The Last Messiah

“Cultural history, as well as observation of ourselves and others, allow the following answer: Most people learn to save themselves by artificially limiting the content of consciousness.”  Peter Wessel Zapffe

I often like to pull out and reread this little essay, by Zapffe.  it helps me keep in mind what’s going on when i deal with humans. Basically, I’m dealing with a frightened creature ( A dissipative structure, but that’s another story.)  that is largely (mostly?), consumed with covering up, papering over, the fear of its own inevitable extinction. Zapffe largely attributes this fear to the evolution of an oversized cortex, an “over abundance of consciousness”, that must be tamped down, one way or another.

More current authors, Becker (Denial of Death, Escape from Evil), Solomon, et al (Terror Management Theory), Metziner (existence bias, phenomenal self model {PSM}), among others, have followed up on this essay and filled in many of the details. But, at least to the best of my knowledge, Zapffe was the first to point out and identify the psychological mechanisms in play.

Recently, Varki and Brower have proposed an evolutionary pathway that would allow for such traits, the denial of death and a denial of unpleasant truths in general, thus optimism and such.


Looking Backward

A cryptocurrency millionaire is buying up land in Nevada’s desert next to Tesla’s Gigafactory where he plans to build a UTOPIAN village run on Ethereum

“Something inside me tells me this is the answer.”
– Jeffrey Berns (2018)

(quote of the day)


Name: 1I/2017 U1 ‘Oumuamua
Hat tip: Doom


Thursday, Nov 8th,  2018

Jeff Sessions is out as attorney general Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned on Wednesday, clearly writing that he was only doing so at President Trump’s request. Trump announced on Twitter that Sessions would be replaced by Justice Department Chief of Staff Matthew Whitaker, who will serve as acting attorney general. “We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well,” wrote Trump. “A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date.” Due to Sessions’ sometimes rocky relationship with the president, rumors of his ouster were circulating for months. “In my time as attorney general,” Sessions wrote in his resignation letter, “we have restored and upheld the rule of law.” Sessions’ ouster immediately throws the fate of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into doubt. Source: Donald J. Trump, CNN

Police identify suspect who killed at least 12 people in California bar shooting Authorities on Thursday identified the gunman who opened fire and killed at least 12 people at a California bar as 28-year-old Ian David Long. A veteran of the Marine Corps, Long entered the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California at about 11:20 p.m. Wednesday night, using a .45-caliber handgun with an extended magazine on it, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said. A county sheriff’s sergeant, Ron Helus, was among those killed in the mass shooting. The shooter was found dead in the bar, and police say they believe he shot himself. Witnesses have said that the suspect was dressed in all black and wearing glasses. A motive has not been identified. Source: The Associated Press, CNN

Rod Rosenstein no longer overseeing Mueller probe With Attorney General Jeff Sessions pushed out of his post, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker will oversee Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign was involved in Russian election meddling in 2016, The Department of Justice confirmed. Sessions had recused himself from the probe, but since Whitaker has not, he will take over. That will push Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein out of the role. Rosenstein has been overseeing the investigation since last year, often drawing criticism from President Trump and other conservatives, including Whitaker, who have said the probe has gone too far. Source: CBS News, NBC News

Royal Norwegian Navy frigate HNoMS Helge Ingstad collides with a Maltese oil tanker in the Hjeltefjorden while returning from NATO military exercises, prompting the evacuation of all 137 crew members. Seven sailors were injured in the collision. (BBC)

The Mossos d’Esquadra announces that on September 19, 2018, they arrested a man planning to assassinate the Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sánchez. (BBC)(The New York Times’ ‘)

Terri-Lynn McClintic, a woman convicted in the murderer of 8-year old Tori Stanford of Woodstock, Ontario, is transferred from the Grand Valley Institution for Women to the Edmonton Institution. (CBC CA) (Stratford Beacon Herald)

A riot at a high-security prison in Khujand, Tajikistan, known for holding convicted terrorists, including ISIL members, leaves at least 27 people dead. (Reuters)


Wednesday,  Nov 7th,  2018

At least 12 people, including a police sergeant, are killed by a gunman at the Thousand Oaks Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California. Ten others are injured. (BBC)

Jeff Sessions fired as United States Attorney General, with Matthew Whitaker becoming the acting director. (The Guardian)

Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issues an apology for the country’s role in turning away the MS St. Louis, a ship carrying over 900 Jewish refugeesfleeing persecution. (BBC) (Washington Post)

An unknown attacker fatally shoots Benjamin Ramos, a Philippines lawyer opposing President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, in Kabankalan. (The New York Times)

Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi, sentenced to death by hanging in 2010 and recently acquitted, is released from prison. Bibi has reportedly boarded a plane; however, its destination was not known. Several countries have offered her asylum. (BBC)

In the mid-term elections of the United States, 95 women attain congressional office, bringing the total number of women in all parts of Congress to a record 118. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar share the distinction of becoming the first Muslim congresswomen, while Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland become the first Native American congresswomen. (USA Today)(NPR)(CNN)

Jared Polis becomes the first openly gay person elected as a governor in the United States. (Time)

This year’s main gambit by the Democrats has been the niggerization of white people. Oh, did I say the wrong word? It happens to describe exactly what has gone on: the effort to make white people the object of contempt and loathing. You don’t have to look further than The New York Times and its hiring of Sarah Jeong as an editorial writer — after she was discovered to be the author of Twitter tweets that declared, “Cancel white people,” and “Oh man, It’s sick how much joy I get from being cruel to old white men,” and “dumbass fucking white people….” I’m wondering: is there any ambiguity there? By the way, a search of The Times website for “by Sarah Jeong” comes up absolutely empty, suggesting that they’ve published nothing written by her since she got hired. There’s a show of confidence in their integrity!

The Monster Mash -JHK – CFN – Oct.29th, 2018


The End

You will change your ways and you will make amends
Or we will wipe this place clean

Your time is tick-tick-ticking away

Complex Society

Book Review: Joseph Tainter – the Collapse of Complex Societies


Wednesday,  Nov. 7th,  2018

Democrats win House but Republicans bolster their Senate majority Democrats won control of the House in Tuesday’s midterm elections but Republicans strengthened their majority in the Senate, setting up a divided Congress that will be more resistant to President Trump for the second half of his term. Democrats gained at least 26 House seats, fueled by opposition to President Trump’s policies, particularly in suburban congressional districts once firmly Republican. At least 15 more tossup seats remained too close to call. Trump helped Republicans partially hold back a predicted “blue wave” and gain seats in the Senate by rallying the conservative base with racially charged warnings about illegal immigrants, and demonization of Democrats. Trump campaigned hard to help GOP candidates win close Senate races in Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas, where Sen. Ted Cruz (R) held off an energetic challenge by Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D). Source: The New York Times, The Washington Post

A member of the Swedish Academy that awards the Nobel Prize in Literature, Jayne Svenungsson, states that she is leaving the body, the eighth person to quit amid sex abuse and financial crimes scandals at the exclusive group. (AP via Binghamton Homepage)

Physicists at the Large Hadron Collider find evidence for the detection of a particle with a mass of 28 GeV, a particle not predicted by any currently proposed models. (


 Tuesday,  Nov. 6th, 2018

With the previous Colombia census thirteen years ago, the National Administrative Department of Statistics registered 45.5 million Colombians and legal foreign residents living in the country. This latest census reveals that there are five million fewer people in Colombia than previously estimated. (El Tiempo)

Based upon information from the General Directorate for Internal Security, French authorities arrest five men and one woman suspected of planning an attack on French President Emmanuel Macron. Police report the suspects are radical far right citizens. (Reuters)

A jury in the Manhattan Federal Court finds Akayed Ullah guilty of a pipe bomb attack on the Port Authority Bus Terminal in December 2017. (New York Daily News)

The United States holds midterm elections for all 435 House seats, for 35 Senate seats (including two special elections in Minnesota and Mississippi), for 39 state and territorial governorships, and for numerous state and local races. (The Guardian)(NPR)

The Democratic Party takes over control of the House, while the Republican Party increases their majority in the Senate. (FiveThirtyEight)

More Below The Fold

Continue reading “Complex Society”


Wednesday,  Oct 31,  2018

 Turkey’s investigation concludes that Khashoggi was strangled Journalist Jamal Khashoggi was quickly suffocated and dismembered inside Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey’s public prosecutor announced Wednesday, citing the government’s findings. The official investigation also concluded that Khashoggi’s murder was pre-meditated and conducted by a 15-person team, though it could not produce “concrete” findings. Saudi Arabia’s prosecutor left after two days of talks in Istanbul without revealing where Khashoggi’s body might be, making Turkey’s statement the most official report to date. Khashoggi was killed after entering the consulate Oct. 2. Saudi officials claimed he was killed in a “botched interrogation,” then later said rogue operatives pre-planned the killing. The U.S. has yet to release its findings on the case or substantially reprimand Saudi Arabia. Source: The Washington Post, Bloomberg

Pakistan high court acquits Christian woman of blasphemy, sparing her life On Wednesday morning, Pakistan’s high court acquitted Asia Bibi, a Christian woman arrested under the country’s strict anti-blasphemy law in 2009, ruling that there was insufficient evidence she had made “derogatory remarks” about Islam’s Prophet Muhammad in a conversation with two Muslim women. Bibi has been on death row since 2010, as blasphemy carries a mandatory death sentence in Pakistan. She would have been the first woman and first non-Muslim hanged under the law. Protests by hard-right Islamists reportedly broke out in cities across Pakistan as soon as Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar read the ruling. Bibi was in an undisclosed location and is expected to leave Pakistan. Source: The Associated Press, The Washington Post

A 17-year-old local student, who studied at a nearby polytechnic school, detonates an explosive device inside a Federal Security Service building in Arkhangelsk, Russia, resulting in his own death as well as in the wounding of three FSB officers. (Meduza)

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Statue of Unity, which depicts the first Deputy Prime Minister of India and winner of the highest civilian award of the Republic of India, the Bharat Ratna, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, becomes the world’s largest statue. The statue is located near the Narmada Dam in the Indian state of Gujarat. (NDTV)

A helicopter carrying senior Afghan National Army officials crashes, killing all 25 people on board in the Farah Province, Afghanistan. (Al Jazeera)

North Korea is set to allow inspections of its Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site, which officially closed in May 2018. (The Guardian)

Denmark calls on the European Union for fresh sanctions against Iran after Danish security services accused Iranian intelligence service of plotting an assassination of an Iranian activist on Danish soil. Copenhagen also recalls its ambassador to Tehran. (The Guardian)

The Turkish chief Istanbul prosecutor Irfan Fidan’s office states that Jamal Khashoggi was, with premeditation, strangled and his body was dismembered as soon as he entered the Saudi consulate building in Istanbul. This is the first such accusation against Saudi Arabia by any Turkish official. (AP)


Tuesday,  Oct 30, 2018

A judge in Ecuador rules against WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange, who had contested new rules imposed on him in the country’s embassy in London. Assange had argued that the conditions violated his “fundamental rights and freedoms”, and were intended to force him to leave. His lawyers have appealed against the ruling. Assange took refuge in the embassy six years ago to avoid extradition to Sweden in a sexual assault case that has since been dropped. (BBC)

Boston convicted serial killer and former FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive Whitey Bulger dies in the United States Penitentiary at Hazelton, West Virginia. (CNN)

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe spacecraft becomes the closest ever sent to the Sun, by passing 42.7 million km (26.6 million miles) from the Sun’s surface. The previous record was set in 1976 by the Helios 2 spacecraft. Parker’s elliptical orbit will eventually take it to within 6.1 million km (3.8 million miles) of the Sun. (BBC)

The Hawaii Supreme Court affirms the permit for the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea. (Thirty Meter Telescope)

5,200 troops being sent to southern border by Trump administration The Trump administration is sending even more troops to the U.S.-Mexico border than previously reported. While Secretary of Defense James Mattis was expected to deploy about 800 troops to help prevent migrants from unlawfully crossing the border, General Terrence O’Shaughnessy, head of the Northern Command, said in a press briefing Monday that the number would be closer to 5,200. The military presence will support border patrol officers, he said, providing logistical and medical help. That would mean members of the military will outnumber the estimated 3,500 Central American migrants who are weeks away from reaching the U.S. by foot. “We will not allow a large group to enter the United States in an unsafe and unlawful manner,” said Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner Kevin McAleenan. Source: Bloomberg

WWF report finds that 60 percent of Earth’s wildlife has been lost A stark new World Wildlife Fund report says that due to deforestation, climate change, and an increase in pollution, there was a 60 percent decline among 16,700 wildlife populations between 1970 and 2014. The 2018 Living Planet Report is filled with sobering statistics, including that 90 percent of all seabirds have plastic in their stomachs, up from five percent in 1960, and over the last 30 years, half of the world’s shallow-water corals have been wiped out. The crisis is “unprecedented in its speed, in its scale, and because it is single-handed,” WWF Director General Marco Lambertini said. The WWF is calling for an international treaty to protect wildlife, but warns it must be enacted within two years to actually make a difference. Source: CNN

Research published in JAMA Internal Medicine describes that mothers should wait at least a year between giving birth and getting pregnant again to reduce health risks to mother and baby. (BBC)

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe becomes the closest ever spacecraft to the Sun. The previous record was set in April 1976 by the Helios 2 spacecraft. (BBC)


More Below The Fold

Continue reading “Halloween”

Mission to Mercury

The World Looks the Other Way
by Taki
October 17, 2018

Erdogan needs money, will the Saudis buy him off? Will the footage of the torture and dismembering of Khashoggi be disappeared by the wily Turks? Will The Donald stay quiet and rant against Iran? Kushner persuaded Trump to make Riyadh his first stop as president after a lunch with the crown prince. The Donald is now saying that he does not want to jeopardize lucrative defense contracts with Saudi Arabia. Which means we don’t want to know who ordered a man to be dismembered. American academics will also stay stumm. The Saudis have given Harvard millions and have promised more to come to other places of learning. The Clintons, too, will change the subject, as their foundation has taken in tens of millions. Another quiet man will be my old friend Imran Khan, because he needs 20 billion to keep the country going, and the Saudis need Pakistani troops as they are bogged down in Yemen. It would be easy to feel omnipotent. Everyone needs money—MBS promises a lot, and goes about his business.


Monday,  Oct 22, 2018

Saudi agent filmed leaving consulate in Khashoggi’s clothes, Turkey says After Saudi agents killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, one of the 15 Saudi operatives implicated in his death left the consulate in Khashoggi’s clothes, a fake beard, and glasses, CNN reported Monday, citing a senior Turkish official and surveillance video. The Saudi decoy, who Turkey identifies as Mustafa al-Madani, left the consulate with an accomplice by the back door, in an apparent failed ruse to suggest Khashoggi left the consulate alive, CNN says. Turkey says Saudi agents murdered and dismembered Khashoggi, and there’s intense speculation that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved. On Sunday, the official Saudi Press Association reported the crown prince called Khashoggi’s eldest son to offer his condolences to the family. Source: CNN

Special counsel reportedly taking closer look at ties between Stone, WikiLeaks Over the last month, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team has been following up on leads regarding Roger Stone and whether he was in communication with WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, during the 2016 presidential election, several people familiar with the matter told The Washington Post on Sunday. Stone, one of President Trump’s longtime advisers, bragged during the campaign about his ability to get in touch with Assange, and predicted future leaks. Now, prosecutors are looking at those comments, as well as private conversations he allegedly had with associates about his connection to Assange, to determine whether he knew in advance that WikiLeaks was going to publish hacked Democratic emails. Stone told the Posthis only connection to WikiLeaks was through former friend Randy Credico; a person familiar with the probe said Credico told Mueller’s grand jury that in 2016, Stone told him he had a secret back channel to WikiLeaks. Source: The Washington Post

Halloween debuts at No. 1 Halloween led the weekend box office, with the latest installment in the slasher film franchise bringing in $77.5 million in North America in its debut, Universal Pictures said Sunday. It was the second biggest horror film opening in history, behind last year’s It. The film also posted the second highest October opening ever behind Venom, which brought in $80.3 million earlier this month. Venom fell from No. 1 to No. 3, while A Star is Born held firm at No. 2. Jim Orr, Universal’s president of domestic distribution, said Halloweenbenefited from the “ridiculously potent combination” of nostalgia for the 1978 original Halloween, the return of the original star Jamie Lee Curtis, and the production prowess of Blumhouse Productions, which was behind the wildly successful Get Out. Source:  The New York Times

Sunday, Oct 21, 2018

King Abdullah II announces Jordan will reclaim two small plots of farmland territory leased to Israel under their 1994 peace treaty.(Reuters)

A NATO spokesperson confirms Brigadier General Jeffrey D. Smiley as the American wounded by gunfire three days earlier during the attack in which Abdul Raziq Achakzai was assassinated.(ABC News)


Saturday,  Oct 20, 2018

A spat in a market in Nigeria’s northern Kaduna State results in 55 dead. After the brawl, 22 people were arrested. (BBC)

Tanzanian billionaire Mohammed Dewji is freed by his captors nine days after being seized by unknown gunmen. (CNN) (Quartz)

After a delay of three years, voters in Afghanistan head to the polls to elect members of the nation’s parliament. The election is marred by violence and suicide attacks which leave over 170 dead or wounded nationwide. (Deutsche Welle)

Because of technical issues in some constituencies, voting was extended until Sunday. Additionally, voting in the Kandahar Province will be delayed by one week following the assassination of police commander Abdul Raziq Achakzai two days prior. (Reuters)

U.S. President Donald Trump says that the United States will withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a 1987 nuclear arms treaty with Russia. (The Guardian)

More than 600,000 people gather at Parliament Square in London as protesters from the People’s Vote campaign call for a second Brexit referendum deal between the United Kingdom and the European Union. (BBC)

The Los Angeles Dodgers return to the World Series after a 5-1 victory against the Milwaukee Brewers in game 7 of the National League Championship Series. (The Los Angeles Times)


Friday,  Oct 19, 2018

Former Secret Intelligence Service head John Sawers says that Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammad bin Salman was behind the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. (The Guardian)

Saudi Arabia’s general prosecutor claims Jamal Khashoggi died in a fight inside the Istanbul consulate. (CNBC)

At least 59 people are dead and 100 are injured after a train runs into a Dussehra celebration near Amritsar in India’s northern state of Punjab. (BBC News)

A SH-60 Seahawk helicopter crashes on the flight deck of the USS Ronald Reagan, leaving 12 sailors injured. (Los Angeles Times)

Hundreds of Central American migrants taking part in a migrant caravan to the United States clash with riot police on the Guatemala–Mexico border. (BBC)

The United States Justice Department charges 44-year old Elena Khusyaynova of Saint Petersburg with conspiracy to defraud the United States for managing the financing of the social media troll operation that included the Internet Research Agency. (CNN)

Arianespace launches the European Space Agency–Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency probe BepiColombo from Guiana Space Centre as it begins a 7-year journey to Mercury. It is the final mission of the Horizon 2000+ program. (The Guardian)

136 years after beginning construction, the Sagrada Família in Barcelona receives a building permit to complete construction. (CNN)

The End 




Friday,  Oct 19, 2018

Turkish foreign minister says Khashoggi murder audio wasn’t shared with U.S. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Friday that Turkey hasn’t shared with U.S. officials any audio recordings relating to the disappearance and presumed murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. That contradicts an ABC News report Thursday that cited a senior Turkish official saying Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had listened to a recording of Khashoggi’s alleged murder while visiting Turkey on Wednesday, and that Pompeo was also given a transcript. The Saudi-born Khashoggi was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, and Turkey says it has audio of Saudi security agents torturing, killing, and dismembering him. The State Department denied Pompeo had listened to the recording or had a transcript of it. Source: ABC News

Red Sox win American League pennant, head to World Series The Boston Red Sox defeated the Houston Astros 4-1 on Thursday, capturing the American League pennant. They are now heading to the World Series, where they will play the winner of the National League Championship Series — either the Los Angeles Dodgers or the Milwaukee Brewers. Red Sox pitcher David Price had a playoff career-high of nine strikeouts and six shutout innings. The Red Sox were able to eliminate the Astros, last year’s World Series champions, in five games. The World Series starts Tuesday. Source: CBS Boston


Thursday, Oct 18,  2018

Afghan general and Kandahar police chief Abdul Raziq Achakzai is assassinated by one of his bodyguards during a high-level meeting inside the governor’s compound with U.S. general Austin S. Miller. Gen. Miller escaped unharmed according to officials while the governor was critically injured. The Taliban claims responsibility. (BBC)

The Federal Aviation Administration states that it will allow U.S. airlines to resume flights at three Ukrainian airports, at Kharkiv, Dnipro and Zaporizhia, and over parts of the Black Sea, citing improved safety and security in parts of Ukraine. (Reuters)

Astronomers discover Hyperion, an ancient proto-supercluster that appeared 2.3 billion years after the Big Bang. (CNET)

U.S. intelligence reportedly certain that Saudi Arabia is behind Khashoggi’s death The U.S. intelligence community is increasingly certain that Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman were responsible for the disappearance and presumed murder of U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The certainty puts officials at odds with President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who have called for patience and assumed innocence until Saudi officials complete an investigation. Trump said that he has asked for audio evidence that Turkish officials say includes the voice of a Saudi forensic specialist, who reportedly told witnesses to listen to music while he dismembered Khashoggi. The recording purportedly proves that Khashoggi was killed minutes after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, and that Saudi operatives severed his fingers before later beheading him. Source: The Wall Street Journal


Wednesday,  Oct 17,  2018

Canada becomes the first G-20 nation to fully legalise cannabis. (Yahoo! Canada)

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip launch two rockets at Israel, one landing in the southern city of Beersheba, causing serious damage to a house but no injuries, and the other landing in the sea. (The Times of Israel)

In response to rocket fire, Israeli Air Force jets attack targets in Gaza including a tunnel crossing into Israel, tunnel digging sites, a factory storing components used for tunnel building and another for the manufacturing of aerial weaponry. (The Washington Post)

Retired United States Marine veteran John Canley receives the Medal of Honor award from U.S. President Donald Trump for his contributions in the Vietnam War. (Fox News)

A double bombing-mass shooting attack leaves 20 dead and 74 others injured in a college in Kerch, Crimea. An 18-year-old student carried out the gun and bomb attack and then committed suicide. The attacker “hated the technical school very much” and had vowed “revenge” on his teacher. (BBC)

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias resigns after discussion with Defence Minister in the framework of the Greece-Macedonia Accord. (Ekathimerini)


Tuesday,  Oct 16, 2018

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets in Riyadh with Saudi Arabia King Salman to express concerns about the disappearance of Saudi Arabia journalist Jamal Khashoggi. (Fox News)

Senior U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham states that Mohammed bin Salman has murdered Khashoggi and that the country’s crown prince has “got to go”.  (CNBC)

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan resigns from his post in order to dissolve the National Assembly and force early elections by the end of the year. (RFE/RL)

The United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) says that a U.S. airstrike has killed around 60 al-Shabaab militants near Harardhere in central Somalia. (BBC)

The death toll of an accidental explosion in Aba, Nigeria, rises to 200. Over 2,000 people protest, claiming that the pipeline explosion was caused by NNPC’s negligence. (Vanguard News)

Two Myanmar Air Force F-7 fighter jets crash into a broadcast tower in Magway, Myanmar, resulting in the deaths of both pilots and an 11-year-old girl, who was killed by falling debris. (New York Times)

The United States Treasury Department announces new sanctions on 22 Iranian corporations and banks. (Bloomberg)

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announces that his government is considering recognising Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and relocating its embassy accordingly, in line with the United States, drawing local criticism and sparking outrage from members of the opposition. The announcement comes days before a by-election in which the governing party’s candidate is Dave Sharma, a former ambassador to Israel. (BBC)


Monday,  Oct 15, 2018

Mounir el-Motassadeq, sentenced to 15 years in prison as a member of the Hamburg cell of the September 11 attackers, was deported from Hamburg, Germany to Morocco. (Reuters)

A ban on rough sleeping in public areas comes into force in Hungary. Despite international criticism of the law, the Hungarian government says it is in the “interests of society as a whole”. (BBC)

American retailer Sears files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after accumulating USD $134 million in debt. (ABC News)

Fracking for shale gas begins in the United Kingdom for the first time since it was suspended in 2011 after being linked to a series of earthquakes. Cuadrilla Resources say they will spend at least three months fracking two horizontal wells in Lancashire. (BBC)

The Russian Orthodox Church announces it will break communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople over EoC official plans to recognize the autocephaly of two Ukrainian Orthodox Churches. Moscow says it hopes Constantinople will change its mind to avoid this schism. This marks an important new aspect in the rift between Russia and Ukraine. (The Guardian)

Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi sacks Prime Minister Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr, blaming him for the current economic crisis and famine in the country. Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed is appointed as the new Prime Minister. (Reuters)

The End 



Monday,  Oct 15, 2018

Saudi Arabia vows retaliation against any sanctions Saudi Arabia on Sunday threatened retaliation if President Trump follows through with a threat to inflict “severe punishment” on the kingdom if it is proven responsible for the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Turkey says it has evidence that Saudi agents killed Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, when he went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to get a document he needed to get married. Saudi King Salman reportedly has ordered an internal investigation. Khashoggi’s disappearance prompted a growing list of attendees and sponsors to drop out of this month’s “Davos in the Desert” investor conference in Riyadh. The Saudi stock exchanged fell by 4 percent before bouncing back with a 2 percent rise on Monday. Source: The Associated Press

Trump talks climate change, Russia, Kavanaugh, staff changes on 60 Minutes In a wide-ranging 60 Minutes interview broadcast Sunday, President Trump suggested Defense Secretary James Mattis — “I think he’s sort of a Democrat” — might soon leave his post and said he doesn’t think climate change is a “hoax” anymore but it may not be “manmade” and he thinks climate scientists “have a very big political agenda.” Trump also conceded that Russian President Vladimir Putin “meddled” in the 2016 election and “probably” had critics murdered, and suggested Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh would have have “won” if Trump hadn’t mocked a woman accusing him of sexual assault, Christine Blasey Ford. When Lesley Stahl asked him if he believed Ford, Trump replied: “I’m not going to go into it because we won. It doesn’t matter. We won.” Source: CBS News

Sears files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection early Monday, after spending the weekend working with its lenders on a deal that will keep hundreds of stores open through Christmas. The parent company of Sears and Kmart will close 142 stores by about the end of the year, on top of 46 store closures already announced recently. Founded as Sears, Roebuck, and Co. in 1892, Sears has experienced several years of losses, and has a deadline of Monday to pay $134 million in debt. Sears employs about 70,000 people and operate 700 Sears and Kmart stores. It is unclear if Sears will come out of the Chapter 11 protection as a smaller chain, or if this will lead to a liquidation. Source: The Wall Street Journal

Kensington Palace announces that Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are expecting their first child. (BBC)

American retailer Sears files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after accumulating USD $134 million in debt. (ABC News)


Sunday, Oct 14, 2018

An argument at a toddler’s birthday party in South Texas escalates into a shooting that leaves four men dead and a fifth man wounded, authorities said Sunday. (CBS NEWS)

Voters in Luxembourg go to the polls for the 24th general election. (DW)


Saturday,  Oct 13, 2018

A motorcycle rigged with explosives is detonated at an election rally in northeastern Afghanistan, killing at least 14 people, including civilians and security forces. (ABC News)

Two blasts in the town of Baidoa in Somalia kill at least 15 people and injure more than 30 others. (VOA)

Five South Korean climbers and four Nepali guides die after a snowstorm destroys their camp on a Himalayan peak in Nepal. (BBC)

Venezuela releases political activist Lorent Saleh due to his poor mental health, after a prolonged campaign by and talks with the Spanish Office for Latin America. Saleh had been detained for over four years by secret services in Venezuela without trial, and is being transferred to Spain. (BBC)

Acting on an anonymous tip, Michigan state inspectors discover the bodies of 11 badly-decomposed infants inside the ceiling of a former funeral home in Detroit. (UPI)


Friday,  Oct 12, 2018

A court in Turkey orders the release of American evangelical Christian pastor Andrew Brunson after two years of arrest. (Reuters)

Turkish officials claim to have audio and video evidence of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi being tortured and murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. (BBC)

Keiko Fujimori, leader of the opposition in the Congress of Peru and daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori, is arrested on charges related to illicit campaign finance received from the Odebrecht corporation. (BBC News)

The Inter-American Commission of Human Rights releases an official charge for the protection of Juan Requesens, laying out actions that the Venezuelan government must take to ensure the imprisoned politician’s welfare, specifically stating that he must not be “object to acts of violence against [his health]”. This comes after a two-month investigation, and days after the death in custody of another Venezuelan politician. (Voice of America)

Kepler 159d, a exoplanet with the same size as Saturn, is discovered by University of Western Ontario student Chris Fox and professor Paul Wiegert. (

The End 

Ozzy Osbourne Cancels Rest of Tour


Friday,  Oct 12, 2018

Trump chooses Arab authoritarianism over Jamal Khashoggi

Saudi forensic expert is among 15 named by Turkey in disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Turkey says it has audio, video proving journalist killed in Saudi consulate Turkish security officials have told the United States they have both audio and video recordings that definitively prove missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered last week inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, U.S. and Turkish officials told The Washington Post on Thursday. Khashoggi, a columnist for the Post, went to the consulate on Oct. 2 to get a document he needed for his wedding, and has not been heard from since. One official told the Post on the audio recording, “you can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic,” and another said men can be heard beating Khashoggi. After he was killed, he was reportedly dismembered. Saudi Arabia has denied being involved in Khashoggi’s disappearance. Source: The Washington Post

Hurricane Michael returns to the Atlantic, leaving destruction, death Hurricane Michael moved over the Atlantic Ocean on Friday morning after dumping rain on the mid-Atlantic states. Michael was downgraded to a tropical storm on Thursday after it ripped through Florida Wednesday as an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 hurricane. At least seven people were reportedly killed in the storm — five in Florida, one each in Georgia and North Carolina — and an estimated 1.5 million customers are without power in five states. Michael was the most powerful hurricane to hit the continental U.S. in nearly five decades, and the strongest on record to hit the Florida Panhandle. Unseasonably warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico gave the storm a boost as it battered Mexico Beach and Panama City, causing devastating damage to homes and infrastructure. Source:  USA Today

The collapse of a shopping mall under construction in the Mexican city of Monterrey results in at least seven deaths and nine people missing. 15 others are injured. (AP via ABC News America)

The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople plans to recognize the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, a move welcomed by Ukrainian leaders and denounced as “catastrophic” by the Russian Orthodox Church. (RFE/RL)

Michelle Obama said Barack does one thing at home that drives her crazy


Thursday, Oct 11,  2018

Report: Saudi crown prince ordered operation to lure missing journalist U.S. intelligence intercepted Saudi Arabian officials discussing a plan ordered by the crown prince to lure journalist Jamal Khashoggi from the United States back to Saudi Arabia, where he would be detained, U.S. officials told The Washington Post on Wednesday. Khashoggi went missing last week after he went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to pick up a document he needed to get married. Turkish officials are adamant that Khashoggi, a columnist for the Post, was killed inside the consulate by a Saudi hit squad. Saudi Arabia has denied any wrongdoing and says Khashoggi left the consulate. A bipartisan group of senators on Wednesday urged President Trump to impose sanctions on anyone found to be connected with Khashoggi’s disappearance. Source: The Washington Post

The Turkish newspaper Sabah names the 15-member Saudi Arabian intelligence team allegedly involved in the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. (Reuters)

Turkish officials say Saudi leaders ordered murder of missing journalist A senior Turkish official told The New York Times on Tuesday that security officials have determined that missing Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last Tuesday on orders of the royal court. Khashoggi was at the consulate to pick up a document he needed to get married, and was killed within two hours of his arrival, the official said. Turkey says 15 Saudi agents arrived in Instanbul on two charter flights the same day Khashoggi went to the consulate, and left a few hours later. One of those agents was an autopsy expert, the official told the Times, and security officials believe he helped with dismembering Khashoggi’s body. Saudi Arabia denies killing Khashoggi. Source: The New York Times, The Washington Post

Stock markets around the world plunge Stock markets around the world plunged Thursday, following one of the worst point drops in the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s history on Wednesday. The 832-point drop triggered a massive U.S. sell-off, which rippled through Asian markets. Indexes in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Taiwan plummeted between 3 and 6 percent, and experts say the rout will continue. President Trump blamed the Federal Reserve’s newly-raised rates for the tumble, but Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the “correction” in the market was “not particularly surprising.” Analysts say rising trade tensions between the U.S. and China could continue to cause strife; the CBOE Volatility Index, sometimes referred to as the “market fear index,” is at its highest point in about four months. Source: Bloomberg

Alleged Chinese spy charged with stealing U.S. trade secrets A Chinese intelligence officer has been arrested and charged with conspiring and attempting to commit economic espionage and theft of trade secrets from a U.S. aerospace company, the Justice Department announced Wednesday. Investigators say the man, Yanjun Xu, was arrested April 1 in Belgium, and was extradited to the U.S. on Tuesday. Court documents say he is an official with China’s Ministry of State Security, who targeted an aviation firm. “This case is not an isolated incident,” John Demers, assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice’s national security division, said. “It is part of an overall economic policy of developing China at American expense.” U.S. officials say this is the first time an alleged Chinese spy has been brought to the United States to face prosecution. Source: NBC News

Soyuz MS-10, carrying a cosmonaut and an astronaut to the International Space Station, is forced to make an emergency landing in Kazakhstan after a failure with its Soyuz-FG rocket. (Reuters)


Wednesday,  Oct 10,  2018

 ‘Extremely dangerous’ Hurricane Michael makes landfall in Florida Hurricane Michael has made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, as an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 storm, the National Hurricane Center said Wednesday. Its winds hit 155 mph, nearly qualifying it as a Category 5, and experts warn of a dangerous storm surge. Hurricane Michael is moving north at 12 mph, and it will be the “most intense” storm to hit the Florida Panhandle since 1851, FEMA Administrator Brock Long said Wednesday. It is expected to weaken as it moves across the southeastern United States. Source: CBS News

Trump slams Medicare-for-all in USA Today op-ed In a USA Today op-ed published Wednesday, President Trump slams Democrats as “radical socialists” who would bring about a “radical shift in American culture and life” if they win control of Congress. Trump specifically criticizes Medicare-for-all, claiming that this proposal would “inevitably lead to the massive rationing of health care” and would mean seniors would lose access to the doctors they want. Some Democrats propose Medicare-for-all as a way to actually improve benefits for seniors. The president also argues that Democrats want government control of education, private-sector businesses, and “other major sectors of the U.S. economy,” also accusing them of being for “open-borders socialism.” The op-ed is reportedly part of a new effort to characterize Democrats as extremists heading into the November midterms. Source: USA Today

Michael Bloomberg re-registers as a Democrat amid 2020 speculation Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has just re-registered as a Democrat amid speculation of a possible 2020 presidential bid. Bloomberg said on Instagram Wednesday that he did so because “we need Democrats to provide the checks and balance our nation so badly needs.” He didn’t mention a possible run for president, but The New York Times previously reported that he was “actively considering” a 2020 campaign. Bloomberg was previously registered as an independent after being a registered Republican for much of his time in office. Before serving as mayor, Bloomberg was a Democrat. Source:  The New York Times

A Dhaka court sentences 19 people to death, including two former ministers, and sentences Bangladesh Nationalist Party acting chairman Tarique Rahman to life imprisonment over a 2004 attack on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. (Al Jazeera)


Tuesday,  Oct 9, 2018

 Nikki Haley announces her resignation as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, effective at the end of the year. (NBC News)

American singer Taylor Swift wins four trophies, including Artist of the Year, and holds 23 American Music Awards, beating Whitney Houston. (BBC News)

Former Guatemalan Vice President Roxana Baldetti is sentenced to 15 years and 6 months in prison for fraud in a system to clean the polluted Lake Amatitlán. Baldetti still has four pending lawsuits and extradition to the United States. (The Guardian)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un invites Pope Francis to Pyongyang, and said he would be “warmly welcomed” to North Korea. (New York Times)


“Progressive academia’s main thrust seems to be that so long as your heart is in the right place, it doesn’t matter if you’re brain-damaged.”


At an auction in London, the painting Girl with Balloon by Banksy self-destructs through a built-in shredder hidden in the frame after selling for US$1.4 million. (NBC)

The Communist Party of China announces that Interpol president Meng Hongwei is suspected of violating the law and is “under the supervision” of a party anticorruption watchdog. Hours later, Interpol announces that it has received his resignation. (The New York Times)

French police launch an investigation into the disappearance of Meng Hongwei, the president of Interpol. He was reported missing after traveling to his native country of China last week. (The Independent)

All four living former Presidents of South Korea now have been convicted. (Reuters via Malay Mail)

Tuesday,  Oct 9, 2018

Trump apologizes ‘on behalf of our nation’ to Kavanaugh in swearing-in During Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s ceremonial swearing-in on Monday night, President Trump said that “on behalf of our nation, I want to apologize to Brett and the entire Kavanaugh family for the terrible pain and suffering you have been forced to endure.” He declared that Kavanaugh was the victim of “a campaign of political and personal destruction based on lies and deception,” and claimed, falsely, that Kavanaugh was “proven innocent.” The FBI did a brief investigation of allegations of sexual assault against him by Deborah Ramirez and Christine Blasey Ford, but never interviewed Ford, Kavanaugh, or countless other potential witnesses who delivered signed statements to the bureau after their emails and phone calls were ignored. Source: The Week


Monday,  Oct 8, 2018

Investigative website Bellingcat identifies the second suspect involved in the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal as Alexander Mishkin, a doctor who works for the Main Intelligence Directorate. (The Guardian)

New research suggests Europa, a moon of Jupiter, may be covered in tall, jagged ice spikes, presenting a problem for any potential landing on its surface. (Washington Post)

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees becomes the NFL’s career leader in passing yardage, surpassing Peyton Manning. (Fox News)

Boston Red Sox player Brock Holt becomes the first player in MLB history to hit for the cycle during a postseason game. (ESPN)


Sunday, Oct 7, 2018

Police announce that investigative journalist Viktoria Marinova was found murdered yesterday in a park in Ruse, Bulgaria. Marinova’s latest work was on “GPgate”, a scandal involving alleged corruption and abuse of European Union subsidies in Bulgaria. (Thuner Tagblatt)

A 23-year-old Palestinian opens fire and kills two Israelis, seriously wounding a third inside the Barkan Industrial Park on the West Bank. The gunman, who had worked at the factory where the shooting took place, fled the scene and remains at large. (The Washington Post)

A total of 342 people have been arrested for attacking Hindi-speaking migrants in the Indian state of Gujarat. The new wave of violence was prompted by the arrest of a non-Gujarati for the alleged rape of a 14-month-old baby a week prior. (First Post)

A referendum on changing the constitutional definition of a family is invalidated, as voter turnout announced by the Central Electoral Bureau is 20.41%, 10% under the validation threshold. (Digi 24)


Saturday,  Oct 6, 2018

Defense Minister of Israel Avigdor Lieberman says that Israel will reduce the fishing zone off the Gaza Strip from 9 nautical miles (17 km; 10 mi) to 6 nautical miles (11 km; 6.9 mi) as a reaction to the weekly Gaza border protests. Three Palestinians were killed in yesterday’s protest, in which over 20,000 protestors took part. (Al Jazeera)

Twenty people have been killed when a limousine and another vehicle crashed into a crowd of pedestrians at a store near a busy intersection in Schoharie County, New York, United States. All 18 people in the limousine died along with two pedestrians. (BBC)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration bans the usage of seven artificial flavors as food additives. Six of them cause cancer in animals when used in “much higher” doses than the conditions of their intended use. (NPR)

Voters in Latvia go to the polls to vote for a new parliament. The governing coalition loses its majority with two new parties Who owns the state? and the New Conservative Party becoming the second and third biggest parties behind the pro-Russian Social Democratic Party “Harmony” party.  (Reuters)

Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court is confirmed when a final vote takes place, with 50 senators for his confirmation and 48 against. (ABC News)

Romanians go to the polls to vote in a referendum on changing the Constitution to redefine marriage as being only between a man and a woman. (CNN)


Friday,  Oct 5, 2018

India buys the S-400 missile system, potentially facing CAATSA U.S. sanctions. (CNN)

At least 13 passengers are killed in a head-on bus collision in Tver, Russia. The bus driver and another passenger are injured. (The Moscow Times)

Lee Myung-bak is sentenced to 15 years in jail and US$20 million in fines and forfeiture, on charges of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power. All four living former Presidents of South Korea now have been convicted. (Reuters via Malay Mail)

A Chicago police officer, Jason Van Dyke, is convicted of second degree murder in a historic jury verdict. (Chicago Tribune)


Senate to take key vote on Kavanaugh nomination Friday morning The Senate is scheduled to vote at 10:30 a.m. Friday on whether to move Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination forward to a final vote on Saturday, and Republicans sounded optimistic they have the 51 votes to do so. Only one Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), has left open the possibility of voting for Kavanaugh, while three Republicans — Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), and Jeff Flake (Ariz.) — have not said how they are voting. Flake and Collins said they are satisfied with the FBI report of sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh; Democrats say its scope is too limited to be useful. Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) will be at his daughter’s wedding on Saturday, cutting the GOP’s margin to 50-49, with Vice President Mike Pence as the potential tiebreaker. Source: The Washington Post

Economy adds 134,000 jobs, unemployment falls to 49-year low The U.S. economy added 134,000 nonfarm jobs in September, roughly half the gain seen in August but still enough to bring the unemployment rate down to a 49-year low of 3.7 percent, the Labor Department reported Friday. The number of new jobs fell short of expectations. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a gain of 168,000. Average hourly wages rose by 0.3 percent to $27.24 an hour, with the 12-month rate for wage growth slowing to 2.8 percent from 2.9 percent the previous month, which was a nine-year high. The Labor Department also revised the employment gains for July and August upward. Economist cautioned against reading too much into the low September job growth, since it was probably affected by displacements and other distortions caused by Hurricane Florence. Source: Bloomberg

Interpol chief reported missing in China French police have opened an investigation into the whereabouts of Meng Hongwei, the head of the intentional police agency Interpol, after his wife reported him missing Friday during a trip to China. Meng, 64, traveled to his home country on Sept. 29, and his wife told French police at Interpol’s Lyon headquarters she hasn’t heard from him since. He was elected president of Interpol in November 2016 and his term runs until 2020. Meng has held several positions in China, including vice minister of public security and director of anti-narcotics and anti-terrorism offices. Interpol’s main purpose is to give police forces in different countries a way to alert their peers about wanted suspects. Source:  Reuters

French police have launched an investigation into the disappearance of Meng Hongwei, the Interpol‘s president was reported missing after travelling to his native country last week.(The Independent)


Thursday, Oct 4,  2018

Hundreds of protesters against U.S. President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are arrested at the Hart Senate Office Building, including Amy Schumer and model Emily Ratajkowski. (USA Today)


The End



Thursday, Oct 4,  2018

Key GOP swing votes call FBI’s Kavanaugh investigation ‘thorough’ Brett Kavanaugh’s odds of being confirmed to the Supreme Court improved Thursday, with several key senators expressing no issues with the FBI’s recently concluded background investigation. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) called the probe “very thorough.” Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) agreed with this assessment. He added that nothing the FBI found corroborates Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation that Kavanaugh groped her and attempted to rape her in high school, an accusation Kavanaugh denies. However, another undecided Republican, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), said Thursday she is not yet sure whether the FBI investigation was thorough. Meanwhile, previously undecided Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) said she will vote no, and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is reportedly leaning yes. If all 51 Republicans remain united, Kavanaugh will be confirmed when the Senate votes this weekend. Source: The Washington Post, Politico

Report: China infiltrated companies, U.S. government with microchip China placed tiny microchips on motherboards that ended up in U.S. government servers, potentially giving a “stealth doorway” to hackers, U.S. officials tell Bloomberg Businessweek in a massive investigation published Thursday. Amazon reportedly first discovered the Chinese-built motherboards, sold by California company Supermicro, contained mysterious, rice-grain-sized chips in 2015. That finding sparked a top-secret, ongoing federal investigation that concluded Chinese subcontractors implanted the chips and that this hardware infestation could be particularly severe, officials told Businessweek. They also said Apple, a bank, and government and military agencies could be susceptible to hacking via the chips. In statements to BusinessweekChina claimed to be “a resolute defender of cybersecurity,” Apple and Supermicro denied knowing about the investigation, and Amazon called the report “untrue.” Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

Yankees and Red Sox to meet in MLB playoffs for first time since 2004 Major League Baseball’s division series begin Thursday, starting with game one in a best-of-five series between the Colorado Rockies and Milwaukee Brewers, and another between the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers. On Friday, the 2017 World Series-winning Houston Astros kick off their series with the Cleveland Indians. And in what is surely the headline series, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox will meet on Friday, the first postseason game between the two rivals since the Red Sox came back from a 3-0 ALCS deficit against the Yankees on their way to winning Boston’s first World Series since 1918. Source: ESPN

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives in India for a summit meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (The Times of India)

The International Court of Justice orders the U.S. to lift sanctions against Iran related to the import of humanitarian goods and civil aviation safety. (The Guardian)

A Peruvian court reverses the pardon granted to former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori and orders that Fujimori must be returned to prison. (BBC)

Kepler-1625b, an exoplanet proposed in 2017 to be orbited by an exomoon, the first possible example of a moon orbiting a planet in another stellar system, is confirmed with observations from the Hubble Space Telescope. (


Wednesday,  Oct 3,  2018

In a public speech in Southaven, Mississippi, U.S. President Donald Trump says that Salman of Saudi Arabia’s power wouldn’t last “for two weeks” without the support of the U.S. military. (Reuters)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency sends a “Presidential Alert”, a Wireless Emergency Alerts test message at 2:18 PM EDT (18:18 UTC) to most cell phones in the United States. (Time)

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says that the United States terminates the 1955 Treaty of Amity with Iran after the International Court of Justice used it as a basis to order the U.S. to lift sanctions against Iran related to the import of humanitarian goods and civil aviation safety. (Fox News)

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded to George P. Smith, Frances Arnold, and Greg Winter for the design of molecules with a range of uses by means that mimic natural selection. (The New York Times).

FBI could wrap up Kavanaugh investigation Wednesday The FBI indicated Tuesday that it will wrap up its supplemental background investigation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as early as Wednesday, leading Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to vow, “We’ll have an FBI report this week, and we’ll have a vote this week.” The FBI has finished interviewing several key witnesses named by women accusing Kavanaugh of sexual assault in the early 1980s, but other potential witnesses have lamented that the FBI has not contacted them. There is also disagreement over what parts of the FBI report will be made public, with McConnell saying it will be available only to senators, and colleagues in both parties insisting at least part of the findings be made public. Source: The New York Times, The Washington Post

Trump mocks Christine Blasey Ford during Mississippi rally President Trump defended Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh during a rally in Mississippi on Tuesday by mocking one of the women who has alleged he assaulted her when they were teenagers. Last week, Christine Blasey Ford, a professor from California, testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her during a high school party. Trump mocked Ford and the way she answered questions about how she got to the party and the location of the home: “What neighborhood was it in? ‘I don’t know.’ Where’s the house? ‘I don’t know. Upstairs. Downstairs. I don’t know. But I had one beer, that’s the only thing I remember.'” The crowd laughed and cheered. Source: CNN

1 woman, 2 men win Chemistry Nobel for directed evolution of proteins On Wednesday, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to two Americans and one British chemist for research that has “taken control of evolution and used it for purposes that bring the greatest benefit to humankind.” Half of the award and $1 million prize goes to Frances H. Arnold at the California Institute of Technology for conducting “the first directed evolution of enzymes,” the academy said. George P. Smith at the University of Missouri in Columbia and Sir Gregory P. Winter at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge were jointly awarded the other half for using “phage display” to help produce new pharmaceuticals. Arnold is just the fifth woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Source: Nobel Committee


Tuesday,  Oct 2, 2018

French RAID and BRI police units raid the headquarters of a Shiite association in Grande-Synthe and the homes of its leaders for “strong support” to “many” terrorist organizations. Assets are frozen and three people remanded in custody. (France-Soir via Koz Post)

The Council of Representatives of Iraq elects Barham Salih as president. Salih then appoints Adil Abdul al-Mahdi as prime minister. (CNN)

The Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded to Arthur Ashkin, Gérard Mourou, and Donna Strickland for their work using lasers to manipulate microscopic objects. Strickland is the first woman to win this award in 55 years. (The New York Times) (CNN)

The End