AP – European Union official Donald Tusk says the bloc won’t renegotiate the Brexit deal with the U.K. government as he called a summit Thursday to examine ways to help Britain ratify the deal.
Tusk, the president of the European Council, tweeted that “we will not renegotiate the deal, including the backstop, but we are ready to discuss how to facilitate U.K. ratification.”
He said that “as time is running out, we will also discuss our preparedness for a no-deal scenario.”
EU leaders were already scheduled to meet in Brussels on Thursday and Friday to discuss migration and the bloc’s future long-term budget, among other issues.
Sputnik – Staggering from disarray to shambles, embarrassment to humiliation, cock-ups to climb-downs, Theresa May’s Government is in chaos. Defeated three times in Parliament on the one day then found guilty of treating Parliament with contempt. Her Government is making history for all the wrong reasons.
Her lamentable stint as Prime Minister is nearly over but she should consider applying for a role as an extra in the next series of ‘The Walking Dead’ because acting like a zombie would come naturally to her.
I have stated it clearly in previous columns and I will re-iterate it here. Theresa May lost her authority and credibility when she chose to call a snap General Election in 2017 and lost her Parliamentary majority in the process.
Despite the storm of lies, distortions and biased coverage against Jeremy Corbyn he actually secured the biggest swing to Labour since 1945. That election result was the death knell for Malevolent May but her arrogance and aloofness prevented her from realising it or admitting it.
U.S. News, Politics & Government
Google CEO Sundar Pichai fled from Alex Jones and Roger Stone before a Congressional hearing during which Pichai will be grilled about censorship of conservative voices.
Pichai appeared agitated as Jones repeatedly chanted “Google is evil”.
A police officer then warned Jones to be quiet or he would be arrested.
“They’re going to talk about me in this committee, I will be talked about – so what am I supposed to do?” Jones asked reporters.
“I don’t get a day in court, they lie about me….all the top searches are lies about me and my family,” said Jones, accusing Google of helping Communist China’s government target dissidents.
“His people come lie to Congress over and over and over again and we don’t get to respond to them,” he added.
The tech giant has denied that it is censoring conservative voices on its platforms, despite Google-owned YouTube banning both Jones and Gavin McInnes this year.
WND – Joe Arpaio, the famed former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, has filed a lawsuit against CNN, Rolling Stone and others for defamation for falsely calling him a “felon” in their reports.
The case was brought to federal court in Washington by Larry Klayman, founder of Freedom Watch and a former federal prosecutor.
Named as defendants in the complaint are CNN chief Jeff Zucker, show host Chris Cuomo, Rolling Stone magazine and the Huffington Post publication.
“Specifically, the complaint alleges that these ‘Fake News’ publications slandered and libeled former Maricopa sheriff and U.S. Senate candidate Joe Arpaio by falsely branding him a ‘felon,’” Klayman explained.
To the contrary, Sheriff Arpaio never was found guilty of a felony, nor arrested and imprisoned as one of the publications claimed, but was simply found to have committed a misdemeanor, for which he was pardoned by President Donald Trump, the lawyer explained.
“The nullification of even the misdemeanor finding, which Sheriff Arpaio submits was legally incorrect but simply the basis of politics, as he had not violated a court order and intentionally profiled illegal immigrants, is on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Sheriff Arpaio is confident that even the misdemeanor finding will eventually also be vacated.”
Arpaio, known as “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” is seeking $300 million in actual and punitive damages.
“It’s time that someone stood up to the Left’s ‘Fake News’ media, which is bent on destroying anyone who is a supporter of the president and in particular Sheriff Arpaio. My client will not be bullied by the likes of Jeff Zucker, Chris Cuomo, the Huffington Post, and Rolling Stone, as he alone has the courage to stand up for not just himself, the president of the United States but also all fair-minded and ethical Americans,” Klayman said.
Masslive – A federal court judge Monday ruled a Massachusetts General Law prohibiting the secret audio recording of police or government officials is unconstitutional.
Chief United States District Judge Patti B. Saris made the ruling on two similar cases — one involving two Jamaica Plain residents who frequently record police officers and a second case involving Project Veritas, the undercover organization founded by conservative political activist James O’Keefe.
Both cases involved defendants who had not secretly recorded police but claimed that the Suffolk District Attorney’s office and the Boston Police Department were interpreting state law in such a way that was preventing them from doing so without the risk of legal repercussions.
Project Veritas argued it was being prevented from conducting the secret video recordings that are the bread and butter of its video reports here in Massachusetts due to the state’s interpretation of the law, which would make such recordings illegal.
The defendants in the cases are Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley and Boston Police Commissioner William Gross.
In the 44-page decision Saris declared that “secret audio recording of government officials, including law enforcement officials, performing their duties in public is protected by the First Amendment, subject only to reasonable time, place and manner restrictions.”
Huffington Post – Two Roman Catholic nuns have admitted to embezzling $500,000 from a parochial school in Torrance, California, according to news reports. They are believed to have spent some of the money on travel and casino gambling.
“It is with much sadness that I am informing families of St. James School that an internal investigation has revealed that, over a period of years, Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper and Sister Lana Chang have been involved in the personal use of a substantial amount of School funds,” Monsignor Michael Meyers wrote in a letter dated Nov. 28.
The matter came to the attention of church officials in an audit related to a change in leadership at the school, Meyers said. No other school personnel are believed to be involved in the embezzlement.
Breitbart – President Donald Trump, future House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer erupted in an on-camera fight in the Oval Office over border wall funding on Tuesday.
The president argued that funding the wall was a “national emergency” and proposed $5 billion in funding. Schumer refused, insisting that he would only provide just $1.6 billion in border security funds.
In response, Trump said he would shut down the government and take responsibility for it if they failed to include additional wall funding.
USA Today – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday the Senate would take up a long-awaited bipartisan bill that aims to reduce the number of people in the nation’s crowded prisons.
“At the request of the president and following improvements to the legislation that has been secured by several members, the Senate will take up the revised criminal justice bill this month,” the Kentucky Republican said. He added he would turn to it as early as the end of the week.
An unusual coalition of Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, civil rights groups and the White House have rallied around criminal justice reform pushing for action on the latest effort: a Senate bill called the “First Step Act.”
Despite the bipartisan push to act on the criminal justice bill, the effort had seemed to stall in the Senate. Pressure mounted in recent days with President Donald Trump urging McConnell to call up the bill for a vote. Trump welcomed McConnell’s decision Tuesday.
AJC – Delta Air Lines said it will ban service and support animals under four months old, and will also ban emotional support animals on flights longer than eight hours.
The change, effective Dec. 18, is the latest tightening of policies on service animals and emotional support animals by Atlanta-based Delta
The Daily Sheeple – If you want to understand the zeal with which social media platforms are now being censored, all you have to do is to look at what has been happening on our college campuses. There is a national movement to combat “offensive speech”, and this movement has been working very hard “to scrub campuses clean of words, ideas, and subjects that might cause discomfort or give offense”. And these days, just about anything that you might say or think is probably going to deeply offend someone. For example, saying that “America is the land of opportunity” is now considered to be a “microaggression”, and even the act of hanging an American flag in front of your dwelling can also be considered to be a “microaggression” depending on the context. It can be tempting to laugh at how ridiculous our college students have become, but it is imperative to remember that these students all eventually enter the real world, and many of them end up in positions of power. And from those positions of power, they can make life extremely uncomfortable for all the rest of us. The “social media purge” is a perfect example of this, and the censorship of speech is only going to become more widespread as time goes on. The next generation of “America’s thought police” is rising, and they intend to make sure that the future belongs to the politically correct.
Things have already reached such absurd levels that even those that are attempting to “raise awareness of microaggressions” are being accused of “microaggressions” themselves. Just check out the following example…
Some recent campus actions border on the surreal. In April, at Brandeis University, the Asian American student association sought to raise awareness of microaggressions against Asians through an installation on the steps of an academic hall. The installation gave examples of microaggressions such as “Aren’t you supposed to be good at math?” and “I’m colorblind! I don’t see race.” But a backlash arose among other Asian American students, who felt that the display itself was a microaggression. The association removed the installation, and its president wrote an e-mail to the entire student body apologizing to anyone who was “triggered or hurt by the content of the microaggressions.”
We are rapidly getting to the point in this country where a large portion of the population will be deathly afraid of saying or doing anything the least bit controversial for fear that someone might be “offended”.
Economy & Business
Breitbart – Nine days after President Donald Trump announced China would cut auto tariffs, the import duty cuts appear to be underway.
Bloomberg News reported that a proposal to cut the tariffs on U.S. made autos to 15 percent from 40 percent had been submitted to China’s cabinet. The Bloomberg story cited people familiar with the matter.
China slashed its tariff on imported cars from 25 percent to 15 percent in May, hoping to appease President Trump into holding off on raising tariffs. But after the U.S. imposed tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods, it raised tariffs on U.S. autos to 40 percent in July in retaliation.
Reuters – A gauge of global stock markets climbed on Tuesday as signs of a thaw in the U.S.-China trade battle helped investors overlook heightened uncertainty over Brexit and French protests, while oil prices rebounded from a selloff a day earlier.
Science & Technology
Breitbart – After Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) asked Google CEO Sundar Pichai about reports of Google’s bias against conservatives during Pichai’s hearing in front of the House Judiciary Committee, Tuesday, Pichai denied any bias, dodged questions, and claimed human employees were unable to manipulate algorithms.
“Google has revolutionized the world, though not entirely in the way I expected. Americans deserve the facts objectively reported,” declared Rep. Smith. “The muting of conservative voices by platforms has intensified, especially during the presidency of Donald Trump. More than 90 percent of all Internet searches take place on Google or its subsidiary YouTube, and they are curating what we see.”
“Google has long faced criticism for manipulating search results to censor conservatives. Conservative individuals and organizations have had their pro-Trump content tagged as ‘hate speech,’ or had their content reduced in search results. An enforcement of immigration laws has been tagged as hate speech as well. Such actions pose a grave threat to our democratic forum of government,” he continued. “PJ Media found that 96 percent of search results for Trump were from liberal media outlets. In fact, not a single right-leaning site appeared on the first page of search results. This doesn’t happen by accident, but is baked into the algorithms. Those who write the algorithms get the results they must want, and apparently, management allows it. Dr. Robert Epstein, a Harvard-trained psycologist authored a study recently that showed Google’s bias likely swung 2.6 million votes to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. Google could well elect the next president with dire implications for our democracy. This should be a real concern to all but the most politically partisan. Those at the top set the tone. It will require a Herculean effort by the Chief Executive and senior management to change the political bias now programmed into the company’s culture.”
CBS – Eleven billion miles from Earth, NASA’s long-lived Voyager 2 probe, still beaming back data 41 years after its launch in 1977, has finally moved into interstellar space, scientists revealed Monday, joining its sister ship Voyager 1 in the vast, uncharted realm between the stars.
Voyager 2 moved past the boundary of the heliosphere, the protective bubble defined by the sun’s magnetic field and electrically charged solar wind, on Nov. 5. The transition was marked by a sharp decline in the number of charged particles detected by the spacecraft’s plasma science experiment, or PLS.
The instrument has not detected any signs of the solar wind since then.
Three other instruments measured corresponding changes in cosmic rays, low-energy particles and magnetic field strength. At Voyager 2’s enormous distance from the sun, it took 16-and-a-half hours for the data to make its way back to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.
Scientists identify vast underground ecosystem containing billions of micro-organisms
The Guardian – The Earth is far more alive than previously thought, according to “deep life” studies that reveal a rich ecosystem beneath our feet that is almost twice the size of all the world’s oceans.
Despite extreme heat, no light, minuscule nutrition and intense pressure, scientists estimate this subterranean biosphere is teeming with between 15bn and 23bn tonnes of micro-organisms, hundreds of times the combined weight of every human on the planet.
Researchers at the Deep Carbon Observatory say the diversity of underworld species bears comparison to the Amazon or the Galápagos Islands, but unlike those places the environment is still largely pristine because people have yet to probe most of the subsurface.
“It’s like finding a whole new reservoir of life on Earth,” said Karen Lloyd, an associate professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. “We are discovering new types of life all the time. So much of life is within the Earth rather than on top of it.”
NBC – Google is shutting down its beleaguered social network sooner than expected in the wake of a new security issue that affected 52.5 million users.
Google Plus received its initial kiss of death in early October, when the company revealed that a security bug had exposed the account information of 500,000 users, including their names, email addresses and occupations. At the time, Google planned to shut down the social network by August 2019.
But in a blog post Monday Google wrote that it discovered a second bug that allowed the profile information of 52.5 million users to be viewable by developers, even if it was set to private, using one of Google’s application programming interfaces, or APIs, for six days in November. Once again, the available data included information like users’ names, email addresses, occupations and ages.
Dr. Axe – Chances are you’re not reading this article in a park, on the beach, or in your yard. That’s because the average American spends a whopping 93 percent of their time indoors. (1) If you’re only getting outside for a few hours a week, you likely don’t have nearly enough natural light in your life. This equates to a much bigger health risk than most people realize, and can be a root cause of insomnia, fatigue, depression and other symptoms. (2)
This article gives an overview of the importance of natural light: why we don’t get enough, how it affects us and the reason red light therapy can be a solution for people who simply don’t have the chance to spend more time outside during the day.
Dr. Axe – What are the health benefits of arugula? This vegetable is an immune-boosting vegetable that packs a nutritional punch, especially considering its tiny number of calories. Like other leafy greens, arugula salad is one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat, especially when you add other vegetables to the mix.
When it comes to your health, as a high-antioxidant food arugula can help improve almost every system in the body. For example, studies have tied compounds found in it to improved heart health and lowered inflammation, thanks to its phytonutrients that reduce oxidative stress.
Below are some of the top arugula benefits: