RT – An all-Afghan peace summit will be held on July 7 and 8 in Qatar. It would seem on Taliban terms as there will be no official government representation, AP reported.
Those attending “will participate only in their personal capacity and on an equal footing,” Germany’s special representative Ambassador Markus Potzel said on Tuesday.
The talks come just a day after the Taliban claimed responsibility for a devastating attack in Kabul that killed at least six people and wounded more than 100 others.
The Taliban have refused to meet with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s government, while offering talks with anyone who comes to the table as an ordinary Afghan. Ghani has previously demanded the Taliban talk directly with his government.
Reuters – Britain told China to honor its commitments to protect freedoms in Hong Kong on Tuesday, after police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters in the former British colony.
Officers moved in after crowds stormed and trashed Hong Kong’s legislature on Monday, the anniversary of its return to Chinese rule, protesting against proposed legislation allowing extraditions to mainland China.
British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt condemned violence on both sides and warned of consequences if China neglects commitments made when it took back Hong Kong to allow freedoms not enjoyed in mainland China, including the right to protest.
“We can make it clear we stand behind the people of Hong Kong in defense of the freedoms that we negotiated for them when we agreed to the handover in 1997 and we can remind everyone that we expect all countries to honor their international obligations,” Hunt told Reuters when asked what Britain could do.
He added that he hoped to avoid sanctions for China, saying: “I hope it won’t come up anything like that at all.”
“There is a way through this which is for the government of Hong Kong to listen to the legitimate concerns of the people of Hong Kong about their freedoms,” he added.
Al Jazeera – Turkey has ordered the arrest of 152 people over suspected links to the network blamed by Ankara for orchestrating a failed military coup, state media said on Tuesday.
Prosecutors in the Istanbul, Konya and Izmir provinces issued dozens of arrest warrants for suspects including military personnel, some of whom are still on active duty and some already sacked, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.
The agency said more than 40 suspects had been caught so far and operations were ongoing in various provinces of Turkey.
Ankara has accused US-based Muslim religious leader Fethullah Gulen of masterminding the attempted putsch in July 2016. He has denied any involvement.
Authorities believed members of Gulen’s network had used payphones to contact the suspects, Anadolu also said.
BBC – A fire aboard a Russian navy research submersible has killed 14 crew members, the Russian defence ministry says.
It says the crew members were poisoned by fumes when the vessel caught fire while taking biometric measurements in Russian territorial waters on Monday
BBC – The European Parliament has re-opened in Strasbourg with an anti-EU protest by the UK’s Brexit Party and a demonstration by Catalan nationalists whose MEPs are barred.
The first session after Europe-wide elections in May began as EU leaders went into a third day of talks on who should fill the bloc’s top jobs.
Brietbart – The headteacher of Heavers Farm Primary School in South London suspended two 10-year-old Christian students after one of them asked for permission not to participate in an LGBT lesson during “Gay Pride Month.”
The headteacher, Susan Papas, who obliged schoolchildren to participate in a “Gay Pride” parade last year, told the two children, who are both of African descent, they are “a disappointment to the school,” Christian Concern reported Monday.
The Hill – U.S. authorities closed an international border bridge in El Paso, Texas, early Monday in response to Central American and Cuban migrants protesting on the Mexican side of the border.
The protesters in Ciudad Juárez were chanting “vamos a cruzar” — “we are going to cross” — before Customs and Border Protection officials closed the bridge about 2 a.m., reported CNN.
The decision to close the bridge came as “a large and unruly group formed on the Mexican side,” according to CBP spokesman Roger Maier.
The Mexican National Guard deployed troops to the area, but they did not engage the protesters, according to El Diario.
U.S. News, Politics & Government
Activist Post – A city employee clicking on a malicious link is being blamed for this recent cyber attack in Lake City, Florida. Insurance will cover most of the ransom and taxpayers will cover the rest. Argh.
Hackers targeting local and state governments is on the rise. Regardless, many local and state governments are choosing to set themselves up for this by installing wireless utility “Smart” Meters (see 1, 2), 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT) and by promoting and incorporating Smart Cities.
For many years already, security experts have been warning that everything operated wirelessly has the potential to be hacked – especially 5G (see 1, 2). So it’s not a matter of if communities and states who incorporate these programs will be hacked. It’s only a matter of when. How not smart or inexpensive or environmentally UNfriendly is that?
Infowars – Hollywood actress Bella Thorne alleges she was a victim of pedophilia during her time as a Disney child actress.
In a June 20 interview receiving little attention from MSM, Thorne told a stunned audience she was molested from ages 6-14 while everyone around her “saw and did nothing.”
The comments were made during an interview promoting her upcoming book The Life of a Wannabe Mogul: Mental Disarray where she opens up about the abuse and other dark times in her life.
“The transition, it’s definitely tough. But it is what it is. It’s like anything in my life. If you read the book you’ll be like, ‘Haha transitioning from Disney to this was f****** easy.’ I don’t know. Getting molested for f****** from when your six to your fourteen seems like way harder circumstances,” she said.
The actress continued, saying, “You’re being physically abused all the time. Seems like a much more difficult situation than f****** having paparazzi following you since you were twelve. Um, I don’t know. I was still being molested when paparazzi were still f****** following me.”
“So it’s pretty hard in my mind to think of these big flashlight photographs, and everyone thinking they know me and talking about me, but having no idea the type of mistreatment that I was still dealing with at that time. That everyone around me saw and did nothing. So, I don’t know you tell me what’s so hard. ‘Cause that to me, way harder than any of this other shit I deal with on a daily basis,” Thorne vented.
Bella has talked about her tragic past before, saying, “I was sexually abused and physically growing up from the day I can remember till I was 14.”
Time – President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign says it raised $105 million during the second fundraising quarter.
The campaign said Tuesday it has a whopping $100 million in cash on hand.
Reuters – A military jury in California was due to resume deliberations on Tuesday in the war crimes trial of a U.S. Navy SEAL charged with murdering a captured Islamic State fighter who had been brought to a U.S. outpost in Iraq for medical treatment.
Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, 39, is accused of killing the wounded teenaged fighter, by repeatedly stabbing him in the neck with a custom-made knife.
Gallagher also is charged with attempted murder in the wounding of two non-combatants — a schoolgirl and an elderly man — shot from a sniper’s perch, as well as with obstruction of justice and unlawfully posing for photos with the detainee’s corpse.
Gallagher has denied all charges, insisting that disgruntled subordinates with no prior battlefield experience fabricated allegations against him because of grievances with his leadership style and combat tactics.
U.S. President Donald Trump intervened in Gallagher’s case months ago, ordering that he be moved from pretrial detention in a military brig to confinement at a Navy base. The presiding judge later released Gallagher from custody altogether.
The veteran platoon leader was arrested last year following his return from his eighth overseas deployment.
A verdict requires agreement of at least five of the seven-member jury of U.S. Marines and Navy personnel. If the jury convicts Gallagher, the same jurors will determine his sentence, which could be as severe as life in prison.
Economy & Business
Wall Street Journal – Nike Inc. is yanking a U.S.A.-themed sneaker featuring an early American flag after former NFL star-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick told the company it shouldn’t sell a shoe with a symbol that he and others consider offensive, according to people familiar with the matter.
The sneaker giant created the Air Max 1 USA in celebration of the July Fourth holiday, and it was slated to go on sale this week. The heel of the shoe featured a U.S. flag with 13 white stars in a circle, a design created during the American Revolution and commonly referred to as the Betsy Ross flag.
After shipping the shoes to retailers, Nike asked for them to be returned without explaining why, the people said. The shoes aren’t available on Nike’s own apps and websites.
“Nike has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured the old version of the American flag,” a Nike spokeswoman said.
After images of the shoe were posted online, Mr. Kaepernick, a Nike endorser, reached out to company officials saying that he and others felt the Betsy Ross flag is an offensive symbol because of its connection to an era of slavery, the people said. Some users on social media responded to posts about the shoe with similar concerns. Mr. Kaepernick declined to comment.
The design was created in the 1770s to represent the 13 original colonies, though there were many early versions of the America flag, according to the Smithsonian. In 1795, stars were added to reflect the addition of Vermont and Kentucky as states.
Fox – Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced Tuesday he was ordering the Arizona Commerce Authority to withdraw incentives for Nike building a manufacturing plant in the state.
Ducey made the announcement in a series of tweets after The Wall Street Journal reported that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick urged Nike to nix a USA-themed sneaker, which featured a Betsy Ross flag on the heel, over slavery connotations.
“Words cannot express my disappointment at this terrible decision. I am embarrassed for Nike,” Ducey, a Republican, tweeted. “Nike is an iconic American brand and American company. This country, our system of government and free enterprise have allowed them to prosper and flourish.
“Instead of celebrating American history the week of our nation’s independence, Nike has apparently decided that Betsy Ross is unworthy, and has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism. It is a shameful retreat for the company. American businesses should be proud of our country’s history, not abandoning it.
“Nike has made its decision, and now we’re making ours. I’ve ordered the Arizona Commerce Authority to withdraw all financial incentive dollars under their discretion that the State was providing for the company to locate here. Arizona’s economy is doing just fine without Nike. We don’t need to suck up to companies that consciously denigrate our nation’s history.
WND – Oreo cookies unveiled on Sunday a special LGBT edition of its iconic product, urging pride in making people use one’s “preferred pronouns.”
“We’re proud to celebrate inclusivity for all gender identities and expressions,” the company, a division of international foods giant Nabisco, wrote in a Facebook post, the Federalist reported.
The announcement said that in partnership with the National Council of Teachers of English, the NCTE, “we’re giving away special edition Pronoun Packs and encouraging everybody to share their pronouns with Pride today and every day.”
Joy Pullman, the Federalist’s executive editor, noted in her column the NCTE affects millions of teachers nationwide and helped write the controversial, left-leaning Common Core curriculum.
The NCTE is against allowing trained teachers to defend themselves from active shooters using licensed guns, she noted.
And its “influence on actual English curriculum has been to degrade instruction with politicization and gobbledygook, according to the most rigorous research.”
“Yet still they keep being treated as credible, just like all the other corrupt education institutions in this country.”
Newsmax – President Donald Trump claimed Tuesday that people are “fleeing New York like never before” for Texas and Florida because of taxes and the treatment the National Rifle Association is receiving.
“If they own a business, they are twice as likely to flee,” the president tweeted. “And if they are a victim of harassment by the A.G. of the state, like what they are doing to our great NRA, which I think will move quickly to Texas, where they are loved.”
“Texas will defend them & indemnify them against political harassment by New York State and Governor Cuomo,” he added. “So many people are leaving New York for Texas and Florida that it is totally under siege. First New York taxes you too high, then they sue you, just to complete the job.”
New York Attorney General Letitia James earlier this year opened a probe into the NRA’s tax-exempt status, issuing letters to top NRA officials and affiliated groups to preserve financial records before issuing subpoenas to some of the NRA’s related businesses.
Last year, the NRA sued Gov. Andrew Cuomo, saying a “blacklisting” campaign caused it to lose insurance coverage.
James’ office is also currently investigating the Trump Organization for claims it underpaid undocumented immigrants working at a Trump-owned golf club. On Monday, Trump called the investigations a “political witch hunt,” reports Fox News.
BBC – Scotch whisky is among the products targeted by the US for a possible range of new tariffs on imported goods.
The US has threatened to impose tariffs on European Union imports worth up to $4bn (£3.2bn), although it is not known when tariffs would be imposed.
Whiskey from Ireland, cheeses including Parmesan and Gouda, pasta and olives are other items affected.
The US Trade Representative said it was “in response to harm caused by EU aircraft subsidies”.
In April, the US announced proposed tariffs on $11bn of EU goods.
The moves are part of a 15-year dispute at the World Trade Organization between the US and EU over subsidies given to plane-makers Airbus, from Europe, and the US’s Boeing.
Energy & Environment
Activist Post (Michael Snyder) – Let me warn you right up front – the information in this article might freak you out. If what some experts are telling us is true, a global food crisis appears to be inevitable. Even during good years we have a really difficult time feeding everyone on the planet, and now a major climate shift appears to be happening.
Our sun has become exceedingly quiet, and many experts believe that this is a sign that a solar minimum is now upon us. Of course we have seen solar minimums happen quite regularly in the past, and if this is just a normal solar minimum then conditions should begin to return to normal after a couple of years. Unfortunately, evidence continues to mount that we have entered what is known as a “grand solar minimum”. In fact, Professor Valentina Zharkova says that what we are facing is a “super grand solar minimum”, and if that is true we are going to be facing climate chaos like we have never seen before. During previous “grand solar minimums” the globe was gripped by devastating famines and vast numbers of people died. Could a similar scenario potentially be in our future?
Ice Age Farmer has compiled a “Grand Solar Minimum Crop Loss Map” which you can view right here, and I appreciate our friends at ANP for pointing it out to us. Ice Age Farmer’s map shows that there are literally dozens of locations all over the globe right now that are reporting significant crop losses, and this is really unlike anything we have ever seen before. Some parts of our planet are dealing with horrific drought, but in the middle of the United States it just won’t stop raining. In some areas of the world it is too cold, while others are experiencing record heat. Everywhere we look we see extremes, and the behavior of our sun is the primary reason this is happening.
Economic Collapse – Even though most people don’t seem to realize it yet, we are in the midst of a major extinction level event. And even though it is happening in slow motion, given enough time we would see most life on this planet completely wiped out. Insects are absolutely critical to the global food chain, and right now we are literally on the brink of an ecological Armageddon. All over the world insect populations have been declining precipitously in recent years, and this has already been causing a chain reaction among birds, reptiles and others that eat insects. Species after species is going extinct, and as you will see below, one environmental scientist is now warning that at our current pace all insects could be completely gone “in 100 years”.
This is a true environmental crisis, and yet it is getting relatively little attention from those that call themselves “environmentalists”. But hopefully people will start to wake up, because this is extremely serious.
Over in Germany, the Amateur Entomology Society of Krefeld is telling us that the population of flying insects in their area has plunged by 76 percent over the last 37 years…
This warning comes from German entomology enthusiasts, or bug catchers, who have collected 80 million insects in the Rhine countryside over the last 37 years.
Their collection is now a world-class scientific treasure and also evidence of what is described as one of Earth’s worst extinction phases since the dinosaurs vanished.
The total annual biomass of flying insects collected has plummeted by 76 percent since the insect-lovers began their meticulous studies.
According to the president of the society, Martin Sorg, they have been using the exact same traps and have been collecting insects in the exact same locations for the past 37 years. So there have been no changes on their end that would explain the dramatic change in the numbers…
“Since 1982, the traps we manufacture ourselves have been standardised and controlled, all of the same size and the same material, and they are collected at the same rate in 63 locations that are still identical,” explains Sorg.
The result is a treasure trove of quantitative data that dwarfs that of any funded university project, he says.
Interestingly, Sorg says that the decline in the insect population has been getting much worse since about 2011
The Guardian – Investigation exposes how Brazil’s huge beef sector continues to threaten health of world’s largest rainforest.
The cows grazed under the midday Amazon sun, near a wooden bridge spanning a river. It was an idyllic scene of pastoral quiet, occasionally broken by a motorbike growling on the dirt road that cuts through part of the Lagoa do Triunfo cattle farm to a nearby community.
But this pasture is land that the farm has been forbidden to use for cattle since 2010, when it was embargoed by Brazil’s government environment agency Ibama for illegal deforestation. Nearby were more signs of fresh pasture: short grass, feeding troughs, and salt for cattle.
The vast 145,000-hectare (358,302-acre) farm is one of several owned by the company AgroSB Agropecuária SA – known in the region as Santa Bárbara. Located in an environmentally protected area, Lagoa do Triunfo is more than 600km (372 miles) from the capital of the Amazon state of Pará on the western fringes of Brazil’s “agricultural frontier” – where farming eats into the rainforest. To get there takes hours of driving along dirt roads and a ferry ride from nearby São Félix do Xingu, a cattle town accessible only by plane until a few decades ago.
AgroSB supplies cattle to JBS, the world’s biggest meat packing company and single biggest supplier of beef, chicken and leather globally, with 350,000 customers in more than 150 countries.
Science & Technology
CNN – On Tuesday, a total solar eclipse will stretch across South America. The path of totality, where the moon visibly blocks the sun, will span parts of Chile and Argentina. Outside the path of totality, a partial solar eclipse will be visible.
The umbral shadow — the area in which the sun will appear completely covered by the moon — will pass over the Pacific Ocean, Chile and Argentina, according to NASA.
Depending on where you are, the spectacle could last up to four minutes and three seconds, the space agency said.
The total solar eclipse will appear in the sky over the city of La Serena, Chile, at 4.38 p.m. ET and travel across the Andes mountain range before ending near Buenos Aires, Argentina, at 4.44 p.m. ET.
To see “totality,” in which the moon completely blocks the sun, you will need to be inside the narrow swath — about 90 miles wide — of the moon’s shadow. But weather may be the next biggest obstacle for those within the path of totality. Cloudy skies could block the view of the total solar eclipse.
Gizmodo – The Exploratorium in California, working in partnership with NASA, is broadcasting live views of the eclipse. You can watch that stream below beginning at 3 p.m. ET.
CNN – Some packages of butternut squash, cauliflower, zucchini and vegetable bowls sold under the brands Green Giant, Trader Joe’s and Signature Farms have been recalled, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
The vegetable products were voluntarily recalled by manufacturer Growers Express due to concerns about possible contamination with the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes, the FDA said in a Monday statement.
The packaged vegetables were produced at a factory in Biddeford, Maine, and were distributed to grocery stores across the United States, primarily in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Maine. The FDA issued a list of the stores and states affected.
Green Med Info – If you live in North America or Europe that jar of “cinnamon” in your cupboard is probably not truly cinnamon at all, but a very similar spice known as cassia or “bastard cinnamon.”
True cinnamon is usually labeled “Ceylon cinnamon” and comes principally from Sri Lanka (called Ceylon in colonial times), India, Madagascar, Brazil and the Caribbean. Cassia, on the other hand, is often designated as “Chinese cinnamon” or “Saigon cinnamon” and comes principally from Indonesia, China, Vietnam, Japan and Korea.
Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices and most popular spices, and has been used for millennia both for its flavoring and medicinal qualities. In ancient Egypt, it was used to fill body cavities of corpses as an embalming agent. In ancient Rome it was considered so valuable that the Emperor Nero burned a year’s supply on his wife’s funeral pyre as proof of his devotion to her.
Ceylon cinnamon is more expensive and more difficult to find in North American where most spices labeled cinnamon are actually the cheaper cassia. Sweeter, lighter and more refined than cassia, true cinnamon is most suitable to flavoring desserts rather than more robust, savory dishes which can handle the heavier cassia.
Besides flavor, the most important distinction between the two spices, however, is in their levels of coumarin, natural compound that acts as a blood thinner when ingested.
Cassia has much higher levels of coumarin than true cinnamon. Patients on blood thinners such as warfarin (trade name Coumadin) are often advised to limit their intake of cinnamon, but this generally applies to cassia more so than to real cinnamon.
Both types of cinnamon are excellent sources of the trace mineral manganese which is an important activator of enzymes essential to building healthy bones as well as other physiological processes, including carbohydrate and fat metabolism.
They are also both very good sources of dietary fiber, iron and calcium. The combination of calcium and fiber is thought to be helpful in reducing the risk of colon cancer and lowering cholesterol levels, and relieving constipation or diarrhea.
Whatever you do, makes sure to buy all your spices USDA certified organic because many conventional brands irradiate their raw material with intense doses of radiation. Learn more about this invisible nuclear threat within non-organic food.
Health Impact News – More evidence that the drug approval process is completely broken.
A pharmacy recently alerted the FDA to the presence of a cancer-causing chemical in the popular blood-pressure drug valsartan, putting millions of patients at risk.
Incredibly, this isn’t even the first time dangerous chemicals have been found in this class of drugs. Generic forms of Valsartan have been recalled since 2018 when three other carcinogenic compounds were found in various versions of the drug.
In this current episode, a solvent called dimethylformamide (DMF) was discovered in valsartan pills still on the market in the US, which the FDA was recommending as an alternative to recalled versions. The World Health Organization classifies DMF as a “probable carcinogen.”
Note that the FDA allows drugs to contain small amounts of DMF. That’s right—the agency charged with protecting public health allows drug manufacturers to put a cancer-causing solvent in their pills.
The contamination of this heart drug highlights, among other things, the pitfalls of the drug manufacturing process. According to one expert, “Medicines are kind of like used cars: By the time you get it it’s already five or six years old, it’s touched hundreds of hands and it’s got 100,000 miles on it.” This puts the supposed safety of the medications that millions of Americans take—often more than one—in serious question.
Where is the FDA in all of this? As we know, the FDA doesn’t test the drugs it approves. It reviews the data that drug companies choose to submit, which is why the agency does not (and will not) detect the presence of cancer-causing chemicals in drugs.
Mercola – June 13, 2019, the New York legislature quickly pushed a bill (A2371) to repeal the religious exemption to vaccination through both the Assembly and Senate in one day with no public hearings.
The unprecedented legislative coup, which cut the citizens of New York out of participating in the law-making process, culminated in the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, immediately signing the bill into law.
The bill’s sponsors justified the action based on more than 800 cases of measles reported in several New York City neighborhoods since September 2018.
However, there have been no cases of measles reported among children attending school with religious exemptions, and 97% of children attending kindergarten in New York in the 2017-2018 school year had received two doses of MMR vaccine.
Fully vaccinated children and adults can get wild type measles and infect others without showing any symptoms, as the MMR vaccine strains no longer match currently circulating wild type measles strains
Mercola – Pomegranate’s benefits are primarily attributed to its antioxidant content. The fruit contains three types of antioxidant polyphenols, including tannins, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid, in significant amounts.
Research comparing the potency of 10 different polyphenol-rich beverages found the antioxidant potency of pomegranate juice was at least 20% greater than any of the other beverages.
Pomegranate extract stimulates mitophagy by activating transcription factor EB, which upregulates autophagy.
Urolithin A — a gut bacteria-derived metabolite of ellagitannins in pomegranate — helps slow the aging process by improving mitochondrial function.
Previous research has also shown the antioxidants in pomegranate can inhibit cell proliferation and invasion, and promote apoptosis (programmed cell death) in various cancer cells, including breast and prostate cancer cells