Sputnik – The US and Australia have been stepping up their military presence across the Western Pacific amid fears that China would gain more influence in the South China Sea which is a strategic passageway rich in natural resources.
The US plans to build additional military infrastructure in Australia once Congress approves a $211.5 million budget for the US Navy, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne told Sky News on Tuesday.
Reuters – North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles early on Wednesday, the South Korean military said, only days after it launched two other missiles intended to pressure South Korea and the United States to stop upcoming military drills.
The latest launches were from the Hodo peninsula on North Korea’s east coast, the same area from where last week’s were conducted, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement. It said it was monitoring in case of additional launches.
The JCS in Seoul said later the North had fired ballistic missiles that flew about 250 km (155 miles). South Korean news agency Yonhap said they appeared to be a different type to previous launches.
Colonel Lee Peters, a spokesman for U.S. military forces in South Korea, said: “We are aware of reports of a missile launch from North Korea and we will continue to monitor the situation.”
He did not comment when asked whether the joint South Korea-U.S. drills, scheduled to begin next month, would continue.
BBC – Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, tells the BBC he expects Boris Johnson to deliver a “no deal, hard exit” from the European Union.
“The British people have not seen, I don’t think, even the beginning of the turmoil,” he warns.
U.S. News, Politics & Government
Health & Money News – New York Area Fire Commissioners Make History, Call for New 9/11 Investigation
They started off by saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Ten minutes later, they were reading the text of a resolution claiming the existence of “overwhelming evidence” that “pre-planted explosives . . . caused the destruction of the three World Trade Center buildings.”
And so it was, on July 24, 2019 — nearly 18 years after the horrific attacks that traumatized a nation and changed the world forever — the Franklin Square and Munson Fire District, which oversees a volunteer fire department serving a hamlet of 30,000 residents just outside of Queens, New York, became the first legislative body in the country to officially support a new investigation into the events of 9/11.
The resolution, drafted and introduced by Commissioner Christopher Gioia, was unanimously approved by the five commissioners. Members of the audience — including the families of fallen firefighters Thomas J. Hetzel and Robert Evans, both Franklin Square natives — joined in solemn but celebratory applause after the fifth “ay” was spoken.
The Hill – A group formed by Christian leaders is warning against the rise of “Christian nationalism,” saying the merging of Christian and American identities poses a threat to U.S. democracy and religious communities.
“As Christians, we are bound to Christ, not by citizenship, but by faith,” Christians Against Christian Nationalism’s statement reads.
“Whether we worship at a church, mosque, synagogue, or temple, America has no second-class faiths. All are equal under the U.S. Constitution.”
The statement is endorsed by at least 17 Christian leaders from various churches and organizations, according to the group’s website.
The Blaze – A Michigan elementary school student was charged with aggravated assault for hitting a classmate in the head with a ball during a game of dodgeball on the school playground, according to WXYZ-TV Detroit.
Ten-year-old Bryce Lindley, who is entering fifth grade, learned he was being charged last week for the incident that occurred back on April 29. At the time, he was suspended from school for one day. His mother was blown away.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said Bryce’s mother, Carmeishi. “This is a kid that was playing on the playground with his friends.”
How did it become a legal issue?
The boy who was hit with the ball suffered facial tissue damage, a black eye and a bruised nose. His mother said he has a medical condition that makes him susceptible to head injuries. He was diagnosed with a concussion.
This, according to the victim’s mother, was not the first instance of her son getting hit in the head with a ball. She told WXYZ that it happened twice previously, although it is unclear whether Bryce was involved in the previous instances. The victim’s mother said she reported the problem to the school just a few weeks before the April 29 injury.
“I tried not to let it get to this point,” the victim’s mother said.
“My son was hit twice in the face with a ball previously due to this,” she continued. “The child apologized to my son and my son said ‘mom it’s okay we’re still going to be friends.'”
The case was evaluated by the Wayne County Juvenile Prosecuting Unit, which determined that there was sufficient cause to bring charges against Bryce.
The first court hearing in the case is set for Aug. 1. Bryce’s mother said the family is soliciting donations in order to pay the $4,000 in legal fees she said the family is incurring.
Washington Examiner – A top Republican investigator said accountability is coming for any of those individuals who may have committed crimes during the Trump-Russia investigation.
With the Justice Department conducting a review of that operation, Rep. John Ratcliffe said during a Fox News interview Sunday that he trusts Attorney General William Barr and Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz to provide answers.
And while Ratcliffe said he does not want to prematurely accuse any specific person of a crime — as Democrats have done with President Trump — he stressed that it is clear crimes were committed by people during the Obama administration, including government officials.
“I think the first thing we need to do is make sure we don’t do what the Democrats have done,” the Texas Republican told host Maria Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures. “They accused Donald Trump of a crime and then they try and reverse engineer a process to justify that accusation. So I’m not going to accuse any specific person of any specific crime, I just want there to be a fair process to get there. What I do know as a former federal prosecutor is that it does appear that there were crimes committed during the Obama administration.”
Ratcliffe, a Texas Republican on the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees who was critical of special counsel Robert Mueller during his testimony in front of those committees last Wednesday, is Trump’s pick to replace outgoing Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. Although many of the GOP lines of questioning last week focused on the origins of the investigation, Mueller largely shut them down, often saying these were issues that were “outside my purview.”
Ratcliffe explained this is why Barr, who has tasked U.S. Attorney John Durham to lead the so-called investigation of the investigators, must fill in the gaps.
The bill, known as the “Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act,” would also apply to gubernatorial candidates and requires the release of tax returns for the most recent five years. The measure sailed through the state’s Democratic-led legislature.
“These are extraordinary times and states have a legal and moral duty to do everything in their power to ensure leaders seeking the highest offices meet minimal standards, and to restore public confidence,” the Democratic governor wrote in his signing statement.
“As one of the largest economies in the world and home to one in nine Americans eligible to vote, California has a special responsibility to require this information of presidential and gubernatorial candidates,” Newsom continued, adding that the law is constitutional because “the United States Constitution grants states the authority to determine how their electors are chosen.”
Trump campaign official Tim Murtaugh called the law unconstitutional.
“The Constitution is clear on the qualifications for someone to serve as president and states cannot add additional requirements on their own,” Murtaugh said in a statement. “What’s next, five years of health records?”
He said the law violates the First Amendment right of association since states can’t tell political parties which candidates their members can or cannot vote for in a primary election.
Jay Sekulow, counsel to the president, said in a statement that “the State of California’s attempt to circumvent the Constitution will be answered in court.”
“I just got off the phone with him,” Azar, who was speaking on “Squawk Box, ” said of Trump. “Working on a plan on how we can import drugs safely and effectively from Canada so the American people get the benefit of the deals that pharma themselves are striking with other countries.”
It’s unclear exactly what the proposal would look like. But Trump has previously supported a plan by U.S. lawmakers who have said they can lower high prescription drug costs by approving imports from Canada, where prices are lower.
NaturalNews – The question must be asked: How many more Americans are going to have to die before citizens, en masse, begin demanding that our elected officials stop ignoring our constitutional right to keep and bear arms? Or legislating against it?
The question is appropriate given that another shooting occurred over the weekend at a gun-free zone in California in which people lost their lives while others have been permanently damaged and traumatized as a result of their wounds.
As reported by NBC Bay Area, three people – two children and a young man barely out of his teens — were killed when a gunman cut through a fence to avoid security before opening fire on attendees of the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Gilroy, Calif.
Now for the really angering news: This shooting, once again, occurred in a gun-free zone, and at least one attendee to the festival believes had there been no ordinances against concealed carry, he might have been able to stop the attack before three people were killed and another 12 wounded. (Related: If “gun-free zones” actually worked, then 98% of mass shootings wouldn’t happen in them.)
This isn’t a gun issue, it’s a Second Amendment issue
In an interview with CNN, Brendon Gorshe said he likely could have stopped the shooter cold, if only he was armed.
“I was close enough, I could have ran him over. If I didn’t have my daughters, I probably would have. If I had a gun, I probably would have ended it right there. I felt helpless,” he said.
“I was close enough, I could have ran him over. If I didn’t have my daughters, I probably would have. If I had a gun, I probably could have ended it right there… I felt helpless.”
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) July 29, 2019
He added: “I was angry and I felt helpless” because he was unarmed, by law.
So that left him and everyone else at the festival at the mercy of the shooter and waiting for police who, of course, were several minutes away.
Democrats will, of course, use the incident as another platform to rail against gun rights and call for more curbs on our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. When the framers wrote that amendment, they did not include any riders, conditions, or restrictions, so there shouldn’t be any. And yet…there are far too many, which creates these kinds of killing zones.
It’s past time to demand — not ask — for the return of our Second Amendment rights. It should not take more Americans dying in gun-free zones to do so, either.
Economy & Business
Reuters – U.S. and Chinese negotiators wrapped up a brief round of trade talks on Wednesday that both sides described as “constructive,” including discussions over further Chinese purchases of American farm goods and an agreement to reconvene in September.
Energy & Environment
Page Six – The world’s rich and famous have flocked to a posh Italian resort to talk about saving Mother Earth — but they sure are punishing her in the process.
The billionaire creators of Google have invited a who’s who of A-list names— including former President Barack Obama, Prince Harry, Leonardo DiCaprio and Katy Perry — to the Sicilian seaside for a mega-party they’ve dubbed Google Camp.
The three-day event will focus on fighting climate change — though it’s unknown how much time the attendees will spend discussing their own effect on the environment, such as the scores of private jets they arrived in and the mega yachts many have been staying on.
“Everything is about global warming, that is the major topic this year,” a source told The Post.
Their three-day summer camp will cost the tech giant some $20 million, sources said.
Many of the guests, including Obama and DiCaprio — who has his own climate change foundation — have described global warming as the biggest threat to future generations.
But according to Italian press reports, the attendees were expected to show up in 114 private jets, and 40 had arrived by Sunday.
The Post crunched the numbers and found that 114 flights from Los Angeles to Palermo, Italy, where Camp guests landed, would spew an estimated 100,000 kilograms of CO2 into the air.
“Google Camp is meant to be a place where influential people get together to discuss how to make the world better,” one regular attendee told The Post.
“There will likely be discussions about online privacy, politics, human rights, and of course, the environment, which makes it highly ironic that this event requires 114 private jets to happen,” they said.
Science & Technology
Activist Post – Amazon and Google are using secret police agreements and free giveaways to spy on everyone.
Last week Vice News revealed how police departments across the country are secretly working with Amazon to create mini-neighborhood surveillance zones using Ring doorbells.
Amazon and law enforcement are enticing residents to join Amazon’s “Neighbors” network by giving out corporate freebies.
Ring doorbell cameras will be provided to the public free of charge, according to a published agreement between the Lakeland Police Department in Florida and Amazon.
As Vice News warned, American law enforcement has become a corporate shill.
Law enforcement’s relationship with Amazon is so close, they have agreed to work with Ring to coordinate on all public communications.
“The parties shall agree to a joint press release to be mutually agreed upon by the parties,” the memorandum of understanding says.
Want to find out if your neighbors are using Ring to spy on people of color or create a secret watchlist? Don’t ask the police because they will have nothing bad to say about Ring doorbell cameras.
A recent CNET article revealed that at least 50 police departments have given away Ring doorbells or used taxpayer dollars to purchase them.
An article in today’s Vice News claims that at least 200 police departments have partnered with Amazon.
Google’s plan to spy on 100,000 paraplegics
Google’s blog post reads like a benevolent company interested in “helping” people who are paralyzed; do everyday things like listen to music, make a grocery list or turn on the A/C using a Nest thermostat.
It does such a good job at masking the reality of what Google listening devices do, you almost want to thank Google for being so nice.
Corporations act as though they care about public safety or handicapped people while secretly using their products to build a massive database on everyone.
These device should be re-named corporate law enforcement surveillance devices to reflect what they really are. Sometimes corporations come up with clever ways to hide the fact that their products are designed to spy on everyone, and sometimes they almost seem to care about the public.
RT – Rust can generate electricity when salt water flows over thin films of it, exciting new research has revealed, a result which holds potential for inventive new forms of sustainable power production.
Metal compounds and salt water often generate electricity, usually the result of a chemical reaction that changes at least one of the compounds into new compounds. Now scientists at Caltech and Northwestern University have found that rust, or iron oxide, converts the kinetic energy of flowing salt water into electricity.
“A similar effect has been seen in some other materials. You can take a drop of salt water and drag it across graphene and see some electricity generated,” Caltech professor Tom Miller said, explaining that while graphene films are difficult to fabricate and scale up, iron oxide is “basically just rust on iron, so it’s pretty easy to make in large areas.”
The team used physical vapor deposition (PVD), which turns normally solid materials into a vapor that condenses on a desired surface, to ensure that the rust formed in a consistent, thin layer. Incredibly, they were able to create a layer so fine that it’s around 10,000 times thinner than a human hair.
When salt water solutions flowed over this layer, the ions in the water attracted electrons in the iron under the layer of rust and dragged those electrons along with them, generating an electrical current. The process could be used in the future to generate energy on items like buoys floating in the ocean.
Town Hall – Tucker Carlson had historian Victor Davis Hanson on last week, where the latter said that California is on the verge of becoming the nation’s first Third World state. From trash being illegally dumped to city hall becoming a rat-infested den in the city of LA, it all points to the decay suffered when Democrats run things. Even police stations in the city are loaded with rats; one was fined $5,000 over its conditions that left one officer stricken with typhoid fever. It’s to the point where there is a possibility that bubonic plague—yes, the black death—may be present in the city. This isn’t new. Typhus outbreaks were being reported in February (via NBC Los Angeles).
And it goes without saying; these burgeoning homeless camps are not oases of hygiene. Dr. Drew Pinsky said this month that there has been a total and complete breakdown of services in the city that has placed the population at risk of infection and other health-related issues. The mayor’s office has sought to shift blame away from the homeless, citing the illegal dumping of trash, which only adds to the narrative that deep blue California and LA are just Democratic cesspools. I mean, how does this sound any better?
‘It’s not the homeless, it’s just all the trash that’s everywhere.’ You cannot make this up (via CBS News).
Oh, yeah, and bubonic plague could be roaming the streets (via Daily Wire).
Fox News’ Tucker Carlson noted how California was once a gem, an example of the American dream in action and how it has now become hollowed out with decay thanks to liberal policies. It’s a state that’s loaded with illegal aliens, has a population where 40 percent live in poverty, and apparently has its cities falling into a terrible state of disrepair. California is blue state trash. Period. So, could, or rather should, we classify the Golden State as a third-world state?
Mercola – A new investigation by CBC News Marketplace found potentially harmful antibiotic-resistant bacteria in imported shrimp sold in various supermarkets in Canada.
Investigative reporters purchased 51 packages of shrimp imported from Vietnam, Thailand, China, India and Ecuador.
Investigators found 17 percent or 2 out of every 10 packages were contaminated with antibiotic resistant bacteria, also known as superbugs; of that 17 percent, 89 percent showed resistance to multiple antibiotics.
Superbugs, one of the greatest threats to human health, may kill more people than cancer by 2050.
The overuse of antibiotics in factory farm animals and the heavy spraying of pesticides on food crops is the No. 1 driver of deadly superbugs
Mercola – Flesh-eating disease (necrotizing fasciitis) can be caused by several different organisms. In cases where the infection is contracted through contact with seawater, the culprit is typically Vibrio vulnificus, a particularly dangerous Vibrio species that occurs naturally in warm seawater.
Having liver disease increases your risk of V. vulnificus infection by 800% and your risk of death from it is 200 times higher than those with healthy livers.
Having diabetes, HIV, thalassemia or cancer also raises your risk of Vibrio infection, as does taking antacids.
Iron overload may be a key factor in life-threatening Vibrio infections. High iron provides prime growth conditions for V. vulnificus, and minihepcidin, an iron-lowering drug, has been shown to cure the infection by inhibiting the bacteria’s growth.
Vibrio bacteria have a high affinity for attachment to human skin. In one study, all participants had Vibrio bacteria on their skin after swimming in seawater
BBC – Superbugs resistant to emergency antibiotics are spreading in hospitals, a Europe-wide study shows.
Drugs called carbapenems are used when an infection cannot be treated with anything else.
The spread of resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae was “extremely concerning”, researchers from the Sanger Institute said.
And they warned other bugs could become resistant too – because of the unique way bacteria have sex.
What is Klebsiella pneumoniae?
It can live completely naturally in the intestines without causing problems for healthy people.
However, when the body is unwell, it can infect the lungs to cause pneumonia, and the blood, cuts in the skin and the lining of the brain to cause meningitis.
Is it becoming a problem?
Antibiotic resistance has led to a six-fold increase in deaths
Some strains are developing resistance to antibiotics.
“The alarming thing is these bacteria are resistant to one of the key last-line antibiotics,” Dr Sophia David, from the Sanger Institute, told BBC News.
“The infections are associated with a high mortality rate.
“It’s already worrying that we’re seeing 2,000 deaths in 2015 – but the concern is that if action isn’t taken, then this will continue to rise.”
Deaths from carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae have gone up from 341 in Europe in 2007 to 2,094 by 2015.
Yahoo – Summer often means mosquitoes are out in full force, but these biting insects aren’t just an annoyance — in some cases, they can be dangerous.
A mosquito-borne virus that causes brain swelling and can be fatal in humans was detected in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Health in Orange County.
After being bitten by an infected mosquito, it takes four to 10 days to develop symptoms of the Eastern equine encephalitis virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In severe cases involving brain inflammation, symptoms start with the sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills, and vomiting. The infection can then progress, causing disorientation, seizures, and coma.
About 30 percent of people who become infected with the virus die, and many survivors are left with chronic neurological problems from mild to severe brain damage, according to the CDC.
NaturalNews – Avocados are some of the most popular superfoods consumed today. The fruit pulp is eaten while the seed is normally thrown away. But researchers at Penn State University found a use for avocado seeds. In their study, which was published in Advances in Food Technology and Nutritional Sciences, they found that compounds in an avocado seeds could fight inflammation.
Over the past decade, the researchers have developed a compound from avocado seed extract as a food colorant that produces a vibrant orange color. And recently, they got interested in knowing whether this compound could inhibit inflammation.
The researchers used cell culture models and enzymes that are crucial in immune response and inflammatory diseases. They examined the reaction of the macrophages – a class of immune cells – to the avocado seed compound. The researchers found that the compound inhibited the production of pro-inflammatory proteins by these immune cells.
“The level of activity that we see from the extract is very good,” said Joshua Lambert, associate professor of food science and one of the study authors. “We saw inhibitory activity at concentrations in the low microgram-per-milliliter range, which is an acceptable amount of activity to justify further studies.”
The researchers suggested that avocado seed extract could be developed as a functional food ingredient or treatment for inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and colitis. They also believe that their study laid the groundwork for future studies as it provided evidence that avocado seeds contain bioactive compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties. Future studies can look at the anti-inflammatory activity of avocado seed extract using animal models. In addition, the researchers hope that finding a use for avocado seeds could help reduce food waste, given the huge number of avocados that are consumed.