July 6, 2020

Today’s News: June 11, 2020

World News

Venezuela on Brink of Famine With Fuel Too Scarce to Sow Crops

Bloomberg – Venezuela is now on the verge of famine, the International Crisis Group warns. More than half of the land used to grow vegetables last year won’t be replanted, according to farming federation Fedeagro. Corn production is expected to cover less than a quarter of national demand. And the tightening vice of U.S. sanctions threatens to strangle what little food and oil is getting in from abroad. 

“We’ll start to see the consequences of this in the next few months,” Fedeagro President Aquiles Hopkins said. Already, “we’re eating vegetables that were planted two or three months ago, rice that was sowed six months ago and corn from the previous crop cycle.”

COVID BACK IN BEIJING

Daily Mail – The city of Beijing has recorded a new confirmed COVID-19 case after the Chinese capital reported no fresh coronavirus infections for 56 days.

City officials reported the new infection of a 52-year-old local resident today at a press conference.

The capital city has activated an emergency response following the new case, including sealing off the residential complex where the patient lived.

Taiwan scrambles to ready for influx from Hong Kong protests

Reuters – Taiwan is gearing up to welcome Hong Kong people fleeing their city as China tightens its grip, but the island has little experience of handling refugees and is scrambling to prepare and to keep out any Chinese spies who might try to join the influx.

Turkish court sentences US consulate employee to jail

Al Jazeera – A Turkish court sentenced a US consulate employee to eight years and nine months in jail on Thursday for aiding a “terror” organisation, a development that could further strain frayed ties with Washington.

The United States said it was “deeply disappointed” by the ruling.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Trump authorizes sanctions over ICC Afghanistan war crimes case

Reurters – President Donald Trump on Thursday issued an executive order authorizing U.S. sanctions against International Criminal Court employees involved in an investigation into whether American forces committed war crimes in Afghanistan.

A senior Trump administration official, without providing details, said the investigation is “being pushed forward by an organization of dubious integrity” – referring to the Hague-based ICC – and accused Russia of having a role.

The order authorizes Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in consultation with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, to block assets in the United States of ICC employees involved in the probe, according to a letter sent by Trump to U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi accompanying the order

Tulsa police release body cam video of officers handcuffing black teens — for jaywalking.

CNN – ulsa police have released body camera footage from two officers who arrested a black teenager and handcuffed a second for jaywalking last week.

The videos were released in response to social media messages from the community about the arrest, police said. The videos appear to have been blurred and redacted by police to conceal the teenagers’ identities.

In the videos of the June 4 incident, the two teenagers can be seen walking down the middle of a road together before they are approached by an officer on foot and a second in a squad car.

Once the officers reach the teenagers, one officer can then be seen forcing a teenager onto his stomach to handcuff him, while holding him down with his arms and knees. The second teenager is also handcuffed, but doesn’t struggle and remains standing.

Miami beaches open after three months!

AFP – Miami’s beaches in South Florida opened for the first time in three months Wednesday, an emotional moment for many residents whose leisure and financial well-being are intrinsically tied to the sandy shores, which were closed due to coronavirus.

“I almost started crying as soon as I came out onto the beach,” said Julie Isaacson, a New Yorker who has lived for 27 years in Miami Beach, located on a barrier island directly across from Miami.

Isaacson, a travel agent, was shaken to her core by the pandemic — which not only cost her her livelihood but also killed one of her friends.

The 63-year-old said the ocean is “an integral part of my mental health and my physical health,” but clarified that she was “in 100 percent agreement with the shutdown.”

COVID-19 was not far from beach-goers’ minds, however, with “social distancing ambassadors” in pink shirts stationed at entrances, reminding visitors to wear masks and maintain social distancing.

Despite being open for the first time since March 23, there was no crowding at the beach — a scene of endless sand, turquoise water and green sargassum algae that begins to accumulate this time of year.

PRESIDENT THREATENS TO SUE CNN OVER POLL

Medaite – CNN responded to President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign after its lawyers sent the network a cease and desist letter over a poll which showed Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden ahead by 14 points.

“To my knowledge, this is the first time in its 40 year history that CNN had been threatened with legal action because an American politician or campaign did not like CNN’s polling results,” wrote CNN’s General Counsel David Vigilante. “To the extent that we have received legal threats from political leaders in the past, they have typically come from countries like Venezuela or other regimes where there is little or not respect for a free and independent media.”

Economy & Business

VIRUS: SECOND WAVE SPOOKS STOCKS

NBC – Stocks fell sharply on Thursday as coronavirus cases increased in some states that are reopening up from lockdowns. Shares that have surged recently on hopes for a smooth reopening of the economy led the declines.

FBI warns hackers are targeting mobile banking apps

The Hill – The FBI on Wednesday warned that malicious cyber actors were targeting mobile banking apps in an attempt to steal money as more Americans have moved to online banking during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a public service announcement, the FBI noted it expects to see hackers “exploit” mobile banking platforms, which have seen a 50 percent surge in use since the beginning of the pandemic.

“With city, state, and local governments urging or mandating social distancing, Americans have become more willing to use mobile banking as an alternative to physically visiting branch locations,” the agency wrote. “The FBI expects cyber actors to attempt to exploit new mobile banking customers using a variety of techniques, including app-based banking trojans and fake banking apps.”

Fed warns of uncertain path

AFP – The Federal Reserve on Wednesday projected a solid rebound for the US economy next year amid optimism that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic’s disruptions has passed.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell however cautioned that the outlook remains highly uncertain, and both the central bank and Congress may have to do more to boost the recovery.

At the conclusion of its two-day meeting, the Fed’s policy-setting Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) confirmed it will keep the benchmark interest rate at zero until the recovery is underway.

The Fed also released economic projections of FOMC members for the first time since December. Their median forecast is for the economy to contract by 6.5 percent this year, with unemployment falling to 9.3 percent by the end of the year from its current 13.3 percent.

“The coronavirus outbreak is causing tremendous human and economic hardship across the United States and around the world,” the FOMC statement said.

Energy & Environment

Amazon deforestation soars amid pandemic lockdowns

Al Jazeera – Environmentalists in Brazil are warning that criminals are taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to clear large parts of the Amazon rainforest.

Despite a heightened military presence, satellite images suggest the amount of forest lost is already higher than that during the whole of 2019, one of the worst years on record.

Science & Technology

Amazon Halts Use Of “Racist” Facial Recognition Software By Police

Activist Post – As we have detailed numerous times over the past few years (here, here, here, and here), facial recognition systems are becoming more and more mainstream and accepted by an increasing number of ‘average joes’ around the world as the cost of security (or just ease of life).

The problem is, as we detailed previously, for some segments of society, it is wildly inaccurate.

During a test run by the ACLU of Northern California, facial recognition misidentified 26 members of the California legislature as people in a database of arrest photos.

“This Thing Is Actually Real” – US Army Accidentally Reveals New Hypersonic Missile

Activist Post – A new hypersonic weapon could be in development after plans, or at least the outline of the program, “emerged inadvertently” on social media last week managed by Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy that describes a Mach 5-plus missile with capabilities to penetrate the world’s most advanced missile defense shields, reported Aviation Week.

The photo is from the Association of the United States Army conference last fall, and was uploaded to McCarthy’s Flickr page last week — shows the military official holding a weapons briefing slide that reads: “Vintage Racer — Loitering Weapon System (LWS) Overview.” 

The slide is laying down on a table and nearly impossible to understand. Still, six bullet points state: “Hypersonic ingress,” “Survivable,” “Time Over Target,” “Multi-role,” “Modular Payload,” and “Cost Imposition Strategy.”

Hvar Croatia Suspends 5G; Ministry of Health Recommends Reducing Cell Phone Radiation and EMF Exposure

Activist Post – 5G opposition is worldwide.  Cities AND countries have taken action to ban, delay, and halt deployment due to health and safety risks and warnings.  Since 2018, there have been reports of people and animals becoming sick after it was turned on.  Of course, other sources of Electromagnetic Radiation ( aka “Electrosmog”) can make cause symptoms and illness too.  Electrosmog includes Bluetooth, cell phone radiation and WiFi.

Kudos to Hvar Croatia for suspending the 5G rollout AND actively educating citizens about health risks from EMF and wireless radiation exposure.

Zuckerberg Neutrality Sparks Internal Facebook Rebellion

After Facebook decided not to take down the incendiary looting-and-shooting post by President Trump, its employees took to rival platform Twitter to voice displeasure with Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg. Alan Zeino, a software engineer who works at Facebook-owned Instagram, said he was “utterly ashamed.” Wesley Dickens, a data analyst, declared Facebook “on the wrong side of history.” 

Another software engineer, Dan Abramov, said his team was joining a virtual walkout “in solidarity with the black community.”

The outpouring of dissent was loud and unprecedented. Hundreds of employees participated in the walkout, which, since everyone was working from home, just meant telling their managers they were taking the day off. Even more changed their corporate profile pictures to all-black, or a black-and-white fist with a heart in it and the hashtag #takeaction.

Scientists grow ‘model’ human embryos.

AFP – Scientists have developed a human embryo “blueprint” using human stem cells, in a breakthrough that could provide vital insight into the early stages of infant development, new research showed Thursday.

Teams from the University of Cambridge and the Netherlands-based Hubrecht Institute said their model will allow them to observe never-before-seen processes underlying the formation of the human body.

The layout of humans — known as the body plan — happens through a process known as gastrulation, where three distinct layers of cells are formed in the embryo that will later give rise to the body’s three main systems: nervous, musculoskeletal and digestive.

Gastrulation is known as the “black box” period of human development as legal restrictions prevent scientists from developing embryos in the lab beyond 14 days.

The team behind the study, published in Nature, said their model resembles an embryo between 18 and 21 days old, around the same time as gastrulation occurs.

Many birth defects happen during this period, and a better understanding of gastrulation could aid our understanding of issues such as infertility, miscarriage and genetic disorders, the researchers said.

“Our model produces part of the blueprint of a human,” said lead author Alfonso Martinez-Arias, from Cambridge’s Department of Genetics.

“It’s exciting to witness the developmental processes that until now have been hidden from view — and from study.”

Health

How does kale fight cancer?

NaturalNews – According to a recent study, kale is considered a superfood, kale (Brassica oleracea var. acephala) is a cruciferous vegetable, characterized by leaves along the stem, which, in recent years, have gained great popularity as a ´superfood´. Kale is known to be in the cruciferous vegetable family and as such these are known to potentially prevent DNA damage and metastatic cancer spread. It is also known to activate our defense and fight off pathogens that could lead to many illnesses. Components exclusive to the cruciferous vegetable family are potent cancer-fighting agents. These chemical components found in cruciferous vegetables such as kale, exhibit anti-inflammatory effects as well as detoxification of certain carcinogenic enzymes that are toxic to many types of cancer cells. In fact, evidence shows that individuals who consume a diet rich in CV have lower risks of developing cancer. This study indicates cruciferous vegetables contain chemical components referred to as glucosinolates which give rise to indoles, isothiocyanates, thiocyanates, and cyano-epithioalkanes via mastication as a result of the release of the enzyme myrosinase reveling promising results with respect to cancer prevention.

Kale is a great source of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins. As you know antioxidants scavenge free radicals from the body cells and prevent or reduce the damage caused by oxidation. Experts believe that free radicals play a role in cancer development and as such, I have made kale a top priority to include in my cancer prevention diet. Kale along with other green vegetables also contain chlorophyll, a pigment that gives green plants their color. Chlorophyll (CHL) has shown potential as a cancer treatment, a study shows how CHL has been shown to exhibit potent antigenotoxic, anti-oxidant, and anticancer effects. Numerous experimental and epidemiological studies have demonstrated that dietary supplementation of CHL lowers the risk of cancer. CHL inhibits cancer initiation and progression by targeting multiple molecules and pathways involved in the metabolism of carcinogens, cell cycle progression, apoptosis evasion, invasion, and angiogenesis. There is so much evidence that points chlorophyll as a powerful agent to fight cancer. An additional study I found, indicates that natural chlorophyll intake reduced the risk of colon cancer in rats. Furthermore, another study found chlorophyll as a chemotherapeutic potential and it helps slow the progression of lung cancer in mice. Also, antioxidants and fiber found in kale can also help prevent or reduce colorectal cancer risk.

Kale is a fantastic cancer fighter but not only that, as it also offers some additional health benefits like:

  • Most nutrient-dense food
  • Loaded with antioxidants like quercetin & kaempferol
  • Great source of vitamin K
  • Great source of minerals
  • Supports bone health
  • Protects against diabetes helps lower glucose levels
  • Supports heart health by lower cholesterol levels
  • Prevents constipation and helps with digestions
  • Great source of beta carotene for skin and hair health
  • Supports eye health as it is loaded with Lutein and Zeaxanthin
  • Supports weight loss

According to Self Nutrition Data, a cup of chopped raw kale (about 67 grams or 2.4 ounces) contains:

  • Vitamin A: 206% of the DV (from beta-carotene)
  • Vitamin K: 684% of the DV
  • Vitamin C: 134% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 9% of the DV
  • Manganese: 26% of the DV
  • Calcium: 9% of the DV
  • Copper: 10% of the DV
  • Potassium: 9% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 6% of the DV

It also contains 3% or more of the DV for vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), iron and phosphorus. This is coming with a total of 33 calories, 6 grams of carbs (2 of which are fiber) and 3 grams of protein.

If you have not implemented kale in your diet, you may want to consider it now. People usually eat it raw, steam, boil or sautee. It is a great addition to any of your salads, sandwiches, smoothies, wraps, bowls, and my favorite, of course, kale chips. I personally love kale in my fresh green juice or in my fresh salads with my special homemade Camu Camu dressing.

The bottom line is that kale is a wonderful addition to a variety of diets. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed this blog post and perhaps learned something new. As always I welcome your comments in the box below and of course I would love to hear how you use kale in your healthy diet. I want to leave you with this beautiful promise God gave me when I was first diagnosed and felt scared and confused as to what diet to follow and what road to take in my healing… I now impart it to you.

“Therefore I urge you to take nourishment, for this is for your survival, since not a hair will fall from the head of any of you.” Acts 27:34

What foods reduce inflammation in the body?

NaturalNews – How do we get rid of chronic inflammation?

Many factors may affect inflammation and your diet is most certainly one of them. It is known that certain foods can exacerbate chronic inflammation. Extended periods of inflammation cause cell damage and can lead to increased risk of chronic illnesses such as cancer, as well as heart disease, arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease, and more.

Thankfully, there’s a lot we can do ourselves to help us prevent those extended chronic inflammation periods. “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” a well known Hippocrates philosophy, which, unfortunately, has been highly neglected in the medical industry. According to this published article, many doctors’ knowledge of nutrition is rudimentary and most feel much more comfortable with drugs than foods. In a way, we can’t blame them since this is not a usually covered area in medical school. However, let’s explore which foods are inflammation friendly and which are not.

Inflammatory Foods

These are typical foods known to increase inflammation and I ask for you to limit or take away from your diet now.

Trans fats.– a form of unsaturated fat known to cause a number of negative health effects. Hydrogenated oils usually used to increase the shelf life of processed foods. Here are some studies: (1, 2, 3, 4).

Saturated fats.– usually found in animal products like meat, cheese, and milk as well as coconut oil and palm oil. I personally use coconut oil in moderation.

Junk food.– fast foods, frozen meals, pretzels, potato chips, etc.

Refined carbohydrates.- healthy carbohydrates are part of a balanced diet, stay away from cakes, cookies, white bread.

Processed sugar.- added sugars are harmful and can increase inflammation. Sugar and high fructose corn syrup are a big no for my diet. Studies here: (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

Red & Processed Meats.- includes red meats, pork, hot dogs, lunch meats, sausages, bacon, etc. Studies here: (1, 2, 3).

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

The following foods provide nutrition and help reduce inflammation. I hope you implement them into your diet now.

Antioxidants.– may reduce your inflammation, boost your immunity and reduce the risk of disease. Foods like, blueberries, strawberries, goji berries, raspberries, blackberries, lucuma, dark chocolate, kale, red cabbage, spinach, beets, broccoli, etc. Studies here: (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11,).

Vitamin C.- vitamin c in citrus fruit and vegetables are known to fight inflammation. Foods like Camu Camu, (the most powerful source of natural Vitamin C in the world) lemons, papaya, kiwi, peppers, guavas, thyme, parsley, etc. Studies here: (1, 2, 3, 4).

Omega 3 fats.– found in flaxseeds, walnuts and fatty fish- a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Fish like salmon, sardine, mackerel, and anchovies. Studies here: (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).

Turmeric.– this amazing spice is known to reduce inflammation related to arthritis, diabetes, and more. Studies here: (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7).

Avocados.- rich in monounsaturated fat and high in vitamin E (two anti-inflammatory properties linked to a reduced risk of joint damage). Studies here: (1, 2).

Prebiotic foods.- good gut bacteria is vital for immune function. Here are some good examples of prebiotic foods, onions, garlic, legumes, asparagus, leeks, radishes, flax and chia seeds. Studies here: (1, 2, 3).

Probiotic foods.– contain healthy bacteria like yogurt, kefir, tempeh, miso, kombucha, and sauerkraut. Studies here: (1, 2, 3).

It is evident that following a plant-based diet can help reduce inflammation and your risk to develop a chronic illness. In my healing journey, I have found following a diet filled with fruits and vegetables to be a very rewarding lifestyle.

I hope you have enjoyed this blog article and I pray it helps you in your journey. As always I welcome your comments and I appreciate you sharing your experiences with me. Sending much love and healing prayers to you and your loved ones.

“A healthy outside starts from the inside” Robert Urich