Fox – The U.S. embassy in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince told American citizens to remain inside until further notice Sunday as the city continues to be gripped by violent protests.
“Do not travel to the airport unless you confirmed your flight is departing,” the State Department cautioned. “Flights are canceled Sunday and the airport has limited food and water available.
“Telecommunication services, including internet and phone lines, have been affected throughout Haiti. It may be difficult to reach people through normal communication methods.” The State Department also expressed its “deepest condolences” to all those affected by the ongoing violence.
“We are closely monitoring the situation and remain in close contact with Haitian authorities to verify the welfare and whereabouts of U.S. citizens in the area,” added the travel advisory.
ZeroHedge – Australia’s “No Jab, No Pay” policy just got a little stronger, or at least more insistent. Under the previous policy, parents who did not keep their children up to date on vaccinations would miss out on a one-time, end-of-the-year tax benefit called Family Tax Benefit Part A, valued at AU$737. Under the updated policy, those same parents will instead lose AU$28 every two weeks while their child is not up to date.
Newsmax – Rescue workers in Thailand on Monday brought four boys safely out of a labyrinthine flooded cave complex where a 12-member soccer squad and their coach were trapped for more than two weeks, taking the total number rescued to eight.
RT – Boris Johnson has resigned as UK foreign secretary, Downing Street has confirmed. It represents yet another blow to the government of Theresa May, who is pushing for a soft Brexit plan that has angered many Conservatives.
“This afternoon, the prime minister accepted the resignation of Boris Johnson as foreign secretary. His replacement will be announced shortly. The prime minister thanks Boris for his work,” Downing Street said in a statement.
Reuters – U.S. President Donald Trump suggested on Monday that Beijing might be seeking to derail efforts aimed at denuclearizing North Korea, but added that he was confident that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would uphold a pact the two agreed on last month.
Washington Post – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, making an unannounced stop in the Afghan capital Monday, said his brief visit showed him that the Trump administration’s strategy of maintaining an active U.S. military role, while setting conditions rather than timelines for success in the war against Taliban insurgents, “is indeed working.”
U.S. News, Politics & Government
USA Today – President Donald Trump took some extra time Monday to make one of his most consequential decisions: the selection of a justice who could shift the Supreme Court further to the right for decades.
Trump had said he hoped to make his decision by the time he returned Sunday from a weekend in New Jersey, but he told reporters en route to the White House that he needed more time.
As aides prepared for a prime time announcement Monday, Trump tweeted: “I have long heard that the most important decision a U.S. President can make is the selection of a Supreme Court Justice – Will be announced tonight at 9:00 P.M.”
Convention of States – Jefferson City, Mo., June 28, 2018 – A Missouri court has handed the Convention of States Project a major victory. Cole County Circuit Judge Jon E. Beetem has ruled a constitutional challenge to Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 4 (SCR4) is without merit. The SCR4 lawsuit was filed in September 2017. It claimed the Missouri legislature failed to follow its state constitution when it passed the COS Article V Resolution in May 2017.
SCR4 is the Missouri legislature’s application to Congress calling for a Convention of States for the sole purpose of proposing amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Calling a Convention of States is granted and governed by Article V of the U.S. Constitution.
“This ruling validates the constitutionality of our Convention of States grassroots movement,” said Missouri COS Director Brett Sterley. “It sets a national precedent for lawsuits that might question our organization’s intent or legal position.”
Convention of States Action President Mark Meckler stated, “This decision reaffirms the supremacy of the state legislatures in the Article V convention process. This is a victory for federalism. No one can stand in the way of our right, through our state legislatures, to amend our Constitution and restore meaningful restraints on the federal government.”
Missouri was the 12th state to pass the Convention of States resolution. Since the COS movement launched in 2013, more than 3.3 million volunteers and advocates have pledged their support to stop the federal government’s abuse of power through fiscal constraint, by limiting its power and jurisdiction, and by imposing term limits on officials and members of Congress.
CBS – It seems all content is not created equal. A Facebook algorithm categorized parts of the Declaration of Independence as hate speech and took down excerpts of it ahead of the Fourth of July.
An editor for the Liberty County Vindicator, a community newspaper in Texas, said Facebook took action after the paper started posting the text of the historic document.
The Vindicator posted the Declaration of Independence in 12 parts on its Facebook page leading up the nation’s birthday. Facebook sent a notice that one of those parts “goes against our standards on hate speech.”
According to the Vindicator, Facebook flagged a passage that included the phrase “merciless Indian savages” at the end of a long rebuke of King George III. After the Declaration’s famous opening lines about all men being created equal and having an inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, it goes on to list 27 specific grievances against the king’s rule. The last of those reads: “He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.”
The paper suspected that this quote is the reason Facebook blocked the post, although the social media company did not cite a specific reason.
By Joel Gilbert – That’s right: Hillary Clinton is running for president again in 2020. She has actually ramped up her campaign since her defeat in 2016! From her Twitter feed to university speeches to appearances abroad – from Ireland to Australia to India – the “I’m with her” campaign continues. The message remains the same: Donald Trump is racist and sexist, and his supporters are deplorable. Hillary also continues to preach that she won the 2016 popular vote by 3,000,000 votes, but because of the electoral college (that damn Constitution thing) and RussiaRussiaRussia, she was robbed of her rightful prize and place in history.
Economy & Business
Breitbart – Iran’s representative to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, reportedly pled on Thursday for President Donald Trump to “please stop” tweeting because his doing so has raised oil prices by at least $10.
According to the Associated Press, Iran’s Oil Ministry website quoted Ardebili telling Trump, “With your frequent and indecent tweets oil prices have gone up 10 dollars.”
“Your tweets have driven the prices up by at least $10 per barrel,” Ardebili reportedly said. “Pls stop it, otherwise it will go even higher!”
Energy & Environment
Popular Mechanics – Scientists discovered a new wasp species with a terrifyingly large stinger. Researchers from the University of Turku in Finland recently discovered the Clistopyga crassicaudata, which lives between the Andes mountains and the Amazon rainforests. “I have studied tropical parasitoid wasps for a long time, but I have never seen anything like it,” said Ilari E. Sääksjärvi, a professor at the University of Turku. “The stinger looks like a fierce weapon.”
Natural Blaze – The battle has begun in one of the most historical David vs Goliath trials.
It’s the long-awaited trial of the millennium featuring dying man and school groundskeeper, Dewayne Johnson, who is taking Monsanto to task, arguing that the chemical giant’s Roundup herbicide is to blame. The lawsuit officially kicks off today in San Francisco’s Superior Court of California on Monday and is the first to go to trial of cases in which thousands of plaintiffs across the U.S. claim the glyphosate-based herbicide caused cancer.
The suit that started in late June is full of the drama that one would expect in case of this magnitude, including attempts by the corporation to cry victim and attempt to muzzle the mainstream press.
Johnson’s attorneys expect their opening statements to last 1 1/2 hours while Monsanto’s attorneys expect their to take 1 1/4 hours.
Science & Technology
Independent – Extremely premature babies could be kept alive in future using an “artificial womb” that scientists plan to test in humans after a successful study involving unborn lambs.
A plastic bag filled with artificial amniotic fluid – the nutrient-rich liquid that sustains a foetus in the womb – allowed foetal lambs to develop at an age equivalent to 23 weeks in humans.
Human infants born at 23 weeks have just a 15 per cent chance of survival, according to pregnancy research charity Tommy’s. This rises to 55 per cent at 24 weeks, while babies born at 25 weeks have an 80 percent chance of survival.
New York Times – A resolution to encourage breast-feeding was expected to be approved quickly and easily by the hundreds of government delegates who gathered this spring in Geneva for the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly.
Based on decades of research, the resolution says that mother’s milk is healthiest for children and countries should strive to limit the inaccurate or misleading marketing of breast milk substitutes.
Then the United States delegation, embracing the interests of infant formula manufacturers, upended the deliberations.
American officials sought to water down the resolution by removing language that called on governments to “protect, promote and support breast-feeding” and another passage that called on policymakers to restrict the promotion of food products that many experts say can have deleterious effects on young children.
New Atlas – A massive study spanning 30 years of data and examining a cohort of over one million people has found a strong association between persons suffering from stress disorders, including PTSD, and an increased risk of developing autoimmune diseases such as arthritis and Crohn’s disease.
The new, extraordinarily large-scale observational study followed over one million subjects in Sweden for a period of 30 years. Over 100,000 subjects were ultimately diagnosed with a stress-related disorder, from PTSD to acute stress reaction and adjustment disorder. These subjects were matched with a further one million subjects who over the 30-year period were not diagnosed with any stress-based disorder.
The striking results found that those suffering from a diagnosed stress-related disorder were 30 to 40 percent more likely to subsequently be diagnosed with one of 41 different autoimmune diseases. These autoimmune diseases included rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, Crohn’s disease and celiac disease.
ThinkOrganicLife – Aluminum has been long known to be neurotoxic, with mounting evidence that chronic exposure is a factor in many neurological diseases, including dementia, autism, and Parkinson’s disease.
According to CDC, the average adult in the US consumes about seven to nine mg of aluminum per day in food, and a lesser amount from air and water. Only about one percent of the aluminum you ingest orally gets absorbed into your body—the rest is moved out by your digestive tract, provided it’s functioning well.
When tested in a lab, aluminum contamination has been found in a vast number of products on the market, from foods and beverages to pharmaceuticals, which suggests the manufacturing process itself is a significant part of the problem. Aluminum is found in a shocking number of foods and consumer products, including:
-Foods such as baking powder, self rising flour, salt, baby formula, coffee creamers, baked goods and processed foods, coloring and caking agents
-Drugs, such as antacids, analgesics, anti-diarrheals, and others; additives such as magnesium stearate
-Vaccines—Hepatitis A and B, Hib, DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis), pneumococcal vaccine, Gardasil (HPV), and others
-Cosmetics and personal care products such as antiperspirants, deodorants (including salt crystals, made of alum), lotions, sunscreens, and shampoos
-Aluminum products, including foil, cans, juice pouches, tins, and water bottles
If you cook your food in aluminum foil, you are introducing your own contamination. One investigation found that cooking meats in aluminum foil increases their aluminum concentration. Researchers concluded, “eating meals prepared in aluminum foil may carry a health risk by adding to other aluminum sources.” As with many toxins, it isn’t one exposure here and there that is so concerning—it’s the cumulative effect of many smaller exposures over time that can lead to a toxic metal overload and erosion of your health. According to a 2006 study, cooking meat in aluminum foil increased aluminum levels as follows:
-Red meats cooked in aluminum foil showed an increase in aluminum by 89 to 378 percent
-Poultry increased by 76 to 214 percent
-Aluminum levels increased with higher cooking temperatures and longer cooking times