Pentagon unsure whether UFOs are alien technology – National & International News – FRI 4Jun2021

Ahead of Congressional hearing, Department of Defense sources say no explanation for UFOs.

 

Pentagon can neither confirm nor deny alien origin for UFOs. Federal court backs CDC eviction ban. Denmark to expel refugees to third country. What the global corporate tax rate means for infrastructure.

NATIONAL NEWS

Pentagon can neither confirm nor deny alien origin for UFOs

Sci-fi enthusiasts the world over are awaiting a declassified briefing to Congress later this month on the US military’s knowledge of UFOs. According to officials familiar with the report, UFO buffs may experience a mix of validation and disappointment. The officials say that the Department of Defense has no evidence proving an extraterrestrial origin for any of the phenomena. However, they have also not been able to rule it out.

The Pentagon has been able to rule out any domestic military or civilian origin for most of the 120 incidents in the report. But, the DoD says its possible that some unknown experimental technology from one or more US rivals could be responsible.

No explanation

Equally, Pentagon officials know of no technology that could explain personnel reports of the crafts’ movements. Videos have captured the  crafts’ rapid speed and acceleration. Pilots have also reported seemingly impossible directional changes as well as their rapid submergence beneath the ocean.

Defense officials prefer to refer to UFOs as UAPs (unidentified aerial phenomena). Many of the UAP sightings covered in the report come from US Naval personnel. Some have also been spotted by foreign military personnel.

The DoD began the inquiry last year to “improve its understanding” of UAPs and their “incursions into our training ranges and designated airspace”. The Pentagon must determine what if any threat UAPs pose to national security.

Many of the Navy sightings have occurred during training missions in US territorial waters. Aside from the now-famous 2004 and 2015 sightings, other Navy personnel have come forward to share their experiences. Retired pilot Ryan Graves says that starting in 2014, he and other pilots training off the Atlantic Coast had UAP sightings “every day for at least a couple years”. Graves says the objects had no visible exhaust and moved at speeds unachievable by any known technology.

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Federal court upholds CDC eviction ban

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has decided not to lift a stay on a lower court ruling that declared the CDC eviction ban unlawful. The court’s written decision implies that the CDC eviction ban is in fact lawful. According to the panel, the government “has made a strong showing that it is likely to succeed on the merits” of its appeal. For renters, this is only a brief reprieve as the eviction ban is currently set to expire on June 30.

Landlord group’s across the country have challenged the ban in court, citing their added financial burden. Across the US, about 7 million renters owe $40 billion in back rent, utilities and fees. For perspective, 2.3 million homeowners lost their homes to foreclosure the 2008 financial crisis.

Uneven application

However, even though the ban is legal and has been in place for over a year, observance and enforcement of the ban nationwide has been spotty at best. Many landlords have succeeded in obtaining eviction orders against tenants despite the ban. Tenants have to know about the ban and present this in their case to the judge. But even in such cases, judges sometimes simply disregard the CDC’s authority on the matter.

Research has shown that black tenants have been evicted at almost twice the rate as white tenants since the ban was in place. While some of the reasons for this are economic, Peter Hepburn, a researcher with Princeton University’s Eviction Lab says these considerations are not enough to account for the disparity. Hepburn says, “I think there’s reason to suspect that landlords may be quicker to file for eviction against a black tenant who’s fallen behind on rent than a white tenant”.

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Denmark to expel asylum seekers to third country

Denmark’s notoriously hardline stance on immigration is causing outrage among fellow EU members and human rights advocates. The wealthy country has passed a law that allows for relocating asylum seekers to a third country, possibly in Africa, while their asylum claim is pending. One of the partner countries under consideration is Rwanda, and Uganda has also been floated as a possibility.

The European Commission says the law is compatible with Denmark’s international obligations. Spokesman Adalbert Jahnz stated that “External processing of asylum claims raises fundamental questions about both the access to asylum procedures and effective access to protection”. Jahnz also said that there is no room for such a practice under existing EU rules.

Race to the bottom

Human rights advocates say the move undermines the principles of asylum by putting refugees at greater risk. By outsourcing their asylum process to less affluent countries, Denmark will endanger the safety and welfare of refugees and compromise their human rights.

According to Rasmus Stoklund, a Danish government spokesman, that’s exactly the point. Stoklund said bluntly, “If you apply for asylum in Denmark, you know that you will be sent back to a country outside Europe. Therefore we hope that people will stop seeking asylum in Denmark”.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has also warned of a “race to the bottom” with other less affluent countries will following Denmark’s example. Greece, a much less affluent country than Denmark, is on the frontlines of immigration. Its right-wing government is already engaging in illegal “pushbacks” of asylum seekers. And Greece receives tens of thousands of asylum requests per year, compared with just 1500 in Denmark.

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Cyprus, Ireland could sink Biden’s global minimum corporate tax- why it matters

Ahead of the upcoming G7 summit, finance ministers in Europe’s major economic powers are enthusiastically embracing President Biden’s proposal for a global minimum (top) corporate tax rate. Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen initially proposeda 21% minimum, but eventually settled on 15%. The problem, at least in Europe, is that the traditional corporate tax havens of Cyprus and Ireland are not on board. Both have spun it as a matter of sovereignty. But the truth is, if several EU countries voluntarily sign on to the new 15% threshold, Cyprus and Ireland will be in for a massive windfall. Both Cyprus and Ireland have a top corporate tax rate of 12.5%.

Why it matters

During infrastructure negotiations with Biden,  the GOP have ruled out any rise in the current top US corporate tax rate of 21% to back the spending. Instead, Biden is proposing setting a US minimum corporate tax rate of 15%. Currently, the US has no minimum corporate tax rate. No one knows yet whether the GOP will go for this compromise or not. Biden will be meeting with leading Republican negotiator Sen. Shelley Capito (WV) today.

Assuming the Republicans agree, Cyprus and Ireland’s refusal to buy into the global minimum could pose a problem. Major US tech companies like Apple can currently get away with paying minimal tax in the US. This is because they invest much of their profits back into the company, often going towards research and development. Apple already has considerable holdings in Ireland, where it pays almost nothing in taxes despite $billions in profits. Setting a minimum tax rate in the US could therefore encourage other US tech giants to follow Apple’s example.

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