The Guardian – Papers say Theresa May is aiming to provoke conflict with EU after ‘utterly absurd’ Commons scenes.
European media and commentators were damning about the latest twist in the Brexit saga, accusing Theresa May variously of weakness, desperation and cynicism in putting party before country – and warning she could no longer be trusted.
“To avoid the disintegration of her own Conservative party, Theresa May is now risking a major showdown with the EU and increasing the danger of a damaging no-deal departure,” writes Le Monde’s London correspondent, Philippe Bernard.
Off Grid News – Is the United Kingdom still a free place? Regardless of what you might think, the country’s most prominent city, London, is now known as the “city that spies on you.” Notably, there are now half a million closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the British capital.
In fact, CCTV watches the average Londoner 300 times a day, Medium contributor Felipe Araujo estimates. So, English author George Orwell’s nightmare of Big Brother, a government that watches everybody all the time, is a reality.
“Citizens are monitored daily through local, all-seeing CCTV headquarters which aggregate footage from across the community, helping investigate crimes but also monitoring innocent people in public as they go about their daily life,” Araujo writes.
U.S. News, Politics & Government
Breitbart- Nearly all of the 118 immigration violation arrests made in New York by ICE over five days were convicted criminals or those with pending charges.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) made 188 arrests from January 14-18. Of those arrested, 107 were convicted criminals or facing charges, and 55 failed to leave the country after a final order of removal or were previously removed and returned to the U.S.
Free Thought Project – California’s new governor has wasted little time continuing the state’s seemingly limitless expansion of government. Governor Gavin Newsom’s first budget proposal, published last week, suggests instituting a tax on drinking water in the name of cleaning up California’s water systems.
The “Environmental Protection” section of the 2019-2020 budget seeks to
establish a new special fund, with a dedicated funding source from new water, fertilizer, and dairy fees, to enable the State Water Resources Control Board to assist communities, particularly disadvantaged communities, in paying for the short-term and long-term costs of obtaining access to safe and affordable drinking water.
Newsmax – Capitol Hill negotiators are hopeful of an agreement as they officially kick off talks on a homeland security spending bill stalled over funding for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall.
Left on their own, the seasoned House and Senate lawmakers say they could easily reach a border security deal as they have for two years in a row. But whether Trump would sign it is another matter altogether.
Trump has grown impatient and his demands on his U.S.-Mexico border wall. He tweeted Wednesday morning, hours before the negotiators were to sit down for their first meeting, that the group of Republicans and Democrats is “Wasting their time!” if they aren’t “discussing or contemplating a Wall or Physical Barrier.”
Newsmax – A senior Republican lawmaker said Tuesday he plans to investigate spikes in the price of insulin for people with diabetes as Congress opened hearings on the high cost of prescription drugs.
“I have heard stories about people reducing their life-saving medicines, like insulin, to save money,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa. “This is unacceptable and I intend to specifically get to the bottom of the insulin price increase.”
Across Capitol Hill, the House Oversight and Reform Committee held its own hearings. Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., has already announced a sweeping investigation of drug industry pricing practices, sending detailed information requests to 12 major manufacturers.
Although Democrats want Medicare to directly negotiate prices and Republicans prefer free-market approaches, they seem united in their disdain for the industry’s pricing. At the White House, President Donald Trump, who once accused drugmakers of “getting away with murder,” has backed multiple regulatory actions that include approving more generic drugs and an experiment to use lower international prices to save money for Medicare.
NYT – A day after Senator Kamala Harris of California endorsed ending private health insurance in favor of a “Medicare for all” government plan, Michael R. Bloomberg, a possible rival of hers for the Democratic presidential nomination, said the proposal would “bankrupt us for a very long time.”
Mr. Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor who is considering a 2020 bid on a centrist Democratic platform, rejected the idea of “Medicare for all,” which has been gaining traction among Democrats.
“I think you could never afford that. You’re talking about trillions of dollars,” Mr. Bloomberg said during a political swing in New Hampshire, which holds the nation’s first primary in 2020.
“I think you can have ‘Medicare for all’ for people that are uncovered,” he added, “but to replace the entire private system where companies provide health care for their employees would bankrupt us for a very long time.”
Energy & Environment
ABC – A deadly arctic deep freeze enveloped the Midwest, forcing widespread closure of schools, offices and prompting the U.S. Postal Service to take the rare step of suspending mail delivery to a wide swath of the region because of the cold.
Many normal activities shut down and residents huddled inside as the National Weather Service forecast plunging temperatures from one of the coldest air masses in years. The bitter cold is the result of a split in the polar vortex that allowed temperatures to plunge much further south than normal.
Officials throughout the region were focused on protecting vulnerable people from the cold, including the homeless, seniors and those living in substandard housing.
Science & Technology
RT – In a worrying development, Facebook is actively altering its code to prevent advertising transparency tools and plugins from functioning. This is especially troubling as major elections take place worldwide this year.
Tools from US investigative journalism site ProPublica, Mozilla and British group WhoTargetsMe have all encountered difficulties and become largely defunct in recent weeks as a result of consistent and ongoing changes to Facebook’s code. Specifically, these tools were designed to show the public exactly how they were being targeted by advertisers.
I09 – Facebook has stealthily launched a service similar to Onavo Protect, its vampiric psuedo-VPN that claims to protect users’ privacy but actually collects and analyzes their data. This time it’s worse—Facebook is targeting teens to install a similar app via third-party beta testing services, in possible violation of Apple’s rules for enterprise developers.
According to a Tuesday report on TechCrunch, Facebook has used at least three companies to target individuals ages 13-35 for the service, which was originally dubbed “Facebook Research” when it launched in 2016. But it has been conveniently “referred to as Project Atlas since at least mid-2018,” when backlash against Onavo in the tech community was building and Facebook pulled Onavo from the App Store after Apple said it violated data collection rules, TechCrunch wrote.
Mind Body Green – In a strict sense, it’s impossible to rank the healthiest fruits. They’re all good, and most of us don’t eat as many servings as we should. In fact, one large survey found that a poor diet was the leading cause of death and disability in the United States—worse even than smoking—and one of the most damaging aspects of that crummy diet was not eating enough fruit.
But of all the choices out there, from fiber-rich apples to antioxidant-packed blueberries and everything in between, which fruits pack the most powerful punch for overall health.
Knowing which fruits to prioritize can go a long way in boosting your health while eliminating that all too common choice paralysis you experience in the produce section of Whole Foods Market. So we tapped some of our favorite nutrition experts for their top picks.
Here are some other good tips to keep in mind:
Colorful is good, the deeper the better. The fruit’s immune system lies in its skin in the form of dark phytonutrient pigments. These phytonutrients (e.g., anthocyanins in blueberries and carotenoids in apricots) protect the fruit from environmental stressors like the sun’s UV rays and insects, and they’re also what impart many of fruits’ powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. “These phytochemicals stress our own cells in small, healthy ways that stimulate our immune system’s antioxidant defenses against threats like inflammation, cancer, and premature aging,” says Maya Shetreat, M.D., integrative pediatric neurologist, author of The Dirt Cure, and an all-around plant food expert.
Tart is good, the tarter the better. Some plants also evolved to contain phytonutrient compounds that impart a sharp taste to their fruit in order to ward off predators (e.g., the tanginess of raspberries or the pucker of pomegranates). Much like phytonutrient pigments, these tart compounds often indicate a richer storehouse of micronutrients and phytonutrients that function as powerful antioxidants.
Organic means more antioxidants. Organic fruits and vegetables have also been shown to contain, on average, 20 to 40 percent more antioxidants than their conventionally grown counterparts—so if you do opt for organic, any of the choices below will be even healthier. Plus, you’ll be steering clear of literally hundreds of pesticides.
Both fresh and frozen are good options. All fruits lose nutrients over time, too, so it’s important to eat them while they’re fresh. Buying locally grown vegetables from a farmers market or food co-op is great for this reason but not essential. Buying organic frozen fruits is great, too, as they’re frozen at peak freshness.
Even with the guidelines above, we wanted the experts to help us identify which fruits really go above and beyond, based on their nutrient profile and the latest research. So we asked Cording and Dr. Shetreat to share some top picks that would make it onto their healthiest fruits list:
4. Tart cherries
8. Citrus fruits
E-cigs ARE dangerous: Vaping raises risks of stroke, heart disease and attacks
Daily Mail. – One in 20 US adults use e-cigarettes and so do more than 11 percent of high school students.
A growing body of research suggests that while they may not be as carcinogenic as combustible tobacco, e-cigs are hardly ‘safe’
New American Heart Association research reveals vapers are at a 71 percent higher risk of stroke.
E-cig use also raises heart disease and heart attack risks by 40 percent and 59 percent, respectively.