Protesters Mass in Baghdad, Demanding U.S. Leave Iraq

Counts of aerial views of the marchers put the numbers at around 200,000 to 250,000.

The Muslim Times

A national march against the presence of United States forces, organized by a populist Shiite cleric and armed groups with ties to Iran, drew a crowd estimated at 200,000 to 250,000.

A huge crowd of Iraqis, waving national flags, took to the streets in Baghdad on Friday to demand the ouster of American troops.
Credit…
Ahmad Al-Rubaye/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

By Alissa J. Rubin and Falih Hassan
Jan. 24, 2020
Updated 11:06 a.m. ET

BAGHDAD — Throngs of Iraqis gathered on the streets of the capital, Baghdad, in the early hours of Friday to protest the United States military presence in the country at the behest of a leading populist cleric and of armed forces with ties to Iran.

The demonstration comes three weeks after the United States launched a drone strike in capital that killed the Iranian commander Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani and a prominent member of the…

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The Great American Shale Oil & Gas Bust: Fracking Gushes Bankruptcies, Defaulted Debt, and Worthless Shares | Wolf Street

The banks, which generally had the best collateral, took the smallest losses; bondholders took bigger losses, with unsecured bondholders taking the biggest losses. Some of them lost most of their investment; others got high-and-tight haircuts; others held debt that was converted to equity in the restructured companies, some of which soon became worthless again when the company filed for bankruptcy a second time. The old shareholders took the biggest losses.

AGR Daily News

The Great American Shale Oil & Gas Bust: Fracking Gushes Bankruptcies, Defaulted Debt, and Worthless Shares | Wolf Street

Following the sharp re-drop in oil and natural gas prices in late 2018, bankruptcy filings in the US by already weakened exploration and production companies , oilfield services companies, and “midstream” companies (they gather, transport, process, or store oil and natural gas) jumped by 51% in 2019, to 65 filings, according to data compiled by law firm Haynes and Boone. This brought the total of the Great American Shale Oil & Gas Bust since 2015 in these three sectors to 402 bankruptcy filings.

The debt involved in these bankruptcies in 2019 doubled from 2018 to $35 billion. This pushed the total debt listed in these bankruptcy filings since 2015 to $207 billion. The chart below shows the cumulative total debt involved in these bankruptcies since 2015.

via The Great American Shale…

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Gardasil: Study Reveals Significant Increase in Invasive Cancer in Most Vaccinated Groups

January 23, 2020

Bombshell Study Questioning HPV Vaccine Efficacy Appears as the UK’s Cervical Cancer Rates Rise in Young

By the Children’s Health Defense Team

Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines hit the global marketplace in the mid-2000s. From the start, public health agencies enthusiastically promoted HPV vaccination as the “best way to protect [young people] against certain types of cancer later in life.” However, a blistering new study by British researchers—and new data showing that cervical cancer rates are surging in British 25- to 29-year-olds—raise numerous questions about officials’ inflated claims. The study’s results indicate, instead, that the jury is still out on whether HPV vaccination is effective.

The question is far from academic because, prior to Britain’s introduction of HPV vaccination in 2008, cervical cancer rates had been trending sharply downward. In fact, between the late 1980s and mid-2000s, cervical cancer rates halved. Now, Britain’s leading cancer research charity (Cancer Research UK) reports a steep 54% rise in cervical cancer in one of the very age groups that first received the vaccine.

“Significant uncertainties”

The 2020 study, published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, critically appraises twelve published randomized controlled trials that HPV vaccine makers GlaxoSmithKline and Merck used to buttress assertions about their vaccines’ efficacy (Cervarix and Gardasil). The British authors do not beat around the bush in presenting their conclusions, which include the following:

  • The trials’ questionable methodology generated “uncertainties” so significant that they undermine claims of efficacy.
  • The ages of the women who participated in the trials were not representative of the younger adolescents who constitute HPV vaccination’s primary target groups.
  • The studies used highly restrictive criteria to exclude many potential participants, limiting the trials’ “relevance and validity for real world settings.” (During Science Day presentations for the Jennifer Robi vs. Merck and Kaiser Permanente Gardasil lawsuit in January 2019, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. made the same point, describing the “elite club of superheroes” who constituted the study group and noting that Merck purged anyone with the slightest vulnerabilities to the vaccine or its ingredients despite the fact that the vaccine would ultimately be marketed to girls with the very vulnerabilities excluded during the clinical trials.)
  • The trials used “composite and distant surrogate outcomes” that essentially made it “impossible to determine effects on clinically significant outcomes.” The authors explain that the surrogate outcomes used (forms of cervical dysplasia called CIN1 and CIN2) often regress on their own “and are of limited clinical concern.” They also note that different forms of cervical dysplasia each have “their own different natural histories, prevalence and incidence and strength of association with cancer.” Lumping together vastly different forms of dysplasia into the trials’ composite surrogate endpoints, therefore, was “problematic.”
  • The trial investigators’ unusually frequent cervical screening of study participants likely resulted in overdiagnosis of low-grade cervical changes while overestimating the vaccines’ efficacy in preventing them. The Royal Society of Medicine authors also note that vaccine efficacy against low-grade cervical changes is no guarantee of efficacy against the higher-grade abnormalities that may contribute, along with other risk factors, to cervical cancer.
  • Most damningly, the authors argue that no certainty about whether HPV vaccination prevents cervical cancer is possible, because the trials “were not designed to detect this outcome, which takes decades to develop.”

High vaccine uptake . . . and rising cancer rates

Now consider these uncertainties against the backdrop of the United Kingdom’s HPV vaccination program—launched with great fanfare in 2008 with the bivalent Cervarix vaccine (replaced by Gardasil in 2011). The UK’s program rapidly achieved a high national uptake—on the order of 76% to 90%—making it “one of the most successful globally.” Although the HPV vaccination program primarily targeted 12-year-olds, Britain also operated a “catch-up” program during the initial three-year period (2008-2011) that encouraged girls ages 13-18 to get vaccinated. By mid-2018, the UK government estimated that 80% of 15- to 24-year-old girls and women had received the vaccine.

Given that Britain’s HPV vaccine uptake was high from the get-go, many of the women now in their mid to late twenties who are experiencing the spiking cervical cancer rate must have been among the UK’s first HPV vaccine recipients. How does this uncomfortable fact square with Public Health England’s sunny endorsement of HPV vaccination and its confident prediction (in 2018) that it would be able to “get an accurate picture of the impact this vaccine will have on this devastating cancer” as soon as vaccinated girls reached ages 25-29?

The public health agency classifies 25- to 29-year-olds as the age group most commonly affected by cervical cancer but does not mention that a cervical cancer “peak” at ages 25-29 represents a “big change” from the pattern that prevailed in Britain in previous decades—when cervical cancer peaked in women aged 50-64. In the United States, where HPV vaccine uptake has been considerably lower, women in their mid to late twenties have the second lowest cervical cancer rate, with a peak in women ages 40-44.

There are several plausible explanations for rising cervical cancer rates in the context of high vaccine uptake. One is the phenomenon known as “type replacement”—in which an HPV vaccine that covers only four to nine of the 100-200 types of HPV “may lay bare an ecological niche for non-vaccine HPV types,” some of which may be high-risk for cervical cancer. A 2016 study that analyzed the prevalence of 32 types of HPV in women with cervical abnormalities acknowledged the potential for “a continuous shift in the prevalence of HPV types as a result of vaccination” as well as the potential for increased transmission of more virulent nonvaccine types. Another study published around the same time confirmed that vaccinated women “had a higher prevalence of high-risk nonvaccine types.”

Receiving the HPV vaccine when one already has HPV is another cause for concern. In his Robi vs. Merck Science Day presentation, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. noted that Merck’s pre-clinical trial records for Gardasil “show that girls or women who already had HPV—had been exposed at some point in their life to it—actually had a negative efficacy of 44.6 percent. What is negative efficacy? It means those girls had a 44.6 increased risk of getting those precancerous lesions.”

A third concern has to do with the decline in cervical cancer screening. Cancer Research UK is cognizant that “Cervical cancer is one of the few cancers that can be prevented through screening” and it is, therefore, a strong proponent of pap smear screening, but the organization’s research shows that the number of UK women seeking screening has reached a “record low.” One reason is because many women don’t feel they are at risk. British cancer prevention experts have expressed worry that women may be lulled into complacency by the HPV vaccine’s promises and “may stop going to screening because they think it’s not important.”

A foundation of fraud

As frank as its conclusions are, the study in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine barely scratches the surface of the dubious—and fraudulent, as the Robi vs. Merck lawsuit alleges—methodological shenanigans that manufacturers and industry-captured regulators deployed to fast-track HPV vaccines into worldwide use. Dr. Nicole Delépine—a French physician specialized in both pediatrics and oncology and a member of numerous professional associations devoted to cancer care and research—has written about the “paradoxical effect” of HPV vaccination on cervical cancer rates in Britain as well as other high-vaccine-uptake countries such Australia, Sweden and Norway. In all of these settings, where cervical cancer was declining prior to vaccination, Gardasil has reversed the trend, “with a significant increase in the frequency of invasive cancers in the most vaccinated groups” [emphasis in original]

[…]

via https://childrenshealthdefense.org/news/bombshell-study-questioning-hpv-vaccine-efficacy-appears-as-the-uks-cervical-cancer-rates-rise-in-young/

© [Jan 23 2020] Children’s Health Defense, Inc. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of Children’s Health Defense, Inc. Want to learn more from Children’s Health Defense? Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. Your donation will help to support us in our efforts

Women denied abortions live in financial distress years later, study finds

Women refused abortions were nearly four times as likely to live below the federal poverty line four years later as those who had abortions, according to the research, and three-quarters reported not being able to cover basic expenses, such as housing, transportation and food, five years later.

Abortion - Abortion Clinics, Abortion Pill, Abortion Information

The financial cards are stacked against women who want but are denied an abortion, as they and their children are more likely to spend years living in poverty than those able to end their pregnancies, a new study suggests. Those compelled to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term are far more likely to experience eviction, bankruptcy and be mired in debt, according to the findings released Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

In looking at a decade of credit data for women who sought abortions at 30 health providers in 21 states, the latest findings build upon a study released last year that found denied abortions quadrupled the odds of a new mother and her child living in poverty. The new analysis compared changes over time in credit report outcomes for three years before and up to five years after the intended abortion.

“We find that being denied…

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‘Obvious malicious intent’: Tulsi Gabbard hits Hillary Clinton with defamation suit over ‘Russian asset’ smear

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gabbard
RT | January 22, 2020

Democratic presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard is suing two-time White House runner-up Hillary Clinton over her claim that Gabbard was a “Russian asset,” alleging that the lie hurt not just her campaign but the entire election.

Clinton “lied about her perceived rival Tulsi Gabbard… publicly, unambiguously, and with obvious malicious intent” when she claimed Gabbard was “the favorite of the Russians,” the campaign alleges in the suit, filed on Wednesday in the federal Southern District of New York. While Clinton isn’t technically running against Gabbard in the 2020 contest, the filing drily notes that the role of president is “a position Clinton has long coveted, but has not been able to attain.”

The filing alleges Clinton harmed not just Gabbard but also “American voters” and “American democracy” by pushing the baseless smear, citing “scientifically conducted opinion surveys” indicating that millions of potential voters believed Clinton’s claims due to her status as a political insider and authority figure with likely access to non-public information. Over 200 articles have been published amplifying the smear since Clinton first uttered it in an October episode of Democratic strategist David Plouffe’s ‘Campaign HQ’ podcast, and the campaign estimates the former secretary of state’s attacks cost Gabbard $50 million in lost donations, lost votes, and reputational damage.

While Clinton never retracted the inflammatory claim that Gabbard was working for the Kremlin – despite a formal request from the Hawaii congresswoman’s campaign – her representatives did attempt to retrospectively muddy the waters. After Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill verified that she was indeed referring to Gabbard with a snarky “if the nesting doll fits” after Clinton’s initial comments in October, he subsequently backpedaled, trying to claim that Clinton meant Republicans – not Russians – were pulling the candidate’s strings. The resulting “corrections” streamed unevenly through the media, confusing no one bar a few copy-editors.

The Gabbard campaign has requested a jury trial in addition to legal restrictions on republishing the smear, and also seeks at least $50 million in compensatory, punitive and special damages. The filing painstakingly lays out Gabbard’s history of service to her country, indicating that Clinton could not possibly have believed the Iraq war vet and House Foreign Relations Committee member was “the favorite of the Russians,” and must therefore have been deliberately lying. It cites Clinton’s “long-time grudges” as the likely rationale for the attack, recalling that Gabbard resigned her post as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee in protest and voiced support for Clinton’s rival Bernie Sanders after it emerged that the DNC had put its thumb on the scale in the 2016 primary contest to help the former New York senator. […]

via ‘Obvious malicious intent’: Tulsi Gabbard hits Clinton with defamation suit over ‘Russian asset’ smear

US Officials Admit Covert Tech Program Is Fueling Iran Protests

Washington appears to have initiated the “Syria option” inside Iran: covertly fueling and driving “popular protests” to eventually create conditions for large-scale confrontation on the ground geared toward regime change.

Counter Information

Global Research, January 22, 2020
Zero Hedge 20 January 2020

After major protests hit multiple cities across Iran in November following a drastic government slash in gasoline subsidies which quickly turned anti-regime, broad internet outages were reported — some lasting as long as a week or more nationwide — following Tehran authorities ordering the blockage of external access. 

And during smaller January protests over downed Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, more widespread internet outages were reported recently, likely as Iranian security services fear protest “crackdown” videos would fuel outrage in western media, and after months ago Mike Pompeo expressly urged Iranians in the streets to send the State Department damning videos that would implicate Tehran’s leaders and police.

But now Washington appears to have initiated the “Syria option” inside Iran: covertly fueling and driving “popular protests” to eventually create conditions for large-scale confrontation on the ground geared toward regime change.

Financial Times reports…

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Assange Extradition Hearing to Be Split into Two Stages

WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange leaves Westminster Magistrates Court in London, Britain January 13, 2020.

WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange leaves Westminster Magistrates Court in London, Britain January 13, 2020. | Photo: Reuters

 

Telesur

The first part of the full hearing in February at Woolwich Crown Court will cover arguments that the extradition is politically motivated and an abuse of process.

The extradition hearings for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been split in two, with the second taking place in May, according to a ruling made by a judge on Thursday, January  23rd.

The judge ruled that the first extradition hearing for Assange will be scheduled for the week of February 23rd, while the remaining three weeks will be held on May 18.

This move comes after Assange’s defense team argued that there was not enough time to receive and cosnider witness statements and that the WikiLeaks founder had difficulty accessing the case materials.

“We simply can’t get in as we require to see Mr Assange and take instructions … we need time to deal with that,” his lawyer Edward Fitzgerald said.

The first part of the full hearing in February at Woolwich Crown Court will cover arguments that the extradition is politically motivated and an abuse of process

Clair Dobbin, the lawyer representing the U.S. authorities, said they would oppose allowing Assange to call anonymous witnesses as his legal team intends. The hearing will also hear psychiatric evidence about his mental state […]

Via https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Extradition-Hearing-for-Julian-Assange-Will-be-Split-in-Two-20200123-0003.html