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    WASHINGTON (AP) — White House COVID-19 coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha has issued a dire warning that the U.S. will be increasingly vulnerable to the coronavirus this fall and winter if Congress doesn’t swiftly approve new funding for more vaccines and treatments. In an Associated Press interview Thursday, Jha said Americans’ immune protection from the virus is waning, the virus is adapting to be more contagious and booster doses for most people will be necessary — with the potential for enhanced protection from a new generation of shots. His warning came as the White House said there could be up to 100 million infections from the virus later this year — and as President Joe Biden somberly ordered flags to half-staff to mark 1 million deaths. “As we get to the fall, we are all going to have a lot more vulnerability to a virus that has a lot more immune escape than even it does today and certainly than it did six months ago,” Jha said. “That leaves a lot of us vulnerable.” Jha predicted that the next generation of...
    On Wednesday’s broadcast of ABC’s “GMA3,” Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO) said he opposes importing oil from Venezuela because importing oil from dictatorial regimes leaves America “vulnerable” and America can’t support dictators anywhere and we have to stand up for American values, democracy, and freedom “the right way.” Crow said that dictators have used oil as “a weapon against us. We are vulnerable because of it.” He added, “We can’t exchange one tyrant and dictator for another tyrant and dictator. … We can’t be supporting these tyrants and dictators that are killing women and children and destroying and bombing cities. We can’t support it anywhere. So, this is an all-hands-on-deck moment for America to say, our values matter, freedom and democracy matters, and we’re going to come together, we’re going to make the hard choices to do this better, do this the right way. We did it in World War II when we all came together and there were steel drives and copper drives and people collecting old tires. We are at our best as a country when we make these...
    AMERICAN hospitals are most vulnerable to a cyberattack that would be more devastating than the September 11 terror attacks, an expert fears. Professor Scheherazade Rehman, director of the European Union Research Center (EURC), warned that the healthcare sector has been "exacerbated" by the Covid-19 pandemic. 4The American health system has been 'exacerbated' by the Covid pandemic, Professor Scheherazade Rehman, director of the European Union Research Center (EURC) warnsCredit: Getty 4The expert warned that an attack on healthcare systems would be 'more crippling' than a terror attackCredit: AFP Rehman said financial institutions have upgraded their cyber defenses over the past decade - unlike healthcare. She told The Sun: "We don't have anything that the banks are doing in healthcare settings from hospitals to healthcare delivery centers. "If your card has been hacked, the bank can lock it down and switch the number. “But you cannot change your blood type, you can’t change if you’ve had cancer, you can’t change your date of birth or your DNA. Healthcare information once hacked is not reversible. “Simply changing someone’s birthday is enough to disrupt...
    On Friday’s broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time,” host Bill Maher said that we could more precisely target coronavirus measures to protect those who are vulnerable while everyone else goes back to a normal life. Maher said people on the left organizing their lives around the coronavirus as a part of their political identity is “really a key to this. Because, again, these are the science people, and they’re not listening to basic science. I see people in cars, alone, in a car, with a mask. Do they think they’re going to get it from the radio?” Later, he said, “Why can’t we precisely target, and I don’t mean target — protect the people who are vulnerable and let society go back? … We could be more precise about this. We could pinpoint and help protect the people who are vulnerable and the rest of us go back to life, it seems to me. And we don’t do that.” Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett
    THE US is risking an "apocalypse" with millions lined up for basic needs if there is a cyberattack on the power grid, experts have warned. Experts have been worried for years that the national power grid is vulnerable to cyberattacks from outside countries should they wish to target the US. 3People line up for water in Texas during blackouts in FebruaryCredit: Getty 3Experts are warning that the US is vulnerable to cyberattacksCredit: Getty A study being carried out by researchers at Hudson Institute's Quantum Alliance Initiative is looking into how destructive a hypothetical quantum cyberattack on the US power grid would be, and preliminary results are bleak, to say the least. The early results suggest that the protection of the country's power grids should be an urgent priority, much more so than it already is. "The study's preliminary results offer important clues as to the areas on which policymakers should focus, not only to secure our power grid from a large-scale quantum computer attack but also, in the event this were to be unsuccessful, to mitigate such an...
    AMERICAN air defenses and ships are vulnerable to China’s hypersonic superweapons as officials in Washington appear naïve about Beijing’s military intentions, an expert warns.   Elites within the Chinese Communist Party are pursuing an imperialist agenda as the country aims to seek military parity with the US in the coming years. 4Officials in Washington are 'naive' regarding China's development of hypersonic weapons, an expert says 4China's wargames have intensified in recent months as officials have tested underwater explosives - part of a strategy to wipe out US vessels Beijing allegedly tested a hypersonic weapon that orbited the Earth in July, and a second missile was launched during the same test event, according to reports in the Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal. The missile fell "harmlessly" into the South China Sea. Its role remains unknown as commentators speculated that the missile could've been used to target or deflect a power’s defenses against a potential hypersonic attack. Officials in Washington were left scrambling as the test caught them off-guard. Sam Armstrong, of the Henry Jackson Society, told The Sun:...
    Experts are warning that the United States is vulnerable to an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack from adversaries such as China, and that time is running out to invest in defending the country from it. "That poses a real threat of possibly being able to win a war with a single blow by means of an EMP attack," Peter Vincent Pry, the executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, said during a virtual forum hosted by the Universal Peace Federation Tuesday. "Moreover … they don’t envision employing an EMP by itself. It would be used in conjunction with cyberattacks and physical sabotage, and non-nuclear EMP."  The U.S. electric grid and other infrastructure – such as communications and transportation systems and water and sewer services – could all be devastated by such an attack, experts like Pry warn, noting that time is of the essence for the U.S. to defend itself. Chinese President Xi Jinping (REUTERS/Thomas Peter) CHINA PROTESTS U.S. NAVY DESTROYER'S PASSAGE THROUGH TAIWAN STRAIT China already possesses "super EMPs" and last summer tested a new...
    Border agents have reported fewer encounters with migrants detained for unlawfully crossing the United States-Mexico border for the third consecutive month, according to report released Monday by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Data showed there were 164,303 interdictions reported in October, a 14 percent decrease compared to September. U.S. Border Patrol registered 192,001 encounters in September and 209,840 in August after a record-high 213,593 interdictions were reported in July, the peak of the southern border crisis facing the Biden administration. The monthly report notes that U.S. Border Patrol officers in October documented an 18 percent decrease unique encounters, or first-time unlawful border crossers. Agents reported 117,260 arrests compared with 142,719 individuals who were taken into custody in September.  In addition, agents along the 1,954-mile border reported a decrease in family unit individuals by 34 percent, dropping from 64,338 in September to 42,726 in October. A monthly report from US Customs and Border Protection on Monday showed there were 164,303 interdictions reported in October, a 14 percent decrease compared to September. Pictured: About 20 migrants were taken into custody on...
    (CNN)US officials issued a sweeping directive on Wednesday requiring federal civilian agencies to promptly update hardware and software that is vulnerable to hacking following multiple breaches of government networks in recent years. The directive gives agencies just two weeks to remediate newly discovered software vulnerabilities, and requires agencies to have a process in place for mitigating the impact of those security issues. The directive does not apply to the Pentagon, which is in charge of its own networks.The new policy comes after multiple warnings from US cybersecurity officials and outside experts that federal defenses have not kept pace with attempts by cybercriminals and state-sponsored hackers to access sensitive federal information. Alleged Russian hackers were able to go undetected for months last year in the unclassified networks of agencies such as the Justice Department before a private firm discovered the intrusions. The directive sends a "clear message to all organizations across the country" to address vulnerabilities that hackers are actively exploiting to access networks, said the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which issued the directive. The new CISA directive...
    JOE Biden has been slammed for his "deficit of leadership" on the 20th anniversary of 9/11 amid claims the United States is "more vulnerable" now. Judge Jeanine Pirro, 70, blasted the US president for his "lies" and "ineptitude" as she praised the leadership of President Bush on the day of the terror attacks 20 years ago. 2Judge Jeanine Pirro, 70, blasted the US president for his 'lies' and 'ineptitude'Credit: Fox News 2Joe Biden at the annual 9/11 commemoration ceremonyCredit: EPA The host of "Justice with Judge Jeanine" on Fox News said: "When President Bush spoke, America found what she needed, a leader who brought us a sense of unity, not words." The TV host added: "They took much from us that day. The ripple effect is still with us. What have we learned in 20 years? Are we any safer now? Are we still vulnerable? Sadly, I believe we're more vulnerable.  "There is a deficit of leadership today… you don’t even have to look at a poll to know instinctively that only 39 per cent of Americans approve of Joe...
    The White House said Tuesday intelligence and counterterrorism officials are "working around the clock" to "vet all Afghans" before allowing them to enter the United States, after safely evacuating them from Kabul in recent weeks.  In a series of tweets Tuesday, the White House outlined the security vetting system for Afghans with Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) entering the United States.  NSA SULLIVAN SAYS MISSION TO EVACUATE AMERICANS FROM AFGHANISTAN HAS 'SHIFTED' FROM MILITARY TO 'DIPLOMATIC' "Over the last weeks, our troops completed the largest airlift in U.S. military history – carrying more than 120,000 people from Afghanistan," the White House tweeted. "Now, we are working to safely welcome the brave Afghan allies who worked with us, and other vulnerable Afghans to the U.S."  The White House said that those with SIVs and other "vulnerable Afghans are begin flown to third countries in Europe and Asia that have agreed to serve as transit hubs before undergoing robust security screening and flying to the U.S."  BIDEN BREAKS PROMISE TO ‘STAY’ IN AFGHANISTAN UNTIL EVERY AMERICAN IS EVACUATED The screening process for those...
    Thunder in a sky that seemed so diaphanously blue. On September 11, 2001, previously unthinkable attacks struck a previously untouchable United States after winning the Cold War and shattered the illusion of a peaceful future. When attacks by the Islamist network Al Qaida killed nearly 3,000 people, the United States, and the world with it, plunged into a “war on terror” that will dominate international relations for two decades, lastingly upsetting the balance in Middle East and masking the resurgence of Russia as a strategic rival and the emergence of China as the new number one adversary. “Today we reached the end of a strategic cycle and closed a parenthesis where international jihadism was the only identified enemy,” Elie Tenenbaum, co-author of the book “The Twenty-Year War,” told .. According to this researcher from the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), “strategic competition between great powers is once again the international paradigm”, with “the emergence of other issues that make the terrorist threat relative”, beginning with a confrontation with a new air cold war between Washington and Beijing. – Full...
    President Biden has decided not to extend an Aug. 31 deadline to remove all American troops from Afghanistan, a U.S. official tells Fox News.  The development comes shortly after a Taliban spokesperson – following a meeting between leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and CIA Director William Burns in Kabul – said there will be "no extensions" to the Biden administration’s Aug. 31 date.   Defense Dept. Press Secretary John Kirby said Tuesday that the White House is still "aiming toward the end of the month" for a complete withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.  U.S. Air Force Airmen welcome Afghanistan evacuees arriving at Ali Al Salem Air Base in Kuwait on Monday. (U.S. Army Photo by 1st Lt. James Mason/DVIDS) U.S. TROOPS WILL HAVE TO BEGIN AFGHANISTAN PULLOUT ON FRIDAY TO MEET DEADLINE "We continue to make progress every day in getting Americans – as well as Special Immigrant Visa applicants and vulnerable Afghans – out," he said. "We remain committed to getting any and all Americans that want to leave, to get them out. We still believe – certainly...
    STATE DEPARTMENT - The United States is reaching out to dozens of countries to host at-risk Afghans while accelerating the evacuation of American citizens and diplomats. Early Wednesday, U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris received a briefing by the White House national security team on the situation in Afghanistan. “They discussed efforts to accelerate evacuations of U.S. citizens, Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants and other vulnerable Afghans, and to facilitate safe passage to Hamid Karzai International Airport,” plus the monitoring of potential terrorist threats, a White House official said. In a separate call, the White House said Biden spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on “the need for close coordination on the provision of humanitarian aid for vulnerable Afghans in country as well as support for neighboring states.” The White House said the U.S., Germany and Britain have agreed to hold a virtual Group of Seven leaders meeting next week to discuss a "common strategy and approach.” Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with his counterparts from U.S. allies, including Canada, Kuwait and Qatar, about the rapidly...
    Tucker Carlson has slammed the Biden administration over its plan to allow 30,000 Afghan refugees into the US, branding it an 'invasion'.  He launched his attack on Tuesday night after White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the US would evacuate not only Americans from Afghanistan, but also Special Immigration Visa applicants and members of 'vulnerable populations'.  'Notice how she puts all three together. Americans, special visa applicants, vulnerable populations. What the hell is that?' Carlson replied.  'The American government exists to help American citizens. Not to help vulnerable populations, whatever that is.' Carlson told viewers it's 'not just translators they want to import', but also 'anybody in Afghanistan who wants to come here for the free health care.'  He went on to call the migration of Afghan refugees an 'invasion' and said that potentially millions of them could soon take over American neighborhoods. Carlson extended on his remarks from Monday, when he said: 'So first we invade, and then we are invaded. It is always the same.' Tucker Carlson slammed the Biden administration over its plan to allow 30,000...
    Emergency notification system used to warn people of dire Covid-19 situation in Austin, Texas Laura Dern Says Being a Mother Inspired Her to Warn Teens About the Dangers of E-Cigarettes Joe Biden held a Zoom call with Team USA Olympians on Saturday as the Tokyo Games drew to a close. © Provided by The Guardian Photograph: BSR Agency/Getty Images “You handle yourself with such grace, and such decency,” Biden said. “You made me so damn proud.” Fairly standard stuff. After all, what else could an American president say about an Olympic team? Wait. Don’t answer that. In a nation where everyone seems to take sides on everything, athletes are still being told to stick to sports by politicians who don’t stick to politics. But Biden’s praise was non-partisan, heartfelt and apt. There was no attempt to deploy sports as ammunition in a cynical culture war, stoke hostility or equate political leanings with athletic performance. The men’s track athletes were mostly outrun, a resurgent Australia and Britain gobbled golds in the pool, the usually dominant women’s soccer team were...
    More On: afghanistan Veteran’s view: War in Afghanistan did little good at too-high price AP reporter tangles with State Department spokesman over Afghanistan Pentagon says Afghan officials were informed of US pullout from military base Taliban celebrate seizure of US weapons from Afghan troops WASHINGTON, July 7 – The Biden administration is considering offering an expedited visa path for vulnerable Afghans including women politicians, journalists and activists who may become targets of the Taliban, US officials say. Rights groups have been asking the State Department and White House to add up to 2,000 visas specifically for vulnerable women and women’s advocates to a developing policy plan to evacuate thousands Afghans after the US military pullout this month. The current plan includes translators who worked with foreign forces. One of the officials said the administration is looking not only at women who are under threat, but also men and minorities in high-risk professions. Women who made gains during the two-decade US occupation and their supporters and advocates should be part of any expedited list, rights groups have argued to the White House...
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