WND – Al Hayat, an Arabic-language London-based newspaper, reported Sunday that the leaders of Hamas in the Gaza Strip are calculating that the chances of war with Israel are “at 95 percent” and assume it could erupt within days.
The paper said the military wing of Hamas has declared a state of the highest alert, evacuating its headquarters and various sites in the Strip, such as the border areas, and spreading its armed forces in civilian areas for fear of an Israeli attack.
Other Gaza terror groups, including Islamic Jihad, were reportedly preparing in a similar manner. Israeli jets have also struck the Strip twice in the last few days in retaliation for two rockets fired from Gaza, one on Thursday night that caused alarms to go off in the Ashkelon Regional Council, and one on Friday night, when sirens sounded in the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council. Three Hamas terror targets were hit in response, the IDF said. Two were part of a military facility and one was an observation post.
Reuters – The prime surviving suspect in the Islamic State attacks in Paris that killed 130 people refused to answer questions when his trial for a later shooting incident opened on Monday in Belgium, defying his accusers and relatives of the victims.
Refusing to stand or to answer questions, he said: “My silence does not make me a criminal or guilty. That is my defense and I am defending myself by remaining silent.”
Reciting the Islamic profession of faith and flanked by two masked Belgian counter-terrorism police officers, he said Muslims were treated “without mercy” and presumed guilty.
Breitbart – In a controversial new statement, progressive German Cardinal Reinhard Marx said he could envision blessing homosexual couples in the Catholic Church, but added that it would have to be up to the “pastor on the ground” rather than made into a universal rule.
In reporting on the interview, the German edition of Vatican News acknowledged that the cardinal had said that the blessing of homosexual couples is possible in individual cases.
Activist Post – The government of Japan is revising guidelines on the creation of chimeric human-animal embryos to permit organ harvesting and other experiments.
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology is expected to drop a current ban on the procedures, which involve creating embryos including both human and animal cells and injecting them into the uteruses of pigs and other lab animals.
U.S. News, Politics & Government
ABC – Nick Foles did his best Tom Brady impersonation, leading a late-game comeback to cap a season that began as a backup and ended as Super Bowl MVP.
Foles’ journey mirrored Brady’s 16 years ago and ended late Sunday night, with green-and-white confetti falling as delirious Philadelphia Eagles fans celebrated their first NFL title since 1960.
No quarterback has gone from backup to title game MVP in one season since Brady replaced Drew Bledsoe in the 2001 season. Foles topped the 40-year-old Brady, football’s greatest winner, in the most prolific offensive game in NFL history, with the Eagles defeating the favored New England Patriots 41-33.
Foles finished it off by engineering the type of game-winning drive that made Brady famous, and he watched his defense stop Brady to seal the victory and the Eagles first Super Bowl — their earlier titles came before the Super Bowl era.
CNN – The Department of Homeland Security documents critiquing the response to a simulated anthrax attack on Super Bowl Sunday were marked “For Official Use Only” and “important for national security.”
Recipients of the draft “after-action” reports were told to keep them locked up after business hours and to shred them prior to discarding. They were admonished not to share their contents with anyone who lacked “an operational need-to-know.”
But security surrounding the December 2017 reports suffered an embarrassing breach:
A CNN employee discovered copies of them, along with other sensitive DHS material, in the seat-back pocket of a commercial plane. The reports were accompanied by the travel itinerary and boarding pass of the government scientist in charge of BioWatch, the DHS program that conducted the anthrax drills in preparation for Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis.
The reports were based on exercises designed to evaluate the ability of public health, law enforcement and emergency management officials to engage in a coordinated response were a biological attack to be carried out in Minneapolis on Super Bowl Sunday.
Miami Herald – Some states and cities are taking the lead on banning bump stocks as efforts stall in Washington, D.C.
The controversial device was used in the Las Vegas shooting, allowing a semi-automatic rifle to mimic a fully automatic firearm.
Massachusetts and New Jersey as well as the cities of Denver and Columbia, South Carolina, have enacted laws prohibiting the sale and possession of the devices. A little over a dozen other states are also considering bans.
Gun-control advocates say the push fits a pattern in gun politics: inaction in Washington that forces states to take charge. Gun-rights advocates call it a knee-jerk reaction that will do little to stop bad guys from killing, and they’re vowing a legal challenge.
Reuters – The House Intelligence Committee prepared on Monday to take up a Democratic response to a recently released Republican memo that alleges FBI bias against President Donald Trump, who accused the panel’s top Democrat of leaking confidential information. Trump, in a post on Twitter on Monday, accused Schiff of leaking “confidential” information.
“Adam (Schiff) leaves closed committee hearings to illegally leak confidential information. Must be stopped!” Trump wrote.
Judicial Watch – A fraud-infested Obamacare “outreach” program will get an astounding $1.2 billion from American taxpayers if legislation introduced by a veteran congresswoman becomes law. The preposterous measure, introduced by California Democrat Maxine Waters a few week ago, aims to recruit customers for the health insurance exchanges set up under Obama’s disastrous healthcare overhaul. The 14-term congresswoman, investigated by the House Ethics Committee for steering federal funds to her husband’s failing Massachusetts bank, crafted the law because the Trump administration slashed Obamacare outreach funding by more than 90%.
The Free Thought Project – Lafayette, CO — Physical education teacher Karen Smith of Angevine Middle School is on paid administrative leave after she was accused of assaulting a student who refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.
School administrators released a statement shortly after saying that a substitute teacher would be replacing Smith while the attack was being investigated.
So far the Lafayette Police department or the Angevine Middle School have not revealed any details describing the nature of the assault, or the condition of the student.
A school spokesman told The Denver Post, that the policy is to allow students to sit or stand during the pledge. This is a policy that is essentially required by law, considering a ruling from The Supreme Court
Reuters – A locked switch is being blamed for the collision between an Amtrak passenger train and a freight train that killed two people and injured more than 100 others in South Carolina early on Sunday.
RT – Former USA Gymnastics doctor and convicted sex offender Larry Nassar has been sentenced to an additional 40 to 125 years in prison, following on from his earlier sentence of up to 175 years. Nassar appeared in a Michigan courtroom on Monday, his third and final sentencing, for sexually abusing young female gymnasts. He is also serving a 60-year federal sentence for child pornography convictions.
Activist Post – The Trump Administration’s nuclear plan is increasingly public, with its unclassified summary providing confirmation of all the concerns that have already been set out in recent weeks, that the administration intends the development of new, lower-yield nuclear weapons that they believe would be more usable than the current arsenal.
Though Defense Secretary James Mattis denied that the new weapons would lower the nuclear threshold, the Pentagon’s Nuclear Posture Review says the exact opposite, revealing that they view such weapons as useful in retaliation against non-nuclear attacks or other “extreme circumstances.”
The document tries to justify this as a way to deter Russia, arguing that Russia doesn’t view the current US posture as threatening enough, and that getting the US even more weapons, including smaller-yield ones they might well use more readily, would really intimidate them.
Economy & Business
Breitbart – American garment workers are reaping the benefits of President Trump’s economic nationalism which seeks to tighten the labor market to increase U.S. wages.
As Breitbart News reported, average hourly wages jumped 2.9 percent compared to last January, much higher than originally expected, while the unemployment rate dropped to an 18-year low at about 4.1 percent.
For the roughly 116,000 U.S. garment workers and clothing manufacturers, Trump’s economic nationalism has translated to wage growth of about 14 percent on average.
Economists and analysts told CNN that the wage increases for garment workers were likely due to businesses having to raise wages in order to retain workers in the industry as immigration enforcement is vastly stricter under Trump and former President Obama.
Silver Doctors – SD Outlook: The markets are getting very interesting, and we will know soon enough if the plan is to undermine President Trump by crashing them…
Gardening, Farming & Homesteading
Off The Grid News – For many of us, late January is still cold and snowy, but the days are lengthening, and warmer temperatures are on the way. It’s so tempting to break out the seeds!
But planting seeds too early can backfire unless you have a setup that includes things like heated seed propagation mats, grow lights, and consistent regulated temperatures.
That said, some seeds can be started by late January with just a little care. Often, these are seeds that germinate slowly, with their seedlings becoming established in mid-late February, when the amount of sunlight and daily temperatures have both increased.
When choosing what to plant this time of year, always check seed packages (or research the varieties you’re planting) to find out the expected number of days to maturity. Then, cross check that with the last expected frost date in your area, which you can find here. Don’t choose seeds that will mature before your last frost date — you need to move your plants outside after the last frost so that they can finish growing outside for the best results and flavor.
The top of your refrigerator is often warm enough to replicate a heated propagation mat. If you’re sowing seeds that need heat to germinate, keep them on top of your fridge. Once sprouted, the seedlings should be moved to a window area to get as much sunlight as possible.
Here are the seeds to start now:
Onions, Leeks, and Shallots
Celery and Celeriac
Woody Herbs (Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme)
Care 2 – Spirulina is likely the most nutrient-dense food on the planet. It’s also been shown to have many health benefits. In fact, the United Nations declared spirulina “the best food for the future” at their World Food Conference in 1974. This is one food that may truly deserve the title of “superfood.”
You can buy spirulina supplements and powders commercially, although these are often extremely expensive and there may be potential health concerns related to them.
An excellent way to skip the high cost and questionable quality is to grow your own. The process is no harder than keeping a fish aquarium. And you’ll be able to harvest fresh, affordable, ready-to-use spirulina right from your home.
Read more here on how to grow your own Spirulina: www.care2.com/greenliving/how-to-grow-your-own-spirulina.html
Care 2 – Last August, a University at Buffalo survey of more than 65,000 older women revealed a link between periodontal disease and cancer — especially breast cancer. And last week, two other studies suggested an association between gum disease and lung, colorectal, and pancreatic cancer.
Researchers at Tufts University and Johns Hopkins followed nearly 7,500 participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study for more than a decade and reported that those with severe periodontitis had more than double the chance of developing lung cancer compared with those with mild or no gum disease. Toothless study subjects saw an 80 percent increased risk of colorectal cancer than their more toothsome counterparts. The risk of pancreatic cancer was smaller, but noteworthy, the study reported.