DML Morning Briefing Fri. Jan. 29: China getting bold, Gamestock upheaval, PETA goes on a rant… and more!
By Team DML
Today is January 29 and I am Dennis Michael Lynch.
1 – US urges calm after China tells Taiwan independence means war
Fox News reports: The U.S. on Thursday called for calm just hours after a top official from China vowed that Taiwan;s independence would mean war with Taipei.
John Kirby, a Pentagon press secretary, told reporters that the U.S. sees “no reason why tensions over Taiwan need to lead to anything like confrontation,” according to the BBC.
Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said at an earlier press conference that recent “military activities” in the Taiwan Straits “are necessary actions to address the current security situation” there and then he warned, “Those who play with fire will burn themselves, and ‘Taiwan independence’ means war.”
Kirby said the comment was “unfortunate and certainly not commensurate with our intentions to meet our obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act.”
The Washington Examiner further reported on the situation: Secretary of State Antony Blinken is pledging U.S. protection for the Philippines after an aggressive move from China that Manila deems “a verbal threat of war,” wasting little time in sending a warning to a top adversary early in the Biden administration.
DML: But Joe says China is just our “biggest competitor.”
2 – GameStop stock explodes again as Robinhood lifts restrictions
The New York Post reports: The Reddit rally is back. GameStop’s stock price exploded once again Friday after the Robinhood app eased restrictions on trading that outraged rookie investors.
The video-game retailer’s shares surged 101 percent in premarket trading to $389.50 as of 6:27 a.m. as traders on Reddit’s “WallStreetBets” forum continued to talk it up as their golden goose.
That put the stock on pace to more than recoup the 44 percent drop it suffered Thursday as Robinhood barred investors from buying shares of GameStop and other companies that have been pumped up by the 5.8 million-member message board.
The fast-growing forum has been the launching pad for a populist insurrection in the stock market. Reddit traders have pushed up stocks that institutional investors have shorted, or bet against. Those bets have led to hefty losses as the share prices soared.
DML: I spoke about this in yesterday’s podcast. If you missed it, listen below:
3 – Thousands of troops and DOD workers refusing COVID vaccine as cases mount
The Washington Examiner reports: Normally, members of the military don’t have a lot of choice when it comes to getting required vaccinations, but because the COVID-19 vaccine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration under an emergency use authorization, it cannot be mandated. And despite rising case numbers — 138,763 in the military, with more than 90,000 recovered, almost 1,300 hospitalized, and 17 dead — many troops are declining the vaccine.
“In general, the trends are very similar to what we’re seeing in the U.S. population as a whole, that the older population has been more willing to take the vaccine,” said Air Force Brig. Gen. Paul Friedrichs during a Pentagon briefing yesterday. “The younger population has been a bit more hesitant about it, and, you know, I think that’s understandable. I think as we go forward and we educate our population about the safety of the vaccine, we hope and trust that that will allay some of the concerns.”
“This gets into the fact that this is voluntary,” he said. “We are not compelling people to take a vaccine. This is truly something that they have to volunteer for.”
How many troops are turning down inoculations? The Pentagon can’t, or won’t, say. As of yesterday, the Defense Department has received 769,000 doses of the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines and has given shots to some 320,000 people, including some front-line civilian workers.
DML: Share your opinion below!
4 – Biden Administration To Offer Coronavirus Vaccine to Gitmo Detainees
Breitbart reports: The Biden administration plans to offer coronavirus vaccines to detainees held at the U.S. military prison in Guantánamo Bay, the New York Times reported on Thursday evening.
According to the report, the Pentagon will offer the coronavirus vaccine, which remains in high demand, to the terror suspects “possibly starting next week, according to a prosecutor in the case against five prisoners accused of conspiring in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.”
According to the report, detainees could begin receiving the vaccine, which will be administered on a voluntary basis, as early as Monday. It is not yet publicly known if Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, and his co-conspirators have agreed to be vaccinated.
DML: Tell me what you think about this one in comments section below.
5 – PETA Doesn’t Want You To Use Insults Like ‘Pig’, ‘Chicken’
The Daily Caller reports: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) really doesn’t want you to insult people by calling them the names of animals.
So much so, in fact, that the nonprofit organization tweeted out a PSA on Tuesday:
“Words can create a more inclusive world, or perpetuate oppression. Calling someone an animal as an insult reinforces the myth that humans are superior to other animals & justified in violating them. Stand up for justice by rejecting supremacist language.”
“Anti-animal slurs degrade animals by applying negative human traits to certain species. Perpetuating the idea that animals are sly, dirty, or heartless desensitizes the public and normalizes violence against other animals.”
“Speciesist language isn’t just harmful, but it is also inaccurate. Pigs, for instance, are intelligent, lead complex social lives, and show empathy for other pigs in distress. Snakes are clever, have family relationships, and prefer to associate with their relatives.”
“PETA urges everyone who believes in equality and justice to take a look at their personal beliefs and the language they use, and break free of this outdated mindset that denigrates other animals. Always be kind and consider not using insults at all.”
DML: We just can’t make this stuff up, folks!!