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

Silk Roads

 

Why were five U.S. soldiers killed by a B-1 Bomber in Afghanistan?
A classified report blames human error for the deadliest friendly fire incident of the Afghan War involving U.S. soldiers. Soldiers who were there say that’s wrong

 

How we entered the age of the strongman
Liberals have consistently misread the present – and their complacency is pushing us into a new authoritarian era.
by John Gray
May 2018

 

A NEW SILK ROAD
China is investing billions in building pathways to Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East.
Photographs By Davide Monteleone

 

Khorgos, Kazakhstan – October 2017. A freight train arriving from China just left the Khorgos dry port to cross all Kazakhstan to reach Europe. Kazakhstan is a crucial country for the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative, and the Khorgos dry port is quickly becoming the China west gate for land import and export.

 

Tuesday,   May 29, 2018

White House confirms tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods The White House confirmed Tuesday that it will be going forward with the implementation of heavy tariffs on Chinese imports next month following weeks of concern that doing so might spark a trade war. Some $50 billion in imported goods will be subject to the 25 percent tariff, with a finalized list of goods expected by June 15. The U.S. also plans to restrict China’s access to American technology, with the administration citing national security concerns. Trade negotiations between the nations are ongoing, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin saying the trade war was “on hold” less than two weeks ago. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will travel to China to continue talks in early June. Source: The New York Times, CNN Money

Top North Korean official to visit New York High-level talks between the United States and North Korea continue Tuesday, with senior Pyongyang official Kim Yong Chol en route to New York City, President Trump confirmed. Kim will be the most senior North Korean official to visit the U.S. since 2000, following Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s two trips to North Korea to meet with leader Kim Jong Un this year. American diplomats in South Korea are also believed to be meeting with their North Korean counterparts on Tuesday, and on Monday a North Korean delegation reportedly arrived in Singapore, possibly to continue preparations for a summit Trump withdrew from last week. South Korean President Moon Jae-in met with Kim Jong Un over the weekend to push for the meeting to resume. Source: The Associated Press, CNN

Hurricane Maria death toll reportedly 70 times higher than official count More than 4,500 people are believed to have been killed in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria last year, more than 70 times the official death count of 64, the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine reported Tuesday. That estimate would make the hurricane far deadlier than Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when 1,833 people died. Deaths that count towards a total death toll include directly related events, like “flying debris,” as well as deaths “caused by unsafe or unhealthy conditions resulting in injury, illness, or loss of necessary medical services.” Puerto Rican deaths went underreported because hurricane-related casualties are required to be confirmed by the island’s Institute of Forensic Sciences, and indirect deaths often aren’t properly represented on official death certificates. Source: The New England Journal of Medicine

Palestinian militants in Gaza fire dozens of mortars at Israel in the heaviest such barrage in years. The Israeli Air Force responds with airstrikes on militant positions. (BBC)

The studio behind battle royale game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) sues Epic Games for allegedly copying their game, with Fortnite Battle Royale, which is currently the most played video game in the world. (BBC)

 

cardiB_https://youtu.be/iDjWKMbg_Ok

 

Two WYFF journalists, Mike McCormick and Aaron Smeltzer, are killed after a tree crushes their car as they covered the storm in North Carolina. (BBC)

Bashar al-Assad’s government of Syria recognises the disputed territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states, “in an appreciation of [their] supportive positions towards the terrorist aggression against Syria”. Georgia severs relations with Syria in response. (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)

Right-wing British activist Tommy Robinson was sentenced to 13 months in prison for contempt of court within five hours after being arrested outside Leeds Crown Court on 25 May. A ban on reporting his sentence is lifted today following a legal challenge by journalists. (The Mirror)

 

 

Monday,  May 28, 2018

Mariusz Błaszczak, Poland’s Minister of Defence, says that he recently talked with United States officials in Washington D.C. about a permanent stationing in Poland of thousands of US troops as a deterrent against Russia. (AP via Business Insider)

Austria’s coalition government unveils plans to cut benefit payments for immigrants, including refugees, in a move aimed at deterring new arrivals. (BBC)

The Golden State Warriors advance to the NBA Finals and will play the Cleveland Cavaliers for the fourth straight year. (Cleveland.com)

More Below The Fold

Continue reading “Silk Roads”

05.24.2018

Fishy Business

This mendacious exercise in manufacturing paranoia seeks to divert the public’s attention from the actual matter at hand, which is whether the highest higher-ups in the FBI will hand over documents to congressional committees who demanded them, as they are entitled to do by the constitution. Trump’s lawyers and General Kelly “dropped by” to remind the FBI officials that the president, as chief officer of the executive branch, has instructed the FBI mandarins to comply. In other words, the Newspaper of Record endeavors to distort the record of events. That’s disgraceful enough, but they are also abetting what appears more and more to be a case of mutiny with overtones of sedition.

How an Alexa speaker recorded and shared a private conversation

 

BLACK WRITER SETS ODDS ON WHEN TRUMP WILL FINALLY SAY THE “N-WORD”

But sometimes, much to the dismay of black people who make everything about being black, non-blacks don’t always have the time or interest to persecute them.

Thursday,  May 24,  2018

The NFL announces a new policy regarding kneeling for the anthem, requiring any players on the sidelines to stand. Thus, players will now be allowed to remain in the locker room while the Star-Spangled Banner is played, fining players who refuse to stand on the sidelines. (The Baltimore Sun)

Federal judge bars Trump from blocking Twitter users A federal district court judge in New York has ruled that it is unconstitutional for President Trump to block users on Twitter. The president’s Twitter feed was ruled to be a “public forum,” and by blocking users, he is in violation of the First Amendment. Part of the decision came down to the fact that when Trump blocks a user, they are no longer able to reply to his tweets, Reuters reports. “Once it is a public forum, you can’t shut somebody up because you don’t like what they’re saying,” argued U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald earlier this year. The lawsuit was filed by the Knight First Amendment Institute and Columbia University and a handful of Twitter users. Source: Reuters, Knight First Amendment Institute

North Korea slams Pence’s ‘ignorant’ comments, threatens scrap summit North Korea is again threatening to not attend a summit next month with President Trump, with the country’s vice minister of foreign affairs blasting Vice President Mike Pence for his “ignorant” comments comparing North Korea to Libya. Choe Son Hui said North Korea will “neither beg the U.S. for dialogue nor take the trouble to persuade them if they do not want to sit together with us.” During a Fox News interview Monday, Pence said it would be a “mistake” for North Korea to “play” Trump, and Washington could return to the “Libya model.” Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi agreed to give up his nuclear weapons in 2004, and he was overthrown and killed in 2011, after a U.S.-European intervention. Source: The Associated Press

Democrats, John Kelly, will now attend classified FBI informant briefing Only two members of Congress — House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif) and House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) — will be at a noon Justice Department briefing on Thursday about an FBI informant who contacted members of President Trump’s campaign in 2016. But after protests from Democrats and some Republicans, there will be a second briefing at 2 p.m. with the Gang of 8 — the top Senate and House leaders and intelligence committee members from both parties — plus Gowdy. Despite a previous assurance that none of Trump’s aides would attend, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly will be at both briefings. The briefing will be conducted by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Director of Intelligence Dan Coats. Source: Politico, The Associated Press

Dutch investigators conclude Russian army downed MH17 Dutch investigators have concluded that a Russian anti-aircraft missile brigade is responsible for shooting down a Malaysian Airlines passenger plane over eastern Ukraine in 2014. The disaster resulted in the deaths of all 298 people on board. Russia has repeatedly denied involvement in shooting down MH17, and has used its veto power at the United Nations to block an international tribunal over the incident. Dutch investigators say they are convinced Russia is behind the attack because they managed to identify a specific BUK missile system that was used, which was traced to a brigade based in Kursk, in western Russia. MH17 had been traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down. Source: BBC, The Guardian

CHI-COMS HERD MUSLIMS INTO CAMPS, FORCE THEM TO EAT PORK

A story that has largely been suppressed in the West due to the fact that our media mandarins shy away from depicting communists as humanity-squashing slave-masters is the fact that over the past year or so, Chinese authorities in the nation’s Xinjiang region have rounded up countless Muslims—at press time we weren’t able to do a head count, but estimates vary from a few thousand to a hundred thousand to over a million, if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all—and sent them to communist indoctrination camps.

It is there that they are whipped and beaten and starved and tortured and “made to eat pork and drink alcohol,” which, as all students of Islam know, pisses Allah off somethin’ fierce.

 

Wednesday,  May 23,  2018

Iran sets seven conditions to stay in the JCPOA Iran deal after the U.S. withdrew. One of these conditions is that European banks should safeguard trade with Iran. (Al-Arabiya)

Iranian truck owners and drivers start striking in seven provinces to protest poor working conditions. (VOA) (The Washington Post)

The United States issues a health alert in China, following a government employee reporting “abnormal sensations of sound and pressure”, one in a range of physical symptoms, from late 2017 through to April 2018. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the State Department is moving medical teams into place in Guangzhou, adding that the incident was “entirely consistent” with reported “sonic attacks” in Cuba in 2016 and 2017. (CNN)

The Pentagon announces that it has “disinvited” China from this year’s biennial Rim of the Pacific naval exercise, after China announced in January that it had accepted the United States’ invitation. (Politico)

The European Commission recommends to remove France from the excessive deficit procedure which it entered in 2009. (Deutsche Welle)

The Turkish Central Bank raises its “late liquidity window” rate from 13.5% to 16.5% in a move to counter the slide of the Turkish lira over the last three weeks. Other rates are left unchanged. (Bloomberg)

Italian President Sergio Mattarella accepts Giuseppe Conte as Prime Minister. Conte is now going to form his government, supported by the Five Star Movement and League. (BBC)

 

Tuesday,   May 22, 2018

Syrian government forces declare Damascus and its surroundings “completely safe” for the first time since 2011, after taking Yarmouk Camp and Hajar al-Aswad from ISIL. (CBS News)

Israel announces it is the first country to use the new F-35 Lightning II fighter jet in combat operations. (BBC News)

At least 16 people are killed and 38 wounded in Kandahar, Afghanistan, by the accidental detonation of a container of explosives while security forces were attempting to dispose of it. (Al Jazeera)

U.S. President Donald Trump states there is a “very substantial chance” that the summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un next month may not occur. (BBC News)

The Chinese Finance Ministry announces it will cut import duties on passenger vehicles from 25% to 15% starting on July 1, just days after China and the U.S. agreed to a ceasefire in their recent trade hostilities. (CNN)

Police in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu, India, kill nine people who protested against Vedanta Resources’ copper smelter operation, alleging that it is a major source of pollution and a risk to fisheries. State Minister D. Jayakumar says that it was “unavoidable” that the people were shot. National Congress opposition leader Rahul Gandhi calls the killings “state sponsored terrorism”. (Reuters)

THE END

 

 

 

Illegitimi non carborundum

Can We Call It a Coup Now?
MIKE WHITNEYMAY 20, 2018 • 3,300 WORDS

This is not a Dems vs Republicans issue, at least, it shouldn’t be. It’s about the unelected cabal that operates behind the cloak of partisan politics to exert its stranglehold on political power. As comedian George Carlin said, “The parties exist to make you think you have a choice. But you have no choice. You have owners, and they own everything.” Russiagate was merely the paper-thin pretext this secretive group settled on to launch its attack on the candidate who was never supposed to win the election.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/21/us/politics/mark-penn-clinton-aide-mueller-investigation.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

Tuesday,   May 22, 2018

Trump meets with DOJ officials to expand probe into FBI informant President Trump on Monday met with FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and asked the Justice Department to expand its investigation to “include any irregularities with the FBI’s or Justice Department’s tactics concerning the Trump campaign.” On Sunday, Trump initiated an inquiry into a report that an American academic working as an FBI informant met with several members of his 2016 campaign in the early days of the agency’s investigation into Russian election meddling. Trump demanded that the Justice Department look into whether Obama administration officials coordinated surveillance of his campaign for political reasons. Reports on the matter said there was no evidence the informant was embedded in the Trump campaign, as Trump suggested. Source: The Washington Post

Syrian government regains full control of Damascus for 1st time since 2011 The Syrian military said Monday that after fighting for a month, it has captured an area of southern Damascus from the Islamic State, and the capital is now, for the first time since the country’s civil war began in 2011, under full government control. They were able to take back the Palestinian refugee camp Yarmouk and the Hajar al-Aswad district, and will now focus on the territory held by rebels in southern Syria. A monitoring group said that 1,600 people, including hundreds of ISIS militants, left southern Damascus on Saturday and Sunday, and went toward the eastern desert after agreeing to a deal with the Syrian government. Source: The Associated Press

Monday,  May 21, 2018

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the U.S. will impose the “the strongest sanctions in history” on Iran if it does not meet various demands, including ending its nuclear program and leaving the Syrian Civil War. (Reuters)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani rejects Pompeo’s demands, and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif accuses the U.S. of repeating past mistakes. (Al Jazeera)

Sony agrees to a $2.3 billion deal where they will buy a controlling interest in EMI Music Publishing. The deal will mean that Sony would indirectly own 90% of the record label and its two million songs. (BBC)

Paraguay opens its embassy in Jerusalem, making Paraguay the third country, after the United States and Guatemala, to transfer its diplomatic mission in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. (AP via Politico)

The U.S. Supreme Court votes 5–4 to allow companies to enforce contracts which bar employees from entering class action lawsuits. (The Washington Postvia Concord Monitor)

More Below The Fold

Continue reading “Illegitimi non carborundum”

Can We Build a Brain?

Nova Wonders Can We Build A Brain?

 

Friday,  May 18, 2018

Senate confirms Gina Haspel as CIA director The Senate on Thursday voted 54-45 to confirm Gina Haspel as the director of the CIA. Haspel had faced fierce criticism for her involvement in previous CIA torture programs, including at a “black site” in Thailand in 2002. Republican Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), who was absent from the vote as he undergoes cancer treatment away from the Senate, had urged his colleagues to vote against Haspel, calling her previous actions “disqualifying.” During her testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Haspel had declined to say the CIA’s actions were “immoral,” but in a letter released earlier this week, she said that “the enhanced interrogation program is not one the CIA should have undertaken.” Haspel will be the first woman to lead the CIA. Source: C-SPAN, NBC News

Paul Manafort’s ex-son-in-law entered plea deal with federal prosecutors Jeffrey Yohai, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s former son-in-law and business partner, reached a secret plea deal with federal prosecutors earlier this year that requires him to cooperate in other state and federal investigations, according to several news organizations. One of Special Counsel Robert Muller’s two criminal indictments against Manafort charges him with bank fraud for allegedly instructing an unidentified son-in-law to pretend he was living in a Manhattan apartment that was being used as a rental property. Mueller’s team interviewed Yohai last June and reportedly remains interested in what he knows about Manafort. Manafort, who invested in failed real estate deals with Yohai in California and New York, has pleaded not guilty to all charges. Source: Reuters, Politico

Trump decries Russia investigation, accuses Democrats of spying President Trump on Thursday claimed to be the victim of “the greatest witch hunt in American history,” in the wake of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s report concluding that Russia sought to swing the 2016 election specifically for Trump. The investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia’s meddling began one year ago, and Trump marked the occasion by accusing Democrats of collusion instead. He also claimed that the Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign using an “embedded informant,” referring to a National Review report alleging such a plot. Trump exclaimed: “If so, this is bigger than Watergate!” Source: Twitter

Poisoned ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal released from the hospital Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal was released from the hospital on Friday, more than two months after he and his daughter Yulia were found slumped over on a park bench in Salisbury, England, after being exposed to a Novichok nerve agent. Yulia Skripal was released from the hospital on April 9 and moved to a secure location. The U.S. and European allies blamed Russia for the poison attack and expelled diplomats and presumed intelligence agents. Sergei Skripal, 66, was a Russian military intelligence officer who Russia jailed for passing on secrets to Britain, then released in a 2010 spy swap. Source: BBC

 

 Thursday, May 17,  2018

North Korea cancels high-level talks with South Korea in protest of United States–South Korea joint military exercises. (Bloomberg)

North Korea warns that it might cancel talks with the United States if the U.S. keeps insisting that North Korea will “unilaterally” abandon its nuclear weapons program, similar to the disarmament of Libya. The White House says it is hopeful the planned summit will still happen. (The Washington Post)(Reuters)

White House unconcerned about North Korea’s threat to cancel Trump summit North Korean state media announced Wednesday that leader Kim Jong Un may reconsider meeting with President Trump in Singapore next month if the United States continues to demand that Pyongyang give up its nuclear weapons program. The nation would refuse to make a deal based on economic rewards from the U.S. in exchange for denuclearization, North Korea’s vice minister of foreign affairs said. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the Trump administration had “fully expected” North Korea to make such threats, and said Trump was still open to the meeting. When asked about the summit, Trump said, “We’ll see what happens,” noting that North Korea had not canceled the plans. Source: Reuters, The Guardian

Denmark announces the partial withdrawal of its special forces from Iraq following the collapse of ISIL in the country. (Channel News Asia)

The summit at Kīlauea erupts and sends a plume of ash and smoke 30,000 feet (9.1 km) into the air. (CNN) (BBC)

 

Voters in Burundi go to the polls for a referendum to amend the constitution to allow current President Pierre Nkurunziza to stay in office until 2034. (The Guardian)

More Below The Fold  Continue reading “Can We Build a Brain?”

Uran-9

Tuesday,  May 15, 2018

Scores of Palestinians killed in protests against U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem Israeli gunfire along the Gaza Strip killed 61 Palestinian protesters and injured at least 1,200 more on Monday, Gaza health officials said, and Israeli tear gas fatally suffocated a young child. The fighting occurred along the Gaza border fence Monday as thousands of demonstrators gathered ahead of the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. President Trump announced late last year that he would move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which both Israelis and Palestinians claim as their capital. The decision, and Israel’s crippling blockade of Gaza, ignited weeks of protests at the border, with Israeli troops killing dozens of Palestinians. President Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner, both White House advisers, attended the embassy’s inauguration Monday. Source: The Associated Press, Reuters

Supreme Court rules that states can allow betting on sports The Supreme Court struck down a federal law prohibiting states from allowing sports betting Monday, siding with New Jersey, which seeks in part to revitalize Atlantic City. Liberal justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor were the only dissenters. “The legalization of sports gambling is a controversial subject,” the opinion reads. “Supporters argue that legalization will produce revenue for the states and critically weaken illegal sports betting operations … Opponents contend that legalizing sports gambling will hook the young on gambling, encourage people of modest means to squander their savings and earnings, and corrupt professional and college sports.” The justices determined that the legalization of sports gambling “requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make.” Source: Supreme Court, The Washington Examiner

Monday,  May 14, 2018

Tens of thousands of Palestinians protest on the border of Gaza. The Israeli Defense Forces reports some in the crowds were planting or hurling explosives, and that many were flying flaming kites into Israel. The Gaza Health Ministry reports at least 58 killed and over 2,400 wounded by Israeli forces using live fire and tear gas. (The New York Times) (The Guardian)

On the 70th anniversary of the formation of Israel, the US becomes the first country with an embassy in Jerusalem after a dedication ceremony featuring Israeli leaders and White House advisers. (NPR)

 The Dutch government, following similar moves by the United States and the United Kingdom, announces that it is phasing out the use of antivirus software products from the Russian company Kaspersky Lab “as a precautionary measure”. (Nasdaq)

Six-time Israeli Premier League champion Beitar Jerusalem Football Club officially renames itself Beitar Trump Jerusalem F.C. for U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to move the embassy. (The Guardian)

Sunday, May 13, 2018

 U.S. President Donald Trump says in a tweet that he is working with Chinese President Xi Jinping to get the Chinese telecom company ZTE “back into business, fast.” ZTE suspended its main operations after the U.S. Department of Commerce banned American companies from selling to the firm for seven years as punishment for ZTE breaking an agreement reached after it was caught illegally shipping U.S. goods to Iran. (CNBC)

A man from Queens is arrested after threatening to “kill” NBA commissioner Adam Silver. (NY Post)

French transport workers strike, reducing train services on SNCF, due to privatisation efforts. (Le Point)

 

Saturday,  May 12, 2018

Israel closes the Kerem Shalom border crossing into Gaza after it is heavily damaged by a Palestinian arson attack, saying that humanitarian cases will still be allowed through while the damage is being repaired. Kerem Shalom is the border crossing where most goods transit into the blockaded territory. (Voice of America)

The Israeli Air Force destroys a Hamas tunnel more than a kilometer long that headed from Beit Hanun, Gaza towards Israel. (The Jerusalem Post)

 

Russia says it has deployed its Uran-9 robotic tank to Syria

 

Israeli singer Netta Barzilai wins the Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon, Portugal, with her song Toy. This is Israel’s first Eurovision win in the 21st century and fourth overall. (The Guardian)

Relatives of the 66 people killed in the crash sue Apple alleging that an overheating iPad caused the disaster. (Patently Apple)

After Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe insisted North Korea settle the issue of Japanese citizens adbucted by North Korea, North Korean state media KCNA accuses Japan of disrupting peace efforts before the planned North Korea–U.S. summit. (The Japan Times)

Voters in Iraq go to the polls. One quarter of the 329 seats in the Council of Representatives must go to women. (CNN)

A low turnout is reported, but no bombings at polling stations. (AP via The Spokesman Review)

A court in Milan lifts the consequences of Silvio Berlusconi’s 2013 tax evasion sentence. He is now allowed to participate in elections again. (Corriere della Sera) (La Stampa)

 

Friday,  May 11, 2018

Senior Hamas member Yehiyeh Sinwar suggests that tens of thousands of Palestinian protestors will storm the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip tomorrow. (ABC News)

U.N. urges ‘immediate halt to all hostile acts’ between Iran and Israel On Thursday night, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged “an immediate halt to all hostile acts and any provocative actions” by Israel, Iran, and Syria “to avoid a new conflagration in the region.” Early Thursday, in retaliation for a missile attack on the Golan Heights, Israel sent missiles and fighter jets into Syria, targeting “dozens” of Iranian assets as well as Syrian air-defense systems. The missiles left 23 dead, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. This is the most serious escalation in long-simmering tensions between Iran and Israel in years. On Friday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi criticized Israel’s strike as a “fabricated and baseless” attack on Syria’s sovereignty. Source: CNN, The Independent

The Israel Defense Forces again open fire with tear gas and live ammunition on Palestinian protesters, following 6 weeks of protests. One person is killed and 146 others wounded, with some protesters throwing stones and burning tyres. (The Independent)

Three Israelis are arrested after filming themselves attempting to fly a kite carrying an incendiary device into the Gaza Strip, in reference to the same tactic used by protestors in Gaza. The kite crashes on Israeli territory where it starts a small fire. (Haaretz)

Egypt announces that the Rafah Crossing into Gaza will be opened for four days starting next Saturday. Egypt usually opens the border for humanitarian reasons every two or three months for two or three days at a time. (Wafa.ps)

The owner of Cheeki Rafiki, a yacht that capsized in the Atlantic in 2014 with the loss of four lives, is given a suspended sentence in England for the accident. He was earlier convicted of operating the vessel unsafely but acquitted of manslaughter. (BBC)

More than 100 people walked out of a ‘repulsive’ serial-killer movie at Cannes: ‘Lars has gone too far this time’

 

Mount Merapi in Java, Indonesia, erupts. Authorities order evacuations and the closure of Adisucipto Airport in Yogyakarta. (Newshub)

A fire destroys almost all of the approximately 710 commercial premises of a important market in Lima, Peru. The fire is exacerbated by flammable products stored in many of the stores. One person was injured and also there were allegations of looting. (La República) (Radio Capital)

James Harrison, an 81-year-old Australian whose blood was used in the development of a treatment for Rh disease that has been credited with saving the lives of over 2 million infants in his country alone, donates blood plasma for the final time, after having regularly donated for over 60 years. (CNN)

Russian authorities say that they foiled a plot by Siberian terrorists to attack a Victory Day march attended by President Vladimir Putin and visiting IsraeliPrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Twenty suspects are detained. (The Times of Israel)

SpaceX launches Bangabandhu-1, Bangladesh’s first geostationary communications satellite, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, United States. (Business Insider)

 

 

Scientists at MetService record a wave measuring 23.8 metres (78 ft) high in the Southern Ocean near Campbell Island, New Zealand, making it the largest wave ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere. (BBC) (Fox News)

23 killed as Israel attacks Iranian targets in Syria Early Thursday, Israel said it sent missiles and fighter jets into Syria, targeting “dozens” of Iranian assets, including weapons depots, intelligence centers, and logistics sites, as well as destroying Syrian air-defense systems. The missiles left 23 dead, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. This is the most serious escalation in long-simmering tensions between Iran and Israel since Syria’s civil war started in 2011. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended Israel’s actions, saying Iran had “crossed a red line” by firing missiles toward Israel. “Whoever prepares themselves to attack us will be attacked first,” said Netanyahu. Israel reportedly targeted an arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards that is fighting alongside Syrian troops, in retaliation for Iran’s attack on the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. Source: CNN, The Independent

THE END

Mom

Mom, 25, is ‘CEO’ of huge Minnesota meth trafficking ring, prosecutors say

Tristan Thompson Opens Up About His and Khloe Kardashian’s Baby Girl

Uber Says It Will Test 5-Minute Food Deliveries by Drone

Bromance alert: Kanye West and … Jordan Peterson?

 

Thursday, May 10,  2018

Trump to meet with Kim Jong Un in Singapore next month President Trump confirmed Thursday that he will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12. “We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!” Trump tweeted. Trump had previously floated the Demilitarized Zone for his summit with Kim, eyeing its “representative, important, and lasting” symbolism, but he told reporters Wednesday that the meeting would not be held there after all. Earlier Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo returned from a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un along with three newly released American prisoners, Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak Song, and Tony Kim. Source: Donald J. Trump, The Week

Wu Xiaohui, head of Chinese insurance firm Anbang, is jailed for eighteen years for fraud and corruption. He is further sentenced to have 10.5 billion yuan (US$1.7 billion; £1.2 billion) confiscated. (BBC)

23 killed as Israel attacks Iranian targets in Syria Early Thursday, Israel said it sent missiles and fighter jets into Syria, targeting “dozens” of Iranian assets, including weapons depots, intelligence centers, and logistics sites, as well as destroying Syrian air-defense systems. The missiles left 23 dead, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. This is the most serious escalation in long-simmering tensions between Iran and Israel since Syria’s civil war started in 2011. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended Israel’s actions, saying Iran had “crossed a red line” by firing missiles toward Israel. “Whoever prepares themselves to attack us will be attacked first,” said Netanyahu. Israel reportedly targeted an arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards that is fighting alongside Syrian troops, in retaliation for Iran’s attack on the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. Source: CNN, The Independent

Senior Hamas member Yehiyeh Sinwar suggests that tens of thousands of Palestinian protestors will storm the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip tomorrow. (ABC News)

The National Transportation Safety Board opens an investigation into an automobile accident in Florida, involving a Tesla Model S where two teenagers died. According to a statement by Tesla, the car’s Autopilot feature was not engaged at the time. (Reuters)(ABC News)

Safaa Boular, a teenager, goes on trial at the Old Bailey accused of two counts of planning terrorism after allegedly planning to attack the British Museum in London after failing to travel to Syria to marry an Islamic extremist fighter. (BBC)

UK Prime Minister Theresa May apologises to the family of Abdul Hakim Belhaj, accepting the fact that the UK’s actions led to his rendition to Libya where he was tortured. Belhaj was detained in Thailand by US authorities in 2004. His wife accepts the apology and £500,000. (BBC)

A court in Bangladesh sentences Riaz Uddin Fakir to death for war crimes during the 1971 Liberation War. (Bangladesh Daily News 24)

The Federal Communications Commission sends out a notice which states that the 2015 U.S. open-internet rules will cease on June 11, 2018. (Reuters)

 

Wednesday,  May 9,  2018

The three remaining American detainees in North Korea fly with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the United States. (The New Zealand Herald)

Syrian and Iranian forces fire 20 missiles at the Israel Defense Forces positioned in the disputed territory of the Golan Heights, prompting air raid sirens in northern Israel. The IDF reports the Iron Dome missile defence system has intercepted a number of missiles and reports no injuries. Israeli forces respond with artillery into Syria. (The Times of Israel)

Strikes from both Israel and Syria continue repeatedly throughout the night, reportedly on a far larger scale than in previous incidents. (Reuters)

A car bomb and shellfire hit Marjeh Square in Damascus, Syria, killing two people and injure 14 others. (The National)

US retailer Walmart acquires a 77% controlling stake in Flipkart, India’s largest online shop, for US$16 billion. (City A.M.)

Vodafone acquires Liberty Global’s European operations, including German cable operator Unitymedia, for €18.4 billion. (Computing.co.uk)

Chinese retailer Alibaba acquires Pakistani online marketplace Daraz for an estimated US$150–200 million. (The News)

 

Tuesday,   May 8, 2018

Donald Trump announces that the United States will withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal. (The New York Times)

Iran says that it remains committed to the agreement but also that it is ready to step up uranium enrichment if the deal is no longer beneficial. (The Washington Post)

For the second time in two months, North Korea leader Kim Jong-un meets China president Xi Jinping, this time in Dalian. (Stuff) (The Wall Street Journal) (The New York Times)

High profile Chinese Communist Party member Sun Zhengcai is sentenced to life in prison for taking bribes totaling 170 million yuan. (BBC)

Armenia’s parliament elects protest leader Nikol Pashinyan as the new Prime Minister. (The Huffington Post)

A new outbreak of the Ebola virus disease kills at least 17 people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (The Guardian)

A war crimes tribunal in Colombia begins investigating atrocities during the war which began in the 1960s. (al-Jazeera)

Bosnian prosecutors appeal the acquittal of Naser Orić, former commander of the Bosnian Army in Srebrenica, who was accused of killing Serb prisoners. (Balkan Insight)

Yemeni political parties, including the General People’s Congress, Al-Islah and the Southern Movement issue a joint statement calling on the United Arab Emirates to immediately withdraw its troops from Socotra in the Arabian Sea. (Anadolu Agency)

President of Argentina Mauricio Macri announces talks with the International Monetary Fund on financial support for the country’s economy. The Central Bank of Argentina interest rate is now at 40%, inflation at 25% and the value of the Argentine peso at a record low. (BBC)

Junior officer Lt. j.g. Sarah Coppock, who was navigating when USS Fitzgerald when it collided with a civilian ship last year killing seven people, pleads guilty to dereliction of duty and is sentenced to half pay for three months and a punitive letter. (Navy Times)

Greek officials arrest 14 men, all but one of which are Greek nationals, on suspicion of funding terrorism. (Kathimerini)

Theresa May confirms her trust in Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson after he called her post-Brexit trade policy with the European Union “crazy”. (Bloomberg)

THE END

Kilauea

Tuesday,   May 8, 2018

Trump to unveil Iran nuclear deal decision; poll heavily favors keeping deal President Trump said Monday he will announce at 2 p.m. on Tuesday whether he is unilaterally pulling the U.S. out of a deal with Iran, China, Russia, and European allies that prevents Iran from developing nuclear weapons at least through 2030, and Trump is widely expected to scrap the deal. Trump, a longterm critic of the 2015 deal, has until May 12 to decide whether to withdraw, which would put him at odds with all the other signatory nations. A CNN poll out Tuesday shows that to be an unpopular choice, with 63 percent of Americans preferring to stay in the deal and only 29 percent saying the U.S. should pull out.  Source: The New York Times, CNN

Jeff Sessions: Families entering U.S. illegally will be split up Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on Monday that the Trump administration is splitting up all undocumented parents and children who cross the border together, with the parents immediately sent to detention centers and federal court. “If you are smuggling a child then we will prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you as required by law,” Sessions said during a law enforcement conference in Arizona. “If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border.” The children will go to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, and then either be placed with relatives in the United States or private shelters. Children and parents who seek asylum at the border will not be separated, administration officials said. Source: NBC News

Hawaii volcano eruption destroys at least 31 homes At least 31 houses and buildings have been destroyed by lava flowing from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island, officials said Monday. The eruption started late Thursday afternoon, and scientists said that at one point lava was spewing more than 200 feet into the air. U.S. Geological Survey volcanologist Wendy Stovall said that new fissures have emerged in the Leilani Estates neighborhood, and that “there’s more magma in the system to be erupted. As long as that supply is there, the eruption will continue.” She also warned about toxic sulfur dioxide gas pouring from the fissures. More than 1,700 people have been evacuated from the area, and it’s unknown when they’ll be able to return to the neighborhood. Source: CBS News, Los Angeles Times

The United States Navy re-establishes the United States Second Fleet, which was disbanded in 2011, citing recent heightened tensions between NATO and Russia. (Reuters)

A Russian Sukhoi-30SM crashes after leaving an airbase in Khmeimim, Latakia, Syria. Both crew die. (The Guardian)

The head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Ahmet Uzumcu says that up to 100 grams of liquid nerve agent were used in the chemical attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal – around half a cup of liquid, suggesting it was intended for use as a weapon and was not created for research purposes. (The Guardian)

Oliver North, a former Ronald Reagan aide and marine, becomes the new president of the National Rifle Association. (The Hill)

In official results, Hezbollah and allied parties win a slight majority of seats in Parliament. (Reuters)

NASA’s InSight Mars lander launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc, California. It is the first interplanetary mission launched from the West Coast of the United States. (CBS News)

Monday,  May 7, 2018

American superhero film Avengers: Infinity War becomes the fastest film to make US$1 billion worldwide, in just eleven days. (BGR)

Airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition destroy the Presidential Palace in Sana’a, Yemen, with at least six killed and 30 injuries reported, coalition officials claim they had targeted high-ranking Houthi officials. (Yahoo! News)

Hamas has offered Israel a longterm ceasefire including prisoner exchanges, in return for reductions to the Gaza blockade, and infrastructural improvement. (The Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

Latvian bank ABLV sues the European Central Bank in the Court of Justice of the European Union, saying the ECB triggered ABLV’s collapse. The bank failed following allegations by the United States that ABLV was laundering money on behalf of North Korea. (Reuters)

The United States Department of Defense says it has resumed accepting deliveries of F-35 warplanes from manufacturer Lockheed Martin after resolving a dispute over a production error which was leading to corrosion. (Reuters)

About 35 structures in Leilani Estates are destroyed during the Kīlauea eruption in Hawaii. (KFOR-TV)

The United States imposes sanctions on three Venezuelans and 20 drug entities for trafficking activity. (Yahoo! News)

Paraguay announces that it will move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by the end of May. Paraguay is the third country to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem after the United States and Guatemala. (Reuters)

Egyptian chief prosecutor Nabil Sadek refers 555 ISIL suspects suspected of 63 terror attacks to a military court, while the Giza Criminal Court in Cairo sentences nine terrorists to life imprisonment and two others to five years imprisonment each. (The Times of Israel)

The Knesset approves by 55 votes to 14 a bill designed to confiscate payments made by the Palestinian Authority to terrorists in Israel. (Arutz Sheva)

Finland says compensation payouts for wrongful convictions and imprisonments have quadrupled in ten years, with three million euros paid in 2017 versus 720,000 euros in 2007. (YLE)

Centrist opposition party Democratic Party merges with centre-right Party of Hope, forming the Democratic Party for the People. Members of both parties that disapproved of the merger choose to either join the Constitutional Democratic Party, become independents or remain in the Party of Hope. (The Asahi Shimbun)

Attorney General of New York Eric Schneiderman, whose office sued The Weinstein Company for sexual harassment and discrimination, resigns amid allegations of violence towards four women during his tenure as Attorney General. (NBC News)

Scientists discover that WASP-96b has an atmosphere that is free of clouds. (Phys.org)

 

Sunday, May 6, 2018

 Hamas releases videos showing dozens of Palestinians successfully breaching the fence and infiltrating Israel. (Israel National News)

 

French economy minister Bruno Le Maire says Air France may collapse over ongoing strike action and the state will not bail the firm out despite owning 14.3% of parent Air France-KLM. (BBC)

At Leilani Estates, 26 homes and 4 buildings were destroyed by Kīlauea, forcing 1700 people to leave their homes. (Reuters)

Malaysian authorities announce sixteen arrests connected to an international human trafficking ring. The arrests follow the seizure of modified tanker ship MV Etra in Malaysian waters on Tuesday with 127 Sri Lankan migrants on board being smuggled to New Zealand and Australia. The arrests include seven people captured aboard a fishing vessel used to transfer migrants onto MV Etra(The South China Morning Post)

Lebanon holds its first parliamentary election since 2009. (BBC)

Thousands rally in support of freedom of speech in London, United Kingdom amid a recent crackdown on social media. Guest speakers included former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson, Vice magazine co-founder Gavin McInnes, and UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Gerard Batten. (The Guardian)

Saturday,  May 5, 2018

The Israeli Air Force used a “hotline” to issue an urgent warning to Khmeimim Airbase in Syria when a Russian fighter jet strayed close to Israeli airspace near the Golan Heights. Last year a Syrian warplane was shot down in a similar incident. (AMN)

Russian police detain about 1,600 anti-government protesters, including opposition leader Alexei Navalny. (RTÉ)

Thousands of people in central Paris demonstrate in an anti-Macron protest against his sweeping reforms. 2,000 security forces are deployed. (ABC)

The Federal Aviation Administration of the United States orders Boeing 787 jets using Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines to operate within one hour of an airport at all times following safety concerns with the engines worldwide which culminated in Air New Zealand and Air China grounding their fleets last week. (The Telegraph)

Pre-race favorite Justify wins the Kentucky Derby, becoming the first horse since 1882 to win the race while unraced as a two-year-old. The race was run under the wettest conditions in its history; by post time, more than 2.8 inches (7.1 cm) of rain had fallen on race day, breaking a record that had lasted since 1918. (WDRB – weather) (CBS Sports)

Friday,  May 4, 2018

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2018 is postponed to 2019 after Jean-Claude Arnault, husband of the former Swedish Academy member Katarina Frostenson, is accused of sexual assault, resulting in her resignation, and leaving the academy without a quorum. (The Guardian)

A magnitude 6.9 earthquake hits Hawaii, the strongest in over 40 years, amid ongoing seismic and volcanic activity. (LA Times)

A heap of mining waste collapses at a jade mine in Kachin State, Myanmar, causing a landslide that kills at least 17 people. Six people are also left injured and an unknown number of people are missing. (AP) (Channel News Asia)

A Turkish cargo ship collides with Greek warship Armatalos off the coast of Lesbos in the Aegean Sea. The Hellenic Navy says the ship then retreated to Turkish waters without responding to radio messages. (The Guardian)

At 23:30 local time, North Korea changes its time zone to match South Korea (UTC+09:00) – a “first practical” impetus for Korean reunification, says the official North Korean agency KCNA. (BBC)

U.S. President Donald Trump announces that he will meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in on May 22. (Reuters)

Fifty juvenile crocodiles are seized at Heathrow Airport, London, after officials discover that they were being kept in inhumane conditions. (BBC)

An arson attack on a pile of hay bales in the Jordan Valley does hundreds of thousands of Shekels of damage. Local authorities describe the attack as terrorist. (Ynetnews)

A new model suggests that supervolcano eruptions occur more often in regions being pulled by tectonics. (Brinkwire)

Using recent data from the Gaia spacecraft, the value of the Hubble constant is determined to be 73.52±1.62, which confirms a disagreement with other methods of measuring the constant with a confidence of 99.993%. (Inquisitr)

In baseball, the Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols becomes the 32nd Major League Baseball player to reach 3,000 career hits. (Yahoo! Sports)

The End