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Mentally disabled man anxious about Presto after transit card problems nearly left him stranded





The family of a Toronto man with a developmental disability says he’s now anxious about using his Presto card after an incident where he says he was kicked off a bus because his card didn’t work even though there was money on it.

“I was upset about it,” Grant Koturbash told CBC Toronto.

His sister, Shelley Koturbash, says he’s now constantly nervous about using his card, and calls her repeatedly.

“He has anxiety. Now he’s worried about every time he gets on the bus. Even today before we sat down [for this interview], the first thing out of his mouth was, ‘Can you put 10 more dollars on my Presto card because I may be out,”‘ she said.

The TTC said there are instances where Presto passes — with money on them — are tapped and declined. It says it’s working with Presto and the gate manufacturers to address the issue.

For most transit passengers the glitches in transitioning to Presto are frustrating but for people with developmental disabilities, they represent a challenge to their independence, according to some advocates

“[With Metropasses] it’s sort of a one and done: you go and you pay your monthly fee … you know if it’s December and you’ve paid your fee you’re on the bus,” said Brad Saunders, CEO of Community Living Toronto, an organization that offers support for those living with an intellectual disability and works to help them live meaningful lives.

“Presto is more complicated and that sense of not knowing for sure creates anxiety which is never a good thing.”

In the new year, Metropasses will be phased out entirely and replaced with Presto cards that have a monthly pass on them. Community Living Toronto is now working with the TTC and other groups on a training program specifically for those with developmental disabilities on how to use the new cards and the system in general.

Card issue

In November, Grant Koturbash said he was heading home from a coffee shop near Eglinton West and Islington.

Grant Koturbash (right) with his sister Shelley who helps him load his Presto card. (Richard Agecoutay/CBC)

“I tapped my Presto card and [the driver] said I have no money on my Presto card,” said Koturbash.

He said the driver told him to get off the bus and to put money on his Presto card. He said he told the driver he was special needs but he said there was no response.

With no cash on him and no ability to load his card, Koturbash said he approached a woman.

“I said, ‘Can you please help me, I have no money, I tapped my Presto card, no money in my wallet and stuff,”‘ said Koturbash.

Shelley Koturbash says her brother now calls her multiple times a day worried about whether he has enough money on his Presto card. (Richard Agecoutay/CBC)

The woman agreed to pay his fare and when he arrived home he called his sister.

“I was shocked,” said Shelley Koturbash, who said she had just loaded up his card two days prior.

She describes her brother as a mild-mannered and non-aggressive person. She said he’s high functioning in some ways — he is able to wash his dishes, pick up bottles for recycling and other tasks — but loading a Presto card is too complicated; he relies on a social worker or his family to help him.

She said the incident has left her brother shaken.

(John Lesavage)

“Grant gets very anxious. He keeps asking me, ‘How much money is on my Presto card,’ and, ‘Am I going to be okay? What’s going to happen?”‘

Presto and technology

Community Living Toronto said it often hears of stories about people with developmental disabilities encountering problems with Presto.

“Presto has just added another layer of complication that they need to understand and figure out, and there hasn’t been a lot of communication that’s accessible to people we support,” said Saunders who said he’s heard of  TTC enforcement officers ticketing people with mental disabilities in the confusion.

“The challenge with the situations I’ve heard of is it’s just so definitive, you tap your Presto and if that “x” comes out on the gate, you’re not getting in. If there’s no one to talk to, to ask about it, you’re stuck.”

Discover my route

The TTC maintains it’s not its policy to kick anyone — let alone someone with a developmental disability — off a bus because their card doesn’t tap properly.

“We would never want our operators to ask someone to leave the vehicle,” said Heather Brown, acting manager, customer communications.

Brown  said there are glitches with some gates that don’t let a passenger go through, even if there’s money on their card.

“There is continuous improvement in the availability of our fare gates. But there are circumstances where sometimes this is happening. We are working with Presto  and our fare gate manufacturers to make sure this issue is being rectified.”

One of the challenges for people with an intellectual disability, advocates say, is not knowing what the balance is on your card when you tap it, but the TTC said that might change in the future.

“We are exploring the option of possibly including the balance on the screen,” said Brown.

In the meantime, the TTC has also partnered with Community Living and other groups to offer a training program called “Discover my Route” for those with developmental disabilities transitioning to Presto.

Angela Bradley with Community Living is part of a team that’s launched Discover My Route, a program that helps to train people living with an intellectual disability how to get around on the TTC. (John Lesavage)

“It really works with the individuals to make sure they do understand the change, they understand the differences and more importantly they know how to problem solve and how to ask for help,” said Angela Bradley,  director of resource development and marketing with Community Living.

The pilot program — launched around the time the transition to Presto began — includes in-class instruction to teach people how to use transit and what to do in case of an emergency or when their card doesn’t work.

“It’s like anything, it’s new, it’s changed and it needs training.”


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Bill Gates: Third Shot May Be Needed to Combat Coronavirus Variants





With more than 40 million Americans having received at least the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, a third dose may be needed to prevent the spread of new variants of the disease, Bill Gates told CBS News Tuesday.

Gates’ comments come amid growing concern that the current vaccines are not effective against the more contagious Brazilian and South African variants.

Pfizer and Moderna have stated that their vaccines are 95% and 99% effective, respectively, against the initial strain of COVID. However, some scientists have questioned those statements. Additionally, the World Health Organization and vaccine companies have conceded that the vaccines do not prevent people from being infected with COVID or from transmitting it, but are only effective at reducing symptoms.

Gates told CBS Evening News:

“The discussion now is do we just need to get a super high coverage of the current vaccine, or do we need a third dose that’s just the same, or do we need a modified vaccine?”

U.S. vaccine companies are looking at making modifications, which Gates refers to as “tuning.”

People who have had two shots may need to get a third shot and people who have not yet been vaccinated would need the modified vaccine, explained Gates. When asked whether the coronavirus vaccine would be similar to the flu vaccine, which requires yearly boosters, Gates couldn’t rule that out. Until the virus is eradicated from all humans, Gates said, additional shots may be needed in the future.

AstraZeneca in particular has a challenge with the variant,” Gates explained. “And the other two, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax, are slightly less effective, but still effective enough that we absolutely should get them out as fast as we can while we study this idea of tuning the vaccine.”

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the studies being conducted in Brazil and South Africa, CBS News said. The foundation has also invested in the AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and the Novavax vaccines, which are being tested against new variants. Once the AstraZeneca vaccine is approved, the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative or GAVI, founded by Gates, will distribute it globally.

“Gates continues to move the goalposts,” said Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., chairman and chief legal counsel of Children’s Health Defense. “Meanwhile the strategies he and others have promoted are obliterating the global economy, demolishing the middle class, making the rich richer and censoring vaccine safety advocates, like me.”

Kennedy said that the exclusive focus on vaccines has prevented the kind of progress required to actually address and recover from the pandemic:

“From the pandemic’s outset, clear-headed people familiar with the challenges inherent in the vaccine model have understood that the path out of crisis would require multiple steps. Those steps would need to include the development and/or identification of therapeutic drugs, the sharing of information among doctors to hone improved treatment models that reduce infection mortality rates below those for flu, and the kind of broad-spectrum long-term herd immunity that protects against mutant strains and that only derives from natural infection.”

Instead, Gates and vaccine makers are proposing a lifetime of boosters, supporting insufficient testing to determine safety and failing to address the inadequate monitoring of vaccine injuries, Kennedy said.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children’s Health Defense.

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Young nurse suffers from hemorrhage and brain swelling after second dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine





(Natural News) A 28-year-old healthcare worker from the Swedish American Hospital, in Beloit, Wisconsin was recently admitted to the ICU just five days after receiving a second dose of Pfizer’s experimental mRNA vaccine. The previously healthy young woman was pronounced brain dead after cerebral angiography confirmed a severe hemorrhage stroke in her brain stem.

Her family members confirmed that she was “breaking out in rashes” after the vaccine. She also suffered from sudden migraine headaches, and got “sick” after taking the second dose of the vaccine. At the very end, she lost the ability to speak and went unconscious. The migraines, nausea, and loss of speech were all symptoms of a brain bleed and brain swelling, something her family did not understand at the time, and something nobody would expect after vaccination.

While on life support, neurologists used angiography to image the damage inside the brain. They found a subarachnoid hemorrhage, whereas a bulging blood vessel burst in the brain, bleeding out in the space between the brain and the tissue covering the brain. The ensuing swelling cut off oxygen to the brain and caused brain death. On February 10, 2021, Sarah reportedly had “no brain activity.” Some of the woman’s organs are now being procured, so they can be donated to other people around the world.

Doctors warn FDA about COVID vaccines causing autoimmune attacks in the heart and brain

Experimental COVID-19 vaccines may cause inflammation along the cardiovascular system, leading to heart attack and/or stroke. This serious issue was brought forth to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by Dr. J. Patrick Whelan, M.D., Ph.D. and further confirmed by cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. The two doctors warned that a recently-infected patient who is subject to COVID-19 vaccination is likely to suffer from autoimmune attacks along the ACE-2 receptors present in the heart, and in the microvasculature of the brain, liver and kidney. If viral antigens are present in the tissues of recipients at the time of vaccination, the vaccine-augmented immune response will turn the immune system against those tissues, causing inflammation that can lead to blood clot formation.

This severe adverse event is likely cause of death for the elderly who are vaccinated despite recently being infected. There is no adequate screening process to ensure that this autoimmune attack doesn’t occur. The elderly are not the only people vulnerable to vaccine injury and death. Pfizer’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine could be the main cause behind the sudden death of Sarah Sickles, a 28-year-old nurse from Wisconsin. The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System has captured five permanent disabilities in Wisconsin, 58 ER visits, and eleven deaths in just one month. This is the first case in Wisconsin of someone under 44 years of age suffering from severe COVID-19 vaccine side effects and death. There are now more than 1,170 deaths recorded in the U.S. related to the experimental mRNA vaccines, a reality that the FDA and CDC continue to ignore.

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Powering hypersonic weapons: US armed forces eyeing dangerous 5G tech





(Natural News) Much of the conversation surrounding the benefits of 5G is geared toward the consumer side of the technology. People will be able to download videos at lightning speed and will be more connected than ever, proponents claim, although there are serious questions regarding its safety. However, some of the most important 5G applications are not civil at all – the technology will be used extensively in the military domain.

Some of its military uses are outlined in the Defense Applications of 5G Network Technology report, which was published by the Defense Science Board. This federal committee gives scientific advice to the Pentagon. Their report states: “The emergence of 5G technology, now commercially available, offers the Department of Defense the opportunity to take advantage, at minimal cost, of the benefits of this system for its own operational requirements.”

The 5G commercial network that is being built by private companies right now can be used by the American military for a much lower cost than if the network had been set up exclusively for military purposes.

Military experts expect the 5G system to play a pivotal role in using hypersonic weapons. For example, it can be used for new missiles that bear nuclear warheads and travel at speeds superior to Mach 5. These hypersonic weapons, which travel at five times the speed of sound and move a mile per second, will be flying at high altitudes on unpredictable flight paths, making them as hard to guide as they will be to intercept.

Huge quantities of data need to be gathered and transmitted in a very short period in order to maneuver these warheads on variable trajectories and allow them to change direction in milliseconds to avoid interceptor missiles.

5G for defense

This type of technology is also needed to activate defenses should we be attacked by a weapon of this type; 5G automatic systems could theoretically handle decisions that humans won’t have enough time to make on their own. Military bases and even cities will have less than a minute to react to incoming hypersonic missiles, and 5G will make it easier to process real time data on trajectories for decision-making.

There are also important uses of this technology in combat. 5G’s ability to simultaneously link millions of transceivers will undoubtedly facilitate communication among military personnel and allow them to transmit photos, maps and other vital information about operations in progress at dizzying speeds to improve situational awareness.

The military can also take advantage of the high-frequency and short-wavelength millimeter wave spectrum used by 5G. Its short range means that it is well suited for smart military bases and command posts because the signal will not propagate too far, making it less likely that enemies will be able to detect it.

When it comes to special forces and secret services, the benefits of 5G are numerous. Its speed and connectivity will allow espionage systems to reach unprecedented levels of efficiency. It will also make drones more dangerous by allowing them to identify and target people using facial recognition and other methods.

Like all technology, 5G will also make us highly vulnerable. The network itself could become an attractive target for cyber-attacks and other acts of war being carried out with cutting-edge weaponry. In fact, the 5G network is already viewed as critical infrastructure and is being carefully protected before it is even fully built.

While the focus on 5G’s dangers to human health and the environment is absolutely warranted, it is also important not to lose sight of the military implications of 5G. After all, it is not just the United States that is developing this technology for military purposes; our enemies, like China and other countries, are also making great strides in this realm.

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