RT – The United States and the Taliban have negotiated a proposal for a seven-day reduction in violence, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Thursday.
“We’ve said all along that the best, if not only, solution in Afghanistan is a political agreement,” Esper told reporters in Brussels. “Progress has been made on this front and we’ll have more to report on that soon.”
“It will be a continual evaluative process as we go forward – if we go forward,” Reuters quoted Esper as saying.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Wednesday there had been “notable progress” in continuing talks between the US and the Taliban.
The country now has more than 50,000 confirmed cases and 1,300 people have died from it worldwide.
The jump in cases comes after reports out of the country indicated that the virus may have leveled off. The latest increase was attributed to the country’s new approach to counting patients. The Los Angeles Times reported that about 90 percent of the new cases were “clinically diagnosed.” Doctors in the country previously relied on nucleic tests for the viral disease known as COVID-19.
Daily Mail – A North Korean official has been executed for going to a public bath while he was meant to be in quarantine, a report in the South has claimed.
North Korea has not yet confirmed any cases of the virus, but has taken drastic measures to stop it spreading over its border with China.
BBC – Pope Francis has ruled against ordaining married men in the Amazon region as a means of addressing the shortage of Catholic priests.
Bishops backed the measure last year, but the decision needed the Pope’s approval to be implemented.
Catholic priests are required to abide by the rule of celibacy upon ordination except in cases where married Anglican ministers have converted.
Celibacy is seen as the devotion of one’s life to God.
The conservative wing of the Catholic Church – particularly in Europe and North America – has spoken out against the idea of married priests, arguing that this could lead to the global abolition of celibacy.
A statement from the Vatican said: “The Amazon challenges us, the Pope writes, to overcome limited perspectives and not to content ourselves with solutions that address only part of the situation.”
The Pope said there was a need for ministers who can understand Amazonian sensibilities and cultures from within. He urged bishops to “promote prayer for priestly vocations” and to encourage those who want to become missionaries to “opt for the Amazon region”.
Breitbart – Former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks will return to work for President Donald Trump at the White House, according to several reports on Thursday.
A Trump loyalist and close aide to the president, Hicks left the White House in March 2018 and moved to Los Angeles to work as the Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer for Fox Corporation. But she remained close with the team and even traveled with the president on the campaign trail in 2018.
Infowars – A new survey of more than 8,000 people has found that those who identify with left-wing political beliefs are more likely to have been diagnosed with a mental illness.
Ann Coulter’s “liberalism is a mental disorder” catchphrase has become something of a clichéd meme, but the data appears to support it.
Carried out by Slate Star Codex, the online survey collected a wealth of data from respondents about their education, demographic, lifestyle and political views.
The results show that people who occupy the farther left end of the political spectrum are more likely to have been “formally diagnosed with depression, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia.”
Gateway Pundit – It’s starting to look like the Deep State and Democrats planned the commotion this week to take down Attorney General Bill Barr.
Roger Stone’s deep state prosecutors this week stunned the Attorney General’s office by pushing for a sentence of 7-9 years for Roger Stone in a process crime in the Trump-collusion hoax investigation.
The DOJ is now preparing to change its sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone.
“The Department finds seven to nine years extreme, excessive and grossly disproportionate,” the source told Fox News.
Reuters – A sharp rise in the number of coronavirus deaths and infections unnerved world markets on Thursday, as traders halted the rally in stocks and retreated to the safety of government bonds and gold
BBC – All of the bushfires in New South Wales (NSW) are now considered contained, say fire officials in the Australian state.
The NSW Rural Fire Service said it was “great news” after “a very traumatic, exhausting and anxious” time.
The development is thanks in part to heavy rain, which has lashed the state since last weekend.
But the severe storms led to flash flooding in Queensland where a 75-year-old man is reported to have died.
Flood warnings have been issued for NSW and for southern Queensland.
Ex-tropical cyclone Uesi will bring winds of up to 130km/h to the tiny Lord Howe Island, about 600km off the east coast.
Daily Mail – A huge earthquake hit Japan‘s northern coast today, but there were no reports of serious damage or injuries and no danger of a tsunami, officials have said.
The 7.0-magnitude quake hit offshore, 62 miles southeast of Russia‘s Kuril Islands, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.
The underwater earthquake happened 100 miles below the ocean’s surface.
Newsmax – U.S. officials on Thursday announced the country’s 15th confirmed case of the new coronavirus — an evacuee from China who had been under quarantine in Texas.
The patient, who had been flown to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio last week, is now in isolation at a hospital and was reported in stable condition. The infection was confirmed through a Wednesday night lab test.
Two earlier U.S. cases were found among evacuees flown to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in Southern California.
Hundreds of people, including U.S. State Department employees and their families, were brought to military bases in Texas, California and Nebraska aboard chartered flights from Wuhan, a city of 11 million that is at the center of the outbreak.
Newsmax – The term alternative therapy refers to treatments that pose no, or only a low, risk of side effects and many can be very effective for pain relief. The therapies relieve pain or help you refocus your attention so that you don’t feel as much pain or can find it easier to manage. Your internist or a pain specialist can help you sort through options to see which might be most effective for you, says Dr. Lynn Kohan, a pain specialist at the University of Virginia Medical Center.
Your doctor may suggest alternative therapies alone or in addition to pain medication. Insurance and Medicare often cover alternative therapies — Medicare, for example, just began covering acupuncture for low back pain. Experts at the National Institutes of Health recommend that you ask your doctor for recommendations for alternative practices that require a practitioner, such as massage and acupuncture.
Acupuncture: Very thin needles are inserted into the skin at various points of the body. It may work by rebalancing energy or by stimulating nerves, scientists aren’t sure.
Massage: This kneading technique relaxes muscle tissue, which can help relieve muscle spasms and pain and may also relieve pain from compressed nerves.
Chiropractic: Chiropractors manipulate the body’s alignment to help relieve pain.
Guided Imagery: A psychological relaxation technique, guided imagery utilizes mental images of pleasant sights, smells, sounds, tastes, or somatic sensations (touch, movements, or positions) to create a positive cognitive and emotional state that can prevent or ameliorate pain or other sources of distress.
Hypnosis: During hypnosis you’ll focus on relaxation, which can help relieve tension and pain.
Mercola – Eating a high-fiber diet may reduce your risk of heart disease from the environmental pollutant polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
Exposure to air pollution may increase your risk of a heart attack, raise the risk of preterm birth, Type 2 diabetes and obesity, and increase rates of depression and dementia.
Man-made air pollution is produced by fossil fuels, industry, waste management and agriculture and is small enough to enter your lungs and bloodstream.
Several dietary strategies may help reduce toxins and lower inflammation, including eating broccoli, turmeric and ginger, and taking care to balance your omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids