TBR News March 5, 2019

Mar 05 2019

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. March 6, 2019:” In these times, as earlier, many of the public thrive on conspiracy theories because it gives them a feeling of being part of something large and thrilling.

I have studied conspiracy stories for years and have come to the conclusion that 99% of them are the result of stupidity and the attempts to cover it up.

“But the birds were seen flying the other way! Isn’t that significant? The New York Times has an excellent article on these suspicious birds, written by a Famous Scientist (who doesn’t want his name used, of course)”

Bureaucracies are filled with people who couldn’t get a real job and whose government paychecks ought to be gift-wrapped.

Governments are desperate to prevent any kind of a public uproar that might disturb the status quo so they lie, not to cover up plots but to cover theirs, and others, political asses.

The recent mine tragedy and the misreporting of the survival is a typical example. The underlying cause of this is gross neglect and criminal carelessness not only on the part of the cost-cutting owners but the lax, and under Bush, criminally negligent pro-business regulatory agencies.

Now, look for both management and government to conspire to blame the mine problems on something that won’t expose them for the conspirators they are.

And how will they accomplish this? By use of the friendly media and, most important, by having their pet “bloggers” and paid website managers concoct wierd stories about death rays, missing cell phones, secret gas leaks, alQuadea trained gophers intent on industrial sabotage and on and on.

The credulous public, ever frantic for more and increasingly thrilling conspiracies to nurture their small egos, will get their hands on these inventions, water and fertilize them and send them around to others with their own little invented additions.

In the end, the criminal stupidity is effectively masked by the created images and management and government can prepare for the next disinformation campaign.

Those who believe in mysterious conspiracies ought to recognize that they have become unknowing parts of a real conspiracy, the conspiracy of obfuscation, lies and official disinformation.

This applies, equally, to the Katrina disaster, the SEA tsunami, 911, the Kennedy assassination, severe weather events, ship sinkings and on and on. Pick one of the above and Google it to see that the number of breathless conspiracy sites proliferate like fungus after a good rain.”

 

The Table of Contents

  • Mike Pompeo’s War Warning to China
  • North Korea rebuilds part of missile site it promised Trump to dismantle
  • Beyond the report: Mueller’s Russia probe designed to live on
  • I defied mother to get vaccinated for safety of me and others, US teen says
  • Revealed: AmazonSmile helps fund anti-vaccine groups
  • Stem cell transplants and HIV: What you need to know
  • Top 10 most dangerous viruses in the world
  • Myths and Legends of the 9/11 attack: Death Rays and Super-Thermite
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

 

Mike Pompeo’s War Warning to China

March 5, 2019

by Patrick J. Buchanan

As President Trump flew home from his Hanoi summit with Kim Jong Un, Mike Pompeo peeled off and flew to Manila. And there the Secretary of State made a startling declaration.

Any armed attack by China on a Philippine ship or plane in the South China Sea, he told the Philippine government, will be treated as an attack on an American ship or plane, bringing a U.S. military response.

“China’s island building and military activities in the South China Sea threaten your sovereignty, security and, therefore, economic livelihood, as well as that of the United States,” said Pompeo. “As the South China Sea is part of the Pacific, any armed attack on Philippine forces, aircraft or public vessels in the South China Sea will trigger mutual defense obligations under article 4 of our mutual defense treaty.”

Article 4 requires the U.S. and the Philippines to come to the defense of the other if one is attacked. The treaty dates back to August 1951. There are Americans on Social Security who were not born when this Cold War treaty was signed.

Pompeo’s declaration amounts to a U.S. war guarantee.

Why would we make such a commitment? Why take such a risk?

Is Trump aware of what Pompeo’s promise could entail?

For years, Beijing has claimed as national territory virtually the entire South China Sea. Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and the Philippines all reject China’s claims to the Paracel and Spratly Islands within that sea. But Beijing has occupied and expanded half a dozen islets; landed planes and troops; and fortified them as military and naval bases.

Beijing is not going to give them up, and Manila is too weak to take them back. A report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies says a Philippine attempt to build on a disputed islet in the Spratly chain brought a flotilla of nearly 100 Chinese ships to halt Philippine construction.

Why did Pompeo issue this war guarantee?

Because Duterte and members of his Cabinet are unsure the U.S. would come to the defense of the Philippines in such a clash, and they believe their best course may be to appease Beijing, the rising power in Asia and the western Pacific.

Since the end of the Cold War, when Manila ordered us to vacate the Subic Bay Naval Base — only to invite us back when Manila grew nervous about her neighbors — and we were forced to abandon the Clark Air Base, the U.S. has not faced the fundamental question here.

Do we have a vital interest, justifying a war with China, in defending Manila’s claim to the Spratly Islands that China also claims, holds and defends as sovereign territory?

If so, how do we plan to get the Chinese off these islands, short of a naval and air war that could escalate? Is the Philippines capable of holding these islands if we help to retake them? Or would Manila rely on U.S. naval and air power in perpetuity to keep them?

Could America sustain such a commitment? More important, why should we? Has the White House thought through the implications of what the Pompeo threat may bring?

If the Chinese politely inform President Duterte that any attempt to take a Chinese-claimed island by force will be met by superior force, what do we do? Tell Duterte it is still his call, even if it means our war?

Is it wise for a great power to cede to a weak ally the ability to drag it into a great war? Ask the late Kaiser Wilhelm II.

When a Chinese fighter crashed into a U.S. reconnaissance plane over the South China Sea in 2001, then-President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell apologized for the death of the Chinese pilot — to retrieve the crew China had interned on Hainan Island.

We were unprepared to confront China over an act of aggression over international waters. Yet we are now prepared to fight China over who owns and occupies Mischief Reef or Scarborough Shoal?

In Monday’s Wall Street Journal article “The U.S. Is Ceding the Pacific to China,” writer Mark Helprin says America must “alter the correlation of military forces in the Western Pacific … so that it no longer moves rapidly and inevitably in China’s favor.”

He urges a massive buildup of U.S. ships, planes, missiles, troops and Marines all across the Asia-Pacific theater. And if we do not?

“Frankly, if we do not, the Pacific Coast of the United States will eventually look out upon a Chinese lake,” says Helprin.

Today, the U.S., $22 trillion in debt, has treaty commitments dating to the early Cold War to defend Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Australia, all thousands of miles of ocean away from the USA.

If Trump cannot cut back these war guarantees, who will?

 

North Korea rebuilds part of missile site it promised Trump to dismantle

March 5, 2019

by David Brunnstrom and Lisa Lambert

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – North Korea has restored part of a missile launch site it began to dismantle after pledging to do so in a first summit with U.S. President Donald Trump last year, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency and two U.S. think tanks reported on Tuesday.

Yonhap quoted lawmakers briefed by South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) as saying that the work was taking place at the Tongchang-ri launch site and involved replacing a roof and a door at the facility.

Satellite images seen by 38 North, a Washington-based North Korea project, showed that structures on the launch pad had been rebuilt sometime between Feb. 16 and March 2, Jenny Town, managing editor at the project and an analyst at the Stimson Center think tank, told Reuters.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies released a report, also citing satellite imagery, that concluded North Korea is “pursuing a rapid rebuilding” at the site.

“Activity is evident at the vertical engine test stand and the launch pad’s rail-mounted rocket transfer structure,” the CSIS report said. “Significantly, the environmental shelters on the umbilical tower, which are normally closed, have been opened to show the launch pad.”

The news comes days after a second summit on denuclearization between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un broke down over differences on how far North Korea was willing to limit its nuclear program and the degree of U.S. willingness to ease sanctions.

The summit took place in Hanoi on Feb. 27 and 28.

Trump told a news conference after an unprecedented first summit with Kim on June 12 in Singapore that the North Korean leader had promised that a major missile engine testing site would be destroyed very soon.

Trump did not identify the site, but a U.S. official subsequently told Reuters it was the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground, which is located at Tongchang-ri.

Asked to comment, the White House referred to the U.S. State Department, which did not immediately respond.

A U.S. government source said the NIS was considered reliable on such issues, but added that the work described did not seem particularly alarming, and certainly not on a scale of resuming missile tests that have been suspended since 2017.

FUTURE DIALOGUE?

Kim Jong Un also pledged at a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in September to close Sohae and allow international experts to observe the dismantling of the missile engine-testing site and a launch pad.

Signs that North Korea had begun acting on its pledge to Trump were detected in July, when a Washington think tank said satellite images indicated work had begun at Sohae to dismantle a building used to assemble space-launch vehicles and a nearby rocket engine test stand used to develop liquid-fuel engines for ballistic missiles and space-launch vehicles.

However, subsequent images indicated North Korea had halted work to dismantle the missile engine test site in the first part of August.

The fact that the site had been dormant since August indicates the new activity is “deliberate and purposeful,” the CSIS report said.

The breakdown of the summit in Hanoi last week has raised questions about the future of U.S.-North Korea dialogue.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday he was hopeful he would send a delegation to North Korea in the coming weeks but that he had “no commitment yet.”

While North Korea’s official media said last week Kim and Trump had decided at the summit to continue talks, its Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui told reporters Kim “might lose his willingness to pursue a deal” and questioned the need to continue.

U.S. State Department spokesman Robert Palladino told a news briefing that the United States remains “in regular contact” with North Korea, but he declined to say whether they had been in contact since the summit.

Palladino said U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun, who led pre-summit negotiation efforts, planned to meet his South Korean and Japanese counterparts on Wednesday.

Yonhap also quoted lawmakers briefed by intelligence officials as saying that the five-megawatt reactor at North Korea’s main nuclear site at Yongbyon, which produces weapons-grade plutonium used to build bombs, had not been operational since late last year, concurring with a report from the U.N. atomic watchdog.

Yonhap quoted the sources as saying there had been no sign of reprocessing of plutonium from the reactor and that tunnels at North Korea’s main nuclear test site in Punggye-ri had remained shut down and unattended since their widely publicized destruction in May, which Pyongyang said was proof of its commitment to ending nuclear testing.

The fate of the Yongbyon nuclear complex and its possible dismantling was a central issue in the Hanoi summit.

Reporting by Lisa Lambert and David Brunnstrom; additional reporting by Mark Hosenball; editing by David Gregorio and James Dalgleish

 

Beyond the report: Mueller’s Russia probe designed to live on

March 5, 2019

by Nathan Layne and Karen Freifeld

Reuters

(Reuters) – Criminal inquiries into the Trump campaign’s links to Russia and other issues will carry on no matter what happens with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, as other prosecutors continue cases that began with him but now have a life of their own. Cases now partially or fully in the hands of prosecutors outside of Mueller’s team include those involving President Donald Trump’s fomer lawyer Michael Cohen and longtime Trump ally Roger Stone.

Those criminal probes and others could carry on for months if not years after Mueller completes his Russia investigation, potentially casting an even longer shadow over Trump’s time in the Oval Office.

“I think Mueller has planned for his own obsolescence,” said Andrew Herman, a Washington-based lawyer who has been closely following the special counsel’s 22-month-old investigation.

Mueller’s team has enlisted attorneys from other parts of the Justice Department to jointly prosecute three ongoing cases, court records show, and referrals by Mueller have given rise to independent inquiries in Washington, Virginia and New York.

The hard-charging U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan, otherwise known as the Southern District of New York, is behind the prosecution of Cohen, perhaps the most damaging case so far for Trump.

Cohen was sentenced last December to three years in prison for crimes including campaign finance violations over hush payments before the 2016 election to women who said they had sex with Trump.

The office also has been scrutinizing the president’s Trump Organization business and sent a subpoena to Trump’s inaugural committee about a record $107 million in donations in 2016.

“Special counsel is temporary, but the Southern District is forever,” Herman said.

Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment for this article.

NEW YORK PROBES 

Some Trump allies say New York poses the biggest risk of boring into his family finances, a “red line” the president has warned prosecutors not to cross.

“It makes me wish the president had built his company in Columbus rather than New York,” said Michael Caputo, a former Trump campaign aide.

Cohen told Congress in testimony last week that he was cooperating with Manhattan federal prosecutors on several ongoing probes and flagged other potential illegal activity by Trump.

He said Trump had over the years misrepresented his assets, raising the prospect his family’s business could come under scrutiny for bank or insurance fraud.

Prosecutors from elsewhere in the Justice Department are working alongside Mueller’s team in cases against Stone, a dozen Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking Democratic Party emails and a Russian internet company charged with using social media to meddle with the 2016 election.

The involvement of prosecutors from the Washington, D.C., U.S. attorney’s office and the National Security Division means those three cases — all central to the issue of Russian interference — can continue after Mueller hands his report to the attorney general, a move expected any time that will mark the end of his work.

NOT WHITEWATER                           

Trump says the Mueller probe into whether his campaign colluded with Russia to win the election is a politically-charged “witch hunt.” Moscow also denies collusion.

In some ways, the Mueller team is in uncharted territory and not everyone is convinced the various investigations spawned out of the special counsel’s probe will have a lasting impact.

The last big investigation involving a U.S. president — the Ken Starr probe into the Whitewater scandal and former President Bill Clinton’s relationship with Monica Lewinsky — differed in that it was carried out by an independent counsel, which unlike a special counsel is not part of the Justice Department.

Robert Ray, who succeeded Starr as independent counsel in 1999, said that he saw the joint prosecutions as a way for Mueller to return matters needing further inquiry to the Justice Department and a sign that he is closing up shop.

He said it was unlikely that investigations into Trump or his inner circle would prosper for long, whether they stemmed from joint prosecutions or referrals like the Cohen probe.

Ray said there were “substantial constitutional questions” around ensuring that the president can conduct the affairs of his office without the kind of interference that such probes bring.

“If anyone thinks these dangling investigations are going to be a stalking horse for a continuation of the Mueller investigation, they’re dreaming,” Ray said.

Reporting by Nathan Layne and Karen Freifeld; Editing by Alistair Bell

 

I defied mother to get vaccinated for safety of me and others, US teen says

Ethan Lindenberger tells Congress anti-vaxxers such as his mother obtain information ‘anecdotally’ from web not doctors

March 5, 2019

by Edward Helmore in New York

The Guardian

The Ohio teenager who defied his mother’s wishes and got himself vaccinated for measles has appeared before a congressional panel to assert his confidence in the efficacy and safety of the US vaccination program.

Eighteen-year-old Ethan Lindenberger of Norwalk, Ohio, told the Senate health, education, labor and pensions committee in Washington he had stood up for his right to be vaccinated despite his mother’s unfounded fears that vaccines cause autism, brain damage and other complications.

“As a child, it intrigued me that people disagreed with my mom about vaccines,” Lindenberger told the panel.

When he later learned that his mother preferred to obtain information from church and internet anti-vaccination groups rather than the medical profession, he decided to act for himself and get vaccinated for influenza, hepatitis A, hepatitis B and HPV.

“My decision to get myself vaccinated was based on the health and safety of myself and other people, so I approached my family physician who encouraged me to get vaccinated,” he said.

Lindenberger said he had learned that his mother’s unproven fears against vaccinations was received “anecdotally”, including a mistaken belief that the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine raises the risk of autism in children, despite extensive scientific research that shows it does not.

“There’s an important decision to be made between information provided,” Lindenberger said. “Many people don’t resonate well with data and numbers – they resonate better through stories.

“We see that with the anti-vaccine community. A lot of the foundation they build with parents is on an anecdotal level, sharing stories and experiences. That speaks volumes to people because it reaffirms, especially for my mom, that her position is correct.”

But the costs of not getting vaccinated, he continued, were far higher than complying with government guidelines. Without vaccination, he said, even his school had come to see him as “a health threat”.

“That pushed me further to get my vaccines despite my mother’s beliefs because I saw the threat as being imposed by her,” he said.

Lindenberger’s battle with his mother began with a Reddit post three months ago in which he asked forum members if he could get vaccinated as an adult. He wrote that he had had never had shots for anything because his parents considered vaccines “dangerous”.

“God knows how I’m still alive,” Lindenberger then wrote on Facebook. “Can I get vaccinated at my age?”

On Tuesday, Lindenberger’s mother, Jill Wheeler, said on Good Morning America that she was in “shock” at the news of her son getting vaccinated despite her disapproval. But Lindenberger said he remain on good terms with her despite their dispute.

“My mother and I have a great relationship,” he said.

At the hearing, Lindenberger testified alongside John Wiesman, Washington state’s secretary of health; John Boyle, the president and CEO of the Immune Deficiency Foundation; and other health experts.

The hearing comes as the World Health Organization reported that people choosing not to vaccinate have become a global health threat in 2019 and as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognized that the number of children who are not being vaccinated by 24 months old is increasing.

Lindenberger, a senior at Norwalk high school and a church volunteer “pursuing a path of ministry”, added that stories of preventable diseases ravaging countries are extremely important.

 

Revealed: AmazonSmile helps fund anti-vaccine groups

Amazon’s charity arm allows shoppers to donate to an organization of their choosing – including anti-vaccine groups

March 5, 2019

by Julia Carrie Wong

The Guardian

Amazon appears to be helping fund anti-vaccine not-for-profit organizations through its charity arm, the AmazonSmile Foundation, the Guardian can reveal.

The AmazonSmile fundraising program – through which Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price of a shopper’s Amazon transactions to an organization of their choice – is promoted on the websites of four prominent anti-vaccine organizations: National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), Physicians for Informed Consent, Learn the Risk, and Age of Autism.

Numerous other anti-vaccine organizations, including American Citizens for Health Choice (ACHC), National Health Freedom Coalition, Michigan for Vaccine Choice, Texans for Vaccine Freedom, A Voice for Choice and the Informed Consent Action Network are also listed by Amazon as eligible for the donations.

Amazon’s donations are just the latest example of how US tech companies have – wittingly or not – helped to promote and finance the anti-vaccine movement.

Facebook and YouTube have already faced criticism over the proliferation of anti-vaccine propaganda, which promotes false information casting doubt on the safety and efficacy of vaccines. Misinformation frequently outperforms science on the platforms, and self-serve advertising tools empower anti-vaxxers to target parents with fearmongering propaganda.

Not-for-profit organizations are key players in the anti-vaccine movement in the US. Groups such as the NVIC and ACHC advocate for legislation to allow parents to exempt their children from vaccination for non-medical reasons. Other groups promote messaging that calls into question the safety and efficacy of vaccines.

Age of Autism, for example, styles itself as the “daily web newspaper of the autism epidemic”. The site publishes a steady stream of content emphasizing the dangers of vaccination and promoting the discredited idea that autism is caused by “excessive vaccinations”. Each page on the site also includes a widget which reads, “Support Autism Age. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon donates.”

The AmazonSmile Foundation was launched in 2013 and has thus far donated nearly $125m to not-for-profit organizations. The Foundation’s funds come directly from Amazon, and Amazon customers can choose from one of more than one million eligible tax-exempt public charitable organizations.

The top recipients of AmazonSmile’s donations include well-known charities such as the St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Wounded Warrior Projects, the American Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders. But the program has also faced some criticism in the past over donations to the NRA Foundation and other gun rights organizations.

It is not clear how much money anti-vaccine organizations have received from AmazonSmile. The foundation’s financial disclosure for 2016 includes a 1,496-page spreadsheet of recipient organizations which is not machine readable and not in alphabetical order. In 2017, the most recent year for which the disclosures are available, AmazonSmile did not release an itemized list of disbursements.

The sums are probably small, however, as are the budgets of most of the anti-vaxx organizations. NVIC has among the largest budgets, with a 2017 revenue of $1.2m, but groups such as ACHC, Physicians for Informed Consent and Learn the Risk all have annual revenues of less than $100,000, according to tax filings.

Amazon did not directly comment on the donations to anti-vaccine organizations. A spokeswoman noted that groups that “engage in, support, encourage, or promote intolerance, hate, terrorism, violence, money laundering, or other illegal activities” are not eligible for AmazonSmile. The company follows recommendations from the US Office of Foreign Assets Control and the Southern Poverty Law Center to determine which groups are ineligible, the spokeswoman said.

Amazon is also helping to finance one prominent anti-vaxxer who does not operate through a not-for-profit: Larry Cook.

Cook has gained notoriety as the founder of Stop Mandatory Vaccination, a website, Facebook page and private Facebook group with more than 150,000 members. Cook has raised nearly $80,000 on GoFundMe since 2015. He also solicits donations on his website and market’s anti-vaccine T-shirts through Teespring. Until recently, Cook also earned money through his YouTube channel, which promoted anti-vaccine videos, but YouTube demonetized the channel following queries from BuzzFeed News.

Following YouTube’s decision to demonetize Cook’s videos on 22 February, Cook began soliciting direct donations “to help offset this financial loss” inside the Stop Mandatory Vaccinations Facebook group. He also began aggressively promoting an Amazon “storefront” through which followers can purchase a selection of anti-vaccine books and DVDs, as well as nutritional supplements that he recommends.

The storefront is part of Amazon’s “influencer program”, which allows people with large social media followings to set up a store of recommended products and earn a cut if their followers make purchases. Cook’s Stop Mandatory Vaccination page includes a disclosure that SMV “earns money from this storefront”. Since 25 February, Cook has shared a link to the storefront to the private SMV group 17 times.

Amazon has also come under scrutiny for its role in providing a platform to anti-vaccine propaganda in recent weeks. Adam Schiff, chair of the House intelligence committee, wrote to Amazon’s chief executive, Jeff Bezos, on 1 March to express concern that “Amazon is surfacing and recommending products and content that discourage parents from vaccinating their children”. Schiff cited a report by CNN Business which found that Amazon search results for “vaccine” were dominated by anti-vaccine books and movies, including the disgraced former-physician Andrew Wakefield’s movie, VAXXED, which was available for streaming on Amazon’s Prime Video platform. Hours after Schiff’s letter was released, Amazon removed several anti-vaxx movies from Prime Video, BuzzFeed News reported.

 

Stem cell transplants and HIV: What you need to know

An HIV-positive man in the UK has been cleared of the AIDS-causing virus after a stem cell transplant. Experts welcome the development, but warn the risky procedure can’t help the millions of people infected with HIV.

March 5, 2019

by Natalie Muller

DW

A man known only as the “London patient” has become the second known adult to be free of the AIDS virus following a bone marrow transplant, doctors said Tuesday.

The journal Nature reported that he underwent the procedure in 2016 to treat a type of blood cancer called Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The stem cells he received came from a donor with a rare genetic mutation that resists most HIV strains.

Doctors say he’s in sustained remission and has shown no sign of the virus for 18 months.

How does the treatment work?

Stem cell — or bone marrow — transplants aim to replace unhealthy blood-forming cells with healthy ones.

The procedure allows doctors to blast blood cancer in the bone marrow with large doses of radiation therapy or chemotherapy.

A donor’s stem cells are then transfused into the patient’s blood to reprogram the immune system and restore normal blood cell production.

In the case of the “London patient” and Timothy Brown — the only other adult to be declared HIV-free  the cells came from a donor with a rare mutation of the CCR5 protein.

Most HIV strains use CCR5 receptors to enter immune cells in the body. But if the transplanted cells are mutated and resist HIV, the virus can’t get in.

This doesn’t apply to the X4 form of HIV, which uses the CXCR4 protein to enter cells.

Possible risks and side effects

While the remission of the “London patient” is being celebrated, such transplants are unlikely to be adopted as a routine treatment option for people infected with HIV.

That’s because the procedure is dangerous, costly and is intended only as a last-stage therapy for patients with life-threatening diseases. Currently, people infected with HIV can keep the virus in check and live relatively normal lives for many years  by taking antiretroviral drugs.

Stem cell transplants, on the other hand, are highly invasive and can result in complications or side effects that can persist for years afterwards.

Two cases of success

The “London patient” is only the second known person to have been cleared of HIV via this method. The first, Timothy Brown, 52, was declared cured in 2008 after having bone marrow transplants for leukemia. Brown almost died during the treatment, with his immune system left severely battered. He suffered graft-versus-host disease — when the donor immune cells attack the recipient’s immune cells — and at one point had to be placed in an induced coma.

The “London patient” suffered fewer harmful effects, although he also had mild graft-versus-host disease in the gut.

Scientists had long been trying to replicate the success achieved with Brown 10 years ago. Following most attempts, the viruses rebounded after just a few months, or patients died from the cancer.

Navneet Majhail, director of the Blood & Marrow Transplant Program at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, pointed out on Twitter that finding a donor can also be a huge challenge. Just 1 percent of people descended from northern Europeans have the HIV-resistant mutation. It is rarer still in other populations.

How has the news been received? 

Experts say the outcome of the stem cell treatment offers hope for a future cure for HIV/AIDS, but many have also questioned its relevance for the millions of people already infected.

Anton Pozniak, president of the International AIDS Society, said it represented a “critical moment.”

“The hope is that this will eventually lead to a safe, cost-effective and easy strategy … using gene technology or antibody techniques,” he said.

Matthew Hodson, director of NAM aidsmap, an organization that provides information to support people living with HIV, said: “It would be unwise to think that we are on the brink of curing HIV when, after two decades (of having the medical resources to treat HIV) we have still not been able to provide treatment for all.”

Thurka Sangaramoorthy, associate professor at the University of Maryland, whose work focuses on HIV/AIDS, called for focus, money and resources not to be shifted away from those living with HIV around the world.

“This is not a treatment appropriate for people with HIV who do not have cancer,” the US-based Treatment Action Group said in a statement. “The hope is that lessons can be learned to help develop more widely applicable therapeutic approaches for attaining HIV remissions or cures.”

Where to from here?

Scientists at IciStem — a consortium of European scientists studying stem cell transplants to treat HIV infection — are currently tracking 39 HIV-infected patients who have received bone-marrow transplants. One is a patient from Düsseldorf, in western Germany, who has been HIV-free for almost 4 months.

Ravindra Gupta of the University of Cambridge and the lead author of the Nature study, told the AFP news agency that if the goal is to get people off antiretroviral drugs and into remission, “then targeting CCR5 therapeutically is an option that we need to explore further.”

Several research studies are underway to develop gene therapy treatments. For example, scientists are working to mutate the CCR5 receptors that HIV uses to enter cells in the hope of creating an immune system the virus can’t infect. Clinical trials are also underway in the US to test the possibility of modifying blood stem cells from an HIV-infected person to make them resistant to the virus, before re-introducing them to the patient.

 

 

Top 10 most dangerous viruses in the world

Bird flu, Ebola and Zika – there seems to be news on a new dangerous virus almost every day. But so far, experts are saying that Zika itself isn’t as bad as HIV, Ebola and these other eight viruses.

January 26, 2019

by Helena Schwar / re

DW

  1. The most dangerous virus is the Marburg virus. It is named after a small and idyllic town on the river Lahn – but that has nothing to do with the disease itself. The Marburg virus is a hemorrhagic fever virus. As with Ebola, the Marburg virus causes convulsions and bleeding of mucous membranes, skin and organs. It has a fatality rate of 90 percent.
  2. There are five strains of the Ebola virus, each named after countries and regions in Africa: Zaire, Sudan, Tai Forest, Bundibugyo and Reston. The Zaire Ebola virus is the deadliest, with a mortality rate of 90 percent. It is the strain currently spreading through Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, and beyond. Scientists say flying foxes probably brought the Zaire Ebola virus into cities.
  3. The Hantavirus describes several types of viruses. It is named after a river where American soldiers were first thought to have been infected with the Hantavirus, during the Korean War in 1950. Symptoms include lung disease, fever and kidney failure.
  4. The various strains of bird flu regularly cause panic – which is perhaps justified because the mortality rate is 70 percent. But in fact the risk of contracting the H5N1 strain – one of the best known – is quite low. You can only be infected through direct contact with poultry. It is said this explains why most cases appear in Asia, where people often live close to chickens.
  5. A nurse in Nigeria was the first person to be infected with the Lassa virus. The virus is transmitted by rodents. Cases can be endemic – which means the virus occurs in a specific region, such as in western Africa, and can reoccur there at any time. Scientists assume that 15 percent of rodents in western Africa carry the virus.
  6. The Junin virus is associated with Argentine hemorrhagic fever. People infected with the virus suffer from tissue inflammation, sepsis and skin bleeding. The problem is that the symptoms can appear to be so common that the disease is rarely detected or identified in the first instance.
  7. The Crimea-Congo fever virus is transmitted by ticks. It is similar to the Ebola and Marburg viruses in the way it progresses. During the first days of infection, sufferers present with pin-sized bleedings in the face, mouth and the pharynx.
  8. The Machupo virus is associated with Bolivian hemorrhagic fever, also known as black typhus. The infection causes high fever, accompanied by heavy bleedings. It progresses similar to the Junin virus. The virus can be transmitted from human to human, and rodents often the carry it.
  9. Scientists discovered the Kyasanur Forest Virus (KFD) virus in woodlands on the southwestern coast of India in 1955. It is transmitted by ticks, but scientists say it is difficult to determine any carriers. It is assumed that rats, birds and boars could be hosts. People infected with the virus suffer from high fever, strong headaches and muscle pain which can cause bleedings.
  10. Dengue fever is a constant threat. If you’re planning a holiday in the tropics, get informed about dengue. Transmitted by mosquitoes, dengue affects between 50 and 100 million people a year in popular holiday destinations such as Thailand and India. But it’s more of a problem for the 2 billion people who live in areas that are threatened by dengue fever

 

Myths and Legends of the 9/11 attack: Death Rays and Super-Thermite

by Christian Jürs

This is a subject that will be with us for years and will certainly grow in the telling. The WTC buildings collapsed  solely for a number of rational, provable reasons but the following the Saudi attack, all manner of “expert” opinions erupted into the public like some kind of a tropical skin disease and a great army of conspiracy idiots left the stale fictions surrounding the Kennedy assassination and gratefully rush to embrace the new religion, a religion that had the exciting suggestions of “plasmoid clouds.” “Ex-Soviet controlled rockets,” “’Nano thermite explosives planted in both buildings,” and on and on.

Now we discover that brilliant, fearless reporters and daring bloggers have exposed and are exposing the Real Truth behind the 911 disaster. We are subjected to the Plasmoid Clouds, The Chinese/Bulgarian Guided Missiles, The ex-Soviet Scientists working with the CIA, and Mossad and the Illuminati.

Ah, and now we learn about the dread Nano Thermite! Yes, more “experts” (as always, unidentified) found traces of this explosive all over the streets after the WTC building collapsed! Of course not a word was ever mentioned about this shocking fact for eight years but why let that bother the seekers after truth?

What about the self-sacrificing US Army Special Forces who actually went inside the buildings, acting on orders from Laura Bush the Freemasons and their controllers, the Illuminati (who were working with the Mossad at the time),  and blew the Twin Towers, and themselves, up? And the acres of foreign rocket engine parts strewed all over New York’s streets, or huge lakes of molten steel found by unidentified “rescue workers” in the cellars of the WTC? God, will these disillusions never end?

Here we have reassurance that all is not lost after all…. Next week, a stunning report will emerge on how Nicolas Tesla’s Z-Ray, controlled by former KGB officers stationed on Planet X,  actually brought down the two buildings,  as well as the Pentagon!

Two hijacked commercial airliners slammed into these buildings, setting fires that weakened the structure, causing the weight of the building above the point of impact to collapse down on itself.

There is absolutely no mystery at all about this.

Stories about rockets, explosives and other matters are entertaining and keep some people occupied but neither I nor most structural engineers I know believe any of these burgeoning urban legends for a nanosecond.

Next, I suppose, the killings at Columbine High School will be blamed on trained dwarves, members of the Mossad, killer robots, the Skull and Bones Society of Yale, the Teamsters, ABC News or the Mormon Church.

The public has lost confidence in their government and when that happens, all kind of rumor, theory and legends grow up like fungus in the woods after a long rain.

Those with a technical bent, endlessly postulate on the melting point of steel, the heat of burning jet fuel, the exact size of entrance holes in buildings and on and on. In the end, we have entertaining theory but no practice.

The same thing has become evident in the post mortem stories about the Kennedy assassination. Mongolian dwarves, the KGB, Richard Nixon, J. Edgar Hoover, the CIA and a dozen other entities are absolutely believed by this or that thrilled discoverer to have committed the deed.

Government stupidity, which is always with us, contributed to the growth of legend over the years until the underbrush is so thick that it could hide a wooly mammoth and sixteen university professors.

It always seems that high-level individuals, privy top the Inner Circle Secrets, have solemnly warned a brilliant and insightful blogger that this or that sinister incident has occurred. Of course like the story of a plasmoid cloud destroying the WTC, the names of these powerful and mysterious sources are never revealed. Our own impeccable sources absolutely verify that the entire business is the work of dimwits but also that powerful forces are now at work to prevent Americans from reading the Real Truth. Among these stories are the SEA tsunami/Tesla bomb release, and the thrilling recent revelation that the head White House gardener was secretly indicted in Chicago for assassinating the Easter Bunny and Laura Bush’s cat with a new and deadly laser ray invented by the sinister Dr. Melbourne Fong, head of the Hidden Hand. There is also the recently revealed plot to put deadly Ricin poison on DoD toilet paper that has all of official Washington a-twitter.

The collapses of the Twin Towers generated seismic disturbances that were recorded by a half-dozen seismic recording stations within a 20-mile radius of Manhattan. Numerous websites have repeated an erroneous interpretation of the seismic recordings as evidence that bombs in the basements of the towers severed the core columns at the onsets of the collapses. One source of this error is an article by American Free Press reporter Christopher Bollyn, reprinted in Serendipity.

To the contrary, there was nothing strange about the seismic spikes recorded by the Palisades station. As the video and photographic evidence shows, the towers exploded into expanding clouds of rubble that were about 400 feet from top to bottom by the time they reached the ground. Those rubble clouds contained virtually all of the mass of towers — thousands of tons of rubble falling from as high as 1000 feet. That could certainly be expected to produce pronounced seismic waves.

In fact the seismic evidence from the Palisades station comports well with the sequence of destruction evident in photographs and videos: each tower was consumed by a wave of destruction that started near the crash zone and moved downward as it generated an expanding cloud of rubble. It took about ten seconds for the bottom of this cloud to reach the ground and another eight seconds for its top to reach the ground. Likewise the seismic records show small disturbances lasting for about ten seconds, followed by large spikes lasting for about eight seconds.

There appears to be no basis for the claim that the large spikes preceded the collapses, nor that the energy indicated by those spikes was more than could be accounted for by the approximately 110 megawatt-hours of gravitational energy stored in the elevated mass of each tower. And there is strong evidence contradicting the idea that the seismic spikes indicated underground explosions including:

  • There is no support in the large body of photographic and video collapse evidence for the idea of powerful explosions in the towers’ basements at the onset of the collapses. Instead they show waves of destruction proceeding methodically downward from the crash zones to the ground.
  • Underground explosions would have produced strong P waves, but the seismic stations registered only strong S waves. P waves oscillate horizontally — parallel to the direction of travel; whereas S waves oscillate vertically — perpendicular to the direction of travel.

An analysis of the timeline of the North Tower collapse on the 9-11 Research site corroborates the idea that the large seismic spikes were produced by rubble reaching the ground.

If a group of people placed explosive charges in the basements of the twin towers, why did the buildings begin to collapse downward from the points of impact? Fables about great conspiracies make amusing reading but in reality, such massive plots, involving as they would, hundreds of people, would be exposed almost immediately by dissatisfied or horror-stricken participants.

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

March 6, 2019

by Dr. Peter Janney

On October 8th, 2000, Robert Trumbull Crowley, once a leader of the CIA’s Clandestine Operations Division, died in a Washington hospital of heart failure and the end effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Before the late Assistant Director Crowley was cold, Joseph Trento, a writer of light-weight books on the CIA, descended on Crowley’s widow at her town house on Cathedral Hill Drive in Washington and hauled away over fifty boxes of Crowley’s CIA files.

Once Trento had his new find secure in his house in Front Royal, Virginia, he called a well-known Washington fix lawyer with the news of his success in securing what the CIA had always considered to be a potential major embarrassment.

Three months before, on July 20th of that year, retired Marine Corps colonel William R. Corson, and an associate of Crowley, died of emphysema and lung cancer at a hospital in Bethesda, Md.

After Corson’s death, Trento and the well-known Washington fix-lawyer went to Corson’s bank, got into his safe deposit box and removed a manuscript entitled ‘Zipper.’ This manuscript, which dealt with Crowley’s involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, vanished into a CIA burn-bag and the matter was considered to be closed forever.

The small group of CIA officials gathered at Trento’s house to search through the Crowley papers, looking for documents that must not become public. A few were found but, to their consternation, a significant number of files Crowley was known to have had in his possession had simply vanished.

When published material concerning the CIA’s actions against Kennedy became public in 2002, it was discovered to the CIA’s horror, that the missing documents had been sent by an increasingly erratic Crowley to another person and these missing papers included devastating material on the CIA’s activities in South East Asia to include drug running, money laundering and the maintenance of the notorious ‘Regional Interrogation Centers’ in Viet Nam and, worse still, the Zipper files proving the CIA’s active organization of the assassination of President John Kennedy..

A massive, preemptive disinformation campaign was readied, using government-friendly bloggers, CIA-paid “historians” and others, in the event that anything from this file ever surfaced. The best-laid plans often go astray and in this case, one of the compliant historians, a former government librarian who fancied himself a serious writer, began to tell his friends about the CIA plan to kill Kennedy and eventually, word of this began to leak out into the outside world.

The originals had vanished and an extensive search was conducted by the FBI and CIA operatives but without success. Crowley’s survivors, his aged wife and son, were interviewed extensively by the FBI and instructed to minimize any discussion of highly damaging CIA files that Crowley had, illegally, removed from Langley when he retired. Crowley had been a close friend of James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s notorious head of Counterintelligence. When Angleton was sacked by DCI William Colby in December of 1974, Crowley and Angleton conspired to secretly remove Angleton’s most sensitive secret files out of the agency. Crowley did the same thing right before his own retirement, secretly removing thousands of pages of classified information that covered his entire agency career.

Known as “The Crow” within the agency, Robert T. Crowley joined the CIA at its inception and spent his entire career in the Directorate of Plans, also know as the “Department of Dirty Tricks,”: Crowley was one of the tallest man ever to work at the CIA. Born in 1924 and raised in Chicago, Crowley grew to six and a half feet when he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in N.Y. as a cadet in 1943 in the class of 1946. He never graduated, having enlisted in the Army, serving in the Pacific during World War II. He retired from the Army Reserve in 1986 as a lieutenant colonel. According to a book he authored with his friend and colleague, William Corson, Crowley’s career included service in Military Intelligence and Naval Intelligence, before joining the CIA at its inception in 1947. His entire career at the agency was spent within the Directorate of Plans in covert operations. Before his retirement, Bob Crowley became assistant deputy director for operations, the second-in-command in the Clandestine Directorate of Operations.

Bob Crowley first contacted Gregory Douglas in 1993 when he found out from John Costello that Douglas was about to publish his first book on Heinrich Mueller, the former head of the Gestapo who had become a secret, long-time asset to the CIA. Crowley contacted Douglas and they began a series of long and often very informative telephone conversations that lasted for four years. In 1996, Crowley told Douglas that he believed him to be the person that should ultimately tell Crowley’s story but only after Crowley’s death. Douglas, for his part, became so entranced with some of the material that Crowley began to share with him that he secretly began to record their conversations, later transcribing them word for word, planning to incorporate some, or all, of the material in later publication.

 

Conversation No. 50

Date, Friday, November 29, 1996

Commenced: 11:20 AM CST

Concluded: 11:55 AM CST

GD: How are you doing today, Robert?

RTC: Had a bad night, Gregory. Couldn’t get to sleep and then dozed off about five. Not a good night.

GD: Take sleeping pills?

RTC: I don’t like to start with things like that. You can get addicted to them so I just put up with it and I will take a nap after lunch. That will help. How are you today?

GD: I’m OK. Been working on the latest Müller book and I got bogged down. When that happens, you have to just stop everything and walk away for a while.

RTC: How is the book coming?

GD: Making it, Robert. Publisher tells me the first book is doing very well.

RTC: Any negative comments?

GD: Not to him.

RTC: Oh, there are some unhappy people back here. The rumors are out that you might do another book so I would be careful talking about its contents to anyone.

GD: Corson and Kimmel have been very interested.

RTC: That’s what I mean. Don’t tell either one of them a damned word.

GD: No, the more curious people get, the less I say. I know Tom is with the FBI so, naturally, I only engage in light conversations with him and Bill is too curious to suit me.

RTC: Bill like to run with the hares and hunt with the hounds, if you follow me.

GD: Yes. Typical.

RTC: Müller died in ’83, didn’t he?

GD: Yes. Buried in Oakland.

RTC: Buried under his Company name?

GD: No, his real one.

RTC: He sold paintings for us, as I remember.

GD: Oh, yes he did. Your people took over looted Nazi art from the Army after the war and then you know what happened to it.

RTC: Yes, of course. We sold it for profit and if we had any trouble with previous owners, we simply terminated them. Mostly hysterical Jews screaming about this or that but eventually, they were dealt with and business went on.

GD: Heini told me he took in millions.

RTC: Oh, yes, he did. Some of it we used for off the books operations, like snuffing Diem and other nasty businesses and the rest ended up in private hands, let us say.

GD: Well, I recall the beautiful Raphael hanging up in Heini’s office. A fruity looking fellow in a white shirt. It apparently came from a collection in Warsaw along with a Leonardo. The Leonardo was found and sent back but the Raphael ended up with the Gestapo and Heini hid it and later went back for it. Of course he could never sell it but it looked so nice in his home. I can imagine the howls of rage if the Polacks found out about it.

RTC: Yes, indeed. God, how many such scenes we had to take care of.

GD: Terminate with extreme prejudice?

RTC: No, that term is used for in-house problems. Like the unfortunate fellow who shot himself in the back of the head and jumped off his little boat with weights on his feet. Things like that.

GD: And Olson?

RTC: Well, he was potential trouble so he did a full gainer out of a hotel window. It wasn’t the long fall that did him in, Gregory, but that sudden stop at the bottom.

GD: Müller told me about that. He said unwanted people like Forrestal rained down all over Washington until he introduced the heart attack drug. He used to feel sorry for people down below. I mean, some woman taking mail to the corner box gets an unwanted individual landing on top of her. Or imagine someone just bought a new Packard and there is a huge mess on their crushed roof and brains splattered all over the rest of the car. No, Heini was right about the heart attacks. Much more plausible and certainly less messy.

RTC: I agree.

GD: Diem?

RTC: Oh that business. I was on the inside with that one. What a mess but typical. Diem and his brother ran Vietnam and were trying to kill off the Buddhists. Kennedy had no idea what was going on over there and was waffling about pouring American troops into the country. The Diem family were crooked as hell and very, very nasty and demanding. Thee were two camps here, Gregory. The first one wanted a major effort there to stop Communism dead in its tracks and the other felt that such actions would become a bottomless pit.

GD: In the event, they were right.

RTC: Yes, but that is now, based on hindsight, but at the time, no one knew just what to do. We were technically only advising Diem. We had a deal with the French, at least the Company did, to support any régime that would protect their interest there. Lots of rubber and there was also untapped oil fields offshore. Jack was an idealist at times and got pulled this way and that. I mean we felt that a strong military presence there was good. We could use that country as a base of operations to expand into Laos and other areas but we had to act like we were supporting the democratic movements in Saigon. Diem was a vicious dictator and was surrounded with totally corrupt officials so he was not a good image for us. After we talked about it somewhat, it was decided to get rid of him and his brother and put in new people. We talked with dissident generals and pretty well set up a putsch. The idea was not to run him out of the country but to kill both of them and set an example for others.

GD: Was Kennedy in on it?

RTC: OF course, he knew in advance. We tarted it up and he went for it. But kept waffling this way and that so we just told the generals to go ahead. They grabbed the two of them and chopped them both up with bayonets in the back on an armored car. I personally told our people there that it ought to be done and the bodies tossed out on the street as an example to others.

GD: Admiral Byng.

RTC: Yes, just so. Kennedy was presented with a fiat and went along.

GD: And what about the usual Congressional investigations?

RTC: We did what we always do, Gregory. Private talks with key people on the hill and the whole thing is rigged from the beginning.

GD: You told them the truth?

RTC: Oh, be a realist here. Of course not. We lie to Congress and the White House every day. We know so much about all of them, just like old Hoover did, that they shut up and we have our people at the New York Times write things up the way we wish. And then the public goes off and watches a football game and opens another beer.

GD: Could any of this ever get out?

RTC: No. Say some gung ho reporter wants to do a story on how we killed Diem or something else like that. We would hear about it at once because we have our people in all the major papers and television offices so we would get the word right away. The usual drill is to call up the editor and have a talk with him and the reporter gets assigned to inspect whale shit somewhere.

GD: And if he gets too curious or won’t give up?

RTC: There’s always the heart attack or the road accident.

GD: Of falling out of the window.

RTC: Not much of that anymore. As you say, too messy.

GD: Heini used to off them and then turn up the heat in their house until they got really ripe.

RTC: Not personally?

GD: No, he used Arno to off people. Arno is a real jewel. He’s a Lutheran minister at the present time but Heini told me once that Arno loved the knife and some of his victims looked like something Picasso would have painted

RTC: (Laughter) Yes, well, we had some of those too.

GD: I recall the Diem business. That was the turning point over there. The hawks won out.

RTC: What a mess that was, Gregory. Now mind you, I felt that Diem just would not listen to us and was causing such bad publicity here by his undemocratic behavior that I really don’t think we had much of a choice. Kennedy was a twit and proved to be so unreliable in the business that we eventually decided he had to go too. Johnson would do what he was told but Kennedy was as independent as a hog on ice so onto the face of the fifty cent piece and into the hearts of all Americans. You won’t find Johnson on a coin but he put plenty of them into his pocket. Give me the crook over the idealist any time.

GD: I agree. Anyway, I am writing the art business up for the new book. They never took anything really big but all the small stuff fell through the cracks. Müller used to call it degenerate filth and that Hitler was right about it but I notice he never burnt any of the Klees or Picassos. You can get money for all of that and I find that money has such a soothing effect, Robert.

RTC: Yes, I believe it does. It is the root of all evil, after all.

GD: No, the actual Biblical quotation is that the love of money is the root of all evil.

RTC: One or the other.

(Concluded at 11:55 AM CST)

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Conversations+with+the+Crow+by+Gregory+Douglas

 

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