Military Funding – Austerlitz 2005 http://austerlitz2005.com/ Wed, 07 Jul 2021 11:37:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://austerlitz2005.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-7-150x150.png Military Funding – Austerlitz 2005 http://austerlitz2005.com/ 32 32 Congress has secretly blocked US arms sales to Turkey for nearly two years https://austerlitz2005.com/congress-has-secretly-blocked-us-arms-sales-to-turkey-for-nearly-two-years/ https://austerlitz2005.com/congress-has-secretly-blocked-us-arms-sales-to-turkey-for-nearly-two-years/#respond Thu, 01 Jul 2021 19:27:50 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/?p=619 WASHINGTON — Four key members of Congress, either individually or collectively, have quietly frozen all major U.S. arms sales to Turkey for nearly two years in a move to pressure Ankara to abandon its Russian-built S-400 air defense system, Defense News has learned. The legislative action, which has not been previously reported, is another sign […]]]>

WASHINGTON — Four key members of Congress, either individually or collectively, have quietly frozen all major U.S. arms sales to Turkey for nearly two years in a move to pressure Ankara to abandon its Russian-built S-400 air defense system, Defense News has learned.

The legislative action, which has not been previously reported, is another sign of the deeply fractured relationship between the two NATO allies, a disruption that has already led to Turkey’s expulsion from the F-35 joint strike fighter program.

While it is unclear exactly how many potential sales have been held back, at least two significant deals are in limbo: a follow-on contract for F-16 structural upgrades and export licenses for U.S.-made engines that Turkey needs to complete a $1.5 billion sale of attack helicopters to Pakistan. Historically, the United States is the largest exporter of weapons to Turkey.

When Congress holds up sales of major weapon systems like tanks, planes and ships, it is typically meant to rebuke a country’s specific military or political actions, such as when lawmakers attempted to block sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in 2019. But freezing arms sales is a diplomatic tool that the United States hasn’t used against Turkey since 1978, after the Turkish military invaded Cyprus.

Defense News learned of the situation from a half dozen sources in Congress, the administration, and the defense industry, all of whom requested anonymity because of the sensitivities involved.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Jim Risch, R-Idaho, and House Foreign Affairs ranking member Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, acknowledged they are part of the freeze after they were contacted by Defense News.

The two other lawmakers who can sign off on foreign military sales ― House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., and Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., are also part of the hold, according to multiple Capitol Hill sources. Neither would comment for this story.

“There is serious concern over [Turkey’s purchase of the S-400] in both parties and in both chambers on the Hill, and until the issues surrounding this purchase are resolved I cannot and will not support weapon sales to Turkey,” Risch said in an email to Defense News.

Turkey’s relationship with the United States has been strained for several years — especially with Congress.

Lawmakers have blasted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s deepening ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Erdogan’s rejection of U.S. offers to buy the Patriot surface-to-air missile system over the Russian-made S-400 and Turkey’s military incursion last year into Kurdish-controlled northern Syria also frustrated members of Congress.

“Turkey is a longtime strategic ally of the United States. That relationship has deteriorated dramatically in recent years and is quickly deteriorating further,” Risch said. “President Erdogan’s purchase of the Russian S-400 significantly changed the nature of our relationship. This purchase benefits our adversary Putin and threatens the integrity of the NATO Alliance.”

Traditionally, during the arms sales process, the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee — the so-called “four corners” — are granted an opportunity to dissuade the U.S. State Department from approving arms sales to foreign governments on an informal basis. The lawmakers have used that notification period to block sales from moving forward, but they consider such deliberations sensitive and rarely speak publicly about them.

Engel has refused to sign off on military sales to Turkey since mid 2018, while Risch has maintained his own hold since Turkey officially took possession of the S-400 in July 2019, according to multiple congressional sources. McCaul doesn’t have a blanket hold, and has, at certain points, signed off on sales specifically in support of NATO operations.

“Nobody has signed off on anything, roughly, for the last year,” said one congressional source. “Nothing moves in this process until all four of the offices have said, ‘yea.’”

US President Donald Trump (C) and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) listen to U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Jim Risch (2nd R) during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on November 13, 2019. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (C) and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) listen to U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Jim Risch (2nd R) during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on November 13, 2019. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

A second congressional source described Turkey taking possession of the S-400 as “kind of, pardon my language, an oh shit moment.” The source added that Turkey riled lawmakers further in November, when it publicly targeted a Turkish F-16 with the S-400, a move interpreted as an implicit threat against other F-16 users, such as the United States.

“Not only was it intentionally provocative, but it happened the day after Erdogan was in the Oval Office,” the source said.

Turkey’s September 2017 decision to purchase the S-400 created a major rift between Turkey and its alliance partners. NATO officials quickly sounded the alarm that Turkey would compromise NATO’s security if it plugged the S-400 into allied systems, as the Russian system would be sharing a network with sensitive alliance data. Most significantly, American officials worried that the system would be able to gain information about the F-35, compromising the stealth capabilities of the jet. The presence of Russian contractors in Turkey to support the S-400 was also a concern.

President Donald Trump has yet to engage in the sort of high-profile confrontation with Congress over Turkey such as when he vetoed Congress’s attempt to halt U.S. sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates last year. But the administration has made efforts to lobby lawmakers in favor of individual deals with Turkey, according to the second congressional source, who noted opposition to Turkey is both bipartisan and bicameral.

“Right now, the mood [in Congress] toward Turkey is enormous,” the source said. “Unless Turkey wants to change the narrative and do a mea culpa, the president could very easily lose a veto override vote.”

Just as the Trump administration has been quiet about the hold on sales, so have the U.S. defense contractors who would benefit from those purchases.

Two sources with ties to major defense primes said they had not seen evidence of a full-scale lobbying push from industry to clear the way for these deals, which include new sales and the renewal of existing contracts typically viewed as routine.

Instead, an unspoken consensus exists among contractors to wait out the holds until tensions between the United States and Turkey cool, or until new policymakers in either a Biden or second Trump administration shift the White House’s willingness to work with Turkey.

“We’re operating under the impression that anything that requires congressional notification will not move forward this year,” said one source.

Risch in particular has evinced frustration the United States could not reach a deal on the Patriot system. Similarly, when congressional ire was peaking over Turkey’s invasion of Syria in October, Engel called Erdogan an “authoritarian thug” whose rule is “a glaring black mark on Turkey’s historic secular, democratic traditions.”

“We need to pressure him while ramping up diplomacy in the hopes of getting Turkey back on the right track as a NATO ally,” Engel said at the time.

Another motivating issue is the lack of action from the Trump administration on implementing the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA.

Under that law, the Trump administration is bound to level sanctions against any nation that purchase a major defense article from Russia, but the administration has yet to impose those sanctions, much to the consternation of Congress.

“Turkey’s purchase of the Russian S-400 is unacceptable and undermines NATO’s mission to deter Russian aggression,” McCaul said in a email to Defense News. “The Administration must impose the sanctions required by law in response to this purchase. Turkey must reverse course on this destabilizing action to renew the United States’ confidence in our defense relationship.”

U.S. officials worry about growing ties between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images)
U.S. officials worry about growing ties between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images)

McCaul supports a proposal to lift CAATSA sanctions against Turkey, once imposed, if Turkey no longer possesses the S-400. That proposal passed as part of the House’s version of the annual defense policy bill.

Melissa Dalton, a former Pentagon official now with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, called the lack of resistance from the administration “surprising, in the sense that Turkey is an actual ally, whereas the Saudis are just a close partner.” But she noted that Turkey falls on a seam between the European and Middle Eastern subject teams, both at the Pentagon and at the State Department, and so putting together “a coherent policy to start with is tough.”

Through a spokesman, the State Department declined to comment on the Turkey arms hold.

In a statement to Defense News, the Turkish embassy in Washington said “There are a number of arms procurement cases for Turkey, pending approval in Congress. As a staunch member of NATO and an ally of the U.S., we are confident that approval of these requests without further delay will be a natural outcome of our strategic cooperation.

“The U.S. is our number one trade partner in defense industry and we believe that it is in the strategic interest of both Turkey and the U.S. to further increase our bilateral cooperation in this field.”

The defense industry is watching the export issue closely.

Arms deals between the United States and Turkey totaled nearly $1 billion from 2015 through 2019, according to data compiled by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. During that time, Turkey ranked within the United States’ top 20 customers, with purchases that included aircraft and missiles. Its military is now in the market for trainer helicopters.

Not all arms deals to Turkey have stopped. Older cases that are already underway have not paused, and any weapons sales — be it Foreign Military Sales (FMS), where the U.S. government acts as a go-between, or Direct Commercial Sales (DCS), in which the country deals directly with industry — less than the $25 million threshold is not subject to Congressional approval.

But direct commercial sales and low-tier FMS cases tend to be smaller deals, such as spare parts, ammunition, and maintenance packages for aging equipment. The tanks, planes and ships that form the core of any modern military remain the province of major FMS sales.

The blockage has paralyzed negotiations for several deals, including a follow-on contract for F-16 upgrades, according to one source with knowledge of the matter.

Lockheed Martin is performing structural upgrades to a portion of Turkey’s aging F-16 Block 30 fleet under a direct commercial sales contract that expires this fall. Defense News reported in 2017 that it would take until 2023 for Lockheed to complete modifications for all 35 F-16s included in the deal.

An industry source with knowledge of the F-16 contract said that Lockheed is still “planning to complete the requirements” of the order and does not “foresee any performance changes or requirement changes.”

When asked to comment about the Turkish F-16 upgrade contract, Lockheed Martin officials said that “any questions related to F-16 sustainment work should be directed to the U.S. government.”

Another side effect of Congress’ hold is the endangerment of a $1.5 billion deal between Turkey and Pakistan for the sale of 30 Turkish-made T129s attack helicopters, an issue Defense News reported on earlier this year.

Two major Turkish firms are licensed to domestically produce the T129 and its engine. Turkish Aerospace Industries manufactures the helicopter through a partnership with Italian-British aerospace company AgustaWestland. Meanwhile, the helicopter’s CTS800 engine — originally designed by the Light Helicopter Turbine Engine Company, a joint venture between U.S.-based Honeywell and U.K.-based Rolls Royce — is made by Tusaş Engine Industries.

A maintenance contract for Turkey's F-16s is one of the items being held up by Congress. (OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images)
A maintenance contract for Turkey’s F-16s is one of the items being held up by Congress. (OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images)

Because the CTS800 was originally produced in the United States, Turkey cannot sell T129s — or any weapon system containing that engine — without obtaining an export license from the U.S. government.

But those licenses are also being held back as a result of the congressional block on arms deals, leaving Tusaş Engine Industries racing to develop a replacement engine for the T129.

“Pakistan has agreed to give us another year [to resolve the problem]. We hope we will be able to develop our indigenous engine soon to power the T129,” Ismail Demir, the head of Turkey’s top procurement agency, said Jan. 6. “After one year, Pakistan may be satisfied with the level of progress in our engine program, or the U.S. may grant us the export license.”

Threatening the T129 sale to Pakistan hurts Turkey more than just financially, said Joel Johnson, a Teal Group analyst who has previously worked for the State Department and as a staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

For one, the sale cements a relationship between Turkey and a fellow Islamic nation, signaling the country’s pivot from the West. Increasing annual defense exports is also a key priority for Erdogan, who vowed in 2015 to boost arms sales to $25 billion by 2023 and to rid the Turkish defense industrial base of its reliance on foreign suppliers.

“This is a nerve ending that is very sensitive to Erdogan. It’s not the helicopters, per se, it’s the symbolism of the sale that hits him in a way that hurts,” Johnson said.

Honeywell and Rolls Royce declined to comment for this story.

The current hold marks the first U.S. arms embargo on Turkey since 1975, after Turkey invaded Cyprus and Washington halted sales of weapons and military assistance to Turkey for three years.

Some industry officials worry that if the hold extends much beyond 2021, the relationship between American and Turkish defense contractors could diminish as legacy contracts expire, leading Turkish firms to seek industrial partnerships elsewhere.

“What value [does] the Hill or the administration see in holding up these legacy areas of cooperation? Do we really think that will influence Erdogan’s decision making?” the source said. “Will industry be able to simply restart the defense industrial cooperation once Erdogan is out of power in the future? I think that’s the tricky part. The policy decision makes sense, but the byproducts of that policy decision and the implications down the road have the potential to hurt industry and U.S. national security.”

Russian S-400 air defense system, on display in 2017, is at the heart of a split between the U.S. and its NATO ally Turkey. (ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images)
Russian S-400 air defense system, on display in 2017, is at the heart of a split between the U.S. and its NATO ally Turkey. (ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images)

But Teal’s Johnson countered that Congress’ block on sales could force the White House to work with lawmakers more closely on issues related to Turkey, including potential sanctions or punitive measures in the wake of the S-400 acquisition.

“Congress can’t negotiate with Turkey. They can only really go negotiate with the White House, so the question is, what do they want the White House to do, and is anybody talking?” he said. “Normally, if you had a normal president, the congressional staffers would be quietly talking to the [National Security Council] and the State Department about what they want. … It’s hard to see the way forward with this group.”

Even if Turkey fulfills U.S. government demands and arm sales resume, it remains to be seen whether Turkey will still line up to buy American weapons.

Over the past 15 years, Turkey has drastically cut its spending on weapons imports, going from the world’s third largest importer in the 1995-1999 timeframe to 15th in 2015-2019, according to SIPRI.

The last FMS deal approved by the State Department to Turkey was in 2018: an offer to sell 80 Patriot MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missiles, and 60 PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement missiles — a last ditch effort by the U.S. government to entice Ankara to cancel its S-400 purchase in favor of an American air defense system. It was never completed, as Turkey pressed on with the procurement of the S-400.

Ultimately, the Patriot deal was taken off the table.

According to figures from the State Department, in 2017 the United States authorized more than $587 million in DCS sales for Turkey and shipped equipment worth more than $106 million. The next year, the United States approved more than $600 million and shipped $136 million in weapons. In 2019, more than $615 million was authorized and over $66 million shipped.

Although the United States remains Turkey’s biggest foreign supplier of weapons, the country makes a fair amount of military goods domestically, has purchased Russian arms like the S-400, and even flirted with buying a Chinese missile system in 2013.

“They have a reasonably capable defense industrial base that is getting more capable because of investment going in from the government. They’ve also become a little more of a catholic shopper,” said Douglas Barrie, a military aerospace expert at the International Institute of Strategic Studies. “They have some options. They wouldn’t just have to look to Europe if the U.S. was no longer seen as a supplier nation to them. I think, on some occasions, they may look farther afield.”

It’s unclear whether a retaliatory action like the arms sale freeze helps bring Erdogan to the table, or whether it pushes Turkey even further into Russia’s arms.

“The alliance is incredibly troubled at the moment, but I don’t think it’s beyond the pale,” Dalton said. “The U.S. has a lot at stake in terms of Turkey’s trajectory, and the NATO alliance has a lot at stake as well. So for all those reasons, [any actions] need to be framed as part of a broader approach.

“I don’t have high confidence that it’s being framed in that way.”

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Find out where Trump and Biden stand on defense and security issues https://austerlitz2005.com/find-out-where-trump-and-biden-stand-on-defense-and-security-issues/ https://austerlitz2005.com/find-out-where-trump-and-biden-stand-on-defense-and-security-issues/#respond Mon, 21 Jun 2021 06:54:53 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/?p=489 Arms Control: U.S. President Donald Trump: The Trump administration has withdrawn the U.S. from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and (almost) the 1992 Open Skies Treaty. It has loosened the Missile Technology Control Regime’s restrictions on selling armed drones to foreign governments amid concerns about China’s defense relationships […]]]>

Arms Control:

U.S. President Donald Trump: The Trump administration has withdrawn the U.S. from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and (almost) the 1992 Open Skies Treaty. It has loosened the Missile Technology Control Regime’s restrictions on selling armed drones to foreign governments amid concerns about China’s defense relationships in the Middle East. As of press time, administration officials have been unwilling to extend the 2010 New START nuclear pact with Russia, which expires in February, insisting that a new version include Russia’s growing arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons and China, whose smaller arsenal is rapidly expanding and which appears unwilling to sign such an agreement.

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden: Favored by arms control advocates, Biden has promised to renew New START and would likely accept Russia’s offer to extend it five years without preconditions. He also said he would rejoin the Iran nuclear deal if it returned to full compliance described in the agreement. While Trump has loosened restrictions on the use of landmines by the U.S. military in conflict areas, Biden has said the move unnecessarily puts civilians at risk and that he would reverse it.

Nuclear weapons:

Trump: It’s expected the current president would stay on his path of modernizing all three legs of the nuclear arsenal — something that has bipartisan support in Congress despite growing budget pressure. Trump deployed the W76-2 submarine-launched, low-yield nuclear warhead to counter a similar Russian weapon, and he has plans for a submarine-launched cruise missile, or SLCM. Trump approved a $44.5 billion nuclear weapons budget request in fiscal 2021 — an increase of about 19 percent — meant for the W76-2, several ongoing nuclear warhead life extension programs, a future W93 submarine-launched ballistic missile warhead, and the expansion of the production of plutonium pits for nuclear warheads to at least 80 per year.

Biden: Biden signaled he would scale back Trump’s buildup. The Democratic nominee for president is opposed to the W76-2 and an SLCM. Biden would face pressure from the left to drop plans to build a new nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile force, replacing the Minuteman III fleet fielded in 1970, though he has not announced a position on it. Biden said he would review a policy reserving the option of using nuclear weapons first.

Defense budget:

Trump: The Pentagon’s five-year defense plan indicates it will request flat defense spending after 2021, and — under pressure from coronavirus-related expenses — the budget is widely expected to stay flat regardless of who is president. Trump championed record national defense top lines of $700 billion in 2018, $716 billion in 2019 and $733 billion for 2020, and he created the new Space Force. He has also diverted billions of defense dollars to fund a southern border wall, and in 2018 he backed off a proposal for a $750 billion defense budget, calling it “crazy.”

Biden: Biden said Trump “abandoned all fiscal discipline when it comes to defense spending,” and while he doesn’t foresee major U.S. defense cuts if elected, he would face pressure from the left to make them. To affordably deter Russia and China, Biden said he would shift investments from “legacy systems that won’t be relevant” to “smart investments in technologies and innovations — including in cyber, space, unmanned systems and artificial intelligence.” He also wants to boost neglected nonmilitary investments, such as “diplomacy, economic power, education, and science and technology.”

Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran:

Trump: Both candidates have railed against “endless wars,” and both have vowed to bring U.S. troops home from Afghanistan. After engaging in peace talks with the Taliban, the U.S. cut its troop presence to 8,600 in June, with plans to go to 4,500 by November and no troops by the spring. For Iraq, Trump plans to go from 5,200 troops to 3,000 by November. On Iran, Trump withdrew the U.S. from the nuclear deal and reimposed crippling trade sanctions as part of a maximum-pressure campaign. The administration recently warned allies it may target leaders of Iran-backed militias that have targeted U.S. forces and diplomatic posts in Iraq.

Biden: Biden has vowed to bring U.S. combat troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan, likely leaving residual counterterrorism forces. His camp favors small-scale operations (maybe led by special forces) rather than large, open-ended troop deployments, which he agrees would require the informed consent of the American people. Biden, who voted for the Iraq War when he was a senator, said during his current campaign that he played a key role in the Obama administration’s drawdown of 150,000 U.S. forces from Iraq. On Iran, he said he would commit to preventing the country from acquiring a nuclear weapon, offer a diplomatic path while maintaining targeted sanctions, and work closely with Israel to ensure the American ally can defend itself against Iran and its proxies.

Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, left, and U.S. President Donald Trump speak during the first presidential debate at the Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, on Sept. 29, 2020. (Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, left, and U.S. President Donald Trump speak during the first presidential debate at the Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, on Sept. 29, 2020. (Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

Arms sales:

Trump: Increasing U.S. arms sales has been a central focus of Trump and his administration’s foreign policy. He’s moved to speed up the review process for major arms sales, made it easier to export firearms, eased the criteria for selling armed drones under the Missile Technology Control Regime and directed U.S. diplomats to advocate for American weapons purchases. He advanced several sales suspended under the Obama administration — which played into a clash with Congress over sales to Saudi Arabia and other parties to the war in Yemen. Though Trump has touted the economic benefits of U.S. arms sales abroad, the idea is also to provide partners with American alternatives to Russian and Chinese weapons in order to maintain American influence.

Biden: While Biden hasn’t made his views clear about arms sales overall, he said he would end U.S. military and other support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. As he reassesses the U.S.-Saudi relationship, he would end weapon sales to Riyadh (which has historically been the top partner for U.S. military sales). “We will make clear that America will never again check its principles at the door just to buy oil or sell weapons,” Biden said. On firearm exports, his campaign said he may reverse a Trump administration rule that moved jurisdiction from the State Department to the Commerce Department.

NATO and Europe:

Trump: Among Trump’s earliest foreign policy stances was a pledge to “get allies to pay their fair share,” particularly by getting NATO members to spend at least 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense by 2024. That percentage of GDP is a NATO-backed goal. Trump often mischaracterizes that pledge as allies being “delinquent” in paying the U.S. funds. Trump has also pushed for tough trade rules with European nations, which has led to tensions with European capitals.

Biden: Biden and his advisers have drawn a contrast with Trump, pledging to rehabilitate frayed alliances. Biden has hit Trump for straining relations between the U.S. and Europe. He said the next president must “salvage our reputation, rebuild confidence in our leadership, and mobilize our country and our allies to rapidly meet new challenges,” pledging that he would “take immediate steps to renew U.S. democracy and alliances, protect the United States’ economic future, and once more have America lead the world.” Biden plans to review troop movements out of Germany if he takes office, according to a top foreign policy aide.

Great power competition:

Trump: The Trump administration’s National Defense Strategy announced a new era of great power competition. But while that includes Russia on paper, the administration’s economic and military focus has squarely focused on China; the rhetoric from Trump has only increased following the COVID-19 outbreak, which the Republican president has called the “China virus.” Militarily, the Pentagon is attempting to shift focus and investments toward Pacific priorities, while also withdrawing forces from Europe.

Biden: While in the Senate, Biden pushed for better relations with China through increased commercial ties. But he now views China as “the greatest strategic challenge to the United States and our allies in Asia and in Europe,” one of the few areas in which he and Trump agree. Biden has called Chinese President Xi Jinping a “thug” and pledged “swift economic sanctions” against China if it tries to influence American companies or citizens. While Trump has bragged about having a good relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, expect a different tone from Biden should he occupy the White House. The former vice president has described Trump as “subservient” to Putin,” and has talked about telling Putin directly: “I don’t think you have a soul.”

Information about the candidates was compiled from a series of sources including: Defense News; Military Times; Al-Monitor; Arms Control Association; Center for International Policy; CNBC; CNN; Council for a Livable World; Defense One; Foreign Affairs; Forum on the Arms Trade; Los Angeles Times; Military Officers Association of America; New York Times; New Yorker Magazine; Reuters; Stars and Stripes; The Associated Press; Vox; Washington Examiner; and Washington Post.

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The Bison and the Blackfeet https://austerlitz2005.com/the-bison-and-the-blackfeet/ https://austerlitz2005.com/the-bison-and-the-blackfeet/#respond Sun, 20 Jun 2021 04:12:44 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/?p=476 THE ROLLING HILLS of the Blackfeet reservation were covered with bright-yellow balsamroot flowers, and in the distance the ridgeline of the Rocky Mountains was frosted with thinning snow. It was early June, and in Browning, Montana, the reservation’s largest town, clouds of dust rose from the unpaved back streets. In the gas stations and cafes, […]]]>

THE ROLLING HILLS of the Blackfeet reservation were covered with bright-yellow balsamroot flowers, and in the distance the ridgeline of the Rocky Mountains was frosted with thinning snow. It was early June, and in Browning, Montana, the reservation’s largest town, clouds of dust rose from the unpaved back streets. In the gas stations and cafes, talk dwelled on the past winter: who ran out of propane, who lost the most cattle, who was in the worst fix.

On the grassy banks of Two Medicine River, though, the bison were doing fine. The Blackfeet Nation manages about 800 animals, and several dozen bison were gathered in and around a large, sunny paddock. Calves stood knock-kneed next to their mothers, their short, golden-brown hair contrasting with the adults’ heavy, half-shed winter coats. Ervin Carlson, manager of the Blackfeet Nation’s Buffalo Restoration Project, got out of his pickup truck and approached. As I followed, the animals snorted warily. One calf lifted a tail and peed abundantly, out of fear or defiance or both. I recalled a comment by Blackfeet elder Charlie Crow Chief: “They recognize a stranger.”

Ervin Carlson, manager of the Blackfeet Nation’s bison program. “The buffalo are here today, and so are we.”

Carlson chuckled, surveying the bison proudly. “The way I look at this herd is that they were in storage,” he said. “They put themselves in storage until they were ready and we were ready.” The ancestors of these bison were among the last remaining in Blackfeet territory in the early 1900s, members of a herd that was purchased from a private owner by the Canadian government. More than a century later, in spring 2016, 88 young descendants of that herd were loaded into livestock trailers and transported from Elk Island National Park in northern Alberta to the land of their forebears, where their arrival was celebrated by a waiting crowd.

The Elk Island bison and their offspring are now left largely to themselves, and most people see them only from a distance. But their presence is felt all over the reservation and has inspired projects ranging from a bison-meat lunch program at the Blackfoot language immersion school to a reenactment of a buffalo hunt at the reservation high school. Students participate in the annual harvest of members of a herd designated for local use, occasionally spattering themselves with blood as they learn how to butcher a bison.

The indiscriminate slaughter and last-minute rescue of the American bison at the turn of the last century is one of the best-known chapters in conservation history. What’s not as well known is that the rescue was left unfinished. While the bison were saved from oblivion, they weren’t returned to their former ecological and cultural roles on the prairie. The effort to complete that work and to fully restore bison to the North American plains continues today—and as its leaders reckon with the ironies and oversights of history, they’re ushering conservation into the future.

THE BLACKFEET ARE one of four Blackfoot-speaking US tribes and Canadian First Nations—known collectively as the Blackfoot Confederacy—whose ancestors relied on the bison herds of the North American plains. They hunted bison by driving them over cliffs, now referred to as buffalo jumps, or by luring them into corrals and shooting them with bows and arrows. They cured bison hides for blankets, robes, and teepee covers; they boiled bison bones in hide-lined pits to extract the fat; they combined the fat with dried bison meat and berries to make pemmican, a protein-rich trail mix. Blackfeet historian Rosalyn LaPier writes that the thick hides of bison bulls were used to make rectangular food-storage boxes called parfleches; parfleches were packed with pemmican, which was preserved with peppermint and set aside for winter sustenance. Bison were so important to human survival that they became central to human culture, too, and are still celebrated in ceremonies.

During the centuries before European conquest, humans and bison shaped the plains—and each other. Bison numbers rose and fell as hunting strategies evolved, new technologies emerged, and economies changed, but the species never neared extinction. In fact, Native Americans’ use of fire to clear forests and expand grasslands probably boosted bison numbers. Some historians believe that European settlers encountered the bison population at its peak.

In the early 1700s, North America was home to an estimated 20 million to 30 million bison, more than enough to circle the equator if laid nose to tail. The plains bison—a subspecies distinguished by the insistent scientific trinomial Bison bison bison—ranged from northern Mexico to southern Canada and from Oregon to the Appalachians. In fall 1770, George Washington and a few companions shot five bison in what is now West Virginia. In 1806, when explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark encountered a “moving multitude” of bison at the mouth of the White River in the Dakotas, the herd was so dense that it darkened the land. When mating season began in late summer, Lewis reported, the roaring of the bull bison could be heard for many miles, and “there are such numbers of them that there is one continual roar.”

Two men stand in a fenced-in area with bison.
While the herd is mostly left to itself, the Blackfeet bison also provide meat to a lunch program at the Blackfoot language immersion school.

While even the deadliest buffalo jumps had little effect on these masses, guns and horses left a much deeper mark. The efficiency of equestrian hunting led Native American societies to depend even more heavily on bison, and by the late 1700s, their hunts had begun to take a toll on the herds. In the 1800s, when demand for buffalo robes and leather on the East Coast and in Europe prompted commercial hunters—first mostly Native American, then mostly white—to start killing bison wholesale in both the United States and Canada, the decline accelerated. After the first transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869, the decline turned into a free fall, with hide hunters slaughtering more than a million bison each year.

When the United States entered the final decades of its war on the plains tribes, the destruction of the bison began to look like a convenient way to control the enemy. Columbus Delano, President Ulysses S. Grant’s secretary of the interior, believed that the disappearance of the bison would “confine the Indians to smaller areas and compel them to abandon their nomadic customs.” In 1874, after Congress passed a bill restricting bison hunting, President Grant vetoed it.

Twelve years later, there were fewer than 300 free-roaming plains bison left in the entire United States. In Canada, there were thought to be none at all. In 1897, the last four plains bison living outside Yellowstone National Park were shot in a mountain valley in Colorado, and by 1902, despite efforts by the US military to control poaching in Yellowstone, the park’s herd had been reduced to fewer than two dozen. Though some bison survived on ranches, and an isolated population of wood bison (the other subspecies of American bison) would later be discovered in northern Canada, the species that had traveled the continent for millennia was effectively extinct.

In the course of a few decades, the members of the Blackfoot Confederacy had lost their primary source of protein, warmth, and cultural strength. The reversal of fortune was cataclysmic, and its effects persist; the tribes and First Nations of the North American plains, once among the richest societies in the world, are today among the poorest.

THE SPECIES BIOLOGISTS call Bison bison is known in the Blackfoot language as iinnii, in Arapaho as bii or heneecee, and in any Indigenous plains language as a synonym for life itself. For most of the plains dwellers who experienced the species’ near extermination, it was a crushing tragedy and a mortal threat. But on the urbanizing coasts of North America, in the centers of population and political power, the bison’s demise was at first little more than a rumor—a tale from the very edges of the known world and the very limits of the imagination.

For many who heard about the bison slaughter from afar, extinction itself was a strange and relatively new idea. Though European explorers had already extinguished dozens of bird species on islands in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, the long-standing assumption that species were static, enduring, and divinely created was not easily dislodged. Charles Darwin, in 1859, had acknowledged that humans could cause extinctions but maintained that extinct species would soon be replaced by others. While not all shared his equanimity, even some naturalists found it difficult to believe that humans could eliminate a species as plentiful as the American bison. For most people in the urban United States, bison were an abstraction, and the most common response to their reported plight was a shrug.

One of the few to take up the bison’s cause was William Temple Hornaday, a brash young taxidermist at the National Museum—part of the Smithsonian Institution—in Washington, DC. Before Hornaday arrived at the museum in 1882, he had spent years traveling the world as a trophy hunter, killing elephants and tigers and selling their remains to museums for display, and he was surprised to discover that his new institution had only a few moth-eaten specimens of the mighty Bison bison. He wrote to contacts all over the Great Plains about the prospects for acquiring more, and from their replies he learned, with rising alarm, that there were few if any free-roaming bison left alive. “I awoke, dazed and stunned, to a sudden realization of the fact that the buffalo-hide hunters of the United States had practically finished their work,” he later wrote.

Hornaday’s paradoxical reaction to this realization was to shoot yet more bison. In 1886, he mounted two expeditions to Montana, determined to preserve at least a few of the remaining representatives of Bison bison behind glass. He and his companions spent several grueling weeks on the trail, riding past piles of bison bones and sunbaked flesh. They ultimately shot 20 animals, including a gigantic bull. Hornaday recalled that as he stood on the snowy prairie, pinned by the bull’s dying glare, he experienced “the greatest reluctance I ever felt about taking the life of an animal.”

Hornaday’s bison display at the National Museum, which he revealed to the public in spring 1888, represented the species’ predicament in new and memorable dimensions. For him, the obvious next step was to breed bison in captivity for release on the plains—or, as he put it, to “atone for the national disgrace that attaches to the heartless and senseless extermination of the species in the wild state.”

In 1896, when Hornaday became the director of the zoological park that would become the Bronx Zoo, he started to pursue that dream in earnest. With the help of wealthy sportsmen—including soon-to-be-president Theodore Roosevelt—who considered bison essential to their own beloved pastime, Hornaday founded the American Bison Society, a private organization dedicated to the species’ restoration. Society funding allowed him to begin breeding bison purchased from ranchers in Texas and Oklahoma, and after a few years of trial and error he established a small herd in the heart of the Bronx.

On October 11, 1907, at the Bronx Zoo, 15 city-raised bison were coaxed into wooden crates, then loaded onto railcars and transported nearly 2,000 miles to the Oklahoma Territory, where President Roosevelt had created the Wichita National Forest and Game Preserve in 1905. (The preserve’s rich grasslands had been seized from the Apache, Comanche, and Kiowa.) When the bison reached the preserve, they were released into a pen to await the completion of a fence around their 8,000-acre enclosure.

The bison would not move with the seasons like their ancestors, but they would roam farther on the prairie than almost any bison had for decades. Their arrival was celebrated nationwide, and Hornaday, while not the only champion of the bison, was applauded as their species’ savior. “Director Hornaday of the Bronx Zoological Park deserves the gratitude and encouragement of the Nation as the chief preserver from extinction of the American bison,” The New York Times editorialized.

The Wichita herd flourished, and in 1908, Hornaday convinced Congress to designate another bison preserve, this time on 19,000 acres that the federal government had recently carved out of the Flathead reservation in northwestern Montana. By the time the American Bison Society stopped collecting dues in the mid-1930s, there were 20,000 bison in North America, most in large, enclosed reserves. They were nowhere near the “moving multitude” that once populated the plains, but they were numerous enough to ensure the persistence of the species for a good long while.

THOUGH HORNADAY RESCUED Bison bison from extinction, he didn’t restore the species to its place on the landscape. Only in 1866 had zoologist Ernst Haeckel coined the word ecology, or oecologie, to describe the study of the relationships among organisms and between organisms and their environment. When Hornaday shipped bison from the Bronx to the Oklahoma grasslands, ecology had barely begun to develop into a formal discipline, and Hornaday was not an ecologist. He treated bison as livestock, letting them loose without much consideration of their role in the living network Darwin had described as the “entangled bank.”

But, as future generations of scientists and conservationists would learn, bison had been part of the prairie in a very real sense, functioning as what ecologists call a keystone species. They had fertilized the soil with their dung, flattened saplings and shrubs with their hooves, and grazed so intensely in spring that the native grasses extended their growing season. In Yellowstone, bison still have more influence on the timing of plant growth than the weather does.

Over the past century, the expansion of industrial farming and the continued absence of large herds of free-roaming bison have shrunk the total extent of the North American tallgrass prairie from the size of Texas to little bigger than Delaware, turning it into one of the most endangered landscapes in the world. The northern shortgrass prairie, where Hornaday searched for bison, is similarly diminished.

The prairie that remains today is fundamentally different. As bison snuffle along the grasslands, microbes they take in through their noses and mouths help break down the cellulose in the grass they eat. Each of the resulting soft, wet piles of dung can support more than a hundred species of insects. When bison were plentiful, these insects fed a community of birds and small mammals, but many of those species are now seldom seen. Without bison, the prairie is a smaller and quieter place.

Hornaday and his allies also overlooked—and in many cases explicitly denigrated—the people who had depended on the bison. Hornaday insisted that Native Americans and white market hunters were equally responsible for the bison slaughter, despite contemporary evidence to the contrary. Along with the elite trophy hunters who supported him, he looked down on commercial and subsistence hunters, habitually blaming the worst effects of hunting on people of other races, ethnicities, and nationalities. Trophy hunting, meanwhile, was viewed by Roosevelt and other members of the American Bison Society as a tonic for white masculinity, which they believed to be threatened by immigration and urbanization. Their drive to save the bison, in other words, had less to do with the species than with their illusions about themselves. Protecting the American bison, to them, meant protecting a perniciously exclusive version of national progress.

Progress, however, often moves in unlooked-for directions, and the herds that Hornaday founded outlived his limited vision. In the 1990s, the Blackfeet Nation purchased its first bison, about a hundred of them, from the Hornaday reserves. Ervin Carlson, then head of the tribal agricultural department, oversaw the herd, and as it grew, he began to wonder whether truly free-roaming bison could be restored to the Northern Rockies. In 2008, he started to talk with Keith Aune, a biologist who had recently retired after a long career at Montana’s state wildlife agency, about the possibility of returning more bison to the Blackfeet reservation.

Aune shared Carlson’s interest in bison and was well aware of Hornaday’s blind spots. A few years earlier, he had paid a visit to the Bronx Zoo—which also serves as the headquarters of the international Wildlife Conservation Society—and proposed reopening the doors of the American Bison Society. He hoped that the revived bison society, which was formally relaunched in 2005, would accomplish what Hornaday could not: reconnection of the plains bison with their landscape and, crucially, with the people who live on that landscape today.

Over the next several years, Aune secured funding and support for bison restoration on the Blackfeet reservation from the Wildlife Conservation Society. Meanwhile, members of the Blackfoot Confederacy founded a group called the Iinnii Initiative. Following the advice of Blackfoot Confederacy elders, the Iinnii Initiative helped negotiate an intergovernmental agreement called the Buffalo Treaty, which dedicates its signatories—now more than 30 tribes and First Nations in the United States and Canada—to the active pursuit of bison restoration and its ecological and cultural benefits. “The treaty really is about renewal and restoration and cooperation,” says Blackfoot researcher Leroy Little Bear, one of the original organizers of the Iinnii Initiative. “It maps the future, seven generations ahead.”

WHILE THE RETURN OF the Elk Island bison to the Blackfeet Nation in 2016 was heartily celebrated near and far, it didn’t happen without controversy. Cattle ranchers, including some tribal members, worry that large bison herds—fenced in or not—will compete with them for grazing land and meat-market share.

Even among those opposed to bison restoration, however, there is a sense that bison are, as biologist Lee Jones puts it, “an important something.” Important, that is, to history, culture, and the North American landscape. The Iinnii Initiative and the American Bison Society now serve as hubs within a diffuse, growing movement of tribes and First Nations, conservation groups, and state and federal agencies whose bison-restoration projects range from northern Mexico to the Arctic Circle.

On the Rosebud Sioux reservation in South Dakota this past October, a small group of masked, socially distanced supporters watched as 100 bison were released on the Wolakota Buffalo Range, a 28,000-acre stretch of native grassland. Under a far-reaching plan developed by the Rosebud Sioux and supported by conservation groups and federal agencies, the range’s bison will one day number 1,500—the continent’s largest tribally owned and managed bison herd. Wizipan Little Elk, director of the Rosebud Sioux economic development agency, predicts that the bison’s benefits will range from cultural renewal to climate change mitigation. “They actually take care of us far, far more than we’ll ever be able to take care of them, but we have to try to contribute to that reciprocal relationship,” he says. “We’re giving them an opportunity to be who they are, to do their work on the ground as a keystone species.”

In February, less than four months after the Wolakota release, bison from the Elk Island National Park herd were welcomed by four Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan and Alberta—including the Kainai First Nation, part of the Blackfoot Confederacy, which released 40 bison on its reserve. Diandra Bruised Head, an environmental scientist, climate activist, and recently elected Kainai tribal councillor, says that while most of those present at the bison release were confined to their cars by the pandemic and the bitter cold, it was an emotional moment. “It hit me that I would be able to say that I was a leader for my tribe when the buffalo arrived,” she says. As with other tribal herds, the bison’s value to their caretakers is simultaneously enduring and immediate: Pandemic-induced food shortages, Bruised Head says, have made it painfully clear that her rural community needs a more reliable source of local meat.

While there are now an estimated half million bison on the North American plains, some 30,000 managed primarily for conservation rather than commercial sale, politics has kept the fences in place, and only a few bison are fully free-ranging. Carlson looks forward to a day when bison roam the prairie like elk and deer, and he may get to see it: If ongoing discussions between the tribe and the National Park Service proceed as expected, bison on the Blackfeet reservation will be permitted to move north at will, entering Glacier National Park and even crossing the international border with Canada. Making such connections is a priority of the federal Bison Conservation Initiative, launched in 2020, which commits all agencies within the Department of the Interior to supporting the continued restoration of bison to the North American prairie.

“The beautiful thing about bison conservation is that it’s not a crisis,” says Brendan Moynahan, a science adviser for the Park Service who is working closely with the Rosebud Sioux and other tribes on bison restoration. “Bison are super-resilient animals that reproduce well, so it isn’t about saving the species—we’ve done that, and it’s a great success story. But there is huge, huge opportunity on the ecological and cultural side of things.”

Bison aren’t as fundamental to human survival as they were when buffalo callers leaped off cliff edges. Then again, maybe they are. During a meeting in the Blackfeet Nation council chambers not long ago, bison project staff and visiting conservationists listened as elders spoke about the revival of the bison. Their generation was born decades after the Blackfeet lost their bison and came of age decades before the Elk Island herd returned, but their reverence for the species was clearly profound. Through tears, Betty Crow Chief said that her brother, while hospitalized after a severe heart attack, had seen images of bison move across the wall of his room. Many listeners nodded, unsurprised.

Perhaps the final irony of William Hornaday’s irony-­soaked life is that his blinkered foresight enabled an effort that strives to embrace so much—not only so much space and so many species, but also so many human cultures, values, and stories. When Hornaday rescued the bison from extinction, Carlson notes, he wasn’t thinking about the Blackfeet, but the two are inextricable. “Back then, some people thought that if you killed the bison, you killed the Indian too,” he says. “Well, the buffalo are here today, and so are we.”

This article appeared in the Summer quarterly edition with the headline “The Long Road Home.”

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SCOTUS Limits FTC’s Authority to Seek Monetary Relief https://austerlitz2005.com/scotus-limits-ftcs-authority-to-seek-monetary-relief/ https://austerlitz2005.com/scotus-limits-ftcs-authority-to-seek-monetary-relief/#respond Thu, 17 Jun 2021 05:55:13 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/?p=384 In a unanimous decision released on April 22, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court upended decades of lower court precedent by finding that Section 13(b) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act) does not authorize the FTC to seek, or a court to award, equitable monetary relief such as restitution or disgorgement. Instead, in AMG Capital […]]]>

In a unanimous decision released on April 22, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court upended decades of lower court precedent by finding that Section 13(b) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act) does not authorize the FTC to seek, or a court to award, equitable monetary relief such as restitution or disgorgement. Instead, in AMG Capital Management, LLC v. FTC,1 the Court pointed to other sections of the FTC Act, notably the administrative procedures contained in section 5 and the consumer redress available under section 19, as the proper legal avenues for the FTC to seek consumer redress and restitution in most cases. The ruling substantially curbs the FTC’s ability to obtain consumer redress under section 13(b), the FTC’s preferred means of seeking monetary damages due to its administrative efficiency compared to other Commission enforcement authority granted under the FTC Act.

By eliminating the possibility of restitution and redress under section 13(b), the decision also eliminates the FTC’s ability to obtain associated relief in the form of asset freezes and receiverships imposed in temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction cases, which historically have proved to be potent weapons used by the FTC in enforcement actions, in particular consumer protection cases. The Court reversed the federal Ninth Circuit’s decision and remanded the case for further proceedings consistent with AMG Capital. The Court’s holding could affect numerous investigations now underway at the FTC or cases pending in federal courts.

Takeaways

As described further below, the most obvious consequence of the Court’s decision is that, going forward, the FTC generally may obtain monetary relief only after first invoking its administrative procedures under FTC Act section 5 and, then, under section 19’s qualified redress provisions. After doing so, the FTC then may use section 13(b) to obtain injunctive relief while an administrative proceeding is forthcoming or underway (or if/when it seeks solely injunctive relief). Simply put, the FTC may no longer use 13(b) as a convenient substitute for sections 5 and 19, and, in the absence of a congressional amendment to the FTC Act, the Commission is likely to bring many more cases in administrative litigation seeking final cease and desist orders and then, in appropriate circumstances, possibly followed by seeking monetary relief in federal court under section 19. This will apply in consumer protection, privacy and data security, and antitrust cases, and in relation to many other allegations of section 5 deceptive or unfair business practices.

Based on the tenor of the Jan. 13 oral argument, the Court’s decision in AMG Capital was not wholly unforeseen, where many of the Justices in their questioning displayed a decided leaning towards AMG’s arguments. The month prior to the decision, the FTC announced a new rulemaking group within the FTC’s Office of the General Counsel to focus on creating rules for deterrence and to stop widespread consumer harm, “especially given the risk that the Supreme Court substantially curtails the FTC’s ability to seek consumer redress under section 13(b)….”2 On the same day as the decision, Acting Chairwoman Rebecca Slaughter released a statement “urg[ing] Congress to act swiftly to restore and strengthen the powers of the agency so we can make wronged consumers whole.”3

Absent congressional action, it is also the case that the FTC could pursue other avenues for relief. For instance, companies alleged to have violated the Restore Online Shoppers Confidence Act (ROSCA) or the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) are still subject to the FTC’s going directly to court to obtain monetary relief under section 19. The FTC could also refer certain cases to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or the Department of Justice for certain civil penalties. And, the FTC could urge state attorneys general, who operate under state-specific deceptive acts or practices statutes, to pursue matters where financial redress may be available. It is also possible for private plaintiffs to seek redress via class action lawsuits.

Procedural Background

The Petitioner in AMG Capital, Scott Tucker, controlled multiple businesses that provided borrowers with short-term payday loans, the fine print of which explained that the loan would be automatically renewed unless the consumer affirmatively opted out. In combination with high interest rates, this allegedly resulted in massive overcharging of consumers such that, “between 2008 and 2012, Tucker’s businesses made more than 5 million payday loans, amounting to more than $1.3 billion in deceptive charges.”4 In 2012, the FTC sued Tucker and his businesses, alleging that they were engaging in unfair or deceptive acts or practices, in violation of FTC Act section 5(a).5

In filing its suit, the FTC did so directly in federal district court under section 13(b), rather than following the administrative proceedings set forth elsewhere in the FTC Act, and requested the issuance of a permanent injunction and court-ordered monetary relief. The district court granted the FTC’s motion for summary judgment and also directed Tucker to pay $1.27 billion in restitution and disgorgement—the largest litigated award the FTC had ever obtained. The court ordered the FTC to use these funds first to provide “direct redress to consumers” and then to provide “other equitable relief” reasonably related to Tucker’s alleged business practices.6 Tucker lost his appeal to the Ninth Circuit, which cited circuit precedent to reject Tucker’s argument that section 13(b) does not authorize the monetary relief granted by the district court. Tucker petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for certiorari, in light of a circuit court split with the Seventh Circuit in the Credit Bureau case7 on the issue of whether section 13(b) grants the FTC the authority to obtain monetary relief directly from courts. The Supreme Court granted certiorari on July 9, 2020, and oral arguments were held on Jan. 13, 2021. Justice Breyer penned the unanimous decision for the Court.

FTC Act Construction and Evolution

In reaching its decision, the Court leveraged historical and textual arguments about the construction and content of the FTC Act. Since its creation in 1914, the FTC has always been authorized to enforce the Act through its own administrative proceedings. In brief, section 5 sets forth that if the FTC has “reason to believe” that a party “has been or is using any unfair method of competition or unfair or deceptive act or practice,” the FTC may file a complaint and adjudicate its claim before an Administrative Law Judge. The ALJ conducts an administrative hearing and issues a report, and if the ALJ finds that the conduct violated section 5, the ALJ can then issue a cease and desist order (CDO) to enjoin the conduct at issue. At that point, the infringing party may seek review before the full FTC and then a court of appeals, and if the judicial review finds in favor of the FTC, the Commission’s CDO then becomes final and enforceable.

Notably, in 1973, Congress amended the FTC Act to include section 13(b), which allows the FTC to proceed directly to court—i.e., even in the absence of a CDO—to obtain a “temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction,” or, “in proper cases,” to obtain a court-ordered permanent injunction8 At that time, Congress also updated the FTC Act at section 5(l) to authorize district courts to award civil penalties against CDO violators, and to grant mandatory injunctions “and such other and further equitable relief as they deem appropriate in the enforcement” of final CDOs.9 Then, in 1975, Congress enacted FTC Act section 19, authorizing district courts to grant whatever relief is necessary to redress consumer injury, including through the “refund of money or return of property.” Significantly, however, Congress clarified that this consumer redress in relation to unfair or deceptive practices could only be sought after the FTC and ALJ had first issued a final CDO.10 Despite this, from the late 1970s onward, the FTC regularly began using section 13(b) through its interpretation of its “permanent injunction” wording to obtain court orders for monetary redress in consumer protection cases (and, later, in antitrust cases), without first pursuing the administrative proceedings—winning restitution and other forms of equitable monetary relief directly in court.

The Supreme Court’s Rationale

Section 13(b)’s Reference to Injunctions. In its opinion joined by all nine Justices, the Court indicated that no single consideration, but rather several factors taken together, convinced the Justices that 13(b)’s “permanent injunction” language does not authorize the FTC directly to obtain court-ordered monetary relief. Chief among these factors is that section 13(b) refers only to injunctions, which “is not the same as an award of equitable monetary relief.” Analyzing the several paragraphs of 13(b), the Court concluded that “taken as a whole, the provision focuses upon relief that is prospective, not retrospective.”11 To read the “permanent injunction” statutory language as allowing the FTC to unilaterally choose to avoid administrative proceedings to obtain monetary relief “would allow a small statutory tail to wag a very large dog.”12 Moreover, the Court reasoned that because Congress enacted sections 5(l) and 19 with certain important limitations and, in effect, due process safeguards—and in the years after the enactment of section 13(b) in 1973 no less—it was highly unlikely that Congress, without mentioning the matter, “would have granted the Commission authority so readily to circumvent its traditional section 5 administrative proceedings.”13 Justice Breyer concluded, “we cannot believe that Congress merely intended to enact a more onerous alternative to section 13(b) when it enacted section 19 two years later.”14

Distinguishing Prior Supreme Court Precedent. Although the Court acknowledged that, historically, it has sometimes interpreted statutory injunctive relief language comparable to 13(b)’s as authorizing courts to order equitable monetary relief, it clarified that this was not a “universal rule of interpretation” and that the opinions relied upon by the FTC for this proposition were distinguishable. For instance, the Porter case,15 involving the Emergency Price Control Act, and the Mitchell case,16 involving the Fair Labor Standards Act, both examined the text of the respective statutes at issue and, in contrast to the present case, found that there was no indication in the language of those laws that would preclude restitution in a court’s exercise of its equity jurisdiction.

Congressional Assent May Not Be Inferred. The Court also rejected the FTC’s argument that its interpretation of section 13(b) should prevail based on most courts of appeal having followed this view for decades, as well as the fact that Congress revised section 13(b) in 1994 and 2006, suggesting that Congress in effect had ratified the FTC’s expansive reading to include the availability of restitution under section 13(b). Justice Breyer rejected that argument because those amendments did not involve section 13(b)’s remedial provisions or interpret “permanent injunction,” and therefore were unavailing in relation to its scope. As well, Justice Breyer cited other Supreme Court case law in clarifying that when Congress makes only isolated amendments to a law, rather than a comprehensively revised statutory scheme, it is not possible to be sure that Congress’s failure to act represents affirmative congressional approval of a court’s statutory interpretation.17
 
Other Avenues Available. In concluding that section 13(b), as currently written, does not grant the FTC authority to obtain equitable monetary relief, the Court, while seemingly sympathetic to the FTC’s law enforcement mission but unpersuaded that section 13(b) was properly being used by the FTC to achieve that, nonetheless offered suggestions on possible courses of action for the FTC. For one, the FTC certainly may continue to use its authority under sections 5 and 19 to obtain restitution on behalf of consumers. Justice Breyer also explicitly suggested that the FTC ask Congress to formally and explicitly grant it section 13(b) authority to obtain monetary relief, which the FTC did in late 2020 and did again the same week as the Supreme Court’s opinion.18 However, at this time it is unclear whether, or how quickly, the Congress will act on the FTC’s request to amend section 13(b). It is also unclear, even if Congress were to act on the FTC’s request, whether the FTC’s full 13(b) remedial authority will be restored to its pre-AMG Capital scope or whether certain limitations (such as a required showing of scienter or a limitation to cases involving fraud) will be incorporated into possible amending language.

 


AMG Capital Management, LLC et al. v. Federal Trade Commission, No. 19-508, 593 U.S. ___ (2021).

2 See FTC Press Release, “FTC Acting Chairwoman Slaughter Announces New Rulemaking Group,” rel. Mar. 25, 2021.

3 See FTC Press Release, “Statement by FTC Acting Chairwoman Rebecca Kelly Slaughter on the U.S. Supreme Court Ruling in AMG Capital Management LLC v. FTC,” rel. Apr. 22, 2021.

4 Id. at 2.

5 15 U.S.C. section 45(a)(1).

6 AMG Capital, 593 U.S. at 2.

7 Federal Trade Commission v. Credit Bureau Center, LLC, et al., No. 19-825 (initially consolidated with AMG Capital, the Credit Bureau Center case was disassociated on Nov. 9, 2020).

8 15 U.S.C. section 53(b).

9 15 U.S.C. section 45(l).

10 15 U.S.C. section 57b(a)(2).

11 AMG Capital, 593 U.S. at 8.

12 Id. at 8-9.

13 Id. at 9-10.

14 Id. at 12.

15 Porter v. Warner Holding Co., 328 U.S. 395 (1946).

16 Mitchell v. Robert DeMario Jewelry, Inc., 361 U.S. 288 (1960).

17 Id. at 13 (citing Alexander v. Sandoval532 U.S. 275, 292 (2001)).

18 See U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, hearing titled “Strengthening the Federal Trade Commission’s Authority to Protect Consumers,” April 20, 2021. 


©2021 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. All rights reserved.
National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 113

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Who you gonna call: Klain or Ricchetti? https://austerlitz2005.com/who-you-gonna-call-klain-or-ricchetti/ https://austerlitz2005.com/who-you-gonna-call-klain-or-ricchetti/#respond Thu, 17 Jun 2021 05:53:03 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/?p=377 With help from Allie Bice and Daniel Payne Welcome to POLITICO’s 2021 Transition Playbook, your guide to the first 100 days of the Biden administration If there’s something strangeIn the president’s planWho you gonna call? If there’s something weirdAnd the pay-fors stinkWho you gonna call? For Democratic lawmakers who want face-time and policy answers from […]]]>

With help from Allie Bice and Daniel Payne

Welcome to POLITICO’s 2021 Transition Playbook, your guide to the first 100 days of the Biden administration

If there’s something strange
In the president’s plan
Who you gonna call?

If there’s something weird
And the pay-fors stink
Who you gonna call?

For Democratic lawmakers who want face-time and policy answers from the new administration the two most senior people to call are White House chief of staff RONALD KLAIN and counselor to the president STEVE RICCHETTI.

Speaker NANCY PELOSI, Majority Leader STENY HOYER and Majority Whip JIM CLYBURN go to Ricchetti when they need an ear in the White House, multiple people familiar with their relationships told Transition Playbook.

Ricchetti, a longtime aide to President JOE BIDEN and a former lobbyist, is seen as a Washington fixture by most lawmakers on Capitol Hill. The longer you’ve been in D.C. the more likely you are to have worked with him.

“Ricchetti has longer institutional relationships with members,” one source with knowledge of the relationships explained. Klain, a longtime Biden advisor himself who previously served as Ebola coordinator under President BARACK OBAMA, is less known by senior members.

Ricchetti, who was also chairman of Biden’s campaign, arguably has more leeway in his advisory role, multiple sources said, and he isn’t bogged down with managing staff.

Multiple members, including Rep. GREGORY MEEKS (D-N.Y.), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. JOHN YARMUTH (D-Ky.), chair of the House Budget Committee, said they have yet to build a relationship with Klain. “I don’t know Ron, so I don’t go to him,” as Yarmuth put it to our SARAH FERRIS (a must follow! Click here).

“I do have a good relationship with Ricchetti so that’s why I call him,” said Rep. RUBEN GALLEGO (D-Ariz.), who added that he also turns to former Rep. CEDRIC RICHMOND, now director of the Office of Public Engagement.

(Richmond and Ricchetti are also two of the main administration officials who field calls from CEOs, according to two people familiar with the dynamic. “Ricchetti does some with people he knows, but Cedric’s the point person on this,” one of the people said.)

LOUISA TERRELL and the White House Office of Legislative Affairs, have also been a flurry of activity on the Hill with at least 275 calls with chiefs of staff, staff directors, or members (including 81+ calls with Republicans), according to the White House.

But Klain and Ricchetti are the most senior White House officials regularly in touch with lawmakers.

The two are both Midwesterners and longtime Democratic hands who worked in President BILL CLINTON’s White House. Both of them later became lobbyists — Ricchetti worked for many of the left-wing’s adversaries like pharmaceutical companies — though they each deregistered more than a decade ago. And they both, at different points, served as Biden’s chief of staff during the Obama administration.

Some Democrats also said it was no surprise to see Ricchetti join Biden for the president’s first game of golf as commander in chief last weekend. Ricchetti has also ridden several times with Biden on Marine One.

That’s not to say Klain isn’t inundated with phone calls and meeting requests from lawmakers. He talked individually to a dozen Senators in the past week and met at the White House with over 25 members of the House in the past 10 days in various groupings, a source familiar told us.

He’s established himself as something of a progressive whisperer, giving White House insight and connections to the left-wing of the party. As POLITICO reported in March, Sen. BERNIE SANDERS (I-Vt.) has a regular line of communication with Klain.

In an email, a White House official told Transition Playbook that “The President, Vice President and Administration officials across the board are engaging members on both sides of the aisle with a robust strategy to ensure we make the needed investments to ensure America’s economic competitiveness.”

The White House also noted that Klain and Ricchetti occasionally team up, as they did this past week in meetings with moderates House members like the Blue Dogs.

But, “Steve spends much more time talking to members [than Klain], particularly House leadership,” one Democratic lobbyist told Transition Playbook.

Sen. TIM KAINE (D-Va.) told our NICHOLAS WU (another must follow!) he calls both men but for notably different reasons: “I kind of view Klain as the ‘operate government guy’ and Ricchetti as kind of a ‘legislative backing-and-forthing and negotiation guy.’”

“Others might use them differently but if it’s a kind of executive function, operation of government, Klain is sort of my go-to. And if it’s ‘what are we going to do about healthcare,’ ’what kind of negotiations should we be having to get this provision in the workforce, infrastructure bill,’ stuff like that, I tend to talk to Richettti,” Kaine added.

On the flip side, the Progressive Caucus hasn’t had much, if any, interaction with Ricchetti, said one person familiar with the dynamic. But they’ve had open access to Klain and from the beginning saw his addition to the White House as a clear sign they’d be heard. In fact, many progressives actively pushed Biden to pick Klain over Ricchetti for the chief of staff position because of the latter’s past corporate lobbying work.

Not all lawmakers, however, were forthcoming about whom they prefer to talk to when they need answers, want a policy changed, or student debt forgiven.

“Oh, I am not touching that one,” said Sen. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-Mass.) as she walked away from Wu and hopped on an elevator.

Do you work in the Biden administration? Are you in touch with the White House? Are you ASHLEY WILLIAMS?

We want to hear from you — and we’ll keep you anonymous: [email protected]. Or if you want to stay really anonymous send us a tip through SecureDrop, Signal, Telegram, or Whatsapp here. You can also reach Alex and Theo individually if you prefer.

Did someone forward this to you? Subscribe here!

He participated in the Leaders Summit on Climate hosted by the State Department, alongside climate envoy JOHN KERRY and Secretary of State ANTONY BLINKEN.

Later in the day, he received a Covid-19 briefing with the vice president.

She also participated in the Leaders Summit on Climate, and led a Northern Triangle roundtable with leaders of charitable foundations that are active in the region.

Roundtable attendees included: Rockefeller Brothers Fund Director ARTURO AGUILAR, Rockefeller Brothers Fund CEO STEPHEN HEINZ, Open Society Foundation President MARK MALLOCH-BROWN, Foundation for a Just Society CEO NICKY McINTYRE, Seattle International Foundation Director of Policy and Strategic Initiatives ERIC OLSON and Ford Foundation President DARREN WALKER.

With the Center for Presidential Transition

Who was the first president to celebrate Earth Day?

(Answer is at the bottom.)

SEC GETS A NEW ENFORCEMENT DIRECTOR — SEC Chair GARY GENSLER announced today that ALEX OH, a former prosecutor, will be the agency’s enforcement director, KELLIE MEJDRICH reports. The SEC says that Oh will be the agency’s first woman of color to serve in the post.

The remaining articles and infographics in this section are exclusively available to POLITICO Pro subscribers. Pro is a smart, personalized policy intelligence platform from POLITICO. If you are interested in learning more about how POLITICO Pro can support your team through the 2020 transition and beyond, visit this webpage.

MESSONNIER REASSIGNED — Centers for Disease Control and Prevention respiratory disease chief NANCY MESSONNIER has been reassigned from her position heading the agency’s Covid-19 vaccine task force, SARAH OWERMOHLE, ERIN BANCO and ADAM CANCRYN report.

Messonnier clashed with the Trump administration over her early warnings about Covid-19, with former President DONALD TRUMP threatening to fire her and publicly dismissing her dire projections.

Messonnier’s long public silence was supposed to end when Biden assumed office and strove to put more scientists at the forefront of the pandemic response. But she also had differences with Biden officials, according to a person familiar with the discussion. Messonnier is being absorbed into an incident management response team headed by CDC Director ROCHELLE WALENSKY.

PROPOSED RULE ROLLBACKThe Biden administration is restoring transgender protections in homeless shelters, reversing a Trump proposal, KATY O’DONNELL reports.

The Trump proposal would have rolled back transgender protections in HUD’s 2016 Equal Access rule, which mandated access to shelter based on a person’s self-expressed gender identity.

DELAYS — Biden’s nomination of ERIC LANDER to be his top science adviser has been delayed because of Sen. MARIA CANTWELLs (D-Wash.) concerns about two meetings the nominee had with JEFFREY EPSTEIN, Alex, Theo and MARIANNE LeVINE report.

Cantwell, who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee, wanted more clarity on the Lander’s associations with Epstein. The White House confirmed that Lander, Biden’s nominee to lead the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, met with Cantwell, but the senator didn’t elaborate on the meeting.

“We’re having a hearing on him next week and we’ll see what happens with that,” Cantwell said.

DEADLOCKED: The Senate Finance Committee deadlocked on the nomination of CHIQUITA BROOKS-LaSURE to run the federal Medicare and Medicaid agency, RACHEL ROUBEIN reports. That means Senate Majority Leader CHUCK SCHUMER will need to schedule a vote to discharge the nomination from committee.

The 14-14 party-line vote came after Republicans harshly criticized the Biden administration’s decision last week to revoke an extension of a Texas Medicaid program, which was approved in the final days of the Trump administration. Sen. JOHN CORNYN (R-Texas) threatened to hold up the nomination when it reached the full Senate.

BANKING POLICY SHOWDOWN — In a rare move, the acting head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is lobbying Congress to preserve a Trump-era lending rule that critics say is predatory, triggering a forceful rebuke from Senate Banking Committee Chairman SHERROD BROWN (D-Ohio).

The rule loosened restrictions on loans made by banks in partnership with other firms like online lenders, ZACHARY WARMBRODT writes. Consumer watchdogs have warned that it could unleash predatory loans by enabling “payday” lenders to evade state interest rate caps. Brown and other Senate Democrats have been trying to rally support for a vote on legislation that would nullify the rule.

But BLAKE PAULSON, the acting comptroller of the currency, wrote to Brown and other lawmakers last week to argue against undoing the regulation, leading Brown to blast the agency’s attempted intervention. (Biden hasn’t nominated his own pick to lead the agency yet.)

Biden to propose raising capital gains tax rate to up to 43.4 percent (Bloomberg News’ Laura Davison and Allyson Versprille)

We’ll give you one guess which former president Sen. Bob Casey cited when talking about Biden’s first 100 days (Bloomberg Businessweek’s Josh Wingrove and Nancy Cook)

Biden will seek tax increase on rich to fund child care and education (NYT’s Jim Tankersley)

Secretary PETE BUTTIGIEG on MSNBC’s 6pm ET show, “The Beat with Ari Melber”

Secretary MARTY WALSH on MSNBC’s 10pm ET show, “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell”

Labor Secretary Marty Walsh has takes haughter than an early maaawning coffee from Dunkin.

Fox News producer PATRICK WARD tweeted his ranking of the best Boston accents within the Biden administration.

Ward’s ranking puts climate envoy JOHN KERRY in third place (if you even call his an accent), climate adviser GINA McCARTHY in second and Walsh himself in first.

Walsh touted the ranking on Twitter, quote tweeting it with the message: “Confirming what we already knew.”

We’ve previously reported that reviews of Walsh’s accent have been mixed— while a 2013 Boston Globe piece dubbed his accent “what many believe to be the strongest Boston dialect in the city’s mayoral history,” a Time magazine piece in the same year called it “ragged.”

Want to say anything to burnish your Bahstan street cred, John or Gina?

RICHARD NIXON marked the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970.

We want your tips, but we also want your feedback. What should be covering in this newsletter that we’re not? What are we getting wrong? Please let us know.

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The Countdown: NYC mayoral race breakdown, Biden & Putin meeting https://austerlitz2005.com/the-countdown-nyc-mayoral-race-breakdown-biden-putin-meeting/ https://austerlitz2005.com/the-countdown-nyc-mayoral-race-breakdown-biden-putin-meeting/#respond Thu, 17 Jun 2021 05:52:31 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/?p=374 NEW YORK (WABC) — “The Countdown” is here to get you caught up with all of the day’s political news. You can watch it online, on the ABC7NY app or on our Connected TV apps for Fire, Roku, Apple TV and Android TV. Click here to learn more. Wednesday, June 16 President Biden meets 1-on-1 […]]]>
NEW YORK (WABC) — “The Countdown” is here to get you caught up with all of the day’s political news.

You can watch it online, on the ABC7NY app or on our Connected TV apps for Fire, Roku, Apple TV and Android TV. Click here to learn more.

Wednesday, June 16

President Biden meets 1-on-1 with Russian President Putin for ‘constructive’ summit
President Joe Biden says after his meeting with President Vladimir Putin that he is “not going to walk away” from the plight of two Americans detained in Russia. Speaking to reporters, Biden says he raised the imprisonment of Paul Whelan and Trevor Reed in his meeting with Putin.

NYC mayor’s race: Yang touts endorsement; Adams to debut new ad
New York City’s primary election is less than a week away, and the Democratic candidates vying to be the next mayor are preparing their final pushes ahead of the last debate before voters head to the polls. Early voting is already underway, with tens of thousands of New Yorkers already having cast their ballots.

ABC reporter Rachel Scott confronts Putin over crackdown on opponents: What are you so afraid of?
ABC News reporter Rachel Scott on Wednesday confronted Russian President Vladimir Putin about his crackdown on political opponents.

“The list of your political opponents who are dead, imprisoned, or jailed is long … and you have now prevented anyone who supports Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny to run for office,” Scott said. “So my question is, Mr. President, what are you so afraid of?”

Tuesday, June 15

Biden arrives in Geneva for meeting with Vladimir Putin
Buoyed by days of partnership-building sessions with America’s democratic allies, Joe Biden arrived in Geneva on Tuesday for the most-watched and tensest part of his first European tour as president: talks with Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Biden is seeking to restore European ties that were strained under former President Donald Trump, who dismissed the value of NATO and other longstanding U.S. alliances and sought out Putin and other autocrats.

NYC mayor’s race: Garcia takes aim at Adams, Yang focuses on crime
Primary day in the race to be New York City’s next mayor is just one week away, and the candidates were back on the trail Tuesday as the race continues to heat up. Early voting entered its fourth day with more than 43,000 New Yorkers having already cast their ballot.

Monday, June 14

32,000 cast ballots so far in NYC early primary voting
Primary Day in New York is just over a week away, and the race to be the Democratic nominee for New York City mayor is heating up. Rising crime has been the big issue, but now, diversity is also a hot topic.

Early voting is underway, and already, some 32,000 New Yorkers have headed into the polls to cast their ballot.

Up Close: Interviews with all 8 Democratic candidates in New York City mayor’s race
New York City’s mayoral race is heating up, with early voting already underway ahead of the primary election of Tuesday, June 22.

The significant election, with New Yorkers choosing a new mayor for the first time in eight years, comes as the city emerges from the pandemic, with public safety and crime taking center stage in the campaign. Shootings were up last month by 73% compared to a year ago and transit crimes have nearly doubled.

Biden reaffirms US ‘sacred’ commitment to NATO alliance on European trip
President Joe Biden reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to NATO on Monday as leading members declared it a pivotal moment for an alliance beleaguered during the presidency of Donald Trump, who questioned the relevance of the multilateral organization.

Shortly after arriving at the alliance’s headquarters for the first NATO summit of his presidency, Biden sat down with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and underscored the U.S. commitment to Article 5 of the alliance charter, which spells out that an attack on one member is an attack on all and is to be met with a collective response.

Friday, June 11

Early voting kicks off in NYC’s mayoral primary election this weekend
Early voting is set to kick off across the five boroughs Saturday in New York City’s mayoral primary, and the race is heating up after the five frontrunners met for another debate on Thursday evening. It was far less heated than the first time the candidates met, though the hot topic was still on increasing crime in the city.

G-7 nations gather to pledge 1 billion COVID vaccine doses for world
Leaders from the Group of Seven industrialized nations are set to commit at their summit to sharing at least 1 billion coronavirus shots with struggling countries around the world – half the doses coming from the U.S. and 100 million from the U.K.

Vaccine sharing commitments from U.S. President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson set the stage for the G-7 meeting in southwest England, where leaders will pivot Friday from opening greetings and a “family photo” directly into a session on “Building Back Better From COVID-19.”

Trump’s Justice Department seized data of House Democrats from Apple: Sources
Prosecutors with former President Donald Trump’s Justice Department subpoenaed Apple for data from at least two Democrats who served on the House Intelligence Committee, as well as aides and their family members, one of whom was a minor, ABC News confirmed with four sources familiar with the investigation.

A House Intelligence Committee official confirmed to ABC News that Apple notified roughly a dozen people associated with the committee just last month that the DOJ issued grand jury subpoenas for their information and metadata in February 2018.

Thursday, June 10

Maya Wiley surges in polls, takes aim at mayoral race frontrunner
The former counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio has leap frogged into second place in the latest poll in the race for New York mayor, and she’s taking aim at frontrunner Eric Adams.

On Thursday afternoon, Maya Wiley called herself the clear progressive in the race for mayor. And a new poll revealed her surging into second place behind Eric Adams after endorsements like the one Saturday from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Biden unveils plan for US to donate 500M more COVID-19 vaccine doses
President Joe Biden called on global leaders Thursday to join him in sharing coronavirus vaccines with struggling nations around the world after he promised the U.S. would donate 500 million doses to help speed the pandemic’s end and bolster the strategic position of the world’s wealthiest democracies.

Speaking in England before the summit meeting of the Group of Seven, Biden announced the U.S. commitment to vaccine sharing, which comes on top of 80 million doses he has already pledged by the end of the month. He argued it was in both America’s interests and the world’s to make vaccination widely and speedily available everywhere.

Joe Biden, Boris Johnson all smiles during 1st meeting
President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson were all smiles during their first meeting, highlighting their nations’ famed “special relationship” but doing so against a backdrop of differences both political and personal.

Biden hopes to use his first overseas trip as president to reassure European allies that the United States had shed the transactional tendencies of Donald Trump’s term and is a reliable partner again. He and Johnson immediately struck a tone of conviviality as the news media watched.

French man gets 4-month prison sentence for slapping Macron
A 28-year-old Frenchman who described himself as a right-wing or extreme-right “patriot” was sentenced to four months in prison Thursday for slapping President Emmanuel Macron in the face.

Damien Tarel was also banned from ever holding public office in France and from owning weapons for five years over the swipe Tuesday, which caught Macron’s left cheek with an audible thwack as the French leader was greeting a crowd.

Wednesday, June 9

Eric Adams emotional after opponents question his Brooklyn residency
Eric Adams is feeling the political heat as frontrunner in the Democratic primary race for New York City mayor, after his opponents questioned whether he lives in Brooklyn or New Jersey.

It was an Eric Adams we have never seen before — openly weeping with his son, Jordan, at his side, in front of a three-unit Bedford Stuyvesant apartment he’s owned for almost 20 years — explaining why he’s so secretive about where he lives.

Chartered plane overrun by cicadas delays White House press ahead of Biden overseas trip
Reporters traveling to the United Kingdom for President Joe Biden’s first overseas trip were delayed seven hours after their chartered plane was overrun by cicadas.

The Washington, D.C., area is among the many parts of the country that have been swarmed by Brood X cicadas, a large emergence of the loud 17-year insects that take to dive-bombing onto moving vehicles and unsuspecting passersby.

Biden to assure US allies, meet Putin on 1st overseas trip
President Joe Biden opened the first overseas trip of his term Wednesday with a declaration that “the United States is back” as he seeks to reassert the nation on the world stage and steady European allies deeply shaken by his predecessor.

Biden has set the stakes for his eight-day trip in sweeping terms, believing the West must publicly demonstrate it can compete economically with China as the world emerges from the coronavirus pandemic. It is an open repudiation of his predecessor, Donald Trump, who scorned alliances and withdrew from a global climate change agreement that Biden has since rejoined.

Biden revokes Trump executive orders targeting TikTok, WeChat
President Joe Biden on Thursday revoked a series of executive orders signed during the Trump administration targeting TikTok, WeChat and other Chinese apps, and replaced them with a new executive order addressing apps linked to foreign adversaries, including China.

Thursday’s order is aimed at protecting Americans’ personal data, according to a White House news release, and orders the Commerce Department to develop criteria for assessing potential national security risks associated with apps that are “owned, controlled, or managed by persons that support foreign adversary military or intelligence activities, or are involved in malicious cyber activities, or involve applications that collect sensitive personal data.”

Tuesday, June 8

NYC mayor race: Eric Adams calls Maya Wiley hypocrite after questioning police funding
Democratic candidate for New York City mayor Eric Adams is calling out one of his opponents for being a hypocrite. Adams says while Maya Wiley is questioning how the police department is funded, her historic mansion in Brooklyn is protected by private security patrols.

First (and possibly last) review of Jan. 6 attack at US Capitol finds sweeping government failures
A Senate investigation of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol has uncovered broad government, military and law enforcement missteps before the violent attack, including a breakdown within multiple intelligence agencies and a lack of training and preparation for Capitol Police officers who were quickly overwhelmed by the rioters.

The Senate report released Tuesday is the first – and could be the last – bipartisan review of how hundreds of former President Donald Trump’s supporters were able to violently push past security lines and break into the Capitol that day, interrupting the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.

New Jersey’s GOP voters pick challenger to Gov. Murphy in today’s primary
It is Primary Day in New Jersey. Voters in the Garden State will decide their candidates for the fall election in the race for governor and in every seat in the Democrat-led state Legislature.

‘Do not come’ – VP Kamala Harris in Guatemala trip has stern warning for migrants
Vice President Kamala Harris offered an optimistic outlook for improved cooperation with Guatemala on addressing the spike in migration to the U.S. after her meeting with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei on Monday. She also delivered a direct warning to migrants considering making the trek: “Do not come. Do not come.”

Monday, June 7

NYC mayoral race: With days left until early voting begins, endorsements hit high gear
With less than a week to go until early voting starts for NYC mayor, the endorsement race has hit high gear. On Monday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams earned the support of his Queens counterpart, Donovan Richards. Queens is reeling from a blood-soaked weekend that ended in the death of a 10-year-old boy.

Supreme Court rules against immigrants with temporary status
A unanimous Supreme Court ruled Monday that thousands of people living in the U.S. for humanitarian reasons are ineligible to apply to become permanent residents. Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the court that federal immigration law prohibits people who entered the country illegally and now have Temporary Protected Status from seeking “green cards” to remain in the country permanently.

Supreme Court won’t review men-only draft registration law
The Supreme Court said Monday that for now it’ll be up to Congress, not the court, to decide whether to change the requirement that only men must register for the draft. It’s one of the few areas of federal law where men and women are still treated differently. In a statement, three justices said Congress is weighing whether to change the Military Selective Service Act, which requires men but not women to register for the draft when they turn 18. They said that was a reason for the court to kick the matter back to lawmakers.

Cuomo says once state hits 70% vaccination rate, most restrictions can be lifted
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced New York state will be able to lift most COVID restrictions across commercial and social settings when the vaccination rate hits 70%. When 70% of New Yorkers have received at least one dosage, Cuomo says “we can relax virtually all restrictions.”

Part of cyberattack ransom recovered after Colonial Pipeline paid $4.4 million, officials say
The Justice Department has recovered the majority of a multimillion-dollar ransom payment to hackers after a cyberattack that caused the operator of the nation’s largest fuel pipeline to halt its operations last month, officials said Monday.

The operation to recover the cryptocurrency from the Russia-based hacker group is the first undertaken by a specialized ransomware task force created by the Biden administration Justice Department, and reflects what U.S. officials say is an increasingly aggressive approach to deal with a ransomware threat that in the last month has targeted critical industries around the world.

Friday, June 4

Facebook says Trump now suspended until at least January 2023
Facebook announced Friday that former President Donald Trump would be suspended from its platform until at least January 7th, 2023 — two years from when he was initially suspended. Facebook said it will then assess the circumstances to see if he should be allowed back on.

Pence: I’ll likely never see eye to eye with fmr. President Trump on Jan. 6
Former Vice President Mike Pence says that he isn’t sure that he and former President Donald Trump will ever see “eye to eye” over what happened on Jan. 6 but that he would “always be proud of what we accomplished for the American people over the last four years.”

Pence, speaking at a Republican dinner Thursday in the early-voting state of New Hampshire, gave his most extensive comments to date on the events of Jan. 6, when angry Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, some chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” after the vice president said he did not have the power to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory.

Trump’s former White House counsel to appear before House committee after 2-year battle
The House Judiciary Committee is poised to question former White House counsel Don McGahn behind closed doors on Friday, two years after House Democrats originally sought his testimony as part of investigations into former President Donald Trump.

The long-awaited interview is the result of an agreement reached last month in federal court. House Democrats – then investigating whether Trump tried to obstruct the Justice Department’s probes into his presidential campaign’s ties to Russia – originally sued after McGahn defied an April 2019 subpoena on Trump’s orders.

Thursday, June 3

Democratic candidates for NYC mayor back on the trail after tense, fiery WABC debate
The Democratic candidates in the race to be New York City’s next mayor fanned out across the Big Apple Thursday, trying to win over voters one day after sparks flew during the first in-person debate, hosted by WABC. Primary day is less than three weeks away, and the gloves are coming off as the race heats up.

White House pushes for companies to take ransomware more seriously after high-profile cyberattacks
The White House has issued a rare open letter to companies calling on them to treat the threat of ransomware attacks with greater urgency, following back-to-back attacks by Russian hackers on key oil and food processing companies.

In a memo sent out Thursday morning, the National Security Council’s top cyber official, Anne Neuberger, writes to corporate executives and business leaders that the private sector needs to better understand its critical role.

US vaccination rate drops, President Biden declares ‘National Month of Action’
President Biden has declared June a “National Month of Action” for vaccinations. It comes as fewer people are getting the shots and the president is now one month away from his self-imposed July 4th deadline to get at least one dose of the vaccine in 70% of Americans. The U.S. vaccination rate went from 3.3 million doses a day to 1.1.million a day.

Benjamin Netanyahu opponents push for quick vote to end his 12-year rule as prime minister
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s opponents pushed Thursday for a quick parliament vote to formally end his lengthy rule, hoping to head off any last-minute attempts to derail their newly announced coalition government.

The latest political maneuvering began just hours after opposition leader Yair Lapid and his main coalition partner, Naftali Bennett, declared they had reached a deal to form a new government and muster a majority in the 120-member Knesset, or parliament.

Trump increasingly talking like he plans to mount 2024 presidential run
Donald Trump was calling into yet another friendly radio show when he was asked, as he often is, whether he’s planning a comeback bid for the White House. “We need you,” conservative commentator Dan Bongino told the former president.

“Well, I’ll tell you what,” Trump responded. “We are going to make you very happy, and we’re going to do what’s right.”

Friday, May28

GOP blocks bipartisan probe of deadly Jan. 6 riot at Capitol
Senate Republicans on Friday blocked creation of a bipartisan panel to study the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, turning aside the independent investigation in a show of party loyalty to former President Donald Trump and an effort to shift the political focus away from the violent insurrection by his GOP supporters.

The Senate vote was 54-35 – short of the 60 votes needed to take up a House-passed bill that would have formed a 10-member commission evenly split between the two parties. It came a day after emotional appeals from police who fought with the rioters and lawmakers who fled Capitol chambers that day.

Biden to sign order establishing White House AAPI initiative
President Joe Biden will sign an executive order on Friday renewing a White House initiative charged with advancing “equity, justice, and opportunity” for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, including coordinating a “comprehensive” federal response to the rise in anti-Asian violence and discrimination.

“… For far too long, systemic barriers to equity, justice, and opportunity have put the American dream out of reach for many AA and NHPI communities, and racism, nativism, and xenophobia against AA and NHPI communities continues to threaten safety and dignity of AA and NHPI families,” the White House said in a fact sheet released Friday.

Thursday, May27

White House to propose $6 trillion budget for 2022
The White House on Friday will propose a $6 trillion budget for the 2022 fiscal year, a senior administration official tells CNN, as President Joe Biden prepares to outline his spending blueprint for the first time in his formal request to Congress.

The budget proposal calls for the most sustained spending in more than a half-century, which forecasts deficits at more than $1 trillion for at least the next decade. The budget proposed by the White House is the President’s opening offer to Congress in negotiations over the federal budget and is expected to change before being signed into law.

How will the next NYC mayor deal with the NYPD? Adams addresses PBA comment
How will the next mayor of New York City deal with the NYPD? That question was front and center Thursday in the race to be the city’s 110th mayor. As violent crime spikes across the city, Eric Adams, a former police captain, has painted himself as the law and order candidate, but he’s also vowed to reform and rein in abusive police tactics like stop and frisk.

Sheriff: Sam Cassidy, gunman who killed 9 in San Jose railyard shooting, appeared to target victims
A California sheriff says a gunman who killed nine people in a rail yard massacre had fired 39 shots and appeared to target some of the victims. Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith told The Associated Press on Thursday that the shooter told at least one person: “I’m not going to shoot you” at a light rail facility for the Valley Transportation Authority in San Jose.

Republicans poised to stamp out creation of Jan. 6 Capitol attack commission with filibuster
Senate Republicans are ready to deploy the filibuster to block a commission on the Jan. 6 insurrection, shattering hopes for a bipartisan probe of the deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol and reviving pressure on Democrats to do away with the procedural tactic that critics say has lost its purpose.

The vote Thursday would be the first successful use of a filibuster this year to halt Senate legislative action. Most Republicans oppose the bill, which would establish a commission to investigate the attack by Donald Trump supporters over the election.

Wednesday, May 26

Republican senators ready $1T infrastructure counteroffer to Biden
Senate Republicans revived negotiations over President Joe Biden’s sweeping investment plan, preparing a $1 trillion infrastructure proposal that would be funded with COVID-19 relief money as a counteroffer to the White House ahead of a Memorial Day deadline toward a bipartisan deal.

The Republicans said Tuesday they would disclose details of the new offer by Thursday, sounding upbeat after both sides had panned other offers.

House GOP leaders condemn Marjorie Taylor Greene over comparing mask rules to Holocaust
House Republican leaders forcefully condemned GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Tuesday, calling her comments comparing House COVID-19 safety rules like mask-wearing to the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany “appalling.” The freshman Georgia congresswoman’s comments belittled “the greatest atrocity committed in history,” said House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Manhattan DA convenes special grand jury in Trump proble, NY AG also investigating
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office has convened the special grand jury that would decide whether an indictment is warranted against former President Trump or his eponymous company, sources told ABC News. Prosecutors have been using previously empaneled grand juries to issue subpoenas and gather evidence in an investigation that has spanned the better part of two years.

Tuesday, May 25

Manhattan DA convenes special grand jury to decide on Trump indictment: ABC News
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office has convened the special grand jury that would decide whether an indictment is warranted against former President Trump or his eponymous company, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

Prosecutors have been using previously empaneled grand juries to issue subpoenas and gather evidence in an investigation that has spanned the better part of two years.

NYC marks 1 year since murder of George Floyd with solemn observances, protests
The life of George Floyd – and his death seen on video around the world – will be remembered and acknowledged today in New York City and across the country. A full day of protests are scheduled for Tuesday marking one year since the murder of Floyd during an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

White House: Joe Biden to meet Vladimir Putin face-to-face next month for Geneva summit
President Joe Biden and Russia’s Vladimir Putin agreed Tuesday to meet next month in Geneva, a face-to-face encounter the White House hopes will help bring some predictability to a fraught relationship that’s only worsened in the first months of the Democratic administration.

The June 16 summit is being tacked on to the end of Biden’s first international trip as president: He’ll also visit Britain for a meeting of Group of Seven world leaders and attend a NATO summit in Brussels.

US will make ‘significant contributions’ to rebuilding Gaza, Blinken says
The United States will make “significant contributions” to rebuild Gaza and reopen its consulate in Jerusalem following the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on the first day of his first official visit to the region. Blinken, speaking alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, said the US would “work to ensure that Hamas does not benefit” from the aid.

Monday, May 24

Belarus condemned for ‘hijacking’ commercial airplane to detain journalist
Ryanair flight 4978 was about to begin its descent to Vilnius in Lithuania on Sunday when it suddenly changed direction after a “security alert,” turning sharply east and descending towards the capital of Belarus, Minsk.

Whether that security alert was a fabrication by the Belarus authorities is now at the heart of an incident that has sparked widespread international condemnation and raised serious questions about safety in the skies. Some governments have described the incident as a state-sanctioned hijacking.

Crime takes center stage as race for NYC mayor heats up
Gun crimes are once again running rampant in New York City, with another violent weekend in the nation’s largest city after 26 people were shot in 22 incidents. And for many, it feels like a lifetime ago that the Big Apple bragged about being the safety metropolis in America. With crime now at the forefront of the race for mayor, the candidates are chiming in with what they’d do to fight the issue.

US to push Israel-Hamas peace talks after Gaza truce
Secretary of State Antony Blinken is heading to the Middle East to press the Israelis, Palestinians and regional players to build on last week’s Gaza cease-fire by laying the groundwork for an eventual resumption in long-stalled peace talks.

President Joe Biden announced Blinken would depart on Monday for a short visit to Israel, the West Bank, Jordan and Egypt for what will be the Biden administration’s highest-level in-person meetings on the crisis that erupted earlier this month.

Friday, May 21

Biden bestows Medal of Honor on Korean War veteran Col. Ralph Puckett Jr.
President Joe Biden awarded his first Medal of Honor on Friday to a 94-year-old retired Army colonel for bravery under enemy fire more than a half-century ago in the Korean War. It took a policy change for retired Col. Ralph Puckett Jr. to receive the military’s highest honor. The 2020 defense policy bill removed a requirement that such awards be given within five years of a valorous act.

Palestinians see victory in Gaza truce as Israel vows ‘new level of force’ to further attacks
Palestinians rallied by the thousands early Friday after a cease-fire took effect in the latest Gaza war, with many viewing it as costly but clear victory for the Islamic militant group Hamas. Israel vowed to respond with a “new level of force” to any further hostilities.

The 11-day war left more than 200 dead – the vast majority Palestinians – and brought widespread devastation to the already impoverished Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. But the rocket barrages that brought life to a standstill in much of Israel were seen by many Palestinians as a bold response to perceived Israeli abuses in Jerusalem, the emotional heart of the conflict.

Amid recent stumbles, Andrew Yang faces questions about whether he’s ready to be NYC’s mayor
It has been a big question about Andrew Yang for weeks, is he ready to be mayor? He has stumbled a lot lately. On Thursday, when asked by reporters, Yang seemed to know little about 50-a, police policy that kept disciplinary records secret.

He was also confused about the city’s chokehold policy and he stumbled at a forum on homeless issues. “One thing I think would be extraordinarily helpful is to have specific shelters for victims of domestic violence, Yang said.

Thursday, May 20

Israel, Hamas agree to cease-fire to end bloody 11-day war
Israel and Hamas announced a cease-fire Thursday, ending a bruising 11-day war that caused widespread destruction in the Gaza Strip and brought life in much of Israel to a standstill.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said Israel accepted the Egyptian proposal after a late-night meeting of his Security Cabinet. Hamas quickly followed suit and said it would honor the deal.

Biden signs bill aimed at addressing rise in anti-Asian hate crimes
President Joe Biden signed a bill into law on Thursday that’s aimed at countering a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes that’s come during the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden has previously urged Congress to pass the legislation, called the Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act. The bill will create a new position at the Justice Department to expedite review of potential Covid-19-related hate crimes and incidents reported at the federal, state or local level.

Stringer, Adams & Yang hit campaign trail ahead of election day
The next mayor of New York City is facing the biggest challenges perhaps of any mayor and the field of candidates is the most diverse ever. At Yankee Stadium on Thursday morning, Eric Adams picked up the endorsement of United Local 100, a union of airport and food service workers.

And a half hour later, Scott Stringer blasted two Republican donors. One of them bought a $200 million apartment on Central Park.

Wednesday, May 19

Airstrikes kill 6, level home in Gaza; Biden tells Israel PM he expects ‘significant de-escalation’
Israeli airstrikes killed at least six people across the Gaza Strip and destroyed the home of an extended family early Wednesday. The military said it widened its strikes in the Palestinian territory’s south to blunt continuing rocket fire from Hamas, while a separate barrage also came from Lebanon.

U.S. President Joe Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he expects a “significant de-escalation” Wednesday on the path to a cease-fire with Hamas.

NY Attorney General opens criminal investigation into Trump Organization
The New York Attorney General’s investigation into the Trump Organization has now evolved to include potential crimes, according to a spokesman. The office has been investigating possible civil violations by the Trump Organization over the way it valued holdings as it sought loans and tax benefits.

Mitch McConnell says he’ll oppose Jan. 6 commission to investigate Jan.6 Capitol riot
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday he will oppose legislation to create a commission on the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, a blow to Democrats who say an independent, bipartisan investigation of the siege is crucial to prevent it from happening again.

The Republican leader’s opposition comes a day after he said he was “open” to the bill that the House is expected to pass Wednesday. House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy has also said he will not support the legislation.

Tuesday, May 18

Andrew Giuliani, son of former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, announces run for New York governor
Andrew Giuliani, the son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, announced Tuesday that he is running for governor, joining Lee Zeldin and Rob Astornio as Republican challengers to third term incumbent Andrew Cuomo. Giuliani, 35, told ABC News said last month that he was “strongly considering” a run and that he would be meeting with New York Republican county chairs in the coming weeks.

Biden announces US will share more COVID-19 vaccines globally
President Joe Biden said Monday that his administration will share millions more doses of COVID-19 vaccines with other countries in addition to the 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine he has already committed to sharing by July 4.

Biden said the US will share at least 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of next month, totaling 80 million doses that are set to be sent abroad. Those additional 20 million doses will consist of Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines as well as AstraZeneca, which has to be approved by federal regulators before being shipped overseas. That effort is underway.

Strike from Gaza kills 2 as Israel topples 6-story building
A strike launched from Gaza killed two Thai workers in southern Israel on Tuesday, police said, hours after Israeli airstrikes toppled a six-story building in the Palestinian territory that housed bookstores and educational centers. With the war showing no sign of abating, Palestinians across the region went on a general strike in a rare collective action against Israel’s policies.

Violence erupted at protests in the occupied West Bank, including at one in the city of Ramallah. Hundreds of Palestinians burned tires and hurled stones toward an Israeli military checkpoint. Troops fired tear gas canisters at the crowd and protesters picked up some of them and threw them back.

Monday, May 17

Biden expresses ‘support’ for Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire in Netanyahu call
President Joe Biden expressed support for a cease-fire between Israel and Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers in a call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, the eighth day of air strikes and rocket barrages that have killed at least 200 people, most of them Palestinians in Gaza.

Biden stopped short of joining the growing demands from Democrats and others for an immediate cease-fire in the fighting. But the White House readout of the call showed increased White House concern that the fighting – including Israeli airstrikes aimed at weakening Hamas – come to an end, while still expressing support for Israel.

Cuomo set to earn $5M payday from memoir on COVID-19 crisis
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo disclosed Monday that he was paid a $3.1 million advance to write his COVID-19 leadership book last year and under his publishing contract will make another $2 million on the memoir over the next two years.

The Democrat had, for months, declined to say how much money he made from writing “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons From the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

Matt Gaetz associate Joel Greenberg pleads guilty to sex trafficking charges
A Florida politician who emerged as a central figure in the Justice Department’s sex trafficking investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz pleaded guilty Monday to six federal charges and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors as part of a plea deal.

Joel Greenberg, a longtime associate of Gaetz, appeared in federal court in Orlando. He pleaded guilty to six of the nearly three dozen charges he faced, including sex trafficking of a minor, and he admitted that he had paid at least one underage girl to have sex with him and other men.

Gov. Cuomo announces New York to adopt CDC mask guidelines for fully vaccinated
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced New York state will end mask mandates and adopt CDC guidelines for the fully vaccinated effective Wednesday. Cuomo says following the CDC guidance, immunocompromised people and unvaccinated people should wear a mask and social distance.

Friday, May 14

Israel-Palestine conflict latest: Deaths rise as Palestinians flee heavy Israeli fire in Gaza
Thousands of Palestinians grabbed children and belongings and fled their homes Friday as Israel barraged the northern Gaza Strip with tank fire and airstrikes, killing a family of six in their house and heavily damaging other neighborhoods in what it said was an operation to clear militant tunnels.

As international efforts at a cease-fire stepped up, Israel appeared to be looking to inflict intensified damage on the Islamic militant group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip and has fired hundreds of rockets into Israel.

House Republicans vote to replace Cheney with Trump defender Stefanik
Republicans vaulted Rep. Elise Stefanik into the ranks of House leadership Friday, electing an ardent Donald Trump defender in hopes of calming their searing civil war over the deposed Rep. Liz Cheney’s unremitting combat with the former president.

Stefanik, R-N.Y., a moderate turned Trump loyalist who’s given voice to many of his false claims about election fraud, was elected as expected to the No. 3 post that Cheney, R-Wyo., held for over two years.

House panel reaches agreement on bipartisan Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection commission
The top Democratic and Republican members of the House Homeland Security Committee have reached an agreement on legislation to form a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The measure had stalled amid partisan differences.

Under the terms of the agreement announced Friday, the commission would have an equal number of Democrats and Republicans, five from each party. It would have subpoena power and be charged with issuing a final report by Dec. 31, along with recommendations to prevent future attacks.

Mask-wearing update in NY, NJ and CT: What to know
The CDC announced new mask guidance Thursday that allows for fully vaccinated individual to safely discard their masks in most cases, but it leaves it up to states, cities, and businesses to dictate their own rules. So far, New York and New Jersey do not appear to be in a rush to make any changes in mask-wearing policies. But it’s a different story in Connecticut.

Thursday, May 13

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can ditch masks indoors – most of the time
In a major step toward returning to pre-pandemic life, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people on Thursday, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings. “Today is a great day for America,” President Joe Biden said during a Rose Garden address heralding the new guidance.

The guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters, but it will help clear the way for reopening workplaces, schools, and other venues – even removing the need for social distancing for those who are fully vaccinated.

Biden signs executive order to beef up federal cyber defenses following pipeline hack
President Joe Biden signed an executive order Wednesday meant to strengthen U.S. cybersecurity defenses in response to a series of headline-grabbing hacking incidents that highlight how vulnerable the country’s public and private sectors are to high-tech spies and criminals operating from half a world away.

The order will require all federal agencies to use basic cybersecurity measures, like multi-factor authentication, and require new security standards for software makers that contract with the federal government.

Israel threatens Gaza ground invasion despite truce efforts
Israel on Thursday said it was massing troops along the Gaza frontier and calling up 9,000 reservists ahead of a possible ground invasion of the Hamas-ruled territory, as the two bitter enemies plunged closer to all-out war. Egyptian mediators rushed to Israel for cease-fire efforts but showed no signs of progress.

The stepped-up fighting came as communal violence in Israel erupted for a fourth night, with Jewish and Arab mobs clashing in the flashpoint town of Lod. The fighting took place despite a bolstered police presence ordered by the nation’s leaders.

NYC mayoral race heats up with 6 weeks to go before primary
With less than six weeks to go, the Democratic primary that may decide the next mayor of New York City has reached a new stage of unpredictability. Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang is clinging to front-runner status while City Comptroller Scott Stringer fights off a sexual misconduct allegation.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a former police officer and founder of a law enforcement reform group, has seen his standing rise amid concern over a spike in shootings during the coronavirus pandemic – including gunfire that injured three bystanders in Times Square.

Wednesday, May 12

Mideast violence bears hallmarks of 2014 Gaza war
Israeli airstrikes toppled a massive high-rise building in central Gaza City on Wednesday, in the latest escalation in Israel-Hamas fighting — the most severe outbreak of violence since a 2014 war.

Palls of gray smoke rose in Gaza, as Israeli airstrikes levelled two apartment towers and hammered the militant group’s multiple security installations, destroying the central police compound.

In Israel, barrages of hundreds of rockets fired by Gaza’s Hamas rulers and other militants at times overwhelmed missile defenses and brought air raid sirens and explosions echoing across Tel Aviv, Israel’s biggest metropolitan area, and other cities.

The death toll in Gaza rose to 48 Palestinians, including 14 children and three women, according to the Health Ministry. More than 300 people have been wounded, including 86 children and 39 women. Six Israelis, including a soldier, three women and a child, were killed, and dozens of people were wounded.

Liz Cheney vows to prevent Trump from becoming president again after ousting
House Republicans ousted Rep. Liz Cheney from her post as the chamber’s No. 3 GOP leader on Wednesday, punishing her after she repeatedly rebuked former President Donald Trump for his false claims of election fraud and his role in inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

Meeting behind closed doors for less than 20 minutes, GOP lawmakers used a voice vote to remove the Wyoming congresswoman from her leadership post, the latest evidence that challenging Trump can be career-threatening.

She was Congress’ highest-ranking Republican woman, a daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, and her removal marked a jarring turnabout to what’s been her fast rise within the party.

Hearing on Jan. 6 violence exposes stark partisan divisions
Republicans sought to rewrite the history of the Jan. 6 insurrection during a rancorous congressional hearing Wednesday, painting the Trump supporters who attacked the building as mostly peaceful patriots and downplaying repeatedly the violence of the day.

Democrats, meanwhile, clashed with Donald Trump’s former Pentagon chief about the unprepared government response to a riot that began when hundreds of Trump loyalists bent on overturning the election broke through police barriers, smashed windows and laid siege to the building.

The colliding lines of questioning, and a failure to settle on a universally agreed-upon set of facts, underscored the challenges Congress faces as it sets out to investigate the violence and government missteps. The House Oversight Committee hearing unfolded just after Republicans in the chamber voted to remove Rep. Liz Cheney from her leadership post for rebuking Trump for his false claims of election fraud and his role in inciting the attack.

Former acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller and former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, testifying publicly for the first time about Jan. 6, defended their agencies’ responses to the chaos. But the hearing almost immediately devolved into partisan bickering about how that day unfolded, with at least one Republican brazenly stating there wasn’t an insurrection at all.

Colonial Pipeline restarts operations following hacking shutdown
The Colonial Pipeline, which delivers about 45% of the fuel consumed on the East Coast, was hit on Friday with a cyberattack by hackers who lock up computer systems and demand a ransom to release them. The attack raised concerns, once again, about the vulnerability of the nation’s critical infrastructure.

Colonial initiated the restart of pipeline operations late Wednesday, “which means that all lines, including those lateral lines that have been running manually, will return to normal operations,” the company said in a statement. But it will take several days for deliveries to return to normal, the company said.

In the meantime, drivers have been finding gas stations with little or no gas in some Southeast states.

Tuesday, May 11

Israel, Hamas trade deadly fire as confrontation escalates
A confrontation between Israel and Hamas sparked by weeks of tensions in contested Jerusalem escalated Tuesday as Israel unleashed new airstrikes on Gaza while militants barraged Israel with hundreds of rockets. The exchange killed a number of militants and civilians in Gaza and at least three people in Israel.

The barrage of rockets from the Gaza Strip and airstrikes into the territory continued almost nonstop throughout the day, in what appeared to be some of the most intense fighting between Israel and Hamas since their 2014 war. The fire was so relentless that Israel’s Iron Dome rocket-defense system seemed to be overwhelmed. Columns of smoke rose from many places in Gaza.

Colonial Pipeline officials hope most service will be back by weekend after ransomware hack
Hit by a cyberattack, the operator of a major U.S. fuel pipeline said it hopes to have services mostly restored by the end of the week as the FBI and administration officials identified the culprits as a gang of criminal hackers.

U.S. officials sought to soothe concerns about price spikes or damage to the economy by stressing that the fuel supply had so far not experienced widespread disruptions, and the company said Monday that it was working toward “substantially restoring operational service” by the weekend.

Kathryn Garcia making name for self in New York City mayoral race
The New York Times endorsement of Kathryn Garcia might just push her from unknown, to top tier in the race for New York City mayor. Her new television ad stresses experience — and lots of it.

Garcia was sanitation commissioner for the New York City Sanitation Department, making sure streets got plowed and the trash picked up.

Monday, May 10

Times Square shooting
New York City was once billed as the safest big city in the country, but as shootings are up, Mayor Bill de Blasio is walking a strange line of stopping the violence and also trying to drum up tourism.

After Saturday’s shooting in Times Square that left two women and a child injured, de Blasio increased security in the Crossroads of the World. However, at the same time, he doubted the brazen violence will hurt tourism. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the MTA strongly disagreed.

Crime has become a huge issue in the race for mayor, especially after the Times Square shooting.

Hamas targets Jerusalem after clashes at revered mosque
Hamas militants fired dozens of rockets into Israel on Monday, including a barrage that set off air raid sirens as far away as Jerusalem, after hundreds of Palestinians were hurt in clashes with Israeli police at a flashpoint religious site in the contested holy city.

The rocket fire drew heavy Israeli retaliation in the Gaza Strip. Health officials said at least 20 people, including nine children, were killed in fighting, making it one of the bloodiest days of battle between the bitter enemies in several years.

The fighting escalated already heightened tensions throughout the region following weeks of confrontations between Israeli police and Palestinian protesters in Jerusalem. Those confrontations, focused around a disputed hilltop compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, have threatened to spark a wider conflict.

Fuel pipeline shutdown sparks worries of $3 gas
A cyberattack forced the largest US fuel pipeline to shut down Friday, and analysts are worried the disruption could result in a spike in gas prices.

The Colonial Pipeline system spans more than 5,500 miles and transports about 45% of all fuel consumed on the East Coast. It transports 2.5 million barrels per day of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and home heating oil.

Colonial Pipeline Company said it was the victim of a cybersecurity attack that involved ransomware. In an update on Sunday, the company said that its four mainlines remain offline, but some smaller lines between terminals and delivery points are now operational. The pipeline’s owners include Royal Dutch Shell.

FDA grants emergency use authorization for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for ages 12-15
The US Food and Drug Administration has expanded the emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to include people ages 12 to 15.

This is the first COVID-19 vaccine in the United States authorized for use in younger teens and adolescents; the vaccine had previously been authorized for people age 16 and older. COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are authorized for use in people age 18 and older.

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Online Psychic Readings: 4 Best Free Psychic Sites For Accurate Readings https://austerlitz2005.com/online-psychic-readings-4-best-free-psychic-sites-for-accurate-readings/ https://austerlitz2005.com/online-psychic-readings-4-best-free-psychic-sites-for-accurate-readings/#respond Thu, 17 Jun 2021 05:51:54 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/?p=371 Get acquainted with the best online psychic readings websites of 2021, widely recognized for their accurate and precise readings, find the most accurate psychics, mediums, and tarot readers online. There are concerns in life that can’t be replied to through science or learned information. These concerns don’t have medication accessible in any store or lab. […]]]>

Get acquainted with the best online psychic readings websites of 2021, widely recognized for their accurate and precise readings, find the most accurate psychics, mediums, and tarot readers online.

There are concerns in life that can’t be replied to through science or learned information. These concerns don’t have medication accessible in any store or lab. Exclusively, associating with the otherworldly universe, the inner soul, would one be able to find solutions to these concerns. In any case, the present occupied life rarely permits one to get a psychic reading. With the assistance of surveys and ratings accessible at Psychic-Experts, individuals can get dependable proposals in regards to the best websites to approach for administrations, for example, love psychic, online psychics, and tarot reading.

It requires tolerance, steadiness, and in particular, acknowledgment. Be that as it may, relatively few individuals have these characteristics. In this manner, these individuals live with a rant of inquiries of unanswered questions in their psyche. They lose their rest, their feeling of harmony, and often, even ruin their relations with individuals around them.

Psychic-Experts is a psychic review website that gives impartial perspectives on different online gateways that guarantee to provide authentic psychic reading online. The commentators at Psychic-Experts have tried the administrations offered by these websites and appraised them as per their experience.

Here are the websites that offer a user-friendly interface and solid live psychics readers that hold specializations in the specialty of psychic reading and online tarot readings.

Most Widely Appreciated Psychic Readings Sites of 2021 :

Kasamba – Best for genuine and authentic love and relationship readings with first 3 minutes for free an additional 70% discount on all the essential readings.

California Psychics – Best for accurate tarot readings and future readings. Clients can get 5 minutes free by using the promotion code “ADD5” , plus enjoy low rates reading meetings for only $1 briefly.

Keen Psychic – Excellent for guidance about life important question’s . Keen proffers the starting 10 minutes of psychic online readings only at $1.99.

Psychic Source –Ideal for money and business-related guidance and spiritual readings. This site offers the initial 3 minutes of the readings at zero cost along with an additional 75% discount on the first reading session.

Kasamba

Psychics have capacities that only one out of every odd human has, and they can pursue the past just as they foresee one’s future. Kasamba just has those certifiable soothsayers who don’t perform or create bogus stories. They just harbor those experts in predetermination tellers who are educated and have insight. Furthermore, passionate recuperating through different paths is the thing that Kasamba does. From crystal gazing to top to bottom dream understanding, this site does everything.

At Kasamba, clients can get the flavor of help from these splendid healers soon after online enlistment. Online psychics here are prepared to uncover the destiny of the customers for the duration of the day, and one can connect with them by different methods for correspondence like email and visiting or by calling them through cell phones.

Additionally, opening up to somebody is beyond the realm of imagination in the event that one doesn’t have trust and certainty. Live psychics are unknown to the Users toward the day’s end. Subsequently, to assemble conviction and check any uncertainty or suspicions, Kasamba has kept its foundation straightforward and clear. The clients have complete admittance to the names, encounters, and fortes of the soothsayers. Further, there are composed reviews of the previous clients as well.

The reviews assist the customers in concluding if to go with a specific psychic online. The decision is in possession of the client. With only a single tick, they can pick assistance or simply leave a meeting. The client has been given the exceptional advantage of not paying for the initial three minutes of any spiritualist meeting. Presently, this is the thing that draws in many customers and shows the energy of this site towards getting clients’ fulfillment.

For new clients who need to check destiny reading out, Kasamaba gives a 10-minute meeting at $1.99. Hence, without contributing a lot, clients can receive the reward of a tarot reading online with only a single tick. The customer-centered website is advanced for the clients.

Additionally, it has a few channel choices to assist clients with free psychic reading dependent on rate, surveys, insight, and so on. Occasional, limited time offers, the selective free meeting offers, free preliminaries, and different limits are accessible for an exceptional reading experience.

Pros:

The initial 3 minutes of the psychic reading are free of cost. In the event that the user is satisfied with the reader’s recommendation, they can choose to proceed with the reading at a low price.

Personalized readings with absolute secrecy. Users can choose to conceal their personality in the event that they wish to; however, this may meddle with the reading results.

No secrecy about the readers. Their profiles are accessible to general society, including reviews left by different users.

Discount of 70% from the first reading given to each new customer who registers.

Cons:

No alternative for live video reading, which reduces the personalization of the session. Since psychic readers depend intensely on non-verbal communication and making a personal association, this makes it hard to give the correct result.

Kasamba psychics can be expensive. While the quality of service certainly improves, it proves to be weighty on the wallet.

Try Kasamba Gifted Psychics Here – 3 Minutes For Free

California Psychics

Individuals are regularly bewildered when they understand that wonder like tarot reading can convey results that are direct, exact, and relatable. The surprise is a direct result of the doubt of individuals towards different psychic readings. The doubt has developed as of late as a result of the ascent in counterfeit specialist organizations and fake sites. These sites and applications don’t give any real expertise. They operate on a rehashing code that gives similar outcomes over and over that are modified into it. These applications depend on human-made consciousness and give unremarkable results, best case scenario.

Counterbalancing these impostor sites, California Psychics has been giving accurate psychic reading online for around 25 years. Their live psychics have adequately fulfilled an enormous number of individuals all throughout the planet and continue to quality administrations to themselves, giving the slightest thought to the place they reside in or the time at which they need spectral assistance. Phone Psychics at California Psychics can help the client cross the years in the past to investigate their past and their parentage. The inquiries to the most distinct queries in one’s day-to-day living may have responses cloaked up in the past of the individual.

California Psychics offers such a massive abundance of psychic readings by phone or chat at reasonable prices. Regardless of whether the customer is new to the world of psychics and just necessitates a representation of the interaction, the rates accessible for a meeting at California Psychics guarantee that nobody is given up.

Pros:

The site gives dependable psychic readers a pretty long while of involvement. They are entirely authentic, certified, and validated.

Waiting duration is significantly less for a psychic reading. The site shows the waiting time, which depends on continuous information.

Gives free psychic reading to global customers, with a working client assistance group that is accessible nonstop.

The initial 5 minutes of the call with free psychics. In the event that the clients are settling on their first decision, they are charged just $1 each moment post the free 5 minutes.

Cons:

No video calls are accessible with the readers or counsels, which hampers the shaping of association with the client. The psychic reading may not be just about as exact as is usual, therefore.

All consultants and psychic mediums do not provide psychic readings by phone or chat. This restricts the alternatives given to the client. Just the top of the line, psychics are accessible on a video call, which may require additional charges.

The absence of close association between the client and peruser regularly deters the clients from profiting the psychic readings of this site.

Visit California Psychics To Find Your Clarity – Enjoy 5 Free Minutes

Keen Psychics

At the point when disappointments are accumulating throughout everyday life, and there is no indication of expectation, individuals regularly attempt to discover comfort through the exhortation of an individual who gets life and their circumstance without inclinations. Keen Psychic, find the individuals who have the ability to get a reasonable image of someone else’s life and give them a trustworthy mental encounter.

Everyday citizens don’t know how numbers assume a critical part in their lives. Date of birth or even the summation of a few letters in a name can enormously affect the existence of an individual. This is the reason destinations like Keen Psychic utilize experienced numerologists to assist clients with comprehension and affect their destiny with minor changes in numbers

The clients keen on soothsaying and looking for a psychic near me can discover many counselors here. The best thing is, there is no compelling reason to go somewhere else for a certifiable card understanding meeting, and the clients can book an appointment with the seers they like surprisingly fast here.

The vast majority of the clairvoyants and future-counselors here are capable in Mayan and Vedic crystal gazing, numerology readings, dream interpretation and previous existence examination, and so on, at the Keen Psychic site. Hence, the clients are allowed to pick the help they might want to go for by selecting the assistance and guide according to the appraisals, and rates are given plainly on the site. The channel alternative is not difficult to utilize and saves time while picking assistance.

Pros:

One just needs to choose their preference of consultant through typing Psychic reading near me, and a client will be diverted to the rundown of that classification counsels.

Search Option-Easy inquiry choice is accessible on the landing page to straightforwardly type and search number the best psychic reading online .

Channel Multiple Filter choices to track down the best match psychic reader for direction. The simple drag channel highlight at the cost makes clients work overly simple to sift through guides in a particular value range.

Offer-First three minutes for another client is free for any psychic perusing.

Low Rates-Rates of psychic reading are reasonable, along with the provision of free psychic reading. Indeed, even a low-pay client can arrive at a psychic in the midst of vulnerability.

Audits Feedbacks from past customers are distributed openly so the new clients can find support in dynamic.

If a client wishes to find out about the psychic and illuminate himself with the direction every psychic gives, they can peruse articles distributed in the Article Section.

A fantastic choice to keep clients locked in. One can peruse their horoscope free of charge.

Cons:

Many clients leave the site simply because of the inaccessibility of multilingual psychics.

Non Appearance of Video Psychics for clients who like to have active discussions.

Click Here To Get 10 Minutes For Just $1.99 With Keen Best Psychics

Psychic Source

Psychic Source is mainly known for its tarot reading administrations and free psychic love reading. They can help the client facilitate their pain by meaning the way ahead that holds the most advantage for the client and their friends and family. The tarot card readings are prepared to give appropriate direction to the customer through the readings that they acquire from the tarot cards. The card can uncover subtleties and data in regards to the customer’s future and help them clear the mist that has been hindering them from making choices.

For first-time clients, online tarot readings at Psychic Source are the ideal spot to begin. They can direct their issue with the peruser and get profound assistance absent a lot of ventures. The readings are guaranteed to be secret and get at the two finishes. The peruser can’t record or access any data in regards to the reading once the meeting is finished up. The client can contact the peruser whenever of the day and book an arrangement at their ideal time. The love psychics are accessible in English and Spanish to make the experience more comprehensive and individual.

The otherworldly pursuers can help the client to illuminate subjects that had been puzzling them for quite a while. Through their recommendation, experience, and instinct, the pursuers are capable of giving the client the direction expected to tackle any secret that has been taking the rest of the client. The perusers can be reached through psychic reading by phone or chat, or live psychics reading, or through exclusive options for phone psychics.

Pros:

Psychic Source is one of the not many sites which offers its clients the decision to benefit from the free psychic love reading by phone call, live chat, email, or video call. It additionally guarantees that every one of these modes is accessible for every one of the readers who work for the site.

In contrast to different destinations, while making a record on Psychic Source, clients don’t need to fill in their payment subtleties. They can just join and begin perusing the administrations and readers. They likewise don’t need to settle on memberships or regularly scheduled payments or any such highlights to profit off their administrations.

The site is specifically about the security of its clients. Enormous security and assurance are given to each record to forestall any penetration of information. The record can likewise be gotten to by both OTP and password, whichever one is considered more secure by the client. Every peruser keeps up outright classification, and clients can have confidence that their own inquiries and issues won’t be spilled to anybody outside of the meeting.

Cons:

While the introductory offer is accessible to the clients in case they select a specific bundle, it isn’t supported by every one of the psychic readers, especially the individuals who have a higher rating. Clients, unfortunately, can’t appreciate a better caliber of administrations with the less exorbitant bundle and limited offers.

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Ways to Choose the Most Suitable Psychic

As of late, there has been an ascent in scalawags and individuals making bogus cases just to pull off income sans work. These individuals fool their customers by promising the world to them. All they have under lock and key for the sake of craftsmanship is their capacity to cold-read the customer. Notwithstanding, with a sharp brain and sharp eye, one can detect these cheats and track down the genuine secret jewels.

Here is a portion of the signs that show that the psychic that a client has reached is really genuine and will help a client towards the way of light and understanding.

  • What They Communicate

    The clients should notice and monitor what the peruser addresses them. The client can request to record the peruser during the meeting too for future reference. For a bombed reading, the account can fill in as confirmation too. In the event that the peruser asks the customer a ton of inquiries, that implies that they are burrowing. A peruser who needs to mine for data unmistakably can’t get any on their own utilizing atmosphere reading and interfacing with the subconscious of the individual. Such an individual is making bogus cases in regards to their capacities and doesn’t yet understand the craft of profound reading.

    In the event that the peruser doesn’t allow the client to interfere with them, they talk a great deal in regards to the issues and issues that the customer faces; at that point, they are reliable. This is on the grounds that most readers get data in a whirlwind that they need to deliver as an outburst to convey the idea. The data they gain can come through different methods, contingent on the liking of the peruser.

  • Curses and Spells

    Most psychics can’t enchant or identify a revile upon an individual. They basically don’t hold the capacity to cause an individual to accomplish something out of their desire. A psychic is a simple human that has the properties of a medium. They function as a scaffold between our general surroundings, the world that we live in, and the inconspicuous world. They can’t force their desires on others and can’t work out a revile or a gift.

    In the event that the psychic that the customer has reached guarantees any of such sort, at that point, it tends to be reasoned that they are phony and can’t be trusted. In case the otherworldly peruser claims that they can eliminate hexes that encompass the customer and request a great deal from cash for such administrations, at that point, the customer should cut the contact and avoid such a peruser.

  • Soothing and Solace

    A decent psychic furnishes the customer with data that is mending. It comforts the customer’s spirit and energizes them. It is a snippet of data that the customer will profit by knowing. In the event that a psychic gives the client excess data that they can’t identify with or find that has no ramifications on their life, at that point, a particularly psychic is most likely faking it or can’t interface with the client’s spirit at all.

    In the event that a psychic alarms the clients deliberately by giving them data that identifies an approaching setback, at that point, that individual is a phony. They are attempting to startle the customer with the goal that they can get more cash from them. One ought to know about such individuals who offer unusual arrangements that have no intelligent clarifications for the client’s issues.

Click Here to Visit Our Top-Rated Psychic Reading Website

What are the specializations of psychics readers?

  • A few psychics are better at zeroing in on their clients’ past, current, and future connections.

  • A psychic who is an affection and relationship expert can assist a client with improving struggles, address fears of responsibility, and permit them to dispose of sensations of general cynicism.

  • A psychic reading can likewise assist a client with finding singular aspirations and abilities and accordingly help them push ahead in their profession.

  • A In the event that a client has inquiries regarding their family, during the meeting, they can figure out how to identify with or comprehend other family members. The session that includes family likewise incorporates the recuperating of past parental injuries and parental direction.

  • Many individuals visit psychics to assist them with advancing their monetary circumstances. A lot of devotees need to speak with those friends and family who have died.

  • This meeting can profit the individuals who have uncertain issues with their late companions or relatives and need a conclusion to proceed onward. They can even get a free psychic reading focused on speaking with their dearest pet, regardless of whether they are as yet alive or have passed.

  • At long last, there are spiritual meetings that are focused on required changes in one’s day-to-day existence so they may encounter a more special sensation of fulfillment and achievement.

Get Free reading from the most-qualified and gifted psychic advisors

Types of Topics One Can Discuss During A Psychic Reading

Individuals visit a psychic for shifting reasons; however, some are more normal than others are. A client might be going through an emergency in a specific part of their life, and they might be contemplating whether it is an inquiry deserving of looking for answers from a psychic medium. A portion of the subjects a client ought to hope to talk about with a psychic incorporate, however, are not restricted to the accompanying:

  • Love

    Love matters run the world, and it is no big surprise that quite possibly the most widely recognized points talked about during a psychic reading spins around it. A client might be having fights with their partner yet don’t have the foggiest idea how to give up. A client could be searching for a perfect partner, yet they have attempted commonly, they wound up kissing 1,000 frogs, and now they need to know whether they will at any point be fortunate.

    Each human wants to feel loved and love consequently. Assuming they have not yet satisfied that want, visiting an online psychic reading can offer a few solutions to a client’s pestering inquiries.

    They will get an opportunity to test in the event that they are on the correct way by having some free minutes. In case they wish to proceed, they will get a limited cost to get direction from the medium.

  • Health

    Few out of every odd tarot reading expert can respond to health questions, and thus, it is acceptable to discover one with practical experience in such issues. In the event that they have had a constant ailment or a loved one experiences it, they no doubt would look for the appropriate responses from a medium. A client may have depleted their finances by attempting a few medical offices without much of any result.

    They can find a few solutions or get guidance to look for the expert administrations of a medical doctor.

  • Finance

    Most would give anything significant to know the exit plan with regards to issue finances. Consequently, it is no big surprise that a client no doubt will visit a psychic to talk about their finances after love issues. A tarot reader will advise if fortune will support them and award them monetary security or it will hesitate.

    Despite the fact that going for a psychic reading doesn’t offer a direct response, similar to when they will get the cash, a psychic will have a client’s brain settle. Realizing that it involves time before a client becomes affluent is helpful enough to make all the difference for them.

  • Career

    Picking a career is some of the time interesting, particularly in the event that a client never had a specific objective of what one needed to become from adolescence. The vast majority are not content with their positions, and they keep an eye on carrying on with a disappointing life. They may have arrived at the limit, yet a seeker actually awakens each day to answer to work. A client may require knowledge from a psychic on whether it is a smart thought to stop or hang on.

  • Future

    Life is eccentric; however, a client may end up encountering an uncommon unfortunate turn of events. Their present life might be brimming with disasters and disappointments that make life horrendous for them. Having a brief look at what it will resemble in the future can make them anticipate each new day.

    Carrying on with a troubled life can cause a client to choose to visit a psychic reading, which will help them see whether it’s their destiny or a passing cloud, and cheerful days anticipate them.

  • Closure

    A client may have had an unfortunate encounter with after a loved one. One most likely accomplished something that prompted the death that they think they caused it. In some cases, they may have left an individual too early, and the client never got an opportunity to bid farewell.

    A client might be carrying on with a life of disappointments and blame, making harmony slippery. They can visit a medium that can help them contact the soul of their loved one to finally accept reality.

Final Words

At the point when a vast assortment of alternatives is introduced to somebody who is simply going through their absolute first psychic reading, it tends to be very nerve-wracking. If they are not guided well and offered the correct exhortation, it can leave them more confused than previously. This is by and large what Psychic-Experts.com gives. They dissect each site independently, comprehend its upsides and downsides, its key highlights, and why it is liked or not liked by the clients. With their fair-minded surveys, clients can have confidence that they will appreciate the best psychic readings online in 2021.


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How the US (and China) can overcome the semiconductor shortage https://austerlitz2005.com/how-the-us-and-china-can-overcome-the-semiconductor-shortage/ https://austerlitz2005.com/how-the-us-and-china-can-overcome-the-semiconductor-shortage/#respond Thu, 17 Jun 2021 01:53:01 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/how-the-us-and-china-can-overcome-the-semiconductor-shortage/ The U.S. Senate passed law last week aimed at slowing China’s threat to our economic competitiveness and national security by allocating hundreds of billions of dollars to U.S. development and manufacturing in critical technology areas like artificial intelligence, quantum science and to promote 5G networks. It’s a welcome start, but it’s not enough. The U.S. […]]]>

The U.S. Senate passed law last week aimed at slowing China’s threat to our economic competitiveness and national security by allocating hundreds of billions of dollars to U.S. development and manufacturing in critical technology areas like artificial intelligence, quantum science and to promote 5G networks. It’s a welcome start, but it’s not enough.

The U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, introduced by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., is an important step in addressing China’s politico-economic challenge to the United States. But it’s related to a larger geopolitical stalemate between democracies and autocracies highlighted this week during President Joe Biden’s tour of Europe, including an increasingly tense politico-military and trade competition between China and the United States – particularly over advanced technology.

Our trade and technology competition with China is part of this larger geostrategic reality: The Chinese Communist Party wants to stop the spread of democracy, undermine the international order after World War II, and take control of existing global institutions to its political system. The party’s “China 2025” plan aims to achieve Chinese dominance in key technology areas in the service of its values ​​and political system in China, but, alarmingly, worldwide. We see this in Xinghang Province and Hong Kong, where surveillance has essentially turned the population into prisoners of the Beijing government. We’ve also seen it in China’s leading role in selling surveillance technology around the world. China competes with US and other overseas companies to sell crime-fighting technology that increases security. However, Chinese companies sell systems and implement operations – the rules for their use – to other autocracies in Africa and Asia and to illiberal democratic states in Europe. The Chinese model of using their technology leaves no room for privacy or individual rights. It is a clear threat to human rights and democracy around the world.

Indeed, the rising specter of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan puts the problem in strikingly clear terms. US manufacturing companies rely almost entirely on microelectronics manufactured and integrated in East Asia, and US technology companies source up to 90 percent of their semiconductor chips from Taiwan. Semiconductors are a microelectronic component used in everything from electric toothbrushes to rocket systems. A prolonged disruption to the flow of trade from Taiwan could devastate the US economy and national security.

The situation has become more urgent as the recent and ongoing pandemic-induced semiconductor shortages are turning global markets upside down and threatening national security. It kicked off the CHIPS Act, now part of the Schumer Act, which gives domestic semiconductor manufacturing a $ 52 billion boost. The goal of the Senate is to stimulate American research and development efforts and revitalize the competitive manufacturing of semiconductors. If Congress sets requirements for subsidies to go along with standards, demand for American chips can eventually become market-driven based on quality and reliability. Whichever way Congress will act, it should be accompanied by an assurance that we will continue to stand by Taiwan, which is in greater danger every day, as it is the closest democratic haven for Chinese dissidents on the mainland or in Hong Kong.

Without a broader approach to protecting the integrity of the U.S. supply chain, current efforts will leave our nation vulnerable to many of the same risks that this bill is intended to address.

While the media made headlines to China’s internet-based espionage and sabotage, including the Equifax, Microsoft Exchange, and OPM hacks, less attention was paid to the significant violations of the U.S. government and commercial networks by Chinese companies that were being paid to produce end products for the US semiconductor assemble market. A trusted domestic semiconductor manufacturing facility is vital to commercial competitiveness and national security, but if chips and other microelectronic systems continue to be integrated onto circuit boards in East Asia before they return to the US, as is often the case, our nation will be exposed unacceptable risk.

In addition, the bill fails to address the important issue of protecting American intellectual property that underlies many of the most advanced chip designs, a key risk given China’s aggressive espionage and the express goal of dominating this vital industry.

Shortly after taking office, Biden signed an executive order instructing federal agencies to review critical gaps in domestic manufacturing capacity, and particularly cases of dependency on supply chains that depend on “competitive nations,” ie, China. The next steps include building a more proactive, collaborative relationship between the government and the American industrial base that develops and manufactures these critical technologies. This is perhaps the most urgent when it comes to the multi-billion dollar defense industry. Going forward, the success of the US military on the battlefield will be determined by the government’s ability to quickly incorporate technological advances from the commercial sector. The Pentagon must insist on state-of-the-art technology in the design of its defense systems, especially sensitive microelectronic designs.

Congress should greatly expand the funding and responsibilities of the DOD microelectronics expert bureau known as Defense Microelectronics Activity (DMEA), transforming it into a full-fledged agency. The new organization should use and scale the American microelectronics know-how in order to obtain a qualitative US technological lead in the effectiveness, production and integration of microelectronics in the defense sector. The new DMEA should be tasked with protecting America from potential disruption to the microelectronics trade, working with industry leaders to protect critical intellectual property, and ensuring our microelectronics industry remains globally competitive not only in innovation but also in manufacturing and integration. DMEA should become the center of the government’s efforts to formulate a holistic microelectronics industry and security strategy and implement the expected recommendations from the Secretary of Defense’s cross-functional microelectronics team. In the meantime, Congress can help by creating a legal requirement that large public procurement programs incorporate commercial best practices in the development of microelectronic systems.

The costs and risks of our current system are clear and increasingly unsustainable. Incorporating advanced commercial microelectronic solutions can help overcome the production delays and cost overruns that have hampered the use of so many advanced systems. The beleaguered KC-46 tanker’s far-sight system and the historically ailing F-35 program are just two recent examples where commercially available emulation technologies for microelectronic prefabrication could help alleviate costly delays.

Microelectronics literally enables the advanced technology domains that represent the future of global competition, from artificial intelligence to quantum computers. If the United States is to overcome the challenge posed by China, we must reverse our reliance on foreign manufacturing and microelectronic systems integration and re-establish our relationship with our domestic microelectronic industrial base. This is not just a question of economic competitiveness, but crucial to victory in the struggle between democracy and autocracy.

Dr. Evelyn N. Farkas was Assistant Secretary of Defense under President Obama, serves on the board of directors of the Project 2049 Institute, and is an advisor to several tech companies doing business with the Department of Defense.

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Veterans Suicide Prevention, Tyndall Air Force Base Score Grant Funding https://austerlitz2005.com/veterans-suicide-prevention-tyndall-air-force-base-score-grant-funding/ https://austerlitz2005.com/veterans-suicide-prevention-tyndall-air-force-base-score-grant-funding/#respond Thu, 17 Jun 2021 01:53:01 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/veterans-suicide-prevention-tyndall-air-force-base-score-grant-funding/ Tyndall Air Force Base was badly damaged during Hurricane Michael in 2018. The Florida Defense Support Task Force on Wednesday raised more than $ 324,000 in support of veteran suicide prevention efforts and an ongoing construction project at Tyndall Air Force Base, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced. “These Florida Defense Support Task Force grants will directly […]]]>

Tyndall Air Force Base was badly damaged during Hurricane Michael in 2018.

The Florida Defense Support Task Force on Wednesday raised more than $ 324,000 in support of veteran suicide prevention efforts and an ongoing construction project at Tyndall Air Force Base, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced.

“These Florida Defense Support Task Force grants will directly support those who serve our country and protect our freedom every day,” said the Republican governor. “In combination with the previous round of funding, we have invested more than $ 1.5 million in Florida’s military communities since 2020. I am proud to run the most military-friendly state in the country, and I continue to work to support our soldiers and their families. “

Of the $ 324,000, nearly half goes to the Northeast Florida Fire Watch Council, which offers suicide awareness programs for members of the military, military and retirees, among other things.

“The grant will support education and public relations Programs designed to raise awareness of veterans’ suicide, engage the community, and encourage veterans to access the resources and coordination of resources available to them in our area Programs designed to identify and address vulnerabilities in these resources and services, ”said the executive director of the Northeast Florida Fire Watch Council Nick Howland.

The other half will be donated to the Bay County Board of County Commissioners to help rebuild Tyndall Air Force Base, which was badly damaged during Hurricane Michael in 2018.

The reconstruction will restore the base’s ability to facilitate drone and fighter jet operations.

“This partnership with the FDSTF is another example of our strong focus on working with Tyndall leadership in rebuilding after the effects of Hurricane Michael,” said Robert Carroll, Chairman of the Bay County Board of County Commissioners. “We aim to facilitate communication and develop mission growth and church partnership opportunities for long-term military and defense resilience.”

According to the governor’s office, Florida’s military and defense industries contribute more than $ 95 billion to its economic impact. It also supports more than 914,000 jobs in Florida, making defense the second largest economy in the state.


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FACT SHEET: National Strategy to Combat Domestic Terrorism https://austerlitz2005.com/fact-sheet-national-strategy-to-combat-domestic-terrorism/ https://austerlitz2005.com/fact-sheet-national-strategy-to-combat-domestic-terrorism/#respond Thu, 17 Jun 2021 01:53:01 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/fact-sheet-national-strategy-to-combat-domestic-terrorism/ On his first full day in office, President Biden directed his national security team to conduct a 100-day comprehensive review of the U.S. government’s efforts to combat domestic terrorism, which has become the most pressing terrorist threat facing the United States today . As a result of this review, the Biden administration publishes the very […]]]>

On his first full day in office, President Biden directed his national security team to conduct a 100-day comprehensive review of the U.S. government’s efforts to combat domestic terrorism, which has become the most pressing terrorist threat facing the United States today . As a result of this review, the Biden administration publishes the very first one National Strategy to Combat Domestic Terrorism to address this challenge to American national security and improve the federal government’s response.

Native terrorism isn’t a new threat in the United States, but it’s a threat Americans have endured too often in recent years. The comprehensive strategy provides a nationwide framework for the US government and its partners to understand and share information about domestic terrorism; prevent domestic terrorism from recruiting and mobilizing for violence; disrupt and deter domestic terrorism activities; and against long-term contributors to domestic terrorism. Our approach will protect both the nation and the civil liberties of its citizens.

According to federal law “domestic terrorism“Is defined as” activities that involve life threatening acts in violation of the criminal law of the United States or any other state; appear to aim to intimidate or coerce the civilian population into influencing government policies through intimidation or coercion or interfering with government conduct through mass destruction, murder or kidnapping; and occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States. “

The review was is rooted in an expert assessment of the threat posed by domestic terrorism Provided by the intelligence and law enforcement agencies. An unclassified summary of this assessment was released in March for the public to see the key findings. It found that the two deadliest elements of today’s domestic terrorism threat are (1) racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists who advocate the supremacy of the white race and (2) anti-government or anti-authority violent extremists like violent ones Militia extremists.

To develop a government-wide strategy to combat domestic terrorists, the Biden administration worked extensively with a variety of experts from across the U.S. government, as well as with leaders of Congress, state and local governments, academia, civil society, and religious communities and advising governments abroad. Throughout the process, We have accepted the protection of civil rights and civil liberties as an imperative of national security. The strategy we are putting out today is carefully tailored to combat violence and reduce the factors that lead to violence, threaten public safety and violate free expression. It’s organized around four pillars – the core elements of how the Biden administration will enhance the U.S. government’s response to this persistent, evolving, and deadly threat to our people, democracy, and national security:

PILLAR 1: UNDERSTANDING AND SHARING INFORMATION ON DOMESTIC TERRORISM

The US government will improve domestic terrorism analysis and information sharing by law enforcement agencies at the federal, state, municipal, tribal and territorial levels and, where appropriate, with partners from the private sector. The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have put in place a robust system of methodological tracking of domestic terrorism cases across the country. The Foreign Ministry, as well as intelligence and law enforcement agencies, are learning more about the international dimensions of this threat from foreign partners.

The State Department will continue assess whether additional foreign entities associated with domestic terrorism can be named as foreign terrorist organizations or as Specially Designated Global Terrorists in accordance with the relevant legal criteria. The Treasury Department is working with law enforcement agencies to find ways to improve the identification and analysis of domestic terrorists’ financial activities. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is improving its analysis of open source information to detect threats earlier and will create a structured mechanism for receiving and sharing credible non-governmental government analysis.

PILLAR 2: PREVENT DOMESTIC TERRORISM RECRUITMENT AND MOBILIZATION TO VIOLENCE

Draw on the expertise of various departments and agencies, The US government has redesigned the support of community partners who can help prevent individuals from ever reaching the point where they commit terrorist violence. The US government will Strengthening national resources for the prevention of terrorismand services. For the first time, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has designated “Domestic Violent Extremism” as a National Priority Area within the Department’s Homeland Security Grant program, meaning over $ 77 million in state, local, tribal and territorial partners to prevent, protect and respond to domestic violent extremism. DHS and FBI are working to strengthen local prevention, threat assessment and threat management frameworks. The Department of Defense (DOD) integrates training for soldiers who are leaving or leaving the military to enable potential attacks on persons with military training by violent extremist actors. The US government will improve public awareness Federal funding to address worrying or threatening behavior before violence occurs.

The US government will step up efforts to Combat online terrorist recruitment and mobilization for violence by local terrorists by increasing the exchange of information with the technology sector and creating innovative ways to promote digital literacy and strengthen resilience to recruitment and mobilization. The United States, too, recently joined the Christchurch Call to Action to Eliminate Terrorist and Violent Extremist Content Online, an international partnership between governments and technology companies working to develop new multilateral solutions to eliminate terrorist online content while protecting freedom of expression online.

PILLAR 3: INTERRUPTION AND DEMOLITION OF TERRORISM ACTIVITIES IN THE HOUSE

The work of state law enforcement, as well as our state, local, tribal and territorial law enforcement partners, is vital in the fight against domestic terrorism. The US government will increase Assisting law enforcement agencies at the federal, state and local levels in the nationwide fight against domestic terrorism. US Attorneys and FBI Fields across the country have officially given domestic terrorism top priority and are closely following domestic terrorism-related cases, reallocating or soliciting appropriate funding and resources as needed to address the threat. This includes over $ 100 million in additional resources for the DOJ, FBI, and DHS included in the President’s budget for fiscal year 2022 to ensure the federal government has the analysts, investigators, prosecutors, and other staff and resources which it needed to thwart domestic terrorism and do justice when the law was broken. State, local, indigenous and territorial law enforcement agencies will have access to increased sharing of information and training on domestic terrorism and related threats. The DOJ is carefully examining whether new legislative bodies that reconcile security and protection of civil liberties are necessary and appropriate.

The US government is improving the screening of employees to identify the methods for Identify local terrorists who may pose an insider threat. The Human Resources Bureau is reviewing updates to the forms for applying for sensitive roles in the federal government that could assist investigators in identifying potential domestic terrorism threats. DOD, DOJ and DHS are pursuing similar efforts to make sure local terrorists are not employed within our military or law enforcement agencies and improve screening and review processes. Training and resources are being developed for state, local, tribal and territorial law enforcement partners, as well as sensitive private sector partners, to help them improve their own employee screening programs and prevent individuals posing a domestic terrorism threat from entering Positions of trust are brought.

PILLAR 4: CONFRONT LONG TERM PARTICIPANTS ON DOMESTIC TERRORISM

Every component of government plays a role in eradicating racism and bigotry and promoting justice for all Americans. The US government is in close partnership with civil society Address the long-term contributors who are responsible for much of today’s domestic terrorism. This includes reducing and protecting Americans from racial, ethnic and religious hatred and curbing the flow of firearms to those who intend to commit domestic acts of terrorism. We will work to ensure that law enforcement works without prejudice in combating domestic terrorism and keeping the public safety of all Americans. In a true democracy Violence cannot be an acceptable way of seeking political or social change.

The US government is committed to Strengthen trust in American democracy and its ability to make a difference for the American people, including through the help and opportunity provided through the American Rescue Plan, American Jobs Plan, and American Families Plan. The US government will also work to find ways to get around Counteract the polarization that is often fueled by disinformation, misinformation and dangerous conspiracy theories on the Internetthat supports an information environment that promotes healthy democratic discourse.

In executing this strategy, and as directed by President Biden, we will continue to focus on combating violence and reducing the threat of violence, while vigilantly ensuring the peaceful expression of a wide range of views and freedom of political association.

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