what’s happening to our planet

Friday,  Jan 18th, 2018

Tesla sinks after Elon Musk announces layoffs

Elon Musk is pulling out the oldest trick in the executive playbook

By the end of 2019, Waymo, Uber, and GM all plan to have fleets of autonomous cars providing on-demand rides

5 leaders in the self-driving-car race

Report: Trump told Cohen to lie to Congress about Moscow project President Trump directed Michael Cohen, his longtime personal lawyer and fixer, to lie to Congress about the Moscow Trump Tower project, two federal law enforcement officials with knowledge of the matter told BuzzFeed News. Cohen was in charge of the project, and falsely said that negotiations ended in January 2016, when they really continued for several more months. While campaigning, Trump said he had no business dealing with Russia, but in reality, he had at least 10 in-person meetings with Cohen about the deal, BuzzFeed News reports, and Cohen also regularly updated Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump about the development. In November, Cohen pleaded guilty to lying about the deal in testimony to the Senate and House intelligence committees. Source: BuzzFeed News

what’s happening to our planet

The Anak Krakatau volcano

Trump cancels Pelosi’s foreign trip after she requests State of the Union delay President Trump told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a letter Thursday afternoon that her planned trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan had been canceled. “In light of the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay, I am sure you would agree that postponing this public relations event is totally appropriate,” Trump wrote. This came one day after Pelosi sent a letter to Trump requesting they delay the State of the Union until after the government re-opens, citing security concerns. While Trump denied Pelosi the use of military aircraft for her trip, which had not previously been disclosed publicly, he wrote, “Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative.” Source: Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Mary Oliver, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet enthralled by nature, dies at 83 Mary Oliver, the beloved and prolific poet whose work reflected her reverence of nature, died Thursday at her home in Florida. She was 83, and the cause of death was lymphoma, according to her literary executor, Bill Reichblum. Oliver made her literary debut in 1963, at age 28, and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1983 for her collection “American Primitive,” then the National Book Award for poetry in 1992 for “New and Selected Poems.” Born and raised in the Cleveland suburb of Maple Heights, Oliver escaped what she called an abusive and “dysfunctional” home life by exploring the nearby woods and writing poetry. She met her partner, Molly Malone Cook, at the New York home of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. Cook died in 2005. Source: The Washington Post

Malaysia and Goldman Sachs


Thursday, Jan 17th,  2018

A suicide car-bomb attack at the General Santander National Police Academy in Bogotá, Colombia, kills at least 20 people and injures more than 50 others. (Guardian)

Gunmen on motorbikes shoot Ghanaian investigative journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale to death in Accra. Ahmed was a member of the Tiger Eye Private Investigations team that exposed high-level corruption in the Ghana Football Association. (Reuters)

U.S. President Donald Trump postpones House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s upcoming diplomatic trip to Europe, Afghanistan and Egypt after she urged the President to postpone his upcoming State of the Union Address over the ongoing government shutdown. (BBC)

Facebook removes alleged Russia-based accounts and pages as a part of a crackdown on misuse of its service. (The Wall Street Journal)

Zimbabwe reportedly turned off the entire country’s internet

The End


this looks like so much fun

The largest human gathering in the world, the Kumbh Mela festival, starts at Prayagraj (previously known as Allahabad), India. More than 120 million Hindudevotees, as well as tourists, are expected. (The Guardian)

The correction of the North Magnetic Pole model, one year ahead of the regular five-year update, scheduled to be released this week is delayed until the end of January because of the U.S. federal government shutdown. The model is used in navigation and by the GPS systems in smartphones. The pole has been wandering, much faster than expected, away from the Canadian Arctic toward Siberia. (UPI) (M.I.T. Technology Review) (The Maritime Executive)

These people are such assholes. They haven’t even been able to get electric cars on the road in numbers worth talking about and now they are talking about electric planes in cities for “the population that are willing to pay a little more for the reliable and timely urban air transportation.” And it is “reliable” not “the reliable.” These people need to all die or at least be forced to attend Kumbh Mela. Apparently they haven’t heard of helicopters.

The next CEO of Airbus explains the major hurdle that stands in the way of electric planes


Thursday, Jan 17th,  2018

In Manbij, Syria, a suicide attack claimed by ISIL causes at least 19 casualties. Among them, two U.S. soldiers, a Pentagon Civilian, and a civilian contractor are reported dead and three other Service Members wounded. (The Washington Post)

Microsoft investing $500 million to build affordable housing in Seattle area In response to the housing crisis in Seattle, Microsoft announced late Wednesday it is pledging $500 million to build affordable housing in the region. Microsoft is based in the suburb of Redmond, and in many areas where tech giants have their headquarters, low-and middle-income homeowners are being priced out. During a meeting attended by New York Timesreporters earlier this week, Microsoft President Brad Smith and CEO Satya Nadella said they were worried about their employees being able to afford housing in an area where prices are skyrocketing. In December, the government published a report that found the Seattle region needs 156,000 more affordable housing units, and if the area continues to grow at its current rate, an additional 88,000 units are needed by 2040. Source: The New York Times


Wednesday,  Jan 16th,  2019

Theresa May’s government survives a no confidence vote by a majority of 19. (BBC)

About 42,000 active-duty Coast Guard members, who continue to work on essential operations, missed their scheduled paycheck Tuesday. This is the first time that United States Armed Forces service members have not been paid during a shutdown or other lapse in government appropriation. (NBC News)

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi suggests that President Trump’s State of the Union address scheduled for January 29 be delayed or use a drastically modified format due to security concerns related to the ongoing government shutdown. (NPR)

Five people are killed and twenty are wounded in clashes between rival militias in Tripoli, breaking several months of relative peace. (Middle East Eyes)

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras survives a no-confidence vote after the Independent Greeks party quit the ruling coalition. (The New York Times)

Libyan security forces patrol on August 23, 2018 near the site of an attack on a checkpoint in the city of Zliten, 170 km east of the capital Tripoli.
An attack on a checkpoint between the Libyan capital and the town of Zliten killed six soldiers of the UN-backed unity government, an interior ministry source said.

Tuesday,  Jan 15th, 2019

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal is defeated in Parliament by 432 votes to 202, the worst defeat for a Prime Minister in modern British history. As a result, a vote of no confidence in her government will be held tomorrow. (Reuters)

South Korean media reports that North Korean officials are expected to visit the United States to discuss a second summit between the two countries at an unspecified date. (Reuters)

Laurent Gbagbo, former President of Ivory Coast, is acquitted of crimes against humanity charges by the International Criminal Court. (BBC)

Democratic U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York announces she is running for president in 2020. (NPR)

He’s spent 10 years alone.


The End


“could be.” Bwahahaaa! Fuck you.

Electric planes could be a reality “within 15 years”


Beijing’s new $12 billion Daxing Airport – biggest in the world


China Overrated by Right-Wing Kooks
These Crazies Are Just Like Hitler
Fred Reed • January 6, 2019 • 1,200 Words


Tuesday,  Jan 15th, 2019

Laurent Gbagbo, former President of Ivory Coast, is acquitted of crimes against humanity charges by the International Criminal Court. (BBC)

GOP Rep. Steve King removed from all congressional committee assignments Following backlash to inflammatory comments he made during a New York Times interview last week, the House Republican Steering Committee removed Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) from all of his congressional committee assignments, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced Monday night. During the interview, King asked, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” In a statement, King said his remarks were “mischaracterized,” and he only wondered when “Western civilization became a derogatory term in political discourse today.” He said McCarthy’s “decision to remove me from committees is a political decision that ignores the truth,” and he does not plan on resigning. Earlier in the day, Reps. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) and Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) filed resolutions to censure King for his remarks. Source: CNN

Monday,  Jan 14th, 2019

Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, a Canadian in China, is sentenced to death after a one-day retrial for attempting to smuggle over 222 kilograms (489.4 pounds) of methamphetamine through the country. Schellenberg’s new sentence comes amid increasing tensions between Canada and China. (Fox News)

Over 31,000 teachers, nurses, counselors and librarians in Los Angeles, who have been without a contract for more than a year, go on a strike to demand higher pay after negotiations for improved compensation and work conditions failed. (CBS News)

A Boeing 707 cargo plane crashes into a building in Karaj, Iran, after overshooting the runway during its landing. Officials confirm that of 16 people on board, 15 are killed and one is injured. No casualties are reported on the ground. (BBC)

Paweł Adamowicz, the Mayor of Gdańsk, Poland, dies in hospital of stab wounds after an attack at a charity event the night before. (The Guardian)

The End

Elwood, Illinois

Elwood, Illinois – Hell


Monday,  Jan 14th, 2019

Los Angeles Unified School District teachers set to strike Monday After 21 months of bargaining, United Teachers Los Angeles announced on Sunday evening that teachers with the Los Angeles Unified School District will go on strike Monday. LAUSD is the second largest school district in the United States, serving more than 694,000 students. This is the LAUSD’s first strike in 30 years, and more than 25,000 teachers are expected to participate. United Teachers Los Angeles secretary and negotiations team co-chair Ilene Inouye said on Sunday afternoon the strike “is a last resort,” and LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner has not been “an honest bargaining partner.” The LAUSD made its final offer on Friday, and said it is “extremely disappointed” UTLA did not propose a counter offer. Source: NBC Los Angeles

PG&E CEO steps down as California utility mulls wildfire-related bankruptcy California gas and electricity giant PG&E announced Sunday that chief executive Geisha Williams had stepped down, replaced on an interim basis by John Simon, PG&E’s executive vice president and general counsel. PG&E faces as much as $30 billion in liabilities from exposure to the wildfires that devastated Northern California’s wine country in 2017 and destroyed the town of Paradise in November. Since November’s Camp Fire, the deadliest in California history with 86 dead, PG&E has lost two-thirds of its market value and seen its debt downgraded to junk status. PG&E’s equipment has been blamed for several wildfires — at least 17 major fires in 2017 — and the company is now preparing for a possible Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. Source:  Los Angeles Times


Sunday, Jan. 13th, 2019

 British newspaper The Guardian switches from polythene wrappers to compostable material made from potato starch based on customer feedback. The paper said this packaging, which is biodegradable but cannot be recycled, will increase operating costs. (BBC)

Italian far-left terrorist Cesare Battistiis extradited to Italy after his capture in Bolivia. Battisti was convicted of multiple murders nearly three decades ago. (ABC)

Alexis Tsipras, leader of SYRIZAin Greece, announces a vote of confidence in his government after Panos Kammenos, leader of the Independent Greeks(ANEL), announces that it will withdraw from the ruling coalition due to opposition to the Prespa agreement. (FT)

The President of the National Assembly of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, is briefly detained in Caracasafter saying he was prepared to assume the country’s presidency. (BBC)


Saturday,  Jan 12th, 2018

All editions of Wikipedia are blocked in Venezuela by state-owned CANTV amid an ongoing political crisis. (Netblocks)

On its 22nd day, the federal government shutdown becomes the longest in American history overtaking the record previously set in 1995–1996. (News Limited)

Joining several other Democrats in the race, Julian Castro, who served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 2014 to 2017, announces his intention to run in the 2020 United States presidential election. (CNN)

The Congolese election commission announces that parties supporting outgoing president Joseph Kabila obtained the majority in the National Assembly. (Yahoo News)

Taiwanese premier William Lai announces his resignation and former premier Su Tseng-chang succeeds him. (Taipei Times)

Gabon’s president Ali Bongo Ondimba names Julien Nkoghe Bekale as the country’s new prime minister after a failed coup that happened five days ago. (Reuters)

At least 21 miners die after a roof collapses in a coal mine in Shenmu, China. (BBC)

At least 17 are killed and 12 others are injured in a fire at a drug rehabilitation clinic in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Officials said the blaze took hold after patients set mattresses on fire in a bid to escape the facility. (Sky News)


Friday,  Jan 11th, 2018

Juan Guaidó holds an open cabildo, performed as a rally and national address, announcing his plans to take control of the Presidency of Venezuela, with the Organization of American States declaring their support for his assumption of office. (The Guardian)

In an official National Assembly statement, Guaidó assumes office, to the extent that is possible, as acting President – invoking the Constitution of Venezuela. (Asamblea Nacional)

Joining several other Democrats in the race, Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii announces her intention for running in the 2020 United States presidential election. (CNN)

Thursday, Jan 10th,  2018

Nicolás Maduro is sworn in for his second term as President of Venezuela amid widespread condemnation over his election as “illegitimate”. (Reuters)

President of the National Assembly of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, declares a State of Emergency as the country enters a “de facto dictatorship”. (Asamblea Nacional)

A Houthi drone strike on Al Anad Air Base in Lahij Governorate, Yemen, during a military parade, kills six soldiers and injures several senior officials. (BBC)

After several delays, the Congolese election commission announces that Félix Tshisekedi is the winner of the December 30 presidential election. (France24)

Russia confirms that a fireball seen over much of New Zealand on January 5 was its Kosmos 2430 missile early warning satellite, which was launched in 2007. (The Guardian)

The End

See me comin’ to town with my soul
Scrape down at the bump of my fingers
Holdin’ over the devil I know
All my troubles just hang on your trigger
Take your eyes and ?? to the road
Shoot your mouth if you know where you’re aimin’
Don’t forget to pick up what you saw
Talkin’ trash to the garbage around you

See me kickin’ the dog with my boots
Broke down at a ditch of old rubbish
I won’t give up that ghost
Snakes invoked at the back of your room
Handin’ out a confection of venom
Heaven’s drawn the poison you use
Thunderbolts in the eyes of a gambler
Now I seem to come to you
Hammer my bones in the anvil of daylight

“new services”…Fuck You. Lol. Kill Urself

Tim Cook teases that Apple has ‘new services’ coming in 2019

Global Gloom Spreads Across Industries

OPEC Output Falls Most in Almost Two Years as Saudi Cuts Begin

Why 2019 will be a turning point for tech Not! Such horseshit.

Tesla Could Be A Lone Success In 2019 As European Model 3 Sales Catch Fire… and after that the actual cars catch fire.

Tesla Model 3 Used Car Stats As Depressing For BMW & Audi As New Car Sales

Thursday, Jan 10th,  2019

Scientists announce through the Nature journal, the discovery of 13 deep-space fast radio bursts (FRBs), named FRB 180814, by the CHIME radio telescope in British Columbia, Canada. (BBC)

Remnants of a Dassault Mirage 2000D fighter jet are found in Jura, France, after the aircraft with two pilots onboard disappeared from radar. (France Info)

Russia confirms that a fireball seen over much of New Zealand on January 5 was its Kosmos 2430 missile early warning satellite, which was launched in 2007. (The Guardian)

Syrian state media claim an ISIL rocket attack killed five British soldiers in Abu Kamal district, Deir ez-Zor Governorate. (RT)

A Houthi drone strike on Al Anad Air Base in Lahij Governorate, Yemen, during a military parade, kills six pro-government soldiers and injures several senior officials. (BBC)

After several delays, the Congolese election commission announces that Félix Tshisekedi is the winner of the December 30 presidential election. (France24)

Congo says opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi won presidential vote Election officials in the Democratic Republican of Congo “provisionally” declared opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi winner of a long-delayed presidential election Thursday, setting up the first democratic transfer of power since Congo’s independence in 1960. According to the national election commission, Tshisekedi narrowly beat another opposition candidate, Martin Fayulu, with Emmanuel Shadary, the hand-picked successor of outgoing President Joseph Kabila, a distant third. Polls before the Dec. 30 election showed Fayulu with a commanding lead, and outside observers and institutions — notably the Catholic Church, which deployed 40,000 election observers — considered him the true victor. Just before the electoral commission named him the runner-up, Fayulu claimed it’s an “open secret” that Tshisekedi had entered a power-sharing agreement with Shadary and the Kabila government. Source: BBC News

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and wife are getting divorced Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos announced Wednesday that he and wife MacKenzie Bezos are getting a divorce after a trial separation. “We feel incredibly lucky to have found each other and deeply grateful for every one of the years we have been married to each other,” the couple said a joint statement. “If we had known we would separate after 25 years, we would do it all again.” The couple, who have four children, say they plan to remain “cherished friends.” Bezos is thought to be the world’s wealthiest man, worth an estimated $137 billion, and Amazon just became the most valuable publicly traded company in the U.S., with a market value Wednesday of $811 billion. Their marriage predates Amazon. Source: CBS News

German prosecutors say, based on CCTV images, that most of AfD politician Frank Magnitz’s injuries yesterday may have been sustained as he hit the ground after having been elbowed once by three people and falling over. Magnitz says the attack may have been an attempted robbery. (Deutsche Welle)

The End


Interesting how the sentence on this first story changed as I was looking for the reference article which was not included on the first appearance.

1- A Polish woman, Elzbieta Piotrowska, is decapitated with an axe on the Clonmore estate in Ardee, County Louth. A man known to her was later arrested.[1]

2- A Polish woman, Elzbieta Piotrowska, is attacked with an axe and dies from her injuries in Ardee, County Louth, Ireland. A man known to her was later arrested.(RTÉ)

U.S. sends troops to Gabon amid election uncertainty in neighbouring Congo


Wednesday, Jan 9th, 2019

Former Israeli minister Gonen Segev pleads guilty to spying for Iran, in exchange for a 11-year prison sentence. (Reuters)

Two biologists who analysed a sound recording obtained by the Associated Press in 2017, say that it closely matches the calling song of the Indies short-tailed cricket, a species not known to exist in Cuba. (NBC News)

Trump says border wall is ‘absolutely critical,’ will pay for itself In his first prime-time address from the Oval Office, President Trump on Tuesday night said a barrier must be built along the southern border to keep out drugs and criminals. Trump proclaimed that “all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal migration,” as it “strains resources and drives down jobs and wages,” but blacks and Hispanics are hit the hardest. He also said the “absolutely critical” border wall will “very quickly pay for itself,” because it would keep billions of dollars worth of illegal drugs out of the country, and added that it will “be paid for indirectly by a great new trade deal we have made with Mexico.” In their response, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said it’s time for Trump to “stop manufacturing crises and reopen the government.” Source: The Week

China, U.S. end extended trade talks, fueling optimism Chinese and U.S. negotiators wrapped up trade talks in Beijing on Wednesday after extending them into an unscheduled third day, signaling possible progress toward ending a trade war that has disrupted global markets. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the fact that both sides agreed to stretch out the talks indicated they were “very serious.” Ted McKinney, U.S. under secretary of agriculture for trade and foreign agricultural affairs, said the U.S. delegation was heading home after a “good few days.” The lengthened talks were the first since President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a 90-day trade-war truce in December, and they fueled optimism among investors. U.S. stock futures edged higher early Wednesday, extending the week’s gains.Source:  CNBC


Tuesday,  Jan 8th, 2019

 Donald Trump gives the first prime time address of his presidency to talk about the partial government shutdown and its key issue, proposed funding for the Mexico–United States barrier. (The New York Times)

The military police of Russia says that it has started patrolling the area surrounding Manbij. (TASS)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrives in Beijing for his fourth summit meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. (The Japan Times)

A bankruptcy judge grants Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert another chance to buy Sears and save it from liquidation. (CNBC)

A Vietnam-registered oil tanker explodes off Hong Kong’s southern coast, killing at least one person and leaving three others missing. (ABC News)

Brazil formally withdraws from the UN’s Global Compact for Migration pact, however, Brazil’s Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo says that the country will continue to accept Venezuelan refugees. (Reuters)

German politician Frank Magnitz [de], a member of the AfD party, was beaten unconscious by three masked assailants in the city of Bremen on Monday. AfD party leader Alice Weidel calls the attack an “assassination attempt” and politicians from other German parties condemn the attack. (BBC)

Jaskirat Sidhu, the driver involved in a fatal crash involving the Humboldt Broncos, pleads guilty to 29 charges against him, including 16 counts of dangerous operation of motorized vehicle causing death and 13 counts of dangerous operation of motor vehicle causing bodily injury. (Sporting News) (CBC)

Following Muhammad V of Kelantan’s abdication as King of Malaysia on Sunday, the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal explains that the Conference of Rulers will elect a new King on 24 January, who will assume duties immediately after taking the oath of office on 31 January. (The Star/ANN via AsiaOne)

Retired USMC General Anthony Zinni resigns as U.S. envoy for the Qatar diplomatic dispute because regional leaders couldn’t agree on a “viable mediation effort” to resolve the stalemate. (CNN)

The asteroid 6478 Gault, 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) in diameter, is found to have been impacted by another large (>500 metres (>0.31 miles)) asteroid in late October 2018, the largest asteroid-to-asteroid collision in recorded history. (Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams)

The University of Hawaii reports that Lonely George, the last known member of the Achatinella apexfulva species of land snail in Oahu, Hawaii, died aged 14 on New Year’s Day. Despite being listed as critically endangered the species is now considered extinct. (National Geographic)


Monday,  Jan 7th, 2019

 The government of Gabon quashes a coup d’état by soldiers. The attempt took place while the country’s president, Ali Bongo, was undergoing medical treatment in Morocco. (CBC)

The government of Guatemala denounces the UN-backed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) and gives it 24 hours to leave the country. (BBC News)

Chen Gang, the former vice-mayor of Beijing, is detained for corruption. (South China Morning Post)

The End 



A Farewell to “Bargain Shopping”
Clusterfuck Nation
by JHK

‘Anchorman’ Without Laughs
by Steve Sailer

Gas stations in Mexico are running dry

Our Man in Riyadh
Abizaid of Arabia

Monday,  Jan 7th, 2019

 Tesla broke ground Monday on its Shanghai Gigafactory as part of the electric-car maker’s plan to localize production of vehicles to be sold in the world’s biggest auto market. The factory, Tesla’s first outside the U.S., will start production in China of its Model 3 and a planned crossover by the end of the year, CEO Elon Musk tweeted. “Affordable cars must be made on same continent as customers,” Musk wrote on Twitter ahead of a ceremony at the plant site, where he joined the city’s mayor and other local government officials. The Gigafactory is China’s first wholly foreign-owned car plant. It reflects China’s shift toward opening its car market even as it faces a trade war with the U.S. Source:  Reuters

Soldiers in Gabon have launched a coup d’etat while the country’s president, Ali Bongo, is undergoing medical treatment in Morocco, according to a broadcast on local radio. (BNO News)


Sunday, Jan. 6th, 2019

The Zwicky Transient Facility in California discovers a large Atira asteroid, 2019 AQ3, a 1 kilometre (0.62 miles) asteroid that stays closer to the Sun during its orbit than any other known asteroid, passing from inside the orbit of Mercury to just outside the orbit of Venus. (Minor Planet center)

Taliban officials say that they will not attend peace talks scheduled for next week in Saudi Arabia because they “cannot afford” to meet the Afghan government delegation at present. (Reuters)

At least 30 people are killed after a gold mine collapses in north-eastern Afghanistan. (BBC)

Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King of Malaysia) Muhammad V of Kelantan abdicates. (Belga via Het Laatste Nieuws)



Saturday,  Jan 5th, 2019

The Syrian Network for Human Rights announced that at least 223 massacres were perpetrated by the parties to the conflict documented in Syria in 2018. (Syrian Network For Human Rights)

Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I signs the independence (‘tomos’) decree officially separating the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from the Russian Orthodox Church as autocephalous Church. (NPR)

Juan Guaidó is elected the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly. (Efecto Cocuyo)



 Friday,  Jan 4th, 2019

Chinese President Xi Jinping orders the country’s armed forces to be ready for battle following President of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Tsai Ing-wen’s call for international support to defend the self-ruled island’s democracy after rejecting of the one country, two systems principle. (South China Morning Post)

Chief United States District Judge Beryl Howell extends grand jury 17-1 for up to six months; the original 18-month authorization was set to expire Sunday. (CNBC)

The United States Central Command announces that a U.S. airstrike in Ma’rib Governorate, Yemen, has killed Jamal Ahmad Mohammad Al Badawi, who is believed to have masterminded the 2000 USS Cole bombing that killed 17 American sailors. (The Independent)

Five 15-year-old girls are killed in a fire at an escape room in Koszalin, Poland. (TVN24)

The Lima Group announces that from January 10, 2019, the government of Nicolás Maduro will no longer be recognized by the governments which compose the multilateral body. (Al Jazeera)

The United States Department of State announces that U.S. Special Representative for Syria Engagement James Jeffrey also assumes the position of Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, succeeding Brett McGurk. Separately, a State Department official says that there is no timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria. (Reuters)

The End


War for Oil: The Nazi Quest for an Oil Empire (2006) by Dietrich Eichholtz


Friday,  Jan 4th, 2019

House votes to reopen the government without funding Trump’s wall The newly sworn-in House passed a package of bills Thursday night that would reopen the federal government, one funding just the Department of Homeland Security through Feb. 8 and the others financing the remaining shuttered federal agencies for the rest of the fiscal year. About a quarter of the government has been shut down since Dec. 22. Five Republicans joined all Democrats to pass the DHS bill, which does not include money for President Trump’s border wall, 239-192, and seven Republicans voted to fund the other departments. Trump reiterated that he would veto any bill that does not fund his proposed border wall. “We’re not doing a wall,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). “Does anyone have any doubt that we’re not doing a wall?” Source: The Washington Post

December jobs report trounces expectations U.S. employers added 312,000 non-farm jobs in December, far exceeding forecasts, according to a Friday report from the Labor Department. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected a 182,000 increase, on average. Despite the gains, the unemployment rate rose to 3.9 percent from 3.7 percent as 419,000 more people entered the labor force looking for work. A broader measure of unemployment that takes into account discouraged workers and those doing part-time jobs for economic reasons remained at 7.6 percent. Wages increased by 0.4 percent over the previous month, and 3.2 percent from a year ago, tying October for the best year-over-year increase since April 2009. The job gains showed that the economy remains strong despite growing concerns of a global slowdown. Source: MarketWatch


Tech stocks suffer worst losses in seven years U.S. stocks sank Thursday amid fears of slow economic growth in China and a report from Apple that anticipated missed revenue targets. Technology companies suffered their worst losses in seven years, with Apple stock plummeting 10 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell approximately 600 points. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 slumped 2.5 percent and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 3 percent. A report foreshadowing weakened manufacturing in the U.S. also contributed to the drop, which came just days after markets completed the worst December on record since the Great Depression. Source: MarketWatch


Thursday, Jan 3rd,  2019

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Syrian state media say that a U.S.-led coalition aerial attack killed 11 civilians in Deir ez-Zor Governorate. (EFE via La Vanguardia)

Pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb proposes the takeover for US$95 billion, including debt, of cancer drug company Celgene, the biggest biopharma deal ever. (Reuters)

The Dutch Coast Guard says 270 containers fell off MSC Zoe in heavy seas near the German island of Borkum and floated towards the Netherlands. Treasure hunters revel on the West Frisian islands of Terschelling and Vlieland. Three containers containing hazardous materials are still missing and ships are warned for floating containers. (Reuters via NDTV)

Somalia expels Nicholas Haysom, the most senior United Nations diplomat in the country, after accusing him of “acting like the country’s ruler”. (BBC)

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani demands clarification after U.S. President Donald Trump said yesterday that the Soviet Union was “right to be there”, referring to the 1979–1989 Soviet–Afghan War. (The Washington Post)

China executes serial killer Gao Chengyong, who murdered eleven girls and women between 1988 and 2002. (BBC)

The Prosecutor General of Russia says that France today extradited Alexei Kuznetsov, a former Finance Minister of the Moscow Region who is accused of fraud and embezzlement amounting to 14 billion Russian rubles (US$200 million). (TASS)

Iran’s health minister Hassan Ghazizadeh Hashemi resigns in protest against a medical budget. His resignation was accepted by President Hassan Rouhani. (PressTV)

The newly sworn U.S. House of Representatives passes a major spending bill to fund most shuttered departments and agencies through September 30 and a stop-gap measure to restart the Department of Homeland Security. The proposals will now move on to the Senate for approval. (The New York Times)

China National Space Administration’s robotic lander Chang’e 4 successfully lands at the Von Kármán lunar crater on the far side of the Moon. (BBC)


Wednesday,  Jan 2nd,  2019

American electronics maker Apple warns that iPhone sales are slowing significantly and the product is in weak demand, blaming trade tensions with China. The company says that it has lowered its expected fiscal earnings for the first quarter as a result, citing disappointing holiday sales figures, and that it could lose $9 billion due to the decline. (The Verge)

On the last day of the 115th United States Congress, Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and others meet with President Donald Trump at the White House to discuss implementing a new budget agreement that may include funding for a new Mexico–United States barrier that could end the current federal government shutdown. (CNBC)

President Trump and congressional leaders fail to resolve their political differences over federal funding for the border barrier, with Pelosi stating that the president will receive “nothing for the wall” from her party. (Politico)

President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro issues a decree to place the responsibility for “identification, delimitation, demarcation and registration of lands traditionally occupied by indigenous people” at the Ministry of Agriculture, instead of the Indian affairs agency FUNAI. The management of public forests also goes to the agriculture ministry. The move is seen as a big win for the industrial agribusiness lobby. (Reuters)

The End Friday


Third Gender Candidates

All the world’s longest zipline’s flights are cancelled until further notice and we will be in direct contact with all our customers by phone immediately.
Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al-Qasimi


New Horizons makes a flyby of Kuiper belt object 2014 MU69, nicknamed Ultima Thule, at 05:33 UTC. It is either a tightly-orbiting binary asteroid or a contact binary. (The New York Times)

NASA probe flies by farthest object ever explored in solar system Just after midnight on New Year’s Eve, NASA’s New Horizons probe sailed into the outer edges of the solar system, flying by Ultima Thule, 4.1 billion miles from Earth. The mysterious object is home to frozen relics from the birth of the solar system. New Horizons has spent years soaring through space, flying past Pluto in late 2015. New Horizons got within 2,200 miles of Ultima Thule, whizzing by at 32,000 miles per hour. “We set a record! Never before has a spacecraft explored something so far away,” New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, said after the flyby. “I mean, think of it. We’re a billion miles farther than Pluto.” [Space.com] Source: Space.com


Iraqi politicians from both parliamentary blocs in the Council of Representatives of Iraq demand the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the country, following U.S. President Donald Trump’s unannounced visit to troops stationed at Al Asad Airbase. An extraordinary session to debate the matter is planned. (The Guardian)

 A law recognising a third gender that can be administered for intersex people takes effect in Germany. (BBC)

After a 53-day trek, American professional endurance athlete Colin O’Brady allegedly becomes the first person to cross Antarctica alone and unaided; his claim of being unaided has been disputed, and the first person to really cross Antarctica alone and unaided was Børge Ousland in 1996 and 1997. (BBC)

After a 56-day trek, British Army captain Lou Rudd becomes the second person to cross Antarctica alone and unaided, over two decades after the first solo crossing by Norwegian Børge Ousland. (BBC)


Wednesday,  Jan 2nd,  2019

Tesla Sinks as Price Cuts Signal a Ceiling for Costly Models
January 2, 2019
-Automaker sold 63,150 Model 3 sedans in the fourth quarter
-Prices cut by $2,000 to partially offset shrinking tax credit

Trump will host congressional leaders for border talks amid shutdown impasse President Trump will host congressional leaders Wednesday afternoon for a Homeland Security briefing on border security, the White House confirmed Tuesday night. This will be the first time Republicans and Democrats in Congress have sat down with Trump since the partial government shutdown began Dec. 22. Democrats take control of the House on Thursday, and they plan to immediately pass two bills to reopen the government, neither of which provides more than $1.3 billion for border security. Trump is demanding $5 billion for a border wall, and the White House said Tuesday that the House Democratic bills are a “nonstarter.” Senate Republicans say they won’t allow a vote on any bill that Trump doesn’t support. Source: The Washington Post

Border Patrol fires tear gas on migrants in Tijuana U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents fired tear gas into Mexico early Tuesday after a group of about 150 migrants tried to breach a section of border fence in Tijuana. CPB said “no agents witnessed any of the migrants at the fence line, including children, experiencing effects of the chemical agents, which were targeted at the rock throwers,” and Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman Katie Waldman characterized the gassed crowd as a projectile-hurling “violent mob of migrants.” Journalists for The Associated Press and Reuters said they saw migrants throw rocks only after the gas was fired, if at all, and witnessed migrants hit by gas canisters and plastic bullets from U.S. agents. CBP said it’s reviewing the incident. Source:  Reuters


Netflix pulls episode of Hasan Minhaj’s comedy show from Saudi service Netflix confirmed on Wednesday it had pulled the second episode of Daily Show alumnus Hasan Minhaj’s new topical comedy show, Patriot Act, from its streaming service in Saudi Arabia following complaints from the kingdom’s Communications and Information Technology Commission. “We strongly support artistic freedom worldwide and only removed this episode in Saudi Arabia after we had received a valid legal request — and to comply with local law,” Netflix said in a statement, referring to Saudi Arabia’s cyber-crime statute. In the episode, Minhaj criticizes Saudi Arabia and its crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, among other things. You can still watch the episode on YouTube in Saudi Arabia. Source: BBC News


Tuesday,  Jan 1st, 2019

Patrick M. Shanahan becomes acting United States Secretary of Defense following the resignation of Jim Mattis. (New York Post)

US President Donald Trump requests a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers to discuss border security as a partial government shutdown enters its second week. (MPR News)

The Taliban kill 27 security forces in a series of coordinated attacks in northern Afghanistan. They refuse to sit down with Afghan officials about peace in the country after the United States announced last month that they would withdraw about half of their 14,000 troops. (The New York Times)

Same-sex marriage becomes legal in Austria. (ABC News)

Jair Bolsonaro is inaugurated as the 38th President of Brazil, succeeding Michel Temer. (BBC)

Monday,  Dec. 31st, 2018

Joining several other democrats in the race, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts announces the formation of a presidential exploratory committee for running in the 2020 presidential election. (CNN)

 Russia’s FSB state security agency says it has arrested a U.S. citizen “caught spying” in Moscow. According to former CIA officials the arrest was done as a retaliation for the arrest of alleged Russian spy Maria Butina. (BBC) (Daily Beast)

An explosion caused by a gas leak devastated a block of flats in Magnitogorsk, Russia, killing 14 people while 27 others are missing. (BBC)


Sunday, Dec. 30th, 2018

A rescue helicopter crashes near the world’s longest zipline in the United Arab Emirates, killing four people. (BBC)

Voters in the Democratic Republic of the Congo head to the polls to determine a successor to incumbent President Joseph Kabila. Elections are also held for the National Assembly and local councils. (BBC News)


 Saturday,  Dec. 29th, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump issues an executive order freezing federal workers’ pay raise in 2019, excluding that of military personnel. (CNN)

In response to a roadside bombing that killed three Vietnamese tourists and an Egyptian tour guide the previous day, Egyptian police kill 40 suspected militants. (The New York Times)

Yemen’s Shiite rebels say they have given control of the port of Hodeida to the coast guard and local administrators. The Yemeni government disputes this claim. (AP via Seattle Times)

An equipment failure causes a jet bridge at the Baltimore–Washington International Airport to collapse, injuring seven people. (The Baltimore Sun)

 Friday,  Dec.28th, 2018

The Kurdish YPG calls on Syrian government troops to protect Manbij against what it calls a “Turkish invasion”. (Reuters)

An explosion caused by a roadside bomb hits a tourist bus in Cairo, Egypt, near the Giza pyramid complex. Three Vietnamese tourists and an Egyptian tour guide are killed, while 12 others are injured. (BBC)

Bahrain announces it will reopen its embassy in Damascus, Syria, a day after the UAE made the same decision. (RT)

The three men suspected of causing an explosion at a shop in Leicester in February are convicted of murder. The explosion destroyed the shop and the flat above it, killing five people. The three men were also convicted of conspiracy with one of the victims to commit insurance fraud. (The Guardian)

Thursday, Dec.27th,  2018

Richard Arvin Overton, the oldest U.S. veteran from World War II, as well as the oldest American man, dies at age 112. (Newsweek)

The New York City sky lights up in blue after e after a transformer in Astoria, Queens, explodes. (The Guardian),

The Chaos Computer Club holds their 35th Chaos Communication Congress, a hacker convention, in Leipzig, Germany. (Handelsblatt)


 Wednesday,  Dec.26th,  2018

U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump make an unannounced post-Christmas visit to troops at the Al Asad Airbase in Iraq, their first visit to a combat zone since taking office. (BBC)

Japan announces its intention to resume commercial whaling in July 2019 after withdrawing from the International Whaling Commission. (NBC News)

Martial law in Ukraine ends a month after an attack on three Ukrainian Navy vessels near the Kerch Strait. (NBC News)


The End








Black Sabbath 08.05.1975

The Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search announces the discovery of a Mersenne prime equal to 282,589,933-1. It has 24,862,048 decimal digits, which surpasses the previous record by over a million digits. (NPR)

Thursday, Dec.27th, 2018

Russia claims successful final test of new hypersonic missile Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Wednesday that Russia has successfully developed “a new type of strategic weapon,” a hypersonic missile, and a final test “has just been completed with absolute success.” The intercontinental “Avangard” system, with missiles that could travel at 20 times the speed of sound and maneuver up and down, will be ready for use in 2019, Putin said. When he unveiled the hypersonic missile plans in March, he predicted they will render current missile defense systems obsolete. Putin made the announcement in a televised meeting with members of his government. Russian media, citing the Kremlin, said the missile test had taken place in Kamchatka, in far-eastern Russia. Source: AFP


 Wednesday, Dec.26th, 2018

Tsunami death toll rises above 400 in Indonesia At least 429 people are dead, 154 missing and more than 1,400 injured after a tsunami struck the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra on Saturday evening. The wall of water, up to 16 feet high, swept in without warning and is thought to have been caused by undetected sea floor landslides from an eruption of the Krakatoa volcano, located in the strait between the islands. On Wednesday, Indonesian authorities warned people to stay away from the coast due to “extreme weather and high waves,” adding that the rough weather could make the volcano’s crater more fragile. Indonesia does not have a tsunami warning system, but the country’s meteorology agency said Tuesday it had developed an early warning system based on volcanic tremors. Source: The New York Times

Japan announces resumption of commercial whaling, with new limits Japan said Wednesday that it is withdrawing from the International Whaling Commission and will resume commercial whaling next summer, but tempered the news by committing to cease its whale hunting in the Antarctic and the northwest Pacific Ocean. Resuming commercial whaling in Japan’s territorial waters and 200-mile economic zone is “in line with Japan’s basic policy of promoting sustainable use of aquatic living resources based on scientific evidence,” said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga. When the IWC imposed a moratorium on commercial whaling in the 1980s, Japan switched to what it calls research whaling. Critics called it thinly veiled commercial whaling, since thousands of tons of whale meat is sold in Japanese markets each year, mostly to older Japanese consumers. Source: The Associated Press


Tuesday,  Dec.25th, 2018

The Nikkei index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange drops 5% to below 20,000, its lowest level since September 2017. (Bloomberg)

North Korea and South Korea hold a ceremony for a project to reconnect rail and road links, although construction cannot start while sanctions over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs remain in place. (Gulf Today)

The Afghan health ministry says that yesterday’s attack by a suicide bomber and three gunmen on a government building in Kabul killed at least 43 people. No group has claimed responsibility. (CBS News)

Monday,  Dec. 24th, 2018

The Dow Jones Industrial Average drops 2.9%, its worst performance ever on Christmas Eve. (NPR)

The coalition government of Benjamin Netanyahu dissolves the Knesset and sets early elections for April. The coalition has been struggling after struggling to pass a new bill that would extend the military draft to ultra-Orthodox Jews and the resignation of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, leader of one of the parties in the coalition. (CNN)

The death toll following the tsunami caused by the Anak Krakatau volcano has risen to at least 429, according to Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency. Also, 1,459 people are injured, while 150 are still missing. (BBC)

Governor of Puebla Martha Erika Alonso and Senator Rafael Moreno Valle Rosas are among several fatalities in a helicopter crash near Puebla, Mexico. (New York Times via Reuters)

Mount Etna erupts, causing the closure of Catania–Fontanarossa Airport in Sicily, Italy. (BBC)

American actor Kevin Spacey is charged for the alleged sexual assault of an 18-year-old in 2016 in Massachusetts. (NPR)

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is sentenced to seven years in prison after being found guilty of corruption. (CNN)

Chairman of Iran’s Expediency Discernment Council and former Chief Justice Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi dies at the age of 70. (Euronews)

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