RT – Departures at London’s Heathrow have come to a standstill after a “drone sighting” in the area, the airport has said on Twitter.
The incident comes less than a month after suspected drone sightings caused chaos at Gatwick Airport, forcing flights to be cancelled and disrupting travel plans for 140,000 people.
“We are responding to a drone sighting at Heathrow,” Europe’s busiest airport said in a statement. “As a precautionary measure, we have stopped departures while we investigate. We apologise to passengers for any inconvenience this may cause.”
Al Jazeera – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday denounced comments by a senior US official urging protection for Kurdish allies as “seriously mistaken”.
US National Security Adviser John Bolton held talks in Ankara with Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin and other officials on the handling of armed groups in northern Syria and the US’s planned pullout of its forces there.
A joint press briefing scheduled to take place was abruptly cancelled and Bolton was set to depart Turkey without meeting Erdogan in a likely snub over disagreements about Kurdish fighters.
During his visit to Israel on Sunday, Bolton set conditions for the US pullout from Syria that included Turkey guaranteeing the safety of the Kurdish militia that spearheaded the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group.
“We cannot accept the message Bolton gave from Israel, we cannot be deceived by it,” Erdogan said in a speech to his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputies.
US President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of some 2,000 US troops from Syria last month in a statement that shocked many politicians in Washington as well as Western and Kurdish allies who fought alongside the US in the war-torn country.
Al Jazeera – European leaders have said they are in discussions to resolve the case of 49 refugees and migrants trapped on the Mediterranean since December 21.
Ten European countries, including Germany, Luxemburg, Portugal and Romania, are offering to host the stranded passengers on the condition that Malta provides its docks for their disembarkation.
Valletta said it would accept the proposal if said countries agreed to take in another batch of 249 people rescued in Maltese waters between Christmas and New Years Eve.
Global Research – Politicians and pundits alike have roundly criticized Donald Trump for stating he will pull our troops out of Syria and cut US forces in Afghanistan by half. James Mattis immediately resigned as secretary of defense, writing in a letter to Trump, “you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours.”
As the US military kills civilians in Syria and CIA-led Afghan forces continue to commit war crimes, it appears Trump is doing the right thing in pulling out military troops. But the CIA will remain and grow stronger after the US troops leave.
“[A]s American military forces are set to draw down, the role of the Central Intelligence Agency is only likely to grow in importance,” according to The New York Times.
On December 31, The Times described a CIA-sponsored Afghan strike force that operates “unconstrained by battlefield rules designed to protect civilians, conducting night raids, torture and killings with near impunity.” In the article, journalist Mujib Mashal cites an October 2018 United Nations report that raised concern about “consistent, credible accounts of intentional destruction of civilian property, illegal detention and other abuses.”
Mashal reports that the abuses by the CIA “are actively pushing people toward the Taliban” and when few US military troops remain, “the [CIA-led] strike forces are increasingly the way that a large number of rural Afghans experience the American presence.” Indeed, Mohibullah, whose relative was killed when his home was attacked by a strike force, told The Times he saw “no difference between the CIA-sponsored force and the Islamic State if the result was to be attacked with no warning.”
U.S. News, Politics & Government
BBC – The EU says the US government has changed the bloc’s diplomatic status in Washington, in practice downgrading it.
The Trump administration did not notify the EU about the change. The EU has asked the US to explain the move, EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic says.
Previously it has been US practice to treat the EU delegation and ambassador “as a country would be”, an EU source told the BBC.
The US ranks the diplomatic status of international organisations lower.
The EU source, who declined to be named, said the US had changed the way the diplomatic list was implemented, but not the list itself, which describes the EU as an international organisation.
The US state department’s order of precedence says the head of an international organisation “should be considered equivalent to a chief of state or head of government, but should be listed in precedence order, after all official representatives of the sovereign nations present”.
Breitbart – Mayor Bill de Blasio will announce Tuesday that New York City will introduce a program to provide “free” health care to all the city’s residents, including illegal immigrants.
ABC 7 reports NYC Care will guarantee health care for approval 600,000 people without health insurance in New York. The plan will is expected to ensure care to resident regardless of their ability to pay or immigration status. According to Politico, the unprecedented program will cost an estimated $100 million. The mayor does not plan on raises taxes to pay for the plan. Bill de Blasio will hold a press conference announcing the details of the plan at 11 A.M. EST.
In a statement to MSNBC, a spokesperson for the mayor clarified earlier reports indicating the plan will provide health insurance instead of care.
Breitbart – The Pentagon is preparing in case President Donald Trump orders the military to build the southern wall, according to a defense official.
Trump has hinted in recent days that he may do so, amidst an impasse in negotiations with Democrats that has shut down the government.
“I may declare a national emergency dependent on what’s going to happen over the next few days,” Trump told reporters on Sunday.
AP – The normally humdrum bureaucracy of registering to vote brought tears to the eyes of some Floridians on Tuesday when most felons regained their right to vote under a state constitutional amendment.
“I’ll be a human being again. I’ll be an American citizen again,” Robert Eckford said, choking up and weeping after filling out an application at the elections supervisor’s office in Orlando.
The ballot measure went into effect Tuesday, overturning a ban that netted Florida the highest number of disenfranchised felons in the nation. It potentially increases the pool of eligible voters by as many as 1.4 million people in a battleground state infamous for its narrow margins in key elections.
Economy & Business
BBC – Amazon, formed 25 years ago, has eclipsed Microsoft to become the world’s most valuable listed company.
The online giant was worth $797bn (£634bn) when the US stock market closed on Monday after rising 3.4% and moved past Microsoft, valued at $789bn.
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is the world’s wealthiest man, with riches of $135bn, according to Bloomberg’s billionaire index.
NBC – This time, Uncle Sam has something for you.
The White House on Monday announced that it will reverse previous policy and direct the Internal Revenue Service to pay tax refunds this season during the partial government shutdown, which has gone on for more than two weeks.
Russell Vought, the acting director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, told reporters during a briefing on Monday that the Trump administration has “been trying to make this as painless as possible” within the law. The White House did not provide specifics, but said further guidance on tax refunds would be forthcoming.
“Tax refunds will go out. They will not be non-accepted activities. That’s something that we will be sending out guidance on that we’re fixing from past administrations,” Vought said.
In the briefing with reporters, Vice President Mike Pence also said that President Donald Trump directed OMB to lessen the impact of the shutdown on everyday Americans.
Fox – Protests erupted Tuesday outside the West Hollywood home of prominent Democratic donor Ed Buck, with activists calling for Buck’s arrest after a man was found dead in the apartment early Monday — 17 months after a deceased male escort was discovered there.
“Arrest Ed Buck, prosecute Ed Buck, and then a jury needs to convict Ed Buck,” activist Jasmyne Cannick said to the crowd gathering outside the California apartment Monday night. “This man has had two dead bodies in his house, and he is still in his house.”
Said another demonstrator: “This man is a danger to our community.”
Neighbors of Buck’s, who were drawn out of their homes as a result of the protest, said they have the same questions as everyone else and have made their own calls to police, according to FOX11.
Activist Post – Sharyl Attkisson, an intrepid and forthright journalist, formerly with CBS TV News, has been persistent in her media exposures regarding vaccine-caused health problems, especially the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), ever since she did an in-depth report for CBS, which the media bosses refused to broadcast. That led to Sharyl’s independent journalism programs, a blessing in disguise.
Recently, Sharyl exposed that CDC’s expert vaccine witness, who previously debunked vaccine autism claims during Vaccinees Injury Masters hearings, Dr. Andrew Zimmerman, a pediatric neurologist, told CDC “long ago” that vaccines could cause Autism, but they refused to accept Zimmerman’s information. Instead, Department of Justice [DOJ] lawyers immediately fired him.
According to Sharyl,
Dr. Zimmerman declined our interview request and referred us to his sworn affidavit. It says: On June 15, 2007, he took aside the Department of Justice—or DOJ lawyers he worked for defending vaccines in vaccine court. He told them that he’d discovered “exceptions in which vaccinations could cause autism.” “I explained that in a subset of children, vaccine induced fever and immune stimulation did cause regressive brain disease with features of autism spectrum disorder.”
“I explained that in a subset of children, vaccine induced fever and immune stimulation did cause regressive brain disease with features of autism spectrum disorder.” [CJF emphasis]
Care2 – We all know that flaxseeds and flaxseed oil are superfoods that are great for us and that we should be making the effort to eat more of them. But, there are more research-based reasons than ever to start eating more flaxseeds this year. Here are 10 of the best ones:
Care2 – Developed more than 5,000 years ago in India, Ayurvedic medicine (often just called “Ayurveda” for short) is widely considered one of the world’s oldest wellness and healing systems. In fact, its name literally translates to “the science of life” from Sanskrit.
Perhaps the most fundamental tenet of Ayurveda is that health and wellness are intricately linked to balance: the balance of our minds, bodies and spirits. One of the ways that individuals can cultivate this balance is through an Ayurvedic diet, which is perhaps why a key Ayurvedic proverb is: “When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use; when diet is correct, medicine is of no need.”
Here’s everything you need to know about how to follow an Ayurvedic diet specific to your body type this year.
Find Your Dosha
Ayurveda believes that every body has its own unique blend of mental, physical, and spiritual characteristics, and that the key to achieving the holistic Ayurvedic balance is to find out how to make all of these characteristics work harmoniously together.
If you’re ready to plunge into an Ayurvedic diet, the first step you’ll need to take is to determine your specific dosha.
Put simply, doshas are the three primary life forces or energies that combine to make up your body and control how you feel. The three doshas are:
You can consult a certified Ayurveda specialist to help you determine your dosha or take one of the many different quizzes online, such as here and here, to get a better understanding. Your dosha type will help illuminate your dominant mind-body state.
Once you find your dominant dosha, you can begin seeking out foods and lifestyle practices that will help keep all three of your doshas in harmonious balance and you feeling healthy. The belief is that when your doshas are imbalanced, you’re more likely to notice adverse health effects, such as irritability, poor skin, poor digestion, insomnia, anxiety and more.
Key Ayurvedic Foods, Depending on Your Dosha
Vata dosha types should avoid, in general:
Pitta dosha types should avoid, in general:
Kapha dosha types should avoid, in general: