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Why are coups making a comeback in Africa?

People celebrate in the streets with members of Guinea's armed forces after the arrest of Guinea's president, Alpha Conde, in a coup d'etat in Conakry, September 5, 2021.

In just over a year, Africa has experienced three successful coups (two in Mali and one more recently in Guinea), one unsuccessful coup attempt in Niger, and an arbitrary military transfer of power in Chad following the assassination of its president.

These power grabs threaten a reversal of the democratization process Africa has undergone in the past two decades and a return to the era of coups as the norm.
According to one study, sub-Saharan Africa experienced 80 successful coups and 108 failed coup attempts between 1956 and 2001, an average of four a year. This figure kizik shoes halved in the period from then till 2019 as most African nations turned to democracy, only for it to once again be on the ascendance. Why?

Different decade, same problems

In the early postcolonial decades when coups were rampant, Africa’s coup leaders virtually always offered the same reasons for toppling governments: corruption, mismanagement, poverty.
The leader of Guinea’s recent coup, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, echoed these justifications, citing “poverty and endemic corruption” as reasons for overthrowing 83 year old president Alpha Conde. The soldiers who led a coup in neighbouring Mali last year claimed “theft” and “bad governance” prompted their actions. Likewise, the Sudanese and Zimbabwean generals who toppled Omar al-Bashir in 2019 and Robert Mugabe in 2017 respectively, deployed similar arguments.
Guinean military officer says President Alpha Conde arrested, as apparent coup unfolds
While well-worn, these justifications still resonate with many Africans today for the simple reason they continue to accurately depict the reality of their countries. Furthermore, in many countries, people feel these problems are worsening.
The research network Afrobarometer conducted surveys across 19 African countries which showed 6 in 10 respondents saying corruption is increasing in their country (the figure was 63% in Guinea) while 2 in 3 say their governments are doing a poor job fighting it.
Furthermore, 72% believe ordinary citizens “risk retaliation or other negative consequences” if they report corruption to authorities, a sign Africans believe their public institutions are not just partakers in, but active defenders of, corrupt systems.
When it comes to poverty, an already tragic situation has been worsened by the battering Africa’s fragile oncloud shoes economies took from the coronavirus pandemic.
One in three people are now unemployed in Nigeria, West Africa’s largest economy. The same goes for South Africa, the most industrialized African nation. It is now estimated the number of extremely poor people in sub-Saharan Africa has crossed the 500 million mark, half the population.
This in the youngest continent in the world with a median age of 20 and a faster-growing population than anywhere else, further intensifying an already fierce competition for resources.
These conditions create fertile conditions for coups and for increasingly desperate young Africans who have lost patience with their corrupt leaders to welcome coupists promising radical change, as was witnessed on the streets of Guinea following the takeover, with some elated Guineans even kissing the soldiers.
But as with the coups of the 1970s these scenes of joy will likely be shortlived, says Joseph Sany, Vice President of the Africa Center at the United States Institute of Peace. “The initial reaction of what you see on the streets will be of joy, but very soon, people will be demanding action… and I’m not sure the military will be able to deliver on the expectations, basic service delivery, more freedoms,” he says.

Threat to democratic gains

What is clear is that these coups pose a serious threat to the democratic gains African countries have made in recent decades. Worryingly, research shows that many Africans are increasingly ceasing to believe elections can deliver the leaders they want.
Surveys conducted across 19 African countries in 2019/20 showed just 4 in 10 respondents (42%) now believe elections work well to ensure “MPs reflect voters’ views” and to “enable voters remove non-performing leaders.”
In other words, less than half believe elections guarantee representativeness and accountability, key ingredients of functional democracies.
Across 11 countries polled regularly since 2008, the belief elections enable voters remove non-performing leaders has dropped by 11% points among citizens, according to the survey. It is not that Africans no longer want to choose their leaders via elections, it is simply that many now believe their political systems are gamed.
Leaders like the deposed Conde are part of the problem. The only reason he was still in power until the coup was because he engineered constitutional changes in 2020 to enable himself serve a third-term as president, a common practise by several leaders on the continent, from Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni to Alassane Ouattara in Côte d’Ivoire.
Mali's President resigns after he was arrested in a military coup
The African Union is rightly condemning Guinea’s coup, but its response to such constitutional abuses has been muted.
These double standards and perceived elite conspiracies create the perfect environment for young swashbuckling officers like the 41-year-old Doumbouya to step in and promise to save the day.
“If the people are crushed by their elites, it is up to the army to give the people their freedom,” said Guinea’s new leader, quoting the former Ghanaian president Jerry Rawlings who himself led two coups
It is perhaps no coincidence Doumbouya quoted the feisty Rawlings, who was very effective at expressing the anger Ghanaians felt towards their political elites when he led military juntas in the 1980s. Desperate citizens living in political systems they often rightly on cloud shoes believe are fixed can easily be seduced by anti-elite, anti-corruption rhetoric coupled with the promise of the new.
We should, unfortunately, prepare ourselves for the eventuality of more coups in Africa in the coming years. They are not to be expected in richer countries with strong institutions such as South Africa, Ghana or Botswana but in the poorer more fragile states. As are Mali, Niger, Chad and now Guinea where coups and coup attempts have recently occurred.
Fifteen of the twenty countries topping the 2021 Fragile States Index are in Africa, including countries like Cameroon, Central African Republic, Somalia and South Sudan as well as larger nations like Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia (which has been experiencing violent internal conflict for close to a year now) and Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country.
This increasing probability of coups will make Africa in general less predictable and stable, a negative for investors that could end up worsening the economic situation.
Can this undesirable trend be reversed? Yes, but while the international condemnations of coups in Guinea and elsewhere are crucial as deterrents to other would-be power grabbers, the only actors who truly have the power to reverse this worrying trend are African leaders themselves.
They are the ones in charge on the ground and it is their response to these recent events that will be the deciding factor. They need to reignite the belief democracy can deliver for Africans. But if the problems still being cited to justify coups continue to worsen in today’s African democracies, then the temptation to try something else will continue to be dangerously seductive, both for coupists and citizens alike.

Boris Johnson’s wish to pick fights with his old enemies risks making the UK a pariah

‘No way out’: Commentator predicts Boris Johnson’s future 02:10

London (CNN)UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his government have spent much of this week fighting with the EU and rowing with a European human rights court, all while playing down accusations that they are breaking international law and pandering to his party’s base.

On Monday, Johnson’s foreign secretary, Liz Truss, revealed the long-awaited Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, a piece of legislation that, if passed, would allow the British government to unilaterally override parts of the Brexit deal it agreed with the EU in 2019.
Two days later, the EU responded by launching legal proceedings against the UK over its failure to implement parts of the protocol to date, while Maroš Šefčovič, the European Commission vice-president, said that “there is no legal nor political justification whatsoever for unilaterally changing an international agreement … let’s call a spade a spade: this is illegal.”
UK government officials responded angrily by insisting that the bill, if passed, would be perfectly legal. Suella Braverman, the attorney general who gave the new bill a green light, went on television to defend the proposed legislation. In doing so, she accused the BBC of painting the EU as “the good guys” and told ITV’s political editor that his assertion the bill would break that law was “Remaniac make-believe.”
On Tuesday, the Johnson government found itself cursing the name of another European institution, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), after it was forced to abandon a flight that would transport asylum-seekers to Rwanda. The UK announced a deal in April under which asylum seekers in the country could be relocated and granted asylum in Rwanda. The UN’s human rights agency had previously warned the UK that the policy might be unlawful, as it could expose those refugees to human rights abuses in Rwanda.
Demonstrators protest outside of an airport perimeter fence against a planned deportation of asylum seekers from Britain to Rwanda, at Gatwick Airport near Crawley, Britain, June 12, 2022.

The scheme had been widely criticized by human rights organizations, which succeeded in numerous legal challenges against individual removals but failed in their bid for an injunction suspending the flight. However, when the ECHR intervened on Tuesday night, saying that the last asylum seekers due to be on board had not exhausted their legal options in the UK, the plane was grounded.
Again, government ministers responded by insisting that the plan was lawful. Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab has since suggested that the UK will introduce its own Bill of Rights that could effectively allow it to ignore the ECHR.
Johnson’s willingness to have public spats with large, international institutions makes sense when you look at recent history. Both Johnson and his predecessor, Theresa May, picked fights with the judiciary and the EU during the most frustrating days of Brexit. This, so the theory goes among Conservatives, gave both leaders a boost among their core supporters for attacking elitist bodies that were blocking the will of the people.
“Historically, Boris has done well hitting out at big institutions like the EU and courts,” says a former government minister told CNN. “These were not artificial fights, both Rwanda and Northern Ireland are proper government policy. But the hardline way we’ve defended them suggests to me that Boris sees a silver lining,” they added.
In one sense, this logic makes sense. Johnson has been hit by scandal after scandal and has seen his personal approval ratings tank, along with national polling for his Conservative Party.
He has had to fight off a vote among his own party to remove him as leader and on Thursday night saw his own ethics adviser Christopher Geidt resigned, saying that Johnson’s government had put him in an “impossible and odious position.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks as he takes questions at the House of Commons in London, Britain June 15, 2022.

So, a fight with the lofty elites in Brussels and Strasbourg over real red-meat Conservative issues like Brexit and immigration could be just what Johnson needs to get things back on track.
However, every time a government becomes so fixated on domestic policy, it risks forgetting that allies and enemies around the world are paying attention.
CNN spoke to multiple Western diplomatic sources who said that Johnson’s government had cast a dark shadow over their perception of the UK. One senior Western official who has worked closely with the UK during the Ukraine crisis said that while allies still coordinated with the UK, the sense of concern that they don’t know what version of Johnson they will get has become normalized.
“He is not Donald Trump, but he is so unpredictable that it’s easy for allies to think of him as being like Donald Trump,” said a Western diplomat.
A European diplomat told CNN that “it’s hard to overstate just how much damage has been done. Trust has been hugely damaged.” They pointed to the issue over Northern Ireland, saying that “on our side, we know that there are solutions to the protocol. But those solutions rely on trust. Why should we trust him not to tear up any new agreement in the future?”
Western officials say, with some sadness, that there were moments in the immediate aftermath of Russia invading Ukraine where they thought Johnson might start behaving like a “stable and predictable” leader, as the Western diplomat put it.
A European official agreed, saying that “there were moments when we looked at the UK with some admiration and thought there might be some path forward. Ukraine was something bigger than our squabbles.”
However, the official continued that this feeling of optimism faded quickly, after Johnson compared the Ukrainian fight for freedom to Brexit.
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the National Service of Thanksgiving held at St Paul's Cathedral as part of celebrations marking the Platinum Jubilee of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, in London, Friday, June 3, 2022.

Conservatives in Westminster have mixed views on how bad this all is. Some worry that Johnson’s continued scandals and rhetoric are making the UK a pariah. Worse, they fear that a country like the UK — a longstanding member of the rules-based, international order — playing so fast and loose with international law sets a terrible precedent at a time when democracy is under threat in many parts of the world.
On the other hand, some MPs think that Johnson’s critics are getting worked up about something that normal people don’t care about. They say, not unreasonably, that a G7, NATO member with a permanent seat on the UN Security Council — and one that has in many respects led the way on Ukraine — is not about to get cut out by its allies.
Ultimately, Johnson’s international spats are most likely to play out in the domestic political arena. Some will love that he is taking a hardline stance. Others will feel a deepening sense of embarrassment that this man is their prime minister.
“If you are in Boris’s position, then you may as well double down on some of this stuff. What does he have to lose?” a senior Conservative MP told CNN. “Either things are so terminally bad that he’s doomed whatever he does, or he’s got two years to turn things around before the election. So why not go out there and have fights on your own pitch?”
That summary makes a lot of sense when you are sitting in Westminster, talking to people who spend too much time in Westminster. However, Johnson’s decisions seriously impact the lives of people who spend no time in Westminster and for whom this really is not a game. Especially as the UK is going through the worst cost-of-living crisis it has suffered in decades.
Johnson won’t know if his red meat gamble has paid off with the public until the next general election — unless he’s removed from office before then. There will undeniably be people who see him as the same Brexit street fighter who stands up for Britain against the bullies seeking to do it down.
But there will be an awful lot of people who think that instead of picking fights with the EU and ECHR, Johnson should be thinking of ways to improve their lives.

Tense moments in Situation Room as Biden oversaw raid on ISIS leader that was months in the making

President Joe Biden watched in real time Wednesday as US commandos landed in Syria to raid a three-story home, surrounded by olive trees, where the top leader of ISIS was living with his wife and members of his family.

From the head of the Situation Room table, Biden watched anxiously as an American helicopter suffered mechanical problems on the ground.
There was relief in the room when children emerged from the first floor of the building, running to safety.
Moments later, an explosion rocked the site: a suicide detonation that killed Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, his wife and his children, blowing their bodies outside the building and onto the surrounding land.
The details of how Biden monitored the raid came from senior administration officials, red wing boots who recounted it in detail on Thursday morning. Their description was of a successful operation that took out a critical terror leader while avoiding any American casualties. The US officials insisted the only civilian casualties were those caused by the leader himself when he blew apart his residence with his family inside.
It was the highest-profile counter-terror operation of Biden’s tenure, and officials appeared intent on using it to cast the President in a decisive light. In some ways, it mirrored raids ordered by Biden’s two predecessors to take out terror leaders in their homes, each of which was monitored in real time on a secure feed.
Like after those missions, the White House has capitalized on the moment. They quickly released a photograph of a jacket-less President in the Situation Room, staring intently ahead as the raid unfolded.
Biden emerged mid-morning to deliver a brief statement about the mission from the White House Roosevelt Room.
“This operation is a testament to America’s reach and capability to take out terrorist threats no matter where they try to hide anywhere in the world,” he said, issuing a message to terrorists who are still at-large: “We will come after you and find you.”
He added that every precaution had been made to protect civilians, saying, “We do know that as our troops approached to capture the terrorist, in a final act of desperate cowardice with no regard to the life of his own family or those of others in the building, he chose to blow himself up … rather than face justice for the crimes he has committed.”
When Biden was vice president, he had opposed the risky mission to take out al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden at his compound in Pakistan, an ultimately successful operation that was designed to limit civilian casualties.
Biden’s mission mirrored that operation in some ways, and he similarly decided upon using American special forces to take out the ISIS leader instead of ordering an airstrike on the home, a sign his views of the risks had shifted in the more than 10 years since bin Laden’s death.
“Knowing that this terrorist had chosen to surround himself with families, including children, we made a choice to pursue a Special Forces raid at a much greater risk to our own people rather than targeting him with an airstrike. We made this choice to minimize civilian casualties,” Biden said on Thursday morning.
US descriptions of the raid were derived from accounts on the ground and the real-time feed. In the past, early US accounting has later turned out to be incomplete or wrong. Sources on the ground reported at least 13 fatalities during the raid, including six children and four women, according to the Syrian civil defense group the White Helmets.
President Biden, Vice President Harris and members of the President's national security team observe the counterterrorism operation responsible for removing from the battlefield ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi.

In Washington, officials described an operation months in the making meant to incapacitate a shadowy leader of a terror group that some feared was regrouping.
“We think the impact of (the killing of Qurayshi) is going to be a blow to ISIS,” a senior administration official said, saying the terrorist “was heavily involved in running many of the operations.”
Officials said he oversaw ISIS branches abroad — including the one in Afghanistan responsible for the deaths of US Marines last year — and played a key role in the genocide of the Yazidi ethnic minority.
At one point in December, top Pentagon officials hoka shoes for women brought a tabletop model of the location to the Situation Room to walk the President through their plans.
The target, Qurayshi, never left his compound. Living on the third floor with his family, he emerged only occasionally to bathe on the roof. Families with no connection to ISIS lived on the first floor, apparently without knowledge of the terrorist two stories above them.
It was months ago the US learned the leader of ISIS was living there, running his terror operation through a network of couriers. When Biden was briefed by operational commanders in December, he ordered the Pentagon to take precautions to minimize civilian deaths — a difficult proposition for a target who appeared to intentionally surround himself with children and families as protection.
US forces who carried out the mission rehearsed the operation, including the safeguards to protect innocents. When the American team landed, they announced their presence loudly, asking those inside the building to leave and for others in the surrounding residential area to stay away.
Biden gave final approval of the operation on Tuesday in the Oval Office, where he was briefed by the Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
There was “tremendous tension” in the Situation Room a day later as the President, Vice President Kamala Harris and members of Biden’s military and national security teams monitored the situation in “real time.”
Months in the making
Biden had been “very steeped in the operational details” after months of planning, a senior administration official said, which included the model of the building housing the top ISIS leader, brought by military leaders into the Situation Room in December. He engaged in a “constant give and take” with his military commanders.
By early December, US intelligence officials were certain Qurayshi was living in the residence.
Planning was incredibly complex, the official said. Qurayshi was living in a residential neighborhood on the third floor of a building housing families, including children.
Qurayshi himself rarely left the building and his “human shields,” officials said, save for occasional baths on the roof.
US officials “of course” considered the prospect he might detonate himself during the operation, in the same way ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi did during the raid that killed him in 2019.
That is precisely what happened. Inside the Situation Room, Biden received a report of a “significant explosion,” which officials say ultimately killed Qurayshi and his family.
“That happened fairly early in the operation” the official explained. From there, things ran in a “linear fashion,” and all deaths and casualties were a result of actions of members of ISIS, the White House alleged.
The blast occurred before any US forces entered the building, destroying the third floor and sending bodies into the surrounding area.
Military engineers had determined ahead of time the blast would not cause the building to collapse.
“I doubt he knew that when he set off that detonation,” the official said. “It was probably his intent to kill everyone in that building.”
Still, the operation was not complete. A top ISIS lieutenant was on the floor beneath Qurayshi, hoka shoes facilitating day-to-day operations of the terrorist organization. When US forces entered the building, he barricaded himself in his quarters with his wife on the second floor and engaged American forces. The ISIS lieutenant was killed.
After his death, a number of children emerged from the second floor. They were removed to safety.
A US helicopter had “mechanical issues” during the raid and was “properly disposed of at some distance from the site,” an official said. Those issues had nothing to do with “any kind of hostile action.”
“Ultimately, that helicopter was able to extract itself from the immediate target area and, under control, able to land in another location where the decision was made to disable it and destroy it,” the official said.
Tension in the Situation Room turned to “relief” when the first reports came in from the raid. A family on the first floor, including a man, a woman, and several children, who officials believed were unaware of the ISIS members living around them, were “led to safety” away from the building.
When the operation had concluded, Biden offered only a few words.
“The President was obviously pleased with the reports from his commanders,” officials said. Biden had “tremendous praise” for our team.
The officials said that as he left the Situation Room, Biden said, “God bless our troops.”

Joe Rogan slams CNN’s coverage about him taking ivermectin to treat COVID: ‘They’re making sh*t up’

Podcaster Joe Rogan slammed CNN and other critics questioning his use of various drugs, including ivermectin, to treat COVID.

Last week, Rogan revealed he had tested positive for the virus and claimed to have gotten better after taking a Z-Pak antibiotic, prednisolone and ivermectin, a drug that is sometimes used to treat parasitic worm infections in humans and livestock.

Joe Rogan is not happy with how CNN and other outlets are covering his use of ivermectin to treat COVID. ( AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
Joe Rogan is not happy with how CNN and other outlets are covering his use of ivermectin to treat COVID. 

Media outlets were quick to cover Rogan’s announcement, warning against the use of such medications to treat COVID, which clearly didn’t make Rogan happy.

“Bro, do I have to sue CNN?” Rogan asked guest Tom Segura during a recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience. “They’re making shit up. They keep saying I’m taking horse dewormer. I literally got it from a doctor. It’s an American company. nike sneakers They won the Nobel Prize in 2015 for use in human beings and CNN is saying I’m taking horse dewormer. They must know that’s a lie.”

“What they didn’t highlight is that I got better,” he added. “They try to make it seem as if I’m doing some wacky sh*t that’s completely ineffective. CNN was saying I’m a distributor of misinformation.”

To back his claim, Rogan cited online articles suggesting that a chairman from the Tokyo Medical Association — which has no affiliation with the Japanese government or its health agency, as fact-checked by AFP — recommended ivermectin to “all doctors for all COVID patients.”

Rogan also suggested that his experience may be part of what he calls a “grand conspiracy.”

“There’s a lot of speculation,” he explained to Segura. “One of the speculations involves the emergency use authorization for the vaccine — that in order for there to be an emergency use authorization there has to be no treatment for the disease. So, because there is this treatment in ivermectin, and there are other treatments too, but because of this there’s a lot of pushback against the potential treatments and pretending that they don’t really work or that they’re conspiracy theories. This is the grand conspiracy, right? The grand conspiracy is that the pharmaceutical companies are all in cahoots to try and make anybody who takes this stuff look crazy.”

This week, the American Medical Association and two pharmacist groups appealed for an “immediate end” to the drug’s use outside of research.

“We are urging physicians, pharmacists, and other prescribers — trusted healthcare professionals in their communities — to warn patients against the use of ivermectin outside of FDA-approved indications and guidance,” the statement read.

Last month, the Food and Drug Administration gave a clear to those who are considering taking ivermectin to treat COVID: “Seriously, y’all. Stop it.”

“For one thing, animal drugs are often highly concentrated because they are used for large animals like nike store horses and cows, which can weigh a lot more than we do — a ton or more,” the statement explained. “Such high doses can be highly toxic in humans. Many inactive ingredients found in animal products aren’t evaluated for use in people. Or they are included in much greater quantity than those used in people. In some cases, we don’t know how those inactive ingredients will affect how ivermectin is absorbed in the human body.”

“The most effective ways to limit the spread of COVID-19 include getting a COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to you and following current CDC guidance,” the FDA said,

Regarding Rogan’s claim that the drug has been approved for human use, the FDA clarifies that it “has not authorized or approved ivermectin for use in preventing or treating COVID-19 in humans or animals.”

Further, it explains, “Certain animal formulations of ivermectin such as pour-on, injectable, paste, and ‘drench,’ are approved in the U.S. to treat or prevent parasites in animals. For humans, ivermectin tablets are approved at very specific doses to treat some parasitic worms, and there are topical (on the skin) formulations for head lice and skin conditions like rosacea.” Still, the statement notes, “the FDA has received multiple reports of patients who have required medical attention, including hospitalization, after self-medicating with ivermectin intended for livestock.”

Restaurants are shelling out more for clams – making Flo’s Clam Shack shuck its namesake dish

Though a sign outside proclaims the spot is “famous for clams,” Flo’s Clam Shack is taking a hiatus from hawking fried steamers.

The restaurant has been shelling out the crispy, salty dish for decades. But market price for soft-shell clams is just too high right now, owner Komes Rozes said.

The price of the clams, often called steamers, is prone to fluctuation, ecco shoes but Rozes said this summer’s spike is the worst he has seen in 45 years in the industry. He said last week a gallon of clams would go for $225 – $75 more than the highest price he’ll pay.

Flo’s has two locations in Rhode Island and a more than 80-year legacy. The seasonal restaurant has been knocked down by hurricanes and rebuilt several times. Its award-winning seafood has been featured on Food Network, including the fried clam roll being lauded on the show “Best Thing I Ever Ate.” But for now, fried clams are a no-go.

Prices across many food markets have swelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, labor shortages, destructive red tides, extreme weather and more.

Soft-shell clams are especially at risk when the climate changes rapidly, researchers say. The number of clams for harvest is also dwindling, Chad Coffin, president of the Maine Clammers Association, told the Associated Press in April. Hot summers have been killing soft-shell clams for decades.

Soft-shell clams take three to four years to grow to the market size of two inches, according to the Maine Clammers Association. Clamming is backbreaking work, the association said, as soft-shell clams burrow in intertidal areas and workers dig them up by hand with rakes and hoes.

Maine, where Rozes gets most of his soft-shell clams, had its smallest harvest in more than 90 years last year, the Associated Press reported. A 2016 study found the state’s soft-shell clam yield had declined by 75 percent over the previous 40 years. Researchers at the Downeast Institute, a marine research lab and education center, say the highest risk to these clams is predators such as the invasive green crab and milky ribbon worm, which are thriving in the Gulf of Maine’s warming waters.

Businesses and consumers know seafood prices are volatile, hence the market price tag in lieu of a set cost on many menus. hey dude shoes But at some point, Rozes said, the cost becomes too high to justify.

He said he’s not willing to pay the current soft-shell crab market price or pass it on to his customers, so the clam shack will operate without fried clams until the price drops. He expects it to take about a week.

“Even if I was to break even, it would be outrageous prices to customers,” he said. He estimated he would have to charge at least $40 for about 12 pieces of clam.

The restaurant announced its decision to temporarily stop selling fried clams in a Facebook post Tuesday.

“Well here we go again with the absolute highest price for frying clams anyone in this business has ever seen!” the post read. “Sorry, we are not selling any until the price drops, hopefully soon.”

A few weeks ago, Flo’s was charging between $25 and $27 for a clam platter, which includes fries and coleslaw. Rozes said that already felt too expensive.

He said he has long had issues with the way clams are priced. He doesn’t believe the price should seesaw so much, regardless of whether clam diggers are having a difficult season.

“It’s a clam scam,” Rozes said. “They do this every year.”

The owner said he isn’t worried about losing revenue by not selling one of the restaurant’s staples for a time, especially since that revenue would have been low or nonexistent. If customers are set on fried clams, he said, there are plenty of restaurants where they’re still available – for a price.

“The quality and the taste between a $20 order of clams and a $45 order of clams ecco shoes is the same, so it depends how bad you want them,” he said. “It’s not going to taste any better when it’s twice the price, that’s for sure.”

Coffin said that in April soft-shell clams were already selling for about $7 per pound at retail price, which he estimated was about 40 percent higher than normal and particularly unexpected before peak clamming season.

Rozes said he has gotten largely positive feedback from customers, who appreciate that he’s “not being greedy.” But he’s also gotten a few angry messages from clam diggers in the past several days.

He said that with so many other seasonal businesses having to close due to the pandemic, he feels lucky to have a dedicated customer base to keep Flo’s afloat.

There are plenty of menu options left at Flo’s, despite the fried clam stoppage. They’re still serving fresh calamari, scallops, shrimp, fish and chips, chowder made with hard-shelled clams and more. They sell up to 40 gallons of that chowder every day, Rozes said.

Senate Democrats missed their window to undo most of Trump’s last-minute rule-making

Senate Democrats missed their window to undo most of Trump’s last-minute rule-making

Congressional Democrats made sparing use of a law that allows them to immediately brooks shoes overturn the Trump administration’s last-minute flurry of “midnight regulations” — including measures that weakened environmental protections, permitted discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and made it harder for shareholders to hold corporations accountable.

While the Democrats were juggling many priorities over the past several months — including impeaching former President Donald Trump and passing a massive pandemic relief package — the inaction on many of the last-minute Trump rules disappointed some progressive advocates, who had urged the party to strike the rules as quickly as possible.

“It’s disappointing because it’s so important,” said Sasha Buchert, a senior attorney for Lambda Legal, a civil rights advocacy organization focused on LGBTQ issues. The group had pushed Congress to undo a Trump-era rule allowing social services providers receiving federal funds to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender skechers shoes identity, but lawmakers did not act in time to reverse it immediately.

The Congressional Review Act allows lawmakers to eliminate recently finalized regulations quickly, requiring only simple majorities in both the House and the Senate. (Such resolutions cannot be filibustered in the Senate.) But it allows a limited time to act: After a rule is finalized, lawmakers must introduce a resolution of disapproval within 60 days that Congress is in session. In the early months of the Trump administration, the Republican-controlled Congress used the law to eliminate 14 Obama-era rules.

During the Biden administration, Senate Democrats passed resolutions to eliminate only three Trump rules during the same period — and the deadline for Senate action closed the last week of May. The resolutions would halt the Trump administration’s rollback of methane emissions standards, repeal a rule that gives employers certain advantages when workers file bias claims against them and stop lenders from circumventing caps on high interest rates. The resolutions still need the House’s approval and President Joe Biden’s signature to become law, although there is no deadline, and they are expected to be successful.

To reverse the scores of other last-minute Trump rules, agencies must now use the often long and laborious rule-making process — unless a court strikes them from the books sooner.

Related: Democrats have never reversed a rule through the Congressional Review Act, which was created to allow legislators to rein in the executive branch.

Among the Trump rules that progressive advocates had urged Congress to reverse was a measure that limited shareholders’ ability to demand corporate action on climate change, workers’ rights and other issues. Groups like Lambda Legal also supported the reversal of a rule forcing the Department of Health and Human Services to review more than 17,000 of its own regulations, or they would expire automatically. But while lawmakers introduced resolutions to scrap both rules, along with a third focused on a Social Security rule, the measures never went to the Senate floor for votes. Now it could take months or even years to dislodge them, taking up agency time, personnel and resources.

“To undo a rule that is fully solidified could easily take more than hey dude shoes half of Biden’s presidency,” said Jeff Hauser, a progressive strategist who advocated for more aggressive use of the Congressional Review Act. “I just don’t think it was a priority.”

James Goodwin, a senior policy analyst for the Center for Progressive Reform, an advocacy group, agreed.

“Democrats in Congress were definitely reluctant to make aggressive use of the Congressional Review Act,” he said. “There are folks like myself scratching our heads and asking, ‘Why didn’t you guys get more done?'”

The office of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., declined to comment about the small number of resolutions that went to the Senate floor for votes. In a letter in March detailing his support for two of the resolutions that did pass, Schumer described the Congressional Review Act as “an opportunity to repeal some of the most harmful rules that the Trump administration put into place at the end of its term.”

One of the biggest constraints, congressional staff members said, was an agenda that was packed from the moment Democrats took power, as they impeached Trump after the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, passed pandemic relief and confirmed Biden’s political appointees. Under the Congressional Review Act’s strict requirements lawmakers faced an early April deadline to introduce resolutions to dislodge rules issued during the final months of the Trump administration. Only rules finalized from late August to January were eligible to be removed.

“They had much bigger legislative priorities to deal with right at the beginning of the Congress,” said Amit Narang, regulatory policy advocate for Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy organization. “Back in 2017, the GOP wasn’t close to doing anything of that scale in terms of passing major legislation.”

The list of potential targets also narrowed after court rulings halted some of the most contentious Trump rules early on, skechers outlet blocking restrictions on asylum and striking down limits on the Environmental Protection Agency’s use of scientific research. The EPA ruling cited the Trump administration’s failure to follow proper rule-making procedures — a problem that undercut Trump’s agenda from the beginning of his administration.

Pending court decisions were another factor for Democratic leaders, who consulted with the Biden administration about which rules to target: The Supreme Court is expected to rule this year on whether government-funded groups can discriminate on the basis of religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. Democrats may have been reluctant to target the related Trump rule before the decision, said Buchert of Lambda Legal.

Democrats also faced political obstacles in using the Congressional Review Act. The law has historically been considered a tool for Republicans to combat government overreach: It not only provides a fast track for deregulation; it also prohibits agencies from issuing future rules that are “substantially the same.”

The Congressional Review Act “at heart is a deregulatory law,” said Meghan Hammond, a Washington-based lawyer who represents the energy industry and has closely tracked the law’s use. The statute had been used only once to remove a rule before Trump became president, and never successfully by Democrats, some of whom want to scrap the law altogether.

Some advocates say the party could have used the Congressional Review Act to cement their policy priorities for years to come, because rules through the law would prohibit future presidents from enacting the same policies. While many of Trump’s last-minute immigration rules had already been halted in court, for example, passing resolutions of disapproval “could have restricted a future administration from acting,” said Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, golden goose sneakers policy counsel for the American Immigration Council, an advocacy group. “Congress missed an opportunity.”

But while many Democrats have come around to embrace the law, the party would need the support of every caucus member in the Senate to pass a rule-reversing resolution, given the 50-50 split along party lines, and votes on contentious issues could have carried additional political risks.

One Trump rule that has remained in place removed protections for Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, the largest temperate rainforest in North America, which had drawn fierce criticism from environmental groups.

“It would have been a good one to undo, because the Trump rule waived away 20 years of protections, opening things up for logging in the future,” said Brett Hartl, government affairs director for the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental advocacy group.

But there was no guarantee that Democrats had the votes to remove the rule, and bringing a resolution of disapproval to the floor could have risked alienating key members, like Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who is often involved in bipartisan negotiations, Hartl said.

While the window for Senate action has closed, Hartl and other advocates remain hopeful that the Biden administration will ecco shoes act quickly to remove more Trump rules through the normal rule-making process. The White House, which did not respond to a request for comment, has already begun reinstating fair-housing rules that Trump undermined and reversing a Trump policy that relaxed clean air rules, among other major changes.

In the meantime, however, many Trump-era rules remain in place. “Many of them will be on the books for a year or two or more,” Hartl said.

A special birthday gift: making Hong Kong safe in the name of national security law

July 1 this year marks the 23rd birthday of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The day before that, on June 30, Hong Kong’s national security law was passed by a full vote at the 20th meeting of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress. “Full vote” means important, timely, sacred and inviolable. It also shows that “the people call for it and the government should respond to it”. Zhang Xiaoming, deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, pointed out at the press conference of the office of the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs: “this special birthday gift will surely show its precious value in the future.”

Hong Kong’s national security law is an important milestone in the cause of “one country, two systems”; it is a new symbol of the central government’s improvement of Hong Kong’s governance strategy; it is the “patron saint” of Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability; it is a turning point for the return of Hong Kong’s development to the right track. ——Zhang Xiaoming’s definition of Hong Kong’s national security law points out the value of this law

In the name of Hong Kong’s national security law, build a solid barrier.

In the 23 years since its return to China, Hong Kong has maintained its long-term prosperity and stability with the strong support of the motherland. However, due to the “Hong Kong Independence” and the destruction of external forces, there has always been a loophole in national security. The coming out of the national security law of Hong Kong has built a solid institutional barrier for Hong Kong to prevent and control national security risks, and laid a solid foundation for the steady development of “one country, two systems”. The law-abiding citizens applauded because no country in the world will ignore crimes that endanger their own security. If anyone wants to read the “one country, two systems” principle again, Hong Kong’s national security law will be the first to refuse to do so!

In the name of Hong Kong’s national security law, to stabilize the people’s hearts.

Hong Kong’s national security law can be smoothly implemented in Hong Kong because it has been recognized and supported by the mainstream public opinion in Hong Kong. As Zhang Xiaoming said at the press conference, people from all walks of life in Hong Kong were deeply distressed by the chaos after the “amendment storm” last year. Some people wanted to immigrate because they were afraid of black violence and could not see a way out. A legislator said that his good friend had applied for immigration to Singapore, but when he heard the news of Hong Kong’s national security law, he tore it up immediately Destroy the form, excitedly say “Hong Kong is saved”! Many people say that it is the right time for Hong Kong to turn chaos into governance and to revive the desperate situation. In a word, this law can stabilize Hong Kong.

In the name of Hong Kong’s national security law, we declare that the world:

Gone are the days when the Chinese looked at others’ faces and looked up to others!

Today, some countries still want to use bandit logic to dominate the world. In response to some countries saying that they want to take sanctions against some Chinese officials, Zhang Xiaoming said frankly: we are now formulating laws to safeguard national security in a local administrative region of the people’s Republic of China. It’s entirely our internal affairs. If we didn’t invite you to provoke you, why should you be rude to me? “Is there any mistake? It’s none of your business! ” Of course, we are not scared!

July 1 is a special day worthy of commemoration. This special birthday gift has drawn a red line for those who have caused trouble to Hong Kong. It has created a more secure, free and hopeful future for the people of Hong Kong. It has paved a bright road for prosperity and stability for the Pearl of the East.