Every soldier pays a price, but some pay the ultimate price, giving their lives for their country and their comrades.
Such was the case for U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis.
The 24-year-old was fighting in Afghanistan in 2013 when he and some other soldiers were attacked by a suicide bomber. Ollis used his body to shield the others, saving their lives by heroically sacrificing his own.
There is not a day that goes by that the men he saved don’t think of his bravery and sacrifice.
One of those men is Polish soldier Lt. Karol Cierpica. He knows he owes his life to Ollis.
When Cierpica’s son was born, he looked down at the baby and realized the little boy was only given his life because Ollis had sacrificed his own. Cierpica decided he would honor his fallen comrade by giving his son the name of his hero.
Today little Michael Cierpica snuggles up to a teddy bear made from the uniform of Sgt. Ollis. Even though Ollis himself can’t be there, we are sure he is watching over his little namesake from above.
While Ollis’ parents grieve his loss, they look at the tiny baby as their own grandson. They have also started a foundation that aims to assist other grieving families of fallen soldiers.
Though he is gone, Ollis’ legacy will live on. His bravery and sacrifice should inspire us all.
Binance Holdings Ltd. is facing a federal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
Officials specializing in tax and money-laundering investigations are probing the world’s largest crypto exchange, according to the report.
Binance operates a sprawling global empire of crypto trading, including derivatives, which are essentially barred from the U.S. market. The Binance brand has attempted to project itself as above-board through recent regulatory hires including former U.S. senator Max Baucus. Former banking regulator Brian Brooks was installed as CEO of Binance’s U.S. affiliate last month.
“We take our legal obligations very seriously and engage with regulators and law enforcement in a collaborative fashion,” a Binance spokesperson said in a statement. “We have worked hard to build a robust compliance program that incorporates anti-money laundering principles and tools used by financial institutions to detect and address suspicious activity.”
She declined to comment on the reported investigation.
Binance CEO “CZ” Changpeng Zhao commented on the Bloomberg article in a tweet:
The latest coronavirus update for the US through mid-morning on Thursday shows that, according to the latest data collected by the team at Johns Hopkins University, more than 28.7 million coronavirus cases have been reported in the US since the start of the pandemic. Additionally, the coronavirus death toll in the US was approaching 519,000 as of the time of this writing.
Nevertheless, two states created an uproar this week when both states (Texas and Mississippi) announced their decision to pull back restrictions and mandates imposed during the pandemic, like max capacity requirements for businesses and statewide face mask rules. President Biden criticized these moves as the product of “Neanderthal thinking,” while CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky actually went farther than that — warning during a White House press briefing this week that the US could lose all of the progress made thus far as a result of the spread of more transmissible coronavirus variants. Spread that would be helped even more by states like these and others that join them pulling back on their coronavirus-related public safety measures too soon.
“Please hear me clearly,” Dr. Walensky said. “At this level of cases with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained. These variants are a very real threat to our people and to our progress. Now is not the time to relax the critical safeguards that we know could stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, not when we are so close.”
While there has been a degree of promising news coverage in recent days and weeks, make no mistake: We’re still very much in the middle of a dangerous pandemic. COVID-19 cases, as well as related deaths, are up about 2% compared to last week — and we’re now averaging around 67,000 coronavirus cases per day, along with some 2,000 deaths each day.
Along these lines, and related to the Texas and Mississippi news, former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb had an important insight to share in a CNBC interview this week — namely, that governments and public health experts need to start talking to people about the end of the pandemic and how we get there. Else, we’ll see more people go down this same road, either by feeling like things are hopeless or prematurely easing up on safety measures. “If we continue to be very prescriptive and not give people a realistic vision for a better future, they’re going to start to ignore the public health guidance,” Gottlieb said.
Walensky continued her remarks by noting that an average of less than 70,000 coronavirus cases a day seems good compared to where we were a few months ago. But we “cannot be resigned” to that.
“Please stay strong in your conviction, continue wearing your well-fitted mask and taking the other public health prevention actions that we know work,” she said. “Ultimately, vaccination is what will bring us out of this pandemic. To get there, we need to vaccinate many more people.”
Kanye West just got schooled on what a 5:00 PM deadline means in Wisconsin — in one judge’s view … which, for now, is keeping Ye off the ballot there, and it’s all over 14 seconds.
A circuit court magistrate ruled this week that Kanye was, in fact, too late by submitting his nomination docs last month to get his name on the ballot come November … even though his team got it in 14 seconds after 5 o’clock, which they felt was still inside the window.Not the case, so says Judge John Zakowski. Hizzoner writes, “The court believes at the time a grandfather clock rings out five times is the moment it is 5 p.m. Any time after that is precisely that: after 5 p.m.” Oof, tough crowd. But wait, there’s more to his rationale.Judge Zakowski goes on to explain … “The court used the analogy of midnight. There is significant difference between 11:59:59 p.m. and one second after midnight. The passage of a second after midnight confers an entirely new day.” Hmmm, we suppose he has a point.In other words, a late registration from Kanye … quite literally. And thus, he isn’t eligible to rock the vote on November 3rd. That said, Ye could take one last shot in this legal fight.There’s the option of appealing to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and if Kanye and co. do that … they might actually have a more favorable ruling. Fact is, a majority of those justices lean conservative — and they could interpret the deadline rules a little differently.Considering Wisconsin is a big swing state in this election … he might wanna consider it. Not only that, but Dems there are already trying to rally the base with some cool celeb appearances — namely, a ‘Parks & Rec’ Q&A session this month with a bulk of the cast. The goal is getting Wisconsin folks to vote.One way to offset that impact … fight back and get some more star power in the mix.