PODCAST: Whyte House Family Spoken Novels #78: And Family Drama Just Won’t Stop II Chapter 23 by Daniel Whyte III with Meriqua Whyte

Welcome to the Whyte House Family Spoken Novels podcast episode #78. Today we are reading chapter 23 of the novel “…And Family Drama Just Won’t Stop II” by Daniel Whyte III with Meriqua Whyte. Continue reading “PODCAST: Whyte House Family Spoken Novels #78: And Family Drama Just Won’t Stop II Chapter 23 by Daniel Whyte III with Meriqua Whyte”

PODCAST: Briefcase (Get Things Done Episode #121 with Daniel Whyte III)

I am Daniel Whyte III, president of GLM Omnimedia Group, and this is Episode #121 of the “Get Things Done!” podcast. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help you get things done every day so that you can accomplish something worthwhile with your life. I am a firm believer that God has put each person on earth to do something great for His glory. Continue reading “PODCAST: Briefcase (Get Things Done Episode #121 with Daniel Whyte III)”

Canada-China tension still heightens over Chinese ambassador’s perceived threat

The diplomatic spat between Canada and China grew more heated on Monday as Beijing denounced press criticism of its ambassador to Ottawa, only to have Canada’s deputy prime minister and opposition leader echo the criticism.

The exchange comes at a moment when ties between the countries are at their lowest point in years, largely due to China’ outrage over Canada’s detention of a top executive of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei and the subsequent arrest of two Canadians.

The new friction arose when China’s ambassador to Canada, Cong Peiwu, branded pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong as violent criminals and said if Canada grants them asylum it would amount to interference in China’s internal affairs.

“If the Canadian side really cares about the stability and the prosperity in Hong Kong, and really cares about the good health and safety of those 300,000 Canadian passport-holders in Hong Kong, and the large number of Canadian companies operating in Hong Kong SAR, you should support those efforts to fight violent crimes,” Cong said in a video news conference from the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa.

Asked if his remarks amounted to a threat, Cong replied, “That is your interpretation.”

Canada’s deputy prime minister, Chrystia Freeland said in Parliament on Monday that the ambassador’s comments “are not in any way in keeping with the spirit of appropriate diplomatic countries between two countries.”

Freeland said Canada will speak out for human rights in China and said Canada will support its citizens living in Hong Kong. “Let me also reassure the 300,000 Canadians in Hong Kong that a Canadian is a Canadian and we will stand with them.” Freeland said.

Her statements came hours after Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters that his government had complained to Canada over press criticism of Cong’s remarks. He said Canadian leaders “did not verify, but also condoned the anti-China comments spreading across the nation and made groundless accusations against China.”

He didn’t specify the media criticism, but the Toronto Sun on Saturday published an editorial calling on Cong to apologize, adding. “If he won’t apologize and retract his threats, boot him back to Beijing.”

Meanwhile, Erin O’Toole, the leader of Canada’s main opposition Conservative party, said Monday that Cong had threatened Canadians in Hong Kong and called on the envoy to either apologize or leave.

Cherie Wong, the executive director of Alliance Canada Hong Kong, a group that advocates for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, called Cong’s comment a “direct threat” to all Canadians.

“It should not be lost on Canadians living in Hong Kong or China, they could be next. Ambassador Cong suggested so himself,” Wong said.

Protests against the Hong Kong and mainland Chinese governments swelled last year, and Beijing clamped down on expressions of anti-government sentiment in the city with a new national security law that took effect June 30.

The law outlaws subversive, secessionist and terrorist activity, as well as collusion with foreign powers to interfere in the city’s internal affairs. The U.S., Britain and Canada accuse China of infringing on the city’s freedoms.

Cong also rejected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s assertion that China is engaging in coercive diplomacy by imprisoning two Canadian men in retaliation for the arrest of a Chinese Huawei executive on an American extradition warrant. The executive, Meng Wanzhou, is living under house arrest in Vancouver while her case wends through a British Columbia court.

In December 2018, China imprisoned two Canadian men, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, and charged them with undermining China’s national security. Convicted Canadian drug smuggler Robert Schellenberg was also sentenced to death in a sudden retrial shortly after Meng’s arrest.

Source: Associated Press – ROB GILLIES

COVID relief deal may be far off even as Pelosi’s Tuesday deadline looms

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reported some progress in advance of a Tuesday deadline for reaching a pre-election deal with President Donald Trump on a new coronavirus relief package, but the same core problems bedeviling the effort remain in place despite optimistic talk from the president and his team.

Pelosi negotiated for nearly an hour Monday with Trump’s top emissary, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and her office said they are continuing to narrow their differences.

“Finally, they have come to the table and we’re going to try to get something done,” Pelosi said on MSNBC Monday evening. She said the two sides would take stock on Tuesday, which she has staked out as the deadline if a deal is to be reached before the election.

“Let’s make a judgment. We may not like this, we may not like that but let’s see on balance if we can go forward,” Pelosi said.

But with time nearly up for Congress and the White House to deliver aid to Americans before the election, the question remains: If not now, when?

It’s a key consideration for Trump, who has talked up the prospect of another package as he asks voters for a second term, and for Democrats hopeful that their nominee, Joe Biden, is on the cusp of winning the White House in November.

“Nancy Pelosi at this moment does not want to do anything that’s going to affect the election,” Trump said during a campaign swing in Arizona.

The dynamic has created a tricky position for Pelosi, whose tough approach to the talks amid durable GOP opposition to a potential deal of almost $2 trillion has left all sides staring at the very real potential of the negotiations failing. Pelosi is angling for the best deal she can get — maybe that’s now, maybe it’s later. It’s a risk she’s willing to take.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, meanwhile, is pushing ahead with votes this week on GOP measures that stand little chance of advancing.

Trump has upped his offer to $1.8 trillion or more and insisted Monday that “the Republicans will come along” if a deal is reached. His chief of staff and communications director took to Fox News to offer optimistic takes. But Republicans have spent months talking about a smaller aid package and the top GOP vote-counter, Sen. John Thune, said Monday that “it would be hard” to find the necessary Republican support for passage of any agreement in that range.

Without an agreement at least in principle by Tuesday, Pelosi says it’ll be too late to enact anything by Election Day. And if history is any guide, prospects for a deal in the lame-duck session after the election could be dim.

If Trump loses, Congress is likely to stagger through a nonproductive session comparable to the abbreviated session after the decisive 2008 Obama-Biden victory or the 2016 session that punted most of its leftovers to the Trump administration. That scenario would push virus aid into 2021.

“If we delay this until the Biden administration we’re talking about three, four, five months. The American people cannot wait,” Rep. Max Rose, D-N.Y., a freshman facing a difficult race in Trump-friendly Staten Island, said on CNN. “With each passing day without action the American people will be suffering more.”

Pelosi calls the $1.8 trillion administration offer inadequate, saying that while the overall Trump offer has gone up, the details on a virus testing plan, aid to state and local governments, and tax cuts for the working poor still aren’t to her satisfaction.

At the same time, Trump’s GOP allies in the Senate are backing a virus proposal that at $650 billion or so is only about one-third the size of the measure that Pelosi and Mnuchin are negotiating. But the Senate GOP bill has failed once before, and Trump himself says it’s too puny.

A debate slated for Wednesday on the Senate Republican plan promises to bring a hefty dose of posturing and political gamesmanship, but little more. It will follow a procedural tally Tuesday on a stand-alone renewal of bipartisan Paycheck Protection Program business subsidies that could cause Democratic fracturing but isn’t likely to succeed.

Pelosi has faced carping from some Democrats for playing hardball at the risk of going home empty-handed, but that criticism has been largely muted since McConnell keeps stiff-arming the negotiations.

“The bigger issue is McConnell,” said Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., who raised eyebrows earlier this month in publicly advising Pelosi to endorse Mnuchin’s $1.8 trillion topline. “I mean, the President has said, ‘Oh, I can get McConnell on board.’ Well, why doesn’t he call McConnell and get him on board?” he said on SiriusXM Urban View on Monday.

The last coronavirus relief package, the $1.8 trillion bipartisan CARES Act, passed in March by an overwhelming margin as the economy went into lockdown amid fear and uncertainty about the virus. Since then, Trump and many of his GOP allies have focused on loosening social and economic restrictions as the key to recovery instead of more taxpayer-funded help.

The moment is challenging for Pelosi as well. For months she has been promising a COVID relief package of more than $2 trillion stuffed with Obama-era stimulus ideas. Even though the Senate and White House are both in GOP hands — and will be at least into January — she has sharply rebuffed anyone who suggests that Democrats should take a smaller deal now rather than risk going home empty-handed until next year.

“If Congress doesn’t act the next administration is going to inherit a real mess,” said Harvard economist Jason Furman, a former top Obama adviser. “Economic problems tend to feed on themselves.” He is in the Democratic camp that prefers imperfect stimulus now rather than a larger package in four months or so.

Source: Associated Press – ANDREW TAYLOR

California won’t allow distribution of virus vaccines without state approval, Gov. Newson announces

California won’t allow any distribution of coronavirus vaccines in the nation’s most populous state until it is reviewed by the state’s own panel of experts, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday.

Vaccinations for the pandemic “will move at the speed of trust,” said Newsom, a Democrat, and the state wants its own independent review no matter who wins the presidential election next month.

“Of course we won’t take anyone’s word for it,” Newsom said as he named 11 doctors and scientists to review any rollout of vaccines by the federal government or vaccine developers. The board members hail from top California universities and medical providers, along with state and local public health officials.

The pledge raises the possibility that California residents might not receive a vaccine as distribution begins in other states, though the governor said widespread vaccinations are unrealistic until sometime next year.

While there is always a risk that the vaccine could be delayed only in California, Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, a professor of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, said Newsom named a renowned group that should be able to quickly make credible decisions.

“I wouldn’t interpret this as a delay in distribution. I would interpret this as an effort to make sure that distribution is equitable and timely,” he said. “The people in this group are among the most reputable public health advocates in the state.”

As such, its finding that a particular vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was suitable or not could have an outsize effect nationwide.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo last month appointed a similar independent task force.

“It would be a mistake not to be aware of the way that the CDC and the FDA have been pressured by the White House, no matter who’s in the White House,” said David Magnus, director of the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, so “it might be prudent for a state to make sure everything’s kosher.”

He’s less worried that there will be disagreement between the federal and state panels now that no vaccine release is likely before Election Day, Nov. 3. But Magnus noted that it has not been uncommon for presidents to muzzle scientists in other areas, for instance climate change or other environmental policies, thus setting up regular lawsuits with states like California.

At most, 45 million doses will be available nationwide before the end of this year from the two most advanced vaccines, Newsom said. Each person must receive two doses, three weeks apart.

If California were to receive 12% of the doses, commensurate with its percentage of the nation’s population, that would be 5.4 million doses, or enough to treat 2.7 million of the state’s nearly 40 million residents.

Most would go to front-line medical workers and first responders, he said, then to the most vulnerable in the population.

Newsom’s announcement drew quick criticism from Republican state lawmakers.

“Politicizing the efficacy of a vaccine is shameful,” Sen. Melissa Melendez tweeted.

Newsom is “suggesting we can’t trust the FDA (but) Of course, we’ll continue trusting the FDA for every other drug whose distribution doesn’t threaten his hold on power,” tweeted Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, who has a court hearing this week challenging the governor’s authority to impose virus restrictions.

Newsom said the distribution and record-keeping logistics alone are massive, including a requirement that the vaccines be kept in continuous cold storage until they are administered.

One of the two leading vaccines requires “ultra cold” storage — think dry ice — of minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 70 degrees Celsius). The other needs a minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 20 degrees Celsius).

California last week gave the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention its early plans for how it would handle and distribute the vaccine, and in return received nearly $29 million to continue its planning efforts.

California is one of five jurisdictions doing what Newsom called “micro-planning” for mass distributions, which he predicted could come as soon as next spring, is more likely next summer, but could be as late as next fall.

The advisory group should be empowered not only to sign off on the safety of a vaccine, Klausner said, but to make recommendations on whether vaccines should be mandatory in some instances, and to guide a complicated distribution process that will likely require readiness by every clinic, pharmacy and health department.

It’s possible that might make it necessary to “activate the National Guard or some other type of human resource pool to make sure the vaccine can be distributed quickly and effectively,” Klausner said.

Source: Associated Press – DON THOMPSON

Edwards-Helaire leads Chiefs to run away with 26-17 win over Bills

Patrick Mahomes didn’t mind taking a back seat to rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire and the Kansas City Chiefs’ running attack.

With the Buffalo Bills working hard to limit deep throws by the strong-armed Mahomes, he gladly kept handing off the ball, and Kansas City beat Buffalo 26-17 on Monday night in a game that was originally scheduled for last Thursday.

“You know my nature, I want to throw it deep every time. We want to go down and throw these long touchdowns,” said Mahomes, the 2018 MVP. “But if teams are going to play us like this, we’ve got to show we can run the football.”

Mission accomplished.

Led by Edwards-Helaire’s 161 yards rushing, the Chiefs finished with 245 — the most since Mahomes took over as starter in 2017. Kansas City’s 46 rushing attempts were also the most in eight years under coach Andy Reid, and that was with newly signed Le’Veon Bell waiting to make his debut after signing with the Chiefs last Thursday.

“I can’t wait,” Bell tweeted during the game.

Edwards-Helaire has already chatted with the veteran Bell and is excited to team up.

“Another guy coming in, another piece to the puzzle. For me, we can only go up,” Edwards-Helaire said. “Anything I can do to pick his brain and gain knowledge from, I’m there for it.”

Mahomes finished 21 of 26 for 225 yards with two touchdowns, both to tight end Travis Kelce. His first touchdown was the 90th of his career in his 37th game, breaking the NFL record for fewest games to 90 TD passes. Hall of Famer Dan Marino had the previous mark at 40 games.

The Chiefs are off to a their third 5-1 start in four seasons, and they bounced back from a sloppy 40-32 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Oct. 11.

Buffalo (4-2) lost its second straight. The Bills fell 42-16 at Tennessee last Tuesday, a game that was moved because of a COVID-19 outbreak on the Titans. That led to the Kansas City-Buffalo game being pushed back as well. The Chiefs, who were originally scheduled to play three games in 11 days, wound up having two more days of rest than the Bills.

Buffalo’s defense sold out to prevent Mahomes from going deep but proved vulnerable against the run.

“We felt we did well limiting them from taking it off the top, but the run game’s just another part of their game, and they executed it well,” safety Micah Hyde said.

The Bills were undone by allowing the Chiefs to convert nine of 14 third-down chances, two of them on a 12-play, 75-yard drive that ended on Harrison Butker’s 30-yard field goal with 1:56 remaining.

During that drive, Buffalo’s Justin Zimmer stripped the ball from Edwards-Helaire at the Kansas City 30. The play was ruled a fumble on the field, but that call was overturned after replays showed Edwards-Helaire’s knee was down.

Two plays later, on third-and-11, Mahomes scrambled out of trouble and hit Byron Pringle for 37 yards. Mahomes then ate up more clock with a 9-yard scamper on third-and-7.

“Frustrating, just because we feel like as a defense we’ve got to find a way to get our offense back on the field,” Hyde said. “We had to get a stop and we didn’t.”

Buffalo’s run defense had its worst outing since giving up 273 yards in a loss to New England on Dec. 23, 2018.

Josh Allen finished 14 of 27 for 122 yards with touchdown passes to Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley.

In what was supposed to be a showdown of the NFL’s top passers, the Chiefs kept the Allen-led Bills cooling their heels on the sideline. Kansas City had four drives of 10 plays or more and dominated time of possession by more than 15 minutes.

Darrel Williams scored on a 13-yard run to cap a nearly eight-minute, 82-yard drive that put the Chiefs ahead 20-10 with 1:18 left in the third quarter.

SOCIAL JUSTICE PROTESTS

As they’ve done all season, the Bills elected to stay in their locker room for the performance of the national anthem. The Chiefs were along their sideline, with defensive end Alex Okafor the only player spotted kneeling.

NO FANS

The Bills continued to play in an empty stadium because of state COVID-19 regulations.

INJURIES

Chiefs: T Mitchell Schwartz, who started his 134th consecutive game, did not return after the first series because of a back injury. He has the longest active streak among offensive linemen and third longest among offensive players. Okafor was ruled out after hurting his hamstring in the second quarter.

Bills: CB Cam Lewis did not return after hurting his wrist in the first half. Starting left guard Cody Ford was carted off the sideline after hurting his right knee in the fourth quarter.

INACTIVES

Chiefs: WR Sammy Watkins did not play after hurting his hamstring last week.

Bills: Buffalo’s defensive struggles led to a line shakeup with DE Trent Murphy and DT Harrison Phillips inactive. They were replaced by Zimmer and Bryan Cox, who were elevated from the practice squad earlier in the day.

UP NEXT

Chiefs: At Denver on Sunday.

Bills: At the winless Jets on Sunday. Buffalo beat New York 27-17 in the season opener.

___

Source: Associated Press – JOHN WAWROW

Oscar-winning actor Jeff Bridges announces lymphoma diagnosis, cites good prognosis

Jeff Bridges says he is being treated for lymphoma and his prognosis is good.

The 70-year-old actor channeled his The Dude character from “The Big Lebowski” in a statement on social media about the diagnosis Monday evening.

He said he understands the disease is serious. He expressed gratitude to his family, friends and medical team and promised to keep fans posted on his recovery.

Bridges is a seven-time Oscar nominee known for his roles in “Starman,” “True Grit,” “The Last Picture Show” and many other films. He won an Academy Award in 2010 for “Crazy Heart” and was most recently nominated for playing a grizzled lawman in “Hell or High Water.”

The affable Bridges is considered Hollywood royalty, the son of actors Lloyd and Dorothy Bridges, who both died in 1998.