Tag Archive: Prepper

CDC issues Level 3 Notice (Avoid Nonessential Travel) and Presidential Proclamation —Suspension of Entry

 

CDC issues Level 3 (Avoid Nonessential Travel) Notice for 29 European nations due to widespread sustained transmission of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

 

Supplemental Info:

COVID-19 in Europe
Warning – Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel—Widespread Sustained Transmission


Key Points

  • Europe is experiencing widespread sustained transmission of respiratory illness caused by the novel (new) coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to the specified countries in Europe. See: What countries are included in this notice (below).
  • Older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions are at increased risk for severe disease.
  • Travelers should avoid contact with sick people and wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Travelers returning from the specified countries in Europe must stay home for 14 days after returning from travel, monitor their health, and practice social distancing.
  • Travelers who are sick with fever, cough, or have trouble breathing should call ahead before seeking medical care.

What countries are included in this notice?

  • Austria

     

  • Belgium

     

  • Czech Republic

     

  • Denmark

     

  • Estonia

     

  • Finland

     

  • France

     

  • Germany

     

  • Greece

     

  • Hungary

     

  • Iceland

     

  • Italy

     

  • Latvia

     

  • Liechtenstein

     

  • Lithuania

     

  • Luxembourg

     

  • Malta

     

  • Netherlands

     

  • Norway

     

  • Poland

     

  • Portugal

     

  • Slovakia

     

  • Slovenia

     

  • Spain

     

  • Sweden

     

  • Switzerland

     

  • Monaco

     

  • San Marino

     

  • Vatican City
  •  

READ THE FULL TRAVEL NOTICE

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/warning/coronavirus-europe

 

 

 

Proclamation—Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus

 

March 11, 2020

On January 31, 2020, I issued Proclamation 9984 (Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus and Other Appropriate Measures To Address This Risk). I found that the potential for widespread transmission of a novel (new) coronavirus (which has since been renamed “SARS-CoV-2” and causes the disease COVID-19) (“SARS-CoV-2” or “the virus”) by infected individuals seeking to enter the United States threatens the security of our transportation system and infrastructure and the national security. Because the outbreak of the virus was at the time centered in the People’s Republic of China, I suspended and limited the entry of all aliens who were physically present within the People’s Republic of China, excluding the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States, subject to certain exceptions. On February 29, 2020, in recognition of the sustained person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the Islamic Republic of Iran, I issued Proclamation 9992 (Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus), suspending and limiting the entry of all aliens who were physically present within the Islamic Republic of Iran during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States, subject to certain exceptions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a component of the Department of Health and Human Services, has determined that the virus presents a serious public health threat, and CDC continues to take steps to prevent its spread. But CDC, along with State and local health departments, has limited resources, and the public health system could be overwhelmed if sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus occurred in the United States on a large scale. Sustained human-to-human transmission has the potential to cause cascading public health, economic, national security, and societal consequences.

The World Health Organization has determined that multiple countries within the Schengen Area are experiencing sustained person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2. For purposes of this proclamation, the Schengen Area comprises 26 European states: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. The Schengen Area currently has the largest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases outside of the People’s Republic of China. As of March 11, 2020, the number of cases in the 26 Schengen Area countries is 17,442, with 711 deaths, and shows high continuous growth in infection rates. In total, as of March 9, 2020, the Schengen Area has exported 201 COVID-19 cases to 53 countries. Moreover, the free flow of people between the Schengen Area countries makes the task of managing the spread of the virus difficult.

The United States Government is unable to effectively evaluate and monitor all of the travelers continuing to arrive from the Schengen Area. The potential for undetected transmission of the virus by infected individuals seeking to enter the United States from the Schengen Area threatens the security of our transportation system and infrastructure and the national security. Given the importance of protecting persons within the United States from the threat of this harmful communicable disease, I have determined that it is in the interests of the United States to take action to restrict and suspend the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of all aliens who were physically present within the Schengen Area during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States. The free flow of commerce between the United States and the Schengen Area countries remains an economic priority for the United States, and I remain committed to facilitating trade between our nations.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including sections 212(f) and 215(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f) and 1185(a), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, hereby find that the unrestricted entry into the United States of persons described in section 1 of this proclamation would, except as provided for in section 2 of this proclamation, be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and that their entry should be subject to certain restrictions, limitations, and exceptions. I therefore hereby proclaim the following:

Section 1. Suspension and Limitation on Entry. The entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of all aliens who were physically present within the Schengen Area during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States is hereby suspended and limited subject to section 2 of this proclamation.

Sec. 2. Scope of Suspension and Limitation on Entry.
(a) Section 1 of this proclamation shall not apply to:
(i) any lawful permanent resident of the United States;
(ii) any alien who is the spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;
(iii) any alien who is the parent or legal guardian of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided that the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident is unmarried and under the age of 21;
(iv) any alien who is the sibling of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided that both are unmarried and under the age of 21;
(v) any alien who is the child, foster child, or ward of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, or who is a prospective adoptee seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications;
(vi) any alien traveling at the invitation of the United States Government for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of the virus;
(vii) any alien traveling as a nonimmigrant pursuant to a C-1, D, or C-1/D nonimmigrant visa as a crewmember or any alien otherwise traveling to the United States as air or sea crew;
(viii) any alien
(A) seeking entry into or transiting the United States pursuant to one of the following visas: A-1, A-2, C-2, C-3 (as a foreign government official or immediate family member of an official), E-1 (as an employee of TECRO or TECO or the employee’s immediate family members), G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO-1 through NATO-4, or NATO-6 (or seeking to enter as a nonimmigrant in one of those NATO categories); or
(B) whose travel falls within the scope of section 11 of the United Nations Headquarters Agreement;
(ix) any alien whose entry would not pose a significant risk of introducing, transmitting, or spreading the virus, as determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, through the CDC Director or his designee;
(x) any alien whose entry would further important United States law enforcement objectives, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees, based on a recommendation of the Attorney General or his designee;
(xi) any alien whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their designees; or
(xii) members of the U.S. Armed Forces and spouses and children of members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
(b) Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to affect any individual’s eligibility for asylum, withholding of removal, or protection under the regulations issued pursuant to the legislation implementing the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, consistent with the laws and regulations of the United States.

Sec. 3. Implementation and Enforcement. (a) The Secretary of State shall implement this proclamation as it applies to visas pursuant to such procedures as the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, may establish. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall implement this proclamation as it applies to the entry of aliens pursuant to such procedures as the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, may establish.
(b) Consistent with applicable law, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Transportation, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall ensure that any alien subject to this proclamation does not board an aircraft traveling to the United States.
(c) The Secretary of Homeland Security may establish standards and procedures to ensure the application of this proclamation at and between all United States ports of entry.
(d) An alien who circumvents the application of this proclamation through fraud, willful misrepresentation of a material fact, or illegal entry shall be a priority for removal by the Department of Homeland Security.

Sec. 4. Termination. This proclamation shall remain in effect until terminated by the President. The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall recommend that the President continue, modify, or terminate this proclamation as described in section 5 of Proclamation 9984, as amended.

Sec. 5. Effective Date. This proclamation is effective at 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on March 13, 2020. This proclamation does not apply to persons aboard a flight scheduled to arrive in the United States that departed prior to 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on March 13, 2020.

Sec. 6. Severability. It is the policy of the United States to enforce this proclamation to the maximum extent possible to advance the national security, public safety, and foreign policy interests of the United States. Accordingly:
(a) if any provision of this proclamation, or the application of any provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be invalid, the remainder of this proclamation and the application of its provisions to any other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby; and
(b) if any provision of this proclamation, or the application of any provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be invalid because of the lack of certain procedural requirements, the relevant executive branch officials shall implement those procedural requirements to conform with existing law and with any applicable court orders.

Sec. 7. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This proclamation shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This proclamation is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eleventh day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth.

DONALD J. TRUMP

 

https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspension-entry-immigrants-nonimmigrants-certain-additional-persons-pose-risk-transmitting-2019-novel-coronavirus/

 

Official Coronavirus Information Pages

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Food and Drug Administration

Public Health Agency of Canada

Infection Prevention and Control Canada

World Health Organization

 

Official Pandemic Preparedness Guidance:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Department of Homeland Security / Ready.Gov

World Health Organization

 

Assorted Additional Resources

(While some of the resources below were prepared for pandemic influenza, the broader guidance contain therein is directly applicable to the current coronavirus crisis).

Community Mitigation Guidelines to Prevent Pandemic Influenza
Fundamentals of Emergency Planning for Schools
Healthcare Systems Preparedness for COVID-19
Pub Health Guidance for Community-Level Preparedness & Response
Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist
Faith-based & Community Org. Pandemic Influenza Checklist
WHO Checklist for Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Planning
Get Your Workplace Ready for Pandemic Flu
Dept of Defense Coronavirus Response Page
DHS Supplemental Instructions For Inbound Flights

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

 

 

 

Via: threatjournal


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WHO declares COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic

 

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WHO declares COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic based on alarming levels of spread and severity.

 

Supplemental Info:

WHO defines a “pandemic” as an epidemic of infectious disease occurring on a scale crossing international boundaries and affecting a large number of people.

 

In today’s press briefing, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says the situation will worsen.


“We expect to see the number of cases, the number of deaths, and the number of affected countries climb even higher.”


“Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change WHO’s assessment of the threat posed by this coronavirus. It doesn’t change what WHO is doing, and it doesn’t change what countries should do.”

—————

WA Gov Inslee bans ALL gatherings of more than 250 ppl in Snohomish, King and Pierce Cos through March due to COVID-19. Could be expanded in time & scope as req..

———————

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

 

Via: threatjournal, arcgis.com


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Weekly National Situation Update 3-8-2020

From AlertsUSA

 

WEEKLY THREAT AND ALERT ROUNDUP

 

Coronavirus Spreads Across the U.S. and Europe

Johns Hopkins CSSE COVID-19 Case Count (Interactive map updated multiple times daily) - ALLOW IMAGES

March 7, 2020

  

Between Feb 29 – March 6, the following related Flash SMS
messages were sent to
AlertsUSA subscriber mobile devices:

 

2/29 – President Trump to address the nation at 1:30 PM EASTERN on developments concerning the COVID-19 coronavirus. Check national media.

 

2/29 – Level 4 Travel Advisory (Do Not Travel) forthcoming for areas of Italy and S. Korea with coronavirus activity. Bulletins will be sent by email when published.

 

3/2 – San Antonio Mayor bans 120+ current and former COVID-19 evacuees quarantined at Joint Base San Antonio from travel into or through the city.

 

3/3 – CDC: “What is happening now in the US may be the beginning of what’s happening abroad.” More COVID-19 cases expected from travel, contact & community spread.

 

3/4 – Government of Italy orders closure of all schools and universities across the country from tomorrow until mid-March due to COVID-19 coronavirus.

 

3/4 – Los Angeles County Public Health declares state of emergency due to COVID-19 outbreak. 6 new cases confirmed. AlertsUSA monitoring.

 

3/4 – California Gov. Newsom declares state of emergency due to growing number of COVID-19 cases as well as first related death. More via email.

 

3/5 – CA Gov bars Grand Princess cruise ship from docking. Ship ordered to remain offshore until all passengers and crew can be tested for COVID-19. Monitoring.

 

3/5 – CDC Director: State of WA “is the tip of the spear” for coronavirus in the US. “You’re now at the stage where we are beginning to see community transmission.”

 

3/6 – DoD deploys Crisis Response Force of ~160 soldiers to San Ysidro, CA and El Paso, TX to erect temp barriers at ports of entry + force protection for CBP.

 

3/6 – VPOTUS: 21 individuals (19 crew, 2 passengers) on Grand Princess cruise ship near San Francisco test positive for COVID-19. More via email.

 

What You Need To Know

 

On 11 occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via SMS messages to their mobile devices regarding safety and security matters. All of these alerts dealt with the increasingly dangerous situation with the COVID-19 coronavirus.

 

Starting last Saturday (shortly after our last weekly update was issued), the U.S. State Department announced Level 4 Do Not Travel advisories for areas of Italy and S. Korea with coronavirus activity. With respect to Italy, the advisory urges avoiding all travel to the Lombardy region (Milan), as well as the Veneto region (Venice), due to the level of community transmission of the virus and imposition of local quarantine procedures.

 

With respect to South Korea, the advisory urges avoiding the city of Daegu, again, due to the level of community transmission of the virus and imposition of local quarantine procedures.

 

The remainder of Italy and S. Korea are under Level 3 advisories, which urges American citizens to reconsider travel to the countries entirely.

 

Additionally, new boarding restrictions are in place for airline passengers in Italy and S. Korea headed to the U.S.:

As of 12:00 AM March 3, all passengers on U.S.-bound flights from Italy and S. Korea whose temperature is higher than 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit are not being permitted to board. Travelers should be prepared for additional travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice.

 

SAN ANTONIO MAYOR BANS QUARANTINED EVACUEES FROM CITY

On Monday, the Mayor of San Antonio, Texas declared a public health emergency and banned current and former coronavirus evacuees quarantined at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland after an individual, who twice tested negative for the virus, was released into the city and was later found to have a positive test result. This individual, a woman, spent more than 12 hours in public where she checked into a hotel before visiting North Star Mall where she sat for a meal in the food court. The mall was subsequently closed for 24 hours while it was cleaned and disinfected.

 

Under Texas state law, the mayor of a municipality may control who comes in or out of a disaster area.

 

CA GOVERNOR BARS CRUISE SHIP FROM DOCKING

On Thursday, California Governor Gavin Newsom barred the Grand Princess cruise ship from docking in San Francisco until passengers and crew could be tested for the coronavirus. The move came after a 71-YO man who had been on the ship’s previous cruise died of the coronavirus. Health authorities later disclosed that at least nine other people who were on the same excursion were also found to be infected. And some passengers from that trip stayed aboard for the current voyage.

 

Friday evening, AlertsUSA subscribers were informed of an announcement by Vice President Mike Pence that a portion of the 3500 passengers aboard the cruise ship were tested and 21, including 19 crew members and 2 passengers, were also found to be infected. Vice President Pence further indicated that the cruise ship would proceed to an unspecified non-commercial dock where the passengers would disembark and at least a portion transferred top quarantine facilities.

 

DOD DEPLYS SOLDIERS TO US/MX PORTS OF ENTRY

Also on Friday, AlertsUSA subscribers were informed that the Dept. of Defense was deploying a 160-soldier Crisis Response Force to San Ysidro, CA and El Paso, TX to erect temporary barriers at ports of entry as well as to provide force protection to Customs and Border protection agents. According to CBP, the deployment is necessary in case a federal appeals court nixes a Trump Administration policy known as “Remain in Mexico,” which could result in large groups attempting to forcibly enter the United States, as well as due to coronavirus containment concerns.

 

NOW IS THE TIME TO PREPARE

Once again, AlertsUSA strongly encourages reader to use the totality of U.S. and foreign government actions in response to this global public health crisis as your cue prepare yourself, your family, and any business interests, for the possibility that the virus has a greater impact here in North America. The Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health all warn that we are only witnessing the tip of the iceberg and that more cases of the coronavirus will be appearing across the United States, especially now that we have accurate testing capabilities being deployed to state and local labs nationwide.

 

To further drive home the seriousness of the need to prepare, consider the following quote made Friday by Dr Richard Hatchett, CEO of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, during an interview with Britain’s Channel 4 News:

“I’ve been working on epidemic preparedness for about 20 years, and completely dispassionately, without elevating the temperature or speaking hyperbolically, this is the most frightening disease I’ve ever encountered in my career, and that includes ebola, it includes MERS, it includes SARS. And it is frightening because of the combination of infectiousness and a lethality that appears to be many-fold higher than flu”

 

OFFICIAL CASE NUMBERS

World Health Organization
Centers for Disease Control (U.S.)
Johns Hopkins CSSE (Interactive map updated multiple times daily)

Johns Hopkins CSSE COVID-19 Case Count (Interactive map updated multiple times daily) - ALLOW IMAGES

 

WHO RISK OF SPREAD & IMPACT ASSESSMENT

China Very High
Regional Level Very High
Global Level Very High

 

PANDEMIC PREPAREDNESS RESOURCES

 

Official Coronavirus Information Pages:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Food and Drug Administration
Public Health Agency of Canada
Infection Prevention and Control Canada
World Health Organization

 

Official Pandemic Preparedness Guidance:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Department of Homeland Security / Ready.Gov
World Health Organization

 

Assorted Resources

(While some of the resources below were prepared for pandemic influenza, the broader guidance contain therein is directly applicable to the current coronavirus crisis).

Home Care for Patients w/ Suspected Coronavirus Infection
Community Mitigation Guidelines to Prevent Pandemic Influenza
Fundamentals of Emergency Planning for Schools
Healthcare Systems Preparedness for COVID-19
Pub Health Guidance for Community-Level Preparedness & Response (SARS)
Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist
Faith-based & Community Org. Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Checklist
WHO Checklist for Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Planning
Get Your Workplace Ready for Pandemic Flu
Dept of Defense Coronavirus Response Page
DHS Supplemental Instructions For Inbound Flights


View Last Week’s Issue


 

Additional Coronavirus News Items

Why do so many epidemics originate in Africa and Asia?
A second LAX screener tests positive for the coronavirus
Pentagon is ‘fully confident’ military can withstand threat of coronavirus
Officials Prep to Keep Pentagon Running in Event of Major Outbreak
British army on standby over coronavirus spread
Greece shuts schools as WHO warns about local transmission
Chaos at hospitals due to shortage of coronavirus tests
Satellite images reveal the effects the coronavirus has had
Italy calls in retired doctors to help fight coronavirus
15-minute virus test used in China, Italy and Japan – but NOT in the UK or US
Coronavirus: UN asks 9 countries to delay peacekeeper rotations
UK officials are secretly arranging for 200 mobile morgues
Coronavirus cases pass 100K globally as Iran threatens force to restrict travel
Another senior Iranian official dies from coronavirus
Report: US Congressional Staffer Tests Positive for Coronavirus
IRGC claims coronavirus outbreak ‘may be an American biological invasion
KSA: Extraordinary measures to protect Mecca and Medina from COVID-19
Virus ripples through travel, energy, financial markets
Bodies ‘pile up’ in morgue as Iran feels strain of coronavirus
Virus fears grip markets again; stocks and bond yields slide
Wall Street drops over 3% on virus fears, travel shares slammed
IMF provides $50bn to fight coronavirus outbreak
Virus ripples through travel, energy, financial markets
Trade group: Airline industry will lose at least $63B due to COVID-19

AlertsUSA continues to monitor the domestic and international threat environment around the clock and will immediately notify service subscribers, via SMS messages to their mobile devices, of new alerts, warnings and advisories or any developments which signal a change the overall threat picture for American citizens as events warrant.


AlertsUSA.com

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* Threat Info Direct to Your Mobile Device
* Get Away Early, Give Your Family Extra Safety.
* In Wide Use By Gov, 1st Responders, Travelers.
* 24/7/365 Monitoring. No Hype. Just the Bad Stuff.
* Issued Hours and Days before the MSM.
* On your Cell Phone, Tablet or Email.
* We Give The Clear Truth, Unlike the MSM.
* 18 Years in Operation!

 

We are NOT part of the government.
In fact, they are our customers!

 

 


Greek security forces intervene in asylum seekers, who attempt to cross the barbed fence at the closed-off Greek-Turkish border, in Kastanies, Greece on March 04, 2020. - ALLOW IMAGES

Commentary / Analysis / Research

 

March 7, 2020

 

Asylum-Seekers, Coronavirus Collide with Complicated Results

This week, thousands of asylum-seekers sit at the intersection of a pair of fast-moving news stories — a spike in migration in Europe and uncertainty about the global spread of the new and sometimes deadly virus. They have found themselves trapped between two worlds, at the mercy of political machinations and governments that are telling them in no uncertain terms: We don’t want you here.

~ READ MORE HERE ~

 

Europe Must Not Fall Victim to Erdogan’s Blackmail

Turkey would apparently like to see more progress in the talks to grant it admission as a full member of the European Union…. Erdogan would most certainly like the West overlook his massive democratic deficit, and to help Turkey secure even more dominance over the Greek islands off its coast, as well as its claims on the gas fields beneath the eastern Mediterranean.

~ READ MORE HERE ~

 

Far-Right Terrorism: Analyzing Roots and Motivations

Online publication of pre-attack manifestos is becoming common among individuals seeking to commit violence. Each manifesto contains a variation of the author’s justification for the planned attack, as well as a personal interpretation of the world’s problems. As such, the report provides a qualitative analysis of theoretical motivations behind this violence.

~ READ MORE HERE ~

 


Fleet and Marine Tracker Map as of March 2, 2020  - ALLOW IMAGE8

USNI Fleet and Marine Tracker

 

These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of March 2, 2020 based on Navy and public data provided by the U.S. Naval Institute. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the chart reflects the location of the capital ship.


The USS Toledo arrives at Ice Camp Seadragon in the Arctic Ocean, March 4, 2020, to kick off Ice Exercise, a biennial exercise that offers the Navy the opportunity to assess its operational readiness in the Arctic and train with other services. - ALLOW IMAGES

 

World News Roundup

 

Other Developments We Are Following

 

AMERICAS

Pentagon Failed to Vet Saudi Military Recruit Who Killed 3 Americans
Pentagon to Spend Billions Mass-Producing Hypersonic Weapons
Brazil and United States Sign Unprecedented Military Agreement
Nazi name lists in Argentina may reveal loot in Swiss bank
SecDef: Soleimani’s killing dealt big setback to Iranian terrorism
Former soldier sentenced for attempting to provide support to ISIS
U.S. prosecutors accuse Honduran president of taking drug bribes
Canada urges Iran to give access to downed airliner’s black boxes

 

EUROPE

Met officer suspected of belonging to group linked to terrorism
Clashes between Greek police, migrants reported on Turkish border
Five years on, ill-prepared EU sees migrants on its borders
Refugees told ‘Europe is closed’ as tensions rise on border
‘Open the gates,’ migrants chant at Turkey-Greece border
EU ‘won’t be pressured’ over Greece-Turkey border crisis
Ukraine president: Putin has one year to strike deal to end war
Germany: Alleged Isalamic State terrorist goes on trial
Germany: Thousands of protesters demand EU open borders
Turkey deploys 1,000 police at Greek border as tensions rise
Greece places Aegean on alert as concerns mount of Turkish provocations

 

MIDDLE EAST / AFRICA

US blocks UN statement backing Syria ceasefire: diplomats
Syria war: Idlib ceasefire between Russia and Turkey begins
Trump extends sanctions against Zimbabwe
Turkey’s Operation “Spring Shield” delivers blow to Hezbollah
Tense calm, sporadic clashes in Idlib as Russia-Turkey ceasefire broadly holds
Turkey kills 21 Syrian troops as cease-fire with Russia signed
Iraq forces continue fight against ISIL without US air support
Six killed in attack on Nigeria military base
Zambia’s leader blames church officials for mob violence
Sudan’s June crackdown may have killed 241 people: Rights group
Guinea protests: One dead in anti-government demonstration
Congo protests against unpaid pensions as gov’t debt balloons
Farmers fear impact of Nile River dam
Iran says IAEA case for inspecting sites based on fake Israeli intel

 

ASIA

USGOV has intel that the Taliban do not intend to honor the peace deal
Trump: Taliban could ‘possibly’ seize power after US troops leave
At least 27 people are killed in attack on political rally in Afghanistan
North Korea’s Ballistic Bluster May Mask Major Epidemic
North Korea stays quiet on Kim Jong Un letter
India protest violence leaves thousands displaced
Myanmar violence: Thousands displaced by fresh fighting
Uzbek jihadist group congratulates Taliban for ‘victory’ in Afghanistan
Japan postpones highly anticipated Xi, Abe summit
India restores internet in Kashmir after 7 months of blackout


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Travel Security

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The U.S. Dept. of State Travel Website is the authoritative federal source for information on the security situation at travel destinations worldwide. With tensions rapidly increasing in most regions, readers planning international travel, even to such common destinations as Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands, are strongly encouraged to do a little research on the security situation at your destination well prior to departure.

 

Active USGOV Travel Notices

Worldwide Caution


 

Active USGOV Travel Advisories

Alphabetical Country List

Dynamic Map


 

Other USGOV Travel Resources

Traveler’s Checklist

Smart Traveler Enrollment Prog (STEP)

Travelers with Special Considerations

Travel to High-Risk Areas

Faith-Based Travel Information

Information for Women Travelers

Cruise Ship Passengers

Students Abroad

Your Health Abroad

Driving and Road Safety Abroad


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The Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) provides a variety of resources to enhance the safety and security of the U.S. private sector businesses and organizations operating abroad.

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website is the authoritative federal source for information on current health issues related to specific destinations worldwide. These issues may arise from disease outbreaks, special events or gatherings, natural disasters, or other conditions that may affect travelers’ health.

Foreign Sources of Travel Guidance

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Global Affairs Canada


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Australia Dept. of Foreign Affairs


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UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office


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Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

Via: threatjournal


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Top Ten Natural Anti-Viral Agents

Winter is the time of year when we seem to be particularly vulnerable to all kinds of illnesses that are caused by viruses including colds, flu and cold sores. A virus is not to be confused with bacteria, which causes infection. Viruses are tiny bits of nucleic acids that contain information and use your body’s cells tor create more copies of themselves.

There are very few treatments, allopathic or natural that can kill a virus outright, as usually a virus must run its course. However the list of natural remedies here come as close to stopping a virus in its tracks as Mother Nature can get.


COLLOIDAL SILVER

Silver has been utilized as a medicine since ancient times to treat scores of ailments, including the bubonic plague. Colloidal silver is a suspension of pure metallic silver in water, that is used to dramatically reduce the activity of the HIV virus in AIDS patients, slow down the ravages of the hepatitis C virus and combat other viruses in general. It works by interfering with the enzymes that allow a virus to utilize oxygen thus, in essence, suffocating it so it cannot do damage in the body.


ELDERBERRY

The common black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) has long been used to reduce the length and severity of flu symptoms and studies. Taking 60 ml a day for adults and 30 ml for children helps to facilitate a complete recovery, often in three days. Elderberry extract binds to the tiny spikes on a virus protein that are used to pierce and invade healthy cells and destroys them so that the virus is ineffective. Elderberry may also be effective against the herpes simplex virus and some HIV strains.


ECHINACEA

The herb Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea) is supportive of the immune system and has a direct anti-viral action against colds and viral bronchitis. Preparations that include both the roots and the flowering tops are the most effective at helping the body resist the viruses.


GARLIC

Garlic has been prized for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. The compounds allicin and alliion are responsible for this common plant’s reputation as a triple threat. Garlic is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal and it is especially effective against viruses if chewed raw.


GREEN TEA

Green tea (Camellia sinensis) contains a group of flavonoids called catechins, which appear to inhibit viral infections by blocking the enzymes that allow it to reproduce. Green tea has been known to be effective in inhibiting HIV, herpes simples and the hepatitis B virus.


LIQORICE

Liquorice contains a substance called glycyrrhizin that reduces the replication of viruses and halts their ability to penetrate replicate inside healthy cells. It has been noted to be effective in the treatment of many viral illnesses including HIV strains and viral hepatitis.


OLIVE LEAF

The leaves of Olive trees (Olea europea) contain a substances called elenoic acid and calcium elonate has been identified as a powerful inhibitor of a wide range of viruses in laboratory tests., including influenza, herpes, polio and coxsackie viruses. These substances block the production of enzymes that allow viruses to replicate.


PAU D’ARCO

Pau d’arco (Tabebuia impetiginosa), also known as lapacho or ipe roxo, is an Amazon tree with healing inner bark that can treat colds, influenza, herpes and viral stomatis. It contains quinoids that inhibit virus replication by damaging the DNA and RNA inside the viral protein that would insert itself in a healthy human cell and replicate.


ST JOHN’S WORT

St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is ore well-known for its ability to treat depression and neuralgia but it also has potent antiviral chemicals called hypercin and pseudohypericin that proactively fight off viruses that thrive by imitating existing cells through “cloaking”. These viruses that masquerade as human cells include Herpes, HIV and Hepatitis C.

For the most effective results it is highly recommended that at least two or three of these remedies in conjunction in order to vanquish viruses. As always, consult your naturopathic doctor for advise that is tailored specifically to your body.


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via:  oand
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Will Cars Still Run After an EMP? The Surprising Truth

Imagine every electronic device going dark in the blink of an eye. Forget about luxuries such as your smartphone or wi-fi, and imagine basic necessities like power, heat, supply chains, and infrastructure rendered completely inoperable. Imagine communications completely disabled.

This is the potential effect of an EMP, or an Electromagnetic Pulse. An EMP could alter the landscape of the entire power-grid in an instant, rendering whole cities blacked out for prolonged periods or even permanently. Food, fuel and water may very well become inaccessible when the power has failed completely.

An EMP event is quite scary, but would all cars on the roads just come rolling to a stop when an EMP strikes? We rely on vehicles for everything from getting groceries from the store to maintaining resupply chains that make our modern life possible. If they were to stop, getting out of town would no longer be an option for most people.

For this article, we’ll look at whether a strong EMP would disable all vehicles, which vehicles are most likely to be safe from an EMP, and how you can safeguard your vehicle from an EMP attack.

What is an EMP?

An Electromagnetic Pulse, or EMP, is a burst of electromagnetic energy. While energy is always in motion around us, an EMP is specifically notable for causing electronic disruptions by inducing current into electronics, sometimes severely damaging or destroying them. In extreme cases, an EMP can even knock out the power grid, or worse.

There are two main types of EMPs: natural and man-made. A bolt of lightning or a solar flare can cause an EMP, for example. The massive increase and change in electromagnetic energy as a result of a lightning bolt is a naturally occurring EMP. Solar flares causing highly charged atoms to shoot at high speeds from the sun towards the Earth is another form of a natural EMP.

Perhaps the best-known example of a man-made EMP source is from a nuclear blast. A nuclear blast shoots off multiple pulses of energy in its wake; these varied waves of energy cause significant disruptions to nearby electronics. Here is a more detailed (and scientific) explanation of EMP’s and how they damage electronic devices.

A major city after an EMP is a dangerous place to be—especially if you’re without a working car.

Many people are understandably concerned over EMP devices that are specifically designed to knock-out power, which are also known as High Altitude Electromagnetic Pulses, or HEMPs. A HEMP could either be a nuclear bomb detonated high in the atmosphere as a weapon or a device designed to knock out infrastructure and electronics without the heavy casualties of nuclear warfare. HEMPs can affect a much larger area in concentric circles from the blast. The area of effect would depend on how high in the atmosphere the device detonates. The US Congress received a detailed report on HEMP effects in 2008.

EMP attacks are not relegated to the realm of Science Fiction. A 1987 solar flare knocked out a large portion of the Canadian power grid. Lightning routinely damages electronic devices, although on a much more localized scale. British scientists, unaware of the electrical damage nuclear blasts would cause, suffered a massive instrument failure (they called it ‘radioflash‘) after their initial nuclear weapons tests in the 1950s. These events happened and they can certainly happen again. It’s a good idea to understand them and understand what EMPs are capable of.

Would an EMP Attack Disable all Vehicles?

No, an EMP attack would not disable all vehicles. According to a study conducted by the United States EMP Commission, only about 1 out of 50 vehicles are likely to be rendered inoperable. The effects of an EMP on hybrid and electric vehicles, however, have yet to be studied and is currently unknown.

Questions about the potential damage to vehicles in the aftermath of an EMP are quite common. An exhaustive study by the EMP Commission to determine the effects of an EMP on the United States (available here) were conclusive: most vehicles would survive an EMP.

U.S. EMP Commission Test Results – Key Points

  • 50 vehicles built between 1987 and 2002 were exposed to a spectrum of EMP blasts (up to 50kV/m in strength).
  • 3 out of 50 vehicles shut down while driving.
  • All 3 of these vehicles continued rolling until they safely coasted to a stop.
  • 1 of those vehicles was disabled completely and would not restart.
  • 2 of those vehicle restarted without an issue.
  • Many nuisance issues arose from the 50 exposed vehicles including radio interference, strange and erratic behavior from headlights, turn-signals or brake-lights, and one vehicle needed to have its dashboard replaced

The EMP Commission believed there was a potential for unnecessary deaths from vehicles if the vehicles were exposed to an EMP burst which exceeded 25kV/m. The potential for death and serious injury would not come as the result of an electronic failure, however, but rather due to potential accidents that vehicles slowing down suddenly could cause, especially if those vehicles had issues with their brake lights.

The EMP test indicates that roughly 15% of running vehicles may shut down if exposed to an EMP blast at or over 25kV/m over a wide range of area. In other words, short of a massive solar flare, only a nuclear explosion or purpose-built EMP would create the kind of pulse needed to cause the shutdown effect to occur.

When considering the EMP Survey by the EMP Commission, there are a few points to think about. First, this study finished in 2004. Second, the cars used in the study were older models, built in a range from 1987 until 2002. Third, we do not know which specific vehicles the Commission conducted these tests on, as the Commission never released information on car makes or models. Fourth, cars have developed far more complex and integrated electrical systems since 2002, the latest model year tested. Finally, the test does not appear to have been recreated and the results are not scientifically verified as a result.

Testing a Modern Vehicle in a Lightning Strike

This video from the British car show Top Gear actually explains this concept quite well. Volkswagen has a purpose-built facility to test their cars against potential lightning strikes with charges of up to 800,000 volts. After the bolt hits, the car starts right up. Modern cars can survive a multitude of electrical issues without failing.

Resilience of Modern Vehicles

By design, modern automobiles can survive extreme temperatures and other harsh conditions. Modern cars have many fail-safe systems in case of electrical or mechanical failure. As a result, most cars will continue to run without major issue even in the face of extreme electrical disruption.

Many commentators on this subject believe the EMP study is out of date. Specifically, there’s a theory that older vehicles lacked the integrated computing systems and complex electrical engineering that modern cars have. While this is true, cars have had computers since Volkswagen introduced one to operate their electronic fuel injection (EFI) system in 1968. Engine Control Units (ECUs) have been widespread since the 1970s. It is safe to assume every vehicle in the EMP Commission Study had an ECU in one form or another.

In one sense, it’s understandable that people worry about modern vehicles being more electronically sensitive to EMP damage. However, modern vehicles have more protective shielding, grounds and plastics to replace metals now than they’ve ever have in the past. In almost all cases, modern cars should be more capable of withstanding electrical interference than they have been in the past. Except of course, if you are talking about vehicles manufactured before ECU’s and were largely mechanical based in their functions.

So, in summary, EMP’s will not disable most vehicles. Many modern vehicles which would seem unlikely to survive the EMP probably will survive the EMP, but we don’t currently have sufficient testing to verify that.

The Strongest Possible EMP Attack

Let us consider the ‘doomsday’ scenario for a moment. An EMP hits and the power goes out. For the sake of argument, let us assume that the EMP completely knocks out the entire power-grid of the United States and that no other country is willing or able to divert power to the country. Manufacturing crumbles, international trade evaporates and the America is transported back to the 1800s.

Realistically, only a nuclear explosion at a specific altitude or a strong solar flare could cause that sort of disruption. Anything with long wires leading to it will be especially vulnerable to this (such as the power grid—or anything connected to it). That’s because the long power lines will act like a giant antenna and gather massive amounts of energy flowing through the atmosphere, channeling it into whatever they’re connected to.

Modern motor vehicles do have a lot of wiring in them, but this wiring doesn’t travel out from the vehicle and are, generally speaking, coiled tightly inside the metal box that is your car’s shell. A HEMP designed to knock out power will probably fail to generate more than 25kV/m outside of the immediate blast area, meaning most cars will survive without any issues at all, as the testing done by the U.S. EMP Commission showed.

Generally speaking, your vehicle will be the least of your concerns in this type of situation.The electrical system of modern cars feature much better shielding. The electrical shielding your car has will not prevent the inevitable part failures all cars experience. The lack of spare parts or able mechanics will likely ultimately sink your vehicle, not the EMP itself.

What Type of Car is Most Likely to Survive?

In a doomsday EMP scenario, the vehicle most likely to be viable is an older model diesel vehicle that lacks electronics. Since the roads will not have maintenance you will probably want a 4×4 vehicle that can go off-road when necessary.

Most modern diesel vehicles are just as technologically advanced and electronically complex as their gasoline counterparts. The big difference between diesel and gasoline is in finding fuels in case the power goes out. A gasoline engine requires highly refined and specifically processed fuel. Diesel engines can run on almost any type of fuel, including bio-diesels like algae and vegetable oil. Yes, vegetable oil.

While both carburator based and fuel injection vehicles are likely to survive the EMP, vehicles utilizing carburetors are far less reliant on modern electronics as fuel injected vehicles are. If you worry about the lights going off and never coming back on, you should avoid fuel injection vehicles.

“If you’re serious about having a vehicle that will survive massive EMP damage, then you’re looking for a naturally aspirated diesel engine from before about 1990. A 4×4 is probably a safer bet than a front or rear wheel drive.”

How does the Military Protect Against EMPs?

The military is an interesting case study in EMP defense. The military not only faces the potential for natural phenomenon, like a lightning strike or solar flare, they also face the possibility of fighting against a foreign power that uses weapons to disrupt communications, navigation, aviation, and other critical aspects of warfare.

The military primarily uses a simple Faraday Cage to protect their equipment against the potential damages of an EMP attack. A Faraday Cage is a simple construction of grounded metal surrounding sensitive electronic wiring and equipment. During a surge of electromagnetic energy, such as the most severe EMPs, military equipment is protected from damage by this simple Faraday Cage.

Advanced equipment, such as jet-fighter planes, are mostly protected by the same concept. In both the case of a car and a fighter plane, military equipment is further designed and developed to operate independently of its electrical systems. Even if the electronics fail, there are a number of active fail-safes in place to operate both vehicles and airplanes by hydraulics and manual control, if necessary, to prevent a critical error and eventual crisis.

It should be pointed out that similar fail-safe systems are in place in civilian aircraft, civilian electronics,and yes, civilian automobiles.

Preparing Your Car for an EMP

Most vehicles will survive the doomsday scenario without missing a beat, and there really isn’t much you need to do. The real threat to a vehicle after some kind of apocalyptic event is a lack of fuel and spare parts, not an electrical failure.

To prepare for the potential EMP disaster, you could stock up on parts that could commonly fail or might be required for routine maintenance. These include:

  • Spare fuel—treated with Stabil fuel stabilizer to extend its shelf life
  • Various required filters (air filter, oil filter, and fuel filter)
  • Oil change supplies
  • Battery
  • Alternator
  • ECU
  • Sensors
  • Any other on-board computers

Keeping regular maintenance items on hand, such as those required to complete an oil change, is a great idea. The other spare parts on this list might be a bit more expensive. You can find the spare parts you need by plugging your VIN into one of the many car-parts websites and looking up replacement parts that fit your vehicle.

However, my favorite source for spare parts to have on hand in case of an EMP is a wrecking yard. Find a vehicle as close as possible to yours at your local wrecking yard and remove all the sensors you can find along alternator and ECU. It’ll be far cheaper than buying all brand new parts.

For a more in-depth discussion on how an EMP may affect batteries, see How Would an EMP Effect Batteries.

You may consider putting spare electronic engine components into a Faraday bag for further protection—that’s what I do. If you’ve gone to all this trouble to be prepared by buying a second set of vulnerable parts, you might as well go a little further by putting them in an EMP-proof Faraday bag such as these.

 

Another great video to check out:

Protect Generators and Cars from EMP

 

Describes using conductive cloth to protect cars and generators from a high-altitude nuclear EMP attack. Cloth can be found at https://disasterpreparer.com/?product=emp-cloth.

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

via:  superprepper
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Virginia governor declares state of emergency – is National Guard deployment next

Is this the excuse to use National Guard some feared.

 

Per the Emergency Services and Disaster Law:

Mutual assistance in this compact may include the use of the states’ National Guard forces, either in accordance with the National Guard Mutual Assistance Compact or by mutual agreement between states.

Governor says intelligence groups report chatter echo’s Charlottesville rally, governor says.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued a state of emergency on Wednesday that bars any weapons from the Richmond’s Capitol Square from Friday to Tuesday, after he received credible intelligence that hate groups and armed militias are planning violence at next Monday’s Lobby Day against gun control legislation.

Northam, who discussed the threats at a news conference, said the state’s law enforcement analysis found that the chatter on the internet and other venues mirrored similar messages seen around the time of the 2017 Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally, which left three dead and more than 30 injured.

The governor declined to give exact details about the threats and the persons making them, but said that these groups, who were coming from outside of the state, talked about storming the Virginia Capitol.

“They are not coming to peacefully protest, they are coming to intimidate and to cause harm,” he said of the outside groups.

The announced weapons ban will include sticks, bats, chains, projectiles, and firearms, similar to the prohibitions issued on airlines and in courthouses, Northam said. State, Capitol and Richmond police officers will coordinate the safety in the square and set up checkpoints to make sure everyone adheres to the weapons ban.

“It makes no sense to ban every other weapon but allow firearms when intelligence shows a threat of an armed militia groups storming our capital,” Northam said.

Gun rights advocates from around the country plan on attending the state’s Lobby Day on Monday to speak out against new gun control legislation that is moving forward under the newly Democratic-controlled Virginia House of Delegates and state Senate. Some of the bills include universal background checks on guns, an assault rifles ban and a “red flag” law that would give judges the authority to order an individual to temporarily turn in their weapon if they are deemed a threat.

Seventeen states including New York and Florida, as well as Washington, D.C., have previously passed red flag laws.

The Virginia Citizens Defense League, VCDL, a group that describes itself as a “non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots organization dedicated to advancing the fundamental human right of all Virginians to keep and bear arms,” plans on holding a rally. Northam said he respects the rights of Virginians to protest and speak their mind about the gun control bills, but emphasized that he will not condone any threat of violence.

He called on the VCDL and other gun rights groups to stick to peaceful protests.

“I call on them to disavow anyone who wishes to use Monday’s rally to advance a violent agenda,” Northam said. “Hate, intimidation and violence have no place here.”

Representatives for the VCDL didn’t immediately return messages for comment.

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via:  abcnews
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Do you have a backup generator or Social Security? Think about both.

The news headlines read, “Deadly 6.4 Magnitude Earthquake Plunges Puerto Rico into Darkness”; and “Powerful Puerto Rico Earthquake Knocks Out Entire Island’s Power.”

It was enough to prompt a friends mother to call, four times, to make sure he was OK.

There’s been a string of fairly strong earthquakes lately in Puerto Rico… which is incredibly unusual for this part of the world. It’s been more than a century since the island was rocked by anything of this magnitude.

But as he explained to his parents that the press had blown things out of proportion as usual. They were running video footage that made it seem as if the island had been blasted back into the Stone Age.

It’s true that there were some displaced families and property damage near the epicenter.

But most of the island was not substantially affected. None of the major news organizations bothered to show footage of busy shopping malls, crowded restaurants, and packed movie theaters teeming with consumers.

It’s also true that the electrical grid went down: the island was without power for some time. In his community, the power came back on after 2 days. Some people had it on after a day, some after 3 or 4 days.

But here’s what people don’t realize– the electricity problems in Puerto Rico have a lot less to do with the seismic activity, and a lot more to do with the island’s decade-long economic depression.

Puerto Rico’s economy has been in the dumps since at least 2006. The government is bankrupt and defaulted on many of its debts as far back as 2015. And Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority (PREPA) is bankrupt as well, having defaulted on billions of dollars worth of bond obligations.

All of this financial insolvency means that neither the government nor PREPA has the resources to invest in the electrical grid.

And most of PREPA’s electrical production assets are in desperate need of replacement.

The largest power plant in Puerto Rico is the 820 MW Costa Sur facility, and according to PREPA, it was built in the 1950s!

This makes Costa Sur more than twice as old as the average power plant in the US.

They simply don’t have the money to modernize or upgrade their facilities. And people who live here understand this reality: the electrical grid in Puerto Rico is incredibly weak.

I’m serious. Power outages are commonplace here. The power at my house goes out at least 2-3 times a month, usually for a couple of hours.

That’s because every time a mouse farts on this island, something goes haywire at the electrical plants and the power goes out.

But again, Puerto Ricans know this. They have little confidence in their government, and even less confidence in the electrical grid.

So everyone who has the means in Puerto Rico owns a generator. It’s their Plan B. The power goes out, the generator comes on, and everything is OK.

My friends house is equipped with a huge generator… plus a backup cistern in case the water company goes down too.

This isn’t some wild conspiracy theory. In Puerto Rico, there’s nearly a 100% certainty that the system is going to fail… so having a backup generator is a perfectly sensible precaution to take.

And people who take this precaution are well-protected in the event that disaster strikes.

This way of thinking can obviously be applied to a lot of things… like retirement planning.

It’s no secret that government pension funds around the world are woefully underfunded.

University studies, non-profit research groups, mainstream financial press, and even government agencies themselves have reached the same conclusion: national, state, and local pension funds are trillions of dollars in the hole.

They simply do not have enough cash, nor will they have enough cash in the future, to pay the retirement benefits they owe.

Social Security in the United States is a great example.

Social Security’s Board of Trustees, which includes the United States Secretary of the Treasury, states quite plainly in their annual reports that Social Security’s primary trust funds will run out of money in 15 years.

Specifically, on page 5 of the 2019 Social Security Trustees Report, they state:

“Trust Fund asset reserves become depleted and unable to pay scheduled benefits in full on a timely basis in 2035.”

This isn’t some crazy conspiracy theory either. This is the US Treasury Secretary stating that in just 15 years, Social Security’s trust funds will be out of money and unable to pay the benefits that they’ve been promising people for decades.

This is just like Puerto Rico’s electrical issue: you know there’s nearly a 100% certainty that the program is going to run out of money.

I mean, seriously, the people in charge of program are telling you that it’s going to run out of money. It couldn’t be any more clear than that.

So it seems fairly sensible to have a backup generator for your retirement.

Everyone has a different situation– but there are plenty of options.

In the US, for example, tax deferred structures like a SEP IRA or Solo 401(k) can help you put away $50,000+ each year for your retirement in a really tax efficient way.

It’s even possible to use these structures combined with a side business like selling products on Amazon, renting out Airbnb units, etc. This means that you can channel income from your side business into your retirement account, helping you accumulate the savings you need to be comfortable in the future.

And, hey, even if Social Security is magically bailed out by benevolent space aliens, or some other crazy scenario, it’s not like you’ll be worse off having more retirement savings.

This is definitely worth considering and speaking to your tax adviser about.

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via:  SovereignMan.com
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Fort Bragg’s 82nd Airborne deploys to the Middle East

FORT BRAGG, N.C.  For many of the soldiers, it would be their first mission. They packed up ammunition and rifles, placed last-minute calls to loved ones, then turned in their cell phones. Some gave blood.

The 600 mostly young soldiers at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, were headed for the Middle East, part of a group of some 3,500 U.S. paratroopers ordered to the region. Kuwait is the first stop for many. Their final destinations are classified.

“We’re going to war, bro,” one cheered, holding two thumbs up and sporting a grin under close-shorn red hair. He stood among dozens of soldiers loading trucks outside a cinder block building housing several auditoriums with long benches and tables.

Days after U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the drone killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani, raising fears of fresh conflict in the Middle East, the men and women of the U.S. Army’s storied 82nd Airborne Division are moving out in the largest “fast deployment” since the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

U.S. Army Major General James Mingus waded through the sea of camouflage-uniformed men and women as they prepared to leave the base near Fayetteville on Sunday. He shook hands with the troops, wishing them luck.

  • FILE PHOTO: U.S. Army paratroopers assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, walk toward an awaiting aircraft prior to departing for the Middle East from Fort Bragga man in a military uniform: U.S. Army paratroopers assigned to 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division board an aircraft bound for the U.S. Central Command area of operations from Fort Bragga group of people on a beach: FILE PHOTO: U.S. Army paratroopers assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, walk toward an awaiting aircraft prior to departing for the Middle East from Fort Bragga group of people in military uniforms: FILE PHOTO: U.S. Army paratroopers assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, prepare for departure for the Middle East from Fort Bragg


One soldier from Ashboro, Virginia, said he wasn’t surprised when the order came.“I was just watching the news, seeing how things were going over there,” said the 27-year-old, one of several soldiers Reuters was allowed to interview on condition they not be named. “Then I got a text message from my sergeant saying ‘don’t go anywhere.’ And that was it.”

Risks seemed to be pushed to the back of the minds of the younger soldiers, though many packed the base chapel after a breakfast of eggs, waffles, oatmeal, sausages and 1,000 doughnuts.

One private took a strap tethered to a transport truck and tried to hitch it to the belt of an unwitting friend, a last prank before shipping out.

‘THIS IS THE MISSION’

The older soldiers, in their 30s and 40s, were visibly more somber, having the experience of seeing comrades come home from past deployments learning to walk on one leg or in flag-draped coffins.

“This is the mission, man,” said Brian Knight, retired Army veteran who has been on five combat deployments to the Middle East. He is the current director of a chapter of the United Service Organizations military support charity.

“They’re answering America’s 911 call,” Knight said. “They’re stoked to go. The president called for the 82nd.”

There was lots of wrestling holds as the troops tossed their 75-pound (34 kg) backpacks onto transport trucks. The packs hold everything from armor-plated vests, extra socks and underwear, to 210 rounds of ammunition for their M-4 carbine rifles.

A sergeant pushed through the crowd shouting for anyone with type-O blood, which can be transfused into any patient.

“The medics need you now. Move,” he said, before a handful of troops walked off to give a little less than a pint each.

UNCERTAINTY PREVAILS

While members of the unit – considered the most mobile in the U.S. Army – are used to quick deployments, this was different, Lieutenant Colonel Mike Burns, an Army spokesman.

“The guys are excited to go but none of us know how long they’ll be gone,” Burns said. “That’s the toughest part.”

Soldiers were ordered not to bring cell phones, portable video games or any other devices that could be used to communicate with friends and family back home, out of concern that details of their movements could leak out.

“We’re an infantry brigade,” Burns said. “Our primary mission is ground fighting. This is as real as it gets.”

A sergeant started rattling off last names, checking them off from a list after “heres” and “yups” and “yos.”

For every fighter, there were seven support crew members shipping out – cooks, aviators, mechanics, medics, chaplains, and transportation and supply managers. All but the chaplains would carry guns to fight.

A senior master sergeant, 34, said: “The Army is an all-volunteer force. We want to do this. You pay your taxes and we get to do this.”

The reality of the deployment wouldn’t sink in until the troops “walk out that door,” he said, pointing to the exit to the tarmac where C-4 and C-7 transport planes and two contract commercial jets waited.

His call came when he was on leave in his hometown of Daytona Beach, Florida, taking his two young daughters to visit relatives and maybe go to Walt Disney World.

“We just got there and I got the call to turn right around and head back to base,” he said. “My wife knows the drill. I had to go. We drove right back.”

On a single order, hundreds of soldiers jumped to their feet. They lined up single file and marched out carrying their guns and kits and helmets, past a volunteer honor guard holding aloft flags that flapped east in the January wind.


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via:  msn


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Acting Secretary Wolf Issues Homeland Security National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin

Acting Secretary Wolf Issues Homeland Security NTAS Bulletin

WASHINGTON – Today, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf issued a new National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin pertaining to the changing threat landscape following the successful U.S.-led airstrike in Iraq that eliminated Qaseem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.

“At this time there is no specific, credible threat against the homeland. The Department issued this bulletin to inform, share protective measures, and reassure the American public, state and local governments, and private sector partners that the Department of Homeland Security is actively monitoring and preparing for any specific, credible threat, should one arise” said Acting Secretary Wolf. “The Department is operating with an enhanced posture and various operational components are taking protective measures where prudent and necessary. We have been in constant communication with Congress and interagency partners. The American people should feel assured the entire Department is working for them to keep them safe.”

You can read the new NTAS Bulletin here.


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Statement on the successful U.S.-led airstrike in Iraq that eliminated Qasem Soleimani

Private Sector Update


U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Office of Public Affairs


Statement from Acting Secretary Wolf

WASHINGTON- Today, Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad F. Wolf issued the following statement on the successful U.S.-led airstrike in Iraq that eliminated Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.

“I commend the President’s decisive action to protect American lives both abroad and at home. The Department of Homeland Security stands ready to confront and combat any and all threats facing our homeland. While there are currently no specific, credible threats against our homeland, DHS continues to monitor the situation and work with our Federal, State and local partners to ensure the safety of every American.

“As a result of yesterday’s military action, I convened senior DHS leadership last night and earlier this morning to assess potential new threats and component actions to respond to the constantly evolving threat landscape. The entire Department remains vigilant and stands ready, as always, to defend the Homeland.”

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