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World News

Second warship arrives in Strait of Hormuz to protect British tankers

Independent – A second warship has arrived in the Strait of Hormuz to protect British ships in the strategic waterway, as the Foreign Secretary urged Iran to “come out of the dark” and release a British-flagged tanker it detained there two weeks ago.

The Ministry of Defence said that Royal Navy vessel HMS Duncan arrived over the weekend and will work with frigate HMS Montrose in accompanying merchant vessels to “secure this essential route.”

Iran has previously slammed the move as “provocative”, criticising a wider British proposal to create a European-led naval mission to escort tankers in the Gulf.

In a veiled threat on Monday, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards then released a recording it claimed showed its troops warning a British warship not to interfere during its 19 July seizure of British-flagged Stena Impero.

China Giant Spy Drone Just Tailed U.S. Navy Cruiser

The National Interest – China reportedly activated one of its Soar Dragon large spy drones to keep tabs on a U.S. Navy cruiser that sailed through the Taiwan Strait in late July 2019.

The Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Antietam transited the Taiwan Strait on July 24, 2019 as a show of force. In addition to the Soar Eagle, Beijing sortied J-11 fighters 10 times during Antietam’s nine-hour transit, according to Taiwan’s Up Media.

The Chinese pilots reportedly issued a radio warning to one of Antietam’s MH-60R helicopters as the rotorcraft was flying along the west side of the strait, air space about which China is particularly sensitive.

China Warns Hong Kong Protests Won’t Be Tolerated

Bloomberg – China warned that Hong Kong’s unrest had gone “far beyond” peaceful protest, after a chaotic weekend of tear gas and clashes illustrated the government’s struggle to quell a leaderless, unpredictable and widespread movement.

China’s top agency overseeing Hong Kong condemned “evil and criminal acts committed by radical elements” in an unprecedented briefing Monday. While officials reaffirmed support for the city’s government and police force, the decision to address foreign media in Beijing signaled growing concern as eight weeks of unprecedented unrest start to shake business confidence in the former British colony.

“The central government is in quite a difficult situation over Hong Kong,” Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations and director of the Center for American Studies at Renmin University. “Today’s statements by the Hong Kong affairs office generally is to assure that the central government is supporting the Hong Kong government to take more police action against the violent protesters.”

The Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, which answers to China’s cabinet, was compelled to respond after three days of protest that saw unauthorized demonstrations across four districts, including the airport and downtown shopping areas. Police on Sunday night fired clouds of tear gas over demonstrators in the normally buzzing area of Sai Ying Pun, which also hosts the main Chinese government office in Hong Kong.

At least 49 people were arrested Sunday after bricks, glass bottles and paint bombs were hurled at police and traffic signs were removed. The events followed a day of clashes in the northwestern suburb of Yuen Long, where a stick-wielding mob had attacked activists a week earlier.

Nearly 1,400 detained in Moscow protest; largest in decade

AP – Nearly 1,400 people were detained in a violent police crackdown on an opposition protest in Moscow, a Russian monitoring group said Sunday, adding that was the largest number of detentions at a rally in the Russian capital this decade.

OVD-Info, which has monitored police arrests since 2011, said the number of the detentions from Saturday’s protest reached 1,373 by early Sunday. The overwhelming majority of people were soon released but 150 remained in custody, OVD-Info and a lawyers’ legal aid group said Sunday.

Crackdowns on the anti-government protesters began days before the rally. Opposition leader Alexei Navalny was arrested and sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in jail for calling for Saturday’s protest against election authorities who barred some opposition candidates from running in the Sept. 8 vote for Moscow city council.

Navalny was unexpectedly hospitalized Sunday with a severe allergy attack, his spokeswoman said.

Kira Yarmysh said Navalny, who did not have any allergies beforehand, was taken from the Moscow jail to a hospital in the morning, arriving with severe facial swelling and red rashes. Hours later, she said Navalny was in a “satisfactory condition.”

Russian police violently dispersed thousands of people who thronged the streets of Moscow on Saturday to protest the move by election authorities. Several protesters reported broken limbs and head injuries. Police justified their response by saying that the rally was not sanctioned by authorities.

Along with the arrests of the mostly young demonstrators, several opposition activists who wanted to run for the Moscow City Duma were arrested throughout the city.

Israel, US test intercepting ballistic missiles in Alaska..

Times of Israel – Israel and the United States completed a series of successful tests of their advanced Arrow 3 missile defense system in Alaska, the Defense Ministry said on Sunday.

The weapon system successfully demonstrated hit-to-kill interceptions of ballistic targets in space, according to the ministry, which added that the operation was conducted in Alaska in order to test capabilities that cannot be tested in Israel. The system also proved capable of simultaneously intercepting multiple targets, Channel 12 news reported.

Five nations meet with Iran to save 2015 nuclear deal

CS Monitor – Diplomats from Iran and five world powers recommitted Sunday to salvaging a major nuclear deal amid mounting tensions between the West and Tehran since the U.S. withdrew from the accord and reimposed sanctions.

Representatives of Iran, Germany, France, Britain, China, Russia and the European Union met in Vienna to discuss the 2015 agreement that restricts the Iranian nuclear program.

“The atmosphere was constructive, and the discussions were good,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araghchi told reporters after the meeting ended.

“I cannot say that we resolved everything” but all the parties are still “determined to save this deal,” he added.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

YouTube Terminates Account of Sacramento Family Fighting Verizon 5G Small Cell Tower Installed Next to Children’s Bedroom

Activist Post – Few people in Sacramento have signed up for 5G.  Many want it gone, including the Davidson family who had a small cell tower installed next to their home.  They have been very public about experiencing symptoms of Microwave Sickness and Electromagnetic Sensitivity from exposure.  According to the family’s GoFundMe page, YouTube has now cancelled their account.

You can also visit the family’s blog 5G Awareness Now here.

The Telecom Industry has admitted they have no scientific evidence that 5G wireless is biologically safe and plenty of researchers say it isn’t (see 1, 2, 3).  American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and other health experts have also warned that children are more vulnerable than adults to all sources of cell phone and wireless radiation.  Pets are affected by exposure too.

Unfortunately, 5G still being promoted, installed, and unleashed in the U.S. and around the world despite widespread growing opposition.  Last month, activists measured and videotaped 5G levels at Glastonbury Festival.  It’s no wonder this Sacramento family is suffering.

Senate moves bill with up to $15,000 fines for sharing memes online

The American Mirror – A bi-partisan bill working its way through Congress could drastically change how copyright claims are processed, and would create a system to impose up to $30,000 in fines on anyone who shares protected material online.

n other words, the Congress wants to make it easier to sue people who send a meme or post images that they didn’t create themselves, essentially a giveaway to lawyers who sue unsuspecting suckers for a living.

The Senate Judiciary Committee last week approved the “Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2019,” which “creates a voluntary small claims board within the Copyright Office that will provide copyright owners with an alternative to the expensive process of bringing copyright claims, including infringement and misrepresentation …. in federal court,” according to the Copyright Alliance.

“This new board, called the Copyright Claims Board (CCB), would allow recovery in each case of up to $30,000 in damages total, with a cap of $15,000 in statutory damages per work infringed,” according to the alliance, an advocacy group for the copyright industry.

Critics contend the CCB created would essentially provide a way for copyright trolls to target individuals or small businesses to secure five-figure default judgements for innocent mistakes. Put another way, someone who shares memes they didn’t make could be on the hook for $30,000 in fines from folks who make a living from copyright lawsuits.

China sentences trailblazing online activist to 12 years in prison

SF Gate – A court in southwestern China has handed an unusually heavy punishment – 12 years imprisonment – to one of the country’s most prominent activists despite appeals for clemency from international rights organizations and United Nations experts.

Huang Qi, the founder the 64 Tianwang website that aired accounts of government abuse, corruption and fecklessness from across China for two decades, was sentenced for “deliberately disclosing state secrets,” the Mianyang Intermediate People’s Court in Sichuan Province said in a brief online announcement Monday.

Before he was arrested most recently in 2016, Huang, 56, had served two other stints in prison for his advocacy and spent roughly half of the last 20 years behind bars. Each time he was released, he returned to publishing his website, which became a go-to destination for Chinese petitioners who had few options to seek redress for abusive working conditions or illegal land grabs.

Huang was best known for campaigning on behalf of parents whose children were crushed in shoddy buildings that collapsed during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, which left more than 80,000 people dead or missing and created a political crisis for the ruling Communist Party.

Huang, who is suffering from a serious kidney ailment, will be released in late 2028 if he serves his full term.

American Movie Studios Are Wrong to Appease Chinese Censors

National Review – And it’s not the first time Hollywood has bowed to an authoritarian foreign power.                                                     China is now the big player in global cinema. “The Chinese film market is going to be the largest film market in short order,” Charles Rivkin, the new chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), said on a conference call with reporters. “They’re building about 25 screens a day.” Last year, more movie tickets were sold in China than in North America.            American studios are desperate to capitalize on this growth by overturning the Chinese government’s edict that a maximum of only 34 American films a year can play on Chinese big screens. At the same time, they want to make sure that the tariff war between the U.S. and China doesn’t shrink their celluloid profits.

To stay on Beijing’s good side, U.S. filmmakers are willing to kowtow to China’s authoritarian regime, and there seems no limit to their willingness to acquiesce.

Take Top Gun: Maverick, a long-awaited sequel to the 1986 classic action film that made Tom Cruise a superstar. After the sequel’s trailer was unveiled at San Diego’s ComicCon last week, alert fans noted that the iconic leather flight jacket worn by Cruise’s character in the original film had been altered. All of the patches from the original film were there except for flags representing Chinese adversaries Japan and the Republic of China (Taiwan). Those flags were missing.

The culprits were soon pretty obvious. The Hollywood Reporter found that the Chinese company Tencent is co-financing the sequel. Co-producing the film along with Paramount Pictures is Skydance, which is partially owned by Tencent.                        “Top Gun is an American classic, and it’s incredibly disappointing to see Hollywood elites appease the Chinese Communist Party,” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas lamented to the Washington Free Beacon. “The Party uses China’s economy to silence dissent against its brutal repression and to erode the sovereignty of American allies like Taiwan. Hollywood is afraid to stand up for free speech and is enabling the Party’s campaign against Taiwan.”

South Dakota will require “In God We Trust” signs in all public schools

CBS – A new law in South Dakota now requires all public schools across the state to feature the “In God We Trust” motto on display. Students returning to school this fall will be greeted by the message, which supporters say is meant to “inspire patriotism.”

Gov. Kristi Noem signed the law in March, and it went into effect this month. The law requires that the message is prominently displayed in all 149 South Dakota school districts on the first day of classes this year.

“Some have plaques, others have it painted on the wall, maybe in a mural setting,” Associated School Boards of South Dakota executive director Wade Pogany said, describing how schools plan to implement the new law. The display of the quote is required to be at least 12 inches by 12 inches in size. In one school “it was within their freedom wall. They added that to a patriotic theme,” he said.

Gilroy Garlic festival shooting: Gunman is identified as teenager, 19, who opened fire on crowds with an assault rifle because he was ‘really angry’, killing three including a six-year-old boy, before being shot dead as police hunt for his ‘accomplice’

The Guardian – The gunman from a shooting at a garlic festival in California on Sunday where three people were killed has been identified as 19-year-old Santino William Legan.

CBS named the suspect on Monday as police in Gilroy, where the shooting happened, continued to hunt for his accomplice.

An Instagram account that was registered under his name had been deleted by the time he was named on Monday.

Legan was shot dead by police after firing his semi-automatic assault rifle into crowds at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, an annual event which attracts 100,000 people to the small town.

Among those killed was six-year-old Stephen Romero. Two others died who are yet to be named  publicly.

The problem is that many people overcook their broccoli.  Cooking broccoli too long or at too high a heat will destroy the myrosinase.  One study showed that two minutes in a microwave or seven minutes of steaming will destroy myrosinase.

Jeffery recommends steaming broccoli for only two to four minutes to protect both the enzyme and the vegetable’s other nutrients.

Another way to make sure you’re getting myrosinase is to eat raw broccoli sprouts.  They have an abundant supply.

The researchers noted that some health-conscious consumers use broccoli powder supplements especially if they don’t like broccoli.  But taking supplements doesn’t always work if the supplements don’t contain the enzyme. The researchers hypothesized that myrosinase combined with broccoli powder would increase the sulforaphane content.

The study was small.  Four healthy men ate broccoli sprouts alone, broccoli powder alone, or a combination of the two. Tests performed three hours after the meals showed an almost twofold increase in sulforaphane absorption when sprouts and powder were eaten together.

Supreme Court says OK to use Pentagon funds for border wall

CS Monitor – he Supreme Court cleared the way for the Trump administration to tap billions of dollars in Pentagon funds to build sections of a border wall with Mexico.

The court’s five conservative justices gave the administration the green light on Friday to begin work on four contracts it has awarded using Defense Department money. Funding for the projects had been frozen by lower courts while a lawsuit over the money proceeded. The court’s four liberal justices wouldn’t have allowed construction to start.

The justices’ decision to lift the freeze on the money allows President Donald Trump to make progress on a major 2016 campaign promise heading into his race for a second term. Trump tweeted after the announcement: “Wow! Big VICTORY on the Wall. The United States Supreme Court overturns lower court injunction, allows Southern Border Wall to proceed. Big WIN for Border Security and the Rule of Law!”

The Supreme Court’s action reverses the decision of a trial court, which initially froze the funds in May, and an appeals court, which kept that freeze in place earlier this month. The freeze had prevented the government from tapping approximately $2.5 billion in Defense Department money to replace existing sections of barrier in Arizona, California and New Mexico with more robust fencing.

The case the Supreme Court ruled in began after the 35-day partial government shutdown that started in December of last year. Trump ended the shutdown in February after Congress gave him approximately $1.4 billion in border wall funding. But the amount was far less than the $5.7 billion he was seeking, and Trump then declared a national emergency to take cash from other government accounts to use to construct sections of wall.

‘Storm Area 51’ turnout overwhelms Nevada town

Washington TImes – At first, the co-owner of the quirky alien-themed motel down a Nevada highway from the mysterious Area 51 site didn’t take a posting for a prank Facebook event too seriously.

Then, her phone started ringing.

“It doesn’t stop, our phone won’t stop ringing,” Connie West, of the Little A’le’Inn, told the Las Vegas Sun.

The 10-room motel is one of few businesses in Rachel, a town of 54 residents now gaining celebrity status among aviation and UFO enthusiasts attracted by the posting about a Sept. 20 event dubbed “storm Area 51.”

More than 1 million people have responded to the internet post calling for people to “Naruto run” at 3 a.m. into the remote U.S. Air Force test area in the Nevada desert that has long been the focus of UFO conspiracy theories.

The military is warning people not to try to enter the once top-secret Cold War site, which is posted and patrolled as part of the vast Nevada Test and Training Range.

After refusing for decades to acknowledge Area 51 even existed, the CIA declassified documents in 2013 referring to the 8,000-square mile (20,700-sq. kilometer) installation by name and locating it on a map near the dry Groom Lake bed.

The base has been a testing ground for top-secret aircraft including the U-2 spy plane in the 1950s and later the B-2 stealth bomber.

Trump blasts Baltimore crimes stats, says Reverend Al might ‘show up to complain & protest’

RT – US President Donald Trump has ripped into Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings on Twitter once again, saying Baltimore has the “worst” crime statistics in the country and Reverend Al Sharpton might “show up to complain & protest.”

In the Monday morning tweet, Trump lambasted Cummings for “25 years of all talk, no action!” and said he was “so tired” of listening to the “same old Bull (sic).”

“Next, Reverend Al will show up to complain & protest. Nothing will get done for the people in need. Sad!” he continued, referencing the civil rights activist and Democrat Al Sharpton. In an earlier tweet, Trump claimed Sharpton “Hates Whites & Cops!”

In another tweet, Trump said that if Democrats tried to defend “King Elijah’s Baltimore Fail” it would be a “long road to 2020.”

DNI Dan Coats quit after White House suppressed Russia warnings

Business Insider – Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats repeatedly found his warnings about the threat posed by Russia suppressed by the White House, The New York Times reported Sunday amid his resignation from the post.

According to The Times, Coats has often found himself at odds with President Donald Trump over Russia, a situation that worsened in recent months.

Coats saw Russia as an adversary to the US, The Times wrote, and pushed for closer cooperation with European countries to counter it, but the White House did not agree.

Priests accused of sex abuse turned to under-the-radar group

AP – The visiting priests arrived discreetly, day and night.

Stripped of their collars and cassocks, they went unnoticed in this tiny Midwestern town as they were escorted into a dingy warehouse across from an elementary school playground. Neighbors had no idea some of the dressed-down clergymen dining at local restaurants might have been accused sexual predators.

They had been brought to town by a small, nonprofit group called Opus Bono Sacerdotii. For nearly two decades, the group has operated out of a series of unmarked buildings in rural Michigan, providing money, shelter, transport, legal help and other support to hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Catholic priests accused of sexual abuse across the country.

Again and again, Opus Bono has served as a rapid-response team for the accused.

When a serial pedophile was sent to jail for abusing dozens of minors, Opus Bono was there for him, with regular visits and commissary cash.

When a priest admitted sexually assaulting boys under 14, Opus Bono raised funds for his defense.

When another priest was criminally charged with abusing a teen, Opus Bono later made him a legal adviser.

And while powerful clerics have publicly pledged to hold the church accountable for the crimes of its clergy and help survivors heal, some of them arranged meetings, offered blessings or quietly sent checks to this organization that provided support to alleged abusers, The Associated Press has found.

Covington Student’s Lawsuit Against WashPost Dismissed

Newsmax – The $250 million defamation lawsuit filed by a Covington Catholic High School student against The Washington Post for its coverage of his viral standoff in January with a Native American activist in Washington, D.C. has been dismissed, USA Today reported.

Attorneys for the Kentucky student, Nick Sandmann, said the coverage of the incident led to a “mob of bullies which attacked, vilified & threatened” Sandmann, according to the New York Post.

They alleged that the essence of the Post’s first article on the encounter with Nathan Phillips conveyed that Sandmann had assaulted or physically intimidated the Native American activist, engaged in racist conduct, and engaged in taunts, USA Today reported.

But U.S. District Court Judge Willian Bertelsman said in his ruling on Friday that “this is not supported by the plain language in the article, which states none of these things.

Economy & Business

China continues importing Iranian oil in defiance of US sanctions

RT – Chinese crude shipments from Iran were 855,638 tons last month, or 208,205 barrels per day (bpd), customs data showed. Imports continued despite Washington’s ending of exemptions given to Beijing for buying Iran’s crude in May.

The imports were, however, almost 60 percent down from a year earlier.

A total of 670,000 tons (about 163,000 bpd) of Iranian crude oil was discharged in June at Tianjin in north China and Jinzhou in the northeast, according to assessments by Refinitiv Oil Research. Another 430,000 tons of Iranian crude oil was discharged in July at Jinzhou and Huizhou in South China.

Fed Poised to Cut Rates for First Time Since Financial Crisis, Ending an Era

NY Times – Investors expect a quarter-point precautionary cut, a turning point that underlines that this might be as good as the economy will get.

Energy & Environment

MONSANTO Poisoned This Alabama Town — And People Are Still Sick

Buzzfeed News – Shirley Baker, a nurse, deftly ties on a surgical mask before opening the door. But she’s not striding into the operating room: she is about to mow her lawn, which is ringed by a high chain-link fence festooned with biohazard signs. Baker lives in Anniston, Alabama, 63 miles from Birmingham. Her city of 24,000 is 52 percent African American, but mostly it’s the city’s black residents who inhabit the neighborhoods that have fallen into decay wrought by widespread pollution. These form a patchwork quilt of moribund communities and biological “dead zones” where nothing grows. Behind some doors, the unemployed fight cancer, paralysis, memory loss, and a bewildering array of poorly characterized diseases. Subdued children play, eerily quiet, against a backdrop of toxic lawns, oily creeks, tainted vegetation, and sere trees. Other neighborhoods are already dead. Vegetation has overtaken blocks of abandoned houses, with streetlights gone permanently dark, empty churches, and, always, the biohazard signs. Everywhere in Anniston, worried parents shoo children from parks and playgrounds. Many backyard creeks run blood red. Homeowners have forsaken their poisoned gardens to grow greens in sterile plastic buckets.

For many Americans, a modern dread of contamination has been distilled into cathartic post apocalyptic film fare such as 28 Days Later, Right at Your Door, or Dawn of the Dead that feature poisoned lands and communities thronged with those so degraded by infection and environmental exposures that they have lost their intelligence and even their humanity. Confronting these cinematic horrors allows us to share a benign frisson of fear, secure in the knowledge that when the lights come up, we’ll emerge into normalcy. But for Anniston, the apocalypse is all too real — and for most, inescapable.

Once, from 1929 to 1971, Anniston was a company town. First, the Swann Chemical Company produced polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) there. Then Monsanto Industrial Chemicals took over the plant in 1935. The $20 billion corporation Monsanto, which brought the world the sweeteners saccharin and aspartame, boasts versatile chemical production, a checkered past, and a highly controversial present. Monsanto has produced synthetic fibers, plastics including polystyrenes, pesticides, and agrichemical products. It has also acquired many chemical and electronics companies that make products as varied as aspirin and light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

Just last year, it merged with the equally rich and powerful Bayer Corporation.

Monsanto first devised or marketed DDT, dioxin, 2,3,7,8- tetra-chlorodibenzodioxin (TCDD), 2,4-D, 2,4,5-T (Colorless, crystalline, tasteless, and almost odorless organochlorine compounds used as insecticides whose health and environmental impact was indicted by Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring in 1962) and halogenated hydrocarbons that are carcinogenic even in small doses, and dioxins. In 1960 an “agricultural” division was established, which trafficked in the hazardous defoliant Agent Orange57 as well as the controversial recombinant bovine somatrophin, hormones used to increase the milk yield of cows.

By 1969, the plant was Anniston’s major employer, discharging 250 pounds of PCBs into Snow Creek, at the heart of the city’s black residential community, every day. PCBs are “brain thieves” that erode the structures and functioning of the brain and nervous system, and they are also endocrine disruptors that impede the healthy physical and mental development that is normally guided by hormones. Although the company and its apologists insisted that one can tolerate significant amounts without ill effects, this reassurance rang hollow in Anniston neighborhoods that found themselves suddenly battling a legion of ailments from cancers to memory loss, confusion, and a slew of other intellectual problems. Children’s behavioral problems snowballed in Anniston, along with rates of attention-deficit disorder and poor school performance. The news media often focus their outrage on cancer clusters and visibly crippling lung and mobility ailments caused by PCBs.

Despite being saturated with environmental poisons, Anniston became an icon of normalcy when it was named the “All American City” in 1978. The very next year, Snow Creek began to run red, heightening residents’ suspicions about the effects of chemical exposures in their communities. In 1996, one of the dumps started leaking. It was then that residents began learning the extent of their contamination. Years of unchecked chemical dumping had utterly poisoned the lands of Anniston’s black neighborhoods. A former union organizer, David Baker took action, channeling the pain of his brother’s loss into ensuring that the citizens of Anniston receive justice. He created Community Against Pollution in 1998 to force the chemical companies to clean up the contamination and compensate those harmed by it.

At his urging, the EPA tested Anniston’s soil and water as well as the blood of its residents. It was alarmed to find that the blood of Anniston’s townspeople had the highest recorded levels of PCBs in the nation. But their complaints drew a desultory response from the industry, so Baker organized residents, who filed a number of lawsuits against the unresponsive Army and against Monsanto. As the evidence of Anniston’s poisoning mounted, Monsanto shed its industrial-chemical fibers business into a separate company called Solutia. It also began trying to buy up heavily tainted properties, including a local church. This further fueled residents’ suspicions that despite its denials, the company had long known how dangerous its dumped chemicals were. They were right.

Science & Technology

Global internet powered by vast undersea cables. They’re vulnerable

CNN – On July 29, 1858, two steam-powered battleships met in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. There, they connected two ends of a 4,000 kilometer (2,500 mile) long, 1.5 centimeter (0.6 inch) wide cable, linking for the first time the European and North American continents by telegraph.

By 1866, new cables were transmitting 6 to 8 words a minute, which would rise to more than 40 words before the end of the century. In 1956, Transatlantic No. 1 (TAT-1), the first underwater telephone cable, was laid, and by 1988, TAT-8 was transmitting 280 megabytes per second — about 15 times the speed of an average US household internet connection — over fiber optics, which use light to transmit data at breakneck speeds.

In 2018, the Marea cable began operating between Bilbao, Spain, and the US state of Virginia, with transmission speeds of up to 160 terabits per second — 16 million times faster than the average home internet connection.

Today, there are around 380 underwater cables in operation around the world, spanning a length of over 1.2 million kilometers (745,645 miles).

Underwater cables are the invisible force driving the modern internet, with many in recent years being funded by internet giants such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Amazon. They carry almost all our communications and yet — in a world of wireless networking and smartphones — we are barely aware that they exist.

Yet as the internet has become more mobile and wireless, the amount of data traveling across undersea cables has increased exponentially.

Submarine spying

Tapping underwater cables is not a new thing. During the Cold War, US submarines transported divers with specially designed equipment that they attached to Soviet cables in the Sea of Okhotsk to intercept all communications.

Today, more than 99% of international communications are carried over fiber optic cables, most of them undersea, according to TeleGeography. While tapping undersea phone cables was no easy feat, surveilling modern fiber optic cables is even harder, but not impossible.

According to researchers with AT&T Labs, by carefully targeting parts of internet infrastructure, attackers could knock out parts of a network that they can’t surveil and force people onto cables they already control, potentially without the target even realizing that their communications are being exposed.

n 2013, the Guardian reported — citing documents provided by National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden — that British spy agency GCHQ had “secretly gained access to the network of cables which carry the world’s phone calls and internet traffic.”

According to documents provided by Snowden, in 2012 GCHQ was handling 600 million “telephone events” every day and had compromised more than 200 fiber optic cables.

The NSA allegedly ran a similar operation called Upstream, which a presentation leaked by Snowden described as being able to access “communications on fiber cables and infrastructure as data flows past.”

APPLE contractors ‘regularly hear confidential details’ on Siri recordings

The Guardian – Apple contractors regularly hear confidential medical information, drug deals, and recordings of couples having sex, as part of their job providing quality control, or “grading”, the company’s Siri voice assistant, the Guardian has learned.

Although Apple does not explicitly disclose it in its consumer-facing privacy documentation, a small proportion of Siri recordings are passed on to contractors working for the company around the world. They are tasked with grading the responses on a variety of factors, including whether the activation of the voice assistant was deliberate or accidental, whether the query was something Siri could be expected to help with and whether Siri’s response was appropriate.

Apple says the data “is used to help Siri and dictation … understand you better and recognise what you say”.

But the company does not explicitly state that that work is undertaken by humans who listen to the pseudonymised recordings.

Apple told the Guardian: “A small portion of Siri requests are analysed to improve Siri and dictation. User requests are not associated with the user’s Apple ID. Siri responses are analysed in secure facilities and all reviewers are under the obligation to adhere to Apple’s strict confidentiality requirements.” The company added that a very small random subset, less than 1% of daily Siri activations, are used for grading, and those used are typically only a few seconds long.

A whistleblower working for the firm, who asked to remain anonymous due to fears over their job, expressed concerns about this lack of disclosure, particularly given the frequency with which accidental activations pick up extremely sensitive personal information.

Siri can be accidentally activated when it mistakenly hears its “wake word”, the phrase “hey Siri”. Those mistakes can be understandable – a BBC interview about Syria was interrupted by the assistant last year – or less so. “The sound of a zip, Siri often hears as a trigger,” the contractor said. The service can also be activated in other ways. For instance, if an Apple Watch detects it has been raised and then hears speech, Siri is automatically activated.


How To Get More Cancer Protection From Your Broccoli

Green Med Info – Research has shown repeatedly that cruciferous vegetables fight cancer.  Vegetables such as broccoli, kale, cabbage and cauliflower contain a cancer-protective compound called sulforaphane.  This powerful compound improves the liver’s ability to detoxify carcinogens and other toxins.

In fact, broccoli has been shown to kill the stem cells that make cancer immortal.

While broccoli is a rich source of sulphoraphane, sprouting broccoli boosts sulphoraphane content to superfood levels.

Three-day-old broccoli sprouts contain 10-100 times higher levels of sulforaphane than a mature head of broccoli.  Just one ounce of broccoli sprouts contains as much sulforaphane as one-and-a-half pounds of broccoli. Broccoli sprouts been proven to be very effective in reducing breast cancer risks.

A University of Illinois study published in The British Journal of Nutrition suggests that combining broccoli with broccoli sprouts may make the vegetable’s anti-cancer effect almost twice as powerful.

According to Elizabeth Jeffery, a professor of nutrition at the University, it takes only three to five servings of broccoli per week to obtain the cancer prevention benefits.

But it’s important that the broccoli you eat still has a live enzyme called myrosinase.  This enzyme is needed to form the sulforaphane, its active cancer fighting substance.

How walking makes healthier, happier, brainier… ‘Superpower’

The Guardian – Neuroscientist Shane O’Mara believes that plenty of regular walking unlocks the cognitive powers of the brain like nothing else. He explains why you should exchange your gym kit for a pair of comfy shoes and get strolling.

Essential brain-nourishing molecules are produced by aerobically demanding activity, too. You’ll get raised levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which, writes O’Mara, “could be thought of as a kind of a molecular fertiliser produced within the brain because it supports structural remodelling and growth of synapses after learning … BDNF increases resilience to ageing, and damage caused by trauma or infection.” Then there’s vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which helps to grow the network of blood vessels carrying oxygen and nutrients to brain cells.

Some people, I point out, don’t think walking counts as proper exercise. “This is a terrible mistake,” he says. “What we need to be is much more generally active over the course of the day than we are.” And often, an hour at the gym doesn’t cut it. “What you see if you get people to wear activity monitors is that because they engage in an hour of really intense activity, they engage in much less activity afterwards.”

Startling Study Reveals Majority Of Packaged Food Ultra-Processed

Study Finds – It’s no secret that many Americans struggle to maintain a healthy weight, but attempting to pin down just one absolute cause for rising U.S. obesity rates has proven difficult. For example, some people say they can’t find the time to regularly exercise, while others may just have an affinity for fast food. Now, a new study out of Northwestern University has identified another contributing factor: the overwhelming majority of packaged foods available in the U.S. in 2018 were ultra-processed and unhealthy.

More so than any other Western country, Americans are being bombarded with food products that are high in sugar, saturated fat, salt, and calories. More specifically, after analyzing over 200,000 U.S. packaged food products including bread, snacks, salad dressings, sugary sweets, and sugary drinks researchers found that a whopping 71% were classified as ultra-processed. Furthermore, 86% of the packaged foods sold by the 25 top manufacturers were found to be ultra-processed.

For reference, the term “ultra-processed” was defined as foods that “are industrial formulations made entirely or mostly from substances extracted from foods (oils, fats, sugar, starch and proteins).” These foods are usually created in laboratories and derived from hydrogenated fats and modified starch.

The research team at Northwestern University say they engaged in this study to shine a light on the nutritional qualities of food being marketed and sold to the American public by manufacturers, as well as to provide consumers and policymakers with accurate information on U.S. packaged food goods.

“To say that our food supply is highly processed won’t shock anyone, but it’s important that we hold food and beverage manufacturers accountable by continually documenting how they’re doing in terms of providing healthy foods for consumers,” comments lead author Abigail Baldridge in a release. “And the verdict is they can and should be doing a whole lot better.”

The 3 Ingredient Inflammation-Fighting Iced Tea You’ll Wanna Sip All Summer Long

Mind Body Green – Pretty much everyone in wellness is obsessed with a good turmeric latte, and why not—turmeric is renowned for its anti-inflammatory benefits and features an earthy, addictive flavor mixed with an insta-worthy bright orange color. But the warm drink can be a bit too hot for the sweltering days of summer, which is where this 3-ingredient chilled concoction comes in.

Each ingredient in this drink packs a wallop of wellness. Let’s explore what they bring to the table.


The star, of course, in all of its fiery glory, is turmeric. “Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb that’s been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments,” explains Jessica Cording, a registered dietitian and mbg Collective member. “Turmeric’s active compound, curcumin, has been extensively studied for its disease-fighting potential and preventive health benefits.” It’s been shown to increase antioxidant capacity and help fight free-radical damage, boost your immune system, prevent and treat cancer, protect your heart, boost your mood, and help stave off long-term neurodegerative diseases. Not bad for one little root.


Ginger is actually a cousin of turmeric—that’s why the knobby roots look so similar (from the outside, that is!). “Ginger’s stomach-calming, anti-inflammatory effects have made it a go-to remedy for thousands of years to ease GI discomfort,” Cording explains. It boosts digestion, eases nausea and motion sickness, helps fight infection, eases joint, muscle, and period pain, helps support healthy blood sugar levels, and more. Like black pepper, it helps increase the bioavailability of curcumin, the therapeutic compound in the turmeric.


Lemons are wonderful sources of Vitamin C, which can help support heart health. It’s also been found in a few studies to be protective against cancer. Because this recipe has you leaving the skin on, you also reap all of the benefits of the essential oils, which include quelling inflammation, increasing memory and concentration, decreasing anxiety, and more. 

How to make turmeric ginger lemon iced tea

Peel and roughly chop 2 tablespoons each of the turmeric and ginger root. Cut 3 organic lemons in quarters, leaving the skin on, then top the mixture with 8 cups of freshly boiled water. Cover and let steep until it reaches room temperature, then transfer to the fridge and let continue to steep for at least 12 and up to 24 hours. Strain and sweeten with maple syrup to taste. Store in the fridge and enjoy for up to a week!

Chlorella: What are its benefits and uses?

Mercola – Chlorella mainly comes from a single-celled freshwater algae called Chlorella vulgaris, and can be purchased as powder, supplement or liquid extract.

Some studies have shown that chlorella may be useful in detoxification, improving immune system health, regulating blood pressure levels and combating effects of oxidative stress.

If you plan on taking chlorella, do so slowly, because it may take some time for your body to adjust to this microalgae

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