Ozzy Osbourne Cancels Rest of Tour

 

Friday,  Oct 12, 2018

Trump chooses Arab authoritarianism over Jamal Khashoggi

Saudi forensic expert is among 15 named by Turkey in disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Turkey says it has audio, video proving journalist killed in Saudi consulate Turkish security officials have told the United States they have both audio and video recordings that definitively prove missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered last week inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, U.S. and Turkish officials told The Washington Post on Thursday. Khashoggi, a columnist for the Post, went to the consulate on Oct. 2 to get a document he needed for his wedding, and has not been heard from since. One official told the Post on the audio recording, “you can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic,” and another said men can be heard beating Khashoggi. After he was killed, he was reportedly dismembered. Saudi Arabia has denied being involved in Khashoggi’s disappearance. Source: The Washington Post

Hurricane Michael returns to the Atlantic, leaving destruction, death Hurricane Michael moved over the Atlantic Ocean on Friday morning after dumping rain on the mid-Atlantic states. Michael was downgraded to a tropical storm on Thursday after it ripped through Florida Wednesday as an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 hurricane. At least seven people were reportedly killed in the storm — five in Florida, one each in Georgia and North Carolina — and an estimated 1.5 million customers are without power in five states. Michael was the most powerful hurricane to hit the continental U.S. in nearly five decades, and the strongest on record to hit the Florida Panhandle. Unseasonably warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico gave the storm a boost as it battered Mexico Beach and Panama City, causing devastating damage to homes and infrastructure. Source:  USA Today

The collapse of a shopping mall under construction in the Mexican city of Monterrey results in at least seven deaths and nine people missing. 15 others are injured. (AP via ABC News America)

The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople plans to recognize the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, a move welcomed by Ukrainian leaders and denounced as “catastrophic” by the Russian Orthodox Church. (RFE/RL)

Michelle Obama said Barack does one thing at home that drives her crazy

 

Thursday, Oct 11,  2018

Report: Saudi crown prince ordered operation to lure missing journalist U.S. intelligence intercepted Saudi Arabian officials discussing a plan ordered by the crown prince to lure journalist Jamal Khashoggi from the United States back to Saudi Arabia, where he would be detained, U.S. officials told The Washington Post on Wednesday. Khashoggi went missing last week after he went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to pick up a document he needed to get married. Turkish officials are adamant that Khashoggi, a columnist for the Post, was killed inside the consulate by a Saudi hit squad. Saudi Arabia has denied any wrongdoing and says Khashoggi left the consulate. A bipartisan group of senators on Wednesday urged President Trump to impose sanctions on anyone found to be connected with Khashoggi’s disappearance. Source: The Washington Post

The Turkish newspaper Sabah names the 15-member Saudi Arabian intelligence team allegedly involved in the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. (Reuters)

Turkish officials say Saudi leaders ordered murder of missing journalist A senior Turkish official told The New York Times on Tuesday that security officials have determined that missing Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last Tuesday on orders of the royal court. Khashoggi was at the consulate to pick up a document he needed to get married, and was killed within two hours of his arrival, the official said. Turkey says 15 Saudi agents arrived in Instanbul on two charter flights the same day Khashoggi went to the consulate, and left a few hours later. One of those agents was an autopsy expert, the official told the Times, and security officials believe he helped with dismembering Khashoggi’s body. Saudi Arabia denies killing Khashoggi. Source: The New York Times, The Washington Post

Stock markets around the world plunge Stock markets around the world plunged Thursday, following one of the worst point drops in the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s history on Wednesday. The 832-point drop triggered a massive U.S. sell-off, which rippled through Asian markets. Indexes in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Taiwan plummeted between 3 and 6 percent, and experts say the rout will continue. President Trump blamed the Federal Reserve’s newly-raised rates for the tumble, but Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the “correction” in the market was “not particularly surprising.” Analysts say rising trade tensions between the U.S. and China could continue to cause strife; the CBOE Volatility Index, sometimes referred to as the “market fear index,” is at its highest point in about four months. Source: Bloomberg

Alleged Chinese spy charged with stealing U.S. trade secrets A Chinese intelligence officer has been arrested and charged with conspiring and attempting to commit economic espionage and theft of trade secrets from a U.S. aerospace company, the Justice Department announced Wednesday. Investigators say the man, Yanjun Xu, was arrested April 1 in Belgium, and was extradited to the U.S. on Tuesday. Court documents say he is an official with China’s Ministry of State Security, who targeted an aviation firm. “This case is not an isolated incident,” John Demers, assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice’s national security division, said. “It is part of an overall economic policy of developing China at American expense.” U.S. officials say this is the first time an alleged Chinese spy has been brought to the United States to face prosecution. Source: NBC News

Soyuz MS-10, carrying a cosmonaut and an astronaut to the International Space Station, is forced to make an emergency landing in Kazakhstan after a failure with its Soyuz-FG rocket. (Reuters)

 

Wednesday,  Oct 10,  2018

 ‘Extremely dangerous’ Hurricane Michael makes landfall in Florida Hurricane Michael has made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, as an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 storm, the National Hurricane Center said Wednesday. Its winds hit 155 mph, nearly qualifying it as a Category 5, and experts warn of a dangerous storm surge. Hurricane Michael is moving north at 12 mph, and it will be the “most intense” storm to hit the Florida Panhandle since 1851, FEMA Administrator Brock Long said Wednesday. It is expected to weaken as it moves across the southeastern United States. Source: CBS News

Trump slams Medicare-for-all in USA Today op-ed In a USA Today op-ed published Wednesday, President Trump slams Democrats as “radical socialists” who would bring about a “radical shift in American culture and life” if they win control of Congress. Trump specifically criticizes Medicare-for-all, claiming that this proposal would “inevitably lead to the massive rationing of health care” and would mean seniors would lose access to the doctors they want. Some Democrats propose Medicare-for-all as a way to actually improve benefits for seniors. The president also argues that Democrats want government control of education, private-sector businesses, and “other major sectors of the U.S. economy,” also accusing them of being for “open-borders socialism.” The op-ed is reportedly part of a new effort to characterize Democrats as extremists heading into the November midterms. Source: USA Today

Michael Bloomberg re-registers as a Democrat amid 2020 speculation Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has just re-registered as a Democrat amid speculation of a possible 2020 presidential bid. Bloomberg said on Instagram Wednesday that he did so because “we need Democrats to provide the checks and balance our nation so badly needs.” He didn’t mention a possible run for president, but The New York Times previously reported that he was “actively considering” a 2020 campaign. Bloomberg was previously registered as an independent after being a registered Republican for much of his time in office. Before serving as mayor, Bloomberg was a Democrat. Source:  The New York Times

A Dhaka court sentences 19 people to death, including two former ministers, and sentences Bangladesh Nationalist Party acting chairman Tarique Rahman to life imprisonment over a 2004 attack on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. (Al Jazeera)

 

Tuesday,  Oct 9, 2018

 Nikki Haley announces her resignation as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, effective at the end of the year. (NBC News)

American singer Taylor Swift wins four trophies, including Artist of the Year, and holds 23 American Music Awards, beating Whitney Houston. (BBC News)

Former Guatemalan Vice President Roxana Baldetti is sentenced to 15 years and 6 months in prison for fraud in a system to clean the polluted Lake Amatitlán. Baldetti still has four pending lawsuits and extradition to the United States. (The Guardian)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un invites Pope Francis to Pyongyang, and said he would be “warmly welcomed” to North Korea. (New York Times)

End

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

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

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

“Progressive academia’s main thrust seems to be that so long as your heart is in the right place, it doesn’t matter if you’re brain-damaged.”

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

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

09.20.2018

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

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

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

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

Thursday, Sept 20,  2018

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

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

 Wednesday,  Sept 19,  2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Tuesday,  Sept 18, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday,  Sept 17, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The End

08.06.2018

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

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

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

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

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

 

Monday,  Aug 6, 2018

Trump reimposes Iran sanctions, slams ‘horrible’ nuclear deal

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

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

 

Sunday, Aug 5, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 Saturday,  Aug 4, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Friday,  Aug 3, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The End

 

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

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

06.28.2018

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)

“Democrat Who Slammed Israel for Gaza Killings Is Shock Winner of New York Primary”. Haaretz. June 27, 2018.

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)

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat says migrant rescue ship MV Lifeline, stranded in international waters with over 200 rescued people on board for five days, has been granted permission to dock on the island and will do so later today. Muscat says those on board will be split between Malta and seven other European Union nations. (BBC)

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)

 

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2018

Syrian Army troops and Liwa al-Quds militiamen seize control of the strategic town of Busra al-Harir in the southern Daraa Governorate. Around 45,000 people have been displaced in the region due to recent fighting. (BBC)

Syrian state media reports that two Israeli missiles struck targets near Damascus International Airport overnight, including an Iranian cargo plane which had just landed. (Al Jazeera)

The Israeli Air Force strikes vehicles that it claims were being used to launch incendiary balloons from Gaza over the border into Israel. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discusses the conflict with Gaza with the United Nations Special Coordinator to the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, who has been preparing humanitarian projects for Gaza. (The Jerusalem Post)

Protests in Iran, particularly the capital, Tehran, enter their second day as thousands of protestors demand action following a collapse in the value of the Iranian rial. President Hassan Rouhani takes to live TV to call the protests “foreign media propaganda” and says that the United States is waging “psychological, economic and political war” with Iran. Protestors blame the Iranian government for the crisis, saying that billions are being wasted on expensive conflicts. Iran blames sanctions imposed by President Donald Trump. (The Times of Israel)

The protests become the biggest in Tehran since 2012. (The Independent)

Iran’s Chief Justice, Sadeq Larijani warns the protesting merchants that they could have their property confiscated or be executed if they break the law. (Iran Human Rights)

Judiciary officials say “a large number” of demonstrators have been arrested. (RadioFarda)

Authorities in France and French Polynesia meet to discuss rescue plans for MV Thorco Lineage, a freighter hauling zinc that is grounded with eighteen people on board on a coral reef near Raroia, Tuamotus. (Radio New Zealand)

The US National Transportation Safety Board reveals the lithium ion battery on a Tesla Model S involved in a double-fatality crash in Florida reignited twice after initially being extinguished by firefighters. It also reveals the vehicle was traveling at 116mph when the accident occurred; Tesla has introduced speed limiters on their cars as a result. (Engadget)

An Israeli official says that the nation has asked Cyprus to consider allowing Israel to set up a shipping point on the island for goods destined for Gaza. (Reuters)

The Palestinian Authority rejects proposals from Israel and the United States to reduce sanctions that the PA has imposed on Hamas-controlled Gaza. The PA says that there is a “conspiracy” afoot to create a “humanitarian issue” out of the disagreements. (The Jerusalem Post)

French police continue questioning ten suspected far-right terrorists arrested on Saturday over an alleged plot to attack Muslims. An extension to their detention was authorised late last night. (The Local)

Eighteen attorneys general, representing seventeen U.S. states and Washington DC, sue the Trump administration over migrant family separations at the U.S. border with Mexico. The litigants demand around 2,000 migrant children be reunited with their families. (The Independent)

More Below The Fold

Continue reading “06.28.2018”

Space

Thursday, Jun 21,  2018

U.S. President Donald Trump signs an executive order to “maintain family unity”, amid global outrage over the separation of migrant children from their families, reversing the administration’s policy. It affirms the U.S. policy of “detaining alien families together where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources.” (BBC) (Boston Globe)

Germany reportedly asks the U.S. Department of Defense if the Eurofighter Typhoon could be certified to carry nuclear bombs. (Reuters)

German authorities arrest a Tunisian man accused of building a ricin bomb.(The South China Morning Post)

The International Space Station (ISS) successfully deploys the UK-led RemoveDEBRIS satellite, which is designed to test the removal of space debris in low Earth orbit. At 100 kg (220 lb), RemoveDEBRIS is the biggest satellite deployed from the ISS. (BBC)

 

 

I’m sippin tea in yo hood, what the fuck is up, you buttercup
Purrp in that blunt, smoking suicide bloody blunts
Pussy boy you talkin’ shit for Twitter, it ain’t addin’ up
How these pussy niggas movin’ day to day? I had enough
Post with that fucking blade, bitch I’ll steal your face
Dick on that fucking gun, I love it when they run
Fuck all that talkin’ shit, do that shit for fun
Fuck ’round with these niggas, aye
Stab a body, fuck do you mean
Comes with that Glock and that beam
Put that shit right in yo’ spleen, aye
Run through yo hood, aye
Fuck nigga, what’s really good, aye
My niggas wish that you would, aye, aye

 

Shooting suspect arrested in death of XXXTentacion

 

The United States government releases a Near-Earth Object Preparedness Plan for reducing risks of asteroid or comet impacts. (NASA)

Wednesday,  Jun 20,  2018

Canadian ship MV Iron Chieftain burns for a second day off the coast of New South Wales, Australia. The freighter, carrying dolomite, was partially extinguished yesterday, but fire remains in the hold. (SBS)

The United States announces its withdrawal from the United Nations Human Rights Council. (BBC)

The Senate of Canada passes the Cannabis Act 52–29 which legalizes cannabis for recreational use. (BBC)

The End

Bad Blood

Thursday, Jun 14,  2018

Blood Simple
by Steve Sailer
June 13, 2018

Some other lessons from the Theranos debacle involve the plausibility of conspiracy theorizing. After all, the cast of famous operators who played supporting roles in the Elizabeth Holmes saga makes it sound like this, if anything, ought to be a conspiracy of some sort, right?

And yet the tale turned out to be one couple hoodwinking the Bohemian Grove members.

Now, we are often told that conspiracy theories couldn’t possibly be true because no organization could keep a secret for very long (although Britain’s vast Bletchley Park code-breaking project during WWII was kept confidential until the 1970s.)

And yet Theranos had been in business for twelve years and had fired hundreds of disillusioned employees before anybody published a debunking article.

No, the real weakness in most conspiracy theories is the sheer quantity of elite ineptitude. It turns out that, unlike in 1984 or Brave New World, there is no Inner Party of Machiavellian but informed insiders who actually know what’s going on. Hence, even the guys who won the Cold War were made fools of by a megalomaniacal young lady with the winds of the zeitgeist at her back.

 

Justice Department watchdog expected to slam FBI over Clinton email probe On Thursday afternoon, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz will release his anticipated report on the FBI and Justice Department’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. The report is expected to criticize former FBI Director James Comey for violating longstanding DOJ policies by criticizing Clinton’s email use while announcing the FBI found no wrongdoing and then publicly reopening the investigation a week before the 2016 election. Horowitz may also criticize former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe — the report already contributed to his firing — and others. When he launched the investigation in January 2017, however, Horowitz made clear he would not second-guess the decision to not press charges against Clinton. Clinton and others have said Comey’s actions cost her the election. Source: NPR

2018 World Cup begins with match between Russia, Saudi Arabia The world’s most widely-viewed sporting event, the soccer World Cup, begins Thursday in Russia, where the national team will face off against Saudi Arabia at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. Russia is the lowest-ranked team in the 2018 World Cup, having failed to win their last seven friendly matches since last October, while Saudi Arabia last reached the global finals in 1994. “Never mind that it’s the least appealing World Cup opener ever,” writes Henry Bushnell for Yahoo Sports. “If you’re a soccer fan, you watch the World Cup opener.” Games can be watched on Fox or Fox Sports 1, or in Spanish on Telemundo or NBC Universo. Russia vs. Saudi Arabia kicks off at 11 a.m. ET. Source: Sporting News

 

Wednesday,  Jun 13,  2018

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili resigns following anti-government protests. (RFE/RL)

Saudi-led coalition forces begin an operation to take control of the Yemeni port city of Al Hudaydah, which has been held by the Houthis since 2015. (BBC News)

Volkswagen is fined €1 billion by German prosecutors after cheating on diesel particulate emissions testing. (BBC News)

The FIFA Congress votes to hold the 2026 World Cup in Canada, Mexico, and the United States, with Morocco’s World Cup bid coming in second. (BBC Sport)

Julen Lopetegui is ousted as coach of Spanish national football team, one day before the 2018 FIFA World Cup. (The Guardian)

 

Tuesday,  Jun 12, 2018

Tesla announces that it intends to cut 3000 jobs in an attempt to improve profitability. Many of those workers will be offered alternative jobs under the same employer. (BBC)

A U.S. federal judge approves AT&T’s $85 billion merger with Time Warner. (NPR)

Seattle’s city council votes 7–2 to repeal a controversial employer head tax, which was approved a month earlier. (The Guardian)

Hurricane Bud grows into a category four hurricane with winds of 130 miles per hour (210 km/h) off of the Pacific Coast of Mexico. (CBS News)

Germany issues a recall of 73,000 eggs from the Netherlands suspected to be contaminated with fipronil. (BBC)

The United States unveils a new 6.5-hectare (16-acre) complex in Taipei for the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto U.S. embassy. (Reuters)

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un meet for a historic summit on Sentosa Island in Singapore. This marks the first time that the leaders of both countries have met. (BBC)

The End

Bad Blood will next be filmed by Will Ferrell’s pal Adam McKay (director of the Big Short mortgage movie) with Jennifer Lawrence as Holmes.


https://twitter.com/SecPompeo

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