Washington Free Beacon – Congress and the Trump administration are issuing a stern warning to European partners: End all business ties with the Iranian regime or face harsh new sanctions in the coming months, a move that could impact international financial markets and U.S. banks tied to foreign monetary institutions, according to multiple senior U.S. officials who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon about diplomatic efforts to pressure Europe on Iran.
Antiwar.com – The Christmas truce of 1914 was something truly miraculous. There, in the midst of a vicious war – really the first modern war, in which air power and advanced gunnery both played a part for the first time – the two sides not only laid down their arms, but they also consorted and celebrated the pause in the senseless interminable slaughter. When it was over, they went back to destroying European civilization, but for a moment there a vision of what peace would be like if people took their fate into their own hands was readily apparent. Yes, we always drag out this example, every Christmas, as a lesson in what might be and should be – but could anything like that legendary truce happen today?
Well, it has happened, and in the most unlikely place imaginable – the wilds of Afghanistan, whose stony landscape has absorbed so much blood that I’m surprised the earth itself hasn’t liquefied. As the Washington Post reports:
“A first possible breakthrough in the 17-year Afghan conflict came in June, when a brief cease-fire during a Muslim holiday produced a spontaneous celebration by Afghan troops, civilians and Taliban fighters. The nationwide yearning for peace became palpable.”
Antiwar.com – Russian Ambassador Alexander Lavrentyev announced on Wednesday that Russia had come to an agreement with Israel on the withdrawal of Iranian forces. The deal will have all Iranian forces at least 85 kilometers from the Golan Heights.
Israel has since denied that this was a deal, and said they consider the pullback “inadequate.” It would be surprising if Israel had taken this deal, as they’d rejected a near identical Russian offer of a 100 kilometer buffer just a week ago.
Israel has demanded Iranian forces be removed wholly from Syria. This includes, by Israel’s reckoning, all Shi’ite forces, which is how they estimate Iran to have vastly more troops in Syria than they really do. Russia has rejected this, saying they can’t force Iran to leave.
Andrew P. Napolitano – n the past week, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, now the chief lawyer and principal spokesman for President Donald Trump’s legal team, has offered arguments more harmful to Trump than helpful. In a series of combative, disjointed and logically challenged television rants, Giuliani has essentially argued that Trump did not engage in any conspiracy with the Russians for them to provide help to his campaign and that even if he did, it wasn’t criminal.
In making this argument, Giuliani has played a word game in which he has effectively created a straw man and then denied it’s real because it’s made of straw. He has done this by avoiding the use of the word “conspiracy,” substituting the word “collusion” and then arguing that there is no crime of collusion and therefore Trump did not commit a crime. This is an argument based on a false premise.
A Federal MP has warned there could be food shortages in South Africa if white farmers are allowed to migrate en-masse to Australia.
Review Journal – Longtime Pahrump radio personality Art Bell died of an accidental overdose from a cocktail of prescription drugs, the Clark County coroner’s office said Wednesday.
Bell died April 13 in a bedroom of his Pahrump home at age 72. The coroner’s office determined he had four prescription medications in his system: the opioids oxycodone and hydrocodone, diazepam (often marketed as Valium) and the muscle relaxant carisoprodol. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and hypertension also contributed to his death, the coroner’s office said.
The drugs that killed Bell were lawfully prescribed to him, the Nye County Sheriff’s Office said in a video posted to Facebook.
Newsbud – In this breaking news report, Newsbud’s Founder & Editor Sibel Edmonds translates for the first time bombshell reports breaking in the Turkish press about the American pastor, Andrew Brunson, being detained in Turkey. Edmonds destroys the western media’s narrative and exposes how the Brunson case is tied to covert CIA operations and how the controversy surrounding the case could lead to more than just diplomatic tension.
WND – The Southern Poverty Law Center, a far-left team of activists who label Christian organizations as “hate groups” because of their biblical beliefs on homosexuality and marriage, has gained influence in recent months.
But SPLC, described by pundit John Stossel as a “money-grabbing slander machine,” now faces new opposition from the federal government: a task force assembled by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
He announced this week the formation of the Religious Liberty Task Force to promote religious liberty.
Sessions warned of the dangers of allowing an organization to “actively target religious groups by labeling them a ‘hate group’ on the basis of their sincerely held religious beliefs.”
He was talking about the current threat level in the United States to religious freedom and cited a number of issues.
AP – The music streaming service Spotify says it has removed some episodes of “The Alex Jones Show” podcast for violating its hate content policy. The move followed a backlash on social media.
“We take reports of hate content seriously and review any podcast episode or song that is flagged by our community,” the company said in a statement late Wednesday.
“Spotify can confirm it has removed specific episodes of ‘The Alex Jones Show’ podcast for violating our hate content policy,” it said.
28Pages – Author of 9/11’s famed “Phoenix Memo” was told White House’s pursuit of warm relations with kingdom comes first
Former Senate intelligence chair Bob Graham calls FBI’s action “a fundamental assault on the principle of democracy”
Army Times – Under the gun to increase the size of the force, the Army is issuing more waivers for past drug use or bad conduct by recruits, and pouring an extra $200 million into bonuses this year to attract and retain soldiers.
According to data obtained by The Associated Press, nearly one-third of all the waivers granted by the Army in the first six months of this fiscal year were for conduct and drug problems, mainly involving marijuana use. That number is significantly higher than the other three military services, and represents a steady increase over the past three years.
At the same time, the Army increased bonuses by more than 30 percent this year, with enlistment money going to recruits for high-tech jobs such as satellite communications and cryptologists. Recruits in those jobs can get up to an additional $30,000 for a five-year enlistment.
Fox – A woman who says she was seriously injured by police officers from an Arizona department under investigation for complaints of excessive force filed a lawsuit Thursday against two officers and the agency.
Economy & Business
Washington Free Beacon – Sen. Tom Cotton released a statement on Thursday that slammed Google’s decision to launch a search engine in China that will comply with China’s censorship demands.
“Google said it wouldn’t bow to Beijing’s censorship, and it should stick to its word, especially now that it’s canceled its partnership with our military. Google claims to value freedom and one hopes Google will put its corporate principles and America first, ahead of Chinese cash,” Cotton said in a statement.
Google plans to release a search engine in China that will blacklist websites and search terms about human rights, democracy, religion, and peaceful protest, The Intercept reported on Wednesday.
Energy & Environment
Geoengineering Watch – A methane deathtrap – continuing Arctic Ocean eruption of ever-increasing levels of methane brings forth speculation of a “Black Swan Event,” meaning society is caught flat-footed oblivious to impending danger until it’s way too late.
Along those lines, The Economist newspaper only recently highlighted the methane issue for its mainstream readership. “The Methane Mystery: Scientists Struggle to Explain a Worrying Rise in Atmospheric Methane,” The Economist, April 28th 2018: “Keeping methane in check is therefore critical if a rise in temperature this century is to remain ‘well below’ 2°C relative to pre-industrial times, a goal set out in the Paris climate agreement of 2015… The explanations put forward by scientists range from the troubling to the truly hair-raising.” (Ed.-“Hair-raising” 100% correct.)
Science & Technology
Washington Free Beacon – 3D printed gun pioneer Cody Wilson spoke with the Washington Free Beacon this week about the fervor surrounding his plan to publish gun designs online.
After Wilson first developed the Liberator—a .380 caliber pistol made of 3D printed parts, a metal plate, and a metal firing pin—back in 2013, he publicly announced the innovation and posted the design for the gun on his website. The State Department then claimed Wilson violated International Traffic in Arms Regulations because the files could be downloaded by foreign entities and demanded he remove them from his site. Wilson complied but then sued the State Department with the help of the Second Amendment Foundation.
On July 15, 2018, Wilson announced the State Department had settled with him and would be dropping their claim against him. He then revealed plans to resurrect his gun design sharing website DefCad.com and post the files for a number of gun designs and allow their download starting Aug. 1, 2018.
“All I did on Friday was repost the Liberator on DefCad, and then I posted actually just a bunch of files from other places on the internet,” he told the Free Beacon. “Literally everything on DefCad is actually somewhere else already and has been for years.”
SHFT Plan – Have scientists finally solved the mystery of the Bermuda triangle? The infamous body of water in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean stretches 270,271 square miles between Florida, Bermuda, and Puerto-Rico.
According to Fox News, experts at the University of Southampton believe the mystery can be explained by a natural phenomenon known as “rogue waves.” Appearing on a Channel 5 documentary “The Bermuda Triangle Enigma,” the scientists used indoor simulators to re-create the monster water surges. These waves, some of which measure 100 feet high, only last for a few minutes. They were first observed by satellites in 1997 off the coast of South Africa and are often seen as the source of so many lost ships.
Daily Sheeple – A brand new Ebola outbreak has been declared in the African country of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Just one week after the most recent Ebola outbreak in the DRC was declared over, the country has confirmed it has found more cases of the infectious disease.
Mercola – In the U.S., an estimated 1 in 3 have high blood pressure, and another 1 in 3 have prehypertension.2 Typically, your systolic pressure offers the most information about how stiff your arteries are and how much pressure is needed to push blood around your body. Elevated systolic pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Recent research suggests hypertension, especially elevated systolic pressure, may also raise your risk of dementia.3 Previous studies have already shown that stroke victims, even if it’s a minor stroke, are at increased risk of Alzheimer’s, and this adds further weight to recommendations to get your blood pressure under control in order to protect your cognitive health.
Health Impact News – The lawfirm of Maglio Christopher & Toale, P.A. announced earlier this month (July, 2018) that they had negotiated a $101 million dollar settlement for an infant who suffered a severe reaction to the Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine.