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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Washington (AFP) – The Federal Reserve stayed the course on tapering its stimulus for the U.S. economy Wednesday, reducing its asset purchases by $10 billion for the second month in a row.

The Fed, as expected, cut the stimulus to $65 billion a month, while leaving its benchmark interest rate near zero, citing “growing underlying strength in the broader economy.”

Wrapping up the two-day monetary policy meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, the last of outgoing Chairman Ben Bernanke, policy makers noted that despite some mixed economic indicators since the December FOMC meeting, overall the U.S. economy was doing better.

Information indicates “that growth in economic activity picked up in recent quarters,” the FOMC said in a statement.

“The Committee sees the risks to the outlook for the economy and the labor market as having become more nearly balanced,” it said.

Photo: AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski

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Marchers at January 22 anti-vaccination demonstration in Washington, D.C>

Back when it was first gaining traction in the 1990s, the anti-vaccination movement was largely considered a far-left thing, attracting believers ranging from barter-fair hippies to New Age gurus and their followers to “holistic medicine” practitioners. And it largely remained that way … until 2020 and the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As this Sunday’s “Defeat the Mandates” march in Washington, D.C., however, showed us, there’s no longer anything even remotely left-wing about the movement. Populated with Proud Boys and “Patriot” militiamen, QAnoners and other Alex Jones-style conspiracists who blithely indulge in Holocaust relativism and other barely disguised antisemitism, and ex-hippies who now spout right-wing propaganda—many of them, including speakers, encouraging and threatening violence—the crowd at the National Mall manifested the reality that “anti-vaxxers” now constitute a full-fledged far-right movement, and a potentially violent one at that.

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