MoneyWatch: U.S. stocks plunge as major retailers show poor results

MoneyWatch: U.S. stocks plunge as major retailers show poor results – CBS News


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Stocks plummeted on Wall Street after disappointing quarterly results from the nation’s largest retailers. CBS News senior White House and political correspondent Ed O’Keefe has the latest. Then, Akane Otani, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, joins Elaine Quijano on CBS News to explain the current market volatility.

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Actress Xiang Yun graduates from course; officially a nutrition consultant

Said her son Chen Xi on Instagram, “I didn’t expect myself to get emotional over this. But I always remember how my mum loved to learn; how she never had the chance to complete her education journey due to financial challenges in those days.

“Like many of them in that generation, she gave it up, started working for the family, and became the woman you knew on the screens.”  

Her colleagues and friends in the industry, including Huang Biren, Quan Yifeng and Pan Lingling, also congratulated her on her Instagram post.

Congra-duations, Xiang Yun! 

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Simone Ashley Facts About Bridgerton And So Much More

“I have had to work twice as hard, and maybe I haven’t really said that enough to myself and given myself a pat on the back for that.”

1.

Simone Ashley (born Simone Ashwini Pillai) was born in Surrey, England, but had relatives in Ojai, California, where she spent many of her childhood summers. She eventually moved to Los Angeles at age 17 to pursue acting.


Araya Doheny / Getty Images

“They were super supportive,” she told Jimmy Kimmel on Jimmy Kimmel Live! about her parents. “I think it was a little bit of an intervention when I wound up in LA; [they were] going nuts. But I think I just went.”

2.

After signing with a modeling agency, Simone knew she actually wanted to be an actor. Her first-ever role was as a background “party girl” in 2015’s Straight Outta Compton.


Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

“It was a pretty wild first set to ever be on,” she told Glamour. “I remember Corey Hawkins was in front of me, doing his thing, playing Dre. I really wanted to be like, ‘I want to be an actress too,’ but I didn’t. I just kept quiet.” 

3.

However, that small role led to Simone getting bit parts in projects like Broadchurch and Wolfblood, which in turn landed her her big break role in Sex Education as Olivia Hanan.

4.

Simone has said that working on Sex Education was extremely special and that the cast was like a family.


Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

“We would all stay up until 2 a.m. just chatting,” Simone told Glamour UK. “It was amazing. It was very, very special. I made some friends for life on that set. We all kind of grew up together.” She was particularly close with Aimee Lou Wood and Emma Mackey and said that Asa Butterfield threw amazing game nights. 

5.

Simone was in her trailer filming another movie when she got the call that she’d landed the role of Kate Sharma in Bridgerton Season 2 — and the timing was right after Season 1 had come out.


NBC / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

“I was on a movie at the time, and I was in my trailer, and I get a call saying, ‘It’s kind of secret, you can’t tell anyone, but you got the role,” Simone told Jimmy on Jimmy Kimmel Live!  “And then I get a knock on my trailer calling me to set. So I put my phone down, put it on flight mode because it starts blowing up a bit, and then I go to set, and I’m not allowed to tell anyone. And Season 1 had just come out, and everyone was kind of talking about it in the cast, like, ‘Oh, we watched Bridgerton Season 1 over the weekend; I wonder what’s happening in Season 2,’ and I kind of had to just sit there.” 

6.

And when the casting news was eventually announced, Simone was in the process of assembling an Ikea desk, according to Glamour UK. Oh, and she started getting amazing messages of support from legends like Freida Pinto and Mindy Kaling.


Getty Images

“I remember watching Freida in Slumdog Millionaire and Mindy in everything she’s done,” Simone told Glamour UK. “She’s incredible. There’s no one like her. She’s so cool. I’d love to work with her. I think she’s an amazing writer, producer.” 

7.

Simone has a number of favorite scenes from Bridgerton Season 2, because, of course, it would be impossible to choose just one.


Liam Daniel / Netflix

“I love the scene where Kate and Anthony dance for the first time,” she told the New York Times. “And the bee sting scene — I think that’s such a pivot in the story. The stakes are really raised, and they realize they have feelings for one another and that there’s this obstacle now between everything that they’ve worked for. And I love all the horse-riding scenes.”

8.

Behind the scenes of Bridgerton, Jonathan Bailey, who plays Anthony, and Simone became great friends and made each other feel comfortable — especially during the more intimate scenes.

9.

And in terms of Bridgerton’s iconic costumes, Simone revealed that she does have a favorite — this look of Kate’s from Episode 5.


Netflix

“It was pretty stunning,” Simone told Glamour UK. “Really beautiful colors.” She described the dress as a “peacock-blue dress.” 

10.

Before Bridgerton, where Simone had to ride horses in several scenes, she had only ridden once before.


Liam Daniel / Netflix

“I’m quite natural and I’m quite sporty anyway,” she told Glamour UK. “At the start, I was in the saddle every other day, pretty much for one to one and a half hours a day. I loved it. After moving from LA, and a lot of change, I think that was something that really helped, because once you’re on the horse, you kind of get out your head and you don’t think of anything else.”

11.

Simone spoke about what it meant to her to see the fan reaction to having her, an Indian woman, in a leading role on Bridgerton.


Liam Daniel / Netflix

“I’m so grateful and wonderfully overwhelmed by the response that we’ve received,” she told the New York Times. “I’m very proud of my heritage, and I’m proud that there are any effects that I’ve had, just me doing my job, especially if they’re positive, and uplifting other women and making them feel seen.”

12.

She also discussed how, as a woman of color, she’s had to work twice as hard to get as far as she has.


Arturo Holmes / Getty Images for the Met Museum/Vogue

“I have had to work twice as hard, and maybe I haven’t really said that enough to myself and given myself a pat on the back for that,” she told the Reign With Josh Smith podcast. “For me it has just always been like, ‘I’m just like any other actress, I can do this. I can have a script put in front of me and bring a character to life, and I’m smart and got creative ideas and I can do this.’ But I think as a woman and a woman of color, you do have to work harder…” 

13.

In addition to Simone’s many talents, she’s also a classical singer.


YouTube / Via youtube.com

“I grew up singing quite a lot and studied a lot of classical music, and then that kind of led into musical theater, and I fell in love with musicals,” she told People magazine. 

14.

In terms of her musical inspirations, her favorite band is Fleetwood Mac.


Samir Hussein / Getty Images

“I saw them at the Dodger Stadium about four years ago, and I could only afford a ticket that was really far, far up,” she told Glamour UK. “And I could hardly see them. I lied my way to the front rows because I really, really wanted to see Stevie Nicks up close.” 

15.

During the pandemic, Simone taught herself how to do tattoos — and she even ended up tattooing several of her Bridgerton cast members.


ABC / Via youtube.com

She told Jimmy Kimmel that she googled “how to tattoo at home” and learned from a YouTube tutorial. On Jimmy Kimmel Live!, she showed off the sphinx tattoo she gave herself.

16.

We all knew Kate is a dog lover, but Simone is too! She has an adorable cocker spaniel named Mila.

17.

Finally, Simone officially WILL be returning as Kate alongside Jonathan as Anthony in Bridgerton Season 3.


Liam Daniel / Netflix

“We’re going to be back! Kate and Anthony are just getting started,” she revealed at a dinner in Los Angeles, as reported by Deadline. “In Season 2, there was a lot of push and pull between Kate and Anthony, there were complications with the family, and then they find each other towards the end. I think everything is just starting. I’d like to see Kate just let go a bit more and play more in Season 3 and kind of swim in that circle of love together. I think they both deserve it.”

Support AAPI-centered content by exploring how BuzzFeed is celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! Of course, the content doesn’t end after May. Go follow @buzzfeedapop to keep up with our latest AAPI content year-round! PS: Love this art? Learn more about these amazing AAPI activists here.


BuzzFeed / Kathy Hoang

From left: Haunani Kay Trask, Rushan Abbas, Manjusha Kulkarni, Kiyoshi Kuromiya, Philip Vera Cruz, Mabel Lee, George Helm, and Edward Said.


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US PGA Championship: Will Zalatoris opens one-shot lead

Will Zalatoris
Will Zalatoris has four top-10 finishes from seven major starts
-9 W Zalatoris (US); -8 M Pereira (Chi); -6 J Thomas (US); -5 B Watson (US); -4 R McIlroy (NI), A Ancer (Mex)
Selected others: -3 M Fitzpatrick (Eng); -2 T Hatton (Eng), C Smith (Aus); +1 R MacIntyre (Sco), T Fleetwood (Eng), J Rose (Eng); +3 T Woods (US);
Missed cut:+6 S Scheffler (US), D Johnson (US)

American Will Zalatoris takes a one-stroke lead into the weekend at the US PGA Championship after overnight leader Rory McIlroy dropped back on day two.

McIlroy began the day one shot clear of the field but the Northern Irishman finished it five behind Zalatoris, who reached nine under at Southern Hills.

He carded a bogey-free five-under 65 with conditions favouring the late wave in Oklahoma, although McIlroy shot 71.

Chile’s Mito Pereira, on his second major start, is second at eight under.

Australian Cameron Smith, who won the Players Championship in March, struck fellow player Aaron Wise on the head with a wayward tee shot on the second.

Wise, who was on the adjacent seventh hole, who was down for “about 20 seconds”, needed treatment but was able to complete his round, albeit with a head that was “a little sore”.

“I was walking down seven and then next thing you know, there’s a little bit of ringing in my head,” said Wise.

His playing partner Joel Dahmen added: “It was a glancing blow, but the ball took off another 40 or 50 yards down the fairway. It ended up in the rough. You could hear it. All the spectators heard it. It was loud.”

Scoring was at a premium on a blustery morning in Tulsa but world number nine Justin Thomas set an early clubhouse target of six under par with a second successive 67.

However, former world number one Dustin Johnson and current occupant and Masters champion Scottie Scheffler missed the cut after both slumped to six over par – Scheffler after dropping two shots on his final hole.

Spaniard Jon Rahm heads into the weekend at two over par after a one-under 69, as does reigning Open champion Collin Morikawa, who endured a tricky morning and faced a nervy wait after finishing at four over, which is where the halfway cut was made with the top 70 and ties playing the final two rounds.

Among those late starters to benefit from the wind dropping was Bubba Watson, who missed a putt on the last to become just the second player, after Branden Grace in the 2017 Open, to shoot 62 in a major. However, his scintillating 63, that included nine birdies and two bogeys, leaves him at five under.

“It was nice but I wish it was on Sunday to take the lead, coming out of nowhere to win or take a top five – but I will take it on any day of the week,” said the 43-year-old two-time Masters champion.

Tiger Woods, who looked to be in pain at the end of his opening round as he continues his comeback from a career-threatening car crash that left him unable to walk for three months, battled hard and edged inside the cut at three over after a 71.

“You can’t win the tournament if you miss the cut,” said the 15-time major winner. “I’ve won tournaments, not major championships, but I’ve won tournaments on the cut number.

“There’s a reason why you fight hard and you’re able to give yourself a chance on the weekend. You just never know when you might get hot.”

Thomas sets pace before Zalatoris charge

Justin Thomas
Justin Thomas won his sole major at the 2017 US PGA Championship

McIlroy’s recent majors have been characterised by slow starts that have played him out of contention but the 33-year-old set the target on day one in Tulsa.

He started slowly on Friday though, despite enjoying the best of the conditions. He had two costly bogeys on his front nine, as those below him began to find some momentum as the wind dropped. His solitary birdie came on the 12th as the four-time major champion finished with a one-over 71 that leaves him at four under for the tournament.

“Overall a lot of guys went lower in the afternoon and I wish I was one of them, but if that is the bad one out of the way I am still in a good position,” said McIlroy.

Thomas started the day two behind McIlroy and erased that deficit with two birdies in his opening four holes, having started on the 10th, in what was an assured round from the 2017 champion.

A bogey on the par-three 14th checked his momentum but a run of eight pars followed and he finished in confident fashion with a birdie on the long fifth before walking in another on the final hole to post his second 67.

“I enjoyed it a lot, it brings out a good part of my game and I am comfortable in it,” said Thomas about the conditions.

“I feel like I’m playing well. We’re halfway through so it’s still a long way from home, but I’m very pleased with where everything is at and the state of mind that I’m in.”

Six under looked for a long while like it would be tough to beat, but when the wind dropped there were scores to be had and Zalatoris and Pereira were among those to take advantage.

Zalatoris already has four top-10 major finishes and he had to scramble to keep his blemish-free round intact before a run of three birdies after the turn saw him pull clear of the field, although Pereira, who started on the 10th, drew level as he holed six birdies in his final nine holes.

Texan Zalatoris leaked a drive right on the 17th and appeared to have his route to the green impaired by branches, but the 25-year-old world number 30 stuck a superb approach to within eight feet and holed the birdie putt to move back into a solo lead that he would hold on to.

“When I got out of position I missed in the right spots,” said Zalatoris. “I made a bunch of six to eight-foot par saves that kept the round going – I was surprised when I looked on the scorecard that I didn’t have any bogeys on there.”

Chilean Pereira missed the cut at the 2019 US Open on his only previous major start but the 27-year-old will head out in the final pairing on Saturday after an impressive six-under 64.

English pair in contention

England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick was one of the few trending in the right direction on Friday morning, moving to three under par for the tournament before dropping his first shot of the day on his 13th hole.

The 27-year-old, whose best major finish was joint seventh at the Masters in 2016, bounced back with a birdie on the seventh – his 16th – and scrambled two pars to sign for a 69 and three-under total.

“I feel like this is the best I’ve played ever in my career this year so far,” he said.

“I’ve got a lot longer and it showed a lot the first two days, the guys that I played with, the clubs that I’ve been hitting into holes – hopefully it’s a sign things are changing a little bit for me.”

Compatriot Tyrrell Hatton carded four successive birdies on his way to a two-under 68, but will feel he left something out there after closing his round with bogeys at 16 and 18.

Big names miss the cut

Two-time major champion Johnson signed for a second successive 73 and will be heading home, despite finishing with two birdies.

Scheffler, fresh from his Masters triumph last month, is another facing an early exit after he struggled to get to grips with the Tulsa venue and also ended the day at six over.

He was in a marquee group with world number two Rahm and third-ranked Morikawa, but followed Thursday’s 71 with a five-over 75 on Friday that unravelled on his back nine.

Scheffler started at the 10th and after carding nine pars in a row posted four bogeys either side of a birdie down the stretch before taking four shots from just off the back of the green on the ninth as he played his final nine holes in five-over 40.

World number five Patrick Cantlay had a wretched opening two rounds with just two birdies as he bowed out with an 11-over total.

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The Neogene Period: Animals, Facts, and Major Events

The Neogene period follows the Paleogene Period in the Cenozoic Era. It has the Miocene and the Pliocene epochs. The Neogene period lasted for almost 20 million years. The evolution of birds and mammals continued until they achieved their modern appearances. Other groups of animals remained the same.

What are the important things to know about the Neogene period? Let’s review the following information to learn more about the animals, facts, and major events during this time.

Terrestrial and Marine Life of the Neogene

The climate changes in the Neogene gave the Earth its savannahs and prairies. Because of the grasslands, ungulates developed. Prehistoric camels and horses evolved. Rhinoceroses, deer, and pigs also emerged. The interchanges of mammalian species almost ended the marsupial megafauna of South America.

The birds of the Neogene period were gigantic. Flying and flightless species dominated the land and air because of their size and weight. Neogene also ended the terror birds from Australia and South America. These powerful predators were completely eliminated as the Pleistocene began. By the end of the Neogene, most modern avian orders gained proper representation.

Gigantic crocodiles dominated a large portion of the Neogene period. Enormous prehistoric turtles and snakes were the results of continuous evolution. They kept on growing when the Pleistocene epoch began.

Prehistoric whales only began to live completely in water during the Neogene period. The evolution of walruses and seals also began during this time. Dolphins started to appear as well. Prehistoric sharks remained at the top of the ocean’s food chain.

The Facts

Animals and plants were already in their modern forms at this time. Birds and mammals were the dominant vertebrates on land. These animals had various forms. They needed to develop specialized traits to adapt to different environments.

The cooler climate gave way to the grasslands and deciduous plants. The grasses developed different species, which brought on different grazing animals. Bison, horses, and antelope were some of the grazers that still exist today.

There were land connections among continents during the Neogene period. This gave all of the animals valuable access to new territory. Apes and elephants made their way from the African continent to Eurasia. Rhinos, pigs, rabbits, and saber-toothed felines traveled to Africa. Rhinos and elephants crossed the Bering Strait to reach North America. Raccoons and horses went to the south.

The grass-eaters developed a strong enamel layer on their teeth. Their stomachs can digest the cellulose in grass. Many of these grazers started to develop exceptional speed. They also began to see strength in great numbers. This forced the predators to evolve as well. Each grazer has its own set of predators.

African and Asian apes diversified as well millions of years later. Hominins changed from the chimpanzees. They started walking on two feet, so they left the trees. Hominins started to use tools and carry food in their hands.

Kelp started to grow in the oceans. This is a type of brown algae that attached to corals and rocks in shallow and cool waters. Kelp gave dugongs and sea otters an ideal habitat. The oceans were dominated by a gigantic shark species called the Megalodon, which was about 50 feet long.

The Major Events

The most significant event of the Neogene period was the evolution of hominids and apes. The Miocene epoch paved the way for hominids to live in Eurasia and Africa. Most of the hominids started to move to Africa during Pliocene. These events led to the evolution of the first humans.

Land bridges formed between North America and Eurasia, as well as between Eurasia and Asia. This happened because the sea levels dropped. The Neogene also started the cooling and drying of the global climate. The north and south poles had thick and large ice caps by the end of the Neogene. This opened the Pleistocene Period, which is also known as the Ice Age.

The Miocene Epoch

This is the longest epoch of the Neogene period. The Northern Hemisphere developed grasslands. The different types of grass sustained different new mammals. Horses moved out of the meadows and forests to the grasslands. The first kelp forests started to appear.

The new circulation in the oceans started in the Northern Hemisphere. This supported the spread of new marine mammals, such as sea cows, seals, baleen whales, sea lions, and walruses. The non-mammalian predators like the Megalodon and marine crocodiles. The invertebrates in the ocean back then were like the ones we have today. Below are some of the animals that existed during the Miocene epoch:

  • Moropus—a clawed prehistoric herbivore.
  • Daphoenodon dogs—possessed the traits of feline and canine predators.
  • Merychyus—ruminant oreodonts.
  • Parahippus—prehistoric horses.
  • Promerycocherus—hippopotamus-like artiodactyl.
  • Daeodon—large pig-like predator or scavenger.

The Pliocene Epoch

During this time, the Mediterranean Sea was full of chaos. The Mediterranean basin closed because the Eurasian and African continents collided. It dried up and changed into grasslands. The barrier on the west was penetrated by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The formation of the Panamanian bridge happened between the South and North Americas. This gave way to the exchange of terrestrial animals. This was known as the Great American Faunal Interchange.

Marsupials, giant ground sloths, and armadillos migrated north. Camels, dogs, cats, bears, and dogs traveled south. A large number of species in South America became extinct and were replaced by northern species. Below are some of the animals that existed during this epoch:

  • Amebelodon—an animal that has flat lower tusks that look like shovels.
  • Teloceres—extinct rhinoceros.
  • Cranioceras—deer-like artiodactyls with many horns.
  • Synthetoceras—artiodactyls whose snouts had large forked horns.
  • Ceratogaulus—horned rodent.

After the Neogene

Hominins kept on evolving after the Neogene period. The modern human species evolved during the Pleistocene Epoch. This was when the first human migrations happened out of the African continent. About 20 glaciation cycles happened during this time. Some of these glaciations covered about 30% of the planet’s surface.

Known as the Ice Age, the Pleistocene had huge ice sheets. These ice formations stored so much water that the ocean water levels dropped by 140 meters. Many of the large prehistoric mammals died off before the end of the Pleistocene.

Well-Known Animals of the Neogene

The Neogene period gave birth to three commanding animals—the mammoth, the mastodon, and the Megalodon. Many motion pictures have depicted these enormous animals. Through these visual interpretations, people have acknowledged just how significant the Neogene period was. Here are more important details about these giants:

Mammoths

These gigantic creatures lived in Africa. Then, they disappeared about three or four million years ago. Mammoths grew to a height of 13 feet and weighed seven tons. Males and females both had curving, extended tusks. They had a significant downward slope to the back because of the longer front legs.

Mammoths lived in the northern hemisphere. Some scientists believe that these majestic animals died because of the drastic climate change or disease that lowered their productivity. Others claim that they were hunted to extinction. These huge creatures browsed grasses, shrubs, and trees.

Studies show that mammoths were similar to modern elephants when it comes to eating. What mammoths consumed must be so much more than what modern elephants eat and drink. These giants ate rushes, grasses, and sedges. These include 5% fruits, wood, water birch, blue spruce, cactus fragments, and sagebrush wood.

3D rendering of a Wooly Mammoth on white background
Mammoths grew to a height of 13 feet and weighed seven tons and both sexes had had curving, extended tusks.

Dotted Yeti/Shutterstock.com

Mastodons

These giants were smaller than mammoths, nearly the size of modern elephants. Their elongated tusks were more parallel and straighter. Their legs were shorter and their bodies longer. The shape of their teeth was different than that of mammoths. Their teeth were more cone-like and blunt, meant for browsing.

Mastodons were herbivores. They used their teeth to crush trees, shrubs, twigs, and leaves. They often consumed plants that thrived near wetlands and swamps. Mastodons used their tusks to strip trees of their bark. They also used their tusks to achieve dominance over other mastodons. Like modern elephants, they would have received prolonged parental care.

High resolution mastodon rendering
Mastodon’s teeth were cone-like and blunt, meant for browsing.

Dantheman9758/Shutterstock.com

Megalodon

This scary giant shark weighed as much as 30 large great whites and reached up to 60 feet in length. These giant sharks lived through the drastic environmental changes on the planet. They stayed in the ocean and thrived. The Megalodon, or megatooth, ruled the oceans from 17 million to about three million years ago. Scientists believe that this gargantuan shark ate about 2,500 pounds of food each day.

The Megalodon’s mouth was enormous. Its jaws allowed it to swallow two human adults standing next to each other. Each tooth was about as big as a large banana. It easily chomped down prehistoric smaller sharks, dolphins, whales, and seals.

3D rendering of a Megaladon swimming in the ocean
Megaladon weighed as much as 30 large great whites, reached up to 60 feet in length, and ate 2,500 pounds of food each day!

Warpaint/Shutterstock.com

Conclusion

The Neogene period is one of the phases of the Cenozoic Era. This is an important part of the planet’s evolution. It has two main epochs that initiated the evolution of many modern animals. The land bridges of this period brought land masses together. This made various species move to different locations that had different sources of food.

The land and ocean giants ruled this period. The Neogene is an indispensable period because of the crucial events that happened during this time. The most important of these events is the evolution of the hominins, which started the evolution of the modern man.

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WATCH: US Army releases mysterious PSYOPS recruitment video

It’s a stretch to link the U.S. Army to witchery, but that’s happening in response to an eerie recruitment video shared on YouTube by Fort Bragg’s 4th Psychological Operations Group-Airborne.

Titled “Ghosts in the Machine,” the video feels like a movie trailer and comes with no explanation other than: “All the world’s a stage. Join us.”

The video, posted May 2, starts innocently, with benign clips of cartoons and images of empty city streets and subways. But the vibe grows increasingly disturbing, with footage of a shadowy man, anxious stares at dark skies, violent riot scenes and soldiers being deployed.

“Have you ever wondered who’s pulling the strings?” the video asks.

“You’ll find us in the shadows at the tip of the spear. … Anything we touch is a weapon. We can deceive, persuade, change, influence, inspire. We come in many forms. We are everywhere.”

As of May 20, the video has gotten more than 623,000 views and ignited a growing number of articles debating its intent, including one headlined: “The Occult History of the U.S. Military’s PSYOPS and its Highly Symbolic Recruitment Video.”

The 4th Psychological Operations Group, also known as PSYOPS, defines itself as “Masters of Influence” and practitioners of “information warfare,” according to its website. That means the mere act of people debating its video is a sign of success.

“We conduct influence activities to target psychological vulnerabilities and create or intensify fissures, confusion, and doubt in adversary organizations,” the group says.

“We use all available means of dissemination — from sensitive and high tech, to low-tech, to no-tech, and methods from overt, to clandestine, to deception.”

News articles about the video question not just what it means, but why it was made at all.

“Here’s the odd thing — clandestine Army units like this DON’T make recruiting material, because that material brings unwanted attention,” The Pipeline reported. “Have you ever seen an official Delta Force recruiting video? Exactly.”

Dylan Charles wrote in USSA News that public debate proves the video “effectively does what PSYOPS are supposed to do, which is to confuse, mislead, redirect, and occupy your mind.”

“They want you to know that they are ghosts in the machine, watching and warping everything,” he says.

However, a conspiracy site known as The Vigilant Citizen suggests the intent may be darker, and possibly related to the occult.

“These allusions to magic are not merely figurative. PSYOPS extensively researched occult and supernatural phenomenons such as ESP (extra-sensory perception) and remote viewing,” Vigilant Citizen reports. “There was always a ‘magical’, supernatural element to PSYOPS.”

The 4th Psychological Operations Group shared a Task & Purpose report that referred to the video as an “unsettling … master class in psychological warfare.”

Col. Chris Stangle told the news outlet the video is purposely vague and demonstrates that a big “part of psychological operations is creating persuasive media.”

“We kind of sought to create a piece that doesn’t show what a PSYOP soldier does necessarily, because it’s so complicated and there’s so much about it — quite honestly,” Stangle told Task & Purpose.

“It’s just not incredibly sexy — but what it feels like to do our craft when we’re successful. And we think that kind of allows the audience to immerse into what our world is, and what our craft is.”

As of May 15, more than 2,750 comments about the video have been posted on YouTube, debating everything from its sinister music to the haunting images. Some have resorted to Bible quotes while others are questioning who Americans should be most afraid of: foreign powers or their own government.

“Everything is a weapon. Even this video,” one person wrote on YouTube.

“Chills. And currently checking all the dark corners,” another posted.

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Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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Nigeria: Poor Scheduling As Bane of Nigerian Airlines

Air travel in Nigeria is beset by delays caused by many factors, which include weather, breakdown of aircraft, poor airport facilities and poor scheduling.

Poor scheduling is problem of airlines, which can be averted with efficient schedule arrangement and maintenance.

In Nigeria there is also poor aircraft utilisation because the system and infrastructure guarantee limited period of time in a day to fly. Airlines can fly till midnight from Abuja to Lagos, but they cannot fly to many other airports because either those airports do not have airfield lighting or there is insecurity.

So even if it is possible, airlines cannot schedule flights late to Port Harcourt, Owerri, Kaduna and even Benin due to security concerns.

But if an airline properly schedules its rotations in the day, it would minimize delays and flight cancelations.

THISDAY spoke to the former Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Captain Fola Akinkuotu, who said schedule and maintenance were very crucial to an airline and determines its operation success, revenue earnings and utilisation of aircraft.

In order to mitigate flight delays and cancellation, airlines can keep aircraft on standby in case if anyone in operation suffer bird strike, engine failure or even undercarriage problem. Once any of the aircraft in the fleet is grounded for any reason, the one on standby would be deployed.

But Akinkuotu noted that it might not be practically realistic to keep aircraft on standby while it generates expenses, instead of operating and earning revenue with it. He suggested that while an airline could maximiseeach aircraft in its fleet, it could reduce routing of one of the aircraft so that it could be on standby, but it is a waste of resources to keep airworthy aircraft on ground from morning till night.

“What you have to look at is this. Liken this situation to owning vehicles. If you have 10 vehicles you pay insurance, vehicle licence, roadworthiness and others. These are standard expenses. If you bought that vehicle on higher purchase you will still be paying for it whether it is parked or not.

“In airline, you have 10 aircraft and you keep one on ground, you continue to pay for its insurance. If you leased the aircraft you will still be paying for the lease. You pay for all these while the aircraft is on ground. So you are not using the aircraft maximally.

“In scheduling you may reduce the rotation of one of the aircraft. For example, if you have 10 Boeing and each one operates eight rotation, you may have one that will do four rotations; so that when you have disruptions, you can deploy it to replace the one that has broken down,” he said.

Akinkuotu said it does not make sense to keep one aircraft as spare because the airline will be losing revenue. But an airline can keep engine as spare if it can afford it; so if there is incident like bird strike, the airline can replace the engine, depending on the damage.

“It does not make economic sense to rest an aircraft, but you can minimize its utilisation,” he said.

He said that flight scheduling contributes to delays and cancellation; that is why scheduling is a very important job, remarking that good schedule plan must envisage possible disruptions and plan the schedule accordingly.

Akinkuotu said that having more aircraft benefits an airline because it maximizes its personnel and an airline ought to have more aircraft for robust profitable operation, suggesting that to maximise economy of scale, an airline ought to have about 13 aircraft.

The former Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) also said that if a schedule plan were done very well it would pre-empt a situation where aircraft in the fleet is taken out for maintenance so it would plan to cover the absence of that aircraft.

“For example, if you have four aircraft and one is taken out for maintenance, there are two options; either you reschedule your flights or you lease an aircraft on short term to cover that slot. Ibom Air did something like that recently when its aircraft went for maintenance; it leased aircraft to cover the operations of that aircraft. But what is important here is knowing that the aircraft is going for maintenance and rescheduling your operations.