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9:39 AM 2/28/2021 – Experts concerned about Pope Francis’ trip to Iraq


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9:39 AM 2/28/2021 – Experts concerned about Pope Francis’ trip to Iraq

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At-Home Covid Testing Is Here

But does it work?

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4:05 PM 2/27/2021 – News Review: NY expands eligibility at mass vaccination sites in Brooklyn, Queens as hospitalizations continue …


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4:05 PM 2/27/2021 – News Review

USA Radio News 022721 Hour 15

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Liu was assassinated in his car along with his partner, Rafael Ramos, 40, in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood on Dec. 20, 2014.

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – New York’s coronavirus-related hospitalizations dropped to their lowest level since Dec. 12 as the state expanded …

NPR News: 02-27-2021 3PM ET

Russian opposition marks anniversary of Kremlin critic Nemtsov’s murder  Reuters

COVID-19: Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine performs well against variants, trials show  Sky News

U.S. ‘Very Concerned’ Putin Will Provoke Foreign Crisis to Quell Pro-Navalny Unrest  U.S. News & World Report

Use of Sarin in Syria ‘Awakened the World to a Grave Threat,’ Says Pulitzer-Winning Journalist Joby Warrick  Newsweek

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From: AssociatedPress
Duration: 01:46

Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended his record in office Saturday as he addressed activists at the Conservative Political Action Conference. (Feb. 27)

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“Sunbathe,” the latest offering from Puerto Rican producer Tainy and singer Miguel, has the musical impact of a SAD lamp: an instant serotonin boost.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene smirks next to her transphobic sign.ScreenshotCongressional Republicans engaged in the kind of open and vicious bigotry that hasn’t been seen since the dark days of Jesse Helms and William Dannemeyer.

1739933 LGBTQ Nation

6, the same day that a violent mob stormed the Capitol based on false … 6 and that “she and her family were in no way involved in the violent attacks.

We just haven’t started shooting at each other yet.'” Gosar did not respond to the Times’ request for comment. During the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, …

Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio has condemned the rioters who besieged the US Capitol, but will not “cry” about lawmakers who came under attack …

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  1. Satellite images reveal extent of damage caused by Biden administration’s first military action  CNN
  2. Biden warns Iran to “be careful” after airstrikes in Syria  CBS This Morning
  3. Some Democrats Question Biden Authority On Syria Strikes  NPR
  4. The tough message Biden just sent Iran  CNN
  5. Joe Biden’s Mixed Iran Messages  The Wall Street Journal
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News

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  1. Gold-colored Trump statue at CPAC draws crowd  Fox News
  2. Acosta corrects CPAC organizer: Trump did lose the election  CNN
  3. McDermott: The party of Trump is mad about mean tweets? Seriously?  <a href=”http://STLtoday.com” rel=”nofollow”>STLtoday.com</a>
  4. CPAC’s speakers exult in conservative victimhood  The Washington Post
  5. If Donald Trump is smart, he’ll pull a Barry Goldwater when he returns to the spotlight  <a href=”http://AZCentral.com” rel=”nofollow”>AZCentral.com</a>
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News

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  1. DHHS: California COVID-19 variant found in Douglas County  KETV Omaha
  2. First known cases of California variant found in Nebraska  Manistee News Advocate
  3. UK COVID-19 variant confirmed in Nebraska  KOLN
  4. Saturday Feb. 27 COVID-19 update: Douglas County reports 9 new cases of California COVID-19 variant  WOWT
  5. First case of B-117 identified in Nebraska  NTV
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“What we have is a ceremonial chariot, probably the Pilentum referred to by some sources, which was employed not for everyday use or for agricultural transport, but to accompany community festivities, parades and processions.”

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96859 New York Daily News

A Louisiana state trooper has been placed on leave without pay after he put a Black man in handcuffs during a 2019 traffic stop, and then dragged him “on his stomach by the leg shackles,” according to internal State Police records.

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96859 New York Daily News

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Watch live: Top U.S. Capitol security officials testify at House hearing on January 6 attack posted at 14:59:45 UTC | The Truth Should Be The Goal Of 9/11-Style Commission


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 Joe: The Truth Should Be The Goal Of 9/11-Style Commission | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Watch live: Top U.S. Capitol security officials testify at House hearing on January 6 attack

Watch live on February 25 at 10 a.m. ET: Acting House Sergeant-at-Arms Timothy Blodgett and acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman are testifying at a House subcommittee hearing on security failures during the January 6 siege.

Capitol security officials have blamed federal agencies for poor communication in the days leading up to the riot. Five people died and more than 140 law enforcement officers were hurt in the attack. 

Michael Novakhov’s favorite articles on Inoreader

A report of a newly detected variant of the coronavirus is raising concerns. The mutation is believed to spread faster and possibly weaken the effectiveness of the current vaccines, according to a New York Times report. New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi spoke to PIX11 about the new variant, vaccine distribution in the city and efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.

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8:59 AM 2/25/2021 – FBI = KGB!!! Investigate The Investigators!!! Save the US!!!


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Soon they will change their shingle too. Wake up, America! Investigate the investigators! Reform and/or replace the stupid, inept, and incompetent FBI! Put the FBI criminals and their Very Special Agent Trump in prison!

FBI = KGB!!! Investigate The Investigators!!! Save the US!!!

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It’s one of the most basic questions of the U.S. Capitol riot investigation: What was the rioters’ plan? What did they think was going to happen when they stormed the …

I was assaulted by a Proud Boys supporter in a foreshadowing of the hate to come. I saw that same look on the faces of those who ravaged the Capitol …

Johnson faces criticism after Capitol riot, security comments … that the Capitol attack was not planned by supporters of then-President Donald Trump. … The Washington Post reported on an FBI memo alleged there was chatter of “go …

6 before the deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol. … planned release of investigation and personnel information in response to four public-records … Kelly Sheridan, said none of the officers participated in the riot at the Capitol afterward, …

Oath Keeper Suspects Charged With Conspiracy  The New York Times

FBI Looking For More Suspects In US Capitol Riots; At Least 9 Marylanders Charged  Yahoo News

6 riots at the U.S. Capitol as reason to increase judicial security, adding to an existing effort to boost protections for federal judges and other court staff.

… further involved” in the Capitol riot. Defense lawyers for rioters facing charges have already begun framing the unrest as the result of Trump’s violent …

For the rioters who are alleged to have committed serious criminal acts, more information is coming out in court papers filed in the Justice Department cases against them.

siege, said the claims that he didn’t issue a verbal warning before discharging his firearm are “a false narrative.” 35-year-old Babbitt, who served in the …

Architect of the Capitol Brett Blanton refutes statements given by Acting Capitol … committees have said they will look at different aspects of the siege.

February 24, 2021, 11:00 PM PST. 6:53 … 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, the legal threats to former President Donald Trump may be only just beginning. … refused to rule out an investigation into Trump or the other officials who spoke at the Jan6 rally. … She declined to comment further on the investigation.

US Capitol Police were aware of the possibility of violence from armed … the Capitol was attacked by supporters of former President Donald Trump, …

riots at the U.S. Capitol as reason to increase judicial security, adding to an existing effort to boost protections for federal judges and other court staff.

An FBI warning that a protest by Trump supporters could turn violent reached the U.S. Capitol Police the day before the assault, but top officials in …

Errors in applications submitted during the Russia investigation of Donald Trump’s first presidential campaign, as well as in a larger sample of …

Democratic’s lawsuit accuses Trump of inciting deadly Capitol riot  National Herald

Pentagon wades into political minefield in hunt for extremists  Politico

… a Democratic witness before the House Judiciary Committee, said the attack by pro-Trump supporters on the U.S. Capitol last month was in a certain …

Frank Figliuzzi: Senate asked all the wrong questions about the pro-Trump attack on the Capitol. 03:15. Rep. Raul Ruiz on challenges vaccinating …

The Capitol attack delayed the certification of Biden’s win by several hours, as lawmakers were forced to flee to seek safety from the angry mob that …

A comprehensive response to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol could take months, if not years, to materialize after thorough investigations, but …

The people charged in the attack so far also did not come exclusively from Republican states or conservative enclaves. In fact, a majority lived in …
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Why are coronavirus cases dropping in the U.S.? Experts point to four reasons.


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Some point to the quickening pace of coronavirus vaccine administration, some say it’s because of the natural seasonal ebb of respiratory viruses and others chalk it up to social distancing measures.

And every explanation is appended with two significant caveats: The country is still in a bad place, continuing to notch more than 90,000 new cases every day, and recent progress could still be imperiled, either by new fast-spreading virus variants or by relaxed social distancing measures.

The rolling daily average of new infections in the United States hit its all-time high of 248,200 on Jan. 12, according to data gathered and analyzed by The Washington Post. Since then, the number has dropped every day, hitting 91,000 on Sunday, its lowest level since November.

A former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed the idea that Americans are now seeing the effect of their good behavior — not of increased vaccinations.

“I don’t think the vaccine is having much of an impact at all on case rates,” Tom Frieden said in an interview Sunday on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS.” “It’s what we’re doing right: staying apart, wearing masks, not traveling, not mixing with others indoors.”

However, Frieden noted, the country’s numbers are still higher than they were during the spring and summer virus waves and “we’re nowhere near out of the woods.”

“We’ve had three surges,” Frieden said. “Whether or not we have a fourth surge is up to us, and the stakes couldn’t be higher.”

The current CDC director, Rochelle Walensky, said in a round of TV interviews Sunday morning that behavior will be crucial to averting yet another spike in infections and that it is far too soon for states to be rescinding mask mandates. Walensky also noted the declining numbers but said cases are still “more than two-and-a-half-fold times what we saw over the summer.”

“It’s encouraging to see these trends coming down, but they’re coming down from an extraordinarily high place,” she said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, publisher of a popular coronavirus model, are among those who attribute declining cases to vaccines and the virus’s seasonality, which scientists have said may allow it to spread faster in colder weather.

In the IHME’s most recent briefing, published Friday, the authors write that cases have “declined sharply,” dropping nearly 50 percent since early January.

“Two [factors] are driving down transmission,” the briefing says. “1) the continued scale-up of vaccination helped by the fraction of adults willing to accept the vaccine reaching 71 percent, and 2) declining seasonality, which will contribute to declining transmission potential from now until August.”

The model predicts 152,000 more covid-19 deaths by June 1, but projects that the vaccine rollout will save 114,000 lives.

Nearly 40 million people have received at least their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, about 12 percent of the U.S. population. Experts have said that 70 percent to 90 percent of people need to have immunity, either through vaccination or prior infection, to quash the pandemic. And some leading epidemiologists have agreed with Frieden, saying that not enough people are vaccinated to make such a sizable dent in the case rates.

A fourth, less optimistic explanation has also emerged: More new cases are simply going undetected. On Twitter, Eleanor Murray, a professor of epidemiology at Boston University School of Public Health, said an increased focus on vaccine distribution and administration could be making it harder to get tested.

“I worry that it’s at least partly an artifact of resources being moved from testing to vaccination,” Murray said of the declines.

The Covid Tracking Project, which compiles and publishes data on coronavirus testing, has indeed observed a steady recent decrease in tests, from more than 2 million per day in mid-January to about 1.6 million a month later. The project’s latest update blames this dip on “a combination of reduced demand as well as reduced availability or accessibility of testing.”

“Demand for testing may have dropped because fewer people are sick or have been exposed to infected individuals, but also perhaps because testing isn’t being promoted as heavily,” the authors write.

They note that a backlog of tests over the holidays probably produced an artificial spike of reported tests in early January, but that even when adjusted, it’s still “unequivocally the wrong direction for a country that needs to understand the movements of the virus during a slow vaccine rollout and the spread of multiple new variants.”

Where most experts agree: The mutated variants of the virus pose perhaps the biggest threat to the country’s recovery. One is spreading rapidly and another, known as B.1.351, contains a mutation that may help the virus partly evade natural and vaccine-induced antibodies.

Fewer than 20 cases have been reported in the United States, but a critically ill man in France underscores the variant’s potentially dangerous consequences. The 58-year-old had a mild coronavirus infection in September and the B.1.351 strain reinfected him four months later.

No matter what’s causing the current downturn in new infections, experts have urged Americans to avoid complacency.

“Masks, distancing, ventilation, avoiding gatherings, getting vaccinated when eligible. These are the tools we have to continue the long trip down the tall mountain,” Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University, said on Twitter. “The variants may throw us a curve ball, but if we keep driving down transmission we can get to a better place.”

Jacqueline Dupree contributed to this report.

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9:26 AM 2/24/2021 – Sund: Capitol Riot was a military-style operation


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Capitol Riot was a military-style operation – GS 

Sund: Capitol Riot was a military-style operation – GS 

Former US Capitol Police chief details delays in aid and intelligence failures during assault on Capitol

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CNN obtained a copy of the letter, addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the ranking members of each party in the House and Senate. In it, Steven Sund details the intelligence briefing process and the delays Capitol Police had in getting aid once the assault on Congress was underway.

Sund’s account alleges a failure of the FBI, US Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security and the DC Metropolitan Police Department to anticipate violence on that day, and said it was reasonable to rely on that intelligence since earlier pro-Trump rallies had been similarly assessed and were not violent.

“The entire intelligence community seems to have missed this,” he wrote.

Sund also wrote it was clear to him that within minutes of the mob arriving at the west front of the Capitol, the “situation was deteriorating rapidly” and that the agency didn’t have the resources it needed to keep the Capitol secure without help from outside agencies.

An officer died during the fight for the Capitol, one later died by suicide and more than 140 others were injured. At least three other people died, including a woman shot by a Capitol Police officer as she climbed through a window into the Speaker’s Lobby. The assault on the capitol delayed the certification of election results and was the first time the building had been overrun since 1814.

Sund also provided a timeline for the aid he sought from local law enforcement agencies and National Guard units, and an accounting of the meetings he had after the perimeter had been breached while he sought assistance.

It took more than four hours for requested Guard troops to get sworn in at the Capitol, and more than 1,700 police officers from 18 nearby jurisdictions convened at the Capitol in the interim to clear the building of people and potentially hazardous materials. At least two officials, Army Lt. General Walter Piatt and House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving, cited the “optics” or “visuals” of deploying the National Guard in their hesitance to deploy them, according to Sund’s accounting.

The tone of the letter at-times appeared defensive and Sund took issue with the use of the term “fail” to describe the US Capitol Police’s conduct that day.

“I do not believe that the US Capitol Police failed,” Sund wrote. “Greatly outnumbered and against tremendous odds, they kept the Members safe.”

The US Capitol Police force is part of Congress and has the sole responsibility for the building’s security. The agencies cited in Sund’s letter are part of the executive branch of government and don’t have authority to force USCP to take any action.

And if the US Capitol Police knew an armed insurrection was coming, it’s not clear that the best option would have been to staff up and prepare for battle, so the lack of intelligence is noteworthy but the responsibility to keep the building remained with US Capitol Police.

Sund said he did ask two of his supervisors, appointed by Congress, for more help before the day’s rally. They said no.

“I must add that I wish that before placing the blame on the USCP and on me as the Chief for the breach of the Capitol by an insurrectionist mob, more consideration would have been given to the impact of incomplete information provided by intelligence assessments, the denied National Guard request, and the subsequent delayed approval for National Guard assistance,” Sund wrote.

In the month since the insurrection, US Capitol Police have not held a single news conference. The department’s acting chief, Yoganada Pittman, testified to Congress in a closed-door session that was not not open to the public. Pittman was elevated to chief after Sund’s resignation and was a top deputy on the day of the insurrection. She also released a video statement on Friday afternoon, promising “significant changes to our operations, policies and procedures.”

None of the five members of Congress who received Sund’s February 1 letter have mentioned it or the information within it in publicly in the four days since it was sent.

What new details that have emerged have been through leaks from Congress, law enforcement agencies and the willingness of US Capitol Police officers to break department policy to speak with reporters.

A spokesperson for the FBI, the US Secret Service, and former Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving declined to comment. The chairman of the union representing US Capitol Police officers declined to comment.

Representatives for the Department of Homeland Security, DC Metropolitan Police and US Capitol Police did not respond to requests for comment. The former Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger could not be reached for comment.

Police expected ‘likelihood of violence’

As the police force prepared for the rally on January 6, two other recent pro-Trump rallies loomed in the minds of those responsible for securing the Capitol.

Both were located at the US Supreme Court building, next to the Capitol. Police referred to these as “MAGA I” and “MAGA II” and Sund wrote had police handled “both of those events successfully, utilizing an action plan that was based on intelligence assessments developed by us and our partner agencies.”

The inter-agency process used by Capitol Police to plan for these events resulted in an intelligence assessment and an action plan for both. Each event resulted in dozens of arrests. Four officers were injured in the first event and eight in the second.

Police expected “various extremist groups” at both events and a “likelihood of violence.” The action plan included use of the Capitol Police’s “civil disturbance” unit, the use of steel barriers for crowd control, extra security for Congress and coordination with other police agencies.

But the focus of the protests on the January 6 would be the Capitol building itself and Sund wrote that he expected the crowd to be different “in size and risk.”

The inter-agency process published an intelligence assessment of the event three days before the event, which included input from US Capitol Police intelligence officials as well as the FBI, US Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security and the DC Metropolitan Police Department.

On January 3, an assessment of the expected protests indicated the coming protest was “expected to be similar to the previous Million MAGA March rallies in November and December 2020, which drew tens of thousands of participants,” Sund wrote in his letter to Pelosi. The assessment indicated that the far-right Proud Boys and far-left Antifa groups were expected at the Capitol on the January 6 and “may be inclined to become violent.”

The assessment, reviewed by CNN, noted earlier arrests at the November and December rallies and the violence between pro-Trump and opposition groups. It noted an estimated increase in hotel bookings, up to double, compared to the December rally. It noted advice given to protesters to travel carry weapons and travel in large groups to discourage police from taking enforcement action.

The assessment noted the last-stand feelings surrounding the event, a concern over calls for protesters to show up armed, and that then-President Donald Trump had promoted two rallies where members of Congress were expected to speak and which were expected to draw the largest crowds.

It also noted a shift in who the protesters would target. In the previous two protests, Trump supporters clashed with counter protesters. But on January 6, Congress would be the target.

A day later, the US Capitol Police’s daily intelligence report assessed the risk of violence at these events as either “remote” or “improbable,” according to Sund’s letter. That day’s report noted “the Secretary of Homeland Security has not issued an elevated or imminent alert at this time.”

A copy of that daily intelligence briefing, reviewed by CNN, shows a scale of risk and each known event being assessed based on that scale. It’s not clear what, if anything, changed between the event assessment on January 3 and the daily intelligence report on January 4. No comparable risk-assessment scale was included in the event assessment on January 3.

“At no time during the previous MAGA I or MAGA II events did the crowd attempt to storm or attack the Supreme Court building, or the adjacent Capitol building, and based upon all available intelligence, nothing of that sort was expected to happen on January 6,” Sund wrote in his letter to Congress.

Sund said he ordered the department into an “all hands on deck” posture ahead of the event and expedited the shipment of riot helmets, meant to be available for the inauguration two weeks later. He also asked the Sergeant at Arms for both the House and Senate, who together with the Capitol Architect form the board that oversees the police department, to request the National Guard.

The sergeant for the House, Irving, said he “was concerned about the ‘optics’ and didn’t feel the intelligence supported it,” Sund wrote. The sergeant for the Senate, Stenger, suggested asking the Guard to be ready in case Sund needed them.

Irving and Stenger have since resigned. Sund also disclosed that members of Congress had been briefed on Capitol security before the event.

The day before the rally, Sund met with his oversight board and a dozen top police and military officials from across DC, to discuss both the January 6 rally and inauguration planning. No one present offered any new intelligence, Sund wrote.

“It should also be noted that the U.S. Secret Service planned to and did escort the Vice President of the United States to the Capitol on January 6, which it obviously would not have done if it believed there to be a threat of a violent insurrection at the Capitol building and on its grounds,” Sund wrote.

Mob like ‘nothing I have ever seen’ in career

At 7:15 a.m. ET on January 6, lines had already formed to attend the then-President’s rally at the Ellipse south of the White House, but an on-scene supervisor told Sund the group was compliant and that he didn’t observe any “concerning issues.” Sund went to his agency’s command center, he wrote.

Just before 1 p.m., someone found a pipe bomb near the Republican National Committee headquarters, and US Capitol Police responded to that. At the same time, a group approached the west front of the Capitol and started attacking police “immediately.”

“Their primary goal was to defeat our perimeter as quickly as possible and to get past the police line. This mob was like nothing I have seen in my law enforcement career. The group consisted of thousands of well-coordinated, well-equipped violent criminals. They had weapons, chemical munitions, protective equipment, explosives, and climbing gear. A number of them were wearing radio earpieces indicating a high level of coordination,” Sund wrote.

Officers who worked that day and who spoke to CNN criticized the use of those barriers, noting that they’re meant for compliant crowds and could be easily used as weapons by those intent on violence. It’s not clear why those were the preferred method of crowd control when it was clear, by Sund’s actions, that there was at least some expectation of violence.

Sund wrote that he asked Irving and Stenger, the sergeants at arms, for the National Guard at 1:09 p.m. Irving said he “needed to run it up the chain of command,” Sund wrote. At 1:50 p.m., and without an answer from Irving and Stenger, he contacted Gen. William Walker, of the DC National Guard, and said he was expecting approval for his request. At 2:10 p.m., Irving authorized the formal request.

An hour into the fight, about 1:50 p.m., a second bomb was found, as well as a vehicle with Molotov cocktails and a gun, all near the Capitol grounds. This caused police to divert “extensive USCP resources” and the evacuation of two congressional buildings.

“I believe all of this was part of a coordinated plan related to the attack on the Capitol,” Sund wrote. It was at this time he asked for mutual aid from other police agencies, which resulted in 1,700 officers from 18 agencies converging on the Capitol.

While police were fighting to keep protesters out, other officers began to evacuate congressional leadership and directed officers to secure the House and Senate.

Twenty minutes after Sund’s supervisors approved the request for the Guard, Sund learned he needed Pentagon approval to deploy the Guard. It’s not clear why it wasn’t known prior to January 6 that this would be required in the event US Capitol Police would need the help.

At 2:22 p.m., according to a timeline released by the Department of Defense, the secretary of the Army, DC’s mayor and other police officials had a phone call to discuss additional guard support for US Capitol Police. Sund’s letter notes a phone call with officials about the same time.

According to Sund, Piatt said he didn’t like the “visual” of the Guard standing in a line with the Capitol in the background and asked if guardsmen could swap out position with Capitol Police. He also told Sund he would brief the secretary of the Army, and he would recommend against deploying the Guard, Sund wrote in his letter. Piatt has denied that he denied or delayed the request, and has emphasized that he did not have the authority to deploy the Guard. 

Piatt has previously acknowledged

 that he may have expressed concern about the “optics” of deploying more troops, but did not expressly remembering doing so.

At 2:30 p.m., Pentagon officials met separately to discuss the request. According to the Department of Defense timeline, the Pentagon approved deploying roughly 1,100 guard members to the Capitol about 3:04 p.m. At this point, US Capitol Police and DC Metropolitan Police had been fighting insurgents at the Capitol for two hours.

It appears the Guard wasn’t approved until Stenger, the Senate Sergeant at Arms, got then-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to call the secretary of the Army, according to Sund’s letter.

The first guardsmen weren’t sworn in at the Capitol for more than four hours after the initial request Sund made to his supervisors, and more than three hours after Stenger and Irving approved the request, around 5:40 p.m.  The Department of Defense timeline also notes the arrival of more than 150 guard members at the Capitol at 5:40 p.m.

“I still cannot fathom why in the midst of an armed insurrection, which was broadcast worldwide on television, it took the Department of Defense over three hours to approve an urgent request for National Guard support,” Sund wrote.

Incoming officers were given two assignments: secure the perimeter and foundation of the Capitol and clear the Capitol and conduct a “top to bottom sweep” of the building. The goal, Sund wrote, was to “facilitate the safe and expeditious return of the Members of Congress to complete their certification of the electoral votes.”

‘The entire intelligence community seems to have missed this’

Almost five hours after the fight began, Sund briefed Pence on the security situation. Pence called Pelosi, and Sund advised that both chambers could reopen by 7:30 p.m., he wrote. Sund also briefed other members of congressional leadership around 6:30 p.m.

The Senate reconvened at 8 p.m. and the House at 9 p.m. Scores of people have been arrested and are facing federal charges in connection with the attack on the Capitol that day.

Toward the end of the letter, Sund acknowledged a breakdown in some systems, “all of which can be rectified with more resources, better training, updated policies, and accountability.” He did not specify which systems failed. But he again pointed to the lack of intelligence, noting officials didn’t predict an “armed assault” on the Capitol.

“What occurred on January 6th cannot be considered under any circumstances a protest, a rally, or civil disobedience,” Sund wrote. “This was a well-planned, coordinated, armed insurrection at the United States Capitol. The USCP does not have the manpower, the training, or the capabilities to handle an armed insurrection involving thousands of individuals bent on violence and destruction at all costs.”

In a statement to CNN on Saturday night, an Army spokesperson said that the “preparation and posture of the D.C. National Guard was based on the single request for assistance the Pentagon received from the D.C. Mayor for limited support, primarily for street closures and crowd control involving 340 DCNG at various locations around the district to facilitate and protect peaceful demonstrations.”

The Department of Defense Inspector General is now reviewing the details of the preparation for and response to January 6 attack on the Capitol, the statement continued.

“We intend to allow that process to proceed independently by not commenting further,” the Army spokesperson said.

This story has been updated with a statement from the Army.

CNN’s Daniella Diaz, Josh Campbell, Christina Carrega, Whitney Wild Zachary Cohen, Geneva Sands and and Evan Perez contributed to this rreport.

Read the whole story

 

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Kasparov.Ru: Buryat shamans foreshadow a difficult year for Russia and a war in a neighboring state

The Tengeri Shaman Religious Organization has published a forecast for 2021.

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1047142 Kasparov.Ru

Brooklyn News Review

3:37 AM 2/24/2021

Michael Novakhov’s favorite articles on Inoreader

NYC Mayor De Blasio Holds Daily Briefing

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio updates on the city’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

https://www.nbcnewyork.com

#nyc
#coronavirus
#live

Police: Man Beaten Up, Robbed Getting Off The Subway In Bay Ridge

There’s been another assault and robbery in the New York City subway system, and police want your help finding the suspect. Katie Johnston reports.

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Бурятские шаманы предвещают тяжелый год России и войну в соседнем государстве | Brooklyn NY – bklyn-ny.com

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Каспаров.Ru: Бурятские шаманы предвещают тяжелый год России и войну в соседнем государстве

Религиозная организация шаманов “Тэнгэри” опубликовала прогноз на 2021 год.

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3:37 24.02.2021

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Former US Capitol Police chief details delays in aid and intelligence failures during assault on Capitol


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CNN obtained a copy of the letter, addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the ranking members of each party in the House and Senate. In it, Steven Sund details the intelligence briefing process and the delays Capitol Police had in getting aid once the assault on Congress was underway.

Sund’s account alleges a failure of the FBI, US Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security and the DC Metropolitan Police Department to anticipate violence on that day, and said it was reasonable to rely on that intelligence since earlier pro-Trump rallies had been similarly assessed and were not violent.

“The entire intelligence community seems to have missed this,” he wrote.

Sund also wrote it was clear to him that within minutes of the mob arriving at the west front of the Capitol, the “situation was deteriorating rapidly” and that the agency didn’t have the resources it needed to keep the Capitol secure without help from outside agencies.

An officer died during the fight for the Capitol, one later died by suicide and more than 140 others were injured. At least three other people died, including a woman shot by a Capitol Police officer as she climbed through a window into the Speaker’s Lobby. The assault on the capitol delayed the certification of election results and was the first time the building had been overrun since 1814.

Sund also provided a timeline for the aid he sought from local law enforcement agencies and National Guard units, and an accounting of the meetings he had after the perimeter had been breached while he sought assistance.

It took more than four hours for requested Guard troops to get sworn in at the Capitol, and more than 1,700 police officers from 18 nearby jurisdictions convened at the Capitol in the interim to clear the building of people and potentially hazardous materials. At least two officials, Army Lt. General Walter Piatt and House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving, cited the “optics” or “visuals” of deploying the National Guard in their hesitance to deploy them, according to Sund’s accounting.

The tone of the letter at-times appeared defensive and Sund took issue with the use of the term “fail” to describe the US Capitol Police’s conduct that day.

“I do not believe that the US Capitol Police failed,” Sund wrote. “Greatly outnumbered and against tremendous odds, they kept the Members safe.”

The US Capitol Police force is part of Congress and has the sole responsibility for the building’s security. The agencies cited in Sund’s letter are part of the executive branch of government and don’t have authority to force USCP to take any action.

And if the US Capitol Police knew an armed insurrection was coming, it’s not clear that the best option would have been to staff up and prepare for battle, so the lack of intelligence is noteworthy but the responsibility to keep the building remained with US Capitol Police.

Sund said he did ask two of his supervisors, appointed by Congress, for more help before the day’s rally. They said no.

“I must add that I wish that before placing the blame on the USCP and on me as the Chief for the breach of the Capitol by an insurrectionist mob, more consideration would have been given to the impact of incomplete information provided by intelligence assessments, the denied National Guard request, and the subsequent delayed approval for National Guard assistance,” Sund wrote.

In the month since the insurrection, US Capitol Police have not held a single news conference. The department’s acting chief, Yoganada Pittman, testified to Congress in a closed-door session that was not not open to the public. Pittman was elevated to chief after Sund’s resignation and was a top deputy on the day of the insurrection. She also released a video statement on Friday afternoon, promising “significant changes to our operations, policies and procedures.”

None of the five members of Congress who received Sund’s February 1 letter have mentioned it or the information within it in publicly in the four days since it was sent.

What new details that have emerged have been through leaks from Congress, law enforcement agencies and the willingness of US Capitol Police officers to break department policy to speak with reporters.

A spokesperson for the FBI, the US Secret Service, and former Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving declined to comment. The chairman of the union representing US Capitol Police officers declined to comment.

Representatives for the Department of Homeland Security, DC Metropolitan Police and US Capitol Police did not respond to requests for comment. The former Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger could not be reached for comment.

Police expected ‘likelihood of violence’

As the police force prepared for the rally on January 6, two other recent pro-Trump rallies loomed in the minds of those responsible for securing the Capitol.

Both were located at the US Supreme Court building, next to the Capitol. Police referred to these as “MAGA I” and “MAGA II” and Sund wrote had police handled “both of those events successfully, utilizing an action plan that was based on intelligence assessments developed by us and our partner agencies.”

The inter-agency process used by Capitol Police to plan for these events resulted in an intelligence assessment and an action plan for both. Each event resulted in dozens of arrests. Four officers were injured in the first event and eight in the second.

Police expected “various extremist groups” at both events and a “likelihood of violence.” The action plan included use of the Capitol Police’s “civil disturbance” unit, the use of steel barriers for crowd control, extra security for Congress and coordination with other police agencies.

But the focus of the protests on the January 6 would be the Capitol building itself and Sund wrote that he expected the crowd to be different “in size and risk.”

The inter-agency process published an intelligence assessment of the event three days before the event, which included input from US Capitol Police intelligence officials as well as the FBI, US Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security and the DC Metropolitan Police Department.

On January 3, an assessment of the expected protests indicated the coming protest was “expected to be similar to the previous Million MAGA March rallies in November and December 2020, which drew tens of thousands of participants,” Sund wrote in his letter to Pelosi. The assessment indicated that the far-right Proud Boys and far-left Antifa groups were expected at the Capitol on the January 6 and “may be inclined to become violent.”

The assessment, reviewed by CNN, noted earlier arrests at the November and December rallies and the violence between pro-Trump and opposition groups. It noted an estimated increase in hotel bookings, up to double, compared to the December rally. It noted advice given to protesters to travel carry weapons and travel in large groups to discourage police from taking enforcement action.

The assessment noted the last-stand feelings surrounding the event, a concern over calls for protesters to show up armed, and that then-President Donald Trump had promoted two rallies where members of Congress were expected to speak and which were expected to draw the largest crowds.

It also noted a shift in who the protesters would target. In the previous two protests, Trump supporters clashed with counter protesters. But on January 6, Congress would be the target.

A day later, the US Capitol Police’s daily intelligence report assessed the risk of violence at these events as either “remote” or “improbable,” according to Sund’s letter. That day’s report noted “the Secretary of Homeland Security has not issued an elevated or imminent alert at this time.”

A copy of that daily intelligence briefing, reviewed by CNN, shows a scale of risk and each known event being assessed based on that scale. It’s not clear what, if anything, changed between the event assessment on January 3 and the daily intelligence report on January 4. No comparable risk-assessment scale was included in the event assessment on January 3.

“At no time during the previous MAGA I or MAGA II events did the crowd attempt to storm or attack the Supreme Court building, or the adjacent Capitol building, and based upon all available intelligence, nothing of that sort was expected to happen on January 6,” Sund wrote in his letter to Congress.

Sund said he ordered the department into an “all hands on deck” posture ahead of the event and expedited the shipment of riot helmets, meant to be available for the inauguration two weeks later. He also asked the Sergeant at Arms for both the House and Senate, who together with the Capitol Architect form the board that oversees the police department, to request the National Guard.

The sergeant for the House, Irving, said he “was concerned about the ‘optics’ and didn’t feel the intelligence supported it,” Sund wrote. The sergeant for the Senate, Stenger, suggested asking the Guard to be ready in case Sund needed them.

Irving and Stenger have since resigned. Sund also disclosed that members of Congress had been briefed on Capitol security before the event.

The day before the rally, Sund met with his oversight board and a dozen top police and military officials from across DC, to discuss both the January 6 rally and inauguration planning. No one present offered any new intelligence, Sund wrote.

“It should also be noted that the U.S. Secret Service planned to and did escort the Vice President of the United States to the Capitol on January 6, which it obviously would not have done if it believed there to be a threat of a violent insurrection at the Capitol building and on its grounds,” Sund wrote.

Mob like ‘nothing I have ever seen’ in career

At 7:15 a.m. ET on January 6, lines had already formed to attend the then-President’s rally at the Ellipse south of the White House, but an on-scene supervisor told Sund the group was compliant and that he didn’t observe any “concerning issues.” Sund went to his agency’s command center, he wrote.

Just before 1 p.m., someone found a pipe bomb near the Republican National Committee headquarters, and US Capitol Police responded to that. At the same time, a group approached the west front of the Capitol and started attacking police “immediately.”

“Their primary goal was to defeat our perimeter as quickly as possible and to get past the police line. This mob was like nothing I have seen in my law enforcement career. The group consisted of thousands of well-coordinated, well-equipped violent criminals. They had weapons, chemical munitions, protective equipment, explosives, and climbing gear. A number of them were wearing radio earpieces indicating a high level of coordination,” Sund wrote.

Officers who worked that day and who spoke to CNN criticized the use of those barriers, noting that they’re meant for compliant crowds and could be easily used as weapons by those intent on violence. It’s not clear why those were the preferred method of crowd control when it was clear, by Sund’s actions, that there was at least some expectation of violence.

Sund wrote that he asked Irving and Stenger, the sergeants at arms, for the National Guard at 1:09 p.m. Irving said he “needed to run it up the chain of command,” Sund wrote. At 1:50 p.m., and without an answer from Irving and Stenger, he contacted Gen. William Walker, of the DC National Guard, and said he was expecting approval for his request. At 2:10 p.m., Irving authorized the formal request.

An hour into the fight, about 1:50 p.m., a second bomb was found, as well as a vehicle with Molotov cocktails and a gun, all near the Capitol grounds. This caused police to divert “extensive USCP resources” and the evacuation of two congressional buildings.

“I believe all of this was part of a coordinated plan related to the attack on the Capitol,” Sund wrote. It was at this time he asked for mutual aid from other police agencies, which resulted in 1,700 officers from 18 agencies converging on the Capitol.

While police were fighting to keep protesters out, other officers began to evacuate congressional leadership and directed officers to secure the House and Senate.

Twenty minutes after Sund’s supervisors approved the request for the Guard, Sund learned he needed Pentagon approval to deploy the Guard. It’s not clear why it wasn’t known prior to January 6 that this would be required in the event US Capitol Police would need the help.

At 2:22 p.m., according to a timeline released by the Department of Defense, the secretary of the Army, DC’s mayor and other police officials had a phone call to discuss additional guard support for US Capitol Police. Sund’s letter notes a phone call with officials about the same time.

According to Sund, Piatt said he didn’t like the “visual” of the Guard standing in a line with the Capitol in the background and asked if guardsmen could swap out position with Capitol Police. He also told Sund he would brief the secretary of the Army, and he would recommend against deploying the Guard, Sund wrote in his letter. Piatt has denied that he denied or delayed the request, and has emphasized that he did not have the authority to deploy the Guard.

Piatt has previously acknowledged

that he may have expressed concern about the “optics” of deploying more troops, but did not expressly remembering doing so.

At 2:30 p.m., Pentagon officials met separately to discuss the request. According to the Department of Defense timeline, the Pentagon approved deploying roughly 1,100 guard members to the Capitol about 3:04 p.m. At this point, US Capitol Police and DC Metropolitan Police had been fighting insurgents at the Capitol for two hours.

It appears the Guard wasn’t approved until Stenger, the Senate Sergeant at Arms, got then-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to call the secretary of the Army, according to Sund’s letter.

The first guardsmen weren’t sworn in at the Capitol for more than four hours after the initial request Sund made to his supervisors, and more than three hours after Stenger and Irving approved the request, around 5:40 p.m.  The Department of Defense timeline also notes the arrival of more than 150 guard members at the Capitol at 5:40 p.m.

“I still cannot fathom why in the midst of an armed insurrection, which was broadcast worldwide on television, it took the Department of Defense over three hours to approve an urgent request for National Guard support,” Sund wrote.

Incoming officers were given two assignments: secure the perimeter and foundation of the Capitol and clear the Capitol and conduct a “top to bottom sweep” of the building. The goal, Sund wrote, was to “facilitate the safe and expeditious return of the Members of Congress to complete their certification of the electoral votes.”

‘The entire intelligence community seems to have missed this’

Almost five hours after the fight began, Sund briefed Pence on the security situation. Pence called Pelosi, and Sund advised that both chambers could reopen by 7:30 p.m., he wrote. Sund also briefed other members of congressional leadership around 6:30 p.m.

The Senate reconvened at 8 p.m. and the House at 9 p.m. Scores of people have been arrested and are facing federal charges in connection with the attack on the Capitol that day.

Toward the end of the letter, Sund acknowledged a breakdown in some systems, “all of which can be rectified with more resources, better training, updated policies, and accountability.” He did not specify which systems failed. But he again pointed to the lack of intelligence, noting officials didn’t predict an “armed assault” on the Capitol.

“What occurred on January 6th cannot be considered under any circumstances a protest, a rally, or civil disobedience,” Sund wrote. “This was a well-planned, coordinated, armed insurrection at the United States Capitol. The USCP does not have the manpower, the training, or the capabilities to handle an armed insurrection involving thousands of individuals bent on violence and destruction at all costs.”

In a statement to CNN on Saturday night, an Army spokesperson said that the “preparation and posture of the D.C. National Guard was based on the single request for assistance the Pentagon received from the D.C. Mayor for limited support, primarily for street closures and crowd control involving 340 DCNG at various locations around the district to facilitate and protect peaceful demonstrations.”

The Department of Defense Inspector General is now reviewing the details of the preparation for and response to January 6 attack on the Capitol, the statement continued.

“We intend to allow that process to proceed independently by not commenting further,” the Army spokesperson said.

This story has been updated with a statement from the Army.

CNN’s Daniella Diaz, Josh Campbell, Christina Carrega, Whitney Wild Zachary Cohen, Geneva Sands and and Evan Perez contributed to this rreport.

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NYC Mayor De Blasio Holds Daily Briefing | Бурятские шаманы предвещают тяжелый год России и войну в соседнем государстве | Brooklyn News Review


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Каспаров.Ru: Бурятские шаманы предвещают тяжелый год России и войну в соседнем государстве

Религиозная организация шаманов “Тэнгэри” опубликовала прогноз на 2021 год.

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Police: Man Beaten Up, Robbed Getting Off The Subway In Bay Ridge

There’s been another assault and robbery in the New York City subway system, and police want your help finding the suspect. Katie Johnston reports.

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ВОЗ заявила о снижении смертности от коронавируса в мире на 20% за неделю | Все о коронавирусе | Здоровье | Аргументы и Факты


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Москва, 24 февраля – АиФ-Москва.

Число заразившихся коронавирусом снизилось в мире с 15 по 21 февраля на 11%, количество летальных исходов – на 20% по сравнению с предыдущей неделей, сообщает ТАСС со ссылкой на бюллетень ВОЗ.

Снижение заболеваемости происходит шестую неделю подряд. При этом за данный период сократилось число случаев новых заражений на 11%.

Уточняется, что 21 февраля в мире насчитывалось 110 763 898 случаев заболевания COVID-19 и 2 455 331 случай смерти пациентов из-за коронавируса и его последствий. 

Ранее в ВОЗ спрогнозировали окончание пандемии коронавируса. Представители организации уверены, что пандемия завершится в начале 2022 года, а худший сценарий уже позади. Отмечалось, что COVID-19 продолжит существование, но через год строгие ограничения станут не нужны. 

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Глава Microsoft обвинил Россию в крупнейшей кибератаке | В мире | Новости


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В середине декабря стало известно о хакерской атаке на ряд государственных и частных структур США. Нападению подверглись в том числе клиенты Microsoft и сама компания. Взлом произошел через заражение программного обеспечения компании SolarWinds. Кроме того злоумышленники атаковали как минимум девять федеральных агентств в Соединенных Штатах, включая министерства обороны, торговли, энергетики, внутренней безопасности и финансов, а также более 100 частных компаний. Общее количество пользователей зараженной программы может составлять порядка 18 тысяч.

В США уверены, что атаку организовали хакеры, подконтрольные российским спецслужбам.

Дональд Трамп отказался считать Россию причастной к нападению. Но на днях советник Белого дома по национальной безопасности Джейк Салливан заявил, что США в ближайшие несколько недель ответят на хакерскую атаку на компанию SolarWinds . Ответ будет включать сочетание нескольких инструментов, как он подчеркнул, “видимых и невидимых”.

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