Overnight News Digest: According to study 'Viagra can be used to treat Alzheimers' – Daily Kos

Headlines from today:
BREAKING: Rep. Jim Jordan claims on Newsmax that Democrats are akin to the “evil of slavery” and “Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany”and must be defeated in the same way — an odd claim from a man who covered up sexual abuse while coaching at Ohio State. RT TO EXPOSE “GYM” JORDAN!
C/NET
Cyberattacks grabbed headlines throughout 2021 as massive disruptions affected government agencies, major companies and even supply chains for essential goods like gasoline and meat.
The year started off on a sour security note. In January, the FBI, the National Security Agency and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency jointly suggested that Russia was responsible for an attack against SolarWinds, a Texas-based company whose software was used by everyone from the federal government to railroads, hospitals and major tech companies.
C/NET
The US Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Tesla after a whistleblower complained that the company failed to provide adequate warning of fire risks created by defects in its solar panels, Reuters reported Monday. The disclosure of the probe apparently followed a Freedom of Information Act request by former Tesla field quality manager Steven Henkes.
Henkes was fired from Tesla last year and sued the company, alleging he lost his job for raising safety concerns.
In the SEC complaint, he said that Tesla didn’t notify customers or regulators that defective electrical connectors could result in fires, according to Reuters. Instead, the company seemingly told them that it had to conduct maintenance on the system to avoid shutdowns. More than 60,000 US residential customers and 500 government and commercial accounts were affected by the issue, Reuters reported.
BBC
The US has announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China.
The White House said no official delegation would be sent to the Games because of concerns about China’s human rights record.
But it said US athletes could attend and would have the government’s full support.
China has previously said it will take “resolute counter-measures” in the event of a boycott.
US President Joe Biden said last month that he was weighing up a diplomatic boycott of the event.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the boycott on Monday, saying that while US athletes would have the “full support” of the government, the administration would not contribute to the “fanfare” of the Olympics.

Another who has ignored physics. pic.twitter.com/kD7x6GOCxH

BBC
Global supply shortages have hit toy shops in the US and coffee producers in Brazil. In Canada, the country’s liquid gold – maple syrup – is running low.
The Quebec Maple Syrup Producers (QMSP) – the so-called Opec of maple syrup – has released about 22m kg from its emergency larder, nearly half the total in reserve.
Booming demand and a shortened harvest had caused the shortfall, QMSP said.
It is the first time in three years the reserve has been used.
“That’s why the reserve is made, to never miss maple syrup. And we won’t miss maple syrup!” Helene Normandin of QMSP told US public radio.
Quebec, Canada’s Francophone province, produces almost three-quarters of the world’s maple syrup.
The Guardian, International Edition
Facebook’s negligence facilitated the genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar after the social media network’s algorithms amplified hate speech and the platform failed to take down inflammatory posts, according to legal action launched in the US and the UK.
The platform faces compensation claims worth more than £150bn under the coordinated move on both sides of the Atlantic.
A class action complaint lodged with the northern district court in San Francisco says Facebook was “willing to trade the lives of the Rohingyapeople for better market penetration in a small country in south-east Asia.”
It adds: “In the end, there was so little for Facebook to gain from its continued presence in Burma, and the consequences for the Rohingya people could not have been more dire. Yet, in the face of this knowledge, and possessing the tools to stop it, it simply kept marching forward.”
The Guardian, International Edition
The US has said it would send reinforcements to Nato’s eastern flank in the wake of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as imposing severe new economic measures, in a warning to Moscow on the eve of talks between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin.
Biden will also make clear to Putin that the US will not rule out future Ukrainian membership of Nato, as the Russian leader has demanded, a senior US official said.
With an estimated Russian 100,000 troops already gathered within striking distance of the borders, the crisis is the worst since 2015, when Moscow staged a large-scale incursion into Ukraine, clandestinely sending tanks and artillery to encircle Ukrainian troops and compel Kyiv to sign a peace agreement in Minsk that has since come close to collapse.
The Guardian, US Edition
It is a festive family photo with seven broad smiles and a Christmas tree. But one other detail sets it apart: each member of the Massie family is brandishing a machine gun or military-style rifle.

We are now in month 12 of the Biden presidency, and Louis DeJoy is still postmaster general.

His destructive 10-year plan for the Post Office—slowing mail delivery, hiking prices for consumers, and speeding up privatization—is in full effect.

How is this not a national scandal?

The Guardian, US Edition
The US Department of Justice is suing Texas over its new electoral maps, saying the plans violate the Voting Rights Act by making it more difficult for Black and Latino voters to elect their preferred candidates.
The Guardian, UK Edition
The Omicron variant of coronavirus is likely to be more widespread in the UK than official numbers suggest owing to patchy monitoring and a time lag in the data, scientists and officials have said.
Ministers said 336 cases had been identified by whole-genome sequencing, but experts said numbers were expected to be much higher given the variant’s potential for exponential growth and the fact it takes five to seven days for a case to be confirmed.
Sajid Javid, the health secretary, said there was community transmission of Omicron “across multiple regions of England”, and two scientists predicted that the variant would be dominant in the UK within the next “month or so”.
The quickest way of identifying Omicron cases is to check that the coronavirus S-gene cannot be detected in a sample, although it is not the only variant that gives such as a result.
The Guardian, Australian Edition
Legal experts have labelled Scott Morrison’s latest attacks on the New South Wales corruption watchdog “disgraceful” and “stupid”, as the Liberal party ramps up efforts to have Gladys Berejiklian contest the federal seat of Warringah.
On Monday, the prime minister doubled down on his previous comments in parliament last week when he called the Independent Commission Against Corruption a “kangaroo court,” and accused it of trying to “publicly humiliate” the former NSW premier.
“Gladys was put in a position of actually having to stand down and there was no findings of anything,” Morrison said on Monday, in advance of any possible findings by Icac. Berejiklian resigned voluntarily in September, in line with her own ruling that an MP who is a substantial subject of an investigation must stand aside.
“I don’t call that justice. What I saw was a pile on,” Morrison said.
The Guardian, All Editions
Viagra could be a useful treatment against Alzheimer’s disease, according to a US study.
Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of age-related dementia, affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Despite mounting numbers of cases, however, there is currently no effective treatment.
Using a large gene-mapping network, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic integrated genetic and other data to determine which of more than 1,600 Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs could be an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. They gave higher scores to drugs that target both amyloid and tau – two hallmarks of Alzheimer’s – compared with drugs that targeted just one or the other.
Al Jazeera
Beirut, Lebanon – Walking confidently through the maze of narrow streets in Lebanon’s Shatila refugee camp, social worker Sanaa Kaiss smiled back as she was greeted by nods of the head and raised hands.
Kaiss, with the grassroots Association Najdeh, has worked in the Palestinian encampment in the southwest of Beirut for almost 25 years, but never lived through a crisis as worrying as the current one.
“In the morning, one can afford something and by the afternoon one no longer can because the price has gone up,” Kaiss explained.
As Lebanon plunged deeper into one of the world’s worst economic meltdowns, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) last week sounded the alarmabout a major funding gap that could further cut access to basic services for about 200,000 Palestinian refugees.

The speed of light through Diamond is only 60% as fast as through Glass. So if you kissed a Diamond mirror and turned your head within a ten billionth of a second, the reflection of your lips would hit your cheek.

Al Jazeera
In a statement on Sunday, the leader of the TPLF, Debretsion Gebremichael, denied the government was scoring big victories, saying the rebels were making strategic territorial adjustments and remained undefeated.
Martin Plaut, a senior researcher at the University of London, told Al Jazeera the recapture of Dessie and Konbolcha would be “very significant”.
“The Tigrayans have been pushed a long way back. They have been pushed back through towns and villages that they fought extremely hard to take. They must have lost many lives in order to capture them,” he said via Skype from London.
Deutsche Welle
Germany’s environmentalist Greens announced on Monday that its members had agreed to enter a coalition with the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) and the neoliberal Free Democrats (FDP).
The “yes” vote from members of the party — the last of the three to give its approval to the so-called traffic light coalition — has paved the way for the first government in 16 years without Angela Merkel as chancellor.
Altogether 86% of valid votes were in favor of the coalition agreement. Around 57% of the party’s 125,000 members cast a ballot, according to the party’s general secretary, Michael Kellner.
Party co-leader Annalena Baerbock said the result would give impetus to the work in the new government.
DW News (12/5/2021)
Almost two-thirds of residents in Germany would back a mandate for COVID-19 vaccines, a poll released on Sunday found.
The results showed 63% of respondents supported plans to make immunization obligatory. Less than a third were opposed and 7% gave no answer.
The YouGov survey for German news agency DPA involved more than 2,000 people who were interviewed last week.
The poll comes days after the government announced its plan to make vaccinations against COVID mandatory in the coming months.
On Saturday, incoming Chancellor Olaf Scholz promised a “completely new campaign” so that millions of people could be vaccinated “in this month of December.”
BuzzFeed News
A New York man was arrested and charged on Monday for threatening to attack partygoers at the 2021 New York City Pride March with “firepower” that would “make the 2016 Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting look like a cakewalk.”
Robert Fehring, a 74-year-old resident of Bayport, New York, allegedly mailed a series of letters to LGBTQ organizations, businesses, and individuals between May and September this year, threatening to shoot and bomb them, according to a criminal complaint unsealed in federal court.

“Keep going on behalf of human rights, civil rights, women’s rights for a better future” — @HillaryClinton addresses hundreds of Georgetown students gathered to watch her depart after her speech here earlier today. pic.twitter.com/bnv0XVbwE4

ProPublica
Most people told her the COVID-19 vaccine helped them feel safer, but Barbara Hawkins worried it would make her sick.
Uninsured and without a regular doctor, she feared that side effects could aggravate her heart condition. Her friends and family, mostly vaccinated, reassured her that they wouldn’t.
Finally, on a Friday morning in late November, Hawkins drove two of her children to a vaccination event at a nearby high school. She sat in a metal chair in the gymnasium, under an array of years-old championship banners, where she and her 15-year-old and 6-year-old daughters rolled up their sleeves.
Bangkok Post
Thailand has detected its first case of Omicron.
The coronavirus variant was found in an American businessman of Thai descent who arrived in the country from Spain, senior Public Health Ministry officials said on Monday.
Department of Medical Sciences director-general Supakit Sirilak said the new variant was detected in an RT-PCR test conducted when the 35-year-old man arrived in Thailand.
NPR
Texas already has the most restrictive abortion laws in the U.S. — and they got tougher on Dec. 1. That’s when a new law went into effect that adds penalties of jail time and a fine up to $10,000 for anyone who prescribes pills for medication abortions via telehealth and the mail.
Texas bans all abortions after cardiac activity can be detected in the embryo, which is usually about six weeks into a pregnancy and is often before a woman knows she is pregnant. Medication abortions via telehealth or mail were already illegal in Texas, and the new criminal penalties went into effect on the same day that the Supreme Court heard arguments in a Mississippi case that ultimately could overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that established a constitutional right to abortion.
NPR
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., an ally of former President Donald Trump, is resigning from his congressional seat to become CEO of Trump’s new media company that aims to launch its own social media platform.
Nunes, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, gained admiration from the right and scorn from the left as he defended the former president during the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
[…]
Nunes, a longtime critic of Big Tech who unsuccessfully tried to sue Twitter, could have faced new hurdles in a reelection bid. Draft California redistricting maps showed Nunes’ district would very likely be harder for him to win in 2022.
In his public statement, he didn’t mention any of that.
The bolding above is mine.
Having been in closed door hearings with him leading up to the first impeachment, I can tell you definitively: Devin Nunes is straight up dumb. Can’t wait to see him “lead” Trump’s media company into the ground.

NPR
Medina Spirit, whose 2021 Kentucky Derby win is under dispute, collapsed and died after a routine workout on Monday morning at the Santa Anita racetrack in Southern California.
The three-year-old colt died suddenly from what appears to have been a cardiac event, according to the on-site veterinary team that attended to him.
“My entire barn is devastated by this news,” Bob Baffert, the horse’s trainer, said in a statement. “Medina Spirit was a great champion, a member of our family who was loved by all, and we are deeply mourning his loss. I will always cherish the proud and personal memories of Medina Spirit and his tremendous spirit.”

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