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)

End

http://takimag.com/article/yes-women-can-lie/#axzz5Tjkz2FRy

http://takimag.com/article/the-era-of-emotional-kitsch/#axzz5Tjkz2FRy

http://takimag.com/article/hoaxing-the-pseudo-academic-nitwits/#axzz5Tjkz2FRy

“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.”

https://www.businessinsider.com/china-trade-surplus-with-us-swells-to-record-high-2018-10

https://www.businessinsider.com/boston-dynamics-atlas-robot-do-parkour-2018-10

expect comms blackout

 

How conspiracy theories spread from the Internet’s darkest corners
QAnon’s “researchers” have figured out how to shape national conversations.

 

Tuesday,  Oct 2, 2018

Iran fires six ballistic missiles from its own territory at ISIL targets near the Euphrates river valley in eastern Syria, in response to the Ahvaz military parade attack. (The Independent)

Trump touts new trade deal with Canada and Mexico President Trump on Monday announced a trade deal with Canada and Mexico, saying the updated agreement would ensure fair treatment for American workers and the manufacturing industry. The deal, called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is an update to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which Trump called the “worst trade deal ever made.” He said that dairy products will now be traded tariff-free with Canada, and that 40 percent of car manufacturing must now be done by “high-wage workers.” Trump asserted that it is a “privilege” for other countries to trade with the U.S., and that the USMCA will reflect that in requiring Canada and Mexico to “treat us fairly.” Source: White House

Kavanaugh reportedly asked friend to defend him before accusation was public Text messages obtained by NBC News suggest Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh spoke with at least one Yale classmate about Deborah Ramirez before The New Yorker published Ramirez’s accusation that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party freshman year. The texts are between Kerry Berchem and Karen Yarasavage, college friends of Kavanaugh and Ramirez. One of the messages from Yarasavage states that Kavanaugh asked her to go on the record refuting Ramirez’s allegation. During his Senate Judiciary Committee testimony last week, Kavanaugh said under oath the first time he heard of Ramirez’s accusation was when The New Yorker published her account on Sept. 23. Berchem says the FBI has not responded to her offer to hand over the texts. Source: NBC News

Amazon announces $15 minimum wage for all U.S. workers On Tuesday morning, Amazon announced that starting Nov. 1, it will pay all 350,000 of its U.S. employees no less than $15 an hour. The change will affect all full-time and temporary workers at its warehouses, in customer service, and at Whole Foods. “We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement. “We’re excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us.” The company said in exchange for the wage hike it will stop granting stock options to those workers. Bezos is the world’s wealthiest person. Source: ReCode

Physics Nobel Prize awarded for laser breakthroughs On Tuesday morning, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics to three scientists “for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics.” American Arthur Ashkin was awarded half of the Nobel for inventing “optical tweezers and their application to biological systems,” while Gérard Mourou of France and Canadian Donna Strickland were jointly awarded the other half “for their method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses.” Mourou and Strickland created a technique called chirped pulse amplication (CPA), paving the way “toward the shortest and most intense laser pulses created by humankind.” Source: Nobel Committee

At least 1347 people are now known to have died in the Indonesian earthquake and tsunami. (BBC)

 

Monday,  Oct 1, 2018

North Korea and South Korea begin removing landmines and other explosives from the Korean Demilitarized Zone. (CBS News)

Mauricio Vila Dosal takes office as Governor of the Mexican state of Yucatán. (Diario de Yucatán)

The discovery of a third Sednoid, 2015 TG387, is announced. The 200–600-kilometre (120–370 mi) wide asteroid never approaches less than 65 astronomical units from the Sun, more than twice Neptune’s distance. (Nature)

The End

 

 

Nice_White_Lady_https://youtu.be/ZVF-nirSq5s

“I believe shim”

Imaginary Monsters and the Uses of Chaos
Clusterfuck Nation

“I believe her” is the new totalitarian rallying cry, conveniently disposing of any obligation to establish the facts of any ambiguous matter.

[…]

The spirit of the kangaroo court has since graduated into business and politics where it has proven especially useful for settling scores and advancing careers and agendas dishonestly. Coercion has replaced persuasion. Coercion is at the heart of totalitarian politics. Do what you’re told, or else. Believe what we say, or else. (Or else lose your reputation, your livelihood, your friends….) This plays neatly into the dynamics of human mob psychology. When the totalitarians set up for business, few individuals dare to depart from the party line. It’s the perfect medium for cultivating mendacious ideologies.

[…]

For the moment, America has opted for a grand circus of sexual hysteria. It’s really an easy, lazy choice because sex is full of easily manipulated tensions and ambiguities prone to melodramatic misrepresentation.

 

Under the terms of a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Elon Musk and Tesla, Inc. agree to pay $20 million each to financial regulators, and Musk is expected to resign as chairman, but will remain as chief executive. (Market Watch) (HuffPost)

A USMC F-35 jet crashes in coastal South Carolina making this the first crash of the U.S. military’s newest and most expensively developed aircraft. (CBS News)

The government of Pakistan is “rethinking” its dependence on China for the loans it needs to complete its Peshawar to Karachi rail project. This is part of a broader pushback on the ambitions of China’s Belt and Road Initiative throughout the region. (Reuters) (SCMP)

 Monday,  Oct 1, 2018

U.S., Canada reach deal to update NAFTA, change its name The United States and Canada, with only hours to spare, reached a deal that keeps Canada part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the U.S. and Mexico. Negotiations lasted throughout the weekend, as the White House had imposed a deadline of midnight Sunday. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said the accord, which will be renamed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), will result in “freer markets, fairer trade, and robust economic growth in our region.” The agreement gives the United States more access to the Canadian dairy market and safeguards Canada should the Trump administration impose tariffs on automobiles. In August, the U.S. and Mexico reached a bilateral deal. Source: CBS News

Murky scope of FBI Kavanaugh probe leads to new partisan battle “FBI agents are experts at interviewing people,” former FBI Director James Comey said in a New York Times op-ed, and “unless limited in some way by the Trump administration, they can speak to scores of people in a few days” in their week-long investigation of sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. But there are contrasting indications of what parameters the White House has placed on the FBI’s reopened background check, and reports that FBI agents can interview only four people have drawn complaints from Democrats and demands for clarification. Trump tweeted he wants FBI agents “to interview whoever they deem appropriate, at their discretion,” but FBI agents reportedly can’t investigate widespread allegations from former Kavanaugh classmates that he lied under oath about his drinking and yearbook entries, among other topics. Source: NBC News, The New York Times

Sunday, Sept 30, 2018

At least 844 people are now known to have died in the Indonesian earthquake and tsunami. (CNN)

Thirty-one people in Iran die after drinking tainted homemade alcohol, and a further 173 are hospitalized. (Star Tribune)

A referendum is held in the Republic of Macedonia on whether to change the country’s name in order to join NATO and the EU. (Reuters)

More than 90% of votes are in favor of the change, however, the voter turnout is only 36%. Prime Minister Zoran Zaev vows to continue to push forward with the change despite the invalid result. (Reuters)

 

Saturday,  Sept 29, 2018

The FBI reaches out to Deborah Ramirez, the second woman to publicly accuse Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, as part of the investigations into allegations against Kavanaugh. (CBS News)

The New York Supreme Court allows a $45 million loan lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein to resume after pausing it for bankruptcy proceedings for the Weinstein Company to complete. (The Wrap)

A Mediterranean tropical-like cyclone (also known as a “Medicane”) strikes Greece near Kalamata, causing power outages and gale force winds near the capital Athens. In the storm’s formative stages, heavy rains killed four people in Tunisia. (Weather Underground)(The Weather Channel)

 

 

Friday,  Sept 28, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump orders an FBI investigation into the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. (The New York Times)

Six Palestinians, including a 12-year-old, are killed by IDF fire in Gaza border clashes. (Haaretz)

It is announced that the Gordie Howe International Bridge, a bridge planned to span the Canada–United States border between Detroit and Windsor, will open in late 2024. The project is expected to cost $5.7 billion and create 2500 jobs. (CTV News Windsor) (Tri-City News)

Facebook uncovers a security flaw, impacting 50 million user accounts which may have been compromised. (The Guardian) (Reuters)

http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/the-fog-of-bad-faith/

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/personalfinance/kevin-oleary-dont-buy-a-car-do-this-instead/ar-BBNCvLl?li=BBnbfcL&ocid=mailsignout

https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/tesla-stock-price-elon-musk-sued-by-sec-what-wall-street-says-2018-9-1027574751

 

Senate Judiciary Committee to vote on Kavanaugh after contentious hearing The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote Friday morning to recommend or reject Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. If he’s backed by the Republican majority, the entire Senate will vote on his confirmation Tuesday. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), one of the GOP members of the committee who was thought to be a swing vote, announced Friday morning that he would vote to confirm Kavanaugh. On Thursday, Christine Blasey Ford, who alleges Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were in high school, testified that she is “100 percent” sure it was Kavanaugh who forcibly groped her at a house party in the 1980s. Kavanaugh angrily and unequivocally denied Ford’s allegations. “I never sexually assaulted anyone,” he said in a tearful opening statement. Source: Los Angeles Times, The Week

SEC accuses Elon Musk of misleading investors, hammering Tesla shares The Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday sued Tesla founder Elon Musk on charges of misleading investors when he suggested he would take his company private. The SEC is seeking to bar Musk from serving as an officer of a public company. Musk tweeted in August that he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private at $420 per share, which the SEC called a “false and misleading” statement. “In truth and in fact, Musk had not even discussed, much less confirmed, key deal terms, including price, with any potential funding source,” the lawsuit read. News of the lawsuit sent Tesla shares plummeting 10 percent. The SEC said Musk “did not inform Nasdaq that he intended to make this public announcement, as Nasdaq rules required.” Source: Bloomberg

 

 Thursday, Sept 27,  2018

Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, testifies before the Senate. (New York Post)

Kavanaugh testifies to the Senate following the testimony of Ford. Kavanaugh denies the sexual assault claim and calls it part of a “calculated and orchestrated political hit” designed to keep him off the Supreme Court. (AOL)

The Supreme Court of India strikes down a law criminalizing adultery as unconstitutional, stating it treated women as property of their husbands. (BBC)

Eric Reid returns to the NFL, signing a one-year contract with the Carolina Panthers. (WRAL) (CBS Sports)

The End

https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/tesla-stock-price-elon-musk-settles-with-sec-2018-10-1027578552

https://www.businessinsider.com/hudson-yards-tour-of-most-expensive-development-in-us-history-2018-9

https://www.businessinsider.com/timeline-shows-exactly-how-the-las-vegas-massacre-unfolded-2018-9

https://www.businessinsider.com/prosecutor-who-questioned-christine-blasey-ford-says-kavanaugh-case-weak-2018-10

https://www.businessinsider.com/fan-bingbing-disappeared-for-3-months-clues-2018-10

https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/weed-stocks-tilray-subsidiary-gets-sales-license-health-canada-2018-10-1027579140

https://www.businessinsider.com/marijuana-infused-beverages-600-million-market-2022-2018-9

09.20.2018

California regulators open another investigation into Tesla’s factory after getting a report that an employee had part of a finger amputated during a workplace accident

SpaceX announces that Japanese billionaire and art collector Yusaku Maezawa will be the first commercial passenger to orbit the Moon on their BFR rocket in 2023. (Sky News)

Bob Lutz predicts conspiracy theorists will soon be asking ‘Who killed Tesla?’

https://www.rt.com/usa/439065-handmaids-tale-halloween-costume/

Thursday, Sept 20,  2018

Moon says Kim Jong Un wants 2nd Trump summit as soon as possible North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wants a second summit with President Trump as soon as possible. That’s the message from South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who returned from North Korea Thursday after a three-day summit with Kim. Moon said he will personally deliver a private message from Kim to Trump next week in New York and also discuss a declaration to end the 1950-53 Korean War. Kim also wants U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to visit Pyongyang for nuclear talks, Moon said. Pompeo welcomed the announcement and said he had invited North Korea’s foreign minister to meet in New York next week to further a goal to complete denuclearization of North Korea by January 2021. Experts said Moon oversold the utility of Kim’s promises. Source: Reuters

Amazon considering opening 3,000 cashierless stores by 2021 Amazon is reportedly considering opening 3,000 new AmazonGo cashierless stores over the next few years. The plan would mark a costly expansion and major threat to convenience-store chains like 7-Eleven, as well as sandwich shops like Subway, Panera Bread, and other quick-service food options. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has been experimenting with small cashierless stores since 2016, with some early versions offering limited selections of salads, sandwiches, and snacks, as well as small selections of groceries, like conventional convenience stores. Adding 3,000 of the stores would make AmazonGo one of the largest U.S. chains. Bloomberg said Amazon is considering opening 10 locations this year, 50 more in 2019, and the rest by 2021. Source: Bloomberg

 Wednesday,  Sept 19,  2018

The death toll from the recent spike in ethnic violence in Ethiopia rises to 58. Thousands are still protesting against the killings in the capital Addis Ababa. (Yahoo News)

Islamabad High Court suspends the NAB accountability court sentences and orders the release of former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz, and son-in-law Muhammad Safdar Awan. However, the convictions remain standing. (Al-Jazeera)

Former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak, is arrested in connection with the allegation that RM2.6 billion (US$681 million when first reported three years ago) went into his personal bank accounts. New charges are, once approved, due to be filed tomorrow. (The Wall Street Journal)

An arrest warrant is issued in Texas for 3D-printed gun rights activist and Defense Distributed owner Cody Wilson in connection with the sexual assault of a child. Wilson was last known to be in Taiwan. (ABC News)

NASA discovers its first exoplanet via the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite space telescope. Pi Mensae c, a small Earth-like exoplanet, is located nearly 60 light-years away from Earth. (Gizmodo)

Astronomers discover an exoplanet located in the 40 Eridani star system mentioned in the Star Trek series where the planet Vulcan is located. (Forbes)

 

Tuesday,  Sept 18, 2018

News emerges that the Russian Ilyushin Il-20 aircraft with fourteen people on board, missing since Monday over the Mediterranean Sea, was shot down. Russia accuses Israel of not giving enough warning before launching its attacks, causing Syria to shoot the plane down. (BBC) (ABC News)

China adds US$60 billion of US products to its import tariff list in retaliation to the United States’ recent tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese imported goods. (Reuters)

The death toll rises to 35. Also, about 3.4 million chickens and turkeys and 5,500 hogs were killed in flooding from Hurricane Florence as rising North Carolina rivers swamped dozens of farm buildings where the animals were being raised for market. (CBS News) (Washington Examiner)

A total of 21 people, mostly foreign workers, are confirmed dead due to the drinking of tainted alcohol in Malaysia. (France24)

21 people are killed and 25 others are injured in a collision between a passenger bus and a trailer carrying flammable materials in Isfahan, Iran (Xinhua)

The sixth floor of the Hotel Ritz in Madrid, Spain, collapses resulting in the death of one person while 12 others are injured. (BBC)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un greets South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Pyongyang for their third summit meeting in 2018, as both countries look to establish peace on the Korean Peninsula. (CNN)

North Korea says it will dismantle its Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center if the U.S. takes reciprocal measures. North and South Korea say they will seek a joint bid to host the 2032 Summer Olympics. (NBC News)

South Africa legalizes the recreational use of cannabis. (BBC)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel removes Hans-Georg Maaßen from the position of President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution after his remarks downplaying anti-migrant violence. (AP)

Monday,  Sept 17, 2018

A Russian Air Force Ilyushin Il-20 reconnaissance plane with 14 servicemen on board disappears from radar over the Mediterranean Sea during the missile attack on Syria’s Latakia Governorate. A U.S. official claims the Syrian Army inadvertently shot it down while attempting to intercept missiles, while Russia detected a missile launch from a French FREMM multipurpose frigate. (CNN) (Reuters) (BBC)

Several missiles are launched from the sea at the coastal city of Latakia, some of which are destroyed by air defence systems. It is not immediately clear who was behind the attack. (Reuters)

Russia and Turkey announce a demilitarized zone in Syria’s Idlib Governorate and rule out any military operations. (The Independent)

The Taliban launches multiple attacks on security checkpoints in Afghanistan, killing at least 27 members of the security forces. Twenty-two Taliban members are also killed and 16 others are injured. (news.com.au)

The United States announces a 10% tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to start on September 24, increasing to 25% by the end of the year, and threatens tariffs on an additional $267 billion worth of imports if China retaliates. (Reuters)

The Jamaican Cabinet announces a total ban on the importation, manufacture, distribution and use of single-use plastic bags, effective January 1, 2019. (Jamaica Observer)

The death toll rises to at least 32, as flooding continues to inundate North Carolina. (BBC)

Over 100 people are killed in floods after Nigeria’s two major rivers burst their banks. (BBC)

JunoCam captures an image of Jupiter’s “brown barge”, a cyclone-like shape that has weather patterns in Jupiter’s atmosphere. (UPI)

The End

Slo News Day

Friday,  Sept 14, 2018

The Mariia Butina fiasco

 

Defeat the Deep State – or lose your freedom
by Justin Raimondo
September 13, 2018

 

Washington Quietly Increases Lethal Weapons to Ukraine
Critics who say Trump is being “soft on Russia” should be paying attention to this.
By TED GALEN CARPENTER • September 10, 2018

 

Manafort reportedly cutting plea deal with Mueller Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, has made a tentative plea deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, people familiar with the matter told ABC News on Thursday. In August, Manafort was found guilty of tax and bank fraud, and is scheduled to start a second trial later this month in Washington, D.C., accused of money laundering, failure to register as a foreign agent, and witness tampering. Manafort and his senior defense attorneys spent more than four hours meeting with special prosecutors on Thursday, ABC News reports, and the deal is expected to be announced Friday in court. Three people familiar with the matter said it is unclear if Manafort has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, or if this is a guilty plea to avoid trial. Source: ABC News

Thursday, Sept 13,  2018

The heads of Samsung, Hyundai, SK and LG will attend the third Inter-Korean summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korea leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang next week. (UPI)

At least 40 homes are damaged or destroyed in Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover, as at least 39 gas explosions level houses. Residents are being evacuated to neighboring towns. (Fox News)

Seven tourists are injured after a section of cliff breaks away above Shipwreck Beach at Navagio, on the Greek island of Zakynthos, creating a minor tsunami that capsizes several small boats in the cove. (BBC)

French President Emmanuel Macron announces the recognition that the French state systematically tortured during the 1950s—60s Algerian War of Independence and calls to open archives concerning those who disappeared, such as activist Maurice Audin. (The Washington Post)

Report: U.S. holding a record number of migrant kids in detention There are 12,800 migrant children detained in the United States, and the federal shelter system is close to capacity, The New York Times reports. This is a record number, and up from 2,400 kids in custody in May 2017. While the Trump administration did separate thousands of children from their parents at the southern border in an attempt to discourage others from entering the country, most of the minors now in custody crossed the border without a parent. Data collected by the Department of Health and Human Services was shared with members of Congress, who passed it along to the Times, and those figures show that fewer kids are being released to live with relatives, family friends, and other sponsors. That’s likely because sponsors now must be fingerprinted, and most are undocumented. Source: The New York Times

The European Central Bank maintains its policy to halve monetary stimulus after September and end it in December 2018. However, the ECB perceives “uncertainties related to rising protectionism” as the main concern for the global economy. (Daily Journal)

The death toll from yesterday’s suicide attack on protesters in eastern Afghanistan rises to 68. (Al Jazeera)

The French railway company SNCF announces prototypes for driverless passenger and freight trains by 2023. (Phys.org)

The End 

 

Holocaust Denial Triumphant
by David Cole
September 11, 2018

Ron Unz Annoys David Cole (A Tragedy in Three Acts)

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

09.07.2018

The New York Times publishes an editorial written by an anonymous senior administration official in the Trump administration which criticizes U.S. President Donald Trump and claims unnamed administration aides and officials, in efforts to promote national stability, conspired against the president. (AP via CBC)

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis makes a “surprise” visit to Afghanistan, to attempt to discuss peace talks with the Taliban. (Upi)

Kim gives a timeline for denuclearization, aiming for completion by the end of U.S. President Donald Trump’s first term. (Reuters)

Ben Wallace, British Security Minister, says in an interview that Russian President Vladimir Putin bears the responsibility for multiple Novichok poisonings in the U.K., in which British citizens were harmed and killed. (BBC)

 

Friday,  Sept 7, 2018

Trump has reportedly narrowed his list of NYT op-ed suspects down to 12 President Trump and White House aides have come up with a list of 12 or so people suspected of being behind the anonymous op-ed published Wednesday by The New York Times, an outside adviser told the Times Thursday. The op-ed, penned by a senior administration official, called Trump’s leadership style “impetuous, adversarial, petty, and ineffective,” and the author said there is a “quiet resistance” underway by staffers trying to protect the country from Trump’s “half-baked, ill-informed, and occasionally reckless decisions.” White House officials spent Thursday calling different departments to ask Cabinet secretaries if they were responsible for the op-ed, the Times reports, and they all said no. Several West Wing officials are especially suspicious of Vice President Mike Pence and his staff, and were not persuaded by his denial, White House officials told the TimesSource: The New York Times

Leading Brazilian presidential candidate stabbed at rally A man stabbed the leading candidate in Brazil’s presidential election, far-right lawmaker Jair Bolsonaro, at a campaign rally on Thursday. Bolsonaro became the frontrunner in the Oct. 7 first round after Brazil’s electoral court last week barred the left’s leading candidate, former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, from running due to corruption charges. Bolsonaro is a controversial figure who has angered many Brazilians with divisive comments but is revered by conservatives. He will spend at least a week in the hospital and take up to two months to recover, said Dr. Luiz Henrique Borsato. “His internal wounds were grave and put the patient’s life at risk,” Borsato said. Source: Reuters

Hokkaido Electric is expected to restore power, but experts warned that the earthquake highlighted the fundamental flaws in the power grid. (Reuters)

 

Thursday, Sept 6,  2018

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korea president Moon Jae-in agree to hold a third summit between September 18 and September 20 in Pyongyang. (NBC News)

Heavy floods in North Korea leave at least 76 dead and 75 missing. (Reuters)

A magnitude 6.7 earthquake strikes the island of Hokkaido in Japan, killing 16 people, injuring 120 and leaving 26 missing. (BBC)

Approximately two million Ford F150 trucks are recalled due to a manufacturing error which can cause the seat belt pretensioner to ignite the vehicle. (NPR)

Kinder Morgan hints at a potential offloading of Canada assets following sales of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project to the federal Canadian government. (Vancouver Sun)

The Justice Department announces charges against an alleged hacker for the North Korea government in connection with a series of cyber attacks, including the 2014 assaults on Sony Pictures. Officials accuse Park Jin Hyok for being part of a conspiracy to hack on behalf of Reconnaissance General Bureau, the country’s intelligence agency. (The Washington Post)

The second trial of U.S. citizen Nicholas Slatten, the former Blackwater (now Academi) employee who was found guilty in 2013 of first-degree murder in connection to the killing in 2007 of fourteen unarmed civilians on Baghdad’s Nisour Square and sentenced to life in prison, ends in a mistrial. The future of the case is unclear. (NPR)

The Trump administration proposes regulatory changes which would allow the children of illegal immigrants to be imprisoned for more than 20 days. (NPR)

Ñuble becomes the 16th region of Chile after new administrative divisions in Chile come into effect. (Biobío)

Brazilian presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro is stabbed at a campaign rally and suffers serious abdominal injuries. He is expected to be in intensive care for at least seven days. (AP)

Wolf 503b, a super-Earth exoplanet twice the size of Earth, is discovered 145 light years away by American, German, and Canadian researchers via the NASA Kepler Space Telescope. (Fox News) (Astrobio)

 

Wednesday,  Sept 5,  2018

British authorities charge two men for their alleged involvement in a Novichok poisoning earlier in 2018, claiming the men are agents of the GRU. (NPR)

Russia says that the United Kingdom declines to provide them with the suspects’ fingerprints. (TASS)

A suicide attack at a wrestling club in a Hazara Shi’ite neighborhood of the Afghan capital Kabul and a second explosion apparently targeting emergency services and journalists kills at least 20 people and wounds 70 others. (Reuters)

Israel’s Supreme Court rejects appeals against the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar in the occupied West Bank whose fate has been a subject of international concern. (BBC)

Emirates Flight 203 from Dubai is quarantined briefly after landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport when 19 passengers were deemed sick and others complained of symptoms. (USA Today)

Paraguay announces that it will move its embassy in Israel from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, reversing a May decision to move it from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, citing efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East. In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu orders the closure of Israel’s embassy in Paraguay. (Reuters)

The End Friday

https://www.businessinsider.com/video-of-b-52-bomber-training-mission-over-the-pacific-2018-9

https://www.businessinsider.com/trumps-new-syria-strike-idlib-wont-save-syrians-2018-9

https://www.businessinsider.com/photos-of-fake-perfume-bottle-of-nerve-agent-used-in-skripal-poisoning-2018-9

Plastic People

Anchorage, Alaska, passes a strict ban on plastic shopping bags, and imposes a fee on the use of store-issued paper bags. The law goes into effect on March 1, 2019. (Anchorage Daily News’)

Steve Bannon lets rip on ‘man child’ Elon Musk

Bannon was generally damning of big tech executives on the call, saying that they are “sociopaths” and “narcissists,” but he was particularly scathing about Musk and Tesla.

In a venomous attack, the former White House strategist said Musk’s board of directors have no control over him and that he “essentially lies.”

He also criticised what he saw as Musk’s “emotional breakdown” in his interview with the New York Times earlier this month. “This is the level of maturity you have with these people. They are not mature adults. They are all man childs,” said Bannon.

It comes just hours after Musk denied crying during the Times interview.

Musk tweeted on Tuesday that during the conversation, his voice “cracked once” and he did not cry. A New York Times spokesperson refuted this, saying: “Mr. Musk’s emotion was audible. It is not true that his voice only cracked once.”

The back-and-forth over Musk’s now infamous “funding secured” tweet has been a stormy time for Tesla, with the carmaker’s stock falling 5% after Musk finally revealed that he was not taking the company private.

Thursday, Aug 30,  2018

Trump has discussed impeachment with his lawyers, reportedly hates ‘the i-word’ President Trump has been able to have serious discussions about impeachment with his lawyers, but other times he will get angry when people bring up what he calls “the i-word,” Trump allies told The Washington Post. The Post spoke with 26 White House advisers, officials, lawyers, and strategists, and several said that Trump does not have a strategy in place should Democrats take control of the House and have subpoena power. It’s possible they could pursue impeachment charges, and Trump’s legal team does not have the experience to handle such matters, the Post reports; he’s talked with advisers about having Abbe Lowell, the defense lawyer representing his son-in-law Jared Kushner, come on board if necessary. Source: The Washington Post

FBI rebuts Trump’s claim that China hacked Hillary Clinton’s email server The FBI said Wednesday that there’s no evidence that Hillary Clinton’s private email server was hacked by a foreign entity. The statement came after President Trump claimed on Twitter that China had obtained classified information by hacking into Clinton’s servers and demanded that the Justice Department investigate the allegations. Trump was likely referring to an article by the conservative Daily Caller, but the DOJ said that despite Trump’s claims that the hack was a “very big story,” experts had already determined that Clinton’s emails were not being relayed to China “in real time,” as the article purported. The rebuttal is seen as the latest example of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ effort to reject Trump’s criticism of the DOJ’s work. Source: The Associated Press

DeVos considering new college sexual misconduct rules favoring accused Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is preparing new policies that would offer more support to students accused of sexual assault and harassment on campus and reduce liability for colleges, The New York Times reports. The Times obtained a copy of the proposed rules, which would redefine sexual harassment as “unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex that is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it denies a person access to the school’s education program or activity.” Last fall, DeVos announced she was rescinding the Obama administration’s Title IX guidance on sexual assault on campus, saying it was not fair to students accused of misconduct. Source: The New York Times

Panasonic announces their intent to move their European headquarters from London to Amsterdam, citing concern over Brexit. (BBC)

Wednesday,  Aug 29,  2018

A 7.1 magnitude earthquake hits the Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia. (Stuff)

Germany hands over to Namibia the human remains—19 skulls, a scalp and bones—of Herero and Nama tribespeople among the tens of thousands killedby the German Empire between 1904 and 1908. (Al Jazeera)

Russian President Vladimir Putin announces a softening of the pension plan presented in June. The plan’s original announcement has led to protests and a dip in Putin’s approval ratings. (AP via News 13)

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

Helsinki Summit

 

Mariia Butina, Who Sought ‘Back Channel’ Meeting for Trump and Putin, Is Charged as Russian Agent

 

US Arrests Russia’s Foremost 2nd Amendment Activist
ANATOLY KARLIN • JULY 16, 2018 • 2,700 WORDS

 

Twelve Ham Sandwiches with Russian Dressing

So, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page declined to testify before a congressional committee because she didn’t feel like it. Apparently we’re now a rule-of-law-optional nation. Until recently, we were merely reality-optional. That was fun, but when officers of the country’s leading law enforcement agency go optional on standard legal procedure, like answering subpoenas, then we’re truly in the land where anything goes (and nothing matters).

 

Former congressman Joe Walsh says Sacha Baron Cohen ‘duped’ him into supporting arming toddlers with guns

“The intensive three-week Kinderguardian course introduces specially selected children from 12 to 4 years old to pistols, rifles, semiautomatics, and a rudimentary knowledge of mortars,” Walsh says in the clip. “In less than a month — less than a month — a first-grader can become a first-grenade-er. Happy shooting, kids.”

A facility giving marijuana to people with addiction has had a major shakeup after it felt ‘like walking into a cloud of smoke’

High Sobriety is the name of the place. What could go wrong?

This is really inspiring, though:

Astronauts explain why nobody has visited the moon in more than 45 years — and the reasons are depressing

Monday,  Jul 16, 2018

Trump and Putin meet in Helsinki for summit On Monday, President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin both arrived in Helsinki for a 90-minute one-on-one meeting. In comments to the press before the meeting, Trump said the two leaders would discuss “everything from trade to military to missiles to nuclear to China.” They will be joined only by their interpreters. Democratic and Republican lawmakers have spoken out against the meeting, coming just days after the Justice Department announced it was indicting 12 Russians accused of hacking Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign emails in 2016. Trump told CBS News on Sunday that he is going into the meeting with “low expectations,” and while no major breakthroughs are expected, experts say just getting to talk with Trump is a win for Putin. Source: Reuters

Before summit, Trump blames America for worsening U.S.-Russia relations In an early-morning tweet before his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Trump faulted the U.S. for its poor relationship with Russia. U.S.-Russia ties have “NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness,” Trump tweeted, and the recent “Rigged Witch Hunt” has made things even worse. Trump’s “witch hunt” comment refers to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, which on Friday turned out 12 indictments against Russian agents for email hacking. Source: Twitter, ABC

Report: White House tells top diplomats to seek direct talks with Taliban Wanting to pave the way for negotiations to end the war in Afghanistan, the White House has directed top U.S. diplomats to seek direct talks with the Taliban, several American and Afghan officials told The New York Times. The Taliban, which controls or has influence over 59 of Afghanistan’s 407 districts, has long said it wants to first discuss peace with the United States, not the Afghan government, but the U.S. has always pushed back. There are about 15,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and the Taliban continues to regularly launch deadly attacks. Source: The New York Times

Mexico’s president-elect will take 60 percent pay cut Throughout his campaign, Mexico’s president-elect, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, vowed to fight corruption and cut down on perks for government officials, and on Sunday, he announced his plan to slash his own salary in half. López Obrador said that he will earn 108,000 pesos, or about $5,707, a month, less than half what President Enrique Peña Nieto makes now. He also said no public official will earn more than he does during his six-year term. “What we want is for the budget to reach everybody,” López Obrador told reporters. He will take office in December. Source: The Associated Press

The UK Space Agency announces that the country’s first spaceport will be located in Sutherland, northern Scotland, with the first launches potentially taking place in the early 2020s. (BBC) (The Guardian)

The British diver from the Thai cave rescue whom Elon Musk called a ‘pedo’ is considering suing the billionaire

 

Sunday, Jul 15, 2018

In football, France defeats Croatia 4–2 to claim its second World Cup championship. (BBC Sport)

Demonstrations in Muthanna Province, Iraq, leave 16 protesters killed or injured and 33 others arrested. (Iraqi News)

New details from Iranian nuclear documents stolen by Israeli spies show that Tehran obtained weapons-design information from a foreign source and was on the cusp of mastering key bomb-making technologies when the research was ordered halted 15 years ago. (The Washington Post)

Haitian Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant resigns after deadly protests against fuel price rises. (BBC)

A tiny island of lava forms north of the Kapoho ocean entry on Hawaii island. (Star Advertiser)

In boxing, Manny Pacquiao knocks out Lucas Matthysse in the seventh round to win the WBA welterweight championship. (Reuters)

In men’s professional tennis, Novak Djokovic defeats Kevin Anderson in three sets to win his fourth Wimbledon championship. (BBC Sport)

 

 Saturday,  Jul 14, 2018

Widespread unrest erupts in southern Iraq as protesters, frustrated by shortages of electricity, water and jobs vent their anger, setting fire to political offices, attacking government infrastructure and deepening uncertainty about the country’s shaky political future. (Washington Post)

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards kill three would-be saboteurs and wound another in Kermanshah, near the Iraq border, before seizing their equipment. A volunteer on Iran’s side is also killed. (Reuters via Yahoo! News)

 

Friday,  Jul 13, 2018

Twelve Russian intelligence officers are indicted for hacks in connection with hacking of the Democratic National Committee, the Hillary Clinton campaign, and state election systems during the 2016 presidential election. (NPR) (NBC News)

Pakistan, Iran, China, and Russia agree on joint efforts against the Islamic State group in Afghanistan, in an effort to ensure peace and eliminate terrorism from the region. (The Nation)

A suicide bomb attack near Mastung, Pakistan, kills 129 people, including political party candidate Siraj Raisani, during a political campaign. This is the third consecutive attack on a political rally. (RTÉ.ie)

The Arctic is melting — and it shows no sign of returning to being reliably frozen

 

The End