article 7

 

The massive plastic-cleaning device invented by a 24-year-old to clean the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is finally being put to the test.

 

Wednesday, Sept 12, 2018

The European Parliament votes 448—197 to trigger article 7 against Hungary for flouting the rule of law in the country. (Al Jazeera)

Iranian Kurdish shopkeepers begin a region-wide strike against the executions of Kurdish activists and the bombing of opposition parties in Koya in the neighboring Iraqi Kurdistan Region. (Kurdistan24)

Deputy US Trade Representative Dennis Shea will represent the United States at a Group of 20 trade ministers in Argentina. (Reuters)

Tuesday,  Sept 11, 2018

Iraq announces the executions of seven terror convicts in Dhi Qar, saying the men, all citizens of Iraq, were hanged yesterday. (Gulf News)

RiskIQ, a cybersecurity firm, reports that it has discovered the software that was used to gather credit card information from the British Airways website. The firm further states that the “supply chain attack” was very similar to an earlier attempt to skim data from the Ticketmaster website. (BBC)

A bus carrying pilgrims from a Hindu temple in the hills of Telangana in India plunges off a road, killing at least 57 people and injuring 25 others. (NDTV)

South Korean health authorities announce that they are searching for around 50 foreign nationals who may have been in contact with the recently confirmed MERS patient, including those who arrived in Incheon Airportfrom Dubai on the same flight last Friday. (The Straits Times)

The Eritrean–Ethiopian border reopens for the first time since 1998. (The New York Times)

Monday,  Sept 10, 2018

The Netherlands halts funding of the Syrian opposition and police forces, saying the chances of them winning the war are “extremely limited”. Dutch support for the White Helmets will also end in December 2018. (Dutchnews.nl)

Nieuwsuur reports the Dutch government has provided funding over the past two years to Syrian rebel group Jabbat al-Shamiya, despite Dutch prosecutors describing the group as a “salafist and jihadistic” terror group and preparing to bring a man to trial next week accused of being a member. (Dutch News)

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announces the arrest of 32 East Bay street gangsters linked to a million-dollar fraud conspiracy. (SFGate.com)

Gunmen storm the headquarters of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) in Tripoli, Libya. At least four people are killed. (BBC)

A gas depot explodes in Lafia, Nigeria, killing at least 35 people and leaving some burned beyond recognition. (CBC)

Palestinian diplomat Saeb Erekat says that the United States “is willing to disband the international system in order to protect Israeli crimes”. (Times of Israel)

A car bomb in Mogadishu kills six people and injures 16 others. (Al Jazeera)

Conservative South Korean protesters at the Seoul station call for the release of imprisoned former President Park Geun-hye. (Upi)

National Security Advisor John R. Bolton threatens the International Criminal Court with sanctions should the organisation try to prosecute Americans for war crimes committed in Afganistan. (Reuters)

SpaceX successfully launches Canadian communication satellite Telstar 18V from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It was deployed into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) approximately 32 minutes after rocket’s liftoff. (CBS News)

The End

That one is predetermined
That one, it finds another
This one comes in one window
Sliding out the other
We need an instrument to take a measurement
To find out if loss could weigh
We need to know value
We need to place value
In case it all comes true
Could it be loss could weigh?
It’s always they that’s dying
But now it’s we that’s dying
So sooner comes the trying to understand that loss could weigh
We’ve been dragged through the fire
We bragged about that fire
But suddenly we’re tired
Could it be that loss could weigh?
Loss could weigh

09.10.2018

George Papadopoulos, former 2016 presidential campaign aide to Donald Trump, receives a prison sentence of 14 days for lying to investigators regarding his ties to Russian contacts. He also receives a fine, probation and a community service obligation. (CNN)

Tesla stock drops 9% the day after CEO Elon Musk was seen drinking whiskey and smoking cannabis in California while discussing space colonization, life after the technological singularity and whether reality is a simulation on The Joe Rogan Experience, and two executives resign. (AP) (Space.com)

ASIA ARGENTO FLIPS THE SCRIPT

Soul-sucking part-time actress Asia Argento was recently featured in these pages flip-flopping in her story of exactly what happened between her and 17-year-old Jimmy Bennett in a Marina del Rey motel room back in 2013.

At first she denied that anything sexual had ever happened between the two. Then, when text messages leaked that showed her quite clearly saying, “I had sex with him, Argento, who had known Bennett since he was seven, said that she didn’t know he was a minor until receiving a “shakedown letter” that her dead boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain—who appears to have killed himself after being distraught at seeing Ms. Asia cavorting with a man less than half his age—paid off to the tune of $380,000 just to keep things quiet while she was parading as an anti-rape activist.

Last week Argento’s lawyer Mark Jay Heller—who appears to have been sculpted entirely from chopped liver—is flipping the script and claiming that Bennett was the sexual predator in the equation:

Asia at no time initiated a sexual encounter with Bennett and in fact as she stated in her response to the New York Times article, concerning their past history, ‘I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett…but rather the relationship was a long distance friendship over many years.’…

Asia chose at the time not to prosecute Bennett for sexually attacking her.

It appears that Heller is trying to say that Argento paid Bennett $380,000 as hush money so he wouldn’t tell the world that he raped her.

It’s time for us to go curl in a ball on the shower floor and cry all the pain away.

 

The Incessant Pendulum Swing
by Theodore Dalrymple

The case of Ariana Grande and the bishop who was a little too familiar with her reminded me of my adolescence. In those far-off days, when even vulgarity was more genteel than it is now, my companions and I learned how to turn even the most innocuous of statements into something salacious by the mere addition of seven words in parenthetical conclusion: “as the actress said to the bishop.”

Monday,  Sept 10, 2018

CBS chief Moonves out amid sexual misconduct allegations CBS Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves is leaving the company, effective immediately, CBS announced Sunday. In July, The New Yorker published the accounts of six women accusing Moonves of sexual misconduct, and the magazine reported additional allegations on Sunday. CBS hired two law firms to investigate the accusations, and it won’t begin negotiating a severance package until the probe is finished. CBS and Moonves will donate $20 million to organizations that promote equality for women and the #MeToo movement, money that will be deducted from any financial package Moonves may receive. Moonves, who has run CBS since 2006, has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct while acknowledging three of the encounters, saying they were consensual. Source: CBS News

Far-right party gains in Sweden, moving government toward gridlock Sweden’s ruling center-left Social Democratic Party won the greatest share of votes in Sunday’s parliamentary elections but just barely, winning about 28.4 percent. The Social Democrats’ ruling coalition earned a combined 40.6 percent of the vote, for about 144 seats in the 349-seat Riksdag, or Parliament, while the center-right Alliance coalition, led by the Moderates, got 40.3 percent, for about 142 seats. The biggest gain was by the far-right, anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats, who got 17.6 percent of the votes, for about 63 seats, from 49 seats in the 2014 election. It’s unclear how either the center-left or center-right coalition will form a government, as both reiterated after the vote that they won’t form a government with the Sweden Democrats. Source: Reuters, The Associated Press

With 99% of the votes counted, the center-left parties that form the current government obtain 40.6% of the vote, the center-right alliance winning 40.3%. The far-right Sweden Democrats gain 17.6%. A long process to form a coalition government now seems likely. (CNN)

Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov says that Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent a letter to meet North Korea leader Kim Jong-un. (Reuters)

The Russian presidential office confirms that mayor of Moscow Sergei Sobyanin is reelected for a second and last term. (Sputnik via Urdupoint)

The Wall Street Journal reports that National Security Advisor John Bolton is expected to announce today the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organizationoffice in Washington. (Bloomberg)

Hurricane Florence regains strengthens into a category 2 hurricane and is expected to grow into a major hurricane this week, and to threaten the East Coastnear the Carolinas. (Upi)

Sunday, Sept 9, 2018

The prosecutor in Abkhazia says that the driver of the car that probably initiated the deadly accident of Prime Minister of Abkhazia Gennady Gagulya yesterday was under the influence of drugs and has been detained. (News.am)

Moldovan President Igor Dodon is involved in a highway accident when his official motorcade is struck by a truck coming from the opposite direction. Several passengers, including the president and members of his family, suffer moderate injuries and are hospitalized. Reports indicate that the Moldovan head of state is in good health. (BBC)

Dozens of people are killed in four separate attacks by the Taliban. An army base is destroyed in Baghlan Province. (The New York Times)

North Korea celebrates its 70th anniversary with a military parade in Pyongyang with the absence of its international ballistic missiles. (New York Times)

About 200 Kosovo Albanian veterans from the Kosovo War block the road to Banje near Drenica and prevent a planned visit by the President of Serbia. (Reuters)

Swedish media report voter harassment by members of the neo-Nazi movement Nordic Resistance Movement. The far-right Alternative for Sweden party is reportedly “shouting loud” on social media. (The Washington Post)

 

Saturday,  Sept 8, 2018

The Prime Minister of Abkhazia Gennadi Gagulia dies in a car accident in Abkhazia after returning from a trip to Syria. (RFE/RL) (TASS)

The WTC–Cortlandt subway station in lower Manhattan opens for the first time since being destroyed in the September 11 attacks in 2001. (The New York Times)

A pneumonia outbreak in Brescia and Mantova, Italy, infects at least 150 people. The deaths of two other people are suspected connected to the disease. The cause is a suspected bacterium in the water. (Corriere della Sera)

A South Korean man is diagnosed with the potentially deadly MERS virus and is being treated at a hospital in Seoul, the first such case in three years. (Reuters)

Iran’s judiciary executes three Iranian Kurdish prisoners, including Ramin Panahi, for terrorism offences. Two United Nations special rapporteurs condemn the executions and Amnesty International alleges their trials were unfair, due to the denial of legal counsel and confessions obtained through torture. (Reuters)

A court in Egypt sentences 75 people to death for participating in a pro-Morsi sit-in protest in a Cairo suburb in 2013. The breakup of that protest at Rabaa Square by Egyptian authorities resulted in over 600 deaths. Of the 739 defendants, Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie and 46 others are sentenced to life in prison, 374 receive 15-year jail terms, 22 are sentenced to 10 years and 215 people, including Mahmoud Abu Zeid (Shawkan), to five years in jail. (France 24)

 

Friday,  Sept 7, 2018

The presidents of Russia and Iran disagree with the Turkish president’s proposal for a ceasefire in Idlib after meeting in Tehran, because it would not include the Islamist militants those nations aim to defeat. (Reuters)

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis makes an unannounced visit to Afghanistan, to attempt to discuss peace with the Taliban, which has declined such talks with the Afghan government. (UPI)

Starbucks opens its first shop in Italy, in the city of Milan. The 25,000 square-foot Reserve Roastery creates 300 jobs. (Fortune via Yahoo!)

Energy specialists and executives say a power outage from the earthquake could have been lessened if Hokkaido Electric did not rely so exclusively on the Tomato-Atsuma coal plant. The company has restored electricity to just over half of its affected customers. (Reuters)

Protesters storm the Iranian consulate in Basra, in protest of corruption and misrule by Iraq’s political elite, damaging the consulate’s offices and shouting anti-Iranian slogans while others briefly take workers hostage at a nearby oilfield. (Reuters)

The End

09.04.2018

Argentina hikes interest rate to 60%, the highest in the world, as its currency plunges. (CNN)

 

Tuesday,  Sept 4, 2018

Senate begins Supreme Court hearings for Brett Kavanaugh The Senate Judiciary Committee begins confirmation hearings Tuesday for President Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. Democrats are expected to press Kavanaugh on his views on abortion rights, gun rights, executive powers, campaign finance laws, and regulation, all issues on which Kavanaugh has staked conservative or very conservative opinions, according to his available public record. Democrats are demanding more of Kavanaugh’s record from his time working in George W. Bush’s White House. They have seen only about 20 percent of Kavanaugh’s more than 3 million documents, and Trump has blocked the release of more than 100,000, claiming broad executive privilege. This will be the first confirmation hearings after Senate Republicans ended the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees, meaning Kavanaugh is likely to be confirmed. Source: NPR

New Yorker Festival ditches Bannon as headliner after uproar On Monday, Stephen Bannon was announced as one of the headliners at this year’s New Yorker Festival. A few hours later, he was disinvited, after a number of high-profile participants dropped out of the festival over his participation. New Yorker editor David Remnick told staff that “the reaction on social media was critical” but “some members of the staff, too, reached out to say that they objected to the invitation, particularly the forum of the festival.” Bannon, who was President Trump’s campaign chairman and White House chief strategist after heading up Breitbart and Cambridge Analytica, said “David Remnick showed he was gutless when confronted by the howling online mob.” Source: The New York Times

Nike taps Kaepernick for ‘Just Do It’ ad campaign Nike is making former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick one of the faces of its 30th anniversary “Just Do It” ad campaign. Kaepernick’s attorney, Mark Geragos, announced the news via Twitter on Monday, and Kaepernick posted a Nike ad featuring his face and wrote: “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt.” Kaepernick protested against police mistreatment of African Americans by kneeling during the national anthem. He is suing the National Football League, accusing owners of conspiring to keep him off the field. He is a civil rights hero to many, but critics responded to news of the Nike move with calls for a boycott. Some posted photos and videos showing them burning Nike shoes and other gear. Source:  Bloomberg

Monday,  Sept 3, 2018

 More than 40 people, including civilians, have died in clashes in the Libyan city of Tripoli. (BBC)

An explosion at a Rheinmetall munition depot near Cape Town, South Africa, kills at least eight people. (Al Jazeera)

Two Reuters journalists jailed in Myanmar are sentenced to seven years in prison for violating the Official Secrets Act, prompting international condemnation. The pair was investigating reports of mass graves at the village of Inn Din when they were arrested in Yangon for attempting to obtain classified documents, which they contend were used as bait to entrap them. (The Guardian)

Sunday, Sept 2, 2018

 A massive fire destroys most of the Paço de São Cristóvão, which houses the National Museum of Brazil, in Rio de Janeiro. The museum holds important archaelogical and anthropological objects, including the remains of the Luzia Woman, Marajoara vases and Egyptian mummies. (G1) (Reuters)

Tens of thousands of people attend the funeral of Alexander Zakharchenko. Yesterday, Sergei Lavrov said that the murder was a provocation and that it would derail the stalled Normandy format peace process. (Deutsche Welle)

Ireland protests in response to the Venezuelan government seizing a Smurfit Kappa production plant, with Dublin liaising through its Mexican embassy to secure its return and the release of imprisoned managers. (Financial Times)

 

Saturday,  Sept 1, 2018

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates say that the bombing of a school bus in Yemen by Saudi Arabian aircraft, which killed 51 people, was “unjustified”. (Al Jazeera)

Utair Flight 579 overruns the runway and catches fire while landing at Sochi International Airport, injuring 18 people. (BBC)

Colombia is preparing to declare an economic and social emergency in the region of La Guajira, which borders Venezuela. (La República)

 

Friday,  Aug 31, 2018

The leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko, is killed in a blast at a café in Donetsk. (BBC)

Two U.S. citizens are seriously wounded after a knife attack in Amsterdam Centraal station. The attacker was shot and wounded by the police. (The Telegraph)

The Coca-Cola Company agrees to buy British multinational coffeehouse Costa Coffee for £3.9 billion. (BBC)

Ahead of an expected U.S. announcement that it will cut all aid to the UNRWA, which supports more than 5 million registered Palestinian refugees, Germanycalls on European Union states to help bridge the expected US$217 million deficit. Yesterday, Jordan made a similar appeal to the Arab League. (Ynetnews)

The President of the unrecognized Republic of TransnistriaVadim Krasnoselsky, announces a visit to Moldovan President Igor Dodon for talks on 6 September. (TASS)

The European Union announces an aid package of €35 million ($40.6 million) for Venezuelans, both inside the country and for those displaced in neighbouring countries. (Yahoo News)

A court in Cambodia sentences Australian film director James Ricketson to six years in prison after he was found guilty of espionage for flying a drone at a Cambodia National Rescue Party rally. (Reuters)

The European Commission is proposing to end the practice of adjusting clocks by an hour in spring and autumn after a survey found most Europeans opposed it. The Commission proposal requires support from the 28 national governments and MEPs to become law. (BBC)

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales announces that he will not renew the mandate of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) and orders the immediate transfer of functions to the Public Ministry and the Ministry of the Interior. The mandate of the UN anti-corruption commission ends on September 3, 2019. (Reuters)

President Morales deploys the armed forces near the headquarters of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala. (ABC News)

The third impeachment against President Jimmy Morales for illicit electoral financing during his electoral campaign in 2015, is discussed in the Congress. It is the third impeachment that was requested by the Attorney General and the CICIG. (Insight Crime)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reaffirms his support for the Trans Mountain expansion project after the Federal Court of Appeal rules suspension of the project. (Cheknews) (CBC CA)

 

Thursday, Aug 30,  2018

Wonga, the largest payday lender in the United Kingdom, collapses into administration. (BBC)

The petro, a Venezuelan government-backed cryptocurrency, has not been trading and is not publicly accessible, despite government claims that it has sold $3.3 billion worth of units and the fact that it is linked to the nation’s physical currency and wages. (Reuters)

European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström proposes to reduce all European Union import tariffs, also on automobiles, to zero if the United States reciprocates. President of the United States Donald Trump threatens to quit the World Trade Organization. (Le Soir)

Protesters against Mayor of London Sadiq Khan plan to fly a balloon of him in which he is wearing a yellow bikini over Parliament Square, London on 1 September in the same spot where the Donald Trump baby balloon was flown on 13 July. (Chicago Suntimes) (Inquistr)

A Canadian court overturns Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to expand the Trans Mountain Pipeline. (The Guardian)

The Japanese space agency announces their schedule for the exploration of 162173 Ryugu by their Hayabusa 2 probe. (BBC)

https://www.barstoolsports.com/boston/large-from-the-og-blog-takeareport-com-joins-barstool-radio

https://www.businessinsider.com/nike-advert-with-colin-kaepernick-has-people-burning-products-2018-9

The End Tuesday

Cars

A 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO is sold for $48.4 million at an auction in California, making it the most expensive car ever sold through auction. (Bloomberg)

 

Two weeks after Elon Musk expressed his intentions of making Tesla, Inc. private, he and the company’s board announce that the company will remain publicly listed. (NPR)

The world’s first autonomous taxi service begins operating in Tokyo, Japan. The pilot project will run until September 8, with full commercial operations expected to start in 2020, when the city hosts the 2020 Summer Olympics. (The Guardian) (Reuters)

 

Tuesday,  Aug 28, 2018

CDC: STD diagnoses reach record high in U.S. Cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis reached a record high in 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday, with 2.3 million diagnosed cases. The rapid rise may be in part due to a decrease in condom use and mutating strains of infections that resist antibiotics. “We have seen steep and sustained increases over the last five years,” said Gail Bolan, director of the CDC’s Division of STD Prevention. “Usually there are ebbs and flows, but this sustained increase is very concerning.” Gonorrhea diagnoses increased 67 percent between 2013 and 2017, while syphilis diagnoses increased 76 percent. The rate of chlamydia, the STD most often reported to the CDC, has remained fairly steady, but the prevalence of all three diseases broke previous 2016 records. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NBC News

Two titanium plaques, etched with artworks, that will be part of the outside of the CHEOPS exoplanet-characterizing satellite while it orbits around Earth are unveiled. (Phys.org)

Health officials state that the Iraq city of Basra has recorded 17,000 infection cases due to water contamination. A cholera outbreak as salinity rates continue to increase in the water unprocessed. (Iraqi News)

A new study confirmed that 2,975 people died in Puerto Rico due to the hurricane, bringing the death toll to a total of 3,057. (ABC News)

The Parliament of Iran questions President Hassan Rouhani on weak economic growth, banking restrictions and rising prices. It is not satisfied by four of his five answers and refers the case to the judiciary. He chiefly blames United States sanctions, and vows the plot will not succeed. (Reuters) (Tehran Times}

For the first time, scientists observe the Higgs Boson decay into bottom quarks. This supports a prediction in the Standard Model of particle physics. (PhysOrg)

 

Monday,  Aug 27, 2018

Forensic anthropologists from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, report that more than 90 sets of human remains have been discovered near the town of Mannar. The mass grave is situated in an area that saw heavy fighting during the country’s civil war. (BBC)

Violent protests break out across Germany after a stabbing attack the day before. Several instances of racial violence are reported, and riot police are attacked. (Deutsche Welle)

Home Secretary Sajid Javid describes Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn as “one of the biggest threat’s [sic] to our national security”. (Talk Radio UK)

U.S., Mexico reach new trade agreement Trade negotiators from the U.S. and Mexico struck a deal Monday that will revise major aspects of the North American Free Trade Agreement. President Trump has called NAFTA “disaster” for American workers. The new deal will be called the U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement, eliminating the NAFTA name, Trump told reporters. The preliminary agreement reportedly focuses on the rules for automobile trade and manufacturing, as Trump has sought to keep car manufacturers in the U.S. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto reportedly expressed regret that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had been excluded from recent talks, but Canada has said it is interested in re-entering negotiations.Source: The New York Times, VOA News

U.N. report urges Rohingya ‘genocide’ charges for Myanmar military leaders On Monday, a team of investigators from the United Nations-backed Human Rights Council released a scathing report on Myanmar’s military campaign against the Rohingya Muslim minority, recommending that the nation’s military rulers be prosecuted for genocide. The list of six named leaders includes Myanmar’s commander in chief, Min Aung Hlaing. The report said it found evidence the military gang-raped women, killed and enslaved children, and torched entire villages. A “conservative” estimate is that 10,000 people were killed in the military purge, the investigators said, and some 700,000 Rohingya have fled. “The crimes in Rakhine state, and the manner in which they were perpetrated, are similar in nature, gravity, and scope to those that have allowed genocidal intent to be established in other contexts,” the report said. Source: BBC News, The Associated Press

 

Sunday, Aug 26, 2018

After returning from his visit, the Pope says that, when parents discover their child is homosexual, they should not judge or condemn them. However, he also remarks that “many things can be done by psychiatry”.  (The Washington Post)

Afghan authorities say that, in a joint ground and air operation on Saturday night, Afghan and foreign forces killed the head of ISIL/K, along with ten other members of the militant group. (Reuters)

Emmerson Mnangagwa is sworn in as the President of Zimbabwe, after an assassination attempt two months earlier. (Al Jazeera)

Colombia holds its first referendum since amending its constitution in 1991 and fails to pass anti-corruption measures due to low voter turnout. (The Washington Post)

Iran’s finance minister Masoud Karbasian is sacked after an impeachment attempt by parliament. This is the second impeachment this month, after Ali Rabiei’s on 8 August. (Telegraph)

 

 Saturday,  Aug 25, 2018

A hotel fire in Harbin, China, kills 19 people and injures 23 others. The fire broke out at the four-story Beilong Hot Spring Hotel in Harbin’s Sun Island recreation area. (Xinhua)

The collapse of three buildings in Mashhad, Iran, kills ten people and injures nine others. (Mehr News Agency)

A bus falls into the Iskar Gorge near Svoge, Bulgaria, leaving 17 people dead and 17 injured. (BGNES)

Thirteen sick people are taken off the stranded Diciotti vessel in Catania, Italy. Albania offers to take in 20 migrants. (Reuters)

Presidential candidate John McCain (R–AZ) dies at the age of 81. (The New York Times)

 

 Friday,  Aug 24, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump asks his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to cancel a planned trip to North Korea, citing the country’s insufficient progress in denuclearizing the Korean peninsula. (CNBC)

The United States Department of State redirects more than $200 million in aid for the Palestinian National Authority to “high priority projects elsewhere”. The Palestine Liberation Organization denounces the “use of cheap blackmail as a political tool”. (Fox News)

The Spanish government passes a decree which amends the Historical Memory Law to allow the government to exhume Francisco Franco’s remains from the Valle de los Caídos. (The Independent)

Treasurer Scott Morrison wins the second leadership spill, 45 votes to 40 against Peter Dutton, and becomes Prime Minister. (ABC)

The electoral commission publishes the list of approved candidates. Jean-Pierre Bemba and two former prime ministers are excluded. (Reuters via Business Insider)

A United States court case gains new evidence and a guilty plea in relation to investigations of corruption and money laundering in Venezuela, adding a group who are suspected to be relatives of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro to the list of suspected accomplices. (Business Insider)

The End 

08.20.2018

Animal rights groups hold protests against dog meat consumption in Seoul. (UPI)

The Mexican government announces that they are offering up to MXN$30 million (equivalent to US$1.56 million) for anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest of Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes (alias “El Mencho”), the suspected leader of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel and one of Mexico’s most-wanted. (El Universal)

Constellation Brands, the owner of Corona Beer, announces plans to invest in Canadian marijuana producer Canopy Growth. (BBC)

Archeologists from the Cairo University and the University of Catania report the discovery of one of the oldest known examples of cheese. Discovered at a tomb in the Saqqara necropolis, it is the first known evidence of ancient Egyptian cheese production. (BBC)

Vice President Leni Robredo protests President Rodrigo Duterte’s remark that her hometown Naga City is a “hotbed of shabu.” (CNN Philippines) (Rappler)

 

Monday,  Aug 20, 2018

Report: Michael Cohen investigated for bank fraud with $20 million loans Federal investigators are looking into whether Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, committed bank and tax fraud when securing more than $20 million in loans and if he violated campaign finance laws when arranging financial deals with women who said they had affairs with Trump, several people familiar with the matter told The New York Times. Two people said the probe is in its end stages, and prosecutors are mulling filing charges by the end of August. Investigators are trying to figure out if Cohen misrepresented the value of his assets in order to obtain loans from two banks for his taxi business, and if he failed to report income from that same business to the IRS, the Times reports. Source: The New York Times

Trump rages against Russia investigation in morning tweets President Trump on Monday launched into a tirade against Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the investigation he is leading into whether the Trump campaign was involved with Russian election interference. He claimed without evidence that Mueller has been “disgraced and discredited,” writing on Twitter that the probe is “looking for trouble” while ignoring corruption within the Democratic Party. “They are enjoying ruining people’s lives,” Trump tweeted, additionally claiming that collusion is a “phony crime” and obstruction of justice is an unfair way of punishing Trump when he “fights back.” Mueller’s investigation has so far filed charges against five Americans, 26 Russians, and one Dutch citizen, along with three Russian businesses. Source: Donald J. Trump

Trump’s team knows little of what White House Counsel McGahn told Mueller President Trump’s lawyers basically have no idea what White House Counsel Don McGahn shared with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team during 30 hours of interviews, people close to Trump told The New York Times on Sunday. McGahn’s lawyer only gave them a sliver of what he told investigators, two people told the Times, and now Trump’s advisers are worried McGahn gave a lot of information that will end up in Mueller’s ultimate report. On Sunday, Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani admitted he didn’t know much about what McGahn had told Mueller’s team, and Trump went on a Twitter tirade, claiming he “allowed” McGahn to speak to investigators because he has “nothing to hide.” Source: The New York Times, The Week

Officials report that the Ferguson Fire in California is fully contained. (BBC)

Shots are fired at the US Embassy in Turkey from a car amid tensions. (ABC News)

 

Sunday, Aug 19, 2018

Italy Interior Minister Matteo Salvini threatens to return 177 migrants who have been aboard an Italian coast guard ship for days to Libya. (Time)

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani calls for a conditional cease-fire with Taliban insurgents for the duration of the Eid al-Adha holiday. (Fox News) (Al Jazeera)

 

Saturday,  Aug 18, 2018

Russian president Vladimir Putin attends the wedding of Austrian foreign minister Karin Kneissl (FPÖ) and businessman Wolfgang Malinger. (BBC)

Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to visit Pyongyang to attend the celebration of the 70th anniversary of North Korea’s founding. (Reuters)

A school official in Bicol Central Academy, a school in Libmanan, Camarines Sur, Philippines burned students’ bags and other personal belongings as a punishment for students who violated the no-bag policy set for the school’s event during that time. It was met with huge outrage from the netizens. (Rappler)

Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko reshuffles his government in the wake of a corruption scandal. Andrei Kobyakov is replaced by Sergei Rumas as Prime Minister of Belarus. (The Guardian)

The opening ceremony of the Asian Games takes place. (NDTV Sports)

 

 Friday,  Aug 17, 2018

A high court in İzmir, Turkey, rejects an appeal to release U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson. (USA Today)

Around 20,000 Palestinians protest near the Israel–Gaza barrier. Medical sources say that Israel Defense Forces killed two people and wounded at least 270 others, 50 of them with live bullets. (Reuters)

The U.S. Department of State announces that it will redirect approximately US$230 million in stabilization funds for Syria to “other key foreign policy priorities.” Career Ambassador James Jeffrey is appointed as “special representative for Syrian engagement”. (AP via Chron)

Imran Khan, the chairman of the Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, is elected as the Prime Minister of Pakistan. (Al Jazeera)

 

Thursday, Aug 16,  2018

In coordinated editorials defending press freedom, hundreds of U.S. newspapers rebuke President Donald Trump’s repeated accusations that the news media reports “fake news” and that journalists are “enemies of the people”. (RTÉ News)

Analysis shows that a rare fire tornado that barreled into the city of Redding on July 26 during the Carr Fire was responsible for the death of a firefighter as he raced towards a neighborhood in flames. (Los Angeles Times)

The government of DR Congo issues an international arrest warrant for opposition leader Moïse Katumbi, who was hoping to take part in the upcoming December 2018 Congolese general election. (Zambia Reports)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dismisses speculation that he would call an early election this fall and states that his government remains focused on renegotiating NAFTA and strengthening the economy. (Reuters)

The Texas Rangers pull off a triple play against the Los Angeles Angels without retiring the batter, the first such triple play in MLB since 1912. (HuffPost)

The End

dr. consulta

The Turkish Lira Collapse… And Why Divine Intervention Will Not Be Forthcoming Aug. 14, 2018

After years of rampant dollar borrowing, running large current account deficits (due to the lack of domestic oil production), as well as an autocratic President who thinks that high interest rates produce inflation and meddles in the economy in ways that are guaranteed to backfire (as they are doing at the moment), the lira is now in freefall…

…It looks like Erdogan is digging in his heels as to the Trump administration confrontation while not being proactive as to the Turkish lira crisis. This means the whole mess is spilling into the other emerging markets – and that’s even before the major confrontation with China kicks in around September 5, after most Chinese tariff packages begin to go into effect.

I really need to know. How the FUCK does USAToday and MSN figure this qualifies as news. Seriously?

Alien abduction: 45 years after alleged UFO encounter, Mississippi man breaks his silence

Then the situation became more surreal. Parker said three legless creatures floated from the craft. One had no neck with gray wrinkled skin. Another had a neck and appeared more feminine. Parker described their hands as being shaped like mittens or crab claws.

When one of the creatures put one of its claws around his arm, Parker said he was terrified, but then another feeling came over his body.

“I think they injected us with something to calm us down,” Parker said. “I was kind of numb and went along with the program.”

 

Tuesday,  Aug 14, 2018

Trump calls Omarosa ‘crazed, crying lowlife’ and a ‘dog’ in morning tweet On Tuesday morning, President Trump tweeted about his former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman: “When you give a crazed, crying lowlife a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn’t work out. Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!” It’s unclear what prompted the outburst, but 12 minutes before he tweeted, CBS This Morning posted a new recording from Manigault Newman that purports to lend credence to her claim that the president was recorded saying the N-word. “CBS has not been able to verify the authenticity of the tape, but it does appear to confirm Omarosa’s claims that Trump campaign officials were aware of this tape,” CBS said, “and they talked about how to handle it.” Source: CBS News, Twitter

Trump signs defense bill named for John McCain, doesn’t mention McCain On Monday, President Trump signed a $716 billion defense policy bill named in honor of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), but didn’t once mention McCain during his remarks. McCain is battling an aggressive form of brain cancer, and has been resting at his home in Arizona. The bill’s formal title is the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act, but during his speech at Fort Drum in New York, Trump only called it the National Defense Authorization Act. The bill authorizes funding for military construction and advanced technology. Trump and McCain do not have a good relationship, with Trump having scoffed at McCain’s military service and taking it personally when McCain voted against a repeal of the Affordable Care Act last year. Source: The Week

The Ponte Morandi viaduct collapses on the A10 motorway in Genoa, Italy. 22 people have been reported dead, including a child, and dozens of others are seriously injured. (TGCom)

 

US investors are pouring hundreds of millions into a healthcare company that doesn’t take insurance and lists its prices like a ‘McDonald’s menu’
(article is behind paywall)

Using tech and $100M, Dr Consulta transforms healthcare for the poorest
Jun 19, 2018

 

Monday,  Aug 13, 2018

Asian stock prices sink as Turkey’s financial turmoil fuels fears contagion might spread to other emerging markets. (Market Watch)

More than 100 Afghan soldiers and police, 13 civilians and hundreds of Taliban are killed during the ongoing offensive in Ghazni. (BBC)

The Taliban captures Camp Chenaya, an Afghan Army base in Ghormach District, Faryab Province. (Voice of America)

At least 40 people are killed by paramilitary forces in eastern Ethiopia, in the latest spate of violence driven by ethnic divisions. (Voa News)

North Korea and South Korea officials begin high-level negotiations, with reports suggesting that Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in could be planning for a summit in Pyongyang later this month. (Reuters)

The lawyer of Peter Strzok, a former agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) who was removed from Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation, announces that his client has been fired by the FBI. (The Washington Post via MSN)

Sunday, Aug 12, 2018

A report by the SOHR says that the explosion of an arms depot in Sarmada, Idlib Governorate, Syria, kills at least 69 people, including 17 children. The cause of the blast is “not yet clear”. Most of the victims were reportedly family members of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham militants. (Reuters)

After more than 20 years of negotiations, the five countries bordering the Caspian Sea sign an agreement in Aktau, Kazakhstan, on its shared use and the distribution of its resources. The convention legally defines the body of water as a sea rather than a lake, but with special provisions. (Deutsche Welle)

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa meets with President Joseph Kabila of DR Congo in Kinshasa, praising him for his “respect for the constitution” by agreeing to step down and not take part in the upcoming December 2018 Congolese general election. (The South African)

Around twenty white nationalists hold a protest march in Washington, D.C. on the first anniversary of the Unite the Right rally, with thousands of counter-protesters. (AP via CBC News)

NASA launches the Parker Solar Probe, an unpiloted spacecraft designed to study the sun. (BBC)

Saturday,  Aug 11, 2018

Fighting continues around the city of Ghazni. (Reuters)

A delegation of the Taliban political office in Doha, Qatar, has visited Uzbekistan from 7 to 10 August and met with officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Both parties “exchanged views of prospects of the peace process in Afghanistan”. (The Hindu) (Uzbekistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

According to the Russian LGBT Network campaign group, a 16-year-old person becomes the first minor to be prosecuted under the Russian gay propaganda law. (The Independent)

 

Friday,  Aug 10, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump authorizes the doubling of Section 232 tariffs on imports of aluminium and steel from Turkey, to 20% and 50% respectively. The Turkish lira further falls to a new record low against the U.S. dollar and Turkish stocks tumble. (CNBC)

Turkish lira plummets as Trump doubles tariffs The Turkish lira plunged more than 16 percent on Friday, while tensions simultaneously escalated between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Trump, The Wall Street Journal reported. Investors were already worried about Turkey’s fragile economy and its future financial health, with the lira down 23 percent against the U.S. dollar in the past week. Erdogan seemingly added fuel to the fire when he made a defiant speech on Friday, saying “Turkey won’t surrender to economic hitmen” and blaming an “interest rate plot” that amounted to “a military coup attempt.” Trump did not take warmly to Erdogan’s declaration of “economic war,” announcing on Twitter that he would double tariffs on steel and aluminum. “Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time,” Trump wrote. Source: The Wall Street Journal, CNN Money

A large-scale military offensive is launched by the Taliban in a bid to overrun the southeastern city of Ghazni, a provincial capital on the Kabul–Kandahar Highway. They manage to take control of a part of the city. (The New York Times)

Colombia announces its withdrawal from the Union of South American Nations after having suspended its membership in the organization since April 2018. (CNN)

California awards $289 million to a man who claims that his terminal cancer was caused by Monsanto’s glyphosate-containing weed killer. (BBC)

An airport mechanic steals a Horizon Air Bombardier Q400 from Seattle–Tacoma International Airport in the United States, eventually crashing the plane. (CBS News)

452 people are injured in clashes between protesters and police during an anti-government meeting in Bucharest, Romania. (Știrile Pro TV)

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/broadcom-co-founder-henry-nicholas-arrested-in-las-vegas-on-suspicion-of-drug-trafficking/ar-BBLIYlw?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=mailsignout

https://newrepublic.com/article/150355/moviepass-played-silicon-valleys-insane-rules?utm_source=TNR+Newsletters&utm_campaign=f86c7cbdc5-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_02_02_51&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_50cc843886-f86c7cbdc5-63877145

Vice President Mike Pence unveils White House plan for a ‘Space Force’ Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday explained the Trump administration’s plan to create a sixth branch of the military dedicated to establishing dominance in space. In June, President Trump ordered the Pentagon to establish a “Space Force,” calling it “so important” and explaining that it would take over space-related duties from the Air Force. Pence offered details about the new agency Thursday, describing the Space Force as a way to “meet the emerging threats on this new battlefield” with dedicated space technology experts and defense systems. The White House wants to get the new department off the ground by 2020, The Washington Post reports, but it will likely face opposition from Congress. Source: The Washington Post

North Korea and South Korea plan to hold high-level talks on Monday to prepare for a third summit between Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un. Pyongyang also calls for the United States to reciprocate its “goodwill measures” by easing sanctions and stopping demands that the North denuclearize first. (Washington Post)

 

 Thursday, Aug 09,  2018

Over 180 rockets and mortars are launched toward Israel by Hamas militants. In retaliation, IDF launches an air assault on 150 targets in Gaza.(CNN)

Germany lifts a blanket ban on Nazi symbolism in video games, including the swastika. (Deutsche Welle)

Puerto Rico raises its official death toll from Hurricane Maria from 64 to 1,427. (The Kansas City Star)

Ecuador declares a state of emergency over increases in migrant entry from Venezuela. (Al Jazeera)

The Venezuelan Constituent National Assembly revokes the immunity of opposition politicians Julio Borges and Juan Requesens after claiming that they were involved in an assassination plot on President Nicolás Maduro. (Al Jazeera)

At least 43 people, mostly children, are killed in an airstrike on a bus at a market in Dahyan, Sa’da, by the Saudi-led coalition, while more than 60 are injured. The coalition calls the strike a “legitimate military action” against the Houthis, accusing them of using children as human shields. (The Guardian)

At least 40 bodies of Afghan National Army soldiers are found in a military base in Urozgan that Taliban forces stormed last week. (Reuters via Euronews)

Italian police seize 20 tonnes of hashish in a Panama-flagged, Montenegrin-crewed “research and survey” vessel’s fuel tanks. (Deutsche Welle)

Indonesian President Joko Widodo chooses the Islamic cleric Ma’ruf Amin as his running mate in the upcoming presidential election. (Reuters)

The End

 

08.06.2018

Hundred-Dollar Bills Make Me Nervous
by Joe Bob Briggs
August 02, 2018

Yes, he’s reading Bright Lights, Big City. (Actually, he’s listening to the audiotape while

riding to work in the back of a Town Car.) No, he doesn’t understand that he’s a cliché and, more important for the rest of us, he doesn’t understand that he’s an economic indicator that won’t show up on any of today’s analyst reports.

If we had an app that tracked the movements of these guys, all our smartphones would be flashing “DOUCHE ALERT, DOUCHE ALERT” and we would be preparing to take all our money out of Facebook and put it in German treasury bills.

The last time these guys were spotted: 2007. What does that tell you?

 

Monday,  Aug 6, 2018

Trump reimposes Iran sanctions, slams ‘horrible’ nuclear deal

In a Monday executive order, President Trump followed through with plans to reinstate sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the nuclear deal. The 2015 agreement, made between the U.S., Iran, and other world superpowers, limited Iran’s ability to create nuclear weapons in exchange for relief from harsh economic sanctions. Trump withdrew the U.S. from the deal in May. His Monday order slammed the “horrible” deal as “defective at its core,” and it announced that his administration would reimpose sanctions on precious metals and Iran’s automotive sector, among other targets. The EU, France, Germany, and the U.K. jointly derided Trump’s decision in a Monday statement, saying Europe will intensify its efforts to preserve the deal. Source: The Associated Press, ABC News

The United States is set to reimpose sanctions on Iran after pulling out of a nuclear deal three months ago. (Reuters)

 

Sunday, Aug 5, 2018

Syrian media reports that ISIL has executed one of a number of Druze hostages taken from Syria’s government-held city of As-Suwayda in an attack last week. (Haaretz)

A 7.0 magnitude earthquake strikes Lombok, Indonesia. A tsunami warning is issued. At least 98 people are killed and more than 200 are injured. (BBC)

Police in Switzerland say that all 20 occupants of a World War II-era Junkers Ju 52 plane that crashed yesterday on the flanks of the Piz Segnas mountain are dead. (Whig)

Police in New Mexico rescue 11 malnourished children being kept in squalid conditions in a remote desert compound. (BBC)

Saudi Arabia withdraws its Ambassador from Canada, and orders the Canadian counterpart to leave the country in 24 hours, after Canada calls for the release of activists who are in detention in the Middle East nation. (CBC News)

A Taliban suicide bomber kills three Czech soldiers on a routine patrol in Charikar, Afghanistan. A U.S. soldier and two Afghan troops are also injured in the bombing. (BBC)

 

 Saturday,  Aug 4, 2018

England’s Local Government Association reports that approximately two-thirds of plastic objects which reach recycling facilities cannot be recycled, due to the mix of polymers used by producers. (BBC)

Venezuelan authorities detain six people involved in the assassination attempt of Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro. (The Hill)

Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro survives what he calls an assassination attempt involving explosive drones while speaking at a military event in Caracas. Eight people are injured. (BBC)

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro blames an assassination attempt on Colombia and Venezuelan exiles in the U.S. state of Florida. (The Guardian)

A report commissioned by the United Nations Security Council concludes that North Korea has not stopped its nuclear program and that it attempted to sell military supplies to Libya, Sudan and Yemen. (BBC)

Ri Yong-ho, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Korea, says that his country will not start denuclearizing unless the United States takes reciprocal actions. (The New York Times)

Los Angeles Raiders cornerback Daryl Worley is sentenced to three days in jail and two years of probation in June after pleading guilty to firearms and resisting arrest charges stemming from an incident in April. (NFL) (ABC News)

 

Friday,  Aug 3, 2018

The Space Needle in Seattle unveils the world’s first revolving glass floor. (CNN)

Chile becomes the first Latin American country to ban the commercial use of single-use plastic bags. (Sky News)

A suicide bomb attack at a Shi’ite mosque in Gardez, Afghanistan, kills at least 29 people and wounds at least 40 others. There is no immediate claim for the attack. (Reuters) (The Express Tribune)

Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston report the first successful transplant of a bio-engineered lung. The lung, taken from a donor pig, was reduced to a protein scaffold, and replaced with the subject pig’s own cells over the course of a month. (BBC)

North Korea warns that the heat wave affecting the Korean peninsula could damage important food crops and lead to shortages. (BBC)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo states in an interview that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will ultimately set the timeline for denuclearization. (CBS News)

The United States imposes sanctions on a Russian bank that facilitated a transaction for a North Korean on an American blacklist. (Reuters)

The wife of a former US Marine and Iraq War veteran whose family publicly pleaded for President Donald Trump to intervene is deported to Mexico. (NBC News)

Greek Civil Protection Minister Nikos Toskas resigns after a wildfire that killed 88 people and led to wide criticism of the government for its handling of the disaster. (Reuters)

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory releases a report officially disclosing a meteor explosion of roughly 2.1 kilotons of force near Thule Air Base in northwest Greenland on July 25. The United States Air Force confirms the explosion, adding that it did not impact operations at Thule Air Base. (The Independent)

The End

 

Kill Yourself in July

 

This is what first-class looks like on a double-decker Airbus A380

 

Moon-Strzok No More, Lisa Page Spills the Beans

 

Probiotics: Here, Drink Some Gut Slime
by Joe Bob Briggs

 

The Disco Triplets
by Steve Sailer

 

 

Thursday, Jul 26,  2018

GOP lawmakers introduce articles of impeachment against Rosenstein On Wednesday, conservative Republican lawmakers, led by Reps. Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Jim Jordan of Ohio, introduced a resolution calling for the impeachment of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. On Twitter, Meadows accused the Department of Justice of hiding information from Congress and “defying multiple congressional subpoenas. We have had enough.” Congressional allies of President Trump have claimed Rosenstein is keeping documents from lawmakers and not being transparent about his handling of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. There will not be a vote on this before the House leaves for a five-week recess on Thursday. Source: The Washington Post

Facebook shares plummet after warning about costly privacy fixes Facebook stock plunged by as much as 24 percent in after-hours trading on Wednesday, due to alarm over the social media giant’s quarterly report. The company has faced stiff criticism over the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, and executives warned that its revenue growth would slow and its expenses would rise. The company had said it would face higher costs as it addressed concerns over the handling of user data. Total expenses jumped to $7.4 billion, a 50 percent increase over a year earlier. The diving share price reduced Facebook’s market capitalization by about $150 billion in less than two hours. Source: Reuters

A bomb explodes outside the US Embassy in China, wounding the lone assailant.(Reuters)

The six remaining Aum Shinrikyo cult members who were perpetrators of the Tokyo subway sarin attack and on death row are executed. (JapanToday)

 

Wednesday,  Jul 25,  2018

Coordinated suicide bombings and shootings carried out by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in As-Suwayda, Syria, kill 215 people and injure more than 200 others. (Reuters)

More Below The Fold

Continue reading “Kill Yourself in July”

Demented

Monday,  Jul 23, 2018

On Twitter, Trump warns Iran to ‘NEVER, EVER’ threaten the U.S. again President Trump on Sunday night sent a tweet warning Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to “NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN.” Iranian state media dismissed the tweet Monday as a “passive reaction” to Rouhani’s declaration that “peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars.” Rouhani told a local newspaper that Trump had better not “play with the lion’s tail,” but political analysts said the war of words doesn’t signal a real desire to escalate conflict. Trump, writing that Iran would suffer untold consequences if it continued to threaten the U.S., said “WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!” Source: Twitter, Talking Points Memo

Sunday, Jul 22, 2018

At least 14 killed in Kabul suicide bombing A suicide bombing near Kabul’s international airport left at least 14 dead and 40 injured on Sunday. Police said the blast happened near an airport entrance where supporters of exiled Afghan Vice President Rashid Dostum were waiting to see him drive by in his motorcade. Dostum was back in Afghanistan after more than a year in Turkey, and was in an armored vehicle when the bombing took place; he was not hurt. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the bombing. Dostum has been accused of human rights abuses stretching back to 2001, and last year, his guards allegedly seized political rival Ahmed Eshchi and tortured him; Dostum denies the allegations. Source: Al Jazeera, (The Wall Street Journal)

A suspected U.S. drone strike kills four alleged al-Qaeda militants in Ma’rib. (AP)

Arsenal and German professional footballer Mesut Ozil announces his retirement from international football, citing racism and disrespect.(“The Guardian”)

 

Saturday,  Jul 21, 2018

PJAK militants blow up an ammunition dump and kill eleven Iranian border guards stationed at an Iran–Iraq border post in Marivan County. Several militants are killed in return. (Reuters)

Israel Defense Forces extract 98 White Helmets and 324 others from recently recaptured southwestern Syrian territory into Jordan, at the request of Canadaand the United States. Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany offer to rehome some of them. Two other groups intended for rescue, comprising about 800 people, do not escape. (CBC)

A gunman is arrested for one count of murder after killing a woman then taking dozens of people hostage at a Trader Joe’s in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, California. (CBS News)

Pablo Casado is elected leader of Spain’s centre-right People’s Party after defeating former Deputy Prime Minister of Spain Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría in a run-off. (BBC)

 

 Friday,  Jul 20, 2018

The Israel Defense Forces engage in a gunfight with Hamas’ military wing after an Israeli soldier is killed by a Palestinian sniper; four Hamas members are killed. Israel responds to the incident with strikes on Hamas targets across Gaza. (BBC)

Three rockets are fired at Israeli communities from Gaza. Two of them are intercepted by the Iron Dome. (CNN)

James Gunn is fired as the director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 after the emergence of old tweets where he joked about subjects like pedophilia and rape. (Time)

Former South Korean President Park Geun-hye is sentenced to an additional eight years for abusing state funds and violating election laws. (CBC)

Hackers steal the personal data of 1.5 million Singaporeans through the national public health care system. Officials say Prime Minister Hsien Loong Lee’s data is the target of the breach. (Channel NewsAsia)

Microsoft reports that at least three United States congressional candidates have been targeted by hackers in the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections. (BBC)

Outside President Hassan Rouhani’s office in Tehran, a group of Iranian girls severely burned in a 2012 school fire protest unequal diyah by the government toward their medical bills, which some say is an inalienable right. Their lawyer says Iran’s policy of paying half diyah to women is “unfair and discriminatory”. (PayvAnd)

The End

Global Warming

Friday,  Jul 20, 2018

Iran will sign a cooperation treaty with Southeast Asia at an upcoming meeting that will also be attended by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean officials. (Bloomberg)

Former South Korean President Park Geun-hye is sentenced to an additional eight years for abusing state funds and violating election laws. (CBC CA)

Thursday, Jul 19,  2018

Iran states that it intends to manufacture and upgrade up to 800 tanks. (Business Insider)

The Israeli Parliament passes a Basic Law declaring that the Land of Israel is the historical homeland of the Jewish people and that the right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people. (NPR)

Protests that began last week in Iraq continue amid widespread anger over poor public services, high unemployment, and pollution. (CNBC)

14 civilians are killed in an air strike near Kunduz. (Reuters)

A 5.7 magnitude earthquake is felt in Mexico City as buildings shake mildly and some residents evacuate homes and office buildings. (NASDAQ)

At least 11 people are killed and an unknown number of others missing after a duck boat carrying 31 people capsizes and sinks on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, USA. (News 5 Cleveland)

 

Archeologists in Jordan find baked flatbread dating to 12,500 BC, making it the oldest surviving bread ever discovered, surpassing a Turkish loaf which was estimated to be 9,100 years old. The bread was found in a stone oven which was apparently built during the formative years of the Natufian culture. The bread is also notable for predating the Neolithic Revolution by 4,000 years. (Reuters)

Report: Trump saw evidence in January 2017 of Putin ordering election hack During a meeting in Trump Tower on Jan. 6, 2017, Donald Trump, just weeks from being inaugurated as president of the United States, was shown highly classified intelligence that indicated Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered cyberattacks to influence the 2016 U.S. election, The New York Timesreports. Trump was briefed by former CIA Director John Brennan; former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper; and Adm. Michael Rogers, former director of the National Security Agency, with the evidence including texts and emails from Russian military officers and information from a source close to Putin who covertly told the CIA how Russia executed its disinformation and hacking campaign. Several people at the briefing told the Times Trump sounded “grudgingly convinced” of the plot. Source: The New York Times

Interior watchdog investigating Zinke’s role in land deal The Interior Department’s deputy inspector general notified House Democrats on Wednesday that its internal watchdog has launched an investigation into a real estate deal involving a foundation started by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in Montana and several developers, including Halliburton Chairman David Lesar. The probe will look into whether Zinke violated conflict of interest laws. The real estate deal involved his wife, Lola Zinke, signing an agreement allowing developers, including Lesar, to build a parking lot for a redevelopment project that could raise the value of land Zinke owned nearby, Politico reports. Critics say Zinke and his family shouldn’t be involved in any business deals with anyone connected to oil and gas, as Zinke is one of the chief regulators overseeing those industries. Source: Politico

 

Prime Day fuels record sales for Amazon and rivals Amazon’s Prime Day broke another sales record for the e-commerce giant this week, but it also helped lift sales for other massive retailers by 54 percent, according to an Adobe Analytics report. Target held a one-day sale on Tuesday to rival Prime Day, and said the day was its biggest online shopping day of 2018, in terms of both traffic and sales. Walmart attracted shoppers by offering free two-day shipping and cutting prices on Google Home devices, to compete with Amazon’s Prime Day discounts on its Echo devices. Smaller retailers with sales under $5 million didn’t fare so well, seeing an 18 percent decrease in online sales on Prime Day, Adobe said. Source: TechCrunch

 

Wednesday,  Jul 18,  2018

Iran starts work at a factory that can produce rotors for up to 60 centrifuges a day. (Reuters)

The evacuations of Shia towns Al-Fu’ah and Kafriya in the northern Idlib Governorate begin, as part of a deal between rebel forces and the Syrian government. (Al Jazeera)

A joint-team of South Korean, British, and Canadian explorers announce the discovery of the wreck of Russian cruiser Dmitrii Donskoi, off the coast of UlleungdoI sland. Dmitrii Donskoi was scuttled in 1905 during the Russo-Japanese War. (BBC)

The European Commission fines Google €4.34 billion for breaching EU antitrust regulations, claiming that Google abused the dominant position of Android to promote their search product.  (NPR)

International air travel resumes between Eritrea and Ethiopia for the first time since 1998. (France24)

Naa’imur Zakariyah Rahman, 20, is convicted of terror offences after attempting to kill guards, attack Theresa May, and blow himself up on Downing Street using fake explosives provided to him in a sting operation. (The Independent)

The leader of the banned British far-right designated terrorist group National Action, Christopher Lythgoe, is jailed for eight years for being a member. (Sky News)

The Supreme Court of California blocks Tim Draper’s proposition to break California into three states, stating that “significant questions have been raised regarding the proposition’s validity”. (NBC News)

Astronomers discover a giant gaseous planet orbiting a pair of brown dwarfs. (Sci News)

Environmental Protection Agency Acting Administrator Andrew R. Wheeler announces coal-burning power plants may dispose of fly ash in unlined ponds for another 18 months beyond a previously-set April 2019 deadline. Testing standards for hazardous elements in adjacent waters are also weakened, saving an estimated $28-31 million annually in regulatory costs. (NBC News)

 

 Tuesday,  Jul 17, 2018

The Israel Defense Forces are instructed to prepare for a large-scale military offensive in Gaza if demands for Hamas to halt the launches of flaming kites, incendiary devices and rocket attacks are not met by Friday. (The Times of Israel)

An ISIL suicide bomber killed 20 people in northern Afghanistan on Tuesday, including a Taliban commander. In southern Kandahar province, the Taliban attacked a police checkpoint in Arghistan district late on Monday night, killing nine policemen and wounding seven. 25 Taliban fighters were killed and 15 were wounded in the ensuing battle. (AP)

Iran files a lawsuit against the United States in the International Court of Justice alleging its decision in May to impose sanctions after pulling out of a nuclear deal violates the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations and Consular Rights between the two countries. (Reuters)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker hold a summit in Tokyo and sign a deal creating an open trade zone between their states. (NPR)

Russia and Tajikistan begin joint military exercises near the Afghan–Tajik border to deter potential Taliban attacks. (Yahoo)

About 250 protesters gather at the main entrance to Iraq’s giant Zubair oilfield. (Reuters)

Ten new moons are discovered around Jupiter, raising the count to 79 confirmed moons. One of these new moons, S/2016 J 2, nicknamed Valetudo, is notable for orbiting backwards compared to the other moons in its vicinity, and may collide with one of them in the future. (Science Magazine)

 

Monday,  Jul 16, 2018

United States President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Helsinki. (Huffington Post)

Trump reiterates his belief that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 US presidential election. (BBC)

The US government charges Maria Butina, a 29-year-old Russian woman with conspiracy to act as a Russian government agent while infiltrating political groups. (The Guardian)

Demonstrations across Iraq leave dozens of people dead and cause mass unrest.  (The Wall Street Journal)

23 passengers on a tour boat in Hawaii are injured after a lava bomb from the Kīlauea volcano punctures the roof of the vessel. (KABC-TV)

An intense heatwave kills at least 14 people in Japan. (Reuters)

Two vessels deliver 25 survivors and one Peruvian corpse from Spanish ship MV Dorneda to ports in Argentina and Patagonia. One crewman remains missing after the fishing trawler sank off Argentina. (The Journal du Cemron)

An explosion in a coal mine in Tkibuli, Georgia, kills four people and injures six others. (A.A.)

King Khoebaha Calvin Cornelius III declares independence from South Africa to form the “Sovereign State of Good Hope”, encompassing the states of Northern Cape, Western Cape, and the western parts of Eastern Cape. The state raised their own flag after taking down the South African flag. (The Citizen)

Iranian police arrest 46 people in fresh crackdowns on models and associated colleagues posting “immoral images” on Instagram. (Washington Post)

Finbar Charles, a 62-year-old citizen of Saint Lucia, pleads guilty to bribing US Army officers for military contracts during the Iraq War. (AL)

The End