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Today’s News: July 19, 2019

World News

Trump Says U.S. Ship Downed Iranian Drone in Strait of Hormuz

NBC – At an unrelated White House event, President Trump said the USS Boxer “took defensive action” against an Iranian drone that ignored multiple warning calls.

Tehran denies US claim of destroying Iranian drone

AFP – Tehran on Friday denied the United States had downed one of its drones, saying all Iranian aircraft were accounted for and jesting Washington may have accidentally hit their own machine.

The latest incident in the strategic Strait of Hormuz comes amid soaring tensions between the two foes, with Washington already reeling from Iran shooting down one of its drones last month.

US President Donald Trump said an American naval vessel downed an Iranian drone on Thursday that threatened the ship as it was entering the Strait — a claim vehemently denied by Tehran.

Iran’s armed forces dismissed Trump’s assertion as “baseless and delusional”.

“All of (Iran’s) drones… have safely returned to their bases,” said armed forces spokesman Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi.

“There have been no reports of a confrontation with the American USS Boxer” naval vessel, he added, quoted by Tasnim.

Trump said Thursday the USS Boxer “took defensive action” against an Iranian aircraft as it was “threatening the safety” of the vessel and its crew.

Vietnam demands China withdraws vessel from South China Sea

Al Jazeera – Reports suggest large-scale stand-off between several coastguard ships from each country near the Spratly Islands.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Violent confrontations rock Puerto Rico protests demanding the governor step down

Miami Herald – One of the largest protests in Puerto Rico’s history erupted into violent clashes late Wednesday night between demonstrators who said they will keep coming back to demand the governor’s resignation and officers in riot gear who shot tear gas and rubber bullets into the packed crowds.

Long after tens of thousands had peacefully marched through Old San Juan, hundreds of protesters gathered and blocked the narrow streets surrounding Gov. Ricardo Rosselló’s Fortaleza mansion, clamoring for him to resign.

Some protesters threw firecrackers, bottles of water, beer and glowsticks at the officers barricaded around the governor’s home. Portions of the crowd called for others to stop inciting violence, leading chants like “No tiren” — stop throwing — as tensions boiled over between rioters and police.

Shortly before midnight, the officers issued a warning to the crowd to disperse. Minutes later, police shot rubber bullets at the crowd, injuring protesters and journalists. The tear gas drove panicked demonstrators away from the barricades and against a nearby chapel. Some climbed the fence or pried open the gates of the iconic Parque de las Palomas.

DOJ Set to Free 3,000 Prisoners as Criminal-Justice Overhaul Takes Hold

AP – Leroy Nolan has spent the last 26 years behind bars at a federal prison for a drug conviction. In the prison factory, he works making T-shirts, backpacks and other products that are later sold to government agencies, nonprofits and others.

But what has become a decades-long routine for Nolan behind the barbed wire, steel gates and concrete walls of FCI Edgefield, a prison in rural South Carolina, will all change on Friday when he walks out the front door. The 67-year-old is among about 2,200 federal inmates who will be released that day by the federal Bureau of Prisons under a criminal justice reform measure signed into law last year by President Donald Trump.

The measure, known as the First Step Act, gives judges more discretion when sentencing some drug offenders, eases mandatory minimum sentences and encourages inmates to participate in programs designed to reduce the risk of recidivism, with credits that can be used to gain an earlier release.

On a visit this past week to Edgefield — a facility with a medium-security prison and minimum-security camp — Attorney General William Barr took a firsthand look at some of the programs in place, from computer skills to cooking, auto mechanic training and factory work. He met with prison staff and a handful of inmates, including some who will be released early under the First Step Act.

Barr’s visit signaled a major policy shift since his first stint as attorney general in the early 1990s, when he exuded a tough-on-crime approach, advocating for more severe penalties, building more prisons and using laws to keep some criminals behind bars longer. Barr has said he will fully support and carry out the law.

Trump has touted the overhaul as a rare bipartisan effort to address concerns that too many Americans were imprisoned for nonviolent crimes as a result of the drug war. The president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, helped persuade him to get behind the measure and clashed with former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who did not see criminal justice reform as a top priority.

In the culinary skills class at Edgefield, the aspiring chefs told Barr about how they earn restaurant-level food preparedness and safety certificates so they can immediately try to find work once they are released.

Inmate-chef Eddie Montgomery helped prepare a spread of chicken, blackened fish, green beans and mashed potatoes, which he offered to Barr, while explaining how the program was “top notch.”

The Future of the City Is Childless 

America’s urban rebirth is missing something key—actual births.

The Atlantic – A few years ago, I lived in a walkup apartment in the East Village of New York. Every so often descending the stairway, I would catch a glimpse of a particular family with young children in its Sisyphean attempts to reach the fourth floor. The mom would fold the stroller to the size of a boogie board, then drag it behind her with her right hand, while cradling the younger and typically crying child in the crook of her left arm. Meanwhile, she would shout hygiene instructions in the direction of the older child, who would slap both hands against every other grimy step to use her little arms as leverage, like an adult negotiating the bolder steps of Machu Picchu. It looked like hell—or, as I once suggested to a roommate, a carefully staged public service announcement against family formation.

Apparently, the public got the message. Last year, for the first time in four decades, something strange happened in New York City. In a non-recession year, it shrank.

We are supposedly living in the golden age of the American metropolis, with the same story playing out across the country. Dirty and violent downtowns typified by the “mean streets” of the 1970s became clean and safe in the 1990s. Young college graduates flocked to brunchable neighborhoods in the 2000s, and rich companies followed them with downtown offices.

New York is the poster child of this urban renaissance. But as the city has attracted more wealth, housing prices have soared alongside the skyscrapers, and young families have found staying put with school-age children more difficult. Since 2011, the number of babies born in New York has declined 9 percent in the five boroughs and 15 percent in Manhattan. (At this rate, Manhattan’s infant population will halve in 30 years.) In that same period, the net number of New York residents leaving the city has more than doubled. There are many reasons New York might be shrinking, but most of them come down to the same unavoidable fact: Raising a family in the city is just too hard. And the same could be said of pretty much every other dense and expensive urban area in the country.

In high-density cities like San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., no group is growing faster than rich college-educated whites without children, according to Census analysis by the economist Jed Kolko. By contrast, families with children older than 6 are in outright decline in these places. In the biggest picture, it turns out that America’s urban rebirth is missing a key element: births.

Time Magazine Calls For Migration Brainwashing Courses in Schools

Infowars – An article in Time Magazine calls for special courses to be introduced in schools to teach kids that mass migration is a positive thing in order to combat the “extremist” view that it isn’t.

The outlet published an article written by two members of an extremism monitoring group called ISD, which is funded by numerous globalist organizations which all support mass immigration (imagine my shock).

Those funders include the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Google, Facebook, the European Commission and Open Society Foundations (George Soros).

The article frets about how, “Popular support for politicians who build their campaigns around anti-migrant and anti-Muslim themes have surged across the Western world” and “theories such as the “great replacement” and “white genocide” have effectively made their ways into societal and political discourse”.

“We need to proactively expose the one-sided, ill-informed and historically myopic nature of the far-right’s assessment of migration. This could also be done through the introduction of migration-focused courses in schools, alongside digital literacy skills, so that students can brace themselves from the distortion and manipulation tactics employed by extremists,” states the piece.

It’s a fascinating disconnect how the mainstream media can relentlessly report on the demographic decline of white voters (as Axios did today) and that’s OK, so long as it’s framed as a good thing.

But when anyone suggests that such a decline might not be entirely positive, they are immediately smeared as extremists and conspiracy theorists.

The fact that white people are in demographic decline is a manifestly provable fact, but if you respond to that development with anything other than total enthusiasm, the media demonizes you as a far-right reactionary at best and a neo-nazi terrorist at worst.

Jury convicts boy who pointed gun at teacher, pulled trigger

AP – A 13-year-old eastern Iowa student has been found guilty on three charges after he pointed a gun at a teacher and pulled the trigger, but the jury declined to convict him of attempted murder.

The Quad-City Times reports jurors in Davenport convicted the boy Wednesday of carrying weapons on school grounds, assault while using or displaying a dangerous weapon, and assault with intent to commit serious injury. Jury deliberations began Tuesday.

Prosecutors say the boy pointed a loaded .22-caliber handgun at a teacher in a North Scott Junior High School classroom in Eldridge on Aug. 31. It didn’t fire when he pulled the trigger because the safety was engaged. The teacher and a guidance counselor grabbed the gun from him.

The boy, who was 12 at the time, was tried as a youthful offender in adult court and charged with attempted murder and weapons crimes.

Berkeley to Replace ‘Manhole,’ Other Gender-Specific Language in City Code

Newswars – City councilors in Berkeley, California, have approved changes to the municipal code which will see “gender preferential language,” such as ‘manhole’ and ‘patrolmen,’ replaced with “gender neutral” terms.

City Councilman Rigel Robinson, a 23-year-old who recently graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, co-sponsored the ordinance.

“According to Code Publishing Company, the Berkeley Municipal Code currently contains mostly masculine pronouns,” the proposal explains. “In recent years, broadening societal awareness of transgender and gender nonconforming identities has brought to light the importance of non-binary gender inclusivity.”

In addition to replacing all references to “He, She, Him, Himself, Herself” in the existing code, an expandable list of “Gendered Terms” will be replaced, including: “Bondsman,” “Craftsmen,” “Fraternal,” “Manmade,” “Manhole,” and “Ombudsman.”

“Sorority” and “Fraternity” will be replaced by “Collegiate Greek system residence.”

The entire phrase, “The masculine pronoun includes the feminine,” will be replaced with “Words referring to a specific gender may be extended to any other gender.”

Top Scientist Reveals How Google and Facebook Are Going To Steal The 2020 Election

Infowars – During the July 16, 2019, Senate hearing on Google and censorship, former editor of Psychology Today, Dr. Robert Epstein exposed Google’s role in America’s elections.

In an exchange with Senator Ted Cruz, Dr. Epstein lays out the facts about Big Tech’s shocking manipulation of the American electoral system.

You must watch this video. It’s the Blueprint for how Google and Facebook will steal the 2020 Election.

Full Video Here:https://t.co/s6Nuj6NBTl pic.twitter.com/SiqQ5YqvwG

— Rob Dew (@DewsNewz) July 17, 2019

Liberal Professor Testifies That Social Media Is Secretly Manipulating Tens Of Millions Voters pic.twitter.com/zxVDGF2quA

— Off Limits News (@OffLimitsNews) July 17, 2019

Two more accusers come forward after Jeffrey Epstein denied bail

CBS – At least two more women have come forward with allegations against financier Jeffrey Epstein since a New York judge denied his request for bail on Thursday, CBS News has learned. The 66-year-old is charged with two counts of sex trafficking involving minors. He pleaded not guilty.

Epstein was arrested in New York on July 6 and charged last week with sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy. He is alleged to have abused dozens of underage girls as young as 14 over a number of years.

Epstein seemed unfazed when the judge delivered the decision Thursday, reports CBS News’ Mola Lenghi. Ultimately the judge’s decision came down to one main factor – he believes Epstein is a danger to the public.

But there were other factors too, including fear of flight risk and recently discovered evidence in Epstein’s New York City townhouse. During that search nearly two weeks ago investigators say they found dozens of loose diamonds, $70,000 in cash and a trove of sexually suggestive pictures. They also found a fake Austrian passport with Epstein’s picture listing an address in Saudi Arabia.

The judge also considered the recent testimonies of two of his alleged victims. One called the registered pedophile a “scary man to have walking the streets.”

Stan Pottinger, who represents several Epstein accusers, said his clients’ first reaction to the judge’s decision was “relief.”

Ted Cruz Introduces Resolution to Declare Antifa a Domestic Terrorist Organization

Infowars – Senators Ted Cruz and Bill Cassidy have introduced a resolution calling for Antifa to be designated a “domestic terrorist organization”.

“Antifa is a terrorist organization composed of hateful, intolerant radicals who pursue their extreme agenda through aggressive violence. Time and time again their actions have demonstrated that their central purpose is to inflict harm on those who oppose their views,” tweeted Cruz after introducing the resolution.

The text of the resolution asserts that there is no place for politically-driven violence in civil society “because the United States is a place where there is a diversity of ideas and opinions”.

The resolution arrives after Antifa attacked journalist Andy Ngo and others in Portland, an assault that left Ngo with a brain hemorrhage.

Last weekend, 69-year-old Willem Van Spronsen also attempted to firebomb an ICE facility in Washington State. He wrote “I am Antifa” in his own manifesto.

This would not be the first time that Antifa has been referred to as a domestic terror outfit in official circles.

Good News

A Man Who Wrote a Message in a Bottle 50 Years Ago Has Been Found

MSN – The man who wrote a 50-year-old message in a bottle found on Wednesday has been tracked down.

ABC located Paul Gilmore, who wrote the letter when he was 13, through his family in Australia and England, who say that he’s currently on a cruise in the Baltic and he doesn’t know his letter has been found yet.

But his family was pleasantly surprised by the resurfacing of his letter.

“It’s amazing, absolutely incredible,” his sister Annie Crossland said, according to ABC. “He’ll be chuffed to bits.” She added that “he sent about six of them.”

The man who wrote a 50-year-old message in a bottle found on Wednesday has been tracked down.

ABC located Paul Gilmore, who wrote the letter when he was 13, through his family in Australia and England, who say that he’s currently on a cruise in the Baltic and he doesn’t know his letter has been found yet.

But his family was pleasantly surprised by the resurfacing of his letter.

“It’s amazing, absolutely incredible,” his sister Annie Crossland said, according to ABC. “He’ll be chuffed to bits.” She added that “he sent about six of them.”

Thieves stole $9 from a girl’s lemonade stand for charity. Police and neighbors rallied to give her more than $300

MSN – In late June, 11-year-old Alizay Kashif set up a lemonade stand in her family’s neighborhood in Naperville, Illinois, a suburb on the western outskirts of Chicago.

She was selling refreshments to benefit Feeding America, a national network of food banks.

But after she took in nine bucks, a group of teenagers grabbed the money basket and drove off with it. She was devastated.

That’s when her father posted on the neighborhood social media platform Nextdoor, explaining how sad his daughter was and asking what he should do about the theft.

Neighbors come to help

Ben Hutchinson was one of the neighbors who read the post. A former journalist, Hutchinson said that the story struck him. “When I was a reporter, I often saw people in bad times, and I couldn’t help them.” This time, he thought he could step in.

And despite the theft, Alizay and her sister, Emaan, still wanted to use a lemonade stand to raise money for the food bank. “They had a quiet area, not very visible,” Hutchinson said. “So I offered them my busy street corner.”

A cop showed up to keep watch over the stand this time, telling them, “I think I might have a few friends coming.”

Then, a parade of police cars drove up with their lights on and sirens blaring. “The police took it to the next level,” Hutchinson said.

Local officers helped collect about $170 to support the charitable enterprise. Along with lemonade sales and some donations on Facebook, the sisters received nearly $350, CNN affiliate WGN reported.

When a woman’s car broke down, these teens pushed it five miles to her home

CNN – A late-night run to the donut shop turned into a roadside rescue for three teens living near Niagara Falls. It ended with them pushing a stranded stranger’s car for hours and inspiring others on Facebook.

Aeron McQuillin, 18, Bailey Campbell, 17, and Billy Tarbett, 15, were on their way to a Tim Hortons donut shop in Fonthill, Ontario, when they spotted a woman on the side of the road with smoke coming out of her car.

They quickly diagnosed the problem as a leak that allowed the engine coolant and oil to mix. They also determined the car was too dangerous to drive.

The driver couldn’t afford a tow truck. So, Billy suggested that guys push the car. The woman lives more than five miles away.

Dan Morrison, who also stopped to help, tells CNN he and the driver thought the teens were crazy to offer.

Bailey told CNN they just wouldn’t want to be stuck like that, so they insisted.

The trio grabbed bottles of water and a speaker so they could “jam out” and started their trek. Morrison drove behind them with his hazard lights on for safety.

Bailey says they faced several obstacles. The first was a big hill 300 yards from the start. Halfway through, they took a break and the battery died. They had to charge it just to get back into neutral.

After more than two-and-a-half hours of pushing, they finally delivered the car back home. Bailey described the motorist as both thankful and amazed. They exchanged hugs, and everyone went home for some much-needed rest. The trio never got the woman’s full name.

Morrison snapped a couple of pictures of the teens, hoping to turn them into hometown heroes on social media. His Facebook post went viral, with positive comments coming in from as far away as Australia.

On Facebook, Aeron wrote, “Our phones [were] blowing up with messages and Facebook notifications from total strangers, showing their appreciation and gratitude for our random act of kindness.” He went on to say, “We hope more people can learn from this situation and not be afraid to lend a helping hand to those in need.”

Bailey described his moment of viral fame as “overwhelming in a good way.”

Economy & Business

Business groups slam House for passing $15 minimum wage bill

CNBC – The House of Representatives’ decision to pass a bill raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour received almost immediate criticism from major business organizations.

The groups say the bill, which the Democrat-controlled chamber passed in a 231-199 vote, would be expensive and lead to increased unemployment.

“The House dealt a devastating blow to small businesses today, risking record growth, job creation, and already increasing wages,” Juanita Dugganin, president and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, said in a statement. The NFIB is the leading advocacy organization for small businesses.

The NFIB’s Dugganin encouraged the Senate to kill the bill. Indeed, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is unlikely to bring up the legislation in his chamber. The White House pledged that President Donald Trump would veto it if it made it to his desk.

Increasing the minimum wage to $15 has been a major topic of discussion in the 2020 presidential race, with many Democratic candidates backing the proposal, and will likely remain prominent in the campaign even if the Senate declines to take up the bill as expected.

Deutsche Bank to set up 50 billion euro bad bank in revamp

Ruters – Deutsche Bank is planning to overhaul its trading operations by creating a so-called bad bank to hold tens of billions of euros of non-core assets, a source close to the matter said on Monday.

The overhaul, first reported by the Financial Times, will also include shrinking or shutting equity and rates trading businesses outside of Europe.

The bad bank would house or sell assets valued at up to 50 billion euros ($56 billion)- after adjusting for risk – and comprising mainly long-dated derivatives.

The measures are part of a significant restructuring of the investment bank, a major source of revenue for Germany’s largest lender, which has struggled to generate sustainable profits since the 2008 financial crisis.

Netflix tanks after whiffing on global paid subscribers

CNBC – Shares of Netflix were down 10% in extended trading Wednesday after the company released its earnings report for the second quarter. The results showed a rare loss in U.S. subscribers and a large miss on international subscriber adds.

n addition to blaming its content slate for the quarter for weak subscriber growth, Netflix said its first-quarter subscriber growth was so strong that “there may have been more pull-forward effect than we realized.” The company also said in its letter to shareholders that the missed forecast was most pronounced in regions that saw price increases.

Nolte: Box Office Crumbles for Second Quarter In a Row

Breitbart – Even the Avengers failed to save the domestic box office, which dove nearly four percent in the second quarter of 2019 when compared to last year.

After a disastrous first quarter collapse of 16 percent, the second quarter’s 3.8 percent decline might come as a relief, but it was not supposed to be this way.

What’s more, only to one studio, Disney, is responsible for all five of the top five blockbusters of the second quarter: Avengers: Endgame $853 million), Captain Marvel ($427 million), Toy Story 4 ($354 million), Spider-Man: Far From Home ($294 million), and Aladdin ($334 million).

After that, the closest competition is the horror film Us, which grossed $175 million, or more than a $100 million less than the lowest grossing Disney title listed above, which is Spider-Man: Far From Home, which is still in theatres making good money.

To put things in an even starker perspective, thus far, this year Disney has grossed $2.48 billion at the domestic box office. Its closest competition is Warner Bros. at $894 million.

In worse news, fewer people are going to the movies — 2.5 percent fewer in the second quarter, which is better than 15 percent attendance drop during quarter one.

Overall, combining both quarters, the domestic box office is down 9.1 percent compared to last year, down one percent compared to 2017, down two percent compared to 2017, and less than a half percent ahead of 2015.

Yep, things are bad.

Even the sycophant trades are finally conceding that 2019 is unlikely to be the record year we had been told was a sure thing.

“It’s unlikely that 2019 will match last year’s record for North American box office grosses,” writes Variety.

The Rise of Coffee Shaming
The Atlantic – Suze Orman wants young people to stop “peeing” away millions of dollars on coffee. Last month, the personal-finance celebrity ignited a controversy on social media when a video she starred in for CNBC targeted a familiar villain: kids these days and their silly $5 lattes. Because brewing coffee at home is less expensive, Orman argued, purchasing it elsewhere is tantamount to flushing money away, which makes it a worthy symbol of Millennials’ squandered resources.

Orman’s not alone in this view. The old guard of personal finance has spent years turning the habit of buying coffee into a shorthand for Americans’ profligacy, especially that of young Americans. Dave Ramsey, a finance personality who hosts a popular radio show on getting out of debt, says that forgoing lattes is one of four keys to saving thousands of dollars. Kevin O’Leary, one of the investors on the entrepreneurial reality show Shark Tank, once told CNBC, “I never buy a frape-latte-blah-blah-blah-woof-woof-woof.” Even the official Twitter account for Chase Bank has gotten in on the fun, intimating via meme that a failure to brew at home is why young people don’t have any money.

In the face of coffee shaming, young people usually point to things like student loans and housing prices as the true source of the generation’s instability, not their $100-a-month cold-brew habits. Nonetheless, coffee endures as a personal-finance flash point because it provides such a tidy intersection of generational tensions. A cup of coffee embodies changes in everything from how younger Americans eat to where they live and how they approach their finances. For young people who buy one each morning, the walk up to the barista can be a shame-tinged tug of war.

Energy & Environment

About 195 million people are under watches and warnings as the heat wave begins to reach peak temperatures

CNN – Peak temperatures from a potentially deadly heat wave are expected to begin Friday, and major US cities are taking special measures to prepare — with New York City declaring an emergency.

Over the next few days, more than 85% of the lower 48’s population will see temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen said, and more than half will see temperatures higher than 95 degrees.

About 195 million people were under a heat watch, warning or advisory Friday morning.

The heat has the potential to break records and turn deadly as temperatures climb over the weekend all along the East Coast and through the Midwest.

Strong earthquake hits near Greece’s capital Athens

Al Jazeera – A strong earthquake has hit near the Greek capital, Athens, causing people to run out into the streets as well as brief problems in telecommunications.

Stelios Petsas, spokesman for the Greek government, said in a televised statement that the 5.1 magnitude tremor hit 23km northwest of Athens at 14:13pm (11:13 GMT) on Friday.

“There are no reports of serious injuries,” he said, urging people to stay calm.

Science & Technology

The Fraught Effort to Return to the Moon

The Atlantic – The 50th anniversary of the moon landing is almost here, and NASA has gone all-out for the occasion.

The agency has been celebrating the memory of Apollo 11 for months. It has published a steady stream of archival photos and footage of the astronauts suiting up, blasting off, and posing on the lunar surface with the American flag, a pop of color against an expanse of gray. It refurbished the room at the Johnson Space Center where Mission Control monitored the journey so that now it looks the way it did in 1969, down to the coffee cups, clipboards, and packs of cigarettes. NASA headquarters even asked every communications officer at the agency to be “mindful of posting evergreen materials during the next few weeks that could get better attention once we’re past that spotlight event,” a spokesperson told me. Apollo 11 is NASA’s most famous mission, and the moon landing is one of the most defining moments in human history. It’s been moon time, all the time.

But behind the celebrations, the atmosphere was less harmonious. As NASA commemorated one mission to the moon, the future of the next one seemed precarious.

The Trump administration wants to return Americans to the moon, a place they haven’t been since 1972, in five years—during President Donald Trump’s second term, if he is reelected. Right now, the agency doesn’t have the money to make it happen. In May, the White House asked Congress for an extra $1.6 billion in NASA’s next budget to start funding this effort, which would cost $20 billion to $30 billion and, unlike the Apollo program, rely heavily on technology bought from private companies. Astronauts would land near the south pole this time, where they could theoretically make use of water frozen in the surface. And the crew would include, for the first time, a woman. A mission to Mars—the focal objective of the Obama administration—will come later, after astronauts show they can safely live and work on the moon.

As Congress figures out funding for the next year, NASA officials have spent the past several months talking up the new mission—named Artemis, after Apollo’s sister in Greek mythology. As with the Apollo-anniversary coverage, everyone seemed to be on message. Until, that is, the person who ordered the mission strayed.

“For all of the money we are spending, NASA should NOT be talking about going to the Moon – We did that 50 years ago,” President Trump tweeted in June. “They should be focused on the much bigger things we are doing, including Mars (of which the Moon is a part).”

FaceApp Now Owns Access To More Than 150 Million People’s Faces And Names, And Users Are Angry

Activist Post – Before you download an app or a PDF, do you read the Terms and Conditions? If not, you may be unintentionally signing up for trouble, like millions of users have after agreeing to the Terms of Service of FaceApp. The viral app allows people to change facial expressions, looks, and their age. But in exchange, the company owns all the rights to the images.

Since its launch, more than 100 million people have downloaded FaceApp from Google Play. In fact, the app is now the top-ranked app on the iOS App Store in 121 countries, according to App Annie.

Based on the Terms of Service, people still own their own “user content” (read: their face). But, FaceApp also owns a never-ending and irrevocable royalty-free license to do anything they want with the photograph. That includes in front of whoever they wish.

Selling your face isn’t likely to cause life-altering repercussions. However, as PhoneArena’s Peter Kostadinov said, “You might end up on a billboard somewhere in Moscow, but your face will most likely end up training some AI facial-recognition algorithm.”

FaceApp isn’t the only company to collect user’s data. Facebook has been doing the same for years. As a result, we now know that the data that is collected is rarely used for assumed purposes. Furthermore, that data is not always stored securely, which can make the average individual vulnerable to hackers and identity theft.

Fast-growing web of doorbell cams raises privacy fears

AP – The woodsy community of Wolcott, Connecticut, doesn’t see a lot of crime. But when the police chief heard about an opportunity to distribute doorbell cameras to some homes, he didn’t hesitate.

The police who keep watch over the town of 16,000 raffled off free cameras in a partnership with the camera manufacturer. So far, the devices have encountered more bears than criminals, but Chief Ed Stephens is still a fan. “Anything that helps keep the town safe, I’m going to do it,” he said.

But as more police agencies join with the company known as Ring, the partnerships are raising privacy concerns. Critics complain that the systems turn neighborhoods into places of constant surveillance and create suspicion that falls heavier on minorities. Police say the cameras can serve as a digital neighborhood watch.

Critics also say Ring, a subsidiary of Amazon, appears to be marketing its cameras by stirring up fear of crime at a time when it’s decreasing. Amazon’s promotional videos show people lurking around homes, and the company recently posted a job opening for a managing news editor to “deliver breaking crime news alerts to our neighbors.”

“Amazon is profiting off of fear,” said Chris Gilliard, an English professor at Michigan’s Macomb Community College and a prominent critic of Ring and other technology that he says can reinforce race barriers. Part of the strategy seems to be selling the cameras “where the fear of crime is more real than the actual existence of crime.”

French sci-fi team called on to predict future threats

BBC – The French army is to create a “red team” of sci-fi writers to imagine possible future threats.

A new report by the Defence Innovation Agency (DIA) said the visionaries will “propose scenarios of disruption” that military strategists may not think of.

The team’s highly confidential work will be important in the fight against “malicious elements”, the report states.

It comes amid efforts by the French to innovate its approaches to defence.

An inventor piloted his jet-powered flyboard over crowds at Bastille Day military celebrations in Paris on Sunday.

China’s space station is plummeting back to Earth

Daily Mail – China‘s Tiangong-2 spacecraft is currently rapidly descending towards Earth after deliberately dropping out of Earth’s orbit.

Its path back to Earth will be a destructive one as it is expected the spacecraft will burn up upon re-entry.

The space station, which means ‘Heavenly body’ in Chinese, will be destroyed at some point today, and any debris that survives re-entry will likely be harmlessly scattered throughout the Pacific ocean between New Zealand and Chile.

Its progress and inevitable destruction can be tracked here.

Driverless bus hits pedestrian in Vienna

Automotive News Europe – Authorities are investigating why a driverless bus struck a pedestrian in Vienna, an incident that resulted in minor injuries but stopped Austrian trials of the technology.

The Navya SAS vehicle was driving at 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) an hour on Thursday when it struck a 30-year-old woman in the knee, according to state broadcaster ORF.

Vienna’s transit authority suspended further trials pending outcome of the investigation.

The city has been testing two driverless buses under a program that began June 6.

The Austrian Institute of Technology and Siemens mobility are also participating in the project, which required a professional driver on board when the units were operating.


Garlic found to remove lead from the body better than a common chelator drug

NaturalNews – Garlic is a common cooking ingredient, famous around the world for its pungent flavor. Used for seasoning food and as a condiment, garlic is also known for its health benefits. In ancient times, garlic was used mainly for its medicinal properties. Garlic can help prevent heart disease, control cholesterol and blood pressure, and even lower the risk of certain cancers, such as prostate, brain, and lung cancer. In a study published in Basic and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, garlic was also found to be an effective treatment against lead poisoning.

How garlic can help treat lead poisoning

Iranian researchers compared the effectiveness of garlic with that of d-penicillamine in reducing blood lead concentrations. They recruited 117 workers at a car battery plant who were suffering from chronic lead poisoning and split the workers into two groups. The researchers gave the first group garlic extract three times a day and the other group d-penicillamine, a drug used to treat heavy metal poisoning.

EPA’s Wheeler Keeps Brain-Damaging Pesticide Legal for Use on Foods Kids Eat

EWG – Farmers can keep spraying fruits and vegetables with a pesticide shown to harm a child’s brain even at low levels of exposure, the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency said today.

With a court deadline looming, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced his decision to allow chlorpyrifos to continue to be used on conventionally grown food crops, like peaches, cherries, apples, oranges and corn. The chemical is not allowed for use on organic produce.

In April, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that the EPA must decide by mid-July whether to reverse the Trump administration’s overturn of a scheduled ban on chlorpyrifos. The ban had been strongly supported by EPA scientists.

“Siding with pesticide corporations over the health and well-being of kids is the new normal at the EPA,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “Today’s decision underscores the sad truth that as long as the Trump administration is in charge, this EPA will favor the interests of the chemical lobby over children’s safety.”

Evidence is overwhelming that even small doses of chlorpyrifos can damage parts of the brain that control language, memory, behavior and emotion. Multiple independent studies have documented the fact that exposure to chlorpyrifos impairs children’s IQs. EPA scientists’ assessments of those studies concluded that the levels of the pesticide currently found on food and in drinking water are unsafe.

The EPA’s calculations suggest that babies, children and pregnant women all consume much more chlorpyrifos than is safe. They estimate that typical exposures for babies are five times greater than the EPA’s proposed “safe” intake, and 11 to 15 times higher for toddlers and older children. A typical exposure for a pregnant woman is five times higher than it ought to be to protect her developing fetus.

The EPA was poised to ban the pesticide in 2017. But after the 2016 election Dow Chemical, which manufactures chlorpyrifos, set forth on an aggressive campaign to pressure the incoming Trump administration to block that decision. Dow donated $1 million to President Trump’s inauguration festivities and its CEO met privately with then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Soon after, Pruitt ignored his agency’s own scientists and aborted the scheduled ban.

Besides produce, there are other dietary routes that make exposure to chlorpyrifos particularly worrisome for parents. Recent tests commissioned by the Organic Center found the insecticide in nearly 60 percent of conventional milk samples tested.

“If the Trump administration had followed the advice of its scientists, chlorpyrifos likely would not be in the food and milk kids eat and drink today,” said Cook. “This is another example of what happens when the wrong people are put in vital positions with enormous importance to public health.”

Why is poop allowed in your food?

Mercola – While the U.S. Department of Agriculture states they have a “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to fecal matter in meat, this only applies to feces that can be seen by workers on inspection lines.

These inspectors may view up to 175 chickens in a minute — far too many to catch every speck of poop that may be there.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) found 48% of 120 chicken products tested were contaminated with E. coli, commonly found in feces.

PCRM filed a lawsuit against the USDA over the fecal contamination issue, but the agency is still refusing to take action.

With foodborne diseases causing 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths in the U.S. each year, it’s time the USDA stepped up to keep consumers safe, but so far they’re dodging responsibility instead