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Michael Flynn says Covid was created by ‘global elites’ who are already plotting their next virus

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Disgraced former Donald Trump aide Michael Flynn has pushed another conspiracy theory, this time involving an unknown “global elite type of people” who he claimed were orchestrating the Covid-19 pandemic and are now planning to “impose” a new virus on the public.

Mr Flynn, a former national security adviser to the 45th president, said there was going to be an “uptick in other aspects of the Covid (sic)”.

“We got the various variants. There might be another form of a SARS that’s imposed on the international system, right?” he said in an interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on Wednesday.

“Their little plan with Covid didn’t work because too many people, you know, the world of what I call the digital warriors or the citizen journalists that are out there. They are fighting for the truth, and so the truth has been exposed about all the Covid tyranny that we are facing,” he added.

“So I think what we’re going to see is potentially another type of virus that’s imposed on the public,” he further said, without backing up the statement with any kind of evidence.

The former army general, who has pushed conspiracy theories revolving around the QAnon movement, also made another evidence-free claim about the US economy, which he said would soon plunge into what he called a “controlled depression”.

“I believe that we are gonna see a couple of things. I think we’re gonna see… and I call it a controlled depression. Some type of financial, you know… just a manipulation or a financial collapse,” he said.

He pleaded guilty twice before the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for making false statements, but was pardoned by Mr Trump before he could be sentenced. Mr Flynn worked as Mr Trump’s first national security adviser before being fired for misleading former vice president Mike Pence and lying to the FBI.

Earlier in September, he claimed without evidence, that Covid vaccines were being injected into salad dressing and imposed on people.

At a far-right conference featuring a flurry of Trump loyalists and anti-vaccination doctors last week, Mr Flynn said America must have “one religion under god”.

“If we are going to have one nation under god, which we must, we have to have one religion,” he said.

Mr Flynn faced backlash for his comments where critics warned about history repeating itself with respect to the Holocaust.

He had previously called for a military coup to reinstate the former president. He was sent a subpoena by the committee to testify about an Oval Office meeting he attended last December about pushing false claims that the election was stolen from Mr Trump.

Meanwhile, a House Democrat has urged the Pentagon to revoke Mr Flynn’s military pension because of the retired army general’s role in Mr Trump’s effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

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Investors continue to watch omicron Covid variant

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SINGAPORE — Shares in Japan looked set for a lower open on Monday as investors in Asia monitor developments surrounding the recently discovered omicron Covid variant.

The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 28,365, against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 28,751.62.

Shares in Australia slipped in morning trade as the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.89%.

Stock picks and investing trends from CNBC Pro:

Oil prices surge more than 2%

Oil prices were higher in the morning of Asia trading hours.

International benchmark Brent crude futures were up 2.9% to $74.83 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 3.54% to $70.56 per barrel. On Friday, oil saw its worst day of 2021 amid renewed Covid fears.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.251 after a recent drop from above 96.4.The Japanese yen, widely seen as a safe-haven currency, traded at 113.74 per dollar after strengthening sharply late last week from above 114.8 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.714, having dropped last week from above $0.725.

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Trump challenges media and Democrats to debate his electoral fraud lie | Donald Trump

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Donald Trump has challenged leading editors and politicians to debate him in public over his lie that Joe Biden beat him in 2020 through electoral fraud.

In a typically rambling statement on Sunday, the former president complained about “the heads of the various papers [and] far left politicians” and said: “If anyone would like a public debate on the facts, not the fiction, please let me know. It will be a ratings bonanza for television!”

Despite Trump’s insistence that “the 2020 election was rigged and stolen” – and his well-known fixation on TV ratings – it was not.

Even William Barr, an attorney general widely seen as willing to run interference for Trump, publicly stated there was no evidence of widespread electoral fraud.

Biden beat Trump by more than 7m in the popular vote and by 306-232 in the electoral college, a result Trump called a landslide when he beat Hillary Clinton by it in 2016. Clinton also beat him in the popular vote.

Trump’s proposal of a public debate – which seemed unlikely to bear fruit – extended to what he called “members of the highly partisan unselect committee of Democrats who refuse to delve into what caused the 6 January protest”.

The attack on the US Capitol, Trump said, was caused by “the fake election results”.

In a way, he was right. It was his lies about the election which led to the deaths of five people around the attack on Congress by a mob seeking to stop certification of Biden’s win, some chanting that Trump’s vice-president, Mike Pence, should be hanged.

At a rally near the White House shortly before the riot, Trump told supporters to “fight like hell” in his cause. He was impeached for inciting an insurrection but acquitted when only seven GOP senators found him guilty, not enough to convict.

On Sunday, Adam Schiff, the Democratic chair of the House intelligence committee and a member of the 6 January panel, told CNN: “We tried to hold the former president accountable through impeachment. That’s the remedy that we have in Congress. We are now trying to expose the full facts of the former president’s misconduct as well as those around him.”

To adapt the Tennessee Republican Howard Baker’s famous question about Richard Nixon and Watergate, the House committee is focusing on what Trump knew about plans for protest and possible violence on 6 January – and when he knew it.

'Will you shut up, man?': Biden and Trump clash in first US presidential debate – video
‘Will you shut up, man?’: Biden and Trump clash in first US presidential debate – video

Numerous Trump aides and allies have been served with subpoenas. Most, like the former White House strategist Steve Bannon, who has pleaded not guilty to contempt of Congress in the first such case since 1983, have refused to cooperate.

Schiff said a decision on a possible contempt charge for Mark Meadows, Trump’s last White House chief of staff, would likely be made in the coming week.

It seems unlikely any senior figure in the US media or among Democrats in Congress or state governments will take up Trump’s challenge to debate him in public.

Observers including the former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who helped Trump prepare for his debates against Biden, agree that a near-berserk performance in the first such contest did significant damage to Trump’s chances of re-election.

At one point on a chaotic evening in Cleveland in September, Biden was so exasperated as to plead: “Would you shut up, man? This is so unpresidential.”

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Covid waste collection hit after KMC removes bins from streets | Kolkata News

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Kolkata: Covid waste collection has come to a halt across the city with KMC removing streetside yellow bins that had been installed to dispose PPE kits, masks, gloves and other waste associated with Covid patients. The private agency that had been engaged by the civic body last year to clear this waste has also been compelled to stop the service after the bins were removed.
The decision to remove the bins amidst the pandemic has left households and neighbourhoods from where Covid cases are being reported in a fix. Several households with Covid patients are flouting the waste-handling norms and disposing Covid waste with their daily kitchen waste. But that is not possible in apartments with other residents objecting to this citing fears of infection during the door-to-door collection.
An octogenarian in Ballygunge and his wife had repeatedly urged the KMC for help in disposing their waste after they tested positive. “They told us we must engage private operators for bio-waste disposal. When we contacted a private operator, they asked for Rs 500 every time they would collect bio-waste till 1kg. For every kg more, they asked for Rs 50. But they also told us that bio-waste would only be masks and medicine disposables, not food and other household waste. We had little bio-waste, but took care to properly sanitise any food waste we put out during this time,” he said.
Civic authorities said the decision to stop the Covid waste collection was taken around August, months after the city emerged from the second wave. The reason, KMC officials said, was lack of use of the bins. “Widespread use of PPE kits during the first wave and them being dumped in the open around June-July 2020 had led to panic in the city. This led to the installation of yellow bins in September 2020. At the time, daily Covid waste comprising PPEs, gloves, masks, sanitary napkins, adult diapers and medicine foils across the 144 wards had touched 4 tonnes. But use of PPE declined sharply following the vaccination drive. After the second wave, hardly any Covid waste was dumped in the bins,” an official said.
With Covid cases inching up after the festive season, a section of KMC officials conceded the decision to stop collecting waste, at least from the Covid-sensitive areas, was perhaps hurried. “At a time when the city’s Covid graph is slowly rising, we should have kept the service alive in some neighbourhoods which have been reporting a spurt in Covid cases,” said an official.

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