New York Times – President Trump again stopped short of reimposing punitive sanctions on Iran that could break up its nuclear deal with world powers, the White House said on Friday. But Mr. Trump gave European allies only 120 days to agree to an overhaul of the deal or administration officials said he would pull the United States out of it. He also approved sanctions against the head of Iran’s judiciary, Sadeq Larijani, a powerful figure whom the administration holds culpable for the violent crackdown on recent antigovernment protests.
Al Jazeera – Activists in Tunisia have called for a major demonstration against the government’s decision to increase taxes and the prices of basic goods, after hundreds of people were arrested in previous days of protests.
In a tweet, Trump said the new embassy building was part of a “bad deal” as he blamed the Obama administration for selling the previous one in Grosvenor Square for “peanuts”.
Activist Post – Viktor Orban has caused shockwaves amongst the EU and the European establishment in recent years and has subsequently drawn the wrath of that establishment, resulting in an attempted color revolution in Hungary. Orban survived that attempt, however, and is continuing to “trigger” the EU with his refusal to destroy his country and culture with mass immigration and his open condemnation of George Soros and the destabilization empire Soros has maintained in Eastern Europe for decades.
A statement on Friday cited risks of “terrorist” attacks as well as arbitrary arrests in Turkey’s Western ally.
U.S. News, Politics & Government
Fox News – President Donald Trump signed a proclamation Friday declaring Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This week Trump signed a measure creating a new national historic park for Martin Luther King Jr. in Georgia. The park’s boundaries include the Prince Hall Masonic Temple, a site that King used as the headquarters for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, according to a White House spokesman.
Reuters – .S. Ambassador to Panama John Feeley, a career diplomat and former Marine Corps helicopter pilot, has resigned, saying he no longer felt able to serve President Donald Trump. Feeley’s departure had been communicated to State Department officials on Dec. 27 and was not a response to Trump’s alleged use of the word “shithole” to describe Haiti and African countries at a meeting on Thursday, U.S. officials said. Trump denies using the term.
Reuters – President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon will be interviewed next week by a U.S. House of Representatives committee investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, a person familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
Washington Times – The U.S. Senate has passed a bill granting federal recognition to six American Indian tribes in Virginia, a move that makes the tribes eligible for federal money for education, housing and health care. The bill will now be sent to the president’s desk. It gives the Rappahannock, Monacan, Nansemond, Upper Mattaponi, Chickahominy and Eastern Chickahominy tribes a status they have sought for two decades. Many of the members of the tribes are descendants of Pocahontas’ Virginia Powhatan tribe.
WND – Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Thursday that a “bad cold” possibly attributed to her decision not to tell Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley about the release of Glenn Simpson’s testimony earlier this week.
WND – Parents react: ‘It’s highly offensive and insensitive. I was in shock’. A homework assignment asked fourth-graders at a private school in Wauwatosa to argue why slavery was a good thing. It prompted an apology from the principal of Our Redeemer Lutheran School, who said the question wasn’t supposed to have an answer because there are no good reasons for slavery. The assignment handed out Monday, Jan. 8 quickly sparked backlash. It asked English students to “give three good reasons for slavery and three bad reasons.”
The Daily Sheeple – After several decades of nation-building and trillions of dollars missing or improperly recorded, the long-awaited audit of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has finally begun. On Wednesday, the Defense Department Comptroller David Norquist told lawmakers in Washington that the DoD’s first-ever department wide audit will cost about $367 million in 2018 and an additional $551 million to fix the problems. And in a preview of what is to come, Norquist told the House Armed Services Committee that an initial Army audit found 39 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter ($830,700,000) were not adequately recorded in the property system. “The Air Force identified 478 structures and buildings at 12 installations that were not in its real property system,” he added. In other words these helicopters were simply “missing” on the books.
Economy & Business
ABC – Taking the first concrete step toward the Republican tax plan’s promise of fatter paychecks for millions, the Trump administration on Thursday issued new guidelines for how much employers should withhold as taxes from workers’ pay.
Science & Technology
Washington Examiner – The Pentagon is not saying anything about the fate of the military payload, code-named “Zuma,” that was launched this week and may have crashed soon after, and neither is anyone else. A reporter for Bloomberg, who was among the first to report that something had gone awry with Sunday’s launch, was aghast that Pentagon briefers were refusing to give even the barest details about the highly-classified mission. Very little information has been made public about the Zuma payload, which is presumably a spy satellite of some kind, but may have other capabilities such as the ability to repair other satellites in space.
Dallas News – Plano-based neighbors Toyota and Pizza Hut announced a “global partnership” Monday that could see Pizza Hut pizzas delivered in autonomous vehicles designed and built by Toyota. At this week’s CES in Las Vegas, formerly the Consumer Electronics Show, Toyota unveiled a self-driving, battery-electric concept vehicle called e-Palette. Toyota plans to test the e-Palette in several regions, including the United States, in the early 2020s.
Washington Post – This week, Pizza Hut unveiled plans to launch a fleet of driverless delivery vans — a sign that automation has reached the world of greasy comfort food. Then the chain did something pizza makers rarely do: It offered an economic theory on Twitter. After a user pointed out that driverless cars could destroy the need for drivers, Pizza Hut said the technology might just boost demand for human workers. “It actually could create more jobs by opening the pool of ‘drivers’ to those who do not own vehicles,” Pizza Hut tweeted Tuesday. “They might act more as servers, focusing on hospitality.”
Newsmax – GM is seeking approval for an autonomous car which has no steering wheel and no pedals, and you can imagine the regulatory and red tape maze it has to navigate.
General Motors is asking the federal government to approve adjustments to 16 motor vehicle standards so it can move forward with testing the vehicle on public roads and highways by 2-19 CNBC reported.
The Free Thought Project – A damning report from the Environmental Working Group has just revealed that drinking water for more than 170 million Americans in all 50 states contains radioactive elements that are shown to cause cancer. Not only does the report expose the deadly levels of radiation but it also shows that officials have been actively covering it up. EWG’s investigation consisted of testing the water supplies of nearly 50,000 public water systems from all 50 states. Researchers found that from “2010 to 2015, more than 22,000 utilities in all 50 states reported radium in the treated water delivered to customers’ taps.”
GreenMedInfo – At the recent Codex meeting in Berlin, there was an attempt to define genetically engineered (GE) food ingredients as ‘biofortified’ and therefore mislead consumers. This contravened the original Codex mandate for defining biofortification. That definition is based on improving the nutritional quality of food crops through conventional plant breeding (not genetic engineering) with the aim of making the nutrients bioavailable after digestion. The attempt was thwarted thanks to various interventions, not least by the National Health Federation (NHF), a prominent health-freedom international non-governmental organization and the only health-freedom INGO represented at Codex. But the battle is far from over.
Health Impact News – While health agencies inform the public about the possible presence of mercury in certain types of fish and shellfish and recommend that pregnant women and children restrict these food products in their diet, the use of mercury in dentistry continues in the United States without any warnings. Meanwhile, other parts of the world are taking action. In 2013, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) formalized a global convention to end mercury usage, which includes initiatives to phase down the use of dental mercury.