Daily Digest 7/21 – Wall St. Throwing Billions At Gold Miners, Natural Gas Prices Crash As U.S. Exports Fall

Economy

Trump plans to send federal law enforcement personnel to Democratic-led U.S. cities (Sparky1)

“They’ve been there three days and they really have done a fantastic job in a very short period of time, no problem,” Trump said of law enforcement sent to the historically liberal city to quell often unruly protests. “They grab a lot of people and jail the leaders. These are anarchists.”

Federal officers last week began cracking down on Portland protests against police brutality and systemic racism, using tear gas and taking some activists into custody without explanation. Despite a national outcry over the tactics, Department of Homeland Security officials on Monday said they would not back down and would not apologize.

‘Not made of steel’: Navy vet recounts beating by fed officers (tmn)

People have called David a hero and the Superman of Portland. His reaction:

“They are playing me up as an Iron Man and a Superman. I’m a 53-year-old over-weight man on blood thinners and I have a lot of physical damage from the military. So, I’m not made of steel at all. They could have killed me last night, as my ex-wife and daughter have reminded me 45 times this morning.”

Trump consults Bush torture lawyer on how to skirt law and rule by decree (000)

In a Fox News Sunday interview, Trump declared he would try to use that interpretation to try to force through decrees on healthcare, immigration and “various other plans” over the coming month. The White House consultations with Yoo were first reported by the Axios news website.

Constitutional scholars and human rights activists have also pointed to the deployment of paramilitary federal forces against protesters in Portland as a sign that Trump is ready to use this broad interpretation of presidential powers as a means to suppress basic constitutional rights.

Wall Street Is Throwing Billions at Once-Shunned Gold Miners (Sparky1)

But junior miners are now starting to benefit. Take the case of American Pacific Mining Corp., an exploration and gold-mining firm with market capitalization of less than $20 million. The company raised $3 million in the second quarter, six times more than it had initially planned. Interest was so big that it had to turn away offers for more, said CEO Warwick Smith.

Deepfake used to attack activist couple shows new disinformation frontier (tmn)

Masri and Barnard were taken aback by the allegation, which they deny. But they were also baffled as to why a university student would single them out. Masri said he pulled up Taylor’s profile photo. He couldn’t put his finger on it, he said, but something about the young man’s face “seemed off.”

Six experts interviewed by Reuters say the image has the characteristics of a deepfake.

Hospitals Are Suddenly Short of Young Doctors — Because of Trump’s Visa Ban (tmn)

ProPublica has heard from 10 would-be medical residents stuck abroad because of H1-B visa issues. Six of them had gotten emergency consulate appointments for visa approval, but when they arrived for meetings they were told their visas could not be approved. Three were still waiting on DHS approval for their visas, a necessary step before a visa gets a consulate stamp. One resident had application approval but was denied an emergency consulate interview appointment because of the ban. All were destined for hospital positions treating COVID-19 patients.

Coronavirus Vaccine Tracker (TOF)

Work began in January with the deciphering of the SARS-CoV-2 genome. The first vaccine safety trials in humans started in March, but the road ahead remains uncertain. Some trials will fail, and others may end without a clear result. But a few may succeed in stimulating the immune system to produce effective antibodies against the virus.

Here is the status of all the vaccines that have reached trials in humans, along with a selection of promising vaccines still being tested in cells or animals.

Civil War vaccination kits, discovered in a drawer, yield genetic clues to how smallpox was defeated (tmn)

“One of the reasons you have lifelong immunity is because the virus shifts so little over the course of its history,” said Hendrik Poinar, director of the McMaster University Ancient DNA Centre and a co-author of the paper published Sunday in Genome Biology. “This work points to the importance of looking at the diversity of these vaccine strains. We don’t know how many could provide cross-protection from a wide range of viruses, such as flus or coronaviruses.”

Nat Gas Prices Crash As U.S. Exports Fall (Michael S.)

Last year at this time, natural gas deliveries to U.S. LNG export facilities were setting records, according to the EIA. This year, the pandemic is cramping the style for the cleaner fuel, and inventories are well above the five-year average, at 3.178 billion cubic feet as of July 10. That compares to the year ago levels of 2.515 Bcf, and the five-year average of 2.742 Bcf.

World’s Largest Producer Of Small Gasoline Engines Files For Bankruptcy (Roger B.)

Briggs & Stratton is the world’s top engine designer and manufacturer for outdoor power equipment, with 85% of the small engines produced in the U.S. The pandemic and resulting virus-induced recession have been brutal for the Company, with declining engine sales, resulting in a reduction in the US workforce.

Financial Times noted, in June, the Company had difficulty refinancing a $175 million bond that matured in September. Sources told FT the Company’s deteriorating position made it impossible to obtain refinancing funds in the bond market.

The Climate Expert Who Delivered News No One Wanted to Hear (jdargis)

From early on, the significance of Hansen’s insights was recognized by the scientific community. “The work that he did in the seventies, eighties, and nineties was absolutely groundbreaking,” Spencer Weart, a physicist turned historian who has studied the efforts to understand climate change, told me. He added, “It does help to be right.” “I have a whole folder in my drawer labelled ‘Canonical Papers, ’ ” Michael Oppenheimer, a climate scientist at Princeton, said. “About half of them are Jim’s.”

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