Free Thought Project – France is signaling it’s making preparations for a massive new crackdown on the gilets jaunes or “yellow vests” anti-government protests that have gripped the country for seven weeks. A new law under consideration could make any demonstration illegal to begin with if not previously approved by authorities, in an initiative already being compared to the pre-Maiden so-called “dictatorship law” in Ukraine.
In the name of reigning in the violence that has recently included torching structures along the prestigious Boulevard Saint Germain in Paris, and smashing through the gates of government ministry buildings, the French government appears set to enact something close to a martial law scenario prohibiting almost any protest and curtailing freedom of speech.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe presented the new initiative to curtail the violence and unrest while targeting “troublemakers” and banning anonymity through wearing masks on French TV channel TF1 on Monday. He said the law would give police authority crack down on “unauthorized demonstrations” at a moment when police are already arresting citizens for merely wearing a yellow vest, even if they are not directly engaged in protests in some cases.
PM Philippe said the government would support a “new law punishing those who do not respect the requirement to declare [protests], those who take part in unauthorized demonstrations and those who arrive at demonstrations wearing face masks”.
Philippe’s tone during the statements was one of the proverbial “the gloves are off” as he described the onus would be on “the troublemakers, and not taxpayers, to pay for the damage caused” to businesses and property.
“Those who question our institutions will not have the last word,” he added.
However, if anything the protests have grown fiercer in response to any police crackdown or violence against demonstrators. Should all protests be banned under the new law, it could be the start of more violent riots gaining steam, as what began Nov. 17 as anger over fuel tax hikes has now turned into rage at President Emmanuel Macron and policies that seem to favor the urban elite.
Other yellow vest inspired protests previously broke out across Europe, and in perhaps a sign of things to come a video from The Netherlands of a woman pushing her baby in a stroller being arrested by police apparently for merely wearing a yellow vest is going viral.
Sputnik – Last week, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that Tokyo had no plans to displace Russian residents from the Kuril Islands if Russia transfers the territory as a result of talks.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that the recent statement by Tokyo on a peace treaty with Russia distorted the essence of agreements between President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The ministry went on to note that it summoned Japan’s ambassador over Tokyo’s remarks on the peace treaty with Russia.
Moscow also stressed during the meeting with the Japanese envoy that its position on the agreement was principled and unchanged.
CNSNews – A day before President Trump gives a prime time Oval Office address on “the humanitarian and national security crisis” on the Southwest border, Mexico’s interior minister outlined plans to strengthen her own country’s porous southern border, where hundreds of illegal crossing points have been identified.
Speaking at a gathering of Mexican diplomats at the foreign ministry, Olga Sánchez Cordero said at least 10,000 migrants had entered Mexico from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala since last October, and that another U.S.-bound “caravan” from the south was expected to arrive in mid-January.
Sánchez Cordero said the government was determined to ensure that “legal and orderly” entry takes place.
As part of the new government’s migration policy, she said, anyone wanting to enter Mexico would have to provide information including reason for entry, biometric data, and an identity document.
“Those who refuse to provide identity or biometric data will not be able to enter Mexican territory.”
For those whose objective in entering Mexico is to travel to the U.S., the government’s policy would be to stipulate “certain deadlines,” so that if access to the U.S. is not possible they return to their countries of origin.
Off The Grid News – Gas tax riots are rocking France as many observers blame the unrest on efforts to fight climate change. In particular, thousands of “Yellow Vest” rioters have been terrorizing Paris and other cities for nearly two months.
The Yellow Vest rioters are apparently angry middle-class citizens, not student radicals. In fact, the gas tax riots began as a protest against high fuel prices and taxes, The New York Times reports. To elaborate, people were angry at a 30¢ per gallon gas tax increase designed to minimize France’s reliance on fossil fuels, Vox claims.
Specifically, the protesters rioted because the government ignored a Facebook petition against $6 a gallon gas. A small business owner named Priscillia Ludosky began circulating the petition in May 2018. Nevertheless, the media ignored the Yellow Vest movement until its members set cars on fire and vandalized national monuments.
RT – As the US is experiencing “certain difficulties” with the withdrawal from Syria, it should be coordinated with Iran and Russia to prevent “terrorists” from taking up the vacated space, the Turkish foreign minister said.
“The United States [has] been facing certain difficulties with the process of the troops’ withdrawal from Syria. We want to coordinate this process with Russia and Iran, with which we had arranged work in the framework of the Astana process,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Wednesday.
U.S. News, Politics & Government
Infowars – A National Emergency declaration to secure the southern U.S. border is still on the table should Democrats continue to refuse to negotiate, President Trump said Wednesday.
“I think we may find a deal, and if we don’t, I may go that route,” Trump told reporters from the Oval Office during a bill signing to combat human trafficking.
“I have the absolute right to do a National Emergency if I want.”
A reporter then asked the president what his “threshold” would be to invoke a National Emergency.
“My threshold will be if I can’t make a deal with people that are unreasonable,” Trump replied, referring to the Democrats.
“Right now, if I did something that was foolish, like gave up on border security, the first ones that would hit me are my senators, they’d be angry at me. The second ones would be the House. And the third ones would frankly be my base and a lot of Republicans out there and a lot of Democrats that want to see border security,” he added.
Trump was widely expected to declare a National Emergency during his Oval Office address, but he instead appealed to Congress to work out a deal before he exercised such executive powers.
Breitbart – During the Democrat response to President Trump’s Oval Office address, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) accused the president of “manufacturing a crisis” at the United States-Mexico border.
In a fact check by Breitbart News, Pelosi’s statement is incorrect. A review of the crime at the southern border, cartel warfare, drug epidemic, deaths from an open border, asylum fraud, and costs to American taxpayers reveal a startling crisis at the border.
Some of that data was cited by Trump in his address, where he noted the American suffering at the hands of illegal aliens nationwide:
In the last two years, [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] officers made 266,000 arrests of aliens with criminal records – including those charged or convicted of 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes and 4,000 violent killings. Over the years, thousands of Americans have been brutally killed by those who illegally entered our country, and thousands more lives will be lost if we don’t act right now. [Emphasis added]
In the last year alone, ICE agents arrested more than 6,600 convicted murderers and convicted sex offenders who were in the United States illegally.
Of that total, 4,975 of the illegal aliens arrested were convicted sex offenders. The other 1,641 illegal aliens had been convicted of homicide. Another 1,913 illegal aliens that were arrested by ICE had pending sex offense charges against them, while 387 illegal aliens had pending murder charges against them.
For each one of these crimes, there are at least one or more American and legal immigrant victims.
Trump also touched on the country’s vast drug epidemic that has crippled regions of the U.S., the vast majority of which has been the direct result of an open border:
Our southern border is a pipeline for vast quantities of illegal drugs – including meth, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl. Every week, 300 of our citizens are killed by heroin alone – 90 percent of which floods across from our southern border. More Americans will die from drugs this year than were killed in the entire Vietnam War. [Emphasis added]
Indeed, drug overdoses in 2017 killed an unprecedented 72,287 U.S. residents, nearly three times the number of individuals killed by global terrorism. Nearly 50,000 of those deadly overdoses were caused by either heroin or fentanyl.
And it is not just Americans suffering at the hands of an open border. Mexican drug cartels have profited billions from America’s open border through the drug trade and human trafficking, increasing their power in Mexico.
Breitbart – Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) responded to President Donald Trump’s Oval Office address Tuesday evening, claiming illegal immigrants “act more American” than proponents of strong border security.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Ocasio-Cortez accused President Trump of holding the paychecks of furloughed government workers “hostage” to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, a proposal the self-avowed Democrat-socialist described as a “campaign fantasy.”
“In the actual address, there was falsehood after falsehood and we have to make sure that we get our facts straight. Everyday immigrants commit crimes at a far lower rate than native-born Americans,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “And not only that but the women and children on that border that are trying to seek refuge and seek opportunity in the United States of America with nothing but the shirt on their backs are acting more American than any person who seeks to keep them out ever will be.”
The Intercept – When each new Congress is gaveled into session, the chambers attach symbolic importance to the first piece of legislation to be considered. For that reason, it bears the lofty designation of H.R.1 in the House and S.1 in the Senate.
In the newly controlled Democratic House, H.R.1 — meant to signal the new majority’s priorities — is an anti-corruption bill that combines election and campaign finance reform, strengthening of voting rights, and matching public funds for small-dollar candidates. In the 2017 Senate, the GOP-controlled S.1 was a bill, called the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” that, among other provisions, cut various forms of corporate taxes.
But in the 2019 GOP-controlled Senate, the first bill to be considered — S.1 — is not designed to protect American workers, bolster U.S. companies, or address the various debates over border security and immigration. It’s not a bill to open the government. Instead, according to multiple sources involved in the legislative process, S.1 will be a compendium containing a handful of foreign policy-related measures, the main one of which is a provision — with Florida’s GOP Sen. Marco Rubio as a lead sponsor — to defend the Israeli government. The bill is a top legislative priority for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
In the previous Congress, that measure was known as S.170, and it gives state and local governments explicit legal authority to boycott any U.S. companies which themselves are participating in a boycott against Israel. As The Intercept reported last month, 26 states now have enacted some version of a law to punish or otherwise sanction entities that participate in or support the boycott of Israel, while similar laws are pending in at least 13 additional states. Rubio’s bill is designed to strengthen the legal basis to defend those Israel-protecting laws from constitutional challenge.
Breitbart – The new president of Planned Parenthood took to Twitter Tuesday to finally confirm her organization’s “core mission” is abortion.
Dr. Leana Wen tweeted her irritation with what she viewed as an inaccurate headline by BuzzFeed News following an interview with her that was published on Monday.
“I am always happy to do interviews, but these headlines completely misconstrue my vision for Planned Parenthood,” Wen posted.
In the interview focused on Planned Parenthood developing its nonabortion services, Wen seemed to be suggesting Planned Parenthood would be beefing up its menu of basic healthcare services. A logical assertion, since a primary reason the physician was hired to head up the abortion vendor was to tout Planned Parenthood’s role as a basic healthcare provider. In her short tenure thus far, Wen has already mentioned many times that Planned Parenthood provides “lifesaving care.”
But, after the interview was published, Wen tweeted:
“First, our core mission is providing, protecting and expanding access to abortion and reproductive health care,” she said. “We will never back down from that fight – it’s a fundamental human right and women’s lives are at stake.”
RT – US President Donald Trump has threatened to cut off Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) aid to California in the wake of devastating wildfires there, saying that the state first needs to “get their act together.”
In a Wednesday morning tweet, Trump complained that “billions of dollars” are sent to California to combat forest fires, but claimed that with “proper Forest Management (sic)” the fires would “never happen.”
“Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money,” Trump said, adding that it was a “disgraceful situation.” Wildfires ravaged California in November, leaving at least 89 dead and thousands of people displaced.
California Governor Gavin Newsom, who was sworn in this week, was quick to fire back at Trump, tweeting that disaster and recovery periods are “no time for politics” and claiming he was “already taking action to modernize and manage our forests and emergency responses.” A Democratic strategist who previously worked for Newsom also weighed in, quipping to Politico that Trump should be more concerned about the “dumpster fire that is his administration.”
Judicial Watch – A Clinton-appointed federal judge has ordered taxpayers in Idaho to provide a transgender inmate convicted of sexually abusing a child with “medically necessary gender confirmation” surgery. In his ruling Judge B. Lynn Winmill writes that the Idaho Department of Correction’s (IDOC) refusal to fund the pedophile’s sex-change surgery puts him at risk of irreparable harm. “For more than forty years, the Supreme Court has consistently held that consciously ignoring a prisoner’s serious medical needs amounts to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment,” Judge Winmill writes in the order.
The prisoner, 31-year-old Adree Edmo, has been incarcerated in the men’s prison since being sentenced for sexual abuse of a child under the age of 16 in 2012. Before going to jail Edmo claims he lived as a woman, wore makeup and dressed in women’s clothes. He has also held two jobs while in prison and has presented as feminine at his places of employment, according to the court document. A psychiatrist eventually diagnosed Edmo with “gender dysphoria” and for years he has pushed to get a sex change at taxpayer expense, asserting that he feels depressed, embarrassed and disgusted with his male genitalia. IDOC officials repeatedly refused and Edmo’s pro bono attorneys sued the agency as well as its medical contractor, Corizon. Edmo will be the first prisoner in Idaho to receive the costly operation and the second in the country. Judge Winmill found that Edmo has a serious medical need that could result in unnecessary infliction of pain and injury if not treated.
“Gender dysphoria is a medical condition experienced by transgender individuals in which the incongruity between their assigned gender and their actual gender identity is so severe that it impairs the individual’s ability to function,” the court order reads. “The treatment for gender dysphoria depends upon the severity of the condition. Many transgender individuals are comfortable living with their gender identity, role, and expression without surgery. For others, however, gender confirmation surgery, also known as gender or sex reassignment surgery (“SRS”), is the only effective treatment.” The judge blasted prison officials for ignoring Edmo’s request, writing that “in refusing to provide surgery, IDOC and Corizon have ignored generally accepted medical standards for the treatment of gender dysphoria.”
The judge, appointed to the bench in 1995, found that the convict met important criteria for sex-change surgery, including a marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender, a strong desire to be rid of one’s primary and/or secondary sex characteristics because of a marked incongruence with one’s experienced/express gender and a strong desire for the primary and/or secondary sex characteristics of the other gender. The judge also writes that Edmo met two other crucial benchmarks; a strong desire to be treated as the other gender and a strong conviction that one has the typical feelings and reactions of the other gender.
To support his ruling, Judge Winmill also cites healthcare standards set by the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH), a nonprofit devoted to transgender health issues. The court order states that WPATH’s standards of care for gender dysphoria include changes in gender expression, hormone therapy to feminize of masculinize the body and surgical changes of the primary or secondary sex characteristics. They also include hair removal through electrolysis, laser treatment or waxing, breast binding or padding, genital tucking or penile protheses, padding of hips or buttocks and changes in name and gender marker on identity documents. The ruling dedicates more than four pages to WPATH and its extensive list of transgender healthcare standards. Idaho officials have six months to provide the child sex offender with the surgery, which reportedly costs around $100,000.
Economy & Business
SHFTplan – World Bank is warning that the skies are darkening for the global economy. The outlook isn’t that great and there are increasing risks to the entire planet’s economy.
In its annual assessment of global prospects, the World Bank predicts continued, yet somewhat slower, growth this year and next year. According to a report by the BBC, the Bank’s forecast for the global economy is an expansion this year of 2.9% and 2.8% in 2020. However, there are rising concerns that make economists take pause and issue warnings.
While the global economy is slowing down it’s likely to be what the Bank’s economists call a “soft landing”. The slowdown started in the middle of last year and it has so far been “orderly.”
The predicted slowdown is focused on the rich countries, particularly the US, although it will continue to expand more rapidly than either the Eurozone or Japan according to the Bank’s forecasts.
The US slowdown is the result of the fading impact of President Trump’s tax cuts and by 2021 its growth will have almost halved – to 1.6% compared with 2.9% last year.-BBC
The Bank does not expect a recession in either the United States or China. Some commentators, though, are now suggesting the U.S. could be heading for one next year and if it were to happen the risk of a global recession would increase sharply. Many Wall Street analysts fear that U.S. bond markets, where short rates are now almost higher than long rates, are signaling the possibility of a U.S. recession. In the past, the report says, the risk of a global recession in any one year was 7%. But if the U.S. has a downturn, the probability goes up to 50%.
RT – The growth rate of the Russian economy increased last year, while inflation remained low, the World Bank said in its 2019 World Economic Outlook.
Science & Technology
Daily Mail – Mysterious repeating energy bursts have been detected for only the second time.
Fast radio bursts, or FRBs, are radio emissions that appear temporarily and randomly, making them not only hard to find, but also hard to study.
The latest signals to be detected reached Earth from a galaxy 1.5 billion light years away.
The most likely explanation is that they were created by powerful objects in space.
Experts have debated whether black holes or super-dense neutron stars are responsible, but others have suggested more outlandish theories.
Among them is Professor Avid Loeb, from the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics in the US, who believes that they could be evidence of incredibly advanced alien technology.
Reuters – The former chief executive of Insys Therapeutics Inc pleaded guilty on Wednesday to engaging in a scheme to bribe doctors to prescribe an addictive opioid medication and has agreed to become a government witness.
Children’s Health Defence – The United States stands almost entirely alone among developed nations in adding industrial silicofluorides to its drinking water—imposing the community-wide measure without informed consent. Globally, roughly 5% of the population consumes chemically fluoridated water, but more people in the U.S. drink fluoride-adulterated water than in all other countries combined. Within the U.S., just under a third (30%) of local water supplies are not fluoridated; these municipalities have either held the practice at bay since fluoridation’s inception or have won hard-fought battles to halt water fluoridation.
Dozens of studies and reviews—including in top-tier journals such as The Lancet—have shown that fluoride is neurotoxic and lowers children’s IQ.
The fluoride chemicals added to drinking water are unprocessed toxic waste products—captured pollutants from Florida’s phosphate fertilizer industry or unregulated chemical imports from China. The chemicals undergo no purification before being dumped into drinking water and often harbor significant levels of arsenic and other heavy metal contamination; one researcher describes this unavoidable contamination as a “regulatory blind spot that jeopardizes any safe use of fluoride additives.”
Dozens of studies and reviews—including in top-tier journals such as The Lancet—have shown that fluoride is neurotoxic and lowers children’s IQ. Fluoride is also associated with a variety of other health risks in both children and adults. However, U.S. officialdom persists in making hollow claims that water fluoridation is safe and beneficial, choosing to ignore even its own research! A multimillion-dollar longitudinal study published in Environmental Health Perspectives in September, 2017, for example, was largely funded by the National Institutes of Health and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences—and the seminal study revealed a strong relationship between fluoride exposure in pregnant women and lowered cognitive function in offspring. Considered in the context of other research, the study’s implications are, according to the nonprofit Fluoride Action Network, “enormous”—“a cannon shot across the bow of the 80 year old practice of artificial fluoridation.”
According to declassified government documents summarized by Project Censored, Manhattan Project scientists discovered early on that fluoride was a leading health hazard to bomb program workers and surrounding communities.
Care2 – The changes that occur in your body during sleep allow you to maintain optimal mental health.
Researchers say that rapid eye movement (REM) sleep helps boost memory and learning. Deep sleep, on the other hand, lowers your body temperature, slows down breathing and heart rate and relaxes muscles. These changes strengthen your immune system and keep your brain healthy.
People who don’t enjoy these two categories of sleep—REM and deep sleep—tend to struggle with mental health issues.
It’s also true that people with mental problems are more likely to have sleep disorders compared to the general population. According to Harvard Health, only 10 to 18 percent of the general U.S population struggles with insomnia, while 50 to 80 percent of psychiatric patients have sleep problems.
Lack of Sleep and Mental Health
Now, don’t assume you’re safe because you don’t have mental health issues. Lack of sleep can increase the risk of developing the conditions below.
1. Anxiety Disorder
3. Poor Decision-Making Skills
4. Bipolar Disorder
5. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Improving Your Quality of Sleep
People with mental health issues can improve quality of sleep using the same strategies the general population uses. Some of the things you can do today to improve your quality of your sleep include:
>> Try REMSleep from www.thepowermall.com -The all-natural sleep aid formula. REMSleep contains ingredients that research has shown to help improve and enhance better sleep. If
Mercola – Story at-a-glance
GreenMedInfo – Millions use a toxic chemical known as DEET to repel insects. Compelling new research shows that a far safer and more effective food-based alternative exists.
Last month, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Research Service posted a bulletin with a surprising headline: Coconut Oil Compounds Repel Insects Better than DEET. This announcement followed the results from a study by USDA researchers published in the journal Scientific Reports, stating that fatty acids derived from coconut oil had long-lasting repellency against certain insects—an even better effect than the most widely-used insect repellent in the world.
DEET (chemical name, N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) is the active liquid ingredient in a variety of bug-repellent sprays, lotions, sticks, roll-ons and other consumer products. According to the EPA, as many as one-third of the US-population routinely applies DEET products, with concentrations of the chemical ranging from as low as 5% to as high as 99%. Developed in the 1940s by the US Army to protect soldiers in bug-infested areas, DEET was first introduced to consumer markets in the late-1950s and is currently listed with the EPA as a key ingredient in around 120 products.
Designed for direct application to the skin, DEET works by forming a barrier that masks the human scent from attracting insects. Rather than blocking an insect’s bite, when DEET is liberally applied, insects fail to detect that a human is nearby. Protection from diseases caused by biting insects has never been more important. In May 2018, the Centers for Disease Control reported a three-fold increase in illnesses caused by mosquito, tick, and flea bites in the United States, up from 27,000 reported cases in 2004 to over 96,000 cases reported in 2016
Such risks have led health-conscious consumers to seek an all-natural alternative to repel biting bugs. For these individuals, the USDA’s latest findings may be the holy grail they’ve been seeking. The research was conducted by a team of scientists from the Agroecosystem Management Research Service (ARS) in Lincoln, Nebraska, the USDA’s chief scientific research agency whose focus is finding solutions to agricultural problems affecting America. Led by entomologist Junwei Zhu, researchers conducted laboratory bioassays in which specific medium-chain length fatty acids derived from coconut oil actively repelled an array of disease-spreading insects, including biting flies, ticks, bed bugs and mosquitoes. The fatty acids’ repellency was stronger and had longer residual activity than that of DEET, fending off biting flies and bed bugs for up to two weeks after application, and repelling ticks for up to one week, as compared with DEET’s three days of effectiveness.
These benefits are imparted to animals that are affected by biting insects, too. The team prepared an aqueous, starch-based formulation for use on pastured cattle that repelled biting flies for up to 96-hours in the heat of summer, a finding that the team asserted was “the longest protection provided by a natural repellent product studied to date.” The overall effectiveness of coconut oil at repelling stable flies was greater than 95%, compared with DEET’s 50% effectiveness. Junwei Zhu stated in the release that “coconut oil itself is not a repellent,” but rather, it is the specific fatty acids that were isolated in the oil. In addition, a much greater concentration of coconut oil acids was necessary as compared to the percentage of DEET concentration, however that’s hardly a downside when considering that there are no negative effects associated with the use of non-toxic coconut oil in any concentration.
The research found that the coconut oil compound provided more than 90% repellency against mosquitoes, including the strain of mosquito responsible for transmitting the deadly Zika virus. It also out-lasted DEET against bed bugs and ticks, and by a wide margin. DEET was shown to work against these biting insects for around three days, whereas the natural fatty acids repelled ticks and bed bugs for a full fourteen days. According to researchers, the coconut oil-derived compounds offered longer-lasting protection from these blood-feeding insects than any other known natural repellent. Eager to take economic advantage of their findings, ARS has filed a patent application for this new technology and is working to develop commercial repellent products derived from the isolated fatty acids.