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

Stormy Daniels Arrested

Stormy Daniels arrested at Ohio strip club Ohio police arrested adult film actress Stormy Daniels at a strip club early Thursday on charges of illegally touching a patron. Her attorney, Michael Avenatti, tweeted Thursday that Daniels was performing in Columbus when she was arrested for “allegedly allowing a customer to touch her while on stage in a nonsexual manner! Are you kidding me?” Daniels has made headlines for claiming that she had a 2006 affair with Donald Trump, before he entered politics. Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, has acknowledged paying her $130,000 shortly before the 2016 election to be silent about the matter, but Daniels is suing to be released from the agreement. Avenatti tweeted that Daniels’ arrest “was a setup & politically motivated. It reeks of desperation.” Source: CNN

Argentina asks Russia to arrest former Iranian foreign minister and Ali Khamenei’s advisor Ali Akbar Velayati, who is currently in Moscow for a meeting with Vladimir Putin, over his role in the 1994 Jewish center bombing. (The Times of Israel)

Justice Department to appeal Time Warner-AT&T merger The Department of Justice said Thursday that it would move to appeal the approval of a massive merger between Time Warner and AT&T. The $85.4 billion deal was approved by a federal judge in June, despite the DOJ’s protest at the time that the merger would render the TV industry “less competitive and less innovative.” The DOJ’s decision to appeal the approval was revealed in a court filing Thursday. In approving the deal last month, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon determined that the government had not sufficiently showed that the joining would reduce competition in the TV market, but acknowledged that an appeal would be “fair game.” Source: CNBC

Game of Thrones, Netflix dominate Emmy nominations Game of Thrones led the 2018 Emmy Award nominations on Thursday with 22 separate nods, including for best drama series, followed by Saturday Night Live and Westworld with 21 each. For the first time in 18 years, HBO failed to lead the total nominees, with just 108 nominations to Netflix’s impressive 112. In addition to Game of Thrones, the best drama series category includes The Handmaid’s TaleStranger ThingsThe AmericansThis Is Us, and Westworld; in comedy, AtlantaBarryBlack-ishCurb Your EnthusiasmGLOWThe Marvelous Mrs. MaiselSilicon Valley, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt will go head-to-head. Killing Eve‘s Sandra Oh also notably became the first Asian woman to ever be nominated for an Emmy for lead actress in a drama. The 70th annual Emmys will air on NBC on Sept. 16. Source: The Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Times

Serena Williams advances to Wimbledon final Serena Williams powered her way into the Wimbledon final Thursday, defeating No. 13 Julia Goerges of Germany to earn her spot in the championship round. Williams, who was seeded 25th after taking nearly a year away from competition following the birth of her daughter, defeated Goerges 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinal. Williams conceded that she was a bit surprised by her own dominance at Wimbledon this year, given the health issues she dealt with after giving birth in September. “This is not inevitable for me,” she said. “I remember I couldn’t even walk to my mailbox, so it’s definitely not normal for me to be in a Wimbledon final.” Williams will face No. 11 Angelique Kerber for the title Saturday. Source: ESPN

 

Thursday, Jul 12,  2018

The death toll from heavy rains in Japan rises to 200. (Reuters)

An explosion at a chemical plant in an industrial park in Jiang’an County, Sichuan, China kills 19 people and injures 12.(China Daily) (BBC)

U.S. President Donald Trump arrives in the UK for his presidential trip to the country amid widespread protests. (BBC)

Trump says NATO allies agreed to spend more on defense President Trump told NATO leaders in person and on Twitter that he wants member nations to spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense spending more quickly than the 2024 deadline agreed to in 2014, and maybe raise it to 4 percent, prompting an emergency session of NATO leaders Thursday morning. Trump also reportedly threatened to break with NATO and go it alone if other members don’t raise defense spending quickly. In a news conference afterward, Trump said he believes he can withdraw the U.S. from NATO without Congress but sees no need to after the other countries, he said, made “a real commitment” to raise spending to 2 percent of GDP in a “relatively short period of years.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the summit has been “intense.” Source: Politico

Papa John’s founder and ex-CEO resigns as chairman over N-word report Papa John’s said Wednesday night that its board of directors has accepted the resignation of chairman John Schnatter, the founder of the pizza chain and its public face. Earlier Wednesday, Forbes reported that, during a conference call with a media company he’d hired to burnish his image, Schnatter used the N-word and brought up lynching. “News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media training session regarding race are true,” Schnatter said in a statement. “Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society.” Schnatter, 54, resigned as chief executive last year after saying the controversy over NFL players had hurt Papa John’s shareholders, of which he remains the largest. Source:  Forbes

 

Wednesday,  Jul 11,  2018

In Germany, the accused members and supporters of the Neo-Nazi terrorist group National Socialist Underground are found guilty for the murders of nine immigrants and one policewoman, assistance in said murders, bomb attacks, attempted murders, and robbery. The main defendant and last surviving member of the terrorist group, Beate Zschäpe, was sentenced to life imprisonment. (Deutsche Welle)

Three homes in the Leilani Estates are destroyed by lava. (Star Advertiser)

NATO formally invites Macedonia to begin membership talks to join the organization. (RFE/RL)

A second suspect is arrested in connection with the murder of rapper XXXTentacion. (NBC News)

Croatia defeats England 2–1 after extra time, advancing to their first-ever World Cup final, which will be against France on July 15. (CNN)

 

Tuesday,  Jul 10, 2018

A film on IRIB TV1 showing social media users being scolded and tearfully apologizing for promoting dance online angers reformists. (AFP via Yahoo! News)

The Office of the United States Trade Representative releases a list of approximately $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to be affected in its next round of tariffs. (Reuters)

The End

Lil Pump

Monday,  Jul 9, 2018

Iran threatens to close the Strait of Hormuz to shipping if the U.S. re-applies sanctions to the country after the U.S withdrew from the JCPOA deal earlier in the year. (The Guardian)

Iranian women post videos of themselves dancing to protest the arrest of Instagram blogger Maedeh Hojabri. (Time)

Iran has arrested a number of users for posting videos on Instagram, including a young blogger named Maedeh Hojabri. (The Guardian)

Meanwhile, back in the United States, any 8-year-old can watch this on YouTube. First Amendment.

 

Speedin’ in my Lambo, racin’
Everybody in my gang is drug addicts

Whole gang full of drug addicts
Take a lot of shit, forgot what happened (forgot what happened)
I ain’t gon’ lie, I got a habit (ooh, I got a habit)
Swear to God, you can’t be on my status (I swear to God!)
Start the day off with a pint
I’ma show you how to live life
Take a lot of drugs, don’t think twice
I do this every day and all night

I been smokin’ since I was eleven
I been poppin’ pills since I was seven
Told my pastor I don’t do confessions
‘Cause I pop a lot of molly for my breakfast
I ain’t never listen to nobody
In the courthouse off of ecstasy
And your baby mama layin’ next to me!
After she just sucked me, I just told her ass to leave (bitch get out, ooh)
Everybody ’round me like them Oxy’s
I was too leaned out to drive the ‘Rari
Made her ass wait two hours in the lobby
I can’t go outside, ’cause I see paparazzi
Take another pill, now I’m feeling better
Gucci Gang, Gucci Gang, yeah I’m a trend-setter
Bustin’ all on your bitch, wiped it off with my sweater
I’m a drug addict, I’m richer than my professor (man, fuck school)

 

 

At least 8 boys rescued from Thai cave as extraction mission continues Eight young soccer players have been rescued from a Thailand cave, ABC News reported Monday morning. Earlier in the day, Thai authorities said they had rescued the fifth of the 12 boys, who have been trapped in the cave with their coach for 16 days. An elite team of divers and Thai Navy SEALs began the rescue operation Sunday morning, extracting four boys. Four more were rescued Monday. The soccer team was stuck in the cave when monsoon rains struck unseasonably early, and more rain is predicted to arrive in coming days, giving rescuers a narrow window to act. A one-way trip through the cave takes about six hours, and the full operation will take several days. Source: ABC News

Japan says at least 100 killed in floods, mudslides Japan’s Hiroshima prefecture is beginning to clean up from flooding and mudslides caused by days of unusual torrential rains in southwestern Japan over the weekend. On Monday, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said 87 people are confirmed dead from the natural disaster, 13 others had no vital signs when they were found, and at least 68 people are still unaccounted for, many of them in hard-hit Hiroshima. The rain caused rivers to flood, leaving residents stranded on rooftops. The search-and-rescue efforts are ongoing. Source: The Associated Press

The death toll from heavy rains in Japan rises to 126, with over 86 people still reported missing. (Japan Today)

Eritrea and Ethiopia officially declare an end to their twenty-year conflict. (Deutsche Welle)

Boris Johnson resigns as the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs amid disagreements with Prime Minister Theresa May over Brexit negotiations. Johnson is the second member of May’s cabinet to resign in two days. (BBC)

 

Sunday, Jul 8, 2018

A British woman dies after being exposed to the Novichok nerve agent several days earlier in Amesbury. (CBS News)

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calls for North Korea to follow Vietnam’s path in overcoming past hostilities with the United States. (The Guardian)

Syrian state media reports that the Syrian Air Defense Force has damaged an Israeli aircraft and thwarted an Israeli missile strike on the Tiyas Military Airbase (T-4 Airbase) in the Homs Governorate. (Reuters)

At least 24 people are killed and 73 others wounded after a train, en route to Istanbul from Bulgaria, derails in Tekirdağ Province, Turkey. (Star Tribune)

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed meets with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki in Asmara and they pledge to restore diplomatic relations. (CBC)

David Davis resigns as the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union amid disagreements with Prime Minister Theresa May over Brexit negotiations. (BBC)

 

Saturday,  Jul 7, 2018

High electricity demand during a heat wave in Los Angeles leaves 34,500 residents without power, some for up to 24 hours. (CNN)

North Korean state media Korean Central News Agency calls high-level talks with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “regrettable” and criticizes the United States’ “unilateral and gangster-like” demands for denuclearization. (AP via AL.com)

The death toll from a tourist boat accident off the coast of Thailand’s Phuket Island climbs to 41, with 15 people still missing. (Reuters)

Alexander Lubigan, Vice Mayor of Trece Martires, Philippines, is assassinated in an ambush. (The Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Demonstrators protesting against gun violence block Interstate 94 in Chicago. (CNN)

 

Friday,  Jul 6, 2018

Japan executes former Aum Shinrikyo leader Shoko Asahara and six other main members of Aum Shinrikyo, who led the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin attack, by hanging. (BBC)

In the Avenfield corruption case, the court announced a 10 year sentence and 8 million pound fine for the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif. His daughter and political heir, Maryam Nawaz, was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment and a 2 million pound fine. Sharif’s son-in-law, Muhammad Safdar Awan, received a one-year sentence. (DAWN)

The wreckage of Nazi German submarine U-966, which was sunk in November 1943, is discovered off the coast of Galicia, Spain. (BBC)

A former UDAU diver dies from lack of oxygen while delivering supplies to a group of boys and a man trapped in the Tham Luang Nang Non. (ABC)

The driver of the tractor-trailer that collided with the Humboldt Broncos team bus is arrested and is expected to face 29 charges. (CBC)

 

Thursday, Jul 5,  2018

U.S. President Donald Trump announces the resignation of Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Former coal lobbyist Andrew R. Wheeler will act as a temporary replacement. (CNBC)

British couple poisoned by nerve agent used against former Russian spy On Wednesday, scientists confirmed that a man and woman found unconscious on Saturday in Amesbury, England, were poisoned by Novichok, the nerve agent used to attack a former Russian spy and his daughter just eight miles away in March. Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley are in critical condition at the same hospital where Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, nearly died after they were poisoned by the nerve agent, developed in the Soviet Union and Russia. Britain has blamed the Russian government for that attack. Scotland Yard assistant commissioner Neil Basu said 100 counterterrorism detectives are now investigating the Sturgess and Rowley poisoning, adding, “The priority for this investigation team now is to establish how these two people have come into contact with this nerve agent.” Source: The Guardian

The death toll from the worst heat wave in decades in Quebec rises to 33. (CBC)

Two explosions at fireworks workshops outside Mexico City kill at least 19 people, including rescue workers, and injure dozens more. (Reuters)

 

Wednesday,  Jul 4,  2018

Clashes break out between Israeli security forces and Bedouin residents in Khan al-Ahmar, Jerusalem Governorate, as Israeli bulldozers prepare to demolish the village. The Supreme Court of Israel ruled that its residents could be evicted on May 24, while such relocation is considered illegal under international humanitarian law. (Reuters)

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is charged with abuse of power and three counts of criminal breach of trust. He pleads not guilty to all charges and accuses the government of seeking “political vengeance.” (Channel NewsAsia)

 

Tuesday,  Jul 3, 2018

The son of ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is killed in a suicide attack mission in Homs, western Syria, or in a Russian bombing of a cave. (VOA News)

Seth MacFarlane Missed a Doomed 9/11 Flight

 

Azerbaijan’s largest blackout since 1991 affects most of the country. (AP)

Seattle becomes the first major city to ban plastic straws and utensils in all bars and restaurants. (CBC)

Roman Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide, Philip Wilson, is sentenced to 12 months in detention for covering up child sexual abuse in the 1970s. Pope Francis appoints Port Pirie Bishop Gregory O’Kelly as Apostolic Administrator, but with special near-full powers to govern the Archdiocese, though for now Wilson is still the Archbishop. (BBC)

Souad Abderrahim becomes the first woman to be elected as Mayor of Tunis, the capital of Tunisia. (The New York Times)

The European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope captures an image of PDS 70b, making it the first clear image of a planet forming from the disk of gas and debris surrounding its host star. (NBC News)

The End

 

 

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Yoyoka_https://youtu.be/BslksgTF4X4

William Rees_https://youtu.be/xIHPmJyBOAY

It Came From Outer Space

It Came from Left Field

The first known interstellar object to pass through the Solar System, ʻOumuamua, has been identified as a very inactive comet and not an asteroid, as previously thought. (Reuters)

Japanese space probe Hayabusa2 arrives at its target, 162173 Ryugu, an Apollo asteroid. It is planned to return material from the asteroid to Earth by the end of 2020. (BBC)

Enceladus, a moon of Saturn, is reported to host complex carbon-based molecules. Considered a precursor to life, the compounds were only previously known to exist on Earth and some meteorites. (BBC)

 

Monday,  July 2, 2018

Andrés Manuel López Obrador wins Mexican presidential election Leftist populist Andrés Manuel López Obrador won Mexico’s presidential election in a landslide on Sunday. López Obrador was propelled to victory by a wave of anger over rampant corruption and violence, signaling a break from centrist governments that have run the country for decades. He also ran on a promise to stand up to President Trump more forcefully than the current government has on trade and immigration. He even published a book, Oye, Trump (“Listen Up, Trump”), condemning the U.S. president’s proposed border wall and “his attempts to persecute migrant workers.” Trump congratulated López Obrador, tweeting that he looked “very much forward to working with him.” Voters also decided thousands of federal, state, and local offices in what authorities called the biggest election in Mexican history. Source: The Guardian

Trump, Kim Jong Un could meet again in New York City Just weeks after President Trump met with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, administration officials are already considering a “round two,” Axios reports. The sequel summit would potentially take place in New York City in September, around the United Nations General Assembly. Trump declared that Pyongyang was “no longer a nuclear threat” after his meeting with the North Korean leader on June 12, although Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be making another trip to the country this week to push for denuclearization. “Since Singapore we have seen a huge gap open up between the claims made by POTUS (that the nuclear problem is essentially solved) and the reality that it is anything but,” said Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass. Source: Axios

Tesla finally hits Model 3 production target Tesla essentially hit its elusive goal of producing 5,000 Model 3 electric cars in a week in the final week of its second quarter. The final Model 3 sedan actually rolled off the assembly line a few hours after the midnight deadline on Sunday. Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the landmark in an email to employees, and said he expected the company to reach 6,000 Model 3 sedans per week next month. “I think we just became a real car company,” Musk wrote. The Model 3 is Tesla’s first mass-market vehicle, and ramping up production to a level necessary to make the mid-priced car successful is considered crucial to the company’s future. Source: Reuters

 

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Voters in Mexico go to the polls to elect a new President as well as 128 senators and 500 deputies. Exit polls give an early lead to Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and his two main opponents concede within an hour of polls closing. (Politico) (BBC News)

Russia knocks out Spain from the World Cup after winning a penalty shootout. (The Denver Channel)

U.S. President Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor John R. Bolton states that the United States has a plan to dismantle the nuclear weapons program of North Korea in a year. (Time)

Three heavily armed gunmen who hijacked a helicopter help Rédoine Faïd, one of France’s most notorious gangsters, escape from a prison in Réau, Île-de-France. The helicopter is later discovered abandoned by police in Gonesse. Faïd previously escaped prison in 2013 and was briefly France’s most wanted criminal. (BBC)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel faces resistance by the Bavarian CSU over the result of the EU asylum policy summit last week. (Bloomberg)(Frankfurter Allgemeine)

Interior minister Horst Seehofer offers his resignation citing a conflict with Angela Merkel over her refugee policy. (Sky News)

NBA free agent LeBron James announces that he will sign a four-year, US$154 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. (The New York Times)

A bus skids off a mountain road into a 700-foot (210 m)–deep ravine in Uttarakhand, India, killing at least 48 people. (Sky News)

 

Saturday,  Jun 30, 2018

Two persons are killed, and one injured, in a shooting in downtown Toronto. These are the 49th and 50th murders this year, marking a surge of violence in the city. (CBC)

A peaceful protest over a water shortage in the southern Iran city of Khorramshahr turns violent after clashes between police and protesters. (CNN)

A Patriot Prayer rally in Portland, Oregon turns violent, with clashes reported between the group and the far-left group Antifa. The Portland Police Bureaureports that four arrests were made for outstanding warrants, and that Patriot Prayer’s permit to march was cancelled once the violence began. (NPR)(CBS News)

Tens of thousands of people participate in nationwide protests across the United States over the Trump administration’s immigration policies. Over 630 events are planned, with protesters calling for migrant families split at the United States–Mexico border to be reunited. (BBC)

 

Friday,  Jun 29, 2018

SpaceX successfully launches Commercial Resupply Services payload CRS-15 via a Falcon 9 rocket to dock with the International Space Station. The cargo includes CIMON, a head-shaped AI robot designed by the German Aerospace Center to assist crew onboard the ISS. (NASA Spaceflight)

Ash from Mount Agung’s first volcanic eruption since late-2017 results in the closure of Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport until at least 7 pm local time (11:00 UTC). The ash cloud cancels 48 flights, affecting 8,334 passengers. (Reuters)

Luxembourg legalizes the use of medical cannabis for patients suffering from diseases such as cancer. (Luxembourg Times)

United Nations member states elect António Vitorino as the director general of the International Organization for Migration, becoming the first non-American to hold this position since the 1960s. (The Guardian)

 

Thursday, Jun 28,  2018

A summit meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin is set for July 16 in Helsinki. The leaders are expected to discuss national security issues as well as Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections. (CBS News)

A shooting at the office of The Capital and the Maryland Gazette newspapers in Annapolis, Maryland, United States, kills five people. The suspected shooter is detained by local police.  (BBC)

 

 Wednesday,  Jun 27,  2018

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeats Democratic incumbent New York leader Joseph Crowley in what has been described as the “biggest Democratic primary upset victory in years”. (Mother Jones)

FIFA World Cup title-holders Germany’s football team are knocked out of the 2018 competition in the group stage for the first time since 1938 after losing to South Korea. This is the fourth time that the reigning champions have been knocked out in the group stage in the last five tournaments. (BBC)

Sierra Negra erupts on the island of Isabela, the largest island of the Galápagos archipelago. Authorities have arranged evacuations and banned tourists from the area. (BBC)

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is granted the power to assign blame for chemical attacks by its constituent countries. The move, proposed by the United Kingdom, received wide support, but was condemned by Russia. (BBC)

A federal judge in California orders a halt to most family separations at the US-Mexico border and the reunification of all families. (WAVY-TV)

US Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy announces his retirement, effective July 31, 2018. (BBC)

Austrian troops and police conduct a border exercise simulating a possible mass arrival of migrants similar to one in 2015, amid tensions within the European Union over migrant rescue ships and fears that Germany may close its borders. (Sky News)

The cabinet of Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă survives a motion of no confidence. During the vote, several thousand oppossition supporters protest outside Parliament, calling for the resignation of the government. (Business Review)

The End

06.19.2018

Tuesday, Jun 19, 2018

US President Donald Trump directs the Department of Defense to begin the process of establishing a “space force” as the sixth military branch of the United States Armed Forces. (CNBC)

Israel charges former energy minister Gonen Segev with spying for Iran. Segev is in custody; he was extradited from Equatorial Guinea. (BBC)

American rapper XXXTentacion is shot dead in Deerfield Beach, Florida, United States. (The Hollywood Reporter) (BBC)

Google announces that it will invest US$550 million in the Chinese e-commerce company JD.com. (CNN)

A Palestinian man dies while tampering with the Israel–Gaza border’s automated defences, which detonate. (Reuters)

Islamic State kidnaps six people in Mosul, Iraq, and executes them. (Iraqi News)

 

A second attempt is made to extinguish burning container ship MV SSL Kolkata in the Bay of Bengal off India after rough conditions prompted an abandonment of yesterday’s efforts. (Telegraph India)

Iñaki Urdangarin, brother-in-law of King Felipe VI of Spain, enters prison to serve the sentence of almost 6 years for the Nóos case. (La Vanguardia)

The House of Commons of Canada votes to legalize recreational cannabis. The bill will now head back to the Senate, where it is expected to be passed into law. (The Independent)

Kim Jong Un makes third trip to China since March North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in China on Tuesday for a two-day visit, his third trip since March. Kim is expected to brief Chinese President Xi Jinping on his recent summit with President Trump. Kim and Trump agreed to work together toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Trump also offered to guarantee the security of the North Korean regime and promised to end “war games” with South Korea, which both North Korea and China have criticized as provocative. The long-reclusive Kim also is expected to use the clout he gained from his meeting with Trump to push for relief from tough international economic sanctions. Source: Reuters, The New York Times

Japan tops Colombia 2-1 in group stage, making World Cup history Japan stunned Colombia on Tuesday in the World Cup, with the heavy underdogs winning the match 2-1. The victory made Japan the first Asian country to beat a South American nation in World Cup history. The upset began within the first 10 minutes of the game, when Carlos Sanchez used his hand to block midfielder Shinji Kagawa’s shot. Sanchez received a red card and Kagawa scored on the penalty. Playing with just 10 men, Colombia’s Juan Quintero managed to score the equalizer on a free kick in the 39th minute, but Japan pulled ahead again in the 73rd minute thanks to Yuya Osako. Colombia, which lost 2-1 to Brazil in the World Cup quarterfinals in 2014, is stuck at 0 points in the group stage due to the loss. Source: The New York Times

THE END

Myopia

A Narrow View of Things
by Theodore Dalrymple
June 16, 2018

In North Korea I saw no one on the street, in the mass parades, or at the stadium seating 150,000 people wearing them and thought this strange, as Koreans are genetically predisposed to myopia. When I asked my personal spy who accompanied me everywhere where the people who wore glasses were, he replied, “That is a problem we have solved.” It was not by laser surgery, either, though the precise method of the solution went unsolved. The three successive heads of the Kim dynasty have all worn glasses, evidence of their superior, indeed unprecedented, intelligence…. If you kill all the people of above-average intelligence, your chances of having above-average intelligence yourself rise.

 

Monday, Jun 18, 2018

Japan lowers the age of adulthood from 20 to 18, with the changes coming into effect in 2022. The revision to Japan’s civil code means that 18-year-olds will be able to marry without their parents’ consent, apply for credit cards and loans, and transgender people will be able to have their new gender officially recognised. The change causes confusion and concern regarding the kimono industry and Coming of Age Day. (The Guardian)

A missing Indonesian woman’s body is found inside a python, being one of only two fully documented cases of a human being consumed by a snake. (The Hindu)

Audi CEO arrested in widening VW diesel scandal Audi CEO Rupert Stadler was arrested in Germany on Monday in the latest fallout from the diesel-emissions cheating scandal at the automaker’s parent company, Volkswagen. “We confirm that Mr. Stadler was arrested this morning,” a VW spokesman said Monday, noting that Stadler was presumed innocent like any suspect. Audi made no immediate comment. The arrest came as Munich prosecutors expand their investigation into the scandal to look at possible fraud and false advertising at Audi, VW’s luxury brand. VW shares were down about 1.6 percent from Friday’s closing price. Source: Reuters

 

 

Sunday, Jun 17, 2018

Wynn Resorts Ltd. says that two board members, including one investigating sexual misconduct allegations against former Chief Executive Steve Wynn, will leave their posts after Elaine Wynn, the company’s largest shareholder, presses for additional board changes. (The Wall Street Journal)

In an upset victory, Mexico beats Germany 1–0, handing them their first opening loss in a World Cup since 1982. (TSN)

Twin suicide bombings in Damboa, Nigeria, leave at least 31 people dead. The explosions are reportedly followed by rockets fired from outside the town. (BBC)

A magnitude 5.9 earthquake strikes Osaka, Japan, at 7:58 a.m. local time (22:58 UTC). At least two people have been killed and several are transported to hospitals with injuries. Electrical services are disrupted citywide, affecting 170,000 buildings. (NHK)

Iván Duque wins the second round presidential election to become the new President of Colombia. (BBC)

 

Saturday,  Jun 16, 2018

Boris Becker, who was once the highest ranked men’s singles tennis player in the world, has claimed diplomatic immunity from a bankruptcy claim by private bankers Arbuthnot Latham, based on his role as a sports attaché to the European Union from the Central African Republic. (Reuters)

Saudi Arabian-led coalition troops seize control of Hodeida International Airport in Al Hudaydah after driving out Houthi forces. Around 280 people have been reportedly killed in the last four days inside the Yemeni port city. (Sky News)

The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency states that the eruption of lower Puna has destroyed 467 homes in total. (Upi)

The coalition government of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras survives a vote of no-confidence brought by the opposition party over a deal to end the dispute. (AP)

First time qualifier Iceland holds off a late charge from two-time champion Argentina and comes away with a 1-1 draw in the opening World Cup matches for both countries. (ESPN)

 

Friday,  Jun 15, 2018

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has his bail revoked for allegedly tampering with witnesses, and is sent to jail to await his trial for foreign lobbying charges. (CNN)

The Afghan Ministry of Defense reports that Mullah Fazlullah, the emir of the Pakistani Taliban, was killed in Kunar province by an U.S. drone strike two days prior on June 13. (NBC News)

The United States imposes a 25% tariff on goods imported from China worth $50 billion, set to come into effect on July 6, and accuses Beijing of “intellectual copyright theft”. (BBC)

Cristiano Ronaldo scores a hat-trick achieving Portugal’s 3–3 draw against Spain. (Reuters)

 

 Thursday, Jun 14,  2018

The U.S. Department of Justice publishes a 568-page report by Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz on the FBI’s handling of its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email practices. The report is critical of former FBI Director James Comey, accusing him of being “insubordinate”, but finding that his actions were not politically biased. (BBC)

The Message is the first Arabic film commercially screened in Saudi Arabia. (Quartz)

EU countries approve tariffs worth €2.8 billion in retaliation against U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminium. (AFP via Yahoo! News)

The Senate of France approves a bill to reform the SNCF railway company. The French state writes off €35 billion of SNCF’s €47 billion debt, but remains the sole owner of the joint-stock company with two subsidiaries: operator SNCF Mobility and infrastructure manager SNCF Network. (International Railway Journal)

Hosts Russia beat Saudi Arabia 5–0 in the opening match, with two goals by Denis Cheryshev. (BBC Sport)

The End

Kill Urself

The Latest BP Statistical Review of World Energy for 2018 is out. It covers everything through 2017.

Excel Spreadsheet available here.

 

Why Is Suicide Becoming So Trendy?
by Jim Goad
June 11, 2018

Tuesday,  Jun 12, 2018

Trump and Kim end summit with signing of denuclearization document President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wrapped up their historic five-hour summit in Singapore on Tuesday by signing a document in which Trump “committed to provide security guarantees” to North Korea and Kim “reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” Both leaders also pledged to “join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.” There were no specific details on how these goals would be reached. Trump told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that they hadn’t discussed withdrawing U.S. troops from South Korea, but said “we’re not going to play the war games” anymore, because they’re “very provocative.” Trump said at a news conference later that he wants to “bring our soldiers home.” Source: The Associated Press, ABC News

 

 Monday,  Jun 11, 2018

NASA’s Opportunity rover is temporarily shut down due to a dust storm. (BGR)

Deontay Wilder accepts the terms to fight Anthony Joshua. (ESPN)

Sunday, Jun 10, 2018

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump arrive in Singapore ahead of the upcoming summit. (BBC)

A warehouse holding ballot boxes from elections last month burns down in Baghdad. Several politicians say the fire was a criminal act aimed at destabilising the state following a disputed election result. (BBC)

Authorities in Afghanistan announce the seizure of 156 sacks of ammonium nitrate being imported on a truck from Pakistan. This is one of the largest seizures of the compound, most commonly used as a fertilizer, but also used to manufacture explosives. (Reuters)

Tens of thousands of Basque nationalists form a 202-kilometre (126 mi) human chain asking for greater autonomy. (BBC)

In the men’s singles final, Rafael Nadal defeats Dominic Thiem and wins his 11th title at Roland Garros. (BBC)

 

Saturday,  Jun 9, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump calls for “fair and reciprocal” trades between the United States and other countries, claiming that the United States is a “piggy bank that everyone keeps robbing”. (VOA) (BBC)

Donald Trump again calls for Russia to be reinstated into the group. Russia was suspended after the annexation of Crimea in 2014. (CNN)

Trump retracts his endorsement of the summit’s final communiqué. (CBS News)

The Taliban announce a three-day Eid ceasefire with the Afghan authorities, according to Pajhwok Afghan News. On Thursday, President Ashraf Ghaniannounced a ceasefire with the Taliban from June 12–19. (TASS)

The 18th Council of Heads of State meets in Qingdao, China. (The Nation)

Over 100,000 people participate in a large protest in Bucharest, Romania, against apparent judicial abuses and “illegitimate interference” of the secret services in the political and judicial systems. The protest was organised by the governing Social Democratic Party and supported by other political parties. (The Washington Post)

Justify wins the Belmont Stakes and becomes the second horse in four years to win the U.S. Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. (The New York Times)

 

 Friday,  Jun 8, 2018

The 10-megawatt IBM Summit supercomputer is unveiled at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, East Tennessee. With a reported 200 petaflops of processing power, it is expected to top the list of the world’s most powerful computers after this June’s update is presented at the International Supercomputing Conference. (Wired)

U.S. President Donald Trump calls for Russia, which was suspended from the group after the annexation of Crimea in 2014, to be reinstated in the group; a call supported by the Prime Minister of Italy Giuseppe Conte, and rejected by most other G7 leaders. (Deutsche Welle)

The military chiefs of both countries, Joseph Dunford and Valery Gerasimov, meet in Finland. (AP via ABC News)

On Quds Day – the last Friday of Ramadan – thousands of Palestinians protest near the Gaza border fence. Israeli troops fire live rounds and tear gas, killing four people and injuring over 600. (AP via CBS News)

A U.S. special forces soldier is killed and four others are wounded in an ambush by suspected al-Shabaab militants near the town of Jamame, Lower Juba, Somalia. (BBC)

The Walt Disney Company announces that its animation chief, John Lasseter, will leave the company after December 31, after he was accused of misconduct late last year. (Deadline)

The military chiefs of both countries, Joseph Dunford and Valery Gerasimov, meet in Finland. (AP via ABC News)

In basketball, the Golden State Warriors defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers in four games to win the National Basketball Association Championship. (New York Times)

THE END

06.08.2018

I haven’t paid any attention to Global Warming in a very long time. I have a very small carbon footprint and I am efficient and conserve and all that, but I just don’t think there is anything I can do as an individual to change anything.  I was challenged recently to give a shit. Help. I’m wondering if anybody has any thoughts ( I know you do).

Paris climate conference: 10 reasons why we shouldn’t worry about ‘man-made’ global warming
The UN Climate Change Conference in Paris would have us all terrified about the future of the environment. Here’s why I’m not
by Christopher Booker

 

Friday,  Jun 8, 2018

Author, chef, TV host Anthony Bourdain dies at 61 Celebrated author and chef Anthony Bourdain, host of CNN’s award-winning series Parts Unknown, has died in an apparent suicide, CNN reported Friday. He was 61. “His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink, and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller,” the network said in a statement. Bourdain was in France working on an episode for his show, which explored food and culture around the world, when a friend, French chef Eric Ripert, found him unresponsive in his hotel room. Bourdain was a chef before his 2000 best-selling book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly catapulted him to stardom. He hosted shows on the Food Network and the Travel Channel before joining CNN. Source: CNN

I was an unhappy soul, with a huge heroin and then crack problem

In a 2017 interview with The Guardian, Bourdain reflected on his life in kitchens and said he’d been able to find peace out of a chaotic upbringing, saying he had “put aside my psychotic rage, after many years being awful to line cooks, abusive to waiters, bullying to dishwashers.”

“Nowadays I still have a rather withering ability to be sarcastic and displeased but I’m not screaming at anyone,” he told The Guardian.

Bourdain was born in New York City and grew up in New Jersey. He would have been 62 on June 25. Despite his success, Bourdain was known to struggle with drug addiction and had a history of heroin use.

“I was an unhappy soul, with a huge heroin and then crack problem,” Bourdain said in The Guardian interview. “I hurt, disappointed and offended many, many, many people and I regret a lot. It’s a shame I have to live with.”

 

Former Senate staffer indicted in Justice Department leak probe On Thursday, James A. Wolfe, the Senate Intelligence Committee’s former director of security, was indicted by a federal grand jury for lying to the FBI about repeated contact with three reporters. The Department of Justice said in a statement that Wolfe lied to agents in December 2017 about the contacts he made with reporters, including through encrypted messaging programs. As director of security, Wolfe “was entrusted with access to classified secret and top secret information provided by the executive branch, including the U.S. intelligence community” and was “responsible for safeguarding” this information. The New York Times reported that the Department of Justice notified reporter Ali Watkins in February that it had seized her phone and email records, going back several years, in connection with a probe into leaks of classified information. Watkins and Wolfe were once in a romantic relationship. Source: The New York Times

Thursday, Jun 7,  2018

Donald Trump and Shinzō Abe discuss improving trade relations between the two countries. (The Straits Times)

Donald Trump says that he might invite North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to the United States if the planned summit meeting in Singapore goes well. (BBC)

IKEA announces that it plans to phase out single-use plastic items by 2020, and intends to move toward sustainability in its product design. (BBC)

NASA announces the discovery of preserved organic matter in an ancient lake bed on Mars by its Curiosity rover. It has not been determined if the matter was potentially related to past life on Mars or not. (The Guardian)

Argentina agrees with IMF negotiators on a US$50 billion loan. (AP via The Kansas City Star)

Facebook reports a error in privacy settings that has affected 14 million users. (BBC)

 

Wednesday,  Jun 6,  2018

 A lava flow destroys at least 130 homes in the Vacationland Hawaii and Kapoho Beach Lots neighborhoods. Officials reported Vacationland Hawaii to be completely destroyed, while nearby Kapoho Bay has been filled with lava.(West Hawaii Today) (West Hawaii Today2)

The Cabinet of the United Kingdom approves a controversial third runway at London’s Heathrow Airport. (Sky News)

At least 18 people are killed by twin explosions in a weapons depot in a mosque in Sadr City, Baghdad. (Belga via Het Laatste Nieuws)

The Syrian government re-opens the Homs–Hama highway after it was closed for seven years. (Reuters)

A woman in Australia is reported dead from hepatitis after consuming frozen pomegranate. Health authorities have stated that 24 such cases were related to products by Entyce Food Ingredients. (BBC)

The European Commission proposes to implement two measures by August, designed to counter the US exit from the agreement with Iran. These would extend the EU blocking statute and allow an extension of the European Investment Bank mandate. (Belga via HBVL)

Alexander Nix, the head of Cambridge Analytica, faces questions from British MPs regarding the company’s use of data. (BBC)

The End

6ix9ine

 

Thursday, May 31,  2018

The Federal Reserve wants to soften the Volcker Rule on big banks The three members of the Federal Reserve Board voted unanimously on Wednesday to advance a proposal that would roll back the Volcker Rule, which prevents banks from making risky bets with depositors’ money. The Volcker Rule, part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, has been in effect since April 2014 and is meant to keep banks in check in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Wall Street has complained about the rule ever since, and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday that regulators are trying to “replace overly complex and inefficient requirements with a more streamlined set of requirements.” The proposal is now open to 60 days of public comment. The Federal Reserve is supposed to have seven governors. Source: The Hill

 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Harvey Weinstein is indicted for rape charges by a New York City grand jury. (CBS)

Arkady Babchenko, who was reported dead after being shot yesterday in Kiev, appears on live television in Ukraine, stating that the assassination was staged. (BBC)

Top North Korean official Gen Kim Yong-chol meets with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in New York City to discuss the summit set to be held in June. (BBC)

A consortium led by the Institute of Cetacean Research, which is linked to Japan’s Ministry of Fisheries, reports that 333 Antarctic minke whales were killed in last year’s “scientific survey”. 122 of the whales were pregnant, and 114 immature. (Smithsonian)

According to Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, talks with Greece on Macedonia’s name are in a final phase. Zaev says that if a compromise name for the country is agreed upon, it will be put to a referendum. (RFE/RL)

Report: Trump asked Sessions to rescind his recusal from Russia probe President Trump asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reverse his decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation during a dinner in Florida in March 2017, The New York Times reported Tuesday. Sessions refused. He had flown to see Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach because he needed to discuss Trump’s travel ban days after his Russia recusal, and the president wasn’t taking his calls. Trump reportedly berated Sessions and demanded his loyalty. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is now investigating this incident as part of his probe into whether Trump tried to obstruct justice, the Times reported. Mueller’s team has interviewed several current and former White House officials about how Sessions was treated by Trump. Sessions was interviewed in January. Source: The New York Times

 

 

Trump: ‘I wish’ I didn’t pick Jeff Sessions for attorney general President Trump publicly bashed his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, on Twitter Wednesday after The New York Times reported he had pressured Sessions in March 2017 to reverse his decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. Trump quoted Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), who had appeared on Fox News to defend the president, writing: “[If] I picked somebody to be the country’s chief law enforcement officer and they told me later ‘oh by the way, I’m not going to be able to participate in the most important case in the office,’ I would be frustrated too … There are lots of really good lawyers in the country, he could have picked somebody else!” Trump added his own comment after Gowdy’s quote: “And I wish I did!” Source: Donald J. Trump, The Week

Kim Kardashian West talks prison reform with Trump Reality star Kim Kardashian West went to the White House Wednesday to discuss prison reform with President Trump. Already the socialite has been in contact with Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, to advocate for the pardon and release of 62-year-old Alice Marie Johnson, who is more than two decades into a life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to offer advance details of the Wednesday visit, only confirming it would happen. “Happy Birthday Alice Marie Johnson,” Kardashian West tweeted earlier Wednesday. “Today is for you.” Source: Politico

 

 

Tuesday,   May 29, 2018

U.S. television network ABC cancels its recently revived sitcom Roseanne following a controversial tweet from Roseanne Barr about former U.S. President Barack Obama aide Valerie Jarrett. (BBC)

The U.S. Government announces a 25% import tariff on US$50 billion of Chinese goods with “industrially significant technology”. A full list of affected products will be published on June 15. Investment restrictions and enhanced export controls are to be announced on June 30. (NPR)

Four Libyan leaders (Fayez al-Sarraj, Khalifa Haftar, Aguila Saleh and head of the Council of State Khaled al-Mishri) endorse a statement calling to hold “credible, peaceful” elections on 10 December. (The Guardian)

The End

 

Lil_tay_https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tz5Qk8i68l4