Trump ACTUALLY tried to trade Puerto Rico for Greenland, like this was some sort of giant game of Monopoly. I can’t wait until he lands on GO TO JAIL.
Trump ACTUALLY tried to trade Puerto Rico for Greenland, like this was some sort of giant game of Monopoly. I can’t wait until he lands on GO TO JAIL.
T’s push for coal and it’s continued use (campaign promise) led his adminstration to re-arrange what would be a super-grid. Another example of T playing to his patrons vs. keeping our country running efficiently.
The design that delivered the largest cost reduction linked up transmission lines to form a new transcontinental network: a “supergrid.” Seams simulated a 7,500-mile supergrid that would ship bulk power around the U.S.—a network reaching from Washington State to Florida. Even in the study’s less-ambitious scenario, the supergrid was saving consumers $3.6 billion a year by 2038.
But there was a problem: Improving the energy grid would reduce America’s reliance on coal. According to NREL’s simulations, coal-fired power plants would shut down en masse over the coming decades, and they would drop even faster with upgraded transmission. That proved to be a very inconvenient finding.
On the campaign trail, Trump’s promises to revive “clean, beautiful coal” spoke to both the blue-collar and anti-regulatory elements of his political base. After his election, he filled his administration with coal-industry veterans, withdrew from the Paris climate-change agreement, and rolled back coal regulations. Yet coal plants kept closing. In fact, coal shutdowns have accelerated during the Trump administration compared with Obama’s. Then-Secretary Perry was under pressure to stem the bleeding in America’s struggling coal industry, and his strategy was to frame coal plants as the grid’s protector against extreme weather, cyberattacks, and other emergencies. Things weren’t going well. That January, the federal commission that regulates power and gas markets unanimously shot down Perry’s proposal to subsidize coal plants, as well as nuclear generators.
Enhanced grid resilience was a likely outcome of the Seams expansions. That’s easy to see from high-profile disasters where gaps in transmission led to otherwise avoidable blackouts. During Japan’s post-tsunami grid meltdown in 2011, mighty generators around Osaka were unable to fill in for the troubled nuclear power plants northeast of Tokyo. And experts say power plants across the U.S. could be helping power California avoid heat wave-induced blackouts right now, if the U.S. power system was more interconnected. But Perry prioritized securing resilience by protecting coal and nuclear power plants, which store months of fuel on-site.
Trump officials were already seeking tighter control over all analysis from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which oversees NREL. In May 2018, EERE circulated an “enhanced” list of “Tier 1” topics requiring political sign-off before researchers could publish their findings, according to documents and emails obtained through a FOIA request and a lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity. Tier 1 topics included anything related to grid reliability or “projections of entire energy sectors,” such as fossil fuels or renewable energy. NREL emails show that Seams was under scrutiny as early as June 2018. Novacheck wrote in one email that Seams’ results were “extremely sensitive” and that the researchers were “not allowed to show any results without direct DOE approval.”
This was a great piece on how to even talk about QAnon. I’m going to try some of the framing with my cousins.
How to talk — and ask — about QAnon
If you ask two dozen people who follow the QAnon movement to describe what it’s about, you’ll probably get two dozen answers. The nature and, to many, the appeal of QAnon is that it is predicated on adherents doing their own research, using cryptic messages from someone calling themselves Q as a jumping-off point for exploring a nonexistent web of criminality and evil. QAnon, like other emergent religions, has core philosophies but is often what you make of it.
Or, at least, that’s how I’d describe it, having spoken to numerous adherents and tracked its spread. Others who do the same work describe it differently, highlighting different points or emphasizing separate issues. Given the lack of a simple way to describe what QAnon followers actually believe, I reached out to a half-dozen reporters who’ve been covering the movement to get their thoughts.
But since I was already taking their time, I figured I’d raise another question, too.
On Wednesday, President Trump was asked by a reporter for his views on QAnon and on common tenets of the conspiracy theory. In raising the subject, though, the reporter was running the risk of giving QAnon supporters exactly what they wanted: a chance to take Trump’s words and use them as a lattice from which to build out a claim that he approved of and was involved in their effort.
As it turned out, Trump made that easy, speaking approvingly of the movement’s adherents and describing core tenets with acceptance. It was, in short, almost exactly what QAnon adherents had been looking for.
It’s important to gauge the extent to which Trump understands what QAnon followers are doing, given that he’s a central part of the conspiracy and the risk the movement poses (as articulated by the FBI). So I asked the reporters to whom I reached out how Trump and other elected officials should be asked about the movement without similarly introducing the opportunity to bolster it.
Here’s what I was told. (Some answers have been edited. I’ve spliced answers together at times as well for the sake of clarity.)
How would you describe the QAnon movement?
Ben Collins , NBC News: I try to preface conversations on this by saying something like “This might sound nuts, but this is what these people actually believe.” It’s important for people not to believe this is standard political wrangling.
Will Sommer , The Daily Beast: QAnon believers think that Donald Trump is engaged in a shadow war against a cabal of satanic cannibal-pedophiles in the Democratic Party, Hollywood, and global finance. They believe this cabal is responsible for all the problems in the world, but that Trump will soon order the mass arrests and executions of political opponents like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in a massive purge called “The Storm.” QAnon believers base this idea on clues from “Q,” an anonymous figure who has been posting on online message boards since 2017 who QAnon fans think is a high-ranking Trump administration figure — or maybe Trump himself!
Obviously, QAnon is a lot bigger than that, and encompasses all sorts of factions and earlier conspiracy theories, but that’s the baseline most QAnon believers agree on.
Brandy Zadrozny , NBC News: These kinds of beliefs aren’t new; for instance, they borrow from an old anti-Semitic myth that Jews drank the blood of children and the satanic panic from the ’80s which falsely accused parents and day-care workers of widespread ritualistic child abuse. But the QAnon phenomenon is very of our time. Its exponential growth and mainstream adoption is a product of some small-time grifters who took an old anon trope and expertly fed it through a pipeline of social media (4chan -> Reddit -> YouTube -> Twitter and Facebook) for profit. Then the pandemic lit it all on fire and melded QAnon with anti-vaccination and other conspiracy theorists.
NBC’s Collins: It began as a series of ludicrously wrong predictions by a user who went by Q on 4chan in 2017, but it was elevated by 4chan’s moderators into a small economy that needed more posts to Q posts to sustain their YouTube channels and Patreons.
For example, the very first Q post claims that Hillary Clinton was about to be arrested the next day, her passport frozen, and the National Guard would be deployed to contain all of the riots. That was in October of 2017. None of that happened, and neither did all of the other bits of mythology about Satan and baby killing that came with it. But people seem to want a sense of order in a time of chaos, so they continue to believe in it and recruit others into their newfound religion — while ignoring the failed prophecies.
Abby Ohlheiser , MIT Technology Review : Those posts attributed to Q, which began in late 2017, are circulated and dissected like prophecies. Their predictions have repeatedly and unambiguously been false, but QAnon supporters seem to simply shift to a new interpretation or focus in response.
Jared Holt , Right Wing Watch : Claims advanced by QAnon believers offer an alternate reality in which all reporting on failures of Trump and his administration can be spun as positives. For example, followers claimed that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election was a front to mislead the public while Mueller and Trump worked in secret to take down a nefarious cabal. Trump is portrayed as a savior figure, and followers of the conspiracy theory have a religious-like faith in its version of the truth.
Isaac Stanley-Becker , The Post: I think the most important element is its unwavering support for Trump, and the way that fixation has subsumed all these other classic conspiracy tropes, from the sinking of the Titanic to George Soros. That’s what I would emphasize in explaining it, in addition to the participatory nature of the movement, which is powerful because it involves everyday people in the construction of their own (highly skewed) universe.
MIT Technology Review’s Ohlheiser : QAnon has essentially become a distribution mechanism for a whole bunch of linked conspiracy theories. … [D]uring the pandemic, QAnon has become the brand name for a whole bunch of circulating conspiracy fueled misinformation.
As researchers like [Stanford Internet Observatory’s Renee] DiResta have documented, there’s been cross-pollination between QAnon/Pizzagate content and anti-vaccine Facebook groups for years. The pandemic has accelerated that connection, and now QAnon accounts and networks are also key distributors of health misinformation. More recently, they’ve also kind of laundered their secret pedophile ring content through a few more mainstream-friendly arguments: for instance, they’ve helped to propel an easily debunked conspiracy about Wayfair and child trafficking onto Twitter’s trending list, where it was then picked up on Instagram and TikTok and spread even further, and hijacked the #savethechildren hashtag across social media.
Right Wing Watch’s Holt: The movement has inspired criminal action among some of its followers, including kidnapping, violence and murder. The FBI considers it a threat to national security.
How can reporters ask about QAnon without amplifying its false claims?
MIT Technology Review’s Ohlheiser: I mean, this is the central question to any misinformation reporting, to which I personally feel there is no perfect answer. It’s clear at this point that QAnon is newsworthy, and there will probably be Republican members of Congress who support the conspiracy theory after the November elections. So it makes sense that journalists want to ask the president about it, and likely should ask him about this now.
NBC’s Zadrozny: The idea that media elevates it by covering it now is ridiculous. That horse left the barn years ago. It’s a conspiracy theory that’s been embraced by future members of Congress, and framed as patriotic by the president of the United States.
Right Wing Watch’s Holt: The time for questioning the role in elevating QAnon has passed us, in my opinion. QAnon is not just another conspiracy theory or piece of disinformation littering the Internet, it is an organized political movement that carries inherent dangers. It should be scrutinized and interrogated as such. We simply cannot afford to dismiss this threat any longer, especially as it has spread at alarming rates during the coronavirus pandemic. The movement has piggybacked on rampant health disinformation online, attempting to turn Trump-supporting coronavirus skeptics into QAnon believers.
MIT Technology Review’s Ohlheiser: QAnon supporters literally have been asking journalists to “ask the question” to Trump for years, so, any version of this will embolden QAnon supporters to some degree.
Right Wing Watch’s Holt: It is true that media coverage excites QAnon believers, but at this point, the public’s need to know about its dangers outweighs the risk of emboldening its adherents.
Daily Beast’s Sommer: I think any questions to Trump about QAnon need to be couched in the real world damage QAnon does. The FBI considers it a domestic terror threat, it’s inspired two murders, [and] two child abductions. … It’s estranged believers from their families and friends.
So I think rather than ask Trump “what do you think of QAnon?” — which, based on how Trump generally talks, is just about guaranteed to have him give some sort of validation for the conspiracy theory — reporters should press him on why he’s elevating it. I’d ask something like: “The FBI considers QAnon a domestic terror threat, and its adherents have committed murders and terrorism. Why do you continue to promote them by inviting their promoters to the White House, retweeting them, and praising its believers?”
NBC’s Collins: Brandy and I always try to talk about how this plays out in the real world. There are two pivotal questions that we always ask: Who is profiting or benefiting from the rise of violence and hate? And how is this affecting people in real life? There are now countless victims of QAnon.
The Post’s Stanley-Becker: Probably the best way is to avoid getting too into the weeds on the belief system and the various claims, and instead tracing the real-world consequences, as well as the financial and political motives of those amplifying it.
MIT Technology Review’s Ohlheiser: You can frame the question in ways that highlight QAnon’s potential for harm, rather than, say, just asking the president what he thinks about a group of people who support him and show up at his rallies. You could frame questions around the anti-Semitism of QAnon, its long and extreme history of driving coordinated harassment and abuse campaigns against its targets, or the FBI’s 2019 identification of it and other extreme conspiracy theories, for their potential for violence, or the multiple existing real-life incidents that show the harm caused when QAnon believers take their views beyond Facebook.
NBC’s Zadrozny: I think the most responsible way to frame questions or stories is to report on the folks profiting of this conspiracy theory — whether they’re a billion-dollar social media company, hucksters selling books or fueling their fake news sites, or politicians relying on QAnon believers as a political base. We should also report on the victims of the conspiracy theory: people who’ve lost their lives or their loved ones to this thing should be at the forefront of coverage, not the insane sideshow of just what exactly they believe.
NBC’s Collins: It’s easy for a lot of people to view this as a harmless game. For a lot of QAnon adherents, that’s what this is: a way to solve a puzzle on the Internet. Every post of a kid or a piece of pizza on a celebrity’s Instagram, to Q followers, is a potential clue that could unravel the baby eating operation overnight. (In Q’s world, by the way, every celebrity’s mention of pizza is proof they’re in on the cabal.)
Say you lost your job during the pandemic, or lost a family member. Your world is upside down. You’re vulnerable. You have a ton of time on your hands. TV is full-up with reruns. Maybe you’re going down YouTube rabbit hole for the first time. Searching the Internet all day looking for pieces of pizza everywhere you look doesn’t just provide you something to do — it allows you to feel like you’re saving the world. Ex-QAnon believers tell us just that.
Remember that a lot of these people are victims of an information war. The people selling QAnon merch and asking for donations to keep their YouTube channels afloat? They’re not. That money trail needs to be better exposed, so we try to tell those stories, too.
And, at the end of the day, social media platforms incentivize extreme behavior. They have taken steps in recent days to shut off the floodgates that drove people from wellness communities to QAnon communities in just a couple of clicks. But this will not end with QAnon. Engagement-obsessed algorithms will inherently promote radicalization without radicalization. This is a systemic problem, an issue with the pipes.
QAnon evolved from Pizzagate. Its followers learned its mistakes. We’re mostly focused on telling the stories of how the bad guys are so good at manipulating our social media platforms, why they’re doing it, and the havoc it can wreak on whoever they decide to target.
Right Wing Watch’s Holt: QAnon is not going away any time soon, and things are going to get worse before they get better. Dozens of congressional candidates have engaged with the conspiracy theory, and Georgia voters will likely elect a QAnon believer to represent them in Congress this year.
It is more urgent than ever to get Republicans on the record about this movement growing in their base, and imperative that reporters educate themselves thoroughly on the movement so they can better question the president and explain to their audiences the extent of the extremism at play.
Donald Trump to host funeral for brother Robert Trump at White House
Robert Trump died last week at 71 years old.
A rescue plane from Germany sent to get Putin’s rival Navalny is being denied, and the head Russian doctor is claiming that he is suffering from a “metabolic disease” and not poison.
Navalny diagnosed with metabolic disease: Siberian hospital
Traces of industrial chemicals were found on the Russian politician’s clothes and fingers, the head doctor says.
Navalny Poison ‘Is Dangerous to Those Treating Him’
Aleksey Navalny’s team say doctors treating the opposition leader are wearing protective clothing because the toxin poisoning him is so dangerous.
As Alexei Navalny Remains in a Coma, Doctors Refuse to Transfer Him to Germany
Despite suspicions that the Russian dissident was poisoned, doctors say lab tests hadn’t turned up traces of poisons or toxins
Personal side note: Tomorrow I see a dentist to pull a tooth. Today I am in about seven shades of pain, so if I slip up, you know why.
‘Like Armageddon’: Rotting food, dead animals and chaos at postal facilities amid cutbacks
Six weeks ago, U.S. Postal Service workers in the high desert town of Tehachapi, Calif., began to notice crates of mail sitting in the post office in the early morning that should have been shipped out for delivery the night before.
At a mail processing facility in Santa Clarita in July, workers discovered that their automated sorting machines had been disabled and padlocked.
And inside a massive mail-sorting facility in South Los Angeles, workers fell so far behind processing packages that by early August, gnats and rodents were swarming around containers of rotted fruit and meat, and baby chicks were dead inside their boxes.
Accounts of conditions from employees at California mail facilities provide a glimpse of what some say are the consequences of widespread cutbacks in staffing and equipment recently imposed by the postal service.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, responding to a national outcry over service disruptions and fears of voter disenfranchisement, said this week he would suspend many planned changes until after the election. But postal workers say significant damage has already been done, including the removal of mail-sorting machines, which may not be replaced.
While the long-term effect of the cuts on U.S. mail service is unclear, the evidence of serious disruptions appears to be mounting, according to postal employees interviewed by The Times as well as customers, lawmakers and union leaders.
Until this week, the postal service was implementing a sweeping plan to remove 671 mail-sorting machines, or about 10% of its total, from facilities across the U.S. — including 76 in California. Officials also slashed overtime pay and imposed a new policy that could delay outgoing mail.
The cuts have had a ripple effect in California, snarling the operation of one of the biggest mail-processing facilities in the country and delaying the delivery of prescriptions, rent payments and unemployment checks. Some people have complained of going days without receiving any mail at all.
At least five high-speed mail-sorting machines have been removed from a processing plant in Sacramento, said Omar Gonzalez, the Western regional coordinator for the American Postal Workers Union. Additionally, two of the machines have been removed in Santa Ana and six in San Diego, Gonzalez said.
Processing plants serve more than 1,000 California post offices, some of which deliver to far-flung, rural addresses that could be faced with high delivery costs if serviced by private mail carriers.
Inside one sprawling facility at Florence and Central avenues in Los Angeles, which serves 92 L.A.-area post offices, seven delivery bar code sorters were removed in June, leaving three, Gonzalez said.
Each of those machines, which would handle mail-in ballots, can process up to 35,000 pieces of mail per hour.
“A lot of the machinery has already been gutted. Some of it has been dismantled and relocated or trashed,” Gonzalez said. “Although we welcome the news of the suspension of these changes, it’s just that — a suspension. The attacks and undermining of our operations will resume, maybe at the worst possible time, in December, our peak season.”
Before the recent cuts, workers at the facility were working six days per week, and were still struggling to keep up with the volume of packages driven by an influx of online shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic, said mail handler Aukushan Scantlebury, 47.
When DeJoy restricted overtime two months ago, Scantlebury and other workers saw their schedules cut back to five days per week. Within days, he said, the facility was in chaos.
Packages piled up, blocking the aisles and the heavy sorting machinery. Boxes of steaks, fruit and other perishables rotted. Rats dashed across the floor. At one point, Scantlebury said, the “whole building was filled with gnats.”
The delays were particularly tragic for live animals, including baby chickens and crickets, that are transported through the U.S. Postal Service. Usually, mail handlers say, they can hear the birds peeping and rustling around in their boxes.
This month, one worker said, she found a box with air holes in a pile of packages. Instead of hearing the gentle sounds of baby chicks, she heard nothing.
Workers sometimes see shipments of crickets jumping around inside their packaging, said Eddie Cowan, a mail handler and the president of a local chapter of the National Postal Mail Handlers Union. Now, he said, “you can see in the packages those crickets are dead.”
Sumi Ali, the co-owner of the Yes Plz coffee subscription company, arrived July 25 to mail a batch of freshly roasted beans to customers. A frequent visitor to the complex, he was shocked at what he saw.
The parking lot was crammed with semi trailers piled high with unsorted mail; the warehouse-like facility was packed “wall to wall” with mail; and there were very few employees in sight.
“It was like Armageddon,” Ali said. “It was a total maze. You could not walk through the facility without having to move things out of your way. I don’t know how they got forklifts through there. There were only inches of space between containers.”
Since then, Ali said, the backlog of packages seems to have improved a little. But, he said, the chaos continues to be as bad, if not worse, than the usual holiday season.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) said Wednesday that DeJoy informed her he did not intend to restore the sorting machines or blue mailboxes that have been removed in several cities, nor did he have plans to allow for adequate overtime for workers.
As for the November election — the spark that ignited a national firestorm over USPS cutbacks — postal service and California elections officials say there’s less concern here than in other states.
USPS spokesman David Partenheimer did not comment on the reductions, but referred to a statement from DeJoy that said the postal service is equipped to fully handle election mail this fall.
The postal service also said DeJoy was expanding a task force to strengthen coordination with election officials to handle mail-in ballots. The postal service had earlier warned 46 states, including California, that some ballots might not be delivered in time to be counted.
In June, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law requiring that all ballots postmarked by election day and delivered by Nov. 20 be counted — five times longer than California’s normal grace period. Still, Secretary of State Alex Padilla said the concerns raised in other states merit close scrutiny.
“Given this administration’s track record with the truth, seeing is believing,” Padilla said in a written statement. “My office will continue constant communication with the U.S. Postal Service, and will continue to monitor for any signs of disruption to service.”
At the Santa Clarita processing and distribution center, two delivery bar code sorters were padlocked and gutted of their cameras and computers in July so that workers couldn’t plug them in and start using them again.
For an unknown reason, the devices came back online Wednesday, but a third delivery bar code sorter was missing from the facility, according to a worker who did not want to be named because they were not authorized to speak on behalf of the agency.
Merchant Stephen Tu of Pasadena said in the past two months he has noticed his first-class packages have been getting stuck for as many as 10 days in the Santa Clarita facility, whereas normally they would pass through in one day. Tu, who tracks shipments of baby clothing and accessories he sells on EBay and Facebook Marketplace, said he’s never endured delays this long — up to 20 days for packages sent outside Southern California — in the 15 years he has been selling items online.
Tu said his customers sometimes ask him whether he has even shipped their goods at all. In order to guarantee on-time deliveries, he said, he’s considering switching to private services like FedEx and UPS.
About six weeks ago on a Wednesday morning, postal clerk Kenny Diaz, 35, showed up to work at the Tehachapi post office and saw something new in his nine years on the job: a plastic tub full of mail that should have gone out for delivery the night before.
Every afternoon, Diaz said, a truck driver picked up the post office’s outgoing mail and took it to a processing facility in Bakersfield. If the post office was running behind, the last driver of the day would wait to pick up every bill, package and letter, he said.
“They always waited — they always waited,” Diaz said. “Our No. 1 priority is getting the mail where it has to go. We’d rather delay the truck by two hours than delay the mail by a whole day.”
Now, Diaz said, the truck drivers have been instructed to leave on time, regardless of whether all the outgoing mail is on the truck. That means some mail is arriving a day later at the processing facility, where it could be delayed again, he said.
“Just think of our little town, times a million across the nation,” Diaz said. “You can see the domino effect that it’s going to have.”
I have a twitter friend deeply worried for how long it is taking a cockatiel meant for her child to arrive. This affects so many in so many ways.
WTF…just testing their war gear…war games.
“We are building up our forces to ensure the economic development of the region,” he said. “We are getting used to the Arctic spaces.”
The Russian military has rebuilt and expanded numerous facilities across the polar region in recent years, revamping runways and deploying additional air defense assets.
Russia has prioritized boosting its military presence in the Arctic region, which is believed to hold up to one-quarter of the Earth’s undiscovered oil and gas. Russian President Vladimir Putin has cited estimates that put the value of Arctic mineral riches at $30 trillion.
Russia’s Pacific Fleet, whose assets were taking part in the maneuvers, said the Omsk nuclear submarine and the Varyag missile cruiser launched cruise missiles at a practice target in the Bering Sea as part of the exercise.
The maneuvers also saw Onyx cruise missiles being fired at a practice target in the Gulf of Anadyr from the coast of the Chukchi Peninsula, it added.
As the exercise was ongoing, U.S. military spotted a Russian submarine surfacing near Alaska on Thursday. U.S. Northern Command spokesman Bill Lewis noted that the Russian military exercise is taking place in international waters, well outside U.S. territory.
Lewis said the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command were closely monitoring the submarine. He added that they haven’t received any requests for assistance from the Russian navy but stand ready to assist those in distress.
Russian state RIA Novosti news agency quoted Russia’s Pacific Fleet sources as saying that the surfacing of the Omsk nuclear submarine was routine.
Also late Thursday, NORAD sent F-22 fighter jets to intercept three groups of two Tu-142 Russian maritime patrol aircraft that came close to Alaska.
The Russian aircraft remained in the area for about five hours and came within 50 nautical miles of Alaska. Officials said the Russian jets remained in international air space, and at no time entered United States or Canadian sovereign air space.
“Our northern approaches have had an increase in foreign military activity as our competitors continue to expand their military presence and probe our defenses,” Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, commander of NORAD, said in a statement. “This year, we’ve conducted more than a dozen intercepts, the most in recent years. The importance of our continued efforts to project air defense operations in and through the north has never been more apparent.”
It cited former Russian navy’s chief of staff, retired Adm. Viktor Kravchenko, as saying that by having the submarine surface in the area the navy may have wanted to send a deliberate signal.
Utterly fascinating, the infamous street artist, Banksy has funded a rescue vessel in the Mediterranean.
Banksy-funded Mediterranean rescue boat calls for urgent help
Two humanitarian ships were en route to assist a rescue vessel in the Mediterranean funded by British street artist Banksy, which sent out a distress signal on Saturday with more than 200 migrants onboard.
The German-flagged MV Louise Michel said it was stranded and needed urgent help after lending assistance to a boat that was carrying at least one dead migrant.
The 31-metre (101-foot) vessel’s crew said it was overcrowded and unable to move after encountering another boat attempting to cross the expanse dividing Europe and Africa with 130 people on board.
“There is already one dead person on the boat. We need immediate assistance,” the Louise Michel crew wrote on Twitter, saying other migrants had fuel burns and had been at sea for days.
The vessel’s crew of 10 had earlier rescued another 89 people from a rubber boat in distress on Thursday, and said European rescue agencies had so far ignored its distress calls.
They said on Twitter that there were a total 219 people on board and that they had requested assistance from the Italian and Maltese authorities.
The boat – named after 19th-century French anarchist Louise Michel – was around 90 kilometres (55 miles) southeast of the Italian island of Lampedusa on Saturday, according to the global ship tracking website Marine Traffic.
Thousands of people are thought to have died making the dangerous trip across the Mediterranean to flee conflict, repression and poverty in Africa and the Middle East.
Sea-Watch 4, which has rescued 201 migrants and is itself in search of a host port, decided to help the Louise Michel “in the face of the lack of reaction” from the authorities, a spokesman for the German NGO Sea-Watch, which charters the boat with Doctors Without Borders (MSF), told AFP.
The Italian left-wing collective Mediterranea, meanwhile, announced it would send the ship Mare Ionio from the port of Augusta in Sicily to assist, citing the lack of response from Italy or Malta in the face of “imminent danger of death” incurred by migrants.
- ‘An anti-fascist fight’ -
Banksy’s decision to fund the high-speed boat follows a body of work by the artist that has levelled scathing judgements on Europe’s halting response to the migrant crisis.
Painted in hot pink and white, the Louise Michel features a Banksy artwork depicting a girl in a life vest holding a heart-shaped safety buoy.
The motor yacht, formerly owned by French customs, is smaller but considerably faster than other charity rescue vessels – enabling it to outrun Libyan coastguard boats, according to The Guardian.
Its crew is “made up of European activists with long experience in search and rescue operations” and is captained by German human rights activist Pia Klemp, who has also captained other such rescue vessels, the paper reported.
Banksy’s involvement in the rescue mission goes back to September 2019 when he sent Klemp an email asking how he could contribute.
Klemp, who initially thought it was a joke, told the paper she believed she was chosen because of her political stance, The Guardian said.
“I don’t see sea rescue as a humanitarian action, but as part of an anti-fascist fight,” she told the paper.
- ‘Incognito’ -
A spokesman for Burriana’s port confirmed that the Louise Michel docked there on June 23 and left on August 18.
“During this time, they have been repairing and preparing the boat but they did it by themselves, they did not use the port services”, he told AFP.
About Banksy, “if he has been here, he came incognito,” the official said.
Early this month, humanitarian organisations said they would resume migrant rescues in the Mediterranean Sea, where none have operated since the Ocean Viking docked in Italy in early July.
Before the Ocean Viking’s last mission, rescue operations in the Mediterranean had been suspended for months due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
Another Kremlin critic is attacked in Russia, on the heels of Navalny’s poisoning. A lot of harsh tactics being used to quiet these dissenters voices.
MOSCOW — Prominent Russian blogger Yegor Zhukov was beaten near his Moscow home late Sunday in the latest attack on a prominent critic of President Vladimir Putin.
Zhukov was beaten on the head and face by two thugs waiting near his apartment who escaped on scooters.
The attack came weeks after opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned during a trip to Siberia, falling ill on an Aug. 20 flight, before being evacuated to Germany two days later for medical treatment. He remains in a coma and is expected to survive, although doctors have said the long-term impact is not yet clear.
It also comes amid a crackdown by authorities on activists, bloggers and journalists in recent weeks.
“I have not suffered any property damage, but my face is broken and I feel very bad. I believe that the attackers attempted to cause serious harm to my health, for this purpose they inflicted multiple blows on my head, including after I fell to the ground,” Zhukov’s statement to police said, according to independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta.
Leonid Gozman chairman of the opposition Union of Right Forces movement linked Zhukov’s attack to that on Navalny.
“I am sure that the order to beat Yegor Zhukov was given by the same people who ordered the poisoning of Navalny. They also started a war against Ukraine, intimidate Belarus and plunder the country,” he tweeted.
Positive news about Navalny.
The Washington Post: Top Stories | Russian opposition leader Navalny brought out of induced coma after poisoning, Berlin clinic says
Now not only is Trump pardoning our war criminals, so are other dictators.
Philippine’s Duterte Pardons U.S. Marine Convicted Of Killing Transgender Woman
The pyrocumulonumbus cloud that was heading toward the Las Vegas valley hit the low pressure system we’ve got coming through and crashed out, there is very little visibility right now and the light is very scattered, everything looks vaguely gray-orangeish.
Trump launches unprecedented attack on military leadership he appointed
Trump says troops love him, attacks top brass ‘who want to do nothing but fight wars’
Trump Rips Into U.S. Military Leaders But Insists Soldiers Love Him
Trump slams Biden over vaccine, defends support for military in Labor Day news conference
Check out more ways to HELP with GETTING OUT THE VOTE
I added this to WTF - Get Out the Vote - Voter resources 2020 & Obstacles
Adding to this 9.8.20 (from my friend)
Election poll worker volunteers are needed. Anyone in the nation to get connected to their local election board and volunteer at Work Elections. Please forward www.workelections.comand encourage friends and family who are comfortable volunteering on election day, Tuesday, Nov 3rd…think college-age and swing states (WI, MI, PA, NC, FL, AZ, plus NV, NH, GA, TX, OH, MN). Poll worker volunteers are needed everywhere, and for many locations a volunteer can be 16+ while others require the volunteer to be 18+.
https://votefwd.org/ write to swing states
Vote.org simplifies political engagement using technology.
The Voter Participation Center seeks to increase voter registration among unmarried women, people of color, and young people.
Reversing Voter Suppression:
ACLU Voting Rights Project works with affiliates and litigation to advocate policies that make voting easier.
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights since 1965, advancing and protecting the right to vote including recent work to stop Trump cutting short time for the 2020 Census.