Huffington Post – The Winter Olympics in Pyeonchang, South Korea, are already stomach-churning ― and the competition hasn’t even started yet. The host country has called in the troops after pulling 1,200 civilian security guards from duty amid a norovirus outbreak, according to outlets. Lee Hee-beom, chairman of the Pyeongchang Olympics organizing committee, said Tuesday that the civilian guards will be sequestered until it is determined that they are “well,” CBS News reported. Dozens of guards were already hospitalized Sunday for sudden vomiting and diarrhea.
U.S. News, Politics & Government
RT – In the latest instance of negligent bookkeeping at the Pentagon, its Defense Logistics Agency has failed to account for more than $800mn intended for construction projects, Politico has revealed citing an audit by Ernst & Young.
The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) does not have the proper paperwork to account for at least $465 million it allegedly spent on construction projects completed in the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2016, an Ernst & Young audit discovered. Furthermore, the agency lacks sufficient documentation for another $384 million spent on construction that is still “in progress.”
Reuters – U.S. Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Japan on Tuesday at the start of an Asia trip that takes him to the Winter Olympics in South Korea, saying he had no plans to talk to North Korean officials but leaving open the chance of a meeting.
Breitbart – Monday on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity,” conservative talker Mark Levin laid out his case arguing the release of a FISA memo by the House Intelligence Committee last week raised questions about the previous administration. That included some of those holdovers involved in the day-to-day operations of the Department of Justice, including Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller. Levin argued those were the questions that should be asked and summed up the circumstances as 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton having “paid for a warrant.”
Breitbart – The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a pro-American immigration think tank, issued a study Monday showing a strikingly high price tag for resettling refugees in the United States. When they combined resettlement costs with Medicaid, Food Stamps, public education, public housing, and a bevy of other government programs and benefits, the study’s authors, Matthew O’Brien and Spencer Raley arrived at a figure of $79,600 in taxpayer costs for the first five years of an average refugee’s stay in the U.S., which annualizes to $15,900.
The figures do not include an assessment negative societal impact, if any, from refugee resettlement.
Economy & Business
The Economic Collapse Blog – The mainstream media seems so surprised that the stock market is crashing, but the truth is that it isn’t a surprise at all. In fact, this crash is way, way overdue. If the Dow Jones industrial average fell another 10,000 points, stock prices would still be overvalued. I have been warning and warning and warning that this would happen, because stock valuations always return to their long-term averages eventually. On Monday, the Dow was down a staggering 1,175 points, which was the largest single day decline that we have ever seen by a very wide margin. In fact, it shattered the old record by nearly 400 points.
The Guardian – The price of bitcoin yo-yoed wildly again on Tuesday, falling 14% to $5,920 (£4,250) before bouncing back to $7,265 – up nearly 6% on the previous day. The latest gyrations came as a leading central banker described the cryptocurrency as “a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster”.
The new head of the Bank for International Settlements, Agustín Carstens, also said bitcoin threatened to undermine public trust in central banks and posed a threat to financial stability, and he signalled a global clampdown.
Energy & Environment
Daily Mail – A hotel has collapsed in eastern Taiwan after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked the island late on Tuesday, with two people reported dead and over 100 injured.
The quake hit at 11.50pm (3.50pm GMT) around 13 miles northeast of the port city Hua-lien, according to the United States Geological Survey. Images on local television showed the Marshal Hotel in Hua-lien slanted on its side, partially crumpled into the ground.
Science & Technology
Austin-American Statesman – U.S. Customs and Border Protection has long sought a way to identify the millions of travelers who leave the country each year through land border crossings into Mexico and Canada.
The logistical hurdles have been monumental: At the U.S.-Mexico border in particular, setting up an exit checkpoint could cause disastrous traffic backups and disrupt trade. When Congress ordered the agency to use biometrics to identify travelers leaving the country, the technology was in its infancy.
As early as this summer, CBP will set up a pilot program to digitally scan the faces of drivers and passengers — while they are in moving vehicles — at the busy Anzalduas Port of Entry outside of McAllen, the agency announced Thursday.
Breitbart – The Hill reports that video streaming platform YouTube plans to begin flagging videos that are published by government-funded groups in efforts to fight propaganda on the website. It’s expected that a small label will be attached to certain videos to let viewers know that the video was funded by a government organization. YouTube News Senior Product Manager Geoff Samek commented on the new update saying, “News is an important and growing vertical for us and we want to be sure to get it right, helping to grow news and support news publishers on YouTube in a responsible way.”
Activist Post – The Philippines stated on Friday that the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia may be connected to three deaths in the country, according to a government-ordered inquiry, and that the drug is not ready for mass immunization.
Sanofi the drug maker revealed in November that Dengvaxia – the world’s first dengue vaccine – might increase the risk of severe disease in people who had never been exposed to the virus. This news aroused an uproar in the Philippines, where more than 800,000 school-age children had been vaccinated with the drug in 2016 alone.
Dr. Axe – We know that a poor diet and inactivity, two common factors of the Western diet and way of life, can lead to type 2 diabetes. But what’s not discussed very much is how so many people are dealing with this disease for other, lesser-known reasons. Reasons that are sometimes outside of their control.
Dr. Axe – Have you ever eaten at a sushi restaurant or ordered Chinese takeout? If so, then there’s a pretty good chance you’ve tried imitation crab meat at one point or another, regardless of whether you knew it or not. Imitation crab meat, or kanikama, is a product typically found in popular foods like California rolls, crab rangoons and crab cakes. Its primary ingredient is a type of gel-like substance known as surimi, which is made by grinding different types of fish into a thick paste, then adding in starch, fillers, artificial flavoring and food coloring to mimic the taste, texture and appearance of real crab. Pollock is the most common fish used to produce imitation crab meat due to its lack of flavor, abundance and ready availability, but other types of fish like cod, mackerel and barracuda are sometimes used as well. Because of its sparse nutrient profile and long list of additives, many people consider it to be the seafood equivalent of the hot dog, made of fish parts and questionable ingredients that have been ground up into a cheap, highly processed convenience food. Still, it remains a common ingredient in many types of cuisine, favored for its versatility, low cost and ease of preparation. In fact, because it is significantly cheaper than regular crab meat, it has become a popular choice for everyone from food manufacturers to restaurants and consumers. Imitation crab is loaded with harmful food additives that can trigger conditions like leaky gut and inflammation. It can also be a hidden source of potential allergens like gluten. Manufacturers also throw in other not-so-great ingredients like sugar, starch and vegetable oils to help the final product hold its shape. Thanks to these extra ingredients, it’s much higher in carbohydrates than real crab meat, containing about the same amount of carbs as a slice of white bread in each serving. And because it lacks fiber to slow the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream, eating too much can cause blood sugar to spike and then quickly crash.