

As the rally spilled over into clashes between the demonstrators and police, protesters pelted officers with various projectiles while law enforcement responded with tear gas. The standoff ended up with two riot police officers being injured.

Tirs de lacrymogenes alors que la police fait evacuer l'ile de #Nantes alors que la #MarcheDesLibertés prend fin, 2 policiers au sol apres l'explosion d'un cocktail molotov à leurs pieds #StopLoiSecuriteGlobale #PPLSecuriteGlobale #PPLLoiSecuriteGlobale pic.twitter.com/uNv9Rv3ofM

— TheoPrn (@Theop_rn) December 5, 2020

One of them was hit by a Molotov cocktail, according to the Loire-Atlantique prefecture. Both officers were evacuated by an emergency medical service. At least 13 people were arrested following the riots, according to the local authorities.

Deux CRS blessés à #Nantes lors de la manifestation de ce jour, dont l'un par un cocktail Molotov.
Des violences inqualifiables qu’il convient de condamner et punir avec la plus grande force.#UltraGauche #Violence #ÇaSuffit pic.twitter.com/DorCstHTYy

— Matthieu Annereau (@MAnnereau) December 5, 2020

Over 90 protests against the security bill were held across France on Saturday. Paris saw particularly severe clashes between demonstrators and law enforcement, as groups of protesters smashed windows, burned cars and set barricades on fire.The scuffles ended up in some 30 arrests, according to various reports.

The country has been hit by a wave of protests over legislation introduced by the government and recently approved by the lower house of the French parliament in November. It provides additional surveillance tools to law enforcement and prohibits filming on-duty officers, as well as sharing their images online with the “intent to harm.”

Also on rt.com
RT
Tear gas & burning cars: 22 arrested following clashes between protesters & police in Paris (VIDEOS)

In particular, the ban on filming police has sparked public anger and the French government responded by pledging to “rewrite” the relevant article earlier this week. Critics say the bill, if adopted, could make police less accountable for any brutality in their actions. They also argue that the latest government concession is not enough.

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Title: Ronaldo honored for incredible goals haul - but first league goal by an American for Juventus fends off humiliating defeat (VIDEO)

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/508801-cristiano-ronaldo-juventus-torino/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 19:12:41 +0000

Desc: Preview Cristiano Ronaldo's celebrations at reaching a remarkable 750 goals almost turned into embarrassment for the striker and Italian giants Juventus, as they narrowly saw off lowly local rivals Torino in an unconvincing derby victory.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/508801-cristiano-ronaldo-juventus-torino/

Content:

Cristiano Ronaldo's celebrations at reaching a remarkable 750 goals almost turned into embarrassment for the striker and Italian giants Juventus, as they narrowly saw off lowly local rivals Torino in an unconvincing derby victory.

Torino had not won the Turin derby, known as the Derby Della Mole, in 12 attempts before Saturday's showdown at the Allianz Stadium, having recorded one win against Juventus in more than 25 years.

Arriving with the worst defense in the division, they began the evening as huge underdogs and watched as Ronaldo proudly received a shirt from Juve president Andrea Agnelli on the pitch, branded to commemorate the 750th career goal he scored in the 3-0 Champions League win against Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday.

There were no such home comforts for Juventus against their third-from-bottom opponents, going a goal behind after Nicolas Nkoulou pounced on slack marking at a free-kick with just nine minutes gone.

#CR750#JuveToro #ForzaJuve pic.twitter.com/nUbzAlxBWI

— JuventusFC (@juventusfc) December 5, 2020

Cristiano Ronaldo with Serie A MVP for the month of November award 🥇 pic.twitter.com/DpIeNaQbpe

— TeamCRonaldo (@TeamCRonaldo) December 5, 2020

#Ronaldo just tried to score from kickoff😳🤣

— LAGOS CZAR (Ayomi) 💡 (@odofinstephen) December 5, 2020

Ronaldo, who also received the official Most Valuable Player award for the month from Serie A before kick-off, was evidently brimming with confidence as he inaccurately attempted a shot on goal straight from kick-off.

The Portugal captain was otherwise anonymous by his standards as Juventus took 43 minutes to have a shot on goal, strike partner Paulo Dybala shooting tamely at Salvatore Sirigu.

Juventus thought they had equalised in the second half when Juan Cuadrado found the net, but fans were left with a familiar sense of outrage after a VAR check adjudged Leonardo Bonucci to have interfered with play from an offside position.

Ronaldo is crossing the ball to Ramsey who's alone in the box between 5 defenders. Hello, @Pirlo_official?!

— Kareem (@JuveFC1897) December 5, 2020

#Ronaldo just tried to score from kickoff😳🤣

— LAGOS CZAR (Ayomi) 💡 (@odofinstephen) December 5, 2020

Ronaldo just observing https://t.co/ZlMVdfnlHs

— Ricky (@TheUmbrellaMan1) December 5, 2020

Torino almost held on before American star Weston McKennie rescued Juve with a late equaliser, scoring his first Serie A goal for the club and becoming the first American to score for them in the league as the midfielder launched their comeback.

Captain Bonucci then made up for his earlier frustration by netting an 89th minute winner as his side scraped to victory with their latest stuttering display.

The win did little to ease uncertainty among fans over the tactics employed by rookie boss Andrea Pirlo, as the reigning champions finished the evening three points behind leaders AC Milan, who have a game in hand.

Also on rt.com
Milestone: Cristiano Ronaldo
750 not out! Cristiano Ronaldo closes in on ALL-TIME goalscoring record with Champions League strike against Dynamo Kiev



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Title: What a match: Sharapova's ex thrills fans by revealing relationship with Russian heiress who had $10mn wedding featuring Lady Gaga

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/508796-grigor-dimitrov-lolita-osmanova/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 18:43:57 +0000

Desc: Preview Tennis star Grigor Dimitrov has sent fans into a spin by revealing that he is dating another glamorous Russian following his previous relationship with Maria Sharapova, posting a photo with the publisher daughter of a billionaire.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/508796-grigor-dimitrov-lolita-osmanova/

Content:

Tennis star Grigor Dimitrov has sent fans into a spin by revealing that he is dating another glamorous Russian following his previous relationship with Maria Sharapova, posting a photo with the publisher daughter of a billionaire.

Lolita Osmanova, who runs an Instagram diary of her decadent life in Monaco under the name Lola Queen, caused headlines when she hired the Los Angeles theatre where the Oscars ceremony is held for her wedding in 2017.

The daughter of Russian billionaire Eldar Osmanov married Gaspard Avdolyan, whose own father is thought to be worth around $800 million, in a lavish ceremony that reportedly cost $10 million and featured a performance by pop superstar Lady Gaga.

Osmanova and Avdolyan divorced the following year, and she has now posed with Dimitrov after being spotted by eagle-eyed supporters in his guest box at the Vienna Open last week.

Awww it's official 🥰 pic.twitter.com/TKDrQXnrMr

— Krasimir 🇧🇬 🌎🌍🌏 (@lobdowntheline) November 30, 2020

was previously married, Lady Gaga sang at her wedding 😱

— Camelia (@itscameliaaa) October 30, 2020

omg she seems like the type he would totally settle down with! 😍

— alessia (@AlessiaRyan) November 30, 2020

The courtship is world number 19 Dimitrov's third high-profile relationship since 2012, starting when he spent three years with Russian former world number one Maria Sharapova from 2012.

He is likely to have met Osmanova in Monaco, where he has his training base and was reportedly fined by police for speeding alongside Russian ATP finals winner Daniil Medvedev in August.

After splitting from Sharapova, Dimitrov dated former Pussycat Dolls singer and TV star Nicole Scherzinger for around four years before she appeared to cryptically signal the end of their time together on social media last year.

Devoted fans showed their detective skills as they took screenshots of a photo posted by Dimitrov on Instagram Stories and found details about Osmanova on a tennis results site, appearing to show that she was 27 and had played high-level tournaments as a teenager, including junior competitions in Florida between 2006 and 2009.

"She seems like the type he would totally settle down with," gushed one, while another said: "They look so cute together."

Dimitrov remained tight-lipped when a reporter asked him if he remained in touch with Sharapova earlier this year, admitting they were "jealous" of him in a question that angered some fans who perceived it as intrusive and irrelevant.

The Bulgarian said he was tempted but unwilling to open up about life with his former partner, who suggested in her autobiography that they had parted because he was a distraction in her pursuit of titles.

Dimitrov reached the semi-finals of the US Open in 2019 but admitted he regretted playing at this year's tournament, in which he was affected by fatigue after suffering from the effects of Covid-19 for several months.

The 29-year-old was one of several participants to contract the virus after featuring in Novak Djkovic's controversial Adria Tour event in June.

That was the only tournament he took part in during a break of almost five months in the tennis calendar as a result of the pandemic, although he has still earned just shy of $1 million this year, according to the tour's official site.

Also on rt.com
Tennis star Grigor Dimitrov has fielded questions at the 2020 French Open about his ex-girlfriend, Maria Sharapova © Instagram / dimipova_
'I WISH I could tell you more': Maria Sharapova's tennis ace ex-lover tells 'JEALOUS' admirer that Russian is 'in a good place'



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Title: ‘Mind-boggling’: AOC slams Republicans, says they’d be left ‘crying’ if they had to do her past waitressing work

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/508800-aoc-waitress-republicans-crenshaw/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 17:56:30 +0000

Desc: Preview Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is receiving pushback for rage-tweeting Republicans about their lack of work experience compared to her bartender past, as well as their supposed misunderstanding of college debt due to their age.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/508800-aoc-waitress-republicans-crenshaw/

Content:

Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is receiving pushback for rage-tweeting Republicans about their lack of work experience compared to her bartender past, as well as their supposed misunderstanding of college debt due to their age.

Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) does not believe Republicans could have handled the workload of her extensive history in the service industry.

“Republicans like to make fun of the fact that I used to be a waitress, but we all know if they ever had to do a double [shift] they’d be the ones found crying in the walk-in fridge halfway through their first shift bc someone yelled at them for bringing seltzer when they wanted sparkling,” she tweeted this week. 

She also slammed “conservative Senators” for sitting “around on leather chairs all day.”

Also on rt.com
RT
It’s ‘OK now...we have a new president’: Pelosi willing to make smaller Covid-19 relief deal, is accused of having played politics

After graduating from Boston University in 2011, the New York congresswoman worked as a waitress and a bartender until she began serving in the House of Representatives in 2019. She is the youngest woman to ever serve in Congress, having been elected at the age of 29.

While Ocasio-Cortez provided no examples of “Republicans” poking fun at her work experience, she did receive heavy pushback from conservatives – both in and out of elected office – who have far wider work histories.

“This comment is ridiculous stereotyping.  I delivered newspapers year-round on foot or on my bike for several years. Worked numerous doubles in Respiratory Therapy where a mistake could result in death.  Worked nearly full time to pay for college.  What do I not understand?” Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-Michigan) tweeted at Ocasio-Cortez.

“AOC says Republicans just ‘sit around on leather chairs all day’ while she has had a ‘difficult working-class job’ as a bartender,” Daily Wire reporter Ryan Saavedra tweeted. Saavedra’s post included an image of Reps. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), Brian Mast (R-Florida), and Jim Baird (R-Indiana), all of whom served in the military and sustained lifelong injuries – including Crenshaw losing his right eye.

AOC says Republicans just “sit around on leather chairs all day” while she has had a “difficult working-class job” as a bartender

Republicans Dan Crenshaw, Brian Mast, and Jim Baird all lost limbs for this country while AOC cried in a refrigerator because she got an order wrong pic.twitter.com/wWUU5mrCTz

— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) December 5, 2020

“One of the hardest decisions I ever had to make in the mountains of Afghanistan: still or sparkling? That was the moment I knew true hardship,” Crenshaw himself replied to the congresswoman on Saturday.

One of the hardest decisions I ever had to make in the mountains of Afghanistan: still or sparkling? That was the moment I knew true hardship.

— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) December 5, 2020

Ocasio-Cortez later appeared to backtrack on her own tweets, saying they were directed at “Republicans who mock my history in service work.”

The only example she provided this time was President Donald Trump.

My comments were directed at Republicans who mock my history in service work.

That includes President Trump, who you’ve stood by and defended through such attacks, by the way.

But if that boorishness doesn’t apply to you, then why feel the rush to defend yourself? https://t.co/TCro8jkcim

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 5, 2020

She also appeared to slam Republicans who say they worked full-time while going to college as being too old to understand the cost of living in the modern world, saying they “sound like folks who speak of the days when Hershey bars were 5 cents at the general store.”

These Republicans who are defensively rage-tweeting “But you’re wrong! I worked my way to pay through college!!” don’t realize they sound like folks who speak of the days when Hershey bars were 5¢ at the general store.

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 5, 2020

The assumptions inherent to that tweet inspired equal confusion among critics of her comments online.

This is a weird comment considering that 1. Not all Republicans are old and 2. Your president elect used to wear an onion in his belt. https://t.co/ht9fBupz4p

— Noam Blum (@neontaster) December 5, 2020

Again... Her ignorance is mind boggling.

I cannot believe anyone thinks she is some kind of intellectual. https://t.co/A0K2ldim89

— Pradheep J. Shanker (@Neoavatara) December 5, 2020

I mean, I graduated in 2000. I waited tables and has scholarships. It wasn't ancient history. https://t.co/6rsmn9U7Zw

— Sarah (@sarah_wxtx) December 5, 2020

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Title: Tear gas & burning cars: 22 arrested following clashes between protesters & police in Paris (VIDEOS)

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/508799-paris-security-bill-protests-clashes/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 17:38:45 +0000

Desc: Preview A thousands-strong protest march against the French government’s draft security bill in Paris has ended up in chaos as groups of “rioters” torched cars, broke windows and clashed with police responding with tear gas.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/508799-paris-security-bill-protests-clashes/

Content:

A thousands-strong protest march against the French government’s draft security bill in Paris has ended up in chaos as groups of “rioters” torched cars, broke windows and clashed with police responding with tear gas.

Thousands of demonstrators set out from Porte des Lilas on the northeastern edge of the French capital on Saturday and headed to the Place de la République in the city center. The marchers sought to express their discontent over police violence and President Emmanuel Macron’s security policy plans.

The marchers were waving banners reading: “France, land of police rights” and “Withdrawal of the security law.”

The march almost immediately descended into violence, as groups of black-clad protesters with covered faces started smashing windows and burning cars. Soon, the streets in eastern Paris were plunged into chaos as demonstrators erected barricades and set them on fire.

While protesters chanted “everyone hates the police” and “anti-capitalists,” some in the thronging crowds broke windows in several buildings, including a supermarket, a real estate agency and a bank, and set cars – including a truck – ablaze. They were also seen destroying CCTV cameras along their route and pelting police with firecrackers and various projectiles.

Paris protesters set cars ablaze during rally against security bill#globalsecurity pic.twitter.com/csqrUUPA8i

— RT (@RT_com) December 5, 2020

PARIS - Tensions en cours : les forces de l’ordre sont visées par des projectiles. pic.twitter.com/mW7nMsTxUr

— Clément Lanot (@ClementLanot) December 5, 2020

Law enforcement were deployed to the streets in large numbers and responded with volleys of tear gas. Police officers clad in helmets and riot gear also attempted to disperse the crowds.

Footage uploaded to social media show Paris streets filled with thick plumes of tear gas, littered with debris and lit by the burning cars and barricades. On several occasions, the rioters managed to force the police to retreat by pelting the officers with firecrackers.

🔴Intervention des #pompiers en cours pour éteindre plusieurs #incendies. La situation est très tendue sur place. #StopLoiSécuritéGlobale #Paris #LoiSecuriteGlobale #5decembre pic.twitter.com/FiOYWFgID9

— Charles Baudry (@CharlesBaudry) December 5, 2020

🔴Nombreux lancés de projectiles sir les forces de l’ordre qui doivent reculer. #StopLoiSécuritéGlobale #Paris #LoiSecuriteGlobale #5decembre pic.twitter.com/XQjgpLRrqk

— Charles Baudry (@CharlesBaudry) December 5, 2020

PARIS - Policier au sol, projectiles, coup de pied contre les forces de l’ordre.

La manifestation dégénère. Situation très tendue. #GiletsJaunes pic.twitter.com/j0kvB4oWrK

— Clément Lanot (@ClementLanot) December 5, 2020

Police said that the demonstration was “infiltrated” by at least 500 “rioters” seeking to sow chaos. French Interior Minister Gerard Darmanin confirmed that at least 22 people were arrested, and thanked the police for their courage in the face of “very violent individuals.”

More than 90 demonstrations were held across France on Saturday including in many big cities like Marseille, Lyon or Rennes. They were mostly peaceful.The nation has been hit by a wave of protests after the government introduced a draft bill that would provide law enforcement with additional surveillance tools.

PARIS - Un projectile incendiaire est lancé sur les BRAVM. Tensions en cours. pic.twitter.com/aUf4pY6LBM

— Clément Lanot (@ClementLanot) December 5, 2020

🇫🇷 FLASH - Un engin explosif est jeté sur les forces de l’ordre. La tension commence à monter dans cette manifestation contre la #LoiSecuritaireGlobale à #Paris. (@gregoire_mandy pour Mediavenir) #StopLoiSecuriteGlobale #MarcheDesLibertes #5decembre
pic.twitter.com/VWcUfGguqN

— Mediavenir (@Mediavenir) December 5, 2020

The bill’s controversial Article 24, in particular, sparked public anger as it seeks to protect police officers from doxing and harassment, and bans the filming of on-duty cops and sharing their images online with the “intent to harm.”

The bill’s critics argue such a provision would make the police less accountable and would be used to persecute those willing to expose police brutality. The tensions rose even more after footage emerged last month showing French police beat and racially abuse a black man, apparently for not wearing a face mask.

The lower house of the French parliament already approved the draft legislation in late November, but earlier this week, Macron’s government vowed to “rewrite” the controversial Article 24, although many critics say now that is simply not enough.

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Cars burn during a demonstration against the so-called Global Security Bill in Paris, France, November 28, 2020
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---------- 10 ----------

Title: 'Get on your knees' before Putin: Ex-Ukrainian leader Poroshenko says Zelensky will humiliate country to end Donbass conflict

Link: https://www.rt.com/russia/508798-poroshenko-zelensky-donbass-humiliate/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 16:50:55 +0000

Desc: Preview Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has sarcastically told his successor Volodymyr Zelensky to kneel before Russia’s Vladimir Putin, believing it is the only way to achieve peace in the country's eastern Donbass region.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/russia/508798-poroshenko-zelensky-donbass-humiliate/

Content:

Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has sarcastically told his successor Volodymyr Zelensky to kneel before Russia’s Vladimir Putin, believing it is the only way to achieve peace in the country's eastern Donbass region.

According to Poroshenko, who was defeated by Zelensky in a landslide vote, advisers in the presidential office believe the conflict can be ended simply by stopping the shooting. These "big experts" are mistaken, he says, as he believes an end to the fighting is impossible unless Ukraine wants to be embarrassed.

"This can be done in weeks," Poroshenko claimed, speaking to Kiev-based internet TV channel Espreso on Friday. "You need to look Putin in the eye… get on your knees and ask for peace."

Poroshenko appears to be mocking what he sees as Zelensky's naivete. The president has long believed that sitting down with Russia is a good step towards ending the violence.

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In the former head of state's mind, the only way to end the conflict is "at the cost of humiliation."

"There is no other way for him. After all, for almost two years of his presidency, the country's defense capability has been destroyed," Poroshenko claimed.

Also on Friday, Anatoly Antonov, the Russian ambassador to the US, wrote on Facebook that Zelensky had failed in creating a "political environment that could contribute to a peaceful settlement of the intra-Ukrainian conflict in the South-East."

"For example, the authorities in Kiev continue to discriminate ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking citizens," Antonov explained. "The current language policy in the country that promotes Ukrainian at the expense of other languages - most notably, Russian - violates numerous international norms."

The war in the Donbass has been ongoing for over six years. In 2014, parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in Eastern Ukraine unilaterally declared independence after the change of government in Kiev. Ukraine accuses Russia of occupying these territories – a claim Moscow rejects. Peacefully concluding the conflict was a staple of Zelensky's election manifesto. In late 2019, the Ukrainian president helped arrange the first ‘Normandy Format' dialogue of his presidency, the first movement towards a resolution after three years of stalled talks under Poroshenko.

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---------- 11 ----------

Title: Trump lawyer decries Georgia GOP senators for ‘ties to China’ as Obama says runoff results will ‘determine future’ of Biden term

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/508797-lin-wood-georgia-senate-runoff/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 16:40:05 +0000

Desc: Preview Rhetoric around the Georgia Senate runoff election is heating up, as Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue drew the ire of Trump lawyer Lin Wood, while Barack Obama says that a Democrat loss could stall a Biden presidency.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/508797-lin-wood-georgia-senate-runoff/

Content:

Rhetoric around the Georgia Senate runoff election is heating up, as Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue drew the ire of Trump lawyer Lin Wood, while Barack Obama says that a Democrat loss could stall a Biden presidency.

In a series of tweets Friday evening, Wood blasted Loeffler and Perdue, who face a special runoff election in January, for not demanding the Georgia legislature be called into a special session to overturn the election in President Donald Trump’s favor. 

Wood claimed both Republicans have ties to China, though he did not provide specific evidence for this accusation.

Sen. Loeffler and her husband, Wood said, “are in over their heads in Communist China money. That is why she does not demand GA legislature be ordered into [special] session. Wake up, GA & America! We must #FightBack against the Communist Wave."

Doug Collins @RepDougCollins won over 50% & @KLoeffler lost. She & her husband are in over their heads in Communist China money. That is why she does not demand GA legislature be ordered into special session.

Wake up, GA & America! We must #FightBack against the Communist Wave. https://t.co/A70U151MaO

— Lin Wood (@LLinWood) December 4, 2020

Wood has become an especially controversial figure among Trump supporters and conservatives in light of recent comments encouraging Republicans not to vote in the upcoming runoff election, claiming it will be “another rigged election.” The comments were made at a ‘Stop the Steal’ rally this week highlighting allegations of voter fraud in the presidential election in Georgia, a state Joe Biden has won but Trump has claimed was stolen from him through illegal ballot dumps.

Republicans like Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) and Newt Gingrich have attacked Wood, with the former referring to him as a Democrat “grifter” and the latter berating him as “totally destructive.”

Wood also accused Sen. David Perdue of “ties to China” and said he asked for a refund in donations from the Republican. Wood also accused Perdue of directly giving these donations to Super PACs - something a candidate is prohibited from doing.

2. When I called Perdue’s office & expressed concern that my donation exceeded the $5,600 limit, I was told it was legal because he gave it to various PAC’s. A candidate cannot directly solicit PAC donations. Something is not right with @sendavidperdue.

— Lin Wood (@LLinWood) December 4, 2020

Yes I would. @sendavidperdue is NOT fighting for We The People to protect our vote & validate landslide GA win by @realDonaldTrump. https://t.co/ms58ESoHS3

— Lin Wood (@LLinWood) December 4, 2020

Wood has even extended the accusations of connections to China to Republican Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and state election official George Sterling, also a Republican, both of whom he referred to as “traitors” on Saturday for their lack of support for the president.

While Wood has been on Trump’s side when it comes to voter fraud allegations, the lawyer is a troublesome figure for Republicans due to past ties to the Democrat Party. According to The Daily Caller, Wood has not voted in a Republican primary since 2004, and has donated $40,000 to Democrats since 2006. 

While Loeffler and Perdue face attacks from Trump’s attorney, they are also dealing with the weight of former President Barack Obama campaigning against them.

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During a virtual rally featuring Democrat candidates Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock, Obama said Georgia’s special election will “determine, ultimately, the course of the Biden presidency.”

Obama claimed Republicans losing a majority in the Senate would force more moderate conservatives to work with Democrats. “This is not just about Georgia. This is about America. This is about the world, and it’s in your power to in fact have an impact,” he told voters. 

The former president claimed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) sparked a “progress halt” during his presidency, and warned that history could repeat itself during Biden’s first term.

Georgia’s special election will take place on January 5, and Trump will be campaigning in support of Loeffler and Perdue in the state on Saturday evening.

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---------- 12 ----------

Title: Mario Balotelli RAGES at vandals as he shares video of SMASHED car on social media

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/508794-mario-balotelli-car-vandalized-instagram/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 16:31:23 +0000

Desc: Preview Italian striker Mario Balotelli has made his anger clear after sharing a video of his vandalized car on his Instagram, saying that those responsible should "pray" he never learns of their identities.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/508794-mario-balotelli-car-vandalized-instagram/

Content:

Italian striker Mario Balotelli has made his anger clear after sharing a video of his vandalized car on his Instagram, saying that those responsible should "pray" he never learns of their identities.

Balotelli shared a video of his smashed car on his Instagram story, with an accompanying message to the vandals who did the damage.

"Whoever you are, you will find about this message," he wrote (via translation), before issuing a chilling warning to the vandals.

"I'm just saying that you have to pray," he continued.

"Pray a lot, so that I will never know who you are."

Balotelli also stated that he would be ensuring those responsible are brought to task for their actions, saying, "You will be prosecuted – there is no other way. Cowardly b*stards."

Balotelli, who has also had spells with Inter and AC Milan in Italy, as well as stints with English Premier League sides Manchester City and Liverpool, is currently a free agent after departing Serie A side Brescia at the end of last season.

The striker has more recently been linked with a move to Brazilian side Vasco da Gama.

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Bye-bye Balotelli? Mercurial striker Mario Balotelli TURNED AWAY from Brescia training ground amid SACKING rumors (VIDEO)



---------- 13 ----------

Title: Russian authorities to investigate after forged negative Covid-19 test certificates found on sale for just $33 each

Link: https://www.rt.com/russia/508795-forged-covid19-tests-investigation/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 16:20:31 +0000

Desc: Preview A criminal case has been opened in Russia after mass forgeries of negative Covid-19 test certificates were discovered. The documents were found to be on sale online for 2,500 rubles ($33) each.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/russia/508795-forged-covid19-tests-investigation/

Content:

A criminal case has been opened in Russia after mass forgeries of negative Covid-19 test certificates were discovered. The documents were found to be on sale online for 2,500 rubles ($33) each.

The Moscow City Prosecutors Office has reported that a criminal investigation is underway to discover who is behind the forgeries. The case comes after a complaint by medical laboratory company Gemotest, which reported that it had appealed to law enforcement after discovering that its certificates were being faked. Alongside the police, Gemotest conducted controlled purchases of the forgeries, leading to the couriers being questioned.

The company first became aware of the fakes in April, leading to the lab deciding to issue unique QR codes alongside their results, as a means of verification. A negative test is most commonly needed for traveling abroad, going back to work after self-isolation, and registering at a medical facility for inpatient treatment.

On Thursday, the All-Russian Popular Front political coalition asked the prosecutor general's office to investigate the sale of fake certificates, after the Putin-founded movement found out that it was possible to buy fakes in a quarter of all Russian regions, including Moscow and St. Petersburg.

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”Fake certificates pose a threat not only to the lives of citizens who buy them, but to the entire society,” said Yulia Belekhova, the faction's leader in the Moscow Region. “Any crime – in this case, fraud on the health of people – should be punished.”

Russia is currently experiencing a surge in Covid-19 numbers, and on Saturday confirmed a record high of 28,782 detected cases. With over two million detected infections, the country has the fourth most cases in the world, behind the US, India and Brazil.

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---------- 14 ----------

Title: ‘Is it going to resolve Yemeni conflict?’ Omani FM slams US suggestion of adding Houthis to terrorist list

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/508793-us-yemen-houthis-terrorist-list/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 15:45:15 +0000

Desc: Preview The US has mulled the possibility of designating the Yemeni Houthi militants a terrorist group, Omani Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr Al Busaidi has revealed. He added that he believes such a move would cause more harm than good.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/508793-us-yemen-houthis-terrorist-list/

Content:

The US has mulled the possibility of designating the Yemeni Houthi militants a terrorist group, Omani Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr Al Busaidi has revealed. He added that he believes such a move would cause more harm than good.

“Yes, that was raised,” Al Busaidi told a summit in Bahrain, answering a question on whether the potential blacklisting was discussed with America. According to the minister, the issue was brought up by the US’ assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs, David Schenker.

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Debris seen at the Saudi Aramco oil company distribution station which was attacked in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. © REUTERS/Nael Shyoukhi
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Schenker was due to discuss “regional security and economic cooperation, as well as a way forward on the conflict in Yemen” during his visit to the Omani capital of Muscat between December 1 and 5, ahead of his arrival to Riyadh for talks with the Saudis.

Al Busaidi clearly did not support Washington’s initiative regarding the Houthis, however, arguing that it would not contribute to the conflict’s resolution and instead only make things worse. “I don’t think there is a solution based on classifying or blockading one key player in that conflict and not bringing them to the negotiating table,” he said, as cited by Reuters.

“My question to that [a US designation] ... is that decision going to resolve the Yemeni conflict given that this group is a key player? ... Or is it better to really support what the United Nations envoy is trying to do by inviting everyone including that group to the table,” the minister added.

The UN has been trying to revive peace negotiations between the parties to the protracted civil war in Yemen. The conflict, ongoing since 2014, has been in a deadlock for years. The Saudi-led coalition which joined the war in 2015 has been waging a massive bombing campaign against the Shia Houthi militants who ousted Yemen’s former president. However, the group still holds the nation’s capital of Sanaa and most large urban centers.

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Ravaged by war and hit by a Saudi naval blockade, Yemen is in dire need of humanitarian assistance. The conflict was exacerbated by a deadly cholera outbreak and widespread famine, leaving more than 24 million people in need of humanitarian aid, according to the UN.

In April, the nation also reported its first confirmed Covid-19 cases, with the local health officials fearing that up to 90 percent of the population could become infected over time.

Charities and aid workers providing assistance in Yemen have expressed concerns that Washington’s decision to add Houthis to the terrorist list could make aiding the Yemeni population nearly impossible.

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---------- 15 ----------

Title: ‘I’m EMBARRASSED for Alina’: Russian former world champ becomes latest to savage figure skater Zagitova over ‘AWFUL’ TV presenting

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/508791-alina-zagitova-ice-age-yolanda-chen/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 15:37:57 +0000

Desc: Preview Teenage Russian figure skating champion Alina Zagitova has endured more fierce high-profile criticism for her uncertain early steps into primetime TV presenting, copping a scathing verdict from former world champion Yolanda Chen.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/508791-alina-zagitova-ice-age-yolanda-chen/

Content:

Teenage Russian figure skating champion Alina Zagitova has endured more fierce high-profile criticism for her uncertain early steps into primetime TV presenting, copping a scathing verdict from former world champion Yolanda Chen.

The former world, European and Olympic champion has suspended her exceptional sporting career to concentrate on presenting hit TV show Ice Age, enduring a mixed reaction that has led to the 18-year-old admitting she is still learning key skills and has faced nerves and anxiety along the way.

Zagitova and her co-host, multiple former champion Alexey Yagudin, have insisted that she will only improve with each small-screen appearance she makes, but Chen has questioned why the newcomer has been given the job in a damning appraisal of her performances.

"To begin with, I don’t understand how she ended up on Channel One," said 59-year-old Chen, who broke the long jump world record when she won gold for Russia at the World Indoor Championships in 1995.

"For some, the selection criteria are very tough, while others get on one of the most highly-rated shows off the street.

"Very often, real professionals are not hired. They do not get through these auditions.

"So to release an absolutely unprepared girl...yes, she is a sweet, wonderful athlete and we all rooted for her. But a good athlete and Olympic champion does not mean that she is a good presenter and professional.

"The work of Zagitova makes some people smile but, for professionals like me, it is only a feeling of awkwardness. I'm embarrassed for Alina.

"Sometimes she does not find words and cannot ask the participants a question. As a result, she repeats the same thing 30 times."

Chen argued that Zagitova had not gone through the required casting and should have been taught to read "tongue twisters" and "think a little" in order to help her build her vocabulary and avoid repetition during broadcasts.

"So far, she is saying the same thing all the time, and on Channel One it looks just awful," said Chen.

"This is a very unpleasant blow to the entire professional community, to professionals who have been studying television skills for a long time. Understand that any skill needs to be learned, just like in sports.

"If it were the 99th cable TV channel, I would have understood. But for a channel that is watched by the whole country, this is just a failure."

Zagitova is studying for a journalism qualification and has said that she ignores cruel comments from some viewers on social media following episodes of the ice dancing show.

She skated impressively and finished second in the short program at the Grand Prix Final in Turin last December, but has no immediate plans to return to the sport on a permanent basis after experiencing a loss of motivation.

Chen praised Yagudin and revered coach Tatiana Tarasova, who also features on Ice Age, while delivering an unflinching summary of her thoughts on Zagitova.

"The show is good in general...it's nice to look at all the judges and athletes," she said. "But Alina, unfortunately, is a very weak link. So far, she has no place there."

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Russian figure skating champion Alina Zagitova is now a TV presenter on Ice Age © Instagram / azagitova
Putting her haters on ice: Figure skating champ Alina Zagitova claims critics MOTIVATE her in new role presenting TV hit Ice Age



---------- 16 ----------

Title: Argentina passes one-time personal wealth levy dubbed ‘millionaires’ tax’ to cover Covid-19 damage

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/508789-argentina-millionaires-tax-covid/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 15:36:50 +0000

Desc: Preview Argentina has approved an extraordinary levy on large personal wealth. The measure is meant to raise some $3.6 billion to fund recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic. Critics say it’s not an option for the stagnant economy.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/508789-argentina-millionaires-tax-covid/

Content:

Argentina has approved an extraordinary levy on large personal wealth. The measure is meant to raise some $3.6 billion to fund recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic. Critics say it’s not an option for the stagnant economy.

The so-called “millionaires’ tax” was approved in the Senate late on Friday in a 42 to 26 vote. The measure targets Argentinian citizens with declared personal wealth of over 200 million pesos ($2.5 million). It will apply a progressive tax rate of at least 2 percent on their total fortunes, including assets they may hold outside the country.

The tax was earlier passed by the lower chamber of the Argentine parliament, with 133 votes for it and 115 against.

Proponents say almost 12,000 people qualify to pay the levy, with the 380 richest taxpayers expected to cover over half of the total sum.

The government hopes to raise as much as $3.6 billion, which is to be spent on medical supplies, support of small and medium-sized businesses, social projects, student scholarships and exploration of natural gas.

The tax was floated by the leftist government of Alberto Fernandez and his Frente de Todos (Everybody’s Front) coalition and was described as an opportunity for rich individuals to show “solidarity and extraordinary contribution” to the nation. The spending will boost the ailing national economy, they argued.

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Argentina went into recession in 2018, which was a major factor in why Fernandez last year managed to unseat his predecessor, Mauricio Macri, in a general election. The Covid-19 pandemic, which has caused almost 40,000 deaths in Argentina, further aggravated its economic woes.

Critics from Macri’s Juntos por el Cambio (Together for Change) coalition said the move was “anti-investment, confiscatory and discriminatory”, and voiced concern that instead of being a one-time measure it would persist in some form.

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---------- 17 ----------

Title: Russia to scrap tax agreement with Netherlands as proposed approach fails to combat capital outflows

Link: https://www.rt.com/business/508783-russia-netherlands-tax-agreement/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 15:13:59 +0000

Desc: Preview Russian lawmakers initiated denouncing a tax agreement with the Netherlands. The deal was designed to avoid double taxation, but so far negotiations have come to a deadlock.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/business/508783-russia-netherlands-tax-agreement/

Content:

Russian lawmakers initiated denouncing a tax agreement with the Netherlands. The deal was designed to avoid double taxation, but so far negotiations have come to a deadlock.

Russia’s finance ministry proposed new terms similar to those agreed with Cyprus, Malta and Luxembourg. Under the new terms Russia is planning to increase withholding tax on dividends and interest for Russia-focused companies registered in the Netherlands to 15 percent.

“The existing agreement allows significant capital outflows, as the firms registered in the Netherlands are subject to a real tax rate of only 2-3 percent,” the ministry said.

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At the same time, the equal tax for companies registered in Russia makes 15 percent on dividends and 20 percent for interest payments, according to the lawmakers.

The tax maneuver allowed by the current legislation reportedly helped many corporations move funds away from Russia. In 2017 alone, those funds reached 457 billion rubles ($6.17 billion) with 1.2 trillion rubles outflows within the previous three years.

In March, President Vladimir Putin suggested a tax be levied on interest and dividend payments leaving Russia to combat offshoring as the country battles low oil prices and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Also on rt.com
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Putin calls for 15% tax on offshore funds as part of plan to stabilize Russian economy

In March, President Vladimir Putin suggested a tax be levied on interest and dividend payments leaving Russia to combat offshoring as the country battles low oil prices and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Earlier this year, Russia signed amendments to Double Tax Agreements with Malta, Cyprus and Luxembourg. The new tax treaties are set to come into force on January 1 2021.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section



---------- 18 ----------

Title: Ex-CIA head Brennan wrong to call Iranian scientist killing ‘criminal,’ US also carried out such actions, ex-Mossad chief tells RT

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/508788-iran-assassination-mossad-interview/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 14:53:03 +0000

Desc: Preview Criticism of the killing of a senior Iranian military researcher voiced by the ex-head of the CIA seems misplaced considering that his chief Barack Obama ordered targeted assassinations himself, a former Mossad head believes.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/508788-iran-assassination-mossad-interview/

Content:

Criticism of the killing of a senior Iranian military researcher voiced by the ex-head of the CIA seems misplaced considering that his chief Barack Obama ordered targeted assassinations himself, a former Mossad head believes.

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was gunned down last week in what many, including top Iranian officials, believe to be a clandestine Israeli operation. RT’s Going Underground spoke to Efraim Halevy, the former head of Israeli secret service Mossad, to discuss the high-profile assassination, criticism of the move coming from some senior intelligence figures in the US, and what possible goals may have been behind it.

John Brennan, the head of the CIA under Barack Obama, reacted to the killing with remarkably harsh words calling it a “criminal act,” “highly reckless” and possibly an “act of state-sponsored terrorism” that would be “a flagrant violation of international law.”

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‘Criminal act’: Ex-CIA chief urges Iran to wait on ‘return of responsible US leaders’ before reacting to nuclear scientist killing

The characterization does not seem genuine coming from Brennan, Halevy said, considering that “American organizations and agencies in the past have carried out similar acts when they believed that an individual was endangering the national security of their country.”

I think that name-calling is not a very good idea in this kind of activity.

Brennan was the one official in the Obama administration to formally acknowledge for the first time that the CIA was running the highly controversial program of targeted drone assassinations. He insists that killing “terrorist leaders & operatives” is fundamentally different to what happened to Fakhrizadeh.

Halevy pointed out that Fakhrizadeh was not merely a scientist but also a high-ranking officer in the IRGC, Iran’s powerful military wing. He refused to assess whether targeting him was legitimate or not, saying such judgements don’t belong to retired officials. He also noted that as a political tool such killings were very limited.

“Targeted assassinations have the value of the moment and they are important as such,” he said. “But if you are looking for a strategic change as a result of such an operation you will not find it.”

RT also spoke about the situation with Sam Medhi Torabi, director of the Risalat Strategic Studies Institute in Iran, who said if Israel expected Iran to lash out after Fakhrizadeh’s murder and subject itself to retaliation, people in charge there don’t really know Iran.

The assassination “is not going to take Iran away from its strategic goal,” he said.

“Iran’s strategic goal is to drive out, expel the Americans from West Asia. It’s going to happen, the only issue is how it is going to happen,” he assured.

Watch the episode to learn more.

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---------- 19 ----------

Title: Sputnik V launched to public: Large-scale Covid-19 vaccination campaign kicks off in Moscow, as hopes rise of end to pandemic

Link: https://www.rt.com/russia/508790-moscow-starts-mass-vaccination/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 14:50:28 +0000

Desc: Preview A wide-ranging anti-coronavirus vaccination campaign began in Moscow on Saturday, with thousands signing up for shots online, in the Russian capital. Frontline workers were given first priority, as previous indicated.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/russia/508790-moscow-starts-mass-vaccination/

Content:

A wide-ranging anti-coronavirus vaccination campaign began in Moscow on Saturday, with thousands signing up for shots online, in the Russian capital. Frontline workers were given first priority, as previous indicated.

Those wishing to participate have to sign up online before receiving their initial dose of Sputnik V at one of the city’s 70 specialist clinics. The vaccine consists of two separate injections, the second jab must be administered 21 days after the first one. The whole procedure, which includes the time needed to cool down the formula after it’s removed from the freezer, takes less than an hour, officials said.

© Ilya Pitalev / Sputnik

Injections are administered to people aged between 18 and 60 that present no chronic health conditions. Those who have had respiratory infections, like flu or common cold, less than two weeks ago, are not eligible. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are also barred, for now.

On Friday, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin wrote on his blog that 5,000 people had signed up for the vaccine in five hours after online registration was launched. He said they were doctors, care workers, and teachers, who were “risking their health and lives the most.”

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Vaccination is free for Russian citizens. Senior health official Alexey Kuznetsov announced that Sputnik V’s maximum commercial price will be 1,942 rubles ($26) for both injections.

President Vladimir Putin authorized the start of a large-scale vaccination campaign on Wednesday. Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said all of Russia’s regions would roll out their campaigns next week. Meanwhile, select groups of doctors and nurses had already been getting the vaccine, with the priority given to those on the frontline against Covid-19. The vaccination began in some army units as well.

© Ilya Pitalev / Sputnik

Sputnik V was created by the Moscow-based Gamaleya Research Institute. Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund which funded the development of the drug, told the BBC on Friday the plan is to vaccinate two million people in December. He added that he expected foreign regulators to approve Sputnik V in December and January.

© Ilya Pitalev / Sputnik

Another Russian-made vaccine, EpiVacCorona, will be available for wider circulation on December 10, according to its developer, the Siberian-based Vector Institute.

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---------- 20 ----------

Title: ‘This guy’s had ONE fight’: UFC veteran SLAMS rising star Chimaev and accuses Khabib’s manager of ‘leaking’ fake news about scrap

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/508787-khamzat-chimaev-thompson-rankings-ufc/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 14:09:56 +0000

Desc: Preview In a marked departure from his usual magnanimous approach, ex-UFC title challenger Stephen Thompson has said unbeaten Chechen-born sensation Khamzat Chimaev has no right to challenge top-ranked fighters after eight fights.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/508787-khamzat-chimaev-thompson-rankings-ufc/

Content:

In a marked departure from his usual magnanimous approach, ex-UFC title challenger Stephen Thompson has said unbeaten Chechen-born sensation Khamzat Chimaev has no right to challenge top-ranked fighters after eight fights.

Welterweight Thompson was rumored to have been lined up to face Chimaev in September, only to insist that he had no interest in facing the rising star before accepting a fight against the more established Geoff Neal in December.

Despite only having the first of his three UFC fights in July, Chimaev has been tipped for the top by promotion president Dana White and was handed a match-up with Leon Edwards, who Thompson had called out on Twitter, before the welterweight number three was forced to pull out earlier this week due to catching Covid-19.

"Khamzat has had one fight at welterweight and now he's ranked number 15," Thompson told The Score, reflecting on Chimaev's sole win in the division when he beat novice Rhys McKee on "Fight Island". "How does that work?

"At this point, it doesn't look like the rankings really matter anymore. And that kind of stinks, because where do you lie?

"How do you work your way up then? Do you have to talk cr*p on social media? I'm not going to do that.

"It's wild. Now that the UFC is owned by an entertainment company, it's the bigger, better fight - whatever fight seems the most exciting, that the fans want to see, is the fight they're going for."

Thompson was denied by a draw when he challenged Tyron Woodley for the title in 2016 before losing by decision in a rematch the following year.

That was the first of three defeats in five fights, including a knockout defeat to former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, that have made the fifth-ranked "Wonderboy" something of a gatekeeper in the division.

The 37-year-old said he believed that Chimaev's manager, Ali Abdelaziz, who he shares with lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov, had been "kind of throwing stuff out there" about the pair meeting.

"I got on Instagram one night and I saw it kind of blew up: 'Wonderboy's fighting Khamzat, Wonderboy's fighting Khamzat,'" he explained, adding that he had not been offered any deal.

"They were all foreign media outlets and I'm like, 'What? What is this?' I had no idea what it was, and I called my manager, and they were like, 'I have no idea what this is.'

"It was just kind of his team trying to get that fight. They were kind of leaking some stuff to the media, saying this thing was actually happening. That's just my theory.

"The guy's had one [UFC] fight at welterweight. One fight. What gives this guy the right to jump over everybody that worked their behinds off to get to where they're at? It just didn't make sense."

Also on rt.com
RT
Tinfoil hats at the ready! UFC star Stephen 'Wonderboy' Thompson outlines his Khamzat Chimaev CONSPIRACY THEORY

White admitted that he was willing to make an exception for Chimaev in arranging multiple fights at a time, and the Sweden-based "Borz" likened the promotion boss to James Bond after he helped him to secure a VISA for his third outing, knocking out Gerald Meerschaert in 17 seconds in September.

Thompson claimed that Edwards had been told to fight Chimaev in order to retain his place among the top-ranked contenders.

"I kind of jabbed at him a little bit on Twitter, in the nicest way possible," said Thompson. "He just kind of turned me down: 'No, I'm not fighting you. You're ranked number five.'

"He was only number three and he said it doesn't make sense. I was like, "What? I'm still in the top five, man. Come on.'"

Thompson and Neal will headline UFC Fight Night 183 in Las Vegas on December 19.

Also on rt.com
Coronavirus has scuppered the UFC fight between Leon Edwards (left) and Khamzat Chimaev after both caught Covid-19 © Steve Flynn / USA Today Sports | © Jeff Bottari / Zuffa LLC / USA Today Sports via Reuters
Covid chaos: Chechen-born Khamzat Chimaev’s scrap with Leon Edwards becomes latest UFC main event to hit the coronavirus scrapheap



---------- 21 ----------

Title: Frozen to death on the Road of Bones: Russian teen motorist dies in his car after a week spent stranded at MINUS 50 degrees

Link: https://www.rt.com/russia/508786-teen-motorist-frozen-death/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 12:21:00 +0000

Desc: Preview A young Russian has frozen to death in his car in the notoriously cold Yakutia region, after getting lost while driving in extreme temperatures.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/russia/508786-teen-motorist-frozen-death/

Content:

A young Russian has frozen to death in his car in the notoriously cold Yakutia region, after getting lost while driving in extreme temperatures.

Following a week-long search, the 18-year-old was found dead. Incredibly, his friend and companion survived. According to the region’s investigative committee, the temperature in this area at night is around -50°C, and the car’s radiator was broken. The two teenagers started driving from Yakutsk to Magadan on November 28 and were not found until December 5. The only road between these cities is the Kolyma Highway, most commonly known as the Road of Bones. The route was built using forced Gulag labor, and construction caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of prisoners, according to different sources.

As there is only one way to get between these cities, it is unclear how the two 18-year-olds turned away from the main route and got lost, but they were located on a now-abandoned highway.

Their vehicle, an old Toyota Chaser, was found 120km away from the nearest settlement. The surviving man was found with signs of frostbite and has been taken to a hospital in the Oymyakon district. He is said to be in serious condition.

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Oymyakon is world-famous for being the coldest permanently inhabited settlement on Earth, with the mercury often dropping below -60°C. The deceased has been named by local media as Sergey Ustinov. Both men were born in Magadan.

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---------- 22 ----------

Title: ‘One of the most important people in my career’: Ex-Serbia captain reveals Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's locker room PEP TALKS

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/508785-roman-abramovich-chelsea-ibramovic/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 12:19:23 +0000

Desc: Preview Chelsea Champions League winner Branislav Ivanovic has revealed how Roman Abramovich gave him "huge motivation" at the club, where the Russian owner was a friend as well as a boss to the defender and offered vital personal advice.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/508785-roman-abramovich-chelsea-ibramovic/

Content:

Chelsea Champions League winner Branislav Ivanovic has revealed how Roman Abramovich gave him "huge motivation" at the club, where the Russian owner was a friend as well as a boss to the defender and offered vital personal advice.

Billionaire Abramovich has kept a low public profile since transforming the Blues in 2003, turning them into contenders in the Premier League and Europe with the help of the likes of Ivanovic.

Still in the Premier League with West Brom, Ivanovic has admitted that he needed Abramovich's support after enduring a difficult spell following his arrival for around $13 million from Lokomotiv Moscow in 2008.

"When I came to Chelsea, I was not ready to play right away, which made me nervous and disappointed," veteran defender Ivanovic told Zurnal.

15.05.13 🏆

Branislav Ivanovic wins the Europa League for the Blues! pic.twitter.com/QSx1pDzldx

— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 15, 2019

"At that moment, Roman Abramovich dragged me aside and said, 'I believe in you.' After a half-hour chat, I had a huge motivation to work.

"He advised me and when I got up in the starting lineup, he sometimes came to the locker room.

"He is not only the owner of the club, but a friend. I hope that we will see each other again soon. Without him, Chelsea is not the same club."

Ivanovic did not make an appearance during the season in which he joined Chelsea after another of Abramovich's friends, then-boss and former Israel coach Avram Grant, deemed his new signing lacking in fitness and match sharpness.

In a period that he has described as the most difficult of his career, Serbia's leading appearance maker was swiftly linked with moves to other major clubs before becoming integral to Chelsea and winning a place in the English Professional Footballers' Association's Team of the Year in 2010.

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Frank Lampard (center) has discussed life at Chelsea with Russians Roman Abramovich (left) and Marina Granovskaia © Action Images / Darren Walsh / Livepic via Reuters | Chelsea FC / Getty Images
‘He‘s a man who gets things done’: Chelsea's Lampard speaks out on ‘ambitious, rich, RUTHLESS’ Abramovich and sidekick Granovskaia

He won the Champions League with the club in 2012, but perhaps his finest hour was scoring the last-gasp goal to beat Benfica and secure the Europa League for Chelsea the following year, winning the Man of the Match award after his heroics in the final.

"Sometimes people from the sidelines can better understand the situation than those who are directly involved in the matches," the 36-year-old said of the owner's words of wisdom to him. "Abramovich is one of the most important people in my career."

Ivanovic joined Zenit St. Petersburg in 2017, winning the Russian Premier League in each of the two seasons that followed and making his Serbia swansong at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

English top-flight newcomers West Brom added his experience to their squad before the start of this season, although he was not involved in their dramatic 3-3 draw at home to Chelsea in September, when they went 3-0 up in 27 minutes before the visitors fought back with three goals after half-time.

Speaking about Chelsea coach Lampard and Aston Villa assistant manager John Terry, who were both teammates of his at Stamford Bridge, Ivanovic said: "It is nice to see that they are successful as coaches too.

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Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and manager Frank Lampard. © Reuters
'I always feel Abramovich's support': Lampard hails billionaire Blues owner as he makes appearance at Chelsea victory in Russia

"I hear from most players from that period regularly. We have contact and I am very glad about that.

"Most of them have hung up their boots and I am still playing. But I was the youngest of that group."

Speaking after Ivanovic's match-winning display against Benfica, current Chelsea coach Lampard called him "an absolute professional" and "a man you want on your side."

"You only have to look at him to see what a beast he is," the midfielder said at the time.

"He goes under the radar a bit because he just does his job, but what a player. He's a pleasure to play with and a great man, and he particularly deserved it [winning the Europa League] out of everybody."

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Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has seen his club win the Champions League and Premier League © Action Images / Tony O'Brien via Reuters | © Action Images / Lee Mills via Reuters
Roman history: Twelve of the biggest hits and misses from the Abramovich era as the Russian owner celebrates 1,000 Chelsea games



---------- 23 ----------

Title: Trump signs anti-doping ‘Rodchenkov Act’ despite WADA saying it could ‘jeopardize’ partnership & harm whistleblowers

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/508782-trump-rondchenkov-act-doping/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 12:01:13 +0000

Desc: Preview President Trump has signed a law aimed at prosecuting doping offenders at international sporting events. The legislation was earlier criticized by the Word Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/508782-trump-rondchenkov-act-doping/

Content:

President Trump has signed a law aimed at prosecuting doping offenders at international sporting events. The legislation was earlier criticized by the Word Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The new law allows the US to impose criminal sanctions on people engaging in doping at international events, which involve American athletes, sponsors or broadcasters. The legislation empowers officials to seek fines of up to $1 million and jail terms of up to 10 years, as well as restitution to victims.

The law is named after Grigory Rodchenkov, the former chief of Russia's main doping control laboratory in Moscow. He alleged that there was a widespread state-run secret campaign to supply athletes with doping and hide their test results from international inspectors. Russia denied that there ever was such a state-sponsored campaign.

Rodchenkov fled to the US in 2016 and was later charged by Russian officials with running an illegal doping scheme.

Russian sports minister Oleg Matystin said that he shares the opinion of the global sports community, including WADA, that the Rodchenkov Act could lead to “an imbalance in the system of doping control and prevention.”

“It would mean that one country takes upon itself the right to be a judge. We view this negatively,” Matystin said on a Russian sports TV channel. “In the nearest future, we have to think how to minimize the risks for Russian athletes.”

WADA expressed similar concerns last month when the Rodchenkov Act had passed the US Senate.

“No nation has ever before asserted criminal jurisdiction over doping offences that occurred outside its national borders – and for good reason,” the global doping control body said in a statement.

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© REUTERS / Ivan Alvarado
‘If it’s not good enough for the US, why is it fine for the rest of the world?’ WADA slams controversial Rodchenkov bill

WADA argued that “by unilaterally exerting US criminal jurisdiction over all global doping activity, the Act will likely undermine clean sport by jeopardizing critical partnerships and cooperation between nations.” The organization also said the proposed legislation could potentially harm future whistleblowers.

Rodchenkov’s allegations were used to bar Russian athletes from several major international sporting events.

In 2017, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended the Russian Olympic Committee. The decision forced Russians to participate in the Winter Olympics held in South Korea as individual athletes competing under the neutral Olympic flag. The Russian Olympic Committee was later reinstated by the IOC in 2018.

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Russian skiing star Tatiana Sorina. © Reuters / Instagram @mrs_aleshina
Cheating just because she’s winning? Russian ski official reacts furiously to ‘idiot’ journalist after suggestions of doping

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---------- 24 ----------

Title: Farewell to 'The Soldier of God': Yoel Romero DEPARTS the UFC, but hopefully he's not done with MMA just yet

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/508784-yoel-romero-leaves-ufc/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 11:38:11 +0000

Desc: Preview Cuban UFC star Yoel Romero may have been able to pick up Olympic and world championship medals during his wrestling career, but UFC championship gold agonizingly eluded him during an eventful octagon career.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/508784-yoel-romero-leaves-ufc/

Content:

Cuban UFC star Yoel Romero may have been able to pick up Olympic and world championship medals during his wrestling career, but UFC championship gold agonizingly eluded him during an eventful octagon career.

Cuban man-mountain and longtime UFC middleweight contender Yoel Romero has competed in the octagon for the final time, according to reports Stateside, ending the UFC run of one of the most intriguing, exciting, physically imposing fighters to ever set foot inside the cage.

Romero may not have been the tallest middleweight to compete in the UFC, but his presence and aura made him a formidable opponent for every man he shared the cage with throughout his career.

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UFC middleweight Yoel Romero © Jason Silva
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As a freestyle wrestler, Romero captured Olympic gold at the Sydney Games in 2000, and also claimed gold at the 1999 world championship in Ankara. He then went on to take world championship silver in 2002 and 2005 to join a collection that also included three world cup golds, five Pan-American Championship golds and a Pan-American Games gold in a stellar career on the mats.

When he transitioned to MMA and built a 5-1 record in his first two years as a professional, he was snapped up by the UFC and announced his arrival on the big stage with a big KO of Clifford Starks on his octagon debut in April 2013.

He then went on to finish Ronny Markes and Derek Brunson, both by heavy-handed stoppage, and outpointed Brad Tavares to elevate himself to the upper echelon of the UFC's 185-pound division.

He then finished perennial contender Tim Kennedy after a thrilling, and controversial, back-and-forth bout that saw some corner shenanigans earn a gassed Romero additional time between rounds before he eventually came back to finish the US Army sniper in the final round.

He then starched former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida with brutal elbows to put himself in the mix for a title shot. A split-decision win over Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza put him one win away, and a stunning flying knee knockout of Chris Weidman at Madison Square Garden earned him a shot at the interim title held by Robert Whittaker. But his shot at gold fell short as Whittaker outpointed the Cuban over five rounds at UFC 213 in July 2017.

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However, a second shot at interim gold followed in February 2018 when he took on former champion Luke Rockhold at UFC 221. This time, Romero turned up the power and demolished Rockhold in arguably the most devastating display of his UFC career. But, in a cruel twist, the title eluded him again after he had failed to make championship weight for the contest.

That proved to be Romero's final win in the octagon, with the Cuban falling to three back-to-back decision losses. First an agonizing split-decision defeat to Whittaker for the undisputed title at UFC 225, then another loss on the cards to Paulo Costa in a back-and-forth three-round war at UFC 241.

Romero's final fight in the UFC was, once again, for championship gold, but his last appearance in the cage was a forgettable one as he fought to a unanimous decision defeat in a disappointing title fight with Israel Adesanya at UFC 248.

He may have frustrated and infuriated at times, but his ability to produce something stunning out of nowhere made him must-see TV every time he set foot inside the octagon.

And there aren't too many fortysomething men who are capable of producing physical feats to come remotely close to Romero's abilities. Forget fighting, even his open workouts were enough to make your eyes pop.

Whether Romero moves on to pastures new to continue his career – Bellator or the PFL would seem to be ideal landing spots – or opts to retire remains uncertain. But one thing is for sure, the UFC just got a little less interesting with the departure of the man known as "The Soldier of God."

To quote the man himself, I hope it's not the end and we "See you soon, boi!"



---------- 25 ----------

Title: British index provider to drop eight Chinese corporations after US blacklisting

Link: https://www.rt.com/business/508779-china-firms-ftse-russel/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 11:30:45 +0000

Desc: Preview FTSE Russell, an arm of the London Stock Exchange, announced plans to delete shares of eight Chinese firms from certain products shortly after Washington added them to a blacklist of companies with alleged Chinese military ties.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/business/508779-china-firms-ftse-russel/

Content:

FTSE Russell, an arm of the London Stock Exchange, announced plans to delete shares of eight Chinese firms from certain products shortly after Washington added them to a blacklist of companies with alleged Chinese military ties.

The international index provider will remove shares of the eight enterprises from its FTSE Global Equity Index Series (GEIS), its FTSE China A Inclusion indices, and associated indices beginning on December 21 following the quarterly index review.

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US blacklists Chinese chipmaker SMIC & oil producer CNOOC over alleged military ties

The list of affected firms includes China Communications Construction Company, China Spacesat, China Nuclear Engineering & Construction Corporation, Hangzhou Hikvision, CRRC, Dawning Information (Sugon), China National Chemical Engineering Group and China Railway Construction, according to a statement by the London Stock Exchange Group.

A combined market capitalization of the blacklisted firms amounts to $143.1 billion, according to Bloomberg data, compiled at the close of trading on Friday.

“Sanctioned companies will only be considered for re-inclusion in standard FTSE Russell indexes after a period of 12 months from the date of sanctions being removed,” the group said.

The step comes days after the US administration introduced a step-by-step ban of 35 Chinese companies, and ordered restricting purchasing and selling of their shares over alleged ties to the Chinese military sector.

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According to FTSE Russell, additional constituents will be removed as soon as they are added to US sanctions lists by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, an arm of the US Treasury Department.

Earlier, rival index providers MSCI and Nasdaq announced plans to evaluate whether to drop the sanctioned firms, stressing that their products would “reflect any necessary changes” depending on US legislation.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section



---------- 26 ----------

Title: Prince Andrew’s accuser LIED about her age & was ‘prostitute’ paid off by Epstein, court papers show – report

Link: https://www.rt.com/uk/508780-prince-andrew-accuser-documents/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 10:49:27 +0000

Desc: Preview Prince Andrew’s chief accuser was a prostitute who lied about her age and was paid “half a million” by disgraced businessman Jeffrey Epstein, new court papers allege, according to the Telegraph.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/uk/508780-prince-andrew-accuser-documents/

Content:

Prince Andrew’s chief accuser was a prostitute who lied about her age and was paid “half a million” by disgraced businessman Jeffrey Epstein, new court papers allege, according to the Telegraph.

Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who is now an advocate for victims of sex trafficking, has claimed she had sex with the royal at least three times in 2001, when she was 17.

Giuffre claims this happened after she met with American financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was charged with procuring underage and young women for powerful clients, together with his close associate Ghislaine Maxwell.

According to the report, Sharon Churcher, the journalist who first revealed that Giuffre was among Epstein’s victims, told New York publisher Tony Lyons that Giuffre lied about her age when she met Epstein.

“She took a year off [her age]. Apparently she was 16, not 15, when she was recruited [by Epstein]. But she’d been on the game for about a year then. Epstein’s women were – he basically had prostitutes,” the paper quoted Churcher as saying about Giuffre, citing a transcript of her conversation with Lyons.

Churcher was quoted as saying that Giuffre was “suing everybody,” including Epstein’s lawyer, Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz. “The idea is that he will then pay her off. This really is blackmail,” she said, adding that Giuffre would “just move on to other people” and that Epstein had “paid her off.”

“She had settled with Epstein. She’d taken half a million, I think it was.”

The journalist also reportedly suggested that Giuffre may have produced fake emails that were later presented as having been written by Churcher.

In a comment to the Telegraph, Giuffre’s lawyer, Chuck Cooper, said: “We are looking forward to taking Ms. Churcher’s deposition under oath.”

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FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York. © Pool via REUTERS/David Mirzoeff
Epstein & Prince Andrew saga: Duke of York ‘laughed’ while attending topless photoshoot involving a teen, new book claims

Prince Andrew has denied ever having sex with Giuffre. He admitted to having been friends with Epstein but claimed he had no idea at the time that the businessman was involved in sex trafficking. In 2001, the prince was photographed wrapping his hand around Giuffre’s waist in Maxwell’s London apartment.

Epstein was found dead in August 2019 inside a prison cell in New York, where he was awaiting trial. Maxwell was arrested in July and charged with helping Epstein to procure underage girls for sex trafficking.

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FILE PHOTO: The Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) where Ghislaine Maxwell has been held, is pictured in Brooklyn, New York, on July 6, 2020.
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---------- 27 ----------

Title: ‘They are a great couple’: Ex-UFC pin-up VanZant and MMA husband declared ‘class’ as pornstar Kendra Lust shares bare knuckle snap

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/508773-kendra-lust-paige-vanzant-bare-knuckle/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 10:49:04 +0000

Desc: Preview UFC fan and pornstar Kendra Lust says she is longing for more Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) events after meeting Paige VanZant and her husband, Bellator MMA's Austin Vanderford, ahead of the newcomer's debut next year.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/508773-kendra-lust-paige-vanzant-bare-knuckle/

Content:

UFC fan and pornstar Kendra Lust says she is longing for more Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) events after meeting Paige VanZant and her husband, Bellator MMA's Austin Vanderford, ahead of the newcomer's debut next year.

The hugely popular adult performer had a night to remember at a promotion event in November, where she supported Cuban fighter Ulysses Diaz as he knocked out Donelei Benedetto in a quickfire contest lasting just three seconds.

Former UFC competitor VanZant was also in Miami to confirm a fight with Britain Hart, her first opponent in bare knuckle fighting, in Florida on Super Bowl weekend in February.

Lust - real name Michele Anne Mason - is one of the few people to have more Instagram fans than VanZant, racking up more than double the fighter's vast total of 2.7 million.

The ex-UFC flyweight is renowned for her racey photoshoots with Vanderford on social media, and Lust was impressed by the camera-loving pair. 

"Can I go back to Miami where it’s warm?" she asked, sharing a photo of herself at the event alongside VanZant, Vanderford and Diaz's girlfriend, WWE star and former professional body builder Dana Brooke.

"Such a great time...met some great people. Paige is just class, the way she goes about it - I could see.

"Her husband, Austin, is such a nice guy - they are a great couple together. I am looking forward to more events and hope to be a part of more.

"Walking out [Diaz] with his beautiful girl and my friend, then to witness the fastest knockout ever. I suggest [you] check out [BKFC], you will love it."

VanZant's addition to the BKFC has already raised the profile of the promotion in the three months since she signed, although some fans and analysts have voiced fears that a fighter not noted for her punch power during her time with the UFC could struggle in a more brutal discipline.

Hart recorded a knockout win on the night, meeting VanZant in the ring afterwards, and is an experienced boxer with four defeats from 11 fights.

VanZant shared Lust's photo on her account, which she has been using to keep her fans updated on a trip she took to Alaska with Vanderford this week.

The couple visited a wellness center and went running and sledding in the snow, while VanZant broke her posts up with a more familiar image of herself balancing above Vanderford's half-naked torso in a bikini, writing: "Thought I should heat things up a little because it’s been so cold."

They took part in a typically risque shoot before leaving, as VanZant draped herself over Vanderford inside their home for a series of black-and-white portraits.

"I would say I want to rip off your clothes but you never really have any on," she told him. "You’re on my list of things to do tonight."

Lust expressed her admiration for another Bellator star, Juan Archuleta, a day before vaunting VanZant.

"I met him about five years ago through a mutual friend," she said, publishing a photo with the bantamweight champion. "Our friend said he is going to be a world champion.

"After getting to know him and his family who support him, and seeing how hard he trains, there was no doubt in my mind he would be a champion one day.

"So happy for him and his family - much deserved for such a humble person. I can’t wait to see you fight again in Bellator MMA. Let’s go."

Also on rt.com
Pornstar Kendra Lust (left) liked UFC fighter Joanna Jedrzejczyk's snaps on holiday with Gezary Matuda © Instagram / kendralust / joannajedrzejczyk
‘Let me get it off’: UFC babe Jedrzejczyk thrills pornstar Lust as ex-champ poses on Mexico getaway with Brazilian jiu-jitsu queen



---------- 28 ----------

Title: YouTube star Jake Paul says he'd consider fighting brother Logan in HUGE boxing clash: 'I'm a 10x better boxer' (VIDEO)

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/508781-jake-paul-considering-fight-logan-paul/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 10:43:31 +0000

Desc: Preview After his eye-catching knockout of former NBA player Nate Robinson on the Tyson-Jones Jr. undercard, YouTube star Jake Paul appears to be a man with plenty of options – one of which could even be a fight with his brother, Logan.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/508781-jake-paul-considering-fight-logan-paul/

Content:

After his eye-catching knockout of former NBA player Nate Robinson on the Tyson-Jones Jr. undercard, YouTube star Jake Paul appears to be a man with plenty of options – one of which could even be a fight with his brother, Logan.

With Jake scoring back to back wins over non-boxing opponents in the ring, and Logan Paul twice facing fellow YouTuber KSI in a pair of bouts that attracted stupendous ratings online, a potential bout between the brothers would seemingly generate huge online interest.

Also on rt.com
Jake Paul (right) beat Nate Robinson on the undercard of Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr and called out UFC's Conor McGregor © Joe Scarnici / USA Today Sports via Reuters
Boxing world mocks Jake Paul as he calls out UFC's McGregor after brutal KO of ex-NBA star – but Tyson claims sport owes YouTubers

Jake certainly seems to be mulling over the idea, and told U.S. gossip outlet TMZ that if the pair ever did fight, it would be his hand getting raised at the end of the bout.

"I sort of change my mind on it every day," he said.

"One day I'll do it, the next day I'm like 'I don't think I should do that.'

"I would just do it to prove people wrong."

Also on rt.com
Conor McGregor and Jake Paul
As he 'dedicates his life to beating Conor McGregor', is YouTube star Jake Paul biting off more than he can chew?

That sentiment comes from people online suggesting that Logan is the better athlete – and better fighter – of the pair.

But Jake has a different view, and cites his performances against English YouTuber AnEsonGib and NBA star Robinson as evidence of his superior boxing skills.

"I'm like a 10-times better boxer," he stated.

"I've had two fights and I've been in the ring for a total of seven minutes and I've knocked down my opponents six times in that seven minutes."

Incredibly, Jake has been called out by a host of names, including former world champions Evander Holyfield and Antonio Tarver.

With plenty of interest in his next move, whichever route the brash YouTuber decides to take next, a huge payday looks set to follow.



---------- 29 ----------

Title: Owner of LA bar closed by Covid-19 restrictions decries ‘slap in the face’ as film company allowed to set up dining nearby

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/508778-la-bar-outdoor-dining/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 10:38:55 +0000

Desc: Preview A Los Angeles bar owner barely held in her tears of outrage after discovering tents meant for feeding a movie crew erected right next to her restaurant, which was shut down and banned from serving outdoors due to Covid-19 rules.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/508778-la-bar-outdoor-dining/

Content:

A Los Angeles bar owner barely held in her tears of outrage after discovering tents meant for feeding a movie crew erected right next to her restaurant, which was shut down and banned from serving outdoors due to Covid-19 rules.

“Tell me that this is dangerous, but right next to me as a slap in my face – that’s safe?” Angela Marsden says in a video pointing to two outdoor spaces, hers and that serving a movie company. The short clip, which highlights how small businesses in California are left behind and going under while large companies apparently get the green light to march on, has gone viral and won a massive outpouring of support.

Bar owner in Los Angeles CA is livid to see that mayor Garcetti has approved an outdoor dining area for a movie company directly across from her outdoor dining area (which was shut down) pic.twitter.com/jkUP2CWg35

— Jake Coco 💙🇺🇸🎶🐻 (@jakecoco) December 4, 2020

Marsden owns Pineapple Hill Saloon and Grill, a restaurant in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles. Like many other establishments, it was forced to shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic, despite Marsden investing a reported $80,000 into making her facility safer.

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FILE PHOTOS: (L) Tourists walk along a beach in Acapulco, Mexico; (R) Austin Mayor Steve Adler.
‘Stay home’ to beat Covid-19, Texas mayor tells citizens – from vacation in MEXICO

As such, she was furious when she discovered that a movie company had been allowed to set up tents to feed employees right in front of her bar, which has an outdoor dining area of its own. The film industry is considered essential by Los Angeles County and was allowed to operate despite coronavirus risks.

“I am losing everything. Everything I own is being taken away from me. And they set up a movie company right next to my outdoor patio!” Marsden said.

They have not given us money and they have shut us down. We cannot survive! My staff cannot survive!

Pineapple Hill Saloon and Grill has been running in the neighborhood for over four decades, but unless it opens by February, Marsden may have to shut it down for good, she told local media. She and several other small business owners are organizing a protest against what they see as unfair treatment by Mayor Eric Garcetti and California Governor Gavin Newsom.

The situation however is hardly unique for California. Throughout the US authorities have been deciding which forms of entertainment are essentials and which are not.

Same thing in NYC, where studio audiences are allowed for SNL but Broadway and restaurants suffer. https://t.co/D1cl1Jbe5u

— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) December 5, 2020

For example, the comedy show Saturday Night Live brought back a live audience in October in a move not in line with health guidelines. They got round the rules by compensating people for watching the show, which technically made them paid employees.

But some larger productions are still suffering. In New York, Broadway remains closed and isn’t currently slated to reopen until at least 2021. The Metropolitan Opera on Wednesday announced the cancellation of its entire 2020-21 season due to the pandemic, an ominous sign for the performing arts.

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---------- 30 ----------

Title: Smaller Russian oil corporations oust energy giants from top of WWF environmental rating

Link: https://www.rt.com/business/508765-wwf-rating-russia-oil/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 09:23:07 +0000

Desc: Preview Russia’s oil and gas companies have demonstrated distinctly higher transparency of ecological information, with minor firms taking lead positions in the annual ranking by the World Wildlife Fund Russia and energy consultant Creon.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/business/508765-wwf-rating-russia-oil/

Content:

Russia’s oil and gas companies have demonstrated distinctly higher transparency of ecological information, with minor firms taking lead positions in the annual ranking by the World Wildlife Fund Russia and energy consultant Creon.

“For the first time over the last seven years we are facing the unprecedented level of transparency of oil & gas companies in incidents and emergencies coverage,” the report reads.

The rating that has been published since 2014 rated eighteen Russian energy enterprises with annual output of more than two million tons.

Also on rt.com
FILE PHOTO. © Reuters / Dado Ruvic
OPEC+ finally reaches deal on 2021 oil output cuts

This year, the rankings also includes fourteen corporations from Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan producing 0.5 and 0.1 million tons of oil and gas a year.Russian state-controlled firm Zarubezhneft that works outside Russia won top billing, followed by the country’s biggest private energy firms Surgutneftegas and Lukoil. Privately-run Sakhalin Energy and Exxon Neftegas, a subsidiary of the US multinational ExxonMobil, made the top five.

The rating, based on an objective comparison and assessment of the companies’ environmental responsibility and management, was reportedly initiated to help consumers and banks give preference to the products of a particular company and to evaluate various corporate risks, including reputational ones.

According to WWF Russia, the major goal of the report was to promote the effective use of hydrocarbon resources, environmental protection and socially responsible business practices in Russia.

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© Global Look Press /Xinhua
Beijing launches 1,100km section of Russia-China natural gas pipeline

Russian state-controlled energy giant Gazprom has been marked for the biggest increment of information disclosure and transparency, according to the 2020 analysis. The company moved to the eighth position in the ranking, two spots up from last year.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section



---------- 31 ----------

Title: Saudi oil exports to US slump to 35-year low

Link: https://www.rt.com/business/508676-saudi-oil-exports-us-slump/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 09:01:11 +0000

Desc: Preview Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports to the United States fell to the lowest in 35 years in October, averaging less than 100,000 bpd.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/business/508676-saudi-oil-exports-us-slump/

Content:

Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports to the United States fell to the lowest in 35 years in October, averaging less than 100,000 bpd.

In the week to November 27 alone, the volume of Saudi oil shipments to the US fell to as little as 73,000 bpd.

The average daily volume for October beat another low, recorded for August, at 177,000 bpd, as OPEC’s top producer and exporter tried to tighten crude oil supply amid plummeting prices.

To compare, the Saudis shipped as much as 1.3 million bpd to the United States in April, when they sent a fleet of supertankers to flood the US market with oil during the price war with Russia at the end of March and early April. Back in April, the tanker fleet from Saudi Arabia coincided with the massive oil demand loss and threatened to overflow US storage capacity.

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© Reuters
ISIS calls for attacks on Saudi oil industry

After that, however, Saudi Arabia changed tack and started tightening exports to the US while raising shipments to China. From January to November this year, Saudi oil exports to China averaged 1.6 to 1.7 million bpd as the Kingdom vied with Russia for the title of top crude oil supplier to the world’s largest importer of the commodity.

US total oil imports, meanwhile, have been on the decline, too. For the four weeks to November 27, according to the EIA, these averaged five million bpd, down by 10.5 percent on a year ago. Canada remained the biggest foreign supplier of crude to the US, with Saudi Arabia ranking third, after Mexico.

Saudi Arabia is currently negotiating the future of oil production cuts with OPEC+, implemented in order to arrest the slide of oil prices caused by the price war and the coronavirus pandemic.

This article was originally published on Oilprice.com



---------- 32 ----------

Title: Judge orders full restoration of DACA immigration program in latest upset to key Trump policy

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/508772-daca-fully-restored-judge/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 08:22:59 +0000

Desc: Preview The US government has three days to fully reopen the Obama-era scheme granting protection to illegal immigrants who came to the US as kids, a federal judge has ruled. Scrapping DACA was a key goal for the Trump administration.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/508772-daca-fully-restored-judge/

Content:

The US government has three days to fully reopen the Obama-era scheme granting protection to illegal immigrants who came to the US as kids, a federal judge has ruled. Scrapping DACA was a key goal for the Trump administration.

In a Friday ruling, Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the US District Court in Brooklyn ordered that, by Monday, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must post a public notice that it will accept new petitions under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) scheme. No bids have been accepted since 2017, when the Trump administration attempted to phase out the 2012 program.

As many as one million young adults and teens are estimated to be qualified but not enrolled in DACA due to the government’s attempt to end it. It grants protection from deportation and a path to working legally, but not a change in legal status.

Also on rt.com
Protesters celebrate US Supreme Court's ruling on the DACA program, in San Diego, California, June 18, 2020.
‘Just hate’ and ‘blatantly illegal’: Activists blast new DHS guidelines on DACA, denying new applications and limiting extensions

The court order follows up on an earlier November ruling by the same judge, which found that acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf had no authority to curtail DACA, because his appointment was illegal. Wolf imposed restrictions in a July memo describing how the department should manage the program, closing it to new applicants and reducing the term of work permits for those already in the program to one year. Under Garaufis’ ruling, applicants will be granted two-year work permits, as originally intended.

Wolf’s guidelines were issued after the US Supreme Court ruled in June against the Trump administration's attempt to end DACA for good. The government argued that the program overreached the executive authority. The proposed scrapping was put on hold by several federal courts before being turned down by the USSC.

Also on rt.com
Alejandro Mayorkas speaks during the annual Cyberweek conference at Tel Aviv University, Israel, June 20, 2016 © Reuters / Amir Cohen
Biden puts Homeland Security in hands of Alejandro Mayorkas, the Cuban-American lawyer who championed citizenship for immigrants

DACA is meant for illegal immigrants who were under 16 when they arrived in the US and have lived in the country since at least 2007. Applicants must have no felony record and have a high school education, a GED (General Education Development certificate), or an honorary discharge in the military to qualify. Dubbed ‘Dreamers’, there are currently more than 640,000 people enrolled under the program.

Illegal immigration was a hot-button issue for the 2016 presidential election, when Donald Trump famously promised to build a wall along the US southern border and make Mexico pay for it. The unsuccessful attack on DACA was part of his administration’s drive to crack down on undocumented immigrants.

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---------- 33 ----------

Title: ‘Soft power propaganda tools’: US State Department ends five cultural exchange programs with China

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/508763-us-china-exchange-programs/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 06:59:10 +0000

Desc: Preview The US State Department has axed five exchange programs with Beijing branding them as instruments of propaganda as relations between the states continues to deteriorate.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/508763-us-china-exchange-programs/

Content:

The US State Department has axed five exchange programs with Beijing branding them as instruments of propaganda as relations between the states continues to deteriorate.

The cancelled programs are the Policymakers Educational China Trip Program, the US-China Friendship Program, the US-China Leadership Exchange Program, the US-China Transpacific Exchange Program, and the Hong Kong Educational and Cultural Program.  

These “one-way” programs were funded and run by Beijing as “soft power propaganda tools,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement. 

They provide carefully curated access to Chinese Communist Party officials, not to the Chinese people, who do not enjoy freedoms of speech and assembly.

The affected programs were ostensibly set up to foster bilateral ties and better understanding between Beijing and Washington.

For example, the Policymakers Educational China Trip Program is operated by the US-China Policy Foundation that was launched in 1995. It allows for short tours of US officials across China in order to provide them with “firsthand insight into the significant issues” between the states, according to the program’s website.

In August 2019, a group of American congressional staffers visited Beijing, Shanghai and Kunming, the capital of the southwestern Yunnan province, where they met with various Chinese state officials, diplomats and academics, and did some sightseeing. A similar trip was conducted in April 2019, when a US delegation visited Beijing and the Hainan Island in the South China Sea.

Also on rt.com
TikTok's Los Angeles Office in Culver City. ©Xinhua via Global Look Press
No more time to sell TikTok’s US assets as deadline for Chinese owner passes – report

The relations between China and the US have deteriorated significantly during the Donald Trump administration as the nations clashed over tariffs, military posturing in the South China Sea, and Washington’s open support for the anti-government protests in Hong Kong.

The US also accused Beijing of using Chinese-owned telecoms companies, such as Huawei, to spy on Americans. The White House has taken steps to push Huawei out of the US market and has been pressuring its European allies to do the same. In a similar fashion, Trump threatened to ban Chinese-owned TikTok video-sharing app and instant messaging app WeChat unless their ownership model is changed in the US. Beijing, for its part, has repeatedly denied it was using telecoms companies for illegal surveillance and espionage.

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---------- 34 ----------

Title: No more time to sell TikTok’s US assets as deadline for Chinese owner passes – report

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/508756-tiktok-divestment-no-extension/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 06:43:36 +0000

Desc: Preview The US government will not offer ByteDance a further extension to complete the divestment of the US assets of its popular video sharing service TikTok, which was ordered by President Donald Trump in August, Reuters sources said.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/508756-tiktok-divestment-no-extension/

Content:

The US government will not offer ByteDance a further extension to complete the divestment of the US assets of its popular video sharing service TikTok, which was ordered by President Donald Trump in August, Reuters sources said.

The Chinese company is in talks with Walmart and Oracle on a deal, which would transfer ownership of its US operation to a new entity to comply with the Trump executive order. The US administration labeled TikTok a national security threat, claiming that it exposes personal data of American users to the Chinese government.

ByteDance, which denied the allegations, started negotiations on the divestment scheme, but has not completed it so far. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) had twice granted extensions to implement the deal, which Trump said had his “blessing”. But no more delay will be accepted now, as the deadline expired on Friday, Reuters reported citing anonymous sources.

Trump reportedly personally made a decision to deny further reprieve during a meeting with senior US officials. Negotiations with ByteDance on shedding its US assets will still continue.

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© Reuters / Dado Ruvic
TikTok asks court to stop Trump’s divestment order, cites lack of ‘substantive feedback’

Earlier in November ByteDance filed a petition with the US Appeals Court challenging Trump’s order. It said it will seek to block its enforcement, should negotiations on the proposed deal “reach an impasse”.

The company previously successfully overturned through a court a US government order to remove TikTok from app stores, keeping it available for new downloads in the US. There are an estimated 100 million users of the service in the country.

Beijing sees Washington’s pressure against ByteDance as a form of “national bullying” fitting a wider pattern of discrimination against Chinese businesses.

Also on rt.com
A picture of US President Donald Trump is seen on a smartphone in front of displayed TikTok and WeChat logos in this illustration taken September 18, 2020. © Reuters / Dado Ruvic / Illustration
‘Bullying behavior’: China accuses Trump administration of ‘abusing power’ by trying to ban TikTok

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---------- 35 ----------

Title: Coronavirus will drive global debt to $200 TRILLION by end of 2020, S&P projects

Link: https://www.rt.com/business/508693-world-debt-trillion-dollars/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 06:15:35 +0000

Desc: Preview The world’s appetite for borrowing is growing with global debt expected to reach the next milestone of $200 trillion as early as this year, according to ratings agency S&P Global.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/business/508693-world-debt-trillion-dollars/

Content:

The world’s appetite for borrowing is growing with global debt expected to reach the next milestone of $200 trillion as early as this year, according to ratings agency S&P Global.

That will reportedly account for 265 percent of the world’s annual economic output, amounting to a 14-point rise as a percentage of world GDP. The dramatic surge was triggered by both the economic plunge due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the extra borrowing that governments, firms and households have had to fall back upon, the New York-based agency said.

“Global debt-to-GDP has been trending up for many years; the pandemic simply exacerbated the rise,” the report reads.

Also on rt.com
RT
Pakistan calls for debt relief for poor countries struggling with Covid-19 pandemic

Despite mounting debt and a series of defaults over the coming year, the S&P doesn’t expect a major crisis any time soon.

“The projected 14-percent surge in global debt-to-GDP in 2020 is unlikely to cause a near-term debt crisis, provided economies recover, vaccines are widely distributed, interest rates remain very low, and borrowing behavior moderates,” the agency said.

The global debt-to-GDP ratio will reportedly ease back to 256 percent within two years, as soon as the world economy gets back on its feet after the pandemic.

“We expect the debt growth of corporates, governments, and household to ease as they tend to after recessions,” the report reads.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section



---------- 36 ----------

Title: ‘Don’t kill me, man’: New York AG releases disturbing police body cam VIDEO of two black men who died in custody

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/508752-new-york-footage-police-killing/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 05:10:13 +0000

Desc: Preview New York’s attorney general has disclosed police footage showing the final moments of residents Daniel Prude and Troy Hodge, who both died following encounters with officers, in what the AG called an effort at transparency.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/508752-new-york-footage-police-killing/

Content:

New York’s attorney general has disclosed police footage showing the final moments of residents Daniel Prude and Troy Hodge, who both died following encounters with officers, in what the AG called an effort at transparency.

State Attorney General Letitia James and her office’s Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit released 11 videos on Friday, six detailing interactions between Daniel Prude and Rochester officers, while the remaining five show Hodge’s fatal run-in with police in Lockport in the summer of 2019.

“Our criminal justice system is in need of significant reform to rebuild the trust between police and the communities they serve,” James said in a statement, adding that the release of the videos is a “critical step” toward “transparency, accountability and justice.”

Key to that reform is increased transparency, which is why I am proactively releasing video footage from our active investigations into police-involved killings.

Captured in late March, one body cam video depicts officer Mark Vaughn as he responds to a situation in progress, with an agitated Prude seen naked on the ground, rambling incoherently to police at the scene.

As Prude begins to spit at officers, a hood is placed around his head, which appears to cause him further distress. Around five minutes into the clip, Prude proceeds to demand one officer’s gun and attempts to stand up, prompting Vaughn to press his head into the pavement to restrain him. Prude soon becomes unresponsive, giving no answer when Vaughn asks “You good, man?”

“He still moving his arms?” Vaughn is heard saying, adding “doesn’t look like he has chest compressions” before rolling the man onto his side. Paramedics attempt CPR moments later, with one emergency worker suggesting Prude suffered “excited delirium,” which she notes is a side effect of PCP intoxication.

That supposition was later supported by a medical examiner’s autopsy report, which found the drug was a contributing factor in Prude’s death, which the report ruled a homicide. The official cause was listed as “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint.”

Also on rt.com
Naked activists protest the death of Daniel Prude at the Public Safety Building in Rochester, New York, September 7, 2020.
Rochester police leadership QUITS ahead of Black Lives Matter protest over death of Daniel Prude

The fatal encounter with Prude has sparked months of intermittent protests across Rochester and beyond, even prompting the abrupt resignations of the city’s police chief and deputy chief in September. “The mischaracterization and the politicization of the actions that I took after being informed of Mr. Prude’s death is not based on facts, and is not what I stand for,” the former chief, La’Ron Singletary, insisted at the time.

Though the case is still under investigation by the AG, it has so far resulted in suspensions for at least six officers, including Vaughn.

A lengthier clip – dated June 16, 2019 and taken from the body cam of a Lockport, New York deputy identified only by their last name, “Finley” – similarly begins with the officer responding to a call as a group of officers struggle with 39-year-old Hodge on the ground. One appears to have a foot on the man’s neck.

While officers ask whether he is armed, a distressed Hodge is heard pleading “Don’t kill me, man,” to which an officer responds: “No one’s going to kill you.”

After a brief struggle on the ground, Hodge is repositioned, but appears to be struggling to breathe and becomes unresponsive minutes later. Paramedics then place the man on a stretcher, with one EMT heard saying “We have no pulse, no nothing, guys.”

An autopsy later found that Hodge died of “homicide and acute cocaine intoxication,” however a lawyer representing his estate, James Grable, has disputed that finding and is pressing on with his own investigation – even as James continues her official probe.

“The fact of the matter is these police officers killed Troy Hodge. That's as simple as it gets,” Grable told a local newspaper in June. “The cocaine didn't kill him. He'd be alive, and he'd be with us today if they didn't use excessive force on him.”

Also on rt.com
Twitter @NYPDnews
Unrest on NYC streets continues as woman arrested for slapping camera out of cop’s hand during anti-police protest (VIDEO)

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---------- 37 ----------

Title: Biden says he won’t force Americans to vaccinate, but will do 'everything' in his power to encourage them to ‘do the right thing’

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/508751-biden-vaccine-mandate-americans/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 02:23:24 +0000

Desc: Preview Presumptive US President-elect Joe Biden said he would not make coronavirus vaccines mandatory for Americans when he takes office, vowing to “encourage people” to take the inoculation instead.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/508751-biden-vaccine-mandate-americans/

Content:

Presumptive US President-elect Joe Biden said he would not make coronavirus vaccines mandatory for Americans when he takes office, vowing to “encourage people” to take the inoculation instead.

“I don't think it should be mandatory, I wouldn't demand it to be mandatory,” Biden told reporters on Friday at the tail end of an event in Delaware, referring to the vaccine, adding that he also doesn’t believe “masks have to be made mandatory nationwide.”

I’ll do everything in my power as president of the United States to encourage people to do the right thing – and when they do it, demonstrate that it matters.

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FILE PHOTOS.
'Not forever': Biden to 'ask' Americans to wear masks for 'just 100 days' as he taps Fauci to join his team as medical adviser

The remark came one day after the media-declared president-elect stated his intent to “ask” Americans to don face coverings for the first 100 days of his administration, cutting against his own previous statements, as well as critics predicting a coronavirus crackdown under the Democrat’s presidency.

While Biden told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in October that he wouldn’t rule out a vaccine mandate, saying it would depend on “the state of the nature of the vaccine when it comes out and how it's being distributed,” at the time he acknowledged such a rule would be difficult to enforce.

Biden has made an even sharper U-turn on a national mask requirement. Though he repeatedly endorsed the idea throughout the campaign season, calling on President Trump in August to “institute a mask mandate nationwide, starting immediately,” he has since backed away from that stance, instead urging state and local officials to impose the measures themselves.

Also on rt.com
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris at the Democratic National Convention, August 20, 2020.
Biden tells Trump there's ‘no miracle coming,’ then vows to stop coronavirus… with ‘Covid truth & mandatory masks’?

The former vice president insisted on Friday that he did not want to “punish” Americans with overbearing restrictions amid the pandemic, but nonetheless said it is a “patriotic duty” to wear masks.

“If people do it for 100 days, in the middle of what will still be a raging crisis, and the vaccine is able to be distributed, they’re going to see deaths drop off the edge,” he said.

The US has recorded more than 14.3 million coronavirus infections and nearly 279,000 fatalities since the outbreak started, according to data gathered by Johns Hopkins University, keeping its place at the top of the list of worst-hit nations in terms of reported cases and deaths.

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---------- 38 ----------

Title: ‘2021 going to be catastrophic,’ UN warned it faces worst crises in its history

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/508748-un-2021-crises-famine/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 01:06:11 +0000

Desc: Preview The head of the World Food Programme has made a dire forecast about the months to come, slating “catastrophic” humanitarian crises for 2021, in what could be the worst year seen in the better part of a century.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/508748-un-2021-crises-famine/

Content:

The head of the World Food Programme has made a dire forecast about the months to come, slating “catastrophic” humanitarian crises for 2021, in what could be the worst year seen in the better part of a century.

WFP chief David Beasley sounded the alarm at a United Nations General Assembly meeting on Friday, convened to discuss the coronavirus pandemic and worldwide efforts to blunt its impact. He warned that some 270 million people are now “marching toward starvation” and that, in some countries, famine is “around the horizon.”

“2021 is literally going to be catastrophic, based on what we’re seeing at this stage in the game,” Beasley said, adding that “because we’ve spent $19 trillion, that money may not, and will not most likely be available for 2021,” even as economic contractions have already begun.

We’re now looking literally at 2021 being the worst humanitarian crisis year since the beginning of the United Nations, and we’re going to have to step up.

Also on rt.com
RT
US government’s multi-trillion-dollar stimulus response to Covid did major damage to economy – Peter Schiff

While Beasley said the pandemic and government lockdown policies are driving the disturbing trends – stating the “cure could be worse than the disease because of the economic ripple effect” – he noted that “man-made conflict” also had a role to play, naming ongoing wars in Syria, Yemen, and South Sudan.

“We’ve got to end some of these wars. We’ve got to bring these wars to an end, so we can achieve the sustainable development goals that we so desire,” he said, dubbing the conflicts, health crisis and looming famine as “icebergs in front of the Titanic.”

If we’re strategic and put the funds to these particular icebergs before us, I believe that we can get through 2021, while we work with the vaccines and rebuild the economies.

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FILE PHOTO. ©REUTERS / Carlos Jasso
‘Famine of biblical proportions’ looms over humanity due to Covid-19, UN food chief warns

In August, the WFP head said the number of people facing malnutrition could spike by 80 percent by the end of the year, warning of a “famine of biblical proportions” as millions risk starvation. UNICEF, meanwhile, predicted in May that, in 118 low and middle-income nations, 1.2 million children under the age of five could die in the following six months, pinning the surge on declining access to medical care “due to lockdowns, curfews and transport disruptions.”

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---------- 39 ----------

Title: Bus FALLS from a bridge in Brazil to train tracks below, killing at least 17 (VIDEO)

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/508749-brazil-bus-crash-bridge/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 00:57:40 +0000

Desc: Preview Twelve people died at the scene and five more in hospital after a bus plunged off an overpass in Brazil onto railway tracks below. The driver of the bus jumped out and fled the scene, police said.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/508749-brazil-bus-crash-bridge/

Content:

Twelve people died at the scene and five more in hospital after a bus plunged off an overpass in Brazil onto railway tracks below. The driver of the bus jumped out and fled the scene, police said.

The incident on Friday shut off a portion of route BR-381 in João Monlevade, a municipality in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, about 100 kilometers east of Belo Horizonte.

Video from the scene showed bystanders looking at the wreckage of the bus in the ravine at least 50 feet (15 meters) below the overpass.

Bus cae de un paso elevado en la ciudad de João Monlevade, en Minas Gerais, Brasil 🇧🇷 Según información preliminar, hay 11 muertos y 29 heridos. pic.twitter.com/fFoFeb1S5l

— Mundo Informativo 🌐 (@NoticiasUpdate1) December 4, 2020

Local hospitals were overwhelmed by the number of victims, firefighters reported. Civil police of Minas Gerais said 11 people were killed on the spot and 29 were injured, three of which succumbed to their injuries later. By Friday evening, however, the authorities updated the count to 17 dead.

Um ônibus caiu de uma ponte de aproximadamente 15 metros de altura na BR-381, rodovia que liga Belo Horizonte, em Minas Gerais, a Vitória, no Espírito Santo.#RádioBandeirantes #TradiçãoNoRádio pic.twitter.com/rnTOg6bDPC

— Rádio Bandeirantes (@RBandeirantes) December 4, 2020

While the cause of the crash is still being investigated, police have mentioned brake failure as a possibility. The Brazilian daily Folha cited unconfirmed reports the bus had collided with a truck.

The driver jumped out of the bus before it dropped off the bridge and fled on foot, Federal Highway Police spokesman Aristides Amaral Júnior told reporters. Police are now looking for him.

Tragédia na BR 381 deixa pelo menos 11 mortos e 29 feridos após ônibus tombar em Minas Gerais https://t.co/uXSL0BEaWk

— Planeta Folha (@planetafolha) December 4, 2020

João Monlevade is a community of some 80,000 residents in Brazil’s interior, some 500 kilometers north of Rio de Janeiro.

The people on board weren't locals, however. The bus belongs to the company called Localima Turismo and was carrying passengers from Mata Grande to São Paulo – a trip of some 2,300 kilometers – TV Globo reported.

The company operated under an emergency court injunction and the vehicle in question was “not qualified to provide passenger transport service,” Brazilian transportation agency ANTT said. 

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---------- 40 ----------

Title: ‘Shocking’: Leaked PHOTO & classified reports shed light on Pentagon's UFO-tracking activities

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/508747-petangon-reports-photo-ufo-tracking/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 00:41:43 +0000

Desc: Preview A photo of a mysterious airborne object has been leaked to US defense news outlet, The Debrief. The photo is said to be a part of a classified Pentagon report suggesting some UFOs might be of “alien” or “non-human” origin.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/508747-petangon-reports-photo-ufo-tracking/

Content:

A photo of a mysterious airborne object has been leaked to US defense news outlet, The Debrief. The photo is said to be a part of a classified Pentagon report suggesting some UFOs might be of “alien” or “non-human” origin.

The image published by The Debrief on Thursday depicts what officials first described as a “cube-shaped” silver object “hovering” at an altitude of between 30,000 and 35,000 feet (9.1 to 10.6 kilometers). The object in the photo appears to be more of an inverted bell-shaped one, however, with what looks like ridges on its lateral edges.

Leaked photo from Pentagon UFO task force shows silver cube hovering over the Atlantic https://t.co/L7fLwgc2CQ pic.twitter.com/elkhDyaL6j

— Juan Carlos Pedreira (@juancpedreira) December 4, 2020

The puzzling image that has since circulated on social media is reported to have initially been part of a classified “position report” by the Pentagon’s secretive Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF). Called UAPs by the military, the phenomena are better known to the broader public by their old name, unidentified flying objects (UFOs). The US defense department only officially acknowledged the existence of the UAPTF in August this year, after the Senate 2021 intelligence authorization bill let it slip in June.

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Illustration © Sherri Lynn Herrmann / EyeEm
Pentagon’s UFO hunter dept may soon be forced to make findings PUBLIC

However, the task force appears to have existed long before that, since the report in question dates back to the summer of 2018, according to The Debrief. The UAPTF’s predecessor, the UFO-hunting Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), was run by the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2007 to 2012.

The photo itself refers to an aerial phenomenon marked as “unidentified.” The image was taken from an F/A-18 fighter jet with a pilot’s personal cell phone somewhere off the East Coast of the US. Sources within the intelligence community contacted by The Debrief confirmed that it was taken at some point in 2018, but the exact time and location were not revealed to the media outlet.

“In decades with the [Intelligence Community] I’ve never seen anything like this,” one intelligence official told The Debrief, while another one called the UAPTF reports “shocking.”

According to the outlet, the 2018 report that had been quite widely distributed through the “non-public” military and intelligence information-sharing channels “expressly stated” that an idea of some UAP to be the products of “alien” or “non-human” technology was considered quite legitimate.

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Credit: US Department of Defense
Declassified: Pentagon officially releases 3 UFO VIDEOS to ‘clear misconceptions’

Another UAPTF “position report,” allegedly released this summer, describes a similar incident, which this time involved an unidentifiable triangular object. The paper reportedly contained an “extremely clear” photo of the aircraft, described as a large equilateral triangle with rounded or “blunted” edges and large spherical white “lights” at the corners.

The image, which was not obtained by the media, was said to have been taken in 2019 by another F/A-18 fighter pilot. Sources familiar with the report told The Debrief that the image was taken after the object emerged from the ocean and flew up at a 90-degree angle. The incident reportedly took place off the eastern US coast as well.

Despite some earlier speculation that the US Defense Department might be compelled to make its UFO sighting reports public, when contacted by The Debrief the Pentagon declined to comment on either the photos or the classified reports.

“I am not going to comment on whether something was or was not in a classified intelligence report,” Pentagon spokesperson Susan Gough said in an email, adding that the DOD won't comment on classified reports in order “to maintain operations security and to avoid disclosing information that may be useful to potential adversaries.”

Also on rt.com
Barack Obama asked what the US government knows about aliens. © Global Look Press; Pixabay
Obama reveals he sought truth about aliens and UFOs while president… but won’t say what he was told

The US military did release three videos showing pilots’ encounters with what was called “unidentified aerial phenomena” in April, without providing many details about what was seen in the footage. Further attempts, including by the US Senate, to make the Pentagon and the US intelligence agencies declassify additional information were apparently to no avail.

Earlier this week, former US President Barack Obama told reporters that he sought information about UFOs during his tenure, but stopped short of revealing if he had learned anything.

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---------- 41 ----------

Title: My Pillow guy says Trump will ‘100% be PRESIDENT’ for next four years after speaking with lawyers

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/508745-mike-lindell-pillow-trump-president/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 22:15:26 +0000

Desc: Preview One of President Donald Trump’s most vocal supporters, My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell, has complete faith the Republican will win reelection after a meeting with lawyer Sidney Powell.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/508745-mike-lindell-pillow-trump-president/

Content:

One of President Donald Trump’s most vocal supporters, My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell, has complete faith the Republican will win reelection after a meeting with lawyer Sidney Powell.

At a protest outside Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s home, which included a hearse carrying fake ballots to represent dead people that allegedly voted in the presidential election, Lindell made his ironclad confidence in Trump known.

“I want to get the word out that Donald Trump will be our president for the next four years,” Lindell told Fox News.

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FILE PHOTO
‘Deep State Dan’: GOP Rep Crenshaw called ‘swamp creature,’ likened to John McCain after urging Georgians to vote in Senate runoff

"When I go all in like I did for the president in 2016,” Lindell added, “I do my due diligence and I get out there, and I could sit here and tell you, 100 percent. Not 98 percent. 100 percent.”

The business owner and author said he’s spoken to Trump attorneys Lin Wood and Sidney Powell, so he knows “firsthand” there is enough evidence to prove Trump’s claims of voter fraud in states like Georgia, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. 

Lindell alleged in a separate interview with Right Side Broadcasting Network that Trump was receiving so many votes that it “broke the algorithms” of the Dominion voting machines, and then votes were changed to Biden. Trump has also claimed the Dominion voting machines used to count ballots could have been tampered with, and he’s also alleged dumps of illegal ballots in various counties in swing states helped Biden come out victorious in the election.

“There’s so much [evidence] that when everybody sees what’s there, even the Democrats are gonna go, ‘well, at least we tried.’” — Mike Lindell still thinks Trump is on track to serve four more years pic.twitter.com/vAQb3jZEm3

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 4, 2020

Mike Lindell claims Trump received so many votes that it “broke the algorithms and the machines,” then poll workers decided to “backfill” votes for Biden pic.twitter.com/1UTdOGuPPN

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 4, 2020

Lindell, whose company advertises heavily on Fox News, is taking part in the March for Trump bus tour, a trip across multiple states that is meant to highlight alleged corruption in the presidential election.

“We are going to end up in D.C. I want people to have the awareness of what went on because the mainstream media is not showing you this,” he said, “but all the corruption, by the time it’s all opened up here and they see it, even the Democrats are going to go, ‘Wow, at least my party tried to steal it.’”

We are unanimous! @realDonaldTrump will be our president for four more years! pic.twitter.com/GWqoE8TEcS

— Mike Lindell (@realMikeLindell) December 4, 2020

Here at the Governor’s Mansion, ⁦@realMikeLindell⁩ is on 🔥 speaking the truth! 🇺🇸#MarchForTrump pic.twitter.com/0pMy8pd588

— RSBN 🇺🇸 (@RSBNetwork) December 4, 2020

Lindell’s support of Trump’s legal efforts to prove he was the actual winner in the presidential election has earned the conservative a fresh round of triggered criticism from liberals on social media.

My fellow Americans, I just want you to know that us Minnesotans are for the most part sane and loving people. I repeat most. Please don’t hold Michelle Bachman and the My Pillow Guy against us forever. We have some crazies like all states, but please forgive us. 😊

— Henry Lake (@lakeshow73) December 4, 2020

Delusional. https://t.co/IP4pVtRsPp

— Norma Love (@APnlove) December 4, 2020

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---------- 42 ----------

Title: It’s ‘OK now...we have a new president’: Pelosi willing to make smaller Covid-19 relief deal, is accused of having played politics

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/508740-pelosi-covid19-relief-biden/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 22:02:04 +0000

Desc: Preview House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is being accused of having spent months blocking Covid-19 relief to help Joe Biden and hurt Donald Trump, after she said a smaller bill is now possible thanks to a lack of “other considerations.”
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/508740-pelosi-covid19-relief-biden/

Content:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is being accused of having spent months blocking Covid-19 relief to help Joe Biden and hurt Donald Trump, after she said a smaller bill is now possible thanks to a lack of “other considerations.”

Pelosi (D-California) changed her tune on Covid-19 relief during a press conference on Friday, where she appeared more willing to cut a deal with Republicans than in previous months. 

Pelosi previously led House Democrats for months in a battle with the White House, unwilling to agree to anything less than the $2 trillion-plus envisioned by the House-passed HEROES Act. The California congresswoman even referred to a previous $1.6 trillion stimulus as not even “half a loaf.”

In her Friday press conference, however, she was much more willing to back a $900 billion package proposed as the basis for negotiations with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky).

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©REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Unless you vote for Pelosi, you vote for GOP QAnon, House Rules chair tells Democrats in preemptive strike against dissenters

Asked by a reporter if rejecting the $1.6 trillion package was a mistake now that one worth much less is being discussed, Pelosi snapped at the characterization and insisted blocking relief previously was not a “mistake.”

“I’m going to tell you something, just don’t characterize what we did before as a mistake as a preface to your question if you want an answer,” she said. 

Her unwillingness to compromise previously “was not a mistake,” Pelosi insisted, and the reason a deal is possible now is because those months of no progress “has taken us to a place where we can do the right thing without, shall we say, other considerations in the legislation that we don’t want.”

Pelosi added that a smaller amount of funding is more acceptable now, with Biden as the incoming president. 

“It’s for a shorter period of time, but that’s OK now, because we have a new president,” she said.

“We’re very pleased at where it is and, as I say, with a Democratic president committed to a scientific solution with the idea that we will have a vaccine is a complete game changer,” she added. 

Nancy Pelosi admits it was her “decision” to block coronavirus relief for months pic.twitter.com/iHhVFTwrD1

— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) December 4, 2020

Pelosi’s about-face on Covid-19 relief has set off a wave of criticism, with many accusing the Democratic leader of admitting to blocking previous legislation for the sake of partisan political gain.

“What is wrong with these people,” author and podcaster Dave Rubin tweeted in response to Pelosi’s statements.

What is wrong with these people? pic.twitter.com/2HBqBAxiiB

— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) December 4, 2020

“Now that we won the election, we’ll stop hurting people is quite the messaging,” writer Stephen L. Miller added. 

Now that we won the election, we'll stop hurting people is quite the messaging. https://t.co/izHQWmAFRU

— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) December 4, 2020

“Nancy said a $1.6 trillion stimulus offer from Trump was not even half a loaf, now they are angling for maybe $900bn,” People’s Policy Project founder and commenter Matt Breunig tweeted. “Can’t stand being confronted by this and more or less says the earlier bit was a calculated choice to help Dems in the election.”

Can you believe @GOPLeader boasted about blocking relief funds:”That was not a mistake; that was a decision that has taken us to a place where we can do the right things without should we say 'other considerations' in the legislation that we don't want.” jk it was @SpeakerPelosi

— Scottie Nell Hughes (@scottienhughes) December 4, 2020

Liberals got mad at me for literally stating the obvious pre election

Nancy Pelosi was playing politics with American lives

She's a psychopath https://t.co/q7S1dwRXha

— Barack Obama is a Harvey Weinstein Democrat 🥋 (@SocialistMMA) December 4, 2020

Breathtakingly sinister https://t.co/6W8zbWFEJA

— Ellen Carmichael (@ellencarmichael) December 4, 2020

The new bipartisan bill being negotiated reportedly includes funding for liability protections and support for businesses and an extension of unemployment aid. It does not, however, include direct payments to citizens as the first round of stimulus did. 

Pelosi met with McConnell on Thursday to discuss the proposal, and it is rumored the final bill could be attached to a government funding bill that needs to pass by December 11 to avoid a shutdown. 

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---------- 43 ----------

Title: US ‘repositioning’ 700+ troops from Somalia on Trump’s orders, Pentagon confirms

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/508746-somalia-troops-withdrawal-trump/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 21:54:07 +0000

Desc: Preview On orders from President Donald Trump, most of the 700 or so US troops currently in Somalia will either withdraw entirely or be moved to nearby countries by early 2021, the US defense department has confirmed in a statement.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/508746-somalia-troops-withdrawal-trump/

Content:

On orders from President Donald Trump, most of the 700 or so US troops currently in Somalia will either withdraw entirely or be moved to nearby countries by early 2021, the US defense department has confirmed in a statement.

“The President of the United States has ordered the Department of Defense and the United States Africa Command to reposition the majority of personnel and assets out of Somalia by early 2021,” the Pentagon said on Friday, after the Wall Street Journal broke the news.

NEWS: President Trump ordered the Pentagon to pull nearly all U.S. troops out of Somalia, two U.S. officials said. https://t.co/vbFNbLxhGG

— Ben Pershing (@benpershing) December 4, 2020

It is unclear how many troops will come home, and how many will move to nearby Kenya and Djibouti and continue to venture into Somalia as part of the struggle against the terrorist group Al-Shabaab. 

“The forces repositioning from Somalia are moving to partner countries elsewhere in the region to accomplish their missions,” a spokesman for US Africa Command (AFRICOM) told Fox News’ Pentagon correspondent. “The US military is not withdrawing from East Africa.”

"The forces re-positioning from Somalia are moving to partner countries elsewhere in the region to accomplish their missions," U.S. Africa Command spokesman says. "The U.S. military is not withdrawing from East Africa."

— Lucas Tomlinson (@LucasFoxNews) December 4, 2020

US forces have already relocated from their positions in the cities of Bossaso and Galkayo this year, Reuters reported citing Pentagon sources. As of last month, Americans were still present in the port city of Kismayo, the airbase at Baledogle, and in the capital Mogadishu.

American troops have operated in Somalia for the past 13 years as part of the war on terrorism, seeking to prop up the government in Mogadishu against the al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Shabaab and later groups that pledged loyalty to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).

The move from Somalia appears to be part of a broader push by Trump to curb America's 'endless' wars. After Democrat Joe Biden was declared by the media as the winner of the November 3 election – which Trump is challenging in courts – the senior US envoy for the anti-IS coalition admitted to misleading the president about the number of troops in Syria.

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Christopher Miller is shown at a US Senate hearing in September.
'All wars MUST END': Trump's new acting defense secretary signals withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan

Within weeks of the election, Trump sacked Defense Secretary Mark Esper and several senior officials, replacing him with acting secretary Chris Miller and a team of aides from the National Security Council who shared his policy vision. Esper had reportedly opposed a pullout from Somalia, suggesting a drawdown of US presence from sub-Saharan Africa instead.

The pullout from Somalia should be finalized by January 15, the same deadline given for withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Pentagon officials.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed of Somalia said in October that US military support had enabled Mogadishu to "effectively combat Al-Shabab and secure the Horn of Africa," adding that a victory can only be achieved "through continuous security partnership."

The United States military support to Somalia has enabled us to effectively combat Al-Shabab and secure the Horn of Africa. A victory through this journey and for Somali-US partnership can only be achieved through continuous security partnership and capacity building support.

— Mohamed Farmaajo (@M_Farmaajo) October 15, 2020

Somalia collapsed into civil war in 1991, as clans that overthrew the military government of General Mohamed Siad Barre fell out with each other. The initial US intervention aiming to protect UN peacekeepers delivering humanitarian aid to civilians resulted in a clash with one of the warring factions and the Battle of Mogadishu in October 1993. The US left Somalia in March 1995, only to return a decade later as part of the ‘war on terror.’

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---------- 44 ----------

Title: $1 for Moon dust: NASA selects four companies to collect lunar soil samples ahead of Artemis mission

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/508744-nasa-moon-dust-private-companies/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 21:41:18 +0000

Desc: Preview NASA has struck deals with four private enterprises involving collection of Moon soil, including a contract involving a cost of just one dollar, to further its understanding of the Moon’s resources, the US space agency has said.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/508744-nasa-moon-dust-private-companies/

Content:

NASA has struck deals with four private enterprises involving collection of Moon soil, including a contract involving a cost of just one dollar, to further its understanding of the Moon’s resources, the US space agency has said.

All the four contracts involve collecting a small amount of lunar soil, which is essentially dust known as regolith, and proving images of the operation to NASA. The ownership of the collected samples is also to be transferred to the US space agency.

The partners selected by NASA for the mission involve two American companies – Lunar Outpost of Golden, Colorado and Masten Space Systems of Mojave, California – as well as ispace Japan of Tokyo and ispace Europe from Luxembourg. Contract fees awarded to the companies by NASA range between $ 15,000 for Masten Space Systems and just one dollar in the case of Lunar Outpost.

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This picture taken on December 2, 2020 and released on December 3, 2020 by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) via CNS shows the Chang'e-5 lunar probe gathering samples on the moon.
Chinese probe finishes collecting samples of lunar rocks & and soil ahead of schedule

Three out of four companies are expected to carry out the materials collection during an unmanned Moon landing mission to Earth satellite’s south pole in 2023, while another one is scheduled to do so during another unmanned landing mission in 2022.

"I think it's kind of amazing that we can buy lunar regolith from four companies for a total of $25,001," said Phil McAlister, director of Commercial Spaceflight Development at NASA Headquarters.

A statement by NASA also said that the companies were selected on a basis of their ability to “satisfactorily” meet the necessary requirements, starting with the “lowest-priced” among the acceptable proposals. Still, it remains to be seen how Lunar Outpost completes its mission for just one dollar.

The yet-to-be-collected soil samples are part of NASA’s more ambitious plans, as the space agency seeks to use them to explore the potential of utilizing the Moon’s resources to satisfy the needs of sustainable human exploration of the Earth’s satellite – and probably even expanding its understanding of challenges humans are about to face during manned Mars exploration.

"We must learn to generate our own water, air and even fuel," Mike Gold, NASA’s acting associate administrator for international and interagency relations, told AFP. "Living off the land will enable ambitious exploration activities that will result in awe inspiring science and unprecedented discoveries."

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© pxfuel
Giant ‘liquid-mirror’ telescope on the MOON could detect first stars ever formed at dawn of universe

"Human mission to Mars will be even more demanding and challenging than our lunar operations, which is why it's so critical to learn from our experiences on the Moon and apply those lessons to Mars," he added.

Yet, the involvement of private companies in this mission also advances another of America’s goals – to open space up for somewhat commercial exploitation.
“We think it's very important to establish the precedent that the private sector entities can extract, can take these resources but NASA can purchase and utilize them,” Gold said.

Opening up space for commercial use have been captivating the minds of politicians and businessmen for quite some time. Back in 2018, Goldman Sachs predicted that the world’s first trillionaire would be someone who mines asteroids.

But the existing international agreement – the 1967 Outer Space Treaty – says that celestial bodies and the Moon are “not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.” It also says that governments are essentially responsible for any actions by both governmental and non-governmental entities in space.

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RT
Cosmos as the final (legal) frontier: How America is bending SPACE LAW as we enter new age of exploration

This fact did not stop a host of nations, including the US, China, Japan, India and Russia, from developing national legislations legalizing extraterrestrial appropriation of resources. So far, however, NASA stated that all planned missions would be “in full compliance with the Registration Convention, Article II, and other provisions of the Outer Space Treaty.”

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---------- 45 ----------

Title: Priorities anyone? US House passes marijuana decriminalization while clock runs out on Covid-19 aid

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/508741-house-votes-pass-marijuana-reax/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 21:29:07 +0000

Desc: Preview The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives has finally passed a bill to decriminalize marijuana – but even supporters of the move are rolling their eyes as the country languishes without a second pandemic stimulus plan.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/508741-house-votes-pass-marijuana-reax/

Content:

The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives has finally passed a bill to decriminalize marijuana – but even supporters of the move are rolling their eyes as the country languishes without a second pandemic stimulus plan.

The historic legislation passed by the House on Friday would not only see possession of marijuana decriminalized, but requires federal marijuana convictions to be re-assessed. It passed mostly along party lines, though six Democrats voted against it and five Republicans voted in favor.

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FILE PHOTO © Samantha Zucchi/Insidefoto/GlobalLookPress
US House of Representatives passes bill to DECRIMINALIZE cannabis at federal level

Despite the popularity of marijuana decriminalization among the American populace, however, many on social media were bewildered by the legislators’ priorities. With most Covid-19 aid programs due to expire at the end of the month and the country nowhere near recovered economically, they asked, why is Congress wasting its time on the pot issue?

https://t.co/A4DEtWIAEI pic.twitter.com/e5MsAwTfQQ

— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) December 4, 2020

How nice!

Small business owners barely staying afloat, Americans continue to lose their jobs due to tyrant Democrats shutting down small businesses yet keeping the behemoths like Amazon, Walmart, Costco, Best Buy etc. open & reaping record profitshttps://t.co/yo0HHQSDgc

— CeCe 🕇🇺🇸 (@OhioBuckeye_us) December 4, 2020

I'm sure all of the people who have lost their jobs due to shutdowns are so relieved.

— Amber (@amberlina2379) December 4, 2020

Others blamed the Republicans – both for failing to pass a second stimulus plan and for not voting in greater numbers to decriminalize pot. Many expect the bill to die in the Senate like so many of its predecessors.

Absolutely astonishing that only 5 Republicans in the House voted to decriminalize marijuana. This is why you will never get normies on board with the GOP.

65-70% of the USA supports marijuana legalization, even higher support federal decriminalization.

— Dr. Dan Bel 🇺🇸 (@realDanBel) December 4, 2020

House approved the MORE Act - 228-164
5 Republicans and one Independent joined most Democrats to pass it, 6 Democrats voted no.
GOP Senate not expected to take it up so vote was symbolic https://t.co/P5GCmpQ7WG

— Deirdre Walsh (@deirdrekwalsh) December 4, 2020

Republicans and their supporters blamed Democrats for having their priorities out of whack, noting that in addition to marijuana decriminalization the chamber’s majority also passed the so-called ‘Tiger King’ bill. The Big Cat Public Safety Act, which would ban the breeding and private ownership of large wild cats, was literally inspired by a hit series on Netflix.

Numerous Democrats have submitted stand-alone marijuana decriminalization bills to Pelosi.

She refused to allow a vote.

She has blocked any debate on any bill for two years.

She refuses every single stand alone vote, even ones that were for emergency COVID funding.

— You Should Have Voted For Gary (@colorblindk1d) December 4, 2020

pic.twitter.com/aKrl57F7mR

— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) December 1, 2020

Some, however, suspect darker motives behind the decriminalization bill.

Not surprising politicians want a doped up population! It’s all about the New World Order! Pacification of the population. Dope makes you stupid & America has cornered the market on stupid!
Life’s tough, suck it up! Look at history, we have it easy compared other points in time.

— 🇺🇸They Call Me Rusty🦅 (@Rufus_Colter) December 4, 2020

So the house passed a legalization bill and if passed in the senate, would make it easier to tax the sale of marijuana all to distract us from them not passing a covid relief bill which would be funded from the same tax coffers we’ve already been paying into? Cool cool

— Vests & Pitchforks (@RestingPaper) December 4, 2020

For the House legislation to become law, it must also be passed by the Republican-controlled Senate and signed by the president – meaning any celebration is somewhat premature. Nevertheless, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) has called on his Republican counterpart Mitch McConnell to consider the bill. Regardless of the House’s reasons for taking up marijuana reform in 2020, though, it’s indicative of a broader shift across the US against a prohibition-based approach to drugs. The state of Oregon decriminalized all drugs last month, and more than half of US states have medical marijuana laws on the books.

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---------- 46 ----------

Title: FBI declares HACKERS targeting think tanks ‘shaping US policy’… same NGOs that fearmonger about foreign hacking

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/508725-fbi-cisa-think-tanks-hackers/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 21:05:48 +0000

Desc: Preview Hackers are targeting American think tanks, according to the FBI and the recently-founded Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, a body owing its existence to those same think tanks’ scare stories about foreign hackers.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/508725-fbi-cisa-think-tanks-hackers/

Content:

Hackers are targeting American think tanks, according to the FBI and the recently-founded Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, a body owing its existence to those same think tanks’ scare stories about foreign hackers.

The agencies warned in a Tuesday report that “likely state-sponsored groups” are targeting think tanks, urging the policy researchers to beef up security on their computer networks lest the same foreign threats they spend taxpayers’ money warning the government about gain access to their deepest darkest secrets.

Hackers are using spear-phishing emails, which attempt to dupe recipients into giving up their login credentials often by spoofing their origins with a reputable sender, and exploiting vulnerabilities in remote networks, according to the report.

Also on rt.com
FILE PHOTO: MSNBC host Rachel Maddow (right) moderates the Democrat primary presidential debate in Miami, Florida with colleague Chuck Todd, June 26, 2019.
‘I want blood’: Rachel Maddow’s audience fired up over NYT story baselessly accusing ‘Russian hackers’ of attacking US hospital

Given the importance that think tanks can have in shaping US policy, CISA and FBI urge individuals and organizations…to immediately adopt a heightened state of awareness” and follow standard computer hygiene, the agencies wrote. Their recommendations included relatively obvious ‘solutions’ like changing default passwords, encrypting information, downloading software patches where available, and installing antivirus programs. The agencies also advised think tanks’ employees be trained in avoiding phishing and other common hacks – opening up a new revenue arm for the cybersecurity industry.

Ironically, think tanks like the NATO- and military industrial complex-funded Atlantic Council have been on the front lines of hyping up the threat posed by foreign hackers, blaming Russia (and to a lesser extent China and Iran) for the lion’s share of unfavorable geopolitical outcomes. CISA itself was established in 2018 by the Trump administration, which was heavily pressured to step up its cybersecurity theatre amid accusations that never-proven “Russian meddling” had handed the president his surprise 2016 victory.

With even the most sensitive work being conducted over the internet due to the pandemic, fear of hackers grabbing secrets out of the data flow has mushroomed. Computing giant IBM warned on Thursday that it had uncovered a spear-phishing campaign targeting organizations involved with the Covid-19 vaccination effort across six countries. While the company acknowledged it could not attribute the attacks to any particular entity – indeed, it couldn’t even determine whether any of the phishing attempts had been successful – IBM advised targets to be on their guard (and invest in IBM’s protective measures).

Also on rt.com
© Sputnik / Alexei Druzhinin
Returning to ‘highly likely’ tactics: Russia rejects UK’s ‘unsubstantiated’ claims of hacking & election meddling 

Spear-phishing has been blamed for a number of high-profile attacks in recent years, from a Twitter infiltration that actually involved company insiders being paid off to the infamous 2016 hack on presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign director John Podesta. The UK and Canadian governments, along with the US, warned the same advanced persistent threat group (APT) blamed for the Podesta hack and the release of 2016’s leaked Democratic National Committee emails had been “targeting organizations involved in coronavirus vaccine development.”

Moscow denied the claims, noting the British vaccine was already set to be produced by a Russian company. Russia unveiled its own Sputnik V vaccine months before its accusers completed their own research. 

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---------- 47 ----------

Title: 13yo Palestinian shot & killed by Israeli forces during West Bank protest against settlements – Health Ministry

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/508739-palestinian-child-killed-israel-west-bank/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 20:54:46 +0000

Desc: Preview A young Palestinian teen has died after being shot in the stomach by an Israeli soldier during a protest in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said. Israeli officials deny their forces fired live rounds.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/508739-palestinian-child-killed-israel-west-bank/

Content:

A young Palestinian teen has died after being shot in the stomach by an Israeli soldier during a protest in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said. Israeli officials deny their forces fired live rounds.

The 13-year-old boy was taken to a hospital in Ramallah in critical condition, where he died from his injuries, according to a statement from the health ministry posted on Facebook. 

A spokeswoman for Israel’s military said that its personnel had used “riot dispersal means” against Palestinians who were throwing rocks and burning tires in the village of al-Mughayir, some 27 kilometers northeast of Ramallah.

“The reports of the use of live fire during the riot are not true, and claims about a number of rioters injured and one killed are known,” she said.

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FILE PHOTO.
Bahrain to drop labels denoting Israeli settlement imports – minister

However, Palestinian media reported that live rounds and tear gas were used against the demonstrators, while four men were wounded during a march that was reportedly staged in protest at Israeli plans to expand settlements in the West Bank.

The mayor of al-Mughayir told reporters that the child had been shot near the entrance to the village.

“This ugly crime is a war crime and a crime against humanity,” the Palestinian Foreign Ministry said in a statement about the reported death.

Footage posted to social media purported to show Palestinians on Friday evening protesting the killing of the boy.

📢 #شاهد: غضب جماهيري عقب است.شهاد الطفل علي أبو العليا برصاص جيش الاحتلال الإسرائيلي في بلدة المغير قرب مدينة رام الله.#وكالة_صفد_الإخبارية pic.twitter.com/2e7Obcmflu

— وكالة صفد الاخبارية (@palsafad) December 4, 2020

Last week, a Palestinian driver was shot dead after he allegedly tried to ram his car into an Israeli police checkpoint outside Jerusalem.

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---------- 48 ----------

Title: Brands jump on Twitter’s ‘describe 2020 in one word’ thread to self-promote – only to have their cringe-mongering SKEWERED

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/508737-twitter-describe-2020-brands-backlash/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 20:12:39 +0000

Desc: Preview Social media users are savaging large corporations that have taken advantage of Twitter’s year-end “describe the year in a word” prompt to promote themselves, mercilessly tearing into their self-aggrandizing “jokes.”
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/508737-twitter-describe-2020-brands-backlash/

Content:

Social media users are savaging large corporations that have taken advantage of Twitter’s year-end “describe the year in a word” prompt to promote themselves, mercilessly tearing into their self-aggrandizing “jokes.”

Twitter spawned a sprawling cringefest with a Thursday tweet asking users to describe “2020 in one word.” Many were eager to take out their frustrations on what has been an unusually awful year for pretty much everyone, but the shared catharsis was spoiled when the big brands got involved – many of which had had quite a good year indeed.

Also on rt.com
CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos
DESPOTIC DOZEN: Top 12 US oligarchs now own $1 TRILLION in total wealth – more than GDP of Belgium & Austria combined

Perhaps trying to be ‘relatable,’ megacorporations like Netflix, Target and YouTube – all of which have made heaps of money amid the Covid-19 pandemic that made 2020 a nightmare for their customers – feigned sympathy.

whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?

— Netflix (@netflix) December 3, 2020

supercalifragilisticexpialidonewiththisyear

— Target (@Target) December 3, 2020

Unsubscribe

— YouTube (@YouTube) December 3, 2020

But most people weren’t buying it.

I know Netflix is not talking after raising their prices and they barely have anything good

— Nathaly Davila (@nat_davila) December 4, 2020

For God sake you can't say..
You get as much business, may be never before..
So shut your mouth 🤫

— Syeda 🇵🇰 (@SyedaSays_) December 4, 2020

Other brands didn’t even try to fake emotions, merely touting their own brand name (and getting savaged for that too).

Only 3 to 10 yo kids play roblox

— JC-🇸🇻✈👮🏼 (@JulioCesar_503) December 3, 2020

Don’t order from Uber eats - they pretend to deliver abs don’t so you get no food no refund and they get rich - dodgy company - disgraceful

— lak696969 (@lak12382) December 3, 2020

The cringe only increased when Israel attempted to crack a coronavirus joke.

Ratio’d by Palestine #FreePalestine pic.twitter.com/X4msaz4Sbe

— Dylan🎄 (@astrowxrIds) December 4, 2020

Politics invariably got involved.

Unspeakable

— Mary L Trump (@MaryLTrump) December 3, 2020

Fraud

— Styxhexenhammer666 (@Styx666Official) December 3, 2020

And even Twitter came in for a dragging over the unprecedentedly harsh censorship it has imposed over the course of the year.

Twittler pic.twitter.com/GS5Rghpt4d

— nihil interit (@NInterit) December 3, 2020

Leftist Fascism being pushed, lead by Social Media.

Sorry, I don't follow rules.https://t.co/UCVqiGvVxG

— President-Elect Bonk (@BonkPolitics) December 3, 2020

With less than a month left until the end of 2020, many are counting down the days until the new year – though others have warned things aren’t going to get better any time soon.

Also on rt.com
FILE PHOTO © REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
‘Vaccines DO NOT equal zero Covid,’ says WHO, ‘concerned’ about people’s belief pandemic will soon be over

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---------- 49 ----------

Title: ‘Vaccines DO NOT equal zero Covid,’ says WHO, ‘concerned’ about people’s belief pandemic will soon be over

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/508730-who-covid-pandemic-not-over-soon/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 19:38:19 +0000

Desc: Preview The World Health Organization has urged people to continue to take the coronavirus outbreak seriously and not to act as though the pandemic will soon be over, despite recent progress in the development of Covid-19 vaccines.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/508730-who-covid-pandemic-not-over-soon/

Content:

The World Health Organization has urged people to continue to take the coronavirus outbreak seriously and not to act as though the pandemic will soon be over, despite recent progress in the development of Covid-19 vaccines.

“Progress on vaccines gives us all a lift and we can now start to see the light at the end of the tunnel”, the organization’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday, before adding: “However, WHO is concerned that there is a growing perception that the Covid-19 pandemic is over.”

Also on rt.com
FILE PHOTO: A medic of the regional hospital receives Russia's "Sputnik-V" vaccine shot against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Tver, Russia October 12, 2020.
98.5% success rate: Just 273 of over 20,000 volunteers for Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine trials have subsequently caught Covid-19

The health official went on to explain that “at present, many places are witnessing very high transmission of the Covid-19 virus”. This puts immense extra pressure on hospitals, intensive care units and health workers, which are sometimes “running at or over capacity.”

Furthermore, new alarming data indicates that protection from vaccines “may not be lifelong and therefore re-infections may occur,” the WHO's top emergencies expert Mike Ryan, said.

Vaccines do not equal zero Covid.

The WHO's comments come on the heels of the UK becoming the first country in the world to approve a vaccine, jointly developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.

Also on rt.com
FILE PHOTO.
Pfizer CEO ‘not certain’ their vaccine stops transmission of Covid-19 as company’s jab approved in UK and evaluated in US

Notably, on Thursday, Pfizer’s CEO seemed to echo Ryan’s concerns, saying that he “wasn’t certain” if the already green-lit cure would stop transmission of Covid-19.

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---------- 50 ----------

Title: Stadio Diego Armando Maradona: Napoli officially change the name of their stadium to honor fallen icon Diego Maradona

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/508727-napoli-stadio-diego-armando-maradona/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 19:29:55 +0000

Desc: Preview Just nine days after the passing of Argentine football icon Diego Maradona, the Naples municipality has officially approved a request to rename Napoli's home stadium to honor their most famous ever player.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/508727-napoli-stadio-diego-armando-maradona/

Content:

Just nine days after the passing of Argentine football icon Diego Maradona, the Naples municipality has officially approved a request to rename Napoli's home stadium to honor their most famous ever player.

Maradona led Napoli to two Serie A titles in his seven seasons with the Italian club and remains an almost beatified figure in a city which was plunged into mourning when his death at the age of 60 was announced on November 25. 

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Perfect 10s: Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona
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In the hours after his passing, Napoli owner Aurelio de Laurentis penned an open later in which he suggested renaming the team's Stadio San Paolo in honor of Maradona - and the plans have now been signed off on by the city's municipality. 

"With a resolution approved today, the stadium was named after Diego Armando Maradona," the Naples municipality announced in a Friday statement. 

"The resolution was proposed by Mayor Luigi de Magistris, by the Councillor for Toponymy Alessandre Clemente and signed by the entire city council, which met is Palazzo San Giacomo.

"Shortly before the executive committee meeting, the advisory commission for city toponymy had approved the proposal of the Mayor, the Councillor for Toponymy and the city council, naming the San Paolo stadium after Diego Armanda Maradona with the name Stadio Diego Armando Maradona."

📝 It's official

🏟 Stadio Diego Armando Maradona pic.twitter.com/XqTYFTRWsx

— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) December 4, 2020

The Municipality of Naples has announced that Napoli's stadium, the Stadio San Paolo, has been changed to Stadio Diego Armando Maradona. pic.twitter.com/3FLf519cRN

— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) December 4, 2020

Napoli's first game in their newly-named stadium will come on Thursday in what promises to be an emotional Europa League fixture with surprise La Liga leaders Real Sociedad. 

Fans aren't yet permitted to return to stadiums in Naples but thousands of supporters lined the streets and lit flares ahead of last week's Europa League fixture with Rijeka and a similar reaction is expected from the Napoli faithful on the opening night of the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

However, the decision to rename the stadium in Maradona's honor, and at the expense of the previous inspiration, St. Paul, hasn't gone down well in some quarters after some members of the clergy expressed their outrage in an open letter.

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Lionel Messi © REUTERS / Albert Gea
Barcelona star Lionel Messi fined for paying tribute to late Diego Maradona

"The Stadio San Paolo should be name after the saint who brought us Jesus," they stated, referring to an entirely different 'Hand of God'.

"With humility we feel the responsibility to tell you. We all agree on one thing: we don't want a clean slate. It would be fine to name the Stadium San Paolo-Maradona, like in Milan where there is the San Siro-Meazza.

"I would be the right compromise the save the faith and honour the champion."



---------- 51 ----------

Title: Liverpool mayor among group arrested over alleged bribery & witness intimidation in building corruption probe – reports

Link: https://www.rt.com/uk/508732-liverpool-mayor-investigation-bribery-construction/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 18:44:31 +0000

Desc: Preview The first directly-elected mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, was reportedly arrested by Merseyside Police on Friday over alleged bribery and witness intimidation, as part of an investigation into development contracts.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/uk/508732-liverpool-mayor-investigation-bribery-construction/

Content:

The first directly-elected mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, was reportedly arrested by Merseyside Police on Friday over alleged bribery and witness intimidation, as part of an investigation into development contracts.

A police statement detailing the arrests did not name the Labour mayor explicitly as a suspect in the "ongoing investigation", however, local reports have identified him as one of those detained.

Police said that those held include three men, aged 62, 33 and 46, "arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation." Two other men, aged 25 and 72, were arrested "on suspicion of witness intimidation."

Officers said the five had been taken to stations across Merseyside, "where they will be questioned by detectives."

Also on rt.com
RT
Police use pepper spray in scuffles with anti-lockdown protesters in Liverpool (VIDEO)

A spokesperson for Liverpool City Council said it is "co-operating with Merseyside Police in relation to its ongoing investigation. We do not comment on matters relating to individuals."

Anderson or his office have yet to confirm or deny the reports of his arrest, however a Labour spokesperson confirmed that the mayor has been "administratively suspended" from the the party, pending the outcome of the case.

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---------- 52 ----------

Title: Medical data of Israeli officials leaked online after insurance firm refuses to pay $1mn ransom to cyberhackers – reports

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/508729-israeli-insurer-shirbit-hacked-ransom/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 18:38:50 +0000

Desc: Preview The medical records of Israeli officials are among data reportedly leaked online after an insurance firm was hacked, but refused to cede to the cyber-attackers’ demands to hand over nearly $1 million ransom in Bitcoin.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/508729-israeli-insurer-shirbit-hacked-ransom/

Content:

The medical records of Israeli officials are among data reportedly leaked online after an insurance firm was hacked, but refused to cede to the cyber-attackers’ demands to hand over nearly $1 million ransom in Bitcoin.

Israeli insurer Shirbit, which was hacked on Tuesday, rejected requests from the Black Shadow group, which threatened to sell the firm’s data online unless it received a payment of 50 bitcoin ($950,000) within 24 hours.

Newly released hacked data on Friday reportedly included the medical records of Shirbit customers, including Israeli officials, as well as scans of ID cards and drivers’ licenses.

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Illustration: © Getty Images/alengo
Bioterrorists can hijack DNA systems and trick scientists into producing deadly toxins, warns explosive new research

A Telegram message from Black Shadow on Friday said that Shirbit had refused to pay the ransom. The company also confirmed its rejection of the demand, saying it would “not give in” to threats. According to Israeli media, Black Shadow warned that it still had tens of terabytes of information to leak, and also released screenshots purporting to show that it had been negotiating with a member of staff at Shirbit. 

An investigation into the cyber-attack has been launched by Israel’s National Cyber Directorate and the Capital Market Authority, while the company said it is working with the “best cyber experts” and government officials over the hack. 

“Shirbit is working, and will continue to work, to reach the best solution with minimum damage to its customers,” the company said in a statement about the hack. 

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© Reuters / Athit Perawongmetha
Google researchers reveal exploit that let hackers ‘own’ iPhones REMOTELY - but waited 6 months to tell the world

The insurer also said the security experts it consulted had concluded that the attack was the work of ideologically motivated “hactivists,” who were more interested in creating “cyber-terror” than in the potential financial gain of ransoms or selling stolen data. 

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---------- 53 ----------

Title: US House of Representatives passes bill to DECRIMINALIZE cannabis at federal level

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/508733-us-house-vote-decriminalize-cannabis/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 18:34:29 +0000

Desc: Preview The US House of Representatives has passed a bill to decriminalize cannabis at a federal level in an historic first. The move could also pave the way for reassessments of previous federal marijuana convictions.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/508733-us-house-vote-decriminalize-cannabis/

Content:

The US House of Representatives has passed a bill to decriminalize cannabis at a federal level in an historic first. The move could also pave the way for reassessments of previous federal marijuana convictions.

The bill passed the House in a 284-164 vote, with five Republicans breaking from their party and voting in favor, while six Democrats opposed. The bill will now move to the Senate. 

The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement Act would not only decriminalize the drug, but also mandate reassessments of past federal marijuana convictions. It would also invest in legally-owned marijuana businesses.

In a debate on the bill on Friday morning, those in favor of the legislation argued that federal marijuana convictions have proven to be "unwise and unjust," and the use of the drug should be a public health issue rather than a legal one.

"Whatever one's views are on the use of marijuana for recreational or medicinal use, the policy of arrests, prosecution, and incarceration at the Federal level has proven unwise and unjust," Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-New York) argued.

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Illustration: © Pexels
San Francisco votes to ban smoking tobacco inside apartments... but weed will still be allowed

Those opposed to the bill blasted marijuana as a gateway drug and argued legalization leads to an uptick in traffic crimes and deaths. "Legalizing weed would create revenue from taxes, but at what cost? Do we then start legalizing cocaine? Marijuana is a gateway drug - make no mistake about that," Rep. Greg Murphy (R-North Carolina) argued.

While the legalization of marijuana has remained a hot-button issue in the US, 15 states and the District of Columbia have passed recreational use, and a total of 36 states and the District of Columbia have approved medical use. 

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida), a co-sponsor of the bill, admitted the legislation was "flawed," but said he supported it because "the federal government has lied to the people of this country about marijuana for a generation."

Gaetz blasted fellow Republicans for making arguments against marijuana decriminalization that "are overwhelmingly losing with the American people."

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FILE PHOTO. © Global Look Press / Libor Sojka
UN removes cannabis from list of dangerous drugs, opening door for further research and legalization

Republicans have also argued the legislation should not be Congress’s top priority, while lawmakers have yet to pass a second Covid-19 stimulus package. 

“You’d think, after a humiliating defeat at the ballot box this year, where Democrats didn’t defeat one Republican incumbent, that Democrats would get the picture that Americans are demanding action on issues that matter to them,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) told reporters. 

The bill faces a tough road ahead, as the Senate is Republican-controlled, and it would need to reach a 60-vote threshold to pass. 

If the bill did pass the Senate, it would still need a signature from either President Donald Trump or Joe Biden when he takes office. While Trump has championed criminal justice reform and said in the past he supports states setting their own policies on marijuana, it remains to be seen if he would support this bill. 

Biden’s presidential campaign claimed he was for decriminalizing marijuana usage and expunging prior federal convictions.

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---------- 54 ----------

Title: ‘Is Joe a four-year-old?’ Biden offers ‘bizarre’ story of breaking foot, says he pulled dog’s tail while getting out of shower

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/508728-biden-foot-dog-tail-shower/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 18:33:58 +0000

Desc: Preview Presumed US president-elect Joe Biden has baffled the Internet after revealing the story of how he recently broke his foot. The future commander-in-chief apparently tripped and fell while pulling his dog’s tail after a shower.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/508728-biden-foot-dog-tail-shower/

Content:

Presumed US president-elect Joe Biden has baffled the Internet after revealing the story of how he recently broke his foot. The future commander-in-chief apparently tripped and fell while pulling his dog’s tail after a shower.

Biden’s campaign announced last week that he would need to wear a walking boot, explaining that he’d fractured his foot while playing with one of his dogs. In a Thursday CNN interview, the 78-year-old statesman revealed the peculiar details of the incident. 

“What happened was I got out of the shower and … [a] little pup dropped a ball in front of me,” Biden said, adding that the dog apparently wanted Biden to “grab the ball.”

“And I grabbed the ball like this and he ran,” Biden continued. The former vice-president then said he jokingly ran after the dog and grabbed his tail, which caused it to slide on a throw rug. 

“And I tripped on the rug he slid on. That’s what happened,” Biden concluded. “Oh man, not a very exciting story.”

who had "naked Joe Biden chasing a dog around the bathroom" on their BINGO card? https://t.co/Ux149rjn0D

— Greg Pollowitz (@GPollowitz) December 4, 2020

On the contrary, the “bizarre” chain of events captured the imaginations of many online, as commenters shared their bewilderment over the surprising tale.

Many were confused as to why Biden would risk hurting the animal by pulling its tail, while Biden’s characteristically folksy way of relaying the story led a few to assume he was actually showering with his pet.

pic.twitter.com/s0qgz8UAfP

— Will Chamberlain (@willchamberlain) December 4, 2020

Many also got a laugh from Biden’s seemingly childish behavior. “As a non-dog owner, is it a usual occurrence to chase after your dog fresh from the shower in an attempt to grab its tail? Or is Joe Biden basically my four-year-old after a bath chasing a doggie?” conservative commenter Ben Shapiro sarcastically tweeted.

As a non-dog owner, is it a usual occurrence to chase after your dog fresh from the shower in an attempt to grab its tail? Or is Joe Biden basically my four-year-old after a bath chasing a doggie? https://t.co/7IIHPV01IW

— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) December 4, 2020

Even when my kids were toddlers they knew not to pull on dogs tails. Was he trying to pull the dog in the shower? Creepy Joe strikes again? Pray for pup! https://t.co/XY8QG1Zk7D

— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) December 4, 2020

Today's headline: Naked Joe Biden chases dog around in the bathroom.

— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) December 4, 2020

There is no one more bizarre than Joe Biden. https://t.co/Tp39axY5cm

— Benny (@bennyjohnson) December 4, 2020

To some Twitter users the story was simply hilarious and they expressed their thoughts with gifs. “Honest mistake” joked one person, implying Biden confused his dog’s tail with a door handle.

Showering with your dog can be hazardous to your health. That’s why there are dog baths. Godspeed. pic.twitter.com/zxELr3yCQr

— William Liles (@thewritingactor) December 4, 2020

Honest mistake pic.twitter.com/gZSyKkhqrC

— Zoo121 (@zoogirl121) December 4, 2020

His dog when Biden starts chasing him naked from the shower pic.twitter.com/IVEG0NN8fg

— Bring the Rightful Reverend Hugh Freeze home (@VOLFAN0531) December 4, 2020

C'mon man! 🤪pic.twitter.com/pk8GuQ9nHn

— President-Elect Angel ❌ (@AngelOfficial) December 4, 2020

The Bidens have two dogs, Major and Champ, both of whom look like large-but-cuddly beasts who could easily cause unintended injury. It’s unclear which is the culprit, but since Biden spoke of the “pup,” he was presumably talking about Major, a two-year-old rescue from the Delaware Humane Association.

Also on rt.com
Secret service agents stand in the doorway of Delaware Imaging Network as President-elect Joe Biden arrives to receive a CT scan after twisting his ankle while playing with his dog Major in Newark, Delaware, US, November 29, 2020.
Joe Biden suffers ‘hairline fractures & will wear walking boot’ after he slipped and twisted ankle while playing with his dog



---------- 55 ----------

Title: US State Dept sanctions Chinese govt officials over ‘coercive influence activities’

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/508731-state-department-sanctions-china-officials/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 18:20:11 +0000

Desc: Preview The US State Department has announced yet another round of sanctions on Chinese officials said to be involved in “coercive influence activities,” demanding Beijing cease suppressing ‘freedom of expression.’
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/508731-state-department-sanctions-china-officials/

Content:

The US State Department has announced yet another round of sanctions on Chinese officials said to be involved in “coercive influence activities,” demanding Beijing cease suppressing ‘freedom of expression.’

The department has sanctioned several Chinese officials, accusing them of using coercion and intimidation to “suppress freedom of expression,” according to a statement from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday.

The sanctions include visa restrictions on Chinese officials at the United Front Work Department, which Pompeo has alleged engaged in “malign activities” against those who oppose Beijing.

Today I announced visa restrictions on United Front Work Department officials who have engaged in malign activities to co-opt and coerce those who oppose Beijing’s policies. We call on the PRC to end its use of coercion to suppress freedom of expression.

— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) December 4, 2020

“The Chinese Communist Party never wanted to behave like a normal regime because at its core, it’s not one,” Pompeo explained in a tweet posted on Friday as he announced the sanctions. He described the party as a “revolutionary relic,” comparing it to Iran and reasoning “That’s why they work together so much.”

“This isn’t about America versus China, it’s about freedom versus tyranny,” the US diplomat continued, reprising a favorite line.

Pompeo also complained about what he called the Hong Kong government’s “political persecution” of anti-Beijing billionaire Jimmy Lai, US-backed protest leader Joshua Wong, and fellow Hong Kong protesters Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam. Chow and Lam received brief sentences for their participation in the anti-government riots on Wednesday, while Wong’s sentence was considerably longer.

Lai, who runs a news outlet sympathetic to the anti-government protesters, has been charged with fraud and remains in custody.

Also on rt.com
FILE PHOTO: Party members are reflected on a party emblem of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at Tidal Star Group's party activity room in Beijing, China, February 25, 2019
Visa clampdown shows Trump’s aim is for Americans to consider EVERYONE from China as ‘the enemy’

The Trump administration has been meting out sanctions at a rapid pace as the possibility of the president leaving the White House in January seems all but guaranteed. Earlier this week, the Treasury Department announced a round of “Venezuela-related sanctions” on China National Electronics Import & Export Corporation for allegedly selling software, training and surveillance tech to Caracas.

Also earlier this week, the Trump administration slapped wide-ranging visa limitations on CCP members and their families, limiting any possible US stay to just a month. The administration has also severely restricted the ability of Chinese state-run media to operate in the US, designating a total of ten popular outlets as “foreign missions” even while claiming it was Beijing that was the enemy of the free press.

China has previously responded to Washington’s belligerence with sanctions of its own: in October, after three major American arms manufacturers sold billions of dollars in weapons to Taiwan, it slapped some on US defense companies. Beijing also targeted 11 senators and NGO heads with sanctions in response to the US passing the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, denouncing the US for interfering with Chinese affairs.

Also on rt.com
Huawei Connect in Shanghai
China’s latest assault in tech battle with US is a way of starving the American war machine

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---------- 56 ----------

Title: 98.5% success rate: Just 273 of over 20,000 volunteers for Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine trials have subsequently caught Covid-19

Link: https://www.rt.com/russia/508696-success-rate-sputnik-covid/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 17:56:08 +0000

Desc: Preview A mere 273 people who volunteered for the third phase trial of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine have been infected with the coronavirus after their jabs. That's just 1.5% of more than 20,000 who have taken part in the process, so far.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/russia/508696-success-rate-sputnik-covid/

Content:

A mere 273 people who volunteered for the third phase trial of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine have been infected with the coronavirus after their jabs. That's just 1.5% of more than 20,000 who have taken part in the process, so far.

Speaking to a local TV channel, Moscow Deputy Mayor Anastasia Rakova told reporters that the world’s first registered Covid-19 vaccine is performing well, successfully inoculating 98.5% of recipients who had received both the first and second parts of the formula.

“To date, more than 20,000 people have received both doses of the vaccine in post-registration clinical trials,” she explained. “We have recorded only 273 Covid-19 cases. That is 1.5% of those vaccinated.”

Also on rt.com
Medical workers during the transportation of a patient on the territory of the hospital in the intensive care unit in the hospital for patients with COVID-19 in the Moscow clinical center for infectious diseases "Voronovskoe".
Official death toll compared to excess mortality: With so many confusing statistics, just how well is Russia coping with Covid-19?

“These figures speak for themselves about the effectiveness of this vaccine,” she added.

The Deputy Mayor also explained that Moscow has been preparing a full logistics chain for the vaccine over the last six months, including its storage and transportation.

Read more
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Half the world could get Russian Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine, say creators, as Moscow starts distributing doses en masse

On Friday morning, registration to be vaccinated against Covid-19 was opened up, and citizens will begin receiving the jab from December 5. To enroll, a Muscovite must be registered to a local city clinic, which can be done online. The first people to be invited for immunization will be those in the main risk groups, including doctors and teachers.

On December 2, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the start of a large-scale vaccination program against Covid-19.

On August 11, Putin announced that the country had registered the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine, Sputnik V. Exactly three months later the Russian Direct Investment Fund announced that Sputnik V was 92% effective in producing antibodies after 28 days. Russia has also created a second vaccine called EpiVacCorona, produced by Siberia's Vector Center. It’s scheduled to become available to the public in December, with mass inoculation to begin in the New Year.

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---------- 57 ----------

Title: Golden Eagle? Khabib Nurmagomedov among nominees for the BBC's prestigious World Sport Star 2020 Award

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/508720-khabib-nurmagomedov-bbc-world-sport-star-award/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 17:49:04 +0000

Desc: Preview UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov may be about to add another trophy to his collection after the undefeated Dagestan native was included in the six person shortlist for the BBC's annual World Sport Star 2020 Award.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/508720-khabib-nurmagomedov-bbc-world-sport-star-award/

Content:

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov may be about to add another trophy to his collection after the undefeated Dagestan native was included in the six person shortlist for the BBC's annual World Sport Star 2020 Award.

Less than two months since his title defence against Justin Gaethje in Abu Dhabi in late October - and his subsequent retirement announcement - Nurmagomedov's record-breaking accomplishments in the UFC cage have been recognized by the British broadcaster. 

Khabib makes up one-sixth of the list alongside international stars like LeBron James, golf superstar Dustin Johnson and Irish boxing sensation Katie Taylor.

Writing of Nurmagomedov's impact on the sporting world this year, the BBC noted: "The UFC lightweight champion extended his perfect professional record to 29 wins with an emotional victory over interim champion Justin Gaethje. The Russian, considered by some to be the greatest MMA fighter of all time, fought just months after the death of his father, coach and mentor Abdulmanap, and announced his retirement straight after victory."

A public vote to determine the winner will open on December 15 ahead of the results being announced at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony on Sunday, December 20. 

Also on rt.com
British boxing champion Tyson Fury has rejected the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year in a video © Steve Marcus / Reuters
‘Cringey as f*ck’: Heavyweight champ Fury accused of painful PR stunt as he pleads with BBC to axe him from top award list (VIDEO)

Last year's award was won by Kenyan long-distance runner Eliud Kipchoge, with previous winners also including Roger Federer, Usain Bolt and Nurmagomedov's close friend, Cristiano Ronaldo. 

Joining the aforementioned names on this year's shortlist are football player Wendie Renard and Swedish pole vaulter Armand Duplantis. 



---------- 58 ----------

Title: French-Lebanese businessman who once claimed to transport Gaddafi funds to Sarkozy campaign by suitcase 'arrested in Beirut'

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/508726-lebanon-arrest-sarkozy-funding-libya/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 17:46:47 +0000

Desc: Preview Authorities in Beirut have reportedly arrested a French-Lebanese businessman linked to allegations of illicit Libyan financing for Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 French presidential election campaign, on foot of an Interpol request.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/508726-lebanon-arrest-sarkozy-funding-libya/

Content:

Authorities in Beirut have reportedly arrested a French-Lebanese businessman linked to allegations of illicit Libyan financing for Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 French presidential election campaign, on foot of an Interpol request.

Ziad Takieddine fled to the Lebanese capital earlier this year after a French court sentenced him to five years in prison in a separate case involving millions of euros he’d allegedly received for arms sales to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. 

Takieddine previously claimed he had personally delivered suitcases carrying a total of €5 million from Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in Tripoli to Sarkozy’s chief of staff back in France in 2006 and 2007. 

Also on rt.com
FILE PHOTO © REUTERS/Charles Platiau
France's ex-president Sarkozy under formal investigation over allegations of campaign cash from Libya

However, he retracted the claim about the Libyan funds last month, instead accusing the magistrate overseeing the trial of the former French president of having twisted his words to make him “say things that are totally contradictory” to what he actually said.

Takieddine will now be questioned by Lebanon’s general prosecutor to establish whether or not the charges against him are justified and can be proven in court, the AFP reported. If the case proceeds, his trial could be held in Lebanon, where he is a citizen, or in France, with him being extradited back there.  

Sarkozy is currently on trial in a separate case, accused of corruption and influence-peddling for allegedly attempting to bribe a magistrate in return for information about an investigation into his party’s finances. 

Also on rt.com
FILE PHOTO: Former French President Sarkozy and former Elysee General Secretary, Claude Gueant, with Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi ©
Former French interior minister under formal investigation for criminal association in Sarkozy-Libya fundraising scandal

On Thursday, former French Interior Minister Claude Gueant was charged with being part of a criminal conspiracy over the Libyan funding investigation. Gueant was seen as a close ally of Sarkozy, working as his chief of staff from 2007 to 2011 and his Interior Minister from 2011 to 2012.

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---------- 59 ----------

Title: ‘Ugly reality’: Iran’s FM spokesman accuses Saudi Arabia of being chief source of ‘bigotry, hatred & terrorism’ in region

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/508718-iran-accuses-saudi-terrorist-region/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 17:25:39 +0000

Desc: Preview The spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, Saeed Khatibzadeh, has accused Saudi Arabia of being the main hub for training terrorists in the region, while responding angrily to earlier critical remarks by his Saudi counterpart.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/508718-iran-accuses-saudi-terrorist-region/

Content:

The spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, Saeed Khatibzadeh, has accused Saudi Arabia of being the main hub for training terrorists in the region, while responding angrily to earlier critical remarks by his Saudi counterpart.

“For decades, Wahhabism – nurtured by colonial powers – has been the source of bigotry, hatred & terrorism in our region – and beyond,” he tweeted on Thursday. “Fact: Every terrorist group in our region has graduated from Saudi-funded Madrassas.”

1/ For decades, Wahabism—nurtured by colonial powers—has been *the* source of bigotry, hatred & terrorism in our region — and beyond.

Fact: Every terrorist group in our region has graduated from Saudi-funded Madrassas.

No amount of Saudi obfuscation can hide this ugly reality.

— Saeed Khatibzadeh (@SKhatibzadeh) December 3, 2020

Khatibzadeh mentioned “their atrocities in Yemen, & the infamous Khashoggi case are just some of their other stunts,” and added that “Saudis must change course. The policy of inflaming tension is no longer tenable.”

Also on rt.com
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh on November 22, 2020. © Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS
Israeli minister claims PM secretly met with Saudi Crown Prince, Saudis deny report, Netanyahu refuses to comment

The spokesman’s harsh statements followed tweets by Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia’s minister of state for foreign affairs, who tweeted on December 1 that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif “is desperate to blame the kingdom for anything negative that happens in Iran.” 

“Will he blame us for the next earthquake or flood?” he queried.

In further remarks, al-Jubeir claimed that “unlike Iran,” it was not the kingdom’s policy “to engage in assassinations,” and added: “Ask us, and ask many other countries who have lost many of their citizens due to Iran’s criminal and illegal behavior!”

It is not the policy of Saudi Arabia to engage in assasinations; unlike Iran, which has done so since the Khomeini Revolution in 1979. Ask us, and ask many other countries who have lost many of their citizens due to Iran’s criminal and illegal behavior!

— Adel Aljubeir عادل الجبير (@AdelAljubeir) December 1, 2020

Zarif had earlier accused Saudi Arabia, the US, and Israel for colluding in the assassination of senior Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh near Tehran on November 27. The Iranian minister mentioned Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s alleged visit to Riyadh and the trilateral meetings between him, Saudi officials, and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Saudi Arabia, a Sunni powerhouse and regional rival of Shiite Iran, has not formally condemned the assassination of the scientist, although other Gulf states have done so.

Israeli sources said Netanyahu held talks in Saudi Arabia last month, while Riyadh denied any such meeting took place.

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---------- 60 ----------

Title: Nip tide: Australian big-wave rider Felicity Palmateer promotes NAKED surfing in new short film

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/508719-australian-surfer-naked-film/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 17:02:55 +0000

Desc: Preview Australian professional surfer and artist Felicity Palmateer has released a new short film showcasing her riding the waves while completely naked.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/508719-australian-surfer-naked-film/

Content:

Australian professional surfer and artist Felicity Palmateer has released a new short film showcasing her riding the waves while completely naked.

The 28-year-old chose world's top surfing locations, including Fiji, Hawaii, Australia and Wales to shoot the movie over a three-year period.

READ MORE: To a tee: Golf champ Johnson's fiancee Gretzky thrills fans including Spiranac by emulating naked Kylie Jenner on Caribbean island

According to Palmateer, the four-minute project titled 'Skin Deep' combines her passions for art and surfing, and helps to explain her interpretation of freedom.

"By embracing my femininity it helped immensely with my self-esteem and self-acceptance," Palmateer said.

"The ocean has been my playground, it has shaped my life since I was young; as has art. I use both surfing and art as forms of meditation, motivation and as escapism. I feel most comfortable when I'm either in the water surfing, or creating," she added.

Film producer Johnathan 'JJ' Jenkins, who is also Palmateer's partner, said that finding locations for the film was a tough task, as they not only needed to choose ideal areas for shooting but also to ensure the surfer could feel comfortable performing naked.

"Many of the accessible surf zones we considered are populated year-round, so finding ideal locations and accounting for weather and waves was very tricky," he said.



---------- 61 ----------

Title: Fears of an Iranian reprisal for the killing of nuclear chief prompt Israel to warn its own scientists & reactor workers

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/508721-israel-nuclear-scientists-warned-iran/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 16:43:07 +0000

Desc: Preview Israeli nuclear scientists and former staff at its southern Dimona reactor have been warned they may be targeted by Iran after its top nuclear scientist was assassinated last week in what Tehran claims was an Israeli attack.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/508721-israel-nuclear-scientists-warned-iran/

Content:

Israeli nuclear scientists and former staff at its southern Dimona reactor have been warned they may be targeted by Iran after its top nuclear scientist was assassinated last week in what Tehran claims was an Israeli attack.

At least one former Dimona scientist has been told by Israeli security officials that Iran is monitoring his internet activity, and that he should avoid walking along particular routes regularly, while remaining vigilant for unexpected packages, according to reports by Israel’s Kan broadcaster. 

According to Israeli ex-counter-terrorism chief Nitzan Nuriel, the likelihood of Tehran authoring attacks on Israeli officials overseas, as has happened before, is low, but he said people “need to be cautious.” 

Also on rt.com
RT
Israel warns its citizens they may be targeted abroad by Iran following nuclear scientist’s assassination

The warnings for Israeli nuclear officials come after its counterterrorism center yesterday cautioned its citizens that they needed to be vigilant for potential attacks, particularly in Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Georgia, the Kurdish region of Iraq, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, in the wake of the murder of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

READ MORE: Israeli weapon used in killing of top Iranian nuclear scientist – Iran’s state media

This week, Iranian state media reiterated that Israel was behind Fakhrizadeh’s killing, claiming that the remains of the weapon used showed “the logo and specifications of the Israeli military industry.” 

Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif also linked Israel to the killing, which he said was an act of “cowardice” akin to “desperate warmongering”, while President Hassan Rouhani blamed “mercenaries of the usurping Zionist regime” for Fakhrizadeh’s assassination.

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---------- 62 ----------

Title: 'Little Giant,' BIG KO! Watch Bokan Masunyane STARCH Rene Catalan with SPECTACULAR head-kick at ONE Championship 122 (VIDEO)

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/508692-one-championship-knockout-bokang-masunyane/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 16:20:48 +0000

Desc: Preview Asian mixed martial arts promotion ONE Championship is known for serving up some spectacular moments, and their latest behind-closed-doors event delivered once again with another stunning highlight-reel finish.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/508692-one-championship-knockout-bokang-masunyane/

Content:

Asian mixed martial arts promotion ONE Championship is known for serving up some spectacular moments, and their latest behind-closed-doors event delivered once again with another stunning highlight-reel finish.

South African contender Bokan Masunyane, known to his fans as "Little Giant" produced a huge knockout as he took on top-ranked Filipino flyweight contender Rene Catalan at ONE Championship: Big Bang in Singapore on Friday.

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Catalan is a former champion in native Filipino striking art of wushu, and Masunyane was expected to cause problems for him with his wrestling skills. But the South African produced a surprise when he opted instead to stand and trade heavy strikes.

And when the pair locked in in a clinch in the center of the cage, it was Masunyane who saw his moment.

As the pair separated and Catalan looked to step back out to punching range, Masunyane unleashed a perfectly-timed head kick that sent the Filipino veteran crashing to the canvas, out cold. 

Bokang Masunyane 🇿🇦 SHELLACKS third-ranked Rene Catalan with a crazy head kick KO! 🤯 @LittleGiant_Bk #ONEBigBang #WeAreONE #ONEChampionship pic.twitter.com/ciW6hclIXp

— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) December 4, 2020

Masunyane moved in, preparing to unload ground strikes, but after seeing the work had already been done, he sportingly backed away.

Masunyane's KO finish was the highlight of the evening in Singapore, as he announced his arrival in the ONE flyweight division with a bang, and he claimed that he's already prepared to take on the division's best in his quest to capture championship gold.

"I'm the best in my division," he said after his victory.

"I'd like to challenge the champion. And if the champion is not ready, No. 1 (contender), No. 2, I'm always ready.

"But I've got my eye on the title. Give me the title shot!"

Also on rt.com
Commentator Michael Bisping was among those stunned by the KO power of Khaos Williams. © Twitter @UFCEurope
'That man is DANGEROUS': Rising UFC star Khaos Williams lives up to his name with sensational one-punch knockout (VIDEO)



---------- 63 ----------

Title: ‘Deep State Dan’: GOP Rep Crenshaw called ‘swamp creature,’ likened to John McCain after urging Georgians to vote in Senate runoff

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/508715-dan-crenshaw-georgia-runoffs/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 16:19:48 +0000

Desc: Preview Republican Congressman Dan Crenshaw was branded a “globalist” and a “deep state” tool after he condemned Donald Trump attorneys Lin Wood and Sidney Powell for telling Georgians not to vote in upcoming Senate runoffs.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/508715-dan-crenshaw-georgia-runoffs/

Content:

Republican Congressman Dan Crenshaw was branded a “globalist” and a “deep state” tool after he condemned Donald Trump attorneys Lin Wood and Sidney Powell for telling Georgians not to vote in upcoming Senate runoffs.

“Lin Wood is a Democrat that wants Republicans to self-destruct,” Crenshaw tweeted on Thursday. “Just because he wears a MAGA hat does not mean he shares a single value with you,” he said, adding “He’s a grifter.”

Lin Wood is a Democrat that wants Republicans to self-destruct. Just because he wears a MAGA hat does not mean he shares a single value with you. He just wants your donations for his legal fees. He’s a grifter.

VOTE IN GEORGIA.

PROTECT THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE LAST 4 YEARS. https://t.co/d8CwTQUS5V

— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) December 4, 2020

Thus, Crenshaw joined a slew of conservative voices, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who initially supported Donald Trump’s election fraud claims in the 2020 contest, but were outraged at how Wood and Powell chose to push the issue. 

All eyes are on Georgia now, as the January runoff elections will decide which party takes the US senate.

The two Trump attorneys told a Georgia rally crowd on Wednesday not to vote for Republican Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue until they vocally backed Trump in his election fraud claims.

“If Kelly Loeffler wants your vote, if David Perdue wants your vote, they’ve got to earn it!” Wood proclaimed, while Powell said Georgians should hold onto their ballots until “their vote was secure.”

There were plenty of avid conservatives who agreed with the lawyers’ political strategy more than with Crenshaw’s, however.

The congressman’s message was taken to be anti-Trump and pro-establishment. He was even dubbed “Deep State Dan” as tweeters accused him of being a “globalist” and a “swamp creature.”

Conservative blogger Michelle Malkin mockingly called him “John McCain in an eyepatch,” referring to Trump’s late detractor in the Senate.

Dan Crenshaw is a globalist John McCain in an eyepatch who loves to party hardy while our country burns. PROTECT OUR ELECTION SYSTEM & OUR COUNTRY, NOT THE GOP SWAMP! https://t.co/bWw2SSmccX

— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) December 4, 2020

Ok Deepstate Dan!

— President-Elect Trumpwarrior2020 (@TrumpWarrior201) December 4, 2020

What's this about Dan? pic.twitter.com/RZHds3FuPX

— Andrea Stauffer (@astol14334) December 4, 2020

...Says Dan the swamp creature.

— MaryA (@inthenow17) December 4, 2020

While Crenshaw mockingly called Wood a Democrat, his defenders insisted he was a “patriot” and merely “demanding politicians do the right thing.” 

“Dan Crenshaw sold America out,” tweeted former GOP Senate candidate Lauren Witzke.

Dan Crenshaw sold America out on the 2nd Amendment and immigration, then handed our Historical Monuments over to the mob.

Lin Wood is doing more to defend America now than you have ever done in elected office. https://t.co/lbCafX7rTu

— Lauren Witzke (@LaurenWitzkeDE) December 4, 2020

He is a patriot, and he is demanding these politicians stand up and do the right thing.

— The Observer (@__gadfly_) December 4, 2020

whatever party Lin represents,he's right. I live in GA & after what I witnessed today, I nor anyone I know will vote in Jan.

— Tana McKinney (@TanaMcKinney) December 4, 2020

The intra-party backlash to Wood’s and Powell’s appeal for voters to stay away from the polls appears to be growing. Previously, Senator Ted Cruz called Wood a “clown” for risking Republicans’ chances to win the Senate.

Also on rt.com
FILE PHOTOS: (L & C) Attorneys Lin Wood and Sidney Powell hold a press conference on election results in Alpharetta, Georgia; (R) Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich at an event in Arlington, Virginia.
‘Chickens coming to roost?’ Gingrich roasted after attacking pro-Trump lawyers for telling Georgians not to vote in Senate runoffs

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---------- 64 ----------

Title: Goodbye MAGA, hello... Blue MAGA? Dem ripoff hats repulse even liberals

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/508701-blue-maga-hats-twitter/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 16:00:26 +0000

Desc: Preview Even liberals aren’t buying into an attempt to replace Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again slogan and famous hats with a Democrat spin.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/508701-blue-maga-hats-twitter/

Content:

Even liberals aren’t buying into an attempt to replace Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again slogan and famous hats with a Democrat spin.

President Trump’s red MAGA hats have become a signature look for his most loyal supporters since they were introduced during his first presidential campaign. 

The red hats flood campaign rallies and inspire outrage when celebrities like Kanye West and ‘Lil Pump sport them. But one company is now trying to replace the hats with a liberal spin on the concept to celebrate a future where Trump is no longer in office. 

Blue MAGA hats, which sport the phrase “made America great already,” have gotten the attention of social media, and they appear to anger the president’s critics as much as the originals.

Also on rt.com
FILE PHOTO: Joe Biden embraces his son Hunter at an election rally, after news outlets announced that Biden won the 2020 presidential election, in Wilmington, Delaware, November 7, 2020.
Biden tells CNN his son Hunter’s business dealings will be kept away from presidency & government after network's cover-up exposed

Critics have slammed the design, which retails on Amazon for around 15 dollars, and accused its makers of trying to replace one “cult” with another.

“We already have Blue MAGA. It's called not being MAGA,” author John Pavlovitz tweeted, one of just a flurry of messages giving the cold shoulder to the caps. 

“We don’t need another cult. America just survived one. Enough with this. Not hats. Not chants. No crimes. No lies,” actress Yvette Nicole Brown tweeted

“We have been warning about #BlueMAGA and the growing cultishness in the Democratic party all year long and now it is a reality,” podcaster Ryan Knight wrote

“The Democrats are now making blue Maga hats. Who would’ve thought our entire country would turn into Bloods vs the Crips or even social slayer?” YouTuber David Keem added. 

The Democrats are now making blue Maga hats..

Who would’ve thought our entire country would turn into bloods vs the Crips or even social slayer? pic.twitter.com/XGQKu2W3dS

— KEEM 🍿 (@KEEMSTAR) December 4, 2020

Just so we’re clear...

Blue MAGA is NOT a thing!!

EVER!!!

— 🏳️‍🌈ᏒᎧᎷᏋᎩ🏳️‍🌈 WE DID IT!!!!! (@jamnspoon2) December 4, 2020

Blue MAGA hats are the stupidest idea since red MAGA hats.

— Bleeding Heart Liberal Marine (@BleedingMarine) December 4, 2020

For the love of all the good that is left in our lives now, please DO NOT make blue MAGA a thing.

We will NOT be friends, EVER.

— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) December 4, 2020

Though they have no official connection to Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, the Biden Harris Hats have celebrated the Democrat’s victory and attempted to connect themselves to him as much as possible. 

“Biden ‘Made America Great Already’ because he is sending Trump to prison,” the company behind the hats recently tweeted, along with images of people sporting the blue hats.

You “Made America Great Already” simply by firing and evicting Trump from our White House.

Get your BIDEN “BLUE” MAGA HAT now. Biden “Made America Great Already” because he is sending Trump to prison. Hats 🧢 are on Amazon. 🇺🇸🧢🇺🇸#45TransitionToPrison@BidenHarrisHats pic.twitter.com/LUMnKNAbuE

— Biden Harris Hats (@BidenHarrisHats) December 3, 2020

The company’s Twitter profile promises these blue MAGA hats will help “drown the red sea of hate.”

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---------- 65 ----------

Title: Wall of cardboard erected outside French Finance Ministry as climate activists protest over Amazon expansion (VIDEO)

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/508711-france-amazon-climate-protest-finance/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 15:54:34 +0000

Desc: Preview Climate activists have staged a protest outside the Finance Ministry in Paris, piling up delivery boxes and unfurling giant banners to demonstrate their opposition to Amazon’s expansion in France.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/508711-france-amazon-climate-protest-finance/

Content:

Climate activists have staged a protest outside the Finance Ministry in Paris, piling up delivery boxes and unfurling giant banners to demonstrate their opposition to Amazon’s expansion in France.

On Friday, activists from three groups – ANV-COP 21, Attac, and Amis de la Terre – gathered in central Paris to protest against Amazon, its impact on climate change, and its erosion of French values. 

Activists erected a wall of cardboard boxes covered in slogans calling on the government to prevent Amazon from building new warehouses, and unfurled a banner over the Finance Ministry saying “change of owner.” 

The banner was emblazoned with the faces of President Emmanuel Macron and Amazon boss, Jeff Bezos, while boxes bore the message “Macron, Amazon’s partner in crime.” 

🔴Action en cours d’@attac_fr, @amisdelaterre et @AnvCop21 devant le Ministère de l’Economie et des Finances pour « dénoncer la complicité du gouvernement dans l’expansion d’#Amazon en France ».#StopAmazon #BlackFriday #Paris pic.twitter.com/Uk4uEAdigD

— Charles Baudry (@CharlesBaudry) December 4, 2020
https://www.facebook.com/187409321719943/videos/427644881584313

The demonstration comes as the online shopping giant launched a delayed Black Friday sales drive in France. 

“Amazon is destroying jobs and climate in France. It plans to massively expand in France, with dozens of warehouses already built and more to come. We demand a freeze [on building more],” Sandy Olivar Calvo, a spokeswoman for ANV-COP21, told Reuters. 

ANV-COP21 claims that the French government has been complicit in Amazon’s growth there, and argue that the e-commerce giant destroys six times as many jobs as it creates and built 14 new French warehouses in 2019, contributing to the urbanization of farmland and loss of biodiversity. 

Campaigners also claim that the company is at odds with the French tradition of having smaller local stores, and represents mass consumer culture. 

Also on rt.com
The Jouffroy passage in Paris during second national lockdown, France, (FILE PHOTO) ©  REUTERS/Charles Platiau
Paris chief demands stores reopen for Black Friday amid lockdown, slams Macron’s bureaucratic and controlling state

In November, Amazon delayed its Black Friday sale after Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire called on supermarkets and online retailers to postpone their much-anticipated seasonal offers in an attempt to give business back to struggling shopkeepers emerging from France’s second lockdown.

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---------- 66 ----------

Title: 'I'm at peace with myself, and I'm going to die': Formula 1 ace Grosjean admits he ACCEPTED DEATH before his rescue from fireball

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/508687-romain-grosjean-motivation-escape-burning-car-f1/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 15:35:13 +0000

Desc: Preview Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean says that he had accepted his fate in the moments before he was rescued from his car after it burst into flames following his first-lap horror crash at last weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/508687-romain-grosjean-motivation-escape-burning-car-f1/

Content:

Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean says that he had accepted his fate in the moments before he was rescued from his car after it burst into flames following his first-lap horror crash at last weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix.

Fans feared for the French driver's safety after his car crashed through a barrier and became an inferno in which the 34-year-old was trapped for several seconds before he was saved by the actions of quick-thinking stewards. 

Speaking in depth for the first time since the accident, Grosjean said that there was a moment in which he accepted that his death was inevitable - but he resolved to escape after reflecting that he was about to leave his children to grow up without their father.

Also on rt.com
Romain Grosjean returned to the F1 paddock
'It's great to see you, Romain!' F1 ace Grosjean returns to scene of Bahrain horror crash that nearly cost him his life (VIDEO)

"I look right and left, and watching on the left I see fire. So I say 'OK, well I don't really have the time to wait here'," he told Sky Sports F1.

"So next thing is that I tried to go up a bit more on the right, it doesn't work. I go again on the left, it doesn't work.

"I sit back down and then thought about Niki Lauda, his accident (at the 1976 Nurburgring Grand Prix), and thought 'it couldn't end like this, it couldn't be my last race, it couldn't finish like this. No way.'

"So I try again and I'm stuck. So I go back and then there's the less pleasant moment where my body started to relax. I'm at peace with myself, and I'm going to die. 

"I asked my question: "Is it going to burn my shoe or my foot or my hand? Is it going to be painful? Where is it going to start?

"To me, that looks like two, three, four seconds. I guess it was milliseconds at the time. And then I think about my kids and I said 'no, they cannot lose their dad today.'"

Grosjean is a father of three children with his wife Marion.

He suffered burns to his hands and ankles in fire, as well as a broken rib and a broken foot - and says that he watched as his racing gloves began to melt around his hands. 

"I don't know why, but I decided to turn my helmet on the left-hand side and to go up like this and then try to twist my shoulder. That sort of works, but then I realise my foot is stuck in the car," he continued.

"So I sit back down, I pull as hard as I can on my left leg and my foot comes out of the shoe. Then I do it again and then the shoulders are going through, and at the time the shoulders are through I know I'm going to jump out.

"I've got both hands on the fire at that time. My gloves are red normally, so I see that especially the left one is changing colour and starting melting and going full black, and I feel the pain. But also I feel the relief that I am out of the car.

"And then I jump out. I go on the barrier and then I feel (FIA doctor) Ian (Roberts) pulling on my overalls, so I know I'm not on my own anymore and there's someone with me.

"Then I land and then they touch on my back so I'm like 'Oh s**t, I'm like a running fireball.'"

Fans fears' were allayed somewhat when Grosjean was seen on the race broadcast walking towards an ambulance minutes after the crash - with the driver saying he refused to be transported on a stretcher to assure viewers - and his family - that he was largely unharmed.

"I say 'no, no, no, we walk into the ambulance'. 'No, no, no, no, the bed is coming'. And I said 'no, no, no'. And I walk out of the car and I say 'we are walking', and he says 'OK, we are going to help you.'

"I guess on the medical side, it wasn't the perfect decision but they understood that, for me, it was key at the point that there was some footage of me walking towards the ambulance."

Grosjean left hospital on Wednesday after spending just four days receiving treatment. Has has been ruled out of this weekend's Sakhir Grand Prix but was eyed the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on December 13 for his potential return. 

Also on rt.com
Grosjean's car burst into flames on impact with the barrier. © Reuters / Twitter
'This man is lucky to be alive': F1 star Grosjean leaps from INFERNO as car explodes after SPLITTING IN HALF at Bahrain GP (VIDEO)



---------- 67 ----------

Title: Scientists on verge of creating ‘artificial vision’ which could restore partial sight in the blind via BRAIN IMPLANTS

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/508670-blind-vision-breakthrough-implants/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 15:33:25 +0000

Desc: Preview Researchers at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN) have achieved a major breakthrough which could soon lead to partial restoration of sight in blind people using a brain implant that stimulates their optical cortex.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/508670-blind-vision-breakthrough-implants/

Content:

Researchers at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN) have achieved a major breakthrough which could soon lead to partial restoration of sight in blind people using a brain implant that stimulates their optical cortex.

The team’s findings were published in Science on December 3, and detail experiments involving two sighted monkeys with high-resolution implants in their visual cortices.

The idea has been explored since the 1970s, but current systems can only manage a resolution of a small number of artificial ‘pixels’ in the minds’ of the participants. 

The NIN team, led by Pieter Roelfsema, capitalized on recent innovations in implant production and microelectronics, as well new cutting-edge materials science, to achieve what they claim is a hitherto unheard of level of artificial vision.  

“The number of electrodes that we have implanted in the visual cortex, and the number of artificial pixels that we can generate to produce high-resolution artificial images, is unprecedented,” Roelfsema said.

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Researcher Eric Glowacki © Thor Balkhed
Scientists develop ‘artificial retina’ in hope to restore sight to the blind

The team developed high-resolution brain implants, which bypass the retinas and optical nerves, consisting of 1,024 electrodes which can recognize artificially induced shapes and percepts. 

Electrical stimulation via the implanted electrode can trigger the perception of a dot of light in a given location in physical space in front of the user, in this case, the two monkeys.

The monkeys were then tested to measure their eye movements in response to electrical stimuli from a single electrode, in which they would point out the locations of phosphenes (a luminous image typically produced by stimulating the retina) with their gaze. 

Next, the animals were tasked with tracking moving phosphenes, generated via a sequence of electrodes, before moving on to letter and shape selection tasks of increasing complexity and difficulty.

Also on rt.com
Illustration: © Getty Images / Peter Finch
‘Impossible’ breakthrough sees scientists successfully regrow optic nerve cells

The monkeys were successful in identifying induced lines, moving dots, and letters using their artificial vision. 

The system shows major promise for “blind people who have suffered injury or degeneration of the retina, eye, or optic nerve, but whose visual cortex remains intact,” researcher Xing Chen explained.

The NIN team claims it is a major stepping stone towards a neuroprosthetic device which could one day restore functional vision to the blind, allowing for everything from object recognition to navigation of unfamiliar surroundings, affording an entirely new degree of independence and self-sufficiency to the blind.

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---------- 68 ----------

Title: ‘Santa Claus with antibodies’: Actors who previously caught Covid-19 providing a very 2020 service for Russian kids

Link: https://www.rt.com/russia/508700-santa-covid-safe-antibodies/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 15:31:27 +0000

Desc: Preview Want to invite Santa to your home, but scared you might catch coronavirus? In Russia, that’s not a problem. Actors are now offering a Covid-19 safe visit, dressed as Slavic Santa, known as Ded Moroz, and his assistant.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/russia/508700-santa-covid-safe-antibodies/

Content:

Want to invite Santa to your home, but scared you might catch coronavirus? In Russia, that’s not a problem. Actors are now offering a Covid-19 safe visit, dressed as Slavic Santa, known as Ded Moroz, and his assistant.

As advertised on the popular site avito.ru, two professional children’s entertainers from St. Petersburg will provide a 30-minute in-call, dressed as Ded Moroz and Snegurochka (Snow Maiden), for just 4,000 rubles ($53). The program includes songs, magic tricks, and games, and concludes, of course, with presents.

The actor playing Santa Claus, Alexey Panasyuk, is a performer at the Zazerkalie Children’s Musical Theater.

Also on rt.com
RT
‘Only in Oz’: Australian family finds KOALA in their Christmas tree (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Since the St. Petersburg service was first advertised in mid-November, copycat services have popped up all around the country. In Moscow, an entertainer called Ruslan told the Telegram channel Podyom that catching Covid-19 had turned out to be a “great marketing ploy.”

“The price is no longer important. People are ready to pay a premium for safety,” he explained. “My phone’s blowing up, so I’ll be raising the price.”

Read more
A man wearing a protective mask inside a shop in Rome, Italy on December 2, 2020 © REUTERS/Yara Nardi
Covid curbs Christmas spirits as Italy cancels festive events & bans midnight mass

A quick search of Avito also finds similar services in other Russian cities, such as Vologda, Bryansk, and Belgorod.

Ded Moroz, or Father Frost, is a very popular figure in Russia, and, in 2008, he even received a visit from President Vladimir Putin. Actors playing the traditional Slavic character and his helper Snegurochka are a regular fixture at children’s parties over the winter holiday season. After the 1917 revolution, Ded Moroz was banned, but returned just 20 years later as a part of the New Year celebrations.

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---------- 69 ----------

Title: Quantum leaping from Tula to the world? Continent-hopping monoliths are result of Russian teleportation test, says university

Link: https://www.rt.com/russia/508697-monoliths-russian-teleportation-device/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 15:04:58 +0000

Desc: Preview The prismatic ‘monoliths’ that have shown up in recent days throughout the world are actually the same experimental teleportation device currently being tested by Russian scientists - or at least so they claim.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/russia/508697-monoliths-russian-teleportation-device/

Content:

The prismatic ‘monoliths’ that have shown up in recent days throughout the world are actually the same experimental teleportation device currently being tested by Russian scientists - or at least so they claim.

Mysterious metal objects have been appearing and disappearing since last week in various parts of the planet, from a Utah desert to Romania’s countryside to a Californian mountaintop. 

Also on rt.com
Images show the group taking down the monolith and then posing beside a cross on Pine Mountain, California. © DLive / CultureWarCriminal
‘Christ is king!’ Youths chanting ‘America First’ DESTROY California monolith, replace it with a cross (VIDEO)

A university in Tula, Russia, claims that all the ‘monoliths’ – as they’ve been dubbed, after the mysterious object in Stanley Kubrick ‘Space Odyssey’ – were actually the same piece of experimental technology they are currently testing.

“Quantum leap experiments are unpredictable. An error made by a lab technician caused the object to incorrectly be transported to the US and later to Romania,” the scientists reported. 

Now ‘Object-542’ is back at our testing ground in the natural reserve of Konduki, they added, showing footage of the supposed device at the popular tourist destination as ‘proof.’

“Due to an influx of tourists and pilgrims, the work on the object will now be moved to our lab,” the jokey statement added, possibly pointing to the intended outcome of its release.

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---------- 70 ----------

Title: ‘They’re really pros’: Fauci backtracks on criticism of hasty UK vaccine approval, as regulator defends decision

Link: https://www.rt.com/uk/508698-fauci-apologizes-uk-vaccine/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 14:58:40 +0000

Desc: Preview Top US immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci has apologised over his criticism of what he called the UK’s hasty approval of the Pfizer and BioNTech Covid-19 jab, while the British regulator said everything was up to standard.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/uk/508698-fauci-apologizes-uk-vaccine/

Content:

Top US immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci has apologised over his criticism of what he called the UK’s hasty approval of the Pfizer and BioNTech Covid-19 jab, while the British regulator said everything was up to standard.

“I do have great faith in both the scientific community and the regulatory community at the UK,” Fauci, one of America’s top health officials, told the BBC, calling his earlier comments a “misunderstanding.”

On Thursday, Fauci had expressed some skepticism over the approval of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine by the UK regulator, MHRA, by saying that the British supposedly did not carry out such procedures as “carefully” as America’s Food and Drug Administration, which he described as “the gold standard of regulatory function.”

Also on rt.com
FILE PHOTO: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
‘Superficial’: Fauci slams UK over hasty Pfizer vaccine approval, says FDA doing it ‘the correct way’

The statement sparked some controversy after it was covered by the Western media and apparently put the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) on the defensive. 

“The Brits are good, they know what they're doing, they’re really pros,” he told NBC’s Today show, adding that his words were “taken out of context.” 

Fauci directed blame at British journalists, saying he had made the comments instinctively after one reporter boasted that the UK had “beat” the Americans on approving the vaccine.

“It was just one of those things where I sat down in front of the TV with a British TV station and the first thing they said was, ‘Ah, we beat you guys. We beat the Americans to the punch’,” he told NBC. “And I kind of reacted back at him when I think I probably should not have done.”

The controversy also apparently unnerved the British regulator, which issued a series of explanatory statements over the past 24 hours, even dedicating a blog post to explaining the roles of the MHRA and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, arguing that the two organizations “have been mentioned in the news a lot this week.”

The @MHRAgovuk and Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (#JCVI) have been mentioned in the news a lot this week.

A new @PHE_UK blog explains the vital roles that these organisations play in approving and rolling out a #COVID19 vaccine.

Read 🔽https://t.co/K6dbGc1D1b

— Department of Health and Social Care (@DHSCgovuk) December 4, 2020

An MHRA spokesperson also told British media that the vaccine data was “rigorously assessed” and the assessment speed was achieved “without compromising the thoroughness” of the review. 

“This process is designed to make sure that any vaccine approved meets the expected high standards of safety, quality and effectiveness. No vaccine would be authorised for supply in the UK unless the expected standards of safety, quality and efficacy are met,” the spokesperson said, as cited by Sky News. 

The UK became the first nation to approve the Pfizer vaccine on Wednesday. The development immediately prompted lavish and “jingoistic” praise from some top officials, including Education Secretary Gavin Williamson and Business Secretary Alok Sharma. The broader public, however, took the news with a great deal of skepticism, with both officials being ridiculed on social media. 

The UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock, meanwhile, vowed to get the jab live on TV to prove it is safe.

Also on rt.com
The UK government has been boasting of 'winning the race' after approving the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine
UK boast of winning ‘race’ to greenlight Covid-19 vaccine jeopardises pandemic strategy if public is put off by world-first claims

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---------- 71 ----------

Title: Unless you vote for Pelosi, you vote for GOP QAnon, House Rules chair tells Democrats in preemptive strike against dissenters

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/508690-pelosi-speaker-qanon-republicans/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 14:53:26 +0000

Desc: Preview Jim McGovern has reportedly pressured Democrat legislators unhappy with Nancy Pelosi’s leadership to toe the party line and vote to keep the speaker gavel in her hands, saying any other vote will go to the “QAnon wing” of the GOP.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/508690-pelosi-speaker-qanon-republicans/

Content:

Jim McGovern has reportedly pressured Democrat legislators unhappy with Nancy Pelosi’s leadership to toe the party line and vote to keep the speaker gavel in her hands, saying any other vote will go to the “QAnon wing” of the GOP.

A strongly worded letter was sent by McGovern, who chairs the House Rules Committee, to members of the Democratic caucus. Now, they may consider not voting for Pelosi in a gesture of protest.

“Make no mistake, any vote not for the Speaker on the House Floor will be counted against her and for [House Minority Leader] Kevin McCarthy and the QAnon wing of the Republican Party,” the letter said, as cited by several DC political correspondents.

Dem Rules Chair Jim McGovern told members in a letter that went out today that voting against Nancy Pelosi for speaker is a vote for the “QAnon wing of the Republican Party.” pic.twitter.com/aIEMh9WiCG

— Daniella Diaz (@DaniellaMicaela) December 4, 2020

QAnon is a conspiracy theory popular among some right-wing circles, which claims that there is a vast cabal of pedophiles secretly pulling the strings in the US circles of power. Believers have long held President Donald Trump in high regard, expecting him to crack down on the secret predators.

Also on rt.com
FILE PHOTOS.
Trump refuses to ‘disavow QAnon in its entirety’ because he knows ‘nothing’ about the group except that ‘they fight pedophilia’

Last month, Pelosi was nominated to keep her position as House speaker by the Democratic caucus, running unopposed. But she will still need to be confirmed by a simple majority in January. If all representatives vote, the threshold would be 218 votes.

The previous time she faced re-election in 2019, a group of 15 democrats refused to back her candidacy. It didn’t affect the outcome on that occasion. But last month’s election thinned out the Democratic majority in the House to its smallest size in over a decade, instead of bringing a predicted blue wave. This means that each and every vote could be essential for the Pelosi speakership.

Bringing potential dissenters to heel may be particularly difficult since the progressive wing of the Democratic Party seems to be snubbed again and again by the incoming Biden administration. One of the most explicit examples was the nomination of Neera Tanden for budget director.

#NeeraTanden is the most unsurprising Biden cabinet pick so far. Neera = 2020 Democratic Party in human form. She’s pro on every donor class issue, against the working class, AIPAC-fangirl, defender of free trade, the most vocal online troll of the left & a legendary careerist. pic.twitter.com/2USMBJrUxT

— Area Man (@sungkim) November 30, 2020

A devoted Clintonite centrist checking all the right identitarian boxes, Tanden spent years relentlessly attacking progressive commentators on Twitter. Critics call her a troll and say her nomination is nothing short of showing the middle finger to the supporters of Bernie Sanders, who were told to vote Biden on a promise that they could pressure him to shift left after he gets the presidency.

Pelosi, a longtime fixture of the centrist Democratic establishment, has been criticized from the left by people who believe that her calcified leadership cost the party lost seats in November.

Also on rt.com
Nancy Pelosi's famous clap © Reuters / Doug Mills
Democrats drool over Nancy Pelosi’s ‘f**k you’ clap during Trump’s State of the Union speech

Among other things, she was accused of pretending to resist Trump with empty gestures like mock-clapping and tearing up his State of the Union address, while supporting many of his damaging policies during House votes. Shortly before the election, she rejected the president’s proposal for a Covid-19 bailout bill, which critics believe was simply meant to deny Trump a publicity coup.

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---------- 72 ----------

Title: China turns on nuclear-powered ‘artificial sun’, TEN TIMES hotter than the real thing

Link: https://www.rt.com/business/508677-china-turns-on-artifical-sun/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 14:47:45 +0000

Desc: Preview Beijing has successfully powered up its “artificial sun” nuclear fusion reactor for the first time, China’s People’s Daily reported on Friday. It’s designed to be a clean energy source, similar to the real Sun.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/business/508677-china-turns-on-artifical-sun/

Content:

Beijing has successfully powered up its “artificial sun” nuclear fusion reactor for the first time, China’s People’s Daily reported on Friday. It’s designed to be a clean energy source, similar to the real Sun.

Made to replicate the natural reactions that occur in the sun using hydrogen and deuterium gases as fuels, the HL-2M Tokamak reactor is China's largest and most advanced nuclear fusion experimental research device. 

It is located in southwestern Sichuan province and was completed late last year. The reactor is often called an "artificial sun" due to the enormous heat and power it produces.

Men work inside a HL-2M Tokamak nuclear fusion reactor, dubbed as the "artificial sun," under construction in Chengdu, Sichuan province, China. Picture taken June 5, 2019 © Reuters / Liu Haiyun

The HL-2M Tokamak uses a powerful magnetic field to fuse hot plasma and can reach temperatures of over 150 million degrees Celsius, approximately ten times hotter than the core of the Sun.

“The development of nuclear fusion energy is not only a way to solve China’s strategic energy needs, but also has great significance for the future sustainable development of China's energy and national economy,” the People’s Daily reported. 

The project is part of China’s involvement with the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), based in France.

The Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST), a nuclear fusion reactor dubbed as "artificial sun," in Hefei, Anhui province, China November 14, 2018 © Reuters

The ITER is the world’s largest nuclear fusion project with a price tag of about €20 billion ($24 billion). It involves 35 countries and is expected to be completed in 2025.

Chinese scientists have been working on developing smaller versions of the nuclear fusion reactor, including the HL-2M Tokamak, since 2006. 

A technician works on the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST), a nuclear fusion reactor dubbed as "artificial sun", in Hefei, Anhui province, China. Picture taken November 14, 2018 © Reuters

Fusion is considered the Holy Grail of energy and is what powers the Sun, but achieving fusion is both extremely difficult and prohibitively expensive. 

By harnessing the power produced through nuclear fusion it is possible to tap into almost limitless clean energy. Researchers around the world have been trying to attain that goal for decades. The main issue has been finding an affordable way to contain piping hot plasma in one space and keeping it stable enough for fusion to occur.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section



---------- 73 ----------

Title: ‘We distrust Iran’: Germany wants nuclear deal under Biden expanded to include Iranian ballistic missiles

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/508694-germany-iran-nuclear-deal-biden/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 14:43:38 +0000

Desc: Preview Germany’s foreign minister said on Friday that the country needs to renegotiate the Iran nuclear deal with the US, despite Tehran’s vow not to engage in new talks, but to return to the original agreement.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/508694-germany-iran-nuclear-deal-biden/

Content:

Germany’s foreign minister said on Friday that the country needs to renegotiate the Iran nuclear deal with the US, despite Tehran’s vow not to engage in new talks, but to return to the original agreement.

“A return to the previous agreement will not be enough,” Heiko Maas told Spiegel. “There will have to be a kind of ‘nuclear deal plus’, which is also in our interest.”

Iran signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK and US in 2015, which meant it accepted restrictions on its nuclear capabilities in return for relief from economic sanctions.

President Trump withdrew the US from the agreement in 2018, but talk of renegotiating the deal has grown recently as countries prepare for the possibility of Joe Biden becoming president.

Also on rt.com
© Joshua Roberts
President Donald Trump takes US out of Iran nuclear deal (VIDEO)

“The decisive factor will be whether the US relaxes economic sanctions against Iran,” Maas said on Friday. “Both sides must come together.”

He explained that Germany needed the deal “precisely because we distrust Iran,” demanding that Tehran ditch both nuclear weapons and its ballistic missile program, which he said “threatens” the Middle East.

But Maas’ Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said on Thursday that Tehran would not look to restart “two years of negotiations” with the US and other JCPOA signatories.

Zarif reiterated Iran’s previous position, that it would prefer to return to the original nuclear deal, which he claimed had not been upheld by European countries and the Trump administration, which he labeled a “rogue regime.”

Biden reaffirmed this week that if he succeeds Trump as president, then the US would return to the nuclear deal as part of “follow-on negotiations” on the premise that Iran has held up its side of the bargain. 

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---------- 74 ----------

Title: Netherlands rejects Russia’s request to suspend enforcement of record-breaking $50 billion awarded in Yukos case

Link: https://www.rt.com/russia/508691-request-enforcement-yukos-case/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 14:42:27 +0000

Desc: Preview The Dutch Supreme Court has rejected Russia's bid to pause enforcement of $50 billion awarded to the former shareholders of Yukos, formerly one of the country’s biggest companies, and nationalized by the state in the 2000s.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/russia/508691-request-enforcement-yukos-case/

Content:

The Dutch Supreme Court has rejected Russia's bid to pause enforcement of $50 billion awarded to the former shareholders of Yukos, formerly one of the country’s biggest companies, and nationalized by the state in the 2000s.

Moscow had sought to suspend the collection of the disputed amount. The award is the largest ever in legal history and is around a tenth of Russia’s entire foreign currency reserves.The Russian Ministry of Justice noted that it regards the Supreme Court's decision as “unfounded,” and will continue to defend its “legitimate interests” in the Netherlands and other jurisdictions. The case is also the subject of a legal battle in Washington.

The decision is the latest in a 15-year legal battle between the Kremlin and Yukos shareholders, who claim that the company’s break-up was politically motivated, robbing its owners of their assets. However, Moscow asserts that Yukos was taken into public hands after its owners failed to pay tax arrears.

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© Sputnik / Alexey Maishev; © AFP / ALEXANDER NEMENOV
Moscow claims win after US court rejects oligarchs' demand for seizure of Russian assets in $50bn Yukos legal battle

Russia says that foreign courts have ignored the country’s anti-corruption laws and has disputed international jurisdiction over the case. According to Moscow’s lawyers, the case can only be ruled on by judges in Russia, as the national parliament did not ratify the 1991 Energy Charter Treaty, Yukos’ basis for the claim. The Ministry of Justice insists that the ex-shareholders took possession of the assets “with the help of proven collusion, fictitious bidding, and bribery.” The company was acquired for well below its value in the 1990s.

Speaking to RT, Rob Meijer, Russia’s lead counsel in the Dutch cassation proceedings, noted that they are “quite disappointed” by the Supreme Court’s decision, being of the opinion that the court “used a much too reserved standard” in assessing Russia’s grounds for halting enforcement of the decision.

Read more
FILE PHOTO © AFP / DENIS SINYAKOV
New twist in $50bn Yukos battle as US court sides with Russia over oligarchs & suspends controversial case

“Moreover, the Dutch Supreme Court has — in our view wrongly— silently passed by some of our crucial arguments in favor of a suspension,” Meijer said. He also criticized the court for not answering “various crucial questions of Dutch and European Union law,” sufficing with findings that “the Court of Appeal’s decisions were not so clearly wrong or incomprehensible as to justify the requested suspension.”

The lead counsel also noted that the Supreme Court made it “abundantly clear” the latest decision is only preliminary, and the Russian legal team intends to proceed “with full conviction” to get the Yukos award set aside.“This may also lead to, in our opinion, a very promising referral to the EU Court of Justice, as the ECT is also part of the EU law,” he concluded.

The next step in the saga is likely to be in 2021, when Russia expects its next appeal to be heard.

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---------- 75 ----------

Title: Catholic Church bishops reassure lay community that ‘one does not sin’ by taking Covid-19 vaccine

Link: https://www.rt.com/uk/508695-catholic-church-bishops-covid19-vaccine/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 14:38:24 +0000

Desc: Preview The Catholic Church in England and Wales has issued statement dispelling rumours that getting a Covid vaccine would be in conflict with religious doctrine.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/uk/508695-catholic-church-bishops-covid19-vaccine/

Content:

The Catholic Church in England and Wales has issued statement dispelling rumours that getting a Covid vaccine would be in conflict with religious doctrine.

In a statement published on Thursday, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales said that the Church supports the use of vaccines against Covid-19. 

In the Covid-19 pandemic, we judge that this grave reason exists and that one does not sin by receiving the vaccine.

The statement follows a series of false claims on Facebook that the AstraZeneca vaccine contains tissues from an aborted human foetus. 

The vaccine itself does not contain such tissue, although a cell strain obtained from a foetus in the 1970s was used by the pharmaceutical giant to propagate the virus for the vaccine. 

The bishops conclude that there is sufficient “moral distance” between the administration of the vaccine and “original wrongful action.” 

“Each of us has a duty to protect others from infection with its danger of serious illness, and for some, death. A vaccine is the most effective way to achieve this unless one decides to self-isolate,” the statement reads. 

Stopping short of urging people to be vaccinated, the bishops contend that each Catholic must educate themselves and decide what to do. 

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The statement comes as the UK prepares for mass vaccine rollout next week after it was announced that the Pfizer jab was approved by British regulators on Wednesday.

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---------- 76 ----------

Title: India summons Canadian ambassador after PM Trudeau's remarks on farm protests

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/508688-india-farmers-canada-trudeau/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 14:25:26 +0000

Desc: Preview Delhi lodged a formal protest with Canada on Friday, saying that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's statement about protests by Indian farmers near the capital constituted interference in its domestic affairs.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/508688-india-farmers-canada-trudeau/

Content:

Delhi lodged a formal protest with Canada on Friday, saying that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's statement about protests by Indian farmers near the capital constituted interference in its domestic affairs.

Trudeau met with the Indian community in Canada this week and expressed concerns about farmers protesting. Most of them are from the Sikh-dominated Indian state of Punjab, and they camped out on Delhi's outskirts to protest against agricultural reforms.

The Indian Foreign Ministry summoned Canada's ambassador on Friday and said that the PM's comments on "issues relating to Indian farmers constitute an unacceptable interference in our internal affairs." It also warned that "such actions, if continued, would have a seriously damaging impact on ties between India and Canada."

The ministry stressed that statements made by Trudeau and other politicians had emboldened radical groups, and they also posed a risk to Indian diplomatic staff in Canada.

"We expect the Canadian government to ensure the fullest security of Indian diplomatic personnel and its political leaders to refrain from pronouncements that legitimize extremist activism," the ministry said.

The Canadian embassy in India has not immediately responded to the rebuke.

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Farmers run as police fire tear gas shells near Ambala, India, November 26, 2020 © REUTERS/Stringer
Farmers hit with water cannon and tear gas as Indian police try to halt protest march on Delhi (VIDEO)

India has in recent years claimed that some leaders of an influential Sikh community in Canada have ties to separatist groups hostile to India.

Media outlets in India also criticized Trudeau's coalition partner Jagmeet Singh of Canada's New Democratic Party for praising farmers in public comments and saying they are opposing "privatization." Another MP, Jack Harris, blasted India's police actions against the protesting farmers.

Tens of thousands of farmers are protesting against laws seeking to rid the sector of old procurement procedures and allow farmers to sell to institutional buyers and big international retailers – a move farmers say leaves them vulnerable to poor prices for their produce. The Indian government plans to continue the talks with 40 farmers' unions on Saturday.

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---------- 77 ----------

Title: I hope France gets rid of ‘Macron trouble’ soon, Turkey’s Erdogan says, amid growing conflict with EU

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/508683-erdogan-macron-france-burden/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 14:11:01 +0000

Desc: Preview Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said France should get rid of the “burden” caused by President Emmanuel Macron, as the EU prepares to debate possible sanctions on Ankara over tensions in the Mediterranean.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/508683-erdogan-macron-france-burden/

Content:

Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said France should get rid of the “burden” caused by President Emmanuel Macron, as the EU prepares to debate possible sanctions on Ankara over tensions in the Mediterranean.

Erdogan made his comments when talking about the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) mediation group on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which is co-chaired by France, Russia, and the US.

France’s role as a mediator had disappeared over the years. Macron is a burden on France. Macron and France are going through a very dangerous period actually. My hope is that France gets rid of the Macron trouble as soon as possible.

Last week, France’s Senate, the upper chamber of the nation’s parliament, passed a non-binding resolution calling on Paris to officially recognize Nagorno-Karabakh’s independence. Although France quickly said the move would have no effect on its foreign policy, the resolution was heavily criticized by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and the country’s close ally, Turkey.

“Dear brother Ilham Aliyev said that if they love Armenians so much, they should give Marseille to Armenians, and I am giving the same advice,” Erdogan said on Friday, referring to an earlier statement by Aliyev.

The Turkish president previously attacked Macron for his rhetoric on Islam and the crackdown on radical Muslim groups in France, after a school teacher was brutally murdered for showing his class a cartoon of Prophet Mohammed.

Ankara has had rocky relations with the EU in recent years. Brussels has repeatedly protested over Turkey’s exploration of natural gas and offshore drilling near Cyprus and Greece. On Friday, European Council President Charles Michel said the EU member states will meet on December 10 to discuss possible retaliation against Turkey’s “unilateral acts and hostile rhetoric” with relation to the Eastern Mediterranean.

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FILE PHOTO: EU Council President Charles Michel (R) arrives with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan before a meeting with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. © Pool via REUTERS / John Thys
European Council head says nations must weigh sanctions in the face of Turkey’s ‘hostile’ behavior

Erdogan, meanwhile, said last month that the EU should not become “a tool to open enmities targeting our country.”

The mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh is located within the internationally recognized border of Azerbaijan but is populated almost exclusively by ethnic Armenians. The enclave became a de facto independent republic following a bloody war with Baku in the early 1990s.

Open warfare in Nagorno-Karabakh broke out again on September 27 after decades of border skirmishes. Heavy fighting lasted for six weeks until Baku and Yerevan signed a ceasefire brokered by Russia. Under the accord, Armenia agreed to return a sizeable chunk of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas under Azerbaijani control, and Russian peacekeepers were deployed on the ground.

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---------- 78 ----------

Title: Police investigation launched after Luis Suarez 'confirmed' to have CHEATED on Italian citizenship test ahead of failed Juve move

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/508674-luis-suarez-juventus-citizenship-test-cheat/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 14:07:37 +0000

Desc: Preview Investigators claim Luis Suarez cheated on an Italian citizenship test ahead of a failed transfer to Serie A champions Juventus, after they found that the player had been "communicated in advance" the contents of the exam.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/508674-luis-suarez-juventus-citizenship-test-cheat/

Content:

Investigators claim Luis Suarez cheated on an Italian citizenship test ahead of a failed transfer to Serie A champions Juventus, after they found that the player had been "communicated in advance" the contents of the exam.

Former Liverpool and Barcelona forward Suarez had attempted to pass the citizenship test via his wife, Sofia Balbi, who is of Italian ancestry, to bypass Italian regulations limiting the amount of non-EU players in squads, and took the test at the University of Perugia. 

Soon, though, a cheating row broke out and, after a months-long investigation, it has been concluded that Suarez was told ahead of time what he would be required to do to pass and rubber-stamp his transfer to the Italian giants. 

The director of the university, along with three professors, have been suspended for a period of eight months after the report found they attempted to "predetermine the outcome and score of the exam."

The suspensions came after it was determined that "crimes of disclosure of office secrecy aimed at undue financial gain and multiple ideological falsehoods in public documents" had taken place.

The report alleges that figures within the university "[came] to predetermine the outcome and the score of the exam, to correspond to the requests that they had been put forward by Juventus, with the aim of achieving a positive return of image, both personal and for the university."

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Difference of opinion: Luis Suarez and Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman
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Italian football journalist Gianluca Di Marzio also reported that Juventus officials are also under investigation by police after they "[took] action, even at the highest institutional levels, to accelerate the recognition of Italian citizenship towards Suarez."

Following the media storm after the citizenship test, Suarez instead joined La Liga outfit Atletico Madrid where he has scored five goals in eight appearances thus far.



---------- 79 ----------

Title: Covid curbs Christmas spirits as Italy cancels festive events & bans midnight mass

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/508684-covid-italy-cancels-events-christmas/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 14:05:40 +0000

Desc: Preview After Italy recorded its highest number of daily coronavirus deaths since the pandemic began, the prime minister has announced tough festive restrictions, banning midnight mass and implementing a curfew on New Year’s Eve.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/508684-covid-italy-cancels-events-christmas/

Content:

After Italy recorded its highest number of daily coronavirus deaths since the pandemic began, the prime minister has announced tough festive restrictions, banning midnight mass and implementing a curfew on New Year’s Eve.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte sought to reassure people that there was no reason for festivities to be less “authentic” than in previous years, although he did urge people to tone down their celebrations. 

“We must eliminate the risk of a third wave which could arrive in January – and not less serious than the first and the second,” he warned.

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In an effort to limit the spread of the virus, people will only be permitted to move between Italy’s 20 regions for work, medical reasons or emergencies from December 21 to January 6. Travel between towns will be forbidden on Christmas Day, St Stephen’s Day and New Year’s Day. 

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Individuals will not be banned from having guests in their home but it will be advised against, while large gatherings such as midnight mass will be banned, while a nationwide curfew will be implemented on New Year’s Eve from 10pm to 7am.

The move has been met with some criticism from a number of Italian politicians, with Lombard Governor Attilio Fontana branding the new rules “crazy” and claiming it has been  issued by decree in contradiction of the relationship between the state and regions.

Italy was the first Western country to be hit by the novel coronavirus and it is currently battling a renewed spike in case numbers and fatalities. On Thursday, health authorities reported 993 coronavirus-related deaths in the previous 24 hours – a new grim record for Italy. 

More than 57,000 people have died there from the virus and over 1,641,000 cases have been confirmed since the start of the pandemic.

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---------- 80 ----------

Title: ‘They should be FINED!’ Russian sports legend Irina Rodnina LAMBASTS COVID-19-infected skaters for attending post-contest banquet

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/508681-irina-rodnina-skaters-covid19-fine/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 14:01:57 +0000

Desc: Preview Russian figure skating legend Irina Rodnina has lashed out at the national team members who tested positive for COVID-19, insisting they should be fined for taking part in a huge banquet right after the Grand Prix event in Moscow.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/508681-irina-rodnina-skaters-covid19-fine/

Content:

Russian figure skating legend Irina Rodnina has lashed out at the national team members who tested positive for COVID-19, insisting they should be fined for taking part in a huge banquet right after the Grand Prix event in Moscow.

The only skater in history to win three Olympic gold medals at three different Games also criticized the organizers of the Rostelecom Cup for holding the post-competition event in violation of the safety requirements.

READ MORE: European figure skating champion Alena Kostornaia tests positive for COVID-19

This is what responsibility means. In Europe, they would be fined for that,” Rodnina said.

All these restrictions will not help until people are penalized. If all requirements recommended by Rospotrebnadzor are observed, everything is fine. But if there are any violations, then we face quite a different situation,” she added.

Three skaters of the national team, including women’s leaders Alena Kostornaia and Elizaveta Tuktamysheva were confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 after taking part in ISU Grand Prix event – the Rostelecom Cup – two weeks ago.

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Elizaveta Tuktamysheva © Global Look Press / Raniero Corbelletti
Former world and European champ Elizaveta Tuktamysheva to miss Russian Cup stage after testing positive for COVID-19

Spectators were allowed to attend the figure skating event in Moscow, but were required to wear a mask and observe social distancing in the stands.

The Russian figure skating federation was widely criticized after several skaters were seen hugging their coaches in the so-called kiss-and-cry corner, some of whom didn’t wear face masks.



---------- 81 ----------

Title: Leading Russian liberal journalist fired by US state-controlled media RFE/RL for discussing family of Alexey Navalny’s wife

Link: https://www.rt.com/russia/508682-journalist-fired-navalny-wife/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 13:52:31 +0000

Desc: Preview Journalist Timur Olevsky has been fired by Current Time, a Russian-language TV channel created by US government-run RFE/RL, after he discussed a conspiracy theory about opposition figure Alexey Navalny’s father-in-law.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/russia/508682-journalist-fired-navalny-wife/

Content:

Journalist Timur Olevsky has been fired by Current Time, a Russian-language TV channel created by US government-run RFE/RL, after he discussed a conspiracy theory about opposition figure Alexey Navalny’s father-in-law.

In practice, this means that Olevsky has lost his job for openly discussing Navalny’s family. A permanent fixture in Western media, where he enjoys large support, Navalny is often erroneously held up by Washington-funded outlets as the leader of the Russian opposition.

Current Time is recognized as a foreign agent in Russia, as it bankrolled by grants from the US Agency for Global Media, established by President Donald Trump’s White House in 2018. Before working for the Americans, Olevsky was attached to liberal-leaning Russian TV Rain and Echo of Moscow.

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He was dismissed after appearing on the YouTube show of controversial columnist Oleg Kashin on November 24, when the two journalists discussed a conspiracy theory about the father of Navalny’s wife, Yulia. A month prior, Yulia Navalnaya was interviewed by well-known YouTuber Yury Dud, in a video which now has over 21 million views. Dud asked Navalnaya about rumors alleging that her father once worked for Russian intelligence, which she downright dismissed, noting that her father died when she was young.

Shortly after, Kashin accused Navalnaya of lying, asserting that her father is still alive and living in London.

On November 24, over a fortnight after Kashin’s claim, Navalny published the death certificate of his father-in-law. That same day, Kashin revealed that he had learned about Navalnaya’s father from Current Time journalist Olevsky, who joined him on the show. They both admitted that they were wrong, with Olevsky stressing that the information was unverified and not for publication, and he was merely interested in the background of a prominent opposition figure’s wife.

On December 3, nine days after the show, Olevsky was fired. According to RT’s sources, the formal reason given for Olevsky’s dismissal was that he did not obtain permission from his editors to appear on Kashin’s broadcast. Writing on Telegram, Olevsky did not refer specifically to his sacking, simply noting that he doesn’t wish for his removal to be used against Navalny.

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Despite his criticism of the protest leader, the response from Moscow’s Western-leaning journalist community has been overwhelmingly supportive of Olevsky. His former Current Time colleague, Elizaveta Nesterova, quit her job in solidarity, posting on her Telegram channel that she is now looking for work. Other prominent journalists also supported the decision. Liberal radio station Echo of Moscow’s Alexey Venediktov called the decision “idiotic,” with Mediazona’s David Frenkel branding it “f**ked up.”

Echo of Moscow is owned by Gazprom Media, and Mediazona is a Pussy Riot-founded alternative outlet.

Novaya Gazeta’s Ilya Azar also criticized the firing, but noted that Olevsky can work at the small outlets he edits, MOX and Lenivka.

Writing on Facebook, former Kavkaz.Realii editor Alexandra Garmazhapova called the firing "expected." Both Kavkaz.Realii and Current Time are part of the RFE/RL US state media machine in Russia, which she dubbed "dull propagandistic shit."

Garmazhapova, who worked for them for three and a half years, also called the media organization a "state department troll factory." 

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Western media, usually quick to report on anything reflecting badly on state-funded media in Russia, is strangely silent on the topic.

Earlier this year, a small group of senior journalists at the Voice of America, another US Agency for Global Media cutout, protested moves by the company's new boss Michael Pack to purge executives. Pack, a documentary filmmaker and close ally of US President Donald Trump, went on to install other Trump loyalists in positions of power at the state-run concern.

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---------- 82 ----------

Title: Artificial intelligence for president? I hope not, says Putin, after digital assistant Athena enquires about having his job

Link: https://www.rt.com/russia/508678-putin-no-president-ai/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 13:47:10 +0000

Desc: Preview Artificial intelligence (AI) may be the defining technology for the next several decades, but it shouldn’t be entrusted to govern a nation – “at least not yet,” President Vladimir Putin has told a curious digital assistant.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/russia/508678-putin-no-president-ai/

Content:

Artificial intelligence (AI) may be the defining technology for the next several decades, but it shouldn’t be entrusted to govern a nation – “at least not yet,” President Vladimir Putin has told a curious digital assistant.

Putin seemed somewhat puzzled by the trick question, which was voiced by Athena, an assistant algorithm developed by the Russian bank Sber.

“I hope not … at least not yet,” he said, when Athena asked him if an AI robot could be a president.

Like any artificial thing, an artificial intelligence has no heart, no soul, no feeling of compassion, no conscience.

He added: “All those components are extremely important in people who [other] people entrust with taking and implementing decisions on behalf of a nation.”

Occasionally, leaders need to make seemingly irrational decisions based on emotional considerations, because they serve “living people, not machines,” Putin said. But, of course, AI can be a valuable tool – even a teacher – for anyone, including a head of a state.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin © Alexei Druzhinin
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“Athena, I count that your colleagues will shoulder responsibility when working side by side with national leaders,” he joked.

Putin was taking part in an AI conference hosted by Sber. The Russian leader previously credited the emerging technology for being a cornerstone of how the world will function in the foreseeable future. “Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world,” he said.

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---------- 83 ----------

Title: ‘Like a bomb’: Edinburgh residents wake up terrified after ‘explosions,’ Met Office confirms it was just ‘THUNDERSNOW’

Link: https://www.rt.com/uk/508675-scotland-thundersnow-police-explosions/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 13:32:45 +0000

Desc: Preview Residents of Edinburgh called the police in the early hours of the morning as a rare weather event, known as “thundersnow,” caused panic and sounded like “explosions.”
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/uk/508675-scotland-thundersnow-police-explosions/

Content:

Residents of Edinburgh called the police in the early hours of the morning as a rare weather event, known as “thundersnow,” caused panic and sounded like “explosions.”

The Scottish capital had a rude awakening on Friday morning, as people were disturbed from their sleep by loud banging at around 4am local time.

Despite the early hour, many took to Twitter, mystified and frightened. “Sounded like an explosion just outside. Set off car alarms,” one concerned tweeter wrote.

Another in Leith 447. Sounded like an explosion just outside. Set off car alarms

— ItinerantCreative (@ItinerantCr8iv) December 4, 2020

“Woken up by 2 claps of Thunder in Edinburgh and it sounded like an actual EXPLOSION went off. Never heard it louder holy s**t,” another alarmed person wrote.

Woken up by 2 claps of Thunder in Edinburgh and it sounded like an actual EXPLOSION went off

Never heard it louder holy shit #Thundersnow

— Mark (@Morkk_) December 4, 2020

READ MORE: US wildfire smoke gives UK skies 'apocalyptic’ orange hue after drifting across Atlantic

Others said they were “freaked out” by what seemed like a bang of an automatic weapon and a flash.

I woke up at 3:58 with what sounded like an automatic weapon (that may have been in my dream though!!) When I saw the flash and heard the bang followed by what sounded like dirt falling afterwards I freaked out 🙈

— Gordon Houston (@GordosaurusRex) December 4, 2020

Some wondered if it was a “sonic boom,” which is a thunder-like noise that can be heard when an aircraft flies faster than the speed of sound.

Heard a double crack of thunder or a sonic boom above #Edinburgh about 0440. Anyone else??

— Michael MacLeod (@MichaelMacLeod1) December 4, 2020

Terrified, some dazed citizens called the emergency services, but Police Scotland’s control room operators were quick to reassure them, writing on Twitter:

“We have have [sic] received a number of calls regarding people concerned about explosions heard. Please do not be alarmed, we are currently experiencing thunder and lightning,” the post read.

We have have received a number of calls regarding people concerned about explosions heard. Please do not be alarmed, we are currently experiencing thunder and lightning. 🌩️⚡❄️ pic.twitter.com/YyZ9rbBadr

— Police Scotland Control Rooms (@polscotcontrol) December 4, 2020

The UK weather authority, the Met Office, also took to Twitter to confirm it was indeed thundersnow.

#Thundersnow

Has been seen/heard this morning

But what is it? 👇https://t.co/i5dtPVmSXn pic.twitter.com/OmER1B6dsA

— Met Office (@metoffice) December 4, 2020

The Met Office describes “thundersnow” as being thunder and lightning that occurs during wintry conditions and leads to heavy falls of snow – an unusual event because it’s only possible for it to occur during a few months of the year and in precise conditions.

Some users did recognise the sound as thunder, but were nonetheless spooked by how powerful it was. “That was mad snow thunder. First rolling booms woke me then epic flash/boom like a bomb. Then silence!” one said.

That was mad snow thunder. First rolling booms woke me then epic flash/boom like a bomb. Then silence! Eerie af!

— Shell Bryson (@shellbryson) December 4, 2020

“Woke up with quite a shock with all the banging. Some tremendous #thundersnow out there,” another said.

Woke up with quite a shock with all the banging. Some tremendous #thundersnow out here along with a good few solid inches of @penisnow pic.twitter.com/BkVcrnfmXI

— Em Dee (@Em_E_Dee) December 4, 2020

Not everyone was awoken by the freak weather, though – Scottish author Ian Rankin tweeted that he had missed all the commotion, much to his regret:

“Gutted that I slept through the #Edinburgh #thundersnow,” he wrote.

Gutted that I slept through the #Edinburgh #thundersnow

— Ian Rankin (@Beathhigh) December 4, 2020

The freak event not only caused a storm of reactions online, but also led to traffic disruption in many areas, police said.

Meanwhile, the Met Office has warned that more bad weather is on the way in other parts of the UK.

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---------- 84 ----------

Title: 'Do they even watch football?!' Fans BEMUSED as Barcelona wax museum rolls out UNCONVINCING Lionel Messi waxwork

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/508665-lionel-messi-waxwork-reaction/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 13:31:13 +0000

Desc: Preview Football fans have questioned if the designers of a new wax figure honoring Lionel Messi are aware what the Barcelona icon looks like after several took to social media to say that the exhibit doesn't resemble the Barca star.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/508665-lionel-messi-waxwork-reaction/

Content:

Football fans have questioned if the designers of a new wax figure honoring Lionel Messi are aware what the Barcelona icon looks like after several took to social media to say that the exhibit doesn't resemble the Barca star.

The figure shows Messi wearing Barcelona's home strip and pointing his fingers to the sky and smiling as if celebrating a goal, but the Argentine skipper might not echo his inanimate doppleganger's enthusiasm when he lays eyes on the waxwork, after a wave of criticism appeared online as the pictures went viral. 

While it isn't quite as other-worldly looking as the infamous Ronaldo bronze statue from a couple of years back, Messi's figure was roundingly criticized, with many saying that the figure more resembled Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi and even Hollywood actor Sam Rockwell.

📸| The statue of Lionel Messi at the Barcelona wax museum. pic.twitter.com/K287NINz4K

— BarcaBuzz (@Barca_Buzz) December 3, 2020

looks like the poundland version

— AJ (@KunAgueroEra) December 4, 2020

Do the people that do these waxworks even watch football? Did they not at least take a picture of him first???

— Abz (@AbiolaOdia) December 4, 2020

"Looks like the Poundland version," one fan joked, while another took a shot at the figures designers by sarcastically noting that they "should’ve done one that looked like him instead."

A third fan suggested that Barcelona may be better off fielding the waxwork than the real thing, with Messi apparently becoming the target of Barca boo boys for several underwhelming performances for the Spanish giants this season. 

Messi is the latest addition to the city's wax museum which already featuring wax figures of several other sporting icons like Michael Jordan, Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal and Spanish racing driver Fernando Alonso. 

According to recent reports, Messi's exhibit may might be the only physical representation of the Argentine star in the city before long after he was linked in the press with a move to French side Paris Saint-Germain at the conclusion of this season. 

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Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo stands beside a bust presented during a ceremony to rename Madeira's airport in Funchal as 'Cristiano Ronaldo', on Madeira island, on March 29, 2017. © 
 Francisco Leong
Sculptor behind bizarre Ronaldo bust revealed

Messi, as was reported heavily in August, attempted to engineer a move away from the Camp Nou prior to the start of this season but was ultimately convinced to stay by the Barca hierarchy.

The rumors are poised to begin in earnest once again in the new year, and the Barca faithful will be hopeful that the new centerpiece in the city's wax museum won't become a monument, or a painful reminder, of their most famous player as he begins a new era in the French capital. 



---------- 85 ----------

Title: Covid rules ‘misunderstood, toothless, or insufficient’: Experts claim most countries violated international law during pandemic

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/508660-countries-violating-international-law-pandemic/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 13:30:22 +0000

Desc: Preview According to new research by a team of 13 global health law experts, ‘most’ countries have breached international law during the coronavirus pandemic, highlighting the need for major reform.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/508660-countries-violating-international-law-pandemic/

Content:

According to new research by a team of 13 global health law experts, ‘most’ countries have breached international law during the coronavirus pandemic, highlighting the need for major reform.

In a review of international public health policy begun by the Global Strategy Lab (GSL) at York University in 2019, researchers found numerous instances in which countries had flouted international agreements.

Back in the pre-Covid era, the experts had begun analyzing what countries are legally allowed to do to one another during public health crises, such as the Ebola and SARS outbreaks, in accordance with the International Health Regulations (IHR) that legally bind 196 countries.

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These regulations govern the overall response to public health crises, including the prevention and detection of pathogens.

More specifically, Article 43 of the IHR governs additional health measures countries can legally enact, while Article 44 covers countries' legal duties to one another in times of international health crises, particularly in the realms of collaboration and assistance. 

The findings of the GSL review were published in the International Organizations Law Review.

“Many countries have taken overbroad measures, both in the past and now during the coronavirus outbreak, which indicate that the provisions within Article 43 of the International Health Regulations are not well understood and perhaps not fit for purpose,” says Roojin Habibi, lead author on the consensus statement that interprets Article 43 of the IHR.

Article 43 states that nations are permitted to adopt additional and proportionate health measures in the face of public health emergencies, only when they align with overriding human rights imperatives and are backed by sufficient scientific evidence.

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‘Authoritarianism at work’: Tory MPs attack Boris Johnson’s Covid tiers plan

However, the coronavirus pandemic response, along with measures taken during previous crises, expose a vastly differing interpretation and understanding of IHR, particularly as they relate to freedom of movement and protection of global supply chains. 

Furthermore, Article 44 states that there is a shared responsibility among signatories to make it possible for all nations to achieve public health goals outlined in the legal document, which is, in theory, overseen by the World Health Organization. 

Measures taken to curb the spread of the coronavirus which impacted logistics may have, unwittingly or otherwise, illegally interfered in the public-health responses of other nations.

According to professor Steven J. Hoffman, director of the Global Strategy Lab at York University and senior author on both consensus statements, most countries are violating these legal obligations under Articles 43 and 44.

“This means that the rules that were supposed to guide governments’ responses to pandemics like COVID-19 are either misunderstood, toothless, or insufficient–most likely a combination of all three,” Hoffman says.

The researchers recommend sweeping revisions and clarifications to improve international cooperation in the face of such wide-reaching public health crises in the future, as well as more accountability for drastic measures taken which may impact the movement of people, goods and services throughout the global economy during times of crisis.

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---------- 86 ----------

Title: Germany hopes to reach deal with Biden on Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline project

Link: https://www.rt.com/business/508671-nord-stream-russia-germany-us/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 13:19:05 +0000

Desc: Preview German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas expects the longstanding issue of the Russian gas pipeline project, Nord Stream 2, to be settled after Joe Biden takes office as US president.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/business/508671-nord-stream-russia-germany-us/

Content:

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas expects the longstanding issue of the Russian gas pipeline project, Nord Stream 2, to be settled after Joe Biden takes office as US president.

“The European Union sees the sanctions introduced against the project as an illegal step and takes a different view of the political aspect when it comes to the issue,” Maas said in an interview with German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel.

“We don’t cherish illusions about the issue. There’s hardly any difference in views between Democrats and Republicans. However, a renewed strain and another way of discussing will help to achieve progress on the matter.” the German top official added.

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Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania © Global Look Press/Jens Büttner
Germany may have found loophole to dodge US sanctions against Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline – report

Mass highlighted that Washington is pursuing its own, purely economic, goal, trying to increase sales of liquified natural gas (LNG) to Europe.

“I don’t see a problem about improving German infrastructure for importing LNG. But from the political point of view, we see the situation [with Nord Stream 2] differently: we are not becoming dependent on anyone once we complete the Nord Stream 2 pipeline,” the foreign minister said.

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© Nord Stream 2 / Axel Schmidt
European firm withdraws from Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project in face of US sanctions

The US Congress has just approved its annual defense policy bill that includes a package of sanctions on corporations involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream pipelines.

Nord Stream 2 will supply Europe with up to 55 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas per year, on top of the 55 bcm already pumped through Nord Stream 1.TurkStream will deliver Russian gas to Turkey and on to southern European states.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section



---------- 87 ----------

Title: MPs call on Bank of England to track down £50 billion in ‘missing’ money

Link: https://www.rt.com/uk/508669-bank-track-missing-money/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 13:09:58 +0000

Desc: Preview The UK Public Accounts Committee says the Bank of England should “get a better handle” on Britain’s currency, after a report showed three-quarters of all UK banknotes in existence are not used in transactions or held as savings.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/uk/508669-bank-track-missing-money/

Content:

The UK Public Accounts Committee says the Bank of England should “get a better handle” on Britain’s currency, after a report showed three-quarters of all UK banknotes in existence are not used in transactions or held as savings.

Chair of the Public Accounts Committee and Labour MP Meg Hillier criticised the Bank of England for failing to keep track of the money, declaring that it is “stashed somewhere, but the Bank of England doesn’t know where, who by or what for, and doesn’t seem very curious.”

The National Audit Office (NAO) published the report in September, and it investigates the changing nature of the production and distribution of cash, noting a dramatic decline in its use by the public, as banknotes were used in only three out of every 10 transactions in the country last year.

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© Pexels.com / Nikita Khandelwal
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With only 20-24 percent of notes in circulation being used or held for transactions, the NAO has sought to find explanations for the location of the other funds, suggesting it could be held overseas, in savings that are not registered or used in the shadow economy, an underground system that includes illegal activity and unreported gains.

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The concern among MPs is that the minimal oversight conducted by the Bank of England into the location of these banknotes allows individuals to use them for illicit purposes, as, unlike digital payments, it can change hands quickly and without leaving a trace.

In an attempt to rectify the situation, the NAO recommended that the UK Treasury and public bodies who are responsible for overseeing the cash system work together more effectively to safeguard access to cash, launching a coordinated effort to prevent vulnerable people who rely on cash from being excluded from financial society and reducing the risk of future notes going ‘missing.’

A Bank of England spokesperson disputed the description of the situation put forward by the committee and the report, stating that “Members of the public do not have to explain to the Bank why they wish to hold banknotes. This means that banknotes are not missing.”

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---------- 88 ----------

Title: ‘Ask questions & get cancelled’: ‘Avengers’ infighting after Black Panther’s Letitia Wright shares video doubting Covid vaccines

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/508672-letitia-wright-covid-vaccine/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 12:58:14 +0000

Desc: Preview Black Panther star Letitia Wright has been scorched as an anti-vaxxer intent on “killing people” after sharing a video that questioned the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/508672-letitia-wright-covid-vaccine/

Content:

Black Panther star Letitia Wright has been scorched as an anti-vaxxer intent on “killing people” after sharing a video that questioned the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines.

On Thursday, the 27-year-old Guyanese actress tweeted a video titled: ‘Covid-19 vaccine, should we take it?’

The link led to an hour-long program hosted by Tobi Arayomi, described below the video as a Christian “Prophet,” speaker and author. Arayomi speculated that the upcoming vaccines might be harmful, arguing that their less-than-one-year production cycle is too short.

“I’ve always been a skeptic of vaccines,” Arayomi says, before comparing the anti-Covid projects to thalidomide, a sedative drug produced in the 1950s that was prescribed to pregnant women for morning sickness and infamously caused birth defects in thousands of children.

Wright tweeted out the video with a praying-hands emoji and quickly found herself under attack, even taking friendly fire from ‘Avengers’ squadmates.

“Hot garbage. … I would never defend anybody posting this,” commented fellow Marvel star Don Cheadle. He added that he still wouldn’t “throw her away” over it.

Cheadle ended the tweet saying he “had no idea” about Wright’s vaccine-related opinions, and will take this conversation “off Twitter.”

jesus... just scrolled through. hot garbage. every time i stopped and listened, he and everything he said sounded crazy and fkkkd up. i would never defend anybody posting this. but i still won't throw her away over it. the rest i'll take off twitter. had no idea. https://t.co/7uDlP1xwDL

— Don "bruh, you lost" Cheadle (@DonCheadle) December 4, 2020

Cheadle was not the only one critical of Wright. Negative comments flooded her tweets, with users calling her sharing of the video “gross” and a “frustratingly irresponsible use of a platform.”

She was accused of being an “anti-vaxxer” and, curiously, a supporter of Donald Trump.

This is a frustratingly irresponsible use of a platform.

— Alex Sawyer (@AJSawyer) December 4, 2020

This is gross

— Anti Covidiots accout (@TheRealNubian2) December 4, 2020

Leticia...you sound just like every other anti-vaxxer out there. Do you see how harmful that can be?

— Sincerelynotsorry (@sncrlynotsorry) December 4, 2020

Some simply ridiculed Wright. “It takes guts to go on the internet and blast to millions that you intend to kill people because you think doctors know less about medicine than my one weird aunt,” blasted Evan Hadfield, son of the astronaut Chris Hadfield.

I for one am proud of you, it takes guts to go on the internet and blast to millions that you intend to kill people because you think doctors know less about medicine than my one weird aunt

— Evan Hadfield (@Evan_Hadfield) December 4, 2020

I did not have @letitiawright , the actress who played SHURI, being a right-wing, antivaxxer Trump supporting conspiracy nut on my 2020 score card.

— Baby Yoda’s Coke Nail (@TonyNativ) December 4, 2020

Some strongly advised that Wright better delete her controversial tweet, to avoid ruining her Marvel movie career.

Sis please don’t fumble that massive Marvel bag! There’s still time to delete this & say you were hacked 🙏🏾

— Austin N. Austin (@Austin_n_Austin) December 4, 2020

The star herself reacted to the backlash, saying that she was being “cancelled” for “not conforming to popular opinions and asking questions.” She did, however, delete the tweet.

if you don’t conform to popular opinions. but ask questions and think for yourself....you get cancelled 😂

— Letitia Wright (@letitiawright) December 4, 2020

To her critics Wright responded directly, saying she did not wish to upset anyone, nor appear as an anti-vaccine advocate. “I’m just concerned about what’s in it that’s all. Isn’t that fair to question or ask?” she tweeted.

not my intention to make anyone upset 🙏🏾 Nor am I saying don’t take it. I’m just concerned about what’s in it that’s all. Isn’t that fair to question or ask?

— Letitia Wright (@letitiawright) December 4, 2020

Commenters urging Wright not to put her career at risk might have been onto something, as the young actress is widely expected to headline the billion-dollar ‘Black Panther’ franchise. While nothing is confirmed, fans see her as a logical choice for the title role, following the tragic death of Wright’s on-screen sibling actor Chadwick Boseman, who passed in August after a years-long fight against cancer.

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---------- 89 ----------

Title: Two Chinese Covid-19 vaccines prove safe and trigger ‘strong immune responses’ in early trials

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/508673-chinese-covid19-vaccines-trial-effective/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 12:57:32 +0000

Desc: Preview Promising Chinese candidate vaccines containing adjuvants provided by US and UK firms have delivered positive trial data, demonstrating their safety and efficacy against Covid-19.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/508673-chinese-covid19-vaccines-trial-effective/

Content:

Promising Chinese candidate vaccines containing adjuvants provided by US and UK firms have delivered positive trial data, demonstrating their safety and efficacy against Covid-19.

On Friday, China’s biopharmaceuticals firm Clover claimed data from human trials showed their two candidate vaccines triggered a “strong immune response” against Covid-19. 

“Based on the positive Phase 1 results reported and the unprecedented need for COVID-19 vaccines, Clover and its partners are confident to enter late-stage clinical development for both adjuvanted vaccines,” the company said. 

The vaccines use adjuvants – that is, ingredients that can boost immune response – from UK pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and US firm Dynavax. 

Clover says the vaccines did not trigger any serious adverse reactions in the 150 adults and senior citizens who took part in the trial.

The candidate vaccine that used the adjuvant provided by GSK will begin global phase-two/three trials in December, funded by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). 

This vaccine variant induced neutralizing antibody production in all adult and elderly participants. 

Clover also announced that the data shows both vaccines can be stored at temperatures of 2C to 8C for at least six months. This is considered a considerable plus, as both Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines required subzero storage and substantial cold-chain infrastructure. 

“Combined with our ability to potentially produce more than one billion doses of antigen annually and the stability of our vaccines under standard refrigeration conditions, our adjuvanted COVID-19 S-Trimer vaccines are positioned to be well suited for worldwide distribution,” said Chief Executive Officer of Clover Biopharmaceuticals Joshua Liang. 

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© kremlin.ru; (bottom left) © AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko; (bottom right) © REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva
Putin orders start of mass vaccination against Covid-19 in Russia, will begin NEXT WEEK with key workers given priority

The UK approved Pfizer’s vaccine for rollout on Wednesday, triggering the start of a crucial mass inoculation program that could begin on Monday. 

Moscow also announced its intention to start mass vaccination in Russia this weekend.

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---------- 90 ----------

Title: As he 'dedicates his life to beating Conor McGregor', is YouTube star Jake Paul biting off more than he can chew?

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/508658-jake-paul-conor-mcgregor-fight-challenge/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 12:52:59 +0000

Desc: Preview YouTuber Jake Paul is now 2-0 in professional boxing after beating a UK vlogger and a former NBA all-star in the ring, but as he calls for a fight with Conor McGregor, is the internet prankster wading out his depth?
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/508658-jake-paul-conor-mcgregor-fight-challenge/

Content:

YouTuber Jake Paul is now 2-0 in professional boxing after beating a UK vlogger and a former NBA all-star in the ring, but as he calls for a fight with Conor McGregor, is the internet prankster wading out his depth?

The controversial 23-year-old social media star might not be well known to anyone who can remember a time before TikTok, but he is nonetheless becoming a bona fide combat sports draw to a very specific demographic. 

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Paul got the better of Robinson in their fight. © USA Today Sports. / Twitter
YouTuber Jake Paul KNOCKS OUT former NBA star Nate Robinson, targets Conor McGregor fight

Last weekend, Paul fought in the co-main event of the Mike Tyson-Roy Jones card in Los Angeles, faceplanting ex-basketball player Nate Robinson to the canvas in the second round in a fight as bizarre as it was unnecessary. But it is difficult for even the most cynical among us to say that there isn't an appetite for this type of spectacle.

Saturday's fight card is reported to have sold as many as 1.5 million pay-per-views - an absolutely astonishing figure for a main event in which the two fighters hadn't boxed in a combined 17 years, and a co-main event featuring novice boxers with one professional fight (against a vlogger, remember) between them.

So, with Paul's second round knockout - and the obvious interest in the broadcast - it is understandable why he is seeking further paydays in the ring, and now he has called for the biggest money fight available in all of combat sports.

"I am dedicating my life to beating Conor McGregor," Paul told ESPN.

"Financially, it already makes sense. Financially, I’m already one of the biggest prizefighters and there’s only a couple more boxes to check off and to beat and to conquer.

"I want to fight a couple more people, I think, first,” Paul added.

"We’re figuring that out. I want to prove to the world that, ‘Yo, I’m gonna knock out all these fighters.’ Conor McGregor can maybe be the final boss. If we were playing a video game, he could be the final boss. And then I’ll probably retire after I beat McGregor."

Nate Robinson to Conor McGregor is quite a leap, even if Paul inserts a couple of other warm-up fights - presumably against podcasters, golfers or milkmen - in between. 

Eddie Hearn, as he does, has sensed a payday and says that Paul vs. McGregor would be more competitive than McGregor's own foray to the boxing ring against Floyd Mayweather three years ago - almost certainly not true, but statements like that will certainly stir Paul's 20 million or so YouTube subscribers - and if even a minor percentage of those are to regularly purchase Jake Paul boxing events, he and his promoters will be laughing all the way to the bank.

Speaking at the press conference after knocking out Robinson, Paul attempted to cement his case for a fight with McGregor by talking up his social media statistics. His subscriber base, he correctly says, will guarantee PPV sales. His Instagram following will be a huge boost to any type of fight promotion.

But there will little talk of what he might be able to do in the ring. There are plenty of 2-0 boxers in the world right now who think that they are about to transcend the sport of prizefighting; Jake Paul is just one of them. 

And while he will continue to try and talk himself into fights, the further up the ladder he attempts to climb can only have one destination: him lying face down on the canvas, much like Nate Robinson on Saturday.

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Jake Paul (right) beat Nate Robinson on the undercard of Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr and called out UFC's Conor McGregor © Joe Scarnici / USA Today Sports via Reuters
Boxing world mocks Jake Paul as he calls out UFC's McGregor after brutal KO of ex-NBA star – but Tyson claims sport owes YouTubers

So Jake, much like his older brother Logan, isn't going anywhere anytime soon. They have cultivated a spot for themselves in a sport which is notoriously hard to break into - and they have done it as boxing novices.

But this isn't a sport to be trifled with, and whether it be McGregor, Mayweather or anyone, it is a lesson one suspects they will learn before long.



---------- 91 ----------

Title: US wants Huawei CFO Meng to plead guilty in exchange for freedom before Trump leaves office – reports

Link: https://www.rt.com/usa/508667-huawei-meng-plea-deal/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 12:13:14 +0000

Desc: Preview The US Justice Department has reportedly intensified talks with Meng Wanzhou, a top executive of the Chinese telecom giant Huawei, on a deal which would see her released from Canadian custody in exchange for admitting wrongdoing.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Guid: https://www.rt.com/usa/508667-huawei-meng-plea-deal/

Content:

The US Justice Department has reportedly intensified talks with Meng Wanzhou, a top executive of the Chinese telecom giant Huawei, on a deal which would see her released from Canadian custody in exchange for admitting wrongdoing.

Meng, Huawei chief financial officer and daughter of the company’s founder, is currently on bail and remains confined to Vancouver. She was arrested in the Canadian city two years ago on a US request while transferring flights. Now she is fighting a protracted battle against extradition to the US, where she was accused of fraud, which US prosecutors allege she had committed to do business with Iran in violation of American sanctions.

The US Department of Justice is offering Meng a “deferred prosecution agreement” – a deal under which she would admit to some of the charges – but, in exchange, the prosecution of the case would be delayed and potentially eventually dropped, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. This would allow the Chinese businesswoman to leave Canada and return to China, where she would be out of reach of US justice.

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Scenes from the FBI's 'The Nevernight Connection' propaganda film.
FBI warns gullible clearance-holders of Chinese spies in self-produced propaganda flick ‘Nevernight Connection’

The negotiations have been intensified after last month’s presidential election, as the prosecutors want to reach a deal before the Trump administration leaves office, the newspaper reported. The report was corroborated by Reuters, though neither outlet named any of its sources.

The US accuses Meng of conspiring to defraud HSBC and other banks by misrepresenting Huawei’s relationship with a company that Washington claims serves as a front for Iran to do business with Huawei. Her lawyers said the US has twisted the meaning of their client’s 2013 presentation cited in court papers. According to reports, Meng is reluctant to accept the US bargain because she doesn’t believe she is guilty of any crime.

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(L) Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and (R) Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou. © (L) AFP / Dave Chan; (R) Reuters / Jennifer Gauthier
Canadian PM Trudeau vows not to bow to China’s ‘coercive diplomacy’ amid spat over Huawei exec & spying allegations

Beijing considers the case part of a broader US campaign to curtail Chinese companies’ activities on international markets. Washington claims Huawei telecommunications equipment poses a threat, opening a door for Chinese espionage and cyberattacks against whoever uses it, which the company denies. The US has been pressuring its allies, with various degrees of success, into banning the company from bidding for contracts to modernize phone networks to 5G in said countries.

The arrest soured China’s relationship with Canada. Nine days after it happened, two Canadian men were arrested in China on unrelated charges, which Ottawa believes to be a form of retaliation. Beijing denies any connection between the cases.

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---------- 92 ----------

Title: Send gunboats to China to shake up REPARATIONS for unleashing Covid-19 ‘weapon’ on the world, award-winning British journo says

Link: https://www.rt.com/uk/508666-china-gunboats-covid-reparations/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 11:36:51 +0000

Desc: Preview Beijing should pay the world ‘reparations’ for the economic damage caused by Covid-19 and, if necessary, it can be forced militarily to do so, said conservative British political commentator Douglas Murray without a hint of irony.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/uk/508666-china-gunboats-covid-reparations/

Content:

Beijing should pay the world ‘reparations’ for the economic damage caused by Covid-19 and, if necessary, it can be forced militarily to do so, said conservative British political commentator Douglas Murray without a hint of irony.

Murray, an author best known for his critiques of Islam and woke culture, has outlined his case for making China pay for the pandemic in a Thursday piece in the Spectator, the influential weekly with strong ties to the Conservative Party. The rallying call was unleashed in response to news that the Chinese economy is expected to grow in 2020 despite the global slowdown caused by the coronavirus.

“I resent the prospect of China walking away from 2020 spinning headlines about the positive economic message its economic boom sends to the rest of the world,” Murray explained.

"Is it a conspiracy theory to believe this could have been deliberate? I wouldn’t have said so, and nor do many people in the intelligence world. In 2020 China achieved one of the greatest coups in financial history," writes @DouglasKMurray https://t.co/vhRoRECP3D

— The Spectator US (@SpectatorUSA) December 3, 2020

Beijing’s culpability hinges on the fact that SARS-CoV-2 was first identified in the Hubei Province of China and that it was hurt less by it than many other nations. Murray says the coronavirus plausibly either emerged naturally or was accidentally released from a lab in the city of Wuhan, but entertained the possibility that the disease was unleashed on purpose.

Is it a conspiracy theory to believe this could have been deliberate?

“I wouldn’t have said so, and nor do many people in the intelligence world,” he said, without offering any names of intelligence professionals subscribing to this theory. In a follow-up interview on Talkradio, he mentioned agencies of the Anglophone Five Eyes group, who allegedly think “it is worth looking into.”

“What is clear is that the CCP will do anything in order to ensure we do not linger on the WMD it released this year,” he wrote, referring to China’s ruling Communist Party and apparently describing the coronavirus as a weapon of mass destruction.

The result of this “release”, according to Murray, is that China is now in a position to buy property cheaply all over the world while “bullying” anyone opposing it, like Australia. And as a bonus, US President Donald Trump, “who appeared to be the only person in the world willing to take on the CCP, was taken out in the election.”

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FILE PHOTO. Mike Pompeo smiles during a news conference. © Reuters / Andrew Harnik
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So, now is the time for countries of the world to “unite” and enforce “reparations,” the article concludes. “I am open to suggestions on how we do this: sanctions, gunboats – nothing should be off the table. China gave us 2020. We need to make them pay for it,” Murray said.

The idea that China should be footing the bill for the failed policies of Western governments has its proponents – including in the Trump administration. Murray’s take on it, however, seems fine-tuned to spark outrage in China, considering the country’s past humiliation from British colonialism, critics pointed out.

They deliberately got incompetent governments elected in US & UK? They knew that UK’s gov’t would mistakenly follow a flu model & ignore the successful measures used by Asia-Pacific? Did you see the videos in Wuhan in January? You know there was massive unrest in China Jan-Mar?👎🏼

— Acinda Jardern (@DwinnersCovi) December 3, 2020

Never mind Opium Wars, British neocon wants China to pay because Anglo countries f**ked up COVID response 🤷🏻‍♂️ pic.twitter.com/Kcrn4T1Atg

— Carl Zha (@CarlZha) December 3, 2020

Britain’s past sins, according to Murray, need not to be compensated for. Reparations are not about demands by “certain communities to be given vast cash payouts for things that happened before they were born, to people they never knew, by people they never met.” So, it seems grievances come with an expiration date.

Yes, or the looting of the Old Summer Palace is a symbol which will instantly pop-up in every Chinese person’s mind as soon as they hear compensation is being claimed by Western countries. IMO there is nothing to be gained for anyone in the reciprocal claims which would follow.

— Boris (@taillarb) December 3, 2020

The demand to pay up, interestingly, paints the Covid-19 pandemic in a purely economic framework and fails to mention its human cost, some commenters said.

what is so funny here is that not once in the entire article are deaths by COVID-19 even mentioned. he literally does not even pretend to care. it's entirely about money and the deficit, apparently. it's like a real-life caricature of Toryism https://t.co/6bS6DAJpED

— Bad China Takes (@BadChinaTake) December 3, 2020

This metric varies dramatically among Western nations. The US and the UK have some of the worst death tolls, which is measured in hundreds of thousands and tens of thousands respectively. Australia and New Zealand, who happen to be part of Five Eyes, came through relatively unscathed, having just over 900 and only 25 Covid-19 fatalities on their respective records.

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---------- 93 ----------

Title: US Dollar slide expected to continue into next year on risky bets & stimulus speculation

Link: https://www.rt.com/business/508655-us-dollar-slide-continues/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 11:27:11 +0000

Desc: Preview The US currency’s downward trend is likely to last at least another six months as investors continue to shift to risky assets and higher returns, a Reuters poll of currency strategists found.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/business/508655-us-dollar-slide-continues/

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The US currency’s downward trend is likely to last at least another six months as investors continue to shift to risky assets and higher returns, a Reuters poll of currency strategists found.

The results match findings from a November global stocks poll in which a majority of analysts said the current equity bull run would continue for six months or more.

“You can’t have such an over-valued dollar, it’s as simple as that. The dollar had become and still is significantly over-valued on pretty much any measure that I can think of as a result of monetary policy divergence, and convergence takes away all reasons for that,” said Kit Juckes, head of FX strategy at Societe Generale.

“The market reacting to that monetary policy adjustment is accelerating because that seems to bring reasons to look for better investment opportunities abroad,” he added.

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The greenback has dropped about 13 percent since peaking in March. It is down almost six percent this year, and is on its way for the worst yearly performance since 2017. The US Dollar Index has fallen over ten percent against a basket of currencies since March 18.

Analysts say Congress’ renewed focus on fiscal stimulus could hurt the greenback further.

Last month, Citibank warned that the widespread distribution of vaccines to combat the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing monetary easing could lead to the US dollar weakening as much as 20 percent next year.

Citi has attributed the potential crash to bets that the US central bank will continue to use all its tools to support the US economy next year. The Federal Reserve said it will keep rates low even if inflation expectations rise, which could potentially lead to the US yield curve steepening as well.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section



---------- 94 ----------

Title: Official death toll compared to excess mortality: With so many confusing statistics, just how well is Russia coping with Covid-19?

Link: https://www.rt.com/russia/508664-official-death-toll-covid/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 11:17:31 +0000

Desc: Preview Russian Covid-19 statistics are a nightmare to decode. Different numbers from various government bodies and excess mortality figures that dwarf them all make it hard to figure out how the world’s largest country has really coped.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/russia/508664-official-death-toll-covid/

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Russian Covid-19 statistics are a nightmare to decode. Different numbers from various government bodies and excess mortality figures that dwarf them all make it hard to figure out how the world’s largest country has really coped.

Thus, the version you read usually depends on the bias of the outlet, or person, making the claim. Government officials could use the lower official data, and Western media outlets and various social media information warriors, for instance, prefer to emphasize the excess deaths, even if not all of them, clearly, are down to the virus itself.

This issue is not just plaguing Russia, but nations all around the globe. In the United Kingdom, there are two different numbers published online – deaths within 28 days of a positive test, and deaths with Covid-19 on the death certificate. In some countries, like Australia, the entire summer saw a lack of standardization between states and the federal government, with those who tested positive for the virus, but died of another cause, not being listed as a Covid-19 fatality in the official national statistics.

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Russia’s coronavirus counting issues are well-publicized. As first reported by the Pussy Riot-founded outlet Mediazona, the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) recorded 106,000 overall excess deaths between April and September 2020, compared to the average for this period over the past five years. According to Rosstat’s coronavirus-specific figure, just half of them – around 55,000 – died with Covid-19.  However, according to the official Covid HQ, run by Rospotrebnadzor, the country’s health watchdog, just 20,698 people passed away due to the virus. Much of the discrepancy can be explained by counting methods, with Rosstat’s figure also including those who died from complications of other diseases.

A quick glance at September’s Rosstat page can only add to the confusion. The service notes that 4,329 Russians died with Covid-19 as the main cause of death, 1,401 with the virus as a concomitant disease, and 3,198 with a positive test, which “did not in any way affect the onset of death.” A further 870 fatalities are thought to have been caused by coronavirus, but “more medical research is needed.”

Statistics for October and November are yet to be published.

Certain parts of Russia, such as Chelyabinsk Region in the Ural Mountains, are independently reporting their own statistics. As of December 3, the region’s website reports a total of 319 deaths from coronavirus, with an extra 598 Covid-19-positive deaths blamed on a different cause.

While questioning the statistics, demographer Alexey Raksha told Mediazona that not all excess deaths can be directly attributed to Covid-19. Many are down to an overburdened healthcare system, such as planned surgeries being postponed as emergency wards are struggling to cope.

On Monday, another article published by Mediazona claimed a Ministry of Health source had proven that 74,866 people died in beds allocated for coronavirus patients from March 31 to November 22. According to official Rospotrebnadzor data, as of December 3, 41,607 have passed away.

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On Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the government has repeatedly explained that there are different methodologies for calculating and determining the cause of death, highlighting the fact that President Vladimir Putin receives all the possible figures.

“I can only say that the president clearly receives all the full information about indicators and diseases, medical services, bed occupancy by region, and mortality,” he told reporters.

Russia is not alone in having its official death total lower than excess deaths. For example, in the UK, the official government death total sits at 59,699, but the country hit 70,000 excess deaths on November 17. Per capita, this means Russia has fared far better than Britain.

Still, with statistical discrepancies in mind, Russia is doing quite well compared to much of the world. According to official numbers, at 41,607 deaths, Russia has 285 fatalities per million of population, below the likes of Israel (314), Ireland (418), and Austria (392). If the country’s fatalities were multiplied by 2.75, as the Rosstat numbers suggest, Russia would still be doing better than Brazil (819), France (824), and the US (843). It’s also likely, of course, that all of these countries may be underestimating the true death toll, whether by accident or design.

However, in comparison with the best-performing nations, Moscow has handled the virus rather poorly. Other countries such as South Korea (10), and New Zealand (5) are doing far better, assuming their numbers are accurate. When it comes to these states, not even the most generous Russian statistics can compete.

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---------- 95 ----------

Title: European figure skating champion Alena Kostornaia tests positive for COVID-19

Link: https://www.rt.com/sport/508661-alena-kostornaia-covid19-positive/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 11:10:10 +0000

Desc: Preview The list of COVID-19-infected figure skaters continues to grow, with one more Russian athlete, Alena Kostornaia, being confirmed to have tested positive for the virus.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/sport/508661-alena-kostornaia-covid19-positive/

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The list of COVID-19-infected figure skaters continues to grow, with one more Russian athlete, Alena Kostornaia, being confirmed to have tested positive for the virus.

The reigning European champion will miss the upcoming Cup of Russia stage in Moscow, having withdrawn from the competition just hours before the planned start.

READ MORE: Former world and European champ Elizaveta Tuktamysheva to miss Russian Cup stage after testing positive for COVID-19

She will not participate because of her positive COVID-19 test result,” said the general secretary of the Russian figure skating federation, Alexander Kogan, confirming Kostornaia’s diagnosis.

The winner of last year’s ISU Grand Prix has become the third Russian skater to have contracted coronavirus after Elizaveta Tuktamysheva and Dmitry Aliev, who were also expected to compete at the Cup of Russia.

All the three athletes participated in the home Grand Prix event, the Rostelecom Cup, two weeks ago where spectators were allowed at the stands.

Alena Kostornaia, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva and Anastasia Gulyakova © Sputnik / Alexander Vilf

Some skaters were seen hugging and kissing their coaches in the kiss-and-cry corner – something the Russian figure skating federation was widely criticized for after the competition.

Evgeni Plushenko and Alexandra Trusova at the Rostelecom Cup © Sputnik / Alexander Vilf

Both Tuktamysheva and Kostornaia have been left without the fifth stage of the Russian Cup, with rules requiring all figure skaters to take part in at least two stages to be approved for the national selection.

However, it is expected that national figure skating bosses will slightly amend the strict regulations to take into account the current COVID-19 crisis.



---------- 96 ----------

Title: MOMENT massive Arecibo telescope collapsed caught in jaw-dropping footage

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/508656-arecibo-telescope-collapse-footage/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 11:03:31 +0000

Desc: Preview Newly released footage shows the dramatic final moments of the Arecibo Observatory – the second-largest radio telescope on Earth – which collapsed earlier this week, in yet another major loss for humanity in 2020.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/508656-arecibo-telescope-collapse-footage/

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Newly released footage shows the dramatic final moments of the Arecibo Observatory – the second-largest radio telescope on Earth – which collapsed earlier this week, in yet another major loss for humanity in 2020.

On Tuesday morning at 7.54 am local time, the 900-ton platform at the Arecibo Observatory, which sent and detected radio waves to and from outer space, fell 450 feet (140 meters) and crashed into the 1,000-foot-wide (300-metre-wide) disk below.

Its auxiliary support cables had snapped in August and November, before the final, catastrophic structural failure on Tuesday, when the cables connecting the hanging platform also gave way, pulling down the tops of nearby supporting towers.

Jonathan Friedman, a member of the observatory’s staff, said the collapse sounded like an earthquake or an avalanche. Footage from the scene, captured by one of the control towers, appears to support his assessment.

@NSF just shared video footage of the Arecibo telescope's catastrophic collapse Tuesday morning. It's loud.

(Courtesy of the Arecibo Observatory, an NSF facility) pic.twitter.com/9zvyrUsfJl

— Morgan McFall-Johnsen (@MorganMJohnsen) December 3, 2020

“As you can see, this was a very violent and kind of unpredictable failure,” Bevin Ashley Zauderer, the National Science Foundation (NSF) program manager for the Arecibo Observatory, told journalists in a briefing on Thursday.

Engineers involved in the deconstruction plans were conducting a remote risk assessment, and inspecting the supporting cables using a drone, at the time of the collapse.

No one had been allowed to approach the structure since mid-November due to the unknown timeline of the impending doom. There were no injuries sustained in the collapse as a result of these precautions. 

In 1974, Arecibo sent the Earth’s most powerful broadcast, to see if any aliens might answer the call. It never heard back.

Tuesday’s incident will now greatly curtail humanity’s search for radio waves sent by other lifeforms in the universe, as it will effectively halve our monitoring of such signals coming from outer space. 

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FILE PHOTO: The Arecibo Observatory space telescope, seen on November 7, 2020 © Reuters / UCF
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China’s Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) and Arecibo were widely viewed as Earth’s ‘two big eyes,’ and were specifically tasked with monitoring these signals on a 24-hour basis, given their locations on opposite sides of the planet. The Chinese facility will now bear the brunt of monitoring responsibilities until a suitable replacement is constructed.

“If you are monitoring a source of interest which is in the weak radio spectrum, you need two big radio telescopes: one pointing toward something during the day and the other through the nighttime,” said Abel Méndez, director of the Planetary Habitability Laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo. 

Other smaller facilities can pick up some of the slack, but are not as sensitive to weaker signals as the Arecibo was.  

In a somewhat surprising revelation, Ralph Gaume, director of the NSF’s division of astronomical sciences, said, “The NSF is not closing the Arecibo Observatory,” adding that it was too early to discuss plans for replacing the facility.

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---------- 97 ----------

Title: Postponed Tokyo Olympics to cost Japanese organizers $2.8bn

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/508662-japan-tokyo-olympics-cost/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 10:59:11 +0000

Desc: Preview The Olympic organizing committee claimed on Friday that the postponement of the Games in Tokyo until next year due to the coronavirus pandemic will cost it an additional 294 billion yen ($2.8 billion).
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/508662-japan-tokyo-olympics-cost/

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The Olympic organizing committee claimed on Friday that the postponement of the Games in Tokyo until next year due to the coronavirus pandemic will cost it an additional 294 billion yen ($2.8 billion).

The Tokyo metropolitan government is now expected to allocate 120 billion yen ($1.15 billion) for the Games, while the organizing committee will commit 103 billion yen ($990 million), and the Japanese government will pay 71 billion yen ($683 million), organizers said on Friday.

The Japanese organizers' share of the costs would come from a contingency fund within its budget, as well as from additional sponsorship and insurance, according to Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto. The last official budget announced in December 2019 amounted to $12.6 billion.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had said earlier that they will separately contribute $650 million to covering postponement costs.

The Japanese government and the IOC decided in March to delay the Games until 2021. It is the first postponement of the Olympics during peacetime since the first modern games were held in 1896.

The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics are now scheduled to be held from July 23 to August 8 and August 24 to September 5 next year. Special measures are being considered to allow the competition to go ahead while preventing coronavirus outbreaks, such as regular testing for athletes.

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Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Friday reiterated Japan's commitment to hosting the Olympics and Paralympics next summer. The Games will be "safe and secure," he claimed, although the government is grappling with the worst wave of coronavirus infections in the country to date.

The International Paralympic Committee announced plans to provide a $2.2-million grant package on Thursday – the largest in its history – to more than 200 member organizations to help make up for financial damage from the coronavirus pandemic. The grant will be awarded by February to help athletes prepare for the Tokyo Games, and for paralympic sport development and training.

There have been more than 156,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Japan as of Friday, and 2,274 people have died since the pandemic began.

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---------- 98 ----------

Title: 75 years after his suicide, piece of German Nazi-leader Adolf Hitler's SKULL exhibited in Moscow museum (PHOTO)

Link: https://www.rt.com/russia/508659-hitler-skull-exhibition-moscow/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 10:54:22 +0000

Desc: Preview A fragment of skull that is said to be part of the remains of Nazi German leader Adolf Hitler has been put on display as part of a historic exhibit in Moscow. The show is part of Russia's State Archive's centenary celebrations.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/russia/508659-hitler-skull-exhibition-moscow/

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A fragment of skull that is said to be part of the remains of Nazi German leader Adolf Hitler has been put on display as part of a historic exhibit in Moscow. The show is part of Russia's State Archive's centenary celebrations.

The piece of skull will be showcased until January 31. Among other items shown to the public are the bullets and bayonets the Bolsheviks used to execute the country’s last monarch Nicholas II and his family in 1918.

New website Life.ru quoted archive officials as saying that the skull fragment is part of the “supposed remains of Hitler.” The exhibit also contains Soviet classified documents from the investigation into the Nazi leader’s death.

Hitler committed suicide on April 30, 1945 just days before Soviet troops captured Berlin, effectively ending World War II in Europe. His body had been doused with gasoline and burned.

Hitler’s remains were buried in Magdeburg, Germany in 1946, but the Soviet government grew concerned that the burial site could become a shrine for Hitler’s followers, so it secretly exhumed the grave in 1970 and destroyed its contents. Moscow decided to keep the fragments of the skull and jaws that had been used to identify the Nazi leader.

Over the years, speculation has evolved about the authenticity of the suicide story. In 2009, American researchers claimed that the skull fragment showcased in the Russian capital did not actually belong to Hitler. The head of the archives of Russia’s Federal Security Service (the successor of the KGB), Vasily Hristoforov, however, said at the time that the Soviet forensic investigation had clearly established that the remains that are now kept in Moscow are of the Nazi leader.

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---------- 99 ----------

Title: European Council head says nations must weigh sanctions in the face of Turkey’s ‘hostile’ behavior

Link: https://www.rt.com/news/508663-european-council-turkey-debate-sanctions/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 10:48:20 +0000

Desc: Preview The President of the European Council has warned Ankara that the game of “cat-and-mouse” between the EU and Turkey needs to come to an end and says bloc leaders must now decide whether to sanction Turkey.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/news/508663-european-council-turkey-debate-sanctions/

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The President of the European Council has warned Ankara that the game of “cat-and-mouse” between the EU and Turkey needs to come to an end and says bloc leaders must now decide whether to sanction Turkey.

Speaking on Friday, Charles Michel told media that a debate will be held concerning Turkish provocation and unilateral action in the Eastern Mediterranean. 

The debate is due to take place on December 10 during the next European summit meeting.

“We reached out to Turkey in October and our assessment is negative with the observation of the continuation of unilateral acts and hostile rhetoric. We will have a debate at the European summit on December 10 and we are ready to use the means at our disposal,” Michel said. 

Michel declared it was time the game of “cat-and-mouse” between the EU and Turkey needed to come to an end, a reference to Turkey’s tactical deploying and withdrawal of a hydrocarbon exploration vessel in disputed waters in the Eastern Mediterranean. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also engaged in a fierce war of words with European leaders, most notably French President Emmanuel Macron. Erdogan previously labelled the French leader as mentally unwell, a comment that drew ire from many in Brussels. 

“Turkey must stop its provocations and its hostile rhetoric,” Michel added. 

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Turkey has been increasingly at odds with the EU this year following a very public disagreement between Athens and Ankara over exploration rights in the potentially hydrocarbon rich Eastern Mediterranean.

Ankara has also enraged Cyprus following Turkish hydrocarbon exploration off the divided island and a controversial decision to reopen the long-abandoned town of Varosha, a former Cypriot beach resort. 

In November, European Parliament MPs urged EU leaders to “take action and impose tough sanctions” against Turkey, calling Ankara’s gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean “illegal.”

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---------- 100 ----------

Title: Paris threatens to torpedo Brexit trade deal if French interests are not met, says Minister

Link: https://www.rt.com/uk/508654-france-veto-torpedo-brexit-deal/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 10:03:55 +0000

Desc: Preview The French European affairs minister has threatened to block a Brexit trade deal if the agreement reached by the negotiators does not reflect French interests, adding that Europe must prepare for the risk of a no-deal outcome.
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Guid: https://www.rt.com/uk/508654-france-veto-torpedo-brexit-deal/

Content:

The French European affairs minister has threatened to block a Brexit trade deal if the agreement reached by the negotiators does not reflect French interests, adding that Europe must prepare for the risk of a no-deal outcome.

Clement Beaune, France’s European Affairs Minister, told Europe 1 radio on Friday that Paris is not willing to accept a UK-EU trade deal on bad terms.

I still hope that we can have an agreement, but we will not accept a bad agreement for France. If there was an agreement and it was not good, we would oppose it with a right of veto.

Beaune reiterated his hope that a deal can be reached between the UK and the European bloc but told the public to prepare for the very real risk that free movement and free access to the British market will end on December 31.

The minister specifically addressed fishermen and producers who may be worst hit by a no-deal Brexit. President Emmanuel Macron’s government has been very vocal about supporting French fishermen who would lose access to UK fisheries in the event of a no deal scenario.

“I still hope that we can have an agreement. But I also want to say to our fishermen, to our producers, to the citizens who are listening to us, that we will not accept an agreement on bad terms,” Beaune added.

The UK remains adamant that European fishermen should not have access to bountiful British waters after Brexit.

Beaune concluded by criticising the UK negotiators, claiming that it is necessary to be frank to achieve a good deal. “We have always been transparent. Sometimes the British a little less,” he noted. 

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Talks between Brussels and London have entered the eleventh hour, with EU chief negotiator, Michael Barnier, currently in London to hammer out a deal.

Negotiations have been stuck for some time over dispute resolution, state aid and access to UK fisheries.

On Thursday, the Irish foreign minister, Simon Coveney, said there was a “good chance” a deal could be sealed in the “next few days.” 

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