Monday

Feds Arrest Rapper Who Bragged About Getting Rich From Filing EDD Claims In Music Video

CC™ National News


A rapper who bragged in a YouTube music video (see video above) about getting rich from an unemployment scam was arrested Friday on federal charges of fraudulently applying for more than $1.2 million in jobless benefits, the Department Of Justice officials said.

Fontrell Antonio Baines, 31, of Memphis, Tenn., is known online as Nuke Bizzle. Federal officials say he is currently a resident in the Hollywood Hills and is expected to make his first court appearance Friday afternoon in U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles.

Baines was arrested Sept. 23 by Las Vegas police and was found to be in possession of eight EDD debit cards, seven of which were in the names of other people, according to an affidavit filed with the criminal complaint against Baines.

In the video, which apparently was posted on Sept. 11, prosecutors say Baines rapped about doing “my swagger for EDD” and getting rich by “go[ing] to the bank with a stack of these” while holding up a several envelopes from EDD. A second man in the video raps, “you gotta sell cocaine, I just file a claim…”

The criminal complaint alleges Baines exploited the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance provision of federal coronavirus relief, or CARES Act, that was supposed to expand unemployment benefits to freelance and gig workers.

According to the affidavit, the investigation turned up at least 92 EDD debit cards preloaded with more than $1.2 million in fraudulent obtained benefits mailed to addresses that Baines had access to in Beverly Hills and Koreatown. Federal investigators say Baines and his co-schemers allegedly withdrew or spent more than $704,000 in cash from these cards.

Baines has been charged with access device fraud, aggravated identity theft and interstate transportation of stolen property. If convicted as charged, he faces a statutory maximum sentence of 22 years in federal prison.



CBSLA

Sunday

CNN's Jake Tapper scolds Lara Trump for seemingly mocking Joe Biden's stutter in heated interview

CC™ Politico News

By Jeva Lange 

CNN's Jake Tapper cut off Lara Trump during a tense interview on State of the Union on Sunday after she dodged a question about appearing to mock Joe Biden's stutter by claiming the Democratic presidential candidate is in "cognitive decline."

Tapper had aired a clip of Trump's daughter-in-law claiming that every time Biden speaks, "I'm like 'Joe, can ya get it out, let's get the words out, Joe.' You kinda feel bad for him." Tapper asked Lara Trump in response, "How do you think it makes little kids with stutters feel when they see you make a comment like that?"

Trump said she didn't know Biden had famously overcome a stutter, and pivoted to alleging his speech was evidence of "cognitive decline." Tapper quickly interrupted: "I think you have absolutely no standing to diagnose somebody's cognitive decline," he told her, pointing out that "I'm sure it offends you" when people do the same to President Trump.

"I'm not diagnosing him," Trump protested. "I'm saying Joe Biden is struggling at times on stage and it's concerning to a lot of people that this could be the leader of the free world. That is all I'm saying. I genuinely feel sorry for Joe Biden."

But Tapper's patience had run out. "I'm sure [your comments] were from a place of concern," he said. "We all believe that." Watch below.

Saturday

My Cousin Was Murdered By Police, Nigerian-Born Canadian provincial Justice Minister Supports #EndSARS

Alberta Solicitor-General Kaycee Madu
CC™ Global News

Nigerian-born Kaycee Madu , Minister of Justice and Solicitor-General of Alberta in Canada has endorsed the #EndSARS protest in Nigeria.

He was recently appointed as a Minister.

“I support the people of Nigeria as they protest to end police brutality and extrajudicial killings,” Mr. Madu stated on Twitter.

The solicitor-general revealed that his cousin was a victim of police brutality in Nigeria.

The Alberta Minister of Justice said, “I support the people of Nigeria as they protest to end police brutality and extrajudicial killings. My own cousin Chrisantus Nwabueze Korie was murdered by Nigerian police in April 2013. Fundamental human rights like peace, security and freedom from police brutality are universal. The Nigerian government has an obligation to protect its citizens and deliver substantive police reform.

Furthermore, Changing the name of SARS and reconstituting it without significant reform won’t be sufficient to satisfy the cry of the Nigerian people for justice.

Friday

Lipstick on a pig: Nigeria's Police Inspector-General moves to replace murderous SARS unit with a 'new' SWAT unit


CC™ Global News

Nigeria’s head of police Mohammad Adamu has established a new Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) squad to “fill the gaps” left by the notorious police unit Federal Special Anti-robbery squad (FSARS).

The force spokesman Frank Mba said the IGP had also ordered all personnel of the disbanded SARS to report at force headquarters in Abuja for debriefing.

"The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A. Adamu, NPM, mni has, today, 13th October, 2020, in accordance with Section 18 (10) of the Police Act 2020, ordered all personnel of the defunct SARS to report at the Force Headquarters, Abuja for debriefing, psychological and medical examination. The officers are expected to undergo this process as a prelude to further training and reorientation before being redeployed into mainstream policing duties," Mba said.

Mba said prospective members of this new team will also “undergo psychological and medical examination to ascertain their fitness and eligibility for the new assignment.”

The SARS was dissolved on Sunday but there are allegations that they were still on the streets attacking and brutalizing protesters.

Just hours after Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday tried to assuage protesters by promising "extensive" reforms to stop the rising crisis of police brutality, another civilian was shot and killed by police during a protest in Surulere, Lagos State.

Protesters, who clamored for the dissolution of the unit, have continued to protest noting the government's ineffectual promises of police reforms and investigations in the past.

The Guardian has earlier reported that the police boss ordered all state commissioners of police to ensure no officer and other insignia of the defunct SARS is seen in public.

In the “police wireless message” dated October 12, 2020, seen by The Guardian, the state commissioners of police are to ensure “strict compliance” of the directive.

Investigation and prosecution of erring officers are the latest demands of the protesters with the standing demand that police brutality in the country must end.

With celebrities adding their voice to the #EndSARS hashtag, it jumped to the top global trend on Twitter and drew international support from UK-based footballers like Mesut Ozil and Marcus Rashford, musicians and actors.

Nigeria’s global superstars, Wizkid and Davido, who are also part of this generation of protesters, have been physically present in London and Abuja – where the latter’s presence stopped police officers from shooting at protesters.

The protests against the police have largely been organized on social media, fuelled by personal accounts of police abuses and videos of brutal incidents, including the beating of civilians and the firing of live ammunition at protesters.


GUARDIAN

Thursday

Nigeria's Super Eagles: Nigeria Football Federation urged to replace Gernot Rohr with competent coach

Rohr (L) continues to live in the shadow of the accomplishments of the legendary Stephen Keshi (R)

CC™ Sports News

By Emmanuel Afonne

A former House of Representatives Committee Chairman on Sports, Godfrey Gaiya, has called for the sack of Super Eagles Technical Adviser Gernot Rohr following the team's poor outing in Austria.

The Super Eagles ended their Tuesday's friendly with Tunisia's Carthage Eagles 1-1, four days after they lost 0-1 to the Desert Foxes of Algeria.

Gaiya in an interview with NAN wondered what would happen in a competitive match if the "highly rated" coach could not defeat any African opponent in both friendlies played in Austria.

"We need another coach that will give us a national team; Gernot Rohr keeps embarking on trials.

"He brings people from nowhere to come and do what they like, and tomorrow, he brings a new set.

"We don't have a team. We have always advocated for a very competent coach, whether foreign or local because the colour of one's skin does not give him or her credentials of a good coach.

"A good coach is a coach that can transform our football and uplift our game to enable Nigeria be among best football playing countries. I am particular about what the coach is bringing in to the national team.

"I want to see my national team rated among the best. I know we have players that can do that, but as it is now, we cannot see anything good," Gaiya said.

The former lawmaker urged the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to review its contract with Rohr, noting that rewards and sanctions must be part of every contract if positive results must be achieved.

Gaiya added that the Super Eagles cannot remain stagnant because of the contract given to an individual.

"In every contract you sign there are clauses and rules of engagement and there are conditions for the contract to be valid.

"So, if I sign a contract with a low achiever and I have an ambition to get to somewhere and I know that the contract I signed with Mr A cannot take me to where I am going to, then, I should apply the clauses to cancel out the deal.

"At any point in time, if there is any reason to be convinced that my employee cannot take me to where I am going, I cannot be tied down because I signed a contract.

"So if the contract that was signed cannot take us to where we are going, then let it be quickly reviewed to enable Nigeria get to its football destination," he added.

Gaiya stressed that good coaches usually deliver on tough assignments or matches, Rohr should not be an exception to the norm.


NAN

Wednesday

Fox News and the New York Post: The ascent of yellow journalism and the dangers it portends to democracy

Rudy Giuliani anchors the Barbarians at the Gate

CC™ ViewPoint 

By David G. Yarborough - Contributing Editor

As we enter the last weeks of probably the most crucial elections in the history of the United States, I am reminded that one thing will hold constant as sure as the sun rising at the dawn of a new day, the usual suspect(s) will be there again as a trusted last ditch resource for Donald Trump and his dead-in-the-water campaign for re-election.

As an Independent and someone who like most Americans is fiscally conservative (I am somewhat reluctant to use the term 'conservative' these days as it has been hijacked by right-wing racists and neo-fascists in the Republican Party) and socially centrist, I am always looking to get both sides of the story. While CNN and the rest of the alphabet soup gang have not necessarily clothed themselves in glory, there is no denying that Fox News as a media outlet can be seen as nothing but a propaganda arm of the current White House.

The term 'State TV' could not be more apt in describing Fox News as the outlet does not even try to hide its disdain for the truth as evidenced by the fact that every single news production aired through the outlet seeks to extol the virtues of the Trump administration, and when they even as much as deviate from that course, the 'Dear Leader' is always there to let them know it.

We have thus always known why Fox News exists but there is another arm of the 'bifecta' and that is the New York Post. For the record, in case most do not know, the Post is essentially a tabloid (just above the National Enquirer) and its distribution ranked 4th in the U.S. in 2018 according to AllSides™.

If you thought Fox News was obtuse and jarring, then be prepared to be even more astonished by the artistry in the art of obfuscation and distortion that is the New York Post. According to Wikipedia, the New York Post has been criticized for "sensationalism, blatant advocacy, and conservative bias." It continues:

Perhaps the most serious allegation against the Post is that it is willing to contort its news coverage to suit Murdoch's business needs, in particular that the paper has avoided reporting anything that is unflattering to the government of the People's Republic of China, where Murdoch has invested heavily in satellite television.[51] However, it has recently allowed criticism of the People's Republic of China and its handling of the Hong Kong protests.[52]

According to a survey conducted by Pace University n 2004, the Post was rated the least-credible major news outlet in New York. It was the only news outlet to receive more responses calling it "not credible" than credible (44% not credible to 39% credible).

It is therefore no surprise that both the New York Post and Fox News are both owned by News Corp, Rupert Murdoch's multinational mass media corporation that spun off from the original News Corporation. That should tell you all you need to know.

In concluding, while voting has already started and in some cases completed in earnest, the American people must remain vigilant in these last couple of weeks and understand that EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING, will be done by Donald Trump and his surrogates to win this election. The alternative is a non-starter for him (Trump) as whatever is left of his sanity and his personal freedom (he may go to jail eventually with the legal battles brewing around his business and personal dealings) literally hinges on his re-election.

We must reclaim our democracy. 


New York Post   Fox News   News Corp   Rudy Giuliani  

Tuesday

The saga of transactional sex on the campus of Nigerian universities

CC™ Editorial By Oludayo Tade 

Transactional sex among female undergraduates in Nigeria is a social reality. The practice has been reported on regularly in the mainstream media and explored in various research papers

This cross generational relationship is widespread in sub-Saharan Africa, and across the world where sponsors are commonly known as “sugar daddies”.

In our study on transactional sex in Nigerian universities, my colleague and I looked at the symbiotic relationship between some female Nigerian undergraduate students and aristos – wealthy, married or unmarried men. The students have transactional sex with the aristos in exchange for financial, social or educational support.

Because a great deal of these relationships happen undercover, there are no solid figures on the number of women involved in them. But there are many reasons that these relationships happen. It’s a practice that’s driven by economic hardship, a desire to network socially, and peer influence.
To understand more about these relationships we conducted 30 interviews with female undergraduates – commonly known as “runs-girls”.
We found that the students engage in transactional sex for pleasure and money. Typically, wealthy students would be with an aristo for pleasure, while those who needed financial support did it for the money. Most of the women we spoke to viewed it as a critical survival life investment strategy and rejected the “prostitution” label.
Although these relationships could offer the students economic, emotional, and political support, their effects can also be negative. The students expose themselves to sexually transmitted infections, physical violence and academic setbacks, because the relationships can distract from their studies.
Those with sexually transmitted infections risk of spreading these to their boyfriends, while also suffering economic losses seeking treatment.

Finding clients

Aristos are usually wealthy postgraduate students, lecturers, politicians, business people and military personnel. They are people with wealth and authority.
The students looked for these clients on and off campus, using connections and referrals. They then familiarized themselves with the potential client’s routine, aiming to eventually manufacture an encounter.
There’s usually a generational gap between the “runs-girls” and the aristos. The students often refer to their clients as “uncle”, “daddy” and, more recently, “aristo”. All of these bring connotations of the person’s expected role: to take care of the student.
If the students don’t have much financial support from their families, these relationships provide them with that security. Some started as a one-off “date”, for which they got a sum of money. But longer-term relationships also developed in some instances.
In return for sex, the women were given luxury possessions, like cars and mobile phones; investments for businesses they might start; or work placements when they finish their studies.
As one female student said:
The type of connection I have with politicians, lecturers, and military men cannot be purchased with money. At times, when I have problem, all I do is to make a call, depending on the nature of challenges…
In Nigeria, about 23% of young people are unemployed. These connections, with people of influence, may be a ticket to employment. As one “runs-girl” revealed:
One of my clients who happened to be a commissioner connected my senior sister to get a job at immigration even without any much stress…
Transactional sex isn’t limited to financially strapped students. We spoke to rich female students who engaged in it for sexual fulfillment. One 24 year old student said:
I am from a rich home, my father is even a Major (in the army), and my mother a nurse, but I’m involved in campus runs because of sexual satisfaction, although nothing goes for nothing, because sex is for enjoyment. I have a guy that I help financially, and on the long run he pays me back with sex.

Challenges

In this research we identified a few challenges.
Some “runs-girls” accepted offers of unprotected sex for better pay. This put them at risk of catching sexually transmitted infections and, consequently, the cost of treatment. As one student said:
I am always scared of having naked (unprotected) sex. Most times I use (a) condom because one can never know a man that has HIV/AIDS. Although sometimes some men always want naked sex and in that case, they will have to pay triple than what is earlier bargained. Part of the money realized as a runs-girl are used in revitalizing the body, in which I go to the hospital once in a month to examine myself.
Other risks are that the women could be physically harmed. This is particularly true if the clients choose not to pay an agreed amount.
Their education could also suffer as they may choose to engage in “runs” rather than go to class.

Action needed

Getting the government or even universities to take action will prove difficult because our evidence suggests that policy makers, politicians and the business class are involved, as aristos.
Nevertheless, given the risks associated, something ought to be done.
One possible solution might be to establish part-time jobs for vulnerable students, and to institute courses about running businesses so that young women can earn money independently.
In addition, institutions should put together and roll out communications campaigns that teach young people about the implications of transactional sex.

Monday

Kevin Love: To Anybody Going Through It


CC™ Medical Opinion

By Kevin Love (NBA Champion and five-time All-Star)

Being depressed is exhausting.

That’s one of the cruelest ironies about mental health. When you’re in a dark place, everyone around you — all your friends and family — they just want to see you doing what you love again, being happy, being “the old you.”

Sometimes it feels like the world is looking at you saying things like, “Come on, man, just get over it. Don’t think like that. Just move on.”

But what people on the outside don’t always understand is that it takes all of your strength and willpower just to exist. Just to keep on going. Battling depression, battling anxiety, battling any mental health disorder … it’s all just so unbelievably exhausting.

That’s been on my mind a lot lately, considering the millions and millions of people around the world who have lost their jobs, or lost their loved ones, or who are just dealing with the unprecedented anxieties of being a human in 2020. I know so many people out there are suffering right now. I’m no different. I’m still going through it. Even after all the work I’ve tried to do on myself over the last two-and-a-half years, some days are just brutal.

Even after all the work I’ve tried to do on myself over the last two-and-a-half years, some days are just brutal.

Let’s just call it what it is. Some days are total shit, right?

It feels good just to say it.

Even in the best of times, my default setting was often dread. That’s just the way I’ve been wired since I was a kid. It’s like there’s a constant, low-level threat that I can sense in the pit of my stomach from the moment that I wake up in the morning. It’s like this white noise humming in the background, and it’s saying, Something bad is going to happen, any second now. That sense of dread would often be amplified by something in the news or by social media, and at any point could send me into a spiral.

My way out was always basketball. But I don’t mean that in some clichĂ© way — where I would go to the park, roll the ball out and suddenly everything would be O.K. It was a different kind of thing entirely.

The best way I’ve ever heard it described was in the HBO documentary on Robin Williams after his death. He was talking about the only way he could combat his demons was to wake up in the morning and ride his bike until he had absolutely nothing left in the tank, and then at night he would go up on stage and do a two-hour stand-up set and just pour all of himself into it — every single ounce of himself, until he was just totally wrung out, mentally and physically.

Anything to stop the thoughts. Because the thoughts can be disturbing.

That resonated with me so much. Ever since I was a kid, I’d often put myself through hell in the hopes of numbing my mind. I used to think of it as going into my “pain tank.” If I wore myself out to the point of exhaustion, then I’d be mentally on empty, too. It was like I had to wring myself out completely so that at the end of the day I was just blank.

Everybody who goes through mental health issues has a unique story, but for me (and I think this is probably true for a lot of people), my entire identity was tied to one thing in a really unhealthy way. Way before I was in the NBA or even in college, my self-worth was all about performing. I was what I did, which I think a lot of people can relate to, whether they’re a chef or a lawyer or a nurse or whatever the profession. I just happened to play basketball.

When I wasn’t performing, I didn’t feel like I was succeeding as a person.

I didn’t really know how to be comfortable in my own skin. I could never just be unapologetically Kevin, walking into a room. I was never in the moment, alive. It was always the next thing, the next game, the next, next, next. It was like I was trying to achieve my way out of depression. And so I guess it’s not surprising that some of the darkest moments of my life happened when that crutch of basketball got taken away.

This is still hard to talk about, but I feel like it might resonate with people out there who are going through something right now. People who have lost their jobs (and their sense of purpose) during this crisis. People who … I don’t know … maybe just need to hear this.

It was like I was trying to achieve my way out of depression.

Everybody knows about my anxiety attack during the Atlanta game back in 2018. That’s become, over time, easier to talk about. Especially with the overwhelming support that I’ve gotten. In a way, it’s almost ironic that I’ve become known for this one incident, because that was the first and — thank God — the only time that I’ve experienced a debilitating panic attack in public like that. But that moment, as terrifying as it was, was just the tip of the iceberg, in a lot of ways. It was the culmination of years and years of me suppressing a lot of issues. I’ve never really talked about the other side of my mental health issues, which is a much more complicated and subtle battle with depression.

Five years before the panic attack that everyone knows about, I was probably in the darkest period of my life. I’d only played 18 games with the Timberwolves that season, breaking my right hand twice, and that was when this whole … I guess you’d call it a facade or a character that I had sort of built up …. it all started crumbling. I was in a cast. My identity was gone. My emotional outlet was gone. All I was left with was me and my mind. I was living alone at the time, and my social anxiety was so bad that I never even left my apartment. Actually, I would rarely even leave my bedroom. I would have the shades down most of the day, no lights on, no TV, nothing. It felt like I was on a deserted island by myself, and it was always midnight.

Just … dark. Dark and alone with my thoughts. Every. Single. Day.

And I want to make it clear that I know how fortunate I was, compared to most people. I knew then and I know now. I didn’t have to worry about my bills, or kids, or anything like that. But none of that mattered. My whole sense of purpose was tied to my job, and with that gone, every little thing that went wrong, no matter how small, just started compounding and compounding.

That’s the thing that people on the outside don’t fully understand. Nothing major has to happen to start a spiral. It can happen over the smallest thing in the world. Because when you have depression you can fall apart at any moment disproportionate to the circumstances.

Then it’s just…. Shame.

It got to the point that year where I was simply paralyzed with depression. And of course, I’m not about to show my weakness to anybody, right? I was tucked away in my apartment, and nobody could see me suffering. The only time I would leave my apartment was to work out, because that was the only place where I felt like I added value to the world, period. To those around me, I would put on a brave face.

Fake facades are hard to keep up.

The future started to feel meaningless. And when it gets to the point where you lose hope, that’s when the only thing you can think about is, “How can I make this pain go away?”

I don’t think I have to say much more than that.

If it hadn’t been for a couple of my closest friends, I don’t know if I would be here today telling my story. And 99.9% of the people in my life probably don’t know how bad it got for me. But as hard as that might be for them to hear, I feel like I need to get that off my chest for the people out there who might be in a similar situation right now.

If it hadn’t been for a couple of my closest friends, I don’t know if I would be here today telling my story.

When I was sitting in that dark room, I just couldn’t see how things were ever going to get better. And if there’s somebody out there right now who is reading this — even just one person — who is sitting in that same dark room, having those same thoughts….

All I can say to you is this:

Talk to somebody.

You would be amazed at how freeing it is just to talk to somebody, and tell them the truth about what you’re going through.

And listen, I’m not trying to sell you some fairy-tale version of mental health. It took me years and years — hell, it genuinely took 29 years for me to realize what I needed.

I needed medication. I needed therapy.

I still need those things now, and I probably always will.

There are still days where I look at social media, or I see the news, and my anxiety gets triggered. But sometimes I get triggered by almost nothing at all. Just simple negativity is enough to start a spiral of overgeneralization.

Oh, my coffee was shit this morning? I must be shit. I’m a horrible human being.

There are days when I don’t want to get out of bed. That’s just the truth. And that’s why I wrote this.

I think that sometimes — because of all the incredible support I’ve been given, and because of my platform as an NBA player — people see me as some kind of Finished Product. Or some kind of Success Story for Mental Health or something. They see the curated version of me, and not the real person.

The fact is, the real person is still dealing with his deep-seated shit every single day. The real person is still trying to learn how to control his anger and anxiety. And the real person, by the way, never would have been able to tell his story in the first place without the courage of DeMar DeRozan, who blazed that path for everybody in the league today.

The real person’s story didn’t end when the Cavs won an NBA title, and suddenly it was all good, and then the credits rolled, the end.

No. The truth is, the deepest sense of joy and peace that I’ve gained in my life doesn’t have anything to do with basketball. It definitely doesn’t have anything to do with money or fame or achievement.

You don’t achieve your way out of depression.

No, as sweet as it was to win an NBA title for the city of Cleveland, that wasn’t the happy ending. That was my job, which is now a different thing from my identity and my self-worth. One of the best days of my life happened after I started working through my issues with a therapist, and I walked into a room for the first time and I was just 100% my authentic self. I was comfortable in my own skin. I was alright with just being Kevin. I wasn’t thinking about the next thing. I was just in the moment, fully alive. And I can tell you from experience that you can live for years, but not be really alive and fully present for 30 seconds at a time.

If you would’ve told me back in 2012, when I was at my lowest, that I would ever feel at peace like that, walking into a room, I just wouldn’t have believed it. I was coming off a season where I was an All-Star, All-NBA, and won a Gold medal at the London Olympics. But I was completely unaware of the darkness that was about to consume me.

Look, I’m not trying to sell you some happy ending. All I can do is just be as honest as possible about a really dark period in my life.

So here it is.

When I was lying on the floor of the trainer’s room during my anxiety attack back in 2018, it was probably the single scariest moment of my life. I was gasping for air, and my heart was pounding out of my chest, and I really thought that death was a possibility. And I’ll never forget how our trainer, Steve Spiro, he just kept asking, “Kevin, what do you need? What do you need? What do you need?”

What do you need?

That’s the question, isn’t it?

That’s everything.

I spent 29 years trying to figure it out.

What do you need?

For me, I guess what I needed was to talk to somebody.

For me, what I needed was to know that I wasn’t alone.

If you’re struggling right now, I can’t tell you that this is going to be easy.

But I can tell you that it does get better.

And I can tell you that you are definitely not alone.

Sunday

Doctor says Trump won’t transmit virus, but stays mum on the results of the president's latest test

Still no word on the last time Trump tested negative for COVID-19

CC™ Politico News

By Jonathan Lemire and Aamer Madhani

The White House doctor said Saturday night that President Donald Trump was no longer at risk of transmitting the coronavirus but did not say explicitly whether Trump had tested negative for it. The diagnosis came as the president prepared to resume campaign rallies and other activities.

In a memo released by the White House, Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley said Trump met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for safely discontinuing isolation and that by “currently recognized standards” he was no longer considered a transmission risk.

The memo did not declare Trump had tested negative for the virus. But sensitive lab tests — like the PCR test cited in the doctor’s statements — detect virus in swab samples taken from the nose and throat. Dr. William Morice, who oversees laboratories at the Mayo Clinic, said earlier this week that using the PCR tests, the president’s medical team could hypothetically measure and track the amount of virus in samples over time and watch the viral load go down.

Some medical experts had been skeptical that Trump could be declared free of the risk of transmitting the virus so early in the course of his illness. Just 10 days since an initial diagnosis of infection, there was no way to know for certain that someone was no longer contagious, they said.

Dr. Albert Ko, an infectious disease specialist and department chairman at the Yale School of Public Health, said Saturday night that the White House appeared to be following CDC guidelines for when it is appropriate to end isolation after mild to moderate cases of COVID-19.

But Ko cautioned that those who have had severe cases of the diseases should isolate for 20 days. He noted that Trump was treated with the steroid dexamethasone, which is normally reserved for patients with severe COVID.

Ko added that White House had issued “convoluted” statements about Trump’s health that left many questions unanswered, including whether the president ever had pneumonia.

CDC guidelines note that most people do not require testing to decide when they can be around others. Ko said people who have had COVID-19 can continue to test positive for weeks or longer after they are no longer infectious.

The memo stated that Trump had reached day 10 from the onset of symptoms, had been free of fever for well over 24 hours, and that all symptoms had improved.

Saskia Popescu, an infectious disease epidemiologist at George Mason University, said the tight time frame laid out by the White House made it appear that “they’re really just pushing to get him out of isolation” and back to campaigning.

The memo followed Trump’s first public appearance since returning to the White House after being treated for the coronavirus at a military hospital. Hundreds of people gathered Saturday afternoon on the South Lawn for a Trump address on his support for law enforcement from a White House balcony.

Trump took off a mask moments after he emerged on the balcony to address the crowd on the lawn below, his first step back onto the public stage with just more than three weeks to go until Election Day. He flouted, once more, the safety recommendations of his own government just days after acknowledging that he was on the brink of “bad things" from the virus and claiming that his bout with the illness brought him a better understanding of it.

His return was a brief one. With bandages visible on his hands, likely from an intravenous injection, Trump spoke for 18 minutes, far less than his normal hour-plus rallies. He appeared healthy, if perhaps a little hoarse, as he delivered what was, for all intents and purposes, a short version of his campaign speech despite the executive mansion setting.

Though the gathering was billed as an official event, Trump offered no policy proposals and instead delivered the usual attacks on Democrat Joe Biden while praising law enforcement to supporters, most of whom wore masks while few adhered to social distancing guidelines.

“I’m feeling great,” said Trump, who said he was thankful for their good wishes and prayers as he recovered. He then declared that the pandemic, which has killed more than 210,000 Americans, was “disappearing” even though he is still recovering from the virus.

In either an act of defiance or simply tempting fate, officials organized the crowd just steps from the Rose Garden, where exactly two weeks ago the president held another large gathering to formally announce his nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. That event is now being eyed as a possible COVID-19 superspreader as more than two dozen people in attendance have contracted the virus.

Trump had hoped to hold campaign rallies this weekend but settled for the White House event. But even as his health remained unclear, he planned to ramp up his travel with a rally in Florida on Monday, followed by trips to Pennsylvania and Iowa on subsequent days.

Security was stepped up around the White House before the event, which was called a “peaceful protest for law & order” and predominantly attended by Black and Latino supporters. Police and the Secret Service closed surrounding streets to vehicles and shut down Lafayette Square, the park near the White House that has long been a gathering place for public protest.

As questions linger about his health — and Democratic opponent Joe Biden steps up his own campaigning — Trump has more frequently called into radio and TV programs to speak with conservative interviewers, hoping to make up for lost time.

Biden's campaign said he again tested negative on Saturday for COVID-19. Biden was potentially exposed to the coronavirus during his Sept. 29 debate with Trump, who announced his positive diagnosis barely 48 hours after the debate.

The president had not been seen in public — other than in White House-produced videos — since his return five days ago from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he received experimental treatments for the coronavirus.

On Saturday, all attendees were required to bring masks or were provided with them, and were given temperature checks and asked to fill out a brief questionnaire. Some in the crowd removed their mask to listen to Trump.

Trump's Monday event in Sanford, Florida, what he's described as a “BIG RALLY," was originally scheduled to be held on Oct. 2, the day after he tested positive. Ahead of his Saturday event, Trump used Twitter to share news articles about problems with mail-in ballots in New Jersey, Ohio and Texas. Trump has repeatedly made unsubstantiated claims that universal mail-in voting is beset by widespread fraud.

Trump's return to public activity came as Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious-disease expert, cautioned the White House again to avoid large-scale gatherings of people without masks.

Fauci said of the Barrett event in an interview with The Associated Press, “I was not surprised to see a superspreader event given the circumstances." That means “crowded, congregate setting, not wearing masks. It is not surprising to see an outbreak," he said.

District of Columbia virus restrictions prohibit outdoor gatherings larger than 50 people, although that rule has not been strictly enforced. Masks are mandatory outdoors for most people, but the regulations don’t apply on federal land, and the Trump White House has openly flouted them for months.

Confined to the White House as he recovers, Trump spent sizable chunks of the past few days making the rounds of friendly conservative media, calling in to Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday night and spending two hours live on air with radio host Rush Limbaugh on Friday in what his campaign billed as a “radio rally.”

Holding court on his reelection battle, his fight against the coronavirus and revived negotiations with Democrats to pass an economic stimulus bill, Trump made a direct appeal to his base of loyal supporters, whom he needs to turn out to the polls in droves.

In a Friday night interview on Fox's Tucker Carlson's show, Trump was asked if he has been retested for COVID-19. “I have been retested, and I haven’t even found out numbers or anything yet. But I've been retested, and I know I’m at either the bottom of the scale or free," he said.

White House officials, however, have declined to answer when Trump last tested negative for the virus before his diagnosis or release detailed information about lung scans taken while Trump was hospitalized.

While reports of reinfection in COVID-19 victims are rare, the CDC recommends that even people who recover from the disease continue to wear masks, stay distanced and follow other precautions. 

It was unclear if Trump, who has refused mask wearing in most settings, would abide by that guidance as he resumes his campaign.

AP

Saturday

Again, Nigeria must do away with Gernot Rohr as he is wasting away Nigeria's golden generation of players

Super Eagles Coach Gernot Rohr is not the future
CC™ Viewpoint - Editor-in-Chief

a) Gernot Rohr has been on the job going on five plus years and in that period, he has discovered zero viable Nigerian talent (at home or abroad).

b) Nigeria's talented players like Kelechi Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi, Leon Balogun and Ndidi among others, have not fully developed under Rohr and in fact, some of them have regressed, namely, Leon Balogun and Iheanacho.

c) Rohr is tactically inept and is a lousy talent evaluator and as such, he has been unable to discover gems from the local league (like Westerhoff, Bonfrere and Keshi did) and instead has resorted to introducing mediocre players from lower divisions in European and backwater leagues.

d) Nigeria has not been able to discover and groom a solid goalkeeper under Rohr despite giving him and his crew all the support to do just that. Now, rather than watch the local league and work hard for once, he (Rohr) sought to introduce an Under-18 goalkeeper from England and also brought in an equally unproven goalkeeper from the fourth-tier of the German league to a team of Nigeria's caliber. This is an insult to the Super Eagles brand and the collective psyche of Nigerians.

e) The Super Eagles are a global brand and Rohr is a classic square peg in a round hole. Nigeria is simply too big for him and his ambitions do not match that of Nigeria's players or its teeming and football crazy supporters. Rohr has reached his pinnacle with Nigerian soccer and may we never have a coach that celebrates a bronze finish in the AFCON again! Can anyone tell me who finished third at the 2013 AFCON that was won by Nigeria? No Google search allowed please. 

f) Rohr is stupidly stubborn, rigid and bereft of the requisite man-management skills to handle our players. 

g) Rohr is almost 70 years old. Nigeria needs a young and dynamic coach, local or foreign (if foreign, must be Dutch as the Dutch style of total football fits us perfectly) that will work with local and talented (equally young and dynamic) coaches to inculcate the unique Nigerian way of playing from the U-17 all the way to the Super Eagles. Rohr is just after his pension and he has sucked us dry enough already.

h) This upcoming crop of Nigerian players is probably the best in a generation and Rohr has already wasted a critical portion of their development years.

i) Rohr will not change and expect him to continue calling up the likes of Daniel Akpeyi (who has zero upsides and only played 6 games for his South African club all year) et al to camp when the Super Eagles camp reopens.

j) Rohr is LAZY and is not a winner! Simply put, if you have never won before, Nigeria is not the team to coach with subdued expectations as Nigerians expect a lot from the Super Eagles. In a nutshell, the Captain of the Super Eagles is the single most important person in Nigeria; even the President of Nigeria barely sniffs a semblance of importance next to him. 

The recent loss, again to Algeria in Austria was nothing short of typical, as the team again lacked cohesion and a sense of purpose in midfield and the final third. The Algerian coach (an Algerian) completely outwitted Rohr strategically and tactically, just as he had done during the semi-finals of the last AFCON in Egypt.

There seemingly has to be something unholy and untoward between Rohr and the NFF leadership, as most Nigerians continue to wonder exactly what the journeyman has accomplished to justify his retention as the head coach of the Super Eagles.

Gernot Rohr has absolutely nothing to offer Nigeria and it should not take anyone with any semblance of intellect and football sense to see that. 

Rohr needs to go!

Friday

Immigration: The economy and the innerworkings of the H1-B visa program

Weekend Brew
CC™ Opinion - By John Smith 

Lately, there has been much fuss over the Trump administration's stringent policy regarding the H1-B visa program.Here are some hard facts about the H1-B visa program as it relates to how it actually works. 

A corporation will pay say $60.00 per hour for a temporary worker. The $60.00 per hour goes to a consulting firm. For an H1-B visa, it is normally an Indian consulting firm. For an American, it is maybe a local consulting firm. 

If it is an Indian consulting firm, they may take 40 percent and give 60 percent to the H1-B visa consultant of that hourly pay. Or maybe there will be two consulting firms involved, and the consultant may get 40-50 percent. 

For an American, the split may be a 34/66 split with 66 percent going to the consultant and 34 percent to the consulting firm. In either case, it doesn't make much difference. The big winners of the H1-B visa program are the consulting firms. For the corporations, it is also a win since they don't have to provide any benefits to the consultant(s) and they can end the contract at any time. 

The H1-B visa program helps East Indians migrate to America and subsequently take control of the IT industry with help from International Corporations. I have worked with H1-B visa consultants and for the most part, they are at best average and are definitely no better than American trained consultants. The truth is that most of these India-trained consultants can easily be replaced by American workers. 

The usual routine is an H1-B comes to the United States and gets a contract, thus displacing, in most cases, a better trained US worker. Then within 6 months they have to go back to India for a month and marry someone they will meet for the first time when they are face-to-face during the marriage ceremony. Then nine months after they've gotten back to the US with their new wife under their H1-B visa, they have what is known within immigration circles as an "anchor baby." 

You'd be surprised how many Indians who have been married in the US for ten years and have only one child. And that child is a year less than when they first came to the US. Thus, in addition to circumventing the economic system, the process also serves to do the same to the immigration system and it is rather unfair to those folks who work hard and do it by the book, especially immigrants from other parts of the world, who come to the United States legally. 

It is no secret that the Indian H1-B workers have a big advantage. The international corporations

have spent probably a quarter of a trillion dollars building Training Centers, aka Technology Centers in India. I'd say about 15 years ago, Corporations like Intel, Microsoft and GE spent upwards of $10 billion each to build Training Centers in India. In IT, you learn by doing. Either you use it or lose it. 

As soon as someone graduates from college in India (where cheating is rampant by the way) they are hired by a Training Center and go to work. 

Conversely, a US graduate, that is, a US citizen finds it harder to get a job and starts learning on the job, mainly because the jobs they would have gotten to start their careers are being filled by an H1-B visa. When I worked for EDS as a consultant, an old timer told me how it used to be. They would train people to be programmers. There were secretaries who the company let take programming classes and EDS taught them. A lot of workers ended up becoming programmers and bettering themselves. 

But over time, corporations decided to purchase an Indian Consulting firm and ship jobs to
India and also ship Indians to the US through the H1-B visa program to displace American workers for one reason alone, MONEY! It is all about cost savings or should I say, greed! 

In the end, the fact remains that the India-trained consultant is no better than the US trained one. The former is however a lot cheaper and also a lot easier to get rid off, with less complications. 

Those are the facts!