Radio Free Asia – The ruling Chinese Communist Party has stepped up a nationwide crackdown on Christians, raiding and detaining pastors and members of churches in several locations as urban authorities warn against public Christmas decorations and events.
Authorities are undergoing “one of the largest crackdowns on underground Christian churches since draconian amendments to the Religious Affairs Regulations went into effect in February 2018,” according to the overseas-based Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) network.
In Washington, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) said the targeting of Christians is part of President Xi Jinping’s bid to “sinicize” religious belief, by bringing it under the close control of the ruling party.
The Guardian – Russian president also touches on rap crackdown and nuclear weapons during annual presser
Vladimir Putin has said the UK should not hold a second referendum on Brexit, insisting Theresa May must “fulfil the will of the people”.
Offering public support that the embattled British prime minister could probably do without, Putin said he understood May’s position in “fighting for this Brexit”.
Yahoo – President Trump is defending his abrupt announcement to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria amid a fierce backlash from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
Reuters – The United States told the United Nations Security Council on Thursday that it was committed to the “permanent destruction” of Islamic State in Syria and would keep pushing for the withdrawal of Iranian-backed forces in the country.
The Western Journal – President Donald Trump further explained his decision to pull U.S. forces out of Syria in a series of tweets Thursday morning, saying it “should come as no surprise” and questioning why America would “want to be the policeman of the Middle East.” The White House announced Wednesday that the United States will begin withdrawing its…
WND – Now they’re going to be the subject of court rulings in Washington, with a decision by the attorney general for the District of Columbia to sue the giant company.
“This case stems from the failure by defendant Facebook to honor its promise to protect its consumers’ personal data … Facebook failed to protect the privacy of its users and deceived them about who had access to their data and how it was used,” AG Karl Racine confirmed in his announcement about the legal claim.
“Facebook put users at risk of manipulation by allowing companies like Cambridge Analytica and other third-party applications to collect personal data without users’ permission.
“Today’s lawsuit is about making Facebook live up to its promise to protect its users’ privacy.”
Racine said the company’s abuses “exposed nearly half of all district residents’ data to manipulation for political purposes during the 2016 election.
U.S. News, Politics & Government
WSJ – House Speaker says Trump said during Thursday meeting he wants more money for border wall
Fox – President Donald Trump has worked hard to get his wall funding properly authorized. But he may ultimately do exactly what presidents before him have done: take advantage of the broken Congressional process.
Fox – Congress approved a sweeping bipartisan criminal justice reform bill on Thursday, handing President Trump a major legislative victory on an issue championed by his White House.
Fox – President Trump on Thursday signed a $867 billion farm bill that will secure more funding for farmers hurt by the trade war with China and tighten rules for food stamp recipients.
Trump called the measure a “bipartisan success” and extended a special thank you to Democratic lawmakers for their role in crafting the bill: “We are ensuring that American agriculture will always feed our families, nourish our communities, power our commerce and inspire our nation.”
Minutes before signing the bill, Trump tweeted a video of himself performing the “Green Acres” theme song at the Emmys years ago.
Fox – The new Los Angeles County sheriff says he is going to remove federal immigration agents from the county’s jails.
Infowars – President Trump told a prominent person during a phone call last week that he thinks the American people will revolt if the deep state tries to remove him from office via impeachment or any other method because Americans are “too well armed”.
According to our sources, Trump thinks that Democrats are so intent on stopping America’s recovery that they will set off a destabilizing crisis on the border, an economic collapse or even civil war as a means of ejecting him from the Oval Office.
However, Trump believes that both the U.S. military and the American people would not stand for such a scenario and would rise up against it and that there would be a “revolt” because Americans are “too well armed”.
The phone call was further discussed during a meeting between three people, one of whom was Roger Stone and another being the same person who spoke directly to Trump.
Other prominent individuals close to the president have confirmed that what Trump said during the call was his ongoing state of mind over th
CBS – Baltimore City reached its 300th homicide for 2018, after a man was shot in the face Wednesday night.
This is the fourth consecutive year the city has seen 300 homicides.
Energy & Environment
Fox – While some parts of the U.S. have already experienced bone-chilling temperatures, the official start of winter doesn’t occur until Friday — the date of this year’s winter solstice.
RT – A tsunami warning has been issued for the coastal areas of Russia’s Far East after a strong earthquake off the coast of Kamchatka. Waves are said to be possible within 300 kilometers of the epicenter.
Science & Technology
Yahoo – SpaceX said its Falcon 9 rocket and payload, a roughly $500 million GPS satellite built by Lockheed Martin Corp, were “in good health” and that it was now targeting a Saturday morning launch from Florida’s Cape Canaveral. Patrick Burke, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland, said the weather might not clear up until Saturday. A successful launch would be a significant victory for Musk, a billionaire and Tesla Inc chief executive, who spent years trying to break into the lucrative market for military space launches, long dominated by Lockheed and Boeing Co.
Dr. Axe – Water kefir is a fermented, fizzy drink that has become a fast favorite among health-conscious consumers, all thanks to its delicious flavor, extensive nutrient profile and gut-boosting benefits. Plus, it’s often selected over other probiotic-rich foods like milk or coconut kefir because it’s dairy-free, vegan-friendly and easy to prepare at home from the comfort of your own kitchen.
So what are the health benefits of water kefir, and what does kefir do for you? Here’s what you need to know.
Mercola – Petasin, or butterbur extract, is known to help ease headaches and migraine, allergies and spasms of the urogenital and gastrointestinal tract with its anti-inflammatory and spasmolytic properties.8 Butterbur products are usually made with butterbur extract taken from its roots and leaves.9
Butterbur may have culinary uses, too. In Japan, Fuki is added to pickles and stir-fry recipes along with miso,10 a fermented soybean paste used as flavoring in salads, sauces, vegetable dishes and more.11 Fuki stalks have to be rubbed with salt to remove its natural bitterness before it is boiled for several minutes and then plunged into cold water.12
However, unlike other herbs such as rosemary, thyme or parsley, the butterbur herb is not supposed to be eaten raw on a long-term basis because it contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs).13 PAs are plant toxins mostly found in medicinal herbs,14 and prolonged exposure to these hepatotoxic chemicals may potentially damage the liver, lungs and blood circulation, and may even lead to cancer.15
Mercola – Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a fatal brain disorder that destroys brain cells, causing tiny holes in the brain. Symptoms of CJD are ataxia, or difficulty controlling body movements, abnormal gait and speech, and dementia. The disease is always fatal and has no cure.
CJD is one of several transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). These are a family of progressive neurodegenerative disorders affecting animals and humans. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease, presents in much the same way as CJD.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a regulation in 2009 banning specific proteins in feed to prevent the spread of BSE.2 However, the regulation superficially addresses the issue. For instance, slaughterhouse waste products continue to be recycled into bone and blood meal as additives to livestock and pet foods.3
This increases the risk of livestock acquiring BSE as it has proven to be a foodborne-derived disease,4,5 and eating beef from cows with BSE triggers a variant of CJD.6
CJD is difficult to diagnose, as taking a brain biopsy to rule out a disease is impractical. The National Institutes of Health have recently published work from colleagues at the University of California San Diego and San Francisco who have measured the distribution and levels of prions in the eye.
NaturalNews – Unhealthy lifestyle habits like eating unhealthy foods, physical inactivity, smoking, and drinking alcohol continue to contribute to the high incidence of cancer worldwide. The World Health Organizationestimates that cancer will account for more than 9.6 million deaths this year. Nearly 70 percent of cancer-related mortality cases happen in low- and middle-income countries since they have limited access to conventional cancer treatments, which tend to be very expensive. Moreover, conventional treatments like chemotherapy and radiation are often ineffective and can even contribute to the rise of resistant cancer cells that are hard to eliminate. Because of this, more and more researchers are now turning to nature for better remedies against cancer.