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 


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








Mayor Marty Walsh

Setting a new standard for retail pot stores in Boston

DECEMBER 10, 2018

Martin J. Walsh is the mayor of Boston.

In 2016, Massachusetts residents voted to legalize recreational marijuana and, this past July, the Commonwealth authorized retail sales to begin. Most cities and towns have responded to the new law by either banning cannabis shops permanently or imposing moratoriums that could last until the end of 2019. To date, two municipalities statewide have licensed retailers to open for business.

In Boston, we are following the will of the voters. We began accepting preliminary applications for retail marijuana licenses in April, and we expect the first shops to open next year. But we are also taking seriously our responsibility to give communities a voice in this process and achieve much-needed equity in this new industry.

Many know that I opposed the ballot measure in 2016, and I remain concerned about the impact that easier access to pot will have on the developing brains of our young people. But my personal concerns play no role whatsoever in how the city is handling the licensing of marijuana businesses. I am committed to implementing the law in a manner that is timely, equitable, and respectful of the voters and the community.

Cities in Colorado and California with legal cannabis sales have run into serious equity problems, in both where facilities are sited and who is profiting from them. We are dedicated to learning from these experiences, avoiding those problems, and creating a new national model for this emerging industry.

We are making sure that retail establishments are spaced appropriately across our city, and that abutters and surrounding neighbors can understand the likely impacts of such businesses, assess any proponent’s plan for mitigating them, and have meaningful input into host community agreements.

In addition, we are working to ensure that communities that suffered the most under the so-called war on drugs have access to the new economic opportunities represented by legal marijuana. We require all applicants to demonstrate that they are prioritizing diversity and inclusion in their plans, from top to bottom. For example, the first company we selected to execute a host community agreement is headed by a woman of color and has created a partnership with the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department to hire former inmates as workers. The shop is expected to open in the North Station area sometime next year.

However, significant barriers remain to ownership opportunities for entrepreneurs from local communities of color. Startup costs are steep, and because marijuana remains illegal under federal law, traditional lenders do not extend capital to cannabis enterprises. In addition, because our financing and technical assistance programs use federal revenue sources, the city cannot extend its full range of small-business supports in this industry. The result is that we have received very few viable applications from local entrepreneurs of color, or what state law calls “economic empowerment applicants.”

We are taking action to achieve the degree of equity that our communities deserve. For example, we are working to foster partnerships between established cannabis companies and entrepreneurs from local communities. In addition, we are calling on well-funded operators to create a pool of resources that would support ownership opportunities and workforce training for local minority- and women-owned small businesses.

Another option on the table is a requirement that one local “economic empowerment” applicant be chosen for every other applicant who receives approval. This “one-to-one” system of parity would result in a slower sequence of approvals. But we believe it is worth exploring every avenue, because equity is a value worth working for.

We are a city that pioneers social change and we are also a city that does things the right way. Before long, we expect that Boston will become the first major city on the East Coast to host retail sales in recreational marijuana, and we will set a new national standard for equity in this industry as we do so.

Martin J. Walsh is the mayor of Boston.


Thursday, Dec.13th,  2018

Michael Cohen, the former lawyer of U.S. President Donald Trump, is sentenced to three years in prison for making illegal hush money payments to two women with whom Trump allegedly had affairs, and a concurrent sentence of two months for making false statements to Congress about a possible Trump Tower deal in Russia. (South China Morning Post)

Pelosi strikes deal all but ensuring she will be next House speaker House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sealed a deal with restive Democratic lawmakers Wednesday evening that gives her enough votes to ensure a second turn as House speaker when the next Congress gavels into session in January. Under the agreement Pelosi pledges to support a measure that will limit her and her top two deputies to three two-year terms, with a fourth term possible given support from two-thirds of Democrats. Since all three Democrats have already served two terms in their upcoming roles, they would have to step down no later than 2022. House Democrats will vote on the proposal by Feb. 15. “I am comfortable with the proposal and it is my intention to abide by it whether it passes or not,” Pelosi said in a statement. Source: The Washington Post

Apple unveils plan for $1 billion campus in Austin, Texas Apple announced Thursday that it planned to invest $1 billion to build a new campus in Austin, and spend another $10 billion on new data centers. The expansion in Texas, along with new sites in Seattle, San Diego, and Culver City, and bigger facilities in Pittsburgh, New York, and Boulder, are part of a five-year investment project aiming to create 20,000 jobs in the U.S. The North Austin facility alone will employ 5,000, with capacity to expand to 15,000 workers in engineering, R&D, operations, finance, sales, and customer support. Apple also said in a press release that there would be “potential for additional expansion elsewhere in the U.S. over time.” Source: CNBC

Wednesday,  Dec.12th,  2018

By a vote of 200 to 117, British Prime Minister Theresa May survives a motion of no confidence within the Conservative Party. (BBC)

Meng Wanzhou, a Chinese telecommunications executive wanted by the United States for allegedly trying to circumvent US trade sanctions against Iran, is granted bail with restrictions by a Canadian judge. (CBC)

The Afghan National Army abandons the western Shib Koh District after the government failed to resupply troops stationed there. The district, which borders Iran, is now effectively under Taliban control. (Reuters)

Soldiers from North Korea and South Korea peacefully cross the Korean Demilitarized Zone for the first time since it was created in 1953. (CBS News)

Two police officers are injured after a man throws a grenade at them at a shopping centre in Nazran, Ingushetia, Russia. The attacker and his accomplice are later shot dead. (Xinhuanet)

The End


Chang’e-4: China mission launches to far side of Moon

A beaver is seen in Northern Italy on camera, a species that has not been seen in the country since 1471. (CBC)

A jury finds James Alex Fields guilty of the murder, in the first degree, of Heather Heyer at a 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Al Jazeera)

Russian serial killer and former policeman Mikhail Popkov is convicted of an additional 56 murders between 1992 and 2007. All of his victims were women. (Sky News)

The deputy governor of Sweden’s central bank, the Riksbank, says that the country is likely to become a cashless society within the next three to five years. (Reuters)


Monday,  Dec. 10th, 2018

As prosecutors eye Trump’s business, Democrats talk jail time, impeachment Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York have shifted from investigating Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, to examining what other members of Trump’s family business, the Trump Organization, may have known about the crimes Cohen says he committed on behalf of Trump in 2016, The New York Times reports. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) told CNN on Sunday that if Trump was “at the center of a massive fraud,” as prosecutors seem to allege, those crimes “would be impeachable offenses.” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) added on CBS’s Face the Nation that “there’s a very real prospect that on the day Donald Trump leaves office, the Justice Department may indict him, that he may be the first president in quite some time to face the real prospect of jail time.” Source: The New York Times

British Prime Minister Theresa May postpones Brexit deal vote British Prime Minister Theresa May postponed the final vote on her Brexit deal Monday after the European Court of Justice ruled that Britain can unilaterally call off its exit from the European Union without input from the 27 other EU members, and without altering the terms of Britain’s EU membership. On Tuesday, Britain’s House of Commons was scheduled to vote on, and expected to reject, the Brexit plan, which would have thrown Britain’s exit from the EU into further uncharted waters. The deal under consideration was settled with EU leaders late last month. Revoking the Article 50 exit clause would have to “follow a democratic process,” the court ruled, meaning that in Britain, Parliament would have to approve calling off Brexit. The upshot is that staying in the EU is now “a real, viable option,” BBC Brussels correspondent Adam Fleming notes, cautioning that “a lot would have to change in British politics” for Brexit to be actually called off. Source: BBC News

U.S., Russia, Saudis undermine U.N. climate report at Poland talks The low-level U.S. delegation to global climate talks in Katowice, Poland, joined with Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Kuwait on Saturday night in an attempt to undermine a United Nations report warning of catastrophic consequences if the world fails to combat rising global temperatures, The Washington Post reports. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest report on climate change to coincide with a two-week U.N. conference to create rules for implementing the 2015 Paris climate accord. President Trump, who also downplayed similar dire warnings from a report issued last month by 13 U.S. federal agencies, started withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris accord in 2017, but the U.S. still has a seat at the table until it can formally withdraw in November 2020. Source: The Washington Post


Sunday, Dec. 9th, 2018

NASA announces that Voyager 2 entered interstellar space after exiting the heliosphere on November 5. (NASA)

The Court of Justice of the European Union rules that an EU member state’s invocation of Article 50 TEU is unilaterally revokable. (BBC)

Armenian citizens vote in the country’s first ever snap election and the first one since the Velvet Revolution. (VOA)

Ronnie O’Sullivan wins a record seventh UK Championship snooker title after defeating Mark Allen 10–6 in the final at the Barbican Centre, York. (BBC)

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Continue reading “12.10.2018”


Monday,  Dec. 3rd, 2018

Convicted murderer Samuel Little confesses to murdering 90 women between 1970 and 2005, making him one of the most prolific serial killers in U.S. history. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has confirmed 34 of his confessions and are now working to confirm the others. (BBC) (FBI)

Comey reaches deal to testify privately before House panel Former FBI Director James Comey is dropping his legal challenge to a congressional subpoena, his attorney announced Sunday. Comey has made a deal to testify privately in front of the House Judiciary Committee regarding the FBI’s investigations into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, and possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election. He will be able to speak freely about it once the hearing is over, and a transcript will be released 24 hours after he finishes his testimony. Comey was fighting to make his testimony public, with his attorneys saying he was afraid House Republicans would leak his testimony. President Trump fired Comey in May 2017. His interview is scheduled for Friday. Source: The Associated Press

Qatar announces plans to quit OPEC in January Qatar announced Monday that it will withdraw from OPEC, the oil cartel it joined in 1961, in January to focus on developing its massive liquified natural gas (LNG) reserves. OPEC’s de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, cut ties with Qatar and led an ongoing economic boycott in June 2017, joined by Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain. But Qatari energy affairs minister Saad Sherida al-Kaabi said politics weren’t behind the decision to quit OPEC, and he will attend the 15-member organization’s meeting later this week. Qatar produces only 600,000 barrels a day (bpd) of oil, versus Saudi Arabia’s 11 million bpd, so its departure and aspirations to increase crude output are expected to have little effect on sagging global oil prices as OPEC tightens production. Source:  Reuters

Qatar announces that it is withdrawing from OPEC in January 2019, after almost 60 years of membership, to focus on natural gas production. (The Guardian)

Hundreds arrested in Paris as tax protesters riot More than 220 people were arrested in Paris Saturday as “yellow vest” protesters assembled for the third straight weekend. Authorities say around 100 people were injured when some demonstrators rioted, vandalizing the Arc de Triomphe, attacking police, and damaging and looting cars and stores. The French government may impose a state of emergency. French President Emmanuel Macron plans to initiate a dialogue with the yellow vests, but a government representative said policy changes are not being considered. The demonstrators are angry about Macron’s presidency, rising taxes, and high costs of living more broadly. Source: Reuters

Sunday, Dec. 2nd, 2018

The 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change convenes in Katowice, Poland. (BBC News)

The Socialist and current regional President Susana Díaz wins the election, but loses 14 seats. (El Mundo)

The far-right and anti-immigration Vox enters a legislative chamber after winning 12 seats, for the first time in the history of Spanish democracy. (CNN)

UEFA confirms that a new annual European football club competition called UEFA Europa League 2 will be introduced in 2021. (BBC)

A senior Taliban commander, Mullah Abdul Manan Akhund, is killed in a U.S. air strike in Afghanistan. (BBC)


Saturday,  Dec. 1st, 2018

The United States and China agree to halt new trade tariffs for 90 days to allow for talks. (BBC)

Andrés Manuel López Obrador is sworn in as the 58th President of Mexico. (The Guardian)

Protesters clash with police in Paris. (Reuters)

Jordi Turull and Jordi Sànchez, jailed Catalan separatist leaders accused of rebellion, start a hunger strike. (The Washington Post)


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Jimmy Page and 6ix9ine

Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck


Nature’s Egg and Seed Plan
ggose: generalist genes of small effect

For What Should We be Thankful?

What if the $21.7 trillion current federal government debt has largely been caused by borrowing to pay for wars and false prosperity? What if 22 cents of every tax dollar collected by the feds today is spent on interest payments for the government’s debt? What if, at this rate, in seven years the federal government will pay more annually to debt service than it will to fund the Pentagon?

Cheng Two: More Notes on Two Weeks in China
FRED REED • NOVEMBER 20, 2018 • 1,200 WORDS


When will self-driving cars take over?


Tuesday,  Nov. 27th, 2018

American rapper 6ix9ine pleads not guilty and is denied bail as his trial date is set for September 4, 2019. (Fox News)

After twelve consecutive draws, Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana will enter a tie-breaker on Wednesday, for the first match in WCC history to have no decisive games before the tie-breaker. (The Guardian)

Controversial ‘Dreaming of a white Dorchester’ ad pulled

Boston’s typically affable police leader flashes rare anger

Three U.S. troops are killed and three others are wounded in an IED blast near Ghazni, Afghanistan. (BBC)

Prosecutors raid the house of Gyeonggi Province governor Lee Jae-myung amid suspicions that his wife used a pseudonymous Twitter handle to spread fake news about President Moon Jae-in and other political rivals of her husband. (Korea Herald)

Manafort reportedly met with WikiLeaks’ Assange before joining Trump campaign Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, met with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in 2013, 2015, and shortly before joining the campaign team in 2016, sources told The Guardian. Though it’s unclear what the two may have discussed, the reported 2016 meeting came just months before WikiLeaks published a trove of emails that Russia stole from the Democratic National Committee. Manafort denies meeting with Assange, who has been residing in Ecuador’s London embassy since 2012. A document from Ecuador’s intelligence agency reportedly lists Manafort as a well-known guest at the embassy. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office on Monday accused Manafort of breaching his plea deal by repeatedly lying to FBI agents and prosecutors during recent interviews. He signed a plea agreement with Mueller after a financial fraud conviction in August. Source:  The New York Times

GM to lay off 15 percent of salaried workforce General Motors will cut its salaried workforce by 15 percent, slashing 14,700 jobs in North America, the company announced Monday. The automaker may also shut down as many as five plants, including assembly plants in Detroit, Baltimore, and Canada. In an effort to focus on developing self-driving and electric vehicles, as well as fuel-efficient trucks and SUVs, the company will lay off 25 percent of its executives to “streamline decision making.” GM has already offered buyouts to 18,000 white collar workers in recent months, and will offer even more as it cancels several car models by 2019. In a statement, GM said it expects the move will save the company $6 billion. Source: The Washington Post


Monday,  Nov. 26th, 2018

The Verkhovna Rada approves the introduction of martial law in 10 oblasts of Ukraine for a period of 30 days. (BBC)

A court in Milan, Italy, examines evidence submitted by the campaign group Global Witness, that alleges bribery around the attribution of the OPL 245 oil prospecting license in 2011 led to a loss for the Nigerian state estimated at US$6 billion. (BBC)

Human rights activists in Tunisia stage protests against a planned visit by Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the killing of Saudi Arabiajournalist Jamal Khashoggi. (Africa News)

The NASA robotic lander InSight lands safely on the Elysium Planitia plain of Mars to study the geology of the red planet. (NASA)

The End 

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

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 

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.”