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

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)

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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)

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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)

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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 

Noodle Diplomacy

Around 110 people are killed in a dust storm in northwestern India, with Uttar Pradesh being the hardest hit. (CNN)

 

NASA announces it has completed its first full-power test of the Kilopower nuclear reactor for space. NASA intends to use the technology to power exploration missions to the Moon and Mars. (The Independent)

The fossilized remains of a rhinoceros are found in the Philippines, with cut marks suggesting it was butchered with stone tools. The remains, dated to 709,000 years old by electron spin resonance, suggest a human presence earlier than expected in Southeast Asia. (CNN)

Friday,  May 4, 2018

Report: Scott Pruitt’s travel tied to wish list, lobbyists, GOP donors After Scott Pruitt was confirmed as head of the Environmental Protection Agency last year, he made a list of at least a dozen countries he wanted to visit, then asked his aides to help him come up with official reasons to travel to them, four people familiar with the matter told The Washington Post. Pruitt then recruited conservative activists, lobbyists, and GOP donors like Sheldon Adelson to help craft itineraries. Adelson assisted with the planning of a trip to Israel that Pruitt was set to take in February, the Post reports. That trip was canceled only a few days before Pruitt was scheduled to leave, after the Post reported on his very expensive, taxpayer-funded travel habits. Source: The Washington Post

 

U.S. adds 164,000 jobs in April, unemployment drops to 3.9 percent The Labor Department reported that 164,000 jobs were added in April, significantly short of the expected 193,000 jobs, but up from a weather-related slowdown the month before. The unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent, marking the lowest rate since 2000. “We’ve continued to add jobs routinely every month for so long, and the unemployment rate we have reached is amazing,” said the chief economist of job search site ZipRecruiter, Catherine Barrera. “This is the economy doing well.” The economy only added 103,000 positions in March, but economists dismissed that as a result of a surge in hiring in February, when payrolls grew by 326,000 positions due to unseasonably mild weather. Source: The New York Times, Reuters

Nobel academy will forego literature prize this year amid scandal The Swedish Academy announced Friday that it will not award the Nobel Prize in literature this year, but rather announce the 2018 winner in 2019, citing a desire to “safeguard the long-term reputation of the Nobel Prize” amid a sexual harassment scandal that has thrown the literature academy into chaos. The scandal centers around photographer Jean-Claude Arnault, a major Swedish cultural figure who is accused of sexually assaulting or harassing 18 women, leaking the name of at least seven laureates, and groping Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria. His wife, poet Katarina Frostenson, is a member of the academy. The academy has refrained from handing out a literature Nobel just seven other times, the last being in 1943, due to war and, in 1935, because no writer was deemed worthy. Source: The Washington Post, The Associated Press

 

 

Thursday, May 3,  2018

The United States Department of State freezes funding to the White Helmets humanitarian group, which conducts urban search and rescue in rebel-held areas of Syria. The U.S. provides one-third of the group’s total funding. (The Hill)

The United Arab Emirates deploys troops on the Yemeni island of Socotra in the Arabian Sea, taking over key installations such as Socotra Airport from Yemeni soldiers. Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr denounces the Emirati ground incursion and hundreds protest demanding their immediate withdrawal. Local media reports the UAE claims to have “leased” the island. (Al Jazeera)

After over 600 earthquakes, including a magnitude 5.0 at Kīlauea, parts of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park have struck, causing the nearby Puʻu ʻŌʻō, to close due to fears of an eruption. The volcano erupted and evacuations were issued. (Big Island Now) (ABC7)

 

Wednesday,  May 2,  2018

A fire started by an incendiary device attached to a kite by Palestinian protestors and flown into Israel burns for six hours. It is the largest fire so far after a string of firebombing attacks. (The Times of Israel)

 

Cambridge Analytica announces that it is closing down as a result of the scandal. (BBC)

North Korea has released the three remaining American detainees ahead of the upcoming summit meeting with Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. The news came after National Security Adviser John R. Bolton stated that they should be released as a way for North Korea to demonstrate its sincerity in talks. (Business Insider)

Helium has been detected for the first time in the atmosphere of an exoplanet by scientists observing WASP-107b. (News Atlas)

Noodle diplomacy: S. Korea’s Blue House serves up dish hailed by Kim Jong-un

 

Peeing in trash cans, constant surveillance, and asthma attacks on the job: Amazon workers tell us their warehouse horror stories

 

THE END

 

De-extinction

Muntadhar al-Zaidi, the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at George W. Bush in 2008, will run for Iraqi parliament. (BuzzFeed News)

Minimum alcohol pricingcomes into effect in Scotland, mandating prices of at least 50p per unit. Scotland becomes the first country to introduce such a scheme. (The Independent)

Biologists at the University of Melbourne announce plans to clone the extinct thylacine (Tasmanian tiger). (News Corp Australia)

“That’s something that’s not science fiction any more, it’s science fact,” Prof Pask said. “They will be able to bring something mammoth-like back to life.” And it could one day open the floodgates for resurrecting other lost species.

Bone remains of more than 140 children and about 200 young llamas were found in the Peruvian city of Trujillo, near the Chan Chan citadel, according to a National Geographic publication. This discovery, which would date from the time of the little-known Chimú pre-Columbian civilization (about 550 years ago), would be, for researchers, the largest mass sacrifice of children in the American continent. (El Comercio) (National Geographic)

Russia’s first floating nuclear power plant, the Akademik Lomonosov, sets sail across the Baltic Sea from St. Petersburg. (Alphr)

What could go wrong?

The world’s oldest known spider, a trapdoor spider known as “Number 16”, dies of a wasp sting at the age of 43. (Yahoo! News via AFP)

A communal toilet collapses in Bhandup, Mumbai, India. Several people are trapped and require rescue, with two dying en route to hospital. (First Post)

Scientific studies have offered evidence that a geothermal plant may have caused the earthquake in South Korea. (Phys.org)

Marathon Oil purchases Andeavor for $23.3 billion, creating the biggest oil refining firm in the United States. (Bloomberg)

T-Mobile US and Sprint agree to merge in a deal valued at US$146 billion. The merger is subject to approval from regulators. (USA Today)

 

Tuesday,   May 1, 2018

American actress Ashley Judd sues Harvey Weinstein for defamation and sexual harassment, and claimed that he “torpedoed” her chance to be cast in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. (Herald Courier)

A Russian Su-27 fighter jet intercepts a United States P-8 Poseidon surveillance plane in international airspace over the Baltic Sea, with the US claiming the procedure was unprofessional and the aircraft came within 20 feet of each other. (KFDI)

ISIL releases an execution video showing a prisoner being killed by explosives in Yarmouk Camp, Damascus. (Metro)

Pro-Hadi forces capture the Al Bareh Triangle and seize Houthi arms. (Gulf News)

Several independent MPs urge Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir to withdraw troops from Yemen where they are supporting a Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels. (AllAfrica)

Iraqi police and al-Hashd al-Shaabi troops raid ISIL locations in Hawija, Kirkuk, and seize tunnels and arms caches. (Iraqi News)

The Supreme Court of India orders the government to seek international help after examining photos submitted by environmentalists showing a change in colour of the Taj Mahal. (BBC)

Minimum alcohol pricing comes into effect in Scotland, mandating prices of at least 50p per unit. Scotland becomes the first country to introduce such a scheme. (The Independent)

 

The Dominican Republic severs ties with Taiwan and establishes diplomatic relations with China. (CNN)

The African Land Forces Summit opens in Abuja, Nigeria. Present are military delegations from 30 African nations plus representatives from Europe and the United States. (AllAfrica)

Far-left anarchists clash with riot police in central Paris, France. Several businesses are looted and set on fire, including a McDonald’s restaurant and Renault garage. Hundreds are arrested. (Reuters)

Iran bans the Telegram messenger app, citing national security concerns. (BBC)

NYT: Mueller has 4 dozen questions he wants to ask Trump The New York Times has obtained a list of more than four dozen questions that Special Counsel Robert Mueller wants to ask President Trump as part of his investigation into ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia and possible obstruction of justice. The questions focus primarily on Trump’s firings of former FBI Director James Comey and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, a Trump Tower meeting in the summer of 2016 between several top campaign officials and Russians promising compromising information on Hillary Clinton, and discussions Trump had with personal lawyer Michael Cohen regarding a Moscow real estate deal. Trump’s lawyers wrote down the questions from Mueller’s team, with that list provided to the Times by someone not on Trump’s legal team. Source: The New York Times

 

Monday,  Apr 30, 2018

 A Syrian military source cited by pro-Syrian government news outlet Al-Masdar News says that an Israeli F-35 killed more than 30 soldiers yesterday in an attack that completely destroyed the Syrian government’s Brigade 47 missile base in Hama. (Al-Masdar News)

Iran’s Tasnim News Agency denies reports that yesterday’s missile attack in Hama and Aleppo Governorate hit an Iranian military base and says that no Iranian soldiers were killed in the attack. (Reuters)

The U.S. State Department confirms the U.S. has completed a delivery of FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missile systems to Ukraine. (RFE/RL)

The Israel Defense Forces say they shot dead three Palestinians in two incidents yesterday. The IDF says one was killed trying to breach the Israeli-Gazan border fence while a second was wounded and arrested. They say the second incident saw two men shot dead after bypassing the fence and throwing explosives at IDF soldiers. (The Wire)

Amnesty International and Justice for Iran accuse Iran of building at least seven mass graves in six provinces containing thousands of bodies from executions of suspected Mujahedeen-e Khalq towards the end of the 1980-88 war. (RFE/RL)

The U.S.-led coalition in Iraq declares an end to major combat operations against ISIL in Iraq and closes the Coalition Forces Land Component Command headquarters. The U.S.-led coalition says in a statement that it would transition “from supporting and enabling combat operations to the training and development of self-sufficient Iraqi security-related capabilities”. (Reuters)

South Korea president Moon Jae-in suggests that Donald Trump should receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to help denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. (The Washington Post)

The German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports that last year’s visit of the Vietnamese public security minister and his entourage to Slovakia was used to cover for the abduction of a dissident Vietnamese entrepreneur Trịnh Xuân Thanh who had previously emigrated to Germany. (The Slovak Spectator)

Sajid Javid becomes the United Kingdom’s Home Secretary following the resignation of Amber Rudd over the Windrush scandal. He is the first Home Secretary from an ethnic minority background. (BBC)

The Palestinian National Council, the legislative arm of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, convenes for the first time in nine years in Ramallah. The agenda includes voting in a new eighteen-member PLO Executive Committee, transforming the Palestinian Authority into a state with its own institutions and monetary system, and cessation of ties with Israel. Gazan rivals Hamas are not invited. (al-Jazeera)

 

Sunday, Apr 29, 2018

 The Syrian Army, along with what is believed to be Iranian-backed militias, took control villages east of the Euphrates river near the city of Deir ez-Zor that were under the control by Kurdish-led forces in a rare clash with the Syrian Democratic Forces. The territory was later recaptured by U.S.-backed forces in a counter-attack spearheaded by the YPG with help from U.S.-led coalition jets that took off from American bases in northern Syria. The U.S. military says in a statement that the “coalition used established deconfliction channels to de-escalate the situation”. (Reuters)

 

Syrian state media, Syrian Arab News Agency, reports missile strikes have targeted military sites in the Hama Governorate and Aleppo Governorate. It is unclear who carried out the strikes. (Xinhuanet)

 An Israeli military officer states IDF snipers are targeting the legs of protestors and deaths are largely the unintentional result of protestors bending over, missing shots, and the subsequent rounds ricocheting from intended targets. (Haaretz)

In response to a Yesh Din petition to the Israeli High Court calling for a ban on the use of live rounds to prevent protestors breaching the border fence, the Israeli government says its rules of engagement meet local and international law, that intelligence used to justify decisions will be submitted to the court, and that the protests are considered part of the ongoing conflict with Hamas. (Ynetnews)

South Korean officials say that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un stated during his summit meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in that he would close the country’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site in May. (SCMP)

The leaders of the United Kingdom, Germany and France agree on their support for the Iran nuclear deal as the best way to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons. (The Hill)

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the United States will quit the agreement if its “flaws” can’t be fixed. (Bloomberg)

The Central Criminal Court in Baghdad, Iraq, sentences nineteen Russian women, six Azerbaijani women, and four Tajikistani women to life in prison for membership to ISIL. (The Sunday Times)

Brazil surfer Rodrigo Koxa breaks the record for the largest wave ever surfed. The wave occured off the coast of Nazaré, Portugal and measured 24.4 meters (80 feet). (BBC)

More Below The Fold

Continue reading “De-extinction”

Candace Owens

Friday, Apr 27th, 2018

ExxonMobil earnings miss despite boost from higher oil prices

Bill Cosby found guilty on all counts in sexual assault trial A Pennsylvania jury found comedian Bill Cosby guilty on three counts of indecent aggravated assault Thursday. Cosby had been charged with drugging and sexually assaulting plaintiff Andrea Constand in 2004. The verdict resulted from a retrial, after Cosby’s original trial ended in a mistrial last June. Cosby, 80, faces up to 30 years in prison — 10 years per count — and a fine of up to $25,000 for each of the charges, though CNN reports that he could instead see a probationary sentence. Five additional women besides Constand testified against Cosby during the trial, and dozens more have publicly claimed sexual misconduct by the comedian. Cosby has denied all allegations against him, and his lawyer said he plans to appeal the verdict. Source: CNN, NBC News

Mike Pompeo sworn in as secretary of state The Senate on Thursday voted 57-42 to confirm Mike Pompeo as secretary of state. Six Democrats plus Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) joined all Republicans in supporting Pompeo; Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was absent for the vote. Pompeo was sworn into office just hours later by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. He will immediately fly to Brussels for a NATO summit, where he will meet with key allies. Gina Haspel, President Trump’s nominee to replace Pompeo as CIA director, faces a challenging road to confirmation given her spotty history with enhanced interrogation techniques after 9/11, which some Democrats have said amounted to torture. Source: The New York Times, NBC News

Ronny Jackson withdraws VA secretary nomination Embattled White House physician Ronny Jackson said Thursday that he is “regretfully withdrawing” his name to be veterans affairs secretary, saying that while he had expected tough questions about the Department of Veterans Affairs, “I did not expect to have to dignify baseless and anonymous attacks on my character and integrity.” He called the allegations against him “completely false and fabricated.” The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee had indefinitely suspended confirmation hearings this week as lawmakers received allegations from current and former colleagues that Jackson had crashed a government vehicle while drunk, drank on the job, and handed out prescription drugs “like candy.” Ivanka Trump, a senior adviser to the president, signaled Thursday that Jackson would stay on as White House physician. Source: Reuters, NBC News

Three 4DX locations are expected to open in Riyadh and other major Saudi Arabia cities. (Arabian Business)

Erin Energy, a Texas company specialising in African offshore oil deposits with licences to explore off Nigeria, Gambia, Ghana, and Kenya, files for bankruptcy protection. (Splash 24/7)

The United States Air Force tests a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The missile test is considered to be successful. (Business Times)

Israel foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman warns that the country will hit Tehran if Iran attacks Tel Aviv. (Reuters)

 

 

Counter-#Resistance?
ClusterFuck Nation

I dunno about the perpetually scowling Kanye, with his periodic mood problems and spotlight-stealing antics on stage, or Chance the Rapper’s artificial hood raptures, but Candace makes the argument for the value of a common culture that might bind us together as a nation of individuals, not hostile tribes, starting with a language that everybody can understand. Of course, the whole Kanye / Candace dust-up may be forgotten by the middle of next week, and the country can go back to gaslighting itself into either a new civil war or world war three. Candace seems to have drive, guts, and stamina and there’s no sign that she’s going to shut up. Won’t some Ivy League university please invite her to speak, just to see what happens?

 

Ali Abu Hassan, a Hebron University student from Palestine, is convicted of planning a terror attack against light rail in Jerusalem using pipe bombs containing nails coated in rat poison. He is found guilty of attempted murder, manufacturing weapons, and an immigration offence. (The Times of Israel)

Five alleged members of British neo-Nazi group National Action go on trial in Birmingham charged with inciting racial hatred at Aston University. National Action is a banned terror group. (The St. Helens Star)

 

The End