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Intel report on Nord Stream culprit, bill outright bans TikTok: March 8 rundown

Mar 08, 2023

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A new report suggesting a pro-Ukraine group could be responsible for the Nord Stream gas pipeline explosions; the Senate is looking to pass a bill that would give the White House the ability to ban TikTok in the U.S.; and the United Nations says women’s rights in Afghanistan have deteriorated since the Taliban took over. These stories and more highlight the daily rundown for Wednesday morning, March 8, 2023. 

Pro-Ukraine group may be behind Nord Stream leaks

Intelligence officials in the United States and Europe now suspect a pro-Ukraine group could be responsible for explosions that severely damaged the Nord Stream pipelines six months ago.

According to the Washington Post, a senior Western security official said governments investigating the Nord Stream pipeline bombings uncovered evidence that pro-Ukraine individuals discussed the possibility of carrying out an attack on the Nord Stream pipelines before the explosions occurred.

The officials who spoke with the Post said there is still no direct forensic evidence from the blast site that concretely ties the sabotage back to any country. And that the pro-Ukrainian group they now suspect has no found ties to Ukraine’s president or any other Ukrainian officials.

“For me, it’s a little bit of a strange story because it’s not this story it’s nothing with us. And I think that the investigation of official authorities will describe every detail because it’s like a compliment for our special forces. But this is not our activity,” said Ukraine Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov.

This is the latest to come out of several investigations into Nord Stream and there are still no concrete answers.

White House backs Senate TikTok bill

U.S. senators introduced a bill on Tuesday that would give the White House new powers to ban the app TikTok and other foreign-based technologies if they pose national security threats. The bill already has the backing of the Biden administration. A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced the legislation.

If it were to pass, the White House would be able to ban TikTok from all devices in the U.S. More than 100 million Americans currently use the app. The bill was introduced on the grounds of security concerns.

The ban is for the same reason dozens of states enacted a TikTok ban on government issued devices, followed by the White House enacting the same ban across government issued phones and electronics.

This Senate bill is different, it’s a sweeping ban that would give the White House the authority to ban the app outright in the U.S.

“It’s important to establish a holistic and methodical approach to the challenges that are posed by technology from foreign adversaries. It’s safe to assume that if the CCP is willing to lie about its spy balloon and cover up the origins of the worst pandemic in 100 years, they’ll lie about using TikTok to spy on American citizens,” said Sen. John Thune, R-S.D. 

Afghan women’s rights diminish

A new report released by the United Nations Wednesday morning reveals Afghanistan has become the most repressive country in the world for women and girls following the U.S. withdrawal and Taliban takeover in the region.

In a statement released Wednesday, on International Women’s Day, the U.N. said new rulers in Afghanistan have imposed rules that leave most women effectively trapped in their homes. Girls can no longer continue an education after the sixth grade. Women are banned from public spaces such as parks or gyms and limited on work opportunities, and they must stay covered from head to toe. The U.N. says the consequences of repressing women will be felt across Afghanistan, including a rise in poverty and further isolation from the rest of the world.

Arrests made in Iran poisonings

Meanwhile in Iran, where protests over women’s rights have continued for around six-months, school girls have been found poisoned by the hundreds. Now, arrests have been made.

At first it was speculation whether the more than 1,000 schoolgirls poisoned was a deliberate act.

Iran’s supreme leader said this week if the investigation found anyone responsible for such poisonings, it would be an unforgivable crime punishable by death. Officials have released limited details on the arrests. They have only said multiple arrests have been made in five provinces. None of the 1,200 reported poisonings have resulted in death and most of the girls recovered after a few days.

Opioid poisonings in children rise

A new study released Wednesday morning indicates a rise in opioid poisonings of children ages five and under. The study has found the rate of fatal opioid poisonings more than doubled over a 13 year span. Among poison-related fatalities, over-the-counter pain medication, cold and allergy medication, and opioids all contributed to child deaths.

In 2005, a quarter of child poisonings were caused by opioids, but opioids accounted for more than half of the deaths by 2018. 731 children total died from accidental poisonings. More than 40% of deaths were infants less than a year old.

While study authors are concerned about the rise in opioid overdoses among children, they point out the number of overall deadly poisonings has decreased since 1970 when legislation passed that required medications be kept in child-proof packaging.

Adidas posts losses after Ye breakup

Sometimes a breakup can come at a cost. As for Adidas and rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, cutting ties late last year, it’s in the pockets where it’s hurt Adidas most.

The German sportswear giant posted a fourth quarter operating loss worth $763 million. Adidas is now projecting a full-year operating loss of $700 million for 2023, marking its first annual loss in three decades.

The estimate includes a hit of more than $500 million in potential Yeezy inventory write-offs as the company still holds onto a stock of unsold Yeezy shoes stained by antisemitic remarks Ye made last year.

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KARAH RUCKER:  TOP STORIES ON THIS WEDNESDAY — THE SENATE IS LOOKING TO PASS A BILL THAT WOULD GIVE THE WHITE HOUSE THE ABILITY TO BAN TIKTOK IN THE U.S. AND THE UNITED NATIONS SAYS WOMEN’S RIGHTS IN AFGHANISTAN HAVE DETERIORATED SINCE THE TALIBAN TOOK OVER.

BUT FIRST THE MYSTERY OF WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE NORD STREAM GAS PIPELINE EXPLOSIONS HAS DEEPENED —

WITH A NEW REPORT SUGGESTING A PRO-UKRAINE GROUP COULD BE RESPONSIBLE.

THIS IS STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS. UNBIASED. STRAIGHT FACTS.

PRO-UKRAINE GROUP MAY BE BEHIND NORD STREAM LEAKS

INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS IN THE UNITED STATES AND EUROPE NOW SUSPECT A PRO UKRAINE GROUP COULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR EXPLOSIONS THAT SEVERELY DAMAGED THE NORD STREAM PIPELINES SIX MONTHS AGO.

ACCORDING TO THE WASHINGTON POST – A SENIOR WESTERN SECURITY OFFICIAL SAID GOVERNMENTS INVESTIGATING THE NORDSTREAM PIPELINE BOMBINGS UNCOVERED EVIDENCE THAT PRO-UKRAINE INDIVIDUALS — DISCUSSED THE POSSIBILITY OF CARRYING OUT AN ATTACK ON THE NORD STREAM PIPELINES BEFORE THE EXPLOSIONS OCCURRED.

THE OFFICIALS WHO SPOKE WITH THE POST SAID THERE IS STILL NO DIRECT FORENSIC EVIDENCE FROM THE BLAST SITE THAT CONCRETELY TIES THE SABOTAGE BACK TO ANY COUNTRY.

AND THAT THE PRO-UKRAINIAN GROUP THEY NOW SUSPECT HAS NO FOUND TIES TO UKRAINE’S PRESIDENT OR ANY OTHER UKRAINIAN OFFICIALS.

Oleksii Reznikov | Ukraine Defense Minister: “For me, it’s a little bit of a strange story because it’s not this story it’s nothing with us. And I think that the investigation of official authorities will describe every detail because… it’s like a compliment for our special forces. But this is not our activity.”

THIS IS THE LATEST TO COME OUT OF SEVERAL INVESTIGATIONS INTO NORD STREAM — STILL WITH NO CONCRETE ANSWERS.

WHITE HOUSE BACKS SENATE TIKTOK BILL

U.S. SENATORS INTRODUCED A BILL ON TUESDAY THAT WOULD GIVE THE WHITE HOUSE NEW POWERS TO BAN THE APP TIK-TOK — AND OTHER FOREIGN-BASED TECHNOLOGIES — IF THEY POSE NATIONAL SECURITY THREATS.

THE BILL ALREADY HAS THE BACKING OF THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION.

A BIPARTISAN GROUP OF LAWMAKERS INTRODUCED THE LEGISLATION.

IF IT WERE TO PASS – THE WHITE HOUSE WOULD BE ABLE TO BAN THE APP TIKTOK FROM ALL DEVICES IN THE U.S. MORE THAN 100 MILLION AMERICANS CURRENTLY USE THE APP.

THE BILL WAS INTRODUCED ON THE GROUNDS OF SECURITY CONCERNS.

THE SAME REASON WHY DOZENS OF STATES ENACTED A TIKTOK BAN ON GOVERNMENT ISSUED DEVICES FOLLOWED BY THE WHITE HOUSE ENACTING THE SAME BAN ACROSS GOVERNMENT ISSUED PHONES AND ELECTRONICS.

THIS SENATE-BILL IS DIFFERENT — IT’S A SWEEPING BAN THAT WOULD GIVE THE WHITE HOUSE THE AUTHORITY TO BAN THE APP OUTRIGHT IN THE U.S.

Sen. John Thune | (R) South Dakota: “It’s important to establish a holistic and methodical approach to the challenges that are posed by technology from foreign adversaries. It’s safe to assume that if the CCP is willing to lie about its spy balloon and cover up the origins of the worst pandemic in 100 years, they’ll lie about using TikTok to spy on American citizens.”

AFGHAN WOMEN’S RIGHTS DIMINISH

A NEW REPORT RELEASED BY THE UNITED NATIONS THIS MORNING REVEALS AFGHANISTAN HAS BECOME “THE MOST REPRESSIVE IN THE WORLD FOR WOMEN AND GIRLS” FOLLOWING THE U.S. WITHDRAWAL AND TALIBAN-TAKEOVER IN THE REGION.

IN A STATEMENT RELEASED TODAY — ON “INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY” — THE U-N SAID NEW RULERS IN AFGHANISTAN HAVE IMPOSED RULES THAT LEAVE MOST WOMEN EFFECTIVELY TRAPPED IN THEIR HOMES. GIRLS CAN NO LONGER CONTINUE AN EDUCATION AFTER THE SIXTH GRADE. WOMEN ARE BANNED FROM PUBLIC SPACES SUCH AS PARKS OR GYMS – LIMITED ON WORK OPPORTUNITIES — AND MUST STAY COVERED FROM HEAD TO TOE. THE U-N SAYS THE CONSEQUENCES OF REPRESSING WOMEN WILL BE FELT ACROSS AFGHANISTAN..INCLUDING A RISE IN POVERTY AND FURTHER ISOLATION FROM THE REST OF THE WORLD.

ARRESTS MADE IN IRAN POISONINGS

MEANWHILE IN IRAN — WHERE PROTESTS OVER WOMEN’S RIGHTS HAVE CONTINUED FOR SOME-SIX-MONTHS — SCHOOL GIRLS HAVE BEEN FOUND POISONED BY THE HUNDREDS. AND NOW — ARRESTS HAVE BEEN MADE.

AT FIRST IT WAS SPECULATION WHETHER THE MORE THAN ONE THOUSAND SCHOOLGIRLS POISONED WAS A DELIBERATE ACT.

IRAN’S SUPREME LEADER SAID THIS WEEK IF THE INVESTIGATION FOUND ANYONE RESPONSIBLE FOR SUCH POISONINGS — IT WOULD BE AN UNFORGIVABLE CRIME PUNISHABLE BY DEATH. OFFICIALS HAVE RELEASED LIMITED DETAILS ON THE ARRESTS — ONLY SAYING “MULTIPLE” ARRESTS HAVE BEEN MADE IN “FIVE PROVINCES.” NONE OF THE 12 HUNDRED REPORTED POISONINGS HAVE RESULTED IN DEATH – AND MOST GIRLS RECOVERED AFTER A FEW DAYS.

OPIOID POISONINGS IN CHILDREN RISE

A NEW STUDY RELEASED THIS MORNING INDICATES A RISE IN OPIOID POISONINGS OF CHILDREN FIVE AND UNDER.

THE STUDY HAS FOUND THE RATE OF FATAL OPIOID POISONINGS MORE THAN DOUBLED OVER A 13 YEAR SPAN. AMONG POISON-RELATED FATALITIES — OVER-THE-COUNTER PAIN MEDICATION, COLD AND ALLERGY MEDICATION, AND OPIOIDS ALL CONTRIBUTED TO CHILD DEATHS.

IN 2005 — A QUARTER OF CHILD POISONINGS WERE CAUSED BY OPIOIDS.

BUT OPIOIDS ACCOUNTED FOR MORE THAN HALF OF THE DEATHS BY 2018.

731 CHILDREN TOTAL DIED FROM ACCIDENTAL POISONINGS. MORE THAN 40 PERCENT OF DEATHS WERE INFANTS LESS THAN A YEAR OLD.

STUDY: CHILDPROOF PACKAGING IS HELPING

WHILE STUDY AUTHORS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE RISE IN OPIOID OVERDOSES AMONG CHILDREN – THEY POINT OUT THE NUMBER OF OVERALL DEADLY POISONINGS HAS DECREASED SINCE 1970 WHEN LEGISLATION PASSED THAT REQUIRED MEDICATIONS BE KEPT IN CHILDPROOF PACKAGING.

ADIDAS POSTS LOSSES AFTER YE BREAK-UP

SOMETIMES A BREAK UP CAN COME AT A COST – AND AS FOR ADIDAS AND RAPPER YE CUTTING TIES LATE LAST YEAR – IT’S IN THE POCKETS WHERE IT’S HURT ADIDAS MOST. THE GERMAN SPORTSWEAR GIANT POSTED A FOURTH QUARTER OPERATING LOSS WORTH 763 MILLION DOLLARS.

ADIDAS IN NOW PROJECTING A FULL-YEAR OPERATING LOSS OF 700 MILLION DOLLARS FOR 2023 — MARKING ITS FIRST ANNUAL LOSS IN THREE DECADES.

 THE ESTIMATE INCLUDES A HIT OF MORE THAN 500 MILLION DOLLARS IN POTENTIAL YEEZY INVENTORY WRITE-OFFS — AS THE COMPANY STILL HOLDS ONTO A STOCK OF UNSOLD YEEZY SHOES — STAINED BY ANTI-SEMITIC REMARKS YE MADE LAST YEAR.


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