Sputnik – US Special Representative for Syria Engagement James Jeffrey was in Berlin on 5 July seeking to draw pledges of military and financial support from the German government as Washington ramps up its pressure on Berlin with the aim of expanding its mission in Syria.
US diplomat James Jeffrey has formally asked Germany to send troops to Syria to help fight the Daesh* terrorist group, claiming allies need to provide technical support to the Kurdish-led opposition.
In an interview with the German DPA news agency and weekly Welt am Sonntag newspaper, the US Special Representative for Syria Engagement urged Germany to send military trainers, logistics specialists and technicians to aid the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighting Daesh.
“We want ground troops from Germany to partially replace our soldiers,” said Jeffrey said, adding he hoped to receive a response from the German government this month.
“It is better to force IS [Daesh] back with local Syrian forces, but a certain international presence is needed to secure air support, for logistics, training, and technical help.
“We hope that the Germans will be able to do more,” Jeffrey said. “I am optimistic. Some allies will deploy ground troops, I’m sure of it.”
RT – Germany has turned down a request from Washington to deploy ground forces in Syria as the US military looks to scale back its presence in the region, describing the proposal as inconsistent with Berlin’s “well known” policy.
RT – The United Arab Emirates said on Monday it was reducing the number of its troops in war-torn Yemen and shifting from a military strategy to a peace plan, AFP reports.
“We do have troop levels that are down for reasons that are strategic in [the Red Sea city of] Hodeida and reasons that are tactical” in other parts of the country, a senior UAE official told reporters.
“It is very much to do with moving from what I would call a ‘military first’ strategy to a ‘peace first’ strategy, and this is I think what we are doing.”
Western diplomatic sources said in late June that the UAE was scaling back its military presence in Yemen as worsening US-Iran tensions “threatened security closer to home,” according to Reuters.
WND- Top teachers in effectively are forcing Islamic indoctrination on students in Britain, with a growing movement to strip parents of their legal right to remove their children from objectionable religious classes.
Britain’s Independent newspaper reported a study showed that while the law allows parents to remove their children from classes that violate their faith, most headteachers believe parents should be stopped from withdrawing children from religious education over Islam lessons.
Christine Douglass-Williams at the Shariah-watching Jihad Watch noted that more than two in five school leaders and religious education teachers in the U.K. have received requests for students to be withdrawn from teaching about one particular religion.
“It is the only religion in the West of which lobbies representing its adherents are screaming ‘racism’ and ‘Islamophobia’ at every turn in reply to any criticism,” she wrote. “It is the only religion that is trying to curb Western free speech–the cornerstone of democracy. It is the only religion that mandates the murder of adherents who choose to leave it (apostates), the murder of gays, the murder of blasphemers. It is the only religion that is ubiquitously persecuting minorities globally and mandates the rape of infidel women. It is the only religion that has a deep network of adherents engaged in jihad war against disbelievers.”
The survey of 450 headteachers found 71 percent “believe a law allowing parents to withdraw their children from RE is no longer required, according to the study in the British Journal of Religious Education.”
Douglass-Williams said parents who wish to withdraw their children from Islamic indoctrination classes are not being “racist,” “prejudice” or “islamophobic.”
“They are being prudent,” she said. “Jihad Watch has warned on numerous occasions that attacks on those on the front lines who warn about the global jihad is only the beginning. The jihad will march along and every citizen in time will be affected by it, unless it is resisted.”
Al Jazeera – Iran has passed the uranium enrichment cap set in its 2015 nuclear deal, marking the second time in a week that it made good on a promise to reduce compliance with the international pact following the United States‘ unilateral exit last year.
The announcement on Monday from Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization came amid growing frustration in Tehran over a failure by the landmark accord’s remaining signatories to deliver on its promised economic benefits.
RT – Conservatives are returning to power in Greece after crushing the leftist ruling party, which failed in its pledge to fight austerity. Now New Democracy offers more jobs and less taxes for austerity-weary Greeks.
The party of opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis has claimed 39.74 percent of the vote, with Syriza trailing on 31.5 percent, the Interior Ministry said, after counting nearly 45 percent of the vote in the snap election.
If nothing changes significantly, New Democracy would claim between 155 and 167 seats in the 300-member parliament, which would enable it to form a government without political complications.
The turnout in the election was estimated at around 55 percent, which was blamed on the hot weather, as temperatures reached over 40 degrees in some parts of the country.
Syriza, which had been in the driving seat since 2015, has acknowledged its defeat, with Alexis Tsipras calling Mitsotakis to congratulate him.
“Today, with our head held high we accept the people’s verdict. To bring Greece to where it is today, we had to take difficult decisions (with) a heavy political cost,” the outgoing PM told the journalists.
Syriza came to power four-and-a-half years ago with promises of ending austerity. The country’s economy took a massive blow during the 2008 crisis and required two harsh international bailouts to remain in the Eurozone.
However, shortly after taking office, Tsipras was forced to agree to the terms of a third bailout. The move caused a split within the Syriza party and led to a snap election, which the PM again won.In the ensuing three years, the government would manage to achieve a moderate economic growth of 1.3 percent, which, however, didn’t result in significant improvements in the well-being of many Greeks.
The slow economic recovery, high unemployment rate, especially among the younger people, and the controversial ‘name deal’ with neighboring North Macedonia, which left many in the country dissatisfied, were key issues used by New Democracy during their campaign against Syriza.
Mitsotakis has already promised to “change Greece,” promising an ambitious program with less taxes and more jobs and investments.
The New Democracy leader, who will be sworn in as Prime Minister on Monday, comes from a famous Greek political dynasty. His father Konstantinos Mitsotakis used to be the PM, while his sister occupied the roles of foreign minister and mayor of Greece’s capital, Athens.
RT – After weeks of dismissing persistent calls by Caracas to resume dialogue, US-backed Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido has agreed to talks in Barbados, while still calling President Nicolas Maduro a “usurper” who must go.
Guaido, who declared himself ‘interim president’ of Venezuela in January and has since enlisted the support of the US and its allies in his quest to topple Maduro, announced on Sunday that he would send his representatives to talks with Caracas that are scheduled in Barbados.
He had previously vehemently opposed any attempts by Maduro to rekindle the stalled dialogue, saying as recently as Tuesday that there is “never a good moment” to talk with the other side, while branding the Maduro cabinet members “kidnappers” and “human rights violators.”
U.S. News, Politics & Government
ZeroHedge – Jeffrey Epstein has been arrested for allegedly sex trafficking dozens of minors in New York and Florida between 2002 and 2005, according The Daily Beast. Epstein is reportedly due to appear in court on Monday, about 12 years after the 66 year old received a slap on the wrist for allegedly molesting dozens of underage girls.
The new charges claim that “Epstein sexually exploited dozens of underage girls in a now-familiar scheme: paying them cash for ‘massages’ and then molesting or sexually abusing them in his Upper East Side mansion or his residence in Palm Beach.”
Epstein’s abuse allegations date back more than a decade and have been recently brought to light by his victims and authorities. Up until now, and even in the midst of the #MeToo movement, Epstein has been able to avoid any type of meaningful jail time.
In an era where #MeToo has toppled powerful men, Epstein’s name was largely absent from the national conversation, until the Miami Herald published a three-part series on how his wealth, power and influence shielded him from federal prosecution. For years, The Daily Beast reported on Epstein’s easy jail sentence and soft treatment by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which ultimately scrapped a 53-page indictment against Epstein. An earlier version of Epstein’s plea deal included a 10-year federal sentence—before his star-studded lawyers threatened to go to trial in a case prosecutors feared was unwinnable, in part because Epstein’s team dredged up dirt on the victims, including social media posts indicating drug use.
Employees and associates of Epstein allegedly recruited the girls for Epstein, and some victims also became recruiters themselves. The girls were as young as 14 and police allege that Epstein knew they were underage. Epstein’s attorney, Martin Weinberg, declined to comment Saturday night.
Epstein has been accused of transporting young women on his private jet to facilitate the abuse, according to his alleged victims. For more background on the allegations already made in lawsuits, and in the public domain against Epstein, read the full Daily Beast article here.
For those who are unfamiliar with his story, Jeffrey Epstein is a New York City financier who pled guilty in 2008 to a single count of soliciting sex from an underage girl. He eventually spent 13 months in prison and was forced to register as a level three sex offender (considered the highest risk of re-offending) though stories of his lust for girls as young of 12 have spread like wildfire in recent years.
Epstein allegedly installed beds in his custom jet, and also purportedly filmed powerful men during romps with underage girls to obtain materials for blackmail.
According to Fox News, Epstein allegedly had a team of traffickers who procured girls as young as 12 to service his friends on Epstein’s “Orgy Island,” an estate on Little St. James in the US Virgin Islands. Epstein now lives permanently in the US Virgin Islands.
Clinton chose to continue his association with Epstein even after the lurid trial, according to the Alliance to Rescue Victims of Trafficking, “everyone within his inner circles knew was a pedophile.” Speculation that Clinton was involved with Epstein was noted in “Bill Clinton Was Here”: The Elite One-Percent’s ‘Orgy Island’ Exposed.” An article by the now defunct Gawker titled “Flight Logs Put Clinton, Dershowitz on Pedophile Billionaire’s Sex Jet” added to speculation about Clinton’s troubling relationship with the convicted sex offender.
Health Impact News – A breaking news story originally reported on by the Daily Beast reveals that Jeffery Epstein was arrested on Child Sex Trafficking charges in New Jersey on Saturday, after his private jet landed back from a trip to Paris.
Jeffrey Epstein’s “Lolita Express” which describes alleged flights to places like his Caribbean Island resort have been reported for years as carrying rich and famous people participating in child sex trafficking.
Epstein escaped stiff sentencing in a 2007 and 2008 federal investigation, leading many to conclude that he was “untouchable” due to his connections with wealthy and powerful people.
Just a few days before Epstein’s arrest on Saturday, a federal appeals court ordered that 167 documents in a previous lawsuit against Jeffrey Epstein should be unsealed—and that many of his powerful friends could be named.
Child Sex Trafficking is a Non-partisan Issue We Should All Agree to Fight Against
With the corporate-sponsored “mainstream” media’s vehement hatred towards President Trump, it is not surprising to see headlines make Trump’s former associations with Jeffrey Epstein a bigger headline than Epstein’s arrest itself.
Here are some facts the corporate media is probably not reporting to balance out their obviously biased reporting against the President.
First, the arrest was made by federal agents from the Southern District of New York Criminal Division, and the FBI Violent Crimes Against Children International Task Force.
So Epstein’s arrest originated from the Trump Administration.
And these actions are consistent with the Trump Administration, as this administration has arrested more people involved in human sex trafficking than any of his predecessors, and yet the corporate media seldom reports this. See:
In a December 3, 2018 article by Marc Fisher of the Washington Post, Fisher reports:
Trump barred Epstein from Mar-a-Lago “because Epstein sexually assaulted an underage girl at the club,” according to court documents… (Source.)
Speaking at a Conservative event during the 2016 elections, Trump was asked about former President Bill Clinton, and Trump responded by pointing out Bill Clinton’s alleged involvement with Jeffrey Epstein’s Caribbean Island
If the arrest of Jeffrey Epstein leads to the revealing and arresting of the rich and powerful people controlling the child sex trafficking business, which is reported to exceed BOTH the illegal drugs and illegal guns trade with billions of dollars being earned for selling kids for sex, maybe we can put a dent into one of the most evil reasons children are routinely taken away from their homes by the State today.
HUFFPOST – The Justice Department abruptly announced Sunday it will replace the legal team that has represented the Trump administration in its efforts to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census.
“As will be reflected in filings tomorrow in the census-related cases, the Department of Justice is shifting these matters to a new team of Civil Division lawyers going forward,” DOJ spokesperson Kerri Kupec said in a statement. “Since these cases began, the lawyers representing the United States in these cases have given countless hours to defending the Commerce Department and have consistently demonstrated the highest professionalism, integrity, and skill inside and outside the courtroom.”
The department gave no reason for the switch, but the move is another dramatic shift in President Donald Trump’s effort to add the question to the census. The Washington Post on Sunday noted that a person familiar with the case said some of the department’s career attorneys were uncomfortable with the president’s insistence on the issue. The New York Times reported that no DOJ attorneys in the federal programs branch, which traditionally represents the government in court, will be on the census case as it advances in the courts.
Infowars – The federal government is preparing to deport over 1 million illegal immigrants who have court-issued removal orders, according to acting director of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli.
Appearing on CBS “Face the Nation” Sunday, Cuccinelli said that ICE and DHS officials are preparing the “enormous” operation targeting migrants that a judge has ordered deported.
”They’re ready to just perform their mission, which is to go and find and detain and then deport the proximity one million people who have final removal orders. They’ve been all the way through the due process and have final removal orders,” Cuccinelli said.
Sputnik – The former first lady has been a target among opponents for her numerous suspected crimes including alleged pay-to-play machinations during her tenure as secretary of state, and controversy over her use of a private email server during her time in office.
Activists from Equal Justice Tour, a religious political action group petitioning to have Hillary Clinton “be held accountable” for her alleged “wrongdoing at the Clinton Foundation, Benghazi, Haiti, Email Destruction and Uranium One,” have filed a formal complaint with the New Castle Police Department in Chappaqua, New York State, where Clinton has a residence.
On Saturday, the activists live-streamed a video on Facebook showing members of the group walking into the police station and handing over notarized copies of the complaint to an officer. The officer said he would forward the document to his superiors.
“Some of us are veterans, and we swore to defend the Constitution from domestic enemies,” one of the activists said, noting that as a public servant, Clinton “should be held accountable, so now we’re looking to hold her accountable.”
Activists also sought to forward a copy of the complaint to the Secret Service, but the officer said this wasn’t possible, as the Secret Service doesn’t accept any type of paperwork or packages.
The group had previously claimed that since Clinton’s private server was reportedly based at her Chappaqua home, authorities there were responsible for arresting her. The group’s activists have staged multiple campaigns including protests and internet petitions encouraging President Trump to arrest the former presidential candidate in the past.
Gizmodo – According to the FAA, over 14,000 bird strikes happen every year at US airports. Most of the time they’re inconsequential, occasionally they can cause a lot of damage, but things could have been especially catastrophic on Monday when a bird strike caused an A-10C Thunderbolt II to accidentally release three bombs over Florida. Thankfully, they were just dummies designed for trainings.
According to the base’s website, the incident happened in the early afternoon on July 1, about 54 miles southwest of Moody Air Force base during a routine training mission. How exactly the bird strike caused the Thunderbolt II to release part of its payload is unknown, but the munition was a trio of 25-pound BDU-33 training bombs which are designed to simulate 500-pound M1a-82 bombs which would have resulted in a much different ending to this incident.
Due to the unplanned release (and the lack of explosion upon impact) the Air Force isn’t sure of the exact location of where the training bombs landed, but officials suspect they’re “…in the general vicinity of 2 kilometers west of Highway 129 near Suwannee Springs.” The base is also warning the public not to handle the bombs if found, because while inert, they are equipped with a small pyrotechnic charge and could still be dangerous. If located, the public is being asked to contact the 23d Wing Command Post with details of the exact location, and to ensure others don’t approach the munitions until they’re recovered.
WND – Now you can be ousted from your job just for holding traditional, conservative American political views.
It’s happened to Dr. Karen Siegemund, president of the American Freedom Alliance, who was booted from her math-teaching position at Le Lycée Français de Los Angeles, a private K-12 school in southern California.
The school explained, according to a GoFundMe page set up on Siegemund’s behalf, ” … [O]ne of your speeches as the leader of the American Freedom Alliance states: ‘Each of us here, believes in the unparalleled force for good that is Western Civilization, that is OUR heritage, whether we were born here or not.’”
“Karen lost her job because she was ‘teaching while conservative,’” said Michael Greer, who set up the page to help the teacher fight back.
Siegemund’s plight has caught the attention of right-leaning figures across America.
Dave Sussman at Ricochet opined: “Keep in mind, this is an institution of learning where teachers are allowed to wear ‘Resist’ t-shirts in the classroom.”
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee had Siegemund as his guest on a recent television show.
“It’s kind of shocking, isn’t it,” the 20-year teaching veteran told Huckabee.
“Because of my outside activities, I was told my contract would not be renewed. I praised Western Civilization, and how it’s brought the greatest good to the most number of people, and we are all its beneficiaries, including those not even from here, and that was deemed hostile.”
AP – an Francisco will spend up to $600,000 to paint over historical artwork at a public school depicting the life of George Washington, a mural once seen as educational and innovative but now criticized as racist and degrading for its depiction of black and Native American people.
The “Life of Washington” was painted by Victor Arnautoff, one of the foremost muralists in the San Francisco area during the Depression. The San Francisco School Board’s decision to paint over the 83-year-old mural is prompting some to worry that other artwork from the so-called New Deal era could face a similar fate because of changing sensitivities.
In addition to depicting Washington as a soldier, surveyor and statesman, the 13-panel, 1,600-sqaure foot mural at George Washington High School contains images of white pioneers standing over the body of a Native American and slaves working at Washington’s Mount Vernon estate in Virginia.
The board’s decision last week comes at a time when the legacies of Washington and other historical figures who owned slaves are being re-examined. Some cities have changed the names of streets and buildings named after slave owners.
Richard Walker, a professor emeritus of geography at the University of California, Berkeley and director of the history project, Living New Deal, said the Washington mural is meant to show the “uncomfortable facts” about America’s first president. For that, it was among many New Deal works of art considered radical when created.
Economy & Business
SHFTPlan – Big Pharma continues to jack up the prices on the drugs they peddle. The price of one drug was hiked 879%, and that’ only ONE of the 3,400 price increases that have occurred so far this year.
Pharmaceutical companies raised the prices of more than 3,400 drugs in the first half of 2019, surpassing the number of drug hikes they imposed during the same period last year, according to an analysis first reported by NBC News. While the average price increase per drug was 10.5%, a rate around five times that of inflation, about 40 of the drugs saw triple-digit increases. That includes a generic version of the antidepressant Prozac, which saw a price increase of 879%.
“Requests and public shaming haven’t worked,” Michael Rea, chief executive of RX Savings Solutions, told Reuters last December. His company helps health plans and employers seek lower-cost prescription medicines. It also conducted a new analysis of some drug prices.
It really isn’t a surprise that people are losing faith in western medicine in record numbers in favor of a more natural and holistic approach. Cost is certainly one problem, but many experience debilitating side effects from Big Pharma’s drugs – and they then seek relief from those side effects by using other drugs laced with different synthetic chemicals. It’s a vicious cycle, and no one should be surprised by the rise in things like herbal tinctures, medicinal teas, and CBD oil.
The more than 3,400 drug price increases in the first half of 2019 is a 17% increase over the number of drug price hikes in the first half of 2018. So price increases are skyrocketing instead of going down. In addition to the Prozac generic, the drugs that saw triple-digit increases included the topical steroid Mometasone, which had a price increase of 381%. A pain reliever and cough medication (Promethazine/Codeine) saw a 326% hike while the ADHD treatment Guanfacine 2mg saw its price rise 118%.
The Trump administration has finalized a new rule that goes into effect this summer, and it states that drug companies must include the prices of their product in advertisements on TV. At that point, when the general public understands just how much these companies are ripping them off, they may make a more permanent turn away from Western medicine’s chemical treatments.
Business Insider – Some Amazon workers are planning to strike during one of the company’s busiest shopping days.
According to a new report from Bloomberg, employees at the Amazon fulfillment center in Shakopee, Minnesota, plan to strike for six hours on July 15, the first day of Amazon’s annual Prime Day sales bonanza. This year sales are scheduled to stretch over a 48-hour period.
“Amazon is going to be telling one story about itself, which is they can ship a Kindle to your house in one day, isn’t that wonderful,” William Stolz, one of the Shakopee employees organizing the strike, told Bloomberg.
He continued: “We want to take the opportunity to talk about what it takes to make that work happen and put pressure on Amazon to protect us and provide safe, reliable jobs.”
Amazon has come under increased scrutiny for the working conditions at its warehouses as employees race to meet the e-commerce giant’s promises for speedy shipping, especially during the holidays and other busy shopping periods.
CNBC – Deutsche Bank announced Sunday that it will pull out of global equities sales and trading, scale back investment banking and slash thousands of jobs as part of a sweeping restructuring plan to improve profitability.
Deutsche will cut 18,000 jobs for a global headcount of around 74,000 employees by 2022. The bank aims to reduce adjusted costs by a quarter to 17 billion euros ($19 billion) over the next several years.
The German bank’s decision to scale back investment banking comes just two days after investment banking chief Garth Ritchie stepped down by “mutual agreement.”
Deutsche expects its restructuring plan to cost 7.4 billion euros by the end of 2022. The German bank may report a net loss of 2.8 billion euros in the second quarter of 2019. It will release second quarter results on July 25.
Deutsche Bank’s supervisory board met on Sunday to hash out the restructuring plan. The bank’s CEO, Christian Sewing, had broadcast “tough cutbacks” during a shareholders’ meeting in May.
“Today we have announced the most fundamental transformation of Deutsche Bank in decades,” Sewing said Sunday in a corporate press release.
Energy & Environment
The Guardian – Crews in California continued to assess damage to cracked and burned buildings, broken roads, leaking water and gas lines and other infrastructure on Saturday after the largest earthquake the region has seen in nearly 20 years was felt from Sacramento to Mexico.
The governor, Gavin Newsom, declared a state of emergency and warned residents to be wary of new tremors, after the southern part of the state was hit by a second significant earthquake in as many days.
Newsom also requested a presidential emergency declaration, which would unlock federal funds for the support of communities affected.
Updating reporters later on Saturday, Newsom said the quakes were “wake-up call” for the state and other parts of the US.
Kern county’s fire chief, David Witt, said there were no known fatalities but damage had not been fully assessed.
Experts warned that southern California could expect more significant shakes in the near future.
There is about a one in 10 chance that another 7.0 quake could hit within the next week and the chance of a 5.0-magnitude quake “is approaching certainty”, Lucy Jones, a seismologist at the California Institute of Technology and a former science adviser at the US Geological Survey, told reporters.
She added that the new quake probably ruptured along about 25 miles of fault line and was part of a continuing sequence.
Jones told the Los Angeles Times the fault that caused the quakes appears to be growing.
“This happened at the end of the zone that moved previously,” she said, adding that the fault is now 25 to 30 miles long and “growing”.
In the hours after the 7.1 tremor, seismologists recorded more than 600 aftershocks.
The quakes were not expected to trigger larger faults including the San Andreas but Jones told the Guardian southern California should expect more quakes.
“This is the first magnitude 6 quake in 20 years. It’s the longest interval we’ve ever had,” Jones said. “We know that the last 20 years was abnormal … we should expect more earthquakes than we’ve been having recently.”
She added: “Chances are, we’re going to have more earthquakes in the next five years than we’ve had in the last five years.”
AL – The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality has closed all 21 of the state’s beaches due to the presence of toxic blue-green algae.
Pascagoula Beach West and Pascagoula Beach East were closed Sunday, marking the shut down of the final two beaches open for swimmers. The sand portions of all of the beaches remain open but people are advised to stay out of the water and not eat fish or seafood from the affected areas.
Wtop – Police across the region are urging drivers to stay off the roads as the National Weather Service has issued a flash flood emergency for the immediate D.C. metropolitan area.
Hundreds of cars are stranded on a flooded George Washington Memorial Parkway. Cascading water is causing mass transit chaos. Stretches of King Street in Old Town Alexandria are underwater, with people wading through knee-high muck.
Torrential rainfall moving southward through D.C. is leaving a trail of widespread road flooding and stranded vehicles, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a flash flood emergency — a rare warning reserved for exceptionally severe and life-threatening urban flood events.
Various flood-related issues were reported on both the inner and outer loops of the Capital Beltway. Reports of water rescues from inundated vehicles were becoming so frequent, they were difficult to keep track of.
Downed trees and mudslides are also impacting commutes and causing dangerous situations around the region. Thousands are experiencing power outages.
Al Jazeera – There were no reports on Monday of major damage in Indonesia from a weekend magnitude 6.9 earthquake off the northeastern coast of the island of Sulawesi, and authorities lifted a tsunami warning.
The earthquake, late on Sunday, struck out at sea at a depth of 36km with several smaller aftershocks, geophysics agency Meteorological, Geophysical and Climatological Agency (BMKG) said.
“The tsunami early warning has ended,” the BMKG said in a statement.
Tremors shook buildings, alarming residents of some cities, and authorities urged people to move to higher ground.
“The quake was felt quite strongly and with an intensity that lasted quite long,” Yusuf Latif, a spokesman for the search and rescue agency, told Reuters.
“There were no reports of damage or casualties in Ternate,” he added, referring to the city closest to the epicentre.
RT – A huge thunderstorm has bombarded the French region of Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes with hailstones the size of tennis balls, and included a record number of lightning bolts, providing for a deluge of impressive content on social media.
The meteorological calamity led to the classification by Meteo France of most of the country as being at the second-to-worst ‘level orange’ weather threat on Saturday. But Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, located on the border with Switzerland and Italy, was hit the hardest.
One video captured a swimming pool that looked as though it was boiling, due to the massive hailstones falling into the water.
Science & Technology
NaturalNews – Shocking research has revealed just how easy it would be for malicious actors to exploit the U.S. emergency alert system. The vulnerabilities in the broadcast system could allow America’s enemies to hijack and weaponize it, causing all kinds of panic and chaos in targeted areas of the country.
Back in 2018, a bogus emergency broadcast was sent to the cellphones of Hawaiian residents, alerting them to a phony nuclear missile strike and causing mass panic. While this notification was the result of a clerical error, the mistake prompted researchers at the University of Colorado-Boulder to take a deeper look into just how vulnerable the emergency alert system really is. And what they found was quite unsettling. As Vice News reports, weaponizing emergency broadcasts in the United States can be accomplished with surprising ease.
As Vice reports, the researchers showcased their findings at the the 2019 International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications and Services (MobiSys) in Seoul, South Korea. There, the team displayed just how easy it was for them to manipulate the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system and fool cellphone users.
The Boulder team began their research by building their own “pirate” cell tower out of easy-to-find hardware and open-source software. Isolated RF shield boxes were also used to prevent any real-world harm before beginning their experiments at Folsom Field — the university’s football stadium, which seats 50,000 people.
Vice reports the team was able to successfully transmit fraudulent messages onto cellphone users 90 percent of the time.
The Philadelphia Inquirer – Superglue is incredibly useful right until you end up attached to your craft project. But a new adhesive invented by University of Pennsylvania scientists is just as strong as standard superglue, and far more forgiving. The adhesive, based on snail slime, can be unattached and reattached over and over without losing its strength, and may save manufacturers from costly mistakes.
Humanity has been searching for the best way to stick two things together for a very long time. As early as 200,000 years ago, humans were making sticky tar by carefully burning birch bark in a time-intensive process. Nearly 4,000 years ago, ancient Egyptians were boiling animal parts to make the first liquid glues. Rubber-based glues were invented in 1830, with modern superglue hitting convenience store shelves in 1958. But all of these adhesives come with a frustrating trade-off: They can be strong and permanent, like superglue, or reusable but not very sticky, like Post-its.
Now, a team led by Shu Yang, professor of material science and engineering at Penn, has managed to combine the best properties of both.
Yang shared her findings in a new study published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Just two stamp-size pieces of Yang’s adhesive were enough to easily hold the weight of a 160-pound person, the study said.
But what makes PHEMA stand out is that its stickiness can be turned off and on again. The adhesive holds tight when dry, but add some water and within a few minutes, PHEMA detaches, ready to be reused.
“To be able to let go that’s a big deal,” said Andrew Smith, professor of biology at Ithaca College in New York, who has developed a medical glue based on slug slime, and was not involved in the study. “We have very good glue for certain things. The challenges (include) when you need something that’s reversible.”
RT – A group of scientists have, for the first time, eliminated HIV DNA from the genomes of living animals, in what is being described as a critical step towards developing a cure for the AIDS virus.
The groundbreaking study, published in the journal Nature Communications, revealed that treatment to suppress HIV replication coupled with gene editing therapy can eliminate HIV from infected cells and organs.
Current HIV treatment focuses on the life-long use of antiretroviral therapy (ART), which suppresses HIV replication but does not eliminate the virus. Dr Kamel Khalili, a senior investigator of the study, had found in previous work that by using the gene editing CRISPR-Cas9 technology, large fragments of HIV DNA could be removed from infected cells.
For the new study, Khalili and his colleagues combined the gene editing system with a recently developed therapeutic strategy known as long-acting slow-effective release (LASER) ART. LASER limits HIV replication to low levels for extended periods of time, potentially allowing time for the gene editing phase of the test to kick in.
The newly modified drug was packaged into nanocrystals, which can be delivered to the HIV infected tissues and slowly release the drug for weeks.
The researchers then used a combination of LASER ART and the CRISPR-Cas9 for treatment on mice specially engineered to produce human cells susceptible to HIV. Remarkably, results showed a complete elimination of HIV DNA in about one third of the HIV-infected mice, according to the team.
Gizmodo – Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak deleted his personal Facebook account last year and is now telling everyone else they should do the same. Woz was stopped by TMZ at Reagan National Airport in D.C. recently and warned that the lack of privacy on the platform isn’t worth it for most people, adding a warning more generally, “who knows if my cellphone is listening right now?”
“There are many different kinds of people, and some of the benefits of Facebook are worth the loss of privacy,” Wozniak told TMZ. “But to many like myself, my recommendation is—to most people—you should figure out a way to get off Facebook.”
Woz said that while he’s worried about the invasions of privacy by Big Tech, he didn’t think there was anything that could be done to stop it.
“But, everything about you… I mean, they can measure your heartbeat with lasers now, they can listen to you with a lot of devices. Who knows if my cellphone’s listening right now. Alexa has already been in the news a lot,” Woz told TMZ.
Gardening, Farming & Homesteading
Health Impact News – Help Amos Miller Save Our Traditional Foods
To people who are willing to help, all members and prospective members of our private Association:
Miller’s Organic Farm is our century-old Amish family farm in Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania – serving its Private Member Association. The farm raises its animals and other pure foods the way nature intended and we are proud to be entirely chemical, cruelty and GMO-free.
The animals are born and raised without antibiotics or hormones and they spend their entire lives naturally and stress-free out on pasture. All of the farm’s food is traceable, pure and grown on nutrient dense soil, under traditional time-honored methods.
The farm is now under attack by the USDA who is suing the farm to comply with USDA laws, concerning the way the farm animals are processed and how our food is labeled.
The farm and its members believe that we have the right of free assembly and the right to choose how our food is processed and consumed without the USDA dictating to the farm. You can read about the lawsuit here.
Amos and his family know that how the food is grown, raised and processed has a direct connection to the health of the people who consume it. We oppose cruelty in any shape or form.
The farm’s focus is to grow real nutrient dense, chemical-free foods, taking care that NO harm is done to neither the animals, the environment or the people who consume our foods. We are what we eat and this is clearly an undeniable fact.
The ever increasing environmental toxins from the overuse of synthetic chemicals makes modern farming very questionable. The ethical part, consuming animal foods, leaves doubts in the minds of many.
Members of our community have joined us because they have chemical sensitivities and only started to heal and thrive once they began consuming REAL nutrient dense foods. They depend on our farm foods.
Members with a vegan background started enjoying animal foods again once they realized that the death of an animal doesn’t have to be cruel. Did you know that our farmer, Amos, is praying before he is planning to sacrifice an animal?
Amish farmers are such wonderful, ethical and honest people. We members trust our Amish farmer and his integrity is priceless.
To learn more and find out how you can support this farm and private food club, click here.
Get Holistic Health – Researchers have found that baking soda can successfully eliminate up to 96% of pesticides from vegetables and fruits.
In fact, studies have shown that baking soda is even more effective at removing pesticides than regular bleaching procedures. Since baking soda is highly alkaline, it is able to neutralize pesticides by breaking them down into molecules.
University of Massachusetts published a study on the effects of baking soda on gala apples. In the study gala apples were sprayed with two types of pesticides – phosmet, which is a known insecticide, and thiabendazole, a fungicide. After penetrating apple peels, apples were rinsed with three liquids: tap water, baking soda/water solution, and the most popular bleaching solution.
The results confirmed that the baking soda solution removed the most pesticide residue from apples.
HOW TO USE BAKING SODA TO REMOVE PESTICIDES FROM YOUR FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Simply add a few tablespoons of baking soda to a bowl of water.
Place the produce in the solution to soak for a few minutes.
Rinse with cold water.
Cost effective and very powerful!
NaturalNews – Garlic and onions are commonly used to flavor food – but they offer far more benefits than that. A recent study suggests that garlic, onions, and other Allium vegetables – leeks, chives, shallots – may prevent colorectal cancer.
Bioactive compounds in Allium vegetables were previously reported to prevent breast cancer and prostate cancer. In this study, which was published in the Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology, researchers from The First Hospital of China Medical University in Shenyang, China, looked at whether consuming allium vegetables could lower a person’s risk of colorectal cancer.
To do so, they compared 833 participants diagnosed with colorectal cancer with 833 cancer-free individuals. Both groups were similar in age and sex and lived in similar locations. The researchers interviewed all participants about their demographics and recorded their dietary habits using a validated food frequency questionnaire.
The researchers discovered that people who consumed the most Allium vegetables had 79 percent lower colorectal cancer risk than those who consumed the least. They found that eating at least 35 lbs. of Allium vegetables per year could slash colorectal cancer risk. This would be around 1 ½ oz. – or one onion – every day.
“It is worth noting that in our research, there seems to be a trend: the greater the amount of allium vegetables, the better the protection,” said senior author Dr. Zhi Li.
Li also noted that cooking methods may affect the anticancer effect of the vegetables. Li explained that boiling onions, for example, would reduce their useful compounds, while slicing and crushing fresh garlic were beneficial. (Related: Eat your veggies: 6 allium vegetables and their health benefits.)
NaturalNews – Plums (Prunus salicina L.) can be used as a natural way to prevent colon cancer. A study published in the journal Nutrition Research found that the fruit contains polyphenols, such as chlorogenic acid and neochlorogenic acid, that can inhibit the spread of colon cancer cells.
The nutritional prevention of aberrant crypt foci, which are microscopic lesions in the lining of the colon and rectum, by polyphenols may be a vital step to dietary cancer prevention. So, for the study, researchers at Texas A&M University examined the anti-inflammatory and anti-tumorigenic properties of plum polyphenols, in azoxymethane-treated rats. They hypothesized that plum polyphenols could suppress azoxymethane-induced aberrant crypt foci formation through alterations in the protein kinase B (AKT)/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway and relative micro-RNA expressions. To test this hypothesis, they treated rats with either plum beverage or a control beverage for 10 weeks and administered azoxymethane at the second and third week.
The results showed that plum beverage intake reduced the number of dysplastic aberrant crypt foci by 48 percent and lowered the proliferation of mucosal cells by 24 percent. The consumption of plum beverage also reduced the activity of glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, and catalase in mucosal scrapings, as well as the superoxide dismutase activity in serum.
Mind Body Green – You’re probably most familiar with sipping a cup of chamomile tea around bedtime to help you sleep, but chamomile tea has been linked to many other health benefits beyond its inducing sleep powers.
The chamomile plant has traditionally been used in a variety of ways, from an anti-inflammatory agent to a sedative to reduce anxiety and sleep problems and also to treat wounds and ulcers.
Yet, chamomile tea often plays second fiddle to its more popular and well-researched cousins green tea and black tea. Even so, scientists have been increasingly interested in finding out whether or not chamomile tea actually lives up to all the health hype it’s received.
Chamomile tea and its extracts have been used throughout history for calming effects and for inducing sleep. Though chamomile tea is naturally caffeine free, its relaxing qualities come from apigenin, which is a chemical found in the plant that binds to receptors in your brain and literally calms your nerves.
Another study looked at chamomile extract as a treatment for chronic insomnia.
Studies have shown that chamomile tea may be beneficial in preventing the growth of cancer cells in skin, prostate, breast, and ovarian cancers before people even begin experiencing symptoms. Extracts from the chamomile plant have been shown to inhibit the growth of these cancerous cells while not harming healthy cells.
Sadly, this isn’t a benefit you can reap from drinking tea, but chamomile extracts are often added to cosmetic and skin care products like lotions and creams to moisturize skin and reduce inflammation. The oils in the chamomile plant seep into the deep layers of the skin, which is one reason chamomile extracts have also been used to treat eczema, although it is not the most effective method.
What’s the bottom line?
Chamomile tea is safe and delicious for most people to drink and use on their skin. Chamomile extracts and tea are associated with numerous health benefits, just remember that not all benefits have been rigorously vetted or confirmed in research trials (such as chamomile’s role in preventing osteoporosis, improving blood sugar control, alleviating digestive issues, and promoting heart health).