RT – Straining to explain Washington’s eagerness for regime change in Caracas, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Cuba was already occupying Venezuela, misunderstood how democracy works, and claimed Iran had a presence in the country.
While navigating extremely delicate issues like international diplomacy for most world leaders requires finesse and sophistication, Pompeo opted for a more ham-fisted approach in an interview with Fox Business on Wednesday. Weaving together a loosely-knit narrative of garish moralizing and lists of countries on America’s naughty list, President Donald Trump’s chief diplomat attempted to help American audiences understand what the State Department is doing in Venezuela.
Activist Post – In a leaked military manual on “unconventional warfare” recently highlighted by WikiLeaks, the U.S. Army states that major global financial institutions — such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) — are used as unconventional, financial “weapons in times of conflict up to and including large-scale general war,” as well as in leveraging “the policies and cooperation of state governments.”
The document, officially titled “Field Manual (FM) 3-05.130, Army Special Operations Forces Unconventional Warfare” and originally written in September 2008, was recently highlighted by WikiLeaks on Twitter in light of recent events in Venezuela as well as the years-long, U.S.-led economic siege of that country through sanctions and other means of economic warfare. Though the document has generated new interest in recent days, it had originally been released by WikiLeaks in December 2008 and has been described as the military’s “regime change handbook.”
Al Jazeera – The UN human rights investigator leading the international inquiry into the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi said evidence showed he was a victim of “a brutal and premeditated killing, planned and perpetrated by officials of the state of Saudi Arabia”.
Al Jazeera – The United States has blocked a proposed United Nations Security Council statement that expressed regret at Israel‘s decision to eject an international observer mission in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last week he would not renew the mandate of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), accusing the observers of unspecified anti-Israel activity.
The proposed statement was to express the UNSC’s “regret” about Israel’s “unilateral decision” and call for “calm and restraint” in Hebron.
CS Monitor – Not even a week after the United States ended a treaty with Russia limiting nuclear-warhead proliferation, a Russian official suggests that another de-escalation pact is in danger of dissolution if the US doesn’t engage soon with talks before the 2021 expiration date.
U.S. News, Politics & Government
Huffington Post – New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D), rejecting President Donald Trump’s claims of an immigration crisis, said she would withdraw most National Guard troops deployed at her state’s southern border.
“New Mexico will not take part in the president’s charade of border fear-mongering,” Lujan Grisham declared Tuesday shortly before Trump’s State of the Union address, adding that she rejects the “federal contention that there exists an overwhelming national security crisis” at the border.
She elaborated during a news conference on Wednesday. “I’m not going to participate, nor do I think it’s appropriate in any shape or fashion to use the National Guard to attempt to militarize the border where we’re dealing with asylum seekers who their constitutional rights continue to be breached,” Lujan Grisham said, according to CNN.
WND – Democrats and special counsel Robert Mueller still have not explained how the unverified, anti-Trump “dossier” funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign ended up as “evidence” to obtain a warrant from the secret Washington FISA court to spy on the Trump campaign.
Republicans in the House were working on prying that information from the D.C. establishment when the Democrats won the majority in the House.
But a new report by investigative reporter John Solomon in the Hill finds Mueller was “once was hauled before the nation’s secret intelligence court to address a large number of instances in which the FBI cheated on sensitive surveillance warrants, according to evidence gathered by congressional investigators.”
He pointed out the events have “escaped public notice because of the secrecy embedded in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.”
It’s come out now because of the testimony of a former FBI lawyer.
“The episode is taking on new significance as Mueller moves into the final stages of his Russia probe while evidence mounts that the FBI work preceding his appointment as special prosecutor may have involved improprieties in the securing of a FISA warrant to spy on Donald Trump’s campaign in the final weeks of the 2016 campaign,” Solomon explained.
CS Monitor – Officials in Nogales, Ariz., have condemned the installation of new razor wire along the border wall with Mexico saying their town isn’t a battlefield. The mayor said the city will sue the federal government if it doesn’t remove all the Army-installed wire within the city limits.
Science & Technology
Al Jazeera – Germany has ordered Facebook to curb its data collection practices in the country, after a ruling that the world’s largest social media network abused its market dominance to gather information about users without their knowledge or consent.
“In future, Facebook will no longer be allowed to force its users to agree to the practically unrestricted collection and assigning of non-Facebook data to their Facebook accounts,” Federal Cartel Office chief Andreas Mundt said in the landmark order on Thursday.
RT – According to an infuriating new report, several popular applications in Apple’s iPhone app store are secretly recording everything on their user’s screen and often doing it without permission.
After a slew of shocking revelations about how they handle people’s private data the public’s trust in large tech companies is surely close to an all-time low. However, a new report from TechCrunch suggests that the mistrust is well founded and perhaps people should be even more cautious about what they download.
Mind Body Green – It’s probably not news to you that consuming good bacteria—aka probiotics—can improve gut health. But these beneficial bugs have been linked to so much more than just better digestion.
“Optimizing your gut with probiotics can…also help boost your mood and energy levels, reduce inflammation, and support a healthy immune system,” says Ali Miller, R.D., L.D., CDE, author of The Anti-Anxiety Diet. In fact, a large portion (around 80 percent) of your body’s immune tissue is located in the digestive tract, so it’s heavily influenced by the bacteria living there.
But what’s the best way to consume probiotics? While supplements are readily available, many fermented foods are potent natural sources of probiotics. And when you eat these fermented foods, a variety of other beneficial nutrients often go along with them. In fact, like probiotics, the acidic by-products of fermentation also assist in digestion but in a different way—by promoting the breakdown of the micronutrients and macronutrients in our diets (including lactose), which can help reduce bloating and cramps.
Here, learn why fermented foods are so beneficial and which pack the biggest probiotic punch.