Congressional Democrats are rushing forward to whip up $39.8 billion in additional Ukraine aid, after agreeing to drop a a proposal for additional COVID-19 related funding they planned to combine.
The package, which tops President Joe Biden’s $33 billion request in April, could receive a House vote as soon as Tuesday, with Senate Democrats indicating that they are prepared to move swiftly according to Reuters.
Biden on April 28 asked Congress for $33 billion to support Ukraine, including more than $20 billion in military assistance. That proposal was a dramatic escalation of U.S. funding for the war with Russia. read more
The new proposal includes an additional $3.4 billion for military aid and $3.4 billion in humanitarian aid, the sources said. -Reuters
While emergency aid for Ukraine has had bipartisan support for weeks, disputes over domestic funds for pandemic relief, or whether stiffer immigration controls should be included, have delayed the process.
“We cannot allow our shipments of assistance to stop while we await further congressional action,” read a statement from President Biden, who called on lawmakers to expedite the funding so he could sign it within the next few days.
The urgency comes after Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and top House Republican Kevin McCarthy begging for the funds, which they said would run out in two weeks.
“We need your help” wrote Austin and Blinken, who said there was ‘only’ $100 million left from a presidential authorization of weapons (which required no congressional approval).
“We expect to exhaust that authority no later than May 19, 2022,” the letter continues.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters he was pleased the Ukraine assistance was decoupled from COVID-19 aid. He had advocated for a “clean” Ukraine bill repeatedly in speeches in the Senate. -Reuters
Some Democrats, such as #2 Senator Dick Durban, weren’t happy with the decision.
“It would have been so much better for us to protect the United States as well as worked to protect Ukraine,” said Durban, adding that separating Ukraine aid from COVID-19 aid “doesn’t help. Putting those two together would have been a positive.”
Biden owned stripping the COVID relief from the bill, saying on Monday that he was advised it would slow down action “on the urgently needed Ukrainian aid.”
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UK’s Royal Mint Creates Gay Money to Celebrate 50 Years of LGBTQ+ Pride
The Royal Mint has announced a new 50 pence coin, emblazoned with gay and transgender pride symbols, to celebrate half a century of LGBTQ+ Pride in the United Kingdom.
The new coin produced by the Royal Mint was designed by London-based tattoo artist Dominique Holmes, and features five rainbow flags, and a blue and pink transgender pride triangle, which also features two black and brown stripes to represent gay people of colour.
The coin was created to mark the 50th anniversary of the first LGBTQ+ Pride parade in the UK, which was organised by the Gay Liberation Front and took place in London in 1972. Clare Maclennan, the Director of Commemorative Coin at the Royal Mint said in a statement it was “a privilege” to mark the “milestone celebration” of gay pride.
Pride in London, the group that currently hosts the gay pride event, was invited by the Royal Mint to strike their own coins as part of the launch.
“It was a privilege to visit The Royal Mint as part of our partnership and see our coin being made,” said Asad Shaykh, the Director of Marketing and Communications at Pride in London.
“It humbles me greatly that the words that I coined for the brand, PROTEST, VISIBILITY, UNITY & EQUALITY – will be on an actual coin, opposite the Queen,” Shaykh said.
“This queer brown immigrant has come a long way, powered by hope, love and this city. Nowhere in the world had this been possible, except the UK. Pride in London feels very proud today.”
The press release from the Royal Mint confirmed that the government-owned private company has also created a network of “Diversity and Inclusion champions,” and forced all staff to undergo diversity and inclusion training.
An LGBTQ+ society for employees that holds regular sessions has been created, in order to ensure staff show “allyship” with the community.
The 50p coin will not enter widespread circulation, but will instead be available to buy via the Royal Mint website in the summer, alongside such other coins as the “DIVERSITY BUILT BRITAIN” 50p coin, which was designed to celebrate the “contribution of ethnic minority communities” to British history and culture.
Libs Slam Fox News Host For Asking About Chest Pains After Booster Shot
Fox News anchor John Roberts recently asked his Twitter followers on Wednesday if “anyone out there” is experiencing “chest pain” after getting the COVID-19 vaccine booster injection.
“Question,” tweeted Roberts. “Anyone out there having chest pain after getting the booster..?” The tweet was met with mixed responses. Some users tweeted in the affirmative, and included other medical issues.
Question: anyone out there having chest pain after getting the booster..?
— John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) May 18, 2022
Others, who are ostensibly staunch supporters of the vaccines, slammed the Fox News host for merely asking the question.
“Stop. Please stop. Asking this type of question on Twitter is ridiculous. If you are having chest pains for any reason speak to a doctor. Not Twitter,” said one user.
Stop. Please stop. Asking this type of question on Twitter is ridiculous. If you are having chest pains for any reason speak to a doctor. Not Twitter
— 😺 🗣 Get Vaccinated ✌️👍 (@itsmejono) May 18, 2022
Ok. I don’t think asking questions about chest pain after a booster on Twitter is the smartest thing to do. But you do work for Fox…you could also be having chest pain that has nothing to do with the booster. See a doctor.
— Colin Logan (@logancolin) May 18, 2022
“Ok. I don’t think asking questions about chest pain after a booster on Twitter is the smartest thing to do. But you do work for Fox…you could also be having chest pain that has nothing to do with the booster. See a doctor,” tweeted one user.
Yes but after my initial second Pfizer shot. Before boosters. Now I have my numerous neurological issues.
— Robert Keller (@findcommground) May 18, 2022
“Husband did after 2nd dose. High BP, high heart rate. Thought he was having heart attack at 443. He had heart inflammation and issues for several weeks. Get it checked out!” wrote another.
Husband did after 2nd dose. High BP, high heart rate. Thought he was having heart attack at 43. He had heart inflammation and issues for several weeks. Get it checked out!
— Nicole McGee (@NNMcGee) May 18, 2022
“Curious what prompted the question? Do you have some factual information you will please share regarding this symptom after booster? Chest pains can have different causes. Asking this question can be misleading without more information. I know you would not want to mislead,” tweeted another.
Curious what prompted the question? Do you have some factual information you will please share regarding this symptom after booster? Chest pains can have different causes. Asking this question can be misleading without more information. I know you would not want to mislead.
— WSA (@Susie812) May 18, 2022
One user appeared to accuse Roberts of attempting to “rile up your Fox viewers and spread more false claims about the vaccine” by tweeting the question about chest pains, adding that former Fox News host Shepard Smith did the “morally right move” by leaving the network.
“No. Why would you throw this out on Twitter? To rile up your Fox viewers and spread more false claims about the vaccine? Ask your doctor not Twitter. @thenewsoncnbc Shepard Smith did the morally, right move by leaving @FoxNews” tweeted the user.
No. Why would you throw this out on Twitter? To rile up your Fox viewers and spread more false claims about the vaccine? Ask your doctor not Twitter. @thenewsoncnbc Shepard Smith did the morally, right move by leaving @FoxNews
— Olivia (@OliviaC019) May 18, 2022
Microsoft co-founder and vaccine enthusiast Bill Gates recently said that people aged between 50 and 60 will need “ongoing vaccination” with COVID-19 “booster” injections at least “every 6 months” during an appearance on CNN with host Anderson Cooper, Valiant News reported Tuesday.
“An infection where you get a high viral load would be like vaccination,” Gates said. “Uh, but you know, to be safe, every 6 months, you’re probably going to be vaccinated. As we get more data, they might even make that shorter for people, say 60 or over 70, where the duration seems to be a bit lower.”
Gates then added that “so we’re in for ongoing vaccination to stay absolutely safe.”
Half of Joe Biden’s Twitter followers are fake, audit reveals
At least half of US President Joe Biden’s 22.3 million followers are fake, an independent audit of the social media platform has found.
On Wednesday, Newsweek reported an analysis using software company SparkToro’s audit tool calculated that 49.3% of Biden’s users are “fake followers.”
According to SparkToro, “fake followers” are “accounts that are unreachable and will not see the account’s tweets (either because they’re spam, bots, propaganda, etc. or because they’re no longer active on Twitter).”
The new information further complicates the deal already in the works to sell Twitter to potential buyer Elon Musk, who has raised questions over the company’s claim that only 5% of users are spam bot accounts.
Responding to Newsweek‘s report Wednesday, Musk remarked, “Interesting,” and added, “So … [checks calculator] … that would be like 10 times more than 5%.”
So … [checks calculator] … that would be like 10 times more than 5%— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 18, 2022
On Tuesday, Musk announced the deal was put on hold, tweeting, “My offer was based on Twitter’s SEC filings being accurate. Yesterday, Twitter’s CEO publicly refused to show proof of <5%. This deal cannot move forward until he does.”
20% fake/spam accounts, while 4 times what Twitter claims, could be *much* higher.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 17, 2022
My offer was based on Twitter’s SEC filings being accurate.
Yesterday, Twitter’s CEO publicly refused to show proof of <5%.
This deal cannot move forward until he does.
While Musk initially offered to purchase Twitter for $54.20 a share, the company’s stock price has dropped precipitously to $36.84 weeks after the offer.
Replying to Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal’s lengthy thread Monday claiming it’d be impossible to calculate the actual number of bots on the platform, Musk responded with a poop emoji and commented the figures are necessary to market the company to advertisers.
Musk has called on the company to “welcome external validation” of their 5% bot claim.
Newsweek reports the SparkToro tool found as many as 70.2% of Musk’s 93 million followers are also bots.
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