Washington Examiner – After more than a year of litigation, the University of California, Berkeley, has settled a lawsuit with the Young Americas Foundation and the UC Berkeley College Republicans.
Campus conservatives accused the university of bias in the process of bringing high-profile speakers to campus. The original lawsuit revolved around the cancellation of an event with Ann Coulter. An amended version of the lawsuit included road blocks initiated by the university for an event with Ben Shapiro.
The Department of Justice filed a statement of interest backing the campus conservatives. The crux of their argument revolved around two campus policies that they claim violate students’ First and 14th Amendment rights: an unspoken “High-Profile Speaker Policy” and an on-the-books “ Major Events Policy.”
Edward Griffin – Last week, President Donald Trump, outgoing Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met in Argentina and signed the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA. This treaty is intended to further the political merger of these countries). USMCA, like NAFTA, stifles free trade, overrides national sovereignty, and increases the power of the UN and the World Trade Organization. The document obligates the US to follow UN Agenda 2030 and rule by unelected bureaucrats.
Mercola – NewsGuard will rate online news brands based on nine criteria of credibility and transparency, ostensibly to help readers judge what is true in order to avoid fake news. It is currently focusing on U.S.-based media brands, but plans to expand online site reviews globally.
NewsGuard received much of its startup funds from Publicis Groupe, a global communications group whose history of clients includes the drug and tobacco industries.
NewsGuard, clearly influenced by Wall Street and indebted to big industries through its funding, is being positioned to eliminate competition, which will allow Big Industry to reign as the leading shaper of public opinion and government health policies.
Americans’ trust in the media is at an all-time low. According to a 2017 Survey on Trust, Media and Democracy by the Knight Foundation, 43 percent of Americans have a negative view of news media.
Sixty-six percent believe “most news media do not do a good job of separating fact from opinion”.
BBC – Ships have begun heading through the Kerch Strait again towards two key Ukrainian ports, a Ukrainian minister has said, nine days after Russia opened fire on three boats.
Mariupol and Berdyansk were “partially unblocked”, said Volodymyr Omelyan.
Russia seized 24 Ukrainian sailors on 25 November in the first open clash between the two states since 2014.
The Ukrainians had initially headed towards Mariupol and were targeted in international waters.
President of Ukraine (Official Website) – Ukraine takes all available measures that may prevent a full-scale Russian invasion of its territory, President Petro Poroshenko said. One of these is the introduction of martial law in 10 regions after the open aggression of Russian soldiers against Ukrainian ships.
“Ukraine is taking its own measures to confront the threat of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. And when someone says we should have used land routes to drag the Ukrainian ships by land … What does this mean, dear state mongers? You suggest giving up the Kerch Strait to Russians? Recognize the illegal occupation status? Where will you go further and how will you continue to trade Ukrainian soil?” the Head of State noted during a speech at the Forum “70 Years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Agenda for Ukraine”.
“In order to protect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of our state, I introduced martial law in the 10 regions of Ukraine neighboring with the Russian Federation, as well as those located on the coast of the Black and Azov Seas,” Petro Poroshenko noted and reminded that it will last 30 days.
Unian Information Agency – The large-scale military and reservist training starts in Ukraine on December 3.
The training will be held after martial law was imposed in 10 regions of Ukraine, according to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s press service. In particular, there will be training both as part of brigades (up to 15 days) and as part of training centers (up to 20 days). Thus, training events are expected to be over before the start of the New Year holiday season.
Al Jazeera – Israeli army says it is destroying tunnels allegedly dug from Lebanon but that it will stay on its side of the border.
BBC – Fuel tax rises which have led to weeks of violent protests in France have now been postponed for six months.
The move was announced in a televised address by PM Edouard Philippe, who said anyone would have “to be deaf or blind” not to hear or see the anger.
The protests have hit major cities, causing damage and disruption over the past three weekends.
The “gilets jaunes” (yellow vest) protests have now grown to reflect more widespread anger at the government.
Al Jazeera – Public International Law & Policy Group says international community must investigate, bring perpetrators to justice.
BBC – he UK should be able to unilaterally cancel its withdrawal from the EU, according to a top European law officer.
The non-binding opinion was delivered by an advocate general of the European Court of Justice.
A group of Scottish politicians has asked the court whether the UK can call off Brexit without the consent of other member states.
The Court of Justice (ECJ) will deliver its final ruling at a later date.
U.S. News, Politics & Government
Global Research – A “statesman” and “American hero”? What a lie!
When George H.W. Bush was president he ordered the massacre of Iraqi soldiers after the ceasefire in 1991, and after he had promised them safe passage out of Kuwait. This article, which went viral after the war, exposed Bush as a mass murderer and war criminal, directly involved in the “Highway of Death.” He is a “hero” only to Big Oil and the Wall Street financial empire. This account was assembled by the author and presented by her at a tribunal examining U.S. war crimes. It is still cited around the world on anniversaries of this war.
I want to give testimony on what are called the “highways of death.” These are the two Kuwaiti roadways, littered with remains of 2,000 mangled Iraqi military vehicles, and the charred and dismembered bodies of tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers, who were withdrawing from Kuwait on February 26th and 27th 1991 in compliance with UN resolutions.
U.S. planes trapped the long convoys by disabling vehicles in the front, and at the rear, and then pounded the resulting traffic jams for hours. “It was like shooting fish in a barrel,” said one U.S. pilot. The horror is still there to see.
AntiWar.com – The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has issued a new report over the weekend summarizing the massive civilian death toll of US-led airstrikes against a handful of eastern towns in Syria. At least 206 civilians were killed in November in those strikes.
The strikes center on three towns and some adjoining villages under ISIS control along the Iraq border. Kurdish YPG forces are attacking the towns, and the US is trying to provide air support, which mostly means bombing populated areas in the towns themselves.
The observatory’s previous reports have indicated that a lot of the civilians killed were suspected of being family members of ISIS fighters. At least 77 children and 57 women are among the slain civilians.
While the US clearly hasn’t had a problem with endangering civilians in this way, they’ve done little to practically support the Kurdish offensives by doing so. After over a month of such strikes, there are a lot of people dead, but ISIS still controls the towns, and has retaken which villages were lost.
RT – Unknown hackers had access to email accounts of four senior aides at the National Republican Congressional Committee for months, and neither the House GOP leadership nor the rank and file knew about it, according to a new report.
A vendor detected the improper access to the accounts in April, and informed the NRCC and its cybersecurity contractor, Politico reported on Tuesday citing sources within the Republican Party that wished to remain anonymous.
In an interesting twist, the NRCC’s cybersecurity contractor is Crowdstrike, the same company hired by the Democrats to respond to their 2016 hack, which they blamed on Russia.
Though the FBI was alerted to the attack, the Republican leadership only found out when Politico contacted them with questions on Monday.
Activist Post – This year was full of many disturbing stories, like the one about Bloomberg’s role-playing workshops being used to convince the public to accept police drones equipped with microphones. And another about politicians claiming police drones will help revitalize a downtown and create community connections.
None of that could have prepared me for what I discovered after looking into the FAA’s drone program.
Last month, an article in Nextgov caught my attention with the headline, “Surveying the public in a city being used as a federal drone testing site.” Those first three words “surveying the public, sounds an awful lot like surveilling the public.
Could that be what they are really saying? You be the judge.
The article claims the FAA plans to allow drones to be used for food deliveries like Uber Eats, blood and medical supplies and mentions police surveillance drones only once. Which seemed a little suspicious.
CNBC – Former FBI Director James Comey has dropped a legal challenge to a Republican-led effort to compel his testimony before Congress, which is seeking more information about the bureau’s investigations in the run up to the 2016 elections.
As part of a new agreement with the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee, lawmakers have agreed to release a full transcript of Comey’s testimony within 24 hours.
Energy & Environment
Global Research – The Trump administration plans to auction more than 900,000 acres for oil and gas extraction on the doorstep of Nevada’s only national park and other protected public lands. It would be the largest single lease sale of public lands in the lower 48 states in at least a decade.
“The Trump administration is doubling down on its reckless ‘drill-anywhere’ strategy,” said Patrick Donnelly, Nevada state director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Nevadans cherish our national park and wildlife refuges. It’s disgusting that Trump officials are willing to permanently defile these spectacular places to appease the oil industry.”
The Bureau of Land Management lease sale, scheduled for March 12, 2019, will auction off public land next to Great Basin National Park and Ruby Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, an internationally known migratory waterfowl stopover cherished by birders and hunters.
One parcel comes within a half-mile of South Ruby Lake, where a spill of fracking fluids or a well failure could contaminate one of the Great Basin’s most vibrant aquatic ecosystems.
Science & Technology
Bitcoin.com – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has published its 2019 fiscal year pre-solicitation document. Throughout the 27-page letter, the organization explains that it wants to dedicate resources toward creating blockchain forensic applications that can analyze privacy-centric digital asset movements. Prior efforts have addressed bitcoin analytics and now the agency wants surveillance tools for cryptocurrencies like monero and zcash.
RT – Humans have yet to find any definitive proof of the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life but one NASA scientist believes we may be getting in our own way and might have already ignored alien visits to our planet.
“I simply want to point out the fact that the intelligence we might find and that might choose to find us (if it hasn’t already) might not be at all be produced by carbon-based organisms like us,” Silvano P. Colombano, a computer scientist at NASA Ames Research Center, wrote in the research paper published December 4.
KimKomando – Have you heard about Wi-Fi 6? Nope, that’s not the latest techno-thriller movie sequel starring The Rock. It’s actually a tech term you’ll be hearing a lot of from now on.
Currently, how do you know if your Wi-Fi router is current? You go by the letters. 802.11g … 802.11n … 802.11ac … sounds confusing, no?
With all the numbers and letter pairings you need to know about, shopping for the latest and greatest in Wi-Fi routers can be baffling.
But don’t worry, that’s about to change! Read on and see what’s in the books for the future of Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi by the numbers
If you can recall, the Wi-Fi Alliance, the non-profit body that defines and promotes the standards of Wi-Fi technology, said that Wi-Fi standards will adopt version numbers moving forward.
Soon, instead of 802.11b (the first Wi-Fi standard implemented in 1999), it will be called Wi-Fi 1 instead. The latest standard, 802.11ac, will be called Wi-Fi 5 because, of course, it’s the fifth version of Wi-Fi. 802.11ac’s successor (802.11ax) will then be called WI-Fi 6, so on and so forth … you get the drift.
The Wi-Fi Alliance said that hardware companies will be adopting this naming change in the near future and will retroactively apply the names to older standards, too.
Note: Don’t confuse 802.12 Wi-Fi Standards with Wi-Fi Security Protocols like WPA2 and the upcoming WPA3. The former mostly deals with data transfer rates/wireless frequencies while the latter is for encryption and data protection.
Gardening, Farming & Homesteading
Natural Health News – A form of genetically engineered vitamin B2 – outlawed for use in animal feed but still in circulation – is dramatically increasing resistance to vital antibiotics in Europe.
The genetically engineered bacteria are used to produce vitamin B2 (riboflavin) which is routinely added to animal feed. There are many natural sources of riboflavin, but livestock producers are increasingly using the genetically engineered feed additives. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has already assessed and approved many similar products, but these types of additives are only allowed to be mixed into animal feed products if there is no longer any trace of the bacteria.
Tests have revealed, however, that viable bacteria with a four-fold resistance to antibiotics, three of which are due to genetic engineering, have been found in animal feed products. These live bacteria can spread resistance to other bacteria and, according to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), these contaminated animal feed products pose a risk for “consumers, users and the environment”.
The additive was produced by Chinese company Shandong and distributed by Dutch company Trouw Nutrition, owner of Nutreco, the world leader in animal feed,Initially the contaminated feed was thought to be from manufacturers in China. Indeed there are many thriving businesses in the EU and elsewhere which produce synthetic and genetically engineered ingredients for both human and animals, none of which requires labelling under current laws.
In addition to spreading resistance to antibiotics that are therapeutically important, Testbiotech – a European Institute for Independent Impact Assessment of Biotechnology – says that the viable bacteria in animal feed means the EU is also facing potentially the biggest case of uncontrolled spread of non-approved genetically engineered organisms in its history.
Coconut Water: Far More Than Just a Refreshing Beverage
Green Med Info – Few beverages on this planet are as biocompatible to the human body and its hydration needs as coconut water. Indeed, coconut water has been reported to have been used for intravenous hydration and resuscitation of critically ill patients in remote regions of the world for over half a century. It is also an excellent preserving medium for avulsed teeth (and semen!), besting even Hank’s balanced salt solution, a commonly used medical solution.
While some are concerned about the sugar content of this slightly sweet beverage, recent research shows it actually exhibits blood sugar lowering properties in an experimental model of diabetes. Additional animal research shows coconut water prevents and reverses high blood pressure associated with fructose feeding-induced hypertension, as well being able to reduce oxidative stress and insulin resistance.
Perhaps one of the most amazing properties of coconut water is its superior lipid modulating activity in the animal model vis-à-vis the cholesterol-lowering statin drug known as lovastatin. Which means we can, in clear conscience, modify Hippocrates’ famous saying to: “Let What You Drink Be Your Medicine.”
Global Healing Center – Veins are varicose (pronounced VAR-ih-kos) when blood pressure or valve issues cause them to become swollen, twisted, and visible just under the surface of the skin.
Varicose veins can also form deeper inside the body, but typically they appear as bulging blue or purple veins on the legs or ankles. They occur more frequently in women than men. Experts think that the hormone estrogen, which is more dominant in women, may influence vein health.
You can visually diagnose varicose veins yourself, or have it done at a doctor’s office via an ultrasound test.
Common Varicose Veins Symptoms
In some people, the only symptom of varicose veins is their blue or purple appearance. For others, varicose veins cause uncomfortable symptoms such as:
Spider vs. Varicose Veins
Spider veins are named for their appearance. With spider veins, tiny red or blue capillaries — the smallest blood vessels in the body — show beneath the skin in a spider web-like pattern.
Spider veins are smaller and finer than varicose veins and do not bulge out of the skin. They most commonly appear on the legs or face, and are usually a cosmetic issue. Similar issues cause both varicose and spider veins: poor circulation, weak blood vessels, a sedentary lifestyle, and lack of exercise.
10 Natural Remedies for Varicose Veins
We will focus on remedies for varicose veins, though some of these also may help spider veins, as well. While these natural treatments may not completely eliminate varicose veins, they can provide symptom relief.
Here are a few ideas to help with your varicose veins.
Massage therapy cannot cure varicose veins, but it can help improve blood circulation in the leg muscles and reduce some of the swelling and discomfort associated with the condition.
Physical activity encourages blood to move through the veins, improving overall muscle tone and circulatory health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week.
Several vitamins support cardiovascular health, which can help reduce your chance of getting varicose veins and reduce their symptoms if they do appear. Research has linked low vitamin K with circulatory problems and age-related vein calcification that contributes to varicose veins.[7, 8]
Vitamin C plays a role in the production of collagen and elastin — proteins that affect vein elasticity. Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant that works to keep free radicals from damaging blood cells. Vitamins B-3, B-12, and folic acid promote healthy circulation. Make sure you get enough of these vitamins either through your diet or plant-based supplements.
Instead of taking medication for a mere cosmetic issue, consider horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum). Horse chestnut seeds and leaves are a natural remedy for circulation issues, including varicose veins.
Constipation and straining to move your bowels puts increased pressure on veins and blood vessels throughout your body, not just at the rectum. A high-fiber diet can prevent constipation and keep varicose veins from worsening or manifesting in different ways, including hemorrhoids — which are bulging veins in the anus.[10, 11]
Drink plenty of water to stay well-hydrated and also discourage constipation, hemorrhoids, and varicose veins. Eat foods rich in flavonoids, also called bioflavonoids, such as berries, citrus fruits, Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, cayenne pepper, and green tea. These offer an abundance of health benefits, including improving blood circulation, reducing arterial pressure, and relaxing blood vessels.
Some people recommend fish oil, but you can get the omega-3 fatty acids they contain from plant-based sources such as algae oil or flaxseed oil. Omega-3s help blood vessel elasticity.
Compression stockings put firm pressure on the legs, which promotes blood flow toward the heart.
Three different levels of compression hose exist. Reinforced pantyhose offer the lowest level of support; you can buy them anywhere you get pantyhose. Compression hose provide a higher level of pressure. The most intensive compression stocking is available by prescription and requires a special fitting session.
Compression hose may seem like shapewear (think Spanx) but it supports healthy circulation. Conversely, shapewear can actually restrict blood flow — especially if you buy a size too small. Put compression stockings on first thing in the morning and remove them at night for maximum benefit.
Experts recommend you elevate your legs six to twelve inches above your heart to reduce the symptoms of varicose veins and possibly reduce their unsightly appearance.
Pine bark extract is another herbal remedy that may help with cramps and swelling associated with varicose veins. One study compared the effects of pine bark extract to compression hose on varicose veins in women who had given birth.
Witch hazel is a liquid astringent made from the twigs, leaves, and bark of the witch hazel plant (Hamamelis virginiana). Witch hazel contains tannins and volatile oils that tone and soothe the skin and help constrict blood vessels.
Some herbal supplements promote healthy circulation. In addition to witch hazel, horse chestnut, and pine bark extract, gotu kola (Centella Asiatica) is another supplement known to support healthy veins.