July 4, 2020

Today’s News: January 03, 2020

World News

BREAKING: Trump Kills Top Iranian General, War With Iran Seemingly Imminent

National File  – Qasem Soleimani, the Iranian Quds Force commander, was killed Thursday in an airstrike on Baghdad. After much speculation, the Pentagon confirmed Thursday evening that President Donald Trump ordered the attack, which also killed another Iran-affiliated leader.

“At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization,” the Pentagon stated.

“General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region. General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more,” according to the Pentagon.

“He had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months – including the attack on December 27th – culminating in the death and wounding of additional American and Iraqi personnel. General Soleimani also approved the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that took place this week,” the Pentagon stated.

“This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans. The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world.”

A proxy war is now playing out between the United States and Iran in Iraq, where the de-stabilization program of the Bush-Cheney and Obama administrations led to massive terrorist creation and the rise of Iranian influence on land once ruled by Saddam Hussein.

The moment drone strike blew up Qassem Soleimani, two Iranian Revolutionary Guard GENERALS, a colonel and six others in Baghdad as Supreme Leader promises ‘jihad’ against America amid fears of ‘devastating war’

Daily Mail – This is the moment two Islamic Revolutionary Guard generals were killed in the US airstrike on Baghdad airport which also killed Quds commander Qassem Soleimani.

CCTV footage filmed close to the airport and shared by Iraqi TV station AhadTV shows a large explosion as one of the two cars was destroyed by precision missiles early on Friday morning.

Brigadier General Hussein Jafari Nia and Major-General Hadi Taremi were named among the dead by the semi-official Fars agency, along with Colonel of the Guards Shahroud Mozaffari Nia and Captain Waheed Zamanian.

Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy-commander of the Iraqi-based pro-Iran People’s Mobilization Forces, was also among the dead – vaporized after being struck by one of four American guided missiles fired by a Reaper drone.

Mohammad al-Shibani, Muhandis’s son-in-law, is also said to have died along with Heydar Ali, Muhammed Reza al-Jaberi and Hassan Abdul Hadi, all senior PMF figures.

Iran has vowed a ‘crushing revenge’ and ‘jihad’ on the United States following the attack.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is personally overseeing a meeting of the country’s security council for the first time ever, proclaimed he would avenge the bitter loss of his highest ranking general, while Lebanon’s Tehran-backed Hezbollah said it would ramp up its terror ‘with the blessing of his pure blood.’

New York UN Office Recruits Paramilitary Troops for ‘Disarmament’ and ‘Reintegration’ of US Civilians

National File – The United Nations is now accepting job applications in New York City, New York for Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration officers to “contribute to security and stability in post-conflict environments.”

The job listing was posted to the U.N. careers homepage on Dec. 26, and notes that “female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position” because “the United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff.”

UN DDR forces operate under the intergovernmental organization’s Department of Peace Operations to “assist” the Member States, including the United States, in a boots on the ground capacity.

The job listing describes the UN’s core values as “Integrity, Professionalism, [and] Respect for Diversity.”

Applicants eager to conduct DDR “field missions” are required to have “seven years of relevant experience in disarmament affairs, political analysis or in national military or paramilitary service” and an “advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in disarmament affairs, military studies, political affairs, economics, international relations, or a related field.”

The UN describes the Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration protocol as “a complex process, with political, military, security, humanitarian and socio-economic dimensions.”

Key components of DDR as defined by the UN include disarming the civilian population and “the development of responsible arms management programmes” and the implementation of mass detainment camps.

The UN website notes that “it is important to break outside of the traditional view of DDR participants as only being adult males carrying weapons, and remember that DDR participants and beneficiaries may fit all types of profiles including female ex-combatants and women associated with armed forces and groups, children, youth, the elderly and persons living with disabilities.”

UN hopefuls hoping to work in New York and “contribute to security and stability in post-conflict environments” can submit their applications to become DDR officers December 2019 through February 2020.

Netanyahu to ask Israeli parliament for immunity from criminal charges

Washington Post  – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Wednesday that he would ask the Israeli parliament to grant him immunity in three criminal cases, tying up further the already lengthy legal proceedings against him in a political system that has been gripped by deadlock for the past year.

Netanyahu’s immunity request to the Knesset would shield him from prosecution at least while he remains in office. It also pitches the country’s political establishment against the legal system ahead of an unprecedented third general election in less than a year. That election is set for March 2.

Twice in 2019 Netanyahu failed to form a government following earlier rounds of voting in April and September. Part of the stalemate is the reluctance of his political rival, Benny Gantz — former military chief of staff and head of the centrist Blue and White faction — to join a coalition with a leader charged with crimes.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Tucker Carlson Slams Iran Escalation: “They’re Liars and They Don’t Care About You”

Infowars – Tucker Carlson was one of few voices on the right to oppose the United States’ military escalation against Iran, warning his viewers that the neo-cons who have been pushing for it, are “liars” and “don’t care about you.”

Tensions in the region are on fire after Iran’s Quds Force General Qasem Soleimani was killed during an airstrike near Baghdad’s airport.

The attack could lead to the United States being at war with Iran as well as Iranian retaliatory attacks on U.S. soil.

Carlson warned that the country now “appears to be lumbering toward a new Middle East war,” a confrontation that “official Washington has wanted for decades.”

“Disgraced [former] National Security Advisor John Bolton has made it his life’s mission to start a war with Iran” and could be “finally getting his wish,” added the Fox News host.

“Should you be happy about that?” asked Tucker. “That’s the question. Well, the last time we took John Bolton’s advice in the region, Iran became far more powerful than before we took John Bolton’s advice. Why? Because things are never quite as simple as they claim they are in Washington.”

Carlson then contrasted the focus on the Iranian threat to U.S. interests to the threat to the American people coming from the southern border, which is all but being ignored.

Tucker said those “demanding action against Iran” are the same people who say nothing about “the invasion of America now in progress from the South, the millions, the tens of millions of foreign nationals living among us illegally, the torrent, more significantly of Mexican narcotics that has killed and disabled entire generations of Americans.”

Carlson concluded his response with a stark warning.

“‘Pay no attention to all of that,’ these very same people tell us. ‘The real threat is Iran.’ Well, they’re liars, and they don’t care about you, they don’t care about your kids. They are reckless and incompetent, and you should keep all of that in mind as war with Iran looms closer.”

Armed, even in church: Texas shooting is about a lot more than Jack Wilson’s heroism

USA Today – Jack Wilson is a hero alright. It took him only six seconds to kill a gunman at a Texas church, saving countless lives.

Unfortunately, that kind of split-second heroism has been turned into a PR tool by gun advocates.

The reality of Wilson’s heroism is a lot more complex. He wasn’t just an ordinary parishioner, as gun advocates may want you to believe. The church’s volunteer security team member is a firearms instructor, gun range owner and former reserve deputy with a local sheriff’s department, according to a New York Times detailed account.

In other words, he’s exactly the kind of man you want around with a firearm. But we know nothing about the at least six other parishioners who also appeared to draw their handguns at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas.

And that’s terrifying.

The real story here isn’t heroism

Of course, that wouldn’t matter to the churchgoers of that community of roughly 18,000 residents, right? What matters is that Wilson saved them with a single shot and other gun-wielding parishioners were ready just in case Wilson failed.

But have we really reached a point when each of us need to carry a firearm anywhere we go? Gun advocates certainly think so. They point to Wilson and the new Texas law that allows him and others to carry firearms inside the church.

President Donald Trump said as much on Twitter Monday.

Texas has one of the nation’s least restrictive gun laws, including allowing armed security at houses of worship and allowing parishioners to bring their weapons to church. Gun advocates didn’t waste any time after the recent church incident to promote the idea of arming oneself.

The Second Amendment gives Americans the right to bear arms. And that isn’t going anywhere. But that constitutional amendment doesn’t spell out the types of firearms Americans should bear, nor does it give Americans the right to sell them to anyone to carry anywhere.

The gunman at West Freeway Church of Christ, 43-year-old Keith Thomas Kinnunen, apparently had a long criminal history, including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Authorities say they’re still investigating the motive of Sunday’s shooting, and there were no immediate details about how he got the firearm he used at the church.

Over 200 members of Congress file brief urging SCOTUS to uphold Louisiana pro-life law

Conservative Review – 207 members of Congress have filed a brief in an upcoming Supreme Court abortion case out of Louisiana, arguing in favor of the state pro-life law at the heart of the legal controversy.

The group of lawmakers — 168 House members and 39 senators representing 38 states — said that they “have a special interest in the correct interpretation, application, and enforcement of health and safety standards for elective abortion enacted by the People of the States they represent” and that a previous 2016 ruling by the high court on abortion clinic safety standards “created an overly subjective ‘balancing’ test, leading to confusion among Congress and state legislatures alike as to which laws might withstand constitutional scrutiny.”

The brief asks the high court to both uphold the safety restrictions and “provide clarity regarding the bounds of the Government’s ability to safeguard the lives and health of their citizens.”

The lawmakers also take issue with abortion provider June Medical Services’ standing to bring the case on behalf of patients in the first place. Citing a “a long history of health and safety violations,” the brief argues that “not only do Louisiana abortion providers lack the kind of ‘close’ relationship ordinarily required for third party standing, but also that there is an inherent conflict of interest between abortion providers and their patients regarding state health and safety regulations.”

The Supreme Court agreed to take up the case in question, which will be Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s first abortion case, back in October and is scheduled to hear oral arguments for it in March. The case is about a Louisiana statute that requires abortion clinics to have “active admitting privileges” at a hospital within 30 miles of where abortions are performed.

While proponents of the law defend it as a means of protecting women’s health and safety, opponents just see another effort by pro-lifers to make it hard to get an abortion. The pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights, which filed the case with the Supreme Court in April, says the law was “designed to close abortion clinics throughout Louisiana” and argues that only one would remain if it were to take effect.

‘I Will Never Surrender My Weapon’: Virginians Push Second Amendment Sanctuaries to Stave Off Gun Control

CBN News – In the Commonwealth of Virginia Democrats now control the statehouse and governor’s mansion and as rural Virginians come to terms with their new blue state, they’re banding together against what they see as a coming wave of constitutional violations.

Virginia’s Gun History

“It is sad that here in Virginia it has come to this with the great history of our state,” said one citizen during public comment at a meeting in Woodstock.

It was a Virginian, James Madison, who wrote the Second Amendment, but the 1,500 people who showed up to this Shenandoah Valley meeting want their local leaders to declare their county a “Second Amendment Sanctuary.”

That’s because they fear law-abiding gun owners will soon find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

Second Amendment Sanctuaries

“We’re actually going to be a sanctuary county unlike your sanctuary cities that are literally violating federal laws, where we’re just trying to protect people’s rights,” says Kevin Rooney who attended the meeting.

The resolution says, “Certain legislation that has been introduced in the Virginia General Assembly, and… has [or may be] introduced in the United States Congress could have the effect of infringing on the rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.”

It also states, “Public funds of the county shall not be used to aid in the unnecessary or unconstitutional restriction of the rights under the Second Amendment.”

Tim Carter is the local sheriff and president of the Virginia Sheriff’s Association.

“I do think it does send a message to Richmond that rural counties feel like their voice needs to be heard,” Sheriff Carter tells CBN News.

More than 70 of Virginia’s 133 localities have passed similar measures.

POLICE STATE: Cops Used A Loophole To STEAL Millions From People Who Committed NO Crime

SFTPlan – Police officers in Missouri stole $2.6 million from drivers they knew had committed no crime.  The cops used a loophole in the federal government’s law to get away the theft.

As part of a larger series on national asset forfeiture cases organized by the Pulitzer Center, St. Louis Public Radio reported that St. Charles County law enforcement coerced at least 39 unsuspecting motorists into signing over their assets in 2018. This won’t be widely reported on; however, you can bet we Americans live in an oppressive police state.  The laws protect the ruling class from us and allow them to steal from us.

According to the report, officers would lie in wait for a car committing a minor traffic violation. Upon seeing the minor violation, officers would then pull the car over, question the motorist, and then direct them to a private towing lot owned by Superior Towing. While in the lot, officers would ask more questions and search the vehicle, all in the hopes of finding large amounts of cash or connections to drugs.

If a trained police dog smelled marijuana on the cash, officers then gave the motorists two options: they could go to jail, or sign their possessions away to the department and leave with a traffic ticket. –ReasonThis is corruption and immorality of the highest degree. In all 39 stops, not a single charge was filed, yet the private property was still stolen. Like taxation, this is legalized theft. It doesn’t matter if it’s called “civil asset forfeiture” or not, theft by any other name is still theft. The ruling class can take whatever they want from anyone else.

According to a report by Reason, Missouri state law requires a criminal conviction or a guilty plea before forfeiture, and the assets are supposed to go towards schools, not law enforcement. However, according to the Pulitzer Center’s report, the federal Equitable Sharing program allowed the corruption of the police officers.  Once the stolen money was seized, it was supposed to go to the schools. But the Department of Justice provides a guide to the program, which allows for the “potential to share federal forfeiture proceeds with cooperating state and local law enforcement agencies.” By turning over their convictionless assets to the federal government, St. Charles law enforcement can split the funds 80-20.

A legislative effort to close this loophole and force law enforcement to comply with state law was defeated this year after the local police lobby quietly campaigned against it, calling it “anti-police.”  Nothing about this is “anti-police.” This is straight-up anti-human rights.

VIDEO: Hillsong Pastor Open to Moderating Views on Abortion, Same-Sex Marriage

National File – Hillsong NYC pastor Carl Lentz hinted that his megachurch could be open to moderating its position on same-sex marriage and abortion in an interview with CNN.

“Sure, anything is possible.” That’s Carl Lentz’s response when asked whether he or his church, Hillsong, would ever moderate their views on abortion and non-traditional marriage.

The revelation occurred during a sit-down interview in Lentz’s home with CNN’s Kristen Powers.

Over the course of the interview, CNN’s Powers pushed controversial political topics with Lentz during the interview, asking about Hillsong’s position as a gay welcoming church as opposed to gay-affirming one.

“Will you ever change your views on abortion and same-sex marriage?” Powers asked.

Shifting in his seat, Lentz’s answer came quickly. “Sure, anything is possible.”

Lentz’s answer highlights an unwillingness to take strong positions in defense of the Bible — a squish factor for which Hillsong has been roundly criticized within evangelical circles.

The CNN interview wasn’t the first time Lentz was on the hotseat. In 2014, ahead of a major Hillsong conference in New York City, Lentz, along with Hillsong founder Brian Houston, were forced to answer for allegations that Houston went soft on his father William Francis “Frank” Houston, an admitted pedophile.

Hillsong Church operates 12 church megaplexes around the globe, including campuses in Los Angeles and New York City, both solid blue Democrat cities where same-sex marriage has been legal for some time.

Hillsong made news earlier last year after being criticized for what some called capitulation to pressure from pro-LGBTQ advocates who alleged the church opposed gay and transgender rights.

Hillsong’s lead pastor Brian Houston issued a statement in February of last year regarded as ambiguous at best by conservative Christians in which he distanced the church from conversion therapy, and which did not deal with the question of whether practicing homosexuals are welcome to participate in leadership roles at Hillsong.

Hillsong has at times voiced support for a traditional view on marriage, which is what precipitated the attacks from the social justice left in 2015 and 2017.

Students Fly Confederate Flag at School After LGBT Flags were Handed Out

National File – A Missouri High School became a battleground, earlier this month, where flags became proxies for the students’ feelings: after LGBT rainbow flags were passed around, students countered by flying the “rebel flag.”

At the West Plains High School in West Plains, Missouri, students began handing out LGBT rainbow flags to show support for the LGBT community.

However, the act was not necessarily well-received.

After the LGBT rainbow flags were handed out in the school’s cafeteria, some students replied by draping a large Confederate flag in the lunch room.

Following the incident, the school district won’t reveal details of its investigation but has emphasized that the safety and education of students is the ‘utmost concern’, according to KY3.

One of the students behind the distribution of LGBT rainbow flags, a sophomore, Rose Schilmoeller, who passed around nearly 60 Pride flags attested that the purpose of handing out the flags was not to make an overt political statement.

She said that the flags were “a good way to show people that they’re not alone,” and that “people would put them like sticking out of backpacks or just carry them around.”

A junior, Abigail Lipford, recalled: “On Monday, I saw a girl walking down the hallway and she had like a gay pride flag in her hair–in her ponytail.

“I noticed two boys get up and they have the Confederate Flag and they’re like showing it to the lunchroom in the senior cafe.”

The High School issued a statement to parents following the incident:

The West Plains School District has been made aware of recent displaying of flags on the high school campus during school hours. While we are unable to comment specifically on an ongoing investigation, all board policies will be followed. The West Plains School District is committed to addressing the concerns being raised by our students, parents, and community. The safety and education of our students is our utmost concern. We will continue to be proactive in our efforts to keep students safe, while providing them with the highest-quality education.

A sophomore, Taylor Pool, said: “It’s like they were mocking us, but not only was it that they were mocking us, they also brought in a completely different subject because people were offended by the type of flag they had.

“It wasn’t just LGBT kids, there were also straight kids, Christian kids, standing up for us because they also didn’t believe in all the hate other people were giving us.”

One student’s social media post after the incident read: “If they can fly their queer flags, others can fly their rebel flags ? Butt hurt?” according to People.

‘Clear direction from POTUS to hold’: Bombshell email leak about Ukraine aid shows Trump directly ordered the cash freeze and Pentagon officials repeatedly warned it could be ILLEGAL

Daily Mail – Leaked emails reveal Pentagon officials were worried that Donald Trump directing a military aid freeze to Ukraine was unlawful.

National security specialist news website JustSecurity.org was passed the contents of 300 pages of previously-redacted emails, with the leaked material showing growing concern from Defense Department officials that the freeze would violate the Impoundment Control Act.

It included a message from an OMB – Office of Management and Budget – official who said Donald Trump had given ‘clear direction… to hold’ military aid from Ukraine.

The emails were initially released in two batches last month on December 12 and 21, but the Justice Department decided to black-out several sections, either partially or fully.

Senator Chuck Schumer reacted to the content of the emails on Twitter Thursday.

‘The newly-revealed unredacted emails are a devastating blow to Senator McConnell’s push to have a trial without the documents and witnesses we’ve requested,’ Schumer wrote.

Texas stabbing: 1 dead, several injured & suspect in custody after rampage in downtown Austin

RT – One man was killed and several others injured in a mass stabbing in Austin, Texas. Police tweeted that a suspect is in custody and no others are currently sought.

According to first responders, a man in his 20s died at the scene, while a second man aged in his 50s has been taken to hospital with serious injuries. At least two other people were hurt.

Police said the incident unfolded on 500 block of Congress Ave, and urged people to stay away from the area.

Economy & Business

U-Haul to screen new employees for nicotine use

The Hill – n multiple states, U-Haul will no longer hire employees who use nicotine, a move the company said Thursday will encourage a “healthier workforce.”

The moving and storage company’s policy change will go into effect Feb. 1 in 21 states.

“Nicotine products are addictive and pose a variety of serious health risks,” U-Haul chief of staff Jessica Lopez said in a statement. “This policy is a responsible step in fostering a culture of wellness at U-Haul, with the goal of helping our Team Members on their health journey.”

The rule will go into effect in Arizona, Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

The nicotine-free policy will not apply to employees hired before Feb. 1.

Under the change, applicants in the 21 states will be questioned about nicotine use. In states where testing is allowed, applicants must also consent to submit nicotine screening, U-Haul said.

Teen Vogue Pushes Anal Sex, Again, This Time on Christmas

National File – Gigi Engle, Certified Sexologist, Sex Educator, promoter of child anal, oral, and BDSM has written many disturbing and overtly sexual messages in her job with Teen Vogue, who’s audience is primarily 13-16 year old girls.

This Christmas, Teen Vogue threw its support yet again behind the message of an individual promoting sex among kids, this time on Christmas.

Regarded as an academic with a small following of mostly radical young feminists, Engle has also written such pieces as “My Fear of Driving is Deeply Rooted in Sexism, but Where do I go from here,” where she actually insinuates that her anxiety and inability to drive without stress is because of a longtime trope that women are bad drivers.

It’s a good thing most women don’t act like this, or we’d have about half the drivers going “45 mph on the highway,” according to Engle’s Bustle article.

“Is my inability to relax behind the wheel due to years and years of being told my sex was inept behind the wheel?”

Engle continues, “The men in my family are wonderful, supportive beings and I would never call them intentionally sexist. Nevertheless, I have grown up immersed in adage that has been anything but encouraging when it comes to vehicular transport.”

Engle suggests in her November 12th article, “Anal Sex: Safety, How tos, Tips, and More,” that children should understand anal intercourse in case “penis in the vagina” sex isn’t for them.

Despite laws that state the age of consent never being any child younger than 16 years of age, Engle wrote the article for Teen Vogue, a publication with the target audience of 13-16 year old girls.

Energy & Environment

Egg on Their Faces: 2004 DoD Climate Change Report Predicted Nuclear War by 2020

PJ Media – In 2004, The Guardian reported on a Department of Defense climate-change report that would prove “hugely embarrassing” for President George W. Bush. The report predicted that climate change could be America’s greatest national security threat. Yet these climate-change predictions, like so many others, proved nearly the opposite of the truth. Among other things, the report predicted nuclear war, endemic conflict over resources, and European cities underwater by 2020.

None of these things happened.

“A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a ‘Siberian’ climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world,” The Guardian reported. The report “predicts that abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies.”

“Disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life,” the Pentagon report concluded. “Once again, warfare would define human life.”

Among other things, the report predicted: severe drought and cold pushing Scandinavian populations southward in 2012; a “flood of refugees to southeast U.S. and Mexico from Caribbean islands;” conflict in the EU over food and water; Russia entering the EU in 2018; “migration from northern countries such as Holland and Germany toward Spain and Italy.”

By 2027, the report predicted “increasing migration to Mediterranean countries such as Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, and Israel.”

The decade of the 2010s saw the opposite of many of these predictions. Migrants from the Middle East are flooding into Europe — even Britain and Scandinavia — not the other way around. Britain does not experience a “Siberian” climate. Refugees are flooding to the U.S. through Mexico from South and Central America, not from the Caribbean or from Europe. Germany is dominating Europe economically, while Italy and Spain struggle, and migrants are flocking northward, not southward.

Perhaps most significantly, no nuclear war has taken place, despite the occasional missile launch from North Korea.

While The Guardian emphasized the nuclear war prediction, the DOD report did not specifically predict a full-fledged nuclear conflict. However, it did predict that climate change would make resources scarce. Scarce resources would result in war and nuclear proliferation would result in nuclear war.

The Pentagon report claimed that peace occurs when resources increase or when populations die off. “But such peaceful periods are short-lived because population quickly rises to once again push against carrying capacity, and warfare resumes.” In modern times, the casualties have decreased, but “all of that progressive behavior could collapse if carrying capacities everywhere were suddenly lowered drastically by abrupt climate change.”

As endemic warfare resumes, it will escalate to nuclear war, the report predicted. “In this world of warring states, nuclear arms proliferation is inevitable.”

Australia wildfire death toll grows as military deployed to ravaged communities cut off by flames

Fox – Military ships and aircraft have been deployed to coastal communities in southeastern Australia cut off by raging wildfires that have raced towards the coast, trapping thousands as the death toll from the apocalyptic blazes continues to grow.

Cooler conditions on Wednesday, the first day of 2020, allowed authorities to take stock of the damage from the latest blazes this week that have destroyed more than 200 homes and damaged roadways, cutting off coastal areas. Fire danger still remains high in New South Wales and Victoria states, where four people are missing.

Victoria Emergency Commissioner Andrew Crisp told reporters on Wednesday the Australian Defence Force was moving naval assets to the town of Mallacoota on a supply mission that would last two weeks and military helicopters would also fly in more firefighters since roads were inaccessible.

“We have three months of hot weather to come,” Crisp said. “We do have a dynamic and a dangerous fire situation across the state.”

Science & Technology

‘Revolutionary’ DNA test can detect thousands of rare diseases in children

Sky News – Patients in England become the first to be routinely offered the cutting edge treatment.

A new fast-track DNA test for babies and children which scans for thousands of rare diseases has been rolled out across the NHS in England.

The technique, called “whole exome sequencing”, can scan around 20,000 human genes in just 27 hours – a process which used to take 10 days.

That means quicker diagnoses of around 5,000 rare conditions.

Around 80 babies and children have been tested since it was introduced in October 2019 and the NHS hopes up to 700 patients will benefit each year.

Sian Ellard, scientific director of the South West Genomic Laboratory Hub, created the new test.

She said: “It’s a huge step because when genetic testing started in the NHS about 25 years ago, looking for rare diseases like cystic fibrosis we had to set up each test for each disease.

“So in fact we were only able to test for the most common rare diseases, and today that doesn’t matter.”

Alzheimer’s Breakthrough Possible With New Brain Scan Technique

Newsmax – A new brain scanning technique is shaking up what researchers thought they knew about Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers now say they can predict with reasonable accuracy which brain regions will wither and atrophy in Alzheimer’s by identifying the places where tau protein “tangles” have built up.

“You could really predict which brain regions were going to get damaged just on the basis of the tau scans we took at the beginning of the study,” said lead researcher Renaud La Joie, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco, Weill Institute for Neurosciences. “Where the tau was built up at the beginning of the study was very predictive of where the actual brain shrinkage was going to happen in the next year or two.”

These findings support the growing contention that toxic tau proteins drive brain degeneration in Alzheimer’s more directly than the disease’s other hallmark, amyloid protein plaques, the study authors said.

The scans also could allow doctors to predict how Alzheimer’s will affect individual patients, by tracking which brain regions have more accumulated tau tangles, La Joie said.

Health

Coca-Cola Launches Obesity Subscription Service

Mercola – Coca-Cola Co. has just launched its Insiders Club, a subscription service that delivers new drinks to subscribers’ doors before the products reach the stores

  • Coke vowed it would stop advertising directly to children but continues to do so, including in ads directed at their mothers; its aggressive marketing is widely seen as contributing to obesity, especially in children
  • Obesity puts children at risk for asthma, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, liver disease and more
  • Coke is able to suppress research it funds at universities if it does not like the conclusions
  • Through high-level lobbying, Coke has portrayed obesity as caused by lack of exercise instead of sugary drinks
Red Alert: These Are the 4 Worst Foods That Cause Inflammation

Real Simple – Here are the top foods to avoid in order to reduce your body’s anti-inflammatory response, according to health experts.

  1. High Fructose Corn Syrup—and Other Forms of Added Sugar
  2. Trans Fats
  3. Refined Carbs
  4. Red Meat