Activist Post – President Donald Trump on Sunday doubled down on his threat to destroy sites “important to Iran and Iranian culture” if Iran retaliates over the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani.
“They’re allowed to kill our people. They’re allowed to torture and maim our people. they’re allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people. And we’re not allowed to touch their cultural site? It doesn’t work that way,” Trump told the press on Air Force one according to New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman.
Trump, who in the past has said he wants to leave the Middle East entirely but is only staying there for Israel, said Sunday that the US will not leave Iraq unless they “pay us back” for an expensive air base we built up to permanently occupy the region.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared to try and walk back Trump’s threat to hit “cultural” sites earlier in the day by insisting that “every target that we strike will be a lawful target.”
Report: Iraqi PM Says Trump Called to Ask Him to ‘Mediate With Iran’ Shortly Before Deadly Airstrike
Information Liberation – Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi reportedly claimed Sunday that President Trump “called him to ask him to mediate with Iran” shortly before carrying out the deadly airstrike which killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani on Iraqi soil.
“This is stunning – #Iraq prime minister tells parliament US troops should leave. Says @realDonaldTrump called him to ask him to mediate with #Iran and then ordered drone strike on Soleimani. Says Soleimani carrying response to Saudi initiative to defuse tension when he was hit,” NPR’s Jane Arraf reported.
Abdul-Mahdi claimed he was scheduled to meet Soleimani on the day of the strike and the general “came to deliver me a message from Iran responding to the message we delivered from Saudi to Iran.”
The comments were made shortly before the Iraqi parliament voted to move forward with kicking the US out of their country.
Tide of people, anti-US chants, & sorrow as Tehran mourns death of General Soleimani & Iraqi militia commander (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)
RT – A massive funeral procession occupied the streets of Iran’s capital as huge crowds of people – including the military’s top brass – came to pay tribute to the deceased Quds Force commander and deputy chief of Iraq’s Shia militia.
The remains of Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force who was killed in a US air strike, was flown to Tehran after a day of funeral processions in Ahvaz and Mashhad. Bodies of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy chief of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), and other “martyrs” who died alongside Soleimani in an American drone strike, also arrived in the city.
On Sunday morning, a sea of people dressed in black poured onto the streets of the capital, with state media putting the number of mourners at “millions,” although the number has yet to be verified.
Breitbart – Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) wrote a letter to her Democrat colleagues in the House on Sunday to reveal a new “War Powers Resolution” that amounts to a pre-emptive surrender to Iran in ongoing hostilities.
Pelosi’s letter begins with the declaration that President Donald Trump’s airstrike last week targeting Iranian General Qasem Suleimani, leader of the terrorist Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IGRC) Quds Force, responsible for the murders of hundreds of Americans and for recent attacks on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, was “provocative and disproportionate,” terms suggesting the attack was illegal under international law and could constitute a war crime.
Harvard Law School professor emeritus (and Democrat) Alan Dershowitz argued in Monday’s Wall Street Journal that the strike was not only lawful, but an “easy call”: “The president has the constitutional authority to take military actions, short of declaring war, that he and his advisers deem necessary to protect American citizens. This authority is extremely broad, especially when the actions must, by their nature, be kept secret from the intended target.”
Nonetheless, Pelosi’s letter indicates that the House will declare the president’s action illegal under international law.
Why Is Iran Flying A Blood Red Flag Over A Famous Mosque That Is Directly Associated With The Mahdi?
Michael Snyder – For the first time ever, a blood red flag is being flown over the famous Jamkaran Mosque in the Iranian “holy city” of Qom. If you have not see it yet, you can watch it being raised right here. And as I will explain below, the fact that this mosque is directly associated with the Mahdi makes this symbolic gesture doubly significant. The hoisting of this flag was broadcast on Iranian state television, and it was obviously intended to send a message to Shiites all over the globe. So precisely what was that message? Well, we are being told that according to Shiite tradition a red flag represents both “blood spilled unjustly” and a call for revenge…
Red flags in Shiite tradition symbolise both blood spilled unjustly and serve as a call to avenge a person who is slain.
It is the first time in history that the red flag has been hoisted on top of the Jamkaran mosque in the Iranian city and comes after warnings of harsh retaliation against the US.
Red flags have also been spotted flying at anti-U.S. demonstrations in Tehran over the past few days.
Clearly, the Iranians want blood. They will never, ever forgive us for the killing of Qassem Soleimani, and their faith requires that he be avenged.
There is also a message inscribed on the blood red flag that is now flying above the Jamkaran Mosque, and apparently it is a reference to the death of the grandson of Muhammad…
The flag, inscribed with the words “Those who want to avenge the blood of Hussein,” was hoisted above the mosque’s shrine for what local reports claimed was the first time in history, according to the Daily Mail.
The grandson of Muhammad, Hussein was decapitated in A.D. 680 during the Second Islamic Civil War, when Muslims were fighting over who was the proper successor to their prophet. The act was met with bloody retaliation from Muslims who considered Hussein’s death unjust and sought to avenge him.
Obviously the Iranians are viewing this as something much bigger than simply extracting sufficient revenge for the death of a deeply loved national leader.
Troubles flare as Juan Guaido, the opposition lawmaker the U.S. calls Venezuela’s legitimate leader, struggles to keep his legislative post.
Politico – President Donald Trump’s campaign to oust Nicolas Maduro hit a major snag on Sunday as supporters of Venezuela’s authoritarian president tried to politically sideline the man whom Trump has recognized as the country’s legitimate leader.
The troubles underscored the difficulties in the U.S. strategy toward Venezuela nearly a year after Trump demanded that Maduro leave office and ramped up sanctions on his government. The strongman remains ensconced in power, with backing from U.S. adversaries Russia and Cuba.
On Sunday, the U.S. expected Juan Guaido, 36, to be re-elected as the head of Venezuela’s opposition-controlled National Assembly. That position gave Guaido grounds to make the legal claim that he is Venezuela’s “interim president” because Maduro’s last election victory was marred by fraud.
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But, according to media reports, security forces loyal to Maduro blocked Guaido and many of his allies from entering the building. One video showed Guaido trying to scale the gate and being pulled down by security forces, some of whom carried shields to push back the crowd.
UK High Court to rule if clinic can carry out gender reassignment on children as concerns over methods mount
RT – The High Court in London is to start hearing proceedings in a case against the UK’s only NHS ‘gender identity development service’ treating children, amid growing concerns about the clinic’s methods.
This week, the court will hear a case brought by the mother of a 15-year-old patient at the Tavistock Clinic in Leeds – identified only as “Mrs. A” – and Sue Evans, who worked there as a mental health nurse between 2003 and 2007. Both accuse the state-sponsored child gender reassignment center of providing an “inaccurate and potentially misleading” picture about the risks of such life-changing treatment to their young patients and their parents.
Gender reassignment should not be ‘general approach’
The plaintiffs argue that such medical intervention cannot be performed with only a child’s consent, claiming that the clinic’s patients cannot fully comprehend the consequences of such life-changing decisions.
“We are essentially seeking to say that the provision at the Tavistock for young people up to the age of 18 is illegal because there isn’t valid consent,” said Paul Conrathe, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs. Such treatment should not be delivered “as a matter of general approach,” but instead should require a court order in each case, he told the Guardian.
The Tavistock Clinic’s methods have already attracted controversy, particularly due to the criticism of its Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) by former employees, who accuse it of “over-diagnosing” children with gender dysphoria to subject them to what some are calling risky and experimental treatment.
Information Liberation – It’s looking like the NeverTrump neocons President Trump surrounded himself with are already stabbing him in the back through selective leaks to the New York Times after convincing him to assassinate Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.
In the chaotic days leading to the death of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, Iran’s most powerful commander, top American military officials put the option of killing him — which they viewed as the most extreme response to recent Iranian-led violence in Iraq — on the menu they presented to President Trump.
They didn’t think he would take it. In the wars waged since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Pentagon officials have often offered improbable options to presidents to make other possibilities appear more palatable.
After initially rejecting the Suleimani option on Dec. 28 and authorizing airstrikes on an Iranian-backed Shiite militia group instead, a few days later Mr. Trump watched, fuming, as television reports showed Iranian-backed attacks on the American Embassy in Baghdad, according to Defense Department and administration officials.
By late Thursday, the president had gone for the extreme option. Top Pentagon officials were stunned.
Translation: the NeverTrump neocons Trump surrounded himself with convinced him to carry out the attack to take out Israel’s number one enemy and now that it appears to be backfiring they’re leaking how the intelligence was non-existent and acting like the attack was entirely his idea.
Information Liberation – President Trump may not have given us the executive order on birthright citizenship he promised before the 2018 midterms but at least we got a war with Iran!
Close to 400,000 anchor babies were born in the United States in 2019 as an executive order to end birthright citizenship gets kicked down the road for another year by President Donald Trump’s administration.
Analysis conducted by the Center for Immigration Studies revealed in 2018 that about 300,000 U.S.-born children of illegal aliens are born every year. These children, often referred to as “anchor babies,” immediately obtain American citizenship and anchor their illegal or foreign parents in the country.
In addition, about 72,000 anchor babies are born to foreign tourists, foreign visa workers, and foreign students every year — all of whom obtain immediate American citizenship simply for being born within the parameters of the country.
Altogether, about 372,000 anchor babies are estimated to have been born last year despite a commitment by Trump to sign an executive order ending the nation’s “anchor baby policy” that incentivizes pregnant migrant women to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in the hopes of securing American citizenship for their children.
This indicates that there were more anchor babies born in 2019 than births in each of the 50 states except California and Texas. California residents deliver about 455,000 babies a year, while Texans deliver about 379,000 babies a year, just slightly more than the total annual number of anchor babies born.
On Saturday evening, a 13-year-old American boy was killed in Mexico while returning to the US.
U.S. News, Politics & Government
PREPARE for Iran to activate terror cells across America and attack the power grid, water supplies and vulnerable infrastructure
NaturalNews – As we roll into the new year with events already exploding in Iraq and Iran — rockets were just fired into the U.S.-controlled “green zone” near the U.S. embassy in Iraq — it’s shocking to realize how many people remain in total denial about the retribution that’s going to be carried out by Iran’s terror cells that are already embedded in cities across America.
As the map shows below, Islamic terrorist networks have been in place for years. What most Americans don’t yet fully realize is that Barack Obama helped fund these terror networks through a complex international money laundering scheme that delivered over $150 billion to Iran during the Obama administration. At least $1 billion went to fund Iran’s nuclear weapons program, with full knowledge from Obama. (Obama also helped Iran capture a U.S. drone and two Navy boats in order to give Iran U.S. military encryption technology.)
As a result, radical Islamic terror cells have a pervasive presence in New York, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, Orlando, Tucson and many other cities (see map below): (see sources and more maps at Clarionproject.org/extremist-organization/ )
The way these terror networks operate is by fitting in with society while waiting for the once-in-a-lifetime command to “activate,” at which point they carry out deadly attacks on various targets that would produce the highest casualties, via asymmetric warfare.
In other words, these terror cells are your neighbors, your local dry cleaner owners, Uber drivers and retail workers. They’re everyday people who have spent years embedding themselves in society, but their long-term goal is to destroy America by any means necessary, and that’s what they’ve trained to carry out.
Fox News – Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., insisted Sunday that if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi does not deliver articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate by the end of the week, the Senate should “take matters in our own hands.”
Graham accused Pelosi of playing political games and trying to exert control over the Senate trial by keeping it from starting. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., recognized Friday on the Senate floor the chamber’s rules prevented him from doing anything until Pelosi does her part, but Graham proposed a solution that could remove what McConnell has called an “impasse” in the process.
“What I would do, if she continues to refuse to send the articles as required by the Constitution, I would work with Senator McConnell to change the rules of the Senate so we could start the trial without her, if necessary,” Graham proposed on “Sunday Morning Futures.”
When asked how long he would wait before taking this step, Graham replied, “Days, not weeks.”
Graham justified this by claiming that Pelosi was engaging in a “political stunt” by holding off on sending the impeachment articles to the Senate, weeks after they were approved by a House vote. He said McConnell would not let her dictate how events unfold.
“Well, we’re not going to let Nancy Pelosi use the rules of the Senate to her advantage. This is dangerous to the presidency as an institution,” Graham said. “They impeached the president, but the speaker of the House is holding the articles back, trying to extort from the majority leader of the Senate a trial to her liking. They’re trying to hold these articles over the head of the president.”
Graham laid out how he would expect the trial to go, allowing both sides to present arguments before determining whether witnesses were needed.
RT – Graphic new photos of Jeffrey Epstein’s autopsy have again raised doubt that the wealthy pedophile killed himself inside a New York prison. According to one coroner, Epstein’s injuries are consistent with murder.
Photos shown on CBS’ 60 Minutes on Sunday show the inside of Epstein’s cell, following his death in August. In them, multiple bedsheets have been fashioned into two nooses. A note on the sex offender’s bed gripes about the conditions at New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC).
Photos of Epstein’s body show a thin, bloody line across the middle of his throat. According to former New York City Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Baden, who observed the autopsy, the wound is more consistent with murder than suicide.“This noose doesn’t match the ligature furrow mark. It’s wider than this,” Baden told 60 Minutes. “Most hangings, especially free hangings, the ligature slides up to beneath the jawbone, the mandible. Here it’s in the middle of the neck.”Epstein’s neck was fractured in multiple places, including the hyoid, a small bone near the Adam’s apple. “I have never seen three fractures like this in a suicidal hanging,” Baden said, adding, “Going over over a thousand jail hangings, suicides, in the New York state prisons over the past 40, 50 years, no one had three fractures.”His injuries also included bruised wrists, an abrasion on the arm, a muscle injury to the shoulder, an injury to the back of the neck, and a cut on the lip. However, it is unclear if any of these injuries were inflicted by hospital staff trying to resuscitate Epstein.
Economy & Business
Speaking to reporters on Air Force One, the U.S. president said: “If they do ask us to leave, if we don’t do it in a very friendly basis, we will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame.”
Bloomberg – Oil extended its gains, briefly surpassing $70 a barrel in London for the first time since September, as Middle East tensions flared after the U.S. assassinated one of Iran’s most powerful generals.
Futures rose as much as 3.1% on Monday as the U.S. State Department warned of a “heightened risk” of missile attacks near energy facilities in Saudi Arabia. Prices later gave up some of the gains. President Donald Trump reiterated threats of retaliation should Iran “do anything” and vowed heavy sanctions against Iraq if American troops are forced to leave OPEC’s second-biggest producer.
The clash is fanning fears that a wider conflict could disrupt supply from the region, which provides almost a third of the world’s oil. Prices haven’t hit these levels since an attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities in September — which the U.S. blamed on Iran — briefly halted about 5% of global output.
“Crude has some more risk pricing to do,” said Bob McNally, president of Rapidan Energy Group in Bethesda, Maryland, and former White House oil official under President George W. Bush. “We are going to grind through the $70s up toward $80 Brent as Iran calibrates and executes its retaliation.”
Bloomberg – Gold surged to its highest since 2013 as rising tensions in the Middle East stoked demand for havens, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. seeing more room to run. Palladium extended gains to a fresh record.
Bullion neared $1,600 an ounce after Tehran said it would no longer abide by any limits on its enrichment of uranium following the killing of General Qassem Soleimani. President Donald Trump said he’s prepared to strike Iran “in a disproportionate manner” if it retaliates against any U.S. target.
Gold may prove a better bet than oil amid rising tensions, according to Goldman analysts.
“History shows that under most outcomes gold will likely rally to well beyond current levels,” analysts including Jeffrey Currie and Damien Courvalin said in a note. That’s “consistent with our previous research, which shows that being long gold is a better hedge to such geopolitical risks.”
Energy & Environment
RT – A powerful earthquake has unleashed havoc in Puerto Rico, leaving many in the US territory without power. The quake is reportedly one of the largest to date to hit the island.
Videos show collapsed homes in the aftermath of the 5.8-magnitude tremor, as well as roads covered in rocks and debris – apparently the result of a mudslide.
In one clip, a crushed car can be seen underneath a raised home whose foundation gave out.
Summit News – Authorities in Australia have arrested close to 200 people for deliberately starting the bushfires that have devastated the country, yet the media and celebrities continue to blame “climate change” for the disaster.
The fires have caused at least 18 deaths, destroyed thousands of homes, millions of hectares of land and killed hundreds of millions of animals.
A total of 183 people have been arrested by police in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania for lighting bushfires over the last few months, figures obtained by news agency AAP show.
In New South Wales, 24 people were arrested for arson, risking prison sentences of up to 25 years.
In Queensland, police concluded that 103 of the fires had been deliberately lit, with 98 people, 67 of them juveniles, having been identified as the culprits.
Science & Technology
Activist Post – Opposition to 5G is worldwide. Multiple lawsuits have already been filed about it in the U.S. Doctors, scientists, engineers and public advocates have asked President Trump for a moratorium on 5G. Expert warnings include more than biological and environmental risks. People and animals have been getting sick where it’s been turned on.
Telecom companies have admitted they have NO scientific evidence that 5G is safe. Regardless, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) continues to promote and force installation. That’s why tens of thousands of small cells have already been installed by T-Mobile and other telecoms.
More details can be found in the Fierce Wireless article “What AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile don’t want you to know about their 5G deployments.”
Sputnik – US-based e-commerce giant Amazon has been trying to enter the Indian market with its cloud storage subsidiary called Amazon Web Services (AWS). The service provides on-demand Cloud computing platforms to companies, governments and people on a metered payment basis.
The Drone Federation of India (DFI) on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding with AWS, entitling the American company to drive the innovation and development of drone-technologies and ecosystem in India.
The DFI, a non-government industry-led body, overlooks the management and creation of a safe ecosystem for the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) sector in India.
Currently, India has only about 100 start-ups that are working on drone technologies. However, DFI President Rahat Kulshreshtha believes that manufacturers in India have all the amenities to develop the UAV industry but claims that a lack of easy regulations is causing delays, the media reported.
According to Kulshreshtha, AWS’ advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) capabilities would better India’s UAV industry, which in-turn would improve healthcare, agriculture and smart cities across the country.
New method based on double-curvature effect described by Gauss nearly 200 years ago.
Ars Technica – The next big thing in 3D printing just might be so-called “4D materials” that employ the same manufacturing technique but are designed to deform over time in response to changes in the environment, like humidity and temperature. They’re also sometimes known as active origami or shape-morphing systems. MIT scientists successfully created flat structures that can transform into much more complicated structures than had previously been achieved, including a human face. They published their results last fall in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Prior researchers had successfully come up with ways to get such materials to shape-shift into simple structures. MIT mechanical engineer Wim van Rees, a co-author of the PNAS paper, devised a theoretical method to turn a thin, flat sheet into more complex shapes, like spheres, domes, or a human face. “My goal was to start with a complex 3-D shape that we want to achieve, like a human face, and then ask, ‘How do we program a material so it gets there?'” he said. “That’s a problem of inverse design.”
BBC – Burger King has launched its first plant-based burger in the UK – but it is not suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
The soy-based version of its Whopper burger is cooked on the same grill as meat burgers.
The fast food chain says the Rebel Whopper is aimed at those who want to cut meat consumption.
But a spokesperson for the Vegan Society called the launch a “missed opportunity”.
Burger King says that the burger “patty” itself is plant-based, but because of how it is cooked it will not be labelled as suitable for vegans or vegetarians.
It will also be served with mayonnaise, unless the customer asks otherwise.
Katie Evans, marketing director for the chain, said the burger was aimed at “flexitarians”. She added it wanted the burger to replicate the “flame-grilled taste” as closely as possible.
Burger King did confirm, though, that its vegetarian bean burger and its vegetarian option on the children’s menu are cooked separately.
Sam Calvert, head of communications at the Vegan Society, said that not making the new burger fully vegan “seems a missed opportunity”.
She added that vegan mayonnaise was “readily available” and used by other well-known chains, which would also make the burger suitable for some religious groups that avoid eating certain animals and eggs.
Mercola – Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, including diarrhea, gas and bloating, may be relieved by peppermint oil.
IBS is estimated to cost $21 billion every year; while up to 15% of the U.S. has the condition, only 7% have sought medical care.
Vitamin D insufficiency is prominent in those diagnosed with IBS; it is wise to avoid genetically engineered foods, which are known to alter your gut bacteria.
Other strategies include being tested for parasites, boosting your fiber intake, eating fermented foods and addressing emotional stress triggers
Newsmax – New research has found yet another way that exposure to air pollution could be negatively affecting our health, by weakening our bones and possibly contributing to osteoporosis.
Carried out by researchers behind the CHAI Project, which is being led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), the new study looked at 3,717 people from 28 villages outside the city of Hyderabad, in southern India, to investigate the association between air pollution and bone health.
The researchers estimated the participants’ exposure to black carbon and fine particulate matter — also called PM2.5 as the particles are smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter — enabling them to penetrate deeply into the respiratory tract.
The participants were also asked to fill in a questionnaire on the type of fuel they used for cooking at home, and underwent a bone health assessment using a special type of radiography that measures bone density and bone mineral content (also called bone mass) at the lumbar spine and the left hip.
The findings, published in Jama Network Open, showed that the participants’ annual average exposure to PM2.5 was 32.8 μg/m3, which the researchers say is far above the maximum level of 10 μg/m3 recommended by the World Health Organization.
Lower bone density and quality are both characteristics of the bone disease osteoporosis, which is expected to increase around the world due to aging global population.
“This study contributes to the limited and inconclusive literature on air pollution and bone health,” explains Otavio T. Ranzani, first author of the study, who explains that “inhalation of polluting particles could lead to bone mass loss through the oxidative stress and inflammation caused by air pollution.”
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