Thursday

The 7 habits of highly successful organizations

Editor's Corner                                                              

As organizations seek ways to improve functional output and operational effectiveness, it becomes incumbent upon business leaders to understand what best practices to adopt, in their quest to achieve sustainable growth and brand stability.

Many are quick to point to the "successes" of some of the world's biggest brands such as GE, Microsoft, Disney, Walmart, Apple and Google, among others. The truth however lies somewhere in between as to what exactly constitutes success beyond just the bottom-line.

A "healthy bottom-line" does not necessarily translate into being an attractive brand or ensure sustainable growth.

What organizations such as Google and more lately Apple have in fact shown, is that there are other mitigating factors that go towards determining the long-term success and brand equity of an organization.

In this piece, a prelude to a more in-depth analysis to come, we explore and profess the key habits that would seem to characterize truly successful organizations.

a) Hire well - As organizations such as Google, Microsoft and Apple (much lately) have learnt, hiring the right talent goes a long way towards building your Intellectual Capital portfolio.

b) Invest in your employees and thus your organization's future - While some of the better known brands are able to attract some of the best talent initially, holding on to that talent pool becomes even more critical. It is not enough to just pay well; in addition to that, organizations that have managed to hold on to their prized talent base, have invested heavily by way of benefits and other quality-of-life perks that are essential to keeping the poachers at bay.

c) Encourage independent thought within your organization - In conversations with peers in the business community, most believe this is one of the areas where Microsoft in particular "went wrong" (the current CEO Satya Nadella has since righted that ship). It's main competitors are said to have seized on a culture (supposedly) within the organization at the time, that did not encourage or value independent thinking.
Organizations that frown on the idea of "thinking-outside-the-box" ultimately leave little room for their business units to procreate. A resulting dearth of unique ideas will ultimately result in the natural death of the said organization.

d) Reward independent thought within your organization - In addition to encouraging a "think-outside-the-box culture within your organization, it is also equally important to acknowledge those with unique and creative ideas. Promotions, raises, bonuses and other forms of recognition should reflect this, as it will only augur well for the continued growth and development of the organization, its brand and of course, its people.

e) Be true to your founding ideals and core corporate principles - Make taking care of your customers/clients a guiding business principle. It is the best practice you could ever indulge in as it engenders brand affinity through credibility.

f) Seek strategic partnerships that complement your business model and strategy - It is important that you align yourself with organizations that share your ideals, beliefs and ideas and subsequently provide a synergistic nirvana.

g) Manage your growth while continuing to innovate - Maintain your identity and stick to a working strategy. Adapt to the pervading business climate in your own unique way and continue to deliver consistently. 

© 2020 2CG Media. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday

Bankruptcy Incorporated: Trump campaign runs out of cash

CC™ Politico

U.S. President Donald Trump campaign machine is in the throes of a cash crunch, forcing it to pull back television advertising in some crucial states.

A flustered Trump will now embark on a heavier fundraising schedule in coming weeks, seeking money from small and big donors, a strategy that his Democratic rival Joe Biden has been using.

Trump's campaign started the year with more than 10 times as much money as Democratic rival Joe Biden.

But to the alarm of some Republican donors, the former vice president closed the gap as Democratic donors consolidated behind him and the Trump campaign burned through its cash more quickly.

Biden, who leads Trump in most national and battleground state polling ahead of the Nov. 3 election, had about $99 million in the bank to Trump's $121 million by the end of July, according to disclosures by each side's campaign.

But in August, Biden out-raised Trump nearly $365 million to $210 million in August.

"I am flabbergasted that the money lead we had in February has completely evaporated," said Dan Eberhart, a Republican fundraiser and executive in the oil and gas industry who cut a $100,000 check to the Trump Victory Fund in June.

Trump this week said his campaign had to spend millions on advertisements earlier this year to fight the impression that he mishandled the corona virus pandemic, which has killed more than 194,000 Americans and devastated the U.S. economy.

A couple of donors questioned whether the campaign's purchase of a multi-million dollar ad during the Super Bowl in February so far ahead of the election, as well as ads in the heavily Democratic Washington, D.C. market in June, were more about Trump's vanity than strategy.

Eberhart said some of the campaign's recent actions, including buying ads in few-day increments as opposed to weekly and going dark in some states for a stretch, suggested the campaign now faces a cash pinch.

Bill Stepien, who became Trump's campaign manager in July, told reporters this week that the campaign was "very comfortable and confident in how we're spending and where we're spending."

Biden is poised to outspend Trump on ads in the final weeks of the race.

The Democrat's campaign has booked about $181 million in television and radio ad spending between September and November, compared to $156 million by the Trump campaign, according to ad tracking firm Advertising Analytics.

The current bookings show Biden will spend more than Trump in battleground states North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona and Wisconsin. Trump is slated to outspend Biden in Florida and Ohio.

Stepien said in a statement that the incumbent's campaign has invested heavily in a field operation and ground game aimed at turning out voters "while the Biden campaign is waging almost exclusively an air war."

"We like our strategy better," Stepien said.

In the final week of the race, the Trump campaign will increase its outreach to donors of all means, advisers said.

Trump's closing agenda includes meeting with deep-pocketed donors for more cash flow in the hopes of combining a frenetic final campaign stretch with some aggressive but targeted campaign ads in key battleground states.

Monday

Jesse Watters, Fox News and a culture of lies, deception and unbridled depravity

CC™ Video Scope - Editorial Team

Along with everything else that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp rolls off its conveyor belt of deception, dishonesty and journalistic debauchery, Jesse Watters' weak hit job on Joe Biden as it relates to the unproven allegations of impropriety in his son, Hunter Biden's business dealings, ranks right up there with the very worst of them. 

Rather than go into any unnecessary verbal hissicuffs, I will direct our readers to the video from Watters' show on 10/24/2020. A closer look (much clearer on TV than in the YouTube video) at 3:56 of the show's video (below) from that day will show that Joe Biden's head is actually superimposed on the body of another person in the group picture of four with a supposed business partner of Hunter Biden called Devon Archer.

Never mind the fact that Fox News' sister publication recently stated that Tony Bobulinski's records show no proof of Joe Biden's business relationship with the former. This is worse than yellow journalism and it is further proof that Fox News will always be what they are and have always been..... a jaundiced and eternally dishonest excuse for a news and information outlet. 

Again, a closer look at the image on TV (on-demand will have the playback) and here will show this depraved dishonesty to be exactly what it is, an assault on the basic tenets of journalistic integrity.

Wednesday

China’s Military Has Surpassed the U.S. in Ships, Missiles and Air Defense, Department of Defense report finds......


CC™ Defense Watch - By Richard Sisk

China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has already surpassed the U.S. in missile development and its number of warships and air defense systems under the Chinese Communist Party’s plan to achieve dominance by 2049, the Defense Department said in a sobering report Tuesday.

The ultimate goal of the People’s Republic of China, or PRC, is to “develop a military by mid-Century that is equal to — or in some cases superior to — the U.S. military, or that of any other great power that the PRC views as a threat,” the DoD’s annual report to Congress said.

To that end, the PRC has “marshalled the resources, technology, and political will over the past two decades to strengthen and modernize the PLA in nearly every respect,” the report said.

Under the national strategy pressed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, the result has been that “China is already ahead of the United States in certain areas” essential to its overall aim of progressing from homeland and periphery defense to global power projection, the report said.

“The PRC has the largest navy in the world, with an overall battle force of approximately 350 ships and submarines, including over 130 major surface combatants,” the report said.

That’s compared to the U.S. Navy’s current battle force of 295 ships.

In addition, “the PRC has more than 1,250 ground-launched ballistic missiles (GLBMs) and ground-launched cruise missiles (GLCMs) with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers,” while the U.S. currently fields one type of conventional GLBM with a range of 70 to 300 kilometers and no GLCMs, the report said.

In some respects, China is also ahead on integrated air defense systems with a mix of Russian-built and homegrown systems, the report said.

“The PRC has one of the world’s largest forces of advanced long-range surface-to-air systems” — including Russian-built S-400, S-300, and domestically-produced anti-air systems — making up “part of its robust and redundant integrated air defense system,” the report said.

Despite the advances, the PLA “remains in a position of inferiority” to the U.S. in overall military strength, said Chad Sbragia, the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for China.

The 173-page DoD report “does not claim that China’s military is 10 feet tall,” but the Chinese Communist Party wants it to be, and has the plan and resources to reach that goal, Sbragia, a retired Marine officer, said at an American Enterprise Institute forum on China’s military.

At an earlier Pentagon briefing on the report, Sbragia said Beijing’s military strategy was driven by the view that the U.S. has decided upon a long period of confrontation to counter the global spread of China’s influence.

He said that China “increasingly views the United States as more willing to confront Beijing on matters where the U.S. and PRC interests are inimical.”

“The CCP leaders view the United States’ security alliances and partnerships — especially those in the Indo-Pacific region — as destabilizing and irreconcilable with China’s interests,” Sbragia said.

The DoD report, titled “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China” comes about two weeks before Congress is set to return from recess to convene a Senate-House Conference Committee on the National Defense Authorization Act and the defense budget for Fiscal Year 2021.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper has acknowledged downward pressures on the defense budget to offset the enormous costs of the COVID-19 response while arguing for sustained increases of 3-5% in defense spending in future years to maintain U.S. superiority and readiness.

The 20th annual report on China by DoD noted the “staggering” improvements in China’s ability to build, coordinate and project power since the first report was issued.

“DoD’s first annual report to Congress in 2000 assessed the PRC’s armed forces at that time to be a sizable but mostly archaic military that was poorly suited to the CCP’s long-term ambitions,” the report said.

In 2000, “the PLA lacked the capabilities, organization, and readiness for modern warfare,” the report said. But the CCP, it added, recognized the shortcomings and set about with determination to “strengthen and transform its armed forces in a manner commensurate with its aspirations to strengthen and transform China.”

“More striking than the PLA’s staggering amounts of new military hardware are the recent sweeping efforts taken by CCP leaders that include completely restructuring the PLA into a force better suited for joint operations” and for “expanding the PRC’s overseas military footprint.”

The PLA has already established its first overseas military base in Djibouti, about a mile from U.S. Africa Command’s main base on the Horn of Africa.

In its commentary on the DoD assessment, the American Enterprise Institute noted that the report also stressed that “The PRC has likely considered locations for PLA military logistics facilities in Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Seychelles, Tanzania, Angola, and Tajikistan.”

Despite the progress made by China’s military over the past two decades, “major gaps and shortcomings remain” in readiness and operational capability, the report said, but China’s leaders are acutely aware of the problems and have detailed plans to overcome them.

“Of course, the CCP does not intend for the PLA to be merely a showpiece of China’s modernity or to keep it focused solely on regional threats,” the report said.

“As this report shows, the CCP desires the PLA to become a practical instrument of its statecraft with an active role in advancing the PRC’s foreign policy, particularly with respect to the PRC’s increasingly global interests and its aims to revise aspects of the international order,” it added.

-- Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@Military.com.

Military.com

Monday

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

The hoodlum with ill-gotten money from his criminal activities

CC™ National News 

A rapper who bragged in a YouTube music video (which has since been removed) 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  

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

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!

Tuesday

Donald Trump's White House of lies, more lies and still more deadly lies......

CC™ Sunday Muse

By Daniel Sowemimo - Contributing Editor

One thing is clear and has been as clear as the sun rising and setting; Donald Trump is a liar, not just a casual liar, but a serial, pathological and compulsive liar. 

Before he became president, Trump lied about everything from his personal wealth (he has even sued those that dared to refer to him as a millionaire as opposed to his preferred designation of being a billionaire) to his TV ratings to the number of floors in his condo towers. Once he became president, his first lie was about the size of his inauguration crowd, and his lies have only grown exponentially from there.

Now that the leader of the free world has reportedly tested positive for the Coronavirus, who exactly are we going to trust to give us truthful information about not just the president's health, but also even more importantly (as is being revealed) when he actually tested positive for the virus (when his last negative test was) and who else could possibly be at risk, since this administration has done nothing but stage super spreader events (from the Republican convention to the more recent nomination announcement of Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court)?

We have also recently learned from the president's physician, Dr. Sean Conley, who told reporters at a briefing on Saturday, that he (the president) was "72 hours into his diagnosis", a development that would mean that Trump would actually have known that he was positive as early as Wednesday, October 30th, 2020, the same day Trump met with officials in Minnesota, and he also appeared at a fundraiser at his club in Bedminster, New Jersey, the next day.

Furthermore, that timeline would further suggest that the senseless and deadly lies of this administration may have put Joe Biden and others at the last presidential debate, at risk and that reckless conduct is even more compounded by the fact that members of Trump's entourage at the debate venue, with the exception of the FLOTUS, refused to wear face masks, even when they were offered to them.

The lies of this president and his arrogant defiance in the face of reason and facts, as well as the thuggish disposition of his henchmen, namely William Barr, his Attorney-General (note that I said "his" and not the U.S. Attorney-General) would seem to portend a bleak outlook for a climate where transparency and true democratic governance ever rears its head under this White House.

The American people must demand more and not allow the continued erosion of democratic institutions and principles and as a response to Lindsey Graham's assertion that a Democratic victory in the upcoming elections would ensure that this country becomes unrecognizable to the average American, well Lindsey, it already is unrecognizable to ALL true and well meaning Americans, and it is sycophants and marauders like you (Graham) who have aided and abetted Trump's misogynistic, racist and tyrannical reign.

The American people will have the final say about this on November 3, 2020 and there is no question that the upcoming elections will be the most consequential in American history. As for Donald Trump, his lies will get him what he ultimately deserves, a consignment to the dustbin of history in the pantheon of American presidents. 

No one would be more deserving of it.

Monday

The Lakers lose and Liverpool get mauled by Aston Villa 7-2 in a game that showed why Adrian should not be a Liverpool player

CC™ Monday Review

By Boyèjo Coker            Chief Editor

The Los Angeles Lakers lost game three of the NBA Finals to the Miami Heat and all of a sudden, the sports world is overreacting and saying the Lakers "are in trouble." Relax people, Anthony Davis had 15 points and Jimmy Butler had a monster night in a must-win game. 

The Heat had to win and did what they needed to do. The Lakers are a much better team (even with Dragic and Adebayo on the court for the Heat) and I expect them to win game 4. Ultimately, the Lakers will win in 5 games and Lebron will get his fourth ring, thus cementing his legacy as an all-time NBA great.

Now, onto the current English Premier League champions and their shambolic display at Villa Park that ultimately resulted in a 7-2 shellacking at the hands of Aston Villa, a team that escaped relegation to the lower league by just one point in their last campaign. It was a disgraceful display by Jurgen Klopp's over-pampered brats as they failed to show up. 

Perhaps, rather than being over-sensitive to the remarks last week (by Roy Keane) about his team's defending being a bit sloppy, Liverpool coach, Jurgen Klopp should probably have heeded Keane's warning that a more clinical team would have punished the Reds for their defensive miscues. That is exactly what Villa did and things were made even worse by the horrific goalkeeping display of Adrian, who was deputizing for the injured Alison Becker.

Following Adrian's disastrous showing in the UCL against Atlético de Madrid, it is surprising he is still a Liverpool player and speaks to one of Klopp's weaknesses as a coach, his blind loyalty to players he needs to move on from.

Whether Liverpool recovers from this devastating loss remains to be seen. One thing is however crystal clear; Liverpool must move on from Adrian and find a more competent and assured back-up for the oft injured Alisson Becker. Klopp must continue to work to create a climate that engenders a thirst and hunger for more trophies and this can only be accomplished when players and coaches are accountable for their contributions. 


Jurgen Klopp  Adrian  Liverpool

Sunday

Nigerian scientists develop cheaper and faster Covid-19 test kits

Dr. Amara Allison, the Nigerian doctor who detected country's first confirmed Covid-19 case

CC™ Breaking News

The new test is cheaper than different PCR assessments — the most common type of test — and can provide ends in lower than 40 minutes, the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) stated.  

The diagnostic test package will price lower than $25 and samples may be analyzed utilizing a cell machine that may be operated by low-skilled personnel with minimal coaching, the company stated.  

“We saw the need for more testing outfits, especially one that can give results in a short time because hospitals were refusing to treat patients without Covid-19 results,” Babatunde Salako, the director of NIMR, advised CNN.

“The machine we use is not the common PCR one. We bought the machine and adapted the kit that we developed to work with this machine. It is meant for diagnosis of other pathogens,” Salako stated. 

Although Salako added that the detection fee of the NIMR test package is “a bit lower than the PCR, but for the point of care, we believe it is good enough for now.” 

Testing challenges 

Nigeria presently imports PCR test kits from China and has confronted challenges in getting sufficient kits to test most of its inhabitants of 200 million. 

“We thought this one was very important as it will diversify the way testing is done. With this one, all the people in villages and remote areas can be tested by moving the machine to those villages,” Salako, who has headed the company since 2016 stated. 

So far, Nigeria has recorded greater than 59,000 circumstances of Covid-19 and greater than 1,000 deaths as of October 2, in line with figures from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

Health authorities additionally report a declining variety of circumstances, with therapy facilities, often known as isolation facilities, being closed within the nation. 

Nigeria has Africa’s largest inhabitants and has examined solely about 500,000 individuals, according to figures from native well being authorities. The PCR test is probably the most widespread and correct diagnostic test

for figuring out whether or not somebody is presently contaminated with coronavirus. 

However, the assessments require specialized provides, costly devices, and the experience of educated lab technicians, which has led to shortages and a testing hole globally. 

While testing in Nigeria is free in state-owned laboratories, there are few such services and they’re solely in main cities. And generally, well being officers have needed to transfer samples to different states to verify outcomes due to a scarcity of kits. 

“It has always been my concern and passion to see that Nigeria doesn’t have to take samples outside to diagnose. We have scientists who are capable of this if they have the necessary support. That was what led to a visit to Senegal and China, We had collaboration to train our people in pathogen detection, even before Covid started, we went in August and September 2019 to train our scientists.” 

Salako stated the test kits will likely be mass-produced as soon as validated by the regulatory authorities — the Nigeria Center for Disease Control and the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria. “We don’t count on the validation to take so lengthy.

“The solely limitation is that we now have to provide extra samples of those kits and purchase some new machines which are key to our work. Once that’s accomplished, we are able to mass produce with authorities help and serve markets in all of Africa.” 

In a separate announcement this week, the World Health Organization, working with a number of regional companions and donor companies, stated it had concluded plans to produce 120 million “reasonably priced” and high-quality Covid-19 fast assessments to low- and middle-income nations, together with in Africa.

The antigen fast diagnostic assessments, the company stated, would promote beneath $5.

Nigeria isn’t the primary nation to provide testing kits on the continent. In March, Senegal’s scientists worked with a UK-based laboratory to create a diagnostic test for coronavirus that may produce test outcomes inside 10 minutes.


Agency News