FIFA postpones women’s Under-17 World Cup to 2021


Pressok

New Delhi (AFP)

The women’s Under-17 World Cup, due to be held in India in November, has been postponed for three month, FIFA said Tuesday, adding to a growing list of sporting events hit by the pandemic.

The tournament, to be played in five cities across the country, will now start February 17, football’s governing body said.

FIFA has postponed the women's U-17 World Cup until next year as a result of the coronavirus
FIFA has postponed the women’s U-17 World Cup until next year as a result of the coronavirus Fabrice COFFRINI AFP/File

India is looking to boost its international standing as a host of top sporting events after holding the men’s Under-17 World Cup in 2017.

“All the host cities have put in a lot of effort and commitment so far, and we are happy that the new dates will allow them to make up for the lost time and provide momentum going forward,” the local organising committee said after the FIFA announcement.

FIFA also…

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Writing Blog Headlines That Attract Attention in Search Results


March 31, 2020 WordPress.com

When people search online for information, they tend to skip over certain page results or titles in favor of others. So, if you want them to arrive at your site in particular, you need to tempt them to click on your headlines.

What makes a title click-worthy? In a nutshell, a great headline is not only well-worded, but also includes savvy keywords, a smart description, and perhaps a time-proven hack. Read on for tips on how to write engaging headlines and why it matters.

Write clear blog titles

When writing blog headlines or titles, top bloggers know how important it is to be clear and concise — and to avoid seeming vague, complicated, silly, or long-winded. Imagine you need trustworthy information on changing a flat tire. Would you click on “Steps to Skip When Disassembling and Reassembling an Automobile Wheel in a Hurry” or “The Complete Guide to Changing a Tire Safely”? Probably the latter, if you want to avoid dangerous issues.

Use your keywords wisely

Beyond being clear, the best headlines contain the right keywords, used in a natural manner. Stuffing keywords unnaturally into articles and headlines isn’t just taboo; this outdated practice can also hurt your blog’s ranking in search results. Say you’re creating a blog post on making various pastas from scratch. Using a keyword research tool, such as Wordstream, enter “homemade pasta” into the search bar. The keyword tool will spit out the most frequently searched terms related to your entry — maybe “lasagna” and “spaghetti” would pop up in this scenario. Try to work the top keywords naturally into your headline (and article) with something like this: “Lasagna, Spaghetti and Other Fresh Pasta Dough Recipes.”

Hack a headline

Stealing someone’s else story is unethical and very likely a copyright violation. Still, people have been stealing (ahem, borrowing) ideas for plots ever since, well, storytelling became a thing. On the other hand, headlines — or at least the basic structures or types of headlines — have been used repeatedly for decades, normally without causing a stir. If they work well for some publishers, they can work well for everyone.

That doesn’t mean you should copy the best ones verbatim, but why not put your own spin on great magazine article titles, or headlines that bubble to the top of search results, adding your story’s keywords? For instance, you could write “5 Warning Signs That [keyword phrase].”

Describe each story

Writing a short description to accompany each story’s caption in search results is similar to writing product descriptions to accompany their images. For example, say you’re trying to sell an unusual tool. It might look like a handy gadget, but unless you tell your audience what it does or how it can help them solve a problem, many will give it a sideways glance and bypass it out of ignorance.

Likewise, if you wrote a story on how best to use a hammer, with the headline “How to Use a Hammer Correctly,” it may seem bland or pointless (who doesn’t know how to use a hammer?) unless you add a smart description to help “sell” the article. In that scenario, a good description could be something like this: “Surprisingly, many folks use the common hammer incorrectly, causing wasted time, bent nails, and injured fingers.”

The trick is to pique readers’ interest, without giving away too much information. Ultimately, you’re tempting them to click on your headline, which will transport them to your site so they can get the full story, poke about as they wish, and sign up for your newsletter, if you have one ready.

Now that you know the importance of writing blog headlines that generate interest, maybe it’s time to work on your brand voice, developing a style that best appeals to your target audience.

Surviving And Thriving In Difficult Times


May 6, 2020 Chris Cancialosi Forbes

Ralph Galati US Air Force
Photo supplied by Ralph Galati

The last few months have fundamentally changed the way many people live their lives day-to-day. Over the last few weeks, in particular, I have noticed an increase in a variety of what might normally be considered “unhealthy” behavior during my interactions with people.

Some individuals seem to be taking one of three paths as they attempt to make sense of their new realities and as they come to grips with being thrust into a reality where they have limited control and where the situation is rapidly changing.

  1. Finding false hope. These people keep finding a date that they hang their hopes on when things will “return to normal.” The challenge is that every time one of those dates comes to pass and things have not returned to normal, they pick a new date, each time seeming to lose a piece of themselves.
  2. Losing hope altogether. These people really seem to be struggling. They seem consumed with every news story and conspiracy theory that they come across. They feel like the sky is falling and they are beginning to (or have) lost hope that things will get better.
  3. Finding resilience. The rest seem to acknowledge their new reality and face facts without losing hope that things will get better (a concept articulated by Admiral James Stockdale called the Stockdale Paradox). They don’t hang their hopes on the next date that things will be fine and they don’t fall into a pit of despair. It is these folks who seem to be best adapted to survive and thrive in environments where they have little control.

All of my interactions forced a small voice in the recesses of my mind rushing to the forefront. An experience that I had many years ago in the military. I had an opportunity to learn quite a bit about military service members who were forced to endure long periods of captivity as prisoners of war, situations that often included intense mental and physical torture.

While any situation like this would be quite traumatic, the stories that really came to mind for me lately have been the stories of Vietnam veterans who found themselves prisoners of war for extended periods of time (some in excess of eight years). Lessons from men like Admiral James Stockdale, the highest-ranking POW in the Hanoi Hilton during the Vietnam war, the late Senator John McCain, and hundreds of others. These servicemen endured months or years of abuse including long periods of solitary confinement and worse.

These former POWs helped us to understand the effects that a total loss of control can have on a person’s psyche and they also helped current service members to understand how to best prepare themselves to survive in such situations should they find themselves in a similar position.

One such veteran, Ralph Galati served as a Lieutenant in the US Air Force as a flight navigator when his F-4 Phantom jet was shot down on February 16, 1972 over North Vietnam. After he and his pilot safely parachuted into the center of an enemy village, the two were taken prisoner and moved to Hanoi. Enduring a period of captivity of 14 months, including interrogations, sleep, and food deprivation as well as 75 days in solitary confinement, Lieutenant Galati was forced to endure many things that reinforced to him and other prisoners that they had no control over their present circumstances. This treatment was all specifically designed to disorient and to pressure the prisoners into breaking so that the North Vietnamese could gather intelligence or exploit the prisoners for propaganda purposes.

Ralph Galati’s Advice to Others.

1. We’re all being tested. “I really believe that most people are stronger than they give themselves credit for,” Galati suggests. “We need to learn how to ‘suck up’ the small stuff. Everything is not life-threatening. We have to learn to adapt to these changing circumstances.”

Galati also believes that understanding and learning about our strengths and weaknesses is critical during times like this. Finding ways to leverage our strengths while also working on our weaknesses is important. “You’ve probably learned a lot about yourself during this time. It may be time to do a good self-assessment. What have you learned about yourself?”

2. Throw out a lifeline of communication. Ralph and his fellow prisoners were forced to take great risks to communicate with one another. After being in solitary confinement for weeks, one of the other prisoners made sure to get a message to Ralph simply to let him know that he was not alone. The prisoners devised a variety of clandestine communication techniques and codes to help them to thrive. When Ralph shared with his fellow captives that they had not been forgotten, it was a “huge shot of adrenaline” for them.

In today’s day and age, we are fortunate to have a wide variety of methods for communicating with one another. Add on top of that that we have the freedom to communicate with each other at any time we wish makes this easy and totally within your control. Take a moment to reach out to someone, if not for your sake, maybe for theirs.

3. You’re not alone. For a long while, Ralph had no idea where he had been taken after his capture. Interrogations, deprivation, and solitary confinement for 75 days created a situation where anyone would feel alone. This was intentional and Ralph had no way to change it. When that first fellow prisoner took the great risk of attempting to make contact with him, it had a tremendous possible impact on him. He was not alone. He was acknowledged and he had a support system even in his dismal situation.

4. Identify your internal and external resources. At the end of the day, some people seem better suited to adapting to a massive shift in their life situation than others. “There were a lot of external forces that helped us get through in addition to the internal forces that we brought to the table,” Galati explains.

Ralph calls upon a variety of internal resources that he had to sustain his through the dark times- his family, his faith, and his duty to country. Once he successfully made contact with other prisoners, he began to realize that he had a wealth of external resources available to him to support him. Many of the other prisoners had been held captive for years prior to Ralph’s capture. They had a wealth of knowledge that Ralph was able to use to resist.

For those of you at home who may be struggling during these times, sitting down and identifying the internal and external resources that you have available to you might be helpful. You might be surprised at the support resources that you have available to you.

5. Learn from others. Ralph learned coping mechanisms from his formal military survival training, but he also learned from those prisoners who had been enduring as prisoners for years prior to his arrival in the Hanoi prison camp. Those prisoners who had been in captivity for years had developed a variety of methods and tactics for enduring their imprisonment. These lessons were hard-won and helped Ralph to understand how to successfully adapt to and get through the experience.

You don’t have to have all the answers and you certainly don’t need to feel like you need to be dealing with the current pandemic like a rock star. Take time to learn from those around you who have successfully navigated similar situations in their lives. 

6. Balance and perspective. When you’ve lost your freedoms and control over your own fate it’s a redirection of your life attitude. For Ralph, a good day was, “just being bored”, as it meant that his captors were leaving him alone. Drawing upon real life and death experiences helps him to put things into perspective. “Although this situation [sheltering in place due to the pandemic] is difficult, it is not life-threatening. You just have to behave a little bit differently.”

This lesson applies to individuals as much as it applies to business owners. Times are extremely difficult for a lot of folks out there. Some business owners may have to close their doors permanently. No matter how earth-shattering any of these situations may be, peoples’ lives are not on the line. The challenges of the current situation are going to require people to change their behaviors, potentially for a long time in order to adapt to thrive in the current situation.

7. Little things can make a big difference. When deprived of all control over one’s own life, it’s the little things that can make a difference. For Ralph, that may have been getting a secret communication from a fellow prisoner simply letting him know that he was not alone. For you, it may be something entirely different. It may be making payroll just one more cycle. It might be giving up your own pay to keep your employees secure. It might be something as small as getting a call from a loved one. When there aren’t a lot of big things to celebrate, it’s the small things that can help you get through the day.

8. Practice your own brand of resilience. Ralph suggests that we ask ourselves, “What can we learn from this situation? How can we adapt our behaviors to survive and thrive? What learnings can we take from this experience to be better people when we come out of all of this?”

Your own personal or business experience during these times will, no doubt, be unique to you and the ways in which you deal with it will be just as unique. How you choose to react to the challenges that are put in your path and the decisions that you make to help you endure will require a flavor of resilience that is as unique as your challenge.

9. “Return with honor.” Ralph and his comrades held onto this credo which served as their foundation during their time in captivity. Their ultimate desire was to be able to hold their heads high when that day finally came that they were repatriated, knowing that they had done all they could do to resist the enemy and to deny them with the ability to gain military intelligence or fodder for their propaganda efforts. “There was a lot of motivation for us younger POWs to not let down the older guys. To not let down our families. Our country,” Ralph shared.

POW's Returning home
Photo supplied by Ralph Galati

Despite the challenges that you, your loved ones, and your businesses may be facing, the way in which you behave and the decisions you make today will be with you for the rest of your lives. Knowing that one day we will all look back at this time and reflect, I encourage you to ask yourself – How do you want to be remembered?

No matter, what your unique situation right now as an individual or a business, you have a choice to make. Will you go into your shell and wait things out while falling into the trap of hopelessness or will you make a declaration that you will return with honor as well? I encourage you to find ways to be proactive in moving yourself and your business forward quickly so that you, too, can return with honor when that day comes for you to open up shop again.

Coronavirus vaccine being rushed to market by skipping usual animal testing


Do those behind it mean well for humanity?

by: Joy Jensen, staff writer | May 11, 2020

(NaturalHealth365) Traditionally, it takes 15-20 years to develop a vaccine and get it to market. Normally, regulators require vaccine manufacturers to show their product safe before using it on people, and generally it’s tested on lab animals before putting humans at risk with an unknown and untested vaccine. However, the current coronavirus pandemic has changed the world, and researchers are racing to have a coronavirus vaccine available.  Does this sound safe?

Due to that race to have a coronavirus vaccine, a COVID-19 vaccine produced by Cambridge, Massachusetts biotech company Moderna is being rushed to the market and skipping the usual procedures of animal testing before use on humans. In fact, the clinical trial already started recruiting back in early March while the team continues to work on nonclinical research at the same time.

This coronavirus “solution” could be far worse than the virus

According to Moderna’s chief medical officer, Tal Zaks, they don’t believe that proving the vaccine first in animal models is the right path to getting the vaccine to a clinical trial. And while it shows the urgency to develop a coronavirus vaccine, rushing to market is both unusual and concerning.

Some experts in the field of ethics worry that the pressure to create new vaccines may result in suspending normal rules, rights, and standards of ethical conduct.  Another worry – the technology Moderna’s using to create the new vaccine so quickly has never yielded an immunization in the past that’s even made it to market.

Traditional vaccines often use a weakened pathogen or proteins from a pathogen’s surface to help the body learn how to fight off the infection. Moderna’s trendy technology involves creating a lab-made concoction designed to make the body make its own virus-like bits so it starts to train itself to combat the virus.  It’s a novel idea, yet it’s one that has not been proven effective by this company in the past.

Past vaccine research on SARS-CoV vaccines tells a cautionary tale, too. While the previous SARS-CoV vaccines did induce antibody and protection against infection of the virus, dangers discovered in animal testing led to the conclusion that caution should be taking in proceeding to use the SARS-CoV vaccine in humans.

Do NOT ignore the health dangers linked to toxic indoor air.  These chemicals – the ‘off-gassing’ of paints, mattresses, carpets and other home/office building materials – increase your risk of headaches, dementia, heart disease and cancer.

Should we use human beings as guinea pigs?

Of course, we’ve known about vaccine dangers for some time, and in the past vaccine testing and approval procedures have been called into question. The truth is, humans become the guinea pigs. Vaccines are known to include harmful substances, such as mercury and aluminum – both known neurotoxins. Side effects of vaccines have included neurological problems and autism, not to mention the link between immunizations and autoimmune disorders, as well.

As new coronavirus vaccines are raced to the market, it’s essential to remember that most candidate vaccines actually fail. And some methods of testing are being skipped as the pandemic pushes the urgency for a fast cure.

18 State Attorneys General Urge Congress to Investigate Beijing’s Pandemic Coverup


This photo taken on May 6, 2020 shows volunteers spraying disinfectant at a market as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus as it prepares to reopen in the border city of Suifenhe in China's northeastern Heilongjiang province. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

This photo taken on May 6, 2020 shows volunteers spraying disinfectant at a market as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus as it prepares to reopen in the border city of Suifenhe in China’s northeastern Heilongjiang province. (STR/AFP via Getty Images) AMERICA

By Cathy He May 11, 2020 The Epoch Times

Attorneys general for 18 U.S. states have urged congressional leaders to investigate the Chinese regime’s role in the global spread of the CCP virus—the latest bid in a mounting campaign to hold Beijing accountable for the pandemic.

The letter, which is dated May 9 and addressed to bipartisan leaders of the House and Senate as well as leaders of the House and Senate Foreign Affairs committees, urged the lawmakers to open hearings into the matter. The state officials also accused the Chinese regime of “layers of deceit” in its coverup of the outbreak, resulting in a pandemic that has “wreaked havoc” on the United States.

“Congressional hearings are critical to our nation’s understanding of the origins of COVID-19 and efforts by the communist Chinese government to deceive the international community,” states the letter, which was organized by South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson.

The letter comes as the Trump administration is probing how the outbreak started in China. Meanwhile, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has opened its own investigation into the origins and China’s response to the pandemic.

In the letter, Wilson and his counterparts condemned the Chinese regime’s efforts to conceal the severity of the outbreak in its early stages.

“Recent reports suggest that the communist Chinese government willfully and knowingly concealed information about the severity of the virus while simultaneously stockpiling personal protective equipment,” it said. “In what Secretary of State Pompeo has described as a ‘classic communist disinformation effort,’ the Chinese government, aided by the World Health Organization, appears to have intentionally misled the world over the last six months.”

The officials also criticized the regime’s continuing propaganda and disinformation campaign intended to divert global attention from its responsibility for the pandemic.

“These layers of deceit began last year with the censoring of Chinese health officials and the muzzling of Taiwanese complaints,” the letter continues. “The cover-up continued with the expulsion of media outlets and the proliferation of Chinese propaganda targeting the Western world. This propaganda campaign has spread disinformation about the United States.”

Besides South Carolina, the letter was signed by the attorneys general—all of whom are Republican—of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.

“We need answers and we need them soon. Americans are dying and millions are losing their jobs,” said Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, who believes a congressional investigation is crucial.

“What did the Communist Party of China know, when did they know it and why did its members participate in a massive conspiracy to cover up and mislead the international community about the severity and highly contagious nature of the novel coronavirus?” Moody said in a statement.

Some states have chosen to take legal action. In April, Missouri became the first U.S. state to file a lawsuit against the Chinese Communist Party over Chinese authorities’ actions to suppress information during the early stages of the outbreak. Shortly after, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch announced her decision to also file a lawsuit to hold Beijing accountable.

The letter said that many of the attorneys general were considering similar legal action.

In addition to the Missouri lawsuit, there are at least eight private lawsuits against the Chinese regime—potential class actions—filed in federal courts.

In late April, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis sent a “demand letter” to the Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai, asking China to pay for the harm suffered by the state’s residents. Patronis said he’s considering freezing Chinese assets held by Florida to recover those funds.

Change Your Mind Without Losing Momentum


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Steps to changing your mind without losing momentum.

1. Get comfortable with the pivot yourself.

Start with yourself. Get clear on why you’ve changed your mind and give yourself permission to be okay with that. Great leaders know how and when to pivot. Your team will take their cues from you on how confident to feel about this new direction. If you were wrong (even if these circumstances had not changed), that’s okay. Be ready to admit that. Everyone is disoriented right now. Stay grounded in what you’re doing and why.

2. Communicate with transparency.

Be as transparent as possible. We were working with one senior leader who shared, “I know this is exactly the opposite of what I said two weeks ago. And here’s what I know now, and why I’ve changed my mind.” That simple statement was exactly what everyone needed to hear. We’ve seen other leaders who pivot without sharing all the reasons, and their team ends up confused, frustrated and demoralized.

3. Uncover fears and unspoken concerns.

Change is hard enough, but now you’re asking people to change on top of a mountain of stress they’re already coping with.  Give people an opportunity to talk about their fears and concerns with this new change and direction. Don’t underestimate the need for some good venting. Take a minute. Address concerns. When we’re doing our Courageous Cultures research, one British manager told us, “sometimes what people need is to just have a good moan.”

4. Say “thank you.”

Thank them for their commitment and support. Acknowledge their past effort, and explain why it’s not wasted—even if all that was accomplished is the learning. Thank them for perseverance, and for taking care of one another.

5. Communicate consistency.

Remind them of what hasn’t changed. Your mission, core values, the need for teamwork. People need to know what’s sacred and staying.

6. Create clarity.

Describe the new direction as well as you can. Be very clear on the next steps and what you need each person to do, and check for understanding. You don’t need to know all the answers, but share what you know, and make it easy for your team to know what to do next.

At times like this, it’s easy to feel like you’re going backward. It’s okay to feel disappointed that you had to change your mind. But don’t forget to give yourself credit that you’re doing the best you can with what you have from where you are.

How and Why Muslims Delude Themselves about Islam


Egypt’s leading Muslim cleric and sheikh, Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb—also known as Pope Francis’s “wolf in sheep’s clothing”—recently asserted a demonstrable falsehood.  On April 30, 2020, during his televised program that appears every year around Ramadan and is watched by millions in Egypt and the Arab world, the Grand Imam of the Islamic world’s most prestigious …

Source: How and Why Muslims Delude Themselves about Islam

In a Retaliatory Move, The US Shortens Visas For Chinese Journalists


PA Pundits - International

By Lora Ries ~

The Department of Homeland Security is throwing the next punch in the escalating journalism battle between the U.S. and China.

The U.S. is shortening the validity period of visas for Chinese journalists to a maximum of 90 days to reciprocate for China’s recent expulsion of American journalists and nonrenewal of visas. Pictured: A journalist takes photos during the fourth plenary meeting of the National People’s Congress March 14, 2013, in Beijing.(Photo: Feng Li/Getty Images)

The U.S. is shortening the validity period of visas for Chinese journalists to a maximum of 90 days to reciprocate for China’s recent expulsion of American journalists and nonrenewal of visas.

This journalism visa tit-for-tat is just one facet of rising U.S.-China tensions related to Beijing’s mishandling of the coronavirus, which has infected the world.

When can America reopen? The National Coronavirus Recovery Commission, a project of The Heritage Foundation, is…

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Obama Sends Private Letter to National Archives Claiming ‘Confidentiality’ To Not Release Biden-Ukraine Docs


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What exactly is Obama concerned with in regard to the “confidentiality interests that all presidents have sought to protect?” Jarrett StaffBy Jarrett Staff 1 day ago

Former President Barack Obama has inserted himself into the Russia, Ukraine fiasco; arguably this was not the first time. While Democrats have been denying and protecting their guilt in creating and advancing the Russia Hoax, there is evidence that suggests President Obama likely was aware of the probe. Fox News has obtained a letter from the office of former President Barack Obama to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), which manages presidential records.

Why would Obama, four years after leaving office, suddenly get involved? The letter to the National Archives was privately sent in March. Arguably they did not want Fox News to obtain a copy. Nonetheless, the letter bashes Senate Republicans and their investigation of Hunter Biden’s dealings with Ukraine. Hunter, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, joined the Ukraine company during the Obama administration. Very intriguing.1 Cup of This Today Will Burn Your Belly Fat Like Crazy!Green Coffee

Obama’s letter to the NARA is a response to Republican Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson having requested the Obama administration records on Ukraine-related meetings, placed on November 21, 2019. Obama’s letter claims the senators’ inquiry is an effort “to shift the blame for Russian interference in the 2016 election to Ukraine.”

What exactly is Obama concerned with in regard to the “confidentiality interests that all presidents have sought to protect?”

Why so defensive, Obama? According to Fox News, the letter states that the office of former President Obama has “produced 12,2880 pages of presidential records in response to special access requests from the White House and Congress.” So, what’s a few more? For some reason, the Obama administration wants the inquiry to end now. “This use of the special access process serves no legitimate purpose and does not outweigh or justify infringing confidentiality interests that all presidents have sought to protect” states the letter.https://cdn.playwire.com/bolt4/js/zeus/releases/4.3.13/frame/frame.html#id=zeus-player-23___pv=1

Sean Hannity opened his show last night addressing Obama’s letter, calling it “truly disgusting and dishonest.” “The office of the former president, Barack Obama, blasted a congressional investigation into Biden’s dealing with Ukraine. Wonder why. Now, the office actually accused the investigation of giving credence to a ‘Russian disinformation campaign,’ and this ridiculous letter insinuated lawmakers were just spreading Russian propaganda” said Hannity.

Hannity continued, telling Obama the real collusion was “under your watch. Your guy, Jim Comey, and company.” Remember, “members of your administration, they used that unreliable Clinton-bought-and paid for, Russian misinformation from the get-go filled with Russian lies” he added.

“In reality, it was Obama. It was his administration. It was Biden. They are the ones that spent months and months propagating the Russian disinformation campaign. Uh, Barack? Did you ever hear of the dirty Russian dossier that Hillary Clinton paid for? Of course, you have” said Hannity.