Gates of Vienna News Feed 8/13/2020

Former Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti warned that last week’s catastrophic explosion in Lebanon may cause a new wave of mass migration into Europe. Meanwhile, off the island of Rhodes, a Greek coast guard vessel fired warning shots at a boat full of migrants, prompting it to return to the Turkish coast.

In other news, a man who belonged to a “Pointing Guns at Penis” Facebook group shot himself in the penis.

To see the headlines and the articles, click “Continue reading” below.

Thanks to Dean, DV, JD, LP, MMc, Reader from Chicago, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. I check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

Financial Crisis
» Austrian Economy Slumps by 10.7% in Q2 as Coronavirus Bites — Wifo
» BBC: Sweden’s Economy is Doing Way Better Than the Rest of the EU During the COVID-19 Pandemic
» Czech Economy’s Record Fall in Q2 Not as Deep as Expected
» Federal Spending and Deficit in Fiscal 2020 Set Record Highs With $5.6 Trillion and $2.8 Trillion Respectively
» French Economic Activity Runs 7% Below Normal Level in July — Bank of France
» Indian Economy Showing Signs of Early Recovery After Strict COVID-19 Lockdown
» Italy’s GDP Slumps Unprecedented 12.4% in Second Quarter, But Better Than Analysts Had Feared
» Japan’s Economy Set to Crater by a Record in Awful Quarter
» Scary Similarities Between FDR’s New Deal and the Coronavirus
» Warsaw is Recovering Faster Than Frankfurt and Milan
 
USA
» 144-Year-Old Statue of Christopher Columbus in Philadelphia to be Removed
» ABC’s Stephanopoulos: Harris is From “Middle of the Road, Moderate Wing” Of Dem Party
» Austin City Council Just Voted to Cut $150 Million From Its Police Department
» Biden Calls for Mandate Requiring All Americans to Wear Masks When Outdoors “For Next 3 Months at Minimum”
» Biden Comes to Harris’s Defense After Trump Calls Her “Nasty”
» Biden Raises $26 Million in 1 Day After Harris VP Pick
» Chicago Rioters Attacked Charity Building With Sick Children Inside
» Dem David Axelrod Says Harris Was Not Biden’s First Choice for VP
» Epic Games Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against Apple and Google, Calls for App Store Payment Choice
» Flashback: Kamala Harris Laughs About Murdering Trump
» Florida Sheriff Bans Deputies From Wearing Masks
» Florida Real Estate Company Fires Employee and Ex-Commissioner Over Facebook Memes
» Leading “Never Trumper” Bill Kristol Calls for Cancellation of Presidential Debates
» Leftist: 5-Year-Old Boy Deserved to be Shot in the Head for His “White Privilege”
» Man in ‘Pointing Guns at Penis’ Facebook Group Shoots Self in Penis
» Mayor of Lansing Andy Schor Faces Calls to Resign After Using the Term “They”
» MI Nursing Home Employee Arrested for Beating Alzheimer’s Patient, Stealing Wedding Ring Off Her Finger
» New Jersey Supreme Court Rules Police Can Compel Suspects to Give Up Phone Passcodes
» New Study Shows Increase in Domestic Violence Injuries During COVID-19
» Oregon State Police Leaving Portland Over Lack of Prosecutions
» Origin of COVID-19?
» Pastor John MacArthur and Grace Community Church Sue State of California, Gov. Newsom, Mayor Garcetti Over Church Closure
» Pence: “I Can’t Wait” To Debate Harris
» Report: Wisconsin Democrats Are Forcing People to Wear Masks at Home
» Report: Minneapolis Forcing Riot-Wrecked Businesses to Pay Property Taxes Before Getting Permits to Rebuild
» Rumors of Apple’s Virtual Fitness Classes Competing With 3rd Parties Raises Scrutiny of the 30% App Store Tax
» Seattle BLM Protesters to Strangers: ‘Give Up Your House. Give Black People Back Their Homes.’
» Since When Did Bill and Melinda Gates Become Licensed Doctors?
» Texas Bar President Forced to Apologize for 2015 Black Lives Matter Facebook Post
» The Truth About the Draconian Shutdown of Parks
» Tucker Carlson Demolishes Failing NBA’s Ratings, Averages Four Times as Many Viewers
» Twitter Planning Crackdown on “General Mischaracterizations” About Mail-in Voting
» University Drops Conduct Code Charges Against Student Who Used Trump Background
» US Designates Chinese-Funded Confucius Institutes as ‘Foreign Missions’
» Winston-Salem Police: 9-Year-Old Boy in Critical Condition After Shooting
 
Europe and the EU
» Farage Investigates ‘Lawless Britain’: Media ‘Too Scared’ To Report on London Thugs Rioting in Small Seaside Town
» French Cop to No-Go Zone Residents: Just Move, Or Go Vigilante
» George Soros: Hungary and Poland Have Been Occupied by the Enemies of Europe
» Hungarian Expats Are Returning Home During Coronavirus Crisis for Safety Reasons Says PM Orban’s Special Commissioner
» Hungary Buys $1 Billion Air Defense System From the US
» Ireland: Arson Attack Near Dublin Linked to Dispute Between Rival African Gangs
» PM Babis: Visegrad Countries Could Take the Initiative in Negotiating a Trade Agreement With the US
» UK Cathedral Choir Axed for Being ‘Too White, ‘ ‘Not Diverse Enough’
» UK: 449 Babies Sexually Abused in Past Year, Child Sex Crimes Up 57 Per Cent in Five Years
» UK: Company Demands Social Distancing for Cars in Parking Lot
» UK: Marks and Spencer Apologises After Shopper Complains Bra Name Colour Has Racist Connotations
» UK’s First ‘Socially Distanced’ Music Gig Shows People Separated by Metal Pens
 
Middle East
» FBI to Join Beirut Explosion Investigation
» Israel, UAE to Normalize Relations in Shift in Mideast Politics; West Bank Annexations on Hold
» Lebanon Assembly Ratifies State of Emergency After Deadly Blast
» Turkish Spy Planes Violate Greek Airspace Dozens of Times
 
Russia
» Poland, Latvia, Estonia, And Finland All Agree That Russia is Still a Threat
 
Caucasus
» Georgia Issues New Stamp of Former Polish President Lech Kaczyski for Standing Up to Russian Aggression
 
South Asia
» Christian in Pakistan Faces Possible Death Sentence for Facebook Post
 
Far East
» Duterte Walks Back Offer to Putin to Test Russia’s COVID-19 Vaccine
» USDA Finds Noxious Weeds, Bug Larva in Unsolicited Seeds From China
 
Immigration
» British Officials Plan to Block Migrants After 10th Day of Arrivals
» Former Italian Border Boss Warns Lebanon Chaos Could Trigger New Migrant Crisis
» Greece: Coastguard Deters Migrant Boat by Firing Warning Shots
» Libyan Migrant Faces 3 Years in Prison for Stabbing Belgian Priest Who Offered Him Coffee and a Shower
» Migrant Who Raped Child Over 100 Times Avoids Deportation From Sweden
» Poll: Britons Reject Idea UK Has Responsibility for Illegal Boat Migrants
» Slovak Police Detain Dozens of Illegal Migrants Across the Country
» Swedish Government Won’t Admit Link Between Migration and Escalating Violence
 
Culture Wars
» Hallmark Channel to Air Its First Gay Wedding Scene, Include LGBT Themes in Christmas Specials
» Poland: LGBT Activist Attacks Pro-Life Organization’s Van in Warsaw
» Twitter Surveys Users on Their Ethnicity When They Warn Them for Wrongthink
 

Austrian Economy Slumps by 10.7% in Q2 as Coronavirus Bites — Wifo

July 30 (Reuters) — The Austrian economy shrank by 10.7% in the second quarter, marking its biggest contraction since World War Two, as the coronavirus pandemic hit both domestic and foreign demand, think tank Wifo said on Thursday.

Wifo, which compiles data for the government, said the most heavily affected sectors included retail, hotels, restaurants, sports and entertainment.

When compared to the prior-year period, second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) declined by 12.8% in real terms. (Reporting by Thomas Seythal in Berlin; editing by Michelle Martin)

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

BBC: Sweden’s Economy is Doing Way Better Than the Rest of the EU During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In July, The New York Times claimed that Sweden had made a grave mistake by not imposing a government lockdown as other nations did.

“[Sweden’s] decision to carry on in the face of the pandemic has yielded a surge of deaths without sparing its economy from damage — a red flag as the United States and Britain move to lift lockdowns,” the Grey Lady reported.

Similar claims were made by numerous other media outlets, including Politico and Financial Times, which stated Sweden was “unlikely to feel economic benefit” of its no-lockdown approach.

The drumbeat from the press presented a clear message: Sweden would suffer the same economic turmoil as everyone else despite its dangerous laissez-faire approach to COVID-19.

Preliminary data for the EU’s second quarter are telling a different story, the BBC recently observed.

While Europe plunged into a deep recession, Sweden did not.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Czech Economy’s Record Fall in Q2 Not as Deep as Expected

PRAGUE, July 31 (Reuters) — The Czech economy shrank at a record pace in the second quarter after coronavirus lockdown measures shut factories and businesses for an extended period, but the contraction was not as bad as widely feared. The economy contracted in the quarter by 8.4% versus the previous three months, according to a flash estimate by the Czech Statistics Office.

On a year-on-year basis, the economy declined by 10.7% in real terms. This was also the biggest drop on record.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Federal Spending and Deficit in Fiscal 2020 Set Record Highs With $5.6 Trillion and $2.8 Trillion Respectively

The federal government set record highs through the first ten months of fiscal 2020 (October — July) for the amount of money spent as well as the ever-increasing deficit, according to data released Thursday in the Monthly Treasury Statement.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

French Economic Activity Runs 7% Below Normal Level in July — Bank of France

PARIS (Reuters) — Economic activity in France ran at 7% below normal levels in July, a slight improvement on June, as the construction sector neared pre-coronavirus crisis levels of activity and industrial capacity usage nudged higher, the Bank of France said.

In its monthly update on business conditions, the central bank said on Monday the euro zone’s second biggest economy contracted 13.8%, in line with its forecast.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Indian Economy Showing Signs of Early Recovery After Strict COVID-19 Lockdown

Four months after a nationwide shutdown across India, some key indicators of the economy, including exports, foreign investments and employment numbers, suggest that economic activity in the country is gradually improving.

Data shows that exports of certain commodities have risen — spice exports, for example, surged 34 percent in rupee terms in June.

The country’s ravaged automobile sector has also improved, with total exports across categories having increased by almost three percent to more than 4.76 million vehicles in the fiscal year ended March 31.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Italy’s GDP Slumps Unprecedented 12.4% in Second Quarter, But Better Than Analysts Had Feared

ROME, (Reuters) — Italy’s economy shrank 12.4% in the second quarter from the previous three months, preliminary data showed on Friday, as activity nosedived during the coronavirus pandemic, but the fall was less severe than many analysts had predicted.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Japan’s Economy Set to Crater by a Record in Awful Quarter

Japan’s pandemic-hit economy shrank last quarter by the most in records going back to 1955, official data is set to show Monday, with a resurgence of the virus threatening to slow a fragile recovery now under way.

Analysts see gross domestic product contracting at an annualized pace of 27% in the three months through June. That means the world’s third-largest economy will have declined in size for three straight quarters, hit first by trade wars and a sales tax hike, then by the virus.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Scary Similarities Between FDR’s New Deal and the Coronavirus

During the Great Depression, that many believe was caused by the Federal Reserve, millions of Americans lost their jobs, their life’s savings, their homes and some their lives. Something had to be done to save the country but did that something go beyond government’s enumerated powers? The answer is a resounding yes!…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Warsaw is Recovering Faster Than Frankfurt and Milan

Warsaw is producing the best recovery in the European economic area, ahead of cities such as Frankfurt, Milan, Stockholm and Dublin, the CBRE’s “Global City Profile. Recovery and Market Outlook 2020” report states.

CBRE, the largest commercial real estate group in the world, said that in terms of transport, the capital of Poland is coping better than Frankfurt, London or Madrid.

According to a five-point assessment scale for the economy’s return to pre-pandemic levels in nine major cities, it showed that in terms of business, commerce and entertainment, Warsaw is coping well.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

144-Year-Old Statue of Christopher Columbus in Philadelphia to be Removed

The city of Philadelphia’s Art Commission has announced that it will remove its 144-year-old statue of Christopher Columbus that stands at Marconi Plaza, the site of continued unrest that has persisted since the killing of George Floyd back in May.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

ABC’s Stephanopoulos: Harris is From “Middle of the Road, Moderate Wing” Of Dem Party

ABC news anchor George Stephanopoulos described Kamala Harris as a “moderate” within the Democratic party on Wednesday.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Austin City Council Just Voted to Cut $150 Million From Its Police Department

Austin, Texas became the latest city to defund the police Thursday when the city council unanimously approved a $150 million cut to its police deparment budget — about 34% of its current total — and reinvest the funds in other services, The Texas Tribune reported.

According to the proposal, there is an immediate $21.5 million cut that will be reinvested in a wide array of programs, including mental health response, permanent supportive housing, food access, abortion access, an early childhood coordinator position and violence prevention.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Biden Calls for Mandate Requiring All Americans to Wear Masks When Outdoors “For Next 3 Months at Minimum”

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Thursday called for a mandate requiring all Americans to wear face masks while in public in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Biden Comes to Harris’s Defense After Trump Calls Her “Nasty”

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden came to the defense of his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, after President Trump referenced her “nasty” behavior towards then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Biden Raises $26 Million in 1 Day After Harris VP Pick

Joe Biden’s presidential campaign received $26 million 24 hours after picking Kamala Harris as his running mate.

ActBlue, a donation-processing platform, reported $10.8 million in donations between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Tuesday, just hours the announcement of Biden’s pick.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Chicago Rioters Attacked Charity Building With Sick Children Inside

Amidst looting of stores in downtown Chicago on Sunday night, it has now emerged that rioters also attacked a charity building with sick children inside.

The Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago’s Near North Side is home to the Ronald McDonald House, which provides care and support for sick children and their families while they are receiving treatment at nearby Lurie Children’s Hospital.

That building became the target of rioters in the early hours of Monday morning as more than 30 families sleeping inside huddled together in fear.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Dem David Axelrod Says Harris Was Not Biden’s First Choice for VP

Former senior adviser to Barack Obama Democrat David Axelrod said Joe Biden’s newly announced 2020 running mate Sen. Kamala Harris was not Biden’s top candidate for vice president.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Epic Games Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against Apple and Google, Calls for App Store Payment Choice

Epic Games has responded to Apple and Google’s ban of its Fortnite app by suing the tech giants with the lawsuits accusing both companies of using their control of mobile app stores and payment systems to stifle competition and innovation.

The series of events leading to the lawsuits began when Epic Games launched its “Epic direct payment” system on mobile along with a permanent 20% discount on mobile purchases of its in-game currency, “V-Bucks,” via this system.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Flashback: Kamala Harris Laughs About Murdering Trump

While many unsavoury claims about Kamala Harris are being dredged up in the wake of Biden tapping her for his running mate, one that cannot be denied is a video from two years ago when Harris “joked” and manically laughed on national TV about killing President Trump and VP Mike Pence.

The video comes from an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show in 2018, before Harris had announced her own doomed Presidential campaign.

The host asked “If you had to be stuck in an elevator with either President Trump, Mike Pence, or Jeff Sessions, who would it be?”

Harris replied “Does one of us have to come out alive?” and then couldn’t stop laughing.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Florida Sheriff Bans Deputies From Wearing Masks

A county sheriff in Florida has issued a requirement to his entire department that they not wear facial coverings in the majority of work settings.

While masks would still be expected for deputies visiting hospitals, nursing homes, courts, schools, jails, or a specific coronavirus “address alert from dispatch,” Sheriff Billy Woods says they are not to be worn in other circumstances.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Florida Real Estate Company Fires Employee and Ex-Commissioner Over Facebook Memes

When people used to take offense to a social media post, they would express their grievances to the individual that posted it. However, in today’s culture, when someone takes offense to something you posted, they barrage your employer with complaints in the hope you get fired.

This week, Bosshardt Realty, a real estate company in Florida has fired an employee that worked with their company for more than twenty years after outrage over her Facebook memes.

Susan Baird, who was once the Alachua County Commissioner, was fired from her position as she posted a meme about vice presidential and presidential candidates Kamala Harris and Joe Biden through a meme wherein the senator was referred to as a derogatory term.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Leading “Never Trumper” Bill Kristol Calls for Cancellation of Presidential Debates

Staunch “Never Trumper” Bill Kristol tweeted Tuesday that the 2020 presidential debates should be canceled in lieu of three vice presidential debates.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Leftist: 5-Year-Old Boy Deserved to be Shot in the Head for His “White Privilege”

Some leftists reacted to the murder of a 5-year-old boy in North Carolina by an African-American male by celebrating the brutal killing, with one asserting it was justified payback for the boy’s “white privilege.”

Yes, really.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Man in ‘Pointing Guns at Penis’ Facebook Group Shoots Self in Penis

This dude is nuts! A man in a Facebook group dedicated solely to pointing loaded guns at one’s genitalia shot himself in the penis and testicles Tuesday…

           — Hat tip: Dean [Return to headlines]
 

Mayor of Lansing Andy Schor Faces Calls to Resign After Using the Term “They”

The mayor of Lansing, Michigan, Democrat Andy Schor, is now being intensely criticised online and facing calls for his resignation for writing an email saying that he felt people challenging him for the 2021 reelection were using the George Floyd death, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, to their advantage. In a letter written addressing his would-be donors, Schor referred to an unknown group of people as “they” while complaining that “they” were backtracking the city’s progress.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

MI Nursing Home Employee Arrested for Beating Alzheimer’s Patient, Stealing Wedding Ring Off Her Finger

A male orderly at a Michigan nursing home facility has been arrested for beating and stealing from a 69-year-old Alzheimer’s patient, according to video footage confiscated by local police.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

New Jersey Supreme Court Rules Police Can Compel Suspects to Give Up Phone Passcodes

A new ruling issued by New Jersey’s top court allows authorities to verify the contents of suspects’ cell phones, even against their will.

In the legal parameters of the United States, the Fifth Amendment establishes the legal procedure to follow when accusing a person of a crime. This offers guarantees to the accused before State bodies other than a Supreme Court, such as the right to remain silent to avoid self-incrimination.

However, under New Jersey’s interpretation, the Fifth Amendment dates from 1791, so it does not consider technological belongings that could incriminate people and that this legal gap leaves judges free to interpret whether or not it is legal to review the content of a suspect’s cell phone.

In many cases that have received a court ruling on the matter, the cell phone is considered property of the accused that could incriminate them, so it cannot be violated without their permission due to the Fifth Amendment. At least, this was the consensus reached by Indiana and Pennsylvania’s Top Courts.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

New Study Shows Increase in Domestic Violence Injuries During COVID-19

OAK BROOK, Ill. — There was a higher incidence and severity of physical intimate partner violence (IPV) among patients seen at a large, academic medical center in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic compared with the prior three years, according to a new study published in Radiology.

“Our study showed a higher incidence of physical IPV, both in absolute numbers and proportion, with more severe injuries despite fewer patients reporting IPV,” said Bharti Khurana, M.D., principal investigator and director of the Trauma Imaging Research and Innovation Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. “This indicates that victims are reporting to health care facilities in the late stages of the abuse cycle. Fear of contracting infection and closure of ambulatory sites might be preventing victims of mild physical or emotional abuse from seeking help compared to the pre-pandemic era.”

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Oregon State Police Leaving Portland Over Lack of Prosecutions

(Reuters) — Oregon State Police on Thursday said they were withdrawing protection from Portland’s federal courthouse over frustration at the county district attorney’s decision not to prosecute most of the people arrested in protests there.

Oregon State Police are “continually reassessing our resources and the needs of our partner agencies and at this time we are inclined to move those resources back to counties where prosecution of criminal conduct is still a priority,” OSP spokesman Timothy Fox said in a statement.

The police force is angry at Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt’s decision not to prosecute many people detained during weeks of protests at the courthouse, Fox said.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Origin of COVID-19?

I had been researching the origin of Covid-19 for some time, and had forwarded the information I found to a number of people including THE WASHINGTON POST’s intelligence specialist covering the story. He emailed me delay after delay, so I thought I may as well write about what I had found….

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Pastor John MacArthur and Grace Community Church Sue State of California, Gov. Newsom, Mayor Garcetti Over Church Closure

Influential Pastor John MacArthur and his Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, are suing the state of California, Governor Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and several other public health officials.

The lawsuit, filed by Thomas More Society Special Counsel Jenna Ellis and Charles LiMandri, seeks to stop the state from enforcing its order forbidding the megachurch from meeting for indoor worship services, arguing that the regulations violate the California Constitution.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Pence: “I Can’t Wait” To Debate Harris

Vice President Mike Pence said on Wednesday he “can’t wait” to debate Joe Biden’s vice-presidential pick, Sen. Kamala Harris.

“I think she is a skilled debater, but I can’t wait to get to Salt Lake City and be on the stage with her to compare Joe Biden’s nearly 50 years in public life, the agenda of the radical left, the agenda that she has embraced throughout her political career, with the results of this president and this administration, Pence said on Fox News during an interview with Sean Hannity.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Report: Wisconsin Democrats Are Forcing People to Wear Masks at Home

The Democratic Wisconsin state government is forcing employees to wear masks at home, even if they’re alone, according to a Kansas City Star report.

“Some Wisconsin state officials aren’t fooling around when it comes to the spread of COVID-19,” the report notes, adding that “in an email to employees sent out on July 31, the head of Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources not only reminded employees of Gov. Tony Evers’ mask order going into effect on Aug. 1, he also said that every DNR employee must wear a mask even while on a teleconference.”

“Also, wear your mask, even if you are home, to participate in a virtual meeting that involves being seen — such as on Zoom or another video-conferencing platform — by non-DNR staff,” the email also decreed.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Report: Minneapolis Forcing Riot-Wrecked Businesses to Pay Property Taxes Before Getting Permits to Rebuild

Cash-strapped Minneapolis, Minnesota, is reportedly demanding that riot-wrecked businesses, including those that were burned to the ground in the protests following George Floyd’s death while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department, pay their property taxes before being allowed to rebuild.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that Minneapolis city government is not issuing permits to remove ashes and debris leftover from arson attacks until business owners pay their 2020 taxes in full.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Rumors of Apple’s Virtual Fitness Classes Competing With 3rd Parties Raises Scrutiny of the 30% App Store Tax

Apple is reportedly developing a new subscription for virtual fitness classes that can be accessed via iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.

According to Bloomberg, the fitness subscription is codenamed “Seymour,” Apple will be offering it as part of a higher-end bundle with the rest of its existing services, and the discounts on these bundles could be more than $5 per month.

A few weeks before this report about Apple’s fitness subscription, lawmakers started looking more closely at Apple’s practice of extracting a 30% fee from apps after it suddenly started demanding a commission from fitness class app ClassPass.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Seattle BLM Protesters to Strangers: ‘Give Up Your House. Give Black People Back Their Homes.’

Last night a group of anti-gentrification protesters in Seattle marched through a section of town for a couple hours to complain that white people were living on stolen land. Well, not stolen exactly. They aren’t claiming the black people who used to live in this neighborhood were pushed out at gunpoint. But they are claiming that an injustice has taken place because white people are now living in new homes in this formerly black neighborhood.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Since When Did Bill and Melinda Gates Become Licensed Doctors?

First off, I would like to remind people that Bill Gates is the one calling for depopulation of the global population. He said, “The world has 6.8 billion people… that’s headed up to about 9 billion. Now if we do a really great job on vaccines, healthcare, reproductive health services, we could lower that by perhaps 10 to 15 percent.”…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Texas Bar President Forced to Apologize for 2015 Black Lives Matter Facebook Post

The State Bar of Texas president Larry McDougal in 2015 described the Black Lives Matter movement as “a terrorist group.”

At the time, McDougal felt free to post his thoughts on Facebook: “Groups like Black Lives Matter has publicly called for the death of not just police officers but also White Americans. This is a terrorist group,” he wrote in September 2015, referring to the “news media” waging their war against law enforcement over the controversial topics of the day.

As an afterthought, McDougal is also now shamed for his posts about a suspended lawyer that happened to be a woman, described as “demeaning to women” (he said the person in question looked “hot” — though also a “meth head.”)

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

The Truth About the Draconian Shutdown of Parks

Alex Jones trended number 1 on Twitter because people claimed he was yelling at bored teenagers.

The real story is the insane policy of requiring a “reservation” (government permission) to walk around a 98,000 acre de facto national park.

This is what really happened.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Tucker Carlson Demolishes Failing NBA’s Ratings, Averages Four Times as Many Viewers

Fox News host Tucker Carlson continues to smash records and dwarf the competition in the ratings, pulling in four times as many ratings as the top sports broadcasts in the country.

After months of delay and inactivity, professional sports have returned to the United States, but ratings are lagging well behind. Coincidentally, NASCAR, MLB, and the NBA have all launched aggressive pro-Black Lives Matter campaigns, with players and coaches lecturing fans on the importance of promoting critical race theory.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Twitter Planning Crackdown on “General Mischaracterizations” About Mail-in Voting

Twitter is going to be broadening its mail-in voting “misinformation” policies over the next month to ban a wider array of posts such as posts containing “more general mischaracterizations” about the process.

The company told Politico that the details of the policy are still being ironed out and it didn’t provide any specific examples of what would constitute a violation under these expanded policies.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

University Drops Conduct Code Charges Against Student Who Used Trump Background

Stockton University doctoral student Robert Dailyda faced student conduct code charges after using a photo of President Donald Trump as his virtual background on Zoom during an online class. Now, after mounting public and legal pressure, the school has dropped all but one charge.

As Campus Reform previously reported, the Stockton administration charged Dailyda with violating the “disruptive behavior, discrimination, harassment, hostile environment, causing harm and cyberbullying” provisions of the university’s student code of conduct. The university cited a Facebook post from Dailyda in which he vowed to “fight to the death for our country and against those that want to take it down.”

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

US Designates Chinese-Funded Confucius Institutes as ‘Foreign Missions’

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has declared Confucius Institutes a “foreign mission” of the People’s Republic of China.

In a statement Thursday, Pompeo echoed similar past statements made by multiple U.S. intelligence officials, including FBI Director Christopher Wray, which called attention to China’s use of Confucius Institutes as “propaganda” centers.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Winston-Salem Police: 9-Year-Old Boy in Critical Condition After Shooting

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A 9-year-old North Carolina boy is in critical but stable condition after he was shot in the neck, police said Thursday.

Winston-Salem police Lt. Gregory Dorn said the boy was shot Wednesday while he was in a vehicle trying to leave a location, the Winston-Salem Journal reported. Dorn said the shooting followed an argument between two adults.

Police said after the car’s driver realized the boy was shot, they were involved in an accident while leaving the site of the argument. Dorn said investigators haven’t determined what started the argument.

Dorn said police have a suspect and an investigation is continuing…

           — Hat tip: DV [Return to headlines]
 

Farage Investigates ‘Lawless Britain’: Media ‘Too Scared’ To Report on London Thugs Rioting in Small Seaside Town

Nigel Farage has slammed the mainstream media for failing to report on some 5,000 south Londoners who descended on a small coastal town and rioted, took drugs, and injured police officers, over fears of inflaming cultural sensitivities.

On Sunday, local media reported police responded to calls of a “beach cookout” at Greatstone near New Romney, Kent. Numbers swelled as the day progressed, with no social distancing being observed and few masks in sight, if any.

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French Cop to No-Go Zone Residents: Just Move, Or Go Vigilante

A police officer has told residents in the no-go zone of Montpellier that if they are sick of violence and verbal abuse from local youths, they should either move or adopt the vigilante methods used in Corsica and handle their own problems.

Last Friday, residents of the Hauts de Massane district made repeated phone calls to police over incidents of youths breaking into houses and garages, stealing, throwing rocks at vehicles, and screaming profanities at inhabitants.

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George Soros: Hungary and Poland Have Been Occupied by the Enemies of Europe

Internal enemies opposed to the founding values of the European Union have effectively taken over the state in the two countries of Hungary and Poland, billionaire speculator George Soros told opposition daily Népszava in an interview.

During the interview, Soros referred to Hungary and Poland as “internal enemies”.

“The European Union is in a much more vulnerable position because it is not a ready-made formation. Furthermore, he has many enemies all from within,” said Soros.

When asked by the Népszava interviewer who the internal enemies are, Soros responded, “Many political leaders and movements oppose the values upon which the European Union was founded. In two countries, these forces have in effect occupied the state: Viktor Orban in Hungary and Jaroslaw Kaczynski in Poland.”

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Hungarian Expats Are Returning Home During Coronavirus Crisis for Safety Reasons Says PM Orban’s Special Commissioner

An increasing number of Hungarian expats are returning from abroad, swayed by the security of the country achieved by the government’s timely and adequate measures since the onset of the coronavirus crisis, the Prime Minister’s special commissioner Katalin Szili said in an interview with conservative daily Magyar Hirlap.

“It is quite interesting to see that more and more Hungarians are returning to the country for safety reasons,” Szili said. “One year ago, who would have thought that the world would be faced with such a problem?” Szili asked, referring to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Hungary Buys $1 Billion Air Defense System From the US

By the end of September, Hungary will purchase advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAM) produced by U.S. company Raytheon Technologies at a cost of $1 billion (€845 million), the two countries announced on Wednesday.

The move is seen as a significant step by Hungary to bolster its air defense capacities and the overall effectiveness of its armed forces.

The declaration of intent was signed on Wednesday at the Hungarian Defense Ministry by U.S. Ambassador to Hungary David Cornstein and Hungarian Defense Minister Tibor Benko.

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Ireland: Arson Attack Near Dublin Linked to Dispute Between Rival African Gangs

On Sunday, Dublin Fire Services were called to a fire caused by an apparent arson attack at a house linked to a dispute between rival African gangs operating in Ireland’s capital city.

The fire broke out in Chapel Grove, Balbriggan, in Fingal County. As media reported, the arson attack happened following a series of altercations between African youth groups.

Although authorities have yet to examine the cause of the blaze, according to residents, the fire was started by an incendiary device thrown into the garden shed, according to The Burkean.

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PM Babis: Visegrad Countries Could Take the Initiative in Negotiating a Trade Agreement With the US

During his meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis advocated for the Visegrad countries of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland to take over the initiative to negotiate a trade deal between the European Union and the United States.

The business cooperation was one of the main topics of discussion between Babis and Pompeo. According to economic indicators, trade between the US and Europe has improved.

As Babis noted, turnover increased by 6 percent and added value also increased, but unfortunately, the trade deal has not been completed just yet. That is why he would like the Visegrad countries to step in and take the initiative.

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UK Cathedral Choir Axed for Being ‘Too White, ‘ ‘Not Diverse Enough’

A United Kingdom Cathedral choir program was eliminated as punishment for being “too white” and failing to meet lofty diversity expectations of a city whose demographic make up did not match the choir.

Sheffield’s 30-strong choir was disbanded amid the coronavirus pandemic for an increasingly popular reason: it was deemed to lack the diversity to mirror the city’s “mixed urban community” and that a “serious change” was needed in a “renewed ambition for engagement and inclusion.”

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UK: 449 Babies Sexually Abused in Past Year, Child Sex Crimes Up 57 Per Cent in Five Years

Sexual crimes against children in the United Kingdom are up 57 per cent over five years ago, with a shocking 449 babies sexually abused, according to figures revealed by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).

British police forces recorded 73,518 sexual offences against children in 2019/20, including rape, online grooming, and sexual assault, meaning that there was an average of 200 crimes against children per day.

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UK: Company Demands Social Distancing for Cars in Parking Lot

A company in the UK has told staff that only 40% of them will be able to return to work in January due to a rule that dictates cars must be “socially distanced” in the parking lot.

Yes, really.

The story was shared by a reader of the website LockdownSkeptics.org.

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UK: Marks and Spencer Apologises After Shopper Complains Bra Name Colour Has Racist Connotations

Kusi Kimani, 29, from East Sussex, said the bra for her skin tone is ‘tobacco’ which carries negative undertones

Marks and Spencer is reviewing the shade names of its bras after a shopper accused them of “covert racisim.”

Kusi Kimani, 29, from East Sussex, was shocked when she discovered a brown bra on the retailer’s website was called “tobacco”.

The lighter colours of the £12 Marks & Spencer Collection padded bras are described as “cinnamon” and “fudge”, the Mirror reports.

Ms Kimani complained about the bra for her skin tone carrying negative connotations, while more positive words were used for lighter colours.

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UK’s First ‘Socially Distanced’ Music Gig Shows People Separated by Metal Pens

Attendees at the UK’s first ‘socially distanced’ music gig were held inside equally spaced out metal pens at Newcastle’s pop-up Virgin Money Unity Arena.

Concert-goers were allowed up to five people in their pen, each of which was spaced two meters distant from the other for the performance by rock singer-songwriter Sam Fender.

A total of 500 pens were placed throughout Gosforth Park, each with a table, chairs, and a fridge.

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FBI to Join Beirut Explosion Investigation

The FBI will help Lebanon investigate last week’s explosion that ripped through Beirut.

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Israel, UAE to Normalize Relations in Shift in Mideast Politics; West Bank Annexations on Hold

DUBAI/JERUSALEM/WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced on Thursday that they will normalise diplomatic ties and forge a broad new relationship, a move that reshapes the order of Middle East politics from the Palestinian issue to the fight against Iran.

Under the accord, which U.S. President Donald Trump helped broker, Israel agreed to suspend its planned annexation of areas of the occupied West Bank. It also firms up opposition to regional power Iran, which the UAE, Israel and the United States view as the main threat in the conflict-riven Middle East.

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Lebanon Assembly Ratifies State of Emergency After Deadly Blast

Lebanon’s parliament on Thursday approved a two-week state of emergency in Beirut, declared after last week’s gigantic portside explosion, giving the army greater powers to suppress resurgent protests.

Top diplomats jetted in to show solidarity and contribute to the massive ongoing aid effort, but also to weigh in on political developments following a blast widely blamed on state corruption.

A senior US envoy said the FBI would join the probe into the colossal blast that killed 171 people, injured thousands and reignited street protests demanding the ouster of the entire political elite.

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Turkish Spy Planes Violate Greek Airspace Dozens of Times

Tensions between Turkey and Greece remain at a high, with the Turkish regime allegedly repeatedly violating Greek airspace this week with CN-235 spy planes.

Greece accused Turkey of 45 violations of Greek airspace on Tuesday, 35 of which were said to have been conducted by C-235 spy planes flying into the north-east, central, and southern Aegean sea. Turkish fighter jets also encroached on Greek airspace.

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Poland, Latvia, Estonia, And Finland All Agree That Russia is Still a Threat

Poland’s policy of regional cooperation initiatives such as the Three Seas initiative, the Visegrad Group, Baltic cooperation and the recent activation of the Lublin Triangle between Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine is bearing fruit.

Another good example was in evidence in Latvia where the centenary anniversary of Latvia’s peace accord with Russia was commemorated in the presence of foreign ministers from Latvia, Estonia, Finland, and Poland.

The hosts displayed the original document signed in Riga. But what was striking, as always in the Baltic States, was the language of responsibility for nation and state — no post-modernism here.

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Georgia Issues New Stamp of Former Polish President Lech Kaczyski for Standing Up to Russian Aggression

Speaking on public radio, the former speaker of the Senate, Stanislaw Karczewski, paid homage to Lech Kaczynski, who on Aug. 12, 2008, together with the presidents of Ukraine and the Baltic States, spoke in support of Georgia at a mass rally in Tbilisi as Russian tanks were still invading the country.

President Kaczynski said that the five presidents came to Tbilisi “to fight”.

“We are here so that the world will react with greater strength, especially the EU and NATO,” he said at the time.

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Christian in Pakistan Faces Possible Death Sentence for Facebook Post

A Christian man in Pakistan has been charged with blasphemy for making a theological post on Facebook that Muslims said was insulting toward the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The man is now facing a potential death sentence for the post.

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Duterte Walks Back Offer to Putin to Test Russia’s COVID-19 Vaccine

After volunteering to be a guinea pig for Russia’s coronavirus vaccine, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte will not get the inoculation—touted by Vladimir Putin as offering “sustainable immunity” against COVID-19—until its safety is guaranteed.

Putin announced that Russia was registering the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine following its development at the Gamaleya Institute outside of Moscow.

In a display of solidarity with another strongman leader, Duterte—who once described Putin as his “hero”—said he would be prepared to take part in trials, and that “I will inject it publicly. Experiment with me, that’s fine.”

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USDA Finds Noxious Weeds, Bug Larva in Unsolicited Seeds From China

ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 13 (UPI) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has discovered noxious weeds and a bug larva in mystery seeds that were sent unsolicited from China to thousands of residents across the United States.

The weeds and the bug already are found in this country, although they are considered undesirable.

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British Officials Plan to Block Migrants After 10th Day of Arrivals

Aug. 13 (UPI) — Migrants arrived on the British coast on Thursday after crossing the English Channel for an unprecedented 10th straight day, officials said.

The refugees were met by a Border Force patrol boat and taken to shore. The arrivals came after dozens were detained in Kent on Wednesday. Officials said a record number of migrants, 235, had arrived on one day last week.

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Former Italian Border Boss Warns Lebanon Chaos Could Trigger New Migrant Crisis

Former Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti has warned that potential government collapse in Lebanon following the Beirut blast could trigger a domino effect and sweep chaos across the Mediterranean.

Minniti stated that the current crisis in Lebanon, in which the government resignedfollowing the Beirut explosion that killed at least 163 and made 300,000 people homeless, could lead to the collapse of the country and trigger health, economic, and humanitarian emergencies.

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Greece: Coastguard Deters Migrant Boat by Firing Warning Shots

The Greek coastguard fired warning shots near a boat full of migrants near Rhodes this week, deterring the migrants from reaching the island.

The coastguard on patrol in the area is said to have “fired warning shots at a safe section of the boat” which contained an unknown number of migrants. The warning shots quickly deterred the migrants who slowed their speed and then returned to the Turkish coast.

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Libyan Migrant Faces 3 Years in Prison for Stabbing Belgian Priest Who Offered Him Coffee and a Shower

An unnamed North African asylum seeker who stabbed 70-year-old priest Jos Vanderlee with a knife now risks three years in prison.

The attack occurred in the Saint Servaas Church in Lanaken, Belgium, and dates back to July 31, 2016, however, it was only last week that the asylum seeker began appearing in criminal court for the crime, reports Dutch news portal Het Laatste Nieuws.

The defendant, who only had his initials of A.D. released to the public, is well-known to the police for previous criminal acts. He is believed to be from Libya.

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Migrant Who Raped Child Over 100 Times Avoids Deportation From Sweden

A Swedish court of appeal has overruled the deportation order of a migrant convicted for raping a child more than 100 times.

The migrant man was initially convicted of rape and sexual abuse against children and sentenced to 12 years, with the child he abused being just ten years old when the three-year-long abuse began.

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Poll: Britons Reject Idea UK Has Responsibility for Illegal Boat Migrants

The British public believes that the United Kingdom is not responsible for illegal boat migrants crossing the English Channel from France, a poll has found.

According to YouGov, only one-third of Britons (35 per cent) believe that their country has a responsibility to accept illegal immigrants, compared to 50 per cent who think that the country should not be responsible for them.

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Slovak Police Detain Dozens of Illegal Migrants Across the Country

In the latest sign that the coronavirus pandemic has not discouraged migrants from trying to enter the European Union. Slovak police announced on Wednesday that they had detained dozens of migrants in various parts of the country in recent days.

Later that day, officers arrested another 30 migrants from Syria in the vicinity of the town of Malacky in the west of the country, according to Czech news portal Novinky.cz.

A few days ago, a police patrol in the Rusovce district of Bratislava also stopped a car with a German registration number that was transporting four Afghans aged 17 to 30.

“The foreigners did not have documents and planned to get to Germany,” the Slovak police said.

The group of Afghans reached Slovakia via Serbia and Hungary.

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Swedish Government Won’t Admit Link Between Migration and Escalating Violence

The shooting death of a 12-year-old girl — an innocent bystander caught in a gang war — has again highlighted the Swedish government’s reluctance to admit the connection between immigration and violence and their inability to mount an effective law enforcement response, according to Hungarian daily Magyar Hirlap.

The shooting, which resulted from a street clash between two armed foreign criminals wearing bulletproof vests, happened in the Norsborg suburb of Stockholm. It was the latest in a series of violent crimes, including shootings and bombings, most of them attributed to rival drug gangs, hailing from Syria, Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia, and Gambia.

Sweden is becoming an increasingly violent place and it is clear that the government is unable to maintain order, Gustav Kasselstrand, president of the right-wing Alternative for Sweden (AfS) party told Magyar Hirlap. He added that the Norsborg shooting was not the first case when innocent bystanders fell victims to uncontrolled gang violence. Prime Minister Löfven, however, remains silent on the matter.

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Hallmark Channel to Air Its First Gay Wedding Scene, Include LGBT Themes in Christmas Specials

Making good on the statement of its former CEO that Hallmark Channel was open to “any type of movie of any type of relationship in any space,” the network known for its romantic comedies and Christmas specials has announced it will be airing its first same-sex wedding scene.

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Poland: LGBT Activist Attacks Pro-Life Organization’s Van in Warsaw

LGBT activists are coming under fire for attacking a pro-life organization’s van in Warsaw, with video of the incident posted to social media.

“A hooligan who on Friday jumped on a police van has today attacked the vehicle of the Pro-Right to Life foundation” wrote Deputy Justice Minister Sebastian Kaleta on Twitter.

The police arrived at the scene of the incident quickly and recording of the attack has appeared on news portal wpolityce.pl.

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Twitter Surveys Users on Their Ethnicity When They Warn Them for Wrongthink

Combating so-called “hate speech” seems to have become a huge priority for social media platforms these days. In an Orwellian fashion, Twitter has started testing a feature that will notify users when they use any language that Twitter thinks they should think twice on.

“When things get heated, you may say things you don’t mean. To let you rethink a reply, we’re running a limited experiment on iOS with a prompt that gives you the option to revise your reply before it’s published if it uses language that could be harmful,” said Twitter Support back when they announced the new feature.

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8 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 8/13/2020

  1. Spike the waters. Sink small craft. Mohammedan racist low life scrounger- users you have been warned. Beware of spiked waters and White sharks. You are entering a war zone. Float skull and cross bones.

    • An honorable mention for sure. Of course such a bozo likely already has passed on his genes since such fools are usually indiscriminate in who they get to know in the biblical sense as well as in taking prophylactic measures to prevent reproducing.

  2. Odd about the Sheffield choir, I’ve seen a few gospel choirs in my time and they were pretty much all black. But then that monochrome is diverse, I suppose?

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