Tag: US


Testing reveals coronavirus spread in the US weeks earlier than first thought


United States

Coronavirus spread in California weeks earlier than first thought and early deaths were likely mistaken for the flu, according to local US health officials.

Key points:

  • California has identified a COVID-19 death from early February
  • A February 29 death was thought to be first US fatality
  • The California Governor has ordered health authorities to search for possible cases dating back to December

A 57-year-old woman died of COVID-19 on February 6, far earlier than any other reported cases in the United States, said Santa Clara County health officer Sara Cody.

It was previously thought that the first US death from the disease was in Washington state on February 29.

The details of the deaths could help public health officials better understand how the outbreak took hold in the United States.

Additional early deaths may also be discovered in California after Governor Gavin Newsom said he asked medical examiners from across the state to search for deaths that might have been caused by coronavirus as far back as December.



Photo:

California Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered testing for coronavirus as far back as December, 2019. (AP: Rich Pedroncelli)

The California woman’s death and two other early deaths — on February 17 and March 6 — were confirmed to have been COVID-19 by US health authorities.

Santa Clara County had previously identified its first case of community transmission on February 28, Dr Cody said.

Coronavirus update: Follow the latest news in our daily wrap.

But none of the three patients who died before February 28 had travelled.

“What these deaths tell us is that we had community transmission, probably to a significant degree, far earlier than we had known,” Dr Cody said.

Because the region was going through a bad flu season at the time, many cases may have been misclassified as influenza, she said.

Dr Cody said the cases were likely “iceberg tips”, indicating that many more people were also infected.



Photo:

The first coronavirus death in the US was weeks earlier than first thought. (Reuters: Patrick T Fallon)

The three cases were discovered because the county medical examiner’s office was not satisfied it had found the correct cause of death, Dr Cody said.

Because coronavirus tests were not available, they county saved tissue samples, which they sent to the US Centers for Disease Control.

How fast is coronavirus growing around the world?


Infographic:
Growth in known cases in key countries, on a logarithmic scale

This chart uses a logarithmic scale to highlight coronavirus growth rates. Read our explainer to understand what that means — and what we can learn from countries that have slowed the spread.

The criteria at the time by the CDC restricted testing to individuals with a known travel history and who sought medical care for specific symptoms.

Coronavirus deaths in the US topped 46,000 on Thursday, doubling in a little over a week.

The US has by far the world’s largest number of confirmed coronavirus cases at more than 830,000.

Reuters

What you need to know about coronavirus:


Video: Government's COVIDSafe tracing app explained.

(ABC News)

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Ask us your coronavirus questions

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


Donald Trump invokes wartime powers to fight ‘enemy’ coronavirus


United States

The US is invoking a wartime law to step up production of desperately needed medical equipment to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

Key points:

  • The law allows the President to order factories to make more ventilators, masks and other medical equipment
  • Mr Trump said an estimate that America’s unemployment rate could hit 20 per cent was a “total worst-case scenario”
  • The US-Mexico border will not close, but will be stringently monitored

Scrambling to address the virus after initially playing it down as markets continued to tumble, President Donald Trump said he was invoking the Defence Production Act.

It puts in place a law that will allow the US Government to speed up the production of masks, respirators, ventilators and other needed equipment.

“We’re going to defeat the invisible enemy,” said Mr Trump, who said the unfolding crisis had basically made him a “wartime President.”

But as fears of the virus’s economic impact mounted, Mr Trump described an estimate that America’s unemployment rate could reach 20 per cent as a worst-case scenario.

Mr Trump said he would invoke another law that would allow authorities to turn back migrants seeking to cross the southern border of the US illegally.

The border would not be closed, he added.



Photo:

The US has seen a spike in coronavirus infections this week, with all 50 states now reporting cases. (AP: Mary Altaffer)

“No, we’re not going to close it, but we are invoking a certain provision that will allow us great latitude as to what we do,” he said.

Mr Trump has made stemming the flow of migrants across the border with Mexico a central pillar of his presidency and has poured billions of dollars into building a border wall that is far from completed.

Coronavirus update: Follow all the latest news in our daily wrap

Immigrant rights groups have slammed the idea of mass returns of foreign nationals to Mexico.

Trump defends calling COVID-19 ‘the Chinese virus’

On Wednesday, Mr Trump defended his description of COVID-19 as “the Chinese virus”, despite concerns among some Americans that he was making an ethnic slur.

“It’s not racist, not at all. It comes from China,” Mr Trump said of the illness, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Coronavirus questions answered
Breaking down the latest news and research to understand how the world is living through an epidemic, this is the ABC’s Coronacast.

But the term has angered Chinese officials and a wide range of critics, and China experts said labelling the virus that way could increase tensions between the two countries.

“Shifting the blame to China will not help combat the epidemic in the US,” China’s Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson GENG Shuang said at a press briefing on Thursday.

“The US should get its domestic issues handled first.”

Mr Trump said a hospital ship would be sent to hard-hit New York to help people affected by the contagion, and that a second hospital ship would be deployed on the west coast.

The Defence Production Act, which dates back to the Korean War of the 1950s, grants the president broad authority to “expedite and expand the supply of resources from the US industrial base”.

This allows support for military, energy, space, and homeland security programs, according to a summary on the Federal Emergency Management Agency website.

“We will be invoking the Defence Production Act just in case we need it,” said Mr Trump.

20 per cent unemployment ‘worst-case’ scenario

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin fanned fears of economic collapse on Wednesday by telling politicians on Capitol Hill that 20 per cent unemployment was an extreme possibility should the virus have devastating effects on American businesses, many of which are already under duress.

“That’s an absolute total worst-case scenario,” said Mr Trump.

“We’re nowhere near it.”

US Vice-President Mike Pence, head of the coronavirus task force, urged all Americans to put off elective surgery to allow hospitals to concentrate on the rising influx of patients with the COVID-19 respiratory illness caused by the new virus.

Stay up-to-date on the coronavirus outbreak

Deborah Birx, a member of the task force, urged young people to adhere to government guidelines, calling for a 15-day effort to slow the spread of the virus.

Young people are considered key transmitters of the virus, which can be passed along even with mild or no symptoms.


Video: Question of whether to close schools divides medical experts

(ABC News)

ABC/Reuters

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


New York Stock Exchange will temporarily close trading floor, move to electronic trading


United States

The New York Stock Exchange says it will temporarily close its trading floor and move to electronic trading because of the coronavirus pandemic. All electronic trading will start on Monday.  

Overnight, US stocks deepened their sell-off and the Dow Jones index erased the last of its gains since the inauguration of President Donald Trump, as the coronavirus threatens to plunge the world into a global recession.

Key points:

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 5 per cent in morning trade
  • The Trump administration is planning to send US$1,000 cheques to Americans
  • The US Senate vowed to pass even stronger stimulus measures

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1,338 points, or 6.3 per cent to 19,899, the S&P 500 lost 131 points, or 5.2 per cent to 2,398 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 345 points, or 4.7 per cent to 6,990.

Massive government and central bank stimulus failed to stem the panic.

Mr Trump’s request for Congress to approve $US500 billion in cash payments to taxpayers, along with $US50 billion in loans for airlines, did little to stem the rout.

Trading in the S&P 500 was halted for 15 minutes at the open after it dropped more than 7 per cent.

The S&P 500 has lost more than 30 per cent since its record closing high last month.

The Dow Jones index fell more than 10 per cent earlier in the session but ended off its lows.

Shares in airline maker Boeing fell after it called for a $US60 billion lifeline.



Photo:

The market has seemingly shrugged new measures to stem the coronavirus collapse. (AP: Richard Drew)

The price of oil plunged by nearly one quarter to its lowest level in 18 years.

US crude oil fell 24 per cent or $US6.58 to $US20.37 a barrel.

Spot gold was also caught up in the selling, falling $US30 to $US1,498 an ounce.

European share markets were also hard hit.

The FTSE 100 in London lost 4 per cent or 214 points to 5,081.

The pound plunged 5 per cent to its lowest level against the greenback in more than three decades.

The Australian dollar fell 3.6 per cent to 57.79 US cents as the greenback surged on promises of more US stimulus.

In futures trade, the ASX SPI 200 has come off its lows to 4,834, down 80 points or 1.6 per cent.

Later today, the Reserve Bank is expected to cut interest rates to a new record low and commence a government bond buying program to help the economy cope with the economic impact of the coronavirus.

UK, France stimulus measures

In addition to measures in the US, Britain launched a 330-billion-pound ($666 billion) rescue package for businesses threatened with collapse.

France, which went into lockdown on Tuesday, is to pump 45 billion euros ($74.4 billion) into its economy to help companies and workers.

Still, forecasters at banks are projecting a steep economic contraction in at least the second quarter.

Governments are taking draconian measures to combat the virus, restricting movements, adding to market concerns.

US Senate digs in to formulate ‘bolder’ relief

Meanwhile, US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expected the chamber on Wednesday to pass an economic relief bill already approved by the House of Representatives.

Coronavirus questions answered
Breaking down the latest news and research to understand how the world is living through an epidemic, this is the ABC’s Coronacast.

He also said the Senate would then work on legislation aimed at aiding small businesses, giving Americans money directly and helping some industries during the coronavirus crisis.

“So while I will support the House bill in order to secure emergency relief for some workers, I will not adjourn the Senate until we have passed a far bolder package that must include significant relief for small businesses all across our country,” he said.

“Everybody understands we aren’t leaving until we deliver it.”

Senator McConnell said the bill that senators were drafting would provide an “historic injection of liquidity and access to credit” for small businesses, while loosening the bureaucracy for lenders working with the federal government.

What the experts are saying about coronavirus:

The senators are also looking at the “best pathway to put money directly in the hands of the American people … as quickly as possible” and “targeted relief for key industries that are shouldering an outsized burden from the public health directives,” Senator McConnell said.

He said the bill will include measures to get “more tools in the hands of healthcare providers, removing barriers to treatment, and helping researchers develop therapeutics and vaccines”.

To prevent the spread of the virus amongst themselves, he urged senators to enter the chamber later on Wednesday, vote on the House bill, and then leave so “we don’t have gaggles of conversation here on the floor.”


Video: Dr Norman Swan explains coronavirus terminology

(ABC News)

ABC/Reuters

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


How this man landed a life sentence in a US prison for selling less than $30 worth of drugs


United States

The first emotion that swept over Onrae Williams as he heard his prison sentence was not anger or disappointment or fear. It was confusion.

Key points:

  • The US state of South Carolina will hold its Democratic presidential primary on March 1
  • South Carolina’s population is 27 per cent African-American, the majority of whom vote Democrat
  • The primary is seen as the first major test of African-American support for the candidates

He was only 23 years old.

The South Carolina man received life without parole for selling less than 0.3 grams of crack cocaine to an undercover police informant near a school.

“I had a life sentence. I had more time than probably 80 per cent of the people in prison,” Mr Williams said.

“Unjust, unfair, not right. It didn’t make sense to me. Literally $US20 ($30) worth of drugs ended me up in prison for a life sentence,” he said.

Mr Williams had fallen victim to South Carolina’s three-strikes law, which can hand you life in prison without parole if you are found guilty by a jury.

“You might have a man in there for murder doing 15 years, and you might have a man right here with distribution with a proximity to a school, trafficking maybe 10 grams, he got 20 years,” he said.

“There’s no balance. He’s going to get out on murder before he gets out on having possession of a drug. That ain’t fair.”



Photo:

Onrae’s three minor, non-violent crimes landed him in prison for life under South Carolina’s harsh three-strikes law. (ABC News: Emily Olson)

The harsh sentencing laws came into play with the 1994 US Federal Crime Bill, enacted to deter violent offences, which had been rising in part due to the crack cocaine epidemic wracking the United States.

The law, written by former US vice-president and Democratic contender Joe Biden, imposed tougher prison sentences at the federal level and suggested states do the same.

The changes also swept up those on minor drug possession offences.

Minority communities were disproportionately convicted and prison populations ballooned.

It is just one of the reasons African-Americans are feeling overlooked by politicians as they head to the polls to pick a Democratic nominee to take on President Donald Trump.

‘Most young boys got pulled towards the street’

Mr Williams could have pleaded guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence.

His lawyer at the time neglected to point out that if he was convicted by a jury, the mandated sentence was life without parole.

Refusing to accept he would die in prison and never get the chance to raise his daughter, who he left on the outside at the age of three, Mr Williams researched the law and filed an appeal.

Lawyer Mark Peper took on his case.

“Our position was that if he had been informed … he would have accepted the plea offer,” Mr Peper said.



Photo:

Mark Peper appealed Onrae’s sentence by arguing his lawyer at the time didn’t inform him of his rights during the trial. (ABC News: John Mees)

“No sane person would subject themselves to life without parole over 12 votes.”

Mr Peper said the three strikes law was not designed to deter people from a life of crime.

“It is not to rehabilitate people but to simply remove people from society,” he said.

Mr Williams had already served two short sentences for drug possession, including one as a juvenile.

He said he was never offered a rehabilitation program or access to a drug counsellor.

“Growing up in the neighbourhood I grew up in, that’s all there was,” he said of his decision to sell drugs.

“You either get lucky and find a way out or get sucked into the streets. Most young boys got pulled towards the street.”



Photo:

Now a free man, Onrae is training to be a welder and is making a fresh start. (ABC News: John Mees)

Mr Williams was released from his life sentence after serving 12 years, spending his savings on legal fees and finding a bit of luck with a pro bono lawyer who won the case in South Carolina’s Supreme Court.

Not all prisoners find the same fate.

For African-Americans, criminal justice is a top issue

In 2019, over 2.3 million Americans were kept behind bars.

Shirene Hansotia, a former public defender who now works with the American Civil Liberties Union, said that number is far higher than other developed countries.



Photo:

Shirene Hansotia from the American Civil Liberties Union says African-Americans are disproportionately represented in the US prison population. (ABC News: John Mees )

“We have close to 5 per cent of the world’s population and we incarcerate 25 per cent of the world’s prisoners. That’s astounding,” she said.

African-Americans make up just 12 per cent of the country’s adult population, and yet they account for more than a third of its prisoners.

They are incarcerated at five times the rate of white Americans.

External Link:

America's adult population and prison population by race

“I find it appalling and extremely disturbing and it bothers me. Those are the kinds of things, as a public defender, that kept me up at night,” Ms Hansotia said.

Both Republicans and Democrats have vowed in recent years to reform the laws that lead to such disproportionate rates of imprisonment.

In South Carolina, where voters will next have their say in choosing America’s Democratic presidential candidate, African-Americans make up nearly 60 per cent of the party’s base.

The state is the first true test of how the candidates will perform with the party’s most crucial voting bloc.

A recent poll suggested that nearly 70 per cent of African-Americans will vote for a Democrat regardless of who becomes the nominee.

Yet that same poll suggested that nearly half of African-Americans feel the party is taking their vote for granted and missing the issues that matter to them most.

Lester Young, a South Carolinian who served 22 years for third-degree murder after a drug deal gone wrong, said none of the candidates are doing enough for criminal justice reform.



Photo:

Community organiser Lester Young is encouraging those in South Carolina to think about criminal justice reform when casting their ballots. (ABC News: Emily Olson)

“Everyone in the state of South Carolina has a loved one who is incarcerated or knows someone who is incarcerated — a classmate, a friend, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, who has been impacted by the criminal justice system,” he said.

Mr Young said it was essential for people in South Carolina to understand criminal justice issues in their state, and vote for change.

“You have the opioid addiction crisis going on in America, we have more rehab centres for them. For the black and brown people, we created prisons.”

What are the positions of the Democrat candidates?



Photo:

Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have vowed to overhaul America’s criminal justice system if elected President. (Reuters: Randall Hill)

The top candidates vying to be the Democratic presidential nominee have all pledged to make drastic changes to America’s criminal justice system.

As president, Senator Bernie Sanders said he would end the federal three-strikes policy that inspired the state law affecting Mr Williams.

Mr Biden promised to rewrite the rules around mandatory minimum sentences and eliminate incarcerations for drug use.

External Link:

@JoeBiden Today I released my plan to reform our criminal justice system.

Michael Bloomberg wants to seek alternative forms of prison for non-violent offenders.

Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar all propose erasing harsh sentences and establishing rehabilitation programs to keep people out of prison in the first place.

External Link:

@PeteButtigieg It’s past time to recognize that our criminal justice system is unfair, and in many ways, racist

But all of the candidates have been accused of only taking a superficial interest in what is the most pressing issue to African-American communities.



Photo:

South Carolina will be the first major test for candidates who need the support of the African-American community to become the nominee. (Reuters: Bita Honarvar)

Mr Biden was the one who wrote the 1994 crime bill that disproportionately affected minorities. Senator Sanders voted in favour of it.

Mayor Buttigieg and Senator Klobuchar both have been criticised for unjustly handling African-American murder cases in their communities.

Mr Bloomberg supported a controversial “stop-and-frisk” policy that led to millions of minority men being randomly searched on the street.

Williams is now hoping for a better future

Ms Hansotia said a combination of laws, policies and societal norms have led to this being a big issue among African-American voters.

“An African-American man may be stopped quite a bit more often than, say, a white man walking down the same street,” Ms Hansotia said.



Photo:

Onrae Williams is happy to be out of prison and home with his sister, Brittany. (ABC News: John Mees)

Now a free man, Mr Williams finds hope in the fact that criminal justice reform is getting more attention from politicians than ever before.

“I think we can get change if we put the right person in the seat,” he said.

But personally, he has not had much time to research the candidates.

Since his release from prison, he has been catching up with his daughter and working towards a welding certification to find employment.

“I’ll work hard, I’ll study hard, I’m going to put myself in the best position,” he said.

“My story is only as good as my success.”

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


California apologises for Japanese internment camps and discrimination in World War II


United States

The state of California has officially apologised for discriminating against Japanese-Americans and helping the US government send them to internment camps during World War II.

Key points:

  • 120,000 Japanese-Americans were forced into 10 US camps during World War II
  • Then-US president Roosevelt signed an executive order for internments on February 19, 1942
  • California Governor Newsom has declared February 19 a Day of Remembrance

The California Assembly unanimously passed a resolution on Thursday as several former internees and their families looked on.

After the votes, politicians gathered to hug and shake hands with victims, including 96-year-old Kiyo Sato.

Ms Sato said young people need to know about the 120,000 Japanese-Americans who were sent to internment camps because the US government feared some would support Japan in WWII.

The US joined the war after the Japanese bombed an American naval base at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941.



Photo:

The state of California, including Governor Gavin Newsom, apologised for discrimination against Japanese Americans during WWII. (AP: Rich Pedroncelli)

Two camps in the mid-1940s were in California, at Manzanar and Tule Lake.

“We need to remind them that this can’t happen again,” Ms Sato said.

The resolution came a day after California Governor Gavin Newsom declared February 19 a Day of Remembrance.

That was the date in 1942 when US president Franklin D Roosevelt signed an executive order that led to the imprisonment of Japanese-Americans in 10 camps across the country.

California assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, who was born in Japan, introduced the resolution.

The governors of Idaho and Arkansas also proclaimed it a Day of Remembrance, and events were held nationwide.

A congressional commission in 1983 concluded that the detentions were a result of “racial prejudice, war hysteria and failure of political leadership.”



Photo:

Governor Gavin Newsom declared February 19 a Day of Remembrance for Japanese sent to California’s WWII camps. (AP: Rich Pedroncelli)

Five years later, the US government paid $US20,000 ($30,286) in compensation to each victim.

“We are specifically apologising for wrongs that were committed on this floor,” California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon said.

“We are apologising for what we have done.”

Among those sent to internment camps was California-born Les Ouchida, who was taken from his home as a five-year-old, along with his family, and imprisoned in the state of Arkansas.

“We had the wrong last names and wrong faces”, he said.

Ouchida, who teaches about the internments at the California Museum in Sacramento, remembers straw-filled mattresses and toilets with no barriers between them.

“They put a bag over their heads when they went to the bathroom,” he said.

California has the largest population of people of Japanese descent of any state, numbering roughly 430,000.

AP

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


Amazon boss Jeff Bezos sets up nearly $15b fund to fight climate change


United States

The world’s richest man, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, says he will commit $US10 billion ($14.9 billion) of his own money to fund scientists, activists, non-profit organisations and other groups fighting to protect the environment and counter the effects of climate change.

Key points:

  • The Bezos Earth Fund will start issuing grants by mid-2020
  • Mr Bezos is urging large and small companies to help him fight global warming
  • He was named the richest man in history in 2018 with a net worth of $US150 billion

Making the announcement on Monday, Mr Bezos joined a growing list of billionaires dedicating substantial funds towards combating the impact of global warming.

“Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet,” Mr Bezos said in an Instagram post.

“I want to work alongside others both to amplify known ways, and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact of climate change on this planet we all share.”

The Bezos Earth Fund will begin issuing grants by the middle of this year as part of the initiative.

“It’s going to take collective action from big companies, small companies, nation states, global organisations and individuals,” Mr Bezos said.

Counteracting climate change has become a popular cause for US billionaires in recent years, with Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg and hedge fund manager Tom Steyer counted among the world’s wealthiest environmental philanthropists.

Last year, Mr Bezos pledged to make online retailer Amazon net carbon neutral by 2040, the first major corporation to announce such a goal.

He also announced his intention to buy 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from US vehicle design and manufacturing company Rivian Automotive LLC.



Photo:

Mr Bezos has pledged to make Amazon net carbon neutral by 2040. (ABC News: Alistair Kroie)

Mr Bezos said at the time that Amazon would meet the goals of the Paris climate accord 10 years ahead of schedule, and would invest $US100 million ($149 million) to restore forests and wetlands.

Cutting emissions related to Amazon, which delivers 10 billion items a year and has a massive transportation and datacentre footprint, promises to be challenging.

The company has faced recent protests by environmental activists in France, and rising pressure from its own employees to take action on climate change.

Mr Bezos, who started Amazon in a garage near Seattle in 1994, was named the richest man in history in 2018 after his net worth increased to $US150 billion ($223 billion), having briefly overtaken Microsoft founder Bill Gates the year before.

External Link:

IG: Jeff Bezos to donate $US10 billion to climate change

Reuters

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


Woman posing as photographer drugged mother in order to kidnap baby, police allege


United States

A woman has posed as a photographer as part of a plot to drug a woman and steal her newborn baby to raise as her own, US police allege.

Key points:

  • The suspect allegedly posed as a photographer offering to take photos of babies for free
  • Police allege she visited a woman’s house three times and on the third time drugged her with a cupcake
  • Police allege the suspect planned to steal the woman’s newborn baby

In a Facebook post, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department in Tacoma, Washington, said a 38-year-old woman and her 16-year-old daughter were arrested on February 14 following an extensive investigation.

Police said they received a 911 call on February 5 from a woman who believed she was drugged by another woman who had come to her house after they met via a newborn baby group on Facebook.

“The suspect had advertised free photos of newborn babies so the suspect could build her portfolio,” police said.

“The suspect reportedly came to the victim’s residence on three occasions to photograph her newborn baby.



Photo:

Police allege the suspect was known by various names including Juliette Parker, Juliette Noel or Juliette Gains. (Supplied: Pierce County Sheriff’s Department)

“The suspect was observed taking cell-phone selfies with the victim’s baby and was seen wiping her fingerprints off items she touched inside the victim’s home.”

Suspect used cupcake to drug mother, police say

During the third visit, police say, the woman — who posed online as Juliette Parker, Juliette Noel and Juliette Gains — and her teenage daughter gave the mother a cupcake to eat.

“The victim reported feeling numb and drowsy immediately after eating the cupcake,” police said.

“The victim told the suspect and her daughter to leave her home.

“After they left, the victim noticed that the suspect had stolen her house keys.”

After conducting an extensive investigation, including identifying additional alleged victims, the police said evidence indicated the suspect was planning to steal a newborn baby to raise as her own.

After police executed a search warrant, the woman was arrested on multiple felony charges, as was her 16-year-old daughter.

Police encouraged anybody who had been contacted by the woman online and who believed they may have been a victim to contact them.

Sheriff deputies had donated money to buy new locks and window guards for the alleged victim and volunteered to install them at her home, the department said.



Photo:

Police officers donated their money and time to buy and install new locks and window guards for the alleged victim. (Supplied: Pierce County Sheriff’s Department)

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


US accuses Huawei of stealing trade secrets and helping Iran spy on anti-government protesters


United States

US prosecutors have accused Huawei of stealing trade secrets and helping Iran track protesters in its latest indictment against the Chinese company, escalating the US battle with the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker.

Key points:

  • Huawei has been accused of installing surveillance equipment in Iran that was used to identify protesters during anti-government demonstrations
  • The US has been waging a campaign against Huawei, which it has warned could spy on customers for Beijing
  • Last year the company was charged with bank and wire fraud, violating sanctions against Iran and obstructing justice

In the indictment, which supersedes one unsealed last year in federal court in New York, Huawei Technologies was charged with conspiring to steal trade secrets from six US technology companies and to violate a racketeering law typically used to combat organised crime.

It also contains new allegations about the company’s involvement in countries subject to sanctions.

Among other accusations, it says Huawei installed surveillance equipment in Iran that was used to monitor, identify, and detain protesters during the 2009 anti-government demonstrations in Tehran.

The United States has been waging a campaign against Huawei, which it has warned could spy on customers for Beijing.

Washington placed the company on a trade blacklist last year, citing national security concerns.

What’s behind Huawei anxiety?
Political editor Andrew Probyn takes a deep dive into Huawei’s history to unpick the anxiety within the Australian intelligence community.

The indictment is “part of an attempt to irrevocably damage Huawei’s reputation and its business for reasons related to competition rather than law enforcement”, the company said in a statement.

It called the racketeering accusation “a contrived repackaging of a handful of civil allegations that are almost 20 years old”.

Huawei pleaded not guilty to the earlier indictment unsealed against the company in January 2019, which charged it with bank and wire fraud, violating sanctions against Iran and obstructing justice.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang urged the United States to immediately stop suppressing Chinese companies without reason.

Such acts seriously damage the United States’ credibility and image, he said.



Photo:

Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver in December 2018. (AP: Darryl Dyck/ The Canadian Press)

Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was arrested in December 2018 in Canada on charges in that indictment, causing an uproar in China and a chill in Canadian-Chinese relations.

She has said she is innocent and is fighting extradition.

There are no new charges against Ms Meng in the superseding indictment.

New charges outline alleged trade secret theft



Photo:

Google stopped providing Huawei with access, technical support and collaboration involving its proprietary services last year. (AP: Andy Wong)

The new trade secret theft charges relate to internet router source code, cellular antenna technology, and robotics.

For example, beginning in 2000, Huawei and its subsidiary Futurewei Technologies are accused of misappropriating operating system source code for internet routers, commands used to communicate with the routers, and operating system manuals, from a company in Northern California.

Why is Huawei so controversial?
The dramatic arrest in Canada of Huawei’s chief financial officer for possible extradition to the US shocked many. But what exactly is Huawei and why does it seem like it’s continually being targeted by foreign governments?

Huawei then sold their routers in the United States as lower-cost versions of the US company’s products, the indictment says.

Although the US company is not identified, Cisco Systems sued Huawei in Texas in 2003 over copyright infringement related to its routers.

Huawei is also accused of recruiting employees from other companies, making efforts to get intellectual property from those companies, and using professors at research institutions to obtain technology.

The US Commerce Department in May put Huawei on a trade blacklist that restricted US suppliers from selling parts and components to the company.

Reuters

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


ASX trades higher as Wall St recovers from coronavirus sell-off


Australia

Australian shares have edged moderately higher, after bargain-hunting investors shrugged off coronavirus worries to drive a strong Wall Street recovery.

Market snapshot at 8:05am (AEDT):

  • ASX SPI futures flat at 6,856, ASX 200 (Monday’s close) -1.3pc at 6,923
  • AUD: 66.9 US cents, 51.48 British pence, 60.48 Euro cents, 72.71 Japanese yen, $NZ1.035
  • US: Dow Jones +0.5pc at 28,400, S&P 500 +0.7pc at 3,249, Nasdaq +1.3pc at 9,273
  • Europe: FTSE 100 +0.6pc at 7,326, DAX +0.5pc at 13,045, CAC +0.5pc at 5,833, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.6pc at 3,662
  • Commodities: Brent crude -4.2pc at $US54.24/barrel, spot gold -0.9pc at $US1,576.32/ounce, iron ore -5.4pc at $US80.38/tonne

By 2:15pm (AEDT), the ASX 200 index had risen by 0.5 per cent to 6,956 points.

It came after the local bourse experienced its second-worst trading day since the year began.

The worst performing stocks included Origin Energy (-3.4pc), Oil Search (-2pc) and Cooper Energy (-1.4pc) as utilities and energy stocks were hit hard by tumbling oil prices.

Consumer stocks were among the best performers including Harvey Norman (+7.3pc), JB Hi-Fi (+5pc) and Webjet (+3.2pc).

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar was steady at 66.9 US cents, which is near an 11-year low.

Buying the dip

Global markets fell sharply last week over worries about the rapidly spreading coronavirus and its impact on the world economy.

However, those concerns were not evident on US markets overnight.

‘Global health emergency’
The WHO has declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency — here’s what that means.

The Dow Jones index closed 144 points (or 0.5pc) higher at 28,400 points. But the industrial-skewed index has some way to go before recovering from its 600-point drop last Friday.

The benchmark S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq indices lifted by 0.7 and 1.3 per cent respectively.

“Traders are looking for value where they can,” said Karl Schamotta, chief market strategist at Cambridge Global Payments in Toronto.

“A large part of what we’re seeing in the market today is bargain-hunting in anticipation of a return to stimulus from the Chinese Government.”

Helping the mood on US markets was a decision by China’s central bank to inject 1.2 trillion yuan ($260 billion) of liquidity into its market via reverse repurchasing agreements.

But the Shanghai Composite nonetheless plunged by 7.7 per cent (or $628 billion) yesterday — its first day of trading since China closed equity, currency and bond markets on January 23 for the Lunar New Year, a holiday that was extended because of coronavirus.

Wall Street also recovered thanks to surging technology share prices and a surprise rebound in US factory activity.

Manufacturing expanded in January after five straight months of contraction, according to figures from the Institute of Supply Management, indicating that a slump in business investment may have bottomed out.

The ISM said its index of national factory activity increased to a reading of 50.9 last month, the highest level since July. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector.

A rebound in business investment is critical to keeping the longest US economic expansion in history, now in its 11th year, on track amid signs of fatigue in consumer spending

Commodities slump

Spot gold slipped 0.8 per cent to $US1,576.16 an ounce, following a strong performance in January.

From Wuhan to Australia
The deadly coronavirus is spreading across the globe, with no end in sight — here is a timeline of key events so far and what to expect next.

“Gold prices slipped as a stronger US dollar and higher equity markets saw investor appetite wane,” ANZ analyst Rahul Khare said.

“There are fears that physical demand is also being impacted by the virus, with retail coin and jewellery demand most certainly taking.”

Iron ore prices also slumped 8.3 per cent to $US80.38 per tonne.

“Fears remains that [Chinese] construction activity will be severely impacted as provinces extend holidays and travel restrictions remain in place,” Mr Khare said.

In addition, oil prices fell sharply to a 13-month low as the coronavirus outbreak curtailed Chinese demand, which may spark potential supply cuts by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies.

Brent crude lost 4 per cent to $US54.35 per barrel.

Oil has also dipped into bear-market territory, having dropped by more than 20 per cent from recent highs.

Independent refineries in China’s Shandong province, which collectively import about a fifth of the nation’s crude, cut output by 30 to 50 per cent in a little more than a week, executives and analysts told Reuters.

ABC/Reuters

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


‘The youth needs to understand…’: Mnuchin tells Thunberg cash trumps climate


Switzerland

Just as the spat between US President Donald Trump and Greta Thunberg seemed to be subsiding, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has taken a new dig at the climate activist.

Key points:

  • Mr Mnuchin said environmental concerns need to be weighed against other issues
  • He said the Trump administration’s policy on climate had been misinterpreted
  • He invited Ms Thunberg to study economics in college and then return to the debate

Asked about Ms Thunberg’s call to divest from fossil fuels, Mr Mnuchin told a news briefing: “Is she the chief economist? I’m confused…”.

“After she goes and studies economics in college, she can come back and explain that to us.”

Mr Mnuchin’s quip came two days after Mr Trump and Ms Thunberg sparred indirectly at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.

After Mr Trump said the US had committed to joining the 1 trillion tree initiative, Ms Thunberg retorted that fixing the climate crisis was not only about trees.

Before he left Davos, however, Mr Trump seemed to extend an olive branch, saying he wished he had seen Ms Thunberg speak.



Photo:

Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg says the environment should trump economics. (REUTERS: Denis Balibouse)

Addressing the Trump administration’s stance on climate, Mr Mnuchin said the US position had been “misunderstood”.

“There is a real misinterpretation of the US policy. Let me be very clear: President Trump absolutely believes in clean air and clean water and having a clean environment,” he said.

Mr Mnuchin later told CNBC he did not believe there were just a few years left to prevent a climate catastrophe.

“There are a lot of other important issues” threatening civilisation, he said, citing health and nuclear proliferation.

“I think that the youth needs to understand: climate is one issue that needs to be put in contexts with lots of other things.”


Video: Mr Trump slams climate activists in his opening address at the World Economic Forum

(ABC News)

But German Chancellor Angela Merkel rushed to Ms Thunberg’s defence, saying that attaining the goals of the Paris climate accord, which the US has quit, was vital.

“Time is pressing, so we — the older ones, I am 65 years old — must make sure that we take the impatience of young people positively and constructively,” Ms Merkel said in her speech to the WEF’s annual meeting.

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


Frustration over face masks as coronavirus cases in China climb to 440, nine dead as virus adapts and mutates


China

China’s National Health Commission says 440 people in 13 Chinese provinces are now infected with the new coronavirus, with nine people dying — and there is evidence of respiratory transmission from patient to patient.

Key points:

  • Chinese authorities say the outbreak can spread through human contact
  • The coronavirus strain is believed to have started in a Chinese seafood market
  • Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific flight attendants are asking to wear masks on flights

The number of confirmed cases as of Tuesday (local time) marks a rise from the more than 300 previously reported.

What is a coronavirus?
Here’s what we know about the novel coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, and how worried you should be.

Chinese officials said the new virus was also adapting and mutating, underscoring the challenges for health authorities in controlling the outbreak.

An official from the country’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said the coronavirus originated from a market dealing in illegal wildlife transactions.

The virus, which started in the city of Wuhan at the end of last year, has spread to Beijing and Shanghai, as well as overseas to the United States, Thailand, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.

The Chinese special administrative region of Macau also confirmed its first case of pneumonia linked to the outbreak, state-owned news agency Xinhua said.

China is taking more strict measures in hospitals to protect healthcare workers from the outbreak, and will increase training for healthcare workers nationwide, officials from the health commission said.

Authorities added that infection of medical staff in the outbreak showed there were loopholes in treatment methods as authorities were still learning about the new virus.

Chinese residents vented their frustrations on social media over the limited availability of face masks being available to purchase in many cities such as Chengdu, as well as online.

Hong Kong confirms first case



Photo:

A sign at a local pharmacy in the city of Chengdu says all facial masks are sold out. (Weibo: Chengdu News)

Hong Kong confirmed its first case of the new coronavirus strain on Wednesday, local broadcasters RTHK, Cable TV and TVB said.

The infected patient arrived in Hong Kong via high-speed railway from the mainland, and has been quarantined at the Queen Elizabeth hospital, the reports said.

The Hospital Authority enhanced laboratory surveillance for pneumonia cases to include patients with travel history to all of mainland China.

Hong Kong had deployed temperature-screening machinery at the airport and the high-speed rail station.

Coronavirus spreads to the US and Thailand

Earlier today, a United States man from Washington state who recently travelled to China was diagnosed with the coronavirus, becoming the first confirmed US case of the newly identified illness.

The patient, identified only as a man in his 30s who recently returned from his hometown in China, fell ill over the weekend and was diagnosed with the coronavirus on Monday (local time), Washington Governor Jay Inslee told reporters at a press conference in the United States city of Seattle.

He was in a satisfactory condition at Providence Regional Medical Centre in Washington and was not known to have infected anyone else, Mr Inslee said.

“This is not a moment of high anxiety,” Mr Inslee said

“This is a low risk. It appears to have a transmission vector that really should not prevent anyone from going anywhere in Snohomish County [in Washington], except maybe the isolation ward at the hospital.”

Last week, the World Health Organisation said there was limited human-to-human transmission, and the global community would be prepared if an outbreak occurred, however authorities now say the virus can spread through human contact.


Video: Death toll from Wuhan coronavirus rises to nine

(ABC News)

The coronavirus, which causes respiratory symptoms similar to a cold or flu, has been linked to a seafood market in Wuhan, the largest city in central China with a population of about 11 million. That market has since been shut down.

The disease has spread to other parts of China, including the capital Beijing where there have been five cases. People have also been diagnosed in Thailand, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.

The US Centres for Disease Control (CDC) and Washington State said the agency was preparing for more US cases of the coronavirus to emerge, and the CDC raised its travel alert for Wuhan to a level 2, calling for enhanced precautions.

Under that alert level, the CDC recommends people travelling to Wuhan to avoid contact with sick people, animals and animal markets.

The agency said it had developed a new test that allowed it to identify the presence of the virus in a traveller.

A CDC medical officer said all travellers from Wuhan would be redirected to five US airports in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Atlanta and San Francisco for screening.

Airline crews fear being infected


Video: Footage circulating on Chinese social media shows medics checking the temperature of passengers on a Wuhan to Macau flight.

(ABC News)

The flight attendants union at Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways said it has asked the airline to let crew wear face masks on all flights to mitigate the risk of staff catching the new coronavirus.

The coronavirus struck as millions of Chinese prepared to travel for the Lunar New Year, heightening contagion risks and posing a fresh threat to the airline, which has been battered by months of sometimes violent anti-government protests in Hong Kong.

The Cathay Pacific Airways Flight Attendants Union said it had received a “tremendous” amount of emails and messages from members concerned about catching the virus given they were exposed to more than 300 passengers from numerous places on a single flight.

“All of them are worried about the risk they are taking every time they go to work,” the union said on its Facebook page on Tuesday (local time).

“It is time for the company to properly address their concerns and allow cabin crew to wear masks on all flights.”



Photo:

The new coronavirus strain has been linked to a seafood market in Wuhan, the largest city in central China.

So far, it said, the airline was not allowing cabin crew to wear masks except on flights to and from Wuhan.

Cathay did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Cathay told the South China Morning Post, which first reported on the issue, that as required by Hong Kong health authorities, it was distributing health declaration forms and making face masks and antiseptic wipes available at the boarding gate to passengers travelling from Wuhan to Hong Kong.

Wuhan virus ‘super-spreaders’
One of China’s top health experts warns potential “super-spreaders” could worsen the impact of the new coronavirus strain, which can now be passed between humans.

Financial Services analysts from Jefferies said shares in Cathay and mainland Chinese carriers could remain under pressure for some time if the coronavirus situation became similar to the 2003 SARS outbreak and cases continued to increase. That coronavirus outbreak killed nearly 800 people.

Britain’s Heathrow Airport would introduce separate areas for passengers travelling from regions that had been affected by the new flu-like coronavirus in China, Transport Minister Grant Shapps said on Wednesday.

“That is something which we are keeping a very close eye on,” Mr Shapps told Sky News.

“There’s been some announcements this morning about flights that come direct from the infected region to Heathrow with some additional measures there. This is to ensure that when flights come in directly to Heathrow there is a separate area for people to arrive in.”

Reuters/ABC

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


Chinese birth rate falls to its lowest in 70 years


China

China’s birth rate last year fell to its lowest since the founding of the People’s Republic of China more than 70 years ago, posing a long-term challenge for a government concerned by an ageing population.

Key points:

  • The number of babies born in China in 2019 dropped by about 580,000 to 14.65 million
  • The abolition of the One Child Policy has failed to lift the country’s birth rate
  • China’s population grew to 1.4 billion

The country’s birth rate in 2019 stood at 10.48 per thousand — the lowest since 1949 — data released by the National Bureau of Statistics of China showed on Friday.

The number of babies born in 2019 dropped by about 580,000 to 14.65 million.

The abolishment of the One-Child Policy at the end of 2015 has not provided much of a tangible boost to the country’s birth rate.

From 2017 to 2018, total births fell by nearly 2 million.

The One Child Policy — introduced in 1979 — was aimed to control the population explosion in the decades after the Communist Party came into power in 1949, when Chairman Mao Zedong encouraged large families and condemned birth control to boost manpower.

But many young couples in China are reluctant to have children because they cannot afford to pay for healthcare and education alongside expensive housing.

Concerns for ageing population

The One-Child Policy is also regarded as one of the driving forces behind the country’s ageing population.

China’s overall population totalled 1.4 billion as of the end of 2019, the data from the bureau showed, inching up from 1.39 billion a year earlier.



Photo:

China’s elderly population is expected to reach 400 million by the end of 2035. (ABC News: Bill Birtles)

But the country’s population is approaching what Chinese government scholars predict to be a peak of 1.44 billion in 2029, which is anticipated to be followed by “unstoppable” population decline.

Figures published by the China Association of Social Security in 2018 showed China’s elderly population is expected to reach 400 million by the end of 2035.

The US-China trade deal is more of a ceasefire
Questions remain as to how Donald Trump’s US-China trade deal will affect the global economy.

This rapid ageing is creating policy challenges for China’s leaders as they promise to guarantee healthcare and pension payments amid a slowing economy.

Figures from the bureau showed the world’s second-largest economy grew 6.1 per cent last year amid a bruising trade war with the US, down from 6.6 per cent in 2018.

Though still strong by global standards, and within the Government’s target range, it was the weakest expansion since 1990.

This week the US and China signed phase one of a new trade deal, defusing an 18-month conflict between the world’s two largest economies.

Meanwhile, as China’s birth rate falls, divorce rates in the country are hitting record highs.

In the first three quarters of 2019, about 3.1 million couples filed for divorce — compared with 7.1 million couples getting married — according to data from the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

Reuters/ABC

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


Global markets rally as US-Iran conflict avoids escalation, ASX follows


Australia

Global markets have rallied overnight, as fears of further escalation in the US-Iran conflict subsided for now. Wall Street rose and the Australian share market followed that positive lead.

Key points:

  • The ASX 200 closed 0.8 per cent higher at 6,874
  • Most major banks and mining stocks rose
  • The energy sector and gold miners lost ground

At the close of trade, the benchmark ASX 200 index was 0.8 per cent higher at 6,874.

Most blue chip stocks — such as three of the big four banks, BHP and Telstra — rose, while energy stocks lagged following a retreat in oil prices, with Brent crude falling as much as 4 per cent overnight.

During Australian and Asian trade yesterday, US stock market futures fell sharply, as Iran launched missile strikes on Iraqi bases housing US troops.

Stocks across the region fell, before recovering some of the losses after US President Donald Trump did not deliver an immediate response and tweeted “all is well”.

US futures recovered and Wall Street rose strongly during the session, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hitting fresh record highs, before paring gains into the close.

Market snapshot at 8:20am (AEDT):

  • ASX SPI futures +0.7pc at 6,798, ASX 200 (Wednesday’s close) -0.1pc at 6,817
  • AUD: 68.70 US cents, 52.45 British pence, 61.84 Euro cents, 74.98 Japanese yen, $NZ1.03
  • US: Dow Jones +0.6pc at 28,745, S&P 500 +0.5pc at 3,253, Nasdaq +0.7pc at 9,129
  • Europe: FTSE 100 flat at 7,574, DAX +0.7pc at 13,320, CAC +0.3pc at 6,031, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.1pc at 3,424
  • Commodities: Brent crude -3pc at $US66.20/barrel, spot gold -1.1pc at $US1,556.35/ounce

Shares in Boeing lost more than 1 per cent, after one of its planes crashed shortly after take-off from Tehran, killing all 176 people on board.

In European trade, stocks rebounded from early losses.

Airlines reroute flights in Middle East

The oil price pullback will be good news for the fuel costs of global airlines, if it lasts, however, higher fuel bills may still be in store.

Qantas, along with international airlines including Germany’s Lufthansa, Air France, Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines have rerouted flights to avoid airspace over Iran and Iraq, due to the tensions with the US.

Airline analysts have told Reuters the longer journey times will increase fuel usage, throw off schedules and add to operating costs.

On Wednesday, Qantas said its Perth to London flight would have an increased flying time of 40 to 50 minutes due to its redirected flight path, and passenger numbers would need to be reduced in order to carry more fuel.

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


As anti-Semitic attacks continue, US Jews turn to guns for protection


United States

Gripping a .44 Magnum inside a small New York State synagogue, 65-year-old Fay Ziegler wants to know if she’d be able to pull the trigger.

Key points

  • The number of attacks against Jews in the US has risen from 751 in 2013 to 1,879 acts in 2018.
  • Amid this increase, Jews are taking shooting lessons and arming themselves
  • But some in the Jewish community are uncomfortable with the number of citizens taking up arms

“I have arthritis,” she tells the tactical assault trainer, who recommends she try a Glock instead.

Next up, a young and heavily pregnant woman opts for the Ruger Mini-14 semi-automatic rifle.

She’s never owned a firearm before, but a recent spate of attacks against members of her community has convinced her of the need to be armed before the baby is born.

“A lot of Jews in America have been brought up, unfortunately, with the attitude: ‘Guns? That’s not us. That’s not what we do’,” trainer Yonatan Stern tells his class.

“We cannot allow ourselves to continue to be helpless victims.”



Photo:

Tactical trainer Yonatan Stern addresses his class of Jewish people intending to take up arms. (ABC News)

Mr Stern, a former Israeli Defence Force soldier who runs a tactical training business, says he’s been swamped by requests from fellow Jews who’ve had enough of the recent attacks against them.

The most recent incident happened a few kilometres down the road.

Just four days prior, a man armed with a machete burst into a rabbi’s home and started stabbing people at random.

Mr Stern says any Jewish leader who urges members of their community not to take up arms has “blood on their hands”.

“Of course, the murderer’s responsible. But just as much, that rabbi who told you not to get a gun because it’s not the Jewish way, he’s the murderer too.”

It’s a debate now raging inside this Jewish community.

Australian family represents the debate



Photo:

The Oliver family at their home in Monsey, New York. (ABC News: Niall Lenihan)

Melbourne-born rabbi Dov Oliver moved to Monsey, New York, 13 years ago with his wife, Shevy.

They’ve always agreed on the need to be security conscious, but when it comes to firearms, they don’t see eye-to-eye.

“I do see the merit and the value in being armed, but in a responsible way,” says the rabbi, as his wife squirms uncomfortably in the seat beside him.

“I have a different viewpoint,” she says firmly, but declines to expand any further.

They live in Rockland County, about an hour’s drive north of New York City.

The community has seen a rapid expansion in the Jewish population in recent decades, to the point where around a third of its residents today are Jews.

“Most of the people who live here were escaping the crime and noise of Brooklyn,” she says.

Now, violence has come here too.



Photo:

Research from the Anti-Defamation League shows attacks against Jews in the US have doubled since 2013. (Reuters: Eduardo Munoz)

Recent Hanukkah stabbing left five injured

A few streets away, news crews are still camped outside the home of rabbi Chaim Rottenberg.

He was hosting a Hanukkah party on the final Saturday night of the year when the attacker came through the front door, slashing and stabbing anyone within reach.

Five people were taken to hospital, including 72-year-old Josef Neumann, who remains in a coma and isn’t expected to walk or talk again.

It could have been much worse, if not for the actions of Josef Gluck.



Photo:

Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg was hosting a Hanukkah party on December 29 when an attacker burst through the front door and stabbed multiple people. (Reuters: Eduardo Munoz)

After ushering children and others to safety, he returned and confronted the attacker, using the first thing he could get his hands on.

“I grabbed the coffee table and I picked it up and I smashed it into his face and I ran out,” he told the ABC.

Crucially, he also had the presence of mind to take a photo of the car number plate as the attacker fled.

It helped lead police directly to Grafton Thomas, who has been charged over the attack.

Anti-Semitic violence is on the rise in the US

Since 2013, there’s been a surge in the number of anti-Semitic acts across the United States, including vandalism, harassment and violence.



Photo:

Attacks against Jews in the US have risen, research shows. (Supplied: Anti-Defamation League)

Research compiled by the Anti-Defamation League, which tracks attacks against Jews in America, shows the number of incidents rose from 751 in 2013 to 1,879 acts in 2018.

That’s in line with the number of overall hate crimes reported in America.

Figures for 2019 haven’t yet been released, but authorities are expecting another increase.

Rockland County legislator Aron Wieder says the number of anti-Semitic incidents reported in New York State has more than doubled in the past couple of months.

“What is driving those people to do this? We don’t have the answers,” he tells the ABC.

“And quite frankly, there’s no answer to hate.”

He says police resources are inadequate to deal with the violence, but he’s uncomfortable with the number of citizens taking up arms.



Photo:

Legislator Aron Wieder says he is uncomfortable with citizens taking matters into their own hands. (ABC News: Niall Lenihan)

“We don’t want to have a society where people are taking up arms to protect themselves when government failed them,” he says.

“That’s terribly wrong.”

Some are turning to private security

Former police officer Patrick Brosnan, who now runs a private security company employing more than 5,000 people, says his phones have been running “off the hook” since the Monsey stabbing.

He says people are more fearful now than during his time as a detective in the South Bronx in the 80s and 90s.

“There were 2,245 people murdered back in 1990,” he says.

“100,000 robberies. It was crazy. I see this as actually worse.

“There’s a complete randomness to it that I see as both baffling and terrifying.”



Photo:

Patrick Brosnan says he has observed heightened fear in the Jewish community. (ABC News: Niall Lenihan)

He blames social media and chatrooms for providing a haven for would-be attackers.

“In the darkness of [their] mother’s basement under the backlight of a laptop, where other individuals are across the world saying: ‘You got it right, mate. You’re right! Go light up the school. That’s what I want to do’.”

‘Spread light and goodness and kindness and love’

Rabbi Dov Oliver insists it’s “not all doom and gloom”, pointing to Rockland Community College where he works.

“There’s people there from Pakistani, Indian [and] Sri Lankan backgrounds,” he says.

“I play cricket with them and have a great time doing that.

“Unfortunately, the people who do these horrible things, they really make the press and spread the fear.”

He says the world is engaged in a battle between “good and evil”.

“We have to take it upon ourselves … to look to spread light and goodness and kindness and love,” he says.

“It’s our responsibility as people on the right side to do the right thing.”

Chloe Ross and Ryan Chatterjee contributed to this story.

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


Detroit firefighters investigated over NYE selfie in front of burning house


United States

A group of firefighters in the US city of Detroit who posed for a photo in front of a home engulfed in flames will face disciplinary action, the city’s Fire Commissioner said, labelling the stunt “inappropriate and unprofessional”.

Key points:

  • The firefighters were celebrating a colleague’s retirement
  • The photo was later removed from the Facebook page
  • The house was too dangerous to enter at the time the photo was taken

The photo was posted just before midnight on New Year’s Eve on a Facebook page for fire incidents in Detroit.

“Crews take a moment to get a selfie on New Years,” said a caption for the photo, which has since been taken down.

Firefighters were celebrating a retiring fire battalion chief, Deputy Fire Commissioner Dave Fornell said.

“There are a lot of ways to celebrate a retirement … Taking a photo in front of a building fire is not one of them,” Fire Commissioner Eric Jones said in a statement.

“Behind every fire is a devastated family or property owner.”

Mr Fornell said the photo was taken outside a vacant house in the city’s west, where the fire was reported at 6:34pm.

The house was too dangerous to enter, he said.

In a later post on the Detroit Fire Incidents Page on Facebook, the page’s administrators said they were “asked to post it by a fire fighter [sic] for the city of Detroit.”

“The only reason [the photo] was removed is we received messages by guys on the job stating that they had been threatened for the photo being posted,” the administrators said.

They said the firefighter was likely being threatened with “punitive actions”.

AP

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


NBA legend Michael Jordan pays tribute to man who ‘allowed me to succeed’


United States

David Stern, the basketball-loving lawyer who took America’s National Basketball Association (NBA) around the world during 30 years as its longest-serving commissioner and oversaw its growth into a global powerhouse, has died aged 77.

Key points:

  • Stern transformed the NBA from a struggling domestic league into a $US5 billion a year global sporting industry
  • He took over as commissioner in 1984 before leaving the position in 2014
  • NBA superstar Magic Johnson credited Stern with taking the NBA worldwide

Stern suffered a brain haemorrhage on December 12 and underwent emergency surgery. The league said he died on Wednesday with his wife, Dianne, and their family at his bedside.

Taking over as the US professional basketball league’s fourth commissioner in 1984, Stern transformed the NBA from a domestic league that fought for a foothold in the US sports industry dominated by Major League Baseball and the National Football League into a $US5 billion ($7.13 billion) a year industry.

By the time he left his position in 2014 he had overseen NBA basketball’s rise to arguably the world’s most popular sport after soccer.

Only a few years before Stern took charge of the league, the NBA couldn’t even get its championship round on live network TV.

“Because of David, the NBA is a truly global brand — making him not only one of the greatest sports commissioners of all time, but also one of the most influential business leaders of his generation,” said Adam Silver, who followed Stern as commissioner.

“Every member of the NBA family is the beneficiary of David’s vision, generosity and inspiration.”



Photo:

Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan was one of the NBA superstars who helped Stern rocket the game to worldwide popularity. (AP Photo: Charles Bennett, file)

Superstars spark surge in popularity

During Stern’s three-decade run at the helm of the NBA he turned countless ballplayers into celebrities who were known around the globe by one name: such as Magic, Michael, Kobe and LeBron.

In the 1980s the NBA’s popularity would quickly surge thanks to the rebirth of the Los Angeles Lakers-Boston Celtics rivalry behind Earvin Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, followed by the entrance of Michael Jordan just a few months after Stern became commissioner.

Under Stern, the NBA would play nearly 150 international games and be televised in more than 200 countries and territories, and in more than 40 languages, and the NBA Finals and All-Star weekend would grow into international spectacles.



Photo:

David Stern (second from left) backed Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson’s (second from right) return to the NBA after his HIV diagnosis. (Reuters: Jim Ruymen jr)

The 2010 All-Star game drew more than 108,000 fans to Dallas Cowboys Stadium, a record to watch a basketball game.

“It was David Stern being a marketing genius who turned the league around. That’s why our brand is so strong,” said Johnson, who announced he was retiring because of HIV in 1991 but returned the following year at the All-Star Game with Stern’s backing.

“It was David Stern who took this league worldwide.”

Johnson was among the NBA greats who responded to the news of Stern’s passing on social media:

External Link:

Twitter: Magic Johnson

External Link:

twitter: scottie pippen

External Link:

twitter: shaq

External Link:

twitter: michael jordan reaction via Shamscharania

Advocate and opponent for players

Stern would say one of his greatest achievements was guiding a league of mostly black players, and one plagued by drug problems in the 1970s, to popularity with mainstream America.

He had a hand in nearly every initiative, from the drug testing program to the implementation of the salary cap to the creation of a dress code.

Stern was fiercely protective of his players and referees when he felt they were unfairly criticised.

He would publicly rebuke media outlets, even individual writers, if he felt they had taken cheap shots.

But the league’s former general counsel and executive vice-president of business and legal affairs was also a relentless negotiator against those same employees in collective bargaining.

His loyalty to his owners and commitment to getting them favourable deals led to his greatest failures — lockouts in 1998 and 2011 that were the only times the NBA lost games to work stoppages.

Stern oversaw the birth of seven new franchises and the creation of the WNBA and NBA Development League, now the G League, providing countless opportunities to pursue careers playing basketball in the US that previously weren’t available.

Despite the league becoming synonymous with the high-profile athletes of the modern era, Stern credited the sport of basketball for the league’s continual success.

“The game is what brought us here. It’s always about the game and everything else we do is about making the stage or the presentation of the game even stronger, and the game itself is in the best shape that it’s ever been in,” he said on the eve of the 2009-10 season, calling it “a new golden age for the NBA.”

Wires

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


North Korea’s Kim Jong-un threatens ‘shocking action’ against US


Korea, Democratic People's Republic Of

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has accused the Trump administration of dragging its feet in nuclear negotiations and warned that his country will soon show a new strategic weapon to the world as it bolsters its nuclear deterrent in the face of “gangster-like” US pressure.

Key points:

  • Kim said US was “abusing” dialogue for “sordid aims” and it will shift to “shocking action to make it pay”
  • Trump said he liked Kim and said he was “a man of his word” on denuclearisation
  • The prolonged standstill has dimmed hopes for achieving full denuclearisation

In a key ruling party conference, Mr Kim also threatened “shocking” action and said North Korea would no longer be obligated to maintain a self-imposed suspension on the testing of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles, which US President Donald Trump has touted as a major diplomatic accomplishment.

But Mr Kim gave no clear indication that the restarting of such tests was imminent and seemed to leave the door open for eventual negotiations.

The developments come after North Korea threatened the US with a “Christmas gift” that security experts anticipated would be a long-range or nuclear missile launch, but Mr Trump reiterated he hoped instead for a “beautiful vase” from Mr Kim.

The prolonged standstill has dimmed hopes for achieving full denuclearisation of the country through diplomacy.

‘Make it pay’

Mr Kim’s comments were published by state media the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Wednesday and were made during a four-day meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party’s Central Committee.

He declared that the North will never give up its security for economic benefits in the face of what he described as increasing US hostility and nuclear threats, KCNA said.



Photo:

The prolonged standstill has dimmed hopes for achieving full denuclearisation of the country through diplomacy. (AP: Lee Jin-man)

The remarks come as talks faltered between Washington and Pyongyang over disagreements involving disarmament steps and the removal of sanctions imposed on North Korea.

“[Mr Kim] said that we will never allow the impudent US to abuse the DPRK–US dialogue for meeting its sordid aim but will shift to a shocking actual action to make it pay for the pains sustained by our people so far and for the development so far restrained,” the agency said, referring to the North by its formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

‘Bad news for everyone’
North Korea is testing ballistic missiles again — but where’s Donald Trump’s “fire and fury”?

Mr Kim added that, “if the US persists in its hostile policy toward the DPRK, there will never be the denuclearisation on the Korean Peninsula and the DPRK will steadily develop necessary and prerequisite strategic weapons for the security of the state until the US rolls back its hostile policy”.

“[Mr Kim] confirmed that the world will witness a new strategic weapon to be possessed by the DPRK in the near future, declaring that we cannot give up the security of our future just for the visible economic results and happiness and comfort in reality now that hostile acts and nuclear threat against us are increasing,” the report said.

Trump calls Kim ‘a man of his word’

In an interview with CBS News, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said it would be “deeply disappointing” if Mr Kim reneges on his commitment to pause nuclear and long-range missile tests.

“He made those commitments to President Trump in exchange for President Trump agreeing not to conduct large-scale military exercises,” Mr Pompeo said.

“We’ve lived up to our commitments. We continue to hold out hope that he’ll live up to his as well.”



Photo:

American President Donald Trump says Mr Kim is “a man of his word”. (Reuters: KCNA)

Mr Trump told reporters on New Year’s Eve that he has “a very good relationship” with the North Korean leader.

“I know he’s sending out certain messages about Christmas presents, and I hope his Christmas present is a beautiful vase. That’s what I’d like, a vase, as opposed to something else,” he said.

“Look, he likes me, I like him, we get along … we have to do what we have to do.

“But he did sign a contract, he did sign an agreement talking about denuclearisation … that was done in Singapore.

“And I think he’s a man of his word.”

Rocky relationship between US and North Korea

The North Korean report was vague about the new strategic weapon the country would reveal soon.

It had announced in December that it performed two “crucial” tests at its long-range rocket launch site that would further strengthen its nuclear deterrent, prompting speculation it was developing a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) or planning a satellite launch that could help advance its missile technologies.



Photo:

Mr Trump and Mr Kim shared a historic handshake at the demilitarised zone in June 2019. (Reuters: Kevin Lamarque)

North Korea has held to its self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and ICBM testing since 2018, though last year it ended a 17-month pause in ballistic activity by testing a slew of solid-fuel weapons that potentially expanded its capabilities to strike targets in South Korea and Japan, including US military bases there.

Hopes of South Korean families to be reunited dashed after summit
Many South Koreans separated from family members in the North fear time is running out to see their families again after the Vietnam summit ended abruptly.

While Mr Kim in his remarks at the party meeting gave no clear indication he was abandoning negotiations with the United States entirely or restarting the suspended tests, he said North Korea’s efforts to bolster its deterrent will be “properly coordinated” depending on future US attitudes.

He warned that the more Washington stalls, “the more helpless it will find itself before the might of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea getting stronger beyond prediction”.

Mr Kim and Mr Trump have met three times since June 2018, but the nuclear negotiations have faltered since the collapse of their second summit last February, when the Americans rejected North Korean demands for broad sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of its nuclear capabilities.



Photo:

North Korea had threatened the US with a “Christmas gift” last month. (Reuters: Damir Sagolj)

Following the collapse of the Hanoi summit, Kim demanded that Washington come up with new proposals by the end of 2019 to salvage the negotiations.

The Trump administration, which sees economic pressure as its main leverage with Pyongyang, rejected Mr Kim’s end-of-year deadline and urged the North to return to negotiations.

AP

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


KRS-One – You Like Me Lyrics


As long as I’m dancin
Actin or rappin
Walkin around like
I don’t know what’s happenin
You like me (x4)

If I’m talkin bout drinkin
And nothin bout thinkin
As long as I’m high
And I never ask why
You like me (x4)

But the second I start with the state of the economy
Black leadership, Black gods and Black sovereignty
That’s when you can’t seem to follow me, confusion
You feel like you losin, I’m no longer amusin
This song’s about choosin, choosin why you cruisin
Either Black entertainment or the Black Revolution
People love to see a young Black man rap
Until he wakes up and realize he’s caught in the trap

So as long as I’m dancin
Actin or rappin
Walkin around like
I don’t know what’s happenin
You like me (x4)

If I’m talking bout drinkin
And nothin bout thinkin
As long as I’m high
And I never ask why
You like me (x4)

But the minute I get in it bout the way these rappers spit it
The minute I start spittin that truth here comes a critic
I freestyle off the top like removin ya yankee fitted
But they not really checkin for skills, they want the gimmick
Many of the challenges we face, we could solve em
But there’s no trust, no unity, and that’s the problem
Black people fightin amongst themselves that’s the problem
White people fightin amongst themselves that’s the problem
US foreign policy is simply just bomb em
Rebels against they own government, the US arms em
Then when things get outta hand, yeah they try to calm em
More money, more diplomacy, just charm em
If that doesn’t work then they move to “Osama”
Turn him into a terrorist, so they can disarm em
Through the corporate media, we don’t stand a chance
But too many people wanna us to just stand and dance

So as long as I’m dancin
Actin or rappin
Walkin around like
I don’t know what’s happenin
You like me (x4)

If I’m talking bout drinkin
And nothin bout thinkin
As long as I’m high
And I never ask why
You like me (x4)

You like me, you like me, you like me
You like me, you like me, you like me


Kodak Black – Kicking In Lyrics


[Intro]
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
And twelve of us, recordin’ myself
Fuck it let the beat rock
Just please don’t let the beat stop
And you don’t even need to knock
I don’t care if it never drop

[Verse 1]
Just felt my heartbeat
Just felt my heartbeat
Just felt my heartbeat
Cause I’m heart of the projects
I was baptized on the block
No more orange pop, I’m drinkin’ holy water
I could’ve swore I felt somethin’ beatin’ me
I run away from love when it get too deep
I’m scared to love you back ’cause I might love too deep
I don’t wanna love you, girl, ’cause I won’t love you deep
Valentine, packin’ 9, my lady want a dinner day
I ain’t have no time so I just took the bitch to Steak ‘n Shake
The beat it got me in my feelings, vibin’ to the rhythm
My ears a symphony but I don’t show no sympathy
Don’t let ’em kill your self esteem, they tryna kill your dignity
Niggas out here gamblin’ wit they lives for some publicity
Damn, left my heart in these streets, I left the trick to treat
I’m scarred, lost my conscience to the block, it’s feelin’ good to sleep
And I don’t need no court sentence
I love this beat so much I hope the Lord in it
Dreads in my head and they look like Devil horns in it
All my niggas be up in the business like them dorks in it
Drippin’ on ’em, like a dinosaur I be so vintage
Drippin, you can’t get these in the store, yeah I’m so different
My clothes and my hoes different
These days I don’t know what I’m spendin’
These days I don’t know what I’m gettin’
I got blood on my Givenchy
Video vixen, so much bitches, these days I don’t know what I’m hittin’
I don’t even know what I’m sippin’, I just know it’s kickin’ in
Holler if you feelin’ it
Lovin’ and I’m thuggin’ ’cause they both go hand in hand
Thuggin’ cross the country, from the US to Switzerland
Booted like Shaquille O’Neal
You know the deal, I’m on the pill
I just tucked the .32 right in my Timberland
Holler if you feelin’ it
That jigga kickin’ in
Ain’t got no-kickin’ in
Ain’t got no-kickin’ in
Ain’t got no-kickin’ in
Holler if you feelin’ it
At the Last Supper got my plate first
At the Last Supper I got my plate first
I ain’t got no feelings


Russ Drops New Song “Some Time” [Listen]


Russ Drops new reflective single “Some Time”.

Early this morning Russ notified fans on Twitter that his new song was out, he also hinted that more is in the pipeline.

NEW SONG

SOME TIME

AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE pic.twitter.com/rQLeBs6dlP

— Russ (@russdiemon) January 25, 2018

THIS SONG IS OUT NOW. SHOUTOUT TO THE FANS. 2018 FOOT ON THE GAS AT ALL TIMES. https://t.co/7mamDxWeZs

— Russ (@russdiemon) January 25, 2018

It’s not surprising to see Russ releasing a new single. Since his last album “There’s Really a Wolf”, released back in May of last year fans have been railing for more jingle from the multitalented rapper/ singer /song writer/ producer. The rapper will be touring Europe in February through to March, afterwards he will be back in the US where he will perform at the The Governors Ball Music Festival 2018 at Randall’s Island, New York.

Below is the new music video, watch and leave your comments.

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Jahmiel Kicks Off US Tour Ahead Of Europe and Africa


Wrapping up 2017 with a growing catalog, Jahmiel delivered a solid body of work, which resulted in him being billed for some upcoming major festivals in Europe and Africa where he will perform for the first time.

Jahmiel, who is currently getting ready for his first U.S. tour, Strongest Soldier, is set to hit 15 cities over a 3-week time frame. The trek will take Jahmiel across some major US cities including Arizona, Kansas City, Oakland, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Raleigh and Charlotte just to name a few. At the end of the US leg he will have little down time before he packs his bags and heads to Africa for the first time in his career. He has a highly anticipated performance at The Independence Stadium in Bakau, Gambia.

The trip to Gambia, will also give Jahmiel an opportunity to partake in some charitable work as well as connect with some of the youths who his songs has resonate with.

“Definitely pleased at the direction my career is going and the ability to show growth over the past two years. Going to Gambia is definitely something I have been looking forward to since we received the call last year and looking forward to delivering and greeting my fans” Jahmiel told Dancehall HipHop.

On January 13th Jahmiel will perform on the 25th anniversary of Rebel Salute, a show he says that he is looking forward to performing on since this will be the first time he is returning to the annual event since Mavado first introduced him a few years ago. The “Heaven” singer has had a phenomenal year last year with a slew of hits and some well received performances on some big shows. This year, he is certainly looking to repeat that success and broaden his international appeal. Stay tuned for more tour dates to be announced by his team later this month.

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Strong Turnout For Shaggy & Friends Millions Raised For Kids


Shaggy and Friends saw a strong turnout from patrons on Saturday as the festival raises millions of dollars for kids.

The addition of several international acts to the lineup this year help drew more attention to the cause. Since it’s inception in 2009, Shaggy and Friends saw one of its biggest turnouts last night. The show’s organizers say they are currently doing the tally and will announce in a press conference just how much people were in attendance and how much funds were raised.

Artists like Wyclef Jean, Sting, and Doug E. Fresh all traveled from overseas to perform for the cause and let’s be clear, artists were not paid to perform, they all did it for free. The proceeds from the music festival will go towards the Bustamante Hospital for Children, which is the only children’s hospital in Jamaica serving kids from all over the Caribbean. Since 2009, Shaggy’s Make A Difference Foundation has raised over US$1.5 million for the hospital which has been used to expand the facility and purchase needed medical equipment.

Co-producer of the event, Rebecca Packer-Burrel, who is Shaggy’s wife, says they are aiming to raise US$1 million from this year’s show which will be used to expand the ICU section of the hospital. Shaggy noted that their plans could be hampered by land space so he is issuing a plea to the Jamaica Defense Force who owns a large parcel of land where the hospital is located to donate one acre. The dancehall legend says that the ICU only has five beds and is desperately in need of more space to serve the demand.

“We have five beds in the ICU for the whole of Jamaica,” Shaggy said. “So we have to expand the building, that’s where the challenge will be. We need more land, we’re on JDF land.”

Local artists like Ding Dong, Shenseea, Dexta Daps, and Aidonia all delivered solid sets. Watch a segment of Aidonia’s performance below.

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Khago Threatens To Box Sizzla and Do What With His Mother


Khago just elevate his beef with Sizzla to a whole new level.

The dancehall deejay posted a video on social media this week going in on the reggae icon over an old feud. Over the past two weeks we’ve seen Sizzla taking on LA Lewis and even sending his goons after the self-proclaimed 7-Star general. Lewis has since been pleading with Kalonji to called off his men and even suggested that a hit is out for his head and his kids are getting caught up in the melee.

Khago, on the other hand, is taking matters into his own hands and issued a threat to box Sizzla and didn’t mince words when he told the icon to do all sort of things to his mother. According to Khago, his beef with Kalonji stemmed from a female from Mandeville that he used to date. He revealed in his rant that Sizzla dated the same female before he hooked up with her and that’s what started their old feud from 2012.

The “Nah Sell Out” deejay is now living in the US so he will likely not received the same level of physical harassment as LA Lewis, but we’re told that Sizzla has goons all over the place and they have their eyes on Khago.

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Chris Brown Gets 40 RIAA Certifications This Year Alone


Chris Brown may not be the biggest selling artist this year but he is certainly the artist with the most RIAA plaques.

The R&B crooner received a whopping 40 certifications in 2017 from the Recording Industry Association of America, RIAA. The certifications and a mixture of gold and platinum plaques for some of his older music that were suppose to get certification but never did for some weird reasons. Among the plaques he received is one for a single that was certified 12 times platinum.

Chris Brown thanks his fans on Twitter for their support in making this happen and now he is on his way to being one of the greatest R&B artists of all-time. “40 PLAQUES THIS YEAR! Today the RIAA released 23 more certified platinum and gold plaques that included 12 x multi platinum singles. 74.5 million single and album sales just in the US. #TEAMBREEZY,” Brown tweeted.

On November 22, Chris Brown received 22 certifications from the RIAA including a four times platinum plaque for his single “Forever,” while his single “With You” gets a three times platinum certification. Two of his songs “Run It” and “I Can Transform Ya” received double platinum status while seven songs, “Next to You,” “Don’t Judge Me,” “Gimme That,” “Liquor,” “Grass Ain’t Greener,” “Wall To Wall,” and “Yo Excuse Me Miss,” all received one time platinum status. On top of that, he received ten gold certified songs.

Chris Brown is still putting out a ton of new music and scoring a lot of hits. His new album, Heartbreak on a Full Moon was released with 45 songs with majority of them being new music. The project debut at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart and is currently at No. 11. The album has since been certified gold by the RIAA and is on its way to getting platinum status possibly before the year ends.

40 PLAQUES THIS YEAR! Today the RIAA released 23 more certified platinum and gold plaques that included 12 x multi platinum singles. 74.5 million single and album sales just in the US. #TEAMBREEZY ?? ???? pic.twitter.com/P6Lu9B58NG

— Chris Brown (@chrisbrown) December 7, 2017


RICK ROSS – Apple Of My Eye lyrics


Just being somebody that the neighborhood respected
And my mama could be proud of, was the apple of my eye
That’s all I ever wanted, just to being something man
At that point what else can you ask for?

Tears running out of a nigga face
In a room full of failures I feel out of place
Still sleeping on the floor when you deserve better
Got you reeking through the cold even in warm weather
I told Meek I wouldn’t trust Nicki, instead of beefing with your dog you just give him some distance
We all make mistakes, lets not be to specific
You rather be a killer than be statistic
An never fold no I never ran
On my soul I’ll roll like an avalanche
I thank the lord I got some great friends
That’s why every bottle I open I say amen
Just had seizure at the Super Bowl
Woke up in the third quarter looking for the smoke
If its more then a quarter million, Ill count it twice
Poochie broke my heart shit I call it life
An never will I call it rite
Not perfect but I’m the one you would call at night
Traveling the world, I’m just reppin’ my city
But rarely do I hear that this nigga done did it
When niggas in fatigues will keep you intrigued
Cause the loss of lifes the only thing that niggas believe
So I pray you listen carefully
Then I become another muthafuckin’ casualty

Always speak and say right
I just never ever walk on by
(never ever walk on by)
You even stop and put one in the sky
(the sky)
You do it for the love of you and I
(for the love of you and..)

Standin’ on your block but you so out of place
Uncle on the couch, momma running out of space
Lights off so you never tend to speak much
Go your separate ways every time the lease up
A fat ugly nigga thought I’d never be nothing
Another tree stump, happy with his free lunch
Duckin’ pigeons, I’m an eagle on a sunny day
Flap my wings once a week, pray I glide safe
I want fried chicken at my funeral
Rolls Royces, dope boys, Sway interviews
Everybody dying for the same things
Cop kill a nigga don’t nobody gangbang
I’m happy Donald Trump became the president
Because we gotta destroy, before we elevate
Real shit, look at me inside the white house
With a pocket full of weed inside the white house
Dead presidents tattooed on a nigga chest
U.S. treasury addressing me, mad at my address
Own the biggest residential pool is the US
Drake and Kanye can invite every bitch they ever met
Finger fuckin’ bitches in the holy water
Then I go an tell what happened to my only daughter
So her daddy told it to her firsthand
Never perfect but its not just bout them purses

Always speak and say right
I just never ever walk on by
(never ever walk on by)
You even stop and put one in the sky
(the sky)
You do it for the love of you and I
(yeah)

The streets could never teach me
All the things I got from you
I found myself in the wrong lane
And I ended up in pain (Pain)
I was strolling down a dark street
When this girl passed me by
She said you’ve always been a good friend
(Always been a good friend)
And you never never never let me down
I’ll just fall back never turn back
Let it go let it go
I’ll just fall back never turn back
Let it go let it go

Always speak and say right
I just never ever walk on by
(never ever walk on by)
You even stop and put one in the sky
(the sky)
You do it for the love of you and I
(for the love of you and I)


Pink Guy – Dog Festival Directions (Pink Season Album)


[Verse]
If you want to eat some dog
I have good news
There’s an annual dog festival
Where you can eat all the dog you want
And it’s located in Yulin Guangxi China
And the festival spans about ten days
With 15 thousand dogs consumed
And it goes from the 21st to the 30th of June
I just wanna let you know
I’m just tryna’ be a bro
So you first take a flight to Guangzhou China
Once you get off at that airport
You wanna ask around for the Guangxi provincial bus
And it costs 20 US dollars
And it’s a four and a half hour ride
And you get off at Maoming West
Just remember Maoming West
Now you might have to stay there a full night
Depending on the time you arrive
Because the next bus that goes to Yulin only runs like once a day
And you have to buy another ticket
It’s about another 22 bucks
But from there it goes straight to Yulin
Soon enough you’ll be eating some dog
Now there are about 8 available hotels in Yulin
I’m checking online now
I suggest the Yulin Lijing International Hotel
Offering a sauna, fitness center
Wow it’s not too bad at all
Nevermind, it’s 50 bucks a night
But with free complementary breakfast
And a free cancelation fee
So it’s not a bad as I thought
When you’re ready the concierge will know exactly which festival you’re talking about
And he or she will give you directions
So take a cab
But don’t get ripped off
If you’re white they’ll charge you double
I shit you not
I shit you not
But anyways enjoy your flight
Goodbye
Enjoy the dog festival


Run DMC – Jam-Master Jay (Run-Dmc Deluxe Reissue Album)


Kick off shoes, jump on the jock
Listen to the Jam Master as he starts to rock
His name is Jay and he’s on his way
To be the best DJ in the US of A

J-a-y are the letters of his name
Cutting and scratching are the aspects of his game
So check out the Master as he cuts these jams
And look at us with the mics in our hands
Then take a count, 1 2 3
Jam Master Jay, Run-D.M.C

He’s Jam Master Jay, the big beat blaster
He gets better cause he knows he has to
In ’84 he’ll be a little faster
And only practice makes a real Jam Master

We’re live as can be but we’re not singing the blues
We got to tell all y’all the good news
The good news is that there is a crew
Not 5, not 4, not 3, just 2
2 MC’s who are claiming the fame
And all other things won’t be the same
Beacause it’s about time for a brand new group
Run-D.M.C. to put you up on the scoop
We make the fly girls scream in ecstacy
We rock the freshest rhymes at a party
We put all the fellas in a daze
It’s everyone that we amaze
And we got the master of a disco scratch
There’s not a break that he can’t catch
Jam Master Jay that is his name
And all wild DJ’s he will tame
Behind the turntables is where he stands
Then there is the movement of his hands
So when asked who’s the best, y’all should say:
"Run-D.M.C. and Jam Master Jay"

Jam Master Jay is the one in charge
It’s up to him to rock beats that are truly large
He is the master of the scratch and cut
So move your arms, so move your legs
So won’t you move your butt

We’re not talking ground, we’re not talking sky
We’re not talking low, we’re not talking high
We’re not talking big, we’re not talking small
We want all of the people on off the wall
We’re not talking night, we’re not talking day
But we’re talking bout Jam Master Jay


De La Soul – Memory Of… (US) (feat. Estelle & Pete Rock)


[Hook: Estelle]
And it’s so easy to fall back to the memory of
And it’s easy to recall the good and fall into place
But you’re not easy to love
I love the memory of…
I remember your face, I remember your way

[Verse 1: Estelle]
I remember you now
Part of my existence
I remember your face
You came in and got me
All in a day
Yeah, all in a day
I remember your lips
Do you remember the taste?
Remember family names
Your child, my child, our child
Whitney and Dwayne
Different to my world now
Remember the way
You gripped my hips so tight now?
Slow up the pace
Maybe erase, don’t remember my words

[Hook: Estelle]
Cause it’s so easy to fall back to the memory of
And it’s easy to recall the good and fall into place
But you’re not easy to love
I love the memory of…
I remember your face, I remember your way

[Verse 2: Posdnuos]
How could I forget?
A ballad was born upon a demo of a fly love song
Didn’t take long before the archer with the wings heard it
Shot us in the heart with a contract, he knew we were a hit
The right amount of soul with a parallel amount of grit
But the archer couldn’t see the target of departure
Gave in your pink slip and called it quits
It’s understood you would
Label me a mate who wronged you
Cause I kept wanting to feature
With them other females on they songs too
Your words spoken in mono for monogamy
Telling me I had to go cause I chose
Stereo for stereotypical male biology
And now I’m left setting traps
For you to fall in for me again
Who hates you to tell me
"Slow up the pace, maybe erase, don’t…"

[Bridge: Estelle]
Slow up the pace
Maybe erase, don’t remember my words

[Hook: Estelle]
Cause it’s so easy to fall back to the memory of
And it’s easy to recall the good and fall into place
But you’re not easy to love
I love the memory of…

[Verse 3: Dave]
Our last trip to Vegas had me feeling like we had a chance
But chance just showed up at the wedding
I guess I didn’t read the heading
"Forgive and won’t erase the bitter past"
But I ain’t up for kissing ass
I bought you everything your pretty feet could fit in
Put you behind the finest steering wheels
Fearing you would drive a nigga crazy
Told you grow up, but shit, you was my baby
Bits and pieces never made nothing decent
When I accommodated you, you played me like a stranger

[Bridge: Estelle]
I remember you now (Accountability is major)
A part of what I did then
Remember your face
Just don’t let me trip over memory lane
Cause time can’t be replaced
And I don’t want to stay

[Hook: Estelle]
Cause, oh, it’s so easy to fall back to the memory of
And it’s so dah-dah-dee-dah
Dah-dah-dah-dah-dee-dah
It’s so easy to fall
In dah-dah-dah-dah-dee-dah
Remember your way
Remember your way

[Adlib: Posdnuos]
It’s De La featuring Estelle
With the Soul Brother Pete Rock


Popcaan – New Level

October 29, 2016

Lyrics

Comments Off on Popcaan – New Level


[Intro]
New level
Why?!
New level
You know…

[Verse 1]
Mmmmm
You nuh haffi be my friend
Me nuh haffi be your friend
You nah buy me food
You nah take care of mi kids them
Me know them a pussy from long time
So, me nuh too believe inna mankind
Mi future brighter than sunshine
Plus mi granny tell me this one time
[Chorus]
Say..
New level, new devil
New level, new devil
New level, new devil
A dem turn Tony inna Rebel (you know, you know)
New level, new devil
New level, new devil
New level, new devil
Woii yoii

[Verse 2]
Some of them too easy fi switch, a mussi Digicel Play
Them have a bag of man a press up and play them
Do anything from another man pay them
Only mi press up a mi Matic and ‘K them

[Hook]
Prepare fi the fight when you gone pon a new height
Nooo
Because them nuh waan you fi “do it” like a new Nike
My style is….fat pussy gyal inna drop top, Rayce
My nine is….always there anytime when a road time
Notnice… (you know, you know, you know)

[Chorus]
New level, new devil
New level, new devil
New level, new devil
A dem turn Tony inna Rebel
New level, new devil
New level, new devil
New level, new devil

[Verse 3]
Jamaica
New money, no problem
Money we a use solve them
Some bwoy make money put dem a friend inna problem
Watch your things like King Alarm them
Them a chat me, but a gyal me a chat ’bout
Pounds and US, Euros me nuh stop count
The gyal them pretty like the money weh inna mi account
Real thugs mi nuh forgot ’bout

[Hook]
Prepare fi the fight when you gone pon a new height
Man a god inna earth, god inna real life, real life
Work hard fi di glory, mi do wha’ mi feel like, feel like!
If you try stop mi food you will dead inna real life
You know, you know, you know
Mmm hmmm

[Chorus]
New level, new devil
New level, new devil
New level, new devil
A dem turn Tony inna Rebel (you know)
New level, new devil
New level, new devil
New level, new devil
Woii yoii

[Interlude]
New level
Why?!
New level

[Hook]
Prepare fi the fight when you gone pon a new height
Nooo
Man a god inna earth, god inna real life
Work hard fi di glory, mi do wha’ mi feel like
If you try stop mi food you will dead inna real life
You know, you know, you know
Mmm hmmm

[Outro]
New level, new devil (you know, you know, you know)
New level, new devil
You know, you know, you know (4x)

You know, you know, you know…