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Meta announced Wednesday it will end former President Trump’s suspension from Facebook and Instagram, saying the penalty imposed after January 6 was “an extraordinary decision taken in extraordinary circumstances,” and pledging to enforce “certain guardrails” on Trump in the future.

The company did not say when Trump would be allowed to post on its platforms but said it was confident the “risk” he posed to public safety had passed. Twitter, which also suspended Trump in the wake of the Capitol riot also recently reinstated Trump, although the former president has so far chosen to communicate through his own platform, Truth Social.

“We are bringing Mr. Trump back in the coming weeks with certain guardrails, applicable to any public figures suspended for certain violations during times of civil unrest,” a statement from Meta read.

The company defended about its controversial 2021 decision, insisting it never wanted to interfere in debate surrounding elections and that its decision had been approved by an oversight board. In lifting the suspension, Meta said that based on Trump’s past behavior on the platform, he now faces “heightened penalties for repeat offenses – penalties which will apply to other public figures whose accounts are reinstated from suspensions related to civil unrest under our updated protocol.”

“The penalties and potential restrictions we’ve put in place are a deterrent,” the statement read, warning that Trump could face another suspension ranging from one month to two years if he violates the company’s rules.

The company claimed that Trump had praised violent rioters at the Capitol, meriting his indefinite suspension, and that after January 6, “the risks of allowing President Trump to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great.” Trump has denied praising or encouraging rioters, and did in fact take to Twitter as the riot unfolded to tell his supporters to disperse.

Both Facebook and Twitter have been criticized for suspending Trump even as they allowed a host of world leaders with histories of human rights violations to maintain a presence.

Trump responded to the suspension being lifted on Truth Social.

“Such a thing should never again happen to a sitting president or anybody else who is not deserving of retribution,” Trump wrote.

Meta said its updated protocol specifically addresses content that does not technically violate the platform’s policies, but that “contributes to the sort of risk that materialized on January 6th, such as content that delegitimizes an upcoming election or is related to QAnon.”

“We may limit the distribution of such posts, and for repeated instances, may temporarily restrict access to our advertising tools,” the company said. “This step would mean that content would remain visible on Mr. Trump’s account but would not be distributed in people’s Feeds, even if they follow Mr. Trump. We may also remove the reshare button from such posts, and may stop them being recommended or run as ads. In the event that Mr. Trump posts content that violates the letter of the Community Standards but, under our newsworthy content policy, we assess there is a public interest in knowing that Mr. Trump made the statement that outweighs any potential harm, we may similarly opt to restrict the distribution of such posts but leave them visible on Mr. Trump’s account.”

The company added that it was important for the public to see content from people like Trump, even if it was “distasteful or factually wrong.”

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4 Comments
  • Doc says:

    Democrats love free speech . . . as long as they approve the message.

    • Lance says:

      Being that META AND OTHER MEDIA PLATFORMS ARE ON THE FINANCIAL ROPES…I WOULD BOYCOTT THEM AND BY UNSPOKEN MEANS ASK MY FOLLOWERS TO BOYCOTT AS WELL…PAYBACK IS WHAT IT IS…LOOK TO THE FOUNDER OF FACE-CROOK AND HIS WILLINGNESS AND PARTICIPATIONS TO SUPPORT POLITICAL MANIPULATIONS, THAT SHOULD TELL WHERE THE SENTIMENTS LAY…HOW ‘HACK’ CAN ONE GET…THERE WERE ETHICS RULES VIOLATED, HE WAS ASSISTING IN BUYING THE PUBLICS TRUST BY MANIPULATE TRUTH AND DISTORT FACTS…IN ESSENCE HE WAS A POT CALLING POTUS…BLACK…SADDLY THE U.S. POPULATION CANT SEE BEYOND THEIR OWN DESIRES AND DOESNT WANT TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR STANDING ON THE SIDE OF CONSERVATIVE MORALITY…IF IT DID, THE DEMO-CRITS WOULD HAVE TO REINVENT THEMSELVES BY GROWING A MORAL-BACKBONE AND SUPPORT THE U.S. BY ENCOURAGING GROWTH THRU CHILDBIRTH ‘BY U.S. CITIZENS’, BUILDING A REAL ECONOMIC FUTURE, THAT INCLUDES FOSSIL FUELS AND RESPONSIBLE U.S. GOV. SPENDING, IDENTIFIES THE DUO NATURE OF HUMANS AS MAN AND WOMAN ONLY, AND DISCHARGING THE RESPONSIBILITY OF SEXUAL-ORIENTATION TO THE INDIVIDUAL, MUCH LIKE CHOICE OF POLITICAL PARTY!!!…KEEP THE SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND RACE AND EQUITY OUT OF POLITICS…MERIT IS A EDUCATED PERSONS WAY FOREWARD IN LIFE…WE LEARN FROM BIRTH AND DEVELOPE/GROW…EARN IT OR BURN IT…POVERTY CAN BE EXPENSIVE…TO THE SOUL!!!… SEEK AND YE SHAL FIND!!!

  • John says:

    Face book ,InSTAGRAM are both against the constitution and censor anything that speaks of the DemonRats as being enemies of the country .

  • JAM SR says:

    TRUMP 2024 !!!!!!!!!!

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    MSNBC Anchor Hospitalized with Severe Myocarditis, Pericarditis

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    An MSNBC anchor revealed in a recent segment that she was hospitalized with heart inflammation in December, leading her to miss work for about a month.

    Yasmin Vossoughian said that the health scare started on Dec. 20 when she started to experience chest pains that “waxed and waned over a period of 10 days.” Those pains “continued to get worse” over the coming days, she added.

    The anchor, who hosts a weekend program on the left-wing network, said she went to urgent care on Dec. 30 and was told she had acid reflux. A day later, she woke up with severe chest pains and pain in her left shoulder, leading her to believe she was suffering from a heart attack.

    Vossoiughian, 44, said she went to the emergency room. Doctors diagnosed her with pericarditis, or inflammation of the lining of the heart. They claimed it was caused by “a literal common cold,” she said.

    She added that she doesn’t smoke, she runs several miles per week, does yoga, doesn’t eat meat, and drinks occasionally. “I’m a pretty healthy person,” she said.

    After she was admitted to the hospital, she spent several days there before she was released on Jan. 4, Vossoiughian said.

    “But that was not the end … three days later, I was readmitted when I felt a flutter in my heart like a butterfly,” she said. Doctors then informed her that she developed myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle, and she spent another five days in the hospital.

    Vossoiughian then said that it was “just the cold that was doing … all the inflammation in and around my heart.”

    Speculation

    With Vossoiughian’s confirmation that she suffered pericarditis and myocarditis, there was widespread speculation on social media that it may have been caused by a COVID-19 vaccine or booster. The MSNBC host did not make mention of COVID-19 or vaccines during her segment, and she said her doctors blamed it on the common cold virus.

    Both pericarditis and myocarditis are considered side effects of mRNA vaccines manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna, according to the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    But, according to Johns Hopkins University, while rare, myocarditis can be caused “by an infection in the body,” including the common cold, influenza, and COVID-19. Bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections can also lead to myocardial inflammation.

    The Myocarditis Foundation, meanwhile, says that “viral infections are the leading cause of myocarditis,” but it notes that “a wide range of infections, diseases, and substances may cause this condition.”

    And the UK National Health Service says that “pericarditis often follows a viral infection, such as a sore throat or cold.”

    In 2021, Vossoiughian wrote on social media that she was fully vaccinated for COVID-19. “We are both vaccinated…that was confirmed before this pic!” she said in April of that year. Comcast’s NBCUniversal also mandated that its employees, including those working at MSNBC, get the vaccine before returning to the office in early 2022.

    Later in the segment, the MSNBC host brought on her physician, Dr. Greg Katz, a cardiologist at NYU Langone Hospital, for an interview. Vossoiughian asked him about anecdotal claims that more and more people are now suffering from pericarditis and myocarditis.

    “Could be the season is more virus heavy, maybe our immune systems are different because we’ve been masking and social distancing,” Katz claimed, adding that “nobody knows why this is.”

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    11 US Cities — All Governed by Democratic Mayors — Listed Among 50 Most Dangerous in World

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    Eleven U.S. cities rank among the 50 most dangerous in the world, according to a recent report published by Numbeo, a global quality of life database. All 11 are governed by Democratic mayors.

    Three U.S. cities — Baltimore, Memphis and Detroit — are ranked among the 20 most dangerous cities on the planet.

    The three cities have more in common than just violent crime. All three are run by Democrats.

    Baltimore ranks #15 on the annual dangerous cities list, with Memphis and Detroit close behind at #18 and #19, respectively.

    Brandon Scott, just 38 years of age, is the mayor of Baltimore. Jim Strickland Jr., an attorney and politician, is the 64th and current mayor of Memphis, where the Memphis police department has just announced plans to permanently deactivate the unit that five of the officers involved in the vicious beating of Tyre Nichols belonged to. Mike Duggan, meanwhile, is currently serving as the mayor of Detroit.

    Two more U.S. cities run by Democrats appear among the 30 most dangerous in the world: Albuquerque (#23), where 45-year-old Tim Keller serves as the 30th mayor, and St. Louis (#27), where Tishaura Oneda Jones has served as mayor since April of 2021.

    Tracking back for a wider view yields a still grimmer perspective for Democrats, as another six Democrat-run cities rank among the world’s 50 most dangerous: New Orleans (#35), Oakland (#38), Milwaukee (#40), Chicago (#43), Philadelphia (#46), and Houston (#50). Again, all of these cities are run by Democrats.

    Numbeo’s report contains both a Crime Index, which is an estimation of overall levels of crime in a given city, and a Safety index. A city with a high safety index is considered very safe. A city with a high crime index is considered anything but. If a city’s crime levels are lower than 20, for instance, this is considered excellent. Crime levels between 20 and 40 are considered good; crime levels between 40 and 60 are moderate; crime levels between 60 and 80 are considered high. Finally, crime levels higher than 80 are considered dangerously high. The Safety Index, meanwhile, is ranked in the completely opposite way, with scores higher than 80 indicating that a city is very safe, and scores under 20 indicating that a city is borderline uninhabitable.

    Baltimore has a Crime Index score of 75.5 and a Safety Index score of 24.5. “Charm City” finds itself sandwiched between Port of Spain, the capital of Trinidad and Tobago, and Rosario, Argentina’s third-most populous city.

    In 2019, then-U.S. Attorney General William Barr referred to Baltimore as the country’s “robbery capital.” Although the comment was deemed controversial by some commentators, it is amply substantiated by crime statistics. Last year, the city of 576,000 experienced a sharp spike in robberies, with robberies of convenience stores jumping by 300%. Baltimore also suffered a sharp increase in homicides.

    Some 900 miles away, in Memphis, overall crime increased by more than 8% last year. By August of 2022, 4,501 crimes had been reported in the downtown area of the city, 600 more than had been reported by August of 2021, according to the city’s Data Hub.

    In Detroit, more than 220 officers left the police department last year. Long known as the automobile capital of the world, Detroit has, in recent times, become more closely associated with assaults, shootings and homicides. On New Year’s Day, for instance, a total of 6 people were shot, one of them fatally. Five days later, a 16-year-old was killed and an 11-year-old was injured in yet another shooting.

    Democrats have often been labeled “soft on crime” by their opponents. The latest Numbeo report will do little to stem such denunciations.

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    Here Are the 4 Senators Most Likely to Lose Their Seats in 2024

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    A top nonpartisan political handicapper is forecasting that Democrats face a serious challenge holding on to four crucial Senate seats as they attempt to protect their razor-thin majority in the chamber in the 2024 elections.

    The first Senate race ratings of the new cycle by Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics are the latest by a leading election handicapper to point to a rough road ahead for the Democrats.

    Democrats flipped a GOP Senate seat in Pennsylvania in November’s midterm elections, and they currently hold a 51-49 majority in the chamber – which includes three independent senators who caucus with the Democratic conference.

    But Republicans are energized by a very favorable Senate map in 2024, with Democrats defending 23 of the 34 seats up for grabs. Three of those seats are in red states former President Donald Trump easily carried over President Biden in 2020: Ohio, West Virginia and Montana. Five other Democratic seats are in key swing states narrowly carried by Biden in the 2020 presidential election: Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. In Michigan, longtime Democratic Sen Debbie Stabenow announced she’ll retire after next year rather than seek re-election.

    According to Sabato’s Crystal Ball, three Democratic held seats are toss-ups while one is ranked as lean Republican.

    “Democrats are playing much more defense than Republicans,” Kyle Kondik, Sabato’s Crystal Ball managing editor, highlighted. “Of the current Democratic seats, West Virginia starts as the clearest Republican takeover opportunity, with Arizona, Montana, and Ohio as Toss-ups.”

    And Kondik notes that “the GOP has no Toss-up or Leans Republican seats to defend at the starting gate.”

    Here are the four Democratic senators who face challenging re-elections.

    Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia

    Manchin, a former governor and moderate Democrat who hails from one-time Democratic leaning state that’s turned overwhelmingly red in recent cycles, has yet to announce if he’ll seek another term next year. Manchin won re-election in 2018 by three points in a state then-President Donald Trump carried by nearly 40 points two years later. Sabato’s Crystal Ball ranks this race as lean Republican.

    “It is fairly unusual for us to start an incumbent as an underdog, but we think it’s warranted in this instance,” Kondik emphasized.

    Sen. Jon Tester of Montana

    Tester, a farmer, three-term senator, and the only Democrat to hold statewide office in the red state of Montana, has yet to say if he’ll run for re-election in 2024.

    Trump carried Montana by 16 points in 2020 and Sabato’s Crystal Ball ranks this race a toss-up.

    Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio

    Brown, who’s served nearly a half century as an elected state and federal office holder, has already said he’ll run next year for a fourth six-year term in the Senate.

    Ohio, which was once a premier general election battleground state, has shifted red in recent cycles, and this race is also ranked a toss-up.

    “Brown should be able to get at least some crossover support, but will that be enough to overcome a GOP margin of, say, 8 points for president (Trump’s margin in both 2016 and 2020)?” Kondik wrote.

    Republicans are already taking aim at all three senators. As Fox News first reported earlier this month, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) launched a “retire or get fired” digital campaign targeting Manchin, Tester and Brown, and tying them to President Biden.

    Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona

    Sinema, a moderate Democratic lawmaker, last month announced she was leaving the party and registering as an Independent. Sinema has yet to announce if she’ll seek another term in 2024.

    But she already faces a challenge from the left, as earlier this month progressive Rep. Ruben Gallego launched a bid for the Democratic Senate nomination in the key southwestern battleground.

    “The Arizona situation is fascinating, given the possibility of a true three-way race,” Kondik highlighted.

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    News

    Jordan Peterson Announces World Economic Forum Alternative

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    Professor of psychology and public speaker Jordan Peterson has announced the formation of an international consortium that would serve as a kind of populist alternative to the elitist World Economic Forum (WEF) and provide a countervailing force against globalist aims and narratives.

    Peterson laid out his plan in an appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast, telling him that an inaugural event of the group is being planned for the cusp of October/November 2023 in London.

    Around 2,000 business, cultural, and political figures will be invited to take part in the consortium, he said, adding that he wants the discussions open to the public and membership in the organization to be as broad as possible.

    That would put participation at a similar scale to the WEF’s recent meeting in Davos, Switzerland, which amassed around 2,700 international leaders, Wall Street executives, central bankers, and celebrities.

    Peterson said that a core idea of the consortium—which does not yet have an official name—will be to provide an “alternative vision of the future … an alternative to that kind of apocalyptic narrative that’s being put forward, at least implicitly, by organizations like the WEF.”

    ‘Year of the Polycrisis’

    Critics have argued that the WEF uses scare tactics and paints a dire picture of the future to justify proposed solutions, such as the Great Reset.

    For instance, ahead of this year’s WEF meeting, the group declared 2023 the “Year of the Polycrisis,” laying out an extensive matrix of threats, with a strong focus on the supposed emergency of climate change that critics have lambasted as unfounded alarmism.

    The Great Reset, which has been associated with the controversial slogan “you’ll have nothing and you’ll be happy,” puts forward a top-down approach to managing various threats that include rejigging capitalism to distribute its benefits more evenly and strengthening the global architecture of multinational institutions.

    Critics of the Great Reset say it’s an attempt by international organizations to undermine national sovereignty by centralizing power and decision-making at the expense of individual freedoms and local communities.

    There are also concerns that the solutions the scheme proposes involve a high degree of economic interventionism by governments and social engineering by global elites who want to impose progressive values and beliefs on traditional-minded populations.

    As an alternative to what he described as the WEF’s “apocalyptic narratives,” Peterson said the consortium wants instead to “put forward a vision that’s enticing and inviting.”

    “Imagine you can have the world you want” with “none of this Malthusian Limits to Growth nonsense.”

    The Malthusian Limits to Growth is a concept based on the notion that population growth will eventually outstrip the food supply, leading to widespread famine, disease, and death.

    A key criticism of the idea includes that it’s overly simplistic and fails to account for the complex interplay of food production, population, and technological advancement. It’s also inconsistent with historical data, as the model’s dire predictions have failed to pass despite a growing global population, as food production has kept pace through advancements in technology and agriculture.

    “We get our act together,” Peterson said, “and everyone can have enough—and maybe more than enough.

    “There is no limit to the abundance the natural world can produce,” he added.

    Core Ideas of Peterson’s Consortium

    Peterson listed some of the core ideas that will be discussed at the October/November 2023 meeting, including enhancing energy production and distribution, protecting individual freedoms against tyranny, and pushing back against falling birth rates with pro-family policies.

    “You don’t get to save the planet by making energy prices so expensive that no one poor can afford them. That’s off the table,” he said, adding that the development of alternative sources of energy would be welcome but “you don’t get to impose your utopian vision in the service of your narcissism on the poor.

    “We’re going to try to make the poor rich—try to alleviate poverty,” he said.

    Experts have criticized agendas like the Green New Deal for pushing technologically immature solutions by government dictates and subsidies, making energy less reliable and more expensive, with a disproportionate impact on the poor.

    Peterson said a key discussion point of the consortium will be how to obtain “energy and resources at the lowest possible cost, as rapidly as possible, to the largest number of people around the world.”

    Another is to look at ways to manage governance in order to “stop the march of something like pathological gigantism,” which he described as big and growing power by a combination of corporate, governmental, and media in what he described as a kind of “corrupt collusion.”

    He also said that discussions would involve exploring a “pro-human” view of stewardship.

    “How do we prioritize our attempts to establish our states and our international relationships properly, so that we prioritize human well-being” in a way that’s in harmony with nature to the extent possible, while avoiding the trappings of the Malthusian idea that there are too many “mouths on the planet to feed and that you’re evil if you just think about having children.”

    Further, Peterson said the consortium will explore policies that would counteract falling birth rates by encouraging stable, two-parent families that are “child-centered.”

    “In the West, because we’re very immature, we think that the purpose of a marriage is the happiness of the people who are involved in the marriage, the husband and the wife. And that’s just not the purpose of marriage at all,” Peterson said.

    “The purpose is long-term facilitation of their psychological and spiritual development and the establishment of an environment that’s beneficial to children,” he added.

    He also touched on the primacy of voluntary cooperation among members of societies, rather than top-down coercion.

    “One story is power rules everything,” he said. “But that’s not a very good story. It’s a very pathological story.”

    Peterson argued that taking responsibility at the most local level is key to preventing the rise of tyranny. He said this is based on the idea that personal responsibility should be taken at each step of oneself, family, community, state, and nation.

    “The idea is you have to produce a hierarchy of responsibility, distributed responsibility, as an antithesis to tyranny,” which Peterson suggested could be a model for good governance.

    He said this idea is rooted in Western tradition and is an antidote to the notion that power is the only factor that rules.

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    News

    WATCH: Police Fatally Shoot Knife-Wielding Double Amputee Trying to Run Away on His Stumps. Activists Outraged.

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    Police in Huntington Park, California, shot and killed a double amputee who was holding a knife while attempting to flee on what remained of his legs.

    The violent encounter leading to the death of Anthony Lowe Jr., 36, happened last week, but the story began to gain national attention when the man’s family gathered on Monday to demand accountability and with the emergence of a passerby video showing officers pursuing Lowe as he hobbled away.

    Police said they received a call Thursday afternoon from a man who said he was stabbed by another man in a wheelchair. Upon arrival, officers tried to detain the suspect, who was armed with a 12-inch butcher knife, the Huntington Park Police Department said in a statement.

    Officers deployed two separate Tasers in an attempt to subdue Lowe, but they were ineffective, police said. The statement said the suspect continued to threaten officers with the butcher knife, which led to the shooting. Paramedics declared Lowe dead at the scene, according to authorities.

    A spokesperson for Lowe’s family said Lowe, whose legs were amputated at the knees, was undergoing a mental health crisis when he was fatally shot, according to CBS News.

    At a press conference with activists on Monday, Members of Lowe’s called for accountability and decried what they said is a lack of transparency. Among the gathering was Lowe’s mother Dorothy. “They murdered my son, in a wheelchair with no legs,” she said. “They do need to do something about it.”

    Lowe’s cousin, Ellakenyada Gorum, argued that officers “knew” their lives were not in danger.

    Calling attention to other deaths of black people in incidents involving law enforcement, Gorum also said, “It’s sad how these police are getting away with killing our African American people. Just getting away with it. He was in a wheelchair. What more could he do?”

    Huntington police said in their statement that the involved officers were placed on paid administrative leave pending investigations by law enforcement and the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.

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    News

    Youtube Insider Leaks ‘Urgent Guidance’ Document Distributed to Employees Handling Pfizer Exposé

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    Project Veritas claimed Monday that YouTube officials distributed a document to employees on how to handle the investigative journalism non-profit’s bombshell video on Pfizer released last week.

    The video from Project Veritas went viral, receiving over 20 million views despite being banned from YouTube. In that video, a man identified as Jordon Walker, Pfizer’s director of research and development, strategic operations – mRNA scientific planner, divulges that the company has allegedly considered mutating COVID-19 through “directed evolution” in monkeys to develop new vaccines.

    The group’s Twitter account claimed that a YouTube insider leaked “Urgent Guidance” to handle the Pfizer video “Effective immediately as of 27 January 2023.”

    “A clip uploaded by Project Veritas featuring a Pfizer official is rapidly spreading on the platform,” the document attached to the tweet reads. “The video, when uploaded in its entirety, contains a timestamp that violates the COVID-19 Vaccine Misinformation policy for making a categorical claim that COVID-19 vaccines are ineffective and should therefore be removed unless it contains sufficient EDSA/CRC.”

    Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe addressed critics of the video exposé on Monday.

    “For those who don’t like the video having 30 mil views,” O’Keefe said in a tweet. “Ask yourself: Why does Project Veritas even have a mission,” adding, “If YouTube weren’t taking down our video, and large multinational corps weren’t telling journalists not to cover stories, there wouldn’t be a need for people like me.”

    The non-profit rented a truck and parked it outside Pfizer headquarters in Manhattan on Tuesday, which displayed the bombshell video on the side and a picture of Walker on the back underneath a #DIRECTEDEVOLUTION banner.

    In the original video, Walker’s claim that the company has at least considered mutating the virus to manufacture vaccines is just one of several disturbing assertions.

    Walker also implies federal regulators don’t enforce laws enough on Pfizer in hopes of landing jobs there and that the company expects COVID to be a “cash cow” for years to come.

    In a subsequent video in which O’Keefe confronts Walker, the Pfizer employee claims that he lied on the video to impress who he believed to be his date. Then, in a disturbing meltdown, Walker seizes a tablet from O’Keefe and smashes it.

    When Walker describes to the undercover Project Veritas reporter the process of mutating the virus by infecting monkeys, the reporter opines that it sounds like gain-of-function research, in which viruses are manipulated to become more dangerous for the supposed purpose of finding more effective treatments.

    Gain-of-function research, possibly funded in part by a grant from the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is suspected by some experts in the alleged creation of COVID-19 inside a lab in Wuhan, China.

    Walker, however, insisted the research he described is “directed evolution” research and not gain-of-function.

    Pfizer denied it conducts gain-of-function research on COVID-19 in a long-awaited but indirect response.

    “Allegations have recently been made related to gain of function and directed evolution research at Pfizer and the company would like to set the record straight,” the company’s statement began. “In the ongoing development of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer has not conducted gain of function or directed evolution research.”

    Pfizer’s statement goes on to describe the research it acknowledges conducting, which usually involves only computer simulations, but added that “in a limited number of cases when a full virus does not contain any known gain of function mutations, such virus may be engineered to enable the assessment of antiviral activity in cells.”

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    ‘Dr. Phil’ Talk Show to End After 21 Seasons

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    “Dr. Phil” is coming to an end this spring after 21 seasons, CBS Media Ventures announced Tuesday, emphasizing it was Dr. Phil McGraw’s decision to stop making new episodes.

    The media company aims to repackage and rerun old episodes of the daytime show for the 2023-2024 season and beyond. The repurposed episodes would feature new content such as “wrap-arounds and intros by McGraw,” 72, as well as “guest updates,” per the announcement.

    “I have been blessed with over 25 wonderful years in daytime television,” McGraw said in a statement. “With this show, we have helped thousands of guests and millions of viewers through everything from addiction and marriage to mental wellness and raising children. This has been an incredible chapter of my life and career, but while I’m moving on from daytime, there is so much more I wish to do.”

    McGraw said he will shift his focus to prime-time programming with new partnerships due to launch in early 2024.

    “I am compelled to engage with a broader audience because I have grave concerns for the American family, and I am determined to help restore a clarity of purpose as well as our core values,” McGraw added.

    The psychologist got his start as a frequent guest on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in the late 1990s. He launched his own series in September 2002.

    McGraw was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame in 2015, and he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in February 2020. His show has netted 31 Daytime Emmy nominations, CBS Media Ventures noted, and provided over $35 million in resources for its guests off-camera.

    But “Dr. Phil,” which explores controversial topics, has found itself mired in controversy as well. A year ago, nearly a dozen current and former employees of “Dr. Phil” spoke out to BuzzFeed, describing their workplace as “traumatizing” and a “war zone.” McGraw’s attorney, H. Patrick Morris, “categorically denie[d]” the allegations at the time.

    Critics have also blasted McGraw for his “appallingly cruel” 2016 interview with actress Shelley Duvall; his post-show treatment of infamous guest Danielle “Bhad Bhabie” Bregoli; and his “betrayal” of Britney Spears when she struggled with mental health issues in 2008.

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    News

    Pizza Employee Who Told Policers Officers They’re ‘Not Welcome’ Gets Rude Awakening

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    A San Francisco pizza shop fired an employee after a police union said several officers were told they were not welcome at the restaurant.

    The San Francisco Police Officer’s Association posted on Twitter Sunday that several officers went into Pizza Squared and were told they “were not welcome in the restaurant.”

    The union said it reached out to the owners about the “shameful and hateful actions of one of their employees.”

    On Monday, the pizzeria tweeted that the employee was a trainee on his third day.

    “When our shift manager told us about the incident after it happened, we expressly told him we didn’t share his views & that he was out of line,” the tweet states. “He was fired at the end of the day.”

    The restaurant said it apologized to the police union.

    Union President Tracy McCray told FOX San Francisco that police officers have dined at the pizza shop and never faced any mistreatment in the past.

    “We were pleased to receive an immediate response from the owners, including a sincere apology for their employee’s actions and a commitment to meet with the affected officers and make this unfortunate situation right,” he said.

    Over the years, some police officers across the country have been denied service at restaurants because of their chosen profession.

    Go deeper ( < 1 min. read ) ➝

    News

    Rep. George Santos Steps Down from Committee Assignments

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    After facing weeks of allegations that he fabricated key details of his past and defrauded individuals, Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) has announced his decision to step down—at least temporarily—from his congressional committee assignments.

    Santos informed his Republican House colleagues of his decision to temporarily recuse himself from his committee assignments during a closed-door meeting today. Santos told his colleagues he wanted to step down for the time being while he works to clear up a series of allegations that have arisen in recent weeks.

    House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said he felt Santos had made the “appropriate decision.”

    The freshman congressman has been accused of fabricating numerous details about his family background, education, and work history. Santos had claimed on his biography that he had obtained “degrees in finance and economics” from Baruch College and New York University, and had worked for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs.

    In December, Santos admitted to some “resume embellishments,” confessing he hadn’t graduated from Baruch College or any college for that matter. Santos said he also overstated that he worked for two Wall Street firms and said he instead worked for a company called Link Bridge, which did business with both firms. Santos also admitted to lying about owning 13 different properties.

    Santos faced other allegations including that he had falsely said he was Jewish. In an interview with the New York Post Santos said he had “never claimed to be Jewish.”

    Santos was also recently accused of defrauding a veteran who was trying to raise money for a surgical procedure for his dog. The veteran claimed he came into contact with Santos, who was going by the alias Anthony Devolder. The U.S. Navy veteran, Richard Osthoff, said Devolder set up a GoFundMe crowdfunding page for the medical procedure for the dog, but ultimately kept the money and cut off contact with the veteran, allowing the dog to die without the necessary medical treatment. Santos has entirely denied Osthoff’s claims, tweeting that “the reports that I would let a dog die is [sic] shocking & insane.”

    Santos was assigned to the House Committee on Small Business and to the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. McCarthy had given Santos those relatively low-profile assignments amid criticisms and calls for Santos to resign from Congress altogether.

    Santos has repeatedly rejected calls for his resignation over his fabrications, including from members of his own party.

    “George Santos’s campaign last year was a campaign of deceit, lies, and fabrication,” Joseph Cairo, chairman of the Nassau County GOP, said in a recent press conference.

    New York GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy also said that “it would be in the best interest of the taxpayers to have new leadership” representing the district in Congress.

    “I was hired by the voters and I will be fired by the voters, not by the Democrat Party or the Republican Party or the media,” Santos said in a recent interview.

    Though he stepped down from his committee assignments on Tuesday, Santos remains committed to serving out his term.

    McCarthy and some other Republicans reiterated that Santos could eventually return.

    “The voters have elected him,” McCarthy told reporters after the Republican meeting on Tuesday. “He’ll have a voice here in Congress. And until he answers all those [ethics] questions, then at that time, he’ll be able to be seated on committees.”

    Santos has argued that he is being held to a different standard than the one applied to Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who made false claims that he served in the military in Vietnam during the war, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who embellished her Native American heritage.

    Some Democrats have also vocally criticized Santos.

    “I’m just struck by the chaos, confusion, dysfunction of the Republican Conference. They defended putting him on committees and now they’re announcing that he’s not going to serve on committees,” Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) said on Tuesday.

    Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) said, “I also urge George Santos to listen to his Republican and Democratic constituents and also resign from Congress as well.”

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    DeSantis Responds to Trump over Ongoing Series of Criticisms

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    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis responded Tuesday to an ongoing series of criticisms leveled at him by former President Donald Trump.

    Trump took his latest swing at DeSantis on Saturday, claiming that the governor — whom he has previously nicknamed “Ron DeSanctimonious” — was misguided in COVID-19 pandemic policies in Florida.

    “There are Republican governors that did not close their states. Florida was closed for a long period of time.” Trump said to reporters. “They’re trying to rewrite history.”

    Trump went further during his Saturday events in New Hampshire and South Carolina, claiming that DeSantis owes his success to the Trump administration and that a hypothetical presidential bid would be insulting.

    Trump said, “Ron would have not been governor if it wasn’t for me. So, when I hear he might run, I consider that very disloyal.”

    Speaking at a press conference, DeSantis was asked about Trump’s comments.

    “Trump has criticized you a number of times in the past couple of days on a number of different issues, one of them being COVID in the state,” said Daily Caller reporter Henry Rodgers.

    DeSantis cited his recent landslide victory with Florida voters.

    “Well, look, what I would just say is this. I roll out of bed, I have people attacking me from all angles,” the Florida governor said. “It’s been happening for many, many years. And if you look at the good thing about it, though, is if you take a crisis situation like COVID, you know — the good thing about it is when you’re an elected executive, you have to make all kinds of decisions. You got to steer that ship.”

    DeSantis continued, “And the good thing is that the people are able to render a judgment on that, whether they reelect you or not. And I’m happy to say, you know, in my case, not only did we win reelection, we won with the highest percentage of the vote that any Republican governor candidate has in the history of the state of Florida.”

    Until recently, Trump was the clear and overwhelming front-runner in the early 2024 GOP presidential nomination polls. However, in a handful of national surveys released last month, Trump trailed DeSantis, whose standing with conservatives across the country has soared over the past three years.

    DeSantis was overwhelmingly reelected in November for a second term leading Florida, a one-time battleground state that has turned increasingly red the past two cycles.

    “We won by the largest raw vote margin over 1.5 million votes than any governor candidate has ever had in Florida history,” DeSantis said Tuesday. “And in fact, we almost doubled the previous record, which I think was like [a] 780,000-vote margin. And so what I would just say is that verdict has been rendered by the people of the state of Florida.”

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    Hunter Biden Threatened an Assistant: Video-Sex or No Pay

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    Hunter Biden threatened one of his cash-strapped young female staffers with withholding her pay if she didn’t FaceTime him for sex.

    Shocking texts between the President’s son, 52, and his young assistant, who was 29 at the time, show Hunter asking for video sex sessions and sending her cash via Apple Pay after she pleaded that she was struggling to make rent.

    The woman, who DailyMail.com has chosen not to identify, worked as an assistant at Hunter’s law firm, Owasco, in 2018 and 2019. She is the fourth employee he is known to have had a sexual relationship with.

    Documents on his abandoned laptop show Hunter put his lover and brother’s widow Hallie Biden on his company payroll, as well as her sister Liz Secundy, with whom he also had an affair, texts reveal.

    He also hired his daughter’s basketball coach, reportedly former stripper Lunden Roberts, but ended her employment and stopped responding to her messages after she told him she was pregnant with his child. Roberts eventually had to sue him for child support.

    Messages and emails involving his now 33-year-old assistant first appear on Hunter’s laptop in June 2018, when he flew her from Los Angeles to Washington DC.

    Hunter filmed and photographed her having sex with him around that time and saved the images on his laptop.

    The part-time model and fitness instructor was given important administrative tasks at his company, such as receiving Burisma board documents for Hunter to sign.

    In January 2019, she emailed Hunter’s secretary asking why she had not received her December paycheck of $837.06 and why her company health insurance was not active.

    Two months later he sent her $500 by Apple Pay and complained he had ‘really no money’ due to ‘alimony tuitions and other s**t like girls insurance etc’.

    He told her: ‘youre as beautiful to me inside as you so obviously are on the outside. Miss you very much and feel horrible for having treated you so poorly.’

    He invited her to New Hampshire but she told him: ‘I can’t afford the plane ticket and I barely can even make my rent this month.’

    Days later he texted her saying he would pay her but that she had to video chat with him.

    ‘I will [m]ake up for back pay. You have to make up for back work. By FTiming me and/or going to our next-club party,’ Hunter wrote to his young employee.

    ‘When can you face time? If we FT the rule has to be no talk of anything but sex and we must be naked and we have to do whatever the other person asks within reason.’

    ‘When can you talk? I can later tonight,’ she replied.

    In between the messages Hunter sent his assistant a total of $2,750 via Apple Pay.

    The First Son asked his assistant to ‘Set phone up [so] I can spy on you showering’ and ‘Show me how you play with yourself’.

    In June 2018 Hunter photographed her holding his penis and lying naked on his bed, and saved the photos on his abandoned laptop.

    Texts show Hunter made sexual comments to his employee. After she texted him a photo in October 2018 he wrote back: ‘Well you’ve now proven to everyone that you have the greatest A** in the whole world ever and… I’m hiding in the cabana.’

    The woman is named in Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) filed by JP Morgan Chase bank to the Treasury, flagging transactions by Hunter and his company.

    The confidential reports, obtained by right wing transparency nonprofit Marco Polo, list wire payments from Hunter or his company to the woman in 2018 totaling $44,500.08.

    Read the full article.

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    FBI Searched Biden’s Private Office At Penn Biden Center Months Ago

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    Federal law enforcement officials reportedly searched President Joe Biden’s private office at the Penn Biden Center months ago after Biden’s legal team reported finding classified material there.

    CBS News reported that the search was conducted with the cooperation of Biden’s team and that a search warrant was not needed.

    The White House, Biden’s lawyers, and Biden’s Justice Department have not previously disclosed the fact that the FBI was at the building searching the office.

    Classified documents connected with Biden were first found in his private office at the Penn Biden Center, a think tank in Washington, D.C., on November 2, less than a week before the 2022 midterm elections. Since then, Biden’s attorneys have located more classified documents at Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, on several separate occasions: an unspecified number found in the garage on December 20, one document found in Biden’s study on January 11, and five more found in the study on January 12.

    Federal officials confirmed two weeks ago that they found more classified material during a 13-hour FBI search of Biden’s home on January 20.

    CNN reported last week that while Biden’s team claimed they were cooperative in dealing with the Department of Justice, federal investigators were prepared to get a search warrant if Biden did not consent to being searched.

    U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed former U.S. Attorney Robert Hur — who served during the Trump administration — to serve as special counsel in the investigation after the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois John Lausch, who was assigned to do an initial review of the case, recommended to Garland that a special counsel be appointed.

    CNN described the special counsel investigation by Hur as a “full-blown criminal investigation.”

    Biden made his first remarks about the investigation two weeks ago, telling reporters that it “quite frankly bugs” him that he was being asked questions about the matter.

    “We’re fully cooperating, looking forward to getting this resolved quickly,” Biden claimed. “I think you’re gonna find there’s nothing there. I have no regrets. I’m following what the lawyers have told me they want me to do — that’s exactly what we’re doing. There’s no there, there.”

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    Google Fired Exec For Not Being ‘Inclusive’ By Favoring High Performers, Lawsuit Alleges

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    A former high-ranking Google executive, who was allegedly sexually harassed by his boss, was later fired by the tech giant for failing to be “inclusive” simply because he favored high-performing employees, according to a lawsuit filed in New York federal court.

    In August, Google fired Ryan Olohan as managing director of food, beverage, and restaurants, telling him it was because he was not “inclusive” enough, according to the lawsuit.

    “In response to Olohan’s request during the call for specifics as to why Google believed he was not inclusive, Google’s Employee Investigations team explained that he had shown favoritism towards high performers, which it considered ‘non-inclusive,’ and commented on employees’ walking pace and hustle, which it considered ‘ableist,’” the suit said.

    In February 2022, Adam Stewart, vice president of Google’s consumer, government & entertainment division, told Olohan that there were “obviously too many white guys” in the division and in July, Stewart and the company’s human resources department “encouraged Olohan to terminate the employment of a male member of his team and replace him with a female hire,” the suit said.

    The suit said that the vague references to “inclusion” seemed to simply fault Olohan for being a white male. “Defendants discriminated against Olohan because of his gender and race, in violation of his statutory rights,” the suit said.

    The allegations of non-inclusion against Olohan are notable because his online footprint suggests that he, in fact, had an unusually strong commitment to inclusion.

    Olohan has seven children who are racial minorities because his wife is Asian. In his spare time, the ex-tech exec runs an ice cream parlor whose goal is to foster inclusivity by employing people with Down syndrome, according to a 2020 article about his shop—which is called “Seven Scoops” and has the motto “Many Flavors One Community.”

    The New Jersey ice cream shop donated more than $70,000 to needy people in its first six months, and Olohan organized a camp-out in which dozens of children slept in tents outside the store to raise money and build empathy for the homeless, it said.

    “My life revolves around God, family, Google and Seven Scoops – in that order,” Olohan said in the article.

    The lawsuit says Google lavished praise on Olohan for being a high performer, promoting him rapidly and giving him its “Founders Award” every year, which comes with a $250,000 equity grant.

    The lawsuit says that Olohan himself was the victim of sexual harassment at work, which the company did not seem interested in policing. A female employee, Tiffany Miller, allegedly drunkenly “rubbed his stomach” at a work party and told him he had “such a nice body,” the lawsuit said. Olohan filed a human resources complaint, but the company did nothing—with an HR rep noting that if the situation was “reversed,” with a man coming onto a woman, it would have, the lawsuit said.

    Olohan sued Google as well as Miller, saying Miller repeatedly accused him of “microaggressions” in retaliation, but that human resources officials were present for his remarks and confirmed that he had not microaggressed, it said.

    Google said in a statement “This employee was terminated with cause after a thorough investigation of complaints by numerous employees. We firmly stand by our decision here and we will vigorously defend ourselves against these claims.”

    Olohan did not return a request for comment.

    A representative for Miller said in a statement that “This lawsuit is a fictional account of events filled with numerous falsehoods, fabricated by a disgruntled ex-employee, who was senior to Ms. Miller at Google. Ms. Miller never made any ‘advance’ toward Mr. Olohan, which witnesses can readily corroborate. Even more disturbing is the overt sexism and racism in Mr. Olohan‘s efforts to blame others for his termination.”

    Google once held “antiracist” trainings for its employees in which a presenter positioned Daily Wire founder Ben Shapiro, an orthodox Jew, as the foundation of a “white supremacy pyramid” that included Donald Trump higher up the chain, and culminated in “mass murder,” according to materials obtained by Chris Rufo. The company also doled out cash awards available only to non-white individuals to create “an image-based project that explores and uplifts communities of color.”

    Campaign finance records in the recent Georgia Senate runoff campaign showed more than 800 donations from Google employees to the Democrat, and only six to the Republican.

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    House Passes Bills Ending COVID Emergency, Health Care Worker Vaccine Mandate

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    With Republicans back in the majority, the U.S. House of Representatives on Jan. 31 passed a series of bills related to the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines.

    The GOP majority in the lower chamber took up two COVID-19 bills on Tuesday, with many others still on the docket for possible consideration later this year.

    The first bill would officially declare an end to the public health emergency of the COVID-19 pandemic. The second bill would end the vaccine mandate for health care workers at institutions that receive federal funding.

    During the 117th Congress, the Democrat majority in both chambers largely marched in lockstep with President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 policies, including vaccine mandates.

    Republicans, on the other hand, have pointed to the low risk the virus poses to younger people and those without pre-existing health conditions. Many Republicans opposed vaccine mandates as a violation of Americans’ rights to choose which drugs they put into their bodies.

    Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) said the two bills being considered will “restore our constitutional rights and freedoms after two long years of Democrats COVID-19 power grab policies.”

    In many places, Americans found themselves effectively barred from leaving their homes amid mandatory lockdowns, which in turn caused substantial mental health and socialization issues among young adults and children.

    “The extended COVID lockdowns like the ones we saw in my home state of New York caused irreparable damage to our children’s development, financial strain on our small businesses and unnecessary deaths among our most vulnerable seniors,” Stefanik said.

    The bill passed by Republicans, the first in a round of two expected votes, would end a federal vaccine mandate for health care workers at facilities that receive federal funding.

    The bill passed in a 227–203 vote, including 7 Democrats supporting the measure.

    Biden announced the health care mandate as part of a larger declaration announcing vaccine mandates for all federal civilian and military personnel. Many Americans, including those with significant reservations about the novel vaccine, which has not undergone long-term testing, were faced with the choice to take the jab or lose their jobs.

    In an interview with The Epoch Times, Lt. Col. Adam Conrad, who asked that his name be changed to protect him from retribution by the Department of Defense, described the effects of this mandate on servicemembers.

    “I’ve never seen morale so low,” he said.

    While federal employees were targeted most by Biden’s mandates, private institutions, hospitals, and clinics that received federal funding were also subject to the mandates. In this case, the mandates came not from the president but from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

    The CMS mandate, which doesn’t allow a testing opt-out, covers more than 17 million health care workers.

    Guidelines on the CMS website read: “[Health care] staff must be fully vaccinated (with the exception of those who have been granted exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine or for those staff for whom the COVID-19 vaccination must be temporarily delayed, as recommended by CDC).”

    In January 2022, the Supreme Court declined to strike down the vaccine requirement for health care workers, while at the same time agreeing to strike down a business mandate.

    The Freedom for Health Care Workers Act would roll back this mandate on health care workers.

    “All of us rightfully were applauding our frontline heroes, applauding all those health care workers who was showing up treating COVID patients,” Scalise said of the bill.

    “And then you saw this administration—while they started applauding them—ultimately, they said that they would have to be fired if they didn’t get the COVID vaccine.

    “Workers were forced to lose their jobs over that vaccine mandate that wasn’t even in law. It was a ruling that came out of [the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services]. Let’s get those health care workers back to work,” Scalise said. “Let’s continue as the heroes that they are not tried to shame them, or terminate their careers, because they didn’t get vaccinated from COVID.”

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    Tim Allen Fires Back at Pamela Anderson Over Allegation of Impropriety Before TV Show Filming

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    Actor Tim Allen has once again responded to allegations levied by Pamela Anderson that he flashed her more than 30 years ago.

    According to Allen, executives at ABC/Disney are “disappointed” in her, suggesting that she has a poor memory.

    “She was a great co-worker, I’ll tell you that. She’s a fun girl. Everybody loved her, but everybody at ABC is a little disappointed in her … memory, put it that way,” he told the Daily Mail last week. “All of us at Disney/ABC, really.”

    By contrast, when Allen was asked if his memory is good, he responded, “Yeah.” In effect, then, Allen is accusing Anderson of misremembering something that he says never happened.

    The alleged incident, which Anderson revealed in her memoir that was released on Tuesday, would have taken place in 1991 before the taping of the “Home Improvement” pilot episode.

    Prior to taping, Anderson alleged that Allen flashed her. She wrote in her book, according to Variety:

    On the first day of filming, I walked out of my dressing room, and Tim was in the hallway in his robe. He opened his robe and flashed me quickly — completely naked underneath. He said it was only fair, because he had seen me naked. Now we’re even. I laughed uncomfortably.

    After the allegation surfaced last week, Allen denied that it ever happened.

    “No, it never happened. I would never do such a thing,” he told Variety.

    His pushback, however, did not stop Anderson from doubling down.

    “This true story is just one of many surreal and uncomfortable situations I learned to navigate,” Anderson later said in a statement. “My book goes into how it made me feel over the course of my life and, in this case, my career. I have no ill will toward Tim. But like the rest, it should never have happened.”

    In yet another interview, this time with Variety, Anderson appeared to defend Allen, though she did not retract her allegations.

    “Tim is a comedian, it’s his job to cross the line. I’m sure he had no bad intentions,” she said. “Times have changed, though. I doubt anyone would try that post-#MeToo. It’s a new world.”

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    Wrestling Legend Hulk Hogan ‘Can’t Feel His Lower Body’ After Latest Surgery

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    Wrestling legend Hulk Hogan reportedly has been left without feeling in his lower body after his latest surgery.

    Hogan, 69, a six-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion who spent 35 years in the organization, stands 6’7” and weighed roughly 300 pounds when he wrestled. His friend Kurt Angle revealed Hogan’s condition on his podcast.

    “Hogan had his back surgery again. He had the nerves cut from his lower body. He can’t feel his lower body,” Angle stated, according to the Toronto Sun. “So let’s use his cane to walk around. I thought he was using the cane because he had pain in his back. He doesn’t have any pain. He has nothing at all. He can’t feel anything.

    “So now he can’t feel his legs,” Angle continued. “So he has to walk with a cane which is, you know, that’s pretty serious, man. … I mean, I really feel for Hogan. He put his heart and soul into the business and it ate him up.”

    “He’s the guy that revolutionized pro wrestling. I have so much respect for him,” Angle concluded.

    In 2021, Brooke Hogan, Hogan’s daughter, spoke of the ordeal he had gone through over the previous ten years, saying, “We counted how many surgeries he’s had in the last 10 years and I think we’re at 25. He’s had both shoulders scoped and he had his whole bicep and his bursa sac and everything tied up in his shoulder last year. That was a disaster. He got MRSA and it was like a big thing. So we had to go back and undo tons of physical therapy. He’s had both of his knees replaced multiple times, I think twice on both. He’s had his hips done. He’s had his elbow scope.”

    Hogan, who was nicknamed “The Immortal”, famously walked out to the ring to the song “Real American” inning in 1985. The first WWE match included nine professional wrestling matches. The main event featured Hogan and Mr. T defeating Paul Orndorff and Roddy Piper. Hogan’s most famous wrestling move was his leg drop.

    As far back as 2005, Hogan said:

    I can’t work every night because at 51 years old, you just don’t recover that quickly any more. I left the building in Anaheim the other night and I woke up the next morning anticipating feeling something really weird, but when I woke up in my hotel room the next morning, I was fine. I told Vince McMahon, when I woke up I was still smiling. It was unbelievable to get past that hurdle of the leg drop.

    I thought when I dropped the leg they were going to have to break out the old dustpan. But to drop the leg and for my hip not to break and my back not to be in a million pieces, my whole back is screwed up, but physically, I’ve been training as hard as I can and I think it’s helped a lot that I keep my body tight. I’m 51 years old and I look as good as some of the young guys, so I’m just really excited to keep going and see how far I can go with this thing.

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    ‘Targeted’ Mass Shooting Rocks Lakeland, Florida: Suspects at Large

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    A mass shooting rocked Lakeland, Florida, on Monday afternoon — leaving at least ten people injured, two of them critically so.

    According to a report from CNN, there may have been as many as four shooters in a dark-blue four-door Nissan that pulled up to the scene prior to the shooting and drove away immediately after it was over.

    “The vehicle slowed, did not stop, and the four windows went down. It appeared to be occupied by four shooters in the vehicle,” Lakeland Police Department Chief Sam Taylor explained. “They started firing from all four windows of the vehicle and shooting males on both sides.”

    Taylor said that the police believe the shooting was targeted, and noted that the blue Nissan had temporary tags and was the subject of an ongoing active search.

    “We will be out most of the night trying to figure out who these individuals are in the vehicle,” Taylor added.

    Authorities found an undisclosed amount of marijuana at the scene, and Taylor said police have theorized that there may have been sales going on at the time of the shooting. “Whether that is significant or related to this is unknown.”

    According to a Monday afternoon press conference, four officers were on the scene just one minute after the calls came in reporting the shooting — and they were able to locate three victims and have them transported to local hospitals. The remaining victims were transported to the hospital in personal vehicles after reportedly suffering non-life-threatening injuries.

    WATCH:

    Surveillance video from a nearby location caught audio of the shots as they rang out on Monday afternoon.

    Gun control advocates quickly attempted to tie the shooting — which police believe was related to the drug dealing that was allegedly happening at the scene — to efforts by Republicans in the Florida legislature allow residents to carry concealed weapons without a permit.

    Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) tweeted, “My heart aches for the victims, families and whole community. America, esp. FLA, endures too many mass shootings. But don’t miss this sick reality: as Lakeland copes w/ this tragedy, @GovRonDeSantis and @TheFLGOP announced plans to put more guns in hands of untrained residents.”

    “Gun violence is the leading cause of death for children in America. In #Lakeland, children had just exited their school bus nearby before this shooting. Turning #Florida into the Wild West will lead to more death and tragedy. Tell state lawmakers we want safer communities!” Congresswoman Kathy Castor (D-FL) added.

    Congressman Ritchie Torres (D-NY) weighed in as well, saying, “JUST NOW: A mass shooting in Lakeland, Florida has left 10 people injured. Yet Ron DeSantis wants people to freely carry firearms without a permit, which will cause even more guns to fall into the hands of even more mass shooters.”

    House Bill 543 was introduced in the Florida House on Monday, and would allow legal owners to carry a concealed firearm without applying for a specific concealed-carry permit.

    “The background checks, the requirements all the same. It’ll be the same honest people and the other states that have done this have had no problems. So that’s why we’re all excited about seeing this happen,” AW Peterson Gun Shop owner Carey Baker said.

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    Thieves Are Stealing Millions in California Food Stamp Dollars Every Month. Here’s How

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    Millions of dollars are stolen from Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards every month in California due to a lack of basic security features, leaving low-income recipients without funds and unable to pay for their groceries, CalMatters reported Monday.

    California offers food aid to 2.8 million families a year through the service, according to CalMatters. The cards are vulnerable to theft due to a lack of security chips, which prevent thieves from utilizing “skimming” devices to copy card numbers and illegally withdraw funds.

    The state has reported $29.7 million in cash welfare and nearly $5 million in food aid stolen from low-income residents since July 2021, according to the outlet. Last June, California implemented three-digit ‘CVV’ codes for the cards, yet theft continues to rise.

    In order to address the surging thefts, California has proposed to spend $50 million in 2024 to bolster the cards’ security features. The situation is now a state and national concern, with numerous cases of thefts that left many low-income families without cash and food benefits, according to CalMatters.

    The California Department of Social Services estimates $8 million in monthly EBT card theft for the next fiscal year, up from $6 million, as reported by CalMatters. Without proper security features, scammers can easily install hidden cameras to retrieve PIN numbers, according to the department.

    In all this, taxpayers are the ones to pay back all the victims’ reimbursements for theft, according to CalMatters. In December, a congressional spending bill was passed that allowed for theft victims to seek reimbursement through federal funds.

    California plans to help the victims by allowing them to reach out to the card company with less scrutiny so that the process to get the reimbursement and a new card become easier, according to CalMatters.

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    Alec Baldwin to Be Formally Charged Tuesday in Shooting Death of Cinematographer

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    Alec Baldwin will reportedly be charged with involuntary manslaughter on Tuesday in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

    In October 2021, Baldwin fired a prop gun that contained live ammunition on the set of the film “Rust” which killed Hutchins, 42, and injured director Joel Souza, 49.

    Earlier this month, criminal charges against Baldwin, along with the film’s armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, were announced but not officially filed.

    If convicted, Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed face up to five years in prison.

    David Halls, the film’s assistant director took a misdemeanor plea deal for handing the loaded gun to Baldwin.

    According to the New York Post, prosecutors will make the charging documents, the probable cause statement, and Halls’ plea agreement public on Tuesday.

    A spokesperson for First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies’ office in Santa Fe, New Mexico said, “The District Attorney and the special prosecutor are fully focused on securing justice for Halyna Hutchins. The evidence and the facts speak for themselves.”

    Special prosecutor Andrea Reeb said earlier this month, “If any one of these three people; Alec Baldwin, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, or David Halls had done their job, Halyna Hutchins would be alive today. It’s that simple.”

    New Mexico’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau fined Rust Movie Productions $136,793, the maximum possible fine in April 2022 and issued a “scathing narrative of safety failures in violation of standard industry protocols,” which included testimony that the production’s managers took little to no action to address two previous misfires leading up to the fatal shooting.

    The agency also documented numerous gun safety complaints from crew members that they say went unnoticed and said that weapons specialists were not allowed to make decisions regarding additional safety training.

    Gutierrez-Reed previously had a number of complaints lodged against her in regard to concerns over her careless handling of weapons. She and her assistants had been allegedly irresponsible with weapons on the set of Rust and Hutchins had reportedly been advocating for safer conditions for her team.

    Baldwin had said in a 2021 interview with George Stephanopoulos that he “didn’t pull the trigger,” but an FBI analysis concluded that he did and in 2022 settled with Hutchins’ family in a wrongful death suit.

    The “30 Rock” star sued several crew members of the film for recklessness and dereliction of duty in November 2022 and named Gutierrez-Reed, Halls, Prop Master Sarah Zachry, and gun supplier Seth Kenney.

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    Democrats Vow to Audit Durham Based on New York Times’ Anonymous Sources

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    A Democrat-led U.S. Senate committee is alleging that former President Donald Trump weaponized the Department of Justice—based on a New York Times report citing anonymous sources—and is vowing to examine former special counsel John Durham’s inquiry for misconduct.

    Durham had been evaluating the alleged mismanagement by law enforcement and intelligence agencies of the Trump-Russia investigation after being appointed by former Attorney General Bill Barr.

    “These reports about abuses in Special Counsel Durham’s investigation—so outrageous that even his longtime colleagues quit in protest—are but one of many instances where former President Trump and his allies weaponized the Justice Department,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) alleged in an online statement.

    Durbin was reacting to a Jan. 26 New York Times report accusing Durham of failing to bring charges against Trump based on information from Italian officers that alleged suspicious financial dealings.

    “As we wait for the results of ongoing internal reviews, the Senate Judiciary Committee will do its part and take a hard look at these repeated episodes, and the regulations and policies that enabled them, to ensure such abuses of power cannot happen again,” Durbin added.

    The New York Times, however, admits that allegations in the report lack sources who are willing to talk on the record.

    “The current and former officials who discussed the investigation all spoke on the condition of anonymity,” the report states.

    The report was released after the U.S. House of Representatives approved the formation of the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, in which Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has already launched an investigation into the use of federal law enforcement and national security agencies against conservatives.

    The New York Times report further accused Durham of using Russian intelligence documents to delve into the emails of a George Soros assistant and alleges that Durham’s aide, Nora Dannehy, resigned in 2020 over questions about prosecutorial ethics concerning Michael Sussmann who was the lawyer representing Democrats during the probe into Trump’s alleged link to Russia.

    “Mr. Durham used grand jury powers to keep pursuing the emails even after a judge twice rejected his request for access to them,” the report alleges. “The emails yielded no evidence that Mr. Durham has cited in any case he pursued.”

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