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The News

Queen Elizabeth Agrees “Transition” to New Role for Meghan and Harry

In a meeting today at the Queesn’s Sandringham estate it was  agreed their will be a transitional period for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to become more independent.

In a statement the Queen said:

“My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family,”

“Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.”

It is believed the young couple will split their time between North America and the UK; possibly settling in Canada.

Read More: BBC

 

 

Massive water main break floods Upper West Side, delays subways

A water main break turned several streets in the Upper West Side near Lincoln Center into rivers early Monday, flooding the basements of several buildings and shutting down subway lines.

The FDNY received a call around 5 a.m. about a leaking fire hydrant at 1881 Broadway, but officials realized the problem was far more severe due to the volume of calls about the flooding, a fire official said at a press conference.

What firefighters discovered was that a 3-foot-wide main broke at Broadway at 63rd Street, spewing water across a wide swath — flooding parking garages, the 1, 2 and 3 subways and a number of basements, said Vincent Sapienza, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection.

It took about three hours to finally stem the flow because shut-off valves are located in manholes, which were submerged, making them difficult to access, he said.

“We’re going to have Broadway southbound, the west side of Broadway closed down probably for a few days as we open up the street and make repairs,” Sapienza said. “While this water main is shut off, we’ll have water from other areas.”

He said residents might experience discolored water as a result of the “shaking of the pipes,” advising them to let the faucets run for a few minutes to help clear the harmless debris.

Workers will have to open up the pavement to reach the affected main and make repairs, he said.

“It will likely take a few days to actually have that work done and the street restored,” Sapienza said.

The flooding was still wreaking havoc in the area while the DEP worked to drain the water, which was six inches high in some spots. The water was flowing from east to west from Central Park West to Broadway.

Officials closed off part of Lincoln Center as well as the Fordham campus.  At one point the water was so overwhelming it turned Broadway into “a river” according to some passers-by on their way to work.

At the SP Parking garage at 62nd Street, several vehicles were submerged.

“My car … oh my God!” a distraught woman yelled as she ran down the ramp only to be stopped by attendants.

“Insurance will cover it,” one attendant said.

Commuters also were annoyed by lingering delays, particularly those who work in the area as whole sections of Broadway are being detoured.

“It’s crazy, you need a boat or something to get through. I didn’t end wear boots today and now we got all this … It’s dirty, too. The water’s brown. It better not be sewer water,” Michael Romero, 27, of The Bronx told The Post.

Original Article

French PM tells Unions to Take “Responsibility” As Transport Strike Continues

As the crippling transport strike entered its 39th day the Prime Minister of France Macron called on the unions to take responsibility. The strike is centred on pension reforms. This came after the government removed the most contentious part of the legislation: raising the State Pension age from 62 to 64.

France has one of the lowest pension ages in the West, and some the most generous pensions in Europe. The government wants to introduce a uniform points based pension scheme. However unions say this will see pension payments reduced.

Unions are still calling for the reforms to be scraped completely. Saturday saw protesters  smashing windows, setting things on fire and throwing projectiles. The police responded by using tear gas.

Read More: France 24

First Legal Non-Binary Person in U.S. Changes Birth Certificate Back to Male

James Shupe was the first man to legally change his gender to non-binary. Shupe’s gender identity journey began in 2016 when he first tried transitioning to a woman, and then arrived at the “non-binary” option. Shupe became the poster boy of the LGBT community after successfully petitioning to have his birth certificate changed. However Shupe has now said it is all a fraud.

On his twitter bio it reads: “I reclaimed my male birth sex after becoming America’s first legally non-binary person because transgenderism is a fraud and gender identity is legal fiction.”

Shupe believed that changing gender would help with his mental health problems. However, he found they were made worse. Not only that the drugs he was taking during transition had serious side affects. He told media:

“I ended up in the psych ward three times because of hormones. I had blood clots in my eyes because my estrogen levels were 2,585 instead of 200, low bone density, problems controlling my bladder, and emotional instability,” he explained to PJ Media. “Blood tests indicated I was dropping into kidney disease territory (EFGR below 60) for about 18 months, I had chronic dermatology issues and skin reactions to estrogen patches, I passed out on the kitchen floor from Spironolactone.”

“The gender transitions were supposed to fix my mental health problems, but I kept getting worse instead. The [high-powered marijuana prescribed in Colorado] made me psychotic. I started hearing booming noises and having visions of being some Indian woman,” he continued. “I started believing I was some kind of chosen one who was picked to restore the third gender to North America, that’s what I thought the visions were telling me.”

Read More: ActivistMommy

Communist China: “Private Ownership of Guns” in America a Problem

The Chinese State media, commenting on gun ownership in the US has said that private gun ownership is a serious problem in the US:

Private gun ownership is a tradition from the early days at the founding of the US. In a modern society, the problems created by this tradition have already exceeded the benefits. …

American society has already seen serious problems caused by the private ownership of guns, but their massive number has contributed to an enormous inertia. Many interest groups have benefited from it and some ordinary people have truly gained a sense of safety. To change this habit which has lasted hundreds of years, tremendous political courage and a rearrangement of interests is required.

Facts have proved that the US system is unable to handle the intricacies of countless issues around guns including politics, economics, law and order and public psychology. The country can neither manage the safe storage and use of so many guns owned by ordinary people, nor can it establish a new national system that bans or strictly restricts guns. It cannot even form an overwhelming opinion regarding gun issues.

Ironically this attack on the U.S. Second Amendment has come amid protests in Hong Kong. There Chinese citizens are calling on their own rights to protect themselves against government’s violent control. China has also being facing international condemnation for it’s treatment Muslim minority Uyghurs, who are being lock away in communist concentration camps.

Read More: Daily Wire

A tale of two states in decline

Taxpayers in California and New York shoulder some of the heaviest tax burdens in the nation, and now new data show the two have something else in common: Their growth rates have slowed.

It’s probably no coincidence.

According to the California Department of Finance, during the year that ended June 30, more people left the Golden State than moved in — the first time that’s happened since 2010.

Its net population grew by 141,300, to 39.96 million. That’s a increase of just 0.35 percent, down from 0.57 percent growth over the prior 12 months. Together, the two years mark California’s smallest growth in more than a century.

One obvious reason: As the Los Angeles Times notes, the Golden State has one of the highest tax burdens in America.

Here in New York, meanwhile, taxpayers also bear some of the nation’s highest tax burdens. And guess what: This state has long been watching its share of the national population shrink.

No, taxes alone aren’t to blame: Both states, for example, are famous for their progressive policies, hostility to businesses and onerous mandates.

Gov. Cuomo even cites New York’s weather, versus, say, Florida’s — though chilly Midwestern states like Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota aren’t facing significant chronic out-migration, and it’s not likely many Californians are fleeing for warmer climes.

Fact is, year after year, large majorities of the remaining voters in both states elect pols who push through yet more progressive policies, higher taxes and stiff mandates. Expect the rest to keep on voting with their feet.

Original

UN Approves Russia and China Backed Internet Convention

Russia, with the backing of China, has had a resolution passed to see the establishment of a panel to look at the use of the internet for illegal purposes. The panel will work to set up “a comprehensive international convention on countering the use of information and communications technologies for criminal purposes,” the resolution said.

However the US, Europe and other western nations fear the purpose of any restrictions would be to limit freedom of speech.

“It is precisely our fear that (a new convention) would allow the codification at an international and global level of these types of controls that’s driving our opposition and our concerns about this resolution,” a US official said.

Human Rights Watch called the UN resolution’s list of sponsors “a rogue’s gallery of some of the earth’s most repressive governments.”

The countries who have backed the resolution have a history of repression of free speech, and actively try to restrict their citizens access to the internet. China for example blocks internet searches they deem harmful to their regime. India cut off the internet to muslim-majority Kashmir earlier this year; and Iran took most of their nation off-line for a time amid protests.

Read More: Breitbart

Iran, China and Russia Hold Joint Naval Drills in Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman

Iran, China and Russia have held joint naval drills in the Gulf of Oman and the Indian Ocean. The operations come at a time of increased  tension between the US and Iran. In  May last year the US withdrew from the nuclear deal signed by Obama.

“The message of this exercise is peace, friendship and lasting security through cooperation and unity… and its effect will be to show that Iran cannot be isolated,” Rear Admiral Gholamreza Tahani said on state television.

Iranian State television said the co-operation between the nations signals  “the new triangle of power in the sea”.

Iran said the drills aims were to increase security, combat piracy, and  strengthen intelligence sharing operations.

Japan also said on Friday it would send its own battle ships to the region to aid security, but would not join a US-led collision. The Japanese Chief of Cabinet said  “Japan’s own measure aimed at peace and stability in the Middle East as well as ensuring safety of Japan-related vessels,”

90% of Japan’s crude oil comes from the region.

Read More: France 24

Pentagon warns home DNA kits could expose personal info

The Pentagon wants US military personnel to stay out of the booming market for home DNA tests.

The Department of Defense recently warned service members that test kits like those offered by Ancestry and 23AndMe could pose security risks to military operations.

Such direct-to-consumer tests “are largely unregulated and could expose personal and genetic information, and potentially create unintended security consequences and increased risk to the joint force and mission,” defense officials wrote in a Dec. 20 memo.

The do-it-yourself tests generally use a saliva sample to determine the user’s ethnic heritage and risks for certain health problems. Some tests have led people to find family members whom they didn’t know.

Testing companies have been marketing the kits to defense personnel with military discounts and other incentives, according to the memo. But “possible inaccuracies” in the tests make them risky for military personnel, who are required to disclose medical information that affects their readiness to serve, Pentagon officials wrote.

“Moreover, there is increased concern in the scientific community that outside parties are exploiting the use of genetic data for questionable purposes, including mass surveillance and the ability to track individuals without their authorization or awareness,” said the memo, which Yahoo News first reported.

The popularity of at-home DNA tests has exploded in recent years  More than 26 million people had taken one by the end of this January, and companies offering them sold as many in 2018 as in all prior years combined, according to the MIT Technology Review.

Ancestry and 23AndMe are the largest players in an industry that was worth more than $750 million last year, according to an estimate from Infinium Global Research. The two companies had tested a total of 23 million people through January of this year, while their competitors had only tested 3.5 million, MIT has reported.

Ancestry is getting ready for another initial public offering amid the boom in the market, Bloomberg News has reported. The company first went public in 2009 but was taken private in 2012.

23AndMe did not respond to a request for comment on the Pentagon’s memo. But Ancestry spokeswoman Gina Spatafore said protecting users’ privacy and data is the company’s “highest priority.”

“Ancestry does not share customer DNA data with insurers, employers, or third-party marketers,” Spatafore said in an email. “Ancestry will also not share customer personal information with law enforcement unless compelled to by valid legal process, such as a court order or search warrant.”

Original Article

$1 Trillion Brought Back to U.S. Under Trump

The Commerce Department has released figures that show $1 trillion dollars have been repatriated back to the U.S. since 2017. After taking office the President passed new tax rates to make it more desirable for companies to hold their assets in the U.S. Bloomberg explains:

Investment banks and think tanks have estimated that American corporations held $1.5 trillion to $2.5 trillion in offshore cash at the time the law was enacted. Before the overhaul, companies were incentivized to keep profits overseas because they owed a 35% tax when bringing it back and could defer payment by keeping funds offshore. The law set a one-time 15.5% tax rate on cash and 8% on non-cash or illiquid assets. 

Obama has long sought to clamp down on the practise of companies move profits offshore. His strategy was to penalise such companies with higher taxes and higher penalties.

However, the repatriation of assets has been slower than some expected. The Wall Street Journal explained taxes are not the only reason companies move profit offshore:

Some companies, such as Chevron Corp. and Archer Daniels MidlandCo. , have long plowed foreign profits into foreign factories, equipment and other assets that aren’t likely to move. Other companies said they need funds overseas for acquisitions, debt retirement and expansion in growing markets. Moreover, foreign regulators require banks and other financial companies to maintain substantial capital reserves abroad. Those corporations don’t plan to bring much cash home.

Even without the federal government taxing new foreign income as it comes home, costs remain to moving cash across borders. Some U.S. states tax repatriated profits, and some countries impose taxes on dividends paid to parent companies.

Read More: Breitbart