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World News

‘Plans for annexation & apartheid’: Palestine blames unrest in West Bank on US ‘deal of the century’

RT – A senior Palestinian official blamed US President Donald Trump’s Middle East plan for the recent turmoil, after the US leader’s son-in-law said local leaders were inciting violence.

“Those who introduce plans for annexation and apartheid and the legalization of occupation and settlements are the ones who bear full responsibility for deepening the cycle of violence and extremism,” Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said in a statement.

His remarks came a day after Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and mastermind behind the so-called ‘deal of the century’, accused Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of urging his supporters to carry out violence.

“He calls for days of rage in response and he said that even before he saw the plan,” Kushner told reporters in New York after meeting with UN Security Council members.

Chernobyl shocker as fungi that eats radiation found inside nuclear reactor

Fox – A type of black fungus that eats radiation was discovered inside the Chernobyl nuclear reactor.

In 1991, the strange fungus was found growing up the walls of the reactor, which baffled scientists due to the extreme, radiation-heavy environment.

Researchers eventually realized that not only was the fungi impervious to the deadly radiation, it seemed to be attracted to it.

A decade later, researchers tested some of the fungi and determined that it had a large amount of the pigment melanin — which is also found, among other places, in the skin of humans.

People with darker skin tones tend to have much more melanin, which is known to absorb light and dissipate ultraviolet radiation in skin.

However in fungi, it reportedly absorbed radiation and converted it into some type of chemical energy for growth.

In a 2008 paper, Ekaterina Dadachova, then of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, noted that the fungi attracted to radiation are unlikely to be the first examples of their kind.

“Large quantities of highly melanized fungal spores have been found in early Cretaceous period deposits when many species of animals and plants died out. This period coincides with Earth’s crossing the “magnetic zero” resulting in the loss of its “shield” against cosmic radiation,” the paper’s introduction states.

The fungi indicate that there could be places in the cosmos — which we are unaware of — where organisms could live in radiation-filled environments.

Chinese scientists say pangolins might be missing link in coronavirus transmission

RT – Chinese researchers now believe that the deadly coronavirus may have spread from bats to humans through the illegal sale and trafficking of pangolins, scaly mammals widely used in Eastern medicine.

“This latest discovery will be of great significance for the prevention and control of the origin (of the virus),” South China Agricultural University, which led the new research, said in a statement on its website.

Pangolins are among Asia’s most-trafficked animals, with an estimated one million of the armored creatures snatched from Asian and African forests in the past decade despite specific protections under international law.

Their meat is considered a delicacy and their scales are used in traditional medicine in many Asian countries.

Researchers tested samples from more than 1,000 wild animals and found that the genetic code of coronavirus strain samples taken from pangolins was 99 percent identical to samples taken from infected humans.

Worldwide, the coronavirus has killed 636 people while at least 31,000 people have been infected.

Royal Caribbean cruise ship docks in New Jersey and four Chinese passengers are taken to hospital for coronavirus testing by medics NOT wearing any masks while 23 others are screened by CDC

Daily Mail – Four Royal Caribbean passengers have been rushed to a hospital for coronavirus testing after the cruise ship carrying more than two dozen Chinese nationals held in isolation docked in New York Harbor.

The Anthem Of The Seas docked in Bayonne, New Jersey around 6am on Friday morning, after steaming from the Bahamas with 27 Chinese nationals held in ‘isolation’ in one of the ship’s restaurants.

Four of the Chinese passengers, who had traveled to the cruise directly from China, were rushed off the ship for testing for coronavirus. At least one was carried on a stretcher by medics who were not wearing masks or other protective garments, aside from gloves.

The four passengers were taken to University Hospital in Newark, which has negative-pressure isolation rooms, Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis told WNBC-TV.

Citizen Journalist Covering Virus Outbreak From Wuhan Goes Missing

Bloomberg – Over the past couple of weeks, Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi and Fang Bin have served as the world’s eyes and ears inside the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, the city of Wuhan. Broadcasting via their mobile phones, they’ve offered a glimpse of how dire things have been. Many of those videos have been posted to Twitter and reposted on YouTube.

Now one of them is missing.

Chen has been out of reach for more than 20 hours. Fang, who was silent much of Friday until a video posted in the evening, was previously detained briefly by authorities for his video of corpses in a hospital. When he filmed the dramatic moment people in hazmat suits broke down his apartment door to take him into quarantine, it sparked hundreds of comments urging the authorities to release him.

It’s no accident that their posts grew viral on American platforms. China’s internet watchdog has stepped up its policing efforts, announcing on Wednesday it would conduct “targeted supervision” on the largest social media platforms including Weibo, Tencent’s WeChat and ByteDance’s Douyin. The regulator has already frozen a raft of social media accounts, then stepped up online scrubbing to quiet a wave of confused outrage over the death of the doctor that first raised red flags about the disease.

In this environment, U.S.-based Twitter has emerged as the destination for locals seeking information about the spread of the virus. It’s officially banned in the country, but many people hop the Great Firewall and access the platform via virtual private networks.

Trump: U.S. gets top al-Qaida leader in Yemen

Washington Examiner – President Trump confirmed that one of the world’s top terrorist leaders, Qassim al Rimi, has been killed.

The 41-year-old Rimi was the leader of al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen, and the possibility of his death was reported earlier, although officials were wary to say for certain he was dead until confirmation was received. The State Department had a $10 million bounty on Rimi’s head.

“The United States conducted a counterterrorism operation in Yemen that successfully eliminated Qasim al-Rimi,” read a Thursday evening statement from the White House. “The United States, our interests, and our allies are safer as a result of his death.

“We will continue to protect the American people by tracking down and eliminating terrorists who seek to do us harm,” the statement said.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Report says White House preparing to push Vindman out

Daily Mail – President Donald Trump is preparing to push Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman out of White House after the war hero testified against him in the House impeachment inquiry.

Vindman, a National Security Council aide, will be informed as soon as Friday that he is being reassigned to the Defense Department, The Washington Post reported.

Vindman, who received the Purple Heart after being wounded in Iraq, had told officials at the NSC that he intended to take an early exit from that assignment and leave by the end of the month, sources told the newspaper, but Trump wants to make a symbol out of the Army officer now that he’s been acquitted by the Senate.

Appeals court throws out Democrats’ lawsuit challenging Trump businesses

Reuters – A U.S. appeals court on Friday threw out a lawsuit brought by Democratic lawmakers alleging President Donald Trump’s overseas business dealings violate the U.S. Constitution’s anti-corruption “emoluments” clauses.

Report: FBI Puts White Nationalists And Neo-Nazis ‘On The Same Threat Level As ISIS’

Information Liberation – Does this mean white nationalists and neo-Nazis are going to get state funding and be provided with arms?

From VICE, “The FBI Just Put White Nationalists and Neo-Nazis on the Same Threat Level as ISIS”:

The FBI has elevated racially-motivated violent extremism to a “national threat priority,” in yet another sign that the U.S. government has finally woken up to the threat posed by white nationalists and neo-Nazis at home and abroad.

In a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray outlined several concrete steps the agency had taken to combat violent far-right extremists, explaining that the “national threat priority” designation puts those groups or individuals on the same footing as ISIS” in terms of the resources the FBI will devote to it.

“We’re particularly focused on domestic terrorism, especially racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists,” said Wray. “Not only is the terror threat diverse, it’s unrelenting.”

Wray’s announcement comes just two weeks after FBI agents arrested eight members of the violent neo-Nazi group The Base, three of whom were allegedly discussing firing into the crowd during the large pro-gun rally in Virginia last month. In recent months, the FBI also foiled two synagogue bombings, Wray said.

How many of those plots were organized by the FBI?

The Guardian just last month exposed the leader of “The Base” as a military contractor and suspected federal agent.

Civil War artillery shell discovered in downtown Charleston

Fox – An artillery shell from the Civil War was discovered in downtown Charleston this week.

Charleston Police Department tweeted Wednesday that the shell was found by a construction crew at Gillian Street, which is in the heart in the historic city. Roads were closed in the area while a U.S. Air Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal team removed the shell.

A spokesman for the Charleston Police Department confirmed to Fox News that the shell was subsequently destroyed by the Air Force EOD team.

An important Confederate port during the Civil War, Charleston withstood a long siege by Union forces until its surrender on Feb. 18, 1865.

Other Civil War ordinance has been discovered in the Palmetto State in recent years. Last year, for example, two Civil War cannonballs were uncovered on a South Carolina beach in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian. The cannonballs were found on Folly Beach, which is located on Folly Island, a barrier island near Charleston.

Civil War sites and artifacts from the era regularly offer fresh glimpses into the bloody conflict. A Civil War-era gravestone linked to the infamous Quantrill’s Raid, for example, was discovered last year in a Kansas forest.

Energy & Environment

Man-made noise is drowning out birdsong and potentially hurting the robin population

NaturalNews – It turns out that honking cars aren’t just bothersome to humans, but are also potentially harmful to the robin population of Britain. Man-made noises, such as from traffic or construction, are hampering the ability of robins to communicate with each other, as these noises mask the sounds of each other’s birdsong.

Science & Technology

A Snow Moon — The First Supermoon of 2020 — Will Light Up the Sky This Weekend

WGN – A Snow Moon will appear from Friday evening to Monday morning, but don’t worry: it won’t affect the weather.

According to the Farmers’ Almanac, northeastern Native American tribes referred to the second full moon of winter as the Snow Moon because of February’s heavy snow.

This year, it’s a supermoon, which means it will be one of the biggest moons of 2020 and will look especially large when rising and setting.

A supermoon is a full moon that occurs when the moon is at the closest point to earth in its orbit. This moon is important for other reasons as well, according to NASA. The full moon signals the start of Jewish celebrations of Tu BiShvat, known as “New Year of the Trees.”

Sporting goods company unveils bikes that can cruise on water

NaturalNews – Cycling on water has been made a reality thanks to a bike firm’s pedal-powered trimaran. The company, Red Shark Bikes, launched four versions of a trimaran, or a tri-hulled boat. But, unlike other boats, instead of a sail or a paddle, these have pedals for you to cycle across the water with.

Health

This New Plant-Based Drug Shows Promise For Cancer Treatment

MindBodyGreen – Cancer is currently the second leading cause of death in the United States, and while there have been some major breakthroughs in treatment, there is still no cure. A recent drug trial turned to botanicals to attempt to help those with head and neck cancers, which account for about 4% of cases.

The trial was undertaken at the University of California, Los Angeles, and found that the botanical-based drug may have promise in helping these patients.

How does it work?

The drug, which is called APG-157, is made up of plant-based polyphenols including curcumin. According to the study, curcumin has been previously linked to suppressing tumors due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. However, use of it clinically has been limited because people don’t absorb it effectively orally.

In this study, they found that the drug was effectively absorbed via “oral mucosal absorption.” To simplify it: They gave patients a lozenge, which dissolves slowly in the mouth, instead of a pill to swallow or other means of delivering medication.

Using this method, curcumin (and the other polyphenols) were effectively able to enter the bloodstream and work their magic. Three hours after taking the drug, they saw high levels of curcumin and its byproducts in the bloodstream and in tumor tissue.

Cancer patients who were given the medication saw decreases in cytokines, which are proteins involved in inflammation that can be found in saliva. They also saw reduced numbers of Bacteroides, which are a type of bacteria with an outer layer that prevent them from being detected by our immune systems. Thirdly, patients saw an increase in T-cells in the environment around tumors, which in other therapies are harnessed to kill said tumors.

Power Mall Product of Interest: CurcuminX4000

Your Gut Microbiome Could Be Better at Predicting Disease and Lifespan Than Your Own Genetics

Good News Network – A new paper awaiting peer-review from Harvard Medical School has found evidence that the human microbiome has a greater power of detecting disease and predicting mortality than the current applications derived from genetic mapping.

This remarkable finding was achieved by examining 47 studies that looked at the relationship between the genetic makeup of gut microbes and the association with 13 diseases such as hypertension, asthma, and schizophrenia. These were then compared with 24 gene-wide association studies (GWA) which correlate specific human genetics and various diseases.

This has been a major strength of GWA studies in the past, and such meta-analyses have been used to determine major findings like the melatonin-receptor gene of the pancreas that inhibits insulin release. This was found by looking through GWA studies to find the number one associated genetic marker for obesity, which then led to the time-restricted eating and intermittent fasting diets now popular in America today.

However, the paper—published on the scholarly reprint site bioRxiv—demonstrated that the microbiome was 20% better at predicting an ill person than GWA studies. In some circumstances, the margin was far greater; for instance, the microbiome is about 50% more accurate at predicting colorectal cancer than the individual’s own genetics.

Our ‘second genome’

The understanding of the powerful influence that the human microbiome has on our physiology is only growing in scale the more we perform this type of research. In 2012, the microbiome was described as our “second genome” due to its importance for understanding genetic factors and influences on disease and health.

Datasets from the American and British Gut projects have deepened our understanding of the complex interactions between our food, genetics, and lifestyle on the colonies of trillions of tiny organisms that live on our skin, in our brains, and in our GI tracts.

“Gut microbiome species diversity has been theorized as playing an important role, either as a correlative, causal, or associative factor, in the greater obesity epidemic affecting much of the world, as well as several other diseases,” World at Large detailed in an examination of the American and British Gut datasets.

Meditation isn’t just a relaxing activity; it also offers science-backed benefits such as improved brain function

NaturalNews – More and more people are practicing meditation with the discovery of its many health benefits. To add to the list, researchers from the University of California Davis found that meditation has positive long-term effects on cognitive health. The study, which was published in the Journal of Cognitive Enhancement, explained how meditation helps delay cognitive decline.

Despite the fact that it has been around for a long time, not a lot of research has been done on meditation. The present study is the first comprehensive and longitudinal study conducted on meditation. The results showed that meditation’s effects, especially when practiced diligently, could last for years.

The researchers noted that a person’s capacity to sustain attention diminishes as he or she ages. They therefore sought to determine if a person’s focus can be enhanced through directed mental training or meditation.

Other benefits of meditation on brain health

The study showed that meditation has long-term positive effects and can help maintain or improve attention span. But the brain benefits of meditation include more than just that. Here are some of the other positive effects of meditation on the brain:

  • It helps protect the brain from age-related decline
  • It helps control pain
  • It helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease

Good News

Veteran joyfully collapses after learning his old Rolex is worth up to $700K

Today – Learning the value of his old Rolex watch swept this military veteran right off his feet.

An Air Force veteran who went on “Antiques Roadshow” to have his 1971 Rolex Oyster Cosmograph appraised had his legs turn to jelly when he learned the watch he paid $345.97 for in 1974 is now worth up to $700,000 at auction.

The 1971 Rolex Oyster Cosmograph was similar to a watch worn by Paul Newman in the 1969 auto racing movie “Winning.

3-year-old goes viral for leading class in ‘adorable’ lunchtime prayer

Fox – A preschooler in Missouri is going viral for blessing “all the boys and girls around the world” before digging into lunch with his classmates.

Ranisha Martin captured the heartwarming moment her 3-year-old son, Makhi, stands with folded hands, eyes closed, and delivers an “adorable” prayer at Transformation Christian School in St. Louis.

English town’s mystery solved as police explain the source of cash bundles appearing on the streets

Fox – Police this week revealed the mysterious source of bundles of cash that frequently seemed to fall from the sky onto the streets of an English village: two good Samaritans who had placed the wads of money — often upward of £2,000 or about $2,600 — around the town in an effort to “give something back” to the community, according to reports.

The village of Blackhall Colliery in County Durham became a global spectacle when large sums of money began appearing at random near the main street in 2014. As much as €26,000 had been discovered over the past six years, often in bundles of €20 notes.

But rather than pocket the cash, many of the good Samaritans’ intended benefactors — at least 13 random lucky street-goers — turned the money into the authorities.

“These bundles are always left in plain sight such as on pavements and discovered by random members of the public who have handed them in,” Det. Constable (DC) John Forster said in a November news release, at the time seeking the source of the money. Inquiries to residents, community organizations, the local post office and bank in the former mining village of less than 5,000 had yielded nothing.

But after the two donors came forward, Durham police on Monday assured that their identity would remain secret. Not even the lead detective of the investigation, DC Forster, knows the identity of the pair.

“Something must have happened over time that brought them back to Blackhall and to give them such an emotional feeling toward the people there,” Forster said, adding that they were not local, married or related. He said they may have even left the cash separately before joining forces.

Police said in a statement this week that “both generous individuals had recently received unexpected windfalls and told police they wanted to give something back.”

“One of the good Samaritans told detectives that they felt an ‘emotional connection’ to the village after being helped by one of the residents, so she wanted to repay the kindness she received,” police said.

Pet News

Five Clues to Your Dog’s Itchy Skin and Stomach Issues

Mercola Pet – If your dog is itchy year-round vs. seasonally and also has chronic or intermittent digestive issues, there may be a food intolerance behind her “sensitive stomach”.

Food sensitivities in dogs may be the result of an abundance of foreign contaminants found in the vast majority of processed pet food on the market.

If you suspect your dog is sensitive to something in his diet, it’s important to determine the specific food(s) he’s reacting to.

Once the problem food(s) have been identified, a 2-to-3-month novel diet should be introduced; for most dogs and especially those with super-sensitive stomachs, it’s best to avoid all processed pet food in favor of a homemade diet.

Because each case of food intolerance is unique, it can be extremely beneficial to work with an integrative or holistic veterinarian who can design a custom formulated healing protocol for your pet

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