Al Jazeera – Poland’s Senate has approved a contentious bill that criminalises acts blaming Poland or its citizens for complicity in Nazi war crimes, drawing strong rebuke from its allies and Jewish organisations. The legislation, which seeks to punish individuals who publicly describes Nazi Germany concentration camps as “Polish death camps”, passed overwhelmingly early on Thursday, and is now awaiting the signature of President Andrzej Duda. If signed into law, the legislation sets fines or a maximum three years imprisonment for anyone found guilty of violating it. In a statement following the approval of the bill, the US State Department called on Poland “to re-evaluate the legislation”, warning of “divisions” that could affect Warsaw’s “strategic interests and relationships”.
New York Times – Twenty-eight Russian athletes had their Olympic doping bans overturned Thursday, throwing the International Olympic Committee’s policy on the country into turmoil.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling was set to reinstate seven Russian medals from the 2014 Sochi Olympics, including gold in men’s skeleton and men’s 50-kilometer cross-country skiing. “This does not mean that these 28 athletes are declared innocent, but in their case, due to insufficient evidence, the appeals are upheld, the sanctions annulled and their individual results achieved in Sochi are reinstated,” CAS secretary general Matthieu Reeb said in Pyeongchang. The IOC said it had taken note of the CAS decision “with satisfaction on the one hand and disappointment on the other,” adding the decision “may have a serious impact on the future fight against doping.” The 28 who had their bans lifted could now seek late entry into the Pyeongchang Olympics, but the IOC said “not being sanctioned does not automatically confer the privilege of an invitation.”
BBC – The Canadian Senate has passed a bill that changes the text of the English-language version of the national anthem to make it gender-neutral. It now awaits royal assent by the governor general to become law. The move is set to change the words “in all thy sons command” to “in all of us command” in the anthem, O Canada.
Global Research – Somalia is facing yet another major crisis as the United States steps up its drone attack and combat operations in this Horn of Africa state. Drone attacks are promoted by the Defense Department and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as an effective means of targeting so-called “terrorists” without threatening the lives of innocent people and American soldiers. This of course is not always the situation on the ground. The impact of drones on civilian populations has proven to be devastating. In most cases those killed, injured and dislocated are not the targeted individuals or groups. Civilians including women, children and the elderly tend to be the primary victims.
U.S. News, Politics & Government
Activist Post – President Trump has signed an executive order that is intended to reverse President Obama’s intentions to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. Details are still emerging, but a leaked cable suggests this plan was in the offing for awhile. Trump has been clear time and again that he wants to keep Guantanamo Bay open, and that he’d like to fill it up with new detainees. The cable told diplomats to assure worried nations that there are as yet no specific plans to add to detainees yet, though President Trump insisted during the State of the Union that he intended to put terrorists there.
The Daily Sheeple – After months of radio silence, new information released earlier this week surrounding the investigation into Las Vegas Shooter Stephen Paddock’s motive appears to have revived suspicions that another person was involved in the shooting. The newly unsealed documents – which were unsealed by court order after journalists at the Las Vegas Review-Journal and other media sued – revealed that the FBI is seeking a “person of interest” named Douglas Haig. Haig’s name had not previously been connected to the shooting. What’s more, according to what’s been widely cited as his LinkedIn page, Haig had “DOD Top Secret clearance” and worked for top weapons manufacturers and specialized in Military Ammunition, as we pointed out. Haig’s connection to Paddock and the shooting is unclear, but in another confusing development, Clark County Nevada Coroner John Fudenberg is defying a court order to release the full autopsy report for Paddock – even though Paddock’s body was cremated in December. According to the Daily Caller, District Court Judge Timothy Williams ordered the coroner Tuesday to immediately release the autopsy. Fudenberg is conferring with others in his office, and no date had been given for his compliance with the judge’s order, the corner’s office told The Daily Caller. The office also told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the report wouldn’t be released until it was “finalized.”
ZeroHedge – Senior White House official comes to back of Air Force One and tells reporters Trump is “OK” releasing the memo and he will tell Congress that “probably tomorrow,” per pooler @tparti. Official declined to take any questions or be identified publicly, per poo
The Daily Caller – A new report indicates that Andrew McCabe, who resigned as FBI deputy director this week, knew about the thousands of Clinton-related emails found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop for at least a month before notifying Congress. The Wall Street Journal reports that, according to text messages the paper reviewed, “FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe had learned about the thousands of emails by Sept. 28, 2016, and Director James Comey informed Congress about them on Oct. 28, 11 days before the presidential election, the messages show.” According to the report, FBI agent Peter Strzok wrote in a text on September 28, 2016 to Lisa Page, “Got called up to Andy’s earlier hundreds of thousands of emails turned over by Weiner’s atty to sdny, includes a ton of material from spouse. Sending team up tomorrow to review … this will never end ….”
The Wall Street Journal also reports that this delay is part of the Justice Department’s internal investigation into the FBI’s behavior before the 2016 election.
Newsmax – California would be the first state to require public universities to offer medication abortion under legislation approved in the state Senate Monday, a bill that if signed into law would mark a vast expansion of a service that’s rare on college campuses. None of the 34 University of California or California State University campuses currently offer abortion services at their health centers, instead referring students to outside providers. A group of private donors, some of them anonymous, plan to pay for up to $20 million in startup costs, including ultrasound equipment and training for both medical and billing staff. The bill, SB320, still needs Assembly approval. It would require all university campuses to offer the service by 2022, assuming the donors come through with the money. Medication abortion can be administered up to 10 weeks into a pregnancy.
Global Research – The Iowa Senate has advanced a bill which critics say could lead to the criminalization of pipeline protests, which are being cast as “terrorist activities.” Dakota Access pipeline owner Energy Transfer Partners and other companies have lobbied for the bill, Senate Study Bill 3062, which opens up the possibility of prison time and a hefty fine for those who commit “sabotage” of critical infrastructure, such as oil and gas pipelines. This bill, carrying a criminal punishment of up to 25 years in prison and $100,000 in fines, resembles the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act, a “model” bill recently passed by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). That ALEC bill, intended as a template for state and federal legislation, was based on Oklahoma’s HB 1123, which calls for citizens to receive a felony sentencing, $100,000 fine, and/or 10 years in prison if their actions “willfully damage, destroy, vandalize, deface, or tamper with equipment in a critical infrastructure facility.” According to disclosure records, corporations lobbying for the Iowa bill include not only Energy Transfer Partners, but also Koch Industries, the American Petroleum Institute, Valero Energy, Magellan Midstream, and others. The Iowa State Police Association has also come out in support of the bill, while the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Iowa is against it. The bill has passed out of subcommittee and next goes in front of the state Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill’s introduction comes as President Donald Trump called for Congress to pass a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill in his State of the Union Address, which according to a leaked outline of his proposal published by The Washington Post, includes pipelines and would expedite the federal regulatory permitting process for them, largely by simply removing environmental requirements.
The Free Thought Project – A kind and loving local chef woke up Tuesday morning to a dozen cops and health department officials raiding his home. Khemuel “Chef” Sanders had his business shut down, all of his equipment stolen by the state, and his life ruined because he made food in his home to give to the homeless. Unfortunately, in the land of the free, it is against the law to help others or try to make a dollar without first paying the government for the privilege of doing so. While the state will claim this is for the safety of others who may consume the food, the reality is that it is a revenue generation scheme. To be clear, Sanders is a licensed food handler. He paid the government for the privilege to handle food, however, he was doing it in a manner which they disapproved.
Economy & Business
Bloomberg – Motorists in California, the state with the most expensive gasoline, could see pump prices that begin with a 4 again as oil markets rally. Gasoline, which is currently averaging $3.30 a gallon in California, may reach $4 by Memorial Day, the traditional start of the demand-heavy summer driving season, according to Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at Boston-based GasBuddy, which monitors fuel prices across the U.S. It would be the first time the state has seen $4 gasoline since July 2014. Pump prices, which include taxes, are already 47 cents over the same time last year in California, the biggest statewide price change in the U.S. “We are soon to be February and we are seeing the year’s lowest prices,” DeHaan said in a phone interview Wednesday. “The concern is that a year ahead will have a much higher floor than what we saw last year.”
RT – Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies are falling substantially on Thursday after India announced a crackdown on their trading and circulation.
The largest cryptocurrency, bitcoin, dropped over 12 percent below $9,000, the lowest level seen since November. The Indian Finance Ministry on Thursday made bitcoin illegal and announced an upcoming ban. “The government does not consider cryptocurrencies as legal tender or coin and (will) take all measures to eliminate the use of crypto assets,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said. India is one of the largest bitcoin markets, with a 10 percent share. Cryptocurrencies have not been regulated there, but the government started a de-facto crackdown on cryptos last December. Users have been facing troubles with deposits and withdrawals from bank accounts linked to digital money, and the Indian Income Tax Department raided bitcoin exchanges across the country, seeking to identify cryptocurrency traders. “After today’s announcement, people are getting scared,” said Anshul Vashist, Delhi-based support manager at the cryptocurrency exchange Coinsecure, as quoted by Bloomberg. “We have seen some dumping of bitcoins.” Coinsecure has a volume of about 100 coins a day, he said.
Science & Technology
The Daily Sheeple – Millions of jobs are at risk of being outsourced to automated artificial intelligence or robotic applications in the next decade. These jobs range from baristas and supermarket clerks to lawyers and hedge fund managers. Now, a new patent application by automaker Ford suggests law enforcement agents, too, could soon be replaced by artificially intelligent autonomous police cars equipped with state of the art cameras, wireless communication sensors, and surveillance technology. The automated cop car would be designed to seek out especially crafty hiding places, detect driving infractions, wirelessly interface with potentially (automated) lawbreaking vehicles, and even remotely issue citations. According to Techcrunch, Ford’s patent filing suggests that the new machine learning algorithm would not only be capable of determining whether the infraction constitutes a ticket or a warning but would also be able to manually take control of the vehicle if necessary, although it is not entirely clear what the patent envisions in the way of manual takeovers. The AI black-and-white would also have instantaneous access to any databases necessary to adjudicate suspects and offenders.
The Daily Sheeple – Stress will kill you. Most people know this intuitively. Stress weakens your immune system. Stress allows your body to be more easily controlled by pathogens.
A recent study compared two sets of mice. One set had a certain stress receptor cell, and one set did not. Normal mice exposed to stress had a higher rate of disease than mice exposed to stress who lacked the stress receptor cell. This held true for both psychological and physiological stress. Mental and physical stress caused the same harmful reaction in the cells and led to disease. The cells trigger allergic reactions which cause inflammation. This can lead to heart disease, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, and lupus. But it also weakens the immune system’s ability to fight off things like common colds and flu.
The Daily Sheeple – One nutritionist says a hot, cheesy slice of pizza in the morning is actually healthier for you than your normal bowl of cereal. Now, this is news we can all appreciate.
Speaking to The Daily Meal, nutritionist Chelsey Amer explained that many kinds of cereal lack the protein and healthy fats your body needs as fuel for the day ahead. “You may be surprised to find out that an average slice of pizza and a bowl of cereal with whole milk contain nearly the same amount of calories,” Amer said. “However, pizza packs a much larger protein punch, which will keep you full and boost satiety throughout the morning.”
The Daily Sheeple – As yet more proof that the CDC functions as little more than an extension of the corrupt vaccine industry, CDC director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald was forced to resign yesterday following a report that exposed her ownership of shares of Big Tobacco companies as well as Merck, a prominent vaccine manufacturer whose products are promoted by the CDC.
The gross conflict of interest didn’t stop there, either: Fitzgerald also purchased shares of junk food companies and a tobacco corporation, according to media reports, all while she was serving as director of the CDC. “Documents revealed Fitzgerald had holdings in Reynolds American, British American Tobacco, Imperial Brands, Philip Morris International, and Altria Group,” reports CNBC.
NaturalNews – Halotherapy (“salt therapy” or HT) is a form of alternative medicine that utilizes a “controlled air medium” that simulates the microclimate within a natural salt cave. Based on the findings of a group of researchers from Russia, salt therapy is an effective method that can be used to address respiratory diseases. The researchers observed 124 patients with different respiratory ailments who underwent HT. The control group was made up of 15 participants who received a placebo. The HT course included 1o to 20 one-hour procedures in a single day. Based on the clinical functional results, halotherapy is an effective method that can help ease the symptoms of various respiratory ailments. However, treatment must include a series of procedures to maximize effectivity. In the study, low doses of DSCA had a beneficial effect on the phagocytic activity of alveolar macrophages and the “bronchial clearance and elimination of foreign agents” among patients. But since sodium chloride aerosol is a known osmolar stimulus, and it can cause hyperactivity in the airways, HT must carefully monitor the concentration and gradual administration of DSCA.
>> Himalayan Crystal Salt, FIne Grain – 2.2lbs is now available at The Power Mall!