COVID-1984: THE DRONES WERE READY FOR THIS MOMENT AND HISTORY WILL RECORD THAT CORONAVIRUS WAS USED TO LAUNCH AGE OF AERIAL SURVEILLANCE

“Robots are so often cast as the bad guys,” said Daniel H. Wilson, a former roboticist and the author of the 2011 science fiction novel “Robopocalypse.” “But what’s happening now is weirdly utopic, as opposed to dystopic. Robots are designed to solve problems that are dull, dirty and dangerous, and now we have a sudden global emergency in which the machines we’re used to fearing are uniquely well suited to swoop in and save the day.”drones-were-ready-covid-1984-aerial-digital-surveillance-big-brotherby Geoffrey GriderMay 23, 2020 

Coronavirus has been devastating to humans, but may well prove a decisive step toward a long-prophesied Age of Drones, when aerial robots begin to shed their Orwellian image as tools of war and surveillance and become a common feature of daily life

Despite over 100 years of warning that drones and the robot age was coming, mankind seems wholly incapable from embracing a vision of society that does not include being subservient to digital masters. And just like the draconian fetters contained in the Patriot Act needed a ‘good crisis’ like 9/11 to attach itself to our daily life, so too did drones also need a ‘good crisis’ like the coronavirus to formally and officially gain a foothold. Welcome to COVID-1984, our ‘new normal’ way of life.

“And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” Revelation 6:1,2 (KJB)

The dictionary defines the word ‘corona’ as ‘resembling or likened to a crown’, which is very interesting when you consider that when Jesus releases Antichrist in the opening of the First Seal, Antichrist is wearing a crown, he is wearing a corona. What are the chances of that being just a coincidence? When Bill Gates finally gets everyone chipped with a Mark from ID2020, the drones will have no problem keeping tabs on everyone. That’s how it’s gonna go. The drones are here now, and the ID2020 chip will be here in under a year.

Please enjoy today’s story about how COVID-1984 and drones have launched the aerial surveillance age. You might say it’s the ‘crowning achievement’ of the New World Order.

The Drones Were Ready for This Moment

FROM DNYUZ: New Yorkers strolling along the East River early last month glanced up to see an unsettling sight: a mysterious drone claiming to represent something called the “Anti-Covid-19 Volunteer Drone Task Force” barking orders to pedestrians below to maintain social distancing.

“PLEASE MAINTAIN A SOCIAL DISTANCE OF AT LEAST SIX FEET,” THE DRONE INTONED, ACCORDING TO A REPORT FROM CBS NEWS, CONTINUING WITH GLOOMY WARNINGS, LIKE “PLEASE HELP STOP THE SPREAD OF THIS VIRUS” AND “REDUCE THE DEATH TOLL AND HELP SAVE LIVES.”

It wasn’t a police drone. Was it a vigilante drone or an aerial white knight? Was it friend or foe? That’s a highly relevant question about drones in general, which are suddenly everywhere during the coronavirus crisis, taking over any number of human tasks as people hunker indoors.THE NEW WORLD ORDER HAS BEEN WORKING OVERTIME, TIME TO CHECK IN AND SEE WHAT THEY’VE BEEN UP TO

Drones have been working as police officers, soaring over the banks of the Seine in Paris and the city squares of Mumbai, to patrol for social distancing violators. They’re delivering medical supplies in Rwanda and snacks in Virginia. They’re hovering over crowds China to scan for fevers below.

Coronavirus has been devastating to humans, but may well prove a decisive step toward a long-prophesied Drone Age, when aerial robots begin to shed their Orwellian image as tools of war and surveillance and become a common feature of daily life, serving as helpers and, perhaps soon, companions.

“ROBOTS ARE SO OFTEN CAST AS THE BAD GUYS,” SAID DANIEL H. WILSON, A FORMER ROBOTICIST AND THE AUTHOR OF THE 2011 SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL “ROBOPOCALYPSE.” “BUT WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW IS WEIRDLY UTOPIC, AS OPPOSED TO DYSTOPIC. ROBOTS ARE DESIGNED TO SOLVE PROBLEMS THAT ARE DULL, DIRTY AND DANGEROUS, AND NOW WE HAVE A SUDDEN GLOBAL EMERGENCY IN WHICH THE MACHINES WE’RE USED TO FEARING ARE UNIQUELY WELL SUITED TO SWOOP IN AND SAVE THE DAY.”

First, however, we’ll have to get past the fears of an actual robopocalypse, with robots of the sky rising up to take over while their wetware-enabled former masters huddle in fear below.

Drones are the New Eye in the Sky

The origins of the “Anti-Covid-19 Volunteer Drone Task Force,” which turned out to be the work of a Queens drone enthusiast, may have confused New Yorkers initially, but in most cities, there is no question who is running the current aerial patrol. Law enforcement officials in cities and towns around the world have been using drones to scan parks, beaches and city squares for violators wandering into the safe spaces of others.

In China, drones have served as educators or enforcers, depending on your point of view, alerting citizens with unsettlingly folksy warnings about virus violations in robotic voices from above, as reported by CNN.

“YES AUNTIE, THIS IS THE DRONE SPEAKING TO YOU,” SAID ONE DRONE, SPEAKING TO AN ELDERLY WOMAN BELOW IN AN EERIE BULLHORN ECHO, ACCORDING TO A VIDEO PUBLISHED BY GLOBAL TIMES, A STATE-CONTROLLED NEWSPAPER. “YOU SHOULDN’T WALK ABOUT WITHOUT WEARING A MASK.”

Global Times also published an account of another drone. A voice from above castigated a small child peering skyward while seated with a man who was violating quarantine rules by playing mahjong in public: “Don’t look at the drone, child. Ask your father to leave immediately.”

WALKING AROUND WITHOUT A PROTECTIVE FACE MASK? WELL, YOU CAN’T AVOID THESE SHARP-TONGUED DRONES! MANY VILLAGE AND CITIES IN CHINA ARE USING DRONES EQUIPPED WITH SPEAKERS TO PATROL DURING THE #CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK. 

— GLOBAL TIMES (@GLOBALTIMESNEWS) JANUARY 31, 2020

The idea of a government eye in the sky doesn’t always play so well in the United States, where personal liberty is a founding precept taken very seriously in many regions.

“COVID-19? MORE LIKE COVID-1984,” READ ONE RECENT REDDIT POST ON A THREAD ABOUT POLICE DRONES FLYING OVER ENCAMPMENTS OF HOMELESS PEOPLE IN CITIES SUCH AS FORT WORTH, AND CHULA VISTA, CALIF., BLASTING THEM WITH MESSAGES ABOUT CORONAVIRUS PREVENTION. “IT REALLY FEELS LIKE WE ARE LIVING IN SOME DYSTOPIAN SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL,” READ ANOTHER.

“Did the drone fly over blueprints for a light saber?” another commenter fired back. “Not everything is a conspiracy.”

But automated oversight can be a blunt instrument. A police drone deployed in Fairfield, Conn., to monitor beaches for social distancing also warned a group of “juveniles” trespassing on the roof of a local elementary school, according to one news account.

In nearby Westport, police scrapped plans for their own drone project to scan crowds for fever temperatures, heart and temperature rates, and even sneezes and coughs, after outcry from the American Civil Liberties Union.

“THE BIG CONCERN IS THAT THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS IS GOING TO NORMALIZE DRONES AND ENTRENCH THEM IN AMERICAN LIFE,” SAID JAY STANLEY, A PRIVACY AND TECHNOLOGY SPECIALIST FOR THE A.C.L.U. “THE FEAR IS MANY OF THESE INCURSIONS ON FREEDOM WILL OUTLAST THE CRISIS.”

The boom to the drone industry during the pandemic comes at a point when drones were already poised to creep so far into our daily lives that techno-futurists are fretting about “robot smog” — drones as a new form of air pollution.

Developers have created drones as jogging companions, barking out encouragement to the sweat drenched, and someday, perhaps, pet sitters, if one IBM patent comes to fruition. Drones with human feelings, meanwhile, are a running gag in The Onion, as with the recent headline “U.S. Claims Drone Was Minding Own Business on Its Way to Church When Iran Attacked It Out Nowhere.”

If and when the pandemic ever ends, we may develop an unimagined kinship with our aerial assistants, just as we have with other types of robots.

“SOLDIERS IN THE FIELD HAVE FAMOUSLY ANTHROPOMORPHIZED THEIR ROBOTS — NAMING THEM, RESCUING THEM, EVEN HOLDING FUNERALS,” SAID DANIEL WILSON.

Granted, he said, the marketplace has shown little interest in robots that do not perform valuable tasks. “It’s not enough for a robot to be cute or inspirational, it has to solve a problem before people will fall in love,” Mr. Wilson said.

Once the robot does, though, “the human mind will find a way to include it in the landscape of our lives,” he said, just as some supermarket employees have attached cute, googly eyes on the inventory robots they work alongside.

In a sense, they have no choice. As with drones in the age of coronavirus, Mr. Wilson said, “the robots aren’t going anywhere.”

LIBERAL ELITES TRYING TO STOP ORGANIC COVID-19 VACCINE OPPOSITION GROUPS FROM GROWING AS DISTRUST OF THE AMERICAN MEDIA REACHING ALL-TIME HIGH

The resoundingly negative answers streamed forth, generating 1,700 comments and providing a window into brewing resistance to a potential coronavirus vaccine that experts say offers the surest path back to normal life. Some of the same online activists who have clamored to resume economic activity, echoing President Trump’s call to “liberate” their states from sweeping restrictions, are now aligning themselves with a cause on the political fringe — preemptively forswearing a vaccine. To further their baseless claims about the dangers of vaccines and to portray the scientific process as reckless, they have seized on the brisk pace promised for the project, which the Trump administration has branded “Operation Warp Speed.” “We’re looking to get it by the end of the year if we can,” the president said Friday.Liberal Elites Trying To Stop Organic Covid-19 Vaccine Opposition Groups From Growing As Distrust Of The American Media Reaching All-Time High by Geoffrey GriderMay 21, 2020 

“I would take Trump’s hydroxychloroquine . . . before I would be vaccinated by the left’s new covid-19 vaccine!” read a meme posted Tuesday in a pro-Trump Facebook group with more than 82,000 members.

When Brett Kavanaugh was accused of sexual assault a few years ago, the Liberals demanded and got a televised and sensationalized ‘trial-by-media’ investigation that dragged him and his family through the mud. “Believe all women!” went the rallying cry. Kavanaugh was assailed by the Liberal media around the clock, right up to the moment he was found not to be guilty of what he was charged with. Recently, Joe Biden was accused of sexual assault, and the Liberal media promptly ignored all of it, deeming it unworthy to even report on it. “Believe all women” does not apply when it is Democrats who are being accused, only Conservatives.

It is the same with “my body, my choice!” that Liberals use to justify the slaughter of unborn babies in the womb. “You can’t tell a woman what to do with her body”, they say on one hand, but then they turn right around and say that if you refuse to allow the government to inject you a COVID-19 vaccine, you’re one of those oddball fringe conspiracy theory people.

Hey, have you been wondering why Bill Gates has been so quiet lately? He went from being on nearly every talk show, bragging about how he “predicted” the COVID-10 pandemic outbreak, to not saying hardly a word. Do you wonder why that is? Let me tell you why. Bill Gates got exposed for the New World Order fraud that he is, and websites like this one have turned such a glaringly-bright spotlight on him and “his work” that he has been forced to take a little break. He posted on Twitter last month and got over 75,000 comments with nearly all of them negative. Take a look for yourself:Bill Gates@BillGates

Halting funding for the World Health Organization during a world health crisis is as dangerous as it sounds. Their work is slowing the spread of COVID-19 and if that work is stopped no other organization can replace them. The world needs @WHO now more than ever.383KTwitter Ads info and privacy173K people are talking about this

People are standing up and saying “no!” to the COVID-19 vaccine before it is ever released, and the Liberal elites are not happy about that as you will see in today’s article from the Washington ComPost decrying the rights of American citizens to refuse to become indoctrinated and vaccinated. But be warned, the New World Order elites don’t play fair or nice, and they will take serious action to force you to take the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available. Make your mind up now what you will say then when it all hits the fan. Because it will.

FUN FACT: I have never taken a flu shot, why? Because I have worked for some of the biggest big pharma companies in the world and I know what they put in there is poison. I won’t take the COVID-19 vaccine no matter who makes it, and not even the United States military can change that.

Trump’s promise of ‘Warp Speed’ fuels anti-vaccine movement in fertile corners of the Web

FROM THE WASHINGTON POST: The question was posed bluntly to the nearly 100,000 members of a Facebook group devoted to ending Pennsylvania’s stay-at-home orders, with a user writing, “if there was a vaccine for coronavirus would you be likely to take it.”

“Absolutely not.”
“No.”
“Never.”

The resoundingly negative answers streamed forth, generating 1,700 comments and providing a window into brewing resistance to a potential coronavirus vaccine that experts say offers the surest path back to normal life. Some of the same online activists who have clamored to resume economic activity, echoing President Trump’s call to “liberate” their states from sweeping restrictions, are now aligning themselves with a cause on the political fringe — preemptively forswearing a vaccine. To further their baseless claims about the dangers of vaccines and to portray the scientific process as reckless, they have seized on the brisk pace promised for the project, which the Trump administration has branded “Operation Warp Speed.”

“WE’RE LOOKING TO GET IT BY THE END OF THE YEAR IF WE CAN,” THE PRESIDENT SAID FRIDAY.

Both movements represent the views of a small minority of Americans. But leading medical experts fear that the ability of their adherents to spread misinformation online could plant seeds of confusion and distrust in the broader public — and undermine future efforts to distribute a vaccine.JUMP IN AND SEE HOW DEEP THE BILL GATES RABBIT HOLE GOES

Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he has grown increasingly concerned that the name of the initiative has led to misconceptions about what is being put at risk by speeding up the effort — only financial investments, not safety or efficacy.

“PEOPLE DON’T UNDERSTAND THAT, BECAUSE WHEN THEY HEAR ‘OPERATION WARP SPEED,’ THEY THINK, ‘OH, MY GOD, THEY’RE JUMPING OVER ALL THESE STEPS AND THEY’RE GOING TO PUT US AT RISK,’ ” FAUCI SAID IN AN INTERVIEW WEDNESDAY WITH THE WASHINGTON POST.

No steps would be eliminated, he vowed. Rather, multiple steps — from collecting data to preparing to scale up the number of potential doses — would be pursued at once, creating “risk for the investment” but not for the patient or the “integrity of the study.”

“You’re doing things in a totally unprecedented way, and you’re going really fast but not compromising safety because you haven’t cut out any of the steps you would have done had you done it the traditional way,” Fauci said.

But such guardrails have gone unmentioned on some of the most active platforms for coordinating opposition to measures designed to slow the spread of the virus. One participant in a 2,000-member reopening group on Facebook suggested Trump was “pandering to the left” by speeding a vaccine to market. Another, addressing more than 26,000 fellow users, called the effort “mad,” linking to a video outlining a conspiracy theory about Bill Gates.

Michael Caputo, a longtime Trump adviser tapped to lead communications for the initiative as the freshly minted head of public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, said he was responsible for the branding. He drew the name “Operation Warp Speed” from the terminology scientists were already using internally to describe their efforts, he said, after initially toying with names from Greek and Roman mythology but struggling to find a fitting title.

Of efforts to paint the process as overly hasty, Caputo said, “This is a concern that everyone in the operation is taking to heart.” A White House spokesman declined to comment. The protests against a possible vaccine extend far beyond the group focused on Pennsylvania. A similar question appeared in a Facebook group dedicated to reopening Arizona, where a user suggested that resisting a vaccine was a reason “to keep this Facebook group strong and going,” even as states begin to lift their stay-at-home orders. “Will you take it?” she asked. Among answers spouting debunked theories about the dangers of vaccines, one user weighed in to say she was newly skeptical, in light of how the development process was proceeding.

On Twitter, more than three-quarters of posts since Monday using the hashtag #OperationWarpSpeed have pushed conspiracy theories about the effort. Others suggested hydroxychloroquine was a more suitable option, even though the Food and Drug Administration has warned of the antimalarial drug’s possible side effects. Trump on Monday said he was taking the drug as a preventive measure, prompting some of his supporters to double down on the unproven drug, which has been linked to increased risk of death for certain patients.

“I WOULD TAKE TRUMP’S HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE . . . BEFORE I WOULD BE VACCINATED BY THE LEFT’S NEW COVID-19 VACCINE!” READ A MEME POSTED TUESDAY IN A PRO-TRUMP FACEBOOK GROUP WITH MORE THAN 82,000 MEMBERS.

Misinformation about vaccines is still rampant on the platform, said Kolina Koltai, a postdoctoral scholar at the Center for an Informed Public at the University of Washington who has been studying anti-vaccine groups on Facebook for five years. She first learned about the coronavirus in January, she said, because the online communities she tracks were already portraying the outbreak as a tool of government control.

The conspiracy theories that sow distrust of immunization rely on some well-founded concerns about profit and the role of industry, she said. 

Here’s The Real Truth Behind That Viral ‘NASA Finds Parallel Universe’ Story

SIGNE DEAN 22 MAY 2020 

Every time tabloids and social media dramatically mishandle a science news story, the urge to unplug the internet and plug it back in again is excruciatingly strong.

If you’ve heard the recent claim that NASA detected a parallel universe (!) in Antarctica (!) where time runs backwards (!!), we’re glad you’ve now clicked on this article. Strap yourselves in for the truth.

“It seems that for this tabloid science story, some speculative theoretical physics which might have had distant roots in plausibility was amplified for sensational reasons,” University of Hawai’i at Mānoa experimental particle physicist Peter Gorham told ScienceAlert.

The egregious ‘parallel universe detected’ nonsense started out innocently enough.

The respectable New Scientist magazine published a (pay-walled) feature on April 8, discussing some anomalous results coming from neutrino detection experiments in Antarctica, and what these could mean for a speculative cosmological model that posits there’s an antimatter universe extending backwards from the BigBang.

Then some online outlets, uh, ‘borrowed’ this report, the whole thing snowballed, and here we are.

So what’s really going on with these anomalous detections in Antarctica? We have reported before that the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA) experiment – a high-altitude helium balloon with an array of radio antennas, partially funded by NASA – has spotted a handful of instances of what seem to be highly energetic neutrinos coming through Earth.

Here’s why that’s super weird. Neutrinos are those ‘ghostly’ fundamental particles that flow through everything, barely interacting with normal matter, which makes them exceedingly hard to detect. But when produced by powerfully explosive objects in the Universe, neutrinos can gain such ultra-high energies, they become more likely to interact with normal stuff.

ANITA, flying high above the icy continent, is designed to detect signals of secondary particle showers produced as high-energy neutrinos smash into ice. But such neutrinos are supposed to come from the depths of cosmos, not Earth – since chances are good they would have smacked into something else before getting all the way through our planet.

See? Weird. Physicists have been carefully working to figure out if these results can be explained with our current models of physics, or have something to do with the experimental set-up itself, or if something truly wild is going on.

As Gorham, who is the principal investigator of ANITA, told ScienceAlert, “we have encountered a small number of anomalies in our data, and once we have exhausted all of the possible explanations within the Standard Model of physics, only then is it time to consider other ideas that push those boundaries – we are really not there yet, certainly not at the point where parallel universes are necessary!”

Yeah. Couldn’t put it any clearer. 

The headline-grabbing parallel universe notion is fun, mind-bending stuff to think about on its own. It proposes the existence of an antiuniverse dominated by antimatter, stretching back in time from the Big Bang and with spatial properties inverted to those in our own Universe, obeying the fundamental rule of charge, parity, and time (CPT) symmetry on the grandest scale.

One speculative paper has linked this ‘CPT symmetric universe’ idea with the anomalous ANITA detections. Sadly, the way it was contextualised in the original pay-walled article has been entirely lost in the many, many iterations of “NASA found a parallel universe” that have spawned over the past couple days.

“In this case, one or more journalists have evidently moved ahead with an article which was not verified, and for reasons which are not clear, have ascribed research and papers to us which we never wrote, and theories, such as those involving parallel universes, which neither we nor our collaborators hypothesised about or discussed in any publication before these results were attributed to our experiment,” says Gorham.

“This is one of the reasons that scientific advances proceed by a more measured process, through peer review and verification by other investigators.”

Ouch. Let’s just all agree to not trust ‘science news’ from tabloids once and for all.

From sub-Saharan Africa to China, Christians experience ‘high’ levels of persecution

Share January 15, 2020 By World Watch Monitor 

Poster memorials and crosses for Christians who died in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Easter Sunday, 2019

• In Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday more than 250 people, 45 of them children, were killed in attacks on three churches and hotels; more than 500 people were injured.

• Bombs killed 20 at a Catholic church in Jolo in the southern Philippines.

• In China, state-sanctioned and ‘underground’ churches have been harassed or shut down in at least 23 provinces. In Xinjiang, at least one state-sanctioned church is known to require congregants to queue for facial recognition checks.

• In the West African state of Burkina Faso, violent Islamic militants have killed church leaders, kidnapped families for ransom and burned down churches and schools.

• In Egypt, seven Coptic Christians were killed when terrorists attacked their bus as they visited a monastery. The attack was in the same place where 28 Copts were killed less than 18 months before, when masked gunmen opened fire on their vehicles.

• In Iran, 194 Christians were arrested, 114 in one week just before Christmas 2018; several house churches were raided across nine cities.

In the latest annual survey of countries around the world to monitor how difficult it is to live as a Christian, the overall trend in the World Watch List (WWL) 2020 is that 73 – as in WWL 2019 – showed extreme, very high or high levels of persecution*.
Among the World Watch List’s top 50 alone, 260 million Christians face a level of persecution measured as extreme, very high, or high.

Open Doors International, which creates the annual list, estimates there are at least a further 50 million Christians facing high levels of persecution among the 23 countries that did not rank high enough to qualify for the top 50.
Altogether, it says that that’s 1 in 8 Christians worldwide who face persecution measured as extreme, very high, or high.

The List, based on extensive surveys combined with expert interviews and released yesterday (15 January) peers behind the global headlines of cases such as the Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi, who was finally freed from death row to start a new life in Canada in May 2019.

Asia Bibi is finally free, almost one decade after she was first imprisoned. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Asia Bibi was released almost one decade after she was first imprisoned. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

In some countries — China and Eritrea, for example – it is governments that pressure Christians, sometimes with violence. In the Middle East, South-east Asia, East Africa and the Sahel, it is other forces that make life for Christians insecure. In the Sahel, especially, the rise of Islamist militancy has become a challenge not only to Christians but also to the existence of states and governments in the region, and thus to the rest of the world.

“Since 1992 Open Doors has been monitoring the plight of Christians persecuted for their faith around the world,” said Open Doors International Chief Executive Dan Ole Shani. “From World Watch List 2002 onwards, North Korea has ranked as the worst country for them. This year Afghanistan is a close second, then Somalia. We’ve seen little change in the Top 10 this year, which includes conflict-torn countries such as Libya and Yemen. But the number of countries where Christians face a high level of persecution has grown due to increasing pressure and violence from their families, work colleagues, communities, police, legal systems and state structures.”

The only change in the top 10 countries from WWL 2019 is that Sudan and Eritrea have swapped their No. 6 and 7 places. In Sudan, little has changed so far for the nation’s Christians, despite the ousting of President al-Bashir after more than 30 years.

As for Eritrea, in May 2019 the UN heard that hundreds of Christians face detention as “religious freedom continue[s] to be denied”. In June, the government suddenly seized and closed all 22 Catholic-run health clinics and arrested five Orthodox priests. In August, Eritrea’s Orthodox patriarch, placed under house arrest by the government in 2007, was expelled from his own Church on accusations of heresy by pro-government bishops.

The top 11 countries on the 2020 list have an ‘extreme’ level of persecution, the same number of countries as 2019 and 2018.

India, which entered the Top Ten for the first time in WWL 2019, stays at 10 this year. Hindu nationalist extremism has grown after the BJP-led government under Narendra Modi won a second term in May 2019. The analysts of the World Watch List registered a minimum of 447 incidents this year. However, fewer Christians were killed than on the WWL 2019.

Two of the world’s most numerous Christian populations, one in a secular democracy, the other in a Communist state, face ‘extreme’ (India) and ‘very high’ (China) levels of persecution – albeit expressed through very different ways.

China has risen four places this year, from no. 27 in WWL 2019 to 23. The average score for pressure on Chinese Christians rose; it increased in all spheres of life, as new regulations on religion rolled out countrywide. These restrict not just the so-called ‘underground’ house-churches, but also state-sanctioned churches in the Three Self Patriotic movement (TSPM) and the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Religion is banned from the public sphere; some teachers and medical staff have been pressured to sign documents saying they have no faith. In some areas, elderly people have been told their pensions will be cut if they do not renounce their Christian faith. All this comes against a backdrop of increasingly all-pervasive surveillance via facial recognition and other technology.

Across the top 50, pressure is rising. In 2020, 34 countries registered a ‘very high’ level of persecution. Last year, the number was 29.

Nigeria, staying at no. 12, scores the maximum for violence as it did in WWL 2019, due mainly to violent Fulani militants attacking Christian communities and churches, as well as to Boko Haram and a range of armed criminal groups who kill, kidnap and rape with impunity.

Mostly there have been few changes since WWL 2019 in the List numbers 13-25. Here are the main exceptions:

e key hole of a closed down church in Algeria is sealed with wax. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The key hole of a closed down church in Algeria is sealed with wax. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

Algeria rises to 17 (from 22 in WWL 2019)

Of the estimated 129,000 Christians, just under 1 in 3 relate to 46 churches of the Eglise Protestante d’Algerie (EPA). In the 12-month period covered by this List (1 November 2018 – 31 October 2019), 11 EPA churches were closed down and police assaulted its president, and others, when they came to close his 1000-member church in October. The EPA still lacks official status (after being forced to apply for re-registration in 2013) despite trying to meet all legal requirements.

Morocco rises to 26 (from 35 in WWL 2019), Qatar rises to 27 (from 38 in WWL 2019) 

Pressure in all spheres of life remains ‘very high’ to ‘extreme’ (for ‘Church life’); overall, these two score only 3 or 4 points more than last year.

Burkina Faso rises to 28 (from 61 in WWL 2019) 

This West African country has risen faster and farther on the list than any other; in WWL 2019 it was not even among the top 50. At least 50 Christians are known to have been targeted and killed for their faith. In the north, violent Islamic militants have singled out villagers wearing crosses to kill them. Churches, schools and Christian NGOs have been attacked, or have closed out of fear; militants attack with impunity. Burkina Faso’s score for violence has doubled from WWL 2019, in a country previously known in the region for its religious tolerance and lack of conflict.

Sri Lanka rises to 30 (from 46 in WWL 2019) 

This is due to the Easter bomb attacks in April 2019.

Bangladesh rises to 38 (from 48 in WWL 2019) 

The threat of violence from Islamic militancy is a danger for the Church. In April 2019, for instance, a rural imam issued a fatwa “If you kill one Christian, you will receive blessings equal to 100 Islamic religious martyrs”.

Colombia rises to 41 (from 47 in WWL 2019) 

Conflict continues as the government’s 2016 peace agreement with rebels has effectively broken down. Church leaders have been killed, others receive death threats for refusing to pay protection money to armed groups. Even when they report such threats, they do not receive any response from the authorities.

Finally, beyond the 50 countries on the World Watch List, 23 more countries (ranked 51-73) also score the same ‘high’ level of persecution scored as those at the bottom of the Top 50 – the Russian Federation, United Arab Emirates, Cameroon, Indonesia and Niger. While Indonesia has dropped from 30 to 49 this year, Cameroon (48) has entered the Top 50 for the first time and Niger (50) has re-entered it, mainly due to the rise in radical Islamic influence across Sub-Saharan Africa.

(*Persecution is said to be ‘extreme’ when a country scores 81 or more points out of 100; ‘very high’ is 61 or more, ‘high’ is 41 or more).

Khamenei: We will support any entity who fights Zionist regime

  Ayatollah Ali KhameneiIranMike Pompeo

Responding to outrage over a cartoon calling for a “Final Solution.” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei explained on Wednesday, May 20, that he seeks “only Israel’s destruction, not all the Jews.” He said Iran would support any nation or group that fights against Israel. “Eliminating the Zionist regime doesn’t mean eliminating Jews. We aren’t against Jews. It means abolishing the imposed regime & Muslim, Christian & Jewish Palestinians choose their own govt & expel thugs like [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu,” Khamenei wrote on his Twitter account. “This is ‘Eliminating Israel’” he explained, insisting “it will happen.”

Responding to outrage over a cartoon calling for a “Final Solution.” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei explained on Wednesday, May 20, that he seeks “only Israel’s destruction, not all the Jews.” He said Iran would support any nation or group that fights against Israel. “Eliminating the Zionist regime doesn’t mean eliminating Jews. We aren’t against Jews. It means abolishing the imposed regime & Muslim, Christian & Jewish Palestinians choose their own govt & expel thugs like [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu,” Khamenei wrote on his Twitter account. “This is ‘Eliminating Israel’” he explained, insisting “it will happen.”

Iran’s supreme leader was replying to US and Israeli accusations of provoking genocide and backing the Nazis’ final solution. “He should know that any regime that threatens the destruction of the State of Israel faces a similar danger,” a statement from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office said.

The poster published on Khamenei’s website in Farsi, Arabic and English showed people celebrating at Temple Mount in a reconquered Jerusalem under a Palestinian flag. They were waving flags of Iran-backed terrorist groups including the Lebanese Hizballah. A large portrait of the late Qassem Soleimani adorned Al Aqsa mosque. The images were captioned: “Jerusalem will be free, The Final Solution. Resistance is referendum.” The poster evoking the Nazi Holocaust was released on Qods (Catastrophe) Day, on which the Palestinians annually mark the anniversary of Israel’s foundation.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo commented: “The leader of the world’s top sponsor of terrorism and anti-Semitism denies the Holocaust, sends money and weapons to anti-Israel terrorists, and now has invoked the Nazi call for the Final Solution,” Pompeo said. “I ask all nations: Is this someone who can be trusted with deadly weapons?”

The Khamenei poster followed foreign reports this month of the outbreak of a cyber war, in which Israel purportedly disrupted a major Iranian port on the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for an Iranian attempt to disrupt its rural water distribution system.

‘Blank’ Dead Sea Scrolls have hidden letters on them

By Laura Geggel – Associate Editor 2 days ago

The Hebrew word "Shabbat" is visible in the upper right hand corner. A lamed (the letter "L" in Hebrew) is written on the left side of the fragment.The Hebrew word “Shabbat” is visible in the upper right hand corner. A lamed (the letter “L” in Hebrew) is written on the left side of the fragment.(Image: © Copyright The University of Manchester)

Four Dead Sea Scroll fragments, previously thought to be blank, are anything but: Detailed imaging has revealed that these ancient pieces of parchment contain letters, sewn thread, ruled lines and even a discernible word, new research finds.

The finding almost went unnoticed, until Joan Taylor, a professor of Christian origins and Second Temple Judaism at King’s College London, took a magnifying glass to these fragments and noticed that there was a “lamed,” the Hebrew letter for “L,” written on one of them.

At the time, Taylor said she thought that she “might be imagining things. But then it seemed maybe other fragments could have very faded letters too,” she said in a statement.

Taylor’s hunch paid off. One of the four fragments had four lines of text, with a total of 15 to 16 completely or partially preserved letters. One word, “Shabbat,” the Hebrew word for “Sabbath,” is clearly visible, and this clue, as well as several other letters, suggest that this fragment might be from the biblical book of Ezekiel (46:1-3).

The Dead Sea Scrolls consist of more than 900 manuscripts written by an ancient Jewish sect known as the Essenes. Since the scrolls’ discovery in the Qumran caves of the West Bank in 1946, scholars have pored over the texts, which include versions of the Hebrew Bible, calendars, astronomical observations and community rules. 

Although some parchments touted as Dead Sea Scrolls are forgeries, the fragments studied in this experiment are the real deal, according to a news statement from The University of Manchester in England. These fragments were discovered during the official excavations of the Qumran caves, and were never channeled through the antiquities market. 

In the 1950s, the Jordanian government gifted some of the fragments to Ronald Reed, a leather and parchment expert at the University of Leeds in England, so he could examine their physical and chemical composition. At the time, it was thought that these fragments were blank and could be used for scientific tests. After Reed and his student, John Poole, studied the fragments, they stored them safely away. 

This collection was then donated to The University of Manchester in 1997, but received little attention, until now, when Taylor spied the Hebrew letter. To see if any of the other fragments had text, she photographed all the pieces in the collection that were over 0.4 inches (1 centimeter) long — 51 in total — that appeared blank to the naked eye.

Taylor didn’t use regular photography. Instead, she relied on multispectral imaging, a technique that uses various wavelengths, such as infrared, on the electromagnetic spectrum to capture images of hard-to-see figures, such as the carbon-based ink on the scrolls. In the end, she and her colleagues found that some fragments had ruled lines or vestiges of letters, but only four fragments had Hebrew or Aramaic text.

One of those pieces was from the sewed edge of a parchment scroll, and had a few letters on it, according to the statement. 

“With new techniques for revealing ancient texts now available, I felt we had to know if these letters could be exposed,” Taylor said. “There are only a few on each fragment, but they are like missing pieces of a jigsaw puzzle you find under a sofa.”

This isn’t the only time that supposedly blank pieces of the Dead Sea Scrolls have been found to contain text. In 2018, another group announced that infrared imaging had revealed Hebrew letters and words on several of the scroll fragments, Live Science previously reported. 

The new project is part of the Network for the Study of Dispersed Qumran Cave Artefacts and Archival Sources (DQCAAS). The results will be published in a forthcoming report. 

Christie’s bosses are facing a lawsuit over a £1.3million ancient clay tablet after it was seized in the US amid suspicion it was looted from Iraq after first Gulf War

  • The tablet carries a fragment of the Epic of Gilgamesh, a 4,000-year-old poem
  • It is preserved in an early writing system, where dents are made in wet clay 
  • The auction company said any ‘illicit activity’ pre-dated Christie’s involvement

By ANDY DOLAN FOR THE DAILY MAIL

PUBLISHED: 20:02 EDT, 20 May 2020 | UPDATED: 20:08 EDT, 20 May 2020 

The ancient clay tablet carries a fragment of the Epic of Gilgamesh, a poem composed more than 4,000 years ago in Mesopotamia. Pictured: Gilgamesh in a statue from 700BC+2

The ancient clay tablet carries a fragment of the Epic of Gilgamesh, a poem composed more than 4,000 years ago in Mesopotamia. Pictured: Gilgamesh in a statue from 700BC

Christie’s is being sued over the sale of an ancient clay tablet that bears part of a poem regarded as the world’s oldest surviving work of great literature.

The US Department of Homeland Security seized the 3,600-year-old artefact eight months ago, after investigations suggested it had been looted from Iraq after the first Gulf War.

The Hobby Lobby, a Christian-run retailer paid £1.3million to have the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet in its Museum of the Bible in Washington DC.   

It filed a lawsuit in Brooklyn, New York, on Tuesday against Christie’s and the unidentified seller of the antiquity, accusing the auction house of ‘deceitful and fraudulent conduct’.

The tablet carries a fragment of the Epic of Gilgamesh, a poem composed more than 4,000 years ago in Mesopotamia – most of which corresponds to modern Iraq. 

It tells a story of male tyranny, friendship, heroism and grief over its 12 tablets.

The poem is preserved in one of the earliest writing systems, named after the ‘cuneiform’ or wedge-shape dents made in wet clay with reeds by the scribes who wrote it. 

US prosecutors are now seeking to return the 6in by 5in section, which tells of Gilgamesh’s dreams, to Iraq.

The office of the US attorney for the Eastern District of New York said it was imported illegally to the US in the 2000s.

According to court documents, the authorities traced the tablet’s ownership back to 2003, when an unnamed American antiquities dealer bought it from the family of a Jordanian dealer in London. 

After the tablet was imported and cleaned, experts in cuneiform recognised it as a portion of the Gilgamesh epic. In 2007, the US dealer sold the tablet, claiming the tablet had been inside a box of items purchased in a 1981 auction in San Francisco, the court papers said. The poem is preserved in one of the earliest writing systems, named after the ¿cuneiform¿ or wedge-shape dents made in wet clay with reeds by the scribes who wrote it+2

The poem is preserved in one of the earliest writing systems, named after the ‘cuneiform’ or wedge-shape dents made in wet clay with reeds by the scribes who wrote it

A subsequent owner provided that letter to Christie’s, but ‘advised that the provenance would not withstand scrutiny and should not be used in connection with a public sale’, the US Attorney’s Office said. 

Through its London office, Christie’s sold the tablet to Hobby Lobby in 2014, but when, three years later, a curator at the bible museum tried to find out more about its provenance, the auction house withheld information, the authorities claim.

The Hobby Lobby suit claims ‘fraud and breach of express and implied warrant’, and seeks the return of what it paid.

Christie’s said: ‘This filing is linked to new information regarding an unidentified dealer’s admission … that he illegally imported this item, then falsified documents over a decade ago.’ It said the ‘illicit activity’ pre-dated Christie’s involvement.

US state attorney Richard P Donoghue said: ‘A major auction house failed to meet its obligations by minimising its concerns that the provenance of an important Iraqi artefact was fabricated, and withheld … information that undermined the provenance’s reliability.’

Prosecutors said the bible museum had co-operated with the investigation. The tablet is in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security.

Stephen Hawking’s Final Paper Cuts the Multiverse Down to Size

By Rafi Letzter May 02, 2018

Stephen Hawking’s final paper, which aims to test a theory that proposes parallel universes, appeared today (May 2) in the Journal of High Energy Physics.

As Live Science reported at length in March, before the paper was peer-reviewed and officially published, it shares Hawking’s final look at one of his earliest theories, the so-called “no-boundary proposal.” This idea describes the conditions in the very early universe. Hawking and his co-author, Thomas Hertog, a physicist at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, attempted to resolve thorny questions regarding the multiverse, or the idea that many universes exist side by side. Hertog called their conclusions a “departure” from the “no-boundary proposal” as Hawking originally presented it.

According to Hawking’s “no-boundary proposal,” before the Big Bang, when the entire universe was compressed into a single, infinitely small point, there was no directional time as we experience it. Time was a closed, boundary-free thing, like a sphere without edges. [Stephen Hawking: A Physics Icon Remembered in Photos]

Scientists later determined that this proposal implied something strange: that the multiverse is infinite, with endless, uncountable parallel universes existing alongside our own, Live Science previously reported. That wild situation presented a number of problems for science, most significantly that it rendered most basic scientific ideas about the multiverse impossible to test. (If there are infinitely many universes, then an experiment could make predictions about what the universe should look like — and there will be some universes out there that will match those predictions.)

A Smooth Exit from Eternal Inflation?

S. W. Hawking1 and Thomas Hertog2
1DAMTP, CMS, Wilberforce Road, CB3 0WA Cambridge, UK

2Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of Leuven, 3001 Leuven, Belgium

Abstract

The usual theory of inflation breaks down in eternal inflation. We derive a dual description of eternal inflation in terms of a deformed Euclidean CFT located at the threshold of eternal inflation. The partition function gives the amplitude of different geometries of the threshold surface in the no-boundary state. Its local and global behavior in dual toy models shows that the amplitude is low for surfaces which are not nearly conformal to the round three-sphere and essentially zero for surfaces with negative curvature. Based on this we conjecture that the exit from eternal inflation does not produce an infinite fractal-like multiverse, but is finite and reasonably smooth.

1

20 Apr 2018

I. INTRODUCTION

Eternal inflation [1] refers to the near de Sitter (dS) regime deep into the phase of inflation in which the quantum fluctuations in the energy density of the inflaton are large. In the usual account of eternal inflation the quantum diffusion dynamics of the fluctuations is modeled as stochastic effects around a classical slow roll background. Since the stochastic effects dominate the classical slow roll it is argued eternal inflation produces universes that are typically globally highly irregular, with exceedingly large or infinite constant density surfaces [2–5].

However this account is questionable, because the dynamics of eternal inflation wipes out the separation into classical backgrounds and quantum fluctuations that is assumed. A proper treatment of eternal inflation must be based on quantum cosmology. In this paper we put forward a new quantum cosmological model of scalar field driven eternal inflation by using gauge-gravity duality [6–8]. We define the Euclidean dual theory on the threshold surface of eternal inflation, which therefore describes the transition from the quantum realm of eternal inflation towards a classical universe, in line with the original vision behind inflation [9]. The subsequent evolution is assumed to be classical.

A reliable theory of eternal inflation is important to sharpen the predictions of slow roll inflation. This is because the physics of eternal inflation specifies initial conditions for classical cosmology. In particular a quantum model of eternal inflation specifies a prior over the so-called zero modes, or classical slow roll backgrounds, in the theory. This in turn determines its predictions for the precise spectral properties of CMB fluctuations on observable scales.

Our starting point remains the no-boundary quantum state of the universe [10]. This gives the ground state and is heavily biased towards universes with a low amount of inflation [11]. However we do not observe the entire universe. Instead our observations are limited to a small patch mostly along part of our past light cone. Probabilities for local observations in the no-boundary state are weighted by the volume of a surface Σf of constant measured density, to account for the different possible locations of our past light cone [12]. This trans- forms the probability distribution for the amount of inflation and leads to the prediction that our universe emerged from a regime of eternal inflation [12, 13]. Thus we must understand eternal inflation in order to understand the observational implications of the no-boundary

wave function.
However the standard saddle point approximation of the no-boundary wave function

breaks down in eternal inflation. We therefore turn to gauge-gravity duality or dS/CFT [6– 8],whichgivesanalternativeformofthewavefunctionevaluatedonasurfaceΣf inthelarge three-volume limit. In this, the wave function is specified in terms of the partition function of certain deformations of a Euclidean CFT defined directly on Σf . Euclidean AdS/CFT generalized to complex relevant deformations implies an approximate realisation of dS/CFT [14–19]. This follows from the observation [18] that all no-boundary saddle points in low energy gravity theories with a positive scalar potential V admit a geometric representation in which their weighting is fully specified by an interior, locally AdS, domain wall region governed by an effective negative scalar potential −V . We illustrate this in Fig. 1. Quantum cosmology thus lends support to the view that Euclidean AdS/CFT and dS/CFT are two real domains of a single complexified theory [6, 14, 20–23]. In the large three-volume limit this has led to the following proposal for a holographic form of the semiclassical no-boundary wave function [18] in Einstein gravity,

̃
ΨNB[hij,φ] = Z−1 [hij,α ̃]exp(iSst[hij,φ]/􏰀) . (1.1)

̃
Here the sources (hij , α ̃) are conformally related to the argument (hij , φ) of the wave function,

Sst are the usual surface terms, and ZQF T in this form of dS/CFT are partition functions of ̃

The holographic form (1.1) has led to a fruitful and promising application of holographic

techniques to early universe cosmology (see e.g. [15, 24–28]). No field theories have been

identified that correspond to top-down models of realistic cosmologies where inflation tran-

sitions to a decelerating phase. However we find that many of the known AdS/CFT duals

are ideally suited to study eternal inflation from a holographic viewpoint. This is because

supergravity theories in AdS4 typically contain scalars of mass m2 = −2l2 with a negative AdS

potential for large φ. In the context of (1.1) such scalars give rise to (slow roll) eternal inflation in the dS domain of the theory that is governed effectively by −V . In fact the Breitenlohner-Freedman bound in AdS corresponds precisely to the condition for eternal inflation in dS.

Here we use (1.1) to study eternal inflation holographically in toy-model cosmologies 3

QFT

(complex) deformations of Euclidean AdS/CFT duals. The boundary metric hij stands for background and fluctuations.page4image3338597488

FIG. 1: Two representations in the complex time-plane of the same no-boundary saddle point associated with an inflationary universe. The saddle point action includes an integral over time τ from the no-boundary origin or South Pole (SP) to its endpoint υ on Σf. Different contours for this give different geometric representations of the saddle point, each giving the same amplitude for the final real configuration (hij(⃗x),φ(⃗x)) on Σf. The interior saddle point geometry along the nearly vertical contour going upwards from the SP consists of a regular, Euclidean, locally AdS domain wall with a complex scalar profile. Its regularized action specifies the tree-level probability in the no-boundary state of the associated inflationary, asymptotically de Sitter history. Euclidean AdS/CFT relates this to the partition function of a dual field theory yielding (1.1).

of this kind in which a single bulk scalar drives slow roll eternal inflation. We take the dual to be defined on a global constant density surface Σf at the threshold (or exit) of the regime of scalar field driven eternal inflation. The bulk scalar driving inflation corresponds to a source α ̃ that turns on a low dimension scalar operator in the dual. Hence we use holography to excise the bulk regime of eternal inflation and replace this by field theory degrees of freedom on a kind of ‘end-of-the-world’ brane. This is somewhat analogous to the holographic description of vacuum decay in AdS [29], although the interpretation here is different.

Conventional wisdom based on semiclassical gravity asserts that surfaces of constant scalar field in eternal inflation typically become highly irregular on the largest scales, de- veloping a configuration of bubble-like regions with locally negative curvature. Holography provides a new perspective on this: The dependence of the partition function on the con- formal geometry hij of Σf in the presence of a constant source α ̃ = 0 specifies a holographic measure on the global structure of constant density surfaces in eternal inflation. We analyse various properties of this measure and find that the amplitude of surfaces with conformal

structures far from the round one is exponentially small, in contrast with expectations based on semiclassical gravity. We also argue on general grounds that the amplitude is zero for all highly deformed conformal boundaries with a negative Yamabe invariant. This raises doubt about the widespread idea that eternal inflation produces a highly irregular universe with a mosaic structure of bubble like patches separated by inflationary domains.

II. A HOLOGRAPHIC MEASURE ON ETERNAL INFLATION A. Setup

For definiteness we start with the well known consistent truncation of M-theory on AdS4 × S7 down to Einstein gravity coupled to a single scalar φ with potential


V(φ)=−2−cosh( 2φ), (2.1)

in units where Λ = −3 and hence l2 = 1. The scalar has mass m2 = −2. Therefore in the AdS

large three-volume regime it behaves as
φ(⃗x, r) = α(⃗x)e−r + β(⃗x)e−2r + · · ·

(2.2)

where r is the overall radial coordinate in Euclidean AdS, with scale factor e . The Fefferman-Graham expansion implies that in terms of the variable r the asymptotically (Lorentzian) dS domain of the theory is to be found along the vertical line τ = r + iπ/2 in the complex τ -plane [18]. This is illustrated in Fig. 1 where r changes from real to imaginary values along the horizontal branch of the AdS contour from xA to xT P . This also means that in the dS domain the original potential (2.1) acts as a positive effective potential

√ V(φ)=−V =2+cosh( 2φ).

̃

̃
This is a potential for which the conditions for inflation and eternal inflation ε ≤ V hold,

̃ ̃
where ε ≡ V2/V2, for a reasonably broad range of field values around its minimum. This

close connection between AdS supergravity truncations and eternal inflation in the frame- work of the no-boundary wave function (1.1) stems from the fact that the Breitenlohner- Freedman stability bound on the mass of scalars in AdS corresponds precisely to the condi- tion for eternal inflation in the de Sitter domain of the theory.

5

r

(2.3)

Bulk solutions with φ ≪ 1 initially are at all times dominated by the cosmological constant Λ and eternally inflate in a trivial manner. By contrast, solutions with φ ≥ 1 initially have a regime of scalar field driven eternal inflation, which eventually transitions into a Λ-dominated phase. The wave function (1.1) contains both classes of histories. We are mostly interested in the latter class and in particular in the amplitude of different (conformal) shapes of the constant scalar field transition surface1 Σf between these two regimes.

The variance of the semiclassical wave function of inhomogeneous fluctuation modes in ̃ ̃

the bulk is of order ∼ V /ε, evaluated at horizon crossing. In eternal inflation ε ≤ V . Hence the fluctuation wave function spreads out and becomes broadly distributed [5]. This is a manifestation of the fact that the universe’s evolution, according to semiclassical gravity, is governed by the quantum diffusion dynamics of the fluctuations and their backreaction on the geometry rather than the classical slow roll [2–5]. It is usually argued that the typical individual histories described by this wave function develop highly irregular constant density surfaces with a configuration of bubble-like regions with locally negative curvature. Below we revisit this from a holographic viewpoint.

We conclude this discussion of our setup with a few technical remarks. The argument

(hij , φ) of the wave function evaluated at υ in Fig. 1 is real. This means that in saddle points

associated with inflationary universes, the scalar field must become real along the vertical

dS line in the τ-plane. The expansion (2.2) shows this requires its leading coefficient α to be

imaginary, which in turn means that the scalar profile is complex along the entire interior

AdS domain wall part of the saddle points. But the bulk scalar sources a deformation by

an operator O of dimension one with coupling α in the dual ABJM theory. Hence the

holographic measure in this model involves the AdS dual partition function on deformed

three-spheres in the presence of an imaginary mass deformation α ≡ iα ̃. We are primarily ̃

interested in the probability distribution over hij for sufficiently large deformations α, since these correspond to histories with a scalar field driven regime of eternal inflation. Finally whilst we formally define our dual on the exit surface Σf from scalar field eternal inflation, at υ in Fig. 1, we might as well take υ → ∞ because the classical, asymptotic Λ-phase amounts to an overall volume rescaling of the boundary surface which preserves the relativepage6image3336482400

1 A realistic cosmology of course involves an intermediate radiation and matter dominated phase before the cosmological constant takes over. However since we are concerned with the structure of the universe at the exit from scalar field eternal inflation this toy-model setup suffices.

probabilities of different conformal bopundary geometries [18].

B. Local measure: perturbations around S3
We first recall the general behavior of partition functions for small perturbations away

from the round S . Locally around the round sphere, the F–theorem and its extension to spin-2 deformations provide a general argument that the round sphere is a local minimum of the partition function. The F–theorem for three-dimensional CFTs [30, 31] states that the free energy of a CFT on S3 decreases along an RG flow triggered by a relevant deformation. A similar result was recently proved for metric perturbations of the conformal S3 background [32, 33]. The coupling of the energy-momentum tensor of the CFT to the curved background metric triggers a spin-2 deformation. The fact that the free energy is a local maximum for the round sphere is essentially equivalent to the positive definiteness of the stress tensor two- point function. Applied to the holographic no-boundary wave function (1.1) these results imply that the pure de Sitter history in the bulk is a local maximum of the holographic probability distribution, in contrast with expectations based on semiclassical bulk gravity in eternal inflation.

C. Global measure: squashed three-spheres

We now turn to large deformations. The dual of our bulk model is the ABJM SCFT. Hence to evaluate (1.1) we are faced with the problem of evaluating the partition function of supersymmetry breaking deformations of this theory. We do not attempt this here. Instead we first focus on a simplified model of this setup where we consider an O(N) vector model. This is conjectured to be dual to higher-spin Vassiliev gravity in four dimensions [34]. Higher-spin theories are very different from Einstein gravity. However, ample evidence indicates that the behavior of the free energy of vector models qualitatively captures that of duals to Einstein gravity when one restricts to scalar, vector or spin 2 deformations [35–37]. This includes a remarkable qualitative agreement of the relation between the vev and the source for the particular scalar potential (2.1) [38]. We therefore view these vector models in this Section as dual toy models of eternal inflation and proceed to evaluate their partition functions for a specific class of large deformations. We return to Einstein gravity and a

general argument in support of our conjecture below in Section II D.
Specifically we consider the O(N) vector model on squashed deformations of the three-

sphere,

2 r02􏰃 2 1 2 1 2􏰄
ds = 4 (σ1) +1+A(σ2) +1+B(σ3) , (2.4)

where r0 is an overall scale and σi, with i = 1,2,3, are the left-invariant one-forms of SU(2).

Note that the Ricci scalar R(A, B) < 0 for large squashings [36]. We further turn on a mass

deformation O with coupling α. This is a relevant deformation which in our dual O(N)

vector toy model induces a flow from the free to the critical O(N) model. The coefficient α

is imaginary in the dS domain of the wave function as discussed above. Hence we are led to

evaluate the partition function, or free energy, of the critical O(N) model as a function of 2

the squashing parameters A and B and an imaginary mass deformation α ≡ m ̃ . The key question of interest is whether or not the resulting holographic measure (1.1) favors large deformations as semiclassical gravity would lead one to believe.

The deformed critical O(N) model is obtained from a double trace deformation f(φ · φ)2/(2N) of the free model with an additional source ρfm ̃2 turned on for the single trace operator O ≡ (φ · φ). By taking f → ∞ the theory flows from its unstable UV fixed point, where the source has dimension one, to its critical fixed point with a source of dimension two [34]. To see this we write the mass deformed free model partition function as

m ̃2=m2 +O yields ρf ρ

􏰊 􏰉3√2 Zfree[m2] = Dφe−Ifree+ d x gm O(x) ,

(2.5)

(2.6)

Here φa is an N-component field transforming as a vector under O(N) rotations and R

is the Ricci scalar of the squashed boundary geometry. Introducing an auxiliary variable

where Ifree is the action of the free O(N) model
1􏰊3√􏰃 μa 1 a􏰄

Ifree=2 dxg∂μφa∂φ+8Rφaφ .

􏰊

3√2f21222
Z [m2]= DφDm ̃2e−Ifree+N􏰉dxg[ρfm ̃O−O− (m−ρfm ̃)],

(2.7)

(2.8)

free 2 2f which can be written as

2 􏰊 Zfree[m ] =

2 −N 􏰉d3x√g(m2−ρfm ̃2)2 2 Dm ̃ e 2f Zcrit[m ̃ ] ,

8

with

2 Zcrit[m ̃ ]=

􏰊

3√2f2 −Ifree+N􏰉dx g[ρfm ̃ O− O]

Dφe 2 . Inverting (2.8) gives Zcrit as a function of Zfree:

(2.9)

(2.10)

The value of ρ can be determined by comparing two point functions in the bulk with those in the boundary theory [37]. For the O(N) model this implies ρ = 1, which agrees with the transformation from critical to free in [39].

We compute Zcrit for a single squashing A = 0 and m ̃2 = 0 by first calculating the partition function of the free mass deformed O(N) vector model on a squashed sphere and

􏰅 􏰇 2 2 R􏰈􏰆 N −∇ + m + 8

−logZfree =F = 2 log det Λ2 , (2.11) where Λ is a cutoff that we use to regularize the UV divergences in this theory. The

eigenvalues of the operator in (2.11) can be found in closed analytic form [40], 2 212

4(1+A)

To regularize the infinite sum in (2.11) we follow [36, 37] and use a heat-kernel type regularization. Using a heat-kernel the sum over eigenvalues divides in a UV and an IR part. The latter converges and can readily be done numerically. By contrast the former contains all the divergences and should be treated with care. We regularize this numerically by verifying how the sum over high energy modes changes when we vary the energy cutoff. From a numerical fit we then deduce its non-divergent part which we add to the sum over the low energy modes to give the total renormalized free energy. The resulting determinant after heat-kernel regularization captures all modes with energies lower than the cutoff Λ. The contribution of modes with eigenvalues above the cutoff is exponentially small. For more details on this procedure we refer to [36, 38].

2 The generalization to double squashings A, B = 0 yields qualitatively similar results but requires extensive numerical work and is discussed in [38].

Nfρ2􏰉3√ 4􏰊 2 dxgm ̃

􏰉3√􏰁m4 2 2􏰂 2Ndxg −ρm ̃m 2

Zcrit[m ̃ ]=e 2

Dme 2f Zfree[m].

then evaluate (2.10) in a large N saddle point approximation . Evaluating the Gaussian integral in (2.5) amounts to computing the following determinantpage9image1730698304

λn,q =n +A(n−1−2q) −

+m , q=0,1,…,n−1, n=1,2,… (2.12)page9image1730705984page9image1730706272

page10image1728990848page10image1729044144page10image1729050272

-0.4 -0.2

Rem2 0.5

-0.5

0.2 0.4

im 2
-0.4 -0.2

Imm2 0.6

0.4 0.2

-0.2 -0.4 -0.6

im 2

FIG. 2: The real and imaginary parts of the solutions m2 of the saddle point equation (2.13) are shown for three different values of a single squashing, i.e. A = −0.8 (blue), A = 0 (red) and A = 2.06 (green). For large im ̃ 2 we have Re(m2) → −R/8.

To evaluate the holographic measure we must substitute our result for Zfree[A,m2] in (2.10) and compute the integral in a large N saddle point approximation. The factor outside the path integral in (2.10) diverges in the large f limit. We cancel this by adding the appropriate counterterms. The saddle point equation then becomes

􏰋

2π2 􏰃m2 􏰄 ∂logZfree[m2]

− m ̃ 2 = − . (2.13) ∂m2

0.2 0.4page10image1731259952page10image1731260240page10image1731260528

f
We are interested in imaginary m ̃2 as discussed above. This means we need Zfree[A,m2]

(1+A)(1+B) 2

for complex deformations m . Numerically inverting (2.13) in the large f limit we find a saddle point relation m2(m ̃ 2). This is shown in Fig. 2, where the real and imaginary parts of m2 are plotted as a function of im ̃ 2 for three different values of A.

Notice that Re(m2) ≥ −R(A)/8. This reflects the fact that the determinant (2.11), which

is a product over all eigenvalues of the operator −∇2 +m2 +R/8, vanishes when the operator

has a zero eigenvalue. Since the lowest eigenvalue of the Laplacian ∇2 is always zero, the

first eigenvalue λ1 of the operator in (2.11) is zero when R/8 + m2 = 0. In the region of

configuration space where the operator has one or more negative eigenvalues the Gaussian

integral (2.5) does not converge, and (2.11) does not apply. This in turn means that the

holographic measure Z−1 [A, m ̃ 2] is zero on such boundary configurations, as we now see. crit

Inserting the relation m2(m ̃ 2) in (2.10) yields the partition function Zcrit[A, m ̃ 2]. We show the resulting two-dimensional holographic measure in Fig. 3. The distribution is well behaved and normalizable with a global maximum at zero squashing and zero deformation corresponding to the pure de Sitter history, in agreement with the F–theorem and its spin-

10page11image1729367312

FIG. 3: The holographic probability distribution in a dual toy model of eternal inflation as a function of the coupling of the mass deformation m ̃2 that is dual to the bulk scalar, and the squashing A of the future boundary that parameterizes the amount of asymptotic anisotropy. The distribution is smooth and normalizable over the entire configuration space and suppresses strongly anisotropic future boundaries.

2 extensions. When the scalar is turned on the local maximum shifts slightly towards positive values of A. However the total probability of highly deformed boundary geometries

3

dimensional slices of the distribution for two different values of m ̃ .
3 The distribution has an exponentially small tail in the region of configuration space where the Ricci scalar

R(A) is negative and Zfree diverges. We attribute this to our saddle point approximation of (2.10).

is exponentially small as anticipated . We illustrate this in Fig. 4 where we plot two one-

2page11image1729495488

11

1

Z 2 2.0

1.5

1.0

0.5

1

Z 2 0.12

0.10 0.08 0.06 0.04 0.02page12image1729567408page12image1729567824page12image1729568112page12image1729568400

0 5 10 15 20 25 30 A 0
FIG. 4: Two slices of the probability distribution for m ̃ 2 = 0.0 (left) and m ̃ 2 = 0.05i (right).

D. Global measure: general metric deformations

It is beyond the current state-of-the-art to evaluate partition functions, be it of vector

models or ABJM or duals to other models, for general large metric deformations. However,

the above calculation implies a general argument suggesting that the amplitude of large

deformations of the conformal boundary geometry is highly suppressed in the holographic

measure both in higher-spin and in Einstein gravity. This is because the action of any dual

2page12image1729639472page12image1729639760

CFT includes a conformal coupling term of the form Rφ . For geometries that are close to the round sphere this is positive and prevents the partition function from diverging. On the other hand the same argument suggests that the conformal coupling likely causes the partition function to diverge on boundary geometries that are far from the round conformal structure [41]. These include in particular geometries with patches of negative curvature or, more accurately, a negative Yamabe invariant.

̃
The Yamabe invariant Y (h) is a property of conformal classes. It is essentially the

̃
infimum of the total scalar curvature in the conformal class of h, normalized with respect

to the overall volume. It is defined as
Y(h)≡infω I(ω1/4h)

̃ ̃

(2.14) where the infimum is taken over conformal transformations ω(x) and I(ωh) is the normalized

12

10 20 30

40 A

̃

1/4 ̃ average scalar curvature of ω h,

I(ω

1/4 ̃
h) =

􏰉􏰁2 ̃ 2􏰂􏰋 ̃3 M ω R(h) + 8(∂ω) h d x

􏰁􏰉 6􏰋 ̃ 3 􏰂1/3 Mω hdx

(2.15)

̃′

The Yamabe invariant is negative in conformal classes containing a metric of constant R < 0. Since the lowest eigenvalue of the conformal Laplacian is negative on such backgrounds one expects that the partition function of a CFT does not converge, thereby strongly suppressing the amplitude of such conformal classes in the measure (1.1). This is born out by the holographic measure specified by the partition function of the deformed O(N) model on squashed spheres evaluated in Section IIC. There the probabilities of large squashings for which R < 0 are exponentially small, which can be traced in the calculation to the divergence of Zfree on such backgrounds.

̃
Conformal classes with negative Y (h) precisely include the highly irregular constant den-

sity surfaces featuring in a semiclassical gravity analysis of eternal inflation. This general

argument therefore suggests their amplitude will be low in a holographic measure. We in-

terpret this as evidence against the idea that eternal inflation typically leads to a highly

irregular universe with a mosaic structure of bubble like patches separated by inflation-

4

III. DISCUSSION

We have used gauge-gravity duality to describe the quantum dynamics of scalar field driven eternal inflation in the no-boundary state in terms of a dual field theory defined on a global constant density surface at the exit from (scalar field) eternal inflation. Working with the semiclassical form (1.1) of dS/CFT the dual field theories involved are Euclidean

4 This resonates with [13] where we argued that probabilities for local observations in eternal inflation can be obtained by coarse-graining over the large-scale fluctuations associated with eternal inflation, thereby effectively restoring smoothness. Our holographic analysis suggests that the dual description implements some of this coarse-graining automatically.page13image1730073728

There always exists a conformal transformation ω(x) such that the metric h = ω constant scalar curvature [42]. The infimum defining Y is obtained for this metric h .

h has

ary domains . Instead we conjecture that the exit from eternal inflation produces classical universes that are reasonably smooth on the largest scales.

̃′ 1/4 ̃page13image1730112448

13

AdS/CFT duals deformed by a complex low dimension scalar operator sourced by the bulk scalar driving eternal inflation.

The inverse of the partition function specifies the amplitude of different shapes of the conformal boundary at the exit from scalar field eternal inflation. This yields a holographic measure on the global structure of such eternally inflating universes. We have computed this explicitly in a toy model consisting of a mass deformed interacting O(N) vector theory defined on squashed spheres. In this model we find that the amplitude is low for geometries far from the round conformal structure. Second, building on this result we have argued on general grounds that exit surfaces with significant patches of negative scalar curvature are strongly suppressed in a holographic measure in Einstein gravity too. Based on this we conjecture that eternal inflation produces universes that are relatively regular on the largest scales. This is radically different from the usual picture of eternal inflation arising from a semiclassical gravity treatment.

We have considered toy model cosmologies in which a scalar field driven regime of eter- nal inflation transitions directly to a Λ-dominated phase. The application of our ideas to more realistic cosmologies that include a decelerating phase requires further development of holographic cosmology (as is the case for all current applications of holographic techniques to early universe cosmology, e.g. [15, 24–28]). It has been suggested that in realistic cos- mologies, inflation corresponds to an IR fixed point of the dual theory [24] in which case the partition function of the IR theory might specify the amplitude of exit surfaces.

Our conjecture strengthens the intuition that holographic cosmology implies a significant reduction of the multiverse to a much more limited set of possible universes. This has important implications for anthropic reasoning. In a significantly constrained multiverse discrete parameters are determined by the theory. Anthropic arguments apply only to a subset of continuously varying parameters, such as the amount of slow roll inflation.

The dual Euclidean description of eternal inflation we put forward amounts to a significant departure from the original no-boundary idea. In our description, histories with a regime of eternal inflation have an inner boundary in the past, at the threshold for (scalar field) eternal inflation. The field theory on this inner boundary gives an approximate description of the transition from the quantum realm of eternal inflation, to a universe in the semiclassical domain. For simplicity we have assumed a sharp inner boundary, but of course one can imagine models where this is fuzzy. The detailed exit from eternal inflation is encoded in

14

the coupling between the field theory degrees of freedom on the exit surface and the classical bulk dynamics.
Acknowledgments: We thank Dio Anninos, Nikolay Bobev, Frederik Denef, Jim Hartle, Kostas Skenderis and Yannick Vreys for stimulating discussions over many years. SWH thanks the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Leuven for its hospitality. TH thanks Trinity College and the CTC in Cambridge for their hospitality. This work is supported in part by the ERC grant no. ERC-2013-CoG 616732 HoloQosmos.

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Scientists Discover Evidence Of Parallel Universe Where Time Flows Backward

Authored by Jake Anderson via TheMindUnleashed.com,

The existence of parallel universes sounds like science fiction, but over the years a number of prominent physicists have come to believe the idea is not only compatible with conventional physics but that it may explain some of the anomalies in quantum theory.

A new discovery in Antarctica has caused a stir in scientific circles as possibly representing the first tangible physical evidence of a parallel universe.

Scientists working for NASA’s Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA) have been conducting a cosmic ray detection experiment. Antarctica is the ideal environment for such an endeavor because a persistent wind of high-energy particles rains down from outer space unperturbed by radio noise.

ANITA Antarctic Hang Test/University of Hawai’i at Manoa

ANITA is a stratospheric balloon that ferries complicated instruments high into the air over Antarctica, surveying over a million square kilometers. Its instruments search for heavier tau neutrinos trapped by solid-state matter. But while these high-energy particles do not pass through the Earth, like their lighter low-energy cousins, they should be originating from out in space and moving “down” toward us.

However, ANITA scientists discovered something surprising: tau neutrino particles that seem to be arising “up” from the Earth, implying that they’re moving backward in time.

Principal ANITA investigator Peter Gorham, an experimental particle physicist at the University of Hawaii, says he was surprised by this and checked for computational or equipment glitches to explain the finding.

“What we saw is something that looked just like a cosmic ray, as seen in reflection off the ice sheet, but it wasn’t reflected,” said Gorham.

 “It was as if the cosmic ray had come out of the ice itself. A very strange thing. So we published a paper on that, we just suggested that this was in pretty strong tension with the standard model of physics.”

Gorham says these “impossible events” are controversial but “could indicate that we’re actually seeing a new class of sub-atomic particle that’s very penetrating. Even more penetrating than a neutrino, which is pretty hard to do. This particle would be passing through almost the entire earth. So this could be an indication of some new type of physics, what we call beyond the standard model of physics.”

Surprisingly enough, one of the simplest explanations for such a finding is that when the Big Bang occurred 13.8 billion years ago, it formed both our universe and a mirror universe where time flows in reverse. Inhabitants of that universe would likely not experience time going backward but would rather perceive us as the reverse universe.

“Not everyone was comfortable with the hypothesis,” Gorham told New Scientist.

Another possibility is that the Earth was inundated from cosmic rays from a supernova blast that penetrated our planet.

Scientists have increasingly come to accept the possibility of multiple universes. A few years ago astronomers considered evidence of a “bruise” on our universe, an anomalous “cold spot” that could represent an ancient collision with another universe in the multiverse.

Stephen Hawking’s final paper, released posthumously, proposed a theory for explaining alternate universes.

COVID-19 data sharing with law enforcement sparks concern

By KIMBERLEE KRUESIMay 19, 2020

1 of 3FILE – In this April 1, 2020, file photo, a Camden County police officer wears a protective mask as she waits to direct people to a COVID-19 testing facility in view of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge in Camden, N.J. Public health officials in at least two-thirds of U.S. states are sharing the addresses of people who have the coronavirus with first responders. Supporters say the measure is designed to protect those on the front line, but it’s sparked concerns of profiling in minority communities already mistrustful of law enforcement. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — More than 11 million people have been tested in the U.S. for COVID-19, all with the assurance that their private medical information would remain protected and undisclosed.

Yet, public officials in at least two-thirds of states are sharing the addresses of people who tested positive with first responders — from police officers to firefighters to EMTs. An Associated Press review found that at least 10 of those states also share the patients’ names. 

First responders argue the information is vital to helping them take extra precautions to avoid contracting and spreading the coronavirus. 

But civil liberty and community activists have expressed concerns of potential profiling in African-American and Hispanic communities that already have an uneasy relationship with law enforcement. Some envision the data being forwarded to immigration officials.

“The information could actually have a chilling effect that keeps those already distrustful of the government from taking the COVID-19 test and possibly accelerate the spread of the disease,” the Tennessee Black Caucus said in a statement. 

Sharing the information does not violate medical privacy laws, according to guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. But many members of minority communities are employed in industries that require them to show up to work every day, making them more susceptible to the virus — and most in need of the test. 

In Tennessee, the issue has sparked criticism from both Republican and Democratic lawmakers, who only became aware of the data sharing earlier this month.

The process is simple: State and local health departments keep track of who has received a test in their region and then provide the information to dispatch centers. The AP review shows that happens in at least 35 states that share the addresses of those who tested positive. 

At least 10 states go further and also share the names: Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Tennessee. Wisconsin did so briefly but stopped earlier this month. There have been 287,481 positive cases in those states, mostly in New Jersey. 

“We should question why the information needs to be provided to law enforcement, whether there is that danger of misuse,” said Thomas Saenz, president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. 

He said law enforcement agencies should provide assurances that the information won’t be turned over to the federal government, noting the Trump administration’s demands that local governments cooperate with immigration authorities.

Law enforcement officials say they have long been entrusted with confidential information — such as social security numbers and criminal history. The COVID-19 information is just a continuation of that trend.

According to the national Fraternal Order of Police, more than 100 police officers in the United States have died from the coronavirus. Hundreds more have tested positive, resulting in staffing crunches.

“Many agencies before having this information had officers down, and now they’ve been able to keep that to a minimum,” said Maggi Duncan, executive director of the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police.

Critics wonder why first responders don’t just take precautions with everyone, given that so many people with the virus are asymptomatic or present mild symptoms. Wearing protective equipment only in those cases of confirmed illness is unlikely to guarantee their protection, they argue.

In Ohio, Health Director Dr. Amy Acton issued an April 24 order requiring local health departments to provide emergency dispatchers with names and addresses of people who tested positive for the coronavirus. Yet the order also stated that first responders should assume anyone they come into contact with may have COVID-19. 

That portion of the order puzzles the American Civil Liberties Union. “If that is a best or recommended practice, then why the need or desire to share this specific information with first responders?” said Gary Daniels, chief lobbyist for the ACLU’s Ohio chapter.

Duncan said having the information beforehand is valuable because it allows officers “to do their jobs better and safer.”

To use the data, officers aren’t handed a physical list of COVID-19 patients. Instead, addresses and names are flagged in computer systems so that dispatchers can relay to officers responding to a call. In most states using the information, first responders also must agree they won’t use the data to refuse a call.

In some states, the information is erased after a certain period of time.

In Tennessee, the data is purged within a month, or when the patient is no longer being monitored by the health department, according to health officials and agreements the AP reviewed. In Ohio’s Franklin County, which includes the state capital, health officials reported 914 confirmed and probable cases to dispatch agencies in May and April, but removed those names after patients spent 14 days in isolation, said spokeswoman Mitzi Kline.

Some are not convinced. The Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition called sharing the medical information “deeply concerning,” warning that doing so may undermine the trust governments have been trying to build with immigrants and communities of color.

“Tell us how it’s working for you, then tell us how well it’s been working. Don’t just tell us you need it for your job,” said state Rep. G.A. Hardway, a Memphis Democrat who chairs the legislative black caucus.

The data remains highly sought after by law enforcement. In Pennsylvania, two police unions sued to force local health officials to disclose both patient names and addresses. The lawsuit is still pending.

Still, there have been cases of misuse. 

New Hampshire health officials agreed to start sharing names and addresses in mid-March, but some first responders also informed local leaders of positive cases. State health department spokesman Jake Leon said that was a misunderstanding and has been stopped.

“We have not experienced additional issues,” Leon said. 

Associated Press writers Andrew Welsh-Huggins in Columbus, Ohio; Nomaan Merchant in Houston; Holly Ramer in Concord, New Hampshire; Mark Scolforo in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Todd Richmond in Madison, Wisconsin; and Lindsay Whitehurst in Salt Lake City contributed to this report.