https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/25/world/europe/disinformation-social-media.htmlIn May, several French and German social media influencers received a strange proposal.A London-based public relations agency wanted to pay them to promote messages on behalf of a client. A polished three-page document detailed what to say and on which platforms to say it.But it asked the influencers to push not beauty products or vacation packages, as is typical, but falsehoods tarring Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine. Stranger still, the agency, Fazze, claimed a London address where there is no evidence any such company exists.Some recipients posted screenshots of the offer. Exposed, Fazze scrubbed its social media accounts. That same week, Brazilian and Indian influencers posted videos echoing Fazze’s script to hundreds of thousands of viewers.The scheme appears to be part of a secretive industry that security analysts and American officials say is exploding in scale: disinformation for hire.Private firms, straddling traditional marketing and the shadow world of geopolitical influence operations, are selling services once conducted principally by intelligence agencies.They sow discord, meddle in elections, seed false narratives and push viral conspiracies, mostly on social media. And they offer clients something precious: deniability.
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Biden Has Spent $2 Billion Stopping Construction of Trump's Border Wall
President Joe Biden halted construction of a physical barricade at the southern border on day one of his administration, and has reportedly spent $2 billion to achieve that goal.A report by Republicans on the Senate subcommittee on Government Operations and Border Management explained the significant taxpayer expense.“President Biden’s efforts to suspend or terminate border wall construction have cost taxpayers between $1.837 billion to $2.087 billion since January 20, 2021. This amount continues to increase by at least $3 million per day,” the report states.If the project was paused, where is that money going?“The Biden Administration is paying contractors at least $3 million per day to guard steel, concrete, and other materials in the desert,” the report states.https://www.westernjournal.com/biden-spent-2-billion-stopping-construction-trumps-border-wall/
Education reform group praises decision Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona has amended a proposal to give grant money to curricula that promotes Critical Race Theory and antiracism.The decision has drawn praise from an education reform group that mobilized people to submit public comment on the proposed rule.Parents Defending Education thanked Cardona for deciding to “change course on the new federal grants for the American History and Civics Education programs.”The Department of Education withdrew “the requirement that grantees incorporate curriculum and instruction based on or similar to the 1619 Project or the works of Ibram X. Kendi.”“It is our hope that this change in the ‘proposed priorities’ is a sign of the administration’s recommitment to historical accuracy and civics education over ideology and advocacy,” PDE said.PDE took credit for initiating the edit to the grant program. The education group said:https://www.regulations.gov/document/ED-2021-OESE-0033-0001https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/07/19/2021-15364/applications-for-new-awards-american-history-and-civics-education-presidential-and-congressionalhttps://defendinged.org/press-releases/secretary-cardona-makes-right-decision-in-changing-course-on-new-federal-grants-for-american-history-and-civics-education/https://blog.ed.gov/2021/07/american-history-and-civics-in-our-schools/https://www.regulations.gov/document/ED-2021-OESE-0033-0001https://www.thecollegefix.com/department-of-education-amends-grant-program-that-could-prioritize-anti-racism-and-critical-race-theory/https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2021/07/19/controversy-teaching-us-history-biden/
Parts of Arizona have been hit with devastating flooding, with the city of Flagstaff declaring a state of emergency after being inundated with torrents of water that turned streets into murky, fast-running streams.In one widely shared video, a person shouting “Oh my God!” filmed as a Toyota Prius was shown being swiftly carried down a Flagstaff street by a raging swell of dark water.https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jul/16/arizona-floods-flagstaff-state-of-emergencyhttps://www.thelocal.de/20210716/explained-how-the-extreme-flooding-in-germany-is-linked-to-global-warming/
A Florida Man yesterday struck his daughter in the face with a slice of pizza, resulting in his arrest for battery, police report.Cops responding to a disturbance call at the victim’s Vero Beach home discovered the 20-year-old with “what looked to be tomato sauce on the left side of her face.” Inside the residence’s front door, the ground was “covered with pizza toppings,” according to an arrest affidavit.The victim told police that her father, Tyler Worden, 41, came to her home Sunday afternoon to drop pizza off. But when she told Worden that she was not feeling well and asked him to leave, he began arguing with her.When the woman sought to close the front door, Worden allegedly threw a pizza slice at his daughter, striking her in the face.After the woman dialed 911, cops arrived at the residence and questioned Worden, who admitted throwing the pizza, but claimed he thought the door was shut at the time. An officer noted that he detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on Worden’s breath.Pictured above, Worden was arrested for battery and booked into the Indian River County jail on the misdemeanor charge. He was released from custody this afternoon upon posting $500 bond, and has been ordered by a judge to have no contact with his daughter.Worden, who works as a chef, is scheduled to be arraigned on June 15. (2 pages)http://thesmokinggun.com/documents/stupid/dad-busted-for-pizza-battery-275981
https://www.yahoo.com/news/florida-missouri-and-texas-now-account-for-40-percent-of-new-us-coronavirus-cases-172032337.htmlWASHINGTON — Just three states are now driving the pandemic in the United States, as the divide between vaccinated and unvaccinated regions of the country becomes ever more stark, as the more transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus spreads.Forty percent of all new cases this week have been recorded in Florida, Texas and Missouri, White House pandemic response coordinator Jeff Zients revealed at a press briefing Thursday.Florida alone accounts for 20 percent of all new cases nationally, Zients pointed out, a trend that has stretched into its second week.Zients added that “virtually all” hospitalizations and deaths — a full 97 percent — are among unvaccinated people. “The threat is now predominantly only to the unvaccinated,” he said. A few vaccinated people do experience so-called breakthrough infections, but they tend to experience only mild COVID-19 illness, or no illness at all.Encouragingly, Zients said the five states that have experienced the most significant rise in infections — Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, Nevada and Missouri — all also saw vaccination rates beat the national average for a second week in a row. But because immunity takes two weeks to develop, and the Delta variant spreads so rapidly, the benefits of the increased uptake of vaccinations may not be evident right away.Singling out the three states where infections are now spiking could have the effect of putting pressure on elected officials there to do more to encourage vaccinations.Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, is a Donald Trump loyalist who is widely expected to seek the presidency in 2024. His handling of the pandemic is coming under new scrutiny with the recent rise in cases.
The bulk of single adults trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border do not want asylum and instead want to sneak in undetected, the latest sign that the illegal immigration crisis has reached a catastrophic stage.>Just in the El Paso Sector, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said that 77% of illegal immigrants are trying to evade capture — and the numbers are shocking and “historic.”>“More than 77% of the primary demographic apprehended are single adults attempting to evade arrest and NOT seek asylum,” said the agency with emphasis. “There have been 104,208 single adults encountered so far in FY21 compared to a total of 39,006 single adults encountered in the El Paso Sector in FY20,” it added.>The sector accounts for nearly one-sixth of the encounters with illegal immigrants along the southwest border. It is the sector Vice President Kamala Harris visited in her only trip to the border as President Joe Biden's immigration czar.>Border agents have been seeing a staggering number of illegal immigrants since Biden took office and signaled that the restrictions put in place by former President Donald Trump would be removed and the border opened.>The agency said that in the El Paso Sector alone, “encounters” with illegal immigrants have jumped 288% this fiscal year.>What’s more, they have been involved in far more rescues and seizures of drugs.>“Presently, El Paso Sector agents have arrested a total of 1,815 individuals in 195 stash houses. Agents have also foiled 920 human smuggling schemes this FY alone,” said the agency in a release.El Paso Sector narcotics totals for the year include:>More than 5,000 pounds of marijuana.>More than 600 pounds of methamphetamine.>More than 300 pounds of cocaine.>More than 40 pounds of fentanyl.>More than 30 pounds of heroin.>https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/most-illegal-migrants-77-try-to-evade-capture-dont-want-asylum?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=msn_feed
Bell was stalked online by a fan. "It was obsessive, obsessive behaviour.">OnlyFans, a social media platform best known for explicit content, has boomed during the pandemic. But from receiving terrorism videos to racial abuse and rape threats, a BBC investigation based on the experiences of dozens of women reveals concerns about how the British-run site is structured, managed and moderated.>Warning: Story contains adult themes and language>Tina Bean had been living in her car for two months when she started selling nude photos of herself on OnlyFans.>The 22-year-old had been kicked out of home after a "big fight" and spent most of last summer sleeping in car parks in the heat of Phoenix, Arizona.>Everybody else she knew was making "a hell of a lot of money" on the site. "So, I was like, I might as well just jump on it.">She is one of the million content creators on OnlyFans who share photos and videos with subscribers for a monthly fee. In return, the site takes 20% of their earnings.>Creators can post a range of content from beauty to fitness videos, but it's widely known for pornography.>Soon Tina was making $2,000 (£1,450) a month and able to rent her own flat.>But in January, a hacker seized control of her account, blackmailed her for $150 and uploaded streams of IS terror videos.>The footage, seen and verified by BBC News, depicts people being held hostage in warehouses, or running in fear, before being shot in the head.https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-57269939
The two traded barbs during a tense exchange, triggering a shouting match in which Fauci accused Paul of lying in order to further his agenda. Paul said the NIH funded illegal gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which created a highly dangerous and transmissible virus able to infect humans. “Senator Paul, you do not know what you are talking about.”We don't know ... but all the evidence is pointing that it came from the lab and there will be responsibility for those that funded the lab, including yourself,” Paul said.“I totally resent the lie you are now propagating, senator,” Fauci said, adding that it is molecularly impossible that research funded by NIH was responsible for SARS-CoV-2.https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/563874-fauci-paul-doesnt-know-what-hes-talking-about-and-i-want-to-say-that