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Gag Order Against Trump Is The Real Threat To Democracy

Gag Order Against Trump Is The Real Threat To Democracy

Authored by Christopher Roach via American Greatness,

The reason you have not heard…

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Gag Order Against Trump Is The Real Threat To Democracy

Authored by Christopher Roach via American Greatness,

The reason you have not heard of a gag order on par with the one imposed on former President Trump is that it is highly unusual. Normally, in a criminal proceeding, there are no gag orders. To the extent they exist, they typically only bind the lawyers, who are admonished to adhere to the rules of professional conduct. Rarely—as in almost never—are criminal defendants forced into a gag order on such spurious grounds as they might “vilify and implicitly encourage violence against public servants who are simply doing their jobs.”

In fact, precedent almost uniformly emphasizes familiar First Amendment principles, which limit the court’s authority, including disfavor towards “prior restraints” and “content-based restrictions” on speech.

In a case involving the prosecution of a congressman, the Sixth Circuit federal court of appeals noted that “such broadly based restrictions on speech in connection with litigation are seldom, if ever, justified. Trial judges, the government, the lawyers and the public must tolerate robust and at times acrimonious or even silly public debate about litigation.”

The Sixth Circuit emphasized that criminal defendants are already very much disadvantaged vis a vis the government, and that any court restrictions must accommodate this asymmetry. “A criminal defendant awaiting trial in a controversial case has the full power of the government arrayed against him and the full spotlight of media attention focused upon him. The defendant’s interest in replying to the charges and to the associated adverse publicity, thus, is at a peak. So is the public’s interest in the proper functioning of the judicial machinery.”

Other circuits follow a less restrictive rule, but even those emphasize the need for any such orders to be narrowly tailored to accomplish a substantial government interest.

Courts typically have broad powers to enforce discipline in their courtrooms and over lawyers, but preemptively stifling a defendant from “making statements targeting prosecutors, possible witnesses and court staff” has a very broad reach. After all, isn’t every member of Congress, every January 6 defendant, and every single person Trump spoke to about the 2020 election a potential witness?

Since part of Trump’s presidential campaign rests on the view that the 2020 election was rigged, how can he effectively run for president in 2024 under this type of restriction?

The D.C. Jury Pool Starts Off Very Biased

The gag order also is very unlikely to be effective in achieving its stated purpose. The judge suggests a fair trial is possible, but that, without the gag order, Trump will influence the process and potentially poison the views of the jury pool.

A bit of a reality check is in order.

Trump is the former American president, who lived in the White House for four years. Everyone in Washington D.C. has an opinion about the former president, as he is a controversial and larger-than-life character. That said, he is more unpopular in D.C. than in any voting district in the country; in 2020, the District achieved an election result worthy of Stalin: 93% for Joe Biden. The only likely impact of Trump’s intemperate speech would be to further prejudice Washington D.C. jurors against him, as his “mean tweets” and general tone seem to be part of why the government class hates him so.

The special prosecutor picked this jurisdiction for a reason. It is practically a “rotten borough” when it comes to politically charged prosecutions of Republicans. This is why the small number of January 6 defendants who went to trial in Washington D.C. have gone down hard.

This all reminds us why the Declaration of Independence mentioned, among its catalog of complaints against King George, that he was “depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury” and “transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences.”

Then, as now, such procedural artifices ensured hostile “peers” would serve on a jury, rigging the outcome of a criminal trial.

The Gag Order Affects the Right of Voters to Hear Trump’s Point of View

In addition to Trump being deprived of a jury of his peers, he is being deprived of his essential First Amendment freedoms. This does not merely affect Trump; voters have an independent right to hear the unfettered political speech of a presidential candidate.

The real reason the D.C. managerial class cabal wants to impose a chilling effect on Trump’s free speech is the 2024 election. Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee, and it increasingly appears he may have a lead over Joe Biden.

One of Trump’s main complaints has been that this prosecution is unfair, politicized, and constitutes a severe form of election interference. In defense of the process, many have suggested that Judge Chutkan’s failure to give the Special Counsel everything he asked for shows that she is fair and that this order is appropriately limited. But, even in its current form, the order is extreme and unconstitutional.    It restricts, among other things, discussing witnesses and certain officials, which may include people running for office or working for the Biden administration.

It is one thing to say the court must be respected during proceedings. But restricting a criminal defendant’s discussion of witnesses, which presumably includes every member of Congress that was involved in the 2020 electoral college count, is extreme. How would Trump know who is included or not as a witness at this early date? How could he be sure his conduct did not veer into dangerous territory by criticizing, say, Merrick Garland or Jack Smith’s left-wing, filmmaker wife? Everything Trump says, from this point forward, risks imprisonment for contempt during the pendency of the trial.

The gag order implicates the rights of parties not before the court; namely, the voters. Some of us agree this is an unjust and highly politicized prosecution and the act of a biased judge. We have a right to hear what the defendant has to say about it. And we are now being deprived of that right in ways that are visible—such as Trump’s use of a spokesman for his comments on the order—and ways that are invisible, such as whatever things he is not saying on account of the order.

The Deep State is Attacking Our Right to Elect the President of Our Choosing

Trump has been harassed and persecuted since his original run in 2016. Some of the highest figures in government, the head of the FBI and senior intelligence officials, acting with the blessing of President Obama, made up lies about Trump and his ties to Russia in order to defeat his campaign.

He still won, and they continued the charade for two years through special prosecutor Robert Mueller, even after the participants admitted in private that the “Steele Dossier” had no merit.

Shortly after this cloud lifted, congressional Democrats impeached him the first time for looking into Hunter and Joe Biden’s corruption in Ukraine. Like so many other Trump scandals, it now appears Trump’s instincts were correct, as Hunter Biden was the central node of an elaborate pay-to-play scam involving a corrupt seven-figure job for Hunter at a Ukrainian natural gas company, which chiefly compensated him for access to Joe Biden. In the end, Trump escaped conviction for exercising this core foreign policy authority.

The media and Congressional Democrats would then blame Trump for the events of January 6, even though he had a right to challenge election results and have a rally, and even though he urged protesters to be nonviolent. The second impeachment proceedings continued after the formal transfer of power on January 20, but he escaped conviction there as well.

Now that he is running again, the Department of Justice has unleashed a fanatical war crimes prosecutor to pursue unorthodox charges arising from Trump’s contest of the 2020 election. What the Deep State could not accomplish in two impeachments, they are now trying to accomplish with a rigged process before an irredeemably partisan D.C. jury.

You do not have to be a Trump voter to be concerned about these developments. For all the talk of Our Democracy™, one of its essential features is supposed to be majority rule. The people pick the President through the electoral college, and he accrues significant authority therefrom because he is the only nationwide elected official.

We do not have a system, such as in Iran or the Soviet Union, where candidates and parties must get pre-approval for their conformity to regime priorities. But for the Deep State and the entrenched elected officials, democracy consists chiefly of ratifying the substantive outcomes they want. Changing our foreign policy on Russia or Israel, changing our immigration rules, or changing how much the federal government spends are all affronts to this understanding of democracy as consisting of a particular set of substantive outcomes.

This is why, even though he was improbably elected in 2016, Trump’s critics referred so frequently to him as a threat to Our Democracy™.  In this upside-down world, arresting the nominee of one of the two major parties and preventing him from becoming president through a rigged legal process is somehow protecting democracy, even though the whole purpose of these actions is to deprive voters of their preferred choice.

The oligarchy that runs our country is rigging another election because Trump is the most significant threat to their power. The gag order is just another facet of this program.

Tyler Durden Tue, 10/24/2023 - 16:50

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Four burning questions about the future of the $16.5B Novo-Catalent deal

To build or to buy? That’s a classic question for pharma boardrooms, and Novo Nordisk is going with both.
Beyond spending billions of dollars to expand…

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To build or to buy? That’s a classic question for pharma boardrooms, and Novo Nordisk is going with both.

Beyond spending billions of dollars to expand its own production capacity for its weight loss drugs, the Danish drugmaker said Monday it will pay $11 billion to acquire three manufacturing plants from Catalent. It’s part of a broader $16.5 billion deal with Novo Holdings, the investment arm of the pharma’s parent group, which agreed to acquire the contract manufacturer and take it private.

It’s a big deal for all parties, with potential ripple effects across the biotech ecosystem. Here’s a look at some of the most pressing questions to watch after Monday’s announcement.

Why did Novo do this?

Novo Holdings isn’t the most obvious buyer for Catalent, particularly after last year’s on-and-off M&A interest from the serial acquirer Danaher. But the deal could benefit both Novo Holdings and Novo Nordisk.

Novo Nordisk’s biggest challenge has been simply making enough of the weight loss drug Wegovy and diabetes therapy Ozempic. On last week’s earnings call, Novo Nordisk CEO Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen said the company isn’t constrained by capital in its efforts to boost manufacturing. Rather, the main challenge is the limited amount of capabilities out there, he said.

“Most pharmaceutical companies in the world would be shopping among the same manufacturers,” he said. “There’s not an unlimited amount of machinery and people to build it.”

While Novo was already one of Catalent’s major customers, the manufacturer has been hamstrung by its own balance sheet. With roughly $5 billion in debt on its books, it’s had to juggle paying down debt with sufficiently investing in its facilities. That’s been particularly challenging in keeping pace with soaring demand for GLP-1 drugs.

Novo, on the other hand, has the balance sheet to funnel as much money as needed into the plants in Italy, Belgium, and Indiana. It’s also struggled to make enough of its popular GLP-1 drugs to meet their soaring demand, with documented shortages of both Ozempic and Wegovy.

The impact won’t be immediate. The parties expect the deal to close near the end of 2024. Novo Nordisk said it expects the three new sites to “gradually increase Novo Nordisk’s filling capacity from 2026 and onwards.”

As for the rest of Catalent — nearly 50 other sites employing thousands of workers — Novo Holdings will take control. The group previously acquired Altasciences in 2021 and Ritedose in 2022, so the Catalent deal builds on a core investing interest in biopharma services, Novo Holdings CEO Kasim Kutay told Endpoints News.

Kasim Kutay

When asked about possible site closures or layoffs, Kutay said the team hasn’t thought about that.

“That’s not our track record. Our track record is to invest in quality businesses and help them grow,” he said. “There’s always stuff to do with any asset you own, but we haven’t bought this company to do some of the stuff you’re talking about.”

What does it mean for Catalent’s customers? 

Until the deal closes, Catalent will operate as a standalone business. After it closes, Novo Nordisk said it will honor its customer obligations at the three sites, a spokesperson said. But they didn’t answer a question about what happens when those contracts expire.

The wrinkle is the long-term future of the three plants that Novo Nordisk is paying for. Those sites don’t exclusively pump out Wegovy, but that could be the logical long-term aim for the Danish drugmaker.

The ideal scenario is that pricing and timelines remain the same for customers, said Nicole Paulk, CEO of the gene therapy startup Siren Biotechnology.

Nicole Paulk

“The name of the group that you’re going to send your check to is now going to be Novo Holdings instead of Catalent, but otherwise everything remains the same,” Paulk told Endpoints. “That’s the best-case scenario.”

In a worst case, Paulk said she feared the new owners could wind up closing sites or laying off Catalent groups. That could create some uncertainty for customers looking for a long-term manufacturing partner.

Are shareholders and regulators happy? 

The pandemic was a wild ride for Catalent’s stock, with shares surging from about $40 to $140 and then crashing back to earth. The $63.50 share price for the takeover is a happy ending depending on the investor.

On that point, the investing giant Elliott Investment Management is satisfied. Marc Steinberg, a partner at Elliott, called the agreement “an outstanding outcome” that “clearly maximizes value for Catalent stockholders” in a statement.

Elliott helped kick off a strategic review last August that culminated in the sale agreement. Compared to Catalent’s stock price before that review started, the deal pays a nearly 40% premium.

Alessandro Maselli

But this is hardly a victory lap for CEO Alessandro Maselli, who took over in July 2022 when Catalent’s stock price was north of $100. Novo’s takeover is a tacit acknowledgment that Maselli could never fully right the ship, as operational problems plagued the company throughout 2023 while it was limited by its debt.

Additional regulatory filings in the next few weeks could give insight into just how competitive the sale process was. William Blair analysts said they don’t expect a competing bidder “given the organic investments already being pursued at other leading CDMOs and the breadth and scale of Catalent’s operations.”

The Blair analysts also noted the companies likely “expect to spend some time educating relevant government agencies” about the deal, given the lengthy closing timeline. Given Novo Nordisk’s ascent — it’s now one of Europe’s most valuable companies — paired with the limited number of large contract manufacturers, antitrust regulators could be interested in taking a close look.

Are Catalent’s problems finally a thing of the past?

Catalent ran into a mix of financial and operational problems over the past year that played no small part in attracting the interest of an activist like Elliott.

Now with a deal in place, how quickly can Novo rectify those problems? Some of the challenges were driven by the demands of being a publicly traded company, like failing to meet investors’ revenue expectations or even filing earnings reports on time.

But Catalent also struggled with its business at times, with a range of manufacturing delays, inspection reports and occasionally writing down acquisitions that didn’t pan out. Novo’s deep pockets will go a long way to a turnaround, but only the future will tell if all these issues are fixed.

Kutay said his team is excited by the opportunity and was satisfied with the due diligence it did on the company.

“We believe we’re buying a strong company with a good management team and good prospects,” Kutay said. “If that wasn’t the case, I don’t think we’d be here.”

Amber Tong and Reynald Castañeda contributed reporting.

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Petrina Kamya, Ph.D., Head of AI Platforms at Insilico Medicine, presents at BIO CEO & Investor Conference

Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb….

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Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb. 26-27 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. Dr. Kamya will speak as part of the panel “AI within Biopharma: Separating Value from Hype,” on Feb. 27, 1pm ET along with Michael Nally, CEO of Generate: Biomedicines and Liz Schwarzbach, PhD, CBO of BigHat Biosciences.

Credit: Insilico Medicine

Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb. 26-27 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. Dr. Kamya will speak as part of the panel “AI within Biopharma: Separating Value from Hype,” on Feb. 27, 1pm ET along with Michael Nally, CEO of Generate: Biomedicines and Liz Schwarzbach, PhD, CBO of BigHat Biosciences.

The session will look at how the latest artificial intelligence (AI) tools – including generative AI and large language models – are currently being used to advance the discovery and design of new drugs, and which technologies are still in development. 

The BIO CEO & Investor Conference brings together over 1,000 attendees and more than 700 companies across industry and institutional investment to discuss the future investment landscape of biotechnology. Sessions focus on topics such as therapeutic advancements, market outlook, and policy priorities.

Insilico Medicine is a leading, clinical stage AI-driven drug discovery company that has raised over $400m in investments since it was founded in 2014. Dr. Kamya leads the development of the Company’s end-to-end generative AI platform, Pharma.AI from Insilico’s AI R&D Center in Montreal. Using modern machine learning techniques in the context of chemistry and biology, the platform has driven the discovery and design of 30+ new therapies, with five in clinical stages – for cancer, fibrosis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and COVID-19. The Company’s lead drug, for the chronic, rare lung condition idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, is the first AI-designed drug for an AI-discovered target to reach Phase II clinical trials with patients. Nine of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies have used Insilico’s AI platform to advance their programs, and the Company has a number of major strategic licensing deals around its AI-designed therapeutic assets, including with Sanofi, Exelixis and Menarini. 

 

About Insilico Medicine

Insilico Medicine, a global clinical stage biotechnology company powered by generative AI, is connecting biology, chemistry, and clinical trials analysis using next-generation AI systems. The company has developed AI platforms that utilize deep generative models, reinforcement learning, transformers, and other modern machine learning techniques for novel target discovery and the generation of novel molecular structures with desired properties. Insilico Medicine is developing breakthrough solutions to discover and develop innovative drugs for cancer, fibrosis, immunity, central nervous system diseases, infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, and aging-related diseases. www.insilico.com 


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Another country is getting ready to launch a visa for digital nomads

Early reports are saying Japan will soon have a digital nomad visa for high-earning foreigners.

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Over the last decade, the explosion of remote work that came as a result of improved technology and the pandemic has allowed an increasing number of people to become digital nomads. 

When looked at more broadly as anyone not required to come into a fixed office but instead moves between different locations such as the home and the coffee shop, the latest estimate shows that there were more than 35 million such workers in the world by the end of 2023 while over half of those come from the United States.

Related: There is a new list of cities that are best for digital nomads

While remote work has also allowed many to move to cheaper places and travel around the world while still bringing in income, working outside of one's home country requires either dual citizenship or work authorization — the global shift toward remote work has pushed many countries to launch specific digital nomad visas to boost their economies and bring in new residents.

Japan is a very popular destination for U.S. tourists. 

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This popular vacation destination will soon have a nomad visa

Spain, Portugal, Indonesia, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Brazil, Latvia and Malta are some of the countries currently offering specific visas for foreigners who want to live there while bringing in income from abroad.

More Travel:

With the exception of a few, Asian countries generally have stricter immigration laws and were much slower to launch these types of visas that some of the countries with weaker economies had as far back as 2015. As first reported by the Japan Times, the country's Immigration Services Agency ended up making the leap toward a visa for those who can earn more than ¥10 million ($68,300 USD) with income from another country.

The Japanese government has not yet worked out the specifics of how long the visa will be valid for or how much it will cost — public comment on the proposal is being accepted throughout next week. 

That said, early reports say the visa will be shorter than the typical digital nomad option that allows foreigners to live in a country for several years. The visa will reportedly be valid for six months or slightly longer but still no more than a year — along with the ability to work, this allows some to stay beyond the 90-day tourist period typically afforded to those from countries with visa-free agreements.

'Not be given a residence card of residence certificate'

While one will be able to reapply for the visa after the time runs out, this can only be done by exiting the country and being away for six months before coming back again — becoming a permanent resident on the pathway to citizenship is an entirely different process with much more strict requirements.

"Those living in Japan with the digital nomad visa will not be given a residence card or a residence certificate, which provide access to certain government benefits," reports the news outlet. "The visa cannot be renewed and must be reapplied for, with this only possible six months after leaving the countr

The visa will reportedly start in March and also allow holders to bring their spouses and families with them. To start using the visa, holders will also need to purchase private health insurance from their home country while taxes on any money one earns will also need to be paid through one's home country.

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