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Technology US

Why Facebook’s ‘one identity’ rule has to change for VR

In 17 years, Facebook has gone from a college social network to a potential gatekeeper for the world’s newest computing platforms: augmented and virtual reality. Its Facebook Reality Labs (FRL) division sells the Portal videophone and Oculus Quest 2 VR headset, and it’s behind an upcoming line of Ray-Ban smart glasses, with more advanced AR hardware in development.

Facebook is also building and funding VR software, sometimes in competition with smaller developers. Last year, it launched its own virtual social network called Horizon in beta. It’s also experimenting with a VR workspace system called “Infinite Office” that can blend the real and virtual world. Particularly during the coronavirus pandemic, these efforts could draw more people into working and socializing through VR.

At the same time, Facebook is navigating a privacy and moderation crisis. Its platform has been widely criticized for bringing online extremists together and allowing discriminatory targeted advertising or harmful misinformation. These problems will almost certainly follow the company into VR and AR, complicating already thorny questions about privacy and autonomy in these new spaces.

Facebook Reality Labs head Andrew “Boz” Bosworth called 2020 a “tremendous” year for VR, and in a blog post last week, he laid out plans to focus more on AR and Horizon in the coming year. I spoke to Bosworth over Zoom about how FRL will address present-day problems in futuristic tech.

There’s a pattern of social spaces launching for VR, then realizing there’s a really big audience outside headsets and launching on desktop or mobile. Do you see that path as viable for Horizon?

Yes, it’s definitely a possibility that we’ve considered. If you want to build a social product, you want to reach people wherever they are, and requiring that they have a headset that’s not free, when they probably already have some other connected device, that just cuts some people off from having access to participate. And that doesn’t feel good to any of us.

We’re going to start in VR because if you don’t get that core mechanic right, then the rest of it kind of doesn’t matter. There’s already a lot of great software that solves the job of 2D-to-2D feeling together; we’re doing one of them right now. So we really wanted to have a strong foundation of VR. One of the things that we’ve always talked about is how to make this cross-platform, how to make this something that people can use and participate in at whatever level they’re able to.

Facebook has talked about a system for letting people put apps on Oculus Quest that’s less exclusive than the Oculus Store. What’s the status on that?

I’m very excited about that direction. And the status on that is it is coming much sooner than people think.

One of the pain points for Oculus in the last year has been the switch to requiring Facebook accounts to use the headsets. If VR becomes something that you’re using for work, it seems like a Facebook login isn’t necessarily the best way to access that.

I think one thing that is a puzzle piece that you can put together with this is now, since we’ve talked about the Oculus and Facebook account linking, Facebook has talked more about account management overall. One of the areas of product focus for us is making it easier for people to manage all of their accounts. So Facebook Workplace accounts is a good example. It’s one of those pieces that I think when we look at Infinite Office, we’re targeting supporting that as one of the techniques that people can use to feel like, “Yeah, I can have my workplace Facebook account, and that’s what I’m going to use in certain contexts.”

And this is very consistent with how we want to approach this overall. We want people to have total control over their persona, right? If you want to be Batman in VR, you can definitely be Batman. We just want them to also be able to be Bruce Wayne if they should choose to. And so we’re trying to think of it that way — expanding the opportunity space from “Yep, you’re Batman, but you can only be Batman” into having a lot more control over your persona, your connections, and how you show up. That is the work that we’re looking toward as Infinite Office continues to develop internally.

That seems like kind of a reversal of the way Facebook has talked about having a single identity and a unified presence online.

I think the reality for us, especially in VR, is the ability to have a lot more control over your appearance — that’s not something that Facebook ever really dabbled with when you were dealing with just a profile. A lot of the problems at the time that Facebook was founded especially involved authenticity on the internet. You know, on the internet, no one knows that you’re a dog. Authenticity was a premium feature — that you really knew who this person was and could count on that.

Now we’ve actually gotten kind of full circle, where you can be embodied. Facebook never got to control how you showed up in a real interaction with somebody; that was never something that we got to control. Suddenly, you know, in VR, we are a broker of that. So we need to provide you the full richness of self-expression that you would have access to — actually, a richer set of self-expression than you would have in the real world. So, yeah, new media demands new consideration. I don’t think it’s inconsistent. I think it’s just an acknowledgment of what this medium is.

How much is Facebook Reality Labs’ work limited by internet connectivity issues? Something like Horizon becomes a lot more difficult when people don’t have steady, fast internet access, and the pandemic has obviously thrown those gaps into relief.

I believe there’s two parts to this. I’m always impressed with what we can do locally. I think no company has done more than Facebook in terms of shrinking artificial intelligences down and running them locally on device — for example, Portal, which does all its face detection and camera direction locally on device. And that is a huge opportunity that allows these devices to be useful even when they’re not connected in a lot of contexts.

The second thing is certainly, you’re right. The really rich stuff that we’re imagining for Horizon might require robust internet connection. Obviously, I hope that not just private companies, but governments around the world realize how much internet connectivity and access to information is increasingly a human right that we need to support. But even if in the case where you have limited internet access, again, we’re seeing tremendous luck with artificial intelligences improving the experience people can have.

Avatars require a lot less bits to express the richness of facial expression than [Zoom] does. Right? This is a very high-bandwidth connection. We can actually reduce that to a smaller number of pixels animating my face and send those. And you can still have, not a 100 percent accurate understanding of my expressions, but like a 95 percent accurate understanding and a dramatically lower bandwidth cost. So there are technologies here that actually stand to benefit. Moving toward avatars could actually help us connect even through limited or low-bandwidth connections.

You’ve talked about how privacy and security concerns translate to Facebook Reality Labs’ work. What are you specifically doing to make sure that a lot of the problems that have cropped up on Facebook in the last year involving moderation don’t happen in something like Horizon?

I really want to separate out content moderation from privacy, because they’re very different issues. Content moderation is an issue that’s going to be with us forever. It’s been with us. It’s always been battles over who got to be editors and who got to be the censors. That’s a human issue that arose, you know, as soon as the printing press did. Arguably before that.

On the privacy front, I feel lucky. I feel like we’re founding a new set of media at the current height of privacy debate, not just in this country, but in the world. We can have these conversations out in the open. We’re in a golden age for experts on privacy and the trade-offs around it, and we’re trying to take advantage of all that conversation that’s already happening, and put these use cases out into the world so people can debate them.

What are the business models after that? It seems like as long as Facebook Reality Labs AR and VR use the Facebook model of advertising, there are going to be privacy trade-offs at some point.

You know, very much in a technology tradition, we’re not really focused on business model. You kind of assume that if you build a great and useful thing, that you’ll find a way to make money on it.

I believe in [targeted] advertising. I think it makes the experience that people have in the world a lot better rather than un-targeted advertising. I think it’s hugely important for small businesses. I think it’s hugely important for maximizing the use of human capital. That’s a debate that is a distant debate for augmented reality and virtual reality. It’s not a near-term debate.

And so I have the great luxury of not worrying about it. I’ve got enough real problems right in front of it to go tackle before I worry about the business model. And so we’ve got to build it before I can think too much about that. And I’m confident if we do, there’ll be lots of opportunities.

For a more near-term problem, people have compared Horizon to Facebook Groups. What happens when a group like QAnon starts organizing on Horizon? How do you find them and decide what to do with them while threading the needle of not making it seem like you’re being creepy and surveilling everyone all the time?

I don’t think there’s one answer to that, and there’s certainly not any answer that’s going to satisfy all parties. We know that from our experience on Facebook. And so I think on content moderation issues, you can expect us to really lean heavily on Facebook, which has done the lifting of talking to governments, talking to experts, and is constantly revising its policies as the facts on the ground change.

I don’t think you ever expect you’re going to have one stance, because as soon as you take a stance, bad actors are going to find little loopholes. It’s never going to end. There isn’t going to be one solution. So I think people should expect it to be like any digital space and, frankly, any physical space going back in history. You’ve got to continue to evolve what the regulations are as you observe behavior.

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Entertainment UK

BBC Breakfast’s Naga Munchetty admits lockdown forced change in alcohol decision

Naga Munchetty has said that after stating there is “no way” she would be doing Dry January, the third national lockdown has brought a new perspective.

The 45-year-old BBC Breakfast host started her presenting role on BBC Radio 5 Live last week and she spoke candidly with her listeners about the decision she made after discussing with her husband, James Haggar.

She has now declared that she is backtracking on her thoughts about Dry January as bars and restaurants will be closed for the month and it could be the opportunity to break her alcohol cycle.

The presenter said that she would no longer be making herself “feel better” with food and alcohol and that she “can’t keep relying” on indulgences like this during the lockdown.

Naga Munchetty and husband James Haggar

Dry January has become increasingly more popular and it sees people giving up alcohol for the first month.

While on her radio show, Naga’s co-star joked that she only made this decision because there was nowhere to go during the pandemic.

Naga told her listeners: “I’ll tell you where I’m at right. Before the [lockdown] announcement, I was like, ‘There’s no way I’m doing Dry January.

“‘There’s no way I’m doing anything like that, I like my wine’.”

Naga’s colleague chimed in: “You can’t go out anyway!”

Naga Munchetty has received positive reviews from her first week on radio
Naga Munchetty has received positive reviews from her first week on radio

Laughing, she continued: “There you go.

“But then when I heard the announcement, I thought, you know what, no.”

Naga recalled: “I spoke to my husband last night, and I said, ‘No I think I may just stop drinking.

“I can’t keep relying on something… food, wine, whatever, to make me feel better’.”

She added: “There is that almost kick back.”

Naga has proved to be popular during her fist week on the mid-morning show, which was previously presented by Emma Barnett.

She has received positive reviews as she took over the show from Monday to Wednesday,.

Naga will continue to host BBC Breakfast from Thursdays to Saturdays.

*Naga Munchetty returns to BBC Radio 5 Live on Monday at 10am.

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Headline USA

What is the important change Applebee’s will implement in its restaurants | The State

If this turns out to be a success in Texas, the change will be made in the rest of the country.

Photo:
Scott Olson / Getty Images

Applebee’s is well known for its fun and casual atmosphere, where customers can enjoy their favorite sports on their big screens while sipping a beer. However, the restaurant chain is implementing a major change that challenges its core concept.

And is that, at an Applebee’s in Texarkana, Texas, a drive-thru will be put on for the first time. In other words, the owner of the Texarkana franchise is adding a direct access window to his establishment, so that customers can stop in and receive their meals, as happens in fast food chains.

Like standard delivery orders, Most automatic orders and payments will be received online or through the Applebee’s mobile app, though customers will have the option to order over the phone and pay in person as well, Mashed reported.

If this turns out to be a success in Texas, it is very likely that this store’s design will soon reach other Applebee’s locations across the country, So, if you are a customer of this restaurant, it may not be long before you can make your orders from your car.

–You may also be interested: Burger King gives you 10 chicken nuggets for only $ 1.49

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Technology US

Twitch will change the face of PogChamp every 24 hours

Twitch removed its popular PogChamp emote a couple of days ago after the person on which it was based — Ryan “Gootecks” Gutierrez — posted some tweets encouraging more mob violence after the riot at the Capitol. The spirit of PogChamp, however, will live on: today, Twitch announced that it would cycle through different versions of the emote every 24 hours, starting today.

The reason PogChamp was popular was because it was the site’s global hype emote: when anything cool happened on Twitch, you could be sure to see people pogging in the chat. As the writer (and, full disclosure, my friend) Ryan Broderick put it in his excellent newsletter Garbage Day, Twitch removing the PogChamp emote was probably in service of taking the site truly mainstream.

“The other big part of this is that Twitch’s long-term goal as a company seems to be fully divorcing themselves from the reputation as an ESPN for gamers,” Broderick writes. “So the PogChamp debacle is basically perfect for Twitch — a small change that signals they’re no longer aligned with Gutierrez and everything within the specific toxic strain of the pro-gaming community he represents.”

Twitch’s push toward truly mainstream relevance didn’t start in 2020, and a year spent mostly inside helped move the site there. Perhaps the biggest win — and the strongest signal — that Twitch was beginning to achieve those goals was Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) stream with some of Twitch’s biggest stars, which was one of the largest individual streams the site has ever seen. The idea that there was a difference between Twitch influence and mainstream influence evaporated at the very moment AOC’s stream went dark. (Since then, internet-savvy congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has also streamed Among Us with a cast of all-star broadcasters.)

I’ve reached out to Twitch for comment and will update this story when I hear back.

PogChamp is dead. Long live PogChamp.

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Headline USA

WhatsApp Announced Important Change That Has Displeased Its Users | The State

WhatsApp has announced changes to its Conditions and Privacy policy, which involve the sharing of data with Facebook and that users must accept in order to continue using the messaging service from February 8.

Through a pop-up message in the application, WhatsApp is informing users of its service that as of February 8, the new features introduced in its Terms and Privacy policy will come into force, as the specialized account WABetainfo already announced earlier. from December.

These changes refer to the data that WhatsApp collects from users and their treatment. Also to the way that businesses can use Facebook to host their services and manage their conversations on WhatsApp.

WhatsApp explains that it collects information from users “to operate, provide, improve, understand, personalize, support and promote” its services. This information corresponds, for example, with the telephone number to create the account and the basic information of the profile; with the location of the device, if the user wants to share it with their contacts; messages, temporarily and encrypted if they have not been delivered or are part of a forwarding of multimedia files; the contact book and shared statuses; and payment details.

Automatically, WhatsApp also collects information about user activity in the application (settings, interaction, frequency), service diagnostics, or device and connection (model, operating system, battery charge level, time zone , IP adress). It also installs ‘cookies’ “to operate and provide services, as well as provide Internet-based services, improve experiences, understand how services are used and personalize them.”

And information from third parties, from other users with whom the user contacts or who have the user’s phone number on their agenda, from reports of alleged infractions, from the companies with which they interact in the app or from service providers.

As a Facebook company (like Facebook, Instagram or Oculus), WhatsApp shares this data it collects with other companies in the group, just as these companies share user data with WhatsApp.

“Both parties can use the information we receive to operate, provide, improve, understand, personalize, support and promote our Services and their offerings, including the products of Facebook companies,” explains WhatsApp in its Privacy Policy.

The company, as explained in the notification, requires acceptance of the new policies in order to continue using the messaging service, and refers to its help center in the event that users do not agree and want to cancel their account .

The integration of the data between WhatsApp and Facebook began in 2016, to improve the user experience with Facebook products and advertising, but then it gave the possibility to unlink the exchange of data for advertising purposes in the settings.

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Whatsapp

Elon Musk Tweets ‘Use Signal’ Following WhatsApp Privacy Policy Change


Elon Musk tweeted “Use Signal” on Thursday, right after changes were made to WhatsApp’s privacy policy that would lead to more data sharing with its parent company Facebook. Earlier today, Musk also tweeted a ‘domino effect’ meme, where he implied that the start of Facebook was responsible for the chaos and violence that took place at the US Capitol in Washington. It’s perhaps no surprise that Musk has a history of public disagreements with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, which often get aired on Twitter.

Signal is a well-known privacy-focussed messaging app, that is widely used by security experts, privacy researchers, academics, and journalists around the world. The Signal protocol also underpins WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption, although one key difference is that Signal is open source, while WhatsApp is not.

WhatsApp’s new privacy policy has drawn concern from many, as the app has long touted that user data is not looked at in any way, and that WhatsApp is secure and private. Earlier, WhatsApp also complained that Apple’s App Store privacy labels are anti-competitive, because the same labels don’t apply to Apple’s own apps.

WhatsApp’s updated privacy policy and terms of service have new sections including Transactions and Payments Data as well as Location Information. The most notable changes that exist on both updated privacy policy and terms of service are around how WhatsApp shares information with Facebook and its subsidiaries.

As mentioned above, this wasn’t the only dig that Musk took against Facebook. A little earlier, he also tweeted a meme connecting the starting of Facebook to a domino effect leading to the violence and chaos in Washington.

Musk has a history of disagreeing with Zuckerberg on Twitter, that goes back many years now. The two have, for example, famously disagreed on artificial intelligence, that Musk argued had to be carefully regulated. When Zuckerberg had spoken against fear mongering over AI, Musk tweeted that the Facebook CEO’s “understanding of the subject is limited.”





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IPL The Buzz

Waiting for Hit-Man Show: Rohit and India ready to change Sydney script


Sydney, January 6 

Having touched nadir and zenith in a span of 10 days, Ajinkya Rahane’s India will look to start afresh against Australia with the big-hitting Rohit Sharma’s presence adding a new dimension to what promises to be an enthralling third Test starting here on Thursday.

The Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), despite being witness to some extraordinary batting performances from the touring Indian sides over the years, has not exactly been a happy hunting ground with six defeats. The lone win came a good 42 years back.

If Rahane’s side can go 2-1 up and ensure the retention of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, it will be one of the finest hours in the history of Indian cricket. Making it even more special is the fact that the side has been without two world-class performers and a senior pacer against a nearly full-strength Australian team.

Seldom has an Australian batting unit, that boasts of a player of Steve Smith’s calibre, looked so circumspect and intimidated by an Indian bowling unit, which isn’t operating at full-strength and, in all likelihood, will pick either Navdeep Saini or Shardul Thakur.

The pressure is understandable as they are pushing a 70 per cent fit David Warner out there in the middle to combat fire with fire even as his statements make it clear that he is not at all comfortable with the idea.

“He is energetic, professional, who could make an instant impact and fills guys with confidence,” Paine’s words on the eve of the match indicated their desperation.

And in this backdrop, enter Rohit Sharma, whose last couple of months have been loads of off-field drama.

First, it was his absence from the initial part of the tour due to a hamstring injury sustained while playing the IPL.

Then his subsequent quarantine for two weeks in a Sydney apartment.

And when he finally united with his teammates, an excited fan inside a Melbourne restaurant led to an inquiry against him and four other teammates for what was called by the local media, a potential bio-security breach.

But the white-ball legend has learnt the art of being unfazed, which was evident from his intense net session on Tuesday when he was comfortably facing the first team bowlers like Ravichandran Ashwin.

His mere presence has added spring in the strides of the team and the youngsters in this current set-up swear by him, the reason he replaced Cheteshwar Pujara as vice-captain after just one Test.

Rohit’s presence in the team think-tank may have prompted them to have a serious debate on whether to play Saini or Shardul.

The Sydney track has traditionally favoured the batsmen like Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, Sachin Tendulkar and even Pujara and Rishabh Pant, who got centuries here during the last tour, will vouch for.

If Rohit and Shubman Gill can give the team a good start, the under-pressure Pujara will be much more relieved while playing his own defensive game.

Rahane, after one of his more copybook hundreds constructed in adversity during the last game, will enter the arena with more confidence while facing the Australian quartet of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon.

KL Rahul’s injury is expected to give Hanuma Vihari one more chance despite his returns being as underwhelming as Mayank Agarwal, who will be forced to make way for Rohit.

But it is Australia’s wobbly batting that will again be put to test by Ravichandran Ashwin on a track, that has traditionally helped spinners.

With 10 wickets and new-found confidence, Ashwin has won both on and off-field battle against opposition’s key players such as Smith and Marnus Labuschagne.

It’s not just the wickets that he has scalped but how the intelligent Chennai engineer has managed to create doubts in the minds of world-class batters is worth its weight in gold.

As much as Australia needs Smith to be back in form, they would also need someone like Travis Head to deliver as he has failed to get a hang of both pace and spin.

Jasprit Bumrah, who is still some games short of 20 Tests, will be leading the pace attack and is expected to show the way with his bagful of tricks.

Whether it’s Siraj or Saini, whoever shares the new ball will have their task cut out as they aim to match the highest standards set by the likes of Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma.

Squads:

Australia: David Warner, Matthew Wade, Will Pucovski, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Tim Paine (captain and wk), Nathan Lyon, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazzlewood, Marcus Harris, Mitchell Swepson, Michael Neser  

India (from 12): Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini. 

Match Starts at 5 am. PTI  





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Headline USA

Shocking NASA images showing how climate change is affecting Earth

Emissions

Carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the biggest contributors to global warming. After the gas is released into the atmosphere it stays there, making it difficult for heat to escape – and warming up the planet in the process. 

It is primarily released from burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas, as well as cement production. 

The average monthly concentration of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere, as of April 2019, is 413 parts per million (ppm). Before the Industrial Revolution, the concentration was just 280 ppm. 

CO2 concentration has fluctuated over the last 800,000 years between 180 to 280ppm, but has been vastly accelerated by pollution caused by humans. 

Nitrogen dioxide 

The gas nitrogen dioxide (NO2) comes from burning fossil fuels, car exhaust emissions and the use of nitrogen-based fertilisers used in agriculture.

Although there is far less NO2 in the atmosphere than CO2, it is between 200 and 300 times more effective at trapping heat.

Sulfur dioxide 

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) also primarily comes from fossil fuel burning, but can also be released from car exhausts.

SO2 can react with water, oxygen and other chemicals in the atmosphere to cause acid rain. 

Carbon monoxide 

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an indirect greenhouse gas as it reacts with hydroxyl radicals, removing them. Hydroxyl radicals reduce the lifetime of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. 

Particulates

What is particulate matter?

Particulate matter refers to tiny parts of solids or liquid materials in the air. 

Some are visible, such as dust, whereas others cannot be seen by the naked eye. 

Materials such as metals, microplastics, soil and chemicals can be in particulate matter.

Particulate matter (or PM) is described in micrometres. The two main ones mentioned in reports and studies are PM10 (less than 10 micrometres) and PM2.5 (less than 2.5 micrometres).

Air pollution comes from burning fossil fuels, cars, cement making and agriculture 

Scientists measure the rate of particulates in the air by cubic metre.

Particulate matter is sent into the air by a number of processes including burning fossil fuels, driving cars and steel making.

Why are particulates dangerous?

Particulates are dangerous because those less than 10 micrometres in diameter can get deep into your lungs, or even pass into your bloodstream. Particulates are found in higher concentrations in urban areas, particularly along main roads. 

Health impact

What sort of health problems can pollution cause?

According to the World Health Organization, a third of deaths from stroke, lung cancer and heart disease can be linked to air pollution. 

Some of the effects of air pollution on the body are not understood, but pollution may increase inflammation which narrows the arteries leading to heart attacks or strokes. 

As well as this, almost one in 10 lung cancer cases in the UK are caused by air pollution. 

Particulates find their way into the lungs and get lodged there, causing inflammation and damage. As well as this, some chemicals in particulates that make their way into the body can cause cancer. 

Deaths from pollution 

Around seven million people die prematurely because of air pollution every year. Pollution can cause a number of issues including asthma attacks, strokes, various cancers and cardiovascular problems. 

 

Asthma triggers

Air pollution can cause problems for asthma sufferers for a number of reasons. Pollutants in traffic fumes can irritate the airways, and particulates can get into your lungs and throat and make these areas inflamed. 

Problems in pregnancy 

Women exposed to air pollution before getting pregnant are nearly 20 per cent more likely to have babies with birth defects, research suggested in January 2018.

Living within 3.1 miles (5km) of a highly-polluted area one month before conceiving makes women more likely to give birth to babies with defects such as cleft palates or lips, a study by University of Cincinnati found.

For every 0.01mg/m3 increase in fine air particles, birth defects rise by 19 per cent, the research adds. 

Previous research suggests this causes birth defects as a result of women suffering inflammation and ‘internal stress’. 

What is being done to tackle air pollution? 

Paris agreement on climate change

The Paris Agreement, which was first signed in 2015, is an international agreement to control and limit climate change. 

It hopes to hold the increase in the global average temperature to below 2°C (3.6ºF) ‘and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C (2.7°F)’.

Carbon neutral by 2050 

The UK government has announced plans to make the country carbon neutral by 2050. 

They plan to do this by planting more trees and by installing ‘carbon capture’ technology at the source of the pollution.

Some critics are worried that this first option will be used by the government to export its carbon offsetting to other countries.

International carbon credits let nations continue emitting carbon while paying for trees to be planted elsewhere, balancing out their emissions.

No new petrol or diesel vehicles by 2040

In 2017, the UK government announced the sale of new petrol and diesel cars would be banned by 2040.  

However,  MPs on the climate change committee have urged the government to bring the ban forward to 2030, as by then they will have an equivalent range and price.

The Paris Agreement, which was first signed in 2015, is an international agreement to control and limit climate change. Pictured: air pollution over Paris in 2019.

The Paris Agreement, which was first signed in 2015, is an international agreement to control and limit climate change. Pictured: air pollution over Paris in 2019.

Norway’s electric car subsidies

The speedy electrification of Norway’s automotive fleet is attributed mainly to generous state subsidies. Electric cars are almost entirely exempt from the heavy taxes imposed on petrol and diesel cars, which makes them competitively priced.

A VW Golf with a standard combustion engine costs nearly 334,000 kroner (34,500 euros, $38,600), while its electric cousin the e-Golf costs 326,000 kroner thanks to a lower tax quotient. 

Criticisms of inaction on climate change

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has said there is a ‘shocking’ lack of Government preparation for the risks to the country from climate change. 

The committee assessed 33 areas where the risks of climate change had to be addressed – from flood resilience of properties to impacts on farmland and supply chains – and found no real progress in any of them.

The UK is not prepared for 2°C of warming, the level at which countries have pledged to curb temperature rises, let alone a 4°C rise, which is possible if greenhouse gases are not cut globally, the committee said.

It added that cities need more green spaces to stop the urban ‘heat island’ effect, and to prevent floods by soaking up heavy rainfall. 

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Sports UK

EFL confirm last-minute rule change ahead of Man Utd v Man City Carabao Cup semi

The four Carabao Cup semi-finalists will be permitted to make five substitutes in their upcoming ties rather than three after a last-minute rule change by the EFL.

Up until now, like in the Premier League, only three changes per match have been allowed in the competition.

But the EFL released a statement on Monday confirming the alteration amid an increasingly hectic fixture list.

On Tuesday Tottenham host Brentford looking to book their place in the final before Manchester United take on bitter rivals Manchester City on Wednesday.

The statement read: “The EFL has agreed to increase the number of substitutes permitted to be used in this season’s Carabao Cup Semi-Finals and Final.

Manchester United and Manchester City will take each other on in the Carabao Cup semi-final for the second season in a row

“Following consultation with the four Clubs remaining in the competition, nine substitutes can now be named in the matchday squad, with five permitted to take to the pitch during the 90 minutes and extra time if applicable.

“Each team is only permitted a maximum of three opportunities (excluding half time, full time and half time of extra time) to make substitutions during normal time.

“However, if a tie goes to extra time, an additional opportunity to use a substitute(s) will also be permitted but only from the five substitutes allowed.

Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham take on Brentford in the other semi-final on Tuesday

“Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and a more congested fixture schedule, the Carabao Cup Semi-Finals will be single-legged and go to extra time and penalties if required.”

The change is likely to please City manager Pep Guardiola, who has regularly stated his belief that five substitutes should be allowed in all competitions this season,

Meanwhile, the Carabao Cup final has been pushed back until April, with the EFL said to be hoping at least a limited amount of fans be able to attend the Wembley showpiece.

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Georgia Headline USA Politics

Transcript of Trump’s call pressuring Brad Raffensperger to change Georgia’s election results

President Donald Trump’s desperate attempts to pressure Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to ‘find’ enough votes to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the Peach State have been revealed in a leaked phone call.   

The Washington Post obtained audio of the extraordinary hour-long call on Saturday, in which Trump berated Raffensperger and Gov Brian Kemp to do anything they could to change the outcome of the Georgia election. 

An agitated Trump was heard repeatedly insisting: ‘There’s no way I lost Georgia. There’s no way. We won by hundreds of thousands of votes.’ 

He told the Republican officials: ‘So look. All I want to do is this – I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.  

‘There’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, um, that you’ve recalculated.’

Raffensperger pushed back hard, and often, at one point telling Trump: ‘Well, Mr President, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong.’

Georgia's Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger

Donald Trump (left) pressured Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (right) to ‘find’ enough votes to overturn Joe Biden’s win in the Peach State during an extraordinary leaked phone call on Saturday

Trump’s comments sparked fury among Democrats, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris calling them ‘the voice of desperation’ and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez branding the call ‘an impeachable offense’. 

The president was joined on the call by his Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and two top conservative attorneys, Cleta Mitchell and Kurt Hilbert. 

Raffensberger was joined by his General Counsel Ryan Germany and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp. 

Below is a full transcript of the call first published by the Post:

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows: Okay. Alright. Mr. President, everyone is on the line. This is Mark Meadows, the chief of staff. Just so we all are aware. On the line is secretary of state and two other individuals. Jordan and Mr. Germany with him. You also have the attorneys that represent the president, Kurt and Alex and Cleta Mitchell — who is not the attorney of record but has been involved — myself and then the president. So Mr. President, I’ll turn it over to you. 

President Donald Trump: Okay, thank you very much. Hello Brad and Ryan and everybody. We appreciate the time and the call. So we’ve spent a lot of time on this, and if we could just go over some of the numbers, I think it’s pretty clear that we won. We won very substantially in Georgia. You even see it by rally size, frankly. We’d be getting 25-30,000 people a rally, and the competition would get less than 100 people. And it never made sense.

But we have a number of things. We have at least 2 or 3 — anywhere from 250 to 300,000 ballots were dropped mysteriously into the rolls. Much of that had to do with Fulton County, which hasn’t been checked. We think that if you check the signatures — a real check of the signatures going back in Fulton County — you’ll find at least a couple of hundred thousand of forged signatures of people who have been forged. And we are quite sure that’s going to happen.

Another tremendous number. We’re going to have an accurate number over the next two days with certified accountants. But an accurate number will be given, but it’s in the 50s of thousands — and that’s people that went to vote and they were told they can’t vote because they’ve already been voted for. And it’s a very sad thing. They walked out complaining. But the number’s large. We’ll have it for you. But it’s much more than the number of 11,779 that’s — the current margin is only 11,779. Brad, I think you agree with that, right? That’s something I think everyone — at least that’s a number that everyone agrees on.

Who was on Trump’s leaked call? 

  • Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger
  • Georgia Governor Brian Kemp 
  • Raffensperger’s General Counsel Ryan Germany 
  • White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows 
  • Trump attorney Cleta Mitchell 
  • Trump attorney Kurt Hilbert  

But that’s the difference in the votes. But we’ve had hundreds of thousands of ballots that we’re able to actually — we’ll get you a pretty accurate number. You don’t need much of a number because the number that in theory I lost by, the margin would be 11,779. But you also have a substantial numbers of people, thousands and thousands, who went to the voting place on November 3, were told they couldn’t vote, were told they couldn’t vote because a ballot had been put on their name. And you know that’s very, very, very, very sad.

We had, I believe it’s about 4,502 voters who voted but who weren’t on the voter registration list, so it’s 4,502 who voted, but they weren’t on the voter registration roll, which they had to be. You had 18,325 vacant address voters. The address was vacant, and they’re not allowed to be counted. That’s 18,325.

Smaller number — you had 904 who only voted where they had just a P.O. — a post office box number — and they had a post office box number, and that’s not allowed. We had at least 18,000 — that’s on tape, we had them counted very painstakingly — 18,000 voters having to do with [name]. She’s a vote scammer, a professional vote scammer and hustler [name]. That was the tape that’s been shown all over the world that makes everybody look bad, you, me and everybody else.

Where they got — number one they said very clearly and it’s been reported that they said there was a major water main break. Everybody fled the area. And then they came back, [name] and her daughter and a few people. There were no Republican poll watchers. Actually, there were no Democrat poll watchers, I guess they were them. But there were no Democrats, either, and there was no law enforcement. Late in the morning, early in the morning, they went to the table with the black robe and the black shield, and they pulled out the votes. Those votes were put there a number of hours before — the table was put there — I think it was, Brad, you would know, it was probably eight hours or seven hours before, and then it was stuffed with votes.

They weren’t in an official voter box; they were in what looked to be suitcases or trunks, suitcases, but they weren’t in voter boxes. The minimum number it could be because we watched it, and they watched it certified in slow motion instant replay if you can believe it, but slow motion, and it was magnified many times over, and the minimum it was 18,000 ballots, all for Biden.

You had out-of-state voters. They voted in Georgia, but they were from out of state, of 4,925. You had absentee ballots sent to vacant, they were absentee ballots sent to vacant addresses. They had nothing on them about addresses, that’s 2,326.

And you had dropboxes, which is very bad. You had dropboxes that were picked up. We have photographs, and we have affidavits from many people.

I don’t know if you saw the hearings, but you have dropboxes where the box was picked up but not delivered for three days. So all sorts of things could have happened to that box, including, you know, putting in the votes that you wanted. So there were many infractions, and the bottom line is, many, many times the 11,779 margin that they said we lost by — we had vast, I mean the state is in turmoil over this.

And I know you would like to get to the bottom of it, although I saw you on television today, and you said that you found nothing wrong. I mean, you know, and I didn’t lose the state, Brad. People have been saying that it was the highest vote ever. There was no way. A lot of the political people said that there’s no way they beat me. And they beat me. They beat me in the . . . As you know, every single state, we won every state. We won every statehouse in the country. We held the Senate, which is shocking to people, although we’ll see what happens tomorrow or in a few days.

And we won the House, but we won every single statehouse, and we won Congress, which was supposed to lose 15 seats, and they gained, I think 16 or 17 or something. I think there’s a now difference of five. There was supposed to be a difference substantially more. But politicians in every state, but politicians in Georgia have given affidavits and are going to that, that there was no way that they beat me in the election, that the people came out, in fact, they were expecting to lose, and then they ended up winning by a lot because of the coattails. And they said there’s no way, that they’ve done many polls prior to the election, that there was no way that they won.

Ballots were dropped in massive numbers. And we’re trying to get to those numbers and we will have them.

They’ll take a period of time. Certified. But but they’re massive numbers. And far greater than the 11,779.

The other thing, dead people. So dead people voted, and I think the number is close to 5,000 people. And they went to obituaries. They went to all sorts of methods to come up with an accurate number, and a minimum is close to about 5,000 voters.

The bottom line is, when you add it all up and then you start adding, you know, 300,000 fake ballots. Then the other thing they said is in Fulton County and other areas. And this may or may not be true . . . this just came up this morning, that they are burning their ballots, that they are shredding, shredding ballots and removing equipment. They’re changing the equipment on the Dominion machines and, you know, that’s not legal.

And they supposedly shredded I think they said 300 pounds of, 3,000 pounds of ballots. And that just came to us as a report today. And it is a very sad situation.

But Brad, if you took the minimum numbers where many, many times above the 11,779, and many of those numbers are certified, or they will be certified, but they are certified. And those are numbers that are there, that exist. And that beat the margin of loss, they beat it, I mean, by a lot, and people should be happy to have an accurate count instead of an election where there’s turmoil.

I mean there’s turmoil in Georgia and other places. You’re not the only one, I mean, we have other states that I believe will be flipping to us very shortly. And this is something that — you know, as an example, I think it in Detroit, I think there’s a section, a good section of your state actually, which we’re not sure so we’re not going to report it yet. But in Detroit, we had, I think it was, 139 percent of the people voted. That’s not too good.

In Pennsylvania, they had well over 200,000 more votes than they had people voting. And that doesn’t play too well, and the legislature there is, which is Republican, is extremely activist and angry. I mean, there were other things also that were almost as bad as that. But they had as an example, in Michigan, a tremendous number of dead people that voted. I think it was, I think, Mark, it was 18,000. Some unbelievably high number, much higher than yours, you were in the 4-5,000 category.

And that was checked out laboriously by going through, by going through the obituary columns in the newspapers.

So I guess with all of it being said, Brad, the bottom line, and provisional ballots, again, you know, you’ll have to tell me about the provisional ballots, but we have a lot of people that were complaining that they weren’t able to vote because they were already voted for. These are great people.

And, you know, they were shellshocked. I don’t know if you call that provisional ballots. In some states, we had a lot of provisional ballot situations where people were given a provisional ballot because when they walked in on November 3 and they were already voted for.

So that’s it. I mean, we have many, many times the number of votes necessary to win the state. And we won the state, and we won it very substantially and easily, and we’re getting, we have, much of this is a very certified, far more certified than we need. But we’re getting additional numbers certified, too. And we’re getting pictures of dropboxes being delivered and delivered late. Delivered three days later, in some cases, plus we have many affidavits to that effect.

Meadows: So, Mr. President, if I might be able to jump in, and I’ll give Brad a chance. Mr. Secretary, obviously there is, there are allegations where we believe that not every vote or fair vote and legal vote was counted, and that’s at odds with the representation from the secretary of state’s office.

What I’m hopeful for is there some way that we can, we can find some kind of agreement to look at this a little bit more fully? You know the president mentioned Fulton County.

But in some of these areas where there seems to be a difference of where the facts seem to lead, and so Mr. Secretary, I was hopeful that, you know, in the spirit of cooperation and compromise, is there something that we can at least have a discussion to look at some of these allegations to find a path forward that’s less litigious?

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger: Well, I listened to what the president has just said. President Trump, we’ve had several lawsuits, and we’ve had to respond in court to the lawsuits and the contentions. We don’t agree that you have won. And we don’t — I didn’t agree about the 200,000 number that you’d mentioned. I’ll go through that point by point.

What we have done is we gave our state Senate about one and a half hours of our time going through the election issue by issue and then on the state House, the government affairs committee, we gave them about two and a half hours of our time, going back point by point on all the issues of contention. And then just a few days ago, we met with our U.S. congressmen, Republican congressmen, and we gave them about two hours of our time talking about this past election. Going back, primarily what you’ve talked about here focused in on primarily, I believe, is the absentee ballot process. I don’t believe that you’re really questioning the Dominion machines. Because we did a hand re-tally, a 100 percent re-tally of all the ballots, and compared them to what the machines said and came up with virtually the same result. Then we did the recount, and we got virtually the same result. So I guess we can probably take that off the table.

I don’t think there’s an issue about that.

Trump: Well, Brad. Not that there’s not an issue, because we have a big issue with Dominion in other states and perhaps in yours. But we haven’t felt we needed to go there. And just to, you know, maybe put a little different spin on what Mark is saying, Mark Meadows, yeah we’d like to go further, but we don’t really need to. We have all the votes we need.

You know, we won the state. If you took, these are the most minimal numbers, the numbers that I gave you, those are numbers that are certified, your absentee ballots sent to vacant addresses, your out-of-state voters, 4,925. You know when you add them up, it’s many more times, it’s many times the 11,779 number. So we could go through, we have not gone through your Dominion. So we can’t give them blessing. I mean, in other states, we think we found tremendous corruption with Dominion machines, but we’ll have to see.

But we only lost the state by that number, 11,000 votes, and 779. So with that being said, with just what we have, with just what we have, we’re giving you minimal, minimal numbers. We’re doing the most conservative numbers possible; we’re many times, many, many times above the margin. And so we don’t really have to, Mark, I don’t think we have to go through . . .

Meadows: Right

Trump: Because what’s the difference between winning the election by two votes and winning it by half a million votes. I think I probably did win it by half a million. You know, one of the things that happened, Brad, is we have other people coming in now from Alabama and from South Carolina and from other states, and they’re saying it’s impossible for you to have lost Georgia. We won. You know in Alabama, we set a record, got the highest vote ever. In Georgia, we set a record with a massive amount of votes. And they say it’s not possible to have lost Georgia.

And I could tell you by our rallies. I could tell you by the rally I’m having on Monday night, the place, they already have lines of people standing out front waiting. It’s just not possible to have lost Georgia. It’s not possible. When I heard it was close, I said there’s no way. But they dropped a lot of votes in there late at night. You know that, Brad. And that’s what we are working on very, very stringently. But regardless of those votes, with all of it being said, we lost by essentially 11,000 votes, and we have many more votes already calculated and certified, too.

And so I just don’t know, you know, Mark, I don’t know what’s the purpose. I won’t give Dominion a pass because we found too many bad things. But we don’t need Dominion or anything else. We have won this election in Georgia based on all of this. And there’s nothing wrong with saying that, Brad. You know, I mean, having the correct — the people of Georgia are angry. And these numbers are going to be repeated on Monday night. Along with others that we’re going to have by that time, which are much more substantial even. And the people of Georgia are angry, the people of the country are angry. And there’s nothing wrong with saying that, you know, that you’ve recalculated. Because the 2,236 in absentee ballots. I mean, they’re all exact numbers that were done by accounting firms, law firms, etc. And even if you cut ’em in half, cut ’em in half and cut ’em in half again, it’s more votes than we need. 

Raffensperger: Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is the data you have is wrong. We talked to the congressmen, and they were surprised.

But they — I guess there was a person named Mr. Braynard who came to these meetings and presented data, and he said that there was dead people, I believe it was upward of 5,000. The actual number were two. Two. Two people that were dead that voted. So that’s wrong.

Trump: Well, Cleta, how do you respond to that? Maybe you tell me?

Trump attorney Cleta Mitchell: Well, I would say, Mr. Secretary, one of the things that we have requested and what we said was, if you look, if you read our petition, it said that we took the names and birth years, and we had certain information available to us. We have asked from your office for records that only you have, and so we said there is a universe of people who have the same name and same birth year and died.

But we don’t have the records that you have. And one of the things that we have been suggesting formally and informally for weeks now is for you to make available to us the records that would be necessary —

Trump: But, Cleta, even before you do that, and not even including that, that’s why I hardly even included that number, although in one state, we have a tremendous amount of dead people. So I don’t know — I’m sure we do in Georgia, too. I’m sure we do in Georgia, too.

But we’re so far ahead. We’re so far ahead of these numbers, even the phony ballots of [name] , known scammer. You know the Internet? You know what was trending on the Internet? ‘Where’s [name]?’ Because they thought she’d be in jail. ‘Where’s [name]?’ It’s crazy, it’s crazy. That was. The minimum number is 18,000 for [name] , but they think it’s probably about 56,000, but the minimum number is 18,000 on the [name] night where she ran back in there when everybody was gone and stuffed, she stuffed the ballot boxes. Let’s face it, Brad, I mean. They did it in slow motion replay magnified, right? She stuffed the ballot boxes. They were stuffed like nobody has ever seen them stuffed before.

So there’s a term for it when it’s a machine instead of a ballot box, but she stuffed the machine. She stuffed the ballot. Each ballot went three times, they were showing: Here’s ballot No 1. Here it is a second time, third time, next ballot.

I mean, look. Brad. We have a new tape that we’re going to release. It’s devastating. And by the way, that one event, that one event is much more than the 11,000 votes that we’re talking about. It’s, you know, that one event was a disaster. And it’s just, you know, but it was, it was something, it can’t be disputed. And again, we have a version that you haven’t seen, but it’s magnified. It’s magnified, and you can see everything. For some reason, they put it in three times, each ballot, and I don’t know why. I don’t know why three times. Why not five times, right? Go ahead.

Raffensperger: You’re talking about the State Farm video. And I think it’s extremely unfortunate that Rudy Giuliani or his people, they sliced and diced that video and took it out of context. The next day, we brought in WSB-TV, and we let them show, see the full run of tape, and what you’ll see, the events that transpired are nowhere near what was projected by, you know —

Trump: But where were the poll watchers, Brad? There were no poll watchers there. There were no Democrats or Republicans. There was no security there.

It was late in the evening, late in the, early in the morning, and there was nobody else in the room. Where were the poll watchers, and why did they say a water main broke, which they did and which was reported in the newspapers? They said they left. They ran out because of a water main break, and there was no water main. There was nothing. There was no break. There was no water main break. But we’re, if you take out everything, where were the Republican poll watchers, even where were the Democrat pollwatchers, because there were none.

And then you say, well, they left their station, you know, if you look at the tape, and this was, this was reviewed by professional police and detectives and other people, when they left in a rush, everybody left in a rush because of the water main, but everybody left in a rush. These people left their station.

When they came back, they didn’t go to their station. They went to the apron, wrapped around the table, under which were thousands and thousands of ballots in a box that was not an official or a sealed box. And then they took those. They went back to a different station. So if they would have come back, they would have walked to their station, and they would have continued to work. But they couldn’t do even that because that’s illegal, because they had no Republican pollwatchers. And remember, her reputation is — she’s known all over the Internet, Brad. She’s known all over.

I’m telling you, ‘Where’s [name] ‘ was one of the hot items . . . [name] They knew her. ‘Where’s [name]?’ So Brad, there can be no justification for that. And I, you know, I give everybody the benefit of the doubt. But that was — and Brad, why did they put the votes in three times? You know, they put ’em in three times.

Raffensperger: Mr. President, they did not put that. We did an audit of that, and we proved conclusively that they were not scanned three times.

Trump: Where was everybody else at that late time in the morning? Where was everybody? Where were the Republicans? Where were the security guards? Were the people that were there just a little while before when everyone ran out of the room. How come we had no security in the room. Why did they run to the bottom of the table? Why do they run there and just open the skirt and rip out the votes. I mean, Brad. And they were sitting there, I think for five hours or something like that, the votes.

Raffensperger: Mr. President, we’ll send you the link from WSB.

Trump: I don’t care about the link. I don’t need it. Brad, I have a much better —

Mitchell: I will tell you. I’ve seen the tape. The full tape. So has Alex. We’ve watched it. And what we saw and what we’ve confirmed in the timing is that they made everybody leave — we have sworn affidavits saying that. And then they began to process ballots. And our estimate is that there were roughly 18,000 ballots. We don’t know that. If you know that . . . 

Trump: It was 18,000 ballots, but they used each one three times.

Mitchell: Well, I don’t know about that.

Trump: I do think we had ours magnified out.

Mitchell: I’ve watched the entire tape.

Trump: Nobody can make a case for that, Brad. Nobody. I mean, look, you’d have to be a child to think anything other than that. Just a child.

Mitchell: How many ballots, Mr. Secretary, are you saying were processed then?

Raffensperger: We had GBI . . . investigate that.

Germany: We had our — this is Ryan Germany. We had our law enforcement officers talk to everyone who was, who was there after that event came to light. GBI was with them as well as FBI agents.

Trump: Well, there’s no way they could — then they’re incompetent. They’re either dishonest or incompetent, okay?

Mitchell: Well, what did they find?

Trump: There’s only two answers, dishonesty or incompetence. There’s just no way. Look. There’s no way. And on the other thing, I said too, there is no way. I mean, there’s no way that these things could have been, you know, you have all these different people that voted, but they don’t live in Georgia anymore. What was that number, Cleta? That was a pretty good number, too.

Mitchell: The number who have registered out of state after they moved from Georgia. And so they had a date when they moved from Georgia, they registered to vote out of state, and then it’s like 4,500, I don’t have that number right in front of me.

Trump: And then they came back in, and they voted.

Mitchell: And voted. Yeah.

Trump: I thought that was a large number, though. It was in the 20s.

Ryan Germany, Raffensberger’s General Counsel: We’ve been going through each of those as well, and those numbers that we got, that Ms. Mitchell was just saying, they’re not accurate. Every one we’ve been through are people that lived in Georgia, moved to a different state, but then moved back to Georgia legitimately. And in many cases —

Trump: How may people do that? They moved out, and then they said, ‘Ah, to hell with it, I’ll move back.’ You know, it doesn’t sound like a very normal . . . you mean, they moved out, and what, they missed it so much that they wanted to move back in? It’s crazy.

Germany: They moved back in years ago. This was not like something just before the election. So there’s something about that data that, it’s just not accurate.

Trump: Well, I don’t know, all I know is that it is certified. And they moved out of Georgia, and they voted. It didn’t say they moved back in, Cleta, did it?

Mitchell: No, but I mean, we’re looking at the voter registration. Again, if you have additional records, we’ve been asking for that, but you haven’t shared any of that with us. You just keep saying you investigated the allegations.

Trump: Cleta, a lot of it you don’t need to be shared. I mean, to be honest, they should share it. They should share it because you want to get to an honest election.

I won this election by hundreds of thousands of votes. There’s no way I lost Georgia. There’s no way. We won by hundreds of thousands of votes. I’m just going by small numbers, when you add them up, they’re many times the 11,000. But I won that state by hundreds of thousands of votes.

Do you think it’s possible that they shredded ballots in Fulton County? Because that’s what the rumor is. And also that Dominion took out machines. That Dominion is really moving fast to get rid of their, uh, machinery.

Do you know anything about that? Because that’s illegal, right?

Trump suggested that Raffensberger and his general counsel Ryan Germany (pictured) could be subject to criminal liability if they failed to find that thousands of ballots cast in Fulton County had been illegally destroyed - despite no evidence supporting that allegation

Trump suggested that Raffensberger and his general counsel Ryan Germany (pictured) could be subject to criminal liability if they failed to find that thousands of ballots cast in Fulton County had been illegally destroyed – despite no evidence supporting that allegation

Germany: This is Ryan Germany. No, Dominion has not moved any machinery out of Fulton County.

Trump: But have they moved the inner parts of the machines and replaced them with other parts?

Germany: No.

Trump: Are you sure, Ryan?

Germany: I’m sure. I’m sure, Mr. President.

Trump: What about, what about the ballots. The shredding of the ballots. Have they been shredding ballots?

Germany: The only investigation that we have into that — they have not been shredding any ballots. There was an issue in Cobb County where they were doing normal office shredding, getting rid of old stuff, and we investigated that. But this stuff from, you know, from you know past elections.

Trump: It doesn’t pass the smell test because we hear they’re shredding thousands and thousands of ballots, and now what they’re saying, ‘Oh, we’re just cleaning up the office.’ You know.

Raffensperger: Mr. President, the problem you have with social media, they — people can say anything.

Trump: Oh this isn’t social media. This is Trump media. It’s not social media. It’s really not; it’s not social media. I don’t care about social media. I couldn’t care less. Social media is Big Tech. Big Tech is on your side, you know. I don’t even know why you have a side because you should want to have an accurate election. And you’re a Republican.

Raffensperger: We believe that we do have an accurate election.

Trump: No, no you don’t. No, no you don’t. You don’t have. Not even close. You’re off by hundreds of thousands of votes. And just on the small numbers, you’re off on these numbers, and these numbers can’t be just — well, why wont? — Okay. So you sent us into Cobb County for signature verification, right? You sent us into Cobb County, which we didn’t want to go into. And you said it would be open to the public. So we had our experts there, they weren’t allowed into the room. But we didn’t want Cobb County. We wanted Fulton County. And you wouldn’t give it to us. Now, why aren’t we doing signature — and why can’t it be open to the public?

And why can’t we have professionals do it instead of rank amateurs who will never find anything and don’t want to find anything? They don’t want to find, you know they don’t want to find anything. Someday you’ll tell me the reason why, because I don’t understand your reasoning, but someday you’ll tell me the reason why. But why don’t you want to find?

Germany: Mr. President, we chose Cobb County —

Trump: Why don’t you want to find . . . What?

Germany: Sorry, go ahead.

Trump: So why did you do Cobb County? We didn’t even request — we requested Fulton County, not Cobb County. Go ahead, please. Go ahead.

Germany: We chose Cobb County because that was the only county where there’s been any evidence submitted that the signature verification was not properly done.

Trump: No, but I told you. We’re not, we’re not saying that.

Mitchell: We did say that.

Trump: Fulton County. Look. Stacey, in my opinion, Stacey is as dishonest as they come. She has outplayed you . . . at everything. She got you to sign a totally unconstitutional agreement, which is a disastrous agreement. You can’t check signatures. I can’t imagine you’re allowed to do harvesting, I guess, in that agreement. That agreement is a disaster for this country. But she got you somehow to sign that thing, and she has outsmarted you at every step.

And I hate to imagine what’s going to happen on Monday or Tuesday, but it’s very scary to people. You know, when the ballots flow in out of nowhere. It’s very scary to people. That consent decree is a disaster. It’s a disaster. A very good lawyer who examined it said they’ve never seen anything like it.

Raffensperger: Harvesting is still illegal in the state of Georgia. And that settlement agreement did not change that one iota.

Trump: It’s not a settlement agreement, it’s a consent decree. It even says consent decree on it, doesn’t it? It uses the term consent decree. It doesn’t say settlement agreement. It’s a consent decree. It’s a disaster.

Raffensperger: It’s a settlement agreement.

Trump: What’s written on top of it?

Raffensperger: Ryan?

Germany: I don’t have it in front of me, but it was not entered by the court, it’s not a court order.

Trump: But Ryan, it’s called a consent decree, is that right? On the paper. Is that right?

Germany: I don’t. I don’t. I don’t believe so, but I don’t have it in front of me. 

Trump: Okay, whatever, it’s a disaster. It’s a disaster. Look. Here’s the problem. We can go through signature verification, and we’ll find hundreds of thousands of signatures, if you let us do it. And the only way you can do it, as you know, is to go to the past. But you didn’t do that in Cobb County. You just looked at one page compared to another. The only way you can do a signature verification is go from the one that signed it on November whatever. Recently. And compare it to two years ago, four years ago, six years ago, you know, or even one. And you’ll find that you have many different signatures. But in Fulton, where they dumped ballots, you will find that you have many that aren’t even signed and you have many that are forgeries.

Okay, you know that. You know that. You have no doubt about that. And you will find you will be at 11,779 within minutes because Fulton County is totally corrupt, and so is she totally corrupt.

And they’re going around playing you and laughing at you behind your back, Brad, whether you know it or not, they’re laughing at you. And you’ve taken a state that’s a Republican state, and you’ve made it almost impossible for a Republican to win because of cheating, because they cheated like nobody’s ever cheated before. And I don’t care how long it takes me, you know, we’re going to have other states coming forward — pretty good.

But I won’t . . . this is never . . . this is . . . We have some incredible talent said they’ve never seen anything . . . Now the problem is they need more time for the big numbers. But they’re very substantial numbers. But I think you’re going to fine that they — by the way, a little information — I think you’re going to find that they are shredding ballots because they have to get rid of the ballots because the ballots are unsigned. The ballots are corrupt, and they’re brand new, and they don’t have seals, and there’s a whole thing with the ballots. But the ballots are corrupt.

And you are going to find that they are — which is totally illegal — it is more illegal for you than it is for them because, you know, what they did and you’re not reporting it. That’s a criminal, that’s a criminal offense. And you can’t let that happen. That’s a big risk to you and to Ryan, your lawyer. And that’s a big risk. But they are shredding ballots, in my opinion, based on what I’ve heard. And they are removing machinery, and they’re moving it as fast as they can, both of which are criminal finds. And you can’t let it happen, and you are letting it happen. You know, I mean, I’m notifying you that you’re letting it happen. So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state.

And flipping the state is a great testament to our country because, you know, this is — it’s a testament that they can admit to a mistake or whatever you want to call it. If it was a mistake, I don’t know. A lot of people think it wasn’t a mistake. It was much more criminal than that. But it’s a big problem in Georgia, and it’s not a problem that’s going away. I mean, you know, it’s not a problem that’s going away.

Germany: This is Ryan. We’re looking into every one of those things that you mentioned.

Trump: Good. But if you find it, you’ve got to say it, Ryan.

Germany: . . . Let me tell you what we are seeing. What we’re seeing is not at all what you’re describing. These are investigators from our office, these are investigators from GBI, and they’re looking, and they’re good. And that’s not what they’re seeing. And we’ll keep looking, at all these things.

Trump: Well, you better check on the ballots because they are shredding ballots, Ryan. I’m just telling you, Ryan. They’re shredding ballots. And you should look at that very carefully. Because that’s so illegal. You know, you may not even believe it because it’s so bad. But they’re shredding ballots because they think we’re going to eventually get there . . . because we’ll eventually get into Fulton. In my opinion, it’s never too late. . . . So, that’s the story. Look, we need only 11,000 votes. We have are far more than that as it stands now. We’ll have more and more. And . . . do you have provisional ballots at all, Brad? Provisional ballots?

Raffensperger: Provisional ballots are allowed by state law.

Trump: Sure, but I mean, are they counted, or did you just hold them back because they, you know, in other words, how many provisional ballots do you have in the state?

Raffensperger: We’ll get you that number.

Trump: Because most of them are made out to the name Trump. Because these are people that were scammed when they came in. And we have thousands of people that have testified or that want to testify. When they came in, they were proudly going to vote on November 3. And they were told, ‘I’m sorry, you’ve already been voted for, you’ve already voted.’ The women, men started screaming, ‘No. I proudly voted till November 3.’ They said, ‘I’m sorry, but you’ve already been voted for, and you have a ballot.’ And these people are beside themselves. So they went out, and they filled in a provisional ballot, putting the name Trump on it.

And what about that batch of military ballots that came in. And even though I won the military by a lot, it was 100 percent Trump. I mean 100 percent Biden. Do you know about that? A large group of ballots came in, I think it was to Fulton County, and they just happened to be 100 percent for Trump — for Biden — even though Trump won the military by a lot, you know, a tremendous amount. But these ballots were 100 percent for Biden. And do you know about that? A very substantial number came in, all for Biden. Does anybody know about it?

Mitchell: I know about it, but —

Trump: Okay, Cleta, I’m not asking you, Cleta, honestly. I’m asking Brad. Do you know about the military ballots that we have confirmed now. Do you know about the military ballots that came in that were 100 percent, I mean 100 percent, for Biden. Do you know about that?

Germany: I don’t know about that. I do know that we have, when military ballots come in, it’s not just military, it’s also military and overseas citizens. The military part of that does generally go Republican. The overseas citizen part of it generally goes very Democrat. This was a mix of ’em.

Trump: No, but this was. That’s okay. But I got like 78 percent of the military. These ballots were all for . . . They didn’t tell me overseas. Could be overseas, too, but I get votes overseas, too, Ryan, in all fairness. No they came in, a large batch came in, and it was, quote, 100 percent for Biden. And that is criminal. You know, that’s criminal. Okay. That’s another criminal, that’s another of the many criminal events, many criminal events here.

I don’t know, look, Brad. I got to get . . . I have to find 12,000 votes, and I have them times a lot. And therefore, I won the state. That’s before we go to the next step, which is in the process of right now. You know, and I watched you this morning, and you said, well, there was no criminality.

But I mean all of this stuff is very dangerous stuff. When you talk about no criminality, I think it’s very dangerous for you to say that.

I just, I just don’t know why you don’t want to have the votes counted as they are. Like even you when you went and did that check. And I was surprised because, you know . . . And we found a few thousand votes that were against me. I was actually surprised because the way that check was done, all you’re doing, you know, recertifying existing votes and, you know, and you were given votes and you just counted them up, and you still found 3,000 that were bad. So that was sort of surprising that it came down to three or five, I don’t know. Still a lot of votes. But you have to go back to check from past years with respect to signatures. And if you check with Fulton County, you’ll have hundreds of thousands because they dumped ballots into Fulton County and the other county next to it.

So what are we going to do here, folks? I only need 11,000 votes. Fellas, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break. You know, we have that in spades already. Or we can keep it going, but that’s not fair to the voters of Georgia because they’re going to see what happened, and they’re going to see what happened. I mean, I’ll, I’ll take on anybody you want with regard to [name] and her lovely daughter, a very lovely young lady, I’m sure. But, but [name] . . . I will take on anybody you want. And the minimum, there were 18,000 ballots, but they used them three times. So that’s, you know, a lot of votes. And they were all to Biden, by the way, that’s the other thing we didn’t say. You know, [name] , the one thing I forgot to say, which was the most important. You know that every single ballot she did went to Biden. You know that, right? Do you know that, by the way, Brad?

Every single ballot that she did through the machines at early, early in the morning went to Biden. Did you know that, Ryan?

Germany: That’s not accurate, Mr. President.

Trump: Huh. What is accurate?

Germany: The numbers that we are showing are accurate.

Trump: No, about [name] . About early in the morning, Ryan. Where the woman took, you know, when the whole gang took the stuff from under the table, right? Do you know, do you know who those ballots, do you know who they were made out to, do you know who they were voting for?

Germany: No, not specifically.

Trump: Did you ever check?

Germany: We did what I described to you earlier —

Trump: No no no — did you ever check the ballots that were scanned by [name] , a known political operative, balloteer? Did ever check who those votes were for?

Germany: We looked into that situation that you described.

Trump: No, they were 100 percent for Biden. 100 percent. There wasn’t a Trump vote in the whole group. Why don’t you want to find this, Ryan? What’s wrong with you? I heard your lawyer is very difficult, actually, but I’m sure you’re a good lawyer. You have a nice last name.

But, but I’m just curious, why wouldn’t, why do you keep fighting this thing? It just doesn’t make sense. We’re way over the 17,779, right? We’re way over that number, and just if you took just [name] , we’re over that number by five, five or six times when you multiply that times three.

And every single ballot went to Biden, and you didn’t know that, but now you know it. So tell me, Brad, what are we going to do? We won the election, and it’s not fair to take it away from us like this. And it’s going to be very costly in many ways. And I think you have to say that you’re going to reexamine it, and you can reexamine it, but reexamine it with people that want to find answers, not people that don’t want to find answers. For instance, I’m hearing Ryan that he’s probably, I’m sure a great lawyer and everything, but he’s making statements about those ballots that he doesn’t know. But he’s making them with such — he did make them with surety. But now I think he’s less sure because the answer is, they all went to Biden, and that alone wins us the election by a lot. You know, so.

Raffensperger: Mr. President, you have people that submit information, and we have our people that submit information. And then it comes before the court, and the court then has to make a determination. We have to stand by our numbers. We believe our numbers are right.

Trump: Why do you say that, though? I don’t know. I mean, sure, we can play this game with the courts, but why do you say that? First of all, they don’t even assign us a judge. They don’t even assign us a judge. But why wouldn’t you . . . Hey Brad, why wouldn’t you want to check out [name] ? And why wouldn’t you want to say, hey, if in fact, President Trump is right about that, then he wins the state of Georgia, just that one incident alone without going through hundreds of thousands of dropped ballots. You just say, you stick by, I mean I’ve been watching you, you know, you don’t care about anything. ‘Your numbers are right.’ But your numbers aren’t right. They’re really wrong, and they’re really wrong, Brad. And I know this phone call is going nowhere other than, other than ultimately, you know — Look, ultimately, I win, okay? Because you guys are so wrong. And you treated this. You treated the population of Georgia so badly. You, between you and your governor, who is down at 21, he was down 21 points. And like a schmuck, I endorsed him, and he got elected, but I will tell you, he is a disaster.

The people are so angry in Georgia, I can’t imagine he’s ever getting elected again, I’ll tell you that much right now. But why wouldn’t you want to find the right answer, Brad, instead of keep saying that the numbers are right? ‘Cause those numbers are so wrong?

Mitchell: Mr. Secretary, Mr. President, one of the things that we have been, Alex can talk about this, we talked about it, and I don’t know whether the information has been conveyed to your office, but I think what the president is saying, and what we’ve been trying to do is to say, look, the court is not acting on our petition. They haven’t even assigned a judge. But the people of Georgia and the people of America have a right to know the answers. And you have data and records that we don’t have access to.

And you can keep telling us and making public statement that you investigated this and nothing to see here. But we don’t know about that. All we know is what you tell us. What I don’t understand is why wouldn’t it be in everyone’s best interest to try to get to the bottom, compare the numbers, you know, if you say, because . . . to try to be able to get to the truth because we don’t have any way of confirming what you’re telling us. You tell us that you had an investigation at the State Farm Arena. I don’t have any report. I’ve never seen a report of investigation. I don’t know that is. I’ve been pretty involved in this, and I don’t know. And that’s just one of 25 categories. And it doesn’t even. And as I, as the president said, we haven’t even gotten into the Dominion issue. That’s not part of our case. It’s not part of, we just didn’t feel as though we had any to be able to develop —

Trump: No, we do have a way, but I don’t want to get into it. We found a way . . . excuse me, but we don’t need it because we’re only down 11,000 votes, so we don’t even need it. I personally think they’re corrupt as hell. But we don’t need that. All we have to do, Cleta, is find 11,000-plus votes. So we don’t need that. I’m not looking to shake up the whole world. We won Georgia easily. We won it by hundreds of thousands of votes. But if you go by basic, simple numbers, we won it easily, easily. So we’re not giving Dominion a pass on the record. We don’t need Dominion because we have so many other votes that we don’t need to prove it any more than we already have.

Trump attorney Kurt Hilbert: Mr. President and Cleta, this is Kurt Hilbert, if I might interject for a moment. Ryan, I would like to suggest that just four categories that have already been mentioned by the president that have actually hard numbers of 24,149 votes that were counted illegally. That in and of itself is sufficient to change the results or place the outcome in doubt. We would like to sit down with your office, and we can do it through purposes of compromise and just like this phone call, just to deal with that limited category of votes. And if you are able to establish that our numbers are not accurate, then fine. However, we believe that they are accurate. We’ve had now three to four separate experts looking at these numbers.

Trump: Certified accountants looked at them.

Hilbert: Correct. And this is just based on USPS data and your own secretary of state data. So that’s what we would entreat and ask you to do, to sit down with us in a compromise and settlements proceeding and actually go through the registered voter IDs and the registrations. And if you can convince us that 24,149 is inaccurate, then fine. But we tend to believe that is, you know, obviously more than 11,779. That’s sufficient to change the results entirely in and of itself. So what would you say to that, Mr. Germany?

Germany: I’m happy to get with our lawyers, and we’ll set that up. That number is not accurate. And I think we can show you, for all the ones we’ve looked at, why it’s not. And so if that would be helpful, I’m happy to get with our lawyers and set that up with you guys.

Trump: Well, let me ask you, Kurt, you think that is an accurate number. That was based on the information given to you by the secretary of state’s department, right?

Hilbert: That is correct. That information is the minimum, most conservative data based upon the USPS data and the secretary of state’s office data that has been made publicly available. We do not have the internal numbers from the secretary of state. Yet we have asked for it six times. I sent a letter over to . . . several times requesting this information, and it’s been rebuffed every single time. So it stands to reason that if the information is not forthcoming, there’s something to hide. That’s the problem that we have.

Germany: Well, that’s not the case, sir. There are things that you guys are entitled to get. And there’s things that under law, we are not allowed to give out.

Trump: Well, you have to. Well, under law, you’re not allowed to give faulty election results, okay? You’re not allowed to do that. And that’s what you done. This is a faulty election result. And honestly, this should go very fast. You should meet tomorrow because you have a big election coming up, and because of what you’ve done to the president — you know, the people of Georgia know that this was a scam — and because of what you’ve done to the president, a lot of people aren’t going out to vote. And a lot of Republicans are going to vote negative because they hate what you did to the president. Okay? They hate it. And they’re going to vote. And you would be respected. Really respected, if this thing could be straightened out before the election. You have a big election coming up on Tuesday. And I think that it is really is important that you meet tomorrow and work out on these numbers. Because I know, Brad, that if you think we’re right, I think you’re going to say, and I’m not looking to blame anybody, I’m just saying, you know, and, you know, under new counts, and under new views, of the election results, we won the election. You know? It’s very simple. We won the election. As the governors of major states and the surrounding states said, there is no way you lost Georgia. As the Georgia politicians say, there is no way you lost Georgia. Nobody. Everyone knows I won it by hundreds of thousands of votes. But I’ll tell you it’s going to have a big impact on Tuesday if you guys don’t get this thing straightened out fast.

Meadows: Mr. President, this is Mark. It sounds like we’ve got two different sides agreeing that we can look at those areas, and I assume that we can do that within the next 24 to 48 hours, to go ahead and get that reconciled so that we can look at the two claims and making sure that we get the access to the secretary of state’s data to either validate or invalidate the claims that have been made. Is that correct?

Germany: No, that’s not what I said. I’m happy to have our lawyers sit down with Kurt and the lawyers on that side and explain to him, hey, here’s, based on what we’ve looked at so far, here’s how we know this is wrong, this is wrong, this is wrong, this is wrong, this is wrong.

Meadows: So what you’re saying, Ryan, let me let me make sure . . . so what you’re saying is you really don’t want to give access to the data. You just want to make another case on why the lawsuit is wrong?

Germany: I don’t think we can give access to data that’s protected by law. But we can sit down with them and say —

Trump: But you’re allowed to have a phony election? You’re allowed to have a phony election, right?

Germany: No, sir.

Trump: When are you going to do signature counts, when are you going to do signature verification on Fulton County, which you said you were going to do, and now all of a sudden, you’re not doing it. When are you doing that?

Germany: We are going to do that. We’ve announced —

Hilbert: To get to this issue of the personal information and privacy issue, is it possible that the secretary of state could deputize the lawyers for the president so that we could access that information and private information without you having any kind of violation?

Trump: Well, I don’t want to know who it is. You guys can do it very confidentially. You can sign a confidentiality agreement. That’s okay. I don’t need to know names. But on this stuff that we’re talking about, we got all that information from the secretary of state.

Meadows: Yeah. So let me let me recommend, Ryan, if you and Kurt will get together, you know, when we get off of this phone call, if you could get together and work out a plan to address some of what we’ve got with your attorneys where we can we can actually look at the data. For example, Mr. Secretary, I can you say they were only two dead people who would vote. I can promise you there are more than that. And that may be what your investigation shows, but I can promise you there are more than that. But at the same time, I think it’s important that we go ahead and move expeditiously to try to do this and resolve it as quickly as we possibly can. And if that’s the good next step. Hopefully we can, we can finish this phone call and go ahead and agree that the two of you will get together immediately.

Trump: Well, why don’t my lawyers show you where you got the information. It will show the secretary of state, and you don’t even have to look at any names. We don’t want names. We don’t care. But we got that information from you. And Stacey Abrams is laughing about you. She’s going around saying these guys are dumber than a rock. What she’s done to this party is unbelievable, I tell you. And I only ran against her once. And that was with a guy named Brian Kemp, and I beat her. And if I didn’t run, Brian wouldn’t have had even a shot, either in the general or in the primary. He was dead, dead as a doornail. He never thought he had a shot at either one of them. What a schmuck I was. But that’s the way it is. That’s the way it is. I would like you . . . for the attorneys . . . I’d like you to perhaps meet with Ryan, ideally tomorrow, because I think we should come to a resolution of this before the election. Otherwise you’re going to have people just not voting. They don’t want to vote. They hate the state, they hate the governor, and they hate the secretary of state. I will tell you that right now. The only people that like you are people that will never vote for you. You know that, Brad, right? They like you, you know, they like you. They can’t believe what they found. They want more people like you. So, look, can you get together tomorrow? And, Brad, we just want the truth. It’s simple.

And everyone’s going to look very good if the truth comes out. It’s okay. It takes a little while, but let the truth come out. And the real truth is, I won by 400,000 votes. At least. That’s the real truth. But we don’t need 400,000 votes. We need less than 2,000 votes. And are you guys able to meet tomorrow, Ryan?

Germany: I’ll get with Chris, the lawyer who’s representing us in the case, and see when he can get together with Kurt.

Raffensperger: Ryan will be in touch with the other attorney on this call, Mr. Meadows. Thank you, President Trump, for your time.

Trump: Okay, thank you, Brad. Thank you, Ryan. Thank you. Thank you, everybody. Thank you very much. Bye.